Oil is “the most geopolitically important commodity,” said Reva Bhalla, vice president of global analysis at Stratfor, an advisory company in Austin, Texas. “It drives economies around the world” and is located in some “usually very volatile places.”
“When militaries are dealing with enemy networks, you find that no single personality is the sole keystone of that network … taking a key personality helps you in the short run but what you need to do is consistently take out leadership," said Paul Floyd, military analyst at the global intelligence firm Stratfor.
There are only three sectors that matter much to Russia's political elite—military weaponry, banking and energy—and the U.S. and Europe are hard-pressed to find new ways to penalize those industries in ways that aren't overly drastic, according to Lauren Goodrich, senior Eurasia analyst at global intelligence and advisory firm Stratfor.
“Gangs are tapping into pipelines in virtually every state of Mexico that has substantial fuel traveling underground,” says Tristan Reed, Mexico security analyst with global intelligence firm Stratfor. “However, northeast organized crime groups are the chief culprits -- specifically, Los Zetas and the various Gulf Cartel gangs.”
In a live interview on BNN's "The Street," Stratfor's advisor on Middle Eastern Affairs and author of "Political Islam in the Age of Democratization" discusses the recent terror attacks in Canada and the difficult task Western nations face in the fight against jihadism.
"I sense Nigeria rushed to announce the deal with electoral-political calculations in mind," said Mark Schroeder, vice president of Africa Analysis at the Stratfor consultancy. "Getting a victory with the schoolgirls and a short-term truce with Boko Haram could be positive for President Goodluck Jonathan's campaign," he said.
Right now the Russia-China relationship is a marriage of convenience. Russia cannot rely on the West as its primary market for energy, and East Asia presents a perfect opportunity for Russia to fill its energy exports, explained senior Eurasia analyst at Stratfor, Lauren Goodrich.
"I would put this immediately at the top of the white board back at headquarters: 'Grass-roots jihadist activity,' probably inspired by the Canadian government’s admission that they intend to assist in bombing ISIL targets,” says Fred Burton, a former U.S. Diplomatic Security special agent and deputy counterterrorism chief.