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Decade ForecastsFeb 12, 2020 | 02:59 GMT
Decade Forecast: 2020-2030
Over the next 10 years, the world will revert to a multipolar power structure that will encourage constantly shifting alliances and create a more contentious global system. In the midst of this dynamic change, pockets of economic opportunity will emerge.
AssessmentsFeb 6, 2020 | 10:30 GMT
A monument depicts an oil pipeline near the Mozyr linear production dispatching station in Belarus on Jan. 4, 2020.
Russia's Oil Salvo Prompts Belarus to Explore Its Options
Fearing the loss of its last ally in Eastern Europe, Russia has weaponized its crucial oil exports to force Belarus into accepting a level of integration that would effectively guarantee its allegiance. But Belarus has rejected Russia's proposals, knowing that the kind of economic and political synthesis Moscow is demanding would severely restrict its ability to pursue opportunities with Europe and the United States. To bring Belarus to heel, Russia moved to cut off the country's oil supply on Jan. 1, which has since only pushed Minsk to seek out new foreign suppliers. But Belarus' push to diversify its oil ties will likely be short-lived, as permanently severing its trade ties with Russia would require a significant overhaul of its already fragile economy.
PodcastsNov 15, 2019 | 17:00 GMT
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak (seated, right) and Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng (seated, left) sign joint documents following a meeting in Beijing on Sept. 6, 2019. Both officials are seated next to their countries respective national flags.
Taking the Measure of a Russian-Chinese Alliance
This episode of the Stratfor podcast explores Russia and China's rapidly changing relationship with Artyom Lukin, an associate professor of international relations at Russia's Far Eastern Federal University. Join us for an engaging conversation as Lukin explains how Russia and China's escalating rivalry with the United States is bringing them closer together -- and what the Asian juggernauts' growing economic, military and political ties may mean for the West.
Contributor PerspectivesNov 12, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
This Aug. 7, 2018, photo shows a Google office building in Beijing.
Google's AI Work in China Stirs Questions of Allegiance and National Security
China is zealously protective of its national interests and is stealing as much intellectual property as possible from the United States, quickly catching up with decades of incredible innovation and investment in advanced technologies at a fraction of the time and cost. Some of these technologies, such as artificial intelligence, could be game-changers in the balance of world power. What does this ultimately mean for American tech giants like Google that are working cooperatively with Beijing while avoiding military contracts at home, and how should the United States protect its own disruptive innovation and technological advancement from exploitation by the Chinese military through replication and fusion between public and private entities?
On SecurityOct 29, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
This July 5, 2014, photo shows an image grab taken from a propaganda video released by al-Furqan Media showing Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as he declares himself caliph in Mosul.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's True Legacy
When al-Baghdadi declared himself caliph following his Islamic State group's stunning battlefield successes in Syria and Iraq, he envisioned a legacy in which all Muslims would fall in line and help him establish sovereignty over all the Earth. Al-Baghdadi saw himself as the one to "Make Islam great again" (to borrow a phrase) and expected to achieve the same success that the Prophet Mohammed's followers enjoyed when they greatly expanded the original caliphate in the late seventh century A.D. But as we now look back at the life -- and death -- of al-Baghdadi, it becomes clear that he was a failure. Not only did he fail to unify all Muslims and lead them on a global conquest, his only lasting legacies might be his group's deep split with others in the jihadist movement, depraved violence (against believer and nonbeliever alike), and rape on an epic scale.
SnapshotsOct 27, 2019 | 13:46 GMT
Syria: Al-Baghdadi Dies in U.S. Operation, but Islamic State Threat Will Persist
U.S. President Donald Trump announced Oct. 27 that a U.S. military operation carried out by the U.S. Army's elite Delta Force with CIA support in Idlib province in northwestern Syria has resulted in the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Al-Baghdadi's death, however, will not do much to significantly weaken the wider capabilities of the Islamic State or its affiliates.
Contributor PerspectivesJul 25, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Fighters with the U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces guard women and children waiting to leave the al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria on June 3, 2019.
The Syrian Civil War Grinds On, Largely Forgotten
While the United States and Iran risk all-out war with their game of chicken in the Persian Gulf, their proxy war is still playing out in Syria. Iran's ally, Syrian President Bashar al Assad, won the war two years ago, but his victory was incomplete. Al Assad secured his throne, but two large swathes of the country remain beyond his reach. The Turkish army and rebel militants control the northwest. The mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by a small but unspecified number of American, British and French special forces, hold the area northeast of the Euphrates River near the Syria-Turkey-Iraq border triangle. Al Assad has said he will not give up the struggle until both areas revert to his dominion. The only other part of the country under foreign occupation is the Golan Heights, but Al Assad is in no position to expel the Israelis.
Contributor PerspectivesJul 10, 2019 | 06:30 GMT
Netherlands goalkeeper Lize Kop works out before her team's appearance in the Women's World Cup championship game
Why the Women's World Cup Flies Under the Geopolitical Radar
On July 7, the U.S. national team defeated the Dutch team to claim its fourth Women's World Cup title. The event, which drew thousands of spectators, players and members of the news media to host country France, produced some spectacular play and exciting results -- along with a hefty dose of controversy surrounding the introduction of video-assisted replay (perhaps better known as VAR). Despite its wide reach and international diversity, one of the most notable aspects of the Women's World Cup, in general, seems to be its disconnection from underlying geopolitical forces. Unlike its counterpart men's tournament and the Olympics, little in the way of international politics seems to steal the spotlight from the biggest stage for women's soccer.
On SecurityJul 9, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Police officers and soldiers stand outside a Catholic church in Jolo, Philippines, on Jan. 27, 2019, the day after two suicide bombings killed 20 people.
What a Recent Suicide Bombing May Mean for the Philippines
Muslim militants in the southern Philippines have long used bombs in their decadeslong war against the government in Manila, but suicide bombings have been relatively rare and Philippine authorities have blamed foreign militants for those that have occurred in the past year. The involvement of a Filipino bomber in a June 28 attack on a military base could have significant implications for security in the region.
On SecurityJun 25, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Police respond to the site of a mass shooting at synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
What We Can Learn From a Young, Grassroots Jihadist in Pittsburgh
The long and brutal civil war in Syria all began in March 2011, when the arrest of 15 young men in the southeastern city of Daraa spurred a cascade of escalating protests against the government. The city was then bombed, besieged, starved and squeezed for nearly a decade, until the Syrian army and its allies finally reconquered what little of it remained in July 2018. During the years of peak violence, many residents fled to nearby Jordan, where they were placed in camps alongside the Syrian border. While many remain in those camps to this day, a fortunate few were able to apply for refugee status and receive resettlement in third countries. A young man from Daraa, who I will intentionally not name here, was among the lucky ones. Upon being granted refugee status, he and his family were flown to the United States in August 2016, where they were resettled in a public housing
Partner PerspectivesJun 25, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
Sudanese protesters wave national flags and chant slogans during a sit-in outside the army headquarters in the capital of Khartoum, April 26.
Is Sudan's Transition Over Before It Began?
Stability, the nature of the state and its relationship to its citizens, the economy, and the role of political Islam are foundational to the discussions, inside and outside Sudan, concerning the country's transition.
On GeopoliticsMay 8, 2019 | 23:09 GMT
This photo shows Venezuelan troops supporting interim President Juan Guaido's call for a military uprising against the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on April 30, 2019.
Why Do Coups Fail? One Simple Question Holds the Answer
On April 30, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, the country's internationally backed interim president, beseeched the country's military to join him and rise up against the sitting government, leading many observers to trumpet the apparent start of a coup. While Guaido's initial call and footage of street protesters clashing with security forces in Caracas dominated the global media news cycle, his push to topple President Nicolas Maduro stalled. So why didn't Guaido's hoped-for uprising not materialize? The ingredients for regime change in Venezuela, whose oil-dependent economy, wracked by hyperinflation, has suffered for years under declining production, seem to be in place. But even as Guaido appeared among uniformed members of the National Guard last week and announced the final phase of what he called "Operacion Libertad," what followed instead was a day of waiting. The world waited to see what Guaido's next move would be, only to see him waiting for
On SecurityApr 30, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Candles in the shape of Sri Lanka on April 29 in Ahmedabad, India.
What the Easter Attacks in Sri Lanka Tell Us About the Islamic State
The April 21 attacks against three churches and four hotels in Sri Lanka rocked the island nation and have reverberated around the globe. While the location of this attack -- Sri Lanka -- was a surprise, that an attack happened was not. We had warned our Threat Lens clients that we anticipated attacks against houses of worship over the Passover and Easter holidays -- although we certainly were not specifically expecting one in Sri Lanka. Due to the high death toll in these attacks, they have generated much press coverage, some of which has presented these attacks as something unprecedented, or as an accurate gauge of the status of the Islamic State. But these attacks were neither.
SnapshotsApr 19, 2019 | 20:31 GMT
Congo: What's Behind the Islamic State's Claim of an Attack in Africa?
Ejected from its cradle in Mesopotamia, the Islamic State is expanding rapidly elsewhere in the world, including Central Africa -- or so it says. On April 18, the Islamic State's central media channel, Amaq, published a claim for an attack that occurred in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to Amaq, militants belonging to the Islamic State's "Central Africa Province" attacked Congolese soldiers, killing three and injuring five, in the remote locality of Kamango. This is the first time that Amaq has claimed an attack in the country, even though fighters claiming allegiance to the Islamic State have been conducting attacks in the area for years now. More active in the area, however, are the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a jihadist group with origins in Uganda that has attempted to rebrand itself in part by adopting the slogans and flags of an Islamic State-like group.
AssessmentsApr 17, 2019 | 10:30 GMT
A citizen shows his support for Venezuela's current president, Nicolas Maduro, (pictured in the poster on the left), as well as former President Hugo Chavez.
In Venezuela, the Tide Is Turning on the Opposition
For the first time since opposition leader Juan Guaido announced his bid to unseat President Nicolas Maduro in January, efforts at regime change in Venezuela face the real risk of failure. Though Guaido is free to move about the country and rally crowds against Maduro, there are still no signs he has the support of the key military commanders needed to initiate a prompt and relatively peaceful political transition, despite the United States and the opposition's best efforts. But as long as his military remains loyal, Maduro's government will remain in Caracas -- leaving Guaido, as well as other prominent opposition figures in Venezuela, vulnerable to a crackdown that could end his bid for power altogether.
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