O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org.

Mostrando postagens com marcador EUA. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador EUA. Mostrar todas as postagens

quinta-feira, 11 de outubro de 2018

A nova Guerra Fria, desta vez EUA contra a China: os EUA perdem agora... (WP)

Minha pequena "teoria": estamos em uma nova Guerra Fria, desta vez não mais a geopolítica entre EUA e URSS entre 1947 e 1990, mas uma Guerra Fria econômica, entre EUA e China, sendo que a China não fez nada para provocar essa nova guerra fria, a não ser o que fazem todos os impérios: roubar, trapacear, espionar, contrabandear, piratear, copiar, chantagear, enfim, tudo normal, como fazem todos os impérios. Só que a China tem a estratégia correta, e já ganhou essa guerra contra os EUA (sem querer ser contra, apenas aproveitar o conhecimento produzido no império americano), e estes vão perder, pois estão numa estratégia defensiva...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Brasília, 11/10/2018

Under Trump, U.S. enters a new ‘Cold War’ with China

The Washington Post, October 11, 2018

The Trump administration is throwing down the gauntlet in front of China. It has already launched the first major salvos of a trade war. It approved a $330 million arms sale to Taiwan last month. And now its top officials are taking part in a rhetorical offensive against Beijing that shows few signs of abating.
In a speech last week at a conservative think tank, Vice President Pence called for a reset in U.S.-China ties. He attacked China for its alleged hacking and espionage attempts within the United States, its theft of U.S. technological secrets, its supposedly unfair trade practices, its bullying diplomacy abroad and its crackdown on the rights of ethnic and religious minorities at home. Pence argued that the White House now sees Beijing as a rival in an age of “great power competition” — a marked departure from previous administrations, which hoped to accommodate a rising China as a “responsible stakeholder” in the international system.
“The speech’s real significance was its promise that the United States will newly confront Beijing’s worldwide economic and strategic aggression, oppose its internal repression and compel the Chinese government to change its behavior on both fronts,” my colleague Josh Rogin observed. This new China policy, which marries economic nationalism with brute hawkishness, “would have been unthinkable coming from the Obama administration,” he wrote.
Pence reiterated the message in a radio interview aired Wednesday. “China has largely abandoned the pathway of more freedom,” the vice president told right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt, cataloguing a list of complaints about Chinese behavior, including the central government’s construction of “an unparalleled surveillance state.”
Elsewhere on Wednesday, a congressional commission that monitors human rights in China discussed Beijing’s sweeping repression of Uighur Muslims in the far-western region of Xinjiang. Reports indicate that as many as 1 million Uighurs and other minorities have been interned in “political reeducation” camps. “The commission’s co-chairmen, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), unveiled a bill that seeks to condemn the Chinese crackdowns in Xinjiang and urged the U.S. government to consider sanctions on Chinese leaders,” my colleagues reported.
Analysts suggest that Chinese officials have been stung by the White House’s overt hostility. “This will look like the declaration of a new Cold War, and what China may do is more important than what it will say about Pence’s speech,” Zhang Baohui, professor of international relations at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, told the New York Times.
Indeed, Beijing has reacted frostily so far. After swinging through the Korean Peninsula over the weekend, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a brief, combative stay in the Chinese capital. “We demand the U.S. stop such misguided actions,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a news conference, referring to Washington’s harsh words as well as to the trade tensions that have cast “a shadow” over relations.
Wang added that those disagreements would impair cooperation between the two countries on other issues, including North Korea. “Two major powers and permanent members of the U.N. Security Council need to, and should, increase communication and cooperation, taking on responsibilities in international society,” Wang said.
The sparring between the two countries seems set to continue. “Trump vowed last month to impose levies on all Chinese imports if Beijing refuses to abandon trade practices he considers predatory, including a requirement that U.S. companies surrender trade secrets in return for access to the Chinese market, and the theft of intellectual property from American companies,” noted my colleagues. “But Xi has dug in his heels, pledging to boost domestic industries, increase exports and pour billions of dollars into infrastructure projects.”
Prominent members of the American business community — including Apple CEO Tim Cook, who visited China this week — lament the tense climate. But they do not have many sympathizers in the administration, which seems enthused by the prospect of an epic clash with a geopolitical adversary.
“To the mix of longtime China hawks and trade hawks now driving U.S. policy, national security matters more than economic friction, and many of the protestations from the U.S. business community may fall on deaf ears,” Walter Russell Mead wrote in a column for the Wall Street Journal. “Both China and the U.S. are likely to move quickly, unpredictably and disruptively as they struggle for advantage; Wall Street should brace itself for further shocks.”
Critics of the administration’s China policy warn that Trump is opting for confrontation over coherent strategy. Is he simply trying to hold the line in the Pacific? Or is he hoping to ultimately push for a radical shake-up in Beijing? “It surely feels good, for officials and policy wonks who have worried about China’s rise for years, to talk frankly about Beijing’s misdeeds and declare that competition is no longer a ‘four-letter word,’” wrote Hal Brands of Bloomberg View. “Yet until the U.S. figures out what its long-term objectives are, until it assembles a comprehensive set of policies for obtaining those objectives, it is unlikely to win the struggle it now seems to be embracing.”
Robert Kaplan, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, argued that U.S. allies in Asia, particularly those enmeshed in dangerous maritime disputes with Beijing, need Washington to play its traditional role of “balancer” in the region — not that of “an outright enemy” of China.
“President Trump has communicated more uncertainty in the minds of our Asian allies than any previous U.S. leader of modern times. This might force them to conclude separate understandings with China,” Kaplan wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post. “Such a process will be insidious, rarely admitted and almost never on the front pages. Yet, one day, we will wake up and realize that Asia has irrevocably changed.”

quinta-feira, 27 de setembro de 2018

Eleicoes no Brasil = eleicoes nos EUA? Isso pode ser muito preocupante... - Annabelle Timsit (Quartz)

Quartz, Nova Iorque- 27.9.2018
Brazil’s presidential election is so crazy that it’s even drawing comparisons to the US
Annabelle Timsit

Faced with two bad choices, people often go for the lesser of two evils. But Brazil’s voters are so unhappy with their options in this year’s presidential election that they may opt out entirely.
On Oct. 7, more than 147 million Brazilian people will be eligible to vote in the first round of state and federal elections. (In the likely event of a second round, the next vote is set for Oct. 28.) The two presidential frontrunners are Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right, evangelical politician and member of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), and Fernando Haddad, the former mayor of São Paulo and a member of the center-left Workers’ Party (PT).
The choice is less than thrilling for a lot of Brazilian citizens: The Financial Times reports that 11% of voters plan to vote null or blank—the highest figure in 16 years—and another 5% are undecided.
High voter abstention rates are not unusual in Brazil, according to Anthony Pereira, director of King College’s Brazil Institute in London. He says there’s a much bigger problem with this election, one that will sound familiar to many Americans: Whatever its outcome, a large part of the population is going to hate their president from the get-go.
Bolsonaro, the far-right candidate, has been called the Brazilian Donald Trump. Much like Trump, he markets himself as an “authentic” candidate and a straight talker who refuses to bend to political correctness, while critics accuse him of misogyny, homophobia, racism, and xenophobia. And much like Trump, political analysts see Bolsonaro as a symptom of his country’s deepening democratic crisis. Much of his popular success is owed to the corruption scandals that have plagued the Brazilian government in recent years as well as its recent recession, the worst in the country’s history.
Bolsonaro’ candidacy is evidence of the rise of an ideological right in a country that has long gone without one. ”You’ve got a campaign that’s about God, and patriotism, and guns–all the kind of stuff we’re used to seeing in the Tea Party in the US—that’s coming into Brazilian politics now,” says Pereira.
But while many Brazilians are loathe to vote for Bolsonaro, some say the other top candidate is no better.Fernando Haddad, the former minister of education and mayor of São Paulo, suffers from his association with the Workers Party (PT) and its former leader, Lula Da Silva, who is currently serving a 12-year sentence for corruption and money laundering. “Some people fear that, if Haddad wins, he could pardon Lula, or he could lead some attempts for the PT to get revenge,” says Pereira, “because they have this discourse of the impeachment of 2016 having been a coup … and there may be some fear that they would try to settle scores.”
Pereira warns that if voters are left with a choice between a far-right extremist and a man seen as a symbol of establishment-sanctioned corruption, Brazilian democracy may suffer: ”Even if people vote, and if we have the second round that everyone is predicting now … you’re going to have up to a third, maybe a slightly larger, portion of theelectorate that doesn’t accept the election of one of these two candidates.”
Given the tight poll numbers, if even some voters who would normally vote for the center-left Haddad decide to abstain in order to protest their choices, that could swing the election in favor of Bolsonaro. The Economist rather dramatically declared earlier this month, “Bolsonaro, whose middle name is Messias, or ‘Messiah,’ promises salvation; in fact, he is a menace to Brazil and to Latin America.”

quinta-feira, 6 de setembro de 2018

Biocombustiveis nos Estados Unidos e seus impactos no Brasil, IPRI, 10/09, 15hs

Inscrições abertas para a palestra-debate 

A Política de incentivos aos Biocombustíveis nos Estados Unidos e seus impactos no Brasil

10 de setembro, 15hs, Auditório Paulo Nogueira Batista, Anexo II, Itamaraty

A Fundação Alexandre de Gusmão (FUNAG) e o seu Instituto de Pesquisa de Relações Internacionais (IPRI) têm o prazer de convidar para a palestra-debate “A Política de incentivos aos Biocombustíveis nos Estados Unidos e seus impactos no Brasil”, a ser proferida pela profª. drª. Laís Forti Thomaz da Universidade Federal de Goiás e pesquisadora no Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia para Estudos sobre os Estados Unidos (INCT-Ineu). A palestra será realizada em 10 de setembro, às 15h, no Auditório Paulo Nogueira Batista, no Anexo II do Itamaraty.
Participarão do encontro o prof. dr. Roberto Goulart Menezes (IRel-UnB), e o diretor de Departamento de Energia do Itamaraty, ministro João Genésio.

domingo, 2 de setembro de 2018

Bolsonaro revoluciona a política externa brasileira - Matias Spektor (FSP)

Bolsonaro propõe guinada pró-Trump na política externa

Candidato do PSL à Presidência produziu uma plataforma diferente de tudo o que já se viu

Jair Bolsonaro apresenta ideias sobre relações internacionais que põem em xeque os conceitos de política externa concebidos nos últimos anos pelo condomínio tucano-petista.  
O projeto do deputado para a diplomacia brasileira é produto de sua intuição pessoal e de um condicionante estrutural —a ausência de militância, máquina, fundo partidário, tempo de televisão e apoio de grandes conglomerados empresariais. 
Tentando energizar a sua base, Bolsonaro produziu uma plataforma de política externa diferente de tudo o que já se viu.
Ele promete aproximar-se para valer do governo de Trump. Ao contrário de Sarney, FHC, Lula e Dilma, que optaram por manter os EUA a distância, Bolsonaro quer alinhamento. Isso significa redobrar a aposta em cooperação com os americanos em temas como narcotráfico e crime organizado.
Bolsonaro também pretende sacudir a relação com a China. Para ele, a ascensão acelerada do gigante asiático é uma ameaça. O fluxo de comércio permanecerá intocado, mas ele promete condicionar o crescimento dos investimentos chineses no Brasil. Nessa visão, nossa dependência de Pequim não é inexorável e tem de ser manipulada em benefício próprio. 
O presidenciável quer intervir nas fronteiras para estrangular o comércio ilegal que alimenta a insegurança pública no país. Embora não tenha dito como, tudo aponta para uma aposta redobrada em diplomacia militar junto à tríade composta por Argentina, Bolívia e Paraguai.
O deputado ainda promete fazer campanha permanente contra compromissos internacionais em direitos humanos e mudança do clima. Sua preocupação é manter energizado o eleitor que se identifica com o mote de Lei e Ordem e aquele que vive do agronegócio. O eleitor evangélico será atendido pelo alinhamento com Israel. 
Por fim, Bolsonaro tem uma concepção singular sobre o lugar do Brasil na economia global. Na sua visão, derivada do guru da campanha Paulo Guedes, o protecionismo beneficia grandes grupos econômicos em detrimento da maioria do eleitorado, composta por cidadãos de baixa renda. 
Segundo essa lógica, uma diplomacia comercial que abrisse a economia à competição internacional logo no primeiro ano de governo traria bem-estar para a população em geral e, de quebra, enviaria um sinal ao mercado de que Bolsonaro está comprometido com a agenda de reformas. 
O problema dessa escolha é que o capitão reformado teria de enfrentar lobbies de grupos rentistas que capturaram a política externa, como é o caso da indústria de automóveis. 
As dificuldades para implementar tal agenda são enormes, e nada na biografia de Bolsonaro sugere preparo ou diagnóstico preciso para travar essa batalha.

sábado, 7 de julho de 2018

Russia-EUA; as relacoes ambiguas ou indefinidas - Carnegie Endowment

Os EUA de Trump configuram o primeiro caso de um império quase universal que renuncia deliberadamente à liderança em seus próprios termos – que no caso da América tradicional deveriam ser os de uma ordem liberal democrática fundada sobre a liberdade de mercados – e adere a uma visão do mundo introvertida, introspectiva, de abandono de suas obrigações com os satélites.
Curioso caso de suicídio imperial...
Paulo Roberto de Almeida 
Brasília, 7 de julho de 2018

Can the Trump-Putin Summit Restore Guardrails to the U.S.-Russian Relationship?

President Donald Trump’s habit of challenging the Washington establishment and upending decades of U.S. foreign policy conventions is by now well documented. Equally well documented is his desire to change the course of U.S.-Russian relations. Therefore, his meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16 should not come as a surprise to anyone. Trump’s many pronouncements on Russia and Putin over the years leave no doubt that he is eager to turn the page on any number of hot-button issues, including Putin’s annexation of Crimea, the wars in eastern Ukraine and Syria, the multiple rounds of sanctions, and Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.
Moreover, Trump’s desire “to get along” with Russia is hardly unprecedented. Since the end of the Cold War, every U.S. and Russian president has similarly attempted to develop a cooperative bilateral and personal relationship. Each attempt has ended in bitter disappointment, leaving U.S.-Russian relations in even worse shape. The relationship has been through a series of booms invariably followed by busts, highlighting very real differences between them that no amount of presidential bonhomie can overcome.
What is needed today is not another symbolic handshake or commitment to move past the old differences, but rather a sober look at the root causes of successive crises in U.S.-Russian relations as well as a clearer understanding of why major disagreements have lingered despite both sides’ attempts at reconciliation.
Putting those disagreements aside is not the same as resolving them. The underlying causes of past crises have been ignored. If the relationship between Moscow and Washington is to move beyond the boom-bust cycle, the key question is whether these differences and their causes can be addressed. Observers are skeptical that the meeting in Helsinki can accomplish that but hope that the two presidents can launch a much-needed yet long-delayed dialogue about the true state of the U.S.-Russian relationship. That alone could be a major accomplishment of the first full-fledged Trump-Putin summit.

A Clash of Visions

At the heart of the long-standing conflict between Russia and the United States is a disagreement about their respective approaches to the conduct of foreign affairs. Until Trump arrived on the scene, the United States traditionally championed (even though admittedly it has not always adhered to it) the international liberal order—including political liberalism, economic liberalism, and liberalism in international relations—and actively promoted liberal values beyond its borders. Russia has adhered to a very different—realist—philosophy and stressed the importance of national interests rather than liberal values in the conduct of its foreign policy. As much as the United States has sought to promote the international liberal order, Russia has resisted its expansion, especially in areas that could touch on Russian interests.
This fundamental disagreement has hardly been addressed, let alone resolved in the course of the entire post–Cold War history of the bilateral relationship. (While there are abundant signs that Trump sees the international liberal order as fundamentally harmful to the political and economic vitality of the United States, he is learning that its continued existence is hard to wish away or dismantle overnight.)
The U.S. national security establishment—buoyed by a perceived victory in the Cold War and the failure of the Soviet Union and its discredited ideology—took largely a laissez-faire approach to this problem, firmly believing that Washington was on the right side of history. The establishment believed that any opponents would sooner or later realize the errors of their ways and embrace its worldview. And if they did not, they would eventually pay the price for resisting the forces of history.
Their Russian counterparts rejected the proposition that they had lost the Cold War and refused to accept the consequences of the West’s victory. Moscow’s vision has been deeply affected by its experience at the end of the Cold War and guided by a firm resolve to prevent it from being repeated. Since the mid-1990s, resistance to the U.S.-led liberal order has been the centerpiece of Russia’s foreign policy. With neither side willing or able to compromise and each convinced that it has chosen the only viable path, their fundamental disagreement has put a powerful brake on successive attempts to repair the relationship and set it on a sustained, mutually beneficial track.

Cycles of Frustration

And such attempts by U.S. presidential administrations have been made repeatedly. Bill Clinton’s administration’s partnership for reform with Russia was intended to help Russia transform itself into a market economy and democratic society, which was expected, in turn, to make it a willing member of the international liberal order. The offer of partnership with NATO was intended to assuage Russian concerns about NATO as a threatening military alliance, as it expanded into Central Europe. These pursuits were premised on the expectation that Russia would change and follow the U.S. lead.
George W. Bush’s administration had hoped to transform the relationship in the wake of 9/11 and redefine the strategic nuclear relationship with Russia by moving away from the concept of mutually assured destruction (MAD) and the legacy of what it believed were obsolete, binding arms control agreements inherited from the Cold War. As a practical matter, the United States withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which the Russians regarded as a cornerstone of strategic stability. The underlying logic of this approach was that if the two countries were no longer in an adversarial relationship and no longer threatened each other, they could dispense with that legacy. Beyond the nuclear realm, the Bush administration engaged in democracy promotion as a means of spreading stability and prosperity. Russia rejected both the idea of moving past MAD and the historical inevitability of democratic change as profoundly threatening to its interests.
Barack Obama’s administration’s attempt to “reset” the relationship with Russia in the aftermath of the 2008 Russian-Georgian war also paid little heed to the underlying causes of the conflict between Russia and the United States. With “modernization” as its principal theme, this policy, just as its predecessors, was premised on the idea of encouraging domestic change in Russia that would ultimately lead to changes in its foreign policy and acceptance of the U.S.-led international liberal order. None of this happened.
U.S. policymakers were not the only ones frustrated. Their Russian counterparts too had many frustrations and complaints about U.S. handling of the bilateral relationship, which they have voiced repeatedly over the past three decades. The Russian narrative includes broken U.S. promises not to expand NATO, interference in Russian domestic politics and use of double standards when criticizing it for its democracy deficit, refusal to treat Russia as a peer, reliance on economic sanctions to achieve desired political and diplomatic outcomes, withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, unilateral use of military force, and regime change and destabilization under the guise of democracy promotion in countries within Russia’s self-proclaimed sphere of interests or that are simply friendly to it.

Different Approaches, Same Result

Aside from unrealistic expectations, the successive attempts to improve U.S.-Russian relations often had a significant structural flaw, reflecting important differences between U.S. and Russian policymaking. The U.S. approach to the relationship typically favors small steps and modest initiatives that bubble up from within the national security establishment and seek to promote understandings on a relatively narrow set of issues. If progress is achieved, it can serve as a springboard for expanding the conversation and hopefully achieving further progress on a broader agenda. Eventually, the series of incremental successes will build up to a broad, U.S.-driven strategic agenda and rise to the level of a presidential deliverable.
The Russian approach to the relationship is exactly the opposite. It begins with a broad understanding about the quality of the relationship at the highest level, which provides strategic guidance for lower-level policymakers to reach agreements on individual components of the jointly designed overall agenda. It is an approach that favors grand bargains among equals and unvarnished realpolitik rather than small steps.
Regardless of whose approach is more likely to result in an improved relationship, it is dubious that the Kremlin or the White House is actually in a position to test it at the moment. Instead, both appear poised to sustain the tensions, each blaming the other side for the current state of affairs. The political atmosphere in both capitals is such that any proposal for a compromise with the other side is certain to trigger charges of surrender and betrayal of national interest. A corrosive lack of trust is omnipresent.
In Russia, the United States is widely portrayed as a country governed by a “deep state,” an entrenched elite guided by profound antipathy toward Russia and intent on marginalizing Russia on the world stage, destabilizing its domestic politics, and undermining its economy. This entrenched elite is so powerful, according to this narrative, that it can thwart presidential initiatives aimed at improving relations with Russia. Under these circumstances and congressional moves to tie Trump’s hands, the Kremlin appears to have written off the United States as a potential partner for the foreseeable future. Consequently, there is very little chance for another reset, and the current state of affairs between Moscow and Washington is here to stay.
In the United States, Russia has emerged as both the “geopolitical enemy number one” and, in a manner somewhat reminiscent of the Red Scare of the 1940s and 1950s, not just a source of external threats to U.S. national security and interests abroad but also a threat to its domestic political order. The list of U.S. concerns includes, but is not limited to, Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the use of social media by Russian state-sponsored actors to sow internal U.S. political divisions, Russian cyber intrusions aimed at disrupting U.S. critical infrastructure and networks, the annexation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine, support for President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, suppression of civil liberties in Russia, and, more broadly, Russian efforts to undermine the U.S.-championed international liberal order. Taken together, these concerns amount to a powerful indictment and, quite understandably, help cement doubts in many quarters about the wisdom of seeking better relations with Russia.

Emphasis on Managing

Nevertheless, further tensions between Russia and the United States are fraught with dangers that neither side would welcome. As demonstrated by the choreography involved in U.S. and Russian activities in Syria, neither side is seeking an outright military confrontation. Should such a confrontation occur, it would be as a consequence of a miscalculation or an accident. Both sides’ interests would be better served by mutual efforts focused on managing an inherently competitive, and oftentimes adversarial, relationship rather than engaging in brinkmanship.
Such efforts could build on some modest accomplishments that have already proved effective in tense and potentially dangerous situations. For example, military-to-military contacts at the highest level—between Russia’s Chief of the General Staff General Valery Gerasimov and his U.S. counterpart, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford—have created an effective channel for communication and for lower-level efforts to deconflict the two militaries’ activities in Syria. (A deadly incident in Deir Ezzor on February 7, 2018, involving Russian private military contractors was a crucial exception to the rule.) A similar effort is urgently needed to manage U.S. and Russian military activities in the airspace and at sea in the Baltic and Black Sea regions. With neither side willing to cease its military activities in either region yet evidently not interested in an outright collision, both sides should, in theory, have incentives to avoid an accident there.
In the words of Dmitri Trenin,
The issue is not that Russian daredevils are performing acts of hooliganism in the air or that NATO pilots in international airspace are unaware that they are coming too close to Russian borders or assets. Each side seeks to make a point to the other, and neither is willing to step back, thus continuing the dangerous game. The only way out of this situation lies in a mutual understanding to stop testing each other’s nerves and aerobatic skills and instead to observe a protocol under which neither party provokes the other. This could be a first, relatively easy step toward military de-escalation.
Beyond the immediate danger of an unintended military confrontation on Europe’s southern and northern flanks, one other issue requiring immediate attention is arms control. Mutual accusations of violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the approaching expiration of the New START Treaty in 2021 underscore the precarious state of the entire bilateral arms control structure the United States and Russia have inherited from the Cold War era. Even though it is increasingly inadequate to constrain the reemerging arms race between the two nuclear superpowers, and leaves out other nuclear powers, including China, that structure could provide an indispensable foundation for future efforts to manage and contain their arms race, as well as possibly involve other nuclear powers in these efforts. The collapse of that structure would cause irreparable harm to future bilateral and multilateral arms control and U.S.-Russia strategic stability. It would not serve the interests of either side.
Although the political climate in both capitals is not propitious for seeking compromises, there is no plausible argument for not engaging in dialogue about the INF Treaty, each side’s charges of the other’s violations, the future of arms control, and strategic stability. It would be unrealistic to expect such a dialogue to produce a resolution of the dispute about the INF Treaty. However, if conducted in good faith, it could clarify each side’s position and concerns and, potentially, lead to the development of a conceptual framework for resolving the dispute. It is difficult to see the risk entailed in such a dialogue, while it could produce substantial benefits. U.S. and Russian official delegations met in September 2017 for strategic stability talks. Another meeting was scheduled for April 2018 but postponed without a new date. This dialogue should be resumed. The potential agenda should comprise new issues, including the risk that new cyber capabilities pose to strategic command and control and long-standing Russian concerns about U.S. missile defense deployments and conventional strategic systems.
Moreover, official dialogue should be supplemented by Track II or Track 1.5 engagement between U.S. and Russian experts. In the past, such contacts were useful for testing concepts and exploring new ideas in an unofficial setting, which subsequently fed into official exchanges. In the current atmosphere of tensions reminiscent of the Cold War, unofficial contacts could once again prove useful, assuming that they actually have buy-in from officials on both sides.
While useful and urgently needed, none of the measures sketched out in the preceding paragraphs is likely to repair the relationship or amount to more than minimal steps necessary for managing it and preventing it from deteriorating further and causing irreparable damage to its key components. Moreover, while necessary, they may not be sufficient to avert further setbacks in the relationship.
The real work to repair U.S.-Russian relations will have to be done at the political level. It will have to begin with lowering the heat of political rhetoric in both Washington and Moscow and conducting a high-level dialogue about the nature of major disagreements and mutual grievances and about their goals, expectations, and desired rules of the road for the relationship. Such a dialogue could can be advanced by more informal discussions between senior U.S. and Russian figures who are less constrained by official roles.
In preparation for political dialogue, each side could take some significant steps to signal the seriousness of its intent and lack of interest in further escalation of tensions. Such steps would not have to be symmetrical but could instead be aimed at addressing some of the other side’s more significant concerns. Conceivably, both sides could take proactive steps to signal their interest in deescalating tensions and halting the destructive cycle.
For example, the military stand-off between Russia and the West is becoming a permanent feature of increased tensions between the two sides. This is a direct result of Russia’s ongoing military modernization efforts and troop deployments and NATO’s efforts to reestablish the credibility of Article 5 commitments for frontline member countries in the wake of the Ukraine crisis. It is unlikely that either side will have an incentive to scale back or defer deployments or training activities along the NATO-Russia frontier any time soon. Still, it is possible that Trump will make a grand gesture akin to his spontaneous decision at the June 2018 summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to suspend major military exercises with South Korea.
It’s also conceivable that the Kremlin could begin to exercise greater restraint in deliberate harassment of U.S. ships and aircraft operating in international waters and airspace in the Baltic and Black Sea regions. Such a move by the Kremlin would be cost-free and entail no permanent changes to its operations in either region but would send an important signal to Washington about the Russian leadership’s desire for deescalation or at least not escalation. For its part, NATO could underscore that the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act’s “three no’s” commitment—which pledged that no nuclear or substantial combat forces would be deployed on the territory of new member states as long as NATO and Russia “build together a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area on the principles of democracy and cooperative security”—is still in effect and that the alliance’s post-2014 forward deployments constitute a response to Russian actions.
Sanctions, which have become the central tool of U.S. policy toward Russia, represent an even more complicated challenge. For the Kremlin, the U.S. sanctions constitute both a challenge and an opportunity. They restrict Western investment and technology transfer, but they also have a rallying-around-the-flag effect that consolidates Russian elites. Furthermore, they prompt Moscow to look for partners beyond the West and redefine Russia’s position as a non-Western global player operating from its base in northern and central Eurasia.
On the one hand, the sanctions program has provided an effective tool for curtailing business as usual, punishing Russia for various actions, and, some would claim, probably deterring future disruptive behavior (at least, on the margins). On the other hand, Western sanctions are not, in and of themselves, a substitute for an effective policy unless they are paired with a coherent diplomatic strategy. For example, the Iran nuclear deal, now abandoned by the Trump administration but otherwise viewed widely as a diplomatic success, was achieved with the help of a dual-track approach that combined increasingly severe sanctions with sustained negotiations. The diplomatic track included a multilateral road map with sanctions relief and other incentives. Such concepts are conspicuously missing from current U.S. policy toward Russia. Policymakers must begin to articulate practical policy outcomes that inform the future use of sanctions.


The current state of affairs between Russia and the United States is somewhat of a paradox. There is a deep reluctance in both capitals to admit that they are once again in a Cold War. Yet there is broad consensus that the differences between them are real and profound. Voices in both capitals point out the dangers associated with the current state of affairs, the lack of reliable political channels of communications, and the risk of unintended escalation. These sensible voices are realistic about the likelihood of the relationship being repaired overnight as a result of a brief meeting between the two presidents.
The experience of the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore suggests that such a brief encounter cannot resolve the differences that have accumulated in the course of decades. But the experience of the Singapore summit also suggests that such encounters can create a positive atmosphere for the real hard work of repairing relations to begin. The Trump-Putin summit potentially can accomplish the same, very important results. It can empower the reasonable voices to begin the conversation in earnest about the state of the relationship, about ways to repair it, and, at the very least, a mutually acceptable way for managing it. If that is the outcome of the Trump-Putin summit, it should rightly be called a success.

sexta-feira, 6 de julho de 2018

Russia: a dificil gestacao de um Estado democrático, e de uma sociedade liberal - Democracy Digest

Dois autocratas, Putin e Trump, um representando uma autocracia tout court, o outro uma democracia liberal (mas atualmente muito confusa, em sentimentos e ações), vão se encontrar proximamente, para discutir não se sabe bem o que, uma vez que Mister Trump possui uma agenda própria, misturada com seus negócios obscuros, no tratamento com a Rússia e o neoczar russo Putin, que possui uma visão clara, antiliberal, do que seja a Rússia e o seu império em reconstrução.
Pena que a política americana esteja praticamente dominada pela obsessão de impedir a China de ascender pacificamente como ela pretende fazer, elegendo o novo império de Mister Xi, como um adversário estratégico. Isso complica um pouco as coisas, porque congela a atual geopolítica mundial num jogo entre três impérios nacionalistas, dotados de líderes autocratas.
O que fazer nesse triângulo pouco afetivo? Nada a não ser procurar uma relação correta com a UE e outros parceiros, que vivem nas fímbrias dos três grandes impérios da atualidade.
Não, não estamos num novo equilíbrio de potências, como alguns pensam. A História NUNCA se repete, ainda que observadores superficiais estejam sempre buscando (falsas) analogias entre situações antigas e situações presentes. Difícil caracterizar o estado atual das relações internacionais, embora nossa primeira função seja focar estritamente os interesses nacionais nesse jogo de damas, bem mais do que de xadrez.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida 
Brasília, 7 de julho de 2018

Democracy Digest

Why Putin abandoned Russia’s Western orientation

Less than a decade ago, it seemed self-evident that Russia, despite all of its cultural and political differences, was reclaiming its rightful place as part of the Western world. In a piece for a German newspaper, Vladimir Putin wrote of a “Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok” that aspires to free trade and shares common values, notes analyst Yaroslav Trofimov.
But now Russia is increasingly looking East, toward an uneasy alliance with an illiberal and much more powerful China, he writes in a must-read Saturday essay for the Wall Street Journal:

The impulse to abandon Russia’s Western orientation was recently articulated by Vladislav Surkov [right], a close aide of Mr. Putin who advised him on the Ukrainian crisis. “Russia spent four centuries heading toward the East, and then another four centuries toward the West, without taking root in either place,” Mr. Surkov wrote in a much-discussed academic article in April. From now on, Russia—an eternal “half-breed”—will face “a hundred (two hundred? three hundred?) years of geopolitical solitude.”…..The profound disillusionment also stems from the failure of policies that aimed to bring Russia closer to the West following the Soviet Union’s breakup—a failure that many Western officials now admit wasn’t just Moscow’s.
“The West was not sufficiently imaginative or creative in how to embrace Russia back when Russia had the intention of becoming a normal country,” said Lithuania’s former foreign minister Vygaudas Usackas, the European Union’s former ambassador to Moscow, who now heads the Institute of Europe think-tank. “As a result, we are finding a Russia that is searching for its identity between Europe and Asia—and that, in the meantime, has become an assertive and aggressive power with the stamina and the resources to discredit and undermine Western democracies.”

Institute of Modern Russia
President Donald Trump’s summit with President Vladimir Putin on July 16 suggests that the U.S. is courting autocratic and illiberal states like North Korea and Russia because “Washington wants as many states as possible to maintain their strategic distance from Beijing,” according to Reuben Steff, Lecturer in International Relations and Security Studies at the University of Waikato.
“This is a task that will become more difficult as China’s power continues to rise and America finds it harder to reassure its allies that it can maintain its dominance in the region,” he writes for the Conversation:
A number of these states have authoritarian governance systems, forms of illiberal democracy or may be trending in this direction. They do not share America’s governing liberal ideology. This ideological difference could complicate America’s efforts to keep these states out of China’s orbit, which claims to have no interest in the domestic affairs of other states.
Some observers are worried that the summit will see the U.S. concede recognition of Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

Daniel Fried (left), a former assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs [and a National Endowment for Democracy board member], is worried there is no clarity within the administration about the goals of the summit, he tells Foreign Policy. “I can’t tell you there’s no chance” the U.S. would recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, he adds.
Placing responsibility for the rapid deterioration in U.S.-Russian relations squarely on the shoulders of the Russian president has its appeal, notes Daniel Beer, a reader in Russian history at Royal Holloway, University of London.” It holds out the promise that Kremlin policy toward the West might pivot once again when Putin finally retires or is pushed out, he writes in a NY Times review of Michael McFaul’s From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia:
Maybe so, but the more pessimistic view is that Putin represents a now-entrenched revanchist nationalism that sees the liberal international order as a mere smokescreen for the advancement of Western political agendas. Deep-rooted antagonism toward the United States might well endure long after Putin has gone. 
As McFaul himself laments, “the hot peace, tragically but perhaps necessarily, seems here to stay.”
Like many of its predecessors, the Bush administration engaged in democracy promotion as a means of spreading stability and prosperity. But Russia rejected both the idea of moving past MAD and the historical inevitability of democratic change as profoundly threatening to its interests, according to Carnegie analysts Eugene RumerDmitri Trenin and Andrew S. Weiss.
Instead, the Kremlin developed and articulated an alternative, illiberal, anti-Western narrative, they suggest:
The Russian narrative includes broken U.S. promises not to expand NATO, interference in Russian domestic politics and use of double standards when criticizing it for its democracy deficit, refusal to treat Russia as a peer, reliance on economic sanctions to achieve desired political and diplomatic outcomes, withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, unilateral use of military force, and regime change and destabilization under the guise of democracy promotion in countries within Russia’s self-proclaimed sphere of interests or that are simply friendly to it.
Russia’s leader may be capable of change, says Mikhail Khodorkovsky, 55, Putin’s most prominent opponent in exile, who has sought to promote democracy Russia through the Open Russia movement.
“My aim is not the overthrow of the president, but the establishment of parliamentary democracy. If Putin is prepared tomorrow to democratize the country himself, then I’m all for it,” he tells Der Spiegel.
But the Kremlin’s reaction to Ukraine’s Euromaidan revolution suggests otherwise, he concedes.
“I had hoped that Ukraine would become a model for Russian society. Unfortunately, Putin has succeeded in preventing this. And, unfortunately, some people in Ukraine helped him to do so — out of greed,” he said.
“Other than that, though, I’m not disappointed. Ukraine is a large country, and no rapid changes could be expected. If the Ukrainians prevent a relapse into authoritarianism, the country will become a normal democracy after one or two changes of government.”
A divided EU – with an unstable Germany, a UK on its way out and renegade central eastern member states – indicates the dead end of the normative approach to foreign relations, according to analyst Vessela Tcherneva. Europe appears to be only of interest to the US as an ally in the competition with Russia and China, she writes for the European Council on Foreign Relations.
As the highly anticipated Putin-Trump summit nears, pundits are discussing the main challenges of the meeting and potential outcomes for the U.S-Russia relationship, the Institute of Modern Russia reports:
On the domestic front, as negative opinions about the pension reform persist, the Kremlin prepares to respond. One of the key political developments in the capital was the announcement of the list of candidates who will run for the Mayor’s and the Moscow Region Governor’s offices in the September elections. No member of the liberal opposition passed the electoral filter. RTWT
At the heart of the long-standing conflict between Russia and the United States is a disagreement about their respective approaches to the conduct of foreign affairs, the Carnegie analysts add.
While the United States has “traditionally championed (even though admittedly it has not always adhered to it) the international liberal order—including political liberalism, economic liberalism, and liberalism in international relations—and actively promoted liberal values beyond its borders,” they notes, “Russia has adhered to a very different—realist—philosophy and stressed the importance of national interests rather than liberal values in the conduct of its foreign policy.”
“As much as the United States has sought to promote the international liberal order, Russia has resisted its expansion.” RTWT

terça-feira, 22 de maio de 2018

Uma questao diplomatica: Jerusalem como capital de Israel - Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Uma questão diplomática: Jerusalém como capital de Israel

Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Diplomata de carreira; professor universitário

O anúncio, depois a efetivação, da transferência da embaixada dos Estados Unidos em Israel de Tel Aviv para Jerusalém suscitou diferentes comentários políticos e esperadas reações de partidários e opositores de tal medida. Alguns outros países, poucos, seguiram os EUA nesse gesto. Setores políticos e religiosos no Brasil também reagiram a esse movimento, levantando a questão se tal gesto poderia ser seguido pela diplomacia, ou pelo governo do Brasil. A presente nota trata desse tema, cabendo desde já um alerta quanto a sua repercussão no atual debate político-eleitoral, em vista da tripla dimensão da questão: a introdução de um tema religioso no debate político; seus aspectos diplomáticos, tendo em vista a posição tradicional do Brasil no tocante a Israel e à questão do status de Jerusalém; os possíveis efeitos, no plano comercial-econômico, de uma tomada de posição de algum candidato quanto a uma possível mudança de postura diplomática do Brasil, no seguimento da decisão da administração Trump de efetuar o deslocamento da embaixada dos EUA em Israel de Tel Aviv a Jerusalém.

A dimensão religiosa
A Constituição brasileira reconhece a validade, a legitimidade e a liberdade de todas as expressões religiosas no seio da sociedade, sem qualquer tipo de preferência ou discriminação. O Estado, porém, é laico, e não poderia deixar suas politicas públicas, mormente suas posturas diplomáticas, serem influenciadas por demandas específicas de um credo religioso qualquer, sob risco de ser acusado de introduzir a temática religiosa na esfera das grandes definições estatais, especialmente diplomáticas, que devem ficar necessariamente autônomas e independentes de preferências expressas no âmbito de um grupo religioso determinado, por mais influente ou majoritário que este possa ser. O antigo país católico romano que é o Brasil já traz uma crescente diversidade religiosa, e um crescimento visível das afiliações evangélicas, com poder suficiente para influenciar tomadas de decisão políticas na esfera do parlamento, sob a justificativa de que podem expressar correntes relevantes da opinião pública.
Esse parece ser o caso da bancada evangélica, comprometida com uma série de objetivos nos planos ético ou moral – casos do aborto, das opções de gênero, do chamado “casamento homossexual”, etc. –, no plano médico-científico – experimentos com células-tronco, por exemplo –, na esfera educacional – ensino de criacionismo ao lado da teoria da seleção natural – ou ainda, e mais importante para este argumento, a questão de Israel, não como Estado soberano, como qualquer outro, na comunidade internacional, mas como o representante legítimo da “palavra de Deus” na Terra. 
Seria conveniente que tal preferência religiosa não se traduzisse em qualquer pressão sobre o Estado brasileiro, especificamente sobre sua política externa, no caso concreto do reconhecimento de Jerusalém como “capital verdadeira” do Estado de Israel e na eventual transferência da embaixada do Brasil a essa cidade, considerada como “internacional” por ampla maioria dos países membros da ONU, e assim tem sido historicamente. O Brasil tem orgulho de ter sido um dos patrocinadores da criação do Estado de Israel, na famosa partilha da ONU de 1947, prevendo a criação de um estado palestino e a “neutralização” de Jerusalém como cidade comum a diversos credos. Uma interferência desse tipo sobre uma política pública seria, no limite, inconstitucional e extremamente controversa no plano diplomático, como agora argumentado.

A dimensão diplomática
Durante toda a história recente do Oriente Médio, e no acompanhamento dos dramáticos conflitos que ocorrem na região, a postura dos diferentes governos do Brasil desde o nascimento do Estado de Israel, tem sido a de apoio político e diplomático à sua existência, reconhecendo porém a necessidade de cumprimento escrupuloso de decisões da Organização das Nações Unidas, e de seu órgão de segurança, quanto ao equilíbrio necessário para se reconhecer os direitos do povo palestino a um Estado soberano, legalmente constituído. Jerusalém dispõe de um status especial, não sendo reconhecida como capital de Israel, a despeito de tentativas de parte do espectro político israelense e de grupos de apoio na esfera religiosa ao redor do mundo. Essa questão foi novamente trazida a exame pela comunidade internacional em face da decisão do presidente Trump de instalar sua embaixada naquela cidade, como “capital de Israel”, no que pode ser eventualmente seguido por iniciativas similares de um punhado de países. 
Não convém ao Brasil, país de tradicional acolhimento de imigrantes de todos os credos e origens raciais, e diplomaticamente um seguidor estrito do direito internacional em todas as vertentes de sua política externa, “importar” uma controvérsia de duvidosa legitimidade política ou diplomática, que não contribuiria em nada para consolidar o seu capital de parceiro imparcial de todos os atores e protagonistas dos dramas do Oriente Médio, quando sua postura tradicional tem sido, justamente, a de “exportar” apelos ao diálogo e à solução pacífica das controvérsias políticas e diplomáticas.
Qualquer pronunciamento de um dos candidatos à presidência do Brasil nessa questão teria o efeito de suscitar controvérsias internas e de colocar um problema no plano diplomático que atualmente inexiste, e deveria permanecer dessa forma. Não convém ao Brasil criar pontos de atrito ou fricções diplomáticas com Estados da região que possuem significativo contingente de expatriados, atualmente naturalizados e totalmente integrados à comunidade nacional, quando seu maior capital diplomático nos problemas do Oriente Médio é justamente a equidistância entre as partes em conflito.

A dimensão econômico-comercial
O Brasil é hoje um dos maiores fornecedores de grãos e carnes, dada a pujança de seu agronegócio, para diferentes mercados do mundo, destacando-se especialmente como um grande exportador de cortes avícolas no sistema “halal” para mercados árabes e muçulmanos em geral. Essa atividade representa bilhões de dólares em exportações, milhares de empregos no Brasil e um dos mais significativos nichos de competitividade nacional nos mercados externos, com perspectivas futuras ainda mais promissoras no comércio internacional do país. Disso deriva que qualquer tomada de posição do Brasil na questão de Jerusalém, ou mesmo de inflexão diplomática de sua postura equilibrada no sentido de maior apoio a Israel, poderia precipitar consequências políticas de grande impacto econômico e social nas regiões exportadoras de cortes especiais para mercados do Oriente Médio ou do mundo muçulmano. 

Paulo Roberto de Almeida
Brasília, 22 de maio de 2018

Addendum: recebi o seguinte comentário de um leitor:

Caro Paulo Roberto, 
vi agora o artigo em torno de Jerusalém. 
Seu estilo: clareza e elegância de expressão, equilíbrio quando marca posições (neste caso aliás  sem contundencia, mirabile dictu).
Vou me permitir notar apenas a ambivalência de "cidade internacional". 
Se você  tiver usado a expressão - como presumo - para referir cenário de compartilhamento  ( oriental palestina, ocidental israelense), então estará na nossa linha já tradicional.
Se porém tiver inconscientemente remontado  a "corpus separatum", não. Por mais bacana (e a sério, potencialmente realista, but don't quote me) que a mim pareça a ideia, não é mainstream. 
Leitores desinformados talvez infiram a segunda hipótese.
O fundamental  porém nao é isto; é  ajudar a exorcizar  o risco de contaminação, com o jeito respeitoso e firme que você usou. 
Em torno de um vinho eu teria reflexões sobre laicidade e estado; se fosse vinho toscano citaria Dante - mas fico por aqui. 
Abraço, com admiração,
Xxxxxxx Xxxx