Category Archives: Stratfor

Articles reposted from Stratfor, with their generous permission.

Stratfor: China Is Building Its Future on Credit

Summary: China, like the US, has surprised the bears by the resilience of its economy. Here Strafor examines one source of its economic strength, one that might haunt its future — massive and imprudent accumulation of debt.

Stratfor

China Is Building Its Future on Credit
Stratfor, 20 July 2016

Summary

As China tries to overcome slowdowns in its industrial and trade sectors, the country’s banks have continued to increase the pace of lending, issuing 1.38 trillion yuan ($205.8 billion) worth of loans in June. The figure confirms some economists’ expectations that lending will keep rising as China’s central government attempts to revive economic growth and boost property markets that showed signs of another slump in May. It also indicates that despite Beijing’s repeated pledges to reduce the economy’s reliance on credit and state-led investment, the easy flow of financing from state-owned banks remains the country’s primary bulwark against widespread debt crises among corporations and local governments.

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Stratfor: generals strike for tyranny in Turkey. Why they failed.

Summary: Francis Fukuyama predicted the triumph of liberal democracies in The End of History and the Last Man. Some of Turkey’s generals disagree; their coup attempt represents a bold strike for well-intentioned tyranny. Here Stratfor explains what’s happening, and the likely outcome.

Stratfor

Why the Turkish Coup Will Likely Fail

Stratfor, 16 July 2016

Update: Turkey’s PM Binali Yildirim said that the coup attempt was a “black stain on Turkish democracy” — but it failed, and that 2,839 soldiers and officers have been arrested.

Turkey’s coup plotters certainly had the element of surprise working in their favor. The speed in which the military deployed in major cities and took control of critical power nodes showed a high degree of organization and efficiency. However, the coup attempt is already starting to fray, and its chances of failing are high because a polarizing faction is leading it.

What went wrong

The mutineers have yet to accomplish two important components of a successful coup, at least at the time of publication.

(1)  Popular Support

The ingredient that will determine who comes out on top in Turkey is popular support. Countercoups in support of Erdogan have already begun, their participants expressing support for the president and his party. The military prepared for resistance by bolstering security in major public areas such as Taksim Square, but now the countercoup presence there is strong. Riot police have joined countercoup protesters, shooting guns in the air and asking the army to leave. Now that there are reports that the military is firing on protesters on the Bosporus Bridge, those who instigated the coup are clearly battling for public support.

(2)  Unity of Force

Last, a successful coup needs a critical mass of security forces that acts in support of the cause; remaining forces, especially those that are weak or sidelined, can be managed. In Turkey, it is unclear where everyone’s loyalty stands, but there are signs of conflict among the various branches of the military.

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Stratfor: What the Ramadan Attacks Reveal About ISIS

Summary: The fall of Fallujah and the Ramadan attacks mark a decisive retreat of the jihadist (led by ISIS) from Mao’s Phase 3 operations (holding areas) back to Phase 2 (attacks on the government, terrorism). Last week Stratfor looked at Fallujah; here is their analysis of the Ramadan attacks. Eventually it will get crushed as was al Qaeda, setting the stage for Jihad 3.0.

Stratfor

What the Ramadan Attacks Reveal About the Islamic State

Lead analyst:  Scott Stewart
Stratfor, 7 July 2016

Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammed al-Adnani called on the group’s followers in late May to launch a spate of attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Looking back on that month, which ran from June 5 to July 5, it is clear that his call was answered. This year’s Ramadan has been the bloodiest on record since the Islamic State declared its caliphate in June 2014.  {See info about the Ramadan Offensives in in 2003 and in 2006.

That is not to say that past Ramadans did not see their share of violence, too. In 2015, the holy month brought significant attacks against a tourist beach resort in Sousse, Tunisia, and against a military reserve center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. But this year’s carnage has far surpassed last year’s in both scope and body count, in spite of the Islamic State core’s notable losses of territory and fighters in Iraq and Syria.

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