Geopolitical Futures in the Press – 2018 February

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Feb. 28, 2018 Real Clear World – Why China Opted For a Strongman
Chinese President Xi Jinping made a string of moves over the weekend that reflect the extraordinary power he’s wielding from atop the Chinese system – but also the threats to both his position and his country that are keeping him up at night. – Phillip Orchard

Feb. 27, 2018 Forbes – In Search Of Investors, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Is Coming To America
“Besides, says George Friedman, of Geopolitical Futures, ‘Who wants to invest in oilfields so easily bombed by Iran?’ Even the Trump Administration would think hard before rushing to Riyadh’s aid.”

Feb. 23, 2018 Real Clear World – The World After McMaster
Senior government officials come and go, and it rarely matters. One suit replaces another, and life goes on. At this moment, however, the fate of McMaster is somewhat more important. – George Friedman

Feb. 23, 2018 MacroGeo – Ethiopia’s Unrest Invites Global Competition
The competition between Russia, the U.S., Turkey, China and others is well covered in most parts of the world, but it gets lost in reporting about Ethiopia, where the tendency is to focus only on the internal politics. Whether or not the Tigrayans relinquish power to the majority, Ethiopia will still be an important strategic country in a region where the aforementioned powers want to have influence. – Allison Fedirka

Feb. 19, 2018 Real Clear World – China’s Not the Only Target If U.S. Imposes Steep Tariffs
The US Commerce Department concluded its investigations on Feb. 16 – and the results give President Donald Trump significant new powers. – Jacob L. Shapiro

Feb. 15, 2018 Emerging Europe – In the Balkans, the Power of a Name
Greece and Macedonia appear to be inching toward a settlement on a decades-long dispute over who owns the name “Macedonia.” But with nationalism in both countries rising – as it has been across Europe since 2008 – a deal could endanger the stability of the region or even trigger a conflict between Macedonia’s ethnic Albanian minority and ethnic Macedonian majority. – Antonia Colibasanu

Feb. 14, 2018 Real Clear World – A ‘Credible’ EU Strategy for Balkans Expansion
Finally, the EU is getting serious about the Western Balkans. At least, that’s the implication of its new strategy for the region, aptly titled “A credible enlargement perspective for an enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans.” – Antonia Colibasanu

Feb. 13, 2018 Real Clear World – Mexico’s Drug War Is No Closer to an End
Unfortunately for Mexico, the byproduct of the government’s efforts has not been a reduction in violence. On the contrary, violence has increased, in large measure because of the fracture and proliferation of smaller cartels as hostile to one another (if not more so) as they are to Mexican authorities or the local populations. – Jacob L. Shapiro

Feb. 8, 2018 The Trumpet – Iranian Presence in Mediterranean Sea Alarms Israel
“Access to the Mediterranean is strategically important to Iran’s aggressive pursuit of regional hegemony. It’s also a geopolitical necessity, which ‘explains why Iranian and Persian strategy has always focused on developing proxies or strategic relationships with countries amenable to its designs,’ Geopolitical Futures wrote on January 3.”

Feb. 7, 2018 Center for Security Studies – Turkey Invades, NATO Benefits
NATO’s announcement sheds some light on an underlying reality: that NATO benefits from Turkey’s intervention. While the NATO deputy secretary general said the threat posed to Turkey was from terrorism, NATO’s true fear is Russia. – Xander Snyder

Feb. 6, 2018 Newsmax Finance – Growing Economies Don’t Solve Core Issue 2008 Crisis Created
For the first time since 2008, all the world’s major economies are growing. A decade after the financial crash, the impediments to growth have mostly faded away. It goes without saying that economic growth is preferable to stagnation or decline, but not all the marks of the 2008 crash have been wiped away. – George Friedman

Feb. 6, 2018 Real Clear World – A New U.S. Defense Strategy For the Future
The Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy articulated a profound shift in U.S. strategy, but one that has long been underway: Great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of U.S. national security. – Phillip Orchard

Feb. 1, 2018 The Trumpet – The Turkish Betrayal
“[T]he ‘alliance’ among these three countries was built on a mismatch of interests,” Geopolitical Futures’ Jacob Shapiro wrote on January 11. “It’s a perfect example of the old adage that two’s company, three’s a crowd. … Turkey’s ideal political solution sees [Syrian President Bashar] Assad removed and the country stitched back together under Sunni aegis.

Feb. 1, 2018 Newsmax Finance – The US’ Foreign Affairs Haven’t Really Changed a Year After Trump
Donald Trump’s behavior has been extremely disruptive, of course, and the fact that he is disliked around the world creates the impression that US behavior is altogether different. But it isn’t. – George Friedman

Feb. 1, 2018 MacroGeo – Puzzling US policy on North Korea
The North Korean missile crisis has reached the level of a farce. The U.S. continues threatening, South Korea continues objecting, Japan continues to lose confidence in the U.S., China continues to use the situation to split off South Korea from the U.S. alliance, Russia continues to interfere to keep the U.S. distracted on the Korean Peninsula, and North Korea continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons. – Jacob L. Shapiro

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