Arctic Vol.10 (Arctic Climate Issues 2011: Changes in Arctic Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost)

Here are a part of charts, graphs, et al. in Arctic Climate Issues 2011: Changes in Arctic Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost | SWIPA, AMAP, IASC, WCRP/CliC, IASSA. Great read. Citations are on our own.
* SWIPA: The Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic
AMAP: The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme
IASC: The International Arctic Science Committee
WCRP/CliC: The World Climate Research Programme / Climate and Cryosphere Project
IASSA: The International Arctic Social Sciences Association
PDF (English)
p.7 THE ARCTIC CRYOSPHERE
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p.10 SNOW COVER IS DECREASING
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p.11
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p.12
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p.13
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p.15 PERMAFROST IS THAWING
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p.16
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p.18 LAKES AND RIVERS ARE LOSING ICE COVER
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p.22 MOUNTAIN GLACIERS, ICE CAPS AND THE GREENLAND ICE SHEET ARE ALL DIMINISHING
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p.26 SUMMER SEA-ICE COVER HAS DECLINED DRAMATICALLY
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p.27
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p.30 THE ARCTIC CLIMATE IS CHANGING
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p.32
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p.33 CLIMATE PATTERNS THAT AFFECT THE ARCTIC
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p.35 THE CRYOSPHERE INTERACTS WITH OTHER ASPECTS OF CLIMATE
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p.42 FUTURE CHANGES IN TEMPERATURE, RAIN AND SNOWFALL
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p.43
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p.44 FUTURE CHANGES IN SNOW, PERMAFROST, LAKE AND RIVER ICE
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p.45
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p.47 FUTURE CHANGES IN MOUNTAIN GLACIERS, ICE CAPS AND THE GREENLAND ICE SHEET
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p.48 FUTURE CHANGES IN SEA ICE
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p.57 CHANGING ARCTIC ECOSYSTEMS
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p.61
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p.71 CHANGING ACCESS
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p.74 CHANGING MOVEMENT OF CONTAMINANTS
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p.81 CHANGES IN THE ARCTIC CRYOSPHERE AFFECT THE GLOBAL CLIMATE
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p.83
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p.85 MELTING ARCTIC LAND ICE CONTRIBUTES TO SEA-LEVEL RISE
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p.93 ADAPTING TO CHANGE
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p.96 GLOSSARY
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UK Vol.87 (Post-EUref #Brexit Vol.16: 2017 General Election – Conservative Party Manifesto)

Here is FORWARD TOGETHER: THE CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO (issuu or PDF) in May 2017. Excerpts are on our own.

FOREWORD pp.4-5
…build a Great Meritocracy…

FIVE GIANT CHALLENGES pp.6-10
Strong and stable leadership
… Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, we have seen confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations. …
Five giant challenges
1. The need for a strong economy.
2. Brexit and a changing world.
3. Enduring social divisions.
4. An ageing society.
5. Fast-changing technology.
Governing from the mainstream
… Rather than pursue an agenda based on a supposed centre ground defined and established by elites in Westminster, we will govern in the interests of the mainstream of the British public. We will get on with the job and take Britain out of the European Union. …
…there will be no ideological crusades. …
We will govern in the interests of ordinary, working families
We believe in the good that government can do
… If we want to overcome Britain’s enduring social divisions, we will need to give people real opportunity and make Britain the world’s Great Meritocracy. That will require government to take on long-ignored problems like Britain’s lack of training and technical education, as well as long-lasting injustices…
Our principles
… Because Conservatism is not and never has been the philosophy described by caricaturists. We do not believe in untrammelled free markets. We reject the cult of selfish individualism. We abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality. We see rigid dogma and ideology not just as needless but dangerous.
True Conservatism means a commitment to country and community; a belief not just in society but in the good that government can do; a respect for the local and national institutions that bind us together…
A vision of a stronger Britain and a prosperous future

1. A STRONG ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE pp.11-27
p.12 Summary
p.13 A strong economy is the basis for everything we want to achieve as a nation.
pp.13-16 THE FOUNDATIONS OF A STRONG ECONOMY
Sound money and responsible public finances are the essential foundations of national economic success.
Keeping taxes as low as possible
Paying your fair share of tax is the price of living in a civilised democracy but politicians should never forget that taxes are levied on businesses that employ people, and individuals who work hard and face tough decisions about how they spend their money. …
By 2020, we will, as promised, increase the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate to £50,000. We will continue to ensure that local residents can veto high increases in Council Tax via a referendum. And we will not increase the level of Value Added Tax.
Corporation Tax is due to fall to seventeen per cent by 2020 – the lowest rate of any developed economy – and we will stick to that plan, because it will help to bring huge investment and many thousands of jobs to the UK. …
Increasing trade
…we want to negotiate a new deep and special partnership with the EU, which will allow free trade between the UK and the EU’s member states. As part of the agreement we strike, we want to make sure that there are as few barriers to trade and investment as possible. Leaving the European Union also means we will be free to strike our own trade agreements with countries outside the EU.
We will ensure immediate stability by lodging new UK schedules with the World Trade Organization, in alignment with EU schedules to which we are bound whilst still a member of the European Union. …
We will create a network of Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioners to head nine new regional overseas posts. These commissioners will lead export promotion, investment and trade policy overseas. We will reconvene the Board of Trade with a membership specifically charged with ensuring that we increase exports from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England, and that trade policy is directly influenced by every part of our United Kingdom. …
Effective regulation
…we will continue to regulate more efficiently, saving £9 billion through the Red Tape Challenge and the One-In-Two-Out Rule.
… We will therefore examine ways in which the regulation of utilities and transport infrastructure can be improved to deliver a better deal for customers and sharper incentives for investment efficiency.

pp.16-18 NEW RULES FOR A CHANGING ECONOMY
Conservatives believe that if you value something, you must be prepared to reform it in order to conserve it.
Guaranteeing a decent wage
…now receive a minimum of £7.50 an hour. A new Conservative government will continue to increase the National Living Wage to 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020 and then by the rate of median earnings…
Rights and protections in the ‘gig’ economy
…the government commissioned Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts, to review the changing labour market. We await his final report but a new Conservative government will act to ensure that the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the self-employed and those people working in the ‘gig’ economy are all properly protected.
Stopping tax evasion
… We will improve HMRC’s capabilities to stamp down on smuggling, including by improving our policing of the border as we leave the European Union. We will also take further measures to reduce online fraud in Value Added Tax.
Protecting private pensions
… A Conservative government will act to tighten the rules against such abuse, and increase the punishment for those caught mismanaging pension schemes. We will build on existing powers to give pension schemes and the Pensions Regulator the right to scrutinise, clear with conditions or in extreme cases stop mergers, takeovers or large financial commitments that threaten the solvency of the scheme. …
Reforming rules on takeovers and mergers
… We shall also take action to protect our critical national infrastructure. We will ensure that foreign ownership of companies controlling important infrastructure does not undermine British security or essential services. We have already strengthened ministerial scrutiny and control in respect of civil nuclear power and will take a similarly robust approach across a limited range of other sectors, such as telecoms, defence and energy.
Fair corporate pay
… Senior corporate pay has risen far faster than corporate performance, and the gap between those paid most and those paid least has grown from 47:1 in 1998 to 128:1 in 2015.
The next Conservative government will legislate to make executive pay packages subject to strict annual votes by shareholders and listed companies will have to publish the ratio of executive pay to broader UK workforce pay. …
Better corporate governance
… To ensure employees’ interests are represented at board level, we will change the law to ensure that listed companies will be required either to nominate a director from the workforce, create a formal employee advisory council or assign specific responsibility for employee representation to a designated non-executive director. …

pp.18-24 A MODERN INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY
Our modern industrial strategy is designed to deliver a stronger economy that works for everyone – where wealth and opportunity are spread across every community in the United Kingdom, not just the most prosperous places in London and the south east.
… We will spend more on research and development, to turn brilliant discoveries into practical products and transform the world’s industries – such as the batteries that will power a new generation of clean, efficient, electric vehicles. … We will build on the success of world-beating sectors such as car and aero manufacturing, financial services, life sciences, digital technology and our creative industries… We will deliver the infrastructure – the road, rail, airports and broadband – that businesses need.
Increasing innovation
University investment funds
National Productivity Investment Fund
…a new £23 billion… This will include £740 million of digital infrastructure investment, the largest investment in railways since Victorian times, £1.1 billion to improve local transport and £250 million in skills by the end of 2020. …will take total spending on housing, economic infrastructure and R&D to £170 billion during the next parliament.
Future Britain funds
…backing British infrastructure and the British economy. We anticipate early funds being created out of revenues from shale gas extraction, dormant assets, and the receipts of sale of some public assets. …
The skills we need
… We will therefore ask the independent Migration Advisory Committee to make recommendations to the government about how the visa system can become better aligned with our modern industrial strategy. …
…we will double the Immigration Skills Charge levied on companies employing migrant workers, to £2,000 a year by the end of the parliament, using the revenue generated to invest in higher level skills training for workers in the UK.
Backing small businesses
The Conservative Party is the party of enterprise and of the entrepreneur. …
…we will ensure that 33 per cent of central government purchasing will come from SMEs by the end of the parliament. …
…we will use our buying power to ensure that big contractors comply with the Prompt Payment Code both on government contracts and in their work with others. …
Supporting industries to succeed
Our modern industrial strategy is not about ‘planning’ the economy. …
…advanced manufacturing, such as aero and automotive engineering…
Other industries, like the oil and gas sector, are transforming. The North Sea has provided more than £300 billion in tax revenue to the UK economy and supports thousands of highly-skilled jobs across Britain. …
… Life sciences, for example, employs 175,000 people and many of the world’s top medicines have been developed in the UK. We will continue to support research into the diagnosis and treatment of rare cancers and other diseases, including Genomics England’s work in decoding 100,000 genomes. …
Competitive and affordable energy costs
… Our ambition is that the UK should have the lowest energy costs in Europe, both for households and businesses. So as we upgrade our energy infrastructure…
A diverse energy mix
…while we do not believe that more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England, we will maintain our position as a global leader in offshore wind and support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland, where they will directly benefit local communities.
Natural gas from shale
We will set up a new Shale Environmental Regulator, which will assume the relevant functions of the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This will provide clear governance and accountability, become a source of expertise, and allow decisions to be made fairly but swiftly.
Finally, we will change the proposed Shale Wealth Fund so a greater percentage of the tax revenues from shale gas directly benefit the communities that host the extraction sites. …
Investing in transport
We are working through one of the largest-ever investment programmes in our roads and railways, putting some £40 billion into transport improvements…
…our programme of strategic national investments, including High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the expansion of Heathrow Airport…
… We want almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050 – and will invest £600 million by 2020 to help achieve it. …

pp.24-27 STRONGER COMMUNITIES FROM A STRONGER ECONOMY
Prosperous towns and cities across Britain
… We will hold a Great Exhibition of the North in 2018, to celebrate amazing achievements in innovation, the arts and engineering. We will support a UK city in making a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. And in this 70th Anniversary Year of the Edinburgh Festival we will support the development of the new Edinburgh Concert Hall, reaffirming Edinburgh as the UK’s leading festival city and a cultural beacon around the globe.
Our countryside communities
… We will help Natural England to expand their provision of technical expertise to farmers to deliver environmental improvements on a landscape scale, from enriching soil fertility to planting hedgerows and building dry stone walls. …
We will continue to take action to improve animal welfare. We will implement our proposed reforms on pet sales and licensing and will make CCTV recording in slaughterhouses mandatory. …
…decide the future of the Hunting Act.
…a comprehensive 25 Year Environment Plan…
Our coastal communities
… To provide complete legal certainty to our neighbours and clarity during our negotiations with the European Union, we will withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention…

2. A STRONG AND UNITED NATION IN A CHANGING WORLD pp.29-45
p.30 Summary
p.31 The United Kingdom is embarking upon another era in our centuries-old story.
pp.31-35 OUR PRECIOUS UNION
We are a United Kingdom, one nation made of four – the most successful political union in modern history.
England
Scotland
…the 2012 and 2016 Scotland Acts…
… The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union but some would disrupt our attempts to get the best deal for Scotland and the United Kingdom with calls for a divisive referendum that the people of Scotland do not want. We have been very clear that now is not the time for another referendum on independence. In order for a referendum to be fair, legal and decisive, it cannot take place until the Brexit process has played out and it should not take place unless there is public consent for it to happen. This is a time to pull together, not apart. …
… Building on the City and Growth deals we have signed across Scotland, we will bring forward a Borderlands Growth Deal, including all councils on both sides of the border, to help secure prosperity in southern Scotland. We will protect the interests of Scottish farmers and fishermen…
Wales
…The 2017 Wales Act…
… We will build on the Cardiff Capital region and Swansea Bay City region deals, and bring forward a North Wales Growth Deal… …such as linking economic development between Cardiff, Newport and Bristol. …
…S4C…the Welsh language…
Northern Ireland
…the 1998 Belfast Agreement…
A Conservative government will continue to work for the full implementation of the 2014 Stormont House and 2015 Fresh Start Agreements. This includes new bodies for addressing the legacy of the past in fair, balanced and proportionate ways which do not unfairly focus on former members of the Armed Forces and the Royal Ulster Constabulary. …
Shared institutions of Union
United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund

pp.35-37 LEAVING THE EUROPEAN UNION
… In her Lancaster House Speech, the prime minister laid out the twelve principles she intends to follow in seeking a new deep and special partnership with the European Union. We have explained our approach in the White Paper on the United Kingdom’s Exit from, and a new relationship with, the European Union, during the passage of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act, in the prime minister’s letter to the president of the European Council invoking Article 50, and in the Great Repeal Bill White Paper.
Repatriating EU law to the United Kingdom
…the rights of workers and protections given to consumers and the environment by EU law will continue to be available in UK law at the point at which we leave the EU. … Once EU law has been converted into domestic law, parliament will be able to pass legislation to amend, repeal or improve any piece of EU law it chooses, as will the devolved legislatures, where they have the power to do so.
… We will not bring the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law. We will not repeal or replace the Human Rights Act while the process of Brexit is underway but we will consider our human rights legal framework when the process of leaving the EU concludes. We will remain signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights for the duration of the next parliament.

pp.37-41 GLOBAL BRITAIN
… We will continue to champion British values around the globe: freedom, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law. …
British leadership in international institutions
Global partnerships and alliances
…our proposed deep and special partnership with the European Union… …our existing special relationship with the United States… …our close links with our Commonwealth allies…
A global champion of free trade
Promoting British culture around the world
Leading the world in development
…we will maintain the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our gross national income on assistance to developing nations and international emergencies.
Reforming asylum
… Wherever possible, the government will offer asylum and refuge to people in parts of the world affected by conflict and oppression, rather than to those who have made it to Britain. We will work to reduce asylum claims made in Britain and, as we do so, increase the number of people we help in the most troubled regions. We will continue to work with other countries in Europe, and the United Nations, to review the international legal definitions of asylum and refugee status. …
Protecting the global environment
…the Paris Agreement. We were the first country to introduce a Climate Change Act, which Conservatives helped to frame, and we are halfway towards meeting our 2050 goal of reducing emissions by eighty per cent from 1990 levels.
… We will work with our Overseas Territory governments to create a Blue Belt of marine protection in their precious waters, establishing the largest marine sanctuaries anywhere in the world.
Modern slavery
… As home secretary, Theresa May brought forward the Modern Slavery Act, the first of its kind in Europe, appointed the world’s first anti-slavery commissioner and set up the Modern Slavery Taskforce to bring together the heads of MI5, MI6 and the National Crime Agency to coordinate our response to criminal gangs operating across the world. …

pp.41-42 STRONG DEFENCE IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD
… We will retain the Trident continuous-at-sea nuclear deterrent to provide the ultimate guarantee of our security.
We have the biggest defence budget in Europe and the second largest in NATO. We will continue to meet the NATO commitment to spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence and we will increase the defence budget by at least 0.5 per cent above inflation in every year of the new parliament.
The finest servicemen and women
… Under a Conservative government, British troops will in future be subject to the Law of Armed Conflict, which includes the Geneva Convention and UK Service Law, not the European Court of Human Rights. We will strengthen legal services regulation and restrict legal aid for unscrupulous law firms that issue vexatious legal claims against the armed forces. …
The best equipment for our armed forces
We plan to invest £178 billion in new military equipment over the next decade, creating high-skilled jobs across the whole country. For the first time in a generation the Royal Navy is growing. …
…HMS Queen Elizabeth…HMS Prince of Wales… Alongside our new Type 45 destroyers, we will build eight Type 26 anti-submarine frigates… We shall also deliver five Offshore Patrol Vessels.
For the Army we will deliver AJAX armoured vehicles, Apache attack helicopters, new drones, new missile and bomb systems, and better equipment for the Special Forces. The Royal Air Force will receive, with the Fleet Air Arm, the Lightning II strike fighter, as well as new Maritime Patrol Aircraft. …
Supporting our veterans
…the Armed Forces Covenant. …a one year holiday on Employer National Insurance Contributions… …a Veterans Board in the Cabinet Office.

pp.42-45 THE HOME OF DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW
…collective faith in our democratic institutions and our justice system has declined in the past two decades. …
A flourishing and secure democracy
… We will continue with the current boundary review, enshrining the principle of equal seats, while reducing the number of MPs to 600, similar to other Western democratic chambers. We will retain the first past the post system of voting for parliamentary elections and extend this system to police and crime commissioner and mayoral elections. We will retain the current franchise to vote in parliamentary elections at eighteen. We will repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. …
Celebrating public service
… We will continue to fund schemes to get graduates from Britain’s leading universities to serve in schools, police forces, prisons, and social care and mental health organisations. These programmes are now some of the UK’s largest graduate employers, taking the brightest and best from our universities and using their talents to tackle entrenched social problems. …
Reforming the justice system
Standing up for victims
…the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme…
Strengthening the police and security services
… We will create a national infrastructure police force, bringing together the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the Ministry of Defence Police and the British Transport Police to improve the protection of critical infrastructure such as nuclear sites, railways and the strategic road network. We will strengthen Britain’s response to white collar crime by incorporating the Serious Fraud Office into the National Crime Agency… …the National Cyber Security Centre…
Punishment and reform
… The £15 billion annual cost to society of reoffending shows we have so much more to do to make the penal system work better. …
We will invest over £1 billion to modernise the prison estate, replacing the most dilapidated prisons and creating 10,000 modern prison places. …

3. THE WORLD’S GREAT MERITOCRACY pp.47-60
p.48 Summary
pp.49-54 A COUNTRY FOUNDED ON MERIT
The greatest injustice in Britain today is that your life is still largely determined not by your efforts and talents but by where you come from, who your parents are and what schools you attend. This is wrong. …
More good school places
… There are still 1 million children in primary and secondary schools rated by Ofsted as ’requires improvement’ or ’inadequate’. If schools across the Midlands and north of England had the same average standards as those in the south, nearly 200,000 more children would be attending good schools. …
… We will replace the unfair and ineffective inclusivity rules that prevent the establishment of new Roman Catholic schools, instead requiring new faith schools to prove that parents of other faiths and none would be prepared to send their children to that school. We will work with the Independent Schools Council to ensure that at least 100 leading independent schools become involved in academy sponsorship or the founding of free schools in the state system…
A knowledge-rich curriculum
… To maintain progress as children go through secondary school, we will improve schools’ accountability at key stage 3. We will expect 75 per cent of pupils to have been entered for the EBacc combination of GCSEs by the end of the next parliament, with 90 per cent of pupils studying this combination of academic GCSEs by 2025. …
Supporting teachers
… We will increase the overall schools budget by £4 billion by 2022, representing more than a real terms increase for every year of the parliament. We will continue to protect the Pupil Premium to support those who need it. …
World-class technical education
… We have already introduced high quality apprenticeships that can reach to degree level and beyond for the 200,000 young people who choose to enter full-time vocational study after their GCSEs each year. …
We will start by replacing 13,000 existing technical qualifications with new qualifications, known as T-levels, across fifteen routes in subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science. We will increase the number of teaching hours by fifty per cent to an average of 900 hours per year and make sure that each student does a three-month work placement as part of their course. …
… We will deliver our commitment to create 3 million apprenticeships for young people by 2020 and in doing so we will drive up the quality of apprenticeships to ensure they deliver the skills employers need. …
Career learning
More people in work
…we will offer a holiday on their employers’ National Insurance Contributions for a full year. …

pp.54-55 A COUNTRY THAT COMES TOGETHER
Controlling immigration
…with annual net migration standing at 273,000, immigration to Britain is still too high. …
Integrating divided communities
…help women in particular into the workplace, and teach more people to speak English. …
Defeating extremism
a Commission for Countering Extremism

pp.55-58 CONFRONTING BURNING INJUSTICES
To make Britain the world’s Great Meritocracy…we must look beyond divisions in educational opportunity.
The gender pay gap
… We will require companies with more than 250 employees to publish more data on the pay gap between men and women. …
The race gap
The mental health gap
…since 2010 we have increased spending on mental health each year to a record £11.4 billion in 2016/17, with a further investment of £1 billion by 20/21…
The disability gap
…the landmark Disability Discrimination Act of 1995. …
Preventing domestic violence
Reducing homelessness
…full implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act. Our aim will be to halve rough sleeping over the course of the parliament and eliminate it altogether by 2027. …

pp.59-60 CUTTING THE COST OF LIVING
Fair markets for consumers
… As Conservatives, we believe in markets as the best means to bring about prosperity and innovation, but we should act firmly and fast when a market works against the interests of consumers. Since 2010, we have capped the cost of credit for expensive payday lenders and will shortly ban letting agent fees. …
… We will strengthen the powers of consumer enforcement bodies to order fines against companies breaking consumer law and deliver redress for wronged parties. … We will strengthen the hand of online consumers. …
… A Conservative government will reform and modernise the home-buying process so it is more efficient and less costly. We will crack down on unfair practices in leasehold, such as escalating ground rents. We will also improve protections for those who rent… We will make billing for telecoms customers fairer and easier to understand… We will reduce insurance costs for ordinary motorists by cracking down on exaggerated and fraudulent whiplash claims. …
Fair energy markets
… First, we will ensure that smart meters will be offered to every household and business by the end of 2020…
… We will introduce a safeguard tariff cap that will extend the price protection…
… We will improve the energy efficiency of existing homes, especially for the least well off, by committing to upgrading all fuel poor homes to EPC Band C by 2030. …
Fair debt
…a “Breathing Space” scheme…

4. A RESTORED CONTRACT BETWEEN THE GENERATIONS pp.61-73
p.62 Summary
pp.63-64 DEALING WITH THE DEFICIT
… Conservatives believe in balancing the books and paying down debts – because it is wrong to pass to future generations a bill you cannot or will not pay yourself. …

pp.64-66 AN AGEING SOCIETY
Guaranteed annual increases in the state pension
A decade ago, pensions were in crisis and poverty blighted the retirement of many older people. It was wrong and it has been a Conservative government that has helped to put it right. By introducing the Pensions Triple Lock and the new State Pension, we have lifted the incomes of millions of older people, reducing pensioner poverty to historically low levels. …2020, and when it expires we will introduce a new Double Lock, meaning that pensions will rise in line with the earnings that pay for them, or in line with inflation – whichever is highest. …
… We will promote long-term savings and pensions products, including the Lifetime ISA, to encourage and incentivise more people to make provision for long-term needs, including a house purchase and retirement.
A long-term plan for elderly care
… We have already taken immediate action, putting £2 billion into the social care system and allowing councils to raise more money for care themselves from Council Tax. …
Under the current system, care costs deplete an individual’s assets, including in some cases the family home, down to £23,250 or even less.
First, we will align the future basis for means-testing for domiciliary care with that for residential care, so that people are looked after in the place that is best for them. This will mean that the value of the family home will be taken into account along with other assets and income, whether care is provided at home, or in a residential or nursing care home.
Second, to ensure this is fair, we will introduce a single capital floor, set at £100,000, more than four times the current means test threshold. This will ensure that, no matter how large the cost of care turns out to be, people will always retain at least £100,000 of their savings and assets, including value in the family home.
Third, we will extend the current freedom to defer payments for residential care to those receiving care at home, so no-one will have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care.
the Dilnot Report
…our forthcoming green paper will also address system-wide issues to improve the quality of care and reduce variation in practice. This will ensure the care system works better with the NHS to reduce unnecessary and unhealthy hospital stays and delayed transfers of care, and provide better quality assurance within the care sector. …
…we will meanstest Winter Fuel Payments, focusing assistance on the least well-off pensioners, who are most at risk of fuel poverty. …

pp.66-70 OUR NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE
The money and people the NHS needs
First, we will increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the next five years…
Second… Last year we announced an increase in the number of students in medical training of 1,500 a year…
Third, we will ensure that the NHS has the buildings and technology it needs to deliver care properly and efficiently. …
Fourth…we will recover the cost of medical treatment from people not resident in the UK. … And we will increase the Immigration Health Surcharge, to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students…
Fifth, we will implement the recommendations of the Accelerated Access Review to make sure that patients get new drugs and treatments faster…
Holding NHS leaders to account
…NHS England… …the Five Year Forward View. … We will also back the implementation of the plan at a local level, through the Sustainability and Transformation Plans…
…in time for the start of the 2018 financial year, we will make non-legislative changes to remove barriers to the integration of care.
We will introduce a new GP contract to help develop wider primary care services. …
We will also help the million and more NHS clinicians and support staff develop the skills they need…
Exceptional standards of care, wherever, whenever
…we will make clinical outcomes more transparent so that clinicians and frontline staff can learn more easily from the best units and practices, and where there is clear evidence of poor patient outcomes, we will take rapid corrective action. …
…we will give patients, via digital means or over the phone, the ability to book appointments, contact the 111 service, order repeat prescriptions, and access and update aspects of their care records, as well as control how their personal data is used. …
…waiting times data for A&Es… …our National Diabetes Prevention Programme…
… Already 17 million people can get routine weekend or evening appointments at either their own GP surgery or one nearby, and this will expand to the whole population by 2019. …
We will retain the 95 per cent A&E target and the 18-week elective care standard…
… We will extend the scope of the CQC to cover the health-related services commissioned by local authorities. …
In cancer services, we will deliver the new promise to give patients a definitive diagnosis within 28 days by 2020…

pp.70-72 HOMES FOR ALL
… We will meet our 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020 and we will deliver half a million more by the end of 2022. We will deliver the reforms proposed in our Housing White Paper to free up more land for new homes in the right places…
…maintaining the existing strong protections on designated land like the Green Belt, National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. …government building 160,000 houses on its own land. …
We will enter into new Council Housing Deals with ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing. …
…sold privately after ten to fifteen years with an automatic Right to Buy for tenants… We will enter into new Council Housing Deals with ambitious, pro-development, local authorities to help them build more social housing. …
…we will continue our £2.5 billion flood defence programme that will put in place protection for 300,000 existing homes by 2021.

pp.72-73 CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
High-quality childcare
…a Conservative government will introduce, this year, thirty hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds for working parents who find it difficult to manage the costs of childcare… …we will immediately institute a capital fund to help primary schools develop nurseries where they currently do not have the facilities to provide one…
Children’s and young people’s health
… We are seeing progress: smoking rates are now lower than France or Germany, drinking rates have fallen below the European average and teenage pregnancies are at record lows. …
… Half of all mental health conditions become established in people before the age of fourteen. … A Conservative
government will publish a green paper on young people’s mental health before the end of this year. …
Protecting vulnerable children and families
… Placing a child under the oversight of social services and taking a child into care are amongst the most serious duties the state may discharge. We will demand all local authorities be commissioners of the highest-quality family support and child protection services, removing these responsibilities from the weakest councils and placing them in trust. We will ensure that councils provide consistency of care and cannot relocate vulnerable children far from their home when it is not in their best interests to do so. We will review support for Children in Need to understand why their outcomes are so poor and what more support they might require, in and out of school.
Finally, we shall explore ways to improve the family justice system. The family courts need to do more to support families, valuing the roles of mothers and fathers, while ensuring parents face up to their responsibilities.

5. PROSPERITY AND SECURITY IN A DIGITAL AGE pp.75-83
p.76 Summary
p.77 … These new technologies provide us with new and faster ways to communicate, learn, travel, have fun and do business. They accelerate the pace of change – ushering in new norms in the space of years rather than decades; challenging our laws and regulations to keep pace.
pp.77-80 A DIGITAL CHARTER
The best place for digital business
…our world-leading Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme… …open new offices of the British Business Bank in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newport… When we leave the European Union, we will fund the British Business Bank with the repatriated funds from the European Investment Fund.
… By the end of this year, 19 out of 20 premises will have access to superfast broadband and our Universal Service Obligation will ensure that by 2020 every home and every business in Britain has access to high speed broadband. … We will introduce a full fibre connection voucher for companies across the country by 2018 and by 2022 we will have major fibre spines in over a hundred towns and cities, with ten million premises connected to full fibre…
… By 2022 we will extend mobile coverage further to 95 per cent geographic coverage of the UK. By the same date, all major roads and main line trains will enjoy full and uninterrupted mobile phone signal, alongside guaranteed WiFi internet service on all such trains. …
The safest place to be online
… We will put a responsibility on industry not to direct users – even unintentionally – to hate speech, pornography, or other sources of harm. …
… To create a sound ethical framework for how data is used, we will institute an expert Data Use and Ethics Commission…
…we will bring forward a new data protection law…to ensure the very best standards for the safe, flexible and dynamic use of data and enshrining our global leadership…the National Data Guardian for Health and Social Care on a statutory footing…
We will continue with our £1.9 billion investment in cyber security and build on the successful establishment of the National Cyber Security Centre…
A free media
…the Leveson Inquiry… We will repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2014…

pp.80-82 DIGITAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SERVICES
… We will therefore create a new presumption of digital government services by default and an expectation that all government services are fully accessible online, with assisted digital support available for all public sector websites. …local issues and public transport…roadworks, planning applications and bus routes… …’schools maps’…
…central and local government will be required to release information regularly and in an open format, and data will be aggregated and anonymised where it is important to do so. We will incubate more digital services within government and introduce digital transformation fellowships…
…we shall roll out Verify, so that people can identify themselves on all government online services by 2020, using their own secure data that is not held by government. … …the ’Once-Only’ principle in central government services by 2022 and wider public services by 2025. …
Digital infrastructure
… We are leading the world in preparing for autonomous vehicles and will press ahead with our plans to use digital technology to improve our railways… Smart grids will make the most efficient use of our electricity infrastructure and electric vehicles, and we will use technology to manage our airspace better to reduce noise pollution and improve capacity. …
Digital land
…the property development industry… …we will combine the relevant parts of HM Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, the Valuation Office Agency, the Hydrographic Office and Geological Survey to create a comprehensive geospatial data body within government…

pp.82-83 A FRAMEWORK FOR DATA AND THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree. …
An international settlement
…a framework for data ethics…

CONCLUSION p.84


UK Vol.86 (Post-EUref #Brexit Vol.15: 2017 General Election – Labour Party Manifesto)

Here is THE LABOUR PARTY MANIFESTO 2017 in May 2017. Excerpts are on our own.

FOREWORD
… Every election is a choice. What makes this election different is that the choice is starker than ever before. …
Britain is the fifth richest country in the world. But that means little when many people don’t share in that wealth. Many feel the system is rigged against them. …
Britain needs to negotiate a Brexit deal that puts our economy and living standards first. That won’t be achieved by empty slogans and posturing. We cannot put at risk our links with our largest trading partner. Instead we need a jobs-first Brexit that allows us to upgrade our economy for the 21st century.
Labour will invest in the cutting-edge jobs and industries of the future that can improve everybody’s lives. Which is why this manifesto outlines a fully costed programme to upgrade our economy. …
…this election is about what sort of country we want to be after Brexit. …
So let’s build a fairer Britain where no one is held back. A country where everybody is able to get on in life, to have security at work and at home, to be decently paid for the work they do, and to live their lives with the dignity they deserve. …

CREATING AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR ALL
CREATING AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR ALL
… Labour understands that the creation of wealth is a collective endeavour between workers, entrepreneurs, investors and government. Each contributes and each must share fairly in the rewards.
… Britain is the only major developed economy where earnings have fallen even as growth has returned after the financial crisis. Most working people in Britain today are earning less, after inflation, than they did ten years ago. …
… Our National Transformation Fund will deliver the investment that every part of Britain needs to meet its potential, overcoming years of neglect. …
…our Fiscal Credibility Rule…
A FAIR TAXATION SYSTEM
…our Tax Transparency and Enforcement Programme…
But we will not ask ordinary households to pay more. A Labour government will guarantee no rises in income tax for those earning below £80,000 a year, and no increases in personal National Insurance Contributions or the rate of VAT. …
BALANCING THE BOOKS
… Our Fiscal Credibility Rule is based on the simple principle that government should not be borrowing for day-to-day spending, but that future growth depends on investment. …
…a strengthened and truly independent Office for Budget Responsibility… the Kerslake Review of the Treasury.
INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT
… We will take advantage of near- record low interest rates to create a National Transformation Fund that will invest £250 billion over ten years in upgrading our economy. …
A Labour government will complete the HS2 high-speed rail line from London through Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester, and then into Scotland, consulting with (and, where necessary, compensating) communities. We will link HS2 with other rail investments, such as Crossrail of the North (tying together our great northern cities) and on to the Durham Freight Centre. We will build a new Brighton Main Line for the South East.
In London, to ensure our capital continues to prosper, we will build Crossrail 2.
To harness the economic potential of new technologies and science, we will complete the Science Vale transport arc, from Oxford to Cambridge through Milton Keynes.
… We will improve 4G coverage and invest to ensure all urban areas, as well as major roads and railways, have uninterrupted 5G coverage. On day one we will instruct the National Infrastructure Commission to report on how to roll out ‘ultrafast’ (300Mbps) across the UK within the next decade.
UPGRADING OUR ECONOMY: LABOUR’S INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY
… The first missions set by a Labour government will be to:
1. ensure that 60 per cent of the UK’s energy comes from zero-carbon or renewable sources by 2030
2. create an innovation nation with the highest proportion of high- skilled jobs in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development by 2030. We will meet the OECD target of 3 per cent of GDP spent on research and development by 2030.
In order to create a fertile ground for businesses to achieve these missions Labour will take action across the areas we know are necessary for business and industry to grow:
• Skills – by creating a National Education Service for England.
• Infrastructure – by investing £250 billion over the next ten years.
• UK supply chains – by targeting government support where there are gaps.
• Trade – by negotiating a new deal with Europe that puts jobs and the economy first.
• Procurement – by requiring the best standards on government contracts.
• Research and development – by committing extra research investment.
• Energy costs and security – by capping costs and investing in new publicly owned energy provision.
…the highly successful Automotive Council… …a Digital Ambassador…
TRANSFORMING OUR FINANCIAL SYSTEM
… Following the successful example of Germany and the Nordic countries, we will establish a National Investment Bank that will bring in private capital finance to deliver £250 billion of lending power.
… We will take a new approach to the publicly-owned RBS, and launch a consultation on breaking up the bank to create new local public banks that are better matched to their customers’ needs. And we will extend existing Stamp Duty Reserve Tax to cover a wider range of assets, ensuring that the public gets a fairer share of financial system profits. …
A NEW DEAL FOR BUSINESS
… Labour will amend the takeover regime to ensure that businesses identified as being ‘systemically important’ have a clear plan in place to protect workers and pensioners when a company is taken over. Labour will also legislate to reduce pay inequality by introducing an Excessive Pay Levy on companies with staff on very high pay.
… In order to provide the support many small businesses need, a Labour government will:
• Mandate the new National Investment Bank, and regional development banks in every region, to identify where other lenders fail to meet the needs of SMEs and prioritise lending to improve the funding gap.
• Introduce a package of reforms to business rates – including switching from RPI to CPI indexation, exempting new investment in plant and machinery from valuations…
• Scrap quarterly reporting for businesses with a turnover of under £85,000.
• Developing a version of the Australian system of binding arbitration and fines for persistent late-payers for the private and public sectors.
WIDENING OWNERSHIP OF OUR ECONOMY
…water bills have increased 40 per cent since privatisation, and our private energy providers overcharged customers by £2 billion in 2015. …Royal Mail has increased stamp and parcel charges, and failed to meet its customer service obligations, while its owners trade shares at significant profit.
SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
… One in ten households are in fuel poverty, yet the Competition Markets Authority found customers are overcharged an enormous £2 billion every year.
… Homeowners will be offered interest- free loans to improve their property. For renters, Labour will improve on existing Landlord Energy Efficiency regulations and re-establish the Landlord Energy Saving Allowance to encourage the uptake of efficiency measures.
… We will support further nuclear projects and protect nuclear workers’ jobs and pensions. There are considerable opportunities for nuclear power and decommissioning both internationally and domestically.

NEGOTIATING BREXIT
NEGOTIATING BREXIT
We will end Theresa May’s reckless approach to Brexit, and seek to unite the country around a Brexit deal that works for every community in Britain.
We will scrap the Conservatives’ Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union – which are essential for maintaining industries, jobs and businesses in Britain. Labour will always put jobs and the economy first.
A Labour government will immediately guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain and secure reciprocal rights for UK citizens who have chosen to make their lives in EU countries. …
It is shameful that the Prime Minister rejected repeated attempts by Labour to resolve this issue before Article 50 was triggered. …
Labour recognises that leaving the EU with ‘no deal’ is the worst possible deal for Britain and that it would do damage to our economy and trade. …
…Horizon 2020… …Euratom and the European Medicines Agency… …the Erasmus scheme…
The EU has had a huge impact in securing workplace protections and environmental safeguards. But we all know that for many Brexiteers in the Tory Party, this was why they wanted to Leave – to tear up regulations and weaken hard-fought rights and protections.
… Eurojust and Europol… …European Arrest Warrants…
… In particular Labour will ensure there is no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and that there is no change in the status or sovereignty of Gibraltar. …
IMMIGRATION
…the Forced Marriage Unit…
… Our National Education Service…
For areas where immigration has placed a strain on public services we will reinstate the Migrant Impact Fund and boost it with a contributory element from the investments required for High Net Worth Individual Visas. …
INTERNATIONAL TRADE
… Labour will set out our priorities in an International Trade White Paper to lead a national debate on the future of Britain’s trade policy. …
The EU accounts for 44 per cent of our current exports and will continue to be a priority trading partner.
… We will develop an export incentive scheme for SMEs based on international best practice, and we will ring-fence Tradeshow Access Programme grants to help SMEs reach new customers around the world.
…we will actively support international negotiations towards an Environmental Goods Agreement at the WTO. …

TOWARDS A NATIONAL EDUCATION SERVICE
TOWARDS A NATIONAL EDUCATION SERVICE
…Labour will create a unified National Education Service (NES)…
SKILLS
…English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses. …
HIGHER EDUCATION

A FAIR DEAL AT WORK
A FAIR DEAL AT WORK
RIGHTS AT WORK
SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS

SOCIAL SECURITY
SOCIAL SECURITY DIGNITY FOR PENSIONERS
… As the Conservatives abandon their commitments to older people, Labour will guarantee the state pension ‘triple lock’ throughout the next Parliament. It will rise by at least 2.5 per cent a year or be increased to keep pace with inflation or earnings, whichever is higher.
… The pension age is due to rise to 66 by the end of 2020. Labour rejects the Conservatives’ proposal to increase the state pension age even further. …
DIGNITY FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT WORK

SECURE HOMES FOR ALL
SECURE HOMES FOR ALL
… Labour will establish a new Department for Housing to focus on tackling the crisis… We will overhaul the Homes and Communities Agency to be Labour’s housing delivery body, and give councils new powers to build the homes local communities need.
…our National Transformation Fund…
HOME OWNERSHIP
… We will guarantee Help to Buy funding until 2027 to give long-term certainty to both first-time buyers and the housebuilding industry. …
PRIVATE RENTERS
… We will also empower tenants to call time on bad landlords by giving renters new consumer rights. Renters are spending £9.6 billion a year on homes that the government classes as ‘non-decent’. Around a quarter of this is paid by housing benefit. A Labour government would introduce new legal minimum standards to ensure properties are ‘fit for human habitation’ and empower tenants to take action if their rented homes are sub-standard. …
COUNCIL AND SOCIAL TENANTS
HOMELESSNESS
…starting by making available 4,000 additional homes reserved for people with a history of rough sleeping. …

HEALTHCARE FOR ALL
NHS
… We will guarantee that patients can be seen in A&E within four hours. By properly resourcing the NHS, Labour will stop the routine breach of safe levels of bed occupancy, and we will end mixed-sex wards. We will deliver the Cancer Strategy for England in full by 2020, helping 2.5 million people living with cancer. And, by properly resourcing ambulance services, we will end the scandal of slowing ambulance-response times. …
… We will increase funding to GP services to ensure patients can access the care they need. And we will halt pharmacy cuts and review provision to ensure all patients have access to pharmacy services, particularly in deprived or remote communities.
…PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis)…
Public health
… Labour will implement the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, commonly known as the ‘sugar tax’.
…a Tobacco Control Plan…
NHS Staff
NHS Funding
…we will introduce a new Office for Budget Responsibility for Health to oversee health spending and scrutinise how it is spent.
Labour will halt and review the NHS ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’, which are looking at closing health services across England, and ask local people to participate in the redrawing of plans with a focus on patient need rather than available finances. We will create a new quality, safety and excellence regulator – to be called ‘NHS Excellence’. …
TOWARDS A NATIONAL CARE SERVICE
…one in ten people reaching the age of 65 have faced lifetime care costs of over £100,000…
… Around 1.2 million older people have care needs that are going unmet. …
…Labour will lay the foundations of a National Care Service for England.
… We will increase the social care budgets by a further £8 billion over the lifetime of the next Parliament, including an additional £1 billion for the first year. This will be enough for providers to pay a real living wage without cutting the quality of care they provide. It will allow implementation of the principles of the Ethical Care Charter, already adopted in 28 council areas, ending 15-minute care visits…
MENTAL HEALTH
…the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)…

SAFER COMMUNITIES
POLICE AND CRIME
… We will establish a National Refuge Fund and…
Security and counter-terrorism
BORDER SECURITY
FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES
JUSTICE
PRISONS AND PROBATION SERVICE

LEADING RICHER LIVES
LOCAL COMMUNITIES
… Labour will end the closure of Crown Post Office branches, which play a major role in serving their communities. We will also set up a commission to establish a Post Bank, owned by the Post Office and providing a full range of banking services in every community. …
Labour will support tourism at the heart of government. The tourism industry represents 9.6 per cent of UK employment, 4.9 per cent of export and 9 per cent of GDP, but its importance is too often forgotten. …
The Conservatives have failed to provide a clear, ambitious or sustainable vision for the future of the farming, food and fishing industries.
We will expand the role of the Groceries Code Adjudicator to ensure suppliers and consumers get a fair deal. …
TRANSPORT
… We will introduce a Public Ownership of the Railways Bill to repeal the Railways Act 1993 under which the Conservatives privatised our railways. …
A Labour government will complete the HS2 high-speed rail line from London through Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester… (see the above INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT of CREATING AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR ALL)
We will continue to upgrade our highways and improve roadworks at known bottlenecks. The A1 North, the Severn Bridge and the A30 provide essential connections and require our urgent consideration. We will work with the Welsh Government to scrap the tolls on the Severn Bridge. …
ENVIRONMENT
ANIMAL WELFARE
CULTURE FOR ALL
We will introduce a £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund to upgrade our existing cultural and creative infrastructure to be ready for the digital age and invest in creative clusters across the country, based on a similar model to enterprise zones. Administered by the Arts Council, the fund will be available over a five-year period. It will be among the biggest arts infrastructure funds ever, transforming the country’s cultural landscape. …
We recognise the serious concern about the ‘value gap’ between producers of creative content and the digital services that profit from its use, and we will work with all sides to review the way that innovators and artists are rewarded for their work in the digital age.
MEDIA
… Labour will hold a national review local media and into the ownership of national media to ensure plurality.
To protect democracy and media freedom, we will take steps to ensure that Ofcom is better able to safeguard a healthy plurality of media ownership…
SPORT
… Labour will ensure the Premier League delivers on its promise to invest 5 per cent of its television rights income into the grassroots game to help the next generation of players and coaches…

EXTENDING DEMOCRACY
EXTENDING DEMOCRACY
… We will reduce the voting age to 16. At 16, you are eligible to pay tax, get married or even join the army. You deserve a vote. …
ENGLAND
… Labour will create a role for a Minister for England, who will sit under the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government…
SCOTLAND
… We will establish a Scottish Investment Bank, with £20 billion of funds available to local projects and…
WALES
… We will build on the Development Bank of Wales using more than £10 billion from Labour’s new National Investment Bank. …
NORTHERN IRELAND
…the Good Friday Agreement…

A MORE EQUAL SOCIETY
WOMEN
… Unlawful maternity and pregnancy discrimination is now more common in Britain’s workplaces than ever before, with 54,000 pregnant women and new mothers forced out of their jobs in 2015. …
LGBT EQUALITY
A Labour government will reform the Gender Recognition Act and the Equality Act 2010…
DIVERSE COMMUNITIES
… Black and Asian workers still suffer a massive pay gap. By introducing equal pay audit requirements on large employers, Labour will close this pay gap. …
…the Parker Review recommendations…
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
… Currently 4.2 million People with disabilities live in poverty in Britain, and the disability employment gap remains stubbornly high. …

A GLOBAL BRITAIN
A GLOBAL BRITAIN
Unlike the Conservatives, Labour believes Britain’s foreign policy should be guided by the values of peace, universal rights and international law. Today, these values are being tested. As we leave the European Union, keeping Britain global is one of our country’s most urgent tasks. …
DIPLOMACY
… Labour is strongly committed to reducing human suffering caused by war. We will publish a strategy for protecting civilians in conflict, setting out detailed plans for work on conflict prevention and resolution, post- conflict peacebuilding, and justice for the victims of war crimes. Labour has created a Minister for Peace and Disarmament to lead this work.
…we also acknowledge its shortcomings, particularly in light of repeated abuses of the veto power by some permanent members of the UN Security Council. We will work with our international partners to build support for UN reform and make its institutions more effective and responsive. …
DEFENCE
… Cyber security will form an integral part of our defence and security strategy and we will introduce a cyber-security charter for companies working with the Ministry of Defence.
… The scrapping of Nimrod, HMS Ark Royal and the Harrier jump-jets have weakened our defences and cost British taxpayers millions.
Labour’s commitment to spending at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence will guarantee that our Armed Forces have the necessary capabilities…
… Labour will publish a Defence Industrial Strategy White Paper, including a National Shipbuilding Strategy to secure a long-term future for the industry, workers and UK defence.
…the Forces Help to Buy scheme…
…the Armed Forces Covenant…
…a Homes Fit for Heroes programme…
DEVELOPMENT
…the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)…
… Africa’s economies alone lose more than £46 billion annually through corruption and tax evasion – more than 10 times what they receive in aid. …
… We would reinstate the Civil Society Challenge Fund to support trade unions, women’s associations and other civil society organisations which are the most effective forces in winning human rights and workers’ rights.
… We will establish a Centre for Universal Health Coverage, providing global partnerships, support and encouragement to countries that want UHC…

Additional Resources
LABOUR’S FISCAL CREDIBILITY RULE (PDF)
ALTERNATIVE MODELS OF OWNERSHIP (PDF)


Central Asia Vol.3

Uzbekistan

cf. Uzbekistan country profile (12/14/2016) | @BBC   Uzbekistan: Economy | @ADB_HQ   Uzbekistan | @StateDept   Uzbekistan | Observatory of Economic Complexity @MIT   Trains in Uzbekistan    UZBEKISTAN AND KAZAKHSTAN: A TALE OF TWO TRANSITION PATHS? (PDF; 2004) | Asad Alam and Arup Banerji @WorldBank   Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan Deploy Troops In Dispute Over Border Mountain (3/23/2016) | @pragpete @RFERL   Public health risk assessment and interventions – Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan (PDF; June 2010) | @WHO   Uzbekistan & Kyrgyzstan map (PDF) | @FAO   Uzbekistan, Tajikistan Flights Loom, And Prices Soar (2/1/2017) | Kamila Ibragimova @EurasiaNet   Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan | @WWF   Uzbekistan’s View of Security in Afghanistan After 2014 (PDF) | Matthew Stein @ Foreign Military Studies Office   Uzbek Railways awarded new Afghan operations and maintenance contract (3/22/2015) | @andrew_grantham   Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran Combined Tour 23 days | @NasrinInfo

(Excerpts are on our own.)

Brothers Again: Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan – Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana. (3/24/2017) | Catherine Putz @Diplomat_APAC   … Nazarbayev, a long-time proponent of regional integration initiatives, never quite found a receptive partner in Uzbekistan’s first president, Islam Karimov. … Nazarbayev said that the two leaders would sign 75 contracts worth nearly $1 billion at a Kazakh-Uzbek business forum on March 23. … Uzbekistan has the population advantage, with more than 30 million to Kazakhstan’s 17 million; but Kazakhstan has had the economic advantage with a GDP of $184.4 billion in 2015, to Uzbekistan’s $66.7 billion. …

Dammed or Damned: Tajikistan and Uzbekistan Wrestle Over Water-Energy Nexus (4/2/2013) | Shavkat Kasymov @WorldPolicy   … Tajikistan consumes an average of 39,000 barrels a day, mostly from Uzbekistan… A main point of contention is a controversial hydroelectric project, the Rogun Dam, in the works since the 1960s. The project has been advertised by Tajik leaders as a path to energy and economic independence, but Uzbeks claim it will stop their share of the flow of the Vakhsh River, a resource that is crucial to its cotton monocrop economy. … The bulk of it is consumed by the Tadaz aluminum plant, a major source of revenues for the state budget. …

Afghanistan, Uzbekistan Trade Relations Strengthened (1/3/2017) | @TOLOnews   … “When we import goods from Pakistan, it takes nineteen days, but when we import from Uzbekistan, it takes nine days,” said Rasa. …construction materials will be imported from Uzbekistan and that Uzbek companies will invest in road construction, bridges and railways in the country. …

Uzbekistan, key to Afghan war drawdown, to ban foreign military bases (8/30/2012) | Abdujalil Abdurasulov @csmonitor   … When Pakistan closed the main NATO supply route in November, the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), a route that relies on Uzbekistan, took up the slack – about 75 percent of all non-lethal cargo was shipped through the NDN supply route mostly via Uzbekistan. … Uzbekistan is trying to send a message to Russia and its neighbors that Tashkent is not going to make a U-turn and host US bases on its territory. … Tashkent-based political analyst Farkhod Tolipov says Uzbekistan’s ban is in an effort to prevent militarization in the region. “Any new base will only lead to a geopolitical competition.” …

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan: Staying Away (PDF) | S. Frederick Starr @SilkRoadStudies   … Uzbekistan has the region’s largest military force and Turkmenistan one of the smallest. And Uzbekistan inherited from Soviet times the largest establishment of heavy industry, while Turkmenistan began with the smallest. … No sooner did the Uzbeks arrive in Central Asia in the thirteenth century than they began settling in the region’s ancient cities, with their capital at Bukhara. … In gestures directed against what they openly call Russian colonialism, both Latinized their alphabets (the only states in the region to do so) and have marginalized the Russian language. … With respect to Turkmenistan, it can push Iran to seize the initiative in supplying Pakistan and India with gas; create access problems at Turkmenistan’s expanded Black Sea port of Turkmenbashi… Russia can easily invent and apply other restrictions to prevent Uzbek goods such as fruits and vegetables from entering its market. Considering that Russian-Uzbek bilateral trade reached $7 billion in 2013… Russia has already begun to play the “water and electricity card” against both Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. …Kambarata hydropower plant and effectively controls the Toktogul reservoir and power plant, both in Kyrgyzstan. …democratization and human rights. … Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are the main bellwethers for stability and instability in Central Asia as a whole. …they value their trade with Russia, which for each country is valued at approximately $7 billion per annum. …unclear whether Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, too, will be drawn into the Eurasian Economic Union, remain outliers constantly under pressure from Moscow, or become beacons of sovereignty, self-determination, coordination and cooperation in the region…


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.5

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs which include free papers, reports, podcasts, video, et al.


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.4

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs from late December to mid November 2016 which include free papers, reports, podcasts, video, et al.


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.3

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs from late January 2017 to late December 2016 which include free papers, reports, podcast, et al.


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.2

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ RTs from February to late January 2017 which include free papers, reports, podcast, et al.


Free papers, reports, et al. Vol.1

Here are @_WorldSolutions’ recent RTs which include free PDFs of papers, reports, et al.


UK Vol.81 (Post-EUref #Brexit Vol.14 – Theresa May calls for a General Election to be held on June 8th)

Here are articles on UK PM May’s seeking a snap general election. Excerpts are on our own.

Tories can win 100-seat majority, analysis from poll of polls suggests (w Videos & Maps; 18/4/2017) | @benrileysmith @Telegraph
… @WhatScotsThink @UniStrathclyde …
… Labour marginal seats in the West Midlands, on the edge of Northern cities and in London suburbs are believed to be the most likely to fall to the Tories. …

We need an election now to deliver Brexit as rebels are trying to subvert will of the people ‘every step of the way’, Theresa May says in exclusive chat with The Sun – The Prime Minister also laid down the gauntlet to her own rebel Tory MPs to sign up to her Brexit plans, or ship out (w Videos; 18/4/2017) | @tnewtondunn @SunPolitics
…there is very clear potential for voting against the legislation to implement the leaving of the EU, and against the final deal – trying to stop us every step of the way.”
She added: “It became clearer that the next stages of the process – the Great Repeal Bill – would become more difficult.
…not waiting for constituency boundary changes to be enacted in October 2018, which would have given the Tories an extra 20 seats. …
The PM also rejected SNP boss Nicola Sturgeon’s claim that an election victory in Scotland for her party would count as a fresh mandate to hold another Scottish independence referendum. …

The key questions posed by Theresa May’s call for a snap election (w Videos;19/4/2017) | @APLhack @SkyNews
Firstly, it is important to remember the Prime Minister has not called an election, but has signalled her intention to hold one.
Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act…
…able to call an election before then if it is backed by two-thirds of MPs or if there is a no confidence vote in the Government. …

PRIME MINISTER THERESA MAY’S EARLY ELECTION CALL AND THE FIXED-TERM PARLIAMENTS ACT (18/4/2017) | Petra Schleiter @OxPolBlog
… The Prime Minister is seeking a vote in Parliament tomorrow. …
First, it will lift the threat of possible by-elections that could be triggered by the ongoing police investigation into allegations that the Conservative Party systematically over-spent in the 2015 election and far exceeded legal restrictions on election expenses in more than 10 seats. …
In Northern Ireland, the election compounds the political turmoil, …the subsequent inability of the unionist and nationalist parties to come to a new agreement. …

Good for the Conservatives, bad for the country: Four reasons why a snap election is a bad idea (18/4/2017) | @adefty (@unilincoln) @LSEpoliticsblog
…simply not necessary
…will not alter the reality of the referendum result
…unlikely to change the fundamental divisions across the UK and may accelerate the break-up of the Union
…distraction from the Brexit negotiations

Theresa May seeks House of Commons backing for early general election (w Video; 19/4/2017) | @itvnews
… Overnight Mrs May spoke to US President Donald Trump who “wished the British people the best of luck in their electoral process”, the White House said. …
… @PlymUni’s Professor Colin Rallings (in the video)…

Election 2017: No TV debates this time (18/4/2017) | @GaryGibbonBlog @Channel4News
… Theresa May is not a huge fan of these sorts of encounters and her team think they open up risks that don’t need to be taken. So the 2017 general election will make the 2015 one look like “access all areas” as far as the Tories are concerned. …

Jeremy Corbyn blasts chicken Theresa May for refusing to take part in general election TV debates – Labour’s leader branded the PM’s behaviour “strange” and the Lib Dems said her “attempt to dodge scrutiny shows how she holds the public in contempt” (18/4/2017) | @benglaze & @mikeysmith @MirrorPolitics
… They believed the victory in Cumbria opened the door to a raft of seats the party would never have previously targeted.
Tory high command believes central and western areas of the North are now seen as particularly vulnerable for Labour. …

Theresa May ‘rules out taking part in TV debates’ ahead of snap election (18/4/2017) | SEAN MORRISON @standardnews
… A BBC spokesman said that it was too early to say whether the broadcaster would seek to stage a debate ahead of the election on June 8.

Labour MPs announce they are standing down as Theresa May calls for a snap general election – Tom Blenkinsop says he cannot ‘in good faith’ run for re-election while Jeremy Corbyn is leader while Alan Johnson decides to retire now rather than wait for 2022 (w Video; 18/4/2017) | @cjmortimer @Independent
… Middlesbrough, in North Yorkshire, is considered part of the traditional Labour heartland but voted for Brexit in the referendum last year. …

‘Crush the saboteurs’: British newspapers react to general election – The Daily Mail has an air of menace and the Sun and Telegraph trumpet Tory triumph, while the Times and Guardian see bid for political strength (19/4/2017) | @janemartinson @guardian

General Election: May pledges to ‘strengthen UK’s negotiating hand’ as Brexit talks loom – THERESA May claims a Conservative victory in June’s General Election will give Britain “the best possible negotiating position” as she hopes for national “stability” while negotiating Brexit. (19/4/2017) | WILL KIRBY @Daily_Express
… She said: “If we’re negotiating at a point that is quite close to a general election, I think the Europeans might have seen that as a time of weakness when they could push us. …

Pound shoots higher but FTSE 100 dives 2.5%, as Theresa May calls for snap General Election (18/4/2017) | Mark Shapland @DailyMailUK
… Sterling had dropped 0.3 per cent this morning on news of a surprise announcement by the Prime Minister, falling to $1.251, but as she gave her speech it recovered and then shot up to trade higher at $1.276.
In contrast with the pound, the FTSE 100 stock market index, which was already trading down this morning, did not bounce back. At the close it was down 181 points, or 2.5 per cent, at 7,147.5. …

Theresa May calls snap election in bid to strengthen hand in Brexit talks – Sterling climbs on expectation of bigger Tory majority and ‘softer’ EU exit (18/4/2017) | @GeorgeWParker @henrymance @PickardJE @FT
…privately some fear they could be exposed to a strong challenge from the Liberal Democrats, who are promising a second referendum on any final Brexit deal. …


Ireland Vol.24 (Munster Vol.2 – Kerry, Cork)

Kerry

cf. County Kerry: Kerry is more than a mere county – it’s a Kingdom | @GoToIrelandUS   Kerry Group is a world leader in the food and beverage industry | @kerryfoodgroup   Zoning and Landscaping Maps | @countykerry

Cork

cf. An Economic Renaissance in Cork? (1/30/2014) | @davidmcw   Cork as a Business Location | @CorkChamber   Cork County Council supporting film production in Cork | @Corkcoco   Enterprise | @corkcitycouncil   Research Overview | @UCC

Cf. April 18, 1949 – Ireland Leaves the Commonwealth of Great Britain | @LawLegalHistory    Ireland | @edpearce080759    Republic of Ireland Act of 1948 | William Karr    The Republic of Ireland Act, 1948 | ISB    The formulation and consequences of the Republic of Ireland Act, 1948-49. (w PDF; 1990) | James Ian McCabe @LSELibrary

IrelandKerryCork


Good Friday (& Agreement)

Here are articles on #GoodFriday & the Good Friday Agreement (the Belfast Agreement).  Excerpts are on our own.

When is Easter weekend 2017? Key bank holiday dates and facts for Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter: Monday Why does the date for Easter Sunday change every year according to the lunar calendar? We’ve got all the answers to your questions (13/4/2017) | Ian Leonard & @jondeano @DailyMirror     Good Friday vs Easter: We Don’t Always Have to Win (5/4/2015) | @jontylangley @HuffPostUK

When is Good Friday in 2017 and is it a Bank Holiday? Easter celebrations and Christian festivals – here’s all you need to know: The important date in the Christian calendar is a national holiday (13/4/2017) | @LittleBitSoph @TheSun   … Good Friday is commemorated because the date marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. Accounts of the Gospel state that it was the day that the son of God was betrayed by Judas, before he was sentenced to death. The date falls during Holy Week on the Friday before Easter Sunday, and sometimes coincides with the Jewish celebration of Passover. Experts believe the event has been coined “Good Friday” because the word “good” means pious or holy. …

Who, What, Why: Why is Good Friday called Good Friday? (18/4/2014) | @BBCNewsMagazine   … according to Fiona MacPherson, senior editor at @OED, the adjective traditionally “designates a day on (or sometimes a season in) which religious observance is held”. The OED states that “good” in this context refers to “a day or season observed as holy by the church”… According to the Baltimore Catechism – the standard US Catholic school text from 1885 to the 1960s, Good Friday is good because Christ “showed His great love for man, and purchased for him every blessing”. … It also says that the day is known as “the Holy and Great Friday” in the Greek liturgy… Karfreitag (Sorrowful Friday) in German.

UK government committed to Good Friday agreement, says NI secretary: James Brokenshire said government supports re-establishing power-sharing devolved authority after assembly elections (17/1/2017) | @henrymcdonald @guardian     Northern Ireland’s system of government is broken. We must review the Good Friday Agreement (18/1/2017) | @lrobertsonmp @Telegraph

The Good Friday Agreement and today: The Good Friday Agreement is the cornerstone of our commitment to peace and stability on this island. It was agreed on 10 April 1998 and overwhelmingly approved in 2 referendums in both parts of Ireland in May 1998. | @dfatirl   Northern Ireland Assembly, North South Ministerial Council, British-Irish Council; St. Andrew’s Agreement (2006), Hillsborough Agreement (2010), Stormont House Agreement (2014), A Fresh Start – The Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan (2015)

Good Friday is Ireland’s Brexit talks ace card (31/3/2017) | Jim Power @irishexaminer   … The optimal outcome would be a smooth process that would placate the UK and, thereby, set the scene for a decent trade deal once the UK has formally exited the system in two years. For Ireland, the potential challenges are obviously immense. We clearly have a special relationship with the UK from a political, economic and cultural perspective. Some 800 years of history cannot be eroded overnight, nor should it be. I have always been sceptical about the willingness of the EU to treat Ireland as a special case and do us special deals, but the Good Friday agreement is very definitely Ireland’s ace card. There is a strong realisation in Brussels of just how important that process has been in delivering peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland, and one assumes that the EU would not want to undermine that. This should be the central plank of Ireland’s approach to the EU meeting on April 29. …

Britain ‘will never be neutral’ on Northern Ireland, says Theresa May Jeremy Corbyn backs NI assembly’s right to hold border poll on a united Ireland (29/3/2017) | @reuters,@IrishTimes   … “We are of course, within that, fully committed to ensuring that the unique interests of Northern Ireland are protected and advanced as we establish our negotiating position, and our position has always been clear that we strongly support the Belfast Agreement, including the principle of consent that Northern Ireland’s constitutional position is a matter for the people of Northern Ireland to determine. “But as our manifesto made clear, we have a preference that Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom, and we will never be neutral in expressing our support for that. …

Good Friday Agreement: 10 April 1998 | @BBC   … A personal assurance from Tony Blair to UUP leader David Trimble smoothed these last ripples of discontent. … The Belfast Agreement (or Good Friday Agreement as it would become known) contained proposals for a Northern Ireland Assembly with a power-sharing executive, new cross-border institutions with the Republic of Ireland and a body linking devolved assemblies across the UK with Westminster and Dublin. … Referendums were held on the same day in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In the north, voters were asked to ratify the deal. In the south, they were asked to approve a change to the constitution of Ireland. All sides agreed a credible majority was required if the deal was to survive. While most nationalists and republicans were clearly in favour, a unionist and loyalist majority was far from certain. … In Northern Ireland, 676,966 people voted in favour of the deal, while 274,879 voted against. The ‘yes’ vote was 71.12%. Turnout was a record 81.10%. In the Republic the recorded ‘yes’ vote was 94.39%, with 1,442,583 people voting in favour and 85,748 voting against. …

Good Friday and the wait for a new politics in Northern Ireland (15/4/2015) | David Mitchell @openDemocracy   … For unionists, it was simply a pragmatic response to ensure that pro-Union voters did not lose out in the “winner takes all” Westminster system. … A pall of negativity has rested on the Northern Irish political scene at least since the Belfast City Hall flag protests began in late 2012. There has been failure to make substantive progress on the three issues which are symptomatic of the underlying and ongoing identity conflict: flags, parades and the past. … According to the 2013 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey the proportion of people who think relations between Protestants and Catholics are better now than five years ago has fallen from sixty-five percent in 2007 to forty-five percent in 2013. …

The Troubles Are Back (5/10/2015) | Eamonn McCann (@IrishTimes) @nytimes   … Yet the deal delivered by Senator Mitchell contained the seeds of its own destruction. In effect, the Good Friday Agreement assigned every person in Northern Ireland to either the unionist or nationalist camp, and the decision-making institutions it created, the Northern Ireland Assembly and its accompanying Executive, were designed to be balanced between the two camps. The plan was not to eliminate sectarianism, but to manage its manifestations. …


Caucasus Vol.1 (Armenia)

cf. Stuck with each other: A Russian ally rues its dependence upon Moscow (3/20/2015) | @TheEconomist    Armenia’s Russia problem (12/13/2016) | CHRISTINA GATHMAN @thehill (@IntelTrak)

Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process: Stage Two | @Armenia_Turkey    Armenia and Turkey: From normalization to reconciliation (2/24/2015) | Andrew Moffatt, Fiona Hill, and Kemal Kirişci @BrookingsFP

The potential and obstacles to Armenia-Iran strategic relations (3/16/2016) | Eduard Abrahamyan, The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center    Christian Armenia and Islamic Iran: An unusual partnership explained (1/14/2013) | HAROUT HARRY SEMERDJIAN @thehill … Its border with an often unstable Georgia remains open to the North as well as a tiny 22-mile Southern border with Iran – termed as a “lifeline” for the culturally-rich yet resource-poor country of 3 million. …northern Iran is inhabited by over 15 million Azeris (double the population of the Republic of Azerbaijan), driving Iran’s concern of a potential… Two seats in the Iranian Parliament are appointed for Armenian representation and northern Iran, once a part of several Armenian kingdoms… Russia remains Armenia’s strategic ally and Armenia has very warm and developing relations with the United States and the EU. …the United States should assist Armenian integration in regional economic and transportation projects and to energize U.S.-Armenia economic relations via a bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. …

The world’s first Christian country? (4/6/2017) | Amanda Proença Santos & Rodolfo Contreras @BBC (via @ARAMAC_DC)

https://twitter.com/SupportArmenia/status/850904469466382336


Central Asia Vol.2

Kazakhstan

cf. Why are Russians Leaving Kazakhstan?   A quarter-century later… Ethnic Kazakhs…now represent nearly 70 percent… …the Kazakhstani government’s broader struggles at retaining the country’s ethnic minorities… …putatively Russophobic sentiments in Kazakhstan could incur a response from an expansionist Moscow…

Political map    The Migration Landscape of Kazakhstan’s Uyghur: A Historical Perspective    Kazakhs striving to prove Genghis Khan descent   Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan Economic Relations Make Progress    Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan: Competitors, Strategic Partners or Eternal Friends?    Delimitation of state border of independent Kazakhstan. Turkmenistan.


Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania

Macedonia

Kosovo

Montenegro

Albania


Central Asia Vol.1

Kyrgyzstan

Tajikistan

cf. Xinjiang | @iaunrc @IndianaUniv   KYRGYZ IN CHINA: HISTORY AND CULTURE | @FactsAndDetails   TIBET AND THE UNITED STATES (PDF; 2000) | A. Tom Grunfeld @SUNYEmpireState #EALAC @ColumbiaHum   Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan look to boost energy, trade ties (1/7/2017) | Zafar Bhutta @etribune   Pakistan, Tajikistan discuss rail link (11/24/2016) | AMIN AHMED @dawn_com   India, Kyrgyzstan sign six agreements (12/20/2016) | @ians_india @IndianExpress   India – Tajikistan Relations (PDF; 2016) | @IndianDiplomacy   TAJIKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN | @TheStudyofWar


Ireland Vol.19


US Policy Changes Vol.57 (National Security Vol.4 – nuclear ideas)

Here is a report: 10 Big Nuclear Ideas (PDF; Nov 2016) | @TomCollina & @GeoffTWilson @plough_shares. Excerpt is on our own.

@SenMarkey – Reduce, Reform, and Restrain: a Nuclear Agenda for the 21st Century
The diverse perspectives in this report are united around a common vision, one that Ploughshares Fund has embodied and promoted with exceptional clarity — if we want future generations to inherit a safer world, we must end our misguided approach to nuclear armament.
If we want other countries to reduce their nuclear arsenals and restrain their nuclear war plans, the United States must take the lead.

@TomCollina – Big Ideas for Big Challenges
Nuclear weapons are still vastly overvalued in U.S. defense policy, with missions they cannot achieve and budgets they do not deserve.

@ValeriePlame – Break with Cold War Thinking
Dear 45th President, welcome to the White House. You now have an opportunity to make a lasting impact on national and international policy. But whatever your priorities may be — national security, education, immigration, the deficit or the environment — one issue can trump them all: nuclear weapons. Unless you make a definitive break with Cold War thinking, you may undermine everything else you and so many others are striving to accomplish.

@Gen_Jcartwright – Reduce the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal, with or without Russia
Speaking in Berlin in 2013, President Barack Obama offered to reduce U.S. deployed strategic nuclear forces to about 1,000 warheads, or one-third below the limits of the 2010 New START Treaty. This is sound policy, as the U.S. military has determined that it can ensure the security of the United States and its allies at this lower level. But the president made the offer contingent on gaining agreement from Russia to follow suit. Moscow balked, and no agreement was reached.

@SecDef19 – Phase Out America’s ICBMs
Russia and the United States have started rebuilding their Cold War nuclear arsenals, putting us on the threshold of a new and dangerous arms race. But we don’t have to replay this drama. The U.S. plan to rebuild and maintain its nuclear force is needlessly oversized and expensive, expected to cost about $1 trillion over the next three decades. This will crowd out the funding needed to sustain the competitive edge of our conventional forces, and to build the capabilities needed to deal with terrorism and cyber attacks.
As we learned the hard way, there is only one way to win an arms race. Refuse to run.

@SenFeinstein and @RepAdamSmith – Cancel the New Nuclear Cruise Missile
The Defense Department has proposed to build a new, powerful nuclear cruise missile called the Long-Range Standoff weapon (LRSO). In our opinion, this weapon is unnecessary, incredibly expensive and would move the United States closer to actually using a nuclear weapon — an unthinkable action.

@KennetteBene – Add Democracy to Nuclear Policy
The 2016 U.S. presidential campaign has, among other things, reminded the public that the president has the sole authority to launch a nuclear attack. While public discussion focused on the temperament, judgment and character of the person occupying the office of the presidency, it has also raised the larger question about the democratic legitimacy of a single person being able to launch a nuclear war. As William Broad and David Sanger of The New York Times put it, “is there any check on a president’s power to launch nuclear arms that could destroy entire cities or nations?” Their answer is no, not really.
When it comes to nuclear weapons then, the conduct of war lies wholly outside the social contract between citizens and their government.

Steve Andreasen (@NTI_WMD) and @isabelle_nti – Bring Home U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons from Europe
In the United States, anything nuclear is inherently presidential. Any change in nuclear policy requires presidential leadership and sustained engagement. Moreover, decisions to pursue new initiatives must be made early in a new administration, and then executed over a number of years. Coming late to the nuclear policy party — or just stopping by — is usually a recipe for frustration and inaction.

@TyttiE – Press Pause on Missile Defense in Europe
The Iran nuclear accord, concluded in July 2015, has fundamentally improved the outlook for European security. Iran is now much less likely to obtain nuclear warheads, and its missile programs are proceeding more slowly than expected. As a result, current U.S. plans to build additional interceptor missiles in Poland should be placed on hold.

@suzannedimaggio – Learn from Iran, Engage North Korea
Since official relations between Washington and Tehran were severed in 1980, five American presidents spanning a period of three decades — from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush — have struggled to figure out how to deal with Iran. As a candidate for the presidency in 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama indicated that if elected he would take a different approach from his predecessors and “engage in aggressive personal diplomacy” with Iran. “For us not to be in a conversation with them doesn’t make sense,” he said.
Principled and pragmatic diplomacy in the absence of trust is hard, but it’s not impossible.

@frankvonhippel – Ban Production of Highly Enriched Uranium
The continued production of highly enriched uranium (HEU) for any purpose poses a significant threat to international security. Nations that want to acquire nuclear weapons could seek to do so under the cover of HEU production for civilian research or naval propulsion. While it is essential to strengthen ongoing efforts to secure existing stocks, the next U.S. administration also should make it a priority to ban the production of HEU worldwide. Such a ban would greatly reduce the risks of nuclear terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear weapons to new states.

@BeaFihn – Support a Global Ban on Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear weapons continue to be one of the most serious threats to international peace and security around the world. They are the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created. Both in the scale of the devastation they cause, and in their uniquely persistent and hazardous radioactive fallout, they are unlike any other weapons. A single nuclear bomb detonated over a large city could kill millions of people. The use of tens or hundreds of nuclear bombs would disrupt the Earth’s climate worldwide and cause widespread famine.


US Policy Changes Vol.55 (Comparison with Nixon administration)

Here are the data in 1967 and 2015, and links.

Nixon 1969-74
[Accomplishments]
What were President Richard Nixon’s accomplishments? | @inside_gov
Dec 8, 1969: Nixon declares Vietnam War is ending | @HISTORY
Strategic Arms Limitations Talks/Treaty (SALT) I and II | @StateDept
Chinese Rapprochement under Nixon: A Case Study in Foreign Policy Bureaucracy and Decision-making (PDF) | Joshua D. Roselman @RockefellerCtr
Remembering Nixon’s Wage and Price Controls | @GeneHealy @WashExam_PR @CatoInstitute
How a Republican Desegregated the South’s Schools | GEORGE P. SHULTZ @nytimes
A brief history of Medicare in America | @MedicareMonitor
Nixon and the End of the Bretton Woods System, 1971–1973 | @StateDept
[Nominal GDP] $862 billion
[GDP per capita] $22,454
[Population] 199 million
[Economic Growth Rate] 2.7%
[Stock Market] 7.8%
[Unemployment Rate] 3.8%
[Interest Rate, Discount Rate for United States] 4.0%~4.5%
[Domestic Demand] 7.7%
[Consumption] 5.7%
[Investment] 3.4%
[Sales in manufacturing & trade] 2.0%
[Industrial Production] 1.2%
[Money] 6.4%
[Inflation Rate (CPI)] 3.0%
[Exports (G&S)] 6.1%
[Imports (G&S)] 7.7%
[Trade Balance (merchandise)] $4,141 million
[Current Account (of GDP)] 0.2%
[Current Account Balance] $1.5 billion
[Public Debt (of GDP)] 1%
(in 1967)

Trump: The Presidential Precedents (Episode 4 of 5: Richard Nixon [13:42]) | @BBC

Trump 2017-
[Nominal GDP] $18,036 billion
[GDP per capita] $51,123
[Population] 321 million
[Economic Growth Rate] 0.7%
[Stock Market] -2.2%
[Unemployment Rate] 5.3%
[Interest Rate, Discount Rate for United States] 0.75%~1.00%
[Domestic Demand] 3.0%
[Consumption] 3.1%
[Investment] 4.0%
[Retail Sales] 2.2%
[Industrial Production] 0.3%
[Money] 5.9%
[Inflation Rate (CPI)] 0.7%
[Exports (G&S)] 3.4%
[Imports (G&S)] 3.8%
[Trade Balance] -$759.3 billion
[Current Account (of GDP)] -2.7%
[Current Account Balance] -$484.1 billion
[Public Debt (of GDP)] 106%
(in 2015)


UK Vol.66 (Post-EUref #Brexit Vol.12 – Theresa May’s Trump visit)

Here are a part of articles on the visit. Excerpts are on our own.

Theresa May: UK and US cannot return to ‘failed’ interventions (w Videos; 1/27/2017) | @BBC
…@bbclaurak…
BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins said it was a hugely significant speech, arguably the biggest by a UK PM in the US since Tony Blair’s 1999 speech in Chicago advocating armed interventionism against dictators – something repudiated by Mrs May.
It followed comments by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to a House of Lords committee earlier that Bashar Assad should be allowed to run for election to remain in power in Syria – a complete reversal of UK foreign policy. …
Mrs May said: “We should not jeopardise the freedoms that President Reagan and Mrs Thatcher brought to Eastern Europe by accepting President Putin’s claim that it is now in his sphere of influence.” …
Mr Trump said: “When they’re shooting, when they’re chopping off the heads of our people and other people, when they’re chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be a Christian in the Middle East, when Isis (IS) is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since Medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding? …
Under British law and policy, the UK military and intelligence agencies cannot join operations where someone is being tortured – or officers believe there is a risk that it may happen. …

Theresa May: America and Britain will ‘lead together again’ after Brexit and election of Donald Trump (1/25/2017) | @peterdominiczak @Telegraph
… Mrs May will present Mr Trump with an engraved Quaich – an ancient Scottish artefact – and give his wife, Melania, a hamper full of produce from Chequers including Bakewell tarts. …
The Prime Minister on Wednesday confirmed that she intends to publish a detailed Brexit White Paper after demands by Conservative Remain supporters who had been planning a Commons rebellion over the issue.
Labour was again in chaos over the issue, with suggestions that Jeremy Corbyn could allow Labour MPs to oppose the Government’s Brexit Bill in the face of a rebellion by his front bench despite he himself last week saying he would force MPs to vote for Article 50. …

Theresa May To Praise Donald Trump As She Declares Britain And US Can “Lead Together Again”: PM moves to woo Republican Congress as well as White House (1/26/2017) | @paulwaugh @HuffPostUK
… Ahead of her visit to the White House on Friday, May will use a speech to the Republican party’s Congressional ’Retreat’ conference in Philadelphia to underline historic links as well as future opportunities for cooperation on trade and security. …
“The United Kingdom is by instinct and history a great, global nation that recognises its responsibilities to the world.
“And as we end our membership of the European Union – as the British people voted with determination and quiet resolve to do last year – we have the opportunity to reassert our belief in a confident, sovereign and Global Britain, ready to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike.” …
No.10 was furious when President Obama ended his term in office by visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and praising her as his “closest international partner” throughout his eight years in power. …
Opponents of Brexit feared that Britain would have even less influence in the world…
However, the UK’s status as a nuclear power and one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as its crucial intelligence and military expertise, are all being used by ministers to push for a strong global role.
Downing Street revealed that on Friday morning May will visit Arlington Cemetery in Virginia…
The PM will present the President with the gift of an engraved silver Quaich, an ancient Scottish drinking cup that is a deliberate nod to Trump’s mother and her Hebridean roots. …
Her trip to the biannual Republican event is not without controversy and some Democrats complained that it would be a “partisan visit” and a “breach of standard protocol” not to meet their party leaders too. …

How Donald Trump, Theresa May are the 2017 version of ’80s power couple Reagan-Thatcher (1/26/2017) | @khjelmgaard & @janeomara @USATODAY
… Trump spoke to nine other world leaders in the 24 hours after his election before conversing with May. The trip helps put to rest concerns within May’s ruling Conservative Party that former U.K. Independence Party chief Nigel Farage could get in the way of a strong relationship between the prime minister and Trump.
Trump had suggested shortly after his election that the anti-establishment, anti-immigration Farage should become Britain’s U.S. ambassador, an idea quickly rejected by May. …
… “Obama appeared to spend the first four years in office forging relationships with everyone else. Now we have an opportunity to reinstate what we once had.”
…Conor Burns, a Conservative Party lawmaker. …who got to know Thatcher late in her tenure, cautioned against drawing too many comparisons between Reagan-Thatcher and May-Trump. …
…Quentin Peel @ChathamHouse… “She has few friends because of her determination to push ahead with Brexit… And Trump is also, quite deliberately, alienating the world with his ‘America first’ talk.”
… Trump, too, wants a trade deal with the U.K. so he won’t be presented as this ‘terrible protectionist’ who only wants to pick fights with people.” …

Theresa May to seek special deal with Trump in White House visit: PM will shrug off concerns about new president as she pledges to rekindle special relationship and ‘lead, together, again’ (1/25/2017) | @GuardianHeather & @rowenamason @guardian
… Global trade experts have warned that Britain may gain little from a bilateral trade deal with Washington. …
May also hopes that by establishing a close relationship, she can persuade Trump to stick to his pledge of pursuing a bilateral trade deal with the UK that could be put into effect after Brexit.
But trade experts are sceptical that a deal can be negotiated quickly – and warn that the US may take advantage of its superior bargaining position as a much larger economy to force open Britain’s markets to US firms.
@AdamPosen @PIIE said: “It would require an enormous, transformative relationship with the US to make up for the decline in trade with the EU.
“For 70 years, since the second world war, the US, beyond very narrow intelligence-sharing, has always treated the UK as subservient, or wanted it to be subservient.” …
Namali Mackay @EEF_Insights said while there might be opportunities for British firms from a bilateral deal, average tariffs between the US and the EU were already low, at an average of 2%. …
Peter Mandelson…said any deal was unlikely to bring rapid benefits for the UK. …
The source emphasised the government’s belief that there was big potential for British dairy farmers and cheese-makers to export more. …@dairyuk, said its members had identified the US as a prime target market for dairy exports outside the EU – and that with 19.7% of the UK’s dairy exports to non-EU countries by value, the US is currently the most important non-EU market. However…

Theresa May suggests UK health services could be part of US trade deal – PM insists Government remains ‘committed to an NHS that is free at the point of use’ (1/26/2017) | @JoeWatts_ @Independent
Theresa May has left the door open for the greater involvement of US corporations in British healthcare as she arrives in America to lay the groundwork for a future trade deal. …
A Number 10 spokesman said later: “The NHS will never be part of a trade deal and will always remain free at the point of delivery.” …
Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said: “The public were told Brexit would mean another £350m a week for the NHS, not that our health service would be opened up to US firms. …
cf. the full transcript of Ms May’s speech

Theresa May urged to confront Donald Trump over ‘return of torture’ when she flies in for talks: The President is poised to lift a ban on overseas CIA ‘black site’ prisons – as the Prime Minister prepares to meet him in America for trade talks (1/26/2017) | @Rob_Merrick @Independent
… She said Ms May had been “very clear” on the issue, adding: “We don’t condone torture or inhumane treatment in any form.”
However, the spokeswoman declined to say whether the Prime Minister would take the opportunity to raise the issue, adding: “There are going to be issues where we differ in our approach and view from President Trump.”
… Ms May declined to discuss details of her hopes for her trip to Washington, instead saying they were to “increase prosperity and bring growth”.
…“It is very simple – we want to achieve an arrangement that ensures the interests of the United Kingdom are there and are put first.”
…“I can ensure the right honourable gentleman that, in doing that, we will put UK interests and UK values first.”

Theresa May refuses to rule out private US firms taking over NHS services – Prime Minister faces repeated questions over the potential threats to public services and food standards, ahead of her talks with President Trump later this week (1/25/2017) | @Rob_Merrick @Independent
… And the SNP raised fears that such a deal will open the door to British supermarkets being stocked with meat produced in unhygienic ways currently outlawed across the EU.
The price of freer transatlantic trade will include the sale of chickens washed with chemicals – a practice in the US – critics say. …
And Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, urged her to take along British scientists who could convince the President that climate change is “not a hoax invented by the Chinese”. …
Nick Clegg said Joe Biden, the former US Vice President, told him the US would not agree to “anything that the chicken farmers of Delaware don’t like”. …

Theresa May seeks price of Trump friendship – Five diplomatic tensions to watch for as the British prime minister visits the US. (1/26/2017) | @TomMcTague (@CharlieCooper8) @politico
… The embassy did not want May to only address the Republican gathering, worrying it would seem partisan, the source said, but it was overruled by Downing Street. The prime minister will meet Democrat and Republican members of Congress at an embassy reception Thursday evening. …
Trump’s White House sees Brexit Britain as its number one ideological ally in a world of hostile powers and multilateral stitch-ups…
…the cost of cooperation with the most unpredictable president in post-war history is unknown.
From the future of NATO to Russian relations, ISIS, global warming, trade barriers and the use of torture, Trump’s new regime may pose significant problems for the U.K.
… Here are five diplomatic tensions to watch out for during May’s trip.
Too special relationship?
…— and the disruption of a cosy elite it symbolizes for them — than May, who campaigned to remain in the EU. In Trump, May might find a friend urging her to go further than she is comfortable to.
… Wigmore joined Farage and millionaire British businessman Arron Banks…
Personal chemistry
… Above all, May is pragmatic. She kept her head down during the Brexit referendum campaign as everyone else lost theirs, and has been conspicuous since becoming prime minister in keeping her counsel on the U.S. election, despite widespread criticism in the press. …
Republican retreat
…her understanding that whatever the U.S. president says about free trade, Congress has the final say. …
… All it takes is a rebellion by a handful of Tory MPs representing rural constituencies and the trade deal could peter out into something of very little substance. …
Sir Christopher Meyer…
“I don’t think Theresa May is a naïve person, nor are the people around her,” …
NATO, Russia and ISIS
… May this week reaffirmed Britain’s commitment to Ukrainian sovereignty in its battle with Moscow. …
The real danger is not being left out in the cold of a Russian reset, but being dragged further back into the mire of the Middle East in Trump’s ramped-up war on ISIS. One of May’s co-chiefs of staff, Nick Timothy…
Nigel Farage
… He does not get why they don’t like Nigel. …

Theresa May: Brexit Britain and Donald Trump can lead the world TOGETHER – BREXIT Britain and Donald Trump-led America can lead the world together, Theresa May will declare. (1/26/2017) | MACER HALL @Daily_Express
… And Mr Trump is to show Theresa May the bust of Winston Churchill that has been returned to the Oval Office on his instructions in a symbol of his regard for Britain. …


US Policy Changes Vol.49 (Foreign Policy Vol.8)

Here are articles on foreign policy. Excerpts are on our own.

“A Blueprint for Donald Trump to Fix Relations with Russia” – A policy memo to the president-elect. Priority: High (12/18/2016) | Graham Allison & Dimitri K. Simes @TheNatlInterest
… Russia today offers your administration not only a serious challenge but a significant opportunity.
First and foremost, Russia remains the only nation that can erase the United States from the map in thirty minutes. Second, Russia is key to preventing nuclear terrorism as well as proliferation of other weapons of mass destruction and missile-delivery systems. Third, Russia’s decisions on whether to share intelligence, or withhold it, significantly affect odds of preventing attacks by terrorists on U.S. citizens and assets across the world. Fourth, Russia is the largest country on Earth by land area, bordering China to the East, Poland in the West, and the United States across the Arctic. … Fifth, Russia’s Soviet-era scientific establishment and post-Soviet achievements make it a global leader in science and technology, particularly in high-tech military hardware. These talents allow it to mount formidable cyber capabilities, second only to the United States… Sixth, Russia is prepared to fight: it has demonstrated both the capability and the will to use military force to achieve its objectives… Seventh, Russia’s potential as a spoiler is difficult to exaggerate? from selling advanced systems like S-300 air defenses to Iran to aligning militarily with China.
…we suggest you remind everyone of the mantra under which both Democratic and Republican presidents fought the Cold War. It affirmed that Americans’ primary purpose in the world was to “preserve the United States as a free nation with our fundamental institutions and values intact.” To that end, they set about building a new world order aimed at advancing the cause of peace, prosperity and freedom for all: for Americans, their allies and other nations, in that order. While some now see that hierarchy as shortsightedly selfish or unworthy of a great power, the brute fact is that the survival and success of the United States is the essential prerequisite for American power to be applied to achieve any other objective in the world. …
… Each left office with the relationship in worse condition than when he arrived. President Obama began by announcing a “reset” in relations with Russia to secure Moscow’s cooperation on a number of priorities, including his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. As his term ends, U.S. and Russian aircraft are operating in close proximity, attacking targets in Syria with minimum communication and no coordination. … For the first time since the 1980s, military planners on both sides have been reexamining options that include the actual use of nuclear weapons. …
… We share the president’s judgment that American national interests do not justify that level of expenditure of American blood and treasure. Rather, the point is that successful strategy requires aligning ends and means. …
…two narratives. On the one hand, it claims that Russia is a loser who “doesn’t matter anymore,”… On the other hand…in its final years, when facing intractable international problems, Obama’s instinct has been to “blame Russia first.” …
…what Obama’s “or” really means is that Putin’s Russia should repent, reverse course, and follow in the footsteps of Germany and Japan in accepting its place in a unipolar, American-led international order. … Russia is too big, too powerful and too committed to maintaining its sovereignty as a great power to become a supplicant in an American-dominated world order. …
Kissinger’s alternative…is to seek to integrate Russia into an international order that takes into account Moscow’s minimum essential interests. That would begin with recognition that Russia remains a great power with sovereign interests and from there explore “whether their concerns can be reconciled with our necessities.” Critically, this would mean treating Putin personally as the strong leader of a major power he clearly is…
THE OBJECTIVE of American policy… Rather, it is to advance vital U.S. national interests. As seen during Obama’s second term, when treated primarily as a “foe,” Russia can undermine important American objectives. If it can be persuaded to act more as a partner, within the framework of a sustainable, if difficult, working relationship, Moscow can help advance U.S. foreign-policy objectives in a number of ways.
First, productive relations between Russia and the United States are essential to avoiding war, including nuclear war. …
… Hard as it is to imagine from Washington, Russia’s national-security establishment has become seriously alarmed about what it sees as American developments and plans to undermine its nuclear deterrent. … President Putin…“I would like to emphasize that attempts to break strategic parity are extremely dangerous and can lead to a global catastrophe. …
Russian planners’ response to this fear has been to lower the threshold for their own use of nuclear weapons…in what they call hybrid warfare. …“escalatory deescalation”: if they were losing a conventional conflict in, for example, Ukraine or the Baltics, they would conduct a limited nuclear attack aimed at “deescalating” the war. …
Second, U.S.-Russia cooperation can advance both nations’ counterterrorism goals, including the wars against ISIS and Al Qaeda. …
Third, Russia is also uniquely suited to help prevent both terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al Qaeda and state actors from acquiring nuclear weapons. …
Fourth, U.S. strategic interests require preventing an alliance or even alignment between Moscow and Beijing. …
EVERYONE KNOWS that Russia is a dangerous, difficult, often disappointing state with which to try to do business. …
As the first step in crafting of such a policy, we recommend that your administration develop a clear hierarchy of American priorities. …
Second, in this spirit you should prepare carefully for an early one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin to change the dynamics in the relationship. …
Third, your meeting with Putin should be followed by revival of government-to-government dialogue with Russia, beginning with ways to prevent an accidental war between the United States and Russia, including nuclear war. …
Fourth, you should change the overall U.S. approach toward the Syrian conflict. …
Fifth, though you have previously expressed skepticism about greater U.S. involvement in resolution of the Ukraine conflict, we believe you should join the efforts of European powers to find a solution, if only because this conflict also risks military confrontation with Moscow. …
…Kissinger remained optimistic about “the possibility of some cooperation between the West and Russia in a militarily nonaligned Ukraine.” …
… To demonstrate its strength, America should use military deployments and private warnings (so as to avoid publicly cornering Putin) to communicate to Moscow that unilateral solutions will not work in either Syria or Ukraine. …
Sixth, you should strengthen U.S. military capabilities in ways that simultaneously dissuade Russia from aggression (both overt and covert) against NATO allies in Europe and respect Russia’s legitimate interest in ethnic Russians living in the former Soviet Union. …
… Combining investment in U.S. capabilities with calculated use of your reputation for unpredictability could be particularly useful, much as Nixon cultivated the image of a “madman” to enhance his leverage in Southeast Asia. …
Accordingly, the United States should reiterate its commitment to defend the Baltic states from naked aggression, in concert with other allies, but insist that the Baltic governments themselves attempt to normalize relations with Moscow…
Seventh… We suggest treating Russia the way the United States treats other undemocratic nations with whom it is friendly, such as Saudi Arabia.
Eighth…give greater consideration to Russia’s possible and likely responses in making policy decisions. …
Ninth, you should seek ways to expand the economic foundation of the bilateral relationship. …
Last but not least… for your sharp turn in policy to succeed, you will need to make your case directly to the American people—something you have done many times during the campaign. …

The Kindleberger Trap (1/9/2016) | @Joe_Nye @ProSyn
…“Thucydides Trap,”… …seems too weak rather than too strong.
Small countries have little incentive to pay for such global public goods. Because their small contributions make little difference to whether they benefit or not, it is rational for them to ride for free. …
…not to overthrow the liberal world order from which it benefits, but to increase its influence within it. …
…in 12 of 16 cases since 1500…
…Donald Kagan… Before the war broke out in 431 BC, the balance of power had begun to stabilize. Athenian policy mistakes made the Spartans think that war might be worth the risk. …

A Conservative’s Prescriptive Policy Checklist: U.S. Foreign Policies in the Next Four Years to Shape a New World Order (PDF; Jan 2017) | Amb. Robert D. Blackwill @BelferCenter
(cf. abstract | @BelferCenter)
Vital U.S. National Interests
U.S. Policy Prescriptions For The Period Ahead
General
U.S. Alliances/Partnerships
The Greater Middle East
Adversaries
Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa
Nuclear Proliferation
U.S. Energy Exploitation and Climate
Cyber
International Organizations
…the next several years of U.S. foreign policy will be laden with crises. With America’s international position fundamentally weakened during the Obama presidency and given Trump’s unorthodox approach to the major external issues facing the United States, both U.S. allies and adversaries will test the new President’s strategic vision; the purpose, clarity and consistency of his policies; and the quality of his diplomacy. …


UK Vol.65 (Post-EUref Vol.11 – including UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit speech)

Here are articles on Brexit including scholars’ analyses, UK Prime Minister’s speech, et al. Excerpts are on our own.

I was wrong on Brexit (12/12/2016) | Niall Ferguson @BostonGlobe
The three words you are least likely to hear from an academic are “I was wrong.” Well, I was wrong to argue against “Brexit,” as I admitted in public last week. …
…Europe became the world’s most dynamic civilization after around 1500 partly because of political fragmentation and competition between multiple independent states. …the rule of law ? and specifically the English common law ? was one of the “killer applications” of western civilization.
…the costs of Brexit would outweigh the benefits. …the doom-laden projections of a post-Brexit recession from the International Monetary Fund, the Treasury, and others. …
…Americans since the 1960s have wanted the Brits inside the EU to counterbalance the French…
… First, the warnings I and others gave about European monetary union back in the 1990s have been wholly vindicated.
Second, Europe’s supposedly common foreign policy has been a failure. …
Third, the EU institutions mishandled the financial crisis. …
Nor is that all. Last year EU leaders… Finally, they utterly misread the mounting public dissatisfaction ? not only in Britain ? with the consequences of unfettered free population movement.
… His mistake was to accept the risible terms that the European leaders offered him back in February on EU migrants’ eligibility for benefits, instead of marching out of the conference room and announcing that he would campaign for Brexit. My mistake was not to urge that.
… Many “Remainers” have dug in deeper and waste their time dreaming up ways of derailing Brexit. The Brexiteers meanwhile are dividing like 19th-century Protestant sectarians over how “hard” Brexit should be. …

Key points from May’s Brexit speech: what have we learned? (w Video; 1/17/2019) | @jonhenley @guardian
The single market
…her top two Brexit priorities are controlling EU immigration and withdrawing from the jurisdiction of the European court of justice.
… Single market membership, she said, would mean accepting the EU’s four freedoms – free movement of goods, services, capital and people – and “complying with the EU’s rules and regulations that regulate those freedoms”.
…Britain will seek “the greatest possible access to it through a new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement”.
The customs union
…goods from outside the area are charged a common external tariff to cross its border and enter it; goods already within it can circulate and cross borders freely.
…she did not want Britain to be bound by the common commercial policy and the common external tariff.
But she also said she wanted tariff-free trade with Europe and cross-border trade there to be “as frictionless as possible”…
… Car parts, for example, cross EU borders dozens of times before completion, and customs checks would be disastrous…
Parliamentary involvement and article 50 timing
… This deadline may be problematic if the supreme court rules, as expected, later this month that parliament must vote on the formal article 50 notification to the EU, and it could also be delayed by elections in Northern Ireland.
… “I can confirm today that the government will put the final deal that is agreed between the UK and the EU to a vote in both Houses of Parliament, before it comes into force.”
Controlling EU immigration
…while wanting to continue to attract “the brightest and best to study and work in Britain”…
… She has previously rejected the idea of a point-based regime, and ministers have hinted at the possibility of work visas, but no new system has yet been formally announced.
A transitional deal
…a “cliff-edge”: …with no future relationship defined.
…“implementation period”…
But she is opposed to the kind of interim arrangement favoured by some who want a lengthy…
Status of EU citizens in UK and UK citizens on continent
…“negotiating capital”. …the government wants to guarantee their rights – and those of British citizens on the continent – “as early as we can”. …
The EU budget
…“some specific European programmes… …it is reasonable that we should make an appropriate contribution.”
The EEA option
… “We do not seek to adopt a model already enjoyed by other countries.”
… Britain did not want “partial membership…or associate membership…
Ireland and the union
…maintaining the pre-EU common travel area between Britain and Ireland… …avoid a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
…describing the union between England, Scotland and Wales as precious. …
Tone
…“I want us to be … the best friend and neighbour to our European partners,”…
…“an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe. …
…“no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain”…
Conclusion

Theresa May’s Brexit speech in full: Prime Minister outlines her 12 objectives for negotiations: Britain is leaving the Single Market but will still cooperate in other areas (1/18/2017) | @independent

London Mayor Sadiq Khan in stinging attack on Theresa May’s Brexit plans, warning they could ‘rip Britain apart’ (w Videos; 1/18/2017) | @PippaCrerar @standardnews

How a British Court Ruling Could Delay Brexit Negotiations (w Podcast; 11/9/2016) | @whartonknows
… Olivier Chatain, professor of strategy and business policy at the HEC Paris business school, and a senior fellow at Wharton’s Mack Institute of Innovation Management, and Michelle Egan, a professor at American University’s School of International Service…
More Uncertainty
Economic Impact
Finding Common Ground
Brexit Referendum Will Stand
A Brexit Bill

Oxford academics warning of Brexit ‘disaster’ (1/11/2017) | @seanjcoughlan @bbc
A “hard Brexit” would be the “biggest disaster” to have hit the UK’s universities for many years, a university head told MPs.
‘Culturally allergic’
‘Manchester Utd problem’
Research funding
Unanswered questions

Can Brexit Be Achieved with Minimal Damage? (w Podcast; 10/7/2016) | @whartonknows
American University’s Michelle Egan…

How Brexit Could Boost the European Union (9/21/2016) | @whartonknows
Size Matters a lot
Then There Is Regulation
Talent Is Key
Real Investments
Yet More Uncertainty
Opportunities for the Rest of Europe
– Big is beautiful? promote it
– Boost the single market? but shift the focus to direct benefits for people
– Smart integration? do things that could not be done before
– Bring over banks, corporates and the ecosystem? make it appealing to move
– Leverage investment opportunities? follow the money
– Attract the leaders of tomorrow? EU-27 as the place to be
– Make it appealing for skilled workers to move back
– Finally, it is all about trust, stability and the reduction of uncertainty

Amid Brexit and Spotify threats, Stockholm adapts to remain globally competitive (9/20/2016) | Elizabeth Patterson and Marek Gootman @BrookingsInst

What Comes Next for Europe? (6/27/2016) | @DBachYSOM & ANDREW METRICK @AdvancedMgmt @YaleInsights
Andrew Metrick:… The bigger concerns are long run. … With the UK exiting, it’s the first time we’ve seen any significant pullback from this project, which had mixed success, but certainly kept alive its noble ideals. …
… Uncertainty discourages people from making long-term investments. …
David Bach:… Three million EU citizens live and work in the UK, and 1.5 million UK citizens live in Europe. …the European Union has to think, on the one hand, about how to manage this exit in a way that protects the interests of the stakeholders in the 27 continuing EU countries…
…at least three different groups within the “Leave” camp. You have conservative, neo-liberal types around Boris Johnson and others who feel that EU regulation was stifling business and want to control their own sovereignty. The second camp is around Nigel Farage and the UK Independence Party—the nativists who are anti-immigration. And then you have a third group, trade unionists who felt that Europe was too pro-business, and they want to go back to a model of greater protection. …
Metrick:… Northern Ireland is really tricky. It is the case that they’ve had no borders with the Republic of Ireland for a while, but I don’t know whether the religious issues that made this split in the first place are going to be any less potent.
Bach:… The presumption was that if we used Article 50, it was going to be some small Eastern European nation that couldn’t keep up with the regulations. …
Metrick: No one believes the optimal size of government is everybody under one government. There are always going to be certain things we want local control over. This is a battle we have a lot of experience with in the United States, and we fought a civil war over it. …

Ivan Rogers and the great British Brexit pantomime (1/4/2017) | @RGWhitman @ConversationUK @UKandEU

Scottish independence: Decapitate Britain, and we kill off the greatest political union ever (9/8/2014) | Boris Johnson @telegraph


US Policy Changes Vol.45 (Foreign Policy Vol.7 – globalization)

Here is an article on globalization: WHAT IS GLOBALIZATION?: Four Possible Answers (PDF; Dec 1998) | Simon Reich @KelloggInst @NotreDame. Excerpts are on our own.

Introduction
… Structuralism, with its rationalist underpinnings, came under attack in political science from constructivists, and within a short period no professional conference or symposium was complete without a genuflection towards the attributes of ‘globalization. …
…finance, technology transfer, transnationalism, multilateralism, and regionalism…
…globalization signaled the reduced importance of (at least traditional forms of) security studies in international relations and a corresponding elevation of international political economy questions—as well as suggesting new linkages between OECD and non-OECD states, the private and public sectors, capital and labor, work and leisure, state and society. …globalization explains the Clinton Administration’s preference for focusing on economic issues in foreign affairs, the causal linkage between this apparently global phenomenon and current policy remains elusive. …

Definition
James Rosenau… Globalization is not the same as globalism, which points to aspirations for an end state of affairs wherein values are shared by or pertinent to all the world’s five billion people, their environment, their roles as citizens, consumers or producers with an interest in collective action designed to solve common problems. Nor is it universalism—values which embrace all humanity, hypothetically or actually.
Anthony McGrew… …multiplicity of linkages and interconnections that transcend the nation states (and by implication the societies) which make up the modern world system. It defines a process through which events, decisions and activities in one part of the world can come to have a significant consequence for individuals and communities in quite distant parts of the globe.
Philip Cerny… Globalization is defined here as a set of economic and political structures and processes deriving from the changing character of the goods and assets that comprise the base of the international political economy—in particular, the increasing structural differentiation of those goods and assets.

1. Globalization as a Historical Epoch
… The demise of the Cold War coincided with the onset of globalization, raising the question of whether there is a causal relationship between the two. Certainly, the comments of scholars like Immanuel Wallerstein (echoing Trotsky), who registered concern that Communist states could not sustain themselves in the context of a capitalist system, may be interpreted to imply as such. Whether causally related or not, globalization as a period might be said to ‘succeed’ the Cold War historically. …
… The first was the introduction of détente between the United States and Soviet Union. The second was the breakdown of the ‘Social Contract,’ initially in Britain but eventually throughout the advanced industrial countries. …

2. Globalization as Confluence of Economic Phenomena
… Linking globalization to processes of economic integration, Robert Z. Lawrence, for example, makes the broad statement that “economic integration generally leads to convergence, with poorer economies growing more rapidly than richer economies.” Jeffrey G. Williamson, noted Harvard economist and then President of the of the Economic History Association, also argued in his presidential address that globalization leads to convergence—and has done in prior historical periods. …
… R.J. Barry Jones who suggests that globalization may simply be an intensification of the process
of international interdependence…
… Wilfried Ruigrok and Rob van Tulder are specific in their characterization of globalization, associating it with increased international capital mobility and a growing incidence of mergers and acquisitions and of strategic alliances. …

3. Globalization as the hegemony of American values
… Edward Banfield’s The Moral Basis of A Backward Society or David Apter’s comment, in describing the theme of the Politics of Modernization, that “Despite an emphasis on methods of comparing governments and studying
their political growth and adaptation, analysis begins with moral content. …
Francis Fukuyama suggests that convergence is inevitable:… All countries undergoing economic modernization must increasing resemble one another: they must unify nationally on the basis of a centralized state, urbanize, replace traditional forms of social organization like tribe, sect, and family with economically rational ones based on function and efficiency, and provide for the universal education of their citizens… Moreover, the logic of modern natural science would seem to dictate a universal evolution in the direction of capitalism…
… Protestant values that purportedly epitomize the Enlightenment. Even Samuel Huntington, noted critic of the initial formulations of modernization theory (and explicit opponent of the concept of convergence), appears to have accepted a central proposition of modernization; the stimulant of economic growth on the propensity towards democratization. …
… But it is a specific form of liberal democracy—it is John Locke’s and not Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s variant. And it is, comparably, a particular form of economic development—it is the Anglo-Saxon classicism of Adam Smith rather than the ‘Continentalism’ of Friedrich List. …
… The effort to co-op elites, at least initially from across the Triad of Japan, North America, and Europe, has effectively defended the stability of a liberal international order and warded off any movement towards mercantilism, averting an imperialist crisis of capitalism anticipated by a Leninist approach. Here, Gramsci’s stress on hegemony’s reliance on consensuality rather than domination is critical in explaining the emergence of a transnational class structure which is buttressed by a substructure predicated on the free movement of capital. While American power in a realist sense may have therefore declined, the capacity of organic intellectuals like those found in organizations such as the Trilateral Commission has proven indispensable in exporting a universalist ideology (of neoliberalism), thus constructing a historic bloc and thereby sustaining America hegemony.
… For liberals it often disintegrates as part of this change in ‘zeitgeist.’ …
… Ann Marie Slaughter concurs: A new world order is emerging, with less fanfare but more substance than either the liberal internationalist or new medievalist visions. The state is not disappearing, it is disaggregating into its separate, functionally distinct parts. These parts—courts, regulatory agencies, executives, and even legislatures—are networking with their counterparts abroad, creating a dense web of relations that constitutes a new, transgovernmental order… Transgovernmentalism offers its own world order ideal, less dramatic but more compelling than either liberal internationalism or the new medievalism. It harnesses the state’s power to find and implement solutions to global problems.

4. Globalization as Technological and Social Revolution
…of globally integrated production; of specialized but interdependent labor markets; of the rapid privatization of state assets; and of the inextricable linkage of technology across conventional national borders. …
The notion that glocalization is the localization of economic and political relations, shifting authority from the national level downward in a manner that enhances responses to globalization, conflicts with alternatives views that suggests the two are dialectically opposed. …
… Winfried Ruigrok and Rob van Tulder … globalizing firms pursue a strategy that strives for a worldwide intrafirm division of labor while glocalizing firms pursue an alternative strategy in which they seek to replicate production within a number of regions, thereby avoiding the risk associated with the formation of trade blocs. Glocalizing firms therefore seek to generate a geographically concentrated interfirm division of labor.
… Consistent with this distinction, the two behave in very different ways. Multinational firms may decentralize production and sales but their decision-making remains firmly centralized in a hierarchical structure. This, in behavioral terms, is reflected in their propensity to retain the overwhelming majority of R&D facilities at home, with very few exceptions.
…Ohmae… As private sector managers and government policymakers are discovering, it makes no sense in so borderless a world to think, say, of countries like ‘Italy’ or ‘China’ as discrete economic entities. …
…that of a paradigmatic shift in the sociological relations that are the foundation for relations among state, economy, and civil society. …
… Peter Schwartz and Peter Leyden who offer the prospect of four decades of sustained growth and ‘remarkable transformation,’ stimulated by the ‘big bang’ of technological development (computers, telecom, biotech, nanotech, and alternative energy) and deregulation. … An unprecedented alignment of an ascendant Asia, a revitalized America, and a reintegrated greater Europe—including a recovered Russia—together will create an economic juggernaut that pulls along most other regions of the planet. These two metatrends—fundamental technological change and a new ethos of openness—will transform our world into the beginnings of a global civilization. …

Conclusion
…four distinct approaches; the first being historical, the second economic, the third sociological, and the fourth technological. …

cf. Review “Good-Bye Hegemony! Power and Influence in the Global System (2014) by Simon Reich and Richard Ned Lebow” | G. John Ikenberry
Reich and Lebow have joined a long list of writers who have announced the end of U.S. hegemony and the coming of the next world order. In fact, they argue that hegemony has been dead for many decades. “Hegemony is a fiction propagated to support a large defense establishment, justify American claims to world leadership, and buttress the self-esteem of voters,” they proclaim. But they have an odd notion of what constitutes hegemony, which they equate with “the blunt exercise of force.” Reich and Lebow note that influence is far more important than raw power and identify three functions that leading states must perform to sustain order in today’s allegedly post-hegemonic international system: agenda setting (advocating policies and principles of order), custodianship (stabilizing the world economy), and sponsorship (initiating rules and institutions). These are perfectly good points, but the main critique relies on a straw man: political scientists and policymakers are well aware of the distinction between raw power and influence. Indeed, the field of international relations even has a term for the strategy of influence that Reich and Lebow advocate. That term is “hegemony.”


US Policy Changes Vol.40 (Foreign Policy Vol.6 – Israel-Palestine, Iran)

Here are articles on Israel-Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. Excerpts are on our own.

Dump UNRWA, vote on 2008 peace agreement? (1/2/2017) | @mrubin1971 @TheNatlInterest @AEI
…declaring Israel’s settlement policies to be the chief impediment to Arab-Israel peace. “The two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians,”…
…for example, the negotiated agreements rejected by the Palestinian leadership and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to negotiate during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s previous settlement freeze.
…erased much off the progress made since the 1993 Oslo Accords.
He might, however, have unintentionally opened a new door to opportunity. …not by repeating past diplomatic mistakes but rather by setting them aside.
The first Intifada—Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule—occurred between 1987 and 1993. It was a largely grassroots movement. The Palestine Liberation Organization was in exile in Tunisia and had become increasingly irrelevant to events in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. …
It is time to reverse that gamble on dictatorship over democracy. Abbas, now in the 12th year of his four year presidential term, violated the basis of the Oslo Accords repeatedly by bypassing bilateral negotiations to seek unilateral redress at the United Nations. …
… If a Trump administration puts a Palestinian state to a vote, it would empower the Palestinians to achieve their dreams without being held hostage to their corrupt leadership or pressures from an Arab rejectionist block of a newly-empowered Islamic Republic of Iran.
… Today, its annual budget is $1.4 billion. If the Trump administration pushed for UNRWA’s dissolution more than six decades after its mandate was supposed to expire and channeled the US contribution instead to host the referendum among those currently living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestine could be independent in a year. …
… Palestinians have historically received more assistance per capita than any other people and, even in Gaza, they have a higher standard of living than many Turks, Brazilians, fellow Arabs, and Africans.
Money dumped on the West Bank and Gaza could be better spent on Yemenis, Syrians, Rohingya Muslims, Turkey’s Kurds, displaced Ukrainians, or others. … So if the Palestinians vote no, it is time to declare the Oslo era—and the Palestinian Authority upon which it was built—over, give Israel an open hand to secure its borders as it sees fit, and write the Palestinians off until they reconsider.

Is a peace deal possible if Israelis and Palestinians simply don’t trust each other? (1/3/2017) | @braunold & @SarahEYerkes @BrookingsFP
MIND THE GAP
… Throughout the Obama administration, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided $10 million a year in funding reconciliation programs between Arabs and Jews, Israelis and Palestinians. …
BALL IN TRUMP’S COURT
– Senior level advisors, including the new advisor for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, meeting with not just the parties, but civil society groups privately as well publically;
– Inclusion of the USAID people-to-people reconciliation grant program into the federal budget; and
– Leveraging U.S. dollars off those of the rest of the international community in the creation of an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, which currently enjoys bipartisan support, that can provide the necessary bandwidth and budget for a systemic approach to the trust deficit.

Obama’s record on Israeli-Palestinian peace: The president’s disquieting silence (10/6/2016) | @elgindy_ @ForeignAffairs @BrookingsFP

What JASTA will mean for U.S.-Saudi relations (10/3/2016) | Bruce Riedel @BrookingsFP

What Jeff Sessions as attorney general will mean for the Iran Deal (12/16/2016) | @aaron_m_arnold @BulletinAtomic
While the attorney general does not have any big role to play directly in terms of the Iran deal,… …the Justice Department’s actions can carry a ripple effect.
…the attorney general decides if and when the department should undertake investigations or prosecutions related to currently existing Iran sanctions?regarding things such as Iran’s conventional missiles, its sponsoring of terrorism, its possible human rights violations…
…enforcement of the laws relating generally to export controls and sanctions regarding Iran could have an impact on the deal…
…should increase pressure on Iran’s ballistic missile program with sanctions and aggressively confront any violations of the deal…
… To be fair, however, he has remained somewhat quiet about the deal…
…the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA)…
… Between the year 2000 and July of 2016, the Justice Department pursued approximately 293 IEEPA criminal violations. …
…during the nuclear negotiations with Iran, and in the months thereafter, the Obama administration took a decidedly cautious approach to seeking criminal charges against Iranian procurement agents and sanctions violators. …
…US enforcement agencies were hesitant to seek extradition requests or conduct lure operations…
… Sessions’ approach will depend on his relationship with the White House. …
…the 981(k) statute, named after the corresponding section of the USA Patriot Act. Under this rule, the attorney general can seize assets that are not technically held in US bank accounts. …
… Because these methods depend on leveraging the role of the US financial system in international banking, overuse can potentially damage business relationships and the international standing for US banks…
…any member of the agreement can bring a dispute to the Joint Commission, which then has 15 days to resolve the dispute. If not resolved by that time, the matter is referred to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and then the UN Security Council for a vote on continuing sanctions. …
… If the United States does not first use the dispute resolution mechanism, Tehran may view Washington as acting in bad faith.
… Tougher penalties for IEEPA violations, for example, could send a strong signal to Iran, China, and North Korea. …

The 2016 Iranian Parliamentary Elections and the Future of Domestic Politics under the JCPOA (w PDF; Dec 2016) | Payam Mohseni @BelferCenter
p8 Figure 1 Classification of Iranian Political Factions
p12 Figure 2 The Alliance of the Theocrats: Ahmadinejad, 2005?2013
p15 Figure 3 The Alliance of the Right: June 2013?February 2016
p17 Figure 4 Power Triangle of the Rouhani Coalition: June 2013?February 2016
p19 Figure 5 Tension of Right Alliance vs. Republican Alliance, 2016 Parliamentary Elections
p21 Figure 6 Republican Alliance vs. Theocratic Alliance: 2016 Iranian Parliamentary Lists
p26 Table 1 National Factional Seat Shares (%) by Election Rounds in the 10th Iranian Parliament
p27 Figure 7 Total Factional Seat Shares (%)
p29 Figure 8 Round Two Factional Seat Shares (%)
p34 Figure 9 Participation Rate
p34 Figure 10 Voting Population
p35 Figure 11 Qualified Candidates
p37 Figure 12 Incumbency Rate for the Iranian Parliament
p41 Table 2 Iranian Provinces by Voter Turnout (%)
p42 Table 3 Top Provinces by the Three Main Faction
p43 Table 4 Iranian Provinces by Factional Seat Share (%)
p44 Table 5 Top 10 Largest Cities by Factional Seat Share (%)
p46 Figure 13 Total Top-10 Cities by Factional Seat Share (%)
p47 Figure 14 Total Top-10 Cities by Factional Seat Share (%) – Excluding City of Tehran
p51-52 Conclusion: The Future of Iranian Politics under the JCPOA
… With theocratic forces split over the key foreign policy issue defining Iran’s relations with the international community, Rouhani was able to barely edge to victory in the first round of elections, trumping five other rivals.
… The next presidential elections, in 2017, will therefore reflect the ability of Rouhani to preserve and manage the power triangle between the republicans and the modern theocrats to hold on to the government and Majles. … If the U.S. unilaterally undertakes antagonistic actions against Iran, the entire political platform of Rouhani’s coalition will collapse and a reconfiguration aimed at reintegrating the theocratic left will likely emerge.
… At a minimum, together with the unrealized economic benefits expected to follow the JCPOA, the theocrats will gain a stronger bargaining position with Rouhani. However, it could also be an electoral strategy to highlight economic inequality under Rouhani with an eye to the 2017 presidential elections. Either way, the re-election of a weak Rouhani or a theocratic victory is a win-win scenario for the Supreme Leader. …


US Policy Changes Vol.36 (Foreign Policy Vol.5 – Israel-Palestine, Russia, Iran, Syria)

Here are @BrookingsInst’s articles on foreign policy (Israel-Palestine, Russia, Iran and Syria). Excerpts are on our own.

President Trump’s options for Israeli-Palestinian dealmaking (12/1/2016) | @Martin_Indyk @BrookingsFP (Big Ideas For America)
…three possible approaches to negotiations—a provocative, high-risk “top-down” approach that would focus on the contested status of Jerusalem; a more measured “bottom-up” approach that would work with regional players to change the situation on the ground; and a summit-driven “outside-in” approach that would establish internationally supported terms of reference for negotiating a two-state solution. …
INTRODUCTION
…but he would be the first real estate developer to try to reach for the “brass ring,” and his experience with making land deals as well as his unconventional, disruptive approach to diplomacy might just generate new possibilities when all other efforts have failed. However, President Trump would be taking on the task at a uniquely difficult moment when neither side trusts in the peaceful intentions of the other or believes in the possibility of a peace deal based on the establishment of a viable Palestinian state living alongside the Jewish state of Israel in peace and security.
This “two-state solution” has been thwarted by two abiding realities… The first is the power of the Israeli settler movement and its supporters in…right-wing coalition government. They regard all West Bank territory as part of the Land of Israel and firmly reject the two-state solution. Consequently, they are pursuing apace an effort to annex the 60 percent of the West Bank that remains under complete Israeli control (known as “Area C” in the Oslo Accords…)… attempting to legalize some 50 outposts that are illegal under Israeli law, and preventing any Palestinian development of the land.
The second reality is a politically and physically divided Palestinian polity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip… Hamas remains dedicated to the destruction of Israel and is consolidating its grip on Gaza while building its influence in the West Bank. Meanwhile, Fatah…has left its leadership preoccupied…
… The alternative of forming a more flexible centrist coalition with the Labor Party would leave him dependent on parties to his left while his rivals to his right robbed him of the support of his natural constituency. Meanwhile, Abbas’s electoral mandate expired some six years ago, and he no longer feels he has the legitimacy to make compromises over what his people believe are their inalienable rights. …
…current circumstances do not permit the achievement of a negotiated resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and yet failure to pursue that resolution now will make it even less possible to achieve it in the future. …
1. “Jerusalem first”
… One of the basic rules of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is that the status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be left until all the other issues are resolved. …
…neither side accepts the legitimacy of the other’s claims. Arab east Jerusalem was annexed to Israel in 1967, and since then every Israeli government has claimed undivided Jerusalem as “the eternal capital of Israel.” … Conversely, Palestinians claim all the area of east Jerusalem that Israel occupied in 1967, including the Old City, as the capital for their state, and view the Jewish suburbs built there as illegal. …
… The area bounded by the walls of the Old City, which contains the sites holiest to the three great religions…would be declared a special zone where neither side would exercise their claims to sovereignty… However, such rational compromises have not proven remotely acceptable to either side.
… Hamas might resume rocket attacks from Gaza, but because of fear of an Israeli response they would more likely seek to stoke the fires of violent resistance in the West Bank and Jerusalem. …
Alternatively, in parallel with moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the president could also announce that he has decided to establish a U.S. embassy to the state of Palestine in east Jerusalem…
To ensure that both sides negotiated in good faith, President Trump could declare that if they fail to turn up or fail to reach agreement, the Quartet, Egypt, and Jordan would resort to a UN Security Council resolution setting out the parameters of the rational solution on Jerusalem, in effect threatening to impose it on the two sides. …
2. Bottom-up
… In his first two years, he would instead focus on arresting the negative dynamics on the ground in the West Bank and work with Egypt and Jordan to promote a united Palestinian leadership with a mandate to negotiate peace with Israel.
Under this option, he would need to insist at the outset that Israel stop all construction east of the security barrier… Construction in east Jerusalem could also continue but on a 1:1 basis for building in Arab as well as Jewish suburbs. There could be no construction in E1 or other sensitive areas…
… In return, the building of state institutions and the development…should be boosted by a new injection of funds from the United States, the Arab states, and the international community.
3. Outside-in
…might consider taking up “outside in” approach, which would involve Trump convening the leaders of the Quartet (the United States, Russia, the EU, and the UN) and the Arab Quartet (Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates)… …to draw on the collective will of the international community to jumpstart direct negotiations based on these agreed principles.
-…end the conflict, end all claims, and establish two states living side by side in peace and security.
-…the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.
-…ensure that Israel can defend itself against any threat…
-…the shared capital…
-…UN General Assembly resolution 181…
NO PAIN, NO GAIN
… Neither Israelis nor Palestinians at this moment believe that peace is either possible or desirable because the costs seem too high and the benefits too small. For both leaders, the status quo is quite sustainable, even as outside parties fret that the two-state solution is being buried in the process. …
… Likewise, Palestinian weakness makes it particularly difficult to move them since, like a business venture that is close to bankruptcy, they can always threaten collapse if they are forced to compromise. Meanwhile, the Arab states are all preoccupied with other more serious threats to their security and stability. They will be reluctant to risk Palestinian ire or, for Egypt and Jordan, the unhappiness of their Israeli security partner, to assist the president…
President Trump will therefore have to be prepared to overcome all the local resistance that is now baked into the situation. He will also need to resist the advice of his experts…
… Despite all the friction with the Obama administration, Russia has been fully supportive of Secretary Kerry’s efforts, so President Trump can easily find common ground with President Vladimir Putin. Similarly, he will find a willing partner in the EU, which believes that the failure to solve the Palestinian problem exacerbates the other Middle Eastern conflicts that threaten stability in Europe. While the Arab states will be more reluctant to take risks, President Sissi and King Abdullah both strongly believe in the importance of a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for their own well-being. The Gulf Arabs are less persuadable, but will be attracted by the ability to engage openly with Israel…

Draw red lines on Russia (11/30/2016) | @steven_pifer @TheNatlInterest @BrookingsFP
… Part of the problem is that domestic political factors drive much of Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy. With a stagnant economy, he cannot base regime legitimacy on rising living standards, as he did in 2000–2008. He instead has turned to nationalism at home and the restoration of Russia as a power-player abroad. …
– Reaffirmation of NATO’s decision to modestly boost its military presence in the Baltic states and Poland in the face of Russia’s more aggressive stance, coupled with an offer to explore ways to reduce tensions between the alliance and Moscow. …
– Support for Ukraine and the German-led effort to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine. …
– Readiness to cooperate on areas where U.S. and Russian interests converge. …beyond the New START treaty.

Why small steps on Russia are better than attempts at a grand bargain (11/30/2016) | Angela Stent @TheNatlInterest (@CarnegieCorp) @BrookingsFP
… First, every U.S. administration since 1991 has come into office seeking to improve ties with Russia and each of these resets has ended in disappointment… Second…a reprise of the Yalta agreement that divides the world into spheres of influence and does not challenge what he considers are Russia’s legitimate interests. …
… It might involve recognizing Crimea as part of Russia and lifting the economic sanctions on Russia imposed after the launch of a war in the Donbass that has claimed 10,000 lives so far. …

Trump could gut the Iran deal—but it was vulnerable all along (11/17/2016) | @MaloneySuzanne @BrookingsFP
TRUMP’S IRAN OPTIONS
…@RNephewCGEP…described Trump’s election as “the end game for the deal,” noting the centrality of the executive branch in implementing American obligations—specifically, waivers that provide for U.S. sanctions relief that is required by the JCPOA. …
On the other side of the spectrum are those—including the Iranians themselves—who highlight that the deal was negotiated by seven states and the European Union (not to mention endorsed by the U.N. Security Council)…
ESCALATION AHEAD?
… Serious Republican national security figures such as Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker…recognize the dangers of alienating U.S. allies, most of whom are deeply committed to preserving the nuclear deal (with initial opponents like Israel and Saudi Arabia grudgingly accepting its utility). …
… Senior Republicans on the Hill have pledged to reverse Obama’s contentious efforts to go above and beyond the deal’s requirements for sanctions relief in hopes of preserving support for the deal within Iran. …
… New sanctions could stymie Iran’s efforts to attract foreign investment and rebuild trade ties with Europe and Asia. Even better, from the standpoint of the Republicans, they might prompt Tehran to abrogate the deal, since the Iranian leadership maintains—inaccurately, but with a voluble echo chamber in Europe and the United States—that any American sanctions contravene the nuclear deal.
… Finally, he has pledged to respond forcefully to any future Iranian provocation, such as harassment of American naval forces in the Gulf…
… With an impulsive and unschooled American president, counseled by a constellation of trigger-happy ideologues, the prospect of a military confrontation between Washington and Tehran…
A LEGACY IN PERIL
… Since last week, a range of Iranian officials have insisted that the JCPOA—and its more important byproduct, Iran’s international rehabilitation—are “irreversible.”
… Many of the red flags of the Iranian nuclear program—the Arak plutonium reactor, the stockpiles of near 20 percent enriched uranium, the industrial-sized enrichment capability—have been demobilized in a fashion that will take time to reconstitute. …
HOUSE OF CARDS
… However, the deal’s architects failed in one difficult but vital task: ensuring the agreement’s sustainability beyond the administration’s lifespan. …
…the deal incorporated sufficient ambiguity on sanctions to ensure that every future application of American pressure on Iran would be strenuously contested by Tehran—and that concerns about eroding Iranian commitment to the deal would compromise Washington’s vigilance in enforcing the residual measures. …
…the deal’s success never really rested on the terms and provisions…but rather in the ambitions that the agreement embodied.
This is in large part a consequence of the way that leaders on both sides framed the deal to generate domestic support. …
…the influx of capital remains sluggish—in part because of residual American sanctions as well as low oil prices…

Should we work with the devil we know against the Islamic State? (11/21/2016) | @dbyman @lawfareblog @BrookingsFP
…Ryan Crocker…
… Bashar Assad and his father before him imposed a brutal order on the country in the past. Assad the elder killed thousands during a civil war from 1978-1982, leveling parts of the city of Hama, a key opposition hotbed, as a lesson to those he defied him, particular Islamists tied to Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood. Both he and his son ruled as dictators, where torture and other human rights abuses were common. But say what you will, the jihadist problem in Syria was largely contained…
…Assad is pragmatic—for example, in 2013 he agreed to rid himself of chemical weapons in a successful effort to avoid U.S. air strikes (though…his regime reportedly used chemical weapons in the battle for Aleppo earlier this fall). …
… Diplomatically, U.S. allies like Turkey and Saudi Arabia would strongly oppose this policy and would probably work to undermine it. … Saudi Arabia has proven a major source of terrorist recruits and financing, while the Syria-Turkey border was a major crossing point for Islamic State recruits. …
… Russia and Iran are loathed in the Arab world because of their embrace of Assad, and a U.S. alliance with Syria and these powers would “prove” to already-suspicious Sunnis that the United States seeks to subvert their traditional dominance of the Arab world and encourage Iranian influence to spread. …terrorism is justified because the United States is at war with Sunni Muslims.
Additionally, although U.S. air power and other support would help Assad’s forces advance, the regime would be unlikely to pacify all of the country, at least in the near-term, given the size of the opposition. …even with support from the Lebanese Hezbollah and Shiite fighters from Iraq and Afghanistan…
…an Assad victory would be widely, and correctly, seen as a triumph for its biggest friend—the clerical regime in Iran.
Most important, morality matters. It is one thing to ally with Stalin against Hitler when engaged in a total war; it is another to make such a devil’s bargain in a lesser conflict when the U.S. enjoys overwhelming power. …
… The United States can continue the incremental but steady efforts to work with local factions in Iraq and Syria to shrink the Islamic State’s haven and put pressure on the group. It can continue the global intelligence effort…


US Policy Changes Vol.31 (Foreign Policy Vol.4 – international relations)

Here is an academic article on international relations: Power and liberal order – America’s postwar world order in transition (PDF; 2005) | G. John Ikenberry @OxfordJournals. Excerpt is on our own.

1 Introduction
… ‘No one can deny the extent of the American informal empire,’ argues Niall Ferguson (2002, p. 368), who likens today’s imperial order to its British precursor. But for Ferguson the organization of the global system around an American ‘liberal empire’ is to be welcomed: the United States provides order, security, and public goods. His fear is that America will fail in its imperial duties and interests (Ferguson, 2004; Bacevitch, 2002). … Chalmers Johnson (2004) argues that America’s far-flung Cold War military alliance system has been consolidated over the last decade into a new form of global imperial rule. …

2 The American system
… The United States is situated at the center of this complex liberal order – but it is an order built around the American provision of security and economic public goods, mutually agreeable rules and institutions, and interactive political processes that give states a voice in the running of the system. …
… One grand strategy is realist in orientation. Forged during the Cold War, it is organized around containment, deterrence, and the maintenance of the global balance of power. This strategy has been celebrated in America’s history of the last half-century. … The touchstone of this strategy was containment, which sought to deny the Soviet Union the ability to expand its sphere of influence outside its region. …
… The most important have been the NATO and United States–Japan alliances. …
This grand strategy has been pursued through an array of postwar initiatives that look disarmingly like ‘low politics’. The Bretton Woods agreements, the GATT and WTO, APEC, NAFTA, OECD, and democracy promotion in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and East Asia together form a complex layer cake of integrative initiatives that bind the democratic industrial world together. …
… Democracy provided the foundation for global and regional community. Trade and capital flows were seen as forces for political reform and integration.
… The realist grand strategy created a political rationale for establishing major security commitments around the world. The liberal strategy created a positive agenda for American leadership. The United States could exercise its power and achieve its national interests but do so in a way that helped deepen the fabric of international community. American power did not destabilize world order; it helped create it. …
Importantly, this American system is tied together in a cooperative security order. …
This American system is built on two historic bargains that the United States has made with the rest of the world. One is the realist bargain and grows out of its Cold War grand strategy. …
The other is a liberal bargain that addresses the uncertainties of American power. …
Three features of this order make American power more stable, engaged, and restrained. First, America’s political institutions – open, transparent, and organized around the rule of law – have made it a relatively predictable and cooperative hegemon. … Second, this open and decentralized political process works to reduce foreign worries about American power. … Finally, the postwar web of Western and global institutions create a framework for order that helps to establish credible commitments and restraints on American power. …

3 Unipolarity, liberalism, and empire
… In shaping world order, power and liberalism are a much more potent mixture than simply the exercise of crude material power alone. But the question remains whether the resulting American-led order is an empire.
…internationally, power has been distributed among states, while, domestically, governments have had what the German sociologist Max Weber termed a ‘monopoly on the use of violence’ within their nation-state territory.
… The rise of American unipolar predominance and the simultaneous unbundling of state sovereignty are a new world historical development. In historical terms, this is a radically new distribution and manifestation of state power, and so it is not surprising that the world is rethinking and worrying about the new rules and institutions of global order.
…Vittorio Emanuele Parsi (2003)… One is a shift from a pace d’equilibrio (‘peace of equilibrium’) to a pace egemonica (‘hegemonic peace’). …
The other grand transformation is the shift in security threats, which makes the Westphalian flip even more provocative and potentially destabilizing. This is the rise of non-state terrorism. …
… In a Hobbesian world of anarchy, the United States must step forward as the order-creating Leviathan. …

4 Unipolarity and its implications
… Growing power – military, economic, and technological – also gives the United States more opportunities to control outcomes around the world. But unipolarity also creates problems of governance. Without bipolar or multi-polar competition, it is not clear what disciplines or renders predictable US power. …
… Finally, to the extent that the unipolar state anticipates that its power advantages will wane in the near future, it has incentives to embed in the international order rules and institutions that will lock in some of its advantages in the out-years when it is in a relatively weaker position.
…the absence of alternative options gives the unipolar state bargaining advantages. …
But another implication of the disappearance of a rival pole is that one benefit of aligning with the United States also disappears – or is radically reduced – namely, the benefit of security protection. …
…American ‘unipolar dilemmas’. First, a unipolar distribution of power creates ‘legitimacy problems’ for the lead state…
… After the Cold War, the Clinton administration legitimated American power by championing globalization and open markets – ‘engagement’ and ‘enlargement’ were the watchwords. … But fear of terrorism is not a sufficient legitimating cover for American power.
Second, unipolarity also appears to have created problems in how the world sees the American provision of public goods. In the past, the United States provided global ‘services’, such as security protection and support for open markets, which made other states willing to work with rather than resist American preeminence. The public goods provision tended to make it worthwhile for these states to endure the day-to-day irritations of American foreign policy. …

5 ‘Hub and spoke’ governance
… One strategy is the multilateral rule-based strategy of the postwar era, manifested most fully in America’s relations with Western Europe. The other strategy is what might be called ‘hub and spoke’ bilateralism. …
… As the ‘hub and spoke’ security organization of East Asia suggests, there are incentives for the United States to operate a global order where it deals bilaterally with key states in all the various regions.
… Britain, France, and other major states were willing to accept multilateral agreements to the extent that they also constrained and regularized US economic and security actions. American agreement to operate within a multilateral economic order and make an alliance-based security commitment to Europe was worth the price: it ensured that Germany and the rest of Western Europe would be integrated into a wider, American-centered international order. At the same time, the actual restraints on American policy were minimal. …
… Rather than operate within multilateral frameworks, the United States forges a ‘hub and spoke’ array of ‘special relationships’ around the world. Countries that cooperate with the United States and accept its leadership receive special bilateral security and economic favors. More so than multilateral agreements, ‘hub and spoke’ bilateral agreements allow the United States more fully to translate its power advantages into immediate and tangible concessions from other states – and to do so without giving up policy autonomy. …

6 Multilateralism and unipolarity
There are three types of incentives for the United States to continue to operate within a loose multilateral order rather than simply disentangle itself from rules and institutions or pursue bilateral ‘hub and spoke’ relations. … First…as global economic interdependence grows, the need for multi-lateral coordination of policies also grows.
… Bilateralism requires the United States to bargain for favorable outcomes. It will win in most instances – given its power advantages – but bargaining also entails transaction costs. …
Second, American support for multilateralism will also stem from a grand strategic interest in preserving power and creating a stable and legitimate international order. The support for multilateralism is a way to signal restraint and commitment to other states, thereby encouraging the acquiescence and cooperation of weaker states. …
… There are two ways that the creation and strengthening of regional multilateral institutional order in East Asia might serve America’s long-term hegemonic interests. One is simply to create regional institutional structures that will shape and constrain China’s rising power. Chinese power will be rendered more predictable as it is embedded in wider regional institutions. Second, the more general strengthening of global governance institutions will serve America’s interests ‘after unipolarity’. As American relative power declines, its capacity to run the global system or even secure its interests will decrease. …
… The enlightenment origins of the American founding has given the United States an identity that sees its principles of politics of universal significance and scope. The republican democratic tradition that enshrines the rule of law reflects an enduring American view that polities – domestic or international – are best organized around rules and principles of order. America’s tradition of civil nationalism also reinforces this notion that the rule of law is the source of legitimacy and political inclusion. This tradition provides a background support for a multilateral-oriented foreign policy.

7 Conclusion
… it would be an era of American global rule organized around the bold unilateral exercise of American military power, gradual disentanglement from the constraints of multilateralism, and an aggressive push to bring freedom and democracy to counties where evil lurks. But this neoconservative vision is built on illusions about American power. …
…perhaps a more important international development, namely, the long peace among the great powers – or what some scholars argue is the end of great power war. … American success after both World War II and the Cold War is closely linked to the creation and extension of international institutions, which both limited and legitimated American power. In exercising unipolar power, the United States is today struggling between liberal and imperial logics of rule. …


US Policy Changes Vol.26 (National Security Vol.2 – Key posts, Europe…)

Here are articles on national security including Eastern Europe. Excerpts are on our own.

Donald Trump’s national-security team takes shape (11/26/2016) | @economist
… Despite General Mattis’s nickname, “Mad Dog” (earned for his aggression in combat and a talent for cheerfully menacing quotes), he is regarded as combining military dash with intellectual seriousness.
Moreover his views, expressed during his time spent as a scholar at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think-tank, contrast with Mr Trump’s zero-sum, transactional concept of foreign policy. “Like it or not, today we are part of this larger world and must carry out our part,” he said in testimony to the Senate armed services committee in 2015. “We cannot wait for problems to arrive here, or it will be too late; rather we must remain strongly engaged in this complex world.”
Generals Flynn and Mattis do have one other thing in common, in addition to their military service. Both were dumped before they were due to retire by the Obama administration. General Mattis was relieved of his command of CENTCOM…
General Mattis has continued to be a critic of Mr Obama’s foreign policy which, he believes, has emboldened Russia, China and Iran, who have exploited the president’s reluctance to apply America’s military power. If appointed, he would attempt to steer Mr Trump away from isolationism and deals with Vladimir Putin.
General Flynn is likely to push in the opposite direction. “We’re in a world war against a messianic mass-movement of evil people, most of them inspired by totalitarian ideology: radical Islam,” he wrote in a book published earlier this year. “But we are not permitted to speak or write those two words, which is potentially fatal to our culture.” In another passage, he asks: “Do you want to be ruled by men who eagerly drink the blood of their dying enemies?…There’s no doubt that they [Islamic State] are dead set on taking us over and drinking our blood.” …
General Flynn believes he was fired from his post as director of the Pentagon’s Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2014 because of pervasive political correctness within the Obama White House, which disliked his conflation of Islam with terrorism. It was also infuriated by his insistence that the war against jihadists was being lost, even as Mr Obama was trying to put it behind him.

Who is Monica Crowley, Trump’s latest national security team addition? (12/16/2016) | @storyhinckley @csmonitor
… Lt. Gen. Kellogg and Crowley will serve under the council’s previously announced leaders: retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser and K.T. McFarland as deputy national security adviser. …
As director of strategic communications, Mr. Rhodes ran the Iran-deal messaging campaign and negotiated the reopening of American-Cuban relations. …

Web of deals compromises Donald Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn (12/17/2016) | @davidkski @smh
…FIG – by adding one senior executive whose firm does extensive cybersecurity work for government agencies and another who was soliciting defence department aviation contracts.
… In 2014, he founded his company with Bijan Kian, a prominent Iranian-American banker who served on the board of the Export-Import Bank, was a senior fellow at the US Naval Postgraduate School and a member of the White House Business Council. …
FIG worked as a lobbyist for Inovo BV, a Dutch company with close ties to Turkish President Recep Erdogan. When that arrangement was reported last month by The Daily Caller, Flynn responded by having FIG leave the field of lobbying and said he would “sever ties” with his company. …
He was re-elected to his paid position on the board of Drone Aviation on December 6…
…Jordan Libowitz @CREWcrew…

Michael Flynn, Trump’s new national security adviser, loves Russia as much as his boss does (11/21/2016) | @yochidreazen @voxdotcom
…. Democrats would have lashed into Flynn because he broke with the longstanding tradition of retired officers avoiding direct criticism of presidents they had served. Republicans would have pressed Flynn about Trump’s stated Russia policy, which is predicated on building closer ties with Putin despite the Russian strongman’s human rights violations and annexation of Crimea.
Republican lawmakers would also likely have grilled Flynn about his decision to do a paid series of events in Moscow…
During his July 9 2015 confirmation hearing to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. said, “Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security” and “could pose an existential threat to the United States.” ISIS was fourth on his list, behind China and North Korea.
… “The forces of radical Islam derive their ideology from radical clerics like Gülen, who is running a scam,” Flynn wrote in an op-ed in The Hill. “We should not provide him safe haven. In this crisis, it is imperative that we remember who our real friends are.”

Trump Picks General “Mad Dog” Mattis for Secretary of Defense (12/5/2016) | Patrick Martin @CRG_CRM
… Though this requirement was immediately waived to allow for the appointment of General George Marshall in 1950, no former general has occupied the post in the past 66 years.
There is, however, no commitment to the basic democratic issue of civilian control of the military within the US political establishment. There is little opposition in Congress, in either party, to the passage of a waiver for Mattis.
… Within these circles, Mattis—who has differed with Trump on Russia—is seen as a counterweight to any tendency of the incoming administration to move away from the anti-Russia policy.
The only real concern expressed by the Times is “whether General Mattis intends to roll back military personnel policy changes adopted during the Obama administration, including opening all combat roles to women, allowing openly gay troops to serve and accommodating transgender troops.” …
US imperialism has been at war for most of the past 25 years, and continuously since 2001. Barack Obama, when he leaves office next January 20, will be the first president in American history to have been a wartime commander-in-chief for an entire eight years in office. It is not an accident that under such conditions, the military has come to play such a decisive role in national-security policy.

How Defense Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis Will Remake The Pentagon (12/5/2016) | @lthompsonlex @Forbes
… Mattis is one of the most gifted warfighters of his generation, a highly decorated officer who has led troops in every major U.S. military campaign conducted since the new millennium began. That includes the occupation of Afghanistan, where he was the first marine ever to command a Naval Task Force in combat, and the invasion of Iraq, where he led the 1st Marine Division and then went on to command in both battles of Fallujah.
… He not only has an unsurpassed understanding of combat, he actually enjoys engaging in it. …James Mattis is the closest thing in modern America to the hard-charging General George S. Patton of World War Two fame…
… The NSC was originally conceived as a venue in which the most senior officials in the cabinet could meet to discuss security matters, not an independent player. …
… It’s a longstanding tradition in American politics to select service secretaries and other senior appointees with an eye to shoring up domestic political constituencies…
… Much of the time, congressional involvement in managing the Pentagon consists of thinly-veiled efforts to assist district-level interests at the expense of warfighters and taxpayers. …
…none of the “leap-ahead” technologies being discussed would have made much difference there, but cultural and language training would have helped a lot. …
… He will be more inclined to see air power and sea power as means for supporting the primary battle on land, rather than as alternatives to ground combat. …
… He knows Europe is mostly an Army theater, but the handful of Army units that would face an invading Russian army are so lacking in force protection, air defense, electronic warfare and the like that they are an invitation to aggression.
… Mattis knows that preparing for war is the most effective way of keeping the peace. … “No better friend, no worse enemy.”

Putin’s Russia seeks to project power with modern military (12/6/2016) | ‏@visachenkov @washingtonpost
… While all men aged 18 to 27 still face a mandatory year of military service, Russia increasingly is attracting volunteers for at least two years and building a culture emphasizing the military as a career.
While conscripts are paid a paltry 2,000 rubles ($31) a month, those signing contracts for longer tours of duty receive 10 times the starting pay and extra privileges. Promotion to sergeant could mean a monthly paycheck of around 40,000 rubles ($620), better than average civilian wages.
… At the start of the decade, the Kremlin pledged to spend 20 trillion rubles (more than $300 billion) on defense through 2020…
Last year alone, Russia spent a record 3.1 trillion rubles ($48 billion) on defense, 25 percent higher than in 2014 and more than a fifth of Russia’s entire budget. Russian forces received 35 nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles, more than 240 warplanes and helicopters, and nearly 1,200 tanks and other armored vehicles — a growth in Russia’s arsenal unseen since Soviet times.
… @DmitriTrenin said the prospect of personal rapport between Trump and Putin “could mean a better way to manage a fairly difficult relationship.”
… (Pavel Felgenhauer) “The Russian military,” he said, “has a vested interest right now in having more and more confrontation with the West.”

Finland walks a 1,300 kilometer fine-line with Russia (10/30/2016) | @herszenhorn @POLITICOPro
… Finnish officials said they shared a desire for greater cooperation, but that joining NATO was not an imminent consideration and that they also planned to keep up their good relations with the big neighbor next door.
…Finland’s defense minister, Jussi Niinistö, said he would refrain from offering any specific advice, either to the West or to Ukraine…
Niinistö, however, said he believed NATO’s increased presence was helping, especially in calming nearby NATO members unnerved by Russia’s recent moves.
“Yes, we have relatively good relationship with Russia and Finland’s view on this enhanced forward presence is that we think it’s good for the security of the Baltic Sea region,” Niinistö said. “We hope it calms things down and there will be no escalation.”
… Niinistö said it was important for countries to remember that being a partner of NATO is not the same as being member of the alliance, which carries the protection of the common defense clause — Article 5 of the NATO treaty. …

Poland: Russia seeks ‘new empire’ in Europe (11/25/2016) | @apsyrtus @euobs
…Witold Waszczykowski, the Polish foreign minister… said the fall of the Soviet empire “to an ever greater extent appears to have been a temporary situation, and not a definitive end in history”.
He said Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 and of Ukraine in 2014 showed that “Russia is ready to resort to military force against her neighbouring sovereign states”.
…@iiea…
… Flanagan, the Irish foreign minister, said Polish relations had “grown hugely in recent years” and that “the Polish community is an extremely valued and integral part of Irish society”.
Ireland and Poland also have special ties with the US. …

What are Moscow’s expectations for Slovakia and the EU? (7/9/2016) | Ruslan Kostyuk @Russia_Direct
… Even before the voting in the UK, the center-left government of Slovakia announced four key priorities of its future EU presidency…
The first of these priorities is the promotion of investment and the future economic development of the EU. … For this purpose, in particular, it is important to strengthen the European fund for strategic investments and activities, and move more quickly towards a common banking union.
Secondly… the formation of an Energy Union within the EU and the launch of a single digital market. The third… the immigration agenda.
The fourth priority, called “Europe, fully integrated into the global environment,” to a greater extent than the other priorities, should be of particular interest to Russian diplomats.
While the first three priorities are at least tangentially linked to the domestic political goals of the Slovak government of Robert Fico, the prime minister of Slovakia, the foreign policy direction of the Slovak presidency has almost no specific goals.

… As Grigoriy Sejnikov, head of the Slovak Institute for Social Problems, noted, “Slovakia is part of the integration system created by NATO.” Therefore, the position of the foreign policy program during Slovakia’s presidency of the EU seems quite clear: The Slovak presidency will help strengthen the strategic partnership between the EU and the U.S.
…a few months before Slovakia assumed its new role in the EU, Alexey Ulyukaev, the minister of Economic Development of Russia, said that Moscow is expecting to improve relations with the EU during the period of the Slovak presidency.
… According to historian Yulia Tscherbakova, Slovakia “is of great importance to Moscow, in terms of the transit of Russian energy resources directly to the West.” This is true, but then again, Slovakia itself is almost 90 percent dependent on Russian supplies of oil, gas and nuclear fuel. …
Many Slovak businessmen, politicians and parliamentarians agree with Fico’s point of view – that sanctions are counterproductive for Russia, as well as for the entire European Union.
At the same time, the current president of Slovakia, center-right politician Andrej Kiska, is a firm supporter of maintaining the sanctions regime against Russia, considering that the Baltic countries and Ukraine are in need of protection by the “collective West” against the aggressive encroachments of…

Shootout raises fears over Russian ties to Hungary’s far right (11/27/2016) | @aqbyrne @FT
… What was less well known was the far-right militia’s multiple ties to Russian secret services. “We don’t believe this attack was a plot orchestrated by the Russian government,” said Peter Kreko, director of Political Capital, a Budapest think-tank. “But there are strong suspicions…
… “It’s not about classical espionage, but rather manipulation of the press, the public and the political system,” he said, arguing that groups like the MNA can be used to destabilise politics. “The Russians are using totally different weapons to create an alternative reality. …
… Russian support to militants had been known for years but the government’s strong political links with Moscow and fears of an economic backlash had… Hungary’s heavy reliance on Russian gas and the €10bn in Kremlin funding to build two Russian-designed nuclear reactors in Paks, by far the largest investment in Hungary in years. Prime minister Viktor Orban, who enjoys cordial relations with Russian president Vladimir Putin…
… Peter Szijjarto, Hungary’s foreign minister, said he would await a full report from authorities before making any formal diplomatic complaint. …

EU should recognise Romania as bulwark against Russian expansionism (12/8/2016) | @NTenzer (@CERAP_Paris) @EurActiv
… First of all, the new cabinet must reaffirm Romania’s willingness to remain faithful to NATO and the EU. …
We should not forget that Russia now encircles Romania with new puppet presidents and that Russian troops stationed in Crimea are just 250 kilometres from Romania’s Black Sea coast.
Secondly, the future cabinet must ensure that its economic program is ambitious enough to give hopes to Romanians suffering through low wages and pensions, without undermining the budgetary balance. …
Thirdly, the new cabinet should be truly committed to pushing forward European and liberal values. Any complacency on populism and illiberalism…
Fourthly… Romania should show a true concern to push for a sustainable reform of the EU in the context of Brexit and the threats to media freedoms and the values of tolerance and openness being aired in Hungary and Poland.
… Romania will chair the European Council’s rotating presidency in early 2019, exactly when the UK and the EU are expected to finish Brexit negotiations. …

Pro-Russian candidates win presidential votes in Bulgaria and Moldova (11/14/2016) | @RolandOliphant @telegraph

The new presidents of Bulgaria and Moldova are less pro-Russian than advertised (11/14/2016) | @economist
… Victoria Bucataru of the Foreign Policy Association, a Moldovan think-tank, suspects that Mr Dodon and Mr Plahotniuc had “a secret alliance” to stop Ms Sandu and her reform agenda. …
Mr Radev was supported by Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish community, whose main party has close links both to domestic oligarchs and to Russian businesses. Bulgaria’s Socialists are supported by conservative pensioners and the Moscow-linked Orthodox Church. Yet in previous governments, the party assented to hosting American military bases in Bulgaria and embraced NATO membership.
Dimitar Bechev of Harvard University says the country “can have its cake and eat it too,” by remaining a loyal member of the EU and NATO while reaching out to Russia… “Until recently, I flew a Soviet jet fighter. I graduated from an American academy. But I am a Bulgarian general. My cause is Bulgaria.”
… But the reality is that politics in both countries is driven by domestic forces, most prominently oligarchs’ efforts to secure their financial interests. Their leaders are well versed in the art of playing the West and Russia against each other. …

us-policychanges-nationalsecurity-2


US Policy Changes Vol.24 (Foreign Policy Vol.3)

Here are articles on foreign policy. Excerpts are on our own.

The next world order: Domestic dramas and dangerous dislocations – THE 2016 US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION (11/21/2016) | @timdunneAPR2P ‏@LowyInstitute
One of the most influential writers on US foreign and security policy, G John Ikenberry, refers to American’s capacity to steer world order. This simple metaphor recognises that despite the actual and potential conflicts that exist among the members of international society, world order can be led and managed. In the post-1945 world, America provided steerage capacity through a combination of close bilateral relations with key strategic allies and by creating enduring multilateral institutions.
… Even a moderate and informed voice, @FT ‏@philipstephens, was moved to argue that we are heading for a period where the new normal is going to be a succession of ‘dangerous dislocations’.

The decline of the West will still confront the next president (11/8/2016) | @robert_sibley @OttawaCitizen @edmontonjournal
And if Trump wins? … “May you live in interesting times.” …
Trumpism is a symptom of this geopolitical contestation. The élitists may regard him as “the avatar of the politics of anger and anxiety,” as one pundit remarks, but that simplistic view betrays their isolation from those whose lives have been destroyed in the effort to establish a universal and homogeneous world order.

TRUMP’S IMPACT ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (11/21/2016) | @AnetteStimmer @OxPolBlog
…it is about time to turn to an analysis of what Trump means for International Relations (IR) as a discipline. While the barriers between the different schools of thought in IR are eroding, two things haven’t changed: a preference for explanations that involve international rather than the domestic politics and for patterns rather than the personalities of leaders. It is possible that Trump might shake up these orientations. First, Trump’s presidency might reveal that the gradual build-up of domestic grievances can undermine some of the most established international organisations, and potentially lead to radical change. If this is the case, IR scholars would be well-advised to pay more attention to domestic politics. Second, IR has a tendency to favour explanations that involve patterns, whether these are structural or related to the ways in which actors make decisions. What Trump has demonstrated is that some actors can win by acting in unexpected ways, which were previously considered not ‘appropriate’ for gaining office, and perhaps not even ‘rational’, since they risked alienating too many voter groups. …
(1) If Trump and Brexit have taught us anything, then it is that looking at domestic dynamics is key. Large segments of Western societies feel unrepresented by the Western liberal consensus and yearn for different policies. Trump’s presidency will show whether this rejection of established practices and norms also translates to the international realm. If Trump’s anti-establishment agenda translates to international relations, will we see a revival of Ikenberry and Kupchan’s ‘hegemonic socialisation’? …
(2) Another answer to the question of whether Trump’s foreign policy will be revisionist, however, would be that the personality of leaders matters more than IR scholars tend to acknowledge. …
…some actors can be successful by acting very differently from what pundits would have expected.

America is making the world nervous: Column (10/28/2016) | John M. Owen (@Miller_Center) @USATOpinion
… It turns out that although its actions certainly have not pleased everyone, the United States for decades had the virtue of predictability. A large body of political science literature argues that democracies are more reliableinternational partners because of their domestic constraints and transparency. John Ikenberry, professor of politics and international affairs @Princeton, argues that American reliability is especially important to global order because of the country’s outsized power. …
…James Davison Hunter and Carl Desportes Bowman @iasculture…
… Foreign policy specialist Robert Kaplan is among those who thinks this is unlikely, writing ‘Trump seems post-literate, a man who has made an end run around books directly to the digital age, where nothing is vetted, context is absent and lies proliferate’.

Five Foreign-Policy Challenges for President-Elect Trump (11/10/2016) | Simon Reich @ConversationUS ‏@DefenseOne
Foreign policy was once bipartisan
Old and new style
Challenge number one: the Middle East
Challenge number two: Russia
Challenge number three: Europe
Challenge number four: China
Challenge number five: Free trade agreements
Finally, the black swan challenge from the Arctic

What will the US presidential election mean for Europe? (11/1/2016) | Simon Reich ‏@LSEEuroppblog ‏@ruglobalaffairs

Andrew Moravcsik in Washington Post (4/15/2016) | @TrnsAtlantic
The United States is riding Europe’s superpower coattails (4/15/2016) | Andrew Moravcsik ‏@PostOpinions
… Without naval ports, air force bases, hospitals and command centers in Italy, Spain, Germany and Turkey, U.S. military operations in the Middle East, South Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa and the Arctic would be nearly impossible. …
…$3.4 billion next year are earmarked for NATO “reassurance measures” in Eastern Europe. … Poland alone spends nearly $10 billion annually on its military, and NATO Europe as a whole more than $250 billion.
… The primary external force helping Ukraine resist Russia today is not the U.S. military but European geo-economic and diplomatic power.
… No Western policy is more critical to keeping Russia at bay than Europe’s $9 billion in annual economic aid and debt relief to Ukraine…
Brussels also recently signed a free-trade agreement with Ukraine…
Europe pays a high cost in lost trade to sustain Western sanctions against Russia…
Russia’s policy options are limited also by its dependence on European energy markets. …
… Within the Minsk Process, in which the United States is not formally involved, they have persuaded Putin to limit his territorial gains in eastern Ukraine, concede a cease-fire and withdraw heavy weapons…
The geo-economic and institutional instruments of power… are simply unavailable to the United States, with its… antipathy to international legal commitments and secondary economic status in the former Soviet zone, as well as…

Why Russia Is Excited About Donald Trump’s Pick for Secretary of State (w Video; 12/13/2016) | @shustry,@tcberenson @TIME
… One of the most impressive deals of Tillerson’s career was a 2011 agreement to drill for oil in the Arctic along with Rosneft, Russia’s state-run energy conglomerate. Though Tillerson’s formal partner in those talks was Igor Sechin, the Rosneft chief executive, Putin personally oversaw the negotiations, which were finalized at his residence in Sochi that summer. In exchange for Arctic drilling rights, Tillerson gave Russia unprecedented access to oil fields in his home state of Texas and in the Gulf of Mexico, allowing Putin to feel like an equal and long-term partner, rather than another one of the world’s many oil-rich autocrats who sells chunks of his country to global corporations. Two years later, Putin rewarded Tillerson with the Order of Friendship, one of the highest civilian honors that Russia can grant a foreigner. …
…the Russians… want to see a whole new approach to American diplomacy, one that stops putting principles ahead of profits, focuses instead on getting the best political bargain available — and treats Russia as an equal on the global stage. …
… What the Kremlin would offer in response is anybody’s guess. One option would be a military coalition against terrorist groups in Syria and elsewhere. Another would be a Russian promise to respect the NATO alliance, stop violating its airspace and pull its troops away from NATO borders. …

Editorial: The world of Rex Tillerson: Appraising Trump’s pick for secretary of state (12/14/2016) | @Trib_Ed_Board @chicagotribune

For Republican Russia Hawks, a Dilemma Named Rex Tillerson (12/14/2016) | @jestei @nytimes
… “Russia is going to be the central litmus test for United States policy,” said Heather A. Conley @CSIS…
It is the same dynamic that has prevented a larger outcry from congressional Republicans over revelations that Russia interfered with the presidential election. They fear they could appear aligned with Democrats in raising questions about the election’s legitimacy. While congressional leaders called for investigations into possible tampering, they stopped short of ordering expansive efforts like a select committee. …
Both of the last two major defense bills authorized funding for security assistance to Ukraine, including lethal assistance the Obama administration has refused to provide.
This year’s bill authorizes $3.4 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, a fourfold increase from last year, focused on increasing the size, capability and readiness of American forces in Europe against growing threats to their security and territorial integrity. …
“I have found Congress on both sides of the aisle to be entirely robust on the issue of Russia,” said @Billbrowder… “It is hard for me to imagine that Congress would suddenly change their mind about Russia just because Donald Trump has a different view.” …


US Policy Changes Vol.20 (Foreign Policy Vol.2 – International Politics)

Here are articles on US foreign policy and international politics (world politics). Excerpts are on our own.

How Trump Can Save the Liberal Order (12/1/2016) | @RHFontaine ‏@ForeignAffairs @CNASdc
… Its creation was a response to the destructive wars, economic depressions, and rise of dictatorships that marred the first half of the twentieth century. Since then, the world has seen the longest period of great-power peace in modern history, the largest number of people ever pulled up from poverty, and an unprecedented expansion of democracy. To paraphrase British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the liberal order is the worst form of international organization — except for all the others.
… Trump should likewise work to extend the order’s reach to cyberspace, where there are no norms governing international behavior. …

On foreign policy, Donald Trump is no realist (11/21/2016) | Robert D. Kaplan @postpolitics @CNASdc
… Realists like myself should be very nervous about his election.
Realism is a sensibility, not a specific guide to what to do in each crisis. And it is a sensibility rooted in a mature sense of the tragic — of all the things that can go wrong in foreign policy, so that caution and a knowledge of history are embedded in the realist mindset. Realism has been with us at least since Thucydides wrote “The Peloponnesian War” in the 5th century B.C., in which he defined human nature as driven by fear (phobos), self-interest (kerdos) and honor (doxa). …
… A sense of history comes mainly from reading. That’s how we know in the first place about such things as our obligations to allies and our role as the defender of the West. …
Realists know that while the balance of power is not a panacea, maintaining an advantageous balance of power with rivals is generally in a nation’s interest. …
Realists know that because values follow interests and not the other way around…
Realism is about moderation. It sees the value in the status quo while idealists only see the drawbacks in it. …
… the United States is the most well-endowed and advantageously located major state on Earth. … Realism is about utilizing such power to protect allies without precipitating conflict. It is not about abandoning them and precipitating conflict as a consequence. …

An Open Letter on Donald Trump’s Vision of U.S. Foreign Policy (7/26/2016) | @Ali_Wyne @Medium
An Open Letter on Donald Trump’s Vision of US Foreign Policy (7/19/2016) | @Ali_Wyne @aminterest
Trump’s 19th Century Foreign Policy (1/20/2016) | @thomaswright08 @POLITICOMag
… In sum, Trump believes that America gets a raw deal from the liberal international order it helped to create and has led since World War II. He has three key arguments that he returns to time and again over the past 30 years. He is deeply unhappy with America’s military alliances and feels the United States is overcommitted around the world. He feels that America is disadvantaged by the global economy. And he is sympathetic to authoritarian strongmen. Trump seeks nothing less than ending the U.S.-led liberal order and freeing America from its international commitments.
… With his background and personality, Trump is so obviously sui generis that it is tempting to say his views are alien to the American foreign policy tradition. …particular echoes of Sen. Robert Taft, who unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination in 1940, 1948 and 1952, and was widely seen as the leader of the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Taft was a staunch isolationist and mercantilist who opposed U.S. aid for Britain before 1941. After the war, he opposed President Harry Truman’s efforts to expand trade. Despite being an anti-communist, he opposed containment of the Soviet Union, believing that the United States had few interests in Western Europe. He opposed the creation of NATO as overly provocative. …
…a President Trump’s foreign policy…: “He would believe very strongly in extreme military strength. He wouldn’t trust anyone. …
… As the world’s only superpower, one of America’s most important functions has been to ensure open access to what are called the global commons—the oceans, air and space. The U.S. Navy guarantees the openness of sea lanes for civilian trade, for example.
… Well, in 1988, he told Oprah Winfrey that Kuwait should pay the United States 25 percent of their oil profits because the United States “makes it possible for them to sell it.” … In his 1987 letter, he wrote, “Tax these wealthy nations, not America.” … It is excessive tribute in exchange for protection. …
… He wants to slap tariffs on other countries — again harking back to 19th-century protectionism — and negotiate bilateral deals. Most economists believe this would create a downward spiral in the global economy, but Trump does not seem to care.
… In 1990, he told Playboy… Asked whether that meant he favored China’s crackdown on students, he said, “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government…put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. …”
… China would offer President Trump an extraordinarily preferential economic deal and in exchange he would leave China alone to do as it wished in the South China Sea and East China Sea. After all, it would help American workers, at least in the short term. …
…virtually no chance that he would “tack back to the center” and embrace a conservative internationalist foreign policy. …he would do his utmost to liquidate the U.S.-led liberal order…
After his election, other countries will immediately hedge against the risk of abandonment. There will be massive uncertainty around America’s commitments. …
… Trump may well see such uncertainty as a positive. Putting everything in play would give him great leverage. But by undoing the work of Truman and his secretary of state, Dean Acheson, it would be the end of the American era.
… In 1971, faced with inflation and stagnation, he canceled the convertibility of the dollar to gold without consulting his allies. This brought a dramatic end to Bretton Woods. Nixon and his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, were also famously comfortable with strongmen and authoritarian regimes.
But Trump is no Nixon. …
To understand Trump, in the end, we have to go back to Taft and Lindbergh. The difference is that, unlike Trump, Taft was not outside the mainstream of his time. Many people believed…that it did not matter who ran Europe. Also, unlike Trump, Taft was boring… Lindbergh led a national movement that was divisive, xenophobic and sympathetic to Nazi Germany.
The reason we must revisit 1940 is that Republicans have struggled to find a new north star after Iraq. … Cruz seems to have thought little and said even less about America’s global role outside the Middle East. …
… Internationalists will have to explain all over again why the United States flourishes and benefits from a healthy international system. Taft and Lindbergh lost before, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the messenger this time.

Why George Washington Would Have Agreed With Donald Trump (5/5/2016) | Michael Hirsh @POLITICOMag
…already shaping up to be a debate over America’s global role of the kind we haven’t had for decades, perhaps since the last “America First” movement of the late ‘30s.
…should abandon the “dangerous idea that we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a Western democracy.” …he wants them to “prove” they are our friends…
Trump does appear to be giving short shrift to — and perhaps does not fully comprehend — a lot of the history that underlies America’s modern approach to the world. He doesn’t always make sense when he talks about foreign policy, calling at once for steadiness and unpredictability, a military buildup and a major war on ISIS but also restraint in the use of U.S. force overseas. …
But Trump is also correct in suggesting that the current global system is an aberration in American history, and he is persuasive in arguing that it may not be sustainable forever under current conditions, and America should focus more on fixing our own economic house for a long time to come… “Since the end of the Cold War and the breakup of the Soviet Union, we’ve lacked a coherent foreign policy,” Trump said in his speech. This is also arguably true. …
… “The world must know we do not go abroad in search of enemies.” The line was an allusion to the famous injunction of John Quincy Adams in 1821 that America “does not go in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” …
… Princeton scholar John Ikenberry, author of Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order, says that starting in 1946, the United States added a new ally — a nation with which it had some kind of security relationship — every five years or so. Today, it has a total of 62 permanent allies, including many from the former Soviet bloc. …
…a quarter century after the Cold War, the U.S. still has no real challenger as the lone superpower on earth, and U.S.-created global institutions…provide layers of multilateral cover that serve to take the raw edge off American hegemony… That is highly unusual in the history of great powers, which in the past have always provoked new rivalries and alliance-building against them. … Everyone inside this international system gets richer and stronger, while everyone outside it grows relatively weaker and poorer. Even Russia and China appear to realize this…
… Maybe this vast, expensive global order was necessary against Hitler, and later Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev…
Translated, what Trump is calling for is nothing less than a return to an American normalcy that frankly has always been somewhat isolationist…
…Exceptionalism. …that America was conceived, uniquely in history, as an idea — an apotheosis of the best ideas about the rights of man coming out of the Enlightenment — and that God blessed the new nation with the luxury of conducting this grand experiment on its own continent with two broad oceans to protect it. As Thomas Paine wrote in “Common Sense” in 1776: “We have it in our power to begin the world again.” Abraham Lincoln…in 1837: “…All the armies of Europe and Asia could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. …”
… Trump is exploiting much of the self-doubt already set into motion by the launching of a completely unnecessary war in Iraq, which seriously damaged the postwar alliance-and-trading system by grossly abusing America’s position within it. …
…Bill Clinton, who was known in his time as the “globalization president.” (“There is no longer a clear division between what is foreign and what is domestic,” he said at his first inaugural in 1993, and reiterated the point in his final foreign policy address in 2000…
… Suppose, with the end of the Soviet Union, America had mysteriously disappeared as well, or more realistically had retreated to within its borders…
… But most data show that globalization has created a far wealthier (if unequal) world overall. …
… There are limits to how much change a president can really effect, and inevitably even a Trump administration would probably maintain most of Washington’s now-entrenched role of global overseer. But it’s worth asking how much he would be able to pare it back or disrupt it—and whether a badly divided America can, or wants to, sustain this role forever. …
… For most of America’s first century of existence, U.S. policy abroad was constrained by the Monroe Doctrine… That began to change with Teddy Roosevelt… TR was intent on becoming the first true internationalist American president… Initially, he confined himself to reasserting the Monroe Doctrine, mainly in an effort to secure the new Panama Canal for trade and to rid the New World of lingering European claims in Cuba and Latin America…
… He presciently predicted Japan’s victory over troubled Czarist Russia in 1905… Worried about the rise of the Japanese in the Pacific, TR stepped in and negotiated the Treaty of Portsmouth between Japan and Russia. It was a first foreshadowing of the U.S. president’s arbitrator-in-chief role that would become familiar to later generations.
In 1917…the notorious Zimmerman Telegram, in which Berlin pledged to help Mexico regain the American territory it had lost in 1848 in return for an alliance, was a key trigger. Bolshevized Russia also represented for the first time an ideological threat. That led Wilson to turn exceptionalism on its head… Ikenberry points out that the “paradox” of Wilson’s agenda was that “he wanted to avoid involvement in European politics, so he pursued a vision that entailed the utter transformation of European politics.”
… But out in the heartland, and among their representatives in Congress, many Americans continued to believe that John Quincy Adams was still right. …his League of Nations went down to defeat in the Senate when Henry Cabot Lodge, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, refused to sign off on Article 10, which obligated all League members to intervene in the event of aggression against other members. …
… “We have torn up Wilsonism by the roots,” Lodge crowed after Harding won in a landslide. …other abject failures of international law, especially of the 1929 Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war. …
… Americans after the war, wrote historian Robert Divine, “yearned for a magic formula which would permit them to live in peace without constant involvement abroad.”
… Thus the global system we have today is truly a kind of accidental American empire. …