Sometime back, somebody on alternatehistory.com presented a map showing Osama Bin Laden’s dream world: it inspired me to do this, which I do not consider at all probable for 2027, but represents a “best case” scenario for Al-Queda and company.
(Apologies in advance to those who will be offended.)
The US has turned inward, further economic woes and the continued disfunctionality of the political system leading to increased tensions: after the most recent swing of the voters to a democratic presidential candidate, things somewhat climaxed in the bombing of the White House by the Teabag Tigers and the attempted secession of Texas, Arizona and Florida. All this, after Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, means that the US has no interest whatsoever in Middle Eastern ventures.
Oil peak is definitely here – prices have been on the steady rise since 2016, and some major efforts have finally gotten under way to find substitutes, but the cost is not yet so high that it doesn’t sell. The Caliphate (first established in Yemen, then after the Riyadh Riots and the Martyrdoms, spreading to Saudi Arabia) has quite a bit of money coming in, although some gloomy naysayers (probably in the pay of one of the various foreign Satans) suggest trouble a decade or two down the line.
After the Nth breakdown in negotiations, the Iranians finally threw their hands in the air and actually set off a test nuke in 2014. Israel’s 2018 effort to destroy Iran’s teeny arsenal and nuclear facilities did not turn out well, although rather less well for Iran after Israel retaliated for the retaliation. With the US increasingly politically paralyzed and unwilling to cough up aid money, Israel has since adjusted to new realities, withdrawing from the West Bank and Gaza, although to preserve appearances the “Palestinian” state is a Caliphate puppet rather than being directly incorporated. (Predictably, Palestinians have already started an intifada against the Sanaa-approved new government).
Arguments over immigration and looser vs. tighter union, panics over Muslim violence, and accusations that rules favoring Germany had wrecked the Iberian and Greek economies, finally ended in the breakup of the European Union. Although democracy was mostly preserved (outside of the Balkans), xenophobia has largely won the argument: while the Western European Community has preserved at least the forms of multiculturalism (France has had one of its swings to the left again), the MittelEuropa Alliance has sealed its border to foreign contaminants (including those from the southern Balkans) and kicked out a lot of locals with “uncertain” citizenship, which has done no favors to their economies.
In Asia, India has been hit hard by droughts and new-style socialist violent protest: China, although with its own water problems and hit by the ups and downs of world trade over the last two decades, is doing better, and still chugging along economically, if not as fast as it once did. Japan, noting the Chinese putting the squeeze play on Taiwan, have entered into a military alliance with the Russians, which have turned west again in their foreign policy and have become less friendly to China, especially after the Chinese government started grumbling about the mistreatment of Chinese immigrants in Siberia.
North Korea ended in messy internal strife, allowing the south to occupy the north without too much bloodshed, and pick up a small arsenal of late-40s retro nuclear weapons. Travel between North and South is still restricted: even the most optimistic estimates see economic convergence as taking two decades if the South is to not entirely bankrupt itself: northerners, now that memories of starvation have receded, are beginning to grumble about southern “tyranny” and how “un-Korean” southerners are.
On the occasion of the birthday of that now legendary hero of the Caliphate, Osama Bin Laden, Islamicist Egypt formally politically united with the Caliphate. Islam was clearly on the Right Track, and kicking Israel into the sea was no longer needed, many said: before long it would become a mere satellite of the Caliphate, a Dhimmi protectorate.
Of course, the Caliphate would messily fall apart within a decade in over 90% of possible futures, but why spoil the party by telling them?