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Global Energy Advisory – 20th January 2017

Trump

Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

• Today, the prime topic of discussion has to be the inauguration, if only because of the vast level of uncertainty the swearing in of Donald Trump brings to the geopolitical playing field. The game is always about containment—and who, exactly, to contain. If things went the way they should, the game would probably look like this: Suddenly take a new, friendly stance with the Russia in direct contradiction to the long-running strategy coming out of Washington, but with an agenda in mind: Lure it away from China. It’s called divide and conquer, and it’s as old as time itself. It’s a passive-aggressive way to contain China at the end of the day. Will it work? No one can know, but in theory (and assuming there will be smart people guiding it, which is a rather hefty assumption), it’s a fairly sound strategy. It’s not Trump’s policy per se (nor is it really ever any president’s policy), but he will serve as its deliverer. And it is important for the campaign against Russia to intensify sufficiently to give the new U.S. president something to work with when extending the olive branch. The negative has to be raised to a certain level in order for Russia to respond effectively to the positive. There has to be a clear polarization to make this work (without putting too fine a point on it).

• As Iraqi forces continue the battle for Mosul in northern Iraq, a secondary development…

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