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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Posted: 24 Jul 2019 05:45
by ramana
That's what Namo is concentrating on. First term was cleaning up the IEDs that were there. Now removing the structural impediments.
Good primers are to read erstwhile member rvaidya's two books India UnInc and Black markets and Tax havens.

The UnInc economy is quite large. x.x times the Mota Bhai economy.
So GST, IT etc are to formalize them.
Black market and tax haven economy is even more.
I haven't read the book and will post once I read it.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Posted: 24 Jul 2019 14:25
by ArjunPandit
krishna_krishna wrote:Trump made a statement today that he is willing to be a mediator in cashmere, also modi asked him to do so.

I am fine as long as it is about returning PoK

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Posted: 27 Jul 2019 22:52
by ricky_v
Australia is pushing to cement its status as the security partner of choice for Pacific nations, forming a new expeditionary training force to work with key regional neighbours, including Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Vanuatu.

The Australian can reveal the Pacific Support Force is being set up in Brisbane as part of the army’s 1st Division.

“The Pacific Support Force will employ a mobile training team approach to strengthen ­capacity, resilience and inter-­operability throughout the ­region in areas such as security operations, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and peacekeeping,’’ Ms Reynolds said.

“It will deepen longstanding ties through the conduct of exercises, training and courses.”

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Posted: 29 Jul 2019 21:55
by ramana
Ricky, Those three countries are Australian buffer states if you follow Olaf Caroe's theories.
But the borg is rising and will sweep all before it.
Australia needs to decide if it wants to be part of Asia or a Western outpost in the South Indian Ocean.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Posted: 29 Jul 2019 22:22
by ricky_v
Sir,i believe that there is a de-coupling under progress, but it is the us which is distancing itself from the other 4 and the feeling is reciprocated if not in magnitude, then in the sentiment. Too many reports, first of the us scheme of a newer pacific flotilla, where earlier it was content with oz doing the grunt work, and now of oz aiming to be the over arching provider in their backyard.
Also sir, imho oz will be the anglo outpost in the southern hemisphere for some time as the replacement rate of spanish speakers is not as forthcoming as in the us.Oz with its primarily british strain is not ambiguous about the strength of its institutional memory, unlike that of the us with its all embracing "white" set-up that is stricken with so many cultural strains to have eroded all such vision/mission. Oz along with nz and the surrounding islands are a ready made satrap, albeit a silent one, ever ready for execution and yet shying off from decision making, re-alignment will occur only when they get off the insidious teat and see themselves as one.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Posted: 21 Aug 2019 07:54
by SSridhar
As part of the Five Eyes, Australia will be a part of the Western outpost for a long time to come. The US is investing even more in Darwin and Northern territory. Neither Australia nor India nor the Quad would be able to do much against the Borgs without the US. India has been undone by the Aussies in the past and that rankles. But, this will have to be put behind through confidence building largely by the Aussies so that a more united front can be built up. The potential danger is that the Americans would always employ some checks and balances so that a potential challenger to the US World Order, like India, doesn't run away. They have probably learnt a lesson from their Chinese molly-coddling in the 70s and 80s.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Posted: 24 Aug 2019 01:26
by chanakyaa
Carney Urges Libra-Like Reserve Currency to End Dollar Dominance
Mark Carney laid out a radical proposal for an overhaul of the global financial system that would eventually replace the dollar as a reserve currency with a Libra-like virtual one...

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 17 Sep 2019 05:59
by krishna_krishna
Recent actions in Middle East makes picture clearer for mass's game plan for the future, I believe Rdevji making statement that what is the end goal is not clear. I attempt to clear fog with following :

US is just one country away ( Iran ) from getting control of whole ME and completely finish the influence of its main adversaries China and Russia from this region.US is just one country away ( Pakistan ) from closing the only route of IOR for its biggest trade rival China.

Now for achieving both the objectives US is shrewdly playing the game which she is best at i.e Creating regional conflict.
Don't for a second beleive that the recent attack on ARAMCO has something to do with Iran. It was a false flag operation.Now she will lead SA into war with Iran and then get involve herself.The second objective is relatively easy for US as India is sufficient to destroy Pakistan and she would not need to overtly involve.

So that was the gameplan of US to get control of whole ME and IOR. It was going smooth but as the popular saying goes that no battle plan survives the first contact of enemy. Some early trouble signs for this plan are getting evident.

The whole plan was based on two assumptions :
1- Russia will not intervene in ME.
2- China will not intervene in POK.

As the popular saying goes that no battle plan survives the first contact of enemy. Russia intervened in Syria and China with OBOR and basing its troops permanently in Pokiest.

The world is taking a bad shape now.
ME is on verge of war but that is not something to be worried but the indications given by all the major powers that they are more than willing to involve in this war.
Russia has indicated that it will fully support Iran in a possible conflict whereas UK has just announced it will support US commitment of security of Saudi Arabia. Of course once Russia will get involve the EU will surely follow.

Another flashpoint is J&K. And given the present situation in ME there is more chance of China involving in a possible Indo-Pak conflict. As explained in my earlier comment if IRAN and Pakistan gets destroyed the ME and IOR will get closed for China forever and its most Ambitious OBOR project will always remain a dream.Russians too will never allow their influence to get zero in ME. Monopoly of their arch rival in their strategically important backyard abundant with natural resources is something they will never allow.

So the question is how the present conflict is getting shaped? Will US back off from its plan given the drastic change in situation or it will move ahead?
Who are in which camp ?

Kashmir buisness is risen far more than just the taking back of POK. It is now a key part of shaping the future world order.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 19 Oct 2019 05:23
by chanakyaa
(FT) Russia plans exchange for US-sanctioned companies to raise debt
Move is part of a range of measures to bolster country’s capital markets...

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 19 Oct 2019 23:17
by chanakyaa

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 20 Oct 2019 00:01
by Y. Kanan
Picture Modi, Trump, Putin working together (with other national leaders like Assad, Rouhani and even Turdogan roped in when needed). If these players would coordinate in secret (like Trump and Putin did recently with Syria) then they could derail China's goals, defang the muslim threat worldwide, and frustrate the globalists running the West. Putin would rather be allied with the US than China obviously. Russia, US and India are natural allies that have been long prevented from working together by the machinations of elites running western world.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 23 Oct 2019 05:27
by ramana
Off late Africa is in focus.

Both Xi Jinping and Putin are having country-Africa summits in their countries.

Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 24 Oct 2019 06:40
by chanakyaa
OMG!! When and how did the unpadh and ganwar yindoo wake up from centuries of deep sleep?

Is India Becoming More Like China? (FP)
India, as the world’s largest democracy with institutional checks and balances, has historically been more open to external criticism—or at least hasn’t responded to it in a particularly muscular way. But a spate of developments in the last few weeks shows that may be beginning to change.
Sticking points with Malaysia and Turkey. India’s increasing confidence on the world stage impacts its relations with other countries as well. Last month at the U.N. General Assembly, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad angered India when he tweeted that Jammu and Kashmir had been “invaded and occupied,” adding that “there may be reasons for this action but it is still wrong.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan echoed those comments in his U.N. speech, saying that “despite the U.N. Security Council’s resolutions, 8 million people of Kashmir are stuck in Kashmir.” Around the same time, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that his country would partner with Malaysia and Turkey to create a “BBC type” English-language channel focused on Muslim issues and fighting Islamophobia.

New Delhi was not pleased. And now, there are signs that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government may be weighing targeted responses. Reuters reports that India is considering restricting imports of Malaysian palm oil, replacing it with edible oils from Indonesia or Argentina. India is the biggest buyer of Malaysian palm oil, and Malaysian palm oil futures dropped by nearly 1 percent in response to the story. Turkey was not spared either. On Oct. 10, in an unusually tough statement, India’s ministry of foreign affairs said it was “deeply concerned” by Turkey’s assault in northeastern Syria: “Turkey’s actions can undermine stability in the region and the fight against terrorism.” New Delhi has already barred a Turkish defense company from operating in India, according to the Times of India.

Cash or criticism? Ultimately, the success of India’s moves to prevent other countries—or companies—from criticizing it is linked to the size and power of its market. Or at least that’s the lesson India can draw from China. As shown below, India is a far bigger trade partner to Malaysia and Turkey than Pakistan is. The question is whether that pressure will influence policy. It may be that the companies will cave before countries do, given how much Netflix, Amazon, and others are hoping to gain from India’s rising middle class of consumers.

Cheers Image

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 25 Oct 2019 07:44
by chanakyaa
Movements to gain-regain influence in africa continue to maintain its momentum

Afrique Occidentale Française (AOF) 2.0 - Soft power using language and currency

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 31 Oct 2019 15:20
by ricky_v
There are less apt lenses, I suppose, for the absurd contradictions of the post–Cold War world, its “forever wars,” “competition below armed conflict,” the “gray zone” and other policy-circle commonplaces. Even so, I suspect that the Ambassador Gfoeller of eleven years past would be quite surprised to see Prince Andrew vindicated by the inclusion of the Great Game as an explicit analogue for future American strategic competition in Joint Doctrine Note 1-19, Competition Continuum.
If we are such characters, then Kim tells us that, in practical terms, there is no way to actually “win” the strategic competitions of the Great Game; the end of playing is simply to make sure that no one else “wins.” This is the central ethos of Conolly’s “grand game” when taken out of context, as the “legend of the Great Game” does. It is an idea that one of Kipling’s spies, Hurree Chunder Mookherjee, draws to its logical conclusion, informing the novel’s hero that “when everyone is dead the Great Game is finished. Not before.”

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 01 Nov 2019 21:39
by Rony
Good report on the impact of declining fertility rates on economies. Huge contrast between the profiles on France and China

As birthrates fall, countries will be forced to adapt or fall behind.

At least two children per woman—that’s what’s needed to ensure a stable population from generation to generation. In the 1960s, the fertility rate was five live births per woman. By 2017 it had fallen to 2.43, close to that critical threshold.

Population growth is vital for the world economy. It means more workers to build homes and produce goods, more consumers to buy things and spark innovation, and more citizens to pay taxes and attract trade. While the world is expected to add more than 3 billion people by 2100, according to the United Nations, that’ll likely be the high point. Falling fertility rates and aging populations will mean serious challenges that will be felt more acutely in some places than others.

While the global average fertility rate was still above the rate of replacement—technically 2.1 children per woman—in 2017, about half of all countries had already fallen below it, up from 1 in 20 just half a century ago. For places such as the U.S. and parts of Western Europe, which historically are attractive to migrants, loosening immigration policies could make up for low birthrates. In other places, more drastic policy interventions may be called for. Most of the available options place a high burden on women, who’ll be relied upon not only to bear children but also to help fill widening gaps in the workforce.

Government attempts to manage population growth are nothing new—consider the generous paid maternal leave of the Scandinavian countries or China’s recently rescinded one-child policy, each relatively effective in achieving its stated goal—but a new sense of urgency and even desperation is creeping into the search for ways to reverse the current trends. That said, achieving robust population growth is by no means the only contributor to economic growth—in some countries too-high fertility may actually be a drag on GDP, because of higher costs. But as these indicators suggest, it can be an important tailwind.

The Big Picture

Population dynamics can’t be ignored, but they’re also not economic destiny.

A study last year by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that, for most major economies, rising productivity was a more important driver of gross domestic product growth between 2000 and 2017 on average than population growth or change in the employment rate. More than 90% of China’s potential growth in 2017 came from productivity increases, the most of any country and a few rungs ahead of the U.S. For Saudi Arabia, however, 62% came from population growth alone—and Nigeria is even more reliant than the Arab kingdom on the sheer size of its potential labor and consumer pool. France stands out for balancing increased productivity and population with higher employment, likely boosted by a healthy influx of working-age immigrants and its generous labor benefits.

Population is just one of three factors influencing national economies.

Productivity gains can make up some of the gaps as populations taper off and begin to shrink, but it's a much more challenging way to grow an economy and may not be sustainable over time: For most of the countries in the OECD’s study, the relative contribution of productivity to growth has fallen over time.

Ultimately, no country will be left untouched by demographic decline. Governments will have to think creatively about ways to manage population, whether through state-sponsored benefits or family-planning edicts or discrimination protections, or else find their own path to sustainable economic growth with ever fewer native-born workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 01 Nov 2019 21:49
by vishvak
We should think about what long term investment s are needed and tinker with policies a bit. Such as reservation ie either change it to keep skilled people within country or increase seats in general catagory for select fields before sky fall.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 01 Nov 2019 22:49
by ramana
Placeholder for a series of papers in Military Review on India and Pakistan from 1947 ... -Pakistan/

Please read the articles by Wing Cdr. Maharaj K. Chopra in the 1960s

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 02 Nov 2019 07:19
by ramana
China since 1954 was conducting Asymmetric Warfare on USA and FSU.
Even its nuclear arsenal in 1964 on-wards is an asymmetric warfare measure.

In response India to counter its principal challenger China has also provided for a large capable army and an asymmetric nuclear posture. India's arsenal planning was to counter China in the theater and leave the strategic for the big powers.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 02 Nov 2019 07:25
by UlanBatori
IMO focused economic growth comes from real leadership: set some ambitious and meaningful goals/objectives and a roadmap to get there, so that bijnejjes can form plans to the same goal. Look at the effect of the JFK Moon announcement. Also, CLinton Internet guidance.
In India, IMO the goal should be Sustainable Growth at Sustainable Cost. Roadmap through sustainable rural development to reverse urban migration. IOW, clean up the rivers, the land, the water. Along with systems for preventing any more poo going into them. Clean the air starting with Dilli and radiating out. Build alternatives for energy, heat, waste disposal.
If there is a clear goal, everything will turn towards it.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 04 Nov 2019 09:12
by ramana ... rtnership/

While the Wuhan Meet was about ‘stability’, the Mamallapuram Meet was to enhance stability in action ‘promoting understanding’. Trade was prominently discussed between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping. One of the key points of discussion is China nudging India to finalize a deal and join the ‘Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership’. Post Mamallapuram meet India and China agreed to set up a high-level economic and trade dialogue mechanism to go into trade, investment and services.

The RCEP is a proposed pact between 10 ASEAN economies and six others (New Zealand, Australia, China, India, Japan, and South Korea) with which the grouping currently has FTAs. The RCEP strives to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high- quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN Member States and ASEAN’s FTA partners.

RCEP led by China is dubbed as China’s answer to the US-initiated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). With a difference, RCEP will aim to lower trade barriers (both Tariff and Non – Tariff Barriers), liberalize investment norms and securing market access for goods and services for businesses in the region. It ensures recognition to ‘ASEAN Centrality’ in the emerging regional economic architecture and the interests of ASEAN’s FTA partners in enhancing economic integration and strengthening economic cooperation among the participating countries. RCEP can help India’s existing free trade agreements (FTA’s) with the ASEAN Bloc in resolving the challenges. A ‘Noodle Bowl Situation’ is one where there is multiplication of free trade agreements and multilateral trade negotiations. It is taken as an alternate for globalization.

RCEP – Potentials:

RCEP has the potential to deliver significant opportunities for businesses in the South Asia and South East Asia region making it the world’s largest trading bloc. The 16 RCEP participating countries account for almost half of the world’s population, around 27 percent of the global trade, a total GDP (PPP basis) of about USD 50 trillion (40% of the global GDP), house close to 3.5 billion people (50 percent of world’s population) and over 25 percent of world exports.

RCEP facilitates engagements of SMEs’ in global and regional supply chains. SMEs make up more than 90 percent of business establishments across all RCEP participating countries. Though talks on seven of the sixteen chapters of the agreement are complete, the key areas of goods, services and investment are still being negotiated.

China & Trade Liberalization:

In this China-led RCEP, China has shown a high level of interest for tariff liberalization. It has its own priorities and stands to gain. Elimination of duties on most goods across sectors could get China to flood other markets with its low prices goods. India has been a victim of this surge in low priced goods mainly from China. Barring other countries, China is the only country in the RCEP Bloc with which India has not signed an FTA. Therefore, this ‘Economic Subliminal Symbolism’ is an indirect FTA with China. India has faced ballooning trade deficit with China since 2003 – 2004. China could leverage RCEP to gain more market access into India while India grapples with USD 53 billion trade deficit and unwilling to import more.

Conversely, China wants to eliminate duties on 92 percent of products that are traded; India negotiates this to be capped at 80 percent with a clause of a longer phase-out period for goods from China, which is 20 years for China as against 15 years for other RCEP nations. India has the highest ‘Most Favored Nation’ tariff level at 13.5 percent. This high level of tariff reduction without proper negotiations on terms will hurt India’s standing among the RCEP group of nations. One alarming consequence is several RCEP members pushing to go beyond Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. This would adversely affect generic medicines manufactured in India and India’s pharmaceutical industry. Agreeing to extend patent terms and data exclusivity will weaken India’s generic medicine sector and jeopardize several health safeguards in India’s Patents Act.

RCEP – Can it benefit India?

RCEP owing to its huge size, it is expected to provide market access for India’s goods and services exports and encourage greater investments and technology into India. RCEP recognizes the importance of being ‘inclusive’, especially to enable SMEs leverage on the agreement and cope with challenges arising from globalization and trade liberalization. Hence, RCEP would facilitate India’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to effectively integrate into the regional value and supply chains. The MSMEs sector contributes significantly to the Indian Economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Exports and Employment generation. The Share of MSME Gross Value Added (GVA) in total GVA during 2016-17 was 31.8 percent; MSME related Products in total Export from India during 2018-19 is 48.10 percent. RCEP has the potential to harmonize the trade-related rules, investment and competition regimes of India with those of other countries in the RCEP grouping. There would be a boost to inward and outward foreign direct investment, particularly export-oriented FDI. Last few years saw Chinese firms relocating labor-intensive manufacturing to countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, India can emerge as an attractive investment destination by joining the RCEP.

The strategic dividend India stands to reap is by India’s increasing hold in the Indo-Pacific region. It provides India with an arena for rebalancing its Asia strategy and providing for linkages between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. RCEP is a perfect economic recipe to align with foreign policy, aligning it with India’s Act East Policy will reap both economic and strategic benefits for India.

Signing the RCEP treaty will kindle growth of supply chains in India and enable India to enter the global supply chain as it will be supported by frictionless movement between 16 members. The RCEP will offer India with an opportunity to do more labor intensive manufacturing as multinationals would be attracted to set up a manufacturing base in India and RCEP membership will enable them to access the large RCEP market. India stands to gain by getting access to new markets by its competitive advantage it possesses in areas such as ICT, IT-enabled services, healthcare, education enabled services etc. to name a few.

The spin-offs by India signing the RCEP can be evolving of regional supply chains involving BIMSTEC countries and ASEAN members in products that the region specializes in like bamboo and wood products, leather goods, garments, silk, handicrafts and jewelry. Here, India can have the cake and eat it too. By aligning RCEP with India’s initiative of ‘Make in India’ will help it make a global success. India can contribute and participate to be a part of the Asian value and supply chain in which India can be originator or destination for trade.

India’s sticky wicket with RCEP

India’s trade deficits have widened with nations after signing free-trade-agreements (FTAs) with them. The same is true for India’s FTAs with the ASEAN, Japan, Korea, and Singapore, most of which are RCEP nations. India’s merchandise trade deficit with the RCEP grouping hit USD 105 billion in FY 2019 (60 percent of its total deficit). The Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of imports was 9.06 percent while for exports; it was 2.90 percent during the period of 2014-2018, reflecting higher growth of imports than exports.

India registered a trade deficit in 2018-19 with as many as 11 RCEP member countries. China is India’s largest trading partner while India is China’s 11th largest trading partner.

India faces threat to its domestic market particularly from China, which is demanding zero tariffs over 90 percent tariff lines which is a major concern for India as low-cost Chinese manufacturing goods will flood its domestic market by dumping cheaper goods. At present a large number of Indian industry including iron and steel, dairy, marine products, electronic products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals and textiles have raised concerns over the proposed tariff elimination under RCEP regime which would render them uncompetitive and push them out of business. Also, there are competing and conflicting sensitive interests in areas like agriculture, horticulture and dairy with other non-FTA partners like Australia and New Zealand.

‘Rules of Origin Clause’ help in determining the national source of a product. They are required that duties and restrictions in several cases depend upon the source of imports. The upsurge in goods imports into India is prominent by instances of non-adherence to the Rules of Origin provisions and lack of full cooperation in investigating and addressing such breaches. This is in breach of compliance with rules prescribed. India has made tagging the “Country of Origin” on all products; this is a sticky point in negotiating for finalizing the deal on RCEP.

Product groups such as electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof, and machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors are major contributors to India’s trade deficit in engineering goods with China. Economic competition from China is evident from the sheer size and scale of the Chinese manufacturing industry which is backed with state’s extensive financial and non-financial support provide a clear edge to Chinese manufacturing producers. India despite having low relative labor cost, its labor productivity in manufacturing is still one of the lowest in the world and coupled with its spatially fragmented labor laws escalate costs of transaction reflecting in its final price of products making it uncompetitive. In such a scenario, Indian industrial establishments can hardly compete to a level playing ground in a free-trade South East and South Asian Region.

The IPR policy environment does not favor India and the “stringent IP provisions” have been stumbling blocks for India arguing for these to be better negotiated or taken out of the agreement which is objected to by other RCEP members. A strict IPR regime would lead to India’s domestic pharmaceutical companies not being able to launch or export affordable life-saving drugs across the world. The agriculture sector could see farmers losing the right to save or sell seeds or the harvested products produce from plant varieties that have been granted intellectual property. India had negotiated to reject ‘High-Level’ protections at RCEP under the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), a provision going beyond World Trade Organization, or ‘WTO – Plus’.

Can a middle way be found?

Given its potential costs and benefits in RCEP, it is important for India to strike a balance between domestic and external interests to minimize the adverse effects of RCEP on its domestic engineering industry. It is important to grasp the possible opportunities that RCEP will extend to the Indian engineering industry as some of RCEP countries, particularly China, which is moving up the value chain and vacating space for other low-cost economies. India can take a cue from China and fill this vacuum to harness the benefits.

India can utilize its pool of skilled labor, India has been insisting on capitalizing on its pool of ‘skilled’ labor force to gain from improved access to employment opportunities in these economies. This can come by increasing the ease of movement of professionals through the liberalization of what is called ‘Mode 4 Approach’ in services trade. Mode 4 in services trade is the movement of natural persons is one of the four ways through which services can be supplied internationally, it covers natural persons who are either service suppliers (such as independent professionals) or who work for a service supplier and who are present in another WTO member to supply a service. India must protect its tariff structure; it should continue to maintain its position of proposed dual tariff structure in the RCEP as it will help India to protect its tariff structures which are prone to cheap Chinese imports. It must emphasize on a special and differential treatment based on stages of economic development.

India could formulate a “non-tariff system” with China to facilitate exports. It can be by way of a framework to negotiate sanitary and phytosanitary regulations, technical regulations, conformity assessment systems, sectoral regulations and their compliance frameworks. A specific annexure for non-tariff barriers with China can be negotiated to protect our export interest to avoid the scope of ‘Disguised Trade Barriers’.

Tightening and Restricting Rules of Origin clause in RCEP by India can curb the free flow of Chinese goods into the domestic market. India should restrict RoO to high value-addition to prevent the imports of cheap Chinese goods, which may come to India through our existing FTA partners. Firm Rules of Origin clause in RCEP will provide a safety wall to domestic producers against cheap Chinese goods. Within the FTA, provision can be devised for safeguard measures like anti-dumping, safeguards duty etc. which should be invoked if a volume or price trigger for the concerned products is reached. If the domestic industry in India has to thrive, it needs protection as also the enabling conditions created by factor and product market reforms this can be done by labor and market reforms.

The Mamallapuram Meet between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping saw reaching an understanding in handling differences and sensitive issues. The two sides can prudently deal with issues of trade concerning each other’s core interests not let trade differences turn into trade disputes. An understanding by China and India in finalizing RCEP deal has the potential to enhance strategic mutual trust and view each other’s development devoid of suspicions and doubts. Addressing India’s trade concerns can be a step in the right direction to propel relations between India and China to the next level and bring prosperity for the South Asian Region.

Image credit: Presidential Communications Operations Office [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Geopolitics.
Balasubramanian Chandrasekhar

The author is a Research Officer at Chennai Centre for China Studies. He has completed his Masters in Public Administration and Bachelors in Commerce from Madras University. His areas of interests include Russia– China Relations, Soft Power and Diplomacy, Security and Strategic Studies.

Our Rajaram mentored.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 11 Nov 2019 22:05
by ramana
Please read Primer on analyzing nuclear competition ... petitions/

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 12 Nov 2019 01:30
by vijayk ... ghur-women

he British newspaper Independent was criticized on social media for downplaying the sexual harassment of Uighur Muslim women in the Xinjiang region by Chinese government officials.

The report published by the Independent on Tuesday said that Uighur women, whose husbands are being kept in Chinese concentration camps, are being forced to share beds with male state officials for monitoring purposes.

Chinese government sources claim that officials are not sexually abusing the women but rather Muslim Uighur women and the Chinese men with whom they are forced to sleep in the same bed "develop feelings for one another."

The widely-shared Independent report quickly came under fire for downplaying the sexual harassment the Uighur women are subjected to and refraining from describing it as "rape."

Up to 1 million people, or about 7% of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to U.S. officials and U.N. experts.

According to a 117-page report by Human Rights Watch, the Chinese government conducted "mass arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment" of Uighur Turks in the region.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 12 Nov 2019 07:31
by ramana
^^^ Is more appropriate to China thread and not here.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 12 Nov 2019 07:33
by UlanBatori
Why can't a few countries do this to the turds who conducted genocide in Syria?

And where were they when Pakistan was doing it in BD?

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 12 Nov 2019 07:47
by UlanBatori
vijayk wrote:
The British newspaper Independent was criticized on social media for downplaying the sexual harassment of Uighur Muslim women in the Xinjiang region by Chinese government officials.
According to a 117-page report by Human Rights Watch, the Chinese government conducted "mass arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment" of Uighur Turks in the region.

Ppl who have read Pearl S. Buck stories from ple-Levorutioaly Cheen will find much here that is "deja vu". They are doing the same as ISIS. I wouldn't be surprised if there are markets too.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 12 Nov 2019 11:55
by vishvak
and refraining from describing it as "rape."

That's it!! A rP on the knuckles or whatever it's called. Seems the shyt is reserved for hindoo because ideas like - 'discovery', 'new world', teaching heatheins pegeins - aren't yet dogpiled over the hindoo.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 24 Nov 2019 02:03
by Rony
Potentially the World's newest nation. Bougainville is majority Roman Catholic while Papua New Guinea is majority Protestant.

Bougainville votes on independence from Papua New Guinea

Voters on the Pacific archipelago of Bougainville began casting ballots on Saturday in a referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea.

If the vote for independence passes, the autonomous province with 206,000 people could become the world's newest independent nation.

The referendum is part of a peace deal in 2001 that ended a bloody civil war between Bougainville and Papua New Guinea that left at least 15,000 people dead.

The referendum presents two options, either greater autonomy from Papua New Guinea, or complete independence. From the few reliable opinion polls, supporters of full independence are expected to win.

However, the referendum is nonbinding and a vote for independence would require ratification from the Papuan Parliament.


Although there are fears that an independent Bougainville could set a precedent for other independence movements in tribally diverse Papua New Guinea, rejecting the referendum could risk destabilizing the peace process.

Results of the referendum are not expected until at least mid-December, as many communities on the island are isolated, and some live on smaller surrounding islands.

On Saturday morning in Bougainville's main city Buka, at least 1,000 people gathered as polls opened, with scenes of singing and dancing as excitement grew over the possibility of independence.

Bougainville regional president John Momis, however, cautioned excited voters and urged patience.

"We should not rush things, we should take our time to ensure a good outcome," he said, adding that a final result "could be five years" away.

The island already has some autonomy from Papua New Guinea, with its own government for local affairs.

Bougainville is about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) west of Port Moresby and the people are culturally distinct from Papuans.

The island is rich in copper, and a huge open pit copper mine located at Panguna was at the center of the violence in the late 1980s.

The mine was closed after the conflict. If Bougainville becomes independent, the mine could be reopened and provide a valuable source of export revenue and make the island a destination for resource hungry investors.

From the 1880s up until World War I Bougainville was part of German New Guinea. Following the war, Australia occupied the island and then in 1975 it became part of Papua New Guinea.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 25 Nov 2019 20:07
by ricky_v
The document purported to be a report of a series of 24 (in other versions, 27) meetings held at Basel, Switzerland, in 1897, at the time of the first Zionist congress. There Jews and Freemasons were said to have made plans to disrupt Christian civilization and erect a world state under their joint rule. Liberalism and socialism were to be the means of subverting Christendom; if subversion failed, all the capitals of Europe were to be sabotaged,” the Encyclopedia Brittanica states.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 25 Nov 2019 22:12
by Rony
A History of Human Waste as Fertilizer

In eighteenth century Japan, biosolids were an esteemed substance. Japanese citizens did not view human waste as unwanted muck, but rather as something of value. What fostered this view, so different from ours? The answer lies in the soil. Compared to many European and North American countries, blessed with an abundance of forests and fertile grounds, Japan had much less land that was suitable for agriculture. Large parts of Japan had soils that were sandy and low on nutrients. Without continuous fertilizing, they didn’t yield rich harvests. When the Japanese population began to grow, people needed more food—and farmers needed fertilizer to produce it. Ultimately, it was the citizens who produced the fertilizer that put the food on the table. Population dynamics, particularly in large cities like Osaka and Edo, which later became Tokyo, drove up the value of human excrement, which sometime is referred to as humanure.

The historian Susan B. Hanley writes that in the early years of the Tokugawa regime, a historical period that lasted more than 200 years, farmers sent boats to Osaka packed with vegetables and other produce—and in return they received the city’s night soil. But then the fertilizer prices climbed—and the night soil became a prized item. As its price went up, different organizations and guilds, which had the rights to collect night soil from specific areas of the city, began to form.

In Osaka, landlords had the rights to their tenants’ solid waste, but the renters retained the rights to their urine, which was considered to be of lesser value. By the early eighteenth century, night soil was highly coveted. The price of the fecal material from ten households per year was valued between two and three bu of silver or over one half a ryo of gold. Put in perspective, one ryo could buy enough grain to feed one person for one year.

The groups wanted to keep their monopolies on waste collection, so occasionally fights and disputes would break out. According to Japanese records, such tiffs happened more than once. Moreover, as prices surged, the less fortunate farmers, who couldn’t afford to buy the precious manure, sometimes would steal it. Stealing excrement was a crime punishable by law, carrying a penalty that included prison time.

The excremental bull market had a very positive effect on cities’ overall cleanliness. Because every drop of waste was gathered and used, Japanese cities did not have a problem with overflowing latrines, stinky street gutters, or other sanitation issues that plagued urban Europe at the time. In the eighteenth century, European cities were filthy. In Berlin, city waste was piled up in front of St. Peter’s Church until a law passed in 1671 obligated peasants who came to town to take a load home on every visit. London was infamous for its mucky streets and overflowing public latrines. In Denmark, the cleaning of the latrines was the job of the hangman. Paris, famous for its art and culture scene, was nonetheless infamous for its filth. The wealthier Parisians emptied their chamber pots out the window, and poorer ones relieved themselves wherever possible. Even the Louvre was a mess: its inhabitants used its stairs and balconies as toilets.

In some European locales, night soil collectors cleaned latrines or picked up chamber pots, but overall, the business never really took off. Europeans saw little value in their excrement. They viewed it as disgusting muck they had to pay for to get rid of. They had enough rich soil, often fertilized with animal manure, so few farmers wanted to go an extra mile to gather the city’s waste. And as urban sprawls grew, the distance from cities to farms also grew, complicating things further. And so the filth kept accumulating on the streets, causing the infamous disease epidemics that periodically swept through Europe (but that seemed to largely spare Japan). In fact, Japan’s night soil collection approach worked so well that it continued into the 1980s, gathered by special vacuum trucks and delivered to treatment facilities.

As a short-term solution, Western sanitation saved millions of lives, but in the long term, it may prove to be far from ideal. It is also expensive and resource intensive. It requires large amounts of water, complex machinery, and energy, which is typically derived from fossil fuels. In many places in the developing world, such systems can’t be built. Can humankind devise a better sanitation solution, one that combines the benefits of Western sanitation and Japanese sewage recycling?

New startup technologies aim to do exactly that. Sanivation, a company based in Naivasha, Kenya, developed a method that converts sewage into a fuel—an alternative to charcoal. Sanivation mixes feces with various agricultural refuse or sawdust from grinding mills—and then heats up the amalgam to fuse it into burnable briquettes and logs. Depending on the exact formula, the sewage-derived fuel burns like firewood or charcoal, which most of Kenya’s population cooks with. The approach not only converts waste into value, creating a circular economy, it also reduces the amount of trees that otherwise would be cut for fuel.

Sanivation’s collection service is somewhat similar to that of eighteenth century Japan, albeit more hygienic. The company supplies residents with simple toilets that accumulate waste in tightly closed containers regularly picked up by Sanivation’s service. As they move from house to house, the collectors wear masks and gloves—and deliver the sealed containers to the processing facility.

Other startups are finding different ways to convert waste into value. Using a similar manual collection method, UK-based company Loowatt operates its Madagascar-based waste collection system, turning excrement into fertilizer and biogas—a form of natural gas that can be burned for energy. Sanergy, based in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, used human waste to grow the larvae of black soldier flies—which can be turned into protein-rich fodder for animals. And in Haiti, a company called Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods or SOIL composts waste in manner similar to the Japanese farmers—and then uses it to enrich the country’s depleted lands.

Can similar methods be implemented in Western cities? Manual collection of sewage containers may sound far-fetched, but eco-friendly alternatives to industrial sanitation do exist. In 2007, New York City’s Bronx Zoo built an eco-toilet that uses 99 percent less water than a standard one. It composts its output into fertilizer with barely any smell, which works even better than the old Japanese method. In Osaka, the odors were a problem. The boats that came to the city’s harbor to gather night soil and carry it to the farmland often caused an unpleasant stink—bad enough that the residents complained. Their grievance, however, was overturned by the magistrate. The authorities decreed that it was “unavoidable for the manure boats to come.”

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 06 Dec 2019 21:53
by ricky_v
At the end of the 19th century, a truly outward and international perspective to America’s cartographic consciousness began to emerge. The Spanish-American War, the “Great White Fleet,” and Alfred Thayer Mahan’s writings on global sea power shifted America’s cartographic consciousness to a maritime and international focus. The acquisition of Hawaii, Guam, and the Philippines forced an expansion of the national map that included the vast scale of trans-Pacific distances. And although Mahan did not achieve the same popular acclaim in his own country that he enjoyed in Europe, he had a clear impact on key leaders like Theodore Roosevelt, who, as assistant secretary of the Navy and later as president promoted the development of the United States into a global naval power.19

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wartime leadership demonstrated the value of thinking in space: He had an innate spatial sense that strengthened his critical thinking and he employed maps in communicating with his administration. But, in addition to creating a White House map room and attaching hand-annotated maps to memoranda, Roosevelt employed geography to explain national strategy to the public, most famously in his Feb. 23, 1942, radio address, for which newspapers nationwide printed accompanying world maps. Roosevelt directly contributed to a new national consciousness of strategic issues in World War II that Alan Henrikson called a “revolution…in the way Americans visually imagined the earth and represented it cartographically.”20

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 07 Dec 2019 04:46
by Cain Marko
As a short-term solution, Western sanitation saved millions of lives, but in the long term, it may prove to be far from ideal. It is also expensive and resource intensive.

Sure. Only after Western urbanization had killed a few millions with newfound death plagues like polio.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 08 Dec 2019 16:13
by ricky_v
The rhodesian bush wars are heavily memory-holed, not many today remember that rhodesia broke off from britian in the 60s and despite having sanctions on them from all quarters, led to a industrialized society second only to south africa. Its successor..well
The alert follows last week’s warning from a UN-appointed independent rights expert that the country – once seen as the breadbasket of Africa - is in the grip of “man-made starvation”.

In Geneva, WFP spokesperson Bettina Luescher said that almost $300 million was needed urgently to supply some 240,000 tonnes of aid.

“A climate disaster” and “economic meltdown” were to blame for the ongoing crisis, she explained, with normal rainfall recorded in just one of the last five growing seasons.

Eight of Zimbabwe’s 59 districts have acute malnutrition rates of over five per cent, which is unprecedented, Ms. Luescher added.

Her comments echo last week’s warning from Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur on the right to food, that women and children are bearing the brunt of the crisis.

The majority of youngster she had met on an 11-day official visit to Zimbabwe were stunted and underweight, she said.

The problem will be in perpetuity and will be "solved" like all un problems in africa, by throwing more money and resources at it. But how was this problem created in the first place?
In 2000, about 4,000 large-scale commercial farmers owned some 70 percent of Zimbabwe's arable land. Nearly two thirds of these farmers had bought their farms after independence, and thus held titles issued not by Ian Smith or the British colonial regime but by the Mugabe government. Mugabe had long pledged land reform as a way of redistributing farmland to black peasants and dismantling what many saw as the country's "mini-Rhodesias." But he had delayed action for two decades, generally taking farms only on a "willing seller, willing buyer" basis.

Mugabe decided on what he called "fast-track land reform" only in February of 2000, after he got shocking results in a constitutional referendum: though he controlled the media, the schools, the police, and the army, voters rejected a constitution he put forth to increase his power even further. A new movement was afoot in Zimbabwe: the Movement for Democratic Change—a coalition of civic groups, labor unions, constitutional reformers, and heretofore marginal opposition parties. Mugabe blamed the whites and their farm workers (who, although they together made up only 15 percent of the electorate, were enough to tip the scales) for the growth of the MDC—and for his humiliating rebuff.

So he played the race card and the land card. "If white settlers just took the land from us without paying for it," the President declared, "we can, in a similar way, just take it from them without paying for it." In 1896 Africans had suffered huge casualties in an eighteen-month rebellion against British pioneers known as the chimurenga, or "liberation war." The war that brought Zimbabwean blacks self-rule was known as the second chimurenga. In the immediate aftermath of his referendum defeat Mugabe announced a third chimurenga, invoking a valiant history to animate a violent, country-wide land grab.

The drop-off in agricultural production is staggering. Maize farming, which yielded more than 1.5 million tons annually before 2000, is this year expected to generate just 500,000 tons. Wheat production, which stood at 309,000 tons in 2000, will hover at 27,000 tons this year. Tobacco production, too, which at 265,000 tons accounted for nearly a third of the total foreign-currency earnings in 2000, has tumbled, to about 66,000 tons in 2003.
One hundred trillion dollars—that’s 100,000,000,000,000—is the largest denomination of currency ever issued.1 The Zimbabwean govern-ment issued the Z$100 trillion bill in early 2009, among the last in a series of ever higher denomina-tions distributed as inflation eroded purchasing power. When Zimbabwe attained independence in 1980, Z$2, Z$5, Z$10 and Z$20 denominations circulated, replaced three decades later by bills in the thousands and ultimately in the millions and trillions as the government sought to prop up a weakening economy amid spiraling inflation.Shortly after the Z$100 trillion note began circulating, the Zimbabwean dollar was officially abandoned in favor of foreign currencies. From 2007 to 2008, the local legal tender lost more than 99.9 percent of its value (Hanke 2008). This marked a reversal of fortune from independence, when the value of one Zimbabwe dollar equaled US$1.54. Zimbabwe’s extreme and uncontrollable inflation made it the first—and so far only—country in the 21st century to experience a hyperinflation

Some more reading material mainly on ian smith the pm,
The point of this post is that if any country is looking to invest in sub-sahara then it has to be there forever, for the local populace seem slow on the uptake to run a country by themselves and institution building is never carried to fruition.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 08 Dec 2019 23:56
by sanjaykumar
The same could have been said of China in the 1960s or India in the 1980s.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 09 Dec 2019 10:01
by A_Gupta
Interview with Robert Kaplan, portions relevant to this thread here: ... rld-order/
Robert D Kaplan on the coming world order

Relevant portions here, other portions in other threads.

JA: The analysis we often hear is of China as this runaway juggernaut, but do you think that other powers in Asia might club together to try and stop China dominating the area?

RK: Well, look, because of the Chinese challenge, Vietnam, India, Australia Japan have all been dramatically intensifying their own bilateral and multilateral relations with each other, to form a kind of emerging Asian power web to balance against China’s growth.

But without an American director for this emerging Asian power web, it doesn’t really add up to much – you need an engaged Washington that has a big idea for Asia, as big as Belt and Road, that’s about free trade, military alliances, and about democratic trending, even if each of these countries aren’t all democratic. And when Trump tore up the Trans Pacific Partnership he threw away that American big idea and left the stage to China’s Belt and Road.

But I also think in a larger sense, the only thing that can stop China is China itself. China’s developing a vast middle class, and middle classes are notoriously ungrateful. They have wants and needs and desires that a country of peasants never had. So China, precisely because of that success (and it’s ageing population) is going to get harder to govern rather than easier to govern. I think it would be natural for the regime to dial up nationalism as a default response.

JA: We’ve talked quite a lot about China for obvious reasons. But one country that doesn’t get as much attention is India, even though it’s absolutely enormous and the world’s largest democracy. What do you see India’s strategic importance being in the future?

RK: India now has the most geopolitically minded Prime Minister since independence. He’s a whole different personality profile than previous Prime Ministers. He’s very willing to band with the United States to balance against China, but he would like India to be more autocratic in order to emulate China’s economic growth.

I interviewed Modi in Gujarat state in 2008. And he said to me, ‘Look, I want to make Gujarat like South Korea or Singapore. That’s my model.’ Well, that’s a good model to have for a single Indian state on the Arabian Sea that was always open to trade and commerce. But India is not Gujarat. It’s big. It’s unwieldy. Its diverse. It has powerful individual state interests. It has a very muscular parliamentary system. So it’s hard even for an autocratic type like Modi to dramatically change things. So India will continue to go in the right direction, but the pace is going to continue to disappoint people.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 09 Dec 2019 10:03
by A_Gupta

JA: We’ve talked a lot about the great powers. What is does the future hold for a middle rank power such as the United Kingdom?

RK: Well, that’s very interesting. Because the the UK is essentially leaving Europe. So what does that do? Well, it leaves mainland Europe more open to the power of Germany, given that Spain, Italy and Greece have real systemic problems. And then there’s France which can’t get any economic reform done. So that leaves Germany as the most successful of the major powers on mainland Europe and leaving Europe in the hands of Germany – when the next generation of German leaders may not have the wisdom of the Kohls, the Schmidts, the Adenauers and even the Merkels, who had a deep deep knowledge of World War Two and memories of the Cold War – I think that leaves Britain at the mercy of a very disorganised, less united Europe over which Russia and China will be vying for influence.

I would not be surprised if down the road, Germany leans more in the direction of Moscow, because that’s the path of least resistance: take the second Nord stream gas pipeline from Russia, have an informal German-Russian Alliance. This is the fear – I’m not predicting it, it’s just a fear I have. And that would leave Britain relying even more on the United States. Because I think by being a member of the EU, with its Atlantic connection, allowed Britain to punch above its weight. I fear in the future that might not be the case.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 10 Dec 2019 19:02
by ricky_v
Though indians and chinese maintained the integrity of institutions is the difference.The usage by the europeans of african soil and resources is not justified in modern terms, the post was merely an addendum to some african priests adage of land,bible,closed eyes. Now that they have all three, what will they make of it, is the point.
Needless to say, the world is waiting breathlessly for the sub saharans to do anything worthwhile.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 14 Dec 2019 08:17
by chanakyaa
Regardless of what forumites think of Rus or other players in the region, geopolitical implications from the completion of Nord Stream 2 are wide ranging -- #energy #ukraine #petrocurrency #gas-transit-fees #reservecurrency

Nord Stream

Germany Removes Legal Hurdle For Russia's Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Project

Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline faces sanctions under US defense bill

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 15 Dec 2019 18:57
by Mukesh.Kumar
X-Posting from Understanding US thread. Telling commentary on the brittle rise of the Left in Western democracies, and by extension in India. Interesting perspective.

Mukesh.Kumar wrote:Hadn't expected to see this come out in the BBC- Will UK provide light bulb moment for US Democrats?

Seems the realization, that the chickens are coming home to roost on tall promises, and teh credibility of the Left has taken a severe beating for al Bartania's PeePeeSee also to question the credibility of the Left. Quoting some excerpts on the disconnect here.

So what should Democrats learn from the misery that befell the Labour Party last Thursday night? And more particularly can they afford to have Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren as their candidate and stand a chance of defeating Donald Trump in 2020 after the shellacking meted out to Jeremy Corbyn and his brand of radical, left-wing policies?

The problem is that the pragmatic, working-class people of Sedgefield - and any number of other constituencies across the industrial towns and cities of the UK - held their collective noses and said you must be joking. These are smart, savvy people. They know that you don't get something for nothing.

Electoral districts that all my life have been Labour - Blyth Valley, Bolsover, Rother Valley, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Dudley, Grimsby - are now held by the Conservatives. It is hard to overstate just how seismic this is. And remember social class in the UK has always been a bigger determinant of how people vote than it has been in the US. Just like the whole class system, frankly. Some of these constituencies have never, ever flirted with the right.

But among the radical/socialist/progressive/liberal (choose your epithet) wing of the Democratic Party there is an ambition, a hunger for earth-shaking pledges. The bold Green New Deal, Medicare for all (which to those of us who are European may not seem such a giant leap) - these are big ticket policy ambitions with even greater price tags attached.

Ratifying something that's been long discussed. Being Left has become the hallmark of the young and restless, and not the working people- Labour is not representative of the working classes anymore.

I saw two sets of statistics that really struck me. In last Thursday's election, it seems 58% of 18-24 year-olds voted Labour. Only 16% of those over 60, it's estimated, voted Labour. Similarly, the percentage of Democrats under 30 and qualified to vote in the primaries who are backing either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren is massive. Something like 70%. Everyone else in the field is an also ran. But look at any statistics on election turnout, and you will see it is those infuriating oldies who vote in the highest numbers.

Grasshoppers and cows

And to Democrats in the US who look at their Twitter feeds and see the "likes" and retweets mounting up as they advance this or that position, let the 2019 UK election be a warning to you.

For some Labour activists the result of the election seems to have come as a massive shock, because in the echo chamber world that we all now to a greater or lesser extent live in, you come away with the impression that everyone thinks like you. Twitter is not the real world. Nowhere near.

In the 1980s and 1990s when protestors would take to the streets of London over the Poll Tax or the siting of American cruise missiles at Greenham Common or more recently the Iraq War, and most recently the huge protest marches backing Remain, the participants would often claim that because so many people had come out onto the streets this was the view of the British people. But for the million who may have protested (still a huge number), there were 59 million who had stayed at home.

American Democrats need to be mindful of this. People like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may be a social media genius (and she is), and she may have a massive number of followers (and she has), and be charismatic (and she has that by the bucketload) - but America is a big country with an awful lot of voters who are not signed up to all the "woke" things she and others might be advocating.

The best voice on this is from a pre-tweeting, pre-electronic media, pre-opinion poll age - and it is from the 18th century English philosopher, Edmund Burke. He wrote:

"Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field."

Labour in the UK lost the working class, but gained the woke. And that will give the party sleepless nights over the coming months and years. It was their worst defeat since 1935.

Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread - June 2015

Posted: 15 Dec 2019 23:12
by anmol
Jesse Rodriguez
NBC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Trump admin intends to announce withdrawal of about 4,000 troops from Afghanistan

Trump admin intends to announce Afghanistan withdrawal of 4,000 troops
Dec. 15, 2019, 3:16 AM IST

By Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee ... n-n1102201

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration intends to announce the drawdown of about 4,000 troops from Afghanistan as early next week, according to three current and former U.S. officials. The withdrawal will leave between 8,000 and 9,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the officials said.

The announcement would come just days after Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad rejoined diplomatic talks with the Taliban, which had broken down in September. On Thursday, Ambassador Khalilzad said the U.S. was "taking a brief pause" in talks after a Wednesday attack near Bagram Airfield killed two Afghan civilians and wounded 70 more.

The U.S. has between 12,000 and 13,000 troops in Afghanistan now. The officials would not say when the drawdown would begin, but did characterize it as a phased withdrawal that would occur over a few months. Two U.S. officials said the drawdown would be a combination of troops re-deploying early and others not being replaced when they rotate out.

U.S. troops patrol at an Afghan National Army (ANA) base in Logar province, Afghanistan on Aug. 7, 2018.Omar Sobhani / Reuters file
In a statement, a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said, “U.S. Forces-Afghanistan has not received orders to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan. We remain fully committed to the Resolute Support mission and our Afghan partners, and focused on our key objective: ensuring Afghanistan is never again used as a safe haven for terrorists who threaten the United States, our allies or our interests.”

President Donald Trump has pushed for a withdrawal from Afghanistan for some time, including during his recent visit to Afghanistan on Thanksgiving, his first as commander in chief.