Monday, 14 November 2011

Global Monitor - no. 6, 14 Nov 2011

Welcome to the 6thedition 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!


Seven Dead In Blast, Shootings In Kazakhstan

Seven people were killed on Nov 13 in the southern Kazakh city of Taraz when a suspected Islamist went on a shooting rampage and then blew himself up.

Armed Clashes Intensify In Divided Tripoli
Escalating clashes between militia groups near Tripoli have killed several fighters over three days, amid growing concerns about rivalries between the heavily armed rebels who control overlapping areas in and around the Libyan capital.

Burma: Troops Raze Kachin Villages, Locals Flee

Burmese troops burned down around 50 homes in a village in eastern Kachin state two days ago as they prepare for an offensive against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA)...

Arab League May Pave Way For Military Action In Syria
A military move against Syria could also imply intent to attack Iran, just when the Western states want to dispel the fears that the Iranians, Russians and Chinese have of such an attack.

As Pakistan Eyes Peace Talks With The Taliban, Anxiety Builds
Past deals with the militants have backfired, each time giving the insurgents an opportunity to regroup and replenish their ranks.

Assad Supporters Attack Saudi Arabia Embassy In Damascus

The Arab League suspended Syria and called on its army to stop killing civilians in a surprise move on Saturday that some Western leaders said should prompt tougher international action against President Bashar al-Assad.

Why Carlos The Jackal Is Enjoying His Days In Court
The veteran revolutionary's trial in France has allowed him one last chance to rail against the world, reports Kim Willsher in Paris.

Iran to launch three new satellites in near future

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said that Iran plans to launch three new domestically-produced satellites into space in the near future, the local satellite Press TV reported Sunday.

Russia's Medvedev praises Italy's Berlusconi

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called Italy's outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to than him for his 'great personal contribution' to improving relations between the two countries, Medvedev's office said in a statement on Sunday.

Iran exile group claims blast near Tehran hit closely guarded missile base

An explosion at a Revolutionary Guard ammunition depot west of Tehran Saturday killed at least 17 soldiers, including a senior commander of the powerful military force, Iranian officials said.

Arms and the Corrupt Man

LAST week’s conviction of Viktor Bout, the so-called Merchant of Death, was a rare moment of triumph in the fight against the illicit arms trade.

Various states have managed to agree on laws that govern borders, international sea and air space, even outer space – but now we are faced with the task of adapting or creating laws and precedents for cyberspace.


America, Britain and Europe: An Evolving Relationship
Chatham House paper by Sir John Major

Somalia’s uneasy peace

Glen Johnson in Le Monde Diplomatique

Investing in Sustainable Security

 A Fund for Peace report

Free Riding or Restraint? Examining European Grand Strategy

By Christopher J. Fettweis in Comparative Strategy Volume 30, Issue 4, 2011 pages 316-332

The war against the poor:  Occupy Wall Street and the politics of financial morality

Frances Fox Piven in Le Monde Diplomatique

20 Years On: Perspectives on the Fall of the Soviet Union
Sir Rodric Braithwaite and Jack Matlock, the UK and United States ambassadors to Moscow at the time when Mikhail Gorbachev declared the break up of the Soviet Union, reflected on the events that led to that moment and the path that Russia has taken over the past two decades.


Hail to the Technocrats

Is the European Union’s supposed “democratic deficit” now spreading to individual European countries in the wake of the sovereign-debt crisis?

Alternatives to austerity

The inevitable "structural reforms" Italy faces won't drag the eurozone's third-largest economy out of the mire.

Business As Usual?: UK’s Relationship With Latin America In 2011

A closer, more holistic relationship between the UK and Latin America can benefit all the involved parties, but it requires a significant shift in current British foreign policy.

Hugo Chavez's Big Lie
The international medical team treating Venezuela’s cancer-ridden leader Hugo Chávez believe that, absent a radical change in his condition, he is not likely to survive more than six months.

Should Thailand Give Up on Bangkok and Move its Capital?

The floodwaters soaking Bangkok are only likely to continue, and in 50 years much of the city may be permanently underwater.

The Ahtisaari Plan And North Kosovo

The current stalemate in northern Kosovo remains the main stumbling block preventing the commencement of a genuine process of mutual accommodation between Serbia and Kosovo.

Security Council Vote on Palestine Statehood?

“After eight meetings spanning almost 50 days since the submission of our application” for UN statehood, the Security Council admissions committee has produced “an objective report,” said Riyad H. Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN...
Twitter vs. The KGB
Can social media save a journalist in trouble in a place like Kyrgyzstan?

Iceland’s Fair Value Vultures

Should “fair value” reflect what debtors can pay – that is, pay without going bankrupt? Or is it fair for banks and even vulture funds to get whatever they can squeeze out of debtors?

A conspiracy of optimism

Max Benitz spent months as a journalist with British troops on the front line in Helmand. Here, he reflects on the muddled thinking that characterised the early years of the Afghan conflict.

Don't Bet on the BRICs

If they can rebalance their economies and bury some of the disputes that divide them, the BRICs have the potential to continue to raise living standards in the developing world. Just don't count on them to come to the West's rescue.

China's Chequebook Diplomacy Runs Deep In The Pacific
The opening of a Chinese embassy in the Maldives in the Indian Ocean fits into a long-established pattern by Beijing of pursuing better relations with small island nations in the Pacific Ocean...

Convincing victory of “populism” in Nicaragua
On November 6, Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega was re-elected winning 64 % of votes. The key points of his election program are laconic and comprehensible for Nicaraguan people: socialism, Christianity, free market.

Ayatollah for a Day

I war-gamed an Israeli strike on Iran -- and it got ugly.

Social Opposition In Age Of Internet: Desktop ‘Militants’ And Public Intellectuals

The relation of information technology (IT) and more specifically the internet, to politics is a central issue facing contemporary social movements.


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