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Showing posts from August 5, 2018

Imran Khan's Silk Road journey: Why Pakistan's economic dependence on China is set to grow The two states will continue to view each other as important partners, especially as India’s rise continues to worry Islamabad and cause anxiety in Beijing. POLITICS  |  MUSINGS FROM AFAR  |  5-minute read |    10-08-2018 HARSH V PANT As economic pressure mounts for Pakistan, it is becoming clear that the new government of Imran Khan will have to borrow $12 billion from the IMF to ease pressure on dwindling foreign reserves and repay overseas loans. Pakistan is reeling from an economic crisis and the IMF is its saviour of last resort. But there’s a twist in this tale as the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has announced that Washington would block an IMF bailout package for Pakistan if it is used to repay Chinese loans borrowed under the multi-billion-dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor. Pompeo underlined that American taxpayer dollars were part of IMF funding and, therefore, the US g

Diaoyu Islands Dispute: A Chinese Perspective Image Credit:  National Land Image Information (Color Aerial Photographs), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan A view from China on the treaties that apply to the territorial dispute between China and Japan. By Liu Dan August 08, 2018 There is a longstanding sovereignty dispute concerning the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands between China and Japan. An “international dispute” is a matter for objective determination: one exists if “there is a disagreement over of point of law or fact, a conflict of legal views of interest” between two parties, as it was stated by the Permanent Court of International Justice in the  Mavrommatis Palestine Concessions (Jurisdiction)  case (1924). Therefore, a mere denial from the Japanese government that the dispute exists does not prove the nonexistence of the dispute. China and Japan obviously have contradicting legal positions on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. Previous Chinese literature invokes historical evidence d

What’s in a name? Cambridge and Oxford Analytica

Oxan .com Dr David R. Young, Founder & President of Oxford Analytica, explains what's in the name, our Founding Principles, and why they have never been more relevant. Get in touch It was one level of offence for Cambridge Analytica to misuse our name – Oxford Analytica – and tarnish a reputation that has been built up over five decades. And it was another level to misuse the personal details from Facebook of 80 Million people – especially when such offences misuse the “truth”.   “ What’s in a Name ?’ asked Shakespeare, and at Oxford Analytica we would answer “truth and trust”! As we have seen first hand, the very idea of “truth” is "in play" today on a global scale.  This is worrying enough, but if ‘truth’ becomes merely a label slapped on an assertion, appropriated by one side to denigrate the other, then we are in trouble.  As the late New York Senator and Harvard professor Pat Moynihan put it, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own fa

Cry Havoc! Why the West Needs to Let Slip the Dogs of War in Africa OPINION  - August 6, 2018 By  Alex Holstein The 1980 film  The Dogs of War  offers a highly realistic depiction of a team of mercenaries (led by none other than Christopher Walken) overthrowing the brutal dictator of the fictional African nation of Zangaro. The film, and the book from which it was adapted, is itself based on author Frederick Forsyth’s own experiences in Africa during the Nigerian Civil War, in which foreign mercenaries played a central role. Almost fifty years since that conflict, and forty since the film, not much has changed in Africa – at least in terms of instability and the suffering that comes with it. In fact, it has probably gotten worse. But today’s threats are far more dangerous to both the continent and the greater global order beyond. Today’s Africa is home to some of the world’s most violent warzones. Nowhere does chaos currently reign more supreme, particularly as the main refuse point for the blowback out of Western wars in

Chinese and Russian Defense Innovation, with American Characteristics? Military Innovation, Commercial Technologies, and Great Power Competition Chinese and Russian Defense Innovation, with American Characteristics? Military Innovation, Commercial Technologies, and Great Power Competition Strategy Bridge     August 2, 2018 Samuel Bendett and Elsa B. Kania As great power rivalries intensify, China, Russia, and the United States are redoubling their pursuit of defense innovation in emerging technologies that could change the character,  perhaps even the nature , of warfare. At present, U.S. primacy in innovation remains a critical, though contested, advantage. China is emerging as a scientific and technological powerhouse, while Russia is creatively pursuing asymmetric advantages. Since advances in these dual-use technologies, including robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), are emerging increasingly from the private sector, the capacity to  integrate and leverage  commercial technologies will be critical in this race for advantage. Historically, the U.S. has leveraged close relationships between d

Bailing out Pakistan nese Invasion of Pakistan Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times  more > Bailing out Pakistan By Jed Babbin - - Sunday, July 29, 2018 ANALYSIS/OPINION: Nuclear-armed  Pakistan  is not a model of stability. It just elected a new prime minister after a campaign that featured widespread violence and election day bombings. The apparent loser has alleged vote-rigging in favor of his opponent, who was supported by the omnipresent Pakistani army. That’s one half of the context in which the  International Monetary Fund  ( IMF ) will soon consider another financial bailout for  Pakistan , which has benefited from a dozen of them since the 1980s. The other half is the fact that  Pakistan ’s economy is in shambles due to large-scale corruption and a growing debt crisis. The money it owes other nations and non-Pakistani entities is more than 30 percent of its GDP partly because of the extensive loans it has

Australia: Espionage, foreign interference and foreign influence On 28 June 2018, the Australian Parliament passed a comprehensive package of legislative reforms, including legislation to: enhance existing espionage, secrecy, treason, sabotage and related offencesintroduce new offences targeting foreign interference and economic espionageestablish a Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme. Espionage and foreign interference laws The  National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018 : strengthens existing espionage offencesintroduces new foreign interference offences targeting covert, deceptive or threatening actions by foreign actors who intend to influence Australia's democratic or government processes or to harm Australiareforms the Commonwealth's secrecy offences, ensuring they appropriately criminalise leaks of harmful information while also protecting freedom of speechintroduces comprehensive

How the Australian intelligence community works

Malcolm Turnbull has put Peter Dutton at the head of the Home Affairs super portfolio. AAP/Glenn Hunt May 10, 2018 6.26am AEST  John Blaxland,  Australian National University This article is the first in a five-part series exploring Australian national security in the digital age. National security, intelligence and espionage have been in the headlines due to events abroad and significant developments at home. News of  diplomatic expulsions ,  cyber-attacks ,  leaked documents about sweeping new surveillance powers  and the creation of a  new Home Affairs Department make it hard to follow. What’s more, everyone has heard of the CIA, for instance, but Australia’s own national security organisations are comparatively unknown. So how is intelligence gathered? What are Australia’s peak national security bodies and how do they interact? Australia’s national security architecture consists of a number of federal government departments and agencies, with links to state government counte