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Geostrategic thinking

Geostrategic environment (september 24, 2022)

All that is taken up here, in the complexity of open sources, does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Global Eye

THINKING COMPLEX

Thinking complex, two words must be dwelt on: globalisation and risk. While we should ask ourselves what can and should be the future of globalisation (in an already evident reconfiguration of power relations), risk should be understood in its profound transformation. Today we start our reflection.

The world appears to us every day to be increasingly uncontrollable where, in reality, it is not politically governed. We have built over the past decades (from the end of the Soviet Union to today) an a-political and non-dialogue world.

Globalisation, we should have realised, can no longer be only a top-down and competitive phenomenon but should be rethought along two lines: the progressive regionalisation of international relations and the political government of the passage of planetary processes in the territories.

Both of these directions are fundamental and must be considered together. The regionalisation of international relations is decisive because it concerns the strategic inability of nation states to deal with problems, challenges and crises that overtake them.

Europe should have been a decisive laboratory in this sense: its evolution, with the difficulties we see, shows us all the difficulties for nation states to cede sovereignty in sensitive areas (defence, energy, intelligence, security and so on).

Regionalising does not mean humiliating or nullifying national interests that, legitimately, continue to exist and play an important role. Regionalising, in a logic of ‘variable geometries’, also means compensating, within a broader framework than national ones, those states that have fewer possibilities. Today’s Europe is paying the price for a too sudden and decidedly non-political enlargement.

‘United in differences’ is a strategic perspective, not just a slogan.

Europe has not worked strategically, as a macro-region, on the question of its own security both with respect to the progressive inclusion of Russia (which has now placed itself on the wrong side of history) and with respect to its own role in the Mediterranean (mare nostrum, part of the common European home).

Europe has moved, in recent years, as a summation of nation states, leaving it to national powers to decide the future of a continent that is struggling to be a ‘laboratory of integration’. Europe has not chosen the path of dialogue with Russia, as Gorbachev had indicated more than thirty years ago (and as part of the Italian and European political classes had realised), and of opening up to the Mediterranean. In doing so, it has allowed increasingly radical positions to prevail in Russia and the southern shore of the Mediterranean to become the arena of political and social unrest that we know.

The subject is complex and we will continue to deal with it on a daily basis.

(by M.E.)

HIGHLIGHTED

  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February heightened pre-existing global geopolitical tensions. Since June 2022, high-level visits from Germany, Russia, France, and the United States (US) to 13 African states illustrate the competition for Africa’s hearts and minds. Renewed attention by global powers has raised concerns about whether Africa can defend its interests while international relations are increasingly strained. African states must carefully consider their strategic choices and positions to prevent being drawn into global disputes. Gustavo de Carvalho and Laura Rubidge, ACCORD (Global geopolitical competition hits Africa: Can it maintain its voice?)
    At the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference from September 26 through October 14 in Bucharest, Romania, the organization’s 193 member countries will elect a new secretary general and other senior officials. They will also set its policy goals for the next four years. While the ITU may be little-known to the general public, the outcome of the election for secretary general between American and Russian candidates illustrates growing geopolitical fault lines with far-reaching consequences for the future of the Internet. GMF (What’s at Stake: ITU Secretary General Election)
  • A total of 211 ships with 4.7 million tonnes of agricultural products on board have left Ukraine so far under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to unblock Ukrainian sea ports, the Ukrainian infrastructure ministry said on Saturday. Reuters (Ukraine ports have shipped around 4.7 million tonnes of food under grain deal, infrastructure ministry says)
  • Iran’s trade with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states in the spring saw 29 percent increase, said a senior official in Iran’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance. IRNA (Iran’s trade with SCO up by 29% in spring)
  • The weapons buyers for more than 40 countries will gather in Brussels next week to address ammunition and spares shortages as they continue sending arms shipments to Ukraine, a senior defense official said Friday.  Tara Copp for Defense One (US, Partners to Meet on Ukraine War Supply Chain Shortages)
  • The global food crisis, increasing transportation costs and Western sanctions on Russia’s transit corridors have led states in the region to seek alternative transportation routes between Europe and Asia. During this period, greater attention has been placed on the Middle Corridor. However, the importance of the Zangezur Corridor, which is a short but critical part of the Middle Corridor along the Central Asia–South Caucasus–Turkey–Europe route, has been the growing subject of negotiations among states in the region. The Zangezur Corridor, a crucial cooperation opportunity in the region following the Second Karabakh War, has the potential to increase the region’s geo-economic value. Yet, Iran, which thinks that it will lose prominence and influence because of the Zangezur Corridor, has expressed its objections in various ways. Despite officially stating that Tehran is not against it, some developments nevertheless show that Iran is not satisfied with discussions regarding further development of the Zangezur Corridor. Cavid Veliyev for The Jamestown Foundation (Iran’s Frustrations With the Zangezur Corridor)
  • On June 18, Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) militants attacked a Sikh place of worship, or gurdwara, in Kabul, killing two people, although Islamic State (IS) touted a much higher casualty total (The Hindu, June 19). IS formally claimed the operation through its Amaq News Agency outlet and stated the raid against the “temple for Hindu and Sikh polytheists” was intended to avenge the Prophet Muhammad following recent blasphemous comments made by Indian politicians (Twitter/@Minalami, June 18). These comments about India drew considerable attention. However, there was another prong to the IS media strategy in revealing the attacker as “Abu Muhammad al-Tajiki,” which received much less commentary (NDTV, June 20). Lucas Webber for The Jamestown Foundation. Islamic State in Khurasan Province Exploits Tajik Martyrs to Recruit in Central Asia
  • A year after the UN launched an initiative to accelerate green and digital job creation, and expand social protection, the Secretary-General on Friday urged world leaders to “put people first” by making massive investments in their future wellbeing. UN News (400 million new green and digital sector jobs, will pave way to ‘rebalance societies’)
  • With the signing of the trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Turkey dropped its initial objection to Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership, but has since argued that the conditions agreed in the MoU have not yet been fulfilled. Finnish Institute of International Affairs (NATO’s Nordic enlargement and Turkey’s reservations)

TOPICS

WORLDS

  • (Africa) September 12, 2022. Bakary TraoréFreda YawsonRob FloydVivek Mittal, ACET. This policy brief was prepared for Taskforce 8: Resilient Infrastructure and Financing of Think20 (T20), the official engagement group of G20 that brings together leading think tanks and research centers worldwide. The brief provides recommendations on mutually beneficial partnership opportunities for the Group of 20 (G20) and African stakeholders that promote: (i) regional and local approaches to the expansion of infrastructure; (ii) improved project preparation and alternative financing mechanisms and (iii) policy frameworks to promote local ecosystem development and diffuse innovation. Promoting Innovation and Digital Transformation in the Infrastructure Technology in Africa
  • (Africa) September 21, 2022. Olumide Abimola Ajayi, ACCORD. The AU prioritized gender equality through Article 4l of the Constitutive Act of the Union which was geared towards dismantling existing inequality in gender relations and violation of the rights of women in Africa. Women and Gender Parity Trends in Africa
  • (Africa) September 23, 2022. Louise Fox, Landry Signé, Brookings. Adoption of Fourth-Industrial-Revolution (4IR) technologies in sub-Saharan Africa could bring not only substantial economic growth and welfare benefits, but also social and economic disruption, including widening inequality if countervailing policies are not adopted, as discussed in our recent report. With a high share of the labor force working informally—a trend expected to continue for several decades—Africa’s education and industrial policies need to strike a balance between encouraging private investment needed to create new formal jobs using advanced technology and ensuring that all new labor force entrants have the basic skills and infrastructure to make an adequate living. Inclusion, inequality, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Africa
  • (BRICS) September 24, 2022. Global Times. When Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor in New York at the meeting of BRICS foreign ministers during the ongoing UN General Assembly, he stressed the need to work together in safeguarding the UN-centered global system in face of the impact of power politics and unilateral hegemony.  BRICS need to enhance partnership in countering power politics, unilateral hegemony, Chinese Foreign Minister says
  • (BRICS) September 23, 2022. Xinhua. The BRICS countries should prioritize the issue of development at the ongoing 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly and inject impetus into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday. Chinese FM attends BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting
  • (China) September 24, 2022. Xinhua. China had discovered a total of 173 kinds of mineral resources by the end of 2021, according to a report released by the Ministry of Natural Resources. 173 types of mineral resources already discovered in China: report
  • (China) September 20, 2022. GMF. In 1978, China was a nearly autarkic country. But in the 30 years that followed, the country transitioned to become the world’s largest manufacturer and goods exporter. Today, China is a major actor in global value chains, accounting for nearly 20 percent of global manufacturing trade and an even greater share of many intermediate global value chain inputs that are essential for production. So how did China become so deeply integrated into global supply chains? What has been the role of industrial policies in China’s achievement of supply chain dominance? China’s Dominance in Global Supply Chains | Strengthening Transatlantic Cooperation
  • (China) September 24, 2022. Xinhua. Listed firms controlled by China’s centrally-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) reported continued growth in operating revenues during the first half of the year, according to a report. Listed firms of China’s central SOEs see revenue reach 13.55 trln yuan
  • (China – Australia) September 23, 2022. Xinhua. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Australian counterpart, Penny Wong, agreed here on Thursday to promote the steady development of bilateral relations. Chinese, Australian FMs agree to promote steady development of bilateral relations
  • (China – Germany) September 23, 2022. Xinhua. The global carbon reduction ambition and the transformation of the automobile industry have created tremendous opportunities for China-Germany cooperation in the new-energy vehicle (NEV) sector, industry experts said at the Sino-German Forum on the Development of the NEV Industry. Economic Watch: Low-carbon transition creates opportunities for Sino-German NEV cooperation
  • (China – Germany) September 23, 2022. Xinhua. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Thursday with his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, stressing the importance of strengthening China-Germany partnership in the current international situation. Chinese, German FMs meet on sidelines of UNGA session
  • (China – USA) September 23, 2022. Riyaz ul Khaliq, Anadolu Agency. The top diplomats of China and the US met Friday in New York, the first high-level contact between Beijing and Washington after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan last month, triggering unprecedented tensions. Necessary to push China-US relations back to healthy track: Wang tells Blinken
  • (Colombia) September 24, 2022. Laura Gamba, Anadolu Agency. Dissidents of the FARC guerrilla group have accepted the start of a recent cease-fire proposed by Colombian President Gustavo Petro, the group’s leader said Friday.    FARC dissidents in Colombia accept cease-fire proposed by government
  • (Ethiopia) September 22, 2022. Zekarias Beshah Abebe, ACCORD. On 24 August, fighting resumed between the federal government of Ethiopia and Tigrayan forces, ending the five month long humanitarian truce. There are at least three sticking points preventing the peace process from making headways. The Role of the African Union in the Mediation Process in Ethiopia
  • (Europe) September 23, 2022. Georgios Manalis, Manos Matsaganis, ELIAMEP. Last week, during the meeting of the EU energy ministers, measures to reduce costs and shield households against high energy prices were discussed. However, no decision was reached and final action was postponed for the council meeting taking place at the end of September. In focus – European imports of liquefied natural gas
  • (Ghana) September 20, 2022. ACET. This study examines Ghana’s Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and National Investment Bank (NIB) and discusses why and how NDBs in Ghana have evolved in their governance structures and operations; the impact of these on their performance; and the challenges they face. Challenges and Changes: The Political Economy of National Development Banks in Ghana
  • (Greece) September 23, 2022. CFR. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis discusses the role of Greece in the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the economic and physical security of Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the relationship between Greece and the United States. A Conversation With Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece
  • (Hungary – Russia) September 24, 2022. TASS. The actions of several European institutions hinder Hungary’s cooperation with Rosatom on the Paks nuclear power plant (NPP), Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter Szijjarto said in an interview with TASS on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. EU institutions hinder Hungary’s cooperation with Rosatom on Paks NPP
  • (India) September 23, 2022. Namita Barthwal, CLAWS. Strategic Narrative: A Key to Win the Battle of Narratives in Jammu and Kashmir
  • (India) September 23, 2022. Soumya Awasthi, The Jamestown Foundation. On September 22, an India-wide crackdown on the neo-radical Islamic movement, Popular Front of India (PFI), was conducted by the National Investigative Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and various state police agencies. The raids led to the arrests of more than 100 top leaders of PFI from across eleven states and Union Territories. For example, PFI leaders, including its Chairman, OMA Salam, Delhi head Parvez Ahmed, Kerala head, CP Mohammed Basheer, national secretary, VP Nazarudheen, and national council member, Professor P Koya, were all arrested (India Today, September 22). Indian Security Agencies Target Popular Front of India
  • (India – Egypt) September 21, 2022. Manjari Singh, CLAWS. Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s unprecedented ongoing three-day visit to The Arab Republic of Egypt is aimed at signing a security cooperation agreement and at further consolidating defence cooperation. Once again, this high-level visit underlines the importance of Middle East in India’s foreign policy aspirations. With the signing of the cooperation agreement, Egypt will become the eighth country in the wider Middle East after Iran (2001), the UAE (2003), Qatar (2008), Saudi Arabia (2014), Oman (2016), Israel (2017) and Jordan (2018) with which New Delhi has signed similar (Memorandum of Understanding) MoUs over the years. Likewise, it will be the sixth Arab country in West Asia to have security cooperation with India.  India-Egypt Security Cooperation in Making and Why it Makes Sense?
  • (India – Taiwan Strait) September 20, 2022.  Dokku Nagamalleswara Rao, CLAWS. India’s Interest Driven Engagement Across the Taiwan Strait: Prospects for Soft Security Exchanges
  • (Iran) September 23, 2022.  Ray Takeyh, CFR. The death of Mahsa Amini has sparked large-scale protests in Iran. But President Raisi’s speech at the UN General Assembly signals that the regime is not likely to soften its stance toward the Iranian people nor toward the West. Iran’s Protests, Raisi’s UN Speech, and Nuclear Deal Talks: What to Know
  • (Iran – Jordan) September 24, 2022. IRNA. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said that the Islamic Republic of Iran considers no limits to developing relations with Jordan. FM: Iran considers no limit for developing ties with Jordan
  • (Iran – Saudi Arabia) September 24, 2022. IRNA. Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud has underscored that Riyadh is keen on pursuing rapprochement with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Saudi Arabia plans to build positive relationship with Iran: FM
  • (Iran – USA) September 24, 2022. Al Jazeera. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been given the green light by the United States government to activate the satellite internet service Starlink to help Iranians protesting against the death of a woman in police custody. Elon Musk greenlit to activate Starlink internet for Iranians
  • (Japan) September 23, 2022. Christopher B. Johnstone, CSIS. Leaders from across the globe are gathering next week in Japan for the state funeral of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated on July 8. The guest list is impressive: more than 4,300 guests will attend, including about 700 visitors from overseas. Among them will be the leaders of Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, and Vietnam. Vice President Harris will lead the U.S. delegation. The Abe Funeral and Kishida’s Road Ahead
  • (Kenya) September 24, 2022. Al Jazeera. A chicken seller who became a successful businessman; a politician who rose to the presidency: William Ruto was officially declared president of Kenya after narrowly winning the election in August. Kenya’s Ruto: A chicken seller who rose to the presidency
  • (Kyrgyzstan – Tajikistan) September 23, 2022. Nurbek Bekmurzaev, The Jamestown Foundation. On September 14–17, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan locked heads in the biggest military conflict between the two sides to date. What started as another border skirmish between the Kyrgyzstani and Tajikistani border guards quickly grew into a major military conflict that raged for three days and left behind at least 110 dead and 218 wounded on both sides (Kloop, September 20). Military Standoff Re-Ignites Between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan
  • (Latin America) September 15, 2022. Jorge A Bonilla, EfD. Latin America, as other regions in the world, imposed mobility restrictions to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Although recent research has analyzed the effect of mobility restrictions on air quality in several regions, a scarce literature explores the causal effects of the lockdowns in Latin America at a city scale whose results may guide local policymaking. Forest fires and impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns on air quality in four Latin American megacities
  • (Lebanon) September 24, 2022. Al Jazeera. The World Bank says Lebanon’s economic crisis may be one of the three worst in modern times and it has left eight in 10 people poor. What’s the way out of Lebanon’s economic crisis?
  • (Pakistan) September 24, 2022. Al Jazeera. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appealed for global support to face the consequences of the climate catastrophe that ravaged his South Asian nation. Pakistan PM decries climate carnage: ‘Did not contribute to this’
  • (Pakistan) September 23, 2022. Kiyya Baloch, The Jamestown Foundation. The Baluch separatist insurgency in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province has entered a crucial new phase. Despite Pakistan’s intensive crackdown on Baluch rebels launched in August 2006, the insurgency has not waned in more than 15 years (Dawn, August 27, 2006). Instead, since 2018, the insurgency’s lethality has only dramatically increased. As a result, more lethal attacks, such as suicide bombings, high-profile targeted attacks, and kidnappings of high-ranked army officials, are now shaping the course of the nearly two-decade-long Baluch separatist insurgency. Baluch Militancy’s Newest and Most Lethal Phase in Pakistan
  • (Russia)  September 23, 2022. Elisabeth Braw, Defense One. Russia’s mobilization of a reported 300,000 reservists hasn’t proceeded very smoothly. Almost immediately after President Vladimir Putin announced that his government would be calling the reservists up for duty in Ukraine, waves of Russians began fleeing the country, rightly suspecting this was just the first wave of call-ups. Putin’s War, and His Rule, Are In Trouble
  • (Russia – Ukraine) September 23, 2022. Vladimir Socor, The Jamestown Foundation. Moscow has abruptly reversed its decision, made as recently as July 2022, to postpone annexation “referendums” in the Russian-occupied Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine. The Kremlin had concluded that the prerequisites to minimally credible referendums, even by Russian standards, were not in place in those two regions and therefore postponed the referendums sine die (see EDM, July 2122August 19). Now, suddenly, the annexation referendums will be held with only a few days of advance notice. Russia Staging Blitz ‘Referendums’ to Annex Four Ukrainian Territories
  • (Russia – Ukraine) September 23, 2022. Vladimir Socor, The Jamestown Foundation. Eight years ago, Russia launched a hybrid war against Ukraine with the aim to seize Crimea and wrest six Ukrainian mainland provinces—Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odesa—away from Ukraine. Russian ‘Referendums’ in Ukrainian Territories Boosting Putin’s Novorossiya Project
  • (Russia – Ukraine) September 23, 2022. Kateryna Stepanenko, Katherine Lawlor, George Barros, and Frederick W. Kagan, ISW. The Russian mobilization system is struggling to execute the task Russian President Vladimir Putin set and will likely fail to produce mobilized reserve forces even of the low quality that Putin’s plans would have generated unless the Kremlin can rapidly fix fundamental and systemic problems. Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, September 23
  • (Rwanda) September 20, 2022.  ACET. This case study explores the governance structures and operations of the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD or the Bank) and shows how the political climate influences the Bank’s performance. Challenges and Changes: The Political Economy of the Development Bank of Rwanda
  • (Türkiye) September 21, 2022. Natalie ThomureMeltem Bayraktar and Tuğçe Üzümoğlu, World Resources Institute.  Türkiye is a newly industrialized country with an emerging economy and a growing need for urban residential buildings as a result of population growth and rapid urbanization. The building sector is a key focus area in climate change policy in Türkiye, accounting for 33% of energy-related CO2 emissions. At the same time, the building sector presents opportunities for significant financial savings and increased occupant health and comfort. Building Sector Decarbonization in Türkiye
  • (Türkiye) September 23, 2022. Nicholas Danforth, ELIAMEP. On May 29th, 2022, the Turkish Defense Ministry tweeted: “569 years earlier, Istanbul was conquered. To look at it and dream of rebuilding Rome or Byzantium is a delusion. Those who long for 1,000 years ago make it clear who is the irredentist and who is the obstacle to peace.”. A Contested Conquest: The Many Meanings of 1453 in Turkish Political Rhetoric
  • (Türkiye – Greece) September 24, 2022. Al Jazeera. Turkey has condemned remarks by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who accused Ankara of undermining peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region and playing a “destabilising role”. ‘Hostile narrative’: Turkey slams Greek PM’s UN remarks
  • (Türkiye – Greece) September 24, 2022. Servet Gunerigok, Anadolu Agency. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday that the US has a “double standard” when it comes to responding to Greece’s actions against Türkiye.  US has ‘double standard’ on Greece’s actions against Türkiye: Foreign minister
  • (Türkiye – Greece) September 24, 2022. Anadolu Agency. Türkiye on Friday criticized Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for his remarks against Ankara at the UN General Assembly. Türkiye criticizes Greek premier’s remarks against Ankara at UN General Assembly
  • (Türkiye – Russia) September 24, 2022. TASS. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a closed meeting in Istanbul on Friday on the use of Russian Mir bank cards in the country and possible alternatives to the payment system. The meeting lasted almost six hours and was attended by the heads of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank, as well as heads of leading Turkish banks, according to TRT TV channel. Erdogan discusses alternatives to Russia’s Mir payments system
  • (Ukraine) September 21, 2022. Alina Inayeh, GMF. Following the Lugano conference in July, the idea of a Marshall Plan for Ukraine has gained more momentum, at least in policymaking circles. Despite a divergence of opinions and approaches to the plan, collective efforts are now focusing on its design and implementation. Ukraine needs a coordinated effort of to help its recovery—and a recent paper by the German Marshall Fund has put forward proposals to this end—yet focusing solely on the country is not enough. The rebuilding of its economy needs regional stability too and would be catalyzed by greater regional prosperity. A Marshall Plan for Ukraine with a Regional Vision
  • (Ukraine) September 19, 2022. Maximilian Luz Reinhardt, Tetiana Schyrochenko, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. The Ukrainian economy is suffering heavily under Russia’s war of aggression. So far, one can only make assumptions about the full extent of the economic damages. The same goes for the material losses of Ukrainian businesses. However, an initial assessment has now been made possible via a survey conducted by the European Business Association. Overall, forty-one per cent of the surveyed Ukrainian companies suffered revenue losses of up to US$1 million in the first five months of Russian aggression. Thirty-two percent of those surveyed estimated their economic losses at between US$1 million and US$10 million. The remaining companies had already incurred more than US$10 million in losses at this point. War in Europe: Ukraine’s food industry: a lifeline under pressure
  • (Ukraine – Iran) September  24, 2022. Maziar Motamedi, Al Jazeera. Iran says it will “respond appropriately” to Ukraine’s revoking of its ambassador’s accreditation over alleged drone sales to Russia while not directly denying it sold the aircraft. Iran responds to Ukraine diplomatic demotion over Russia drones
  • (Ukraine – Iran) September 24, 2022. Reuters. Iran is planning “proportional action” in response to Ukraine’s decision to downgrade diplomatic ties over the reported supply of Iranian drones to Russia, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson said on Saturday. Iran will make ‘proportional’ response to Ukraine reducing ties
  • (Ukraine – Iran) September 24, 2022. Al Jazeera. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the accreditation of the Iranian ambassador will be revoked and Iranian diplomatic staff in Kyiv reduced as a result of Russian forces using Iranian drones to attack Ukraine. Ukraine to reduce Iran embassy presence over Russia drone attacks
  • (USA) September 21, 2022. Cindy Huang, CGD. The Biden administration recently submitted its annual report to Congress on proposed refugee admissions for FY2023. A reflection of US leadership during an unprecedented global displacement crisis, the proposal preserves the FY2022 target of resettling 125,000 refugees. The Brass Tacks of Rebuilding US Leadership on Refugee Resettlement and Why It Matters
  • (USA) September 23, 2022. Evana Said and Sujata Rajpurohit, World Resources Institute. Two new U.S. laws — the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — make this a ripe moment to transform buildings in the United States into more modern homes, apartments, offices and civic spaces that will emit fewer greenhouse gases. At the same time, they will improve public health and safety, boost household savings and local economies, and advance social equity and innovation. Benefits of Zero Carbon Buildings
  • (USA) September 20, 2022. World Resources Institute. In addition to rapid greenhouse gas emission reductions, carbon dioxide removal (CDR) will also be needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and realize the U.S. national target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050Removing Emissions Act
  • (USA) September 23, 2022. Jonathan Shaub, Lawfare. It is by now widely recognized that the executive branch—the president in particular—has been accumulating and exercising increasing constitutional authority over the past several decades, often at the expense of Congress. Previously Undisclosed OLC Opinions Illuminate the Growth of Executive Power
  • (USA) September 23, 2022. Barry G. Rabe, Brookings. Imagine a climate policy scenario in which the United States in less than two years adopted comprehensive legislation with broad bipartisan support, produced a 69-to-27 Senate super-majority to formally enter a binding global regime, and prepared to lead international efforts to assure full implementation. Metaphysical impossibility? It just happened. Pivoting from global climate laggard to leader: Kigali and American HFC policy
  • (USA) September 23, 2022. Darrell M. West, Brookings. State and local governments long have been considered “laboratories of democracy” that spawn valuable innovation. But recently states have taken this a step farther entering a risky new phase that pits blue states against red ones and blue cities against red states, and threatens democracy as a whole. As opposed to tolerating policy experimentation by different jurisdictions, some leaders are seeking to impose their own policy views on other places. Taken to an extreme, this behavior likely would intensify conflict and escalate policy nullification on a broad scale. Why federalism has become risky for American democracy
  • (USA – Latin America and the Carribean) September 23, 2022. Manuel OrozcoDanielle Carr, The Dialogue. This blog post examines sending costs to eight Latin American and Caribbean countries and finds, first, that using pricing data from the leading companies performing the majority of transactions if not 90 percent from the US to these elected countries, the average cost of sending is 4 percent of the principal amount. But when paid in US dollars, it drops to 3 percent. One of the important considerations about an analysis of costs reflects the most important reality shaping the money transfer intermediation industry, which is that is tied to a global currency market, where currency values shape the weight of a transaction’s price. The talk about the high transaction costs of remittances continues in different forums, and still despite elegant statistical modeling in some cases, is uninformed, and moralistic or with spurious correlations.  Transaction Costs in the Post-Covid Era