Through The Looking Glass
October 18th, 2014
This paper is the fourth in a series of IASC studies and updates on the deteriorating situation in Argentina, part of a broader survey of corruption and transnational organized crime in Latin America. It includes extensive studies on Bolivia, Ecuador and the criminalized nature of the Bolivarian Alliance. This paper is an update on drug trafficking and corruption in the Fernández de Kirchner government, focusing on the investigation of precursor chemicals that has led to the indictment of some of the president’s closest associates. It also looks at the president’s increasingly hostility toward the United States. In the 18 months since we began this series the situation has deteriorated significantly, due to the economic and social policies evolving over that period. What has added to the deepening sense of crisis is the general lack of leadership by the president and the growing drug-related scandals. The failed economic policies, coupled with the disregard for law enforcement likely mean that the situation will get worse before it gets better.
General Secretary Xi Jinping on Nuclear Weapons, Missiles and Space Warfare
November 3rd, 2014
Twenty days after he assumed leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), on 5 December 2012, General Secretary Xi Jinping gave a speech to assembled officers of the Second Artillery Corp (SAC) nuclear and conventional missile force. This was very likely Xi Jinping’s first announced speech as General Secretary before a service of the PLA. While Xi’s speech was reported by China’s state media, at that time very little was revealed about its contents. Sensitive policy speeches by top Chinese Party leaders to the PLA are sometimes announced but their contents rarely revealed, save for rare occasions when they are used to highlight policy directions long after the speech.This appears to have been the case for an article published some time in 2013, written by a long-serving veteran of the SAC. This article apparently reveals much more of the content of Xi’s late 2012 speech. As such, this article offers perhaps the first public insights into the views of China’s paramount leader on the role of nuclear weapons, the future of the Second Artillery force, to include its role in future space warfare. It is likely that predecessors Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin also gave detailed policy speeches to the Second Artillery, but their contents have not been revealed.