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Watch List: April 20, 2017

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  • Last updated: April 20
  • Total word count: 347 words

The items listed below represent potential emerging issues that our analysts are tracking. These can be long term or short term, but will be updated daily. If an item on our Watch List becomes critical, we will email you a full analysis explaining its significance.

Each Saturday, we will follow up our daily Watch List for each week with our conclusions on these issues.

  • Tajikistan: An “informed source” told Radio Ozodi (Radio Free Europe’s Tajik service) that a Tajik commander and 11 other Tajik militants associated with Islamic State were killed when the United States used a Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb in Afghanistan on April 13. Tajikistan is attracting attention from many sides. Earlier this week, we noted that Afghan forces reportedly were deploying on the border with Tajikistan to block Russian supplies. About a month ago, People’s Liberation Army forces reportedly crossed into Afghanistan near the Tajik border as well. U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was just in Afghanistan, and in addition to its war in Afghanistan, the U.S. also has ties with Tajikistan. The more localized question is what does it mean, if anything, to see Tajiks fighting with IS in Afghanistan? The deeper question is why are at least three of the world’s major powers concerned with Tajikistan right now?
  • Italy: The Italian Banking Association (ABI) submitted a proposal to modify the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, a set of European Union guidelines on which entities would be required to incur losses in the event of a bank failure. When creditors and depositors are required to incur a loss, it is called a “bail-in.” The ABI requested that senior bonds – which have priority over other types of debt – be counted as liabilities that would be involved in a bail-in process. We need to understand who and what type of investors tend to hold senior bonds of Italian banks to determine who would be affected by this move, if it is accepted by the EU.
  • Venezuela: We continue to watch developments in Venezuela as large protests are expected today.