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On GeopoliticsSep 7, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Cadets from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy march in formation before a ceremony at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Sept. 30, 2019.
China’s Amphibian Dilemma: Straddling Land and Sea Ambitions
China borders the largest number of countries by land, and its navy now boasts the largest number of battle force ships by sea. With the pressures and opportunities of both a continental and maritime power, China faces an amphibian’s dilemma, as the characteristics best suited for life at sea and life at land may not always prove complementary. Traditional continental powers are more prone to autocratic leadership to manage their challenges, while traditional maritime powers lean toward democratic systems and more open markets. China’s attempt to straddle both can intensify sectionalism and exacerbate differences between the interior core that remains continental in outlook, and the coastal areas that become more maritime in outlook.  This challenge is also highlighted in China’s attempts to reshape global norms and standards, which themselves largely represent the maritime world order. The apparent global political and economic dissonance is not merely caused by China seeking change, but
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. 
SnapshotsJun 10, 2020 | 09:00 GMT
Libya's Government of National Accord Rejects an Egyptian Cease-fire
In Libya, the Government of National Accord has rejected an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire with the rival Libyan National Army and instead appears to be pushing farther east. But if the GNA succeeds in pushing deep into central and eastern Libya, it risks prompting the LNA's main foreign backers -- Egypt, Russia and the United Arab Emirates -- into deepening their involvement in the war-torn North African country.
PodcastsJun 5, 2020 | 03:00 GMT
Pen and Sword: Yellow Bird with Sierra Crane Murdoch
This Pen and Sword podcast is about Lissa Yellow Bird -- a Native American investigator who took on her tribe, the legal system and her family to uncover truth and find justice. The book is Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country and the author is Sierra Crane Murdoch.
AssessmentsApr 16, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A pumpjack outside the Russian city of Surgut.
The Golden Age of Russian Oil Nears an End
Russia's easily accessible oil reserves have long been the cornerstone of its economy. But these conventional fields are depleting, leading to the need to invest and expand into more untapped sources. This transformation will not be easy or cheap, as various factors have led to a poorly optimized oil sector that's ill-equipped to soften the blow of rising costs. The key to maintaining a strong energy market, and securing the capital needed to develop new and expensive fields, will instead rest on whether Moscow can secure its foothold in China's increasingly oil-hungry market. In any case, Russia may have little choice but to accept that its glory days of oil dominance and high profit margins are nearing an end. 
On SecurityApr 14, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
When an Economic Crisis Collides With an Unprecedented Espionage Threat
I've seen a number of news reports discussing how the lockdowns and travel bans resulting from COVID-19 are hindering the ability of intelligence officers to do their jobs by preventing them from being able to conduct in-person source meets. The inability to conduct face-to-face source meets, and to make personal contact with recruitment targets to develop relationships with them, is a valid concern. I would like to suggest, however, that the economic crisis resulting from COVID-19 will also provide intelligence officers a golden opportunity to spot and recruit new agents.
Contributor PerspectivesDec 25, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Whether and how people celebrate Christmas is clearly a complicated affair, bearing only a subtle relationship to Christianity itself.
The Geopolitics of Christmas
Whether and how people celebrate Christmas is clearly a complicated affair, bearing only a subtle relationship to Christianity itself. The contemporary, increasingly international version of Christmas is less a religious festival than a celebration of affluence, modernity, and above all Westernness. Without anyone willing it, Christmas has become part of a package of Western soft power.
AssessmentsNov 22, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Workers at the Chinese-majority owned Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) in Colombo load a cargo ship in this photograph from June 24, 2016.
A Familiar Name Takes Charge in Sri Lanka
A familiar name is taking the helm in Sri Lanka. Gotabaya Rajapaksa surged to victory in Nov. 16 elections in part because he succeeded in channeling his credentials as a minister who helped end Sri Lanka's long-running civil war to win the confidence of an electorate demanding security after an Islamic State-inspired group killed 290 people in terrorist attacks in April. Economic grievances, however, were as much a factor in the minds of voters as national security. And as Sri Lanka's $89 billion economy lumbers through its latest downturn, the new president's administration will focus on reviving growth, raising the country's income status and creating jobs, all while ensuring the growing debt burden remains manageable. As a developing country in a strategically significant location, Sri Lanka's needs for capital will create more opportunities for China and India to lavish funding on the island nation. Whatever the case, Gotabaya Rajapaksa will
Contributor PerspectivesNov 1, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
3 Golden Rules for a Geopolitical Risk Team
To enable strategic foresight and informed decision-making, more and more businesses are establishing internal geopolitical risk functions. Conceptually, the value proposition of an internal geopolitical risk capability is straightforward. By building an in-house team, businesses can develop institutional expertise and generate proprietary insights into the issues and geographies that matter most. Yet how should this capability function, and how can an in-house team transition from "a good idea" to a reliable, integrated provider of actionable insights? Three fundamental rules should guide any effort to establish (or enhance) an in-house geopolitical risk function.
AssessmentsOct 28, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
The logo of the New Delhi-based Reserve Bank of India is seen in this May 3, 2013, photo.
India Grapples With a New Economic Downturn
Twice it experienced a downturn and twice it weathered the storm: In the years following the global financial crisis, India's economy displayed resilience as it battled challenges related to inflation, trade, consumption, investment and the deficit. But despite emerging from these downturns in 2009 and 2014 with stronger rates of growth, India's current slowdown poses a challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration as it seeks to revive rural demand and boost credit amid a shadow banking crisis. As the government focuses on raising consumption while fending off challenges from the opposition, the economy's long-term growth prospects will depend on its success in reviving fixed investment to over 30 percent, boosting manufacturing's share of gross domestic product and promoting labor-intensive growth to achieve Modi's vision of a $5 trillion economy by 2024.
On GeopoliticsOct 24, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (in front of flag) sit during a meeting in Sochi to discuss the situation in Syria.
The Risks and Rewards of Moscow's Mission in Syria
Just over four years after the Russian military intervention in Syria first began, Moscow continues to enjoy the diplomatic, commercial and military rewards of its operation in the Levant. By driving a wedge between its NATO foes, testing out new weaponry and more, Russia has notched up a number of strategic and tactical successes in Syria. These gains notwithstanding, it's not all clear sailing for Moscow ahead: From greater exposure to militant attacks to the prospect that Russia will suffer collateral damage in regional power battles, there are plenty of risks ahead that could yet sink Moscow's fortunes.
Contributor PerspectivesOct 17, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
This photo shows a protester in Hong Kong waving a banner of support for NBA team executive Daryl Morey.
China Calls a Foul, and the NBA Jumps
A groundbreaking game four decades ago in Beijing gave the NBA a toehold in basketball-crazy China. Over the intervening years, the league has tapped a gold mine in the country worth billions of dollars in TV rights and endorsements. The importance to the NBA of maintaining its Chinese operations became evident in the careful steps it's had to take to escape the political minefield that it found itself thrown into by an executive's tweet over Hong Kong.
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