World View: U.S. Sends More Troops to Jordan After Threat from Syria

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Split Venezuela election leads to seven protester deaths
  • IMF: Loose U.S. monetary policy risks global financial stability
  • China issues white paper describing its armed forces
  • U.S. sends more troops to Jordan after threat from Syria

Split Venezuela election leads to seven protester deaths

Maduro supporters shout slogans during a Tuesday protest in Caracas (Reuters)
Maduro supporters shout slogans during a Tuesday protest in Caracas (Reuters)

Following the razor-thin victory by Nicolas Maduro in Sunday's presidential election in Venezuela, a series of opposition-led protests have resulted in seven deaths. When the late Hugo Chavez ran in last year's presidential election, he beat opposition leader Henrique Capriles by 20%. Maduro had hoped to beat Capriles by a similar margin in this year's runoff election, following the death of Chavez, but instead he won by only 1.5%. Capriles has requested a full recount of Sunday's votes. Maduro at first agreed, and later refused, further infuriating the opposition. Maduro is now banning any further protests, and is calling the protesters "Nazis," who are following a script written by the United States, which he says is planning a coup against him. Maduro does not have anything like Chavez's charisma, and the fear is that the close election will be the trigger for continued violence between the two ideological camps. Venezuelanalysis and Al-Jazeera

IMF: Loose U.S. monetary policy risks global financial stability

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Global Financial Stability Report, issued on Wednesday, loose monetary policy in the U.S. has encouraged weaker standards for corporate underwriting while company debt continues to grow, posing a risk to financial stability. In other words, corporations are taking the same risks that they took in mid-2000s decade, in the lead up to the financial crisis. Concerning Europe, the report says that the debt levels at banks in Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain and Cyprus (PIIGS + Cyprus) are unsustainable. Reuters and International Monetary Fund

China issues white paper describing its armed forces

China has issued a new white paper, "The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces," describing the duties of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), including the army, navy and air force, as well as the "Second Artillery Force (PLASAF)," responsible for carrying out nuclear counterattacks and precision strikes with conventional missiles. According to the paper, the PLA has evolved from purely defensive capabilities to offensive capabilities as well, although the paper insists, "We will not attack unless we are attacked; but we will surely counterattack if attacked." The paper says that China has signed border cooperation agreements with seven neighboring countries, including Vietnam, but doesn't mention the PLA policy of using its vast military power to take control of the entire South China Sea, including regions that have historically belonged to Vietnam and other countries. The white paper also doesn't mention that China has already effectively declared cyber war with the United States. Council on Foreign Relations and Xinhua

U.S. sends more troops to Jordan after threat from Syria

The U.S. has informally had special forces in Jordan for the last year, assisting the Jordanian forces. On Wednesday, the U.S. announced that it would create a more official military presence in Jordan -- the first formalized ongoing presence of an American military unit in Jordan for many years -- deploying 200 troops to the country. The troops will be "ready for military action" if president Barack Obama were to order it. The announcement comes as Syria's president Bashar al-Assad warned the government of Jordan that it was risking war within its own borders by hosting training camps for Syrian rebels, with U.S. help. He said he hoped that Jordanian officials realized "that the fire does not stop at our borders and everyone knows that Jordan is exposed to it as is Syria." CNN and LA Times


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