Russia losing the new Great Game
Chinese leader Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow last month brought a raft of investment deals, suggesting that Russian President Vladimir Putin is successfully executing his version of a pivot toward Asia. But appearances deceive. The Sino-Russian "strategic partnership" is not an agreement between equals, and Russia has lost the upper hand in Central Asia.
The many faces of ISIS
If we want to know what will happen to Islamic State (ISIS) after the death of its first “caliph” and the loss of Mosul and Raqqa, we must first understand what it is. There is not one ISIS, but at least four. Each will require different handling once the caliphate is shattered and scatters.
After Mosul and Raqqa, risks multiply
As the battle for Mosul concludes, the battle for Raqqa is entering its initial phase. From a military perspective, the fall of these twin bastions of Daesh was never in doubt. But tactical victories can only be turned into long-term strategic gains if a political process is put in place. Otherwise, we will see a “son of Daesh” and worse in Syria and Iraq.
Crusade for total control
The campaign in many countries against cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is part of a larger government quest for citizen control. Oversized transaction and compliance systems, ostensibly imposed on financial institutions to help fight the gray economy and terrorism, are in fact control tools, used both by democratic and authoritarian governments. At the end of this road is socialization of all property.
Algeria: A European crisis in the making
Algeria's perennial problems are reaching crisis levels. The economic outlook is so dire that street violence is a distinct possibility. Its political scene is paralyzed by a seemingly endless succession crisis involving the ailing 78-year-old president, Abdulaziz Bouteflika. Legislative elections earlier this month did nothing to stop the drift. If unrest breaks out, a descent into civil war cannot be excluded, and Europe would face a new regional crisis of the first order.
Trump or Clinton? For Africa, there’s not much difference
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s campaigns are both missing an Africa strategy. But with Chinese activity in Africa ramping up, the next leader of the free world may have to come up with one quickly. Expect a President Trump to forcefully challenge Chinese strategy in the continent, while a President Clinton would follow a more traditional approach.
Flow of foreign fighters pose threat to states on edge of instability
The wars in Syria and Iraq have been a magnet to thousands of foreign fighters causing global concern over a new wave of transnational terrorism. Recruiting, training and the financial support for these pipelines of warrior extremists is big business and pose a threat not only to the countries at war. These ‘pipelines' have the potential to flow into new or existin...