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Showing posts from September, 2019

JMD on NBN: Nicholas Walton, Singapore, Singapura, From Miracle to Complacency

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Nicholas Walton
Singapore, Singapura
From Miracle to Complacency
Hurst 2019 September 27, 2019 James M. Dorsey




















Nicholas Walton’sSingapore, Singapura: From Miracle to Complacency (Hurst, 2019) is far more than a portrait of the rise of a resource-poor nation that has become a model of economic development, governance and management of inter-communal relations. Part travelogue, part history, Walton charts the opportunities and pitfalls confronting small states that have become particularly acute in an era of identity politics and civilizational leadership. Potential threats include not only the Singapore’s struggle to insulate itself from global trends as well the impact of the rise of ultra-conservative attitudes in its majority Muslim neighbours, Malaysia and Indonesia, but also increased difficulty in balancing rival powers China and the United States. If that were not enough, Singapore is juggling multiple issues at a time that it is transiting to a new generational leadership faced …

Saudi policy shift: A rare Trump foreign policy success

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By James M. Dorsey
A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud,Itunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spreaker, Pocket Casts, Tumblr, Patreon, Podbean and Castbox.
By the law of unintended consequences, US President Donald J. Trump’s mix of uncritical and cynical embrace of Saudi Arabia and transactional approach towards relations with the kingdom may be producing results.
Saudi Arabia appears to be backing away from its largely disastrous assertive and robust go-it alone foreign and defense policy posture and reverting to a more cautious approach that embraces multilateralism, seeks international backing before acting and emphasizes traditional and public diplomacy.
The kingdom’s shift towards a less reckless, more coordinated and deliberate foreign and defense policy does not necessarily mean a change in rhetoric or a greater willingness to seek negotiated solutions.
It entails a change in tone and strategy rather than a backing away from key foreign or domestic policy positi…

Big power rivalry in the Gulf requires a US strategy rethink

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By James M. Dorsey
A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud,Itunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spreaker, Pocket Casts, Tumblr, Patreon, Podbean and Castbox.
As French, Pakistani and other leaders seek to engineer a meeting between the US and Iranian presidents on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, big power rivalry could rack up tension in the waters of the Gulf and the Indian Ocean.
With prospects for a face-to-face encounter between presidents Donald J. Trump and Hassan Rouhani slim at best, attention is likely to focus on beefing up the security of key Saudi oil facilities after drone and missile attacks, blamed by the kingdom and the United States on Iran, and identifying an appropriate response that minimizes the risk of a full-fledged military confrontation.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, days after the attacks severely damaged oil installations, joined a US-led coalition to secure the Middle East’s waterways. Earlier, Britain, Bahrai…

Trump’s Trade Wars: A New World Order?

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Trump’s Trade Wars: A New World Order?
The escalating trade war between the United States and China risks a breakdown in global trade as the world’s two largest economies contemplate encouraging the emergence of trading environments that they would dominate.
Dr. James M. Dorsey
Sunday, 22 September 2019 09:25 GMT
A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud,Itunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spreaker, Pocket Casts, Tumblr, Patreon, Podbean and Castbox.
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President Trump’s declared economic protectionism has taken the United States’ international relations with several foes and allies to some uncharted territories. His open-ended trade wars toward several nations have triggered criticism among conservatives and liberals alike in the United States. He has justified his actions by arguing for a downturn of America’s trade deficit. However, a recent Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll survey shows 63 percent of registered voters said that tariffs imposed on Chinese produc…