Actors Mapping and State of Play

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“Killer Robots” worry the international community. From 13 to 17 November 2017, the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS), also familiarly designed as “killer robots” met for the first time in Geneva (UN Office at Geneva). LAWS are, broadly speaking, autonomous systems (robots) animated by artificial intelligence, which can kill without human decision.  … Continue reading When Artificial Intelligence will Power Geopolitics – Presenting AI

The artificial intelligence (AI) world summit took place in Singapore on 3 and 4 October 2017 (The AI summit Singapore). If we follow this global trend of heavy emphasis on AI, we can note the convergence between artificial intelligence and the emergence of “smart cities” in Asia, especially in China (Imran Khan, … Continue reading The Chinese Artificial Intelligence Revolution

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

“Airpocalypse” turns the air of the great Chinese cities into a kind of chronic and massive chemical attack. Meanwhile, ecological issues are gaining a new and strong political traction. In the meantime, China is also becoming a world leader of the digital transformation. In other words, two major dynamics run through China in the same time: the mammoth development of its digital transformation and the need and will to become an “ecological civilization”, … Continue reading China: Towards the Digital and Ecological Revolution?

The question of a U.S. decline is increasingly on the agenda as signals seem to pile up to indicate a relative loss of power status. The last instance of such dynamics at play is the 4 to 8 October 2017 state visit to Russia of King Salman Saudi Arabia King Salman, a long-standing close ally of the U.S. … Continue reading Sources of American Decline… and Power – The View from the U.S. National Intelligence Council

The second decade of the 21st century appears to be rough for the U.S.. Could it mean that American power is waning? The question of a putative decline of the U.S. regularly emerges in international relations and in the media since at least the 1970s (Kenneth Waltz; Theory of International Politics, 1979: 177-178). … Continue reading Which U.S. Decline? The View from the U.S. National Intelligence Council

The coming Battle for Sirte to defeat the Islamic State in Libya is principally seen from the perspective of the struggle between the U.N.-backed new government supported by some militias including Misrata, and those who refuse that government’s legitimacy, such as nationalist Haftar (e.g. “The scramble for Sirte”, The Economist, … Continue reading The Islamic State in Libya – When Libyan Tribes Pledge Allegiance to the Khalifah

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What is the current state of play for the Islamic State in Libya, and, most importantly, how can it evolve? The question is increasingly relevant considering the rising possibility of an international intervention in Libya against the Islamic State, a complex matter considering notably the questioned domestic legitimacy of the new U.N.-prompted Government of National Authority (GNA) (e.g. … Continue reading The Islamic State in Libya – Force, Fighters and Tribes

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When we started our series to better understand the Islamic State system, we identified the wilayat (“what is taken charge of”, “what is ruled”) as unit of analysis and as a system, which can then be monitored to foresee and warn about the overall developments of the Islamic State (see Understanding the Islamic State’s System – Structure and Wilayat, … Continue reading Understanding the Islamic State’s System – Wilayat and Wali in Yemen

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Conflicting information regarding the Islamic State and the evolution of the war emerge everyday from the media, while analysts, commentators and official statements are no less swaying. For example, on 13 April 2015, “Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman” stressed that the Islamic State had “ceded 5,000 to 6,000 square miles of territory”, painting a “rosier portrait” … Continue reading Understanding the Islamic State’s System – Structure and Wilayat