Big Thinkers Reflect on 2009, Make 2010 Predictions

China ascendant, Pakistan dangerous, Iran is one to watch
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2009 12:25 PM CST
Big Thinkers Reflect on 2009, Make 2010 Predictions
Pakistani troops and media stand next to the anti-aircraft guns confiscated during an ongoing military operation in the Khyber area.   (AP Photo)

Foreign Policy asked 100 luminaries—from Bill Clinton to Francis Fukuyama to David Petraeus—to weigh in on just what happened in the past year, and what the future holds. Some of their opinions and predictions:

  • Obama's doing all right: The average rating for Obama's first year in office is a 7 out of 10.
  • Iran's the one to watch in 2010: Some 29% say Iran will be the "unknown unknown" next year; Pakistan is close behind, at 21%.

  • Hu Jintao is influential: The Chinese president tops the list of movers and shakers outside the US, with 33 votes; Vladimir Putin is a distant second, with 16 votes. China is also on the rise: 71% say it will be the world's next powerhouse.
  • Pakistan is dangerous: When it comes to countries you should approach with a long stick, Pakistan garnered an astounding 54% of responses. The US, Somalia, and Iran each scored a measly 10%.
  • 2009 wasn't a gamechanger: Despite a rollicking year, 52% say their fundamental worldview remains the same.
  • For advice, look backwards: Some of the smartest folks in the world think historical figures—Gandhi, FDR, de Tocqueville—still have a lot to tell us.
For the full list and the participants, click here.
(More Foreign Policy stories.)

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