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Monday, 28 November 2011

Global Monitor - no. 9, 28 Nov 2011

Welcome to the 9th edition of DiploSoc's Global Monitor! 
This service 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!



Twenty-one NATO soldiers were wounded overnight, one seriously, when Serbs in Kosovo fought with peacekeepers trying to remove barricades erected against the country's ethnic Albanian authorities, the alliance said on Thursday.


African Union Force Makes Strides Inside Somalia
Analysts say the African Union has done a better job of pacifying Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital and a hornet’s nest of Islamist militants, clan warlords, factional armies and countless glassy-eyed freelance gunmen, than any other outside force, including 25,000 American troops in the 1990s.

Syria despatch: inside the battle for Homs, centre of resistance to Bashar al-Assad
The battle for Syria: angry deserters, desperate night-time battles and children shot down while playing in the street.

Ban voices deep concern over continuing violence in Egypt
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced deep concern over the continuing deadly violence in Egypt in recent days and urged the country''s transitional authorities to ensure that all citizens can enjoy basic human rights.

Islamist Party Poised to Take Power in Morocco
A victory by the Justice and Development Party in Morocco's first parliamentary elections since Arab Spring-inspired constitutional changes looked set to make Morocco the second Arab country this year to bring a moderate Islamist party into power.


Obama To Host US-EU Summit Monday
U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting European Union leaders at the White House Monday for this year’s U.S.-EU Summit.

                                                MIDDLE EAST

Iran threatens to hit Turkey if US, Israel attack
Iran will target NATO's missile defense installations in Turkey if the U.S. or Israel attacks the Islamic Republic, a senior commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard said Saturday.

Arab League Overwhelmingly Imposes Sanctions on Syria
The Arab League overwhelmingly approved sanctions Sunday against Syria to pressure Damascus to end its deadly eight-month crackdown on dissent, an unprecedented move by the League against an Arab state.

Yemen: Warplanes kill 80 anti-government tribesmen
A security official said that Yemeni warplanes have killed 80 anti-government tribesmen

Pakistan Condemns 'Unprovoked' Border Attack
Pakistan accused NATO and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) of a deliberate and unprovoked attack on two of its border posts along the Afghan-Pakistan border

NATO Scrambles to Contain Pakistan Fallout
NATO moved Nov. 27 to contain the damage from the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers, seeking to soothe Islamabad's rage against the U.S. and its military allies in Afghanistan over the airstrike.

China, India perform dangerous new dance of encircler, counter-encircler
Threatened by China’s rapidly growing ties with its South Asian neighbors, India is increasingly trying to penetrate Beijing’s traditional sphere of influence, and the mutual irritations are beginning to show.


Russia in 2020: Scenarios for the Future
Maria Lipman, Nikolay Petrov Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
As Vladimir Putin prepares to return to the presidency in the 2012 elections, the prospects for Russia’s future are unclear. Russia in 2020 brings together leading experts from Russia, the United States, and Europe to analyze the possible scenarios for Russia’s development in the next decade and the risks that lie ahead.

Big change whether we like it or not
Only Washington is clueless
Andrew J. Bacevich in Le Monde Diplomatique

Hostage to Conflict: Prospects for Building Regional Economic Cooperation in the Horn of Africa
Chatham House Report by Sally Healy
This report examines the economic dimensions of regional conflict and cooperation in the Horn of Africa. It asks whether, over the long term, economic drivers have the potential to transform endemic conflict among states or whether political stability is a precondition for enhancing economic cooperation. 

China’s Economy: On Track, But Challenges Abound
China’s challenge is to design a program that avoids rekindling inflation and property bubbles and, at the same time, promotes macroeconomic rebalancing.
Report by Pieter Bottelier at the Carnegie Endownment for International Peace

Social Business: A Way to Solve Society's Most Pressing Problems
This is a transcript of a speech made by Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank and Nobel Laureate (2006) on 25 November 2011 at Chatham House.
Professor Yunus discussed the partnerships he has established with global companies and governments worldwide and the ways in which microfinance can help to drive development and lift the world's poorest out of poverty.


The Arab Spring: Hello Or Goodbye To Democracy?
Are we witnessing the fading to black of the prospects for freedom and democracy in Egypt, or, is resurgent people power going to make it impossible for the military to maintain its controlling grip?

Since the midsummer slump in its relations with the Philippines and Vietnam, China has been taking diplomatic steps to repair the damage.

The cancelation of the latest talks over their disputed border, allegedly due to Chinese pressure on India over the Dalai Lama, is likely to stoke growing tensions.

3 Ways to Salvage Upcoming Global Climate Talks
Despite intransigence from China and the U.S. -- the world's two leading polluters -- the Durban conference can still do some good

The accidental killing of 24 Pakistani troops by NATO aircraft has prompted an angry response from Pakistan – and further dimmed any prospect of mutual trust.

Hamas Vows To Continue Armed Fight Against Israel
Palestinian radical group Hamas has denied a recent media report claiming that it is ready to stop armed resistance to Israel.

The Obama Doctrine: Imperialism Masked as «Humanitarian Interventionism»
The Obama administration, in yet another display of the use of Orwellian language, has embarked on a military doctrine called "Mass Atrocity Prevention" (MAP), the Pentagon operational plan to implement the White House's "R2P" or "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine.

A Face In The Crowd: Russia’s FSB Is Watching You
With each year that passes biometric technology, designed to recognise people by their physical and behavioural characteristics, becomes more sophisticated and less expensive, and today it is exploited with great enthusiasm by the state.

The New Wave in Latin America
From Brazil to El Salvador, from Uruguay to Ecuador, from Chile to Venezuela, left-of-center or hard-left parties and leaders have recently been voted into office.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Global Monitor - no. 8, 22 Nov 2011

Welcome to the 8th edition of DiploSoc's Global Monitor! 
This service 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!




Sniper 'kills Armenian soldier in Karabakh'

An Armenian soldier was shot dead by an Azerbaijani sniper on the frontline in the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh on Saturday, the separatist Karabakh defence ministry said.



Spain election: Conservatives win landslide victory but new PM warns 'there will be no miracles'

Spain’s new leader vowed to battle “against the crisis” but warned there “would be no miracles” as his conservative party swept to victory in Sunday’s general election.



Hungary asks for IMF and EU assistance

Hungary has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU) for financial assistance.




Egypt Official Says 35 Dead in 3-day Clashes

An Egyptian morgue official says the death toll has climbed to 35 during the third straight day of violence that has turned into the most sustained challenge yet to the rule of Egypt's military.

We're keeping Gaddafi, says Libyan town

The senior official of the town whose brigades captured Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, have set the ground for a new conflict by refusing to hand him over to the central government.

Al Qaeda-linked group finds fertile territory in Nigeria as killings escalate

Two weeks ago, dozens of armed men descended on a town in northern Nigeria and killed more than 100 people in a coordinated series of bombings and gun attacks.




'Lone Wolf' Jihadist an Hour Away From Bomb: Officials

A New York man, inspired by late al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, was just an hour away from finishing construction on a bomb



                                                MIDDLE EAST

 Forum on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone for Middle East Opens in Vienna

Representatives from IAEA Member States are meeting at the IAEA headquarters for a one-and-a-half day Forum to discuss how the experience gained through the established Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zones (NWFZ) could be relevant to the Middle East.


Iranian boycott mars rare Middle East nuclear talks

The U.N. nuclear chief urged Middle East adversaries on Monday to engage in "fresh thinking" in rare talks on efforts to rid the world of atom bombs, attended by Israel and Arab states but boycotted by Iran.




China vice premier sees chronic global recession

A long-term global recession is certain to happen and China must focus on domestic problems, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan has said.



Burma's Suu Kyi to stand in polls

Aung San Suu Kyi will stand in an election for the first time, after her party voted to rejoin politics as the former military dictatorship undertakes democratic reforms.

Khmer Rouge Leaders Accused of Brutality ‘Defying Belief’

Opening statements in the most significant stage of a United Nations-backed trial of Khmer Rouge leaders began in Phnom Penh on Monday




“If the euro fails, Europe fails,” according to German chancellor Angela Merkel. And if Europe fails, we all fail.

CSIS publication by Heather A. Conley and Uttara Dukkipati
Fourteen summits in 21 months; the collapse of six eurozone governments; four bailout packages; and still we have an economic crisis on the verge of engulfing the world’s largest economies—this is the picture of political failure.

The new resource politics: can Australia and South Africa accommodate China?

Beeson, M., Soko, M. and Yong, W. (2011), The new resource politics: can Australia and South Africa accommodate China?, International Affairs, 87: 1365–1384.

The material transformation of the Chinese economy is forcing a concomitant process of political adjustment—and not just in China. Other states are being forced to accommodate the ‘rise of China’.


NATO and Cyber Security: Building on the Strategic Concept
This is a rapporteur report of an event held on 20 May 2011 at Chatham House. The workshop brought together a group of senior officials from NATO, national governments, industry, and academia to examine the strategic dimensions of potential cyber threats to the land, sea, air, and space domains of NATO’s collective security umbrella.

Strategy and contingency

Strachan, H. (2011), Strategy and contingency, International Affairs 87: 1281–1296.

The determination that strategy should have a long-term predictive quality has left strategy seemingly wanting when having to address what are currently called ‘strategic shocks’, such as the recent Arab Spring and the NATO commitment to Libya. The focus on grand strategy, particularly in the US, is responsible for this trend.

The Greatest Poker Game in History
By Uri Dadush
Italy is now in an IMF-style rescue program, just like Greece, but has yet to realize it. The drama is all there of course: panic in the government bond market, stock markets collapsing, Brussels and Washington in alarm, leader resignation, and political crisis.


Protest planet: How a neoliberal shell game created an age of activism

Juan Cole in Le Monde Diplomatique

The massive popular protests that shook the globe this year have much in common, though most of the reporting on them in the mainstream media has obscured the similarities.




 Malawi Risks Becoming “Fragile State”

Impoverished Malawi is wrought with political unrest stemming from rising prices, fuel shortages, and unemployment. Government mismanagement and rampant corruption continue to diminish economic opportunities.


CIA Outsmarted by Hezbollah: Is This the Cost of Counterterrorism?

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has unraveled much of the CIA's mission in Lebanon, capturing up to a dozen U.S. spies in the country and effectively shutting down the agency's crucial operations there.

One of the Darkest Chapters of the 20th Century up for Trial

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC) is preparing for the trial of three senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime…


Egypt’s Headless Revolution

One leading activist summarizes the pattern: “If a leader emerges, other opposition figures are very willing to take him down, rather than join him up.”

Egyptian Protesters: Who Are They and What do they Want?

It has been a dramatic — and bloody — past three days in Egypt. The locus of the protests is as it always was in Tahrir square, though there are reports of large demonstrations in several Egyptian cities.   So far, reports indicate that at least 30 people have been killed.

The Wages of Economic Ignorance

Politicians are masters at “passing the buck.” Everything good that happens reflects their exceptional talents and efforts; everything bad is caused by someone or something else.

The WTO has Failed Developing Nations

Ten years after the adoption of the Doha Declaration, the “development” round of trade negotiations has merely offered empty promises. In this short op-ed, Aurelie Walker of the Fairtrade Foundation sums up ten ways in which the WTO membership has failed the world’s poor.


Isolating the Iranian Problem

Only a month removed from allegations of a stranger-than-fiction plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the US, and less than two weeks after an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report all but accused the Islamic Republic of nuclear bomb-building since 2003, Iran is reeling from a new round of not-so-soft sanctions.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Global Monitor - no. 7, 17 Nov 2011

Welcome to the 7th edition of DiploSoc's Global Monitor! 
This service 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!


Tensions Ahead of David Cameron's Berlin Visit

British Prime Minister David Cameron is visiting Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday in Berlin, but the timing could hardly be worse.

Protesters storm parliament during corruption debate

Dozens of anti-government protesters briefly pushed their way into Kuwait’s parliament Wednesday while opposition lawmakers were debating how to question the country’s prime minister over corruption allegations – a sign of rising political tensions.



New Italy PM pledges tough reform to face emergency

Italy is facing a serious emergency, new Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Thursday, as he promised rigor and fairness in painful reforms to dig the country out of a financial crisis that threatens the entire euro zone.



Occupy Wall Street's Day of Disruption Begins

New York City activists, angry at having been evicted from their encampment, have vowed a "Day of Action" today including a threatened shut-down of the New York Stock Exchange, an "occupation" of 14 subway stations and, for the second time in two months, a re-occupation of the Brooklyn Bridge.



Countering China, Obama asserts US a Pacific power

Signaling a determination to counter a rising China, President Barack Obama vowed Thursday to expand U.S. influence in the Asia-Pacific region and "project power and deter threats to peace" in that part of the world even as he reduces defense spending and winds down two wars.



SNC spokesperson: Syrian opposition not driven by foreign agendas
Syrian National Council spokesperson tells Ahram Online opposition will 'move against the Al-Assad regime' regardless of political transformations in region.

Official: Iran training Gaza terrorists

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza underwent training in Iran and learned how to operate sophisticated anti-tank missiles, an Israeli defense official said.

 Yasser Arman lashes out at UN

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) expressed regret on Wednesday over the United Nations’ reaction to the formation of Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).



Police arrest suspect in shooting that hit White House

Police arrested a 21-year-old man on Wednesday suspected of shooting at the White House last week, after federal agents found two bullets that had hit the mansion, including one that struck a window.



Bahraini rally slams US duplicity

Bahraini protesters have staged an anti-US rally in the port city of Sitra, condemning US double standards toward the recent popular uprisings in the region.

Former Soviet Scientist Denies Helping Iran's Nuclear Program

If you believe the United Nations' nuclear agency, Vyacheslav Danilenko is a weapons scientist who for six years used his knowledge of explosive detonators to help Iran move closer to its long-held, secret goal of developing a nuclear warhead.



UK says its intelligence thwarted attack on Libyan rebel leadership, Westerners in Benghazi

British intelligence agencies foiled an attack on the leadership of Libya’s National Transitional Council and Western representatives by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi, Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday.

Foreign Office podcast remembers the historic reburial of Imre Nagy
On 16 June 1989, British Ambassador Greg Dorey was one of 200,000 people present in Heroes Square in Budapest, Hungary, to witness the reburial ceremonies of Imre Nagy and his fellow martyrs

European Commissioners Füle and De Gucht visit Istanbul to strengthen new EU agenda with Turkey
The renewed positive agenda between the European Union and Turkey will be the main focus of the joint visit of European Commissioners

MEPs demand explanations from the worst managers of EU money

Stung by criticism from the European Union's auditors, the European Commission has named the Czech Republic, Italy and Spain as the worst managers of EU money.



Army Times: How the U.S. Hunted al-Qaeda in Africa

Interesting CFR piece by Sean D. Naylor
One night in November 2003, beneath the moon-washed waters off Somalia's northern coast, a small, dark shadow slipped away from the attack submarine Dallas and headed toward the shor

The Lunacy to Lead

Crazy leaders perform better: review of A FIRST-RATE MADNESS: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness by Nassir Ghaemi.
Leaders who have mental illness or have experienced periods of mental abnormality are often better able to handle crises than their mentally healthy peers.

Burma, Myanmar – Whatever We Call it, it’s Time to Move

Every now and then, the complex tumblers of a slot machine momentarily align, changing things forever. In the long deadlock we call ‘Burma’ (but which the ruling regime and most of the world calls ‘Myanmar’), the tumblers have aligned for the first time in decades.



Democracy and its Characteristics

This is a transcript of a speech delivered by Dr Shirin Ebadi, Human Rights Activist and Nobel Laureate (2003), at Chatham House on 15 November 2011. 


Overblown Fears about China's Rise

A steady stream of publications depicts China as a fierce adversary—if not as an outright enemy.



“Killing Fields” Trial Ready to Go

Pol Pot’s surviving lieutenants are about to get their day in court. But will a much-criticized process be able to bring Cambodians the justice they’re searching for?

China to lend Ethiopia $100m: report

China is set to loan Ethiopia $100 million and donate a fleet of 90 vehicles to help the African state complete its water supply projects, the Xinhua state news agency said.  

World Citizen: Who Will Lead the Arab World?

The order that structured the Arab Middle East for the past several decades is now coming apart, giving way to a new power landscape in the region.

The Man With the Hardest Job in Washington, Cont'd

The hardest job in Washington just got harder. Pakistan's pernicious army leadership seems to be demanding the firing of Husain Haqqani, the Pakistani ambassador to the U.S., for -- well, this gets complicated.

Human Rights – Xenophobia: Germany and Right Wing Terrorism

Continuing in our theme of Human Rights, the ICD Public Discussions are going to discuss the topic of Xenophobia.

The Lord’s Resistance Army: End Game?

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) remains a deadly threat to civilians in three Central African states.


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