28 June 2018   Leave a comment

The RAND Corporation has published a study on the future of the international world order.  The study extrapolates economic growth into 2050 and correlates economic power with international commitments. One of the most interesting findings in the report is:

“An important finding of the study, in fact, is that the most significant overarching threat to the postwar order comes not from direct challenges by states but from rising grievances against the order’s underlying socioeconomic consensus. Historical cases suggest that orders must rest upon some normative and teleological foundation, a shared vision among the societies and governments of a critical mass of leading powers. If that fades, there is no basis for a multilateral order.”

There is little question that the consensus on liberal principles is under severe pressure in most of the countries in the world.  Yet, as of now, there is no emerging set of principles which seems to be able to take its place.



Presidents Trump and Putin will meet in Helsinki, Finland, on 16 July, right after President Trump attends the NATO meeting.  This will be a first extended one-on-one meeting between the two leaders and we do not know what is on the agenda.  NATO would like President Trump to push President Putin to pull Russian forces out of Crimea, but it seems unlikely that President Trump will do so since he believes that Russia has a legitimate claim to Crimea since “everyone there speaks Russian.”  It is also possible that they may discuss Russian interference in US elections, but President Trump tweeted today that “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!”  President Trump continues to take Putin’s word despite the unanimous consensus among US intelligence officials that Russia did in fact interfere with the US elections in 2016.  Most likely, President Trump would like Putin to agree to keep Iran out of southwestern Syria in order to protect Israel.  But Putin will make that decision on the basis of his relationship to Israel–the US has no leverage over Russian decision making in Syria.  In short, it is not at all clear to me why the two leaders are meeting.

Wilson Center Interview on An Israeli Perspective on Russia’s Role in the Middle East


Sunjay Sudhir, Joint Secretary for international cooperation at India’s petroleum ministry, stated that “India does not recognize unilateral sanctions, but only sanctions by the United Nations.”  The statement was in response to the US State Department announcement that it would sanction any buyer of Iranian oil.  India buys a great deal of oil from Iran, about 700,000 barrels a day.  The decision suggests that the US and India may be heading for a confrontation.  The outcome of that dispute will undoubtedly affect how other states respond to the US ultimatum.


Posted June 28, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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