Groundwater supply danger & Advice to Obama | Cat’s daily selection of top links FromOverHere #56

11 Jan

Here are today’s hot links on strategy and international affairs:

1. Philip Zelikow’s Advice to Obama: pretty spot on assessment seeing the recent US military strategy doctrine as a culmination of events playing over the past year.  Nice insights on: ‘grey power’ – the ‘ twilight worlds of special operations and financial clearing houses’; on how the hegemonic status of the US did not slip away this year, but various decades ago; and on the need for more substantive leadership from the top (I think this last point is probably the most contestable – but its a good debate to be had)

2. India and China in the Middle East and in Central Asia:  in a time of financial crises, we keep missing the impact of energy security as a major geopolitical driver within 5 years

3. Arab wakening and implications for global democracy: some nice thinking here, including on the pivotal bridging role of IBSA, Indonesia, and Turkey

4. The UK’s vital global diplomatic role: on the back of Hague’s trip to Burma, the UK should be reinspired to uphold Human Rights and democracy worldwide.  Errrr.  Yes.  But, if that is to be an effective strategic approach that our country chooses to take, then we need to eliminate contradictory elements of other policies that speak louder to our interlocutors than our exhortations.  Like minimising comments suggesting the government will shut down social media.  Or by taking the hit in terms of commercial diplomacy by not promoting defence exports to Bahrain.  Or toning down inaccurate rhetoric about the costs to migration Or, or, or..

5.  Groundwater supply running out: pollution, over-extraction, mega-cities and agriculture…the next global resource system to start to give out


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