Geopolitical thread

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Sanjay M
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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Sanjay M » 03 Mar 2009 12:30


ramana
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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby ramana » 04 Mar 2009 23:40

Nightwatch's comments 3/3/09

Globalization Special Comment: During travel two weeks ago, NightWatch discussed the implications of the global economic meltdown with some brilliant, well-informed and perceptive Readers. The consensus was that globalization has reached its high water mark in this life time. The first signs of four major consequences are emerging in Latin American and Russia.

Decline in world trade. A new article in the Economist details the drop in trade among global markets. Specialization in a global market place is being replaced by generalization in local markets. Thanks to a brilliant and perceptive Reader for the reference to the Economist.

The second consequence is the rise in self-sufficiency movements and various forms of isolationism. The decline in profits from specialization to compete in global market places will encourage a growth in the domestic production of goods to meet the demand for items that can no longer be obtained from the global market place. Prices for locally produced goods will increase, but localization of production will produce more and different jobs than globalization did. NightWatch expects regional markets to replace the integrated global market.

More nationalizations. The Bolivarian countries, led by Venezuela, have been ahead of the times in spearheading a revival of nationalization, but for socialist reasons. Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia as well as Venezuela have been in the lead in expropriating the assets of multi-national corporations and in rewriting the terms of business. Other nations will follow as the economic consequences bite deeper. No government can withstand the allegation that it has allowed foreign companies to prosper at the expense of the well-being of its own populace. Expropriation of multi-nationals is good politics and maybe good business, in the short term, irrespective of neo-socialism.

The fourth consequence is the rise of authoritarian governments promising reform and better times. Strong willed leaders who promise reform, an end to corruption and a free lunch will sweep elections and sweep out pluralistic democracy. The leading edge of this trend is Russia, Venezuela and Bolivia. Consultative, elected, deliberative government is too slow, too expensive, and too stodgy to respond effectively to emergency needs in poor countries. Demagoguery will have a new day.

The high water mark of globalization and the high water mark of elected, pluralistic government both have been reached for now.


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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Philip » 05 Mar 2009 13:19

Disintegrating,imploding,etc.,these words are now commonplace in describing our wretched western neighbour Pakistan, who appears to have a singular death wish with a fast approaching expiry date.The Tribal areas have been virtually under tribal law for decades,and now the Swat valley has been handed over to the Taliban with all the trappings of that insidious outfits' interpretation of the Sharia,including the enslavement of women.The world would worry a lot less if it were not for the fact that Pak,unlike Saddam,possesses nuclear weapons of Chinese design and a missile inventory and manufacturing capability also thanks to the Chinese and N.Korean assistance.The Zardari regime is fast approaching its own expiry date and will inevitably be replaced by another army junta.This time however,the underlying ideology of the current Paki army shows increasing signs of a strong faction,including the ISI being sympathetic to the jehadis and if during the future military coup,this faction gets into power,along with Pak's nukes,the security of the whole region and far beyond becomes even more dangerous and acute.

Here is an excellent analysis along with the chronology of the imploding state of Pak.


After the attack, west's nuclear ally fears implosion

Militant assault on cricket tourists puts sharp focus on fragile democracy at risk of disintegration and international isolation
* Saeed Shah in Lahore
* The Guardian, Thursday 5 March 2009
Whole provinces beyond the writ of the state, Islamist insurgents uniting for a broader fight, terror attacks conceived, plotted and exported: Pakistan was in serious danger of implosion before the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team on Tuesday brought the parlous security situation in the country to a wider international audience.

But security is not the only problem of a country which the United States now considers a greater threat than neighbouring Afghanistan. With the economy teetering, political tumult building and social conditions ripe for extremists, nuclear-armed Pakistan faces six critical threats to the rule of law and governance of the state.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/ma ... eam-attack

Security

The current violence started in summer 2007, when security forces routed armed militants at the Red Mosque in Islamabad. That event turned militant groups which were focused on India or Afghanistan inwards, to Pakistan itself. A campaign of suicide bombings started, in which Taliban-style extremists in the north-west, near the Afghan border, joined forces with jihadist groups based in Punjab, Pakistan's heartland. The fatal attack on Benazir Bhutto in December 2007 and the strike against Islamabad's Marriott hotel demonstrated that insurgents were aiming high and frequently being successful.

Large parts of Pakistan have been snatched from government control. Most of the tribal area, the semi-autonomous sliver of land that runs along the Afghan border, is now firmly in the control of the Pakistani Taliban, who play host to al-Qaida commanders. Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, may be hiding in the tribal territory. This week, the Guardian learned that three rival Pakistani Taliban groups had formed a united front to wage war in Afghanistan, promising further instability there.

Much of the North-West Frontier province is menaced by marauding extremists, with citizens having to form village militias to defend themselves. The vast Swat valley has been taken over by a band of Taliban guerrillas. In an attempt to bring some peace to Swat, the government agreed last month to impose Islamic law in the area. In Baluchistan, Pakistan's largest but most sparsely populated province, the threat from Afghan Taliban elements is compounded by a long-running Baluch nationalist rebellion. Punjab, by far the most populous and richest province, is also threatened by extremists in its midst. There are many jihadist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, the outfit blamed for the Mumbai attack in November.

Intelligence services

The aims of Pakistan's premier spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), are the big question: does it still support at least some of the extremist groups?

The ISI, once heavily backed by Washington, masterminded the mujahideen resistance in Afghanistan to the Soviet invasion in the 1980s, training and financing the insurgents. The ISI then decided to use the same tactics against India, founding a series of militant groups that started a violent resistance to Indian rule in the disputed region of Kashmir. The agency also nurtured a number of sectarian outfits, such as Sipah-e-Sahaba.

Then, in the mid-1990s, the ISI helped create a new Islamic movement in Afghanistan, the Taliban, which rapidly managed to take over the country. It also spawned a copycat Pakistani Taliban movement.

The problem is that many of these militant groups, which were used to further Pakistan's foreign policy and domestic aims, have slipped out of the ISI's control. The groups have turned on the state itself, under the influence of al-Qaida.
The economy

The rule of President Pervez Musharraf, from 1999 to 2008, was characterised by an economic boom. But, just as elections were held in February 2008, that boom was turning to bust.

Inflation is now running at some 25%, while the currency and the stockmarket have been pummelled over the last year. Much of Pakistan's textile industry, which had accounted for about half of its exports, is closed as a result of chronic power shortages and lack of competitiveness.

Late last year, Pakistan was forced to go on its knees to the IMF for an emergency $7.6bn bail-out, as it was threatened by imminent bankruptcy. The economic crisis means that unemployment and poverty are on the increase, the very conditions that breed extremism.

The economy and poor governance have meant a failure to provide the country with an education and health system that serves most of the population. As a result, many poor people send their children to free madrasa schools, where the education is almost exclusively religious, sometimes preaching a radical version of Islam. Millions of children have few workplace skills and knowledge only of Islam.
Politics

Pakistan's politics has always been tumultuous, with the country under military rule for most of its 61 years of existence. The last period of army rule ended in 2008, but the new democratic dispensation has floundered.

In particular, the two main political parties, the Pakistan Peoples party, which runs the federal government, and the party of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, are in a state of war. Last week, Islamabad dismissed the provincial government in the all-important Punjab province, which had been run by Sharif's party.

Sharif and a pressure group of lawyers calling for judicial independence are now going to take their opposition on to the streets. With poor governance in Islamabad and a lack of fundamental political consensus on how the country should be run, there are already rumours that the army is about to step back in.
The military

Army chief Ashfaq Kayani has repeatedly indicated that he does not want to see the army step back into the political fray, but with a government struggling to cope with the security situation, many predict that he will eventually intervene.

The army is pervasive in Pakistan, dominating the economy: there are dozens of military businesses, it is prominent in land ownership, and, of course, it is the most important political institution. When foreign leaders want to deal seriously with Pakistan, they talk to the army chief.

The army is in charge of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, making the unity and integrity of the military an international concern. The ISI also comes under the army. Politicians and ordinary Pakistanis live in fear of the military.
International allies

Since 9/11, Pakistan has been courted by the west, which suddenly realised that the country held the key to international security. Relations with India steadied somewhat after a critical stand-off in 2002. But the Mumbai attacks have drawn the two neighbours back into confrontation.

China too watches with concern at the apparent disintegration of its neighbour and close ally.

Pakistan's western backers are impatient with its failure to deal with the militant safe havens along the Afghan border. Britain is concerned at Pakistani involvement in its own terror problems: Gordon Brown said recently that three-quarters of known British terror plots had links to Pakistan. American efforts to take matters into its own hand with attacks on Pakistani territory have frayed relations further.

But the west cannot turn on a country whose co-operation is needed for security. The fear is that isolation could push Pakistan into collapse.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby kmkraoind » 05 Mar 2009 14:35

Gurus, I have a doubt, can you please enlighten on this. Is there something cooking up on South-Asian geopolitical front.

1. Chevron has sold 5% of its share, though the company is not in distress to sell the shares for losses (probably i think this is the reason, 75% share holder (RIL) has merged RPL with RIL).
2. Though worldwide markets (exception to US some extent) are rising, FIIs are actively selling in Indian market dragging index.
3. Bangladesh mutiny (fauji vs fauji), elminating somewhat securalists by hardcore jehaids.
4. Recent high-profile visits to Pak, India, etc.,
5. Staged drama of ISI/Taliban in Lahore (SL team incident).
6. China suddenly singing new economic order in which China and India should have major role.

May be I am paranoid, but I am doubting all these instances are independent to each other or these are fine dots of a future course of action.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby brihaspati » 05 Mar 2009 18:42

Not a guru - however, some or all of these events can be part of a wider geo-strategic realignment. I would hazard a guess that both India and China are under huge pressures by the west, mainly Unkil and the sly British fox, to patch up. This is economically important for the west to survive. Unkil also wants to secure the flank from PRC and India on the AFG issue. But I think the institutional investors are also under pressure to raise cash for themselves, and they are not very sure of the strengths of the future political authority in India or such authority's commitments towards allowing FFII's to reap profits. In general, the western security services could be playing a double game here - on the one hand their penetration of the various national outfits as well as disgruntled anti-national groups in India and the peripheral countries allow them to keep the whole subcontinent shaky and unable to concentrate outside of the subcontinent - on the other hand they have to prepare for the situation when things get completely out of hand and they have to wind up.

The business interests could have been warned off by the security services that their own handiwork has now resulted in a situation where India's economy could collapse in the face of determined Jihadi aggression carried out at a subcontinental level - since the political forces in India appear to be paralyzed in dealing with Islamic Jihad.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Philip » 05 Mar 2009 19:58

If I was Obama,I would be terrified of the consequences of Pak falling into Taliban control,through another military coup,with pro-Taliban military men.The nukes and missiles that Pak has spell danger not only for India but also for Israel and a wider world,through the track record of Pak's proliferation.AQKhan must be full of glee at recent events as he might be back in business very soon.Imagine a Talibanised Pak selling its "family jewels" to an assortment of rogue states!

What then can the US do?India has to grin and bear up,gird its loins,build a "Berlin Wall" of barbed wire and minefields,trying to keep out as many jehadis as far as possible,while acquiring and developing on a war footing,missile defence systems and a secure strategic deterrent through SSBNs.Pak knows that if it attacks India,it will have to pay the ultimate price,therefore,it will continue to bleed India through terror strikes,but for the rest of the world,it is open season! Who can identify where a rogue strike came from and where the terrorists obtained their devices?

The US therefore ,to my mind must be planning emergency military measures to deal with Pak.These will include attempting to take over pak's nukes,destroying Pak's nuclear facilities and crippling Pak's military forces.However,this requires massive strike forces that cannot be easily concealed.There is just so much that can be claimed to be heading for Afghanistan.Now if and when the balloon goes up,the entire sub-continent will be in acute danger from the cornered,poxed,verminous pariah state from hitting out at all within striking range,especially "Hindoo" India.The spillover from any US move against Paki forces will be inevitable.The outcome is in no doubt.Pak wuill be annhilated...unless its far eastern godfather,the "Middle Kingdom" bestirs itself.China stands to lose its closest (nuclear) ally and enormous geo-strategic space,adjacent to the oil-rich Gulf,so a Chinese attempt to save Pak from total capitulation cannot be ruled out and China can and may intervene physically by sending in troops (through the Karakorum Highway) to bolster the Pai regime and quell the storm.

The manner in which Zardari gave China carte-blanche to "negotiate" with the US over Afghanistan,indicates the utter bankruptcy of the Paki state,which has been mortgaged to China. Therefore,the robber barons of the latter -day East India Co. are making their first moves,by reducing their risk in the region.Inevitable.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Sanjay M » 06 Mar 2009 12:14

It's ridiculous to think that a fence could keep out the jihadis. Certainly a fence is necessary, but it's hardly sufficient. The best defense is a good offense. We have to see the War on Terror fully expanded onto Pak soil, so that it's a make-it-or-break-it situation for Pak. Either they fully eliminate the jihadism from their soil (which they won't) or else their country gets broken up into more manageable pieces (which it will)

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Philip » 06 Mar 2009 14:25

We are building a fence for the entire Bangla border are we not? I know it isn't foolproof but makes infiltration more difficult,especially when one hars of huge numbers waiting to enter J&K before the elections.

Meanwhile here's a Lankan take on the Lahore attack.
http://www.dailynews.lk/2009/03/06/news01.asp

Lahore attack attempt to precipitate

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby renukb » 07 Mar 2009 11:34

As Problems in India and Russia Escalate, Let’s Drop the BRIC
http://www.moneymorning.com/2009/03/06/bric-economies/

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Vipul » 08 Mar 2009 03:27


Arun_S
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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Arun_S » 08 Mar 2009 11:08

Here is one of my article that was printed in latest Indian Defense Review magazine (Lancer Publishaers), the article is currently hosted by India Research Foundation as PDF file.

Way To A Credible Nuclear Deterrent

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Philip » 09 Mar 2009 13:28

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... epted.html

North Korea threatens full scale war if rocket is intercepted
.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby RamaY » 09 Mar 2009 19:24

Dont remember exactly but there was a mention of PVN Rao stating that India made a mistake by not allying with west after WW2 (immediately after independence) thus losing the entry into UNSC and losing crucial technology inputs from west.

He says that the upcoming geopolitical realignment offers another such window to India. And this time India should align with PRC.

I will post the source as soon as I find it.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Ananth » 10 Mar 2009 02:03

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/ma ... ons-summit
Cocaine production surge unleashes wave of violence in Latin America

Almost 6,000 people died in drug-related violence in Mexico last year alone, an unprecedented level of mayhem that is showing signs of spilling northwards into the United States. More than 1,000 have been killed already this year in Mexico.

A new trafficking route between South America and west Africa has grown so quickly that the 10th latitude corridor connecting the continents has been dubbed Interstate 10.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Tilak » 14 Mar 2009 22:11

X-Posted :

Beginning of the end for tax havens
Swiss to hand over details of evaders
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 14 March 2009 00.56 GMT

The move, described as historic by anti-poverty campaigners, came as ­international pressure, including action from Brown and Barack Obama {Yeah , heard that bull crap before.. suddenly Da Messiah and Poodle are plugged into every thing .. }, forced the world's tax havens to hand over previously undisclosed data on account holders.

In a remarkable week, Europe's secrecy jurisdictions – Liechtenstein, Andorra, Austria, Luxembourg, Jersey and ­Switzerland – all entered into international information sharing agreements.

Swiss ministers said the government caved in after learning the country was going to be included this month on a ­blacklist of uncooperative tax havens drawn up by the Organisation for ­Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Having agreed to sign up to the OECD protocol on tax, Switzerland will hand over information on account ­holders suspected of tax evasion by another country.

Until now tax evasion was not illegal in Switzerland and secrecy has been the bedrock of its economy.


Hans-Rudolf Merz, Swiss president and finance minister, said yesterday: "Co-operation on taxes has become more important given the globalisation of ­financial markets and in particular against the background of the financial crisis."

Switzerland is the world's biggest tax haven. The world's rich hide at least $1.89 tn (£1.35tn) of the estimated $7trn of ­private wealth there according to the Swiss Bankers Association, though others put the figure much higher.





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Image


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PS : No wonder Isamic Emirate of Britainia gives refuge to all the thugs/criminals from Russia. And Note the absence of money flows from China

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Sanjay M » 15 Mar 2009 00:56

Wow, I was surprised to see all the inner names (the ones with the really high numbers), except for maybe Germany and France.

I was surprised to see Ireland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Cyprus.

Since the Cypriots are strongly orthodox, then it makes sense for them to go with Russia, I suppose.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby brihaspati » 15 Mar 2009 03:52

Ireland had close relations with USSR - its Shannon area was developed mainly by the Russians. In spite of de Valera's staunch anti-communism and apparent rather shady protection of "Nazi escapees", many Irish leaned towards communism and some even took up Soviet citizenship. EU countries also have a stake in the gas and oil or "wood pellet" products of Russia, so some of these investments could include this sector. Moreover, countries like Luxembourg or Cyprus host third party investment institutions through which funds from off-shor or multinational funds can flow through. In fact it could even be partly the Russian mafia exported capital coming back through the backdoor as legitimate investments.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Gerard » 15 Mar 2009 05:03


Ameet
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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Ameet » 16 Mar 2009 01:30

Russia considering 2 Latin bases

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/world ... ses&st=cse

“There are four or five airfields in Cuba with 4,000-meter-long runways, which absolutely suit us,” he said. “If the two chiefs of state display such a political will, we are ready to fly there.”

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Yogi_G » 16 Mar 2009 01:45

Ananth wrote:http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/09/cocaine-production-united-nations-summit
Cocaine production surge unleashes wave of violence in Latin America

Almost 6,000 people died in drug-related violence in Mexico last year alone, an unprecedented level of mayhem that is showing signs of spilling northwards into the United States. More than 1,000 have been killed already this year in Mexico.

A new trafficking route between South America and west Africa has grown so quickly that the 10th latitude corridor connecting the continents has been dubbed Interstate 10.


Surprising thing is that my friend staying and working in Guadalahara in Mexico says he has never come across any crime nor knows anyone in that place who have come across it. Moreover this chap leaves for home late in the night. He says even his friends in other cities have not spoken about anything of such sorts. I wonder if this is a big psy-ops thing to get more US money to fight drugs...

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby svinayak » 16 Mar 2009 03:20

Image

http://www.longnow.org/about/

Guidelines

Guidelines for a long-lived, long-valuable institution

* Serve the long view (and the long viewer)
* Foster responsibility
* Reward patience
* Mind mythic depth
* Ally with competition
* Take no sides
* Leverage longevity

* The Long Now Foundation uses five digit dates, the extra zero is to solve the deca-millennium bug which will come into effect in about 8,000 years.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Gerard » 16 Mar 2009 15:51

Center Stage for the 21st Century: Rivalry in the Indian Ocean
Meanwhile, Zhang Ming, a Chinese naval analyst, has warned that the 244 islands that form India's Andaman and Nicobar archipelago could be used like a "metal chain" to block the western entrance to the Strait of Malacca, on which China so desperately depends. "India is perhaps China's most realistic strategic adversary," Zhang has written. "Once India commands the Indian Ocean, it will not be satisfied with its position and will continuously seek to extend its influence, and its eastward strategy will have a particular impact on China."
These may sound like the words of a professional worrier from China's own theory class, but these worries are revealing: Beijing already considers New Delhi to be a major sea power.
As the competition between India and China suggests, the Indian Ocean is where global struggles will play out in the twenty-first century.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby brihaspati » 16 Mar 2009 20:16

Indian Ocean as the pre-colonial Atlantic
http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4604&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=560
They are likely to have had a base or listening post on Cocos Island along that very chain, why the squealing? Or was I rash in posting this on BR! :eek:

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby ramana » 17 Mar 2009 00:06

The PRC always considered the naval threat from IN. So nothing new. No your were not wrong in posting that. Need Indians to know whats going on. Its not Andamans that gives India the long reach but Tamil Nadu.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Philip » 20 Mar 2009 11:43

The Vatican exercises influence worldwide far greater in proportion to its city-state size,through Roman-Catholicism,spread all over the world,with the Pope the head of the RC church supposedly "infallible" in his directives on spiritual and temporal matters to the faithful.Cardinal Ratzinger,earlier described during the papacy of John Paul the second as "God's Rotweiller",in charge of doctrinal matters,has been well known to be a staunch defender of Catholic conservatism and orthodoxy.As Pope Benedict ,he has been embroiled in several controversies,which appear to be in part due to his ignorance of wrldly matters and in part due to the excessive secrecy and control over Vatican affairs by the Roman Curia,the Vatican's "court" or "cabinet".The Curia's role has been described thus: "In exercising supreme, full, and immediate power in the universal Church, the Roman pontiff makes use of the departments of the Roman Curia which, therefore, perform their duties in his name and with his authority for the good of the churches and in the service of the sacred pastors" .

The Pope's latest controverisal remarks about the use of condoms being not the right answer to the spread of Aids,is actually correct.More research must be made in combating the disease and finding medical remedies to prevent and cure victims of it,but condoms are a ready and cheap method of reducing the risk in poor countries in Africa and elsewhere.They do help is reducing and prventing the disease.The apparent ignorance of the Pope/Vatican on matters temporal and scientific have been with us for centuries,and even in the enlightened age of the Internet,the Vatican seems to be far behind in understanding contemporary issues.Now "insiders" in the Vatican are feding the media with their views that the current Pope is a "disaster"! They also hint that a "change" may be on the way.If so,will it be in the classic Vatican method (John Paul 1st's mysterious death) ,or a voluntary stepping down by his holiness?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... aster.html

Vatican insiders declare the Pope a 'disaster'

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby vina » 21 Mar 2009 09:22

One more nail in that stupid Indian-Pakistan-Iran pipe line , the wet dream of JNU ding dongs and "south asianitis" policy wonks and the Mani Shankar Aiyars. Now the LNG /LPG market is globalized and the strategic limitations of shipping the gas has been overcome by technology!. Result! It makes orders of more magnitude of sense to build a fleet of LNG tankers and ship it from multiple sources across the world (including Iran) and avoid a single point of failure and strategic leverage of TSP over India

Natural Gas, Suddenly Abundant, Is Cheaper
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/21/busin ... .html?_r=1
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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Philip » 21 Mar 2009 13:10

Vina,spot on,what I've also been saying for a long time.A very close relative is in charge of a major international operation of the same and says that the latest gas tankers can be loaded in about just half a day and unloaded faster.here are already a number of "gas shuttles" in operation.We've supposed to have made some very good deals with Gulf gas producers for supplies,and if we only build a large fleet of tankers,will have a virtual mobile pipeline under our control totally,without having to touch Pak at all.We can also work out an independent deal with Iran for its gas too,which will work out the same or even alittle less than transporting it from the other Gulf producers.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -them.html
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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby abhischekcc » 21 Mar 2009 14:07

What's more is that India is expected to become self sufficient (or even surplus) by 2012 in NG. As years progress, there will be a strong push to convert our energy base to NG from oil and coal, with oil giving way first since we have plenty of coal available internally.

This will make Indian energy needs less dependant on West Asia. However, this DOES NOT preclude cooperation with Iran. Remember that Shia Iran does not support any terror groups in India; Sunni Pakistan, KSA, and UAE do. Changing our energy supplier to Iran would help in making our domestic policy less terrorist friendly.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby renukb » 22 Mar 2009 10:13

Chavez to visit Qatar, Iran and Japan
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/ar ... gYhNyzQUEA

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Atri » 23 Mar 2009 00:07


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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Keshav » 23 Mar 2009 07:20

renukb -

I found this article about Chavez's interest in Japan. Pretty interesting article.

http://www.ogj.com/display_article/3568 ... ext-month/

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby renukb » 23 Mar 2009 09:22

Cross posting from other thread...

If this is true and happens, this will be a BIG time game changer in Asian region.

This was long overdue.... this should help stabilize Indo-Pak-Chinese relations a bit further.... When that happens the US influence in the region could decrease, but also give an edge to Russians in the region to play their games....

India should align more with the regional players and Russia than the US and the west who had the history of colonial past... This will not only normalize and stabilize the region, but will keep the invaders away.... I would even go ahead and recomend that let these nations drag Japan into the SCO and form a regional social, economical and security alliance... to stabilize the region... Say no to non regional players who doesn't understand our culture and sociual fabrique...

China and Russia Welcome Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia into Shanghai Cooperation Organization
By M K Bhadrakumar

http://japanfocus.org/-M_K-Bhadrakumar/2052

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Sanjay M » 23 Mar 2009 10:34

Keshav wrote:renukb -

I found this article about Chavez's interest in Japan. Pretty interesting article.

http://www.ogj.com/display_article/3568 ... ext-month/


So Japan's interest in Venezuela is similar to its interest in Iran, as per its omni-directional foreign policy.

Heh, and leftist-led India for some reason has remained staunchly aloof from the US for all these years, on the grounds that having closer relations with the US would automatically compromise its latitude on foreign policy. Go figure. :roll:

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Keshav » 23 Mar 2009 19:25

Sanjay M wrote:Heh, and leftist-led India for some reason has remained staunchly aloof from the US for all these years, on the grounds that having closer relations with the US would automatically compromise its latitude on foreign policy. Go figure. :roll:


After looking at politics from around the world, you get a sense that there really is no "left" or "right", per se, but people who have different self-interest. Some people are smart about it and some are stupid. There are exceptions but most of the worlds politicians and thinkers act in this way.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby Tilak » 23 Mar 2009 19:36

The following is a tad old, France has rejoined Nato officially, after Sarkozy won the vote in Parliament.

France officially asks to rejoin NATO command
By LAURENT PIROT – 2 days ago

PARIS (AP) — President Nicolas Sarkozy has submitted a formal request to rejoin the NATO command structure following a 43-year absence, French and NATO officials said Friday.



The NATO official said the alliance must now decide what sort of command posts France will take up.

Upon fully returning to NATO, France expects to receive two command posts — one in Norfolk, Virginia, responsible for defining the strategic transformation of the alliance, and another in Lisbon, Portugal.

In 1966, President Charles de Gaulle abruptly pulled France out of the NATO command and evicted all allied troops and bases, including its military headquarters, from France in an effort to assert sovereignty over its own territory.

France remained a NATO member, but has stayed outside the decision-making core since de Gaulle's pullout.

De Gaulle's assertion of French independence at the height of the Cold War came as a shock at the time and caused a rift with Washington that deepened in 2003, when France kept its troop out of the American-led invasion of Iraq.

Sarkozy, a conservative, has sought to mend frayed relations with the U.S. since taking office in 2007, and the election of President Barack Obama has boosted his efforts.

Earlier this month, Sarkozy announced his intention to rejoin NATO's integrated military command, insisting he wanted France to be able participate fully in alliance military planning and in crafting NATO policy

The United States and NATO welcomed Sarkozy's comments, but the French leader's plan aroused fierce passions among both leftist and some conservative lawmakers at home. They voiced fears that a closer relationship with the U.S.-led alliance could limit France's prized ability to act independently on the world stage. .


Amid the opposition to Sarkozy's plan, Prime Minister Francois Fillon proposed a parliamentary no-confidence motion — which the government handily survived. Lawmakers in France's lower house voted 329-238 on Tuesday in favor of the government's foreign policy.
...
.....
France is now among the top five contributors to allied military operations and the No. 4 benefactor to alliance budgets for NATO operations

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby svinayak » 24 Mar 2009 06:37

http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/97jun/populat.htm
OVER the past two decades a strange phenomenon has become clear in much of the center of the United States: people have almost stopped having children. Several factors may explain this. Much of the Baby Boom generation has finished having children, and its successors, known unimaginatively as Generation X, have delayed having children and chosen to have much smaller families.
After the end of the Second World War the Baby Boom began: in 1946, 3.4 million births were recorded in the United States. The annual total climbed, and from 1954 through 1964 births averaged 4.2 million. Then, during the next dozen years, births declined nationally. The low period was 1973 through 1976, when they barely exceeded 3.1 million a year. The national decline was only temporary, however: by 1977 the number of births began to rise, and in 1989 it again exceeded 4 million. Births remained above 4 million through 1993, and the Census Bureau projects that they will remain at about 3.9 million through 2005.

But in the six-state region the situation has been different. Even the Baby Boom was not as pronounced here; it peaked earlier and the subsequent decline was greater. The region in fact experienced a "baby bust" for nearly fifteen years, from about 1965 through the late 1970s. Nationally births declined 27 percent, from the peak of 4.3 million in 1957 to a low of just over 3.1 million in 1973. But, taking each state's peak and low years from the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s, in Nebraska births declined 34 percent, in Kansas 40 percent, in South Dakota 42 percent, and in North Dakota 44 percent.

An upswing in the region mirroring that in the country as a whole has failed to occur. Births in these counties rose slightly from about 1979 through 1984 -- a period known locally as the "Baby Boom echo," resulting from the original Baby Boomers' reaching their peak childbearing years. In reality the rise was barely a blip. In North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska not a single year of this "echo" saw as many births as even the slowest year of the Baby Boom.

By 1985 births had begun to fall throughout the region, and the decline has accelerated since 1990. It has been greatest in rural areas, with the 98th Meridian serving as an approximate dividing line. The portions of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas west of this line have experienced an unprecedented "child drought" during the past ten years, and the birth rate for the past five years amounts to a child famine.

The Great Plains were the land of opportunity, the home of legions of pilgrims and seekers. These brave souls were the heroes of O. E. Rölvaag's Giants in the Earth and Willa Cather's O Pioneers! They lived in conditions we would consider unthinkable, suffering years and even generations of hardship, deprivation, and poverty, often working themselves to death. Progress was at first glacial; the drought of the 1890s ruined thousands. But the survivors toiled on, unwilling to admit the possibility of defeat. And over the past hundred years some of the nation's strongest families and finest communities have resulted from that toil.

No one can pretend that the lack of children is not critical. The present decline in births condemns the future: any kind of economic development relies on a number of children sufficient to fill the next generation. If anything can help the future of these 279 counties, it is the decision by Baby Boomers and their children to have another baby.

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby renukb » 24 Mar 2009 09:36

Obama and Iran, Geithner's Explanation, and Israel's Military
http://www.cfr.org/publication/18898/

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby renukb » 24 Mar 2009 09:41

Slightly old article..

Nuclear Clouds Gather Over the Asia Pacific
By Praful Bidwai

http://japanfocus.org/-Praful-Bidwai/2034

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby renukb » 24 Mar 2009 09:43

Call to speed up work on India-Central Asia corridor
BS Reporter / New Delhi March 19, 2009, 1:04 IST


http://www.business-standard.com/india/ ... or/352314/

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Re: Geopolitical thread

Postby renukb » 24 Mar 2009 10:00

Pax Consortis: A new global order?
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/world/20090324TDY13004.htm

Shinji Fukukawa / Special to The Daily Yomiuri

Entering the 21st century, the world situation--in which political and economic systems are dramatically changing--raises the question of how we should establish a new global order.

In the 20th century, the basic system of global governance changed from "Pax Brittanica" to "Pax Americana," however, the world is now, in my view, moving to a new order called "Pax Consortis" that means the global order will be a function of major countries working cooperatively.

It seems to me that the world has been shifting to a multipolar structure. The political and economic leadership of the United States is gradually fading away, since its unilateral policy stance has lost the support of major countries, as seen in the Iraq war, and the collapse of the subprime loan market and related derivatives, resulting in financial turmoil and a world recession.

The European Union is heightening its political presence in the world, promoting the deepening and widening of regional integration. Russia is returning to a "Russianization" policy, backed by abundant oil reserves and military arms, adopting a more confrontational stance toward the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil as well as oil-producing countries are consolidating their political and economic voices, and Islamic extremist groups continue to be a threat to the international community.

The fronts of confrontation and points of international disputes are diversifying. In the 19th and 20th centuries, they developed mostly over attempts to acquire territorial gains, superiority in military power and production capabilities, but recently they have come to include cultural and religious values, countermeasures against terrorists, proliferation of nuclear arms, control of energy sources, resources and water, frameworks for global environmental protection, and poverty, as well as the financial and currency systems.

Regional disputes will occur frequently due to conflicts over race, religion, political confrontation and others in this multipolar situation. Terrorist groups may possibly expand their activities. More importantly, nuclear proliferation may gather momentum. To solve these issues, a collective security system centering on the United Nations and joint actions by major countries will be indispensable.

The world economy has been beset by a deep recession. Economic globalization, which promoted economic interdependence, accelerated economic growth between 2000 and 2005, bringing about the synchronization of business cycles and expanding the amplitude of economic development.

In the 1980s and '90s, many people believed that high economic growth could be achieved if we left economic management fully to the market. However, the market is not always perfect. This economic management style and the so-called twin deficits of the United States have brought about excessive international liquidity and a speculation-oriented global economy. The collapse of subprime loans and related derivatives is an example of "market imperfections" or "market failure." Furthermore, the U.S. government did not take adequate countermeasures. "Government failure" made the situation more serious.

To climb out of the current serious recession, joint action by major countries is an urgent and key task. All major countries have taken various policy measures to restore their financial system, trying to expand domestic demand and pursuing a new growth model. Some financial institutions already have received capital injections from governments and several financial institutions have come under government control. The U.S. and European governments have started to strengthen regulatory measures vis-a-vis financial institutions. The World Bank said early this month that 17 countries already have introduced trade protectionist measures.

However, we should not forget that the market mechanism is the basis of economic activity. Excessive governmental intervention can harm economic dynamism, but we have to cast aside the wild fancy that the market mechanism is an inviolable principle. We have to pursue a new economic model based on an optimal combination of the market mechanism and fair and reasonable public coordination that requires propriety, integrity and transparency. In order to strengthen free trade, a new round of global trade negotiations should be encouraged.

Countermeasures against climate change may also constitute a part of Pax Consortis. We have to notice that the industrial system that mankind has developed since the Industrial Revolution has depended on the preconditions that natural resources are inexhaustible and the natural environmental cycles will remain unaffected. However, the current fluctuations of prices of oil and resources, and the abnormal climatic conditions, such as longer-than-usual rainfalls, floods, droughts and forest fires, symbolize that those preconditions are no longer applicable.

The consensus has been reached through various international conferences that we should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2050. We have to try firstly to reform the industrial system through innovation of the demand and supply structure in respect of energy, the recycling of energy and materials, and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, and secondly, try to establish a reasonable post-Kyoto Protocol framework that can be accepted by major greenhouse gas-emitting countries like the United States, China and India, among others.

Climate change cannot be solved without common actions by all major countries. Securing a "Global Green New Deal" is one of our most important challenges.

The Toyako summit held in July 2008, and two Group of 20 financial summit meetings--one in Washington in November 2008 and the second scheduled for April in London--showed that without the presence of representatives of emerging countries traditional Group of Seven or Group of Eight meetings seem to be insufficient when it comes to solving those global issues.

U.S. President Barack Obama has changed the policy stance of the United States toward international cooperation. However, its fiscal deficit will exceed 1.8 trillion yen--an all-time high--in fiscal 2009 ending in September. If Obama undertakes the policies he is committed to, he needs the support of the EU, Japan, Russia, China, India and Brazil. The reason why U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose to visit Japan, China and two other Asian countries on her first overseas tour in her current capacity and Europe as the second destination reflects this situation.

A Pax Consortis might create great problems in building a consensus or agreement because many players will be involved and the issues to be tackled will be complex. We should elaborate how we can efficiently operate such a global order. In parallel with governmental collaborative frameworks, intellectual networks to deal with the global order should be established and encouraged.

The United States and Japan are the largest and second-largest economies in the world. Both of them will be important players in such a Pax Consortis. I feel that the U.S. government expects to maintain a relationship of trust with Japan. The question is whether Japanese government, political, business and academic circles will react positively to U.S. expectations in view of establishing a new global order. Japan should heighten its ability to draw up a future vision of the world, contribute to the good of the rest of the world by supplying necessary global public goods, create optimal internal and international policies, and strengthen cooperative relations with major countries and overseas intellectual organizations.

Fukukawa, a former administrative vice international trade and industry minister, serves as chairman of the Machine Industry Memorial Foundation.

(Mar. 24, 2009)


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