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SnapshotsJan 13, 2021 | 21:35 GMT
Farmers depart on their tractors to New Delhi to participate in ongoing protests against the Indian government's new agricultural reforms in Amritsar, India, on Jan. 12, 2021.
In India, Court-Ordered Mediation Won’t Appease Angry Farmers
The suspension of India’s controversial new farming laws to hear protesters’ grievances will delay, but not derail, the implementation of the much-needed agricultural reforms.  On Jan. 12, India’s Supreme Court indefinitely suspended the implementation of three key agricultural reforms and ordered the formation of a four-man committee to mediate the government’s disagreements with the farmers engaged in ongoing protests. Per the court order, the reforms will remain suspended until the committee is able to find a new way forward. In the meantime, however, farmers’ demands will remain unresolved, which will likely lead to continued protests and demonstrations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and one of the key pillars of his broader reform push.
SnapshotsJan 6, 2021 | 21:38 GMT
Hong Kong Police Force Senior Superintendent Steve Li Kwai-Wah holds a press briefing following the arrest of dozens of opposition figures under the city’s national security law on Jan. 6, 2021.
In Hong Kong, Mass Arrests Signal an Escalated Opposition Crackdown
A mass arrest of moderate pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong signals an escalation in the application of the city’s national security law to a broader segment of the political opposition, which will increasingly limit the policymaking power of any pro-democracy forces. The first-time detention of a U.S. citizen, meanwhile, will also test whether U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration will be able to navigate Hong Kong tensions without jeopardizing its broader relations with Beijing. On Jan. 6, Hong Kong police carried out a citywide operation in which nearly 1,000 officers netted 53 pro-democracy activists and former lawmakers linked to the July 2020 opposition primary for legislative council elections, leveling accusations of subversion under the city’s draconian national security law.
ReflectionsJan 5, 2021 | 21:49 GMT
Supporters of Lebanon’s Future Movement party wave the party’s flag alongside the country’s national flag during a parade in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon on Oct. 22, 2020.
In Lebanon, Time Is Running Out to Avoid a Total Unraveling
After a year of severe economic and political instability, Lebanon is edging closer toward a full-blown crisis that could overwhelm even the most entrenched members of its ruling elite, raising the specter of widespread unrest or another civil war. Little about Lebanon is tenable, with its economy in shambles, its national budget unsustainable, its infrastructure in disrepair, and its security at constant threat from extremists, regional conflicts and internal unrest. But with no checks on their power, Lebanon’s various political factions are still finding ways to ritualize this dysfunction, scrambling to stay one step ahead of a disaster that upends their place in power -- and with it, the remaining threads keeping the country from coming apart at the seams. 
Annual ForecastsJan 3, 2021 | 21:37 GMT
An image of the COVID-19 vaccine, President-elect Joe Biden, the Huawei logo, and a stock market sign
2021 Annual Forecast
The geopolitical environment in 2021 will be shaped by two global developments: the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efforts by U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's administration to restore collaborative relationships across the globe.
AssessmentsDec 30, 2020 | 21:25 GMT
A poster showing six Russian intelligence officers charged with carrying out global cyberattacks is displayed before a news conference at the U.S. Department of Justice on Oct. 19, 2020, in Washington D.C.
SolarWinds Will Spur Biden Into Action on State-Backed Cyber Threats
The recent SolarWinds hack will prompt U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to increase Washington’s cyber resources and, potentially, its offensive capabilities in order to better deter against future cyberattacks by Russia, as well as other state actors. This intensified focus on state-backed cyber threats will likely include more U.S. investments into cyber defense over the next four years. The Biden White House will also continue to deploy sanctions against assailant countries, though such sanctions will likely be narrow in scope for fear of stoking aggressive retaliatory measures against U.S. entities and causing significant economic damage to countries like Russia and China that are essential to the global economy. 
AssessmentsDec 21, 2020 | 15:40 GMT
Demonstrators hold a Catalonian flag ahead of a political meeting in Perpignan, France, on Feb. 29, 2020.
In Spain, the Next Phase of Catalonia's Independence Push
Pro-independence forces in Spain’s Catalonia region will likely remain in power after February regional elections, but they are unlikely to achieve their secessionist goals in the near-to-medium term. Nonetheless, Catalonia’s persistent push for independence will risk eventually undermining its own political and economic stability, as well as that of Spain’s. It could also stoke a nationalist backlash in other parts of the country. Catalonia will hold an early regional election on Feb. 14, though the vote could be postponed depending on the evolution of Spain’s COVID-19 epidemic. Opinion polls suggest that secessionist forces, which include the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and Together for Catalonia (JxCat) will win enough seats in the Catalan parliament to form a government. Both parties were involved in the illegal referendum and the 2017 unilateral declaration of independence, and some of their leaders are in jail while others have fled the country to avoid arrest. 
SnapshotsDec 17, 2020 | 17:01 GMT
A statue of the euro logo is seen in front of the European Central Bank building in Frankfurt, Germany, on March 27, 2020.
In the Eurozone, 2021 Portends More Stimulus -- and More Debt
The finance ministers of the eurozone have confirmed that governments in the currency area will keep their expansionary fiscal policies in place throughout 2021. In the short term, this means that governments will be free to spend and borrow without pressure from the European Union to change direction. In the long run, it means that sovereign debt levels across the eurozone will continue to grow, raising questions about their sustainability and making it hard for EU institutions to come up with comprehensive policies to boost growth. In a Dec. 16 Eurogroup meeting, the finance ministers of the 19 members of the eurozone agreed to continue introducing stimulus measures in 2021 to boost economic growth, protect jobs and cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministers praised the expansive measures that were taken in 2020 and supported their continuity next year.  
SITUATION REPORTDec 16, 2020 | 18:30 GMT
Sudan: World Bank and IMF Say They’re Ready to Provide Financial Aid
The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) said they were ready to provide Sudan with financial support following its removal from the United States’ state sponsors of terrorism list, provided that the country first clear its arrears to the two international financial institutions, Bloomberg reported Dec. 16. 
SnapshotsDec 15, 2020 | 19:11 GMT
A blacksmith crafts metal in a village mansion in Ankara, Turkey, on Nov. 18, 2020.
S-400 Sanctions Risk Further Deteriorating U.S.-Turkey Relations
New U.S. sanctions will stymie Turkey’s strategy to develop an indigenous defense sector, prompting Ankara to continue exploring alternative security ties while intensifying bilateral tensions for U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration. On Dec. 14, the United States announced a series of defense sector-aimed sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), fulfilling long-term threats that Washington would impose penalties on its fellow NATO ally for the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system. The sanctions target Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), including its chief Ismail Demir and three other senior officials, and come as the U.S. Congress was poised to mandate CAATSA sanctions through the annual National Defense Authorization Act.  
Annual ForecastsDec 14, 2020 | 00:00 GMT
2021 Annual Forecast: A Global Overview
The world will focus on recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, coming as the U.S. inaugurates a new president seeking to restore U.S. leadership in global affairs.
On GeopoliticsDec 4, 2020 | 21:38 GMT
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men attend the funeral of Rabbi Aharon David Hadash, the spiritual leader of the Mir Yeshiva, in Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Beit Yisrael on Dec. 3, 2020.
Where Will Israel’s Increasingly Right-Wing Youth Take Its Foreign Policy?
Israel's youth population is pushing the country decidedly to the political right. As the transition to this age cohort unfolds, the question of which Israeli nationalist party will be in charge comes to the fore. Will they be incrementally expansionist, security-minded, economically-focused types of parties like Likud? Or will they be more ideologically committed to the cause of annexing settlements types of parties like Yamina? Or will they be religiously-focused, culturally conservative, increasingly demographically muscular types of parties like the ultra-Orthodox party Shas? The predominance of one of these three types will have consequences for Israel's regional security posture, on occasion bringing it in line with some new allies in the Gulf while reaffirming enmity with Iran and Turkey.
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