US ’special relationship' label makes Britain look weak and needy
Mr Biden used an opinion article in the Washington Post this week to signal his support for Mr Johnson's goal to use the G7 meeting to agree tougher commitments on tackling climate change and to bolster democracies worldwide.
However, reports also emerged on Monday that he will also use face-to-face talks with the Prime Minister to warn the UK against reneging on the Northern Ireland Brexit deal.
He will warn that the US, a guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, views the problems surrounding the protocol as an obstacle to a potential UK-US trade deal progressing, according to sources quoted by The Times.
Lord Frost, the Brexit minister, said in an article for the Financial Times on Monday that the Government had "underestimated the effects of the protocol" on moving goods across the Irish Sea between parts of the UK.
Fog of war ... US and Joe Biden a guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement
Every alliance and commitment has it's price and limit ...
Biden Defends Afghan Pullout and Declares an End to Nation-Building | NY Times |
Joe Biden doesn't do "nation building" -- see split red and blue states -- except in foreign military policy for regime change in Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Russia, Yemen and Iran ... for now. Hong Kong and Taiwan are on Joe's radar. Trump failed to buy Greenland, however Joe may find Finland a welcome trophy on the wall of the Oval Office.
Presidents Erdogan and Obama have an uneasy relationship | BBC News - March 2016 |
Spotlight Turkey: A Pivotal Swing State In Nato | Turkish Policy |
From the diaries ...
Emir Al Thani, Sultan Erdogan and HRC Foreign Policy of Revolutions
Navigating the Democracy-Security Dilemma in U.S. Foreign Policy: Lessons from Egypt, India, and Turkey | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - Nov. 4, 2021 |
As President Joe Biden and his team seek to put the defense of democracy and protection of human rights at the center of U.S. foreign policy, they confront the stubborn fact that the United States maintains cooperative security relations with a wide range of undemocratic or democratically backsliding governments. Powerful security interests, especially countering terrorist threats, maintaining stability in the Middle East, and managing competition with a rising China, underlie many of these partnerships. Such situations frequently give rise to a policy dilemma: confronting partner governments over their political shortcomings risks triggering hostility that would jeopardize the security benefits that such governments provide to Washington. Yet giving them a free pass on democracy and rights issues undercuts the credibility of U.S. appeals to values, bolstering the damaging perception that America only pushes for democracy against its adversaries or in strategically irrelevant countries.
Already in the first year of Biden's presidency, such tensions have emerged in relations with countries as diverse as Egypt, Hungary, India, the Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. While the Biden administration has publicly and privately raised democracy and rights issues with various security partners, its cautious approach toward some of them has started to attract criticism from those who feel that near-term security interests have been too strongly prioritized compared to democracy and human rights concerns.
This paper looks in depth at the democracy-security dilemma with a view to helping U.S. policymakers deal with it more systematically and effectively. Case studies of U.S. policy toward Egypt, India, and Turkey over the past twenty years highlight the complexity of the democracy-security dilemma. In Egypt, U.S. concerns with the country's authoritarian politics have surfaced periodically over the years yet struggled to find a meaningful place in a relationship dominated by deeply rooted security cooperation, including extensive U.S. security assistance. In India, a strong U.S. push, warmly welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, to further strengthen the U.S. -Indian security partnership has unfolded alongside a distinctly illiberal turn in Indian politics. By contrast, democratic decline in Turkey has coincided with--and contributed to--a major deterioration in Ankara's relations with Washington, including significant divergence on a range of foreign policy issues.
There are no magic solutions to the democracy-security dilemma. But careful assessments of the security and political issues at stake can help U.S. policymakers avoid ad hoc approaches and diminish the long-standing tendency to back down reflexively on democracy and rights when clashing interests arise.
COP26 - Global Warming
If nations don't settle their scores imminently, climate change will settle scores with humanity the soonest. The 21st American Century will go down in history as oblivion of mankind ...
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: A Commentary | By Daniel Bodansky - 1993 |
Each year, mankind injects approximately six billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels,' as well as a substantial (although still uncertain) amount from deforestation. Since the advent of the industrial revolution, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have risen by more than twenty-five percent, from 280 to more than 350 parts per million (ppm).' Scientists estimate that if current patterns of emissions continue unchecked, the increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide, together with parallel increases in other trace gases such as methane and nitrous oxide, will cause an average global warming in the range of 0.2 to 0.50 C per decade, or 2 to 50 C (3.6 to 90 F) by the end of the next century.
To many, the Convention was a disappointment. Despite early hopes that
it would seek to stabilize or even reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by
developed countries, the Convention contains only the vaguest of commitments
regarding stabilization and no commitment at all on reductions. It fails to
include innovative proposals to establish a financial and technology clearing-
house or an insurance fund, or to use market mechanisms such as tradeable
emissions rights. Furthermore, it not only contains significant qualifications on the obligations of developing cuntries, but gives special consideration
to the situation of fossil-fuel producing states."
Nevertheless, given the complexity both of the negotiations, which involved more than 140 states with very different interests and ideologies, and of the causes, effects, and policy implications of global warming, reaching agreement at all in such a limited period of time was a considerable achievement. In fact, the final text is significantly more substantive than either the bare-bones convention advocated by some delegations or previous framework conventions dealing with transboundary air pollution and depletion of the ozone layer.
The geopolitics of energy: out with the old, in with the new | Oxford Forum |
A thread running through this Forum is a warning against intellectual complacency. One key theme is that assumptions about the future geopolitical outlook of countries, regions, and trade relationships will hardly be guided by history, given the size and scope of the transformation. Demand-side policy and capital allocation shifts will create both challenges and opportunities for fossil fuel incumbents--a stark reminder that while some regions are moving more slowly, no region is standing still as the energy transition gathers pace. Similarly, identifying winners and losers is not as clear-cut as it seems, especially in light of concerns that the US is losing out in the race with the EU and China. The third theme serves as a stark reminder that the pathways to net zero will be neither linear nor uniform, especially in light of the falling costs of technologies. But the race for technological leadership and for control of the supply chains of new materials will become a key factor in the geopolitics of new energies.
Framing the energy transition and its geopolitical implications
In the opening article, Indra Overland highlights the analytical challenges when predicting the consequences of the energy transition based on our assumptions about the past. He presents six areas where interpretations of past and current issues are decisive for thinking about the winners and losers of the energy transition. First, do oil and gas lead to geopolitical competition? Second, does the US contribute to stability in the Middle East? Does Russia use energy as a weapon? Next, is natural resource endowment a curse? Do developed countries exploit developing countries and their natural resources? And finally, do trade and interdependence promote peace? Given the diverging views on how these factors shape the `old' geopolitics, there are considerable uncertainties about their consequences for `new' geopolitical arrangements, complicating scenario-building and prediction studies. Overland argues that more attention needs to be paid to how interpretations of the past and the present shape our predictions of the future, both regarding the geopolitics of the energy transition and beyond.
The planet is heating up -- and so are global geopolitics
The right war for the U.S. and China | Japan Times - Sept. 28, 2021 |
An arms race is not the answer: The two superpowers need to fight climate change together.
With less than two months until the crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the United States and China must commit to cooperate on the existential challenge global warming represents. But bilateral relations remain burdened by mistrust, antagonism and even warmongering.
Technically, the U.S. and China are both willing to cooperate on climate change. But China wants to do so only in a broader context of constructive engagement. The U.S., by contrast, wants "climate cooperation a la carte," so that it can maintain a policy of containment and competition in virtually every other arena.
This mentality was on display last week, with the announcement of the so-called AUKUS security alliance. The U.S. and the United Kingdom have now agreed to share advanced -- and highly sensitive -- technology with Australia and to supply it with nuclear-powered submarines. The goal of the alliance, according to U.S. President Joe Biden, is to advance the "imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term."
That is not how China sees it. As Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian put it, the AUKUS pact reflects a "zero-sum-game mentality" and "seriously damages regional peace and stability, intensifies the arms race and undermines the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons."
The European Union is pursuing a far more constructive model of Western engagement in the Indo-Pacific. Just a day after the AUKUS announcement, the European Commission announced its EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, which emphasizes "engagement with the region to build partnerships that reinforce the rules-based international order, address global challenges and lay the foundations for a rapid, just and sustainable economic recovery that creates long-term prosperity."
In 2012 policy brief reflecting optimism ... soon proved to be a dud ... misconception of the powers of Pentagon and Military Industrial Complex build on lobbyists interned in U.S. Congress offices.
The Green Arms Race: Reorienting the Discussions on Climate Change, Energy Policy, and National Security | Harvard - 2012 |
In the midst of a shifting international order, the U.S. Department of Defense stands uniquely positioned to intensify global innovation in the energy arena. This Article describes the mechanics by which DoD can ignite a mutually-beneficial green energy "arms race." In this role, the military reprises a historical function of driving technological advancement, combining its operational requirements and legislative prerogatives to grow investment and create consistent demand.
The Article also discusses the legal and regulatory regimes that may be enlisted and exported through transgovernmental networks to spread the benefits of the use of alternative fuels and increased energy efficiency, the potential impact of the Green Arms Race on global climate change efforts, and the limits on the impact of greening the force in bringing about positive change. The Green Arms Race has the potential to succeed where existing international and unilateral efforts to encourage efficient energy innovation and address climate change have failed.
Competition between great powers and a looming strategic arms race in the Asia-Pacific | Springer - June 2021 |
Dr. Doom in the Pentagon explaining the day after scenario ...
Greed to Green: Solving Climate Change and Remaking the Economy | Charles Derber - 2010 |. A book review
This book shows how we can solve the climate change crisis, which is the greatest threat humanity has faced. Charles Derber, a prominent sociologist and political economist, shows that global warming is a symptom of deep pathologies in global capitalism. In conversational and passionate writing, Derber shows that climate change is capitalism's time bomb, certain to explode unless we rapidly transform our economy and create a new green American Dream Derber shows there is hope in the financial meltdown and Great Recession we are now suffering. The economic crisis has raised deep questions about Wall Street and the US capitalist model.
[Update-1] The Papers: A Road to Hell
Coal Is Out At COP26 – Except For Countries Where It’s Still In! | Forbes |
The recent climate conference COP26 reached for an agreement on coal, the dirtiest of the main fossil fuels. Over 40 countries agreed to phase out coal in richer countries by 2040 and in poorer countries by 2050.
On the final day, words to phase out “unabated coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” were still in the final conference recommendations. Unabated coal means coal produced without using carbon capture and storage as a net-zero escape hatch.
Private entities also signed on, and some major banks said they would end financing for the coal industry. Notable by their absence are the US, China, India and Australia.
How decades of disinformation about fossil fuels halted U.S. climate policy | NPR |
Some of America’s most prominent companies, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Disney, are backing business groups that are fighting landmark climate legislation, despite their own promises to combat the climate crisis, a new analysis has found.
Opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, a coal and natural gas state, has likely sounded a death knell for the Biden administration's ambitious plan of $3.5tn to cut emissions that drive climate change …
END OF UPDATE