Some of the articles in this category are open access, you can read them freely. Some articles are premium: if you are a member or purchased an access plan, please log in. Become a member.

“Dune” – Adaptation to Climate Change as Power Strategy

(Art direction: Jean-Dominique Lavoix-Carli Photo: John Getchel) A movie and a thought experiment in strategic foresight The 2021 “Dune” movie by Denis Villeneuve is a deep reflexion about the future of political and strategic power (Denis Villeneuve, Dune, 2021). This movie explores the deep connections between the source and exercise of strategic power and the …

Signals: U.S. Sponsored Kurdish-led Border Army in Syria and Responses

Impacts and Consequences The main critical uncertainty related to the American move is first the level of this commitment and then its consistency over time. As a result the survival of the Syrian autonomous region, the Kurdish-led Federation of Northern Syria has also become more uncertain.  The outcome in terms of American regional and global influence is also uncertain. The main other impacts are Lower likelihood to see rapidly a constructive peace settling in for SyriaLower likelihood to see the creation of a Federal SyriaRising Middle East tensionRising global tensions, notably with the U.S. on the one hand, Russia, China, Turkey, and Iran on the other. (Nota: The symbolic board has been moved to the end of the analysis and before …

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.

Signals: A Russian-backed Congress in Sochi for Future Peace in Syria?

Impacts and Consequences If Russia succeeds in gathering major actors in a congress in Sochi, which we estimate as likely (55% to 70%) Increased likelihood to see, at the end of the process, a constructive peace settling in SyriaIncreased likelihood to see the birth of a Federal SyriaIncreased likelihood to see the survival of the Kurdish-led Federation of Northern SyriaIncreased likelihood to see a serious lowering of tensions in the Middle East and even some kind of stabilisationIncreased Russian influence (Nota: The symbolic board has been moved to the end of the analysis and before the sources/signals) Facts and analysis As stated by Russian President Putin, the overarching goal is now, for Syria, “the political settlement process, with the finalization of …

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.

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.

Signal: Still no Agreement – Iraqis Forces and Peshmergas

Impact on Issues and Uncertainties ➚ ? ➃  Short term – Willingness of Iraq to capitalize further on their military victory against the Kurds, notably capturing Kurdish oilfields (uncertainty)➘ ? Medium to longer term – capacity of Iraq to govern legitimately over its multi-sectarian multi-ethnic population (critical uncertainty) ➚ ➃  /➄ Iraq strength and international support ➘ ➂ Legitimacy of Iraqi Kurdish political authorities and parties➘ Prospects for Iraqi Kurds’ independence and even autonomy ➙ ➃  Iran’s influence in Iraq and in the region ➘ ➃  U.S. influence in the region➘ Middle East American order (Other issues stable as regard to this signal only – a full assessment would need to consider events in Lebanon and Yemen) On 5 November 2017, the ongoing negotiations between the Iraqi forces …

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.

Signals: Russia, Iran, Turkey – A Syrian Strategic Triangle

Impact on Issues and Uncertainties ? Degree of influence of Russia – and now possibly Iran – on Turkey compared with Turkey’s perception of threat related to a Kurdish polity on its southern flank (critical uncertainty) ➚➚ ➃ Turkey’s perception of threat ➚➚➚ ➃ to ➂ Survival of the Kurdish-led Federation of Northern Syria➚➚ ➄ to ➂ Constructive peace for Syria ➘ ➃ to ➂ Middle East Tension➚ Iran influence➚➚ ➃ Russia influence➘ Threat to Israel➚➚ ➃ U.S. influence trial – likely leading to ➘➘ U.S. influence ➚➚ ? ➁ U.S. Russia global tensions ➘ Western NGOs and then businesses prospects in Syria On 1 November 2017, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the President of Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani met in Teheran. For previous and other signals check theHorizon Scanning Board Friendly statements followed. …

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.

Signal: Russia to Support Deeper Involvement of Kurds in Post-War Syria

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 (critical uncertainty) ➚➚ ➃ to ➂ Survival of the Kurdish-led Federation of Northern Syria➚ ➃ Russia influence trial As the seventh round of Astana talks proceeds (30 Oct-31 Oct 2017), Russia’s envoy Alexander Lavrentyev stated: “The question arises on how to involve the Kurds more actively in the post-conflict restoration and political resolution.” This statement, as well as the federal design for Syria Russia favours,  would let us expect that Russia will support the Kurdish led project, i.e. to see their Federation of Northern Syria within a united Syria survive and strive. As a result, the survival of the …

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.

Signals: Talks between Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga; President Barzani Steps Down; Iran…

Impact on Issues ➚ ? ➃  Short term – Willingness of Iraq to capitalize further on their military victory against the Kurds, notably capturing Kurdish oilfields (uncertainty)? Medium to longer term – capacity of Iraq to govern legitimately over its multi-sectarian multi-ethnic population (critical uncertainty) ➚ ➃  /➄ Iraq strength and international support ➘➘➘ ➂ Legitimacy of Iraqi Kurdish political authorities and parties➘➘➘ Prospects for Iraqi Kurds’ independence and even autonomy ➚➚ ➃  Iran’s influence in Iraq and in the region➘ ➙  Saudi Arabia’s influence➘ ? Saudi Arabia – Iran tensions ➚ ? ➃ Russia’s influence➘➘ ➃  U.S. influence ➘ ➄ Syrian Kurds prospects ➚ ➃  Russia’s influence trial in Syria➘➚? ➃ Middle East Tension As the internationally abandoned Iraqis Kurds appear to have, at least temporarily, not only lost their bid for …

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.

Signal: Turkish President Erdogan Declares Afrin as Possible Next Military Target

Impact on Issues ? ➄ Bashar al-Assad government decision regarding the further Turkish military actions regarding the Federation of Northern Syria and the Kurds (critical uncertainty)? ➄ Iran position considering a Turkish military action in Syria against the Federation of Northern Syria and the Kurds (critical uncertainty) ➚➚➚ ➃  Turkey acting militarily against the Federation of Northern Syria in Afrin ➚ ➚   ➃ Iran influence➚  ➄ Syrian future ➚  ➃ Israel perception of threat ➚ ➃ Middle East Tension ➚ ➃ Russia influence trial➚ ➃ U.S. influence trial Turkey President Erdogan old the parliamentary group of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Oct. 24 that: “Our operation in Idlib is nearly complete. Ahead of us is Afrin. These are threats to us and we will never make concessions to such threats.” For previous and …

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.

Signals: Heavy Fighting between Kurds and Iraqi Forces; Kurdish Factions; Russia; Israel

Impact on Issues ? ➃  Capacity (and willingness) of each actor to stabilize the situation  (critical uncertainty) ➚➚➚ ➃  /➄ Iraq vs Kurds – ➚ ➄ Syria  – ➚ ➃ Middle East Tension ➘ ?➂ Legitimacy of Kurdish political authorities and parties ➚➚  Iran influence in Iraq and in the region➚ ? ➃ Gulf Countries (uncertainty regarding policy)➚ Russia ‘s involvement and stake➚ Israel’s stake➚ ➃  Russia influence trial➚ ➃  U.S. influence trial Heavy exchanges of fire are (20 Oct 2017 morning CET) taking place in the north of Kirkuk between the Kurdish Peshmergas and the Iraqi forces. By 12:30 (Iraqi time), Altun Kupri (north of Kirkuk) would have fallen to Iraqi forces, including the Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), Iraqi Shiite militia backed by the Iranian Quds. Peshmergas had taken position North of Kirkuk …

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