Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals…


The evolution of the geopolitical situation around Iran increasingly  generates a feeling of déjà vu for European companies. Non-European actors, chiefly among them the U.S. take political, strategic and geopolitical  decisions in the name of their national interest (and lobby groups), including the interest of their companies. To these, the EU and its member states only seem to be answering weakly, apparently without any long-term and 2nd or nth order thinking, and without envisioning the impact their current and coming decisions and actions may have on EU companies. True enough, the EU is permanently marred by internal conflicts, with various countries having various interests and patrons, while within countries such as Italy, the 3rd most powerful state in the post Brexit-EU, the situation is, to the least, uncertain and unsettled (see the various signals in the Weekly below).


Businesses and Geopolitics (1): Caught up in the Whirlwinds?

Lessons from the Conflict in Ukraine – Geopolitics, Uncertainties and Business (4)

Impacts of the Conflict in Ukraine – Geopolitics, Uncertainties and Business (3)

This is very redolent, everything being equal, of the consequences the Ukraine crisis and multiple rounds of sanctions against Russia had on European firms, notably small and medium-sized companies.

In such a very brief scenario for the American unilateral pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA and related sanctions against Iran met with a weak or bandwagoning EU response, those who are likely to bear the brunt of American policies are… not only those countries such as Iran facing sanctions, but also European companies. In the meantime, other actors such as many Chinese or Russian companies would likely not hesitate to take advantage of the vacuum. In the meantime, an initially also culturally pro-European Iran might very well give up on its former inclinations and turn further to other regions, such as East Asia and China. As a result, international influence for Europe would also be lost, again, with future multi-dimensional impacts.

The more negative impacts for the EU are, however, not yet a fatality, only a possibility… if European companies also consent, at one stage, to consider geopolitics and to plan ahead with these considerations in mind. The complexity of the situation deserves to be given proper analysis, so that forthcoming losses and gains are consciously and properly envisioned.

For other weak (and strong) signals, read below our latest complimentary Weekly horizon scanning…

Each section of the scan focuses on signals related to a specific theme: world (international politics and geopolitics); economy; science; analysis, strategy and futures; AI, technology and weapons; energy and environment. However, in a complex world, categories are merely a convenient way to present information, when facts and events interact across boundaries.

Read the 31 May 2018 scan

As polarisation rises, not only internationally but also domestically within many countries, weak signals are not only “direct”, describing facts, but also, increasingly, “indirect”, i.e. perspectives on reality providing more indications about the positioning of actors, the rising tension(s) and uncertainty, than about facts. The Weekly also aims at monitoring this rising tension to evaluate the possibility for future overt crises, and the underlying corresponding dynamics.

The Weekly is the complimentary scan of The Red (Team) Analysis Society. It focuses on political and geopolitical uncertainty, on national and international security issues.

The information collected (crowdsourced) does not mean endorsement but points to new, emerging, escalating or stabilising problems and issues.

If you wish to consult the scan after the end of the week period, use the “archives” directly on The Weekly.

Featured image: Antennas of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), on the Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes. The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two companion galaxies to our own Milky Way galaxy, can be seen as bright smudges in the night sky, in the centre of the photograph. This photograph was produced by European Southern Observatory (ESO), ESO/C. Malin [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Published by Dr Helene Lavoix (MSc PhD Lond)

Dr Helene Lavoix, PhD Lond (International Relations), is the President/CEO of The Red Team Analysis Society. She is specialised in strategic foresight and warning for international relations, national and international security issues. Her current focus is on the war in Ukraine, international order and the rise of China, the overstepping of planetary boundaries and international relations, the methodology of SF&W, radicalisation as well as new tech and security.

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