Security

How many people are killed by terrorist attacks in the UK?

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London has been rocked by a fourth terror attack in three months, when a man drove a van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers in Finsbury Park. Ashley Kirk The Telegraph Prime Minister Theresa May has chaired a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee in response to the attack, condemning the “terrible incident”. How many people… Read More »

The good, the bad and the ugly of the Gulf crisis

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently embarked on a two-day trip to the Gulf, in the latest international effort to help resolve the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and the… Sinem Cengiz Arab News The trip included Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both actors in the crisis, as well as Kuwait, the main mediator, whose role is difficult and should be appreciated. The good, the… Read More »

Sri Lanka signs Hambantota port deal with China

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Billion-dollar agreement reached despite trade union opposition and protests over security fears, including from India. Al Jazeera and news agencies<imgheight=”1″width=”1″style=”display:none”src=”https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=968100353246427&ev=PageView&noscript=1″/> Sri Lanka has signed a $1.12bn agreement with a state-run Chinese firm to operate a port in the southeast of the country, despite security concerns and protests from trade unions. According to the long-delayed deal reached in the capital Colombo on Saturday, Sri Lanka Ports Authority agreed to sellΒ a 70 percent stake in the Hambantota port to China Merchants Ports ... Read More »

Iran’s Newest Benefactor: China

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Is Iran becoming a Chinese proxy? More than two years after Secretary of State John Kerry and his European Union counterpart Federica Mogherini acquiesced to the last Iranian demands and signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has the… MICHAEL RUBIN Commentary Iran’s ballistic missile program continues to expand rapidly. Yesterday, Iran inaugurated its new launch facility by sending a rocket into low earth orbit. The same technology could be used to launch an intercontinental ballistic… Iran’s Newest Benefactor… Read More »

Japan joins US in imposing new sanctions on North Korea

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Foreign minister says assets of five groups, including two from China, to be frozen, as well as nine individuals. Source: Reuters news agency Al Jazeera Japan will impose additional sanctions on North Korea for its weapons programmes, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday, just hours after the US Senate also voted for new sanctions on the secretive state. US media reported this week that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon spy agency, had assessed that North Korea would ... Read More »

A Himalayan spat between China and India evokes memories of war

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FOR nearly six weeks, armed contingents of two of the biggest military forces in the world have faced off in a high-altitude game of chicken in the Himalayas. The Economist Roughly 300-400 Indian soldiers and an equal number of Chinese border guards are stuck glowering at one another over a scrubby patch of land at a “tri-junction”, where the two countries and the tiny kingdom of Bhutan all meet. Analysts cannot see how either side might easily stand down. Memories ... Read More »

When in doubt, nuke China

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A situation in which the US military feels ‘unhampered’ has precedent – and, as General MacArthur’s endeavors in Korea prove, it’s something to be afraid of Pepe Escobar Asia Times The current collapse of the unipolar world, with the inexorable emergence of a multipolar framework, has enabled a terrifying subplot to run amok – the normalization of the idea of nuclear war. The latest exhibit comes in the form of aΒ US admiral assuring everyone he’s ready to follow President Trump’s ... Read More »

How Long Can China Ignore Its Growing Debt Pile?

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Beijing has been reluctant to tackle reforms to politically sensitive state-owned enterprises, fearing the potential for popular discontent. Anthony Fensom The National Interest Quarter after quarter, China’s gross domestic product numbers keep coming in nearly perfectly on Beijing’s forecasts. The trouble for the world’s second-biggest economy, however, is that its debt keeps on rising while necessary reforms take a back seat to the… According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, GDP expanded by 6.9 percent in the second quarter from ... Read More »

Putin signs Syria base deal, cementing Russia’s presence there for half a century

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President Vladimir Putin has signed a law ratifying a deal with the Syrian government allowing Russia to keep its air base in Syria for almost half a century, official documents show. Moscow – Reuters Hurriyet The original deal, signed in Damascus in January, sets out the terms under which Russia can use its Hmeymim air base in Latakia Province which it has used to carry out air strikes against forces opposing President Bashar al-Assad. Putin approved the agreement on July ... Read More »

Open Letter to the UN Secretary-General on Peacekeeping in DRC

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While the presence of the UN peace operation MONUSCO in the DRC is crucial, it needs to adapt to the deepening crisisΒ as violence escalates in parts of the country, and recognise President Kabila’s role in the… The UN should use its forthcoming strategic review to adjust the mission to these challenges. Jean-Marie Guehenno * ICG Your Excellency, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is facing its deepest crisis since the end of the 1998-2003 war. Prospects for a peaceful transfer ... Read More »

Will the Kurds Get Their Independence Referendum?

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The Kurdish region faces a multiplicity of hurdles as it prepares for the “yes to independence” referendum. Seth J. Frantzman The National Interest Kurdistan Regional Government president Masoud Barzani announced on June 7 that the region had set September 25 as the date for a referendum on independence. He was joined by members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdistan Islamic Union, Kurdistan Islamic Movement and… New signs on billboards throughout the KRG capital of Erbil ... Read More »

This is How the Space Race Changed the Great Power Rivalry Forever

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The zeal the United States and USSR had to outperform one another in the Space Race was beneficial to scientific progress. Martand Jha The National Interest The Space Race between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics post World War II was a tipping point in the history of mankind. This superpower race intensified the Cold War rivalry because for the first time mankind was looking to compete in the arena of space. Dominance over space and ... Read More »

Central Asia’s Silk Road Rivalries

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Russia’s and China’s separate visions for Central Asia could transform the region’s political and economic landscape as well as relations between the two Eurasian giants. ICG To the smaller, embryonic Central Asian nation states, the new geopolitical realities could offer both economic prosperity as well as worsening instability and conflict. Executive Summary Two new regional initiatives potentially could transform Central Asia’s political landscape. China’s Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB), launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, offers multi-billion dollar investments ... Read More »

The South China Sea’s untapped oil and natural gas are back in focus

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The contested South China Sea has large deposits of oil and natural gas. Steve Mollman Quartz Perhaps luckily for the environment, drilling for these resources has been discouraged by political tension among nations in the region. In particular, energy companies worry about China’s ongoing insistence that everything within its infamous nine-dash line—which marks off nearly the entire sea—is its own territory, despite an international tribunal invalidating the sweeping claim last year. The uncertainty has made it hard for energy companies ... Read More »

How the Islamic State Rose, Fell and Could Rise Again in the Maghreb

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Despite its ongoing demise in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State (ISIS) could prove resurgent in the Maghreb if past lessons and lingering threats remain… ICG Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia should go beyond security and military measures to address persistent local grievances and tensions that ISIS has proven adept in… Executive Summary The Islamic State (ISIS) is in sharp decline, but in its rout lie important lessons and lingering… This is true for the four countries of the Maghreb ... Read More »

China to ‘step up’ troop deployment in India border row

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China warned on July 24 that it will step up its troop deployment in a border dispute with India, vowing to defend its sovereignty at “whatever cost.” BEIJING – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The standoff started more than a month ago after Chinese troops started building a road on a remote plateau, which is disputed by China and Bhutan. Indian troops moved in to the flashpoint zone to halt the work, with China accusing them of violating its territorial sovereignty and ... Read More »