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Watch List: May 16, 2017

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  • Last updated: May 18
  • Total word count: 261 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.

  • Azerbaijan: The Azerbaijani government took on the foreign debts of the International Bank of Azerbaijan, a state-run institution, after it filed for bankruptcy and suspended payments on some of its liabilities. The bank is currently trying to restructure $3.3 billion worth of debt. This will alter the balance of power in the Caucasus region, which is strategically important to more powerful neighbors such as Iran, Turkey and Russia. We need to outline the scope of the banking crisis and assess the impact it will have on the stability of the region.
  • Iraq: Roughly 108 residents of Mosul were killed and 265 were injured during a recent bombardment, according to IS media. The operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State began seven months ago; a review of the military situation is in order.
  • North Korea: North Korea successfully tested the Hwasong-12, a ground-to-ground “medium long-range” strategic ballistic rocket. The country’s leader, Kim Jung Un, said the new device can carry a large, heavy nuclear warhead. The test raises the threat level North Korea poses to the United States and to countries much closer to the Korean Peninsula. We need to be vigilant for signs of a U.S. response.