Regional Integration – RR Reading Wed, 15 Sep 2021 16:19:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Regional Integration – RR Reading 32 32 DataStax Adds Multi-Regional Flexibility to Its Serverless Cloud Database Wed, 15 Sep 2021 14:04:56 +0000

Apache Cassandra has grown into one of the world’s leading open source databases over the past 10 years, used in everything from IoT data management to personalization, e-commerce and other applications. sale to detail.

With her roots in working at Amazon, Facebook and Google, Cassandra is extremely capable of handling data at scale, but she is not known for her ease of use. The NoSQL wide column database management system has traditionally required experienced administrators with the know-how and skills to configure and manage it.

But that is about to change. Over the past year, DataStax has added new features such as serverless; User-friendly APIs for developers; and broadcasting messages to its Cassandra-based server Astra DB cloud database. New cloud native features transform a popular on-premises corporate heavyweight database into a modern, fully managed cloud service that can be used by businesses of all sizes and millions of developers.

“Cassandra made a lot of things possible, but it didn’t necessarily make them easy,” says Ed Anuff, Product Manager at DataStax. “We’re automating the Cassandra experience, so you don’t need a whole bunch of experts to use it. ”

Data confidentiality and governance

DataStax’s latest innovation in Astra DB, introduced this week, is multi-regional replication, which makes it easier for customers to store and process data in geographic regions that match their business needs. Multi-regional support allows users to:

  • Designate the geographic region where the data is processed and stored. This helps organizations comply with GDPR and other data sovereignty and privacy requirements, which differ from country to country. It also enables businesses to grow globally with applications and services that support partners and customers in regional proximity.
  • Build high performance applications with low latency. Cloud databases located in a region may be able to provide faster response times. This is especially important for applications, such as transactions or real-time updates, that require a response in milliseconds.
  • Improve business continuity with high availability and disaster preparedness. Astra DB automatically replicates data in all regions, so customers are less susceptible to infrastructure failures and other potential disruptions.

Cassandra, and therefore Astra DB, are well suited for multiregional deployment due to an active-active, or “active everywhere” architecture made up of independent replicated nodes.

Craig Kitterman, VP of Product Management at DataStax, explains that Astra DB’s multi-regional capacity can be set up in minutes, allowing organizations that may not have the in-house expertise to configure them. – even multiregional databases. “We take out all the complexity,” says Kitterman.

Avoid confinement

Astra DB is available on each of the three major public clouds: AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. This means that Astra DB is now both multi-regional and multi-cloud, giving businesses even greater flexibility in data distribution and management.

In addition to the benefits described above, the benefits include ease and speed of deployment and the ability to use Astra DB in a preferred cloud environment. For example, IT teams who may already be using Google Cloud’s BigQuery for data warehousing may want to use Astra to build new applications in Google Cloud, as this is a standard within their cloud architecture. . Likewise with organizations that lean towards AWS or Microsoft Azure.

There is another factor in the decision about cloud providers: Customers don’t want to be locked into a particular cloud environment. Astra DB’s multi-cloud and multi-region options help mitigate this very common scenario.

Range of deployment options

Astra DB is available as a fully managed cloud service, which means DataStax handles database administration and software updates. This takes the pressure off the day-to-day management of customer systems, so development teams can focus on application development and business support.

Here too, however, customers have a choice. For organizations that prefer to do the convenient management themselves, the DataStax database can be self-managed in the cloud. And for those who want to use it on premise as part of a hybrid cloud strategy, DataStax Enterprise is available for download.

The multi-regional deployment is the latest in a series of new cloud features provided by DataStax with Astra DB. The goal, according to product manager Anuff, is to turn Cassandra into a cloud-native database environment that is much easier to use and use for developers. “We are making progress on all fronts,” says Anuff.

Turnkey cloud database

DataStax, as the company name suggests, is developing a “stack” of data management capabilities. The main capabilities introduced in the last 12 months include:

  • Astra DB serverless, made possible by decoupling compute and storage, enables automatic scaling, both up and down, to accommodate changes in database workloads. In addition to providing elasticity of resources, Serverless Database as a Service can reduce costs because customers only pay for server capacity used.
  • Astra streaming is a beta messaging and event streaming feature that is built on the Apache Pulsar messaging and streaming platform. Astra Streaming supports “data in motion” and applications that require real-time messaging, such as payment processing.
  • Star gate, an open API framework, allows full-stack developers to use their preferred APIs, such as JSON, GraphQL, and REST. In this way, they can work with different types of data and data stores for application development.
  • K8ssandra, Cassandra’s open distribution of DataStax on Kubernetes, works on major cloud platforms through integration with Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, Google Kubernetes Engine, and Azure Kubernetes Service. This makes it easier to manage the Astra database as part of a container orchestration approach.

What does all this add up to? Anuff describes the rapidly expanding AstraDB cloud stack as an open, connected data platform that brings together all the infrastructure needed to manage data across an enterprise and, now, around the world. Or more simply, he calls it a “turnkey” cloud data environment.

Serverless capability and other ease of use features have also made Astra DB – and, by extension, Cassandra – accessible to more businesses. In the past, Cassandra excelled on a large scale, but “it wasn’t small,” says Anuff.

Now Serverless Astra DB can operate on a small scale when the workload is light, while scaling up to a million operations per second or more when needed. This is what happens when an enterprise database is transformed through cloud services, scaling, and delivery options.

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Central Banks of Malaysia, Thailand Call for Qualified Asean Bank Applicants Tue, 14 Sep 2021 04:26:00 +0000

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara and Bank of Thailand invite banking institutions in their respective countries to express their interest in becoming a Qualified Asean Bank (QAB).

This is in line with the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework (ABIF) bilateral agreements, which are part of the ASEAN Services Framework (AFAS).

In a joint press release issued on Tuesday, banking regulators said a successful QAB candidate will benefit from the market access and operational flexibilities granted under the bilateral deal.

QABs are supposed to facilitate greater intra-Asean trade and investment in the region, in line with the ASEAN Economic Community Master Plan 2025 which aims to create an integrated and highly cohesive ASEAN economy, he said. -he declares.

According to the statement, a candidate for QAB, whether a new entrant or an existing bank, must be a strong, well-managed bank whose interests are approved by the home country regulator and be comply with the prudential requirements of the host country.

This is to ensure the financial stability of the two countries, he added.

The bilateral agreement is an important step in the journey towards financial integration of ASEAN as envisioned under the ABIF initiative. Recently, Bank Negara and Bank of Thailand also launched the cross-border QR payment link between Thailand and Malaysia.

“This bilateral agreement means strengthening economic ties between Malaysia and Thailand, and it should benefit residents of both countries where they can enjoy better banking convenience as well as access to a wider range of banking products. .

“We are making great strides towards creating an integrated and cohesive ASEAN economy, and we are confident that the QAB Agreement will foster more trade opportunities and economic activities between the two countries to facilitate the both our economic recovery amid the ongoing pandemic, ”Bank Negara said. Governor Nor Shamsiah Yunus.

Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput added that the deal marks another important milestone in the two countries’ long-standing partnership as well as ASEAN’s efforts for deeper regional financial integration.

“The arrangement will provide a wider range of high-quality financial products that will better meet the needs of businesses and consumers in both countries.

“We aspire that the QAB agreements pave the way for increased financial cooperation among ASEAN members as the region embraces new financial innovations,” he said.

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30 years later, China and ASEAN strengthen all-round cooperation Sat, 11 Sep 2021 11:18:00 +0000

NANNING, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) – This is the eighth consecutive year that Malaysian entrepreneur Chai Kean King has participated in the annual China-ASEAN Expo to expand its business in China.

For this year’s exhibition, which opened in southern China’s Nanning city on Friday, Chai brought bird nests, coffee and other Malaysian specialty products made by his company. food, in the hope of captivating visitors to the exhibition and finding more business partners.

Companies from more than 40 countries and regions are participating in this year’s China-ASEAN Expo, which is held both online and offline and has a total exhibition area of ​​102,000 square meters.

For Chai, attending the show for eight consecutive years has not always been easy. Last year, he traveled from Malaysia to China to participate in the event despite travel restrictions and quarantine measures induced by COVID-19.

“We spared no effort to attend last year’s show because we found a lot of our business partners at the event,” he said. “We have sold a lot of our products in previous editions of the exhibition and have further exploited the Chinese market through this platform.”

Chai’s growing business in China reflects the boom in trade and the strong bilateral relationship between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over the past decades.

Since China and ASEAN established a dialogue relationship in 1991, the two sides have seen their bilateral trade skyrocket from US $ 8.36 billion to US $ 685.28 billion in 2020, an increase more than 80 times, according to Chinese customs data.

The two sides resisted the global downtrend and last year became each other’s biggest trading partners. Such robust trade expansion continued in 2021, with bilateral trade volume growing 38.2% year-on-year in the first half of this year, according to official Chinese data.

In addition to trade and economic cooperation, China and ASEAN have engaged in extensive cooperation in various other fields, including security, education and tourism, in order to preserve regional stability and promote development and prosperity. common.

Official data from China shows that personnel exchanges between the two sides exceeded 65 million in 2019 before the COVID-19 attack. They exchanged more than 200,000 students and formed more than 200 pairs of sister cities.

The China-ASEAN dialogue relationship has “evolved into a multi-faceted strategic partnership and has shown tremendous progress on all fronts,” ASEAN Secretary General Dato Lim Jock Hoi said on Friday by video during the meeting. opening ceremony of the 18th China-ASEAN Expo. .

Amid the still raging pandemic and the rise of protectionism and unilateralism around the world, China-ASEAN relations have been further strengthened through comprehensive cooperation on the prevention and control of COVID-19, the commerce and other fields.

ASEAN countries donated medical supplies to support China amid peak epidemic conditions last year, and China returned the favor by sending in medical teams, providing medical supplies, sharing prevention and treatment experiences and strengthening vaccine cooperation.

As China and ASEAN mark the 30th anniversary of their dialogue relationship this year, the two sides envision closer ties and comprehensive collaboration in more areas.

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan said at the opening ceremony of the China-ASEAN Expo on Friday that “China is committed to promoting better development of bilateral relations over the next 30 years.”

China is willing to work with ASEAN to align the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of ASEAN countries to jointly foster higher-level strategic partnership and expand cooperation economic and trade, while promoting regional connectivity and economic integration, in order to improve the well-being of the people, Wang said.

In a video speech at the ceremony, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said he expected the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) “to serve as an integral tool to guide our region on the path to recovery. recovery and growth in the near future ”.

RCEP, the world’s largest free trade agreement, was signed last year by 15 Asia-Pacific countries, including the 10 ASEAN member states and China. It is widely seen as a massive movement for regional economic integration, multilateralism and free trade.

“This agreement (RCEP) offers immense opportunities to strengthen regional supply chains and businesses to diversify production networks which are imperative for seamless integration into the global economy,” said Ismail Sabri.

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David Jessop | The “big fish, little fish” problem in the Caribbean | Business Sat, 04 Sep 2021 07:25:18 +0000

A few years ago the late Owen Arthur, then Prime Minister of Barbados, told me that unless regional leaders agree on how to achieve economic parity among member states of the Caribbean, a single market and a viable Caricom economy may not be achievable.

During a lengthy exchange, he suggested that to overcome the differences in weight, size and performance of English-speaking Caribbean nations, Caricom members needed to have greater political will. This meant, he said, adopting, implementing and maintaining measures that would rebalance relations, allow intra-regional capital flows and stimulate economic complementarities.

Without it, he said, it would be difficult to make a geographically fragmented region competitive and economically secure.

More than two decades later, it is difficult to avoid concluding that the issue of the “big fish-little fish” of the Caribbean, so worrying to Prime Minister Arthur, may never be comprehensively addressed.

Although they have received for decades sensible proposals that could allow the English-speaking Caribbean as a group to adapt to the external forces that are shaping economic globalization and regional and international relations, the governments of Caricom do not appear to have the necessary strategic will or patience.

Instead, fear of being left behind by neighbors, petty nationalism, and the national political consequences of voters seeing more economically viable neighbors wield greater economic influence, suggest that the region as a whole is unlikely to keep pace with global economic change.

Almost everything that is needed to address the economic malaise in the Caribbean is summed up in a speech titled “A New Approach to Regional Development – The Growth Agenda”, delivered in Jamaica in early 2019 by the current Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley .

Addressing the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s annual conference, Ms Mottley argued that the region had failed in the 1980s and 1990s to develop regionally to ensure competitiveness, to adjust its smallness to the trade liberalization, recognize the broader implications of climate change or prepare for changing global security requirements related to financial flows. As a result, she said, emerging economies were leading the region and achieving higher levels of growth.

Its solutions remain highly relevant, today and in the future.

Growth in the Caribbean, the Prime Minister of Barbados said, could be mobilized. To achieve this, a single Caricom-wide integrated regional capital market and accompanying measures were needed to unleash intra-regional private sector investments and citizens’ savings.

She also called for the parallel provision of higher minimum standards of education and skills; regional free movement of all labor; bringing skilled migrants to the region; renovating the region’s largely stilted banking model; broaden the base of economic ownership; and prioritize the needs of Caricom States in terms of food security, intra-regional air and maritime transport and information and communication technologies.

Since then, Dr Avinash Persaud’s Caricom Commission on the Economy has delved into each of these ideas, putting forward truly radical proposals to relaunch the regional integration process in a way that circumvents the lack of funding and the lack of political will.

It is important to note that the Commission has proposed to stimulate regional development on the basis that groups of Member States implement and develop what is agreed regionally at different paces, with a minimum of five countries or one third of member states pushing the proposals forward, so that a speed of two or more La Caricom could gradually become a true single market and economy.

He linked the evidence and focused on the practice. Although far removed from the high ambition of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, the report offered a way out of the current impasse of implementation by linking its alternative model of integration to improved connectivity, education, a more regional role. important for the private sector, to genuine free movement and a new approach to interregional transport.

The report is arguably the region’s last best hope of achieving the economic reengineering required if Caricom’s single market and economy is ever to achieve the cohesion and purpose needed to be globally competitive as a block, because realpolitick has already started to define future outcomes.

For those who care to look beyond the rhetoric, the economic future of the Caribbean is being reshaped.

Guyana, which, according to the International Monetary Fund, will see its GDP this year grow by 16.4% and achieve export revenues of US $ 8 billion by 2024, is studying joint economic projects and security agreements along with Suriname, French Guiana and Brazil, likely to make Northeastern South America of global economic importance, providing new opportunities for a diverse and better integrated Trinidad and Tobago.

Jamaica, the Bahamas and, beyond Caricom, the Dominican Republic, are getting closer economically to the United States and China, with analysts predicting high rates of post-pandemic growth.

Elsewhere, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States continues to deepen its process of subregional integration, consolidating its already close ties with Barbados and Trinidad, while Belize’s economic future rests with its neighbors and Most of the Caribbean overseas territories have long been integrated globally.

The evolution of thinking in the region’s private sector and the changing direction of foreign investment flows are at the heart of this process of change.

Despite multiple obstacles, conglomerates like Massy Holdings, Goddard Enterprises, Guardian Holdings, and GraceKennedy are successful in registering, investing, or engaging in productive businesses across the region. At the same time, considerable sums are likely to be invested by foreign entities in multiple sectors and infrastructures in Guyanas, while elsewhere the external emphasis is specific to the country, on ports, logistics hubs and proximity. rather than regional opportunities.

The change can also be seen in small and even micro, knowledge and skills driven businesses that have recognized that the size of an internal market is irrelevant if, through connectivity, they can join forces with others. ‘others in the region and abroad to market services ranging from research to teaching and animation.

If Caricom leaders do not act, these geopolitical and real developments threaten to overtake the recommendations of the Caricom Commission, which appear to have been thrown into the long grass by some governments, making it more likely that some nations will prepare to deepen economic relations, based on geography, politics, similarities and common goals.

A little over a week ago, Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua’s Ambassador to the United States, said in his column that the time had come to “rethink the integration project”.

“Maybe if a smaller group could be successful in greater cohesion and consistency, the others will recognize the value and act to be a convinced part of it. But pretending everything is fine doesn’t help anyone, ”he wrote.

As Sir Ronald suggests, now is the time to reimagine both Caricom and CSME. If member states are unable to do so, the future will be one of new and interwoven economic relationships that respond to national and sub-regional development challenges in real time. If this happens, it will undermine and eventually lead to the disappearance of regional unity, diminishing the region’s place in the world.

David Jessop is a consultant to the Caribbean Council Email: To access the previous columns visit:

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Unhindered supply chains key to Asean recovery, says DTI Wed, 01 Sep 2021 14:52:05 +0000

KEEPING global and regional supply chains open for trade facilitation amid the pandemic is key to economic recovery in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region, said the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (DTI).

Commerce Secretary Ramon M. Lopez told fellow trade ministers at the 6th Belt and Road Summit on Wednesday that the Philippines is prioritizing the continued flow of goods and services amid restrictions due to the pandemic.

“For the Philippines, therefore, it is important to support initiatives that keep markets open and ensure the free flow of essential goods and services by reducing unnecessary trade measures,” he explained.

The head of the DTI said that the guarantee of trade flows would further strengthen the multilateral cooperation of the regional bloc.

Citing the Philippines, Lopez pointed out that the government has not imposed export restrictions on essential goods, including personal protective equipment and medical devices.

“It might be useful for the Belt and Road parties to consider a similar agreement with ASEAN to show our stakeholders our collective effort to ensure that supply chains remain open regardless of either the pandemic and that essential goods remain available for our peoples, ”he said.

One initiative supporting the sentiment of the DTI is the Asean MoU on the implementation of non-tariff measures on essential products, Lopez said.

“It calls on ASEAN member countries to refrain from introducing or maintaining restrictive measures on trade in essential goods, which is essential to maintain a resilient supply chain while ensuring that trade in goods Essentials continues to be free to meet the needs of ASEAN businesses as well as its citizens, ”he explained.

Asean Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi agreed that a regional effort is needed to overcome the challenges of Covid-19. He said the regional bloc was “determined to stay the course on regional integration efforts, keep markets open for trade and investment, and ensure our supply chains stay connected.”

In fact, Lim said the region is currently developing a framework for supply chain efficiency and resilience, which is anchored in digital technology.

“There is no doubt that the digitization of the supply chain can create and integrate an ecosystem and become a key driver to achieve more sustainable economic growth,” he said.

Commercial agreement

The ASEAN official stressed that member countries should maximize the regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) as they seek a path to recovery.

For his part, Lopez said they continue to encourage the business sector to take advantage of RCEP and other free trade agreements (FTAs). He explained that this boosts both trade and investment, allowing even micro, small and medium enterprises to participate in the global value chain.

“With this stable and predictable business environment, participating countries can encourage more investment, as investors are confident that the trade rules will follow what is committed under the agreement and are not subject to voluntary changes. that could negatively affect their businesses, ”Lopez said.

One of the largest venues for economic cooperation, RCEP has been signed by 10 ASEAN member states and five ASEAN Free Trade Agreement partners – Australia, China, Japan, Korea and New Zealand – in November of last year.

The RCEP region accounts for 29% or $ 25.8 trillion of global gross domestic product, 30% of the world’s population, and 25% ($ 12.7 trillion) of global trade in goods and services, DTI noted.

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Iraqi summit for regional cooperation opens in Baghdad Sat, 28 Aug 2021 13:07:00 +0000

A regional summit aimed at promoting cooperation and partnership in the Middle East region opened on Saturday in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The summit, held in the heavily guarded green zone, aims to discuss political, economic and security issues related to Iraq and the region, according to the Anadolu agency correspondent.

“The conference is being held in a critical and historic situation,” Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said in his opening speech at the summit.

The summit “embodies Iraq’s vision to establish better relations with the countries of the world, and our commitment to our people that Iraq will resume its leadership role in the region,” he added.

The Iraqi Prime Minister expressed the hope that “the conference will achieve economic integration among all countries”, stressing that “Iraq has taken measures to facilitate investments”.

Baghdad is seeking to strengthen its economic relations with neighboring countries and to open its doors to investment and establish mega-construction projects in areas damaged during the war against Daesh / ISIS.

The conference is attended by French President Emmanuel Macron, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, King of Jordan Abdullah II, Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Minister Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Also present are Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Nayef Al-Hajraf, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, Vice President and Sovereign of the United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Arab League Secretary General Ahmed. Aboul Gheit.

Other participants include representatives of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, G20 countries and the European Union.

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Pivot of American foreign policy and the future of Eurasian integration Wed, 25 Aug 2021 04:04:36 +0000

US Vice President Kamala Harris. / Getty

US Vice President Kamala Harris. / Getty

Editor’s Note: Bradley Blankenship is an American journalist, political analyst and independent reporter based in Prague. The article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of CGTN.

On August 24, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris made her scathest comments on China in a speech in Singapore designed to present the current administration’s full pivot to East Asia .

Calling the region “extremely important to the security and prosperity of our country,” the United States appears to be completely changing course to maintain its global hegemony by trying to contain Russia and China, as it tries to contain Russia and China. complete the end of their military adventurism in the Middle East. seen with its recent (and controversial) withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is sometimes seen as part of that region.

This marks a historic geopolitical shift, as it has come full circle in the so-called “global war on terror”, to which Afghanistan was a part, which was sparked by the September 11 terrorist attacks and ushered in the beginning. a new American strategic focus nucleus, namely the American pivot towards East Asia. This policy began several years ago, but we are now entering its peak.

This policy in East Asia is part of Washington’s main objective to counter the integration of Eurasia.

Washington’s dilemma today is the fundamental question of geopolitics, dating back to its founding. As Sir Halford John Mackinder had argued in 1904 when presenting his seminal article “The Geographical Pivot of History”, the emphasis the British Empire placed at the time on naval power – the club of its hegemony world – would be emptied of its meaning with a sufficient development of land transport. which could integrate Eurasia, what he called “the island-world”.

The historical parallel evident here is the United States, its reliance on naval power and military supremacy on the periphery of the Eurasian landmass relative to China and its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which seeks to build infrastructure. to integrate Eurasia and the world.

Countering the integration of this “island world” must be done in a way that prevents the United States from dispersing too much – mainly by avoiding a conflict on two fronts with Russia and China, two great powers at the heart of the country. ‘Eurasia, since Washington no longer has the capacity to win such a conflict.

An American flag flies above the White House in Washington, DC, the United States, Jan. 22, 2021. / Getty

An American flag flies above the White House in Washington, DC, the United States, Jan. 22, 2021. / Getty

In dealing with this situation, Washington faces a unique and unprecedented set of challenges, as highlighted in a recent article by National interest by A. Wess Mitchell, former Deputy Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

He said: “Rather than trying to contain Russia and China simultaneously, the United States needs to find a way to stage its competitions with these two powers to ensure that they do not face the two in same time in a war, “he said. could theoretically be achieved in three ways: detente with Russia, postponing competition with China or co-opting both through win-win policies in common forums.

The problem, he notes, is that none of the historical examples to draw upon in any of these options quite match the current situation facing Washington’s imperial planners.

Instead, he essentially advocates a version of Option 1 aimed at pulling Russia out of an unsuccessful two-front war by “making Russia less of a European power – and more of an Asian power.” This, he believes, could be achieved by playing on perceived fears of overdependence on Russia and potential subordination to China.

While this may indeed be a point on which American diplomacy must play, it remains to be seen whether this fear is in fact as big a motivator as people like Mitchell believe – and whether or not Russia’s leaders think it is. ‘Emboldening American world hegemony in anyway is actually desirable or necessary, which I suspect is not. (Mitchell’s analysis also leaves out the potential for a third front with a major regional power in the Middle East, Iran, as tensions between Washington and Tehran erupt.)

As for what was included in Mitchell’s article, it appears to some extent that President Joe Biden’s administration is pursuing this plan that was seen during the summit between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

We saw at this summit what openings could be for points of mutual interest, such as cybersecurity and arms control. But these are, to put it bluntly, obvious points of mutual interest that are unlikely to lead to a meaningful realignment – at least not at a time that would fit within Washington’s window of opportunity.

On the other hand, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan itself offers Russia and China a serious opportunity to cooperate to maintain security and stability in that country and in the Central Asian region, as well as promote the integration of Eurasia.

(If you would like to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at

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Southern Africa: SADC makes decisions on integration and security Mon, 23 Aug 2021 08:29:19 +0000

The Southern African Development Community has taken far-reaching decisions aimed at boosting socio-economic development by deepening integration through industrialization and ensuring the maintenance of peace and security in the region.

The measures are contained in a statement issued shortly after the 41st SADC Summit held in Lilongwe, Malawi on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.

As part of its push towards industrialization, the Summit approved the theme “Strengthening productive capacities in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, for an inclusive and sustainable economic and industrial transformation”.

“The theme advances the implementation of the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063 with particular emphasis on strengthening regional productive capacities,” said outgoing Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, who read the press release.

As part of this strategy, SADC aims for more investment and diversification to boost the performance of its manufacturing sector to produce and sell more processed products.

The initial goal is to double the share of manufactured goods that the region produces and sells to 30% of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 and to 40% by 2050.

But to help the region’s growth and development agenda, SADC has said peace and security are the cornerstone.

And to this end, the 41st Summit approved an action plan for the implementation of the Security Threats Report and urged member states to implement the interventions contained in the plan.

The leaders also received an update on the security situation in Cabo Delgado province in the north of the Republic of Mozambique and commended SADC member states for pledging personnel and providing financial support for the deployment of the SADC standby force in Mozambique.

Dr Tax presented the Instruments of Authority for the deployment of the SADC Standby Force to Mozambique on July 16, 2021, which marked a milestone in the regional effort to counter terrorism and violent extremism .

In this regard, Summit noted that an Agreement Amending the SADC Protocol on the Control of Firearms, Ammunition and Other Related Materials, and an Agreement Regarding the Status of the SADC Standby Force and of its components deployed in the region for training purposes, the peacekeeping operation, exercises and humanitarian aid would be signed by those member states that were ready to do so.

“Some Member States have already signed the agreement at this summit,” said Dr Tax. In line with its objective of ensuring security and peace in the region, the Summit commended the United Republic of Tanzania for offering to host the Regional Counterterrorism Center.

The Center will provide specialized and strategic advisory services to the region on terrorist threats.

Dr Tax said the 41st Summit expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the implementation of SADC decisions in the Kingdom of Lesotho after being briefed by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, who is the facilitator appointed by SADC.

“The Summit urged the Kingdom of Lesotho to accelerate the completion of ongoing reforms and to continue the process of peace, transitional justice and reconciliation to engender national unity and foster national healing and cohesion,” said Dr Tax.

President Ramaphosa’s term as facilitator has been extended until the 42nd Summit, which will be hosted by the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Zambia was also in the spotlight at the Summit, with leaders congratulating the Zambian people for holding a successful election on August 12 and congratulating HE Hakainde Hichilema on winning the election.

“The Summit thanked His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu for his leadership and contribution to the development and integration of SADC during his tenure as President of Zambia and for nobly accepting the results of the 2021 presidential elections in the Republic from Zambia, ”said Dr Tax.

In a very important decision that expands community participation in SADC, the 41st Summit approved the transformation of the SADC Parliamentary Forum into a SADC Parliament which will be an advisory and deliberative body.

The regional parliament will ensure the representation of the citizens of SADC, thus serving as a valid interlocutor for the needs and desires of the general public.

The executive is already the main engine of regional integration through intergovernmental institutions at the level of senior officials, ministers or heads of state and government.

Turning to other sectors, Dr Tax said the Summit had received reports on a socio-economic overview in the region, regional food and nutrition security, gender and development, HIV and AIDS , and on the implementation of the theme of the 40th Summit.

The theme, “40 Years of SADC, Building Peace and Security, Promoting Development and Resilience in the Face of Global Challenges”, was implemented under the leadership of outgoing SADC President, President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi of Mozambique, who was praised for “his leadership during his tenure. “

Leaders reaffirmed the region’s position on the establishment of the SADC Central Bank and Monetary Union as a long-term goal based on meeting the preconditions, including the harmonization of fiscal and monetary policies. SADC countries and greater convergence of banking systems.

Regarding the African Union (AU), the 41st Summit expressed its concerns and opposed the unilateral decision taken by the African Union Commission in July 2021 to grant the AU the status of observer for the State of Israel.

SADC supported the State of Palestine in its decades-long conflict with Israel and called for respect for the principles of international law and all relevant United Nations resolutions calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the borders of Israel. June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital in the implementation of the two-state solution.

The SADC 16 Leaders Summit reiterated its call for the unconditional lifting of the sanctions imposed on the Republic of Zimbabwe and its support to Zimbabwe in the ongoing socio-economic strengthening efforts.