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Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ricky_v » 25 May 2017 23:24

Ramanna ji, I could not find Braudel's work or at least the portion relevant to the topic at hand; but regarding the pendulum theory of cultural enlightenment/regional strong arming, is it stated what is the equilibrium point/axis of this pendulum, before the weight started moving in either direction?
On the topic of the upper hand, that has been with the western half since 1911 if we take Nagpur as the central point and view India through the two halves so obtained ,all regions included.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ricky_v » 25 May 2017 23:54

In one of the essays on Braudel's civilization, it was mentioned that Indian banyans reached till Moscow. Seeing as it was mentioned amongst other trading communities it is obvious to state that the author wanted to express banias, but other possibilities are intriguing.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 25 May 2017 23:57

ricky_v, Braudel wrote that in the third volume of his work. The chapter on India is 55 pages long. He starts from just prior to Ashoka spread of Buddhism started. His point is the East Asian kingdoms were under Indian influence in the early centuries and by around 400 AD the pendulum started swinging back to India from East. To me it makes sense that Darius I managed to annex Punjab region around 500 BC in the vacuum.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 25 May 2017 23:58

ricky_v wrote:In one of the essays on Braudel's civilization, it was mentioned that Indian banyans reached till Moscow. Seeing as it was mentioned amongst other trading communities it is obvious to state that the author wanted to express banias, but other possibilities are intriguing.


This was about the Indian traders/banias circa 1200 A.D.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby chanakyaa » 26 May 2017 23:44

I've never read Braudel. While looking up for his work, I came across following book by Jack Goody. The book is "Theft of History". Just started reading, looks to be interesting.
Jack Goody builds on his own previous work to extend further his highly influential critique of what he sees as the pervasive eurocentric or occidentalist biases of so much western historical writing. Goody also examines the consequent 'theft' by the West of the achievements of other cultures in the invention of (notably) democracy, capitalism, individualism, and love. The Theft of History discusses a number of theorists in detail, including Marx, Weber and Norbert Elias, and engages with critical admiration western historians like Fernand Braudel, Moses Finlay and Perry Anderson.


Image

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 27 May 2017 00:22

Will look for it.
The theft had to happen. After the collapse of Rome from German tribal attacks, the local elites took power in Gaul, Germania all in Europe with the help of the Church. This ushered in the Dark Ages and lasted about a thousand years till Renaissance and Reformation.
The concept of democracy and all those stolen ideas was used to overthrow the feudalism during the one hundred years of English, American and French Revolution.
However having thrown off the feudalism or curbed the power these very same countries embarked on Colonialism which lasted till end of WWII
That's where the theft comes from.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby panduranghari » 27 May 2017 12:24

Muppalla wrote:Excellent article with perfect symphony of Xianity, Secularism and Democracy


Indeed.

There are apparently 3 types of thinkers:
1/those who think conceptually
2/those who think morally-is it sin or not
3/tribal thinkers- the will stick with a group think agreeing(even if reluctantly) with all ideas.

The NWO sock puppets like Obama/Merkel have the job of getting the majority i.e. Tribal thinkers on their bandwagon using the church thus also incorporating the moral thinkers into their plans.

The conceptual thinkers who devised the Euro project did not envisage this Islamic ingress into European consciousness as has happened in the last few years. The breakaway movements everywhere pander to the same basal instinct of us v/s them. The European conceptual thinkers have realised the demographic cliff which the Europe faces. Getting Islamics in to counter it has not worked as they won't integrate. I think Obama/Merkel et al have been given this job of reconciliation between Christianity, secularism and democracy to prevent complete breakdown of their pet project. I think the church is agreeable to the plan. Where goes the church there go the group 2 thinkers. The tribal thinkers pandering to separatist movements need to be brought on board.

I am curious how they will do that?

The only way without the European project unravelling is, giving into the breakaway demands by allowing some element of political independence but keeping them within the European framework.

It will be interesting to see how Brexit talks progress. If we start reading hearing of Brexit lite, I would propose a modus vivendi has been reached.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby chanakyaa » 29 May 2017 08:08

Merkel: Europe must fight for its own future, not rely on U.S., U.K.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Sunday that Europe could no longer completely depend on the U.S. and the U.K., and that the European Union must make its own destiny.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 31 May 2017 00:23

Merkel needs to get re-elected.

Read all such statements with POV bias.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 31 May 2017 06:57

Foreign Affairs has linked the 35 essays by Zbig as a tribute.

Good idea to read as many as we can



LINK

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 31 May 2017 07:01

Gideon Rachman on Angela Merkel Speech at NATO

https://www.ft.com/content/dc911cb8-444 ... ac3b9ee271

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby SwamyG » 03 Jun 2017 09:11


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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Philip » 06 Jun 2017 13:05

The shadowy Bilderberg Group have ended their 2017 meeting,usually attended by heads of state,intel/mil chiefs in abundance,bankers,economists,MNC heads,political leaders from the western world,and key media figures who NEVER reveal the deliberations which are suspected of being used to "steer" world events for the benefit of its members.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... nair-trump
Bilderberg conference: attendees dodge the press as secretive meeting ends
Most in attendance avoided journalists at all costs, but Ryanair’s CEO says annual gathering of world’s elite was ‘very useful’

Charlie Skelton in Chantilly, Virginia
Monday 5 June 2017
Michael O’Leary hopped out of his limousine, saw me scuttling towards him with my camera, and darted off into departures. I hurried in after him.
Bilderberg: the world’s most secretive conference is as out of touch as ever

He looked tired. The Ryanair chief executive was heading home from Washington after his third Bilderberg conference, three gruelling days of hot-button geopolitical discussions and trying not to get stuck next to George Osborne at dinner.

I cornered him next to a terrible-looking airport steakhouse and, wearily, he agreed to answer a couple of questions. Around the notoriously tight-lipped Bilderberg group, this was a big step. Even though the annual conference is packed with government ministers, senators and party leaders, the public is resolutely denied even the most cursory press briefing.

Attendees spotted by the press are for the most part still locked in a bizarre, pre-internet paradigm of hiding their faces behind copies of the Financial Times or even, in the case of one participant this year, bending double to avoid – heaven forfend! – being identified. The shame of it! Whatever would people say?

Judging from the hair and physique, and the glimpse of an earring in another photo, my guess is that the bent-double attendee might have been Ana Botín, head of Banco Santander. It says something about how messed up the relationship is between Bilderberg and the press that I’m trying to identify the executive chairman of one of Europe’s largest banks as she – or someone with similar hair – sprawls forwards in a minibus, into the lap of the former US treasury secretary Larry Summers. This is undignified for everybody involved.

Michael O’Leary on Trump’s progress: ‘He’s got things done.’ Photograph: Charlie Skelton for the Guardian
At the airport, the Canadian finance minister, Bill Morneau, would not even grace journalists with a “no comment”. He had just spent a long weekend talking business and politics with the president of Canada’s largest bank.

O’Leary, at least, agreed to speak. I asked him about the top item on this year’s agenda: “The Trump Administration: A progress report”. What was Bilderberg’s verdict?

O’Leary thought for a moment. “I would say … reasonable. He’s got things done, but there’s more to do.”

It sounds like Trump’s regulatory bonfire isn’t quite the howling blaze the CEOs and industrialists of Bilderberg would prefer, but it’s a step in the right direction. He’s got potential.

Trump’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, must have made a good case. Ross was a clever choice of envoy: a private equity billionaire, a former trustee of Brookings and a former Rothschild investment banker. He’d fit right in at Bilderberg.

I asked if O’Leary had found the conference useful. “Absolutely,” he said. “It’s always very useful.”

It’s worth wondering what “very useful” might mean to the ruthless CEO of a company that makes more than $1.5bn a year, an industry lobbyist who has privately petitioned politicians on behalf of Airlines 4 Europe, a man who once called environmentalists “lying wankers” and said they ought to be shot and the owner of a horse called “Rule the World”.

To the heads of Ryanair, Bayer, AXA, Fiat Chrysler, Airbus, Lazard and Google, “useful” is not a vague or fuzzy term. It means “financially worthwhile”. Something they value enough to clear time in their diaries, to get on a long-haul flight, to risk having to make small talk with George Osborne over cocktails.

If you want to know why O’Leary would want to join the steering committee of this annual, under-the-radar political summit, the answer lies in the nature of the beast. Bilderberg is plugged into the very highest levels of high finance and intelligence. There were two ex-CIA chiefs at this year’s conference: Gen David Petraeus and John Brennan, both of whom now work in the private sector. There was the current US national security adviser, HR McMaster, and a former director of MI6, Sir John Sawers, who now sits on the board of BP.

At its deepest level, the group is dominated by transnational finance and big business. The conference chairman is a director of HSBC, the newly appointed treasurer is the head of Deutsche Bank, and the administrative body is run by a senior adviser to Goldman Sachs.

The relationship between Bilderberg and Goldman Sachs runs deep. This year’s conference featured senior figures from the bank; the annual returns of American Friends of Bilderberg, a tax-exempt group, show it registered to the address of a Goldman Sachs board member, James A Johnson. Its sister organisation, the UK-based Bilderberg Association, is heavily funded by Goldman Sachs and registered to the business address of Simon Robertson, former managing director of the bank’s London operation, Goldman Sachs International.

The current chairman of Goldman Sachs International, José Manuel Barroso, sits on the Bilderberg steering committee, alongside the chairman of the bank’s International Advisory Board, Robert Zoellick. In other words, if Goldman Sachs is the “vampire squid” that Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi said it was, Bilderberg is its brain: doing the deep thinking, inviting historians and futurists’ perspectives, trying to work out where the world is going, doing its best to make sure everything stays more or less on course.

What might this course be? One of the historians invited to this year’s shindig was Stephen Kotkin of Princeton, who wrote recently that it was “up to Russia’s leaders to take meaningful steps to integrate their country into the existing world order”. This statement chimed exactly with an item on the conference agenda, “Russia in the international order”, but also suggested a flicker of optimism not shared by some of the anti-Putin brigade at Bilderberg, such as Radosław Sikorski of Harvard.

Chantilly in the spotlight: inside the secretive Bilderberg's 'home from home'

Some at this year’s Bilderberg have a financial interest in the international order being a bit more disorderly: the CEO of Airbus, a board member of Boeing, the chairman of the Saab Group. They are in the business of selling weaponry, so a bit of friction on the eastern front might do wonders to warm up their bottom line.

When it comes to China, Bilderberg has a more consistently positive attitude. The Chinese ambassador to the US attended this year, although he did so at the same moment the US secretary of defense, James Mattis, was firing off a warning to Beijing about the South China Sea.

Some might think the presence of such a senior diplomat at a private conference would bring Bilderberg close to a breach of the Logan Act, which forbids US citizens from negotiating independently with foreign governments in dispute with the US.

But never mind: this year’s conference was a great success. The sun came out, the delegates kept their heads down, and there was only one arrest: a 62-year-old Swiss lady in love-heart sunglasses called Maria.

She had travelled to Virginia with some friends, seeking to heal Bilderberg with positive vibrations. But after a strenuous session working with her vibrational discs, she crossed the security line in an attempt to use a portable toilet. She found herself clapped in handcuffs and led off to be charged with trespassing.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 06 Jun 2017 23:28

X-Post...
Will add bold to it later today....

svinayak wrote:Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World's Oceans Hardcover – June 6, 2017
by James Stavridis


Admiral James Stavridas has written a very good topical history of each of the oceans. His book, entitled Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World's Oceans, is a big undertaking. Attempting to review the role of each ocean in history and in modern commerce, warfare and political rivalries requires a lot of research and a keen eye for detail. Admiral Stavridas does a good job on the history of each ocean, describing its role in history. He is strongest on the Mediterranean and Atlantic, probably because so much history is known about the Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians and later the Portuguese, Spanish and English. The history portions are far smaller about the Indian, Pacific and Arctic Oceans.

Each chapter deals with the history and place of the ocean in past and current political rivalries, and almost always includes an interlude where Stavridas talks about a time he sailed on these oceans. These insights are sometimes interesting, sometimes mundane and almost always include a joke at the author's expense. It's in current analysis where I was hoping to see more careful thought.

There are clearly deep divides over oceans and waterways such as the Arctic, where vast undersea resources abound and navigation and seal lanes are relatively undefined, and in places like the South China sea, where China is staking out a huge claim that violates the claims of countries such as Viet Nam, Taiwan, the Philippines and others. I would have liked a more careful analysis of these with deeper recommendations about what the US and its partners can and should do now and in the future. After all, vast swathes of the Pacific and South Atlantic are relatively untroubled, along with most of the coastline of the sea around Antarctica. Further, there are enough strong actors in the Med (France, Italy, Greece, Israel, Turkey, etc) to quell most of the problems, except for immigration which wasn't explored enough.

On the whole a fine topical survey of the history and use of the oceans and the role they play in commerce and as strategic lanes to establish power,

Alfred Thayer Mahan's name is one of those essential "must-knows" for historians. Writing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Mahan stressed the importance of sea power in the history of nations and called for the United States to build a large navy and a global empire. His books influenced leaders and strategists the world over, including President Theodore Roosevelt. It is no exaggeration to credit Mahan for much of US naval policy in the last century. Admiral James Stavridis studied Mahan at Annapolis and kept his precepts in mind throughout his illustrious 35 year career in the US Navy, culminating as Supreme Allied Commander for Global Operations at NATO. Now retired, his Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World's Oceans recalls many of Mahan's ideas, but analyzes, refines, and sometimes discards them in the light of 21st century realities.

Stavridis first gives his readers seven chapters in which he analyzes the histories, challenges, and opportunities to be found in each of the world's seven oceans, followed by an eighth in which he analyzes the problems of piracy and other criminal acts on the seas and a ninth (which I found the most interesting of all) focused on US naval strategies for the 21st century. In each chapter Stavridis recounts memories of his own career, which began at age 17 in 1972 when he went to sea after his first year at Annapolis. These memories are frank and often amusing, since Stavridis is secure enough not to mind pointing out his own mistakes. Throughout each chapter Stavridis makes it clear that he believes in free trade, strong international cooperation and alliances, and the necessity of confronting and dealing with the problems of climate change. I found his recommendations in the final chapter to be clear headed and reasonable, and I trust that he has laid them before our political leadership in greater detail.

From one of the most admired admirals of his generation—and the only admiral to serve as Supreme Allied Commander at NATO—comes a remarkable voyage through all of the world’s most important bodies of water, providing the story of naval power as a driver of human history and a crucial element in our current geopolitical path.

From the time of the Greeks and the Persians clashing in the Mediterranean, sea power has determined world power. To an extent that is often underappreciated, it still does. No one understands this better than Admiral Jim Stavridis. In Sea Power, Admiral Stavridis takes us with him on a tour of the world’s oceans from the admiral’s chair, showing us how the geography of the oceans has shaped the destiny of nations, and how naval power has in a real sense made the world we live in today, and will shape the world we live in tomorrow.

Not least, Sea Power is marvelous naval history, giving us fresh insight into great naval engagements from the battles of Salamis and Lepanto through to Trafalgar, the Battle of the Atlantic, and submarine conflicts of the Cold War. It is also a keen-eyed reckoning with the likely sites of our next major naval conflicts, particularly the Arctic Ocean, Eastern Mediterranean, and the South China Sea. Finally, Sea Power steps back to take a holistic view of the plagues to our oceans that are best seen that way, from piracy to pollution.

When most of us look at a globe, we focus on the shape of the of the seven continents. Admiral Stavridis sees the shapes of the seven seas. After reading Sea Power, you will too. Not since Alfred Thayer Mahan’s legendary The Influence of Sea Power upon History have we had such a powerful reckoning with this vital subject.

Biography
Admiral James Stavridis, US Navy (Retired)

A South Florida native, Jim Stavridis attended the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, and spent over thirty five years in the Navy, rising to the rank of 4-star Admiral. Among his many commands were four years as the 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, where he oversaw operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, the Balkans, and piracy off the coast of Africa. He also commanded US Southern Command in Miami, charged with military operations through Latin America for nearly three years. He was the longest serving Combatant Commander in recent US history.

In the course of his career in the Navy, he served as senior military assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Defense. He led the Navy’s premier operational think tank for innovation, Deep Blue, immediately after the 9/11 attacks.

He won the Battenberg Cup for commanding the top ship in the Atlantic Fleet, the Destroyer USS BARRY, and the Navy League John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational leadership as a Commodore. He holds more than 50 US and international medals and decorations, including 28 from foreign nations. He also commanded a Destroyer Squadron and a Carrier Strike Group, both in combat in the Middle East.

He earned a PhD from The Fletcher School at Tufts, winning the Gullion prize as outstanding student in his class in 1983, as well as academic honors from the National and Naval War Colleges as a distinguished student. He speaks Spanish and French.

Jim has published six books on leadership, Latin America, ship handling, and innovation, as well as over a hundred articles in leading journals.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 09 Jun 2017 01:39

viewtopic.php?p=2167713#p2167713

ramana wrote:
UlanBatori wrote:From Al Jazeera (pbuh) Posted before they become history.


A few remarks:
- Qatar was following a policy that would gradual induce regime changes in all these states, Saudi, Egout, UAE, Bahrain and ilk. Hence shutting down Qatar is a national security decision for them.
- Having US is not enough when there are others who can give bigger inducements. Even hosting a base is not enough as Qatar found out. If so we need to see why Trump would do what he is doing?
- Two aspects we see are:
-- Iran is mentioned as a looming threat. Invokes Arab-Persian, Shia- Sunni, rival oil producer etc.
-- Obama is mentioned as another factor.
I submit both are connected.

Obama removed the Iran sanctions which freed up Iran's shackles to sell oil. This lowered the price of oil which impacted Saudis, US domestic 'awl' drillers etc.
Also the globalist cartels could benefit from Iran oil trades.

One gawdy ceremony not given attention is Trump getting that medal and the dance of the swords in Riyadh.

It means he is now the benefactor of the Saudis and has displaced the Bushes. That was the initiation ceremony.
Trump is laser focused on Iran. Why?

My gut feeling is that is related to the Globalist vs. Nationalist struggle going on in US. It started with the 2012 Obama elections. The environmental, stop drilling, pipelines all are Democratic hits on Republican base.
The 2014 elections gave the Nationalist Republicans the power to hit back and we are seeing that.
Freeing up Iran from sanctions and allowing energy trading benefits the Globalist cartels who support the Democrats.
So to me it looks like the Republicans has cast their lot with the Sunni Muslims and the Democrats with the Shia Muslims.

Now go reread the Robert Kaplan paper on "Eurasia and the US Military Response" This is the Muslim/Sunni NATO being formed.

It might end in regime change in Pakistan and some deal offered to allow them to become new Turkey of Sunni NATO.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 09 Jun 2017 02:08

X-post...

Rudradev wrote:Ramana garu, re: Kaplan's piece, he talks of two imperial states in West Asia: Turkey and Persia (Iran).

The third imperial state in West Asia is of course the USA, its chief proxy having been KSA for a long time (since Roosevelt-Ibn Saud agreement of '45).

If you look at the map, the heart of the West Asian USA empire is the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula.

Since 2003 and Iraqi Freedom, Iranian empire has been expanding and consolidating to its west (eastern Levant). Since Erdogan and moreover Syrian war, Turkish empire has been trying to make inroads to its south (central Levant). American proxies in the Levant have included Jordan and Israel (central/western), Kurdish northern Iraq (central/eastern), and as long as Mubarak was there Egypt (western). But the core US empire reigned supreme south of 30th parallel.

[I}{Very astute observation. Earlier it was Britain and now US. Obama was abandoning the dominance over Sunni Arab Empire for ties with Shia Persian Empire. Possibly even Israel at risk. And in process hurting the US domestic economy and politics. }[/I]

Qatar has invited not just Iran, but also Turkey, south into the US Empire's core area in the Arabian peninsula. Earlier the only challenge from another empire south of 30th parallel had come from Houthis in Yemen... an isolated "outpost", much like the Kurds are for America in the central/eastern Levant. Qatar however is violating redlines severely by inviting a breach of unassailable, contiguous imperial borders.


In the 16th century the Ottomans interfered in Safavid Iran and on being defeated out of pique took over the Hejaz Peninsula and declared themselves the Caliphs. So Erdogan move has historic precedent.

To counter the Tehran attacks, Iran will ramp up Houthis as it gives a direct access to Saudi heartland. Yemen will heat up.
Iran has population, ideology and oil. Its terrain is not suitable for land attack. Its best option is 'no-war' war.
It should ride out the current rallying of Muslim NATO and bide its time. Arabs are rallying as they fear Iran. ISIS defeat is scaring them inot hasty dances with swords.
Fully develop Chahbahar and INSTC as corridor.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 09 Jun 2017 04:02

Ted Talk By Admiral James Stavridis

https://www.ted.com/talks/james_stavrid ... l_security

Transcript


0:11

I'm gonna talk a little bit about open-source security, because we've got to get better at security in this 21st century.



0:20

Let me start by saying, let's look back to the 20th century, and kind of get a sense of how that style of security worked for us.



0:30

This is Verdun, a battlefield in France just north of the NATO headquarters in Belgium. At Verdun, in 1916, over a 300-day period, 700,000 people were killed, so about 2,000 a day.



0:48

If you roll it forward — 20th-century security — into the Second World War, you see the Battle of Stalingrad, 300 days, 2 million people killed.



1:01

We go into the Cold War, and we continue to try and build walls. We go from the trench warfare of the First World War to the Maginot Line of the Second World War, and then we go into the Cold War, the Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall. Walls don't work.



1:22

My thesis for us today is, instead of building walls to create security, we need to build bridges. This is a famous bridge in Europe. It's in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It's the bridge over the Drina River, the subject of a novel by Ivo Andrić, and it talks about how, in that very troubled part of Europe and the Balkans, over time there's been enormous building of walls. More recently, in the last decade, we begin to see these communities start, hesitatingly, to come together.



1:58

I would argue, again, open-source security is about connecting the international, the interagency, the private-public, and lashing it together with strategic communication, largely in social networks.



2:15

So let me talk a little bit about why we need to do that, because our global commons is under attack in a variety of ways, and none of the sources of threat to the global commons will be solved by building walls.



2:32

Now, I'm a sailor, obviously. This is a ship, a liner, clipping through the Indian Ocean. What's wrong with this picture? It's got concertina wire along the sides of it. That's to prevent pirates from attacking it. Piracy is a very active threat today around the world. This is in the Indian Ocean. Piracy is also very active in the Strait of Malacca. It's active in the Gulf of Guinea. We see it in the Caribbean. It's a $10-billion-a-year discontinuity in the global transport system. Last year, at this time, there were 20 vessels, 500 mariners held hostage. This is an attack on the global commons. We need to think about how to address it.



3:20

Let's shift to a different kind of sea, the cyber sea. Here are photographs of two young men. At the moment, they're incarcerated. They conducted a credit card fraud that netted them over 10 billion dollars. This is part of cybercrime which is a $2-trillion-a-year discontinuity in the global economy. Two trillion a year. That's just under the GDP of Great Britain. So this cyber sea, which we know endlessly is the fundamental piece of radical openness, is very much under threat as well.



4:04

Another thing I worry about in the global commons is the threat posed by trafficking, by the movement of narcotics, opium, here coming out of Afghanistan through Europe over to the United States. We worry about cocaine coming from the Andean Ridge north. We worry about the movement of illegal weapons and trafficking. Above all, perhaps, we worry about human trafficking, and the awful cost of it. Trafficking moves largely at sea but in other parts of the global commons.



4:38

This is a photograph, and I wish I could tell you that this is a very high-tech piece of US Navy gear that we're using to stop the trafficking. The bad news is, this is a semi-submersible run by drug cartels. It was built in the jungles of South America. We caught it with that low-tech raft — (Laughter) — and it was carrying six tons of cocaine. Crew of four. Sophisticated communications sweep. This kind of trafficking, in narcotics, in humans, in weapons, God forbid, in weapons of mass destruction, is part of the threat to the global commons.



5:26

And let's pull it together in Afghanistan today. This is a field of poppies in Afghanistan. Eighty to 90 percent of the world's poppy, opium and heroin, comes out of Afghanistan. We also see there, of course, terrorism. This is where al Qaeda is staged from. We also see a very strong insurgency embedded there. So this terrorism concern is also part of the global commons, and what we must address.



5:57

So here we are, 21st century. We know our 20th-century tools are not going to work. What should we do?



6:07

I would argue that we will not deliver security solely from the barrel of a gun. We will not deliver security solely from the barrel of a gun. We will need the application of military force. When we do it, we must do it well, and competently.



6:24

But my thesis is, open-source security is about international, interagency, private-public connection pulled together by this idea of strategic communication on the Internet.



6:41

Let me give you a couple of examples of how this works in a positive way. This is Afghanistan. These are Afghan soldiers. They are all holding books. You should say, "That's odd. I thought I read that this demographic, young men and women in their 20s and 30s, is largely illiterate in Afghanistan."



7:05

You would be correct.



7:06

Eighty-five percent cannot read when they enter the security forces of Afghanistan. Why? Because the Taliban withheld education during the period of time in which these men and women would have learned to read.



7:20

So the question is, so, why are they all standing there holding books? The answer is, we are teaching them to read in literacy courses by NATO in partnership with private sector entities, in partnership with development agencies. We've taught well over 200,000 Afghan Security Forces to read and write at a basic level.



7:46

When you can read and write in Afghanistan, you will typically put a pen in your pocket. At the ceremonies, when these young men and women graduate, they take that pen with great pride, and put it in their pocket. This is bringing together international — there are 50 nations involved in this mission — interagency — these development agencies — and private-public, to take on this kind of security.



8:12

Now, we are also teaching them combat skills, of course, but I would argue, open-source security means connecting in ways that create longer lasting security effect.



8:24

Here's another example. This is a US Navy warship. It's called the Comfort. There's a sister ship called the Mercy. They are hospital ships. This one, the Comfort, operates throughout the Caribbean and the coast of South America conducting patient treatments. On a typical cruise, they'll do 400,000 patient treatments. It is crewed not strictly by military but by a combination of humanitarian organizations: Operation Hope, Project Smile. Other organizations send volunteers. Interagency physicians come out. They're all part of this.



9:08

To give you one example of the impact this can have, this little boy, eight years old, walked with his mother two days to come to the eye clinic put on by the Comfort. When he was fitted, over his extremely myopic eyes, he suddenly looked up and said, "Mama, veo el mundo." "Mom, I see the world." Multiply this by 400,000 patient treatments, this private-public collaboration with security forces, and you begin to see the power of creating security in a very different way.



9:49

Here you see baseball players. Can you pick out the two US Army soldiers in this photograph? They are the two young men on either side of these young boys. This is part of a series of baseball clinics, where we have explored collaboration between Major League Baseball, the Department of State, who sets up the diplomatic piece of this, military baseball players, who are real soldiers with real skills but participate in this mission, and they put on clinics throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, in Honduras, in Nicaragua, in all of the Central American and Caribbean nations where baseball is so popular, and it creates security. It shows role models to young men and women about fitness and about life that I would argue help create security for us.



10:49

Another aspect of this partnership is in disaster relief. This is a US Air Force helicopter participating after the tsunami in 2004 which killed 250,000 people. In each of these major disasters — the tsunami in 2004, 250,000 dead, the Kashmiri earthquake in Pakistan, 2005, 85,000 dead, the Haitian earthquake, about 300,000 dead, more recently the awful earthquake-tsunami combination which struck Japan and its nuclear industry — in all of these instances, we see partnerships between international actors, interagency, private-public working with security forces to respond to this kind of natural disaster. So these are examples of this idea of open-source security.



11:49

We tie it together, increasingly, by doing things like this. Now, you're looking at this thinking, "Ah, Admiral, these must be sea lanes of communication, or these might be fiber optic cables." No. This is a graphic of the world according to Twitter. Purple are tweets. Green are geolocation. White is the synthesis. It's a perfect evocation of that great population survey, the six largest nations in the world in descending order: China, India, Facebook, the United States, Twitter and Indonesia. (Laughter)



12:31

Why do we want to get in these nets? Why do we want to be involved? We talked earlier about the Arab Spring, and the power of all this. I'll give you another example, and it's how you move this message.



12:42

I gave a talk like this in London a while back about this point. I said, as I say to all of you, I'm on Facebook. Friend me. Got a little laugh from the audience. There was an article which was run by AP, on the wire. Got picked up in two places in the world: Finland and Indonesia. The headline was: NATO Admiral Needs Friends. (Laughter) Thank you. (Applause) Which I do. (Laughter)



13:12

And the story was a catalyst, and the next morning I had hundreds of Facebook friend requests from Indonesians and Finns, mostly saying, "Admiral, we heard you need a friend, and oh, by the way, what is NATO?" (Laughter)



13:28

So ... (Laughter)



13:30

Yeah, we laugh, but this is how we move the message, and moving that message is how we connect international, interagency, private-public, and these social nets to help create security.



13:43

Now, let me hit a somber note. This is a photograph of a brave British soldier. He's in the Scots Guards. He's standing the watch in Helmand, in southern Afghanistan. I put him here to remind us, I would not want anyone to leave the room thinking that we do not need capable, competent militaries who can create real military effect. That is the core of who we are and what we do, and we do it to protect freedom, freedom of speech, all the things we treasure in our societies.



14:20

But, you know, life is not an on-and-off switch. You don't have to have a military that is either in hard combat or is in the barracks.



14:31

I would argue life is a rheostat. You have to dial it in, and as I think about how we create security in this 21st century, there will be times when we will apply hard power in true war and crisis, but there will be many instances, as we've talked about today, where our militaries can be part of creating 21st-century security, international, interagency, private-public, connected with competent communication.



15:07

I would close by saying that we heard earlier today about Wikipedia. I use Wikipedia all the time to look up facts, and as all of you appreciate, Wikipedia is not created by 12 brilliant people locked in a room writing articles. Wikipedia, every day, is tens of thousands of people inputting information, and every day millions of people withdrawing that information. It's a perfect image for the fundamental point that no one of us is as smart as all of us thinking together. No one person, no one alliance, no one nation, no one of us is as smart as all of us thinking together.



15:52

The vision statement of Wikipedia is very simple: a world in which every human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. My thesis for you is that by combining international, interagency, private-public, strategic communication, together, in this 21st century, we can create the sum of all security.



16:17

Thank you. (Applause)



16:20

Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause)


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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby pankajs » 10 Jun 2017 00:02

http://avondaleam.com/conocophillips-co ... onference/
Oil at $50 is not going away any time soon - ConocoPhillips

“…back about 4 years, 5 years ago I was invited to the Vienna meeting. I was on the stage like this in front of all the big OPEC crowd with at the time, Ali Naimi, who is the Minister of Saudi Arabia, the Venezuelan oil minister, the Iranian and I got up and I told them that U.S. would surpass Saudi Arabia in production in 5 years. And I got laughed off the stage. And 3 years later, Naimi invited me back. He said, I will be damned, you are right. And we need to understand this a little bit more. And the message to him at the time was this isn’t going away in 3, 4, 5 years. So to put it in perspective, our industry has found over 400 billion barrels of resource in the last 10 years, 400 billion. That’s 10 crude oil days in the last 10 years in this business. And so I think the recognition that’s now coming is one that it’s real, that it is competitive at a $50 barrel price deck and it ain’t going away.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby panduranghari » 15 Jun 2017 03:19

Reading Rudradev ji fine analysis in collection of good posts thread and Grand Strategies Literature Statecraft by Charles Hill which was circulated via email sometime back would be benefit.

It will perhaps put a light on how Trump's US government thinks about the world.

Towards An American Realpolitik: Jacksonian Jeffersonian Grand Strategy
By Mauni Michael Jalali

The post-enlightenment epoch has been the wellspring of grand ambitions for the liberal and democratic states of the West. Seemingly unabated by the failures of Wilsonianism, the collapse of the League of Nations, or the Great Wars, the West did not cease its “restless search for a new way of securing order and peace.” Walter Lippmann, a New Republic intellectual, pronounced in 1915 that America had a stark choice before her, “[either] being the passive victim of international disorder [or] resolving to be an active leader in ending it.” Indeed, America would eventually proceed as the Don Quixote of international affairs, seemingly undoing wrongs and bringing justice to a world fraught with tyranny. However, deeply embedded within the fabric of American political life are conflicting traditions of political thought.

After 70 years of domination by the Wilsonian and Hamiltonian schools of thought, the Jacksonian and Jeffersonian traditions are emerging once more. President Trump’s non-conformist policy suggestions have raised concerns regarding the stability of the liberal international order. The rupturing of the internationalist order is not merely rooted in domestic realities however; it is also a consequence of the shifting tectonic plates of geopolitics. This article maintains that the liberal international order, and the grand strategy accompanying it, will have to evolve in response to both the changing dynamics of the American polity and the geopolitical fault lines overseas. This transitional period, in the words of Robert Osgood, is one of “limited readjustment…without disengagement after which America could establish a more enduring rationale of global influence.”

Present at the Creation

Dean Acheson recalls the "national mind" of America in 1941 as the product of "two contrary and equally unrealistic ideas," namely isolationism and the desire for "universal law and internationally enforced peace."The latter force triumphed. Daniel Sargent, history professor at the University of California Berkeley, observes that America’s position, "supreme in military capabilities, serene in geopolitical security, and unrivaled in economic productivity" emboldened post-war leaders to discard isolationist warnings. America had taken a gamble and they were keen to collect their winnings.

The United States took it upon itself to "remake the international order," with President Truman appealing to America’s divine right to rule "for the welfare of the world." Every post-war administration since Roosevelt has articulated a variant of this historical liberal internationalism; whether it be George H.W. Bush’s moderate internationalism or George W. Bush’s expansionary internationalism á la Wolfowitz. This article seeks to break with this tradition. By probing into the Jacksonian-Jeffersonian school of thought this article proposes a quintessentially American grand strategy. The article makes a daring claim: that realpolitik, the fine art of the European Old World that is poorly understood by the New, is in fact firmly rooted within the Jacksonian-Jeffersonian school of thought.

Jacksonian Revolt

Post-war US grand strategy was shaped most significantly by Hamiltonians and Wilsonianism. Both of these schools of thought fundamentally believed in the establishment of a stable, liberal, rules-based world order. Yet a third tradition emerging out of rural communities, that of Jacksonianism, was less committed to the project of global order. For Jacksonians, American exceptionalism lay not in curing tyranny overseas, but rather, its "chief business lies at home," securing the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of the American citizenry.[10] Indeed, a thematic feature of both the Trump and Sanders campaigns of 2016 was a Jacksonian aura: the existing political system had failed to properly respond to a range of largely domestic insecurities that had arisen since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
...the liberal international order, and the grand strategy accompanying it, will have to evolve in response to both the changing dynamics of the American polity and the geopolitical fault lines overseas.

Robert Osgood’s famous 1953 volume on Ideals and Self-Interest in America’s Foreign Relations captures post-war America’s disenchantment with foreign entanglements "heightened by the paucity of the crusade’s material and spiritual rewards in proportion to the magnificence of the idealistic hopes it had raised and the seeming enormity of its sacrifices."The ascension of President Trump thus poses a threat to the triumphalist confidence of the 21st century cosmopolitan and globalist elites. In this new world, "the power of identity politics can no longer be denied...and the necessity for those roots to find political expression in both foreign and domestic policy arenas" is a reality contemporary Hamiltonians and Wilsonians have to contend with. Apprehension of this newfound reality has incited resistance from liberal internationalists. Indeed, as Michael Anton laments, “the priesthood is protecting its guild” (emphasis added).

No One’s World: A New Image of World Order

Whilst liberal internationalists have portended a dystopian breakdown of western hegemony, others such as Kupchan offer a conception of the next turning: where the liberal order is not being universalized, "but neither is it being displaced by a new center of gravity or dominant political model." Kupchan’s image of the world is one that is multipolar –– where American hegemony no longer defines the international system. Robert Kagan, an internationalist par excellence, laments this as The Return of History and the End of Dreams. Implied in Kagan’s post-internationalist map is a return to Maachtpolitik, where "competing great powers…produced the fertile ground for the two destructive world wars." The likely result for Kagan –– "an unprecedented global calamity."

Conventional internationalist wisdom holds that revolutionary powers will seek to redefine and reorganize the norms of international relations in toto. Contra Kagan, this article contends that whilst revisionist powers may seek to "chip away at the norms,” they are profoundly integrated into the liberal world order, ergo, seek only limited revisions. As Ikenberry claims, "China and Russia…are not full-scale revisionist powers but part-time spoilers at best." In this reborn geopolitical landscape, great power accommodation and maneuvering within mutual restraints is desirable. In sum, as America’s unipolar moment gives way to a more diffuse distribution of power in the international system, it becomes all the more important to herald an order, and a grand strategy that can usher in that order, to moderate great power politics.{Where does India stand in this realignment? While China-Russia are as stated not truly revisionists- as they are integral part of the institutions that define the American world order, doesn't Indian position like non alignment truly suggest we were revisionist from the word go? I juxtapose- the current world order wont allow India to grow and it will be in their interest to keep us leashed with local and regional problems.}

The Case for a Jacksonian-Jeffersonian Synthesis

There is a compelling case for the synthesis of Jacksonian-Jeffersonian philosophy to the building blocks of contemporary US grand strategy. This Jacksonian-Jeffersonian philosophy, for the purposes of this article, refers to commercial republicanism and non-involvement respectively.


In George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address, viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7243&p=2043097&hilit=washington+farewell#p2043097 the retiring president observes that America’s general rule in foreign policy should be to "[extend] commercial relations" whilst maintaining "as little political connection as possible." This line of reasoning bears the hallmarks of the "Machiavellian precept" delineated by Jackson - "collaborate with other countries when it is advantageous or necessary but avoid needless foreign entanglements."
Reigning in the institutional overstretch of liberal internationalism is in keeping with a more moderate conception of US power; one that brings into balance the nation’s commitments with its resources.

This pillar sets aside global engagement and liberal order building and prioritizes among other things, what Michael Anton terms "commercial republicanism" (emphasis added).{This suits India just fine but is at odds with the Make In India Initiative} The strategic imperative of this pillar is "to prevent hostile powers from…exerting undue influence on potential trading partners." A further manifestation of the Jacksonian pillar is Trump’s transactionalism: the desire to cut deals with political entities regardless of their internal character. It is also what guides (or misguides) the desire to reverse multilateral trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and North American Free Trade Agreement, which largely represent the economic architecture of the liberal international order. The Jacksonian cynicism towards multilateralism was also on full display in Brussels earlier this year, and afterwards as President Trump eventually pulled out of the Paris climate accords. In short, for Jacksonians, the US needs to renegotiate the terms of the post-war international order to ensure its intended purpose is met –– the blessings of prosperity for the American people.

The next pillar is that of Jeffersonian non-involvement. A common sentiment amongst the Founding Fathers was the notion that establishing a city upon a hill should not lead to providing those same blessings of liberty overseas.{Hobbes wrote the Leviathan on this idea and from this arise the social contract theory where the states guarantees to look after the subjects as long as they are willling to cooperate in taxation, wars etc.} John Quincy Adams described the union as "the well-wisher to the freedom of all…but the champion only of her own." This wisdom, appreciated anew, rings to the fore the principle of state sovereignty enshrined in the 17th century Peace of Westphalia.

Whilst Hamiltonians point to the divine rights of man, and the universal morality it presumes –– Jeffersonians point to the divine rights of the state, and the sovereignty to it bequeathed. Hamilton’s observation is also useful here; he argues that international commitments entered into by states bind them, and these bindings can force "mutual contributions" without ensuring "coincident benefit," adding that "[t]here is, perhaps, nothing more likely to disturb the tranquility of nations."

Michael Anton applies similar logics when questioning "why is it in our strategic interest to push [NATO’s] borders ever outward? What do we gain by pledging American blood to defend places where it would take us a 48-hour airlift to mount a forlorn defense with one regiment?" It is folly to expand alliances unless they are rooted in the interest of the state. Hamilton warns that such alliance systems could entangle the nation “in all the pernicious labyrinths of European politics and wars." Reigning in the institutional overstretch of liberal internationalism is in keeping with a more moderate conception of US power; one that brings into balance the nation’s commitments with its resources. Lippmann, in his 1944 US War Aims, professes that "peace is to be had as a result of wise organization." Despite NATO having focused on distant democratic possessions since 1949 it is time for the liberal international order to reconfigure its reach towards a wiser organization, one mindful of the new currency of international affairs: the balance of power.

American Realpolitik

The supreme task of states, and indeed the enduring legacy of mankind, has been that of regulating the excesses of war. As the old order disintegrates it becomes ever more important to herald in a strategy that allows for the complexity of this historical crossing. The cardinal rule of the new game is to recognize the inherent limits of ambitions in the search of an equilibrium among nations. It is this “satisfactory organization of mankind” based on power where “peace will follow.” The rules of the game call for a more honest, calculated, and selective approach to foreign policy.
The cardinal rule of the new game is to recognize the inherent limits of ambitions in the search of an equilibrium among nations...The rules of the game call for a more honest, calculated, and selective approach to foreign policy.

The topic of balance of power is not foreign to American strategists. US naval officer, Alfred T. Mahan, writing in his 1911 book Naval Strategy, describes the rise of German naval power and the threat it posed to the European balance. “[S]hould a naval disaster befall Great Britain,” Mahan cautions “leaving Germany master of the naval situation, the world may see again a predominant fleet backed by a predominant army, and in the hands, not of a state satiated with colonial possessions.” Three years later, the delicate European balance of power dissolved and the continent plunged into chaos.{Are the Americans scared of loosing all they have worked towards since 1941?} The historical record is consistent; a lasting peace among great powers can only be the result of a satisfactory organization of influence. This order faces the impact of two dangerous tendencies. The first, to borrow the Kissingerian term, are “revolutionary powers” who crusade in Napoleonic fashion in pursuit of absolute security at the expense of others. The second tendency, as theologian Reinhold Niebuhr would write, is the folly of “the children of the light,” blinded by their ideology and holding their beliefs to be self-evident truths. It seems that liberal internationalists have the trappings of the Kissingerian-Niebuhrian revolutionary children of the light. In the times ahead US foreign policy ought to be increasingly tempered by the dictates of realpolitik, relinquishing, to a degree, the universalistic rationale which has served as the backbone of internationalism.

What would an American realpolitik strategy look like? In tangible policy terms this may consist of a Kissingerian détente with Russia, a reversal of NATO expansionism to abide to James Baker’s iron-clad guarantee to Gorbachev in 1990, and foregoing attempts to secure Ukraine into the Western sphere of influence –– this latest strategic blunder is quite simply “a textbook combination of both hubris and bad geopolitics.” Farther east this may require a more adroit mercantile relationship with China, foregoing the diplomatic formalities regarding human rights that often rustle the feathers of Beijing to no avail. Equally, it may require a strategy of modest balancing in step with a more assertive China. In the near-east this may involve establishing a balance of power among the regional powers, namely Turkey, Egypt, Saudi, Iran, India, and Pakistan{really?}. A realist statesman would cease calls for “Assad must go” and approach Persian Gulf politics with stern pragmatism. More importantly however, for the American people, realpolitik may unshackle desperately needed resources for domestic renewal. Jeffersonians can spare us the costly commitments of blood and treasure internationalism requires. As George Kennan reflected in his later life, “one of the first requirements of clear thinking about our part in world affairs is the recognition that we cannot be more to others than we are to ourselves –– that we cannot be a source of hope and inspiration to others against a background of resigned failure and deterioration of life here at home.” Internationalists and Neocons step-aside, realpolitik is the way forward –– America ignores this creed at its own peril.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby panduranghari » 15 Jun 2017 03:29

Pentagon selling $12 Billion F15s to Qatar 2 weeks after selling $110 Billion worth arms to Saudi Barbaria.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby sivab » 16 Jun 2017 06:44

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/ ... ping-route

India defies Gulf blockade with direct Qatar shipping route


Ships full of food and supplies from India will now arrive directly in Qatar's Hamad Port without having to stop anywhere in the Gulf region, offering fresh relief to the small emirate blockaded by its neighbours since June 5.

The new route links Hamad Port in Qatar with Mundra and Nhava Sheva ports in India, according to the Qatar News Agency.

Indian ships will arrive at Hamad port every Friday, with the first shipment expected to bring in 710 containers, said Qatar's Ministry of Transport.


Qatar has been looking to break the blockade imposed on it by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, blocking several of Qatar's usual land and maritime freight routes. Flights have also been affected by its Gulf neighbours refusing to let Qatar carriers use their airspace.

Doha has established direct shipping routes with Oman and has sought alternative suppliers of foodstuffs and goods from nations such as Turkey and Iran.

The Qatari authorities have also moved to reassure citizens and residents that they can weather the blockade without significant damage to the economy and daily life.

The blockade has been criticised by international human rights groups for its potential effect on ordinary citizens.

The three countries and their allies beyond the Gulf region severed ties with Doha without warning last week.

They ostensibly claim Qatar supports "terrorist groups" - a charge Doha vehemently denies - but the move is likely meant to force Qatar to shift its independent foreign policy to be more in line with those of Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and their allies.

Qatar has struck a defiant tone, vowing not to bargain over "sovereign matters".

The crisis has drawn in mediation efforts so far from Kuwait, Turkey, Germany, France and Morocco.


Nicely played. 8)

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Philip » 23 Jun 2017 13:26

Major blow to the UK over DG! 95 UN members Hopefully one day asap,DG will return to mauritius and then mauritius could lease the isklands to India for a maritime /naval base there!

Decades ago,the UK blackmailed Sir Seewoosagar Ramgoolam into ceding DG in return for independence.While he was waiting for the announcement of independence at his London hotel,every morning just as he was having his breakfast,the then British Colonial Sec. Sir Anthony Crossland allegedly interrupted his breakfast and said, "no Diego Garcia ,no Independence" and then strode out! After two weeks of this treatment,Sir SR gave in. The rest as they say in history,but history has now taken an unexpected turn! Little Britain is in political chaos,has lost the goodwill of its EU pals and the ROW has little time for it maintaining the last of its colonial territories.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... low-for-uk
UN vote backing Chagos Islands a blow for UK
Mauritius supported by 94 nations in move to consult The Hague over colonial hold of Indian Ocean territory by British
Chagos islanders protesting in London 2016
Exiled Chagos islanders protesting in London, 2016, over the long bar on their living in the archipelago. Photograph: Fiona Hanson/PA4
Owen Bowcott

Thursday 22 June 2017
The UK has suffered a humiliating defeat at the United Nations general assembly in a vote over decolonisation and its residual hold over disputed territory in the Indian Ocean.

By a margin of 94 to 15 countries, delegates supported a Mauritian-backed resolution to seek an advisory opinion from the international court of justice (ICJ) in The Hague on the legal status of the Chagos Islands.

Britain in danger of losing vote in UN over fate of Chagos Islands
Read more
A further 65 countries abstained on Thursday, including many EU states who might have been expected to vote in support of another bloc member.

Among EU members who abstained were France, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Estonia, Latvia, Greece and Finland. Canada and Switzerland also abstained. :rotfl: *(Brexiteers hoisted with their own petard what?!)

Speaking after the vote Jagdish Koonjul, the Mauritian representative at the UN, said: “I’m elated. The results are beyond my expectations. It’s interesting that the EU didn’t support the UK. Even some of the countries that supported the UK agreed that this was an issue of decolonisation. Now we wait to see what the UK will do as a result of the vote. We have given the US full comfort of a long-term lease [for the Diego Garcia base] that would be renewable [if sovereignty passed to Mauritius].” *( and after tht hopefully a lease to India!) :rotfl:

The resolution, though only in favour of obtaining a non-binding legal opinion, is a blow to the UK’s international prestige and demonstrates the limited diplomatic influence wielded by the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, at the UN.

Philippe Sands
#UNGA votes overwhelmingly to refer the questions of #Chagos #selfdetermination and decolonisation of #Mauritius to #ICJ

10:11 PM - 22 Jun 2017

The row between Mauritius and the UK – over what Britain terms BIOT, or British Indian Ocean Territory – has become increasingly acrimonious in recent years.

In 1965, three years before Mauritius was granted independence, the UK decided to separate the Chagos Islands, an archipelago, from the rest of its Indian Ocean colony. The Mauritian government claims this was in breach of UN resolution 1514, passed in 1960, which specifically banned the breakup of colonies before independence.

Most of the 1,500 islanders were deported so that the largest island, Diego Garcia, could be leased to the US for a strategic airbase in 1971. The US was one of the few countries that publicly backed the UK over the islands’ fate. The islanders have never been allowed to return home.

The UK has promised to return the Chagos Islands to Mauritius when they are no longer needed for defence purposes, but has refused to give a date.

Two years ago Mauritius won a ruling at the permanent court of arbitration at The Hague saying Britain had acted illegally in the way it had exercised territorial control over the Chagos Islands. The court criticised the UK for failing to consult over establishing a marine protection zone around what is now the British Indian Ocean Territory.

The fact that Diego Garcia was used by the CIA after 9/11 in rendition and interrogation operations may have alienated many states from the UK’s cause.

Diego Garcia, the Chagos island which hosts a US military base leased from Britain. Photograph: Reuters
Urging delegates at the UN general assembly to oppose the resolution, the UK permanent representative, Matthew Rycroft, warned: “This could set a precedent that many of you in this hall could come to regret.” He added that “the resolution for an advisory opinion is an attempt by the government of Mauritius to circumvent the principle” – referring to the principle that a state could only be involved at the ICJ through its own consent.

The UK, Rycroft added, would not consent to the Chagos Islands being taken to the court. The dispute, he said, should be left as a bilateral issue for the UK and Mauritius to deal with through direct negotiations, and that the Chagos Islands were still needed for security purposes.

Chagos islanders go to supreme court in battle to be allowed home
Read more
Philipe Sands QC, who attended the UN debate, and is acting as legal counsel for Mauritius, said: “The vote, passed with an overwhelming majority, sends a strong signal about the UN’s attachment to decolonisation. That Britain was able to obtain the support of barely a dozen countries, including just four EU members and no permanent member of the security council apart from the US, will, hopefully, give it pause for thought about its position on Chagos.

“Its arguments that Chagos is about security and a bilateral matter between it and Mauritius were given short shrift. The message is clear: the UN wants the world court to rule on Chagos, and seeks the court’s advice and assistance in bringing colonialism to an end.”

Advisory opinions at the ICJ are normally triggered by a formal request from the UN secretary general. The court can request submissions from member states and those involved in a dispute.

Although its findings are normally non binding, the ICJ’s advisory opinions carry some legal influence and moral authority.

The Foreign Office labelled the outcome “disappointing”.

“Sovereignty of the British Indian Ocean Territory is clearly a matter for the UK and Mauritius to resolve ourselves. Taking this dispute to the international court of justice is an inappropriate use of the ICJ mechanism. This is reflected in the fact that over half of General Assembly members did not vote for the resolution,” a Foreign Office spokesperson said. *(But the UK had no problem with the ICJ prosecuting Serbian leaders like Miloseviic,etc. and breaking up Yugoslavia!)

“While we do not recognise Mauritius’s claim to sovereignty over the islands, we have committed to cede them to Mauritius when the territory is no longer required for defence purposes. We will be robustly defending our position at the ICJ.”

David Snoxell, coordinator of the all party parliamentary group on the Chagos Islands and a former British diplomat, welcomed the UN vote.

“This was a brilliant result for Mauritius and the Chagossians. Apart from the sovereignty issue, now referred to the ICJ, the resolution was a means of bringing to the attention of the UN general assembly the travesty of the UK’s treatment of the Chagossian people since 1965 when the [general assembly] last considered the Chagos Islands,” Snoxell said.

“174 states took part in the debate but only 15 sided with the UK. That sends a clear message to the British government that the UN expects the UK to bring this relic of the cold war to an end.”


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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby JE Menon » 24 Jun 2017 18:39

WION report on Global Leaders with Indian Roots

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyWBLFpKp9s

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby pankajs » 24 Jun 2017 19:26

^^
Why do these folks [anchor in this case] fake some random accent? His base pronouncation is clearly desi but many of the words sound contrived making the whole delivery jarring and awkward. It has fake written all over.

Yesterday on the Modi visit discussion posted in the US-India thread Dume and Madan's delivery was quite smooth and believable even if the accent was acquired and not quite American or British or Desi.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby sreerudra » 06 Jul 2017 19:40

Can DJT be the pivot of International polarization towards East vs West, taking it all the way back to WWII era?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/06/worl ... mburg.html

Trump questions Western Culture's perseverance and its existence without getting together while talking tough on EU members of NATO not doing enough towards the cause.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby g.sarkar » 07 Jul 2017 01:24

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/05/worl ... pe=article
China Sees Opening Left by Trump in Europe, and Quietly Steps In
LONDON — Much of the world’s attention at the Group of 20 economic summit on Friday and Saturday will be on President Trump’s first meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir V. Putin, with strenuous efforts to decipher the nature of the long-distance bromance between them.
But the leader of the world’s other superpower, Xi Jinping of China, will also be in Hamburg, Germany, ready to slip quietly into the widening gap between Mr. Trump and longtime European allies and to position Beijing as the globe’s newest, biggest defender of a multilateral, rules-based system. Mr. Xi will have just concluded a state visit with Germany, including bilateral meetings and a small dinner Tuesday night in Berlin with the summit host, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has made no secret of her differences with Mr. Trump. Having helped Ms. Merkel open the Berlin Zoo’s new $10 million panda garden (complete with two new Chinese pandas), and watched a German-Chinese youth soccer match, Mr. Xi will have already made a mark. In NATO Speech, Trump Is Vague About Mutual Defense Pledge MAY 25, 2017
He has cemented his closeness to Germany and Ms. Merkel, the woman many consider not just the most important leader in Europe, but also the reluctant, de facto leader of the West. “The election of Trump has facilitated China’s aims in Europe,” said Angela Stanzel, an Asia scholar at the European Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. “Trump facilitates China’s narrative of being the new defender of multilateralism and especially global free trade, and China sees Germany as defending that, too, as a kind of sidekick,” she added. “And it fits into the Chinese idea of creating an alternative leadership to the United States.” Even before this week, Mr. Xi has tried to take advantage of Mr. Trump’s nationalist and protectionist policies and open disdain for multilateral institutions, using a much-publicized speech in Davos, Switzerland, in January to proclaim himself a champion of global trade, much as the United States used to do.
Export-dependent Germany shares China’s view, with Mrs. Merkel defending everything from trade deals to the United Nations and the Paris climate accord, from which Mr. Trump has withdrawn. And China recognizes how important Germany has become in influencing European Union policies toward China, including trade and human rights, especially after Britain’s vote to quit the bloc.
Speaking to Mr. Xi in Berlin on Wednesday, Mrs. Merkel said tellingly: “I am delighted to be able to welcome you in a period of unrest in the world, where China and Germany can make an effort to soothe this unrest a bit and to make a somewhat quieter world out of it.” The two countries have “a comprehensive strategic partnership,” she said.
......

Gautam

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ricky_v » 08 Jul 2017 15:56

http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2017/07/07/beyond_checkers_and_chess_111742.html
In a recent article, "Big Picture, Not Details, Key When Eyeing Future," General David Perkins describes how the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command is tackling the task of preparing the Army for future warfare. He calls for a shift in strategy to “encompass more than delivering decisive battlefield firepower.”[2] Perkins describes this shift as one from playing checkers to playing chess, characterizing the complexities and requirements of future warfare. While the character of war is indeed increasing in complexity, the essence of strategy in warfare remains unchanged. Strategy remains a sum of the ways to apply means to achieve ends, and as General Perkins recognized, it involves so much more than decisive battlefield firepower.

Military theorist Carl von Clausewitz describes war as a continuation of politics by other means.[4] Eastern military thinkers Sun Tzu and Mao Zedong, in contrast, describe war not as a continuation of politics but as intertwined conditions undertaken to advance interests.[5] Regardless of the sequential or simultaneous perspectives, all three strategists agree that achieving political objectives determines the success of a strategy.

To better explore the value of developing strategic understanding in junior leaders, this article explores flaws in strategic thinking by looking at the game of chess, a game of perfect information, a single objective, defined territory, and no regard for the state of the board after victory. Next, it looks at how the Chinese game of Wei Ch’i can offer solutions for framing a better way of thinking strategically: by focusing on positions of advantage, working with uncertainty, and linking efforts to achieve end-state conditions. Using the lessons of Wei Ch’i, we then look at how the U.S. Army’s operational variables can help us identify comparative advantages and how thinking with strategic empathy helps us understand adversaries and solve the right problems.[6] Finally, we discuss the importance of senior leaders in shaping the problem-solving skills of the next generation of strategic leaders.

Despite the complexity of chess, we have perfect information about the board. All the pieces in play are in plain sight and stringent rules dictate their movements. Chess is geographically linear; each side begins with a forward line of troops and must progress toward the enemy. The objective of chess is simple: checkmate the king. The singularity of the objective creates two approaches to the game. First, attrit the enemy. Second, use tactical maneuvers to achieve positions of relative advantage on the board. Both strategies focus on a single objective, checking the king, and neither consider the state of the board after the victory. This makes chess, at its heart, a decisive battle game where the end state is achieved at culmination.

Fiery Cross Reef. Woody Island. Mischief Reef. Spratly Islands. Paracel Islands. It is no secret the Chinese are turning reefs and rocky outcrops into inhabitable islands in a move to control the South China Sea. This should not surprise us, especially if we are familiar with the game they are playing. The South China Sea is unfolding like a real-life game of Wei Ch’i. Wei Ch’i is a 2,500-year-old Chinese game played on a 19x19 square board. The game begins with an empty board. Each player places a piece on an intersection to claim the squares, or “territories” around it. As players build up their territory, opponents can encircle, divide, and conquer by linking “territories” to achieve positions of advantage as shown in Figure 2. The game is fluid, the objective is not fixed, and players must consider not only what is on the board, but the introduction of new pieces into the mix in places you would never expect them. There is hardly a decisive battle or point in Wei Ch’i. There are many decisive moves, but how the whole game unfolds determines the victor. Furthermore, the game exhibits an interesting parallel to actual conflicts and the contest of wills in warfare: the game terminates only when neither player wishes to make another move.

An understanding of Wei Ch’i allows us to explain China’s actions in the past century, and potentially its future moves. In a brilliant analysis, Henry Kissinger shows in his book, On China, a clear parallel between Wei Ch’i strategies and China’s actions. Both Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong used encirclement strategies like those in Wei Ch’i during the Chinese Civil War.[11] In their conflicts with India in the Himalayas, China responded to new Indian outposts with Chinese outposts positioned to encircle Indian positions.[121]Kissinger concluded that the driving factor in China entering the Korean War was to prevent a U.S. position on its border.[13] The message from China is clear. When the U.S. military pivoted to the Pacific, and increased bilateral and multinational military exercises, intentionally or not, American policymakers sent an encirclement message to China. China responded, in Wei Ch’i fashion, by claiming territory in the South China Sea to break U.S. encirclement. Furthermore, China’s One Belt, One Road initiative to create a modern-day Silk Road, and their Forum on China-Africa Cooperation both appear to be attempts to gain positions of advantage in areas largely ignored by the U.S., but that could be strategically important in the future.[14]

Wei Ch’i can also teach us about developing positions of advantage, yet strategic thinking requires us to validate assumptions and identify comparative advantages as well. First, we must understand how circumstances are intertwined and connected. There are no separate levels of war; Michael Handel’s model of interaction submits that tactical actions can have strategic consequences just like strategic decisions can alter where and how the application of tactics occur. When you view the spectrum of operations, do not imagine yourself moving along in discrete phases—defensive to offensive to stability—but rather imagine that your level of effort varies widely throughout the spectrum simultaneously and across multiple domains of physical and information space.When we remove the ways and means of strategy, we are left with the ends—the political objectives we hope to achieve. Our analysis should start from a clear understanding of these ends. Junior leaders should become increasingly more familiar in applying the operational variables of political, military, economic, social, information, and infrastructure (PMESII) when analyzing problem sets that exist between the current state and a desired end state. Operational variables assist us in understating adversaries and the strategic environment and, more importantly, lead to the identification of comparative advantages as the brief example in Figure 3 helps visualize. Sun Tzu reminds us that a “victorious army first realizes the conditions for victory, and then seeks to engage in battle.”[15] In that respect, a successful strategy is more about identifying and seizing positions of advantage across the entire physical and information domains, than tactical actions on a specific battlefield.

The final important lesson of Wei Ch’i is learning how to anticipate an adversary’s actions and reactions. This requires the player to look at the board from their opponent’s perspective and to plan moves based on their playing style. This is a form of empathy. The Army’s manual for leadership says that, “Army leaders show empathy when they genuinely relate to another person’s situation, motives, and feelings.”[17] Applied to the study of adversarial conflict, Zack Shore in Sense of the Enemy calls this concept “strategic empathy.”[18] It is in this area that our strategic thinkers fail most. By classifying our adversaries broadly as rogue regimes, revisionist powers, or extremists, we risk an incomplete analysis based on the mental model we create for them instead of an accurate, empathetic identification of their interests and objectives. In the opening quote to this article, Machiavelli implies that it might be easier to empathize with our adversaries if we recognize that all peoples of all cultures and times have the same desires and traits. As leaders, the more we train our minds to empathize with our adversaries, the better we identify comparative advantages and use our strengths to attack their weaknesses with the full spectrum of operations across the entire physical and information space.

Another technique that assists us in empathizing with our adversaries is the Six-Sigma root-cause analysis known as the “Five Whys.”[23] In this approach, we ask ourselves why the current condition exists, repeating this for our answers until we are looking at the problem five levels in as Figure 6 demonstrates. Some causes may be beyond the scope of our ability to solve, but at least we gain an understanding of root causes and then can select a level to begin solving the problem.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ricky_v » 08 Jul 2017 20:32

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/intermarium-three-seas/?utm_content=bufferc7489&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
The Intermarium is a concept – really, an eventuality – that I have spoken about for nearly a decade. I predicted it would rise after Russia inevitably re-emerged as a major regional power. Which makes sense, considering it would comprise the former Soviet satellites of Eastern Europe: the Baltic states, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and possibly Bulgaria. Its purpose would be to contain any potential Russian move to the west. The United States would support it. The rest of Europe would agonize over it. What was once inevitable may soon be here.

That the Intermarium has only recently begun to coalesce hasn’t stopped it from conceptually expanding. The bloc runs from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, but its logical extension goes southwest to the Adriatic Sea. The so-called Three Seas model would add Austria, Slovenia and Croatia to the Intermarium’s ranks. (And the Three Seas summit is taking place in Poland at the same time as a visit by Donald Trump. He has not rejected the idea of the Intermarium.)

Last, the inclusion of Balkan countries changes the Intermarium’s complexion. Adding Slovenia and Croatia will alarm the Balkan Peninsula’s largest power, Serbia, historically a dangerous thing to do. (Croatia and Serbia have fought many wars over the years, most recently in the 1990s.) Drawing the members of the Intermarium into Balkan conflicts creates a drain on resources and a potential loss of popular support. The bloc may separate Turkey from the rest of Europe, but it also encourages Serbia, already close to Russia, to pull closer to Turkey. The geopolitics and the map work against each other. If this expansion is to take place, and in due course it likely will, then Serbia must be brought into the fold. Otherwise, the danger of Turkey is enhanced, not mitigated. Even then, we should remember that Serbia did not get along with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and if the Intermarium bears its likeness, it could create problems down the road. (It’s also worth noting that Austria’s comparative affluence changes the dynamics too.)

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 11 Jul 2017 04:15

X-Post....

ramana wrote:
LakshO wrote:Since it is the 100th year of beginning of First World War, I want to read more about it. Any suggestions on good books that give a broad overview of the events and progress of the War? Would be nice if the book(s) had maps of various theaters so that I can understand the events better. I am not looking for books that discuss a single siege/front or even strategies of the belligerents.

Thanks for the reply.


May I suggest Frank Furedi's "First World War- Still no end in sight"?

It provides a very good overview and how the present world evolved from WWI.


Basically the modernism and liberalism ushered in by the Industrial Revolution faced a crisis of confidence & led to crash and burn of existing world order.


I submit this has struck USA and the Democrats are feeling the Burn from the crisis of confidence after the 2016 elections loss and is leading to the crash and burn of the existing political order in USA.

In reality the Republicans have been taken over by a third party of extreme rightwingers not connected to the country club Republicans of yore. This third party started with Ross Perot movement in 1992 elections which negated elder Bush Second term chances and ushered in Bill Clinton.

Now Democrats will face a fourth party based on Bernie Sanders movement and we are seeing leaders emerging from that group. Not Bernie Sanders nor Warren.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 13 Jul 2017 21:38

X-Post...
panduranghari wrote:
ramana wrote:China is interfering directly as TSP is unable to exist. At same time CPEC is for colonizing TSP as one way to bring in stability.


Chinese if they havent yet seen what happened to US in Iraq must BE QUITE DELUDED to assume they can ever achieve stability in Pakistan. The corollary is US might strike a grand bargain (mainly a faustian deal) with China to allow CPEC to go unhindered as long as they deliver Paki nukes.


Very insightful post.
I don't think so as US sees India as a long term rival due to civilizational challenge to Judeo-Christian/Greco-Roman system on which Anglo-Saxon West is based.

Pak mad canine is the best option to keep this rival in perpetual labyrinth.

The best option is to let sub-nationalism assert itself in Pakistan just like it did in the Turkish Ottoman Empire.

If you think about it Pakistan is also a Turkish state. Most of the Muslim elite there are of Turkic invader/conversion origin while they put on layers of Arab/Iran/Afghan invaders.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Prem » 14 Jul 2017 10:49

Russia Points Missile at China While Holding Military Exercises With Beijing in Europe
https://www.yahoo.com/news/russia-point ... 11352.html
China and Russia aren't entirely getting in bed together, however, As China fired away in the Mediterranean, Russia held electronic missile launches Wednesday night to test its nuclear-capable 9K720 Iskander-M missile system in the far eastern Jewish Autonomous Region, which borders Heilongjiang province in China."Upon arrival in the specified area, the squads completed the tasks of deploying the missile systems, determining the data for missile strikes and electronic missile launches," the region's press service said in a statement cited by Russia's Defense Ministry and Interfax News Agency.Russia's ground missile forces in the region received their fourth and latest Iskander-M missile system last month, replacing the aging 9K79-1 Tochka-U tactical ballistic missile system, according to The Diplomat. Iskander-M, known to NATO as SS-26 Stone, is a highly mobile, short-range missile platform that has already been deployed to Russia's militarized, Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, near which this month's Joint Sea-2017 takes place. The weapons' appearance in the far east, however, suggests China is the most likely target as major U.S. installations in Japan and South Korea are reportedly out of range for the missiles, which are capable of accurately hitting targets between 250 and 310 miles away.China, for its own part, has also reportedly brought missiles to the border. A Dongfeng-41 nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was moved to China's northeastern Heilongjiang Province, according to The Global Times, the nationalist outlet of China's ruling Communist Party. Dongfeng-41 has a projected range of up to 9,320 miles, making it potentially the longest range missile in the world.


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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby chanakyaa » 16 Jul 2017 19:28

(FT) Germany expands powers to block takeovers

Germany push for new EU rules to block takeovers by Chinese investors
A recent survey by a financial firm found Chinese investment in Germany had risen from $530m in 2015 to $12.6bn last year. Among others, for Chinese investments, Germany was the most chosen European destination with 68 takeovers in 2016 which raise a major concern from German government, since Germany is a stronger economy in the EU.

The headlines of Chinese investments in Germany fixed the attention of financial sector, especially alarmed the German government. To begin with, in 2016 Germany first announced that it was pushing for new EU rules to increase its powers to block takeovers by Chinese investors. But the initiative is likely to have a much greater chance of success now that France and Italy — the second and third largest economies in the Eurozone — have signed up. A flurry of deals involving Chinese companies have fueled concern in Germany that some of its most prized technologies is ending up in Chinese hands. Such worries peaked last year with the €4.5bn acquisition of robotmaker Kuka by Chinese appliance maker Midea. Chancellor Angela Merkel complained at the time about a lack of reciprocity, saying German companies wanting to invest in China were faced with a number of hurdles, such as a requirement to form joint ventures with Chinese partners.

Under German law, Berlin can intervene to block foreign investments in defense industry enterprises or companies that are involved in IT security and the processing of state-classified documents. But officials want to vastly expand such powers, so they can stop any acquisition that appears to be dictated by Chinese state industrial policy or is designed to enable technology transfers. Now, Germany, France and Italy have called on Brussels to grant them a right of veto over Chinese high-tech takeovers, in a sign of the growing protectionist backlash against Chinese investment in Europe’s most sensitive industries. It is said that a three governments’ letter had written to the EU trade commissioner, not only call upon debate on the issue, but also to create the legal basis for national governments to be able to intervene in direct investments which are state-controlled. Moreover, the European countries should have more scope to investigate individual takeovers and, where applicable, block them.

With the voices of financial and investment from the media, China investments in Europe face hard challenges ahead, it’s just beginning of 2017, particularly in Germany is a lot less welcoming now than it was even a year ago. At this moment, the letter from three governments (Germany, France and Italy) to the EU trade commissioner sent out more blue signals to the Chinese investors, it’s not a good sign to begin with. However, as the old saying “there are always two sides to every coin”, block by outsiders lead to invent from insiders. Nowadays, Chinese companies stand up for creativity, China already embark on the road from “made in China” to “created in China”, from relay on export to self-sufficiency, and begin to import more products to supply the growing China market. That is to say, China will turn to their investment ability to innovation ability; there will be more created in China than made in China.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ricky_v » 17 Jul 2017 13:20

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449485/family-planning-aid-developing-world-western-imperialism-contraception-abortion-united-nations
On Tuesday, the U.K. announced that it would spend more than 1 billion pounds over the next five years to extend family planning, including “safe abortion,” to countries in need. A recent poll shows that 65 percent of the British public opposes funding abortion overseas, but what does that matter? British elites have a civilizing mission to carry out.
Denmark’s minister for development cooperation, Ulla Tornaes was surprisingly honest about one of the reasons her nation promotes family planning in Africa: “If the population growth in Africa continues as now, the African population will double from 1.2 billion people to 2.5 billion people by 2050,” Tornaes said. ”Part of the solution to reducing migratory pressures on Europe is to reduce the very high population growth in many African countries.” What better way is there to keep Africans out of Europe, after all, than to keep them from being born?
Denmark’s minister for development cooperation, Ulla Tornaes was surprisingly honest about one of the reasons her nation promotes family planning in Africa: “If the population growth in Africa continues as now, the African population will double from 1.2 billion people to 2.5 billion people by 2050,” Tornaes said. ”Part of the solution to reducing migratory pressures on Europe is to reduce the very high population growth in many African countries.” What better way is there to keep Africans out of Europe, after all, than to keep them from being born?

The Canadians are no less strident. The Trudeau government announced a “Feminist International Assistance Policy.” It also allocated $650 million (CAD) for the provision of abortion, contraception, and the advancement of “reproductive rights” overseas. Part of the goal is to overturn anti-abortion laws all over the world. Canada, by way of comparison, has spent only $119 million on famine relief in South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, and Somalia.

Now, one hears about the millions of women who “need” contraception but lack “access.” This allows the West to appear generous, not imperialist. For example, when confronted on Tuesday with Obianuju Ekeocha, an African pro-life activist, a BBC World News presenter declared, “If we’re talking about contraception, the fact remains that hundreds of millions of women don’t have access and should.”

This sort of dishonesty, shielding controversial assumptions behind statistics from reputable organizations, is all too common. In 2015, Melinda Gates and Graça Machel, the former South African first lady, wrote that “if the world extended contraceptive access to only a quarter of the women with an unmet need, it could save the lives of 25,000 women and 250,000 newborns each year.” They cite the 2012 Guttmacher and UNFPA report, which estimates that by averting pregnancies, fewer women and children will die in childbirth. As Rebecca Oas explains, “their solution, apparently, is to avoid pregnancy rather than to make childbirth safer.”
These Malthusian tendencies also dovetail with the efforts of the environmentalist movement. To combat global warming, concluded a recent article in the Guardian, the best thing to do is “have fewer children.”
One could argue that no values are being imposed, that contraceptives are merely being offered for those who want them. While it may have been coercive in the 1970s when forced sterilizations were performed, this view maintains that it is now strictly voluntary. This, however, is a little naïve. Many family-planning programs offer incentives, including cash, for use of contraception. This means that international organizations are dangling help in front of women in desperate need of things as basic as food and water — but will give it to them only along with permanent or other forms of contraception.

Of course as this comes from national review, their "Catholic stance on abortion" has to be taken into consideration.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ricky_v » 02 Aug 2017 19:52

http://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/2017/08/germany-normal-country-its-citizens-are-finding-painful-question
Near my flat in Berlin, six cobblestone-sized plaques glint from the pavement. The first reads: “Here lived Maria Witelson, née Zuckermann. Born 1892. Deported 1942. Murdered in Majdanek.” Each of the others commemorates one of her five teenage children, who also died in that concentration camp near Lublin in Poland.
Along the street are similar plaques recalling the Holz family, deported one by one over a six-week period in 1943. Old Ernst died a week afterwards in Theresienstadt; Herbert and Lieselotte (née Cohn) in Auschwitz on unknown dates; young Willy in January 1945 on the death march to Buchenwald. Such Stolpersteine, or “stumbling stones”, have been sprouting from German streets since 1992.
These monuments to the country’s terrible abnormality – and its admirable determination never to forget it – are not isolated examples. Every synagogue in Germany gets police protection. The mainstream media often boycotts far-right politicians. Every school pupil must visit a concentration camp. The forest of tombstone-like pillars constituting the Holocaust memorial in Berlin takes up an entire block.

This is the context in which Finis Germania (“The End of Germany”) recently appeared. Written by Rolf Peter Sieferle, a Heidelberg-based historian who committed suicide last September, this collection of essays asserts that a guilt-stricken Germany has swallowed the lie of its own abnormality and is determined to dissolve its identity through European federalism and open-border immigration. Most offensively, it compares Germans to the Jews; claiming that the former are now being collectively punished for the Holocaust as the latter were once collectively punished for the Crucifixion.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Singha » 03 Aug 2017 08:04

US soft power in India is so high , that India is not going to emerge as a threat to US/EU civilizationally. how can it, when all indians want to do is to be "more like usa" and the most highly qualified indians have only one destination? the Govt has no real interest in pushing a independent narrative.
millions of T-shirts are sold bearing "california" or "i luv NYC" down to village level here and not "I luv Somnath" and "Malnad"

China yes, India no. even the lay chinese do nothing but ape the US/EU trends.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Rudradev » 03 Aug 2017 09:06

^ +108

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Vikas » 03 Aug 2017 10:46

^ Singha, Just like Europe plus UK lost its soft power hold on India in one generation, I think US soft power too would dissipate once India starts getting rich and resourceful. With the world becoming flat, US is slowly losing its soft power since it is not cultural or has history to back it up. Heck uptill late 1990's, Paki soft power via TV drama, Clothes and musicians was pretty prevalent in North and Ganga-Jamuna region. I hated watching DD while PTV was the darling in my years of growing up.

We may still love Hollywood movies, American music and burgers but they will not form the narrative as they do currently.
In probably your and mine life, we will see one of these big Holly studio being bought over by some smart Marwari :)

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 01 Sep 2017 00:26

Dokhlam Standoff and Game Theory modeling

http://www.dailyo.in/variety/doklam-sta ... 18898.html

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Singha » 01 Sep 2017 20:35

i had never paid any attention to Haiti except to note it was the poorest in the region, but wow its history of rebellion against the french empire is pretty amazing. the only successful slave revolt against goras in history.

this deserves to be read in full

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haitian_Revolution


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