julho 30, 2010

A China está próximo de se tornar a segunda economia mundial

A senior Beijing official’s reference to China as the “world’s second-largest economy” has sparked excited speculation that Asia’s new powerhouse may have already reached a long-looming milestone by surpassing Japan.

China’s rapid recent growth has made it increasingly likely that its gross domestic product, in US dollar terms, will be larger this year than Japan’s. However, the vagaries of international currency movements mean such a result is far from assured.

Observers eagerly awaiting what will be a symbol of shifting global economic power on Friday seized on a remark by Yi Gang, director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, about China’s growth prospects. [...]

Ver notícia no Financial Times

julho 21, 2010

Obama: o risco de falhanço no Afeganistão e no Iraque

Barack Obama is caught in a Catch-22 situation: If America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq fail, they will overshadow any of his domestic achievements. The end game in the leadership role of the United States in the world began long ago. Can the Afghanistan conference deliver a breakthrough?

There is a name that is now being mentioned frequently in the debate over America's wars, a name that does not bode well for US President Barack Obama: Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States. Johnson, who, like Obama, was both a Democrat and an energetic reformer, ultimately failed because of an overseas war being fought by US troops. The Vietnam War prevented Johnson from being remembered as one of the most prominent US presidents in the history of the 20th century. [...]

Ver artigo no Der Spiegel

julho 15, 2010

Israel versus Irão: consequências de uma guerra

The voices in Washington calling for a military strike on Iranian nuclear plants are growing in number and strength. The cautious attitude of the Barack Obama administration itself in relation to such a course means that direct military action by the United States itself remains on balance unlikely (see Joe Klein, "An Attack on Iran: Back on the Table", Time, 15 July 2010). But current trends in the middle east suggest that the prospect of Israeli action against Iran in the next few months is coming closer (see "Israel vs Iran: the risk of war", 11 June 2010).

These include oft-repeated reports that Iran is rearming Hizbollah in southern Lebanon, and that Syria is supplying Hizbollah with some of its Iranian-made M-600 ballistic-missiles. The M-600 is a solid-fuel missile with a range stretching over much of Israel - a much more potent weapon than those fired in the Israel-Lebanon war of July-August 2006 (see Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, “The Hizbollah project: last war, next war”, 13 August 2009)

Israel’s current concern over a resumption of conflict with Hizbollah, however, is overshadowed by its analysis of the benefits, costs and consequences of an attempt to strike a decisive blow against Iran. Binyamin Netanyahu, concluding his visit to the United States with an interview on Fox News, described Iran as “the ultimate terrorist threat” and said that for Iran to think it can maintain its nuclear ambitions would be a mistake. [...]

Ver notícia no OpenDemocracy

julho 11, 2010

A era da estupidez digital?

In 1889 the Spectator published an article, “The Intellectual Effects of Electricity,” intended to provoke its Victorian readers. Robert Cecil, the prime minister, had recently given a speech to the Institution of Electrical Engineers in which “he admitted that only the future could prove whether the effect of the discovery of electricity… would tell for good or evil.” The authors attacked him for being soft on electricity. Its material effects were welcome—“imagine the hundred million of ploughing oxen now toiling in Asia, with their labour superseded by electric accumulators!”—but its intellectual effects were not.

Electricity had led to the telegraph, which in turn saw “a vast diffusion of what is called ‘news,’ the recording of every event, and especially of every crime.” Foreshadowing Marshall McLuhan by almost a century, the magazine deplored a world that was “for purposes of ‘intelligence’ reduced to a village” in which “a catastrophe caused by a jerry-builder of New York wakes in two hours the sensation of pity throughout the civilised world.” And while “certainly it increases nimbleness of mind… it does this at a price. All men are compelled to think of all things, at the same time, on imperfect information, and with too little interval for reflection.”

Fast forward 120 years, and similar criticisms abound. Consider an anti-Twitter lament by the New Yorker writer George Packer in February, published, of all places, on his blog: “There’s no way for readers to be online, surfing, emailing, posting, tweeting, reading tweets, and soon enough doing the thing that will come after Twitter, without paying a high price in available time, attention span, reading comprehension, and experience of the immediately surrounding world.” In May, even the US president Barack Obama—a self-confessed BlackBerry addict—complained about a “24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank all that high on the truth meter,” adding that: “With iPods and iPads… information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment.” Of course there is a price to pay for processing information. But the real question is: is the price too high? [...]

Ver artigo de Evgeny Morozov no Prospect

julho 08, 2010

EUA planeiam escudo contra ciberataques

The federal government is launching an expansive program dubbed "Perfect Citizen" to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies running such critical infrastructure as the electricity grid and nuclear-power plants, according to people familiar with the program.

The surveillance by the National Security Agency, the government's chief eavesdropping agency, would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack, though it wouldn't persistently monitor the whole system, these people said.

Defense contractor Raytheon Corp. recently won a classified contract for the initial phase of the surveillance effort valued at up to $100 million, said a person familiar with the project.

An NSA spokeswoman said the agency had no information to provide on the program. A Raytheon spokesman declined to comment.

Some industry and government officials familiar with the program see Perfect Citizen as an intrusion by the NSA into domestic affairs, while others say it is an important program to combat an emerging security threat that only the NSA is equipped to provide.

"The overall purpose of the [program] is our Government...feel[s] that they need to insure the Public Sector is doing all they can to secure Infrastructure critical to our National Security," said one internal Raytheon email, the text of which was seen by The Wall Street Journal. "Perfect Citizen is Big Brother." [...]

Ver notícia no Wall Street Journal

julho 07, 2010

Al-Qaeda lança a sua primeira revista de propaganda

"Inspire", le premier magazine de propagande d'Al-Qaida diffusé en anglais, devrait sortir dans les jours ou les semaines qui viennent. Mais l'organisation terroriste, rompue aux techniques modernes de communication, a déjà réussi à en faire le buzz du moment. Un premier aperçu du magazine au format PDF circule sur le Net depuis la semaine dernière. En dehors de la couverture et de la table des matières, l'essentiel des 67 pages est crypté.

Pour l'heure, seuls des djihadistes confirmés et quelques chercheurs ont eu accès au document en version intégrale sur des forums islamistes sécurisés. L'universitaire Mathieu Guidère fait partie de ceux-là. Selon lui, cette revue entièrement en anglais marque un véritable "tournant" dans la communication et la stratégie de recrutement d'Al-Qaida. [...]

Ver notícia no Le Monde

julho 04, 2010

A ameaça a partir da Internet: Ciberguerra

Throughout history new technologies have revolutionised warfare, sometimes abruptly, sometimes only gradually: think of the chariot, gunpowder, aircraft, radar and nuclear fission. So it has been with information technology. Computers and the internet have transformed economies and given Western armies great advantages, such as the ability to send remotely piloted aircraft across the world to gather intelligence and attack targets. But the spread of digital technology comes at a cost: it exposes armies and societies to digital attack.

The threat is complex, multifaceted and potentially very dangerous. Modern societies are ever more reliant on computer systems linked to the internet, giving enemies more avenues of attack. If power stations, refineries, banks and air-traffic-control systems were brought down, people would lose their lives. Yet there are few, if any, rules in cyberspace of the kind that govern behaviour, even warfare, in other domains. As with nuclear- and conventional-arms control, big countries should start talking about how to reduce the threat from cyberwar, the aim being to restrict attacks before it is too late. [...]

Ver artigo em The Economist

julho 02, 2010

Relações Internacionais n.º 26

O Estado em reconstrução e a sua Constituição. A intervenção no Iraque
Mateus Kowalski

A Cooperação Militar Chinesa
Alexandre Carriço

A China na Cooperação Sul-Sul
Carmen Amado Mendes

O novo Ocidente Político
Henrique Raposo

Carta de Islamabade
Não há duas sem três. A terceira tentativa paquistanesa para alcançar a democracia
Michael Meyer-Resende

Carta de Bisqueque
Da democracia na Ásia Central
Licínia Simão

Irão: uma juristocracia autoritária?
Mirjam Künkler

A trajectória de um movimento islamita na Somália (2006-2010)
Alexandra Magnólia Dias

A finança islâmica nas sociedades ocidentais
José Pedro Teixeira Fernandes