アメリカのインターネットに何が起こるのか? アメリカの連邦通信委員会はネットの中立性を保つ法規類を廃止することを決議した。

What may happen to the internet in America
America’s Federal Communications Commission has voted to rescind net-neutrality regulations
Dec 15th 2017by G.E.


rescind:〈法律・合意など〉を無効にする, 廃止する, 撤回する.

THE internet has supposedly changed overnight in America. On December 14th the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to rescind regulations, imposed by the same body under Barack Obama in 2015, that were designed to ensure that internet-service providers do nothing to privilege some types of online content over others. The three Republican-appointed members of the commission, including Ajit Pai, the chairman, argued that the “net neutrality” rules posed an unnecessary burden on internet providers, without being of help to consumers. Activists and many Democratic lawmakers argued that a repeal could bring an end to the open internet (two Democrat-appointed commissioners voted to keep the rules in place). What will actually happen, now that net-neutrality rules have been repealed? 

supposedly:たぶん, おそらく(…であろう)
privilege :を特別扱いする(favor)
repeal:(法律などの)廃止, 撤回.

To get a sense of what might happen, it is important to understand what net neutrality is and why the Obama-era FCC rules were chosen. Put simply it is the principle that all internet traffic, whether from Netflix, Tinder or a news website, is treated equally by the “pipe” companies carrying that traffic, like AT&T or Verizon. In the early days of the internet this principle was not really necessary as the pipe companies could not see differences in the content they were carrying (part of the reason they are called “dumb pipes”, at least by some). 

dumb :dumb animals 物言わぬ動物たち

Crucially, services like Netflix that consumed far more internet bandwidth than the others, putting a strain on broadband and wireless infrastructure, did not exist. With the rise of Netflix and its ilk in streaming media, broadband companies began to suggest that they may have to charge more for some types of traffic, or slow down some services (“throttling” them). Net-neutrality activists argued that if providers could discriminate between different types of traffic, they would have far too much power over the internet. They could privilege their own services over competitors’, or they could even throttle or block some services they did not like. The Obama-era rules were designed to prevent that. 

Crucially:非常に, きわめて重大に; 〖主に文頭で〗決定的なことに.

Are such rules necessary or harmful? It is difficult to prove either side of that question. Internet-service providers might choose not to charge more for using broadly popular services like Netflix. And repealing net neutrality does not make it legal for internet-service providers to censor content or discriminate against companies they do not like. The FCC will be responsible for policing internet-service providers for abuses. 

abuses:abuse of power 権力[職権]の乱用

But, activists argue, they could throttle unknown upstarts, companies that would otherwise become the next Netflix, Amazon, Google or Facebook (if that were conceivable). And policing the behaviour of broadband and wireless companies, heretofore not known for their transparency, will be a challenge. In the end the argument about net neutrality boils down to whether internet-service providers should be regulated before they have shown they might abuse their power, or only after they have actually done so. The current FCC has just opted for the latter. 

conceivable:〈物・事が〉考えられる, 想像できる, 考えつく
heretofore:今まで, これまで
boils down:〈液体が〉煮詰まる, 煮詰まって量が減る.

In the immediate future, consumers will start to see more deals on their internet plans, including “zero-rating”: the pipe companies can offer certain internet-preferred content for nothing while charging for other data. They will also persuade some internet services to pay to be included with the faster traffic. But it is unclear how consumers might benefit in the long run. Broadband companies have long argued that if they could charge more for some traffic, they would be able to offer the internet more cheaply to consumers who are less bandwidth-hungry. 

They also say they would be able to invest in better broadband infrastructure. The hole in this argument is that most broadband providers in America enjoy regional monopolies and high pricing; they are not forced by competition to improve their infrastructure or pricing. If consumers are to get much lower prices for their internet, they will need a lot more help than net neutrality can offer. 

hole:【考え・筋道などの】欠点, 不備, 弱点 


Military robots are getting smaller and more capable
Soon, they will travel in swarms
Dec 14th 2017


in swarms:群れを成して

ON NOVEMBER 12th a video called “Slaughterbots” was uploaded to YouTube. It is the brainchild of Stuart Russell, a professor of artificial intelligence at the University of California, Berkeley, and was paid for by the Future of Life Institute (FLI), a group of concerned scientists and technologists that includes Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Martin Rees, Britain’s Astronomer Royal. It is set in a near-future in which small drones fitted with face-recognition systems and shaped explosive charges can be programmed to seek out and kill known individuals or classes of individuals (those wearing a particular uniform, for example). In one scene, the drones are shown collaborating with each other to gain entrance to a building. One acts as a petard, blasting through a wall to grant access to the others. 

brainchild:の独創的な考え[計画](によるもの), の発想の産物[創造物].
concerned: 関心を持つ
shaped:shaped charge 指向性爆薬◆【略】SC

“Slaughterbots” is fiction. The question Dr Russell poses is, “how long will it remain so?” For military laboratories around the planet are busy developing small, autonomous robots for use in warfare, both conventional and unconventional. In America, in particular, a programme called MAST (Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology), which has been run by the US Army Research Laboratory in Maryland, is wrapping up this month after ten successful years. MAST co-ordinated and paid for research by a consortium of established laboratories, notably at the University of Maryland, Texas A&M University and Berkeley (the work at Berkeley is unrelated to Dr Russell’s). Its successor, the Distributed and Collaborative Intelligent Systems and Technology (DCIST) programme, which began earlier this year, is now getting into its stride. 

get into one's stride:本調子になる、本領を発揮する

In 2008, when MAST began, a spy drone that you could hold in the palm of your hand was an idea from science fiction. Such drones are now commonplace. Along with flying drones, MAST’s researchers have been developing pocket-sized battlefield scouts that can hop or crawl ahead of soldiers. DCIST’s purpose is to take these autonomous robots and make them co-operate. The result, if the project succeeds, will be swarms of devices that can take co-ordinated action to achieve a joint goal. 

scouts:偵察兵[機, 艦], 斥候(せつこう); 偵察行為

A hop, skip and jump away
At the moment, America’s defence department is committed to keeping such swarms under human control, so that the decision to pull a trigger will always be taken by a person rather than a machine. The Pentagon is as alarmed by the prospect of freebooting killer robots as the FLI is. But, as someone said of nuclear weapons after the first one was detonated, the only secret worth keeping is now out: the damn things work. If swarms of small robots can be made to collaborate autonomously, someone, somewhere will do it. 


Existing small drones are usually polycopters—helicopters that have a set of rotors (generally four or six) arranged at the vertices of a regular polygon, rather than a single one above their centre of gravity. Some MAST researchers, however, think they have alighted on something better. 

alighted:〈鳥・昆虫などが〉 ≪…に≫ 降りて止まる(settle) ≪on, upon, in≫ .

Their proposed replacement is the cyclocopter. This resembles an airborne paddle steamer. Though the idea of cyclocopters has been around for a while, the strong, lightweight materials needed to make them have hitherto been unavailable and the computing tools needed to design them have only recently been created. Now that those materials and tools do exist, things are advancing rapidly. Over the course of the MAST project the researchers have shrunk cyclocopters from being behemoths weighing half a kilogram to svelte devices that tip the scales at less than 30 grams. Such machines can outperform polycopters. 

paddle steamer:外輪船
hitherto:これまで, 今まで.
svelte:〈女性が〉すらりとした; ほっそりした.

Cyclocopter aerodynamics is more like that of insects than of conventional aircraft, in that lift is generated by stirring the air into vortices rather than relying on its flow over aerofoils. For small cyclocopters this helps. Vortex effects become proportionately more powerful as an aircraft shrinks, but, in the case of conventional craft, including polycopters, that makes things worse, by decreasing stability. Cyclocopters get better as they get smaller. 

vortices:(水・火などの)渦, 渦巻き; 旋風, 竜巻;

They are also quieter. As Moble Benedict of Texas A&M, one of the leaders of the cyclocopter project, observes, “aerodynamic noise is a strong function of the blade-tip speed”—hence the whup-whup-whup of helicopters. The blade-tip speeds of cyclocopters are much lower. That makes them ideal for spying. They also have better manoeuvrability, and are less disturbed by gusts of wind. 


Dr Benedict reckons cyclocopters are about two years away from commercial production. Once that happens they could displace polycopters in many roles, not just military ones. But they are not the only novel technology in which MAST has been involved. The programme has also worked on robots that hop. 

Ready to spring into action
Ready to spring into action 
One of the most advanced is Salto, developed by the Biomimetic Millisystems Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. Salto (pictured) is a monopod weighing 98 grams that has a rotating tail and side-thrusters. These let it stabilise itself and reorient in mid-leap. That gives it the agility to bounce over uneven surfaces and also to climb staircases. 

monopod:a one-legged support for a camera or fishing rod.

Salto’s speed (almost two metres a second) puts huge demands on its single leg. Ron Fearing, one of the electrical engineers developing it, puts things thus: “imagine a cheetah running at top speed using only one leg, and then cut the amount of time that leg spends on the ground in half.” As with cyclocopters, the materials and processing power needed to do this have only recently come into existence. 

Dr Fearing says Salto and its kin are quieter than aerial drones and can operate in confined spaces where flying robots would be disturbed by turbulence reflected from the walls. They can also travel over terrain, such as collapsed buildings, that is off-limits to wheeled vehicles. Salto still needs work. In particular, it needs to be able to cling more effectively to what it lands on. Dr Fearing uses the analogy of a squirrel leaping from branch to branch. Arriving at the next branch is only half the battle. The other half is staying there. Once that is solved, though, which it should be in the next year or two, small non-flying robots that can go where their wheeled, or even track-laying, brethren cannot should become available for practical use. 

confined:狭い, 限られた〈場所・空間など〉
track laying:軌道敷設

Bouncing over the rubble of a collapsed building is not the only way to explore it. Another is to weave through the spaces between the debris. Researchers at the Biomimetic Millisystems lab are working on that, too. Their solution resembles a cockroach. Its body is broad and flat, which gives it stability but also permits it to crawl through narrow spaces—if necessary by going up on one side. Should it tip over whilst attempting this, it has wing-like extensions it can use to flip itself upright again. 

weave :〈人・車などが〉縫うように進む
tip:ひっくり返る(over, up).

Getting into a building, whether collapsed or intact, is one thing. Navigating around it without human assistance is quite another. For this purpose MAST has been feeding its results to the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), America’s main federal military-research organisation. According to Brett Piekarski, who led MAST and is now in charge of DCIST, the Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) programme at DARPA will continue MAST’s work with the aim of developing small drones that can “ingress and egress into buildings and navigate within those buildings at high speeds”. Some of that has already been done. In June DARPA reported that polycopters souped up by the FLA programme were able to slalom through woodlands, swerve around obstacles in a hangar and report back to their starting-point, all by themselves. 

intact:損なわれていない, そっくりそのままで, 無傷で,
ingress :進入, 立ち入り;入口(用通路).

Unity is strength
The next challenge—the one that people like Dr Russell particularly worry about—is getting the robots to swarm and co-ordinate their behaviour effectively. Under the aegis of MAST, a group from the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing & Perception (GRASP) laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania did indeed manage to make drones fly together in co-ordinated formations without hitting each other. They look good when doing so—but, to some extent, what is seen is an illusion. The drones are not, as members of a swarm of bees or a flock of birds would be, relying on sensory information they have gathered themselves. Instead, GRASP’s drone swarms employ ground-based sensors to track individual drones around, and a central controller to stop them colliding. 

aegis:保護; 防御; 後援
illusion:錯覚, 勘違い; U錯覚すること

That is starting to change. A farewell demonstration by MAST, in August, showed three robots (two on the ground and one in the air) keeping station with each other using only hardware that was on board the robots themselves. This opens the way for larger flocks of robots to co-ordinate without outside intervention. 

Moreover, as that demonstration showed, when drones and other robots can routinely flock together in this way, they will not necessarily be birds of a feather. “Heterogeneous group control” is a new discipline that aims to tackle the thorny problem of managing units that consist of various robots—some as small as a postage stamp, others as large as a jeep—as well as human team members. Swarms will also need to be able to break up into sub-units to search a building and then recombine once they have done so, all in a hostile environment. 

feather:birds of a feather 同類の人たち.
Heterogeneous:混成の, 異種の,
thorny:困難な, やっかいな〈問題・争点など〉.

Such things are the goals of DCIST. The first tranche of grants to these ends, some $27m of them, has already been awarded to the University of Pennsylvania, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley. When DCIST itself wraps up, probably in 2022, the idea of Slaughterbots may seem a lot less fictional than it does now. 

tranche:(取引などの)分割払い込み金; 一部分.
grants:助成金, 補助金



swingby_blog at 20:50コメント(0) 


つい最近の太陽系外からの訪問者はエイリアンの宇宙船かもしれない。 多分違うだろう。でもチェックする価値はある。

Might a recent extrasolar visitor be an alien spacecraft?
Probably not. But it is worth checking
Dec 14th 2017



’OUMUAMUA, an object tumbling through space that was discovered on October 19th, has already made history. The speed at which it is moving relative to the sun means that it cannot be native to the solar system. Its official designation is thus 1I/2017 U1, with the “I” standing for “interstellar”—the first time this designation has ever been used. 

chance to make history:歴史を変えるチャンス
interstellar:星の間の, 恒星間の.

That is exciting. Some scientists, though, entertain an even more exciting possibility: what if ’Oumuamua is not an asteroid, as most think, but an alien spacecraft? Asteroids come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but ’Oumuamua seems particularly odd. As best as astronomers can tell, it is cigarlike, being roughly 180 metres long but only about 30 metres wide. That makes it more elongated than anything known of in the solar system. Such a shape would be a sensible choice for a spaceship, since it would minimise the scouring effect of interstellar dust. 

astronomers:天文学者; 天体観測者.

With that in mind the Breakthrough Listen project, an organisation dedicated to hunting for alien life, plans to turn the world’s biggest steerable radio telescope, the Green Bank instrument in Virginia, towards ’Oumuamua to see if it can hear anything interesting. ’Oumuamua is currently about twice as far from Earth as Earth is from the sun. At that range, the telescope should be sensitive enough to pick up a transmitter about as powerful as a mobile phone after just a few seconds-worth of observations. 

transmitter :(電波などの)送信機, 放送機; (電話の)送話器.
worth taking a second look at:〜の見直しは検討に値する

Will it find anything? Almost certainly not. ’Oumuamua has the same reddish colour as many asteroids, so presumably has a similar composition. And, if it really is a spaceship, it is odd that signs of its artificial origin have not been seen already—and also odd that it is tumbling. It could, in theory, be a derelict. But in that case the telescope is unlikely to hear anything. By far the most likely option is that it is exactly what it seems to be: an itinerant hunk of space rock, albeit one that has come to the solar system from the vast voids between the stars. 

derelict:遺棄[放置]されたもの, 廃棄船.
By far:間違いなく
itinerant:仕事を求めて旅をする, 渡り歩く
hunk :a hunk of cheese チーズの厚切り.


Vladimir Putin’s former economy minister claims his bribery sting was a set-up
Alexei Ulyukayev says he was not powerful enough to demand a bribe from the boss of Rosneft
Dec 16th 2017 | MOSCOW

Vladimir Putinの前経済大臣は彼の収賄のおとり捜査はでっちあげだと主張している。
Alexei Ulyukayevはロスネフチのトップから賄賂を要求するほど権力は持っていなかったと言っている。

sting:詐欺(swindle); おとり捜査(sting operation).

LAST November Igor Sechin, the powerful head of Rosneft, the Russian state oil giant, summoned Alexei Ulyukayev, Russia’s economy minister, for a meeting. Mr Sechin chastised Mr Ulyukayev for not wearing a coat, for he knew it would be cold where the minister was headed. Mr Ulyukayev left Mr Sechin’s office with a heavy briefcase—a gift, he thought, of rare wine. Instead, packed inside was $2m in cash, and waiting outside were agents with handcuffs. “It was said long ago: send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee,” Mr Ulyukayev declared during his closing statement in court last week, seemingly addressing his peers in power. “I want to say now that the bell could begin tolling for any of you.” 

summoned:summon A to a meeting A〈人〉に会議に出席するよう求める.
chastised:〈人〉を厳しく非難する; …を懲らしめる
For Whom the Bell Toll:【映画 誰が為に鐘は鳴る

The court’s verdict will ring out for Mr Ulyukayev on December 15th. No matter the outcome, the ruling will only fuel tensions within the Russian elite. The case is seen not as a good-faith anti-corruption effort, but the result of clan warfare. Mr Ulyukayev was a stalwart of the government’s technocratic bloc; Mr Sechin is a committed statist and a longtime confidant of Vladimir Putin who wields outsize influence among the siloviki (former and current members of the security services). 

stalwart:(政党・クラブなどの)熱心な支持者, 信奉者.
confidant:(何でも打ち明けられる)親友, 腹心の友.
wields:〈権力・影響力など〉を握る, ふるう

The prosecution alleges that Mr Ulyukayev demanded $2m from Mr Sechin to approve Rosneft’s purchase of Bashneft, a mid-sized oil producer. Mr Ulyukayev had opposed the deal, arguing that Rosneft should not participate in a privatisation effort meant to reduce state participation in the economy. Prosecutors claim that while playing billiards with Mr Sechin during a summit in India, Mr Ulyukayev held up two fingers, a signal meant to indicate the sum he desired. Mr Sechin ignored four summonses to testify.

summonses:(裁判所への)召喚, 出頭命令; 召喚状

Mr Ulyukayev and his allies insist that he could never demand a bribe from Mr Sechin, whose political ves, or weight, in Russia’s Byzantine system far exceeds that of the minister. Mr Ulyukayev calls the case a set-up led by Mr Sechin and Oleg Feoktistov, an FSB general who ran Rosneft’s security division at the time. The defence argued that neither money nor a bribe were discussed directly in wiretapped conversations between the men.

FSB:Federalnaja Sluschba Bezopasnosti ロシアの連邦保安局。KGB 解体後の後身の一部である連邦防諜局を 1995 年改組改称。

The proceedings have provided a unique window onto the inner life of Russian power. Transcripts of bugged calls and conversations have been read aloud in court, revealing details such as Mr Sechin’s practice of giving favoured people baskets of sausages, produced from creatures reportedly slain by Mr Sechin himself.


Perhaps the most telling moment came in Mr Ulyukayev’s closing statement, when he admitted his guilt—though not of the crime for which he is accused. “I’m guilty of compromising too often, choosing the easy way out, and I all too often put my career and welfare ahead of my principles,” he said. “I got caught up in a senseless bureaucratic ring dance, I received some gifts and I gave them myself too.” On December 15th Mr Ulyukayev was found guilty and sentenced to eight years in a penal colony. 

senseless:非常識な, 愚かな.
penal colony:囚人(の)流刑地

Vladimir Putinの前経済大臣であるUlyukayevは秘密警察にはめられて、200万ドルを受け取ってしまった。そのため、8年の有罪判決を受けた。国有石油企業のロズネフチのSechinに騙されたのだが、彼が私有企業への買収に対してUlyukayevが反対したからだった。Sechinに反対すると人のソーセージになってしまうらしい。やっぱりロシアはやばい国だな。


swingby_blog at 20:23コメント(0) 


ユーゴスラビアの戦争犯罪裁判所がやりとげたこと 24年間にわたり、161の起訴を以て今月、その幕を閉じた。

What the Yugoslav war-crimes tribunal achieved
It closes this month after 24 years and 161 indictments
Dec 7th 2017by T.J.



THE International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which was established by the United Nations Security Council in 1993, closes at the end of this month. A few remaining appeals and retrials will become the responsibility of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, which performs the same role with the now-closed Rwandan tribunal. 


The ramifications of the ICTY’s work extend far beyond the region. It was the first such court to prosecute war crimes since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials at the end of the second world war. It indicted 161 people, including former presidents and prime ministers. All were caught, handed themselves in, or died. Ninety were convicted. Nineteen were acquitted. None is a fugitive. The court heard evidence from more than 4,650 witnesses in cases relating to genocide, ethnic cleansing, mass murder and sexual violence. 

ICTY:International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia 

hand oneself into the police:自首する.
fugitive:(危険・公権力などから)逃げた, 逃亡中の

Once a relatively liberal communist country, Yugoslavia disintegrated in the 1990s. It was a federation of six republics and two autonomous provinces—and a mish-mash of nationalities. Many regional leaders transmogrified into nationalists and war took hold. If Croatia was going to become independent then many of its Serb inhabitants would fight to remain in a Greater Serbian state. And Croat nationalists wanted a Greater Croatia that included Croat-inhabited parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And so on. As the Bosnian war ground on and Serb forces besieged Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, foreign powers could not agree how to respond. 

mish-mash:ごたまぜ, 寄せ集め
nationalities:国民; 国家; (一国家内の)民族, 部族, 種族
take hold:〔手で〕握る、つかむ 根付く、根を下ろす、くっつく、物になる、開花する
Greater Serbian state:The Greater Serbian ideology includes claims to territories in modern-day Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and the Republic of Macedonia. In some historical forms, Greater Serbian aspirations also include parts of Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. Its inspiration comes from the memory and existence of the relatively large and powerful Serbian Empire that existed in 14th century Southeast Europe prior to the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans.
Bosnian war :ボスニア・ヘルツェゴビナ紛争は、ユーゴスラビアから独立したボスニア・ヘルツェゴビナで1992年から1995年まで続いた内戦。単にボスニア紛争とも呼ばれる。

No one wanted to send troops to separate the parties. But they all approved the prosecution of war criminals, so backed the establishment of the tribunal. At first the court, based in The Hague, had little money. It also had no police of its own to arrest anyone indicted. But over the years its influence increased. It demanded that the Balkan states and others carry out arrests, and also got help from NATO-led peacekeepers in Bosnia. It succeeded in making the handing over of those indicted a political issue, with sanctions slapped on Serbia and Croatia when they dragged their feet. 

Balkan states:バルカン(半島)諸国◆通常、セルビア、モンテネグロ、アルバニア、マケドニア、クロアチア、ボスニア・ヘルツェゴビナ、ブルガリア、コソボ、トルコのヨーロッパ側が含まれるが、スロベニアとルーマニアを含める場合がある。
succeeded:succeed in persuading him 彼の説得に成功する[彼をうまく説得する]
dragged:Mary was dragging her feet (behind her). メリーは足を引きずっていた.

Some of its achievements were legal and some political. Several of the most evil of the wartime actors were imprisoned. The tribunal gave victims and civilians a voice, and often justice, in a way that would not otherwise have been possible. It created new legal precedents. Sexual violence is now considered a war crime. It established the groundwork for other courts, including those that looked into horrors committed in Rwanda and Sierra Leone, and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Its 2.5m pages of transcripts provide an extraordinary archive. 

give someone a voice:(人)に発言権を与える
groundwork:lay the groundwork for success 成功への基礎を築く.

It established that genocide had taken place when some 8,000 Bosniaks (Muslims) were murdered as Srebrenica fell. To weigh against all this there must be the acknowledgment that many believe that justice was not always done. The hopes that many had for the tribunal have at times been disappointed. It did not accelerate the process of reconciliation. Many believe there was interference, from America and elsewhere, in its work. In cases related to Kosovar Albanians, in particular, prosecutors alleged witness-tampering. 

Bosniaks:a native or inhabitant of the Balkan country Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially one who is a Muslim
Srebrenica:スレブレニツァ◆ボスニア・ヘルツェゴビナ(Bosnia and Herzegovina)の重要な街。近郊に豊富な銀・鉛の鉱山
weigh ~ against:〜と…をてんびんにかける、〜を…と比較検討[考察]する
reconciliation:和解, 調停, 和議, 和平, 仲直り
interference:干渉, 口出し; 妨害; 衝突; 干渉行為
Kosovar:relating to or characteristic of the autonomous region of Kosovo in the Balkans
tampering:〈機械・文書など〉を勝手に変える[いじる]; 不正に書き換える; に不正に干渉する; 買収する

According to Eric Gordy, a sociologist at University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies, the court tried to end impunity for war crimes and in this “it was partially successful”. It was founded at a time when there was still some consensus about the need for this. Now, sadly, that is no longer the case. There is no international tribunal indicting anyone for war crimes in Syria. Russia and America are among those countries that have either withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the ICC or never ratified its statute. It remains to be seen whether the Yugoslav tribunal will become a relic from a more hopeful time or a trailblazer in a cause that was always bound to suffer setbacks. 

impunity:免責, 刑罰を受けないで済むこと
jurisdiction:司法権, 裁判権; 管轄権; 支配(権); 権力
statute:法規, 法令; 制定法
relic:(過去の)遺物, 遺品; 遺跡; (過去の習慣・信仰などの)名残, 遺風
trailblazer:(事業などの)開拓者, 草分け.
setbacks:suffer a major [serious] setback 大きな痛手を被る.


Ivanka Trump’s brand repositions at home, soars in Asia
This week the fashion and jewellery label opens its first bricks-and-mortar, standalone store
Dec 13th 2017 | NEW YORK

Ivanka Trumpのブランドはアメリカでは見直されているが、アジアでは急上昇している。


LAUREN, a Democrat from Maryland, makes an impassioned case for not shopping at Ivanka Trump, the business founded by Donald Trump’s daughter. First comes a predictable argument; she abhors supporting any brand that uses the Trump name. Second, the sparkly sandals she bought back when Ms Trump was a tabloid celebrity, not an adviser to the president, fell apart within a year. Shoppers will soon be able to take such complaints directly to sales staff: the brand is about to open its first standalone store, in Trump Tower in New York. 

impassioned:熱のこもった, 熱情的な〈演説・嘆願など
sparkly:shining with glittering flashes of light
fell apart:(古さ・ずさんな作りのために)〈物が〉ばらばらになる[壊れる]

Floral frocks, stilettoes and bangles aimed at the mid-market customer do not often inspire strong reactions, but Ms Trump’s fashion line is divisive. Though Ms Trump distanced herself from her company in January, she owns it and receives money through a trust. Some consumers are boycotting it. Others have purged their wardrobes of items they already own. Thredup, a second-hand fashion site, says users listed double the number of Ivanka items for sale in the first five months of 2017 than in the same period last year. But lots of Trump fans have also spent to express their support. 

Floral frock:花柄のワンピース
bangles:腕輪, 足首飾り.
divisive:(人の間に)対立[不和]を生む(ような), 意見の不一致を起こす.
trust:受託者, 受託団体[機関]〘財産・金銭の委託を受け, 慈善事業などを行う〙
wardrobes:one's summer [winter] wardrobe 夏物[冬物]衣料.

Ms Trump started her firm in 2007 as a diamond-jewellery boutique selling $50,000 products. But competing with established designers proved difficult. The company rebranded, capitalising on the popularity of a book, “Lean In”, by Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, with a new campaign: #WomenWhoWork. 


Using feminism to sell $100 office frocks worked well. In 2015 the company’s clothing line alone reportedly generated $100m. Abigail Klem, who became chief executive in January, said that in 2016 sales rose by 21%. Ms Trump’s visibility during the campaign helped. 


But in February Nordstrom, a department store, dropped the fashion line and Neiman Marcus, another upmarket retailer, stopped selling her jewellery. Both cited declining sales. The brand has edged downmarket. Its biggest retailers are Lord & Taylor, Zappos, Macy’s and Walmart. According to Edited, an analytics firm, 84% of Ivanka Trump footwear is discounted, by an average of 55%. 

edged :物・人を少しずつ動かす; 変動させる

Ms Klem has said the company now wants to build an identity separate from Ms Trump. The new store’s location will not help. Asian consumers, moreover, appreciate the bond between Ms Trump and her brand. Its profile has risen sharply in line with hers. A popular Japanese shopping site, Waja, started selling dresses from the Ivanka Trump fashion label in 2012. It sold nearly 30 times as many Ivanka products in November 2016 as it did in the same month of the previous year. The label now outranks Kate Spade and Calvin Klein on the website. 

bond:緊密な関係, 結束, 結合, きずな
profile:raise the profile of our town 私たちの町のイメージを向上させる

In China the line is so coveted that fake Ivanka merchandise has flooded the market, and the brand has registered at least 16 trademarks there. Three of them were granted on the same day Ms Trump joined her father and Xi Jinping, China’s president, for a steak dinner at Mar-a-Lago. Abroad, if not at home, Ms Trump’s style may turn into a wardrobe staple. 

coveted:誰もがあこがれる[欲しがる], 垂涎(すいぜん)の〈職・賞など〉.



swingby_blog at 21:28コメント(0) 



Dec 1, 2017 | 09:00 GMT Stratfor
A Middle East of Saudi Arabia's Making

of one's own making:〈問題・困難などが〉自分で招いた.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman poses for a picture at a meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition in Riyadh. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia's new crown prince will champion a fresh attempt to challenge Iran's influence and reassert his kingdom's leadership over the region.
Though tied to Riyadh's long-standing need to shape the Middle East in its favor, the effort will be more overt than any that came before it.
Saudi Arabia will have difficulty competing with Iran, militarily and politically, in places where both countries have strategic interests.

champion:〈弱者・主義など〉を擁護する, …のために闘う(fight for)
overt:公開の; 公然の(public); 明白な

Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince is seeking to rewrite the rules of society within his kingdom. But one thing is sure to remain unchanged: the country's intent to challenge Iran for influence across the region. Driven by the fear of losing ground to Tehran and by rhetorical support from Washington, Riyadh will keep trying to carve out a greater presence in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Despite the Gulf giant's formidable power, however, its political and military options on these battlefields are far more limited than Iran's — a harsh reality that will continue to prevent Saudi Arabia from achieving its age-old ambition of Middle Eastern dominance. 

carve:〈耕地・領土など〉を切り開く, 開拓する(out)
formidable:(大きさ・力・技などにおいて)圧倒的な, 並はずれた

Vying for the Middle East
Since King Salman assumed the throne in January 2015, Saudi Arabia has embarked on a series of unusually overt interventions beyond its own borders. But its new and proactive approach doesn't always yield the intended effect. Just a few months after the monarch's ascent, the kingdom initiated a bombing campaign against Yemen's Houthi militants that now drags on with no end in sight. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia severed ties with Qatar in hopes of forcing a behavioral change, but it succeeded only in driving Doha away. 

Vying:競う, 張り合う(compete)
severed:〈関係・つながり〉を断つ(cut off)
succeeded:〈事が〉後に続く, 後に起きる

And at the start of November, Riyadh tried to use Lebanon's prime minister to curb the activities of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah — an effort that seems to have backfired and could reflect poorly on the kingdom. All the while, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's attempts to corral and cajole the region's Sunni states into forming a united front against Iran's ever-expanding reach have generated much talk among Saudi Arabia's allies, but little real action. 

backfired:〈計画・言動などが〉 【人などにとって】逆効果になる, 裏目に出る, 期待はずれになる 
cajole:おだてる, 丸め込む.

From Riyadh's perspective, Iran's growing influence over the past decade has left it with no choice but to respond in some way. In 2003, the overthrow of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein sowed chaos and created space for Tehran to equip and train local militias while shaping pro-Iran factions in the government in Baghdad. Subsequent conflicts in Syria and Yemen gave rise to additional opportunities for Iran to strengthen its connections to militant groups on Saudi Arabia's northern and southern flanks. As the Syrian civil war inches toward a settlement that will likely preserve the government of Iranian ally President Bashar al Assad in Damascus, Riyadh is becoming increasingly concerned that Tehran will cement its military and political footholds in the Levant. 

with no choice:無差別に
sowed:〈不快な感情・状況など〉の種をまく; 〈恐怖心・疑いなど〉を植え付ける, 広める; 〈紛争など〉を引き起こす
flanks:cover [attack] the (both) flanks 両サイドを援護[攻撃]する.
inches:The worm inched along. ミミズはじりじりはって行った.

Iran's nuclear deal with the West has only compounded Saudi Arabia's anxiety about these developments. The agreement, which loosened some of the economic sanctions against Iran, has given Riyadh added motive to try to contain Tehran wherever it can through the use of its political and military connections across the region. Saudi Arabia fears what havoc an unsanctioned Iran might wreak by using additional revenue to funnel aid to militants in nearby countries, and perhaps by continuing to develop nuclear weapons in secret. 

compounded:〈問題・困難な状況など〉をさらに複雑にする, さらに悪化させる
havoc:(天災などによる)大破壊, 大損害; 大混乱, 無秩序
funnel:資金・情報などを流す, つぎ込む, 注ぐ

The United States' recent policy shift in the Middle East has emboldened Saudi Arabia in its endeavors. Over the past few years, Washington has worked to delegate its leading role in a number of regional conflicts to local actors, including Riyadh. Under pressure from the United States and eager to increase its standing abroad, Saudi Arabia has tried to take matters into its own hands by becoming more assertive in these disputes. The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which shares the Saudi crown prince's desire to contain Iran, has staunchly supported the kingdom in a way that its predecessor did not.

emboldened:を勇気[元気]づける, 励ます
endeavors:Good luck to everyone in this endeavor. この取り組みでのみなさんの幸運をお祈りします.
staunchly:a staunch supporter of Israel イスラエルの忠実な支持者.

Of course, none of Saudi Arabia's recent activities are entirely new. Rather, each move aligns with the kingdom's traditional imperative to ensure its preservation and position at the center of the region. To that end, Riyadh historically has sought to maintain its seat at the helm of the Muslim world by spreading its own interpretations of Islam. It has also worked to protect its avenues of influence across the Middle East, often using money and diplomacy to nurture the emergence of governments that are friendly to its interests while halting the growth of political movements that could disrupt its grip on power at home. But as Saudi Arabia pursues these familiar goals, it will encounter familiar obstacles as well — especially in places where Iran has its own interests to protect. 

imperative:命令; 義務; 緊急になすべきこと, 急務
preservation:保存, 保全, 維持; 存続.
at the helm of:〜のかじを取っている
interpretations:different interpretations of the same fact 同じ事実に対するさまざまな解釈
avenues:explore [pursue] another [every possible] avenue 別の[あらゆる]方法を探る[追求する]
nurture:(長期にわたって少しずつ)〈計画・思想・感情など〉を心に抱(いだ)く, はぐくむ, 助長する
emergence:発生, 出現; 台頭.

The Keeper of the Keys to Islam
As the home of the holiest site in Islam, Saudi Arabia isn't afraid to try to influence how its neighbors make use of the religion. Riyadh has voiced strong opinions about Iran's Shiite doctrine and the Muslim Brotherhood's populist Sunni ideology, both of which it considers to be detrimental to regional stability. 

detrimental:有害な; ≪…に≫ 害[損害]を与える, 不利益な

However, history has shown that manipulating the currents of political Islam is not only impossible for a single government to achieve, but also perilous. In the 1970s and 1980s, Saudi Arabia's decision to export Wahhabism to schools scattered throughout the region helped flesh out a conservative brand of Islam that can be more easily distorted into hard-line extremism than some liberal interpretations can. 

manipulating:〈人・世論・価格など〉を(巧みに)操る, 操作する
currents:(考え・思いなどの)動向, 潮流, 風潮; 思潮
flesh:〈話・計画など〉に肉づけをする, 詳細を盛り込む; …を具体化する(out)

Today those efforts are starting to backfire, fueling resistance to the young crown prince's attempts to usher in a "more moderate" era of Islam and curb the extremist narratives that underpin jihadist groups. Whether such pushback comes from Islamist clerics and adherents inside the kingdom or from other Muslim nations that do not approve of Saudi Arabia's religious leadership, controlling the narratives that define the daily lives of communities around the globe is no easy task for any one state to manage. 

usher :usher in an era of peace 平和の時代の到来を告げる.
adherents:政党・理念・指導者などの支持[援]者, 信奉者(follower)

That hasn't stopped countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar from trying. Over the past few decades, Riyadh has deeply disapproved of Doha's foreign policy — in part because of its unwillingness to kowtow to Saudi Arabia, but also because of its support for certain strains of Islam beyond its borders. This aid has granted Qatar far more clout than its small landmass and population would normally afford. Despite Riyadh's efforts to clamp down on Doha's assistance to media outlets and political figures that it believes to be contrary to Saudi interests, Qatar has used its immense financial reserves to resist the economic pressure the kingdom has brought to bear against it. Meanwhile, the dispute has started to slowly unravel the fabric of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to which both countries belong. And Saudi Arabia has begun to lose interest in isolating Qatar as it becomes clear, just as it has many times before, that the effort is bound to fail.

landmass:(広大な)陸地, 大陸.
unravel:〈もつれた糸・編み物など〉をほどく, 解く, ほぐす.

Closing the Ranks With Coalition Building
Riyadh has a penchant for propping up its friendly neighbors as well. In the late 20th century, Saudi Arabia funded Afghanistan's mujahideen to fend off the Soviet Union's encroachment. Three decades later, in much the same way, Riyadh supported a regime change in Egypt to replace the Muslim Brotherhood government in Cairo with a more secular, military-backed administration that was friendly to the Saudi royal family.

close ranks:(外部からの批判に抵抗して)〈人が〉 ≪…に対して≫ 結束する ≪with≫ ; 
penchant:(強くて習慣的な)嗜好(しこう), 趣味; 偏愛(fondness)
fend off:〔攻撃などを〕受け流す、払いのける、かわす

Even Saudi Arabia's attempts to bolster its preferred government in Yemen predate the ongoing civil war by half a century. In the 1960s, the kingdom gave military aid to North Yemeni forces fighting on behalf of the Yemeni monarchy. Today the specific actors and alliances in Yemen's conflict have changed, but Saudi Arabia's motives have not: to install a friendly government in Sanaa and to eliminate any threats to the kingdom's stability emanating from Yemen. But Riyadh's chances of success are just as slim as they were decades ago, when the Yemeni war ended in a stalemate. 

predate:(時間的に)…より先行する; …より前に起こる.
emanating: ≪…から≫ 生じる, 出る ≪from≫ .
slim:〈可能性などが〉わずかな, 少ない

Lately, Saudi Arabia's tendency to back its partners has taken on the new dimension of marshaling alliances. Thanks in part to U.S. prodding to take on a bigger role in counterterrorism and security initiatives in the region, Saudi Arabia cobbled together the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition in December 2015. Though the bloc has advanced some common goals and has held joint military drills, its members' competing priorities have already begun to surface. Even the kingdom's steadfast allies are reluctant to become too beholden to its foreign policy directives. These differences of opinion have undermined the cohesion of Saudi Arabia's other joint endeavors as well, including its military coalition in Yemen, its stand against Qatar and its proposals in the GCC. 

marshaling :〈支持・力など〉を集める, 結集する; …を組織化する
steadfast:不動の, 揺るがない, しっかりした
beholden:恩義をうけて, 借りがあって

Given how hard it has been for Saudi Arabia to secure the full cooperation of its allies, it's no surprise that shoring up support among fairweather friends has proved difficult, too. The kingdom has hit roadblocks with Sunni powerhouse and longtime rival Turkey; with the independent Tunisia, Algeria and Oman; and with Sunni actors that rely on some measure of Iranian backing, such as Sudan and the Palestinian territories. 

shoring:〈壁など〉をつっかい棒で支える; …を補強する(up).
fairweather:a fair-weather friend 成功している時だけ友達面(づら)する人.

Though Saudi Arabia has tried to use regional forums, including the Organization for Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League, to promote a common vision that suits its aspirations, it has had little success so far. In fact, its attempts to unify its neighbors against Iran have had the unintended consequence of banding together Iranians in defense of their government. 

suit:に好都合である, 最適である, 〈要求〉を満たす

Outgunned and Outmatched
Saudi Arabia has had as much trouble countering Iran on the battlefield as it has in the diplomatic realm. Compared with Iran, Saudi Arabia has less military experience, and it is not the only power of its religious sect in the region. (Iran, by contrast, is the main Shiite force in the Muslim world.) 

Outgunned:り軍事力[武器]でまさる; …を破る, 負かす.
Outmatched:be superior to (an opponent or rival).

For years Tehran has steadily cultivated ties to militias across the Middle East, whereas Riyadh's efforts to do the same have proceeded in fits and starts. For instance, Saudi Arabia's support for Sunni militias in Lebanon flagged in the mid-2000s. Since then, Hezbollah — an Iranian-backed militia — has tightened its grip on the country. To the south, nearly three years after the kingdom's bombing campaign in Yemen began, Houthi rebels are still able to launch missiles at Saudi territory, likely with Iranian-supplied weapons. 

fits and starts:間欠的な[のらりくらりした]動作

And in Iraq, Saudi Arabia has struggled to identify and support partners among the country's fragmented Sunni communities. Iran, on the other hand, has built a more durable network of political allies and militias in Iraq. Because of Saudi Arabia's relative weakness in the country, it will continue to fall back on the United States for help as it seeks out new political inroads into Baghdad — a strategy that will be increasingly difficult to execute as Washington looks for ways to withdraw from the region.

durable:〈物が〉耐久性がある, 長持ちする
fall back:have something to fall back on (いざという時に)当てにできるものがある.
inroads:進出, 参入, 食い込み.

None of the challenges facing Saudi Arabia's newfound interventionism will prevent the kingdom from aggressively pursuing its interests all the same. They do mean, however, that Riyadh will have trouble designing its neighborhood as it sees fit. Because when all is said and done, the Middle East is too varied, and Iran is too strong a rival, to allow the region to become one of Saudi Arabia's making. 

sees fit:⦅かたく⦆(不本意だが) ≪…するのが≫ いいと判断する
when all is said and done:結局(のところ)、つまるところ

サウジがイランを意識して、色々画策してるが、所詮、イランには勝てるタマではない。スンニ派をまとめようとしているが、各国は乗り気ではない。トルコ、Tunisia, Algeria and Omanはサウジに関心がない。カタールを切ったが、カタールも何も感じていい。Wahhabismを輸出しようとしたが、歓迎したのはISISだけだった。中東の覇者になろうとしているようだが、どうも、そのタマではないようだ。イランには勝てない。


swingby_blog at 20:40コメント(0) 



Dec 20, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
The Year That Was 2017


The year 2017 opened with a new U.S. president, and alarmism about the path Donald Trump would take.
The year 2017 opened with a new U.S. president, and alarmism about the path Donald Trump would take.(iStock)

global-warming alarmism:地球温暖化をことさら[必要以上に]騒ぎ立てること

We would not be doing our jobs correctly if we only forecast the year ahead. Quite simply, we must be rigorous in examining the past, and that means taking a hard look at how well we did in determining the major trends of the year gone by. In every respect, 2017 was particularly unique because of the questions — and alarmism — surrounding the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump. Would the world see a dramatic warming of U.S. relations with Russia that would leave many Western allies in the lurch? Would a massive trade war break out between the United States and China? Would the Iran nuclear deal be torn up? These were all questions we sought to address as we pondered the changing dynamics of the global system. What follows are some of our key deductions, alongside honest appraisals of what we got right and wrong.

rigorous:〈分析・詳細などが〉厳密な; 〈検査・手順などが〉厳格な, 厳重な
lurch:(乗り物などの)突然の傾き[揺れ]; 動揺, 驚き
deductions:推論; ≪…という/…からの≫ 推論による結果[結論]
appraisals:評価; 鑑定, 価値判断.

Personality Doesn't Always Drive Policy
Our forecasting methodology emphasizes the importance of the constraining factors that shape state behavior. We also, for good reason, downplay the personality traits and policy whims of any one leader. This approach led us to assert that even as "the United States will have more room to selectively impose trade barriers with China, particularly in the metals sector, … the time is not right for a trade dispute." We also maintained that U.S. threats to label China a currency manipulator were unlikely to materialize. Our more tempered forecast on trade has so far proved accurate.

Personality:人格, 人柄, 性格; 個性, 人間的魅力
constraining:を束縛する 制約する
downplay:(実際より)…を控えめに言う[思わせる]; …を過少評価する(play A down).
traits:personality [character] traits 性格上の特徴, 個性
whims:気まぐれ, むら気; (ふとした)思いつき, 出来心
tempered:和らげられた; (鋼鉄が)鍛えられた; 〘楽〙調律された.

The United States did unilaterally impose selective trade measures against China, but a great deal of restraint was exercised on both sides to avoid a broader trade war that would have had a deeply destabilizing effect on the global economy. And though a unilateral pullout from the North American Free Trade Agreement still cannot be ruled out — especially as political constraints mount on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border — we are sticking to our 2017 assessment. In short, the imperative of North American economic integration will likely endure in spite of the friction that comes with trying to modernize and revise the trade pact.

ruled out:〈行動・考えなど〉を認めない.
imperative:命令; 義務; 緊急になすべきこと, 急務
endure:耐える, 我慢する.

Trump's victory led to much speculation in early 2017 over whether the United States would pursue a meaningful rapprochement with Russia and forsake its NATO allies. We cut through the hype in our 2017 forecast when we stated, "As Washington appears more willing to negotiate with Moscow on some issues, the United States still has every reason to contain Russian expansion, so it will maintain, through NATO, a heavy military presence on Russia's European frontier." The thrust of the forecast was correct, and the United States has maintained its imperative to contain Russia.

speculation:推測, 憶測, 思索, 考察(guess)
rapprochement:≪…との/2国間の≫ 和解, 関係改善; 親交樹立
forsake:〈家族・友人など〉を見捨てる, 見限る(abandon)
cut through:切り開く
hype:誇大宣伝[広告] いんちき, ごまかし
thrust:要点, 主眼, 主旨

However, we believed when writing the forecast that a potential move by the U.S. president to unilaterally repeal some Russian sanctions could provide Moscow with some relief, helped by cracks in Europe over whether to maintain existing sanctions. Instead, the intensification of a U.S. investigation into Russian ties to the Trump campaign team — along with the uncovering of details on Russia's election meddling in the United States and Europe — simply made it too costly for the U.S. administration to follow through with Trump's promise to start lifting sanctions. Indeed, the institutional constraints on the president came into full view when the Congress passed legislation specifically designed to tie the president's hands on this issue.

repeal:〈法律など〉を廃止[撤回]する, 無効にする.
cracks:割れ目, 裂け目, ひび
intensification:強化, 激化, 増大.
come into full view:完全に姿を現す
institutional constraint:制度上の制約

Who's In and Who's Out in Europe
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, we emphasized the role that Euroskepticism and anti-establishment sentiment would play in the pivotal French presidential election. We did, in fact, see that sentiment manifest in strong performances by the far-right National Front and also by the left-wing, led by Jean-Luc Melenchon. Still, it was impossible to foresee that a scandal embroiling Francois Fillon would destroy the center-right's campaign and create space for a young moderate such as Emmanuel Macron to emerge victorious in the end.

pivotal:中枢の, 中心的な; 重要な.
sentiment:感情, 意見, 考え方; (美的)情操, 情緒
manifest:〈感情・態度など〉をはっきりと出す [示す]

Though we had discussed the notion internally, we didn't include in the forecast the idea that, in European elections, a reaction to the blunt form of populism and nationalism had taken root across the Atlantic. The Macron win and his agenda to promote EU integration while promoting French competitiveness ended up buying the European Union valuable time to try to reform itself. But the chasm between Germany and France over just how to reform the bloc is as wide as ever going into 2018.

blunt:blunt criticism 遠慮のない批評
take root:〔植物が〕根付く、活着する
chasm:(意見・考えなどの)大きな隔たり, 食い違い 

When it came to the German election, we correctly assessed that the electorate would be willing to support emerging parties on the right and the left and how that support would undermine the traditional parties, leading to a fragmented Bundestag and messy coalition talks. There was also a lot of wishful thinking at the end of 2016 by Brexit pundits claiming that the United Kingdom might not end up following through with the divorce, or would at least soften the terms significantly. We correctly asserted that an early British election would only delay — not derail — the Brexit process and that the United Kingdom would take the bold decision to leave the EU single market, attempting instead to negotiate a new free trade agreement with the European Union.


The Three I's: Iran, Iraq and the Islamic State
Our forecast on the Middle East was largely on point. We forecast that the Iranian nuclear deal would be threatened and that Russia-Iran ties would strengthen as a result, but that the deal would not collapse in 2017. (Going into 2018, however, the U.S.-Iran confrontation is bound to escalate.) We also asserted that the core of the Islamic State would be severely degraded but that a resolution to the Syrian civil war would remain out of reach. We specifically highlighted how the fall of Mosul would further divide Iraq's Kurds and lead to a battle over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

bound:きっと…する, …するはずだ(certain, sure)
out of reach of:(人)の手の届かない、(人)の力の及ばない

A Central Asian Turnabout
Central Asia, meanwhile, showed that when enough counterevidence builds, it can force a re-evaluation of long-running trends. In 2017 we stated: "Instability, as is so often the case, will plague Central Asia in 2017. Such is the hallmark of a region marked by weak economies, the near constant threat of militant attacks and uncertain political transitions, which include the replacement of long-serving Uzbek leader Islam Karimov, who died in September, a looming succession in Kazakhstan, and presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan." The unfortunate choice of the word "plague" was overly dramatic considering that Uzbekistan's new leader, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has had a relatively smooth first year in power. And Kazakhstan appears set to undergo a stable transition once Nursultan Nazarbayev, its long-serving leader, steps down or passes away.

Turnabout:方向転換; (政策・思想などの)転向, 寝返り.
overly:過度に, あまりにも, 極端に

Though these Central Asian countries still face a host of risks — from their vulnerable economies, internal radicalization and militancy, and demographic pressures — they have taken lessons from previous crises to manage their political transitions in a more orderly fashion than we anticipated. This matters because greater instability in Central Asia could draw China and Russia into more visible competition.

Looking Inward
On that note, there are several points that we wish we had emphasized more strongly. We have long pointed to deepening collaboration between Russia and China. Indeed, we indicated how Russia would attempt to exploit the heightened crisis over North Korea and Moscow's slow-moving negotiations with Japan to try to weaken the United States' network of allies in the region. While we highlighted greater Sino-Russian collaboration in energy, defense and cyber technology in the forecast, we should have given more attention to the informal alliance developing between Moscow and Beijing in challenging the United States. Likewise, we said that North Korea would carry out additional nuclear tests and that Beijing would avoid significant sanctions pressure on Pyongyang, but the North Korea issue overall deserved a much more prominent focus in the forecast given the amount of attention it absorbed in 2017.

As a year, 2017 also served as an important reminder of the difficulty in timing the outbreak of conflict. We failed to include in our annual forecast the potential for a China-India military standoff at Doklam, given that New Delhi and Beijing generally take great care to manage their relationship at a political level. As it turned out, the slow buildup of infrastructure on both sides of the contested border threatened to eventually trigger a confrontation. When the Doklam standoff did break out in June, however, we rapidly applied our geopolitical framework to the tactical military constraints defining the standoff and confidently and correctly forecast that the border crisis would not lead to a conventional war between the Asian giants.


The Nigerian love of board games
Scrabble, Monopoly and chess let Nigerians indulge their competitive and intellectual sides away from the hustle of everyday life
Dec 21st 2017by R.S. | LAGOS


board game:ボードゲーム◆盤を使ってするゲーム
Scrabble:取り合い, 争奪.
hustle:hustle and bustle of a city《the 〜》都会の喧騒

WHEN it comes to Scrabble, Nigerians are on top of their game. In November they retained the team title at the world championships in Nairobi. They boast more top-100 players than any other country. But the impact of board games in Africa’s most populous country goes beyond these world-class Scrabble-meisters. Board games are played across Nigeria, from indigenous games like ayo that make use of counters or pebbles (mancala is a similar game in the United States), to chess and Monopoly. 

the social impact of science:科学の社会的影響

It is impossible to quantify how many Nigerians play board games, but there is no doubt that they are more popular in the better-educated south. Prince Anthony Ikolo, the coach of Nigeria’s national Scrabble team, estimates that 4,000 Scrabblers play in more than 100 clubs around the country (compared with around 2,000-2,500 members in 152 clubs in America and Canada together). The Niger Delta states and Lagos are home to many of the country’s Scrabble champions. Wellington Jighere, who won the world championship in 2015, is from the oil-rich city of Warri, which is particularly renowned for producing world-class players. 

renowned: 著名な, 名声ある(famous)

On the national tournament circuit, cash prizes can reach $10,000. Prestigious schools have chess and Scrabble teams, and there are university tournaments. Lagos, the country’s teeming commercial capital, got its own Monopoly board in 2012. The property-buying game was made an official sport in Lagos state in 2016. In September that year, more than 1,200 students competed for the top prize of a 600,000 naira (now worth $1,662) education grant, in the process breaking a world record for the number of students playing Monopoly. 

Board games are mainly a middle-class pursuit, although Ludo, draughts and their ilk are also popular among the less educated. Many Nigerians have a competitive streak: the country’s unofficial motto, “Naija no dey carry last,” can be roughly translated as “Nigerians strive to finish first.” Those with an intellectual bent therefore often relish challenging others at Monopoly or Scrabble. Many say their skills were nurtured during long holidays and evenings without regular electricity, by parents who were keen for their offspring to spend time “IQ building” rather than idling. 

pursuit:娯楽 hobby
ilk:種類, 型; 同類.
streak:【好ましくない性格などの】傾向, 徴候, …気味 ≪of≫ have a mean streak. 意地悪なところがある.
relish:relish the thought of going home 帰省することを考えてうれしくなる
a youth with a literary bent:文学少年

Board games also allow Nigerians to focus on something other than the daily wahala, a word for trouble or stress (be it watching the hours tick by in urban traffic jams, appeasing a corrupt policeman or finding the money to keep the family generator running). And in a country where millions of Evangelical Christians follow a prosperity gospel and wealth is often idolised, Monopoly can temporarily allow Nigerians to indulge their fantasies. 

appeasing:(要求などに応じて)〈人〉をなだめる; 〈反発など〉を鎮める; 〈相手〉に譲歩する.
prosperity:繁栄; (経済面での)成功, 幸運
idolised:を偶像化する, 偶像視する; …に心酔する.



swingby_blog at 17:13コメント(0) 


南アフリカの与党はZumaの家族を拒絶した。 ひどい権力者の関係を断つことによって、「虹の国家」への希望を取り戻す。

South Africa’s ruling party rejects the Zuma family
The ditching of a dismal dynasty restores hope to the rainbow nation
Dec 18th 2017


a dismal failure [result]:惨めな失敗[結果].

ON DECEMBER 18th South Africa’s ruling party picked a leader. The new head of the African National Congress (ANC) is Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the handful of heroes who negotiated the peaceful dismantling of apartheid in the 1990s. In 2019 he will probably be elected president of South Africa. It is absurd—and a sign of how poisonous ANC politics have become—that his rivals within his own party dismiss him as a tool of “white monopoly capital”. That he won the party’s top job anyway shows that there is still hope for South Africa. 

The choice should have been simple. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the candidate backed by Jacob Zuma, the country’s current president, promised more of the same. Under Mr Zuma’s administration, corruption thrives, state resources have been looted and democratic institutions have been undermined. By one estimate, as much as 150bn-200bn rand ($11bn-15bn), or 5% of GDP, has been misappropriated. Ms Dlamini-Zuma (who is Mr Zuma’s ex-wife) has remained almost entirely silent about what South Africans call “state capture”. In a 4,200-word speech kicking off her campaign, she did not mention corruption once. Many took this to mean that, if elected, she would shield Mr Zuma from prosecution on the 783 counts of corruption that he faces. She also vowed to curtail the independence of the central bank, put more people on the public payroll, fight the dreaded white monopoly capital and achieve “radical economic transformation” by ramping up state spending and expropriating land, mines and businesses. 

misappropriated:〈公金・資金〉を横領する, 着服する; …を悪用する, 乱用する.
State capture:a type of systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence a state's decision-making processes to their own advantage.
curtail:〈出費・消費・数など〉を切り詰める, 抑える,〈権力・活動など〉を縮小する
dreaded:恐ろしい, おぞましい
expropriating:〈政府などが〉〈土地・財産など〉を収用する, 取り上げる

The term 'state capture' was first used by the World Bank (c 2000) to describe the situation in central Asian countries making the transition from Soviet communism. Specifically it was applied to situations where small corrupt groups used their influence over government officials to appropriate government decision making in order to strengthen their own economic positions; these groups would later become known as oligarchs.

Mr Ramaphosa, by contrast, promised “moral renewal”. He has been deputy president since 2014, but is untarred by the murk around Mr Zuma. In almost every campaign speech, he pledged to fight corruption. Unions backed him (he is a former union boss). Businessfolk backed him, too (he is a tycoon with a reputation for pragmatism). Polls said he was far more popular with ordinary voters. Yet his victory was terrifyingly narrow: fewer than 200 votes among almost 5,000 party delegates. Had the courts not disqualified more than 400 illegitimate delegates, many of them from provinces supporting the Zumas, Mr Ramaphosa would surely have lost. 

murk:暗黒(darkness), 薄暗がり(gloom).
terrifyingly:とても怖い, 恐ろしい, ぞっとするような.

Having averted the entrenchment of a dismal dynasty, he must set about undoing the damage Mr Zuma has wrought. The first step should be to remove him from office. Mr Zuma would ordinarily expect to serve another year and a half as president. That would be a disaster, as it would give the vultures around him yet more time to pick the bones of the state. Mr Ramaphosa should immediately press the ANC to recall Mr Zuma. If Mr Zuma fails to heed his party’s wishes, Mr Ramaphosa should urge a no-confidence motion in parliament. As deputy president, he would be next in line. He should appoint a credible head of public prosecutions who can decide whether to press those 783 charges of corruption against Mr Zuma. He should also set up a judicial commission of inquiry to probe allegations of state capture. 

entrenchment:(考え・態度の)固定化, 確立; 身を守る事; 塹壕.
set about:〜に取り掛かる、〜に着手する
undo the damage:損害を埋め合わせる.
vultures:ハゲワシ; コンドル. (弱い者を食い物にする)強欲で残忍なやつ.
heed:〈忠告・警告など〉に注意を払う, …に耳を傾けて従う, …を傾聴する.

Mr Zuma will fight back. He has powerful allies among the ANC’s new senior leadership, and among those who benefit from cronyism. Graft in South Africa now runs wide and deep—even head teachers are murdered so that their successors can gain access to the tiny school budgets they control. Cleaning all this up will not be easy. But it is not impossible, if Mr Ramaphosa demonstrates that those in charge do not have impunity. His election could mean a new start for South Africa. The rand surged on news of his victory. Other investors will wait and see whether he is serious about reform. Ordinary South Africans will pray that he is. 

impunity:免責, 刑罰を受けないで済むこと


Dec 19, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
The Echoes of Reagan in Trump's National Security Strategy
By Rodger Baker 


Trump's National Security Strategy

VP of Strategic Analysis, Stratfor
Rodger Baker
VP of Strategic Analysis, Stratfor
With his Dec. 18 national security speech, President Donald Trump charted a new path for the United States.
(ALEX WONG/Getty Images

Geopolitics teaches us that countries have core interests and imperatives, and that their relative importance can shift with time and circumstances. Geopolitics does not dictate the response. This is where politics and policy assert themselves and where personalities become important. If one steps back from the current (contentious) political discourse, it's hard to find a significant gap between the administration of former President Barack Obama and that of President Donald Trump when it comes to identifying the risks to American interests and security posed by North Korea, Iran, the Islamic State or even China. This is not to say that there are no differences, but rather that it's often less about identifying what represents a challenge to U.S. strategic interests than about how to deal with them. In this, the difference between the two administrations appears rather stark. 

imperatives:social [moral] imperatives 社会[道義]的責務.
personalities:人格; 人としての存在.
contentious:〈問題などが〉議論を呼ぶ, 物議をかもす.
stark:face a stark choice 厳しい選択を迫られる

Obama entered office with the intent to rehabilitate what he and others saw as a damaged U.S. image abroad. They believed that U.S. influence and thus power had been undermined by the Iraq War and by the general impression that the United States was an unrestrained cowboy nation. They saw that United States had lost the cushion of global sympathy that followed the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The Obama administration pursued a foreign policy framed in terms of international cooperation and collaboration. It was a policy that the current administration argues led to weaknesses in the overall U.S. strategic position abroad and at home. The Trump administration is calling for a revival of American power, economically and militarily, under a mantra of America First. 

unrestrained:つつしみのない, 下品な.

The approaches are rather different, though perhaps not quite the polar opposites some would argue. Nor is this a unique situation in American history. While not a perfect parallel, it is instructive to look back a few decades to the 1970s, when U.S. power was seen to be waning due to the failure in Vietnam, domestic social instability and the political crisis of Watergate and the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Under the administration of President Jimmy Carter, the United States pursued a policy of detente with the Soviet Union and sought to rehabilitate the international U.S. image through a reduction of military forces abroad. Cooperation and collaboration were seen by the administration as the best policies to preserve American influence and international security, particularly given the social and economic problems at home. 

The Call of Neoconservatives
But detente was certainly not universally accepted as the "right" path. Both within and on the fringes of the "establishment," there were rising voices warning that detente, that the reduction of U.S. military forces and that arms control agreements with the Soviets were not securing peace, but were weakening U.S. power and giving the Soviets time and space to outpace the United States. Washington was being duped into giving up its military strength, for little reward. This counter to detente was voiced strongly by many of those from the neoconservative movement, driven by the so-called neocons seeking to revitalize America's military, economic and political might, and to reclaim a place for U.S. primacy in the world system. 

on the fringes of:〜の焦点から外れて
duped:をだまして…させる The girl was duped into carrying drugs. 少女はだまされて麻薬輸送に加担した.

It was Ronald Reagan who capitalized on this, characterizing Carter as weak, calling for a revival of American greatness and urging a more robust military and stronger nuclear deterrent and ballistic missile defense. The Iran crisis was seen as proof that America had grown weak, that there was little respect for American military might and thus that overall U.S. security was now at risk abroad because others were more willing to challenge and directly confront the United States. Inside the U.S. intelligence community, another contrary line was also underway, and assessments of Soviet missile and nuclear capabilities were radically revised, setting off alarm bells about the pace and scale of Soviet advancements. 

contrary:contrary opinions [advice] 逆の意見[助言].

There certainly were counterarguments and warnings (in some cases, ultimately proved correct) that these new assessments were far more dire on paper than in reality and that there was a major overestimation of Soviet strength and American weakness. But Reagan and the neo-conservative camp won out, and the response was a fairly significant shift in U.S. international policy, in defense budgets, in trade policies and in Soviet relations. The transition from Carter to Reagan was stark. Rather than offer them detente to ease nuclear tensions, Reagan labeled the Soviets the "evil empire." Rather than further reduce military forces abroad, the United States increased defense spending and attention to nuclear and missile programs. Rather than be a cooperative power, the United States reasserted its own interests, challenged institutions such as the United Nations and set an agenda based on realist views of U.S. national security. 

dire: 差し迫った, 極度の〈必要・貧困・危険など〉
won out:(困難の末に)勝利[成功]を収める

The Carter-Reagan Swing
And the Carter-Reagan transition, with its significant shift in national security focus and in defining the ways to deal with key issues, was in some ways a repeat of a similar dynamic after the discovery of the so-called missile gap with the Soviets two decades earlier. In that case, John F. Kennedy claimed that it was Dwight D. Eisenhower (a general, of all people) who was weak on defense and who had let American power slip. Kennedy came in seeking to shake things up and to invigorate America, launching into the space race as a way to avoid falling further behind the Soviets. 

slip:〈人・能力などが〉衰える; 〈状況などが〉悪化する(back); 〈人気・緊張感などが〉低下する
invigorate:をやる気にさせる, …の士気を高める

It's a recurring pattern in American history, where leaders blame their predecessors for policies that ultimately led to weakening U.S. power and influence. Obama argued that America was less respected because of the perceived unilateralism of the administration of President George W. Bush. Trump has argued — and did so again Dec. 18 in his national security speech — that America is less respected because of the perceived capitulation of the Obama administration to other country's interests and desires. 

recurring:a recurring nightmare [theme] 繰り返して見る悪夢[登場するテーマ].

The Carter-Reagan analogy holds, at least superficially, with the tradition when moving from Obama to Trump. And Trump has, not coincidentally, drawn on many of the same slogans, the same imagery and the same concepts as did Reagan. There is attention to American manufacturing, to tax reform, to the Make America Great Again slogans, to calls for updated and expanded nuclear arms, to questions of the viability of arms control treaties with Russia, to a push for increased military spending and to challenges to global institutions and agreements that appear to disadvantage the United States. Trump has surrounded himself with the new version of the neocons, has taken a more assertive stance toward North Korea and Iran, and has targeted trade agreements that he and his advisers see as constraining U.S. interests. 

The Trump Way
With Trump's speech Dec. 18 on national security, his administration will in many ways be following an expected path. His administration identified an overall weakening of U.S. global security, standing and strength, blamed it on the previous administration's focus on global cooperation to the detriment of U.S. military might, and proposed to redress it. North Korea, Iran and terrorism (Islamic State/al Qaeda) are critical immediate concerns, but the strategic "gap" with the Chinese and Russians is the deeper concern.

detriment:to the detriment of A≒to A's detriment A〈物・事・人〉を犠牲にして, Aに損害を与えて

If there is a view that this gap needs to be narrowed and that past more diplomatic and cooperative efforts contributed to the gap, then we can expect further shifts in how the United States deals with these countries, with its partners, with friends or with just passing acquaintances on the periphery of Russia and China. And perhaps this view will shift how the United States sees the responses of some of its more reticent partners, such as Europe. 

reticent:寡黙な, 口の重い(silent)

At a time of extreme media polarization and of cries of imminent Armageddon, it's a good moment to step back and consider strategically, and to think about the many alternative voices that have been raised over the past eight to 24 years about the direction of U.S. policy and priorities and about how to remedy them. Consider all the cries of too few ships in the Navy, the arguments against additional nuclear missile agreements or the challenges to "appeasement" policies. These voices were always there; they now have a champion in Trump. Assertions that the actions of the current administration go against the national security establishment or against the foreign policy establishment miss the reality that neither of these "establishments" has a singular voice, nor have they historically. There are always dissenting voices, counterarguments and challenges to the accepted methods to address policy challenges. 

appeasement:なだめること; 譲歩, 妥協.
champion:擁護者, 支持者
dissenting:a dissenting voice [vote] 反対意見[票].

This is neither a critique of nor an argument in favor of the current administration's assessments of priorities or ways to deal with them. Rather it is a call for sober reflection and for recognizing that the way things were done for the past eight years, or 20 years, or 50 years are not necessarily the only way to do things. Presidents and administrations are often seeking to change things, to differentiate themselves, to refocus the priorities of the nation. And the world system around the United States is constantly evolving.

sober:on sober reflection 熟慮の結果として.

The trick is not to criticize because things are different but to step back and assess policies for what they are, for their risks and opportunities and for their implications at home and abroad. If modern U.S. history teaches anything, it's that change is the norm and that the policies of today may create the problems of tomorrow. But it also shows the overall resilience of the United States and of its underlying political and social systems, even amid wrenching changes. 

wrenching:胸が痛む(ような), 痛みを伴う, 苦渋の a gut-wrenching experience 胸を締めつけられるような経験.

Rodger Baker leads Stratfor's analysis of Asia Pacific and South Asia and guides the company's forecasting process. A Stratfor analyst since 1997, he has played a pivotal role in developing and refining the company's analytical process, internal training programs and geopolitical framework. 



swingby_blog at 20:25コメント(0) 



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