Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global. Show all posts

19 January 2018

In 2018, Chavismo’s Time May Finally Run Out


Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s embattled regime ended a tumultuous 2017 by having to suppress renewed food riots resulting from the government’s failure to import sufficient supplies of pork leg, a traditional holiday staple. In one disturbance, a pregnant woman was shot dead by security forces on Christmas Eve. Yet if 2017 ended poorly for Venezuela, 2018 is shaping up to be even worse.  Already, there have been new outbreaks of looting in the face of rampant shortages of food and basic goods. Inflation, which hit a reported 2,616 percent last year — the highest in the world — will continue to surge in 2018. And, worst of all, due to bad management and corruption, oil production has fallen to one of its lowest points in three decades, “further depriving the cash-strapped country of its only major source of revenue and adding to the suffering of its people,” according to CNN.

7 January 2018

The case for optimism in 2018 My first assumption for the year is there will not be a war on the Korean peninsula

Gideon Rachman

The year 2018 is beginning with economic and geopolitical indicators pointing in very different directions. Global stock markets are at record highs and economic confidence is growing across most of the developed world. But while investors are bullish, followers of international politics are very nervous.

In recent years, it has tended to be the Middle East that delivers bad news, and Asia that specialises in optimism. This year could reverse that pattern. The biggest geopolitical risk is a war on the Korean peninsula. If the US carries through on President Donald Trump’s threat to use “fire and fury” to disarm North Korea it will be the first time that America has gone to war with another nuclear-armed state. The risks are literally incalculable.

6 January 2018

Don’t panic: Fears of nuclear escalations and cyber warfare are overblown

First, the potential for North Korea to weaponise a nuclear missile, and then escalate the probability of actually firing it. The second is that Hezbollah will launch a conventional missile attack – from its arsenal of 120,000 – on Israel, ordered by its masters in Iran. The third threat is that jihadists will fly drones into major demographic concentrations – such as football stadiums – and detonate biological or chemical devices. Finally, there is the threat of a seismic cyber attack which takes down the economy, such as on the US electricity grid. All of these are scary prospects, but what are the odds of them actually happening?

Preventive Priorities Survey 2018

By Paul B Stares

The Center for Preventive Action’s annual Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS) evaluates ongoing and potential conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring in the coming year and their impact on U.S. interests. The PPS aims to help the U.S. policymaking community prioritize competing conflict prevention and crisis mitigation demands.

5 January 2018

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2018 From North Korea to Venezuela, here are the conflicts to watch in 2018.

Robert Malley

It’s not all about Donald Trump. 

That’s a statement more easily written than believed, given the U.S. president’s erratic comportment on the world stage — his tweets and taunts, his cavalier disregard of international accords, his readiness to undercut his own diplomats, his odd choice of foes, and his even odder choice of friends. And yet, a more inward-looking United States and a greater international diffusion of power, increasingly militarized foreign policy, and shrinking space for multilateralism and diplomacy are features of the international order that predate the current occupant of the White House and look set to outlast him.

1 January 2018

Threat Lens 2018 Annual Forecast: An Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the Threat Lens 2018 Annual Forecast. This forecast does not focus on every global security trend expected in 2018. Instead, it concentrates on Threat Lens' core interest areas and examines the trends we expect to see shaping that space next year. The full version is available to Threat Lenssubscribers.

One of Threat Lens' standing assessments is that cyberthreats will increasingly encroach on physical world. The proliferation of ransomware has been one of the most visible manifestations of this trend in cybersecurity. This trend is also true in reverse: Security lapses in the physical world have been one of the biggest vectors for cyberattacks. We have no reason to believe that this will change in 2018 and, in fact, as technical security features proliferate, human error will increasingly play a role in high-profile instances of suspicious network activity.

Forget globalization. Internetization sums up our global economy better

The word globalization has lost its relevance and lustre with the emergence of the new global economy of the 21st century. In fact, it’s become an anachronism.

Its deficiency is that it’s not a new concept which creates nuances of confusion.

Globalization describes the international outreach of countries for the purpose of economic, social, political and cultural liaisons. Global linkages between countries through military conquest, colonization, multilateral free trade agreements and cultural exchange existed in an uninterrupted continuum in the evolving history of humankind.

29 December 2017

Che, Stalin, Mussolini and the Thinkers Who Loved Them

Aram Bakshian Jr.

Why are intellectuals and thinkers, who normally face persecution and risk under dictatorial regimes, nonetheless attracted to tyrants and would-be liberators?

WE LIVE in the age of self-proclaimed “public intellectuals,” although precisely what they are has never been adequately explained. Are public intellectuals, like public transportation, providers of a useful service available to all comers? Or, like certain other public conveniences, does one have to pay before the door swings open offering access and relief? Are they sources of enlightenment to citizens, policymakers and politicians, or are they, to borrow a phrase originated by Kipling and popularized by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, the latest heirs to “power without responsibility—the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages”? Baldwin, speaking in Depression-era Britain, was referring to unscrupulous press lords who exerted unchecked influence on public opinion; in some ways, the influence of the new public intelligentsia on today’s popular opinion is similar.

28 December 2017

The Year That Was 2017

We would not be doing our jobs correctly if we only forecast the year ahead. Quite simply, we must be rigorous in examining the past, and that means taking a hard look at how well we did in determining the major trends of the year gone by. In every respect, 2017 was particularly unique because of the questions — and alarmism — surrounding the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump. Would the world see a dramatic warming of U.S. relations with Russia that would leave many Western allies in the lurch? Would a massive trade war break out between the United States and China? Would the Iran nuclear deal be torn up? These were all questions we sought to address as we pondered the changing dynamics of the global system. What follows are some of our key deductions, alongside honest appraisals of what we got right and wrong. 

Migration Will Drive the Next Wave of World Wars

R. T. Howard

MASS MIGRATION, on the sustained and massive scale that western Europe continues to experience, creates tensions not only within states but also between them. These tensions will sometimes erupt into open conflict; already a new age of “Migration Wars” has begun.

This represents a curious inversion. Across the centuries, war has been a major, and often the main, driving force behind mass migration. Most obviously, an indeterminable number of civilians was forced to flee the fighting that raged in Europe and elsewhere during the Second World War, while the ongoing civil war in Syria has created perhaps 5.3 million refugees, in addition to many others who are “internally displaced.” Today, however, not only does war continue to cause mass migration, but it can itself become a cause of war.

25 December 2017

Who built the Indus Valley civilisation?

Tony Joseph

Genetics is about to answer a question that has vexed historians for a century. The author examines the range of possible answers and their implications

Who built the Indus Valley civilisation? There are few questions more fundamental to our understanding of Indian history than this. On the answer to it hang many details of the country’s past: How did we come to be as we are — culturally, ethnically and linguistically? And what explains the way we are spread out geographically in the subcontinent?

A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It's a catastrophe

Michael McCarthy

Thirty-five years ago an American biologist Terry Erwin conducted an experiment to count insect species. Using an insecticide “fog”, he managed to extract all the small living things in the canopies of 19 individuals of one species of tropical tree, Luehea seemannii, in the rainforest of Panama. He recorded about 1,200 separate species, nearly all of them coleoptera (beetles) and many new to science; and he estimated that 163 of these would be found on Luehea seemannii only.

24 December 2017

The New Era of Global Stability The grand ideological conflicts that began in 1917 are giving way to old-fashioned geopolitics.

Arthur Herman

After a century of chaos and mass death driven by conflicting ideologies, the world is entering a new era of stability. This new period of history is defined by the balance-of-power geopolitics embraced by Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. The White House National Security Strategy published Monday appears to reflect this reality.

The previous era was inaugurated by two momentous events: President Woodrow Wilson’s decision to intervene in World War I and Vladimir Lenin’s Bolshevik Revolution. Both occurred in 1917 and left overlapping legacies. In Lenin’s case, Russia’s communist revolution would spawn countless ideological imitators, leading to the deaths of tens of millions of people.

23 December 2017

Ten Most Significant World Events in 2017

By James M. Lindsay

Last year a lot of people were asking if 2016 was the worst year ever. (It wasn’t.) I haven’t seen anyone making similar claims about 2017, but that doesn’t mean that this year didn’t produce its share of significant world events. It has. Below is my top ten, listed in descending order. You may want to read what follows closely. Several of these stories will continue into 2018.

18 December 2017

Global Conflicts to Watch in 2018


As conflicts ignite and burn and flicker out around the world, U.S. officials assess the dangers they represent back home. Not all of these conflicts directly threaten American interests, which is why the Council on Foreign Relations conducts an annual survey to help U.S. leaders prioritize threats in the year ahead. For the past decade, this survey has focused on the risks posed to America by foreign actors. Now it’s reckoning with the risks America poses to the world—and to itself.

17 December 2017

The Human Face of Trade and Food Security

Katrin Kuhlmann

The system of rules and regulations governing agricultural trade and market activity, or the enabling environment, directly affect global food security. In the summer of 2017, a team from the CSIS Global Food Security Project and the New Markets Lab traveled to Kenya and India to explore how policies shape agricultural trade and affect the lives of smallholder farmers, traders, and consumers. The team met with farmers, donors, and government and private-sector leaders to better understand connections in the market from production through export, focusing specifically on beans in Kenya, rice in India, and horticulture (fruits and vegetables) in both countries. The resulting study explores the different dimensions of trade and how the regulatory environment shapes the market. It provides targeted recommendations for U.S. policymakers to consider to strengthen support for food security, market-based regulation, mutually beneficial trade, and economic development worldwide. 

13 December 2017

Global Militarization Index 2017

English (5.05 MB)

Compiled by BICC, the Global Militarization Index (gmi) presents on an annual basis the relative weight and importance of a country's military apparatus in relation to its society as a whole. The GMI 2017 covers 151 states and is based on the latest available figures (in most cases data for 2016). The index project is financially supported by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The ten countries that have the highest levels of militarization for the year 2016 are Israel, Singapore, Armenia, Russia, South Korea, Kuwait, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece and Brunei. These countries allocate particularly high levels of resources to the armed forces in comparison to other areas of society. For some countries that are included in the top 20 militarized countries in the world, the sharp decline in the price of oil has led to a reduction in military expenditures: Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia but also Azerbaijan.

12 December 2017

The Globalization of Our Discontent


Globalization, which was supposed to benefit developed and developing countries alike, is now reviled almost everywhere, as the political backlash in Europe and the US in recent years has shown. The challenge is to minimize the risk that the backlash will intensify, and that starts by understanding – and avoiding – past mistakes. Fifteen years ago, I published Globalization and Its Discontents, a book that sought to explain why there was so much dissatisfaction with globalization within the developing countries. Quite simply, many believed that the system was “rigged” against them, and global trade agreements were singled out for being particularly unfair.

8 December 2017

The Global Oil War Rages On With OPEC Cut Deal Extension

By Catherine Putz

Last week, OPEC and non-OPEC major oil producers agreed to extend production cuts that have prompted the recovery in oil prices through the end of 2018. With the cuts in place, oil prices have risen to above $60 per barrel from early 2016’s low of below $30. But as oil prices rise, market watchers are concerned that U.S. shale production will again hit a stride capable of knocking the entire Saudi Arabian-led market off kilter.

6 December 2017

A Fractured 2017

A century has passed since President Woodrow Wilson, in his 14 Points speech of January 1918, set out an American plan for the world. He called for the removal of economic barriers to trade, an adjustment of colonial claims that respected “the interests of the populations concerned,” and the creation of a League of Nations to guarantee “political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states.” It was a program that announced America’s ordering intentions, and it was supposed to put an end to war. Wilson failed; Europe’s peace at the end of World War I would last but a generation. Still, having gotten into the global blueprint business, the United States, more powerful than ever by 1945, would not relinquish it — until 2017.