But Why Not the Maldives?

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Why do we write about Romania but not Rwanda? Why don’t we cover the successes and failures of SpaceX? Director of Analysis Jacob L. Shapiro and Managing Editor Cole Altom return to talk about the things that don’t quite make it into our analytic framework. Sign up here for free updates on topics like these.

2019 Forecast Preview: Part 1

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2018 is coming to an end, so there’s no better time to think about the future. Every year, GPF produces an Annual Forecast that lays out the trends that will shape the international system, and 2019 is no different. The report, which publishes next week, will showcase predictions on the global economy, power politics in unlikely places, European disunion, developments in the Middle East and much more. In this week’s podcast, hosts Jacob and Cole will give you a sneak peek of what’s to come.

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The Problem with ‘Populism’

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Is populism an ideology? Is it a political tool? A political weapon? The term has been bastardized over the years, so much so that it is nearly devoid of any meaning, and yet it is invoked nearly every day, levied against politicians of every political persuasion in every region of the world. In this week’s episode, the team digs into what it means to be populist and applies it to Mexico’s newly elected president.

Making Sense of the Syrian War

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Syria is a mess. New alliances form as quickly as they fall apart. Cease-fires are agreed to and summarily ignored. Russians, Turks, Americans, Iranians, Kurds, Lebanese, Saudis and, of course, Syrians all have vested interests in outcome of the war. Jacob, Cole and Xander lay out what those interests are and catch up on what proved to be a very eventful week in northern Syria. Sign up for free updates on topics like this!

Surveillance: What Russia Does is Bluff

George Friedman, Geopolitical Futures Chairman, says that a great deal of what Russia does is a “bluff.” He spoke with Bloomberg Surveillance’s Tom Keene on the day of the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

The State of the Islamic State

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Director of Analysis Jacob L. Shapiro and Managing Editor Cole Altom discuss one of the more brutal jihadist groups the Middle East has ever seen. For a deeper look, get the full report: The Rise and Fall of the Islamic State.

South Korea’s Degrees of Freedom

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Sept. 28, 2017 Xander Snyder and Phillip Orchard discuss the possibility of a transfer of power in the U.S.-South Korean alliance structure and the damage that North Korea’s artillery can cause. Sign up here for free updates on topics like this.

Not Another Cold War — China Edition

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Jacob and Cole wrestle with whether or not the United States and China are fighting a new Cold War. Then, they take a look at events around the world, including the recent coup attempt in Gabon, a potential roadmap for peace in Afghanistan, and future prospects for Ukraine and Belarus.

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Trade Wars, Real Wars, China and America

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The accuracy of a media narrative depends on the motives of the agency that spins it. After previewing the week ahead, Jacob L. Shapiro and Cole Altom dissect Chinese media to get a sense of China’s military ambitions – and explain why Beijing has a lot of work to do before it can supplant Washington as the world’s leading power. Sign up here for free updates on topics like this.

Toasting London, a Year Before Brexit

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GPF Podcast returns after a week off to address what promises to be a busy few days ahead. Plus, Jacob Shapiro and Cole Altom pore over GPF’s new special reports on The Geopolitics of London and The Geopolitics of Dune. Sign up here for free updates on topics like these.

If Iran Went Nuclear, Would It Even Matter?

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The heat is on Iran. Its economy is faltering. The currency is falling. The people are protesting. The government is threatening to close down the Strait of Hormuz. Renewed U.S. sanctions didn’t directly cause all these problems, of course, but they sure didn’t help. And they wouldn’t be an issue had U.S. stayed party to the Iran nuclear agreement. Is this the end of the reconciliation, or just a minor setback? If the deal is forever dead, will Iran now go nuclear? Would doing so achieve its regional objectives? Does deterrence strategy still hold? In this episode, recorded not-live but in-person, Jacob, Cole, Phil and special guest Ryan answer these questions and probably a lot of others you never thought to ask. And they do it without the comfort of an air conditioner.

Countries That Confuse Us

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Geopolitics is slow and largely predictable, but anyone who claims to have all the answers for an international system as strange and as volatile as ours isn’t paying enough attention. Some countries are just plain difficult to understand, whatever the reason. For some, it’s a lack of data. For others, it’s unrealized potential. For others still, it’s overachievement. With our annual forecast on the horizon, this is the time of year when we revisit our assumptions about what makes the world go ‘round, especially the countries that are now the basis of political organization. So now is the perfect opportunity for Allison, Phil, Jacob and Cole to discuss the countries they can’t quite pin down.

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