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The Global Elections Supercycle of 2024: Navigating Uncertainties in a Sea of Choices
Global politics

The Global Elections Supercycle of 2024: Navigating Uncertainties in a Sea of Choices

By José Carlos Palma* As the world ushers in the year 2024, a global phenomenon is set to take center stage: the Elections Supercycle. With voters in countries representing approximately 54% of the world's population and nearly 60% of the global GDP heading to the polls, the reverberations of these electoral exercises will resonate far beyond national borders. This unprecedented convergence of elections is poised to create waves of regulatory and policy uncertainty, shaping the short and medium-term landscape of international affairs. A Magnitude Unprecedented: The 2024 Global Elections Supercycle The sheer scale of the Elections Supercycle in 2024 is staggering. Nations spanning Asia, Europe, North and South America, and beyond will engage in the democratic process, collectively infl...
Oceans Take Center Stage: Navigating the Geopolitical Seas in 2024
Geopolitics and International Security

Oceans Take Center Stage: Navigating the Geopolitical Seas in 2024

By José Carlos Palma* As the world strides into 2024, the geopolitical landscape is set to undergo a transformative shift with the oceans taking on increased geostrategic prominence. The year ahead promises to be marked by a deepening realization of the oceans' significance as a vital ecosystem, economic powerhouse, and a crucial factor in global security. The Oceanic Epicenter: A Hub of Life and Resources The oceans, covering about 71% of Earth's surface, have long been acknowledged as the cradle of life. In 2024, this recognition is set to deepen as a staggering 94% of all life on the planet calls the oceans home. From microscopic organisms to majestic whales, the biodiversity within the oceanic realm is unparalleled. Beyond its ecological importance, the ...
Unveiling the Submerged Symphony: The Strategic Significance of the U.S. Navy’s 2010 Submarine Surfacing Near China
Geopolitics and International Security, Asia

Unveiling the Submerged Symphony: The Strategic Significance of the U.S. Navy’s 2010 Submarine Surfacing Near China

Photo: U.S. Navy Ohio Class Submarine By José Carlos Palma* In the annals of geopolitical maneuvering, the year 2010 stands as a pivotal moment when the United States, under the Obama Administration, orchestrated a compelling and strategic demonstration of maritime dominance. The scene was set in the Indo-Pacific region, where tensions were simmering, and China's ascent as a formidable power was becoming increasingly evident. Contextualizing the Era The early 2010s were marked by a whirlwind of global events, from the signing of the technocratic Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (Obamacare) to populist uprisings worldwide. Amidst this backdrop, China emerged as a focal point, signaling its potential to become a regional hegemon in Northeast Asia, challenging the longstan...
Iran’s Strategic Missile Strikes Escalate Regional Tensions: Targets Include Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan
Middle East, Geopolitics and International Security, Study Office

Iran’s Strategic Missile Strikes Escalate Regional Tensions: Targets Include Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan

By José Carlos Palma* Date: 29 January 2024 In a series of coordinated missile attacks, Iran has escalated its regional conflict by targeting strategic positions in Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan. The missile strikes, which began as responses to perceived threats from these nations, have added fuel to an already tense geopolitical landscape. Syrian Retaliation for Suicide Bombings: Iran's attack on Syria comes in the aftermath of devastating suicide bombings in Kerman, Iran, claiming nearly 100 lives. Syria, under President Bashar al-Assad, has been a key ally for Iran in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS). The Iranian response underscores its commitment to defending its interests and supporting its regional allies. Erbil Struck Amidst Israel-Iran Tensions:...
Assessing the Military Situation in the Horn of Africa: A Complex Geopolitical Landscape
Africa, Geopolitics and International Security, Regions

Assessing the Military Situation in the Horn of Africa: A Complex Geopolitical Landscape

By José Carlos Palma* The Horn of Africa, a strategic region at the intersection of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, has long been a hotbed of conflict and instability. Recent years have seen a resurgence of violence in the region, with several countries grappling with armed insurgencies, territorial disputes, and political unrest. Ethiopian Civil War: A Prolonged and Devastating Conflict The epicenter of the current crisis lies in Ethiopia, where a civil war has raged for over two years between the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF). The conflict has caused widespread devastation, displacing millions of people and triggering a humanitarian crisis. In recent months, the TPLF has made significant gains in the northern Ti...
Navigating Governance Challenges in Postwar Gaza: Strengthening the Palestinian Authority
Middle East, Geopolitics and International Security, Study Office

Navigating Governance Challenges in Postwar Gaza: Strengthening the Palestinian Authority

By José Carlos Palma* As the echoes of explosions and gunfire subside, the critical question of who will govern Gaza in the aftermath of the war looms large. With options limited, the Palestinian Authority (PA) emerges as a potential candidate, despite its own set of challenges. In this analysis, we explore the complexities surrounding Gaza's governance and delve into potential strategies for revitalizing the PA to play a central role in the region's stability. Current Challenges: Hamas Dilemma: Hamas, a prominent Palestinian organization, is not an acceptable option for Israel due to security concerns. Israel remains determined not to let Hamas rebuild its military capabilities, posing a significant obstacle to the group's governance in Gaza. Israeli Occupation Co...
Turkey’s Controversial Resettlement Policy: Demographic Shifts in Afrin, Syrian Kurdistan
Middle East, Human Rights

Turkey’s Controversial Resettlement Policy: Demographic Shifts in Afrin, Syrian Kurdistan

By ISSG Staff Introduction In a controversial move, Turkey has reportedly resettled around 10,000 Arab Palestinians in the Turkish-occupied Kurdish city of Afrin in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava). This strategic demographic shift has significantly altered the ethnic composition of the region, diminishing the Kurdish majority and sparking concerns about the long-term consequences for the displaced population. Background Following the Turkish army's occupation of Afrin in March 2018, after a two-month conflict with Kurdish forces, a policy aimed at the Arabization of the Kurdish region was set in motion. The policy received financial support from various Arab nations, including Palestine. Demographic Changes Abdulrahman Apo, a Kurdish politician no longer residing in Afrin, revealed tha...
Nippon Steel’s Strategic Move: A Deep Dive into the Acquisition of U.S. Steel
Americas, U.S. Economy

Nippon Steel’s Strategic Move: A Deep Dive into the Acquisition of U.S. Steel

By José Carlos Palma* Introduction In a transformative move, Nippon Steel, one of Japan's leading steel manufacturers, has unveiled plans to acquire U.S. Steel, a historic American steel giant with roots dating back to the early 20th century. The $14.9 billion deal signifies a significant shift in the global steel industry and raises questions about the motivations behind this strategic move. In this deep-dive analysis, we explore the intricacies of the acquisition, its potential implications, and the broader context of the steel market. The Dynamics of the Deal Nippon Steel's offer of $55 per share for U.S. Steel represents a substantial premium of 142%, eclipsing a previous bid of $35 per share. The Japanese company aims to acquire all outstanding shares through its U.S. ba...
The Strategic Importance of the Dnipro River in the Russia-Ukraine War
Russia and Eurasia, Defense Strategy and Capabilities, Europe

The Strategic Importance of the Dnipro River in the Russia-Ukraine War

By José Carlos Palma* The Dnipro River, the longest river in Ukraine, has played a pivotal role in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. The river's strategic importance stems from its geographical position, its role in transportation and logistics, and its symbolic significance for both sides. Geographical Significance Flowing from north to south through the heart of Ukraine, the Dnipro River divides the country into eastern and western halves. This geographical feature has significant implications for both military operations and civilian life. For Russian forces, controlling the Dnipro River would provide a natural defensive barrier and facilitate the movement of troops and supplies. Ukrainian forces, on the other hand, have sought to prevent Russian control of the river, re...
Shift in US-China Relations: A New Approach to Dialogue
Geopolitics and International Security, Study Office

Shift in US-China Relations: A New Approach to Dialogue

By José Carlos Palma* In a notable shift in the Biden administration's approach towards U.S.-China relations, the United States has initiated a series of dialogues and high-level engagements with Beijing, marking a departure from its earlier stance that conversations would only take place if they led to "tangible outcomes." This change in strategy aims to mend a strained relationship between the two global superpowers, which had deteriorated earlier this year when the United States shot down a Chinese spy balloon. It has the potential to culminate in a highly anticipated meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in November, their first face-to-face encounter in a year. The primary objective of this new approach is to establish channels of communication and...