US-centered Internet, Canada's strategy against IS, Ethiopian migrants, EU secrecy, US and the South China Sea

A round-up of global commentary for the June 22, 2015 weekly magazine.

Romeo Ranoco/Reuters
US Navy Vessels Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) members and a Filipino sailor practice techniques to arrest and search a suspected pirate during a Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise aboard the USS Forth Worth in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, west Philippines, on Monday. The Philippines will hold separate naval exercises with US and Japanese forces this week on a Philippine island that is not far from the disputed Spratly archipelago, where China's rapid creation of seven island outposts is stoking regional tensions. Manila, which has one of the weakest navies in Asia, has stepped up its security cooperation with its allies the US, Japan, and Vietnam this year, in the wake of Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea.

The Hindu / New Delhi
Collaboration needed to shift US-centered Internet

“Policymaking and governance are becoming dangerously dependent on Big Data...,” writes Parminder Jeet Singh, former adviser to the chair of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum. “[T]his should set us thinking about who really controls the digital connectivity patterns.... But one hears nothing about the overall new architecture of social power and control that is getting built, with its core in the U.S. It implicates very significant long-term economic, political, social and cultural issues that should greatly concern a country like India. Even freedom of expression and security are significantly related to this new power architecture.... India should work through the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to develop an alternative to the U.S. based global unipolar networked-digital complex.... That would be the biggest game changer ... [in this] complete stalemate over global governance of the Internet.”

The Globe and Mail / Toronto
Canada needs to define its strategy against Islamic State

“[The House of Commons] must have been kidding themselves if they thought [Islamic State] would be ‘degraded’ ” by Canada’s efforts. “Canada has committed six CF-18 fighter jets, two surveillance planes, one aerial tanker, 600 Canadian Forces personnel and 69 special operations forces to the fight against IS,” writes Jeffrey Simpson. “With this contribution, Canada is supporting an Iraqi army that either will not fight or fights badly.... Only effective and motivated ground forces can regain territory. These do not exist in either Iraq or Syria.... The brave announcement that Canada would bomb in Syria sounded much better rhetorically than it can work out in practice.”

The Reporter / Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ethiopian migrants need advocates

“The heinous and diabolical mass murder of innocent Ethiopian migrants in Libya by the Islamic State (IS) highlights the need for broad public dialogue, including particular interfaith consultations, on religious extremism as well as a swift governmental response to the emergency situation...,” writes Dr. Mehari Taddele Maru, an international consultant on African Union affairs. “Ethiopia does not have a comprehensive migration policy, but certainly needs one. The ultimate aim of such a policy on migration needs to ensure that migration is voluntary, legal, safe and orderly.... [S]uch an agency would help ensure burden sharing in response to crises and to allocate and coordinate tasks among various [governmental agencies].” 

The Local / Stockholm
EU’s secrecy spreads distrust

“Despite decent efforts by the European Ombudsman and organizations such as Transparency International, secrecy and closed doors remain the norm in Brussels,” writes Fredrick Federley, a member of the European Parliament for the Swedish Centre Party. “This [secrecy] risks fuelling the EU distrust spreading all over Europe. This EU scepticism reaches its peak with the upcoming referendum in the United Kingdom on a possible EU exit. The criticism ... about the lack of openness and democratic deficit needs to be taken seriously.... [P]olitical forces with clear leadership and a willingness to change things are needed.”

China Daily / Beijing
US should stop working against China in South China Sea

“China has been emphasizing that its construction work will help make navigation safer in the South China Sea. But instead of paying heed to China’s assertions, the US is tacitly supporting Vietnam and the Philippines in the South China Sea disputes because its intention is to contain China...,” writes Zhao Minghao. “The US has been accusing China of violating international laws. But ... China has signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, something the US has refused to do.... [B]y thinking China is out to grab territories, which is impossible in today’s world of highly interdependent countries, the US is building more hurdles in bilateral relations.”

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