US Pressure Fails to Affect Russia’s Growing Arms Exports

US Pressure Fails to Affect Russia’s Growing Arms Exports

ARKADY SAVITSKY | 12.11.2018 |

US Pressure Fails to Affect Russia’s Growing Arms Exports

On November 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Commission for Military Technology Cooperation with Foreign States. He noted that “Our capabilities in the military technical sphere must be used to modernize and upgrade all our industries, to support our science and to create a powerful technological potential for the country’s dynamic development.” The president called for “renewed efforts, not only, in preserving, but also, in strengthening Russia’s leading position on the global arms market, primarily in the high-tech sector, amid tough competition.”

The US efforts to press other countries into suspending military cooperation with Russia are inefficient. The number of customers, especially in the Middle East and Africa, is growing. The demand for Russia’s military production is especially high in the Asia-Pacific Region, accounting for almost 70% of all arms sales, including India (35%), China (12%) and Vietnam (10%).Today, Russia’s overall military exports are equal to around $15 billion, with the global order book of $55 billion. According to Alexander Mikheev, the head of Rosoboronexport, the sole state intermediary agency for Russia’s defense exports / imports, Russia has already exported arms to over 40 countries, signing 1,100 contracts worth about $19 billion in 2018 – a 25% increase compared to the last year.

The president’s speech coincided with the opening ceremony of Airshow China 2018 (Nov. 6-11), one of the five largest aerospace exhibitions in the world, Russian manufacturers scored a big success. 14 defense producers displayed over 200 units of hardware.

China has defied US threats to go through with the large deal to buy S-400 air defense systems and Su-35 multifunctional fighters (ten jets already delivered). The joint programs, such as the development of a heavy AHL helicopter and a long-range powerful aircraft, are in force. The order book of China’s imports exceeds $7 billion, growing from 5% to 14-15%. The two nations are involved in a joint project to produce diesel-electric submarines Amur-1650 (export version of Lada Project 677). This is a $2 billion deal. China confirmed the plan to purchase six Mi-171A2Y “Ansat” helicopters, which will make a 5,000 km long demonstration tour across Southeast Asia, including stops at Hanoi (Vietnam), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Bangkok (Thailand) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

VKO concern “Almaz-Antey” used the Airshow China 2018 event to introduce the Viking – the export version of the Buk-M3 anti-aircraft missile system. Viking boasts the range of 65 km. 36 targets can be tracked and engaged simultaneously. It has the capability of striking tactical ballistic and cruise missiles as well as sea and ground targets. The Radioelectronic Technologies Company (KRET) presented over 40 exhibits, including the multipurpose airborne multipurpose radar with AFAR “Beetle-AME” designed to  detect and track aerial, surface and ground targets at the same time. The Russian-Chinese long-overhaul CR929 jet attracted public attention at the air show. Its basic version will carry 280 passengers over a distance of 12,000 km.

India has also defied the US pressure and will start receiving receive S-400s in the fall of 2020. The $5 billion deal was signed in October during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi. Russia and Vietnam have signed a $4.5 billion package of deals, including the $1 billion purchase of a batch of Russian Su-30 MK2 fighters and a $2 billion agreement on the sale of six Russian diesel-electric Project 636.1 Varshavyanka (Kilo) submarines. A Mi-35M attack helicopters deal with to Bangladesh is expected to be inked soon. In February, Russia signed a $ 1.14 deal with Indonesia to supply 11 Su-35 4++ generation fighters.

2018 is rich in international defense shows. As of November 12, Russia has taken part in about 20 international exhibitions and forums, such as the Eurasian Air Show in Turkey’s Antalya, International Far Eastern Maritime Show in Vladivostok and ADAS-2018 defense exhibition in the Philippines (for the first time). It intends to attend some more large ones till the end of the year.

Russia has also taken part in the Indo Defense 2018 show (Nov.7-10) to display over 200 systems and equipment units. There were two weapons presented for the first time ever in Jakarta: the 122 mm projectile for Tornado-G MLRS and 140 mm projectile for ship-based Ogon flame throwing launcher.

There will be the IDEAS-2018  exhibition in Pakistan in late November, EDEX-2018 will be held in Egypt in mid-December, and Chile will host the EXPONAVAL – 2018 naval exhibition in early December. Russia will take an active part in all of them though its presence at Le Bourget Paris air show in June was very limited and it decided to take no part in Farnborough – 2018 air show in July. Moscow prefers the shows where it has more potential customers. This year, some new systems were offered to potential buyers, such the Viking and Tor-E2 anti-aircraft missile systems, Sprut-SDM1 light floating tank, Karakut and Sarsar vesselsIl-78MK-90A aerial tanker and Il-76MD-90A (E) military cargo aircraft. The Sprut-SDM1 light tank is a special case. The airborne light amphibious tank with firepower of MBT has no rivals in the world.

The US-imposed sanctions have failed to reduce the demand for Russian weapons. China, India as well as many other countries refuse to bow. New ways to pay for the deals without dollars are sought. For instance, India will pay for S-400s in Russian rubles. The talks to get around dollars are underway with China. Some deals may be temporarily postponed, some talks frozen, but all in all, the US policy of using sanctions to reduce Russia arms exports and thus weaken the competitor has failed. The most important agreements, including the S400 deal with Turkey, a NATO country, have not been affected. This agreement will also skirt dollar payments. The Russian arms sales are on the rise.

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Why’d the US Issue a Sanctions Waiver for Chabahar?

Astute News

Many observers are wondering why the US issued a sanctions waiver for the Indian-built port of Chabahar in southeastern Iran and the railroad project that’s supposed to one day extend from it to Afghanistan, but the reason is that America sees this curious “Lead From Behind” arrangement as one of its last chances to retain its long-term influence in the landlocked country.

For as tough as the US promised that its reimposition of sanctions on Iran would be, it unsurprisingly went soft when it came to the issue of the Indian-built port of Chabahar in the southeastern part of the Islamic Republic. The State Department confirmed earlier this week that the US granted a sanctions waiver for this project, which simultaneously drew attention not only to the project’s significance, but also the special nature of the American-Indian Strategic Partnership if Washington thought it important enough to preserve at the expense…

View original post 1,141 more words

Building Bridges vs. Buying Bombs

By Eric Zuesse
Source

Russian_bridge-_in_Vladivostok.jpgThe Russky Bridge, Vladivostock. Built in 2012. Longest cable-suspension bridge in the world, just one of the infrastructure projects initiated by the Russian government in recent years.

China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” is famous as an extension of their domestic infrastructure investments, but Russia is also investing heavily in infrastructure. Both countries need to do it in order to improve the future for their respective populations, and both Governments have avoided the Western development model of going heavily into debt in order to pay for creating and maintaining infrastructure. Both are, in fact, exceptionally low-debt Governments.

According to the “Global Debt Clock” at Economist, China has a public debt/GDP of 17.7%, and Russia’s is 8.0%. For comparison, America’s is 93.6%. (Others are: Germany 85.8%, Spain 91.2%, Italy 122.6%, Greece 147.1%, India 54.2%, Pakistan 47.0%, and Brazil 55.0%.)

The United States isn’t going into public debt in order to finance building or maintenance of infrastructure, but instead to finance expansions of its military, which is already (and by far) the world’s largest (in terms of its costs, but not of its numbers of troops).

While the U.S. Government now spends around half of the world’s military expenditures and plans to conquer Russia, China, and all countries (such as Iran and Syria) that cooperate with those ‘enemies’ (and please click onto a link wherever you question the truthfulness of an allegation made here), Russia and China plan to improve their infrastructures, in order to boost their national economies and to minimize the impacts that (the mainly US-caused) global warming will have. These infrastructure projects are optimistic and long-term expenditures, which are being planned and built only because the countries that the U.S. aristocracy are targeting to conquer, expect the U.S. aristocracy to fail to achieve its clear #1 goal, of controlling the entire world and conquering them — of America’s rulers finally achieving the global fascist empire that, in World War II, Hitler and the other Axis powers had been hoping to become.

By contrast, US infrastructure is rotting; and, while every recent US President has promised to reverse that decline, none has done anything significant to repair this nation’s rotting infrastructure — it has always been just talk and empty promises. A nation that spends over a trillion dollars a year on ‘national defense’ can’t have much left over to spend on things that ‘can wait’ — such as repairing its bridges, roads, etc. — and so those repairs do wait, while even more money, than before, becomes devoted to purchases of new weaponry, such as the F-35 program.

Meanwhile, Russia and China prepare for their future, and hope it won’t be war.

On November 1st, RT bannered “Russia, India & Iran want to create alternative trade route to Suez Canal – report” and described “The 7,200-kilometers long corridor [that] will combine sea and rail routes”:

The route will make it possible to deliver cargoes from India to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Then, the goods will be transported by land to Bandar Anzali, Iran’s port on the Caspian Sea. After that, goods will be shipped to the Russian southern port of Astrakhan, from where they will move to Europe by rail. The new transport artery will potentially reduce the time and costs of shipping by up to 40 percent.

A linked news-report there headlined “Top of the world: Russia to build world’s northernmost railway in Arctic”, and another headlined “Japan turns to Trans-Siberian Railway to test potential connection with Russia, China & S. Korea”.

If the US Government’s plans to destroy Russia succeed, then any of these new or extended infrastructures will either be destroyed or else be taken over by the U.S. and its allies. (If taken over, then presumably Japan’s aristocracy will be part of the new regime there that does so.)

Consequently, building and extending these new infrastructures is Russia’s bet — and a concrete testimonial to the bet — that outright war by the destroyers can be avoided. The nations that America and its allies want to conquer are looking to the future, not to conquest or any type of war (though they must also be prepared for war, if the U.S. does invade).

Last week, the US and its NATO allies held the largest war-games in history, and these preparations to invade Russia are occurring all along and near Russia’s borders, in the countries that formerly were the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact military alliance. Though the U.S. and its allies say that Russia and China are threatening to them, these massings of soldiers and of tanks and planes on Russia’s borders are aggressions, not defensive at all as claimed.

How would we Americans feel if Russia were doing this along America’s borders? Would we feel that Russia is defending itself, then? Russians have sound reason to be terrified by the U.S. and its allies. Americans were terrified by the Soviets when the issue was Soviet missiles located in Cuba only a hundred miles from the U.S.

This country then threatened: if you do that, then we’ll launch war against you. Russia isn’t responding similarly, even though America’s threat to them is much bigger than that threat to the U.S. was in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

All that today’s US Government wants is to conquer the world, which now especially means Russia, China, and countries that do business with those ‘enemies’. Iran is also a major target of the U.S., because the U.S. aristocracy’s main allies are the Sauds and Israel, both of which hate and crave to destroy Iran.

Though those three targeted countries want to avoid being conquered by the U.S. Government, most of their expenditures are for their own domestic economies, instead of for defending against the U.S. and its allies.

However, the U.S. and its allies are clearly and consistently the aggressor since 1991, and expanded their NATO alliance up to Russia’s borders; Russia didn’t expand its Warsaw Pact alliance up to America’s borders, but ended the Warsaw Pact in 1991. None of Russia’s expenditures are for conquering foreign countries, such as the U.S. alliance now is trying to do in countries such as Syria and Yemen, and perhaps soon in Iran, too; so, the U.S. Government has no excuse whatsoever in this matter, but pure guilt in it, pure aggression.

There really is a difference between “The West” and “The East” in our era, but it’s more like the difference between The Axis powers in WW II versus The Allies, than it is between democracy versus dictatorship; and, in fact, the U.S. Government is the world’s only Government that has been scientifically analyzed to determine whether it is a democracy or instead a dictatorship, and it has consistently been found, in these rigorous studies, to be a dictatorship, against the public, by its billionaires, the aristocrats, and not a democracy, at all.

Furthermore, the preponderance of the major outcome-indicators of the extent to which a given nation is a dictatorship or even a police-state, or is instead a democracy that’s ruled by its public, are showing that the U.S. is a dictatorship or even a police-state, and that the nations it calls its ‘enemies’ are more toward the democratic side — serving their respective public, instead of any such narrow and exclusive elite as the owners of “the military-industrial complex.”

US-allied propaganda to the contrary alleging that the US and its allies are the ones which are ‘democracies’, like this piece from the US stooge-nations that constitute the EU, are always based on ranking — without clearly explaining how — the mere formalities of ‘democracy’, no authentic measures of democracy itself, but only the associated formalities, which often are mere fronts, behind which the given nation’s aristocracy control that given country.

The US has emerged into the very model of the modern dictatorship, relying maximally upon a coordination between deceit and military power. This is the reason why it now spends half of the world’s military costs — to serve its aristocracy, who have perfected Joseph Goebbels’s system of calling good bad, and bad good, and of otherwise imposing what the novelist George Orwell subsequently called “Newspeak” in its ‘news’-reporting and commentaries, to serve the controlling aristocracy, “Big Brother.” It’s here, and now. On November 1st, Jonathan Cook at Global Research headlined “Bolsonaro: A Monster Engineered by Our Media” and he explained how even the “liberal” aristocrats in the U.S. and its allied countries have brought back racist fascism, the ideology known as nazism, as a globally spreading plague now.

Here is how America’s master of Newspeak, Barack Obama, represented, to West Point Military Academy’s graduating cadets on 28 May 2014, the new, American, version, of Adolf Hitler’s beloved “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt”:

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation.

[Every other nation is therefore ‘dispensable’; we therefore now have “Amerika, Amerika über alles, über alles in der Welt”.]

That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come…America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will…Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us.

[He was here telling these future U.S. military leaders that they are to fight for the U.S. aristocracy, to help them defeat any nation that resists.]

…In Ukraine, Russia’s recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe. But this isn’t the Cold War. Our ability to shape world opinion helped isolate Russia right away. Because of American leadership, the world immediately condemned Russian actions; Europe and the G7 joined us to impose sanctions; NATO reinforced our commitment to Eastern European allies; the IMF is helping to stabilize Ukraine’s economy; OSCE monitors brought the eyes of the world to unstable parts of Ukraine.

Actually, his — Obama’s — regime, had conquered Ukraine in February 2014 by a very bloody coup, and installed a racist-fascist anti-Russian Government there next door to Russia, a stooge-regime to this day, which instituted a racial-cleansing campaign to eliminate enough pro-Russia voters so as to be able to hold onto power there.

It has destroyed Ukraine and so alienated the regions of Ukraine that had voted more than 75% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President whom Obama overthrew, so that those pro-Russia regions quit Ukraine. What remains of Ukraine after the U.S. conquest is a nazi mess and a destroyed nation in hock to Western taxpayers and banks.

Furthermore, Obama insisted upon (to use Bush’s term about Saddam Hussein) “regime-change” in Syria. Twice in one day the Secretary General of the UN asserted that only the Syrian people have any right to do that, no outside nation has any right to impose it.

Obama ignored him and kept on trying. Obama actually protected Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliateagainst bombing by Syria’s Government and by Syria’s ally Russia, while the US bombed Syria’s army, which was trying to prevent those jihadists from overthrowing the Government. Obama bombed Libya in order to “regime-change” Muammar Gaddafi, and he bombed Syria in order to “regime-change” Bashar al-Assad; and, so, while the “U.S. Drops Bombs; EU Gets Refugees & Blame. This Is Insane.”

Obama’s successor Trump continues Obama’s policies, regarding not only Ukraine, but regarding also Yemen and Syria, and much else, except that Trump goes even more nazi than Obama did. The change from Obama to Trump was from soft nazi to hard nazi. That’s all. Trump is the U.S. regime’s going wild.

Every day, the US regime murders lots of people in foreign lands. Today, as this is being written, on November 3rd, Syria News, which I’ve found to be far more reliably truthful about the situation in Syria than is for example the New York Times, headlined “US-Led Coalition Murders 15 Civilians in a New Bombing in Hajin”, and reported that, “Under the guise of fighting ISIS, the US and its cronies, are trying to establish a de facto barrier on the Syrian-Iraqi border which is run by ISIS and SDF, who both receive support from the US and both have occasional clashes [against each other] in between.” Aggression (and lying about it) is normal for the U.S. Government.

On January 19th, US ‘Defense’ Secretary James Mattis said that “great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of U.S. national security,” and this means war by the U.S. against both Russia and China, and perhaps also Iran; but if the people of Europe don’t rise up against that plan, then not only will they have even more refugees from America’s “regime-change” bombs, but they will soon have Russia’s bombs retaliating against Europe itself for being a part of America’s aggression, via the NATO military alliance, an alliance that should have ended when the Warsaw Pact military alliance did, back in 1991. Either End NATO Now, or else join the carnage that America’s aristocracy are clearly determined to impose upon the world in order to conquer it. The choice is that simple.

The only ways that the global public can effectively fight back against the U.S.-and-allied aristocracies’ plan to enslave the entire world to their coercive and sanctions-laden ‘free market’ are:

  1. to boycott America’s brands and, as much as possible, conduct all international transactions in any other type of currency than the U.S. dollar; and,
  2. to vote against any politician who has endorsed America’s invasions, such as of Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2012-, Yemen 2015-, and U.S. coups, including its coup that conquered Ukraine in 2014 and installed a nazi Government there. And,
  3. to organize marches, if possible, against any U.S. military base occupying their nation. The occupying power needs to be expelled in order for the given nation’s public to control their own country.

Otherwise, the U.S. aristocracy can simply continue with its pillage of our planet. The global public needs to do its part, not to leave it to the targeted countries alone to try to put down this global resurgence of fascism, by America’s oligarchs. This also means abandoning the two aristocracies that work the most closely with America’s: Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s (both of which target Iran and its allies, even more than they target Russia and its allies). The listed three steps are the only path toward a survivable planet: isolating and publicly shaming the nazis.

Also the Newspeak needs to end, right now, because without honesty, no type of progress is even possible.

All of these measures are not only morally right; they are necessary, because the present path leads to not only profound injustices, but a hellish global future.

Unfortunately, the U.N. cannot do any of these essential things. But only the global public can — and will, if there is to be continued life of this planet, and lives here that are worth living.

PS: For anyone who might consider odd that an American (the present writer) views Russia as a core ally of the American people, and views recent American Presidents (starting with George Herbert Walker Bush on 24 February 1990) as traitors to America — as being enemies of the American people and of the entire world — please consider the following historical facts:

According to Jan Ludvík’s “The Poverty of Statistics: Military Power, Defence Expenditure and Strategic Balance”, in the January 2014 Central European Journal of International and Security Studies (p. 157), the relative expenditures in order to win World War I were Russia 24%, UK 22%, U.S. 21%, France 20%, and Italy 13%. Russia spent the most of all the allies. In WW II, the relative expenditures in order to win were Russia 58%, UK 20%, U.S. 12%, France 10%. Yet again — and this time overwhelmingly — Russia spent the most of all the allies, 58% of the total allied cost. The only country that spent more on that war was Germany, which of course was on the losing (“Axis”) side, and which spent 37% more to lose that war than Russia spent to win it. During WW II, Germany spent 75% of its side’s entire costs; Japan spent 17%, and Italy spent 8%. So: WW I was mainly between Russia and Germany, and so was WW II. And that’s clear also from another calculation:

The same source (p. 159) indicates that Russia’s troops were 46% of those fighting on the winning side of WW I (and #2 on that was France with 20%), and were 55% of the troops fighting on the winning side of WW II. (France was #2 again in WW II, also 20%.)

Furthermore, in WWI, Russia’s troops were 38% more (in numbers) than both Germany’s and Austria’s put together; and, in WWII, Russia’s troops were 4% less than Germany’s, Japan’s and Italy’s combined, but were twice as many as Germany’s number.

So: by far the biggest contributions to the winning not only of WWII, but also of WWI, were made by one and the same country, both times: Russia. America’s contribution was much smaller, on both occasions. And, now, America’s leaders and their foreign allies have become nazis, heirs of Hitler’s tradition, who call Russia an “enemy,” for refusing to do what these nazis demand.

Of course, there were also other nations on each side of each of those wars (for example, Wikipedia lists over a dozen “Allies of World War I”), but Ludvik calculated the numbers only for these, the main ones, on both sides.

So: everyone who can should now become active on this!

“RIC”: BRICS after Bolsonaro

November 08, 2018

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

BRICS is the acronym of the “alliance” that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

In reality, and with all due respect to Brazil and South Africa, BRICS is about RIC.

With Russia, India and China, in any order, there lies the future of Eurasia; the virtually unchartered quarter that houses over one third of the entire world population; a huge chunk of landmass, rich in resources, not only human resources, and just waiting for the right moment to make its mark in history.

The so-called “Silk Road”, or in reality silk roads, was historically the network of caravan paths that ancient traders took on their journeys from east to west, linking worlds largely unknown to each other, long before Vasco da Gama’s highly documented trips.

And whilst the ancient cultures of India and China flourished in their own right, apart from Alexander’s conquest, the Muslim and subsequent Mongol conquests, there was little historic geopolitical interaction between that far Far East and the Middle East; let alone Europe. The long icy and hard terrain made it very difficult, even for the brave at heart, to take the journey from Beijing to Vienna. The temptations to make that trip did not match the hardship of the journey for the averagely motivated traveler.

But this is all about to change. The new “Silk Road”, the network of super highways that the “RIC” nations are intent to build is going to change this status quo and shorten land distances.

The Trans-Siberian railway is a Russian route and constructing it linked Vladivostok with Moscow, but it was not intended to link China with Europe. If anything, it helped bolster the isolation of the USSR. But the new “Silk Road” project will change the transportation map of the world upside down once and for ever.

The determination to build this massive road network does not need either Brazil or South Africa; again with all due respect to both nations.

By taking many considerations into account, we must be realistic and say that the electoral win of Brazilian candidate Bolsonaro will not affect the prospect of the “Silk Road” one way or the other. The repercussions of his election will affect Brazil more than any other country. Purportedly, his policies will affect global climate, but this is another issue. His fiscal and international policy making decisions may put Brazil under the American sphere of influence, and this unfortunately can and will affect Brazil very adversely, but the damage is likely to be restricted to Brazil only.

With or without Brazil, BRICS can survive, but for it to survive and make a difference, it will need to become more serious about conducting its business.

The first step towards becoming more proactive is best done by establishing proper trust and conciliation between the three major players; Russia, China and India.

The love-hate relationship that marred the Soviet-Maoist era took a while to heal. The Russians and the Chinese seem to have gone many steps ahead towards establishing trust and confidence in each other. But China and India continue to have serious problems, and for as long as they have border and sovereignty disputes, this hinders them from becoming effective partners in every way.

Furthermore, BRICS needs a preamble and a Statement of Purpose. At the moment, it doesn’t have one. With all of its hypocrisies, the Western alliance camouflages itself behind the veil of Christian values, democracy and the “free world” slogans. Thus far, the only undeclared statement of purpose for BRICS seems to be that of defiance to the Western alliance.

The BRICS alliance will face a struggle founding an attractive preamble. Orthodox Christian Russia, predominantly Hindu India and Communist/Taoist/Buddhist China have little in common religiously speaking. Perhaps the BRICS leaders should be using common political grounds instead. They certainly cannot use democracy; not only because such an adoption would make them look as copycats, but also because they have different ideas about democracy, and Russia and China definitely do not endorse Western-style democracy.

In reality however, BRICS can use abstract lofty principles as their preamble; principles such as morality, honesty, and if they want to be less “theological” as it were, they could use principles such as “International law”, “International equality” and the like.

Apart from accumulating gold, building bridges and super road networks, planning fiscal measures to cushion the effects of a possible collapse of the Western economy on their own economies, developing state-of-the-art hypersonic weaponry and giving a clear message announcing that the world is no longer unipolar, the BRICS alliance ought to make clear statements about what kind of alternative world it envisions.

This is very important, because a significant percentage of the world population does not know what to expect if the BRICS alliance becomes the new dominant financial and military power. They have special concerns about China because they don’t know much about China, and they worry not only about whether or not China will be a new colonial super power, but they also worry about one day waking up and seeing traffic signals in Mandarin; so to speak.

To many people across the globe, the Chinese culture, language and modus operandi look like something from another planet.

The Cyrillic Russian and the Devanagari Indian scripts are no less daunting than the Mandarin script, but many Indians and Russians speak English and the West has had much more cultural interaction with both Russia and India than it ever did with China.

Furthermore, for the BRICS alliance to become more viable, it will need to develop a military alliance akin to that of NATO. When and if such an alliance is forged, then members will be protected as any attack on one will be considered as an attack on the whole coalition. Such an alliance will not increase the chances of war. Quite the contrary in fact, as it can lead to much needed stability. If for argument sake North Korea were a member, it would not be in a situation where it can claim that it needs nuclear weapons for self-defense, and secondly, the West would not be threatening to attack for fear of a major global escalation. The Cold-War, costly and potentially disastrous as it was, presents a successful model of nuclear deterrence. And in retrospect, had Vietnam been a member of the Warsaw Pact (or a similar one that included the USSR), it is possible that America’s war on Vietnam would have been averted. A more realistically plausible scenario is the case of former Yugoslavia. Had the Warsaw Pact been still standing, NATO would have never attacked Serbia back in 1999.

To be able to afford a more effective military deterrent, be a viable stand-alone economic power and to be attractive to the rest of the world, the BRICS coalition will ultimately need more member nations. Ideally, it would be of huge significance if Japan could be convinced to join it. The inclusion of Japan will not only add a huge financial power to the group, but it will also generate an in-house regional security to the China Sea region. Baby steps have been recently made between China and Japan towards conciliation, and much more needs to be done. It will take a lot of work and good intentions on both sides to undo a long history of hostilities and distrust.

Other nations that can and arguably should enter the coalition are; Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and post Erdogan Turkey. Why post Erdogan? Because Erdogan’s Turkey can turn BRICS into a bag of TRICS.

Resource-rich Australia has much to gain in joining such an alliance as this will not only bolster its own security, but it will also secure economic stability and on-going trade.

Thus far, all the official visits that the RIC leaders have exchanged, all the business deals they made, all the projects they are embarking on, huge as they are, are only baby steps towards turning their alliance into one that can lead the world and establish the necessary moral, financial and security foundations that are capable of underpinning it.

Over and above establishing a new world reserve currency, setting up an alternative to the US-based Internet and WWW, SWIFT, etc, the brave new world will need hope, trust, morality and concrete assurances for a long-awaited change for the better. These are the real challenges facing the BRICS alliance now; not the Bolsonaro win.

MAJOR: DOLLAR FACING DEVALUATION, FREE-FALL AS INDIA, RUSSIA, CHINA ALL AGREE TO ABANDON USD FOR TRANSACTIONS

Image result for MAJOR: DOLLAR FACING DEVALUATION, FREE-FALL AS INDIA, RUSSIA, CHINA ALL AGREE TO ABANDON USD FOR TRANSACTIONS

 

In a major development, India has officially joined the recent announcements of Russia and China; all three parties will entirely eliminate the USD from inter-national transactions.

India has announced it will pay for the supply of Russian S-400 anti-missile systems in rubles, while China plans to make bilateral agreements in national currencies by the end of that year, Russian policymakers said.

The contract for delivery of Russian systems S-400 to New Delhi was closed on October 5 and estimated at $5 billion.

The greatest benefit of transactions in national currencies is the absence of currency fluctuations. An equally important problem in trade involving US dollars is the high probability of sanctions, which Washington “distributes” this year in all directions.

In April, Indian media reported that Delhi’s financial institutions froze about two billion dollars allocated to pay for major projects, including the reconstruction of the Russian nuclear submarine INS Chakra. The reason for this was that Washington included Russia’s state-controlled arms export company Rosoboronexport on the sanctions list, which for banking institutions practically means prohibiting any transactions in the US currency.

Even with US restrictions, India has opted to maintain relations with the most reliable partner in the field of military-technical cooperation and arms supply, ie Russia.

According to the World Peace Research Institute in Stockholm (SIPRI), from 2007 to 2017, Moscow provided arms to New Delhi worth $24.5 billion, while Washington – only $3.1 billion.

The Russian-Indian negotiations involve not only the supply of weapons, but also civilian products.

“The share of export rubles payments is 20%, while in imports it is about 21%,” said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, adding that Moscow will increase “payments in national currencies as a means of resolving the problem of default.”

Russia’s Vnesheconombank (VEB) director Igor Shuvalov has stated that Russia and China have their own channels of interaction and that Beijing is keen to use them.

The banker pointed out that bilateral consultations will take place in the coming weeks, during which the interaction between the financial institutions of both countries will be decided.

Russia and China are increasingly canceling contracts in dollars, given the large growth in their trade. Last year alone, trade between Moscow and Washington was $23.6 billion, while between Russia and China was $84.9 billion, a difference of almost 360%.

The three largest developing nations, namely Russia, China and India, have shown the world how to get rid of dependence on the dollar. Bilateral trade in these countries’ national currencies opens up prospects for other growing economies to be able to get rid of the hegemony of the dollar.

Why’d The US Issue A Sanctions Waiver For Chabahar?

By Andrew Korybko
Source

Many observers are wondering why the US issued a sanctions waiver for the Indian-built port of Chabahar in southeastern Iran and the railroad project that’s supposed to one day extend from it to Afghanistan, but the reason is that America sees this curious “Lead From Behind” arrangement as one of its last chances to retain its long-term influence in the landlocked country.

For as tough as the US promised that its reimposition of sanctions on Iran would be, it unsurprisingly went soft when it came to the issue of the Indian-built port of Chabahar in the southeastern part of the Islamic Republic. The State Department confirmed earlier this week that the US granted a sanctions waiver for this project, which simultaneously drew attention not only to the project’s significance, but also the special nature of the American-Indian Strategic Partnership if Washington thought it important enough to preserve at the expense of undermining its sanctions regime against Iran. The reason for this is that the US understands the long-term strategic ramifications of redirecting Afghanistan’s international trade away from Pakistan (and increasingly China) and towards the rest of the world market via the access that it obtains through Chabahar, which is why the railroad that’s supposed to branch off from this port to the landlocked country is also excluded from the sanctions regime.

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

The US isn’t just losing influence in Afghanistan on the military front after the Taliban’s recent spree of gains across the country, but also on the economic one as well after China’s recent inroads there, which America worries could soon have political consequences if Beijing succeeds in establishing new patronage networks with the internationally recognized Kabul elite. This could in turn make it less likely that the US can keep Kabul and the Taliban from striking a deal, especially one at its expense, which is why there’s such an interest in ensuring that America can still retain its control over Afghanistan’s permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”). Suitcases full of cash aren’t sustainable, whereas the clinching of privileged business deals with China are, hence why the US had to urgently streamline a solution and realized that it was forced to rely on its newfound Indian ally.

No reasonable comparison can be made between China’s ability to exert influence in Afghanistan and India’s, but the two BRICS “frenemies” nevertheless did agree to cooperate in jointly training its diplomats. There’s also the possibility that they’ll pool their infrastructure resources together in turning the country into a shining example of the “China-India-Plus-One” framework that they unveiled before this summer’s BRICS Summit, thereby putting an end to the competition between the New Silk Road and the “Asia-Africa Growth Corridor”. On the surface, all of this should be appalling to America because of how much it risks undercutting its strategic ambitions in Afghanistan, but Washington is clearly wagering that mutual suspicions will persist between China and India which will in turn make the railroad a feasible opportunity for indirectly exerting influence through its South Asian “Lead From Behind” partner.

Keeping India In Line

Iran will obviously receive some residual knock-on benefits from being the transit country facilitating Indian-Afghan trade (which, to remember, is intended to function as a more sustainable means of ‘buying off’ Kabul’s “deep state” than suitcases full of cash in the face of China’s New Silk Road competition), but the US is willing to turn a blind eye to that because of how comparatively insignificant those profits will be. After all, the US could always sanction individual Indian or Afghan companies that trade with Iran across this route instead of keeping their economic activities on a strictly bilateral basis (apart from paying transit dues and other unavoidable expenses that go into the country’s coffers), so the plan is at least conceptually viable and doesn’t necessarily subvert the spirit of Trump’s sanctions policy against the Islamic Republic.

It needs to be emphasized that the US is engaging in long-term strategic planning that won’t yield immediate dividends, but that it’s undertaking this approach because of the high level of trust that it’s established with India since the election of PM Modi in 2014. The US now regards India as a strategic partner, one which is indispensable to “containing” China, even though India itself is playing a “double game”  by working closer with China over the past few months through a cunning strategy that it regards as “balancing” (officially described as “multialignment” in its official parlance). There’s always the chance that India could disappoint the US, but that’s unlikely since it needs access to the US marketplace to continue its growth and is deathly afraid (whether rightly or wrongly) of having its domestic industries swamped by Chinese imports if it pivots towards the New Silk Road.

A Reason To Rethink The Hybrid War On CPEC

This strategic backdrop suggests that the Indian-American Strategic Partnership is here to stay and that the US will continue indirectly backing New Delhi’s efforts to circumvent Pakistan and trade with Afghanistan via Iran in spite of the Trump Administration’s sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Adding another wrinkle to this already complicated arrangement is that Pakistan might counterintuitively benefit in some respects from Chabahar’s success so long as this gets the US and India to stop destabilizing Balochistan out of fear that the resultant blowback could endanger the Afghan corridor that New Delhi is building. Terrorism could easily spill across the border and threaten the project, thereby harming the US and India’s long-term joint strategic interests, and Iran might also take serious issue with India’s covert sponsorship of these terrorists to make its continued hosting of this corridor conditional on New Delhi discontinuing its support for them.

Pakistan and Iran are on the same page regarding the role that third-party actors have in provoking occasional border problems between them through these means, so considering the increasingly strategic importance that both countries attach to their relations with one another, it follows that Tehran’s interests would be best served by leveraging its influence over the Chabahar Corridor to ensure security in the transnational Baloch space. This is the only scenario in which Pakistan could partially benefit from the Chabahar Corridor, so it’s incumbent on those in Islamabad to do everything that they can to encourage their Tehran counterparts to take every step in that direction. The US and India have obvious reasons for wanting to continue their Hybrid War on CPEC, but the argument can be made that their support of Baloch terrorism to this end runs an unacceptably high risk of blowback that could scuttle their joint plans for Afghanistan and the rest of Central Asia.

Concluding Thoughts

The prima facie impression is that the US must have had some reason or another for waiving its sanctions against Chabahar, but cohesive explanations for why this is have been far and few between. It sounds absurd that the US’ interests in Afghanistan are furthered by Iran of all countries and especially at this specific point in time, but that’s the reality as it presently exists. To be clear, Iran isn’t intentionally assisting the US with anything, but its hosting of the Indian-built Chabahar Corridor to Afghanistan could be instrumentalized by Washington through its strategic partnership with New Delhi to advance the US’ grand strategic interests. On the other hand, however, Iran isn’t a completely passive bystander to this process either, and could at the very least work directly with its Indian partner to ensure that neither it nor the US continue their destabilization of Balochistan through the Hybrid War on CPEC because of the blowback that it could cause for the Chabahar Corridor.

While China’s Xianjing Remains Stable, it is in India Where Muslims Are Being Systematically Attacked — Astute News

From a diverse history to a sectarian crisis The modern borders of India do not precisely correspond to those of any one of the many sovereign entities that arose in south Asia over the millennia. Instead, today’s India in terms of its political geography was shaped by the modern Partition of British India which began […]

via While China’s Xianjing Remains Stable, it is in India Where Muslims Are Being Systematically Attacked — Astute News

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