SOURCE: Stratfor

Stratfor

April 15, 2015 11:47 ET

Stratfor: Reduced U.S. Exposure in the Middle East, Increased Attention on Eurasia to Be Key Areas of Focus During Second Quarter

Global Intelligence Firm's Second Quarter 2015 Forecast Outlines Key Geopolitical Developments for Q2

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - April 15, 2015) - Stratfor released its 2015 Second Quarter Forecast this week, giving attention to the United States' maturing foreign policy and its likely impact on the handling of conflicts in the Middle East and other regions.

Recognized as a leader in global intelligence, Stratfor provides strategic analysis and geopolitical forecasting to individuals and organizations around the world. The firm's Q2 2015 forecast provides commentary on the manifestation of the U.S. balance of power strategy in the Middle East, a developing trend Stratfor has anticipated for the past several months.

"The United States is still playing a critical role in multiple conflicts in the Middle East, but it is no longer choosing sides or placing itself at the center of those conflicts," said Reva Bhalla, Stratfor's vice president of global analysis. "You can see this strategy on display with the recent Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen. This is precisely the kind of approach the U.S. intended as it tries to shift the burden toward regional powers for taking on leadership roles and managing conflicts in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia may be in the spotlight now, but watch for Turkey to also start playing a more assertive role in the region as it pushes up against old geopolitical rivals, Iran and Russia."

VIDEO: Watch additional commentary from Stratfor's Reva Bhalla on key highlights from Stratfor's 2015 Second Quarter Forecast: www.stratfor.com/video/second-quarter-forecast-preview 

Other anticipated trends and regional developments in Stratfor's Q2 forecast include:

  • Moscow will watch nervously as the United States continues building an arc of allies along the European borderland with Russia. Stratfor expects that the Minsk cease-fire agreement will hold and Russia will avoid making a major military push into Ukraine during Q2, but conditions won't allow for a significant easing of sanctions this quarter. 
  • As Greek debt negotiations continue in Europe, Athens faces a pivotal point toward the end of Q2 when it comes time to negotiate a post-bailout agreement. Greece's embattled Syriza party will attempt to shift the political burden to the public by calling for a referendum on Greece's relationship with the European Union. Friction also will increase in the standoff between Greece and Germany as Berlin approaches its limit for tolerating Greek debt relief.
  • China's economic problems will become much more visible in the second quarter as defaults in industries related to the housing sector slowdown become more frequent, especially in northern China. In the political sphere, China's Q2 will be dominated by the anti-corruption probe, which adds another layer of pressure on resource and construction-related industries.
  • Venezuela will be hit hard by low oil prices, which are likely to persist through the second quarter. The country will rely on Chinese economic aid to keep its government afloat, but the growing severity of Venezuela's economic crisis is bound to have political repercussions. With no organized opposition movement positioned to harness public discontent, the Venezuelan government will likely proceed in preparing for elections while the United States uses the opportunity to expand its influence in the Caribbean Basin.

Stratfor's entire 2015 Second Quarter Forecast is available on the company's website at www.stratfor.com/forecast/stratfors-second-quarter-forecast-2015.

About Stratfor
Stratfor is a leading geopolitical intelligence and advisory 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.