Major shifts underway in the Chinese economy that Stratfor has forecast and discussed for years have now drawn the attention of the mainstream media. Many have asked when China would find itself in an economic crisis, to which we have answered that China has been there for awhile.
It was not the paucity of cars that struck me; it was the almost complete absence of trucks. This was, after all, the road from the coast to the capital, not the only road but still a significant one.
NATO was successful during the Cold War because the enemy was clear, there was consensus over what to do in each particular circumstance and participation was a given. An alliance that does not know its mission, and has no meaningful plans for what problems it faces, cannot be considered an alliance.
This case highlights our analysis that the jihadist threat now predominantly stems from grassroots operatives who live in the West rather than teams of highly trained operatives sent to the United States from overseas, like the team that executed the 9/11 attacks.
Russia’s ultimate plan is to re-establish control over much of its former territories. This inevitably will lead Moscow and Washington back into a confrontation, negating any so-called reset, as Russian power throughout Eurasia is a direct threat to the U.S. ability to maintain its global influence.
STRATFOR has examined the plans for dealing with the financial crisis in Europe, and we find them technically plausible, even if they involve navigating something of a minefield. The eurozone’s bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, would be expanded in scope and reach until it can handle the bailout of a major state, the default of a minor state and a banking crisis of unprecedented proportions.
The Islamic republic simultaneously is trying to steer popular unrest in the Arab world in its favor. That unrest in turn has significant implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an issue in which Iran has successfully inserted itself over the years. The question of the U.S.-Iranian relationship also looms — does accommodation or confrontation lie ahead? At the same time, the Iranian state — a unique hybrid of Shiite theocracy and Western republicanism — is experiencing intense domestic power struggles.
The American system was designed to be a phased process. By separating the selection of the legislature from the selection of the president, the founders created a system that did not allow for sudden shifts in personnel.
There is a constant sense of crisis in Turkey, as the worst fears of the secularists collide with the ambitions of the Islamists, who have sought to recognize Turkey’s Islamic culture and a degree of religious integration with the political structure.
Obama’s foray into Israeli-Palestinian affairs was not intended to be serious; rather, it was merely a cover for his broader policy to reconstitute a coalition of the willing. While we understand why he wants this broader policy to revive the coalition of the willing, it seems to involve huge risks that could see a diminished or disappeared coalition.
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