“The Next Global War. How today’s regional conflicts resemble the ones that produced World War II…
“World War II began as a trio of loosely connected contests for primacy in key regions stretching from Europe to the Asia-Pacific—contests that eventually climaxed and coalesced in globally consuming ways.
“The history of this period reveals the darker aspects of strategic interdependence in a war-torn world. It also illustrates uncomfortable parallels to the situation Washington currently confronts.”
“It’s not your imagination. There has been more war lately. Why the “long peace” may be ending…
““At this point, we can be sure that it’s not just random based just on the numbers we’re seeing,” Magnus Öberg, director of the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, told Vox. So does the recent uptick in war — both the number of conflicts and how deadly they are — suggest that the long peace is over and that war is making a comeback? And if so, why?”
“Are we heading for World War Three? Experts weigh up whether Russia, China and the Middle East could lead us into apocalyptic conflict…
“”The danger here is not that one side takes the pre-meditated decision to spark the apocalypse, but rather that a conflict or area of tension escalates to a certain point, one party makes a move that another party misinterprets, and then a nuclear exchange begins despite the fact that no-one was looking for one.”
“Israel-Gaza war spillover risk: Mapping recent strikes in Middle East…
“As Israel’s war on Gaza pushes on in its fourth month, fears of regional escalation are growing, with multiple nations and armed groups targeting each other’s territories and common waters, and the United States boosting its military assets in the region.”
“Israel’s War With Hamas Has No End in Sight.
“Israel’s conflict with Hamas is set to be a long one—with both sides struggling to accomplish their fundamental aims and no clear path to any kind of enduring peace… The irreconcilable stakes are existential for both.”
“Israel braces for interim ICJ ruling on allegation of genocide in Gaza.
“Israeli officials are bracing for an expected interim ruling from the international court of justice on South Africa’s allegation that the war in Gaza amounts to genocide against Palestinians, an emergency measure that could expose Israel to international sanctions.”
“Houthi missile attack forces cargo ships with US navy escort to turn around…
“Two ships sailing close to the Gulf of Aden were forced to seek the support of the US navy after explosions were heard nearby, as the Houthi group kept up their assault on commercial shipping off the coast of Yemen.”
“Red Sea tensions: China’s call for Iran to curb Houthi attacks to avoid business fallout…
“”Basically, China says: ‘If our interests are harmed in any way, it will impact our business with Tehran. So tell the Houthis to show restraint’,” said one Iranian official briefed on the talks, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.”
“US and Iraq agree to start talks to end presence of US-led coalition.
“The United States and Iraq have agreed to start talks on the future of the US-led military coalition in Iraq with the aim of setting a timetable for a phased withdrawal of troops and the coalition’s end, both governments have announced.”
“Why is Joe Biden dragging the US into another potential war?
“…During years of fighting with the Houthis, Saudi leaders learned a lesson that the Biden administration appears to have forgotten in the current confrontation: it’s nearly impossible to dislodge an Indigenous insurgent movement without a huge commitment of ground troops.”
“Why are European defence leaders talking about war?
“Intractable combat in Ukraine and Middle East has planners fearing the worst, but a returning President Trump would add to the volatility… A wave of anxiety has gripped European defence ministers and armed forces…”
“Nato begins biggest military exercise in 60 years in message to Russia.
“Nato has begun the largest military exercise since the Cold War as the reinvigorated alliance practices its response to a potential invasion from Russia. The US Navy dock landing ship Gunston Hall left port on Wednesday to mark the first movement for the exercise, officials said.”
“Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said Hungary was committed to ratifying Sweden’s bid to join Nato after Turkey opted to approve its accession to the western military alliance, leaving Budapest as the sole holdout.
“After talking by telephone with Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday, Orbán said on social media platform X that he “reaffirmed” Hungarian support…”
“Ukraine and Russia trade accusations over fatal plane crash.
“Russia and Ukraine traded accusations Thursday over the crash of a military transport plane that Moscow said was carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war and was shot down by Kyiv’s forces, another heated episode in the information war that has been a feature of the conflict.”
“Lithuania could borrow money from residents to boost defence spending – parliament speaker…
“In an interview to public radio LRT on Thursday, the parliament speaker said that numerous representatives of political parties are in favour of borrowing, including from Lithuanian citizens, in a strive to enhance the country’s security.”
“Poland: Record-high borrowing needs…
“The budget deficit remains high this year, which, coupled with record redemptions, is leading to record borrowing needs. To relieve pressure on Polish government bonds (POLGBs), the Ministry of Finance is diversifying funding into all available tools…”
“Eurozone business activity in eighth month of contraction.
“Eurozone businesses faced a tough start to 2024 with activity contracting again in January as demand continued to fall while price pressures rose due to tensions in the Red Sea, a survey showed.”
“Think tank projects populist surge in 2024 EU elections…
““The results of our analysis should serve as a wake-up call for European policymakers about what is at stake in the 2024 European Parliament elections. The implications of this vote are far reaching for the geopolitical direction of the European Council and European Commission from 2024 onwards,” the report reads.”
“In France and Elsewhere in Europe, Far Right Feeds on Anti-Migrant Sentiments…
““We see in Europe at large a trend to focus more and more on border controls, checking, filtering the migrants, and sending the illegal migrants back,” said Eric Maurice, an analyst with the Brussels-based European Policy Centre. “France is also aligned with the EU trend.””
“How the far right aims to ride farmers’ outrage to power in Europe…
“From Italy to the Netherlands, right-wing parties like France’s National Rally and the Alternative for Germany are piggybacking on farmers’ noisy outrage — complete with snorting tractors and livestock parades — ahead of an EU-wide election in June.”
“‘The world is changing too fast for us’: organic farmers on urgency of French protests. France taken by surprise by scale and fury of grassroots demonstrations amid crisis in organic sector…
“Bales of hay and tractors have been used to block main highways; manure has been sprayed on public buildings and supermarkets in the south-west. Crates of tomatoes, cabbages and cauliflowers that farmers said had been cheaply imported were dumped across roads.”
“Italy uncovers $1.9 billion fraud linked to Chinese shadow bank network.
“Italian police said on Thursday they had uncovered a tax fraud carried out by 85 suspects involving 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in false invoices, with the money laundered through a system of so-called Chinese shadow banks.”
“In Hong Kong, decades of wealth gains evaporate on China’s watch. Hong Kong’s stock market is lower today than it was in 1997…
“As Beijing increases its control over all aspects of life in Hong Kong, including the economy, and gloom persists about the state of China’s post-pandemic recovery, investors have been voting with their money and looking to other markets.”
“Taiwan begins extended one-year conscription in response to China threat.
“The first batch of new recruits began serving their one-year compulsory military service in Taiwan on Thursday after the conscription period was extended from four months due to government concerns about China’s rising military threat… China has ramped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan to assert its sovereignty claims…”
“South China Sea: how ideological differences between Philippines and China could heat up tensions in disputed waters.
“The recent trading of barbs between China and the Philippines over ideological differences highlights the “perennial mistrust” between the two neighbours, experts say, noting that their disparate approaches to democracy and authoritarianism are likely to further escalate tensions in the South China Sea.”
“‘Traitor’: Thousands strike against Argentina’s President Javier Milei.
“In the biggest show of resistance to date against far-right President Javier Milei, Argentinian workers have taken to the streets for a general strike, bringing swaths of downtown Buenos Aires to a standstill. It was an unprecedented mobilisation.”
“Guatemala greenlights open cast mining at Cerro Blanco despite environmental warnings.
“Guatemala this month authorized Canadian company Bluestone Resources to carry out open pit mining at its Cerro Blanco asset instead of as an underground operation, despite warnings from environmentalists that it could contaminate water sources in both Guatemala and in El Salvador.”
“Demand for minerals sparks fear of mining abuses on Indigenous peoples’ lands.
“There’s growing demand for minerals like lithium and cobalt as the world ramps up manufacturing of electric vehicles and solar panels. It’s estimated more than half of these minerals are on or near lands of Indigenous peoples, including in Arizona. That’s where NPR’s Julia Simon begins our story…”
“Hope fades for cut in interest rates for industrialised nations…
“Next week, the US Federal Reserve is widely expected to hold interest rates. However, comments from Jerome Powell, chair of the central bank, will be intensely scrutinised to assess when the bank might begin reducing the burden on borrowers.”
“Global Defaults: A Growing Threat…
“The backdrop for 2024 is expected to be tenuous, with tighter financing conditions and softer economic growth. Credit deterioration is anticipated, particularly in lower-rated credits and sectors exposed to a decline in consumer spending.”
You can read the previous “Economic” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with a “Climate” thread.
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