03JAN16 SITREP (as I see it)

Military

Counterespionage

China,Russia

Before the end of 2016, will a North American country, the EU, or an EU member state impose sanctions on another country in response to a cyber attack or cyber espionage?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral. Forecast:

Unlikely: 37%

.

Iran

Will Iran release Jason Rezaian before 31 October 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Likely: 58%

.

Hostile force projection

China

Will there be a lethal confrontation in the South or East China Sea region involving China’s and another country’s national military forces or law enforcement personnel before 1 January 2017?

US Govt presumed position: Opposed. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 12%

.

Will China officially declare an Air-Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over any part of the South China Sea before 1 October 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Opposed. Forecast:

Unlikely: 37%

.

Turkey

Will either Turkey or Russia officially suspend or cancel the Akkuyu nuclear power plant project before the end of 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral. Forecast:

Unlikely: 36%

.

ISIS

Will anti-Islamic State forces retake Mosul before 1 January 2017?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Ask me later: 54%

.

Before 1 August 2016, will any NATO members invoke Article 4 or Article 5 in response to actions taken by ISIS?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral.

Branch Forecast
No Likely: 76%
Yes, both Article 4 and Article 5 Highly unlikely: 5%
Yes, only Article 5 Highly unlikely: 3%
Yes, only Article 4 Highly unlikely: 16%

North Korea

Will North Korea launch a land based missile with the capacity to reach Alaska, Hawaii, or the continental United States before 1 January 2017?

US Govt presumed position: Opposed. Forecast:

Likely: 56%

.

Will North Korea conduct a nuclear test before 1 January 2017?

US Govt presumed position: Opposed. Forecast:

Likely: 56%

.

France

Before April 2016, will the French Army or Foreign Legion deploy combat troops to fight the Islamic State on the ground in Syria or Iraq?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Unlikely: 28%

.

Russia

How many countries will Russia remove from its food embargo list before 6 August 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral.

Branch Forecast
0 Likely: 71%
Between 1 and 5, inclusive Unlikely: 24%
More than five, but less than all Highly unlikely: 5%
All Highly unlikely: 0%

Will any NATO member invoke Article 4 in response to actions taken by Russia before 1 January 2017?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral. Forecast:

Unlikely: 37%

.

De-escalation of hostilities among ancient enemies

Russia,Japan

Will President Putin meet with Prime Minister Abe in Japan before 1 July 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Unlikely: 22%

.

China

Will China conduct naval exercises with any ASEAN member before 1 June 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Highly likely: 86%

.

Iran

Will “implementation day” for the Iranian nuclear deal occur before Iran’s legislative elections?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Highly likely: 93%

.

Will any disputes over IAEA access to Iranian sites be referred to the Joint Commission before 1 July 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Opposed. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 12%

.

Will Iran host a head of state or head of government from one of the G7 countries on an official visit before 1 July 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Ask me later: 50%

.

Will the IAEA verify that Iran’s uranium stockpile has been reduced to less than 300 kg of low-enriched uranium before 1 June 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Highly likely: 98%

.

Montenegro

Will Montenegro become a NATO member in 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Unlikely: 36%

.

Israel,Palestine

Will either the Palestinian Authority or Israel announce a halt in security cooperation before 1 July 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Opposed. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 12%

.

China,Japan,South Korea

Will a trilateral meeting take place between Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and South Korean President Park Geun-hye before 1 January 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 0%

.

North Korea

Will six party talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program resume before 1 January 2017?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 6%

.

Russia,US

Will Vladimir Putin attend the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, in March 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 8%

.

Iran,Saudi Arabia

Will Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani meet Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud before 1 September 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 0%

.

Economic

Capital controls

IMF

Who will be the next managing director of the IMF?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral.

Branch Forecast
Someone from outside Europe Highly unlikely: 15%
Someone else from Europe Highly unlikely: 9%
Christine Lagarde will serve a second term Likely: 76%

Turkey

Will Turkey impose capital controls before 1 December 2016 ?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral. Forecast:

Unlikely: 36%

.

Iran

How will Iran rank in the World Economic Forums 2016-2017 Global Competitiveness Index?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral.

Branch Forecast
Above 75 Highly unlikely: 11%
Between 61 and 75, inclusive Likely: 68%
Between 51 and 60, inclusive Highly unlikely: 19%
In the top 50 Highly unlikely: 2%

Malaysia

Will Malaysia impose capital controls before 1 October 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 10%

.

Japan

Before the end of the year, will the Bank of Japan announce an increase in asset purchases under its quantitative easing program?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 1%

.

Economic instability

Venezuela

Will the government of Venezuela or Petroleos de Venezuela S. A. (PDVSA) default on their foreign-currency debt before 1 March 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 6%

.

Unique events affecting key commercial rates

Germany

Will the US Justice Department file criminal charges against Volkswagen or any of its employees before 30 March 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 14%

.

Panama

Will the expanded Panama Canal open to shipping before 15 May 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 8%

.

None

Will Apple sell more than 75 million iPhones in its December quarter?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral. Forecast:

Highly likely: 92%

.

What will be the average number of Bitcoin transactions per day in the first week of June 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral.

Branch Forecast
Less than 125,000 Highly unlikely: 2%
Between 125,000 and 250,000, inclusive Ask me later: 54%
More than 250,000 Unlikely: 44%

What will be the lowest closing spot price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil, according to the US Energy Information Agency, between 14 September 2015 and 30 December 2015?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral.

Branch Forecast
Less than $34.00 per barrel Highly unlikely: 2%
Between $34.00 and $40.00 per barrel, inclusive Highly likely: 98%

Iran

Will restrictions on Iran’s access to SWIFT be lifted before 1 August 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Highly likely: 96%

.

Economic force projection through trade agreements

OPEC

Will OPEC announce any changes to its production quota before 1 January 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Opposed. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 1%

.

US,EU

Will negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) be completed before 1 January 2017?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Unlikely: 20%

.

Public Health

Pandemics

Africa

Will Africa remain free of the wild poliovirus through 31 December 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Likely: 70%

.

Political

Political instability

Italy

Will the city of Venice lift its ban on “Jean A Deux Mamans” or “Piccolo Uovo” before 1 September 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 10%

.

Afghanistan

Will Afghanistan’s Parliament confirm a Minister of Defense before 1 July 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Ask me later: 51%

.

Uganda

Who will win Uganda’s next presidential election?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral.

Branch Forecast
Yoweri Museveni Highly likely: 96%
Amama Mbabazi Highly unlikely: 3%
Kizza Besigye Highly unlikely: 1%
None of the above Highly unlikely: 0%

Taiwan

How many seats in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan will the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) win in January’s elections?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral.

Branch Forecast
Majority Likely: 67%
Plurality Unlikely: 31%
Not a plurality Highly unlikely: 2%

Northern Ireland

Will there be a dissolution or suspension of the Northern Irish Assembly before the end of the year?

US Govt presumed position: Opposed. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 0%

.

Brazil

Will Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff resign or be impeached before 1 April 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 6%

.

Syria

Will Bashar al-Assad cease to be President of Syria before 1 March 2017?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Unlikely: 20%

.

UK,EU

Before 1 May 2016, will Britain set a date for a referendum on EU membership?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral. Forecast:

Likely: 78%

.

Iran

Will conservatives retain their majority in the Majles after Iran’s upcoming parliamentary elections?

US Govt presumed position: Opposed. Forecast:

Highly likely: 91%

.

Greece,EU

Before 1 January 2017, will it be officially announced that Greece is leaving the eurozone?

US Govt presumed position: Opposed. Forecast:

Highly unlikely: 2%

.

Spain

Will either of the following parties be part of the ruling coalition after Spain’s upcoming elections?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral.

Branch Forecast
Podemos Highly unlikely: 11%
Ciudadanos Highly unlikely: 18%
Both Highly unlikely: 5%
Neither Likely: 66%

Myanmar

Will a member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) take office as president of Myanmar before April 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Favor. Forecast:

Highly likely: 95%

.

Saudi Arabia

Will there be a new King of Saudi Arabia before 1 June 2016?

US Govt presumed position: Neutral.

Branch Forecast
Yes, Someone else Highly unlikely: 0%
Yes, Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Highly unlikely: 0%
Yes, Mohammed bin Salman Highly unlikely: 0%
Yes, Mohammed bin Nayef Highly unlikely: 2%
No Highly likely: 98%
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