Tuesday, November 01, 2022

1: Russia

We Are Very Far From Turning the Page on Trump

Once predominantly white, Fort Bend has quickly become one of the most diverse places in the country....... The county in recent years has become one of the nation’s most diverse, where the former white majority has fallen to just 30 percent of the population.

Do the Democrats Deserve Re-election?

Russia’s Dangerous Decline The Kremlin Won’t Go Down Without a Fight .......... Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a massive strategic blunder, leaving Russia militarily, economically, and geopolitically weaker. ........ Ukraine’s battlefield successes revealed the extent of the rot in Putin’s army—the sagging morale, the declining manpower, the deteriorating quality of the troops. ....... To Putin’s evident surprise, the war in Ukraine has accelerated long-standing trends pushing his country toward decline. Europe is moving to reduce its energy dependence on Russia, diminishing both the country’s leverage over the continent and the government revenues that depend heavily on energy exports. Unprecedented international sanctions and export controls are limiting Russia’s access to capital and technology, which will cause Moscow to fall even further behind in innovation. ...... the more vulnerable Moscow perceives itself to be, the more it will try to offset those vulnerabilities by relying on unconventional tools—including nuclear weapons ........... Already there are signs of struggle in car manufacturing and other major commercial sectors in which Russian dependence on foreign components or parts is especially pronounced. ......... Western sanctions scheduled to take effect by the end of 2022 will block the issuance of commercial insurance for Russian tanker shipments, increasing the risks and costs of Russian oil transactions. ....... Russia has also hemorrhaged some of its best talent, including programmers, engineers, and information technology specialists, which will curtail its future competitiveness. ........ Rather than facing a total collapse, the Russian economy is likely headed toward scarcity, autarky, and a steady decoupling from the global economy. As conditions deteriorate, the Kremlin will grow more desperate, resorting to shadowy or illicit means to get by and flouting the rules that govern global commerce in which it no longer has a stake. The more marginalized and threatened the Kremlin becomes, the less predictable and restrained its behavior will be. ........ The Russian military has been badly mauled in Ukraine. The war has consumed millions of artillery shells and worn out a massive quantity of Russian equipment, from artillery barrels to tank engines. More than 80,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or wounded in the fighting. Mobilized personnel from Russian-held Ukrainian territories in Donetsk and Luhansk and volunteer fighters make up a significant percentage of the more recent losses, but many of Russia’s best troops were lost early in the war. .......... Mobilization may extend Russia’s ability to sustain the war, introducing a degree of uncertainty to the medium and long term, but it is unlikely to resolve the structural problems in Russia’s military performance. ......... Russia is likely to find ways around the Western restrictions, especially given the difficulty of enforcing them. Moscow may not be particularly good at producing its own substitutes for imports, but it has a knack for skirting Western export controls. After its illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia, despite an array of sanctions, still managed to maintain access to Western-made parts for many of its weapons. ......... Russia remains a leader in integrated air defenses, electronic warfare, anti­satellite weapons, submarines, and other advanced systems. ....... There is a reason Russia features so prominently in the wars of the past several hundred years: the country frequently uses, misuses, and eventually restores hard military power. ......... They allege that Russia is fighting NATO in Ukraine and that the United States and Europe are out to break Russia apart. ...... His grip on power is weaker now than before his decision to call on Russians to prolong his misguided endeavor. ......... Unless there is significant turnover among the ruling elite in conjunction with Putin’s exit, Russia’s confrontational posture will endure. ........ disinformation and propaganda have contributed to decisions by leaders in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East to remain neutral or circumspect in the aftermath of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. ......... Russia’s political leadership might well consider limited nuclear use if faced with the kind of defeat that could threaten the regime or the state. ......... Notably, China is also modernizing its nuclear arsenal. As a result, the United States will find itself dealing with two unconstrained nuclear powers, both focused on the United States as the primary threat. ....... The United States alone has sent more than $45 billion in assistance. ........ Russia’s war, at its core, is an imperialist endeavor rooted in the still unfolding collapse of the Soviet Union. ....... it is unlikely that Moscow will seek to rebuild the same military, with its brittle force structure, weak training, and anemic logistical capacity. ....... A European army would have been forced off the field long ago if it had taken even a fraction of the casualties suffered by the Russian or the Ukrainian armed forces. ......... Kremlin has shown that it is far more interested in imperialist revanchism than in strategic stability ......... Constraining Moscow will also require Washington and its European allies to sustain their engagement with India and other fence-sitting countries in Africa and the Middle East that continue to provide a lifeline to Russia. This will mean paying greater attention to the global South, where Russia enjoys greater influence and is able to contest the narrative. ........... Strategic cultures can change over time, including in response to dramatic defeats. .......... The U.S. government should actively assist the Russian exile community, including journalists, activists, and other Russians who support a freer and more democratic Russia, by providing U.S.-based professional fellowships for persecuted human rights defenders and journalists, for example, and addressing shortcomings in the implementation of anticorruption and sanctions policies that cause collateral damage to oppressed civil society actors. ........ the old adage that Russia is never as strong as it looks or as weak as it looks ........ The country often goes through cycles of resurgence, stagnation, and decline. .

Coups in the Kremlin What the History of Russia’s Power Struggles Says About Putin’s Future ........ Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost touch with reality. He has declared a partial mobilization to reverse his defeats in Ukraine and, signaling his desperation, ratcheted up Russia’s nuclear saber rattling. Each day the war drags on, his country grows more isolated from the rest of the world. Increasingly, Russia depends on China to keep its economy from collapsing under the weight of sanctions, even as Chinese leaders express doubts about the invasion. Russia’s failure to take Kyiv, and its recent reversals in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine, have led even pro-Putin commentators to question his decisions.

The World According to Xi Jinping What China’s Ideologue in Chief Really Believes

‘हेभीवेट’ उपेन्द्रसामु चुनौतीका चाङ मधेस प्रदेशमा सबैभन्दा बढी ‘प्रेसर’ सप्तरी–२ रहेको छ । ....... जनमत पार्टीका अध्यक्ष सिके राउतले समेत उम्मेदवारी दिएपछि सो क्षेत्र निकै चर्चामा रहेका छन् । ....... सप्तरी–२ मा ९५ हजार ३९४ मतदाता रहेका छन् । १५ हजार मत यादव समुदायको छ भने २३ हजार मत मुस्लिम समुदायको छ । यी दुवै समुदायमाथि उपेन्द्र यादवको पकड रहेको छ । ....... ‘सत्ता गठबन्धनका उम्मेदवार जयप्रकाश ठाकुर र जसपा–एमाले गठबन्धनका उम्मेदवार उपेन्द्रबीच प्रतिस्पर्धा हुँदैन । सप्तरी–२ उपेन्द्र यादव र सिके राउतबीच प्रतिस्पर्धा हुन्छ’ ....... प्रतिस्पर्धा ठाकुर र यादवबीच होइन, राउत र यादवबीच हुने देखिएको छ ।’ उनले सप्तरी–२ को अवस्था ‘क्रिटिकल’ रहेको

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