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.

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Geopolitical Weekly
By George Friedman

The New Drivers of Europe's Geopolitics

Global Affairs
By Jay Ogilvy

Mind the Gap

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Security Weekly

Jihadism in 2014: Jihadist Franchises

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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

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.

Congo: Military Starts Operations Against Hutu Rebels

Congolese army Chief of Staff Didier Etumba officially announced the start of operations against the ethnic Hutu rebel group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda on Jan. 29, Army spokesman Gen. Leon Kasonga said, France 24 reported.

South Sudan: President Shows Up At Summit

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit made an appearance at a regional summit in Addis Ababa discussing the conflict in South Sudan, BBC reported Jan. 29.

Jordan: Government Needs Proof Of Life Before Exchange

The Jordanian government will not release prisoner Sajida al-Rishawi until the Islamic State provides evidence that Jordanian hostage Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh is alive, government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani said at a Jan. 29 press conference, Jordan Times reported.

Ukraine: Contact Group To Meet In Minsk

The contact group on the conflict in eastern Ukraine will gather in Minsk on Jan. 30, according to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, RFERL reported.

Azerbaijan: Armenian Drone Shot Down, Ministry Says

Azerbaijan has shot down an Armenian drone near the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh, according to Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry, Reuters reported Jan. 29.

Belarus: Minsk May Lean On Russian Aid If Needed

Belarus may restructure its debts this year and has agreed with Russia for as much as $500 million in aid if needed, Bloomberg reported Jan. 29, citing Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Israel: Leader Says Iran Behind Hezbollah Attack

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran was behind the Jan. 28 Hezbollah attack on an Israeli convoy in Shebaa Farms, a disputed area between Israel and Lebanon, Haaretz reported Jan. 29.

South Sudan: Leader Hospitalized Before Summit

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit has been hospitalized in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, delaying a regional summit to discuss the conflict in South Sudan, BBC reported Jan. 29.

Jordan: Islamic State Updates Deadline For Prisoner Swap

A new audio message purportedly from Japanese journalist Kenji Goto said the Islamic State would kill a Jordanian pilot if Jordan did not hand over an Iraqi woman convicted of a suicide bombing by sunset Jan. 29, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

United Kingdom: Russian Military Aircraft Intercepted

The British Royal Air Force scrambled fighter jets to intercept two Russian long-range bombers flying over the English Channel, close to British airspace, The Telegraph reported Jan. 29.

Israel: Hezbollah Message Says No Escalation

Israel received a message from the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon that Hezbollah does not intend to escalate violence, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said, Reuters reported Jan. 29.

Central African Republic: Seleka Rebels, Anti-Balaka Movement Agree To Cease-Fire

The warring Seleka and Anti-Balaka rebel groups of the Central African Republic agreed to a cease-fire and cessation of hostilities Jan. 28, News24 reported.

China: Party Officials Involved In Tibet Movement, Beijing Says

Chinese authorities have accused 15 Tibet-based Communist Party of China officials of being involved in underground Tibetan separatist groups, according to a party spokesman, CBS 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.