This Week in Geopolitics, January 2016

Mapping Russia’s Strategy

January 25, 2016

There is an old adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In geopolitics, this is especially so, but the pictures in this case are actually maps. Many people think of maps in terms of their basic purpose, showing a country’s geography and topography. But maps can speak to all dimensions—political, military, and economic—and are an elemental place to start thinking about a country’s strategy… revealing factors that are otherwise not obvious. Sometimes a single map can reveal the most...

Iran and Nukes: From Fear and Loathing to Loathing and Cooperation

January 18, 2016

International sanctions on Iran were lifted on Saturday. It was determined that Iran had carried out its obligations under its agreement with the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany to stop pursuing the development of an atomic bomb. At Geopolitical Futures, we expected sanctions to be lifted and Iran to agree to halt these activities. However, our forecast was not based on the issue of nuclear weapons. Rather, it was based on our model, which indicated there would be...

The Eurasian Storm

January 11, 2016

The Chinese stock market fell dramatically last week. That sounds significant but it actually isn’t. First, the Chinese stock market doesn’t serve the same function as Western markets. The equities that are sold there do not allow shareholders to control companies, nor are the underlying values of these companies correlated to the price of the stocks in any way. Second, the percentage of China’s wealth that flows through the markets is relatively small compared to the size of China’s economy....

China’s Strategy

January 4, 2016

The sharp decline in Chinese stock markets on Monday is a reminder of two things. The first is the continued fragility of the Chinese market. The second is that any economic dysfunction has political implications, both in Chinese domestic and foreign policy. This, in turn, will affect Chinese economic performance. It is essential, therefore, to understand Chinese national strategy.