May, 2016 Global

US-RussiaFlyby, photo credit: US Navy

Geopolitical Monitor, Robert Shines
With the end of the Cold War twenty-five years ago, many in the U.S have taken the country’s continued global hegemony for granted. However, this state of affairs is increasingly being challenged by both Russia and China, exemplified by their aerial flybys and interceptions of the US military within their respective regions.



 

Michaela Whitton
(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — New research has shown the U.K. is providing military training and support to over half the countries named on its own watchlist of human rights abusers. An investigation by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Independent has revealed U.K. armed forces have trained security and armed forces personnel from 16 of 30 regimes who are on a Foreign Office (FCO) watch list for use of torture and violence.


Geopolitical Weekly , By Omar Lamrani

Space is becoming more congested, contested and competitive. Since the Soviet Union put the first satellite, Sputnik I, into space in 1957, no nation has deliberately destroyed another's satellite in orbit. But there is a growing possibility that battles may soon be waged in space.


By John V. Walsh

Along with his self-congratulatory bombast, Donald Trump has offered a rare critique of Official Washington’s “group think” about foreign policy, including the wisdom of NATO expansion and the value of endless war, notes John V. Walsh.

Storefronts along Hudson Street in New York City, circa 1860 to 1900.

By DEIRDRE N. MCCLOSKEY

The Great Enrichment of the past two centuries has one primary source: the liberation of ordinary people to pursue their dreams of economic betterment.
Why are we so rich? An American earns, on average, $130 a day, which puts the U.S. in the highest rank of the league table. China sits at $20 a day (in real, purchasing-power adjusted income) and India at $10, even after their emergence in recent decades from a crippling socialism of $1 a day. After a few more generations of economic betterment, tested in trade, they will be rich, too.

By Pål Steigan

Psychological operations are spreading information to a population or a target group to influence their emotions, their motivation, their way of thinking and, finally; how they act. Psychological operations target foreign governments, organizations, groups and individuals. In psychological operations disinformation and deceit is routine. This is included in the standard arsenal of for instance the US military forces.

A cheap way to avoid costly strategic mistakes.
Michael Peck

It’s a great time to be a Pentagon game nerd.
Long dismissed as the geekier side of the military, war gaming is suddenly in demand, after the Department of Defense realized that if it wants to devise a strategy to beat China and Russia, it needs to play games.

Dangerous drugs

By Paul Rexton Kan
In 1834, the British Government could not have sent a worse person with the worst set of instructions to China. The British Parliament chose William Napier, a Scottish lord, to be the Chief Superintendent of Trade in East Asia. Lord Napier had no experience with Chinese culture or traditions, but was nonetheless sent to Canton to take-up residence as the King’s representative and to ensure unfettered access to the Chinese market.


Mark Abadi
It's no surprise the United States pours more money into its military than any other country in the world.In 2015, the US had a defense budget of about $597 billion, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies' most recent World Military Balance report, released earlier this year.

 By Maxim Trudolyubov
“Without international revolution, neither the Soviet Union nor any other [socialist] country can triumph... We have to increase the number of our friends,” Vyacheslav Molotov, the Soviet premier and wartime Minister of Foreign Affairs, once said. Such wisdom from the olden days of the Cold War should be held in high regard in todays’ Russia, given the increased official respect for Soviet legacy. But the Kremlin does not seem to follow cold-war blueprints.

Laura Tuck
WASHINGTON, DC – India is currently facing its worst water crisis in years, with an estimated 330 million people – one-quarter of its population – affected by severe drought. Ethiopia is also dealing with its worst drought in decades, which has already contributed to the failure of many crops, creating food shortages that now affect around a tenth of the population. Under such circumstances, the risk of tension over resources is high.


Overcoming the Divide
By Thomas G. Mahnken

Christopher Sims’ “Academics in Foxholes: The Life and Death of the Human Terrain System” contributes to the ongoing debate about the U.S. military’s performance in Iraq and Afghanistan and, more specifically, the relationship between the U.S. government and the academy.


An investigative economist has crunched 45 years of official statistics to discover just how much kleptocrats have plundered from 150 mostly poor nations.
For the first time we have a reliable estimate of how much money thieving dictators and others have looted from 150 mostly poor nations and hidden offshore: $12.1 trillion.

By Pepe Escobar

Major turbulence seems to be the name of the game in 2016. Yet the current turbulence may be interpreted as the calm before the next, devastating geopolitical/financial storm. Let’s review the current state of play via the dilemmas afflicting the House of Saud, the EU and BRICS members Russia, Brazil and China.

Economy, Global, Politics