Tag: USA

In US anti-racism movement, role of Russia’s hybrid warfare
Geopolitics

In US anti-racism movement, role of Russia’s hybrid warfare

The onset of protests against racism across the United States in the wake of the death of George Floyd is a potential example of a hybrid war against the administrative leadership in the country. Amid the growing turmoil across several countries, experts are exploring possibilities of involvement of Russian intelligence in inciting racial unrest in the United States.

According to a report in the International Policy Digest, Russian organization namely Internet Research Agency has been creating large volumes of websites with content related to the Black Lives Matter movement and police violence in America in recent times. Furthermore, it has been stated that Russian secret services are working on setting the stage for social unrest on racial grounds in the US through various ways of hybrid warfare in a bid to control the actions at the time of such a conflict.

Reportedly, representatives of the American far-right are being recruited by Russia to mobilize groups against each other. Moreover, Russian has been reportedly setting up a network of free combat training centers for African-Americans in the US to radicalize American society. At the same time, a POLITICO analysis indicates that Russia and China have been targeting the ongoing racial tensions in the US with swamp of posts on social media platforms. Aiming at inducing conflict, experts have warned that both countries are pushing disinformation and stepping up their online-game targeting the upcoming US presidential election.

Significantly, this cannot be regarded as the first instance of Russia using hybrid war tactics against the US. Western countries have been witnessing aggressive methods used by Russia against NATO for a long period of time. Russia has been using criticism of American racism for its propaganda since the Cold War era.

While experts have a different understanding of Russian hybrid war activities such as influence campaigns which can be hostile in nature, they pose a serious threat to the power dynamics in the global political discourse. Nevertheless, the 21st century is witnessing an evolution of hybrid warfare which has the potential to cause paramount impact on society with the least usage of conventional ways of war. Taking note of changing perspectives across several parts of the world, a geopolitical paradigm shift is in all likelihood evident in the world order.

Coronavirus: 62,200 deaths in Latin America, 20,000 new cases per day in the United States
Americas

Coronavirus: 62,200 deaths in Latin America, 20,000 new cases per day in the United States

The coronavirus pandemic continues to besiege Latin America, and in the last 24 hours, the infection curve is soaring with 1,238,101 cases (+84,163), while the deaths have reached 62,195 (+2,851). This is what emerges from the data of 34 Latin American nations.

Brazil continues to attract the attention of experts both for the number of infected people, 645,771 (+30,830), and for the number of deaths which are 35,047 (+1,005). Peru came in second with 187,400 total cases (+5,162), and Chile third with 122,499 infections (+1,448). Among the nations with more than 5,000 infections, there are Mexico (110,026), Ecuador (41,575), Colombia (36,635), the Dominican Republic (18,708), Argentina (21,037), Panama (15,044), the Bolivia (12,245), Guatemala (6,154) and Honduras (5,880).

According to Worldometer, there are now 2 million coronavirus cases in the US and 111,000 victims. But the most alarming figure – underlines the New York Times based on its database – is that we still travel to an average of over 20 thousand new cases per day: 21,614 on Thursday, especially in the south of the country and in part of the west coast characterized by new outbreaks. Great concern is also linked to the possible surge of the infections due to the protests taking place across the United States. The surge in cases in certain parts of the country, in fact, may be related to the number of states beginning to loosen lockdown restrictions and the number of people protesting police brutality and anti-blackness.

The number is lower than the April peak of new coronavirus cases, but the number of new cases shows passing the peak doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. According to New York Times, more states have seen a rise in new cases than those that have seen a decline. According to its database, 18 have seen a rise over the past two weeks, 15 have seen a decline, and 17 have stayed roughly the same. The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 213 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances.

Libya has registered another 30 new coronavirus infections in the last 24-hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 239. The Libyan National Center for Disease Control announced on its Facebook page, adding that while the dead remain 5 and the cured 52, the currently positive people rise to 182. India overtook Italy as the sixth country most affected by the coronavirus pandemic after another peak of confirmed infections in a single day. The Indian Ministry of Health on Saturday detected 9,887 new cases, bringing the total to 236,657. The dead in the country are 6,649 so far.

The Philippines ‘unsuspends’ military pact with the US
Asia Pacific Focus

The Philippines ‘unsuspends’ military pact with the US

Earlier this year, the Philippines had said it will pull out of the Visiting Forces Agreement signed with the US but has now reversed this before the termination could come into effect.

The Visiting Forces Agreement, which allowed for the US and the Philippines to conduct joint training exercises, has been extended for another six months on the behest of President Rodrigo Duterte. This comes as a blow to China which has been hoping to capitalise on the rift between the two countries to increase its geopolitical power in the region. In benefits the US to maintain the status quo, as the Philippines is the only US treaty ally bordering the heavily contested South China Sea, home to some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

Duterte had angrily signalled the end of the pact in February this year, triggered by the US’ refusal to grant a tourist visa to Senator and former police chief Ronald de la Rosa who is the architect of the Philippines’ controversial drug war and the associated extrajudicial killings. The Filipino administration had already been trying to distance itself from the US and warm up to China instead, in order to invite more Chinese investment.

But in light of China’s recent moves in the South China Sea and the economic consequences of the pandemic making it difficult for the Philippines to devote more resources towards defence, the administration probably thought it sensible to retain the deal. The administration announced that the decision was made “in light of political and other developments in the region”. Washington and Manila had 180 days, i.e until August, to reinstate the deal.

Under the pact, Philippines forces have been receiving training from Americans to combat terrorism and drug trafficking through the hundreds of large-scale joint exercises conducted annually. But Duterte had earlier criticised the terms of the 21-year-old deal as unfair, saying the Americans took their modern weapons and technology once the training concluded.

Guerrillas in Manhattan, amid provocations and looting
Americas

Guerrillas in Manhattan, amid provocations and looting

Another night of systematic looting in New York despite the curfew for COVID-19. In the United States, policemen are becoming targets, hit by off-road vehicles in Manhattan, in the Bronx, but also Buffalo, north of the state, while in Las Vegas, a bullet hit an agent in the head. He was trying to disperse a violent demonstration in front of the Circus Circus casino. He is now in critical condition. While thousands of protesters gather outside the police headquarters in the southern part of Manhattan, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to anticipate the curfew in New York from 11 am to 8 pm and to make it last at least for the whole week.

The protests were transformed into urban guerrilla warfare by the infiltration of radical groups of various origins or into raids organized by criminal gangs who take advantage of the chaos. Donald Trump promises to restore law and order, threatens to use the army, but shows little understanding of what is happening when, in inviting governors to use strong manners, he compares the current rebellion to the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011. «It was a real misfortune until someone said enough and wiped them out. Nobody has heard of it for years, until today: I am hearing about Occupy now». In the president’s words, Occupy is synonymous with Antifa, the violent radical groups that Trump would like to ban as terrorist organizations.

According to Trump’s opponents, it makes no sense to compare today’s violence and chaos to the nine-year-old movement, that confined itself to peaceful protests, with demonstrators arrested almost only for resistance to the public force, perhaps for an unauthorized motorcade. Occupy was not violent, and it had an organization, an order service that managed to calm the troublemakers, and avoid infiltrations. Today, the picture is different: massive but unorganized protests, organized in the social networks, within which the extremist Antifa groups move. Former Occupy radicals may have merged, seeking provocation and confrontation, as well as groups of rebels and common criminals who practice looting as a proletarian expropriation or simple theft.

Destructions and looting are carried out by small groups that move from street to street with military technique: they attract the attention of the police in one point and strike elsewhere. Some of the most prominent stores were devastated and looted in central Manhattan the other night before curfew, included Microsoft, Michael Kors, Nike and Nintendo. Everything is well organized: some break the windows by throwing bricks, others arrive with City bike’s stolen bicycles to take away the stolen goods. “It’s the coordinated gang work,” says the police. “They are not provocateurs who come from outside: they are from here, we know them.”

Biden in best position for any U.S. Presidential candidate, Will he be able to leverage it?
Americas

Biden in best position for any U.S. Presidential candidate, Will he be able to leverage it?

United States is gearing up for 2020 Presidential elections amid the mist of coronavirus pandemic and fire of latest civic unrest across the nation following death of George Floyd in police custody sparking anger against the black Americans violence.

Latest polls conducted by ABC News and Washington Post show the clear lead of former Vice President Joe Biden against President Donald Trump. The polls indicate Biden ahead by a 53% to 43% margin keeping the registered voters into account.

The polls are a clear indication of how Joe Biden is in the best position for any Presidential contender, ever since the electronic polling began in 1930s.

In more than 40 polls done in May, each one of them showcased Biden leading ahead of Trump. This makes him the first challenger since Jimmy Carter in 1976 to lead in every poll in May.

Also, Biden has been leading in average in every single poll for any month. His average has never dipped below 4 points. This puts Biden in strongest position for any Presidential challenger.

The most impressive point is the consistency of Biden’s lead, the latest ABC news/ Washington post polls being the latest examples. In May, Joe Biden rose up by 6 points in polls on an average.

The fundamental result of each of these polls is indicative of one thing – unpopularity of President Donald Trump. He is clearly not a favorite. The approval-disapproval rating of Trump in ABC news/ Washington Post polls was -8 points. His average is -10 points. In fact, in the past three years of his Presidentship, Donald Trump has never had a positive approval rating.

The only two other Presidents who had negative approval ratings and they ended up losing the reelection were Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992.

This year has been the ultimate test of President of the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic hitting the country and practically sweeping the economy and lives has been troublesome and an ultimate nightmare. And with the latest civil unrest with protesters on streets with slogans of “Black Lives Matter” post a series of violence against Black Americans has been the last bit. When the country is in need of a true leader to dilute the situation and bring calm, the acts of President Trump have only been unsettling. From neglecting the WHO recommendations to fight the pandemic spread and flaunting “non-masked” attire in public, to tweeting controversial statements regarding latest protests, President Trump has failed the litmus test of a true President.

Keeping these scenarios in mind and popularity of former Vice President Joe Biden, it would be no surprise if he emerges as the new President of United States. But next few months are real test as campaigns will pace up. It is to be seen if Biden can continue to dominate the polls and win the electoral elections.

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