Security

Israel Moves to Annex the West Bank

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This Is How the Two-State Solution Dies While the media focuses on Trump, Netanyahu imposes a “solution”: There will never be a Palestinian state. Steven A. Cook Salon In between anti-government protests in Iran and President Donald Trump’s tweets about the size of his nuclear button, Huma Abedin and civil aviation safety, an important vote took place in Israel. Few people seemed to notice. The Washington Post relegated the story to its “Digest” of world news and Reuters produced a short article, but the Wall ... Read More »

The harsh reality for Palestinians: The rules of the game in the Middle East are changing

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Six Arab foreign ministers met in Jordan’s capital on Saturday to discuss the response to the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital By Norman Hermant in Amman ABC They had little new to say. The head of the Arab League told a media conference there would be a renewed effort to have East Jerusalem recognised as the capital of a Palestinian state. But that approach has been tried already, and gained little traction. Washington’s announcement a month ago that it would ... Read More »

Undersea cables the Achilles’ heel in lead-up to new cold war

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Hostile acts against submerged Internet cables would put critical communications, trillions of dollars in transactions and the world economy at risk By Doug Tsuruoka Editor at Large Asia Times It’s a little-known twist in the cyber-warfare between nations that carries potentially devastating consequences At a time when more than 95% of everything that moves on the global Internet passes through just 200 undersea fiber-optic cables, potential adversaries such as the US, Russia, China and Iran are focusing on these deep-sea ... Read More »

UK minister expects closer defense ties with Cyprus military

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Britain’s defense minister says authorities want to ensure that British armed forces “work closer and more supportively” with Cyprus’ military in tackling common challenges. The Associated Press Herald-Whig Britain has two military bases on Cyprus, which was a British colony until 1960. It continues to carry out air strikes against Islamic State group targets in Iraq and Syria from the Mediterranean island nation. Defense Minister Gavin Williamson said after talks with Cypriot counterpart Christoforos Fokaides on ... Read More »

Watch out for ‘Land of Morning Warning’

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Japan is universally known as the Land of the Rising Sun and the Korean peninsula as the Land of Morning Calm Abhijit Bhattacharyya, The writer is an advocate practising in the Supreme Court. The views expressed here are personal. The Asian Age It is now time for a new template. Yes, be ready to acknowledge China as the indisputable “Land of Morning Warning”. This new proverb was introduced by none other than Chinese President Xi Jinping. On a chilly winter morning, ... Read More »

Sanctions, refugees and the marginalised: Iran uprisings are Australia’s concern too

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Tehran’s response to this week’s anti-government protests in Iran has been harsh and reminiscent of the state response to the post-election uprising of 2009 Omid Tofighian ABC Back then, Iranians contested the re-election of former ultra-conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by taking to the streets in support of reformist candidate Mir-Hussein Mousavi, and decrying election fraud. A key difference this time around is that the leader of Iran’s reformist movement — former president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami — has joined centrist President ... Read More »

‘Don’t fear death,’ China’s Xi tells army

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President Xi Jinping has issued a blunt call for China’s military to be ready for war and unafraid to die defending the country, as geopolitical tensions mount in Asia. SHANGHAI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Xi’s exhortation to the world’s largest fighting force, parts of which were revealed only late Jan. 4, came during what state media characterized as a rare address by the Chinese leader to the country’s entire military. Xi cemented his status as China’s most powerful leader in ... Read More »

Yemen civil war: Norway suspends arms sales to UAE as part of ‘precautionary line’

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There is “great concern” over the humanitarian crisis in the Arab world’s poorest country, says Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide Jan M. Olsen Independent AP Norway has suspended exports of munitions and arms to the United Arab Emirates as a “precautionary line,” based on its assessment of the situation in Yemen. A Saudi-led coalition including the UAE has been fighting Shia rebels in the country for nearly three years. Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said she had “no information” that any of Norway’s military exports have been used in Yemen, but that there’s ... Read More »

Kim Jong-un’s strategy: drive a wedge between South Korea and the US

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Seoul: Beyond a New Year’s declaration by North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, that he would move to the mass-production of nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles in 2018 lies a canny new strategy to initiate direct talks with South Korea: drive a wedge into its seven-decade alliance with the United… Choe Sang-hun NYT Brisbane Times Kim, perhaps sensing the simmering tension between US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, called for an urgent dialogue between the two Koreas before ... Read More »

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2018

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From North Korea to Venezuela, here are the conflicts to watch in 2018. It’s not all about Donald Trump. Robert Malley ICG That’s a statement more easily written than believed, given the U.S. president’s erratic comportment on the world stage — his tweets and taunts, his cavalier disregard of international accords, his readiness to undercut his own diplomats, his odd choice of foes, and his even odder choice of friends. And yet, a more inward-looking United States and a greater ... Read More »

Palestinians are watching Saudi Arabia closely

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Palestinians have been carefully watching Saudi Arabia drawing closer to Israel. Adnan Abu Amer AlJazeera The past few months have seen not only a flood of Saudi statements on social media supporting normalisation with Israel (some saying that Saudi is “more important” than Palestine and others apparently dreaming of Israel becoming Saudi’s top vacationing spot), but also a flurry of diplomatic activity between Riyadh and Tel Aviv. Saudi and Israeli political leadership agree on a number of issues, the most important of which is the need ... Read More »

Yemen: Remaining Peaceful Was Their Choice – OpEd

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People living now in Yemen’s third largest city, Ta’iz, have endured unimaginable circumstances for the past three years. Kathy Kelly Eurasia Review Civilians fear to go outside lest they be shot by a sniper or step on a land mine. Both sides of a worsening civil war use Howitzers, Kaytushas, mortars and other missiles to shell the city. Residents say no neighborhood is safer than another, and human rights groups report appalling violations, including torture of captives. Two days ago, ... Read More »

The South China Sea fell off Trump’s radar last year. He may have to pay attention in 2018.

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HONG KONG — President Trump railed against a lot of things in 2017. Chinese construction in the South China Sea was not really one of them, despite his campaign tough talk. Emily Rauhala The Washington Post Focused on North Korea and evidently enamored of President Xi Jinping, the voluble U.S. president said relatively little as China continued to build on disputed islands, rocks and reefs.A recent Chinese report hailed progress in the South China Sea last year, noting construction totaling 290,000 square meters, or 72 acres.That included ... Read More »

Turkey, Russia finalize deal on anti-missile defense system

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey has finalized a deal with Moscow for the purchase of Russia’s S-400 anti-missile system, Turkish defense officials announced Friday, despite concerns voiced by some of the NATO member’s allies. By Suzan Fraser, Associated Press Suzan Fraser, Associated Press PBS NewsHour Associated Press Writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed The deal, which would make Turkey the first member of the military alliance to own Russia’s most advanced air defense system, comes amid strengthening ties between Turkey and ... Read More »

Minsk is dead! Long Live Minsk?

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Minsk is shorthand for a diplomatic process established in 2014 and early 2015 The formal deadline for completing Minsk was December 2015, a deadline that long since passed without its first phase — a ceasefire — going into effect. MICHAEL KIMMAGE War On The Rocks The next two phases — decentralization and a political process for the Donbas — have never progressed beyond the hypothetical. As of this winter, the line of contact between the Ukrainian and the Russian-backed forces ... Read More »

Mongolia’s Modernizing Military

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Mongolia’s military has an expanding role at home and abroad Bolor Lkhaajav The Diplomat Mongolia’s land-based military has faced many modernizing challenges and opportunities throughout history The ancient Mongol army, like other great armies, whether the Greeks, Romans, or Ottomans, had its strengths and weaknesses, its historical glories and bruises. When discussing the modernization of Mongolia’s military today, a number of historical aspects remain crucial in shaping military principles, core values, and social influences. These historical aspects link to the ... Read More »