Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You? January 7, 2017Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, philosophy & politics.
Tags: Geopolitics, Jihad, Nuclear War, Putin, Terrorism, Trump
When I was a child, I often had nightmares that ended in a blinding nuclear flash. I became an evangelist for building basement fallout shelters and actually convinced one neighbor to build and stock one.
We have been lulled back into a false-sense of security. Our aging minuteman missiles, which still run on floppy discs, are our biggest risk for an accidental annihilation of civilization, as we know it. The Russians have no early warning satellites left in orbit, so their paranoid that we could launch an ICBM leadership-decapitating sneak attack,has been to develop a six thousand-mile range remote-controlled thermonuclear torpedo, which could destroy a coastal city. Russia still openly discusses using tactical nuclear weapons in regional conflicts, without apparently appreciating the resulting inevitable escalation.
The mechanics of building a crude nuclear device are easily within the reach of well-educated and well-funded militants. The crate would arrive at Dulles International Airport, disguised as agricultural freight. The truck bomb that detonates on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and Capitol instantly kills the president, vice president, House speaker, and 80,000 others.Where exactly is your office? Your house? And then, as Perry spins it forward, how credible would you find the warnings, soon delivered to news networks, that five more bombs are set to explode in unnamed U.S. cities, once a week for the next month, unless all U.S. military personnel overseas are withdrawn immediately?If this particular scenario does not resonate with you, Perry can easily rattle off a long roster of others—a regional war that escalates into a nuclear exchange, a miscalculation between Moscow and Washington, a computer glitch at the exact wrong moment. They are all ilks of the same theme—the dimly understood threat that the science of the 20th century is set to collide with the destructive passions of the 21st.“We’re going back to the kind of dangers we had during the Cold War,” Perry said. “I really thought in 1990, 1991, 1992, that we left those behind us. We’re starting to re-invent them. We and the Russians and others don’t understand that what we’re doing is re-creating those dangers—or maybe they don’t remember the dangers. For younger people, they didn’t live through those dangers. But when you live through a Cuban Missile Crisis up close and you live through a false alarm up close, you do understand how dangerous it is, and you believe you should do everything you could possibly do to [avoid] going back.”
If you want to read further on this risk http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/world-war-three-by-mistake
The Developing World Thinks Hitler Is Underrated November 27, 2016Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff, Geopolitics, News and politics, philosophy & politics.
Tags: Duerte, Geopolitics, Hitler, Putin
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Yet in much of the developing world, where ignorance regarding the Holocaust and Hitler’s fantasies of world domination is rife, he is perceived less as a mass murderer and ideologue of global conquest than as a stern disciplinarian who addressed social ills in a briskly efficient manner. His is a legacy of “law and order,” not of horrific chaos and collapsed cities. Additionally, and crucially, in the non-Western world the name Hitler can connote “anti-imperialist rebel” due to the German leader’s nationalistic struggle against “Anglo-French-American-Zionist domination.”
Why Trump and Sanders May 17, 2016Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News, News and politics.
Tags: Erdogan, Geopolitics, Modi, Orban Duter, Putin, Sisi, Trump, Xi Jinping
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What do Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have in common? – an authoritarian agenda.
The rise of Donald Trump has been accompanied by predictable murmurs of “only in America”. But the Trump phenomenon is better understood as part of a global trend: the return of the “strongman” leader in international politics.
Rather than leading the way, America has arrived late at this dispiriting party. Historians might one day highlight the year 2012 as the turning point. In May of that year Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin as president of Russia. A few months later Xi Jinping was installed as general secretary of the Chinese Communist party.
Democracies elected Hitler and Mussolini to get their dysfunctional democracies working again. Citizens were willing to give up certain rights for the security of knowing that Mussolini would ” get the trains to run on time”.
In fact, Mr Trump exhibits many of the characteristics of the current crop of strongman leaders, including Messrs Putin, Xi, Erdogan, Sisi, Modi, Orban and Duterte.
Bernie Sanders promises that the power of government would rectify disgruntled voters discontent with Income inequality and wage reversals. Donald Trump promised that his bullying would get things back to where they once were. Both are authoritarian attitudes, relecting the world-wide trend of the return of the strongmen.
Europe’s New Medieval Map – WSJ January 18, 2016Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, In The News.
Tags: European Union, Geopolitics, Merkel, NATO, Putin
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As the EU continues to fracture, this power vacuum could create a 21st-century equivalent of the late Holy Roman Empire: a rambling, multiethnic configuration that was an empire in name but not in fact, until its final dissolution in 1806.
This means that there is still no alternative to American leadership in Europe. For the U.S., a Europe that continues to fracture internally and to dissolve externally into the fluid geography of Northern Africa and Eurasia would constitute the greatest foreign-policy disaster since World War II. The success of the EU over many decades was a product of American power, stemming from the victory over Nazi Germany. For all its imperfections, the EU, even more than NATO, has been the institutional embodiment of a postwar Europe that is free, united and prosperous.
Source: Europe’s New Medieval Map – WSJ
The Clash of Systems April 27, 2014Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, philosophy & politics.
Tags: Geopolitics, Liberal Democracy, Putin, Russia
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Writing recently on the independent Russian website Grani.ru, dissident writer and left-wing activist Alexander Skobov noted that today’s conflict between Russia and the West was not so much a clash of civilizations as a “clash of systems”: “The essential difference between them lies in who has ‘primacy’: the individual or the state, society or the ‘elite’? The conflict over this issue is not between civilizations but within each of them. Every state seeks to dominate the individual; every elite seeks to dominate society. But some countries have succeeded at developing a set of institutions that limit the power of the state and the elite over the individual and society, while others have not.”
Obviously, these institutions don’t always work. Yet, while the United States and the other capitalist liberal democracies may be very far from either the libertarian ideal of freedom or the progressive ideal of social justice, the unvarnished truth is that it’s only within this loosely knit global community — the “global liberal hegemony” deplored by far-left and far-right radicals — that these ideals have any chance to survive and develop. A world in which these values are on the ascendancy rather than in retreat is very much a part of our national interest.
Russia’s Bridge to Nowhere September 8, 2012Posted by tkcollier in In The News, Politics, Science & Technology.
Tags: Bridge, Geopolitics, Politics, Putin, Russia
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Alaska doesn’t have the biggest boondoggle bridge project. Putin just wasted over a billion dollars on a bridge to show off at this week’s 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference. The bridge to the Russky island, the world’s largest cable-stayed bridge, dead-ends just beyond the bridge, meaning that the 5,000 local residents, who live on the other side of the island and have no access to telephones, public lighting or running water, still have to use a ferry to reach the mainland.
How Putin’s Crackdown Holds Russia Back February 13, 2008Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
Tags: China, Putin, Russia
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The Kremlin talks about creating the next China, but Russia’s path is more likely to be something like that of Angola — an oil-dependent state that is growing now because of high oil prices but has floundered in the past when oil prices were low and whose leaders seem more intent on maintaining themselves in office to control oil revenues and other rents than on providing public goods and services to a beleaguered population. Unfortunately, as Angola’s president, José Eduardo dos Santos, has demonstrated by his three decades in power, even poorly performing autocracies can last a long, long time.
Identifying China as a model — instead of the United States, Germany, or even Portugal — already sets the development bar much lower than it was just a decade ago. China remains an agrarian-based economy with per capita GDP below $2,000 (about a third of Russia’s and a 15th of Germany’s). But the China analogy is also problematic because sustained high growth under autocracy is the exception, not the rule, around the world. For every China, there is an autocratic developmental disaster such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo; for every authoritarian success such as Singapore, there is a resounding failure such as Myanmar; for every South Korea, a North Korea. In the economic-growth race in the developing world, autocracies are both the hares and the snails, whereas democracies are the tortoises — slower but steadier. On average, autocracies and democracies in the developing world have grown at the same rate for the last several decades.