The Paradox of U.S. Decline … and the Tensions with North Korea

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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Signals: China’s Xi Jinping Thought, Real Economy and … Global Finance

Impact on Issues ➚ ➁ China opposes the financialization of the Chinese economy ➚ ? China will have to oppose the actors of global finance (high uncertainty) ➚  Successful development of Chinese economy ➚ Improvement of the economies of “countries under financialization” (e.g. most of Western countries) ➚ Restart of prosperity trend within “countries under financialization” (e.g. most of […]

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 […]

Signal: The Kurdish-led SDF Defeats the Islamic State in Raqqa

Impact on Issues ? ➄ Bashar al-Assad government decision regarding the Federation of Northern Syria… and Turkey (critical uncertainty) ➚➚ ➃  Turkey acting against the Federation of Northern Syria ➚  ? ➃ Iran influence (uncertainty regarding policy) ➚ ➃ Russia influence trial ➚ ➃ U.S. influence trial ➚ ? ➃ Gulf Countries (uncertainty regarding policy) ? Western NGOs and then businesses prospects in Syria ➚ ? ➄ Syrian future  (high uncertainty) […]

Signals: Kurd Military Command on Kirkuk; Iran again…

Impact on Issues ➚➚➚ ➃  /➄ Iraq vs Kurds – ➚ ➄ Syria  – ➚ ➃ Middle East Tension ➚➚  Iran Iraqi and regional influence ➚ Russia, U.S., Gulf Countries Conundrum ➘ Russia Influence ➘ U.S. influence – ➙ U.S.weight (unwilling? influence) The Iraqi attack on Peshmergas-controlled Kirkuk continued on 16 October and, as a result Iraqis forces, allegedly according to Kurds […]

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