Geostrategic magazine (may 16, 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)


(Mohd. Yunus – Lowy The Interpreter) Asia, a crucial region for migratory species, is witnessing their alarming decline. A major United Nations report released this year warned that one in five of the world’s migratory species protected under a global convention are at risk of extinction. The threat is particularly severe for fish. Nearly all – a staggering 97% – of the fish listed under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals are facing complete disappearance.

Beyond borders, beyond loss: How regional cooperation can safeguard Asia’s biodiversity | Lowy Institute

Asia – Pacific

(Julia Voo – IISS) Asia-Pacific countries are facing increasing numbers of state-backed hacking operations serving geopolitical and economic purposes. They are also getting better at conducting them. Domestic and foreign-policy ambitions are manifesting in the information space, where state-linked actors are contesting state adversaries, political opponents and world views both overtly, through activities such as defacement (hacking a target website and replacing its content with the hackers’ own message), and covertly, via disinformation operations. While basic cyber best practice is still out of reach for the least cyber-capable states, a couple of regional states could be considered amongst the most cyber capable globally. Forging a greater range of international partnerships between governments and industry is likely to boost the region’s resilience in cyberspace. Political will and geopolitical alignments will likely shape how that unfolds.

Contested connectivity: cyber threats in the Asia-Pacific (


(Chris Barrie and Ian Dunlop – ASPI The Strategist) Climate risks that are interconnected, multiplying and intensifying can cascade across natural and human systems. Tipping points or thresholds—at which a small change can trigger a move from one state to a different state far less conducive to human survival and prosperity—may trigger unforeseen chains of events. This requires a systems approach to understand them. Yet apart from the 2022 Office of National Intelligence climate-security risk assessment—which is classified and apparently sidelined—there is no sign this understanding is permeating the Australian government’s work. In the Defence Strategic Review and the National Defence Strategy, for example, climate has been reduced to a cameo role, just visible in a far corner of the supposedly much bigger geopolitical screen.

Climate disruption deserves more than a cameo role in security analysis | The Strategist (


(Grigory Ioffe – The Jamestown Foundation) While many Belarusians have left the country since 2020 and the initiation of Moscow’s full-scale invasion, the migration of Western fugitives to Belarus has attracted more attention due to their questionable motives and access to government secrets. These fugitives give Minsk the opportunity to illustrate some important propaganda narratives against the West and about the “friendly nature” of Belarus. The migration flow into and out of Belarus will be a crucial indicator for Western foreign policymakers in determining the state of Minsk’s relations with its neighbors.

Belarus Sees Irregular Flow of Migrants – Jamestown

Central Asia

(Valdai Discussion Club) Terrorism poses a serious threat to the peace and stability of any country. It is a challenge that requires collective action, as it knows no boundaries and has no values or principles. Whatever its outer garb, the innate objective of any form of terrorism reflects enmity towards humankind in general. In combating terrorism and extremism, it is critical to recognise the formidable barriers to establishing a regional or multilateral framework to doing so effectively, writes Dr Pravesh Kumar Gupta, Associate Fellow, Vivekananda International Foundation, for the 4th Central Aian conference of the Valdai Discussion Club.

Building Resilience: Strategies for Countering Terrorism in Central Asia — Valdai Club

China – Pakistan

(John Calabrese – Middle East Institute) During a landmark visit to Islamabad in April 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping and then-Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif launched the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project under the umbrella of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Initially valued at $46 billion, the investment pledges soon swelled to $62 billion, equivalent to one-fifth of Pakistan’s GDP, encompassing numerous high-profile energy and infrastructure projects connected to CPEC.

“Gwadar is the future”: China and Pakistan’s troubled strategic port on the Arabian Sea | Middle East Institute (

European Union

(World Economic Forum) As we enter a new geo-economic era, Europe’s competitiveness is under pressure. New research highlights the need for bold action if European firms are to compete globally. Scaling up across Europe, in areas such as R&D, will help companies increase their competitiveness.

Why scale matters more than ever for European competitiveness | World Economic Forum (

European Union – Red Sea

(Laurent Célérier – Institut Montaigne) Depuis la capture d’un cargo transportant des automobiles par les rebelles yéménites Houthis soutenus par l’Iran, rendue publique le 20 novembre 2023, le détroit de Bab el-Mandeb est devenu un goulet d’étranglement économique, alors qu’il constituait un lieu de transit stratégique notamment pour le trafic pétrolier. Face à des tensions exacerbées et à des conséquences commerciales délétères, quelle peut être la réponse de l’Europe ? En quoi la situation en mer Rouge est-elle le miroir des risques, des défis et des opportunités pour les forces navales européennes ?

Mer Rouge : le miroir des défis sécuritaires de l’Europe ? | Institut Montaigne

France – China

(François Godement – Institut Montaigne) Après la visite de Xi Jinping en France (5-7 mai) puis dans la Serbie d’Alexandre Vučić et la Hongrie de Viktor Orbán, comment a été comprise, de part et d’autre, la “position d’équilibre française” ? Comment analyser, au-delà de l’image symbolique d’une réunion au sommet, dans les Hautes-Pyrénées, la vision stratégique qu’Emmanuel Macron développe pour les relations entre la France et la Chine ? Où tracer, pour les partenaires européens, la ligne de crête entre réalisme et quête d’autonomie ?

Macron-Xi, ou comment tirer le meilleur parti d’une relation difficile | Institut Montaigne

Horn of Africa

(World Economic Forum) Groundwater volumes across Africa are estimated to be equivalent to thousands of years of average total flow of the Nile River. For places like the Horn of Africa, which is blighted by recurrent drought, access to this water could be a game-changer for resilience and water access. Accessing these vast groundwater deposits isn’t simple, though, and requires a cohesive regional strategy for sustainable development.

Groundwater wells could ease drought in the Horn of Africa | World Economic Forum (


(Jean-Loup Samaan – Institut Montaigne) Le jeune projet de l’IMEC, une alliance “minilatérale” lancée lors du sommet du G20 de Delhi, en 2023, qui regroupe l’Inde, les États-Unis, l’Allemagne, la France, l’Italie ainsi que les Émirats et l’Arabie, qui vise à constituer un corridor logistique reliant l’Inde, le Moyen-Orient et l’Europe, doit s’ajuster dans le contexte contraint de la guerre à Gaza et dans la perspective de l’élection présidentielle américaine. Quels sont les intérêts des acteurs impliqués et dans quelle mesure sont-ils alignés ? À quelle place peut prétendre l’IMEC face aux routes de la soie et dans le cadre des rivalités sino-américaines ? L’IMEC peut-elle conforter la stratégie de la France ou plus largement de l’Union européenne d’incarner une “troisième voie” ?

Corridor entre l’Inde, le Moyen-Orient et l’Europe : l’avenir incertain du projet américain | Institut Montaigne

Islamic State in Khorasan

(Antonio Giustozzi – RUSI) The Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K), the branch of IS in Central and South Asia, has been actively recruiting for years, in particular in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In recent years, much of this effort has been online, but early in its existence (2015–18) the organisation exclusively recruited face to face. Some themes have been dominant in IS-K recruitment throughout, however, and are therefore worth investigating, so as to assess vulnerabilities that might make disrupting its recruitment efforts or undermining the commitment of its members easier.

Young Radicals’ Dream of a Career in the Islamic State | Royal United Services Institute (

Kenya – USA

(Crisis Group) The Kenyan president is the first African leader invited for a state visit to the U.S. in fifteen years. Crisis Group expert Meron Elias examines what both sides hope to gain from a trip that comes amid sharpening geopolitical competition in Africa.

What’s at Stake in Kenyan President William Ruto’s State Visit to the U.S.? | Crisis Group


(Haneen Sayed, David Robalino, and Ibrahim Muhanna – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) Amid an ongoing economic and fiscal crisis, Lebanon’s Parliament has approved a major reform to the country’s pension system. But it is likely to face challenges related to benefits, solvency, and coverage.

Pension Reform in Lebanon: Good Intentions, Uncertain Outcomes – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


(Sarah Yerkes – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) When Portugal began its democratic transition on April 25, 1974, the odds were not in favor of success. The change took place in the midst of the Cold War, in a country with a popular, Moscow-aligned Communist Party. For much of the democratic West, the country’s stability as a NATO founding member—not its level of freedom—was the priority. Portugal had little space for civil society or political opposition.

Portugal’s Democracy Is a Source of Hope in an Age of Democratic Decline – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Tatiana Stanovaya – Carnegie Politika)The removal of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had become a toxic figure for the elite, is supposed to increase the efficiency of Russia’s war machine.

Putin’s Reshuffle Is About Optimization, Not Change – Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center (

Russia – Baltic Sea Region 

(Otto Tabuns – The Jamestown Foundation) The jamming of GPS in the Nordic-Baltic region is increasingly disrupting public safety, with recent incidents affecting civilian flights. Several governments have attributed GPS interference to Russia and have called for an international political response. Whether or not the GPS disruption is intentional, it allows the Kremlin to demonstrate its electronic warfare capabilities to the West, potentially wreaking havoc for the Baltic states without conventional military aggression.

Russian GPS Games in the Baltic Sea Region – Jamestown

Russia – Central Asia

(Umida Hashimova – The Jamestown Foundation) The Crocus City Hall terrorist attack has led to a rise in Russian xenophobia against Central Asians and a strong crackdown on Central Asian migrants from the Kremlin. Labor migrants from Central Asia make up a majority of Russia’s migrant labor market, and inaction against the growing harassment and xenophobia will not go unnoticed by Central Asian governments. Russia currently has poor relations with many countries, and alienating its neighbors in Central Asia is not in Moscow’s best interest.

Xenophobia and Harassment of Central Asian Migrants on the Rise in Russia – Jamestown

(Valdai Discussion Club) Since the previous Central Asian conference in Tomsk, there have been significant changes in the system of bilateral and multilateral relations in the region. These changes have been prompted by various factors, including internal developments within the five countries, as well as the actions of external actors nearby, such as Russia, China, and Iran, as well as those of states that see Central Asia as a strategic region rather than a daily concern, such as the United States, the European Union, India, and Japan, writes Stanislav Tkachenko, Professor of the Department of European Studies at the St. Petersburg State University, for the 4th Central Asian conference of the Valdai Discussion Club.

Russia and Central Asia: Bilateral and Multilateral Relations — Valdai Club

(Valdai Discussion Club) The modern geopolitical and geo-economic situation in the world today is uncertain and unpredictable. The Second Cold War is already in full swing and could enter a hot phase at any moment, that is, a third world war could begin, writes Rustam Haidarzoda, Director of the Institute for the Study of Asian and European Countries, National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, for the 4th Central Asian conference of the Valdai Discussion Club.

Central Asia and Russia on the Path to Building a Community of Common Destiny — Valdai Club

South Sudan

(Crisis Group) Income from oil exports is critical to keeping South Sudan’s factious elites together. The war in neighbouring Sudan has led earnings to fall precipitously, threatening instability in Juba and highlighting anew the need to bring the Sudanese conflict to a close.

South Sudan on Edge as Its Neighbour’s War Disrupts Oil Exports | Crisis Group


(Hsueh Jui-yuan – ASPI The Strategist) The three years of the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a terrible loss of life and exacerbated health inequalities. The global economy slumped, and, worldwide, people’s lives were affected. This experience demonstrated that the present global health governance framework is not effective in responding to threats to global health. Although Covid-19 is no longer labelled a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), and trade and economic activity globally have returned to normal, the World Health Organisation (WHO) cautions against the threat of a ‘Disease X’ pandemic. Therefore, it is critical that countries across the globe unite to bolster health governance. Taiwan’s participation in that effort should be regarded as indispensable.

Taiwan’s indispensability in preparing for pandemics | The Strategist (

Taiwan – USA – Japan – Philippines

(Ming-shih Shen – The Prospect Foundation) It is necessary for Taiwan to participate in joint training and exercises with the United States, Japan, and the Philippines, so that Taiwan can familiarize itself with the alliance’s combat model and command and control structures, so that it can achieve maximum combat effectiveness when war breaks out in Indo-Pacific region.

The Prospect Foundation-Prospects & Perspectives-Taiwan’s Role in the US-Japan-Philippines Alliance (

USA – China

(Frederick Kempe – Atlantic Council) What’s new about US President Joe Biden’s far-reaching new tariffs on Chinese goods, announced yesterday, is that they are about both prevention and resignation.

Biden’s China tariffs are big and preemptive – Atlantic Council

(Anshu Siripurapu and Noah Berman – Council on Foreign Relations) U.S.-China trade exploded in the two decades after China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. This trade has benefited U.S. and Chinese consumers and companies, but officials in Washington are increasingly concerned about the risks posed by Beijing’s state-led development. President Trump imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese goods. President Biden has maintained them and introduced several new trade restrictions.

The Contentious U.S.-China Trade Relationship | Council on Foreign Relations (

USA – Israel

(Bilal Y. Saab – Chatham House) Within six months, US President Joe Biden went from categorically refusing to condition aid to Israel to threatening to halt certain weapons deliveries should Israel decide to invade Rafah in southern Gaza without a civilian protection plan in place. Just before his public ultimatum, Biden issued an order to pause a shipment of large bombs to Israel to ‘deliver a message’ to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Washington should condition US aid to Israel – regardless of what happens in Rafah | Chatham House – International Affairs Think Tank


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