Global Geopolitics Update for 03.26.17

Global Geopolitics will be taking a quick break from 03.27.2017 – 04.04.2017.

In the meantime, feel free to browse through the category and tag archives to catch up to speed if you happened to miss anything since we started in 2012.

Thank you for your readership.

– aurelius77

USAREUR General: Terror threat in Europe highest in world

Commander of U.S. Forces in Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti speaks during a news conference in Tallinn, Estonia, March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

 

(WASHINGTON, DC) The threat posed by violent extremism is higher in Europe than anywhere else in the world, apart from actual war zones and hotspots, US European Command head General Curtis Scaparrotti said, commenting on Wednesday’s terrorist attack in London.

“The number of threat streams that we have of this type within Europe – it’s probably higher in Europe than any other part of the globe, with the exception of the places we’re actually physically fighting [terrorists], like Syria […] Afghanistan and Iraq,” the senior US military leader in Europe, who is also NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. Continue reading

Russia Warns Norway over Missile Defense Plans

 

Russia has warned Norway over consequences of joining NATO ballistic missile defense (BMD) plans. According to Russian ambassador to Oslo, Moscow will retaliate. Norway’s possible accession to NATO’s missile shield «will be a new factor that will be considered in our strategic planning as the emergence of an additional problem in the Arctic region», Teimuraz Ramishvili told the Norwegian state media network NRK. Continue reading

Russia not out to improve relations

Takes combative stance against U.S. around globe

As “welcome” as a bone-chilling blast from a mid-March nor’easter, more bad news continues to blow our way out of Moscow, minimizing the possibility of a springtime thaw in U.S.-Russia relations.

And I’m not talking about any of the U.S. domestic issues that have been in the headlines lately, such as charges against Russian FSB intelligence operatives for hacking Yahoo email accounts. Continue reading

Iran’s Spymaster Claims Pro-Regime Agents Operating in D.C., London, Canada

Iranian intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi / Getty Images

 

Claims pro-Iran ‘lobby’ pushing Tehran’s agenda in D.C.

Iran maintains a network of spies and lobbyists who clandestinely push the Islamic regime’s agenda in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, according to the head of Iran’s ministry of intelligence, who touted the pro-Iran network’s ability to spread its ideology to the West.

Mahmoud Alavi, Iran’s intelligence minister, in recent remarks independently translated by the Washington Free Beacon, bragged about the Islamic Republic’s ability to operate an unnamed “lobby group” in D.C. that helps to push the regime’s hardline agenda. Continue reading

U.S. carrier confronts two sets of fast boats in Strait of Hormuz

Iranian fast-attack boats. /Getty Images/File

 

A U.S. aircraft carrier on March 21 deployed helicopter gunships to track two sets of Iranian fast-attack vessels during a confrontation in the Strait of Hormuz, the U.S. Navy said.

Navy commanders told Reuters the USS George H.W. Bush confronted the Iranian boats after they approached a U.S.-led, five-vessel flotilla as it entered the Strait, Reuters reported. Continue reading

Philippines’ Duterte derides US for past inaction in South China Sea

Inaction, as Duterte puts it – and under the Obama administration – has lead to China’s unchecked rise in Asia during the last eight years. It will prove extremely difficult, if not impossible to reverse this tide without a major war that would jeopardize many lives. China’s hold was solidified with the artificial islands the Obama administration did nothing about.

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while answering questions during a news conference upon arrival from a trip to Myanmar and Thailand at an international airport in Manila, Philippines March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

 

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday accused the United States of having a provocative stance on the South China Sea and said its inaction when China started building manmade islands was the cause of tensions now besetting the region.

Duterte said Washington’s freedom of navigation patrols risked a “miscalculation” that could spark conflict, and accused the previous U.S. administration of pressuring the Philippines to take a stand against China, without a guarantee of military support.

“You go there in the pretence of challenging them?” he said of the U.S. patrols that began under the Obama administration. “One single solitary shot, it could lead to an explosion and it could lead to a war and it will be a slaughter.” Continue reading

Trump critic Patrick Cronin to head plum Pentagon think tank

Patrick Cronin, an Asian security expert with the Democrat-leaning Center for New American Security, has been named to the plum post of director of a key Pentagon think tank, the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies.

The appointment was announced March 10 in a notice from the center that said Mr. Cronin was approved by Defense Secretary James Mattis.

While Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said Mr. Mattis “was not involved in this decision” that was made before President Trump took office in January, the selection has set off criticism among conservative China analysts who are concerned about Mr. Cronin’s views and writings on China. However, the key eyebrow-raiser for critics was Mr. Cronin’s signing of an anti- Trump protest letter last year. Continue reading

Turkey Warns ‘No Europeans will be Safe’

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Turkey’s President, Tayyip Erdogan, has issued a shocking threat to Europeans across the world.

Speaking at a press conference in Ankara, Erdogan said: “If Europe continues this way, no European in any part of the world can walk safely on the streets.Continue reading

Vital Oil Shipping Lane Becomes Target In Yemen’s Civil War

 

Yemen’s strategic Red Sea port, through which some 4 million barrels of oil flow daily to Middle Eastern markets, is becoming a focal point in the proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and China is the only power with the economic deal-making leverage to keep this from becoming much more than a proxy battle.

The Red Sea port, near the Bab al-Mandab strait, is currently controlled by Yemen’s Shi’ite Houthis, and whoever maintains control of it has a strategic advantage. This port is a pathway connection the Middle East (where the world’s largest proven oil reserves are) and Sub-Saharan Africa (a region expected to see a four-fold increase in energy demand by 2040), making it a coveted geopolitical prize for regional powers, but a livelihood-destroying burden for Yemen’s residents. Continue reading

Marxist Socialism now relabeled as the Sharing Economy

 

In Canada, I was in a discussion with a socialist politician. I was shocked at the response to their view of the economy that everything you earned belonged to the state and they decided how much you were allowed to keep. This same attitude is displayed by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). They have cleaned up the way they say it softening the words and injecting a new term calling this a “sharing economy” and equating it to five key sectors of the sharing economy as being: “accommodation sharing, ride sharing, music and video streaming, online staffing, and peer/crowd funding.” The CRA is now selling socialism by relabeling this as a new “sharing economy” that assert “is becoming bigger part of the general economy, and that it is cooperating with industries, provinces, and territories on how tax systems and compliance is affected by such changes.” Continue reading

Obama Admin Loyalists, Government Insiders Sabotage Trump White House

White House

White House / Getty Images

 

Former admin planted series of landmines to subvert Trump team

The Obama administration worked in its final weeks in office to undermine the incoming Trump White and continues to do so, according to multiple sources both in and out of the White House.

Behind the effort, these sources say, are senior government officials who previously worked under President Obama and remain loyal to his agenda. These individuals leak negative information about the Trump White House and its senior staff to a network of former Obama administration officials who then plant this information in key media outlets including the Washington Post and New York Times. Continue reading

Our New War Party

What is transpiring now in the House of Representatives in the setting of the House Intelligence Committee is truly astounding. The Pontificatorium that is now “examining” “Russian Active Interference with the 2016 presidential election” has raised irony to the power of ten. FBI Director James Comey cautioned the members of the committee that he would be unable to comment on the details of any ongoing investigations that may involve classified material. And yet he has no problem with overstepping his self-limited description as a law enforcement official by offering astute foreign policy opinions such as “Putin hated Hillary Clinton so much.” The Intelligence Committee proceedings have descended into political theater, shamelessly top billed by Democrat Adam Schiff in his opening remarks replete with innuendo, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and “possibilities” of “coincidences” all designed to indict the Trump administration as a coconspirator with Putin’s Russia in defeating Hillary Clinton. Continue reading

Sweden prepares hundreds of nuclear bunkers amid fears of surprise Russian attack

A former Cold War era bunker in Stockholm now hosts Wikileaks servers

A former Cold War era bunker in Stockholm now hosts Wikileaks servers [AFP GETTY]

 

SWEDEN is preparing hundreds of nuclear bunkers ready for a surprise Russian attack amid fears of a Cold War in the Baltic.

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) has reportedly been tasked with reviewing the bunkers.

Swedish authorities built a network of 65,000 bunkers in the Cold War in the event of a nuclear war with the then Soviet Union.

MSB says the shelters can protect against biological weapons, fire and chemical warfare. Continue reading

Duterte Seems Alarmingly Resigned to Beijing’s New Building in the South China Sea

Over the last couple of years it has been said several times that Asian nations can no longer consider the United States a reliable partner. Its military has been decimated by budget cuts, technical problems (think F-35) and politics. The Obama administration had thrown into doubt the protection of Taiwan and Japan should either or both go to war with China. Asian nations see this and they don’t want to take chances on dealing with a bi-polar United States that changes policy whenever and whichever direction the wind blows with every new administration.

So, simply put, President Duterte has confirmed and cemented the the continuous prediction:

You take a gamble on a shaky alliance with the United States, go to war and see what happens. Maybe you’ll be defended, maybe you won’t. Maybe you won’t be offered full protection of the U.S. forces.

or

You play it safe, abandon the old club and join the club, and guarantee yourself not to get crushed in 48 hours by the Asian juggernaut.

Because of this realization, the day is coming where an Asian bloc will form under a Chinese protectorate. The vacuum is already there and is starting to be filled.

For further information, see the following (handful of many) articles:

Japan needs to seek out regional allies, view U.S. as ‘second resort,’ says head of think tank

Duterte Aligns Philippines With China, Says U.S. ‘Has Lost’

Beijing strengthens police powers in South China Sea

New blocs emerging: China and Russia vs US and Japan

Is Vietnam tilting toward China?

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a joint press conference with Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a joint press conference with Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. [SAKCHAI LALIT/AP]

‘What will I do? Declare a war against China? I can, but we’ll all lose our military and policemen tomorrow,’ President Duterte said this week.

In the mid-1990s Beijing reassured Manila that structures it was building atop Mischief Reef, near the Philippines in the South China Sea, were merely fishermen’s shelters. Today China has a militarized island at that “shelter,” complete with a runway and large anti-aircraft guns.

A similar progression could begin this year at the currently undeveloped Scarborough Shoal, which China seized from the Philippines in 2012. For Beijing, an installation there would go a long way toward establishing effective control over the waterway, creating a strategic triangle in conjunction with other facilities it’s built in the sea in recent years. Continue reading