Monday Morning Mints: #1

Heady Mix: Israel, Iran, and the US drawdown

PLUS our Introduction to Monday Morning Mints

Attention Economy
: 763 words | 03’03” reading time | 63/100 readability (better than NYT)

Introducing Monday Morning Mints

What makes a Mint?

  • Confluences of headlines from last week (or older IF relevant)
  • Provocations, e.g., hypothetical headlines from possible future(s)
  • References that support or oppose the provocations — for you to explore

Why should I ‘pop’ a Mint?

  • Start meaningful conversations with colleagues and friends
  • Think about how the future may or may not unfold
  • Act by building scenarios for your business and developing responses

What Mints are and aren’t

  • Mints are Imaginations of possible futures, meant to provoke thinking
  • Mints aren’t Predictions; that’s not our purpose.
  • Mints are designed to have Gaps — you can fill in the blanks or subvert

What can I expect?

  • Usually published every other Sunday, in the evening, GMT
  • Based on News and Opinions from the preceding weeks, months, and years
  • Open to Suggestions from you — send us news, ask us what-ifs

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Heady Mix: Israel, Iran, and the US drawdown


  • June 13, 2021 | Netanyahu out, Bennett in as Israel marks end of an era [Link to news]
  • June 18, 2021 | U.S. Military to Withdraw Hundreds of Troops, Aircraft, Antimissile Batteries From Middle East [Link to news]
  • June 19, 2021 | Hardline judge sanctioned by US wins Iran presidency [Link to news]

Provocation & References

Headlines from a Possible Future, latest last. Click on the numbered hashtags after a headline to access the corresponding past references.

  • US drawdown will redefine proportionate response in the Middle East: Think Tank
  • The Next War in Middle East will look like Yemeni Civil War: Human Rights Watchdog
  • Iran, West sign the Vienna Accords signaling a return to the JCPOA | #1, #2
  • Israel rejects the Vienna Accords; Bennett warns of consequences | #1
  • Gulf States wary of Iran deal, say not enough done to curb country’s missile program | #1, #2
  • Russia and China are filling the vacuum in Middle East | #1, #2, #3, #4
  • Houthis stake claim over Yemeni oil in Marib as Saudis aim to engage Iran directly | #1, #2
  • Russia bulks up presence in Tartus, Port Sudan | #1, #2
  • US iterates its commitments in the Middle East
  • OPEC has more to worry about US Shale than Iranian Oil | #1
  • IMF forecasts even recovery as global vaccination rates soar | #1, #2, #3
  • Oil prices strong despite increase in Iranian exports | #1, #2, #3
  • Russia-Turkey-Iran sign a tripartite agreement on energy and security
  • Container prices high despite contraction in demand | #1, #2, #3
  • Russian warships arrive in Iran; to use its Gulf coast bases | #1
  • US 5th fleet underplays Russian threat in the Middle East
  • Iran slams Israel for attack on Nuclear facility; pledges swift retribution | #1
  • US warns Iran against adventurism in the Middle East
  • Leaked Mossad report points at Gulf involvement in Iran sabotage
  • Oil prices skyrocket as clouds of war gather over the Gulf; Shale stocks rally
  • Putin, Jinping urge diplomatic solution in the Middle East
  • EU commits €5 billion to shorten critical supply chains | #1
  • Hamas launches fresh attacks on Israel; Egypt urges restraint |
  • Middle East is a spark away from full-blown turmoil
  • Alliances may shift in the event of a conflict in the Gulf
  • Iran launches Operation Zulfiqar — seals off Strait of Hormuz | #1, #2
  • World braces for shortages as long supply chains get bruised

What Now?

  • Discuss this possible, short-to-medium-term future. How might it affect your business?
  • Consider the reasons why future may unfold very differently from this provocation
  • Add more factors to the mix — e.g. we haven’t even mentioned policies at Fed, ECB et cetera or built anything in the scenario about COVID. Here are some more what-ifs —
    • What if Green New Deal proponents pressurize Fed to taper Shale bonds even as oil shortages spike? US will have additional incentives to resolve oil conflicts.
    • What if EU intervenes very early in a Middle East conflict to avoid a potential refugee crisis? That could be a complete counterpoint to the above provocation.
    • What if the pandemic rears its head with another wave amid the uncertainties underlines by the provocation above? The West may have more to contend with at home.
    • What if the agency of impact is not oil at all?
  • De-emphasize predicting events; emphasize countering effects — e.g., instead of trying to predict if a new war may erupt in the Gulf, it is more productive to simulate what might happen if oil prices soar (e.g., see this JP Morgan gem in futures thinking) amid shortages.
  • Imagine different futures (MUST DO) and build a portfolio of response strategies.
  • Read our post The Future ain’t what it used to be for more perspective.

Have a great week ahead!