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Geopolitical Monitor

Fallout from Saudi Oil Facility Attack

Khurais_Oil_Processing_Facility,_Saudi_Arabia_by_Planet_Labs, cc Planet Labs Inc., modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Khurais_Oil_Processing_Facility,_Saudi_Arabia_by_Planet_Labs.jpg

Appraising the geopolitical and market fallout from the mysterious attack on Saudi oil facilities earlier this month.

Spain Headed for a General Election… Again

Gozón.8-10-2015. Visita de los secretarios generales de la FSA-PSOE y el PSOE, Javier Fernández y Pedro Sánchez, respectivamente, ala explotación ganadera Badiola, cc Flickr FSA-PSOE, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

For those keeping track at home, this will be the fourth general election in four years.

The US Federal Reserve Steps into the Spotlight

Trump Powell, cc Flickr The White House, modified, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/

With an expected rate cut and a rare liquidity intervention, the US Federal Reserve has been moving markets this week.

Draghi’s Parting Gift: ECB Turns the Stimulus Taps Back On

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 25JAN13 - Mario Draghi, President, European Central Bank, Frankfurt is captured during the special address session at the Annual Meeting 2013 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 25, 2013. Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo Remy Steinegger, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mario_Draghi_World_Economic_Forum_2013.jpg

Monetary stimulus has returned to Europe, and President Trump isn’t happy about it.

EU-Mercosur Trade Deal Hangs in the Balance amid Amazon Row

Brazil Amazon fires (2011), cc Flickr NASA Earth Observatory, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The EU-Mercosur free trade agreement had some uncomfortable environmental connotations from the very beginning, and the latest Amazon row has put them into much sharper relief.

North Korea Tests Defense Shield-Busting Short-Range Missile

Aegis missile launch, cc Flickr U.S. Missile Defense Agency, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/. May 16, 2013 - A Standard Missile – 3 (SM-3) Block 1B interceptor is launched from the USS LAKE ERIE (CG 70) during a Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy test in the mid-Pacific. The SM-3 Block 1B successfully intercepted a target missile that had been launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. Following target launch, the LAKE ERIE detected and tracked the target with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The ship, equipped with the second-generation Aegis BMD weapon system, developed a fire control solution and launched the SM-3 Block 1B. The intercept occurred a few minutes later. Today’s event was the third consecutive successful intercept test of the SM-3 Block IB missile. To learn more, visit www.mda.mil/system/aegis_bmd.html.

In sharp contrast to the United States’ blasé attitude toward recent missile tests by Pyongyang, Japan is increasingly alarmed.

Global Forecast (08-26-2019)

GPM-placeholder-forecast

Italy coalition negotiations come down to the wire, Assad’s Idlib offensive rolls out, and North Korea unleashes its “super-large multiple rocket launcher.”

Glacier Watch: Indus Basin

IndusRiver-Header2

Pakistan’s water issues will go from bad to worse after glaciers in the Indus Basin pass the peak water mark later this century.

The EU Defense Industry: Background

cc Flickr 7th Army Training Command, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

So long as the EU defense industry is not the sum of its national parts, it will struggle to compete with giants like Russia and the United States.

Turkey & Russia’s Détente Tested in Idlib

Putin Erdogan, cc Kremlin.ru, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/58574, modified,

Turkey-Russia cooperation is under strain as the Syrian regime intensifies its attempts to re-take the last major rebel stronghold in the civil war.

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