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GuidanceJul 8, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Technicians in Hong Kong walk next to a banner supporting China’s new national security law following a flag-raising ceremony marking the 23rd anniversary of the city’s British handover on July 1, 2020.
China's Hong Kong Security Law Leaves Tech Companies in the Line of Fire
China's new national security law is forcing tech companies to pick a side in Hong Kong's political crisis and decide whether to comply or resist authorities in some way, or leave the city altogether -- all of which carry the risk of retaliation from either Beijing or the United States and its allies. On July 6, Hong Kong's newly established Committee for Safeguarding National Security moved to implement seven, new enabling regulations for the national security law. The regulations -- which include police powers to order internet companies to remove content or to seize their equipment with threats of fines or prison -- have since prompted a spate of social media platforms and internet firms operating in the city to pause their cooperation with Hong Kong authorities. The volatile political dynamic in Hong Kong and the steady erosion of the city's autonomy will ultimately pose the greatest long-term threat to
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On GeopoliticsJun 3, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers questions during a video press conference on May 24, 2020, in Beijing, China.
China’s ‘Wolf Warrior’ Diplomacy Risks Backfiring on Beijing
The growing global backlash against China's involvement in both the COVID-19 pandemic and Hong Kong's political crisis is fueling a new brand of "wolf warrior" diplomacy in Beijing based on a nationalistic Chinese movie. This more aggressive stance abroad exposes a sense of vulnerability in Beijing, and poses two potential risks for the regime -- the first is that the tactic backfires overseas, and the second, and perhaps more problematic, is that Beijing loses control of the nationalistic narrative.
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On GeopoliticsMay 10, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A mother takes photos with her baby under cherry blossoms in full bloom in Tokyo, Japan, on March 29, 2015.
The Geopolitics of Postmodern Parenting
During the two months I recently spent away from work to fulfill my demographic duty, I found that most of my conversations with visitors followed the same pattern. The talk quickly turned from the standard cooing over my baby girl to an intensive debate over parental leave: how much time and flexibility to grant new parents in the workforce, how to reconcile career ambitions with the responsibilities of human procreation, how to compensate for the crazy cost of child care and how to boost birthrates. As a white-collar, taxpaying working mother in the United States, I had become one of the statistics I used to pore over as an analyst pondering the implications of aging and shrinking populations. But you don't have to be a parent -- or an analyst, for that matter -- to care about this stuff. In fact, a lot of the global angst today over stagnant economic
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AssessmentsApr 27, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An Iranian warship takes part in celebrations for “National Persian Gulf Day” in the Strait of Hormuz on April 30, 2019.
Trump Ups the Ante With Iran in the Persian Gulf
Iran and the United States may be heading toward another round of confrontation, even as both countries deal with significant COVID-19 outbreaks at home. Following a recent incident where 11 Iranian ships harassed U.S. vessels transiting the Persian Gulf, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted April 22 that he had "instructed" the U.S. Navy to destroy any Iranian vessels harassing U.S. ships. It remains unclear the extent to which, if at all, the United States will adjust its rules of engagement in response to Iran's latest maritime provocations. But the exchange highlights how Washington and Tehran’s current hawkish streak and inclination toward public threats could lead to another round of miscalculation and/or escalation between the two rivals. 
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SnapshotsMar 23, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
As Attacks in Iraq Increase, U.S.-Led Coalition Forces Retreat
On March 19, the official Iraqi Security Media Cell announced via Twitter that Iraq's security forces had taken over the al Qaim military base, which formerly housed U.S.-led coalition forces against the Islamic State. The seizure comes just three days after the U.S. military announced it was repositioning its forces from three of the eight bases currently housing American troops in the country, including al Qaim. The United Kingdom and Denmark have also announced that they would be drawing down their forces from the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.  The repositioning of Western and international forces in Iraq is in part a response to the growing threat posed by Iran-backed militia forces. These militias -- which have become a formal component of the Iraqi state's security forces -- have increased the tempo of attacks on bases housing U.S.-led coalition forces in recent months, particularly over the last week. But while intended to help
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AssessmentsNov 21, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
During the latest protests, the government of Iran has shut off access to the internet in most of the country.
The Growing Power and Threat of Government-Imposed Internet Blackouts
Amid the recent bout of nationwide protests in Iran, government-enforced blackouts have taken more than 90 percent of the country's internet offline and blocked most Iranians from communicating with the outside world. The move has drawn substantial international media attention, and #Internet4Iran has been a worldwide trending topic on Twitter. Tehran blocked the internet during protests in late 2017 and early 2018, but the scale of the current blackouts is unprecedented in Iran. Governments are likely to continue to use internet blackouts for the foreseeable future, especially as they gain more control over internet and mobile networks.
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PodcastsNov 18, 2019 | 17:18 GMT
'The Dry Cleaner' With Filmmaker Chris Carr
For a British intelligence officer named George, time is ticking to convince a Middle Eastern student to spy on a revolutionary group at her school that he believes is connected to a global terrorist organization. But will she lead him to the fire, or will he end up getting burned instead? That's the premise of "The Dry Cleaner," a new short film from the London-based writer and director Chris Carr. In this episode, Stratfor's Fred Burton speaks with Carr about how the story stacks up to his own experience as a counterterrorism agent with the U.S. State Department, and the great lengths spies often go through to ensure their sources aren't being tailed by someone who could jeopardize their operation.
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On SecurityNov 12, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
The U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington is pictured in Seattle on Nov. 8, 2019.
Lessons Learned From a Saudi Spy Case at Twitter
In an age in which cybersecurity is top-notch, sometimes all it takes for hostile intelligence to gain a treasure trove of information is some old-fashioned espionage tradecraft -- like finding an insider. In a criminal complaint filed Nov. 5 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the FBI accused two former Twitter employees and a third man of acting as agents of the Saudi government in the United States without declaring themselves. Two of the men, Ali Alzabarah and Ahmed Almutairi, are Saudi citizens, while the other, Ahmad Abouammo, is a U.S. citizen of Saudi descent. The men are charged with helping the Saudi government identify political dissidents and others on the social media platform who were critical of the government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  I've already written on the case for Stratfor's Threat Lens clients, but there are some important lessons in the affair for a wider audience
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