How a World Order Ends

https://files.foreignaffairs.com/styles/article_hero_desktop_2x/s3/images/articles/2018/12/06/haass_rgb.jpg

 

And What Comes in Its Wake

A stable world order is a rare thing. When one does arise, it tends to come after a great convulsion that creates both the conditions and the desire for something new. It requires a stable distribution of power and broad acceptance of the rules that govern the conduct of international relations. It also needs skillful statecraft, since an order is made, not born. And no matter how ripe the starting conditions or strong the initial desire, maintaining it demands creative diplomacy, functioning institutions, and effective action to adjust it when circumstances change and buttress it when challenges come. Continue reading

Japan Returns to Militarism

https://www.strategic-culture.org/images/news/2018/12/17/or-41925.jpg?128499

 

On December 11 Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported that “Japan plans to effectively upgrade its helicopter carriers to enable them to transport and launch fighter jets.” Concurrently the Indian Ministry of Defence noted that in the course of a large exercise being held in India by the US and Indian air forces, “two military pilots from Japan are also taking part in the exercise as observers.” There was also a Reuter’s account of Tokyo’s plans “to boost defence spending over the next five years to help pay for new stealth fighters and other advanced US military equipment.” Continue reading

How the New Silk Roads are merging into Greater Eurasia

https://i1.wp.com/static.atimes.com/uploads/2017/05/2017-05-22T073255Z_1591215509_RC1E38802780_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-SILKROAD-TRAIN.jpg

People take pictures of the first freight train from Shenzhen to Minsk, capital of Belarus, that set out of Yantian Port in Shenzhen in May 2017. Photo: Reuters / stringer

 

Russia’s embrace of the Far East and other parts of Asia is proceeding with a symbiotic embrace of China’s New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative

The concept of Greater Eurasia has been discussed at the highest levels of Russian academia and policy-making for some time. This week the policy was presented at the Council of Ministers and looks set to be enshrined, without fanfare, as the main guideline of Russian foreign policy for the foreseeable future.

President Putin is unconditionally engaged to make it a success. Already at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2016, Putin referred to an emerging “Eurasian partnership” Continue reading

China Intensifies Efforts to Topple U.S. Dollar

https://www.thetrumpet.com/files/W1siZiIsIjIwMTgvMTIvMDcvMWZ4Y3E0YTE5eV9ZdWFuX0dldHR5SW1hZ2VzXzk1NjI0OTAxLmpwZyJdXQ/adde5042e8f342a0/Yuan%20-%20GettyImages-95624901.jpg

China Photos/Getty Images

 

‘The pace of expansion has been explosive’ for China’s new yuan-denominated oil futures contract.

Less than a year after China launched an oil futures contract denominated in the Chinese currency, the contract is beginning to be embraced by global commodities traders.

The Chinese Communist Party has long desired to see the United States dollar sidelined and the Chinese currency, the yuan, take on a more central role in global finance. The latest major push toward that goal came on March 26 when China launched a new oil futures contract on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange denominated in yuan. Now the contract is finding increasing acceptance among multinational commodity traders, which could threaten the dollar’s position. Continue reading

The German-American Relationship Illusion

https://www.thetrumpet.com/files/W1siZiIsIjIwMTgvMTIvMDQvOGozYms2Z2V3eF9BbWVyaWNhX0dlcm1hbnlfSWxsdXNpb25fR2V0dHlJbWFnZXNfNjMyMjA4NzIwLmpwZyJdXQ/af5d8252fab74d77/America%20Germany%20Illusion%20-%20GettyImages-632208720.jpg

Demonstrators march through Berlin to protest U.S. President Donald Trump on Jan. 20, 2017. (Omer Messinger/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

 

Germans see relations as negative; Americans see them as positive. What is going wrong?

Germans and Americans have very different ideas of the relationship between their two countries, according to a survey published by the Körber Foundation and the American Pew Research Center last month.

While 73 percent of Germans surveyed described relations with the United States of America as “somewhat bad” or “very bad,” 70 percent of Americans said that relations with the German Federal Republic were “somewhat good” or “very good.” Continue reading

Merkel Protégé Suggests Naval Blockade of Russian Vessels

https://image.zype.com/593087b25d3c19148e001735/5c01bd1aef995e14be004ee5/custom_thumbnail/1080.jpg?1543617952

(Photo Credit: Sandro Halank via Creative Commons 3.0)

 

G7 foreign ministers release their own statement of condemnation against the Kremlin.

In an interview with Reuters today, German politician Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Christian Democratic Union leadership front-runner and protege of Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the European Union and U.S. should consider a full blockade of all Russian vessels at their ports in response to the Kerch Strait incident. Continue reading

China Is Beating the US in the Rare-Earths Game

For more information regarding China and the rare earths situation, see the following previous articles:

 

https://cdn.defenseone.com/media/img/upload/2018/11/08/shutterstock_372419305/defense-large.jpg

 

It’s time for the administration to use its powers to preserve America’s access to vital defense materials.

How to view China’s recent threat to limit domestic production of rare earths, those 16 elements that make our cellphones and smart bombs work? It’s the latest move in a game that began before the United States realized it was even playing, that has grown more complex than U.S. leaders realize, and that is nearing a very unfortunate ending. Continue reading

Iran president warns of ‘war situation’ as sanctions resume

https://static.timesofisrael.com/www/uploads/2018/11/AP18306539923138.jpg

US President Donald Trump, left, on July 22, 2018, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on February 6, 2018. (AP Photo)

 

Rouhani vows defiantly that ‘Iran is able to sell its oil and it will sell,’ rejects prospect of mediation with Washington

Iran greeted the re-imposition of US sanctions on Monday with air defense drills and an acknowledgement from President Hassan Rouhani that the nation faces a “war situation,” raising Mideast tensions as America’s maximalist approach to the Islamic Republic takes hold.

The sanctions end all the economic benefits America granted Tehran under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, though Iran for now continues to abide by the accord that saw it limit its enrichment of uranium. While for now not threatening to resume higher enrichment, Iranian officials in recent months have made a point to threaten that could resume at any time faster than before. Continue reading

Russian Share In U.S. Debt Is Getting Close To Zero

https://southfront.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/1-170.jpg?x44773

Grigory Dukor. IMAGE: Reuters

 

Russian investments in US securities as of August 2018 have fallen to just $14 billion from $180 billion back in 2011. From one of the top holders of the US debt, Moscow became the 54th largest holder. Continue reading

A New Era for the China-Russia-U.S. Triangle

https://amgreatness.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/20181011msvdh-a.jpg

 

Nearly a half-century ago, President Richard Nixon’s secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, established a successful U.S. strategy for dealing with America’s two most dangerous rivals. He sought closer ties to both the Soviet Union, with its more than 7,000 nuclear weapons, and Communist China, with the world’s largest population.

Kissinger’s approach was sometimes called “triangulation.” But distilled down to its essence, the phrase meant ensuring that China and Russia were not friendlier to each other than each was to the United States

Given that the Soviet Union was much stronger than China at the time, Kissinger especially courted Beijing. Continue reading

China steps up spying on U.S. military

https://twt-thumbs.washtimes.com/media/image/2018/09/23/China_US_Russia_35617.jpg-30eba_s878x585.jpg?9739c089d09019457eff90957353d2bf131e7da7

Li Shangfu (center), who was slapped with U.S. sanctions this week for buying arms from Russia, is director of the Equipment Development Department of China’s Central Military Commission. The department announced a database that will likely benefit from China’s theft of 22.1 million records on American federal workers, including those with security clearances, from the Office of Personnel Management in 2015. (Photo by: Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press/File)

 

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is stepping up open-source spying on the U.S. military and other foreign militaries that will utilize artificial intelligence means.

According to a procurement notice from China’s Central Military Commission, the new database is a six-month project to set up an “Open Source Intelligence Database on Foreign Militaries.”

The revealing notice was published by the commission’s PLA Equipment Development Department, whose director, Lt. Gen. Li Shangfu, was slapped with U.S. sanctions this week for buying arms from Russia.

The database will likely benefit from China’s theft of 22.1 million records on American federal workers, including those with security clearances, from the Office of Personnel Management in 2015. Chinese hackers also stole an estimated 80 million records on Americans from health care insurance giant Anthem. Continue reading

Japanese Prime Minister Wants to Revise Pacifist Constitution to Create Military Force

https://www.thetrumpet.com/files/W1siZiIsIjIwMTgvMDkvMjAvM2p4em1kbzM0Z18xODA5MjBfU2hpbnpvX0FiZV9HZXR0eUltYWdlc185NTMxNjU0NzguanBnIl0sWyJwIiwidGh1bWIiLCIyNDAweD4iXSxbInAiLCJlbmNvZGUiLCJqcGciLCItcXVhbGl0eSA4NSJdXQ/d271bd61a80e9453/180920-Shinzo%20Abe-GettyImages-953165478.jpg.jpg

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and wife Akie Abe arrive at Marka international airport on April 30, 2018 in Amman, Jordan. Abe is on a Middle East tour visiting the UAE, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. (Getty Images)

 

Prime Minister Shinzō Abe steps up efforts to change Japan’s constitution to allow the creation of a military force by 2020.

“Let’s fulfill our mission by clearly writing in the constitution the Self-Defense Forces that protect peace and independence of Japan,” Prime Minister Shinzō Abe said on September 9, reiterating his support for changing Japan’s constitution to allow for a military.

The second clause of Article 9 of Japan’s constitution says that “Land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.” Nonetheless, Article 9 allowed Japan to create its own military strictly for the purpose of defending its own borders. This de facto military is known as Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (sdf).

Prime Minister Abe wants to officially change this policy. And he wants to do it by next year. Continue reading

Stocking Up for World War III

https://www.thetrumpet.com/files/W1siZiIsIjIwMTgvMDkvMDQvNXJhMGc3enVqc19TY3JlZW5fU2hvdF8yMDE4XzA5XzA0X2F0XzExLjE4LjI1LnBuZyJdLFsicCIsInRodW1iIiwiMTIwMHg%2BIl0sWyJwIiwiZW5jb2RlIiwianBnIiwiLXF1YWxpdHkgODUiXV0/3e184a4363c88f17/Screen%20Shot%202018-09-04%20at%2011.18.25.jpg.jpg

 

Nuclear nonproliferation efforts are ending. A new arms race has begun.

Since the United States and the Soviet Union backed away from the precipice of nuclear war in the 1980s, the world’s stocks of nuclear weapons have declined from an estimated 60,000 to an estimated 10,000.

According to a 2014 study by science journal Earth’s Future, however, it would take just 100 nuclear detonations to create a worldwide climate catastrophe causing massive famine and death. Continue reading

U.S. Looks To Find Alternatives To Iranian Oil For Allies

 

The United States—which is pushing to have all Iranian oil customers stop importing crude from Tehran—is looking for alternative oil supplies for its allies whose imports will be disrupted by the U.S. sanctions on Iran, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing a senior U.S. administration  official. Continue reading

Japan conducts first submarine drill in disputed South China Sea

https://i2.wp.com/www.spxdaily.com/images-hg/japan-submarine-wargames-hg.jpg

 

Japan has carried out its first submarine drill in the South China Sea, a newspaper said Monday, a move that could provoke Beijing which claims most of the disputed waters.

Submarine Kuroshio on Thursday joined three Japanese warships in waters just southwest of the China-controlled Scarborough Shoal, the Asahi Shimbun said. Continue reading