By Stephen Bell
The bombing of a Syrian airfield by US President Trump represents a further escalation of the US military presence in the Middle East. It is immediately unclear whether this represents a one-off, or the start of a campaign against Syria. US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley said ‘We are prepared to do more, but we hope it will not be necessary’. The action was taken without UN authorisation, or US Congressional debate.
The following article by Stephen Bell, about US backed war on Yemen, was first published on the Stop the War Coalition Website.
Following President Trump’s inauguration, many questions are posed about the future direction of US foreign policy. During the election campaign, when questioned on the Middle East, Trump reiterated his opposition to: the Iraq war; US intervention against Assad rather than ISIS; and to the use of US ground troops where local states ought to intervene. Perhaps such shifts will lead him to withdraw support for the Saudi-led war upon Yemen?
The following article by John Ross, examining the significance of Donald Trump’s election for world trade, was previously published by Socialist Economic Bulletin.
Trump’s election as US President means 2016 is ending with a stark public contrast between the positions of China and the US on global trade. The US has its first president proclaiming support for protectionism since World War II, while China states its support for increased international trade and economic globalisation.
On 12 July, the Arbitration Court at The Hague handed down judgment on the case brought under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by the Philippines against China. In a pre-arranged declaration, the Court ruled comprehensively against China’s claims in the South China Sea.
By Paul Roberts
The Western backed parliamentary coup in the Ukraine was a significant advance for the US-led project of advancing its sphere of influence and pushing Russia further back in Eastern Europe. The US’s goals in the country have nothing to do with greater self-determination for Ukraine and are all about bringing it under imperialist control. Moreover this objective is not new, but has been the long-term aim of the US since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, to which end, aided and abetted by the EU, it has been funding and orchestrating pro-Western movements and organisations in Ukraine.
By Jane West
The decision of the United States to fly two B-52 bombers unannounced through Chinese strategic airspace was nothing less than a calculated, and extremely dangerous, act of aggression against China, further whipping up tensions in the East China Sea.
The B-52 fly-through was directly aimed at toughening up Japan’s stance vis-a-vis China. Two Japanese airlines that had previously agreed to inform China of flights over the disputed Diaoyu islands withdrew this agreement following the US action.
Discussion about the trends in the world economy emerging from the 2008 financial crisis is dominated by the relative growth rates of the US and China – the world's two largest economies.
The media discussion has been focusing on concerns about China's slowdown and its global impact, while the US is portrayed a recovering well. In fact both major economies are slowing in the context of continued global economic weakness, but the US is slowing much more than China.
The following article, by John Ross, looks at these facts in detail and points out that the key question is not 'why is China slowing?', but why has the US slowed much more dramatically than China in the last year?
The bellicose response by the US and others to the latest developments in North Korea is in no way a proportional response to any real threat from the small East Asian state, but an excuse for quite other military objectives.
The US used its known language of war – ‘a real and clear danger’ – to announce its decision to extend its advanced missile defence system to the Pacific island of Guam. As no one in their right mind believes that North Korea has the capacity to hit the US – or virtually anywhere very far from its own borders – with a nuclear-armed missile, this step has other purposes. The country in the US’s binoculars is not North Korea but rising China, and the Guam move is a further step in its announced ‘pivot’ to Asia aimed at militarily encircling China.
With Egypt intermittently rocked by weeks of violence the conditions necessary for a successful military coup are advancing.
Imperialism and its allies are exploiting mounting social instability to raise the prospect of removing President Mohamed Morsi with the military returning to power.
Imperialism and Israel have never reconciled themselves to the 2011 overthrow of their client Mubarakist regime in Egypt. Israel and the US perfectly understand that not only is Egypt the most populous Arab state but it is the decisive one from the point of view of any military confrontation with the Zionist state.
The Saudi Arabian dictatorship, concerned above all with its own survival, is terrified by any unrest in the Arab world and looks to the US and Israel as the only reliable pillars to support it.
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