April, 2016 Global


By Paul Craig Roberts

"Information Clearing House" - The Third World War is currently being fought. How long before it moves into its hot stage? Washington is currently conducting economic and propaganda warfare against four members of the five bloc group of countries known as BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Article illustrative image

Adrien Lelievre 
-Analysis-

ANKARA — President Barack Obama's decision not to attend the April 2 inauguration of a new mosque near Washington D.C. might have spoild the party a bit. The event was billed, after all, as the highlight of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent trip to the United States.

 

By Michael Laurence
Thucydides. Hobbes. Machiavelli. Realists have (re)turned to these thinkers time and again in order to construct and fortify the basic contours of their theories of global politics. From their texts, realists have extracted and put to use a series of ontological arguments concerning the nature of power, the human, the state, and the global milieu through which these forces traverse.

 The Fourth Jihadist Wave
Project Syndicate, Carl Bildt

STOCKHOLM – Muscular language has become increasingly prevalent in the debate about how to counter the threat of jihadist terrorism. Television talk-show hosts speculate about when control of Raqqa in Syria or Mosul in Iraq might be wrested from the Islamic State (ISIS), implying that these cities’ liberation will mark, at the very least, the beginning of the end of the problem. And in December, Ted Cruz, a Republican contender in the US presidential race, went so far as to raise the specter of nuclear strikes: “I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out,” he said.

By Anna Cornelia Beyer
Realism is divided into defensive and offensive realism. Defensive realists, such as Kenneth Waltz, claim that states pursue only as much power as the states around them have. They don’t want to dominate the international system but merely to be able to survive. Offensive realism, proposed by John Mearsheimer, challenges this perspective and maintains that states want to dominate the international system, at least to the point of becoming a regional hegemon.

 By Nathan Halverson

Secret conversations between American diplomats show how a growing water crisis in the Middle East destabilized the region, helping spark civil wars in Syria and Yemen, and how those water shortages are spreading to the United States.

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JAMES LACEY
Several years ago, as a new professor at the Marine Corps War College, I spent a huge amount of time putting together the best presentation on Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War ever presented at any war college at any time. After accounting for the 125-page a night reading limit, I had selected the perfect set of readings.

 

By Paul Rogers
Summary
In an attempt to understand the psychology of the West’s adversaries in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, this briefing asks the question, what does the wider world look like when seen from within the Islamic State group? Setting to one side the enormous political and economic deficiencies of the ‘host’ countries of the Middle East, it examines some of the contemporary and historic perceptions of the West’s relations with the Islamic and Arab worlds, and how these may have influenced IS strategy, particularly its 2015 shift from territorial expansion to attacks on and within Western states.

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Column: Politics Region: Caucasus Country: Georgia
George Soros is a very successful man, at least where money and power are concerned. The reach of the hedge fund legend through his Open Society Foundations leverages governments and ideas across the breadth of 40 nations now. Here is a look at how Soros’ “New World Lebensraum Idealism” is reshaping reality in the Republic of Georgia.


by A. J. Caschetta, The Daily Caller
Every time there's a mass casualty Islamist terror attack, the Western intelligentsia pops the same question. Shortly after the latest ISIS suicide bombers struck in Brussels on March 22, German Green Party MP Franziska Brantner tweeted "Why do they hate us so much?" The intelligentsia's ignorance perseveres in spite of the answer right in front of them: it's not hatred but an ideology called Islamism that compels violence. We are now almost 15 years beyond 9/11, and it's time to stop asking this question after every major jihadist attack.

U.S. President Barack Obama with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 2011. U.S. economic leadership is indispensable, argues Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

The Case for U.S. Leadership
By Jacob J. Lew

When U.S. President Barack Obama joined other global leaders at the G-20 summit in Turkey in November 2015, the United States was in the final stages of a multiyear effort to secure the approval of a set of important reforms to the International Monetary Fund.

 John Vibes 

As we have been covering this week, the release of the Panama Papers has created a panic among world governments, by exposing some of their darkest secrets. In the leak, 11.5 million documents were stolen from Mossack Fonseca and were leaked to Suddeutsche Zeitung, who then turned to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to examine the documents. In the time since, media organizations have been scrambling to sift through a large number of documents, in hopes of finding stories that they can spin to fit their narrative.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Stratfor. Public Domain.

By Michael J. Ard

A former intelligence officer shares twelve points about a manageable danger.
Politicians and terrorism experts have a vested interest in focusing on the worst-case scenarios about terrorism and putting the direst spin possible on recent events. With the near irrelevance of core Al Qaeda, Islamic State (ISIS) is the latest fixation.

Explain this
Elisabeth Eaves
There are few scarier pairs of words: “nuclear,” evoking the great 20th century fear of atomic annihilation, and “terrorism,” the bogeyman of the 21st. Put them together and you’ve got a frightening specter. Since European authorities revealed that the group behind the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks was also spying on a senior nuclear official in Belgium, many news sources have reported that the threat of “nuclear terrorism” is upon us.


The Japan Times
Concerned about the prospect of terrorists getting their hands on nuclear materials, U.S. President Barack Obama in 2010 convened the first Nuclear Security Summit (NSS). In his speech in Prague in 2009, Obama explained that nuclear terrorism was the most immediate and dangerous threat to global security; the NSS was part of a wider effort to secure the world’s stockpile of vulnerable nuclear materials.
The NSS has been held every two years since the first conclave.



By Mark Galeotti and Octavian Manea for Small Wars Journal
This interview was originally published by the Small Wars Journal.

While the concept of hybrid warfare is hardly new, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has rekindled an interest in this particular form of ‘combat’. In today’s question and answer session, Mark Galeotti outlines the Russian approach to hybrid warfare, what hybrid defenses should look like, etc.

General view of high-rise buildings in Panama City, Panama [EPA]

C J Polychroniou
Panama has always been one of the best tax havens in the world - both during and after the reign of General Manuel Noriega - and Mossack Fonseca (run by a Swiss tax expert named Jurgen Mossack and his Panamanian partner, Ramon Fonseca) is one of the dominant players in the parallel world of tax havens.

 

By Nayef Al-Rodhan
This article was originally published by The Montréal Review.

Introduction

In 1812 Napoleon Bonaparte, at the heights of his power, set out for the most adventurous, and ultimately fatal, military campaign. Napoleon’s Grand Army of over 500,000 men, the largest force ever mobilized to that date, was led to the lands of Russia. Historians have long investigated the misjudgements of this campaign and the question of hubris emerges as an underlying factor for Napoleon’s vehemence to pursue a disastrous campaign.