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.

The Bering Strait: A New Chokepoint for Great Power Competition

The attack submarine USS Annapolis (SSN 760) rests in the Arctic Ocean after surfacing through three feet of ice during Ice Exercise 2009 on March 21, 2009. The two-week training exercise, which is used to test submarine operability and war-fighting capability in Arctic conditions, also involves the USS Helena (SSN 725), the University of Washington and personnel from the Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory. DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tiffini M. Jones, U.S. Navy. (Released), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USS_Annapolis_ICEX.jpg

The Northern Sea Route through the Arctic will alter global trade flows and in doing so create new geopolitical chokepoints. Chief among them is the Bering Strait, where US, Russian, and Chinese interests converge.

The Geopolitical Impact of Climate Change in Vietnam

SubmergedTree in Laos, cc Basile Morin, modified, 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Submerged_tree_under_a_dark_and_cloudy_sky_in_Si_Phan_Don.jpg

As a country that’s particularly susceptible to climate change, Vietnam will face a daunting assortment of security, economic, and political challenges in the decades to come.

Is Indonesia Abandoning Its Capital?

JakartaFlood, cc Flickr Seika, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/, modified

Sure, Jakarta might be underwater in less than five decades. But doing something about it is easier said than done.

Greenland: A New Frontier of Great Power Competition

Greenland, cc Flickr Greenland Travel, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In opening its doors to foreign investors, an independence-minded Greenland could be ushering in a new era of geopolitical competition in the Arctic.

Glacier Watch: Indus Basin


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

Cambodia and Other Southeast Asian Nations Shouldn’t Be Stuck with Western Trash

Garbage Dump, cc Flickr Adam Jones, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

It’s time to close the legal loopholes and stop dumping Western trash on developing countries.

FDI in Ethiopia: Is “Abiymania” Enough?

Ethiopia at the African Union, cc Flickr Office of the Prime Minister - Ethiopia, modified, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/

Ethiopia’s new prime minister is popular enough to spawn his own ‘mania.’ But beneath the economic success story of the past year lurks the potential for new conflicts.

Coalition Negotiations Down to the Wire in Spain

https://www.eldiario.es/licencia/, cc Marta Jara / eldiario.es - Pedro Sánchez se impone al PSOE del pasado, modified, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedro_S%C3%A1nchez#/media/File:Pedro-Sanchez-primarias-PSOE-Internacional_EDIIMA20170522_0010_19.jpg

What once looked like a clear path to a governing coalition in Madrid doesn’t look so easy anymore.

Can the U.S. Break China’s Rare Earth Monopoly?

A strip mine near Globe Arizona, circa 1990; cc Flickr Phillip Capper, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Rare earths have emerged as a new variable in the US-China trade war. Is China’s near-monopoly on these strategic resources its ultimate trump card, or will US producers be able to diversify supply amid the new normal of bilateral tension.

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