Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- September 12, 2017

Edith M. Lederer, Christian Science Monitor/AP: World leaders take a stand together against North Korea

UN unanimously approves strongest sanctions yet against North Korea. Country leaders are working together toward pinning its nuclear threats under control.

The United Nations Security Council on Monday unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea but not the toughest-ever measures sought by the Trump administration to ban all oil imports and freeze international assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong Un.

The resolution, responding to Pyongyang's sixth and strongest nuclear test explosion on Sept. 3, does ban North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates. It also bans all textile exports and prohibits any country from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers – two key sources of hard currency for the northeast Asian nation.

As for energy, it caps Pyongyang's imports of crude oil at the level of the past 12 months, and it limits the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- September 12, 2017

Time for America to Act on North Korea, Alone If Necessary -- Dov S. Zakheim, National Interest

Japan’s history shows oil embargoes are a dance with disaster -- William Pesek, Bloomberg

Distrust is fuelling instability in Asia, think tank reports – can a stronger Asean help mend ties? -- Catherine Wong,, SCMP

China’s Toxic Nationalism -- Graeme Smith, RCD/Lowy Institute

Should Pakistan cut military ties with Myanmar? -- Kamal Alam, TRT

Australia's Economy - Not So Exceptional? -- John Edwards, Lowy Institute

Iraq's Kurds Have Earned Their Right to Independence -- Eli Lake, Bloomberg

Will Abbas be forced to choose war against Israel? -- Uri Savir, Al-Monitor

Niger’s Issoufou Is Everything the West Wants in an African Leader -- Alex Thurston, WPR

Putin’s Peacekeepers: Beware of Russians Bearing Gifts -- Fredrik Wesslau, ECFR

How Putin Hoped to Make Up With the U.S. -- John Hudson, BuzzFeed

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin could destroy each other -- Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

Mikhail Saakashvili's return may spell trouble for Ukraine's Poroshenko -- Roman Goncharenko & Oleksandr Holubov, DW

How Western Capital Colonized Eastern Europe -- Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

What the U.S. can do about Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis -- Richard V. Reeves and Katherine Guyot, Brookings

What Happens When War Is Outlawed -- Louis Menand, The New Yorker

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I notice that this blog's editor has posted a link to an opinion piece from Dov Zakheim: "Time for America to Act on North Korea, Alone If Necessary".

That's the same Israeli dual citizen Dov S. Zakheim was the Pentagon's Comptroller when $2.3 trillion went missing from its budget. (Essentially, the 'comptroller' is it's chief financial officer. It is a post bestowing far more power than many generals possess.)

Fun fact: Israel has Dov Zakheim to thank for giving it almost all of its F-15s and F-16s at US taxpayers' expense.

In the early to mid 1980s, most F-15s and F-16s hadn't been in service for a very long time. In fact, the two aircraft types were still being 'phased in' to USAF service, with pilots converting to them on an ongoing basis. All combat coded USAF F-15s and F-16s were practically at the start of their service lives, with thousands and thousands of flying hours left on their airframes. So, it was more than a little surprising when the Israeli citizen Dov Zackheim designated squadrons of these nearly-new fighters as being old and exhausted equipment, and arranged for this 'military surplus' equipment to be sent to Israel with all haste.

In the 1980s, Israel had no domestic aerospace capabilities to provide deep service-life extension programs to these cutting-edge aircraft. (Their aerospace industry was completely in its infancy, and had signally botched the Lavi fighter project.) So, it is totally perplexing that those 'old' and 'exhausted' F-15s and F-16s were then flown by the Israelis for decades. The F15s and F16s immediately because Israel's most capable front line fighters, and they have formed the vast bulk of Israel's air power. In other words: Israel wouldn't have much of an air force without them over the past 30 years... which is more than a little odd for supposedly worn-out aircraft.

So, to recap: Israel, one of the world's smallest nations, has one of the world's largest air forces, thanks to Dov Zackheim giving it billions of dollars' worth of almost brand new US fighter aircraft that he designated 'military surplus'.

Zackheim is member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and a member of the editorial board of the journal The National Interest. How fortunate for the USA that a foreign national has such a pivotal role in advocating for the USA to send its young men and women into harms way. I'm sure that he has the 'National Interest' at heart.

Whose national interest, I'm not so sure of.