quarterly forecasts

2019 Second-Quarter Forecast

4 MINS READMar 10, 2019 | 21:59 GMT
A composite pictures shows a collection of images representative of key themes and trends that will play out in the second quarter of 2019.
(MARK RALSTON/DELIL SOULEIMAN/ATTA KENARE/FREDERICK FLORIN/MARK SCHIEFELBEIN/ ALEX WONG/FEDERICO PARRA/PETER MACDIARMID/AFP/Get

Overview

Stratfor's 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast explores what the coming months ahead will bring, focused on international affairs and global risk through the prism of geopolitics....

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Global Trends

China and the United States will ratchet up their competition in the second quarter, as Washington takes concrete steps to counter Beijing's emergence as an economic, military and political peer. Given the global stature of both countries, this quest will reverberate around the world in two ways. First, Washington's economic war against Beijing will grow to encompass more than just tariff threats. Second, the United States' global security posture will change as it reduces its presence in Afghanistan and Syria to direct its energies elsewhere. 

Mar 10, 2019 | 21:58 GMT
section Highlights
  • The United States remains the fulcrum of the global system in the second quarter as it continues its aggressive trade policies, shifts its global security priorities and diverts its attention to China. 
  • Washington and Beijing will reach a deal to lift some of their reciprocal tariffs, but their economic competition will persist as the U.S. strategy evolves beyond tariffs. 
  • The United States is working hard to build a global campaign against China because of the economic, military and cybersecurity challenges the country poses. However, Washington will not achieve as much success this quarter as countries in the Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe weigh the consequences of backing the U.S. push. 
  • The United States must decide whether it wishes to proceed with auto tariffs. While Japan will likely succeed in avoiding the harshest measures, Brussels is in for tough negotiations with Washington over automobiles this quarter.
  • Although circumstances on the ground might delay the White House's plan to reduce the U.S. military presence in Syria and Afghanistan, the United States will prioritize its departure from the counterterrorism fight to free up resources to deal with Russia and China.

Stratfor's 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast explores what the coming months ahead will bring, focused on international affairs and global risk through the prism of geopolitics....

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Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific is home to more people than any other region. Centered on the western rim of the Pacific Ocean, this region includes the easternmost countries of continental Asia as well as the archipelagos that punctuate the coast. Several of these countries, most notably China, experienced rapid economic growth in the second half of the 20th century, giving the region a new sense of global economic relevance that continues today. That relevance, however, depends largely on China, a power in transition whose rise is testing the network of U.S. alliances that have long dominated the region. How effectively Beijing manages its transition will shape the regional balance of power in the decades to come.

Mar 10, 2019 | 21:56 GMT
Centered on the western rim of the Pacific Ocean, the Asia-Pacific region includes the easternmost countries of continental Asia as well as the archipelagos that punctuate the coast.

Centered on the western rim of the Pacific Ocean, the Asia-Pacific region includes the easternmost countries of continental Asia as well as the archipelagos that punctuate the coast.

Stratfor's 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast explores what the coming months ahead will bring, focused on international affairs and global risk through the prism of geopolitics....

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Europe

To the west of Eurasia lays Europe, a region predisposed to division. It is surrounded on nearly all sides by islands and peninsulas that make it difficult for Europe to cohere. The northern half of the continent, moreover, sits on a plain whose short, meandering rivers tend to empower countries without forcing them to work with others. The southern half is situated on more mountainous terrain that has historically impeded the creation of strong, unified economies. As a result, Europe is a continent riven by pockets of distinct cultures whose differences are all too often irreconcilable.

Mar 10, 2019 | 21:55 GMT
Europe is a continent riven by pockets of distinct cultures whose differences are all too often irreconcilable.

Europe is a continent riven by pockets of distinct cultures whose differences are all too often irreconcilable.

Stratfor's 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast explores what the coming months ahead will bring, focused on international affairs and global risk through the prism of geopolitics....

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Americas

The Americas stretch from the Arctic Circle in Canada to the southern tip of Chile. This geographically, culturally and politically diverse region is home to the United States, a nation whose geography helped it become the foremost economic and military power in the world — an ascendance aided in part by bringing Mexico and Canada into its sphere of influence. Farther south, the nations of South America are like islands, separated by vast spaces of impenetrable mountains, rivers and jungles. Try though these countries may to integrate more closely, deeper ties such as those that characterize North America will prove elusive.
Mar 10, 2019 | 21:53 GMT
This geographically, culturally and politically diverse region is home to the United States, a nation whose geography helped it become the foremost economic and military power in the world

This geographically, culturally and politically diverse region is home to the United States, a nation whose geography helped it become the foremost economic and military power in the world

Stratfor's 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast explores what the coming months ahead will bring, focused on international affairs and global risk through the prism of geopolitics....

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Middle East and North Africa

The Middle East and North Africa is the world's crossroads. It encompasses the Arabian Peninsula, the mountains of Iran, the plains of Turkey, the deserts of the Levant, the lands north of the Sahara and all coasts in between. The story of the region, as is so often the case of places stuck between foreign players, is the story of trade, exchange and conflict. The traditional powers of the region are Turkey and Iran — Saudi Arabia and Egypt are the current Arab powers — and their competition for influence over the region's weaker states makes the Middle East and North Africa an arena of violence and instability.

Mar 10, 2019 | 21:51 GMT
The Middle East and North Africa encompasses the Arabian Peninsula, the mountains of Iran, the plains of Turkey, the deserts of the Levant, the lands north of the Sahara and all coasts in between.

The Middle East and North Africa encompasses the Arabian Peninsula, the mountains of Iran, the plains of Turkey, the deserts of the Levant, the lands north of the Sahara and all coasts in between.

Stratfor's 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast explores what the coming months ahead will bring, focused on international affairs and global risk through the prism of geopolitics....

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South Asia

Everything that informs geopolitics can be found in South Asia: challenging demographics, geographic diversity, and contentious, ill-defined borders. The Himalayan Mountains form the northern border of South Asia, whose two main rivers, the Indus and the Ganges, support the region’s great population centers. India is the region’s dominant country, home to the world’s fastest growing economy. But its rivalry with neighboring Pakistan, a fellow nuclear power and growing consumer market, has made South Asia one of the world’s most dangerous nuclear flashpoints. The region is also a testament to how militancy and militarism can undermine the regional integration needed to unleash higher economic growth.

Mar 10, 2019 | 21:49 GMT
Everything that informs geopolitics can be found in South Asia: challenging demographics, geographic diversity, and contentious, ill-defined borders.

Everything that informs geopolitics can be found in South Asia: challenging demographics, geographic diversity, and contentious, ill-defined borders.

Stratfor's 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast explores what the coming months ahead will bring, focused on international affairs and global risk through the prism of geopolitics....

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Eurasia

Eurasia is the world’s most expansive region. It connects the East to the West, forming a land bridge that borders Europe, the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and South Asia. Forming the borders of this massive tract of land are the Northern European Plain, the Carpathian Mountains, the Southern Caucasus Mountains, the Tien Shan Mountains and Siberia. At the heart of Eurasia is Russia, a country that throughout history has tried, to varying degrees of success, to extend its influence to Eurasia’s farthest reaches — a strategy meant to insulate it from outside powers. But this strategy necessarily creates conflict throughout Russia’s borderlands, putting Eurasia a near constant state of instability.

Mar 10, 2019 | 21:48 GMT
Eurasia connects the East to the West, forming a land bridge that borders Europe, the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and South Asia.

Eurasia connects the East to the West, forming a land bridge that borders Europe, the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and South Asia.

Stratfor's 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast explores what the coming months ahead will bring, focused on international affairs and global risk through the prism of geopolitics....

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Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is a study in diversity. Covering an area that spans the entire width of the continent beginning at the Sahara Desert and ending at the southernmost tip of South Africa, the region is home to countless cultures, languages, religions, plants, animals and natural resources. It’s no surprise that it captured the imagination of Europe’s earliest explorers — and that it continues to capture the imagination of current world powers eager to exploit it. And yet despite the region’s diversity, Sub-Saharan African countries have common challenges — transnational terrorism, rapid population growth, endemic poverty and corruption — that prevent them from capitalizing on their economic potential. The coming years will be critical for the region, especially as its political institutions mature in a rapidly globalizing world.

Mar 10, 2019 | 21:46 GMT
Covering an area that spans the entire width of the continent beginning at the Sahara Desert and ending at the southernmost tip of South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to countless cultures, languages, religions, plants, animals and natural resources.

Covering an area that spans the entire width of the continent beginning at the Sahara Desert and ending at the southernmost tip of South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to countless cultures, languages, religions, plants, animals and natural resources.

Stratfor's 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast explores what the coming months ahead will bring, focused on international affairs and global risk through the prism of geopolitics....

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