It would be ironic if his death led the U.S. to take actions harmful to itself
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 7, No. 10, October 2018
Iran’s Navy Commander Admiral Habibollah Sayari, 2016. In 2010 on December, 22, in Tehran he announced at a press conference that Iran will launch 10 days of naval drills from December 24, covering east of the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman to the Gulf of Aden. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
William R. Hawkins
International Economics and National Security Consultant
Returning from his trip to Saudi Arabia and Turkey, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told President Donald Trump on Thursday that the Saudi Arabian government needs s “a few more days” to investigate the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi writer and activist who disappeared on October 4 while visiting a Saudi consulate in Turkey. It has been alleged that Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents because of his criticism of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the young reform-minded de facto leader of the country. Pompeo told the press, “We made clear to them that we take this matter very seriously.” As a sign of this, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin withdrew from an investment conference in Riyadh and President Donald Trump threatened “severe consequences” if Khashoggi’s murder was state sponsored. Yet, Pompeo also reminded his audience, “We have a have a long strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia. We need to be mindful of that.” And well we should, as it provides the larger strategic context in which the fate of Khashoggi must be placed.
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 2018
Group of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers in China. Gene Zhang via Flickr.
University of Pennsylvania
I have some thoughts about the “year of doom” 2018 that appeared on the web yesterday. They are as follows:
(1) China has undertaken her dangerous policies for internal reasons. That is how China is. She has no pressing or other need for Scarborough Shoal in the Philippines EEZ, for example.
(2) We know (1) is true because Xi Jin Ping goes on an on about loyalty, reshuffles the army, creates the most boring flag raising ceremony in history, and was reported to get in a fight with a general about whether the army should be made national instead of party. Who after all is going to take a bullet for Xi? We need to get to the root of this domestic phenomenon, but how is an almost impossible question.
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 5, No. 5, May 2017
Grand Bazaar in Tabriz, Iran, 2015. Source: Jeyho Moon via Flickr.
Cyrus Nezakat CEO of Stark General Trading LLC
As the conclusion of the Iranian presidential election looms, there have been a plethora of opinions from analysts, political experts and journalists regarding the implications of the outcome of the elections. The prevailing opinions are centered on the status quo differentiation of the progressive and conservative parties in Iran and their respective candidates: incumbent President Hassan Rouhani and his chief opponent Ibrahim Raisi.
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 5, No. 4, April 2017
Flag by the Shaanxi Government Building – Xi’an, 2009. Source: Will Clayton via Flickr.
David Wolfe Asian Security Specialist and Consultant
The recent controversy regarding the location of the Carl Vinson Strike Group is analogous to current US Policy in Asia, rather than just another confusing announcement by the Trump Administration. The dysfunctional appearance is emblematic of a newly adopted regional retreat in many ways by the Trump Administration, and ceding territory throughout the region to Chinese aggression and hegemonic dominance. The time period between the announcements of the US-India Nuclear Agreement back in 2006, right up to the recent withdrawal of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), saw the United States’ Asian Policy focus towards consensus building, greater regional economic integration and an expansion of security partnerships. However, given the recent withdrawal from TPP, the Trump Administration is reversing course from those alliances established to counter the hegemonic ambitions by the Chinese to one in stark contradiction of that policy overnight. The United States’ proposed interests, strategic alliances and most importantly, a check to Chinese expansion throughout the region of South, Southeast and Northeast Asia, is now in jeopardy, and no one is more appreciative of this shift than China. Unfortunately, given the short-term memory in today’s oversaturated news culture, most are either unaware or have forgotten the long-term strategic goals the US has sought to pursue, and how that is now setting up a dangerous scenario for regional allies.
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 5, No. 2, February 2017
Tehran. Source: Jabiz Raisdana via Flickr.
NabiSonboli Instituted for Political and International Studies
On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorists”. The orderreflects three critical concerns regarding immigrants and those who come to the US in the new administration: Security, ideology, and contribution. These concerns are valid for any country, but the questions remain, which one of these concerns are legitimate with regards to Iran and Iranians? and what is the main target in this order?