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Important News, Belangrijke nieuws, Nouvelles importantes, Wichtige News, Fontos hírek, Importanti novitŕ, Pomembne novice, Importante Notícias, Viktiga nyheter

Ing. Salih CAVKIC

No more Paris nor Brussels!
Stop terrorism!
We want to live in peace with all our neighbors.
  regardless of their religion, color and origin.
Therefore, we condemn any kind of terrorism!

Ne više Pariz ni Brisel!
Stop terorizam!
Mi želimo živjeti u miru sa svim našim komšijama,
bez obzira koje su vjere, boje kože i porijekla.
Zato mi osuđujemo svaku vrstu terorizma!

Belang van Limburg
De Morgen
De Standard
Het Laatste Nieuws
La Libre Belgique

VRT Nieuws

Deutsche Welle
West-D. Zeitung

The man of the year 2009
Guy Verhofstadt
Mr. Guy Verhofstadt

The man of the year
L'homme de l'ane
De man van het jaar

Maasmechelen Village

The man of the year 2012

Mr. Barak Hossein Obama

The man of the year
L'homme de l'an
De man van het jaar

peace in the world

Prof. dr. Murray Hunter
University Malaysia Perlis

20 Years to Trade Economic Independence for Political Sovereignty - Eva MAURINA


Aleš Debeljak +
In Defense of Cross-Fertilization: Europe and Its Identity Contradictions - Aleš Debeljak



Rattana Lao
Rattana Lao holds a doctorate in Comparative and International Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and is currently teaching in Bangkok.

Bakhtyar Aljaf
Director of Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Rakesh Krishnan Simha
Géométrie variable of a love triangle – India, Russia and the US

Amna Whiston
Amna Whiston is a London-based writer specialising in moral philosophy. As a PhD candidate at Reading University, UK, her main research interests are in ethics, rationality, and moral psychology.

Eirini Patsea 
Eirini Patsea is a Guest Editor in Modern Diplomacy, and specialist in Cultural Diplomacy and Faith-based Mediation

Belmir Selimovic
Can we trust the government to do the right thing, are they really care about essential things such as environmental conditions and education in our life?


Dubravko Lovrenović + Univ. prof. Dubravko Lovrenović is one of the leading European Medievalist specialized in the Balkans, pre-modern and modern political history.

Manal Saadi
Postgraduate researcher in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Geneva-based UMEF University

doc.dr.Jasna Cosabic
professor of IT law and EU law at Banja Luka College,
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Aleksandra Krstic
Studied in Belgrade (Political Science) and in Moscow (Plekhanov’s IBS). Currently, a post-doctoral researcher at the Kent University in Brussels (Intl. Relations). Specialist for the MENA-Balkans frozen and controlled conflicts.


Dr. Swaleha Sindhi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. Decorated educational practitioner Dr. Sindhi is a frequent columnist on related topics, too. She is the Vice President of Indian Ocean Comparative Education Society (IOCES). Contact:

Barçın Yinanç
 It is an Ankara-based journalist and notable author. She is engaged with the leading Turkish dailies and weeklies for nearly three decades as a columnist, intervieweer and editor. Her words are prolifically published and quoted in Turkish, French an English.

Modified from the original: They killed 1 Saddam and created 1,000 others (Daily Sabah)

Aine O’Mahony
Aine O'Mahony has a bachelor in Law and Political Science at the Catholic Institute of Paris and is currently a master's student of Leiden University in the International Studies programme.Contact:

Elodie Pichon

  Elodie Pichon has a  bachelor in Law and Political Science at the Catholic Institute of Paris and is currently doing a MA in Geopolitics, territory and Security at King's College London. Contact :

Qi Lin

Qi Lin, a MA candidate of the George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs. Her research focus is on cross-Pacific security and Asian studies, particularly on the Sino-U.S. relations and on the foreign policy and politics of these two.

Born in Chile and raised in Rome, Alessandro Cipri has just finished his postgraduate studies at the department of War Studies of King's College London, graduating with distinction from the Master's Degree in "Intelligence and International Security". Having served in the Italian Army's "Alpini" mountain troops, he has a keen interest in national security, military strategy, insurgency theory, and terrorism studies. His Master's dissertation was on the impact of drug trafficking on the evolution of the Colombian FARC.

Ms. Lingbo ZHAO
is a candidate of the Hong Kong Baptist University, Department of Government and International Studies. Her research interest includes Sino-world, Asia and cross-Pacific.



Hannes Grassegger
Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus are investigative journalists attached to the Swiss-based Das Magazin specialized journal.


Mikael Krogerus

Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus are investigative journalists attached to the Swiss-based Das Magazin specialized journal.


Michal Kosinski

Scientific analysis


Elodie Pichon,
Ms. Elodie Pichon, Research Fellow of the IFIMES Institute, DeSSA Department. This native Parisian is a Master in Geopolitics, Territory and Security from the King’s College, London, UK.

Djoeke Altena

Muhamed Sacirbey
Muhamed Sacirbey

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey currently lectures on Digital-Diplomacy. "Mo" has benefited from a diverse career in investment banking & diplomacy, but his passion has been the new avenues of communication. He was Bosnia & Herzegovina's first Ambassador to the United Nations, Agent to the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister & Signatory of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court. He also played American football opting for a scholarship to Tulane University in New Orleans after being admitted to Harvard, oh well!!

Amanda Janoo

Amanda Janoo is an Alternative Economic Policy Adviser to governments and development organizations. Graduate from Cambridge University with an MPhil in Development Studies, Amanda worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) supporting government's with evidence-based industrial policy design for inclusive and sustainable growth. Her research focus is on the relationship between international trade and employment generation. She has worked throughout Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa promoting greater economic self-determination and empowerment.

Michael dr. Logies,


Endy Bayuni

The writer, editor-in-chief of The Jakarta Post, took part in the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum, organized by the Institute for Peace and Democracy and the Press Council, on Dec.5-6.

Élie Bellevrat
Élie Bellevrat is the WEO Energy Analysts

 Kira West
 Kira West is the WEO Energy Analysts

Victor Davis Hanson NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

Alexander Savelyev - Chief Research Fellow at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (Moscow, Russia). In 1989-1991 was a member of Soviet negotiating team at START-1 negotiations (Defense and Space Talks).

Ingrid Stephanie Noriega
Ingrid Stephanie Noriega is junior specialist in International Relations, Latina of an immense passion for human rights, democratic accountability, and conflict resolution studies as it relates to international development for the Latin America and Middle East – regions of her professional focus.

Syeda Dhanak Fatima Hashmi
Author is a Foreign Policy Analyst and Research Head at a think tank based in Islamabad. She has done Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Governance and Public Policy. Her areas of research include both regional as well as global issues of contemporary international relations.


Dr. Masahiro MATSUMURA
Dr. Masahiro MATSUMURA is Professor of International Politics and National Security, Faculty of Law of the St. Andrew's University (Momoyama Gakuin Daigaku) in Osaka, Japan.

INDEX 2017

INDEX 2016



Japan - A quiet geo-economic giant

Dr. Masahiro MATSUMURA

In the turbulent world politics involving extensive international coverage, stable and humdrum Japan does not have much of a presence. Yet, Japan is the world’s largest

creditor nation while continuously playing significant roles in trade, direct investment and economic assistance. Japan in the background has reinforced itself as a leading geo-economic power while having almost thoroughly eliminated its huge non-performing loans in the banking sector and other structural vulnerabilities over the so-called “lost two decades” consequent on its bubble burst in the early 1990s.

Let us examine it by deploying the famous 5 Es of prof. Djawed Sangdel. Emphasizing Japan’s world-largest public debts that amount to nearly 240% of its GDP is misleading given that its public assets amount to nearly 200% and that the holding of the government bonds by the Bank of Japan, practically, a part of the government, amount to more than 80%. This is consistent with the good stability of a strong yen and very low long-term prime rates.

On the other hand, the U.S. faces deepening structural vulnerabilities in stocks that have resulted from the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and the ensuing financial crisis, while experiencing a transitory booming in flows. Also, the E.U. remains mired not only in serious structural vulnerabilities but also in a persistent recession. Consequently, both the U.S. and the E.U. have a significantly less free hand in foreign economic policy, while keeping themselves busy to obtain or retain comparative gains through their strategic interaction, most notably in trade.

With the quantitative tightening of the U.S., the E.U., and, finally, the Japanese central banks, BRICS and other major developing economies encounter increasing difficulties in financing for investment and growth, compounded by the shrinking of their U.S. and European export outlets.

Particularly, the Chinese yuan is effectively pegged with the U.S. dollar, while China’s money supply in yuan is in fact based on its dollar reserves. Consequently, China is sliding into a serious recession, aggravated by the intense trade war with the U.S. No wonder that, last October, China made an abrupt about-face on its persistent anti-Japan policy, and concluded the currency swap agreement with Japan that would surely furnish China with 3 trillion Japanese yen (or less than 270 billion U.S. dollars) in the event of an acute liquidity crisis.

Looking closely at the recent Japan-China interaction, Japan’s quiet rise is more conspicuous. For several years prior to the official reconciliation of October 2018, the two countries appeared to geo-economically compete head-to-head, centered on aid and development according to China’s “One Belt One Road Strategy” and Japan’s counter-strategy, or “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”.

China is undergoing serious setbacks because many recipient/investee states have cancelled, cut down or postponed China-sponsored development projects. These states

have suffered China’s “debt trap”, and many of the projects have turned out be financially, environmentally, and socially unsustainable. China is increasingly constrained to finance development projects due to the hardly discernible yet significant dwindling of its dollar reserves that is statistically covered up by its foreign borrowings.

Certainly, China has succeeded in luring more than ninety developing and developed countries with its huge fabricated foreign reserves as show money to participate in the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. But, the country has failed to secure the AIIB memberships of Japan and the United States, respectively the world’s largest credit nation and the key currency nation with most developed financial and bonds markets. Without sufficient funds and staffs, the AIIB cannot but co-finance projects with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to obtain a favorable credit rating necessary for financing though international financial markets. 

In contrast, Japan has demanded China to observe international standards in aid and development, and only agreed in October 2018 to selectively coordinate its policy with China only when the country meets these stringent conditions. There has been no major successful coordination case between the two to date. Given that many of traditional Japanese aid recipients are no longer low-income countries, the Japanese approach will necessarily focus more on high quality aid and development in terms of sustainability through the public-private sector cooperation. The approach will be superior to China’s, at least over a medium to long run.

Additionally, Japan plays a leading role to preserve the existing free and open international economic system. Against the tide of populism and protectionism, most notably U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First”, Japan successfully led the formation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership after the U.S. made an abrupt exit from an early TPP in the making, and concluded the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.

In nutshell, Japan’s geo-economic power and influence will be outstanding, at least for a mid-term. Yet, the country is not free from serious risks and problems. For a short term, Japan’s rise will remain quiet and, perhaps, unnoticeable, especially because its geo-economic power and influence may be reduced by geo-political risks and crises, and because its vested bureaucratic interests hamper consolidation of its huge public debts and assets, which involves the great risk of a liquidity crisis. For a long term, Japan needs to find out a societal equation to cope with an unprecedented low birthrate and a high longevity rate. The world must stay tuned on humdrum Japan.

About the author:

Dr. Masahiro MATSUMURA is Professor of International Politics and National Security, Faculty of Law of the St. Andrew's University (Momoyama Gakuin Daigaku) in Osaka, Japan.

APRIL 5,  2019

CHRISTIAN SCHWARZ-SCHILLING NEVER SURVIVES: "Let the High Representative pass a law on the negation of the GENOCIDE, today's LAW Dodik takes a grave offense on himself ..."

This March, two European people, Europeans, called on us to remember memories of last-century disasters: the verdict against Radovan Karadzic and the appearance of Chetniks in Višegrad, writes in the authorial text for DW Christian Schwarz-Schilling

The final verdict of the Hague Tribunal for Yugoslavia declared former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic finally guilty of crimes against humanity in Bosnia and Herzegovina and, in particular, for genocide in Srebrenica. His sentence has been changed to life. It is difficult to imagine a different sentence for this gravity of the crime, the planned killing of thousands of innocent people. It is far more astounding that politicians who now have responsibility for BiH are criticizing this High Court judgment in The Hague and the Bagatelish, or even totally denying war crimes and human rights violations that fall into the worst crimes in Europe after World War II.

Claiming that the genocide did not happen, the current state president of BiH, Milorad Dodik, a representative of the Republika Srpska and the Serbian "constituent people", publicly said in 2008 that "Srebrenica was a genocide".

Today's lies Dodik takes on a grave guilt. In Germany, after the Second World War, there was a similar situation with the prosecution of Holocaust crimes before the War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg: the perpetrators were, however, sentenced to death or to very long prison sentences. But in spite of that, there were citizens and politicians who simply denied killing in concentration camps like Auschwitz.

To this, the German Bundestag, the highest parliament of the Federal Republic, passed a law that denies the Holocaust to be punishable. Why does not the same happen in BiH? If there are politicians who, with their votes in parliament, prevent such a law, then the task of the High Representative is to consider the peace process in BiH to pass such a law in order to protect the rule of law.

Chetniks on the Drina

In the first half of March, the incredible performance of Serbian Chetniks took place in Višegrad on the Drina River. More than a hundred Chetniks came in black uniforms and screamed their war songs like "there will be hell again and bloody Drina, here are the Chetniks from Serb mountains."

During 1943, the Chetniks at this region in the Drina Valley committed the most severe crimes together with the German Wehrmacht, the Nazis. Their supreme commander, Draza Mihailovic, led this terrorist gang and killed thousands of people. In 1946 he was sentenced to death in a Belgrade court. This provocative performance in March 2019 is being held in honor of him now! As the German newspaper "taz" states correctly: "Fifty years later, in 1993, the events were repeated: the Serb extremists attacked the towns of Foca, Visegrad and killed thousands of Bosniaks, drove surviving women to rape camps - to a hotel three kilometers away from Višegrad - and live men bound in the Drina. "

Then, as it is supposed, about 3,000 people were sent to death. To use these events today for celebration goes beyond the power of the imagination of every democracy. It is inconceivable that in Germany today hundreds of former members of the SS gather in their uniforms, sing songs to Hitler and celebrate in honor of Mr. Himmler. As it is heard, the Bosnian State Prosecution has launched an investigation. This investigation should quickly lead to the results and appropriate court proceedings. I am afraid that if BiH wants to protect democracy, parliament must quickly pass the missing laws. Not only the denial of genocide in Srebrenica must be punishable, but also membership or obvious cooperation with fascist associations. And if such a legislative initiative again opposes the opposition of one of the "constituent peoples," the High Representative must interfere. Nothing in Bosnia is more important than democracy.

The great historian and politician Karl Popper published the book "Open Society and Its Enemies" after the Second World War, wrote: "Democracy is an invaluable battlefield for any meaningful reform, because it allows for reforms without the use of violence." But if democracy is not the first priority every single battle in this battlefield, then the latent antidemocratic tendencies that it has always can lead to the collapse of democracy. Where there is no understanding of these principles, it must fight for their development; the reversed policy can be catastrophic, it can lead to defeat in the most important fighting, namely the struggle for democracy itself. "

Prof. dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling was from 1982 to '92. Minister of Post and Telecommunications in the German government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl. From the protest against the German government's restraint during the war in BiH, he resigned. Ten years was an international mediator for BiH, in the period 2006-2007. he served as the High Representative in BiH. Occasionally he writes columns for DW.

MARCH 29,  2019

Huawei case: The HiFi Geostrategic Gambit

Juan Martin González Cabańas

C:\Users\Anis\Desktop\Juan_Gonzalez-Montalvo.jpg In a general, comprehensive, strategic outline of the global scenario we can see that China is being harassed on several fronts by the US: commercial pressures, diplomatic maneuvers to block the progress of infrastructure projects (OBOR/New Silk Road), at technological level, the boycott/ restrictions against Huawei. These are some of the current modalities of strategic competition between great powers, without involving the direct use of hard / military power, which we could well consider a Cold War 2.0.

Analyzing the factors and interests at stake, the events in full development during the last months are not surprising, as the advances of the US government against the Chinese technological giant Huawei. Since the arrest of its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the founder of the company, to accusations of espionage, boycotts and diplomatic pressure to annul Huawei’s advances in several countries.

Huawei is the flagship, the spearhead of the Chinese technological advance. This onslaught is not a coincidence. While formally not having direct links with the Chinese government, Huawei has a prominent role in the Chinese strategic technological plan "Made in China 2025", because of its development and implementation of 5G networks, key part of the plan, which are estimated to be available around soon.

The strategic approach is to change the Chinese productive matrix towards a "High Tech" economy, of design and innovation, to position China in the forefront in the technological advanced sectors of the modern economy (artificial intelligence, biotechnology, robotics, automation, the internet of things, telecommunications, software, renewable energies, and the element that is in the most interest for us to analyze, the 5G). In Washington, they do not feel comfortable with Chinese advances.

The Eurasia Group consulting firm argues that the installation of 5G networks will involve one of the biggest changes in our time, comparing its appearance with major breaks in the technological history such as electricity. Some specialists, websites and the press have coined the term "Sputnik" moment, by comparing the potential impact of competition for the development of 5G technologies with the space race in the Cold War at the time.

The 5G will allow the use of faster network data, as well as the widespread and coordinated use of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, smart cities, automation, improvements in health, and in the military field.

The US has put pressure on several of its allies (Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Great Britain, and Canada to name some) to block Huawei's advances in services and investments in their countries, while restricting the purchase of Huawei's products and services on North American soil.

While it is true that several countries could give in from the pressure from Washington to "encircle" Huawei and restrict its services and products, so is the fact that many other countries, especially the many that have China as their main trading partner, in addition to all the pleiad of emerging and developing countries that are being seduced by the economic possibilities, and in this specific case, technology offered by China and its companies. What it would imply, a worldwide competition between American diplomatic muscle and Chinese sweet money.

And also in commercial terms, the progress of Huawei into the top of the tech companies is remarkable, due to its production methods and its business model, having surpassed, for example, APPLE among the largest companies that sells mobile phones being only second to Samsung.

Does anyone remember free trade? Competition? What’s up with that? Or was it just a trick? It seems that in the global economic game, the US throws the chessboard away when it loses, and uses the geopolitical muscle, without any problem, following the Groucho's Marx doctrine: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

The fears about Huawei's technology are hiding a power struggle, a hegemonic dispute over technology. So far the accusations of espionage against this corporation perhaps are valid in theoretical sense, but unprovable in facts, what left them as mere speculations. The accusations by the US against Huawei, through the speech of “the threat of espionage” are unbelievable, and hypocritical in some sense, and the speech is marked by a double standard… Who represents the threat?

is the same US that nowadays "advises" its allies and other countries to "protect" themselves against the "threat" of Huawei's espionage in favor of its government, the same country that spied on its own allies in a wicked way, if we remember the cases that Assange and Snowden brought to light.

We can also highlight recently the Cambridge Analytica scandal – much of which has been well predicted by prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic in his influential manifesto about the McFB world of tomorrow. The Cambridge Analytica fiasco plainly showed the unholy relations between the big technological “independent” corporations like Facebook and Google with the political power in the West.


Technological competition is another chessboard of this new multilevel and multidimensional XXI Century Great Game, where the great actors move their pieces.

5G is the focal point for a global rush to dominate the next wave of technological development - a race many policymakers worry the U.S. is already losing, and that's why they act in this aggressive way. The strategic competition for advanced, high technologies such as 5G, and innovations in the fourth industrial revolution, will mark the "podium" of the great powers of the 21st century.

The technological new cold war between the two largest economies and powers in the world shows no signs of diminishing, either the strategic competition.

Who will win this Great Game on the chessboards? The patience / precaution and forecast of the game of Go, or the strong bets and bluffs of poker.

The geostrategic chessboard is already deployed. Players already have their cards in hand, and have moved their tokens. Prestige is to come.

Juan Martin González Cabańas is a senior researcher and analyst at the Dossier Geopolitico

MARCH 20,  2019


Back to the Afghan Future: The security challenges of Afghanistan's reconstruction and development

Gilles-Emmanuel JACQUET

The current talks between the representatives of the Taliban and the US Government in Qatar are an important step but peace and stability are still beyond reach. Afghanistan's reconstruction and durable development  requires a satisfactory level of security and tackling issues such as unemployment, corruption, and armed violence.

Since 2001 many reconstruction and assistance efforts have been conducted in Afghanistan but their real impact is limited by the security context and corruption. Foreign material and financial assistance was affected by embezzlement and misappropriation. Many examples can be easily found in Kabul or all over the country. In Kabul's Parwan-e-seh district, the main road was in a bad shape and looked as if it had been built during the 1970s or the 1980s. According to some local residents, the road had been built during the 2000s and the main cause of its deplorable condition was corruption : the road was 9 cm-thick, while it was supposed to be 18 cm-thick and its maintenance was almost nonexistent. In many rural areas schools were built with the financial support of foreign countries, NGOs or organizations but an important part of these funds have disappeared. As a result, these schools are often unfinished or badly constructed buildings where the furnitures, windows, heating system, decent toilets or electricity are missing.

Since 2001 ISAF Provincial Reconstruction Teams did a great work but it ended with the withdrawal of ISAF troops. The action of the PRTs also sparked debates and was criticised by some non-governmental organizations as it could create confusion in the minds of local populations about the nature of humanitarian assistance, as well as the role of foreign armed forces and foreign NGOs. Many foreign or local NGOs operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan have reported that after the elimination of Osama bin Laden by a team of US Navy SEALs in Abbottabad in May 2011, they were facing more difficulties in carrying out their operations. It can be explained by the fact that one of the methods used by the CIA to identify Osama bin Laden took the form of a fake vaccination programme conducted in Abbottabad and seriously undermined the trust of local populations towards NGOs, and especially foreign aid workers.

The current security context is critical, the Taliban controls from 44% to 61% of Afghan districts [1] and the Islamic State is conducting terrorist attacks in the country. The current negotiations are an important step but their outcome will not bring a stable and immediate peace. Only a fraction of the Taliban has endorsed this process and agrees to participate to it as the whole Taliban movement remains divided. Some Taliban factions wants a full withdrawal of foreign troops and of all foreign presence, as well as the resignation of the current Afghan government. This precondition can't be satisfied as it would put the current Afghan government at risk and trigger a new phase of conflict. Such possibility would not create a proper context for reconstruction. Moreover, since the fall of its Syrian and Iraqi Caliphate, the Islamic State has found a new momentum in Afghanistan and some Taliban factions have pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, while others refuse to do so and are engaged in a fierce competition with ISIS.

In this regard, reconstruction and development will depend on the context created by the peace deal and a satisfactory agreement for all parties, which is far from being easy. All parties have ties to foreign and neighbouring countries. It means that foreign powers and neighbouring countries should reassess their agendas and interests in Afghanistan. They should also find common interests and a joint approach, at least with regard to the reconstruction of the country. It's the only way to ensure a sound reconstruction process and especially the access to rural areas where most of the work should be conducted.

Security conditions and corruption are also closely tied to the social and economical problems affecting Afghanistan's rural areas. Agriculture is the largest sector and the basis of Afghanistan's economy. Agriculture should be strongly supported, especially when it comes to the eradication of opium poppy cultivation. The opiate economy accounts for 20% to 32% of the country's GDP (US$ 4.1-6.6 billion) [2] and 24 provinces out of 34 grow opium poppy but 69% of cultivation is carried out in Southern Afghanistan. [3] Taliban groups control these areas and earn c. US$ 200 million per year from the opiate economy. Eradication efforts have led to a decline of opium production from 9000 tons in 2017 to 6400 tons in 2018 and the price of dry opium fell to its lowest level since 2004 (US$ 94 per kg). [4] Foreign support is crucial but the United States of America have decided in February 2019 to end Operation Iron Tempest, an airstrike campaign launched in 2017 against Afghan drug labs.

Providing jobs and decent revenues to rural populations play a role in decreasing the activities of insurgent groups in rural areas. This key issue was well understood by the French troops in charge of civil-military operations in the province of Kapisa and the district of Surobi. French scholar Bernard Dupaigne explained that during the First Indochina War (1946-1954) « the map of quiet areas coincided exactly with the map of regions where hydraulic works improving agricultural yields had been carried out by French engineers. The areas controlled by the insurgency corresponded to poor regions from an agricultural point of view ». [5] The French troops conducting civil-military operations in Kapisa and Surobi wished to play a role in the long-term development of these areas but their mission was ended in 2012.

Eradicating the cultivation of opium poppy and supporting farmers in their transition towards the cultivation of legal crops is expensive. Many efforts have been done and opium production has decreased but the results are limited by corruption, widespread poverty, the threats made by criminal gangs, corrupt officials or Taliban commanders against farmers. Taking into account such difficulties, some experts argue that opium poppy cultivation and opium production should be allowed and that farmers could legally sell their production to the pharmaceutical industry. Such alternative could provide stable revenues to a part of Afghan rural populations. [6]

Education plays an important role in the development of Afghanistan, especially vocational education and professional training. As one of the most infuential thinkers and leading practitioners in the field, Dr. Djawed Sangdel have repeatedly stressed: « Afghanistan may need businessmen and managers but it needs even more technicians, agronomists and engineers. »

The reconstruction and development of Afghanistan will also benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative, China's new Silk Road, but it requires as well serious security improvements and a coherent regional approach from foreign and international powers. The new Great Game in Central Asia opposing the USA to Russia and China could, in this perspective, could prevent Afghanistan from reaping the benefits of trade with China and hinder its development. Competition between international or regional powers can take a violent form, especially when it will come to the control and the exploitation of strategical mineral resources and rare-earth elements whose value could reach $3 trillion. Mineral resources are an important asset for the country and its development but the local mining industry is opaque and Afghanistan's Ministry of Mines and Petroleum is affected by corruption. [7] Moreover, illegal mining benefits to various criminal gangs and the Taliban.

State control upon this sector should be increased, sound legal standards should be enforced, corruption should be punished and transparence should be supported. Moreover, there should be a comprehensive and coherent strategy ensuring that Afghanistan will not just own its resources but it will also use the revenues generated by minerals or oil for its development and reconstruction. The current trends on international markets and the increasing scarcity of some mineral or energy resources have also led to a crucial issue for Afghanistan. Competition among foreign powers over the access to rare and strategic minerals will also have a negative impact upon the country : it could increase corruption, weak governance, and aggravate the « resource curse ».

There should be a multidimensional strategy taking into account these issues and supported by the United Nations, foreign powers involved in Afghanistan and regional powers or neighbours. In order to succeed there should be a common and radically new approach whereby foreign powers and regional powers should find a common ground and common goals or at least, interests. Afghanistan is affected by the geopolitical competition opposing the USA to Russia and China but also by the US-Iranian crisis, as well as the Indo-Pakistani rivalry. Iran and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan) should be included in this joint approach. Saudi Arabia and Qatar should not be left aside but the effects of their past influence and their future role should be questioned. This approach is obviously too optimistic but the long-term development and stability of Afghanistan can be only ensured by a genuine commitment of all parties.

Gilles-Emmanuel JACQUET
Assistant Professor of the World History at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations. He is also senior anlaysit at the Geneva International Peace Research Institute (GIPRI)

          Gilles-Emmanuel JACQUET

[1] Bill Roggio and Alexandra Gutowski, « Mapping Taliban controlled and contested districts in Afghanistan: LWJ vs US military assessments », Threat Matrix / The Long War Journal, 08/09/2018 :

[2] « Afghanistan Opium Survey 2017, Challenges to sustainable development, peace and security », United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Narcotics Survey Directorate of the Ministry of Counter-Narcotics of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, May 2018, p.5

[3] « Afghanistan Opium Survey 2018, Cultivation and Production », United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Crime and Narcotics Survey Directorate of the Ministry of Counter-Narcotics of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, November 2018, p.14

[4] « Sharp drops in opium poppy cultivation, price of dry opium in Afghanistan, latest UNODC survey reveals », United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 19/11/2018 :

[5] Bernard Dupaigne, Désastres afghans, Carnets de route, 1963-2014, Gallimard, 2015, pp.222-223

[6] Olivier Maguet, « La production de drogue : un enjeu qui dépasse largement les frontières », pp.83-100, in Pierre Micheletti, Afghanistan, Gagner les cœurs et les esprits, Presses Universitaires de Grenoble / RFI, 2011

[7] Zabihullah Jahanmal, « Report: Corruption Increases In Mines Ministry Contracts », Tolo News, 12/03/2017: ; « Afghanistan’s new mining law risks falling short in the fight against corruption », Global Witness, 05/09/2018 : and Zaghona Salehi, MEC report lists reasons behind corruption in MoMP, Pajhwok Afghan News, 10/12/2018 :

MARCH 18,  2019


Zarif’s sudden resignation: The beginning of the militarization of the Iranian diplomacy?


Bakhtyar Aljaf, Director of IFIMES

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed his resignation, a quiet diplomat and a seasoned politician, one of the soft faces of Iran's foreign policy, for what is known as a political wisdom who can able to bring Iran an acceptable nuclear agreement. It was enough when the dean of diplomacy of the 20th century Kissinger given him a copy of his book dedicated with “To my enemy who deserves respect".

His political independence gave him a margin for political maneuvering, which was rarely had his predecessors from the former Iranian foreign ministers. But the mentality of the revolution seems to be dominating the mentality of the state in Iran. The result is that he announced his resignation on 26.02.2019 and which was rejected from President Rohani who is reformer like him.

The possibility of the possibility of the political transformations in Iran is closer to speculation than expected. We can’t analyze about Iran's foreign policy without Zarif, as long as Iran today seems to not care about the consequences of confrontation with the international community.

President Rouhani himself may be a subjected to a scenario similar to Zarif scenario. Eventual questioning in the parliament and the call of former Iranian President Ahmadinejad to his impeachment and forming a transitional government to continue confrontation with US.

The reformist movement in Iran believes that the conservatives along with the deep state clerical establishment is convinced that if things continue as they are internally and externally, the character of the next president will be military. The new Leader should be a strategic military figure such as Qasem Soleimani (Commander of the Quds corps) or Mohsen Rezai (former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the current secretary of the Expediency discernment council). General Qasem Soleimani will stay as the key figure among others, because of his relations with the deep state, and even externally with his relations with various political and military movements in the Middle East) Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libanon) connected to Iran.
Despite the many reasons discussed in the background prompted Zarif to resign, this resignation indicate that there is a big dissidence in the Iranian political system. At the time Zarif called for necessity of Iran to deal with European conditions more seriously , the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued the most critical words to the Europeans, and considered them as partners with the US in an attempt to destroy Iran.

The main reason behind this resignation is the nature of dealing with Iran's foreign policy. The bilateralism that has characterized Iran's foreign policy since 1979. The Iranian political divergence has caused a lot of paralysis And raise the skepticism of the international community. When Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif uses the language of diplomacy with others, we find the generals of the Revolutionary Guard and the advisers of the Supreme Leader use the language of threats and intimidation

Despite Zarif's continuous attempts to prove an independent foreign policy away from the conservative and reformist conflict in Iran, he did not succeed in that either. Each faction has a particular view on Iran's foreign priorities, which in turn restricted many of Zarif's foreign efforts. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards try to return back the nuclear negotiations to the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, and withdraw the file from the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

The Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guards want the end of the Trump’s presidency term, without any concessions. Any succeeded foreign minister cannot change anything. As long as the Advisers of Khamenei are the planners of Iran's foreign policy, the military diplomacy will be the shape of Iran's foreign policy.

Zarif wrote in his memoirs published in 2013, entitled "Mr. Ambassador” says "in diplomacy, you have to always smile ... but never forget that you are talking with the enemy." He was very realistic and regarding the nuclear agreement he thinks that the agreement cannot be perfect, and an ideal deal for a party, it will be catastrophic for the other party.

Zarif who was continued attacked from the both sides (Conservatives in his country and some US officials)
Iranian conservatives described Zarif as a coward because he was studying in the United States rather than defending his country during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988.
US Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican who opposes the nuclear deal, wrote a tweet about Zarif in 2015, in which he twitted “you hid in U.S. during Iran-Iraq war while peasants & kids were marched to die”.
Zarif’s answer was by congratulating Senator Cotton on the birth of his son!

An experienced diplomat will be missed not only in Iran but in all global diplomacy and how much we need like him in our world today.

Bakhtyar Aljaf
Director of IFIMES
(International Institute of the consultative status with the UN)

FEBRUARY 28,  2019





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  Back to the Afghan Future: The security challenges of Afghanistan's reconstruction and development - Gilles-Emmanuel JACQUET

  Zarif’s sudden resignation: The beginning of the militarization of the Iranian diplomacy? - Bakhtyar Aljaf


  Zarif’s sudden resignation: The beginning of the militarization of the Iranian diplomacy? - Bakhtyar Aljaf, Director of IFIMES
  From WWI to www. 1919-2019 - Anis Bajrektarević
  Twinning Europe and Asia in Cyberspace - Melda_Kamil_Ariadno and Anis Bajrektarević




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