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Monday, 30 June 2014

The Crisis in Iraq, and What it Could Mean For Forest

I'm handy at geography, and always have enjoyed it, I'm less handy at Geo-Politics, but still know a little, and the recent events in Iraq have made me wonder what the wider ramifications could be for Forest. That sounds outlandish and ridiculous but there are real reasons for Forest fans to at least keep an eye on it.
ISIS, or from today The Islamic State (IS) has stated they are setting up a Caliphate for their controlled regions in Syria and Iraq. Basically that means quite a rigid strict set of laws for its controlled regions, strictly Islamic. Still not really a Forest concern.

Well ultimately the Islamic State wants that Caliphate to expand across more of the Middle East. If and when Iraq fully falls, which to be honest may or may not happen, the next target might well be Kuwait. Where of course the al-Hasawi's are based.

Now what would this mean? It's completely impossible to know directly, without it actually occurring, and one would assume global politics would try and mediate a resolution earlier, but it does beg some questions. If we had problems transferring cash out of Kuwait to pay wages before, with a bank holiday, what the hell could it mean to have a guerrilla war going if in the country, or plain old regime change might see huge periods of upheaval which would no doubt have problems with business as normal going ahead. Would IS restrict something like Kuwaiti ownership of Forest?

That’s all guesswork as said, and would never know if they transfer many assets out the country before any such revolution or invasion occurs. After all The Islamic State might have no interest in changing how things occur in business other than their rule of law overall. They'd need the assets of families like the al-Hasawi's so would be in their interest to let them carry on trading.

Things are more complicated than that however. It is believed a lot of funding for IS comes from the oil rich Kuwait and Saudi families' intent of helping fund the battle on the ground in Syria, which indirectly has now funded a new army which is all but stateless.

IS are Sunni Muslim rather than Shia, and a lot of the issues involved come from perceived Shia bias in the new regime of Iraq and a backlash against it. Kuwait is predominately Sunni, though with a large Shia minority. it also has around a third of its population made up of foreign expats, from high level positions to essentially Indian slave workers (like much of the oil rich Gulf) So should they achieve control of Iraq, and they want a pan-Arab Caliphate, Kuwait could well fall on their radar of control.

Now the point being that they were financially backed by Kuwait (or at least money channelled through its financial institutions) you'd think might put them off invading their backers. But they just reportedly took control of Mosul bank, netting them £400mill possibly. (Figures vary) so would be less reliant on that cash. Plus history is littered with armies getting bigger turning on their former allies and financiers.

I don't mean to fear monger, I don't know what the potential outcomes would be, but more that these are possible, and that any kind of war or new regime change in Kuwait could have ramifications. Whether the harsh rule of ISIS would be happy to see controlling interests in western football clubs I don't know. But the fact that Qatar are also possible backers and Qatar are firmly in bed with Global football and have huge vested interests in it are factors to consider. But as I said, will they respect their former backers now they don't need them?

Will the al-Hasawis flee? I am not sure; I can't even after a bit of research find out if Fawaz is Sunni or Shia. It might all be academic, but I thought I'd put this out there. There's not a lot else to discuss right now, but Kuwait seems worried enough to increase its border patrols and make statements about protecting its boundaries.


Geopolitics and Forest. It's a first for me. I might be completely wide of the mark here, so would appreciate anyone who knows better informing me so I can at least correct and inform on this. 

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