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2012 Challenges and Trends in International Diplomacy

February 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 134

One hardly has to do much more than read the international headlines to understand that there are some challenges on the international diplomacy front. Let's talk a little bit about some of these challenges. Let's start in our own backyard with Mexico. Recently, the United States signed a deal with Mexico allowing US companies to work with their state owned petroleum company in partnerships to drill off the coast in the Gulf Mexico. This is a positive development, but it also begs the question of bypassing US regulations to drill in the Gulf, and move those oilrigs into what is considered an extension of Mexican territorial waters.

We must not forget either that Mexico is in an election year, and there may be changes in the war on drugs in Mexico. The Mexican citizens are tired of the drug gang violence, and believe that the Mexican government is inciting some of this at the request of the US government. These are touchy situations, and it will be interesting to see how the United States deals with the new president, while specifically not taking sides during the election.

In South America things are problematic due to Ecuador's March towards socialism, the reelection of Argentina's president, and the tension between Venezuela, Bolivia, and the United States over Iranian sanctions. Meanwhile some of the countries in Central America are noticing the collaboration between FARC and Iranian proxy terrorist forces. It will be hard for the United States to confront these issues and still stay on an even diplomatic keel.

One of the biggest challenges right now happens to be with Russia and China, and their involvement in the Middle East, blocking UN Security Council resolutions for involvement in Syria, and the sanctions on Iran, not that any intervention is necessarily such a hot idea anyway, but from a humanitarian standpoint, it's very serious. With Putin in power in Russia we can expect that they will do everything they can to make our lives tough in places like Syria and with Iran.

Russia will also soon be bringing their naval force to a port in Syria to show a sign of force, this is especially dangerous in such a volatile situation, the Iranians are already there with a warship - one might even ask why, will there be a weapons exchange from Russia to Iran? What's really going on, all of this just adds speculation to the fire, at a time we need less stress and a de-escalation of tension.

Another big challenge is China's overall military buildup and forcefulness in the South China Sea, and in territorial waters (debatable) between China and Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and off the coast of Vietnam. There seems to be a push from other nations to have the United States Navy come to their aid to protect their sovereignty and allow free passage of vessels in those waters. China is expanding their military budget and doubling up, at a time when the US is decreasing its military budget, cutting the number of ships, and working on a 1.5 war defensive force theory.

Lastly, the tension is mounting in Africa in places like Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, and other places in North Africa still angry over the demise of Libya's Gaddafi, which they saw as an ally and solid trading partner (debatable). The United States is already involved, as well as the United Nations and there's a constant barrage of violence, terrorism, and sectarian violence in and around the African continent. Also affected are world oil supplies at a time when nations like China, India, Japan, and even the United States are concerned with supply over Iranian sanctions. 2012 will be a very interesting year, and even in the first quarter we see an uptick in the tensions worldwide.

Perhaps, you'd like to learn more, so I'd recommend going to YouTube to watch the CFR Videos and DAVOS Convention videos, as well as subscribe to the Foreign Affairs Newsletters. Still, take it all in with a grain of salt, as many of the past period academic crystal ball gurus have been less than accurate in predicting future black swan events, thus, their choices and analyst notoriety has been on the wrong side of history in hindsight. Okay so, for now, please consider all this and think on.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Future Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

Source: EzineArticles
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