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On GeopoliticsAug 31, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A satellite image of the United States at night.
The U.S.'s Eurasia Obsession, Part 1: Setting the Stage
Since its founding, the United States has feared European involvement in North America and the Western Hemisphere. And from this fear arose a continentalist strategic view and an idea of a fortress America secure behind its oceanic moats, loathe to get dragged into internecine European conflicts. Over time, as the United States consolidated its position across North America, a competing concern also arose -- one that began to see Eurasia at the heart of a strategic challenge to U.S. security, and promoted a more internationalist and interventionist policy abroad. These two strands continue to shape U.S. strategic assessments today amid the emerging geography of the 21st century. 
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AssessmentsJul 22, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An Indian army convoy makes its way toward Leh, a town near the Chinese border in Ladakh, on June 17, 2020. 
The Nature of China's Military Push Along the Indian Border
After many years of infrastructure development and gradual encroachment, China is accelerating efforts to secure its military presence and access to water rights along the Indian border near Ladakh. But while it appears Beijing has largely achieved this objective for now, the harsh Himalayan winter could again escalate its standoff with India by challenging China's ability to maintain a presence throughout the disputed territory.
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MemosJul 2, 2020 | 18:32 GMT
Fred Burton's Summer Reading List
Fred Burton has put together a few books to add to your warm weather reading list. Some are classics and others are brand new — I can’t wait to read Brad Thor’s new thriller NEAR DARK. The Scot Harvath series never disappoints.
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AssessmentsJun 15, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Protesters in New York City kneel at an intersection to demand an end to systemic racism and police brutality on June 11, 2020.
U.S. Unrest Further Strains Trump’s Ties With Global Allies
Global U.S. allies are increasingly condemning the White House’s heavy-handed response to the nationwide protests following George Floyd’s death, suggesting a further erosion of U.S. leadership that could compromise Washington’s ability to find consensus on its controversial agenda of multilateral economic and security issues. Commentary from reputable news outlets and elite opinion-makers in Europe over the past week have questioned whether American internal polarization and discord would weaken its ability to function as a reliable ally. Increasingly irritated with the White House’s break from long-standing diplomatic norms, European governments appear to be translating opinion into policy action by challenging Trump’s proposed adjustments to the Group of Seven (G-7) summit and U.S. military posture in Europe.
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SnapshotsMay 6, 2020 | 19:48 GMT
The U.S. Looks to Mine the Moon on Its Own Terms
With the United States and China gearing up to send astronauts back to the moon and beyond, the competition of space resources between Washington and its rivals will heat up, as will the race to define the international rules, standards, laws and regulations governing the final frontier. But the White House's attempt to lead the development of space resources by negotiating a moon-mining pact with like-minded countries will struggle, and ultimately fail, to gain global acceptance.
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On SecurityMar 3, 2020 | 15:54 GMT
'The Turner Diaries,' by National Alliance leader William Pierce, provides a blueprint for conducting terrorist operations as an underground organization.
The Right-Wing Extremist Threat in Context: External Extremist Actors
Last week I had the opportunity to speak with someone in the process of setting up a protective intelligence program at a large corporation. During our conversation about various concerns and threats, the topic of the current wave of right-wing extremist attacks arose. We discussed how that threat manifested itself differently when the actor was an outsider versus an insider, as well as steps the company could take to protect itself against these threats. After thinking about that conversation for some days, it occurred to me that there might be broader interest in the topic, and that it might be worth writing on it to place the threat posed by right-wing extremism into context. With that in mind, I have decided to address external right-wing extremist actors and insider extremists.
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On SecurityFeb 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
The Miami skyline, photographed on April 29, 2019.
Signs of a Thwarted Russian Hit in Miami
Since former KGB officer and FSB director Vladimir Putin became Russia's president, the country's intelligence agencies have regained much of their Cold War power. As Putin's power has grown, his intelligence services have grown commensurately bolder. Though the Kremlin invariably will try to deny any role in or knowledge of assassinations and other skulduggery, for the most part, the operations are overt or only very thinly veiled.
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SnapshotsFeb 24, 2020 | 20:52 GMT
Malaysia's Prime Minister Resigns Amid Political Turmoil
Malaysia's government is in turmoil, putting into question top-level political stability at a time when the country is already facing economic headwinds. On Feb. 24, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad made the surprise move of tendering his resignation from both his post and from his chairmanship of the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Bersatu). His exit came just after Bersatu's decision to leave the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition and the subsequent resignation of 11 allied members of the People's Justice Party (PKR). Pakatan Harapan now stands at 102 seats, falling short of the 112 needed to form a government. The country's lawmakers, factions and parties will now be left to form a new coalition or risk a snap election.
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PodcastsFeb 6, 2020 | 14:47 GMT
Without Sanction With Author Don Bentley
In this episode of Stratfor's Pen and Sword podcast, Stratfor Chief Security Officer Fred Burton sits down with former Army Apache helicopter pilot and FBI agent Don Bentley. Bentley is the author of the new thriller Without Sanction, which follows a Defense Intelligence Agency operative named Matt Drake. A man haunted by a bloody experience in Syria, Matt suddenly gets thrown back into the world of espionage when a Pakistani scientist working for the Islamic State asks for his help to escape. Join us as Bentley discusses his action-packed debut novel, and why he decided to leave his established career in foreign intelligence and counterintelligence to become an author.
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Contributor PerspectivesJan 20, 2020 | 09:45 GMT
A picture taken on Jan. 11, 2020, shows portraits of Iraq's slain Popular Mobilization Unit deputy chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the late founder of Kataib Hezbollah, on the southern exit of the Lebanese capital Beirut.
Reflections on the Life and Death of an Iraqi Militant
Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis fought Saddam Hussein, engineered attacks on Western embassies and took on the Islamic State. His death in the same strike that killed Iran's Qassem Soleimani increased local hostility to the U.S. presence in Iraq.
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AssessmentsJan 8, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
This Dec. 26, 2019, photo shows a damaged vehicle in the wake of an airstrike in Zawiya, 45 kilometers west of Tripoli.
Turkey's Help Won't Win Its Allies the Libyan War
Squeezed by an army on the advance, Libya's Government of National Accord (GNA) has reached for a lifeline across the Mediterranean in Ankara, which is planning to send special forces, drones and other assistance to Tripoli. But while Turkey's military support will help keep the GNA afloat in Tripoli with an eye to ensuring it remains part of any future Libyan political system, it's unlikely to move the needle enough to halt the opposing Libyan National Army's (LNA) offensive on the city entirely. More to the point, LNA leader Khalifa Hifter's foreign backers are likely to respond to Turkey's move by increasing support for the field marshal -- meaning that, in the long run, Ankara's involvement in Libya runs a high risk of encountering mission creep.
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AssessmentsJan 7, 2020 | 20:13 GMT
Relatives of the five Israeli victims of a suicide blast that targeted a bus of tourists in Bulgaria mourn in Sofia on Aug. 28, 2012.
Iran Will Find Retaliating Against the U.S. Easier in the Middle East
Outside the Middle East, Iran is still a threat, as demonstrated by its repeated attempts to attack its rivals in Europe, East Africa, Eastern Europe and even Southeast Asia. Iran's intelligence assets and its operatives with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah are constantly at work conducting surveillance on targets around the globe -- especially in places not typically associated with the Iranian threat -- in preparation for future attacks. But they have struggled with operations in hostile environments, showing that they need to improve their clandestine terrorist tradecraft. Because of these difficulties, their track record outside the Middle East in the 21st century isn't nearly as impressive as their record within the region. Nonetheless, they are trying, and occasionally landing blows successfully, especially against soft targets in places where their attack cycle activities aren't being watched for and detected. 
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