President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation has drawn a line in the sand over Syria, the government of which he is determined to protect from overthrow. Not since the end of the Cold War in 1991 has the Russian Bear asserted itself so forcefully beyond its borders in support of claims on great power status. In essence, Russia is attempting to play the role in Syria that France did in Algeria in the 1990s, of supporting the military government against rebels, many of them linked to political Islam.
Increasing presence of the Chinese maritime forces in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and disciplinary issues in the force are expected to be discussed by the top Navy brass in their commanders’ conference starting on Tuesday.
The Navy has been concerned over the increasing presence of Chinese navy’s submarines and other warships in the IOR. In a recent report submitted to the defence ministry, the Integrated Defence Staff headquarters had informed the government quoting the data by American agencies that 22 encounters of Chinese submarines have taken place outside its territorial waters in the IOR.
Military strategists love a neat metaphor and today’s defence white paper from the Gillard government has given us a new one to bandy about.
The US had its “pivot” into the region. The white paper is asking us to envisage what it’s calling a “new Indo-Pacific strategic arc” stretching from India, through south-east Asia and north-east Asia, as our area of key strategic interest. In essence, this means more emphasis on looking west and northwest towards the Indian Ocean as well as to the north and north-east – not a revolution, but an evolution of what has been going on quietly inside defence circles for some years.
The future of ground forces, the study argues, lies somewhere in the “messy middle,” between long-range, high-tech air- and cyber-strikes against a hostile nation-state — the “AirSea Battle” vision of the Navy and Air Force — and low-profile, low-cost Special Operations and drone raids against scattered terrorists. The study, entitled Beyond the Last War, lays out a score of scenarios, half in the Pacific and half in the Middle East, where the problem will be too big for Special Ops alone but too deeply dug in to excise surgically from afar.
It is not a secret that in recent years, Beijing increased its political activities across several hot spots in the region. China is now one of the largest GCC countries trade partner, the largest exporter to the Middle East, the biggest importer of Iranian oil, and the largest player in the Iraqi oil game. Meanwhile, the GCC countries are eager to diversify their economy and foreign policy; subsequently they welcome the Chinese involvement and investments, but also view such presence as vital toward the creation of balance in international relations and energy markets. From the Arab perspective, there is little concern that China’s increasing status as a world power will constitute a security threat.
The current tensions on the disputed India-China border – known delightfully for its vagueness as the ‘Line of Actual Control’ – in the western sector of the Ladakh region bordering China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region hark back to the scenario five decades ago when little skirmishes snowballed into a major outbreak of hostility. Fortunately, however, this time around there is a fundamental difference, too, which obviates the danger of a catastrophic slide to armed conflict. On a systemic plane, there are disquieting signs that the Indian establishment has not been pulling together on the country’s China policy and this disconnect, which has been suspected through the recent past, threatens to introduce its own disharmony.
Every American president since Harry Truman has announced a doctrine reflecting the priorities of each White House occupant. Globally, Obama intends to put the United States at the head of two giant economic blocks – the Transatlantic and Trans-Pacific Partnerships. This should ensure Washington’s leadership in a polycentric system of international relations.
If the TTP becomes a reality, the U.S. will account for three-fourths of the partnership’s combined GDP. This will ensure American dominance within the new economic alliance. At the same time, the TTP is an alternative to the ASEAN+3 arrangement promoted by Beijing .
History is being written in the East. As the U.S. stays distracted with stone age warriors in Central Asia and the Middle East, the last platform of the American economic foundation, the U.S. Dollar’s currency reserve status, is being underminded by their trade partners in Asia. Both Australia and Japan are set to start direct-trading in Chinese currency and they are not the only ones. There are almost 20 countries whom have currency swaps in place with China all in order to side-step the U.S. Dollar in global trade.
For half a century, geopolitical theory was effectively banned. In the USSR, this branch of science was described as “bourgeois.” In the West, it was considered politically incorrect, and was largely the preserve of provincial professors with no hope of entering the establishment. The situation began to change with the advent of the new century, and now geopolitics is back in ordinary usage and quickly regaining its political correctness and legitimacy. There is no single definition of geopolitics. But in the most general terms, it can be described as the science of investigating the relationship between foreign policy, international relations, and geographical and natural surroundings.
In the way China made land grabs across the Himalayas in the 1950s by launching furtive encroachments, it is now waging separate stealth wars—without firing a single shot—to change the status quo in the South and East China Seas, on the line of control with India, and on international river flows. Although China has risen from a backward, poor state to a global economic powerhouse, the key elements in its statecraft and strategic doctrine have not changed. Since the Mao Zedong era, China has adhered to ancient theorist Sun Tzu’s advice, “The ability to subdue the enemy without any battle is the ultimate reflection of the most supreme strategy.”
There are three major means for the U.S. to conduct deep involvement in the Asia-Pacific region: first, wide alliance to win over various countries in the Asia-Pacific region; second, military forward deployment to realize strategic “re-balancing”; and third, occupy a “leading” position in the region to play “pro-active role”.
The U.S. believes that the time span from the end of the Cold War to 2015 is a period of “strategic opportunity”, during which the rise and development of such major regional countries as China and Russia will pose serious challenges to the U.S. around 2015. Among the two, China “is more likely to become the challenger”.
Concerned over mounting cases of service tax evasion, the Government is mulling to create a separate intelligence unit to check the menace and stop leakage of revenue.
The proposed Directorate of Anti Evasion to check service tax evasion is likely to be set up by the Finance Ministry close on the lines of two other intelligence agencies under it–Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI), official sources said.
The U.S. military’s much-discussed AirSea Battle will remain a priority in light of rising tensions with North Korea, ongoing military strategy assessments and continued budget constraints, Pentagon officials said.
“Air-Sea Battle is a set of agreed-upon ideas and actions to create the joint force needed for operations in contested and denied environments and what that force needs to be able to do. Having smaller budget authority does not change the validity of [Air-Sea Battle’s] ideas and actions for force development, although it may slow [Air-Sea Battle’s] implementation,” according to a statement from the Air-Sea Battle office.
The West is becoming more and more alarmed about Zapad 2013 war games. NATO troops will carry out military exercises in Poland practising defence of Estonia, while Belarus and Russia will repel an imaginary attack from Poland: They plan to rehearse a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Warsaw, Polska Times reports. Tension between Russia and NATO has been growing since the beginning of the year. The Alliance prepares for Steadfast Jazz 2013 military exercises that will take place in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, while Belarus and Russia will carry out Zapad 2013 war games.
The Pentagon has deployed a new missile defense system to Guam following threats of an attack from North Korea, which Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel classified on Wednesday as “a real and clear danger.” A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) System, which defends against ballistic missiles, will arrive in Guam in the coming weeks as a “precautionary move to strengthen our regional defense posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat,” according to a Defense Department release. The isolated island in the Pacific is home to U.S. Naval Base Guam, providing a key stopover point for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
It is probable to say that the respective exercise has an interregional message considering the agreement among the Black Sea riparian countries on the relationship and the preservation of the stabilization in Black Sea. On the ground that some new developments take place specifically in Middle East and Syria crisis, it is useful to draw attention to Middle East and Mediterranean rather than Black Sea. As a reminder, Moscow made a decision to permanently possess warships in Mediterranean due to the conflicts in Syria last month, and this decision sparked a debate.
Israel Today newspaper has prepared a special report on the Arab armies in the Middle East; its title is telling; “Long Arm in the Region” is a reference to the Israel Defence Forces. It is claimed that the IDF is planning for a confrontation with Egypt. There is a new unit within the IDF which studies the armies of the Arab states through Israel’s military intelligence agency, Aman.
This agency supplies information on the power centres in the region’s armies and their plans, as well as how to exhaust their capabilities even before a direct confrontation. In the event of war with any Arab state, the new unit is ready to present a detailed plan of attack, cutting off enemy supply routes and rendering it unable to retaliate against Israeli attacks.
Call them American strategy’s Odd Couple. Working together, the U.S. Coast Guard and Air Force could be the best defenders of U.S. policy in the Arctic Ocean, a theater that will expand and contract each year and where threats will — cross your fingers — remain modest in scope. Think about it. One partner is an aviation force, the other a sea service. One operates under Pentagon jurisdiction, the other under the Department of Homeland Security. One is a combat arm designed to break things and kill people, the other a constabulary agency meant primarily to execute U.S. law in offshore waters and skies and render aid and comfort following natural disasters.
The U.S. administration is printing dollars without security in order to finance civil wars or American military invasions. Thanks to the theft of resources of entire countries, the White House covered the deficit of the uncontrolled printing of currency, and distributed the rest in the pockets of the accomplices from the administration. This rule, in force since the end of the Second World War, changed with the coming to power of George W. Bush in 2000. His greed resulted in the fact that the covering of deficit now led to the enrichment of his family and the IMF political commissars.
Afghanistan is considered to have a highly strategic value during the 21st century in southern and central Asian regions, owed to its geopolitical situation and untapped mineral resources. The country has proven to be a key inhibitor for the newly formed republics in central Asia besides having a high influence and pressure on China, Russia and Iran. Geographical and geopolitical situation of a nation has a direct impact over the internal, external and economical policies of a nation. However, policies implemented by ISI, CIA and MI6 in Afghanistan and the region during the past five decades have had different motives
China has sparked off a fresh scare in India’s national security establishment, this time with its little-known collaboration with neighbouring countries’ space-related programmes, adding a new dimension to fears among intelligence agencies the eastern neighbour was encircling India strategically with large communication networks. A string of satellite deals China has struck with Sri Lanka, potential space-related partnerships in Maldives and Bangladesh and their security implications have raised concern in New Delhi.
India and China are fuelling mutual suspicion by their ongoing military build-up, even though neither of them currently appear to seek to overturn the strategic balance on their borders, US spy chief said today.
“Neither India nor China currently seeks to overturn the strategic balance on the border or commit provocations that would destabilise the relationship. However, India and China are each increasing their military abilities to respond to a border crisis,” James R Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, said during a US Congressional hearing on global threats.
The recent revelation, by a member the general secretariat of Kuwait´s National Party, according to whom the USA and Qatar are planning to divide Syria into small-states, is likely to further cool down east-west relations. The agreement, so al-Hamad, contains several points, such as a division of Syria into several smaller states with so-called moderate Islamist governments, the permanent annexation of the disputed Hatay region by Turkey, a reduction of the Syrian military forces to maximum 50,000 troops and other, which coincide with recent analysis by Dr. Perencik and Major Agha H. Amin.
The US and its allies must be viewing this convergence of Chinese, Pakistani and Iranian strategic and economic interests in Gwadar and Balochistan with extreme trepidation. In one fell swoop, the Straits of Hormuz and the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOCs) to and from the Persian Gulf have come under Chinese oversight.
Furthermore, regional economies are getting integrated “independent” of Western influence and domination. The prospects of a network of oil and gas pipelines (IP, even TAPI) flowing from the Middle East (ME) and CARs to Pakistan and China are that much brighter now.
Sri Lanka will start storing bunker fuel at the $1.5-billion (U.S.) Hambantota port in June, a senior official said, after years of delays to the Chinese-built installation that sits on strategic shipping lanes, and a key step to making it commercially viable.
The $130-million storage project contains eight tanks of bunker oil for ships and six tanks of aviation fuel and LPG. The port is envisioned as a refuelling and service point for cargo ships which pass a few kilometres away off the southern tip of the Indian Ocean island nation, on one of the world’s busiest east-west shipping lanes.
Here are six of the 1962 principles China replicated in its subsequent aggressions: (1) take the adversary by surprise to maximize political and psychological shock; (2) strike only when the international and regional timing is opportune; (3) hit as fast and as hard as possible by unleashing “human wave” assaults; (4) be willing to take military gambles; (5) mask offense as defense; and (6) wage war with the political objective to “teach a lesson” — an aim publicly acknowledged by Beijing in the 1962 and 1979 attacks.
Effective 21st-century warfare requires the ability to conduct airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike mobile targets anywhere, around the clock. Current technologies, however, have their limitations. Helicopters are relatively limited in the distance and flight time. Fixed-wing manned and unmanned aircraft can fly farther and longer but require either aircraft carriers or large, fixed land bases with runways often longer than a mile. Moreover, establishing these bases or deploying carriers requires substantial financial, diplomatic and security commitments that are incompatible with rapid response.
The EED, by comparison, will not be a part of the EU, but rather independent, allowing it to take more outwardly political actions. Its scope will also be narrower, focused on Europe’s “neighbors,” a loosely-defined group of Mediterranean and Eastern European countries that includes, Pomianowski noted, many countries involved in the Arab Spring.
Taking off the political gloves. Koert Debeuf, a European parliamentarian whose blog posts on Egyptian political reform were recently discussed by the Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Egyptian television, welcomes the EED’s stated goals. “I think Europe should try to find a way to stop being scared,” he told DW. “There are organizations [in Egypt], for example, that give media training to political parties and politicians. They exist, and no one wants to fund them.”
Israel has long been keen to establish a foothold in parts of Africa, for strategic as well as economic reasons. The vast continent offers relatively accessible (and increasingly fought-over) sources of energy and water, as well as emerging markets. While Israel has been able to establish diplomatic relationships with most non-Muslim African countries, nations such as Mali and Niger have so far refused to formally recognise it. Clearly, Israel would like to convert these nations of the Sahel into friends and a potential rear guard against hostile Arab nations in the north.
“There is a core argument in international relations theory that when there is a rising power and an established “hegemon” (meaning a country with a predominance of power in the world system), this is a particularly dangerous time in international relations.”
Professor Lind continued, “Historically, such situations (the rise of Germany before WWI, the rise of Japan in Asia, the rise of the Soviet Union, the rise of Germany again) have been associated with military crises and even great-power war.” However, fellow Associate Professor of Government at Dartmouth College Daryl Press commented that if push came to shove, the United States would be unwilling to “wreck its relations with China and fight a maritime war over the Islands.”
WITHIN two decades the United States will be forced out of the western Pacific, says a senior Chinese military officer, amid concerns that increasingly militarised great-power rivalry could lead to war.
Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu, at the People’s Liberation Army’s National Defence University, told Fairfax Media this week that American strategic influence would be confined ”east of the Pacific midline” as it is displaced by Chinese power throughout east Asia, including Australia. Colonel Liu’s interpretation of one facet of what the new Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, calls ”a new type of great-power relationship” adds to the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding China’s strategic ambitions.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the first visit to Cairo by an Iranian leader in more than three decades, called for a strategic alliance with Egypt and said he had offered the cash-strapped Arab state a loan.
In a step by Iran to advance ties that were broken in 1979, the Iranian foreign minister said Egyptian tourists and merchants would no longer require visas to visit, Egypt’s state news agency reported. The effort drew a cool response, however. Shi’ite Islamist Iran is still looked on with suspicion by many in Egypt, a predominantly Sunni Muslim nation.
Rasmussen said he had no thorough information about the Russian-Belarusian war games Zapad 2013 planned for this year, adding that the exercise scheduled to take place in the Baltic states and Poland around that time were not aimed against third countries. Lithuania’s Defense Minister Juozas Olekas said earlier this week that certain elements of Russian-Belarusian military exercises Zapad 2013 planned to take place near Lithuania this year were directed against neighbors. NATO does not view Russia as a threat and does not constitute a threat to Moscow, however, the Alliance has all plans that may be necessary to protect its Allies, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Vilnius.
When it is the European Parliament using taxpayers’ money to fund such an unscrupulous assault on democratic freedom we should be doubly worried. By trawling the internet so they can stamp on the opinions of those who disagree with the EU’s masterplan, supposedly neutral civil servants will become willing participants in a disgraceful and self-serving exercise of naked political power to pervert the expression of free will in next year’s European elections. As secret documents seen by the Daily Express spell out, the trolls of Brussels will target countries where there has been “a surge in Euroscepticism”.
Taiwan has put into service a US-made billion-dollar early warning radar system capable of giving more than six minutes’ warning of a mainland missile attack, a senior officer said on Sunday.
The radar, on top of a mountain in the northern county of Hsinchu, started providing surveillance information after a ceremony presided over by the chief of the general staff, air force General Yen Ming, on Friday. “The radar is able to provide us with more than six minutes’ warning in preparation for any surprise attacks,” air force Lieutenant General Wu Wan-chiao said.
The Wa are Burma’s largest rebel group, estimated at up to 30,000 full and part-time fighters. Despite its professed policy of non-interference, military analysts say China has long been the largest supplier of weapons to the Wa, albeit unofficially. The Wa were one of several ethnic militias that formed after the 1989 breakup of the Burmese Communist Party. Beijing directly supported the communists and maintained relations with the newly formed rebel groups. Yale University Ph. D. candidate Josh Gordon said China has been particularly close with the Wa, who speak Chinese. The Wa are more or less a proxy of China, said Gordon.
The United States of America is planning to establish a drone base in Niger, a country sandwiched between Nigeria and Mali, two nations that have been under attack from Islamic militants.
The drone base, according to a report in last Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, will give the US military command increased unmanned surveillance missions on the activities of Boko Haram and other extremist groups in West Africa that are affiliated to Al Qaeda and other sectarian groups.
Like several other key ports in the region – including Piraeus in Greece and Naples in Italy – it is now partially owned by China. The state-owned Cosco Pacific holds 20 percent the terminal, helping make it one of the dominant – if not the dominant – Mediterranean port operators.
Cosco stresses that it is a purely commercial venture and many analysts agree. But few doubt that Beijing has made a wider geopolitical decision to become much more involved in the region. For the last two years, the People’s Liberation Army Navy has sent one or more warships through the Suez Canal to visit southern European ports, the furthest its fleet has ever operated from home.
Since assuming office at the end of 2012, Japan’s new prime minister has started conducting a diplomatic offensive to counteract China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific Region. This diplomatic offensive is an indication of the new Japanese administration’s growing economic and strategic interests in Southeast Asia. Abe wants to curb China’s growing military and commercial clout in the region. He wants to expand Japan’s maritime competence and combine it with the country’s economic strengths. Japan’s new administration wants to strengthen ties with ASEAN
Turkey’s intelligence services have held talks with jailed Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. Direct negotiations may lead to a solution to the Kurdish conflict and could end decades of fighting. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government want to work out a scheme with Ocalan that would allow Kurdish rebels to lay down their weapons. News reports have leaked that PKK leaders in northern Iraq’s Qandil mountains would not be brought to trial but would instead be given the opportunity to seek exile elsewhere. Regular PKK fighters would be reintegrated into society.
Once the world admitted China to the World Trade Organization in 2001, we welcomed the country into our free-markets. China got a hand on the steering wheel: It turned the rules of global business in its favor. We woke up to find a hijacking of our free-market system. China was manipulating its currency, subsidizing its firms, undermining nascent U.S. firms, erecting trade barriers, and stealing intellectual property. China was using its firms as instruments of state capitalism—it even coordinated them to monopolize critical resources such as steel and rare earths.
Shifting its military power to the Asia-Pacific region, the United States has started a five-year process of deploying its three types of stealth warplanes to bases near China.
Air Force F-22s and B-2s and Marine Corps F-35s will be stationed at bases around China as Beijing tests its own radar-evading jet fighters. U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration unveiled a new defense strategy that envisages a shift of focus from Iraq and Afghanistan toward the Pacific while addressing the increasing threats from China
Russian military advisers are manning some of Syria’s more sophisticated air defences – something that would complicate any future US-led intervention, the Guardian has learned.
The advisers have been deployed with new surface-to-air systems and upgrades of old systems, which Moscow has supplied to the Assad regime since the Syrian revolution broke out 21 months ago. The depth and complexity of Syria’s anti-aircraft defences mean that any direct western campaign, in support of a no-fly zone or in the form of punitive air strikes against the leadership, would be costly, protracted and risky.
The missile defence system that the United States plans to deploy in Europe will be able to intercept Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles, deployed in European Russia.
This came in a statement at a news briefing in Moscow earlier today by the Commander of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces Sergei Karakayev. The US claims that the European antimissile system will counter Iran’s missile threat.
The United States should focus increasingly on courting Brazil, India, Indonesia and Turkey, four “global swing states” critical to the preservation of the Western-dominated international order, according to a new report released here Tuesday by two major U.S. think tanks.
“These four nations each possess a large and growing economy, a strategic location in their region and a commitment to democratic institutions. And critically, each nation’s precise international role is now in flux,” they noted.
The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) bloc has begun planning its own development bank and a new bailout fund which would be created by pooling together an estimated $240 billion in foreign exchange reserves, according to diplomatic sources. To get a sense of how significant the proposed fund would be, the fund would be larger than the combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about 150 countries, according to Russia and India Report.
The planned deployment by NATO countries of Patriot air defence systems on Turkey’s Syria border will actually amount to the imposition of a no-fly zone for Syrian aircraft in circumvention of the UN Security Council. The opinion has been voiced by the leading research fellow of the Russian Institute for Oriental Studies, Vladimir Kudelev.
He feels that Patriot systems may drastically influence the fighting between the government troops and the opposition in the north of Syria, since the militants will thus get a 200 kilometre – to 250 kilometre-wide “umbrella” all along the Syrian-Turkish border.
Last week dramatically worsened the confrontation between Israel and Palestine. 14 November this year, Israel launched a massive air strike operation against the Palestinian HAMAS movement, which is the main force in the Gaza Strip.
The official stated purpose of the operation, which was called “pillar of Cloud,” is to stop the shelling of Israeli territory by Palestinian rockets unmanaged missiles. The main purpose of the operation was the destruction of important objects of military infrastructure of Hamas and its political, military and religious leaders.
President Obama’s top national security adviser said on Thursday that the United States has “given a full embrace of India’s rise,” leaving little doubt that Washington sees New Delhi as a strategic counterweight to Beijing regardless of what China, India itself, and the rest of the world thinks of the idea and their response to it.
“It’s a full embrace of India’s rise as a partner,” he repeated. “And again, as two of the most important democracies in the world, it’s an important strategic thrust for us as well.”
China has a more critical but less-articulated goal of controlling the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands, which if achieved, could tip strategic military superiority from the United States to China in the Pacific, according to an analyst.
Sumihiko Kawamura, a former rear admiral and commander of the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s antisubmarine air wing, said that Beijing is trying to turn the South China Sea into ‘a safe haven’ for its nuclear-powered submarines, which are armed with ballistic missiles that can reach the United States.
The only thing that’s cheap about war is the gaming. The U.S. military services and their assorted war colleges, the Department of Defense, and various think tanks do quite a bit of wargaming of potential conflicts such as Iran. Now, to the military, wargaming doesn’t mean games. It’s actually an analytical technique in the Military Decision Making Process, which essentially means analyzing the likely outcomes of various choices and then making the best one
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno announced Thursday that Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Command officials are working together to stand up the Office of Strategic Landpower to evaluate how the U.S. military’s ground forces will transition within the new defense strategy and the pivot to the Pacific. Air Sea Battle is a strategy in which the Pentagon can meld power projection assets such as a carrier group or long range bombers to influence a region without having a large footprint directly inside it.
The Iran-backed Shi’ite Houthi Movement’s increasing support throughout Yemen is triggering concerns among the country’s majority Sunni population.
The Houthi Movement, based in the northern governorate of Sa’adah that borders with Saudi Arabia, was founded in the mid-nineties by the late Hussein Badr Al-Din Al-Houthi, who had studied in Tehran.
At this stage, the “battle for Syria” is a specific role for foreign intelligence agencies, which in the summer of this year, significantly expanded its operations in the country. American, British, Turkish, French and Qatari and Saudi secret services are particularly active on the weakening of the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Their subversive work is multifaceted. Until recently, Western intelligence agencies have shown themselves very carefully. This was explained by fears of the U.S. and its European allies to help to strengthen the Islamist component of the Syrian opposition.
Moscow is cozying up to China, supporting the Assad regime in Syria and ignoring the Iranian nuclear race. The Kremlin is hard at work to create a sphere of influence along its periphery and a “pole” in the multipolar world that would stand up to Washington.
Recent developments have an unmistakably flavor of the 1920s and 1930s, when the Soviets sent people the Gulag simply for who they were, not for what they did. For example, the Cheka — the grandfather of Russia’s security service, the F.S.B — preventively arrested those of noble descent or with relatives abroad.
It calls itself a non-profit NGO, but it is headed by Mark Wallace, a former US ambassador to the United Nations and close associate of Senator John McCain, and its advisory board comprises former heads of the CIA, the counterterrorism office of the National Security Council and the Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency.
So whatever the cover-up may be, the UANI is definitely pursuing the objectives put forward by the US government.
ASB: offers a point-of-departure concept designed to maintain a stable military balance in the [Western Pacific Theater of Operations], one that offsets the [Chinese People’s Liberation Army]’s rapidly improving A2/AD [anti-access/area denial] capabilities. We have titled this concept “AirSea Battle,” in recognition that this theater of operations is dominated by naval and air forces, and the domains of space and cyberspace.
President’s Council on International Relations presented the draft of the National Policy Strategy 2025. The document contains a set of tools aimed at the prevention of ethnic conflicts, as well as the fight against extremist propaganda.
The authors proposed to set up in every region of the Russian Federation specialized monitoring centers, which will keep track of publications in the media and social networks for possible provocations national conflicts. And to combat the extremist ideas in social networks plan to attract Internet service providers, and the media want to create a system of incentives for the promotion of national unity, according to the document.
Gold is now a strategic metal for present and future SCO governments, which between them have over 40% of the world’s population; and now that the price of gold is re-establishing its rising trend, understanding its future role as a replacement for the US dollar is increasingly urgent, because gold is wealth and this wealth is being transferred from west to east.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday he believes “the Arab Spring will be followed by a Persian Spring,” with international sanctions against Iran leading to renewed domestic unrest.
“The Arab Spring will be followed by a Persian Spring, instability is spreading in Iran, and not just in Tehran,” Lieberman told Israeli military radio. “There is no doubt that the protest movement will be strengthened by the approach of the Iranian presidential elections next summer,” he added.
Bidzina Ivanishvili has the means to employ no less than 7 lobbying consultants at a time, in order to defend his reputation in Washington, DC. These consultants include Patton Boggs, National Strategies and BGR Gabara, just to name a few of the more prestigious tools under his belt. Other employees under Ivanishvili’s thumb include Kurt Volker, a former American Ambassador to NATO, and Mark Cowan, former assistant legislative counsel to the head of the CIA.
“The opposition demonstrations that took place in Iran in June 2009 will come back in even greater force,” Avigdor Lieberman said in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.
“In my view, there’s going to be an Iranian-style Tahrir revolution,” he said, referring to last year’s mass protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, which forced Mubarak to quit.
Curacao’s former leader was holed up Sunday inside what used to be his official offices, accusing the acting governor of overstepping her constitutional powers by forming an interim government three weeks before general elections on the Dutch Caribbean island.
But the Dutch government said in a statement that former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte’s administration was legally replaced and urged the interim government to make sure the run up to the Oct. 19 election and the vote itself run smoothly.
A note prepared by the Research and Analysis Wing(RAW) on the recent unrest in the North-East says, “ISI is being used by Chinese intelligence agencies as a surrogate.”
The note has been forwarded to the home ministry. According to intelligence agencies, Indian insurgent groups are being provided assistance in the form of money and weapons by the Chinese agencies through ISI.
GERMANY, France and nine of Europe’s most powerful countries have called for an elected European Union president and an end to Britain’s veto over defence policy, in a radical blueprint for the continent’s future.
In a document released following a meeting between 11 foreign ministers in Warsaw, the bloc charted a vision for the ”future of Europe”.
As well as calling for a single, elected head of state for Europe, the bloc demanded a new defence policy, under the control of a pan-EU foreign ministry commanded by Baroness Ashton, which ”could eventually involve a European army”.
Amid New Delhi’s concerns over growing military ties between Beijing and Colombo, Sri Lanka’s envoy Prasad Kariyawasam has said there is no zero-sum game between India and China. He said his country will not be reduced to a stage for the two rising Asian powers to play out their “rivalry”.
“We are not in the habit of looking at our relations with India and China as a zero-sum game,” the envoy told IANS in an interview here.
“We will not allow our land or sea to be used for any inimical purpose by one country against the other,” the envoy said.
The army’s defences on the China border will get a major offensive boost with the impending deployment of two tank brigades, one each in Ladakh and north-east India. This is the first time that India will deploy armoured formations on the China border. Such formations, equipped with main battle tanks and BMP-II infantry combat vehicles, are traditionally used for striking into enemy territory.
Authoritative MoD (Ministry of Defence) sources tell Business Standard that the plan, cleared by the MoD, involves raising six new armoured regiments, equipped with 348 tanks (58 tanks per regiment, including reserves). In addition, three mechanised infantry battalions will be raised, amounting to about 180 BMP-IIs.
The secret sisterhood admit that they often feel they are “living in a movie, on a constant high” but are at pains to dismiss the idea that they are merely sexual weapons.
“A man who wants to gain access to a forbidden area has less chance of being allowed in. A smiling woman has a bigger chance of success,” Yael, a Mossad legend, tells Lady Globes.
“We use our femininity because any means is valid,” says Efrat, another agent.
Western intelligence officials told the British Telegraph on Thursday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has personally sanctioned the dispatch of the experienced officers to ensure that the Assad regime survives the threat to its survival.
According to the report, Iran has also shipped hundreds of tons of military equipment, including guns, rockets, and shells to Syria through the regular air corridor that has been established between Damascus and Tehran.
Intelligence officials believe the increased Iranian support has been responsible for the growing effectiveness of the Assad regime’s tactics in forcing anti-government rebel groups on the defensive.
If Peter the Great were alive today, he would not have to re-found a new capital on the Pacific. He would simply move his court and his administration to an already built city, Vladivostok.
The city has been around for over a century and a half, since its founding in 1860 as an outpost for the military. Like “St. Pete” up north, “Vlad” out east is a port city. Tantalizingly, flying time to several key capitals – Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul – is just 60 to 90 minutes. And places such as Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei are within easy reach.
Out there in Russia’s Far East, even the US is a neighbor – across a long stretch of water. Indeed, San Francisco, and its proximity to Silicon Valley, has long served as a model for how things could turn out in Vladivostok.
Rear Adm. Yin Zhuo, a leading Chinese navy official, told his nation Aug. 24 that plans to boost U.S. missile defenses in Asia are a strategic conspiracy to trick other nations in the region into investing vast resources to develop nuclear and ballistic weapons.
Adm. Yin told the People’s Daily’s flagship online discussion portal “Strong China Forum” that the objective of the U.S. defense effort is to force nations to deplete military budgets that should be used to develop conventional weapons.
“We think that the United States’ missile defense system conspires to lead developing countries with nascent nuclear deterrence such as China or India astray,” said Adm. Yin, who is in charge of the People’s Liberation Army’s Naval Information System Commission.
“All of these factors exist in a crucible surrounded on three sides by Turkey, Iran, and Russia. The potential for conflict is considered so plausible and the issues related to the interaction so confusing that a few years ago the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command developed scenarios linked to the Caucasus to help prepare Majors for military contingencies. The U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth uses the “GAAT” (Georgia-Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkey) exercise as a thread of continuity throughout the course.
When the drums of war reach a fever pitch throughout the Middle East, cooperation with Israel’s most important ally assumes even more urgency than ever. The IDF is, of course, a powerful and independent army but in the event of an extensive confrontation, even Israel — a regional power — may run out of ammo. Meanwhile, six secret American bases are spread out throughout the country. According to foreign reports, these depots are chock-full of ammunition, smart bombs, missiles, an assortment of military vehicles and a military hospital with 500 beds. If Israel will be forced to take action against Iran, whether alone or together with the US, there is high probability that it will need a strategic home front — in the guise of those bases full of goodies.
India is finally kick-starting the plan to build as many as 18 tunnels along the borders with Pakistan and China for faster troop mobility as well as storage of critical war-fighting assets like missiles, without the threat of detection by enemy satellites and spy drones.
While preliminary work on seven tunnels is underway after requisite approvals, the construction of 11 more tunnels in Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh is now on the drawing board after “a strong endorsement” by the Army.
With China resorting to “tunnelling in a big way” to store important military equipment, the Army wants the tunnel construction plans in the mountains in J&K and north-east to be fast-tracked
Britain and France will soon be sent to the eastern Mediterranean, a powerful grouping of the Navy, Western media reported, citing sources in the British military.
The composition of the joint task group from the British side will include helicopter Illustrious, a large amphibious assault ship Bulwark with 400 marines on board, as well as the destroyer, frigate and a submarine. France will be represented by a compound aircraft carrier as part of an aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and ships outposts.
As part of the British ships would be in defense destroyer Defender, is able to protect the group from the Syrian anti-ship cruise missiles stationed on the coast.
The United States and its Arab allies are knitting together a regional missile defense system across the Persian Gulf to protect cities, oil refineries, pipelines and military bases from an Iranian attack, according to government officials and public documents.
It is an enterprise that is meant to send a pointed message to Tehran, and that becomes more urgent as tensions with Iran rise. But it will require partner nations in the gulf to put aside rivalries, share information and coordinate their individual arsenals of interceptor missiles to create a defensive shield encompassing all the regional allies.
Syrian President Bashar Assad has made a tactical move: his army left cities and towns in the north-west of the country, effectively handing over control of them Kurds. In their hands crossed all state agencies in the border areas with Turkey Cobán, Afrin, Darik, and al-Amud Aynada. They hung their flags out there. With 12 Kurdish organizations merged, creating a Kurdish National Majlis.
According to British newspaper The Guardian, Syrian Kurds are now given the opportunity to defend their home territory.
Iran has increased its support for the Taliban by allowing the militants to open an office in the country while considering the supply of surface-to-air missiles, according to Afghan and Western officials.
By helping the Taliban, Iran aims to derail a decade-long “strategic partnership” signed between Afghanistan and America in April. Tehran would also have the option of stirring violence in Afghanistan in retaliation for any US strike on its nuclear facilities.
Stealthy American bombers and submarines would knock out China’s long-range surveillance radar and precision missile systems located deep inside the country. The initial “blinding campaign” would be followed by a larger air and naval assault.
The concept, the details of which are classified, has angered the Chinese military and has been pilloried by some Army and Marine Corps officers as excessively expensive. Some Asia analysts worry that conventional strikes aimed at China could spark a nuclear war.
After all is said and done, if the U.S. is willing to cooperate with the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt, it can also benefit from conditional recognition of Hamas, which could damage Iran’s field of influence.
The Iranians are not blind to such a scenario, and despite statements of unlimited support for Assad, they seek alternatives for the era following his downfall. Their focus of interest and activity is now on the Kurdish region of Iraq, which could serve as the link between Iran and the Kurdish minority in Syria and a way to wield influence on the Syria that emerges in the future.
For the first time since China’s re-emergence as a power to be reckoned with, Western powers are being confronted with scenarios involving the risk of clashes with Chinese military forces outside the Asian giant’s backyard.
Key to China’s expansion is a shift in recent years from Mao Zedong’s Army-centric military to one where other branches of the armed service — the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and the Second Artillery Corps — are given greater freedom of action.
The Kurdish factor begins to play an important role in the events in Syria. Both the authorities and the opposition are trying to use a large Kurdish community (variously estimated at from 2 to 3 million) for its own purposes. Simultaneously, the Kurds themselves are trying to take advantage of the situation in their tactical and strategic interests.
Activation of the Kurds, who are known for weakening the central government in Damascus, captured a number of localities in the north-east of the country, alarmed Ankara.
The State Duma of the EP and CP contributed to the colleagues, the bill, which requires parliamentarians and officials at all levels under threat of criminal penalties to claim the cash deposits, securities and real estate abroad. The owners of such facilities, buildings and shares should receive the status of “foreign agents”. The bill is an attempt to justify the law on NGOs and revoked a few days ago a bill recognizing “foreign agents” media with financing from abroad, experts say.
The European Union’s response to the Arab awakening again highlighted its inability to react swiftly and decisively to extraordinary events unfolding in its neighborhood, Hrant Kostanyan and Magdalena Nasieniak write in a report for the Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies. But the new European Endowment for Democracy has the potential to make the EU a committed, pro-active and effective leader of democracy assistance, free of nationally-driven decisions, European ‘turf wars’ and cumbersome bureaucracy.
China will establish a military presence in its newly established city of Sansha, which covers a vast expanse of the flashpoint South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) including islands within the Philippines’ territory.
In a news report posted on Chinese government website gov.cn, Beijing announced that its central military authority “has approved to form and deploy a military garrison in the newly established city of Sansha”.
The online report posted Saturday said China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) had authorized the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Guangzhou Military Command to set up the garrison.
The Pentagon has set up a special team to prepare for what many U.S. officials believe is the imminent collapse of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, The Washington Examiner has learned.
The Crisis Asset Team will help prepare the U.S. military for whatever role it might take in the conflict that appears to be reaching a decisive moment in which the government could fall apart, officials said.
Signs that the Syrian regime is on the verge of collapsing grew stronger over the weekend as violence escalated in its capital Damascus and more senior Syrian military officials defected and left the country.
THERE IS a crisis of confidence in Cairo. The wrangling between the judiciary and the executive might plunge the strife-torn country into a renewed phase of power struggle.
Often, it is so mindboggling to interpret as to what each organ of the state means when it comes down with its own diagnosis to overcome the vacuum at work. The military junta that has ruled Egypt de facto since president Hosni Mubarak was overthrown seems to be in a straight-jacket module while asserting its influence.
Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said after his meetings with Guamanian and military leaders over the past two days, he is more convinced than ever that Guam has a central role to play in the strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region.
The deputy secretary left Guam today en route to Japan, the next stop on his 10-day Asia-Pacific tour that will continue with visits to Thailand, India and South Korea.
“The insights I was able to gather during this visit [to Guam] reinforce the department’s optimism that our plan is achievable and in line with our strategic priority of maintaining security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” Carter said.
United Russia MPs intend to enter media financed from abroad into the “foreign agents” register, Izvestia newspaper reported on Monday.
According to United Russia deputies Vladimir Burmatov and Ilya Kostunov, a number of media services working in Russia, may be categorized as foreign agents in the fall.
A range of amendments will be introduced to the law on the media and they will contain a reference to “media acting in the interests of foreign states” which receives finances from abroad.
It’s never been harder to be a dictator, says at least one analyst. Faced with rapid demographic growth, massive increases in unemployment for college graduates, and changes in the information environment, modern authoritarian regimes are increasingly coming under challenge. But in response, they are using 21st-century techniques themselves, to wield their power and maintain the status quo.
In the battle between repression and freedom in the 21st century, opposition movements are increasingly turning to modern technology and non-violent methods.
First of all, the U.S. uses military exercise diplomacy to accelerate its eastward shift of strategic focus, and enhance its influence in the Asia-Pacific region. Since Obama took office, the U.S. has proposed a new approach to shift its strategic focus eastward, attempting to consolidate its dominance in the Asia-Pacific region and maintain its global dominance. Economically, the U.S. has set up an economic body outside the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) by actively promoting the establishment of the Trans-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP).
Iran’s issues, the operation in Afghanistan, the establishment of military bases in Uzbekistan will be discussed at the upcoming meeting with U.S military and diplomatic leadership in Tashkent.
The U.S. has sought military cooperation for a long time with Uzbekistan because of the strategic and geopolitical positions of the country. Uzbekistan’s obligations as a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) were one of the main factors that can prevent it and the creation of U.S bases in the Republic.
For months now, Western policy makers have been racking their brains to figure out what strategic interests have made Russia so intent on supporting the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad — a leader who, facing a popular uprising, seemed to be on his way out anyway.
It is an understandable question, but perhaps the wrong one. Decisions are flowing from President Vladimir V. Putin, whose career has left him overwhelmingly wary both of revolutions and of Western intervention.
Russia’s parliament is to debate a bill forcing internationally-funded NGOs to register as “foreign agents”, a move that may stigmatise scores of groups under President Vladimir Putin’s new term.
The bill which is scheduled to be debated this week comes after Putin accused opposition activists demonstrating against his 12-year rule of being in the pay of the US State Department.
The ruling United Russia party, which sponsored the bill, says it is aimed at preventing foreign states from influencing Russia’s domestic politics and emulates US legislation on foreign-funded NGOs.
If we see an unfinished revolution, and the struggle continues between the military establishment, the civic forces and Islamists in a pivotal country like Egypt, how far could such a situation affect US interests in the Middle East?
It will affect the US interests in the sense that it will contribute to increased unrest in the Middle East, and continued unrest in the Middle East is likely to create increasingly less propitious circumstances for a constructive American role in the Middle East. There is no doubt that American influence is declining, but before anyone begins to applaud the emerging decline of America’s presence in the Middle East, they better ask themselves what are the likely wider consequences of such decline.
“The Russian military and political leadership devotes considerable attention to strengthening of the country’s defence in the Caspian Sea region and the Caucasus. There can be no talk of demilitarization of the region. Moscow intends to defend its interests here by various means, including force “- Vladimir Mukhin is categorical on the pages of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newsapper.
Acouple of weeks ago the same newspaper published an article by Sergei Konovalov “Syrian direction of the Russian troops” which, it is obvious, like the article by Mukhin, was written on instructions of the chief military body of Russia. It demonstrates that threats and demonstration of military power became part of the policy of the Russian government.
EU member states agreed to create a European endowment for democracy.
The fund should become operational by next year and will primarily target EU neighbouring countries such as Belarus, where people are routinely jailed for showing opposition against President Alexander Lukashenko.
The fund was the brainchild of the Polish EU presidency in June 2011 and will function primarily as a grant-awarding institution.
Pro-democracy and social movements, young leaders, civil society, independent media, foundations and educational institutions among others are its intended target beneficiaries.
The face of American-style war-fighting is once again changing. Forget full-scale invasions and large-footprint occupations on the Eurasian mainland; instead, think: special operations forces working on their own but also training or fighting beside allied militaries (if not outright proxy armies) in hot spots around the world. And along with those special ops advisors, trainers, and commandos expect ever more funds and efforts to flow into the militarization of spying and intelligence, the use of drone aircraft, the launching of cyber-attacks, and joint Pentagon operations with increasingly militarized “civilian” government agencies.
A former Israeli intelligence chief has said EU and Nato countries can do more on Syria than complaining about Russia or imposing sanctions.
Assad’s generals, secret police chiefs and his diplomatic corps are still loyal and important minorities – such as Alawite Muslims, Druze Muslims and Christians, as well as businessmen in Damascus and Aleppo – do not want Sunni rule.
Outside the country, Russia, Iran, Shia Muslims in Iraq and Shittes and Christians in Lebanon, also want him to stay.
“When you see a real general, preferably an Alawite general, defect, then you will know he is on his way out … Unless the Druze clearly change position, he is quite stable,” the contact noted.