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Showing posts from 2018

Taliban crossing points in Balochistan

Source: Tweet by Col. Lawrence Sellin Taliban crossing points in Balochistan 1. Bahram Chah 2. Nushki 3. Shorawak 4. Badini. Pakistan permits Taliban bases with recruitment, training, logistics, R&R and medical treatment in Pakistani clinics. Pakistan’s military allows the Taliban free movement across the border.

The EU Defense Industry: Background

Geopolitical Monitor BACKGROUNDERS  - December 24, 2018 By  Geopolitical Monitor SUMMARY The idea of collective EU defense has been around since the abortive European Defense Community of 1952. Yet over 50 years later, the continent still lacks the shared vision and organizational structures required to turn its oft-cited goal of ‘strategic autonomy’ into a reality. The challenge is compounded by the state of the European defense industry, which is fractured, organized along national lines, riddled with inefficiencies, and largely unable to maintain the extensive manufacturing base necessary to compete with global arms sales giants in the United States and Russia. Yet the geopolitical shocks of the Ukraine crisis and the Trump presidency have shattered old paradigms, breathing new life into History on a continent that has been happy to ignore security matters since the end of the Cold War. Now the EU has its vision, but can Brussels push through integration in the ever-sensitive

Zhores Medvedev's Life: A Chilling Reminder of How the Soviets Weaponized Psychiatry against Dissidents

Zhores Medvedev's Life: A Chilling Reminder of How the Soviets Weaponized Psychiatry against Dissidents The practice of categorizing one’s enemies as “insane” became a ready tool of suppression in the Soviet state founded by Lenin and developed under Stalin. Sunday, December 23, 2018 Image credit: Unsplash   Mark Hendrickson Politics   Soviet Union   Communism   Stalin Dissent   Torture The  New York Times obituary  opened with a simple recitation of facts: “Zhores A. Medvedev, the Soviet biologist, writer and dissident who was declared insane, confined to a mental institution and stripped of his citizenship in the 1970s after attacking a Stalinist pseudoscience, died … in London.” Zhores Medvedev, his twin brother Roy (still alive at 93), the physicist Andrei Sakharov, and the Nobel Prize-winning novelist  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn  were leading dissidents. They courageously put their lives on the line to smuggle manuscripts out of the Soviet Union. They wanted the wider wo

Israel, Greece, and Cyprus Join Hands in Beersheba

By Dr. George N. Tzogopoulos December 28, 2018 Benjamin Netanyahu, Nicos Anastasiades, and Alexis Tsipras at Beersheva Summit; screenshot of video from Facebook page of the Prime Minister of Israel BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,049, December 28, 2018 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Israel, Greece, and Cyprus are building a democratic bloc in the eastern Mediterranean. The Beersheba trilateral summit highlighted the strong momentum of this initiative, as well as American institutional support for it. Jerusalem, Athens, and Nicosia are expanding their collaboration in fields including defense, cyberspace, energy, and education. The potential construction of an East Med pipeline could be a flagship project contributing to security and prosperity in Europe and the Middle East. Israel, Greece, and Cyprus are steadily strengthening their partnership in the eastern Mediterranean, with institutional dialogue organized in the form of tripartite summits. Five such meetings have already taken pl

Africa’s Economic Development Is Impeded by Corruption and Populism Despite continued support, African governments have been very obstinate in their generally misguided development policies. Sunday, December 30, 2018 Image Credit: Max Pixel   Jorge C. Carrasco In March 1957,  Kwame Nkrumah proclaimed the independence of the British Gold Coast, changing its name to Ghana. Nkrumah was a peculiar person. Trained at British and American universities, he was convinced of two things. The first was that only independence would allow African peoples to overcome their secular backwardness. The second was that in order to achieve it, the ideal vehicle was a sort of African socialism that he called  consciencism . As soon as he came to power, he adopted the title of "Osagyefo" (the redeemer), changed the name of the country to Ghana, which in Akan means "warrior king," and secured absolute power. Nkrumah was a charlatan devoured by narcissism. Although he did not sympathize with even half of his fellow citizens, who spoke diale

AI could fix science's greatest modern time waster Razi, a Persian scientist, 10th century. Drawing: Louis Figuer's 'Vies des Savants Moyen Age,' 1867. Photo: Hulton/Getty Ever since science became a formal discipline some five centuries ago, academic research — a fundamental driver of innovation — has, on and off, seemed broken: Scientists have cranked out too many incremental advances, fallen behind on the best research in their field and produced unreplicable work. Driving the news:  Now, some are again rethinking the process, hoping that artificial intelligence could be the long-sought highway to faster and more reliable scientific discovery. Show less Why it matters:  The U.S. government spends billions on academic research each year — and companies toss in billions more. Yet science  can appear to be treading water , turning out a similar scale of breakthroughs as when funding was lower and the number of researchers smaller. One problem:  A combination of factors — higher funding, faster computers and

Central Asia Digest: Ananta Center

  Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar Advisor, Central Asia, Ananta Centre Former Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia December 2018| VOL 03 ISSUE 12| MONTHLY   H I G H L I G H T S  ●   Political Developments   ● Economic Developments ● India-Central Asia Relations  Political Developments Discussions on divesting former presidents of Kyrgyzstan of their immunity, potentially opening the path for prosecution of former President Almazbek Atambaev, are advancing in the parliament committee for constitutional law. A group of ethnic Kyrgyz originally from north-western Chinese region of Xinjiang have urged Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbai Jeenbekov to seek release of their relatives from "re-education camps" in China. Kyrgyzstan’s first reaction to reports that ethnic Kyrgyz had been detained en masse as part of a giant crackdown in China’s Xinjiang region suggested that Kyrgyzstan was unwilling to rock the boat. A UN panel has determined that over one million peop

INTERVIEW: Balochistan is a strategic center of gravity - Colonel Lawrence Sellin Interview with Retired U.S. Army colonel Lawrence Sellin He is a retired American Colonel, a war veteran of Afghanistan, Iraq and a mission to West Africa. He is also an expert of Kurdish and Arabic languages. He has a keen interest in the AfPak region and is also a harsh critic of the lenient USA policy towards Pakistan and China. Sangar Media Group took the opportunity to hold an interview with Retired USA Army Colonel Lawrence Sellin. We are thankful to Mr. Sellin for taking his time out for this interview. Q1.      The US has begun to withdraw from Afghanistan. What USA has achieved in the nearly two decades spent in Pak-Afghan region? Mr.Lawrence Sellin: After an initial victory deposing the Taliban regime, attempting to rebuild the country and establish democratic institutions, Afghanistan is on the verge of becoming a major strategic defeat for the United States. We were unwilling to take the fight to the real enemy, Pakistan

Russian Analytical Digest No 228: Cultural Politics

18 Dec 2018 By Ulrich Schmid, Peter Rollberg and Andey Makarychev for Center for Security Studies (CSS) This edition of the Russian Analytical Digest considers the politics of culture in contemporary Russia. Firstly, Ulrich Schmid focuses on the reactions to the house arrest of acclaimed director Kirill Serebrennikov. Secondly, Peter Rollberg considers the contested legacy of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Russia, outlining how Solzhenitsyn has become a useful authority legitimizing Putin’s statist agenda. Thirdly, Andrey Makarychev notes that, from a cultural standpoint, the strong Russian roots of the Estonian city of Narva represent an opportunity for, rather than a threat to the efforts aimed at Europeanization. The articles featured here were orignally published by the  Center for Security Studies (CSS)  in the  Russian Analytical Digest  on 30 November 2018.  Image  courtesy of ( CC BY 4.0 ) Kirill Serebrennikov and the Changing Russian Politics of Culture By Ulrich