Strategic culture foundation online magazine latest publications from 25 April – 1 May, 2010: Terror, Petrodollar Warfare and Plan B for Iraq…

Terror, Petrodollar Warfare and Plan B for Iraq
“The death toll in Iraq is surging after more than 7 years of international occupation. The ballots cast during the March 7 parliamentary elections still have not been completely counted, and the tide of terror of some obscure origin in the country is raising as we watch. Blasts took over 70 lives in Baghdad on April 23, and, as predicted by the US military, under the circumstances the withdrawal of the US forces from Iraq is likely to be suspended if not altogether abolished…”

NATO’s Green Light to Sarajevo Muslim Leadership
“The decision to extend the Membership Action Plan to Bosnia and Herzegovina was the only serious result produced by the April 22-23 informal gathering of foreign ministers of 28 NATO countries in Tallinn, Estonia. Though practical aspects such as timetables or admission guarantees were never discussed, Bosnia and Herzegovina officially became a NATO candidate… the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina is loaded with complexities and risks, from Russia’s perspective in particular…”.

Aleksandr SALITZKY
Is Yuan Really Underrated?
“The Yuan exchange rate remained in the spotlight over the past months as the US Congress and Administration exerted increasing pressure on China over the issue. The problem was discussed during the recent Chinese-US Summit in Washington, but, predictably, Beijing did not capitulate and retained the right to decide independently on its currency value…”.

What Appears Disquieting to Europe’s “Democratic Conscience”
“The spring, 2010 Ordinary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is opening in Strasbourg on April 26. Surprisingly, the PACE has no intention to discuss the recurrences of Nazism in the Baltic countries, Ukraine, Croatia, Albania and Kosovo on the eve of the anniversary of the main event of the XX century – the victory of the anti-fascist coalition in World War II. Nor will it focus on the socioeconomic ills currently overwhelming the entire Europe from Iceland to Greece…”.

South Stream: A Finalized Picture or an Unfolding Story?
“Originally, South Stream was meant to avoid the risks carried by the transit of natural gas from Russia across Ukraine, but in reality the configuration of the project breeds even greater transit risks. The natural question in the context is: rather than build a $25 bn pipeline including a marine section, would not it be a better option to convince Ukraine to adjust its constitution and to partner the country in the upgrade of its gas transit network? This may be difficult to achieve, but the approach should be less costly – and more appropriate strategically. In any case, upon leaving Milan Russian Prime Minister V. Putin headed for Kyiv…”

Aurobinda MAHAPATRA (India)
Peace, Stability and Taliban in Afghanistan
“The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai during his visit to India (26-27 April 2010) ensured that in the forthcoming peace conference, to be held in Kabul, no extreme elements will be allowed in the power sharing arrangement. The power sharing agreement aims at, among other things, reintegration of Taliban with the mainstream society… the power vacuum in coming months will surely put forth new challenges and as well as constraints not only before Afghanistan but also the regional and global players in the region…”

Karzai mobilizes regional support
Any Indian military deployment in Afghanistan is bound to be a potentially exhausting military mission and needs to be avoided. The Indian stance in this regard is similar to that of Russia, which also refuses to get drawn into the military conflict… India and Russia could collaborate with local Afghan partners in reviving some of the Soviet era economic projects in Afghanistan. Any enterprise that leads to employment generation will be particularly useful for stabilizing the Afghan situation…”

William BOWLES (United Kingdom)
Parliamentary democracy – a triumph of Victorian engineering
“To understand what’s going on with Britain today we have to look back to the 19th century and the rise of industrial/mercantile capitalism, for it was during that period that the Victorians got into the business of myth-making in a big way, rewriting our history almost completely. Truly a triumph of Victorian engineering… And we need only look at the USA for a current example of how Empire corrupts totally…”

«Russia’s Deepest Interests Are Linked to the Arctic»
“Developments concerning the Arctic region have been a recurrent theme in politics this April. Russian President D. Medvedev and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg reached a breakthrough agreement on the demarcation of the long-contested maritime border between Russia and Norway in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean, and Russian Prime Minister V. Putin visited Franz Josef Land where he stated that geopolitically Russia’s deepest interests are linked to the Arctic…”

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