Geopolitics and International Security

Moscow and Tehran’s Role in the Middle East
Middle East, Geopolitics and International Security, Study Office

Moscow and Tehran’s Role in the Middle East

By José Carlos Palma* In recent years, the Middle East has become a battleground for geopolitical maneuvering, with Moscow and Tehran emerging as key players in shaping the region's dynamics. The evolving relationship between Russia and Israel, coupled with Iran's growing influence, underscores a complex interplay of interests and alliances that have far-reaching implications for regional stability and global security. Redefining Alliances The historic friendship between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has undergone significant strain in the face of shifting geopolitical realities. While once considered allies in the fight against terrorism, particularly in Syria, the relationship between Moscow and Jerusalem has cooled in recent years,...
Iran’s Ring of Fire: A Strategic Analysis
Middle East, Geopolitics and International Security, Regions, Study Office

Iran’s Ring of Fire: A Strategic Analysis

By José Carlos Palma* In the ongoing geopolitical chess game between Iran and Israel, the Middle East has become a battleground where tactics are nuanced, and consequences dire. At the heart of Iran’s strategy lies a two-pronged approach: a military nuclear capability acting as a shield, and a network of proxy forces encircling Israel, known as the “Ring of Fire.” The Strategic Framework Iran’s ambition to establish itself as a dominant regional power has manifested in its development of a sophisticated strategy aimed at maintaining a safe distance from confrontation while exerting influence through proxies. The “Ring of Fire” strategy, orchestrated by the Islamic Republic, involves bolstering militant groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and vario...
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...
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...
Cold War 2.0 — Kremlin rolls out red carpet for China’s Xi
Geopolitics and International Security

Cold War 2.0 — Kremlin rolls out red carpet for China’s Xi

Chinese leader offers Putin a lifeline as Ukraine war churns By Guy Taylor - The Washington Times Cold War 2.0 shifted into a new gear Monday as Chinese President Xi Jinping traveled to Moscow in a major show of solidarity with Russian President Vladimir Putin against the United States and other Western democracies. Mr. Xi is seeking to highlight China’s rising diplomatic clout during the three-day state visit, his first overseas trip since formally securing an unprecedented third five-year term as president this month. Analysts say he also aims to give the embattled Mr. Putin a boost just days after an international arrest warrant was issued for the Russian leader on war crimes charges related to his troubled invasion of Ukraine. The Ukraine war and the prospect that Beijing cou...