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    B.R.I.C.S. Discussion



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    Re: B.R.I.C.S. Discussion

    Post  wilhelm on Sat May 14, 2016 10:12 pm

    Something struck me today.

    I don't want to be paranoid or anything, but has anybody noticed the sudden "struggles" of most the countries making up BRICS?

    The Brazilian govt "troubles", the sanctions against Russia coupled with the demonisation of them in the "free" media, the "slowdown" of the Chinese economy coupled with the demonisation of them in the "free" media, the sudden massive depreciation of the South African rand.
    So far, only India looks to be unscathed.....until now.

    One, fine...two, a coincidence...three, hmmmmmm....four....?? Yeah, right.

    It looks very much to me like there is an attack on the BRICS countries by oblique, mainly financial, means......

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    Re: B.R.I.C.S. Discussion

    Post  sepheronx on Sat May 14, 2016 10:56 pm

    Pretty much, yes.

    What is happening is indeed an attack on BRICS. But something catches my view as well - the lack of action from the BRICS nations. For instance, Russia was the only one that actually is now partaking (should have done it before) in removing the foreign NGO's whom were funding groups within the country to destabilize it. As well, lack of real cooperation with groups like Wikileaks who is currently publishing data on officials whom are doing questionable business and operations (new leader Terner in Brazil working for the US embassy). In this case, there could have been some major attempts if the BRICS countries actually worked together to quell any potential issues. But there isn't.

    For instance, Brazil and other south American countries and even South Africa are fairly large food producers or producing specific goods Russia and China does not make or grow. In this case, Russia should have drastically increased both imports of these goods to meet Russian demand (Surgars, Tobacco, etc) while also using funds to invest in these countries to build the needed facilities these countries lack but China and Russia do (Medicine, building materials, energy equipment and materials, food byproducts, lubricants, basic hygienic goods like toilet paper and toothpaste), which countries like Venezuela currently severly lack.

    There isn't much of a huge business collaboration going on between these countries. So while the countries hurt, it makes it far easier for the other countries like US to take advantage of that. See Venezuela, Argentina, etc. Technically, it is like in Russia's back yard - where foreign NGO's who have a free reign to run in the country, operate in Armenia and Kazakhstan. And while the people are not stupid, it can start to cause some major brainwashing. Sad thing is, the authorities are fully aware of this, but do absolutely nothing of it.
    max steel

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    Re: B.R.I.C.S. Discussion

    Post  max steel on Fri May 20, 2016 1:42 am

    Rousseff’s ouster weakens BRICS

    The fact of the matter is that the removal of Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff from the office of president and her impending impeachment trial does not add up. Crime and punishment must have some co-relation.

    Rousseff herself likened her ouster to a coup d’etat. Indeed, the political circumstances are extraordinary. The charge against Rousseff is fiscal wrongdoing – using state money under one budgetary head to cover extra expenditure under another head. She says she diverted the funds for undertaking social programs.

    Fiscal jugglery is not unusual for elected governments and it is a common practice in Brazil. No president ever paid this high a price. Curiously, Rousseff is not charged with corruption.

    True, Rousseff’s popularity is low, but Vice-President Michel Temer who now replaces her as interim president till 2018 is no better. Only 2% of Brazilians say they will vote for Temer in a presidential election. His legitimacy is questionable. True, Brazil’s economy is in deep recession. But that can be attributed to the slump in commodity prices and the slowdown in the world economy.

    That brings us to the famous question by Vladimir Lenin, Who stands to gain?

    China’s official news agency Xinhua has quoted a Harvard-educated academic and author based in Havana, Cuba, who analyses that the events in Brazil form part of a ‘regime change’ agenda launched by Washington in 2013 to regain influence in Latin America by replacing the progressive left-leaning governments and undermining the regional integration blocs in the continent. (Xinhua)

    On the other hand, Latin America’s democratic transformation is a historical process that cannot easily be undone. Besides, social movements and left-wing politics have become an enduring feature of the continent’s political landscape and it is futile to overlook their legitimate role. Again, Rousseff didn’t pose any ‘strategic challenge’ to US imperialism.

    She (and her predecessor Lula), in fact, bore an uncanny resemblance to the UPA government in India (2004-2014) under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. All three pursued neo-liberal policies interspersed with doses of welfare programs, and studiously avoided any confrontational posturing vis-à-vis the US, while at the same time also steering largely independent foreign policies as emerging powers in the multipolar world setting.

    Of course, all three led incredibly corrupt regimes and fostered crony capitalism (which ensues from neo-liberalism). What Rousseff and Manmohan Singh lacked was Lula’s charisma and his innate genius (having been a trade union leader) to connect with the masses. Of course, Manmohan Singh was bookish and pedantic, while both Lula and Rousseff had impressive revolutionary pedigree.

    Lula and Rousseff epitomise the paradox of Latin America’s Left. There are really two ‘Lefts’ in that region – a hardcore, reformist and internationalist Left which sprang out of the Communist International and the Bolshevik Revolution, and a second Left stream born out of the great tradition of Latin American populism, which is nationalist and is more interested in policy as the means to attain and conserve power rather than in power as a tool for making policy.

    Brazil falls in the second category. In the domestic arena, Lula and Rousseff emphasised social policy – education, anti-poverty programs, healthcare, housing – but within the orthodox market framework. Neither subscribed to old-school anti-Americanism; both took care not to take differences with Washington to the brink. Rousseff’s only run-in was over the Snowden disclosure that the US eavesdropped on her, but she soon reconciled. As for Lula, he warmly welcomed President George W. Bush at his home, while demonstrators burned the visiting dignitary’s effigy just across the street.

    Yet, there is something to be said in favour of the Xinhua commentary. Rousseff’s ouster does smack of an undemocratic conspiracy. And the US has a long history of hatching such conspiracies.

    Never mind that Rousseff was not a pain in the neck for President Barack Obama. That was also the case with Georgia’s Eduard Shevardnadze and yet Washington staged a colour revolution in 2004 to have good old ‘Shevvy’ replaced – because, it wanted an absolutely reliable ‘anti-Russian’ leader in Tbilisi who would take the country right out of Moscow’s orbit forever. Enter Mikheil Saakashvili, who successfully accomplished that mission. Georgia today is America’s poodle. (Reuters)

    Secondly, Brazil is a major partner for China in Latin America and that partnership worries Washington, since Brazil also happens to be Latin America’s superpower – not only the biggest country with over 200 million inhabitants but also the world’s seventh biggest economy.

    Thirdly, Brazil is BRICS country. For obvious reasons, BRICS has been an eyesore for Washington. And, lately BRICS began evolving into a global organization. Of course, BRICS represents a ‘growth model’. In geopolitical terms, BRICS presents a dynamic platform for Russia and China to resist US hegemony and to propagate the democratization of the international system. (See the opinion piece by Shyam Saran BRICS – The End of Western Dominance of the Global Financial and Economic Order.)

    Now, any architecture becomes unstable if one of its four main pillars becomes shaky and undependable. Of course, what Brazil’s interim president Temer brings to the table at the BRICS summit in Goa in October will be keenly watched, given the WikiLeaks disclosure that he used to be an informant of the American embassy in Brasilia.

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    What is BRICS member India really up to?

    Post  Pinto on Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:55 am

    Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of "Globalistan" (2007), "Red Zone Blues" (2007), "Obama does Globalistan" (2009) and "Empire of Chaos" (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is "2030", also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.

    You may have never heard of LEMOA. In Global South terms, LEMOA (Logistics Exchange Memorandum Agreement) is quite a big thing, signed in late August by Indian Defense Minister Mohan Parrikar and Pentagon supremo Ash Carter.

    As Carter spun it four months before the signing, LEMOA rules that US forces “may” be deployed to India under special circumstances. Essentially, Delhi will allow Washington to refuel and keep contingents and equipment in Indian bases – but only in case of war.

    In theory, India is not offering the US any permanent military base. Yet considering the Pentagon’s track record that may of course change in a flash.

    No wonder Indian nationalists were outraged – insisting there is no strategic gain out of this gambit, especially for a nation that is very proud of being one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

    The cozying up to the Pentagon happens just a few months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who had been denied a US visa for nearly a decade – addressed a joint meeting of Congress in a blaze of glory, declaring that India and the US are natural allies” and calling for a closer partnership.

    Modi went no holds barred, even referring to Gandhi’s influence on Rev. Martin Luther King’s nonviolent civil disobedience strategy – something that could not but earn him a standing ovation in Capitol Hill.

    The “closer” partnership does involve military and nuclear issues. As Modi reminded Congress – which needed no reminding – the industrial-military complex sold weapons to India “from almost zero to $10 billion in less than a decade.”

    Then there’s the US-India nuclear cooperation deal, which opens a window for US corporations to build and supply Indian nuclear power reactors. And eventually Washington is bent to share “some” – and the operative concept is “some” – military technology with Delhi.

    Geopolitically, this all boils down to what happened recently in the Philippine Sea, as the US, Japan and India practiced anti-submarine warfare and air defense maneuvers; practical evidence of the “pivot to Asia”, as in re-tweaking Asia’s naval-security “order” to counteract – who else – China.

    Modi performs geopolitical yoga

    Yet things are not as black and white – from the Indian point of view. It’s no secret that key sectors of the Indian diaspora in the US are quite integrated with the Washington consensus and usual suspect hegemony mechanisms such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Rand Corporation. But Modi’s game is way more sophisticated.

    Modi’s priority is to solidify India as the top South Asian power. So he cannot afford to antagonize Washington. On the contrary; he’s getting the US on board his vastly ambitious Make in India strategy (“a major national initiative designed to facilitate investment; foster innovation; enhance skill development; protect intellectual property; and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure.”)

    Naturally, US corporations – heavy supporters of TPP – are salivating at the lucrative prospects. The drive is similar to what China did decades ago, but now with emphasis on “protection of intellectual property” to attract the TPP-obsessed crowd.

    Another geopolitical Modi goal is to forcefully present India - not Pakistan - to Washington as the ideal reliable/rational partner in South Asia. That’s dicey, because for the Pentagon the multiple declinations of the war on terror in AfPak are de facto being configured as something like Operation Enduring Freedom Forever.

    And then there’s once again the military angle: India diversifying its weapons suppliers – mostly it buys from Russia – towards the US, but not that much, establishing a careful balance.

    This is a balance between the US and BRICS, in itself is the hardest nut to crack. As Beijing admits in no uncertain terms, “BRICS faces the risk of retrogressive, rather than progressive, cooperation because of new, intricate circumstances.”

    Talk about a diplomatic euphemism for the ages. And this as Washington will go no holds barred to contain China behind the First Island Chain in the South China Sea while there’s not much Delhi can do to contain Myanmar providing Beijing with total access to the Indian Ocean via Pipelineistan, ports and high-speed rail.

    Meet INSTC

    At the next BRICS summit in Goa next month, some of these geopolitical intricacies will be quietly discussed behind closed doors. BRICS may be in disarray, with Brazil under regime change, Russia under sanctions and India flirting with the US. But BRICS remains committed to serious institutional moves, such as the New Development Bank (NDB), the push towards trading in their own currencies and a multi-pronged politico/economic drive towards a multipolar world.

    This drive is graphically in effect when we examine one of the key – unreported - Eurasian integration stories; the symbiosis between India and Iran. Delhi counts on Tehran to up its game as an economy propelled by natural gas as well as profiting in the long run from the perfect – Persian - gateway to Central Asian markets.

    The key hub of course is the port of Chabahar. The highlight of a Modi visit to Tehran four months ago was a Chabahar contract between India Ports Global Private Limited and Arya Banader of Iran. That’s about “development and operation for 10 years of two terminals and 5 berths with cargo handling”.

    There’s way more; development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and essential road/rail links from Iran to Afghanistan and further into Central Asia. India will then have direct access to Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan. It does not hurt that Delhi and Kabul are already strategic partners.

    Chabahar is only 500 km east of the ultra-strategic Strait of Hormuz.

    In the near future, we might as well see a configuration where the Indian Navy has the right to use Chabahar while the Chinese Navy has the right to use Gwadar, in Pakistan, only 150 km by sea east of Chabahar. Nothing that BRICS dialogue – or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – could not keep on smooth sailing mode.

    For Iran, this is a certified “win-win” game. Iran not only will be connected to the Chinese One Belt, One Road (OBOR); but it will also solidify yet another trade/transportation corridor in Eurasia; the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) between the Indian Ocean and Central Asia. Key INSTC members happen to be Iran, India and… Russia. Talk about, once again, the interpenetration of BRICS and the SCO.

    The Big Picture ahead under Modi’s long term planning does not look like Delhi subjected to the role of flagrant vassal of Washington. India needs certified stability with all key players – from the US to China, considering the master plan is to lift 1.3 billion Indians close to the living standards of middle-class Chinese.

    China had a head start. India may take up to 2050 to do it. Meanwhile, it’s not to India’s interests to actively join any US policy of China containment or encirclement, be it “pivot” or “rebalance”. It’s more like India, in a Gandhian way, will be practicing the fine art of nonviolent, forceful neutrality.

    The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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    India to bring proposal for funding Syria’s reconstruction at BRICS summit

    Post  Pinto on Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:26 am

    NEW DELHI: Making its involvement in mitigating the conflict in the Middle East more concrete, India is mulling to propose a BRICS fund for the reconstruction of war-ravaged Syria at the upcoming Summit in Goa where the Heads of the world’s 5 major emerging national economies will meet.

    Last year when the five countries established the New Development Bank, it showed willingness to pool together resources to provide reconstruction aid to Syria and other war-torn countries across the world.

    Sources indicated that India might be putting the proposal to provide this reconstruction aid by pooling in resources. While Russia has been playing an active role in the conflict by deciding to fight on the side of the Syrian President Bashar-al Assad and its armed forces targeting the rebels, other member countries do not have immediate stake in the conflict. So the adoption of the proposal, sources said, would depend on the cooperation of the member-states.

    In its first major outreach to the region since the conflict began in the country in 2011, Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar had traveled to Syria in August this year and held a meeting with President Assad. The meeting signaled India siding with the ruling dispensation in Syria, even as the Western countries especially the US has been in favour overturning the Assad government. The Syrian President while appreciating India’s “objective” position on the conflict invited New Delhi to play a greater role in the reconstruction of the war-torn country.

    Akbar’s visit came close on the heels of a high ranking Chinese official. The Syrian regime has been seeking India’s support for long, but despite opposing to oust the Assad government through foreign intervention, New Delhi has not been vocal about its views on the issue. The proposal would change this and would be in sync with India’s growing aspiration for increased weight in the international arena. Also stability in the Middle East is of India’s interest as the region remains its major source of energy.

    Also as India has been vying for a permanent seat the UN Security Council a step-back from the traditional non-aligned policy and configuring its foreign policy on international conflict would be desirable.

    The Heads of State of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will be present during the summit to be organized in Goa on October 15-16.

    According to the UN estimates Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt will collectively need $5.5 billion a year to fund their response to the Syrian crisis. But the international community has been able to put together only a little more than 1/5th of the estimated requirement. Brazil has also pledged $ 5 million last year at an international pledging conference on the crisis.

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    Re: B.R.I.C.S. Discussion

    Post  George1 on Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:13 am

    China to host next BRICS summit in 2017 — Xi Jinping


    "There's no smoke without fire.", Georgy Zhukov


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    US Opposition to BRICS

    Post  eric1 on Wed May 10, 2017 11:13 pm

    No question that the US, and particularly its intel agencies, has and will be using both overt and covert means to try to put a monkey wrench into the BRICS coalition.

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    Re: B.R.I.C.S. Discussion

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