Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Global Monitor - no. 2, 19 Oct 2011

Welcome to the second edition of DiploSoc's Global Monitor! 
This service, released twice a week, tracks foreign policy and other international developments of (sometimes long-term) relevance to global diplomacy.
The Monitor also offers a selection of analysis articles and updates on international affairs-related publications.

Please note that this service is still under development in terms of formatting, material selection and layout--i.e. it will improve significantly over the next few weeks. 
Of course, we would welcome any feedback and suggestions

Thank you for your interest and understanding!
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NEWS

Iraq negotiations: Not dead but on life support
The Obama administration's negotiations with the government of Iraq regarding a post-2011 U.S. troop presence are ongoing, but the prospects of reaching an agreement are dwindling fast, according to close observers of the process.

Tensions High On Kosovo-Serbia Border As KFOR Deadline Approaches
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said in an interview published by the Belgrade newspaper "Politika" on October 16 that the borders between Serbia and Kosovo must be redrawn if the current tensions are to be resolved peacefully.

Clinton to give Pakistan diplomacy one more big push
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is leading a very high-level delegation to Pakistan later this week to try one more time to set U.S.-Pakistan relations back on track, before they go off the rails altogether.

Restart of U.S.-DPRK Negotiations
The United States announced a return to dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The next meeting will take place in Geneva.

Clinton in Libya for Unexpected Visit
Clinton arrived Tuesday in the capital of Tripoli, where she is expected to pledge millions of dollars in new aid for educational programs, medical care for wounded fighters, weaponry assistance and archeological programs.

NATO to Keep Up Libya Mission Despite NTC Gains
NATO is not ready to call an end to its mission over Libya even though new regime forces have made big strides in the last two towns held by Moammar Gadhafi loyalists, the alliance said Oct. 18.

No resolution on U.S. troops in Iraq, Iran threat seen
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said American and Iraqi officials were continuing discussions that might permit U.S. soldiers to stay in Iraq beyond the December 31 deadline.

EU cancels Yanukovych meeting
Discussions on association agreement with Ukraine postponed over jailing of opposition leader.

Foreign Secretary visits Mauritania
Foreign Secretary William Hague says UK looking at ways of helping Mauritania on political reform, good governance and human rights.
This is the first visit ever by a British Foreign Secretary.

Serdyukov Signals “First Stage” In “Military Reform” Nearing Completion
Russian Defense Minister, Anatoliy Serdyukov, has signaled a shift in emphasis in the effort to reform the Armed Forces. According to Serdyukov the “first stage” of “military reform” concerned organizational changes mostly affecting the staffing of the military, now the “second stage” has commenced, which will focus on implementing the rearmament of the Armed Forces in accordance with the state program to 2020.

Kenyan Soldiers Advance Even More Into Somalia
Kenyan forces have entered a second part of southern Somalia as part of operations against militant group al-Shabab.

EU agrees deal on credit-default swaps
The European Union has agreed to ban ‘naked' credit default swaps (CDS) on sovereign debt and to adopt tighter rules to regulate short-selling as part of a compromise between MEPs and member states.

Russia resumes antipiracy operation
A Russian task force led by cruiser “Admiral Panteleev” has started patrolling the Gulf of Aden where pirates are operating. As part of an international mission aimed at fighting piracy, it protects commercial vessels from attacks.

CIS leaders sign free trade deal
The agreement was signed by all the CIS states except Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

U.S. ready to provide Russia with written missile shield guarantees
The United States is ready to provide Moscow with written assurance that the NATO-backed Euro missile defense shield is not directed against Russia, a U.S. under secretary of state said on Tuesday.

Transatlantic Missile Defense: Phase II And Lead Up To NATO Chicago Summit – Transcript
By Ellen Tauscher, US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security

Syria Opposition Meets Turkish Foreign Minister
Syrian opposition figures met Tuesday with Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu and briefed him on point of view of the opposition regarding the conflict in Syria.


PUBLICATIONS

New York Times: A New Pakistan Policy of Containment
Bruce O. Riedel stresses the need to reshape U.S. policy toward Pakistan.

The First Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review
With the promulgation of four documents—President Barack Obama’s National Security Strategy of 2010; his September 2010 speech on the UN Millennium Development Goals; his simultaneous Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development (PPD); and the December 2010 State/USAID Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR)—the Obama administration has put its stamp on development policy and strategy.

RIP Russian Empire
In a Q&A, Dmitri Trenin, author of Post-Imperium, argues that Russia is still an important global strategic player, thanks to its oil and gas reserves and nuclear arsenal. But there will not be a return to the Russian Empire.

Why 2012 will shake up Asia and the world
The geopolitical map is about to be redrawn.

The Role of Smaller EU Member States in the Post-Lisbon Environment
This is a transcript of a speech made by HE Karel Schwarzenberg, Deputy Prime Minister, Czech Republic, on 13 October 2011 at Chatham House. He discussed the significance of the smaller EU states, notably the Visegrád Four countries, arguing that these countries can be influential regardless of their size or economic strength.

The Challenge of Chinese Soft Power
This is a summary of a speech made by Dr Michael Barr, Lecturer in International Politics, Newcastle University, on 22 September at Chatham House. Dr Barr discussed the concept of soft power in relation to China, arguing that Chinese soft power differs from that of western countries principally because it has an inward-looking, domestic aspect.


ANALYSIS

Hillary Clinton ingests the Commerce Department
Once again she has stepped up and shown herself to be both an innovative Secretary of State and President Obama's most valuable cabinet member. For the second week in a row she is devoting her Friday to demonstrating how central she sees economic work to be to the job of the State Department and the international standing of the United States.

Israel plans new settlement of 2,600 homes that will isolate Arab East Jerusalem
Israel has submitted plans to build the first big Jewish settlement in the occupied territories in 25 years, in a move condemned as an “assassination” of attempts to revive peace negotiations.

Gilad Shalit and the end of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process
while the spectacle of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu breaking the ostensible taboo on negotiating with Hamas and heeding many of its demands in order to bring home the captive Israeli soldier may look like a sea-change, it’s more likely to reinforce the stalemate in the wider conflict — and possibly even raise the danger of a new hostilities.

U.S. Spies Facing Tens of Billions in Budget Cuts
America’s spies, like the rest of the nation, are looking ahead to a period of austerity. The intelligence community is facing a “double digit” percentage cut to its $80 billion annual budget, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said on Monday.

America’s Secret Empire of Drone Bases
Its Full Extent Revealed for the First Time

Is The U.S. Racing to Stop a Rebel Assault in Africa?
The Pentagon could be in a race to prevent a major rebel attack on African civilians, aid groups believe. That’s one disturbing possibility behind President Barack Obama’s announcement of a new U.S. military mission to Central Africa.

India Flexes Diplomatic, Military Muscle In Burma
India has made serious moves to upgrade its strategic and economic positions in Burma and in the troubled tri-border area between Burma, India and China following President Thein Sein’s visit to the world’s largest democracy.

Finally, a GOP Foreign Policy Debate
The debate will take place in Washington, D.C. on November 15 at 8 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast nationally and online on CNN.

Looking Ahead to The London Conference on Cyberspace
By William Hague
I have invited representatives from not just governments, but also civil society and business to the London Conference on Cyberspace on 1 and 2 November.
Also see FCO’s website for more details on the Conference:

 
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