Fig-2 First American patent, July 31, Fig. X, July 31,was awarded to Samuel Hopkins for a process for making potash, an ingredient in fertilizer. Signed by President George Washington.
A bridge too far. It claims that New Zealand is ideally situated to become a bridge between the two great powers and an honest broker when it comes to their interaction with the Southwest Pacific.
The problem is that the new foreign policy line is a misleading illusion. It ignores historical precedent, the transitional nature of the current international context, the character and strategic objectives of the US and the PRC and the fact that New Zealand is neither independent or autonomous in its foreign affairs.
The historical precedent is that in times of conflict between great powers, small states find it hard to remain neutral and certainly do not serve as bridges between them. The dilemma is exemplified by the island of Melos during the Peloponnesian Wars, when Melos expressed neutrality between warring Athens and Sparta.
Although Sparta accepted its position Athens did not and Melos was subjugated by the Athenians. In stable world times small states may exercise disproportionate influence in global affairs because the geopolitical status quo is set and systemic changes are incremental and occur within the normative framework and around the margins of the system as given.
When international systems are unstable and in transition, small states are relegated to the sidelines while great powers hash out the contours of the emerging world order—often via conflict.
Such is the case now, which has seen the unipolar system dominated by the US that followed the bi-polar Cold War now being replaced by an emerging multi-polar system aggregating new and resurgent powers, some of which are hostile to the West.
In this transitional moment the US is in relative decline and has turned inward under a Trump administration that is polarizing at home and abroad. It is still a formidable economic and military power but it is showing signs of internal weakness and external exhaustion that have made it more reactive and defensive in its approach to global affairs.
China is a rising great power with global ambition and long-term strategic plans, particularly when it comes to power projection in the Western Pacific Rim. It sees itself as the new regional power in Asia, replacing the US, and has extended its influence world-wide.
That includes involvement in the domestic politics and economic matters of Pacific Island states, including Australia and New Zealand.
When they do, the consequences will be far reaching. Already the US has started a trade war with the Chinese while reinforcing its armed presence in the region at a time when China cannot as of yet militarily challenge it.
China has responded by deepening its dollar and debt diplomacy in Polynesia and Melanesia as part of the Belt and Road initiative, now paralleled by an increased naval and air presence extending from the South and East China Seas into the blue water shipping lanes of the Pacific.
There lies the rub. New Zealand is neither independent or autonomous when it confronts this emerging strategic landscape. Instead, it has dichotomized its foreign policy.
On the security front, it is militarily tied to the US via the Wellington and Washington Declarations of and It is a founding member and integral component of the Anglophone 5 Eyes signal intelligence gathering network led by the US.The previously untold - and previously highly classified - story of the conflux of espionage and technology, a compelling narrative rich with astonishing revelations, taking .
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politics. In this paper, I review three major purposes for arms control negotiations — disarmament, stability, and advantage.
In the first part of the paper, I compare the three purposes against the causes of war literature to show that each provides a defensible.