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AssessmentsJun 18, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Nuclear-capable ballistic missiles are displayed during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, on Oct. 1, 2019.
With U.S.-Russia Talks Ahead, New START’s Future Hangs in the Balance
The United States is seeking to buy time in upcoming arms control discussions with Russia, and could agree to a brief extension of New START in an effort to draw China into a longer-term discussion about its potential inclusion in the treaty. Washington may now be more willing to preserve core New START elements that restrict the number of strategic nuclear weapons and delivery systems that each signatory can have. The White House’s arms control negotiator, Marshall Billingslea, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov are slated to finally meet in Vienna on June 22 to discuss the future of New START, which came into force in 2011 and is now set to expire in February 2021 unless both parties agree to a five-year extension provided within the treaty itself. Recent leaks from the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump have suggested that a shorter extension (i.e. less than the five
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PodcastsMay 21, 2020 | 17:15 GMT
Pen and Sword: Can the U.S.-China Relationship Get Worse?
In this episode of the Pen and Sword podcast from Stratfor, a RANE company, Rodger Baker speaks with the inaugural president and CEO of the George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations, David Firestein, about the diplomatic, economic and geopolitical relationship between the U.S. and China.
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AssessmentsApr 20, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A woman wearing a protective mask carries a grocery bag in Dedovsk, Russia, on April 16, 2020. To contain the COVID-19 outbreak, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently extended the government’s national stay-at-home order until May.
Russia's COVID-19 Measures Short-Change Its Economy
Despite the likely dire economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian government has continued to resist significant stimulus spending, which has resulted in limited support measures that are unlikely to protect all of Russia’s businesses. This will ultimately hamper Russia’s long-term economic recovery -- a self-inflicted wound as a result of Moscow’s unwillingness to change its conservative spending practices, even in the face of a historic global crisis. 
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AssessmentsMar 26, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (center) addresses the media in Pretoria after concluding a meeting with various business and political leaders on matters relating to the COVID-19 outbreak on March 22, 2020. 
A Perfect COVID-19 Storm Closes in on South Africa
With only 709 confirmed coronavirus cases as of March 25, South Africa may be lagging a few weeks behind the outbreaks now unfolding in Europe and North America. But when the pandemic does eventually hit the country, it will hit hard. With high rates of people living with HIV or tuberculosis, much of South Africa’s population is immunosuppressed and thus believed to be at risk of dying or in need of significant medical care if they contract the virus. Such a widespread outbreak could, in turn, quickly collapse the country's already fragile health care system and economy, forcing the government to abandon its new austerity budget for expensive relief efforts.
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AssessmentsMar 13, 2020 | 20:51 GMT
Ensuring Business Continuity in a World of COVID-19
Many companies are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by reducing or banning corporate travel and by asking some or all of their employees to work from home. While having employees work from home will help reduce the transmission of the virus in the workplace, it also brings with it some additional risks, and we'd like to examine a few of them. As the disruptions from responses to COVID-19 mount, it is important to consider the second- and third-order impacts of the extreme efforts being put in place to curb the spread.
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AssessmentsFeb 18, 2020 | 20:15 GMT
This photo shows Iran's successful test launch of its Qiam-1 ballistic missile
What’s Driving Iran to Build a Better Missile
Greater attention will be given to Iran's missile and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) programs from now on. The September drone attacks on the Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities in Saudi Arabia and the January missile attack on two military bases in Iraq that left 109 U.S. military members diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries highlighted Iran's increased willingness to use its missile and UAV arsenal for tactical and strategic objectives.
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SnapshotsFeb 3, 2020 | 20:38 GMT
In India, Modi's Budget Balances Spending With Restraint
Since winning a landslide reelection in 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has grappled with slowing growth in India's $2.9 trillion economy. Though the government has tried to deepen national unity and solidify its base by revoking Kashmir's constitutional autonomy and passing a controversial citizenship bill, the economy continues to haunt its performance, offering a chance for the Indian National Congress and other opposition parties to attack the government on its poor economic record.
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AssessmentsFeb 3, 2020 | 10:30 GMT
The historic facade of Frankfurt's Grossmarkthalle, now part of the building of the European Central Bank (ECB), is illuminated on March 16, 2018.
The ECB's Strategy Review Isn't Set to Rock the Boat
It's unclear what the European Central Bank wants to accomplish in the nearly yearlong strategy review it announced on Jan. 23, but the last thing a central bank wants is to be considered irrelevant. So, even though years of monetary stimulus have failed to push up eurozone inflation or growth, the ECB isn't about to admit it's out of policy ammunition; instead, it's set to make a big show about tweaking its de facto inflation target and pave the way for President Christine Lagarde to introduce environmental concerns into future assessments of financial stability and the ECB's remit. Given that the ECB has not reviewed its strategy since 2003, a new appraisal of its economic model raises hopes of possible major changes to the central bank's approach and instruments. No one, however, should expect significant changes in the bank's monetary operations this year or next given its existing accommodative policies,
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AssessmentsJan 29, 2020 | 01:14 GMT
A man at an electronics store in Modiin, Israel, watches U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveil the Trump administration's Mideast peace plan during a White House news conference on Jan. 28, 2020.
Trump's Mideast Peace Plan Offers a 2-State Path, in Theory
U.S. President Donald Trump's long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, released Jan. 28, may appear to try and appease both sides, but it will function as more of a one-state solution in disguise. The plan heavily favors Israeli demands and lacked the incorporation of Palestinian input throughout much of its drafting. As a result, it is less of a peace plan and more of a codification of the status quo, which sees Israel as the more empowered actor in now decades-long negotiations. The timing of the plan's release could also serve as an electoral boost for Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both of whom are facing political challenges as they seek reelection this year, especially because Israel's government made it clear on Jan. 28 that it intends to quickly annex territory the plan proposes for annexation.
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On GeopoliticsJan 23, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A crowd of people walks down the street in Moscow in September 2017.
An Aging Workforce Dims Russia’s Economic Forecast
Russia's population has long been projected to shrink in the coming decades due to high emigration and low birth rates. But recent projections forecast an even faster reduction than previously anticipated, raising new concerns over the severity of the country's demographic decline and the potential impact on the Russian economy. For now, extended retirement ages and an upcoming boom of young workers will help Moscow temporarily manage the effects of its demographic decline -- though that won't keep Russia from hemorrhaging the high-quality workers needed to keep its economy chugging in the meantime.
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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 17, 2020 | 09:00 GMT
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) shakes hand with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the annual India-Japan summit on Sept. 14, 2017. Behind the two world leaders are their countries' respective flags.
With Act East, India Charts Its Ascent Into Southeast Asia
India's emboldened eastern push reflects its aspiration to become one of Asia’s key military and economic powers -- and the existential threat that China poses to realizing that dream. Beijing's growing influence, along with its increasingly forceful claims over disputed territories along India's border, is driving New Delhi to deepen its own political, economic and security relations in Southeast Asia and the wider Indo-Pacific under its "Act East"{ policy. Shortly after taking office in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the government initiative, which also includes bolstering India's military presence and infrastructure development along its northeast border.  In addition to warding off China's imminent threat to India's territorial sovereignty, developing the country's northeastern wing -- whose border with Myanmar positions it as India's gateway into Southeast Asia -- has the potential to unlock new export markets for Indian trade, furthering the government's strategy of building a $5 trillion economy. Reaping those benefits,
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AssessmentsJan 15, 2020 | 09:15 GMT
Smoke rises from a U.S. military base in Lamu County, Kenya, on Jan. 5, 2020, after an al Shabaab attack.
Al Shabaab Is Poised to Surge in East Africa
The first-ever attack by Somali militant group al Shabaab on U.S. military forces in Kenya portends an intensified focus by the group on American targets and potentially greater insecurity in East Africa. Jihadist militants from the group stormed Camp Simba on Jan. 5, killing a U.S. service member and two contractors and destroying several aircraft and helicopters. Al Shabaab's first-ever attack on a U.S. military installation in Somalia occurred just months ago, and it has previously killed Americans in attacks on soft targets in Kenya.
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