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.
GIS Dossier: Mexico
Mexico’s relationship with the United States was driving change in the country long before it became the focus of President Donald Trump. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dramatically altered its economy, allowing it to become a key provider of manufacturing and agricultural goods to the U.S. But Mexico is also a gateway for drug trafficking to its northern neighbor, fueling corruption, organized crime and widespread violence. The latest GIS Dossier surveys the analyses and predictions from our experts on this critical Latin American country.
China is playing for keeps in Southeast Asia
In addition to becoming a prime global economic power, China is striving to become the hegemon in Southeast Asia. Expansionist policies in the China Seas are crucial to this design and Beijing is not going to back off. Neither its neighbors in the region, nor the rules of international law, nor the Western powers appear to be in a position to prevent the Middle Kingdom from fulfilling its ambition.
Will El-Sisi bring Egypt back?
At the heart of the Middle East is a surprising absence. Egypt, the most populous nation in the Arab world, with the largest army and a proud 6,000-year history, is no longer a leader. It exerts virtually no influence in the region, a situation that is unlikely to change unless President Abdel-Fattah Eli-Sisi turns his country around.
State fragility fuels crisis in Central African Republic
In the Central African Republic, nearly half of the country’s 4.7 million people are in dire need of aid. It is one of the world’s most fragile states, with more than half its territory under the control of rebel groups. The crisis reflects poor governance and widespread violence, but also unfavorable geography. Even under a best-case scenario, it will take decades to build a sovereign and functioning state.
U.S. nuclear review could test force posture
One of President Donald Trump’s first decisions as commander in chief was to order a review of the country’s nuclear strategy. The result could be a significant departure from the previous U.S. emphasis on nonproliferation and weapons reduction. Instead, there could be more funds for upgrading strategic forces and a readiness to let arms control agreements like New START expire.
China and the power of the port
China’s growing naval capabilities have gained a lot of attention, but it is also making huge investments in strategically crucial ports around the globe. These will bolster its economic influence, energy security as well as its military objectives. The arrival of a new power in congested geopolitical choke points will require skillful diplomacy.
Sub-Saharan Africa faces long-term effects of famine
A complex web of factors has caused varying degrees of food crisis across sub-Saharan Africa. With Western donor countries focused on internal problems, the disaster shows no signs of abating – even in the long term – bringing with it a vicious circle of displacement, state instability and violence.
Russia’s 2018 elections: Why the Kremlin is running scared
The outcome of Russia’s presidential election in 2018 appears a foregone conclusion: President Vladimir Putin will remain in power. The issue is the cost of renewing his official mandate, as anger is growing among ordinary Russians at worsening economic conditions and the shameless enrichment of the ruling elite. Next year’s election campaign will offer the disaffected an opportunity to vent their frustration and protest in public. If things get nasty, Russia will not be the only country to feel the consequences.
The South China Sea’s energy dimension
World markets are awash in oil and gas, but that has not stopped Beijing from expanding its drilling activities in the South China Sea. Along with an increasing military presence, China's growing commercial activity helps it bolster its maritime claims in the disputed regions of the Sea, so crucial to global trade.
GIS Dossier: A new Great Game in Central Asia
The five independent states of Central Asia that emerged after the dissolution of the Soviet Union are being courted and pressured by the globe’s key powers in a contemporary version of the 19th century’s Great Game in the region – this time over their vast energy resources.