Security

Europeans fear Trump may threaten not just the transatlantic bond, but the state of their union

BERLIN — As President Trump prepares to deliver his second State of the Union address, the leaders of the United States’ closest allies in Europe are filled with anxiety. Dan Balz and Griff Witte The Washington Post They are unsure of whom to talk to in Washington. They can’t tell whether Trump considers them friends or foes. They dig through his Twitter feed for indications of whether the president intends to wreck the European Union and NATO or merely hobble the ... Read More »

Refugees deported by Europe attacked by Taliban, ISIL

Afghans deported and returned from Europe tell Al Jazeera how they are caught in the crossfire amid rising attacks. Shereena Qazi Al Jazeera Nasir, a 26-year-old shopkeeper from the northern Kunduz province, left as a refugee for Europe in July 2015 – the year his father, a local police officer, was killed by unknown assailants. Last month, having returned to Afghanistan after being deported from Finland, he was injured in a Taliban-claimed massacre in Kabul that killed more than 100 people. As he recovered in a ... Read More »

Trapped in shrinking Syria holdout, Daesh turns to human shields

BAGHOUZ: On a rooftop near the front line with the Daesh group’s collapsing caliphate in eastern Syria, a US-backed fighter and his comrades sip tea as they await orders to restart the battle. AFP Arab News The Syrian Democratic Forces halted their ground assault on Daesh’s final shreds of territory last week, saying the militants are increasingly using civilians as human shields to block the advance. In the desert hamlet of Baghouz, held mostly by the SDF, 22-year-old Mohammed Ibrahim ... Read More »

Modi has ‘nothing to offer’ to Kashmiris: separatist leader

NEW DELHI: A separatist leader in Indian-controlled Kashmir accused New Delhi on Sunday of having “nothing to offer” to the disputed territory, dismissing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit as… Sanjay Kumar Arab News “If the Indian government is really keen to reach out to the people of Kashmir it should suspend all military operations and stop celebrating the killing of young innocent people. Development does not mean anything if there is no peace and dialogue,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chief ... Read More »

China’s research in artificial intelligence ‘far outranks’ Huawei threat, expert says

Experts are warning of the threat posed by China’s use of artificial intelligence (AI) to develop a survellience state, and say the risk of such authoritarian behaviour spreading to other parts of the world is increasing. Ian Burrows ABC While Chinese technology company Huawei is making daily headlines at the moment, Greg Austin, professor of cyber security, strategy and diplomacy at the University of New South Wales, said there were… “If I were asked which was the bigger threat from ... Read More »

Mexico’s New Neutrality in the Venezuela Crisis

Bucking the U.S. and several large and influential Latin American states, Mexico has not recognised Juan Guaidó’s claim on Venezuela’s presidency, and has instead argued for negotiations to end the country’s crisis. As Crisis Group’s Senior Mexico Analyst Falko Ernst explains, this position is rooted in a new Mexican foreign policy doctrine. What is Mexico’s position on the fast-developing events in Venezuela? Mexico has declined to recognise Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, and has adopted a… Mexico’s New ... Read More »

UN Rejects Guaido, Favors Discourse With President Maduro

Guterres reiterated his concern about the impact of the current Venezuelan crisis on the people. UN News, by teleSUR/ jf-GB The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recognized, Friday, the representation of the Venezuelan Government – led by its Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza – while rejecting the interests of deputy of the National Assembly (AN), Juan Guaido, who… Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, confirmed that Guterres responded to a letter, which was sent by Juan Guaido asking the agency to send humanitarian aid to… UN Rejects Guaido… Read More »

Kurdish lobby struggles to slow US pullout from Syria

Reeling from President Donald Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria, the political wing of the Pentagon-backed Kurdish group that has spent the past four years fighting the Islamic State started the… Jack Detsch Al-Monitor It’s not clear how the delegation, led by Ilham Ahmed, happened upon the president. Trump told the group “I love the Kurds” and promised that the US allies are “not going to be killed” by Turkish forces, the Syrian Democratic Committee co-president recalled ... Read More »

Turkey’s Sweeping “Educational” Penetration into the Balkans

As part of its expansionist neo-Ottoman agenda, the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been building mosques and setting up Islamic educational institutions around the world. Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute The mosque that Ankara is currently constructing in Tirana, Albania, will reportedly be the largest of the dozens of its mosques in the Balkans. Through the Maarif Foundation — established in 2016 by means of a law enacted by the Turkish parliament, which gave it the authority to ... Read More »

NATO Starts Building Its First Western Balkans Air Base in Kucova, Albania

TIRANA, Albania (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The Ministry of Defence of Albania announced on Thursday (24th January 2019) that NATO has officially launched works in Albania’s Kucova for building its first air base in the Western Balkans, learned BulgarianMilitary.com The beginning of the unique for the Western Balkans Project was marked by a meeting in Tirana between the Defence Minister Olta Xhacka and the Commander Allied Air Command, General Tod D. Wolters. General Tod D. Wolters commented, “Kucova Air Base has unique ... Read More »

China puts up ‘rescue center’ in West Philippine Sea

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 30) — China has established a “maritime rescue center” in the West Philippine Sea, state-run media said Tuesday. By CNN Philippines Staff Quoting China’s Ministry of Transport, Chinese news outfit Xinhua reported that the rescue center was opened Tuesday in Fiery Cross Reef or Kagitingan Reef, one of the Beijing-occupied artificial islands in the Spratlys in the disputed South China Sea. “The center will offer better support to maritime rescue operations in the southern part ... Read More »

Europe’s refugee crisis explains why border walls don’t stop migration

President Trump has long called migration a security crisis, but in recent weeks he has also referred to the situation along the southern border as a humanitarian crisis. Eleanor Paynter The Conversation As he ended the government shutdown in a televised speech on Jan. 25, Trump reiterated his claim that a border wall between the United States and Mexico would save the lives of Central American migrants, many of whom are women and children. “Walls work,” he said. “They save ... Read More »

Iranian parallels hanging over US-North Korea negotiations

With Washington focused on Pyongyang’s nuclear arms while overlooking missiles, it may be setting up a future Iran-style conundrum Stephen Bryen Asia Times In advance of the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, planned for next month, Vice President Mike Pence said the US will not require a complete list of missile sites from North Korea. Instead, the US plans to focus first on nuclear policy. But omitting a discussion on missile sites and missile ... Read More »

Interpreting the U.S. Talks with the Taliban

Talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha have raised hopes that the U.S. could end its involvement in Afghanistan’s war. ICG Our Asia Program Director Laurel Miller and Afghanistan analysts Borhan Osman and Graeme Smith break down what was achieved and what remains unresolved. How significant were the U.S.-Taliban talks? Last week’s six-day talks between the U.S. and Taliban were the clearest sign yet that the U.S. is intent on withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan, and that the ... Read More »

Hackers Turn the Tables on Russia

A new website features documents pilfered from Kremlin officials and agencies. By Amy Mackinnon, Elias Groll FP Russian government officials are getting a taste of their own medicine. A new site that collects hacked and leaked material from around the web late last week published a major collection of documents and emails belonging to Russian government officials and… On Friday, a site calling itself Distributed Denial of Secrets published a 108-gigabyte archive dubbed the “Dark Side of the Kremlin,” which ... Read More »

Centre-left Italian mayors are refusing to implement a government decree targeting migrants

Around 500 people will be evicted from a large refugee reception centre in Castelnuovo di Porto, a town close to Rome, before the end of January. Authors: The Conversation The move follows the adoption of a new “security decree” in early December 2018 by the Italian parliament, which reduces the rights of migrants and asylum seekers. The decree was spearheaded by Matteo Salvini, the deputy prime minister and leader of the right-wing Northern League, currently governing Italy in coalition with ... Read More »