jerryking + geopolitics   73

China is changing the geopolitical climate. Canada has to mitigate, and adapt
MAY 16, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | EDITORIAL.

So what’s Canada to do? In the long run, Canadian governments dealing with Beijing need to keep four things in mind.

China is more threat than opportunity. Unlike our other major trading partners, China is not a democratic, rule-of-law country. There was once hope China could behave as a rule-of-law country internationally, even as it remained a dictatorship at home. There was also a belief that China’s economic advances would lead to an opening up of its political system. That hasn’t happened. If anything, the Xi Jinping regime is turning back the clock on individual freedoms.

That lack of Chinese political liberalization is at the root of what is fast turning into a new Cold War. Among the problems: In a world of liberalized trade, the rules end up benefiting the totalitarian state, since its companies can access the protections of our legal system, while our companies are subject to perfectly legal shakedowns in China.

China is not our enemy. But it is not our friend. There was once a fantasy that friendship would be as easy as establishing personal connections with Beijing’s ruling circle. They would surely melt at the mention of the sainted memory of Norman Bethune, the Canadian physician who followed Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic and murderer of millions.

Mao wasn’t a sentimental man and neither are his heirs.

To counterbalance China, we need allies. Canada has long worked to build multilateral alliances to give us a bit of leverage when dealing with our giant neighbour, the United States. The giant across the ocean presents a similar, but more troubling, challenge. The good news is we have natural allies. That list includes the U.S., at least in the post-Trump world. It includes the European Union. And it includes China’s worried democratic neighbours: Japan and South Korea.

We need to avoid becoming trade-dependent on China. We have natural allies who want to do likewise. That’s what the Trans-Pacific Partnership was supposed to be about. That’s what pursuing greater and freer trade with Japan and South Korea is about.

Canada should never aim to shut down trade with China. But we have to make sure the future doesn’t leave us without room to manoeuvre, or to push back.
adaptability  bullying  Canada  Canada-China_relations  China  China_rising  delusions  disillusioned  editorials  geopolitics  hostages  Huawei  kidnappings  Meng_Wanzhou  multilateralism  predatory_practises  reprisals  rogue_actors  threats  totalitarian  TPP  Xi_Jinping 
may 2019 by jerryking
The U.S. Is Ceding the Pacific to China
March 3, 2019 | WSJ | By Mark Helprin.

While Washington’s focus is elsewhere, Beijing plays the long game—that means preparing for war.

The only effective leverage on China, and by extension North Korea—which otherwise will retain nuclear weapons whether overtly or covertly but certainly—is to alter the correlation of military forces in the Western Pacific, and indeed in the world, so that it no longer moves rapidly and inevitably in China’s favor, which is what China cares about, the essence of its policy, its central proposition. Though with some effort the U.S. is perfectly capable of embarking upon this strategy, it has not. It seems we lack the awareness, political will, intelligence, probity, discipline, leadership, and habit of mind to do so.
America_in_Decline?  Asia_Pacific  balance_of_power  China  China_rising  geopolitics  hard_power  long-term  long-range  maritime  Mark_Helprin  North_Korea  nuclear  PACOM  political_geography  rivalries  South_China_Sea  strategic_geography  submarines  trade_wars  U.S.  U.S._Navy  USMC  U.S.-China_relations  Xi_Jinping  zero-sum_games 
march 2019 by jerryking
The AI arms race: the tech fear behind Donald Trump’s trade war with China | Financial Times
Shawn Donnan in Washington YESTERDAY

While the headlines about the Trump administration’s trade war with Beijing often focus on raw materials such as steel, aluminium and soyabeans, the underlying motivation of the new protectionist mood is American anxiety about China’s rapidly growing technological prowess.......
At a time when the US is engaged in a battle for technological pre-eminence with China, the ZGC project is exactly the sort of state-backed Chinese investment that American politicians across the political spectrum view with scepticism.

“China has targeted America’s industries of the future, and President Donald Trump understands better than anyone that if China successfully captures these emerging industries, America will have no economic future,” .....US tariffs on $34bn in imports from China that are due to take effect on Friday as part of a squeeze intended to end what the US says has been years of state-endorsed Chinese intellectual property theft. But it is also part of a broader battle against what the White House has labelled China’s “economic aggression”......Viewed from America, President Xi Jinping’s Made in China 2025 industrial strategy is a state-led effort to establish Chinese leadership in the technologies of the next generation of commerce and military equipment — notably AI, robotics and gene editing.

Many US officials are now questioning one of the basic assumptions about how the American economy operates: its openness to foreign investment....While some technology executives extol the potential for co-operation in areas such as AI, the Washington establishment increasingly sees them as central to a growing geopolitical competition....Many Chinese investors are looking for US companies that they can help move into China. .....Even though Mr Trump’s focus on Chinese technology has strong bipartisan support in Washington, its tactics have been heavily criticised. The biggest blunder, many critics argue, has been the Trump administration’s willingness to wage concurrent trade wars. The IP-driven tariffs push against China has been accompanied by one that has hit allies such as Canada and the EU that might have joined a fight against Beijing.

........“We’re treating the Chinese better than we are treating our friends,” says Derek Scissors, a China expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who sees the tariffs Mr Trump is threatening against European car imports as a similar bit of malpractice.
arms_race  artificial_intelligence  China  CFIUS  Donald_Trump  economic_warfare  economic_aggression  FDI  geopolitics  international_trade  investors  investing  intellectual_property  industrial_policies  protectionism  politicians  robotics  One_Belt_One_Road  security_&_intelligence  Silicon_Valley  SOEs  start_ups  theft  U.S.  venture_capital  Washington_D.C. 
july 2018 by jerryking
America v China: How trade wars become real wars
March 11, 2017 | FT | by Gideon Rachman 2 HOURS AGO

Successive American presidents also believed that capitalism would act as a Trojan Horse — undermining one-party rule within China. As former US president George W Bush once said: “Trade freely with China, and time is on our side.” The American establishment believed that a more liberal China would be less likely to challenge the US on the international stage. One of the central tenets of liberal internationalism is that democracies do not wage war with each other.

But political developments in Xi’s China have refuted the expectations of the liberal internationalist worldview that shaped successive American presidencies. China has not become more democratic. Nor is it any longer willing to live quietly within a US-designed and dominated world order.
protectionism  U.S.  Donald_Trump  Xi_Jinping  U.S.-China_relations  trade_wars  free-trade  geopolitics  warfare  international_trade  China_rising 
march 2018 by jerryking
Windfall, by Meghan O’Sullivan
Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America’s Power, by Meghan L O’Sullivan, Simon and Schuster $29.00

the shale revolution has meant the US has become a leading global oil producer and net exporter of natural gas. Extraction from shale rock has upended global oil and gas markets, but could also have geopolitical ramifications. For most of the 20th century, western powers were locked in a scramble for oil across the globe. So what happens when technology unlocks substantial supply on home turf?

According to Meghan O’Sullivan, a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, the answer is a geopolitical shift that should benefit the US. She provides a powerful argument for how America should capitalize on the “New Energy Abundance”. Having a domestic supply of oil and gas not only strengthens the US economy, it can also provide leverage globally......US gas has transferred low prices to Europe and also offers an alternative source of supply. That “has helped make Europe less vulnerable to one of Russia’s longstanding foreign policy tools — the political manipulation of natural gas markets”, O’Sullivan writes......the book details the benefits to US “hard” as well as “soft” power,....It will not lead to reduced US involvement in the Middle East, .....Nor can the US ever be self-sufficient to provide all the oil it needs,.....The book points out that energy is likely to be a major future determinant of geopolitics....China’s One Belt One Road project shows Xi Jinping’s intent to change the strategic orientation of the Eurasian landmass......a challenge to O’Sullivan’s thesis is that renewables and electric vehicles could drive seismic shifts. If China becomes the Saudi Arabia of batteries, will this give it greater influence? What about those who control the raw materials needed, from lithium to cobalt? O’Sullivan hints at this in her introduction, saying we should expect renewables “eventually to have major repercussions for global politics”. These could include cartels around lithium or the state collapse of some oil producers.
nonfiction  books  fracking  energy  natural_gas  soft_power  policy_tools  shale_oil  hydraulic_fracturing  pipelines  oil_industry  geopolitics  renewable  electric_cars  batteries  One_Belt_One_Road  Xi_Jinping 
december 2017 by jerryking
Russia Looks to Exploit White House ‘Turbulence,’ Analysts Say - The New York Times
FEB. 27, 2017 | The New York Times | By NEIL MacFARQUHAR.

The Kremlin, increasingly convinced that President Trump will not fundamentally change relations with Russia, is instead seeking to bolster its global influence by exploiting what it considers weakness in Washington, according to political advisers, diplomats, journalists and other analysts.

Russia has continued to test the United States on the military front, with fighter jets flying close to an American warship in the Black Sea this month and a Russian naval vessel steaming conspicuously in the Atlantic off the coast of Delaware.....“They are all telling each other that this is great, he created this turbulence inside, as we wanted, and now he is focused on his domestic problems and we have more freedom to maneuver,” Mr. Venediktov said. “Let them deal with their own problems. There, not in Ukraine. There, not in the Middle East. There, not in NATO. This is the state of mind right now.”...“The main hope is that the U.S. will be preoccupied with itself and will stop pressuring Russia.”....Any turbulence that Russia foments also gives the Kremlin leverage that it can try to trade in the global arena at a time when it does not have much that others want....Analysts say the Kremlin is keenly aware that the tactic of creating and exploiting disarray can become self-defeating, in that prolonged instability in the world order could allow threats like the extremist group Islamic State to flourish.....The Middle East provides examples of both vectors, analysts say, a moment of chaos to exploit and concerns about achieving stability for the long-term future.
Russia  White_House  Kremlin  Vladimir_Putin  chaos  power  influence  statecraft  rogue_actors  geopolitics  Ukraine  improvisation 
february 2017 by jerryking
Review: ‘Winter is Coming’, by Garry Kasparov
NOVEMBER 8, 2015 | FT | Review by John Thornhill

‘Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must be Stopped’, by Garry Kasparov, Atlantic Books, £16.99; Public Affairs, $26.99

"The price of deterrence always goes up"

the real power of Kasparov’s book lies in his argument that the west must pursue a more assertive and moral foreign policy, something that has faded out of fashion. In his view, the most moral foreign policy is also the most effective. It enhances international security by insisting on observance of law....one of the most important aspects of any moral foreign policy is its consistency. Western leaders should keep talking about human rights issues in good times as well as bad. Otherwise, these issues become just another chip on the “geopolitical gaming table”. Those leaders should also insist on raising these subjects with strong autocracies, such as China, as well as the weak.

in Kasparov’s view, US President Bill Clinton squandered the chance to advance the international human rights agenda in the 1990s, as the west took a holiday from history. And today the west is too “uninformed, callous, or apathetic” to assert its influence and values.

He, rightly, argues that one of the most important aspects of any moral foreign policy is its consistency. Western leaders should keep talking about human rights issues in good times as well as bad. Otherwise, these issues become just another chip on the “geopolitical gaming table”. Those leaders should also insist on raising these subjects with strong autocracies, such as China, as well as the weak.
books  Russia  Vladimir_Putin  book_reviews  authors  writers  dictators  dictatorships  deterrence  dissension  Ukraine  human_rights  strategic_thinking  autocracies  chess  authoritarianism  foreign_policy  geopolitics  liberal_pluralism  rogue_actors  Garry_Kasparov  consistency  exile 
january 2017 by jerryking
Emerging markets offer clue for investors in 2017
December 31/January 1 2017 | Financial Times | by Gillian Tett.

Now (people = politicians = capriciousness/alternatively, unpredictable waves of populism) are shaping events, not established party platforms or policy programmes....the pricing of political uncertainty has moved from being an emerging market phenomenon to an emerged market issue....Is there any way for investors to adapt to this new world? ....(1) Start by abandoning the idea that asset values can be predicted by using neat economic models alone. ...investors urgently need to think about the difference between "risk" (i.e. events that can be predicted with a certain probability) and "uncertainty" (i.e. unknown future shocks). Until now, investors in developed markets have tended to focus primarily on risks and assume that these can be priced (and hedged against). But 2017 is likely to produce uncertainty. That cannot be easily priced or hedge--and investors should recognize this. (2) Investor should also embrace "optionality": the only way to prepare for a world of uncertainty is to stay as flexible and diversified as possible. Now is not the time for investors to put all their eggs in one basket, or bet on just one asset class. Nor is it time for businesses to be locked into rigid business plans: political and geopolitical upheaval could strike almost anywhere. (3) If 2017 does deliver more risk and uncertainty, expect financial markets to be "skittish" about "news" of all types, and not just economic....Bad news for those who despise market volatility (expectation: we're in for volatility like we've never seen before)....Uncertainty can deliver huge opportunity alongside risks..."good" surprises....Surviving 2017 in the developed economies requires that investors use tools beyond those found in the realm of economics: psychology, sociology and political science. Also, talk to successful emerging market investors to find out how they practice their craft.
concentration_risk  Gillian_Tett  emerging_markets  political_risk  unpredictability  Brexit  investors  Donald_Trump  uncertainty  risks  optionality  geopolitics  financial_markets  politicians  volatility  tools  economics  psychology  sociology  political_science  FT  institutions  rule_of_law  Gary_Cohn  populism  indicators  human_factor  assets  asset_values  asset_classes  diversification  dislocations  bad_news 
january 2017 by jerryking
What Can the Next President Do About Russia? - WSJ
By ROBERT D. KAPLAN
Updated Oct. 16, 2016

Of the two great autocratic powers in Eurasia, Russia is emerging as a greater short-term threat than China. The Chinese hope to gradually dominate the waters off the Asian mainland without getting into a shooting war with the U.S. Yet while Beijing’s aggression is cool, Moscow’s is hot....Russia’s economic situation is much worse than China’s, and so the incentive of its leaders to dial up nationalism is that much greater. But the larger factor, one that Western elites have trouble understanding, cannot be quantified: A deeply embedded sense of historical insecurity makes Russian aggression crude, brazen, bloodthirsty and risk-prone. ....How does the U.S. build leverage on the ground, from the Baltic Sea to the Syrian desert, that puts America in a position where negotiations with Russia can make a strategic difference?....

For without the proper geopolitical context, the secretary of state is a missionary, not a diplomat. ...In the cyber domain the U.S. has not sufficiently drawn red lines. What kind of Russian hacking will result in either a proportionate, or even disproportionate, punitive response? The Obama administration seems to be proceeding ad hoc, as it has done with Russia policy in general. The next administration, along with projecting military force throughout the Russian near abroad, will have to project force in cyberspace, too.
Russia  Vladimir_Putin  Robert_Kaplan  threats  deterrence  nationalism  Baltics  NATO  U.S.foreign_policy  leverage  geopolitics  log_rolling  diplomacy  realism  balance_of_power  realpolitik  cyber_warfare  autocracies  insecurity  hacking  maritime  punitive  retribution  retaliation  South_China_Sea  ad_hoc  red_lines  China  autocrats 
october 2016 by jerryking
How Saudi Arabia Turned Its Greatest Weapon on Itself - The New York Times
By ANDREW SCOTT COOPERMARCH 12, 2016

The 1973-74 oil embargo was the first demonstration that the House of Saud was willing to weaponize the oil markets. In October 1973, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia abruptly halted oil shipments in retaliation for America’s support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The price of a barrel of oil quickly quadrupled; the resulting shock to the oil-dependent economies of the West led to a sharp rise in the cost of living, mass unemployment and growing social discontent.

“If I was the president,” Secretary of State Henry Kissinger fumed to his deputy Brent Scowcroft, “I would tell the Arabs to shove their oil.” But the president, Richard M. Nixon, was in no position to dictate to the Saudis....In recent years, the Saudis have made clear that they regard the oil markets as a critical front line in the Sunni Muslim-majority kingdom’s battle against its Shiite-dominated rival, Iran. Their favored tactic of “flooding,” pumping surplus crude into a soft market, is tantamount to war by economic means: the oil trade’s equivalent of dropping the bomb on a rival.

In 2006, Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi security adviser, warned that Riyadh was prepared to force prices down to “strangle” Iran’s economy. Two years later, the Saudis did just that, with the aim of hampering Tehran’s ability to support Shiite militia groups in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere.

Then, in 2011, Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former chief of Saudi intelligence, told NATO officials that Riyadh was prepared to flood the market to stir unrest inside Iran. Three years later, the Saudis struck again, turning on the spigot.

But this time, they overplayed their hand.
Saudi_Arabia  petro-politics  tools  economic_warfare  Iran  geopolitics  statecraft  Yom_Kippur_War  economic_policy 
march 2016 by jerryking
The United States shouldn’t take sides in the Sunni-Shiite struggle - The Washington Post
By Fareed Zakaria Opinion writer

...the most significant trend shaping the region today is something different: Sunnis vs. Shiites. That sectarian struggle now infects almost every aspect of the region’s politics....Though there always was tension, Sunnis and Shiites did live in peace, for the most part, until recently.....The pivotal shift took place in 1979. The Islamic Revolution in Iran brought to power an aggressively religious ruling class, determined to export its ideas and support Shiites in the region.....Saudi Arabia is facing a series of challenges, from the Islamic State to domestic extremists. The country’s large and active social media are dominated by radical Islamists. And as oil prices plunge, government revenue has collapsed, and the nation’s generous subsidies to its people will be hard to sustain. The regime needs greater legitimacy.
Fareed_Zakaria  Sunni  Shiite  schisms  Middle_East  U.S.foreign_policy  Yemen  frameworks  sectarian  religion  Shia  trends  Iran  Wahhabism  extremism  geopolitics  Saudi_Arabia 
january 2016 by jerryking
G-zero: the new world order
October 10-11, 2015| FT | Gillian Tett


A few weeks ago, as grim news tumbled out of Syria, I travelled to a pleasant American holiday resort to participate in a conference of (mostly western) pol...
Gillian_Tett  geopolitics  Ian_Bremmer  G-Zero  foreign_policy  Cold_War  from notes
november 2015 by jerryking
Britain resigns as a world power
May 21, 2015 |The Washington Post | Fareed Zakaria
"I was struck by just how parochial it has become. After an extraordinary 300-year run, Britain has essentially resigned as a global power.

Over the next few years, Britain’s army will shrink to about 80,000."... Why does this matter? Because on almost all global issues, Britain has a voice that is intelligent, engaged and forward-looking. It wants to strengthen and uphold today’s international system — one based on the free flow of ideas, goods and services around the world, one that promotes individual rights and the rule of law.

This is not an accident. Britain essentially created the world we live in. In his excellent book “God and Gold,” Walter Russell Mead points out that in the 16th century many countries were poised to advance economically and politically — Northern Italy’s city-states, the Hanseatic League, the Low Countries, France, Spain. But Britain managed to edge out the others, becoming the first great industrial economy and the modern world’s first superpower. It colonized and shaped countries and cultures from Australia to India to Africa to the Western Hemisphere, including of course, its settlements in North America. Had Spain or Germany become the world’s leading power, things would look very different today.
geopolitics  E.U.  foreign_policy  internationalism  international_relations  middle-powers  parochialism  Fareed_Zakaria  Walter_Russell_Mead  books  United_Kingdom  London  cutbacks  BBC  cost-cutting  cosmopolitan  David_Cameron  leadership  globalization  retreats  superpowers  international_system  forward_looking  rule_of_law  drawdowns  industrial_economy  punch-above-its-weight 
may 2015 by jerryking
Ten maps that explain Iran's power play in the Middle East - The Globe and Mail
PATRICK MARTIN, TONIA COWAN AND TRISH MCALASTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Apr. 15 2015,
geopolitics  Iran  Iraq  Lebanon  mapping  Middle_East  power_plays  Saudi_Arabia  Syria  Syrians  Yemen 
april 2015 by jerryking
Are we witnessing a comeback of the Stars and Stripes? - The Globe and Mail
JOHN STACKHOUSE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Sep. 26 2014

America’s retreat was the central question. Had the superpower become a super-bystander? Or had the President just lost interest, energy and credibility to do more than moralize?...Mr. Obama has drawn instead on what he calls “progressive pragmatism,” which his aides claim is his nature, relying on an informal network of networks, ad hoc groups of nations taking on the challenges of the day. Some of them champion liberal values. Some are partners of convenience. Exhibit A: the coalition of willing Arab states in this week’s air strikes. Exhibit B: the network of health agencies and charities operating with U.S. support in ebola-stricken West Africa....On the grander issues of his age – climate change, cyber-security, the financial imbalance between America and Asia – Mr. Obama will need ad hoc networks like never before. The 2008 financial crisis was mitigated by a small group of central bankers, commercial bankers, regulators and finance ministers, supported but not directed by the United States. A president who is not renowned for building private-sector trust, or the loyalty of other nations, may be challenged to do that again. He also needs what America has lacked of late – for its allies to do more. Canada’s approach to carbon emissions is the sort of passive resistance the U.S. has encountered from India on trade, Mexico on immigration and Turkey on Syria. Under Mr. Obama, everyone has loved to complain about Washington, but few have been willing to shoulder their share of the costs.

Skeptics believe this is no longer possible – the world has too many strong voices, too many competing interests, too much of what physicists call entropy, the thermodynamic condition that degenerates order into chaos.
America_in_Decline?  bouncing_back  U.S.foreign_policy  multipolarity  Obama  John_Stackhouse  G20  UN  NATO  Iran  Ukraine  geopolitics  complexity  networks  interconnections  instability  superpowers  indispensable  disequilibriums  ad_hoc  nobystanders  entropy  imbalances 
september 2014 by jerryking
The Grand Strategy Obama Needs
SEPT. 10, 2014 | NYTimes.com | Vali R. Nasr.

What’s missing is a grand strategy — a road map not just for managing two crises but for ending them....But Eisenhower had a larger goal — not upsetting the delicate balance of power in the Cold War. Above all, he sought to avoid greater conflict, especially when he was trying to start arms control talks with Moscow.

In other words, he had a long-term global perspective.

By contrast, American policy today sees the world in fragments — ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Russia in Ukraine. But those crises have something important in common: Both trace to political fragmentation in weak states living within unsettled borders. That leaves those states prone to internal dissent, and America’s recent minimalist posture has given these brewing troubles room to explode into crises....American grand strategy should identify these weak countries before they turn on themselves; bolster their political mechanisms for living together in pluralism; declare our unyielding opposition to any outside forces that would seek to divide them. America’s military strength could assure the third part. The rest is work for our political and diplomatic experts.
Obama  Ukraine  strategy  geopolitics  '50s  Middle_East  Russia  strategic_thinking  nation_building  failed_states  long-term  weak_states  diplomacy  grand_strategy  roadmaps  Non-Integrating_Gap  Dwight_Eisenhower  crisis 
september 2014 by jerryking
Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order - WSJ
Aug. 29, 2014 | WSJ | By HENRY KISSINGER.

To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? What should we not engage in, even if urged on by a multilateral group or an alliance? What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?

For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions' histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.
U.S.foreign_policy  Henry_Kissinger  geopolitics  dual-consciousness  crisis  Kissinger_Associates  strategic_thinking  strategy  questions  21st._century  international_system  grand_strategy  history  national_identity  unilateralism  multilateralism  arduous  APNSA 
august 2014 by jerryking
Steering Clear of Sanctions - The CFO Report - WSJ
July 8, 2014 | WSJ | By RACHEL LOUISE ENSIGN, SAMUEL RUBENFELD and MAXWELL MURPHY.

The U.S. blacklist names nearly 6,000 entities and individuals that are off-limits to U.S. companies and—in some cases—their foreign subsidiaries.

The list changes often: the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added almost 500 names last year, and this year has added nearly 240, including Igor Sechin, chief of Rosneft. More than 350 names were crossed off this year, largely due to the removal of most remaining sanctions on Colombia’s Cali drug cartel.

Treasury penalties for violating sanctions this year have totaled about $1.2 billion, largely because of the department’s share of the BNP penalties.

“We call them Powerball penalties now,” said Judith Lee, a sanctions specialist and partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, referring to their size.

As the U.S. tries to exert more geopolitical influence with financial levers, rather than military might, multinational companies are at risk of running afoul of its sanctions. Many sanctions programs have different rules for different countries. Individuals on the list often are reputed to operate networks of companies with little transparency. And the penalties can be extracted by a range of U.S. authorities.

When it comes to sanctions, “the U.S. government is effectively deputizing all of these companies to be their own policemen,” said Ms. Lee.
sanctions  U.S.Treasury_Department  geopolitics  multinationals  blacklists  penalties  economic_warfare 
august 2014 by jerryking
Aiming Financial Weapons From Treasury War Room - NYTimes.com
By ANNIE LOWREYJUNE 3, 2014

“The United States needs to remain involved in the world, but does not necessarily need to remain involved just through military power,” said David S. Cohen, Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, who is sometimes described within the administration as President Obama’s favorite combatant commander. “There are other ways of projecting U.S. power that are consequential.”

Mr. Cohen oversees the obscure Office of Foreign Assets Control, the engine that creates and administers the steadily increasing number of financial sanctions. They are a policy tool once considered largely ineffectual but are now used against a wide range of actors, from Iran’s revolutionary guard to Mexican drug traffickers to cronies of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia....Sanctions have also become a central policy lever with Iran, Syria, South Sudan and North Korea — as well as drug cartels, arms traders and terrorists. In no small part, their swelling number is because of their improved potency, analysts said: Today’s sanctions tend to be “smart,” narrow rather than broad, and designed to pressure elites rather than squeezing average citizens....Legal changes during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations bolstered the tool. Analysts started focusing on travel bans and asset freezes, rather than whole-country or whole-industry sanctions. The interconnectedness of the global economy has also made sanctions stronger.

“We’re very nuanced about how to use the tool and, I think, very thoughtful about it,”
Iran  geopolitics  U.S.Treasury_Department  statecraft  21st._century  travel_bans  asset_freezes  sanctions  North_Korea  interconnections  economic_warfare  economic_policy  specificity  hard_power  rogue_actors  policy_tools  potency  global_economy 
june 2014 by jerryking
Gas deal with Russia a ‘drop in the bucket’ for China
May. 24 2014 | The Globe and Mail | Campbell Clark.

Why? Nearly all growth in demand for energy will come from emerging economies, but especially China. Its needs will shape global prices. If it suffers shortages, or supplies are at risk, it will send price shocks through world markets.

That would hit the U.S. economy – because “we pay global prices,” Mr. Pascual said. And a U.S. slowdown would hurt Canada, even if energy exporters benefit from price spikes.

There are also critical questions of how energy affects geopolitics, made sharper in the Ukraine-Russia crisis. Moscow has used energy as a political lever, shutting pipelines to Ukraine, while Europe’s dependence on Russian gas has cooled drives to tougher economic sanctions.

Mr. Pascual, however, believes Europe’s example offers hope in preventing a nation from using energy as a political lever in Asia.

Europeans invested in infrastructure so natural gas can flow in different directions, rather than just westward from Russia. They banned “destination clauses” so Russia’s Gazprom can no longer bar customers from re-exporting gas. That promotes competition, and allows Ukraine to get gas through Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, Mr. Pascual said. Europe is also building infrastructure for liquid natural gas, shipped from places like Qatar.
natural_gas  Russia  China  geopolitics  energy  energy_security  LNG  Asian  price_spikes  Gazprom  optionality  petro-politics 
may 2014 by jerryking
Fareed Zakaria: China’s cyberespionage presents a 21st-century challenge -
May 22, 2014 | The Washington Post | By Fareed Zakaria.
...Vladimir Putin might be a 19th-century statesman, using old-fashioned muscle to get his way, but it has become clear that Chinese President Xi Jinping goes one step further, comfortably embracing both 19th- and 21st-century tactics....it’s also worth studying Xi’s speech in Shanghai, given the same day the deal was struck. The meeting was a gathering of an obscure Asian regional group, one that includes Turkey, Iran and Russia but not the United States. His message was that Asians should take care of their own security. ...

...Cyberattacks are part of a new, messy, chaotic world, fueled by globalization and the information revolution. In a wired, networked world, it is much harder to shut down activity that blurs the lines between governments and private citizens, national and international realms, theft and warfare. And it certainly will not be possible to do so using traditional mechanisms of national security. Notice that Washington is using a legal mechanism (which will be ineffective and largely symbolic) for what is really a national security issue.

The Sino-Russian gas deal reminds us that traditional geopolitics is alive and well. Washington knows how to work its way in that world with its own alliances and initiatives. But cyberespionage represents a new frontier, and no one really has the ideas, tools or strategies to properly address this challenge.
Fareed_Zakaria  challenges  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  espionage  Vladimir_Putin  Russia  China  geopolitics  security_&_intelligence  natural_gas  21st._century  industrial_espionage  petro-politics  realpolitik  Asia  Xi_Jinping  statesmen  cyberattacks  cyberespionage 
may 2014 by jerryking
Saving the System - NYTimes.com
APRIL 28, 2014 | NYT | David Brooks.

“The ‘category error’ of our experts is to tell us that our system is doing just fine and proceeding on its eternal course toward ever-greater progress and global goodness. This is whistling past the graveyard.

“The lesson-category within grand strategic history is that when an established international system enters its phase of deterioration, many leaders nonetheless respond with insouciance, obliviousness, and self-congratulation. When the wolves of the world sense this, they, of course, will begin to make their moves to probe the ambiguities of the aging system and pick off choice pieces to devour at their leisure.

“This is what Putin is doing; this is what China has been moving toward doing in the maritime waters of Asia; this is what in the largest sense the upheavals of the Middle East are all about: i.e., who and what politico-ideological force will emerge as hegemon over the region in the new order to come. ....Today that system is under assault not by a single empire but by a hundred big and little foes. As Walter Russell Mead argues in a superb article in Foreign Affairs, geopolitics is back with a vengeance. Whether it’s Russia seizing Crimea or China asserting itself, old-fashioned power plays are back in vogue. Meanwhile, pre-modern movements and people try to eliminate ethnic and religious diversity in Egypt, Ukraine and beyond.

China, Russia and Iran have different values, but all oppose this system of liberal pluralism. The U.S. faces a death by a thousand cuts dilemma. No individual problem is worth devoting giant resources to. It’s not worth it to spend huge amounts of treasure to establish stability in Syria or defend a Western-oriented Ukraine. But, collectively, all the little problems can undermine the modern system. No individual ailment is worth the expense of treating it, but, collectively, they can kill you (JCK: Worst of all worlds).
authoritarianism  autocracies  category_errors  China  Colleges_&_Universities  Crimea  curriculum  David_Brooks  death_by_a_thousand_cuts  dilemmas  diplomacy  geopolitics  grand_strategy  insouciance  international_system  Iran  liberal_pluralism  multiple_stressors  obliviousness  power_plays  rogue_actors  Russia  self-congratulatory  South_China_Sea  stratagems  strategic_thinking  strategy  Walter_Russell_Mead  worst_of_all_worlds  Yale 
april 2014 by jerryking
Josef Joffe: Dear Vladimir: Congratulations. You Read My Book - WSJ.com
By
Josef Joffe
March 6, 2014 | WSJ |

Be both ruthless and prudent—just what I prescribed in "The Prince." You Russians have distilled my wisdom into a pithy phrase: Kto kovo—who dominates whom? And you have beautifully executed my central idea. I never preached violence to the max, but the "economy of force"—how to get more with less. The Crimean caper was a masterpiece of smart power politics.

Grab opportunities when you saw them. First, you calculated the "correlation of forces," to use a Soviet term....Then, you assessed political geography correctly. The rule is never to take on a superior enemy like the West on his own turf. You test his mettle on his periphery...Next, factor in geography proper. Globally, the West is far superior to Russia, but regionally, you were the Man. You had the "interior lines," as the great Prussian strategist Carl von Clausewitz put it; the West was a thousand miles away. And your troops were already in place in Crimea—tanks, planes and all....Now to the balance of interests, a more subtle concept. The EU has been contesting you over Ukraine, but more as a confused afterthought. Your country had more compelling fish to fry: Ukraine as former Russian heartland plus an ethnic majority in Crimea, a strategic gem that Khrushchev had absentmindedly given away to Ukraine 60 years ago.

So you also held the psychological advantage that comes with having more skin in the game. Khrushchev blithely ignored the balance of interests in the Caribbean. Otherwise he would not have moved his missiles into Cuba in 1962, 90 miles off the U.S. coast.....Best of all, you are a true Machiavellian when it comes to the economy of violence. Just enough, never too much, and with minimal risks. So you didn't grab eastern Ukraine, which might have really riled the West and triggered a costly insurgency. You merely harvested the low-hanging fruit of Crimea, and with a fabulous profit. ....Here, my pupil, beckons the biggest payoff. You need not fear the democratic contagion of the Maidan spilling over into your own country. Not for a long time.

What a boost to your "street cred" in the rivalry of nations! With a small investment, you have amassed what Mr. Obama no longer has and what the Europeans lost long ago: a reputation for ruthlessness and the readiness to use force.

Power is when you don't have to wield it—when you don't have to threaten, let alone execute, to get your way.....We live in a split world. In Asia and Africa, mayhem is as present or possible as ever. Call this the "Damascus-Pyongyang Belt." Yet in the "Berlin-Berkeley Belt," force as a tool of statecraft has virtually disappeared....the U.S.—is now loath to resort to the ultima ratio. And that offers you wondrous opportunities. When the supply of force contracts, even a little bit goes a long way, as you have proved in Crimea.
Niccolò_Machiavelli  Vladimir_Putin  Crimea  Russia  power  power_plays  influence  statecraft  geopolitics  Ukraine  improvisation  rogue_actors  skin_in_the_game  political_geography  ruthlessness  large_payoffs  Carl_von_Clausewitz  stratagems  strategic_geography  hard_power 
march 2014 by jerryking
In ‘Treasury’s War,’ Missiles for a Financial Battlefield - NYTimes.com
August 31, 2013 | NYT | By BRYAN BURROUGH.

THE 21st century has ushered in new kinds of warfare that don’t involve soldiers wielding weapons. One type, cyberwarfare, seems to have drawn the most commentary and analysis. A less publicized type of attack, financial warfare, is covered in “Treasury’s War,” a useful new book by one of this strategy’s architects, Juan C. Zarate, a former assistant Treasury secretary. ... “Treasury’s War” chronicles an array of the department’s enforcement efforts, from corralling informal Middle Eastern money-transfer networks useful to Al Qaeda to tracking Saddam’s missing millions. But the heart of the book is the emergence and evolution of Section 311 of the Patriot Act, which allows the Treasury Department to designate any bank in the world as a “primary money-laundering concern” and prevent it from doing business with any American bank.

In today’s financial world, where every bank wants to do business with every other bank, and where New York and the United States dollar remain of paramount importance, “hitting” a bank with a Section 311 order has the effect of transforming it into an overnight pariah. Mr. Zarate cites example after example in which 311’s have all but destroyed rogue banks that had been important conduits for money flows involving, for example, Al Qaeda or Iran....“Geopolitics is now a game best played with financial and commercial weapons,” Mr. Zarate writes. “The new geoeconomic game may be more efficient and subtle than past geopolitical competitions, but it is no less ruthless and destructive.”
books  book_reviews  Iran  al_Qaeda  geopolitics  U.S.Treasury_Department  statecraft  money_laundering  21st._century  interconnections  sanctions  economic_warfare  economic_policy  banks  policy_tools 
september 2013 by jerryking
Hillary Clinton’s Diplomatic Legacy
February 11, 2013 | The New Yorker | by George Packer.

The criticism that there is no encompassing “Obama doctrine” misses the point. Geopolitics today is too complex, messy, and various to be bent to America’s will by an overarching doctrine like containment, or a massive initiative like the Marshall Plan, or a single breakthrough like Nixon’s trip to China. A doctrine was what put the country in a deep hole; climbing out required restraint, flexibility, and opportunism. A first-term Secretary of State with one grand strategic vision wouldn’t have matched the demands of the moment, which called for a fox, not a hedgehog....The standard debates in American foreign policy—realism vs. idealism, heavy footprint vs. light footprint—don’t get to the heart of the problem with Obama’s foreign policy. It’s not that diplomatic engagement is the wrong approach; it’s just that the President’s first four years have given us the idea of diplomacy more than the thing itself. In a forthcoming book, “The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat,” Vali Nasr, a former adviser under Hillary Clinton and the late Richard Holbrooke, argues that, from North Africa to Afghanistan and Pakistan, the White House has relied too much on the military and the C.I.A. (mainly in the form of drones) to guide policy: “These agencies’ solutions were not, and could never be, a substitute for the type of patient, long-range, credible diplomacy that garners the respect of our allies and their support when we need it.” In Nasr’s view, a White House that feared being called soft and wanted to keep intractable foreign entanglements out of the news turned to Clinton only after things had fallen apart, as in Pakistan at the end of 2011, when she moved to repair a relationship that had degenerated into outright antagonism.

Obama and Clinton wanted to “pivot” away from the Middle East, toward the Pacific, but a bloody hand keeps reaching out to pull America back.
George_Packer  George_Marshall  U.S.foreign_policy  legacies  diplomacy  Middle_East  Mideast_Peace  Obama  Hillary_Clinton  geopolitics  Pakistan  complexity  messiness  restraint  flexibility  opportunism  U.S._State_Department  grand_strategy  Vali_Nasr  CIA  drones  Marshall_Plan  foxes  hedgehogs  long-range  books 
february 2013 by jerryking
Underpricing risky business
February 1, 2013 | G&M report on Business pg B2 |by David Parkinson.

As energy and mining reserves have become increasingly expensive to find in other, more stable parts of the world, Africa's dangers have been glossed over in the quest to cash in on the continent’s still relatively undeveloped resources. Companies have been ignoring the risky reality, and investors have been underpricing it...Africa's significant growth potential has generated optimism, however, the geopolitical risks facing investors in Africa remain, for the most part, underestimated.”
The biggest threat to business in Africa, he argues, is “re1igious/ ideological militancy"--especially from Islamist/jihadist groups - which he says “has been vastly underestimated, and will pose significant risks to foreign investors in much of Africa."
He believes companies and their investors are underpricing the risks of doing business in Aŕrica, including rising security and insurance costs and cant project delays that could come from security threats, military conflicts or regime changes....Until the market starts pricing risk into African resource investments before a crisis forces the realization upon it, there will be little incentive for companies to seek less risky and less corrupt places to put their money.
And there will be more harsh and costly awakenìngs for investors who are themselves willfully blind to the risks.
underpricing  risks  Africa  natural_resources  political_risk  geopolitics  Mali  war  underestimation  frontier_markets  corruption  mining  mispricing  Islamists  jihadis  willful_blindness 
february 2013 by jerryking
Geography Strikes Back - WSJ.com
September 7, 2012 | WSJ | Robert D. Kaplan.
To understand today's global conflicts, forget economics and technology and take a hard look at a map, writes
Robert_Kaplan  geopolitics  geography  mapping  maritime 
september 2012 by jerryking
Zbigniew Brzezinski: As China Rises, A New U.S. Strategy - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 14, 2011 | WSJ |By ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI.

We should embrace Russia, Japan and South Korea as we seek to manage the rise of China.
strategy  strategic_thinking  diplomacy  geopolitics  China_rising  China  U.S.foreign_policy  U.S.-China_relations  NSC  APNSA 
december 2011 by jerryking
Understanding China Through the Ancient Game of Wei Qi, or Go - WSJ.com
JUNE 11, 2011 WSJ By KEITH JOHNSON What Kind of Game Is
China Playing? Forget chess. To understand geopolitics in Taiwan or the
Indian Ocean, U.S. strategists are learning from Go.

The object of Go is to place stones on the open board, balancing the need to expand with the need to build protected clusters.

Go features multiple battles over a wide front, rather than a single decisive encounter. It emphasizes long-term planning over quick tactical advantage, and games can take hours. In Chinese, its name, wei qi (roughly pronounced "way-chee"), means the "encirclement game."
China  strategy  games  Go  chess  geopolitics  U.S._military  leadership_development  USAF  multiple_targets 
june 2011 by jerryking
How France Lost Africa to the U.S. - International - The Atlantic
June 2, 2011 The Atlantic By G. Pascal Zachary

In the scandalous case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the French IMF chief
currently held in New York facing attempted rape charges, the powerful
issues of race and gender easily overwhelm one curious geopolitical
detail: what's a woman from a French-speaking, former French colony in
West Africa doing in the U.S. in the first place? In this case, she is
from Guinea, but she could just as likely be from Senegal, Cameroon,
Rwanda, Gabon, or Benin -- all Francophone countries that once sent
their most ambitious immigrants almost exclusively to France. Now these
and other French-speaking African countries experience a steady outflow
people to the U.S.

The presence of a growing number of French-speaking Africans reflects a
monumental shift in the relationship of sub-Saharan Africa to France and
to the U.S. The shift has been years in the making, and its
still-unfolding consequences are dimly appreciated.
France  Africa  U.S.  G._Pascal_Zachary  Dominique_Strauss-Kahn  Francophone_Africa  geopolitics  sub-Saharan_Africa 
june 2011 by jerryking
Book Review: Monsoon - WSJ.com
OCT. 16, 2010 | WSJ | By GURCHARAN DAS.The 500-yr. domination
of Asia by the West is ending. Kaplan suggests that it's in the Indian
Ocean where history will be made & where the global struggle for
democracy, energy, religion & security will be waged, where the
rivalry between China & India will play out, & where America's
future as a great power depends on its ability to command a place on
this new center stage of history...The msg. of "Monsoon" is that the
economic impulse is likely to prevail & in the long run even the
more extreme Islamic nations will turn middle class. Al-Jazeera, the Mid
Eastern TV netwk, is symbolic of this bourgeois Islam...the U.S.should
continue to protect the vital trade routes of the Indian Ocean for the
benefit of all, in alliance with the navies of the new powers of the
Indian Ocean world...To this end, , the U.S. can learn "soft power" from
India. "Monsoon's" premise is that the Indian Ocean is "more than just a
geographic feature, it's also an idea."
Robert_Kaplan  geopolitics  mapping  Indo_Pacific  maritime  soft_power  book_reviews  China_rising  India  PACOM  Indian_Ocean 
october 2010 by jerryking
Managing Water as Scarcity Looms - WSJ.com
SEPT. 27, 2010 | WSJ | By GERALDINE AMIEL. Suez
Environnement's CEO Taps Opportunities Amid Escalating Global Shortages;
a Particular Thirst for China. As the world's population grows and
migrates to cities, water shortages are happening in places where
scarcity was unthinkable only 5 yrs ago, such as the Spanish coast,...
London,--is described by the U.K. Environment Agency as "seriously water
stressed." And in March 2009, a report by the WEF said the lack of
water would "soon tear into various parts of the global economic system"
and "start to emerge as a headline geopolitical issue."...``on the U.S.
East Coast, "people are used to having water—they don't think further,
they don't think about future generations." Mr. Chaussade prefers
thinking for the long term. His main hobby is planting trees in his
garden and watching them grow, imagining what people will think of them
in 100 yrs. "The garden must be beautiful when you create it,--It must
remain so when you're gone."
water  scarcity  China  Suez  Veolia  CEOs  smart_grid  desalination  imagination  wastewater-treatment  sensors  HBS  gardening  long-term  far-sightedness  unthinkable  geopolitics 
september 2010 by jerryking
Fidel to Ahmadinejad: 'Stop Slandering the Jews'
Sep 7 2010, | The Atlantic | by Jeffrey Goldberg is a national
correspondent for The Atlantic. Author of the book Prisoners: A Story of
Friendship and Terror, he has reported from the Middle East and Africa.
Ahmadinejad  Fidel_Castro  geopolitics  Cuba  Israel  Iran  anti-Semitism 
september 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - Superbroke, Superfrugal, Superpower? - NYTimes.com
September 4, 2010 ! NYT ! By Tom FRIEDMAN. Builds on the
message contained in “The Frugal Superpower: America’s Global Leadership
in a Cash-Strapped Era” a very timely book by Michael Mandelbaum. How
to mitigate this trend? Mandelbaum argues for 3 things: (1) we need to
get ourselves back on a sustainable path to economic growth and
reindustrialization, with whatever sacrifices, hard work and political
consensus that requires. (2), we need to set priorities. We have enjoyed
a century in which we could have, in foreign policy terms, both what is
vital and what is desirable. e.g. with infinite men & money we can
succeed in Afghanistan. But is it vital? it may be desirable, but
vital? (3), we need to shore up our balance sheet and weaken that of our
enemies, and the best way to do that in one move is with a much higher
gasoline tax. ..There was a time when thinking seriously about U.S.
foreign policy did not require thinking seriously about economic policy.
That time is also over.
Tom_Friedman  U.S.foreign_policy  imperial_overstretch  cash-strapped  geopolitics  austerity  economic_policy  priorities  sacrifice  reindustrialization  frugality  superpowers  hard_work 
september 2010 by jerryking
FT.com / Comment / Opinion - Obama is right to be hard-nosed on China
August 30, 2010 | Financial Times | By Minxin Pei. ``Mr
Obama has reverted to long-standing American principles in dealing with a
rising great power. For while the US can confidently manage China’s
mounting economic prowess, and count on economic progress to liberalise
the Chinese political system, the world’s sole superpower can ill-afford
to allow its new rival to become Asia’s hegemon. ``
China  China_rising  geopolitics  realpolitik  U.S.foreign_policy  superpowers  U.S.-China_relations  rivalries 
august 2010 by jerryking
Canadians should dare to be networked
Jun. 12, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Editorial.

Canada needs to decide how it wants to act on the world stage. It could aspire to be "the most global and the networked country in the world." This idea is attractive, but foreign policy begins at home - not all Canadians are ready to be global, and they may well bristle at some of the policies such a course suggests.

The advice comes from a new report, "Open Canada", by the Canadian International Council's GPS Project. It advocates "prosperity, peace and cohesion" as the three overarching Canadian national interests, and laments that Canadians too often "prefer the gauzy candescence of 'values discussions' to the hard reality of producing a more prosperous and secure future."
networks  Canada  Canadian  values  geopolitics  globalization  foreign_policy  Asian  China  think_threes  national_identity  world_stage 
june 2010 by jerryking
How America's Top Military Officer Uses Business to Boost National Security
May 1, 2010 | Fast Company | Jeff Chu. "He wanted to know what
kind of environment can be created in which business can thrive and
what role govts. have to play," "What is it that makes businesses
successful?" What does this have to do with his job or the military's?
"Our financial health is directly related to our national security,"
"The biggest driver globally is the economy ... I need to understand the
global trends that work those engines. Where are these guys putting
their $? If they're betting on certain outcomes -- good or bad -- why?"
Mullen's principles on the use of US military force: don't go it alone;
don't be overweight in foreign policy; closer coordination between
military and civilian agencies. "If his advice were only how to fight
hi-tech wars, and if his solution were just to apply more force, he
would be less relevant," Brent Scowcroft, "He recognizes that the new
face of war is a very complex...part combat, part nation building, and
part hearts and minds."
leadership  U.S._military  JCS  Michael_Mullen  nation_building  ethnography  geopolitics  21st._century  indispensable  storytelling  messaging  generalship  security_&_intelligence  Brent_Scowcroft  strategic_thinking  questions  war  warfare  complexity  curiosity  APNSA 
april 2010 by jerryking
Over A Barrel: Energy-starved China is doing what you would expect
May 16, 2005| Fortune Magazine | by Daniel Yergin.
Energy-starved China is doing what you would expect: becoming a global
oil power. For the most part China is behaving the way any country
starved for oil would, especially one with a well-established domestic
oil industry. China is participating in partnerships, acquiring
reserves, contracting for future supplies of liquefied natural gas,
selling oilfield services, developing projects around the world, and
buying lots of oil. It's a good bet that when a Chinese oil company
enters Iraq, it will be in partnership with one or more Western
companies.
China  oil_industry  foreign_policy  geopolitics  LNG 
march 2010 by jerryking
China Flexes Economic Muscle Throughout Burgeoning Africa - WSJ.com
MARCH 29, 2005 | Wall Street Journal | by KARBY LEGGETT. It's
all part of Beijing's broad push into Africa. Aiming to secure access to
the continent's vast natural resources, China is forging deep economic,
political and military ties with most of Africa's 54 countries. There's
more at stake than just fuel for an economic juggernaut, however, say
senior Chinese officials, executives and Western diplomats. In Africa,
as in many other parts of the developing world, China is redrawing
geopolitical alliances in ways that help propel China's rise as a global
superpower. China is courting other countries to support its plan to
reassert political authority over Taiwan and seeking a counterweight
against U.S. power in global bodies such as the United Nations. It's
also thinking long-term, cultivating desperately poor nations to serve
as markets for its products decades down the road.
Africa  China  geopolitics  long-term 
march 2010 by jerryking
Beyond the Rim
December 13, 2004 | Wall Street Journal | by MARK HELPRIN. The
21st century will be not just the century of terrorism: terrorism will
fade. It will be a naval century, with the Pacific its center, and
challenges in the remotest places of the world offered not by dervishes
and crazy-men but by a great power that is at last and at least
America's equal. Unfortunately, it is in the U.S. nature neither to
foresee nor prepare for what lies beyond the rim. With its new economic
resources China has embarked upon a military traverse from reliance
upon mass to devotion to quality, with stress upon war in space, the
oceans, and the ether--three areas of unquestioned American superiority.
mercantilism  China  China_rising  PACOM  U.S.-China_relations  geopolitics  maritime  Mark_Helprin  cyber_warfare  space_warfare  South_China_Sea 
march 2010 by jerryking
Managing China's Rise
June 2005 | ATLANTIC MAGAZINE | By Benjamin Schwarz.
Contending effectively with China's ambitions requires a better
understanding of our own. (1) Acknowledge that the pace of China's
military modernization and the nature of its geopolitical alignments are
very much tied to the post—Cold War imbalance of power in Washington's
favor. (2) The U.S. should conduct whatever foreign policies it deems
appropriate—but it must recognize that actions it perceives as selfless,
others will most likely see in an entirely different light.
..Intervention by a dominant power accelerates the rise of other great
powers and ensures their wariness, if not their hostility, toward it.(3)
Rethink how Washington defines a "China threat."(4) examine the
strategic implications raised when regional and great powers emerge.
Far from discouraging the rise of China and other independent powers,
such as the European Union and Japan, Washington should recognize the
significant benefits that can result.
China  geopolitics  China_rising  U.S._Navy  U.S.-China_relations  PACOM  introspection  grand_strategy  strategic_thinking  U.S.foreign_policy  post-Cold_War  misinterpretations  Thucydides_Trap  selflessness  rising_powers  rivalries  confrontations  imbalances 
march 2010 by jerryking
O'Grady: Why Honduras Sent Zelaya Away - WSJ.com
* JULY 13, 2009

Why Honduras Sent Zelaya Away
The former president threatened to use force against the Congress and other institutions.

*
By MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY
geopolitics  Honduras 
july 2009 by jerryking
The Revenge of Geography
May/June 2009 | Foreign Policy | By Robert D. Kaplan. A long
time realist, Kaplan argues for geography as the primary ingredient for
understanding geopolitics.
Robert_Kaplan  realism  geopolitics 
june 2009 by jerryking
Iran 2.0 - WSJ.com
JUNE 25, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by DANIEL HENNINGER.
Iranian nascent democrats are utilizing Web 2.0 tools, tapping the
technology's individualizing power, to jab at the bureaucrats running
the regime.
Daniel_Henninger  Iran  Web_2.0  geopolitics 
june 2009 by jerryking
Ernest May, International Relations Expert, Dies at 80 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com
By DENNIS HEVESI
Published: June 6, 2009

Thinking in Time--great book

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes"
Harvard  geopolitics  U.S.foreign_policy  diplomacy  obituaries  writers  decision_making  historians 
june 2009 by jerryking
Hezbollah as 'a hot cell for innovation'Why our intentions 'don't just fail, they backfire'
Apr 19, 2009 | Toronto Star | Lynda Hurst.

we're still using anachronistic ideas to hold together a global order that no longer exists. A revolution is in progress where the unthinkable all too readily becomes the inevitable.

The result? More – and more dangerous – reversals of intent and outcome.

"What's happening today is that our intentions don't just fail, they backfire on us," says the Beijing-based geo-strategy analyst. "We deliver the opposite of what we intend because we so misunderstand the way the system now works."

The "war on terrorism" creates even more terrorists. The attempt to build a risk-proof financial system produces more risks than anyone is able to foresee. The bid to spread capitalism across the globe widens the chasm between rich and poor. The effort to contain nuclear proliferation leads to rogue states such as North Korea and Iran playing gimme-gimme games (or maybe not) with the final option.

Think Mikhail Gorbachev setting out only to reform the Soviet Union, but instead triggering its downfall, which in turn leads the U.S. to conclude its values have won the Cold War. Not so, Ramo says. Or George W. Bush reckoning he can inject democracy into Iraq and, presto, out comes peace: "Absurd in the extreme."

The new rules are
still being formed. They will be based on one central premise: countless
variations in the scheme of things will continue to occur at warp
speed, and adapting to them equally as quickly will be crucial. The
unpredictable demands of constant newness can immobilize institutions,
however, not just individuals. It can blind them to unsprung traps,
freeze once-honed navigation skills. The structure of the U.S. State
Department has barely changed since the end of World War II.

Governments can't prepare for everything in the future, but they can
build resilience into their systems. Real power will be the ability to
come back strong after an unexpected shock. That will mean persistently
assessing the big picture, not just its component pieces.
new_normal  uncertainty  Joshua_Cooper_Ramo  geopolitics  unpredictability  resilience  21st._century  adaptability  managing_uncertainty  Hezbollah  unintended_consequences  unexpected  political_power  accelerated_lifecycles  U.S._State_Department  immobilize  paralyze  constant_change  revenge_effects  rogue_actors  unthinkable  misunderstandings  Cambrian_explosion  iterations  Octothorpe_Software  Mikhail_Gorbachev  the_big_picture  warp_speed  financial_system 
may 2009 by jerryking
Fareed Zakaria GPS - CNN.com
BOOK OF THE WEEK
The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing by Ian Bremmer and Preston Keat.
The Lords of Finance by Liaquat Ahamed
"It's about how we got into the last great depression, and it contains good lessons on how to avoid this new one."
Science and Government ~ The Godkin Lectures at Harvard University, 1960 by C.P. Snow.
US POLITICS
• "The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power" by David E. Sanger.
THE ECONOMY
• "The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World" by Niall Ferguson.

HISTORY
• "The Wise Men" by Walter Isaacson.
• "Imagining India: The Idea of a Nation Renewed" by Nandan Nilekani
SOCIOLOGY
• "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell
FOREIGN POLICY
• "Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy" by Leslie Gelb
news  media  geopolitics  Fareed_Zakaria  globalization  cnn  interviews  Great_Depression  Outliers  Malcolm_Gladwell  books  Ian_Bremmer  David_Sanger 
april 2009 by jerryking
Farewell, Tranquil Mind - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 23, 2009| Wall Street Journal| by BRET STEPHENS. A
book review of 7 Deadly Scenarios By Andrew F. Krepinevich (Bantam, 334
pages, $27). Worst case scenarios that can plausibly happen to the
U.S., geopolitically speaking, within the next decade.
book_reviews  security_&_intelligence  terrorism  geopolitics  Bret_Stephens  worst-case  thinking_tragically 
march 2009 by jerryking
(1) Two confusions, and counting (2) How do we thwart the modern version of the Persian?
August 23rd, 2006 | Globe&Mail | Jeffrey Simpson. (1) Two confusions, and counting
(2) How do we thrwart the modern version of the Persian?
Iran  Hezbollah  geopolitics  Jeffrey_Simpson  multiculturalism  filetype:pdf  media:document 
march 2009 by jerryking
Slide toward anarchy
February 28, 2009 G&M column by AHMED RASHID
Islamabad's deal with the Taliban may be a turning point in a failing regional battle against extremism
extremism  geopolitics  Pakistan  Islamic  fundamentalism  Taliban  anarchy  turning_points 
february 2009 by jerryking
globeandmail.com: What is Canada's place in the world?
February 19, 2008 globeandmail.com invites three foreign policy
activists to give us their thoughts and lead us in debate and
discussion on how Canadians want our country to play a constructive role
in world affairs and the nature of that role.
# Part I, Lloyd Axworthy: We need a new road map
# Part II, J.L. Granatstein: Stick with the U.S.
# Part III, David Eaves: Unleash our citizens

To help consider the options,
Canadian  geopolitics  J.L._Granatstein  roadmaps 
february 2009 by jerryking

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