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GEOECONOMICS, INFLUENCE AND POWER

The world has survived a lot of insurgencies in different places and times. In general terms, such rebellions mostly happened and prospered in economically weak areas. As the rule, such insurgencies occurred due to the high levels of corruption or somebody’s interest and intention to lead wars, involving many peaceful inhabitants. We all know precisely that war in Iraq was initiated by the American government. Although the official reason for starting this war is that there existed some threat to America through the programs and initiatives linked to the weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein, the huge number of additional reasons do exist, as well. This paper aims at investigating the insurgencies in post-war Iraq since 2003 in order to clarify what happened to the country.

The post invasion period in Iraq is known to have started in 2003 with the fall of Saddam Hussein and his regime. In the beginning of May, the former U.S. president declared that the chief military operations in Iraq should be terminated. The initiative of the American government could be clearly understood as they were targeted to hunt down the remaining leaders of Hussein’s regime, having no need in leading war with civilians. On the fourth of May 2003, the American president announced that there was the end of war for peaceful population and suggested the one month term to the former Iraqi leaders to surrender. However, this period was not considered by the other side. That is why USA decided to lead some additional military campaigns under the motto of political prosecution. On the twenty-second of June of the same year, two Saddam Hussein’s sons were killed. All in all, approximately two hundred leaders of Hussein’s regime were captured and killed. Numerous attacks were conducted around Mosul, Tikrit and Fallujah, where Jihadists exploding devices and suicide bombing to attack the enemy forces were used.

The Jihadists made serious responses when attacking the unarmored Humvee vehicles. In November 2003 they also were successful in attacking American rotary aircraft, where SA-7 missiles were stored, being initially bought on the global black market. The situation was even more complicated when the UN Headquarters in Baghdad were destroyed because of Canal Hotel Bombing. Approximately twenty-two people were killed, among which was the authorized representative of United Nation in Iraq S?rgio Vieira de Mello. The situation, concerning United Nations was even worsened by the secondary bombing, which happened in a month and forced the military forces to withdraw nearly six hundred UN members in Iraq. The activity of al-Qaeda was essentially shaped, and the United Nations had to revise their security practices on the global arena.

Overall, the legacy of colonialism contributes significantly to most economic issues facing Caribbean countries. In order to understand the essence of the point, we have to define colonialism, which is the domination of one country over another that results in suppression of people. Taking into account Caribbean countries, we can easily notice that local people were always involved in fighting for democracy and freedom.

One of the major reasons for the direct influence of colonialism on the economy of Caribbean countries was that highly developed and industrialized countries were targeted to capture the natural resources and geographical location of Caribbean countries, which could provide an immense benefit in terms of trade. During the colonial era, the colonialists imposed their rule over the national economy upon the occupied territory. The constant commitment of various foreign countries hindered the balance of economy within the country significantly (Herring, 1967). To understand how the colonial period is reflected nowadays in Caribbean countries, let us take the example of United States. It is the industrialized country, which always led wars on the continent and in the world. The economy of Caribbean countries was substantially shaped by United States that sent military troops to fight for natural resources (Caribbean Centre for Money & Finance 2011). What we have now is the neo colonialist era in terms of free trade policy, which fits America’ geopolitical interests. Using this policy, America is capable to trade by lower tariffs for imported goods and products. For example, Caribbean countries frequently suffer from selling fruit, tea and coffee, which is not sold by fair trade price, but rather by free trade price.

The rapid development of globalization processes negatively affected the national economy of Caribbean countries. Industrialized countries face the technological revolution and essentially automated their businesses. The previous plantation economy always rested upon the export sectors, which played the essential role in balancing the domestic budget (Kurlansky 1992). The industrialized giant remove the Caribbean organizations out of the international market, because previously colonized countries fail to develop the effective political and economic infrastructure, which is necessary to respond to the market fluctuations in terms of the competitive advantage. One more argument is that all such industrialized countries are involved in massive international unions, all of which have the convenient provisions of the trade. For example, the dismantling of Lome Convention gives more advantages for buyers than to sellers. This way the WTO and EU countries can use the set of benefits over the Caribbean exporters.

In order to understand the nature of negotiations better, let us investigate the recent negotiations between USA and China (Kong 2010). China is considered to be the largest overseas buyer of US T-bonds. Apart from this, China is the embodiment of stability in terms of market economy, whereas US has experienced the economic decline. Before the negotiations, both parties tried to plan their positions.

Both countries agreed to lead the negotiations during seventeen months in the form of exploratory discussions. After Investment Forum had been conducted, two parties agreed on mutual plans and common framework. The Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao encompassed the strategic issues within Strategic Economic Dialogue in April 2009. The position of China was positive, demonstrating readiness to all stages of deal making. It was agreed to encourage the job-creating Chinese investment in the United States, since China had higher influence on world financing. The negotiations were considered to be mutually favorable, especially in terms of direct investment. This planned direct investment had a powerful financial platform in the past. Because China is a low-cost and large market with high growth potential, American companies were noticed to have invested approximately 60$ billion after China opened possibilities for investments, in 1978. The constant American investment in China was extremely beneficial for Chinese economy. Additionally, China was ready to allocate the considerable resources with the purpose to invest in United States. However, the leading Chinese oil company had to abandon the 20$ billion offer to purchase Unocal Corporation, due to stiff political opposition and the potential threats in terms of national security (Kong 2010). The American incorporated banks on the territory of China were not allowed to trade bonds within the local interbank market, blocking the accounts of numerous customers.

The US-China BIT (bilateral investment treaty) was developed to liberalize the investment policies of both countries. This BIT model, which was created after international negotiations, was considered to be more favorable for United States. Practically all American entrepreneurs had the opportunity to treat the foreign investors and investments, nationally. Respectively, all lucrative sectors, which are controlled and regulated by the government, were opened for foreign participation.

During the negotiations linked to BIT, USA and China made an effort to agree on agricultural products, industrial goods and service areas. As the result of this agreement, the Chinese tariffs fell from twenty five to almost ten percent. This way wood, paper, chemicals and medical equipment could be bought much cheaper. There was agreed on a great fall of information technology products like computers, semiconductors and internet-related equipment. In agriculture, the tariffs fell from 31% to almost 15%. China was expected to increase access for the bulk market of agricultural commodities like corn, rice, wheat and cotton. During the negotiations, the critical point for American cotton and rice producers was broken because of Chinese initiative to eliminate export subsidies. In terms of this bilateral agreement, China decided to allow private trade between private parties in agriculture and free import-export without middlemen (Raiffa, Richardson & Metcalfe 2002). The negotiations, where almost fifty delegates from both countries were present, aided both countries to agree on distribution, including wholesale and retail.

All in all, it tends to be clear that negotiations between USA and China were the necessary step in international trade. Discussion and agreement on the numerous aspects of life allowed both countries to establish the common rules for further cooperation, which could be beneficial to both parties. The strong point about this bargaining was that it was carefully planned to cover all the pertinent issues of trade. Secondly, time was managed wisely. The respect to the opponents allowed each party reaching a consensus and signing the regulatory documents like contracts and mutual agreements. The initiative of direct investment was set in motion in both countries, where practically all necessary barriers were removed to assist in fair trade. This bilateral agreement was highly significant for the economy of both countries, because it opened the new business opportunities after the world economic decline.

When we discuss the ageing population problem and the subsequent social adversities and disproportions, we have to remember that this is a relatively new problem, in fact, the one that the modern society encountered during the second half of the XX century. According to Jackson (2002), for “most of human history, the elderly were only a tiny minority of the population – never more than 2 or 3 % in any country”. However, nowadays this number has already increased rapidly, and it continues to rise: according to the latest UN data, by the year 2050, the elder people are likely to constitute approximately 30% of the overall population.

The reasons for such dramatic transformation are obvious. During the last decades, the humanity has witnessed an unprecedented development of science, technologies and medicine; and a significant part of those achievements pursued the goal of making the people’s lives easier and alleviating their diseases. The healthcare systems in most countries have been considerably enhanced; most of the epidemic and virus diseases that endangered human species have been curbed or eliminated. The major amount of the hard manual labor is performed by machines now; therefore, the physical workload for each person has decreased. All of these, coupled with the disease prevention and balanced nutrition, has made possible to add the extra years to the life expectancy of an average person. As Jackson and Howe (2008) claim, the life expectancy in the rich world is about to increase from 76 years now to 83 years, by 2050. The peculiar thing with all these social changes is that they are, as a matter of fact, quite advantageous for an individual, for each person taken separately, but to a large extent, in terms of the global society, this represents a real problem.

The Changi International Airport in Singapore is one of the largest, and most significant transport joints in South-Eastern Asia, and also one of the most rapidly developing ones in the world. Its history dates back to 1981, and now it has more than 370 accolades and a number of international awards. Also, during the last five years two more terminals were opened: one is called Terminal 3 and is aimed at increasing passenger transmission, and the distinctive JetQuay Terminal serves both individuals and businesses that expect a superior level of services. As the official website of Changi Airport informs, with the rating of the seventh busiest international airports today, Airport in Changi is a crucial air hub found in the Asia region. The airport expands its services to over 100 airlines worldwide with destinations to around 200 cities located in some 60 countries worldwide. According to Changi Airport data, the air hub handled over 46 million passengers just in 2011,,which is “more than 9 times the size of Singapore’s population). A flight lands or takes off at Changi each 100 seconds, at average (News 24).

Taking all this information into account and remembering about the globalization trend that involves Asian countries, we can conclude that the Singapore Changi Airport is a highly possible target for terrorist attacks. The logic of terrorist attacks is clear: to attract as much attention to the staged happenings as possible, because the real underlying aim of the terrorist groups is not the murder and destruction in itself, but intimidating and scaring large masses of people all over the world. In this sense, transport joints are perfect targets, and among these the best are airports. The objective law says that the bigger the airport, the more effect the terrorist attacks will have. Tragic happenings at such venues usually receive broad media coverage, immediate public and governmental reaction. The “new Asian tigers”, i.e. the rapidly developing economies of East-Asian countries including Singapore are becoming increasingly vital for the global economy and politics, and any event in airports situated in those countries will cause intense interest. Therefore, Changi Airport is a significant international air transport joint which is quite likely to become a target for terrorist attacks.

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