Spring 2015 edition of the Noticias newsletter
China and Russia demonstrate a growing affinity in their national interests and diplomatic styles. Americans have often dismissed Chinese and Russian international ventures with broad attacks understood by Chinese and Russians as cultural condescension and used by their presidents to consolidate domestic support. The United States would engage China and Russia more effectively by focusing debate on specific policy issues and omitting more general criticism.
Marlene Laruelle argues that the United States should engage more in the Arctic as a means of establishing cooperation patterns with Russia after the Ukraine crisis. Furthermore, priority should be given to join projects and information sharing, and Russia should be supported in its efforts to open and securitize the Northern Sea Route.
Heather Conley argues that the United States should use its chairmanship of the Arctic Council to strengthen its internal and external relations on issues including: Arctic shipping, reducing carbon short-lived climate forcers, and increasing awareness and focus on the well-being of indigenous communities.
Willy Østreng argues that the Arctic Council should form a more cohesive, comprehensive unit by closing ranks and operating as the Arctic 8, acting in concert, and stand united in order to maintain control of regional developments.
Aki Tonami argues that Asian states, particularly Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, are mainly interested in the economic aspects of the Arctic, but will utilize their willingness to promote scientific cooperation for sustainable development in the region. The Arctic Council and other Arctic states should encourage intra-Asian cooperation on the Arctic and should attempt to settle historical and territorial grievances.
Anne-Marie Brady argues that partnering with China in the Arctic, where possible, and developing an in-depth knowledge of China's Arctic interests and objectives will strengthen the United States' ability to give meaning to the development of a "new type of great power relationship." Furthermore, China should be encouraged to make a formal statement on its Arctic policy and interests, embracing transparency.
The latest shakeup in the ruling House of Saud has assured that Washington’s favorite prince, Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, will now become king as he is anointed heir apparent. But it also likely heralds new tensions in U.S.-Saudi relations as a new breed of “Saudi hawks” comes to power. They are opposed to any U.S. détente with Iran, its chief rival for regional hegemony. They are also gearing up for a military showdown with Tehran’s allies in in the Yemeni civil war, while the Obama administration is pressing for a negotiated political solution there.
Report on the Side Event to the 56th Regular Session of CICAD, Nov 18, 2014, in Guatemala City, Guatemala. English and Spanish versions available.
Heavy reliance on fossil fuels is a common theme across the Mexican Northern Border States with the notable exception of Baja California. Mexico’s recent Energy Reform marked a big change in terms of investment and opportunities in oil and gas. However, the comprehensive package of legislation was also aimed to incentivize and accelerate the change towards the production of goods and services based on renewable energies. Mexico has great potential to develop a wide range of renewable energies including solar energy, hydroelectric, geothermal, bioenergy, and wind energy.