6 October 2016   Leave a comment

China’s economy has become a critical component of the global economy.  As it became a dominant producer and exporter of manufactured goods, Chinese economic growth played a critical role in stimulating the overall global economy even as it decimated the manufacturing sectors of some well-established economies such as the US.  China has played out that phase of its economic growth and is now trying to create an economy that is fueled by its own domestic economy.  The transition will be difficult and creates huge risks for the global economy, particularly as the Chinese government uses debt to substitute for demand for its exports.  The whole world has a stake in making sure that the transition is facilitated and that the integration of the Chinese economy proceeds seamlessly.

Image result for debt in the chinese economy

US policy in Syria is currently in flux and there is growing sentiment that the US has a humanitarian responsibility in the civil war.  There is no question that the US has an obligation to use its considerable power to protect innocent civilians.  But the moral obligation needs to have some form of operational possibility.  We should be very careful about how we think about what would constitute an effective humanitarian mission that does not also carry with it the possibility of a wider war.  Micah Zenko has a very good essay in Foreign Policy which asks some very pointed questions.  Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson wrote an op-ed for the New York Times which actually warns against a humanitarian intervention.

The use of social media is a new phenomenon for many of us and I continue to be surprised at how information is being communicated by official state organs.   The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has its own Facebook page, and in a post put out today, it warned US and other allied forces that it had issued orders to its forces manning the anti-aircraft systems in Syria (c-300 and p-300 systems which are top of the line) to take whatever measures are necessary to protect themselves. (The page can be translated by Google)  In a more pointed warning, it suggested that the anti-aircraft systems will not have the time to identify their targets before they shoot.  In other words, they will shoot without warning.   The rhetoric between the US and Russia continues to escalate.  At this time I still believe that we are watching a war of words and that there is no intent to start a great power war.  But the risk of an accidental war continues to increase.  We need to remeber that the US accidentally attacked a Syrian army outfit on 17 September.

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Posted October 6, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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