No one else I know can muster as much deep experience and insight into the sprawling, incendiary world of geopolitics as my good friend George Friedman, founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures; and in today’s Outside the Box – part 2 of my 8-part SIC Speaker Series – George brings all his powers to bear to issue quite a declamatory statement on the present and future of the European Union. Continue reading
TOKYO/BRUSSELS/BERLIN(Own report) – With the conclusion of their free trade agreement, the EU and Japan are about to establish the world’s largest free trade zone. As was reported, the agreement between the two highly export oriented economic blocks, generating nearly 30 percent of the global economic output, could already take effect in early 2019. According to the EU Commission and German economic institutes the Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA) could lead to significant economic growth and the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs. On the one hand, the agreement is aimed at making up for eventual slumps on the US market and, on the other, is part of the containment strategy against China, the emerging powerhouse. Despite their differences, Berlin and Washington continue to cooperate in their opposition to Beijing. Parallel to the JEFTA agreement, the EU, Japan and the USA have declared that they will jointly take on China more aggressively over trade issues.
Do as we say or be punished. Democracy, EU style.
The EU is set to suspend Poland’s voting rights because the Eastern European country refuses to give up its legal sovereignty to Brussels. Classic EU ‘democracy’. Continue reading
Throughout 2017, America’s control of NATO policymaking has become more evident than ever, with the sole objective of war-making against Russia. NATO and Russia continue to build up arms, equipment, and troops along the eastern region of Europe, but there is a new development that has NATO worried.
Austria’s new government has pledged support for the EU, but aims to give a hard time to refugees and to be friendlier to Russia.
The policy lines emerged on Sunday (17 December) in a coalition deal between the centre-right Austrian People’s Party (OVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPO).
The pact is to see the OVP’s 31-year old Sebastian Kurz become Austria’s youngest-ever leader, with the FPO’s Heinz-Christian Strache as deputy. Continue reading
France and Germany have pledged to back the European Commission if it sanctioned Poland next week.
“If the commission thinks it has to trigger the [sanctions] procedure, we have a very clear and consistent position – we’ll support the commission,” French president Emmanuel Macron said in Brussels on Friday (15 December).
German chancellor Angela Merkel said: “If the commission considers it is forced to resort [to sanctions], we would also support the commission”.
Theodor Fontane, the master of German realist fiction, published his first novel, Before the Storm, in 1876. Set during the winter of 1812–13, in and around Berlin, it explores the decisive historical moment when Prussia changed sides—breaking out of its forced alliance with France in order to side with Russia in the anti-Napoleonic war. Yet the dialectic of the moment was such that Germans could join in the rout of the French while nonetheless embracing aspects of the French revolutionary legacy. Thus near the conclusion of the novel, the Prussian General von Bamme, commenting on social changes around him, a reduction in traditional structures of hierarchy, speculates, “And where does all this come from? From over yonder, borne on the west wind. I can make nothing of these windbags of Frenchmen, but in all the rubbish they talk there is none the less a pinch of wisdom. Nothing much is going to come of their Fraternity, nor of their Liberty: but there is something to be said for what they have put between them. For what, after all, does it mean but: a man is a man.”Mensch ist mensch. Continue reading
BERLIN/BRUSSELS(Own report) – The German government has announced that the EU Military Union will be officially launched this Monday, with the European Council formally adopting 17 projects aimed at creating joint EU military structures. Germany is in charge of the establishment of a European Medical Command, considered an indispensable element of future EU military operations, alongside the European Air Transport Command, which has existed since 2010. Berlin is also establishing logistical structures that would facilitate rapid interventions. The German Bundeswehr is also active in both fields within the NATO framework. The operational preparation for future military missions is influenced by a fierce power struggle between Germany and France. According to the German ministry of defense, the military union is not only aimed at reaching more “independence” from the United States, but also at advancing EU “integration,” which is difficult to achieve with civilian means. Continue reading
MUNICH/BERLIN(Own report) – The organizers of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), one of the world’s most important military policy conferences, are urging that the EU’s transformation into a war alliance be accelerated. The European Union of states should be able to take on “missions,” similar to the 2011 military operation against Libya, at any time, according to a recent report by the Munich Security Conference, the McKinsey management consulting firm and the elite Hertie School of Governance. Not only drastic increases in the military budgets are being demanded of the EU members, but, above all, investments in modern military equipment. The authors of the report not only emphasize the harmonization of European weapon system standards but are also demanding that EU-states invest more in research, and to a growing extent, involve universities, branches of civilian industries and so-called start-up enterprises. According to the MSC Chairman, the German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger, these are “essential” decisions, because it is “unsustainable” for the EU to continue to rely on US “protection.”
BERLIN(Own report) – Germany and the three remaining major West European EU member countries should formulate a joint foreign policy and implement it even without an EU-wide consensus, demands Norbert Röttgen, former Chair of the Committee of Foreign Affairs in the German Bundestag. Such an approach would be inevitable, because a foreign policy consensus in the EU is impossible “within the foreseeable future,” although rapid and resolute activity is needed to reach an “equal footing with the USA and Russia.” Experts are proposing, as an alternative, the introduction of foreign policy decisions being taken at majority votes. This would mean that EU countries – against the will of their respective governments – could, for example, be forced into serious conflicts with third countries. Reflecting major shifts in the global political fabric, these proposals have become elements of an intense debate within Berlin’s political establishment. The German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is warning against the escalation of conflicts, for example, with China, and the military does not rule out the possibility of Berlin’s loss of power, through the potential disintegration of the EU.
After weeks of tottering on the edge, Germany this week fell into full-blown political crisis.
On Sunday, the Free Democrats pulled out of discussions to form a coalition government. This caused the four-party negotiations to collapse.
Germany is in uncharted waters politically. This situation is unprecedented. The nation hasn’t experienced this much ambiguity and political instability since the Weimar years of the 1920s.
Der Spiegel wrote this week that this “is an unprecedented moment of uncertainty for a country that prizes stability and predictability above all else.” It is also reported that it is “difficult to overstate the impact of the collapsed talks.” Continue reading
Merkel faces the worst crisis of her career and many behind the curtain are starting to wonder if she will even survive. The German Federal President Steinmeier could not actually order new elections immediately. The procedure in this regard is quite complicated in Germany. The earliest possible alternative would be to hold new elections come the spring of 2018. It is likely that the AFD is likely to gather even greater support from new elections. Nonetheless, the CDU will continue to support Merkel at least right now. However, the CDU has been severely weakened by the election and if we do not see new elections until the spring, there is a distinct possibility that Merkel’s support even within the CDU could collapse if they see the AfD will win even greater support. Continue reading
President Donald Trump is jockeying to end the Iran nuclear deal once and for all, and Iran wants to make us pay.
Add this to North Korea’s constant threats, naval clashes in the South China Sea, and the recent Saudi Purge, and it can be tempting to stuff your money in your mattress or invest in commodities like gold and silver. Continue reading
Turkey’s megalomaniac is out shopping for excuses to turn on NATO and join the China-Russia axis… which eventually will happen.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is refusing to let NATO off the hook for an inadvertent yet insulting gesture that prompted him to remove 40 Turkish troops from a joint military exercise in Norway.
Russia Today reports that Erdogan has rebuffed a NATO apology for what he called “impudence” after his name was included on an “enemies chart” shared with military officials participating in the exercises. Erdogan’s name was reportedly included alongside a photo of Turkish founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Continue reading
Just some examples of George Soros’ network of influence.
Unlike the mad ‘Russian collusion’ conspiracies being peddled by the tinfoil hat wearers, there is real and documented evidence of billionaire George Soros’ global influence which gets virtually no coverage outside of the new media (funny that!).
Did you know that Soros met with Juncker and other top EU officials several times over the summer? Continue reading