soldier holding rifle

On October 7th, 2023, the Hamas organization invaded Israel and brutally massacred and attacked civilians in southern Israel. 1,300 Israelis were murdered and hundreds were abducted into Gaza.

Hamas’ brutal invasion and non-stop rocket fire toward Israel catalyzed the ongoing war against Hamas, in which the IDF has only one goal: dismantle the Hamas terrorist organization’s military and administrative capabilities.

1.    What are the objectives of Israel’s military operation?

Israel is seeking to secure the release of the infants, children, women, and men being held as hostages in Gaza, and to deny Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza the capacity to continue attacking its citizens and territory as they have explicitly vowed to do. 

2.    What is the cause of Palestinian civilian casualties? 

The brutal massacre of October 7 initiated armed hostilities in which Hamas has sought to use the Palestinians civilian population as its shield. While Israel is committed to minimizing civilian harm and to abiding by international law, the military strategy of armed groups in Gaza is grounded in contempt for the law and the perverse exploitation of civilians. 
3.    Why has there not been a permanent ceasefire agreement? 

A ceasefire would allow Hamas to get away with murder – literally – and prepare to commit it again.

4.    Have Israel’s past restrictions on Gaza contributed to the current situation?

Hamas’s terror is not a result of Israeli restrictions. Israeli past restrictions were the direct result of Hamas’s terror.     

7.    What is Israel’s response to the charge its actions against Hamas amount to collective punishment of the civilian population?

Israel’s operations are aimed against Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and are undertaken in order to neutralize the threat posed by them and secure the release of the hostages. Israel does not seek to harm the civilian population in Gaza.

8.    Why is Israel’s response to Hamas’s attacks proportionate? 

Proportionality under international law is not tit for tat. Israel’s actions are proportionate to the grave threat it faces, and comply with the legal requirement that the expected civilian harm resulting from an attack not be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage that is being sought. Israeli strikes that do not meet this threshold have been, and will continue to be, aborted.

The world’s largest so-called democracy is about to conduct its next general elections in 2024. The above statement might not sound very upsetting, but the historical record of India tells a different story. A story that may cause another false flag military operation in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. In February 2019, a suicide attack occurred in Pulwama on an army covey in which more than 40 Indian soldiers were killed. This incident was a repercussion of the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A and the implantation of a strict curfew for a few months. As a result, the Indian government and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused Pakistan of this unfortunate incident. They decided to plant a surgical strike on the terrorist outfits in Pakistan nearer the border.

The blame was far away from reality; hence, in a covert strike, the Pakistan Air Force shot down the two Indian fighter jets, and they also took one of their pilot into custody, named Abhi Nandahan. India and Pakistan are two nuclear countries, and India has put the peace of South Asia at risk. The same risk is also around as general elections are near, and the ruling party can exploit public opinion to gain the majority.

There are reports from Indian-occupied Kashmir that in Anantnag, a false-flag operation was carried out in which one army major and one DSP were assassinated. This was predicted by their former Governor of Bihar, Satya Pal Malik, that the ruling party has the legacy of such an operation, pointing to the Gujarat Riots in 2022 and the Pulwama attacks in 2019. According to their ideological inspiration from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RRS), they promote Hinduism and eliminate and target Muslim and other communal minorities like Sikhs and Dalits in their country to gain political goals.

Since 2019, the South Asian area has become a significant player in the worldwide security environment, mainly owing to India’s view of its neighbors Pakistan and China as foes that could potentially challenge its grand power ambitions militarily. The 2008 Mumbai attacks, the 2016 assault on the Pathankot Air facility, and the 2016 attack on the Uri military facility were all false-flag operations that India was complicit in while simultaneously blaming Pakistan. These actions are in keeping with India’s hybrid agenda, which seeks to impose responsibility for terrorism in the area on Pakistan. It is widely considered that the Pulwama incident of February 2019 was a contentious false-flag operation designed to provoke military action between India and Pakistan. Given the economic difficulties, insurgencies, protests, and religious extremism that the Indian government is now experiencing, Pakistan suspects that India could pull out another false flag operation to accomplish its politico-strategic aims. Another motivation for India to stage a false-flag operation is to deflect world condemnation of the atrocities it has been committing in occupied Kashmir. To prevent India from engaging in any misadventure in the future, Pakistan must have a visible manifestation of its political and diplomatic options.

Another reason for the false-flag operation could be the deteriorating internal situation. The tension between India and Canada is reaching new heights. India has accused Canada of supporting the Khalistan movement, which is banned in India. Justin Trudeau accused India on Monday of involvement in the Hardeep Singh Nijjar assassination, which caused a rift in Indo-Canadian relations. This alleged diplomatic pressure allows the BJP to launch a false flag operation and drag Pakistan into it to divert international attention and influence public opinion.

In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections in 2024, renowned Indian attorney Prashant Bhushan recently issued a warning about the possibility of another Pulwama-style false-flag attack. Bhushan claims the government may be considering divisive measures to persuade Indian voters in favor of the BJP by appealing to their sense of nationalism, which has brought the BJP’s use of nationalism to achieve political benefit under close examination. Bhushan’s claims that the state is behind terror incidents and maybe political interference have stoked widespread public unease. Given India’s present nationalist-driven political agenda, these worries take on added weight. The importance of the electorate in molding the future of India’s democracy as the nation approaches the general elections in 2024 cannot be overemphasized. The future of Indian politics is uncertain in light of Bhushan’s warning, but the general election is significant for the future of democracy in India.

The people of India must be alert to any efforts to manipulate their emotions and thinking, and they must be cautious of any incidents or threats that may occur. False-flag operations undermine the stability and peace of the region and should be avoided by the Modi government at all costs. No political party or person should be able to influence or mandate the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

As the Taliban continues to be diplomatically marginalized, they made a request to the world community, asking them to recognize their “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.” The international community has pushed the group to build a government that includes everyone and to guarantee that women’s rights are protected; however, the Taliban appears to have disregarded these demands.
The de facto authorities published a decree on the 24th of December prohibiting women from working in NGOs. This most recent directive came after an earlier one that barred women from attending universities and prevented girls from attending secondary schools.By preventing women from enrolling in higher education programmes, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan delivered what was likely the death blow to the cause of educating women. After making pledges to protect women’s rights the new authorities of Afghanistan have ultimately decided to close all of the schools in the country, forcing female students in grades seven through twelve to remain at home.
The Taliban have reneged on the majority of the pledges they made shortly after their return to power in August of 2021. Thousands of  Afghans, including women, have fled the nation out of fear that the Taliban would return to power and continue the bloody rule they established in the 1990s. The Taliban’s policy of systemic discrimination is being carried on in its current iteration, which prohibits women from entering universities.
Since August 2021, Taliban have prevented girls from attending secondary schools, limited women’s and girls’ freedom of movement, excluded women from the majority of available jobs.  Since the Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan, women and girls have been effectively excluded from Afghani public life. In the beginning, the Taliban made hollow claims that women would be able to “enjoy their rights within Sharia law,” which included the ability to work and study. However, these assurances turned out to be nothing more than hollow promises. Women are expected to conceal their faces in public and must have a male chaperone whenever they travel, and they are prohibited from working outside the home for the most part. In addition, women are not permitted to vote or hold public office.

In most professions, women were not allowed to work outside the home. Only women whose occupations could not be done by men were allowed to come to work, for example, limited jobs in education, health, and some jobs in the police force. The same proclamation also stated that the sole employment that women were permitted to do for the government of Kabul was to clean female restrooms. Women who had positions as judges, prosecutors, and attorneys have either departed the country or been demoted and replaced by former Taliban fighters and graduates of Madrasas (traditional schools) who have no prior experience in the judicial system. Initially, and prior to the implementation of the new limits in December 2022, the Taliban enforced a prohibition on girls participating in secondary education, which included grades 7 through 12. Girls were not permitted to return to secondary schools, despite the fact that the de facto authorities had previously committed to doing so.

The Taliban adhere to a puritanical interpretation of Islam, and the supreme head of the movement, Hibatullah Akhundzada, along with his inner circle of Afghan clerics, are staunch opponents of modern education, particularly for girls and women.
It is imperative that the Taliban immediately lift their ban on the enrollment of women in universities and allow secondary schools for female students in Afghanistan to reopen. It is imperative that the international community, as well as the countries that provide aid to Afghanistan, make it clear to the Taliban how damaging it will be for not only Afghan women and girls, but for the entire population of Afghanistan.

The American fiasco in the Middle East, coupled with the bequeathed legacy of Trump’s era, is posing tremendous challenges to the new American administration. Though the latest Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing horrendous chaos in the global economy are distracting Washington from China, the Biden’s administration so-called “Indo-Pacific” strategy entails that Asia remains a top priority to Washington. In one of his latest works titled “Destined for War”, Graham Allison examines whether China and the US are heading towards a prolonged war. Although the recent lockdowns in China are presenting challenges to it is goals of taking over the US as the biggest economy in 2030, Beijing’s military activities in South China continue to puzzle the Biden’s administration.
Geopolitically speaking, the rise of China has prompted US policy makers to alter their prolonged “Asia-Pacific” strategy to deal with the so-called Chinese threat .Coupled with the formation of trilateral security alliances, including the AUKUS, the so-called “Indo-Pacific” strategy aimed at thwarting Beijing’s growing influence from the Western Pacific to the Indian Ocean. The released document says explicitly that Washington is expected to focus on “every corner” of the region. Yet, despite this, the so-called “Indo-Pacific” strategy is not confined to containing China only; it aims to develop a new security architecture in Asia as well.
The concept of “free and open” Indo-Pacific, therefore, offers an ideological and political justification for the American deployment in the region. It is an ideological and political construct that aims at preventing the rise of China, while securing the American interests in the “imagined” region. Last Month, Kurt Campbell, the U.S. National Security Council coordinator for the “Indo-Pacific”, said that America is more likely to witness a strategic surprise in the Pacific region. In addition to that, the latest security pact between China and Solomon Islands has provided American and Australian policy makers with the opportunity to further securitize the region.
The aim of this paper, however, is not to examine China’s actions and policies, but to assess the applicability of the post-structuralism approach in the case of the Indo-Pacific. In other words, the aim of the paper is to examine how the “Indo-Pacific” was imagined and constructed through political discourse.
Instead of dealing with the region as naturally given, the paper questions the “naturalness” of the region. Since Post-Structuralism and critical geopolitics are interested in studying the relationship between geographical knowledge and power, it has become increasingly necessary to study how the so-called “Indo-Pacific” region is developed.
To achieve this goal, the paper relies on critical geopolitics approach to examine how the region was “imagined” and securitized. Hence, the paper argues that the “Indo-Pacific” region is an outcome of political construction and imagination to build new (American) security architecture in Asia.
Knowledge-Power Nexus
Although Post-Structuralism is an approach that is originally developed in sociology and literature, it is still widely utilized in studying international relations, especially by scholars of the critical school in IR. Though it does not provide it is readers with a “world view”, post-structuralism remains an important tool of analysis in IR. Critical Geopolitics as a strand in Post Structuralism, questions geographical assumptions and how they are dealt with, especially within policy circles.
The so-called concept of “Indo-Pacific” is widely used in many countries of the region, including Japan and Australia. Though the focus of the paper is on American imagination of the Indo-Pacific, it is important to, at least, note that countries in Asia have interests as well in developing biased knowledge of geography.
Although the term “Indo-Pacific” was not explicitly used, until very recently, maritime strategists, such a Gurpreet S. Khurana in India, criticized the strategy of the “Asia- Pacific” for ignoring the growing importance of involving India into a new strategy that aimed at containing China. According to Khurana, East Asia and New Delhi should enhance their political and economic alliances across the “Indo-Pacific”.
Likewise, Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minster, gave a speech before the Indian parliament in August 2007, arguing for the growing importance of enhancing relations between the Asia Pacific and South Asian regions. Though he did not explicitly use the term of “Indo-Pacific”, it was clear that there was a general urge to alter Washington’s policy regarding the containment of China.
President Biden perceives the so-called Chinese threat as a factor that endangers the “democratic” and “liberal” Indo-Pacific order. Hence, by portraying the struggle between China and the US as a prolonged struggle between democracy and authoritarianism fits the assumption of Post-Structuralism in IR. According to this school of thought, politics in IR is treated as black or white. The securitization and political imagination of the Indo-Pacific, therefore, are outcomes of this binary division and subjectivity.
Issue of Representation:
Based on the current literature, there are two reasons why the political construction of the so-called “Indo-Pacific” region seemed a plausible option for the Biden administration. Firstly, the American administration realized the horrendous military and political activities of Beijing from the Western Pacific to the India Ocean. Secondly, the Biden administration realized the tremendous importance of incorporating India into the new security architecture. This explains why India is incorporated into the Quadrilateral Dialogue (QUAD), which is formed to establish New Delhi as the new “security provider” in the region.
Although New Delhi’s imagination of the region is an extension of it is “Look East Policy”, India’s strategy is more cautious than Australia and Japan. Though it is part of the “QUAD”, it has been unable to determine whether it is imagination of the Indo-Pacific is aimed at excluding China. Nonetheless, the political imagination of all the “Indo-Pacific” in the Indian, American, and Australian circles entails that world maps are adjusted to fit strategic concerns of the respective time.
Hence, it has become clear that “mental maps” are all about power relations; it is the language of the “powerful”. The so-called “Indo-Pacific”, which is an outcome of political construction, aims to privilege certain nations, including Australia, Japan, and India, over the others. Therefore, it seems that we cannot have a permanent or balanced understanding of the world. In other words, policy makers asses the growing threats in a specific area and they employ the suitable strategy, which includes securitizing the “imagined” region in order to serve their strategic interests.
In one of his latest statements, Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, said that the so-called “Indo-Pacific” is expected to shape the “trajectory” of the world in the 21st century. During his speech in Jakarta, Indonesia, Blinken said that Washington will adopt a strategy of “deterrence” to promote “peace” and ‘“stability” in the Indo-Pacific, arguing that threats are evolving dramatically in the (imagined) region.
During her latest visit to Singapore, Kamala Harris kept warning her counterparts of the Chinese “incursion” in the region, arguing that Beijing’s policies are intimidating. Again, she repeated the word “free and open” Indo-Pacific, stressing on the importance of enhancing relations with Washington’s allies to defend the “imagined” region. It has become clear; therefore, that Biden’s so-called “Indo-Pacific” strategy is a continuation of Donald Trump’s designation of China as a foe.
According to South China Morning Post, a journal based in Hong Kong, White House officials started using the term of “Indo-Pacific” during Trump’s presidency. It was an attempt to distance the Trump administration from Obama’s “Pivot to Asia”. Biden’s decision to officially use the concept, therefore, entails that the term is becoming the new “normal” in Washington’s approach towards the “imagined” region.
Yet, Biden’s strategy differs in the sense that it puts emphasis on “integrated deterrence”, and instead of constraining economic relations with the region like Trump did when he left the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Biden initiated an economic Indo-Pacific framework. Though the new strategy prompted fierce debate in Chinese policy makers, it is still adopted by the US, Australia, Japan, among others.
In his article “Maritime politics as discourse in the Indo-Pacific”, Tim Summers, an Assistant Professor and Research Fellow at Chatham House, argues that China has always been placed at the center of the geopolitical discourse within the American policy circles. He says that the Chinese threat itself is part of the evolving the geopolitical discourse in Washington.
Besides, Summers (2021) believes that maritime space, politics, and boundaries are parts of the geopolitical discourse in Asia. Therefore, Summers argues that geopolitics is material and ideological at the same time; it is a process through which knowledge is produced and internalized. By analyzing the map of the South China Sea adopted by the West, one can easily find an orientalist and biased representation of China in this area. The usage of pink or red colors in areas that are witnessing Beijing’s rise provides a virtual representation of China as a penetrator of the Sea area.
To conclude, there is a limited literature written on the political imagination and construction of the Indo-Pacific. Yet, it has become increasingly necessary to study this “imagined” region, especially in times when the US is shifting it is attention towards China. In contrary to the prevailing analysis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is less likely to distract the Biden’s administration from China’s activities in the Indo-Pacific. In the midst of political chaos in the US, China is initiating security pact with Solomon Island to ramp up it is influence in the imagined region.
The paper tried to apply post-structuralism and critical geopolitics on the case of the Indo-Pacific, with a special focus on issues of false representations, subjectivity, and binary divisions. Yet, given the limited literature, the author of the paper advice future scholars to thoroughly examine the written and spoken statements in the US regarding the Indo-Pacific. Analysts are not exaggerating the threats of War; it might happen in the not-too-distant future. The fact that countries like Australia are allying with the US, says a lot about the growing polarization in the so-called Indo-Pacific. Analysts are not exaggerating the threats of war when they say that China is more likely to kick Washington out of the South China sea; it might happen in the not-too-distant future

Exhibitions and trade fairs will require a businessperson to spend much of their time and money to see an effective response. Hence, it is vital to know how to correctly utilize one’s resources, and time to maximize your ROI so that you can justify spending all that time out of your busy life. We will try to help you explore the ideas that will help to ensure that you get the most out of your next trade fair.

Booth the best stand space

It is crucial to book the right stand space at a trade fair. The best stand space will have the best visibility and maximum footfall. If you don’t make your move and quickly book the right space, it will be gone and you could risk being positioned at a poor corner in the event.
Professional exhibition stand builders will tell you that the best spot is at the end of an aisle or in a corner where people passing from two angles or more has to pass by. If you book your stand earlier, you can get better deals from the organizers. That is why it is best to do one’s research in advance to find the next big event which could help your company get in the spotlight.

Plan your Project

Trade show exhibitors expect a lot from businesses. It can lead to new businesses and lead your company to new heights. But if you are ill-prepared, you could end up being disappointed by the results. Many have faced this. Hence, you should hire a contractor that will help you with the exhibition stand design.
Though planning requires much more than only designing. You need to check if you have enough marketing collateral to offer at the show such as leaflets, brochures, business cards, etc. While you plan all these, let the professional trade show stand builder do the physical work.
If you are looking for a good contractor, you can try out one of the best, Expostandzone. They have a stellar record and can create a booth that is creative and outstanding, based on your directions.

Follow up

Every contact you have with a visitor to the stand must be monitored because all of them are important. It is best to keep a track of all the visitors, and business people who come by keeping their business cards somewhere safe. Things can get easily lost in such events.
After the exhibition has wrapped up, you can try to respond to all the contacts timely. The sooner you do this through a personal call or through an email, the better your chances are of closing the deal.

Prize draw

It is a great business idea to encourage visitors to participate in a prize draw competition by offering them a chance to win some item made by your business. You can collect various information by asking the participants to fill in their contact details on a tablet.
This tactic not only helps attract more visitors, but it also is a scientific way to capture data. The visitors will also be more excited about the prizes they can win, and hence will care about the products your business makes.

Eye-catching Exhibition stand

Thousands of competitors will be competing for the same goal- clients. If you want to distinguish your brand from the others you need to build an eye-catching stand. Your exhibition stand design Germany speaks a lot about your company. Since it is the most important thing, it is best to leave it to an experienced exhibition booth design company that has decades of experience. For example, Expostandzone has over 13 years of business building booths in various countries for various trade fairs and exhibitions.

Expostandzone provides 5+ free exhibition stand designs quotation from different exhibition stand contractors. if they can comprehend your ideas about the stall. You can speak to them about your thoughts on the designs, and look up the 3D visuals they offer before sealing the deal. Rest assured, they are professional exhibition stand contractors who will not disappoint you.

As leaders agreed late last year at the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, if the world fails to come together to mitigate the impending impacts of climate change, Africa will grapple with drought, rising sea levels, potential conflicts over water access, and increasingly frequent severe weather events, among other possible natural disasters.

The global response to climate change must incorporate the historic emissions context. As has been widely noted, China, Europe, and the United States bear the most responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions. Prioritizing the transition to renewable and imposing higher emission reduction requirements on the EU, U.S., and China will ease the burden on those nations that still need a variety of power generation methods to increase energy access.

Not only does Africa bear the least responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, but the forests of the Congo Basin (second only to the Amazon) are vital to absorbing the CO2 emitted from other continents. Keeping the lungs of the world intact must be more valuable than cutting them down. Maintaining these natural resources is essential to combating global climate change and requires external support to properly value and incentivize their preservation.

Another big challenge is the lack of access to electricity. Today nearly 600 million of the 1.2 billion Africans lack access to electric power. In sub-Saharan Africa, 12 million new people enter the workforce every year. Our prosperity and peace are incumbent on powering our economic development and creating enough gainful employment opportunities for our growing population. That is not something that can be done in the dark. Without achieving universal access to electricity, we will be vulnerable to underdevelopment, high unemployment, a migration crisis, and instability. Given the close interplay of these challenges as well as their threat to the overall region, we must find a way to solve both if our continent is to realize a peaceful and prosperous future.

To narrow the energy access gap as quickly as possible, Africa must employ a variety of power sources already utilized by the U.S., EU, and China while simultaneously phasing out coal. Such a shift requires mobilizing development financing to support natural gas, hydro, and geothermal projects, as well as wind and solar energy.

Importantly, the double standard for those nations in the Global North with universal energy access was on full display at COP 26. For example, EU climate chief Frans Timmermans said, “[The European Union] will have to also invest in natural gas infrastructure. As long as we do it with an eye of only doing this for a period, then I think this is a justified investment.” The EU and U.S., who control significant voting stakes in the largest international financial institutions (IFIs), then led a pledge by 20 countries to stop financing gas projects abroad. Without support from IFIs, African nations will be unable to build and maintain the infrastructure required to utilize our natural gas. This sharp contrast in words and actions sends the message that natural gas is considered a bridge to renewable in the Global North—where access to electricity is secure—while natural gas is an unnecessary luxury to Africans who still do not have access to reliable electricity.

Finally, African nations must capitalize on the green economic revolution. The global transition to renewable energy will mean exponentially scaling up the production of batteries, electric vehicles, and other renewable energy systems, which depend on Africa’s natural resources. For example, the Democratic Republic of the Congo accounts for 70 percent of the world’s cobalt, the mineral vital to battery production. With the demand for cobalt expected to at least double by 2030, it is unfathomable that the miners, who provide the world with the material essential to the energy transition, return to homes without electricity. We need to leverage our control over such markets to elevate working conditions, move beyond raw material exports toward manufacturing and processing capacity, and capture greater portions of green energy supply chains. We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of past economic revolutions.

By Jeanine Mabunda Lioko
Ms Jeanine Mabunda Lioko Mudiayi was the first woman to be elected as President of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo, serving from April 24th, 2019, to December 10th, 2020. She has been a Member of the Congolese Parliament since 2011, having been re-elected in 2018, as a National Deputy of Bumba, Équateur Province.
From 2014 to 2018, Jeanine Mabunda served as the Personal Representative of the President to combat sexual violence and child soldier recruitment.

From 2007 to 2012, Jeanine Mabunda served as Minister of Portfolio and Public Enterprises, charged with reforming the DRC’s state-owned enterprises. At that time, state-owned enterprises employed over 100,000 workers and the country was facing several socio-economic challenges.

Jeanine Mabunda holds a law degree from the Catholic University of Louvain and a bachelor’s degree in business sciences from the Catholic Institute of Higher Commercial Studies (ICHEC) in Brussels.



Still well into the 21st century and majority of Africa remains stuck in poverty. Through a differential diagnosis lens one might come up with various explanations for this like environmental conditions, disease, poor education, governmental corruption etc. All these reasons would be right. Although if referring to history to isolate one of the primary significant contributors under-pinning development issues experienced in Africa, one need not look any further than colonial exploitation.

The “Scramble for Africa” between 1881 and 1914 by several Western European powers, taking advantage of the continent, left a disastrous colonial legacy still felt today. By 1914, only Liberia and Ethiopia remained unconquered and independent. The rest of the states? Poor, vulnerable and weak, succumbed to arbitrary division and artificial boundaries drawn up by the Imperial forces.Politically dominated, although rich in natural resources, cotton, gold, diamonds etc. left African states to be ransacked by disparate European trade interests.With no infrastructure framework existent prior to European colonization and with roughly a third of African countries being land-locked, foreign power-brokers took to work with constructing railroads to move product to coastal states for transshipment and exportation.A resulting consequence however, was a partial infrastructure grid being created; each colonial power merely constructing railway networks from their mining operation sites to a few major cities and coastal ports utilized by them. This compared to, say, India’s railway network where a full grid was built due to a single unified colonial power, Great Britain, having created a unified infrastructure network for their singular interests, which at the material time was primarily for harvesting and trading India’s cotton.

Modern India benefiting from this railway network, now a major import and export commodity partner of various foreign countries. In the East, throughout the balance of the 20th century, African states slowly moved towards independence and broke away from colonial rule.However, the colonial legacy left was an infrastructure network that remains incomplete with no integration or coalescence.Not isolated to the railway networks alone but inclusive of ports, power plants and roads that still have major gaps and deficiencies creating obstacles to fiscal diversification, investment and growth.African states aiming to develop and initiate self-autonomous trade to establish themselves as contenders in the world’s trade game attempt to fix this botched infrastructure foundation.The modern global economy now geared towards fiscal control rather than military land control, has opened the door for a new economic colonizer, China, to dominate Africa.

In the 21st century, China is the single largest financier for African infrastructure.A 2018 Deloitte report documents that one third of African infrastructure projects are constructed by China and one fifth of projects are financially backed by China. Estimates by the African Development Bank in 2019 approximated US$130 billion to US$170 billion dollars were required for continental infrastructure needs.Bootstrapped as it is, African governments are more than willing to take out Chinese loans to advance such initiatives.

These major holdings in African infrastructure, leaves many African governments economic development ambitions at the mercy of Chinese willingness, or unwillingness, to fund. A recent example is Xi Jinping’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, a flagship Eastern African rail project meant to connect Uganda and Kenya. Concrete sleeper tracks were laid, the project appearing well underway, until it was discontinued by Beijing’s withholding of about $4.9 billion needed to enable completion.

The rail line is now dormant, with construction having stopped in a remote Western village of Nairobi rather than connecting the major Kenyan coastal port of Mombasa with land-locked Uganda. The Ugandan government has now resolved to alter design plans and connect the Ugandan side of the railway with an alternative, very old rail line however the project will still require funding.

Conduct such as this has raised doubts of China’s intentions, as it is all too easily able to entrap African states, already indebted, into further debt forcing their hand to take out Chinese loans. Beijing claims it’s merely re-assessing its debt exposure however, recurring patterns of 19th and 20th century colonial military control and modern day economic control tactics are all too similar to be discounted entirely.

Geoeconomics is the economics of politics in which states as well as supranational and intergovernmental institutions use their economic resources to help them gain political leverage.

China is an energy dependent country. In order to feed its 1.4 billion population, China needs resources.

China’s strategies ranging from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to Shanghai Cooperation organization (SCO), speak the language of geoeconomics. Geoeconomics may not be part of China’s official dictum.


However, its economic strategies from trade to aid and from investment to institutional initiatives insinuate its geoeconomics. Geoeconomics is China’s strongest instrument to make its mark in the world affairs. China is creating balance of dependence with its geoeconomic strategy in the world. China is an energy dependent country. In order to feed its 1.4 billion population, China needs resources.

Its geoeconomic strategy is its way forward to make necessary resources available for its population. However, it does not end here. Creation of a Sino-Centric world order and the promotion of One-China policy are at the core of China’s geoeconomics. This article focuses on China’s geoeconomics in Africa and how does it help China promote its One-China Policy in the continent.
The One-China Policy is China’s official stance which stresses on diplomatic recognition of People’s Republic of China’s government as the only legitimate Chinese government. China considers the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan, as its breakaway region which will one day reunify. The end of civil war in 1949 created the demarcation between China and Taiwan whose leader Chiang Kai-Shek withdrew to Taiwan and established the Nationalist government there. Since then both sides claim to be sole representative of the whole territory of China. However, Taiwan’s claim over mainland China is somehow receding. Mainland China, on the other hand, strongly claims Taiwan to be its integral part and does not leave any stone unturned to diplomatically isolate it. Geoeconomics is China’s main weapon to achieve this political goal.
Due to its geoeconomics, China’s footprints in Africa are getting strength with every passing moment. China uses its geoeconomic leverage to promote its One-China policy in Africa and strives to further isolate Taiwan diplomatically.

However, China’s geoeconomics in Africa is not a recent phenomenon. It can be traced back to Mao’s Great Leap Forward era. In this context, Julia Lovell in her book, “Maoism A Global History” claims that from the very beginning of Africa’s decolonization, China started exerting a symbolic influence on the continent. Such influence, she claims, was significant for China’s winning entrance into the United Nations. African states, however small, were numerous and played in favour of China’s seat in the UN. In 1971, China took over the seat from Taiwan and became member of the UN. Moreover, China also took over the permanent membership of the UN Security Council from Taiwan which it held till 1971. Hence, China’s geoeconomics in Africa has over a half century history which has been bearing multi-faceted fruit for China.

China maintains strong geoeconomic balance of dependency in all countries of Africa.

China’s geoeconomics in Africa supports its powerhouse in the world affairs. The African continent does not only support political stance of the mainland China in the world but it also provides China with abundance of resources. It is a win-win situation for China. The value trade between China and Africa in 2019 was over 200 billion dollars. Besides trade, China has heavily invested in the continent. Its investments focus ranging from building roads and railway tracks to building stadiums and presidential palaces in the Continent.

Therefore, China maintains strong geoeconomic balance of dependency in all countries of Africa. There are 54 countries in the African continent and out of those 54 countries, there is only 1 African country the Kingdom of Eswatini which maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, China is also putting pressure on it to severe diplomatic ties with Taiwan too. Despite diplomatic pressure from the mainland China, Eswatini maintains its strong diplomatic ties with Taiwan which started after its independence in 1968.

Currently, Estwatini is the only African country among 15 countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, despite diplomatic isolation, Taiwan maintains substantive ties with the US, countries in the European Union (EU), Canada, Australia and many other countries. Additionally, Taiwan’s passport holders have visa-free, visa on arrival or e-visa privilege in more than 150 states and territories in the world.

Nevertheless, it faces an existential threat from China which may not use force to take it back but it is using its geoeconomics effectively to isolate it diplomatically for the time being following Sun Tzu’s dictum, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting”. Therefore, following the geoeconomic footsteps, China’s government is effectively winning influence and subduing its enemy without fighting.

young ethnic female student doing assignment with tutor in university
Nowadays, community colleges are not what they used to be – in fact, and there are significant benefits to attend a junior community college. There are a lot of reasons associated with attending a local community college to begin your college education. Many parents prefer to send their children to a community college rather than going to private college because of the advantages it has to offer. Students having a dream school in their mind might not be thinking of enrolling in a community college. But when it comes to paying hefty money for those dream colleges, a community college can be a good start. Besides, students with an excellent academic record at these colleges can get transfer to other renowned institutions around the world. Here are some benefits of enrolling in the community college:

Save on tuition fees

Generally, private college tuition fees are hefty as compared to community college. The private colleges charge thousands of dollars more than the community college for a four-year degree, which not everyone can afford. According to a community college review, the average published fees of a community college for a two-year degree is just $3200. Financial advantage is the most obvious reason that students go for public education. If you plan on transferring to a good institute for further studies, your parents get the chance to save for your 4-year degree.

Idriss Zackaria, Director of YD Africa.

Better transfer opportunities

It works as a perfect solution for students who don’t score well coming out of high school. You can simultaneously obtain an associate degree while working on your GPA and resume. If you are ready to commit to attending regular classes, then you can build up your GPA. Even many renowned universities offer graduate admission program where you are offered direct admission to a 4-year degree course after completing your education at community college successfully. Almost every student who attends a community college has an intention to get transferred to a four-year institution. Everyone wants to get admission in top universities after a two-year degree, so getting admission in a community college can help you attain that milestone.

Smarter classes and increased flexibility

Community colleges are known for their flexible academic curriculum and schedules. It provides more options than any private institute in terms of class schedules, educational opportunities, and other curricular activities. You will get an excellent opportunity to explore a variety of majors program. So, if you think of switching to a private school, it will be more comfortable as the risk involved is smaller. Studying in community colleges is very advantageous as you come across a bounty of activities and opportunities to explore and change your mind.


Qualified professors

You will get to meet the best teachers from your town at the community college. Some of them might have come directly after completing their master’s, but mostly you will find Ph.D. holders at public institutions. When parents choose a college for their child, they want them to get educated by the best professors in the region. They all want devoted and committed educators who can teach them through their past experiences. These colleges are not only beneficial for their students but teachers also in terms of salaries and job satisfaction. On the other hand, teachers in private colleges don’t have the same level of education, experience, and commitment.

Personalized attention

Many community colleges have less class strength, which gives each student more attention from the teachers. It can be a plus point for students who need special attention and extra care because every student is unique. Some students have excellent grasping power, and others learn at their own pace. If your child needs special one-on-one attention from the instructors, then community college is the best choice for them. Therefore, they are preferred by most of the parents so that their child gets more personalized attention from the teachers.

The bottom line

Experience a different educational environment while studying in community college. These benefits mentioned above of the community college are sufficient to convince anyone to attend it. No matter what people say, but community college has better education standards than private ones, and this is one of the most significant advantages it holds over private college.

In January following the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the Iraqi parliament voted unanimously for the removal of the remaining U.S. troops in the country. The non-binding resolution was encouraged by Shiite political factions outraged by the killing of Iran-backed militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in the same airstrike.

The resolution was subsequently passed without minority Sunni or Kurdish lawmakers present. However, Iraqi-U.S. relations have improved since the selection of a new prime minister in May, Mustafa al-Kadhimi. This selection came about after a leadership vacuum plagued Iraq for four months, following Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation in November 2019. As the country’s former intelligence chief, Kadhimi has good relations with U.S. officials but emphasises his desire to take back sovereignty from foreign powers.

Middle East in a nutshell.

On June 11 the United States and Iraq began strategic talks covering the future of the 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and the economic situation following a collapse in oil prices and the developing Covid-19 pandemic. Iran-backed forces in Iraq have been applying pressure for U.S. military withdrawal through relentless shelling of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

The U.S. have an important decision to make on how to withdraw troops from the region without undoing years of hard work since the U.S. first began engaging in Iraq in 2003. However, as conflict between U.S. and Iranian proxies accelerates a path toward two alternatives is developing; all-out war or a fast US withdrawal.

Here, I will briefly outline what I perceive to be the outcomes from the U.S. choosing to either withdraw, partly withdraw or remain in Iraq.

Firstly, the option to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq would avoid further conflict and all-out war in the region with Iranian proxies. However, this undermines the U.S. efforts to counter Iranian influence in the region. The U.S. acts as a counterweight to Iran and once withdrawn would expose an economically hurt Iraq to the more powerful Iran. The increasing Iranian presence is likely to spark yet more protests against foreign interference following protests in October 2019, resulting in the death of 420 Iraqi protesters and the resignation of prime minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi. Furthermore, the U.S. has held an important role in training and funding Iraq’s counterterrorism service. Peter Neumann, the founding director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation claims this service is “multi-ethnic and largely incorrupt”. The U.S. withdrawal from the region would lead to this counterterrorism service being merged with the Shiite Iranian-backed militias also fighting ISIS. Without the funding and training towards counterterrorism from the U.S. there is the possibility of an ISIS resurgence in Iraq and with it a threat to U.S. national security.

A second approach to U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would be to transfer troops to military bases in the autonomous Kurdistan region in the north, at the request of the Kurds. The presence of US forces acts as an insurance policy for Sunni’s and Kurds against a rejuvenation of ISIS and help to strike a balance between all Iraqi religious sects and political powers. Galip Dalay, a fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs noted that a U.S. withdrawal would mean that “the Kurds would be more at the mercy of the militias, Iran and the central government”. This option would likely relinquish Iraq’s ability to resist Iran and so surrender the majority of Iraq to Iranian influence in the same way as in the previously explained option. In addition, would U.S. bases in Kurdistan afford the Kurds the strength to apply pressure in disputed regions, leading to increasing tensions between Kurdistan and the ceded pro-Iran Iraq region?

Moreover, the U.S. may choose not to withdraw and remain a presence in Iraq but levy significant economic sanctions on Iran leading to a defunding of the militias in Iraq. The U.S. policy of “maximum pressure” imposing economic sanctions on Iran, has led to an inflationary recession in the country and the Iranian currency to fall two-thirds of its value. Despite food and medicine being exempt from sanctions the lack of Iran’s access to the global financial system has led to shortages in these necessities. Although the sanctions are failing to bring Iran back to the negotiating table or trigger unrest in the country and an overthrow of the regime, the sanctions are successfully cutting funding to Iran-backed militias in Iraq. Earlier this year the new commander of the Iranian Quds Force, Esmail Ghaani, had to substitute the usual cash handouts to Iraqi militias for silver rings. The reduction in funding has led to divisions emerging in the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), the umbrella group of mainly Shia fighters. Could economic sanctions on Iran lead to a breakup and loss in cohesion between the Pro-Iran factions responsible for attacks on U.S. forces?

The final option occurs where the U.S. does not withdraw from Iraq and the U.S. are unable to sufficiently thwart Iran economically leading to a continuing of the current status quo of retaliatory conflict in Iraq between militias and U.S. However, is it impossible to conceive of a “hot war” between the U.S. and Iran in the future if tensions rise and the Iranian regime is not brought to its knees? Despite the U.S. comparatively dwarfing Iran militarily with the U.S. military budget being over 57 times larger than Iran’s, the challenges of increasing competition with Russia and China makes conflict with Iran unappealing. Therefore, if the U.S. were to maintain their presence in Iraq, they should do so by continuing with the small force currently stationed there focused on training and support of the Iraqi Security Forces.

Of the options discussed here I would suggest maintaining the U.S. presence in Iraq with a focus on avoiding conflict and training Iraqi Security Forces. By staying in the region the counterweight the U.S. holds against the increasing Iranian presence in Iraq and against the rejuvenation if ISIS is maintained. Furthermore, the insurance the U.S. provide to minority groups is not threatened and conflict is not heightened by moving U.S. troops to the Kurdistan region.