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Persian Gulf Escalation - December 2011

Persian Gulf Escalation December 2011There 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 on right), 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.
Social Instability December 2011
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 drill for closing straits of Hormuz
12/22/11: Iran's war games could force US into 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

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