December 8-14, 2022 | Issue 19 - Behavior/Leadership
Seif Harrasy, Sofia Staderini, B/L Team
Marina Campos, Editor; Shachi Gokhale, Senior Editor
The Reichstag in Berlin
Date: December 8, 2022
Parties involved: German government; German police; German Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann; Reichsbuerger movement; Reichsbuerger leader Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss; German far-right groups; German population
The event: Buschmann announced a major anti-terror operation following the Reichsbuerger’s intercepted plan to overthrow the German government. 3,000 police raided Reichsbuerger members’ homes across 11 German federal states and arrested 25 members, including Heinrich XIII. The movement supports the old monarchical German "Reich", with some members sharing Nazi ideas and believing Germany is under military occupation.
The German government will very likely increase intelligence officer deployments with counter-extremism intelligence targeting potentially dangerous far-right groups and individuals. The government will likely fear other groups will aim to imitate Reichsbuerger’s attempted coup, likely stockpiling weapons. A far-right coup will very likely fail, but these groups remaining undetected will very likely increase the likelihood of mass casualties, particularly police.
The German government will very likely tighten gun laws, likely restricting private firearm possession, almost certainly decreasing the likelihood of radical individuals stockpiling weapons. Germans will very likely welcome the gun reforms, likely feeling safer and increasing their trust in the government. This will almost certainly ensure future right-wing coup attempts will lack enough public support to succeed.
Date: December 8, 2022
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Parties involved: Chinese President Xi Jinping; US; Saudi Arabia; Saudi official media; al-Ekhbariya; US; Middle Eastern countries
The event: Last Thursday, Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia during an Arab visit implying billions of dollars in transactions. Saudi official media has stated they will make around $30 billion in deals, while state television al-Ekhbariya claimed another 20 agreements for $29.3 billion will be signed, both by Thursday. The US, traditionally a Saudi key partner, has criticized Chinese attempted soft power increases.
Analysis and Implications:
Chinese and Saudi economic agreements will almost certainly strengthen bilateral economic and political relations. Their long-term goals will likely align, likely agreeing on partnerships like China's Belt and Road Initiative and the Saudi Vision 2030 development strategy, very likely increasing their national wealth. Other Middle Eastern countries will very likely want to exchange greater energy supply to China for more investment, very likely increasing Chinese presence in the Gulf.
China’s international soft power will very likely increase, while Saudi-US relations will very likely deteriorate. Rising China-US tensions will likely challenge Saudi Arabia’s neutrality, likely having to eventually align with one of the two countries. Saudi Arabia will very likely keep developing trade alliances with China while preserving its dependency on US military supply in the medium term.
 “Reichstag Berlin” by WandernBB licensed under CC BY 2.0
 Suspected German coup plot spawns dozens of arrests, AP, December 2022, https://apnews.com/article/europe-germany-constitutions-d7e67cfefbd1f33e2909f9c2fe1a3d3d
 Germany expects more arrests after coup plot swoop, Reuters, December 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/more-arrests-expected-german-coup-plot-coming-days-say-authorities-2022-12-08/
 China's Xi meets Saudi crown prince on high-stakes visit, France24, December 2022, https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20221208-china-s-xi-meets-saudi-crown-prince-on-high-stakes-visit