Geopolitical Diary

Cuba Issues a Demand for Guantanamo

The U.S. naval base has diminished in strategic importance, but it will be some time before Washington considers giving the territory back to Havana.

Editor's Choice
Geopolitical Weekly
By George Friedman

The New Drivers of Europe's Geopolitics

Global Affairs
By Jay Ogilvy

Mind the Gap

FREE
Security Weekly

Jihadism in 2014: Jihadist Franchises

Get Tomorrow's Intelligence
Not Yesterday's News.

Subscribe today!

Get a FREE book with your new subscription!

Analysis

Bitcoin Moves Closer to Regulation

The launch of the first regulated bitcoin exchange in the United States is another step toward the acceptance of cryptocurrencies by financial regulators.

Maps
Video
Field Notes
Stratfor In The News
Fox News

Stratfor's George Friedman on Putin's Uncertain Grip on Power

"Russia is in deep crisis … the president [Putin] is going to want to look decisive and he hasn’t been, he’s failed in most things he has done,” said Friedman. “He’s had a lot of reversals, he needs to get some points on the board – if you can’t get it diplomatically, I’m afraid he is going to get it militarily."

Kamran Bokhari on the Challenges Facing Saudi Arabia's New King

"Of all the kings Saudi Arabia has had, King Salman’s ascension to the throne comes at the worst time in the history of the kingdom," Kamran Bokhari, adviser for Middle Eastern and South Asian affairs at Texas-based consulting firm Stratfor, said by telephone from Toronto. “He comes in with so many domestic and external challenges."

Situation/Intelligence Reports

Yemen: Al Qaeda Branch Calls France Top Enemy

The ideological leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Ibrahim Suleiman al-Rubaish, declared France a greater enemy of Islam than the United States in an online audio message released Jan. 30, AFP reported.

Bolivia: Minister Wants Cooperation With U.S. Drug Enforcers

Hugo Moldiz, Bolivian governance minister, said that Bolivia should exchange intelligence on drug trafficking activities with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, La Razon reported Jan. 30.

Pakistan: Death Toll In Mosque Bombing Rises

The death toll from an explosion at a Shiite mosque in southern Pakistan on Jan. 30 has risen to 49, an official said, AP reported.

Saudi Arabia: 2 U.S. Citizens Attacked

Unknown assailants shot at two U.S. citizens Jan. 30 in Saudi Arabia's Al-Ihsaa governate, according to police, AFP reported.

Italy: Unemployment Down In December

The Italian unemployment rate dropped in December by 0.4 percent from November, reaching 12.9 percent, according to Italy's National Institute for Statistics, ANSA reported Jan. 30.

Ukraine: Peace Talks Postponed

Pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine said peace talks scheduled to be held in Minsk on Jan. 30 have been postponed, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty reported.

Syria: Rebels Target Army Post With Explosion

Syrian rebels fighting against the government of Bashar al Assad detonated a large amount of explosives in a tunnel under an army post in Idlib province, inflicting heavy casualties on government troops, AP reported Jan. 30.

Georgia: NATO Scouts Sites For Training Center

A NATO official is scouting out sites for a NATO training center in Georgia, RFE/RL reported Jan. 30.

Iraq: Double Bombing Staged In Baghdad

Two explosives detonated Jan. 30 in a crowded market in Baghdad, killing 44 and wounding 70, including members of the Iraqi security forces, PUK Media reported.

Iraq: Parliament Approves Budget

The Iraqi parliament has passed the 2015 budget, which reduces spending by nearly five percent from the draft budget approved by the Cabinet in December, Iraq Oil Report reported Jan. 30.

Syria: Rebels Clash With Al-Nusra In Idlib

Fighting between Jabhat al-Nusra militants and rebels in northern Syria spread from Aleppo to the city of Idlib Jan. 30, Reuters reported, citing an activist group.

Syria: Islamic State Shoots Down Warplane

The Islamic State used anti-aircraft weapons to shoot down a Syrian military aircraft in Damascus, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, AFP reported Jan. 30.

Russia: Official Vows Response To U.S. Missile Defense System

Russia will take measures to respond to a U.S. missile defense system that violates the START III Treaty and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, armed forces chief Gen. Valery Gerasimov said, Interfax reported Jan. 30.

Georgia: Trade Talks With Russia To Be Suspended

Georgia will suspend trade talks with Russia because it does not make sense, Georgian Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili said while on a visit to the United States, Trend news agency reported Jan. 30.

Afghanistan: Attacks Kill Several

A suicide bomb attack killed 16 people at a funeral in east Afghanistan, Reuters reported Jan. 30, citing a local official.

Nigeria: Jets Bomb Town Occupied By Boko Haram

Nigerian military jets carried out bombings on the Boko Haram-controlled town of Malam Fatori in the country's northeast, according to military spokesman Chris Olukolade, News 24 reported.

Egypt: Coordinated Attacks Kill 25 In Sinai Peninsula

Militants used mortar rounds and a car bomb to carry out simultaneous attacks on Egyptian military and police targets in the Sinai Peninsula on Jan. 29, killing 25 and wounding 36 people, AP reported.

Russia: European Union Extends Sanctions

The European Union agreed Jan. 29 to extend the sanctions imposed on Russia and on separatists in eastern Ukraine until September, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said, RFERL reported.

Forecasts

Annual Forecast 2015

Oil markets, economic stagnation in China and Europe, and Russia's struggle to maintain a buffer zone in its periphery will drive global events in 2015.