★ Big Data, Driver for Artificial Intelligence… but Not in the Future?

On 10 and 11 April 2018, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook went through a two-day congressional testimony in the U.S. (Cecilia Kang et al., “Mark Zuckerberg Testimony: Day 2 Brings Tougher Questioning“, The New York Times, 11 April 2018). The questioning followed the scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis consulting […]

Warning – Ebola Outbreak in the DRC Spreading – to Put under Watch

Risk level and Uncertainties ➚ Risk level ➃ very high at the national level (WHO assess.) ➂ high at the regional level (WHO assess.) ➀ weak at the global level (WHO assess.) ➚ ➀  Risk for actors without activities within the DRC – Put the risk under watch Main concerned actors: travel and tourism, NGOs, Mining companies (notably Cobalt, Copper) – […]

Signal: A View from China – its Rising Arms Exports

Impact on Issues ➚ ➀ ➁ China-U.S. Tension – ➚ Chinese influence (including OBOR/New Silk Road) – ➘ U.S. influence – ➘ USD supremacy – Uncertainty: American East Asian strategic presence and East Asian stability China has become the third larger exporter of arms in the world, even though it is still far behind the U.S. and Russia. It […]

The Warming Ocean as Planetary Threat

This article looks at the way the warming ocean exerts a growing pressure on food security and the economy. It is a follow-up to “The U.S. Navy vs Climate Change Insecurity” (Jean-Michel Valantin, June 15, 2018), where we focused on the current climate and ocean change becoming a major strategic threat, because of the rapid […]

The Chinese New Silk Road in East Africa

The Popular Republic of China (PRC) is building a naval base in Djibouti, which should be completed during 2017, alongside the already existing French and American military naval bases (“China’s base in Djibouti means more than an attribute of “global power”, Sputnik, 7/12/2016). This move is a crucial global development for China, for East Africa as […]

Somali Piracy: a Model for Tomorrow’s Life in the Anthropocene?

Pirates, scientists and climate change “It was like the wild west out there”. This comment was not made by a soldier after fighting in the streets of Bagdad, or by a police officer coming back from a difficult raid in a dangerous favela in Rio. No, it was made by Peter deMenocal, a marine geologist of […]

Surviving the Gulf of Aden: a New Strategic Paradigm for the Future of the Region

On 15th September 2013, saboteurs blew up the pipeline linking Yemeni oil fields in the North to the Hodeidah export terminal, on the Red Sea coast. It was the third time in two months. In the meantime, the Yemeni political life was also marked by a deluge of US drone strikes against militants of “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” (AQAP).  On 18th October, a militia of armed and well-organised Islamist militants attacked a Yemeni military base in the Southeast, preceded by a car bomb suicide attack, which killed five soldiers. The two following weeks saw endless attacks and manifestations, against the government as well as sectarian violence, leaving dozens dead. In the meantime, on the other side of the Gulf of […]

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At War against a Global Islamic State – Facing a Strategic Trap in Somalia?

The Islamic State’s actions are continuing globally, unfortunately illustrating the points made previously in “A Global Theatre of War” (23 Nov 2015), with the San Bernardino attacks in the U.S. on 2 December 2015 (BBC News, 7 Dec 2015) and the stabbing of three people in the tube station in London on 5 December 2015 (e.g. The Telegraph, 7 dec 2015). Meanwhile, and despite setbacks in Mesopotamia where the Islamic State is besieged in Ramadi, where it lost Sinjar to the Kurds and Yazidis, but immediately reopened a new route between Mosul and Raqqa, the Khilafah continues its strategy to call to new people, for example with the publication of a first Nasheed in Mandarin likely aimed at the Hui, Chinese Muslims, however unlikely the Hui as a group may […]

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Libyan War Spills Over to Europe, Algeria, and Niger – Sc 2.2 (1) – Scenarios for the Future of Libya

This article is the first of our series focusing on scenarios depicting the range of spillover that could stem from the Libyan war. In our previous article, we concluded the scenarios for international intervention in light of a fragmenting unity government. In this article, we shall focus on scenarios related to conflict spillover in only one direction (towards Europe), and then spillover in two directions (west towards Algeria and south towards Niger). These scenarios are grounded in the premises that the evolution of the civil war leads to spillover. As a result, the war changes from an internal civil war within the bounds of Libyan borders with a measure of external involvement, to a renewed war that encompasses more than […]

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The Libyan War Spills Over to Egypt, Algeria, Niger and Europe – Scenarios for the Future of Libya

This article is the second of our series focusing on scenarios depicting the range of spillover that could stem from the Libyan war. In our previous article, we detailed two scenarios of spillover that initiate a renewed war encompassing more than just Libya. We discussed a case of spillover in one direction – where Europe is drawn into this renewed war, as well as spillover in two directions, where Algeria and Niger are also drawn into the war. In this article, we shall conclude the spillover scenarios with a contagion taking place in all directions (west towards Algeria, south towards Niger, east towards Egypt, and north towards Europe). It is important to note our choices for spillover sub-scenarios. There are […]

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