29 April 2017   Leave a comment

As the US continues the process of global disengagement, a process gently initiated by President Obama and coarsely accelerated by President Trump, the world economic system has slowly slipped from its moorings within a liberal system.  Many states have benefited from that system: in 1950, the world GDP was about $5 trillion; in 2017 it is about $90 trillion.   Perhaps the greatest beneficiary of that system has been China which has been restored to its normal status as a great power.  Edward Luce, however, raises questions about whether the Chinese are willing to maintain the global economy in a manner which assures continues economic growth.

The harsh rhetoric of both the US and North Korea in recent days has rattled many countries in the region.  President Duterte of the Philippines urged “restraint” and China urged “caution”.  The rhetoric, however, is less unsettling than the sense that neither the US or North Korea has a sense of how the dispute will unfold.  Unfortunately, much of American policy seems predicated on the assumption that Kim Jong-un is irrational.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  His values may be reprehensible, but it seems clear that it is only the threat of a nuclear attack that is preventing an American invasion right now.

Turkish President Erdogan has clamped down even harder against those he believes are associated with Fethullah Gulen, a former associate and now adamant opponent living in the the US.  More police have been fired and more soldiers and government workers have also been let go.  Erdogan has also restricted several social media sites including Wikipedia as national security threats.  A popular TV dating program has also been banned.  Erdogan has apparently decided that there is no possibility of allowing any threats to his absolute control.

Posted April 29, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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