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AssessmentsAug 3, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An oil pumpjack operates in Signal Hill, California, on April 21, 2020, a day after oil prices dropped to below zero amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid a Global COVID-19 Resurgence, Oil Prices Are Poised to Stall
The resurgence of COVID-19 infections in many countries around the world has undermined the oil market's notion that the recovery in petroleum product demand will continue upward in the absence of a vaccine. Expectations of a swift demand recovery in recent weeks have also been hampered by concerns about new mandatory lockdowns in places where economic activity had resumed, as well as slower economic recoveries elsewhere. Crude oil prices are thus likely to stall heading into the fourth quarter of 2020 as global demand remains sluggish, while modest rises in OPEC+ supply undermine efforts to rapidly balance the market and drain excess inventories. This means the fiscal position of countries highly dependent on oil export revenues will likely continue to be strained, and that any recovery in drilling activity and the oilfield services sector will also be slow.
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On GeopoliticsJul 24, 2020 | 15:53 GMT
A skyline view of Anchorage, Alaska, and the Chugach Mountains at dusk.
Remapping the American Arctic
Maps play an important role in shaping national policy, and in shaping society’s consciousness and support. But they can also reinforce ideas of relative unimportance by leaving key areas off, or having areas appear as mere incidental inclusions, which can subconsciously constrain developments in foreign policy. Indeed, it’s perhaps no surprise that many Americans still fail to recognize the United States as an Arctic nation when the majority of U.S. maps place Alaska in a small inset box, relegating the state to a secondary geographic status. The United States, however, maintains a strong interest in a secure and stable Arctic, for its Alaska citizens, for economic reasons, and for core national security. So long as the American Arctic is considered something distant and separate from the United States, it risks being sidelined in the national narrative, and thus sidelined in national priorities and attention. The United States is already playing
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AssessmentsJun 5, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Seven-year-old Hamza Haqqani, a 2nd grade student at Al-Huda Academy, uses a computer to participate in an online class with his teacher and classmates at his home in Bartlett, Illinois, on May 1, 2020. Al-Huda Academy has had to adopt an e-learning program to finish the year after all schools in the state were forced to cancel classes to curb the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Pries Open the U.S. Education Market for Those up to the Task
Since schools began shutting down to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, distance learning has become an increasingly essential tool for the U.S. primary and secondary education sector. But for the companies selling those technologies, uneven financial resources and inconsistent curriculum standards across America's 13,506 school districts will preclude any national "one-size-fits-all" approach to the U.S. market. Instead, companies will need to design flexible and highly customized products and instructional content in order to seize the opportunity at hand, and become a mainstay of classrooms across the country.
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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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SnapshotsApr 20, 2020 | 17:38 GMT
A Return to Normalcy Remains Distant in Trump’s COVID-19 Plan
The United States is reeling from the steep economic blow of the COVID-19 crisis. The White House's new lockdown lift plan offers what a return to normalcy may look like, though it still hinges on cities and states being able to conduct widespread testing. This implies the end of the country's health and economic crisis will be slow, necessitating further stimulus efforts from the federal government to keep the economy afloat. 
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AssessmentsApr 3, 2020 | 16:36 GMT
A local business in Detroit, Michigan, closes shop following the state’s three-week “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of April 2, Michigan had 10,791 confirmed cases of the virus, including 417 deaths.
The Piecemeal U.S. COVID-19 Response Portends a Long Recovery
As the COVID-19 crisis grips the United States, states and cities are leading the charge in the most significant containment measures, with the federal government playing a supporting role. This means that neither lockdown measures to contain the virus, nor the outbreak itself, will end on the federal government’s schedule. But Washington will still be held liable for helping bail out the growing number of citizens and states struggling to make ends meet in an indefinitely quarantined economy.
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AssessmentsMar 11, 2020 | 16:34 GMT
A teacher points to a projector screen as she gives a vocabulary lesson at a high school in Worthington, Minnesota, on Sept. 5, 2019.
What Coronavirus School Closures Would Mean for the U.S. Economy
As more coronavirus cases spring up across the United States, an increasing number of U.S. schools are closing shop in an effort to reduce students' ability to infect each other, and even more importantly, older and more immunosuppressed members of their community. But by shifting the role of educator and weekday caregiver to families, these shutdowns will risk leaving a large section of the U.S. labor force with less time and energy to work, as well as less money to spend in the economy. Despite these risks, however, state officials may have little choice but to continue imposing wider school closures to avoid a full-blown health crisis -- even if it means forcing many Americans to choose between their children's education and earning a paycheck.
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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 11, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Why Protective Intelligence Is the Crux of Corporate Security
In the U.S. military, "staying left of the boom" refers to disarming malicious actors before they can build, plant and ultimately detonate a bomb. And while defusing physical bombs may not be as much of imminent concern to companies, metaphorical bombs in the form of espionage, terrorism, thefts and workplace violence can still result in severe physical, psychological, financial and reputational damage. Just as soldiers are prepared to attend to the aftermath of a physical attack, corporate personnel must still be well-trained to quickly and efficiently respond to a security incident. But it is always better to avoid or prevent a threat altogether, which is exactly where protective intelligence teams and programs step in by giving life to the proactive security measures needed to help companies and organizations stay out of harm's way.
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On SecurityJan 7, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
The funeral procession for IRGC-Quds Force head Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 6, 2020, in Tehran, Iran, after his Jan. 3 death in a U.S. airstrike.
Evaluating the State of Iranian Terrorism Capabilities
Iran's leadership unsurprisingly has issued broad threats of retaliation in response to the Jan. 3 killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threatening to exact "severe revenge." One of the most influential individuals in Iran, Soleimani was seen as the key to Iran's aggressive military initiatives across the Middle East. There is little doubt that Iran will indeed seek revenge. The real question is when, where and how it will attempt to seek it. But while terrorist attacks by Iranian operatives or proxy groups working at the behest of Iran are a valid cause for concern, they are no reason to panic: Their activities can be detected and defended against through solid intelligence work and careful vigilance.
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On GeopoliticsNov 28, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Migrants seeking asylum in the United States wait near the U.S.-Mexico border at the El Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico.
The Geopolitics of Immigration
The U.S.-Mexican border is in some fundamental ways arbitrary. The line of demarcation defines political and military relationships, but does not define economic or cultural relationships. The borderlands -- and they run hundreds of miles deep into the United States at some points -- have extremely close cultural and economic links with Mexico. Where there are economic links, there always are movements of population. It is inherent.
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PodcastsNov 1, 2019 | 16:32 GMT
Karen Piper's A Girls Guide to Missiles
A Girl's Guide to Missiles With Author Karen Piper
With striking vistas of California's mountains and the nearby desert as a backdrop, Karen Piper had a happy childhood, playing with her sister to round up rattlesnakes and practice her skills as a sleuth. There was, however, another side to Piper's formative years, namely, military weapons and secret missions. It's all part of her new book, A Girl's Guide to Missiles: Growing Up In America's Secret Desert, which describes her youth in a company town where every employee was a civil servant of the American government. Listen in as Piper talks with Paul Floyd, Stratfor's director of analyst operations, about a childhood less ordinary in China Lake, California -- the nation's largest weapons manufacturing facility.
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