Russia

America is Addicted to Sanctions

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Ukraine is a good case study in the ineffectiveness of sanctions. The best way to think about the role of sanctions in American foreign policy is to regard it as an addiction. Nicolai N. Petro The National Interest Think about it. The inability to change the behavior of even the most rinky-dink nations must be enormously frustrating to those at the helm of the world’s lone superpower. This leads, not surprisingly, to the search for ways to assuage this sense ... Read More »

The fallout from Turkey’s crisis will cause damage far beyond its borders

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s hubris has destablised a nation of pivotal regional importance Simon Tisdall The Guardian Hubris begets nemesis, as the ancient Greeks opined. It’s a life lesson Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s arrogant leader, appears unable to absorb as his country teeters over an abyss of his making. Erdoğan argued in June’s elections that an all-powerful executive presidency was the best way to govern – and he was the best man for the job. His wish was granted. Now Turkey ... Read More »

Economic war on Iran is war on Eurasia integration

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US sanctions on Iran should be interpreted as a piece in a much larger chessboard Hysteria reigned supreme after the first round of US sanctions were reinstated against Iran over the past week. Pepe Escobar Asia Times War scenarios abound, and yet the key aspect of the economic war unleashed by the Trump administration has been overlooked: Iran is a major piece in a much larger chessboard. The US sanctions offensive, launched after Washington’s unilateral pullout from the Iran nuclear ... Read More »

Turkey’s lira crisis: ‘economic war’ sees Erdoğan look east for new allies

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Global markets are on edge once again, this time thanks to the Turkish lira. It crashed more than 15% against the US dollar, euro and pound sterling on August 10 and continued to fall when markets reopened after the weekend on August 13. Emre Tarim The Conversation The latest trigger was Donald Trump’s announcement that he would double import tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium. But the lira has been falling consistently over the past year as markets fear for ... Read More »

US suspends military training program for Pakistan

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The United States has started cutting scores of Pakistani military officers from the education and training program, Pakistani media reported on Aug. 11. ISLAMABAD – Anadolu Agency Hurriyet The U.S. military institutions are “struggling” to fill the 66 slots,  which they had kept aside for Pakistani officers, for next academic year, the daily Dawn quoted anonymous sources as saying. The move comes a few days after Pakistan and Russia signed an  agreement to allow Pakistani military officers to receive training in Russian military institutions. “The fund for ... Read More »

The high price of ‘white genocide’ politics for Australia

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When Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton suddenly became concerned at the plight of South African farmers earlier this year, he may not have been aware that he was echoing ideas and memes not only of the alt-right, but also potentially of a… Chris Zappone Brisbane Times Publicity around the persecution of white farmers can be traced back through the alt-right, which has embraced it, to the well-worn conspiracy theories of white supremacists. In recent years, however, the alt-right has used ... Read More »

Embattled Nord Stream 2 seeks to skirt Danish veto

FILE - In this May 8, 2017 photo steel pipes for the North Stream 2 pipeline are stacked in Mukran harbour in Sassnitz, Germany. American officials say a pipeline project between Russia and Germany risks triggering U.S. sanctions because of security concerns. Senior State Department diplomat Sandra Oudkirk says the United States opposes the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline because it could increase Russia's "malign influence" in Europe. (Stefan Sauer/dpa via AP, file)

Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline consortium on Friday said it had applied for an alternative route to skirt a new Danish law that threatened to block the project. AFP New legislation which took effect in January allows the Danish government to veto pipelines passing through the Nordic nation’s territorial waters based on its foreign policy, security and defence interests. Led by Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, the consortium said in a statement that the law gives the Danish foreign ministry ... Read More »

This Knocks the Legs Out from Under the Atom Bomb Revisionists Who Criticize Truman for Hiroshima

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The best way to get across the situation that Czarist Russia and then the Soviet Union faced in the Far East is to make it clear that the Maritime Provinces and their principal port, Vladivostok, were far, far more vulnerable than even the tenuous US position in the Philippines at the time of Pearl Harbor. D. M. Giangreco History News Network The lifeline upon which so much depended for the Russians was the Trans-Siberian Railroad and the chief of the US Military ... Read More »

NATO is a Goldmine for the US/Military Industrial Complex

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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 CounterPunch It’s got nothing to do with any defense rationale, because the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the… Even Radio Free Europe, the US government’s official broadcaster, acknowledged that “Russia, one of the world’s top military spenders, ... Read More »

Trump escalates attacks on Mueller probe

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President Trump on Wednesday called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to immediately stop the Russia investigation, a significant escalation of Trump’s attacks against the long-running probe that has dogged his presidency. Jordan Fabian The Hill The remark was Trump’s most direct public appeal yet to end special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation, which he has blasted for months. It also raised questions from legal experts about whether the president was attempting to obstruct justice. In a series of morning tweets, Trump ... Read More »

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 »

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 »

Ukraine jails scientist, 84, for spying for Russia

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A Ukrainian court on Tuesday sentenced an 84-year-old scientist to 12 years in prison for passing on military information to Russia, his lawyer and the prosecutor said. KIEV – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Mekhti Logunov was arrested in August last year in Kharkiv, a city in northeast Ukraine near the front with pro-Russian separatists, according to the regional prosecutor. “He was gathering information belonging to scientific institutions that were state secrets,” notably in the military domain, the prosecutor said in a statement. Logunov’s trial ... 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 »

The European Union Brings Serbia Closer

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The next EU expansion wave can “cover” Southeast Europe ahead of schedule In particular, Serbia can become an EU member even before 2025 – some six months ago the European Commission mentioned it as the most optimistic option. Peter Iskenderov Modern Diplomacy The corresponding statement was made by French President Emmanuel Macron when he received his Serbian colleague Aleksandar Vučić in Paris. At the same time, he again reminded that Belgrade first “must fulfill all the conditions” stipulated for joining ... Read More »