Last Week on Earth with GARI podcast

#20 What Putin wants - with Shmuel Bar

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Welcome to the new year of GARI podcasts! We’re excited by our 2022 guest lineup, starting with the brilliant Shmuel Bar!

Dr. Bar is the founder and CEO of IntuView – an Israeli based software company that has developed an integrated semantics-driven platform for fully-automated real-time analysis and “meaning mining” of unstructured textual documents in various languages. Dr. Bar served for thirty years in various positions in the Israeli Office of the Prime Minister of Israel.  Since 2002, Dr. Bar has headed research projects – some of them for US government agencies - and published extensively on issues relating to the Middle East

Our main topic of discussion will be the current conflict around Russia and Ukraine and the actual international meaning of it all.

  • Can Russia get most of what it wants just by threatening to do it?
  • How far can Russia get in achieving its goal in reinstating a new regional or world order in which Russia is returning to some level of status that is comparable to what the Soviet Union had? The question is how much are the Americans interested in blocking that? Or are they reconciled with a  new world order where the US is trying to get out of legacy commitments and even formal obligations?
  • Will the current issue do minor modifications for the next year or few years, or are we talking about a major shift in a trend, the abdication of the US as a world superpower?
  • We have a new nemesis to focus on - China
  • Putin knows he's actually doing Biden a favour, he has no interest in invading - but by making a crisis, the cusp of WW3  - Biden can “prevent” it. Allowing Biden to give Putin what he wanted to give him anyway. This allows Americans to claim a great victory and deal with the Chinese threat.

What does Intuview do?

  • Langauge, especially in the age of social media, changes very rapidly
  • We need to collect the information and allow the information to tell you what is prominent and what is not. Bringing together things that mean the same, so it's meaning mining

What has Intuview worked on?

  • What do people want in Saudi Arabia? Women cannot drive - husbands who cannot afford chauffeurs for their wives have to drive them around themselves. Intuview's research showed that what will make, especially Saudi Arabia's youth, happy, is to allow women to drive cars
  • Four or five months before the Arab Spring Intuview predicted that Tunisia, Lybia and Egypt (and Syria for other reasons) are liable to fall. The reason was that if you have an old autocratic leader that has been surrounded by the same people for 20 years who are yes men and have never made decisions all their life, as the leader gets older and is unable to control, then you can have the evolution of a crisis and nobody can control it. In the case of Egypt, the army men come from areas where they are posted, and they wouldn't open fire on the people they know and grew up with, so the only political force in the country that can take over would be the Muslim Brotherhood.

So what will happen now with Russia?

Russia is in no rush to resolve the conflict.  Headlines will continue to say “we are on the

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