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Saturday, 25 August 2007

Economic & military help...inseparable?

I have had some very interesting exchanges with MrK on the relationship between economic help and military intervention. Are the two inseparable? Is it logical to expect nations that invest billions in other nations, not to back up that investment with some guarantee of security? It seems to me that once you allow someone to invest billions in your nation, its only a matter of time before the military comes along. The China - Africa relationship provides an appropriate modern case study as illustrated by the Asia Times article. Brief extract below:

China's military-to-military activities in Africa, including defense attache presence, naval ship visits, arms sales and other missions to support military cooperation can be expected to expand to keep pace with China's growing national interests throughout the region. An increase in its diplomatic military representation and overall presence may inadvertently be encouraged by the establishment of the new United States Africa Combatant Command, if China feels a new combatant command impinges on China's security interests in the region.

........China will increasingly be challenged to respond to security threats to Chinese property and personnel in the region that may necessitate a re-evaluation of the role of China's military. The recent kidnappings and killings of Chinese workers in Ethiopia and Nigeria painfully demonstrated that China can no longer depend on local security forces to protect its oil interests (personnel and facilities) in areas such as Ethiopia and the Niger Delta. Potential attacks by local insurgents, criminals, and even terrorists, demand skilled defense practitioners. The PLA could provide this either directly and openly in tailored military units with or without Chinese police force participation, through quasi-military or "outsourced" rent-a-soldier security entities that would be manned by trained soldiers who may retain loose association with the PLA as demobilized soldiers, or through other mechanisms based on negotiations with the host African countries.

6 comments:

  1. The PLA could provide this either directly and openly in tailored military units with or without Chinese police force participation, through quasi-military or "outsourced" rent-a-soldier security entities that would be manned by trained soldiers who may retain loose association with the PLA as demobilized soldiers, or through other mechanisms based on negotiations with the host African countries.


    All the more reason that the mines and other strategic assets should be owned by the state.

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  2. Certainly outside "state ownership" your sovereignty is likely to be challenged in a globalised world...

    Economic globalisation is slowly leading to the erosion of nationhood...the reason is two fold. First nations tend to respond to the global challenges by grouping together and in the process sacrifice their sovereignity e.g. the EU. Secondly, with big corporations the economic influence transcends borders. Bill Gates becomes a more important partner for developing nations than poor nation states.

    Its just another example of how inseparable economic power is from military power...

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  3. Its just another example of how inseparable economic power is from military power...

    Absolutely. I would have the uranium mines completely state owned, and one or more military detachments permanently stationed in the area, with some detachment from the security services and check the background of everyone who works in the area. :)

    This would be my two functions for central government - major infrastructure and security.

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  4. Sounds like you have a political platform already?

    Incidentally you don't discuss 'rule of law' in your 'Manifesto'?

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  5. I refer to it under the general heading of policing/security.

    I think like most government employees, police officers, compliance officers and the like should be employed by the local council.

    Beyond that, there should be a regional and a national police force. I think most of that is already in place.

    By the way, I came across this interesting file on decentralization at the UN's website.

    Decentralisation is an old issue, but it still hasn't been done correctly - with proper decentralisation of budgets as well.

    Sounds like you have a political platform already?

    I wish the parties had a platform. Other than 'we're going to do everything the same way it is being done right now'. :)

    There really isn't any difference between any of the parties. Maybe we can change that.

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  6. Mrk,

    Thanks for the link!

    "There really isn't any difference between any of the parties. Maybe we can change that."

    How do we bring about that change?

    I think ZIPPA can help shape some of this debate. Murray & Co are doing great work!

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