Southeast Asia Ignores US War on Huawei

September 7, 2019 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – The Western media has begun complaining about Southeast Asia’s collective decision to move forward with 5G network technology from Chinese telecom giant Huawei despite US demands that nations ban all Huawei products.

These demands are predicated on clearly fabricated security threats surrounding Huawei technology. The US itself is a global leader of producing hardware with hidden backdoors and other security flaws for the purpose of spying worldwide.

Instead, the US is clearly targeting the telecom giant as part of a wider campaign to cripple China economically and contain its ability to contest US global hegemony.

Media Disinformation Serves the War on Huawei 

Articles like Reuters’ “Thailand launches Huawei 5G test bed, even as U.S. urges allies to bar Chinese gear,” in title alone confounds informed readers.

The article’s author, Patpicha Tanakasempipat, fails to explain in which ways the US is “allies” with any of the nations of Southeast Asia, including Thailand. The history of US activity in Southeast Asia has been one of coercion, interference, intervention, colonisation and protracted war.

As US power has faded, it has resorted to “soft power,” with its most recent “pivot to Asia” being accompanied by several failed attempts to overthrow regional governments and replace them with suitable proxies.

Considering this, and a complete lack of suitable US alternatives to Huawei’s products, there is little mystery as to why the region as a whole has ignored US demands regarding Huawei.

The article claims:

Thailand launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed on Friday, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building next-generation mobile networks.

Huawei, the world’s top producer of telecoms equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, has been facing mounting international scrutiny amid fears China could use its equipment for espionage, a concern the company says is unfounded.

Patpicha fails categorically to cite any evidence substantiating US claims. She also fails categorically to point out that there is in fact a glaring lack of evidence behind US claims, just as many other articles across the Western media have predictably and purposefully done.

Vietnam, the Outlier 

The one exception in Southeast Asia is Vietnam. It has sidestepped considering Huawei in favour of US-based Qualcomm and Scandinavian companies Nokia and Ericsson. While the Vietnamese government said its decision was based on technical concerns rather than geopolitics, a Bloomberg article quoted the CEO of state-owned telecom concern, Viettel Group, who claimed:

We are not going to work with Huawei right now. It’s a bit sensitive with Huawei now. There were reports that it’s not safe to use Huawei. So Viettel’s stance is that, given all this information, we should just go with the safer ones. So we choose Nokia and Ericsson from Europe.

The same article would also cite supposed experts who claim Vietnam seeks closer ties with the US in countering China’s growing stature upon the global stage, and ultimately folded to US demands because of this.

This however is unlikely. Vietnam – among all of Southeast Asia’s nations – is not an “ally” of Washington.

The US waged a bloody war against Vietnam at the cost of 4 million lives. The nation still bears the burden of chemical warfare through persistent birth defects as well as swaths of land covered in unexploded ordnance. To this day the US maintains a stable of opposition groups it funds to pressure and coerce the Vietnamese government. The US also invests in groups fanning anti-Chinese sentiment inside Vietnam.

Considering this, Vietnam, by spurning Huawei at the moment, is more likely cynically playing the US and China off one another with this particular move aimed at currying leverage over Beijing and favour with Washington, while at other junctures, Vietnam has made moves to gain leverage over Washington while cultivating closer ties with Beijing.

Not Just Thailand

The same Bloomberg article would note:

Vietnam’s decision to shun Huawei appears to make it an outlier in Southeast Asia, where other countries such as the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia are open to deploying Huawei’s technology.

The irony of this is that the Philippines in particular has been touted by Washington as one of its key partners in provoking China over its claims in the South China Sea. Not only has Manila repeatedly sabotaged or undermined Washington’s efforts in the South China Sea deciding to bilaterally deal with Beijing instead and without US help, it is now openly ignoring US demands to dump Huawei technology.

Malaysia has been another target of US political interference. There were hopes in Washington that after the last Malaysian elections, victorious parties backed by Washington would cut growing ties with Beijing. This did not happen. While some Malaysian-Chinese deals were renegotiated, they continued to move forward nonetheless.

By ignoring US demands that Huawei products be banned and by moving forward with Huawei technology for national 5G infrastructure, Malaysia affirms again that Asia’s future will be determined in Asia by the nations residing there, not by Washington thousands of miles away.

While the US remains a potent geopolitical hegemon with a powerful military and economy, and the means to inflict punishment on nations opposing its agenda across the globe, it is still a hegemon in decline.

The US is not losing to China because it hasn’t been ruthless enough or because its “allies” are not cooperating. It is not losing to China because of anything in particular China is doing to the US. The US is losing because of fundamental flaws in what is an entirely unsustainable and indefensible foreign policy.

Until it fixes those fundamental flaws and adopts a more appropriate foreign policy, it will continue to lose out to competitors like China. Its tech giants like Apple and Qualcomm will continue to lose out to competitors like Huawei. No amount of coercion, threats or acts of malice can change the fact that at a fundamental level, the US has no competitive edge and its power stems more from momentum than from any remaining driving strength.

While nations bide their time for this momentum to diminish, Beijing, Moscow and the capitals of other developing and emerging global powers continue building an alternative global order based on a multipolar balance of power and the primacy of national sovereignty… a global order where, for example, one nation does not get to decide who the rest of the world works with to build their respective telecom infrastructure.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

تجدّد الفشل الأميركي في مواجهة التنين الصيني وقنابله الدخانية في الخليج تذروها الرياح

أغسطس 10, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

بداية لا بدّ من القول إنه يجب على كلّ متابع للشأن الصيني، وبالتالي لجهود الصين المشتركة مع روسيا وإيران وغيرهما من الدول لإنهاء سيطرة القطب الأميركي الواحد على العالم، ان يتذكر أنّ ما ينفذه الرئيس الأميركي ترامب ضدّ الصين، من إجراءات اقتصادية/ مالية وسياسية وعسكرية، ليست بالإجراءات الأميركية الجديدة إطلاقاً.

اذ انّ العداء الأميركي لجمهورية الصين الشعبية قد بدأ منذ نشأة هذه الدولة، سنة 1949، ومنذ أن قام الجنرال تشين كاي تشيك، زعيم ما كان يُعرف بالكومينتانغ واثر هزيمة قواته امام قوات التحرير الشعبيه الصينية، بقيادة الزعيم الصيني ماوتسي تونغ في نهاية الحرب الأهلية الصينية، التي استمرت من سنة 1945 حتى 1949، نقول حيث قام زعيم الكومينتانغ، مع فلول قواته، بالهرب من البر الصيني المحرر الى جزيرة فورموزا تايوان وسيطر عليها، من خلال وحدات الكومينتانغ العميلة للولايات المتحدة، والتي تمكنت من ذلك بمساعدة عسكرية أميركية مباشرة.

وقد تمادت الولايات المتحدة في عدوانها على جمهورية الصين الشعبية بدعمها هذا الكيان اللقيط، الذي أطلقت عليه اسم تايوان، ومنحته ليس فقط عضوية الأمم المتحدة، وإنما عضوية دائمة في مجلس الأمن الدولي. أيّ انها أصبحت دولة تتمتع بحق الفيتو في ما كانت جمهورية الصين الشعبية محرومة من حق العضوية في منظمة الامم المتحدة بالمطلق، وذلك حتى سنة 1971 عندما بدأت الولايات المتحدة بتطبيق سياسة انفتاح مبرمج على الصين.

ولكن المخططات الأميركية، المعادية لاستقلالية القرار الصيني والهادفة الى وقف التطور الاقتصادي الصيني، لم تتغيّر مطلقاً، طوال سبعينيات وثمانينيات القرن الماضي التي شهدت إقامة علاقات دبلوماسية بين الدولتين. وقد وصلت مؤامرات الولايات المتحدة، ضدّ الصين، قمتها في ربيع سنة 1989، عندما أطلقت واشنطن حملة سياسية وإعلامية دولية ضدّ جمهورية الصين الشعبية، تحت حجة دعم مطالب شعبية صينية، كان قد طرحها محتجون صينيون عبر تظاهرات في عدة مدن صينية، خاصة في ميدان تيان ان مين، الذي شهد احتجاجات وصدامات، منذ أوائل شهر نيسان وحتى أواسط حزيران سنة 1989، بين المحتجين وقوات الأمن الصينية. تلك الصدامات التي انتهت بإعادة فرض النظام في كلّ مكان والقضاء على ظاهرة الثوره الملوّنة في مهدها.

وها هي الولايات المتحدة، ومعها بقايا ما كان يطلق عليه مسمّى بريطانيا العظمى، تحاول إثارة المتاعب أمام الحكومة الصينية المركزية، وذلك عبر إثارة الشغب وحالات الفوضى في جزيرة هونغ كونغ، التي اضطرت بريطانيا الى إعادتها الى الوطن الأمّ، الصين الشعبية، عام 1997، مستخدمة مجموعات محلية مرتبطة بمخططات خارجية، يتمّ تسييرها وتوجيهها من قبل أجهزة مخابرات أميركية وبريطانيا منذ ما يقارب الشهرين، دون أن تقوم قوات الأمن الصينية بأكثر من الحدّ الأدنى لحفظ النظام.

ولكن استمرار هذه السياسة الانجلوأميركية وتزامنها مع استمرار التحشيد العسكري الأميركي، في البحار القريبة من الصين كشرق المحيط الهندي وبحر الصين الجنوبي وخليج البنغال وبحر اليابان وغيرها من البحار، وصولاً الى إرسال حاملة الطائرات الأميركية رونالد ريغان الى بحر الصين الجنوبي، في خطوة استفزازية للصين، نقول انّ استمرار هذه السياسة الأميركية، الى جانب العقوبات الاقتصادية والمالية التي فرضت على الصين، وفِي ظلّ قدسية الحفاظ على وحدة وسيادة جمهورية الصين الشعبية على كافة أراضيها، فقد أصدر المتحدث باسم مكتب شؤون هونغ كونغ وماكاو تصريحاً شديد اللهجة قال فيه: بودّنا التوضيح لمجموعة صغيرة من المجرمين العنيفين عديمي الضمير ومن يقف وراءهم انّ من يلعب بالنار سيُقتل بها.لا ترتكبوا خطأ في تقييم الوضع. ولا تعتبروا ممارستنا لضبط النفس ضعفاً .

إذن… هذه رسالة صينية نارية واضحة وصريحة، لا بل أمر عمليات، موجّه لليانكي الأميركي، وليس فقط لبعض أذناب الاستعمار في هونغ كونغ، من سواحل بحر الصين الجنوبي، مفادها: لا تلعبوا بالنار…

وما يزيد أمر العمليات الصيني هذا زخماً وقوة، هو صدوره بعد الجولة الفاشلة، التي قام بها وزيرا الحرب والخارجية الأميركيان، في استراليا وعدد من دول المحيط الهادئ، في محاولة منهما لإقناع تلك الدول بالموافقة على نشر صواريخ أميركية، موجهة الى الصين، على أراضيها ورفض جميع الدول المعنية لهذه الفكرة الأميركية الهدامة. كما انّ أمر العمليات هذا قد تزامن مع وصول حاملة الطائرات الأميركية، رونالد ريغان، الى بحر الصين الجنوبي كما أسلفنا.

إذن وكما جرت العادة فإنّ الولايات المتحدة، ممثلة برئيسها ورئيس دبلوماسيتها، تمارس الكذب والتضليل بشكل فاضح وخطير. ففي الوقت الذي تشنّ فيه إدارة الرئيس ترامب حملتها التضليلية الكاذبة، حول ضرورة الحفاظ على أمن الخليج ومضيق هرمز، وحماية السفن التجارية التي تبحر فيهما فإنها تطلق قنابل دخانية للتغطية على خطواتها الأكثر خطورة على الأمن الدولي، المتمثلة في تعزيز الحشد العسكري الاستراتيجي ضدّ كلّ من روسيا والصين الشعبية، وذلك من خلال:

1 ـ مواصلة إرسال حاملات الطائرات، ابراهام لينكولن ورونالد ريغان، ومجموعتيهما البحريتين الى مناطق عمليات أكثر قرباً من الصين.

2 ـ سحب قاذفات القنابل الأميركية الاستراتيجية، من طراز /B 52/ التي كانت ترابط في قاعدة العيديد القطرية ونقلها الى قاعدة دييغو غارسيا في المحيط الهندي، غرب المحيط الهندي.

3 ـ مواصلة الولايات المتحدة لمناوراتها المشتركة مع كوريا الجنوبية والتي لا تشكل استفزازاً لكوريا الشمالية فحسب، وإنما لجمهورية الصين الشعبية أيضاً، وذلك لأنها تفضي إلى مزيد من الحضور العسكري الأميركي في المحيط القريب من الصين.

وفي إطار قنابل الدخان هذه، فإنّ القنبلة الأكثر إثارة للسخرية هي الهراء الذي أطلقه وزير خارجية نتن ياهو، ايسرائيل كاتس، يوم امس الأول حول احتمال مشاركة إسرائيل في التحالف البحري الذي دعت الولايات المتحدة لإقامته في الخليج.

ولكن هذا الوزير نسي انّ دولته لا تعتبر دولة تملك قوة بحرية ذات قيمة على الصعيد الدولي، على الرغم من امتلاكها غواصات دولفين، الألمانية الصنع، والقادرة على حمل رؤوس نووية، والخاضعة لمراقبة سلاح البحرية الإيراني على مدار الساعه والعديمة القدرة على المناورة ضدّ إيران في أيّ من بحار المنطقة، لأسباب لا مجال للتوسع في شرحها.

اذن هذه التصريحات الإسرائيلية لا يمكن اعتبارها أكثر من قنبلة دخان انتخابية لصالح نتن ياهو ليس إلا. ولا تدخل حتى في استراتيجية الولايات المتحدة الأكثر شمولية. ولمزيد من التوضيح فانّ هذا الوزير، كاتس، كان كمن أراد الاستجارة من الرمضاء بالنار، أيّ أنه أراد أن يغطي على فشل كيانه في مواجهة حلف المقاومة وعلى رأسه إيران بحشر أنف إسرائيل في وضع الخليج، مستنداً الى الوجود الأمني الإسرائيلي الواسع في السعودية ودول الخليج العربية الأخرى.

هذا الوجود الذي تعود جذوره إلى أكثر من عشرين عاماً، أيّ إلى نهاية تسعينيات القرن الماضي، حيث بدأت السعودية والإمارات بإبرام عقود حماية أمنية، للمنشآت النفطية في البلدين، مع شركات أمن إسرائيلية، وهو الأمر الذي مكَّن هذه الشركات الإسرائيلية، وهي في الحقيقة أذرع لجهاز الموساد الإسرائيلي، من إقامة بنية تحتية استخبارية كاملة تخدم الأهداف الإسرائيلية. علماً أنّ هذا الوجود الاستخباري الإسرائيلي الكثيف لا يمثل أيّ قيمة لها تأثير على موازين القوى في ميادين القتال. حيث انّ مناطق هذا الوجود، أيّ السعودية ودوّل الخليج، لم يكن يوماً جزءاً من ميادين القتال ضدّ الجيش الإسرائيلي ، وعليه فإنه وجود لا يختلف عن وجود العصافير في القفص، لا قيمة له ميدانية أو عملية إطلاقاً.

لكلّ نبأ مستقرّ.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

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US Global Power: The Trump Period, The End of Unipolarity

Global Research, May 02, 2019

Introduction

US global power in the Trump period reflects the continuities and changes which are unfolding rapidly and deeply throughout the world and which are affecting the position of Washington.

Assessing the dynamics of US global power is a complex problem which requires examining multiple dimensions.

We will proceed by:

  • Conceptualizing the principles which dictate empire building, specifically the power bases and the dynamic changes in relations and structures which shape the present and future position of the US.
  • Identifying the spheres of influence and power and their growth and decline.
  • Examining the regionsof conflict and contestation.
  • The major and secondary rivalries.
  • The stable and shifting relationsbetween existing and rising power centers.
  • The internal dynamics shaping the relative strength of competing centers of global power.
  • The instability of the regimes and states seeking to retain and expand global power.

Conceptualization of Global Power

US global power is built on several significant facts.  These include:  the US victory in World War II, its subsequent advanced economy and dominant military position throughout five continents.

The US advanced its dominance through a series of alliances in Europe via NATO; Asia via its hegemonic relationship with Japan, South Korea, Philippines and Taiwan as well as Australia and New Zealand in Oceana; Latin America via traditional client regimes; Africa via neo-colonial rulers imposed following independence.

US global power was built around encircling the USSR and China, undermining their economies and defeating their allies militarily via regional wars.

Post WWII global economic and military superiority created subordinated allies and established US global power, but it created the bases for gradual shifts in relations of dominance.

US global power was formidable but subject to economic and military changes over time and in space.

US Spheres of Power:  Then and Now

US global power exploited opportunities but also suffered military setbacks early on, particularly in Korea, Indo-China and Cuba. The US spheres of power were clearly in place in Western Europe and Latin America but was contested in Eastern Europe and Asia.

The most significant advance of US global power took place with the demise and disintegration of the USSR, the client states in Eastern Europe, as well as the transformation of China and Indo-China to capitalism during the 1980’s.

US ideologues declared the coming of a unipolar empire free of restraints and challenges to its global and regional power. The US turned to conquering peripheral adversaries.  Washington destroyed Yugoslavia and then Iraq – fragmenting them into mini-states. Wall Street promoted a multitude of multi-national corporations to invade China and Indo-China who reaped billions of profits exploiting cheap labor.

The believers of the enduring rule of US global power envisioned a century of US imperial rule.

In reality this was a short-sighted vision of a brief interlude.

The End of Unipolarity: New Rivalries and Global and Regional Centers of Power: An Overview

US global power led Washington into  ‘overreach’, in several crucial areas:  it launched a series of costly prolonged wars, specifically in Iraq and Afghanistan, which had three negative consequences:  the destruction of the Iraq armed forces and economy led to the rise of the Islamic State which overtook most of the country; the occupation in Afghanistan which led to the emergence of the Taliban and an ongoing twenty year war which cost hundreds of billions of dollars and several thousand wounded and dead US soldiers; as a result the majority of the US public turned negative toward wars and empire building

The US pillage and dominance of Russia ended, when President Putin replaced Yeltsin’s vassal state.  Russia rebuilt its industry, science, technology and military power.  Russia’s population recovered its living standards.

With Russian independence and advanced military weaponry, the US lost its unipolar  military power.  Nevertheless, Washington financed a coup which virtually annexed two thirds of the Ukraine.  The US incorporated the fragmented Yugoslavian ‘statelets’ into NATO.  Russia countered by annexing the Crimea and secured a mini-state adjacent Georgia.

China converted the economic invasion of US multi-national corporations into learning experiences for building its national economy and export platforms which contributed which led to its becoming an economic competitor and rival to the US.

US global empire building suffered important setbacks in Latin America resulting

from the  the so-called Washington Consensus.  The imposition of neo-liberal policies privatized and plundered their economies, impoverished the working and middle class, and provoked a series of popular uprising and the rise of radical social movements and center-left governments.

The US empire lost spheres of influence in some regions (China, Russia, Latin America, Middle East) though it retained influence among elites in contested regions and even launched new imperial wars in contested terrain.  Most notably the US attacked independent regimes in Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Sudan via armed proxies.

The change from a unipolar to a multi polar world and the gradual emergence of regional rivals led US global strategists to rethink their strategy.  The Trump regime’s aggressive policies set the stage for political division within the regime and among allies.

The Obama – Trump Convergence and Differences on Empire Building

By the second decade of the 21stcentury several new global power alignments emerged:  China had become the main economic competitor for world power and Russia was the major military challenger to US military supremacy at the regional level.  The US replaced the former European colonial empire in Africa.  Washington’s sphere of influence extended especially in North and Sub Sahara Africa:  Kenya, Libya, Somalia and Ethiopia.  Trump gained leverage in the Middle East namely in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, and Jordan.

Israel retained its peculiar role, converting the US as its sphere of influence.

But the US  faced regional rivals for sphere of influence in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Algeria.

In South Asia US faced competition for spheres of influence from China, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In Latin America sharp and abrupt shifts in spheres of influence were the norm.  US influence declined between 2000 – 2015 and recovered from 2015 to the  present.

Imperial Power Alignments Under President Trump

President Trump faced complex global, regional and local political and economic challenges.

Trump followed and deepened many of the policies launched by the Obama- Hillary Clinton policies with regard to other countries and regions . However Trump also radicalized and/or reversed policies of his predecessors. He combined flattery and aggression at the same time.

At no time did Trump recognize the limits of US global power.  Like the previous three presidents he persisted in the belief that the transitory period of a unipolar global empire could be re-imposed.

Toward Russia, a global competitor, Trump adopted a policy of ‘rollback’.  Trump imposed economic sanctions, with the strategic ‘hope’ that  by impoverishing Russia, degrading its financial and industrial sectors that he could force a regime change which would convert Moscow into a vassal state.

At the beginning of his Presidential campaign Trump flirted with the notion of a business accommodation with Putin. However, Trump’s ultra-belligerent appointments and domestic opposition soon turned him toward a highly militarized strategy, rejecting military – including nuclear – agreements, in favor of military escalation.

Toward China, Trump faced a dynamic and advancing technological competitor. Trump resorted to a ‘trade war’ that went far beyond ‘trade’ to encompass a war against Beijing’s economic structure and social relations.  The Trump regime-imposed sanctions and threatened a total boycott of Chinese exports.

Trump and his economic team demanded China privatize and denationalize its entire state backed industry.  They demanded the power to unilaterally decide when violations of US rules occurred and to be able to re-introduce sanctions without consultations.  Trump demanded all Chinese technological agreements, economic sectors and innovations were subject and open to US business interests.  In other words, Trump demanded the end of Chinese sovereignty and the reversal of the structural base for its global power.  The US was not interested in mere ‘trade’ – it wanted a return to imperial rule over a colonized China.

The Trump regime rejected negotiations and recognition of a shared power relation: it viewed its global rivals as potential clients.

Inevitably the Trump regime’s strategy would never reach any enduring agreements on any substantial issues under negotiations.  China has a successful strategy for global power built on a 6 trillion-dollar world-wide Road and Belt (R and B) development policy, which links 60 countries and several regions. R and B is building seaports, rail and air systems linking industries financed by development banks.

In contrast, the US banks exploits industry, speculates and operates within closed financial circuits.  The US spends trillions on wars, coups, sanctions and other parasitical activities which have nothing to do with economic competitiveness.

The Trump regime’s ‘allies’ in the Middle East namely Saudi Arabia and Israel, are parasitic allies who buy protection and provoke costly wars.

Europe complains about China’s increase in industrial exports and overlook imports of consumer goods.  Yet the EU plans to resist Trump’s sanctions which lead to a blind alley of stagnation!

Conclusion

The most recent period of the  peak of US global power, the decade between 1989-99 contained the seeds of its decline and the current resort to trade wars, sanctions and nuclear threats.

The structure of US global power changed over the past seven decades.  The US global empire building began with the US command over the rebuilding of Western European economies and the displacement of England, France, Portugal and Belgium from Asia and Africa.

The Empire spread and penetrated  South America via US multi-national corporations. However, US empire building was not a linear process as witness  its unsuccessful confrontation with national liberation movements in Korea, Indo China, Southern Africa (Angola, Congo, etc.) and the Caribbean (Cuba).  By the early 1960’s the US had displaced its European rivals and successfully incorporated them as subordinate allies.

Washington’s main rivals for spheres of influence was Communist China and the USSR with their allies among client state and overseas revolutionaries.

The US empire builders’ successes led to the transformation of their Communist and nationalist rivals into emergent capitalist competitors.

In a word US dominance led to the construction of capitalist rivals, especially China and Russia.

Subsequently, following US military defeats and prolonged wars, regional powers proliferated in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Regional blocs competed with US clients for power.

The diversification of power centers led to new and costly wars.  Washington lost exclusive control of markets, resources and alliances.  Competition reduced the spheres of US power.

In the face of these constraints on US global power the Trump regime envisioned a strategy to  recover  US dominance – ignoring the limited capacity and structure of US political , economic and class relations.

China absorbed US technology and went on to create new advances without following each previous stage.

Russia’s recovered from its losses and sanctions  and secured alternative trade relations to counter the new challenges to the US global empire.  Trump’s regime launched a ‘permanent trade war’ without stable allies. Moreover, he failed  to undermine China’s global infrastructure network; Europe demanded and secured autonomy to enter into trade deals with China, Iran and Russia.

Trump has pressured many regional powers who have ignored his threats.

The US still remains a global power.  But unlike the past, the US lacks the industrial base to ‘make America strong’.  Industry is subordinated to finance; technological innovations are not linked to skilled labor  to increase productivity.

Trump relies on sanctions and they have failed to undermine regional influentials.  Sanctions may temporarily reduce access to US markets’ but we have observed that new trade partners take their place.

Trump has gained client regimes in Latin America, but the gains are precarious and subject to reversal.

Under the Trump regime, big business and bankers have increased prices in the stock market and even the rate of growth of the  GDP, but he confronts severe domestic political instability, and high levels of turmoil among the branches of government.  In pursuit of loyalty over competence, Trump’s appointments have led to the ascendancy of cabinet officials who seek to wield unilateral power which the US no longer possesses.

Elliot Abrams can massacre a quarter-million Central Americans with impunity, but he has failed to impose US power over Venezuela and Cuba.  Pompeo can threaten North Kore, Iran and China but these countries fortify alliances with US rivals and competitors.  Bolton can advance the interests of Israel but their conversations take place in a telephone booth – it lacks resonance with any major powers.

Trump has won a presidential election, he has secured concessions from some countries but he has alienated regional and diplomatic allies.  Trump claims he is making America strong, but he has undermined lucrative strategic multi-lateral trade agreements.

US ‘Global Power’ does not prosper with bully-tactics.  Projections of power alone, have failed – they require recognition of realistic economic limitations and the losses from regional wars.

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Award winning author Prof. James Petras is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Russia Officially Returns to South Asia by Offering to Host Indo-Pak Peace Talks

Global Research, March 01, 2019

Russia’s 21st-century grand strategy of becoming the supreme “balancing” force in Afro-Eurasia is one major step closer to fruition after Foreign Minister Lavrov offered to host peace talks between India and Pakistan, proving that Russia’s refusal to take sides between its decades-long and newfound partners is part and parcel of President Putin’s pragmatic approach to regional affairs.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov sent shockwaves through South Asia on Thursday by announcing his country’s intent to host peace talks between India and Pakistan if they wish for it to do so, thereby heralding Russia’s return to the region and putting it one major step closer towards fulfilling its 21st-century grand strategy of becoming the supreme “balancing” force in Afro-Eurasia. This brief article will mostly serve as a collection of the author’s relevant pieces about the larger concepts that will be concisely touched upon on a point-by-point basis and should therefore be seen as a resource to rely on for better understanding Russia’s envisaged role in the Eastern Hemisphere.

All told, it’s nothing short of a game-changing geopolitical development that Russia would offer to host peace talks between India and Pakistan because it proves just how wildly successful President Putin’s “balancing” strategy has been thus far, considering how confident Moscow is that it can constructively apply this model to the two nuclear-armed Great Powers in South Asia. Russia has truly returned to the region and is poised to play an even larger role in it over the coming years, which will enable Moscow to more assertively counter the US’ plans to destabilize South Asia and therefore ensure the success of the emerging Multipolar World Order.

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This article was originally published on Eurasia Future.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

After Trump’s tirade, Pentagon says Pakistan critical partner in US South Asia strategy

By Aisha Mahmood
Source

In an apparent damage control after US President Donald Trump’s accusations that Pakistan ‘does not do a damn thing’ for the US, the Pentagon has said that Pakistan remains a critical partner to America’s South Asia strategy.

During an off-camera news conference, US Colonel Rob Manning, Director of Defense Press Operations, contended that there was no change in US’s military-to-military relationship with Pakistan. He said that Pakistan continues to be a part of South Asia strategy, local media reported.

Manning continued, “The US and Pakistan have strong mutual interests in the region. As you know, they are critical (and) vital to the South Asia strategy and including the facilitation of a peace process that would lead to a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.”

In his latest tirade, the US president targeted Pakistan in a series of tweets and blamed it for receiving billions of dollars’ and ‘not doing a damn thing’ for the US. Prime Minister Imran Khan slammed Trump and said that instead of making Pakistan ‘a scapegoat for their failures’ in Afghanistan, the US should assess their strategies. The PM continued in a series of tweets and listed down the sacrifices made by Pakistan after participating in the US War on Terror.

The Pentagon Realised What It Has Done – the Chinese Put the US Army on Its Knees

The Pentagon Realised What It Has Done – the Chinese Put the US Army on Its Knees

November 04, 2018

By Ivan Danilov
Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/ivan-danilov-the-pentagon-realised-what-it-has-done-the-chinese-put-the-us-army-on-its-knees/
source: https://ria.ru/analytics/20181104/1532106144.html

In the system of national defense of the US a gaping vulnerability was found that is very difficult to close. The reaction of the Pentagon is reminiscent of badly hidden panic, and journalists who examined the results of the research of American experts, who thoroughly studied the condition of the American army and defensive industry, admit that there is iron logic in the recent “strange” actions of president Trump — he wants to save America from transforming into a cardboard tiger with paper claws.

The essence of the problem, according to the retelling of the columnist of the Reuters agency Andy Home, who obtained a copy of the September report of the US Department of Defence on the situation concerning key deliveries necessary for the American army, is reduced to one important figure. More than 300 (!) key elements necessary for the normal functioning of the US Armed Forces and defensive industry are under threat: American producers are either on the verge of bankruptcy or were already replaced by suppliers from China or other countries because of the deindustrialisation of national economy and the relocation of production to the countries of Southeast Asia.

Mr. Home gives as a striking and clear example the amusing (of course, if you are not a US military man) fact from the report: it turns out that the last American producer of the synthetic threads necessary for the production of army tents “died” quite recently. This means that in the event that the US will fall under such a “textile embargo”, for some American soldiers they will seriously face the prospect of sleeping in the open-air. It is difficult not to notice that such a prospect looks slightly humiliating for an army that claims to be the most hi-tech on the planet.

The situation could be considered as funny if it didn’t affect such a wide range of requirements of the American army and military-industrial complex. In the declassified part of the research of the American Department of Defence it is mentioned that in the US there are difficulties with future deliveries of the power switches that nearly all American missiles are equipped with. As officials of the Pentagon report, the producer of these switches was closed down, but the highest military ranks learned about it only after it became clear that the power switches ended. And there is nowhere to take new ones from, because the producer disappeared into thin air a whole 2 years ago. One more striking example: the country’s only producer of solid rocket motors for “air-to-air” missiles, as the American officials write, “encountered technical production issues”, the reasons for which couldn’t be found even after government and military experts were involved. Attempts to restart production failed, and the Pentagon was obliged to employ a Norwegian company to ensure uninterrupted deliveries. Obviously, this indicates a certain technical degradation of the entire American system, because only the loss of some key competencies can explain a situation in which production cannot be restored and the problem cannot even be determined.

Whilst becoming acquainted with the complaints of the leadership of the American army it is difficult to rid oneself of the impression that it isn’t a document of the US Department of Defence dated September, 2018 that is in front of your eyes, but a description of the problems of the Russian army from the era of the dashing 90’s. Literally there is no direction in which there would be no serious or very serious problems, and often they even can’t be solved at the expense of the bottomless military budget.

In the section on nuclear weapon problems the Pentagon complains that in the US there isn’t the necessary number of engineers and technicians who would have the corresponding education, training, and US citizenship that are necessary for working with army nuclear objects. The mention of nationality is of importance, because American higher education institutions produce enough engineers, physicists, and representatives of other technical specialties and exact sciences, however a disproportionately large number of these graduates are foreigners, most often from the People’s Republic of China.

Americans can’t find not only the necessary engineers, but also the necessary microelectronics for nuclear weapons. And they complain that they no longer have the right to trust suppliers of electronic components – after all,

“the supply chain is globalised”. In translation from American bureaucratese into colloquial Russian it means: “the microelectronics for our nuclear missiles are made in China, and we don’t know what the Chinese have stuffed in it”.

There are serious difficulties even concerning issues that should be solved very easily in the conditions of hi-tech American economy. For example, the Pentagon complains about a lack of tools for the development of software, as well as the management of data and production, that could be trusted. The situation is exacerbated by “poor cybersecurity practices by many key software vendors”. This, when translated from American bureaucratese into colloquial Russian, means: “concerning cybersecurity, our vendors are so bad that we don’t know what the Chinese and Russian hackers cram into the software that our military use”.

Main conclusion of the report:

“China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security. <…> Areas of concern to America’s manufacturing and defense industrial base include a growing number of both widely used and specialized metals, alloys and other materials, including rare earths and permanent magnets”.

In general everything is bad, starting with aluminium and ending with cybersecurity, from power switches for missiles to engineers and drill operators, and from computer numerical control machines to synthetic fabric for military tents. The greed of American business, the ideology of globalisation, and the iron belief that history, as Fukuyama predicted, is about to end collectively caused such damage to the defense capability of the US that the geopolitical opponents couldn’t even dream of. It is precisely by understanding this fact that explains Donald Trump’s attempts to carry out the reindustrialisation of America almost by force.

However, there is every reason to believe that, taking into account the present economic difficulties, it’s unlikely that Trump’s administration will be able to fix what its predecessors broke 20 years. And we [Russians – ed] and our Chinese partners need, on the one hand, not to repeat the mistakes of Americans, and on the other hand — to make the most of these mistakes. Judging by what is happening now on the world stage, this is exactly what Moscow and Beijing are doing.

Russia clearing up the USA’s pollution of Laos

Russian Sappers Departing for Laos to Clear Country of US Bombs – Reports

Sputnik – 10.10.2018

MOSCOW – The bomb squad of the Russian Armed Forces’ International Mine Action Center will depart for Laos to help the country clear out remaining unexploded US bombs from the Vietnam War later on Wednesday, local media reported.

The squad consists of 36 people, according to the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper. The mission will last until March 2019, and will focus on clearing myriads of hard-to-find US bombs that pose a threat to local residents from the Laotian jungle, as chief of the engineer troops of the Russian Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Yury Stavitsky said last week.

The United States dropped some 260 million bombs on Laos between 1964 and 1973, according to experts. The Vietnam war, which began in 1964 and ended in 1975, killed about 3 million Vietnamese and over 58,000 US nationals, as well as many people in adjacent countries, including Cambodia and Laos.

US Army investigators secretly confirmed over 300 war crimes committed by the US military, including murder, torture, rape, corpse mutilation and indiscriminate fire in civilian areas, according to the Crimes of War Education Project.

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