The Belt and Road Initiative in Latin America: A Strategic Analysis of Economic Exploitation and Debt Diplomacy

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is reshaping Latin America’s economic landscape through significant infrastructure investments. However, these projects often come with opaque terms and heavy debt burdens, raising concerns about economic dependency and compromised sovereignty. Understanding the BRI’s impact is crucial for assessing the region’s future stability and geopolitical alignment.

Strategic Alliance: The Flow of Chinese Technology to Russia 

In the face of stringent Western sanctions, Russia’s importation of sensitive, dual-use goods from China surged by more than 40% to over $5.2 billion in 2023. These Chinese components are integral to Russia’s defense industrial base, fueling the production of long-range armaments, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), and electronic warfare (EW) systems. These systems empower Russian forces to launch effective and often indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian civilian and military targets, while simultaneously bolstering defensive capabilities for Russia’s invasion. 

Navigating Troubled Waters: China’s Maritime Aggression in the Asia-Pacific

Amid the ebb and flow of geopolitical currents in the Asia-Pacific, China’s maritime conduct continues to stir deepening tension. The nation’s far-reaching territorial claims, symbolized by its “nine-dash line,” have catalyzed a series of bold maneuvers across the South China Sea. The creation and fortification of artificial islands, the routine dispatch of naval patrols, and confrontations at sea remain hallmarks of China’s growing maritime footprint, directly challenging the sovereignty of nations such as Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan, while casting a shadow over the principles of freedom of navigation and overflight that anchor global commerce.

Navigating the Waters: China’s Strategic Gambit in Djibouti

China’s investments in Djibouti represent a pivotal moment for U.S. interests in a global maritime nexus. The establishment of China’s first overseas military base, coupled with expansive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, underscores the tangible manifestations of China’s ambitions in the region. These developments are significant not only for their potential to alter regional power dynamics, but also for enabling China to project its military power more effectively and enhance its intelligence-gathering capabilities near U.S. and allied forces. Moreover, the risk of Djibouti falling into a debt trap, unable to repay Chinese loans, could lead to critical infrastructure falling under Chinese control, compounding the challenges faced by the U.S. in maintaining its influence and safeguarding its interests in this maritime corridor.

North Korea-Russia Technology Deal Could Mark a Significant Shift in Global Balance of Power

North Korea’s successful satellite launch and advanced weapons tests suggest an emergent technology sharing alliance with Russia. Following Kim Jong Un’s September 2023 meeting with Vladimir Putin, North Korea announced its first spy satellite launch and fielded new solid-fueled ballistic missiles and a nuclear underwater drone. The timing implies a reciprocal deal exchanging North Korean weapons for Russian technical aid. This burgeoning partnership marked by quid pro quo arrangements signals a tectonic shift toward a multipolar order, as Russia and North Korea cooperate to improve weapons capabilities threatening the US and allies. With global conflicts stretching Western resources, informed decision-making is critical. Contact 3GIMBALS to learn how our OMEN solution provides the intelligence needed to remain a step ahead.

Uncovering State-Sponsored Disinformation: Inside a Chinese Influence Campaign

Collaborating with Clemson University’s Media Forensics Hub, 3GIMBALS uncovered a widespread Chinese state-sponsored disinformation campaign spreading false narratives about COVID-19’s origins. Using advanced data science techniques, our team discovered over 200 viral memes across 20 online platforms targeting specific individuals. The quality and scope indicated a state-sponsored campaign which we definitively tied to mainland China through studying metadata, technical fingerprints, and geolocation data pointing to an apartment complex in Yulin, China. This enabled public exposure of the disinformation without compromising sensitive government sources. Read the full article to learn more about this analysis and see examples of the uncovered graphics.

Regional Instability Modeling & Migration Analysis: Adding Structure to a Complex Mission

The number of migrants approaching borders around the world remains at record levels. Throughout Eastern Europe, Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia—economic hardship, political unrest, violence, and changing climates drive people to leave home. Drought and storms devastate agricultural productivity, impacting food and water security. Poverty, economic decline, and lack of institutional governance create space for corruption, gangs, organized crime, and extremist influence. 

Chinese Economic Investments Advance Security Cooperation in the Solomon Islands

Soloman China

In November 2023, the Solomon Islands plays host to the Pacific Games for the first time. The expanding economic influence of China in the Solomons, evident behind the scenes with infrastructure investments and construction for these games, reflects growing concerns for Pacific Island nations across the region. 3GIMBALS’ OMENTM solution investigates interconnections between Chinese economic investments and influence in the Pacific.

OMEN™ Reveals Russian Influence in Niger

civil unrest

Destabilizing forces in the Sahel signal a shift in the balance of power. Civil unrest emerged in Niger, as French counterinsurgency operations ended in November 2022. Following these events, 3GIMBALS’ OMEN™ investigated Russian expansion in Niger—a key ally in the Sahel—through diplomatic activity, scientific cooperation, military exchanges, and infrastructure investments aligned to economic and geopolitical influence.

OMEN™ Uncovers Geopolitical Alliances: Iranian Influence in Ukraine


With daily battles in Ukraine, operations foreshadow larger geopolitical threats and alliances. In fall 2022, Russian use of Iranian Shahed-136 drones during 54 events in Ukraine hinted at a shift in the relationship between Moscow and Tehran. While investigating these drones, 3GIMBALS brought to light the growing alliance between Iran and Russia.