What Could Possibly Go Wrong in 2012?

What better way to start the new year than to consider for a moment all the things that could go terribly wrong this year, at least from the U.S. foreign policy perspective.  That’s what the Council on Foreign Relation’s Preventive Priorities Survey: 2012 intends to offer.  Culled from a “targeted group of government officials, academics and experts”, three tiers of possibility are mapped out:

Tier 1 – Contingencies that directly threaten the U.S. homeland, are likely to trigger U.S. military involvement because of treaty commitments, or threaten the supplies of critical U.S. strategic resources.
Tier 2 – Contingencies that affect countries of strategic importance to the United States but that do not involve a mutual-defense treaty commitment.
Tier 3 – Contingencies that could have severe/widespread humanitarian consequences but in countries of limited strategic importance to the United States.

If you’d like to see the specifics of the threats for each tier, check out the press release on the CFR’s site or, if you’d like to dig further, download the whole report (pdf).

Bonus Question:  If you were a country in the leftovers of Tier 4, would you be relieved or nervous not to have made the list?

[Map by Council on Foreign Relations via Zero Hedge]