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What is the New US Policy on Global Conflicts?

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What is the New US Policy on Global Conflicts? Our troops will fight to win,” – these are the words of the American president sounded at the military base of Fort Mayer in Arlington, Virginia. Donald Trump delivered a speech on the new US strategy for Afghanistan, where he heavily criticized Pakistan for harbouring terrorists.

This new US Policy has not become something out of the ordinary. On Trump’s account are direct threats against North Korea, the continued bombing Syria and hints of readiness for a forced scenario in Venezuela. At the same time, during the election campaign, the future president counterposed himself to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who, he said, could unleash a “third world war”.

US Policy in Syria

One of the best proofs of how the position of the American president on key issues on the foreign policy agenda has changed is his account in the social network Twitter. A clear example: back in June 2013, Trump said that the United States had better “stay away” from Syria. “What do we get for our lives and billions of dollars? Nothing,” he wrote.

 However, to adhere to this approach, Trump stopped after the inauguration. By order of the president in early April, the US armed forces launched more than 50 Tomahawk missiles at a military base in Syria, in the region of Homs province. According to Trump, from this base, the alleged chemical attack in the province of Idlib was committed.

He even congratulated the US military on the successful bombing. And again on Twitter.

US Policy in North Korea

Such a turn has affected also the Juche state, or more precisely – its leader Kim Jong Un. In May 2016 Trump said he was ready to personally communicate with the leader of the DPRK and treat him and the North Korean delegation with hamburgers in Washington. In June of the same year, the future owner of the White House said that he did not understand “what’s wrong” in having a dialogue with the leader of the DPRK.

After the July tests of Pyongyang’s ballistic missiles, Trump changed his rhetoric. Such tough statements on the DPRK from the first person of the American state have not been heard. “North Korea should not put forward threats to the United States, they will be met with fire and fury, which the world has never seen,” said the head of the White House on August 8. However, after just two weeks Trump said that Kim Jong-un “began to respect” the US, and added that “something good can come out of this.”

US Policy in Venezuela

Trump never had a warm feeling for the leadership of Venezuela – neither Hugo Chavez nor Nicolas Maduro. The same can be said about Barack Obama. In its executive decrees, Venezuela was presented as a “threat” to US national security. But Obama did not threaten the Bolivarian Republic with war.

According to the Institute of Latin American Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the former president pursued a policy of “soft isolation” of Venezuela in Latin America. “We have many options for Venezuela, by the way, I will not exclude the military option,” said Trump. Journalists asked Trump whether the US-led military operation is implicit in this. “We are not talking about this, but the military operation and the military option is exactly what we can resort to,” the president concluded.

The reaction of the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, did not take long. “Why did he commit this blunder, this grossest mistake that has ever occurred in a Latin American country in 200 years of relations?” Maduro said.

US Policy on Relations with NATO

During the election campaign, Trump became a symbol of isolationism, called NATO “an outdated organization” and argued that Washington’s military defence of its allies and partners should not be free for them.

At the same time, he advocated increased funding for the armed forces. This selective approach has provided tremendous support to Trump among the military. When he became president, he did not refuse his vision. What is it worth only the budget proposal, which the president sent to Congress in March. It is expected to reduce the funding of all ministries, except for three: defence, internal security and the Ministry of Veterans Affairs.

The president was not so consistent on the issue of supporting NATO. “I consider NATO an outdated organization she created many decades ago when we were in other countries and the threat was different..” Trump said in March 2016. After winning the election, Trump began to add that, despite this, the military alliance was “very important” for him.

And later on Twitter, the president even wrote that he deliberately called the military bloc obsolete, so that the NATO member countries listened to it and began spending more on defence.

For many Americans, such changes in the policy of the president seemed unexpected. But if you look at the trump team, these changes seem quite natural. Unlike Barack Obama, Trump appointed the ministers of defence, interior and national security of three career militaries: James Mattis, Ryan Zinke and John Kelly.
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China Imposes Sanctions On US Defence Giant Behind F-16s, F-22 Raptors

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China has threatened to impose sanctions on US defence giant Lockheed Martin – the makers of Stealth F-22 Raptors, in response to US approving of a possible deal for Taiwan to buy parts to refurbish defensive missiles built by the company.

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Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made announced at a briefing in Beijing on Tuesday, adding that the US should cut defence ties with Taiwan “so that it doesn’t do further harm to bilateral relations and damage peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

“China firmly opposes U.S. arms sales to Taiwan,” Zhao said, adding: “China decides to take measures to protect national interests. We will impose sanctions on the main contractor of this arms sale Lockheed Martin.”

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The US State Department last week approved a possible $620 million foreign military deal for Taiwan to buy parts of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles so that they can last 30 years.

Beijing’s actions come amid growing tensions between the US and China tensions over various issues including trade war, South China Sea dispute, COVID-19 pandemic, new security law in Hong Kong, 5G network and hostilities against key US allies including India and Australia.

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Despite it being a strategic American ally, the US has no official embassy in Taiwan nor does Australia, Canada, the UK or Germany. China calls Taiwan a ‘renegade province’ and has vowed it to merge it with mainland China, at all costs.

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Comet Neowise in India: Rare Neowise Comet will be visible in North-West India from Today – NASA

NASA Comet Neowise India: NASA’s Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet on 27 March. Scientists involved in the mission said the comet is about five kilometres across and its nucleus is covered with sooty material dating back to the origin of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

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The Comet Neowise, or C/20202 F3  will be noticeable in the northwest sky in India from 14 July onwards. As per NASA, Neowise should be visible just before and around the time of first light till 11 July. It will again start to be visible in the evening between 15 and 16 July.

“From July 14, C/2020 F3, a comet discovered on March 27, will be clearly visible in the north-western sky. It will be visible after sunset for around 20 minutes for the next 20 days. People can observe it from naked eyes,” said Subhendu Pattnaik, deputy director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Bhubaneswar told ANI.

“In the evenings to follow, the comet will rapidly climb higher in the sky and will be visible for a longer period,” he added.

Comet Neowise swept within Mercury’s orbit a week ago. Its close vicinity to the sun caused dust and gas to burn off its surface and create an even bigger debris tail. According to CNET, Neowise passed a critical point when it survived its closest brush with the sun without cracking up from the heat last week.

NASA’s Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet on 27 March. Scientists involved in the mission said the comet is about five kilometres across and its nucleus is covered with sooty material dating back to the origin of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

Soon after, numerous amateur photographers began sharing stunning images of the comet just above the horizon during predawn hours. Twitter user Jeremy Perez shared the image shot from close to the Wupatki National Monument showcasing the bright celestial body.

According to the CNET report, as the comet moves farther away from the sun and closer to Earth, it will be visible in the evening sky and not before dawn. As per NASA solar system ambassador Eddie Irizarry, Neowise should be visible just before and around the time of first light till 11 July. It will again start to be visible in the evening between 15 and 16 July.

While it’s visible with the naked eye in dark skies with little or no light pollution, binoculars are needed to see the long tail, according to NASA. It will be about 7,000 years before the comet returns, “so I wouldn’t suggest waiting for the next pass,” said the telescope’s deputy principal investigator Joe Masiero of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Recently, astronauts from the International Space Station managed to get a stunning glimpse of a natural light show from a comet this weekend. NASA astronaut Bob Behnken shared a tweet highlighting Neowise. He captioned the post, “Last night’s fireworks, for real. Because Science.”

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US-China ties to worsen as Trump set to block all Chinese claims in South China Sea

Ties between US and China could dramatically worsen over the South China Sea after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington now regards virtually all Chinese maritime claims outside its internationally recognised waters to be illegitimate. 

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Ties between the US and China are set to further deteriorate over the South China Sea as the Trump administration is set to outrightly reject almost all of Chinese maritime claims in the contentious waterbody.

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The Trump government presented the decision as an endeavour to restrain China’s increasing belligerence in the region with a commitment to recognising international law. This move in the South China Sea will further enrage the Chinese, who are already countering against various US sanctions and other penalties.

Previously, US policy had been to insist that maritime spats between China and its smaller neighbours be settled peacefully through UN-backed arbitration.

But in a statement released on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington now regards virtually all Chinese maritime claims outside its internationally recognised waters to be illegitimate.

“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire,” Pompeo said. “America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources, consistent with their rights and obligations under international law. We stand with the international community in defence of freedom of the seas and respect for sovereignty and reject any push to impose ‘might makes right’ in the South China Sea or the wider region.”

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Although the US will continue to remain impartial in territorial conflicts, the announcement means Washington is now directly supporting Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, all of which oppose Chinese declarations of sovereignty over maritime areas surrounding disputed islands, reefs and shoals.

“There are clear cases where [China] is claiming sovereignty over areas that no country can lawfully claim,” the State Department said in a fact sheet that accompanied the statement.

The announcement was released a day after the fourth anniversary of a binding decision by an arbitration panel in favour of the Philippines that discarded Chinese maritime claims around the Spratly Islands and neighbouring reefs and shoals.

China has declined to recognise that ruling, rejected it as a “sham” and withdrew from the arbitration proceedings. It has continued to oppose the decision with aggressive actions that have brought it into territorial disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia in recent years.

However, as a result, the administration said China has no valid maritime claims to the fish- and potentially energy-rich Scarborough Reef, Mischief Reef or Second Thomas Shoal. The US has repeatedly said areas regarded to be part of the Philippines are covered by a US-Philippines mutual defence treaty in the event of an attack on them.

In addition to reemphasising support for that decision, Pompeo said China cannot legitimately claim the James Shoal near Malaysia, waters surrounding the Vanguard Bank off Vietnam, the Luconia Shoals near Brunei and Natuna Besar off Indonesia. As such, Washington said it would regard any Chinese intimidation of fishing vessels or oil exploration in those areas as unlawful.

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