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AssessmentsApr 8, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A photo of pill packets. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised serious concerns about the extremely high concentration of global pharmaceutical supply chains sourced from China and India.
Pharmaceutical Trade Remains Resilient in the Face of COVID-19
The United States and many other countries are heavily dependent on supplies of pharmaceuticals and precursor chemicals from China and India. Widespread shortages resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak remain unlikely. Legislative proposals in the United States to force companies to "reshore" supply chains will likely falter on the increase in costs and regulatory hurdles. 
Contributor PerspectivesMay 11, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Police inspect one of four buses attacked by alleged gang members July 13, 2018, in Guatemala City.
Building a Better Picture of Crime in Guatemala City
While the utility of data on crime in a given city cannot be denied, its lack of precision can create problems. Presenting an entire zone of a city as safe ignores dangerous areas that exist in every sector, while some zones known to struggle with violence do have some well-developed, relatively safe areas that offer lucrative opportunities. While finding good data on crime can prove challenging, the void can be filled by tapping an unconventional and often-overlooked source: Package delivery services, taxi companies and fast-food restaurants that deliver have access to large data sets based on the direct observations of their staffs.
AssessmentsApr 15, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Migrants wait in a detention area on March 31, 2019, in El Paso, Texas.
Trump's Latest Proposal to Deter Migrants Risks Doing the Opposite
Quelling illegal immigration was the core of Donald Trump's political platform in 2016, and it remains a key issue for his administration and supporters. But the growing number of Central Americans who are now reaching the U.S.-Mexico border risks undercutting this political message ahead of the 2020 presidential election. In response, the Trump administration is mulling unprecedented measures to quickly deter illegal border crossings, such as blocking migrant workers from sending money back home.
On GeopoliticsDec 20, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
Yellow vest protesters gather at the Place de l'Opera in Paris on Dec. 15, 2018.
Weighing the Wrath of the Referendums
When, where, under whose authority and under what circumstances is it politically sanitary to allow ordinary citizens to vote directly on massively impactful policies? While many Brexit-brooding Brits today could use a definitive answer to this question, the truth is, nobody really knows. This is a debate that has been going on for roughly 2,500 years, from the ancient Greek ecclesia to republican Rome to the rise of modern representative democracies on both sides of the Atlantic, many of which now find themselves in intense political turmoil. For all the academic literature on the topic, there is no equation to find the "right" balance of direct versus representative democracy, only a checkered list of historical and contemporary examples that can be either romanticized or vilified depending on the agenda and personality of the day.
AssessmentsOct 25, 2018 | 06:00 GMT
Central American migrants near Huixtla in the Mexican state of Chiapas head toward the United States more than 1,000 miles away on Oct. 24.
Why the Central American Migrant Caravan Matters
An estimated 7,000 Central American migrants making their way through Mexico toward the United States have become a prominent headline in the daily news cycle. The Central Americans intend to request asylum when they finally reach the U.S. border with Mexico, most likely in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. In response, U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to cut assistance to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, the three countries where most of the migrants come from. With U.S. midterm congressional elections less than two weeks away, it's no surprise that Trump, who made securing the U.S.-Mexico border a central part of his administration, has seized on the migrant caravan to rally his political base. But the caravan's significance stretches beyond Trump's desire to shore up electoral support or his administration's attempts to reduce illegal immigration.
Contributor PerspectivesMay 21, 2018 | 07:00 GMT
A massacre of students marred the legacy of the Mexico City Olympic Games held in 1968.
The Legacy of 1968 Continues to Burn in Mexico
In Mexico, drug cartel assassins ushered in the first week of 2018, a key election year, with the murders of at least five political candidates, a spree of violence that has continued: More than 30 candidates have been assassinated to date. Cartel killers have also targeted journalists, especially those working to expose their nefarious activities, murdering a dozen in 2017 and at least four so far in 2018. Upcoming national elections and the promises of politicians advocating a crackdown on drug violence have incited a particularly vicious brand of wrath from the cartels, as the death toll this year seems destined to eclipse last year’s record-setting murder rate.
AssessmentsFeb 15, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
In this 2005 file photo, former U.S. President George W. Bush talks about the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement in Washington, joined by former Cabinet officials who supported the trade deal.
Washington May Draw a Bull's-Eye on Central American Trade Pact
Since coming to office, U.S. President Donald Trump has made no bones about his desire to comprehensively refashion Washington's trade deals. But while more prominent deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement have grabbed the most attention, a pact that brings together the United States and some Central American countries and the Dominican Republic has largely flown under the radar. Recent rumblings from Central America and U.S. lobbyists, however, suggest that the Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) ultimately may end up in the Trump administration's sights. The U.S. government's preoccupation with other trade deals might preclude any move by Washington to alter CAFTA-DR before Trump's current tenure ends, but the administration could open talks on the pact, pursuing both changes to trade and demanding that area countries enact more robust security measures.
On GeopoliticsNov 9, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks to members of the Constituent Assembly, the new, all-powerful body made up of Maduro supporters, in Caracas in August.
For the U.S., Venezuela Simmers on the Back Burner
A major economic crisis is unfolding in the United States' backyard as Venezuela's recession stretches into its third year. The South American nation is now in dire straits. The country's oil sector shrank by nearly 13 percent as a share of gross domestic product in 2016 alone, and its immediate future looks grim. The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, meanwhile, is more concerned with staying in power than it is with addressing the catastrophic problems facing its people. Day by day, the country seems to lurch from one milestone of misery to another while foreign analysts struggle to keep up. Yet the United States probably won't take direct action anytime soon to alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan population. When viewed through the wider lens of geopolitics, the crisis that appears so singularly urgent in everyday life recedes to the margins of global affairs. Furthermore, pushing President Nicolas Maduro's administration
SnapshotsAug 9, 2017 | 20:24 GMT
Global: Engineering the Future of Our Food
Biotechnology company, AquaBounty, sold 4.5 metric tons of genetically modified salmon Aug. 4 on the open Canadian market. The seminal transaction occurred after Canadian authorities approved the fish for human consumption in 2016. The sale marks a long-awaited victory for the company that has spent the better part of three decades working to bring their fast-growing salmon to dinner tables.
AssessmentsJul 28, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
Opponents of Venezuela's constitutional assembly rally in Caracas after a symbolic vote against the measure. The vote to authorize the body that will rewrite the country's constitution will be held July 30.
Venezuela, U.S. Sanctions and the Downward Spiral
Venezuela's political and economic crises may soon go from bad to drastically worse. Within weeks, the U.S. government could implement sanctions against Venezuela's vital oil sector to prevent the government in Caracas from formally starting down the path to a one-party state. In their most severe form, the sanctions would wreck Venezuela's ability to export oil to the United States by denying the state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) access to the U.S. financial system. And U.S. companies would also be barred from doing business with the PDVSA. That would lead to a quick and steep drop in Venezuela's already declining oil production. In turn, imports would contract sharply and inflation would skyrocket, spurring the mass migration of millions of Venezuelans. But the United States could also resort to lesser sanctions limited at targeting individuals in the Venezuelan government. Either way, the unrest in Venezuela will continue.
SnapshotsJul 28, 2017 | 01:10 GMT
Venezuela: U.S. Department of State Authorizes Departure of Non-Emergency Government Employees
The U.S. Department of State has ordered family members of government employees at the embassy in Caracas to leave Venezuela because of the worsening security situation. The voluntary departure of U.S. government employees has also been authorized. Furthermore, on July 27, Colombian airline Avianca became the latest commercial carrier to suspend flights to and from Venezuela, accelerating its timeline from mid-August to right now. Delta Air Lines is suspending flights to and from Venezuela beginning mid-September. The country has been mired in crisis for years but Venezuela's economic and political circumstances have deteriorated over the past few weeks. In light of these latest developments, Stratfor is sharing warning information posted on the government website hosted by the U.S. embassy in Caracas.
AssessmentsJul 26, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
The internet of things offers many conveniences, but if its component devices aren't properly secured, it will be a huge security risk.
How the 'Wild West' of the Internet Will Be Won
National defense is one of a government's core responsibilities. The pursuit traditionally has played out on land, over water and, since the 20th century, in air and space. But today, cyberspace is emerging as the latest theater of national defense as governments around the world take more of their critical functions and day-to-day operations online. And the internet is such a recent phenomenon that, unlike the other theaters of defense, it lacks international agreements and institutions to govern it. At least for now. To address the pitfalls in the current regulatory system (or lack thereof) New York State's Department of Financial Services will begin enforcing a new set of cybersecurity regulations Aug. 28. Financial services firms in New York by that time will have had 180 days to bring their operations into compliance with the new measures, which first took effect in March. The regulations are broad, requiring companies to have
AssessmentsJul 13, 2017 | 09:15 GMT
Protesters run from tear gas during an anti-government demonstration on during February in Caracas, Venezuela. A confrontation between government elites and a dissident faction of the ruling party is threatening to balloon into a wider conflict.
The U.S. and Russia Almost See Eye to Eye on Venezuela
The political interests of Russia and the United States intersect in nations across the world, and Venezuela is no exception. Both global powers want political stability in Venezuela, although for different reasons. The United States wants to avoid a more violent crisis, and the Russians, as well as the Chinese, want to protect oil investments and the repayment of loans. And Washington and Moscow have ample reason to be concerned about Venezuela’s stability. A confrontation between government elites and a dissident faction of the ruling party is threatening to balloon into a wider conflict. Opposition-led protests have lasted more than 100 days, and unrest spurred by food shortages, inflation and deep dissatisfaction with the government is spreading. And because of the growing risk of a coup, middle-ranking officials in the armed forces are under increased surveillance. To further complicate matters, oil prices remain low and public finances are depleted, meaning
GuidanceJul 2, 2017 | 13:02 GMT
Global Intelligence: Week of July 3, 2017
World leaders will converge on Hamburg, Germany, starting July 7 to discuss matters of global importance. As a number of forces gradually rebalance the global order over the coming years and even decades, nationalists and globalists will be pitted against each other. As world leaders meet on the sidelines of the conference, we will see the fight to change (or to preserve) the world order seep into all aspects of the event, including into discussions on trade, climate change and security.
Partner PerspectivesMay 8, 2017 | 14:58 GMT
Overlooking Sanaa, Yemen’s capital city.
Breaking the Cycle of Failed Negotiations in Yemen
After more than two years of fighting, Yemen’s warring parties have achieved no lasting territorial gains or any clear political advantage. To end the stalemate, the Trump administration has suggested that it will increase the U.S. weapons support to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition to defeat the Houthi-Saleh forces, push back against Iran’s influence in Yemen, and restore Hadi’s government to power. But a resolution will only be possible through a political solution.
Partner PerspectivesApr 26, 2017 | 20:52 GMT
Indonesia's Achilles' Heel: Populist Authoritarianism
Indonesia’s democracy was born out of a popular rebellion against the ruling elite of President Soeharto’s New Order regime, which had lost its credibility as a protector of the people and their interests. Unfortunately, however, Indonesia’s young democracy does not appear to be doing a much better job than the previous regime. It is struggling with indecisiveness, incompetence and unprecedented exposure of corruption.
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