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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Scenarios for the Future of Libya – Scenarios 2 (1) – The Joint Arab Force Takes a Side

After having examined the first scenarios – diplomatic negotiations between the Council of Representatives (COR) and General National Congress (GNC) towards peace – with this article we shall begin detailing a second set of scenarios focusing on external intervention and evaluating their likelihood. The organization of the whole series for the future of Libya can be found here. This scenario and its sub-scenarios are grounded in the premises that despite the advocacy of external actors to avoid foreign involvement in Libya’s civil war, consideration of intervention increases as Libya heads closer to a failed state, and as Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaida affiliates expand their areas of operation. In our first intervention scenarios category, external actors decide to intervene in […]

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The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 227 – 5 November 2015

Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… Each section focuses on signals related to a specific theme: world (international politics and geopolitics); economy; science; analysis, strategy and futures; technology and weapons; energy and environment. However, in a complex world, categories are merely a convenient way to present information, when facts and events interact […]

Energy Transmutation in the Middle East: Egypt and Israel

While climate change is hammering the Middle East, and as Syria and Iraq are engulfed in war (Valantin, “Climate nightmare in the Middle East”, The Red Team Analysis Society, September 14, 2015), Egypt and Israel are going through a profound energy revolution. In effect, since 2011, Israel has discovered two giant natural gas off-shore deposits (Valantin, “Israel, Natural Gas and Power in the Middle East”, The Red Team Analysis Society, April 27, 2015) while in August 2015, the oil Italian company ENI has discovered a mammoth off-shore natural deposit in the Egyptian economic exclusive zone (Anthony Dipaola, “ENI discovers massive gas fields in the Mediterranean”, Bloomberg Business, August 30, 2015). In other terms, these two countries are transforming themselves into a new, […]

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The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 196 – Yemen, towards the End of the U.N.?

Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… Read the 26 March scan →  World – As the world wonders about the motivation that could prompt the copilot of Germanwings to crash a plane, and while the hypothesis of a terrorist intention is most probably on everyone’s mind, a very large number of crowdsourced articles this week […]

Update – War in Libya and its Futures – The Islamic State Advance and Impacts

In the past weeks, several major developments occurred in Libya that will affect the dynamics of the civil war, and on the longer term, most probably, its outcome. Egyptian airstrikes on Libyan soil, increased Russian support and involvement with the Council of Representatives (the internationally-recognized Libyan government), the Council’s suspended then renewed participation in the UN peace talks, its request to remove the arms embargo, and conflicting support in the UN for an intervention are all directly linked to the increased hostilities and threat from Islamic State elements in Libya. The United States and Britain stand currently opposed to any intervention and to Libya’s appeal to lift the arms embargo, citing the lack of a unified government that could not […]

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The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 192 – Denying the Islamism of the Islamic State

Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… We present below some of the most interesting or relevant features for each section. Read the 19 February scan →  World (all matters related to war, international and national security) – The focus this week stems from the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism currently held in Washington D.C. (see White House Fact sheet). First, in a very “Washingtonian” way, the summit leads to the publication of a host of reports and articles, as think tanks, newspapers, researchers, experts and pundits try to have their voices heard by policy-makers, some of them having been crowd-sourced here and worth checking and reading. Second, the summit forces the various actors to face an issue that […]

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War in Libya and its Futures – Potential International Intervention in Context

The possibility of international intervention in Libya looks increasingly likely. Indeed, on 16 February, Egypt officially attacked the Islamic State component in Libya in retaliation against the murder there of twenty-one Egyptian Copts, again used by the Islamic State as yet another brutal psyops video, “A Message signed in Blood to the Nation of the Cross”, depicting their beheading (“Egypt launches air strikes against Islamic State in Libya“, Al Ahram, 16 February 2015; Karasik, “Black Flags over Libya show ISIS is on the warpath“, Al Arabyia News, 16 February 2015). Meanwhile, Italy closed down its embassy and its Defense Minister stated Italy’s readiness “to lead a coalition from Europe and north African states to battle against the advance of Jihadis in Libya”, because “The risk is […]

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The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 156 – The Caliphate, War in Syria and Beyond

Editorial – The Caliphate, War in Syria and Beyond – The victorious offensive of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in Iraq should not come as a surprise. It has been in the making for quite a while, the “while” changing according to the perspective, starting with the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the U.S. led coalition and their destruction of the Iraqi state apparatus (see notably Paul Mutter, “Maliki’s most solemn hour“, The Arabist). Nevertheless, the impacts of the capture of Mosul are multiple and crucial. ISIS has not only expanded its territorial basis, but it has also won moral and “face”, resources, including large amount of money, becoming the wealthiest Islamist competing state actor (and not “non-state actor”, or “terrorist […]

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Egypt and Climate Security

Since 2008, when massive food riots took place, followed by the “Arab spring revolution” in 2011, Egypt has become a land of political, religious and social conflicts (Krista Mahr, “Bread is life: food and protest in Egypt“, Time Magazine, January 31, 2011; Georges Corm, Le Proche-Orient éclaté, 2012), some of them between armed militant and religious factions on the one hand, the police, the military and the secret services, on the other. Meanwhile the civil society strongly emerges. Beyond spectacular events, the causes of these domestic political and religious conflicts are rooted, among other factors, into international and climate change dynamics. In effect, Egypt’s society and politics are deeply affected by the entanglement of economic, political, environmental and climate change […]

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