Paris nor Brussels! Stop
terrorism! We want to live in peace with all
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
bez obzira koje su vjere, boje kože i porijekla.
Zato mi osuđujemo svaku vrstu terorizma!
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:
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.
By İLNUR ÇEVIK 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 :
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.
ALESSANDRO CIPRI 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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 MATSUMURAis Professor of International Politics and National Security, Faculty of
Law of the St. Andrew's University (Momoyama
Gakuin Daigaku) in Osaka, Japan.
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
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,
"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
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
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
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
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
to the Afghan Future: The
security challenges of Afghanistan's reconstruction and development
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.
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.
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.
current security context is critical, the Taliban controls from 44%
to 61% of Afghan districts  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.
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
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)
 and 24 provinces out of 34 grow opium poppy but 69% of
cultivation is carried out in Southern Afghanistan.  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).  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.
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 ».  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.
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. 
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. »
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.  Moreover, illegal mining benefits to various criminal
gangs and the Taliban.
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 ».
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.
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)
« 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
« 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
afghans, Carnets de route, 1963-2014,
Gallimard, 2015, pp.222-223
Olivier Maguet, « La production de drogue : un enjeu
qui dépasse largement les frontières », pp.83-100,
in Pierre Micheletti,
Gagner les cœurs et les esprits,
Presses Universitaires de Grenoble / RFI, 2011
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
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
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
Zarif’s answer was by congratulating Senator Cotton on the birth of
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.
Director of IFIMES
(International Institute of the consultative status with the UN)
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