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Pentagon vs. China in Fight Over African Resources

Source: Al Jazeera

From energy wars to water wars, the 21st century will be determined by a fierce battle for the world’s remaining natural resources. The chessboard is global. The stakes are tremendous. Most battles will be invisible. All will be crucial.

In resource-rich Africa, a complex subplot of the New Great Game in Eurasia is already in effect. It’s all about three major intertwined developments:

1) The coming of age of the African Union (AU) in the early 2000s.

2) China’s investment offencive in Africa throughout the 2000s. read more

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The Middle East: Allies in Disarray

For the last fifty years, United States policy in the Middle East has been built around its very close links with three countries: Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. In 2011, it is at odds with all three, and in very fundamental ways. It is also in public discord with Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and Brazil over its current policies in the region. It seems almost no one agrees with or follows the lead of the United States. One can hear the agonizing frustration of the president, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the CIA, all of whom see a situation careening out of control. read more

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Foreclosure Crisis… and Opportunity

Source: In These Times

Two thousand and eleven is destined to become the Year of Foreclosures. The recession officially ended in June 2009, but the housing market’s implosion continues: Banks set a record by seizing more than 1 million homes in 2010, according to RealtyTrac Inc., and housing experts agree that foreclosures will soar higher this year.

Bank seizures would have been even more numerous last year if not for the “robo-signing” scandal that revealed widespread fraud and caused the country’s biggest banks to halt foreclosure proceedings in the fall. Loan servicers’ illegal habit of rapidly signing off on huge numbers of faulty mortgage documents also inspired something unprecedented: Attorneys general from all 50 states began investigating a system that had wrongfully pushed thousands of families out of their homes. read more