The 5th summit of the BRICS group is going down in Durban, South Africa….and the actual heads of state of these rapidly growing economies have plans to evolve the group into much more than a talking shop! A possible BRICS development bank, a currency swap, and even a broadband cable between these countries displays a rapid evolution of this block into a competing source of economic….and political….power on the planet! Dig this BRICS rant to see the seriousness of these shenanigans!
Keywords: BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, bank, currency swap, broadband cable, IMF, World Bank, UN, Security Council, developing countries, emerging economies, multipolar world, rising powers, capitalism, structural adjustments
From Shangri-la to Washington, DC, America has got a fever for the flava’ of Asian alliances! US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was showing the love to Singapore, VIetnam, and India last week while talking defense strategies in the Asia ‘hood, and elaborating more about the US forces shift to the Asia-Pacific realm. Now Hillary Clinton is hosting an Indian delegation here in the US to further woo the South Asian power into inceased integration and cooperation with the Americans on a variety of other issues. These moves reflect the changing nature of US initiatives, changing US alliances, and also are indicative of how important India is becoming to future US policy on that side of the planet.
Keywords: US, Shangri-La, Singapore, Vietnam, Cam Rahn Bay, India, US-India strategic dialogue, SCO, China, Afghanistan, Asia-Pacific, Pacific, Indian Ocean, military
As promised last podcast, the Professor now looks forward to the new year of 2012 to inform you of the details of the significant shift of world leadership going down in the next 365 days. From new leaders to be tested in North Korea, Italy and Spain; to election cycles in US, Mexico, France, Russia, and Taiwan; to major turnovers in China, Palestine and possibly Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen…the parade of new faces started in 2011 is going to be accelerated significantly in the coming year, and the Professor wants you to be in the know!
Sweet Sub-Saharan salvation! The outside world is finally, finally, finally looking to truly invest in the future of Africa…and this interest in the continent is certainly going to trigger other parties to get into the game as well! The country kicking off this race for investment and influence in Africa is none other than India! Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh just finished a three-day tour of Africa in which billions of dollars of credit and infrastructure aid has been promised, the first-ever serious long-term investment strategy in the region of the planet that has long been marginalized. All the pundits are raging about how this sets India in competition with China, who has long been a investor in Africa focused on resource extraction. But the Avenger knows there is much more to the story than that! Africa stands to gain big-time, long-term from the events being initiated right this second, so tune in an find out the bigger impacts to the region, to India, and the world!
Yes, yes, yes, there is tremendous hype and pomp and circumstances surrounding the death of Osama Bin Laden by US forces who covertly invaded Pakistan and took out the head terrorist honcho of al-Qaeda a couple of weeks ago. While much attention has been focused on the man since his death, and the future of his death-wielding terrorist group, and even on how this affects US power/prestige in the world, the Plaid Avenger believes the biggest impacts of bin Laden’s locational transfer to hell will be most felt by the Afghanistan Taliban…who will be ‘legitimized’ and become an accepted power player in Afghan politics.
Say what? Yeah, confusing stuff! That’s why the Avenger did this two-part series to unpack it for you:
Part 1 goes over the differences between the main groups involved in the chaos in this neighborhood, including the goals and objectives of the Afghan Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, and al-Qaeda.
Part 2 offers 5 reasons why the death of Osama bin Laden will influence the US, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the wider world to accept the Afghan Taliban as a legitimate component of a future stabilized Afghanistan.
The Avenger also points out some relevant insight into the dangers of a growing Pakistani Taliban, and what this might mean for future US/Pakistani relations. And he wants your opinion on how that should be proceeding as well…