Archive for December, 2011
2011 saw big changes in two of the most dangerous nuclear-armed nations. North Korea inherited an new, inexperienced young leader and relations between Pakistan and the United States came close to breaking point. Both countries already have much common ground in missile and nuclear technology.
An urgent and angry investigation has begun into the intelligence failure to detect any sign of the death of Kim Jong-il on Saturday morning. Neither the US nor the South Korean had an inkling that the dictator of this nuclear-powered rogue state had died — and only learned about it with the news broadcasts early Monday morning.
Instability is inevitable in North Korea as the military, party and regional interests within the country jostle for power. The advantage is that Kim Jong-un — the Great Successor — will be more a unifying than a divisive figure in the immediate future and that China, South Korea and Japan can act as transformational beacons. The disadvantage is that North Korea has nuclear devices, good missiles and desparate and corrupt leaders who could use them under the guise of national defence or peddle them on the black market.
The wave of opposition in Russia, Eypt and Syria are all calling for the power of the status quo to be removed. In Burma, with Aung San Suu Chi, they are building institutions to replace it. One type is revolution of the negative; the other of the positive.
China’s navy should speed up its development and prepare for warfare, President Hu Jintao has said. He told military personnel they should “make extended preparations for warfare”. China is locked in territorial disputes with several other nations in the South China Sea. Political tension is also growing with the US, which is seeking to boost its presence in the region
Times of India:- Against the backdrop of China’s increasing assertiveness in East Asia, India, the US and Japan will hold their first trilateral meeting Dec 19 in the US capital to discuss “a range of Asia Pacific regional issues” among the three leading “Pacific democracies.” …. The three sides have made it clear that the trilateral dialogue is not directed against China, but Beijing has been uneasy with such an exercise and has tended to see such a move as a ganging up of democracies to encircle its rising influence in the region.
The Third World War — A Future History
In the late 19th Century George Cadbury anguished over slavery in the cocoa plantations. A hundred years later they were threatening those trying to expose it — including sovereign governments. They denied it existed and even now keep saying they are going to investigate it. Back then, the humanitarian concern was such that Britain boycotted cocoa beans from Portuguese San Tome and Principe. Today, the prospect of a boycott results in lectures about the need for the free market and how it will harm families that rely on cocoa farming to provide them a subsistence living.