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AssessmentsJul 28, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A photo shows one of the shallow water reservoirs in Simferopol, Crimea.
Russia's Quick Fixes Won't Solve Crimea's Water Woes
Russia's ongoing efforts to stretch Crimea's dwindling water supplies will only slightly delay the need to permanently fix the region's insufficient water resources by either funding expensive infrastructure overhauls, or convincing Ukraine to reopen the North Crimean Canal. The availability of fresh water in Crimea has progressively degraded following Russia's annexation in 2014. But with drought conditions worsening through the summer and beyond, the peninsula's dire water scarcity issues are now increasingly threatening industrial and agricultural consumption.
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AssessmentsJul 24, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Fighters aligned with Libya's internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) patrol a village located halfway between Tripoli and Benghazi on July 20, 2020.
Egypt Readies to Intervene in Libya as Hifter Struggles
In response to movements from the Turkish-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), Egypt will likely launch a military intervention in eastern Libya, using tribal ties to gain public support for or the deployment to secure Egypt's western borders. While Egypt will seek to avoid engaging in direct combat with rival Turkish forces in the region, its presence on the ground will raise the risk of a wider confrontation that draws Cairo deeper into Libya's increasingly insoluble civil war. 
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AssessmentsJul 20, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a press conference in Mexico City, Mexico, after announcing his plan to "rescue" Mexican oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) on Feb. 8, 2019.
Lopez Obrador's Policy Shifts Will Have a Mixed Impact on Mexico’s Energy Projects
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's reversal of certain energy policies will likely continue to have a modest impact on foreign investment and competition in Mexico's oil and gas sector. While intended to make Mexico's overall energy industry more self-reliant and state-centric, Lopez Obrador's policy shifts ultimately risk further crippling the country's state-owned oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), while delaying its electricity sector's shift to renewable energy sources. 
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SnapshotsJul 6, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A Proposed Oil Redistribution Plan Risks Further Fracturing Libya
Potential changes to the way oil revenue and exports are shared and distributed in Libya could have significant ramifications for the country's sovereignty and ongoing civil war by establishing de facto splits in Libya's financial system. In a June 29 statement, Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) said that it was “hopeful” that a deal could be reached in its negotiations with the country's internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) and other regional countries. The NOC also announced on July 1 that it had told workers to prepare to resume work at oil fields soon. Led by France, the United States, the United Nations and Egypt, these negotiations have centered on directly splitting oil revenue between Libya's three regions of Cyrenaica, Fezzan and Tripolitania. This new system would, in turn, bypass the country's Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya (CBL), which is where Libya's oil revenue is currently deposited. 
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On GeopoliticsJun 11, 2020 | 17:44 GMT
A 3D rendering of eastern China and the island of Taiwan lit by city lights from space.
China's Evolving Taiwan Policy: Disrupt, Isolate and Constrain
For China's leadership, the unification of Taiwan is more than a symbol of the final success of the Chinese Communist Party or an emotional appeal to some historic image of a greater China. It is a strategic imperative driven both by Taiwan's strategic location, and by the rising antagonism between the United States and China. Taiwan is the “unsinkable aircraft carrier” off the Chinese coastline, splitting China's near seas, and bridging the arc of islands stretching southwest from Japan with those from the Philippines south through Indonesia. Taiwan is crucial for both any foreign containment strategy, and for China's confidence and security in the East and South China seas -- areas critical to China's national defense, food security and international trade. 
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AssessmentsJun 7, 2020 | 19:41 GMT
Demonstrators protest police brutality and racism on June 6, 2020, in Washington.
Unrest in the United States: Excerpts From Threat Lens
As protests around the United States have expanded and evolved over the course of the last two weeks, we have covered tactical developments for our Threat Lens clients. Though some other readers may have perceived a lack of coverage, we wish to reiterate that we are not ignoring these historic events, but rather taking the time and effort the issue deserves to evaluate the broader geopolitical impacts of the social and political movements underway in the United States. In the interim, we wish to share excerpts of previous Threat Lens coverage with our Worldview and Enterprise subscribers; additional coverage on the topic on Worldview will be forthcoming.
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AssessmentsMay 22, 2020 | 20:20 GMT
An anti-extradition bill protest in Hong Kong on June 12, 2019.
Mainland China's Imposition of Security Laws In Hong Kong Will Spark Protests
The Chinese central government's decision to circumvent the Hong Kong legislature and impose long-delayed national security laws in Hong Kong will provide a major rallying point as protests rebound following COVID-19. In terms of U.S.-China relations, an uptick in demonstrations and the high-profile erosion of Hong Kong's autonomy will provide another trigger that could derail the phase one trade deal, although the White House will be careful not to subordinate its China policy to a single issue such as Hong Kong.
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AssessmentsMay 18, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Mexican soldiers drive an army truck in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Oct. 12, 2019.
Rising Crime and COVID-19 Leave Mexico Leaning on Its Military
Mexico is relying ever more on its military to manage the country's perennial security problems, as cartel activity continues to rise against the backdrop of COVID-19. On May 11, President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador’s government issued a decree ordering the army to formally support Mexico’s National Guard in all public safety tasks nationwide for a term lasting no more than five years. While the military’s presence in Mexico's fight against organized crime is not new, Lopez Obrador’s orders to expand those duties risk overtaxing a force that is already spread thin, and exposing the country's army -- still highly regarded by society -- to the same reputational loss that has plagued its police forces. By contradicting his long-held stance against Mexico’s "militarization," Lopez Obrador’s over-reliance on the army will also further undermine his credibility among voters and civil rights organizations alike. 
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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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AssessmentsMay 6, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An image displays rows of silicon wafers.
The U.S. Weaponizes COVID-19 Anger Against China’s Tech Sector
The United States and China have been locked in a technology cold war for several years. The COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, is now pressuring Washington to make even stronger moves against Beijing by fueling anti-China sentiment among U.S. voters and legislators alike. But the White House’s latest attempt to increase export controls on China and limit Beijing's overall access to U.S. technology will come at the cost of further fragmenting the global tech sector’s highly integrated supply chain network. 
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AssessmentsApr 23, 2020 | 17:09 GMT
Security forces loyal to Hamas wear face masks while they guard the entrance to the seaport in Gaza City on March 25, 2020. The Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip has been on lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19.
In Gaza, COVID-19 Creates Space for Israeli-Hamas Cooperation
In Gaza, the COVID-19 pandemic has granted Israel and Hamas, the Islamist militant group that governs the coastal enclave, a temporary impetus to cooperate, which has the potential to turn into a longer-lasting, if unstable, detente. That isn’t to say that there isn’t plenty of room for disruption and violence between the two longtime enemies, as the core ideological imperatives undermining their conflict remain at odds. But as long as the pandemic continues to cripple Israel’s economy and that of Hamas’ major sponsor, Qatar, both sides will be compelled to find new ways to work with one another.
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GuidanceApr 14, 2020 | 17:21 GMT
A horse grazes near oil pumpjacks outside the Russian city of Surgut on March 10, 2020.
OPEC+ Has Agreed to a Historic Production Cut. But Is It Enough?
OPEC+ recently approved the largest-ever coordinated production cut to offset declining global demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the agreement is unlikely to thwart further price declines in the coming months, the current alignment of interests among the world’s top oil producers means the deal will probably remain in place through the end of the year. But as the market begins to recover, adherence into 2021 will start to wane. 
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