20 January 2016

The Parallel Universe of Chinese Stock Markets

China understands fundamental concepts like “the market” and “shareholders” far differently than the rest of the world.
By Kerry Brown, January 20, 2016
While Chinese leaders often use language the outside world understands in one way, in fact their own internal comprehension and meanings are utterly different. One of the interesting side stories of the Chinese stock exchange saga over the early part of January is that it reinforces this idea. There are, in fact, huge parallel conversations going on between China and much of the outside world. The confusing thing is that both are using the same terms and vocabulary, while meaning wholly different things.
Three elements of the Chinese stock exchange illustrate this problem. The first is the Chinese leadership discourse about markets, the second is the role of shareholders, and the third the role of listed companies. These are pretty fundamental concepts and ingredients for any stock market anywhere in the world. And for each one, Chinese authorities clearly define them in a very unique way.
Markets are key. In 2013, there was widespread surprise, but also admiration, for the way in which the Communist Party Plenum that year, for the first time ever, said markets were essential, not just preferential, for reform. That seemed to bring them close to the most zealous free marketeer in the west. But it was, of course, just a statement on paper. When the opportunity came to really let the market sort things out, last July and now in January in the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets, the government balked, and then intervened. Perfecting the market is still an aspiration in China. We have a ways to go before it becomes close to a reality.

Half the world’s population lives in the yellow. The other half lives in the black.

Half the World’s Population Lives in Just 1% of the Land [Map]


This map was created using gridded population data compiled by NASA. Whereas populations are typically broken down by geographic regions such as countries or states, griddedpopulation data divides the world population into a grid of tiny square-shaped cells, without regard for administrative borders.
The population grid used here comprises 28 million cells, each one measuring roughly 3 miles x 3 miles.
The yellow region in the map includes every cell with a population of 8,000 or more people. Since each of them has an area of about 9 square miles, the population density of each yellow cell is at least 900 people per square mile, roughly the same population density as the state of Massachusetts.
Conversely, the black region is made up of those cells with populations of less than 8,000 people. In other terms, the population density throughout the black area is less than 900 people per square mile.

In total, the world’s population is evenly split between the two areas, half living in the yellow and half living in the black.
Plenty of open space
As discussed in a previous post, by 2100, the world’s population is projected to balloon to 11 billion. Looked at in isolation, that number seems astoundingly high.
Does the earth have enough room to accommodate so many people?
Judging by this map, the answer is a clear yes. While overpopulation may be a localized problem in some of the densely population areas of Asia (see population maps ofBangladesh/India and Tokyo), the vast majority of the world’s land area is actually very sparsely populated.

In terms of area, the black region covers 99% of the Earth’s land. Particularly in Africa, where nearly all of the population growth is expected to occur, there is an abundance of open space for more people to live.
Nearly all of the world’s population growth by 2100 will occur in Africa. By that time, the populations of Asia, Europe, and the Americas will be flat or shrinking.

A higher resolution view
Not all of the details are visible in the map at the top. If you’d like to take a closer look, you can download a high resolution version from here.
Below are the zoomed-in views of a few select areas.
India, Bangladesh, and China

The bulk of the yellow region is clearly located in India, Bangladesh, and China.
Nearly half (46%) of the world’s population lives within just the area shown in this image.
And unlike the rest of the world, much of the population is concentrated deeply inland. TheChengdu / Chengking region, the large yellow blob in the center of China, is about the same size as the state of New York. There is a good chance you’ve never even heard of these cities, yet the area is home to over 100 million people.
Java (Indonesia) and Japan

The Simple Step India Can Take To Make Pakistan Army Change Its Ways

Posted: 18/01/2016 
It is not just Indians. Many Pakistanis will also tell you the problem is the Pakistani army. The conventional wisdom – which the Pakistani foreign office refers to as “stereotypes” in its statements – is that the Pakistani army uses the India threat to maintain its supremacy in Pakistan’s politics and economy. For this reason, the Pakistani army does not allow normalization of relations with India, even when one of their own, such as General Musharraf is his last years in power, tries to achieve such normalisation.

The Pakistani army has a worldview – one that sees Afghanistan as its playground, one that gives it “strategic depth” against India, never mind if that means being a client state of the US or the jihadi blowback its own people suffer when the calculations go wrong.
The world’s only Muslim state with nuclear weapons has such a badass foreign policy even the United States has to deal with it using carrot and stick. Question is, what can India do to make the Pakistani army change the way it thinks about the world?
Not democratic elections, not the United States, not military threats, there’s only one thing the Pakistani army is afraid of, and that’s adverse public opinion. That is the force that forced a powerful General Pervez Musharraf to go. Yes, even dictators have to bow before public opinion, with some nudging from Washington. That is why the Pakistani army is so active with its PR. The phrase of the year 2015 in Pakistan was “Thank You Raheel Shareef,” the Pakistani army’s campaign to get applause for taking action against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the TTP, the bad Taliban.
It therefore follows that India should work on the Pakistani public opinion. How can India do so?

Some years ago a Western scholar doing some research on Indian politics was invited by a university in Pakistan to deliver a lecture. He went there, trailed every moment by plainclothesmen, and was surprised to hear the first question after his talk. “When is India invading Pakistan?” a young woman asked.
“Indians are stupid,” the Western scholar replied, “but not that stupid.”

India’s impending clash with ISIS

by R K Ohri, on 31 Dec 2015 
In a recent analysis on the website Africa Metro, Philip Rivers and Kent Underwood pointed out that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is determined to wage jihad against India, China and Rome. [1] It is time the international community realises that the establishment of Islamic State has been the most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11. 
ISIS vows to conquer Rome, India & China 
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has released a list of countries against which he intends to wage war to ensure Islamic domination of the world. These include The Vatican (Rome), India, China, Israel, Somalia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Caucasus, Sham (the Levant), Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, et al. According to al-Baghdadi, the rights of Muslims are being violated in all these nations. Many Indians are clueless about the threat posed by the ISIS and its global mission. Many believe that ISIS are just stupid and don’t represent true Islam.[2] 

Al-Baghdadi claims that the new Islamic State replicates the 7th century Rashidun Caliphate of Prophet Muhammad’s successors. The ISIS says it is necessary for Muslims to subjugate non-Muslims in the east and west. Apart from India and China, the self-proclaimed Caliph has vowed to conquer Rome and called on Muslims to immigrate to the Islamic State to fight under its banner around the globe. 
The Islamic State has released an e-book in which the group's journey from al Qaeda to ISIS has been detailed and future goals enunciated, including a warning that it will expand to India. 

A new book, titled “Black Flags from the Islamic State” (2016) was launched online by the ISIS on December 1, 2015. It reads like a chronicle of global Islamic militancy from the time of Osama bin Laden to the recent attacks in Paris.[3] The e-book warns that the caliphate will soon expand beyond Iraq and Syria to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, The Philippines and several countries of the Middle East and the African continent. 
Claiming that a clash of civilisations is in progress in non-Muslim countries between Muslims and the majority populations, the book specifically targets India. Alleging that in India a campaign had been launched by Hindus to kill Muslims who eat beef, it labels Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a right wing Hindu nationalist and accuses him of preparing for a war against Muslims. After gloating about the successful killing of 129 persons in Paris on December 13th, 2015 (‘An Analysis of the Paris Attacks’), the e-book invites all Muslims to join ISIS. 

** The U.S., the West, and Islam: The Real Meaning of ISIS's Expansion into Turkey, Afghanistan, and Indonesia


By Anthony H. Cordesman, JAN 15, 2016

It is all too easy to react to each new terrorist attack by ISIS by focusing on that attack, on ISIS, and on terrorism, rather than the broader policy challenges involved. It seems equally easy to lurch from a concern on Syrian refugees to a focus on counterterrorism, excluding Muslims, treating all of Islam as extremists, and dealing with Muslims in terms that mix fear with bigotry.
The Wrong Western Reaction Will Aid Extremism and Terrorism
All of these actions, however, may do much to encourage terrorism, tension with the entire Islamic world, and undermine the real battle against extremism and terrorism. It is all too predictable that ISIS will take every opportunity to strengthen its image, its “legitimacy,” and its ability to raise funds and attract volunteers by affiliating with other violent Islamic extremist movements.

Like Al Qaeda before it, ISIS will do everything it can to create its own cells and launch high visibility terrorist attacks in as many areas as it can – expanding its role in every Muslim country whose government is fighting extremism and terrorism: states like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan , and Indonesia.
ISIS will also do everything it can to use terrorist attacks in Western states to try to break up the counterterrorism partnerships that the U.S. and European governments have with virtually every country with a Muslim majority. It will use any over-reaction in counterterrorism – and every ill-judged Western criticism that seems to apply to all Muslims and Islam – as a way to convince more Muslims that the West is attacking them. It is also all too obvious that the more ISIS loses its control over territory in Syria and Iraq, the more it will both seek to spread and attack the Western states supporting Muslim states in fighting ISIS as well as seek to attack moderate Muslim governments and populations.

A Continuing Struggle over Decades
No responsible political figure in the United States or the West can deny these realities. It is also time that our political leaders were honest about the struggle against Islamic extremism and terrorism. It is an ideological battle, but it is also driven by a massive population increase (often 5 to 6 times since 1950), critical youth unemployment, failed economic development, corruption and crony capitalism, steadily more imbalanced income distribution, hyperurbanization and the breakdown of traditional social safety nets.

These forces have led to major shifts in the numbers and locations of sects, ethnic groups, and tribes and push them into tensions and conflicts. In far too many cases, secular political alternatives and values seem to have failed, and traditional religious leaders seem to be tools of failed and corrupt governments. As the Arab Development Reports have warned since 2002, these forces are also so great that it will take decades of effective reform to eliminate them, and some form of Islamic extremism and violence is certain to continue in every state and the Muslim world as a whole until such progress is made.

The Critical Need for Partnership

ISIS is also only one part of violent extremism, and even if it is defeated in Syria and Iraq, most of its fighters will go on to other countries or remain a threat. Even if ISIS fades as a name, other extremism movements will take its place. The most effective counterterrorism effort conceivable cannot succeed on its own.

The core battle will not be fought outside the Islamic world. The United States, Europe, Asian states, and Russia are all on the periphery of the core battle. Defeating terrorism and extremism requires reform and replacing frustration and failed governance with leadership and hope. Moderate Muslim clerics and Muslim governments must demonstrate their legitimacy and defeat extremism at the ideological level.

But, unless the West recognizes the need to keep moderate Muslim states as critical partners in the fight against terrorism and extremism, it will remain a target and risks some extremist movement taking over a state or states that have a Muslim majority. Any U.S. and European actions that deal with their own Muslims in terms of bigotry and alienation will make things worse. Efforts to create barriers based on faith and religion will alienate Muslims in both the West and largely Muslim states. Any form of anti-Islamic extremism in the West will feed terrorism faster than improvements in counterterrorism can defeat it, and risk creating a vicious cycle of excessive repression in the West and growing Muslim violence.

The Impact of Massive growth in the World’s Islamic Population

It is also critical to understand the deeper trends at work. Islamic extremism has never been limited to the Arab world. Its origins lie more in the actions of the Zia regime in Pakistan than the Arab world. They cannot be separated from the Arab-Israeli conflict (and ill-judged Israeli intelligence efforts that once tried to use Palestinian Islamists to counter the secular PLO.).

They have roots in the FSU and China’s efforts to deal with Muslims in Asia, some aspects of anti-communism in Asia, and the violent split between India and Pakistan and legacies like Kashmir. The Iranian revolution triggered the process of violence between Sunni and Shi’ite, Israel’s invasion of Lebanon alienated its Shi’ites, and the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq made things far worse.

This is why the United States and the West also cannot ignore the broader demographic trends in the Islamic world, and no state outside the Islamic world can ignore its impact on global economic interdependence. Extremism is scarcely the only force at work. Population growth is pushing Muslims into Europe and new areas. An aging Europe needs such immigrants. Conflict is creating a massive Muslim refugee problem now centered in Syria but spreading into Iraq, Afghanistan, and Southeast Asia.

A single chart – drawing on work from the Pew Research Center – illustrates just how much this growth is reshaping the world. Figure One shows the shifts that will take place in the balance of the world’s religions by 2050. These numbers may not prove to be exact, but they are shaped by decade’s long trends, and it is clear that the number of Muslims may increase by well over 70% between 2010 and 2050: A projected increase from 1.6 billion to nearly 2.8 billion people and from 23% to 30% of the world’s population.

Figure One: The Critical Role of Muslims in an Interdependent World

Source: the Pew Research Center, The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050,April 2, 2015, http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/.

Afghan Taliban Now Demanding Hefty “Tax” From Mobile Phone Companies

Afghan Taliban flex muscles with new telecom ‘tax’
Agence France-Presse,  January 18, 2016
The Taliban have demanded a hefty new “protection tax” from Afghan mobile phone companies, industry and militant sources told AFP, as the resurgent group tightens its stranglehold on a rare successful business in a slumping war economy.
At a secret meeting last month near the Pakistani city of Quetta, the Taliban’s central leadership formally demanded the tax from representatives of four cellular companies in exchange for not damaging their sites or harming their employees.
The edict was motivated by an Afghan government announcement in October that it had amassed a windfall of 78 million Afghani ($1.14 million) within days of imposing an additional 10 percent tax on operators, according to two telecom company officials who attended the meeting and a third industry executive privy to the information.

“They want us to pay the same amount paid to the government,” one of the officials who was at the gathering told AFP.
“We told them that this will kill our business, but they said: 'This is the only way to guarantee your people are not harmed and your sites are not burned’,” he added.
A source in the Quetta Shura – the Taliban’s Pakistan-based leadership council – confirmed the meeting, telling AFP the group was waiting for a formal response from the companies.
“We told them: 'It is our right to tax you if you want us to protect your (transmission) towers around Afghanistan’,” he said. “'You will have to pay’.”

The Islamists have long targeted Afghanistan’s private telecom firms, kidnapping engineers, destroying transmission masts and forcing regular coverage blackouts in volatile areas to avoid detection of their fighters.
Local-level Taliban commanders have been known to extort from businesses operating in their areas, notably the telecom firms and logistics companies supplying NATO bases and Western-funded construction projects.
But this appears to be the first time the central leadership has formally demanded a levy from business enterprises, underscoring how they increasingly operate like a shadow government.

The Pakistani Dystopia


Imagine a country that is embroiled in a long and bloody conflict with its neighbor, and each time its democratically elected Prime Minister tries to reach out and make peace, his own army launches an attack to make sure the peace doesn’t take hold. You might think you were trapped inside a dystopian movie. Unless, of course, you’ve been to Pakistan, where this happens all the time.

This week, Pakistani officials said they had detained Masood Azhar, the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, a militant group, for his alleged role in overseeing the attack on an Indian airbase in the city of Pathankot earlier this month. The attack left seven Indians dead. Jaish-e-Mohammed is one of several Pakistani militant groups whose members routinely cross into India and carry out attacks there, for the ostensible purpose of prying loose Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state.

Azhar’s detention is almost certainly a farce, staged to placate foreign leaders. If the past is any guide, Azhar, who has been detained many times before, will soon be free and able to carry out more attacks. This is the way it has worked in Pakistan for years.
The attack on the airbase in Pathankot, on January 2nd, came little more than a week after the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, flew to Lahore to meet the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, for a surprise summit. It was the first visit by an Indian leader to Pakistan in twelve years. By all accounts, the meeting went well. That’s an unqualified good; both countries possess nuclear weapons, and their unresolved disputes, especially over Kashmir, could have terrifying consequences. India and Pakistan have already been to war with each other four times.

Know Thy Battlefield: How Afghan Forces (With a Little U.S. Help) Lost a Key District in Helmand Province

A look at how the US-led coalition lost Afghanistan’s Marjah district to the Taliban

Heath Druzin, Stars & Stripes, January 16, 2016

KABUL, Afghanistan — Six years before U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Matthew McClintock was killed in a firefight on the outskirts of Marjah, thousands of Marines were poised to strike that same patch of ground in a battle that coalition commanders confidently predicted would mark the beginning of the end of the Taliban insurgency.
The plan was for Marines to sweep through Marjah and its opium poppy fields, driving out the insurgents, and then roll out a prepackaged local government to resolve all the complaints of villagers who had rallied to the Taliban cause. Lessons learned in Marjah could then be applied nationwide.

“We’ve got a government in a box, ready to roll in,” Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and international forces, told The New York Times in February 2010. On the eve of battle, the commander of British troops, Brig. James Cowan, told his soldiers the Marjah operation “will mark the start of the end of the insurgency.”
Today, Marjah is back under Taliban control. McClintock’s death on Jan. 5 illustrates how badly things have deteriorated since the United States began pulling out its troops and NATO ended its combat mission a year ago.
Experts say U.S. officials failed to take into account how much time and resources it would take to cement gains won on the battlefield.

* China’s Soft Power Strategy

By Saurav Sarmah - January 4, 2016
Definition of soft power

The concept of ‘soft power’ was introduced by Joseph Nye in 1990, but as a form of power, it has existed since the dawn of human history. Both hard power and soft power have contributed to the rise and fall of great powers. At the outset, we must distinguish between hard power and soft power. Hard power coincides with the classical definition of power given by Robert Dahl (1957), viz. the ability to make others do what they would otherwise not do. In such a power relation, the initial preference of an unwilling victim has to be transformed by application of one of the four means – coercion, threat of force, economic sanctions or payment of money. However, if a nation has the ability to make another nation want what it wants, i.e. the latter willingly serves the former’s interest; the power relation is called soft power. Soft power can be understood in four categories – persuasion, legitimisation, socialisation and truth-claim (Digeser 1992; Barnett and Duvall 2005; Nye 2011).

Before explaining the categories, we must clarify that certain things are misunderstood as soft power, viz. weak foreign policy, cultural products and propaganda. Soft power is an instrument of strong and assertive nations. US, UK, France, Germany, Turkey, Russia, India, China and Japan are leaders in soft power, not Peru, Greece, Egypt, Bhutan or Cambodia, although the latter also have rich civilisational heritages. Softness, unsupported by hard power, exposes a nation to foreign invasion or economic pressure. India was attractive to foreigners hundreds of years ago, but it was weak and disunited, so got enslaved. In the 19thcentury, China was a great civilisation; still it had to bend on its knees against the British opium traders and gunboats. However, when hard power is indiscriminately and unjustly applied, then soft power gets eroded, e.g. US invasion of Iraq, Israeli settlements in West Bank or China’s assertiveness in South China Sea.

As far as cultural products are concerned, someone may enjoy Chinese food but hate China or watch Bollywood and hate India. Anti-globalisation activists wear Nike shoes, drink Coke and use iPhones in protests against MNCs. Thus, cultural products are ineffective unless they turn into deep-rooted cultural habits or cultural obsession to wield any power.

Finally, soft power is not propaganda. During the Cold War, the communist countries allowed the screening of Hollywood films that were critical of the Vietnam War or exposed corruption in American political institutions, so that democracy and capitalism get discredited. But instead, the public admired the US for the freedom to criticise their government. Similarly, Bollywood films, 3Idiots and PK, have attracted the Chinese as the latter enjoy no right to satirise China’s customs or institutions.
Four Categories of Soft Power
Persuasion Legitimisation Socialisation Truth-claim
1. Inter-state and Tactical 1. Supra-state and Strategic 1. Trans-state and Structural 1. Post-state and Post-structural
2. Decision-making 2. Agenda setting 2. Preference framing 2. Knowledge production
3. (a) Traditional diplomacy (b) Moral-charismatic influence 3. (a) Norms (b) Institutions that are internationally recognised 3. (a) Public diplomacy (b) MNCs (c) NGOs (d) Cultural habits 3. (a) Religion (b) Universities-Think tanks (c) News-Entertainment
4. Influence the behaviour of other governments 4. Make alternative preferences appear illegitimate or unfeasible 4. Mould the preferences of other societies to suit one’s own interests 4. Control the production and distribution of truth
e.g. Vatican’s role in Cuba-US rapprochement e. g. UDHR, NPT.
UN, IMF-World Bank, NATO, EU, G7, WTO e.g. Ford Foundation, Greenpeace, Coke, McDonald’s, Olympics e.g. Christianity, Oxbridge, Ivy League, Hollywood, Pop music

How FP Stumbled Into a War With China — and Lost

Our intrepid reporters tried to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in the East China Sea. They ended up igniting a war in Asia.
As dawn breaks over the sea that separates Japan and China, a group of renegade Japanese ultranationalists wade ashore on a barren islet they call Uotsuri-shima. It’s the largest of a cluster of uninhabited and uninhabitable rocks known as the Senkakus, or the Diaoyu in Chinese, the unlikely locus of a long-running territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing. The activists plant the Japanese flag, declaring that the islands are inalienable Japanese territory; their YouTube video threatens the Chinese navy with destruction if it dares to seize the islands.

Caught off guard, Tokyo is slow to respond, but eventually disowns the ultranationalists and their stunt. By then, though, China has condemned the move as a hostile act and has dispatched armed coast guard and naval vessels to the relatively shallow waters around the Senkakus. Chinese marines arrest the 14 activists and vow to bring them back to China for prosecution.
The next day, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is dispatched to the area, accompanied by a squadron of Japanese F-15 fighters. China maintains its naval ships around the islands and insists that it will not withdraw from the area. As the two militaries appear headed on a collision course, Tokyo informs Washington that it is finally invoking the mutual defense treaty the two nations have had since 1951. Now the White House has a decision to make.

Luckily, this scenario is not playing out in the Situation Room but in the offices of the Rand Corp. think tank in Arlington, Virginia. Foreign Policy asked a war-game expert at Rand, David Shlapak, to lead FP reporters Dan De Luce and Keith Johnson through a simulated conflict in the East China Sea. Shlapak, who has a professorial, trimmed gray beard and a mischievous twinkle in his eye, has spent more than three decades organizing elaborate war games with maps and data-filled dossiers for U.S. military officers and diplomats in Washington. This is a much shorter version of those more formal affairs, with no government officials in the room and no maps on the tables. Instead, it’s just the three of us sitting around a conference table in an office only a few blocks from the Pentagon, talking through a hypothetical crisis.

Why Are Tibetans Setting Themselves on Fire?

 Woeser Liu Yi’s portraits of Tibetans who have self-immolated, Songzhuang art village in Tongzhou, on the outskirt of Beijing, December 25, 2012
February 27, 2009, was the third day of Losar, the Tibetan New Year. It was also the day that self-immolation came to Tibet. The authorities had just cancelled a Great Prayer Festival (Monlam) that was supposed to commemorate the victims of the government crackdown in 2008. A monk by the name of Tapey stepped out of the Kirti Monastery and set his body alight on the streets of Ngawa, in the region known in Tibetan as Amdo, a place of great religious reverence and relevance, now designated as part of China’s Sichuan Province. 

At least 145 other Tibetans have self-immolated since then. Of these, 141 did so within Tibet, while the remaining five were living in exile. According to the best information we have, 125 have died (including 122 within Tibet and three abroad). Most of these individuals are men, though some are women. Many were parents who left behind young children. The oldest was sixty-four, and the youngest was sixteen. Seven underage Tibetans have either self-immolated or attempted self-immolation; two of them died, and two were detained and their fate is unknown. The numbers include three monks of high rank (tulkus, or reincarnated masters), along with thirty-nine ordinary monks and eight nuns. But many were ordinary people: seventy-four were nomads or peasants; among the others were high school students, workers, vendors, a carpenter, a woodworker, a writer, a tangka painter, a taxi driver, a retired government cadre, a laundry owner, a park ranger, and three activists exiled abroad. All are Tibetan. 

These events constitute the largest wave of self-immolation as a tool of political protest in the modern world—yet there is no such tradition in Tibetan history. How did we get here? 
Recent decades have brought increasingly extreme oppression to Tibet’s third generation under Chinese rule. This oppression is primarily manifested in five areas of Tibetan life. First, Tibetan beliefs have been suppressed, and religious scholarship has been subjected to political violence. The dispute over the reincarnation of the tenth Panchen Lama in 1995, in which Beijing selected its own Panchen Lama and placed the Dalai Lama’s chosen appointee under house arrest, created the world’s youngest political prisoner and produced an irreparable break in relations between Beijing and the Dalai Lama. 

Get used to the China crisis: It will become old before it becomes rich

The country has hit an impenetrable economic wall.
There are two aspects to the China crisis that is worrying the world. One is the financial system that finds itself in a deep mess of its own making. The other is the inevitable economic slowdown.
Stomachs had churned on August 24, 2015, labelled “Black Monday”, when China’s stock market endured its biggest one-day fall since 2007. Since stock markets the world over are united by the same nervous system, the contagion spread to other places. Commodity prices tumbled below levels not seen since 1999. Germany’s DAX index dropped to more than 20% below its peak. American stocks whipsawed. It seemed like 2008 all over again.

It didn’t come to that. Stock markets are places mostly inhabited by irrational people, prone to irrational exuberances and gloom. Understandably so, for they make a living on the twists and turns of electronic highways on which travel money belonging to corporations, individual savers, pension funds, insurance companies and nations. The world has lived through stock market crises before and now has the means to recover fairly quickly from slumps. The Chinese slump passed, but the aftershocks are still being felt.
The fall in oil prices from $94.75 last year into the $30s and probably soon into the low $20s has had its effect on China’s giant export machine. China built huge capacities in anticipation of growth but did not anticipate the oil glut caused by new discoveries and shale oil in the US. Now, owing to the low prices, oil exporters are hurt and the world exim traffic has slowed down. However, this too shall pass and the world will get used to a lower economic trajectory. As will China.

Demographic dividend
Unfortunately for China, it has simultaneously hit an impenetrable economic wall. The People’s Republic has a people crisis – it has now stopped growing and is getting old. The reason is paradoxical. China’s one-child policy worked exceedingly well for it in the past. By preventing almost 400 million births since 1979, it gave the Chinese greater prosperity. It is estimated that between 1980 and 2010, the effect of a favourable population age structure accounted for between 15% and 25% of per capita GDP growth.

Whence Islam?


Journal Article | January 17, 2016 
Mohammed’s Kaaba Stone in Art
Yes, Islam! The politics and theology of Muslims is now the dominant source of global instability; although any separation of the two is moot in most nations with an Islamic majority. This is not to discount criminals, militants, extremists, terrorists, various Muslim small wars/insurgencies, or even “nefarious characters” and “lone wolves.” All of these euphemisms are symptoms; unfortunately, now also doing service as rhetorical burkas for metastasizing religious instability, a theopolitical movement of global dimensions. Call it Islamism, if a short hand is necessary.

Indeed, a latter day Muslim crusade is underway. Religious imperialism is now an existential threat across the autocratic Ummah and the republican West. If we can borrow the Huntington prophesy, the future is one of cultural conflict - between “the West and the rest.” The secular world is at war with irredentist theocracy.
China is still a bit of a clinker as its brand of command mercantilism is the ingénue polity of the 21st Century. Neither the West nor the Chinese have much experience with capital communism, so the best that can be said of Beijing at the moment is that the jury is still out. Nonetheless, the Chinese, like Russians, have their theocratic insurgents too - and few illusions about tolerance in the name of religiousidolatry.

Romancing the Stone in Modern Mecca

A few Muslim nations are “secular” in the same sense that the Democratic Republic of Congo is democratic or republican. National adjectives might be harmless for true republics, but for most of the contemporary Muslim world, the adjective “Islamic” is deadly serious. Just ask any resident minority, Jew, woman, apostate, or visible infidel. Tolerance is a national value for Islam only where Muslims are a voting minority.


January 17, 2016
Jerusalem Post , By NEVILLE TELLER \  01/17/2016 1
Some would claim that there is nothing to choose between Saudi Arabia and Iran, that they are Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Both, it is argued, are authoritarian, dictatorial regimes, espousing their own extreme interpretation of sharia law – albeit one from a Sunni and the other from a Shi’ite perspective. Both persist in judicial beheadings, amputations, and whippings, while persecuting gays, imposing restrictions on women, and bearing down heavily on any dissenting voices. Now that the two rival bastions of Islamism are at daggers drawn, some might say a plague on both their houses.
Such an argument is simplistic. For whereas the Saudis over many years proved themselves staunch supporters of US policies. and are today still cooperating closely with the West on security and intelligence issues while maintaining the flow of vital oil supplies, Iran has consistently denounced America and Western democracies, pursued policies aimed at disrupting their governments, and sponsored numerous, and often horrific, terror attacks against the US and the West.

The Saudis’ decision at the start of 2016 to execute the Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, as well as 46 other prisoners convicted on terrorism charges, has provoked a major crisis between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The schism has long been brewing. In Yemen, the Saudis and their Gulf allies have spent most of the past year fighting attempts by Iranian-backed Houthis to seize control of the country. In Syria, while Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and its puppet organization, Hezbollah, are fighting to support the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Saudis are backing groups committed to overthrowing him – in line with the policy of the US and the West, who are convinced that there is no future for Syria while Assad remains in power.
So as between Saudi Arabia and Iran it should be a clear-cut no-option choice, but a major complicating factor is the long-term strategic objective of the Obama administration in the Middle East. President Obama came into office feeling guilty about America’s strength. He began his presidency by declaring as often as he could that he believed much was wrong with America. His apology tour began on April 3, 2009 in Strasbourg. Throughout the nation’s existence, he said, “America has shown arrogance and been dismissive even derisive” of others. If the power of the US could be reduced, then America would have the “moral authority” to bring murderous regimes such as Iran into the “community of nations”. So, claim some, he set about reducing America’s strength and authority in the world.

Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, How to Resolve the ISIS Crisis

Posted by Peter Van Buren January 17, 2016.

* Stratfor: France’s State of Fear and Its Swing to the Right

Summary: The shift to the right is happening across the West. Here Stratfor looks at France, whose leaders have learned from America’s elites to exploit their people’s fears after a crisis to push through security laws and shift the political spectrum to the right. They compare its current political turmoil with France’s troubled relations with its Right.
Stratfor, 15 January 2016
France in 2016 will be characterized by President Francois Hollande’s attempts to cope with a country that is shifting politically to the right while leading a leftist administration. 
In pursuit of the right-wing vote, Hollande will take a hard line on the Middle East and restrict civil liberties at home. However, he will also increase government spending in an attempt to reduce unemployment levels before the 2017 election. 
This will ultimately be an uphill struggle, and the 2017 election will most likely come down to the center-right Republicans and the far-right National Front. 
Two months after the Paris terrorist attacks, French President Francois Hollande is seeking to expand the emergency powers he invoked in November 2015. France’s state of emergency gave the government the authority to search houses without a warrant and restrict the right to peaceful assembly, all without judicial oversight. Hollande is now looking to change the French Constitution to extend the scope of these emergency powers.
However, his proposed changes also contain a more controversial alteration: They would permit France to strip French nationality from citizens who are found guilty of terrorist offenses. In its earlier forms, this law would have applied only to offenders with dual nationality status, but more recent statements from French ministers imply that it could also apply to French citizens who have just one passport, leaving them stateless. Such a shift would represent a sharp change in direction for France, bringing up painful memories of the denaturalization of Jews in Vichy France during World War II. The proposed change also reflects a major political shift to the right as the country’s 2017 election looms ever closer.

Israeli Policy, Strategy and the 2012 Eight-Day War

“War is political action. It arises from political conditions, it ends in political conditions.”[i]
“Is it wise to structure your military strategy based on a segment of your overall policy?”[ii]

From 14 - 21 November 2012, Israeli forces and Palestinian combatants fought a brief but intense and costly war, officially labeled Operation ‘Pillar of Defense’. Within this eight-day span, at least 1,600 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula, including long-range missiles aimed at Israel’s cultural and economic center, Tel Aviv. Jointness amongst Israel’s security apparatus led to dozens of targeted killings of senior leaders of various Palestinian organizations, as well as the destruction of more than 1,500 targets, including combatants’ operational control centers, weapons depots, and rocket launchers.[iii] This short war had a high intensity level mainly due to the amount of firepower employed by both sides in relatively urbanized areas. However, a low noncombatant casualty count emerged.[iv] This article is written from an Israeli perspective, and the aim of this analysis is to raise and subsequently answer five key questions: precisely how does Israel view Hamas in the Gaza Strip?[v] What was the policy during the war, and what was the strategy that was employed to achieve it? Was the policy actually realized? Lastly, what can others battling violent irregulars learn from the Israelis during this eight-day war?

An Unofficial Security Arrangement
The Government of Israel (GOI) does not have a ‘Hamas Policy’. Rather, Israel’s political and military behavior, specifically regarding Hamas in the Gaza Strip, is part of a larger ‘Gaza Policy’. That policy can be understood as containment, which in the world of action is maintained via suppression in its various forms. That is, since Hamas’s seizure of the Gaza Strip in the 2007 ‘Battle of Gaza’, Israel manages Hamas based on a segmented policy which, as will be shown, has both advantages and disadvantages. The GOI aimed for a political condition where a contained and controlled Hamas in the Gaza Strip would continue to exist, living side-by-side with Israel, with violence kept to a tolerable level. Despite rhetoric to the contrary, the GOI accepted that Hamas was in power; resultantly, a type of unofficial security arrangement came into being. While officially Israel views Hamas as a terrorist organization, one would be remiss not to accept that a certain level of political utility exists between the two actors.
Two general perspectives are evident amongst Israeli security officials regarding how Israel views Hamas in Gaza.[vi] According to one perspective, the relationship is about creating the understanding that the Gaza Strip cannot exist as a viable independent state on its own. Hamas would thus need to recognize that it had to rely on Israel to survive; in turn, Israel would have to rely on Hamas, to an extent, for maintaining control of Gaza, which includes Hamas controlling the level of violence applied by other groups in the Strip. According to one former Israeli strategist and senior government official:

The Real Point Of Eisenhower’s Warning About The Military-Industrial Complex

By Angry Staff Officer on January 15, 2016
Eisenhower’s dual warning holds as true today as it did in 1961.
Sunday, Jan. 17, will mark the 55th anniversary of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous “military-industrial complex” speech. His key warning, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex” is what most people recall of this speech. It was taken to be a harbinger of the things that followed: the Vietnam War, massive defense spending, and increased American military involvement around the world.

But was that really the point that Eisenhower was trying to get across in his farewell address? In many ways, his address was a warning to the American people that is as timely now as it was then: The world is entering an era of persistent conflict and America must be prepared to accept that, as well as the costs of being a leader in the world community. It also must be ready and guarded to take on the dangers and pitfalls that are the flipside to having a large, modernized, and ever-developing military.
Eisenhower was at the end of his presidency. He could look back across a long career that encompassed military service in World War I (stateside), the post-war military cuts, service as Supreme Allied Commander in World War II, and as president from 1953–1961. The world had changed much in his time, but Eisenhower believed that America’s role in the world had not.
“Throughout America’s adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations,” Eisenhower said.

Little has changed since 1961 in that regard. Our main threat, or foe, if you will, has changed. Communism was the enemy of the day. “Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world,” warned Eisenhower of communism. Today we face the dangers of global jihadi extremists who demonstrated their reach and destructive capability in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Since then, we have engaged in two protracted conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which still continue to this day, echoing Eisenhower’s statement, “Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration.” With hindsight being 20/20, we take it for granted that the Soviet Union would meet its end in the 1990s. That was not clear in 1961; indeed, the struggle against the ideology of communism lasted 30 years after Eisenhower left office.

Global economic turmoil to dominate Davos discussions

Business leaders and policymakers at the World Economic Forum will focus on Chinese downturn, a commodities rout and stock market turmoil
Katie Allen, Sunday 17 January 2016 
The fragility of the global economy will take centre-stage this week with the International Monetary Fund poised to warn of growing economic risks as business leaders and policymakers gather for the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.
The IMF will update its forecasts for global growth on Tuesday and is widely expected to paint a bleaker picture for the year ahead amid the deepening Chinese downturn, a commodities rout and turmoil on global stock markets.
Investors are also awaiting the first speech of the new year from the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, and hoping for assurances that interest rates will stay at their record low for many months given the shaky global backdrop, a slowdown in the UK economy and low inflation.

The official theme of this year’s Davos meeting is “the fourth industrial revolution”, or the looming impact of robots and artificial intelligence. But central bankers, ministers and business bosses meeting in the Swiss ski resort will doubtless be distracted by the torrid start to the year on financial markets that has so far seen almost $4tn (£2.81tn) wiped off global shares in the worst opening weeks on record.
Even before the global rout, IMF head Christine Lagarde had warned that the slowdown in China, the world’s second-biggest economy, and the prospect ofrising interest rates in the US were feeding uncertainty and denting growth prospects for 2016. The IMF is expected to use Tuesday’s update to its World Economic Outlook to underscore that message and cut its global GDP forecasts.

Breaking News: Ukraine Says Russia Launched Cyber Attack on Kiev Airport

Ukraine says cyber attack on airport launched from Russia
Reuters, January 18, 2016
A cyber attack on Kiev’s main airport was launched from a server in Russia, Ukraine’s military spokesman told Reuters on Monday, as the state-run Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UA) warned of the threat of further attacks.
Malware similar to that which attacked three Ukrainian power firms in late December was detected in a computer in the IT network of Kiev’s main airport, Boryspil, last week. The network includes the airport’s air traffic control.
“The control center of the server, where the attacks originate, is in Russia,” military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said by phone, adding the malware had been detected early in the airport’s system and no damage had been done.

A spokeswoman for the airport said Ukrainian authorities were investigating whether the malware was connected to a malicious software platform known as “BlackEnergy,” which has been linked to other recent cyber attacks on Ukraine. There are some signs that the attacks are linked, she said.
“Attention to all system administrators … We recommend a check of log-files and information traffic,” CERT-UA said in a statement.
In December three Ukrainian regional power firms experienced short-term blackouts as a result of malicious software in their networks. Experts have described the incident as the first known power outage caused by a cyber attack.
A U.S. cyber intelligence firm in January traced the attack back to a Moscow-backed group known as Sandworm.


(Click on link above for full text of paper)
Greg Austin
Abstract: Australia’s response to the emerging centrality of cyber space in the conduct of future war has been slow and fragmented. The Australian play-book is not blank but it looks very different from those of pace-setter countries: key chapters in their play books do not yet appear in ours. The dilatory tempo of Australian policy is true in different ways for various actors: the government, the armed forces, the private sector, and the strategic studies community. This paper describes a number of international benchmarks which might provide guideposts for a rapid catch-up in Australian capabilities for military security in the information age (for cyber-enabled war). The paper will be relevant to other middle powers, many of which are even more disadvantaged than Australia in national military policy for cyber space.

On the one hand, the paper looks at the future international policy environment. It calls out major trends in the policy settings of two countries of strategic interest to Australia: China and the United States. Both regard military dominance in cyber space as one of the primary determinants of success in war. The Australian government has not been prepared to canvas in public the centrality of cyber-enabled warfare nor craft policies and doctrines accordingly. The discussion of how Australian policy compares with that of China and the United States in this field lays the foundation the paper’s review of international trends in war avoidance (preventive diplomacy) and Australia’s need to shape those developments.

On the other hand, the paper previews trends in the technologies and characteristics of cyber-enabled war (attack technologies and defensive systems) and complex cyber-enabled war scenarios. The United States and China have taken decisions in 2015 that reveal their determination to race ahead to the next stage of the development of cyber arsenals. They seek to create conditions in cyber space that in war time could undermine the effectiveness of the weapons systems, deployed units and military-related civil infrastructure of an enemy as quickly as possible. The two major powers are placing considerable attention on disabling enemy cyber systems in the early stages of hostilities, or even on a pre-emptive basis. Trends in the technologies of cyber attack and defence are moving in a direction that will present almost insurmountable challenges to the security of many small and middle powers.

Breaking News: Ukraine Says Russia Launched Cyber Attack on Kiev Airport

Ukraine says cyber attack on airport launched from Russia
Reuters, January 18, 2016
A cyber attack on Kiev’s main airport was launched from a server in Russia, Ukraine’s military spokesman told Reuters on Monday, as the state-run Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-UA) warned of the threat of further attacks.
Malware similar to that which attacked three Ukrainian power firms in late December was detected in a computer in the IT network of Kiev’s main airport, Boryspil, last week. The network includes the airport’s air traffic control.
“The control center of the server, where the attacks originate, is in Russia,” military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said by phone, adding the malware had been detected early in the airport’s system and no damage had been done.

A spokeswoman for the airport said Ukrainian authorities were investigating whether the malware was connected to a malicious software platform known as “BlackEnergy,” which has been linked to other recent cyber attacks on Ukraine. There are some signs that the attacks are linked, she said.
“Attention to all system administrators … We recommend a check of log-files and information traffic,” CERT-UA said in a statement.
In December three Ukrainian regional power firms experienced short-term blackouts as a result of malicious software in their networks. Experts have described the incident as the first known power outage caused by a cyber attack.

A U.S. cyber intelligence firm in January traced the attack back to a Moscow-backed group known as Sandworm.

Ukraine says major cyberattack on Kiev's Boryspil airport was launched from Russia

The malware found at the airport was similar to that which took down three major Ukrainian power companies in December
malware which could have taken down the airport's IT infrastructure originated from a server in Russia 
A cybrattack on Ukraine's largest airport was launched fromRussia, a Ukrainian military spokesman has revealed.
Suspicious malware was found in a computer in the IT network of Kiev's main airport, Boryspil, last week.
Almost 7 million people pass through the airport every year, and a cyberattack on its digital infrastructure could have caused chaos.
Speaking to Reuters, military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said: "The control centre of the server, where the attacks originate, is in Russia."

The malware found at the airport was similar to that which targeted three major Ukrainian power firms in late December, in an attack which caused blackouts and power outages across the country.
This attack was also traced back to Moscow, after a US cyberintelligence firm found it was part of a Russian group's ongoing hacking campaign.
Fortunately, the airport malware was spotted early and was removed before it could cause any damage.
The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia has given rise to what has been called a 'cyber war' - hackers from both sides have launched a number of attacks on each other, targeting government websites and military IT systems.
In March 2014, immediately after the Russian annexation of Crimea, Russian hackers disrupted the mobile phones of a number of members of the Ukrainian parliament. Shortly after, Ukrainian hackers gained access to live CCTV camera feeds in annexed regions, in order to monitor Russian troop movements. Countless other similar attacks have been exchanged since the conflict began.
Many of these Russian cyberattacks are believed to have been connected to a malicious software platform called 'BlackEnergy' - Ukrainian authorities will now investigate whether the airport attack was linked to this platform as well

JOHN MCAFEE: We aren't talking enough about cybersecurity

John McAfee, Jan. 17, 2016, 
We all know the publicized issues facing the American voters in the upcoming presidential election. And we have heard each candidate proclaim and re-proclaim, and sometimes change their proclamations on each issue. So forgive me if I insist on listing them here. I obtained the list, by the way, from the whitehouse.govwebsite.
The top five issues are: the economy, education, energy and environment, immigration and health care. The sub issues were listed as: Civil rights, disabilities, fiscal responsibility, foreign policy, taxes and a dozen more.
Cybersecurity was not listed at all.

Let me tell you what is strange about this:
In November of 2014, NSA Director Michael Rogers testified that Chinese cyber hackers can shut down the power grid in the United States and essentially end life as we know it in America.
In May of the same year expert testimony to Congress stated flatly - “A cyber attack on the US power grid would kill 9 out of every 10 Americans and leave the US in another century.”
And earlier this year a panel at the University of Tel Aviv concluded that an all out cyber war would mean the end of the world as we know it.

These are but few of the hundreds of warnings written and spoken by some of the top cyber security experts in the world, including myself. Has our government and political machinery gone deaf, or are these warnings, dire as they are, beyond the comprehension of our technologically illiterate political structure?
If such is the case, let me attempt to simplify the issue.
For the purpose of our discussion I'm going to ignore the near certainty that a cyber attack will disable all of our civilian and military communications, cause airplanes to fall out of the sky (yes, they can be commandeered remotely), our emergency services will be disabled, and our automated weapons will be turned against ourselves. I will ignore the hundreds of other atrocities which will certainly be manifest in the first few minutes of a true cyberattack.

Instead, I'm going to talk about our power grid. It's a simple issue which we can all understand. Of all our infrastructures, the electrical power grid is the most fragile. In the 2013 Infrastructure Report Card, prepared by the American Society of Civil Engineers, our power grid received a grade of D. Why? Because it is antiquated and vulnerable.

The US power grid.
When we talk about the grid, we are actually talking about three independent, but interconnected grids. There is an eastern grid, a western grid and the Texas grid. Each operating with different automated control systems. 
When one of these grids become overloaded by demand or by loss of power production, the national system automatically compensates, bringing in resources from farther away to provide the needed power. Purposefully incorrect allocations, strategically sequenced and modulated, would overload subsets of the grid, causing instability and eventual meltdown. Weaponized software, strategically inserted into the grid’s control centers, would turn our grid into a pile of burned out rubble when activated.

For sale: Israeli insights into battling cyber attacks

January 18, 2016, John Reed in Hadera
In an industrial facility, companies learn how to fend off the threat from hackers
War games: a hooded hacking instructor in CyberGym’s Red team building
The fluorescent-lit, white-walled space could be the control room of any industrial facility: a power station, factory or offshore oil rig. Alongside three people working at a bank of desktop computers is a water boiler turbine generator of the type used at power plants. Nearby, a large mainframe computer is quietly doing its work. Suddenly the turbine screeches, an alarm sounds and water begins to flow out of the boiler and fill up the glass casing behind which it stands.
It seems the facility is under attack.
This unsettling scene, entirely simulated, is unfolding at the CyberGym, a training facility in Hadera, northern Israel. It is designed to coach companies, governments and other entities in how to cope with a cyber attack. Trainers are on hand to monitor the keystrokes and reactions of the people sitting at the computers to see how they respond, and give them feedback to help them cope with attacks in real life.

“We want to see and feel how it looks to be under attack, before they are at­tacked in their real organisation,” says Ofir Hason, CyberGym’s co-founder and a former official in Israel’s Shin Bet security service.
CyberGym is one of several Israeli companies capitalising on the country’s expertise in online security, developed in response to what it describes as a new theatre of war and a threat that analysts liken to asymmetrical guerrilla warfare. The Jewish state ’s expertise has been built in symbiosis with Israeli intelligence and the military, known for their def­ensive and offensive capabilities in cyber.
Israel’s military is widely acknow­led­g­ed to have worked with the US to des­ign the Stuxnet worm, which infiltrated computers powering the centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility in 2009–10, although Israel never confirmed it was responsible for the attack. The Israel Defence Forces is setting up a new cyber division, the first of its kind, intended to operate on an equal footing with its land, air, and naval corps.

A Century On, Gallipoli Campaign Should Be More Than Just A Symbol Of Futility

posted on 17 January 2016 from The Conversation
-- this post authored by Anthony John Heywood, University of Aberdeen
By the horrific standards of the First World War, the ten-month Gallipoli campaign of 1915-16 was not especially bloody.
At about 130,000 the combined tally of fatalities on both sides was well short of, for example, the estimated 475,000 deaths suffered in total during the notorious Battle of Passchendaele, which lasted under four months in 1917. But the Gallipoli campaign has acquired a special aura of tragedy on the Allied side. It was unquestionably a comprehensive defeat, with absolutely no territory gained, and so perhaps we should not be surprised that the campaign has become an enduring symbol of futile carnage.
The Gallipoli campaign was a bold attempt by the Entente powers - Britain, France and Russia - to break the trench stalemate of the First World War. The Allies aimed to outflank their main enemies, Germany and Austria-Hungary, on a grand scale. The plan, with Winston Churchill as its chief advocate in London, was to seize control of the waterway between the Aegean and Black seas, eliminate the Ottoman Empire from the war, create a convenient, quick supply route between Britain, France and Russia, and bring neutral Balkan countries like Greece into the war on the Allied side.

The reality was a disaster. Naval attacks and infantry landings at the mouth of the Dardanelles strait were spectacular failures. Several battleships were lost, and the infantry units all failed to break inland from their landing beaches. Churchill's reputation was badly damaged, which helps to explain why he lost his place in the British government. Ultimately the troops were evacuated during December 1915 and January 1916. Among the near 400,000 Allied casualties were some 42,000 British fatalities.
This defeat was by no means the first occurrence of heavy Allied casualties in the war. For example, the Battle of Loos in September 1915 brought casualties that proportionately matched the losses in the infamous Somme campaign of 1916. The Black Watch regiment lost so many men at Loos that the city of Dundee still marks that anniversary every year.