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Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs
«Foreign Affairs» (Фо́рин аффе́рс) — американский журнал по тематике международных отношений и внешней политики США, выходящий шесть раз в год. Издатель — Совет по международным отношениям. Журнал считается наиболее авторитетным в вопросах внешней политики США. Ж ...

«Foreign Affairs» (Фо́рин аффе́рс) — американский журнал по тематике международных отношений и внешней политики США, выходящий шесть раз в год. Издатель — Совет по международным отношениям. Журнал считается наиболее авторитетным в вопросах внешней политики США.

Журнал выходит с 1922 года; основателем и первым редактором (до 1927 года) был Арчибальд Кэри Кулидж.

Тираж журнала рос:

  • 1922 год — 5 тысяч экземпляров;
  • 1959 год — 27 тысяч;
  • 1963 год — 57 тысяч;
  • 1976 год — 72,5 тысячи;
  • 2014 год — 170 тысяч

Позиция по отношению к СССР

Уже первый номер содержал статью самого Кулиджа «Россия после Генуи и Гааги», которая после анализа новой экономической политики и дипломатических усилий большевистского государства высказывала сомнения в долговечности текущего курса большевиков и предлагала «четыре очевидных возможности» развития (контрреволюция, экономическая реставрация капитализма, раскол партии большевиков с возвратом к жёсткой коммунистической идеологии и рост экономических проблем, в результате которых страна «впадет в анархию, развалившись на куски»). За первые 50 лет существования в журнале были опубликованы 220 статей по советской тематике (почти по одной статье в каждом номере). По утверждению Р. С. Овинникова, «ни одна из них не была дружелюбной» Вики

 

Foreign Affairs — семнадцатый эпизод девятого сезона мультсериала «Гриффины».

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/issues/2015/94/6

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18 января, 13:09

What Worries Ben Rhodes About Trump

Obama’s foreign policy messenger opens up about the world the outgoing president leaves behind—and what Trump could do with it.

18 января, 13:04

Trump’s team weighs retooling State to focus on terror

The shift could mean less focus on climate change and more focus on promoting the use of the term ‘radical Islam.’

Выбор редакции
18 января, 12:08

Syria’s war creates myriad problems for Turkey

Neighboring conflict is polarizing the country, consuming domestic and foreign affairs.

18 января, 02:05

Executive Order -- Amending the Civil Service Rules, Executive Order 13488, and Executive Order 13467

EXECUTIVE ORDER - - - - - - - AMENDING THE CIVIL SERVICE RULES, EXECUTIVE ORDER 13488, AND EXECUTIVE ORDER 13467 TO MODERNIZE THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH-WIDE GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE AND PROCESSES FOR SECURITY CLEARANCES, SUITABILITY AND FITNESS FOR EMPLOYMENT, AND CREDENTIALING, AND RELATED MATTERS By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and as part of continuing efforts to modernize the overarching executive branch enterprise to ensure that all persons performing work for or on behalf of the Government are and continue to be loyal to the United States, reliable, trustworthy, and of good conduct and character, and by using mutually consistent standards and procedures, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1. Amendments to the Civil Service Rules. (a) Civil Service Rule II is amended as follows: (i) The title to 5 CFR Part 2 is revised to read as follows: "PART 2—APPOINTMENT THROUGH THE COMPETITIVE SERVICE; RELATED MATTERS (RULE II)" (ii) The title to 5 CFR 2.1 is revised to read as follows: "§2.1 Competitive examinations and eligible registers; suitability and fitness for civil service employment." (iii) 5 CFR 2.1(a) is revised to read as follows: "(a) OPM shall be responsible for: "(i) Open competitive examinations for admission to the competitive service that will fairly test the relative capacity and fitness of the persons examined for the position to be filled. "(ii) Standards with respect to citizenship, age, education, training and experience, physical and mental fitness, and for residence or other requirements that applicants must meet to be admitted to or rated in examinations. "(iii) Standards of suitability based on character and conduct for appointment to a position in the competitive service, for appointment to a position in the excepted service where the incumbent can be noncompetitively converted to the competitive service, and for career appointment to a position in the Senior Executive Service. "(iv) Minimum standards of fitness based on character and conduct for appointment in any other position in the excepted service of the executive branch, except for (A) positions in any element of the intelligence community as defined in the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, to the extent they are not otherwise subject to OPM appointing authorities, and (B) positions where OPM is statutorily precluded from prescribing such standards." (b) Civil Service Rule V is amended as follows: (i) 5 CFR 5.2(a) is revised to read as follows: "(a) Investigating the qualifications, suitability, and fitness of applicants for positions in the competitive service, positions in the excepted service where the incumbent can be noncompetitively converted to the competitive service, career appointments to positions in the Senior Executive Service, and any other positions in the excepted service of the executive branch for which the Director has standard-setting responsibility under Civil Service Rule II. "(i) The Director may require appointments to be made subject to investigation to enable the Director to determine, after appointment, that the requirements of law or the Civil Service Rules and Regulations have been met. "(ii) The Director may cause positions to be designated based on risk to determine the appropriate level of investigation, and may prescribe investigative standards, policies, and procedures. "(iii) The Director may prescribe standards for reciprocal acceptance by agencies of investigations and adjudications of suitability and fitness, except to the extent authority to apply additional fitness standards is vested by statute in an agency." (ii) 5 CFR 5.3(a)(1) is revised by striking "disqualified for Federal employment" and inserting in lieu thereof "disqualified or unsuitable for Federal employment." (c) Civil Service Rule VI is amended as follows: (i) 5 CFR 6.3(b) is revised to read as follows: "(b) To the extent permitted by law and the provisions of this part, and subject to the suitability and fitness requirements of the applicable Civil Service Rules and Regulations, appointments and position changes in the excepted service shall be made in accordance with such regulations and practices as the head of the agency concerned finds necessary." Sec. 2. Amendment to Executive Order 13488 of January 16, 2009. (a) Section 1(a) of Executive Order 13488 is revised to read as follows: "Section 1. Policy. (a) When agencies conduct fitness determinations, prior favorable fitness or suitability determinations shall be granted reciprocal recognition, to the extent practicable." (b) Section 2 of Executive Order 13488 is revised to read as follows: "(a) 'Agency' means an executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code, but does not include the Government Accountability Office. "(b) 'Contractor employee' means an individual who performs work for or on behalf of any agency under a contract and who, in order to perform the work specified under the contract, will require access to space, information, information technology systems, staff, or other assets of the Federal Government, and who could, by the nature of his or her access or duties, adversely affect the integrity or efficiency of the Government. Such contracts, include, but are not limited to: "(i) personal services contracts; "(ii) contracts between any non-Federal entity and any agency; and "(iii) sub-contracts between any non-Federal entity and another non-Federal entity to perform work related to the primary contract with the agency. "(c) 'Excepted service' has the meaning provided in section 2103 of title 5, United States Code, but does not include those positions in any element of the intelligence community as defined in the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, to the extent they are not otherwise subject to Office of Personnel Management appointing authorities. "(d) 'Fitness' is the level of character and conduct determined necessary for an individual to perform work for or on behalf of a Federal agency as an employee in the excepted service (other than a position subject to suitability), as a contractor employee, or as a nonappropriated fund employee. "(e) 'Fitness determination' means a decision by an agency that an individual has or does not have the required level of character and conduct necessary to perform work for or on behalf of a Federal agency as an employee in the excepted service (other than a position subject to suitability), as a contractor employee, or as a nonappropriated fund employee. A favorable fitness determination is not a decision to appoint or contract with an individual. "(f) 'Nonappropriated fund employee' means an employee paid from nonappropriated funds of an instrumentality of the United States under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces conducted for the comfort, pleasure, contentment, and mental and physical improvement of personnel of the Armed Forces as described in section 2105 of title 5, United States Code. "(g) 'Position of Public Trust' has the meaning provided in 5 CFR Part 731. "(h) 'Suitability' has the meaning and coverage provided in 5 CFR Part 731. (c) Section 3 of Executive Order 13488 is revised to read as follows: "OPM and Agency Authority. "(a) Adjudications for determining fitness for contractual or nonappropriated fund employment. While the Office of Personnel Management establishes the minimum adjudicative criteria for suitability and fitness determinations for employment in the civil service pursuant to the Civil Service Rules, the heads of agencies retain the discretion to establish adjudicative criteria for determining fitness to perform work as a contractor employee or as a nonappropriated fund employee. Such discretion shall be exercised with due regard to the regulations and guidance prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management for the civil service and, for contractual work, subject to applicable regulations and directives of the Office of Management and Budget. "(b) Investigations for determining fitness for contractual or nonappropriated fund employment. Contractor employee fitness or nonappropriated fund employee fitness is subject to the same position designation requirements and investigative standards, policies, and procedures as fitness determinations for civil service employees, as prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management under the Civil Service Rules. "(c) Reciprocity. Fitness determinations and investigations for fitness determinations for contractor employees and for nonappropriated fund employees are subject to the same reciprocity requirements as those for employment in the civil service, as prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management under the Civil Service Rules." (d) Executive Order 13488 is revised by striking section 4 in its entirety, and redesignating sections 5 through 8 as sections 4 through 7, respectively. Sec. 3. Amendments to Executive Order 13467 of June 30, 2008, as amended. (a) The preamble to Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 3301, 7103(b), and 7301 of title 5, United States Code, and in order to strengthen and ensure a secure, efficient, timely, reciprocal, and aligned system for investigating and determining suitability or fitness for Government employment, fitness to work as a contractor or a nonappropriated fund employee, eligibility for access to classified information or to hold a sensitive position, and authorization to be issued a Federal credential, while providing fair, impartial, and equitable treatment, and protecting individual rights under the Constitution and laws of the United States, and taking appropriate account of title III of Public Law 108-458, it is hereby ordered as follows:" (b) Section 1.1 of Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "Section 1.1. Policy. (a) Executive branch vetting policies and procedures relating to suitability, contractor or Federal employee fitness, eligibility to hold a sensitive position, authorization to be issued a Federal credential for access to federally controlled facilities and information systems, and eligibility for access to classified information shall be aligned using consistent standards to the extent possible, shall provide for reciprocal recognition, and shall ensure cost-effective, timely, and efficient protection of the national interest, while providing fair treatment to those upon whom the Federal Government relies to conduct our Nation's business and protect national security. "(b) The Government's tools, systems, and processes for conducting these background investigations and managing sensitive investigative information should keep pace with technological advancements, regularly integrating current best practices to better anticipate, detect, and counter malicious activities, and threats posed by external or internal actors who may seek to do harm to the Government's personnel, property, and information. To help fulfill these responsibilities, there shall be a primary executive branch investigative service provider whose mission is to provide effective, efficient, and secure background investigations for the Federal Government. "(c) Executive branch vetting policies and procedures shall be sustained by an enhanced risk-management approach that facilitates early detection of issues by an informed, aware, and responsible Federal workforce; results in quality decisions enabled by improved vetting capabilities; and advances Government-wide capabilities through enterprise approaches. "(d) The appointment or retention of each covered individual shall be subject to an investigation. Federal investigative standards established pursuant to this order shall be designed to develop information as to whether the employment or retention in employment in the Federal service of the person being investigated is clearly consistent with the interests of the national security, and the scope of the investigation shall be determined in the first instance according to the degree of material adverse effect the occupant of the position sought to be filled could bring about, by virtue of the nature of the position, on the national security." "(e) Investigative agencies shall control the reports, information, and other investigative materials that are developed during the vetting process. Recipient departments and agencies may retain and use the received reports, information, and other investigative material within that recipient for authorized purposes (including, but not limited to, adjudications, hearings and appeals, continuous evaluation, inspector general functions, counterintelligence, research, and insider threat programs), in compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (section 552a of title 5, United States Code). Investigative agencies shall ensure that their applicable System of Records Notices include, at a minimum, the authorized uses of the recipient departments and agencies such as those set forth above. Recipient departments and agencies shall not make any external releases of received information, other than to an investigative subject for the purpose of providing procedural rights or administrative due process; and shall direct any other requests for external releases of copies of the reports, information, and other investigative materials to the investigative agency. In the event redisclosure by the recipient agency is required by compulsory legal process, the recipient agency shall consult with the investigating agency. The investigative agency shall maintain the reports, information, and other investigative material in a system of records subject to the Privacy Act and ensure that any re-disclosure does not violate statutory restrictions or result in the unauthorized disclosure of: classified information, information subject to a claim of privilege, or information that is otherwise lawfully exempt from disclosure. Subject to Security Executive Agent authorizations consistent with section 3341(e)(5) of title 50, United States Code, the investigative agencies shall make reports, information, and other investigative material available, as necessary, to carry out the responsibilities set forth in this order, including but not limited to, authorized executive branch-sponsored research and initiatives for enterprise-wide continuous performance improvement of vetting policy and procedures, as permitted by law." (c) Section 1.2 of Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "Sec. 1.2. Applicability. (a) This order applies to vetting of all covered individuals as defined in section 1.3(h), except that: "(i) the provisions regarding eligibility for physical access to federally controlled facilities and logical access to federally controlled information systems do not apply to individuals exempted in accordance with guidance pursuant to the Federal Information Security Management Act (title III of Public Law 107-347) and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 of August 27, 2004; and "(ii) the qualification standards for enlistment, appointment, and induction into the Armed Forces pursuant to title 10, United States Code, are unaffected by this order. "(b) This order also applies to vetting for employees of agencies working in or for the legislative or judicial branches when the vetting is conducted by the executive branch." (d) Section 1.3(a) of Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "(a) 'Adjudication' means the evaluation of pertinent data in a background investigation, as well as any other available information that is relevant and reliable, to determine whether a covered individual is: "(i) suitable for Government employment; "(ii) eligible for logical and physical access; "(iii) eligible for access to classified information; "(iv) eligible to hold a sensitive position; or "(v) fit to perform work for or on behalf of the Government as a Federal employee, contractor, or nonappropriated fund employee." (e) Sections 1.3(c) and 1.3(d) of Executive Order 13467 are revised to read as follows: "(c) 'Classified information' means information that has been determined pursuant to Executive Order 13526 of December 29, 2009, or a successor or predecessor order, or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) to require protection against unauthorized disclosure. "(d) 'Continuous evaluation (CE)' means a vetting process to review the background of an individual who has been determined to be eligible for access to classified information or to hold a sensitive position at any time during the period of eligibility. CE leverages a set of automated record checks and business rules to assist in the on-going assessment of an individual's continued eligibility. CE is intended to complement continuous vetting efforts." (f) Section 1.3(f) of Executive Order 13467 is deleted. (g) Sections 1.3(j), (k), (l), and (m) are redesignated as sections 1.3(m), (n), (o), and (p); sections 1.3(g), (h), and (i) are redesignated as sections 1.3(h), (i), and (j); and section 1.3(e) is redesignated as section 1.3(g). (h) New sections 1.3(e) and 1.3(f) are added to Executive Order 13467 to read as follows: "(e) 'Continuous performance improvement' means assessing national policy and operations, adverse events, and emerging trends and technology throughout the Government's end-to-end vetting program. It relies on research to generate data-driven decisions and uses outcome-based measurements to adjust policy and operations. "(f) 'Continuous vetting' means reviewing the background of a covered individual at any time to determine whether that individual continues to meet applicable requirements." (i) Redesignated section 1.3(h) of Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "(h) 'Covered individual' means a person who performs, or who seeks to perform, work for or on behalf of the executive branch (e.g., Federal employee, military member, or contractor), or otherwise interacts with the executive branch such that the individual must undergo vetting, but does not include: "(i) the President or (except to the extent otherwise directed by the President) employees of the President under section 105 or 107 of title 3, United States Code; "(ii) the Vice President or (except to the extent otherwise directed by the Vice President) employees of the Vice President under section 106 of title 3, United States Code, or annual legislative branch appropriations acts; or "(iii) with respect to background investigations only, duly elected or appointed governor of a State or territory, or an official who has succeeded to that office under applicable law in accordance with Executive Order 13549 of August 18, 2010, and its implementing directive." (j) New sections 1.3(k) and 1.3(l) are added to Executive Order 13467 to read as follows: "(k) 'Fitness' means the level of character and conduct determined necessary for an individual to perform work for or on behalf of a Federal agency as an employee in the excepted service (other than a position subject to suitability), or as a 'contractor employee' or a 'nonappropriated fund employee' as those terms are defined in Executive Order 13488 of January 16, 2009, as amended. "(l) 'Investigation' means the collection and analysis of pertinent facts and data to support a determination of whether a covered individual is, and continues to be: "(i) eligible for access to classified information; "(ii) eligible to hold a sensitive position; "(iii) suitable or fit for Federal employment; "(iv) fit to perform work for or on behalf of the Federal Government as a contractor or nonappropriated fund employee; or "(v) authorized to be issued a Federal credential." (k) Redesignated section 1.3(n) of Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "(n) 'National Background Investigations Bureau' (NBIB) means the National Background Investigations Bureau, established within the Office of Personnel Management under section 1103(a)(3) of title 5, United States Code, or a successor entity, with responsibility for conducting effective, efficient, and secure personnel background investigations pursuant to law, rule, regulation, or Executive Order." (l) Redesignated section 1.3(o) of Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "(o) 'Sensitive Position' means any position within or in support of a department or agency, the occupant of which could bring about, by virtue of the nature of the position, a material adverse effect on the national security, regardless of whether the occupant has access to classified information, and regardless of whether the occupant is an employee, a military service member, or a contractor. (m) New section 1.3(q) is added to Executive Order 13467 to read as follows: "(q) 'Vetting' is the process by which covered individuals undergo investigation, evaluation, and adjudication of whether they are, and remain over time, suitable or fit for Federal employment, eligible to occupy a sensitive position, eligible for access to classified information, eligible to serve as a nonappropriated fund employee or a contractor, eligible to serve in the military, or authorized to be issued a Federal credential. Vetting includes all steps in the end-to-end process, including determining need (appropriate position designation), validating need (existence of a current investigation or adjudication), collecting background information via standard forms, investigative activity, adjudication, providing administrative due process or other procedural rights, and ongoing assessments to ensure that individuals continue to meet the applicable standards for the position for which they were favorably adjudicated." (n) The title to Part 2 of Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "PART 2—VETTING ENTERPRISE, RECIPROCITY, CONTINUOUS PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT, AND GOVERNANCE" (o) Section 2.1 of Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "Sec. 2.1. Vetting Enterprise. (a) The executive branch-wide vetting enterprise shall use, to the greatest extent practicable, aligned and consistent vetting policies, procedures, and standards, as determined by the Council and the Executive Agents. The Executive Agents shall issue guidance to implement this provision. "(b) The aligned executive branch-wide vetting enterprise shall employ modern and consistent standards and methods, enable innovations with enterprise information technology capabilities and end-to-end automation to the extent practicable, and ensure that relevant information maintained by agencies can be accessed and shared rapidly across the executive branch, while protecting national security, protecting privacy-related information, protecting civil rights and civil liberties, ensuring resulting decisions are in the national interest and in accordance with due process requirements, and providing the Federal Government with an effective trusted workforce. "(c) The investigative and adjudicative standards for fitness shall, to the extent practicable, be consistent with the standards for suitability. The Executive Agents shall establish in Federal investigative standards the elements of the level of investigation necessary for vetting for fitness. "(d) All covered individuals shall be subject to continuous vetting under standards (including, but not limited to, the frequency of such vetting) as determined by the Security Executive Agent or the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent exercising its Suitability Executive Agent functions, as applicable. "(e) Vetting shall include a search of records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including a fingerprint-based search, and any other appropriate biometric or database searches not precluded by law." (p) Sections 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, and 2.5 of Executive Order 13467 are redesignated as sections 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, and 2.7. (q) New sections 2.2 and 2.3 are added to Executive Order 13467 to read as follows: "Sec. 2.2. Reciprocity. Except as otherwise authorized by law or policy issued by the applicable Executive Agent, agencies shall accept background investigations and adjudications conducted by other authorized agencies unless an agency determines that a particular background investigation or adjudication does not sufficiently address the standards used by that agency in determining the fitness of its excepted service employees who cannot be noncompetitively converted to the competitive service. Except as described above and except to the extent authority to apply additional requirements is vested by statute in an agency, an agency may not establish additional investigative or adjudicative requirements (other than requirements for the conduct of a polygraph examination consistent with law, directive, or regulation) that exceed existing requirements without the approval of the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent exercising its Suitability Executive Agent functions or Security Executive Agent, as appropriate. Any additional requirements approved by the appropriate Executive Agent shall be limited to those that are necessary to address significant needs unique to the agency involved, to protect national security, or to satisfy a requirement imposed by law." "Sec. 2.3. Continuous Performance Improvement. Executive branch vetting policies, processes, and procedures shall be supported by institutionalized enterprise-wide continuous performance improvement, which shall align with and support process improvements." (r) Redesignated section 2.4 of Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "Sec. 2.4. Establishment and Functions of Performance Accountability Council. (a) There is hereby established a Security, Suitability, and Credentialing Performance Accountability Council (Council). "(b) The Deputy Director for Management, Office of Management and Budget, shall serve as Chair of the Council and shall have authority, direction, and control over the Council's functions. Membership on the Council shall include the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent, the Security Executive Agent, and the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. These four officials collectively shall constitute 'the Security, Suitability, and Credentialing Performance Accountability Council Principals.' The Director of the National Background Investigations Bureau shall also serve as a member of the Council. The Chair shall select a Vice Chair to act in the Chair's absence. The Chair shall have authority to designate officials from additional agencies who shall serve as members of the Council. Council membership shall be limited to Federal Government employees in leadership positions. "(c) The Council shall be accountable to the President to achieve, consistent with this order, the goals of the executive branch vetting enterprise, and is responsible for driving implementation of reform efforts and enterprise development, ensuring accountability by agencies, ensuring the Executive Agents align their respective processes, and sustaining continuous performance improvement and reform momentum. "(d) The Council shall: "(i) ensure enterprise-wide alignment of suitability, security, credentialing, and as appropriate, fitness processes; "(ii) hold agencies accountable for the implementation of suitability, security, fitness, and credentialing processes and procedures; "(iii) define requirements for enterprise-wide reciprocity management information technology, and develop standards for enterprise-wide information technology; "(iv) work with agencies to implement continuous performance improvement programs, policies, and procedures; establish annual goals and progress metrics; and prepare annual reports on results; "(v) ensure and oversee the development of tools and techniques for enhancing background investigations and adjudications; "(vi) enable discussion and consensus resolution of differences in processes, policies, and procedures among the Council Principals, and other agencies as appropriate; "(vii) share best practices; "(viii) advise the Executive Agents on policies affecting the alignment of investigations and adjudications; "(ix) work with agencies to develop agency policies and procedures to enable sharing of vetting information consistent with the law and the protection of privacy and civil liberties and to the extent necessary for enterprise-wide efficiency, effectiveness, and security; "(x) monitor performance to identify and drive enterprise-level process enhancements, and make recommendations for changes to executive branch-wide guidance and authorities to resolve overlaps or close policy gaps where they may exist; "(xi) promote data-driven, transparent, and expeditious policy-making processes; and "(xii) develop and continuously reevaluate and revise outcome-based metrics that measure the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the vetting enterprise. "(e) The Chair shall, to further the goals of the vetting enterprise and to the extent consistent with law, establish subordinate entities, mechanisms, and policies to support and assist in exercising the Council's authorities and responsibilities, and facilitate, consistent with the executive branch's enterprise strategy, adoption of enterprise-wide standards and solutions to ensure security, quality, reciprocity, efficiency, effectiveness, and timeliness. The Chair may assign, in whole or in part, to the head of any agency (solely or jointly) any function within the Council's authority or responsibilities pursuant to this order." (s) Redesignated section 2.5 of Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "Sec. 2.5. Establishment, Designation, and Functions of Executive Agents. (a) There are hereby established a Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent and a Security Executive Agent. "(b) The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall serve as the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent. With respect to the Suitability Executive Agent functions, the Director: "(i) shall, pursuant to sections 1103 and 1104 of title 5, United States Code, and the Civil Service Rules, be responsible for suitability and fitness by prescribing suitability standards and minimum standards of fitness for employment; prescribing position designation requirements with regard to the risk to the efficiency and integrity of the service; prescribing applicable investigative standards, policies, and procedures for suitability and fitness; prescribing suitability and fitness reciprocity standards; making suitability determinations; and taking suitability actions; "(ii) shall issue regulations, guidance, and standards to fulfill the Director's responsibilities related to suitability and fitness under Executive Order 13488 of January 16, 2009, as amended; "(iii) shall promote reciprocal recognition of suitability or fitness determinations among the agencies, including acting as the final authority to arbitrate and resolve disputes among the agencies involving the reciprocity of investigations and adjudications of suitability and fitness; "(iv) shall continue to initially approve, and periodically review for renewal, agencies' requests to administer polygraphs in connection with appointment in the competitive service, in consultation with the Security Executive Agent as appropriate; "(v) shall make a continuing review of agency programs for suitability and fitness vetting to determine whether they are being implemented according to this order; "(vi) may issue guidelines and instructions to the heads of agencies to promote appropriate uniformity, centralization, efficiency, effectiveness, reciprocity, timeliness, and security in processes relating to determining suitability or fitness; and "(vii) shall, pursuant to section 1104 of title 5, United States Code, prescribe performance standards and a system of oversight for any suitability or fitness function delegated by the Director to the head of another agency, including uniform and consistent policies and procedures to ensure the effective, efficient, timely, and secure completion of delegated functions. "(c) With respect to the Credentialing Executive Agent functions, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management: "(i) shall develop standards for investigations, reinvestigations, and continuous vetting for a covered individual's eligibility for a personal identity verification credential permitting logical and physical access to federally controlled facilities and federally controlled information systems (PIV credential); "(ii) shall develop adjudicative guidelines for a covered individual's eligibility for a PIV credential; "(iii) shall develop guidelines on reporting and recording determinations of eligibility for a PIV credential; "(iv) shall develop standards for unfavorable determinations of eligibility for a PIV credential, including procedures for denying and revoking the eligibility for a PIV credential, for reconsideration of unfavorable determinations, and for rendering the PIV credential inoperable; "(v) shall develop standards and procedures for suspending eligibility for a PIV credential when there is a reasonable basis to believe there may be an unacceptable risk pending an inquiry or investigation, including special standards and procedures for imminent risk; "(vi) shall be responsible for developing uniform and consistent policies and procedures to ensure the effective, efficient, timely, and secure completion of investigations and adjudications relating to eligibility for a PIV credential; "(vii) may develop guidelines and instructions to the heads of agencies as necessary to ensure appropriate uniformity, centralization, efficiency, effectiveness, and timeliness in processes relating to eligibility for a PIV credential; "(viii) shall monitor and make a continuing review of agency programs for determining eligibility for a PIV credential to determine whether they are being implemented according to this order; and "(ix) shall consult to the extent practicable with other agencies with responsibilities related to PIV credentials to ensure that policies and procedures are consistent with law including: "(A) the Office of Management and Budget, in exercising its responsibilities under section 11331 of title 40, United States Code, section 3553(a) of title 44, United States Code, division A, sections 1086(b)(2) and (b)(3) of Public Law 114-92, and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 of August 27, 2004; "(B) the Department of Homeland Security, in exercising its responsibilities under sections 3553(b), (f), and (g) of title 44, United States Code; "(C) the Department of Defense, in exercising its responsibilities under section 3553(e) of title 44, United States Code, and division A, sections 1086(a)(1)(E), (b)(1), and (b)(2) of Public Law 114-92; "(D) the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, in exercising its responsibilities under section 3553(e) of title 44, United States Code, and division A, section 1086(b)(2) of Public Law 114-92; "(E) the Department of Commerce and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in exercising their responsibilities under section 278g-3 of title 15, United States Code, and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 of August 27, 2004; "(F) the General Services Administration, in exercising its responsibilities under division A, section 1086(b)(2) of Public Law 114-92; and "(G) the Federal Acquisition Regulation agencies, in exercising their responsibilities under chapter 137 of title 10, section 121(c) of title 40, and section 20113 of title 51, United States Code. "(d) In fulfilling the Credentialing Executive Agent function of developing policies and procedures for determining eligibility for a PIV credential and to protect the national security, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall coordinate with and obtain the concurrence of the other Council Principals. Agencies with authority to establish standards or guidelines or issue instructions related to PIV credentials shall retain the discretion as to whether to establish policies, guidelines, or instructions developed by the Credentialing Executive Agent. "(e) The Director of National Intelligence shall serve as the Security Executive Agent. The Security Executive Agent: "(i) shall direct the oversight of investigations, reinvestigations, adjudications, and, as applicable, polygraphs for eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position made by any agency; "(ii) shall make a continuing review of agencies' national security background investigation and adjudication programs to determine whether they are being implemented according to this order; "(iii) shall be responsible for developing and issuing uniform and consistent policies and procedures to ensure the effective, efficient, timely, and secure completion of investigations, polygraphs, and adjudications relating to determinations of eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position; "(iv) may issue guidelines and instructions to the heads of agencies to ensure appropriate uniformity, centralization, efficiency, effectiveness, timeliness, and security in processes relating to determinations by agencies of eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position, to include such matters as investigations, polygraphs, adjudications, and reciprocity; "(v) may, if consistent with the national security, authorize exceptions to or waivers of national security investigative requirements, and may issue implementing or clarifying guidance as necessary; "(vi) shall serve as the final authority to designate an agency or agencies, to the extent that it is not practicable to use the National Background Investigations Bureau, to conduct investigations of persons who are proposed for access to classified information or for eligibility to hold a sensitive position to ascertain whether such persons satisfy the criteria for obtaining and retaining access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position; "(vii) shall serve as the final authority to designate an agency or agencies to determine eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position in accordance with Executive Order 12968 of August 2, 1995, as amended; "(viii) shall ensure reciprocal recognition of eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position among the agencies, including acting as the final authority to arbitrate and resolve disputes among the agencies involving the reciprocity of investigations and adjudications of eligibility; and "(ix) may assign, in whole or in part, to the head of any agency (solely or jointly) any of the functions detailed in (i) through (viii) of this subsection, with the agency's exercise of such assigned functions to be subject to the Security Executive Agent's oversight and with such terms and conditions (including approval by the Security Executive Agent) as the Security Executive Agent determines appropriate. "(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed in a manner that would limit the authorities of the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, the Director of National Intelligence, or the Secretary of Defense under law." (t) Redesignated section 2.6 of Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "Sec. 2.6. Roles and Responsibilities of the National Background Investigations Bureau and the Department of Defense. "(a) The National Background Investigations Bureau shall: "(1) serve as the primary executive branch service provider for background investigations for eligibility for access to classified information; eligibility to hold a sensitive position; suitability or, for employees in positions not subject to suitability, fitness for Government employment; fitness to perform work for or on behalf of the Government as a contractor; fitness to work as a nonappropriated fund employee, as defined in Executive Order 13488 of January 16, 2009, as amended; and authorization to be issued a Federal credential for logical and physical access to federally controlled facilities or information systems; "(2) provide effective, efficient, and secure personnel background investigations for the Federal Government; "(3) provide the Council information, to the extent permitted by law, on matters of performance, timeliness, capacity, information technology modernization, continuous performance improvement, and other relevant aspects of NBIB operations; "(4) be headquartered in or near Washington, District of Columbia; "(5) have dedicated resources, including but not limited to a senior privacy and civil liberties official; "(6) institutionalize interagency collaboration and leverage expertise across the executive branch; "(7) continuously improve investigative operations, emphasizing information accuracy and protection, and regularly integrate best practices, including those identified by subject matter experts from industry, academia, or other relevant sources; "(8) conduct personnel background investigations in accordance with uniform and consistent policies, procedures, standards, and requirements established by the Security Executive Agent and the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent exercising its Suitability Executive Agent functions; and "(9) conduct other personnel background investigations as authorized by law, rule, regulation, or Executive Order." "(b) The Secretary of Defense shall design, develop, deploy, operate, secure, defend, and continuously update and modernize, as necessary, vetting information technology systems that support all background investigation processes conducted by the National Background Investigations Bureau. Design and operation of the information technology systems for the National Background Investigations Bureau shall comply with applicable information technology standards and, to the extent practicable, ensure security and interoperability with other background investigation information technology systems. The Secretary of Defense shall operate the database in the information technology systems containing appropriate data relevant to the granting, denial, or revocation of eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility for a sensitive position pertaining to military, civilian, or Government contractor personnel, see section 3341(e) of title 50, United States Code, consistent with and following an explicit delegation from the Director of the Office of Personnel Management pursuant to section 1104 of title 5, United States Code." "(c) Delegations and designations of investigative authority in place on the date of establishment of the National Background Investigations Bureau shall remain in effect until amended or revoked. The National Background Investigations Bureau, through the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, shall be subject to the oversight of the Security Executive Agent in the conduct of investigations for eligibility for access to classified information or to hold a sensitive position; and to the oversight of the Suitability and Credentialing Executive Agent in the conduct of investigations of suitability or fitness and logical and physical access, as provided in section 2.5 of this order. The Council shall hold the National Background Investigations Bureau accountable for the fulfillment of the responsibilities set forth in section 2.6(a) of this order." (u) Subsections (b) and (c) of redesignated section 2.7 of Executive Order 13467 are revised to read as follows: "(b) Heads of agencies shall: "(i) designate, or cause to be designated, as a 'sensitive position,' any position occupied by a covered individual in which the occupant could bring about by virtue of the nature of the position, a material adverse effect on the national security; "(ii) establish and maintain within their respective agencies, an effective program to ensure that employment and retention of any covered individual within the agency is clearly consistent with the interests of national security and, as applicable, meets standards for eligibility for access to classified information or to hold a sensitive position, suitability, fitness, or credentialing, established by the respective Executive Agent; "(iii) carry out any function assigned to the agency head by the Chair, and shall assist the Chair, the Council, the Executive Agents, the National Background Investigations Bureau, and the Department of Defense in carrying out any function under sections 2.4, 2.5, and 2.6 of this order; "(iv) implement any policy or procedure established pursuant to this order; "(v) to the extent permitted by law, make available to the Council, the Executive Agents, the National Background Investigations Bureau, and the Department of Defense such information as may be requested to implement this order, including information necessary to implement enterprise-wide vetting policies and procedures; "(vi) except as authorized by section 3341(e)(5) of title 50, United States Code, promptly furnish, or cause to be promptly furnished, to the Office of Personnel Management the information deemed by the Executive Agents to be necessary for purposes of record keeping and reciprocity including, but not limited to, the date on which a background investigation is initiated, the date on which the background investigation is closed, and the specific adjudicative or access decision made. The Executive Agents shall determine the appropriate timeline pursuant to which this information must be reported to the Office of Personnel Management. The Executive Agents shall maintain discretion to determine the scope of information needed for record keeping and reciprocity purposes. The Office of Personnel Management shall regularly provide this information to the Director of National Intelligence for national security purposes. "(vii) ensure that all actions taken under this order take account of the counterintelligence interests of the United States, as appropriate; and "(viii) ensure that actions taken under this order are consistent with the President's constitutional authority to: "(A) conduct the foreign affairs of the United States; "(B) withhold information the disclosure of which could impair the foreign relations, the national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties; "(C) recommend for congressional consideration such measures as the President may judge necessary or expedient; and "(D) supervise the unitary executive branch. "(c) All investigations being conducted by agencies that develop information indicating that an individual may have been subjected to coercion, influence, or pressure to act contrary to the interests of the national security, or information that the individual may pose a counterintelligence or terrorist threat, or as otherwise provided by law, shall be referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for potential investigation, and may also be referred to other agencies where appropriate." (v) Section 3 of Executive Order 13467 is revised to read as follows: "Sec. 3. General Provisions. (a) Executive Order 13381 of June 27, 2005, as amended, and Executive Order 10450 of April 27, 1953, as amended, are revoked. By revoking Executive Order 10450 of April 27, 1953, as amended, there is no intent to alter the requirement for an investigation for national security purposes or the "clearly consistent with the interest of national security" standard prescribed by that Executive Order for making the determinations referenced in section 2.7(b)(ii). Further, suitability, fitness, credentialing, and national security eligibility regulations, standards and guidance issued by, or interagency agreements entered into by, the Council, the Executive Agents, or any agency pursuant to Executive Order 10450 of April 27, 1953, as amended, shall remain valid until superseded. Nothing in this order shall: "(i) supersede, impede, or otherwise affect: "(A) Executive Order 10577 of November 23, 1954, as amended; "(B) Executive Order 12333 of December 4, 1981, as amended; "(C) Executive Order 12829 of January 6, 1993, as amended; or "(D) Executive Order 13526 of December 29, 2009; or "(ii) diminish or otherwise affect the denial and revocation procedures provided to individuals covered by Executive Order 10865 of February 20, 1960, as amended; or "(iii) be applied in such a way as to affect any administrative proceeding pending on the date of this order. "(b) Executive Order 12968 of August 2, 1995, is amended: "(i) by inserting: 'Sec. 3.5. Continuous Evaluation. An individual who has been determined to be eligible for or who currently has access to classified information shall be subject to continuous evaluation as further defined by and under standards (including, but not limited to, the frequency of such evaluation) as determined by the Director of National Intelligence.'; and "(ii) by striking 'the Security Policy Board shall make recommendations to the President through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs' in section 6.3(a) and inserting in lieu thereof 'the Director of National Intelligence shall serve as the final authority'; "(iii) by striking 'Security Policy Board' and inserting in lieu thereof 'Security Executive Agent' in each instance; "(iv) by striking 'the Board' in section 1.1(j) and inserting in lieu thereof 'the Security Executive Agent'; and "(v) by inserting 'or appropriate automated procedures' in section 3.1(b) after 'by appropriately trained adjudicative personnel'. "(c) Provisions of Executive Order 12968 of August 2, 1995, as amended, that apply to eligibility for access to classified information shall apply to eligibility to hold any sensitive position regardless of whether that sensitive position requires access to classified information, subject to the Security Executive Agent issuing implementing or clarifying guidance regarding requirements for sensitive positions. Nothing in this order shall supersede, impede, or otherwise affect the remainder of Executive Order 12968 of August 2, 1995, as amended. "(d) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect the: "(i) authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or "(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals. "(e) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. "(f) Existing delegations of authority made pursuant to Executive Order 13381 of June 27, 2005, as amended, to any agency relating to granting eligibility for access to classified information shall remain in effect, subject to the exercise of authorities pursuant to this order to revise or revoke such delegation. "(g) Existing delegations of authority made by the Office of Personnel Management to any agency relating to suitability or fitness shall remain in effect, subject to the exercise of authorities to revise or revoke such delegations. "(h) If any provision of this order or the application of such provision is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order shall not be affected. "(i) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person." Sec. 4. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. (b) If any provision of this order or the application of such provision is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order shall not be affected. (c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. BARACK OBAMA THE WHITE HOUSE, January 17, 2017.

17 января, 16:38

Trump on Trade

(Don Boudreaux) TweetUnlike my colleague Tyler Cowen, I pay too little attention to the details of foreign affairs and policy to comment competently on Donald Trump’s recent criticisms of NATO.  But I can comment competently on Trump’s assertions about trade, which of course are many.  Watching PBS Newshour last evening, I was struck by this remark, given […]

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17 января, 13:50

Gambia: Four ministers resign from Jammeh government

Finance, foreign affairs, trade and the environment ministers quit Jammeh's government as end of his term looms.

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17 января, 12:09

Four Gambia ministers resign from Jammeh's government

BANJUL (Reuters) - Gambia's ministers for finance, foreign affairs, trade and the environment have resigned from President Yahya Jammeh's government, according to ministry sources and state television.

17 января, 06:53

Germany Says NATO Concerned About Trump 'Obsolete' Remark

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Germany’s Foreign Minister said on Monday that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s comments that NATO was obsolete had aroused concern across the 28-member alliance. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, speaking after a meeting with alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, said Trump’s remarks contradicted views expressed by designated Defense Secretary James Mattis. He spoke also of “amazement”. “I’ve spoken today not only with EU foreign ministers but NATO foreign ministers as well and can report that the signals are that there’s been no easing of tensions,” Steinmeier told reporters when asked about Trump’s interview with Bild newspaper and the Times of London. “Obviously the comments from President-elect Trump, that he views NATO as obsolete, were viewed with anxiety,” he said. Trump, who is due to be sworn in as president on Friday, said NATO was obsolete because it had not defended against terrorist attacks. He said also he had always had “great respect” for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but criticized her 2015 decision to allow in a wave of a million migrants as a “catastrophic mistake” that opened the door to terrorist attacks. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said it was “inappropriate” for Trump to weigh directly into the politics of another country by his remarks. “He will have to speak to that, as of Friday he is responsible for that relationship.” RUSSIA AGREES NATO has been seen since the 1950s as the keystone of western European defenses, extending its zone of activity in the post-Cold War period to the borders of Russia - much to Russia’s chagrin. The alliance’s founding treaty commits members to consider an attack on any one state as an attack on all. A Kremlin spokesman said he agreed with Trump that NATO, characterized by Russian officials as a hostile remnant of the Cold War, was obsolete. Germany’s transatlantic coordinator, Juergen Hardt, told Reuters he did not expect Congress to allow Washington to give up its leadership role in NATO. He said key U.S. lawmakers, including Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, had told him several weeks ago they expected Washington to remain a reliable partner in the 28-nation bloc, and he did not expect Trump to reverse the deployment of 4,000 U.S. troops to Poland. Norbert Roettgen, head of Germany’s foreign affairs committee, said Germany should fight to restore Western unity. “Europe is not able to replace the security role of the United States so there is a lot at stake - the very foundations of liberal order internationally and European security. And for that we should fight because it is our very existential interest,” Roettgen told Reuters. Trump repeated criticism of NATO members that fail to meet spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense. Germany is working to gradually boost its military spending, Defence Ministry spokesman Jens Flosdorff told a news conference. Merkel in November said she could not promise the NATO target would be met “in the near future.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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17 января, 04:39

The Real Thucydides Trap: Will Red and Blue America Go to War?

Jeff Vandaveer Politics, Americas Thucydides warns us to not discount the possibility of war between red and blue states. In the aftermath of the 2016 elections, an intense and widening divide resurfaced among Americans. While initial fissures in U.S. society revealed themselves over twenty years ago, the split increased into culturally distinct and regionally localized areas during that time. Today, the rift is generally peaceful and manifests itself in words and demonstrations. However, it resides along significant geographic, economic and ideological lines that may not withstand future stress and pressure.  Such an internal division is not a unique circumstance. In fact, ancient Greek history provides us a fitting analogy for reflection. Senior military leaders and historians study The Peloponnesian War, written by the Athenian historian Thucydides, as a footnote for strategic thought in foreign affairs. However, that war was chiefly about internal conflict in Greek society. Today, Thucydides’ relevance to America’s domestic political landscape is minimal under an assumption the United States is a unified society. Clearly, the 2016 elections and reactions give cause to question the strength and depth of our society’s unity. That and other similarities warrant a review of the context and causes of the Peloponnesian War, if only as an analogy, for consideration. The thirty-year-long Peloponnesian War did not start overnight. Greek casus belli intensified gradually over a fifty-year span as selfish agendas became acceptable through the slow creep of greed, pride and suspicion. Ironically, the very peace Athenians and Spartans secured against Persia enabled the widening of attitudes. Tragically, Greek divergence metastasized into open conflict and, ultimately, mutual ruin. Why? A key message of Thucydidean history is that without mutual effort for unity, a people of common heritage but different perspectives will develop oppositional interests over time. This was the case with Athens and Sparta and is occurring in “blue” and “red” segments of America’s populace. Read full article

16 января, 15:52

Why Russia must come clean on its Pakistan policy

Since the collapse of the USSR there has been no reason for Cold War-era foes Russia and Pakistan to avoid each other. The decision to facilitate cooperation between Russia and Pakistan was long expected. It was made only recently, and resulted in the visit of the Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu to Islamabad in 2014. After that both countries passed a number of milestones. Russia should avoid bilateral military drills with Pakistan - expert Shoygu signed an agreement on military cooperation. The two countries agreed on delivery of four Mi-35M Hind-E combat helicopters. On Sept. 26-Oct. 10 Russia and Pakistan held their first-ever joint tactical exercises titled Friendship-2016 at the special forces training centre in Pakistan’s Cherat located in the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It has been already confirmed by the Russian Land Forces Command, that there will be a second joint exercise in 2017. Economic ties between Russia and Pakistan are not so good. In their statistical data the governments of both countries mention each other under the word “others.” Bilateral trade volume between Russia and Pakistan decreased in 2015 by 13 per cent and reached $395 million (as compared to $453 million in 2014). Yet in 2015, the governments of Russia and Pakistan signed an agreement on cooperation in the construction of the ‘North-South’ gas pipeline (from Karachi to Lahore). This agreement may help both countries to boost the bilateral trade with the Russian investment of $2 billion in the project. Negative factors However there are concerns that these opportunities will only bring short-term gains with no long-term strategic outcomes for both Russia and Pakistan. Unfavourable conditions come in the way of close relations between Russia and Pakistan. Due to uneasy economic situations in both countries they have limited resources for mutual investments and joint business projects. Will the entry of India and Pakistan paralyze the SCO? Third countries could also create obstacles for Russia and Pakistan on their way closer to each other. For instance, the United States may try to dissuade Pakistan from strengthening ties with Russia while New Delhi may oppose Moscow’s military cooperation with Islamabad. Russia has consistently been making non-transparent and unpredictable moves towards Pakistan. Under the third president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev (2008-2012) Russia’s policy toward Islamabad was more transparent: The 2008 Foreign Policy Concept declared Pakistan as one of the key regional powers, that Russia intended to develop relations with on bilateral and multilateral levels. Putin's return to the Kremlin in 2012 led to changes in the Russia' policy in South Asia. It seemed to become less clear and predictable. The first indication of this was a short notice cancellation of the Dushanbe Four summit in Islamabad in 2012 due to President Putin's inability to visit Pakistan. Later on, Pakistan disappeared from the Russia's foreign policy concepts of 2013 and 2016. Due to these changes there is a clear lack of understanding of Pakistan's place in Russia's foreign policy became almost absent. The Russian official statements don't reveal any comprehensive strategy in South Asia. For an external observer these moves of Moscow in the region look like separate tactical actions. And what is the most worrisome is that these actions of Moscow may be motivated by external reasons. These could come from Russian relations with the West and its bid for the global role, its interests in Central Asia and the Middle East, and commitments to China. Russia’s recent U-turns in Pakistan occurred in the end of 2016. In November, during the visit to Islamabad of Alexander Bortnikov, director of Federal Security Services, Russia clearly indicated its interest to have access to the Gwadar port and even to “join” the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), according to sources in Pakistan. After that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dismissed any Russian intention regarding CPEC. Rethinking Russia’s South Asia strategy The recent jump of Russia and Pakistan into the full-scale military cooperation seems to create false perceptions. It gives the appearance of the close and solid relations between both countries. But in fact it camouflages poor economic interdependence, lack of strategy for bilateral cooperation, fragility and reversibility of the achievements of Russia-Pakistan relations. Military cooperation between Russia and Pakistan simultaneously irritates third countries and provokes them to actively spoil a potential partnership between Russia and Pakistan. SCO could help improve India-Pakistan ties - Russian expert That is why, instead of boosting bilateral military cooperation, Russia and Pakistan should focus on less visible, but more important fields of partnership, to start with formulating the roadmap for bilateral relations, and facilitating trade between them. The military part of cooperation is also possible too but it needs to be less provocative and visible. It could be limited by arms deals, military education, and bilateral consultations on the issues of mutual concern. As for the war games, they could be embedded into the SCO framework. A trusted partnership with both India and Pakistan is possible only if Russia realizes and articulates their independent value for itself, makes its policy there South Asia-oriented, protects its ties with India and Pakistan from the third countries’ influence, and avoids U-turns and any kind of unpredictability in its regional strategy. This is an abridged version of an article, first published by the Russia & India Report. Views expressed in this article are personal.

16 января, 06:30

A Billionaire with a Rare Talent for Taking Risks and Making People Happy: Sun King (1999)

David R. Ignatius (May 26, 1950), is an American journalist and novelist. He is an associate editor and columnist for The Washington Post. He also co-hosts PostGlobal, an online discussion of international issues at Washingtonpost.com, with Fareed Zakaria. He has written nine novels, including Body of Lies, which director Ridley Scott adapted into a film. He is a former Adjunct Lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and currently Senior Fellow to the Future of Diplomacy Program. He has received numerous honors, including the Legion of Honor from the French Republic, the Urbino World Press Award from the Italian Republic, and a lifetime achievement award from the International Committee for Foreign Journalism. In addition to being a journalist, Ignatius is also a successful novelist. He has written seven novels in the suspense/espionage fiction genre, which draw on his experience and interest in foreign affairs and his knowledge of intelligence operations. Reviewers have compared Ignatius' work to classic spy novels like those by Graham Greene. Ignatius’s novels have also been praised for their realism; his first novel, Agents of Innocence, was at one point described by the CIA on its website as "a novel but not fiction".[16] His 1999 novel The Sun King, a re-working of The Great Gatsby set in late-20th-century Washington, is his only departure from the espionage genre. His 2007 novel Body of Lies was adapted into a film by director Ridley Scott. It starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer has acquired the rights to Ignatius’s seventh novel, The Increment. The Director, a spy thriller about a new CIA director and cyber-espionage, is his latest novel. In May 2015, MSNBC's Morning Joe announced that Ignatius would be teaming up with noted composer Mohammed Fairouz to create a political opera called 'The New Prince' based on the teachings of Niccolo Machiavelli. The opera was commissioned by the Dutch National Opera.[17] Speaking with The Washington Post, Ignatius described the broad themes of the opera in terms of three chapters: "The first chapter is about revolution and disorder. Revolutions, like children, are lovable when young, and they become much less lovable as they age. The second lesson Machiavelli tells us is about sexual obsession, among leaders. And then the final chapter is basically is the story of Dick Cheney [and] bin Laden, the way in which those two ideas of what we’re obliged to do as leaders converged in such a destructive way." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ignatius

16 января, 02:13

Ecuador Has ‘Hope’ For Good Relationship With Trump Despite ‘Concerns’

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― The election of Donald Trump sent shock waves throughout the world, most notably in countries like Mexico and China that the president-elect made whipping posts during his campaign. But scores of other countries are also closely watching the new administration, including nations like Ecuador that have a sizable number of citizens living in the United States. “Concerns, of course we have, because we’re not deaf and we listened to the campaign and we heard a lot of things that are troublesome, particularly when those things affect our Ecuadorian citizens in the United States,” Guillaume Long, Ecuador’s minister of foreign affairs and human mobility, told The Huffington Post in an interview last Thursday. Long emphasized, however, that Ecuador respects the results of the U.S.’s democratic elections. “We’re gonna have the best of attitudes. After the 20th of January, we’re going to have the best predisposition to work with the new administration,” he said. Long was visiting the United States to promote Ecuador’s plans to crack down on tax shelters and mark the start of Ecuador’s term as leader of the G-77 bloc of developing nations at the United Nations. On Friday, Long traveled to Connecticut to meet with members of the Ecuadorian-American community. Some 1 million of the 3 million Ecuadorians living abroad live in the U.S., Long said. And between 20 and 25 percent of these Ecuadorians are undocumented immigrants, he estimated. Ecuador not only grants its citizens living in foreign countries the right to vote in elections, it also sets aside six seats in its national assembly for these emigrants. In addition, remittances from these Ecuadorians are a significant source of cash for the country’s economy. In 2015, Ecuadorians living abroad sent $2.4 billion back to Ecuador ― and more than $1 billion from the United States alone. That makes Trump’s promise to ramp up deportations of undocumented immigrants both a political and economic worry for the Ecuadorian government.  As a result, the Trump administration’s immigration policy is among the biggest of the Ecuadorian government’s “concerns.” Long alluded to Trump’s plans to build a wall along the Mexican border to keep out immigrants. “I think a lot of people in the world have concerns ― a lot of people in Latin America, a lot of my colleagues, are nervous about it,” he said. “We’ve been talking about less walls and more bridges.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

16 января, 01:25

Trump Threatens BMW With Border Tax On Cars Built In Mexico

FRANKFURT/BERLIN, Jan 16 (Reuters) - U.S President-elect Donald Trump warned German car companies he would impose a border tax of 35 percent on vehicles imported to the U.S. market, a plan that drew sharp rebukes from Berlin and hit the automakers’ shares. In an interview with German newspaper Bild, published on Monday, Trump criticized German carmakers such as BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen for failing to produce more cars on U.S. soil. “If you want to build cars in the world, then I wish you all the best. You can build cars for the United States, but for every car that comes to the USA, you will pay 35 percent tax,” Trump said in remarks translated into German. “I would tell BMW that if you are building a factory in Mexico and plan to sell cars to the USA, without a 35 percent tax, then you can forget that,” Trump said. Volkswagen (VW) shares closed down 2.2 percent, while BMW and Daimler’s shares ended 1.5 percent lower. Under pressure to deliver on campaign promises to revive U.S. industrial jobs, Trump has turned his fire on carmakers that use low-cost Mexican plants to serve the U.S. market. He has also warned Japan’s Toyota it could be subject to a “big border tax” if it builds its Corolla cars for the U.S. market at a planned factory in Mexico. All three German carmakers have invested heavily in Mexico, but also pointed out on Monday that they manufacturer in the United States as well. BMW executive Peter Schwarzenbauer told reporters the company was sticking to plans to invest around $1 billion in a new plant in Mexico, which is due to go into production in 2019 and create at least 1,500 jobs. SERIOUS WARNING “The president’s powers are considerable. He can legally impose tariffs of up to 15 percent for 150 days. Trump is not constrained by Congress,” said Simon Evenett, professor of international trade at Switzerland’s University of St Gallen. “Even if foreign companies object and seek to challenge the legality of tariffs, it will take at least 18 months to get decided. Corporate strategies will be disrupted by then.” While investing in Mexico, German carmakers have quadrupled light vehicle production in the United States over the past seven years to 850,000 units, more than half of which are exported from there, Germany’s VDA automotive industry association said. “In the long term, the United States would be shooting itself in the foot by imposing tariffs or other trade barriers,” VDA President Matthias Wissmann said in a statement. German carmakers employ about 33,000 workers in the United States and German automotive suppliers about 77,000 more, the VDA said. Speaking in tabloid newspaper Bild, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that rather than trying to penalize German carmakers, the United States should instead respond by building better and more desirable cars. Norbert Roettgen, head of Germany’s foreign affairs committee, said Berlin needed to take Trump’s comments seriously. “He seems to be absolutely focused on short-term job interests and security interests ... not that he is looking for free trade so much, but more for protection,” he told Reuters. MEXICAN PLANS Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and BMW already have sizeable factories in the United States where they build higher-margin sports utility vehicles (SUVs) for export to Asia and Europe. Around 65 percent of BMW’s production from its factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is exported overseas. BMW builds the X3, X4, X5 and X6 models in the United States. “It is surprising that Trump singles out the carmaker that exports more vehicles from the United States than any other manufacturer,” Evercore ISI analysts said. A BMW spokeswoman said the planned plant in the central Mexican city of San Luis Potosi would build the BMW 3 Series from 2019, with the output intended for the world market. The plant would be an addition to existing 3 Series production facilities in Germany and China. In June last year, BMW broke ground on the plant, pledging to invest $2.2 billion in Mexico by 2019 for annual production of 150,000 cars. Daimler has said it plans to begin assembling Mercedes-Benz vehicles in 2018 from a $1 billion facility shared with Renault-Nissan in Aguascalientes in Mexico. A spokesman for Daimler declined to comment on Trump’s remarks. Last year, VW’s Audi division inaugurated a $1.3 billion production facility with 150,000 vehicle production capacity near Puebla, Mexico. Audi said it would build electric and petrol Q5 SUVs in Mexico. Audi declined to comment on Monday. VW also declined to comment on Trump’s remarks but noted it was investing another $900 million in its U.S. plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Trump called Germany a great car producer, saying Mercedes-Benz cars were a frequent sight in New York, but claimed there was not enough reciprocity. Germans were not buying Chevrolets at the same rate, he said, calling the business relationship an unfair one-way street. Chevrolet sales have fallen sharply in Europe since parent company General Motors in 2013 said it would drop the Chevrolet brand in Europe by the end of 2015. Since then, GM has focused instead on promoting its Opel and Vauxhall marques. Asked by Reuters whether Trump could take any steps to make it easier for GM to sell more American-made cars in Europe, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said the company aimed to build cars in markets where they are sold. “We’re a global company so we’re going to continue that focus just because from an economic perspective that generally turns out to be the best framework,” she said. “I think there is a lot that we can work on with President-elect Trump.” (Reporting by Edward Taylor, Ilona Wissenbach, Andreas Rinke, Andreas Cremer and David Shepardson; Editing by Keith Weir and Mark Potter) -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

14 января, 12:50

Can Evangelicals Help Trump Thaw Relations With Russia?

They were Ronald Reagan’s allies during the Cold War. But some now want the president-elect to build bridges with Vladimir Putin.

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14 января, 00:59

Foreign Affairs January Issue Launch: Out of Order? The Future of the International System

Gideon Rose discusses the January/February 2017 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine with contributors Joseph S. Nye Jr. and Kori Schake. The latest issue of Foreign Affairs takes an in-depth look at the future of the liberal international order, and the role of the United States within it.

13 января, 16:07

The Trump Presidency: A Second Harding Administration?

The inauguration of Donald Trump is only a week away and the many who dread the incoming administration are busy bewailing the coming catastrophe. The terms "fascist" and "fascism" feature prominently in their denunciations and historical analogies to Hitler or Mussolini are liberally offered. Just the other day, a full-page ad appeared in the Washington Post courtesy of refusefascism.org. The ad, bearing the signatures of a number of prominent individuals, flatly states that "by any definition, Donald Trump is a fascist." This claim is not unique. Some respected political commentators have made the same accusation. Trump is no fascist. For one thing, that claim implies he has something resembling a coherent ideology and some core principles. Trump has no ideology. With respect to principles, he is guided principally by his ego (more on that below). Moreover, although there is no question that during the campaign Trump appealed to nationalist sentiments and exploited the fears of some regarding Mexicans, Muslims, and minorities and foreigners in general, he is not Hitler or Mussolini. Trump exhibits the casual prejudices of a wealthy, privileged man who has been insulated from substantive contact with those outside his elite social and business circles, but he is no hater, let alone a murderous bigot. Trump's remarks to and about African Americans during the campaign did not betray deep-seeded animosity, just ignorance and condescension. Frankly, Ronald Reagan--now practically a saint in some eyes--was much more overt in his use of racist dog whistles during his campaigns. Have we already forgotten Reagan's infamous "welfare queen" or the "young buck" buying a T-bone steak with food stamps? Furthermore, although Trump has repeatedly boasted he is the only one that can solve America's problems, this claim is the product of his narcissism not any authoritarian aspirations. In any event, were he to harbor any such ambitions, our democratic institutions should prove more resilient than those of the Weimar Republic. No, if we had to make a prediction about the Trump administration based on some historical analogy, I think we should look to Harding, not Hitler. Like Trump, Warren Harding rode to office on a wave of reaction: whereas Trump has pledged to make America great again, Harding pledged a "return to normalcy." The nativism of a substantial portion of the American population in the 1920s resulted in strict immigration quotas being passed by the Republican-controlled Congress. Harding's "pro-business" administration pushed for and obtained tax cuts for the wealthy. To protect American industry and farmers, tariffs were increased on imported goods. Harding also urged federal regulatory agencies, such as the FTC and ICC, to be more cooperative with corporations rather than confrontational. Finally, like Trump, Harding appointed unqualified cronies to the cabinet, resulting in one of the most corrupt administrations in American history. Many historians have rated Harding as one of the worst presidents--an incompetent, incurious executive, with no experience in foreign affairs, who, however, had a streak of decency. (He was much less racist than his predecessor, Woodrow Wilson.) Is something like this what we can expect from Trump? I would make this prediction except for one consideration, which is why the title for this essay is in the form of a question. The comparison to Harding might be unfair--to Harding. Trump distinguishes himself from Harding by his extreme egotism. Trump's press conference the other day eliminated any doubt that he's motivated primarily by his self-regard. Those who dare question him become enemies, whereas those who praise him can do no serious wrong. Were national security not at stake, Trump's love affair with Putin would be comical. I, for one, doubt that the Russians have any compromising information on Trump. What would be the point? It's not needed. All Putin has to do is to continue to flatter Trump and he'll have Trump eating out of his hand. Praise Trump as a great businessman, and the U.S. will recognize the annexation of Crimea. If Putin also praises Trump's golf game, Trump will probably throw in Latvia as well. So over the next several years we can expect to see an ever widening gap between the very wealthy and the rest of us, an inflexible stance on immigration, counter-productive trade policy, lax regulation of corporations, general bungling of both domestic and foreign affairs, indifference to civil rights, a decline in America's stature in the world, and corruption on a "big league" scale--accompanied throughout by the disheartening spectacle of our thin-skinned president reacting like an insecure adolescent to every perceived slight. It will not be pretty, but we will still have a democracy in 2020, and this time, if enough people vote in the right states, perhaps the outcome will be different. The foregoing represents my personal views only and is not to be attributed to the Center for Inquiry, a nonpartisan nonprofit. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

13 января, 01:09

New Developing Nations Leader Has Big Plans To Crack Down On Global Tax Dodging

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― Eight months after the Panama Papers shed new light on the scale of tax avoidance by the global elite, Ecuador plans to make cracking down on tax havens the centerpiece of its leadership of the G-77 bloc of developing countries at the United Nations. Ecuador formally assumes leadership of the influential group on Friday, and one of its top priorities will be the creation of an international body to combat the practice of hiding wealth in countries with low taxes and secretive financial laws. Tax dodging “is one of the great scourges of the 21st century and we need to put an end to it,” Guillaume Long, Ecuador’s minister of foreign affairs and human mobility, told The Huffington Post on Thursday. In an attempt to put its proverbial money where its mouth is, Ecuador is pairing its international initiative with a domestic referendum on whether it should be illegal for any elected official or civil servant to have financial assets in tax havens. A vote on the measure will coincide with the country’s general elections on Feb. 19. Like many other developing countries, Ecuador has a strong stake in reining in tax-dodging schemes since they remain a widespread practice among its own elite class. Cash equal to some 30 percent of Ecuador’s economy escapes the country every year for overseas shell companies, secret bank accounts and other tax shelters, Long estimated. That level of avoidance is a “huge irony,” he said, in light of the cash remittances that flow in from the far-less-privileged segment of Ecuadoreans working abroad. Those transfers totaled more than $2.4 billion in 2015. “Those are basically people from the poorest sectors of society … and that bolsters the Ecuadorean economy, and you have elites, who haven’t migrated because they haven’t had any necessity, who actually take money physically out of the economy and send it away,” Long said. Under the left-wing government of President Rafael Correa, poverty and inequality in Ecuador have dropped dramatically. But much of that gain is dependent on the funding of ambitious social programs. Tax avoidance threatens to undermine that progress ― particularly when the economy slows down, as it did in 2015. Globally, the use of tax havens deprives impoverished nations of $170 billion in tax revenue annually, according to the anti-poverty group Oxfam International. An “intergovernmental United Nations body that fights for tax justice” would provide countries with a forum to challenge the policies of other countries that function as tax havens, Long suggested. He pointed to the way nations can challenge one another’s trade practices at the World Trade Organization, arguing there is no reason that a similar body should not exist to monitor fiscal policies. Such an institution could also be empowered to intervene, Long said, “when it sees there is a kind of race to the bottom between two neighboring states ― one lowering its taxes, the other lowering its taxes ... in order to be able to kind of pull money from each other.” At a July 2015 U.N. conference on financing and development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the G-77 failed in its efforts to win support for such a global tax body. But Long expressed confidence that the Panama Papers, which revealed the offshore holdings of 140 public officials around the world and resulted in the ouster of Iceland’s prime minister, have changed the politics of the issue. “This year, because of the scandal, because of the Panama Papers, there is a new historic conjuncture that we can use in order to bring this topic forward,” Long said. “The time is ripe,” he added. The prospects for a global tax body may still remain rather dim. The economies of many U.N. member-nations depend on their status as tax havens, and they would likely fight such a proposal vehemently. Eric LeCompte, executive director of the faith-based anti-poverty organization Jubilee USA and moderator of a Thursday panel on tax havens for which Long delivered the opening remarks, nonetheless lauded Ecuador’s leadership on this issue. “It is clear to me that the government of Ecuador has looked at how tax and trade issues impact vulnerable communities in their country,” LeCompte said earlier this week. Short of a global body to combat tax havens, a coordinated push to reduce tax avoidance could involve providing greater resources to developing nations to monitor exports, LeCompte argued. Commercial goods that get past customs officials represent a major source of lost tax revenue, he noted. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

13 января, 01:09

New Developing Nations Leader Has Big Plans To Crack Down On Global Tax Dodging

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― Eight months after the Panama Papers shed new light on the scale of tax avoidance by the global elite, Ecuador plans to make cracking down on tax havens the centerpiece of its leadership of the G-77 bloc of developing countries at the United Nations. Ecuador formally assumes leadership of the influential group on Friday, and one of its top priorities will be the creation of an international body to combat the practice of hiding wealth in countries with low taxes and secretive financial laws. Tax dodging “is one of the great scourges of the 21st century and we need to put an end to it,” Guillaume Long, Ecuador’s minister of foreign affairs and human mobility, told The Huffington Post on Thursday. In an attempt to put its proverbial money where its mouth is, Ecuador is pairing its international initiative with a domestic referendum on whether it should be illegal for any elected official or civil servant to have financial assets in tax havens. A vote on the measure will coincide with the country’s general elections on Feb. 19. Like many other developing countries, Ecuador has a strong stake in reining in tax-dodging schemes since they remain a widespread practice among its own elite class. Cash equal to some 30 percent of Ecuador’s economy escapes the country every year for overseas shell companies, secret bank accounts and other tax shelters, Long estimated. That level of avoidance is a “huge irony,” he said, in light of the cash remittances that flow in from the far-less-privileged segment of Ecuadoreans working abroad. Those transfers totaled more than $2.4 billion in 2015. “Those are basically people from the poorest sectors of society … and that bolsters the Ecuadorean economy, and you have elites, who haven’t migrated because they haven’t had any necessity, who actually take money physically out of the economy and send it away,” Long said. Under the left-wing government of President Rafael Correa, poverty and inequality in Ecuador have dropped dramatically. But much of that gain is dependent on the funding of ambitious social programs. Tax avoidance threatens to undermine that progress ― particularly when the economy slows down, as it did in 2015. Globally, the use of tax havens deprives impoverished nations of $170 billion in tax revenue annually, according to the anti-poverty group Oxfam International. An “intergovernmental United Nations body that fights for tax justice” would provide countries with a forum to challenge the policies of other countries that function as tax havens, Long suggested. He pointed to the way nations can challenge one another’s trade practices at the World Trade Organization, arguing there is no reason that a similar body should not exist to monitor fiscal policies. Such an institution could also be empowered to intervene, Long said, “when it sees there is a kind of race to the bottom between two neighboring states ― one lowering its taxes, the other lowering its taxes ... in order to be able to kind of pull money from each other.” At a July 2015 U.N. conference on financing and development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the G-77 failed in its efforts to win support for such a global tax body. But Long expressed confidence that the Panama Papers, which revealed the offshore holdings of 140 public officials around the world and resulted in the ouster of Iceland’s prime minister, have changed the politics of the issue. “This year, because of the scandal, because of the Panama Papers, there is a new historic conjuncture that we can use in order to bring this topic forward,” Long said. “The time is ripe,” he added. The prospects for a global tax body may still remain rather dim. The economies of many U.N. member-nations depend on their status as tax havens, and they would likely fight such a proposal vehemently. Eric LeCompte, executive director of the faith-based anti-poverty organization Jubilee USA and moderator of a Thursday panel on tax havens for which Long delivered the opening remarks, nonetheless lauded Ecuador’s leadership on this issue. “It is clear to me that the government of Ecuador has looked at how tax and trade issues impact vulnerable communities in their country,” LeCompte said earlier this week. Short of a global body to combat tax havens, a coordinated push to reduce tax avoidance could involve providing greater resources to developing nations to monitor exports, LeCompte argued. Commercial goods that get past customs officials represent a major source of lost tax revenue, he noted. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

12 января, 21:27

Obama's Peace Prize, His Legacy And Russian Crimes/Misdemeanors

I'm stumped. The outgoing Nobel Peace Prize-winning president has confronted Russia over its cyber hacking of emails during the election. But he has turned a blind eye to Russia's overt support of Bashar al-Assad's slaughter of 500,000 Syrians, not to mention five million Syrian refugees and an additional six million Syrian homeless. Am I missing something? Less than nine months into Obama's first term as president, he was awarded the 2009 Peace Prize in recognition, according to Nobel committee chair Thorbjorn Jagland, of the sudden improvement that Obama had on "the international climate." Here we are in Obama's last weeks and, well, "the international climate" speaks for itself. To be fair, the chaotic and dangerous state of the world cannot be laid at Obama's feet. And the Iran nuclear deal has arguably made the world a little safer (although this remains to be seen, especially as Iran has been economically strengthened with the curtailing of sanctions, emboldening its financial and tactical support of Assad's military repression). With Russia supporting Assad and holding one of five permanent seats and veto power, the U.N. Security Council wasn't going to make any progress on no-fly zones, safe havens, or anything remotely useful in restraining Assad's horrific genocide (and the eventual Russian bombing that destroyed Aleppo). So it fell to Obama to take the lead on what was clearly a burgeoning humanitarian catastrophe, which is presumably why he issued his "red line" warning in August of 2012 - the use of chemical weapons by Assad would trigger US intervention. In August of 2013, when Assad unleashed chemical weapons in a Damascus suburb that killed 1,000 innocent civilians, Obama reneged on his red line threat. A last minute deal was struck with Russia to remove most of Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons and Obama opted for an indirect and non-interventionist policy of supporting moderate rebel groups, in the vague (and retrospectively naïve) hope that pressure could be applied to force Assad to depart so a new coalition government could take over. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of civilians continued to be slaughtered by Assad's military subjugation. Why did he opt for such soft-arm tactics in a civil war that was destroying innocent people and the cities such as Aleppo in which they lived? Obama will hopefully share his logic more thoroughly once he vacates his office, but insider speculation has focused on three concerns. First, he didn't want to embroil the US in yet another failed attempt to import some form of democracy in an authoritarian state, only to end up with the same messes he inherited following the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the mess he himself initiated in Libya. The American public's appetite for another foreign fiasco was limited and the political costs of intervention were high. Second, he didn't want to confront Putin directly, escalating conflict in a region where Russian support for Assad was explicit. Third, he didn't want to risk derailing the Iran nuclear treaty that was secretly being negotiated at the time. All three of these reasons were legitimate, but they render his idle red line threat even rasher in retrospect. More importantly, the three reasons were easily superseded, I would argue, by the more pressing humanitarian necessity of intervening. While past US-led interventions should give pause to any Pollyannaish attempt to engender democracy in an authoritarian state, there are surely equally important lessons from the genocide in Rwanda, where the West turned its back as hundreds of thousands of Tutsis were slaughtered by the Hutu government. Some interventions are justified no matter how uncertain or messy the outcome - when hundreds of thousands of lives are at stake. The complexities of foreign affairs render arm chair, second-guessing facile, unfair and unproductive. But as Obama frets about Russian cyberattacks, one can't help wonder if he is focusing on Russian misdemeanors in order to distract attention from his failure to address the massive warm crimes that Russia has been an accomplice to in Syria. Bill Clinton confessed that ignoring Rwanda was a personal failure on his part and one that he deeply regrets. We can only await Obama's post-presidency explanation of why he chose to ignore one of the greatest humanitarian atrocities of the past decade. The failure to mitigate Syrian war crimes must surely be one of his greatest presidential regrets. It ought to be. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

12 января, 21:21

The Story of American Economic History

Let me start this course about American economic history with a story: This is a story about a guy born in the late 19th century, in 1879, on the prairie: his family's homestead was 17 miles from the nearest post office. In historical terms, the horse-riding nomads who had dominated...

06 февраля 2016, 11:56

ФРС на Украине: идеальное порабощение

Глава Федрезерва Бен Бернанке сделал все, чтобы вызвать в "незалежной" хаос