2024: What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

Every January, CFR’s annual Preventive Priorities Survey analyzes the conflicts most likely to occur in the year ahead and measures their potential impact. For the first time, the survey anticipates that this year, 2024, the United States will contend not only with a slew of global threats, but also a high risk of upheaval within its own borders. Is the country prepared for the eruption of election-related instability at home while wars continue to rage abroad?

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  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Molly McAnany - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Paul B. Stares
    General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action

Show Notes

For the first time in its sixteen-year history, CFR’s annual Preventive Priorities Survey found that the leading concern among foreign policy experts lies within U.S. borders: the possibility of domestic terrorism and political violence in the wake of the 2024 U.S. presidential election. 


Among the thirty other threats deemed plausible by experts were a wider regional conflict in the Middle East borne out of the war in the Gaza Strip and a mass migration crisis on the southwest U.S. border. An escalation in the war between Russia and Ukraine, a military conflict between China and Taiwan, and a highly disruptive cyberattack on U.S. critical infrastructure all present serious economic and national security risks as well.




Whether or not these threats come to a head in 2024 depends on how global leaders navigate growing tensions both at home and abroad.


Read the full 2024 Preventive Priorities Survey


Check out the Center for Preventive Action’s Global Conflict Tracker.



From CFR


Will Freeman, ”Tough New Immigration Rules Risk Empowering the Cartels,” TIME


Will Merrow and Kali Robinson, “Iran’s Regional Armed Network


David Sacks, “Why Is Taiwan Important to the United States?


Jacob Ware, “The Southern Border Poses Terrorism Risks. Homegrown Threats Still Loom Larger


From Our Guest


Averting Major Power War: The Logic of Mutual Assured Survival


In This Turbulent Year, Peace Has to Start at Home for the United States,” The Hill


Read More


Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware, “God, Guns, and Sedition: Far-Right Terrorism in America


Ten Conflicts to Watch in 2024,” International Crisis Group


Watch and Listen


What to Worry About in 2024,” CFR.org 

Israel-Hamas War: Regional Ripple Effects,” CFR.org

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In the past thirty years, sixty countries have expanded access to abortion care as an underpinning of maternal health. The 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade made the United States the fourth country ever to decrease access to abortion—and the world took notice. Some countries have since reinforced protections for abortion care, while others have moved to further restrict it.


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