China’s big chess move against the U.S.: Latin America

China is making friends right under America’s nose.

Latin America is China’s latest business buddy. Chinese banks increased investments in Latin America by 71% last year, and the country plans to double its trade volume with the Central and South American region over the next decade.

This comes as U.S. power in the Americas is starting to erode. U.S. cash is actually fleeing the region as investors see better deals at home or elsewhere. Continue reading

Demographic Shifts Could Radicalize Russia

Experts say changes could lead to social strife, sectarian conflict

Experts said Wednesday that a myriad of demographic, social, and economic problems could transform Russia into a virtually unrecognizable country in just a couple of decades that is more harmful to U.S. and Western interests.

As Russia’s native population shrinks, incorporates more Muslim immigrants, and remains tightly controlled by President Vladimir Putin, it risks social strife and sectarian conflict, said Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council and a former CIA and Department of Defense consultant, during a panel event at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The country’s shrinking population is largely a result of declining fertility, high mortality rates, a surge in divorce rates and abortions, an AIDS “epidemic” stemming from rampant heroin use, and emigration, said Berman, author of the new book, Implosion: The End of Russia and What it Means for America. Continue reading

Iran ‘mobilizing’ for cyberwar with West: experts

Little do people know, “because power stations are all interconnected,” even in a cyber attack “damage would cascade through the system wiping out equipment that could not be replaced for at least 18 months.”

Iran is busy acquiring the technical know-how to launch a potentially crippling cyber-attack on the United States and its allies, experts told a congressional hearing on Thursday, urging the US to step up its defensive measures.

“Over the past three years, the Iranian regime has invested heavily in both defensive and offensive capabilities in cyberspace,” said Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council.

“Equally significant, its leaders now increasingly appear to view cyber-warfare as a potential avenue of action against the United States,” he told a House Homeland Security subcommittee.

Full article: Iran ‘mobilizing’ for cyberwar with West: experts (Defence Talk)