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A Semana Geopolítica

Crise da Europa; Bolha imobiliária chinesa; Operação do Quénia na Somália…

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Intelligence Guidance: Europe’s Crisis, Kenya’s Operation in Somalia

October 29, 2011 | 1637 GMT

MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images | A Hamas security guard monitors the prisoner exchange at the Rafah crossing in Gaza on Oct. 18

Editor’s Note: The following is an internal STRATFOR document produced to provide high-level guidance to our analysts. This document is not a forecast, but rather a series of guidelines for understanding and evaluating events, as well as suggestions on areas for focus.


New Guidance

Europe Looks Outward for Help

The Cannes G-20 summit on Nov. 3-4 may bear significant consequences for the European financial crisis. Rather than funding by themselves the expansion of their bank and government bailout program, the Europeans have opted to depend on the funding commitments of private investors and of actors from outside Europe. The governments of Japan, China and Russia sit at the top of the Europeans’ list of entities to ask for assistance.

Unlike the preexisting bailout system, no full European guarantees are offered to anyone investing in the bailout mechanism, so convincing outsiders to commit their money will be a hard sell for the Europeans. The G-20 summit gathers all the potential players in the same place. Negotiations will be ongoing in the days leading up to the summit. We need to consult our sources in any government with robust currency reserves to find out how much traction European arguments are gaining. Pay especially close attention to Moscow. While Russian reserves are not as hefty as those of China or Japan, the Russians see those reserves as more of a political than an economic tool and Moscow, more than any other potential contributor, sees the opportunity for significant political and military gains.

China’s Real Estate Bubble

We are seeing reports of drops in housing prices in some parts of China, accompanied by reports of protests against real estate developers over this drop in prices. By some accounts, the price drops are less a sign of reduced demand or of the beginnings of a collapse of the housing bubble, and instead reflect a move by developers to move inventory and rebuild capital as the government continues to tighten real estate policies. For more than eighteen months, housing prices have held steady or risen. But reduced access to loans and higher requirements on down payments have started to make housing purchases, both those intended for investment and for living, more difficult, and developers want to reenergize cash flow. At the same time, we are seeing decreases in land prices as local governments seek to spur additional real estate development amid the central government-induced slowdown.

What is the status of China’s real estate market? Are we seeing significant geographic differences in price changes? How much longer can Beijing sustain such a cycle without putting increased stress on the economy, the banking system, and even concerns about social stability? How significant are the differences between local government needs and central government demands? We have seen the government employ cycles of tightening and easing in real estate before in its attempts to manage the speculative bubble. Is this another cycle, or is the market moving to a point where it can no longer be centrally managed? How significant are housing protests to general stability concerns, and how are Beijing and local governments reacting?

Palestinian Territories After Shalit Deal

The Shalit deal has left Fatah looking weak and Hamas feeling strong. Jordan and Hamas are reportedly engaged in a reconciliation process mediated by Qatar, and Jordan has suggested it needs to step up its involvement with the Palestinians to make up for the loss of Egyptian involvement. Israel is issuing contradictory statements regarding its next steps in dealing with Hamas. How are the dynamics between Hamas and Fatah playing out? What are the next steps for Hamas in the West Bank? Are Jordan and Israel still in agreement on the issue of Palestinian strength in the West Bank? What role can Jordan play moving forward, and what role is it willing to play? What can Fatah do to reclaim its strength among the Palestinians?

Kenya’s Operation and Intentions in Somalia

On Oct. 16, at the invitation of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Kenya launched Operation Linda Nchi (Protect the Country) into Somalia. The joint effort with the TFG army is intended to pursue the Islamic militant group al Shabaab. Regional clan militias and international bodies are mobilizing behind the Kenyans, and reprisal acts are occurring on Kenyan soil. Meanwhile, TFG leadership is increasingly conflicted over whether the Kenyans are simply purging south Somalia of al Shabaab in an effort to create a larger buffer zone, or asserting a claim to the area of Jubaland. What are Kenyan intentions in Somalia, and how will Kenya maneuver? Do Kenyan forces really intend to push to the port town of Kismayo, and if so what do they intend to do once they arrive? Will the Kenyans be able to sufficiently intimidate, degrade or push back the nationalistic elements of al Shabaab that are operating in the area? What is their specific objective and what is their exit strategy?

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1 Comentário

  1. João Marques de Almeida says:

    O desconhecimento sobre a China é inqualificavel.As dificuldades no imobiliario estão a ser o mecanismo usado pelas autoridades para controlar a inflação que tem sido o maior problema da China na actualidade.O Ocidente,nomeadamente a Europa devia era ter vergonha de,,ainda antes da cimeira da semana passada ter terminado, enviar à pressa o Comissario das Finanças, de saquinho na mão, pedir aos chineses que comprem divida para recapitalizar os bancos europeus

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