The article first published in americanthinker.com on 01/15/2019. For many years geopolitical pundits have debated which way China is likely to go after it pulls large numbers of its population out of poverty. Following the semi-market reforms undertaken by Deng Xiaoping in 1978 and large-scale development, China has indeed brought large numbers of its population- some 250 million at last count – into the middle class. One theory, named after Reagan diplomat, Jeane Kirkpatrick, holds that dictatorships, like Franco’s in Spain and Salazar’s in Portugal, easily transform into democracies once their citizens become well-to-do and are no longer satisfied with economic freedoms alone. Others have argued that this does not apply to communist systems that operate on different command principles altogether. This debate has become even more heated given some
The meeting in Katowice is only the first of many dedicated to climate change, where the world is finally sobering up to the fact that ambitions to affect the climate must fit reality, be fair and be shared. Paris agreements remain an unattainable goal if judged on data gathered and trends in carbon emissions dynamics in recent years. The U.S., which did not ratify the Paris climate agreement, continues to reduce its emissions. The EU has also managed to reduce its carbon footprint, but efforts on both sides of the Atlantic seem to be too little to affect global parameters of carbon pollution. Ultimately, the EU and the U.S. make up 35% of global emissions, with their share falling. Their ability to lead and shape the global
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“In Ukraine, even with a delay and the high price paid, a dangerous deathly expansion of Western alliances has been stopped. From a quasi-Weimar state on the defensive, Russia has now gone back to its familiar role as a victorious country, back to a new self-confidence.“ Karaganov, a Eurasian thinker with an additional chromosome instead of a brain fold. For over twenty years I have been trying to explain to the delusional Russian political class some realities that I believe to be quite obvious to any normal human being. I persist in this hopeless mission, because this serious illness affecting the “nation’s brains” is leading my country to inevitable disaster. The most important obsession of Russian foreign policy discourse is a
“They (the Europeans) look at the Russian people as barbarians, who wander in Europe rejoicing, that somewhere and something can be destroyed – and destroy it just for the sake of destruction, for fun, for the pleasure of simply overseeing its demise, like hordes of savages, like huns, ready to launch as assault on the ancient Rome and to demolish the holy shrines, without any appreciation of the value of what they are destroying” Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Writer’s Diary – Dnevnik Pisatelya) Putin has entered the final stage of his tenure at the helm of the Kremlin. Whatever he achieves abroad will not matter if the internal situation continues to disintegrate in a seemingly irreversible and self-propelling downward spiral. The Russian president is trying the ultimate
In this article, we look at the implications for Bulgaria from Lukoil’s exit from the country’s and possibly EU’s market. While Bulgaria is definitely not Lukoil’s most important market in Europe, it bears significance, due to Lukoil’s almost complete monopoly in the oil fuels sector there, further exacerbated by this country’s full reliance on Russian energy. While Lukoil’s expected exit may represent an opportunity for Bulgaria to foster competition on its energy market, this analysis suggests that for a number of internal and external reasons, it may fail to make use of it. By some accounts, Lukoil is considering disposal of its remaining downstream assets in Europe, including its refinery and possibly retail business in Bulgaria. The refineries in Italy, the Netherlands and Romania are also up for
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 02/11/2016. On October 20, The Jamestown Foundation held a workshop in Washington D.C. titled “Russia in Decline,” with the participation of a veritable Who’s Who of senior American experts on Russia. It was the concluding exercise of an extensive research project on Russia designed to provide policy guidance to the next president of the United States. Prior to the workshop, the leader of the project, S. Enders Wimbush, had solicited written contributions by a dozen of the best-known Russian political commentators and economists. The bottom line of both the workshop and Russian contributions was a remarkable consensus: Russia has entered a period of prolonged decline that will take many years to reverse even if it could be stopped soon, which is unlikely. The
Two weeks ago an event took place at the posh offices of a prominent Washington law firm with an incredible view of the nearby White House. But the discussion had little to do with U.S. presidential politics. Hosted by the America-Georgia Business Council, the high-powered conference focused on a single subject: the strategic impact of the Chinese New Silk Road project on the economies and geopolitics of Georgia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Assembled for the conference was group of prominent American and foreign scholars and government officials led by the distinguished American historian on Central Asia and the Caucasus, S. Frederick Starr; geopolitical guru S. Enders Wimbush; the head of Georgia’s central bank, Koba Gvenetadze; and key officials of British Petroleum (BP), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC),