29 May 2020

India’s Leadership in the WHO: What To (and What Not To) Expect

By Roger C. Liu

In the highly politicized context of COVID-19 and persistent calls for reform of current international organizations, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, India’s minister of health and family welfare, took charge over the WHO’s Executive Board as the chairman on May 22. Along with the chairmanship, India also occupies two other influential positions in the WHO: The external auditor, which oversees WHO’s spending (2020-2023), and the chief scientist post, created in 2019 in response to requests of institutional reforms of the global public health body.

The expanding influence of India in the WHO and other multilateral international organizations not only reflects the implementation of the Modi government’s more ambitious foreign policy approach, but also makes India a potential partner for Western countries seeking to counter China’s growing influence on major global intergovernmental organizations (IGOs).

The world needs pharmaceuticals from China and India to beat coronavirus

Rory Horner

The biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, known as “big pharma”, are American and European. The top five are Pfizer (US), Roche, Novartis (both Swiss), Merck (US) and GlaxoSmithKline (UK). Yet these companies – and the pharmaceutical industry as a whole – rely on global supply chains. And China and India play key roles in the supply of both ingredients and finished drugs.

Hopes for a vaccine or a medicine that will treat COVID-19 rest on this crucial sector. Yet the globalisation of pharmaceuticals and what some see as an over-reliance on products from China and India has been criticised in the US, the UK and the European Union.

Whether it be hydroxychloroquine (the “miracle” drug Donald Trump has admitted to taking), remdesivir (an antiviral drug used as an emergency treatment for the most acute cases of COVID-19) or a future vaccine, the physical as well as social and economic health of the world depends on pharmaceuticals. Production from China and India will be crucial if the pandemic is to be brought under control.

The supply chain

Covid-hit world is shutting out Indians. It will affect remittances, economies and lives


While India is slowly globalising, Indians became global much earlier. Indians reached foreign shores in colonial times, and now have grown to 17.5 million people abroad — the largest diaspora in the world. If you include people of Indian origin as well, then that number becomes 31 million — from Hong Kong to Canada and from New Zealand to Sweden. However, the coronavirus pandemic could now bring this long dispersion of Indian people around the world to a sudden halt.

Indian migration has been driven first by economic reasons and then by family unification. More recently, students from India have flocked to universities around the world. But now the coronavirus pandemic is closing borders in country after country, and forcing large migrant populations to return to their home countries. The flow of Indians around the world is reversing with grave consequences. Lives will be disrupted, economies impacted, and remittances diminished greatly. The world, which seemed so open to us Indians, may well be shutting its doors on us.

The migration of Indians

Experts Explain: What triggered recent China border moves?

by Sushant Singh 
Source Link

The unprecedented high levels of tension at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh on the disputed India-China border, where Chinese soldiers have moved into Indian territory across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), has raised questions about the Chinese motives for this action. Most observers were eagerly waiting for Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s annual press conference on the sidelines of the Communist Party Congress for an explanation, but his 100-minute long presser in Beijing on Sunday did not mention India at all.

“The Chinese learnt from the public handling of the Doklam crisis. They thought India would be quick to brief the media, so they did it first and continued to do so. We were calm and measured, calling for discussions and negotiations. They are trying to avoid that kind of situation. Quiet diplomacy has space to produce results in these kinds of situations,” Gautam Bambawale, who was India’s ambassador to China from 2017 to 2018, told The Indian Express.

“China’s actions are hard to decipher, especially in the absence of any authoritative statements from Beijing,” said Taylor Fravel, Professor of International Relations at MIT and author of two major books on China’s territorial disputes and its military strategy.

How the Taliban Outlasted a Superpower: Tenacity and Carnage

By Mujib Mashal

ALINGAR, Afghanistan — Under the shade of a mulberry tree, near grave sites dotted with Taliban flags, a top insurgent military leader in eastern Afghanistan acknowledged that the group had suffered devastating losses from American strikes and government operations over the past decade.

But those losses have changed little on the ground: The Taliban keep replacing their dead and wounded and delivering brutal violence.

“We see this fight as worship,” said Mawlawi Mohammed Qais, the head of the Taliban’s military commission in Laghman Province, as dozens of his fighters waited nearby on a hillside. “So if a brother is killed, the second brother won’t disappoint God’s wish — he’ll step into the brother’s shoes.”

It was March, and the Taliban had just signed a peace deal with the United States that now puts the movement on the brink of realizing its most fervent desire — the complete exit of American troops from Afghanistan.

The BRI in Post-Coronavirus South Asia


As the coronavirus pandemic advanced in South Asia in late March, the Chinese ambassador in Kathmandu tweeted about medical aid to Nepal, promising, “You will never be alone.” Gathering many retweets and messages of thanks, the message reflected the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) attempt to garner global appreciation for its healthcare aid and medical assistance efforts. Because research indicates that it may be months before the outbreak is under control, it is likely that members of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and other states will require improved public health capabilities. For China, which has wanted to shape global public health governance as part of the BRI, this is an opportunity. As early as 2015, Beijing asserted the need to “increase China’s voice and influence in multilateral health governance” through “health cooperation in BRI countries.” Now, the Health Silk Road—a little-remembered component of China’s BRI—has been dusted off and relaunched.

This is not to suggest that the BRI will be only about healthcare once the pandemic recedes. Nevertheless, as the world faces slow economic growth as well as newly important health priorities, for China to keep its flagship global project active will require redistribution of scant capital to accommodate public health projects alongside ambitious infrastructure ones. China also needs a larger health initiative in the BRI for its own reasons. Blamed worldwide for obfuscating and hiding information on the virus, it views health diplomacy as an effective countermeasure. As China has already signaled, it wants to emerge from the current episode with a narrative that paints it not as a negligent member of the global community, but as a leader in global health; it wants to garner greater support for reorganizing international institutional systems; and it wants newer markets for its healthcare products and services, traditional and modern. 

South Asia’s Battle With the Coronavirus


In South Asia, the coronavirus pandemic is at once a public health crisis, an economic crisis, and a humanitarian crisis. Nearly a quarter of the world’s population lives in the densely settled region, but its residents’ access to quality infrastructure and healthcare varies enormously. Despite the increasing penetration of mobile phone networks, many South Asians have limited awareness of public health issues such as COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Countries in the region have extraordinarily large informal economies: the bulk of their working populations have no employment contracts or benefits. Differing levels of development within countries drive large-scale internal circulation of workers. South Asia is also plugged into the global labor force, not least via migrant workers in the Middle East and elsewhere whose financial repatriation is crucial to their families back home.

Srinath Raghavan is a senior fellow at Carnegie India. His primary research focus is on the contemporary and historical aspects of India’s foreign and security policies.

As developing economies, South Asian states face limits on their abilities to mitigate the effects of these multiple crises. What’s more, the pandemic is likely to exacerbate existing political and security challenges, from the civil war in Afghanistan and the civil-military seesaw in Pakistan to the Rohingya refugee crisis on Bangladesh’s southern border.

Hong Kong and China’s National Security

By Jin Kai

Political values and concepts of governance are built against different cultural and ideological backgrounds. Hence, there are differences in respect to political forms, state apparatuses, and the methods of governance across different countries. National security, however, should be universal and equal, in both abstract and substantive terms. Ultimately, national security concerns the security of every national; it is the centralized integration and high generalization of the political, economic, cultural, and personal security to which all nationals of a country are entitled.

From an institutional perspective, national security must be maintained through national-level systems and means. The legal system of national security is an indispensable guarantee for safeguarding all levels of interests linked to the national security in any sovereign state, including any part of its territory. In today’s world politics, where the idea of the sovereign state still prevails, this is an indisputable fact that can hardly be changed.

It is in this regard that the national security of each country in the current international system should co-exist in mutual equality. There is no priority order, nor can any country intervene or threaten the national security of other countries out of different political beliefs.

Why Are Chinese Stocks Dropping in the US?

By Chutian Zhou

The U.S. stock market is recovering amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Chinese companies listed in the country have just received a severe blow. Last week, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba’s stock (NYSE: BABA) fell about 8 percent in three days (from a May 19 high of $217 to a May 22 low of $200). Baidu, a major Chinese internet company, saw its stock drop 6 percent on May 22. Sina and JD.com experienced sudden share drops as well.

What exactly happened to these China stocks? How should we interpret the falling shares despite outstanding earnings (Alibaba, for example, actually reported strong revenue results)? I argue that this is due to the tensions between the two largest economies in the world, and the pessimistic signals released by the Chinese government at the National People’s Congress (NPC). Specifically, watchers should consider factors such as the newly introduced Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, China’s missing GDP target, and the tough stance on the Hong Kong issue at NPC.

On May 20, the U.S. Senate passed the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act. This is a push to increase scrutiny of U.S.-listed Chinese companies. According to the act, a company will be banned from trading in U.S. securities exchanges if it fails to comply with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s audits. Each company also has to disclose whether it is backed by a foreign government.

US-China-Israel Relations: Pompeo’s Visit

By Mercy A. Kuo

Trans-Pacific View author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into U.S. Asia policy. This conversation with Dr. Yoram Evron, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Haifa, is the 238th in “The Trans-Pacific View Insight Series.”

Explain the symbolic and substantive outcomes of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to Israel.

Pompeo’s visit to Israel was certainly unique, being his first visit out of the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and this uniqueness projected on the topics that were discussed. This was certainly true for the CK Hutchison issue, which U.S. diplomatic sources took pains to describe as a central piece of the visit’s agenda, thus ensuring that no one missed the importance the U.S. assigned to this issue.

Over the years, the U.S. and Israel have had two confrontations over the transfers of Israeli military technology to China, and a potential confrontation over an Israeli concession to a Chinese company to operate a terminal in the port of Haifa. While different in various ways, these cases shared one thing in common: they involved a U.S. demand of Israel to roll back a signed deal with China. Israel’s response was that Washington knew about these deals in advance and did not express a clear objection. This time, Pompeo’s visit signaled the U.S. objection unmistakably to Israel and to America’s allies worldwide, while concurrently indicating to China that if the contract were signed, it would most likely suffer considerable embarrassment.

Why China’s Move to Rein In Hong Kong Is Just the Start

By Steven Lee Myers

China’s move to strip away another layer of Hong Kong’s autonomy was not a rash impulse. It was a deliberate act, months in the making. It took into account the risks of international umbrage and reached the reasonable assumption that there would not be a significant geopolitical price to pay.

As a provocative move, it is just the latest.

With the world distracted by the pandemic’s devastating toll, China has taken a series of aggressive actions in recent weeks to flex its economic, diplomatic and military muscle across the region.

China’s Coast Guard rammed and sank a fishing boat in disputed waters off Vietnam, and its ships swarmed an offshore oil rig operated by Malaysia. Beijing denounced the second inauguration of Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, and pointedly dropped the word peaceful from its annual call for unification with the island democracy.

China raises US trade tensions with warning of ‘new cold war’

Simon Goodley and Dan Sabbagh

The prospects of a trade war between China and the western economies ratcheted up on Sunday as Beijing accused the US of pushing relations towards a “new cold war”.

“China has no intention to change, still less replace the United States,” China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said on Sunday in the latest escalation in tensions between the world’s two largest economies. “It’s time for the United States to give up its wishful thinking of changing China and stopping 1.4 billion people in their historic march toward modernisation.”

He said US political attacks on China over the coronavirus and global trade matters “are taking China-US relations hostage and pushing our two countries to the brink of a new cold war”.

Relations between the UK and the US have also soured as a string of Conservative politicians pressed on Sunday for tighter controls to protect struggling UK companies from Chinese takeovers, and the UK announced an emergency review of the deal to allow the Chinese telecoms firm Huawei to help run the forthcoming 5G mobile network.

Beijing’s Deadly Game: Consequences of Excluding Taiwan from the World Health Organization during the COVID-19 Pandemic

This report includes the following key findings:

Beijing’s influence within the WHO and its pressure on the UN agency to exclude Taiwan undermined global health as the novel coronavirus COVID-19 swept the world in the early months of 2020. WHO officials consistently ignored Taiwan’s attempts to exchange information about the virus and share best practices for containing it. Meanwhile, Beijing ramped up military pressure on Taiwan through a series of coercive exercises.

Taiwan appears to have successfully contained COVID-19 by instituting early and aggressive measures informed by its experience battling the 2003 outbreak of SARS, a respiratory illness that also originated in mainland China. As of May 12, the island had just 440 confirmed cases and seven deaths.

Taiwan’s exclusion from the WHO imperils the health of the island’s 23 million people and limits WHO members’ access to crucial public health information, jeopardizing global health.

China’s Space and Counterspace Activities

The following report, "China’s Space and Counterspace Capabilities and Activities," examines China’s military and civil space programs, including the role of military-civil fusion (MCF) and international cooperation in the development of its space program. It also addresses Beijing’s development and fielding of counterspace capabilities. It was prepared for the Commission by the Project 2049 Institute and Pointe Bello.

The End of the New World Order

By Ross Douthat

It’s a mistake to believe most conspiracy theories, but it’s also a mistake to assume that they bear no relation to reality. Some are just insane emanations or deliberate misinformation. But others exaggerate and misread important trends rather than denying them, or offer implausible explanations for mysteries that nonetheless linger unexplained.

This is as true in the Trump era as in any other. Extraterrestrials are probably not among us, but we keep being handed new evidence that the U.F.O. phenomenon is real. QAnon is a landscape of fantasy, but the fact that powerful sexual predators have ties to presidents, popes and princes is a hard post-Jeffrey Epstein truth.

Sometimes, though, conspiracy theories outlive the reality that once sustained them, surging in popularity just as the real world is making their anxieties irrelevant. And something like that may be happening right now with conspiratorial thinking about the so-called New World Order. On the one hand, the coronavirus is inspiring a surge of N.W.O. paranoia, a renewed fear of elite cabals that aspire to rule the world. But at the same time, the actual new world order, the dream of global integration and transnational governance, is disintegrating before our very eyes.

The End of War As We Know It?

by Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.) and Tom Engelhardt 

Consider it strange. The U.S. has been fighting in Somalia on and off (mostly on) since the early 1990s. (Who, of a certain age, doesn’t remember the "Black Hawk Down" fiasco?) Almost 30 years later, at a time when the U.N. secretary-general, supported by dozens of countries, has reasonably enough called for a global ceasefire so that humanity can refocus on "the true fight of our lives," bringing Covid-19 under control, the US is still at war there. At a time when American naval vessels are turning into pandemic hot zones and the man in the White House has repeatedly denounced this country’s "ridiculous endless wars," the Pentagon’s war in Somalia against an insurgent terror group by the name of al-Shabaab is actually escalating. No kidding.

Of course, if you were only attending to the mainstream media, filled with little but coronaviral news (and even more viral news about our president), you wouldn’t know it. You might hardly know that the US military was involved in Somalia at all. You would have to read TomDispatch Managing Editor Nick Turse’s recent investigative piece at the Intercept to discover that US air strikes in that country have risen radically in recent times. In the Obama years, from 2009-2017, the US carried out a total of 36 such strikes in Somalia. According to US Africa Command, by early April 2020, only four months into this devastating year, 39 such strikes had already been launched, essentially ensuring that the annual bounty of destruction there will top last year’s record 63 strikes. And mind you, at this moment, Covid-19 is beginning to tear a path of death through that country’s capital, Mogadishu.

Israel and the New American Strategy

By George Friedman

The drawdown of U.S. forces in the Middle East, about which we have written a few times now, is already empowering the countries that would replace it as a regional power. The evolution started with the U.K. and ends with Israel.

Indeed, much of the region was shaped by Britain after World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The British invented new countries like Jordan, reshaped the political order in Arabia, redefined the Persian Gulf and so on. Britain was Rome reborn. The Romans were obsessed with access to Egyptian grain. The British were obsessed with access to the oil of the Persian Gulf. They were transitioning from a coal-driven to an oil-driven economy but could not do so without controlling the Middle East. Controlling a region, however, is fraught with danger. The more you control, the more things threaten you.

After World War II, there was the famed changing of the guard, with the British sounding Kipling’s recessional and the Americans taking Britain’s place. The American challenge was the Soviets. The Soviets saw the region not so much as a source of oil but as a place where they could cut off American oil and thus cripple the U.S., and a location by which they could access the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean. The second act of the post-Ottoman Middle East was the U.S.-Soviet competition. The Soviets triggered coups in places like Syria, Iraq and Egypt, while the U.S. sought to build an alliance structure to resist them.

Parameters, Summer 2020,

o The Compound Security Dilemma: Threats at the Nexus of War and Peace

o The United States and the Transatlantic Relationship

o INDOPACOM through 2030

o Future Warfare: Weaponizing Critical Infrastructure

o The Politics of Oath-Taking

o Designing Effective Military Strategies under Uncertainty

o The Future of Strategic Leadership

o Military Ethics below the Threshold of War

o Army Modernization in the 21st Century

o Winning the Narrative War

o Integrated Campaigning in the Pacific, 1918–1948

o Origins of US Army Strategic Landpower


Digital connectivity will feature prominently in the upcoming EU–Japan summit scheduled for May 2020, and in the EU–Africa summit of November 2020. On both occasions, digital Official Development Assistance (ODA) deserves a more prominent place on the agenda than seen so far. For Japan, this means implementing coordinated digital development initiatives and aiming for greater contributions to the e-economy and e-government, and for African governments, the European Union (EU) should identify real needs that inform targeted, request-based action on digital ODA.

While acting on long-term challenges, digital ODA addresses several key priorities identified by the European Commission. An updated EU digital ODA agenda also responds to global trends such as the impact of the fourth industrial revolution in Europe and its backyard, life in a post-COVID-19 world, international migration and climate change, as well as geostrategic challenges like the US–China technology conflict and China’s Digital Silk Road.

With an eye to practical implementation, this Clingendael Policy Brief adds conceptual clarity to what digital ODA is (or can be) and discusses where the EU stands today. It offers opportunities for best-practice learning from Asian players that have more experience in this field. Clearly, digital ODA is no longer just a technical but also a (geo)political issue.

Challenges and Opportunities in the Post-COVID-19 World

The COVID-19 crisis has affected societies and economies around the globe and will permanently reshape our world as it continues to unfold. While the fallout from the crisis is both amplifying familiar risks and creating new ones, change at this scale also creates new openings for managing systemic challenges, and ways to build back better.

This collection of essays draws on the diverse insights of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report Advisory Board to look ahead and across a broad range of issues – trade, governance, health, labour, technology to name a few – and consider where the balance of risk and opportunity may come out. It offers decision-makers a comprehensive picture of expected long-term changes, and inspiration to leverage the opportunities this crisis offers to improve the state of the world.

U.S. cybersecurity deficiencies can no longer be ignored

By Hugh Hewitt

Rarely has a bipartisan commission produced its findings immediately before the allocation of trillions of dollars in the service of national rehabilitation. The timing of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission’s report this spring could not have been more perfect. Also fortuitous are the profiles of the commission’s co-chairs: Angus King, Maine’s center-left governor-turned-senator; and Mike Gallagher, a center-right scholar and Marine who represents Wisconsin’s 8th District in the U.S. House. The pair radiate goodwill and seriousness of purpose, a mix that recalls eras when politics did indeed stop at the water’s edge.

Despite its roster of accomplished members and senior staff — including Rear Adm. Mark “Monty” Montgomery, a much-respected Pentagon veteran — the commission has had a hard time gaining public attention amid the chaos of the pandemic and the political upheavals of the “Trump era.” (Gallagher — affectionately dubbed “China Mike” by Robert C. O’Brien, the president’s national security adviser, when Gallagher was left off the list of elected “China hawks” that the Chinese Communist Party recently threatened with sanctions — discussed the commission’s work with me on air last week.)

What, many readers may be wondering, is a “solarium”?

'The next generation of cyber warfare isn't that far'

By ILH Staff 

Dozens of Israeli websites were compromised last week as Iranian hackers and proxies of the Islamic republic rallied for their annual Quds Day cyberattack.

According to University of Haifa Professor Gabriel Weimann, while these attacks were not very sophisticated and posed a low risk to any critical investiture, Israel must continue to prepare for ongoing and more complex attacks in the future.

"What we saw is not the high-risk operation that states like Iran can launch, and tried to launch, against Israel. Those are high-level attacks that demand sophistication, skills, and capacities to target infrastructure. Such an attack was launched against an Israeli water facility several weeks ago," he said.Prof. Gabriel Weimann (Wikimedia Commons)

If there was ever a time for data science, this is it.

John Wigle 
Source Link


I believe there is no better time for data science to serve a quintessential public good than during this time of national crisis. The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has been described as a wartime footing by several heads of state.1, 2 These times will require novel approaches like data science to manage this crisis.

The United States has invoked its Defense Production Act to redirect manufacturing to respirators and vaccine precursors,3 and the pandemic’s impact on the economy and unemployment has been compared to the great depression era just before World War II. The insights public health professionals and scientists share—from the numerous cases of infection with people who have stayed home, to the strange inflammation4 called “COVID toes”—are a reminder that there is so much we don’t know about this virus. Countries have applied various strategies from China’s at-home detention of its citizens5 to Sweden’s bold experiment of herd immunity,6 with no clear success story standing out. We are fighting this pandemic with limited resources, limited understanding, and under difficult economic constraints.

What are we to do? How can policy makers optimize our resources against this seemingly goliath micro-sized enemy to win and win quickly? What does a win look like? What are the acceptable losses? And is frequent hand washing, masks, and social distancing really enough to save us? With all these abounding existential questions and no clear answers, it is easy to see why many leaders have likened our current struggle with that of World War II.

Geopolitical Trends and the Future of Warfare

by Raphael S. Cohen, Eugeniu Han, Ashley L. Rhoades

Research Questions

What are the major geopolitical drivers of future conflict?

How will geopolitics shape who the United States fights in the future?

How will geopolitics shape where, how, when, and why might the United States' next war occur?

What are the implications for the U.S. Air Force and the future of warfare?

Carl von Clausewitz famously argued that "war is the continuation of politics by other means," and that aphorism remains as true in the 21st century as it was in the 19th: The future of warfare will depend on geopolitics. In this volume of the Future of Warfare series, RAND researchers examined six trends—U.S. polarization and retrenchment, China's rise, Asia's reassessment, the emergence of a revanchist Russia, upheaval in Europe, and turmoil in the Islamic world—to determine the drivers of conflict between now and 2030. Drawing on official strategy statements, secondary sources, and an extensive set of interviews across eight countries, this report explains how each of these trends has shaped conflict in the past and will likely continue to do so over the next decade. Together, these six trends point to three overarching findings. First, many of the underlying geopolitical assumptions in the U.S. National Defense Strategy for 2018—about the centrality of great-power competition and likelihood of aggression in the Indo-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East—are correct. Second, although U.S. adversaries will likely remain relatively stable over the next decade, U.S. allies will likely change, especially as Europe becomes increasingly preoccupied with its own problems and as Asia reacts to the rise of China. Finally, and most importantly, U.S. strategists will face a deepening series of strategic dilemmas as the possibility of conflict in the Indo-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East pull limited U.S. resources in different directions.

There's something fundamentally wrong in positing that war can be just

By: Wajahat Qazi

War is war, a deplorable, inhumane and inhuman activity that depraves and debases both combatants and statesmen who order it and makes whole populations suffer.

Military thinkers, strategists and philosophers have grappled with the issue of war and peace since perhaps time immemorial. One major strand that has emerged from this is the ‘theory of just war’. Based on two major criteria-right to go to war (jus ad bellum) and right conduct in war( jus in Bello)-that apparently render war morally justifiable, just war theory, whose earliest proponent was Saint Augustine, holds that war is not always the worst option. The claim embedded in the just war theory is a bold one. But, is it right? Can war ever be justified and just? Is there something morally and practically wrong with the just war? Last but the least, does the just war theory hold in or under conditions of post-modernity?

There is something fundamentally wrong in positing that war can be just. The reasons, in the main, pertain to the fluidity of conditions in war and combat which is essentially in the nature of a zero-sum, Hobbesian struggle where it's you or me thinking or rationalizations dominate. In this, ‘if I don’t kill you first, you will kill me’ thinking, morality, ethical and humanitarian considerations naturally fly out of the window. But assuming there is something to the just war theory, who decides to go war? Who has the right to wage war? In the law of the jungle, that is the world of states, it is strong that determine issues of war and peace; the weak are at the sufferance of the strong. Yes, in modern times, there are notable and laudable institutions that are designed to maintain peace and prevent war, but as the Second Gulf War demonstrated, the ‘Parliament of Man’ can be superseded if a powerful state is determined to go to war.