(Much apologies – life has a way of interfering with schedules. Anyway, here we go)
Just a brief round-up of what’s going on around the world – and how the game will continue to change.
Syria continues to disarm its chemical weapons, against all odds. History does not repeat itself after all.
Saudi Arabia had a visit from John Kerry, whose job it was to assure the Saudis America won’t abandon them to their wolves. That’s a lie; America totally will soon as its convenient, and Saudi Arabia probably knows it.
And congrats to Oman! You’ve got the highest rate of car accident deaths in the Persian Gulf. Must be goat-related.
Ukraine is moving closer and closer to the EU. Such a loss would expose Russia dramatically to a potentially hostile geopolitical alliance. Russia’s long had strategic depth from Ukraine and to lose it means Moscow is all the closer to an enemy army. Could such a move finally bring Russia into a pan-European camp? Or will Russia go batshit and rush the tanks to the border?
Meanwhile, France has apparently scuttled the newest Iranian nuclear deal. Is France trying to regain status as a great power after having fought two successful wars in the past three years? Likely so.
The United States is seeing a bit of an uptick in its job numbers, which is good news for planet Earth, but continues to mire in domestic scandal after scandal. American power under Obama has taken a long rest. Only something truly dramatic could shake the U.S. awake to a leading global role again. But make no mistake – appearing to be weak is not the same as actually being weak. Assad avoided a bombing campaign because he knew just that.
And of course, the spying scandal continues to resonate worldwide. Oops. Perhaps next time, don’t get caught?
China’s got a nuclear-capable sub fleet! Yay for modernization! Still not able to compete with the American fleet, though. But just the latest challenge to American dominance of the Pacific. Let’s avoid a naval war if we can, yeah?
Yes, everyone’s still pissed about the spying thing, but that’ll pass – allies will want to forget and enemies will want to remember but invariably the alliance systems won’t change because of it (though laws probably will).
And global growth is perhaps bringing us back to 2008, when a global food shortage ticked prices high enough to bring perhaps 100 million people into poverty. The poor will go hungry and the rich will complain about McDonald’s prices, but we’re not quite to the resource-war stage of human history. Keep an eye on it, though.
- Analysis: From Saudi Arabia to a disintegrated ‘Saudistan’? (terminalx.org)
- Doug Bandow: When Frenemies Get Angry with America: Tell the Saudi Royals to Pound Sand (huffingtonpost.com)