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Ed Webb

Montevideo Statement on the Future of Internet Cooperation | ICANN - 0 views

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    Desire to wrest internet away from US dominance, driven in part by surveillance scandals.
Ed Webb

To Ousted Boss, Arms Watchdog Was Seen as an Obstacle in Iraq - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    Seems to support the realist view of international institutions: largely instruments of the will of the powerful states. But not straightforwardly so.
Ed Webb

As Obama's Asia 'pivot' falters, China steps into the gap - Yahoo News - 2 views

  • doubts over a policy aimed at re-invigorating U.S. military and economic influence in the fast-growing region, while balancing a rising China
  • the image of a dysfunctional, distracted Washington adds to perceptions that China has in some ways outflanked the U.S. pivot
  • Since 2011, China has consolidated its position as the largest trade partner with most Asian countries and its direct investments in the region are surging, albeit from a much lower base than Europe, Japan and the United States. Smaller countries such as Laos and Cambodia have been drawn so strongly into China's economic orbit that they have been called "client states" of Beijing, supporting its stance in regional disputes.

    Leveraging its commercial ties, China is also expanding its diplomatic, political and military influence more broadly in the region, though its efforts are handicapped by lingering maritime tensions with Japan, the Philippines and several other nations.

    "For countries not closely allied with the U.S., Obama's no-show will reinforce their policy of bandwagoning with China,"

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  • China is demonstrating that it can deploy forces far beyond its coastal waters on patrols where they conduct complex battle exercises, according to Japanese and Western naval experts. Chinese shipyards are turning out new nuclear and conventional submarines, destroyers, missile-armed patrol boats and surface ships at a higher rate than any other country.
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, one of Washington's most key allies in the region, said it was disappointing Obama would not be visiting Asia.

    "Obviously we prefer a U.S. government which is working to one which is not. And we prefer a U.S. President who is able to travel to fulfill his international duties to one who is preoccupied with his domestic preoccupations," Lee said after arriving in Bali.

    "It is a very great disappointment to us President Obama is unable to visit."

Ed Webb

Iran parades long-range missiles - Middle East - Al Jazeera English - 0 views

  • Iran has paraded 30 missiles with a nominal range of 2,000km, this is the first time it displayed so many with the theoretical capacity to hit Israeli targets.
  • Iran revealed 12 Sejil and 18 Ghadr missiles at the annual parade on Sunday marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
  • In a speech at the state event, President Hassan Rouhani insisted the weaponry on show was purely for defensive purposes.

    "In the past 200 years, Iran has never attacked another country," he said.

    "Today too, the armed forces of the Islamic Republic and its leadership will never launch any aggressive action in the region.

    "But they will always resist aggressors determinedly until victory."
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    Swaggering
Ed Webb

Krasner on democratization - 0 views

  • Elections pose a particular problem. They are attractive and salient for political leaders in the United States. They get media attention. They provide concrete evidence that the United States is supporting freedom and democracy. Pushing for free and fair elections, however, is often a bridge too far. Even if elections are held, they may make things worse rather than better. There is no guarantee that winners will be committed to democratic values. Once in power, new rulers may try to disempower their opponents, as was the case with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Hamas in Gaza, and they will resist election outcomes, often violently, that would force them out of power.
  • The assumption that countries could confidently be put on the path that would end with consolidated democracy — including not just elections but rule of law, physical security and protection of political and property rights for all — has been the fundamental cause of American failures in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is also a major reason for Washington's inability to devise a coherent policy for Egypt, Syria and other countries in the Middle East.
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    A realist critique of US democratization policies.
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    A realist critique of US democratization policies.
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