Daily Archives: September 10, 2012

Flash Point: Some Sovereigns Appear to Be More Sovereign Than Other Sovereigns

The key aspect of the notion of sovereignty is that this is where the greatest power lies. All permission, all authority to act flows from the sovereign in the form of rights and tolerations (defacto rights). We were bemused when we read this brief news item from Stratfor:

The West will grant Kosovo full sovereignty Sept. 10, AFP reported. The International Steering Group will formally announce the end of supervision after an afternoon meeting. This will not mark the end of NATO’s presence in Kosovo, though. The European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo will remain at least until its mandate expires in June 2014, and about 6,000 Kosovo Force peacekeepers will remain deployed.

Our first thought was that sovereignty cannot be granted because then it is automatically placed below a greater sovereign. It establishes a clear chain of subservience. True we have many entities in the world that consider themselves to be sovereign. And from time to time, sovereign entities get into brawls to try and decide who really is more sovereign. Most of the time sovereign entities content themselves with posturing unless they are really insecure.

In the case of Kosovo, if no one wishes to contest its new-found sovereign status, then it may actually have achieved sovereignty. After all, there are many sovereign states that if they wished to pick a fight with the US to find out which was more sovereign, the outcome would be an easy bet. But the ongoing military presence of the authority that is granting Kosovo sovereignty, the “West” whatever that is, suggests that this is a very weak form of sovereignty that may not be worthy of the classification at all.

A Pair of Strafor Videos: Kyrgyzstanand and Angola

Without comment:

Kyrgyzstan’s Place in Russia’s Strategy

Angola’s Geographic Challenge

Flash Point: Liquidity Traps; Lie Traps

In his Jackson Hole speech, (see our posts: The Hole in Jackson Hole, Flash Point: What We Missed the First Time Round), Bernanke reported on the two tools that the Fed has at its disposal and the various implementations and policies that they have used in this crisis. The first set of tools are designed to affect interest rates. The second set of tools are their communication programs used to affect market psychology. We will argue that the first set of tool have resulted in a liquidity trap. We will argue that the second set of tools have created a lie trap.

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