The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No123, 24 October 2013

Japan, an exemplary case for a complex world? The situation of Japan can be seen as a perfect case that exemplifies the complex dynamics into which we are taken. Absence of foresight and warning as well as refusal to consider the reality of environmental risk – and to act accordingly – plays a large part […]

The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No122, 17 October 2013

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 […]

The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly No120, 3 October 2013

Besides other issues, the agreement between the U.S. and Japan to modernize their security cooperation, implying among others a larger role for Japan, is most likely to have ripple effects, notably considering the tense situation with China and unhealed regional wounds stemming from World War II. Energy security then is very much to the fore, […]

Evaluating Forces on the Syrian Battlefield

Having an idea of the forces present on the battlefield in Syria is crucial to understand the state of play, to follow the course of the war, to evaluate the impact of the decisions taken by external players, and to estimate the likelihood to see one scenario (or one of its variations) happening. Here is a synthesis of the various estimates found for each warring group…

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The Syrian War – Bibliography and Sources

Contents 1 Casualties, refugees and internally displaced people 2 New type of analysis and collection 3 The Syrian Civil War, mainly domestic, battlefield 3.1 General Resources and Blogs 3.2.Causes of conflict 3.3 General Syrian War 3.4 Actors 3.4.1 NC, SJMCC or SMC, and FSA* 3.4.1.1 General 3.4.1.2 Muslim Brotherhood 3.4.1.3 Sufism 3.4.2 Pro Al-Assad Groups 3.4.3 Salafi and Sunni […]

Strategic Intelligence for Syria – Scenario 3.4. Back to an Al-Assad Syria?

Despite the recent victory in Qusayr by the pro Al-Assad groups, and despite the strategic character of the city, this scenario  seems to be unlikely, but not impossible, in a very near future. To obtain complete victory, we may assume that the regime of Bashar Al-Assad would continue and even strengthen his current strategy of population displacement and use of foreign forces. However, this strategy has profound impacts that would make the construction of peace much more difficult: it favours sectarianism, the spiral of fear, hatred, and retribution, while destroying wealth and thus making it more difficult to deal with displaced people and providing for their return to normal life. As underlined almost a year ago by Joshua Landis: “The […]

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Strategic Intelligence for Syria – Scenario 3.3.2. A Truly Secular Syria?

This post will outline the last but one scenario for Syria for the short to medium term, i.e. “a Secular Syria” resulting from a real victory by one of the warring groups. Considering the current state of play, this scenario is unlikely, even utopic. Yet, imagining it will also suggest possible policy and strategy that could change the odds.
The various scenarios constructed over the last weeks are summarized in a graph, which starts exploring ways to look at sets of scenarios as a systemic and dynamic whole.

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Strategic Intelligence for Syria (8) – Scenario 3. A Nationalist Islamic Syria or a Muslim Brotherhood’s Syria?

This post continues exploring various scenarios around the theme of “a real victory in Syria” by one or the other groups fighting on the ground, starting first with a Nationalist Islamic Syria, and then moving to a Syria under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. For each scenario, current estimates of likelihood will be outlined and some indicators influencing probability will be suggested.

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The Red (team) Analysis Weekly No102, 30 May 2013

Horizon Scanning for National Security No 102 – Cognitive shift? Interestingly, compared with only a few months ago, the signals are increasingly linked to geo-strategy, war, geopolitics. The other issues remain crucial and did not disappear, but we can start seeing the overall global system changing, in terms of preeminence given to types of challenges too.

Strategic Intelligence Assessment for Syria (7) – Scenario 3.1: A Real Victory – an Islamic Al-Sham?

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 […]

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