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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Recently, announcements have been made regarding the acceptance of a UN-facilitated peace agreement with a framework to form a Government of National Accord (UN News Centre, January 2, 2016). However, only 88 lawmakers from the rival governments were in attendance at the signing, while the Deputy Speaker of the GNC stated on January 2nd that the GNC rejects the agreement, and the attending lawmakers represented “only themselves” – signifying difficulties and confusion regarding a fully-endorsed agreement by both sides (Abbas, Albawaba News, January 2, 2016; DePetris, Quartz, January 1, 2016). Furthermore, although the peace deal is supported by the international community and the UN has promised to support Libya in its transition (Ibid; Narayan and Robertson, CNN, December 17, 2015), […]
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 […]
Horizon Scanning for National Security No118: If the situation in the Middle East definitely requires to be paid attention to, the East and the Far East deserve no less, as Japan seeks to change its constitution, India continues to try asserting and expanding its role, and Central Asia is increasingly entrenched as a crucial geopolitical node. Meanwhile, news and studies regarding the adverse impact of climate change are at odds with some trends in energy security and with the tale according to which “rich countries” will be less hurt, while monetary policies, notably quantitative easing, remain controversial.
While a violent battle to win the minds through information, misinformation, manipulation, and deception is at work around Syria, the international order is changing out of the interactions between players. Will the post-1945 order prove resilient enough or are we heading towards a system that will look more like a 19th century Europe, or shall […]