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Intelligence Guidance: Week of Sept. 26, 2010

Released on 2012-10-18 17:00 GMT

Email-ID 32693
Date 2010-09-27 11:31:28
From [email protected]
To [email protected]
Stratfor logo
Intelligence Guidance: Week of Sept. 26, 2010

September 27, 2010 | 0925 GMT
Intelligence Guidance: Week of Sept. 26, 2010
U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers on patrol in Kandahar province

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

1. China: There continue to be mixed signals in the relationship between
China and the United States, with the issue of Chinese currency policy
resurfacing. There is a certain political logic for an increase in U.S.
pressure against China as U.S. congressional elections near, but the
Obama administration appears to be taking a cautious approach on
relations with Beijing. It is time to take a closer look at U.S.-China
relations and the two countries' policies toward one another to see if
we are nearing a change in direction.

2. Iran: There are hints that Washington and Tehran may be near a
compromise that could allow for the formation of an Iraqi government to
finally progress. There are also reports of the resumption of nuclear
talks with Iran, potentially going beyond just the nuclear issue. All
this talk gives the impression that we are looking at major progress
between Tehran and Washington but the atmosphere is not conducive for
any substantial breakthrough. We need to dig very carefully to see where
things are actually headed.

3. North Korea: The delayed meeting of the ruling Workers' Party of
Korea is finally slated to take place this week, amid rumors and guesses
as to just what will come from the session. North Korea may be preparing
to formalize the succession process, revise its economic policies, or
restart the six-party nuclear talks. The fate of North Korea may not be
all that exciting, but the way Pyongyang can play the major powers
surrounding the Korean Peninsula and the way those powers try to
leverage North Korea in their relations make this something to watch.

Existing Guidance

1. Tajikistan: There has been renewed fighting in Tajikistan, and the
implications of the prison break several weeks ago and reports of a
revival of Islamist militancy in Central Asia bear close watching. This
could prove significant not only for the Central Asian "Stans" but for
Russia, China and even the future of U.S. activities in Afghanistan.

2. Afghanistan: We are a short time away from the snows that will halt
most operations in Afghanistan and nearly a month away from U.S. midterm
elections. In fact, the timing is about the same. Are the Taliban
launching a series of focused attacks on targets of opportunity to
influence U.S. elections? Have the Afghan elections in any way changed
the situation?

3. The Caucasus: The Caucasus remain an area to watch. Russia is not the
only country showing an interest in the Caucasus, and at least on the
diplomatic level, the regional dynamics appear to be changing - and with
dynamism comes uncertainty. We need to be looking at it.

4. Iran: There is clearly significant tension among the Iranian elite, a
deep tension between the older clerics who came to power in 1979 and the
younger, non-clerical Islamists gathered around Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In other words, this is not a challenge to the
regime but a fight within the regime - we think. We've seen this
infighting before. The question now is whether we are moving toward a
defining moment in this fight.

Related Special Topic Page
* Weekly Intelligence That Drives Our Analysis


* Unspecified Date: NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will
visit Tbilisi, Georgia.
* Sept. 27: Moroccan House of Representatives chairman Abdul Vahid
Ar-Radi will wrap up a trip to Azerbaijan, the first high-profile
visit between the countries.
* Sept. 27: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board will
complete its review of Serbia's economic performance in light of the
IMF's recent assistance.
* Sept. 27: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will conclude a trip
to Paris to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy about
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
* Sept. 27-28: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will make an
official visit to Uzbekistan. The countries' foreign ministers will
also meet.
* Sept. 27-28: The Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries "Felino
2010" military exercises in Portugal will continue.
* Sept. 27-30: Azerbaijan will host experts from NATO's Joint Forces
Command who will conduct training courses for the Azerbaijani armed
* Sept. 27-Oct. 3: Bulgaria will host an IMF mission regarding
economic policies.
* Sept. 28: Ecuadorian Patrimony Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa is
scheduled to visit Germany to discuss the Yasuni-ITT environmental
initiative with officials before traveling to Madrid to discuss the
initiative with Spanish officials Sept. 30.
* Sept. 28-29: South African President Jacob Zuma will travel to
Belgium to attend the South Africa-EU Summit and to make an official
state visit.
* Sept. 28-30: A Cuban economic delegation led by Cuban Deputy Foreign
Trade and Investment Minister Oscar Perez Oliva will meet with
Azerbaijani officials in Baku to discuss economic cooperation
between the countries.
* Sept. 29: The European Commission will decide whether or not to
charge France with infringement for the expulsion of the Roma.
* Sept. 29: Protests and strikes against austerity measures are
planned in Greece, Lithuania, Slovenia, Britain, Spain, Serbia and
Portugal. In Brussels, the European Trade Union Confederation will
protest. Additional protests should be expected in conjunction with
the Europe-wide strikes.
* Sept. 29: The European Commission will present its recommendations
for reform of the eurozone, addressing compliance, enforcement and
monitoring issues.
* Sept. 29-30: The Intergovernmental Commission on Economic
Cooperation of Poland and Ukraine will take place in Warsaw.
* Sept. 30: Spain is scheduled to release an outline of its 2011
* Oct. 1: Former French President Jacques Chirac's trial date on
charges of embezzlement will be set.
* Oct. 1-2: The Yalta European Strategy conference will be held in
Yalta, Ukraine. IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn will
attend and is expected to hold bilateral talks with Ukrainian
President Viktor Yanukovich.
* Oct. 1-7: Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is
scheduled to visit Germany and Portugal.
* Oct. 2: General elections will be held in Latvia.
* Oct. 2-3: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will meet with Greek government
officials in Athens.
* Oct. 3: Bosnia-Herzegovina will hold parliamentary and presidential
* Oct. 3: London Underground workers will strike.
* Oct. 3: Ukrainian and Russian officials are expected to sign
bilateral agreements on security, energy and transportation in
Gelenjik, Russia.


* Sept. 27-30: India and Thailand's militaries are scheduled to
continue a counterterrorism exercise, called "Maitree 2010," in
Jharkhand as part of efforts to boost interoperability between the
* Sept. 27: Azerbaijani Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfaz
Garayev will conclude a visit to Iran that coincided with the "Days
of Azerbaijani Culture" in Iran.
* Sept. 27-28: The Iraq Future Energy 2010 Conference in Istanbul will
host executives from oil companies and Iraqi energy regulators to
discuss the future of energy investment in Iraq.
* Sept. 27-Oct. 1: A convoy carrying medical equipment, medicine and
food to the Palestinian territories will arrive in Istanbul and will
depart for Syria after a four-day visit.
* Sept. 28: The Indian Supreme Court verdict on the Babri Masjid land
title will decide if the mosque that stood there in the past will be
reconstructed or if a Ram temple will be built in its place. The
verdict has already been postponed once.
* Sept 29: Sudanese peace talks concerning Darfur between the Sudanese
government and the Liberation and Justice Movement will resume in
Doha, Qatar.
* Sept. 29: Bahrain will open the "Invest in Bahrain 2010" showcase.
* Oct. 1: Pakistan promised the IMF that it would institute a reformed
general sales tax on services by this date.
* Oct. 1-2: The U.S.-Algeria Business Council will host the
American-Maghreb summit for business entrepreneurship in Algiers.
The summit follows up the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship
which discussed nongovernmental organizations' roles in building
regional affiliations that encourage private enterprise.


* Unspecified Date: Indonesia's special operations forces and
Australia's elite SAS unit will hold a joint counterterrorism
exercise in Bali where officers are currently conducting field
coordination. The exercises are expected to take place at different
locations in Bali.
* Sept. 27: The third Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Conference
with 45 ministers and vice ministers from 35 countries will conclude
in South Korea.
* Sept. 27: The Indian and Thai armies will conclude a 14-day exercise
in Jharkhand, with personnel from the Gorkha regiment and Royal
Thailand Army focusing on counterterrorism operations.
* Sept. 27: A 15-member delegation from the Nepalese army will
conclude a visit to China.
* Sept. 27: An Indonesian team from the Investment Coordinating Board
and the Industrial Ministry will visit South Korea to discuss the
possibility of making Indonesia their production base. The
Indonesian team is expected to talk to several firms, including car
manufacturer Hyundai.
* Sept. 27-28: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev will continue a visit
to China. He will meet his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, and
discuss the strength of the countries' relationship and signs of
progress in areas like energy cooperation.
* Sept. 27-28: A U.S. presidential delegation led by Veterans Affairs
Secretary Eric K. Shinseki will visit South Korea to attend the
Seoul Liberation Commemoration Ceremonies.
* Sept. 27-30: An Australian naval ship called Warramunga will
continue a visit to China's Qingdao and Zhanjiang provinces at the
invitation of People's Liberation Army-Navy to run a joint exercise
* Sept. 27-30: The first Sino-Arab economic and trade forum will
continue in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China's Ningxia Hui
autonomous region. The goal of the forum is to encourage economic
collaboration between China and the Arab League.
* Sept. 27-Oct. 1: Cuban Vice President of the Council of Ministers
Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz will continue a trip to China at the
invitation of the Chinese government.
* Sept. 27-Oct. 1: The U.S. and South Korean navies will continue an
anti-submarine exercise designed to deter North Korea. The drill
will involve at least nine ships plus surveillance aircraft.
* Sept. 27-Oct. 7: Two ships from the People's Republic of China, the
training ship Zhenghe and frigate Mianyang, will continue a visit to
* Sept. 28: North Korea is expected to hold elections for its supreme
leadership board, where it is likely the party will choose a
successor to Kim Jong Il.
* Sept. 28 - 30: U.S. special adviser on non-proliferation and arms
control Robert Einhorn will visit China for talks on Iran and North
* Sept. 29: Ghanaian President John Evans Atta Mills will visit Japan
for four days to meet with Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Emperor
* Sept. 29: China and South Korea will hold their third high-level
strategic dialogue to discuss bilateral ties and major international
and regional issues. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya and
South Korean First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Shin
Kak Soo will attend the meeting.
* Sept. 29-30: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations security
agency chiefs will meet in Hanoi to discuss cooperation on regional
security issues and improve their capacity to cope with threats.
* Sept. 29-Oct. 1: South Korea will hold a confirmation hearing for
prime ministerial nominee Kim Hwang Sik. Following the hearing, the
ruling and opposition parties will hold a National Assembly plenary
session to vote on whether to approve Kim's nomination.
* Oct. 1: China is expected to announce a property tax that is likely
to begin in early 2011.
* Oct. 1: South Korea and North Korea will meet again to further
discuss the inter-Korean family reunions issue.
* Oct. 1: Japan's parliament will convene a session to discuss
potential economic measures on this date rather than the initially
expected Oct. 6.


* Sept. 27: Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will speak at the
U.N. General Assembly, which will continue meeting until Sept. 30.
* Sept. 27: Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will meet
with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the sidelines of the
U.N. General Assembly.
* Sept. 27: The Venezuelan Commission for Administration of Foreign
Currency is scheduled to resume operations following a two-day
recess due to legislative elections.
* Sept. 27: Paraguayan Vice President Federico Franco is scheduled to
attend a conference in Argentina concerning the diversion of the
Pilcomayo River.
* Sept. 27: Farmers in the Ecuadorian cantons of Quero, Tisaleo and
Mocha are scheduled to march to protest unpaid government benefits
and low product prices.
* Sept. 27-28: Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony will visit with
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in Washington to discuss
strengthening their countries' military ties.
* Sept. 27-29: Lebanese President Michel Suleiman will continue a trip
to New York and Mexico.
* Sept. 28: The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
(SAARC) will meet in New York during the U.N. General Assembly. The
SAARC will plan future cooperation for the member states and review
the year's past successes. Nepal may also encourage SAARC countries
to support Kul Chandra Gautam, Nepal's candidate for chair of the
66th U.N. General Assembly.
* Sept. 28: The Songa Saturn natural gas drilling platform is
scheduled to arrive in Venezuela from Saudi Arabia.
* Sept. 28-30: The first international congress on the Falkland
Islands is scheduled to be held at Lanus National University in
Buenos Aires province.
* Sept. 29: The Common Market of the South (Mercosur) is scheduled to
meet in Brazil to define a common position ahead of negotiations
with the European Union from Oct. 11-15.
* Sept. 29: The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and
Divestment Act signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama in
July will take effect.
* Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Colombian Minister of Commerce, Industry and
Tourism Sergio Diaz Granados is scheduled to discuss bilateral trade
and economic production with Venezuelan representatives during a
meeting in Arauca department.
* Oct.1: A temporary ban on flights by Venezuelan state-run airline
Conviasa is set to expire pending a fleet-wide safety review.


* Sept. 27: The pro-zoning faction of the Nigerian Igbo political
elite, known as the Igbo Political Association, will hold a summit
in the Imo state capital of Owerri to rally support for the north's
claim to the presidency.
* Sept. 27: The Nigerian National Assembly will hold a joint meeting
of the Constitutional Review Committees to consider a request by the
Independent National Electoral Commission to delay the 2011
elections originally slated for January.
* Sept. 29: France and Rwanda are expected to sign an agreement under
which France will invest $4.4 million in RECO-RWASCO utilities.
* Sept. 30: Madagascar will hold parliamentary elections.
* Oct. 1: The U.N. High Commission for Human Rights will publish its
human rights report on the Democratic Republic of Congo.
* Oct. 1: Nigeria will hold its "Golden Jubilee" celebrating the 50th
anniversary of its independence. The federal government has stated
that it expects more than 50 heads of state to attend.

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