Ramadan in 2018, a Threat Lens Perspective

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Key Takeaways

  • Stratfor Threat Lens anticipates an increase in the tempo and intensity of attacks during Ramadan this year, similar to that seen in 2016 and 2017.
  • A confluence of events — including but not limited to Ramadan — will exacerbate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • The United States opened its new embassy in Jerusalem May 14, coinciding with the day Palestinians commemorate their 1948 displacement from Israel.

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There’s No Easy Way Out of Africa for French Forces

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Forecast Highlights
  • The weakness of Sahel states, including Mali and Niger, will continue to force them to rely on foreign powers, such as France, for security.
  • France will continue working to prevent a security crisis from developing in any of its partner states in the terrorist-rich Sahel.
  • Newly elected French president Manuel Macron will be limited in his ability to militarily disengage from Mali and Africa more broadly.

Despite all of France’s pressing domestic issues, its newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron, traveled to Mali during his first week in office, sending a clear message to the world: France still considers Africa a top priority. On the trip, Macron met May 19 with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and with some of the more than 3,000 French troops stationed in the country under the aegis of Operation Barkhane. Though Macron’s political strategy is still solidifying from campaign promises into actual policy, his administration will face the same severe constraints in the Sahel region as did his predecessors, including institutional weakness, resilient Islamic militant groups and rough physical terrain — which will make a military drawdown difficult.

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