Multiplicating Crises: Strategic Surprises or Strategic Shocks?

(Art direction Jean-Dominique Lavoix-Carli using a photograph created by Pete Linforth) Over the last decades, strategic surprises have accumulated and accelerated rather than receded. They continue to do so. Most actors, from governments and international organisations to businesses through citizens seem to be constantly and increasingly surprised by events they fail to anticipate, and thus for which …

China, the “Health Silk Road” of Vaccines, and Security

Beyond the proliferation of the Chinese vaccine Enters Sinopharm On 14 January, Hungary’s government signed an agreement with the giant company Sinopharm in order to purchase millions of doses of the Chinese CoronaVac (CCV) (“In EU first, Sinopharm Coronavirus vaccine approved by Hungary”, Nikkei Asia, 31 January, 2021). One week before, it had made a …

Understanding the French Yellow Vest Movement and its Crescendo

France faces an escalating protest movement. This movement is called the “Yellow Vests” or “Yellow Vest”. The French government appears to be always late in the way it answers it; political analysts appear to be surprised by what is happening and to struggle to understand. Meanwhile, violence increases. Part 2 of the article: Stabilising Or …

Signal: Russia’s Putin Hosts Syria’s Assad for Working Meeting on Future Syria at Peace

Impact on Issues and Uncertainties ? Degree of influence of Russia on Turkey compared with Turkey’s perception of threat related to a Kurdish polity on its southern flank (near future critical uncertainty)? Finding a compromise on Hezbollah and Iran presence or withdrawal from a future peaceful Syria (near future critical uncertainty) ? Are the root causes that allowed the Islamic State to rise in the region addressed (medium to longer term critical uncertainty)? ➚ ➄ to ➂ Constructive peace for Syria➚ Creation of a Federal Syria➚ ➃ to ➂ Survival of the Kurdish-led Federation of Northern Syria➘ ➃ to ➂ Middle East Tension ➚ ➃ Turkey’s perception of threat➙ Threat to Israel ➚➚ ➃ Russia influence➙ ➃ U.S. influence trial – likely leading to ➙➘ U.S. influence➚ ? ➁ U.S. Russia global tensions ?  Global spread “under cover” of Jihadism➚ ?  Strengthening of al-Qaeda➙ ? Resilience of Islamic …

The remaining part of this article is for our members and those who purchased special access plans. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Log in and access this article.

The Middle East Powder Keg and the Great Battle for Raqqa

As events accelerate both within Syria on the battlefield and in the region, this article monitors and analyse these developments. It seeks to answer the question: do the unfolding states of affairs increase, or on the contrary decrease, the likelihood to see an intensification of Turkish escalation against the Syrian Kurds and, de facto, Northern Syria? We shall look first at the race that is taking place on the Syrian battlefield around the Battle of Raqqa and towards Deir es-Zor, there addressing furthermore the entrance of a new level of Iranian influence. We shall then turn to the evolving crisis around Qatar, pointing out notably impacts on Turkey and how  that crisis and the Battle of Raqqa feed into each other to heighten the risk to …

The remaining part of this article is for our members and those who purchased special access plans. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Log in and access this article.

The Battle of Raqqa, the Kurds and Turkey

This article focuses on the evolution of the balance of forces on the battlefield, notably for the Kurds, mainly in Syria but also in Iraq, one of the multiple layers of interactions that must be considered around the battle of Raqqa against the Islamic State. It is part of a series aiming at deciphering the various factors at work that will shape the outcome of the battle of Raqqa and thus impact the future. Such factors must be considered for scenarios as well as monitored for warning, notably by being included in corresponding mapping. The offensive against the Islamic State is progressing in the governorate of Raqqa. However, the outcome will not only be a more or less rapid victory against a …

The remaining part of this article is for our members and those who purchased special access plans. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Log in and access this article.

Geopolitics, Uncertainties and Business (6) : The Psychological Impact of the Islamic State Terrorist Attacks

This article is the second of a two-parts of a series seeking to identify the impacts of the current and most probably forthcoming terrorist attacks by the Islamic State and other jihadist groups, and focuses on major socio-psychological consequences. It follows a first article, which started outlining a framework for impact assessment out of our current understanding of the economic consequences of terrorism, which notably pointed out the need to use mapping as methodology if the complex and cascading characters of these impacts are to be properly assessed. The larger aim of the series is notably to understand if businesses should or not neglect these aggressions and related geopolitical uncertainties, while finding out ways to foresee these risks so as to best design answers (see Helene Lavoix, “Businesses and Geopolitics: Caught up in the Whirlwinds? (1)”, The Red (Team) Analysis Society, 17 Oct 2016)

To find out which could be the psychological impacts of the ongoing string of terrorist attacks, we

The remaining part of this article is for our members and those who purchased special access plans. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Log in and access this article.

The UAE Grand Strategy for the Future – from Earth to Space

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is devising a grand strategy to ensure its global security during the 21st century. In 2010, the UAE’s government published the “UAE Vision 2021”, establishing the will “to ensure a sustainable development”. In 2011, the UAE’s political authorities created a national marine environment research centre. In 2014, they created the …

Israel and the Coming Long Threat – The Planetary Crisis Rules (4)

Israel faces an unexpected and immensely dangerous strategic threat: climate change. This threat is shared with the rest of the world: it is the way climate change keeps getting stronger and how its effects are combining with pre-existing systems of vulnerabilities at country and regional level, the Middle East in the case of Israel (Dahr …

Scenarios for the Future of Libya – Sc 2 (4) Qatar Intervenes on the Islamist Side

This article is the fourth of our series focusing on scenarios depicting interventions in the Libyan war. In our previous article, we discussed an Egyptian intervention in Libya on the nationalist side. In this article, we shall detail a Qatari intervention on the side of the Islamists, as well as possible scenario outcomes for an intensified, protracted conflict that results from either an Egyptian or Qatari intervention. At this stage for our scenarios, external actors have decided to militarily intervene in Libya by taking a side with either the Islamists or nationalists that could emerge from a renewed split in the Government of National Accord (see previous article). Considering the future names of potential factions that would result from a new split …

The remaining part of this article is for our members and those who purchased special access plans. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Log in and access this article.

EN