Oil prices are now higher than they have ever been — except for a few frenzied moments before the global economic meltdown of 2008. Many immediate factors are contributing to this surge, including Iran’s threats to block oil shipping in the Persian Gulf, fears of a new Middle Eastern war, and turmoil in energy-rich Nigeria. Some of these pressures could ease in the months ahead, providing temporary relief at the gas pump. But the principal cause of higher prices — a fundamental shift in the (...)
However ambitious President Barack Obama’s domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform efforts he might launch. Think of it as the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room: our longstanding reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases that goes with it. The failure to begin to deal with our bloated military establishment and the profligate use of it in missions (...)
Bienvenidos a un mundo tenso donde un pequeño incidente en un punto de conflicto sobre la energía pude incendiar una región, provocando confrontaciones sangrientas, elevando los precios del petróleo y poniendo en peligro la economía mundial. Con una demanda de energía en aumento y con fuentes de abastecimiento en disminución, estamos entrando en una nueva era—la era de la geoenergía—en el que la contienda por fuentes vitales dominará la política internacional. En 2012 y más allá, energía y conflicto (...)
• Colombian government neglect allows for guerrilla and paramilitary groups to extort and tax local miners. • With no distinction between illegal and informal miners, the Colombian government continues to marginalize innocent miners to promote its interest and to facilitate the operations of multinational mining companies. • Multinational mining companies may be funding paramilitary groups in an effort to relocate local populations. With gold prices soaring to around USD 1,600 per ounce, (...)
Even though water privatization has been a massive failure around the world, the World Bank just quietly gave $139 million to its latest corporate buddy. Billions have been spent allowing corporations to profit from public water sources even though water privatization has been an epic failure in Latin America, Southeast Asia, North America, Africa and everywhere else it’s been tried. But don’t tell that to controversial loan-sharks at the World Bank. Last month, its private-sector funding (...)
Nearly two centuries after it won nominal independence and Washington declared it a backyard, Latin America is standing up. The tide of progressive change that has swept the continent for the past decade has brought to power a string of social democratic and radical socialist governments that have attacked social and racial privilege, rejected neoliberal orthodoxy and challenged imperial domination of the region. Its significance is often underestimated or trivialised in Europe and North (...)
In september Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, delivered on an electoral promise and refused to renew Washington’s decade-old, rent-free lease on an air base outside the Pacific coast town of Manta, which for the past ten years has served as the Pentagon’s main South American outpost. The eviction was a serious effort to fulfill the call of Ecuador’s new Constitution to promote "universal disarmament" and oppose the "imposition" of military bases of "some states in the territory of others." (...)
A report and budget request from the U.S. Defense Department released Monday reveal both new and old priorities for President Barack Obama’s Pentagon.  Strategically, the military recognizes new, non-traditional threats ranging from failed states to cyber-warfare to climate change. But there is little change in the military spending habits of the Obama Pentagon versus that of his predecessor. The new Quadrennial Defense Review, a Congressionally mandated report on the direction of U.S. (...)
According to the Chinese calendar, 2010 is the Year of the Tiger. We don’t name our years, but if we did, this one might prospectively be called the Year of the Assassin. We, of course, think of ourselves as something like the peaceable kingdom. After all, the shock of September 11, 2001 was that “war” came to “the homeland,” a mighty blow delivered against the very symbols of our economic, military, and — had Flight 93 not gone down in a field in Pennsylvania — political power. Since that (...)
As the second decade of the twenty-first century begins, we find ourselves at one of those relatively rare moments in history when major power shifts become visible to all. If the first decade of the century witnessed profound changes, the world of 2009 nonetheless looked at least somewhat like the world of 1999 in certain fundamental respects: the United States remained the world’s paramount military power, the dollar remained the world’s dominant currency, and NATO remained its foremost (...)
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