The “New Silk Road” and the Development of Sino-Iranian Relations

SilkRoadMap

The World Financial Review has published our latest piece, “China Looks West:  What Is at Stake in Beijing’s ‘New Silk Road’ Project,” which we co-authored with our colleague at Peking University, Wu Bingbing.  To read the article, click here  (World Financial Review’s layout includes a really good map); we’ve also appended the text (with links) below:

China Looks West:  What Is at Stake in Beijing’s ‘New Silk Road’ Project    

by Flynt Leverett, Hillary Mann Leverett, and Wu Bingbing

Not even two years into what will almost certainly be a ten-year tenure as China’s president, Xi Jinping has already had an impact on China’s foreign policy:  standing up for what many Chinese see as their nation’s territorial sovereignty in maritime boundary disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, proposing a “new model of great power relations” to guide relations with the United States, and presiding over the consolidation of what Xi himself calls a “comprehensive strategic partnership” with Russia.  But the most consequential diplomatic initiative of Xi’s presidency may turn out to be his calls to create a “New Silk Road Economic Belt” and a “Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century”:  vast infrastructure and investment schemes aimed at expanding China’s economic connections to—and its political influence across—much of Eurasia.   

Successful implementation of Xi’s “one belt, one road” initiative is likely to be essential for China to meet some of its most pressing economic challenges.  It is also likely to be critical to realizing the interest of many Chinese elites in a more “balanced” foreign policy—that is, in a diplomatic approach less reflexively accommodating of U.S. preferences—and in fostering a more genuinely multipolar international order. 

Over 2,100 years ago, China’s Han dynasty launched what would become the original “Silk Road,” dispatching emissaries from the ancient capital of Xian in 138 BC to establish economic and political relations with societies to China’s west.  For more than a millennium, the Silk Road of yore opened markets for silk and other Chinese goods as far afield as Persia—in the process extending Chinese influence across Central Asia into what Westerners would eventually come to call “the Middle East.”

In September 2013—just six months after becoming China’s president—Xi Jinping evoked this history in a speech at Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University by proposing the creation of a “New Silk Road Economic Belt” running from western China across Central Asia.  The following month, addressing Indonesia’s parliament, Xi suggested developing a complementary “Maritime Silk Road” to expand maritime connections and cooperation between China and Southeast Asia.

Xi’s proposals sparked a torrent of expert deliberations, policy planning exercises across China’s ministerial apparatus, and public discussion.  Through these efforts, the initial concepts of the “New Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “Maritime Silk Road” have been elaborated into an integrated vision for expanding China’s economic connections not just to Central and Southeast Asia, but across South Asia, the Persian Gulf, and the Middle East as well.

In recent months, Xi himself has laid out at least five major elements of this “one belt, one road” vision:

–A key aspect is the development of connective infrastructure—high-speed rail lines, roads and highways, even Internet networks—linking western China with central Asia and, ultimately, with points beyond such as Iran and Turkey, even going as far as Europe.  In parallel, construction of ports and related facilities will extend China’s maritime reach across the Indian Ocean and, via the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean basin.  Over time, the New Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road will be interwoven through channels like the projected China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor.

–This multifaceted development of connective infrastructure is meant to enable a second aspect of the “one belt, one road” strategy—expanding trade volumes between China and the vast Eurasian reaches to its West.

–Trade expansion will also be facilitated by a third aspect of the strategy—greater use of local currencies in cross-border exchange, facilitated by the growing number of currency swap arrangements between the People’s Bank of China and other national central banks.  (In this regard, “one belt, one road” should reinforce Beijing’s ongoing campaign to promote renminbi as an international transactional and reserve currency.)

–Beyond these economic measures, a fourth aspect of the strategy emphasizes increased cultural exchange and people-to-people contact among countries involved in the “one belt, one road” project.

–Finally, the growth of cross-border exchange along the “New Silk Road Economic Belt” and “Maritime Silk Road” should be encouraged by intensified policy coordination among governments of participating states.

Economic Motives…

The drivers of China’s “one belt, one road” initiative are, first of all, economic.  As a prominent Chinese academic economist puts it, the project is “a long-term macroscopic program of strategic development for the entire state.”

More specifically, a critical mass of political, policy, and business elites in China see the “one belt, one road” idea as critical to promoting more geographically balanced growth across all of China.  Through thirty-five years of economic reform, development has been concentrated in the country’s eastern half.  The New Silk Road Economic Belt, especially, is designed with a goal of jump-starting economic modernization in western China.

Beyond its impact inside China, the “one belt, one road” vision seeks to cultivate new export markets for Chinese goods and capital.  For thirty-five years, advanced economies to China’s east—e.g., the United States and Japan—have been its most important economic partners and the most crucial outlets for its exports.  Looking ahead, though, Chinese policymakers recognize that the potential for further growth in these markets is considerably smaller than in earlier phases of reform; they believe that, to compensate, China must nurture new export markets to its west.

Chinese analysts say that the territory encompassed by the New Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road contains 4.4 billion people (63 percent of the world’s population), with an aggregate GDP of $2.1 trillion (29 percent of the world’s aggregate wealth).  But, for this zone to play the economic role envisioned by Chinese leaders, it is necessary to encourage development not only in western China, but in economies across Eurasia—another major goal of both the New Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road.  It also means that, to be economically sustaining, these initiatives cannot be limited to areas contiguous to China.  They must extend further westward, to include already more developed markets in eastern and southern Europe.

…and Strategic Rationales

Alongside these economic motives, Chinese interlocutors acknowledge that there are powerful strategic rationales for the “one belt, one road” approach.  Certainly, the approach reflects Chinese leaders’ awareness of their country’s growing political as well as economic power; it also reflects the deepening of Chinese interests in strategically important regions to its west (e.g., the Persian Gulf).

In a regional context, the New Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road—like China’s recent championing of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building in Asia in the security sphere and its leadership on creating an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank—reflect Beijing’s increasingly evident assessment that Asian affairs should be managed more decisively by Asians themselves, not by extra-regional actors like the United States.  More particularly, Chinese policymakers have framed their “one belt, one road” initiative as a response to the Obama administration’s much-hyped “pivot to Asia.”

Besides specific redeployments of U.S. military forces associated with American strategic rebalancing, Chinese elites increasingly see the United States engaged in economic, political, and military initiatives aimed at containing China’s rise as a legitimately influential player, in the Asia-Pacific region and globally.  Sino-American rapprochement in the 1970s required Washington to abandon a failed quest for Asian hegemony, to realign relations with Beijing based on mutual accommodation of each side’s core interests, and to accept a more balanced distribution of power in Asia.  Now, the United States appears to be backing away from these commitments and looking for ways to reassert a more traditionally hegemonic stance in Asia.

In the face of these trends, China is seeking to meet U.S. efforts to contain it to its east by expanding its diplomatic and political engagement to its west—including to areas like the Persian Gulf that Washington has long considered vital to America’s global position.  To be sure, Beijing continues to rule out the possibility of military confrontation with the United States as in no way a rational prospect.  But it also continues to seek a long-term transformation in the character of contemporary international relations—from an international system still shaped in large measure by unipolar American dominance to a more genuinely multipolar international order.  To this end, the “one belt, one road” project could—if handled adroitly—prove a non-military catalyst that accelerates the relative decline of U.S. hegemony over the Persian Gulf and engenders a more balanced distribution of geopolitical influence in this strategically vital region.

Looking Ahead

Realizing the “one belt, one road” vision will pose serious and sustained tests for Chinese policymaking and diplomatic capabilities.  Three such tests stand out as especially significant.

First, while one of the main motives for the New Silk Road Economic Belt is to encourage the development of western China—including the country’s Muslim-majority Xinjiang province—the Chinese government is increasingly concerned about the rising incidence of radicalization among some elements of Xinjiang’s Uighur Muslim population.  Will Beijing be able to balance such concern against the imperatives of deepening China’s engagement with states in Central Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of the Muslim world?

Second, while “comprehensive strategic partnership” with Russia continues to be a prominent element in Chinese foreign policy, Moscow remains wary about any prospective increase in Chinese influence in former Soviet states whose participation is essential to implementing the “one belt, one road” approach.  Will Beijing be able to maintain economically and strategically productive relations with Russia as it pursues this approach?

Third, while successful implementation of the New Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road initiatives can potentially contribute over the long term to a more balanced Sino-American relationship, getting them off the drawing board in anything more than preliminary fashion will almost certainly require Beijing to ignore U.S. displeasure on multiple fronts in the near-to-medium term.

A good example of this dynamic is how Chinese policymakers will engage Iran in the elaboration of the New Silk Road Belt and the Maritime Silk Road.  Iran is comparatively unique among China’s prospective partners in that geography makes it important to the realization of both initiatives.  Over the next few years, will Beijing continue to hold back from expanding economic and strategic cooperation with Tehran, in deference to U.S. preferences and (largely rhetorical) pressure?  Or, to advance its “one belt, one road” vision, will China move more forthrightly to deepen relations with the Islamic Republic?

Trade-offs like these mean that how Beijing pursues this vision will almost certainly have a major bearing on the trajectory of Sino-American relations over the next decade and beyond.  They also mean that Beijing’s relative success in forging a new Silk Road will do much to determine the extent to which China’s rise actually correlates with the emergence of a more truly multipolar international order in the 21st century.

 

86 Responses to “The “New Silk Road” and the Development of Sino-Iranian Relations”

  1. ToivoS says:

    Wow, Obama’s pivot to Asia is looking more and more feeble. US policy makers are simply not up to competing with China — they are so 20th century in their thinking. What is even more amazing is that the architect of pivot to Asia — Hillary Clinton — is likely to be the next president of the US. The US could very well be stuck in its failed policies until 2024 if that should happen. Unfortunately, people like Hillary can recognize failure as well as we can but she will be tempted to solve that problem with war given that she has not shown any aptitude for diplomacy.

  2. Kooshy says:

    For those who live and work in and near Haifa, specially those who continually complain on lack of Iranian technological and scientific advancements, it should become normal and a way of daily life to closely and daily encounter the very fin technologies of the Iranians falling off the skies like manna coming down from havens.

  3. James Canning says:

    I think good rail connections between Kabul and Istanbul, and between Kabul and Shanghai, would be a good thing.

    I recommend William Dalrymple’s article in the Financial Times this past weekend, regarding the visit his family made recently to Bamiyan, Afghanistan.

  4. Pouya says:

    High ranking Hizbollah official in charge international interventions and part of the security apparatus of Nasrollah himself was arrested for spying for Israel. He has had extensive connections with Iranian officials of variety of departments and lived in and out of Iran, while he was spying for Mossad for the past 8 years. Now, the concern in Iran is whether there are high officials in Iran that have been compromised from IRGC to Qods force.

  5. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 29, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    There is neither a state nor a nation nor any coherent social or political structures that transcend the tribe or the religions in Afghanistan.

    The situation resembles that of Britannia after Romans withdrew and before William the Conqueror invaded.

    Afghanistan is now only signifying a place name.

    I find it personally sad since I remember a time – before 1980s, when Afghanistan was a poor but functioning country.

    Before the superpowers destroyed it.

  6. Karl.. says:

    Pouya

    Not sure it will change anything.
    Israel already/still have many spies inside Iran – the killings, bombings, sabotage etc past years.

  7. fyi says:

    Karl.. says:

    January 30, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Iran already has retaliated against Israel for the murder of Iranian technical staff.

  8. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    William Dalrymple’s article in the Financial Times this past weekend, suggests he may agree with you.

    Better rail connections through Afghanistan will help promote economic development.

    England was a well-organised unitary state, when William the Conqueror invaded in 1066.

  9. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 30, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Well.

    Let us then wait for Saxon Kings to shown up in Afghanistan….

  10. M.Ali says:

    New government in Greece is turning out to be exciting to follow.

  11. Karl.. says:

    M.Ali

    Will be short imo, the elite in the west wont accept an independent Greece. I guess soon we will hear how Greece is a “dictatorship” and so on and suddenly a protest movement will demand regime change…

  12. M.Ali says:

    I guess, they will just make sure to help out any way they can to fuck up Greece’s economy instead of helping it, so 2 years down the line, the average Greek will be watching BBC and CNN on how the party they voted for where responsible for him not being able to support his kids.

    But its still exciting to watch in the beginning.

  13. Karl.. says:

    M. Ali

    Your last sentence,
    Indeed, I hope Greece are prepared for the ride and will take the fight whatever it may be about.

  14. Karl.. says:

    CIA helped Israel assassinate Hezbollah commander: Report
    http://presstv.com/Detail/2015/01/31/395497/CIA-helped-Israel-kill-Imad-Mughniyah

  15. Sammy says:

    For Nico and A-B , I like the expression ***GREAT QUICKENING*** very much :

    http://www.silverdoctors.com/jim-willie-us-dollar-will-not-survive-2015/#more-50383

    In the closing months of 2014, on numerous occasions the position was put forth that as the days of January stacked up, toward the end of the month and going into February, that the global financial structures would show severe strain, widespread disruptions, and possible signs of cracks in breakdown. The forecasts were clearly stated and repeated. Even the present flow of events has been shocking, despite the expectation.

    The forecast certainly has proven correct.

    The disruptive events and pace of systemic breakdown are surely going to continue. The year will go down in history as extremely messy, extremely chaotic, and extremely important in the demise of the USDollar.

    Check the 7-year cycle for an amazing sequence that goes back to the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo, the 1980 Gold & Silver Hunt Brothers peak, the 1987 Black Monday, the 1994 Irrational Exuberance with ensuing Asian Meltdown, the 2001 Inside 9/11 Job, and the 2008 Lehman failure. The Year 2015 will be known for the USDollar demise with full fireworks, set up with Ukraine and the European repeat of Waterloo. A quickening pace of events is highly indicative in two natural types in nature, namely the lead up to a natural earthquake, and the lead up to a human childbirth.

    KEY ACCELERANT EVENTS

    The forecast about fast acceleration of events into the January month has occurred on schedule. Normally a very big event occurs every several weeks, or every few months. In just the last three weeks ten have taken place of significance. The pace has quickened in an alarming fashion. The Great Quickening has commenced. Something big ugly and nasty this way comes. The events are worth emphasis, since each has enormous implications and fallout.

    1.) Russia jumped off the Petro-Dollar recycle wagon. Their entire oil trade will not be kept in USDollars. Instead, it will be exchanged immediately into Rubles. Expect some to be converted into RMB for their bilateral trade with China. The Russian action is an integral part of the demise of the Petro-Dollar. They react to US-led boycott.

    2.) The Swiss removed the 120 Euro peg to their Franc currency. For over three years their central bank had maintained a hoard of paper mache Euro currencies that accumulated perhaps as much as 800 billion Euros. It became unsustainable. They ran a long USDollar trade with short Gold, which finally will go into reverse. The Langley crew had billions in SWFrancs stuffed in shrink wrapped palettes. They profited handsomely. The Swiss seem to have opened the gates of hell for the Gold market, and might have been slammed with a Gold margin call as leased gold bullion dried up.

    3.) The Greeks have prepared to exit the European Union and to default on debt. Their defiant Syriza party won a mandate, a clear leftist majority. Next comes some severe disruption. They might print money to pay off their external debt, which would be an ironic justice. Expect great repercussions within Greece into Europe, at the same time the Russians are passing a gas pipeline as carrot to Greece. With the pipeline will come valuable fees to the Greek nation. They will leave the European Union, with almost certainty. They will soon export food products to Russia, lifting the economy.

    4…5….6….7…..8…..

  16. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Speaking of kings in Afghanistan, clearly the overthrow of the monarchy was a disastrous blunder on the part of those who did the deed.

  17. James Canning says:

    Sammy,

    Russia’s investments in German bonds produced a huge return this past year.

  18. Karl.. says:

    Egypt bans armed wing of Hamas
    http://rt.com/news/line/2015-01-31/

    A ruling of Egyptian special court in Cairo on Saturday listed Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, an armed wing of Hamas, as terrorist organization and banned it from the country.

    Egypt, EGypt, Egypt, what happend with you?

  19. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    January 31, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    All states, Euroepan, Near Easter, or Far Eastern, were united in the person of the Monarch.

    Once the monarch was removed, civil war ensued since any upstart could become the new monarch, or autocrat, or dictator.

    This has been the pattern of all states that began their lives as monarchies.

    In Afghanistan, the process of nation-formation, in contradistinction to state-formation, had not progressed far enough to safeguard the state in the absence of the monarchy.

    The late Davoud Khan, tried to create a Pashtun nation out of Afghanistan; clearly an impossibility.

    It is interesting to note the emergence of the new Iranian ethnos through the various wars that Safavids, Afshars, Zands, and Qajars fought.

    Those of the old Safavid regions who wished to be Iranians, remained in Shia Iran, the others went their own way and became Afghanistan.

  20. nico says:

    Sammy,

    Yes, we are experiencing in live what was foreseen for years.

    Evidently, the financial crisis is leading to social crisis and then political crisis. With consequential dictatorship and war looming… All blamed on terrorists feeding the clash of civilization.. How praticable…
    The last occurence being the audious agenda driven recuperation and political manipulation of the emotional shock following the recent sad events in France.

    That is typical political show… Brainwashing and manipulation of the citizens with secondary or external issues such as the terrorists, the queers rights, antisemitism an so on… Only for the elite and doctrinaires to keep the lead while their macro policies implemented for years or decades is hitting the final dead end.

    The current western system is not redeemable and cannot be reformed.
    USD, Yen, Eur… All are bankrupt.

    Cowards, liars and puppets are just leading the show.

    Anyway the citizens are also to blame… How many are willing to accept the truth and make the necessary sacrifices… Well sacrifices will just be forced upon us.

  21. Sammy says:

    Yes nico very nice analysis and where are the elites going to survive ??

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-31/what-do-they-know-why-are-so-many-super-wealthy-preparing-bug-out-locations

    …Of course not all elitists are planning to jet off to the other side of the globe.

    Some are planning to go deep underground when things hit the fan.

    For example, there is an underground decommissioned missile silo in Kansas that has been transformed into luxury survival condos by a real estate developer. The following is from a Wall Street Journal article about those condos…
    The so-called Survival Condo complex boasts full and half-floor units that cost $1.5 million to $3 million each. The building can accommodate up to 75 people, and buyers include doctors, scientists and entrepreneurs, says developer Larry Hall.
    Mr. Hall, who lives in a Denver suburb, bought his first missile-silo site in Kansas in 2008 and completed construction in December 2012. A year later, he says, the development had sold out. Work on the second security compound—the one where Mr. Allen bought a unit—is under way, and Mr. Hall says he is considering additional sites in Texas and elsewhere.

    As former nuclear missile sites built under the supervision of the Army Corps of Engineers, the structures were originally designed to withstand a direct hit by a nuclear bomb. At ground level, they can be sealed up by two armored doors weighing 16,000 pounds each. Mr. Hall added sophisticated water and air-treatment facilities, state-of-the-art computer network technology and several alternate power generation capabilities.

    Other wealthy individuals are turning their current homes into high tech security fortresses.

    Those that are involved in providing these kinds of services have seen business absolutely soar in recent years…

    Wealthy families across the country are shelling out millions to protect their loved ones from intruders, natural disasters or the apocalypse as home security goes increasingly sci-fi.

    Companies that provide concerned homeowners with futuristic gadgets – and a priceless peace of mind – have revealed the growing demand of costly bunkers, passageways, panic rooms and recognition software.

    Chris Pollack – president of Pollack+Partners, a design and construction adviser in Purchase, New York – told Forbes that, while security has always been important for the wealthiest clients, the spending on home security has noticeably grown in the past five years.

    And the options available on the market are like something from a Bond film….

  22. Nico says:

    Sammy,

    Yes, the embedded video in the link you posted tells it all.
    That is a good admission of the real state of affairs from an elite representative in Davos ans what is to be expected…

  23. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Having a monarch as head of state greatly facilitates achieving unity in that state, generally. Overthrow of monarchy in Afghanistan indeed was colossal blunder.

  24. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    February 1, 2015 at 3:18 pm
    “Having a monarch as head of state greatly facilitates ….”

    Please do tell us how in this developed country of the UK the monarch has helped create: a war criminal named Tony Blair, black sites for torture, a pedophile named of Prince Andrew, a place where one in six children live in poverty, a system paralleling thought police in terms of surveillance and control, ….

    Monarch does absolutely nothing of the sorts!! Unity is achieved through culture, goals, freedom of expression, accountability, … All things sorely lacking in the modern British society.

  25. fyi says:

    Jay says:

    February 1, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Mr. Canning is correct in case of UK and other European countries as well as Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.

    Real, as opposed to fake – like the Pahalavis in Iran – have been politically more stable.

    China, Spain, Cambodia, Iraq, France, Afghanistan all plunged into civil war and catastrophe when the monarchy was abolished.

    In Egypt, the English-run monarchy was replaced by a repressive police-state which has endured to this day.

    The abolition of monarchy is Austro-Hungarian Empire an in Germany led to catastrophes as well.

    Iran was saved largely due to the leadership of the late Mr. Khomeini – otherwise something akin to ISIS or Taliban would have been running what would have been left of Iran.

    It is very unlikely that there would have been a Civil War in what became the United States had they remained the English Monarch’s subjects.

  26. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    February 1, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    This is an assertion. No one to my knowledge has established a causal link. There is a correlation between the length of survival of a monarchy and the stability of a country, but this correlation extends to developed republics as well and is therefore more likely to be explained by noting that a form of government has a better chance to survive in a stable and developed country.

    The British monarchy at this point is corrupt, inept, and may in fact become a source of instability. As I noted, the recent development of this enlightened monarchy include having a perverse war criminal as a the PM, a pedophile as a royal, and the worst rate of child poverty and relative adult poverty among developed nations.

  27. Smith says:

    Iran satellite launched into space: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/02/395786/Iran-satellite-launched-into-space

    I guess, the six-party talks are not going very well. Is Kad-Khoda listening?

  28. fyi says:

    Jay says:

    February 2, 2015 at 12:22 am

    No such link can be established; it is a matter of empirical observation.

    I do not think the Royal Family of England is very corrupt considering the previous generations of the royals….

  29. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    February 2, 2015 at 4:46 am

    Axis Powers have and continue to over-estimate the sanctions; they are unwilling to dismantle their war against the Shia Crescent.

    I think the best approach for Iran is to reach an understanding with ISIS and continue doing what she is doing; ignoring the noises of the Axis Powers and the Arabs.

  30. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    February 2, 2015 at 9:35 am
    “I do not think the Royal Family of England is very corrupt considering the previous generations of the royals….”

    Even if true, … it is hardly an acceptable standard!

  31. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think we can see that Jay fails to understand how a monarch can be the focus of the affections and loyalty of diverse groups in a given country.

    Overthrow of monarchy in Cambodia indeed helped to set up catastrophe.

    The British Parliament abolished slavery years before Civil War erupted in America, and if the break with Britain had not taken place, as you note, that war would have been avoided. It was the greatest catastrophe in the history of the US.

  32. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Your apparent belief that the Queen of England helped bring about the idiotic US invasion of Iraq in 2003 is nonsense.

  33. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    February 2, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I am not incapacitated by my own biases. I can differentiate between evidence and observation. And, I am capable of acknowledging facts uncomfortable to my senses. Attributes I hold dear. You have your attributes.

    If you wish to make a pedophile the focus of your affection, that is your business.

  34. Jay says:

    Britain’s social mobility myth!

    http://rt.com/uk/228719-social-mobility-broken-britain/

    Clark and Cummins summed up their findings succinctly: “To those who have, more is given.”

    Monarchy or not, affection or not, social injustices prevail. The form of government has little to do with it.

  35. Nico says:

    Maybe people interested in nation-state building could read simple online dictionary before uttering non sense.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_state

  36. Kooshy says:

    Nico Jaan that’s a good point to make.
    A good example like what I understand Jay is trying to make a point of to us is the UK, which like what I believe is true is that UK is not a nation state and can’t ever be one, no matter how the London regime try to glue these little so called kingdoms together (Scotts and Irelanders no longer want monarchy nor willing to pay for it and imo is not going to last), for that matter the Scotts or the Northern Irelanders will never accept or ever be unified with whatever fancy propagandists royalty the Brits try to come up with, so unlike what Fyd says, deep down the UK is not unified ( has nothing to do with industrialization rather it has to to with sense of belonging citizenship) under the current governing/ cultural system therefore it can’t be called a nation state. A nation state needs a combination of shared majority nationalistic cultural glues like of imam Housain , kouroush, ferdosi, rostam, the Brits like the Israelites are a racist state therefore incapable to form a unified nation state.

  37. Nico says:

    Kooshy says:
    February 2, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    “the Brits like the Israelites are a racist state therefore incapable to form a unified nation state”

    I am not sure about that.
    Simple honesty and intellectual self respect would lead me to think that what is experienced in UK with Scotland is part a larger phenomenon such as Catalunia, same in Belgium or in Yugoslavia or Northern vs Southern Italy or other ethnically specific regions push for independence\Greater Autonomy in Europe.
    Such tentations have always existed and are explained by various factors (economic, ethnic, cultural and so forth) and political power play by opportunists (external or internal to the considered region)

    Even if each of those factor are importants, my take is that at this point in time the main reason for nation desintegration tendencies in European countries is the lack of a common believable project of society offered by the political class at nation level.

    States abandonned much or their sovereignty to UE. A non democratic, non nation representing no one and leading to a globalized nowhere with no cultural bond (or so little) and no spirituality (or so little)…
    And above the UE you have the US giving orders.

    Sure… People, even if intuitively, do not adher to such project… And tend to look for natural bond ans above aller a common believable project.

    In EU the real question should formulated this way : People strive to abandon the Nation States or is it rather the other way around ?

    As I stated earlier here… What is left as a political class at nation state level in EU countries can be sumed up by cowards, liars, opportunists, doctrinaires and puppets playing at social engineering to control the mass in order to lead people nowhere in their failed project.

  38. Jay says:

    Kooshy says:
    February 2, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    “A nation state needs a combination of shared majority nationalistic cultural glues …”

    This is an important point! Stability comes from shared ideals and the belief in shared opportunity. It does not have to be perfect, but it has to be practicable.

  39. M.Ali says:

    Look at this UK survery.

    http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/field/field_document/20150130Raines.pdf

    How hilarious it is that Brits hate Israel more than Iran? Given all the propaganda, islamophobia, etc, these guys STILL hate Israel more than Iran. Hah hah.

    You also have to be amused by the fact that over 50% of the Brits were unfavorable towards Russia. Russia really needs to stop looking to the west. Even comparing to 2012, when there was no crisis over Ukraine, 30% still were unfavorable towards Russia.0

    You can also look at the detailed survey for some interesting facts,

    http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/field/field_document/20150129YouGovGP.pdf

    1 in 10 are unfavorable towards US, with stronger nay votes coming from younger generations.

    30% of the public feels they should have stronger ties with EU, stronger ties with US falls below this at 25%. Again age shows, the younger they are, the less they want stronger ties with US. If you look at the young generation, 24% of them want stronger ties with emerging markets, and only 21% of them want it with US.

    In terms of leading powers, they consider US the leading power, but China a comfortable second. Germany, third position, falls way behind. But in terms in leading super power IN THE FUTURE, half of Brits consider China to be the new super power and only 17% have much faith in US.

  40. fyi says:

    All:

    From Ambassdor Bhadrakumar

    http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2015/02/03/india-pakistan-standoff-may-end-soon/

    Please note that a settlement between India and Pakistan will make it possible for Pakistan to be used against Iran in a more vigorous manner -up to and including a war.

    The machinery for creating an incident already exists on the Pakistan side of the border, ready for provocation and escalation.

    Note that the 2006 War of Israel against Lebanon proceeded the assassination of the late Mr. Hariri, removal of Syrian Army from Lebanon, and 4 months of planning by the Israeli Army.

    Are Iranian leaders being lulled into sleep with the nuclear negotiations while the elements of a war with Pakistan are being put in place?

  41. Ataune says:

    @fyi

    The short answer is no.

    The official “raison d’etre” for the creation of Pakistan was the existence of a state for Muslims not willing to be ruled in a Hindu dominated country. Turning this upside down by fighting along India against a Muslim neighbor can only undermine such a national project, questioning the legitimacy of the state and bringing her probable disintegration. Pakistanis ruling elites are well aware of this fact (Besides most of them being from Iranian culture and lineage.)

    India’s interests too are way distant from allying herself with Pakistan against a regional power and a potential natural ally. When not confronting Pakistan, the best option for India is to try to integrate her to its economic and cultural sphere. This is why Iran about 20 years ago initiated the “peace pipeline” project towards her South-Eastern neighbor.

  42. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    The overthrow of the monarchy in Afghanistan helped to bring catastrophe to that country. This is an historical fact.

    The overthrow of the monarchy in Cambodia contributed to the catastrophe that befell that country.

    Your apparent claims to the contrary are simply incorrect.

  43. Nico says:

    Surely the antisemit and terrorists are everywhere… And need to be eradicated…
    Ans surely Israël is the main problème in the ME…
    Juste as NK is a big big bug issue in the world today.

    Fortunately the good guys are here tout save the world !

    “During the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2014, U.S. Special Operations forces (SOF) deployed to 133 countries — roughly 70% of the nations on the planet — according to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bockholt, a public affairs officer with U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM)”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-03/back-square-one-germany-throws-all-over-varoufakis-proposal-greek-plan-half-baked

  44. Kooshy says:

    Ataune says:
    February 3, 2015 at 12:59 pm
    This kind of wishful hope is not only limited to our own (Analist FYD) this line, and this hope that India and Pakistan will line up against Iran is becoming West’s and its Zionist and Arab clients one of a few left hopes for containing and limiting Iran’s rise.
    Is only after FYD can bring peace between his people ( the Occupying Zios )and Palestinians is when he can claim there would be a peace coming between Pakis
    and Indians specially one alliance against the Iranians and the Afghans.
    This guy don’t want to understand what an strategic depth means.

  45. fyi says:

    Ataune says:

    February 3, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    I did not mean that India and Pakistan will form an alliance against Iran and start a war against her.

    Rather, that the pre-requisite for Pakistan to initiate a war against Iran is to have her eastern front stabilized – no surprises there.

    I think it is best to keep in mind the empirical observation that the great powers have historically preferred and used local powers to do their dirty jobs for them rather than themselves.

    Like the war against Paraguay instigated by UK….

  46. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    February 3, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    James,

    once you have educated yourself to the point where you can tell the difference between correlation, and causation then come back and we can discuss.

    Until then, one small hint to get you started: if event B follows event A it does not follow that event B was caused by event A.

  47. Ataune says:

    @fyi

    I know what you were saying when I answered no.
    And I think what I said was enough of a prove to show that it’s neither in the interests of India nor Pakistan to have a war against Iran – and in the case of the latter the no-war-with-Iran is a vital interest. I believe the US governing elite is well aware of these fact.

  48. kooshy says:

    masoud says:
    February 3, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I don’t see any surprise there; the standard CIA color revolution operation requires a period of time near or close to an election, and a tragic death of an opposition figure to trigger a mass mobilization.
    (Remember Neda). Argentina is near election and just got a tragic death of an opposition personality. I don’t think CIA and US’ deep states care to hide a regime change operation anymore, they know deep down in the eye of the informed world they will be responsible, no matter if they take responsibility or not. I have to conclude, or that I think, US actually wants its adversaries to notice her regime change power, as an instrument of her soft warfare against the countries, regimes , governments she dislikes, like how a WMD is used. Regime change, financial wars, Special Ops, and drones and denials, have become new weapons of US regime to protect her hegemony.

  49. fyi says:

    Ataune says:

    February 3, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    I would like to draw your attention to the case of the late General Lon Nol who dragged Cambodia into Vietnam war and imitated the catastrophe there.

    There can be any number of fools in Pakistan – just like the late Saddam Hussein – who might think that there is a margin in war with Iran.

    Please also note that Israelis attacked Lebanon in 1982 after they had secured the Egyptian front through the Camp David Accords.

  50. Ataune says:

    @fyi

    To give any probable/plausible prediction on the future events, an objective person needs to consider the actors under scrutiny as rational. An irrational actor is unpredictable making therefore the interpretation more than dubious.

    So, based on this methodology and the state interests of all the sides involved, mentioned before, the answer to your question is still a no: given that we are trying here to have an objective assessment about the future, we can say, with quite good likelihood, that no war can be induced or provoked from the Pakistanis side against Iran.

  51. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    The overthrow of the monarchy in Afghanistan was a factor that helped bring about the subsequent catastrophe in that country. You have made clear you favour the overthrow of monarchies.

  52. Kooshy says:

    The CIA and the state boys are badly after the Argentinian president, they are sniffing every hole and trench to see if they can find and dig up any shit there may be to start pulling her down and precondition the ground for a color revolution before the coming election starts.

    “TWIPLOMATIC GAFFE
    Argentina’s president tweeted something highly offensive about Chinese people—on a diplomatic trip to China”
    http://qz.com/338898/argentinas-president-tweeted-something-highly-offensive-about-chinese-people-on-a-diplomatic-trip-to-china/

  53. paul says:

    Monarchy overthrow in Afghanistan in 1973 was, according to one commentator here, the cause of US and Pakistan backed proxy war in Afghanistan starting in the late seventies!!!

  54. paul says:

    A reasonable person might have thought that the US and Afghanistan were the primary causes of catastrophe in Afghanistan.

  55. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    February 4, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    James,
    you have made clear that you do not understand cause and effect.

  56. Jay says:

    Kooshy says:
    February 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    The presence of these pesky, somewhat independent-minded leaders popping up in South and Central American is simply unacceptable to the West’s democratic values! How dare they?! A color revolution for every one of them please!!

  57. fyi says:

    paul says:

    February 4, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    You do not understand how that country operated.

    The cousin of the Monarch of Afghanistan overthrew the Monarchy – and from then on any upstart could also lay claim to state power.

    The communists coup was largely a tribal coup within the Pashtun tribal formations against another one.

    Which followed by yet another tribal coup.

    Until the Soviet Union succeeded in putting together a functioning national government under the late Dr. Najibullah; the best government that Afghanistan had ever had.

    By that it was too late; Afghans fought among themselves the war of the superpowers and others; destroying their country.

    When the middle classes left en mass, the state ceased to exist and the situation reverted to sometime around 1800.

    The same thing is taking place in Syria except that there is now a local state, Iran, that is beating sense into Syrians and preventing state collapse there and the chaos to follow.

    Axis Powers want chaos where they cannot dominate; in today’s testimony, Mr. Carter identified the 2 enemies of US – ISIS & Iran.

  58. Kooshy says:

    Jay
    I don’t think and I hope the CIA and states thugs can’t pull the Argentinian color
    Revolution out and do what they did to Ukraine, any way like in Ukraine to succeed they would need major regional backing and recognition, in current SA state formation that is not easy to get so it will be a tough up hill sale. Still they (US) hopes they can soften the next government and have more influence by being overt about US’s capabilities and intentions of regime change ( very much like the actual reason for nuking Japan ), With these up in the open overtures US believes next government(s) in any of these CR potential countries will always be more willing to somewhat take some jabs from and orders the U.S. and not to dismiss all demands coming from the DC regime.

  59. Nasser says:

    Lieutenant General Mike Flynn interview on Charlie Rose. Very (refreshingly) blunt in his hostility. As a retiree he openly states what other US officials are loathe to do; which is to identify pretty much all Muslims except for their petro clients as enemies of US. He also lays out the US strategy for the foreseeable future; to wage perpetual war across the planet against Muslims, Iran Russia and China.

    http://www.charlierose.com/

  60. Smith says:

    fyi,

    ” آیا امکان دارد در پی رویدادهای غیر قابل پیش بینی، عربستان در دست داعش بیفتد؟ در آن صورت چه اتفاقی در منطقه خواهد افتاد؟
    اگر این خبر درست باشد که چیزی حدود هفتاد تا هشتاد درصد شهروندان سعودی طرفدار داعش و گروهی افراطی هستند یا با آنها همدلی دارند، این احتمال که روزی سعودی در اختیار این گروه ها قرار گیرد، بسیار زیاد است. آن وقت، سلاح های فروخته شده توسط غرب به سعودی، در اختیار کسانی قرار خواهد گرفت که در رفتارهای اخیرشان نشان دادند چه دیدگاهی درباره غرب و امریکا دارند. در این زمینه، وضع پاکستان بهتر از سعودی نیست.”

    http://www.khabaronline.ir/detail/398726/weblog/jafarian

    As you have been warning about it for years now. Iran remains defenseless without nukes.

  61. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    February 4, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Well, you can exclude Russia and China from the list since both are technological and nuclear powers. Muslims also can be excluded since they are already cutting each others throat over petty ideological disagreements. That leaves Iran. A weak nation.

    By the way, did you get the memo? I have been promoted from a zionist spy to a “bioscientist on the way to get couple of Noble prizes”. I guess you still remain a Fetnehgar. hahahahaha…

    In another news, Iran’s VP was handed down a prison sentence by Larijani family. They are busy settling personal scores of their corrupt lives, while the noose is being tightened around Iran’s throat.

  62. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    February 4, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    In regards of ISIS surging into Saudi Arabia, the question is whether they can co-opt or otherwise manipulate the tribes to retain social & political cohesion.

    The likely scenario could be the tribes and ISIS fighting one another for the control of oil.

    The most ruthless will win.

  63. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    February 4, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Yup!

    That is about the sum of it.

  64. Ataune says:

    Iran, Russia, China are not tools. They have their own will, independant of any other political will and they are capable of exercising it without major constraints. Isis is a tool, financed and logistically supported by conservative states in the middle east which are themselves surrogate of the External powers (what fyi calls Axis powers). Isis wont be able to survive politically and militarily without the backing mentioned above. Any interpretation of the last 10 to 15 years events in tne region, or recomendation for the future course of action, that doesn’t take into account these realities is unreliable and dubious in my opinion.

  65. masoud says:

    Kooshy says:
    February 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    This doesn’t smell like much of a color revolution to me. It smells more like a panic based reactivity on the part of whoever was running and ultimately killed Niseman. I am thouroughly enjoying the show.

  66. Jay says:

    Kooshy,

    put these pieces together and you can guess where this is going. Sorry for the pun, but color revolutions come in many colors! This one is about getting rid of Fernandez and kicking up a lot of dust about Iran at the same time.

    1. this morning NYT

    BUENOS AIRES — The recently deposed intelligence operative who Argentine President Fernandez has suggested was involved in the mysterious death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman was being called Thursday to talk with the head of the investigation.

    2. This morning i24

    A respected Holocaust expert was named to take over as judge in the politically explosive case of a 1994 Jewish center bombing that has shaken Argentina since the lead prosecutor’s mysterious death.

    The case had become a hot potato in the courts amid revelations that late prosecutor Alberto Nisman had drafted an arrest warrant for President Cristina Kirchner before he was found dead in his apartment with a gunshot wound to the head last month.

    3. Previous sentiment of this just-appointed judge

    Federal Judge Daniel Rafecas said he is “certain that many local organizations are being funded by the Iranian embassy” in Buenos Aires, and warned that social movements’ leader Luis D’Elía “is aware of it.”
    Rafecas made these statements during this year’s first meeting of the Hebrew Argentine Society, which commemorated the 35th anniversary of the last military dictatorship.
    “I’m sure that, in exchange for money, this man began to speak against (Israel) without having much knowledge about it, or without considering the kind of political fallout they would have,” he said of D’Elía, a strong supporter of the Iranian government.

  67. kooshy says:

    Jay

    IMO , this is all about “destabilizing” Argentina and not Iran, the direction of the blame and accusation of the Nisman murder is not (yet) accusing and pointing at Iran directly.
    The propaganda and the direction of it is that, the president and FM were paid (oil) by Iran to end the investigation and pull out the Iranian official warrants for arrest. Just before when Nisman
    Is going to testify he is dead in his apartment. So who ordered or benefits from his murder obviously first thing comes to mind is the President and her side “vision” of politics.

    Argentinian presidency per their constitution is allowed up to two 4 year terms, she got elected to her second term in 10/11 next election is this October, she will be gone this year, so I think the turmoil is not just to get to speed of her departure, the turmoil is to insert hard influence and have a say in who will replace herby weakening her side and backers, keep your eyes open for a south American version of Victoria Nuland giving away cookies in some Midan in Buenos Aires in few months,. Color revolutions are well planned and rehearsed even who will be favored to take over the new regime is well decided in advance.

    Generally color revolutions are done during an election period (Georgia, Ukraine, failed in Iran), is just another form of a cope where the opposition you like are helped by discrediting the side you don’t like, the difference is that unlike copes this get done by people’s willing participation to topple their own elected official (swing the vote) due to an event that made them very angry and distrustful of their officials.
    All elements of this is beginning to show in upcoming election period in Argentina

    Alberto Nisman’s Death and AMIA: Who Cares About the Truth?
    By Ezequiel Adamovsky
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40884.htm

  68. Karl.. says:

    U.S. Pushes For War In Europe
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/02/us-pushes-for-war-in-europe.html

    …but the ignorant europeans dont care apparently.

  69. Jay says:

    kooshy says:
    February 5, 2015 at 10:13 am

    I mostly agree with what you have said – I believe it is the build up to a power play in the upcoming elections.

    With one exception! I think there is a plan for added and early bonus: an attempt to muddy the waters vis-a-vis Iran by setting up this judge, the prosecutor, and the “spy” to indict high-ranking Iranian officials. A side note related to this is that when Nisman was making all the noise back in March and April it was being published by Times of Israel, etc. – in other words, the story was being pushed by newspapers with known links to Israeli intelligence.

  70. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The government of Afghanistan backed by the Soviet Union did its best to advance the cause of education for women. As I am sure you are well aware, and we both know this fact tends to be suppressed in discussions of the catastrophe that befell Afghanistan after the cousin of the king overthrew the monarchy.

  71. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    You have made clear you do not grasp how various events bring about further events that otherwise would not have happened.

  72. kooshy says:

    Jay

    Yes for the Israelis any demonization of Iran is good and god given, and in this case yes Iran demonization it’s the gravy, but still Israel has a lot of interest in having a friendly government in Argentina, they have a big Jewish community of wealthy WWII Jewish immigrants. They the Israelis wants to make sure they continue to receive big donations from SA patriot Jews.
    US has a different interest and a different take, in past decade or so she has somewhat lost her Monroe claim on SA, with Argentina’s return under her hegemony, things can get easier with regard to Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil, the C boys are working hard to attack and crack the weakest possible point of SA’s anti-imperialism shield, I think four elements are needed to pull it off, first is a base with an economy which creates difficulties (if not you first need to work that economy with whatever overt and covert means you to make it go south) for regular working people, two is an opposition that is , or can be made or will become friendly once the regime is changed, third is a sensational phenomenon that the seating government will be blamed for, fourth is an election ( or calling for an early one) which makes possible to claim a democratic change of power and immediately recognize the new government give it international legitimacy and send money and donation to strengthen the country’s economy under this new friendly client government. For some statecraft planers in the US deep state this is a routine game. Not necessary all the time works, but at the end of the day comparing to a hot war it is a relatively low cost, for Ukraine (according to Nuland ) was only 5 billion. Europeans will have to pay for that.

  73. Jay says:

    kooshy says:
    February 5, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    No disagreement in broad terms. Just my note that the Iran flavoring is not a “deep state” op but is piggy backing on the “deep state” op.

  74. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    February 5, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    This made no sense at all!!

    “… various events bring about further events that otherwise would not have happened”

    For your edification, this is an assertion that is impossible to establish in the form stated.

    See if you can figure it out for yourself! (left as an easy exercise)

  75. Kooshy says:

    IMO deep state US will not, and can not, ever accept an independent an integrated Iran in any governance or state format she may have. By and if, doing so, US knows it will weaken her hegemonic grip on the region and will eventually have to give up. But I don’t think that’s true with Israel( or at least they think they can over come if just Iran don’t destabilize their position) , the Zios will take any kind of Iran as long as Iran and her allies don’t attempt to weaken the Israelis in the ME region while confronting the Arabs.
    Unfortunately for the Zios that don’t work well for Iran, since not doing so it weakens Iran and her shieh allies in their own Sunni majority home turf.
    The way it is this is not easy and will not get solved without somebody getting wiped out of the map or neutered. Make a guess who is to go.

  76. Kooshy says:

    Usually the ones who come last are the first to leave.

  77. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Germany’s invasion of Belgium brought about Britain’s declaration of war on Germany which otherwise might not have happened.

    Overthrow of monarchy in Afghanistan was an event which helped to set stage for invasion of that country by the Soviet Union. You seem to be suggesting that invasion would have taken place even if the monarchy had not been overthrown.

  78. Smith says:

    موسویان: افزایش تحریم علیه ایران خروج از NPT را به دنبال دارد تا اسراییل و آمریکا به سر عقل بیایند

    موسویان همچنین با اشاره به برخی اظهار نظرها در مورد تمدید توافق موقت گفت: طولانی کردن مذاکرات و تمدید مجدد توافق موقت نوامبر ۲۰۱۳ به ضرر ایران خواهد بود چون تحریم‌های اساسی به قوت خود باقی خواهد ماند و با توجه به کاهش وحشتناک قیمت نفت، دولت ایران در اجرای برنامه های اقتصادی خود با مشکل مواجه خواهد بود.

    http://www.khabaronline.ir/detail/398851/Politics/nuclear

  79. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    February 6, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    You might be right; once the present negotiations end, Iranians will look for a way to exit NPT.

    I think they will first state that they are thinking about leaving NPT and if there is no change in P5+1 stance, they would leave NPT.

    This is an excellent time to leave NPT, given the failure of negotiations as well as the fact that Axis Powers will be fighting ISIS for decades.

    In the meantime, Chinese want to leverage Iran nuclear file; there is nothing in this analysis below that is even remotely useful to Iran.

    http://carnegietsinghua.org/2015/01/29/china-and-iranian-nuclear-negotiations/i11f