Cold War – Triad NTR http://triadntr.net/ Thu, 06 Jan 2022 15:31:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 https://triadntr.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/icon-3-150x150.png Cold War – Triad NTR http://triadntr.net/ 32 32 The emergency operations bunker in Inverness houses remnants of the Cold War, including a helicopter whose passengers once included then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher https://triadntr.net/the-emergency-operations-bunker-in-inverness-houses-remnants-of-the-cold-war-including-a-helicopter-whose-passengers-once-included-then-prime-minister-margaret-thatcher/ Wed, 05 Jan 2022 21:09:00 +0000 https://triadntr.net/the-emergency-operations-bunker-in-inverness-houses-remnants-of-the-cold-war-including-a-helicopter-whose-passengers-once-included-then-prime-minister-margaret-thatcher/ Dr Iain Maoileoin. Passers-by could be forgiven for thinking they are back in the days of the Cold War with the latest arrivals at the Emergency Operations Bunker in Inverness. Site owner Dr Iain Maoileoin purchased an armored personnel carrier and helicopter – which carried the then Prime Minister among his passengers in 1981. He […]]]>

Dr Iain Maoileoin.

Passers-by could be forgiven for thinking they are back in the days of the Cold War with the latest arrivals at the Emergency Operations Bunker in Inverness.

Site owner Dr Iain Maoileoin purchased an armored personnel carrier and helicopter – which carried the then Prime Minister among his passengers in 1981.

He bought the old council property and the military installation at Mackintosh Road in 2019 and his long-term plan is to create a tour museum there.

He said: “The place is steeped in history and has been in constant use since it was built, as one of three bunkers in 1940.”

The Ptarmigan FV439 vehicle.
The Ptarmigan FV439 vehicle.

The armored personnel carrier is a Ptarmigan FV439 and is a specially modified version of a more general FV43X series. Dr Maoileoin said: “There were only 24 FV439s made – 14 for the UK and 10 for use in Germany – but around 3000 of the general FX43X model were made over the lifetime of the vehicle. . “

He said the generic Ptarmigan could carry up to 10 infantrymen on the battlefield and was approximately 5m long, 2.9m wide, 3m high and weighed just under 18 tons. It has a maximum road speed of 52 km / h, can climb a slope of 35 degrees and cross a trench of 2 m.

“The FV439 here was used as a specialized radio relay system – in combat it served as a conduit between the front line and headquarters, it is full of radio kit and has a 20m mast used to hoist the ‘antenna,’ he said.

“There was a driver, a captain and two people to pilot the FX439. Electricity was supplied by two 3 kW generators mounted on the roof of the unit. The radios offered very high frequency (SHF) relay capability on the Ptarmigan / Triffid kit. “

Vintage vehicles.
Vintage vehicles.

It is also nuclear, biological, and chemically hardened so occupants are safe after biological attack and fallout.

He said it came from Army storage and had only traveled 31 miles since it was made, adding: “That’s less than a mile a year.”

The helicopter is a British Westland Lynx AH1 helicopter which was used by the Army Air Corps (AAC) (British Army), it was built in 1979 and is powered by two Rolls-Royce GEM jet engines – this model held the world air speed record in 1986 of nearly 250 mph (400 km / h).

The 1979 Westland Lynx helicopter, painted to look like a Huey.
The 1979 Westland Lynx helicopter, painted to look like a Huey.

Dr Maoileoin said: “Once built and tested, it was apparently picked up at Fleetlands in February 1980 by 662 Squadron AAC. This squadron had just finished training to fly the Lynx.

“It was due to be flown to Munster in Germany on February 29, but it is reported that it had hydraulic problems in Ostend and did not reach Munster for a few days.”

However, he said he flew to Aldergrove the following month and that on May 28 Tony Merrick had Margaret Thatcher travel around Belfast on one of her tours in Northern Ireland.

He added: ‘Some components of the XZ218 carry the serial number of a helicopter which suffered a tail rotor failure and crashed on its return to base in Northern Ireland. I have yet to find out how this marriage of bits happened.

“My Lynx is in the colors of the US Air Force and the British colors have been repainted.

“The helicopter is believed to have been repainted and used in the context of a movie – yet to be researched – it wasn’t Fast and Furious, I know that.

“Due to the paint job and markings, passers-by think it is Huey – also known as the Bell UH-1H.”

The entrance to the bunker.
The entrance to the bunker.

In the past, the bunker was used by the RAF as a filter room for processing raw data from the Chain Home and Chain Home Low radar stations which were located around the coast of Scotland, northern England, d ‘part of Ireland and also part of the Isle of Man.

It was then used by members of the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) as one of the two bunkers they used and, when the ROC was disbanded, the local authority took over all three bunkers – two were later destroyed .

Dr Maoileoin said one now had houses on top, the other is now covered near the Raigmore interchange roundabout, and in the 1980s the threat of a nuclear attack brought the UK government to require each area to have a secure site from which to operate in the event of a nuclear attack.

Gas masks in a reenactment of the operating room.
Gas masks in a reenactment of the operating room.

Planned renovations will focus on the radar and the nuclear side of the building’s history and so far there is a creation of a 1939/40 radar system and filter room.

He said: “So far we have hosted around 700 people in the building on small group guided tours. Some of these visits took place as part of open days and some as part of the Highland Archeology Festival.

One of the more unusual visits was to get people out of the house on Christmas Day.


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US Should Avoid Two-Front Cold War | Opinion https://triadntr.net/us-should-avoid-two-front-cold-war-opinion/ Mon, 03 Jan 2022 03:55:37 +0000 https://triadntr.net/us-should-avoid-two-front-cold-war-opinion/ The Biden administration appears to be heading for a two-pronged Cold War against Ukraine in Eastern Europe and Taiwan in East Asia, both of which could get “hot” any day. The recklessness of such an approach should be obvious, but the great danger is that such “crises” could escalate before the leaders concerned back down […]]]>

The Biden administration appears to be heading for a two-pronged Cold War against Ukraine in Eastern Europe and Taiwan in East Asia, both of which could get “hot” any day. The recklessness of such an approach should be obvious, but the great danger is that such “crises” could escalate before the leaders concerned back down from the brink.

Russian Vladimir Putin may want to extend Russian power to Ukraine and other former Soviet republics, but he certainly wants to ensure that NATO expansion stops. Chinese Xi Jinping, like all of his predecessors, wants Taiwan to be unified with the mainland, and while he would prefer to do so peacefully, he might be willing to risk war with the United States to achieve his goal, especially if he does. he thinks he can win such a war at an acceptable cost.

It remains only to the Biden administration, which to date has sent mixed signals to both Russia and China. Administration spokesmen warned of serious consequences if Russia invaded Ukraine, but President Biden said those consequences would be primarily economic in the form of sanctions. Meanwhile, President Biden has said the United States will defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack, but administration spokesmen backed down and reaffirmed the US policy of “strategic ambiguity.” It is a recipe for confusion, misunderstanding and perhaps war on two fronts.

This confused US approach was underscored at the recent Democracy Summit, where the US President described international politics as a global struggle between democracies and autocracies and called the US a “champion” of democracy. democracy. Biden and other American democracy supporters seem to have forgotten Secretary of State John Quincy Adams’ wise advice that America wanted freedom for all, but only for itself. Supporters of American democracy have also forgotten the cautious diplomacy of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger who sought America’s geopolitical advantage to exploit the divisions and rifts between the two most powerful autocracies in the Eurasian landmass. And they have forgotten the wise and timeless advice of Sir Halford Mackinder, the great British geopolitical thinker, who urged the Democratic statesmen of his time to reconcile democratic ideals with geopolitical realities.

Foreign policy and strategy involves understanding and prioritizing threats, and then devoting the necessary resources to deal with those threats. China clearly poses the greatest threat to US national security interests in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. The Biden administration should focus on this and it should allocate resources accordingly. Chinese President Xi must understand that he cannot forcibly annex Taiwan without incurring unacceptable costs in a war with the United States. “Strategic ambiguity” should be replaced by “strategic clarity”. Meanwhile, the United States should use diplomacy to wean Russia from China’s orbit, including renouncing any further NATO expansion and avoiding democracy versus autocracy rhetoric. High-sounding principles don’t replace a tough head realpolitik. Biden’s model would have to be John Quincy Adams, or George Washington, or Richard Nixon, or looking across the oceans, Otto von Bismarck or Lee Kuan Yew – statesmen who understood geopolitical realities and who were not linked by so-called universal principles. Or maybe Biden could just emulate Abraham Lincoln, who during the Thirty Business in the midst of the Civil War, his cabinet and military advisers wisely warned: “One war at a time.


Francis P. Sempa is the author of Geopolitics: from the cold war to the 21stCentury America’s Global Role: Essays and Criticisms of National Security, Geopolitics, and War, and Somewhere in France, Somewhere in Germany: A Combatant’s Journey Through World War II. He wrote lengthy introductions to two of Mahan’s books and wrote on historical and foreign policy topics for The Diplomat, University Bookman, Joint Force Quarterly, Asian Review of Books, New York Journal of Books, the Claremont Review of Books, American Diplomacy, the Washington Times, and other publications. He is a lawyer, assistant professor of political science at Wilkes University, and editor of American Diplomacy.


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Venom just revealed Marvel’s Symbiote Cold War – and it’s already started https://triadntr.net/venom-just-revealed-marvels-symbiote-cold-war-and-its-already-started/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 16:00:00 +0000 https://triadntr.net/venom-just-revealed-marvels-symbiote-cold-war-and-its-already-started/ Venom # 3 sheds light on a new civil war that is steadily developing within the Marvel Universe and could have long-term repercussions. WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Venom # 3, available now from Marvel Comics. Since the events of King in black, the symbiote corner of the Marvel universe has become both […]]]>

Venom # 3 sheds light on a new civil war that is steadily developing within the Marvel Universe and could have long-term repercussions.

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Venom # 3, available now from Marvel Comics.

Since the events of King in black, the symbiote corner of the Marvel universe has become both larger and more complicated than ever. As Eddie Brock’s role as the living god of the symbiotes took him further from Earth than he could have imagined, the situation at home escalated into what can only be described like a symbiotic arms race. Worse yet, the actors in this Cold War are two of the last organizations that should ever control the powerful alien life forms.


Soon after Eddie Brock ascended the throne of King in Black, his life became a whirlwind of weird impostors and unsettling symbiote attacks. Worse yet, it all culminated in Eddie’s apparent demise at the hands of the Life Foundation. This obscure organization that created new symbiotes and has long been the bane of Venom’s existence has now turned its efforts to a better understanding of these beings as a whole. Venom # 3 (from Ram V, Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, Alex Sinclair and Clayton Cowles from VC) reveals that the Life Foundation has collected many living specimens to study and that they are not the only ones working in this direction. .


RELATED: What Was Marvel’s ‘Neo-Symbiote’ – And Why Was He So Much More Powerful Than Venom?


While the Life Foundation largely works behind the scenes, Alchemax is the first name in anti-symbiote warfare since the end of Knull’s reign of terror. After Eddie Brock’s triumph over the former King in Black, Alchemax wasted no time in rolling out their latest iteration of the Guardsmen. These newly equipped Super Soldiers have proven themselves capable of hunting down the Symbiote refugees left behind in the aftermath of Knull’s defeat. They also managed to get their hands on Dylan Brock and the Sleeper symbiote. As if that wasn’t enough, society is also linked to Eddie Brock’s most horrific foe: Carnage.


Alchemax weren’t the only ones benefiting from Knull’s downfall, nor the most menacing. Of all those who have screamed through the chaos for glory, it is Carnage who has made the most progress. After being left for dead by Eddie Brock, the murderous symbiote has worked its way up the food chain to the heights of political office. With the already crooked son of a US senator as host, Carnage orchestrated a vicious daytime attack on the public that prompted him to ride a wave of anti-alien sentiment toward a seat in Congress. Not only that, but it also gave him the perfect position to work alongside the leadership of Alchemax, ensuring that both sides of the next symbiotic war are under his command.


RELATED: Marvel Revealed The Most Powerful Venom Symbiote – And The Carnage Isn’t Even Close


There is no doubt that both the Life Foundation and Alchemax have a goal of developing the next generation of living weapons. In fact, the only question left is which of them will win, with Alchemax currently leading the race.

As the impromptu arms race continues, Dylan and Sleeper search for a way to escape their captors before they come face to face with Carnage. Even so, it is certain that everything will be done to prevent the Marvel Universe from descending headfirst into a different, but no less deadly type of civil war.


KEEP READING: Venom Just Revealed The Greatest Tragedy Of Its Own Existence

carol danvers cosplay ms marvel

Carol Danvers Cosplay takes her original Ms. Marvel look higher, further, faster


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Cold War political cartoonist Steve: 2021 has been a relentless year for hardware https://triadntr.net/cold-war-political-cartoonist-steve-2021-has-been-a-relentless-year-for-hardware/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 08:00:30 +0000 https://triadntr.net/cold-war-political-cartoonist-steve-2021-has-been-a-relentless-year-for-hardware/ Cult internet artist Cold War Steve has described 2021 as a “relentless” year for a political cartoonist. Real name Christopher Spencer, Cold War Steve’s satirical Photoshop collages take inspiration from Dutch Renaissance painters Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, depicting public figures in dystopian contexts and often taking part in outrageous acts like a […]]]>

Cult internet artist Cold War Steve has described 2021 as a “relentless” year for a political cartoonist.

Real name Christopher Spencer, Cold War Steve’s satirical Photoshop collages take inspiration from Dutch Renaissance painters Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder, depicting public figures in dystopian contexts and often taking part in outrageous acts like a nod to real-world news.

Reflecting a political year of pandemic, resignations and controversy, Mr Spencer called 2021 “terrible” but said being able to make art has been a therapeutic process.

“It’s endless, isn’t it?” I’m glad to have this outlet because otherwise I think I would go crazy, ”he told the PA News Agency.

“It’s just relentless and I really doubled that down. I know what I do won’t make a difference to what happens at the top, but it makes me feel better and I think about others too.

The artist’s 2021 artwork includes depictions of those following strict lockdown measures juxtaposed at a Downing Street Christmas party – with one artwork showing an elderly man with a cane alone in his bedroom, next to another image of politicians such as Prime Minister Boris Johnson indulging in frivolous cartoons.

Cold War Steve depicted Downing Street staff celebrating at a Christmas party while others were under tight lockdown restrictions in December last year (Cold War Steve)

He produced the work after allegations that No.10 staff broke coronavirus rules with a festive party last December, one of many similar allegations in the political arena in 2021.

“There was all the incompetence of Matt Hancock and Dominic Cummings – so you think there would be a little bit of a breathing space and then pictures will come out of the Christmas parties they were having in Downing Street when everyone was apart from. their loved ones, ”Mr. Spencer said.

“It’s a way of dealing with what’s going on, I mean, the range of emotions with what’s going on, from anger to dismay. I can channel this into one picture. (I’m trying) to convey this.

“The feedback I get is that it helps (people) feel that they are not alone in feeling what they are feeling. “

Spencer represented Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and other Tory MPs in sewage at the Cop26 climate summit (Cold War Steve)

The artist beckoned to Glasgow’s Cop26 climate summit in October with an image of Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and other Cabinet members standing in the sewage water the white cliffs of Dover behind them suggest the country has sunk.

Mr Spencer admitted that some of his work could be “really rude” and “mean”, often putting reckless-looking politicians in intensive care wards or even placing body bags on the grass in Downing’s garden Street in one piece.

However, he said his work is justified by the actions of politicians, adding: “At the start of the pandemic, I was very careful of satire, I didn’t even know whether or not to shed light on this or not. was happening, but the government swept it aside. until I had to do it.

“There’s always that time before I hit send to release it into the world, where my finger can run over it a bit. Certain that I take this line right to be acceptable or not.

Meghan Markle is overrun by Rupert Murdoch, Piers Morgan and other male journalists in a portrayal of Cold War Steve (Cold War Steve)

In February, Mr Spencer dedicated an image to the Duchess of Sussex’s privacy victory over Mail On Sunday editors, following a ‘personal and private’ letter she had written to his ex-father.

The play shows the Duchess surrounded by male reporters as the Duke of York sits away from the group.

The artist spoke about nuances and small details in her work, such as the lawyer in front of Meghan – a nod to the suggestion by some UK tabloids that her ‘favorite avocado snack’ “is fueling legal violations. human rights, drought and murder “.

“There are a lot of little symbolisms that people remember and (can) interpret on their own,” he said.

Mr. Spencer considers the reaction of his more than 360,000 Twitter followers to be art itself.

“I really like that people know that if (the artwork) was in a gallery the images would be two meters wide and underneath a scrolling screen of all the comments people wrote – because it definitely improves the experience. “

Cold War Steve photoshoped Boris Johnson’s head on Louis XVI’s body (Cold War Steve)

One of his recent works shows the Prime Minister’s head superimposed on the body of Louis XVI, King of France, as Conservative MPs Steve Baker and Andrew Bridgen approach with baseball bats in hand, and the doctor- England chief Chris Whitty is strapped to a chair. .

Both MPs criticized Mr Johnson’s restrictions on Covid and made headlines when Mr Baker removed Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries from a WhatsApp conversation after defending the PM against Lord’s resignation Frost.

“I like having that element of humor, anger and grotesque, a kind of dark humor that gets the point across in a more dramatic way,” Mr. Spencer added.


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Cold War resentment has been building up for decades in the Kremlin https://triadntr.net/cold-war-resentment-has-been-building-up-for-decades-in-the-kremlin/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 18:12:41 +0000 https://triadntr.net/cold-war-resentment-has-been-building-up-for-decades-in-the-kremlin/ Days after Vladimir Putin was re-elected president of his country in 2018, a former senior Kremlin official told VOA how perilous relations have become between the West and Russia. In a high-profile conversation, almost predicting the high-stakes confrontation currently developing between the Kremlin and NATO over Ukraine, he said Putin believed the rift between Russia […]]]>

Days after Vladimir Putin was re-elected president of his country in 2018, a former senior Kremlin official told VOA how perilous relations have become between the West and Russia. In a high-profile conversation, almost predicting the high-stakes confrontation currently developing between the Kremlin and NATO over Ukraine, he said Putin believed the rift between Russia and the Western powers was irreparable.

And he identified NATO’s eastward expansion as the main reason. The final blow came for Putin, he said, with the 2013-14 Maidan popular uprising in Ukraine that led to the ousting of his ally, then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The Kremlin insider, who held a leadership position in the government of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and became a key member of Putin’s team, blamed the West for the collapse of confidence and the lack of common ground. “Maybe all that can be done is do smaller things together to try and rebuild trust,” he said. “If we can’t do this, maybe one day we’ll wake up and someone fired nuclear missiles.”

Fast forward and Kremlin officials have openly threatened in recent days to deploy tactical nuclear weapons amid growing fears that Putin is considering another military incursion into Ukraine. It would be a repeat of Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its seizure of much of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, which borders Russia.

“There will be a showdown,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said shortly after US President Joe Biden and Putin held a two-hour videoconference on December 18, aimed at defusing an emerging crisis in the United States. Russian military movements near the borders of Ukraine and an accumulation of around 100,000 troops.

Ryabkov warned that Russia would deploy weapons previously banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, an arms control agreement reached in 1987 by then-US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev, who expired in 2019.

Last week, in remarks broadcast by Russian media, Putin said: “If the clearly aggressive line of our Western colleagues continues, we will take adequate military and technical retaliatory measures. [and] react harshly to hostile measures.

FILE – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, left, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg are seen at a press conference after their bilateral meeting at the European Union headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 16, 2021 .

For Western leaders and officials, the Kremlin’s grievances and fears over NATO expansion are at best illusory, or at worst a pretext to overhaul Europe’s security architecture with Putin as the decisive architect.
Western officials say it is absurd for Russia to portray the West as the aggressor, given the Hybrid War and the hostile acts they have accused the Kremlin of waging against the West for years. They see it as revengeful measures seeking to go back to the days when Russia controlled half of Europe.

Western officials cite cyber attacks targeting US and European nuclear power plants and other utility infrastructure, a nerve gas assassination on British soil of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, disinformation campaigns seeking to interfere with Western elections and politics; and the funding of a disruptive far-right and far-left populist parties as part of an effort to destabilize the European Union.

“The facts are a funny thing and the facts clearly show that the only aggression we see on the border of Russia and Ukraine is the military build-up of the Russians and the bellicose rhetoric of the Russian leader,” Jen Psaki, US President Joe Biden’s spokesperson told reporters last week.

But for Kremlin officials, the blame lies with the Western powers for their failure to accommodate Russia’s growing frustration with NATO enlargement since the end of the Cold War. There have been waves of new admissions into the Western military alliance since 1999, bringing in a dozen Central European and Baltic states that were once members of the Warsaw Pact from the Soviet Union.

At times, as enlargement proceeded, horrific backstage clashes erupted, including over Western objections to Russia “forging closer ties” with its former Soviet republics. The issue sparked a face-to-face argument between Putin and then White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice at a meeting in Sochi. Rice argued that the former Soviet republics were independent states and should determine their future without what she saw as Russian intimidation.

And Kremlin collaborators categorically asserted that the Maidan protests were fomented by the West and not a popular uprising. The West’s blame for the return of Cold War-like hostility and the sense of pessimism Russian officials have shown about East-West relations illustrate how difficult it will be to bridge the gap.

FILE - In this image released by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry press service, Ukrainian soldiers launch an American Javelin missile during military exercises in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on December 23, 2021.

FILE – In this image released by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry press service, Ukrainian soldiers launch an American Javelin missile during military exercises in the Donetsk region of Ukraine on December 23, 2021.

Putin’s pent-up resentment spread last week during his year-end press conference in Moscow in which he demanded an immediate response to his demand that NATO withdraw its forces from Central Europe and eastern. The Russian leader said he lacked patience. “You have to provide guarantees. You need to do it immediately, now, and not keep gossiping about it during talks that will last for decades, ”he said.

Its demands include not only the withdrawal of troops from former Communist NATO member states, but also the promise that Ukraine will not one day become a member of the Western Alliance. Indeed, it would mean that the West recognizes the former Soviet states and the ex-communist countries as part of the Kremlin’s sphere of influence.

Nina Khrushcheva, a professor at the New School in New York, remains pessimistic about the prospects for talks scheduled for next month between the United States, NATO and Russia. In a comment this week, Khrushcheva, a great-granddaughter of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, says Russia has a “special nation” mentality and warns Putin is not the only one among Russians who “don’t do not want to revive the USSR, but rather to preserve the status of their country.

How can this be done, how resentment of the Russian Cold War can be allayed, while not denying the right of other, smaller sovereign states to decide their own path, will be the main challenge facing negotiators. Westerners when they hold talks in January. .


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Moroccan Opposition Leader Mehdi bin Barka Was Spy, Cold War Records Suggest | Cold War https://triadntr.net/moroccan-opposition-leader-mehdi-bin-barka-was-spy-cold-war-records-suggest-cold-war/ Sun, 26 Dec 2021 10:00:00 +0000 https://triadntr.net/moroccan-opposition-leader-mehdi-bin-barka-was-spy-cold-war-records-suggest-cold-war/ IIt is one of the great famous causes of the Cold War. Around noon on October 29, 1965, Mehdi ben Barka, leader of the Moroccan opposition and hero of the international left, was kidnapped when he arrived in a brasserie on the left bank of Paris. Over the years, much of the truth about the […]]]>

IIt is one of the great famous causes of the Cold War. Around noon on October 29, 1965, Mehdi ben Barka, leader of the Moroccan opposition and hero of the international left, was kidnapped when he arrived in a brasserie on the left bank of Paris.

Over the years, much of the truth about the murder of the 46-year-old dissident has emerged: how he was taken to a house south of Paris, tortured and killed by Moroccan intelligence agents. But many of Ben Barka’s activities before his death have remained shrouded in mystery. Today, new research in the archives of former Soviet satellite states has revealed that the charismatic intellectual, propagandist and political organizer may also have been a spy.

Previously classified files from Prague show that Ben Barka not only had a close relationship with Státní Bezpečnost (StB), the feared Czechoslovak security service, but received substantial payments from them, both in cash and in kind. .

“Ben Barka is often described as a fighter against colonial interests and for the Third World, but the documents reveal a very different picture: a man who played on multiple sides, who knew a lot and also knew that the information was very precious in the cold. war; an opportunist who was playing a very dangerous game, ”said Dr Jan Koura, assistant professor at Charles University in Prague, who had access to the file.

The findings will be controversial. Ben Barka is still a hero to many on the left, and his family categorically denies any accusation he was involved in espionage or had close ties to a state.

The possibility of a link between Ben Barka and the StB was first raised almost 15 years ago, although few paid much attention to the investigations carried out by a Czech journalist. But Koura was not only able to access the entire Ben Barka file in the StB archives, but also cross-checked its 1,500 pages with thousands of other newly released secret documents.

“There is no doubt about [the Czech connection]. All the documents confirm it, ”Koura told the Observer.

A tribute to Mehdi Ben Barka in Rabat, Morocco, in 2007, on the 42nd anniversary of his assassination. Photograph: Abdelhak Senna / AFP / Getty Images

According to the file seen by Koura, Ben Barka’s relations with the StB began in 1960, when he met his most senior spy in Paris after leaving Morocco to escape the increasingly authoritarian regime of King Mohammed. V. His homeland, a former French colony, had been pro-Western since the start of the Cold War, but had recently moved closer to Moscow. The Prague spies hoped that this eminent leader of the struggle for the independence of Morocco and founder of his first socialist opposition party would provide valuable information, not only on political developments in the kingdom, but also on the thinking of the rulers. Arabs such as Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Ben Barka was also a major figure in the “anti-imperialist movement of African and Asian nations,” noted the StB, whose contacts included Malcolm X, Che Guevara and young Nelson Mandela. Shortly after their first meetings, the StB reported that Ben Barka was an “extremely valuable” source of information and gave him the code name “Sheikh”, records reveal.

In September 1961, according to the file, Ben Barka had received 1,000 French francs from the StB for reports on Morocco which he claimed were copied from the internal bulletin of the French intelligence service abroad. In fact, the material was accessible to the public, which caused anger and embarrassment in Prague when the deception was discovered. Ben Barka was nonetheless offered an all-expenses-paid trip to West Africa to gather intelligence on US activities in Equatorial Guinea. This mission was considered a success.

The Czechoslovaks soon began to suspect that Ben Barka also had relations with other actors of the Cold War, learning in February 1962 from an agent in France that “Cheikh” had met an American trade unionist at the bar L’Éléphant Blanc in Paris. and had received a check made in US dollars. This led to fears that Ben Barka had ties to the CIA, which was keen to support democratic reform in Morocco and secure the kingdom for the western camp. The StB was to receive further reports alleging that Ben Barka was in contact with the United States, although the Moroccan politician always denied this when confronted, Koura said.

Mehdi Ben Barka, right, with King Mohamed V in the late 1950s.
Mehdi Ben Barka, right, with King Mohamed V in the late 1950s. Photograph: AFP / Getty Images

The relationship continued, however. The Czechoslovaks invited Ben Barka to Prague, where he agreed to help influence politics and leaders in Africa in exchange for £ 1,500 a year.

Ben Barka was sent to Iraq to obtain information about the February 1963 coup, for which he was awarded £ 250, according to the documents. In Algeria, he met on several occasions Ahmed ben Bella, the president and a friend, and reported on the situation in the new independent state.

In Cairo, he was asked to gather information from senior Egyptian officials who could help the Soviets in the negotiations during a visit by Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet premier. Ben Barka’s reports reached Soviet intelligence, which judged the material provided as “very valuable.” As a reward for his services, he and his four children were invited on vacation to a spa in Czechoslovakia, Koura’s research reveals.

“Ben Barka never admitted that he was collaborating [with intelligence services], and the StB never listed him as an agent, simply as a “confidential contact”. But he provided information and was paid, ”Koura said.

“He was very smart, a very smart guy. There is no document with his signature, there are no samples of his handwriting. He was interrogated orally for hours … Sometimes he used a typewriter but refused to write anything by hand.

The motivations of Ben Barka, a committed activist arrested and imprisoned several times in Morocco, remain unclear.

His supporters say he was prepared to discuss the international situation on several occasions with Czechoslovak officials, as this was the best way to influence them. They also say that while Ben Barka’s analyzes may have been of use to the StB, that does not make him “an agent”, whatever ambitious bureaucrats and spies have written on internal memos.

They also argue that such a role would have been incompatible with Ben Barka’s commitment to preserve “the Third World movement from Soviet and Chinese influence.”

Bachir ben Barka, who lives in eastern France, told the Observer that his father’s relations with socialist states and others were simply those to be expected of anyone deeply engaged in the global struggle against imperialism and colonial exploitation at the time, noting that the documents Koura studied had been ” produced by an intelligence service, [and so were] perhaps edited or incomplete ”.

Koura is less convinced of Ben Barka’s altruism. “There was both pragmatism and idealism. I do not condemn it. The Cold War was not just black and white, ”he said.

Mehdi ben Barka, second from the left, arrives in Aix les Bains in France with members of his nationalist opposition party, Istiqlal, around 1955.
Mehdi ben Barka, second from the left, arrives in Aix les Bains in France with members of his nationalist opposition party, Istiqlal, around 1955. Photograph: Keystone / Getty Images

In his final months, Ben Barka was busy organizing the Tricontinental Conference, an event that would bring together dozens of liberation movements, revolutionary groups and their sponsors in Cuba. The conference would become a pivotal moment in the history of international anti-colonialism in the 1960s and 1970s, and the veteran activist wanted to chair the event.

But the Soviets suspected that he had grown too close to the Chinese, their rivals for the leadership of the world left. Soviet officials told the StB that Ben Barka received $ 10,000 from Beijing and pressured the service to withdraw all support or protection.

Nonetheless, the StB brought Ben Barka to Prague for a week of training in communications, codes, surveillance and counter-surveillance. It was too little, too late, however. A week after asking the StB for a handgun, Ben Barka was kidnapped and killed.

Although he ordered an investigation, President Charles de Gaulle denied any involvement of the French secret services and the police. France and the United States have yet to release key secret documents on the case.

Prague tried to blame the CIA for the apparent assassination of Ben Barka, new Czechoslovak documents reveal. It fooled a few. In a document obtained by the Observer under British freedom of information laws, London diplomats praise Paris’ “moderation” in the face of “overwhelming” evidence of responsibility for Moroccan intelligence services.


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Analysis: New Cold War and Taliban Takeover Among Key Geostrategic Developments of 2021 https://triadntr.net/analysis-new-cold-war-and-taliban-takeover-among-key-geostrategic-developments-of-2021/ Sat, 25 Dec 2021 18:59:57 +0000 https://triadntr.net/analysis-new-cold-war-and-taliban-takeover-among-key-geostrategic-developments-of-2021/ – The likelihood of a two-war front not only worries India, but the association of Russia and China also causes nightmares in the United States ANKARA: The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the military coup in Myanmar and a new Cold War, with countries retreating in blocs again, were among the main developments seen in 2021. […]]]>

– The likelihood of a two-war front not only worries India, but the association of Russia and China also causes nightmares in the United States

ANKARA: The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the military coup in Myanmar and a new Cold War, with countries retreating in blocs again, were among the main developments seen in 2021.

As the curtains are set to fall in 2021, experts believe that Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine’s borders, Chinese claims over Taiwan and the South China Sea, coupled with its border standoff with the India, and the deepening of military and diplomatic cooperation between Moscow and Beijing have posed significant challenges to geopolitics.

The developments have also posed significant challenges for the United States’ plans to reaffirm its leadership, which, under new President Joe Biden, has reignited the “Pivot to Asia” strategy by placing more military assets in the Pacific. western. In August, the White House approved the sale of $ 750 million in arms to Taiwan.

In response to these maneuvers, China sent a record number of bombers and fighters to Taiwan’s air defense zone in a display of domination.

According to a report released by the Center for a New American Security, Russia and China have entered into a symbiotic relationship, raising new concerns for the United States and its allies. As Russia buys Chinese electronics and navel diesel engines to circumvent U.S. sanctions, its missiles and combat technology give Beijing an advantage in the Pacific against the United States.

The possibility and likelihood of a two-war front not only worries India, which has tense borders with Pakistan on the west side, but the association of Russia and China is also causing nightmares in the United States. .

“The greatest risk facing the United States of the 21st century, barring an outright nuclear attack, is a two-front war involving its most powerful military rivals, China and Russia,” wrote one former American diplomat A. Wess Mitchell in the United States. National Interest magazine in August.

In addition, China’s firing of a hypersonic missile that moved five times faster than sound in July not only surprised the Pentagon, but also underscored how quickly Beijing launched a strategic challenge to it. US Army.

China responds

Responding to China’s growing assertion, Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson jointly announced a new trilateral security partnership named AUKUS in September.

The most important part of the deal was the United States’ commitment to provide Australia with the technology to build eight nuclear-powered submarines. The press release announcing the pact justified it as necessary to “preserve security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region”.

The move, however, angered France, which fulminated because AUKUS ended a $ 37 billion deal with Australia in 2016 to build a dozen diesel-electric submarines. As a result, Paris recalled its ambassadors in Canberra and Washington, a gesture unprecedented in bilateral relations with either country.

The build-up of the Russian military near the Ukrainian border prompted Biden to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin by video link. Biden warned Putin that the United States will respond with strong economic and other measures in case Russia invades Ukraine.

But the year 2021 will make history with the dramatic return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan and their bloodless takeover of the capital Kabul in August.

In 2020, former US President Donald Trump struck a deal with the Taliban that required the withdrawal of all US troops by May 1, 2021. Two weeks before that deadline, Biden ordered a full US withdrawal be concluded by September 11 at the latest. 2021 – the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. But surprisingly, the Afghan National Army collapsed and the Taliban invaded the country.

The United States has spent more than $ 2.3 trillion in Afghanistan over two decades, or about $ 300 million a day for 20 years, according to the U.S. think tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

The eviction of democracies and the wave of COVID-19

As a military coup in Myanmar in February toppled the democratically elected fledgling government led by controversial Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, far in Africa, another Nobel Prize-winning politician Abiy Ahmed pledged militarily against the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray. Some 2 million Ethiopians have been displaced.

The nascent democracies in Chad, Mali, Guinea and Sudan have all been overthrown in coups.

While the speed at which COVID-19 vaccines were developed was astonishing, the mutation of the virus and its new variants wreaking havoc across the world was also unprecedented. The delta variant, first identified in December 2020 in India, was more contagious than its predecessors and quickly became the dominant strain worldwide.

So far, up to 3.4 million people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in 2021, according to data tracking website Worldometer. Although COVID-19 was detected in 2019, it turned into a pandemic in 2020, claiming 1.95 million lives that year. In November 2021, South African scientists identified the emergence of a new strain of coronavirus, omicron.

The pandemic has exposed the UN-led world order, which has failed to provide a collective solution to the global problem. Only 4.2% of people in low-income countries received the first dose. In Africa, only 6.3% of people are fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data, a monitoring website affiliated with the University of Oxford.

On the climate change front, President Biden has pledged to join the Paris Climate Agreement on his first day in office, while China has agreed to stop funding coal-fired power plants abroad and that Iceland has opened a facility to remove carbon dioxide from the air.

At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, called COP26, in Glasgow in November, countries pledged to take action to tackle climate change, including reducing methane emissions.

Some good news from the Middle East

The May 2021 conflict between Israel and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas made headlines around the world. A report by independent monitoring group Airwars found that the conflict has killed as many as 192 Palestinian civilians and injured hundreds more in 11 days of fighting. Israeli warplanes destroyed the offices of various media, including Al Jazeera and Associated Press.

Two journalists from the Anadolu agency, Mustafa Hassouna and Mohammad al-Aloul, were injured while covering an Israeli strike in the northern Gaza Strip.

The rest of the Middle East has brought good news as tensions between countries diminish. The year began with Saudi Arabia’s reopening of its border with Qatar, ending a three-year diplomatic crisis. Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have also mended broken ties, reflecting new realities emerging in the region. The UAE and Iran are discussing the possibility of normalization, or at least have been in contact to avoid conflict, according to a US-based think tank, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In March, Pope Francis met Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Iraq, the very first meeting between a Pope and a Grand Ayatollah.

Biden’s victory had sparked optimism about the possibility of relaunching the Iran nuclear deal three years after Trump resigned from the deal. But it took almost a year to secure modest gains in Vienna in the seventh round of talks. The parties are still far from being any closer to an agreement.

Economy contracts

Inflation and the economic downturn continued to hit the world. As demand increased in 2021 with the availability of vaccines, many countries found themselves running out of supplies. Shortages of shipping containers and safeguards at ports around the world have further complicated matters.

In the United States alone, the size of the workforce has shrunk by 5 million people since the start of the pandemic. The supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19, which have contributed to a global spike in inflation, continue to hit countries and could persist for years, according to the CFR.


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New Cold War and Taliban takeover among key geostrategic developments of 2021 https://triadntr.net/new-cold-war-and-taliban-takeover-among-key-geostrategic-developments-of-2021/ Thu, 23 Dec 2021 22:34:00 +0000 https://triadntr.net/new-cold-war-and-taliban-takeover-among-key-geostrategic-developments-of-2021/ The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the military coup in Myanmar and a new Cold War, with countries retreating in blocs again, were among the main developments seen in 2021. As the curtains are set to fall in 2021, experts believe that Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine’s borders, Chinese claims over Taiwan and the South China […]]]>

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the military coup in Myanmar and a new Cold War, with countries retreating in blocs again, were among the main developments seen in 2021.

As the curtains are set to fall in 2021, experts believe that Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine’s borders, Chinese claims over Taiwan and the South China Sea, coupled with its border standoff with the India, and the deepening of military and diplomatic cooperation between Moscow and Beijing have posed significant challenges to geopolitics.

The developments have also posed significant challenges for the United States’ plans to reaffirm its leadership, which, under new President Joe Biden, has reignited the “Pivot to Asia” strategy by placing more military assets in the Pacific. western. In August, the White House approved the sale of $ 750 million in arms to Taiwan.

In response to these maneuvers, China sent a record number of bombers and fighters to Taiwan’s air defense zone in a display of domination.

According to a report released by the Center for a New American Security, Russia and China have entered into a symbiotic relationship, raising new concerns for the United States and its allies. As Russia buys electronic components and Chinese navel diesel engines to circumvent U.S. sanctions, its missiles and combat technology give Beijing an advantage in the Pacific against the United States.

The possibility and likelihood of a two-war front not only worries India, which has tense borders with Pakistan to the west, but the association of Russia and China is also causing nightmares in the United States. United.

“The greatest risk facing the United States of the 21st century, barring an outright nuclear attack, is a two-front war involving its most powerful military rivals, China and Russia,” wrote one former American diplomat A. Wess Mitchell in the United States. National Interest magazine in August.

In addition, China’s firing of a hypersonic missile that moved five times faster than sound in July not only surprised the Pentagon, but also underscored how quickly Beijing launched a strategic challenge to it. US Army.

– China responds

Responding to China’s growing assertion, Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson jointly announced a new trilateral security partnership named AUKUS in September.

The most important part of the deal was the United States’ commitment to provide Australia with the technology to build eight nuclear-powered submarines. The press release announcing the pact justified it as necessary to “preserve security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region”.

The move, however, angered France, which fulminated because AUKUS ended a $ 37 billion deal with Australia in 2016 to build a dozen diesel-electric submarines. As a result, Paris recalled its ambassadors in Canberra and Washington, a gesture unprecedented in bilateral relations with either country.

The build-up of the Russian military near the Ukrainian border prompted Biden to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin by video link. Biden warned Putin that the United States will respond with strong economic and other measures in case Russia invades Ukraine.

But the year 2021 will make history with the dramatic return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan and their bloodless takeover of the capital Kabul in August.

In 2020, former US President Donald Trump struck a deal with the Taliban that required the withdrawal of all US troops by May 1, 2021. Two weeks before that deadline, Biden ordered a full US withdrawal be concluded by September 11 at the latest. 2021 – the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. But surprisingly, the Afghan National Army collapsed and the Taliban invaded the country.

The United States has spent more than $ 2.3 trillion in Afghanistan over two decades, or about $ 300 million a day for 20 years, according to the U.S. think tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

– The eviction of democracies and the wave of COVID-19

As a military coup in Myanmar in February toppled the democratically elected fledgling government led by controversial Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, far in Africa, another Nobel Prize-winning politician Abiy Ahmed pledged militarily against the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray. Some 2 million Ethiopians have been displaced.

The nascent democracies in Chad, Mali, Guinea and Sudan have all been overthrown in coups.

While the speed at which COVID-19 vaccines were developed was astonishing, the mutation of the virus and its new variants wreaking havoc across the world was also unprecedented. The delta variant, first identified in December 2020 in India, was more contagious than its predecessors and quickly became the dominant strain worldwide.

So far, up to 3.4 million people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in 2021, according to data tracking website Worldometer. Although COVID-19 was detected in 2019, it turned into a pandemic in 2020, claiming 1.95 million lives that year. In November 2021, South African scientists identified the emergence of a new strain of coronavirus, omicron.

The pandemic has exposed the UN-led world order, which has failed to provide a collective solution to the global problem. Only 4.2% of people in low-income countries received the first dose. In Africa, only 6.3% of people are fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data, a monitoring website affiliated with the University of Oxford.

On the climate change front, President Biden has pledged to join the Paris Climate Agreement on his first day in office, while China has agreed to stop funding coal-fired power plants abroad and that Iceland has opened a facility to remove carbon dioxide from the air.

At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, called COP26, in Glasgow in November, countries pledged to take action to tackle climate change, including reducing methane emissions.

– Some good news from the Middle East

The May 2021 conflict between Israel and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas made headlines around the world. A report by independent monitoring group Airwars found that the conflict has killed as many as 192 Palestinian civilians and injured hundreds more in 11 days of fighting. Israeli warplanes destroyed the offices of various media, including Al Jazeera and Associated Press.

Two journalists from the Anadolu agency, Mustafa Hassouna and Mohammad al-Aloul, were injured while covering an Israeli strike in the northern Gaza Strip.

The rest of the Middle East has brought good news as tensions between countries diminish. The year began with Saudi Arabia’s reopening of its border with Qatar, ending a three-year diplomatic crisis. Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have also mended broken ties, reflecting new realities emerging in the region. The UAE and Iran are discussing the possibility of normalization, or at least have been in contact to avoid conflict, according to a US-based think tank, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In March, Pope Francis met Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Iraq, the very first meeting between a Pope and a Grand Ayatollah.

Biden’s victory had sparked optimism about the possibility of reviving the Iran nuclear deal three years after Trump resigned from the deal. But it took almost a year to secure modest gains in Vienna in the seventh round of talks. The parties are still far from an agreement.

– Economy contracts

Inflation and the economic downturn continued to hit the world. As demand increased in 2021 with the availability of vaccines, many countries found themselves running out of supplies. Shortages of shipping containers and safeguards at ports around the world have further complicated matters.

In the United States alone, the size of the workforce has shrunk by 5 million people since the start of the pandemic. The supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19, which have contributed to a global spike in inflation, continue to hit countries and could persist for years, according to the CFR.

By Iftikhar Gilani

– The writer is a senior journalist at the Anadolu agency.

* The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of the Anadolu Agency.


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Thirty years after the end of the Cold War, the UK must support post-Soviet success https://triadntr.net/thirty-years-after-the-end-of-the-cold-war-the-uk-must-support-post-soviet-success/ Mon, 20 Dec 2021 11:48:45 +0000 https://triadntr.net/thirty-years-after-the-end-of-the-cold-war-the-uk-must-support-post-soviet-success/ Sir Ciarán Devane, former chief executive of the British Council, explains why Britain must not abandon the states that gained independence from the Soviet bloc For those of us who grew up when the Cold War was the dominant paradigm and an unstable standoff between what we called the West and the Soviet bloc was […]]]>

Sir Ciarán Devane, former chief executive of the British Council, explains why Britain must not abandon the states that gained independence from the Soviet bloc

For those of us who grew up when the Cold War was the dominant paradigm and an unstable standoff between what we called the West and the Soviet bloc was a terrifying reality, the events of December 1991 were memorable.

By the end of that month, the Soviet Union had finally collapsed and the newly independent states were now players on the world stage.

Thirty years later, some of these states are still in the news and our relations with them are sometimes very difficult. Think of the recent fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan or the reports of military build-up on the Ukrainian / Russian border; refugees on the Belarusian / Polish border – or Britain’s own relations with Russia which were so badly damaged following the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in 2018 with Novichok in Salisbury.

But the bad news isn’t the whole story and to get the full picture we need to look at each of the 15 states – ranging from the Baltic Sea to the Tian Shan Mountains in Central Asia – that left the collapsed Soviet Union.

Although linked by a common history, the geographic diversity of the former Soviet republics has produced divergent trajectories over the past three decades.

Eastern European countries, such as the Baltic States, have joined the European Union’s political and trade bloc and Western security alliances. The nations of the Caucasus and Central Asia, for their part, shared a more unequal fate pursuing their own social and economic development largely independent of transnational blocs. Russia has its own history and, as the largest of the 15, remains a world power in its own right.

How the UK got involved with the 15 is another story. Political relations with Russia remain strained. Relations with the former Eastern bloc countries in the EU have been unrecognizable for a generation – cemented by migratory flows, cultural exchanges and shared international goals.

However, in Central Asia, the picture of British engagement is more mixed. Squeezed between China and Russia, the landlocked countries of Central Asia have tended to lead a existence more isolated from the cultural, economic and diplomatic reach of the UK, reflected by more closed economies and smaller civil societies. These are companies in which British business, education and soft power organizations such as the British Council – my former employer – are gaining insufficient traction, even as the region’s strategic importance grows.

However, among these, a Central Asian country and the one I know best stands out, Kazakhstan.


‘Enlightened self-interest’

Last week, December 16, was Kazakhstan’s Independence Day. On this day, Kazakhstan became the last of the former Soviet republics to celebrate its 30 years of independence.

Kazakhstan has experienced a remarkable transformation from a Soviet dumping ground to an upper middle-income economy. In three decades, its GDP per capita has increased 18-fold, now lagging behind the only EU member states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania of the former Soviet club. Outside of Europe, Kazakhstan is the richest landlocked country in the world.

This rapid economic development is fueled by a wealth of natural resources. It is a resounding achievement of which the UK has been a strong and committed supporter. Trade between the two countries was worth £ 2 billion a year before the coronavirus pandemic, with various extractive industries originating from Kazakhstan and mainly professional services and technical expertise originating from the UK.

When I visited Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan a few years ago, it was to attend a conference of British, Kazakh and Central Asian creative industries, as we sought to promote technical exchange, to identify mutually beneficial business opportunities and share the experiences of the UK’s fastest growing companies. growing business sector.

Indeed, the UK’s example is remarkably visible in the future direction of Central Asia’s largest economy.

The Astana International Financial Center – which aspires to serve as a global financial hub straddling the time zones of major Asian and European financial centers – has adopted English common law (and even English judges) as a means of settling disputes. commercial. On climate change, Kazakhstan became the first Central Asian country to set a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 and, at the recent United Nations COP26 summit in Glasgow, struck a deal. strategic partnership with the United Kingdom on support for the green transition.

For me, this collaboration shows the advantage of having a clear, holistic and resourced plan for a bilateral relationship, aided, it must be said, by competent ambassadors and embassies in the respective capitals.

Another intriguing aspect of the transitions from the Soviet Union is how the various states have engaged with the larger club of nations, whether bilaterally or multilaterally.

As a newly established “regional power”, Kazakhstan has sought to develop its identity in this club; its national brand. It has sought to increase its reputation as a reliable, trustworthy and valued partner of the international community on global issues. Whether it is providing regional security during the Afghan crisis or playing an active role in international organizations like the World Trade Organization, the country is increasingly assuming international responsibilities.

At the last United Nations General Assembly in October, Kazakhstan was elected a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the period 2022 to 2024. This is the second time in 10 years that it has been elected. fulfills this international duty, which must be seen as a declaration of expectations and standards to be respected by all.

Colonial amnesiaThe forgotten victims of transport

My training in cultural relations would applaud this international ambition. We know from the evidence that trusted and engaged states are more likely to get foreign direct investment, more likely to be supported by the UN General Assembly, and more likely to benefit tourists and students. cultural and educational assets of a nation.

It’s not just about being a good citizen and supporting global solutions to global problems. This mutuality leads to change, progress and development at home. If a lesson to be learned from studying global influence is that one should join all the good clubs and serve on committees, then Kazakhstan certainly does. It is an enlightened personal interest.

So many transitions from autocracy to liberal market democracies go wrong. It remains encouraging, perhaps even remarkable in our present world, that Kazakhstan has achieved such a radical economic transformation and progress in terms of living standards with a relatively stable political culture and moderate involvement of civil society organizations. This creates a platform for further changes.


Britain’s role

In the next 30 years of Kazakhstan’s development, strengthening civil society and mainstreaming political reforms will be prerequisites for the country’s progress and evolution towards a more advanced and knowledge-based society.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who succeeded longtime leader Nursulatn Nazarbayev in 2019, acknowledged him when he came to power.

Here the UK can be a valuable partner in shaping the growing geopolitical and economic importance of Kazakhstan and in promoting peace, security and development throughout the Central Asian region. To do this, the UK must recognize that its power lies in its example and engagement with the people, institutions and government of Kazakhstan to experience the UK and become familiar with it. example.

It will be vital to provide major aid programs and medical supplies to help Kazakhstan and its regional partners support migrants fleeing Afghanistan. Cultural, scientific and educational exchanges, such as those enabled by Erasmus +, aimed at generating a deeper understanding of common challenges and enshrining collaboration between the UK and Kazakhstan should be expanded. Programs aimed at supporting women leaders in the industries of the future and at sharing innovations in building the circular economy are of crucial importance. Strengthening civil society organizations and supporting a culture of enhancing social capital and institutional strength is no less so.

It is these types of relationships that help strengthen diplomatic relations, enable technology transfers and, above all, establish shared goals and commitments for reform. A stronger and more capable Kazakhstan – a Kazakhstan that trusts the UK and shares our values ​​of fairness and openness – will only advance UK interests in the world.

In the life of a nation, three decades seem trivial. But the nation-building process that Kazakhstan has undertaken since the fall of the Soviet Union has paid off. As the country and its former Soviet peers look to the next three decades, in search of sustainable growth and fairer and more transparent societies, the UK has an invaluable role to play in leading the way.

My hope is that we meet this challenge, not only with Kazakhstan or with the post-Soviet world, but as the foundation of our approach to foreign policy.

Sir Ciarán Devane was Managing Director of the British Council from 2015 to 2020 and Director of the Center for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University.

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RTL Today – New Cold War? : Russia demands talks on US, NATO containment amid showdown with Ukraine https://triadntr.net/rtl-today-new-cold-war-russia-demands-talks-on-us-nato-containment-amid-showdown-with-ukraine/ Fri, 17 Dec 2021 17:42:16 +0000 https://triadntr.net/rtl-today-new-cold-war-russia-demands-talks-on-us-nato-containment-amid-showdown-with-ukraine/ Russia on Friday unveiled proposals to contain the United States and NATO in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, calling for urgent negotiations with Washington as it gathers forces near the ‘Ukraine. The United States has said it is willing to speak up, but said up front it largely disagrees with the far-reaching proposals […]]]>

Russia on Friday unveiled proposals to contain the United States and NATO in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, calling for urgent negotiations with Washington as it gathers forces near the ‘Ukraine.

The United States has said it is willing to speak up, but said up front it largely disagrees with the far-reaching proposals as it renewed warnings of painful retaliation if Russia invades the ‘Ukraine.

Russia has released unfinished security documents – an unusual diplomatic move – calling on the US-led NATO alliance not to bring in new members or establish bases in former countries. -Soviet Union.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia was ready to hold urgent security talks with the United States “on” Saturday.

“We are ready to start immediately, even tomorrow – literally tomorrow, Saturday – talks with the United States in a third country,” he told reporters, suggesting Geneva as the venue.

In Washington, a senior official said the United States expected to respond “within the next week” to Russia on a format for talks, but said he was not enthusiastic about the talks. proposals.

“We are ready to discuss it. However, there are some things in this document that the Russians know will be unacceptable,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

“If there is a new aggression against Ukraine, it will have massive and massive consequences and will come at a high price,” the official said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted that the United States has negotiated with Moscow on strategic concerns for decades, but said it would only act in consultation with allies of the United States. NATO.

“There will be no European security talks without our European allies and partners,” she told reporters aboard Air Force One.

– ‘Legal guarantees’ –

The West says Moscow has prepared some 100,000 troops for an impending attack on Ukraine, which has been fighting a pro-Moscow insurgency in its east since 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denies planning an attack and accuses NATO of rising tensions, demanding “legal guarantees” that the alliance will not expand eastward.

The draft document addressed to NATO states that its members should “undertake to refrain from any further enlargement, including the accession of Ukraine as well as other states”.

He also insists that alliance members not carry out military activity in Ukraine or other countries in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia.

Moscow and NATO, according to the document, should limit the deployment of missiles, set up an emergency hotline and also work to “prevent incidents” in the Baltic and Black Sea.

The draft said Washington should block NATO membership of any former Soviet country – a reference to Ukraine as well as Georgia, both of which infuriated Moscow after the Western leanings.

The United States and European countries have kept the door open but have also made it clear that Ukraine’s NATO membership is not being considered, much to Kiev’s chagrin.

– ‘Impossible’ requests –

In the draft, Russia said the United States should agree not to establish military bases in states of the former Soviet Union, including Central Asia, which Moscow sees as its backyard and sphere. influence.

The United States has relied heavily on military installations in the former Soviet Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to coordinate operations in Afghanistan, where it recently withdrew its troops after two decades.

Political analyst Konstantin Kalachev called Russia’s list of demands “unrealistic and impossible” for the United States and NATO to meet.

These “spheres of influence are a thing of the past”.

US President Joe Biden met with Putin in Geneva in June, with the two leaders agreeing to seek more stable relations, but Western powers have also stood firm in backing Ukraine amid the war that has claimed 13,000 lives since 2014 .

US President Joe Biden has warned Putin against “sanctions unlike any other he has ever seen” if an offensive is launched.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during a call Friday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, promised to use all “diplomatic and economic powers” to prevent any aggression from Moscow.

Washington is helping train Ukrainian forces and has committed more than $ 2.5 billion to bolster an army that collapsed in the face of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014.

A former KGB agent and staunch servant of the Soviet Union, Putin was dismayed when he collapsed, once calling the collapse “the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century.”


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