12 July 2017   Leave a comment

One of the greatest pleasures of being a teacher is witnessing the success of one’s students.  I have been blessed to see many of them succeed in their endeavors, and today Foreign Affairs, one of the premier journals in the field of international relations, published an essay co-authored by a former student, Bassima Alghussein.  The essay is entitled “How Saudi Arabia Botched Its Campaign Against Qatar: The Costs of the Pressure on Doha”.  I never had any doubts about Bassima’s abilities as a gifted analyst in world affairs when she was a student and she has worked long and hard in the field.  Foreign Affairs has a paywall so I recommend that anyone who wishes to read the essay find a library with a subscription to the journal.  The essay has a clear argument and it is developed with precision and substance (and it is an argument that I find persuasive–I hope that people in DC and Riyadh read it carefully.

China has set up its first overseas military base in its modern history.  The base is in Djibouti, and the Chinese join the US, which maintains Camp Lemonnier in the African country along with France’s military base, a legacy of its former colonial rule.  The Chinese, however, have a long way to go before they catch up with the Americans–although no one knows the exact count, there are probably around 800 US military bases around the world.   The Chinese move, nonetheless, is a significant step and indicates China’s interest not only in Africa, but also in the Middle East.

The Larsen C Ice shelf has finally broken off.  Scientists have been watching a growing crack in the ice shelf for several months and it appears as if the shelf has finally completely broken off.  It thus creates an iceberg that “is more than 2,200 square miles in area and weighs a trillion tons.”  The iceberg contains enough water to fill Lake Erie in the US twice and scientists will watch to see if it breaks into smaller pieces or remains whole for a period of time.  They will also be watching carefully to see whether the entire ice shelf is destabilized by the loss of so much ice, a process that could lead to a more rapid movement of the glaciers sitting on the land.

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Posted July 12, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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