Defence

Less Than Meets the Eye

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The Russia-Turkish-Iran Axis If an alliance is forming between Ankara, Moscow, and Tehran, it’s a flimsy one at best. Dimitar Bechev The American Interest While the U.S. mulls how to calibrate its policy in response to the use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad last week, a set of leaders are hoping that President Trump stays the course and decides to withdraw from Syria. The past week saw Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin sharing the stage in Ankara ... Read More »

The South China Sea Disputes: Will Taiwan’s Role Be Enhanced?

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For many years, Taiwan’s interests and role in the South China Sea disputes have essentially been officially ignored. But with the election of US President Donald J. Trump and his appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor, its influence on and involvement in such issues may increase substantially. Mark J. Valencia IPP Review Bolton in particular has a long history of supporting Taiwan’s interests. He has urged the restoration of formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan and that Taiwan be ... Read More »

Russophobia in the New Cold War

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Several factors make this US-Russian Cold War more dangerous than its predecessor—is “Russo-madness” one of them? Stephen F. Cohen The Nation Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies and Politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at… Cohen has previously explained why the new Cold War is potentially even more dangerous than was its 40-year predecessor, citing factors such ... Read More »

No gun, no Molotov: why did a 19-year-old Palestinian protester die?

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Gaza:  The morning after burying 19-year-old Abdul Fattah Abdul Nabi, his family gathered in a tent set up to receive mourners, watching and rewatching a video of the moment they say Israeli soldiers shot him in the back of the head. Brisbane Times Washington Post The video appears to show Abdul Fattah, dressed in black, running away from the border fence carrying a tyre. Just before reaching the crowd, he crumples under gunfire. “He had no gun, no Molotov, a ... Read More »

Turkey to host Syria summit with Russia, Iran on April 4

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Turkey will host a trilateral meeting on Syria, gathering leaders from Turkey, Russia and Iran next week, the Presidential Press Office said on March 31. ANKARA – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet The meeting hosted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 4 will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, according to a statement. Besides regional developments and the ongoing Syrian war, the Turkish and Iranian leaders are also expected to hold talks to discuss ... Read More »

Towards “NATO-Exit”?

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Shift in the Structure of Military Coalitions. Turkey’s Alliance with Russia, China and Iran? By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research Reminiscent of World War I, shifting alliances and the structure of military coalitions are crucial determinants of history. Today’s military alliances, including “cross-cutting coalitions” between “Great Powers” are equally dangerous, markedly different and exceedingly more complex than those pertaining to World War I. (i.e  the confrontation between “The Triple Entente” and “the Triple Alliance”). Contemporary developments point to a historical shift in the… Towards ... Read More »

China Moves Centre Stage in Korean Peninsula Peace Efforts

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After weeks in which other actors have taken notable steps towards defusing fears of war over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, a China-North Korea summit held 26-27 March in Beijing has reasserted China’s pivotal role in efforts to find a solution to the… ICG When North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on 26 March secretly rolled into Beijing on a private armoured train for unofficial meetings with President Xi Jinping, China moved decisively centre stage in the… China also ... Read More »

America Must Drop Its Delusions about Dealing with Russia

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It’s time to part with illusions. Otherwise, the United States cannot develop and execute a sustainable policy towards Russia. Nikolas K. Gvosdev The National Interest It’s time to part with illusions. For too long, the U.S. national-security community has oscillated in its assessment of the Russian Federation, swinging between viewing Moscow as the country’s number one geopolitical threat to dismissing the challenge of a nation whose per capita GDP equals that of Portugal. This has led… America Must Drop… Read More »

How the Taiwan Travel Act Could Start a U.S.-China War

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On March 16, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages “officials at all levels of the United States Government” to visit and meet with their Taiwan counterparts and to “allow high-level officials of Taiwan” to enter the United States and… Paul Smith The National Interest The Chinese government has criticized the new law, describing it as a “mistake” and a violation of the One-China Policy. Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that “any actions and ... Read More »

Turkey to Use Russia’s S-400 Air Defense System to Protect Akkuyu NPP – Academic

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There are no obstacles to Turkey’s use of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems along with US Patriots and Franco-Italian Eurosam SAMP-T defense systems, Turkish academic Mesut Hakki Casin told Sputnik. Mesut Hakki Casin Sputnik According to Casin, the US threats over Ankara’s purchase of the S-400 are an attempt to impose pressure on Russia and Turkey. Turkey is likely to use a Russian-made S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft weapon system to protect the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, Mesut Hakki Casin, retired Air Force officer ... Read More »

Mike Pompeo expected to take tough tact as relations with Turkey erode

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Former CIA chief seen as more in line with White House, ‘bit less afraid to throw an elbow’ By Guy Taylor and Dan Boylan  The Washington Times Iran and North Korea may top incoming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s to-do list, but a festering problem with a key NATO ally may prove just as hard to solve. Turkey and the U.S. appear to sharply diverge on a host of fronts, including Turkey’s war against U.S.-allied Kurds in the Middle East ... Read More »

Foreign Policy From the Dark Side

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THE RETURN OF MARCO POLO’S WORLD War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-First Century By Robert D. Kaplan By Bret Stephens The New York Times The 1990s: Remember them? The decade began with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It ended with the Dow bursting past the 10,000 mark. In between, we got victory in the gulf, the creation of the European Union and the World Trade Organization, NATO enlargement, an American budget surplus, peace in Northern Ireland, Google, ... Read More »

Greece vs. Turkey: Are We Headed for an Intra-NATO War?

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The alarming escalation in the Aegean. The Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey hosts one of the world’s highest concentrations of high-tech weaponry. John Psaropoulos The Weekly Standard Athens Sixty-seven surface ships and two dozen submarines are deployed on a body of water the size of Lake Superior. The two air forces command 448 fighter jets armed with smart bombs and guided missiles. On land, 832 heavy tanks and more than 2,500 lighter artillery vehicles—as much tank firepower as in ... Read More »

Putin, Erdogan discuss preparations for Russia-Turkey-Iran summit in Ankara

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Preparations for an upcoming summit meeting of the Russian, Turkish and Iranian leaders in Ankara were in focus of a telephone conversation between Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the… AMN “The two presidents discussed preparations for a regular meeting of the top-level Cooperation Council between Russia and Turkey and the second summit of the Astana process guarantor nations – Russia, Turkey and Iran – due to be held in early April in Ankara,” the… The ... Read More »

James Mattis Is an Ancient Roman Action Hero

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Argument In dealing with President Trump, the defense secretary seems to have done his reading on Emperor Nero. By Robert Zaretsky FP Since the 2016 election, comparisons between the United States and ancient Rome abound, motivated as much by President Donald Trump-Emperor Nero analogies as anything. Commentators have dwelled on the traits of theatricality, brutality, solipsism, narcissism, cruelty, and… There’s a problem, however, with these comparisons: their source material. Most have turned to the work of Suetonius as their Nero-knowledge ... Read More »

A New Cold War Is Not Inevitable

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Top NATO and Russian military commanders have agreed to meet. Here’s what they need to discuss. James Stavridis Bloomberg When I served as Supreme Allied Commander at NATO from 2009 to 2013, I developed a friendly relationship with the head of the Russian armed forces, General Nikolai Makarov. He was a short, barrel-chested man with a congenial personal style, and given my own somewhat compact physique, I could at least tell my boss, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, that I ... Read More »