Elections, coups, international relations, social movements, emerging states and influencers. Here find forecasts and potential scenarios for political trends from Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS) global experts.
Opinion: NATO at 70 – where does the alliance go from here? (part 1)
With NATO having turned 70 this year, it is worth considering how the alliance became the guarantor of European security and what direction it should now take. In this first of a two-part series, GIS Expert Dr. Uwe Nerlich recounts how the alliance’s role transformed from a means of stabilizing postwar Europe into an instrument of “mutual deterrence.”
GIS Dossier: Corruption and political stabilization in Russia
While corruption has spurred political change in Latin America, it remains the basic currency of power in many other parts of the world. This is particularly evident in post-communist regimes like Russia, where private fortunes can be amassed and confiscated at the whim of a tiny elite. This appropriation of resources helps shore up the regime, even as it undermines Russia’s long-term future as a great power.
India readies to face Trump’s trade ire
As the U.S.-China trade dispute drags on, Washington is gearing up to turn the screws on another trade partner: India. Though the countries are allies, U.S. officials chafe at India’s protectionist policies. Sorting out this imbroglio will be among the Indian government’s top priorities – an escalatory tariff war could cripple the broader relationship.
Opinion: Panama, China and the Canal
Panama has become a big focus for China – the two countries signed 19 cooperation agreements at the end of last year. For Panama, the partnership is an attempt to revive its economy. For China, it is a chance to gain influence over the crucial Panama Canal. The question is how Panama’s new government will balance its appetite for Chinese investment with its need to maintain close ties with the United States.
Mozambique: The biggest corruption case in Africa
A $2 billion corruption scandal continues to upend the political and economic landscape in Mozambique. Manuel Chang, the former finance minister, has been arrested by U.S. authorities along with several co-conspirators. His legal fate, which now hangs in the balance in South Africa, will have major repercussions in his home country. Extradition to the U.S. could implicate other Mozambican officials and help turn back on the flow of international aid and investment.
Trump-Kim summit game squeezes South Korea’s president
Spare a moment to consider the plight of South Korean President Moon Jae-in. In the three-way negotiation between Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul about denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, Mr. Moon has perhaps the most sensible policy and is certainly the most predictable player. Yet he is entirely overshadowed by his mercurial partners, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Kazakhstan: A seamless succession?
Nursultan Nazarbayev ruled Kazakhstan in patriarchal fashion since 1990 and is widely regarded as one of the ablest politicians in the post-Soviet sphere, winning respect even from his powerful neighbor, Vladimir Putin. Now that the moment has come to hand over presidential power, it appears that he has prepared with his typical caution and astuteness. Odds are that the gradual leadership transition will be successful, although plenty of things could still go wrong.
GIS Dossier: The shale gas revolution
Early in this century, the U.S. unexpectedly moved from being a major natural gas importer to a significant exporter and changed its energy consumption to a more environment-friendly mix. It all happened due to its development of shale gas production. The world’s two other major gas markets – Europe and Asia – have experienced significant adjustments as well.
Congress uses its prerogatives to shape Asia policy
Most analysis of U.S. foreign policy focuses on the executive branch. That might make sense when the same party controls the White House and Congress, but does not apply after the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives this year. In fact, U.S. lawmakers have been taking a more active role in shaping the U.S. approach to the Indo-Pacific region for several years, most notably on policies toward China, human rights, trade and North Korea.
Opinion: What kind of Russian meddling?
Russian “meddling” in other countries is so much a part of our political discourse that it has become fodder for jokes. But what is behind this interference, and who is doing the interfering? Visions of a centralized command center in the Kremlin ignore the freestyle nature of Russian politics in the Putin era, where teams of players tussle like bulldogs under a rug. But now the world is the playing field, and spy hysteria may only make a bad situation worse.