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 […]

Everything you Need to Know to Understand the Islamic State’s Terrorist Attacks, Cope … and Fight Back

Whatever way one wants to see it, despite defeats in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and the Philippines, the Islamic State has not disappeared and will most probably remain a feature of our world for some times. The regular terrorist attacks taking place throughout the world are there to remind us that to win over ideas – […]

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 […]

Signal: Spanish Stabilising Reassertion of Rule over Catalonia

Impact on Issues and Uncertainties ? ➂ Perceptions, reactions and interactions outside Barcelona, notably in independence towns and areas, as well as outside major “central regional” political and civil servant circles (critical uncertainty). ➘➘➘ ➁ Large peaceful civil resistance and disobedience across Catalonia for Independence ➘➘➘ ➁  Civil Unrest in Catalonia against Spain ➘➙ ➁ Secessions and deep changes of nations […]

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 […]

Signals: Catalonia Prepares for Spain Take Over

Impact on Issues ? ➂  towards ➃  The way Spain will practically implement the take over of Catalan administrations and institutions is critical (critical uncertainty) ➚➚➚ ➂ Large peaceful civil resistance and disobedience across Catalonia for Independence ➚➚➚ ➂  Civil Unrest in Catalonia against Spain ➚ ➁ Secessions and deep changes of nations within the EU… and globally Update 15:45 – […]

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 […]

Signal: Two Regions in Italy Vote Heavily for Autonomy

Impact on Issues ?  Italy, Lombardy and Veneto: towards autonomy? ? The end of an Italian nation? ? The future of the Italian State? ? The Italian South reaction ? ➚➚ ➁ Deep changes for the nations and their modern-state, and “liberal democracies”, within the EU… and globally (high uncertainty) ? The EU structure (including staff) and governance must […]

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