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Geostrategic magazine

Geostrategic magazine (november 4, 2022)

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

TOPICS

WORLDS

  • (Africa) Alex Benkenstein, Lewi Goytom Gebrehewet, Muleta Korme Negassa, Benno Müchler, SAIIA. The current climate impacts across the continent are at unprecedented levels. The Horn of Africa is currently experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent history and Nigeria is experiencing its worst flooding in more than 50 years across multiple sub-regions of the country, while earlier in 2022 devastating floods resulted in the deaths of more than 450 deaths in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. Towards an African Adaptation Finance Agenda for COP27
  • (Australia) Khalid Koser, Lilla Schumicky-Logan, The Interpreter. Last weekend, the first of about 60 Australian women and children planned to be repatriated from detention camps in Syria arrived home. As has been the case in most Western European countries, the decision to bring home citizens associated with Islamic State has been protracted and political. It has hinged on the concept of risk: on one hand, citizens left in Syria may die or become the foot-soldiers for another terrorist organisation; on the other, bringing them home risks repatriating people who may be radicalised, may radicalise others, and perhaps perpetrate violent extremism. Risks and responses repatriating foreign terrorist fighters and families
  • (China) Ashok K Kantha, VIF. Post-the Belt and Road Initiative, which was a flagship Chinese program launched by President Xi Jinping that amalgamated Chinese geoeconomic and geostrategic initiatives, we have seen two new initiatives being announced in the last two years. In this podcast, Amb Ashok Kantha delves into the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative discussing Chinese intentions and implications for global governance. Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative: China’s New Approach to Global Governance
  • (China) , The Strategist. The Chinese Communist Party adopted a resolution on an amendment to its constitution at the closing session of the 20th national congress. The constitution describes the role of the party and its organisational structure, principles and ideology. It is amended at every national congress, so the fact of the amendment itself is not unusual, but analysing its content provides a clue as to the direction that the current administration is taking in terms of organisation and ideology for the next five years. CCP constitutional change strengthens Xi’s power but avoids total personality cult
  • (China) John S. Van Oudenaren, The Jamestown Foundation. Days after his dominant showing at the 20th Party Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping led the newly appointed Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) on a visit to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) base of operations in the War with Japan and the Chinese Civil War in Yan’an, Shaanxi (Xinhuanet, October 27).  “Yan’an Spirit”: The Rise of Xi’s Lieutenants
  • (China – Germany) Xinhua. Chinese President Xi Jinping met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on his official visit to China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. Xi noted that Scholz is the first European leader to visit China after the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and that it is also his first visit to China as the Federal Chancellor. Xi meets German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
  • (China – Indonesia) William Yuen Yee, The Jamestown Foundation. In a recent interview, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo confirmed that both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin plan to attend the upcoming Group of 20 (G20) summit in Bali from November 15-16 (Channel News Asia [CNA], August 19). The summit will mark Jokowi’s second in-person meeting with Xi this year, after a July summit in which Jokowi became the first foreign leader to visit Beijing after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Gov.cn, July 27). For many external observers, Xi’s attendance at the G20 summit represents yet another sign that Jakarta has shifted closer to Beijing, propelled by the close personal relationship between both leaders. Still, Jokowi’s relationship with the Chinese leader is close but complicated. Several issues including the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail line, territorial disputes over the Natuna Islands and China’s treatment of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang continue to complicate bilateral relations. Upcoming G20 Summit Spotlights Close but Complicated Relationship Between Xi and Indonesia’s Jokowi
  • (China – Pakistan) Syed Fazl-e-Haider, The Jameston Foundation. In mid-July, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and the Pakistan Navy (PN) held the “Sea Guardians-2” exercise in the waters off Shanghai (China Brief, October 4; Pakistan Television, July 12). The joint naval drills focused on neutralizing maritime security threats, particularly those that might jeopardize strategic sea lanes. The bilateral exercise also included joint target practice, anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-missile drills (China Military Online [CMO], July 13). The drills built on the first iteration of the exercise,  Sea Guardians-1, which was held in January 2020 in the North Arabian Sea off Karachi, Pakistan. The participation in these exercises of the guided missile frigate Taimur, which is the most advanced warship built by China for the PN, demonstrates the increasing level of Chinese support for the training and modernization of Pakistan’s naval forces (Global Times, July 10). China Increases Support for Pakistan’s Naval Modernization with an Eye on the Indian Ocean
  • (Eurasia)  Neil Melvin, RUSI. With Russia’s regional role predicted to decline following likely defeat in Ukraine, there is an imperative for Europe to fill the vacuum and to fashion a new regional engagement to help ensure the future security and stability of Eurasia. Securing Eurasia is Europe’s Challenge
  • (Europe) Georg Zachmann, Giovanni Sgaravatti, Ben McWilliams, Bruegel. European natural gas imports
  • (Germany – China) Dominique Fraser, The Interpreter. On Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will become one of the first global leaders to visit China since Xi Jinping emerged more powerful than ever from the 20th Communist Party Congress (Scholz has been narrowly beaten by the leaders of Vietnam, Pakistan and Tanzania). Make or break: Scholz’ Beijing business
  • (Horn of Africa) Michelle Gavin, CFR. Climate change is exacerbating instability in the Horn of Africa. Democratizing climate awareness, respecting African energy needs, and supporting regional organizations are strategies to mitigate its effects. Climate Change and Regional Instability in the Horn of Africa
  • (India) Ramanath Jha, ORF. In a March 2019 circular, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) raised the subject of premature issuance of completion certificates for national highway works. NHAI had noticed that, in certain cases, completion certificates had been issued even before the completion of works ‘up to the standards and specifications’ prescribed by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. Items such as road shoulders, road signs, markings, dressing of slopes, and road furniture were explicitly mentioned. The circular forbade the issuance of such certificates, especially if non-completion resulted in ‘material inconveniences to users’ or affected their safety. Preventing road accidents on National Highways
  • (India) Rumi Aijaz, ORF. In India’s populous capital city Delhi, having about 23 million inhabitants, the demand for water is greater than its supply. According to the city government’s water supply department, namely Delhi Jal Board (DJB), daily water demand is about 1,150 million gallons per day (mgd), whereas 935 mgd of water is supplied. In the prevailing conditions, many residents of Delhi, particularly those living in informal areas, do not have adequate access to drinking water. Tracking Water Sources for Delhi
  • (India – Africa – WTO) VIF. In this episode, David Vivas, Legal Officer at UNCTAD discusses with Samir Bhattacharya, Research Associate at the Vivekananda International Foundation various issues related to WTO, particularly where India and Africa can work together under the South-South framework. They discuss more in detail the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, adopted at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) on 17 June 2022 which marks a major step forward for ocean sustainability. While the Agreement represents a historic achievement, implementing it will present challenges for many developing country members, especially least-developed countries. WTO and India-Africa position on Fisheries subsidies
  • (Iran) Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Zachary Coles, and Frederick W. Kagan, ISW.  Violent clashes erupted between security forces and protesters in Karaj, Alborz Province on November 3. Iran Crisis Update, November 3
  • (Israel) Daniel B. ShapiroBarbara SlavinMark N. KatzRichard LeBaronThomas S. WarrickJean-Loup SamaanShalom LipnerCarmiel ArbitAli BakirDavid DaoudAndrew L. PeekAriel EzrahiYulia Shalomov, and Jonah Fisher, Atlantic Council. The Israeli election on November 1 signals the likely return to power by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Following the year-long experiment of a mixed right-center-left-Arab coalition, the election results mark a decided shift to the right in Israeli politics, with implications for Israel’s relations in the region, its ongoing tensions with the Palestinians, and relations between Jews and Arabs in Israeli society. A new Netanyahu prime ministership, backed by a far-right/religious center coalition expected to hold sixty-five out of 120 Knesset seats, will dramatically affect Israeli policy in each of these areas, even as Israel’s democratic institutions endure the stress tests being felt in many of the world’s democracies. Experts react: Bibi is back—back again for now
  • (Israel – Lebanon – Hezbollah) Yoram Schweitzer, Anat Shapira, David Siman-Tov, INSS. In recent months Nasrallah has waged an integrated campaign – replete with cognitive, diplomatic, kinetic, and economic measures – over the maritime border agreement, and declared a victory that he attributed primarily to the “armed resistance.” Some in Israel are wont to accept Nasrallah’s claim that Hezbollah emerged with the upper hand. Facing this challenge, how should Israel deter Hezbollah from gaining the sense of an inflated victory and the sense of eroded Israeli deterrence? Hezbollah Steps on the Gas: The Campaign over Karish
  • (Japan – Africa) Brittany Morreale, Purnendra Jain, East Asia Forum. The African continent has emerged as a new geostrategic playground for Asian aid donors. The Forum on China–Africa Cooperation in November 2021 and the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in August 2022 marked the eighth occurrence of China and Japan’s respective high-level African conferences. Strength through continuity in the Japan–Africa partnership
  • (Kyrgyzstan – Tajikistan) Paul Globe, The Jamestown Foundation. What had been a long-running local conflict between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan regarding the delimitation of borders and the fate of exclaves has now expanded over the past two weeks to include major military units and the targeting of infrastructure deep within the territory of both countries. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Descending Into Chaos and Full-Scale War
  • (Libya) Stephanie T. Williams, Brookings. Last month’s marking of the two-year anniversary of the Libyan ceasefire agreement offers an opportunity to take stock of the North African country’s trajectory.  Two years on from the ceasefire agreement, Libya still matters
  • (Pacific Island Nations) , The Strategist. ‘Follow the money’ to disrupt criminal and terrorist networks is a central tenet of law enforcement and counterterrorism policymaking. For decades, this thinking has driven the global development and implementation of ever more sophisticated anti-money-laundering and counterterrorism financing (AML/CTF) rules. There ought to be no doubt that AML/CTF controls, when effectively implemented, make it difficult for criminal and terrorist groups to conceal and use their illicit money. Exodus of international banks from Pacific island nations threatens regional economic stability
  • (Russia) Sam Cranny-Evans, RUSI. The Chechen security forces are intended to secure Ramzan Kadyrov’s rule by providing force at home and in support of the Kremlin’s military operations. They can perform a valuable function for Russia on the battlefield. The Chechens: Putin’s Loyal Foot Soldiers
  • (Russia) Lionel Guetta-Jeanrenaud, Ben McWilliams, Georg Zachmann, Bruegel. This dataset aggregates weekly and monthly data on Russian exports of crude oil since the beginning of 2021 (we do not include oil products). We track oil leaving the four main Western Russian ports (Primorsk, Ust-Luga, Murmansk and Novorossiysk) using real-time vessel data to infer the amount and destination of exports. Russian crude oil tracker
  • (Russia) Pavel Luzin, The Jamestown Foundation. On October 28, Russia announced the successful end of its “partial mobilization” campaign. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared that 300,000 soldiers had been mobilized, with 13,000 volunteers among them. Moreover, he added that further mobilization will not be needed, and the armed forces will be able to rely solely on contracted soldiers and volunteers from now on (Kremlin.ru, October 28). In truth, the Russian authorities are trying to avoid the official end of the mobilization by means of a government decree (TASS, October 31November 1), only confirming its end through another portion of “verbal interventions” (Gazeta.ru, October 31). Is Mobilization Really Over in Russia?
  • (Russia – Afghanistan) Claudia Chia Yi En, East Asia Forum. The signing of a provisional deal between Russia and the Taliban in September 2022 marks the Taliban’s first known major international economic deal. But beyond the announcement that Russia will supply gas, oil and wheat to Afghanistan, the payment and pricing details have not been released to the public. How the two countries will navigate international sanctions and their exclusion from the global banking system remains unclear. Russia and Afghanistan’s partnership of convenience
  • (Russia – Ukraine) Ihor Kabanenko, The Jamestown Foundation. Three months ago, the Initiative on the Safe Transportation of Grain and Foodstuffs From Ukrainian Ports (“Grain Agreement”) was signed in Istanbul, Turkey (see EDM, September 13). The deal lifted the Russian naval blockade of three key Ukrainian seaports—Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi—for the safe passage of critical grain and food exports to ensure global food security. Overall, the initiative has been relatively effective in combating the food crisis in many countries: in total, about 8 million tons of agricultural products on 362 grain vessels has already been exported to countries in Asia, Europe and Africa (Mtu.gov.ua, October 20). The Ukraine Grain Agreement After Three Months: Moscow’s Blackmail, Boa Constrictor Tactics and Russian Gas
  • (Russia – Ukraine) Kateryna Stepanenko, Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, Yekaterina Klepanchuk, and Frederick W. Kagan, ISW. Russian forces are continuing to withdraw some elements from northwestern Kherson Oblast, but it is still unclear if Russian forces will fight for Kherson City. Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, November 3
  • (Russia – Ukraine – China) Justyna Szczudlik, The Jamestown Foundation. Chinese diplomats contend that Beijing’s position on the “Russia-Ukraine conflict” (俄乌冲突  E wu chongtu) or the “Ukraine issue” (乌克兰问题, Wukelan wenti ) is “consistent and clear” (一贯的、明确的,  yiguan de, mingque de) (People’s Republic of China Ministry of Foreign Affairs [FMPRC], May 5). However, China’s paradoxical stance on the Russia-Ukraine War underscores the difficulties that Beijing faces in carrying out sophisticated diplomacy. This has already had repercussions for China’s national interests and ability to achieve its foreign policy objectives. Therefore, any change of course by Beijing coming out of the recently concluded 20th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress, appears unlikely. The Russia-Ukraine War: Has Beijing Abandoned Pragmatic Diplomacy?
  • (Sarawak) Mark van Loon, East Asia Forum. Sarawak’s autonomy has been controversial from the start. One of the four founding states of Malaysia, Sarawak was granted freedom to self-govern by the British Crown in July 1963 and joined the Malaysian Federation later that year with Sabah, Malaya and Singapore. London thought that, during the Cold War, dealing with one federation was more manageable than with four small independent nations. Sarawak seeks a sovereign wealth fund
  • (Ukraine) Dave SkidmoreDavid Wessel, and Elijah Asdourian, Brookings. Russia’s most recent invasion of Ukraine on February 24 triggered the largest conflict in Europe since World War II with devastating and enduring humanitarian and economic consequences. Financing and governing the recovery, reconstruction, and modernization of Ukraine
  • (USA) Jason Furman, Wilson Powell III, PIIE.  The US labor market is getting less hot. The pace of job growth has steadily slowed from 444,000 per month in the first half of the year to an average of 289,000 per month in the last three months. At the same time the pace of nominal wage growth (adjusted for industry-level composition changes) slowed from an annualized pace of 4.5 percent in the first half of the year to 3.8 percent in the last three months. Nevertheless, the labor market remains very hot: The unemployment rate remains around its fifty-year low and other labor market indicators, like job openings and quits, are highly elevated. US job growth is slowing, but the labor market remains very hot
  • (USA) Anar Bata, Chatham House. US voters will head to the polls on 8th November 2022 to cast their ballots for the midterm elections, which will see 35 of 100 Senate seats and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives up for re-election. US midterms: What to expect?
  • (USA) Lauren C. Williams, Defense One. Should a war with China break out, the Air Force wants its intelligence community to be able to operate with full connectivity, no connectivity, and everything in between. For a service aggressively moving toward cloud services, this is no mean feat. How the Air Force Is Preparing for Good and Bad Comms in the Pacific
  • (USA) Patrick Tucker, Defense One. The newly released Nuclear Posture Review contained few surprises, but did call for the retirement of one element in the U.S. nuclear arsenal: the B83 megaton gravity bomb. Now, because of that decision, the United States must look at new means to get at deeply buried targets, a senior defense official said Tuesday.  Pentagon To Launch New Study On How to Get at Hard, Deeply Buried Targets
  • (USA – Australia)  and , The Strategist. On 8 November, Americans will vote in midterm congressional elections to determine all 435 voting seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of the 100 seats in the Senate. Despite the political theatre, Australians should take heart. How will the midterms affect US foreign policy and Australia’s strategic interests?
  • (USA – Australia – China) Sam Roggeveen, The Interpreter. On Monday, ABC’s Four Corners program broke news that the United States is investing in new infrastructure at RAAF Tindal, the air force base just south of Darwin, so that it can accommodate and support up to six US Air Force bombers. It’s significant not because Australia will be hosting American bombers, which has been happening for many years, but because the emphasis of those deployments moves from training to operations. The clear intent is that American B-52s (or the more modern and lethal B-2 bomber) will fly combat missions from RAAF Tindal in the event of war with China. The real message B‑52s send from northern Australia
  • (USA – China) Ryan HassPatricia M. Kim, and Jeffrey A. Bader, Brookings. The U.S.-China relationship is on a downward trajectory. Neither side agrees on the diagnosis of problems or the remedies, and domestic political trends in both countries limit the likelihood of improved relations any time soon. Even so, the relationship remains too consequential to people in both countries and the rest of the world to be guided by a fatalistic acceptance of deepening enmity. And while competition resides at the core of the relationship, it is a mistake to view the relationship solely through the lens of rivalry. Doing so limits tools available to Washington for developing a more durable, productive relationship that serves America’s interests. A course correction in America’s China policy
  • (USA – South Korea) Joe Gould, Defense News. The U.S. and South Korea announced Thursday they will extend joint military drills in the wake of North Korea’s saber-rattling this week, which included an intercontinental ballistic missile launch. US, South Korea to extend military drills after North Korean launches