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.
Iraq at a crucial moment (Part 1)
Iraq’s new prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, was reportedly hand-picked at meeting in Beirut by the leaders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and Hezbollah. Yet the man they chose is far from a radical. Close examination of Mr. Abdul Mahdi’s career shows him to be an experienced, honest and gutsy politician, friendly to the U.S. and hardly in Tehran’s pocket. The task he faces is gargantuan, but Mr. Abdul Mahdi has hidden strengths.
Opinion: In the U.S., the 2020 presidential race is on
For U.S. President Donald Trump, Republican defeat in the 2018 midterm elections at least turned the GOP into his party. With economic successes to his credit and growing constraints on his power imposed by a Democratic Congress, the question is whether he will tone down the polarizing style that has worked so well for him. On the domestic front, this seems unlikely, but international policy may provide an arena where Trumpism’s theatrical conflicts could yield constructive solutions.
Peru’s president bets on fighting corruption
Peruvians will vote in a December referendum that could introduce anti-corruption rules giving President Martin Vizcarra a stronger hand as he faces a hostile congress. If the referendum fails, however, the country’s new leader would be weakened, prolonging Peru’s political dysfunction and holding its economy back.
Tanzania tries bulldozing its way to growth
Tanzanian President John Magufuli seems to have based his rule on an unusual combination of traits: a pugnacious, personalized style of power politics; a statist approach to the economy; and a strong efficiency fetish. While this formula has brought some early successes, it may not be sustainable for long.
U.S.-India ties are still strengthening
India imports oil from Iran and buys arms from Russia, while trying to mend fences with Beijing. All this seems anathema to American policy, and now President Donald Trump has turned down an invitation to visit India in January. But reports that the U.S.-India relationship is on the rocks are premature.
Real economies and financial markets: Outlook for 2019
Financial markets are hesitant, as many sources of concern pile up on analysts’ desks. This report argues that the future of the world economy depends on three sets of variables: policymakers’ ability to adjust to the end of generous monetary policies and profligate fiscal practices; their willingness to recognise the need to engage in structural reforms and act accordingly; the possibility that significant shocks occur – such as a crash in China or an all-out trade war.
Opinion: The wrong response to the Caravan
United States President Donald Trump has insinuated the migrant caravan heading from Central America to the U.S. constitutes an invasion and has deployed some 5,000 troops at the border to stop it. Now, the president has threatened to rescind aid to the migrants’ countries of origin. American aid programs are built to address the region’s terrible crime and lack of employment opportunities – the very reasons so many people are leaving their homes and heading for the U.S. in the first place.
Macedonia: A new front in Russia-West tensions
Macedonia is moving forward with changing its name and securing membership in the EU and NATO, even though a referendum to approve these steps failed to meet minimum turnout requirement. But the damage has already been done. Russia, which does not want to see another Balkan country absorbed into Western institutions, has gained clout and could potentially scupper the process. That would leave Macedonia in limbo, creating further instability in this already volatile region.
GIS Dossier: Europe as a global player: The Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa
The most important part of Europe’s security perimeter in the 21st century may be its southern rim. The migration crisis of 2015 was only a foretaste of the demographic, economic and political pressures that are building up in the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Yet the approaches tried by European powers in this vital and growing region have generally failed. They need to get it right as new rival enters the neighborhood – China.
The U.S. and China: The trade war and the broader confrontation
As the “trade war” between the U.S. and China looks set to last, it is time to ask if the confrontation is more about “war” than “trade.” In fact, China is simply carrying on the ideological battle initiated by the Soviet Union in the 20th century. This time, however, with its hybrid totalitarian-capitalist system, Beijing is a more formidable foe. For now, the pragmatic Chinese may back down for strategic reasons, but in the long term, the showdown is likely to intensify.