Security

Taiwan should prepare for US withdrawal from first island chain: scholar

Taiwan flags 2b Republic of China LLLL Getty Images

Decision to suspend joint military exercises with South Korea signals a withdrawal to second island chain, says Taiwanese academic. Asia Times In contrast to accounts that the current US administration has signaled a shift toward increased support for Taiwan’s government, a Taiwanese academic said Sunday that the self-governed island can no longer count on Washington for its defense. The former head of the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, Kung Chia-cheng, said at a conference on Sunday that the ... Read More »

Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse

Lude 1a

Recently NPR featured retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges who was the commanding general of NATO’s Allied Land Command in 2014. Daniel Falcone CounterPunch He remarked how he “was disappointed to see President Trump bring a wrecking ball to Brussels” after “publicly [humiliating] our most important allies.” He went on to explain, and I believe correctly that Trump “either doesn’t understand the concept of an alliance and allies or he doesn’t care” with the latter being the most accurate. I set ... Read More »

These Are The Strongest Militaries In The World

Per 2b

While an all-out battle may be the only way to truly determine which country has the strongest military, hopefully, we’ll never have to find out. PastFactory But battle aside, how does someone determine who has the most powerful military in the world? Is it the number of soldiers in a country’s militia? Or the types of technology a country has built to defend itself? Or perhaps their military spending budget? Considering the aforementioned… These Are The… Read More »

Would America fight in northern Europe? A question for NATO

Born 2b

If fighting breaks out between Russia and its neighbors, the Baltic States are one of the likeliest battlegrounds. Various factors make this a tricky scenario for the NATO alliance Stephen Bryen Asia Times Last year, writing for an Italian think tank where I am a senior fellow, Il Nodo di Gordo, I asked the question, Will NATO Fight? And for What?) But today, perhaps the right question is not to ask whether NATO will fight, but whether America will fight for NATO. That ... Read More »

British report about Balkans: Russians, Chinese, Turks…

Novi 1a

Outside actors such as Russia, China and Turkey have filled a void created by EU neglect of the Western Balkans over the past decade. Source: B92 This is stated in the UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee report, which adds that many of the witnesses it heard “suggested that, by contrast, Russian influence in the region is weak, not least because its economic presence is limited.” “Despite this, Russia is capable of exploiting the region’s problems and undermining its progress towards peace, ... Read More »

Russia, America and NATO: Where Are They Headed?

Stoae 4d

Already President Trump’s visit to Brussels for a NATO summit and the United Kingdom is engendering considerable controversy, with a further summit meeting on Monday with Russian leader Vladimir… Dave Majumdar The National Interest How successful is Trump’s course? Does NATO remain a vital component of American national security strategy? Or is it being downgraded by Trump? To examine such pressing questions, the Center for the National Interest convened a panel of foreign policy experts speaking at a lunchtime panel ... Read More »

UN Security Council imposes arms embargo on South Sudan

Stoae 5e

South Sudan has been at war since 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused then-deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup. AlJazeera The United Nations Security Council has imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan, almost five years after a ruinous civil war in the country started. A United States-drafted resolution won the minimum nine votes needed, while six member states abstained, wary of voting for the measure amid regional attempts to revitalise the South Sudan peace… US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said ... Read More »

Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen

Counter Punch logo 2b L

A recent European Council summit in Brussels was meant to articulate a united policy on the burgeoning refugees and migrant crisis. Instead, it served to highlight the bitter divisions among… Ramzy Baroud CounterPunch Considering the gravity of the matter, Europe’s self-serving policies are set to worsen an already tragic situation. True, several European leaders, including Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, went home to speak triumphantly of a ‘great victory’, achieved through a supposedly united European position. Italy’s Interior Minister, Matteo ... Read More »

Navy: Chinese Spy Ship Monitoring RIMPAC Exercise, Again

Dong 1a

A Chinese surveillance ship is operating off the coast of Hawaii to keep tabs on the U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, a Navy official confirmed to USNI News on Friday. Sam LaGrone USNI The People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) ship has been operating in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coast of Hawaii since July 11, U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt… “We expect the ship will remain outside the territorial seas of the U.S. ... Read More »

East Timor bugging: Politicians call for AFP to investigate Australian spies’ role in 2004 operation

Referd 1a

Intelligence whistleblower turned independent MP Andrew Wilkie has called on the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to launch an investigation into the role the nation’s intelligence services played in the… By political reporter Matthew Doran ABC The 2004 incident led to a souring of the relationship between Canberra and East Timor, as the two nations were negotiating a deal on accessing offshore oil deposits at the time. Last month, Mr Wilkie used parliamentary privilege to reveal the Commonwealth Director of Public ... Read More »

The Missing Peace: Colombia’s New Government and Last Guerrillas

Kolo 4d

Talks in Havana with the ELN, Colombia’s last insurgency, are advancing at a slow pace. ICG Backed by international actors, the current government and guerrilla negotiators should aim for rapid progress in negotiations to minimise the chance of a… What’s new? Peace talks with Colombia’s last guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), could be under threat after the election of Iván Duque as the new president. Tangible short-term results are essential to ensure negotiations continue when Duque… Why does ... Read More »

Trump says Putin is not enemy or friend but ‘competitor’

Seve 2b

“Is he my enemy? He is not my enemy … Hopefully someday maybe he will be a friend. I just don’t know him very well,” he said speaking at a press conference at the NATO Summit when asked if he presented a… Sevil Erkuş – BRUSSELS Hurriyet In his meeting with the Russian leader, Trump said he would raise issues of arms control, extending New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), and Russian violations of the… “We go into that meeting ... Read More »

It’s Time to Disrupt NATO

NATO Game Over 1a AP Geert Vanden LLLL

But not for the reasons Trump gives. Benjamin Schwarz The Nation NATO summits customarily amount to public-relations lovefests, in which sonorous communiqués declaring the vitality of the “Atlantic community” obscure what has become the increasingly dangerous moves of the… But President Trump, no surprise, promises to make this summit uncharacteristically uncomfortable and potentially rancorous. The issue for progressives is that, mostly inadvertently and largely for the wrong reasons, Trump will be disrupting an established pattern sorely in need of disruption ... Read More »

Voices of Idlib

Ebe 1a

Humanitarian Fallout of Conflict ICG The Syrian war grinds lethally on, as regime forces move to recapture rebel-held areas. In our first-ever illustrated commentary, Crisis Group explores one holdout, Idlib, where three million Syrians – many already displaced – chafe at jihadist rule but dread the coming onslaught. Voices of Idlib… Read More »

A Strategic Reset for NATO

Kamu 1a

Donald Trump’s criticism that the alliance isn’t fit for form is valid. NATO needs an overhaul. Zalmay Khalilzad The National Interest At the NATO summit this week, President Donald Trump will undoubtedly criticize allies for not spending enough on defense and for pursuing their own economic wellbeing, in part at the… The president has been lambasted for criticizing U.S. allies and indeed, our alliances are important and represent some of the greatest achievements of U.S. foreign policy. However, Trump’s criticisms ... Read More »

A turning point for Europe’s military spending

Same 5e

This week’s NATO summit in Brussels will be pivotal to the future of the Atlantic alliance. Will European countries spend more in the context of NATO, or try to go it alone with European defense? By Raytheon Politico As European and North American leaders converge on Brussels on 11-12 July for a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the amount each spends on their militaries is bound to be one of the most controversial topics. With global threats ... Read More »