CFR Identifies the Top Security Threats in 2014

January 7, 2014

The Council on Foreign Relations’ Center for Preventative Action has conducted a survey of over 1,200 experts to identify the most dangerous potential security threats facing the world in 2014.   The threats are ranked according to their probable impact on the US and are broken into three tiers.  The Tier One threats that the CPA believes should draw the most attention are:

  • Intensification of the Syrian civil war, including possible limited military intervention
  • Growing violence and instability in Afghanistan resulting from the drawdown of coalition forces and/or contested national elections
  • Growing political instability and civil violence in Jordan triggered by spillover from the Syrian civil war
  • A severe North Korean crisis caused by a military provocation, internal political instability, or threatening nuclear weapons/long-range missiles
  • A mass-casualty terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland or a treaty ally
  • A highly disruptive cyberattack on U.S. critical infrastructure
  • Renewed threat of military strikes against Iran as a result of a breakdown in nuclear negotiations and/or clear evidence of Iran’s intent to develop a nuclear weapons capability
  • Increasing internal violence and political instability in Pakistan
  • Civil war in Iraq due to rising Sunni-Shia sectarian violence
  • Strengthening of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) resulting from continued political instability in Yemen and/or backlash from U.S. counterterrorism operations

Most of these would certainly have direct and immediate impact on energy geopolitics both in the US and worldwide.  The CPA’s Conflict Tracker is an interactive presentation of both current and potential conflicts.  The image captured below shows all 30 of the potential threats identified in the survey; Tier One threats are in dark red.

Tier One threats are noted by deep red tags

Tier One threats are noted by deep red tags


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