Category Archives: Robert Gates

CHINA GREAT POWER RELATIONS HOT GLOBAL ISSUES FROM OTHER SOURCES IRAN RISING POWER ROBERT GATES SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION (SCO) SHANGRI-LA DIALOGUE UNITED STATES

China-U.S. Power Games

by Ehsan Ahrari on July 18, 2011, 1 Comment

In the continuing power games that Beijing and Washington are playing in different regions of the world, each side knows where to take advantage of the political vulnerabilities of the other side.  The best evidence of that fact is China's recent decision to sign a multi-billion deal to build new infrastructures in Iran.  In turn, it will be able to export large quantities of chrome ore from Iran.  China knows how sensitive the Obama administration remains about any major power's decision to expand its trade with Iran.  Even though China's decision to sign that agreement is purely driven by the mutuality of interests of the two actors, it also knows how much that measure would infuriate the United States.  Iran direly needs China's assistance in rebuilding its civilian infrastructures, while it maintains its significance to China as its third largest source of energy exports.  For its part, the Obama administration is taking advantage of China's increasing assertiveness and its
AFGHANISTAN ASYMETRIC WAR COUNTERTERRORISM HILLARY CLINTON PAKISTAN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA ROBERT GATES SOUTH ASIA UNITED STATES

Obama’s New National Security Team to Pursue a Failing Strategy

by Ehsan Ahrari on April 29, 2011, No Comments

No new team brings success to a failing strategy.  Thus, President Barack Obama's decision to appoint a new Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, a new CIA chief, General David Petraeus, and a new general to head the war in Afghanistan, Lieutenant General John Allen, promises no certain victory of the war in that country.  It is just as simple as that. (more…)
ARAB AWAKENING ARAB EXCEPTIONALISM COUNTERTERRORISM HOSNI MUBARAK INDONESIA INTELLIGENCE INTERNET REVOLUTION ISLAM PEOPLE POWER ROBERT GATES UNITED STATES

Western Military Intervention as a Death-knell for the Arab Awakening

by Ehsan Ahrari on March 9, 2011, No Comments

The natural American interventionist impulse is surging once again.  This time the pretext is to save the Libyans from Muammar Qaddafi.  The United States and the U.K. are reportedly positioning their military assets to impose no-fly zones in Libya.  At least superficially, that sounds like a good measure, which would scare Qaddafi into submission.  But one has to be apprehensive about such "good measures."  Past American interventionism in the Muslim world has established that there is no such thing as intervention to improve the lot of the populace.  That did not happen in 1953, when the CIA and the British intelligence service colluded to bring Mohammad Reza Pahlevi to power.  The post-Saddam Iraq is tenuous at best.  Afghanistan continues to teeter at the brink of disaster.  The CIA-backed intervention that ousted Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965 brought to power a military dictator, Suharto, who ruled that country with an iron fist for several decades.  (more…)
CHINA GREAT POWER RELATIONS HOT GLOBAL ISSUES FROM OTHER SOURCES HU JINTAO ROBERT GATES UNITED STATES

The Lame Duck Factor of Hu Jintao

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 26, 2011, No Comments

The lame duck factor is a fact of American political grammar. It describes the third year of the second term of a sitting president. From then on, all important policy decisions or policy changes must wait until the election of his successor. Is a similar phenomenon also emerging for China, which is not a democracy? Even for a non-democratic system, China has institutionalized the process of orderly succession of its president and prime minister. President Hu has a little more than a year left before he must step down. How does that fact weigh among U.S. China-watchers who are advising President Barack Obama about dealing with China? Are U.S.-China relations going to be less or more confrontational or conciliatory when his successor comes to power? (more…)
CHINA GREAT POWER RELATIONS HILLARY CLINTON HU JINTAO PLA PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA ROBERT GATES UNITED STATES

The PLA Versus The PRC’s Civilian Leadership: Who’s In Charge?

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 13, 2011, No Comments

  One unexpected development from the U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' highly publicized trip to China is that there are rumors and speculation that President Hu Jintao does not really have a firm grip on his country's foreign policy; that the PLA is getting ahead of the PRC's civilian leadership in conveying its displeasure of kowtowing to the United States; and that the PLA might be setting a precedent in creating fresh parameters for China's foreign policy.  (more…)