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.
Aug. 31, 2016
- Afghanistan: The situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. We need to map out exactly where the Taliban are putting pressure and how much force they are bringing to bear to get a sense of what is important and what isn’t.
- Russia: Russia continues to exercise around Ukraine, Moldova, the Caucasus and Crimea, while making somewhat friendly statements and overtures suggesting potential for negotiations. This situation is on constant watch.
- Uzbekistan: The Uzbek president’s life remains in the balance and succession remains unclear. Until there is some resolution to this issue, this will be on constant watch.
- Iran: President Hassan Rouhani has filed a legal complaint against those who have “insulted” the president. The National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Majlis and the intelligence unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps convened an emergency meeting today to discuss the “infiltration project.” The power struggle in Iran is a mid-term watch item; what, if anything, do these two things tell us?
- Azerbaijan: Commercial banks in Azerbaijan have reportedly suspended the sale of foreign currency in the country. We know Azerbaijan’s economy has been struggling, but what is driving this development now?
- Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan has dismantled three “radical groups” in the last week and today arrested 21 members of these groups for plotting terrorist attacks. It is also reportedly considering a ban of “radical movements.” What are these radical groups and is this out of the ordinary or in line with the current low-level instability in Kazakhstan? Is the government attempting to attack this aggressively and could there be a backlash?
- China-Kyrgyzstan: Have any new details regarding yesterday’s weak attack against the Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan emerged to clarify who did this and why it happened? Has this or will this negatively affect China’s relations with Kyrgyzstan or other Central Asian countries?
- Venezuela: A major march will take place in Venezuela tomorrow against the government. Is this just a march or does it have the potential to set off a deeper crisis?
- Greece: There has been a slight but noticeable increase in refugees arriving in Greece. Yesterday, there was a report that most migrants are coming from Iraq and Afghanistan, not Syria anymore. Is there a change in the composition of refugees? Is this the first warning sign of much larger numbers to come in the next few months or just a momentary blip on the radar?
- Brazil: Brazil’s president is expected to be impeached today. Will this have any demonstrable impact or is this already priced in?
- Germany: Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, says it will not merge with Germany’s second largest bank, Commerzbank. We’ve been paying a lot of attention to Deutsche Bank and the problems it has been having. Now let’s take a deeper look at Commerzbank too – how bad is the situation for this bank right now?
- North Korea: Leader Kim Jong Un is executing people again by anti-aircraft gun. What’s the significance of this new round of purges? Is he struggling to maintain control or is he very much in control?
- Russia: Russia has decided not to increase pensions enough to keep with the cost of inflation. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev defended the decision publicly today. We’ve been tracking internal differences over management of the Russian economy. Which side is pushing this particular issue?