No Winners in Turkey’s New Offensive into Syria

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No victor is likely in costly new battles between Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces in north-western Syria Noah Bonsey ICG Difficulties faced by Turkish troops include a hostile population and hilly territory that favours its battle-hardened insurgent foes, and the offensive puts new stress on Turkey’s already strained relationship with its main strategic ally, the U.S. A Turkish attack on the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG), the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), was long expected. For most observers, the ... Read More »

Finland’s Marine Le Pen

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She hates the EU, cheered Brexit, supports Trump — and believes Finland needs her brand of populism. By REID STANDISH Politico HELSINKI — Of the eight contenders to be Finland’s next president, none stand out quite like Laura Huhtasaari. The candidate of the far-right Finns Party is an outlier in both style and substance. She won’t win Sunday’s presidential election but she’s using her time in the spotlight to push her party’s anti-immigrant, anti-establishment message. She hates the European Union, cheered ... Read More »

Turkey asks Twitter, Facebook, YouTube to remove posts on Afrin op

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The Turkish government requested that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube remove “damaging, objectionable, untrue and manipulative” content regarding its military operation in Syria. Ahval The companies are acting slowly, but responding positively to the government’s requests, an unnamed official told Turkish newspaper Habertürk. “If the damaging, objectionable, untrue and manipulative content are not removed immediately, it can be too late to stop it spreading to the masses,” the… “Therefore, we act quickly and… Turkey asks Twitter… Read More »

The Balkans – The Land Of Endless Disputes

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Is Another Armed Conflict Possible? Why Do Both Superpowers And West Continue To Arm The Region? Kozeta Çika Tsarizm Throughout history the Balkans have seen frequent political clashes, especially the western region. Many have considered the area a barrel of gunpowder, as there have been wars between expansionist countries and those who fought for independence and survival. To some extent, the beginning of the 20th century put an end to the disputes, as it defined the countries’ borders, most of ... Read More »

Salvaging the legacy of the FBI

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The FBI is experiencing its greatest crisis in our history. J. Edgar Hoover may have kept “intel” files on enemies but never attempted a government coup. John Ligato The Washington Times Recent leadership at headquarters allowed politics to seep into our DNA, and field agents were smeared with the same brush. What happened and, what can we do to regain our reputation? The Bureau is about to take some major hits to its legacy and Director Christopher Wray is the only individual who can ... Read More »

Nikki Haley says Palestine’s Abbas lacks ‘Courage,’ ‘Insulted’ Trump in a fiery U.N. Speech

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday issued a scathing attack on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, charging that he lacks “courage and the will to seek peace” in the Middle East. Tracy Lee Newsweek “We will not chase after a Palestinian leadership that lacks what is needed to achieve peace,” Haley said in a fiery speech at a U.N. Security Council meeting. This comes as U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, ... Read More »

Seeking Political Stability Abroad? Fight Corruption.

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Citizen anger over government malfeasance has erupted into massive protests and driven out presidents and politicians Thomas Carothers Christopher Carothers The National Interest Last month, a cascade of corruption cases shook national leaderships on multiple continents. Peruvian president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski narrowly escaped impeachment relating to his alleged involvement in the metastasizing South American corruption scandal involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht. Dogged by serious accusations of corruption, South African president Jacob Zuma saw his preferred successor as head of the ... Read More »

Turkey to U.S.: End support for Syrian Kurd YPG or risk confrontation

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ANKARA/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Turkey urged the United States on Thursday to halt its support for Kurdish YPG fighters or risk confronting Turkish forces on the ground in Syria, some of Ankara’s strongest comments yet about a potential clash with its NATO… Tuvan Gumrukcu, Dahlia Nehme Reuters The remarks, from the spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan’s government, underscored the growing bilateral tensions, six days after Turkey launched its air and ground operation, “Olive Branch”, in Syria’s northwestern Afrin… In Washington, the ... Read More »

Where world’s power brokers really meet

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 18:  General atmosphere during a reception at Munich royal residence during the 2017 Munich Security Conference on February 18, 2017 in Munich, Germany. The 2017 Munich Security Conference, which brings together leading government figures from across the globe to discuss issues of common security concern, is taking place in the wake of the ascendence of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency and the appointment of a new U.S. government cabinet. Trump has repeatedly called for a more isolationist United States, which has caused alarm among many world leaders concerned about the U.S.'s continued commitment to matters of global security.  (Photo by Johannes Simon - Pool /Getty Images)

Another winter gathering has quietly become the venue for smart thinkers to get to grips with geopolitics For true “globalist elites,” it’s a rite of winter. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico Just when the European weather is at its most unwelcoming, the world’s great strategic minds descend on a quaint city at the Continent’s geographic center, crowding into rustic Stuben to debate the state of the world over beer and mulled wine. In recent years, this forum for Big Thought, aka the Munich Security Conference, ... Read More »

Syria war: Row over Turkey using German-made tanks

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The German government is facing calls to halt arms exports to Turkey after reports emerged that German-made Leopard tanks were being used in an offensive against the Kurdish YPG. BBC Some German politicians have requested that any moves to approve a tank upgrade deal be halted. Turkish-led forces began an assault in Syria’s north-west on Saturday. The row comes just weeks after the two countries’ foreign ministers vowed to improve bilateral ties. Relations between the two Nato members have soured ... Read More »

Taiwan’s Nightmare: China Seeks to Alter the Cross-Strait Status Quo

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It is in the national interest of the United States and other like-minded democracies to counter Beijing’s crude attempts to bully its neighbors Dennis P. Halpin The National Interest As East Asia and the world continue to turn their attention toward the escalating nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Beijing has taken advantage of the distraction to move forward its agenda of a “China Dream” of regional hegemony. This dream envisions a China restored to what is viewed as Beijing’s ... Read More »

Judy Asks: Is Turkey Damaging NATO?

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A selection of experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe’s role in the world. Judy Dempsey Carnegie Europe Federiga Bindi Yes, it is. In Afrin, Turkish forces have launched a ground offensive against U.S.-backed Syrian-Kurdish militia. In other words, Turkey is indirectly attacking its main NATO ally. It is doing so with Russian support, as Moscow controls the skies in the area—the last act in the rapprochement between the two ... Read More »

The Korean Peninsula Crisis: Beyond Fire and Fury

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Two Crisis Group reports detail how a nightmarish war on the Korean peninsula is closer than ever in recent history, and how the Winter Olympics and North Korea’s need to show economic progress in its 70th anniversary year offer opportunities for diplomacy and de-escalation. ICG North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests combined with bellicose rhetoric from the U.S. mean the risk of a catastrophic war on the Korean peninsula is higher than at any time in recent history. Yet a short ... Read More »

How US went from supporting Syrian Kurds, to backing Turkey against them – in just 9 days

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been left flailing as Washington desperately struggles to avoid being shut out of Syria by its own allies – following a crisis it helped provoke just days ago. Igor Ogorodnev for RT For all the backpedaling and reframing the US officials are now doing, the chronology of the volte-face from Afrin to Ankara is startlingly straightforward. January 13 US-led coalition announces a 30,000-strong Kurdish SDF-led Border Security Force (BSF) to stave off a ... Read More »

Turkey Steps Up Offensive Against Syrian Kurdish Militia Amid Growing Diplomatic Pressure

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ISTANBUL — Turkish land forces have advanced into Syria trying to push a Kurdish militia out of the Afrin area. Dorian Jones VoA Over 40 targets were hit by Turkish jets and artillery, and there are reports of civilian casualities. Quoting YPG forces, a stringer for the VOA Kurdish Service in Afrin reported that three Turkish military tanks were destroyed in the nearby towns of Bilbil and Shara. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says the objective of Operation Olive Branch was ... Read More »

This Man is Likely to Succeed the Castro Brothers After Their 59-Year Long Rule

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Cuban President Raul Castro is due to hand over the reins to his successor this year All the indications are that First Vice-President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez will assume the presidency after the Castro brothers, becoming the first leader of the country who was born after the legendary Cuban Revolution. Sputnik Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, first vice-president of Cuba and former university professor, may become the new president of the country in the coming months. On April 19, Raul Castro will finish his second tenure ... Read More »