Geostrategic magazine (june 5-6, 2024)


The Global Eye

Daily from global think tanks and open sources

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


(Malancha Chakrabarty – Observer Research Foundation) After two decades of economic progress, Africa is once again mired in debt and food insecurity. Sub-Saharan Africa grew by 5 percent between 2000 and 2010 and the region made significant development gains. Poverty declined from a high of 56 percent in 2000 to 42.1 percent in 2010. However, the COVID-19 pandemic delivered a heavy blow to Africa’s economic growth. The Ukraine-Russia war came hard on the heels of the pandemic and led to a massive food crisis in the continent. Currently, the entire region is in the midst of a severe debt crisis. More than half of Africa’s low-income countries are in debt and four African countries viz. Ghana, Zambia, Mali, and Ethiopia have already defaulted. About 39 million Africans slipped into extreme poverty in 2021 and millions are facing acute food insecurity with nearly 33 African countries in need of external food assistance. Africa’s progress on SDGs is slow and uneven. Without accelerated action and a substantial inflow of funds, the continent will not be able to achieve the SDGs.

Reviving Africa’s SDGs: AU must lead financial reforms (


(Onnik James Krikorian – The Jamestown Foundation) Protests that initially opposed border delimitation and demarcation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan have since become focused on removing Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan from office. The demonstrations have increasingly turned into smaller acts of civil disobedience, such as Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan managing to significantly delay Pashinyan from arriving to Pashinyan’s efforts to transform the country from “historical Armenia” to “real Armenia” look set to further exacerbate the conflict between the government and the church.

Tensions Increase as Prime Minister and Church Leaders Clash in Armenia – Jamestown

Bangladesh – Thailand

(Sohini Bose – Observer Research Foundation) As coastal nations, Bangladesh and Thailand rely on efficient and well-established port connectivity for their economic prosperity. Bangladesh is located towards the north of the Bay of Bengal, while Thailand forms the eastern coast of the adjacent Andaman Sea. Both countries, therefore, have the opportunity to boost their bilateral trade via this shared maritime space. Recent efforts to realise this potential were made during the recent six-day visit to Bangkok by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The discussions between the two leaders focused on implementing a direct shipping line between Chattogram Port in Bangladesh and Ranong Port in Thailand, building on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries in December 2021.

The Chattogram-Ranong connect: Establishing direct shipping in the Bay of Bengal (

China – South China Sea

(Derek Grossman – RAND Corporation) The odds of armed conflict in the South China Sea are high and rising. China’s relentless assertiveness against the Philippines—harassing ships inside Manila’s internationally recognized Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), most notably at Second Thomas Shoal and Scarborough Shoal—has led to a situation where war in the South China Sea now seems more likely than at any other Indo-Pacific flash point, including the Taiwan Strait and Korean Peninsula.

How to Respond to China’s Tactics in the South China Sea | RAND

European Union – Russia

(Balázs Gyimesi – RUSI) Diplomacy and strategic communications are key to making sanctions effective. Tackling the challenge of sanctions circumvention requires the cooperation of non-sanctioning (or third) countries, and sanctions diplomacy plays an important role in persuading them to cooperate. This paper offers a data-driven analysis of the EU’s strategic communications on sanctions against Russia, showing that the EU relies mostly on addressing interests (such as EU accession and economic interests) and framing support for sanctions as economically or politically desirable for third countries. To a lesser degree, values also play a role in the EU’s outreach, mostly in relation to protecting the principles of international law. This is in line with EU foreign policy’s broader shift to focusing more on interests.

EU Strategic Communications to Support Sanctions Against Russia | Royal United Services Institute (


(Manjari Chatterjee Miller – Council on Foreign Relations) The third term win for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was an unsurprising result, but the loss of Parliament seats means his party will need to work with a fragile coalition government to enact polices effectively.

Modi’s Historic, Sobering Elections and His Economic Challenge | Council on Foreign Relations (

(Niranjan Sahoo – Observer Research Foundation) The rapidly evolving climate crisis evident from frequent extreme weather events has put the democratic system on trial. Many analysts feel the democratic system (with popular sovereignty; accountability and responsiveness of elected officials; dilatory policy process and short-termism) is unsuitable to arrest the perilous effects of climate change and that authoritarian regimes are better suited to address the risks of climate change rapidly and also to mitigate its disruptive impacts. While there is some truth, the argument in support of authoritarian regimes and their effectiveness is at best flawed. This is evident in recent examples, where authoritarian regimes were dealing with emergencies like the pandemic. A case in point is China’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. China’s persistent struggle (despite initial successes in controlling infections) in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic (Zero COVID) is a clear example of why an authoritarian system with all its strengths to take swift actions often fails. In comparison, large, open and diverse federal democracies like the United States (US) and India, notwithstanding initial setbacks, managed the global pandemic much more effectively than China and other authoritarian regimes did. In this context, this piece argues for strengthening federal mechanisms and decentralised responses to climate change which poses the gravest threats to the Indian state and society at large. It argues that the climate battle in India has to be fought on the foundation of federalism (centre-state multilevel collaboration).

Why India needs an intergovernmental institution for climate change (

India – Pakistan

(Sushant Sareen – Observer Research Foundation) On 30 May, answering a question on former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s remarks that Pakistan violated the peace agreement (Lahore Declaration] with India in 1999 by engaging in military adventurism in Kargil, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesman said that India was “seeing that an objective view is now emerging in Pakistan as well”. Perhaps it was an off-the-cuff remark by the spokesman, but people who keep a hawk eye on all things India-Pakistan saw this response from MEA as a sign that the door that was shut on Pakistan could reopen after the elections are over in India. Speculation is rife on both sides of the Radcliffe line that post elections, there could be a re-engagement between the two countries.

Ties with Pakistan: Loose talk or opening the latch? (

Indo – Pacific

(Shoba Suri, Subhasree Ray – Observer Research Foundation) ‘Blue food’ refers to seafood and other food derived from aquatic resources; in the Indo-Pacific region, surrounded by rich water bodies, the concept takes on particular cultural, economic, and ecological significance. Culturally, seafood holds deep-rooted traditions and is integral to the culinary heritage of coastal communities. Marine resources contribute to the region’s economy through fishing, aquaculture, and related industries. Seafood is a rich source of essential nutrients like protein and omega-3 fatty acids and plays a vital role in ensuring food security and nutrition in coastal areas. Blue food also emphasises harnessing the potential of the region’s marine resources and ecosystems to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to gender equality, no poverty, zero hunger, decent work, and reduced inequalities. However, this would require a comprehensive approach integrating sustainable practices, technological innovations, and collaborative efforts among nations. The goal is to leverage the maritime environment to develop solutions that not only address the challenges posed by climate change but also ensure resilient and secure food supply for the diverse nations of the Indo-Pacific.

Seas of Sustenance: Navigating ‘Blue Food’ for Indo-Pacific Food Security (


(Julián Ventura – Chatham House) Claudia Sheinbaum is poised to become Mexico’s first female president on 1 October. Her Morena three-party coalition swept to victory with a decisive 30-point lead over her main opponent Xochitl Galvez.

After a landslide victory, global engagement is a necessity and an opportunity for Mexico’s next president | Chatham House – International Affairs Think Tank

Middle East and the Gulf

(H A Hellyer – RUSI) Egypt and Israel signed the Camp David Accords in 1978, the first peace treaty between the Jewish state and any of its Arab neighbours. The accords are the bedrock of the region’s security architecture, but owing to Israel’s war on Gaza and its moves at the border between Gaza and Egypt, the relationship between Cairo and Tel Aviv has reached its lowest point in decades. In US President Joe Biden’s recent speech on the crisis, he mentioned a clear role for Cairo in not only negotiations, but the ‘day after’. What kind of state are Egyptian-Israeli relations in, and how might this impact the future? Jonathan Eyal (JE) asked RUSI Senior Associate Fellow H A Hellyer (HH) about the significance of these events.

Ever the Day After: Egypt, Israel and Gaza | Royal United Services Institute (


(Luke Rodeheffer – The Jamestown Foundation) Cryptocurrency use has expanded in Russia since the beginning of the war against Ukraine and is being embraced as a method of subverting economic isolation. Russia and Belarus are using the development of blockchain-based technologies to enable continued access to international trade without using traditional payment systems. The region’s traditional challenges surrounding money laundering and the rule of law make the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based technologies across the post-Soviet space a challenge to international security.

Cryptocurrency Operations Expand in Russia – Jamestown

South Africa

(Christopher Vandome – Chatham House) As expected, the African National Congress (ANC) has lost its electoral dominance in South Africa after 30 years. Its vote share dropped from 57.5 per cent in 2019 to 39.7 per cent, and it now holds only 159 seats out of 400 in the national assembly, a fall of 71. But it is still the largest party and the biggest political force in the country.

An ANC–DA alliance is the outcome investors want in South Africa. But the parties see risks in partnership | Chatham House – International Affairs Think Tank

Sri Lanka – India 

(N. Sathiya Moorthy – Observer Research Foundation) At a time when some Sri Lankan entities have moved the nation’s Supreme Court, challenging a Cabinet decision to award a wind power project to an Indian private sector entity, some Colombo-based academics are seeing such investment initiatives aimed at finding a permanent solution to the island nation’s unmitigated economic woes, as an attempt to make their country a ‘virtual province’ of the larger northern neighbour. The petition in the Supreme Court was filed by the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) in the country which is one of the oldest environmental organisations in the world. At the receiving end is the Adani Green Energy Limited, India. Multiple issues, including energy pricing, have been flagged in other petitions before the Supreme Court. Given the judicial processes and proceedings, and also the presidential polls in September-October, possibly preceded by parliamentary elections, it could mean further delays. A clear-cut government decision, which will have to abide by the Supreme Court verdict, will thus depend on the outcome of the twin polls.

Sri Lanka: A ‘virtual province’ or investment risk for India? (

Taiwan – China

(Harsh V. Pant, Kalpit A Mankikar – Observer Research Foundation) Lai Ching-te’s term as Taiwan’s new President began on a stormy note on May 20 after Beijing interpreted his inaugural address as a soft pitch for independence. In his speech, Taiwan’s leader had urged the Communist Party of China (CPC) to recognise the existence of the Republic of China (Taiwan’s formal name), and engage with its elected representatives.

China cloud over Taiwan: President Lai Ching-te starts term in the face of Beijing’s war drills (


(Sharan Grewal – Brookings) The war in Gaza has accelerated a major shift in Tunisia’s foreign policy. One of the first Arab countries to advocate for a two-state solution, Tunisia has now abandoned it. That shift has left Tunisia more isolated geopolitically, prompting it to now court Iran, China, and Russia.

Tunisia abandons two-state solution; courts Iran, China, and Russia | Brookings


(Efrat Aviv – BESA Center) The local elections in Turkey at the end of March 2024 had some surprising results. Economic issues were a decisive factor in the relatively low numbers for the ruling AK Party. Pensioners, a growing demographic sector in Turkey, were frequently mentioned during the AK Party’s election campaign but were neglected in practice, which was the main reason for the AK Party’s failure. In both the near and distant term, it will now be impossible to ignore the rights of pensioners in Turkey.

Revenge of the Pensioners – On the Recent Local Elections in Turkey (

Turkmenistan – Europe

(Vasif Huseynov – The Jamestown Foundation) Azerbaijan and Türkiye signed an agreement for cooperation with natural gas, which includes increased export of Central Asian and Azerbaijani gas to Türkiye with Turkmenistan being a primary exporter. Debate over including Iran in these agreements adds uncertainty to the project due to sanctions against Tehran, despite the delivery of gas via Iran having been recently and successfully tested. Exporting Turkmen gas to Europe remains fraught with complexities due to the proposal for the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline facing longstanding challenges and routes through Iran, Azerbaijan, and Georgia having practical and financial obstacles.

Uncertainty Abounds in Talks on the Possible Export of Turkmen Gas to Europe – Jamestown


(Dan Marks – RUSI) The UK general election comes at a geopolitically and economically formative period in the energy transition. The decisions of the next government will have ramifications for the UK’s energy system and industrial trajectory for decades to come.

The UK General Election: A Crucial Inflection Point for Energy and Industry | Royal United Services Institute (

USA – France – European Union 

(Léonie Allard – Atlantic Council) US President Joe Biden’s first state visit to France this week marks both the eightieth anniversary of D-Day and the beginning of a critical few weeks for European security. The commemoration in Normandy will be followed by the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy June 11-13, the Switzerland peace summit for Ukraine June 15-16, and the NATO Summit in Washington July 9-11. French President Emmanuel Macron hopes that what happens this week in France sets the tone for each of these subsequent events—and he will start by trying to secure more backing from Biden for a stronger and more independent European defense.

After honoring D-Day, Macron and Biden embark on a diplomatic sprint for Europe’s security – Atlantic Council


The Science of Where Magazine (Direttore: Emilio Albertario)

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