Geostrategic magazine (january 12, 2024)


Daily from global think tanks and open sources

(the analyzes here recalled do not necessarily correspond to the geostrategic thinking of The Global Eye)

Armenia – European Union

(Orkhan Baghirov – The Jamestown Foundation) On December 11, during the EU Eastern Partnership ministerial meeting, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan welcomed the European Council’s decision to grant candidate status to Georgia and initiate membership talks with Moldova and Ukraine. Mirzoyan emphasized that Yerevan is aligned with the idea of closer integration with Europe, highlighting that the Armenian people, too, have voiced their support for this course (Armenpress, December 12). Armenia, however, remains heavily reliant on Russia economically. This reality will hurt Yerevan’s ability to reorient its foreign policy in a more westward direction, especially over the short term

Significant Economic Reliance on Russia Stunts Armenia’s Integration With West – Jamestown


(Joo-Ok Lee – World Economic Forum) Digitalization in ASEAN member states is expected to be worth $1 trillion in economic value by 2030. The ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 and the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap offer a blueprint for achieving this harmonization between nations in the different phases of digital integration

How ASEAN is building trust in its digital economy | World Economic Forum (


(Joshua Kurlantzick – Council on Foreign Relations) Last weekend, Bangladesh’s long-ruling Awami League won a significant election “victory,” taking a reported 222 seats out of a total of 298, according to the country’s Election Commission, which is heavily stacked with Awami League functionaries. This gives the Awami League and its increasingly autocratic leader, Sheikh Hasina, the fourth straight term in office and fifth term overall as prime minister

Bangladesh’s Sham Election and the Regression of Democracy in South and Southeast Asia | Council on Foreign Relations (


(Grigory Ioffe – The Jamestown Foundation) On December 31, 2023, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka declared in his New Year’s address that the “Year of Peace and Creation” has come to an end in Belarus and that 2024 will usher in the “Year of Quality”. He emphasized the importance of the connection between peace and creation and how those who work together in unity to “selflessly serve and love their motherland” help pave the path to peace (President of the Republic of Belarus, December 31, 2023). Lukashenka’s speech was one of inspiration and hope for the nation, reflecting only on the positives of the past year and the potential for Belarusian greatness in 2024

Belarus’s 2023 Year-in-Review – Jamestown


(Paul Globe – The Jamestown Foundation) For more than a decade, China has been using its own private military companies (PMCs) to guard Chinese facilities abroad, preferring to use them rather than rely on protection from local firms or PMCs from other countries. Beijing often chooses to call these entities by various other names to hide their true nature (Window on Eurasia, August 25, 2022, December 28, 2023). This approach has led Western analysts to stress the limited and defensive nature of Chinese PMCs in contrast to what they and others admit are the larger and more strategic actions of Russian and American PMCs (Voice of America, March 31, 2023; Sukhankin, “An Anatomy of the Chinese Private Security Contracting Industry,” January 3, 2023). In the words of one Moscow commentator, Chinese PMCs have “come out of the shadows.” The analyst referred to a recent meeting in Beijing in December 2023 during which officials from the Chinese Foreign Ministry and officers of various Chinese security companies took part. Discussions during the event alluded to the broader role for these paramilitary forces in taking on a more assertive posture globally (, December 25, 2023)

Beijing Grows Assertive as Chinese Private Military Companies ‘Come Out of the Shadows’ – Jamestown


(Christopher Sabatini – Chatham House) In Ecuador, in response to the state of emergency first declared by President Daniel Noboa, criminal gangs seized a public television station, detonated bombs in major cities, kidnapped police officers and invaded a university. Noboa has vowed to step up the war on domestic crime, imposing curfews, naming 22 Ecuadorian gangs as terrorist organizations and calling on the military to oversee national security

The horrors of Ecuador are not just Ecuador’s | Chatham House – International Affairs Think Tank

Iran – Azerbaijan

(Rahim Rahimov – The Jamestown Foundation) In December 2023, Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash announced that Iran and Azerbaijan would sign an official agreement on the development and opening of the Aras Corridor (, December 18, 2023). The corridor’s path will run between mainland Azerbaijan and its Nakhchivan exclave through Iran and will consist of a motorway, railway, and accompanying communication lines (, October 6, 2023;, October 24, 2023;, December 2, 2023). This breakthrough represents a potential thaw in Azerbaijani-Iranian relations. The relationship between Baku and Tehran had reached a historic low following Azerbaijan’s victory over Armenia in the Second Karabakh War (September 27–November 10, 2020) and Baku’s push to open the Zangezur Corridor. Yet, while the Aras Corridor purports to replace the controversial Zangezur Corridor, palpable challenges and risks remain in opening this passage

Aras Corridor Provides Problems and Solutions for Connectivity Issues in South Caucasus – Jamestown

Iran – Russia

(Vali Kaleji – The Jamestown Foundation) On December 25, 2023, during the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council summit in St. Petersburg, the Russian-dominated Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Iran inked an extensive free-trade agreement (FTA). Representatives from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Iran, and Chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission Board Mikhail Myasnikovich all signed the agreement. Iranian-Russian economic and commercial ties as well as political and military relations have grown significantly over the past few years. Both countries are under Western sanctions, and numerous bilateral and multilateral agreements have been concluded within the frameworks of the EAEU, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, International North-South Transport Corridor, and, recently, the BRICS format (originally a loose grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in an effort to ameliorate the detrimental effects of the sanctions regime. Additionally, Moscow and Tehran have tried to transition to rubles and rials for bilateral trade as opposed to US dollars, though several challenges have effectively restricted that adjustment

Western Sanctions Challenge and Restrict Ruble-Rial Trade Between Iran and Russia – Jamestown

Moldova – European Union

(Dumitru Minzarari – The Jamestown Foundation) Moldova’s ruling Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) is setting the stage to hold a national referendum on the country’s EU membership this fall, on the same day as the planned presidential elections (, January 10). This follows President Maia Sandu’s recent announcement that she will run for re-election while demanding that the referendum occur concomitantly (, December 27, 2023). PAS already applied for EU membership in March 2022, and the European Union granted Moldova candidate status in June 2022. Most recently, Brussels agreed to open accession talks with Chisinau at the end of last year (Euronews, December 15). A more likely explanation for this move is that Sandu intends to instrumentalize the referendum to lure to the ballot boxes the Moldovan diaspora living in the West, whose active participation was critical in bringing her to power in the 2020 elections. This suggests that PAS is concerned about the possible risk of low turnout for pro-EU voters, which would increase the chances of Russian political proxies in Moldova winning the election

Chisinau Has More Work to Do in Convincing Citizens to Support European Integration – Jamestown

Near East

1 – (Atlantic Council) The United States and the United Kingdom carried out air and missile strikes in Yemen on Thursday, January 11, after weeks of attacks by the Houthis against merchant ships in the Red Sea that had disrupted global trade. Will these attacks deter the Iranian group from further attacks? Will they involve the United States in a broader conflict in the Middle East in the context of Israel’s campaign against Hamas in Gaza?

Will US-UK strikes against the Houthis halt their Red Sea aggression? – Atlantic Council

2 – (Tuvia Gering – Atlantic Council) The year 2023 was supposed to be China’s big break in the Middle East. But, after october 7, fears of a region-wide “explosion” are growing

China’s bid for a new Middle East meets reality – Atlantic Council


(Anton Moiseienko – RUSI) The debate over the fate of the Russian central bank’s $350 billion in frozen assets continued in 2023, amid uncertainty over further US aid to Ukraine. According to the press, Washington has released a document in which it claims that such a transfer would be legitimate and has proposed setting up various working groups to study the modalities. In the United Kingdom, Foreign Secretary David Cameron has expressly support to the initiative

Freeze to Seize or to Appease? Why Russian Assets are not a Bargaining Chip | Royal United Services Institute (


(Philip Shetler-Jones – RUSI) Chinese Communist Party officials argue that Taiwan’s citizens’ vote is a choice between war and peace

Taiwan Elections: What to Watch For | Royal United Services Institute (

Tech Perspectives & Cyber 

1 – (Graham Webster, Ryan Hass – Brookings) When President Joe Biden and General Secretary Xi Jinping met in California in November 2023, their governments announced a new bilateral channel for consultation on artificial intelligence. If both governments scope this effort wisely and focus on several concrete, tractable issues, they may have an opportunity to make lasting progress in reducing risks and building consensus around the governance of emerging technologies

A roadmap for a US-China AI dialogue | Brookings

2 – (World Economic Forum) The World Economic Forum’s Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2024 explores the multiple challenges leaders face as they seek to build cyber resilience in their organizations. From skills shortages to the spread of generative artificial intelligence, the report identifies the opportunities and risks that new technologies pose

These are the cyber trends leaders will need to navigate in 2024 | World Economic Forum ( Cybersecurity Outlook 2024 | World Economic Forum (

3 – (Sauradeep Bag – Observer Research Foundation) Hacker attacks on cryptocurrencies are on the increase, including by states. North Korea, in particular, is under scrutiny for its alleged role in these illicit activities. Growing threats are forcing nations and multilateral institutions to collaborate and establish protective measures. Notably, security officials from the United States, South Korea, and Japan have recently engaged in discussions over North Korea’s participation in cryptocurrency thefts, along with its involvement in nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The use of stolen cryptocurrency funds for potential nuclear program financing not only complicates global trust in cryptocurrencies but, more importantly, emerges as a critical global security issue

Digital assets, real threats: Security challenges of cryptocurrency (


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Nuovo Umanesimo per la Pace / New Humanism for Peace (Marco Emanuele)



The Science of Where Magazine (Direttore: Emilio Albertario)


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