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Showing posts from April 11, 2021

The US Military Is Set to Withdraw from Afghanistan On May 1. What Happens Next?

 Apr 11, 2021 Posted by Silk Road Briefing Written by Chris Devonshire-Ellis Op/Ed by  Chris Devonshire-Ellis Why the Afghanistan Peace Process is Vital to China’s Belt & Road Initiative  Breakdown in peace talks leave China, Russia, India & Pakistan picking up the pieces China trade deals with Iran and Saudi Arabia part of the process At stake is the future of Central Asia  Sergei Lavrov; the Russian Foreign Minister, has been visiting  New Delhi  and  Islamabad  this week, discussing trade, as well as the settlement of the Afghan Peace talks. This has occurred just two weeks after he met with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi in  Beijing . Top of the agenda in all these talks was the Afghanistan Peace process, coming as violence in the country is increasing and with a fast-approaching US deadline of May 1 for Washington to withdraw the American military from the country. The stakes are high – the United States ostensibly wants its troops back home, while China and Russia want

Pakistan, Afghanistan & Uzbekistan Agree 573km Connecting Railway

 Mar 05, 2021 Posted by Silk Road Briefing An Afghanistan vista of part of the proposed route Trans-Afghan Railway To Provide Links From Russia, Uzbekistan Through Pakistan To The Arabian Gulf  Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan have agreed to a roadmap for the building of a 573-kilometer route from Mazar-e-Sharif to Peshawar, via Kabul. The project, at an estimated cost of US$5 billion, will open Pakistani seaports on the Arabian Gulf to Uzbekistan and continue Afghanistan’s gradual integration into the Central Asian economic system. We have previously discussed Uzbekistan’s desire to use Pakistan’s Gwadar and Karachi Ports as a gateway to the Arabian Sea in the article  here . In Uzbekistan, the Central Asian, landlocked country, the deal has been called the “event of the century” by Tanzila Narbaeva, the Chairman of the national Senate, noting it as “another example of Uzbekistan actively pursuing an open and pragmatic foreign policy.” There are however significant infrastructure

India's Crypto-Clueless Regulators

04/13/2021 Nikhil Sridhar Even those who vaguely follow the cryptocurrency markets (as I am sure many readers of the  Mises Wire  do) are likely to have seen the recent  news  on this front from India. The Indian government is proposing legislation to “ban” cryptocurrencies. Given the present segmentation of the Indian government, it is expected that this law will pass. In this article, I will consider some of the chief concerns that may prompt regulators to consider, and unfortunately implement, in some cases, prohibitions on cryptocurrencies and adjacent activities. Fool Me Once… Before delving into the evaluation of this ordinance, it is worth considering this law and the context surrounding it in more detail. Indian officials have been mulling over cryptocurrency restrictions for some time now. As some readers might remember, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s monetary authority,  imposed  a substantial level of restrictions on cryptocurrencies in April 2018. These restrictio

Microsoft looks to leapfrog competitors

Microsoft looks to leapfrog competitors Microsoft  announced  Monday it would buy Nuance Communications, a software company that focuses on speech recognition through artificial intelligence, in an all-cash transaction valued at $19.7 billion (including debt assumption). Why it matters:  This is Microsoft's second-largest acquisition, behind the $26.2 billion deal for LinkedIn in 2016. Be smart:  Microsoft is trying to leapfrog competitors like Google and Amazon as they face record antitrust scrutiny. The big picture:  The deals Microsoft has been eyeing are larger than its usual targets and bigger than those of its competitors. Microsoft  tried to buy  TikTok's U.S. operations last year in a deal  reportedly valued  between $10 billion to $30 billion. Reports suggest it's  in advanced talks  with gaming chat app Discord for a deal worth more than $10 billion. A report in February suggested  Microsoft was eyeing  a takeover of Pinterest, worth $51 billion on the public mark

Difficult Choices: Taiwan's Quest for Security and the Good Life

By Richard C. Bush Taiwan today faces a host of internal issues, such as an aging population and the resulting intergenerational conflicts over spending priorities. Likewise, China's long-term threat to incorporate the island on terms similar to those used for Hong Kong exacerbates the island's home-grown problems. It is Taiwan's democratic system that will make the tough choices among competing priorities, and the stakes are high. How Taiwan democracy responds to the internal and external challenges it faces—and what the United States and other outside powers do to help—will determine whether it is able to stand its ground against China's ambitions.   In a new book from the Brookings Institution Press—"Difficult Choices: Taiwan's Quest for Security and the Good Life"—Richard Bush explores the broad range of issues and policy choices democratic Taiwan confronts and offers suggestions both for what Taiwan can do to help itself and what the United States sho

How Ideology is used by the ruling class?

Why the marginalized majority or the ruled, do not unite and revolt against the ruling class? Because they are blinded by Ideology . A tool used by ruling class to control the ruled. "Economic and political constraints apart, there are a number of other reasons why people do not revolt. They may be broadly ignorant of and disinterested in the form of rule to which they are subjected. They may not be aware of alternative modes of social organization, and, even if they are, they may feel powerless to affect the existing state of affairs. However, this ignorance, disinterest or lack of confidence is not simply given, as a psychological characteristic of individuals and groups. It is generated by definite social  processes." Ideology as a tool to control humans. "Ideology functions by moulding personality : it subjects the amorphous libido of new-born human animals to a specific social order  and qualifies them for the differential roles they will play in society. In this p

Extroversion of aggressive frustration is another ancient device of displacement

"Extroversion of aggressive frustration is another ancient device of displacement. Pogroms, external wars, hunts for foreign agents and spies have repeatedly served as powerful instruments with which to divert class conflict and rally the ruled behind their rulers. Just as old, but rarely as effective, is the creation of scapegoats, that is to say, the purge of selected leading personnel who are made responsible for unpopular state policies ." What Does the Ruling Class Do When It Rules? Book by Göran Therborn

Insurgencies are distinct from wars. India needs new strategy to battle Maoists

Conventional wars pivot around geographical resources. An insurgency, on the other hand, is a competition between the insurgent and the government or support of the local population By Raghu Raman PUBLISHED ON APR 12, 2021 02:49 PM IST Security personnel at the site of Maoist attack at Sukma-Bijapur border on April 4. (File photo) Colonel Harry Summers, a Vietnam veteran and author, once recounted a conversation he had with his North Vietnamese Army counterpart a week before the fall of Saigon. He said, “You know, you never beat us Americans on the battlefield.” “That may be so”, the NVA colonel replied. “but it is also irrelevant”. Conventional wars pivot around geographical resources. Be it capture of a ground of tactical importance, or victory at a theatre level, conventional war aims to destroy the enemy’s troops & resources and dominate areas previously controlled by the enemy. That is the pattern of conventional wars. An insurgency, on the other hand, is a competition between