Friday, 21 October 2011

Global Monitor - no. 3, 21 Oct 2011

Welcome to the third 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!


Spain's ETA Declares An End To Armed Conflict
Half a century of bloodshed in the Basque country has come to a historic close after the separatist group Eta finally renounced the use of arms and sought talks with the Spanish and French governments.

EU – Ukraine trade negotiations: a pathway to prosperity
By Karel De Gucht - European Commissioner for Trade

EU wraps up trade talks with Ukraine
The European Union and Ukraine yesterday reached agreement on all elements of a “deep and comprehensive” trade deal, Karel De Gucht, the European commissioner for trade, told MEPs today (20 October).

Ukrainian president arrives in Cuba
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has arrived in Cuba on an official visit.

Gazprom considers possibility of laying third line of Nord Stream

Turkish Troops, Planes Attack Kurds in Iraq
Turkish forces crossed into Iraq Oct. 20 to strike at Kurdish rebels and warplanes pounded their bases in retaliation for the death of 24 soldiers, officials said.

France-Germany announce second EU summit
Preparations for Sunday's European Council have been thrown into disarray, with a joint announcement tonight (20 October) from France and Germany that a second summit may be necessary next week.

MEPs to endorse 5.2% budget increase
The European Parliament will call for a substantial increase in spending in the EU's 2012 budget on Wednesday (26 October) during its plenary week in Strasbourg. The MEPs will endorse a 5.2% increase compared to this year's EU budget, which totals €126.5 billion – well above the 2.02% increase recommended by member states in July.

Manila apologizes to China for collision in disputed sea
The Philippine Navy has apologized to China after one of its warships accidentally rammed a small Chinese fishing boat in disputed waters in the South China Sea, a defense department spokesman said on Wednesday.

Argentina and BRICs main trade culprits, warns EU report
Major trading nations led by Argentina, Brazil and Russia are raising barriers to international and threatening the global economic recovery, the European Union's executive arm said today.

US trying to stall UN bid
The UN membership bid is likely to come to a head on or around Nov. 11, when Security Council ambassadors plan a final meeting to decide their response, diplomats said on Wednesday.

Hillary Clinton in Oman for talks on Iran
A key Gulf ally, Oman helped secure since September 2010 the release of three US hikers jailed in Iran, two of them last month, earning gratitude from the United States.

Clinton makes unannounced trip to Afghanistan
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Afghanistan unannounced Wednesday to encourage the Afghan government to continue pursuing reconciliation with the Taliban and greater counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan even as the United States begins to exit the scene

Deputy Prime Minister visits Egypt
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will visit Cairo today to meet Prime Minister Sharaf, business leaders and young political activists.

U.S. CNO: For Navy, Asia Is Priority
The U.S. Navy will place a top priority on deploying ships in the Asia-Pacific region even as it faces possible budget cuts that could curtail other global missions, the naval chief said Wednesday.

Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton on the terrorist attacks in Turkey

Statement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the Deaths of Turkish Soldiers in PKK Attacks

British Foreign Minister Discusses Sahel Security In Mauritania
British Foreign Secretary William Hague visited Mauritania, Algeria and Morocco on Tuesday (October 18th), focusing on the regional security implications of the Libyan revolution and the threat of terrorism in the Sahel.

US-Russia Missile Defense Talks Deadlocked
Missile defense talks between Russia and the United States are deadlocked, but Moscow will not make concessions at the expense of its own security, Russia’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday.


Iran’s Accelerating Military Competition with the US and Arab States – Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear Capabilities
Expert report from CSIS, full of graphs and data.

Strategic Studies Institute: The Arab Spring and the Future of U.S. Interests
Dr. W. Andrew Terrill explains why caution is needed in assessing U.S. interests in the events unfolding in the Middle East.

Dubai School of Government: The Impact of Facebook and Twitter
In this Arab Social Media Report, the Dubai School of Government discusses how social media tools have merged online and offline identities, while playing an arguably critical role in dramatic changes sweeping the Arab region.
Excellent report explaining the dynamics of Social Media tools during the Arab Spring – with graphs and maps.

U.S. Ground Force Capabilities through 2020
As an era of greater austerity rushes in, policymakers face numerous difficult choices about how to prioritize shrinking resources. This study is an effort to inform those choices in the particular area of U.S. ground force capabilities, based on an examination of how well current plans align with potential future challenges ground forces might be called upon to address.

U.S. Ground Force Capabilities through 2020 – Appendixes
The above represents a brief overview of the inventory of ground force capabilities that U.S. lead­ers could consider drawing upon over the next decade. Collectively, by 2016 the United States and some of its key allies plan to cut their active duty ground forces by over 174,000, a 15 percent reduction from 2009 levels. Major changes, both quantitative and qualitative, are underway, and it is likely that the toolbox of today will look very different a decade from now. The United States has already determined that additional changes will be made, though the size and nature of those changes is not yet clear.


Climate Change Negotiations - Der Spiegel: The Death of the Kyoto Process
There seems little possibility that next month's climate summit in Durban will produce an emissions reduction agreement -- meaning the world will soon lack any binding CO2 targets. Europe may soon find itself alone in the fight against global warming.

Will Changes In Demographics And Population Shift The Power Balance Of The World?
Population change affects economic size which in turn affects power. As a result, Europe and the US's relative power will inevitably decline. Most predictions have China as the world's largest economy and India the third largest (with the US as number two) within 20 years.

Is Global Drone Warfare Possible?
Drone technology is spreading rapidly. As many as 50 countries are developing or purchasing these systems, including China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and Iran.

Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kashmir: A grand bargain?
U.S. strategic options: one that deserves a close look is a grand bargain: give Pakistan what it wants in Afghanistan - but on two conditions: Pakistan assumes responsibility for preventing terrorism out of Afghanistan, and Pakistan agrees to settle Kashmir along the present geographic lines.

A Smart EU Reponse to Yanukovych
The turmoil that has gripped European-Ukrainian relations following the sentencing of Yulia Tymoshenko risks jeopardizing an important strategic relationship, and both sides stand to lose big from this fallout.

China’s Overhyped Sub Threat
Beijing’s submarine fleet is not as big or powerful as US military planners once feared. Have its blue-water ambitions been overstated?

A Kingdom for a Strategy
Strategy and weather share a common limitation: People constantly talk about both yet, in today's environment, little can be done to affect either.

Obama Wears a White Hat
President Obama is right to send troops to advise African forces going after the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda.

Whither the Israeli Project?
Israel’s own ‘Arab Spring’ suggests a far more complex national destiny, but one that is to be expected for a maturing state and multi-ethnic society

Federalism Over the Next 20 Years
The future may not always be democratic, but where and when countries do democratize, the pressures for federalization may prove irresistible

The Leadership Secrets of Bismarck
China is hardly the first great power to make authoritarian development look attractive. As Jonathan Steinberg’s new biography of Bismarck shows, Wilhelmine Germany did it with ease. But can even successful nondemocratic political systems thrive and evolve peacefully over the long run? The answer depends on whether authoritarian elites can tolerate sharing power.

The Millennium Development Goals After 2015
The main achievement of the 'goals' approach has probably been to encourage more aid from donor countries. Is that still what is needed? Before actors rush in to an argument about 'which goals for what', it would be far better to step back and think bigger.

Improving European Policy Towards Fragile States
An analysis of the EU's current response to fragility reveals problems with both ‘how’ the EU works in fragile contexts and ‘what’ it seeks to do.

Poland's Natural Gas Revolution
With an estimated 1.4 to 3 trillion cubic meters of potential shale gas resources across the country, Poland stands to play a significant role in reshaping Europe’s energy map — offering the country a unique opportunity for business, trade and energy security.

Revealed – the Capitalist Network that Runs the World
An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.

Macedonia’s EU Bid Still Mired By Name Issue
For the third year in a row, the European Commission (EC) has recommended the launch of accession talks with Macedonia. The latest progress report, released on October 12th, again concluded the country is ready to start negotiations.

Who Will Write The Rules For Asia-Pacific Trade? – Analysis
In the last half century, world trade has grown twice as fast as output and helped to lift the majority of the world’s people from poverty—a feat unimaginable a generation ago. When APEC leaders meet in Honolulu next month, they will represent countries that account for half of world trade. Can APEC help to keep the engine humming for another half century?

EU Forecast: Shifting Dynamics in the Western Balkans
Coupled with lingering ethnic and national tensions still plaguing the region, the integration process is likely to be a gruelling task in the ongoing negotiations between Brussels and its counterparts in the Balkans.

China And South China Sea Dispute: Internal Differences and External Ramifications – Analysis
In probably what was symptomatic of the deep divisions that exist within the Chinese leadership, the well known Chinese daily ‘Global Times’, which represents the views of the Chinese Communist Party, published two articles on the same day with very different views on what China should do about the problems it faces in the South China Sea.

FPA National Opinion Ballot Report on U.S. foreign policy: Sanctions and Proliferation
Informed Americans about international and foreign policy affairs have voiced their frustration about U.S military interventions abroad and the potential for more of such interventions.

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