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Showing posts from May 28, 2017

Res ad Triarios venit: Aging and Warfare in 2050 Artur Varanda     May 25, 2017 “Things have come down to the Triarii." This is an old Roman saying, meaning that the situation has come to its bitter end. When the legions were essentially made of conscripted citizens, the Triarii were the oldest and wealthiest soldiers, and in battle they stood behind the lighter and younger Hastati and Principes. Usually, the Hastati were employed first, followed by the older and wealthier Principes, which usually were enough to win the battle. Having to commit the Triarii—the oldest, most influential citizens—into the mêlée meant that the situation was dire, and that victory was to be attained at all costs.[1] The trend of relying on the youngest troops to do the bulk of the fighting has generally dominated warfare since the first states warred, but so has the demographic trend of having a predominantly young population with positive growth ra

The Twilight Between Knowing and Not Knowing: US Recognition of Genocide

Mark Gilchrist     May 31, 2017 This is the final part of a three-part examination of the failure to recognize genocide in Rwanda. The first part is available  here , and the second  here . Since the end of the Cold War the United States had repeatedly demonstrated that it could move the UN to take rapid action, yet in the case of the Rwandan genocide this did not occur. [1]  At the height of its unipolar moment, Rwanda demonstrates not that the United States did not know about the genocide, but that a conscious choice was made whereby the prevention of 800,000 deaths in Africa was simply not in its national interest. The U.S. government chose not to recognize genocide in Rwanda and actively attempted to maintain plausible deniability of its existence. This policy originated well before the genocide occurred. President Obama’s UN ambassador, Samantha Power, describes an incident in late 1993 where a member of the Pentagon’s African Affairs Bureau suggested that Rwanda be added to


21.04.2017 © RIA Novosti Nikolai Silayev Andrey Sushentsov The risk of Russia’s involvement in low-intensity military conflicts has been growing since the early 2000s. Instability along many stretches of the border has forced Moscow to increase its military presence in the neighboring areas.  If we imagine Russia-West relations of the past few decades in the form of a frontier as a flexible and wide border line, we will see that this frontier has moved away from the Russian border in the past decade. The acute stages of the crises in the Caucasus (2008) and Ukraine (2014-2015) have shown that security issues in the post-Soviet space cannot be settled without Russia’s involvement and its final say. The Syrian operation of Russia’s Aerospace Forces has shifted the Russia-West dispute over Russia’s international status to the Middle East. The Russia-West frontier at the opposite end of the Eurasian continent is uncertain: the nascent Russia-China rapprochement and the recent ties b

The Silk Road to Nowhere The Silk Road to Nowhere Russia in the Asia-PacificChina’s Way 瞭華 Alexander  Gabuev It will take years for Russia to increase trade with China. To do so, Russia will need to strengthen its institutions, overcome non-tariff barriers to the Chinese market, and enhance its reputation among Chinese investors. On May 14–15, 28 heads of state, including Vladimir Putin, attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, an event that was supposed to showcase the success of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s Silk Road revival. It didn’t.  The joint declaration issued at the conclusion of the forum is rife with platitudes about supporting the common good and opposing evil that were included to assuage fears that China is using the initiative to drag other countries into its sphere of influence. Instead, Beijing came off as disingenuous. Perhaps most importantly, the Belt and Road Initiative suffers from a lack of performance crit

Pakistan: Abuses in mineral-rich Balochistan province Pakistan: Abuses in mineral-rich Balochistan province 30 May 2011  From the section South  Asia These are external links and will open in a new window Share Image captionLike most Baloch people, Habibullah is deeply immersed in local culture and traditions The deaths of at least 1,000 people since March 2008 in the ongoing nationalist insurgency in the volatile Pakistani province of Balochistan have often been overshadowed by the country's other troubles. Yet as the BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan discovered, the suffering there is every bit as acute. Getting to the vast Baloch tribal settlement of New Kahan is not easy. It is tightly guarded by a ring of checkpoints. We slip quietly past through a gravel path with help from a local guide. New Kahan is home to thousands of tribal Baloch people. The Baloch rebel anthem plays as children gather for assembly. Desperate p

Indian regional and global foreign policy aims diverge Tuesday, May 23, 2017 Delhi’s core foreign policy theatre is South Asia despite Modi’s rhetoric around the mid-2014 elections Source: Oxford Analytica Outlook Despite the initial rhetoric of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government promising an overhaul of India’s international standing, Delhi’s foreign policy is characterised largely by continuity rather than change. This trend is unlikely to alter during the rest of Modi’s five-year term to mid-2019. Delhi will be politically interventionist and assertive in its immediate neighbourhood, successfully leveraging its long-standing links with Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to contain China’s influence in South Asia. Ties with Pakistan, already hostage to historical differences, could fray further as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor draws India’s two arch-rivals closer. Outreach beyond South Asia will be transactional and pol

Economics and nationalism shape China’s foreign policy Tuesday, May 30, 2017 China is a rising power and potential superpower, the only country that plausibly could one day equal the United States Source: Oxford Analytica Outlook China’s glowing global interests expose it to new risks and potential for confrontation when its interests conflict with those of established powers. However, domestic concerns dominate Beijing’s policy agenda and China’s foreign policy is extremely risk-averse, shunning military involvement overseas. A stable international environment conducive to economic development is a priority of Chinese foreign policy -- however, this comes second to regime security and territorial ‘core interests’. China’s policymakers and public see the world through the lens of the country’s experiences as a victim of imperialism, predisposing them to uncharitable interpretations of foreign behaviour and extreme sensitivity to perce

Nuclear Deal Fallout: The Global Threat of Iran

31 May 2017 By Ilan Berman for House Committee on Foreign Affairs So, what has been the strategic impact of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 nations, otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)? More than a year after its implementation, Ilan Berman thinks the effects of the agreement have been profoundly negative for the stability of the Middle East. Here’s why. This article is a  transcript  of a statement given before the  Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade , US House of Representatives, on 24 May 2017. Chairman Poe, Ranking Member Keating, distinguished members of the Subcommittee: It is a privilege to appear before you today to discuss the strategic effects of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). More than a year after its implementation, the effects of that agreement have been profound—and profoundly negative for the stability of the

The Kremlin´s Gas Games in Europe: Implications for Policy Makers

31 May 2017 By Ilya Zaslavskiy for Atlantic Council What benefits does Gazprom currently provide the Russian State? According Ilya Zaslavskiy, it’s one of the Kremlin’s main cash generators and international political tools. In the latter case, the gas giant “subsidizes Russia’s wars in Ukraine and Syria, as well as the Kremlin’s well-funded effort to undermine European unity through propaganda and support for anti-European parties.” Here’s a portrait of the ‘pipeline games’ being played by Moscow. This article was  originally published  by the  Atlantic Council  on 24 May 2017. Gazprom is a monopoly gas company controlled by the Russian state. While the company presents itself as motivated solely by commercial logic and economic interest, it has a consistent track record of acting as an arm of the Kremlin’s foreign and economic policy. This paper provides an assessment of the choices facing the European Commission in regard to both Gazprom and Russia, as well as some background