In Russia, a decision to go public with Fogle could have been made only at the highest level of political authority. Apparently, Putin gave the go-ahead after his first meeting with Kerry last week in the Kremlin. He evidently decided the Barack Obama administration is an easy pushover, which needs Russian cooperation on Syria and other issues so badly, it will swallow with hardly a whimper the use of a US diplomat as PR fodder together with the deployment of S-300 missiles with Russian crews to Syria. In Moscow, Secretary Kerry, among other things, agreed to sponsor together with Russia an international conference on Syria that would bring together the Syrian rebels and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. After a meeting in the Kremlin, Kerry told journalists: “A good new relationship with Russia is beginning” (Interfax, May 8). After the Fogle scandal erupted, Russian journalists triumphantly reported on State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell meekly insisting the affair would not spoil relations: “We have a very broad and deep relationship with the Russians across a whole host of issues and we will continue to work on our diplomacy with them directly” (RIA Novosti, May 14).
Tag Archives: Diplomat
But Lavrov, a diplomat since the Brezhnev era who has spent a lifetime haggling, blustering, scheming, and speechifying on behalf of the battered Russian state (“his religion,” one top U.S. official told me), chose to go in a different direction, right back in history to Alexander Gorchakov. He cited the princely foreign minister as an example of the blunt style in Russian politics, as a reason for why Russia has absolutely no intention of following America’s lead in the Arab world — or, by extension, anywhere else. Gorchakov, Lavrov proudly noted, had managed “the restoration of the Russian influence in Europe after the defeat in the Crimean War, and he did it … without moving a gun. He did it exclusively through diplomacy.”
When Lavrov did get around to the question at hand, of foreign policy in Putin’s Russia, he offered a sharp lecture on how the Kremlin’s boss had managed to make Russia great again after the indignities of the 1990s — and, more to the point, how a great Russia can once again afford to have an “assertive” foreign policy:
China’s ruthless foreign policy is shaping the world in dangerous ways | Full Comment | National Post
Are we witnessing the end of the “American age”? It depends whom you ask. But one thing is certain: Thanks to the near-bankruptcy of the American welfare state, Washington is losing both the means and desire to project power across the world. Inevitably, nations with deeper pockets — China, most notably — will fill the void.
This process already is underway in many parts of the world. That includes large swathes of Central Asia, where Beijing’s billions are beginning to revolutionize regional infrastructure and alliances — in dazzling but potentially dangerous ways.
Analyzing Beijing’s foreign policy is a relatively simple exercise. That’s because, unlike the United States and other Western nations, China doesn’t even pretend to operate on any other principle except naked self-interest.
‘They seem to want to get into a fight’: Asia on guard as China flexes its foreign policy muscles
So does China’s desire to throw its weight around the neighbourhood, make military conflict inevitable? There is certainly genuine concern among China watchers, as the country struggles to find its place in the world. “China reminds me of a teenage 16-year-old boy who has suddenly discovered he is very powerful but has never tested his strength. They seem to want to get into a fight,” said one diplomat.
The United States, in particular, appears to have run out of patience with the stream of cyber attacks targeting it from China – Google and The New York Times being just two of the most high-profile victims – and which President Obama has now insisted are at least partly state-sponsored.
Although setting up a cybersecurity working group with China, Washington has also signaled it intends to escalate. U.S. Cyber Command and NSA chief General Keith Alexander signaled this shift of policy gears earlier this month when he told Congress that of 40 new CYBERCOM teams currently being assembled, 13 would be focused on offensive operations. Gen Alexander also gave new insight into CYBERCOM’s operational structure. The command will consist of three groups, he said: one to protect critical infrastructure; a second to support the military’s regional commands; and a third to conduct national offensive operations.
The Iranian Ambassador to France, Ali Ahani, has said that in case Israel attacks Iran, there would be catastrophic consequences that can lead to third world war.In an interview with Geo-economy published on Thursday, Ahani said, “Israel is constantly talking about Iranian threat, and is making efforts to convince the United States and Europe to harden their policy towards Iran and our nuclear program.”He added that it would be a sheer madness by Israel to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, because Iran would not stay inactive.
The Iranian Ambassador to France does not explain the mechansim leading to World War III. The real reason World War III is a possibility is that Iran has the backing of Russia and China. Both Russia and China have suggested that they will protect Iran. So a western attack on Iran implies retaliation on America by Russia and China.
I go into a lot more detail about this issue in the following article: Implied Nuclear Threat from Russia: Russia says would be threatened by Iran military action. This covers both Russia and China.
The big question is – why isn’t the current US administration getting ready for nuclear war? Because it doesn’t believe Russia and China. I guess preparing just as a precaution is asking too much.
The short answer is yes there is an alliance brewing. There are issues between the countries that could limit this alliance.
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin’s recent summit drew wide international attention. Are we witnessing the dawn of a new alliance?
If Moscow and Beijing are able to consummate the major deals begun at the summit we are likely witnessing the start of a more robust Sino-Russian relationship. On the other hand, as we have seen in the recent past, historical suspicions, mutual mistrust, and divergent strategic interests may once again prevent the development of a deeper and more coordinated Sino-Russian relationship.
Accidental wars rarely happen. Historians have demonstrated that most wars initially deemed “accidental,” (perhaps most notably the First World War), have in actuality resulted from deliberative state policy, even if the circumstances of the war were unplanned. While war seems discordant, it actually requires a great deal of cooperation and coordination. Fundamentally, two parties have to agree to conduct a war; otherwise, you have either a punitive raid or an armed surrender negotiation.
Consequently, the baseline for evaluating the chances for accidental war on the Korean Peninsula should be judged as quite low. …
Thus, if North Korea successfully convinces the U.S. and the ROK that war is inevitable, it is almost irresponsible for the latter not to launch a pre-emptive attack that would disrupt North Korean preparations. …
In the coming years, Egypt and Ethiopia may be forced to fight a “water war” because Ethiopia’s ambitions contradict Egypt’s historical and legal rights in river waters. Ethiopia can only be deterred by the regional and international balance of powers, which in recent years has favored Ethiopia.
The government of Hisham Qandil (an irrigation expert, not a diplomat, legal expert or strategist) seems unable to manage such a complex issue with legal, political, economic, military and international aspects. His government is unable to solve everyday problems that are less complex, such as security, traffic, and fuel and food supplies. This portends dire consequences for Egypt.
Chinese leaders’ repeated calls for the PLA to be ready to plan, fight, and win wars is an ominous sign.
Xi Jinping, named Communist Party general secretary in November, reflects a new militancy. On Tuesday, he delivered a hard-edged speech to the Politburo in which he effectively ruled out compromise on territorial and security issues. …
In the past, the military’s war talk contrasted with soothing words from senior civilian leaders. Now, with Xi, the aggressive comments from flag officers are consistent with what he, as top leader, is saying. Worse, as the Financial Times notes, Xi’s words of war are now “being bundled” with his rhetoric, which seems calculated to “fan nationalism.”
In this environment, Chinese military officers can get away with advocating “short, sharp wars” and talking about the need to “strike first.” Their boldness suggests, as some privately say, that General Secretary Xi is associating with generals and admirals who think war with the U.S. might be a good idea.
According to one report, “up to 40 percent of China’s rivers were seriously polluted” and “20 percent were so polluted their water quality was rated too toxic even to come into contact with.”