Friday, January 24, 2020

Why is America So Deeply Involved in the Middle East? Energy? Geography?

What is the importance of the Middle East for the West? Is it energy resources to fuel the industrialized West? Or the key trade and shipping routes passing through the Persian Gulf and the Suez Canal used by ships to sail from Asia to Europe and North America?

Map of Greater Middle East (Morocco to Pakistan)

Why is oil, the most traded commodity, priced and traded in US Dollars? Does oil trade help maintain the US Dollar as the international trade and reserve currency and solidify US control of the global financial system, giving the US a very powerful tool to control the world?

What is the history of West's involvement in the Middle East? Can it be traced back to the fall of the Ottoman Empire in early 20th century?

When did the United States take over where Britain and France left off? Cold War? Iranian leader Mosaddegh's overthrow by CIA? Suez Crisis?

Energy revolution is in full swing in Silicon Valley with widespread use of solar panels, electric vehicles and storage batteries. Like other technologies emerging from Silicon Valley, this energy revolution will spread to the rest of the United States and the world in the next decades. How will it change US policy and posture in the Middle East?

Does the US involvement in the Middle East pose a threat to Pakistan? Is Pakistan next after Iran? Will Pakistan's nuclear weapons help keep Pakistan secure? What economic and other powerful tools does the United States have to put pressure on Pakistan or any other country?

ALKS host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com).

https://youtu.be/DQIUue1tb4A





Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Muslims in Silicon Valley

US Dollar as International Trade/Reserve Currency

Soleimani Was the Hardest of the Hardliner

Sykes-Picot Agreement in Middle East

Confessions of an Economic Hitman

Putin Challenges American Exceptionalism

Remittances to Pakistan Up 21X Since Year 2000

Modi's Kashmir Blunder

Godfather Metaphor for Uncle Sam

Clean Energy Revolution

Destructive Power of Drone Swarm on Saudi Oil Installation

US Dominates List of World's Top Universities

Indian RAW Agent Kulbhushan Jhadav Used Chabahar

Iran-Saudi Conflict

Pakistan's Nuclear Program

Iran Nuclear Deal

1971 India-Pakistan War

Chabahar vs Gwadar Ports

Did America Contribute to the Rise of ISIS?

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

1 comment:

Riaz Haq said...

SIPRI Study: #China is now the 2nd largest arms producer in the world, behind the #UnitedStates but ahead of #Russia. #India is the world's 2nd biggest arms importer. #Pakistan is 9th largest arms importer. https://www.sipri.org/media/press-release/2020/new-sipri-data-reveals-scale-chinese-arms-industry

New research from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) suggests that China is the second-largest arms producer in the world, behind the United States but ahead of Russia. This research represents the most comprehensive picture of Chinese companies’ weapons production to date.

In the past, a lack of transparency has meant that the value of Chinese companies’ arms sales has been either unknown or difficult to reliably estimate. For this reason, the SIPRI Top 100—an annual ranking of the world’s 100 largest arms-producing and military services companies—has so far not been able to include Chinese arms companies.



Advances in reliable estimates
SIPRI has identified information from 2015–17 on the value of arms sales by major Chinese arms companies. The research looks at four companies for which credible financial information is available. The companies cover three sectors of conventional arms production: aerospace, electronics and land systems. With the increase of available data on these companies, it is now possible to develop reasonably reliable estimates of the scale of the Chinese arms industry.



China has some of the world’s largest arms producers
Based on estimated arms sales in 2015–17, the four major Chinese arms companies chosen for the study can now finally be compared with the major arms companies from the rest of the world. In 2017, of the 20 largest companies in the SIPRI Top 100, 11 were based in the USA, 6 in Western Europe and 3 in Russia. If the four Chinese arms companies investigated in the study were included in the Top 100, they would all rank among the top 20, with combined estimated arms sales totalling $54.1 billion. Three of the companies would be ranked in the top 10.

The largest of the Chinese companies is Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), which with arms sales totalling $20.1 billion would rank sixth largest in the world. China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO), which would place eighth in the Top 100 with sales of $17.2 billion, is in fact the world’s largest producer of land systems.



Weapon production more specialized
Contrary to most other major global arms producers, Chinese arms companies specialize primarily in one arms production sector, for example AVIC produces mostly aircraft and avionics. Most of the large non-Chinese arms companies produce a wider range of military products across different sectors—covering aerospace, land systems and shipbuilding within one company.



For editors
These new estimates are most likely still an underestimate. A lack of transparency in the arms sales figures of Chinese arms companies continues to hinder a complete understanding of China’s arms industry. This new research, however, acts as an important scoping study that opens the possibility for further research and prepares the ground for a fuller estimate of Chinese arms sales.