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Courting Vietnam, US Prepares to Ease Arms Embargo

Courting Vietnam, US Prepares to Ease Arms Embargo

Senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the initiative said Washington wants to support Vietnam by strengthening its ability to monitor and defend its coastline, and said unarmed P-3 surveillance planes could be one of the first sales. Such aircraft would also allow Vietnam to keep track of China’s increasingly assertive activities in the South China Sea, a potential flash point because of interlocking claims from many countries to its islands and reefs. Two senior Obama administration officials said discussions on easing the embargo are taking place in Washington and could result in a decision later this year.

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Pakistan is eyeing sea-based and short-range nuclear weapons

Pakistan is eyeing sea-based and short-range nuclear weapons

Pakistan is advancing toward a sea-based missile capability and expanding its interest in tactical nuclear warheads, according to Pakistani and Western analysts. The development of nuclear missiles that could be fired from a ship or submarine would give Pakistan “second-strike” capability if a catastrophic nuclear exchange destroyed all land-based weapons. But the acceleration of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs is renewing international concern about the vulnerability of those weapons.

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With eye on China, India deploys Akash missiles in northeast

With eye on China, India deploys Akash missiles in northeast

After basing its most potent Sukhoi-30MKI fighters at Tezpur and Chabua, India has now begun deploying six Akash surface-to-air missile (SAM) squadrons in the northeast to deter Chinese jets, helicopters and drones against any misadventure in the region. Defence ministry sources on Thursday said IAF has started getting deliveries of the six Akash missile squadrons, which can “neutralize” multiple targets at 25-km interception range in all-weather conditions, earmarked for the eastern theatre.

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Chinese military set up joint operations command center

Chinese military set up joint operations command center

The Chinese military has set up a joint command center that would integrate the operations of its army, navy and air forces, in a move aimed at making military strategy and tactics more efficient. The joint operations command center has been established under the People’s Liberation Army’s General Staff Headquarters, which is responsible for taking command of military strategies, as part of military reform efforts to boost the unified operations of Chinese capabilities on land, sea, air and in dealing with strategic missile operations, the sources said.

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US military buildup in Africa could be ‘pretext’ for further containment of China, says Chinese think-tank

US military buildup in Africa could be 'pretext' for further containment of China, says Chinese think-tank

“Nations such as the US have been strengthening military ties with Africa in recent years under the pretext of security and anti-terrorism,” said one of the report’s authors, Zhang Hongming , a senior research fellow at the academy’s Institute of West Asian and African Studies. “The military presence of the US can be used to deter China if the two nations mistrust each other and see themselves as strategic rivals.” The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences has warned.

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Evolving Chinese Views on U.S. National Missile Defense

MDA_GMD_CTV-01

The current focus of Chinese concern appears to be on the ancillary intelligence gathering and surveillance capabilities the United States is putting in place during peacetime rather than the ability of U.S. defenses to intercept a Chinese missile fired during an actual conflict. Chinese military planners worry—justifiably or not—that the radars the United States is deploying in the region, including those that support missile defense, could be used to observe the testing or track the deployments of Chinese missiles.

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Heavy Chinese military build-up in Tibet

Heavy Chinese military build-up in Tibet

The Chinese goal is beyond Tibet and that country has border disputes not only with India, but with almost all its neighbours. Dr Sangay said the move of the Chinese to expand its bases proved the country’s intention to look beyond Tibet as China established strong bases in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and even set up sea ports in Pakistan. He revealed that China is also constructing a sea port in Sri Lanka and it is evident that the Chinese are trying to gain control over the Bay of Bengal.

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Irregular Warriors: The Shadow Wars of the 21st Century

shadowwar

The conflicts raging today in Gaza, Iraq and Ukraine share some common features. Irregular belligerents — Hamas, ISIL/ISIS and Ukrainian separatists — are each aggressively shaping these conflicts in skillful ways to outmaneuver their more conventional adversaries. These irregular warriors seek creative and often indirect ways to accomplish their wartime ends, often without fighting in conventional fashion. Their tactics and equipment reflect a new and ever-varying combination of conventional high-tech weaponry.

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China think tank accuses Japan of preparing for war

China think tank accuses Japan of preparing for war

Recent increases in the frequency of Japanese military exercises suggest that the country is preparing for war, a think tank with close ties to China’s military said in a report released Wednesday. “Island landing” and other readiness drills conducted by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces “are not only provocative and confrontational, but also meant for war preparedness,” the China Strategic Culture Promotion Association said in its third annual report on Tokyo’s military capabilities.

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ISIS gains highlight ‘aggressive’ use of water as weapon of war

ISIS gains highlight ‘aggressive’ use of water as weapon of war

Militants from ISIS now control or threaten key facilities on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, generating fears that the Al-Qaeda splinter group could turn off the taps to the Shiite south of Iraq, sparking a massive humanitarian crisis.Last month’s ISIS-led offensive across Iraq saw it overrun cities and battle for oil refineries as the national army melted away, but it has also been waging a war for water, trying to wrest control over rivers, dams and desalination plants in a bid to solidify its territorial gains.

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German spies clamor for counter-espionage funding

German spies clamor for counter-espionage funding

The BND had been planning to upgrade its capabilities for some time, especially the technology used to monitor social media. It has a project as part of the “Strategic Technology Initiative,” which would require parliamentary approval of 300 million euros ($410 million) in funding. According to information confirmed by DW, the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) also aims to reinvent itself. With around 1,000 employees, MAD is the smallest of the three federal intelligence agencies in Germany.

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As China Stalks Satellites, U.S. and Japan Prepare to Defend Them

As China Stalks Satellites, U.S. and Japan Prepare to Defend Them

Besides testing missiles that can intercept and destroy satellites, the Chinese have developed jamming techniques to disrupt satellite communications. In addition, says Lance Gatling, president of Nexial Research, an aerospace consultant in Tokyo, the Chinese have studied ground-based lasers that could take down a satellite’s solar panels, and satellites equipped with grappling arms that could co-orbit and then disable expensive U.S. hardware. To defend themselves against China, the U.S. and Japan are in the early stages of integrating their space programs.

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Saudi Arabia’s New Strategic Game in South Asia

A New Game with New Delhi

In early 2012, Saudi authorities arrested Sayeed Zabiudeen Ansari, a (LeT) operative accused of playing a central role in planning and executing the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India. Ansari was deported to India, where he was publicly re-arrested and interrogated extensively. Ansari had traveled to Saudi Arabia on a Pakistani passport and his interrogation was almost certain to implicate the ISI—and by extension, provide strong evidence on the question of the Pakistani state’s support to terrorists.

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Australian Army plans for future high-tech combat in Asia’s mega-cities

Australian Army plans for future high-tech combat in Asia’s mega-cities

The Australian Army’s Directorate of Future Land Warfare has published a report that warns Australia’s future land wars will be very different from recent conflicts in the rural and remote terrain of Afghanistan and Iraq. With the world’s population expected to reach 8 billion by 2030, the directorate sees Asia’s mega-cities as key potential future battlegrounds. Population pressures, ethnic tensions and conflicts over food, water and resources are believed likely to create environments in which insurgencies and terrorists can freely plan and execute attacks.

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The Acute Danger of Iraqi Dams

The Acute Danger of Iraqi Dams

It’s been apparent at least since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that the Mosul Dam, Iraq’s largest, could spell devastation for Iraq due to a combination of faulty construction, governmental indifference, and an ongoing civil insurrection. Were it to collapse, it would lead to the largest human-induced loss of life in history. First, when ISIS seized Fallujah in January 2014, it also took control of the Fallujah Dam, which is on the Euphrates River, and proceeded to manipulate it for its purposes.

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Japan’s move aims to seal off ‘first island chain’: analysts

Move aims to seal off 'first island chain': analysts

“The Miyako Strait is 250 kilometers long and the firing range of the missile is up to 150 kilometers, which would make it easy for Japan to cut off sea transport if they deployed them at both ends of the strait,” Li Jie, a naval military expert, told the Global Times. The first island chain stretches from the Japanese archipelago through the island of Taiwan to the Philippines. It encircles China, and the US came to regard it as an important barrier to containing China.

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Taiwan’s early warning radar can be jammed by China: report

Taiwan’s early warning radar can be jammed by China: report

The People’s Liberation Army has developed a new large phased array radar based north of Hui’an in southern China’s Fujian province which is capable of jamming Taiwan’s long-range radar system also known as the Surveillance Radar Programme, according to military experts Richard Fisher and Sean O’Connor. Similar in size to the SRP, China’s new radar system is capable of monitoring the entire Taiwan Strait region, as well as the southern approaches to the South China Sea.

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Strategic Studies Institute: Waging Financial War

Waging Financial War

Imagine warfare waged in financial cyberspace: electronic, remote, fought in hypervelocity with millions of engagements per second, and with nations forced to construct redundant systems, sacrificing billions in economic efficiency for survival capacity. Financial warfare strikes can blockade vital industries; delink countries from the global marketplace; bankrupt sovereign economies in the space of a few days, and cause mass exoduses, starvation, riots, and regime change.

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Nimble Titan: Countries collaborate on ballistic missile defense

Countries collaborate on ballistic missile defense

“Nimble Titan is an unclassified future-focused experiment that builds awareness and understanding regarding potential cooperative responses and concepts in missile defense between the U.S. and our allies and partners,” said Air Force Col. Marc Caughey, director of Plans, Policy, and Allied Integration, or J-5, Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense. As part of U.S. Strategic Command, JFCC IMD is responsible for the synchronization of global missile defense planning and providing operational support.

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US unsettled by China’s ‘three warfares’ strategy: Pentagon report

US unsettled by China's 'three warfares' strategy: Pentagon report

The US and its military partners are reaching for new tools to counter an unconventional ”three warfares” strategy that China is using to advance aggressive territorial claims, according to a Pentagon report. It says the People’s Liberation Army is using what it calls ”legal warfare”, ”media warfare” and ”psychological warfare” to augment its arsenal of military hardware to weaken the resolve of the US and its regional partners to defend islands and oceans in the East and South China seas.

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Russia’s Middle East Chess Game

Russia's Middle East Chess Game

Alas, for Russia, its attempts to intervene in the Middle East and elsewhere have always triggered some suspicion abroad. It was that keen observer of Russia, Winston Churchill, who noted: “The Russians will try all the rooms in the house, enter those that are not locked, and when they come to one that cannot be broken into, they will withdraw and invite you to dine genially that same evening.” “Within the land-locked Heartland,” wrote French historian Fernand Braudel, “Russia could not really exist unless it filled the whole isthmus between the Baltic and her southern seas.”

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Trilateral Security Group: India looks to expand strategic footprint in Indian Ocean

India looks to expand strategic footprint in Indian Ocean

India is expanding its strategic footprint in the Indian Ocean. A trilateral security group of India, Maldives and Sri Lanka will be expanded to include Mauritius and Seychelles. Senior officials of the trilateral group will meet on December 19 to prepare the ground for a formal joining of these countries, where deputy national security advisor Nehchal Sandhu will lead the Indian delegation. The government hopes that the third trilateral meeting at the NSA level would be able to formalize this arrangement before the general elections.

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US plans for Guam missile base seen as countering strength of China

US plans for Guam missile base seen as countering strength of China

The US is planning to station anti-ballistic-missile systems on the Pacific island of Guam, a move ostensibly to defend against unpredictable North Korea, but which analysts say may be intended to counter China. Within Washington’s defence plans for next year are provisions for siting terminal high-altitude area defence (Thaad) systems on the island territory, combined with the broader realignment of US forces in the Asia-Pacific region. Siting missiles in Guam was the latest move in the military game of chess that was being played out in the region, he added.

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The Great Indian Ocean Game

The Great Indian Ocean Game

“The rapid growth of both Indian and Chinese economies has led to increasing reliance on energy and raw materials transported by sea. This has focused sharp attention on the criticality, for both economies, of uninterrupted use of the sea-lanes for trade and energy transportation. Thus, while the PLA Navy makes forays into the Indian Ocean, the Indian Navy has newfound commitments in the South China Sea,” says former Indian Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash on the dynamics at play.

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China’s ADIZ Declaration Aiming for Island Chain Marine Strategy

China’s ADIZ Declaration Aiming for Marine Strategy Established 30 Years Ago

It has been pointed out that the real purpose of China’s recent declaration of the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) is the “First Island Chain” linking Okinawa, Taiwan, and the South China Sea, which is highly important for China’s marine strategy, rather than the Diaoyudao Islands or oil fields in the East China Sea. Hong Kong-based weekly magazine Yazhou Zhoukan reported on November 30 that China’s declaration of the ADIZ in the East China Sea was made after very careful considerations on the part of the Chinese government, and is a significant strategic breakthrough.

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Smart Geostrategy for the Eastern Partnership

Smart Geostrategy for the Eastern Partnership

The European Union’s (EU’s) relationship with Eastern Europe and the Caucasus is at a turning point. Russia’s increasingly assertive tactics have chipped away at the ties that bind the six Eastern Partnership countries to the EU, and the entire Eastern Partnership is on the verge of unraveling. To rescue its association with its Eastern partners, the EU must deliver more tangible results. Europe can be both geopolitical and committed to reform—but to strike the right balance, the EU must be more strategic.

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The New American Security Force: A Revolution in U.S. Military Strategy, Part I

Let’s define strategy as the intellectual framework guiding individuals and/or organizations towards sustained success, which in turn can be defined as a sustainable outcome that is valuable and satisfying over time. Strategic thinking has been systematized into what this article’s co-author, USAF Col. (Ret) John A. Warden III, terms the “Prometheus Process.” Prometheus was the Greek god who gave man the capacity for forethought and the ability to make fire. In essence, Prometheus gave mankind the power to create the future, to strategize.

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Goldman Sachs appoints Zoellick Chairman of International Advisors

Goldman Sachs has announced that Robert B. Zoellick, former president of the World Bank Group, will serve as chairman of Goldman Sachs’ international advisors. In this role, Zoellick will advise the firm on global strategic issues and oversee the work of our 16 international advisors. He will be based in Washington, DC. ‘Bob Zoellick has extraordinary knowledge of the global economy and has devoted himself to helping emerging economies realize more of their potential’, said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs.

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Army’s next challenge: The ocean

The U.S. Army has proved over its 238-year history that it can fight and win almost anywhere — in the jungles, deserts or mountains. The next venue, however, might prove to be the most difficult: oceans. President Barack Obama’s strategic “rebalance” to the Western Pacific was good news for three military services: the Navy, whose ships sail on or under the vast ocean; the Marine Corps, whose troops deploy from them; and the Air Force, which needs long-range weapons and aircraft to cover the skies. Less so for the Army with its heavy tanks and infantry formations.

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Sea Control and Sea Denial: Controlling of the seas today

The military doctrine defines the operations of sea denial as those organized to prevent the use of the sea by an opposing force. The sea denial usually occurs in cases of asymmetric warfare and provides a defensive posture , leaving the initiative leading to the actor who leads an attack, with some exceptions. The means used to implement the sea denial are small high-speed missile ( fast-attack craft ), anti-ship shore batteries, mines and especially submarines . Sea denial describes a situation in which a power has freedom of use to a maritime for its objectives and is able to prevent the use of an opponent .

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Saudis brace for ‘nightmare’ over US-Iran thaw

Engaged in what they see as a life-and-death struggle for the future of the Middle East with arch-rival Iran, Saudi rulers are furious that the international body has taken no action over Syria, where they and Tehran back opposing sides. Like Washington’s other main Middle Eastern ally, Israel, the Saudis fear that President Barack Obama has in the process allowed mutual enemies to gain an upper hand. The alliance between the US, the biggest economy and most powerful democracy, and Saudi Arabia, the Islamic monarchy that dominates oil supplies, is not about to break.

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Proxy wars of Balochistan

The notion of foreign support for Baloch insurgents rests on a slippery slope. If a country accuses others of aiding separatism (India’s position on Pakistani support for Kashmiri separatists, or Pakistan’s allegation of Indian backing for the Pakistani Taliban or Baloch separatists), how can it prove them? Does an intelligence outfit leave its footprint? Do intelligence agencies use their own currency, weapons and gadgetry? The latest revelation is that former Indian army chief General VK Singh created a Technical Services Division (TSD) for covert operations in Pakistan — going after the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai terrorist attacks and Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed.

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Has China Shanghaied Central Asia?

The SCO summit in Bishkek clearly affirmed China’s ambitious intentions and strategy for the SCO. As policy, China appears to be using multilateralism as a tool and a tactic, and not as an intergovernmental mechanism or institutional arrangement. According to Professor Song Xinning of Renmin University, “Since the 1990s, China has used multilateralism to solve bilateral issues — to this end, multilateral meetings are a useful platform to negotiate bilaterally. But we are still uncomfortable with multilateralism, and prefer bilateralism and multi-polarity.”

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Australia playing greater role in U.S. strategy to contain China

A recent U.S.-Australian military exercise down under, one of their largest ever, underscored Australia’s growing importance in a U.S. strategy to counter China’s rise as a regional military power.

The highlight of the biennial Talisman Saber, which dates back to 1997, then called Tandem Thrust, were simulated war games against a fictitious enemy that one Australian defense expert identified as China.

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China’s Fear Of US May Tempt Them To Preempt: Sinologists

Because China believes it is much weaker than the United States, they are more likely to launch a massive preemptive strike in a crisis. Here’s the other bad news: The current US concept for high-tech warfare, known as Air-Sea Battle, might escalate the conflict even further towards a “limited” nuclear war, says one of the top American experts on the Chinese military. What US analysts call an “anti-access/area denial” strategy is what China calls “counter-intervention” and “active defense,” and the Chinese appraoch is born of a deep sense of vulnerability that dates back 200 years

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India could disable PLA via Qinghai-Tibet Railway: report

The Qinghai-Tibet Railway — which runs between Xining in western China’s Qinghai province and Lhasa in Tibet — could become a potential target for the Su-33MKI fighters of the Indian Air Force if a territorial dispute between China and India escalates into a full-scale war, according to the Kanwa Defense Review operated by Pinkov also known as Andrei Chang, a Canada-based journalist specializing in military issues.
Even though China’s military is more powerful than India’s, the People’s Liberation Army has several weaknesses near the contested border, the report said.

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Russia attempts to draw Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan back into its orbit

President Vladimir Putin has made reasserting Russian influence over countries once in the Soviet empire a big part of his foreign policy. One result of this is the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, set up in 2010. Last year the union liberalised the three-way movement of goods, services, labour and capital. Mr Putin has made no secret of the fact that he would like more members, especially Ukraine, but also Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. He hopes for a supranational club, the Eurasian Union, modelled on the European Union, by 2015.

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NATO facility boosts Turkey’s defence

A new NATO combined air and space operations center (CAOC) for southern Europe will help Turkey strengthen its air defences at a time when the country’s risk perception has heightened as a result of increased turbulence in the Middle East and Syria, according to analysts. Based in the north east of Madrid, the newly upgraded operations center was declared officially operational at the Torrejon de Ardoz airbase last month. The centre will monitor and control the airspace of 11 NATO countries, including Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Albania.

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Exclusive: Saudi offers Russia deal to scale back Assad support – sources

Saudi Arabia has offered Russia economic incentives including a major arms deal and a pledge not to challenge Russian gas sales if Moscow scales back support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Middle East sources and Western diplomats said on Wednesday.

The proposed deal between two of the leading power brokers in Syria’s devastating civil war was set out by Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last week, they said.

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Qatar’s Geopolitical Gamble: How the Gulf State May Have Overreached

Nearly three weeks after Egypt’s military forced the country’s President Mohamed Morsi out of office and jailed him and officials of his Muslim Brotherhood party, the explosive reaction on Cairo’s streets has brought death and turmoil—and in another country more than 1,200 miles away, an uneasy sense of loss. Qatar, the tiny gas-rich peninsula in the Arabian Gulf, had poured nearly $5 billion into Morsi’s government in its one short year in office, propping up Egypt’s teetering economy, and investing—or so it thought—in a lasting relationship with the Arab world’s most populous nation.

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India’s Intelligence Apparatus(RAW) Conducts Secret Wars Against Geopolitical Foes

The doctrine of the Indian secret agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is based on the principle of waging continuous secret battles through its agents. Since its creation in 1968, RAW has assumed a significant status in formulation of Indian foreign policy. RAW’s operations against the regional countries are conducted with great professional skill and expertise, which include the establishment of a huge network inside the target countries. It has used propaganda, political dissent, ethnic divisions, economic backwardness and criminal elements to foment subversion and terrorism to weaken these states in consonance with Indian regional ambitions.

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STRATCOM commander discusses mission, future of Global Strike

The commander of U.S. Strategic Command discussed the mission and future of Air Force Global Strike Command at an all-call here July 15. “The skills that we have for the nuclear deterrence mission will be needed as far into the future as I can see,” Gen. C. Robert Kehler said. “As long as we have nuclear weapons, it’s our job to deter nuclear attack with a safe, secure and effective nuclear force. That’s what we’re here for.” Kehler addressed several topics, including the evolving nature of global security and how it affects the way in which the Air Force must meet new challenges.

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Glimpse Inside Air-Sea Battle: Nukes, Cyber At Its Heart

In intellectual terms, Air-Sea Battle is the biggest of the military’s big ideas for its post-Afghanistan future. But what is it, really? It’s a constantly evolving concept for high-tech, high-intensity conflict that touches on everything from cyberwar to nuclear escalation to the rise of China. In practical terms, the beating heart of AirSea Battle is eleven overworked officers working in windowless Pentagon meeting rooms, and the issues they can’t get to are at least as important as the ones they can.

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Countering China: India, Sri Lanka, Maldives sign trilateral maritime agreement

India will sign a trilateral maritime cooperation agreement with Sri Lanka and the Maldives, in a move to counter China’s bid to spread its strategic footprint in the Indian Ocean region, the Deccan Herald reported. Sources told Deccan Herald that the agreement, to be signed during the NSA’s visit to Sri Lanka, will seek to set up a mechanism for trilateral cooperation in maritime security, information sharing, cooperation on search and rescue in the Indian Ocean region, surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zones, collective response to marine oil pollution and capacity building through training and exercises.

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The Balkan chessboard: Russia’s ruble diplomacy and EU interests

Russia’s ultimate geo-strategic goal is to re-frame a continental block against the Atlantic powers, by making use of the vast strategic and demographic potential of the Eurasian continent. Following this approach, Russia should adopt a multi-dimensional foreign policy waiving close relations with the EU, China and the regional powers, such as Iran and Turkey. The Post-Soviet Space stresses the historical and cultural affinities with the Slavic communities and represents a pivotal area for Moscow’s external projection. Energy links are the key tools of political leverage for Russia’s power projection.

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Philippine military plans air, naval bases in Subic with access for US forces

The Philippine military has revived plans to build new air and naval bases at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base that American forces could use to counter China’s creeping presence in the disputed South China Sea, senior navy officials said.

The bases would allow the Philippines to station warships and fighter jets just 124 nautical miles from Scarborough Shoal, a contentious area of the South China Sea now controlled by China after a tense standoff last year.

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Proxy Wars: Forget Nato v the Taliban. The real Afghan fight is India v Pakistan

The hostility between India and Pakistan, ongoing for more than 60 years, lies at the heart of the current war in Afghanistan. Most observers in the west view the conflict as a battle between Nato on one hand, and al-Qaida and the Taliban on the other. In reality this has long since ceased to be the case – we think this is about us, but it’s not. Instead our troops are now caught up in a complex war shaped by two pre-existing conflicts: one internal, the other regional.

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Russia to Open Aviation Base in Belarus On Border of Two NATO States

Russia will open its first military airbase in Belarus before the end of this year, air force commander Lieutenant General Vladimir Bondarev said Tuesday. The base will be near the city of Lida close to the borders of Poland and Lithuania, both of which are NATO members, Bondarev said in a report carried by Interfax. Lida was chosen for the base, which will host Su-27 fighter jets, because of it already has appropriate facilities, Bondarev said.

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International Defence Engagement: British and US Experiences

Defence engagement, a catch-all term for non-operational military activity through which to achieve influence internationally, is gaining momentum as a core military task for both the US and the UK. The rationale for this is the need, in an age of fiscal constraint, to derive greater utility from the armed forces: no longer can a force simply drill in barracks while awaiting the next conflict. Furthermore, the most important lesson learned in Iraq and Afghanistan is that victory cannot be achieved through brute force alone.

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Syria Readiness: Russian Naval Intelligence in the Middle East

Russia has stationed one of its advanced intelligence vessels in the Middle East in order to follow Western readiness for a potential strike in Syria. Last week, Israel conducted an extensive military exercise that saw the participation of the IDF ground forces, the Israeli Navy and the IAF. The precise goals of the exercise were not made public and remained a secret. However, assessments are that it was aimed towards Israel’s northern arena – towards the tension with Syria and Hezbollah.

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Of strategic missiles and easy money: Russia’s positioning in the South Caucasus

Moscow is showing that it is increasing the utilization of its military presence in Armenia for greater strategic purpose and depth, while at the same time further consolidating its overarching sway over the Caucasus region. This is part of Moscow’s geostrategic plan to increase its influence in the Middle East, a region bordering the Caucasus and one that has in recent years become more important to Russia’s global geopolitical calculations.

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New Asia, Old Europe

As the United States pivots away from the Western world to face the burgeoning Pacific Rim, what wisdom can it carry over from its former stomping grounds to the new cockpit of geopolitics? Perhaps Washington can take a page out of Leopold Kohr’s book. The obscure Austrian philosopher once popularized the slogan “Small is Beautiful” — which has clearly never caught on in the States. Yet his theories on the importance of size in international relations might help Washington manage its decidedly outsized geopolitical challenges in Asia.

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‘IDF studying Syria’s combat doctrines, deployments’

Israel tracks every heavy missile fired in the Syrian civil war, keen to study Damascus’s combat doctrines and deployments and ready to fend off a feared first attack on its turf, a senior Israeli military officer said on Thursday.

Colonel Zvika Haimovich of the air defense corps said southward launches against Syrian insurgents by President Bashar Assad’s forces gave Israel mere seconds in which to determine it was not the true target – a distinction that could prove crucial for warding off an unprecedented regional conflagration.

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Revenge of the Bear: Russia Strikes Back in Syria

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.

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China flexes muscle in Indian Ocean, Indian Navy concerned

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.

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Introducing ‘the arc’, Defence’s new strategic focus

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.

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Syria, North Korea, China & Beyond: Does Army’s Future Lie In ‘Messy Middle’?

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.

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Is China pivoting to the Middle East?

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.

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Himalayan tensions serve US’ rebalancing strategy

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.

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Russia’s New Pivot: US foreign economic strategy to create new global order

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 .

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Rise of the PetroYuan

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.

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Geopolitics makes a global comeback

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.

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China’s new stealth wars

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.”

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China’s Take: Truth behind frequent U.S. military exercises in Asia-Pacific region

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”.

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Indian Government mulls new intelligence unit to check tax evasion

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.

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Air-Sea Battle endures amidst strategic review

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.

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Polska Times: Belarus to rehearse nuclear attack on Warsaw

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.

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US to Deploy Missile Defense System to Guam Due to N. Korean Threats

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.

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The messages of Russia’s military exercise in the Black Sea

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.

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Israel Defence Forces planning for confrontation with Egypt

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.

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America’s AirSea Battle, Arctic Style

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.

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Japan warms to Taiwan, isolates China, in territorial sea dispute

Japan is ready to open a contested tract of the East China Sea to fishing boats from Taiwan, officials in Taipei say, a rare concession in a bitter territorial dispute that involves heavyweight China and has the United States on guard.

Taiwan has sought such a deal since 1996 as it vies with Japan and China for control of eight uninhabited islets that anchor a massive, strategic swathe of the sea rich in fish and believed to hold reserves of oil and natural gas. If the deal goes through it could mean that Japan – which has not conceded any territory since the end of World War II – wants Taiwan on its side in the struggle against China over the disputed ocean.

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Russia’s POV: Chinese Dragon and Russian Bear clipped the claws of American Eagle

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.

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The Role of MI6, ISI, CIA and Iran in Afghanistan and region crisis

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

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China’s satellite deals with neighbours jolt Indian security agencies into action

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.

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India, China military build-up fuelling mutual suspicion

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.

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Whistle Blower Discloses Secret Syria War Plan To Balkanize Syria And Turkey

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.

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Strategic dynamics of gwadar and shifting geopolitical alignments

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.

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Sri Lanka takes next step to opening strategic China-built port

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.

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The art of war, Chinese style

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.

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Global Information Grid: DARPA’s new TERN program aims for ISR from the sea

darpasnewter

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.

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Europe’s Fund For ‘Democracy’ Puts Its Money Openly Behind Regime Change

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.”

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Israel playing dirty game in troubled Africa

israel-in-africa

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.

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Australian National University Professor of Strategic Studies Predicts War in East Asia

Australian Professor Predicts War in East Asia

“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.”

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China muscles US in Pacific

(FILES) In a file picture taken on Octob

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.

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Iran’s Ahmadinejad seeks strategic axis with Egypt

iran-egypt-partnership

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.

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NATO doesn’t view Russia as threat but has defense plans against Baltic invasion

FUARZAS DEL EJERCITO

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.

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EU deploys black arts to stifle democratic rights

eu-dark-arts-propaganda

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”.

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Taiwan deploys US-made advanced early warning radar

us-early-warning-radar

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.

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With Burma in Mind, China Quietly Supports United Wa State Rebels

Shan state army rebel

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.

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US Establishes Drone Base in Niger, Targets Regional Militia

us-drone-base-niger

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.

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China, Russia, U.S. raise Mediterranean naval focus

china-strategic-naval-ports

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.

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Diplomatic Offensive?!: Abe advocates ‘security diamond’ against China

Abe advocates 'security diamond' against China

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

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Turkey reaches out to public enemy number one

Turkey reaches out to public enemy number one PKK

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.

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Economic Intelligence: China’s Economic Cold War on the United States

The People's Republic of China flag and the U.S. Stars and Stripes fly along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol in Washington

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.

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Pentagon prepares to contain China by 2017

us-contain-china-by-2017

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

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Russian military presence in Syria poses challenge to US-led intervention

Syria crisis – an Assad regime military vehicle destroyed by rebels

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.

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US missile defense system in Europe will intercept Russian ICBMs

russia-new-icbm

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.

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Brazil, Turkey, India, Indonesia Key to US-Backed Global Order

global-swing-states-to-us-backed-world-order

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.

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BRICS: The World’s New Banker?

brics-the-worlds-new-bankers

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.

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