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10/11/2021 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Analysis - Canada, Mexico and America’s Reality
The United States lives in a fundamentally unique geopolitical reality. It’s the only major power that doesn’t face the risk of a land war, so it doesn’t need a massive force to defend the homeland. Instead, it can concentrate on maintaining control of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. If it retains control of the seas, the only threat to the United States would be air and missile attacks.
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16/08/2020 | Frente Externo
Analysis - The Geopolitics of the Belarusian Election
Belarus, whose recent elections are making waves throughout the media, has been a pending flashpoint in Europe for some time. The reasons for this are history and geography.
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17/07/2020 | Frente Externo
Opinion - The Truth About the US-China Thucydides Trap
We remember Thucydides as a historian thanks to his documentation of the Peloponnesian War, but we often forget that he was also a philosopher. And like all great philosophers, he has many things to teach us, even if his teaching is inappropriately applied. Thousands of years after the war was fought between Sparta and Athens, observers argued that it showed that an authoritarian government would defeat a democracy. This was widely said in the early stages of World War II and repeated throughout the Cold War. In truth, what Thucydides said about democracies and oppressive regimes was far more sophisticated and complex than a simplistic slogan invoked by defeatists.
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24/10/2013 | Frente Externo
U.S. Foreign Policy from the Founders' Perspective
Last week I discussed how the Founding Fathers might view the American debt crisis and the government shutdown. This week I thought it would be useful to consider how the founders might view foreign policy.
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09/10/2013 | Frente Externo
The Roots of the Government Shutdown
In general, Stratfor deals with U.S. domestic politics only to the extent that it affects international affairs. Certainly, this topic has been argued and analyzed extensively.
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29/09/2013 | Frente Externo
The U.S.-European Relationship, Then and Now
I am writing this from Greece, having spent the past week in Europe and having moved among various capitals. Most discussions I've had in my travels concern U.S. President Barack Obama's failure to move decisively against Syria and how Russian President Vladimir Putin outmatched him.
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10/09/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Syria, America and Putin's Bluff
In recent weeks I've written about U.S. President Barack Obama's bluff on Syria and the tightrope he is now walking on military intervention. There is another bluff going on that has to be understood, this one from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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06/09/2013 | Economia y Finanzas
Argentina must pay hedge funds $1.3 billion
Argentina must pay $1.33 billion to long-defaulted hedge funds that held out on discounted offers during the country's debt restructuring, the 2nd Circuit ruled.
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04/09/2013 | Frente Externo
Obama's Tightrope Walk
Last week began with certainty that an attack on Syria was inevitable and even imminent. It ended with the coalition supporting the attack somewhere between falling apart and not coming together, and with U.S. President Barack Obama making it clear that an attack was inevitable, maybe in a month or so, if Congress approves, after Sept. 9 when it reconvenes.
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27/08/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Obama's Bluff
Images of multiple dead bodies emerged from Syria last week. It was asserted that poison gas killed the victims, who according to some numbered in the hundreds. Others claimed the photos were faked while others said the rebels were at fault. The dominant view, however, maintains that the al Assad regime carried out the attack.
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20/08/2013 | Economia y Finanzas
Recognizing the End of the Chinese Economic Miracle
Major shifts underway in the Chinese economy that Stratfor has forecast and discussed for years have now drawn the attention of the mainstream media.
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20/08/2013 | Frente Externo
The PC16: Identifying China's Successors
China has become a metaphor. It represents a certain phase of economic development, which is driven by low wages, foreign appetite for investment and a chaotic and disorderly development, magnificent in scale but deeply flawed in many ways. Its magnificence spawned the flaws, and the flaws helped create the magnificence.
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16/07/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
US - Keeping the NSA in Perspective
In June 1942, the bulk of the Japanese fleet sailed to seize the Island of Midway. Had Midway fallen, Pearl Harbor would have been at risk and U.S. submarines, unable to refuel at Midway, would have been much less effective. Most of all, the Japanese wanted to surprise the Americans and draw them into a naval battle they couldn't win.
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03/07/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Geopolitical Journey: Azerbaijan and America
There is a point where three great powers -- Russia, Turkey and Persia -- meet: the Caucasus. At the moment they converge in a country called Azerbaijan.
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11/06/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Geopolitical Journey: Azerbaijan and America
There is a point where three great powers -- Russia, Turkey and Persia -- meet: the Caucasus. At the moment they converge in a country called Azerbaijan.
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05/06/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Geopolitical Journey: The Search for Belonging and Ballistic Missile Defense in Romania
During the Cold War, Romania confused all of us. Long after brutality in other communist countries declined, Romania remained a state that employed levels of violence best compared to North Korea today.
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27/05/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Geopolitical Journey: Nostalgia for NATO
Several years ago, I wrote a series of articles on a journey in Europe. It was intended both to be personal and to go beyond recent events or the abstract considerations of geopolitics. This week I begin another journey that will take me from Portugal to Singapore, and I thought that I would try my hand again at reflecting on the significance of my travels.
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02/05/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Redlines and the Problems of Intervention in Syria
The civil war in Syria, one of the few lasting legacies of the Arab Spring, has been under way for more than two years. There has been substantial outside intervention in the war. The Iranians in particular, and the Russians to a lesser extent, have supported the Alawites under Bashar al Assad. The Saudis and some of the Gulf States have supported the Sunni insurgents in various ways. The Americans, Europeans and Israelis, however, have for the most part avoided involvement.
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05/04/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Beyond the Post-Cold War World
An era ended when the Soviet Union collapsed on Dec. 31, 1991. The confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union defined the Cold War period. The collapse of Europe framed that confrontation. After World War II, the Soviet and American armies occupied Europe. Both towered over the remnants of Europe's forces.
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27/03/2013 | Economia y Finanzas
Europe's Disturbing Precedent in the Cyprus Bailout
The European economic crisis has taken different forms in different places, and Cyprus is the latest country to face the prospect of financial ruin.
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21/03/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
A New Reality in U.S.-Israeli Relations
U.S. President Barack Obama is making his first visit to Israel as president. The visit comes in the wake of his re-election and inauguration to a second term and the formation of a new Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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13/03/2013 | Economia y Finanzas
Europe, Unemployment and Instability
The global financial crisis of 2008 has slowly yielded to a global unemployment crisis. This unemployment crisis will, fairly quickly, give way to a political crisis. The crisis involves all three of the major pillars of the global system -- Europe, China and the United States. The level of intensity differs, the political response differs and the relationship to the financial crisis differs. But there is a common element, which is that unemployment is increasingly replacing finance as the central problem of the financial system.
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13/03/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Considering a Departure in North Korea's Strategy
On Jan. 29, I wrote a piece that described North Korea's strategy as a combination of ferocious, weak and crazy. In the weeks since then, three events have exemplified each facet of that strategy. Pyongyang showed its ferocity Feb. 12, when it detonated a nuclear device underground. The country's only significant ally, China, voted against Pyongyang in the U.N. Security Council on March 7, demonstrating North Korea's weakness. Finally, Pyongyang announced it would suspend the armisticethat ended the Korean War in 1953, implying that that war would resume and that U.S. cities would be turned into "seas of fire." To me, that fulfills the crazy element.
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20/02/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Hellfire, Morality and Strategy
Airstrikes by unmanned aerial vehicles have become a matter of serious dispute lately. The controversy focuses on the United States, which has the biggest fleet of these weapons and which employs them more frequently than any other country. On one side of this dispute are those who regard them simply as another weapon of war whose virtue is the precision with which they strike targets. On the other side are those who argue that in general, unmanned aerial vehicles are used to kill specific individuals, frequently civilians, thus denying the targeted individuals their basic right to some form of legal due process.
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04/02/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Ferocious, Weak and Crazy: The North Korean Strategy
North Korea's state-run media reported Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered the country's top security officials to take "substantial and high-profile important state measures," which has been widely interpreted to mean that North Korea is planning its third nuclear test. Kim said the orders were retaliation for the U.S.-led push to tighten U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang following North Korea's missile test in October. A few days before Kim's statement emerged, the North Koreans said future tests would target the United States, which North Korea regards as its key adversary along with Washington's tool, South Korea.
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18/01/2013 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Avoiding the Wars That Never End
Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States would transfer the primary responsibility for combat operations in Afghanistan to the Afghan military in the coming months, a major step toward the withdrawal of U.S. forces. Also last week, France began an intervention in Mali designed to block jihadists from taking control of the country and creating a base of operations in France's former African colonies.
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13/01/2013 | Frente Externo
The Crisis of the Middle Class and American Power
Last week I wrote about the crisis of unemployment in Europe. I received a great deal of feedback, with Europeans agreeing that this is the core problem and Americans arguing that the United States has the same problem, asserting that U.S. unemployment is twice as high as the government's official unemployment rate. My counterargument is that unemployment in the United States is not a problem in the same sense that it is in Europe because it does not pose a geopolitical threat. The United States does not face political disintegration from unemployment, whatever the number is. Europe might.
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07/01/2013 | Frente Externo
Europe in 2013: A Year of Decision
The end of the year always prompts questions about what the most important issue of the next year may be. It's a simplistic question, since every year sees many things happen and for each of us a different one might be important. But it is still worth considering what single issue could cause the world to change course. In my view, the most important place to watch in 2013 is Europe.
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13/11/2012 | Frente Externo
U.S. Foreign Policy: Room to Regroup
President Barack Obama has won re-election. However, in addition to all of the constraints on him that I discussed last week, he won the election with almost half the people voting against him. His win in the Electoral College was substantial -- and that's the win that really matters -- but the popular vote determines how he governs, and he will govern with one more constraint added to the others. The question is whether this weakens him or provides an opportunity. That is not determined by his policies but by the strategic situation, which, in my view, gives the United States some much-needed breathing room.
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07/11/2012 | Frente Externo
The Elections, Gridlock and Foreign Policy
The United States held elections last night, and nothing changed. Barack Obama remains president. The Democrats remain in control of the Senate with a non-filibuster-proof majority. The Republicans remain in control of the House of Representatives.
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30/10/2012 | Frente Externo
U.S. Presidential Elections in Perspective
The U.S. presidential election will be held a week from today, and if the polls are correct, the outcome will be extraordinarily close. Many say that the country has never been as deeply divided. In discussing the debates last week, I noted how this year's campaign is far from the most bitter and vitriolic. It might therefore be useful also to consider that while the electorate at the moment appears evenly and deeply divided, unlike what many say, that does not reveal deep divisions in our society -- unless our society has always been deeply divided.
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24/10/2012 | Frente Externo
US Elections 2012 - The Purpose of Presidential Debates
Monday night's presidential foreign policy debate probably won't change the opinion of many voters. Proponents of President Barack Obama are still convinced that Mitt Romney is a fool and a liar. Proponents of former Gov. Romney have the same view of the president.
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05/09/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Character, Policy and the Selection of Leaders
The end of Labor Day weekend in the United States traditionally has represented the beginning of U.S. presidential campaigns, though these days the campaign appears to be perpetual. In any case, Americans will be called on to vote for president in about two months, and the question is on what basis they ought to choose.
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31/08/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Poland's Strategy
Polish national strategy pivots around a single, existential issue: how to preserve its national identity and independence. Located on the oft-invaded North European Plain, Poland's existence is heavily susceptible to the moves of major Eurasian powers.
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21/08/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Mexico's Strategy
A few years ago, I wrote about Mexico possibly becoming a failed state because of the effect of the cartels on the country. Mexico may have come close to that, but it stabilized itself and took a different course instead -- one of impressive economic growth in the face of instability.
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17/08/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Israeli Crisis
Crises are normally short, sharp and intense affairs. Israel's predicament has developed on a different time frame, is more diffuse than most crises and has not reached a decisive and intense moment. But it is still a crisis. It is not a crisis solely about Iran, although the Israeli government focuses on that issue. Rather, it is over Israel's strategic reality since 1978, when it signed the Camp David accords with Egypt.
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11/08/2012 | Economia y Finanzas
Financial Markets, Politics and the New Reality
Louis M. Bacon is the head of Moore Capital Management, one of the largest and most influential hedge funds in the world. Last week, he announced that he was returning one quarter of his largest fund, about $2 billion, to his investors. The reason he gave to The New York Times was that he had found it difficult to invest given the impossibility of predicting the European situation. He was quoted as saying, "The political involvement is so extreme -- we have not seen this since the postwar era. What they are doing is trying to thwart natural market outcomes. It is amazing how important the decision-making of one person, Angela Merkel, has become to world markets."
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31/07/2012 | Frente Externo
US- The Election, the Presidency and Foreign Policy
The American presidency is designed to disappoint. Each candidate must promise things that are beyond his power to deliver. No candidate could expect to be elected by emphasizing how little power the office actually has and how voters should therefore expect little from him.
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31/07/2012 | Frente Externo
US- The Election, the Presidency and Foreign Policy
The American presidency is designed to disappoint. Each candidate must promise things that are beyond his power to deliver. No candidate could expect to be elected by emphasizing how little power the office actually has and how voters should therefore expect little from him.
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24/07/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Consequences of the Fall of the Syrian Regime
We have entered the endgame in Syria. That doesn't mean that we have reached the end by any means, but it does mean that the precondition has been met for the fall of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
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26/06/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Putin's Visit and Israeli-Russian Relations
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Israel on June 25 for his first state visit since retaking the presidency. The visit was arranged in mid-May, and so at least part of the agenda was set, given events in Syria and Egypt.
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20/06/2012 | Frente Externo
The Futility of European Elections
Europe and the financial markets watched intently June 17 as Greece held general elections. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti all delayed their flights to the June 18 G-20 summit in Mexico to await the results.
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05/06/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The End of Counterinsurgency and the Scalable Force
The U.S. military for years has debated the utility of counterinsurgency operations. Drawing from a sentiment that harkens back to the Vietnam War, many within the military have long opposed counterinsurgency operations.
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29/05/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Egyptian Election and the Arab Spring
The Egyptian presidential election was held last week. No candidate received 50 percent of the vote, so a runoff will be held between the two leading candidates, Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq. Morsi represented the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and received 25.3 percent of the vote, while Shafiq, a former Egyptian air force commander and the last prime minister to serve in Hosni Mubarak's administration, received 24.9 percent.
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22/05/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Australia's Strategy
Australia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, ranked in the top 10 in gross domestic product per capita. It is one of the most isolated major countries in the world; it occupies an entire united continent, is difficult to invade and rarely is threatened.
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15/05/2012 | Frente Externo
France's Strategy
New political leaders do not invent new national strategies. Rather, they adapt enduring national strategies to the moment. On Tuesday, Francois Hollande will be inaugurated as France's president, and soon after taking the oath of office, he will visit German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. At this moment, the talks are expected to be about austerity and the European Union, but the underlying issue remains constant: France's struggle for a dominant role in European affairs at a time of German ascendance.
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08/05/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Putin's Evolving Strategy in Europe
This week, Vladimir Putin was sworn in for a third term as Russian president. Putin's return to the presidency was not unexpected; he was never really unseated as Russia's leader, even during Dmitri Medvedev's presidency. But it comes as an anti-incumbent trend is developing in Europe, most recently demonstrated when socialist challenger Francois Hollande defeated Nicolas Sarkozy in France's presidential elections this week. In response to these changes, Putin will have to adjust Russia's approach in Europe
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02/05/2012 | Frente Externo
Britain's Strategy
Britain controlled about one-fourth of the Earth's land surface and one-fifth of the world's population in 1939. Fifty years later, its holdings outside the British Isles had become trivial, and it even faced an insurgency in Northern Ireland.
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24/04/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Russia's Strategy
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 reversed a process that had been under way since the Russian Empire's emergence in the 17th century. It was ultimately to incorporate four general elements: Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Caucasus and Siberia. The St. Petersburg-Moscow axis was its core, and Russia, Belorussia and Ukraine were its center of gravity.
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17/04/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Turkey's Strategy
Turkey is re-emerging as a significant regional power. In some sense, it is in the process of returning to its position prior to World War I when it was the seat of the Ottoman Empire.
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10/04/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Israel's New Strategic Environment
Israel is now entering its third strategic environment. The constant threat of state-on-state war defined the first, which lasted from the founding of the Jewish state until its peace treaty with Egypt. A secure periphery defined the second, which lasted until recently and focused on the Palestinian issue, Lebanon and the rise of radical Sunni Islamists. The rise of Iran as a regional power and the need to build international coalitions to contain it define the third.
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10/04/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Iran's Strategy
For centuries, the dilemma facing Iran (and before it, Persia) has been guaranteeing national survival and autonomy in the face of stronger regional powers like Ottoman Turkey and the Russian Empire. Though always weaker than these larger empires, Iran survived for three reasons: geography, resources and diplomacy. Iran's size and mountainous terrain made military forays into the country difficult and dangerous. Iran also was able to field sufficient force to deter attacks while permitting occasional assertions of power. At the same time, Tehran engaged in clever diplomatic efforts, playing threatening powers off each other.
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27/03/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The United States in Korea: A Strategy of Inertia
After U.S. President Barack Obama visited the Korean Demilitarized Zone on March 25 during his trip to South Korea for a nuclear security summit, he made the obligatory presidential remarks warning North Korea against continued provocations. He also praised the strength of U.S.-South Korean relations and commended the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed there. Obama's visit itself is of little importance, but it is an opportunity to ask just what Washington's strategy is in Korea and how the countries around North Korea (China, Russia, South Korea and Japan) view the region. As always, any understanding of current strategy requires a consideration of the history of that strategy.
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20/03/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Afghanistan and the Long War
The war in Afghanistan has been under way for more than 10 years. It has not been the only war fought during this time; for seven of those years another, larger war was waged in Iraq, and smaller conflicts were under way in a number of other countries as well.
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20/03/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Afghanistan and the Long War
The war in Afghanistan has been under way for more than 10 years. It has not been the only war fought during this time; for seven of those years another, larger war was waged in Iraq, and smaller conflicts were under way in a number of other countries as well.
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13/03/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The State of the World: Germany's Strategy
The idea of Germany having an independent national strategy runs counter to everything that Germany has wanted to be since World War II and everything the world has wanted from Germany. In a way, the entire structure of modern Europe was created to take advantage of Germany's economic dynamism while avoiding the threat of German domination. In writing about German strategy, I am raising the possibility that the basic structure of Western Europe since World War II and of Europe as a whole since 1991 is coming to a close.
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13/03/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The State of the World: Germany's Strategy
The idea of Germany having an independent national strategy runs counter to everything that Germany has wanted to be since World War II and everything the world has wanted from Germany. In a way, the entire structure of modern Europe was created to take advantage of Germany's economic dynamism while avoiding the threat of German domination. In writing about German strategy, I am raising the possibility that the basic structure of Western Europe since World War II and of Europe as a whole since 1991 is coming to a close.
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06/03/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The State of the World: Assessing China's Strategy
Paramount among them is the maintenance of domestic security. Historically, when China involves itself in global trade, as it did in the 19th and early 20th century, the coastal region prospers, while the interior of China -- which begins about 100 miles from the coast and runs about 1,000 miles to the west -- languishes.
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06/03/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The State of the World: Assessing China's Strategy
Paramount among them is the maintenance of domestic security. Historically, when China involves itself in global trade, as it did in the 19th and early 20th century, the coastal region prospers, while the interior of China -- which begins about 100 miles from the coast and runs about 1,000 miles to the west -- languishes.
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28/02/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The State of the World: Explaining U.S. Strategy
The fall of the Soviet Union ended the European epoch, the period in which European power dominated the world. It left the United States as the only global power , something for which it was culturally and institutionally unprepared.
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28/02/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
George Friedman on Email Theft and the Wikileaks Release
Transcript:
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28/02/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The State of the World: Explaining U.S. Strategy
The fall of the Soviet Union ended the European epoch, the period in which European power dominated the world. It left the United States as the only global power , something for which it was culturally and institutionally unprepared.
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28/02/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
George Friedman on Email Theft and the Wikileaks Release
Transcript:
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28/02/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The State of the World: Explaining U.S. Strategy
The fall of the Soviet Union ended the European epoch, the period in which European power dominated the world. It left the United States as the only global power , something for which it was culturally and institutionally unprepared.
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28/02/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
George Friedman on Email Theft and the Wikileaks Release
Transcript:
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21/02/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The State of the World: A Framework
Editor's Note: This is the first installment of a new series on the national strategies of today's global power and other regional powers. This installment establishes a framework for understating the current state of the world.
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21/02/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The State of the World: A Framework
Editor's Note: This is the first installment of a new series on the national strategies of today's global power and other regional powers. This installment establishes a framework for understating the current state of the world.
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21/02/2012 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The State of the World: A Framework
Editor's Note: This is the first installment of a new series on the national strategies of today's global power and other regional powers. This installment establishes a framework for understating the current state of the world.
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19/10/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
From the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush: Rethinking the Region
The territory between the Mediterranean and the Hindu Kush has been the main arena for the U.S. intervention that followed the 9/11 attacks. Obviously, the United States had been engaged in this area in previous years, but 9/11 redefined it as the prime region in which it confronted jihadists. That struggle has had many phases, and it appears to have entered a new one over the past few weeks.
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04/10/2011 | Economia y Finanzas
European Crisis: Precise Solutions in an Imprecise Reality
An important disconnect over the discussion of the future of the European Union exists, one that divides into three parts. First, there is the question of whether the various plans put forward in Europe plausibly could result in success given the premises they are based on.
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20/09/2011 | Frente Externo
Obama's Dilemma: U.S. Foreign Policy and Electoral Realities
STRATFOR does not normally involve itself in domestic American politics. Our focus is on international affairs, and American politics, like politics everywhere, is a passionate business. The vilification from all sides that follows any mention we make of American politics is both inevitable and unpleasant. Nevertheless, its our job to chronicle the unfolding of the international system, and the fact that the United States is moving deeply into an election cycle will affect American international behavior and therefore the international system.
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13/09/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Crisis of Europe and European Nationalism
When I visited Europe in 2008 and before, the idea that Europe was not going to emerge as one united political entity was regarded as heresy by many leaders. The European enterprise was seen as a work in progress moving inevitably toward unification a group of nations committed to a common fate. What was a core vision in 2008 is now gone. What was inconceivable the primacy of the traditional nation-state is now commonly discussed, and steps to devolve Europe in part or in whole (such as ejecting Greece from the eurozone) are being contemplated. This is not a trivial event.
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07/09/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
9/11 and the Successful War
It has been 10 years since 9/11, and all of us who write about such things for a living are writing about it. That causes me to be wary. I prefer being the lonely voice, but the fact is that 9/11 was a defining moment in American history.
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07/09/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
9/11 and the Successful War
It has been 10 years since 9/11, and all of us who write about such things for a living are writing about it. That causes me to be wary. I prefer being the lonely voice, but the fact is that 9/11 was a defining moment in American history.
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30/08/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Libya: A Premature Victory Celebration
The war in Libya is over. More precisely, governments and media have decided that the war is over, despite the fact that fighting continues. The unfulfilled expectation of this war has consistently been that Moammar Gadhafi would capitulate when faced with the forces arrayed against him, and that his own forces would abandon him as soon as they saw that the war was lost. What was being celebrated last week, with presidents, prime ministers and the media proclaiming the defeat of Gadhafi, will likely be true in due course. The fact that it is not yet true does not detract from the self-congratulations.
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30/08/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Libya: A Premature Victory Celebration
The war in Libya is over. More precisely, governments and media have decided that the war is over, despite the fact that fighting continues. The unfulfilled expectation of this war has consistently been that Moammar Gadhafi would capitulate when faced with the forces arrayed against him, and that his own forces would abandon him as soon as they saw that the war was lost. What was being celebrated last week, with presidents, prime ministers and the media proclaiming the defeat of Gadhafi, will likely be true in due course. The fact that it is not yet true does not detract from the self-congratulations.
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16/08/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Re-Examining the Arab Spring
On Dec. 17, 2010, Mohammed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor, set himself on fire in a show of public protest. The self-immolation triggered unrest in Tunisia and ultimately the resignation of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
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09/08/2011 | Economia y Finanzas
Global Economic Downturn: A Crisis of Political Economy
Classical political economists like Adam Smith or David Ricardo never used the term economy by itself. They always used the term political economy. For classical economists, it was impossible to understand politics without economics or economics without politics. The two fields are certainly different but they are also intimately linked. The use of the term economy by itself did not begin until the late 19th century. Smith understood that while an efficient market would emerge from individual choices, those choices were framed by the political system in which they were made, just as the political system was shaped by economic realities. For classical economists, the political and economic systems were intertwined, each dependent on the other for its existence.
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03/08/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Geopolitical Journey: Indonesia's Global Significance
I am writing this from Indonesia. Actually, that is not altogether a fair statement. I am at the moment in Bali and just came from Jakarta. The two together do not come close to being Indonesia. Jakarta, the capital, is a vast city that is striking to me for its traffic. It takes an enormous amount of time to get anywhere in Jakarta. Like most cities, it was not built to accommodate cars, and the mix of cars with motor scooters results in perpetual gridlock. It is also a city of extraordinary dynamism. There is something happening on almost every street. And in the traffic jams, you have time to contemplate those streets in detail.
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13/07/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Libya and the Problem with The Hague
The war in Libya has been under way for months, without any indication of when it might end. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafis faction has been stronger and more cohesive than imagined and his enemies weaker and more divided. This is not unusual. There is frequently a perception that dictators are widely hated and that their power will collapse when challenged. That is certainly true at times, but often the power of a dictator is rooted in the broad support of an ideological faction, an ethnic group or simply those who benefit from the regime. As a result, naive assumptions of rapid regime change are quite often replaced by the reality of protracted conflict.
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13/07/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Libya and the Problem with The Hague
The war in Libya has been under way for months, without any indication of when it might end. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafis faction has been stronger and more cohesive than imagined and his enemies weaker and more divided. This is not unusual. There is frequently a perception that dictators are widely hated and that their power will collapse when challenged. That is certainly true at times, but often the power of a dictator is rooted in the broad support of an ideological faction, an ethnic group or simply those who benefit from the regime. As a result, naive assumptions of rapid regime change are quite often replaced by the reality of protracted conflict.
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21/06/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
U.S. and Pakistan: Afghan Strategies
U.S. President Barack Obama will give a speech on Afghanistan on June 22. Whatever he says, it is becoming apparent that the United States is exploring ways to accelerate the drawdown of its forces in the country.
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21/06/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
U.S. and Pakistan: Afghan Strategies
U.S. President Barack Obama will give a speech on Afghanistan on June 22. Whatever he says, it is becoming apparent that the United States is exploring ways to accelerate the drawdown of its forces in the country.
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14/06/2011 | Frente Externo
Turkey's Elections and Strained U.S. Relations
Turkeys Justice and Development Party (AKP) won Parliamentary elections June 12, which means it will remain in power for a third term.
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14/06/2011 | Frente Externo
Turkey's Elections and Strained U.S. Relations
Turkeys Justice and Development Party (AKP) won Parliamentary elections June 12, which means it will remain in power for a third term.
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08/06/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Palestinian Move
A former head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, has publicly criticized the current Israeli government for a lack of flexibility, judgment and foresight, calling it reckless and irresponsible in the handling of Israels foreign and security policies. In various recent interviews and speeches, he has made it clear that he regards the decision to ignore the 2002 Saudi proposal for a peace settlement on the pre-1967 lines as a mistake and the focus on Iran as a diversion from the real issue the likely recognition of an independent Palestinian state by a large segment of the international community, something Dagan considers a greater threat.
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08/06/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Palestinian Move
A former head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, has publicly criticized the current Israeli government for a lack of flexibility, judgment and foresight, calling it reckless and irresponsible in the handling of Israels foreign and security policies. In various recent interviews and speeches, he has made it clear that he regards the decision to ignore the 2002 Saudi proposal for a peace settlement on the pre-1967 lines as a mistake and the focus on Iran as a diversion from the real issue the likely recognition of an independent Palestinian state by a large segment of the international community, something Dagan considers a greater threat.
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31/05/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Israel's Borders and National Security
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said May 30 that Israel could not prevent the United Nations from recognizing a Palestinian state, in the sense of adopting a resolution on the subject. Two weeks ago, U.S. President Barack Obama, in a speech, called on Israel to return to some variation of its pre-1967 borders. The practical significance of these and other diplomatic evolutions in relation to Israel is questionable.
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31/05/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Israel's Borders and National Security
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said May 30 that Israel could not prevent the United Nations from recognizing a Palestinian state, in the sense of adopting a resolution on the subject. Two weeks ago, U.S. President Barack Obama, in a speech, called on Israel to return to some variation of its pre-1967 borders. The practical significance of these and other diplomatic evolutions in relation to Israel is questionable.
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24/05/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Obama and the Arab Spring
U.S. President Barack Obama gave a speech last week on the Middle East. Presidents make many speeches. Some are meant to be taken casually, others are made to address an immediate crisis, and still others are intended to be a statement of broad American policy.
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24/05/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Obama and the Arab Spring
U.S. President Barack Obama gave a speech last week on the Middle East. Presidents make many speeches. Some are meant to be taken casually, others are made to address an immediate crisis, and still others are intended to be a statement of broad American policy.
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19/05/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Visegrad: A New European Military Force
With the Palestinians demonstrating and the International Monetary Fund in turmoil, it would seem odd to focus this week on something called the Visegrad Group. But this is not a frivolous choice.
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19/05/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Visegrad: A New European Military Force
With the Palestinians demonstrating and the International Monetary Fund in turmoil, it would seem odd to focus this week on something called the Visegrad Group. But this is not a frivolous choice.
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10/05/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
U.S.-Pakistani Relations Beyond bin Laden
The past week has been filled with announcements and speculations on how Osama bin Laden was killed and on Washingtons source of intelligence. After any operation of this sort, the world is filled with speculation on sources and methods by people who dont know, and silence or dissembling by those who do.
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10/05/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
U.S.-Pakistani Relations Beyond bin Laden
The past week has been filled with announcements and speculations on how Osama bin Laden was killed and on Washingtons source of intelligence. After any operation of this sort, the world is filled with speculation on sources and methods by people who dont know, and silence or dissembling by those who do.
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26/04/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Iraq, Iran and the Next Move
The United States told the Iraqi government last week that if it wants U.S. troops to remain in Iraq beyond the deadline of Dec. 31, 2011, stipulated by the current Status of Forces Agreement between Washington and Baghdad, it would have to inform the United States quickly.
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26/04/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Iraq, Iran and the Next Move
The United States told the Iraqi government last week that if it wants U.S. troops to remain in Iraq beyond the deadline of Dec. 31, 2011, stipulated by the current Status of Forces Agreement between Washington and Baghdad, it would have to inform the United States quickly.
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12/04/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Arab Risings, Israel and Hamas
There was one striking thing missing from the events in the Middle East in past months: Israel. While certainly mentioned and condemned, none of the demonstrations centered on the issue of Israel. Israel was a side issue for the demonstrators, with the focus being on replacing unpopular rulers.
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07/04/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Immaculate Intervention: The Wars of Humanitarianism
There are wars in pursuit of interest. In these wars, nations pursue economic or strategic ends to protect the nation or expand its power. There are also wars of ideology, designed to spread some idea of the good, whether this good is religious or secular. The two obviously can be intertwined, such that a war designed to spread an ideology also strengthens the interests of the nation spreading the ideology.
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28/03/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Libya, the West and the Narrative of Democracy
Forces from the United States and some European countries have intervened in Libya. Under U.N. authorization, they have imposed a no-fly zone in Libya, meaning they will shoot down any Libyan aircraft that attempts to fly within Libya.
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20/03/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Libyan War of 2011
The Libyan war has now begun. It pits a coalition of European powers plus the United States, a handful of Arab states and rebels in Libya against the Libyan government. The long-term goal, unspoken but well understood, is regime change displacing the government of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and replacing it with a new regime built around the rebels.
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17/03/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Japan, the Persian Gulf and Energy
Over the past week, everything seemed to converge on energy. The unrest in the Persian Gulf raised the specter of the disruption of oil supplies to the rest of the world, and an earthquake in Japan knocked out a string of nuclear reactors with potentially devastating effect. Japan depends on nuclear energy and it depends on the Persian Gulf, which is where it gets most of its oil. It was, therefore, a profoundly bad week for Japan, not only because of the extensive damage and human suffering but also because Japan was being shown that it cant readily escape the realities of geography.
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15/03/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Iran and the Saudis' Countermove on Bahrain
Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition force into Bahrain to help the government calm the unrest there. This move puts Iran in a difficult position, as Tehran had hoped to use the uprising in Bahrain to promote instability in the Persian Gulf region. Iran could refrain from acting and lose an opportunity to destabilize the region, or it could choose from several other options that do not seem particularly effective.
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09/03/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
How a Libyan No-fly Zone Could Backfire
Calls are growing for a no-fly zone over Libya, but a power or coalition of powers willing to enforce one remains elusive.
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09/03/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Bahrain and the Battle Between Iran and Saudi Arabia
The worlds attention is focused on Libya, which is now in a state of civil war with the winner far from clear. While crucial for the Libyan people and of some significance to the worlds oil markets, in our view, Libya is not the most important event in the Arab world at the moment. The demonstrations in Bahrain are, in my view, far more significant in their implications for the region and potentially for the world. To understand this, we must place it in a strategic context.
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01/03/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Never Fight a Land War in Asia
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, speaking at West Point, said last week that Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.
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22/02/2011 | En Parrilla
Revolution and the Muslim World
The Muslim world, from North Africa to Iran, has experienced a wave of instability in the last few weeks. No regimes have been overthrown yet, although as of this writing, Libya was teetering on the brink.
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15/02/2011 | Frente Externo
Egypt: The Distance Between Enthusiasm and Reality
On Feb. 11, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned. A military council was named to govern in his place. On Feb. 11-12, the crowds that had gathered in Tahrir Square celebrated Mubaraks fall and the triumph of democracy in Egypt. On Feb. 13, the military council abolished the constitution and dissolved parliament, promising a new constitution to be ratified by a referendum and stating that the military would rule for six months, or until the military decides its ready to hold parliamentary and presidential elections.
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09/02/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Egypt, Israel and a Strategic Reconsideration
The events in Egypt have sent shock waves through Israel. The 1978 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel have been the bedrock of Israeli national security. In three of the four wars Israel fought before the accords, a catastrophic outcome for Israel was conceivable. In 1948, 1967 and 1973, credible scenarios existed in which the Israelis were defeated and the state of Israel ceased to exist. In 1973, it appeared for several days that one of those scenarios was unfolding.
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26/01/2011 | Frente Externo
Obama's State of the Union and U.S. Foreign Policy
U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver the State of the Union address tonight. The administration has let the media know that the focus of the speech will be on jobs and the economy. Given the strong showing of the Republicans in the last election, and the fact that they have defined domestic issues as the main battleground, Obamas decision makes political sense.
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12/01/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Turkish Role in Negotiations with Iran
The P5+1 talks with Iran will resume Jan. 21-22. For those not tuned into the obscure jargon of the diplomatic world, these are the talks between the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia), plus Germany hence, P5+1.
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07/01/2011 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Egypt and the Destruction of Churches: Strategic Implications
Over the past few days, Christian churches have been attacked in at least two countries Nigeria and Egypt while small packages containing improvised explosive devices were placed on the doorsteps of Christian families in Iraq. Attacks against Christians are not uncommon in the Islamic world, driven by local issues and groups, and it is unclear whether these latest attacks were simply coincidental and do not raise the threat to a new level or whether they indicate the existence of a new, coordinated, international initiative. There is a strong case to be made for the idea that there is nothing new in all of this.
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29/12/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Making Sense of the START Debate
Last week, the U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which had been signed in April. The Russian legislature still has to provide final approval of the treaty, but it is likely to do so, and therefore a New START is set to go into force. That leaves two questions to discuss. First, what exactly have the two sides agreed to and, second, what does it mean? Lets begin with the first.
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13/12/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Taking Stock of WikiLeaks
Julian Assange has declared that geopolitics will be separated into pre-Cablegate and post-Cablegate eras. That was a bold claim. However, given the intense interest that the leaks produced, it is a claim that ought to be carefully considered.
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07/12/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Geopolitical Journey, Part 8: Returning Home
Editors note: This is the final installment in a series of special reports that Dr. Friedman wrote during his travels to Turkey, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. In this series, he shared his observations of the geopolitical imperatives in each country and now concludes with reflections on his journey as a whole and options for the United States.
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05/12/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Part VII: Poland
Editors note: This is the seventh installment in a series of special reports that Dr. Friedman is writing as he travels to Turkey, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. In this series, he shares his observations of the geopolitical imperatives in each country and will conclude, in the next installment, with reflections on his journey as a whole and options for the United States.
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30/11/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Geopolitical Journey, Part 6: Ukraine
Editors note: This is the sixth installment in a series of special reports that Dr. Friedman will write over the next few weeks as he travels to Turkey, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. In this series, he will share his observations of the geopolitical imperatives in each country and conclude with reflections on his journey as a whole and options for the United States.
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23/11/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Part V: Turkey
Editors note: This is the fifth installment in a series of special reports that Dr. Friedman will write over the next few weeks as he travels to Turkey, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. In this series, he will share his observations of the geopolitical imperatives in each country and conclude with reflections on his journey as a whole and options for the United States.
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20/11/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Part IV: Moldova
Editors note: This is the fourth installment in a series of special reports that Dr. Friedman will write over the next few weeks as he travels to Turkey, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. In this series, he will share his observations of the geopolitical imperatives in each country and conclude with reflections on his journey as a whole and options for the United States.
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16/11/2010 | Frente Externo
Geopolitical Journey, Part 3: Romania
Editors note: This is the third installment in a series of special reports that Dr. Friedman will write over the next few weeks as he travels to Turkey, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. In this series, he will share his observations of the geopolitical imperatives in each country and conclude with reflections on his journey as a whole and options for the United States.
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10/11/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Geopolitical Journey, Part 2: Borderlands
Editors note: This is the second installment in a series of special reports that Dr. Friedman will write over the next few weeks as he travels to Turkey, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. In this series, he will share his observations of the geopolitical imperatives in each country and conclude with reflections on his journey as a whole and options for the United States.
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09/11/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
A Geopolitical Journey, Part 1: The Traveler
Editors note: This is the first installment in a series of special reports that Dr. Friedman will write over the next few weeks as he travels to Turkey, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. In this series, he will share his observations of the geopolitical imperatives in each country and conclude with reflections on his journey as a whole and options for the United States.
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06/11/2010 | Frente Externo
The World Looks at Obama After the U.S. Midterm Election
The 2010 U.S. midterm elections were held, and the results were as expected: The Republicans took the House but did not take the Senate. The Democrats have such a small margin in the Senate, however, that they cannot impose cloture, which means the Republicans can block Obama administration initiatives in both houses of Congress. At the same time, the Republicans cannot override presidential vetoes alone, so they cannot legislate, either. The possible legislative outcomes are thus gridlock or significant compromises.
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26/10/2010 | Frente Externo
U.S. Midterm Elections, Obama and Iran
We are a week away from the 2010 U.S. midterm elections. The outcome is already locked in. Whether the Republicans take the House or the Senate is close to immaterial. It is almost certain that the dynamics of American domestic politics will change.
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15/09/2010 | Frente Externo
Elections and Obama's Foreign Policy Choices
We are now nine weeks away from the midterm elections in the United States. Much can happen in nine weeks, but if the current polls are to be believed, U.S. President Barack Obama is about to suffer a substantial political reversal.
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30/08/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks, Again
The Israeli government and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) have agreed to engage in direct peace talks Sept. 2 in Washington. Neither side has expressed any enthusiasm about the talks.
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30/08/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks, Again
The Israeli government and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) have agreed to engage in direct peace talks Sept. 2 in Washington. Neither side has expressed any enthusiasm about the talks.
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03/08/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Arizona, Borderlands and U.S.-Mexican Relations
Arizonas new law on illegal immigration went into effect last week, albeit severely limited by a federal court ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court undoubtedly will settle the matter, which may also trigger federal regulations. However that turns out, the entire issue cannot simply be seen as an internal American legal matter.
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27/07/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
WikiLeaks and the Afghan War
On Sunday, The New York Times and two other newspapers published summaries and excerpts of tens of thousands of documents leaked to a website known as WikiLeaks. The documents comprise a vast array of material concerning the war in Afghanistan. They range from tactical reports from small unit operations to broader strategic analyses of politico-military relations between the United States and Pakistan. It appears to be an extraordinary collection.
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13/07/2010 | Economia y Finanzas
Russian Spies and Strategic Intelligence
The United States has captured a group of Russian spies and exchanged them for four individuals held by the Russians on espionage charges. The way the media has reported on the issue falls into three groups:
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24/06/2010 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Germany and Russia Move Closer
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will brief French and Polish officials on a joint proposal for Russian-European cooperation on security, according to a statement from Westerwelles spokesman on Monday. The proposal emerged out of talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev earlier in June and is based on a draft Russia drew up in 2008. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will be present at the meeting. Peschke said, We want to further elaborate and discuss it within the triangle [i.e., France, Germany and Poland] in the presence of the Russian foreign minister.
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24/03/2010 | Frente Externo
The Netanyahu-Obama Meeting in Strategic Context
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama on March 23. The meeting follows the explosion in U.S.-Israeli relations after Israel announced it was licensing construction of homes in East Jerusalem while U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Israel. The United States wants Israel to stop all construction of new Jewish settlements.
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20/09/2009 | En Parrilla
Mxico 2080 - Una profeca geopoltica
Imaginemos que es el verano de 1900, que vivimos en Londres, entonces la capital del mundo. Europa rige Occidente. Apenas hay un lugar en la tierra que no est bajo control, directo o indirecto, de alguna capital europea. Europa est en paz y goza de una prosperidad sin precedentes. Los vnculos europeos de inversin y comercio son tan amplios que hay quien sostiene que la guerra es imposible o que, de haberla, se resolvera en cuestin de semanas, ya que los mercados financieros no toleraran esa tensin por mucho tiempo. El futuro parece ntido: una Europa prspera y pacfica gobernar el mundo.
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26/08/2009 | Frente Externo
Obama's Foreign Policy: The End of the Beginning
As August draws to a close, so does the first phase of the Obama presidency. The first months of any U.S. presidency are spent filling key positions and learning the levers of foreign and national security policy. There are also the first rounds of visits with foreign leaders and the first tentative forays into foreign policy.
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19/08/2009 | En Profundidad
Iraq Endgame
Though the Iraq war is certainly not over, it has reached a crossroads. During the course of the war, about 40 countries sent troops to fight in what was called Multi-National Force-Iraq.
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27/01/2009 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Strategic Divergence: The War Against the Taliban and the War Against Al Qaeda
Washingtons attention is now zeroing in on Afghanistan. There is talk of doubling U.S. forces there, and preparations are being made for another supply line into Afghanistan this one running through the former Soviet Union as an alternative or a supplement to the current Pakistani route.
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01/10/2008 | Economia y Finanzas
The Political Nature of the Economic Crisis
Classical economists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo referred to their discipline as political economy. Smiths great work, The Wealth of Nations, was written by the man who held the chair in moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow. This did not seem odd at the time and is not odd now.
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01/10/2008 | Economia y Finanzas
The Political Nature of the Economic Crisis
Classical economists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo referred to their discipline as political economy. Smiths great work, The Wealth of Nations, was written by the man who held the chair in moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow. This did not seem odd at the time and is not odd now.
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25/09/2008 | Frente Externo
McCain's Foreign Policy Stance
John McCain is the Republican candidate for president. This means he is embedded in the Republican tradition. That tradition has two roots, which are somewhat at odds with each other: One root is found in Theodore Roosevelts variety of internationalism, and the other in Henry Cabot Lodges opposition to the League of Nations.
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25/09/2008 | Frente Externo
McCain's Foreign Policy Stance
John McCain is the Republican candidate for president. This means he is embedded in the Republican tradition. That tradition has two roots, which are somewhat at odds with each other: One root is found in Theodore Roosevelts variety of internationalism, and the other in Henry Cabot Lodges opposition to the League of Nations.
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24/09/2008 | Frente Externo
Obama's Foreign Policy Stance
Barack Obama is the Democratic candidate for president. His advisers in foreign policy are generally Democrats. Together they carry with them an institutional memory of the Democratic Partys approach to foreign policy, and are an expression of the complexity and divisions of that approach.
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24/09/2008 | Frente Externo
Obama's Foreign Policy Stance
Barack Obama is the Democratic candidate for president. His advisers in foreign policy are generally Democrats. Together they carry with them an institutional memory of the Democratic Partys approach to foreign policy, and are an expression of the complexity and divisions of that approach.
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23/09/2008 | Frente Externo
The New President and the Global Landscape
It has often been said that presidential elections are all about the economy. That just isnt true. Harry Trumans election was all about Korea. John Kennedys election focused on missiles, Cuba and Berlin. Lyndon Johnsons and Richard Nixons elections were heavily about Vietnam.
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23/09/2008 | Frente Externo
The New President and the Global Landscape
It has often been said that presidential elections are all about the economy. That just isnt true. Harry Trumans election was all about Korea. John Kennedys election focused on missiles, Cuba and Berlin. Lyndon Johnsons and Richard Nixons elections were heavily about Vietnam.
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08/09/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Israeli Strategy After the Russo-Georgian War
The Russo-Georgian war continues to resonate, and it is time to expand our view of it. The primary players in Georgia, apart from the Georgians, were the Russians and Americans.
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08/09/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Israeli Strategy After the Russo-Georgian War
The Russo-Georgian war continues to resonate, and it is time to expand our view of it. The primary players in Georgia, apart from the Georgians, were the Russians and Americans.
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26/08/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Georgia and Kosovo: A Single Intertwined Crisis
The Russo-Georgian war was rooted in broad geopolitical processes. In large part it was simply the result of the cyclical reassertion of Russian power.
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26/08/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Georgia and Kosovo: A Single Intertwined Crisis
The Russo-Georgian war was rooted in broad geopolitical processes. In large part it was simply the result of the cyclical reassertion of Russian power.
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13/08/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power
The Russian invasion of Georgia has not changed the balance of power in Eurasia. It simply announced that the balance of power had already shifted. The United States has been absorbed in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as potential conflict with Iran and a destabilizing situation in Pakistan.
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13/08/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power
The Russian invasion of Georgia has not changed the balance of power in Eurasia. It simply announced that the balance of power had already shifted. The United States has been absorbed in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as potential conflict with Iran and a destabilizing situation in Pakistan.
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24/06/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Mediterranean Flyover: Telegraphing an Israeli Punch?
On June 20, The New York Times published a report saying that more than 100 Israeli aircraft carried out an exercise in early June over the eastern Mediterranean Sea and Greece. The article pointed out that the distances covered were roughly the distances from Israel to Iranian nuclear sites and that the exercise was a trial run for a large-scale air strike against Iran.
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24/06/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Mediterranean Flyover: Telegraphing an Israeli Punch?
On June 20, The New York Times published a report saying that more than 100 Israeli aircraft carried out an exercise in early June over the eastern Mediterranean Sea and Greece. The article pointed out that the distances covered were roughly the distances from Israel to Iranian nuclear sites and that the exercise was a trial run for a large-scale air strike against Iran.
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04/06/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Oil and the Saudi Peace Offensive
The Saudis are hosting an interfaith conference June 4. Four hundred Islamic scholars from around the world will be there, with one day devoted to interfaith issues. Saudi King Abdullah will open the conference, over which Saudi Shura Council head Saleh bin Huma will preside.
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04/06/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Oil and the Saudi Peace Offensive
The Saudis are hosting an interfaith conference June 4. Four hundred Islamic scholars from around the world will be there, with one day devoted to interfaith issues. Saudi King Abdullah will open the conference, over which Saudi Shura Council head Saleh bin Huma will preside.
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07/05/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Petraeus, Afghanistan and the Lessons of Iraq
Gen. David Petraeus, who commanded the surge in Iraq, was recommended April 23 by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to be the next head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).
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15/04/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Chinese Geopolitics and the Significance of Tibet
China is an island. We do not mean it is surrounded by water; we mean China is surrounded by territory that is difficult to traverse. Therefore, China is hard to invade; given its size and population, it is even harder to occupy. This also makes it hard for the Chinese to invade others; not utterly impossible, but quite difficult.
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31/01/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Geopolitics of Dope
Over recent months, the level of violence along the U.S.-Mexican border has begun to rise substantially, with some of it spilling into the United States. Last week, the Mexican government began military operations on its side of the border against Mexican gangs engaged in smuggling drugs into the United States.
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05/01/2008 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Pakistan, Bhutto and the U.S.-Jihadist Endgame
The endgame of the U.S.-jihadist war always had to be played out in Pakistan. Two reasons explain this. The first is simple: Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda command cell are located in Pakistan. The war cannot end while the command cell functions or has a chance of regenerating.
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03/11/2007 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
War Plans: United States and Iran
A possible U.S. attack against Iran has been a hot topic in the news for many months now. In some quarters it has become an article of faith that the Bush administration intends to order such an attack before it leaves office.
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11/10/2007 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Geopolitical Foundations of Blackwater
For the past three weeks, Blackwater, a private security firm under contract to the U.S. State Department, has been under intense scrutiny over its operations in Iraq.
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12/09/2007 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
War, Psychology and Time
There are moments in history when everything comes together. Today is the sixth anniversary of the al Qaeda attack against the United States.
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22/08/2007 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Window of Vulnerability
All U.S. presidents eventually become lame ducks, though the lameness of any particular duck depends on the amount of power he has left to wield. It not only is an issue of the president's popularity, but also of the opposition's unity and clarity. In the international context, the power of a lame duck president depends on the options he has militarily.
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29/07/2007 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Washington, Iraq and Al Qaeda
Last week, the United States focused on the state of the war -- not just the one in Iraq, but the broader war against al Qaeda.
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28/07/2007 | Frente Externo
Gaming the U.S. Elections
Domestic politics in most countries normally are of little interest geopolitically. On the whole this is true of the United States as well. Most political debates are more operatic than meaningful, most political actors are interchangeable and the distinctions between candidates rarely make a difference.
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27/06/2007 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
A return to Kosovo
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush will meet July 1-2 at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. The two will have several meaty items on their plate, including the planned U.S. missile defense shield in Central Europe and Russia's threat to withdraw from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. The main dish, however, will be Kosovo -- again.
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30/11/2006 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Russia's Interest in Litvinenko
The recent death of a former Russian intelligence agent, Alexander Litvinenko, apparently after being poisoned with polonium-210, raises three interesting questions.
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30/11/2006 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Russia's Interest in Litvinenko
The recent death of a former Russian intelligence agent, Alexander Litvinenko, apparently after being poisoned with polonium-210, raises three interesting questions.
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09/11/2006 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Back to Iraq
The midterm congressional elections have given the Democrats control of the U.S. House of Representatives. It is possible -- as of this writing, on Wednesday afternoon -- that the Senate could also go to the Democrats, depending on the outcome of one extremely close race in Virginia.
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01/11/2006 | Frente Externo
The Election and Investigatory Powers of Congress
There is now only a week to go before midterm congressional elections in the United States. The legislative outcome is already fairly clear.
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05/10/2006 | Frente Externo
Bush and the Perception of Weakness
There is good news for the Republican Party: Things can't get much worse. About five weeks from the midterm elections, a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) asserting that the situation in Iraq will deteriorate in 2007 is leaked.
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06/09/2006 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Iraq: The Policy Dilemma
U.S. President George W. Bush now has made it clear what his policy on Iraq will be for the immediate future, certainly until Election Day: He does not intend to change U.S. policy in any fundamental way. U.S. troops will continue to be deployed in Iraq, they will continue to carry out counterinsurgency operations, and they will continue to train Iraqi troops to eventually take over the operations.
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20/07/2006 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
ISRAELI-HEZBOLLAH CONFLICT - Special Report: Situation Review
We have been following developments in the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict closely for several days. At this writing, the air-rocket war continues to rage, but the Israeli ground offensive that we would have expected by now has not yet been launched. There is some speculation that it will not be launched -- that a combination of air operations and a diplomatic process will be sufficient, from Israel's point of view, to negate the need for a ground attack.
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17/05/2006 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Civil Liberties and National Security
USA Today published a story last week stating that U.S. telephone companies (Qwest excepted) had been handing over to the National Security Agency (NSA) logs of phone calls made by American citizens. This has, as one might expect, generated a fair bit of controversy -- with opinions ranging from "It's not only legal but a great idea" to "This proves that Bush arranged 9/11 so he could create a police state." A fine time is being had by all. Therefore, it would seem appropriate to pause and consider the matter.
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30/04/2006 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Geopolitics of China
Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Washington last week for a meeting that diplomatically might be called "nonproductive" -- or, realistically, "disastrous."
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19/03/2006 | Frente Externo
The Presidency: Deepening Questions
Readers know that we have been tracking one issue almost above all others since last fall: the strength of the Bush presidency. The question that emerged following Hurricane Katrina was whether the administration would become a classic failed presidency or whether, having flirted with disaster, it would recover. Last week, the first indicator (apart from routine approval polls) came in: Congress, in essence, blocked a deal that would have put a state-run company from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in charge of several U.S. ports.
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15/02/2006 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
The Middle East and Russia's New Game
Last Thursday, Feb. 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited the leadership of Hamas, the Islamist political party that won the recent Palestinian elections, to visit Moscow. Hamas quickly accepted, and the meeting is expected to take place later this month. As with many things diplomatic, the fact that the invitation was extended and that the meeting will take place is infinitely more important than what is said during the meeting.
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26/01/2006 | Inteligencia y Seguridad
Osama's Vietnam Syndrome
Osama bin Laden has broken his long silence: An audiotape containing his latest statement was delivered to and broadcast by Al Jazeera on Jan. 19. The United States has said that the tape appears to be authentic, and there has been ample time for al Qaeda to have denied its authenticity if it were fake. That hasn't happened, so it appears reasonable to assume that this is, in fact, an authoritative statement by the head of al Qaeda.
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