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From global think tanks – July 15, 2022

With The Science of Where Magazine

AROUND THE WORLD

Africa – Ukraine

  • July 15, 2022. Valdai Discussion Club. Attitudes towards US military policy among Africans reveals the unsustainability of this approach to international affairs. These peoples know that the reckless approach by Washington and Wall Street will have a negative social impact on billions around the globe, writes Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor and Publisher of the Pan-African News Wire. Reactions in Africa to the Ukrainian Crisis

Azerbaijan

  • July 14, 2022. Orkhan Baghirov, The Jamestown Foundation. In the first four months of 2022, Azerbaijan’s revenues from gas exports increased about 3.7 times and reached $4.18 billion (Marja, May 19). Revenues from oil exports, on the other hand, increased 50.3 percent in the same period. As a result, the positive balance of payments increased about 4.8 times and reached $1.57 billion in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021 (Marja, June 10). The Economic Implications of the Ukraine War on Azerbaijan

Europe

France – UAE

  • July 15, 2022. Elvire Fondacci, HRW. French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing to welcome the President of the United Arab Emirates, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, to Paris July 18. That welcome should not include giving the crown prince a pass on the UAE’s atrocious human rights record. France’s Energy Plans Should Not Include Ignoring UAE Abuses

Indonesia

  • July 15, 2022. Made Anthony Iswara, Fauzan Kemal Musthofa and Fitri Ayunisa, East Asia Forum. What’s cooking in 2022? In Indonesia, not oil. The world’s largest palm oil producer is currently experiencing a cooking oil shortage. When cooking oil prices skyrocketed in late 2021, officials and experts blamed rising global vegetable oil prices and hoarders for spiking the price, leading to the imposition of a month-long export ban. Indonesia’s farmers need protection from plummeting palm oil prices

Iran – Turkmenistan

  • July 14, 2022. John C. K. Daly, The Jamestown Foundation. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met with the new leader of neighboring Turkmenistan, President Serdar Berdymukhammedov, for the first time on June 15, at the 6th summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states, in Ashgabat. As a consequence of their talks, the pair agreed to sign a cooperation agreement for the next 20 years. Even more significant, Iran stated its willingness to resume importing Turkmenistani natural gas via the long-dormant Korpeje–Kurtkui pipeline after paying off its outstanding $1.8 billion debt for previous deliveries dating back to 2016 (Nezavisimaya gazeta, June 15). Iran to Clear $1.8 Billion Gas Debt to Turkmenistan, Reopen Korpeje–Kurtkui Pipeline

NATO – Russia

  • July 13, 2022. Andris Banka, RUSI. While neither side has officially withdrawn from the NATO-Russia Founding Act, in practical terms they are no longer constrained by it. NATO and the Schrödinger’s Cat

Pakistan

Russia – Ukraine

  • July 14, 2022. Kateryna Stepanenko, Layne Philipson, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan, ISW. Russia’s operational pause largely continued, with limited Russian ground assaults along the Slovyansk-Siversk-Bakhmut salient.Russian forces continued heavy shelling, missile attacks, and airstrikes all along the front line. The Russians will likely launch a larger-scale and more determined offensive along the Slovyansk-Siversk-Bakhmut line soon, but there are no indications yet of how soon that attack will begin or exactly where it will focus. Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, July 14
  • July 14, 2022. Paul Globe, The Jamestown Foundation. Faced with mounting combat losses in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to expand the size of Russian forces there, the absence of a general mobilization plan undermines the Kremlin leader’s claims and could trigger more domestic opposition (Meduza, May 5). As such, Moscow is now turning to the regions and republics to procure more volunteers for the Russian army and to form regionally based battalions similar to what Ramzan Kadyrov has done in Chechnya. The center is devoting enormous resources to both now that the spring draft is ending, but problems persist with each approach. The recruitment effort outside Moscow and other major cities has not attracted as many as the center appears to have hoped, forcing Moscow to offer ever more generous pay packages and to extend the age range of those who can sign up. Furthermore, the new push for regions and republics to form their own military units, while popular in some quarters, is sparking concerns that such units could allow some federal subjects to become more independent in their actions as Chechnya has, or even lead to the transformation of a foreign war into a civil one. Moscow Turns to Regions to Replace Losses and Boost Forces in Ukraine

UK 

  • July 14, 2022. John Kampfner, Chatham House. Under Boris Johnson, the UK liked to see itself as a country willing to ruffle feathers to get things done, and his foreign secretary Liz Truss extolled a more nimble ‘Global Britain’ by declaring in her Mansion House speech that the UK is prepared to ‘do things differently, to think differently and to work differently’. Will the next UK prime minister disrupt or cooperate?

USA

USA – Iran

  • July 14, 2022. Emma Belcher, Tom Z. Collina, Defense One. Seven years ago this week, the Iran nuclear deal was agreed to by the United States, its allies, and Iran as a peaceful way to prevent Tehran from producing a nuclear weapon and to provide much needed sanctions relief for the Iranian people. The deal worked well until former President Trump, for purely domestic political reasons, recklessly abandoned it. Now Iran is on the brink of becoming a nuclear state. Drifting Toward Disaster As Iran Nuke Talks Stall

USA – Pacific

  • July 14, 2022.  and , The Strategist. On 13 July, US Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the 51st Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ meeting by video link. Harris’s speech was unexpected and unprecedented, since the US is a forum dialogue partner rather than a member. Pacific leaders had opted this year not to hold the traditional post-forum partners’ dialogue, at which partner states (including the US and China) meet with forum leaders after their leaders’ meeting. Pacific leaders wanted to ensure that there was ‘space’ to resolve issues and determine priorities without having to manage the demands and expectations of external partners. The US in the Pacific: delivering on commitments or déjà vu?

USA – Saudi Arabia

TOPICS

Cities

  • July 14, 2022. Elena IanchovichinaRemi Jedwab, and Federico Haslop, Brookings. Although urbanization began many millennia ago, for most of human history cities were home to the few. At the beginning of the first industrial revolution in 1765, less than 10 percent of the population lived in urban areas and economic growth largely depended on the productivity of the rural workforce. Since then, urbanization has expanded at a steady and path-breaking rate in all regions, fueled by growing demand for urban workers and technological breakthroughs such as the construction of tall buildings. Are cities engines of production or consumption, and does it matter?
  • July 14, 2022. Brookings. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires investments and policies that affect specific places, and there is increasing realization that overall global progress will depend in significant measure upon local leadership and action. In recognition of this, Brookings launched the SDG Leadership Cities Network in 2019 to highlight and support the impressive work of vanguard cities around the world in local implementation of the U.N. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. SDG Leadership Cities Network and Toolkit

Cybersecurity

Defense, Military, Security, Space

Digital & Tech 

Energy

  • July 15, 2022. World Nuclear News. The first safety-related concrete has been poured for the nuclear island of unit 3 at the Haiyang nuclear power plant, the Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI) has announced. It marks the official start of construction of the first of two CAP1000 pressurised water reactors planned as Phase II of the site in China’s Shandong province. Construction starts on third Haiyang unit : New Nuclear
  • July 14, 2022. Florentine Koppenborg, East Asia Forum. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shocked global energy markets and caused rising fuel prices. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called for more nuclear reactors to be restarted. For the first time since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, a slim majority of Japanese citizens favour restarting the country’s nuclear reactors. Nuclear revival won’t rid Japan of its energy crisis

Health & Digital 

Global

  • July 13, 2022. Klaas Lenaerts, Simone Tagliapietra, Georg Zachmann, Bruegel. At the 26-28 June G7 summit in Bavaria, leaders said they would consider a price cap on Russian oil, to cut Putin’s oil rent while minimising the negative impacts on the global economy. This blog post discusses this proposal and how it might work, notably to help understand whether this could improve the current western embargo regime. A possible G7 price cap on Russian oil: issues at stake
  • July 12, 2022. Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Aliénor Cameron, Bruegel. Brexit and the rise of China as a leading international economic power have revived discussions about the geography of banking centres. This paper analyses the geographical evolution of banking centres since the 1970s, based on a database constructed from a ranking of the top banks in the world created by The Banker magazine, a UK-based monthly publication specialised in international financial affairs. We describe both how the database was created and the ways in which it can be used to inform policy on money and capital markets. We address why the data can be used to proxy the size of International Financial Centres (IFCs) and the methodological limitations it may present. We find that banking consolidations and the evolution of the legal framework are more central to the changing geography of banking centres than economic and financial crises. We also highlight that, despite major shifts in global economic power, leading banking centres are hard to replace. Mapping banking centres globally since 1970
  • July 15, 2022. HRW. Countries should take concrete steps to demonstrate that justice for serious crimes matters, regardless of where abuses are committed and by whom, Human Rights Watch said today. To mark International Criminal Justice Day on July 17, 2022, Human Rights Watch created a social media initiative outlining five concrete actions that governments can take to bolster the international justice system worldwide. Support Justice for Serious Crimes Globally
  • July 15, 2022. , The Strategist. The G20 foreign ministers’ meeting on 8 July in Bali was almost certainly a harbinger of the G20 leaders’ meeting scheduled for later this year, and a graphic illustration of why the G20 in the current circumstances is both teetering on the brink of pointlessness and incidentally irreplaceable. G20 foreign ministers’ meeting: almost pointlessness but irreplaceable in the margins
  • July 14, 2022. Reeve T. Bull, Brookings. In the run-up to the 2016 election, an interesting shift in the political narrative took place.  International trade, which had not been much of an issue for decades and had largely been embraced by both parties, suddenly become a major topic. Two of the leading presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, made opposition to new trade agreements a central part of their campaign platforms. Improving international regulatory cooperation in an age of trade skepticism