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.
- Iran: The numbers of people killed or arrested in the protests and related incidents are going up, albeit slowly. Unrest has spread to new cities, but it does not seem that a clear leader has emerged. The government response has been relatively measured. The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps said a former government official – likely alluding to former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – is responsible and will be dealt with accordingly. The head of Iranian law enforcement said foreign groups were helping to stoke violence and guide protesters’ actions. Public grievances are starting to focus on the IRGC, which runs several of Iran’s large companies and heavily benefited from the lifting of sanctions.
- Germany, Ukraine: Germany’s foreign minister said Berlin does not consider Ukraine to be a frozen conflict but rather relevant and very dangerous. He also met with his Ukrainian counterpart to discuss Germany and France’s role in the conflict. Why does Germany not consider Ukraine a frozen conflict, and how does such a view serve German interests? What prospect exists for negotiations between Germany, Russia and France on the issue?
- Myanmar: Fighting broke out between the Kachin Independence Army and the Myanmar army in Mohnyin district, Kachin state. We need an update on what started the fighting, how long it’s been since the last round of fighting, and if the fighting is still going on. How have the Myanmar and Chinese governments responded? Is this a domestic issue or an uprising that would draw in China?
- France: France will soon start a privatization drive in an attempt to increase government revenues. How much does France expect to raise from this initiative, and what will the money go toward? What industries will be affected, and will any controlling shares be affected? Is there a risk of public protest?
- U.S., Thailand: There are reports that the U.S. will set up a military arms maintenance center in Thailand. The facility would help supply and repair U.S. armaments purchased by the Thai military. China, Russia and Ukraine have expressed interest in similar projects. What is the status of U.S.-Thai relations since Thailand’s 2014 coup? How do they compare to Thailand’s relationships with other countries? What strategic value does Thailand serve for the United States?
- Turkey: The Turkish government said it plans to hire 43,000 military personnel, and it just placed arms procurement directly under the president as part of emergency measures. Turkey continues to build up its forces in Syria, recently deploying surface-to-air missiles. What is Turkey positioning itself for? How do these moves fit in with its military doctrine and strategy?