Tag Archives: international security

A Darwinian world-AFJ

I think he is incorrect in giving future global influence credit to IGOs…if his argument is the economy, then it would be corporations and/or illicit corporations. IGOs will only give credibility to actions so that one nations actions are not perceived as one sovereign infringing on another sovereign.

At least we have conflict to look forward too.

Libya points to a new era of aggression and turmoil

As these words are written, U.S., British and French warplanes are striking Libyan ground forces along the Mediterranean littoral; American and other NATO troops are pounding out “fragile and reversible” gains in Afghanistan; and unrest continues to roil governments in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria. To our south, criminal cartels and violent gangs murder government officials, civilians and one another in Mexico and points south. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, whose state policy protects cocaine production and smuggling, invites into his country the Iranian Republican Guard and Hezbollah, while, over the horizon, China continues its naval buildup.

Whatever happened to the “peace dividend” and the long rest the world was supposed to get after the end of the Cold War? Those days are long gone, obviously, in the tectonic forces moving the world forward into a century more unstable than many had predicted.

Three years from now will be the centennial of the 1914 disaster that set the 20th century careering down the road to two world wars and the mass murders of Hitler, Stalin and Mao. We can hope that the 21st century is more peaceful, but it’s not looking good. For all the hope that globalization and the communications revolution would bring people together — and they have — at least part of the result has been to make aggression and murder more practical.

via Armed Forces Journal


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Defense in an Age of Austerity: 2022 (SWJ Blog)

Defense in an Age of Austerity: 2022 (SWJ Blog).

This fictionalized speech is delivered by a future Secretary of Defense in 2022

My fellow Americans, it is with a grave heart and serious reservations that I come to you today to announce the implementation of the results of the Preserving America’s Economic Security Commission. This congressionally-authorized panel was established to provide our nation’s elected leaders with recommendations to better balance the abyss between our national treasury and our collective ability to pay for our own government and security. Decades of delay and delusion have brought us well past the crisis point. We have preserved global stability for others for many decades, but at great expense. The long war against extremism has cost us well over $2T in direct costs alone and the interest compounds daily. Meanwhile the country’s demographic aging, rising health care costs, and insatiable appetite for entitlements has placed our great Nation’s balance sheet deep in the red. A culture of entitlement over sacrifice and shared obligation has eroded our stature as a great power and our moral standing. A decade of continued economic pressure, unemployment above 12%, coupled with a determined resistance on the part of the nation’s elected officials to come to any serious resolution of the country’s fiscal crisis has brought us to the point of peril….

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A Shift In Perceptions Of Power

Los Angeles Times
April 6, 2011
Pg. 17

A Shift In Perceptions Of Power

By Joseph S. Nye Jr.

Last year, when China broke off military-to-military talks following the Obama administration’s long-expected sale of defensive arms to Taiwan, a high American official asked his Chinese counterpart why China reacted so strongly to something it had accepted in the past. The answer: “Because we were weak then and now we are strong.” On a recent visit to Beijing, I asked a Chinese expert what was behind the new assertiveness in China’s foreign policy. His answer: “After the financial crisis, many Chinese believe we are rising and the U.S. is declining.”

These Chinese are not alone. A recent poll shows there are more Americans who believe China will be the dominant power in 20 years than believe the United States will retain that position. Some analysts go further and argue that China’s rise will result in a clash similar to that between a rising Germany and a hegemonic Britain that led to World War I a century ago.

One should be skeptical about such dire projections. China still has a long way to go to catch up in military, economic and soft-power resources. In contrast, by 1900, Germany had surpassed Britain. Even if Chinese gross domestic product passes that of the United States at some point in the 2020s, the two economies would not be equal. China would still have a vast underdeveloped countryside, and it would almost certainly have begun to face demographic problems and slowing economic growth. As some Chinese say, they fear they will grow old before growing rich. China is a long way from posing the kind of challenge to America that the Kaiser’s Germany posed when it passed Britain.

But many Chinese do not see the world this way. They believe that the recession of 2008 represented a shift in the balance of world power, and that China should be less deferential to a declining United States. This overconfident power assessment has contributed to a more assertive Chinese foreign policy in the last two years. The shift in perceptions seems to have emboldened the Chinese government, even though the judgment is wrong.

For years, China followed the advice of Deng Xiaoping to keep a low profile. However, with its successful economic recovery from the recession and 10% growth rate, China passed Japan as the world’s second-largest economy last year, and many in China pressed for a stronger foreign policy. Some blame this on President Hu Jintao, but that view is too simple. The top leaders still want to follow Deng’s strategy of not rocking the boat, but they feel pressured from below by rising nationalism, both in the bureaucracy and the blogosphere.

China’s new assertiveness affected its relations with others besides the United States. Its policies in the South China Sea created fear among countries in the Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations, and its overreaction to Japan’s actions after a ship collision near the disputed Senkaku islands led Tokyo to reaffirm its alliance with Washington. Beijing alienated South Korea by failing to criticize North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island, irritated India over border and passport issues, and embarrassed itself in Europe and elsewhere by overreacting to the Nobel Peace Prize granted to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo.

How will these issues play out in the coming year? It is likely that China’s leaders will draw back somewhat from the overly assertive posture that has proved so costly. Hu’s stated desire to cooperate on terrorism, nonproliferation and clean energy should help reduce tensions, but powerful domestic interest groups in export industries and the People’s Liberation Army want to limit economic and military cooperation. And most important, given the increasing nationalism of the Chinese people that one sees on display in the blogosphere, it will be difficult for top Chinese leaders to change their policies dramatically. Hu’s state visit to Washington in January helped improve matters, but the relationship will remain difficult as long as many Chinese suffer from hubris based on nationalism and a mistaken belief in American decline.

Given that China and the United States face global challenges such as financial stability, cyber security and climate change, the two countries have much to gain from working together. Unfortunately, faulty power assessments have created hubris among some Chinese, and unnecessary fear of decline among some Americans, and these shifts in perception make cooperation difficult. Any American compromise is read in Beijing as confirmation of American weakness. But with more realistic projections and policies, China and America need not repeat the disastrous experience of Germany and Britain a century ago.

Joseph S. Nye Jr. is a professor at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and author of “The Future of Power.”

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The Balkanization of the European Union a Blessing in Disguise? « The Global Journal

Thus the denouement of the economic crisis in the European Union threatening it with dismemberment may give rise to a savior who will salvage it from its ultimate catastrophe, the Islamization of Europe.

The Balkanization of the European Union a Blessing in Disguise? « The Global Journal.



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Defence Ministers Discuss Cooperation in Montenegro

At a meeting of the South East European Co-operation Process, SEECP, in Montenegro’s seaside resort of Budva, Sutanovac stressed that Serbia has a significant role in promoting that cooperation

He warned that, “despite the evident improvement of the regional spirit and cooperation, we should not close our eyes to obvious problems.”

“In addition to the unresolved status of Kosovo-Metohija, the region is also burdened with issues of insufficiently developed economies and high unemployment rates,” Sutanovac pointed out.

According to the minister, additional areas of concern include high levels of corruption, organised crime, trafficking in people, narcotics, weapons and body parts and failures to resolve issues of return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes.

“The unsatisfactory quality of life is what should concern us politicians the most, because we are here primarily for the benefit of citizens,” he stressed.

The SEECP meeting brought together the defence ministers of member states from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey.

Sutanovac noted that the entire region was committed to membership in the European Union and that “regional cooperation is a key segment of the EU’s policy towards the Western Balkans, since the EU itself came into being through the development of regional cooperation.”

He said that “in 2011 we have results which clearly show that there is no alternative to resolving disputes and problems through cooperation.”

“If we take the example of Serbia, only in terms of bilateral relations in the field of defense until and including 2010, we see that it has established contractual relations with all the countries in the region, except Albania, but this is something Serbia will work on in the foreseeable future,” he added.

During the gathering in Budva, the Serbian defense minister held bilateral meetings with his colleagues from Montenegro, Boro Vucinic, from Turkey, Mehmet Gonul and Albania, Arben Imami.

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