Saturday, November 19, 2011

Persian Gulf Escalation - December 2011

There has been much discussion of Iran lately, and concerns with a possible U.S. aided Israeli strike are high.  While our analysis of global mood and perception for the month of December indeed indicates an escalation of the Persian Gulf situation, it does NOT support the likelihood of an Israeli airstrike, at least in December.  With the primary geopolitical risk area indicated being the Persian Gulf (see map above), one possible scenario is a naval buildup or blockade within the Gulf.  Note that Israel is not indicated as a likely initiator of hostilities.  Also the global distress that would result from an outright attack on Iran is missing from the social map (below).  It should be noted that the social mood factor that is labled "economic" in this map, besides indicating a contraction in spending, also corresponds with risk avoidance, anxiety, and wanting to stay close to family and home.  From this, it seems very likely that residents of the region surrounding the Persian Gulf will be much less sure of their near-term safety in December.

Actual events:
12/1/11: Israel: No Iran strike 'for the moment'
12/4/11: Iran reports downing U.S. drone
12/5/11: Iran warns of wider response
12/11/11: Iran refuses to return U.S. drone; warns of response to 'hostile' act
12/12/11: Iran hints at closing straits of Hormuz
12/13/11: Iran to hold military drills for closing straits of Hormuz
12/22/11: Iran's war games could force US aggression
12/23/11: Iran to start 10 day war games in int'l waters tomorrow

China unrest (as per social map):
12/14//11: China increasing security around embassy after window shot; Chinese village locked in rebellion

Thursday, November 3, 2011

China and the Middle East - Erupting this month?

Protests and outrage over governmental failings and corporate greed have been on the rise.  A surprising factor to add to the mix this month may be the people of China, as analysis of global societal mood factors show "panic" and "outrage" peaking in the People's Republic in November (see map below).  This is definitely something to keep an eye on.

Also, North Africa and the Middle East are again showing up as hot beds of protests, unrest, and/or violence, in spite of Ghaddafi's reign being at an end (see map). This indicates a significant increase in social chaos from recent days. This configuration also indicates an increased risk of terrorist activity in the region.

Last, but not least, the developing events in Kosovo bear close watching.  Because Kosovo is within the region showing risks of escalation of unrest and violence, an already volatile situation may become critical.

For more information on the MoodCompass Project visit

Actual Events:
11/5/11: 67 dead in northeast Nigeria attacks
11/7/11: Official Israeli websites brought down by "malfunction"
11/9/11: Beijing residents cry foul over the air
11/11/11: 13+ killed in Syria protest violence
11/12/11: Pro-Assad crowd attacks Saudi embassy in Syria
11/15/11: Syrian activists rip flag from Jordanian embassy
11/17/11: Sryia close to civil warSyrian army shells villages after defectors attack
11/18/11: Thousands protest in Egypt against army rule
11/19/11: Egyptian police, protesters clash in Tahrir Square ; Violence erupts in Cairo
11/21/11: New clashes in key Cairo square after bloody weekend
11/24/11: Syrian tanks bombard defectors
11/29/11: Iranian protesters storm British Embassy in Tehran