By Christian Takushi, Independent Macro Economist & Geopolitical Strategist. 22 Nov 2019.
While the world is focused on the public impeachment hearings at the US Congress, truly important developments are being overlooked by consensus.
- Japan is upgrading her Airforce from a purely defensive one into a formidable force capable of projecting power over China and Russia. On top of Japan’s F-35 stealth fighters, the USA has approved the critical modernisation of 98 F-15 fighters. Note that Japan is politically the most stable G7 (and probably also G20) nation, the conservatives rule for years, and with the new Emperor Japan is shifting further into the conservative geopolitical camp:
Japan is rearming and less willing to accept China’s assertive expansion passively. No major US ally is responding to Trump’s request to pay more and upgrade the military like Japan. While the EU under von der Leyen wants to de facto break away from the USA militarily, Japan is becoming one of the closest US allies – along Britain, Israel and Australia.
- Russia ready to start supplying Gas to China in December (later also Korea & Japan). The 4’000 KM pipeline Power of Siberia will upset the geopolitical balance. The West is losing the Middle East and Far East to growing Russo-Sino influence.
- Prime Minister Netanyahu has just been indicted by the Attorney General before he can kick off a 3rd general election
- The United States has acknowledged Israel‘s rights on areas that used to be part of ancient Judea & Samaria, opening the door for Jerusalem to annex the Jordan Valley
- During the latest deadly Israel-Gaza conflict Hamas showed restraint and did not joined air attacks by Iran-proxy Islamic Jihad. A sign that Hamas may be willing to compromise to evolve into a political force ahead of a peace deal
- Pushback against ultra-orthodox parties could open the door for discussing recent findings on the location of the ancient Jewish Temple – If the 3rd Temple were to be built in the City of David, it could de-escalate tensions with Arab nations and advance a Peace treaty
- Iranian forces fire at Israel from Syria – Israel attacks the Iranian Quds Forces and Syrian Army near Damascus, Syria. Iran now controls strategic parts of Iraq & Syria and these countries’ armed forces. I believe the attacks on Israel were ordered in an effort to unite Iranians at home and to contain the mass protests against the regime
- Hong Kong: Given the advanced median age of the HK population and the weak stance of Western nations versus aggressive autocratic regimes, the Hong Kong protests are most likely futile. Media and political rhetoric aside, the de facto policy of G7 nations is to enable the rise of autocratic nations
- UK Elections – the direct debate between Mr. Johnson and Mr. Corbyn produced no surprises. My BREXIT assessment remains the same since 2016: the UK will exit the EU.
US Political Process
Allow me to highlight current developments and conclusions from my independent analysis that could matter ..
- The Field of Democrat Candidate for 2020 is being shaken up by Mr. Pete Buttigieg, who is leading in the key battleground states of Ohio and New Hampshire. Controversies around Hunter Biden are hurting his father
- President Trump would like to be “impeached” – Something Republicans in the Senate have meanwhile ascertained. The President would like to run as much as possible as an outsider
- Democrats likely to shift from Impeachment to Censure as support among US voters for Impeachment stalls and declines
- Due to the impeachment media coverage, voters are barely taking notice of the Democrats’ Debates and the programme speeches
- The DNC timed the Impeachment to inflict maximum damage to GOP before potentially damning revelations from the FISA investigation hit Washington in December
- Inspector General likely seeking criminal referrals against members of the FBI. Potentially exposing bias within the intelligence community. It may also expose the role of the media and damage its already battered image ahead of the 2020 Elections. Sadly, there is little objective analysis or objective news reporting left in America and Western Europe. Most media outlets and even think tanks are advancing partisan narratives or activist agendas
Impeachment Procedures against President Trump
My current analysis points to the following ..
- President Trump may have disrupted (rather than altered) established US Policy towards Ukraine. The insertion of Mr. Giuliani further unsettled career diplomats
- President Trump’s inferred desire to have Burisma Investigation revisited was most likely improper as it raised suspicions of conflict of interest. This can be ascertained by induction. Nevertheless, material direct proof of a high crime is still missing
- The main motivation for the cooperation of career officials at State Department and National Security circles with the Democrats is not partisan, but rather that fact that the White House is deviating from their agency’s established desire to treat Ukraine as “key” US ally and as “crucial” for US national security. The current US Administration has distanced itself somewhat from that policy and considers the country also a potential liability to US national security. As stated above, the current US administration does not see the Ukraine anywhere near the level of Japan, Israel or Britain in terms of loyalty, stability and strategic importance. Here is a clash with the established policy of recent US administrations that saw the urgent need to upgrade the Ukraine to critical ally in order to take on Russia, their presumed greatest threat to US national security. A clash that was waiting to be exposed publicly
- The hearings so far could lead at most to a censure of the President by US Congress, but not to an impeachment. De facto, most geopolitically active G20 governments conduct foreign policy with assertive “quid pro quo” conditions, ultimatums and even threats. Furthermore many nations exercise some degree of influence (meddling) on other nations’ political processes. The meddling of the EU and Obama administration in Ukraine – albeit well intentioned – is too fresh to be forgotten. It is against this backdrop of interferences and counter-interferences that the current events need to be analysed
- Given the fact that the Democrats have vetoed witnesses that do not support their case, and that the conjectured improprieties of President Trump do not reach the high threshold of treason and high crimes, the US Senate is likely to reject the Democrat-led impeachment motion (rendering it a partisan effort)
Uphill Battle from the start
As I have stated at the beginning of these impeachment hearings, the Democrats and US media fought an uphill battle. The main obstacle being that the US public and Republican senators (35% needed to be convinced) know the former have tried to impeach the President since day 1. That relentless crusade against the sitting President weakened the case’s credibility from the beginning. Thus, the American public probably holds the witnesses in high regard, believes some improper conduct was exhibited by the President, but they also believe the Democrats would do whatever it takes to impeach their current President.
President Trump has benefitted from the failed and in part scandalous efforts by the media and some Democrats on the Hill to discredit Judge Kavanaugh in 2018. False and outrageous accusations were paddled by the media in a way the USA has seldom seen before. The degree of the machinations shocked the public and I believe that the Kavanaugh trauma has given millions of Americans a new level of suspicion towards any allegations advanced by the media against a person in public office.
The Democrats themselves have hurt their case and potentially their 2020 chances to win the White House – for the past 4 years they have in close cooperation with the media produced heavy allegations against the current President almost by the week. Almost every month since 2015 they announced “bombshell news” that would surely bring down candidate and then President Trump. Although many fact-based, there were also fabricated ones. That has over-saturated the public and may cost the Democrats the 2020 Elections. By attacking President Trump day in & day out, liberal circles have themselves raised the bar as to what is acceptable for this current administration. If Americans feel they are doing economically better than before 2016, the 2020 Elections could prove difficult for the Democrats. And I believe this explains, why some potentially serious liberal candidates are actually eyeing not 2020, but 2024.
USD and Markets
The coming weeks and months promise a lot more chaos in Washington and should weigh
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By Christian Takushi MA UZH, Independent Macro Economist & Geopolitical Strategist. 22 Nov 2019.
Disclaimer: None of our comments should be interpreted or construed as an investment recommendation
A distinct broad approach to geopolitical research
(a) All nations & groups advance their geostrategic interests with all the means at their disposal
(b) A balance between Western linear-logical and Oriental circular-historical-religious thinking is crucial given the rise of Oriental powers
(c) As a geopolitical analyst with an economic mindset Takushi does research with little regard for political ideology and conspiracy theories
(d) Independent time series data aggregation & propriety risk models
(e) He only writes when his analysis deviates from Consensus