In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘End of empire’

Russia sells off record amount of US Treasury bonds

Posted by seumasach on June 21, 2018

 

Strategic Culture

18th June, 2018

The US Treasury Department report for April published on June 15 revealed that Russia sold $47.4 billion out of the $96.1 it had held in Treasury bonds (T-bonds). In March, Moscow cut its Treasury holdings by $1.6 billion. In February, Russia reduced its bond portfolio by $9.3 billion. Other holders did it too. Japan sold off about $12 billion, China liquidated roughly $7 billion. Ireland ditched over $17 billion.

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Trump tries to destroy the West

Posted by seumasach on June 11, 2018

“A secret plan to break up the West would also have the United States looking for new allies to replace the discarded ones. The most obvious would be Russia”

The most obvious would be China. Trump wants the factories back home which means in practice Chinese inward investment: China would invest directly into the USA rather than sell directly. This makes sense of Trump’s tariffs which would otherwise just be destructive. It’s true that the USA has a tradition of developing industry behind tariff barriers but that requires investment. At the end of the 19th century that came largely from Britain: now it can only come from China. At the same time, if the peace process with North Korea is successful China will come out in good light facilitating the above process. Trump has turned the world upside down. Can he put it together again?

NYT

10th June, 2018

The alliance between the United States and Western Europe has accomplished great things. It won two world wars in the first half of the 20th century. Then it expanded to include its former enemies and went on to win the Cold War, help spread democracy and build the highest living standards the world has ever known. President Trump is trying to destroy that alliance.

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How Singapore, Astana and St Petersburg preview a new world order

Posted by seumasach on June 6, 2018

Mahbubani states the obvious: “The era of Western domination is coming to an end.” Western elites, he adds, “should lift their sights from their domestic civil wars and focus on the larger global challenges. Instead, they are, in various ways, accelerating their irrelevance and disintegration.”

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times

6th June, 2018

Ahead of the crucial Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Qingdao this coming weekend, three other recent events have offered clues on how the new world order is coming about.

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Putin and Abe agree to move forward on economic cooperation

Posted by seumasach on May 27, 2018

The noisy American retreat from the post-war international system which it itself dominated has opened multiple opportunities for the creation of a new international order and the resolution of geopolitical problems frozen in time. Here we are seeing the possibility of finally getting a Russia-Japan peace treaty for the second world war. Along with the emergence of an independent Europe. the sinking into irrelevance of NATO, the convergence of Germany and Russia /China and the definitive end of the cold war the ground is being laid for the unification of Eurasia, the world island as Mackinder put it. In other words, the end of the Anglo-American maritime empire as they themselves defined it.

Frank Sellers

The Duran

27th May, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, met in Moscow today to discuss a trio of topics, namely economic cooperation, the North Korea peace agreements that might be in the works, which both parties support, and the Southern Kuril islands issue.

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Syrian showdown: Trump vs. the generals

Posted by seumasach on April 7, 2018

At least it’s no longer Trump v. the deep state and the Brits. Trump and the military probably have common ground in not wanting to shed more US soldiers blood in futile conflicts like the Iraq War. On the other hand, the military exists for war and peace per se is alien to them. This contradiction, primordial in an end of empire situation, leads to permanent cold war. However, US national interests demand not just the avoidance of hot war but the positive embrace of the emerging multipolar world order as the context for national reconstruction. Russia and China also must avoid the new cold war option for their own development. That is why they are not content merely to form an eastern block but continue their outreach to America.

Patrick J.Buchanan

Official Website

6th April, 2018

With ISIS on the run in Syria, President Trump this week declared that he intends to make good on his promise to bring the troops home.

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Deconstructing the sacking of Rex Tillerson

Posted by seumasach on April 2, 2018

“We will never know whether Trump actually intended the denouement we have seen, but he has broken the axis between the state department and the Pentagon by introducing Mike Pompey into the equation as his new secretary of state. Pompey is a political associate of the Tea Party movement who can be trusted to ensure that Trump retains the final word on the US foreign policies, especially on Russia.”

Sure enough, Trump does seem to have created some foreign-policy space for himself – he has just announced the withdrawal of US troops from Syria to the horror of the US media.

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Asia Times

15th March, 2018

The surprising part of US President Donald Trump’s move to sack Rex Tillerson as secretary of state is that it took place a full six months after the latter called him a “f***ing moron” at a Pentagon meeting. Tillerson should have thrown in the towel and walked away then. That’s probably what Trump would have preferred.

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Expulsion of Russian diplomats portends troubled times

Posted by seumasach on March 27, 2018

I don’t think the West is uniting: both Trump’s and the EU’s response has been less than fulsome. Trump’s expulsions, along with the appointment of John Bolton of the neocon stable, are surprising given that the Russia collusion narrative has run out of steam and he would then appear to have a free hand to pursue detente with Russia.  Is Trump now seesawing between a realist approach and a neocon approach or has some deal been reached between the White House and the neocon opposition? Since we still don’t know for sure what is behind the “Get Trump” campaign, assuming it’s not that he put a hand up a lady’s skirt, then it is equally difficult to surmise as to what such a deal might involve. His sacking of Tillerson just as Boris Johnson was reveling in the latter’s support for Britain after Salisbury strikes me as not being coincidental. Tillerson was allegedly pushing for action against Assad in tandem with the Brits following Nicki Haley’s ominous warning at the UN and Lavrov’s robust counter warning about direct action by Western forces in Syria and attempts to pin more chemical weapons outrages on Assad. Yet nothing has happened. Has the war party just shot it’s bolt and it has turned out to be a damp squib. Have we just missed WW3? Is Trump sitting pretty, graciously appeasing the neocons after seeing off the Brits and their Clintonite allies or has he succumbed to the inevitable and begun preparing a war cabinet as some have claimed. My bet is that in defiance of all appearances the world has just become a safer place and the Western empire has just had it’s Romulus Augustulus moment.

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

27th March, 2018

The mass expulsion of Russian diplomats by some countries of the European Union and North America on Monday is an unprecedented and intriguing development. First, the US alone accounts for some two-thirds of the expulsion – 60 diplomats. Curiously, even Britain, which is apparently the aggrieved party in the Skripal affair, expelled less than half that number – 23. Broadly, however, this is an Anglo-American move with which a number of EU countries and Canada display solidarity.

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The Trump-Kim summit: can the Donald make the Deal?

Posted by seumasach on March 10, 2018

This is also an opportunity to turn China-US relations in a positive directions. China has obviously answered Trump’s exhortations to use its influence to resolve the Korea crisis and it may be able to respond to similar exhortations to deal with the US-China trade deficit with the thorny issue of Chinese investment into the USA facilitated by China’s enhanced image.

Alexander Mercouris

The Duran

10th March, 2018

The key to understanding Kim Jong-un’s summit offer to Donald Trump is that it is the product of negotiations which have been underway since October.

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US lights up pathway to Afghan peace

Posted by seumasach on March 7, 2018

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

6th March, 2018

The Principal Assistant Secretary of State in the US state department’s Bureau of South & Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells gave an extraordinary briefing in Washington on March 5 on the Trump administration’s outlook on the Afghan peace talks and reconciliation. The fact that the briefing was on record is itself of significance, underscoring the cautious optimism that the 4-way contacts and below-the-radar discussions between Washington, Islamabad, Kabul and the Afghan Taliban have gained traction.

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‘Quad’ version of Belt and Road feels like a South China Sea Watch

Posted by seumasach on February 28, 2018

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times

24th February, 2018

The Quad – comprising the United States, Japan, India and Australia – was set up a decade ago, ostensibly as an Asia-centered security cooperation mechanism. Funnily enough, Beijing always suspected it actually represented a containment strategy.

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Australia sees opportunity in China’s rise

Posted by seumasach on February 28, 2018

The Belt and Road Initiative now appears as an unstoppable reality shaping 21st Century politics. The Anglosphere may try to isolate itself from it at great cost to itself but with the failure of Western intervention in the Middle East it cannot stop it. The resurrection of the , allying Australia, Japan, India and the USA, as a counterweight to the BRI looks unconvincing. As US hegemonic aspirations fade the dream lives on in the vacuous rhetoric of a New Cold War and a union of democracies none of which relate to the reality of economic sclerosis, unplayable debt and political division.

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

27th February, 2018

From an Indian perspective, the visit to the United States by the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his meeting with President Donald Trump on February 23 turns out to be a reality check on the power dynamic in the Asia-Pacific. Australia is torn between two vital partners – the US in the security sphere and China in the economic sphere. The dilemma is acute insofar as Turnbull has voiced opinions on threat perceptions regarding China, which are contrary to the Trump administration’s assessment and, yet, the US and Australia are key allies.

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