The Release of 2019 Semi-Annual Outlook Report
1 Sep 2019
Amman - Jordan
"The world will witness an unbridled arms race to employ technology for defensive or offensive purposes," a recently published report stated, adding that "cyberspace will become an arena for military operations that is no less dangerous and significant than the traditional battlefield".
Issued by STRATEGIECS Think Tank, the 2019 semi-annual outlook report features 19 analytical pieces, covering a myriad of regional and global geopolitical themes.
It addresses future scenarios of the most recent and heavily debated issues at the international and regional levels, pointing out to a noticeable hesitation in making crucial decisions, while the actions of regional and global powers and actors are characterized by “strategic deterrence”.
Such hesitation is attributed to the concerned parties' full awareness of the high costs of escalation, and the U.S.-Iranian crisis manifests one case in point, according to STRATEGIECS's report.
Further, the report presents a historical timeline of the Iranian nuclear file from 1957 until July 2019 by reviewing the most important events that led to the evolution of the Iranian nuclear file and, eventually, bringing the region into the current crisis.
In a paper titled "The Impact of Nuclear Power on the Concept of Strategy", the report indicates that Iran is leaning towards a more visible nuclear dimension in its escalation with the U.S., a step that strongly portrays its position despite the maximum-pressure campaign.
However, as the Middle East enters a new phase of confrontation and accelerated developments, the report suggests that the U.S., its allies, and Iran are still showing a rational approach that is preventing a blow-up.
Gauging questions related to the future of security in the Middle East region, STRATEGIECS predicts that the "upcoming face of terrorism" will be more sophisticated and complex, surpassing the physical borders of the classical nation-state, especially as a number of countries seem to fail in addressing the current shortcomings in the security and ideological paradigms.
In the same vein, the think-tank tackles the highly important and complicated issue of minorities through analyzing how external interferences may use minorities as a tool of pressure, extortion, threat, or sabotage in countries that lack social homogeneity.
Focusing on the Middle East, an in-depth analysis of the importance, opportunities, and obstacles facing "Iraq's Return to the Arab and Regional Arena" was presented, with several indicators showing the progress Iraq has achieved at the regional level, proven by the acting powers that have become alerted to Baghdad as a potential bridge between the conflicting parties, particularly in the Middle East.
The report also sheds light on the stability of Algeria by projecting several scenarios related to the future of its political situation and its impact on North Africa's stability.
Addressing international relations and the transformations in the balance of powers in the Middle East, the report also includes topics related to contemporary geopolitical opportunities and challenges, such as: the Sino-Arab relations; the future of the competition among regional and international powers over the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden region; the future scenarios of the Iranian crisis and its repercussions on the Middle East; the history and future of the Iranian-Arab relations; an analysis of the Iranian economy, which is facing the U.S. sanctions with a complex structure; in addition to analyzing the depreciation of the Turkish lira.
Economically, the report included a forecast of oil prices during the second half of 2019 as well as an analysis of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) interventions in Europe, raising questions on whether IMF policies in Europe constitute a restructuring of the continent's economy or an expansion of the developing world's sphere. Additionally, the report examined the Greek model to assess the effectiveness of such policies in the EU region.
In a paper titled "Huawei: A Neutral Technology or a Spearhead of China's Economy", the report also tackled the U.S.-China trade war, which has recently taken a technological turn.
The interactions between China and the U.S. will not bring about a single loser, according to the report, adding that the economic ties and the great level of dependence between the two countries make it difficult to start changing the formula of this relationship.
Nonetheless, the report predicts that the U.S. is seeking to change this relationship in its favor by concluding a "fragile" trade deal with China in order to buy more time to enable the U.S. ICT companies to develop their 5G technology, while besieging the Chinese companies in global markets and undermining the competitiveness of the products they offer.
In this regard, STRATEGIECS Chairman Hasan Ismaik underscored that: "Geopolitics remains one of the most crucial factors in the management of international political and economic relations. It is also an instrumental tool to understand global transformations".
''We have also witnessed a vital role and impact of technology in the aggravation or resolution of international stances. The dispute over technological knowledge has become as important as the struggle for dominance over a region or a vital waterway. This has been the case between the U.S. and China concerning the fifth-generation (5G) technology, with repercussions that are still in play up to now", Ismaik added.
STRATEGIECS Think Tank is a specialized research center for studies on foreign policy and security issues in the Middle East, providing, through a holistic analytical approach, deep insight and future forecast of the constant regional challenges.
The center seeks to turn political ideas and proposals into executable and practically implementable projects that are of benefit to all relevant stakeholders. STRATEGIECS also supports decision-makers to pursue the optimal paths to achieve the desired developmental, political, and economic goals.