WORLD ROUNDUPCold War Over Critical Minerals | Will Mexico Be the Next Venezuela? | The Real China Hands, and more

Published 23 November 2022

··How to Avoid a New Cold War Over Critical Minerals
Will the 21st century be the century of the green great game?

··How Rwanda Became Africa’s Policeman
A small country flexing its military muscle

··Is Putin a Rational Actor?
How and why the Kremlin might use the bomb

··The Real China Hands
What Washington can learn From its Asian allies

··Bolsonaro Contests Brazil Election Loss, Wants Votes Voided
Experts said Bolsonaro’s complaint about voting machines has no merit

··Qatar Signs 27-Year Deal With China as LNG Competition Heats Up
Competition for LNG has become intense

··U.K. Troops May Go to Ghana in Shift of Strategy Against Terror
British ministers to fly to Ghana to hammer out a new security agreement

··Home Affairs Keeps Sensitive Report on Terrorist Assessments Hidden from Public View
“Sensitive” research kept secret owing to “operational reasons”

··Will Mexico Be the Next Venezuela?
López Obrador is worse than Trump thanks to being a more effective demagogue and bureaucratic operator

How to Avoid a New Cold War Over Critical Minerals  (Cullen Hendrix, Foreign Policy)
To prevent a return to the zero-sum logic of Cold War resource politics, critical mineral supply chains must be widened at every step.

How Rwanda Became Africa’s Policeman (Jessica Moody, Foreign Policy)
From Benin to Mozambique, President Paul Kagame is flexing his small country’s military muscle—and transforming the continent’s security landscape.

Is Putin a Rational Actor?  (Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr., Foreign Affairs)
Many Western leaders think that Putin’s recurring cries of “nuclear wolf” mean he is bluffing. His tough talk seeks to sow doubt and fear in the minds of his adversaries, they suggest, but he would never actually detonate a bomb. In other words, they insist that Putin is too rational to risk the potential catastrophe of nuclear war. But that is an assumption the West cannot afford to make. Driven by his desire to restore an injured Russia to greatness, unshakable in the righteousness of his claims to Ukraine, inspired by earlier successes in Crimea and the Donbas in 2014, and increasingly desperate in the face of Russian military failure and international hostility, the Russian president could indeed see the virtue of resorting to nuclear weapons. Although the odds of Putin’s crossing the nuclear threshold may be low, prudence dictates that NATO cannot discount his taking such a dangerous course of action. Western leaders must determine how they can prevent such an escalation from spiraling into utter catastrophe.

The Real China Hands  (Michael J. Green, Foreign Affairs)
For four years, as an increasingly belligerent China breathed down their necks, the United States’ allies in Asia quietly endured a torrent of abuse from President Donald Trump. Under President Joe Biden, they again have a winning hand in Washington.