Security

China to Create Its Own International Courts for Maritime Claims

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China is continuing with its plan announced earlier this year to create two Chinese-controlled international maritime courts that would be used to provide China’s interpretation of maritime law. Paul Huang The Epoch Times  The continuation of the plan is the latest signal that China has not given up on pushing forward its maritime claims in the South China Sea, which have been decisively ruled as unlawful by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in a high profile case ... Read More »

The S-400: Erdogan’s Fail-safe

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Moscow and Ankara continue to signal that the $2.5-billion sale of four S-400 anti-aircraft batteries will proceed Boris Zilberman Foundation for Defense of Democracies  While questions remain about when delivery will occur and under what conditions, both sides have an overriding interest in seeing the deal through. President Vladimir Putin wants the deal not only for monetary reasons, but also to chip away at NATO unity and to validate such sales to other nations traditionally aligned with the West. For ... Read More »

Today’s Uzbekistan and Manhattan’s Deadly Truck Attack

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An immigrant from Central Asia has admitted to carrying out the 31 October truck attack in New York on behalf of the Islamic State. Sayfullo Saipov left his native Uzbekistan seven years ago and U.S. and Uzbek authorities say he was radicalised in the U.S. Deirdre Tynan  ICG What do we know about the Uzbek links of the New York attacker? Sayfullo Saipov left Uzbekistan in 2010, aged 21 or 22, and entered the U.S. legally on a Diversity Visa ... Read More »

Turkey’s plan to acquire Russia’s S-400 air-defense system may never happen, analysts say

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While Russia continues to tout the planned sale of its S-400 strategic air-defense system to Turkey, some U.S. analysts are growing more skeptical about the deal. Jeff Daniels CNBC On Thursday, the CEO of Russia’s state-owned Rostec defense company said the deal with Turkey exceeded $2 billion, according to Tass, the Russian news agency. It followed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in September announcing the longtime member of NATO had made a down payment to Moscow for the S-400 and ... Read More »

North Korea Nuclear Testing Tunnel Collapse, Fears of Radiation Leaks, Will Trump Resort to “Fire and Fury” Insanity?

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Trump’s Sudden Change of Plans, International Double Standards Urgent warnings of a radiation leak have been issued after the collapse of a tunnel under North Korea’s 7,200 foot high Mount Mantap, under which the country tests their weapons systems. Felicity Arbuthnot Global Research The accident, believed to have happened on 10th October – though it only came to light on 31st October – is a disaster which is reported to have killed two hundred people. Were it anywhere else on earth ... Read More »

John F Kennedy files, though incomplete, are a treasure trove for answer seekers

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Dallas: Citing national security concerns, US President Donald Trump ordered some of the John F. Kennedy assassination files to remain sealed for at least another 180… The Sydney Morning Herald – New York Times, Dallas Morning News, agencies The CIA and FBI objected to release of the material, much of it 54 years old, and the President said he “had no choice” but to agree that the concerns raised justify a delay because the risk of irreversible harm outweighs the public ... Read More »

Turkey can’t integrate Russian missiles: NATO

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A leading NATO official has said that Turkey will face “consequences” if it purchases a Russian air-defense system “The principal of sovereignty obviously exists in acquisition of defense equipment, but the same way that nations are sovereign in making their decision, they are also sovereign in facing the consequences of that decision,” said Gen. Petr Pavel, chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, on Oct. 25 during a Washington meeting with a group of reporters hosted by the Defense Writers Group. Hurriyet ... Read More »

Don’t Give up on Moldova

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Moldova is stuck in a geopolitical tug-of-war. The West should make more of an effort to pull it into its orbit Andrew Foxall Moldova—Europe’s poorest country—has struggled with the challenges of post-Soviet transition. The National Interest This transition has become vastly more difficult as a result of the breakdown of Europe’s post-Cold War security order in 2014. It is now caught up in a geopolitical tug-of-war between Russia and the West, and is at risk of becoming Europe’s next security crisis, with potential ... Read More »

ISIS: Some Things Cannot Be Killed Off

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: ISIS is facing defeat and liquidation, but its members are dispersing throughout the world and establishing local branches. Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar BESA The idea of the Islamic Caliphate is not dead, and the struggle in the West is not over. ISIS may disappear as an organization, but the world will continue to suffer from the evil spirit that this organization has instilled among too many Muslims. As the city of Raqqa, the capital of the ... Read More »

Russia Has Grand Designs For the International Order (Op-ed)

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Moscow’s new grand strategy is still in gestation Russia’s foreign policy has come full circle in the last 25 years. Dmitri Trenin  The Moscow Times It started with the rejection of the Soviet Union’s superpower posture, its global geopolitical ambitions, and its ideology. The Russian Federation positioned itself as a “new Russia” — no longer a superpower, with modest ambitions beyond its borders, and willing to go along with the Soviet Union’s former adversaries who became Moscow’s new friends and ... Read More »

There is a bright spot amid the world’s problems and we should mark it

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It’s easy to get a bit depressed by the state of the world’s problems, so we should take a moment to mark the triumphs. Peter Hartcher  One of the world’s most malicious and vicious groups, Daesh, which wants to be called Islamic State, has just been crushed. The Sydney Morning Herald  It’s been crushed in the Middle East and, simultaneously, crushed in South East Asia. To its credit, Australia is one of only three countries that joined the effort in ... Read More »

Why Military Readiness Takes a Hit Every Time Congress Delays the Budget

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How the military is losing the budget battle Imagine you are a department head in a small company. Dan Keeler You love your job and the people you work with. The National Interest One of your responsibilities includes managing a $50,000 operations budget. One year, upper management tells you they can only give you $35,000 right away. The remaining $15,000 will come “soon.” You cut some corners and make some educated guesses. Time goes by. You cut some more training ... Read More »

After six tests, the mountain hosting North Korea’s nuclear blasts may be exhausted

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Tokyo: Have North Korea’s nuclear tests become so big that they’ve altered the geological structure of the land? Anna Fifield Washington Post The Sydney Morning Herald Some analysts now see signs that Mount Mantap, the 2200-metre-high peak under which North Korea detonates its nuclear bombs, is suffering from “tired mountain syndrome”. The mountain visibly shifted during the last nuclear test, an enormous detonation that was recorded as a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in North Korea’s northeast. Since then, the area, which is not ... Read More »

A Blueprint for Minimizing Iran’s Influence in the Middle East

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America needs a better strategy for containing and checking Iran, and that strategy is needed now. John Allen Michael O’Hanlon The National Interest President Donald Trump would be making a serious mistake were he to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—the 2015 nuclear deal between various world powers and Iran—in coming months. This action, which Trump has threatened if Congress does not act soon to toughen our overall Iran policy, would be a much more serious blow to American interests and to ... Read More »

The Sovereignty that Really Matters

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The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Javier Solana Project Syndicate Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not. MADRID – In his famous “political trilemma of the world economy,” Harvard economist Dani Rodrik boldly claims that global economic integration, the nation-state, and democracy cannot coexist. At best, ... Read More »

Why Doesn’t the U.S. Support Kurdish Independence?

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The Kurds are one of Washington’s closest and most reliable allies in the Middle East   After World War I, the Kurds came tantalizingly close to getting an independent state. Krishnadev Calamur The Atlantic Nearly a century later, they are no closer to an independent homeland. There are many reasons for this: regional instability; suppression of the Kurds, most dramatically in Turkey and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq; vehement opposition to a Kurdish state; infighting among Kurds; and, despite some prominent Western ... Read More »