Entradas con Categorías Global Affairs Informes .

A view of the Badshahi Mosque, in Lahore, capital of the Punjab province [Pixabay]

▲ A view of the Badshahi Mosque, in Lahore, capital of the Punjab province [Pixabay]

STRATEGIC ANALYSIS REPORT / Naomi Moreno, Alejandro Puigrefagut, Ignacio Yárnoz


Operation Checkmate: Pakistan in a crossfire between world powersDownload the document [pdf. 1,4MB]



This report has been aimed at examining the future prospects for Pakistan in the 2025 horizon in relation to other States and to present various scenarios through a prospective strategic analysis.

The research draws upon the fact that, despite the relatively short space of time, Pakistan is likely to undergo several important changes in its international affairs and thus feel forced to rethink its foreign policy. This strategic analysis suggests there could be considerable estrangement between the U.S. and Pakistan and, therefore, the American influence will decrease considerably. Their security alliance could terminate, and Pakistan would cease to be in U.S.’ sphere of influence. Moreover, with the new BRI and CPEC projects, China could move closer to Pakistan and finally become its main partner in the region. The CPEC is going to become a vital instrument for Pakistan, so it could significantly increase Chinese influence. Yet, the whole situation risks jeopardizing Pakistan’s sovereign independence.

India-Pakistan longstanding dispute over Kashmir seems to be stagnated and will possibly remain as such in the following years. India has taken steps to annex its administered territory in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan could potentially follow. The possibility of an open conflict and a nuclear standoff remains possible as both nuclear powers have very different strategies and conceptions which could lead to a misinterpretation and a nuclear escalation. 

In the quest to rethink its foreign policy, the U.S.-Taliban peace and the empowerment of the group has come as a bolt from the sky for Pakistan. Through its ties with the Taliban, Pakistan could gain itself a major presence in the region namely by reaching out to Central Asia and advance its interest to curtail India’s influence. Amid a dire economic crisis, with regards to the Saudi Iranian Cold War, Pakistan could seek a way in which it can recalibrate its stance in favor of the resource-rich Saudi alliance while it appeases sectarian groups who could strongly oppose this potential policy.

 Pakistan ought to acknowledge that significant changes ought to be made in both the national and international sphere and that decisive challenges lay ahead.

Categorías Global Affairs: Asia Orden mundial, diplomacia y gobernanza Informes

A woman crosses a bridge in a rural area of Pakistan [Pixabay]

▲ A woman crosses a bridge in a rural area of Pakistan [Pixabay]

STRATEGIC ANALYSIS REPORT / Naiara Goñi, Roberto Ramírez, Albert Vidal


Pakistan. Predictions on the eternally hijackedDownload the document [pdf. 1,4MB]



The purpose of this strategic analysis report is to ascertain how geopolitical dynamics in and around Pakistan will evolve in the next few years.

Pakistani relations with the US will become increasingly transactional after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. As the US-India partnership strengthens to face China, the US will lose interest in Pakistan and their priorities will further diverge. In response, Beijing will remain Islamabad’s all-weather strategic partner despite claims that the debt-trap could become a hurdle. Trade relations with the EU will continue to expand and Brussels will not use trade leverage to obtain Human Rights concessions from Islamabad. Cooperation in other areas will stagnate, and the EU’s neutrality on the Kashmir issue will remain unchanged.

In Central Asia, Islamabad will maintain positive relations with the Central Asian Republics, which will be based on increasing connectivity, trade and energy partnerships, although these may be endangered by instability in Afghanistan. Relations with Bangladesh will remain unpropitious. An American withdrawal from Afghanistan will most likely lead to an intensification of the conflict. Thanks to connections with the Taliban, Pakistan might become Afghanistan’s kingmaker. Even if regional powers like Russia and China may welcome the US withdrawal, they will be negatively affected by the subsequent security vacuum. Despite Pakistani efforts to maintain good ties with both Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), if tensions escalate Islamabad will side with Riyadh. Pakistan’s weak non-proliferation credentials will be coupled with a risk of Pakistan sharing its nuclear arsenal with the Saudis.

A high degree of tensions will continue characterizing its relations with India, following the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution. Water scarcity will be another source of problems in their shared borders, which will be exacerbated by New Delhi’s construction of reservoirs in its territory. Islamabad will continue calling for an internationalization of the Kashmir issue, in search of international support. They are likely to fight localized skirmishes, but there is a growing fear that the contentious issues mentioned above could eventually lead to an all-out nuclear war. PM Khan and Modi will be reluctant to establish channels of rapprochement, partly due to internal dynamics of both countries, be it Hindu nationalism or radical Islam.

A glance inside Pakistan will show how terrorism will continue to be a significant threat for Pakistan. As a result of Pakistan’s lack of effective control in certain areas of its territory, the country has been used as a base of operations by terrorist and criminal groups for decades, to perpetrate all kinds of attacks and illegal activities, which will not change in the near future. Risks that should be followed closely include the power of anti-Western narratives wielded by radical Islamists, the lack of a proper educational system and an ambiguous counter-terrorism effort. In the midst of this hodgepodge, religion will continue to have a central role and will be undoubtedly used by non-state actors to justify their violent actions, although it is less likely that it will become an instrument for states to further their radical agendas.

Categorías Global Affairs: Asia Orden mundial, diplomacia y gobernanza Informes

Iran Strategic Report (July 2019)

This report will provide an in-depth analysis of Iran's role in the Middle East and its impact on the regional power balance. Studying current political and economic developments will assist in the elaboration of multiple scenarios that aim to help understand the context surrounding our subject.

J. Hodek, M. Panadero.


Iran Strategic Report (July 2019)Report [pdf. 15,5MB]


This report will examine Iran's geopolitical presence and interests in the region, economic vulnerability and energy security, social and demographic aspects and internal political dynamics. These directly or indirectly affect the evolution of various international strategic issues such as the future of Iran's Nuclear Deal, United States' relations with Iran and its role in Middle East going forward. Possible power equilibrium shifts, which due to the economic and strategic importance of this particular region, possess high relevance and significant degree of impact even outside of the Iranian territory with potential alteration of the regional and international order.

With the aim of presenting a more long-lasting report, several analytical techniques will be used (mainly SWOT analysis and elaboration of simple scenarios), in order to design a strategic analysis of Iran in respect to the regional power balance and the developments of the before mentioned international strategic issues. Key geopolitical data will be collected as of the announcement of the U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran on November 2, 2018 with a projection for the upcoming years, thus avoiding a simple narration of facts, which transpired so far.

First part of this report will be dedicated to a more general analysis of the geopolitical situation in the Middle East, with a closer attention to Iran's interests and influence. Then, after a closer look on the internal dynamics within Iran, several scenarios will be offered out of which some will be categorized and selected as the most probable according to the authors of this report.

Categorías Global Affairs: Oriente Medio Orden mundial, diplomacia y gobernanza Informes Irán

Iran Country Risk Report (June 2019)

After some months of implementation, the re-imposed US sanctions against Iran are seriously affecting Iranian economy and forcing disputed political and even military reactions. The present report attempts to provide an analysis of Iran by addressing: the consequences of sanctions, the current and future state of its energy sector, the internal situation of the country, and the future prospect of the Iran-US relations.

C. Asiáin, M. Morrás, I. Urbasos


Report [pdf. 14,1MB]



The US unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018, reshaped the Iranian domestic and international reality. On the one hand, the JCPOA enabled Iran to increase its GDP above 7% in the period of 2016-2018, more than double its oil exports and maintained President Rouhani in office after the 2017 elections. On the other hand, the US reimposition of the previously lifted sanctions demonstrated the deep vulnerabilities of the Iranian economy and its huge diplomatic isolation.

US sanctions will affect the whole of Iran’s foreign relations due to its extraterritorial nature. The EU will try to avoid its effect through legal protection of its companies and citizens with mechanisms such as the SPV, whose scope and effectivity is yet to be proved. China, as it is less exposed to the US financial and political influence, will be able to better circumvent sanctions but still far from being totally unaffected. Other countries such as India, Turkey or Russia will find difficulties to handle secondary sanctions, but will be able to maintain a certain degree of trade with the Islamic Republic. Japan or South Korea will have to follow US demands because of its strategic alliance in the Asia-Pacific region and resume energy imports and investments.

The Iranian economy is expected to enter into recession during 2019, GDP growth is expected to be -4.5% and unemployment rate will increase to the 15.4%. This economic hardship will concentrate the political debate in the 2020 legislative and 2021 presidential elections, whose result will determine if a moderate or hardliner political faction seizes power. Social unrest from ethnic minorities and opposition is expected to rise if the economic conditions do not improve, challenging the current political equilibrium of the country.

The energy sector will be deeply affected by US sanctions as it banned all countries from investing and purchasing Iran’s energy products. Sanctions are expected to reduce Iran oil exports to 1million barrels a day from the 2017 levels of 2.4 mbdp, decreasing governmental revenues drastically and freezing most foreign investments. The lack of FDI and technology will aggravate the problems of the Iranian energy sector with possible irreversible effects depending on the sanctions duration.

US-Iran relations are expected to worsen at least until the US 2020 Presidential elections, when a more dialoguing candidate could substitute the hawkish Trump administration. The United States is expected to maintain its current strategic alliances with Saudi Arabia and Israel, whose common goal of pressuring Iran can have unexpected consequences for the Middle East. Domestic politics in Iran, US, Israel and Saudi Arabia will play a major role in the evolution of the events.

Categorías Global Affairs: Oriente Medio Economía, Comercio y Tecnología Informes Irán

Iran Country Risk Report (May 2019)

The sanctions that the United States is implementing against the Islamic Republic of Iran since November 2018 are the toughest sanctions ever imposed on Iran. They threaten to cut off foreign countries and companies dealing with Iran from the US financial system in order to deter business with Iran so to curtail the impact of proxy groups on the Middle East’s security and stability. The aim of this country report is to provide the most recent analysis of the Iran's economic and political situation, and estimate its evolution in the short and medium term. It presents an overlook of specific clues about matters related to political risk, as well as the effect that sanctions may have on the Iranian economy, and the prospects for political stability all over the region.

Alona Sainetska


Report [pdf. 13,5MB]



Effects of sanctions

The re-imposition of US sanctions will maintain the Iranian economy in recession during the remaining months of 2019. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the economic meltdown will be very unlikely to happen, as the volume of oil exports is still significant, crude prices are going to continue to rise and other major powers´ opinion will still differ from the US´s. The multinational companies dependent on US financial system will continue leaving the Iranian market, partially leading to declining of the foreign investment, but SMEs will be almost unaffected and new forms of trading are likely to emerge soon.

Iran is likely to build stronger economic and political ties with India, China and Russia, thus giving them more power and openness to new trading opportunities, basically due to lack of any other possible partner on the horizon in the mid-term.

The prices are likely to keep growing up in the following months reaching the average inflation of 31.2% in 2019-20; still the risk of hyperinflation is discarded due to the fact that Iran is able to meet a significant share of local demand through local production. 

Backed by support from the EU, Iran is promised to obtain in the mid-term a special mechanism of payments  (Special Purpose Vehicle) for its oil and other exports (possibly through a barter system) in order to conduct trading outside of the competence of the US sanctions. This is likely to create some tensions between Europe and the US but they will not be powerful enough to split the long-lasting alliance between the two.

Oil and gas

The Iran´s production of oil will probably continue to decrease affecting the world´s oil price.

Five from the eight initial major buyers (Italy, Greece and Taiwan have already stopped their purchases from Iran) are and will be buying Iranian oil now that the waivers have been extended for the following 90 days. Thereby, the Iranian oil will still remain in demand during the following years, and Iran´s government is likely to find solutions for its selling and exportation, even though illegally, in the mid and long-term. Thus, the United States is unlikely to meet its earlier target of driving Iranian oil exports to zero.

Iraq will continue to buy natural gas from Iran in order to use it in the production of electricity, becoming the second largest customer. Taking into account the fact that there is a sort of competence between US and Iran for the influence over Iraq, it can fuel a further deterioration of their relations. It is also plausible that more buyers will emerge if some new forms of trading, which do not rely on dollar, appear soon.

Even though the modest production growth is likely to continue, Iran won´t be able to unilaterally monetize its natural gas resources due to lack of financial partners and the investment, especially from the West. However, it will be able to fulfil its domestic demand and sustain trade with Turkey.

Iran’s ability to increase production and exports of natural gas will be almost improbable, unless the relations with the United States are improved or support from international partners in defiance of sanctions is reinforced. Nevertheless, if Iran manages to accomplish current development projects, its export pipeline capacity will increase from 46.4 bcm/year in 2018, to 119.7 bcm/year to the regional and global markets in a long run. China, India and Pakistan will play a significant role in Iran´s natural gas sector.

The domestic scene

Iran will continue demonstrating considerable resilience in coping with US sanctions, and is likely to continue to fully implement the commitments of JCPOA as long as China, Russia, or countries which are non-members of the deal, such as India, continue to trade with it, and if EU continues maintaining its constructive attitude. In this case, even a greater international support and United Nations diplomatic intervention is expected in the mid-term. However, on a longer run, the JCPOA future will depend upon the economic situation and complex political battles between moderates and hardliners in Tehran.

The current deterioration of the economic conditions in Iran, the rial devaluation and growing inflation, together with already-high unemployment will provoke a further popular discontent which is likely to maintain the protests but without any considerable probability to threaten the Iranian political stability or lead to leadership´s rupture during the upcoming years.

The sanctions are likely to produce some adverse effects on the political local scene over the longer term, as Iranian hardliners may take advantage of them and the popular frustration and obtain the victory in the coming 2020 parliamentary elections and the 2021 presidential poll. As a result, any possibility for future cooperation with US will equal zero.

Categorías Global Affairs: Oriente Medio Economía, Comercio y Tecnología Documentos de trabajo Informes Irán


El informe Seguridad Regional Americana (SRA) que ponemos en marcha tiene el propósito de abordar anualmente las amenazas más recientes para la seguridad de los países americanos. Se ocupa de un espacio que en gran medida es la región de seguridad de Estados Unidos, por lo que muchos aspectos trascienden el ámbito nacional y pasan a una consideración geopolítica. La seguridad del Hemisferio Occidental incumbe, por tanto, también a la Unión Europea o a España, interesadas en la estabilidad y prosperidad al otro lado del Atlántico. Nuestro SRA es un barrido, a modo de radar, de las cuestiones más significativas ocurridas en este campo el último año.

SEGURIDAD REGIONAL AMERICANA, informe 2019Abrir el PDF completo del informe [pdf. 19,7MB]



La presente tensión geopolítica mundial se está jugando en el near abroad de las tres principales potencias. Ese término se aplica específicamente al espacio que en su día formaba parte de la URSS y hoy rodea a Rusia: la política exterior del Kremlin se encamina tanto a asegurar su influencia en esa zonas como a evitar que algunas de ellas se conviertan en peón de otros. Pero un pulso así, como el que ocurre en Ucrania o las repúblicas bálticas, también se da en el near abroad chino: el mar de la China Oriental y de la China Meridional. Y del mismo modo, aunque con un dramatismo menor, el juego geopolítico ha llegado también a ese extranjero próximo de Estados Unidos, que va más allá del patio trasero que constituye el Gran Caribe y podríamos extender al menos hasta la línea del Ecuador.

En el último año la región de seguridad de Estados ha entrado de lleno en esta nueva fase de geopolítica aguda. Eso se debe especialmente al aumento de la presencia de Rusia en ese entorno, especialmente en Venezuela, donde del auxilio económico se ha pasado en meses recientes a una sucesión de gestos de índole militar que desafían a EEUU. Además, el acuerdo firmado por Cuba para instalar una estación de Glonass, el navegador satelital ruso, alimenta la posibilidad de que Moscú vuelva a querer usar la isla para labores de inteligencia, como en el Guerra Fría. Similares sospechas existen en relación a una estación ya abierta en Managua, donde asimismo una academia para policías gestionada por Rusia ha sido señalada con suspicacia por el Pentágono.


Donald Trump y Vladimir Putin, en julio de 2018 [Shealah Craighead]

Donald Trump y Vladimir Putin, en julio de 2018 [Shealah Craighead]


A la par de esa actividad rusa en la región, Washington pone en ocasiones la de China. Aunque sin buscar hacer enojar a EEUU, como puede atribuirse al Kremlin en su deseo de reciprocar la presión recibida en Ucrania, los movimientos comerciales de Pekín son percibidos por los estadounidenses como no amistosos. Así ocurre especialmente en Centroamérica, donde en pocos años China ha ido desplazando la peculiar influencia que tenía Taiwán, país que en 2018 perdió el apoyo de El Salvador y República Dominica. A lo largo del año diversas autoridades estadounidenses expresaron la incomodidad por la toma de posiciones de China en el entorno del Canal de Panamá. Por lo demás, después de un 2016 sin apenas créditos a Venezuela y un 2017 en blanco, Pekín otorgó en 2018 un préstamo de 5.000 millones de dólares al régimen chavista (van ya 67.200 millones).

La crisis venezolana no solo está generando una fricción entre las tres principales potencias, sino que además es foco de inseguridad para los países de alrededor. El espacio que el Gobierno de Maduro ha seguido dando a los guerrilleros colombianos ha contribuido a que 2018 pueda considerarse como el año de consolidación de la actividad delictiva de la disidencia de las FARC, en colaboración con el ELN, una guerrilla todavía activa como tal que además está incrementando su radio de acción en Venezuela. El último año también vio un robustecimiento del ELN, que fracasadas las negociaciones que mantenía con el Gobierno realizó un atentado en Bogotá en enero de 2019 causando 21 muertos. Los disidentes de las FARC llegaron a finales de 2018 a ser unos dos mil, incluyendo elementos desmovilizados que vuelven a las armas y también nuevos reclutas. Su actividad de producción de coca, concentrada en el suroeste de Colombia, supuso a lo largo de 2018 un derrame de violencia al otro lado de la frontera con Ecuador, en parte por la actividad de “el Guacho”, un exFARC finalmente abatido por las fuerzas de seguridad colombianas.

El agravamiento de la situación venezolana, por otro lado, ha reducido la vigilancia en el mar, aumentado la corrupción de autoridades marítimas y de municipios costeros y empujado a los habitantes de esas localidades a buscar modos de subsistencia. Como consecuencia, los episodios de piratería frente a las costas de Venezuela y de sus vecinos orientales se han incrementado notablemente. En un solo ataque realizado en abril de 2018 en aguas de Surinam fallecieron quince pescadores de Guyana; por su parte las autoridades de Trinidad y Tobago decidieron crear una unidad aérea de élite para luchar contra esas acciones.

No es la única especial alerta en Trinidad y Tobago. La desbandada de yihadistas del ISIS que está suponiendo la pacificación de Siria ha puesto en guardia tanto a Washington como a Puerto España ante el posible regreso al país caribeño de quienes fueron a combatir a Oriente Medio. Trinidad y Tobago fue la nación que proporcionalmente más combatientes envió a Siria: un total de 130, de una población que puede alcanzar los dos millones habitantes, de los que apenas el 5% son musulmanes. Las autoridades detuvieron en febrero de 2018 a cuatro presuntos yihadistas por planear un atentado en el carnaval de la capital. Urgido por EEUU, que teme una diseminación por la región de extremistas trinitenses, el Gobierno insular desarrolló en 2018 una nueva estrategia antiterrorista.

El éxito internacional en terminar con el “califato” del ISIS traslada, pues, el riesgo a otras partes del mundo. También la presión de la Administración Trump sobre Irán puede estar incentivando una mayor actividad de Hezbolá en ciertos enclaves de Sudamérica –sería el caso de la Triple Frontera– para compensar la reducción de financiación que podría devenir de la efectividad de las sanciones estadounidenses a Teherán. El año 2018 supuso, en cualquier caso, una reactivación del interés de la Casa Blanca por desbaratar las redes de narcotráfico, lavado de dinero y contrabando llevado a cabo por operativos de Hezbolá en América Latina: el Departamento de Justicia reconstituyó una unidad de investigación específica y el Departamento de Estado etiquetó al grupo, ya calificado por EEUU de organización terrorista, como organización criminal transnacional. El último año, además, vio un salto en la cooperación de los tres países de la Triple Frontera –Argentina, Brasil y Paraguay–, lo que permitió la detención de Assad Ahmad Barakat, un importante operador financiero de Hezbolá, y una quincena de miembros de su clan.

Si bien las cuestiones migratorias son de constante actualidad en las Américas, 2018 puede calificarse como “el año de las caravanas”, por las diversas marchas que partieron de Honduras hacia la frontera con Estados Unidos y que encontraron una dura respuesta de la Administración Trump. Uno de los aspectos polémicos fue la denuncia que esta hizo sobre la posible utilización de esas marchas por parte de presuntos extremistas islámicos con el objeto de llegar a EEUU pasando desapercibidos. Lo cierto es que Washington ha puesto atención a la ruta por Centroamérica de personas de otros continentes.

Así en 2018 acordó ayudar a Panamá a aumentar el control del paso de Darién, una región selvática en la frontera con Colombia en la que ese año fueron localizados casi 9.000 migrantes, el 91% africanos y asiáticos. De ellos, 2.100 entraban en la calificación estadounidense de “personas de interés” (procedentes de Bangladesh, Eritrea, Pakistán, Yemen y Somalia, entre otros países).

La región también ha conocido algunos avances, como detener el ascenso de los casos de muertes por sobredosis de opiáceos en Estados Unidos, una epidemia que en 2017 marcó una cifra récord. A lo largo de 2018 el esfuerzo de erradicación de cultivos de amapola en México, cuyo notable incremento de producción de heroína había empujado al alza el consumo en EEUU (en mezcla con el sintético fentanilo, mayormente también llegado a través de México) y el mayor control legislativo y sanitario por parte las autoridades estadounidenses, parecen dar señales de que el problema ha dejado de crecer.

Categorías Global Affairs: Norteamérica Seguridad y defensa Latinoamérica Informes

REPORTJokin de Carlos Sola

Simplicity is the best word to describe this Baltic country. Its flag represents the main landscape of the country; a white land covered in snow, a black forest, and a blue light sky. And so is its economy, politics and  taxation. What a minimalistic artwork is Estonia.

Estonia is the smallest of the three Baltic countries, with the smallest population and a quite big border with Russia, concretely 294 km long. Even so, Estonia has a bigger GDP per capita (17,727.5 USD in 2016 according to World Bank) than the other two Baltic states: Latvia and Lithuania. It has a bigger presence in the markets and a bigger quality of life according to the OECD in a study done it in 2017.

Technology is a very important part of Estonia's  economy. According to the World Bank, 15% of Estonia's  GDP are high tech industries. Following the example of Finland, Estonia has made technology the most important aspect  of  their economy and society. But not just that, with the eyes faced towards the future, or as the Estonians call it “Tulevik”, this former part of the Soviet Union of 1,3 million inhabitants  has become the most modernized state in Europe.

The 24th of February of 2018 Estonia celebrated the 100th anniversary of the its independence, so it is interesting to see how the evolution of this small country is and will continue to be.

All this has been possible because of different figures  like Laar, Ilves, Ansip, and Kotka.


Process of Modernization and Technological Development in Estonia Descargar el informe completo [pdf. 3,4MB]

Categorías Global Affairs: Europa Central y Rusia Economía, Comercio y Tecnología Informes

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