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Geopolitics - Nov 4

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World faces growing risk of conflict: US intelligence chief

The world faces a growing risk of conflict over the next 20 to 30 years amid an unprecedented transfer of wealth and power from West to East, the US intelligence chief has said.

Michael McConnell, the director of national intelligence, predicted rising demand for scarce supplies of food and fuel, strategic competition over new technologies, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

... McConnell described a multi-polar world in 2025 shaped by the rise of China, India and Brazil, whose economies will by then match those of the western industrial states.

"In terms of size, speed, and directional flow, the transfer of global wealth and economic power, now underway, as noted from West to East is without precedent in modern history," McConnell said.

Territorial expansion and military rivalries are not likely, but cannot be ruled out, and the perception that oil is scarce could trigger conflicts between states, he said.
(1 November 2008)

How we fuel Africa's bloodiest war

Johann Hari, The Independent
The deadliest war since Adolf Hitler marched across Europe is starting again – and you are almost certainly carrying a blood-soaked chunk of the slaughter in your pocket. When we glance at the holocaust in Congo, with 5.4 million dead, the clichés of Africa reporting tumble out: this is a "tribal conflict" in "the Heart of Darkness". It isn't. The United Nations investigation found it was a war led by "armies of business" to seize the metals that make our 21st-century society zing and bling. The war in Congo is a war about you...

...There are two stories about how this war began – the official story, and the true story. The official story is that after the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu mass murderers fled across the border into Congo. The Rwandan government chased after them. But it's a lie. How do we know? The Rwandan government didn't go to where the Hutu genocidaires were, at least not at first. They went to where Congo's natural resources were – and began to pillage them. They even told their troops to work with any Hutus they came across. Congo is the richest country in the world for gold, diamonds, coltan, cassiterite, and more. Everybody wanted a slice – so six other countries invaded...
(30 October 2008)

China seeks oil for arms in Latin America

Andrei Chang, UPI Asia
Hong Kong, China — China has been making extensive efforts to penetrate the Middle East and Africa, especially by trading arms for oil. In recent years China has also stepped up its efforts to acquire oil from Central and South America, again offering weapons in exchange, as well as space technology. Its top targets are Venezuela and Brazil.
On Thursday Venezuela sent its first communications satellite into space, built with Chinese technology and launched from China’s Sichuan province. The Venezuelan Air Force has also recently purchased three JYL-1 aircraft radar systems from China...
(31 October 2008)
Andrei Chang is editor-in-chief of Kanwa Defense Review Monthly, registered in Toronto, Canada.)

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