Russia

Our Foresights and Insights

A new state of play is emerging in the Middle East, which redraws the regional web of influence, following the military victory over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the concurrent and related negotiations for the end of the war in Syria. At the global level, the current jockeying taking place in the Middle East and its result will also have consequences as it impacts perceptions of global players, as well as influence and thus capability. On 16 November, three major diplomatic events centred around Saudi Arabia and Iran’s influence and involving China and Israel took place which impacted this state of play.

Impact on Issues and Uncertainties

? Unity of Arab States, willingness and capability to support Saudi Arabia, willingness and capability to counter growing Iranian influence, (critical uncertainties)
 ( conflict in Yemen) Saudi perception of Iranian expansion and resulting threat
➙ ?

Continue reading Signals: Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel…

Impact on Issues and Uncertainties

➚ ➃  Reinforced jihadist front in Western Egypt
  Challenges to Egypt as it is squeezed between the Sinai and Western fronts
  Survival of the Islamic State
  Islamic State resurgence in the MENA region,

Continue reading Signal: Al Qaeda / Islamic State New Front In Western Egypt?

This article stresses the paradoxical character of a U.S. decline, and addresses the impossibility for the U.S. to accept its demise as superpower. It applies this framework to the case of the 2017 tensions with North Korea, and deduces a possible future path for the U.S. course of action, as well as possible levers regarding the U.S. … Continue reading The Paradox of U.S. Decline … and the Tensions with North Korea

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)
  / Iraq strength and international support
➘  Legitimacy of Iraqi Kurdish political authorities and parties
 Prospects for Iraqi Kurds’

Continue reading Signal: Still no Agreement – Iraqis Forces and Peshmergas

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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)
➚➚  Turkey’s perception of threat
➚➚ to  Survival of the Kurdish-led Federation of Northern Syria
➚➚ to ➂ Constructive peace for Syria
  to  Middle East Tension
Iran influence
➚➚  Russia influence
 Threat to Israel
➚➚ ➃ U.S.

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

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)
 to  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), … Continue reading Signal: Russia to Support Deeper Involvement of Kurds in Post-War Syria

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)
➚  / Iraq strength and international support
➘➘➘ ➂ Legitimacy of Iraqi Kurdish political authorities and parties
➘➘➘ Prospects for Iraqi Kurds’

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

Impact on Issues

Bashar al-Assad government decision regarding the further Turkish military actions regarding the Federation of Northern Syria and the Kurds (critical uncertainty)
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
➚ ➚    Iran influence
➚  ➄ Syrian future
➚  ➃ Israel perception of threat
➚  Middle East Tension
➚  Russia influence trial
 U.S.

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

Impact on Issues

? ➃  Capacity (and willingness) of each actor to stabilize the situation  (critical uncertainty)
➚➚➚  / Iraq vs Kurds – Syria  – 

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