The year of 2016 was defined by many different events and developments. Some happened right here on United States soil, while many happened outside of this country. While most of these events were certainly not predictable, they still played a big role in how 2016 will be remembered.
Here’s a quick look at some of the most influential events and developments shaping 2016.
Nuclear Progress Accelerated in North Korea
March of 2016 saw North Korea making claims to a miniaturized warhead that can be fitted to a ballistic missile. While it’s easy to be skeptical about this possibility, some still believe plenty of nuclear progress has happened in North Korea over the past few years.
This could pose a direct threat to the United States. Some believe North Korea possess enough material to create about 20 bombs. The worst part is the ability for the United States to counter an attack from North Korea range from very bad to catastrophic.
On June 23rd, 2016, the vote to exit the European Union happened and became known as Brexit. Britain decided to leave the EU, which costs the EU about one sixth of its economic output. This not only threatens the resilience of the transatlantic project, but may be the reason the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership doesn’t’ happen.
The Philippines Shift Towards China
President Rodrigo Dutere ordered United States troops to withdraw from Mindanao on September 12, 2016. He also declared that the Philippines would abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement from 1998 with the United States. Both of these decisions, along with others show his reorientation towards China.
Trump Wins Over Clinton and Becomes President-Elect
One of the more surprising victories in recent election history, Donald Trump beat out Hillary Clinton to become the United States President-elect. This victory will not only have profound implications for policies within the country, but also for the foreign policies of the United States. Many don’t even know what type of agenda he will pursue.
For the first time, there may be a president that rejects the American commitment to sustaining liberal world order. Trump is poised to revolutionize many policies put in place by President Obama and changes to the U.S. foreign policy may be on the horizon.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Failed
The TPP has no viability moving forward as of November 11th, according to the Obama administration. Many experts believe it would have only produced very modest economic gains for the U.S., anyway.
Other events and developments happening in 2016 that shaped the year and will shape the future of the United States and the rest of the world include:
• President Park Geun-hye of South Korea was impeached
• A revised peace accord was passed by Columbia’s Congress between the Revolutionary Armed Forces Group and the government
• The economy and politics of Venezuela fell into chaos
• COP21 Agreement was ratified by the U.S. and China
• The Yemen “forgotten war” became more intense
These events and developments, along with many others shaped 2016 into a year most won’t forget. It wasn’t a predictable year and many unknowns still linger entering 2017.
Learn more about what happened in 2016 on USMilitary.com.