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John Fadool
US Air Force: Air Battle Manager & Military Intelligence

Geopolitics Today: Weekender Edition

Good Afternoon everyone!

Today is a morning edition as the news has been coming in quick this morning, which will make this a long and interesting issue of "Geopolitics Today" along with an update to my Algerian-Libya write up I published two weeks ago.

England Signs its First Post-Brexit Trade Deal: A Small One with Japan

Today the UK and Japanese officials signed the "Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement," marking the first comprehensive post-Brexit trade deal. However, the economic impact will be microscopic as the UK economy's expected benefit is an additional 0.07% boost to GDP over 15 years. However, it remains a political win as the nation's first successful deal as the EU Brexit negotiation head towards a likely "Hard Brexit" outcome. This is also seen as a precursor to the UK's entry, supported by Japan, to the 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Sources:

Second Wave of Coronavirus Crashes Europe's Recovery

As we head into the fall and winter months, the second wave has already shown signs of reappearing in Europe and France, Spain, and Italy in particular. Germany has seen a rise in cases but not at a pace seen by their neighbors and will likely clamp down as hard and effectively as the first time around. However, the massive spike in cases in Europe's most fragile economies is a sign of worse economic data to come, and likely future demands for another major EU assistance package as Spain and Italy see their economies shrink... (More)

John Fadool
US Air Force: Air Battle Manager & Military Intelligence

Geopolitics Today: Thursday Issue

Afternoon Everyone!

Today has been a rather slow day in the news cycle, and there is some carryover from yesterday's issue. But some interesting tidbits might catch your attention.

Brexit Talks Restart . . . Again: Times Running Out

After the intervention of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the Brexit negotiations, this week saw the promised negotiation reset begin today as the "Hard Brexit" deadline of December 31st approaches quickly. While there have been numerous resets since this process began, this time, they promise things will be different. Such promises include working on the weekends, finding legitimate common ground, a joint secretariat that will compile and simplify texts, etc.

In principle, both sides have agreed to have a workable agreement largely consolidated by mid-November. However, with less than a month to hammer out a complex agreement that will require the unanimous votes of all 27 remaining nations, the odds of such a result are, in my opinion, extremely low.

The Danes, Portuguese, and Dutch are the most flexible and likely to do everything they can to keep the English involved in European affairs. A substantial amount of this has to do with the United Kingdom's historical involvement in guaranteeing their affairs, access to trade routes, or intervening in European wars on their behalf. In particular, the Dutch have been the biggest champions of the UK's continued participation and will likely continue to do so even after a "Hard Brexit."

The French and... (More)

EURO AREA – Consumers Signal Economy to Gear Down

A preliminary estimate for Europe’s currency zone shows consumer confidence fell sharply in October.  The European Commission’s separate poll corroborates today’s GfK survey out of Germany.

If one erased the national borders of the 19 euro members, the bloc’s consumer economy would rank second largest in the world (half the size of the United States, but one-third bigger than number three China).  
 
The European Commission has stitched together and normalized national data all the way back to 1985 for the currency bloc.  That is 430 months of data - a period that includes Soviet tanks stationed across half the continent, the failure of the Reykjavík Summit, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the Norwegian synth-pop band A-ha’s inability to deliver a follow-up to "Take on Me".  And still, despite that depressing litany, the October headline score’s month-over-month decrease of 1.6 points ranks in the bottom 5% of survey history.  
 
The ‘good news’ is that the confidence level itself is only in the bottom 15% of all results.  It is fertile ground for populists, radicals, outsiders, authoritarians and Visigoths to come to or near power. If the establishment hopes to stay in power surely they must adopt / assimilate some of the radical proposals.

John Fadool
US Air Force: Air Battle Manager & Military Intelligence

Geopolitics Today: Wednesday Issue

Afternoon Everyone,

Today has been a hectic news day, so lots of awesome data to dig through compared to yesterday's comparably slow news cycle. Enjoy today's content!

Unifying the Royal and American Navies: The New Anglosphere under American Leadership

Today American and English naval officials are preparing to sign a major agreement that will see a considerable boost in technological integration and interoperability. Furthermore, this agreement would open the door for officers and enlisted personal on both sides to serve on each other's ships. Halfway around the world, the United Kingdom and Australian governments signed a memorandum of understanding that lays the groundwork for the joint development of their navies' next generation of destroyers.

There are a couple of things we can draw from these news stories. First, the inevitable combining of her majesties Royal Navy and the US Navy is finally underway. We had seen signs of this when the United Kingdom decided to construct two supercarriers of the Queen Elizabeth class without the requisite support fleet to keep her running over long distances and provide adequate protection.

The reasoning for this was simple as they were never meant to operate under the Royal Navy's authority alone. The Queen Elizabeth class was designed to not only operate both naval variants of the F-35 joint strike fighter but to augment American Carrier capabilities in the Atlantic. Allowing both Navies personal to work aboard each other's vessels further illustrates the trend of the United Kingdoms' eventual subservience to American interests and... (More)