Global Governance: Vital But Impossible?
This morning, the Atlantic Council hosted the launch of Global Governance 2025, a report following a long collaboration with several partners. The fundamental takeaway is that, while cooperation between the United States and Europe is essential, it “is no longer enough to effectively manage global challenges.” Instead, key players from around the globe will need to develop new institutions to deal with the world’s problems. The report stresses that “formerly localized threats are no longer locally containable but are now potentially dangerous to global security and stability.” The listed challenges range from migration problems to resource scarcity to climate change to state collapse.

Japan urges calm after China severs contacts over fishermen’s detention
Japan urged China to remain calm and not inflame their diplomatic spat further Monday after Beijing severed high-level contacts and then called off a visit by Japanese youth over the detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain near disputed islands.

Japan FM Voices Concern On China Defense Spending
Japan’s new Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara on Sept. 17 voiced concern over the level of China’s defense spending, speaking hours after he was appointed and amid a tense territorial fight with China.

China’s maritime aggression should be wake-up call to Japan
The Sino-Japanese standoff over Japan’s detention of a Chinese trawler captain who acted aggressively towards the Japanese coast guard in waters near the disputed Senkaku islands is part of a larger pattern of Chinese assertiveness towards its neighbors over the past few years. This pattern includes renewed Chinese claims to the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, Beijing’s increasingly forceful claims to sovereignty over the South China Sea, China’s effort to claim suzerainty over the Yellow Sea (where it sought to prevent recent U.S.-South Korean naval exercises), and a series of naval provocations directed at Japan.

Iraq Suffers Deadliest Day Since U.S. Drawdown
A string of bombings killed 37 people Sunday in Iraq’s deadliest day since Aug. 31, when President Barack Obama said the U.S. military’s seven-year-old combat mission there had ended. Twin car bombs exploded within moments of each other around 11 a.m. in Baghdad — one near a facility housing federal police, which killed 19 people, the other a few miles away at a busy intersection in the Mansour neighborhood, killing 10, Iraqi authorities said.

Succession in North Korea
Kim Jong-il’s stroke back in August 2008 and his continued frail health have brought the succession question to the center of the North Korean political/military agenda and to the forefront of global discussion and speculation regarding the insular communist state.

Rogues in a ‘rogue state’?
An independent attack could explain the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan at such an inopportune moment for the Pyongyang hierarchy, even though the very concept of the North Korean military acting independently challenges established United States and South Korean foreign policy convention towards North Korea.

Referendum Deepens Fragmentation in Turkey
In the Turkish referendum held on September 12, voters supported the constitutional amendment package promoted by the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP). Despite earlier forecasts and opinion polls, the changes were approved by a wide margin: 58 percent voted in favor, while 42 percent opposed the amendment (Anadolu Ajansi, September 13). This rather surprising outcome will have significant implications for Turkish politics, possibly accelerating social fragmentation.

France raises terror security; new threat reported
France has stepped up its vigilance against terror threats, a top official announced Monday amid reports of various new threats, including one against the Paris transport network. “The terrorist threat is real and today our vigilance, therefore, is reinforced,” Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said.

Terrorism concerns rise around Commonwealth Games in Delhi
Britain and Australia issued travel warnings on visiting the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Delhi, after two Taiwanese tourists were shot Sunday.

Georgia Warns Of ‘Threat’ From French Warship Sale To Russia
Georgia said Sept. 20 that French plans to supply Mistral-class helicopter carriers to the Russian navy posed a threat to regional security.

Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamond Trade Continues To Grow With Chinese Help
Zimbabwe’s generals are accumulating a secret slush fund from diamond sales, a campaign group claims. Diplomats fear the vast mines put the army in a powerful position to dictate the terms of succession after the death of Robert Mugabe.

NATO commander: Pirates find less success
Somali pirates are having fewer successful attacks against merchant ships, but the number of pirate groups is on the rise, according to a key NATO commander.

India surging to record trade deficit
Strong economic expansion is driving up India’s imports at too fast a pace for its strong export sector to match. With protectionism among trading partners, notably in the United States, on the rise, New Delhi is urging manufacturers to seek new markets.

China: Energy superpower
China’s emergence as the world’s top energy consumer – and the likelihood of it keeping that status – has immense implications for the future of great-power politics and of the planet. Washington is watching with anxiety.

Why China will continue to disappoint as a “near-peer” rival
Part of the dynamic we witness in elite US circles right now is an attempt to redirect our fears away from non-state actors and back toward the rising “near-peer”–an old Pentagon code phrase for China. It is seen as part and parcel of admitting our need to get our own economic house in order, pull back from “empire” and keep our powder dry for the real threat down the road. For many, this is a highly tempting path. But the problem with it is, the Chinese will continue to disappoint.

Red Shirts rise up again
Thousands of pro-democracy Red Shirt activists Sunday defied a state of emergency decree and demonstrated in downtown Bangkok – their first major act since government forces crushed their rebellion and drove them from the very same area in May.

Pakistan Taliban threats to West limited, analysts say
Pakistan’s Taliban militia is vowing to launch terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe, but they lack the capability to conduct global attacks on their own, according to terrorism specialists.

US Assessment Of Terrorist Threats Poor, Says Panel
Only “low confidence” should be placed in most of the risk analyses of terrorist threats conducted by the US Department of Homeland Security, concludes a review by a National Research Council panel. Created after the 9/11 attacks to cover national perils ranging from terrorism to natural disasters, the DHS got off to a rough start. Critics blasted its lack of attention to natural disasters after its bungled response to hurricane Katrina.

Brazil Building Itself Into Regional Military Power
Brazil’s signing of a new strategic cooperation accord with Britain – adding to a pile of similar deals with other European countries and the U.S. – has underlined its ambition to become Latin America’s pre-eminent military power.

Chris van Avery is an Asia-Pacific FAO and Military Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, and blogs on a variety of topics at The Yankee Sage.




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