SOURCE: Stratfor

Stratfor

July 08, 2014 08:00 ET

Stratfor Anticipates United States Will Keep Its Distance From Iraq's Sectarian Conflict During Third Quarter

Q3 Forecast From Leading Geopolitical Intelligence Firm Outlines Broader Impact of Current Upheaval in the Middle East and Other Key Regional Developments

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Jul 8, 2014) - Geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor today published its 2014 Third Quarter Forecast, focusing foremost on the jihadist war in Iraq and United States' likely disengagement with the conflict as it gives attention to larger foreign policy challenges.

Stratfor expects the United States will apply lessons learned from recent wars while keeping its distance from the Iraqi conflict during the third quarter, relying instead on other international players to manage a balance of power in the Middle East.

"The United States is not about to be dragged into another sectarian conflict in the Islamic world, and as the current uprising in Iraq continues, the world will see that it is no longer a U.S.-jihadist war," said Reva Bhalla, Stratfor's vice president of global analysis. "One of the key elements behind the U.S. strategy of turning to regional players to sort out the current upheaval in the Middle East involves a settlement with Iran on its nuclear program. We do not expect a comprehensive deal in the third quarter, but progress will be made nonetheless as the Iraq conflict adds another reason for cooperation between Washington and Tehran."

VIDEO: Listen to more commentary from Reva Bhalla and Stratfor's editor-in-chief, David Judson, on the Iraqi conflict and other regional trends Stratfor will be tracking in the third quarter.

Additional trends and regional highlights from Stratfor's 2014 Third Quarter Forecast include:

  • Russia will be challenged with the economic and political repercussions of its actions to defend its sphere of influence in the former Soviet periphery. Moscow will maintain the ability to apply pressure in Ukraine and its borderlands but will take care to avoid a major escalation with the West in order to give itself some time to repair its economy and maintain a strong relationship with France and Germany.

  • The European Union will continue its struggle to strike a balance between national sovereignty and continental integration during a time of crisis. The effects of the EU Parliament elections last quarter -- the most important EU-level political event this year -- will continue reverberating across the continent.

  • China, realizing that Washington remains distracted with the Middle East and Russia, will take additional steps to strengthen its position in the South China Sea and further erode Vietnamese and Philippine territorial claims. Beijing also will take steps during the third quarter to more proactively bolster China's economy by temporarily easing credit controls and increasing government spending on large-scale infrastructure projects.

  • In Latin America, a cautiously developing dialogue between the United States and Cuba will help raise the possibility of normalized U.S.-Venezuelan relations in the long term. Colombia will keep the attention of investors as it continues peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and Argentina will struggle to settle its debt while making significant progress in energy reform. 

Stratfor's entire 2014 Third Quarter Forecast is available to subscribers on the company's website at www.stratfor.com/forecast/stratfors-third-quarter-forecast-2014.

About Stratfor
Stratfor is a leading geopolitical intelligence and consulting firm that provides strategic analysis and forecasting to individuals and organizations around the world. By placing global events in a geopolitical framework, the company helps customers and subscribers anticipate opportunities and better understand the broader impact of regional and international developments. Full analysis on global events and more details on the company can be found on Stratfor's website at: www.stratfor.com.