Trade Wars

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From

An overt trade war has commenced. President Trump has fired the starting gun, setting in motion an election promise, part of his Make America Great Again undertaking. It is a blow squarely aimed against China, costing China some trade perhaps, but basically a loser’s last roll of the dice.

The back story appears to be far deeper than some relatively minor tariffs on steel and aluminium would suggest. It comes after a prolonged period of shadow-boxing between America in the blue corner and Russia and China in the red. To pursue the boxing analogy, China and Russia have been soaking up America’s punches on the basis America would simply tire herself out. It has been a replay of Muhammed Ali’s dope-on-a-rope strategy in the rumble-in-the-jungle, with America cast as George Foreman.

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India and the U.S. Find Common Ground in the Indo-Pacific

Re-Blogged From Stratfor


  • India will frustrate the United States with its need for strategic autonomy and its aversion to formal alliances.
  • New Delhi will avoid military involvement in the South China Sea dispute for fear of inviting retaliation from China across their disputed border or through Chinese-Pakistani joint patrols in the Arabian Sea.
  • India’s primary focus in the Indo-Pacific region will be to safeguard its critical transit routes in the Indian Ocean.

(GIO BANFI/iStock)

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Tracking Global Terrorism in 2018

Scott Stewart   Scott Stewart – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Editor’s Note

With the start of a new year, we once again examine the state of the global jihadist movement. Shared from Threat Lens, Stratfor’s unique protective intelligence product, the following column includes excerpts from a comprehensive forecast available to Threat Lens subscribers.

In some ways “the global jihadist movement” is a misleading phrase. Rather than the monolithic threat it describes, jihadism more closely resembles a worldwide insurgency with two competing standard-bearers: al Qaeda and the Islamic State. To make matters more complicated, grassroots extremists have been known to take inspiration from each group’s ideology — and, in some cases, both.

A Yemeni man surveys the aftermath of a bombing in Huta, in the southern province of Lahj, March 27, 2017.



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Trump May Push, but Pakistan Won’t Budge

 Re-Blogged From Stratfor

The new year has brought renewed troubles for the already faltering relationship between the United States and Pakistan. On New Year’s Day, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a tweet accusing Pakistan of “lies & deceit” despite receiving $33 billion in U.S. aid for its cooperation in the war in Afghanistan. The next day, the White House announced that it would continue to withhold the $255 million worth of aid that had been earmarked for Pakistan in 2016, citing insufficient action against anti-NATO militants. And on Jan. 4, the White House said it would suspend $900 million in security assistance promised in 2017 and place Pakistan on a list of countries violating religious freedom.

A map shows Afghanistan, Pakistan and the surrounding region.

These Are the High-Tech Weapons the US Might Use Against North Korea

By Greg Walters – Re-Blogged From

The Hermit Kingdom’s recent successes in missile testing are fueling the Pentagon’s search for high-tech measures that might knock out command-and-control structures or even missiles in mid-flight.

Suddenly, “De-Dollarization” Is A Thing

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

For what seems like decades, other countries have been tiptoeing away from their dependence on the US dollar. China, Russia, and India have cut deals in which they agree to accept each others’ currencies for bi-lateral trade while Europe, obviously, designed the euro to be a reserve asset and international medium of exchange.

These were challenges to the dollar’s dominance, but they weren’t mortal threats.

What’s happening lately, however, is a lot more serious. It even has an ominous-sounding name: de-dollarization. Here’s an excerpt from a much longer article by “strategic risk consultant” F. William Engdahl:

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Brexit, Germany And Asia

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From

Britain’s general election went horribly wrong, with the Conservatives forced into a putative coalition with the Democratic Ulster Party. Theresa May’s failure to secure a clear majority has provoked indignation, bitterness, and widespread pessimism. The purpose of this article is not to contribute to this outcry, but to take a more measured view of the situation faced by the British government with regards to Brexit, and the consequences for Europe. In the interests of an international readership, this article will only summarize briefly the current situation in the UK before looking at the broader European and geopolitical consequences.

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