Defense & Security
Military strategy, alliances, weapons, troops and firepower. Defense and security issues shape geopolitical events now more than ever. GIS experts provide scenarios for future military developments.
Global Outlook 2017: China’s rocky year
The election of Donald Trump in the United States brings with it a great deal of uncertainty for China and its leaders. It could face the threat of a trade war, and diplomatic challenges regarding Taiwan and the South China Sea. However, as Washington takes a more isolationist stance, 2017 will also offer China the opportunity to fill the vacuum.
Realignment in the U.S.-Russia-China triangle
The Trump administration seems likely to revolutionize the United States’ relationships with Russia and China by seeking rapprochement with the former and putting pressure on the latter. That could significantly swing the balance of power in the so-called strategic triangle between the three countries, with repercussions that will reverberate throughout Asia and the world.
Global Outlook 2017: The Trump transition
President Donald Trump is the product of powerful undercurrents that laid bare the hollowness of politics as usual. His message has few historical precedents among U.S. presidents. Americans have no shared sense of what the new era will bring, just a feeling that there is no going back.
Global Outlook 2017: Sub-Saharan Africa
Political instability will be the norm for sub-Saharan Africa in 2017. Crises will range from rocky political transitions to mass protests, electoral violence and – in the worst case – even genocide. The region faces these challenges at a time when realpolitik is replacing liberalism.
Macedonia’s instability has huge implications for the Balkans
A political crisis in Macedonia is turning into a big problem for the Balkans. Economically weak and susceptible to external pressure and internal instability, the country needs strong support. But the United States and European Union may be turning away, leaving a vacuum that can be filled by Russia and China.
The geopolitics of South Korea’s shaman scandal
The absurdity of South Korea's corruption scandal might be merely amusing if not for its huge geopolitical implications. Whether President Park Geun-hye manages to maintain her grip on power or a temporary replacement takes over until new elections are held, the country will have a weak leader. Unfortunately, South Korea faces daunting foreign policy and economic challenges that will require strength.
Global Outlook 2017: Israel and its neighbors
Concerns about Israel focus on President Donald Trump's explosive proposal to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, which could set off another Intifada in the Occupied Territories. But the bigger danger lies in Syria, especially if President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah decide to strike south. That would put Israel eyeball-to-eyeball with Iran on the Golan Heights, and trigger a wider regional war.
Will the European Union survive until 2025? Three scenarios
The crisis-stricken European Union may disintegrate in a decade, or reinvent and invigorate itself. The most plausible scenario, however, is a pragmatic downsizing: Brussels will abandon its overreaching ambition of ever-closer union and focus on programs that actually benefit EU residents.
Global Outlook 2017: U.S. faces vexing challenges in South Asia
The Trump administration will face major challenges in South Asia in 2017. The Taliban is likely to begin conducting major attacks, potentially making significant territorial gains. Also, India-Pakistan tensions continue to simmer; another terrorist attack could lead to a full-blown conflict. Up to now, President Trump has not made South Asia a foreign policy focus – but that may change quickly.