Security

What Turkey’s Political Changes Mean for U.S.-Turkish Relations

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The July 9 swearing-in of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his second term as Turkey’s president—and his subsequent decree1 thoroughly restructuring the Turkish government—have inaugurated a new phase in the… By Max Hoffman, Alan Makovsky, and Michael Werz Center for American Progress Erdoğan will preside over a new system in which power is even more centralized in the office of the presidency than it was previously. Of course, this structure represents the institutionalization of what had been a de facto reality: ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan Wants To Crush The Kurds And Recreate The Ottoman World

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Consumed by the need for grandeur, despots tend to share their monstrous plans, then execute them. Running to be reelected in a race warped in his favor, Turkey’s President Erdogan campaigned by demonizing minority Kurds to create a… Jonathan Wachtel and Albert Wachtel Newsweek In troubled times, people worship self-assured leaders, and Erdogan sees himself as the anointed vessel of Ottoman resurrection. He allowed Islamic State to murder Kurds and unleashed his army on them. He must and can be ... Read More »

NATO: the Unexamined Alliance

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The outcome of the July11-12 NATO meeting in Brussels got lost amid the media’s obsession with President Donald Trump’s bombast, but the “Summit Declaration” makes for sober reading. Conn Hallinan CounterPunch The media reported that the 28-page document “upgraded military readiness,” and was “harshly critical of Russia,” but there was not much detail beyond that. But details matter, because that is where the Devil hides. One such detail is NATO’s “Readiness Initiative” that will beef up naval, air and ground forces in “the eastern ... Read More »

Reclaiming European Sovereignty

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As if there was any remaining doubt, the past few weeks have shown that US President Donald Trump is fully committed to demolishing the American-led post-war order and free-trade system. Joschka Fischer * The Project Syndicate Europeans no longer have any time to waste: The EU must assert itself as a unitary, self-sufficient global power before it is too late. BERLIN – After US President Donald Trump’s recent European tour – which culminated in his infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir ... Read More »

Japan’s New Super-Sized Destroyer Will Help Defend Against Ballistic Missiles And More

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The pair of ships could shoot down North Korea missiles, as well as challenge Chinese claims and aid Japan in projecting power beyond its shores. Joseph Trevithick The Drive Japan Marine United, or JMU, has launched the first example of a new subclass of guided missile destroyers for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, which will significantly boost the country’s ballistic missile defense capabilities, particularly with regards to North Korea. At the same time, though, the ship will enhance Japan’s ability ... Read More »

Iraq’s Paramilitary Groups: The Challenge of Rebuilding a Functioning State

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A struggle looms in Iraq over the future of paramilitary groups assembled to help the state defeat ISIS. These units remain under arms and autonomous. ICG Baghdad should strengthen the interior and defence ministries so they can absorb the paramilitaries now undercutting the state’s authority. What’s new? Iraq’s three-year battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) empowered an array of armed actors that operate autonomously from state security forces. As the country’s focus on security decreases, these paramilitary groups – the ... Read More »

NATO Is a Goldmine for US Weapons’ Industries

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Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer. Brian Cloughley Strategic Culture Foundation It’s got nothing to do with any defence rationale, because, after all, the Secretary General of the US-NATO military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recorded in its 2018 ... Read More »

Vladimir Putin marks Russia’s Navy Day, reveals plans for 26 new ships

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed a major boost to the navy’s fleet, some armed with Kalibr cruise missiles. In a show of strength, amid heightened tensions with the West, 26 new… DW The Russian Navy will receive 26 new warships and other vessels this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin told an audience in St. Petersburg on Sunday to mark Russian Navy Day. “In total in 2018 the navy should get 26 new warships, motor boats and vessels including four battleships ... Read More »

Trump seeks to revive ‘Arab NATO’ to confront Iran

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The Trump administration is quietly pushing ahead with a bid to create a new security and political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Iran’s expansion in the… WASHINGTON – Reuters Hurriyet The White House wants to see deeper cooperation between the countries on missile defense, military training, counter-terrorism and other issues such as strengthening regional economic and… The plan to forge what officials in the White House and Middle East have called an “Arab NATO” of ... Read More »

Are We Set Up to Relieve the Mind-Numbing Chernobyl and Fukushima Experience?

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There’s a visible pattern amid the European media voicing ever increasing concern over malfunctions and all sorts of emergencies occurring lately at nuclear power plants. Grete Mautner NEO A very real possibility of a second Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurring in Europe has recently been reported by Italian news service Gli Occhi Della Guerra. In particular, it reported that the authorities of Germany and the Netherlands made a decision to hand out to the population iodine tablets capable of reducing the effects ... Read More »

China can’t just ‘pick and choose’ from the Law of the Sea

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Last May, Washington disinvited Beijing from the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise on the grounds that Chinese actions in the South China Sea run counter to the pursuit of free and open seas. Tuan N Pham East Asia Forum Like RIMPAC 2014 and 2016, China dispatched a spy ship into the United States’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to monitor the world’s largest international maritime exercise. And just like the past two exercises, Washington did not object to ... Read More »

Turkey is ready ‘to fight’ in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

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Ankara “counterattacks” on the occasion of the preparation of exploratory drillings by Exxon Mobil, Qatar Petroleum, Total and ENI, within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, for the… Nefeli Tzanetakou ibna According to a report in the Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak, “Turkey’s maritime jurisdiction issues are back on the agenda as the fight for energy supplies in the Eastern Mediterranean continues.” The quantities in the meantime hosted in the Eastern Mediterranean zone, according to a survey cited by the ... Read More »

With anti-Muslim laws, Europe enters new dark age

Women wearing niqab are pictured in front of the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 31, 2018. - The Danish parliament on Thursday, May 31,2018, passed a law banning the Islamic full-face veil in public spaces, becoming the latest European country to do so. (Photo by Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP) / Denmark OUT        (Photo credit should read MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Leading rabbi condemns discrimination in the name of security. Pinchas Goldschmidt Politico LONDON — What has become of Europe? New laws targeting Muslims are reminiscent of a time when innocent Jewish children were abducted by masked monks and imprisoned in monasteries to “save” them from the eternal fire of hell. In our blind mistrust of religious differences, we are returning to the Middle Ages, when the only model for integration was the forced conversion of the minority religion to the ... Read More »

Dialogue is Essential to Unite Cameroon’s Disparate Voices

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In March 2018, Crisis Group’s Giustra Fellow, Tanda Theophilus, travelled for four weeks to the cities of Buea and Douala, which are at the heart of the Anglophone crisis that pits separatists against the government of Cameroon. Tanda Theophilus ICG He gauged the atmosphere in the Anglophone Southwest and Francophone Littoral regions ahead of the October presidential election. DOUALA, Cameroon – On the way from Douala to Buea, my vehicle slows at the toll gate on the bridge across the ... Read More »

Pantheism and how it could offer a new approach to preserving the planet

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The scientists responsible for the “doomsday clock” moved it 30 seconds closer to midnight – the symbolic point of total catastrophe for humanity and the planet – at the beginning of 2018. Tim Lomas The Conversation The minute hand now hovers ominously at two minutes to 12, the closest point it has ever been (matching the previous peak of 1953 – the height of the Cold War). This judgement is a reflection of the multiple threats we face as a ... Read More »

Stopping Nigeria’s Spiralling Farmer-Herder Violence

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Rising conflict between herders and farmers in Nigeria is already six times deadlier in 2018 than Boko Haram’s insurgency. ICG To stop the bloodshed, the federal government should improve security; end impunity for assailants; and hasten livestock sector reform. State governments should freeze open grazing bans. What’s new?  Violence between Nigerian herders and farmers has escalated, killing more than 1,300 people since January 2018. The conflict has evolved from spontaneous reactions to provocations and now to deadlier planned attacks, particularly ... Read More »