1 March 2018   2 comments

In advance of a national election scheduled for 18 March in which he is all but certain to win, Russian President Putin gave a speech in which he noted that Russia has developed  new weapons systems he claimed make Russia “invincible” to nuclear attack.   It is very difficult to assess how credible these claims may be, but US analysts believe that one of them, a nuclear-tipped torpedo, is close to being deployed.  It is hard to imagine what such a weapon would be used for, but some analysts fear that it may be a cobalt bomb, popularly known as a “dirty” bomb, designed to make an area unlivable for many years.  What was most interesting about the speech is that Putin seemed most interested in making the world “listen” to Russia, revealing his primary interest in restoring Russia’s status as a great power.  The speech will undoubtedly be fodder for those who wish to increase military spending to counter the Russian moves.


US President Trump announced that he will levy tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum.  The announcement was apparently off-the-cuff since the Administration was unable to identify the types of steel and aluminum affected and the specific countries that will be affected.  Nonetheless, the international response was almost immediate with US trading partners, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, indicating that they would respond with tariffs on goods imported from the US.  The response in the US to the announcement was negative.  Steel and aluminum producers all hailed the move, but manufacturers who use steel and aluminum worried that the costs of their products would increase and might even lead to greater unemployment if demand does not meet the increased costs.  Mr. Trump identified China as the source of the problem in the steel industry, but as the chart below indicates, the US does not import much steel from China.  Raising tariffs only makes sense if one expects no other country to retaliate.  If other countries do retaliate, then everyone is worse off. 


Several Chinese dissidents have been placed under close surveillance and house arrest after they registered dissatisfaction with the decision of the Communist Party to allow the President and Vice-President to serve more than two consecutive terms.  The constitution had prohibited more than two terms in order to avoid the emergence of another leader in the mold of Mao Tsetung.  The change is viewed by many as a significant retreat from the development of strong democratic institutions in China.

Posted March 1, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “1 March 2018

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  1. There are some fascinating time limits in this article however I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There may be some validity however I’ll take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like more! Added to FeedBurner as effectively


  2. An fascinating dialogue is worth comment. I feel that you should write more on this topic, it won’t be a taboo topic but generally people are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers


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