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.
Russia is turning Crimea into a forward bastion, armed with its latest missile, naval and radar technology. The consequences for the region are dire, raising the threat level for several NATO members and consolidating Moscow’s position against Ukraine and Georgia. The Black Sea is now as likely as the Baltics to become the flash point of a confrontation between Russia and the West.
Trump’s Middle East blueprint: an Israeli view
Donald Trump took a scattershot approach to the Middle East in his election campaign. At times, he advocated greater involvement, at others he leaned toward isolationism. On balance, however, the new president will have no choice but to jettison Barack Obama’s policy of disengagement. The most probable outcome is active intervention.
Social unrest undermines Morocco’s stability
Morocco’s elections in October 2016 showed that its democracy is strengthening. But for some, reform has not gone far enough. A fishmonger’s death recently sparked protests that could bring instability similar to that seen in the country’s neighbors in 2011. On top of that, security concerns are increasing. Can Morocco remain North Africa’s success story?
President Trump’s impact on Latin America
We do not know how much Donald Trump does not know about Latin America. If he keeps his campaign promises, the U.S. economy could suffer as much as Mexico’s or Brazil’s, and illegal immigration could get worse. A lot will depend on the new president’s learning curve.
Italy: populist Five Star Movement lurks in the wings
By calling a risky referendum on his constitutional reform, Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has put in jeopardy not only his government and the Democratic Party’s political future. Should the prime minister’s gamble backfire, Italy’s populists of the anti-capitalist Five Star Movement may be the ones forming the next cabinet.
The future of OPEC
OPEC's influence in the global oil market has greatly diminished in recent years, mainly due to the shale revolution in the United States, but also because of diverging interests among its members. It has pledged to cut production, but doing so may prove difficult. There are still some scenarios where OPEC could rise to prominence, but the most likely scenario is for it to be further marginalized.
War and peace: How Russia’s domestic and foreign policies interact
If you pay attention to its media, it is easy to believe that Russia is on the warpath – toward cyber war, hybrid war, a second Cold War or even a Third World War. This may even be true in a way, but the real battleground is inside Russia. At stake is the country’s internal stability, and all that hostility can easily be redirected from Western foes to more dangerous, internal enemies.
China’s influence in Southeast Asia flows through the Mekong
China is using the Mekong as a geopolitical tool. The river provides much needed irrigation water and hydropower potential to countries downstream, but Beijing can choke the flow with a network of 20 planned dams. If the downstream countries joined together, they would have a chance of preventing China from using strong-arm tactics. As it stands however, each country is dealing individually with the Chinese, ensuring Beijing has the upper hand.
The German center may not hold
No other country is so exposed to internal crises in the European Union as Germany. Now, Eurosceptic movements and anti-German sentiment are spreading. The robust German economy still serves as a stabilizer, but itself is vulnerable to the social and economic crises in the eurozone, which could in turn erode Germany’s political stability. The main risk is not the country’s relatively small radical parties, but how major parties react to their extremism.
China modernizes its air force to project power globally
China has made a remarkable progress over the past 20 years in modernizing its air force. Ambitious new aircraft procurement programs are designed to strengthen Beijing’s position regionally and globally. Nevertheless, structural weaknesses in the economy will continue to prevent the Chinese air force from achieving technological parity with the United States.