Elon Musk, joker in international trouble

Another joker in the international mess. Between taking over Twitter, the launch of four astronauts and a new salvo of 54 satellites and the presentation of an electric semi-trailer, Elon Musk found the time to propose a “special administrative zone” to settle the fate of Taiwan and a “peace plan” for Ukraine (neutralization of Ukraine, abandonment of Crimea, referendum in areas occupied by Russia).

In a few months, the richest people in the world broke up with the authorities of these countries, which provoked the irritation of the White House, and even the Pentagon, for a moment asked to pay the bill for the Internet access service in through its constellation of satellites (Starlink) in Ukraine.

Hybridization between Big Tech and States

The American billionaire has established himself as a major player in global geopolitics, a symbol of the growing hybridization of power between big technology and the United States. Tesla (electric cars), SpaceX and Starlink (space), Neuralink (neurotechnology), NBIC (brain implants) and Twitter are the foundations of his total technological project as a true answer to all the world’s problems”, examines Asma Mhalla, specialist in digital geopolitical issues, teacher at Sciences Po and École Polytechnique.

For twenty years, its cooperation with the federal government has allowed the United States to regain its dominant position in space. The US military uses Starlink, while its space company SpaceX builds rockets for NASA. Long supported by the American public power, its power is beginning to worry Washington, as well as its network of foreign investors and holdings outside the United States. To the point that officials want a more thorough review of its possible development projects in China and Russia.

Under surveillance in Washington

Its relationship with other countries deserves consideration,” Joe Biden said last week in response to a question about Saudi Prince Al Walid Ben Talal’s involvement in the Twitter takeover. The latter has, in fact, brought Elon Musk nearly 35 million shares that he already holds in the social network, directly and through his holding company KHC, making him the second largest shareholder in the group.

At the request of two Democratic senators, Ron Wyden, chairman of the Finance Committee, and Chris Murphy, senator from Connecticut, the Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investments (CFIUS) – responsible for investigating foreign investments in US transactions – has should check if it Saudi participation has national security implications“.

I have long argued that the United States has a national security interest in protecting American data from murderous foreign governments, and this Saudi regime fits that description.», insisted Ron Wyden.

Toxic addictions

The committee should also examine the billionaire’s ties to China. Tesla operates a manufacturing plant in Shanghai that produces more than one million electric vehicles. The US government is concerned about its dependence on countries like China, foreign investors like the Saudi prince, and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, whose values ​​and interests are not aligned with the United States. pointed out Katja Munoz, researcher at the German Council for Foreign Relations (DGAP). Almost half of Tesla’s production comes from China, and this is leverage that Beijing can use on Starlink and Twitter. »

According to Ian Bremmer, boss of the Eurasia Group, Elon Musk spoke with Vladimir Putin on the Kremlin’s red lines about Ukraine, before swinging his “peace plan” in three points. A classic Putin game, using intermediaries to test reactions to his ideas», decrypts Fiona Hill, researcher at the Brookings Institution. Between the American State and the transgressive billionaire, codependency is not yet toxic.

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