Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Taz_786, May 10, 2006.
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Is there another Cold War brewing?
Chris Sanders of Sanders Research says yes, all that and more:
1. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is emerging as a counter-weight to the recently expansive NATO.
2. India, Pakistan, Mongolia, and Iran are to be inducted as full members.
3. Russia and China are emerging as formidable military and economic powers.
The Russians and the Chinese are at pains to assure NATOâs members that the SCO is not aimed at anyone in particular, especially not at them, while at the same time testing long range transonic nuclear capable cruise missiles, moving elite troops into position to threaten US resupply points in central Asia, staging joint manoeuvres, and blocking Anglo-American attempts to sanction Iran in the UN Security Council. And now of course, they are bringing Iran officially under their wing, supported by the two south Asian powers. The blowhard American representative at the UN, John Bolton, has publicly said that if the UN does not sanction Iran, that the US will act anyway. We donât doubt that he means it, but consider: the worldâs gold reserves are moving east, not west, and the government that he represents just voted another $109 billion in âemergencyâ (read off balance sheet) funding of which some $76 billion is allocated to prolong its slow motion defeat in Iraq. Where will the money come from, Mr. Bolton? Japan? China?
Sanders contrasts the parabolic growth of Russian and Chinese reserves of foreign exchange and gold with the growth of the USA's net indebtedness to the rest of the world and the federal fiscal deficit.
He also makes some extremely dire assertions about the state of US conventional forces.
"Hobbesâs Choice" May 8, 2006
I am getting an unpleasant feeling that the Kremlin leadership could be thinking that the "Main Enemy" (as I've read they referred to the USA during the Communist years) has concurrently grown weak, decadent, arrogant, and overbearing and is ready to take a big fall.
Chris Sanders isn't exactly a non-biased source. He's had an axe to grind with this US administration and has been a proponent of things like the 911 conspiracy theories.
By all accounts the US economy in spite of a much hyped and overstated national debt and widely propagated myth that China is the largest owner of that debt, the economy is predicted to grow at a fairly healthy pace the next fifteen years. Russia's future is not as pretty if oil prices fall and demographic trends continue.
Not that there aren't problems and issues that a new administration wouldn't hurt, as with every decade in the last 40 years rumors of America's economic and political demise are exaggerated.
Yes but Virgil, don't you realise that the USA's problems of an (admittedly over-large) trade deficit and a (really quite small) budget deficit are FAR MORE SERIOUS than China or Russia's collapsing demographics, endemic corruption, fragile fiscal systems and lack of democracy?! Get with the programme, the USA is sure to decline and be overtaken by China, just as it was in 2000 (by the EU), in 1990 (by Japan), 1980 (by USSR), 1940 (by Germany and/or Japan)...etc.
I must admit that I was unaware of Russia 'falling population' untill Putins speech yesterday. I would agree that Russias lack of Russians is a problem which will not go away, just as the US problem of the booming growth of Hispanics will slowly change the tradition US outlook on the world and it's policies.
It is the Trade Defict which the US must do something about, but how ? The US consummers is locked into Cheap Chnese products and it was US Business, that got the Administration to let China into the World Trade Organisation.
Shurely they knew just what China could do on a $ a day labour, for it had already wiped out the low wage economies of South East Asia.
I don't think so. Mr.Bush is rather a rare exception. As for Rt.hon.learned mr.Blair then I'm sure he understands realities pretty well. No doubt that he is a professional of the highest class.
A new cold war? Rather a new stage of a struggle for influence but without any ideological background. Main fronts will be economical and financial, main weapons - oil and gas.
While USA rely on expensive and inefficient military adventures, another side would use banks instead of tanks increasing own influence along with huge profits.
As for 'hungry wolf' then he will change his tune later or sooner looking at 'the dragon' and 'the bear' and will not try eat any lovely lamb.
" Main fronts will be economical and financial, main weapons - oil and gas. "
Ah how true Sergey, hope our learned leaders do not put all our eggs in Tzar Boris's basket.
if blocks form their has to be some underlying type of cohesion that keeps the blocks together. You can compete for oil and gas without forming a block. At least now you can simply buy it on the world market. Countries can develop energy resource by getting companies to invest develop the resource and sell it. Blocks may be forming in order to change the way its done. Reordering the global market place.
To be fair the only 'inefficient' and expensive adventure of any worth lately by the US has been in Iraq (I'd argue the first Gulf War was more rational and 'efficient' per an economic argument). I wouldn't hang my hat on that alone as the US response to any new sort of economic race.
Sergei, the US has been successfully playing the capitalist economic game for quite some time, including the banking and finance sectors. For all of our faults it's the most diverse economy in the world, no single sector really governs. It's been able to respond to economic challenges amazingly well with a flexibility the newly emerging economies haven't shown they're able to do yet.
But for all the bluster and bravado of an economic war, with the interdependancy of today's global economy peaceful competition is a good thing. I'm not happy with Cheney's attack on Russian policy, it was strategic and political shortsitedness of the worst kind. I once hoped to see Russia join the EU and brought in closer as an interegal part of the West but unfortunately that doesn't look promising.
As xenophobic as the Russian's are, cuddling up to the Chinese would not seem to be in their best interest. The Chinese are migrating into Siberia in large numbers which in time will cause conflict between the two countries. The West poses no military threat to either China or Russia and yet both countries act like the biggest threat they face is from the US. It seem's like the cold war never really ended.
Well said T6, nice to see someone taking a long term view.
There is no immediate threat just now and not because USA is so peaceloving, rather because Russia and China are not sufficiently weak.
The main problem with USA is that current political leadership is ready to use military force in any situation. Regime change was declared as a legitimate cause.
Can you say that the Wesd poses no military threat to any country? Apparently no. Let's recall Iraq and Iran.
Excellent post Virgil! Cheers!
This one by its size is equal to good dozen medium size 'adventures'. Declaring that Iraqi war was right American political elite shows that Iraqi-type adventures would be possible in the future.
So how would you explain that perfect, ideally designed American economical engine contained (and probably contains) such parts as Enron?
There is so called effect of Bubka (Bubka - famous sportman-jumper, recordsman). Each new cm. required more and more efforts. Many Western countries (especially Japan) are quite near to suffer from Bubka effect in economics.
American economy lost or is losing many important advantages: $ as World money, abilty for brains pumping.
What would be the main economic challenge 10 years later? Probably it would be an energetic hunger. You believe that USA will be able to resolve the problem. God help America.
It would not be a fair competition. Later or sooner, Russia will impose export quotas for oil and gas (with some politically motivated exceptions). The World will be divided into energetically fed and hungry countries. Global struggle for access to resources is looming. And it will not be in some cases peaceful.
It was a clear message, mini-Fulton. As a result mr.Putin used 'gas-weapons' against Lithuania (that hosted the summit) Immediately after the speech they were increased by $30 per cm.
Kygyzstan (apparently encouraged from Moscow) demands more than $200 mlns. for its air-base. It is too an economical measure.
Agreed. Russian membership in EU is unrealistic and probably soon Russia will not be interesting in it.
Problem is that your viewing it like Russia is the ONLY supplier of gas and oil. Your not. Pish enough people off and they will simply look elsewhere for their supplies. EU is already looking for alternate sources after Putins little spat with the Ukraine earlier this year.
Maybe, maybe not, itâs only gazing into a crystal ball really a new adminstration will bring a new outlook. The reality is that even with the cost the economy has absorbed it well.
Iâd not call it âideally designedâ but I would call it more efficient than any of the largest players out there. One companyâs failure isnât indicative of a national economy. The lessons of the Enron fiasco are discussed, debated and taught in most US business school only four years after they occurred. You learn and move on, and the subsequent growth after Enron's demise can't be ignored.
The tech boom of the 90s is instructive. The 2001 GDP was a 28% higher than in 1991 and that takes into account the tech bubble busting, in other words the economy was worth over almost 1/3 more in just one decade. Not quite a Bubka effect.
Most forecasts for the US economy, even this by the French (In 2020, America Will Still Dominate Global Economy) continue to predict a healthy growth rate. Iâm not really all that concerned with energy as an issue, if prices rise to a certain rate than it will force technological responses to deal with it.
The immigration approach for the best âmindsâ is being addressed, a new bill is being introduced to increase and simplify the entrance of highly skilled scientists, engineers, programmers, etc. (theyâve already been given preference anyway). Most of the Russians I know here by the way, are scientists or programmers. One of my best friends is from St. Peteâs, she came to work because of a shortage of mathematics professors and is now employed as a professor in a major American university making $100, 000 a year. Iâm jealous. In fact Iâd say any good American university is full of Indian, Chinese and Russian professors.
The point I'd make is that almost 40% of Phd scientists and engineers are foreign born and itâs always been encouraged. This has been one of our great strengths and Iâll admit it gives us an advantage both technologically and economically.
Are you predicting a new cold war? Christ, letâs hope not. Iâd say that the energy crisis may be a problem but as I said before, the shortages or high prices in oil will cause technological responses. The challenge to Russia is to keep prices high--but not too high as to drive capital to develop new energy resources and to keep pumps flowing at the same time.
Be careful Russia, just a decade ago your major export were those fleeing economic poverty, no need to make new enemies now. As we say here you may reap what you sow. I love Russia, both its people and culture, but God knows they have no worst enemy than themselves.
Edit: I'm listening to a radio show and the broadcasters are joking that all the strippers in New York are now Russians. They're complaining that in the old days the American strippers were stupid but friendly but now the Russians are all educated and arrogant!
It strikes me as the struggle since Petr Veliki between those who look to the West and those who believe in Slavic and independent Russia is still occurring.
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