If they overplay their hand, they know that the United States has both resources and limits. As unfolds, this will open new possibilities for political arrangements. We would not be surprised to see some moves, however tentative, toward a political settlement in This war will not end in victory for anyone. That is the basis of all negotiations. This will raise the broader question of al Qaeda.
The situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated dramatically. As we have always argued, the Taliban retreated from the cities, but they never were defeated. Now they are back. The Soviets failed to defeat the Afghans with , troops and an endless supply of ruthlessness. The United States and its allies will not succeed with a small fraction of that number. The war against jihadists has now spread to Somalia and elsewhere. Iraq is not the whole of the war by any means, and in we expect to be hearing a great deal more about problems — military and otherwise — in the rest of the Muslim world, from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Meanwhile, the weakness of the Bush administration clearly is not ending. Bush seems to be acting decisively, until one considers how small his room for maneuver actually is. These things happen periodically in the United States. Presidents Nixon, Johnson, Truman — all ended their years in office unable to wield power. The United States always recovers from this. Nevertheless, such cycles in the presidency create opportunities for other powers to act. We see this and will continue to see this in places from Venezuela to Asia.
But the most important actions will be taken by the great powers, Russia and China. Russia has clearly reasserted itself. The state is now the center of both Russian society and economy. Russia now clearly intends to return to being the center around which all former Soviet states revolve. Moscow has discovered, not surprisingly, that energy and other natural resources provide it with a tremendous lever in the region.
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That, plus the ubiquitous Russian intelligence service, allows the Russians to shape the region. At the moment, given U. The Russians would not be deterred anyway; for them, this is a matter of fundamental national interests. But they also need not be concerned: The United States has neither the appetite nor bandwidth for resistance. We expect the Russians to continue to step up their regional assertiveness through the coming year.
We already have seen crises all around the Russian periphery, and we expect to see more. At a certain point, the Russian desire to dominate the former Soviet sphere will clash substantially with U. The Russians are not foolhardy, but they are feeling their strength. The way business is conducted in Russia has changed dramatically in the last couple of years: Who you do business with and how you do it has changed. Now, those changes will be extended to the region. The Russians do not intend to exclude Western economic interests from their sphere, but they do intend to make certain that those economic interests behave in ways that suit Russian national interest.
The Russians will not be solely concerned with what they call their near abroad. They are masters of leverage, and they know the United States is bogged down in Iraq and the Muslim world. They have made it clear to the Americans that it cannot be assumed that Russia will simply support the U. The Russians will continue to exacerbate problems for the United States in the Muslim world. They want to limit American power, and they will use such means to do so. The Chinese are looking inward primarily. Their problem is internal, with a huge overhanging portfolio of nonperforming and troubled loans.
A conservative estimate is that bad loans in China equal about 40 percent of gross domestic product. A more reasonable estimate is about 60 percent. These numbers closely resemble those of Japan in and tower over those of South Korea or Taiwan in Those reserves historically have not stabilized Asian banking systems when the consequences of undisciplined lending come home to roost. Chinese enterprises have used exports — as did Japan and South Korea and Taiwan — to maintain cash flow to pay loans.
But surging profitless exports merely exacerbates the problem. The Chinese government tried to stop the runaway train in ; it failed to do so. Westerners have again confused high growth rates with economic health, as they did with Japan and East Asia. But where rates of return on capital are extremely low or even negative, high growth rates are a symptom of disease. Internal lending and financing patterns have shifted, and foreign direct investment — excluding money being recycled by the Chinese — has declined substantially.
Many deals that were launched with high expectations five years ago are facing substantial problems or failure. But the most important changes in China can be seen in their politics. The Communist Party chief in Shanghai and hundreds of his allies have been arrested for corruption. Incidents of resistance to land seizures have increased, bringing with them violence and arrests.
The Party has reasserted itself as the master of the state, and the Chinese security services have increased their intrusiveness and vigilance. In China, putting off the reckoning as long as possible and controlling the social and political consequences as efficiently as possible are the orders of the day.
Beijing is trying to regain control of the economy — but it is more likely to do so through political power than through economic processes. For Westerners, the question on China is, when will it crash? For the Chinese, the question is, how do you save the Party apparatus in the face of enormous economic and social stress? It should be recalled that Japan did not just fall apart one day. It experienced an enormous growth surge, followed by a managed decline of growth in which the pain was distributed economically.
For China, the problem is the failure to slow growth. This failure has told the leadership that they need to increase the power of the state, and of the Party over the state. In a hundred ways, that is happening. At the same time, China is becoming more insecure about its geopolitical position.
Issues ranging from trade disputes to Taiwan are being exacerbated by the insecurity that clearly is being felt by Beijing. The regime sees the United States as a threat to its security over the long term, and is taking steps to assert itself against the United States. China is not about to undertake military adventures in , but it also is not prepared to be a passive onlooker in the Pacific. There will be more friction. The United States, Russia and China are the active great powers. The Europeans and Japan remain largely passive and reactive.
They will not be shaping the global environment in Latin America will churn and shift, but there is no decisive event coming there. Africa remains what it has been. Thus, will be a year for great powers — and for that matter, for those who would challenge great powers, particularly the United States. Our forecast said that the United States would succeed in creating a political solution in Baghdad that would allow for a drawdown in the Sunni insurgency and the implementation of a U. For much of the year, this forecast held true: In June , Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in an airstrike followed by the complete formation of the Iraqi government and an announcement by the United States that it would reduce its force in Iraq by two brigades.
The Iranians saw an opportunity to use their militant and political assets in Iraq to delay a political resolution through a major escalation in Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence. As a result, the United States was buried deeper in Iraq, and Iran was able to strengthen its negotiating position substantially. The Iranian strategy involved activating Hezbollah, which manifested in the summer war between Hezbollah and Israel that left Israel politically and militarily paralyzed. Contrary to our prediction that the general trend for the Middle East would be toward political accommodation, the region witnessed a number of flare-ups that were largely attributed to the Iranian calculus in consolidating its gains in Iraq.
We were correct, however, in forecasting that the Iranian nuclear issue would make its way to the U. Security Council, but no substantive punitive measures would be taken against Iran. In the Israeli-Palestinian arena, we correctly forecast that Hamas would emerge as a major player on the Palestinian political scene in the wake of the parliamentary elections in January, and that this would lead to major internal upheaval within the Palestinian territories.
However, despite the gains it made in the elections, Hamas was unable to assume control of the security forces as we anticipated. We were right in saying that the Kadima Party in Israel would win the March elections and a center-left coalition would emerge, but would not be able to make significant headway toward unilateral disengagement from the Palestinian territories.
We also anticipated that Syrian President Bashar al Assad would be able to keep his regime intact despite the blowback incurred from the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, and that fledgling militant Islamist movements in Lebanon would make their presence known in the Levant, but would not be able to ignite sustainable insurgencies. Regarding the al Qaeda movement, we accurately said the group would further devolve into local insurgencies, though the group did not end up losing its grip on Iraq as we anticipated.
The U. After the U. The United States now finds itself at a critical juncture: It no longer can afford to stay the course in Iraq and dedicate U. As advocated by the Baker-Hamilton report, the time has come for the United States and Iran to stop giving each other the silent treatment and work toward a comprehensive settlement for Iraq. Before Washington moves forward on the diplomatic front, it will need to disprove the perception that the United States has been permanently marginalized in Iraq and ultimately will have to withdraw its forces — something that would leave Iran to pick up the pieces and project Shiite influence into the heart of the Arab world.
This perception of marginalization is what has driven heightening Sunni concerns that United States no longer will be the security guarantor against an empowered Shiite bloc, led by Iran. To shatter these expectations and demonstrate that the United States is still very much in the game, U. Bush announced Jan. The increase will total 21, troops, with a peak of 17, in Baghdad and another 4, in Anbar province. Ultimately, this looks unlikely even to bring the total level of U. It is likely to be accompanied by a shift in tactics to focus more specifically on counterinsurgency operations.
The forces will certainly be useful — assisting with security inside Baghdad and leaving units that would otherwise be shifted to the capital available to confront issues in their respective areas of responsibility. However, in and of itself, this new deployment will be insufficient to turn the tide in Iraq.
Together Forward was essentially the U. Baghdad remains the key. Without stability there, there can be no Iraqi state. But the proposed surge of 21, troops — without a new, concerted diplomatic effort — is unlikely to succeed in effecting a political resolution in Baghdad. However, there is a key psychological element to this strategy. The United States will spend the coming months taking an aggressive stance against Iranian operations in Iraq, including additional raids on Iranian diplomatic offices and arrests of Iranian officials in the country who are suspected of orchestrating attacks against U.
Coinciding with U. By upping the ante against Iran, the United States is placing a critical bet that the Iranians will reconsider their Iraq strategy and come to the negotiating table rather than risk a serious miscalculation. To go along with the troop surge, the United States will focus on rearranging the Iraqi Cabinet to try to create a stronger, more functional government in Baghdad.
This will involve sidelining allies of Shiite rebel leader Muqtada al-Sadr and bringing in a stronger Sunni presence, which will undoubtedly be a complicated and messy affair. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also could resign in as little as four months, triggering a struggle for power and a substantial flare-up in intra-Shiite frictions over his replacement. Iraq is unlikely to split up into federal zones in the coming year, but neither will it behave as a coherent state entity.
Violence will escalate on all sides: Shiite, Sunni, jihadist and even Kurdish, with the Sunni-Kurdish fault line in northern Iraq becoming active toward the end of the year, as the Kirkuk referendum issue approaches. For its part, Iran has been keen to bring the Americans to the negotiating table on its terms.
It wields the ability, through militants, to manipulate the security situation in Iraq and thus to keep an effective government from taking power in Baghdad, but it lacks the means to impose a government of its own creation there. Tehran will focus this year on increasing the political and military costs of the United States remaining in Iraq — by lending more support to militants there, including Shiite gunmen and segments of the Sunni insurgency — but ultimately, given the limitations and uncertainties on both sides, it is possible that a political settlement of sorts, however weak and tenuous, will be forged in Iran will also use this year to push its nuclear agenda forward.
Security Council will be unable to pressure Tehran into curtailing its nuclear program. Iran will use the U. There will not, however, be a complete breakdown of the Iranian political system. There are mechanisms in place to ensure the leadership transition goes relatively smoothly. While his health further deteriorates, Khamenei will likely position former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to lead the country. The United States will keep a close eye on any potential shake-ups in Tehran to decide how to proceed in devising a diplomatic strategy. The questions surrounding the Iranian leadership will ensure that will largely be a waiting game over the fate of Iraq.
Israel is still unlikely to follow through with threats to launch pre-emptive strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities this year. Doing so unilaterally would only further compromise the U. Iran made it clear during the summer war that it will use Hezbollah as a lever in negotiations over Iraq. Israel badly wishes to eliminate this lever, particularly since Israel has a pressing need to create conditions under which it could launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear sites.
Who ends up igniting the war is unimportant. The big question for this year will be whether Israel can develop the capability to root out Hezbollah forces in their strongholds in the Bekaa Valley. Israel could move indirectly to destabilize Hezbollah in Lebanon ahead of a military confrontation. Hezbollah is currently brimming with confidence, but it also must be careful to preserve its legitimacy.
Though Syria will be busy building up weapons acquisitions from its defense partners in Moscow, the Syrian regime will be careful to avoid provoking a major military conflict with Israel. In elections slated for March, Syrian President Bashar al Assad will be re-elected by a wide margin, and no opposition forces will be strong enough to challenge the al Assad regime this year.
Though Syria will keep the window open for talks with the United States, it will continue with its agenda to re-consolidate influence in Lebanon, which involves political intimidation — frequently in the form of assassinations. The Bush administration is unlikely to make any major overtures to Syria this coming year, knowing that Damascus falls well below Tehran in its ability to wield any real influence in Iraq. Lebanon will become an intense battlefield for Sunni-Shiite influence, mainly played out between the Saudis on one side and the Syrians and Iranians on the other.
In the end, the next president will likely be a friend to the Syrians. Hezbollah will be able to expand its influence in the government by forcibly increasing the number of seats that it and its allies hold in the Lebanese cabinet. While consolidating its political power, Hezbollah will intently focus on preparing for a military confrontation with Israel. The Sunni Arab reaction to a rising Iran will intensify in the coming year. Though the Sunni Arab states are highly dependent on the United States to ensure their national security, they will make it clear that they are not going to sit idle while the United States fumbles around in Iraq.
The Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia and Egypt, will increase pressure on the Americans to act by strengthening the Sunni insurgency in Iraq and by showcasing plans to develop civilian nuclear programs to counter Iran. Even though the kingdom has recently enacted a succession law to oversee the transfer of power, tensions over the Iraq situation could exacerbate matters. Moreover, Saudi King Abdullah has sought to bring in people from outside the royal family to fill key positions within the foreign policy establishment, which will further complicate these tensions.
Initially, King Abdullah chose advisers and strategists such as Adel al-Jubeir and Nawaf Obaid — a new crop of young, educated Saudis selected for their expertise — rather than members of the royal family. A Cabinet reshuffle could result in new oil and foreign ministers. While the Oil Ministry will continue to be managed by a technocrat, the Foreign Ministry portfolio would likely remain in the hands of the royal family. Despite disagreements within the top ruling circles on how to deal with an assertive Iran and the rise of the Shia in the region, it is unlikely that the key players within the House of Saud will allow these disagreements to lead to instability within the system — at least not while the sons of Abdul Aziz, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, remain firmly in control of the reins of power.
The stage will likely be set for Suleiman this year when Mubarak nominates him as vice president. The government could conduct a referendum on the constitution and replace the emergency laws that have been in force since as a means to sustain its hold on power and counter the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest opposition group in the country.
On the Israeli-Palestinian front, Hamas and Fatah will continue to struggle over how to create a power-sharing agreement in the government. As long as Hamas can continue to be bankrolled by the Iranians and the Gulf Arab states, the party can avoid making any serious concessions to Fatah in reshuffling the Cabinet. Palestinian National Authority PNA President Mahmoud Abbas will not resort to calling for early elections unless he can be assured that Hamas would be marginalized in the polls — an unlikely prospect for the near future. The Israeli government will work to ensure that Hamas and Fatah are prevented from coming together in an agreement; while Israel is sorting out its own issues at home, it will much prefer to have the Palestinians fighting each other than focusing their attention on attacking Israel.
The impasse in the territories will prevent the Israelis and the Palestinians from engaging in any serious final-status negotiations this year. Turkey will have presidential elections in May and parliamentary elections in November. Barring a major domestic crisis, the military is unlikely to force early parliamentary elections to prevent the ruling Islamist-grounded Justice and Development Party AKP from gaining the presidency, though the AKP could see its parliamentary majority weaken.
Turkey will do its best to prevent U. For Turkey, a built-up U. The devolution of al Qaeda will continue in , as the movement struggles to carry out a major, successful attack outside its main theaters of operation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Though the jihadist forces in Iraq were largely eclipsed by Sunni-Shiite sectarian fighting in Iraq in the latter half of , they are likely to receive a boost this year as the need for a robust Sunni insurgency grows among the Sunni Arab states.
Iran, at the same time, has an interest in maintaining the Sunni jihadist component of the insurgency to target U. Al Qaeda will try to spread into the Maghreb, the Levant and deeper into the Persian Gulf this year, though any attempted attacks are likely to fail. Taiwan will hold legislative elections in December ahead of a presidential election in early , which will see a strong showing by the Kuomintang and the People First Party, but could stir a final burst of pro-independence activity.
Even North Korea might see some political readjustments as leader Kim Jong Il considers younger cadres to replace the aging and dying current officials. In Southeast Asia, Vietnam will adjust its party and government leadership in order to align with the economic changes accompanying its World Trade Organization WTO membership. Vietnamese parliamentary elections are slated for May, and a presidential election is scheduled for September.
Thailand will be focused on the continued political and social distress from the September coup. The Philippines will readdress defense relations with the United States around the time of the legislative elections in the second quarter. Even Australia will hold parliamentary elections in the fourth quarter. This is a year of preparation and transition. Our annual forecast for East Asia once again revolves around China. We have been pessimistic about the country for a decade, predicting financial troubles leading to social and political destabilization.
We are consistently asked when this economic crisis will strike China.
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But that is the wrong question. It is not a matter of when financial troubles will strike; they already have. It is a matter of how they manifest, how the Chinese deal with them and whether the Chinese are capable of controlling the situation. If China already is in the grips of an economic crisis, why is no one noticing? In part, it is because the problems are manifesting primarily in social and political reactions, not in raw economic numbers. And in part, it is because investors and observers have consistently been behind the curve on noticing negative trends in Asian economies.
Look at Japan. The Japanese economic malaise struck in the late s with little fanfare, and most investors and observers did not even notice there was a problem until several years later. Early indicators, including the massive rush of Japanese capital abroad, were ignored or seen as signs of strength. But Japan went from being the next rival to the United States to being the moribund economic sluggard of East Asia.
China can only hope to have such a controlled slowdown. In our annual forecast for , we said that signs of instability in the Chinese economy would manifest themselves — and they did. International ratings agencies issued reports citing massive inefficiencies and bad debts in the banking system. Foreign direct investment FDI into China stagnated for the third year in a row in A closer look at the FDI numbers, however, reveals that while the total dollar amount has remained relatively steady since , the percent of FDI coming from Hong Kong and the free ports, such as the Virgin Islands, has increased.
Though it is not making headlines, an unseen hand is at work. The shine is rubbing off China, and money is slowing down. These are now the focus of government officials on all levels — and a frequent topic of discussion in the Chinese state media. An abundance of individuals, state think tanks, research institutes and government surveys are highlighting the problems, but there is a dearth of concrete solutions.
The Chinese government has been nothing if not masterful in delaying and diffusing the impact of its economic troubles. Beijing wants neither the Japanese-style economic malaise nor the sudden crash seen in East Asia in The central government has thus far been unable to coerce or entice local and provincial leaders to accept the economic reforms, so Beijing is turning to a tried-and-true method: sacking officials.
The September move against the leadership in Shanghai was just a warning shot. Chinese President Hu Jintao is reshuffling the deck at the local and provincial levels ahead of an overhaul of the top leadership at the Party Congress later in the year. This year likely will bring a new vice president, along with several replacements on the Central Committee and Politburo. Hu plans major changes in the economy, not the least of which is recentralization.
These changes will not come all at once, and will be unlikely until after the Olympics. But the groundwork is being laid now. Autocratic control from the center over the location and target of investment and economic expansion will not be easy or painless, but Hu is tightening the core of the Party and its various security organs in order to deal with it.
Beijing is looking to the example of South Korea in the s under the autocratic Park Chung Hee or Singapore in shaping its future economic policies — tight control from the center but relative freedom on the edges, so long as it coincides with government-set priorities. Social and political opposition will be repressed in the name of stability and strength. But this will really come in late or early For now, Hu simply needs to lock in his control and ensure that the leadership from the top down owes its loyalty to him and not to foreign business interests.
He is doing this through purges, new guidelines for choosing local and provincial leaders and scheduled changes in the top echelons. Both provide high-profile opportunities for domestic and foreign-backed opposition to stir trouble. Beijing will be watching closely to prevent or dissuade acts by pro-democracy and human rights activists, including those linked to the Falun Gong. There also are rumblings that Uighur separatists might be regrouping after a decade of near silence, with the assistance and instigation of Islamist militants in Afghanistan and Central Asia. On the international front, Beijing will have two major issues to deal with in trade frictions with the new Democratic Congress in the United States, and rising talk of Taiwanese independence.
As Taiwan nears parliamentary elections ahead of its presidential election, outgoing President Chen Shui-bian is set to increase his push for independence. Even if it is ultimately just rhetoric, Beijing cannot tolerate such actions and already is warning of tensions. Chen sees this year as a perfect opportunity to throw a monkey wrench into Chinese politics. Beijing is desperate to keep China stable and attractive ahead of the Olympics, and Chen hopes China will be forced to exercise restraint in dealing with his political posturing.
But Chen also sees his actions as a way to complicate the leadership changes in China. Japan is looking to take a place in the world that befits its status as the second-largest economy; to do so, it must alter its constitution and restructure its Self-Defense Forces into a true military. Tokyo will be much more active internationally, but the big battle is at home, where the ruling LDP will have to prove itself to domestic constituents in the House of Councillors elections in July.
Neighboring South Korea is dealing with its own political issues. The general elections in December will bring in a new president, as the current rules only allow a single term. The renamed party will seek to distance itself from Roh long before December, and with his party leaving, Roh will focus his attention on a final push for his own national initiatives — namely, closer ties with North Korea and a restructured military that ultimately allows South Korea to reduce its dependence on the United States.
This will leave Roh scrambling in his final months to lock in defense programs more in step with his view of the future. Roh also will make a major push for a second inter-Korean summit before his term is up. An inter-Korean summit might intrigue North Korea as well. Pyongyang already has been vocal in its attempts to impact the South Korean elections, and timing a summit for sometime in the late summer could weaken some of the support for the GNP.
To facilitate this, a few younger cadres could rise in the North Korean ranks, on the heels of the death of Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun. But there is a new generation of younger elite awaiting their opportunity, and Kim can extend his reign and install potentially expendable officials to lead economic and even political experiments aimed at strengthening the nation for the future. If negotiations fail to bring about a shift in U. In Southeast Asia, Thailand takes center stage. This former bastion of economic stability at least since recovering from the economic crisis, which was precipitated by the collapse of the baht is going through one of its periodic upheavals.
The coup leaders have not been able to quickly and aggressively gain control, and the ousted government and its allies remain strong and emboldened. Though there was a public groundswell to oust former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, this has not translated into solid support for the military-backed interim regime. The battle lines being drawn between the Thaksin supporters and the current regime run not only through businesses and civil society, but also through the military and police forces.
Investor confidence in Thailand is slipping and will continue to fall until a more permanent solution can be arranged. Unless the military and the interim regime crack down swiftly on the growing opposition, stability and order might not even begin to emerge until the end of In the Philippines, defense relations with the United States will again come to the forefront, and the lack of economic growth will color the parliamentary elections, weakening support for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Though Manila believes it has finally killed the remaining founder of Abu Sayyaf, its talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front appear to have fallen apart, and the fighting in southern Philippines could flare up again in Hanoi has addressed many of the problems that undermined its earlier attempts at opening economically and attracting foreign investments.
Indonesia might also begin to see a return of foreign economic interest. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono remains popular, does not face re-election until and is bringing a sense of stability to a country that has been politically and socially troubled since the fall of former President Suharto in the wake of the Asian economic crisis. The insurgency in Aceh has been quelled, East Timor relations are relatively calm and the separatism in West Papua has not gained traction. Meanwhile, Indonesia avoided a major militant attack in , and security forces killed one of the top Islamist militants threatening the country.
Unemployment and interest rates will be a challenge for Howard, but not enough yet to give the Labor Party an edge. On the international front, Canberra will continue expanding its role in Asia, dealing with security issues in the Pacific Island nations, strengthening defense relations with Indonesia and expanding economic and energy ties with China. In all, East Asia in is a region focused first and foremost on domestic political issues and secondarily on regional issues.
Until then, Asia will look to itself, and the growing rivalry for regional dominance between China and Japan will become more defined closer to the end of the year. As the parliamentary and presidential elections approach, Russian President Vladimir Putin will centralize control over the country and its periphery, set himself up for a post-presidential career and install a successor who will perpetuate his policies. Russia in followed a policy of consolidating power within its borders and in its near abroad, as we predicted in our annual forecast. Since the influx of Western influence via color revolutions over the past several years, Moscow has sought to reverse such advances and has managed to reassert its influence in some — but not all — of the most essential regions along its borders.
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While relations have improved between Russia and the key peripheral state of Ukraine since the installation of pro-Russian Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, Russia and Georgia are on increasingly worsening terms. As we pointed out in , Russia slowly began to field new weapons systems this year, prompted by strong energy revenues — although not nearly as many types or numbers as Russian generals claim. Nevertheless, the deliberate, persistent nature of this fielding will continue in The fielding of the new Topol-M mobile land-based intercontinental ballistic missile is, at this point, simply a matter of cranking them out of the factory.
The naval Bulava and its parent missile submarine, the Borei, will likely continue to encounter major setbacks, despite priority funding. Strategic aviation will continue to be another priority, as will deployable airborne regiments. Russia has, as we predicted, continued to cooperate with Central Asian regimes on pursuing military cooperation under the auspices of regional organizations.
However, contrary to our previous annual forecast, Russia has not been able to entirely evict Western military from its periphery — the U. Although toward the end of the year Moscow and Washington brokered several friendly deals , the two Cold War adversaries remain at odds. This strategy has led to expanded Russian relations with Iran, Syria and, to a certain extent, North Korea.
Likewise, our prediction that Russia would substantially increase energy prices for Western Europe panned out in Internally, Moscow met our expectations and ramped up its centralization of control over the economic sectors it considers strategic — energy, precious minerals and metals. The Kremlin deems it essential to run the industries that bring it the most income , even though that control sometimes defies common economic sense and even though state-controlled companies are not always proficient at exploiting assets.
The money already made from these sectors allows Russia not to worry too much about the recent decline in oil prices. The consolidation trend will continue and increase in , as Russia prepares for the Dec. Expansion of state control over the oil, natural gas, gold, diamond and metals industries will be coupled with the consolidation of political forces and a crackdown on dissent. The deaths of former Russian Federal Security Service agent Alexander Litvinenko and journalist Anna Politkovskaya have been attributed to their outspoken opposition to the Kremlin, and others could vanish from the political scene one way or another as elections draw near.
The pro-Kremlin United Russia party is expected to take most of the seats in the parliament, thereby gaining the ability to alter the constitution, and the opposition forces remain weak and unable to unite into a viable force. The two men have been exhibiting pragmatic foreign policy outlooks, as we indicated in our previous annual forecast. Putin will not make his choice until the last possible moment, and though he could choose another candidate, Medvedev and Ivanov are the current favorites.
Putin will remain in a position of power, either by retaining the presidency with the help of the newly elected parliament or by assuming control over a strategic industry such as natural gas. Moscow has had considerable success reasserting its influence in Ukraine following the March parliamentary elections and the installation of Viktor Yanukovich as prime minister.
We indicated in our previous annual forecast that Russia was likely to act to install a friendly regime using the election as a key event, though we did not predict that Ukraine would return to the Russian fold to the degree it did in Following the Orange Revolution of , pro-Western forces gained control under President Viktor Yushchenko, though they have not been altogether successful at actually governing Ukraine. Since then, Ukraine has remained in deadlock, with the executive and legislative branches continuously working to undermine each other and doing little actual policymaking.
Yushchenko has but one chance to regain control, and it is not a good option — to dismiss the parliament and call early elections. In order for Yushchenko to retain a vestige of power, he will need to rekindle the Orange Coalition with ambitious former ally Yulia Timoshenko , but that would mean Yushchenko would have to share the spotlight with her. In order to avoid becoming a complete peon of the Kremlin, Lukashenko will have to look westward for investment and support, and this option gives him at least some leeway against Moscow. The oil cut-off on Jan.
Tensions are set to escalate in the Caucasus, as relations between Georgia and Russia show no signs of improving, and as Armenia and Azerbaijan inch toward an escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The United Nations is almost certain to grant independence to the Serbian province of Kosovo; this will prompt Russia to call for the same status for secessionist entities outside its own borders.
Russia is likely to seek to increase its presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia under the guise of peacekeeping efforts, and Georgia will respond in kind. Given the poor state of relations between Moscow and Tbilisi, the conflict is likely to escalate to something just short of outright war, perpetuating the scenario laid out in our annual forecast. A diplomatic solution is not likely in the near future. Russia historically has dominated Central Asia, with most of the countries — especially regional leaders Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan — ruled by Soviet-era cadres with allegiance to Moscow, and the others deferring to their giant neighbor anyway.
At the end of , Russia gained an opportunity to expand its influence further. The Dec. If the new president is unwilling to cooperate with Moscow, the Kremlin will use its available tools — ranging from political pressure to assassination — to ensure that he will not hold office for long. As Russia moves to solidify its presence in Central Asia via Turkmenistan, neighboring states, especially Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, will become increasingly concerned for their own sovereignty.
While Kazakhstan remains politically loyal to Moscow, it has economic partnerships — particularly in the lucrative energy sector — with companies from many other countries, including India, South Korea, China and the West. Uzbek President Islam Karimov is also likely to be concerned for his regime as Russian influence expands.
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Karimov might continue giving Russia control of energy assets in order to preserve his own rule, while keeping open the option to turn to China. However, as long as the Russians do not employ heavy-handed tactics in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan both will seek to perpetuate their existing relationships with Moscow. Russia also has been looking to expand its influence in Africa. But for this to work, Moscow has to do something in Africa that it has been loathe to do at home: invest its own money. Should Russia do that, Moscow could gain a lot of assets — and influence — very quickly.
Russia will attempt to maintain the status quo in its relations with the United States and Europe in order to focus on domestic issues. However, Moscow will continue to cooperate with Iran , Syria, the Hamas-led Palestinian government and other regimes considered unfriendly to the United States. In these relationships, Russia profits from arms and equipment sales and derails U.
You Feng, Hong Kong , trang 40 ]. Le premier tour de scrutin aura lieu le dimanche 22 avril Jean-Marie Le Pen. Nicolas Dupont-Aignan. Nicolas Sarkozy. Olivier Besancenot. Jacques Cheminade. Arlette Laguiller. Corinne Lepage. CAP France Gamerre. Jean-Michel Jardry. Antoine Waechter [ 18 ]. Yves-Marie Adeline. Jean-Philippe Allenbach.
Yves Aubry. Yvan Bachaud. Michel Baillif. Robert Baud. Soheib Bencheikh. Leila Bouachera. Roland Castro. Christian Chavrier. Romdane Ferdjani. Armand Galea. Surely no industrialised society could quite go so far? Killings, yes; butcheries, certainly. But a mass-scale industrialised gassing and massacring of whole populations was simply not tenable. The same treatment could be said in the context of the gulag system and Stalinist purges. The scale of such killings, the inventive lengths of such cruelties, were not believable. The dooms dayers were dismissed as inventive cranks.
They were the troublemakers whose words were taken with the most generous pinch of salt. The only credible technique in dealing with such denialist claims would be pictures and snapped images; a relentless string of numbing images that would enable the individual to take stock, to process and even to catalogue the horrors on a mental map. US General Dwight D.
Eisenhower was one such figure cognisant of the power of the image. Visits were made to an assortment of German concentration camps, with the general insisting that he would also be in the grisly snaps. Patton and Omar Bradley, shook him. General George C. It would be used, with some prosecutorial effect, at the Nuremberg War Crimes trials.
Instances of memorialised, even spectacular cruelty, are matters for the modern, social networked citizen. Text is only a poor substitute for the image: the image of drowned Syrian child Alan Kurdi always says more in its spell binding terror than a description released from an asylum seeker in a processing centre. Bureaucrats, as they always do, kill personality in favour of systems and paper clips. Reacting to cruelty, broadly speaking, has various mechanisms. In the absence of images coming out of Nauru on the mistreatment of asylum seekers and refugees, disbelief and justification are twinned answers.
Together, they form apologias of the establishment, one that insists that regional camps are appropriate over Australian community centres; where humans are treated as unclean defectives who need to be processed into order to be rendered pure. The processing motif here is important: wrapped in the deceptive plastic of dignity and legitimacy, compliant with the laws of a country, the human arrivals will be assessed.
But if found to be refugees, they will be refused entry into Australia. Distant, not merely spatially but emotionally, the refugees and asylum seekers in the Australian context assume invisible forms. Their humanity is irrelevant, and even more strikingly, deniable. What matters is that they are processed in detention centres from afar. Money and guards are supplied to man the camps in a privatised capacity by Canberra, whose politicians insist on the falsehood that control over such camps is an entirely sovereign matter.
Tactics to undermine, discredit and sanitise the hideousness of the camp system are also used with propagandistic dedication. A deft reversal was suggested: that such matters were reported was evidence of professionalism and efficiency, not institutionalised, intolerable cruelty. While it would be a stretch to claim that the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, or the soon to be closed Manus Island facility , be classed as concentration camps par excellence, they are very much centres of ritualised and applied cruelties, shielded by regulations and silence.
The only testimonies that have shattered such smug layers of secrecy have come from whistleblowers, former camp guards, and employees connected with the camp system. One such figure was Tracey Donehue, a teacher at the Nauru centre until November Again, images have greater truck in an environment of interpretation emptied of imagination.
Any medium or means that would humanise the asylum seeker and refugee, be it by sight or by document, continues to be religiously and studiously avoided. Are they all as advertised? She also nails home the residual cause and effect dynamic set in motion by French colonialism. Later we learned how the truck driver cum-terrorist whom authorities had attributed the incident to was hardly Islamist material, in fact, quite the opposite. Bouhlel fits the ideal confidential police informant profile, or the ideal patsy in a private contractor-run operation.
Or, perhaps that what their masterplan to begin with. Neither is forcing Muslim women to disrobe in European public spaces. Time to wake up. Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan. The Independent. But here I am. What we are seeing in France is part of the continued criminalisation of being Muslim. Particularly the criminalisation of visibly Muslim people — particularly Muslim women. What we are seeing is a vulgar display of White Feminism codified and legislated by the state.
A Muslim woman was ordered off the beach in Cannes and fined for simply wearing her headscarf. There are no multibillion dollar weapons sales motivating the U. Burundi has nickel, gold, copper, uranium, tungsten, tin, peat, platinum, limestone, vanadium, tantalum, niobium, kaolin and cobalt.
Though its output has not yet been globally significant, its government has contracted with a Russian firm to mine its nickel reserves, and Bloomberg today quotes a Chinese source predicting a bull market in nickel just beginning. Nickel is used to make stainless steal, and nickel alloys are used in electronics, specialist engineering, space vehicles, submarines and the tubing used in desalination plants for converting sea water into fresh water.
More importantly, Burundi shares a western border with the scandalously mineral rich eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and an eastern border with Tanzania, an East African nation with an Indian Ocean port that is also leaning towards the East in the heightening competition between Eastern and Western axes of power. If the U. They share both a border and a Hutu majority, Tutsi minority demographic. In a nation in which these two groups, Hutus and Tutsis, have been historically polarized and have massacred one another in competitions for power, this is akin to shouting fire in a crowded theatre.
If there is an outbreak of violence between Hutus and Tutsis in Burundi, the U. Hutus and Tutsis share the same language and culture, eat the same food, and marry each other, and the vast majority are Christian. The Tutsis were a pre-colonial ruling class, the Hutus their peasant subjects, until the Hutus rose up in , in what is sometime called the Rwandan Revolution, sometimes the Hutu Revolution.
By Rwanda had transitioned from a Belgian colony led by a Tutsi monarchy to an independent nation led by elected Hutu politicians and intellectuals. The U. In Rwanda and Burundi, the U. Hundreds of thousands of Burundians, mostly Hutus, were slain, largely because the Tutsi elite still controlled the army. President Pierre Nkurunziza is a Hutu, but Hutus and Tutsis have been integrated in both the government and the army, with the Tutsis enjoying larger percentages because they are perceived, as the minority, to be in greater need of representation.
At the elite level, as you go down the food chain, people are scared. Regardless of ethnicity, regardless of region, religion, whatever cleavage you want to choose, Rwandans were caught up in the violence. Therefore, if the U. And so, a mortar attack on the presidential palace. They never did, and that should be the end of any fantasies that the U. In Rwanda and Burundi, that dominant narrative has long been that Tutsis are the victims or potential victims to be protected from the Hutus. Hutus are the perpetrators to be tried at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, imprisoned, hunted down in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and demonized as subhuman killers driven by innate bloodlust and singular determination to kill Tutsis.
That narrative is repeated endlessly by Western media, as in this Like the Houthis in Yemen, the Hutus have been deemed unworthy victims by the U. It remains unclear what forces will keep control of Manbij after this. The Turkish-led forces will likely advance on it after securing the area along the Syrian-Turkish border. Following the Hasakah incident and repetitive claims that the Kurds are ready to coordinate their actions in Syria only with the US, the PYD leadership faced the reality of such coordination.
Officially Moscow and Damascus condemned the Turkish intervention. It is alleged that Islamic State militants either surrendered without a fight or fled, an outcome uncharacteristic of years of clashes involving the international designated terrorist organisation. Analysts and even the Turkish foreign minister himself have revealed in recent months that Islamic State militants have been based within Turkish territory for years, reinforcing their positions in Syria both with men and materiel with little to no resistance from the Turkish government.
The fact that the Islamic State is apparently operating out of Turkey may explain why Turkish forces and accompanying militants were able to move so easily into Jarabulus without a fight. However, when these plans were drafted in , Russia and Iran were not so directly involved in the conflict.
Turkey also has shifted, if even superficially, from its geopolitical stance four years ago. Reactions from Syria and its allies are still forthcoming, and until actions are taken or not taken against or with Turkey in regards to its cross-border foray, little can be said for certain. But what can be said for certain is that NATO troops are now occupying an enclave in northern Syria and occupied it with little to no resistance from Islamic State fighters who have bitterly contested every other square meter of Syrian territory they have invaded over the last several years.
The next moves will be critical, proving once and for all which side Turkey has finally come down on, and whether it is bringing Islamic State troops with it if and when it moves south and west deeper into Syrian territory. Ingrid Biedron, marine scientist at Oceana. A sperm whale, one the species at risk from proposed seismic airgun blasting off the U. East Coast. Twenty-eight marine biologists have also urged Obama to call off the blasting, expressing specific concern about its impacts on the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
East Coast to seismic airgun exploration poses an unacceptable risk of serious harm to marine life at the species and population levels, the full extent of which will not be understood until long after the harm occurs. The banning of the entire Russian team at the Paralympics in Rio is the latest example of how sport has become a front in the US-led propaganda war against Russia. And all because they happen to have a passport marked Russian Federation.
The racism is blatant and there for all to see. Other countries have drug cheats, but they avoid blanket bans. Only in the case of Russia are the majority expected to suffer for the sins of the few. If we look closely at the doping allegations against Russia and who is making them, we find- surprise, surprise, that all roads lead back to the US and its closest NATO allies. For its most damaging claim, that Russia operated a state sponsored system of doping, McLaren relies — as did 60 Minutes and the New York Times before him, on the testimony of just one man — the former Director of the Moscow and Sochi doping control laboratories Grigory Rodchenkov, who defected to the US.
But no hard evidence has yet been produced to back up this claim: all the report tells us is how a state sponsored doping scheme COULD have operated. How very convenient for those NATO countries who are using his report to exclude Russia from international sporting events. Russian Paralympic fencers rest after competition matches at the federal center for Russian national teams. Of course not. You can be percent certain it would not lead to blanket bans of American athletes from the Paralympics. There was no McLaren style report and, of course, no blanket bans of US athletes.
Again, the double standards where Russia is concerned are off the scale. And in doing so, they have destroyed the Paralympics. Big US multinationals are utterly ruthless in their attempts to increase their market share and destroy their competitors: what we are seeing is this aggressive policy toward business rivals now being carried out in the sporting arena — with concerns over doping as the pretext.
To have Russia host the World Cup would be a disaster for western neocons as the month-long event would showcase the nation they despise more than any other, to the entire world. The football fans, visitors and sports journalists who would descend on Russia from all over the world, would see what a nice country it is.
That would never do for those who want to keep Russia permanently in the sin bin. Be prepared: Everything possible will be used in the campaign to take the next World Cup away from Russia. Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at www. He tweets on politics and world affairs NeilClark You may think lithium got too popular too fast.
You may suspect electric vehicles are too much buzz and not enough real future. You may, in short, be a lithium skeptic, one of many. And yet, despite this skepticism, lithium demand is rising steadily and sharply, and indications that a shortage may be looming are very real. Consider the number of battery gigafactories that are being built around the world. This, as the carmaker proudly notes, is more than the global total lithium ion battery production for Lithium is powering pretty much everything upon which our present depends on and our future is being built.
Think the Internet of things, or smart houses, or smart cities, eventually. All these fascinating ideas are powered in some way by lithium. But the real and present coup has been launched by electric vehicles. Forecasts from market research firms seem to be unanimous: EVs are on the rise, EVs are hot, and EVs will be increasingly in demand as people all over the world are eagerly encouraged to cut their carbon footprint.
So, whether we like it or not, EVs are coming—and in force. Those who start tapping into new reserves will be extremely well-positioned for the future. Geological Survey , there is enough lithium in the world — This calculation takes into account only the current rate of lithium ion battery usage. It does not account for the entrance of EVs into the mainstream. It does not account for Tesla, not to mention the growing ranks of Tesla rivals.
In the U. Brine-based lithium production in the country is concentrated in one place only, at least for now, and this place is Nevada. This makes Clayton Valley ground zero for the U. If you put a mirror up to Clayton Valley, there is endless opportunity here. The real race here is to create the next U. Look everywhere, and then look again. The best way to secure a foothold in lithium right now is to think outside the box and look for those companies who see the bigger picture but are also smart enough to keep one foot in the proven lithium hunting grounds. Despite new efforts to ramp up supply, it will take a while before supply corresponds to the demand.
The lithium feeding frenzy has only just begun. If the West in general and the United States in particular, left the Arab and Muslim world alone and in peace, we would most likely never see all those terrorist attacks, which are rocking the world from Indonesia to France. There would be no Mujahedeen and its mutation into al-Qaeda; in Afghanistan or elsewhere. And the super-conservative Wahhabi Islam, that outdated, freak Saudi mutant, would remain in the religious schools of the ultra-regressive Kingdom, instead of gaining ground all over Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
But the West embarked on a brutal, Machiavellian path: it decided to destroy socialist Islam — that historically moderate, compassionate and progressive religion. It smashed once secular Egypt; it overthrew the government in socialist Iran and then in near-Communist Indonesia, implanting in all these places horrifically degenerate and fully outdated religious concepts.
It used extremists to destroy healthy patriotism and socialism. Islam has been used and abused, manipulated and virtually stripped of its essence. It has nothing to do with Islam. The greatest oppressors of the Muslim people, those in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Indonesia have all been closely allied to the West. Yes, there really is such war, but the West is not the one who fights it. As this goes to print, the war against terrorism is being fought by Russia, Iran, China, Syria, Hezbollah and their allies!
The West is still closely collaborating with the terrorists. It criticizes and antagonizes those who are actually fighting the extremist militant groups. Extremists have been unleashed, like Rottweiler fighting dogs, against almost all progressive governments in the Middle East, but also against China and Russia. Extremist Muslims, extremist Christians, even extremist Buddhists! In turn, the politicians in the United States are regularly supported, financially, by the regimes including those of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, etc.
The donations to the William J. The governments of Kuwait and Qatar are also on the list, as is Saudi businessman Nasser Al-Rashid, who has close ties to the Saudi royal family. Saudi Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi, reputed to be one of the richest men in the world, is among the donors as well. As recently as on August 20 th , , The New York Times wrote something similar, essentially reconfirming the validity of the earlier reports, while adding many more details and adjusting the figures:.
Through a foundation, so did the son-in-law of a former Ukrainian president whose government was widely criticized for corruption and the murder of journalists. For years the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation thrived largely on the generosity of foreign donors and individuals who gave hundreds of millions of dollars to the global charity. But now, as Mrs. She also negotiated financial support for Ms. Clinton from Mr.
Chagouri and other individuals, organizations and businesses originating from the Middle East. The accusations and evidence keep coming in, from different media outlets, both left wing and right wing. Trump, has deep ties to the government of Saudi Arabia—and to international Islamist investors through his own law firm. Republicans or Democrats: it truly matters very little. Both parties spread terror all over the world. True, George W. And so it goes…. Libya has been destroyed; the Syrian civil war was launched from Washington, London and Paris.
The US and Europe have kept selling arms to the Gulf, building new military bases while supporting the most appalling and bloodthirsty regimes. This toxic embrace has proved fatal to millions of people in these two parts of the world. Hopes for self-governance have been ruined. Even if millions are dying, there is still an uninterrupted flow of raw materials to the West and Japan. Disobedience and rebellion against the global Western order could not be tolerated!
It had to be crushed, even at the cost of new and deadly world war. Even the Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, in his rare moments of sanity, is clearly aware of the danger. He does not wish to confront Russia. He is obviously not willing to sacrifice tens of millions of human lives for some grotesque dreams of total world domination by a market fundamentalism backed by the white or Western supremacist dogmas.
Not surprisingly! Orwellian indeed, with a vengeance. The Clinton campaign has gone into overdrive. For as long as the general political trend of the West does not radically change, or for as long as the West is not stopped by outside forces, perpetual wars will continue. Monstrous genocides in Africa, the destruction of entire states and regions in the Middle East, all this could easily spread to other parts of the Planet. It is clear now that if provoked and confronted, countries like China, Russia and Iran would not hesitate to fight back.
They also may fight for others — for their tortured allies. They were manufactured in Washington, Riyadh, London, and Doha and most likely even in Tel Aviv , for several concrete purposes, all of them thoroughly foul. They are making sure to ruin the socialist nature of Islam, insisting exclusively on the implementation of outdated, medieval fundamentalist interpretations.
She is also a well known writer and editor based in Saudi Arabia. Her organization IICWC had repeatedly argued that laws banning female circumcision should be revoked, as well as laws prohibiting child marriage and marital rape. Saleha Abedin was a vice-dean shoulder-to-shoulder with her favorite aide — Huma. Was this just an insignificant episode? Like unleashing conservative Islam against socialist Muslim countries? This war is a war of aggression , started by Saudi Arabia in March , with crucial US blessing, participation, personnel, and ordnance.
President Obama has authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council]-led military operations. Yemen, with a population of 26 million people, was the poorest country in the region even before it was attacked. For all that the Saudis frame their war on Yemen as a defense against a threat from Iran, there has never been any credible evidence of any credible threat to Saudi Arabia from any element of the miniscule Iranian presence in Yemen. Yemen is fighting a civil war, a new version of the same old civil war Yemenis have been fighting for decades, both before and after Yemen was two separate countries.
Presumably they knew it all full well and chose a war of aggression anyway, recklessly, perhaps even thoughtlessly, but criminally all the same. The Saudi goal was always get rid of a longstanding threat on its southwestern border, where the tribal land of the Houthis lay both in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. I was told, very early on in the war, Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken went to Riyadh to ask the—this is two weeks—yeah, it was two weeks into the war [mid-April ], when they had already been bombing away, using the U.
By , American hands were already bloody with the US drone assassination program that had killed not only innocent civilians, but American citizens, without a trace of due process of law. In effect, already enmeshed in its own nexus of war crimes in Yemen, the US green-lighted the Saudi-led war of aggression that would make American crimes pale by comparison. Terror bombing, an example of which is Saudi pilots flying American planes dropping American bombs on defenseless Yemeni civilian targets, is probably not the terrorism Secretary Kerry wants to discuss — ever — with the Saudis and their allies, never mind other weapons suppliers like France and the United Kingdom.
His discussion will focus on the ongoing conflict in Yemen and efforts to restore peace and stability…. The US is at war with Yemen, in support of the Saudi-led coalition that launched its undeclared war of aggression on March 26, The US president has never asked Congress for such authorization of a war of aggression against Yemen. Neither house of Congress has acted on any bill that directly addresses the war of aggression against Yemen. More than a year after the war started, two Democratic members of Congress joined by two Republicans introduced identical bills intended to respond to the war.
They did not mention US participation in the war. Both their bills were referred to committee. At the time there was a spotty ceasefire in Yemen while peace talks proceeded in Kuwait the talks were suspended in early August, leading to the Saudi escalation currently killing more civilians. Incredibly, this non-response response to war crimes in Yemen has gotten Rep. When he was on active duty he taught the law of war to other Air Force officers. His interview rhetoric, like most of his public action, is soft-edged even though he knows perfectly well his country is committing war crimes.
The indiscriminate civilian killings by Saudi Arabia look like war crimes to me. In this case, children as young as 8 were killed by Saudi Arabian air strikes. By assisting Saudi Arabia, the United States is aiding and abetting what appears to be war crimes in Yemen. The Administration must stop enabling this madness now.
The latest arms deal suggested to Rep. The solution, according to the Times:. When enough Americans recognize that, then they will have to do a lot more about it than stop selling tanks to the aggressors. Until then the US-sponsored atrocity of ethnic cleansing in a poverty-stricken country that threatens no one will continue unabated. William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. At this time, the military operations seem focused around Jarablus. Military sources told Turkish media 70 targets in the Jarablus area had been destroyed by artillery and rocket strikes, and 12 by air strikes.
ISIS has mostly abandoned the small area between Jarabulus and the Turkish border, leaving only small units to resist the advancing Turkish-backed rebels. For its part, the Syrian government has condemned the Turkish invasion. A troubling new dimension has also been added to the Syrian crisis as the Turks have now officially invaded a sovereign country in an already volatile region. Undoubtedly, we will be watching these events closely. Turbeville has published over articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties.
The record shows that Russia has not been present militarily in Iran since ; and this is the first time since the Islamic Revolution that Iran allowed another nation to use Iranian territory for a military operation. Bets could be made the Pentagon would, predictably, freak out like a bunch of pampered, irate teens. It is expensive and takes a long time to fly from bases in the European part of Russia. The issue of the cost of military combat activities is, at present, a priority. We must not go over the current Defense Ministry budget. All fine and dandy then.
The Pentagon will keep crying foul. Especially because if they open the way for a decisive victory in the battle for East Aleppo, the foreign-imposed Syrian civil war will be all but over. They make precise strikes, avoid casualties among civilians. A Moscow-Damascus agreement has now been ratified by Russia. That, in effect, turns the Russian air base at Khmeimim into a permanent military base in the eastern Mediterranean. Beijing and Damascus, for their part, have just agreed on closer military ties on top of Chinese humanitarian aid. Syrian Arab Army personnel will eventually be trained by Chinese military instructors.
Beijing is now directly involved in Syria for a key national security reason; hundreds of Uyghurs have joined Daesh or follow al-Qaeda goon Abu Muhammad al-Julani, the much-appreciated-in-the Beltway leader of the Army of Syrian Conquest — and may eventually return to Xinjiang to wage jihad. All of the above points to the new look of what used to be a white elephant in the room; the Shanghai Cooperation Organization SCO now means serious business. For the first time NATO was not free anymore to roam around the world like an out-of-control Robocop.
Even though only Russia and China were SCO members, and Iran an observer, the cooperation involved — at the request of a government fighting jihadis and still a target for regime change — already qualified as a major, new geopolitical fact on the ground. The record shows Hillary with a severe crush on Assad to be dispatched the Gaddafi way. Oh really? Over Russia-Iran strategic cooperation? Over a progressively integrated SCO? Bring it on, Queen of War. In his paper, Inbar suggested that it would be a good idea to prolong the war in Syria, which has destroyed the country, killing hundreds of thousands of people and displacing more than half the population.
Read Complete article on Salon. Turkish units began their assault on ISIS and Kurdish militia forces at 4 AM local time, backed by tanks and supported by intensive artillery bombardments and airstrikes, including air support from the US-led coalition. The incursion marked the first time since last November, when Turkey shot down a Russian jet near the Turkish-Syrian border, that Turkish warplanes have struck inside Syria.
The invasion comes only days after a series of mortar shells targeted the Turkish town of Karkamis from the Syrian side of the border. Turkish authorities evacuated thousands of inhabitants. There have also been a number of ISIS attacks in Turkey over the past two years, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians. ISIS is the prime suspect in a deadly blast last Saturday at a wedding in the southeastern province of Gaziantep that left 54 people dead. Operation Euphrates Shield entails invading Syria and establishing a buffer zone, in blatant violation of Syrian sovereignty.
The Turkish escalation will sharply increase tensions in an already unstable and explosive situation, with the United States, the major European powers, Iran, Russia and China all intervening to back competing factions in the Syrian war. Once the invasion was underway it became clear that Washington was throwing its weight behind it. While the situation remains extremely fluid, it appears that the Obama administration, having undermined its relations with Turkey by tacitly backing the July 15 military coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is trying to rebuild its ties to Ankara at the expense of the Kurdish militias it has been supporting.
At a press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Biden insisted that Syrian Kurdish forces had to bow to Turkish demands and return to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River if they wanted to continue receiving US support. Russian officials, who had sought to develop closer ties with the Turkish regime in the aftermath of the abortive coup, indicated their concern over the military escalation. Both the Assad regime and the Syrian Kurdish militias denounced the invasion.
Rather, it is substituting one form of terrorism for another. The Kurdish militias, which have once again been double-crossed by their US imperialist backers, are providing yet one more example of the bankruptcy of their bourgeois nationalist orientation and their reliance on imperialism. Speaking at a news conference in Ankara hours after the invasion, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the aim of the operation was to clear ISIS from the southern border.
Yesterday, following the onset of the invasion, Foreign Minister Cavusoglu called on Syrian Kurdish forces to go back to the eastern side of the Euphrates. They do nothing to enhance the security of the North Korean people. The missile launch provoked immediate condemnations from Japan, South Korea and the United States as well as criticism from China.
The condemnations of North Korea by the US and its allies are utterly hypocritical. Unlike the case of Iran with which it actively sought a rapprochement, the Obama administration has made no attempt to end the tense standoff with North Korea through talks. In fact, Obama has maintained the confrontational stance of President Bush and shunned six-party negotiations sponsored by China, insisting that Pyongyang must dismantle its nuclear arsenal in advance of any discussions.
North Korea has an outdated fleet of about 70 submarines with Soviet-era technology that are unlikely to be able to fire a ballistic missile. The missile launch took place during the annual meeting of foreign ministers from Japan, China and South Korea in Tokyo. The Abe government will undoubtedly exploit the missile test as further justification for remilitarisation and its push to revise the Japanese constitution to end limitations on its ability to wage war in pursuit of its imperialist interests. China, however, confronts a deepening dilemma. While criticising its formal ally, China also does not want to precipitate a political implosion in Pyongyang that could lead to the establishment of a pro-US regime on its border.
Boeing Delivers th Upgraded T Transcript of "Stryker Facts" Media Roundtable. Operation Enduring Freedom: Eye in the Sky. General Officer Explains Transformation. Northern Command Activates. Operation Northern Watch: Eye in the Sky. Die Regalfunktionen des Staates wiederherstellen. Spirit in the Sky. Threat Level Returns to "Elevated". Automatic Landing System Proves Successful.
Powell Calls for U. Resolution to Compel Iraqi Compliance. Personnel Come Under Fire in Afghanistan. Bush Calls Iraqi Offer a 'Ploy'. Transforming Our Air and Space Capabilities. F Redesignation Reflects Combat Role. Powell Working to Put Teeth in U. Iraq Resolution. Einheit der internationalen Gemeinschaft zeigt Wirkung im Irak. Hero Awarded Air Force Cross. A Tribute to a Hero. Le projet de loi de programmation militaire La menace du terrorisme de destruction massive. Exercise Tests D.
Air Defense Capabilities. Saddam Poses Threat to Neighbors, West. Our Town. Afghanistan Also Battleground of Ideologies. Pour une revalorisation des conditions de vie et de travail des gendarmes. Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Successfully Demonstrated. Rumsfeld Submits Annual Report to Congress. Northern Command Setup Becomes Clearer. Miroslav Deronjic Transfered to The Hague. Rumsfeld Discusses Iraqi Threat. Rumsfeld Visits Millennium Challenge Experiment. Moscow Treaty Reflects New Relationship.
Troops to Provide Security for Afghan President. Natick Labs Gear Up for the Future. Bomb Discourages Afghan Ethnic Fighting. Upscale Meals in Store for GIs. Chinese Military Power Secret, but Growing. Translating Policies Into Budgets. George W. Bush Salutes Troops of the 10th Mountain Division. Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle Unveiled.
Operations Continue in Eastern Afghanistan. One Moment in Time. Wolfowitz Salutes Ataturk. New Missile Intercept Test Successful. Turkey and America: Partners at the Crossroads of History. Pentagon Bids Farewell to 'Doc'. Change U. Homeland Security : the Need for Unfied Structure.
CV 'Suspended' for Countermeasures Testing. Bush Longs for Peace for All. Madagascar : France Favors National Reconciliation. Pilots Blamed for Friendly Fire Incident. Central Asia Crucial to War on Terror. Missile Defense Policy : an Update. Strategic, Space Commands to Merge. Kadish Describes Missile Defense Progress. Forces Return Fire in Afghanistan. Paris-Le Caire : des points de vue qui convergent. Secure and Safe Neighbours are Good Neighbours. Bush Reaffirms Need for Homeland Defense.
Enemy Forces Fire on U. Personnel in Afghanistan. Quels enjeux au Proche-Orient? Rumsfeld Praises India for Steps Forward. On Guard in Kyrgyzstan. Intelligence, Not Prosecution, Is U. First Priority With Padilla. Military Custody. Rumsfeld Visits U. Troops in Kuwait. Statement On The Balkans. Wolfowitz Says U. Must Encourage Moderate Muslim States. Asia Comes to Grips With Terrorism. Wolfowitz Meets With Philippine President. Asks Can You? Will You? Pakistan-India Conflict Concerns U.
La base de Pratica di Mare. La dette de la France et la reconnaissance du monde libre. We Will Never Forget. Text of Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty. The Battle of Takur Ghar. Seeks to Lessen World Tensions. Germany Thanked for Support Against Terror. International Coalition Against Terror Grows. Je crois vraiment qu'il existe un axe du mal. Condoleezza Rice on George W.
Bush's Trip to Europe and Russia. Terrorist Attack on U. Likely; Hunt Continues in Afghanistan. Rumsfeld Reflects on Military Service. Potential New Weaknesses and New Strengths. Yemen: A U. Partner in the War on Terror. Allies Must Modernize, U. Crusader Was Really a Barrier to the Future.
Defense Discusses Crusader Alternatives. New Threats, New Partners: U. Wolfowitz: 'Terrific Progress' Made in Afghanistan. L'Alliance en cours de transformation. We Cannot Rest on Our Laurels. DoD Newsbriefing: May 14, Modernise or Be Marginalised. Forces in Afghanistan.
Chain-whipping Robot's a Mine-Blower in Afghanistan. Moving Into Uncharted Waters. Strengthening Both National and Collective Capacities. PJC Met in Reykjavik. DoD Newsbriefing: May 13, Forming the Plan Behind the Defense Budget. Background Briefing on the Defense Planning Guidance. Antonio Martino Meets with Donald Rumsfeld. President Bush Meets with King of Jordan. DoD Newsbriefing: Wednesday, May 8, Pentagon Terminates Crusader Program. Eberhart Tabbed to Head U. Northern Command. Won't Let Terrorists Destabilize Afghanistan.
DoD Newsbriefing: Tuesday, May 7, Forces Demolish Weapons Cache in Afghanistan. DoD Newsbriefing: Friday, May 3, DoD Newsbriefing: Thursday, May 2, Military Operations Continue in Afghanistan. Troops in Georgia to Begin Counterterrorism Training. Operation Eagle Assist Terminated. Rumsfeld Visits Deployed Site in Kyrgyzstan. Refuelers Keep 'Eagles' Flying in Alaska. Rumsfeld, Ivanov Meet in Moscow. DoD Newsbriefing: Monday, April 29, DoD Newsbriefing: Sunday, April 28, Rumsfeld Thanks Kyrgyzstan for Support. Interests Notably Different from those of Alexander the Great. Afghanistan Is Indeed a Proving Ground.
DoD Newsbriefing: Saturday, April 27, Korea, Pacific Command Nominees Testify. Aircraft Arrive at Coalition Base. DoD Newsbriefing: Wednesday, April 24, Rumsfeld Bound for Afghanistan. Flying an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Shaping New Capabilities of the Alliance. Army Gives Marines the Boot. Space and Security. Unified Command Plan. Rumsfeld Dismisses Tora Bora Speculation. Northern Command to Debut in October. From U. Focusing Afghan Reconstruction Efforts.
Agency Cooperation Vital in Counterterrorism Technology. Rumsfeld Speaks About Meeting the Press. Military Works to Meet Transformation Goals.
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Wolfowitz: 'Fight Today, Invest for Tomorrow'. Swedish Vision of Future Europe. Transformation is About Changing the Military Culture. DoD Newsbriefing: Tuesday, April 9, DoD Newsbriefing: Monday, April 8, DoD Newsbriefing: Wednesday, April 3, La France et la situation dramatique au Proche-Orient. DoD Newsbriefing: Monday, April 1, Africa: The Framework of U. Bush Calls for 'Heartland' Security. Peace Initiative Adopted by Arab Summit. DoD Newsbriefing: Thursday, March 28, Why We Need the European Union.
DoD Newsbriefing: Tuesday, March 26, Testing the Wind. New Portal Improves Command, Control. Re-Ordering the World. Media Roundtable on Acquisition Program Updates. Jumper: Ingenuity is Key to Transformation. NATO in the 21st Century. DoD Newsbriefing: Thursday, March 21, International Cooperation Is Our Only option. Troops Engage in Afghan Firefight.
DoD Newsbriefing: Wednesday, March 20, Aircrews Experience Adventure, Stress. Anaconda Over, but Operations Continue in Afghanistan. Missile Intercept Test Successful. Test Stand Gets Modernized. DoD Newsbriefing: Monday, March 18, Chu Testifies on Military Personnel Issues. Operation Anaconda Continues. Operation Anaconda Enters Exploitation Phase. Horn of Africa Holds Terrorist Threat. Leaders Submit Budget Request to Congress. Joint Team Works to Prevent Fratricide. Wings Work on 'First of its Kind' Merger.
Du couple franco-allemand au Triangle de Weimar. Operation Anaconda Is 'Winding Down'. Developing Tomorrow's Military Capabilities. DoD Newsbriefing: Tuesday, March 12, Homeland Security Presidential Directive Myers, Franks: Operation Anaconda not yet Over. Rumsfeld: Cleanup Under Way in Afghanistan.
A Plane, a Pilot, a Passenger and a Note. The Terrorist Threat in the Horn of Africa. DoD Newsbriefing: Friday, March 8, Operation Anaconda: An Overview of the Battle. Coalition 'Turning up the Pressure,' but Battle not Over. Towards the Prague Summit and Beyond. DoD Newsbriefing: Wednesday, March 6, DoD Newsbriefing: Tuesday, March 5, Nine U. Troops Killed in East Afghan Fighting. DoD Newsbriefing: Monday, March 4, Tension Eases at Guantanamo Holding Facility. Terror Pockets Remain U.
Concern; Yemen, U. Talk Cooperation. Nations Unite to Combat Terrorism. DoD Newsbriefing: Wednesday, February 27, Considers Train and Equip Program for Georgia. DoD Newsbriefing: Tuesday, February 26, Air Guard Fighters Protect U. DoD Newsbriefing: Thursday, February 21, President Bush Speaks to U. Troops in Seoul. Bush: U. Will Stand By Friends, Allies.
Rumsfeld Details Hazar Qadam Actions. Le Tadjikistan signe le document cadre du PPP. Military Says Rumsfeld. Pentagon Doesn't Plan to 'Disinform' Public. Rumsfeld Tells Troops to 'Expect the Unexpected'. A Renewed Transatlantic Security Partnership. Translating Transformation into Capabilities. Building Security in an Uncertain World.
Kurt D. DoD Newsbriefing: Monday, February 11, Investigators Leave Missile Strike Site. Rumsfeld Explains Detainee Status. President Champions Nation's 'First Responders'. Joint Strike Fighter Signing Ceremony. Rumsfeld Talks Money With Senators. President Boosts Nation's 'Biodefense' Budget. What's Up at the Pentagon? Rumsfeld Calls Budget Key to Transformation. Situation Unclear About U. Raid on Afghan Compound. President Bush 'Wants You'. Die deutsche ABC-Abwehrtruppe. Einsatz der Bundeswehr im Rahmen von "Enduring Freedom". Flexibility, Adaptability at Heart of Military Transformation.
Rumsfeld to Chart Military Transformation Course. DoD Newsbriefing: Monday, January 28, Ships Collide. Gains Custody of More Detainees. DoD Newsbriefing: Friday, January 25, DoD Newsbriefing: Thursday, January 24, Call for Stability Pact for the South Caucasus. First Priority is the Military Says Bush.
Reserve Duty Has 'Changed Forever'. Mistreatment Allegations 'Just Plain False'. Treatment of detainees is Proper, Humane and Appropriate. The Transatlantic Link:. Special Briefing on the Russian Visit. Einsatz der Bundeswehr bei "Enduring Freedom" und in Afghanistan. Australia Intends to Stick With the U. Until the Job Is Done. Slovenia at the Top of the List of Applicant Countries. Review Changes Status of Nuclear Deterrent.
Special Briefing on the Nuclear Posture Review. American Forces Detain in Afghanistan. Green Beret Killed in Afghan Fighting. Rumsfeld, Myers Give Update on U. Anti-Terror War Effort. Bombers 'Writing Airpower History'. Germans Log 20, hours at Holloman. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Crashes. Rumsfeld Reviews Challenges of Bulgaria Hosts U. Military Mission. Afghan Campaign Entering New Phase.
History, Says Myers. Mountain Home Airmen Guard America. Estonia Ready for the Summit in Prague. Terrorism: Romania Decided to Consider a. Unconventional Threats Require Unconventional Answers. La Moldavie soutient le Partenariat pour la Paix. Ukraine Continues to Contribute to European Security. We Must Prepare for Surprise. Leading the Change. Afghanistan is Only the First Round. Towards a New Council for Joint Action at Wohin gehen wir? Rumsfeld Meets with Leaders of Caucasus Nations. Special Operations Forces Change.
Franks Vows: 'No U. Occupying Force in Afghanistan'. Response to Russian Statement on U. ABM Treaty Withdrawal. Facilitating Media in Afghanistan: Progress Made. Releases Videotape of Osama Bin Laden. Withdraw from the ABM Treaty. Bombardier: 40 ans de partenariat avec la France. Tora Bora Battle Continues. Bush Calls for Military Transformation.
Deutsche Beteiligung an der Operation. Gunning for Al Qaeda, Taliban Leaders. The Taliban Government Is Defeated. Commissioning of USS Bulkeley. Kandahar Situation Confused, Clarke Says. Protecting Critical Military Infrastructures. TF in Kuwait Readies for Home. Taliban Surrendering Kandahar, US. Forces in Firefights. Operation Amber Fox Extended. Turf, Skies. Efforts Focus in the Vicinity of Kandahar. Interceptor Scores Another Bulls-Eye. Enduring Freedom Operational Update, December 3, Seeing the World Change. The Link Between September 11 and December 7. Customs Service Views Security as Priority.
The New U. Deployment is Going Along Very Well. Transforming Force Through the Lens of Strategy. Officials Give Afghan Update. Rumsfeld, Franks Optimistic but Cautious on Afghanistan. Cooperation Between the UK and Pakistan. Dialogue with Afghanistan's Neighbours, Iran and Pakistan. DoD News Briefing, November 20, Rumsfeld Lauds US.
Special Ops Forces in Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden Still in Afghanistan. First Free Elections in Kosovo. The War Plan is Being Recalibrated. Ridge Describes Homeland Security Strategy.