North America

Turkey to Use Russia’s S-400 Air Defense System to Protect Akkuyu NPP – Academic

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There are no obstacles to Turkey’s use of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems along with US Patriots and Franco-Italian Eurosam SAMP-T defense systems, Turkish academic Mesut Hakki Casin told Sputnik. Mesut Hakki Casin Sputnik According to Casin, the US threats over Ankara’s purchase of the S-400 are an attempt to impose pressure on Russia and Turkey. Turkey is likely to use a Russian-made S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft weapon system to protect the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, Mesut Hakki Casin, retired Air Force officer ... Read More »

Mike Pompeo expected to take tough tact as relations with Turkey erode

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Former CIA chief seen as more in line with White House, ‘bit less afraid to throw an elbow’ By Guy Taylor and Dan Boylan  The Washington Times Iran and North Korea may top incoming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s to-do list, but a festering problem with a key NATO ally may prove just as hard to solve. Turkey and the U.S. appear to sharply diverge on a host of fronts, including Turkey’s war against U.S.-allied Kurds in the Middle East ... Read More »

Fewer Protections For Abandoned Offshore Oil Production Platforms Will Be Risky

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The oil and gas industry is all about managing big risks – dry holes, wildly fluctuating oil prices and cost overruns. Tom Mitro Forbes Oil companies and investors bear the brunt or enjoy the benefits of their decisions when those risks go badly or go well. But one risk more directly affects the public: the risk of leaks and explosions. The Trump Administration’s Interior Department recently overturned and weakened existing rules that required companies producing offshore to provide… Fewer Protections ... Read More »

Congress Should Help Rein In Trump’s New Pro-war National Security Advisor

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Contrarian arguments about John Bolton – that he is smart and that his hawkishness might browbeat U.S. rivals into peace deals – look past a long record that suggests an appetite for forcible regime change, a capacity for shading the truth, and a… Stephen Pomper ICG President Trump’s announcement that John Bolton would become his third national security advisor hit foreign policy circles like a minor earthquake last… Bolton had long been rumoured to be waiting in the wings to ... Read More »

Finland’s race for Arctic riches

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A small city on the Baltic may soon become a vital part of Helsinki’s push to compete with Russia and China. Reid Standish Politico OULU, Finland — A new frontier of geopolitics is opening up as countries move to control lucrative and strategically important natural resources and shipping lanes in the Arctic, and Finland doesn’t want to be left… The unprecedented rate at which the polar ice caps are melting is creating a flurry of activity. So far, Russia and ... Read More »

Putin, Erdogan discuss preparations for Russia-Turkey-Iran summit in Ankara

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Preparations for an upcoming summit meeting of the Russian, Turkish and Iranian leaders in Ankara were in focus of a telephone conversation between Russian and Turkish Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the… AMN “The two presidents discussed preparations for a regular meeting of the top-level Cooperation Council between Russia and Turkey and the second summit of the Astana process guarantor nations – Russia, Turkey and Iran – due to be held in early April in Ankara,” the… The ... Read More »

James Mattis Is an Ancient Roman Action Hero

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Argument In dealing with President Trump, the defense secretary seems to have done his reading on Emperor Nero. By Robert Zaretsky FP Since the 2016 election, comparisons between the United States and ancient Rome abound, motivated as much by President Donald Trump-Emperor Nero analogies as anything. Commentators have dwelled on the traits of theatricality, brutality, solipsism, narcissism, cruelty, and… There’s a problem, however, with these comparisons: their source material. Most have turned to the work of Suetonius as their Nero-knowledge ... Read More »

Welcome to a world no longer led by Moscow and Washington

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Scott Gilmore: While America slinks into isolation and Russia jokes on Twitter, Beijing is shaping the world order Scott Gilmore Macleans In Moscow, yesterday, the news must have arrived at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly and caused a stir. In retaliation for a nerve agent attack against a former double agent living in the United Kingdom, Russian diplomats around the world were being declared persona non grata in droves. Canada announced four were to be sent home. In Australia ... Read More »

Spy Attack Widens Turkey’s Split With NATO Allies Over Russia

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As U.S. and European allies form a diplomatic front against Russia, Turkey’s coziness with the Kremlin is testing its crucial defense ties with the U.S. and its military alliance with NATO. Selcan Hacaoglu Bloomberg The U.S., Canada and several European nations expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats on Monday to punish President Vladimir Putin’s government for the nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K. Turkey, which has grown closer to Russia in recent years, stayed out of ... Read More »

A New Cold War Is Not Inevitable

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Top NATO and Russian military commanders have agreed to meet. Here’s what they need to discuss. James Stavridis Bloomberg When I served as Supreme Allied Commander at NATO from 2009 to 2013, I developed a friendly relationship with the head of the Russian armed forces, General Nikolai Makarov. He was a short, barrel-chested man with a congenial personal style, and given my own somewhat compact physique, I could at least tell my boss, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, that I ... Read More »

Palestinian refugees lament as Trump funding cuts create job insecurity and a pension crisis

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The livelihoods and long-term futures of thousands of Palestinian refugee families across Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank are at risk due to Donald Trump’s catastrophic decision to cut the American donation to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh The Conversation The US president’s decision to contribute only US$60m to UNRWA in 2018 – instead of US$125m – has been widely denounced as a brutal form of collective punishment for the Palestinian ... Read More »

Truth, Power, and the Academy: A Response to Hal Brands

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Academic expertise should guide U.S. foreign policy. Unfortunately, it does not really work that way. John Glaser War On The Rocks On a host of issues, there is an enormous gap between scholarship on international relations and the policy consensus in Washington. The United States persistently pursues foreign strategies that run contrary to the policy implications of the academic consensus. And on questions that are hotly debated in academia, Washington displays inviolable bipartisan unity. Hal Brands addressed the gap in ... Read More »

14 EU states announce mass co-ordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats over Skripal case

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Fourteen members of the EU have decided to expel Russian diplomats over the Sergei Skripal case, European Council president Donald Tusk has confirmed. RT It comes despite zero evidence proving that Moscow was responsible. Donald Tusk stated that further action could be taken. Germany, France and Poland have expelled four diplomats each, respective foreign ministries confirmed on Monday. The Netherlands and Denmark will expel two diplomats each, their foreign ministries said. Italy is expelling two Russian diplomats, while Lithuania has ... Read More »

3 years of Yemen bloodbath marked by US & UK arms deals with Saudis

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Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen turns three, with no end to the bloodshed in sight. RT Riyadh’s ‘modernizer crown prince’ just got plenty of new weapons from US and Britain for the occasion. It’s quite ironic that one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of our time stems from the events that were hailed in the West as a sign of great progress in the Arab world. The people have had enough, they are throwing down dictators and demanding political ... Read More »

Turkey still in talks to buy US Patriot missiles

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Turkish foreign undersecretary also set to visit Washington, perhaps next week, as part of bilateral working groups. Al Jazeera Turkey has said that it is continuing talks with the US over buying Patriot missile systems, while trying to iron out a number of issues between the two NATO allies. “I can say that our discussions with the US regarding Patriot missile system are continuing,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy told a news conference in the capital Ankara, while discussing NATO-integrated defence ... Read More »

US hostility means Iran must boost China, Russia ties: official

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Growing hostility from US President Donald Trump means Iran must strengthen its ties with Russia and China, a top official said on Saturday. Al-Monitor AFP “The use of radical elements hostile to the Islamic Republic shows that the Americans are trying to increase the pressure against Iran,” said Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s foreign affairs committee. His comments, carried by the semi-official ISNA news agency, were the first reaction by a senior Iranian official to Trump’s appointment of ... Read More »