looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

On The Road To Mandalay

The timing of Suu Kyi’s China trip and how both the Chinese “dragon” and the Indian “peacock” have together flocked around the “Lady” is noteworthy.

Read Here – The Indian Express

The Geopolitical Therapist

Terrorism is a real threat, but it’s not an existential threat to the existence of the democratic country of the United States of America. Terrorism can cause real problems. It can undermine confidence. It can kill relatively large numbers of people. But terrorism is not an existential threat, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden says.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Senior Iran Cleric Faces Down Culture Minister Over Concerts

In the campaigning leading up to Iran’s 2013 presidential vote, among the most important promises of Hassan Rouhani were those on cultural issues. After winning the election, Rouhani named Ali Jannati as his minister of culture and Islamic guidance to fulfil his promises. However, since day one, Jannati, who is a moderate son of ultra-conservative Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, has faced resistance from both hard-liners and Reformists.

Read Here – Al Monitor

The Strategic Costs Of Torture

It has been more than seven years since U.S. President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13491, banning the U.S. government’s use of torture. Obama’s directive was a powerful rebuke to the Bush administration, which had, in the years after the 9/11 attacks, authorized the CIA and the U.S. military to use “enhanced interrogation tech­niques” in questioning suspected terrorists.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Number Of Refugees To Europe Surges To New Record In 2015

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A record 1.3 million migrants applied for asylum in the 28 member states of the European Union, Norway and Switzerland in 2015 – nearly double the previous high water mark of roughly 700,000 that was set in 1992 after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Read Here – Pew Research Center

Russia And Iran: Historic Mistrust And Contemporary Partnership

Russia’s recent use of an Iranian air base to bomb targets across Syria marks a striking new development in the history of Russian-Iranian relations. Throughout the 19th and much of the 20th centuries, Iran had unsuccessfully resisted Russian designs to control its land and influence its politics. Iran’s 1979 revolution was meant, among other things, to restore the country’s sovereignty against great powers such as the United States and the United Kingdom, and to stand up to the atheist Soviet Union.

Read Here – Carnegie Moscow Center

China’s Investments Reveal Its Broader Ambitions

In November 1979, the Jinghe Share Holding Co. opened its doors in Tokyo, marking China’s first overseas investment and the start of the country’s transformative economic opening. Today, China has become the world’s second-largest investor and biggest supplier of capital. While other markets are in recession, China’s economy continues to grow, however slowly. Without question, the gravity of China’s economy, coupled with its ever-expanding reach into global affairs, will secure its place of influence in the international system for decades to come.

Read Here – Stratfor Geopolitical Weekly

The Biden Doctrine

Joe Biden is now the vice president who will not be president. He’s been VP for seven and a half years, preceded by decades of work on U.S. foreign policy in the Senate, but the question remains whether he is distinctive in any memorable way for his work in international affairs. Was he simply a glad-handing flack pushing the Obama agenda, a manic schmoozer of foreign leaders? A gaffe-prone foreign-policy dilettante who, in the long run, won’t matter?

Read Here – Defense One

Myanmar’s Experiment

Myanmar’s GDP may be growing at more than 8 percent. But the economic challenges in this country, where 70 percent of the population is employed in low-yield agriculture, are rendered formidable by crumbling and non-existent infrastructure, archaic laws, unskilled workers, low tax revenues, budget deficits and high inflation.

Read Here – Bloomberg

$11 Trillion Muslim Wealth Mountain Calls To Asian Fund Managers

The race to tap an $11.5 trillion pool of wealth held by Muslim individuals, institutions and governments is intensifying…While demand for investments that comply with the Koran’s tenets is rising, about $9.5 trillion of Islamic wealth still remains outside the Shariah finance industry, Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre estimated in February.

Read Here – Bloomberg

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