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Showing posts from May 30, 2010

Barrick digs in over Balochi project

Sarah Davison Last Updated: June 05. 2010 7:39PM UAE / June 5. 2010 3:39PM GMT Barrick Gold has conquered some of the most inhospitable places on Earth to become the world’s biggest gold miner, but in Balochistan it may have bitten off more than it can chew. Barrick and Antofagasta of Chile share an equal stake in Tethyan Copper Corporation (TCC), which acquired a 75 per cent interest in the Reko Diq copper deposit in a remote area of south-west Pakistan in 2002 from Australia’s BHP Billiton. The provincial government of Balochistan retained the other 25 per cent. The company has spent millions developing Reko Diq, but Balochistan is renowned not just for the ferocity of its tribesmen, who are widely considered even more intimidating than the Pashtuns. It is also known for Gwadar, the deepwater port being built by the Chinese. But the most significant copper-gold discovery in at least 20 years h

Moments of Truth – A new neo-Gaullist Germany?

By Riccardo Perissich Economic Policy EuropEos Commentaries The European process is based on compromises; when it comes to selling them to national electorates, countries behave differently. France feels compelled to declare victory; Germany has more often chosen to stress the concessions that it made, adding that they were painful but necessary for the sake of ‘Europe’. The reality is very different. In this new EuropEos Commentary, Riccardo Perissich, Executive Vice-President of the Council for the United States and Italy, describes that European reality, in unambiguous terms. EuropEos is a multidisciplinary group of jurists, economists, political scientists and journalists set up in 2002 with the aim of creating an ongoing forum for the discussion of European policy and institutional issues. Successful collaboration between its members and CEPS has led to this series of EuropEos Commentaries. Visit: for more information. Free download (pdf, 39.0

Naval gazing: The future of Australia's naval shipbuilding and repair sector

Monday, 31 May 2010 This report presents a range of views on the future of Australia’s naval shipbuilding and repair industry. ASPI asked a range of government and industry players for their views, and their responses form the first section of this report. Papers are by Andrew Davies, Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), Defence SA Advisory Board, Defence Industry Unit of the Victorian Government, BAE Systems Australia, Austal Shipbuilding, Henry Ergas and Mark Thomson. Some common themes emerged: the challenge to develop the capacity to deliver the future, the need to manage the workflow for industry to avoid a ‘boom and bust’ pattern, and the need for Australian industry to be competitive in a global marketplace. The second part of this report is a summary of a follow-on workshop discussion facilitated by ASPI in Canberra. The discussion included the possibility of a government-driven rationalisation of the local shipbuilding industry. The report captures the views of participants a

The India-China relationship: a tempered rivalry? by Rod Lyon

Thursday, 20 May 2010 Of all the great-power relationships of Asia, none is so difficult for Australia to influence as the relationship between India and China. Both are concerned primarily about their respective positions in a changing Asia. Our best strategy is to encourage both powers to temper their rivalry through their own efforts, and to attempt to put in place arrangements that might stop that rivalry from escalating into areas of greater importance to us—maritime areas in the northern Indian Ocean and western Pacific. Download PDF

Partnership Of Democracies

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, Jun 4, 2010, 12.00am IST Article This week, a delegation from India's government arrived in Washington for the first-ever strategic dialogue between India and the United States. This was no routine meeting. It was the culmination of years of intensive engagement between our countries engagement that will grow even deeper as we confront the urgent global, regional and local challenges of this era. India is the world's largest democracy, one of its fastest growing economies and a rising power in Asia and beyond. It has vibrant democratic institutions, a free press, robust civil society, an innovative private sector and tens of millions of citizens whose talents have yet to be fully realised. It is also a model of democratic development that has lifted millions of people out of poverty by widening access to the tools of opportunity education,

Myanmar's nuclear bombshell Southeast_Asia/LF05Ae01.html By Bertil Lintner BANGKOK - Myanmar's ruling generals have started a secret program to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to deliver them in a high-stakes bid to deter perceived hostile foreign powers, according to an investigative report by the Democratic Voice of Burma that will be aired later on Friday by television news network al-Jazeera. Asia Times Online contributor Bertil Lintner was involved in reviewing materials during extensive authentication processes conducted by international arms experts and others during the report's five-year production. In the strategic footsteps of North Korea, Myanmar's leaders are also building a complex network of tunnels, bunkers and other underground installations where they and their military hardware would be hidden against any external aerial attack, including presumably from the United States. Based on testimonies and photographs supplied by high-rankin


Engaging India: FIVE MANTRAS AND TEN COMMANDMENTS: by Dr. Adityanjee 0539.htm FIVE MANTRAS AND TEN COMMANDMENTS: Following 5 Mantras and 10 Commandments have been enunciated for the future US Administrations so that they do not blunder yet again in making wrong and self-defeating strategic choices vis-à-vis India. Though not proposed as benchmarks, these will become de facto benchmarks to judge future US behavior towards India. If the US policy planners and government officials adopt and internalize the proposed 5 Mantras and 10 Commandments, the relationship between the two great democratic nations would be smooth. The future Indo-US relationship will be predicated on the following bench-marks: Five Mantras: India is a re-emerging superpower that cannot be stopped! India is a pluralistic democracy. India is an ancient civilization that is proud of her glorious past, aware of her current limitations and fully cognizant of her future potential, roles

The Effects Of Labels On Analysis (Thesis Months) (Note: At the risk of making this an all-Jeff-Welgan blog, I thought this week I would cover Jeff's thesis work on the effects of labels on analysis right on the heels of last week's discussion of his work embedded in the new book, Hyperformance ). Does a name matter? Shakespeare says, "No, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" but most psychologists would disagree. The well known " framing effect " shows that the way a question is asked can determine how people will answer it. Likewise, psychological campaigns aimed at dehumanizing an enemy often accompany wars. Jeff Welgan, in his thesis called, The Effects Of Labels On Analysis , tests these ideas in the realm of intelligence analysis. Some of you may remember taking Jeff's survey last year . In it, he presented a fictitious scenario set in the Horn of Africa. Each participant was asked to read an ide

Japanese Prime Minister Resigns over U.S. Base Dispute 2 Jun 10 The sudden resignation of Japan's Prime Minister will trigger a period of political jostling among ruling party legislators as they struggle to find a new leader ahead of a mid-term election for the Upper House of parliament due next month. IHS Global Insight Perspective Significance Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama announced his resignation today after less than nine months in office. Implications Since rising to the leadership position last September, Hatoyama gained a reputation as weak and indecisive, reinforced by his dithering and eventual backtracking on the relocation of a U.S. military base on Okinawa, his involvement in an embarrassing political-funding scandal, and his failure to meet a number of other ambitious campaign pledges. Outlook While his resignation will not result in a change of government—the Democratic Party of Japan still retains a majority in both the Upper and Lower house

The Myth of the Shia Crescent

Author : Sadegh Maleki Fear of democracy leads regional leaders to demonize the Shias. By Sadeq Maleki. SOURCE: IRANIAN DIPLOMACY The parliamentary elections in Iraq have once again lent currency to the notion of ‘a Shia Crescent’—and its geopolitical implications—in order to poison public opinion in the Middle East. In 2004, when for the first time King Abdullah of Jordan warned about the formation of a Shia Crescent –which he claimed consisted of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon- he was looking to receive more than remarks of support from Egyptian President Husni Mubarak and the Wahhabi clerics of Saudi Arabia. The failure to realize his goals signifies the shrewdness of Middle Eastern public opinion—against the will of regional and extraregional supporters of a ‘Shia-demonization’ project. The geopolitical state of Shias is an incontrovertible fact, but can it in anyway undermine the geopolitical position of the Sunnis? No reasonable political mind can argue that a 10% percent mi

INTERVIEW: Turkey’s International Quest

Source: IRANIAN DIPLOMACY Turkey no longer wishes to remain a minor state. Interview with Mir Mahmoud Musavi, Iran’s former ambassador to Islamabad. IRD: A radical shift has occurred in Ankara’s foreign policy since Ahmet Davutoglu was appointed as foreign minister in Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s second cabinet. What is behind this policy shift? MM: During the rule of the Justice and Development Party, minimizing tensions with neighbors has been Ankara’s first and foremost concern. At the level of state leaders –and I mean the prime minister and the president- the government has heavily stepped up its diplomatic interaction. The Turks have been quite active in realigning their foreign policy, shifting toward a realistic foreign framework, and mending some old fences. IRD: Some diplomatic observers say these developments are merely tactics, not a clear-cut strategy. As a typical case in point, they always refer to Israel-Turkey ties, which have been more or less cold within the past f

NATO in the red

In deficit to the tune of €430 million in 2009 , NATO has serious budgetary difficulties, according to information gleaned by Intelligence Online. The organisation’s problems are so great that reforming the way it administers its finances has become a priority. Spending on all fronts - At the beginning of 2010, the Spanish General Alvaro Pino Salas was taken off the job as President of NATO ’s Senior Resources Board, which handles an annual budget CLICK TO READ MORE

Global Data Transfers: The Human Rights Implications

By Elspeth Guild Justice and Home Affairs IN:EX series We live in a world where global data transfers are presented as a norm; just part of life. It is when the individual’s right to privacy is overridden by the state’s appreciation of a need to know about that individual that problems arise. In this Policy Brief of the Justice & Home Affairs INEX series, CEPS Senior Research Fellow Elspeth Guild considers such questions as: what are the principles of privacy? What is necessary in a democratic society and what is the role of supranational and national courts in determining the meaning of privacy, and for whom? The INEX project looks at converging and conflicting ethical values in the internal/external security continuum in Europe, and is funded by the Security Programme of DG Enterprise of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Research Programme. For more information visit: Free download (pdf, 102.46 Kb

Saakashvili’s Second Spring

By Tom Balmforth Russia Profile As Saakashvili’s Party Lands a Key Win at the Local Elections, Moscow May Have to Stop Banking on a Change of Georgian Leadership and Rethink Its Policy Georgia’s first elections since the 2008 war with Russia yesterday delivered the party of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili a key victory, which is likely to anger Moscow. Since the August conflict the Kremlin has always distinguished between the “discredited” Saakashvili administration and former Soviet Georgia proper. As Saakashvili’s party triumphs unambiguously in elections that were deemed to be more or less fair, Russia may have to rethink its tact. Moreover, Saakashvili’s entourage looks set to stay, and that means something will have to give before any normalization of relations appears on the horizon. The final results of Georgia’s May 30 municipal elections were released yesterday, confirming that Saaka