Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… We present below some of the most interesting or relevant features for each section. Update 9 January 2015: As the dual hostage crisis (the perpetrators of the 7 and 8 January attacks had fled and taken hostages) unfolded, in France, progressively, commentators and experts interviewed started stressing that we were in a case of war. General Tauzin, Special Forces, stated: “this looks like a campaign against France, it is only a beginning” (14:57 i Télé – interview). World (all matters related to war, international and national security) – The focus this week is on the deadly attack against Charlie Hebdo in Paris, as another attack took place the next day (8 January 2015) in the metro. … Continue reading The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 186 – The Attack on Charlie Hebdo and Denial of War
Editorial – Horizon scanning for national and international security – What appears as most amazing this week is a perception of an accelerating American decline on the world stage. A few months ago, we warned that changes related to the dollar supremacy were in the making, even if they would, … Continue reading The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly 159 – An Accelerating U.S. Decline?
This (long) post ends the current series of updates on the Syrian war. It focuses on the evolution within the National Coalition and the Supreme Military Council, the expected failure of Geneva 2 and the start of a new phase in the Syrian war. This will allow us, next, to finally turn to an evaluation of our scenarios and indicators. The National Coalition and the Supreme Military Council The last alliance to emerge over the Autumn has been Syria Revolutionaries Front (SRF), created on 9 December 2013 (see Youtube video), which is composed of moderate or non-ideologically motivated groups, as detailed by Lund (13 Dec 2013) and mapped below (click on the image for a larger picture). It is a reaction to the Salafi-Nationalist … Continue reading The Syrian War: the Start of a New Phase
Editorial – The financial system… again – The 23 January Weekly selected the contraction of the Chinese PMI as one of the signals to notice. Impacts of the China PMI drop have been felt notably in Asia, but, at least so far, not so much happened in the rest of the world. … Continue reading The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 6 February 2014 – The financial system… again
This post is the latest update for the State of Play: The Kurds in the Syrian civil war. It can be read independently, but readers will be able to refer to the initial post for background. A general call to arms to fight Jihadis – Since first clashes erupted on 12 July, intensifying on 16 July, notably over and in the city of Ras al-Ain, the YPG (The People’s Defence Units – see updated mapping of actors below) has been fighting Jahbat-al Nosra (JAN) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS or ISIL) (van Wilgenburg, Al-Monitor, July 16). At the end of July, fighting was raging in the area of the oil fields of Rmeilan “around the main … Continue reading Facing the Fog of War in Syria: The Tragedy of Kurdistan
One of the most important signals of the week was not only, unsurprisingly, the last episode in the never-ending politician American infighting over the debt ceiling, but also, the perceptible fatigue across a wide range of world actors, who were being taken hostage by representatives they had not elected over issues that did not concern them. … Continue reading The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No122, 17 October 2013
Considering the current state of play, scenario 3: A Real Victory in Syria, and its sub-scenarios are rather unlikely in the short-term. However, they are worth outlining because they bring analytical insight into dynamics and potential strategies to favour or counter one or the other possibility, according to interests, and because they could be relevant for the medium term. The chaos and beginning of “warlordism” that characterizes the Syrian situation, as emphasised by analysts, (e.g. Joshua Landis, 1 May 2013, Syria Comment; Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, 14 May 2013, Jihadology; see also first post of the series on Syria) lead to the relatively small probability to see any of those scenarios (or rather variations on them) happening. Nonetheless, as for scenario 1: Peace in … Continue reading Strategic Intelligence Assessment for Syria (7) – Scenario 3.1: A Real Victory – an Islamic Al-Sham?
Scenario 2: No Syrian in Geneva The diplomatic talks fail and the international conference in Geneva does not take place or is a face-saving sham (see “Scenario 1: Peace in Geneva?” and its sub scenarios for what could result from a true international conference). Considering the current forces on the ground and their balance, we would face a lengthening conflict (probably over years rather than months) with rising prospects of regional and global involvement and chaos. The scope and depth of regional and global spill over would increase with the duration of the Syrian civil war, and, in turn, fuel it. The spill over and contagion would most probably take four shapes (not mutually exclusive). First, we would face any … Continue reading Strategic Intelligence Assessment for Syria (6) – Scenario 2: No Syrian in Geneva
(Updated 22 May 2013) Now that we know and understand better the actors present on the Syrian battlefield, we may start outlining scenarios regarding first plausible futures for Syria and prospects for peace over the short to medium term, and second the regional implications of those scenarios, as the regional and even global geostrategic dimensions of the war in Syria are becoming clearer everyday. Scenario 1: Negotiating Peace for Syria in Geneva The diplomatic talks promoting a negotiated settlement of the Syrian civil war are successful and negotiations start. Sub-scenario 1.1.: All but the Jihadis The actors brought around the table are the NC and the Supreme Joint Military Command Council (SMC), the regime of Bashar al-Assad represented by a … Continue reading Strategic Intelligence Assessment for Syria (5) – Scenario 1: Peace in Geneva?