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Italy and the World through strategic eyes




The CeMiSS (Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, Rome, Italian MoD) is publishing in Englsh the Outlook already published in Italian (http://www.difesa.it/SMD_/CASD/IM/CeMiSS/Pubblicazioni/OsservatorioStrategico/Documents/OsservatorioStrategico2012/Cemiss_Prospettive_2013.pdf).

Following is the preview of the English document with the Global Outlook 2013 regarding the world.

 

 General Outlook 2013

Executive Summary

The next two years will be marked more by power vacuums and gaps than by a reassuring graceful degradation of the world order or by the rise of new power constellations. For this reason it is necessary to change the traditional geographic subdivision still built around the borders of nation states into a new vision more adapted to present and future realities. In fact one should conceive global relationships as wide area geopolitical and geoeconomic networks (i.e. geonetworks) crisscrossed by shaping flows.[1]

 

The Pacific Geonetwork is dominated by the shift of the strategic centre of gravity towards the Chinese Sea as focus of acute maritime controversies. The backdrop is provided by the ambiguous and controversial bond between China and the United States, who are connected by the dynamics of the economic global crisis. The banking sector is a particularly critical area because on one hand the US banks are still very vulnerable to higher interest rates (no stress tests have been carried out regarding this emergence) and on the other the Chinese shadow financial system risks to cause another financial crisis with €1,4 billion outstanding wealth management products. There is a serious recovery effort by the USA in the Pacific Ocean, but for the time being military action will be ruled out (Korean crises apart) because the whole American continent is witnessing major political reorganization in all leading countries (USA, Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil).

 

The Indian Geonetwork is characterised by a strategic China-India rivalry that is moving away from the traditional confrontation along the mountainous arc of Himalaya; the fight for influence is now centred on increased air-sea presence in the Indian Ocean, despite the fact that Washington is the dominant naval power. At the same time a fluid relationship between China, India and the USA is emerging around a tangle of rather converging interests that could, once the military part of the intervention in Afghanistan will end, in the medium term isolate Pakistan. The country itself will concentrate more on its internal transition due to the coming 2013 parliamentary polls.

 

The African Geonetwork is marked by the paralysis of the three leading countries (Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa) due to internal tensions or to post-revolutionary processes. This situation is contrasted with the diffusion of political and economic actions by China, USA, India, Brazil and Turkey. The continent is expected to grow (with an aggregated GDP in the Sub-Saharan area similar to a BRIC-country) and probably conflicts in the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia, will wane. On the other hand it will be difficult to terminate the long conflict for the control of key mining resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo or the control about oil economies along the White Nile.

 

Regarding the Atlantic Geonetwork, one can clearly discern a double void of political and strategic initiative vis-à-vis the management of the global economic crisis and the possible choices in supporting the outcomes of the Arab Revolutions. It is clear that the two major actors, Europe and United States are very concentrated on their internal front. The EU is defending the Eurozone against a financial assault, that is one of the fronts of the global crisis (the other being the Pacific), whereas Washington is still stuck in inconclusive negotiations by a paralysed Congress on the fiscal cliff. Also two main regional actors like Russia and Turkey have difficulties in playing a significant role due either to persistent internal deficiencies or to the loss of their primary foreign policy vectors.

 

Cross-sector issues

Each issue represents a shaping flow that influences geonewtorks across the board, structuring relationships and power balances. Many of these issues are effective in the medium-long term, but it is useful to draw attention on some of them in the short-term as indicators of future developments:

         Ecosystem – the accelerated melting of the Arctic ice cap opens opportunities (new alternative commercial routes, exploitation of fishing and mineral resources, countries enjoying the status of autonomous region or independence) and risks (rising of the seas, pollution, hard strategic competition). In general one should not overlook that the stress of the long economic crisis (2006-2018) could dangerously couple with an increased environmental stress, that would put under pressure public spending and the private sector due to heavy adaptation and recovery costs;

         Drinking water – if in the short-term the long feared “water wars” are considered less probable, the global water stress, scarcity and unequal distribution remain critical and are well known. Less debated, but not without serious uncertainties, is the issue of the privatisation of water sources: 13% of the global population already depends from private services, whose prices keep generally rising;

         Food/Agrotech – already during this decade a scarcity of arable land at global level is emerging. This is stimulating the so called land grab practice, that is affecting especially the territories of Sub-Saharan Africa and tropical Latin America;

                Real/Virtual Migrations – In a seven billion people world, in the next 2-3 years, according to the most recent demographic and market estimates, two phenomena are unfolding that merit to be explored: 1) African populations will grow at a higher rate than the rest of the world, while illegal immigration will overtake legal immigration by a still unknown delta; 2) during the same period mobile internet will have more customers than fixed networks, bringing global connectivity to a total of 5,5 networked people. It is evident that both the provision of de-localised services and the inflow of people towards low-fertility countries will increase. A sizeable part of human transfers will be carried out by transnational organized crime trafficking. Here one should take note of: the strong growth of Mexican narco-cartels, the penetration in the USA by the South American maras, the consolidation and expansion of Chinese triads through global diasporas and the entrenchment of Russian speaking mafias;

       Conventional/Non conventional Energy – in the short term a framework based on conventional fossil energies will persist, despite the fact the in different economies a grid parity has been reached between renewable and fossil energies. The decision of some countries to exit the nuclear sector, counting initially on gas supplies, confirms this trend as well as the news regarding a strong production increase of shale oil and gas in the USA. This does not exclude major price fluctuation due to production volumes or speculations or political risks (Iran and Iraq). There is still room for the development of alternative nuclear thorium-based sources.

            Financial and invested capitals – there are the first signals that governments, under pressure to fill the deficits of the balance sheets in the banking sector, will combine three different approaches: the already ongoing “austerity”, in order to pump more guaranteed money into banks that have low value derivatives; higher inflation (2-4%) as indirect taxation and debt reduction means; reduce the independence of central banks, because their budgets are just too big to be left without political control. The overall scenario shows a strong contrast between advanced economies, that are heavily indebted and highly financialised, and emerged economies (typically BRICS and TIMBIS), that have often strong financial surpluses and sovereign wealth funds, but that in terms of transnational shareholding control are much less relevant. If the global trade system has some of its all encompassing impetus, the problem is not given by the possible investment opportunities in the three great real economy sectors. The substantial dilemma is if the advanced economies decide to reduce and control the excesses of scarcely guaranteed financial leverages or induce the new global partners to take part in profits and losses of the financial system. Anyhow, without an effective control over the financial system, criminal groups will find new trafficking opportunities due to its previous successful infiltration. In the very end the question revolves around the sustainability of this financial system: most probably it is not and it could deeply transform in the medium term.

             Knowledge in its wider sense – During the next two years decision makers have to face the issue of the race against time between the legal/illegal spread of technologies and the continuation of the “Western” technological edge. It is still strong in the Euro-Atlantic area and in the Western Pacific pro-American countries, but it constantly undermined by the economic crisis during which precisely the R&D investments are cut. Not surprisingly the countries struggling to emerge are: China, India, Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa and Israel. One aspect of this technology diffusion in the cybersecurity domain are APT (Advanced Persistent Threats) which can be carried out both by private or public entities, in most cases in collaboration. Not surprisingly four out of five BRICS have established cyber-commands for defensive/offensive purposes, although it is difficult to ascertain if they are of real useful to counter cybercrime,  which the real threat in terms of overall system reliability and commercial viability. Taking the view point of religions, while at global level one can set aside the vision of a clash of civilisation, it is interesting to observe that after Christians (31,5%, 50,1% of which are Catholics) and Muslims (23,2%), the third biggest group is non-religious (16,3% unaffiliated persons) and that the  majority of them are in China, while Hindus are 15% of the world population. According to data collected by 2010, there are few confessions that are keeping up with an estimated +1,19% demographic growth: Christian Independents (2,04%, 5,4% of world population); Protestants (1,48%, 6,1%), Muslims (1,79%). Education and culture are, unsurprisingly, experiencing major stresses in advanced and indebted countries. Higher education is still marked by a class cleavage in OECD countries like USA, Italy, Portugal and Turkey, with low social mobility/education indicators. One response has been to move massively courses on line opening the era of “glocal students”. Moreover cuts in public expenditure push institutions to self-sufficiency, with all the attendant unknowns in matter of quality, equality, social sustainability and competence, as it is starkly shown from the Chilean case. This has also brought to three significant mergers in the so called cultural industry (Penguin’s-Random House, Universal-EMI, Walt Disney-Lucasfilm) that ensure business viability, but also tend to the creation of merchandising and potentially stifling oligopolies, entailing possible negative consequences for cultural freedom and diversity.

 

Outlook by Geonetwork

 

Pacific Geonetwork

The Pacific area is marked by an ambiguous and copetitive twinning of China and USA and by the shift of the strategic centre of gravity (Schwerpunkt) towards the Western Pacific and more precisely towards the Chinese Seas.[2] The group of contested islands (Spratly, Scarborough, Kuriles, etc.) is the symbol of a rivalry that was commercial and globalization-oriented and is now becoming geostrategic in order to gain control of the commercial and energy access points along the great Chindoterranean Belt.[3]

 

Among the containment actions vis-à-vis China’s rise can be numbered also the political steps to revitalise ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand, US Security Treaty), a 60-year old pact that has also overcome the old crisis provoked by New Zealand regarding its anti-nuclear stance on nuclear armed warships (1985).

 

The concrete risk is that during the next two years the stage may be set for an escalation that will be not financial, as now, but political. This may be caused by a combination of perceptions, errors, and reactions that could make credible even military scenarios featuring a China-US confrontation over the economic control of the Pacific theatre seen as an exit strategy from the long global economic crisis.

 

Until now, despite contingency plans and musings on a future conflict with Beijing, there is no political will from both sides to contemplate such possibility and, at least in the very short term, the policies regarding currencies try to defuse potential tensions. It is significant to see that the yüan appreciated at historic heights over the dollar, that in turn continues to exploit the inflationary effects of its quantitative easings, injecting new money in the financial system.

 

Nevertheless the banking sector in both countries is a particularly critical area. On one hand, in fact, the US banks are still very vulnerable to higher interest rates (no stress tests have been carried out regarding this emergence) and on the other the Chinese shadow financial system risks to cause another financial crisis with €1,4 billion outstanding wealth management products.

 

The current year could be very difficult because the mismanagement of a number of negative factors (US fiscal cliff, possible recession of the Eurozone, China’s sharp economic decrease and reduction in dollar reserves, a probable Israel- Iran conflict, among others) could bring to a new worsening of the situation and a new economic storm.

 

In this context the increase of domestic consumption of the two Chinas (PRC and Taiwan) could have a double function: an economic driver for the economic recovery (if the world trade system remains open and Beijing’s protectionist lobbies do not gain the upper hand) or act as logistic reserve if the strategic situation deteriorates considerably.

 

Looking at the US side it is rather clear that the fiscal cliff can be reasonably avoided through a combination of progressive tax raises, defence spending cuts (already five important programmes are at risk), otherwise the risk of an economic and political tempest will increase.

 

On the Chinese side, domestic consumption is more than just an economic measure, it is one of the strong appeals the CPC (Communist Party of China) because its ideological position is much more fragile than in previously similar countries. Differently from Russia, where the collapse of Communism did leave a nationalist sentiment and identity reinforced by a national religion, China does not have any more a national religion as culturally reinforcing element.

 

On the background one can observe important weak signals of erosion of the North Korean regime: unregulated internet access, temporary migrations via China, a 20-year development of semi-clandestine markets. These phenomena can prepare the collapse of the regime and offer either a fuse for a war or a precious “humanitarian” distraction vis-à-vis the mentioned Pacific storm.

 

However no one in the short term is interested in the collapse of Pyöngyang, whereas the dynamics of the rapprochement between the Burmese generals and the United State are offering interesting fresh precedents for a political liberalisation under tutelage, similar to the Chilean in the late ’Eighties.

 

Changing to the Latin American area, the next two years will witness a general re-organization of all continental power arrangements because all four major powers are involved in an internal restructuring:

 

In the meantime three crises are at various stages of development: Argentina (political, budget and energy policy credibility), Cuba (economic viability of the regime) and Colombia (opportunity to end by negotiation the long civil narco-war, if the issue of land reform will be solved).

 

Indian Ocean Geonetwork

The strategic focal points from East to West are: Afghanistan and the Stan’s Wedge; India-Pakistan; Iran-Arabian Peninsula; Iraq and the Levant.[4]

 

In Afghanistan had begun the race for the division of the whole Central Asiatic space after the long US-UN- NATO interval. All countries in the region are involved, while Iran, India, Russia and China are placing their geopolitical ore geoeconomic assets.

 

Pakistan hopes to come back on the scene through the political weight of the Talebans in Afghanistan thanks also to a protracted stall in negotiations that is damaging NATO’s interests and is favouring the idea in Kabul of realigning the government around the slogan of “reconciliation”.  These schemes are favoured by such an internal instability that it could lead to a multi-level civil war, stimulated by people controlled from foreign countries.

 

India and Pakistan will continue their slow rapprochement, marked by propagandistic missile experiment. The real problems  pertain both the internal sphere and the relationship with China. Both countries indeed have to face the fragmentation of their political landscape, complicating any decision on crucial dossiers. The competition between China and India has shifted in from the Himalayan divide (Tibet and Nepal, despite strong crisis signals, are not a bone of contention) to the more important Indian Ocean.

 

In this competition are included: the fight for influence over the Maldives (connected with the strategic Sino-Pakistani port of Gwadar) or the developments in Burma. Here the USA and, more discretely the UK, are scheming to reduce China’s influence. At the same time India proposes the re-opening of the strategic Ledo-Stilwell Road from India to China via Burma. Beijing has reacted since 2008 by renewing and hardening its territorial pretentions over part or all the state of Arunachal Pradesh, supported form Taipei too.

 

Of course the ambiguous development of the Indo-American relationship can be seen essentially as anti-Chinese (following the normal China-Pakistan or India-USA dynamics). And yet one cannot fail noticing that when the three big partners are negotiating even with more than a contradiction, Islamabad (the junior partner) risks to be marginalised and becoming a pawn for much more important agreements precisely between India and China.

 

India itself will concentrate more on its internal transition due to the coming 2013 parliamentary polls and to the necessity of passing the last reforms before a period of probable instability.

 

This year should be decisive for the denouement of the long Irano-American confrontation. There is a disquieting amount of indicators pointing at a probable Israeli attack against major nuclear sites of an alleged military programme: increase of Western air and naval fleets in the area, covert operations campaigns (recce, targeted assassinations, cyber attacks), preparation of air bases at striking distance; US military preparations in order to sustain eventually the consequences of an Israeli operation.[5]

 

And yet there are weak signals regarding a possible turnaround of the diplomatic situation (direct Iran-USA contacts for the sale of grain, new progress in the IAEA negotiations) that would benefit both contenders. Israel should take into account that there is a clear Chinese, Russian and Indian opposition to the strike, possibly together with the US aversion, where the Jewish community is much more prudent on the matter and prefers to wait the Iranian electoral results (June 2013) and where the US administration would have problems in offering satellite, logistic and intelligence support to Tel-Aviv.

 

Shunning the limelight is the evident Saudi Arabian unpredictable succession crisis and its cracks in the clerical-monarchic system (opening of the Shura to women, limitations to the religious police and enlistment of Mutawwa'în policewomen). Anyhow the link between ar-Riyadh and Washington is more political than energy-based: major income derives from Asiatic customers, while less than 5% of crude oil is exported towards the United States.

 

Finally, beyond the results of the Syrian civil war and looking forward to a more or less deep rearrangement of this state, a heavy competition is emerging around Kurdish political entities. At stake is a future network of cross-border Kurdish autonomous governments revolving around the resources of the Iraqi KRG.

 

Behind the scenes the fight is between Baghdad, Ankara, Tehran and the Syrian Kurdish groups together with other diaspora groups, with the more or less discreet support of the powers involved in the Syrian crisis, who are in a wait-and-see attitude. The linkage between different Kurdish interests increases the risk of a new civil war in Iraq for the future of the Kurdish Regional Government.

 

African Geonetwork

The Black Continent is an area free of recession and finally there is the possibility to keep satisfactory  growth rates (+4,1% of continental GDP, +7,9%  of forecasted exports in 2013, but with a global competitiveness still rated at 0,1), while the aggregated GDP in the Sub-Saharan area similar to that of a BRIC-country.

 

But it must be kept in mind that this is the place where local, regional and transnational interests will clash on the unsolved questions of regional and state reconfiguration. So the Continent will have to face in the coming two years an accelerated rush for Africa.

 

The three traditional leading countries (Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa) will be paralyzed also this year by internal conflicts be it to manage post-revolutionary processes, be it to rebalance the distribution of national wealth between Northern and Southern regions, be it  for the explosion of long delayed sharp social conflicts in the mining and agricultural sectors.

 

The visible protagonists of this geopolitical and geoeconomic asymmetric competition continue to be China and the United States. The first expands in the energy, agro-business and infrastructure sectors, whereas the second bet on the reorganization of the strategic space and on energy security.

 

It seems that China has reached the zenith of its influence and thus one of its priorities is to keep the acquired positions, keeping the local elites and population consensus. The USA, despite the expansion of their activities during the long Bush presidency, exploiting the Global War on Terror and the creation of AFRICOM, must make up for the lost time vis-à-vis the Chinese competitors.

 

India is the third competitor, trying gradually to establish its own hegemony in the Indian Ocean, not just in the maritime spaces where the Chinese “pearl string” has been put in place, but also opening new trade in Africa. New Delhi enjoys an advantage in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and tries to assert itself with other members of the Indian Ocean Rim - Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC, initially born in 1995 as Indian Ocean Rim Initiative). But India is behind China in coherence and organization of commercial and political penetration.

 

Since 2009 Turkey is carrying out a strong expansion in the arc of Islamic countries that stretches from Nigeria to Senegal via North Africa by opening 14 new embassies. Brasilia was active even before that date and, beyond its obvious interests in the Lusophone area, it has expanded its presence in Southern Africa and in the group of countries between Guinea and Libya

 

At the same time it is necessary to follow the shift of the conflict focus from the Horn of Africa strictu sensu (there are some chances for peace) to Central Africa for the control over strategic raw material (energy, precious minerals, rare earths).[6]

 

There are two critical troublespots the enduring one in Congo (Kivu-Ruanda-Burundi) and the one that seemed to be peacefully solved between Sudan and South Sudan. The latter risks to worsen because of the stubborn will of Khartoum to control the future of Juba (although a new oil and demilitarisation agreement has been finalised by mid March) and because there is a serious internal political crisis in Sudan. The government is worn out and so its credibility and national cohesion, in fact during the past year there has been the possibility of a military coup d’état.

The Mali crisis will be still an issue for the next two years because the mopping up of armed groups is more difficult than foreseen and because the state has to be rebuilt from its foundations. By mid-March 2013 the political situation features a weak and not legitimised civil political élite under military tutelage with little interest of rebuilding Northern Mali.

 

The other complicating factor is that Algeria, whose regional role was reinforced by the weakening of Libya, Morocco and Mauritania, is wary about an African ECOWAS and French military presence on its Southern border and would like to control better Bamako. If Algeria’s influence was neutralised this could have some unpredictable effect on the perpetuation of the Algerian political system, already under pressure from the society for more political participation and fairness and shaken by political scandals that are preparing the end of the Bouteflika presidency.

 

Atlantic Geonetwork

The Atlantic area will have to handle the effects of a global crisis that can be reasonably expect it will last in the medium term. The origin is in the structural blocking in the financial system caused by a shadow monetary mass that is still incalculable and that is scarcely guaranteed by underlying assets. Despite liquidity injections in more or less indebted banks, this money is not put back onto the economic system, creating in turn a credit and liquidity crunch.[7]

 

There will be four actors (Russia, European Union, United States and Turkey) that will try to recover their stability in the short-medium term and hence the strategic initiative, indispensable to recover freedom of action and economic growth.

 

Russia, despite the re-election of Putin as president, is unable neither to get out of its “energy monoculture”, nor to solve its 12-year old socio-economic problems. Particularly worrying are: the delayed exploitation since September 2012 of the Arctic off shore fields (Shtokman oilfield, planned for the US market), the delayed study activity to exploit shale oil fields, the difficult rationalisation of the oil giant Rosneft and a 59% yearly increase in military expenditure.

 

If prices were to diminish significantly, due to the abundant inflow of conventional and non-conventional hydrocarbons into the market, the Russian state’s problems risk to become very serious in the medium term, forcing the government to dig deeply into the past financial surplus.

 

The European Union is fully absorbed in defending the Eurozone against a highly co-ordinated financial assault led by private groups. Generally known under the “Euro crisis” misnomer, this is one of the two fronts of the global crisis together with the Pacific area.

 

Without a clear, consensual and unitary political direction at European level, the different austerity measures will exclusively work in favour of financial speculative schemes whose goal is to raise fresh money, guaranteed by governments and from the selling-off of common and public goods.

 

Starting from this premises the European Council of 2013 should give a concrete direction to the Common Foreign and Security Policy, which until now has been hampered by narrow national interests, the same that have jeopardised the European External Action Service. It appears rather unlikely that the Irish presidency will accomplish some concrete result.

 

The next 24 months will be crucial because Germany, seemingly the pivot of fiscal austerity measures, risks to be severely attacked in its political and economic credibility after having lost half of its European markets under the very same austerity measures.

 

Moreover banking oversight authorities have revealed that there are at least 12 great German banks that are at high risk if they do not redress their balance sheets within 2013. It is not by chance that Berlin, following the example set by the Chinese Dagong rating agency, is trying to set up its own rating company through the Bertelsmann publishing group.


The positive aspect in the European political landscape is ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism which provides an unprecedented degree of control over the great European banks. On the other hand, to be effective, it needs serious inspective procedures including also regional banks (Germany’s Achilles heel, and not only of this country) and a smooth co-ordination with the London-based
European Banking Authority.

 

Germany was also forced to slow economic contacts with Russia (exception made for energy) and to defer a tacit dream nurtured since the first Obama presidency. Berlin, while the UK-USA special relationship had become rather irrelevant, has tried to set up its own acting as a bridge between the USA and Russia. In the meantime the Baltic, Nordic and Balkan states are hold off their accession to the Euro, waiting for better times.

 

If Europe is in dire straits, the United States are in a similarly embattled because Washington is still paralysed by an inconclusive Congress in negotiations on the fiscal cliff, whereas the need is to find a compromise between a cut in entitlements/defence expenditure and raising taxes with a progressive system.

 

The leadership, despite being adequate, is divided between the schizophrenic management of the debt due to Beijing and the idea of containing more or less strongly its creditor and this will mean a relative power vacuum in the Euro-Mediterranean area with clear repercussions on the actual crises.

 

Fourth actor out of kilter is Turkey. Ankara has lost its “neo-Ottoman” foreign policy orientation and the possibility to enter the EU; now it is less effective in the area than other regional competitors or external powers. Countries like Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran and China are essentially extending the conflict to their advantage and Turkey has to defend its positions in the Levant and the Gulf, even against new competitors (Qatar and Egypt).

 

The war itself could possibly end by the year either with a negotiation supported by Russia or due to collapse of the governmental forces, but the post-war period could be long and unpredictable in terms of Syria’s and regional stability.

 

Unfortunately the next two years will have undesirable consequences for the countries along the Northern shore of the Mediterranean. The double Euro-American power vacuum will leave much more space for rather unpredictable local developments among which can be counted a possible Israeli attack against Tehran’s nuclear sites, renewed tensions along the Sinai and the Lebanese borders and increased frictions created by an unsettled Turkish foreign policy, that must still find its balance between priorities and ambitions, particularly concerning its Islamic political vector.

 

 



[1] A geonetwork is a strategic theatre influenced by liquid balances and by the general global crisis: there are no more firmly delimited territories, no shared rules, credible strategic axes. There are complex relationships, scarcely under control and without direction, characterised by multi-level copetitions (i.e. simultaneous collaborations and competitions). A shaping flow is a material or immaterial flow capable to structure the relationship among international actors. The whole group of the CeMiSS researchers has contributed to the text of this General Outlook. We thank Dr. Zora Hauser for her support in preparing the research material (annotated resumes, chronologies, proofreading, co-testing of the SWOT2 model).

[2]    Copetition is the relationship featuring co-operation and competition at the same time. The Chinese Seas include (from North to South) the Yellow Sea (between the Korean Peninsula and China), East China Sea (marked off by Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan and the Japanese Ryukyu Islands) and the South China Sea (located between Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Strait of Malacca, Malaysia, Indochina and China). The Western Pacific is located East of the 180th parallel and laps all Asiatic countries and Oceania.

[3]    The Chindoterranean Belt is the flow of goods, people, capitals, services going from China, India, Gulf, Africa through Suez to Europe (Gioia Tauro being the major container port for the moment). It has been a source of prosperity in the past decade and the major Chinese penetration route in the Euro-Mediterranean area.

[4] With the expression Stan’s Wedge is intended the group of states including Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Central Asiatic Republics (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan), that wedge themselves from the steppes in the Indian Ocean.

[5] In Afghanistan there has been an increase of manned and unmanned aircraft, especially in the great air base of Bagram. The use of air bases in Cyprus has been taken in consideration (Paphos possibly). There has been also much talk about the use of Azerbaijani bases: Baku Kala, Ganja, Kyurdamir, Nasosnaya (currently used by the local air force). There are also installations seemingly in disuse since the end of the Soviet Union: Dollyar, Nakhichevan, Sanqacal and especially Sitalcay, near the Caspian Sea.

[6] Among the concurring factors to the pacification of Somalia are also: the renewed Ethiopian will to renew the dialogue with Eritrea; the will of several countries to end their military engagement and the possibility to create new power balances around possible oil resources.

 

[7]  The Atlantic Geonetwork does not only include the traditional Euro-Atlantic area, but all the countries that are on the rivers of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean of the three continents. The crisis is the logical outcome of the global and uncontrolled financialisation of the economy, in which the shadow finance is a crucial component. During the next biennium the strategic decisions to arrive at an end state around year 2018 have to be taken.


Pubblicato il 6/4/2013 alle 11.59 nella rubrica diario.

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