Foreign Policy: Four Days in 2023 That Shook the World Featured

By Gamal Khattab December 24, 2023 2516


October 7

In the beginning of the year, the Middle East seemed relatively calm. The United States even said it was the calmest it had been in 20 years. Israel was also on the verge of normalizing relations with more Arab countries. But by the end of the year, Israel was stuck in a bloody siege of the Gaza Strip.

According to a report by Foreign Policy, on October 7, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) surprised everyone with a raid that caused chaos. They attacked the occupation forces around Gaza Strip killed many Israeli soldiers and kidnapped others as POWs. This raid shook the Middle East and the world, and it could lead to a war beyond Israel and the Palestinian enclaves.

After an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, the Middle East saw major changes. The United States had to lead a naval task force to patrol the Red Sea because of repeated attacks on commercial ships by the Yemeni Houthi group.

June 8

In Ukraine, the year started with hope that more cities and territory would be freed from Russian control. The United States sent weapons to help Ukraine. But by the end of the year, Ukraine ran out of ammunition and the counteroffensive stalled. Now, people are questioning whether the United States will continue to support Ukraine.

On June 8, Ukraine launched a counterattack against Russia. But Russia had built strong defenses along the front line, making it difficult for Ukraine to make progress. With the losses, Ukraine's ambitions decreased. By November, the Ukrainian forces realized they wouldn't have a major breakthrough.

At the beginning of the counterattack, Ukraine feared they wouldn't get the support they needed. And by the end of the attack, they were in trouble. In October, American support ran out after only a few months because of a disagreement in Congress over security funding for the United States' southern border.

February 4

In February, a Chinese spy balloon caused a lot of commotion in the United States. The balloon was seen hovering near nuclear missile sites. It stayed in the sky until February 4 when it was dropped off the coast of North Carolina.

After this incident, the United States and China didn't talk much until November when President Biden and President Xi Jinping met. Now, there is hope that the communication between the two countries could improve.

July 26

In Africa, a series of coups started happening about three years ago. It began with a rebellion in Mali in 2020, and then spread to Chad, Guinea, Sudan, and Burkina Faso. By April 2023, Sudan's rival generals were at war again, forcing the United States to evacuate its diplomats.

The United States relied on Niger to combat terrorism in Africa. But in late July, Nigers presidential guard had different plans. The Biden administration had hoped for a peaceful transition of power, but that didn't happen.

In September, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that French forces would leave Africa, which had been supporting the United States' strategy there.

Source: Foreign Policy