The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 25/07/2017

Project Syndicate—R. N. Haass / Ten lessons from North Korea’s nuclear program

  • The Non-Proliferation Treaty is inadequate. Countries are not obliged to sign it, and they may withdraw from it, with no penalty. Inspections meant to confirm compliance are conducted largely on the basis of information provided by host governments, which have been known not to reveal all.
  • New diplomatic efforts, like the recent ban on all nuclear weapons organized by the UN General Assembly, will have no discernable effect.
  • There is a clear norm against the spread of nuclear weapons, but there is no consensus or treaty on what, if anything, is to be done once a country develops or acquires nuclear weapons.
  • The 2015 Iran deal delayed the risk that the country would develop nuclear weapons, but did not eliminate it. It remains to be seen what can be done vis-à-vis North Korea. Managing such challenges may not be satisfying, but often it is the most that can be hoped for.

The New York Times—L. Alderman / Greece looks to turn a corner after years of economic pain

  • Greece has announced plans to sell debt for the first time in years.
  • If investor interest is strong, it would be a landmark moment, but if Greece struggles to find buyers, the debt sale could represent yet another blow for a country.
  • While the government has not confirmed it, the bulk of the sale—consisting of five-year bonds—is expected to be used to roll over existing debt.
  • Greek PM Alexis Tsipras seems to have pivoted toward restoring political and economic stability, and the bond offering represents another step on that road.

Reuters—D. Lawder / IMF could be based in Beijing in a decade: Lagarde

  • IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said at a Center for Global Development event in Washington that, “if we have this conversation in 10 years’ time…we might not be sitting in Washington, D.C. We’ll do it in our Beijing head office.”
  • She added that the IMF’s bylaws call for the institution’s head office to be located in the largest member economy.
  • The IMF last revised its quota system in 2010, but is set to launch another review next year. According to Lagarde, the IMF will need to increase the representation of major emerging markets as their economies grow larger and more influential.

Financial Times—K. Hille / Chinese warships join Russia in Baltic naval drill

  • Chinese warships started exercises in the Baltic Sea for the first time on Tuesday, conducting a joint drill with Russia.
  • 3 Chinese and 10 Russian warships, as well as aircraft and helicopters, practiced live-fire combat against submarines, other warships and aircraft.
  • Russia and China have been holding joint naval exercises every year since 2012.
  • Tuesday’s drill comes as the Chinese navy makes its first permanent overseas deployment in more than 60 years at a base in Djibouti.

Foreign Policy—B. Allen-Ebrahimian / New UAE documentary claims Qatar complicit in 9/11 attacks

  • Sky News Arabia, linked to the Abu Dhabi ruling family, has announced the release of a documentary claiming that Qatar was behind the 9/11 attacks.
  • The documentary focuses on “Qatar’s long-term support for [9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad], including protection and financial assistance, to achieve his terrorist goals and plans.”
  • Reports that a high-ranking Qatari minister shielded Khalid Sheikh Mohammad from the CIA in 1996 are certainly known, but they are hardly new.
  • Recently, Qatar also accused the UAE of being behind 9/11. “Emiratis, not Qataris, were among the hijackers who flew planes into the Twin Towers,’’ wrote the Qatari Ambassador to the US. “The UAE was singled out in the 9/11 Commission’s report for its role in laundering money to terrorists.”

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. 

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