ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 14/12/2018

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The Guardian – Angela Giuffrida / Italy cuts deficit target for 2019 to 2.04% to avoid EU sanctions

  • Italian bonds rallied after the government bowed to pressure to reduce its deficit target for 2019 to stave off EU sanctions. The country’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, proposed cutting the target from 2.4% to 2.04%.
  • Italy’s industry minister, Dario Galli, said the bulk of the spending cuts needed to meet the lower deficit target would be most likely to hit the government’s proposed universal basic income, intended to give €780 (£700) a month to the unemployed, and the proposal to cut the retirement age.
  • “We are a government that respects the commitments made, but we are also a reasonable government,” said Conte. “We put a proposal on the negotiating table, and the measures will come into force as announced.”
  • A survey carried out by the polling firm EMG Aqua revealed that 41% of Italians supported reducing the public debt. Lowering the retirement age was a priority for 22%, a flat tax for 10% and universal basic income for 9%.

The Economist / The ECB halts quantitative easing

  • Yesterday’s announcement by the European Central Bank (ECB) that it would halt quantitative easing (QE) at the end of this month contained few surprises—the bank first signaled in June that it expected to stop its purchases by the end of the year.
  • The ECB has also left its guidance on interest rates intact: they will stay unchanged “at least through the summer” of 2019, or longer if economic news warrants.
  • Though growth in 2018 has been a little disappointing, ECB President Mario Draghi sees no reason to panic. Domestic demand should be supported by recovering growth in wages and loans.
  • The bank’s latest projections forecast that annual GDP growth would slip a little from 1.9% in 2018 to 1.7% over the next two years—still reassuringly above economists’ estimates of the bloc’s growth potential.

Brookings – Steven Pifer / Will Europe try to save the INF Treaty?

  • On December 4, US Secretary of State Pompeo announced that Russia has 60 days to come back into compliance with the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Otherwise, Washington will suspend its obligations under the agreement.
  • While the INF Treaty is global in scope, it focused on enhancing European security. But, up until recently, senior European officials said little publicly about the need for Russia to correct its violation of the treaty.
  • Russia has shown no sign of readiness to address its violation. Neither US President Donald Trump nor National Security Advisor John Bolton appears interested in maintaining the agreement, while interest in the Pentagon in having an intermediate-range missile seems to be growing.
  • To save the treaty, European leaders should engage President Putin directly and forcefully on this issue. Second, Europeans need to take a serious look at military steps to respond to the 9M729 Russian missile. Third, European officials should recommend to Washington that, if the Russians change course, the Pentagon should explore ways to address Russia’s concern that the Aegis Ashore missile defense launchers in Romania could carry offensive missiles.

Bloomberg – David Biller & Raymond Colitt / Milton Friedman’s Brazil moment: Band of disciples takes charge

  • Paulo Guedes, Brazil’s incoming economy minister, likes to remind everyone that he’s a University of Chicago man and that he studied under Milton Friedman. He and some fellow Chicago grads will seek to implement the radical version of neoliberal economics the school is famous for.
  • Salim Mattar, who has been appointed Brazil’s secretary of privatization and decommissioning, is expected to choose which of Brazil’s 138 state-owned companies are privatized. While Guedes has said he’d privatize the whole lot if he had his way, crown jewels like Banco do Brasil, Caixa Economica Federal and Petrobras appear off the table.
  • Still, Petrobras could put some of its refineries on the block, after incoming chief Castello Branco said it’s not right for the company to control 98 percent of refining capacity.
  • Guedes has assured local industry leaders the opening will be “gradual” and synchronized with a reduction of red tape and the tax burden, in order to nurture a more competitive business environment and not leave them hemorrhaging market share.

The New York Times – John Kerry / Forget Trump. We all must act on climate change.

  • This week is the third anniversary of the Paris climate agreement. The Trump administration marked it by working with Russia and Gulf oil nations to sideline science and undermine the accord at climate talks underway in Katowice, Poland.
  • The test is not whether US cities and states can make up for Trump’s rejection of reality. They can. The test is whether the nations of the world will pull out of the mutual suicide pact that we’ve all passively joined.
  • Instead of tacitly accepting that inaction is preordained for the remaining two years of the Trump presidency, the US Congress should send Trump legislation addressing this crisis. It will force him to make choices the American people will long remember.
  • If Trump says no, make climate change the galvanizing issue for 2020 for millennials who will vote as if their lives depend on it — because they do.

Euractiv – Georgi Gotev / EU counter-terrorism chief: Europe ‘may see something like Daesh 2.0’

  • Interview with Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator, appointed in 2007 by Javier Solana.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 13/12/2018

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Reuters / EU-Japan free trade deal cleared for early 2019 start

  • The EU and Japan will launch the world’s largest free trade zone early next year, after some 70 percent of European Parliament lawmakers backed the agreement. Japan’s parliament did so on Saturday.
  • “If all goes well, it should be able to enter force on February 1,” said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, which means that the deal would apply to a possible Brexit transition period until the end of 2020. “The agreement is not only sending a signal to the world. It is also extremely advanced when it comes to opening markets,” added Malmström.
  • The EU-Japan agreement will remove EU tariffs of 10 percent on Japanese cars and 3 percent for most car parts. It will scrap Japanese duties of some 30 percent on EU cheese and 15 percent on wines as well as open access to public tenders in Japan.
  • The deal will also open up services markets, such as financial services, telecoms, e-commerce and transport.

The Guardian – Dan Sabbagh / What happens now for the prime minister and her Brexit plans?

  • With yesterday’s 200-117 win in the confidence vote, May has bought herself a little time. But the 117 opponents of the Prime Minister in her own party constitute a blocking minority preventing the current Brexit deal, or anything like it, from being ratified by parliament.
  • To win round that amount of rebels, May has to make dramatic progress in her talks with Brussels and persuade the right of her party that she can “bin the [Irish] backstop”. No 10 has promised that the vote will happen before 21 January.
  • Theresa May has a chance to conclude a Brexit deal, but even if she can do that, she has failed to secure her leadership for the long term. Just the reverse.
  • Labour may act in calling for a vote of no confidence, but it would be a surprise if it did so before Christmas. The party line is that it wants to see May definitively fail in the Brexit talks first and that is more likely to take place in the new year.

Financial Times – Nastassia Astrasheuskaya / Russia gives nuclear group control of Arctic sea route

  • Russia plans to hand control of shipping through the Arctic Northern Sea Route to Rosatom, as the state-run nuclear group seeks to become the sole operator of one of the world’s emerging trade arteries.
  • Under the plan, Rosatom will run a fleet of icebreakers to pilot freighters along the route, which is frozen for six to seven months of the year.
  • The route would roughly halve sailing times from Europe to China, and freight companies would save about $1m per trip, according to shipping industry experts.
  • Russian companies such as nickel producer Norilsk Nickel, gas company Novatek and oil group Gazprom Neft already use the route. Total cargo using the waterway is expected to reach 18m tonnes this year and 29m tonnes in 2019, according to Rosatom estimates.

Financial Times – David Pilling / Finally, Congo has a chance to move on from Kabila

  • Two days before Christmas, voters in sub-Saharan Africa’s largest country by area will attempt the impossible. They will try to put the “democratic” in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • The government of Joseph Kabila will finally hold elections to replace him as president. These will mark the first transition via the ballot box in the DRC. Kabila has nominated Emmanuel Shadary to keep his seat warm until he can run again in 2023.
  • Congo is a textbook example of a predatory state in which the government extracts resources to enrich itself and pay off people who might otherwise vie for power. Kabila has played the game brilliantly.
  • The courts controlled by Kabila have neutralised two of his most potent rivals by preventing them from running, and few international observers have been invited to oversee the elections. Yet Kabila does not hold all the cards. The opposition is split, but reasonably effective.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 12/12/2018

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Financial Times – George Parker, Henry Mance & Laura Hughes / Theresa May faces vote of confidence as Brexit critics pounce

  • Tory rebels have secured the 48 names needed to trigger a confidence vote in Prime Minister Theresa May’s leadership. The vote will take place between 6pm-8pm today.
  • If May fails to secure 158 votes — a majority of Tory MPs — she will be forced to stand down and a full Tory leadership contest would take place. But there is no clear frontrunner to replace May and any contest would be highly divisive and could take weeks to play out.
  • David Gauke, justice secretary, said that if a Tory leadership contest ensued, Britain would have to apply to extend its Article 50 notification to Brussels to leave the EU and delay Brexit beyond March 2019.
  • The Guardian – Jessica Elgot / How Conservative leadership challenges work

Bloomberg – John Follain / Macron hands EU a new headache in fight over Italian budget

  • French President Emmanuel Macron has emboldened Italy’s populists in their standoff with the European Union by embarking on a spending spree of his own, aimed at defusing the Yellow Vest protests.
  • As the EU pressures Italy to retreat from a deficit of 2.4 percent of GDP next year, Macron’s plan could push France’s to 3.5 percent, according to initial estimates.
  • EU officials said Tuesday that they won’t take a view on Macron’s budget plans until they’ve had a chance to study them in detail.
  • Italian cabinet undersecretary Giancarlo Giorgetti, close adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini: “France has several times breached the 3 percent deficit, Italy hasn’t done it.”

South China Morning Post – Jun Mai / From doves to hawks: why the US’ moderate China watchers are growing sceptical about Beijing

  • As Beijing faces an uphill battle with China hawks in Washington, it is also losing support among moderate members of the US policy community.
  • According to Robert Daly, director of the Wilson Centre’s Kissinger Institute on China and the US, the Chinese policy decisions that have shifted opinions include Beijing’s moves in the South China Sea, its ideological war against Western values and the erosion of freedom of Hong Kong.
  • Negative feelings were further fueled by the Communist Party’s congress in October 2017 and a constitutional amendment in March that cleared the way for Xi to rule beyond two terms, Daly said.
  • “The academic community in the US is just one of the communities that have become progressively frustrated with China as our opportunities are cut off,” said David Shambaugh, professor and China expert at George Washington University.
  • David Lampton, China expert at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said that increased frictions are caused partly by Beijing’s ever-cosy ties with Moscow, which Lampton criticised as “undoing Nixon”.
  • Project Syndicate – Dani Rodrik / China’s Boldest Experiment

Al-Monitor / Intel: How Yemen talks may deepen US-EU divide over Iran

  • The US and the EU are publicly at odds over whether Iran can play a constructive role in Yemen peace talks.
  • The Trump administration had asked the UN to reject Iran’s request to have a senior Foreign Ministry official attend this week’s talks in Sweden.
  • On Monday, that same official — Hossein Jaberi Ansari — addressed the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, which subsequently praised Iran’s endorsement of the peace talks.
  • EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini added on Monday that an EU-Iran trade vehicle to circumvent US sanctions could be in place by the end of the year.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 11/12/2018

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The Guardian – Peter Walker / Brexit chaos: what happens next?

  • Facing what she conceded to the House of Commons was expected to be a “significant” loss when her Brexit deal was put to MPs, Theresa May has instead postponed Tuesday evening’s vote.
  • No-one knows when the vote will take place – it might not be before the new year. The Prime Minister may be seeking to buy time, but the EU has made it clear that new negotiations are not an option, particularly over the Irish backstop.
  • May’s internal party critics, whether leavers and remainers, have clearly not been placated and the perception of endless delay could be the final prompt needed to spark a Conservative party leadership challenge.
  • Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has come under pressure from the Scottish National party and some of his own MPs to press ahead with a no-confidence motion in May and push for a second referendum. An election is still Labour’s preferred option.

Financial Times – Gideon Rachman / Macron protests show that leading France seems like an impossible job

  • French President Emmanuel Macron is an impressive figure. He has correctly identified the need for structural reforms of the French economy and has bravely made the case for internationalism. But the president is gravely wounded by the gilets jaunes protests, among other factors.
  • If Macron’s domestic agenda runs into trouble, his international agenda is likely to fail as well. That is precisely what is happening. Important reforms that were planned for the future — to the pension and health systems — now look much less likely to happen.
  • The essential French contradiction — the demand for lower taxes and better public services — will remain unresolved. Indeed, things could get a lot worse. Even if France’s cities calm down quickly, the risk that Macron could be succeeded by an extremist has clearly increased.
  • Events on the streets of Paris will confirm German prejudices that the French state is unreformable. In truth, even before the gilets jaunes uprising, Franco-German relations were deteriorating, with both sides increasingly frustrated with each another.

Foreign Policy – Stephen M. Walt / The death of global order was caused by Clinton, Bush, and Obama

  • It is a mistake to see US President Donald Trump as the sole—or even the most important—cause of the travails now convulsing the US-led order. The seeds of the US’s present troubles were sown by foreign-policy decisions made by the Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama administrations.
  • After the Cold War, Washington should have gradually disengaged from those areas that no longer needed significant American protection and reduced its global military footprint, while remaining ready to act in a few key areas should it become absolutely necessary.
  • Instead, both Democrats and Republicans quickly united behind an ambitious strategy of “liberal hegemony,” which sought to spread liberal values far and wide. America’s leaders may have had the best of intentions, but the strategy they pursued was mostly a failure.
  • The public has every reason to reject an approach to the world that has repeatedly failed, and to demand a better alternative. Some voters mistakenly believed they would get it from Trump, but he hasn’t delivered and almost certainly won’t.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 10/12/2018

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South China Morning Post – Tom Holland / Don’t ask why US acted against China’s Huawei. Ask: why now?

  • On Wednesday it emerged that the chief financial officer of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, had been arrested in Vancouver airport at the request of US authorities on suspicion of breaking American sanctions against Iran.
  • But Meng was actually detained the previous Saturday, just as President Trump and President Xi prepared to meet in Buenos Aires. Apparently Meng’s legal team had sought a news blackout, presumably as Beijing attempted to pull strings in Ottawa and Washington to get her released.
  • Until six weeks ago, the parent company of the Huawei subsidiary’s Iranian business partner was part-owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which was heavily involved in Iran’s nuclear program. That could place Meng in breach of UN sanctions, rather than just bilateral US sanctions, which would be an offence in Canadian law, potentially justifying her extradition.
  • US action against Huawei for historical breaches of US sanctions on Iran will severely damage, even cripple, the Chinese company. This indicates that, despite the agreement on tariffs in Buenos Aires last weekend, US efforts to degrade (or at least contain) China’s technological capabilities continue.

Politico – James Randerson & Charlie Cooper / UK can withdraw Brexit notification, ECJ rules

  • The European Court of Justice ruled Monday that the UK can unilaterally withdraw its notification to leave the European Union without the permission of other EU countries.
  • The ruling in the case — which was brought by a group of Scottish politicians — will provide a boost to campaigners for a second referendum in the UK who want to put a stop to Brexit.
  • Jo Maugham, director of the Good Law Project, which brought the case using funding from public donations, described the victory as “arguably the most important case in modern domestic legal history.”
  • EU diplomats have expressed concern about how the Article 50 ruling might be used in future by other countries. Ahead of the judgement, they said they feared that submitting and then withdrawing an Article 50 notification might be used as a negotiating tactic to extract concessions from the EU.

Washington Post – Nina Hall / Is the UN’s new migration compact a major breakthrough?

  • More than 100 countries will meet today and tomorrow in Marrakesh, Morocco, to formally adopt the Global Compact for Migration — the first treaty on migration negotiated under the UN.
  • The final draft of the compact, issued in July 2018, includes some notable breakthroughs. Countries reaffirmed their commitment to protecting the human rights of migrants and refugees “regardless of their migration status”. The final draft also represents a small win for people affected by climate change.
  • However, the Global Compact is not a binding international treaty that will protect migrants’ rights. The compact stays conveniently vague on how the international community should deal with cases in which countries choose not to protect migrants’ rights.
  • Furthermore, a number of significant players have pulled out of the negotiations. In December 2017, the US announced that it would not participate. Australia, Hungary, Switzerland, Israel, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Italy will also be absent in Marrakesh.  

Financial Times – Alex Barker, Michael Peel & Mehreen Khan / Germany drops long-held EU migrant quota demand

  • Germany has dropped its demands for all EU countries to accept refugees during a migration crisis. The shift came in a Franco-German discussion paper intended to break two-and-a-half years of destabilizing disagreements on migration rule reform.
  • The new paper specifies that “derogations” from migrant quotas would be time limited exceptions that would depend on sufficient participation from other countries.
  • In spite of the German shift, many remain pessimistic about the prospect of a breakthrough before a two-day summit of EU leaders starts on Thursday.
  • Italy and other southern European countries are likely to be uncomfortable with a proposal to drop compulsory relocation. They will also be uneasy with other aspects of the Franco-German plan, which puts significant responsibility for migrants on the EU states where they first arrive.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 07/12/2018

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The Economist / The best way out of the Brexit mess

  • Many argue that British MPs should vote for what they believe to be a damaging plan, out of respect for the Brexit referendum. They are wrong. Their argument rests on a flawed assumption: that the majority for Leave in 2016 means any resulting deal reflects the will of the people.
  • Prime Minister Theresa May is right that MPs should take into account what the public think. So should she: not by guessing, but by calling on them to vote.
  • To be sure, a second referendum would cause lasting resentment and would fuel populist parties peddling the stab-in-the-back theory. Yet to rule it out on this basis ignores how any softish Brexit deal – like PM May’s plan – would also be denounced as a betrayal and a sell-out.
  • It would be unwise to push through a deal in the name of the people amid evidence that the people were unconvinced. Now that people know what Brexit really means, they deserve the chance to say whether they still want it.
  • Euractiv – Benjamin Fox / May rejects plea to delay Brexit vote

The New York Times – Martin Griffiths / Renewed hope for peace in Yemen

  • This week’s peace talks in Sweden can bring good news for the Yemeni port city of Al Hudaydah. A negotiated agreement is being developed to spare both the city and port the threat of destruction, and guarantee the full operation of the port – the main humanitarian pipeline for the people of Yemen.
  • A long-awaited agreement on the exchange of prisoners will be announced, the first formal agreement between the two parties since the beginning of this conflict.
  • By the end of this round of talks, the Yemeni parties will hopefully agree on the outline of an eventual comprehensive agreement. But ending a war is not the same as building peace.
  • At no other time has there been such a palpable international urge for the warring parties in Yemen to find a solution. Yemen has been on the top of the agenda for the United Nations secretary general, and the Security Council is united in the desire to end this conflict.

The Guardian – Kate Connolly / Germany’s CDU party to vote on Angela Merkel’s successor

  • Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) meets today to decide on a new party leader. Over 1,000 party delegates will be eligible to decide between Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (Angela Merkel’s favored candidate), millionaire businessman Friedrich Merz, and health minister Jens Spahn.
  • Of the delegates selected by region to vote, 150 are MPs. Observers believe that they at least will be likely to be more in favour of continuity – that is Kramp-Karrenbauer – so as not to risk losing their seats if there is a new election.
  • A poll by Deutschlandtrend of CDU members – which gives no clear steer as to how the 1,000 delegates will decide – showed Kramp-Karrenbauer to be on 47%, up 1% from a few days ago, Merz on 37, a rise of six points, and Spahn on 12.
  • The vote is due to take place this afternoon, and unless one candidate wins a clear majority, is expected to continue into a second round runoff between the two most popular candidates. A final result is expected this evening.

The New York Times – Michael Schwirtz / In blow to Haley, UN rejects measure condemning Hamas

  • The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday rejected a resolution proposed by the United States to condemn the Islamic militant group Hamas for violence against Israel.
  • A procedural maneuver by a group of Arab countries, led by Kuwait, required a two-thirds majority for the measure to pass. The final tally was 87 in favor to 58 opposed, with 32 abstentions.
  • Though the body has voted many times to condemn Israel, never once has it passed a resolution critical of Hamas.
  • The Israeli-Palestinian peace process has been paralyzed while the Trump administration completes a long-awaited and secretive proposal, led by President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. It is unclear when Kushner plans to unveil the plan.
  • Bloomberg – Jennifer Jacobs & Nick Wadhams / Trump to pick Nauert to replace Haley as UN Ambassador, sources say

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 05/12/2018

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The Guardian – Patrick Wintour / UN Yemen envoy flies in with Houthis for fragile Stockholm peace talks

  • The UN’s special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is accompanying a Houthi negotiating team to Stockholm for the first peace talks on the war in the country since 2016. By staying physically close to the Houthis, Griffiths appears to have made more progress with the often divided group than any previous UN mediator.
  • Negotiators from the Saudi-backed government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi are expected to follow the Houthis to Sweden in time for talks to begin as early as Wednesday.
  • The Yemeni government has increasingly relied on Washington’s belief that Iranians have been using Yemen as a base to attack Saudi Arabia, but US senators are putting unexpectedly strong pressure on the Trump administration to end US support for the war.
  • The UK foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, disclosed that UK plans to hold a vote on a new UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in Yemen have been delayed until after the peace talks have concluded.

Financial Times – James Blitz / What happens once the Commons votes on May’s Brexit deal?

  • As matters stand, few MPs at Westminster believe Prime Minister Theresa May will win the Commons’ support for her Brexit deal — and many believe she could suffer a calamitous defeat.
  • If the prime minister loses the vote, Labour will propose a vote of no confidence in the government, which could lead to a general election if backed by a majority of MPs. Conservative MPs could also put forward a vote of no confidence in May as party leader. If both initiatives fail either to materialize or to succeed, May could seek changes to the deal and try to get it passed in a second Commons vote.
  • If the prime minister loses the first vote by a huge margin, or is defeated on her second try, the government will be plunged into a full-scale crisis. Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party could end up backing a second referendum if they think all other options are exhausted. But there are major obstacles: Labour would need substantial backing from Conservative MPs to ensure a Commons majority.
  • Other possible scenarios include a Norway plus deal for the UK, which would entail staying both in the single market and in the customs union, as well as a no-deal Brexit.

Foreign Policy – Stephen M. Walt / Global warming is setting fire to American leadership

  • Climate change could do more to limit America’s global ambitions than all the advocacy undertaken by apostles of restraint. Persuading the American people to fund wars of choice will become increasingly difficult. Why? Because adapting to a warmer planet is going to be really expensive.
  • For instance, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a three-foot increase in sea levels (which is well within the range of current estimates), could jeopardize the use of 128 US military bases.
  • The costs of adapting to climate change are going to put enormous pressure on an already squeezed US federal budget, at a time when the US population is getting older, health care costs are rising, and tax cuts have become the norm.
  • Because climate change will also affect a lot of other countries, America’s relative position may not change all that much. But climate change is also likely to exacerbate civil and regional conflicts and is virtually certain to trigger complex humanitarian crises, refugee flows, and other forms of global disorder. The global agenda is going to get messier, even as the resources available for addressing that agenda grow sparser.

The New York Times – David Barboza / Steve Bannon and a fugitive billionaire target a common enemy: China

  • Just months after being pushed out of the White House, Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, met with Chinese billionaire and dissident Guo Wengui in Washington. Since then, they have met dozens of times. The goal: bringing about the demise of the Chinese Communist Party.
  • As Bannon sharpened his critique of China’s rise, he also began meeting privately with some of America’s leading experts on China. Few welcomed his strident remarks, according to people who attended some of the sessions. But more recently, analysts say, his positions have gotten a warmer reception.
  • Alarmed by Gup Wengui’s social media campaign and his denunciations of the Communist Party, Beijing began pressing the Trump administration to extradite him. At the time, Bannon sided with Guo. Now, Bannon has agreed to serve as chairman of the so-called Rule of Law Fund, the $100 million effort that Guo is financing.
  • The new China-related fund Bannon will head (without pay) will gather evidence, share it with authorities — in the United States and elsewhere — and publish it in the media. The fund also targets Wall Street banks and law firms, which Bannon says are complicit in China’s misdeeds.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 

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