Saturday, 29 October 2011

Global Monitor - no. 5, 29 Oct 2011

Welcome to the fifth 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!

NATO Secretary General discusses NATO operations in Berlin
The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Berlin on Thursday, 27 October and met with Chancellor Angela Merkel in order to discuss Alliance operations and preparations for the summit to be held in Chicago next year.

Yalta hosts expert talks on cyber defence
For the first time, Ukraine’s leading IT companies were invited to participate in roundtable discussions on cyber defence, which were jointly organized in Yalta on 12 October by the Security Service of Ukraine and NATO.

FCO Minister comments on World Trade Organisation talks
Foreign Office Minister David Lidington commented today on discussions about Russia's accession to the World Trade Organisation.

Danes oppose a two-tier EU
Denmark's European affairs minister says splitting the EU in two clubs is step in the wrong direction.

Elite commandos storm lawless Somali war zone to snatch tribal leader
British commandos made a dramatic amphibious landing on Somalia’s war-torn shores to seize a tribal leader, the Daily Mail can reveal.

Libya: Security Council ends mandate for international military operations
On Thursday, the Security Council ordered the end to authorized international military action in Libya, more than seven months after allowing United Nations Member States to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians during a popular uprising against the country’s former regime.

NATO will stop bombing Libya but won’t leave
On Thursday, the UN Security Council passed a resolution announcing that Libya’s air space will be open to both NATO aircraft and local airliners starting next Monday. This resolution ends the no-fly zone introduced by the Security Council in mid March, just two days before the war.

NATO makes final decision to end Libya operation on October 31
From Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO:  Today, we confirmed the decision taken by the North Atlantic Council a week ago. Our operation for Libya will end on October 31.

Thai Defense Minister affirms strong Thai-US ties
Thai Defense Minister Gen Yuthasak Sasiprapa on Wednesday denied news report that Thailand declined an offer for help from the United States and that the US Navy withdrew several ships sent to help with relief efforts in flood-hit Thailand, saying ties between the two nations remain strong.

European Commission Disapproves of Croatian Restrictions On Hungarian MOL
The restrictive stipulations challenged the EU’s competition law, the free movement of capital within the EU, and other aspects of the acquis communautaire, as well as Croatia’s pre-accession commitment to the privatization of INA.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories
British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, met Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at the British Consulate General in East Jerusalem on 28 October.

EU bailout fund chief says 'no special deal' with China
Klaus Regling, head of the European bailout fund, travelled to Beijing Friday for talks with China's finance officials. He said after his visit that "there is no special deal" with China, despite hopes that China would pitch in to the fund.

Pakistan, China joint military exercise YOUYI-IV in mid November
The joint exercise, spread over a period of two weeks, is aimed at mutual exchange of experience and information through a comprehensive training programme in real time.

Cuba, China to enhance military ties
Cuba and China pledged to enhance military cooperation during a meeting between Raul Castro and China's No. 2 military leader, their leaders announced.

Clinton: U.S. would negotiate with Taliban leader
ecretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday the United States would be willing to negotiate with the leader of Afghanistan's Taliban if he met conditions that have been laid out.

ETA may been defeated militarily, but Basque independence has not
The drive for independence has only gained strength from the brutal way in which Basques have been treated

The Enduring Value of the U.S.-Japan Alliance
William J. Burns, US Deputy Secretary of State
Remarks at the University of Tokyo

Hundreds of Palestinians clash with Israeli forces in West Bank
Hundreds of Palestinians clashed on Friday with the IDF and security forces in a number of locations in the West Bank.

Pakistan Test-Fires Nuclear-Capable Missile
Pakistan on Oct. 28 said it had successfully test-fired a stealth cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

EU Security and Defence news
The e-newsletter on EU Common Security and Defence Policy activities

In Slap at Syria, Turkey Shelters Anti-Assad Fighters
Once one of Syria’s closest allies, Turkey is hosting an armed opposition group waging an insurgency against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, providing shelter to the commander and dozens of members of the group, the Free Syrian Army, and allowing them to orchestrate attacks across the border from inside a camp guarded by the Turkish military.

U.S. drone base in Ethiopia is operational
The Air Force has been secretly flying Reaper drones on counterterrorism missions from a remote civilian airport in southern Ethiopia as part of a rapidly expanding U.S.-led proxy war against an al-Qaeda affiliate in East Africa, U.S. military officials said.

Deal for Russia to Join W.T.O. Is Accepted by Georgians
Georgian negotiators said they had accepted a Swiss compromise that would clear Russia’s path to join the World Trade Organisation in December, bringing an end to Moscow’s 18-year application process.

Eurasian Bloc Will Learn from EU
Russia will learn from the European Union and seek to avoid its mistakes as it crafts an economic bloc of former Soviet states, said Alexei Likhachyov, the deputy economy minister overseeing the effort.

UK to chair Council of Europe
Minister for Europe David Lidington announced the UK's priorities for its forthcoming Chairmanship of the Council of Europe.

In House testimony, Clinton asks for patience on Afghanistan, Pakistan
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appealed to skeptical lawmakers for patience and support Thursday as the administration tries to mend a deep rift with Pakistan, encourage negotiations with U.S. enemies and prepare for the promised withdrawal of all American combat forces from Afghanistan by 2014.

No decision taken on next steps in talks with North Korea
Kurt Campbell, assistant U.S. secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said Thursday that no decision has been made on the next steps in talks with North Korea over its nuclear programs, two days after the sides met in Geneva for a second round of discussions on the issue.

also see:
Diplomacy with North Korea Takes Center Stage in Seoul
The South Korean capital is again the focal point for intensified diplomacy concerning North Korea and its nuclear weapons and missile development.

Kosovo Serbs Begin Partial Removal of Barricades
Kosovo Serbs partially removed several barricades leading to two disputed border posts in northern Kosovo on Oct. 27 and let NATO-led KFOR jeeps pass in a bid to ease tension in the volatile region.

Uzbekistan Unseals Kyrgyzstan Border
Uzbekistan has reopened its frontier with Kyrgyzstan, 18 months after unilaterally screwing it shut. Tashkent closed the border during the bloody ouster of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April 2010, dramatically wounding trade in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Bundeswehr To Close 31 Major Bases
The German Bundeswehr will close 31 major bases and reduce the number of personnel to less than 15 at 33 other sites. Since facilities with fewer than 15 personnel no longer are officially considered to be military bases, the number of bases will fall from 328 to 264.

Germany Wavers Over Sub Sale to Israel
Germany is reconsidering its sale of a sixth submarine to Israel in the wake of new tensions over Jewish settlement construction

North China Port in $7 Billion Expansion
Dandong Port in Northern China will spend nearly $7.1 billion over the next five years to increase throughput some 67 percent at facilities with strong connections in North Asia.

Georgia's Political Shake Up: Enter the Oligarch
Bidzina (also known as Boris) Ivanishvili has taken just two weeks to shake up the entire Georgian political scene.

 Revising Russia's Energy Strategy
Briefing Paper, Chatham House

Iran and the Gulf Military Balance
An excellent 136-page CSIS paper on Military Strategy in the Gulf

U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition: The Proxy Cold War in the Levant, Egypt and Jordan
A CSIS report
US competition with Iran has become the equivalent of a game of three-dimensional chess, but a game where each side can modify at least some of the rules with each move.

UNFPA: State of World Population 2011 Report
This UNFPA report looks at population trends around the world and argues that the right investments in people can produce positive outcomes, even as the world's population passes seven billion.

Sudan after the Loss of the South
Yasir Aramn, Secretary-General, SPLM-North, shared his vision for North and South Sudan to co-exist as two viable states in a new 'Sudanese union'.

Crisis Guide: IRAN
CFR’s excellent backgrounder and guide to the Iranian problem. A must-see.

The Gathering Storm: China’s Challenge to US Power in Asia
By John J. Mearsheimer, in The Chinese Journal of International Politics, 3 (2010): 381–96.

The Driving Forces behind China’s Naval Modernization
By Yves-Heng Lim, in Comparative Strategy, 30:2 (2011): 105-20.
Observing the decennial evolution of Chinese naval forces, this article questions assumptions that China's naval modernization can be mainly explained by the enduring salience of the Taiwan question or by a “Mahanian” impulse.

China passes the buck in Afghanistan
Chinese firms have made substantial investments in Afghanistan. The Aynak copper mine has been joined by an investment in oil fields in northern Afghanistan...

How Should Americans Think About International Organizations?
The Founders believed that nations should seek to work amicably toward common goals and in defense of mutual interests. As George Washington advised Americans in his Farewell Address, “Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all.”

A Model for Pakistan's Revival
Those skeptical that South Asia can be stable ought to recall how dire Southeast Asia looked a generation ago. In 1965, there were few hopes of peace, let alone prosperity, for the five countries that would form the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) two years later.

Is It Time for an Anti-Turkey Coalition?
The failure of Kurdish leaders to fulfil their diplomatic agenda extends beyond the latest Turkish incursion.

Arab Spring — Chief Consequence?
Shortly after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, Aluf Benn, the editor-in-chief of Haaretz, wrote a column entitled: “Mubarak’s departure thwarted Israeli strike on Iran.”

>>> Iran's Navy Threatens the Security of the Persian Gulf
The possibility of Tehran developing a nuclear weapon at some point poses a potential future threat to the international order. A real threat, however, has already materialized: Iran's fast-growing navy.

Henry Paulson's 5 Ideas for U.S.-China Relations
The former treasury secretary on how trade, technology, and regulation can build a mutually beneficial partnership

US Army Sees Imminent Cyber Threats
“I think the threat [of cyber-attacks] is very real and could potentially be very near-term,” said Brig. Gen. John Davis, U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Md.

Putin and the Future of the Sino-Russian Partnership
Putin’s proposal for a Eurasian Union implies the Russia’s probable next president might try to strengthen Moscow’s control over the post-Soviet republics at the expense of Beijing as well as other external actors.

Back to the New-SSR
It’s become so fashionable to automatically diss everything Putin does that critics are rarely forced to use their brains. That’s the only way to explain the curious liberal denunciations of the Eurasian Union, a free-trade economic and political bloc of major former Soviet states that Putin is rushing to get started.

Plan Afghanistan
Why the Colombia model -- even if it means drug war and armed rebellion -- is the best chance for U.S. success in Central Asia.
By Paul Wolfowitz and Michael O’Hanlon

China Wants (Bases) an Endless War in Pakistan
Washington just got a golden opportunity to end its decade-long excursion into central Asia and deplete the power of its Pacific rival/banker, all in one fell swoop. The Chinese are seeking bases in the tribal regions of Pakistan, precisely where the U.S. fights its drone war.

The End of the American Era
Essay by Steve Walt

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