German spies want $400M to play catch-up with the NSA

Your new post-America superpower:

Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR have turned up secret documents belonging to the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s counterpart to the NSA. It seems the BND is jealous of the digital espionage capabilities of the NSA and the U.K.’s GCHQ, and wants to up its game.

The documents warn that, if the BND doesn’t get the €300 million ($409 million) it needs to run expanded surveillance activities until 2020, Germany will fall behind even Italy and Spain in the spook stakes. They also suggest the spies hope to get their funding in the coming weeks. Continue reading

Syria: Assad regime is making gains and ‘planning a major push’

Recent military victories have severed rebel supply and retreat routes, allowing the regime to plan a major push to to crush divided opposition forces, a senior British security source told The Daily Telegraph.

“The Syrian opposition is doing badly and there is a risk of [further] defeats, although Assad cannot ultimately win,” the source said. Continue reading

German Spy Agency: Geopolitical Consequences Of US Oil Boom

Much digital ink has been spilled about the oil and gas boom in the US, the result of ever improving fracking technologies, and whether or not it will lead to energy independence, or even turn the US into an oil exporter.

Now a “confidential” report by the German version of the CIA, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), seeped to the surface. It sketched out the boom’s geopolitical consequences. Biggest loser? China. Continue reading

Germany to Cyprus: Terms of Surrender Not Good Enough

Cyprus is nearly conquered land, but as said, it’s part of a larger picture. It gives strategic access to project power into the Middle East. The Greek islands Germany has shown interest in the last five years or more also serve the same principal.

The German Parliament and European Union officials are refusing to support Cyprus’s bailout unless the country submits to further conditions. They’re accusing Cypriot banks of making dodgy deals with shady Russian businessmen, and they want this to stop.

Shortly before the end of last year, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias announced, with “heartfelt pain,” that Cyprus would seek a bailout from the EU. He said that terms had been agreed “in principle.” Spiegel Online wrote that the deal means that Cyprus “will effectively lose its sovereignty.” The “troika”—the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—“will essentially take control of the Mediterranean island,” it wrote.

Now we’re seeing that in action. Germany’s parliament is refusing to give Cyprus the money unless it changes its banking system and cracks down on money laundering.

A report by Germany’s intelligence service, the BND, that was leaked last November accused Cyprus of creating the perfect conditions for money laundering. It also said the country was giving Russian oligarchs Cypriot passports that allow them to live anywhere in the EU. Continue reading