October 20, 2014

BRIC House: Putin Edition

This week, Vladimir Putin was generous enough to provide me with a wealth of blog fodder in an interview with Japanese media (linked below). Putin addressed two issues of major concern to U.S. foreign policy (before going on to suggest that he might have to become president again): the North Korean nuclear standoff and the European Missile defense shield. North Korean Nuclear Standoff Recently, North Korea conducted another missile test, launching a "satellite" into space via ballistic missile (with the quotes questioning both the existence of the … [Read more...]

BRIC Countries Gain Stature

Hello Everyone!  It's good to be back in the game.  I have been largely severed from the internet world from several weeks as I traveled across Europe and Northern Africa.  I have returned to London, but am still in limbo as I prepare to return to the states.  Still, I wanted to make sure this week's edition of the BRIC Roundup got to press! Of course, much has occurred in the past weeks in these nations. The overarching story of the BRIC nations in the past weeks has been one of steadily increasing importance in international affairs as the economic … [Read more...]

G20 Summit Hopes to Cure Economic Crisis

The G20 group of countries have suddenly taken on a new importance ahead of their April 2 meeting.  Amidst a global economic downturn, the people of each country--and those of the rest of the world--are tensely waiting for news of a unified recovery plan that will put everyone back into a job and kick start the economy. Each nation is trying desperately hard to avoid the one situation from which most comparisons have been drawn recently--the Great Depression.  Many economists believe that while trade protectionism did not cause the great depression, it … [Read more...]

Russian "Reset"

One of the ancillary benefits of bringing in a new administration is the opportunity to press a metaphorical reset button on all issues.  Despite coming under fire from some of the old guard for keeping a lot of things pretty much the same, the new administration has decided in its relations with Russia to drop the metaphorical part of this reset button. A little gimmicky?  Sure--but the sentiment is much needed.  The waning days of the past administration brought mounting tensions between the two nations that have been slowly dividing them, moving … [Read more...]

Mutually Assured Destruction v. 2.0

Much has been made in recent weeks about what I like to call MAD 2.0--this time between the U.S. and China. Of course, the new MAD is not nearly as vindictive as the previous phase of international relations between the U.S. and the S.U.  It involves no bombs, posturing, or division of the world into spheres of influence (yet).  No, the new MAD is predicated on a simple fact: each country controls the other country's financial system. The Financial Times synthesized the situation rather succinctly.  China has made a policy of holding substantial … [Read more...]

Russia's Response? Drink It All In! (+ Other News)

When the world's economy is in decline and your nation, run by a network of cartoonish oligarchs, is flexing its muscles more than Arnold Schwarzenegger--and you are Russian--there is always a solid response available: more vodka please! What better way to pacify your people than to keep them drunk?  Apparently the Russian government is fully aware of the benefits of alcohol as a substitute for actual social and political progress, and as a result has prescribed a dramatic reduction in the tax on vodka in these troubled times. Part of this tax is aimed … [Read more...]

BRIC Roundup – January, 2009

There isn't much new major news coming out of the BRIC countries this week, so instead, I will give you a quick roundup of some of the stories that have been developing through the weeks: Russia is continuing its expansion of influence over its neighboring countries in whatever way possible.  As we have documented through the weeks, it is clear that the conflict in Georgia, the continuing spat over the missile shield in Poland, and the energy dispute in Ukraine are all part and parcel of the same effort of Russia to bring itself back into global … [Read more...]

The Reasonable Response to Russia

Hello all--I am currently blogging from a cafe in central London near my school for the semester, King's College London.  Hopefully I'll be able to bring a more international perspective to some of the BRIC events. The biggest news to come out of the BRIC countries this past week is Russia's attempt to reassert its influence over Ukraine.  I'll be interested to see the continued play of this drama from my position in the EU, as they struggle to deal with the fluctuation of energy supplies. This is yet another sign of the emerging conflict between … [Read more...]

Blogging from the Californian Republic (Province of China)

Though I am soon to depart overseas to London to blog with a more international perspective, I report to you today live from the future Californian Republic of China. For those of you not familiar with the coming establishment of this Chinese-operated province in what will-once-have-been-formerly the Western U.S., you can read more about the impending breakup of the United States as predicted by a prominent Russian professor and foreign minister here. The Wall Street Journal describes the circulation of such theories in elite Russian circles, telling … [Read more...]

The World is Lacking Holiday Spirit

As a big fan of Christmas, I am very much attempting to immerse myself in some of the holiday spirit over the next few days.  On that note, I decided to lighten up a bit and scour the internet for some good news to share about the rising powers of the world, as my Christmas/Holiday/Christma-hanna-kwansika gift to all of you. Here's what I got: a Russian ambassador to NATO, whose job is to meet with NATO officials, and NATO's Secretary General, are going to have "an informal lunch in Brussels" this week.  This is, of course, good news, as this marks the … [Read more...]