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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Thursday 28th of October 2021
 
Morning
Africa

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Macro Thoughts
World Of Finance


The @federalreserve is arriving at the Wizard of Oz moment 

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After Man⁣ @David_Yarrow
Misc.


In Amboseli, Kenya, a large tourist accommodation complex closed due to financial issues many years back. This image, taken on the main street, is an authentic and symbolic image. The lead female cuts a powerful and dominant figure.

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The Desert Army⁣ @David_Yarrow
Africa


This is what Amboseli has to offer and when it does, I think it is unrivalled as a spectacle in the natural world. A battalion of elephants in one seamless, cohesive unit charging through the desert. To see this scene played out is a real privilege.

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U.S. MILITARY | CAN IT DETER CHINA? Analysis: Pentagon has a Pacific posture predicament @NikkeiAsia @kenmoriyasu @ElbridgeColby @ConsWahoo @tshugart3 @brentdsadler @CollinSLKoh
Law & Politics


On Feb. 4, roughly two weeks into office, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to lead a Global Posture Review of all American forces deployed overseas.
The aim was to make sure that the military's footprint fit the administration's foreign policy and national security priorities -- in other words, China. 

The review was widely expected to conclude around the summer, but deep into October, it is still underway inside the walls of the Pentagon.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense has been reaching out to allies such as Japan, discussing the plans. 

But one Japanese official said that he was mildly surprised by the lack of big decisions that typically accompany a global-scale posture review. "It doesn't look like Japan will feature much in the review," the official said.
One reason the review has not concluded could be because the Biden administration cannot decide on how to deter China.
"There is an ongoing debate," said Bryan McGrath, a retired surface warship officer and founding managing director of consultancy The FerryBridge Group,

 "between those who believe that powerful, numerous, networked naval forces [deployed] forward act as a deterrent and can lead to security and prosperity, and those who can't prove that with algorithms and math and so dismiss it as a wish and a prayer." 

There seem to be multiple tracks of debate. One is an argument between "deterrence by denial" or "deterrence by punishment."

"Denial" is the more conventional method of deterrence, dissuading China from taking action through a heavy forward presence in locations such as Japan, South Korea and Singapore.
People who advocate for "punishment," meanwhile, "tend to be more enthusiastic about funding programs and capabilities that manifest themselves after the shooting starts," such as long-range missiles, Air Force bombers and attack submarines, McGrath said.
Combatant commanders seem to tilt toward denial, or a bigger forward presence.
"I'm a forward-deployed person. Man, I would have forces all over the place out there," former Chief of Naval Operations -- the Navy's highest ranking officer -- Adm. Jonathan Greenert told the Institute for Corean-American Studies in a webinar on Oct. 19, speaking about naval presence in the Indo-Pacific.
Pointing to the roughly 20 U.S. warships based in Yokosuka and Sasebo in Japan, Greenert said: "I'd try to see if we can get that to 30, 35," he said. 

"Because we don't have nearly enough forces to respond quickly," to China's actions.

The administration of former President Donald Trump made a clear tilt toward the "denial" camp. 

One of the chief advocates for that shift was Elbridge Colby, the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development and the principal author of Trump's 2018 National Defense Strategy.

"We were trying to move to a deterrence by denial model, whose basic logic is that you're best off if you can convince the other side that they're going to fail, not that you're going to punish them so much they'll disgorge whatever they gain," Colby told Nikkei Asia.
Another source of contention in the Pentagon is the new concept of "integrated deterrence" that has been floated by Austin. 

It calls for a "whole-of-government" approach to strengthen competition with China, rather than focus solely on the military aspect. 

Diplomacy, cyber tools, economic incentives and sanctions are all expected to enhance deterrence.
But the concept has been met with suspicion, especially after Biden's fiscal 2022 defense budget request grew less than inflation and called for fewer new ships than during the Trump years.
"It sure seems like a funny way out of the gate, when we say China is the biggest challenge in the Pacific, and it's mostly a maritime challenge, and then go cut the number of warships they are buying. That doesn't make a lot of sense," said Tom Shugart, 
"It's hard to tell if it's competition with domestic priorities, but it's certainly a head scratcher," he said.
Colby said he is worried about the Biden administration's "lack of sharp focus" on deterrence. 

"The way the administration is talking now about this is more of a hodgepodge. This 'integrated deterrence' idea sounds like 'we'll have some denial but then we'll have some economic and diplomatic pressure and the like.' That sounds nice but won't work if we don't meet the high denial standard," he said.
McGrath said he saw this coming. "It's obvious. The Deputy Secretary of Defense Kath Hicks led a long effort when she was in the think tank world that was called 'Getting to less.' 

It was a series of defense strategies that would have a lower footprint, a lower cost, lower continuing costs and lower lifecycle costs. There's nothing they are doing that they didn't telegraph they wanted to do," he said.
At the heart of the many debates inside the White House and the Pentagon is how to deter China.

The New York Times reported Oct. 17 that Biden's top aides do not see the challenges with China as part of a new Cold War. 

"Instead, they argue that it should be possible for the two superpowers to compartmentalize, cooperating on the climate and containing North Korea's arsenal, even while competing on technology and trade, or jousting for advantage in the South China Sea and around Taiwan," the report said.
Colby took issue with the word "jousting," that draws from the medieval sports contest in which two opponents on horseback fought with lances.
"They want to compete and joust in the South China Sea but then cooperate on climate. That's naive about how much the military dimension is critical and central," he said.
"Their statement is an aspiration, not a strategy," Colby added, warning that despite any superficial gains in diplomacy, once the Chinese do have military capacity, "the politics and the diplomacy will be determined by the military."
The delay in the Global Posture Review could also have been linked to an effort by the Biden administration to garner Chinese cooperation toward the COP26 climate summit that begins at the end of this month. Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have also agreed in principle to hold a virtual summit by the end of the year, and the White House may have tried to avoid revealing a new force posture blueprint that is clearly focused on encircling China.
Brent Sadler, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a 26-year Navy veteran, said the Global Posture Review is more likely to be "a bureaucratic drill" than a new grand strategy. 

"I had high hopes that it would be a true posture review, where we're looking at 'where do we have a hard time maintaining our presence?' 

And then, 'what kind of basing and what kind of new access we need looking out 20 years.' It's not that, unfortunately."
One area that Sadler hopes may be included in the Global Posture Review is a focus on Southeast Asia. 

"Right now, the weakest place that needs the most attention is the South China Sea," he said.
"The only way you're really going to get that sustained persistent presence is that you have to have a dedicated structure, like a task force."

Such a task force could be in line with the revival of a "First Fleet" that focuses on the western part of the Indo-Pacific, that was proposed by former Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite.

Collin Koh, a research fellow at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said that while Singapore may be reluctant to open a new U.S. naval base, it is open to increasing access for U.S. ships under the current framework of cooperation.
"There is an appetite for sustaining and enhancing U.S. presence in the region," he said.
But Koh added that Southeast Asian countries will also be closely watching the U.S.-China rivalry, and adjust strategies accordingly.
"Certainly, the sentiments and perceptions that will shift policies in Southeast Asia are very much shaped by the ongoing China-U.S. rivalry. It was interesting to see that in the recent times, Southeast Asian countries are actually intensified engagements with non-U.S. external powers such as Australia, France, Japan, India," he said.
"I do see those alternative engagements with non-U.S. partners as being a potential third way for them to pursue."

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The Dark Forest which continues the story of the invasion of Earth by the ruthless and technologically superior Trisolarans, introduces Liu’s three axioms of cosmic sociology.@nfergus
Law & Politics


First, “Survival is the primary need of civilization.”
Second, “Civilization continuously grows and expands, but the total matter in the universe remains constant.”
Third, “chains of suspicion” and the risk of a “technological explosion” in another civilization mean that in space there can only be the law of the jungle.
In the words of the book’s hero, Luo Ji:
The universe is a dark forest. Every civilization is an armed hunter stalking through the trees like a ghost ... trying to tread without sound ...
The hunter has to be careful, because everywhere in the forest are stealthy hunters like him.
If he finds other life — another hunter, an angel or a demon, a delicate infant or a tottering old man, a fairy or a demigod —
There’s only one thing he can do: open fire and eliminate them.
In this forest, hell is other people ... any life that exposes its own existence will be swiftly wiped out.
This is intergalactic Darwinism.

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COVID-19 infections are still rising in 58 countries. @ReutersGraphics
Misc.


19 countries are still near the peak of their infection curve

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What happens next depends not only on vaccination, but also on how the virus might mutate. @derspiegel
Misc.



"This virus keeps surprising us," agrees Mary Bushman, a mathematician and population biologist at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

"No one expected such large jumps in contagiousness.”

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Paper by @alexvespi & colleagues shows widespread transmission of sars-2 likely in US & Europe by January 2020, low case ascertainment fraction (1-3%) by March 2020. Incompatible w December emergence in Wuhan @DFisman
Misc.


Magnificent paper by @alexvespi and colleagues shows widespread transmission of sars-2 likey in the US and Europe by January 2020, low case ascertainment fraction (1-3%) by March 2020. Incompatible w December emergence in Wuhan. Older, bigger, earlier.

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Cryptic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and the first COVID-19 wave Nature
Misc.


Considerable uncertainty surrounds the timeline of introductions and onsets of local transmission of SARS-CoV-2 globally

Although a limited number of SARS-CoV-2 introductions were reported in January and February 2020  the narrowness of the initial testing criteria, combined with a slow growth in testing capacity and porous travel screening, left many countries vulnerable to unmitigated, cryptic transmission. 

Here we use a global metapopulation epidemic model to provide a mechanistic understanding of the early dispersal of infections, and the temporal windows of the introduction and onset of SARS-CoV-2 local transmission in Europe and the United States. 

We find that community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was likely in several areas of Europe and the United States by January 2020, and estimate that by early March, only 1 to 3 in 100 SARS-CoV-2 infections were detected by surveillance systems. 

The modelling results highlight international travel as the key driver of the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 with possible introductions and transmission events as early as December 2019–January 2020.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1611
Dollar Index 93.73
Japan Yen 113.63
Swiss Franc 0.9170
Pound 1.3761
Aussie 0.7520
India Rupee 74.8755
South Korea Won 1169.45
Brazil Real 5.5366
Egypt Pound 15.7318
South Africa Rand 15.0850

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Sudan's Burhan says army ousted government to avoid civil war @Reuters
Africa



Sudan's armed forces chief defended the military's seizure of power, saying he had ousted the government to avoid civil war, while protesters took to the streets on Tuesday to demonstrate against the takeover after a day of deadly clashes.
The military takeover on Monday brought a halt to Sudan's transition to democracy, two years after a popular uprising toppled long-ruling Islamist autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

On Tuesday evening, the Sudanese Professionals Association group of trade unions said it had "reports of retaliatory attacks by coup forces on protesters' gathering sites" in the capital Khartoum and other cities, "using bullets, and attempts to break through barricades".

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Hamdok on Tuesday, welcoming his "release from custody" and reiterating a call for the Sudanese military to release all civilian leaders in detention, the State Department said.
Speaking at his first news conference since announcing the takeover, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said the army had no choice but to sideline politicians who were inciting against the armed forces. He said the military's action did not amount to a coup.

"The dangers we witnessed last week could have led the country into civil war," he said, an apparent reference to demonstrations against the prospect of a coup.
Hamdok, who was arrested on Monday along with other members of his Cabinet, had not been harmed and had been brought to Burhan's own home, the general said. 

“The prime minister was in his house. However, we were afraid that he’d be in danger so he has been placed with me in my home."
Later on Tuesday, a source close to Hamdok said he and his wife were at their home and under tight security. 

Family sources said they were unable to reach Hamdok or his wife by phone.
Burhan had appeared on TV on Monday to announce the dissolution of the Sovereign Council, a body set up after Bashir's overthrow to share power between the military and civilians and lead Sudan to free elections.
Siddig Alsadig Almahdi of the Umma Party, which had a representative on the Sovereign Council, was arrested at his home, and activist Ismail Al-Tag, a lawyer who was active in the 2019 anti-Bashir protests, was also arrested, Foreign Minister Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi told Al Jazeera TV.
Hamdok remains "the executive authority recognised by the Sudanese people and the world", the Facebook post said, adding that there was no alternative other than protests, strikes and civil disobedience.
Sudanese ambassadors to 12 countries, including the United States, United Arab Emirates, China, and France, have rejected the military takeover, a diplomatic source said on Tuesday.
Ambassadors to Belgium and the European Union, Geneva and U.N. agencies, China, South Africa, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, Sweden and Canada also signed on to the statement, which said the envoys backed popular resistance to the coup.
U.S. President Joe Biden's administration is looking at a full range of economic tools to respond to the military takeover and has been in close contact with Gulf countries, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. 
Western countries have denounced the coup, called for the detained Cabinet ministers to be freed and said they will cut off vital aid if the military does not restore power-sharing with civilians. 

The German mission to the United Nations said on Twitter that it was suspending aid until further notice.
The U.N. Security Council met on Sudan but there was no immediate statement, diplomats said. U.N. chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday decried "an epidemic of coup d'états" as Sudan is the latest in a series of military takeovers in Myanmar, Mali and Guinea and attempted coups in several other countries.
A health ministry official said seven people had been killed in clashes between protesters and the security forces on Monday.
Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman across the Nile River were partly locked down on Tuesday with shops shut and plumes of smoke rising from where protesters burned tyres. 

Calls for a general strike were played over mosque loudspeakers. Streets and bridges were blocked by soldiers or protester barricades.
The only people in the streets apart from protesters were security forces heavily deployed around the presidential palace and ministry of defence.
Banks and cash machines were also closed. Mobile phone apps widely used for money transfers could not be used.
"We are paying the price for this crisis," a man in his 50s looking for medicine at one of the pharmacies where stocks have been running low said angrily. "We can't work, we can't find bread, there are no services, no money."
A group of neighbourhood resistance committees in Khartoum announced a schedule of further barricades and protests leading to what it said would be a "march of millions" on Saturday.
Images on social media showed renewed street protests on Tuesday in the cities of Atbara, Dongola, Elobeid and Port Sudan.
The military appeared to have underestimated civilian opposition on the street, according to Jonas Horner of the International Crisis Group.
"They haven't learned their lesson," he said. "As we saw post the revolution and post-Bashir, the streets were determined and civilians were willing to die for this."

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20 JAN 20 :: The Intrusion of Middle Powers
Africa


In fact, from the Maghreb to the Sahel to the Horn of Africa, we are witnessing a surge in asymmetric warfare and the intrusion of Middle Powers.

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10-JUN-2019 :: The "zeitgeist" of the Revolution in Khartoum was intoxicating
Africa



As I watched events unfold it felt like Sudan was a portal into a whole new normal.

And now we have two visions of the Future. One vision played out on our screens, the protestors could have been our wives, children. 

The other vision is that of MBS, MBZ and Al-Sisi and its red in tooth and claw. 

Hugh Masekela said ‘’I want to be there when the people start to turn it around.’’ Sudan is a Masekela pivot moment.


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Ethiopia’s Civil War: Cutting a Deal to Stop the Bloodshed @CrisisGroup
Africa


Ethiopia’s devastating civil war has worsened and broadened. Since June, the Tigray region’s forces have turned the tables on the federal military and its allies. 

Although their offensive has galvanised resistance, especially in the neighbouring Amhara region, Tigray forces have recently made new gains, increasing the pressure on Addis Ababa.
Why does it matter? Continued fighting will further destabilise Ethiopia and could draw in Sudan if Tigray forces seek to reclaim western Tigray from Amhara control. 

Combined with an insurgency in the Oromia region and economic challenges, the situation could trigger a collapse in federal authority that would roil the Horn of Africa.
The conflict could draw in other parties, too. It may embroil Sudan if Tigray’s encircled forces seek an external supply line. Insurgents in Oromia region have allied with Tigray.
Despite probably tens of thousands of fatalities, both sides remain committed to war. 

The Tigray leadership, emboldened by their military resurgence, and unwilling to accept either the federal blockade of Tigray or occupation of western Tigray by their historical northern rivals, the Amhara, are geared up to keep fighting. 

For its part, Addis Ababa has procured more military hardware from abroad to better arm and equip its new recruits as they try to regain the upper hand in the conflict. 

Those efforts seem to be suffering setbacks, however, as Tigray forces advance through eastern Amhara in mid-October, occupying strategic locations and, at the time of publication, threatening to take Dessie and Kombolcha cities.

Meanwhile, an August alliance between the Tigray forces and anti-government insurgents in the central region of Oromia has ratcheted up the likelihood of all-out civil war. 

That is something that the Ethiopian state, already buckling under an economic crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, would struggle to withstand

In addition, if the Tigray forces start receiving supplies from neighbouring Sudan, tensions would heighten between Addis Ababa and Khartoum, possibly triggering an inter-state war. 

Once the bulwark of security in the Horn, Ethiopia would then become a source of crisis presenting a major threat to the region’s stability.

One former senior Ethiopian official – who is not a former TPLF member – believes the federal leadership must reconsider: “If they do not go for talks, the country will collapse – no ifs, no buts”.






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The Tigray War has cost $2.5 billion and international investors are staying away, according to Louw Nel, a senior political analyst at NKC African Economics CGTN
Africa

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
https://bit.ly/3Bk45Gj

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

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Mozambique President Is Served With London Litigation Claims @bpolitics
Africa


Privinvest Group said Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi was served on Oct. 19 with the company’s litigation claims in the High Court of London.
“Service on President Nyusi reflects the fact that he is a party to the London litigation,” the company said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.
Privinvest has alleged that Nyusi was at the center of Mozambique’s so-called hidden debt scandal that dates back to when he was defense minister. 

The spokesman for Mozambique’s ruling party has previously denied any wrongdoing by Nyusi and said the president won’t comment on ongoing lawsuits.

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31-OCT-2016 ::Mozambique from Boom to Bust - A Cautionary Tale
Africa

We visited in 2012 and I recall the wife being seriously astonished when we jumped in a taxi and the driver turned out to be Portuguese.
I said ‘’Mozambique could be the next Qatar.’’ as we stuffed ourselves with wonderfully flavour some tiger prawns.

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Foreign exchange reserves in #Tanzania reached $5.8bn (+6.0% m-o-m, +13.8% y-o-y) at the end of August. @OEAfrica
Africa

The notable increase can be ascribed to a large SDR allocation by the #IMF and a pickup in both project-related grants and export earnings.

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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October 2021
 
 
 
 
 
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