Manal Saadi Postgraduate researcher in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Geneva-based UMEF University
doc.dr.Jasna Cosabic professor of IT law and EU law at Banja Luka College,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Aleksandra Krstic Studied in Belgrade (Political Science) and in Moscow (Plekhanov’s IBS). Currently, a post-doctoral researcher at the Kent University in Brussels (Intl. Relations). Specialist for the
MENA-Balkans frozen and controlled conflicts.
Dr. Swaleha Sindhi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of
Baroda, India. Decorated educational practitioner Dr. Sindhi is a frequent columnist on related topics, too. She is the Vice President
of Indian Ocean Comparative Education Society (IOCES). Contact:
It is an Ankara-based
journalist and notable author.
She is engaged with the leading Turkish dailies and weeklies for
nearly three decades as a columnist, intervieweer and editor.
Her words are prolifically published and quoted in Turkish,
French an English.
By İLNUR ÇEVIK Modified from the original: They killed 1 Saddam and created 1,000 others (Daily Sabah)
Aine O’Mahony Aine O'Mahony has a bachelor in Law and Political Science at
the Catholic Institute of Paris and is currently a master's student
of Leiden University in the International Studies programme.Contact:
Elodie Pichon Elodie Pichon has a
bachelor in Law and Political Science at the Catholic Institute of
Paris and is currently doing a MA in Geopolitics, territory and
Security at King's College London. Contact :
a MA candidate of the George
Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs. Her
research focus is on cross-Pacific security and Asian studies,
particularly on the Sino-U.S. relations and on the foreign policy
and politics of these two.
ALESSANDRO CIPRI Born in Chile and raised in Rome, Alessandro
Cipri has just finished his postgraduate studies at the department
of War Studies of King's College London, graduating with distinction
from the Master's Degree in "Intelligence and International
Security". Having served in the Italian Army's "Alpini" mountain
troops, he has a keen interest in national security, military
strategy, insurgency theory, and terrorism studies. His Master's
dissertation was on the impact of drug trafficking on the evolution
of the Colombian FARC.
Ms. Lingbo ZHAO is a candidate of the Hong Kong Baptist
University, Department of Government and International Studies. Her
research interest includes Sino-world, Asia and cross-Pacific.
Elodie Pichon, Ms. Elodie Pichon, Research Fellow of the IFIMES Institute, DeSSA Department. This native Parisian is a Master in Geopolitics,
Territory and Security from the King’s College, London, UK.
Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey currently lectures on Digital-Diplomacy. "Mo"
has benefited from a diverse career in investment banking & diplomacy, but
his passion has been the new avenues of communication. He was Bosnia &
Herzegovina's first Ambassador to the United Nations, Agent to the
International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister & Signatory of the Rome
Statute establishing the International Criminal Court. He also played
American football opting for a scholarship to Tulane University in New
Orleans after being admitted to Harvard, oh well!!
Amanda Janoo is an Alternative
Economic Policy Adviser to governments and development
organizations. Graduate from Cambridge University with an MPhil in
Development Studies, Amanda worked at the United Nations Industrial
Development Organization (UNIDO) supporting government's with
evidence-based industrial policy design for inclusive and
sustainable growth. Her research focus is on the relationship
between international trade and employment generation. She has
worked throughout Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa promoting greater
economic self-determination and empowerment.
Michael dr. Logies,
Endy Bayuni The writer, editor-in-chief of
The Jakarta Post, took part
in the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum, organized by the
Institute for Peace and Democracy and the Press Council, on Dec.5-6.
Bellevrat is the WEO Energy Analysts
Kira West Kira West is the WEO Energy Analysts
Victor Davis Hanson— NRO contributor Victor Davis
Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author,
most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global
Conflict Was Fought and Won.
Chief Research Fellow at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and
International Relations (Moscow, Russia). In 1989-1991 was a member
of Soviet negotiating team at START-1 negotiations (Defense and
Ingrid Stephanie Noriega
Ingrid Stephanie Noriega is junior specialist in International
Relations, Latina of an immense passion for human rights, democratic
accountability, and conflict resolution studies as it relates to
international development for the Latin America and Middle East –
regions of her professional focus.
Tiberio Graziani Chairman, Vision & Global Trends,
International Institute for Global Analyses, www.vision-gt.eu An early version of the text appeared with The Diplomat magazine
(interview with Kuo Mercy)
Since President Erdogan has been successful in every
election he has entered for years, there is a view that "Erdogan
will never lose" which is accepted by most of the people in Turkey.
This is actually a reasonable view because, despite several adverse
events, Erdogan and the AK Party have been superior to the polls for
I think that President Erdogan will win the next
election, even if he is not as strong as he used to be, as long as
his health allows him and he wants to be in the political arena.
But of course, it is a fact that Erdogan is not as
powerful as he was a few years ago, and the criticism towards the
Erdogan government and the country's course, including those who
voted for him, is too much to be underestimated. We can also
understand this from the alliance he had formed with the president
of the Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahçeli, which had
criticized him repeatedly in the past. The AK Party, chaired by
Erdogan, is no longer a party that will win the elections alone.
But it should also be noted that AK Party is a lucky
party. Because, CHP (Republican People's Party), which has been
acting as the main opposition party for years, is not a party that
can take over the majority of the people because of its constant
chaos, wrong choices and attitudes. You may not be able to see
another major opposition party, which draws an amateur image like
CHP, in any country of Europe.
As a matter of fact, many secret meetings have been
organized with many people who want to be in charge of the country's
government after Erdogan. I want to write the names of the different
profiles that could play the first chair in the leadership of Turkey
The only one who can win elections against Erdogan
Meral Akşener, who was elected to the parliament for
the first time in 1995, while President Erdogan was the mayor of
Istanbul, and served as the first female Minister of Internal
Affairs in Turkish history after a year, is a respected name for her
political experience by many people today.
In 2001, Akşener, who took part in the founding
stages of the AK Party with two names, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and
Abdullah Gül, who later served as the Prime Minister and the
President, left the party as a result of disagreements in the
establishment of the AK Party, then turned into a very popular
political icon in the Nationalist Movement Party, which is one of
the most well-established parties of Turkey.
After the failed election results of the Nationalist
Movement Party, where she served as a member of parliament and
parliamentary deputy speaker for many years, Akşener, who rolled up
her sleeves to become the party's leader, has formed The Good Party
against the obstructions of Devlet Bahçeli, who is thought to run
the party with a dictatorial approach by many, and her party
achieved a successful result in its first year, surpassing the 10%
I think Meral Akşener is the only name to win the
election against President Erdogan, who has been superior to his
rivals in every election for years. Meral Akşener is a politician
who is at the forefront with her nationalism but keeps it in a very
good balance and she’s not a person like French Marine Le Pen, who
has rhetoric towards racism and fascism.
In Turkey, the majority of the population position
themselves as the center-right wing and both the AK Party and most
of the political parties that have been successful in the past are
center-right parties. Meral Akşener is a figure who is positioned in
the center-right wing, but she is also a strong social democrat
leader with strong rhetoric and sympathetic attitude.
I can already say that Meral Akşener will continue
her successful political graphics and that one day she will be at
the highest level of Turkish politics, although she is subjected to
a great deal of pressure from her party and her rise.
He loves Erdogan and the people love him.
Suleyman Soylu, who was the president of the
Democratic Party, which had an important place in Turkish political
history in the past as it elected three presidents and seven prime
ministers, became one of the most trusted names of President Erdogan
after a few years, even though he did politics in opposition to
Erdogan and the AK Party at the time.
Suleyman Soylu, who currently serves as the Minister
of Internal Affairs, is one of the most respected names of the
nationalist-conservative wing, just like Meral Akşener. Especially
in recent years, his successful and determined struggle against the
PKK, the terrorist organization that committed numerous murders in
Turkey and his being in the forefront of positive developments
regarding internal security has gained Suleyman Soylu a very
positive sympathy by the Turkish people.
However, the possibility of Minister Soylu taking
over the leadership of Turkey does not seem to be much at the
moment, because Minister Soylu, who has expressed his loyalty to
Erdogan at every opportunity, cannot make such a move when Erdogan
is still the President. He even made it clear that he was planning
to leave politics after Erdogan on a TV show he attended on CNN. But
of course, there is a saying in our country that "A period of 24
hours is a very long time for politics" and we can see that Soylu to
make a move for leading Turkey after Erdogan.
Besides, I have to say that apart from Suleyman Soylu,
politicians who are currently working at the AK Party will crave for
their seats in the AK Party in a possible disintegration process
because, people, who have the qualities of leadership to meet the
demands of the people like Erdogan, do not take part in the AKP
Perhaps the only hope of the left in Turkey
As I mentioned before, if we look at the dynamics of
Turkey, it is a very low possibility that a power with the left
understanding rule the country, but Muharrem Ince, who is backed by
the social democratic masses against Erdogan in the presidential
election on June 24, 2018, and who has the characteristics of a
leader that has been longed for years, is the strongest name on the
left that can change this dynamic.
It would not be wrong to say that Ince, who served as
a member of the Republican People's Party (CHP) since 2002 when AK
Party came to power, is Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's biggest rival, who has
been sitting in the chair of the general presidency for years
despite the party's failed results. Although Muharrem Ince, who has
been competing against Kılıçdaroğlu at every CHP congress in recent
times, has not yet achieved this goal, but he is the is the most
important name forcing Kılıçdaroğlu to resign and it will be a
development that we can see very soon.
Muharrem Ince, who has already declared that he will
be a candidate for the presidency in the elections after five years,
has carried out a successful work in the elections a few months ago.
Despite the intense love of those who voted for him, he got 30% and
fell below Erdogan's 52% electoral success.
To become the leader of Turkey, Ince has to step up
on this rate and gain the sympathy of the right wing in Turkey. This
is difficult, but with its political attitude and populist style,
Ince can achieve it.
Turkish people may need the experience and
knowledge of their former prime minister
Ahmet Davutoglu, who was one of the most important
figures of the AK Party until a few years ago and who was both the
president of AK Party, and the Prime Minister of Turkey between 2014
and 2016, is a name with a reputation in AK Party although he had to
resign as a result of a ridiculous statement published by several
media oligarchs in Turkey.
It would not be wrong to say that Davutoglu, who has
not met with Erdogan in any way lately, has withdrawn into his shell
because he is not as active in political developments as he used to
be. I think that Davutoglu, who is said to be founding a strong
political party against Erdogan from time to time, should carry out
an active and correct opposition policy against Erdogan in order to
become Turkey's leader after Erdogan because, so to speak, it is not
possible for the people to sympathize with the return of a name that
is scratched and forced to withdraw to his shell by Erdogan to
active politics after Erdogan.
However, Davutoglu, who is touted as Ahmet Hodja in
the conservative sector, is one of the most experienced politicians
in the country and is always a name that is likely to be re-elected
to the top seat. One of Davutoglu's greatest advantages will be the
support given to him by some of the prominent figures who have
successfully taken part in Turkish politics.
There are other alternatives as well
As we often see in Turkish political history, a name
that is not known very much, may show up suddenly and become the
leader of the country. So even though I can guess a few names, we
should not forget that it may not be possible.
For example, Cihangir Islam, who is preparing
to succeed the wise leader of Felicity Party that once came to
power, Temel Karamollaoğlu, is a new hope of the highly conservative
group in Turkey, even if he is far from his former power. Islam, who
maintained his medical success in parliament and made a good
opposition, will be one of the most remarkable figures of the
parliament until the next general elections scheduled to take place
in 2023. At the same time, he is a politician with a vision that can
move Felicity Party and its masses, which is declared as reactionist
by some people, to a lot of innovations and to get votes from the
voters who are opposed to him.
If the wave of young leadership spreads to Turkey as
it did with Macron in France, with Kurz in Austria, with Trudeau in
Canada and with Tsipras in Greece, Faik Tunay, who became a
CHP deputy at a young age, is also a name that can play first chair
even though he is of central right origin. Tunay's strong
international connections and his ability to speak many important
languages will be a great advantage for him and for his leadership
of Turkey. Although Tunay has not been seen much in the political
arena lately, it is quite likely that he will progress in the right
direction at the right time, using his young age's advantage.
Of course, even if they haven't been involved in
politics until now, the successful names of the business world can
step in this direction in a possible conjuncture. Ali Koç,
who is the member of the country's richest and most respected
family, is the first to come to mind in this direction although he
is dealing with the very unsuccessful outcomes of the football club
he is currently president of. Although he has repeatedly stated that
he does not intend to enter politics, he is a businessman who can be
accepted by the public with his charisma and success. In the past,
we have witnessed ultra-rich names such as Cem Uzan and Cem Boyner
enter into politics and fail. Ali Koç, on the contrary, can be an
example of success.
In conclusion, I should say that the emergence of a
successful name from the business world to the leadership of Turkey
will not produce as negative results as in the case of Trump, the
first example in the world that comes to mind. At least in the
DECEMBER 28, 2018
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019
Chairman, Vision & Global Trends,
International Institute for Global Analyses, www.vision-gt.eu
INHERITANCE OF THE 2018 TRANSFORMATIVE TRENDS
The main transformative trends in
2018 that will affect next year will concern at least the following
three different global and interconnected sectors: Economic&
Financial Area; Security; Dismantling of the Old World Order.
Economic& Financial Area
Regarding the economic and financial area, it will be necessary to
monitor the growing importance of advanced technologies and their
applications in the production cycles of the most industrial
nations. In the next year, we will face a sort of rationalization of
these production processes that will profoundly change the evolution
of the current social equilibrium within nations and also the
relations between states and large financial organizations.
According to some analytical studies, a third of US workforce (about
50 million people) could be transformed by 2020. Furthermore, we
will witness the explosion of new markets based on the technological
needs of the elderly and the disabled people. We will also face the
increase of cryptocurrencies. The knowledge and management of new
technologies - ICT, AI, blockchain. 3D printing mainly - will
constitute the challenge of the next decade between the major world
powers and the main investment groups.
The impact of the advanced technologies on geostrategic decisions
will increase. The new technologies will contribute to impressing,
in 2019, a decisive turning point in what we can define henceforth
as a new global revolution in military affairs. The
military-industrial-financial complexes of the major world powers
will undergo a complete transformation starting from 2019.
Dismantling of the Old World Order
Another important trend that will affect the global level concerns
the dismantling of the old world order based on the criteria of
multilateralism. In 2019, we will witness the weakening of large
global organizations such as the UN and the reorganization of
multilateral consultations regarding international trade, climate
issues and regulations on the use of new technologies. This will
happen for two main reasons. The first is due to the growing
presence and importance of global players of nations like China,
Russia, and India, who obviously try to implement their 360 degree
spheres of influence, even outside the old institutions born in the
so-called bipolar era, when the destinies of the world were
substantially decided in Moscow and Washington. The second reason is
due to the putting into practice of the “Trump Doctrine,” which,
over the past two years, has placed a particularly bilateral
strategy on U.S. foreign policy, upsetting the old equilibria.
2019: KEY GEOPOLITICAL CHALLENGES
A very important transformative trend will concern the European
Union. 2018 has been a very critical year for the EU, both on the
economic level, but above all on the political and social ones. 2019
will be a year in which the fate of the “European Common House” will
be decided. As a consequence of the neopopulist waves and the
so-called sovereignist ones that marked the social and political
life of the Europeans during 2017-2018, most likely, the elections
for the renewal of the European Parliament will reward the
anti-European parties. 2019 will therefore be a very unstable year
for the economy and politics of the European Union.
Regarding Europe’s role at global
level, we have to consider that the contentious relations between
the U.S. and China as well as with Russia will impact the European
Union in 2019.
For different and divergent aspects, the U.S., Russia, and China
have an interest in weakening the European Union.
For the U.S., with Europe in the grip of a political, economic, and
financial identity crisis, this situation would allow Washington to
“manage” the U.S. economic recovery, especially now that the
traditional British ally, thanks to Brexit, is released from the
obligations that tied it to Brussels. Moreover, at a geostrategic
level, the continuing European crisis allows the U.S. to gain time
in making costly decisions and responsibilities in financial terms
in the theatres of North Africa and the Middle East.
For Russia, the issue is more delicate and problematic. A weak
European Union, according to the Kremlin, would be more malleable in
relation to the Ukrainian issue and the sanctions regime that has
influenced the Russian economy since 2014. But this could be true,
for the short term. In fact, a European Union weakened in the medium
and long term would be at the mercy of the strategic interests of
the U.S., since the EU is the eastern periphery of the U.S.
geopolitical system, built at the end of the Second World War.
Ultimately, in the absence of a political EU, the true European
“glue” would consist only of NATO’s military-diplomatic device:
something that Moscow certainly should not wish.
A fragmented Europe, unable to have a coherent and unitary policy of
infrastructural development, does not realistically have the useful
force to negotiate - on the basis of equal geopolitical dignity -
with China on the great project of the New Silk Road. For this
reason, at the moment, a weak Europe is convenient for China. For
Beijing it is easier and cheaper to negotiate with individual EU
countries and, in some cases, even with regional administrations.
Moreover, the absence of a truly European foreign policy allows
China to operate in Africa without real competitors, apart from the
U.S. and Russia.
The main geopolitical challenges in Asia will concern relations
between the U.S., Japan, and China. Tokyo, although in line with
U.S. policies, could be a point of mediation between the different
positions of Washington and Beijing.
On the geostrategic level, Washington will have to follow up on the
initiatives launched in 2018 with Pyongyang for a complete
normalization of relations. It will be a bumpy route, because the
conflicting interests of the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China
remain in the background of the North Korean issue.
Another very controversial issue about the relations between the
U.S. and China will concern Tibet. In particular, in the first
months of 2019 Beijing and Washington will have to find a mediation
in reference to the effects of the “Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act”
(signed by President Trump at the end of 2018) that promotes the
access to Tibet of U.S. diplomats, journalists and citizens and
denies U.S. visas to Chinese officials considered responsible for
blocking access to Tibet.
Another issue that will have considerable geopolitical impacts at
regional and global levels is related to the Chinese project of the
New Silk Road. Beijing - in order to achieve its objectives - will
consolidate its relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the
U.S.-China trade tensions impact
During 2018, the Trump administration has conducted a real trade war
against China. In the next year this war will be in a certain way
perfected. We have already had warnings of such kind: the arrest of
Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer and daughter of founder of
high-tech giant Huawei, constitutes an example of the escalation of
the U.S.-China tensions. The tensions between the U.S. and China are
not just commercial, but strategic. The U.S. and China compete for
technological supremacy. This strategic confrontation will affect
the entire global system, impacting the worldwide financial system
and determining choices of field between the various countries of
North Africa, Near and Middle East
In North Africa (particularly in Libya), Moscow's stabilizing
function is destined to grow in importance.
In 2019, we will witness a rearrangement of forces within the
quadrants of the Near and Middle East. Despite the Kashoggi affair,
the United States will strengthen its ties with Saudi Arabia and
will target the new Israeli government to counter Iran's presence.
The geopolitical and strategic dynamics concerning the area,
however, will be affect by the increasing influence of the Russian
Federation, Iran and Turkey in the course of the next year.
Central and South America
Although the US has regained some positions in South America, the
Chinese presence and, partially also the Russian one, in the area
will produce effects on the hegemonic attempt of the Trump
Administration. The issue of migration is destined to play an
increasing crucial role in Trump's Central American policy.
Chairman, Vision & Global Trends, International Institute for
Global Analyses, www.vision-gt.eu
An early version of the text appeared with The Diplomat magazine
(interview with Kuo Mercy)
DECEMBER 28, 2018
No Climate Change without a
newly elected President of Costa Rica, one of the world’s youngest
heads of state, 38-year-old former journalist Carlos Alvarado,
has vowed to fully decarbonise the country’s economy and makes it
the first carbon-neutral nation in the world by 2021, on the 200th
anniversary of its independence.
“Decarbonisation is the great task
of our generation and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries
in the world to accomplish it, if not the first,” Alvarado said in
his inauguration speech of 2018. ”We have the titanic and beautiful
task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our economy to make
way for the use of clean and renewable energies.”
Many commentators interpreted this as a decision
to ban fossil fuels. Not quite true.
Costa Rica does not have a legislation in place to
restricting the use of fossil fuels, nor does its constituency plan
to. However, it stepped up its ambition in reducing its share to the
negative, climate change –related global ecological footprint.
Its Minister of
Environment and Energy, Carlos Manuel Rodríguezplans to alter the
country’s PEM (Primary Energy Mix) by gradually decarbonising it,
but also byplanting forests, employing better land
management, and by the forthcoming carbon sequestration
Aiming for carbon neutrality by ambitiously set 2021,
the tiny Central American state is signalling it wants to beat
bigger, more developed and wealthier countries to environmental
glory. The UK and much of Scandinavia targets the 2050 as the year
of zero net emissions. Germany hoped for the 95% reduction by a year
of 2020, but is most probably to miss it.
Costa Rica’s climate change started with its
“Our crisis cannot be
environmental… Deep and structural, this must be a crisis of our
cognitivity. Thus, the latest Climate Change (CC) Report is only
seemingly on Climate. It is actually a behavioristic study on (the
developmental dead end of) our other ‘CC’ – competition and confrontation, instead of
cooperation and consensus.” – warns prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic, and
mind can do it all.”
Well, Costa Rica has it on its grasp: Home to less
than 5 million people, it has long played above its weight on the
climate change policy formulation, norm setting and instrument
formulations as well as on implementation policies and practical
actions. Nation has produced echelons of leaders in all generational
cohorts who have promoted vigorous and progressive environmental
policies at home and on the international stage.
Former President José María Figueres served the UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Advisory Group on Climate Change and
Energy. His younger sister, Christiana Figueres, chaired the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UN block that convened
the 2015 Paris climate agreement – a most important instrument after
FCCC’s Kyoto Protocol.
As curiously as foresightedly, Costa Rica holds no
armed force (standing army) for a ľ of century – ever since 1948.
Moreover, by 1994 the country amended its constitution to embody a
right to a healthy environment for its citizens as one of the
fundamental human rights.
Complementing the unique constitutional right,
Costa Rica has impressive practical results in greening its economy.
In 2018 only, the country went 300 days using
only renewable energy.
As of December 2018, 98,15% of electricity is produced from water,
wind, geothermal energy, biomass and the sun (thermal and
photovoltaic). Back in 2015,
it managed to generate 100 % of its electricity from renewable
energy sources for 299 days; in 2016, it ran for 271 days and in
2017 for 300 days on everything but fossil fuels.
According to the Costa Rican Institute of
Electricity, the country generates most of its electricity, around
99 per cent, with a variety of methods including hydropower (78 per
cent), wind (10 per cent), geothermal energy (10 per cent), biomass
(1 per cent) and solar (1 per cent).
However, there is still a lot to do. Almost 70 per
cent of the country’s (non-electricity) energy consumption still
comes for the PEM composed of fossil fuels. Transportation heavily
leans on petrol while gas is still widely used for cooking and
Greening politics and economy, rethinking
In order to meet
the targets (domestic and these emanating from the Paris Agreement)
on carbon neutrality by 2021, Costa Rica – on its national and
subnational level – is now focusing on transportation. Modern passengers and
freighttransportation is one of the largest polluters
all over the world. At the same time it is one of the sectors most
tedious to decarbonize. In Costa Rica itself, transportation
accounts for some 2/3 of carbon/green-house gas emissions.
Using incentives and subsidies for cleaner vehicles,
particularly electric mode of public and personal transportation,
the state and city authorities aim to greening and decarbonising.
Skilful recalibration of petrol taxing and road-tolls could be one
of the solutions.
Of course, the easiest way to get to carbon
neutrality is to introduce the carbon quotas by limiting the fossil
However, it has to be reconciled with the current
technological possibilities to switch to electric solutions. The
batteries, its life time, recharging mode and speed, dispersion and
availability of sockets as well as the weight and price of batteries
are some of the challenges for years if not decades to come, not
only to Costa Rica but even for the world’s technological champions.
On the other hand, as the country’s economy grows,
demands for the old-fashioned ICE (inner-combustion engine) cars is
rising. In 2017, on every newborn baby two new cars were registered
(in contrast to some 120 new electric cars). For over 60% of
population diesel fuelled bases, cars and locomotives are daily
choice of commuting. The country already ranks second in per capita
emissions in Central America, which makes further electrification
both a logical choice and urgent necessity.
Elsewhere in the world, governments are also
struggling with how to balance financial means and the tasks;
driving habits and curbing the emissions, consumeristic social
styles with a future imperatives, but it seems Costa Rica is going
braver and further than most. Therefore, its greening of politics,
energy, economy and international conduct is worth to closely
monitor and learn from.
About the author:
Sinta Stepani, international relations
specialists based in Săo Paulo, Brazil.
DECEMBER 28, 2018
vs. Rimland and the nature of contemporary Sino-Pakistani relations
By Syeda Dhanak Fatima
China has played a crucial role in maintaining
regional peace and security by upholding its concept of an
inclusive, cooperative and sustainable security. This has clarified
the country’s stance on issues of regional concern, contributing to
long-term stability and development in Asia, which includes the
promotion of common development, building of partnerships,
improvement of existing multilateral frameworks, rule-setting,
military exchanges and proper settlement of differences.
To ensure long-term stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific,
China has put forward a number of proposals that have been highly
valued by the international community. To ensure common development
is the fundamental guarantee of peace and stability, and the ‘master
key’ to solving security problems. The China-proposed Belt and Road
Initiative is not only a path of development but also a path of
peace, as it will not only bring opportunities to the economic
development of regional countries, but also provide ideas and
solutions for them to solve security problems. The central theme
behind the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is to open new
economic and trade avenues that would lead to the overall social and
economic prosperity of the region. The fruit of this economic
cooperation is a market far larger in scope than the one that exists
because of economic conflict in the region. The envisaged economic
route from Gwadar to Kashgar can serve as an alternative and
economically shorter sea route instead of the far longer straits of
Malacca. This has always been the most compelling reason for
multilateral and regional cooperation.
Two of the most reputable theories that support the idea of regional
stability, regional integration and strategic cooperation can be
stated in terms of ‘economic opportunity cost hypotheses and
‘neo-functionalism’. The first theory assumes that trade and
economic interdependence increases stakes amongst economically
integrated nations and thereby reduces chances of conflicts
erupting. Whereas the proponents of neo-functionalism are of the
view that cooperation in one area produces cooperation in other
areas. CPEC will pass through Gilgit-Baltistan in the north which
will connect Kashgar in China’s western province of Xinjiang. Almost
80% of China’s oil is currently transported through the Strait of
Malacca to Shanghai. The calculated distance is almost 16,000km and
takes two to three months, with Gwadar becoming operational, the
distance would be reduced to less than 5,000km. When fully
operational Gwadar will promote not only the economic development of
Pakistan but also serve as a gateway to the Central Asian countries.
Keeping in view the regional stability, Pakistan and India are both
important neighbours for China which wants to promote trade with its
neighbours. Pakistan is a victim of terrorism and that all countries
were responsible for contributing towards the eradication of
terrorism. But the brutalities of the Indian army in Indian-held
Kashmir cannot be ignored here.
Pivot to Asia: Status quo or a challenger power ?
Hence, regional integration is not possible as long as regional
trade is sacrificed for so-called security. Pakistan needs to follow
the Chinese model whose trade with India had crossed over $100
billion despite serious political issues between them. Some elements
also fear that if there is peace in the region, it will challenge
their predominance in the business of the state. Furthermore, the
dimension of CPEC that is ignored is its potential to defeat
terrorism in the region by raising and improving socio-economic
conditions of the people. The Sri Lankan polity, at first divided
over the role of China in the region, has come to recognise that the
Belt Road Initiative approach fits well with Colombo’s goals of
rebuilding a war-torn economy through enhanced connectivity. China
also calls for improving regional security architecture to lay a
solid foundation for enduring peace and stability in the region, and
also calls on countries to properly handle differences and disputes
to maintain the peaceful and stable environment in the region.
In the context of Pakistan, CPEC is often termed a game changer for
the weak economy of Pakistan. The corridor project carries vital
significance as it promises to elevate Islamabad’s economic growth.
Unlike US aid, the Chinese aid to Pakistan has offered
infrastructure and energy projects that would serve as a means to
improve Pakistan’s economy. Despite the cheapness of land, Pakistan
is lagging behind in connectivity which increases the trade cost.
However, under the umbrella of CPEC the cost would be minimised and
export incentives increased. Pakistan expects 4% of global trade.
The kind of toll tax, rental fees that Pakistan will gain is roughly
$6 billion to $8 billion by 2020.
A strategic and economic balance of power in the region would ensure
peaceful resolution of conflicts but also enhance strategic
stability leading to a win-win situation. Or by words of professor
Anis H. Bajrektarevic: “Asia has to answer itself whether the newest
concepts – such as the OBOR/CPEC vs. Indo-Pacific oceanic triangling
– are complementary to its development or the heartland-rimland
sort of dangerous confrontation. Asia needs a true multilateralism,
not a hostage situation of getting caught in a cross-fire.”
The CPEC itself with its focus on Gwadar, has also given impetus to
maritime cooperation between China and Pakistan, and beyond. Both
states wish to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of
maritime security, search and rescue, and the blue water economy.
Thus, it would not be wrong to say that CPEC has the potential of
accruing strategic cooperation. This approach serves as strategic
enabler in a rapidly transforming world order. It is therefore the
need of time to move from archaic geopolitical vendetta of 19thand
20thcenturies to interstate strategic play in the 21stcentury.
The pursuit of a state’s national interest in the international
arena constitutes its foreign policy. A successful foreign policy
should employ a balance of economic, diplomatic, and military tools.
It is the national interest that shapes the possibilities of state
to behave collectively. Through a balanced foreign policy approach,
the South Asian region can achieve its mega development projects and
establish into a peaceful integrated region. Confidence-building
measures between regional players is the first step in this
direction to uplift the socioeconomic standards of the people of
An early version of this text has been published by the China Daily
Author is a Foreign Policy Analyst and Research Head at a think tank
based in Islamabad. She has done Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in
Governance and Public Policy. Her areas of research include both
regional as well as global issues of contemporary international
Bleak See on the Black Sea
Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević
the latest events in the Black Sea two old questions are
reappearing. Both are inviting us for a repeated elaboration:
If a Monroe doctrine (about the hemispheric security
exclusivity) is recognised at one corner of the globe, do we have a
moral right or legal ground to negate it at the other corner?
Clearly, the ‘might-makes-right’ as a conduct in
international relations cannot be selectively accepted. Either it is
acknowledged to all who can effectively self-prescribe such a
monopoly of coercion, or it is absolutely condemned as contrary to
behaviour among the civilised nations.
Next to the first question is a right of pre-emption.
It is apparent that within the Black Sea theatre,
Russia acts in a pre-emptive and defensive mood. For the last 25
years, all the NATO interventions were outside its membership zone;
none of the few Russian interventions over the same period was
outside the parameter of former USSR.
Before closing, let’s take a closer look on the
problem from a larger historical perspective.
Una hysteria Importante
Historically speaking, the process of
Christianization of Europe that was used as the justification tool
to (either intimidate or corrupt, so to say to) pacify the invading
tribes, which demolished the Roman Empire and brought to an end the
Antique age, was running parallel on two tracks. The Roman
Curia/Vatican conducted one of them by its hammer: the Holy Roman
Empire. The second was run by the cluster of Rusophone Slavic
Kaganates, who receiving (the orthodox or true/authentic, so-called
Eastern version of) Christianity from Byzantium, and past its
collapse, have taken over a mission of Christianization, while
forming its first state of Kiev Russia (and thereafter, its first
historic empire). Thus, to the eastern edge of Europe, Russophones
have lived in an intact, nearly a hermetic world of universalism for
centuries: one empire, one Tsar, one religion and one language.
Everything in between Central Europe and Russia is
Eastern Europe, rather a historic novelty on the political map of
Europe. Very formation of the Atlantic Europe’s present shape dates
back to 14th–15th
century, of Central Europe to the mid-late 19th
century, while a contemporary Eastern Europe only
started emerging between the end of WWI and the collapse of the
Soviet Union – meaning, less than 100 years at best, slightly over
two decades in the most cases. No wonder that the dominant political
culture of the Eastern Europeans resonates residual fears and
reflects deeply insecure small nations. Captive and restive, they
are short in territorial depth, in demographic projection, in
natural resources and in a direct access to open (warm) seas. After
all, these are short in historio-cultural verticals, and in the
bigger picture-driven long-term policies. Eastern Europeans are
exercising the nationhood and sovereignty from quite a recently,
thus, too often uncertain over the side and page of history.
Therefore, they are often dismissive, hectic and suspectful, nearly
neuralgic and xenophobic, with frequent overtones.
Years of Useful Idiot
The latest loss of Russophone Europe in its
geopolitical and ideological confrontation with the West meant
colossal changes in Eastern Europe. One may look into geopolitical
surrounding of at the-time largest eastern European state, Poland,
as an illustration of how dramatic was it.
All three land neighbors of Poland; Eastern Germany (as the only
country to join the EU without any accession procedure, but by pure
act of Anschluss), Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union have
disappeared overnight. At present, Polish border countries are a
two-decade-old novelty on the European political map. Further on, if
we wish to compare the number of dissolutions of states worldwide
over the last 50 years, the Old continent suffered as many as all
other continents combined: American continent – none, Asia – one
(Indonesia/ East Timor), Africa – two (Sudan/South Sudan and
Ethiopia/Eritrea), and Europe – three.
Interestingly, each and every dissolution in Europe
was primarily related to Slavs (Slavic peo-ples) living in
multiethnic and multi-linguistic (not in the Atlantic Europe’s
conscripted pure single-nation) state. Additionally, all three
European fragmentations – meaning, every second dissolution in the
world – were situated exclusively and only in Eastern Europe. That
region has witnessed a total dissolution of Czechoslovakia (western
Slavs) and Yugoslavia (southern Slavs, in 3 waves), while one state
disappeared from Eastern Europe (DDR) as to strengthen and enlarge
the front of Central Europe (Western Germany). Finally, countless
centripetal turbulences severely affected Eastern Europe following
the dissolution of the Soviet Union (eastern Slavs) on its
Irredentism in the UK, Spain, Belgium, France and
Italy, or Denmark (over Faroe Islands and Greenland) is far elder,
stronger and deeper. However, all dissolutions in Eastern Europe
took place irreversibly and overnight, while Atlantic Europe
remained intact, with Central Europe even enlarging territorially
and expanding economically.
Deindustrialized, incapacitated, demoralized,
over-indebted, re-feudalized, rarified and de-Slavicized
Finally, East is sharply aged and depopulated –the
worst of its kind ever– which in return will make any future
prospect of a full and decisive generational interval simply
impossible. Honduras-ization of Eastern
Europe is full and complete. Hence, is it safe to say that if the
post-WWII Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe was overt and brutal,
this one is subtle but subversive and deeply corrosive?
The key (nonintentional) consequence of the Soviet
occupation was that the Eastern European states –as a sort of their
tacit, firm but low-tempered rebellion – preserved their sense of
nationhood. However, they had essential means at disposal to do so:
the right to work was highly illuminated in and protected by the
national constitutions, so were other socio-economic rights such as
the right to culture, language, arts and similar segments of
collective nation’s memory. Today’s East, deprived and deceived,
silently witnesses the progressive metastasis of its national
Ergo, euphemisms such as countries in transition
cannot hide a disconsolate fact that Eastern Europe
has been treated for 25 years as defeated belligerent, as spoils of
war which the West won in its war against communist Russia.
It concludes that (self-)fragmented,
de-industrialized and re-feudalized, rapidly aged rarified and
depopulated, (and de-Slavicized) Eastern Europe is probably the
least influential region of the world – one of the very few
underachievers. Obediently submissive and therefore, rigid in
dynamic environment of the promising 21st
century, Eastern Europeans are among last remaining
passive downloaders and slow-receivers on the otherwise blossoming
stage of the world’s creativity, politics and economy. Seems, Europe
still despises its own victims…
Admittedly, by the early 1990s, the ‘security hole’–
Eastern Europe, has been approached in multifold fashion: Besides
the (pre-Maastricht EC and post-Maastricht) EU and NATO, there was
the Council of Europe, the CSCE (after the 1993 Budapest summit,
OSCE), the EBRD and EIB. All of them were sending the political,
economic, human dimension, commercial signals, assistance and
expertise. These moves were making both sides very nervous; Russia
becoming assertive (on its former peripheries) and Eastern Europe
Until this very day, each of them is portraying the NATO enterprise
as the central security consideration: One as a must-go, and another
as a no-go.
No wonder that the absolute pivot of Eastern Europe,
and the second largest of all Slavic states – Ukraine, is a grand
hostage of that very dilemma: Between the eastern pan-Slavic
hegemony and western ‘imperialism of free market’.
Additionally, the country suffers from the consolidated
Klepto-corporate takeover as well as the rapid re-Nazification.
For Ukraine, Russia is a geographic, socio-historic,
cultural and linguistic reality. Presently, this reality is far less
reflected upon than the seducing, but rather distant Euro-Atlantic
club. Ukraine for Russia; it represents more than a lame
western-flank’ geopolitical pivot, or to say, the first collateral
in the infamous policy of containment that the West had continuously
pursued against Russia ever since the 18th century.
For Moscow, Kiev is an emotional place – an
indispensable bond of historio-civilizational attachment – something
that makes and sustains Russia both Christian and European. Putin
clearly redlined it: Sudden annexation of Crimea (return to its
pre-1954 status) was an unpleasant and humiliating surprise that
brought a lot of foreign policy hangover for both the NATO and EU.
Nevertheless, for the Atlantist alarmists (incl. the
Partition studies participants and
those working for the Hate industry),
military lobbyists and other cold-war mentality ‘deep-state’
structures on all sides, this situation offers a perfect raison
Thus drifting chopped off and away, a failed state
Ukraine itself is a prisoner of this domesticated security drama.
Yet again, the false dilemma so tragically imploded within this blue
state, of a 50:50 polarized and deterritorialized population, over
the question where the country belongs – in space, time and side of
history. Conclusively, Eastern Europe is further twisting, while
gradually combusted between Ukrainization and Pakistanization.
The rest of Europe is already shifting the costs of its own foreign
policy journey by ‘fracking’ its households with a considerably
(politically) higher energy bills.
Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarević,
Vienna, 30 NOV 2018
Author is chairperson and professor in international
law and global political studies, Vienna, Austria. He has authored
six books (for American and European publishers) and numerous
articles on, mainly, geopolitics energy and technology. For the past
decades, he has over 1,200 hours of teaching on the subject
International Law and Relations (including lecturing in both Kiev
and Moscow universities and Diplomatic Academy).
Professor is editor of the NY-based GHIR
(Geopolitics, History and Intl. Relations) journal,
and editorial board member of several similar
specialized magazines on three continents.
book, ‘From WWI to www. – Europe and the World
1918-2018’ is to be realised in December.
Earlier version of the text was published by the
Vision & Global Trends
 Annotated from one of my earlier writings, it states as
following: “…Early Russian state has ever since expanded north/
northeast and eastward, reaching the physical limits of its outreach
by crossing the Bering straits (and the sale of Russian Alaska to
the USA in 1867). By the late 17th
and early 18th
century, Russia had begun to draw systematically into
European politico-military theatre. (…) In the meantime, Europe’s
universalistic empire dissolved. It was contested by the challengers
(like the Richelieu’s France and others–geopolitical, or the
Lutheran/Protestant – ideological), and fragmented into the cluster
of confronted monarchies, desperately trying to achieve an
equilibrium through dynamic balancing. Similar political process
will affect Russian universal empire only by late 20
th century, following the
Soviet dissolution. (…) Not fully accepted into the European
collective system before the Metternich’s Holy Alliance, even had
its access into the post-Versailles system denied, Russia was still
not ignored like other peripheral European power. The Ottomans,
conversely, were negated from all of the security systems until the
very creation of the NATO (Republic of Turkey). Through the
pre-emptive partition of Poland in the eve of WWII, and successful
campaigns elsewhere in Eastern Europe, Bolshevik Russia expanded
both its territory and its influence westwards. (…) An early Soviet
period of Russia was characterized by isolated bilateral security
arangements, e.g. with Germans, Fins, Japanese, etc. The post WWII
days have brought the regional collective system of Warsaw Pact into
existence, as to maintain the communist gains in Europe and to
effectively oppose geopolitically and ideologically the similar,
earlier formed, US-led block. Besides Nixon’s reapproachment towards
China, the collapse of the Soviet Union was the final stage in the
progressive fragmentation of the vast Sino-Soviet Communist block
(that dominated the Euroasian land mass with its massive size and
centrality), letting Russia emerge as the successor. The sudden
ideological and territorial Soviet break-up, however, was followed
by the cultural shock and civil disorder, painful economic and
demographic crisis and rapidly widening disparities. All this
coupled with the humiliating wars in Caucasus and elsewhere, since
the centripetal and centrifugal forces of integration or
fragmentations came into the oscillatory play. Between 1989 and
1991, communist rule ended in country after country and the Warsaw
Pact officially dissolved. Subsequently, the Gorbachev-Jeltsin
Russia experienced the greatest geopolitical contraction of any
major power in the modern era and one of the fastest ever in
history. Still, Gorbachev-Jeltsin tandem managed to (re-)brand
themselves domestically and internationally – each got its own label
of vodka…” (Verticalization of Historical Experiences: Europe’s
and Asia’s Security Structures – Structural Similarities and
Differences, Crossroads – the Macedonian Foreign Policy Journal,
4 (1), page 111-112, M-MFA 2008)
 Ethnically, linguistically and religiously one of the most
homogenous countries of Europe, Poland in its post-communist
concepts reinvigorates the faith (as being, past the days of Tadeusz
Mazowiecki, massively de-Slavicized). No wonder as the Polish-born
Karol Józef Wojtyła served the Roman Curia as Pontifex Maximus from 1978, to be replaced by the German-born Joseph
Ratzinger in 2005. Prizing Roman-Catholicism over ethnic and
linguistic roots, even harshly denouncing any Slavic sentiment as a
dangerous roter russischer Panslawismus, ‘fortress’ Poland
effectively isolates itself on a long-run as none of its neighbors
is Catholic. To the contrary, the four fifths of its land-borders
are shared with other Slavic states. To externally mobilize, the
elites (in any Eastern European state) would need an appealing
intellectual case – not a mare ethno-religious chauvinism. One of
the leading Croatian thinkers, Domagoj Nikolic says: “Austrian
Catholicism is not anti-Germanic, but Polish is anti-Slavic. Belgian
Catholicism is neither antifascism dismissive nor anti-Francophonic,
but our Croatian Catholicism is very anti-Slavic and is antifascism
trivializing… That undeniably leads us to conclude that (Slavic)
Eastern Europe suffers the authenticity deficit…Only the immature
nations can suffer such a historical disorientation.”
 Since the end of WWII in the Old Continent, there was no
other external military interventions but to the Europe’s East. To
be accurate, in the NATO history (nearly as double longer than the
history of the Warsaw pact), the only two interventions of that
Block ever conducted in Europe were both taking place solely on
Eastern European soil. While the two Russian (covert) interventions
since the end of the Cold War aimed at its strategic neighborhood
(former Soviet republics, heavily inhabited by ethnic Russian;
Abkhazia-South Ossetia and Crimea-East Ukraine), and were
(unsuccessfully) justified as the encirclement preemption, the
US-led NATO intervened overtly. In both NATO cases (Bosnia and
Serbia-Kosovo), it was well beyond any membership territory, and
short of any UN-endorsed mandate, meaning without a real
international legitimacy. “Humanitarian intervention in Kosovo was
never exactly what it appeared… It was a use of imperial power to
support a self-determination claim by a national minority”– wrote
Michael Ignatieff about the 1990s Balkans events, as fresh and
accurate as if reporting was from Sevastopol in spring 2014.
 This is further burdened by the imperialism in a hurry
– an inflammable mix of the
Lithuanian-Polish past traumas and German ‘manifest destiny’ of
being historically yet again ill-fated; impatient for quick
results – simply, unable to capitalize on
its previous successes.
 Does the declining big power of a lost ideological grip,
demoralized, with a disfranchised, ageing and rarified population,
of the primary-commodities export driven, but shrinking economy need
to be contained? Hence, what is the origin of anxity: facts or
confrontational nostaligia? The chief American chief Sovietologies
grip, ory-comodity driven economy Sovietologist, George Kennan
warned about the NATO expansion already in 1998: “I think it is a
tragic mistake. Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it
will affect their policies”. In that very interview, Kennan
predicted that the NATO Eastern enlargement will provoke a major
crisis in Europe with a hawks than ‘arguing’ a self-fulfilling
prophecy “you see, we always told you that is how the Russian are”.
Apparently, the Russian red-red line is Georgia and Ukraine. Kremlin
kept stressing that calmly, but repeatedly for nearly 20 past years.
Eventually, Georgia was territorially and politico-economically
wrecked as a functioning, viable state before it was allowed to
become a Western stronghold in Russia’s backyard. Georgia of that
2008. is an indication enough of how Ukraine – which is even a
front-yard for Russia – might end up beyond 2014.
 Putin’s “project is national, not imperial…to modernize
Russia which, like any other state, has security concerns...” –
fairly admits former French Minister of Defense Jean-Pierre
Chevčnement and confesses: “The pursuit of this conflict may turn
Ukraine into a lasting source of conflict between the EU and Russia.
Through a widely echoed ideological crusade, the US is attempting
both to isolate Russia and to tighten its control over the rest of
Europe”. /Chevčnement, J-P. (2015), No Need for this Cold War,
Le Monde diplomatique July 2015 (page 18)/
 By the most scholarly accounts, Ukraine is the world
champion in the re-feudalisation of its society. It goes well beyond
pure income levels and its rampant systematic distribution
inequality (inequality extraction ratio). Unfortunatelly, Ukraine is
the world champion in other endemic disproportionality, too – in an
asymmetry of wealth disposal and in a speed of acquiring it. The
combined wealth of Ukraine’s 50 riches oligarchs equalled 85% of
Ukraine’s (pre-war) GDP. Oligarhs needed only 16 years to accumulate
it (1991-2007). Even the Economist (a
well-informed magazine of a wealthy class-tolerant, neoliberal
orientation) questioned these practices, as stretching far beneath a
classical criminal activity and representing – in fact – a warfare
of elites against its own population (undeclared gerila war).
The Magazine concluded: ‘Ukraine today is as our western societies
would be without checks-and-balances
Ukrainization could be
attributed to eastern and western Slavs– who are fighting
distinctions without significant difference. Pakistanization itself should describe the southern Slavs’ scenery:
In lieu of truth and reconciliation, guilt is offered as a control
mechanism, following the period of an unchecked escalation, ranging
from a hysteria-of-a-small-difference to a crime -of-otherness
purge. Both models share about the same ending result: a
self-trivialization, barbarization and re-feudalization.
Mads Jacobsen Mads is an intern at PCRC. Mads Jacobsen is from Denmark and is currently
pursuing his Master's degree in 'Development and International Relations' at
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Department of English Language and Literature - undergraduate
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and Literature - graduate study Rakesh Krishnan Simha
New Zealand-based journalist and foreign affairs analyst. According to him, he
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Rakesh started his career in 1995 with New Delhi-based Business World magazine,
and later worked in a string of positions at other leading media houses such as
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He is the Senior Advisory Board member of one of the fastest growing Europe’s
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Candidate in Political studies at the Sapienza University, Rome. Author of three
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Markus Wauran Date and Place of Birth: April 22, 1943 – Amurang,
North Sulawesi, IndonesiaEducation: Bachelor in Public
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