17 March 2016   Leave a comment

The Economist Intelligence Unit is one of the most highly regarded research institutions in the world.   They have just published their top ten global risks for April 2016.  Apparently, the unit regards the election of Donald Trump as US President as a higher risk threat than jihadi terrorism.  The report “….calculates risk intensity on a 25-point scale, taking into account both the probability that an event will occur and the impact it will have if it comes to pass.”  Here is the list:

April 2016


The Obama Administration has finally declared that Daesh (the Islamic State) is committing “genocide” against Christians, Yazidis, and Shia Muslims in Syria and Iraq.  The use of the actual word, genocide, identifies the atrocities being committed as war crimes, a designation that triggers international responsibilities to take action.  The last time the US used the word was in 2004 for actions taken in Darfur.  Sadly, there is little evidence that the US or the international community will take effective action against Daesh.  Genocide is still occurring in Darfur.

Syrian Kurds have unilaterally declared their own federal region within Syria, pre-empting international action and/or forcing the hand of the international community.  The US, Turkey, and Syria all oppose the action, but it represents an effort by the Syrian Kurds to get some recognition for their efforts against Daesh.  As the map below indicates, however, the land controlled by the Syrian Kurds is not contiguous and in the area north of Aleppo the majority population is Arab, not Kurdish.  The action will undoubtedly complicate the negotiations, but it will also force the negotiators to redouble their efforts.


Posted March 17, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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