AUSTIN, TX—The return of economic protectionism in the west and a race against the clock of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions will fuel primary geopolitical developments and trends in the fourth-quarter of 2017 according to the latest forecast from Stratfor, the world’s leading geopolitical intelligence platform. The 2017 Fourth-Quarter Forecast, just released on Stratfor Worldview, highlights the interconnectivity of international developments, such as the broader implications U.S. tensions with North Korea have on relations with China and Russia; the side effects of U.S. tunnel vision on other flashpoints like Syria and Venezuela; or the broader dynamics behind protectionist trade practices.
“There is little chance for North Korea to curtail its nuclear tests and in fact, it may consider now a prime moment to begin truly ‘provocative’ actions geared toward U.S. aircraft or South Korean naval vessels as a way to showcase Washington’s unwillingness to follow through with war threats,” said Stratfor Vice President of Strategic Analysis Rodger Baker. “Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile program is driven by more than ideas of regime security - it is part of an ambitious attempt to shift the security dynamics of Northeast Asia, particularly the relationship between the United States and South Korea. This is a dangerous calculus and the chance for accidental conflict is steadily increasing.”
Rather than focusing on today’s headlines, Stratfor analysts dissect the underlying geopolitical trends that will motivate, inform and constrain global decision makers to reveal both the underlying significance and future implications of emerging world events. The firm’s proprietary methodology, grounded in the study of geopolitics, guides the forecasting process to deliver independent, research-based analysis free of individual or organizational bias so companies can anticipate opportunities and mitigate risk. Key highlighted trends in Stratfor’s 2017 Fourth-Quarter Forecast include:
- North Korea's nuclear ambitions will occupy most of the United States' attention as Washington searches for ways to halt the progress of Pyongyang's weapons program, even as China and Russia continue to subtly prop up their belligerent neighbor.
- Distracted by North Korea, the United States will not be willing to create another headache for itself by withdrawing from its nuclear deal with Iran.
- Russia will deepen its involvement in several conflicts around the world to strengthen its own bargaining position in talks with the United States.
- The White House will keep putting its trade policies into practice in the fourth quarter, but despite its tough talk in the opening phase of NAFTA negotiations, the United States will have a hard time persuading Mexico and Canada to meet its steep demands.
- Europe will turn to the difficult task of reforming institutions within the European Union and eurozone now that national elections in France and Germany have wrapped up.
- Though the world's oil inventories have declined, they haven't fallen quickly enough to suit the organizers of a pact among oil producers to slash output, signaling the group's likely intent to extend the quota beyond March 2018.
The complete Fourth-Quarter Forecast – along with Stratfor’s 2017 Annual Forecast and Decade Forecast – is now available at Worldview.Stratfor.com. Stratfor’s forecasts deliver actionable geopolitical intelligence to help enterprise, team and individual members identify what’s truly significant, define strategies, anticipate risks and weigh investments. That empowers better informed decision making and strategic foresight. Past forecasts have predicted the economic transformation of China, U.S. rapprochement with Iran and the current challenges facing European Union integration.
As the world's leading geopolitical intelligence platform, Stratfor brings global events into valuable perspective, empowering businesses, governments and individuals to more confidently navigate their way through an increasingly complex international environment. By leveraging a deep understanding of history, politics and geography in conjunction with our unique methodology, Stratfor delivers informed perspectives on today's events and develops a more accurate view of the future. Individual, team and enterprise memberships to Stratfor Worldview are available at Stratfor.com.