Energy

Sudan’s Oil War

May 7, 2012 by

Since the January 2011 referendum vote for independence and subsequent separation the following July, militia violence has been increasing across the borderlands. Hostilities were initiated by Sudan as a means of destabilizing the newly formed South Sudanese government. The situation continued to escalate with both sides funding and arming paramilitaries to conduct cross-border raids.

Emerging Powers vie for Influence in Africa

May 4, 2012 by

The end of the Cold War resulted in the strategic disengagement of western countries, including the United States, from Africa. They continued their trade, aid and assistance relationship with Africa, but once the threat of communist expansion disappeared, the West interacted with the continent in a different way. This change permitted an opening for a variety of emerging countries to expand their ties with Africa.

A New ‘Rough Patch’ in US-South Africa Relations

May 4, 2012 by

The US-South Africa bilateral relationship over the past eighteen months has been a diplomatic minefield. Issues include everything from military equipment and nuclear energy/weapons to oil, communication companies and the global north versus the global south. The most recent, and the most serious issue regarding US-SA relations is Iran.

Hidden Hands behind Sudan’s Oil War

April 27, 2012 by

Once again Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir waved his walking stick in the air. Once again he spoke of splendid victories over his enemies as thousands of jubilant supporters danced and cheered. But this time around the stakes are too high. An all out war against newly independent South Sudan might not be in Sudan’s best interest.

An Unlikely Peace: Iran’s Quest for Nuclear Weapons is Likely to Lead to War

April 21, 2012 by

As Israel has faced the threat of Arab armies and Islamic terrorism throughout its history, it has struggled to maintain a strong deterrence in the Middle East, one that will prevent other countries in the region from continuing to attack and to kill Israeli citizens. One of today’s most important issues in foreign affairs is Iran’s quest to obtain nuclear weapons and how their journey towards nuclear dominance in the Middle East might bring America and Israel into the conflict.

Goldman Prize for Kenyan River Activist Ikal Angelei

April 16, 2012 by

Ikal Angelei, the founder of Friends of Lake Turkana in Kenya, receives the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in San Francisco today. The award will honor an activist who is defending the interests of 500,000 poor indigenous people against a destructive hydropower dam, and has successfully taken on many of the world’s biggest dam builders and financiers.

Social Business and the Environment

April 15, 2012 by

Our environment is in serious crisis. As sea levels continue to rise due to global warming, Bangladesh faces an existential threat. Social business must be implemented along with existing initiatives that are in place to save the environment. In doing so, not only will we be able to save our environment, we will be able [...]

Risk with Great Reward in South America

April 12, 2012 by

For hundreds of years, South America has provided much of the world with essential natural resources. The global nature of the world economy, coupled with the development of South American countries and turbulence in the Middle East presents South America as an alternative to dependency on oil from far flung, sometimes adversarial areas of the world.

Analysis: Putin’s Port Project to Divert Russia Urals Oil to Baltic

April 12, 2012 by

In a move to further expand Russia’s market into the world system, Moscow commissioned a port to be constructed on the Baltic Sea, thus creating a route in which oil from the Urals could be traded more easily in the European market. Concerns over expected future production levels—Russia’s current volume has been deemed unsustainable when compared to overall project cost—have been leveled against Moscow.

The Promise of Colombia

April 10, 2012 by

While much of the globe has been mired in an economic malaise, the simultaneous growth of Latin America has been well chronicled. Most of the attention given to Latin America’s rise has focused on Brazil, which recently surpassed Great Britain to become the world’s sixth largest economy. The attention has been justified given Brazil’s remarkable turnaround, its economic growth, potential growth, and forthcoming global spotlight by way of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.

Brazil, U.S. Deepen Ties Ahead of Obama’s Latin America Week

April 10, 2012 by

Kicking off what some here have called President Barack Obama’s “Latin America Week”, the president and his Brazilian counterpart, Dilma Rousseff, touted a deepening of bilateral ties in her first visit to the White House as president of South America’s superpower. Adding to a growing basket of “presidential dialogues” that were sealed during Obama’s visit to Brazil in March 2011, the two leaders announced the creation of a “Defence Co-operation Dialogue” that will convene in the Latin American giant in two weeks.

Brazil: Geopolitics of Energy Independence

April 2, 2012 by

Energy security is one of those rare issues that most people in the world can agree on. Energy security is the fear of cold winters that sets a place for Russia at Europe’s dinner table. It is the compulsion that might have cost the United States its global pre-eminence, and the exception that so often renders moralistic views of international relations indefensible. To most countries around the world, energy security is everything: economics, defense, and regime survival wrapped into one.

Assessing China’s Role and Influence in Africa

March 29, 2012 by

The most important difference between the United States and China is the very structure of the American and Chinese governments and the way their respective systems engage in Africa. American commercial activity (trade, investment and bidding on contracts) in Africa is conducted by private companies with limited involvement by the U.S. government. If two or more private U.S. companies are competing for the same project, the U.S. government must be impartial, providing essentially equal help to all U.S. interested parties. When this situation occurs, my experience was that the role of the U.S. government diminishes even further.

Seoul Nuclear Security Summit Blocks Nuclear Power Industry Development

March 28, 2012 by

The nuclear security summit in Seoul adopted a vague communiqué suggesting the renunciation of highly enriched fuel. Apart from being aimed at non-proliferation, this appeal may testify to the intensification of competition for new technology in nuclear power engineering. Third World countries are being forced to adopt obsolete light water reactors, while the rivalry between leading nuclear powers is growing.

Russia, America, and the Best Three Years

March 27, 2012 by

During a meeting with his American counterpart Barack Obama in Seoul, President Dmitry Medvedev made a striking comment, calling the past three years “probably the best three years in Russian-U.S. relations in the past decade.” What made these years so remarkable? Perhaps it was that, for the first time in a long time, Russian and American diplomats made a genuine effort to bring their countries closer together. And it doesn’t matter that the results were mixed.

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