LatAm’s Pacific Alliance highlighted at Davos

A panel entitled The Pacific Alliance Promise was held at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was attended by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Peru's Prime Minister César Villanueva, and Chilean Finance Minister Felipe Larraín. At the gathering the panelists discussed the challenges of this alliance, formed by … Continue reading LatAm’s Pacific Alliance highlighted at Davos

Elections Don’t Matter, Institutions Do

By Robert D. Kaplan Many years ago, I visited Four Corners in the American Southwest. This is a small stone monument on a polished metal platform where four states meet. You can walk around the monument in the space of a few seconds and stand in four states: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. People … Continue reading Elections Don’t Matter, Institutions Do

A Closer Look at India’s Naxalite Threat

By Fred Burton and Ben West On July 6, the Indian government issued a warning to railroad operators and users after Maoist rebels -- known as Naxalites -- declared a "bandh," a Hindi word meaning stoppage of work, in eastern India. When a bandh is declared by the Naxalites, it carries with it an implied … Continue reading A Closer Look at India’s Naxalite Threat

NAFTA and the Future of Canada, Mexico and the United States

By Marc Lanthemann The 20th anniversary of NAFTA's implementation on Jan. 1 has revived some of the perennial arguments that have surrounded the bloc since its inception. The general consensus has been that the trade deal was a mixed bag, a generally positive yet disappointing economic experiment. That consensus may not be wrong. The history … Continue reading NAFTA and the Future of Canada, Mexico and the United States

Ukraine: On the Edge of Empires

By George Friedman The name "Ukraine" literally translates as "on the edge." It is a country on the edge of other countries, sometimes part of one, sometimes part of another and more frequently divided. In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was divided between Russia, Poland and the Ottoman Empire. In the 19th century, it … Continue reading Ukraine: On the Edge of Empires

Letter from Kurdistan

By Reva Bhalla At the edge of empires lies Kurdistan, the land of the Kurds. The jagged landscape has long been the scene of imperial aggression. For centuries, Turks, Persians, Arabs, Russians and Europeans looked to the mountains to buffer their territorial prizes farther afield, depriving the local mountain dwellers a say in whose throne … Continue reading Letter from Kurdistan

Israel’s new strategic position

By George Friedman Israel has expressed serious concerns over the preliminary U.S.-Iranian agreement, which in theory will lift sanctions levied against Tehran and end its nuclear program. That was to be expected. Less obvious is why the Israeli government is concerned and how it will change Israel's strategic position. Israel's current strategic position is excellent. … Continue reading Israel’s new strategic position

Israelis, Saudis and the Iranian Agreement

By George Friedman A deal between Iran and the P-5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) was reached Saturday night. The Iranians agreed to certain limitations on their nuclear program while the P-5+1 agreed to remove certain economic sanctions. The next negotiation, scheduled for six months from now depending on … Continue reading Israelis, Saudis and the Iranian Agreement

Letter from Tangier

By Reva Bhalla Morocco rarely figures into international news headlines these days,  something of a virtue in this restive part of the world. The term Maghreb, which  translates as "land of the setting sun," eventually came to denote a stretch of  land starting in the Western Sahara and running through the Atlas Mountains and  ending … Continue reading Letter from Tangier

The U.S.-Iran Talks: Ideology and Necessity

By George Friedman The talks between Iran and the Western powers have ended but have not failed. They will reconvene next week. That in itself is a dramatic change from the past, when such talks invariably began in failure. In my book The Next Decade, I argued that the United States and Iran would move … Continue reading The U.S.-Iran Talks: Ideology and Necessity

China’s Inevitable Changes

By Rodger Baker and John Minnich The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China will convene its Third  Plenum meeting Nov. 9. During the three-day session, President Xi Jinping's  administration will outline core reforms to guide its policymaking for the next  decade. The Chinese government would have the world believe that Xi's will be  … Continue reading China’s Inevitable Changes

U.S. Foreign Policy from the Founders’ Perspective

By George Friedman Last week I discussed how the Founding Fathers might view the American debt crisis and the government shutdown. This week I thought it would be useful to consider how the founders might view foreign policy. I argued that on domestic policy they had clear principles, but unlike their ideology, those principles were … Continue reading U.S. Foreign Policy from the Founders’ Perspective

U.S. and Iranian Realities

By George Friedman U.S. President Barack Obama called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week  in the first such conversation in the 34 years since the establishment of the  Islamic Republic. The phone call followed tweets and public statements on both  sides indicating a willingness to talk. Though far from an accommodation between  the two countries, … Continue reading U.S. and Iranian Realities

Stratfor’s Fourth Quarter Forecast

First, the issue everyone is talking about -- a developing rapprochement between U.S. and Iran. We've long said that Iran and the U.S. would eventually come to an agreement, but the timeline that both sides have set is ambitious with a number of potential pitfalls that will need to be watched closely. This quarter, both … Continue reading Stratfor’s Fourth Quarter Forecast

OECD sets out roadmap for Colombia membership

The OECD set out a clear path for Colombia’s accession to the Organisation, reinforcing its commitment to further extend its global membership to include more emerging economies. The 34 OECD Members approved on 19 September a Roadmap to accession for Colombia establishing the process and setting out the terms for Colombia’s future membership. This follows … Continue reading OECD sets out roadmap for Colombia membership

China’s Growing Interest in Central Asia

Chinese President Xi Jinping's tour of four Central Asian countries in early  September highlighted a trend followed closely by Stratfor: China's  struggle to reduce its exposure to security risks and supply disruptions in the  South and East China seas by exploring new overland sources of and transport  routes for goods, energy and other natural resources. … Continue reading China’s Growing Interest in Central Asia

The U.S.-European Relationship, Then and Now

By George Friedman I am writing this from Greece, having spent the past week in Europe and having moved among various capitals. Most discussions I've had in my travels concern U.S. President Barack Obama's failure to move decisively against Syria and how Russian President Vladimir Putin outmatched him. Of course, the Syrian intervention had many … Continue reading The U.S.-European Relationship, Then and Now

Strategy, Ideology and the Close of the Syrian Crisis

By George Friedman It is said that when famed Austrian diplomat Klemens von Metternich heard of the death of the Turkish ambassador, he said, "I wonder what he meant by that?" True or not, serious or a joke, it points out a problem of diplomacy. In searching for the meaning behind every gesture, diplomats start to regard … Continue reading Strategy, Ideology and the Close of the Syrian Crisis

Syria, America and Putin’s Bluff

By George Friedman In recent weeks I've written about U.S. President Barack Obama's bluff on Syria and the tightrope he is now walking on military intervention. There is another bluff going on that has to be understood, this one from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin is bluffing that Russia has emerged as a major world power. … Continue reading Syria, America and Putin’s Bluff

Obama’s Tightrope Walk

By George Friedman Last week began with certainty that an attack on Syria was inevitable and even imminent. It ended with the coalition supporting the attack somewhere between falling apart and not coming together, and with U.S. President Barack Obama making it clear that an attack was inevitable, maybe in a month or so, if … Continue reading Obama’s Tightrope Walk

In China, an Unprecedented Demographic Problem Takes Shape

From Stratfor Chinese society is on the verge of a structural transformation even more profound than the long and painful project of economic rebalancing, which the Communist Party is anxiously beginning to undertake. China's population is aging more rapidly than it is getting rich, giving rise to a great demographic imbalance with important implications for … Continue reading In China, an Unprecedented Demographic Problem Takes Shape

Syria and the Limits of Comparison

By Robert D. Kaplan Because so many war plans simply do not survive the reality of war itself, each war is a unique universe unto its own and thus comparisons with previous wars, while useful, may also prove illusory. One of the many wrong assumptions about the Second Gulf War before it started was that … Continue reading Syria and the Limits of Comparison

The PC16: Identifying China’s Successors

By George Friedman China has become a metaphor. It represents a certain phase of economic development, which is driven by low wages, foreign appetite for investment and a chaotic and disorderly development, magnificent in scale but deeply flawed in many ways. Its magnificence spawned the flaws, and the flaws helped create the magnificence. The arcs … Continue reading The PC16: Identifying China’s Successors