1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (116 sites): “Putin” – Google News: Russian president Putin expresses firm support for new Government in Moldova – Romania-Insider.com

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Russian president Putin expresses firm support for new Government in Moldova  Romania-Insider.com

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has firmly vowed support to the newly emerged majority coalition in Moldova formed.

“Putin” – Google News

1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (116 sites)


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Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites): The FBI News Review: “fbi criticism” – Google News: Protesters Support Fired Weatherman Joe Crain, Who Criticized Sinclair Group Over ‘Code Red’ Alerts (Video) – Yahoo Entertainment

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June 14, 2019
“fbi criticism” – Google News: Protesters Support Fired Weatherman Joe Crain, Who Criticized Sinclair Group Over ‘Code Red’ Alerts (Video) – Yahoo Entertainment
“Comey aides replacement” – Google News: Police: Arkansas woman arrested in ex-lawmaker’s death – KFOX El Paso
“fbi and trump” – Google News: Sean Hannity: Sources say DOJ inspector general resolved ‘hang up’ on first Carter Page FISA application – Washington Examiner
Alerta de Google: fbi: Trump now says ‘of course’ he would tell FBI if foreign power offered him dirt on opponent
FBI assists Prime Care in investigating April data breach – KYMA

“fbi criticism” – Google News: Protesters Support Fired Weatherman Joe Crain, Who Criticized Sinclair Group Over ‘Code Red’ Alerts (Video) – Yahoo Entertainment

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (28 sites)
Protestors gathered on Thursday to protest the dismissal of WICS-TV meteorologist Joe Crain, the same day that the Springfield, Ill. station confirmed his departure. “Joe Crain is no longer with the station,” WICS general manager Rick Lipps confirmed to TheWrap.
Read More

“Comey aides replacement” – Google News: Police: Arkansas woman arrested in ex-lawmaker’s death – KFOX El Paso

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (28 sites)
Police: Arkansas woman arrested in ex-lawmaker’s death KFOX El PasoLITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Authorities on Friday night said they’ve arrested an Arkansas woman in connection with the killing of a former state senator who was …
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“fbi and trump” – Google News: Sean Hannity: Sources say DOJ inspector general resolved ‘hang up’ on first Carter Page FISA application – Washington Examiner

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (28 sites)
Sean Hannity: Sources say DOJ inspector general resolved ‘hang up’ on first Carter Page FISA application Washington ExaminerFox News host Sean Hannity said the Justice Department inspector general’s investigation into alleged surveillance abuses may have hit a snag examining the …
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Alerta de Google: fbi: Trump now says ‘of course’ he would tell FBI if foreign power offered him dirt on opponent

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (28 sites)
President Donald Trump shifted gears Friday on election interference, saying “of course” he would go to the FBI or the attorney general if a foreign power offered him dirt about an opponent.
Read More

FBI assists Prime Care in investigating April data breach – KYMA

KYMA
FBI assists Prime Care in investigating April data breachYUMA, Ariz. – Data breaches have affected companies across our nation; the latest company to fall victim to hackers is Prime Care, with several clinics in Yuma.
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Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites)


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“fbi criticism” – Google News: Protesters Support Fired Weatherman Joe Crain, Who Criticized Sinclair Group Over ‘Code Red’ Alerts (Video) – Yahoo Entertainment

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June 14, 2019

“fbi criticism” – Google News: Protesters Support Fired Weatherman Joe Crain, Who Criticized Sinclair Group Over ‘Code Red’ Alerts (Video) – Yahoo Entertainment
“Comey aides replacement” – Google News: Police: Arkansas woman arrested in ex-lawmaker’s death – KFOX El Paso
“fbi and trump” – Google News: Sean Hannity: Sources say DOJ inspector general resolved ‘hang up’ on first Carter Page FISA application – Washington Examiner
Alerta de Google: fbi: Trump now says ‘of course’ he would tell FBI if foreign power offered him dirt on opponent
FBI assists Prime Care in investigating April data breach – KYMA

“fbi criticism” – Google News: Protesters Support Fired Weatherman Joe Crain, Who Criticized Sinclair Group Over ‘Code Red’ Alerts (Video) – Yahoo Entertainment

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (28 sites)
Protestors gathered on Thursday to protest the dismissal of WICS-TV meteorologist Joe Crain, the same day that the Springfield, Ill. station confirmed his departure. “Joe Crain is no longer with the station,” WICS general manager Rick Lipps confirmed to TheWrap.
Read More

“Comey aides replacement” – Google News: Police: Arkansas woman arrested in ex-lawmaker’s death – KFOX El Paso

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (28 sites)
Police: Arkansas woman arrested in ex-lawmaker’s death KFOX El PasoLITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Authorities on Friday night said they’ve arrested an Arkansas woman in connection with the killing of a former state senator who was …
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“fbi and trump” – Google News: Sean Hannity: Sources say DOJ inspector general resolved ‘hang up’ on first Carter Page FISA application – Washington Examiner

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (28 sites)
Sean Hannity: Sources say DOJ inspector general resolved ‘hang up’ on first Carter Page FISA application Washington ExaminerFox News host Sean Hannity said the Justice Department inspector general’s investigation into alleged surveillance abuses may have hit a snag examining the …
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Alerta de Google: fbi: Trump now says ‘of course’ he would tell FBI if foreign power offered him dirt on opponent

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (28 sites)
President Donald Trump shifted gears Friday on election interference, saying “of course” he would go to the FBI or the attorney general if a foreign power offered him dirt about an opponent.
Read More

FBI assists Prime Care in investigating April data breach – KYMA

KYMA
FBI assists Prime Care in investigating April data breachYUMA, Ariz. – Data breaches have affected companies across our nation; the latest company to fall victim to hackers is Prime Care, with several clinics in Yuma.
Read More
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Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites): Current News: Главные новости – Google Новости: США выразили обеспокоенность предстоящим визитом замгенсека ООН в Синьцзян – РИА НОВОСТИ

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June 14, 2019

Current News

Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites)


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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: US’ Recent Decisions To Cloud Pompeo’s Visit To India – Analysis

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Washington is seeking to share onus with New Delhi on continuing the cultivation of strategic ties.

By Kashish Parpiani

Ahead of his visit to India on 25-26 June, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a policy address
on the India-US ties at the India Ideas Summit and 44th Annual Meeting
of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) in Washington DC. In
underscoring the criticality of the evolving dynamic between the two
nations, Secretary Pompeo said, “it’s only natural that the world’s most
populous democracy should partner with the world’s oldest democracy to
maintain our shared vision throughout the Indo-Pacific.”

This
address comes amidst a recent flurry of attention to India’s central
position in the US’ strategic calculus. For instance, the recent US
Department of Defense Indo-Pacific Strategy Report underscores the cruciality of the United States “building new and stronger bonds with nations that share our values across the region, from India to Samoa.” Furthermore, building on the June 2017 discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, the US has now reportedly
agreed to sell surveillance version of the Sea Guardian drones. If the
sale goes through, India will be the first non-formal treaty partner of
the US to receive the MTCR Category-1 Unmanned Aerial System.

Despite
this seminal development on India-US defense ties and commendations
emanating from the highest levels of the US State Department and the US
Department of Defense, Secretary Pompeo’s upcoming visit to India is set
to be marred by US interests coming at odds with India’s Iran oil
imports, Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) status, and S-400
purchase from Russia.

US prioritising pressure on Iran despite risks to India’s energy security

Analogous to its approach of “maximum pressure” on North Korea, the Trump administration recently doubled down on Iran’s oil exports. By not continuing sanctions waivers
for India and seven other Iran oil-importing countries, the US’ attempt
to coax Iran back to the negotiating table bought India’s energy
security into the crosshairs.

Not only has Iran been India’s third-largest source of oil, it has also extended benefits to India such as “a 60-day credit period, free insurance, and cheaper freight.

However,
the US seems unfettered as the decision to not extend waivers stems
from the Trump administration’s increased focus on its Iran policy. Some
of them being, efficacy of Trump’s “maximum pressure” approach with
North Korea coming into question, known Iran hawk US National Security Advisor John Bolton centralising the National Security Council’s consultative processes, and Iran not outrightly violating
core tenets of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal since Trump’s withdrawal
from the same. The focus on Iran has peaked to a point that the US is
now reportedly weighing sanctions even against “the Iranian financial body set up as a go-between for humanitarian trade with Europe” –– poised to rake up another round of transatlantic tensions.

US disregarding the strategic relevance of India’s GSP status

The US recently revoked
India’s designation as a ‘beneficiary developing country’ under the
GSP. India was the largest beneficiary of the program in 2017 with duty
free access given to goods worth $5.7 billion going into the US. Owing
to this status, over 12 percent of all Indian exports to the US in 2017 benefited under the GSP scheme.

Many even
warned that the US action could be counter -intuitive towards the Trump
administration’s broader “trade war” with China. For instance, according
to a report
by the Coalition for GSP, as US imports from China have decreased under
the Section 301 tariffs, imports of some of those products from
GSP-status countries “increased the most in the first quarter of 2019”. Specifically, imports from India of Section 301 list products “increased by USD 193 million (18 percent).”

However,
the US’ move seems to be aimed at forcing India to rethink its approach
to trade negotiations –– which have dragged on for over two years much
to US trade representatives’ frustration. The negotiations have stalled,
as India has approached the trade negotiations as a matter of Trump’s
fixation on trade deficits. Whereas, US negotiators
have approached negotiations with India with regards to, what they view
as long-standing issues in bilateral trade such as market access for
dairy products and price caps on medical equipment.

US leveraging prospect of CAATSA sanctions over India’s S-400 purchase

Last year, despite the threat of sanctions under the US legislation Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), India inked the deal to purchase five S-400 batteries worth around $5.43 billion.
Eventually, contention with the US over the purchase stood dampened as
the US Congress provided provisions for waiver to India, Vietnam and
Indonesia under Section 231 of CAATSA.

Although,
the waiver has to-date not been granted by President Trump, the
provision itself overtime came to be seen as Washington according an
exception to New Delhi on account of the promising trajectory of
bilateral ties between the two nations. In recent months however, the
issue seems to have been reignited.

At first, it seemed like the US was reigniting the S-400 issue with India merely to convey the American resolve to Turkey on its purchase of the S-400, and to avoid any exemptions for India on the matter hindering its attempts to rein-in Turkey. However, with the US now offering to India alternate systems (like National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II) and possibly
even the F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, the Trump
administration seems to be leveraging the prospect of CAATSA sanctions
on India to further its ‘Buy American’ policy for increased US arms sales.

Sharing the onus of upholding the Carter mantra

As
US interests on those issues clash with India’s, the US continues to
press on with outstanding strategic developments. For instance, the US
is pushing for a “specific
framework to facilitate sharing of critical military technology by
American defence firms with their Indian counterparts.
” The same is intended to address long-standing roadblocks such as “liability, intellectual property rights and industrial safety” in case of technology transfers and defense co-production.

As in the past, through
Republican and Democrat administrations, an understated dictum informed
the US’ approach to India. In developing an exceptional template for
courting a country that abhors formal alignments, the Carter mantra prescribed Washington to be “patient as the Indian system works through its responses to US templates, and be flexible.

Named after Ashton Carter — former Secretary of Defense and architect of the US-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative,
the approach encompassed the US to focus on harnessing strategic ties
and not let differences on other fronts like trade to crowd out minimal-yet-positive developments.

Under
Trump however, the US seems to be doubling down on that approach by
shifting the onus also onto India. As bilateral tensions centred on
India’s interests on trade, defense acquisition, and energy security
continue, the US seems to be pushing India to also not let irritants on
those fronts hijack the rising tempo of strategic ties.

Therefore,
India’s challenge to ascertain the now increasingly apparent thin line
between its strategic alignment with the US and its quest for
maintaining strategic autonomy, will cloud Secretary Pompeo’s upcoming
visit.

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites)


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: US’ Recent Decisions To Cloud Pompeo’s Visit To India – Analysis

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Washington is seeking to share onus with New Delhi on continuing the cultivation of strategic ties.

By Kashish Parpiani

Ahead of his visit to India on 25-26 June, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a policy address
on the India-US ties at the India Ideas Summit and 44th Annual Meeting
of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) in Washington DC. In
underscoring the criticality of the evolving dynamic between the two
nations, Secretary Pompeo said, “it’s only natural that the world’s most
populous democracy should partner with the world’s oldest democracy to
maintain our shared vision throughout the Indo-Pacific.”

This
address comes amidst a recent flurry of attention to India’s central
position in the US’ strategic calculus. For instance, the recent US
Department of Defense Indo-Pacific Strategy Report underscores the cruciality of the United States “building new and stronger bonds with nations that share our values across the region, from India to Samoa.” Furthermore, building on the June 2017 discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, the US has now reportedly
agreed to sell surveillance version of the Sea Guardian drones. If the
sale goes through, India will be the first non-formal treaty partner of
the US to receive the MTCR Category-1 Unmanned Aerial System.

Despite
this seminal development on India-US defense ties and commendations
emanating from the highest levels of the US State Department and the US
Department of Defense, Secretary Pompeo’s upcoming visit to India is set
to be marred by US interests coming at odds with India’s Iran oil
imports, Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) status, and S-400
purchase from Russia.

US prioritising pressure on Iran despite risks to India’s energy security

Analogous to its approach of “maximum pressure” on North Korea, the Trump administration recently doubled down on Iran’s oil exports. By not continuing sanctions waivers
for India and seven other Iran oil-importing countries, the US’ attempt
to coax Iran back to the negotiating table bought India’s energy
security into the crosshairs.

Not only has Iran been India’s third-largest source of oil, it has also extended benefits to India such as “a 60-day credit period, free insurance, and cheaper freight.

However,
the US seems unfettered as the decision to not extend waivers stems
from the Trump administration’s increased focus on its Iran policy. Some
of them being, efficacy of Trump’s “maximum pressure” approach with
North Korea coming into question, known Iran hawk US National Security Advisor John Bolton centralising the National Security Council’s consultative processes, and Iran not outrightly violating
core tenets of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal since Trump’s withdrawal
from the same. The focus on Iran has peaked to a point that the US is
now reportedly weighing sanctions even against “the Iranian financial body set up as a go-between for humanitarian trade with Europe” –– poised to rake up another round of transatlantic tensions.

US disregarding the strategic relevance of India’s GSP status

The US recently revoked
India’s designation as a ‘beneficiary developing country’ under the
GSP. India was the largest beneficiary of the program in 2017 with duty
free access given to goods worth $5.7 billion going into the US. Owing
to this status, over 12 percent of all Indian exports to the US in 2017 benefited under the GSP scheme.

Many even
warned that the US action could be counter -intuitive towards the Trump
administration’s broader “trade war” with China. For instance, according
to a report
by the Coalition for GSP, as US imports from China have decreased under
the Section 301 tariffs, imports of some of those products from
GSP-status countries “increased the most in the first quarter of 2019”. Specifically, imports from India of Section 301 list products “increased by USD 193 million (18 percent).”

However,
the US’ move seems to be aimed at forcing India to rethink its approach
to trade negotiations –– which have dragged on for over two years much
to US trade representatives’ frustration. The negotiations have stalled,
as India has approached the trade negotiations as a matter of Trump’s
fixation on trade deficits. Whereas, US negotiators
have approached negotiations with India with regards to, what they view
as long-standing issues in bilateral trade such as market access for
dairy products and price caps on medical equipment.

US leveraging prospect of CAATSA sanctions over India’s S-400 purchase

Last year, despite the threat of sanctions under the US legislation Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), India inked the deal to purchase five S-400 batteries worth around $5.43 billion.
Eventually, contention with the US over the purchase stood dampened as
the US Congress provided provisions for waiver to India, Vietnam and
Indonesia under Section 231 of CAATSA.

Although,
the waiver has to-date not been granted by President Trump, the
provision itself overtime came to be seen as Washington according an
exception to New Delhi on account of the promising trajectory of
bilateral ties between the two nations. In recent months however, the
issue seems to have been reignited.

At first, it seemed like the US was reigniting the S-400 issue with India merely to convey the American resolve to Turkey on its purchase of the S-400, and to avoid any exemptions for India on the matter hindering its attempts to rein-in Turkey. However, with the US now offering to India alternate systems (like National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II) and possibly
even the F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter jet, the Trump
administration seems to be leveraging the prospect of CAATSA sanctions
on India to further its ‘Buy American’ policy for increased US arms sales.

Sharing the onus of upholding the Carter mantra

As
US interests on those issues clash with India’s, the US continues to
press on with outstanding strategic developments. For instance, the US
is pushing for a “specific
framework to facilitate sharing of critical military technology by
American defence firms with their Indian counterparts.
” The same is intended to address long-standing roadblocks such as “liability, intellectual property rights and industrial safety” in case of technology transfers and defense co-production.

As in the past, through
Republican and Democrat administrations, an understated dictum informed
the US’ approach to India. In developing an exceptional template for
courting a country that abhors formal alignments, the Carter mantra prescribed Washington to be “patient as the Indian system works through its responses to US templates, and be flexible.

Named after Ashton Carter — former Secretary of Defense and architect of the US-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative,
the approach encompassed the US to focus on harnessing strategic ties
and not let differences on other fronts like trade to crowd out minimal-yet-positive developments.

Under
Trump however, the US seems to be doubling down on that approach by
shifting the onus also onto India. As bilateral tensions centred on
India’s interests on trade, defense acquisition, and energy security
continue, the US seems to be pushing India to also not let irritants on
those fronts hijack the rising tempo of strategic ties.

Therefore,
India’s challenge to ascertain the now increasingly apparent thin line
between its strategic alignment with the US and its quest for
maintaining strategic autonomy, will cloud Secretary Pompeo’s upcoming
visit.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)


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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: Glacier Watch: Indus Basin – Analysis

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Many of the world’s most iconic river systems – the Mekong, Indus,
Yangtze – are fed by glaciers that both supply and modulate their water
flow. Now these glaciers are melting due to climate change, threatening
irrigation systems, electricity generation, and drinking water reserves
in some of the most densely populated areas of the planet.

No two glaciers are exactly the same. They’re melting at different
rates, with some entering their terminal decline sooner than others. The
repercussions vary as well. In some cases, reductions
in glacier runoff have a negligible effect on downstream flow. In
others, they can severely disrupt local water systems, particularly
those with antiquated and wasteful extraction methods.

The concept of ‘peak water’ is key to understanding glacier decline.
As overall glacier mass shrinks, higher-than-average run-off is produced
during the melt season. However, these run-off levels will eventually
peak, and a period of terminal – and essentially irreversible – decline
will follow. Every glacier has a unique peak water threshold. According
to a study
published by Nature Climate Change, around 45% of the world’s
glacier-fed basins have already passed this point, including the source
of the Brahmaputra. Another 22% of basins are predicted to be trending
up in run-off through to 2050, including the Indus and Ganges
headwaters, which are expected to peak in 2070 and 2050 respectively.

The threat of glacier melt is difficult to assess in isolation. Water
systems across the globe are already being taxed by other stressors
such as dam construction, irrigation, and extraction for municipal or
industrial use. It’s widely accepted that glacier melt will exacerbate
these problems, albeit to differing degrees.

This series will examine some of the world’s most vulnerable glacier-fed water systems. Next up: The Indus Basin.

Background

One of South Asia’s iconic water systems

The Indus Basin covers an area of around 1.1 million square
kilometers, starting in the Hindu Kush, Karakorum, and Himalaya
mountains before draining into the Arabian Sea in a vast 600,000-hectare
delta. Upstream portions incorporate parts of China, Afghanistan, and
India, while most of the downstream area falls within Pakistan. The
system feeds the 3,000 km-long Indus River, which is the 8th longest in
the world.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Indus Basin system to
the 237 million people who live within it. The basin’s waters are
essential for drinking, food security, and the health of local,
fishing-based economies in Pakistan. Fish production (which is 63%
marine and 37% inland) accounts
for one of Pakistan’s top-10 exports. The health of these communities
is an important and oft-unquantifiable consideration; their economic
collapse generally leads to rapid urbanization, sectarian conflict, and
popular upheaval against the state authorities.

Aquaculture is one economic standout, as the industry is one of the
fastest growing in the world and it already contributes 1% of Pakistan’s
GDP. Yet the industry is already in trouble: it’s growing at just 1.5%
per year, far behind the rate in neighbors like India and Bangladesh,
and some are even predicting
the collapse of aquaculture in Pakistan within 20 years. At fault is
years of unregulated overfishing, along with dam-building and climate
change which are destroying species diversity. The problem is especially
pronounced in the 600,000 hectares of mangrove forests in the Indus
Delta. The unique mangrove ecosystem is ideal for shrimp farming, one of
the most value-added fields of aquaculture. But the mangrove forests
have been dying out as the Indus’ flow weakens; it’s estimated that some 86% of mangrove cover has been lost between 1966 and 2003 – and it’s likely that the trend has progressed since then.

Reduced flow along the Indus has allowed saltwater to slowly creep
upstream, rendering previously arable land unusable and forcing locals
to uproot and move in search of greener pastures. There’s some 33
million hectares of cultivated cropland within the basin, served
by an irrigation system of 40,000 miles of canals and 90,000
watercourses, all drawing water from the Indus along with other rivers
like the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej.

Agriculture is a major part of Pakistan’s economy: some 24 million people are
engaged in cultivation – or 40% of the economically active population –
and the sector accounted for 22% of Pakistan’s GDP in 2009.
Agricultural products are also lucrative export goods for Pakistan – a
country that is currently grappling with a severe balance of payments crisis.
Food exports account for around 13% of Pakistan’s total exports, and
are a rare case of year-on-year growth. Rice is of particular
importance, representing 60% of Pakistan’s food exports. It is one of
the main crops that’s cultivated
in the Indus Basin, which, along with wheat and cotton, represent 77%
of the total irrigated area. It is also an extremely water-hungry crop,
making it reliant on heavy water extraction.

A familiar array of water stressors

The pressures bearing down on ecosystems and livelihoods throughout
the Indus Basin are the same as those elsewhere in the world. Broadly
they can be divided into three categories: dam construction, water
overuse and mismanagement, and the impacts of climate change, namely in
the forms of increased evaporation from man-made reservoirs and glacier
melt.

Dam-building started in the 1930s and continues to pick up pace
despite flashing ecological warning signs. An economic rationale for
dams is always close at hand in the form of Pakistan’s chronic
electricity generation gap and the centrality of agriculture to the
Pakistan economy. Two of the largest in Pakistan are the Mangla and
Tarbela dams, but both are in decline due to silt build-up in their
water storage facilities (the Indus and its tributaries are famously
silt-heavy rivers). There are also plans
to build at least two more massive dams on the Indus: a 4,500-megawatt
dam in Gilgit-Baltistan and a 2,160 megawatt project in Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa province.

Most of the irrigation infrastructure in Pakistan dates back to the
colonial era and is unsurprisingly not fit for purpose in the age of
climate change. As a result, it extracts more than the water system is
able to replenish and, given the stresses of population growth and
economic development, withdrawals are growing with each passing year.
This inefficiency is laid bare in the fact that Pakistan has the highest water intensity rate (water used per unit of GDP) in the world.

Pakistan isn’t the only country that falls within the Indus Basin; in
fact, as a downstream country it’s at a distinct geopolitical
disadvantage vis-à-vis upstream actors like India, Afghanistan, and
China. Regional cooperation mostly takes place under the umbrella of the
1960 Indus Waters Treaty between Pakistan and India, but the agreement
is far from perfect. For one, it doesn’t manage the system as a holistic
whole, instead dividing up the major rivers between India and Pakistan
(India gets the eastern three tributaries and Pakistan the western
three). Second, it doesn’t include other players like Afghanistan –
which is starting
to build its own upstream dams with the help of India – and China,
which controls the Indus Basin’s headwaters in the Tibetan Plateau.
China has been building its own dams in the area, sometimes without even
informing
its “all-weather ally” in Islamabad. And finally, the agreement has
proven itself susceptible to the wax and wane of bilateral tensions
between its two signatories. During the Kashmir crisis of early 2019, India’s transport minister threatened to divert water guaranteed to Pakistan under the treaty into India-controlled Kashmir.

Aquifer depletion is another factor that could accentuate water
stresses in the region. Agricultural activities in the Indus Basin are
fed by water from two sources: underground aquifers and the overland
river system. The largest of these aquifers is shared between India and
Pakistan, and it spans territory with a dense and fast-growing
population. Unsurprisingly, extractions from this aquifer have been well
over the rate of replacement, and it has been singled out by some studies as being one of the most overstressed groundwater reservoirs in the world.

The effects of water overuse are so pronounced that they’re now impacting the lives of ordinary citizens. Pakistan is
one of the most water-stressed countries in the world according to a
recent report from the IMF, and it continues to trend in the wrong
direction, with some predicting
that Pakistan could “run dry” (reach absolute water scarcity) by 2025.
Supply-side fluctuations are made worse by Pakistan’s woeful storage
capacity. In the words of Muhammad Khalid Rana of the Indus River System
Authority: “[Pakistan] has only two big reservoirs and we can save
water for 30 days. India can store water for 190 days whereas the US can
do it for 900 days.”

The statistic that best encapsulates the severity of Pakistan’s water
crisis is per capita water availability. In 2009, Pakistan’s water
availability was about 1,500 cubic meters per person according to the
IMF. Now, just ten years later, that number is 1,017 – perilously close
to the IMF’s scarcity threshold of 1,000.

Given the impact of climate change and lack of political will to
adopt new measures in Islamabad, the problem will only be getting worse
in the near future:

Glacier melt will exacerbate these pressures going forward

The Indus Basin is fed by glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau, and these
glaciers are melting due to climate change. Glacier melt first produces
an increase in water volume as long-frozen reserves are released, before
entering into a permanent decline of reduced water volumes. Every
glacier has its own ‘peak water’ inversion point – some, like those
feeding the Brahmaputra, have already passed this point and entered into long-term decline. The Indus Basin is expected
to reach peak water around 2070, but these projections are based on
future warming patterns that are difficult to predict. Current
projections envision
36% glacier melt by 2100 in the event of 1.5C warming, and 65% in the
event of a 6C warming. More certain is the effect on downstream volume
once peak water is reached. Downstream runoff in the Indus Basin, along
with that of its neighboring Balkhash, Tarim, Issyk-Kul, and Aral Sea
basins, has been identified as particularly susceptible to the effects of glacier melt.

Forecast

Glacier melt in and of itself is not a portent of disaster. However,
when added to an already tumultuous mix of ecological, economic, and
political stressors it risks tipping the scales toward widespread
displacement and upheaval. Pakistan in particular is already highly
vulnerable due to its diminishing drinking water and irrigation
resources, moribund fishing industry, electricity generation shortfall,
and failing-yet-rapidly-expanding dam network. But perhaps the most
troubling feature in Pakistan’s water crisis is the complete lack of
political will in Islamabad to do anything about it. Against a growing
chorus of domestic and international warnings, recent administrations
were passing the buck forward until the National Water Policy was passed
in 2018. But even this policy has been panned by experts as largely
inadequate. The inconvenient fact of the matter is that Pakistan, a
country that is already severely water-stressed, faces the near-term
prospect of increased demand from a growing population along with
decreased supply due to exhausted resources. If internal conflict is to
be avoided, it’s going to take bold policies, infrastructure
investments, and renewed cooperation on the regional level.

So far we’re seeing none of it.

This article was published by Geopolitical Monitor.com

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites)


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: Glacier Watch: Indus Basin – Analysis

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Many of the world’s most iconic river systems – the Mekong, Indus,
Yangtze – are fed by glaciers that both supply and modulate their water
flow. Now these glaciers are melting due to climate change, threatening
irrigation systems, electricity generation, and drinking water reserves
in some of the most densely populated areas of the planet.

No two glaciers are exactly the same. They’re melting at different
rates, with some entering their terminal decline sooner than others. The
repercussions vary as well. In some cases, reductions
in glacier runoff have a negligible effect on downstream flow. In
others, they can severely disrupt local water systems, particularly
those with antiquated and wasteful extraction methods.

The concept of ‘peak water’ is key to understanding glacier decline.
As overall glacier mass shrinks, higher-than-average run-off is produced
during the melt season. However, these run-off levels will eventually
peak, and a period of terminal – and essentially irreversible – decline
will follow. Every glacier has a unique peak water threshold. According
to a study
published by Nature Climate Change, around 45% of the world’s
glacier-fed basins have already passed this point, including the source
of the Brahmaputra. Another 22% of basins are predicted to be trending
up in run-off through to 2050, including the Indus and Ganges
headwaters, which are expected to peak in 2070 and 2050 respectively.

The threat of glacier melt is difficult to assess in isolation. Water
systems across the globe are already being taxed by other stressors
such as dam construction, irrigation, and extraction for municipal or
industrial use. It’s widely accepted that glacier melt will exacerbate
these problems, albeit to differing degrees.

This series will examine some of the world’s most vulnerable glacier-fed water systems. Next up: The Indus Basin.

Background

One of South Asia’s iconic water systems

The Indus Basin covers an area of around 1.1 million square
kilometers, starting in the Hindu Kush, Karakorum, and Himalaya
mountains before draining into the Arabian Sea in a vast 600,000-hectare
delta. Upstream portions incorporate parts of China, Afghanistan, and
India, while most of the downstream area falls within Pakistan. The
system feeds the 3,000 km-long Indus River, which is the 8th longest in
the world.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Indus Basin system to
the 237 million people who live within it. The basin’s waters are
essential for drinking, food security, and the health of local,
fishing-based economies in Pakistan. Fish production (which is 63%
marine and 37% inland) accounts
for one of Pakistan’s top-10 exports. The health of these communities
is an important and oft-unquantifiable consideration; their economic
collapse generally leads to rapid urbanization, sectarian conflict, and
popular upheaval against the state authorities.

Aquaculture is one economic standout, as the industry is one of the
fastest growing in the world and it already contributes 1% of Pakistan’s
GDP. Yet the industry is already in trouble: it’s growing at just 1.5%
per year, far behind the rate in neighbors like India and Bangladesh,
and some are even predicting
the collapse of aquaculture in Pakistan within 20 years. At fault is
years of unregulated overfishing, along with dam-building and climate
change which are destroying species diversity. The problem is especially
pronounced in the 600,000 hectares of mangrove forests in the Indus
Delta. The unique mangrove ecosystem is ideal for shrimp farming, one of
the most value-added fields of aquaculture. But the mangrove forests
have been dying out as the Indus’ flow weakens; it’s estimated that some 86% of mangrove cover has been lost between 1966 and 2003 – and it’s likely that the trend has progressed since then.

Reduced flow along the Indus has allowed saltwater to slowly creep
upstream, rendering previously arable land unusable and forcing locals
to uproot and move in search of greener pastures. There’s some 33
million hectares of cultivated cropland within the basin, served
by an irrigation system of 40,000 miles of canals and 90,000
watercourses, all drawing water from the Indus along with other rivers
like the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej.

Agriculture is a major part of Pakistan’s economy: some 24 million people are
engaged in cultivation – or 40% of the economically active population –
and the sector accounted for 22% of Pakistan’s GDP in 2009.
Agricultural products are also lucrative export goods for Pakistan – a
country that is currently grappling with a severe balance of payments crisis.
Food exports account for around 13% of Pakistan’s total exports, and
are a rare case of year-on-year growth. Rice is of particular
importance, representing 60% of Pakistan’s food exports. It is one of
the main crops that’s cultivated
in the Indus Basin, which, along with wheat and cotton, represent 77%
of the total irrigated area. It is also an extremely water-hungry crop,
making it reliant on heavy water extraction.

A familiar array of water stressors

The pressures bearing down on ecosystems and livelihoods throughout
the Indus Basin are the same as those elsewhere in the world. Broadly
they can be divided into three categories: dam construction, water
overuse and mismanagement, and the impacts of climate change, namely in
the forms of increased evaporation from man-made reservoirs and glacier
melt.

Dam-building started in the 1930s and continues to pick up pace
despite flashing ecological warning signs. An economic rationale for
dams is always close at hand in the form of Pakistan’s chronic
electricity generation gap and the centrality of agriculture to the
Pakistan economy. Two of the largest in Pakistan are the Mangla and
Tarbela dams, but both are in decline due to silt build-up in their
water storage facilities (the Indus and its tributaries are famously
silt-heavy rivers). There are also plans
to build at least two more massive dams on the Indus: a 4,500-megawatt
dam in Gilgit-Baltistan and a 2,160 megawatt project in Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa province.

Most of the irrigation infrastructure in Pakistan dates back to the
colonial era and is unsurprisingly not fit for purpose in the age of
climate change. As a result, it extracts more than the water system is
able to replenish and, given the stresses of population growth and
economic development, withdrawals are growing with each passing year.
This inefficiency is laid bare in the fact that Pakistan has the highest water intensity rate (water used per unit of GDP) in the world.

Pakistan isn’t the only country that falls within the Indus Basin; in
fact, as a downstream country it’s at a distinct geopolitical
disadvantage vis-à-vis upstream actors like India, Afghanistan, and
China. Regional cooperation mostly takes place under the umbrella of the
1960 Indus Waters Treaty between Pakistan and India, but the agreement
is far from perfect. For one, it doesn’t manage the system as a holistic
whole, instead dividing up the major rivers between India and Pakistan
(India gets the eastern three tributaries and Pakistan the western
three). Second, it doesn’t include other players like Afghanistan –
which is starting
to build its own upstream dams with the help of India – and China,
which controls the Indus Basin’s headwaters in the Tibetan Plateau.
China has been building its own dams in the area, sometimes without even
informing
its “all-weather ally” in Islamabad. And finally, the agreement has
proven itself susceptible to the wax and wane of bilateral tensions
between its two signatories. During the Kashmir crisis of early 2019, India’s transport minister threatened to divert water guaranteed to Pakistan under the treaty into India-controlled Kashmir.

Aquifer depletion is another factor that could accentuate water
stresses in the region. Agricultural activities in the Indus Basin are
fed by water from two sources: underground aquifers and the overland
river system. The largest of these aquifers is shared between India and
Pakistan, and it spans territory with a dense and fast-growing
population. Unsurprisingly, extractions from this aquifer have been well
over the rate of replacement, and it has been singled out by some studies as being one of the most overstressed groundwater reservoirs in the world.

The effects of water overuse are so pronounced that they’re now impacting the lives of ordinary citizens. Pakistan is
one of the most water-stressed countries in the world according to a
recent report from the IMF, and it continues to trend in the wrong
direction, with some predicting
that Pakistan could “run dry” (reach absolute water scarcity) by 2025.
Supply-side fluctuations are made worse by Pakistan’s woeful storage
capacity. In the words of Muhammad Khalid Rana of the Indus River System
Authority: “[Pakistan] has only two big reservoirs and we can save
water for 30 days. India can store water for 190 days whereas the US can
do it for 900 days.”

The statistic that best encapsulates the severity of Pakistan’s water
crisis is per capita water availability. In 2009, Pakistan’s water
availability was about 1,500 cubic meters per person according to the
IMF. Now, just ten years later, that number is 1,017 – perilously close
to the IMF’s scarcity threshold of 1,000.

Given the impact of climate change and lack of political will to
adopt new measures in Islamabad, the problem will only be getting worse
in the near future:

Glacier melt will exacerbate these pressures going forward

The Indus Basin is fed by glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau, and these
glaciers are melting due to climate change. Glacier melt first produces
an increase in water volume as long-frozen reserves are released, before
entering into a permanent decline of reduced water volumes. Every
glacier has its own ‘peak water’ inversion point – some, like those
feeding the Brahmaputra, have already passed this point and entered into long-term decline. The Indus Basin is expected
to reach peak water around 2070, but these projections are based on
future warming patterns that are difficult to predict. Current
projections envision
36% glacier melt by 2100 in the event of 1.5C warming, and 65% in the
event of a 6C warming. More certain is the effect on downstream volume
once peak water is reached. Downstream runoff in the Indus Basin, along
with that of its neighboring Balkhash, Tarim, Issyk-Kul, and Aral Sea
basins, has been identified as particularly susceptible to the effects of glacier melt.

Forecast

Glacier melt in and of itself is not a portent of disaster. However,
when added to an already tumultuous mix of ecological, economic, and
political stressors it risks tipping the scales toward widespread
displacement and upheaval. Pakistan in particular is already highly
vulnerable due to its diminishing drinking water and irrigation
resources, moribund fishing industry, electricity generation shortfall,
and failing-yet-rapidly-expanding dam network. But perhaps the most
troubling feature in Pakistan’s water crisis is the complete lack of
political will in Islamabad to do anything about it. Against a growing
chorus of domestic and international warnings, recent administrations
were passing the buck forward until the National Water Policy was passed
in 2018. But even this policy has been panned by experts as largely
inadequate. The inconvenient fact of the matter is that Pakistan, a
country that is already severely water-stressed, faces the near-term
prospect of increased demand from a growing population along with
decreased supply due to exhausted resources. If internal conflict is to
be avoided, it’s going to take bold policies, infrastructure
investments, and renewed cooperation on the regional level.

So far we’re seeing none of it.

This article was published by Geopolitical Monitor.com

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)


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Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites): “barr to investigate fbi” – Google News: William Barr Is The One Running A Witch Hunt – Rantt Media

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William Barr Is The One Running A Witch Hunt  Rantt Media

While Trump drives headlines one tweet at a time, Attorney General Barr is operating in silence, carrying out one of Trump’s most undemocratic obsessions.

“barr to investigate fbi” – Google News

Trump Investigations from Michael_Novakhov (86 sites)


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