Tag Archives: Shanghai Cooperation Organization

A Reasonable End to the Afghanistan War

Last year, I wrote:

Liberals and the left need an Obama administration. Otherwise, it is unlikely that Americans will withdraw from Afghanistan.

As more people talk about leaving Afghanistan to its fate, its worth a second to look around and ask what an appropriate future for Afghanistan loosk like.

Afghanistan’s most important future partner is China.

Afghanistan’s most important future association is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

A reasonable goal for US efforts in Afghanistan is to allow it to become a functional member of the SCO, the club for natural resource suppliers of the People’s Republic of China.

Russia, spurned by China, lashes out at Europe

In the wake of the SCO’s (China’s regional club’s) humiliating refusal to back Russia (hat-tip to Dan Nexon), Russia responded to its growing international isolation by reducing the flow of energy to Europe.

Russia’s government may prompt at least one oil company to cut supplies of crude oil to Europe in response to the threats to impose sanctions in the wake of the conflict with Georgia.

It is rumored that supplies via Druzhba pipeline that meets oil requirements of Poland and Germany will be probably reduced and that the LUKOIL leadership has been given the notice.

The reduction might happen already starting from September 1, the sources speculate. People in LUKOIL, however, say they know nothing about the plans to cut down supplies, and people in the Kremlin declined to comment.

Russia to Cut Oil Supplies to Europe In Response to Sanctions – Kommersant Moscow.

Two other news pieces for context: China has a new oil deal with Iraq, and even Sudan has refused to South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The simplistic analysis is that Putin’s bumbling is just continuing, with his historical uniting of Serbia and Kosovo in condemnation of Russian attempt to redraw borders now leading to the genocidiers of Sudan in taking an anti-Russian line!

A better analysis goes back to the Core/Gap divide: Russia, like Sudan but unlike China, is a gap state.  It creates no wealth, but provides energy that makes it easier for productive countries to generate wealth.  Core energy-consumers, such as China, help develop the Gap and work towards peace in order to do business.  Gap energy-providers, such as Russia, create chaos and extort wealth from the Core in order to pay for their eratic behavior.

Related: Europe looks like it will respond in a reasonable way. So good news for the Southern Energy Corridor, but news for Russia’s South Stream.

The SCO and Russia

I noted last week that Russia’s invasion of Georgia was partially aimed at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (the security alliance including China and China’s energy providers — the former soviet states of central Asia including Russia, Kazakhstan, and so on):

Russia’s actions hurt the things that would have supported Russia as a new core state. By violently attacking neighbors, Moscow is violently asserting hegemony in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is properly a way of China to organize her resource suppliers (including Russia). By attacking a reforming neighbor, Russia is helping to make her own government more obscure. By attacking sources of investment, Russia is helping to disconnect her own economy from the world.

Those who never read this blog may not have caught the Russia-SCO subtext. AFP clearly is in the list, as their particularly ignorance piece demonstrates.

Better analysis is available from Chirol and Tom, who both note China and the SCO are in no mood to play Russia’s expansionist game.