Trump’s stealth North Korea move sidelines China, could be game-changer

President Donald Trump and China’s Xi JInping in Florida.

 

Just how the shape of the new global strategic architecture will settle out as the framework for the 21st Century is still open to challenge, but the key dynamic — the initial door to that new world — is now being opened by a deliberately-orchestrated U.S.-North Korea confrontation.

What is emerging beyond this door is an overarching strategic alternative to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) démarche of “One Belt, One Road” dominance of the Eurasian and Indo-Pacific geopolitical space, and an alternative, or balance, to the PRC’s reach into Africa and the Americas.

The confrontation between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean (DPRK) leader Kim Jong-Un is very much just between those two leaders, with the People’s Republic of China somewhat marginalized. Beijing is now fighting to find a path into this equation. Continue reading

Germany’s Looming Demographic Cliff

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Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

 

 

GERMANY’S IMPORTANCE

Germany is the most populous and productive economy in Europe, with 80 million people and a GDP of almost $4 trillion. It’s also the world’s third largest exporter, and that’s why it had the largest trade surplus globally in 2014 with $285 billion.

For all of its economic power, Germany has a key weakness that could potentially be its Achilles heel: it’s projected that Germany’s population will decline significantly over the coming decades, and the ratio of workers to dependents will become one of the worst in the world. Continue reading

REVEALED: Why Germany desperately NEEDS to accept more refugees than the UK

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Germany has said it is expecting 800,000 migrants to cross into the country this year alone, while its Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said the wealthy nation would actively make room for half-a-million migrants each year.

Meanwhile, David Cameron announced Britain would accept up to 20,000 over the next five years – meaning the UK could expect to welcome around 4,000 people fleeing war and torture each year until 2020.

Continue reading

Iran bans permanent contraception to boost population growth

Parliament prohibits vasectomies and other lasting birth control measures after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls for more babies

Iran’s parliament has voted to ban permanent forms of contraception, the state news agency IRNA reported, endorsing the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s call for more babies to be born.

The bill, banning vasectomies and similar procedures in women, is parliament’s response to a decree Khamenei issued in May to increase the population to “strengthen national identity” and counter “undesirable aspects of western lifestyles”.

Doctors who violate the ban will be punished, the IRNA reported. 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

Detroit’s Default May Spark U.S. Death Spiral of Debt

Debt is deadly, and it’s made even worse with rising interest rates that can prevent you from eliminating the load. What happens with rising interest rates is that more of the payments go toward the interest and less to the principal. In fact, it’s what I call a death spiral of debt that worsens as rates move higher.

When individuals face excessive debt, often the solution is to reduce spending and adhere to a strict repayment program. Continue reading

Germany’s ascendancy over Europe will prove short-lived

Although the article has a point and the population is truly in decline, Germany should not be counted out. Germans have the know-how, a very modern infrastructure, are still the most industrious and forward thinking people with a vision that no other on the European continent has or can be compared to. It didn’t literally give its manufacturing base to the Chinese.

Germany has peaked. Its hegemony in Europe is a “power illusion”, a confluence of fleeting advantages soon to be overwhelmed by the delayed effect of error and the crush of historic forces.

If demography is destiny, it may be clear within five years that ageing Germany is going the way of Japan. Within 20 years it may equally be clear France and Britain are regaining their 19th century role as the two dominant powers of Europe, albeit a diminished prize. Continue reading

Is Europe on the verge of demographic collapse?

A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of demographic suicide. Although the consequences of such a turnout could not be more serious, the problem attracts little public attention – indeed, most people may not even be aware of it. And experts can neither explain the cause nor prescribe a reliable remedy. The story is outlined in Population and Public Policy: Essays in Honour of Paul Demeny, published by the New York-based Population Council (2013). Continue reading

Intelligence community: U.S. out as sole superpower by 2030

A new report by the intelligence community projects that the United States will no longer be the world’s only superpower by 2030.

“Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” — prepared by the office of the National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — projects that the “unipolar” world that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union will not continue. Continue reading