How a World Order Ends

https://files.foreignaffairs.com/styles/article_hero_desktop_2x/s3/images/articles/2018/12/06/haass_rgb.jpg

 

And What Comes in Its Wake

A stable world order is a rare thing. When one does arise, it tends to come after a great convulsion that creates both the conditions and the desire for something new. It requires a stable distribution of power and broad acceptance of the rules that govern the conduct of international relations. It also needs skillful statecraft, since an order is made, not born. And no matter how ripe the starting conditions or strong the initial desire, maintaining it demands creative diplomacy, functioning institutions, and effective action to adjust it when circumstances change and buttress it when challenges come. Continue reading

All or Nothing

https://www.german-foreign-policy.com/fileadmin/introduction/images/maps/3_europa/11_grossbritannien.gif

 

BERLIN/LONDON/PARIS/ROME (Own report) – London’s government crisis escalated yesterday under the pressure of Berlin and the EU’s unaccomplishable Brexit requirements. Prime Minster Theresa May has barely survived a vote of confidence, which was ultimately triggered by the so-called backstop. Brussels insists on a regulation, which could indefinitely subjugate Great Britain to a customs union, without an option for a unilateral withdrawal and erect a trade border between two areas of the United Kingdom. These provisions are in Germany’s interests, but they will plunge Great Britain into chaos. The current government crisis in France is largely due to the austerity programs imposed by Berlin on Paris – while refusing to make any concessions at the EU level. In France and Great Britain, the extreme right is profiting, like in Italy, where Berlin’s drastic austerity dictates, have already crushed the traditional political establishment.

Continue reading

Wave of bomb threats prompts hundreds of evacuations in four countries

https://intelligencenews.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/First-Post-H-1.jpg?w=525&h=243

 

Police agencies in the United States and Canada said that most of the threats were emailed, but some were phoned in by unknown individuals. They warned that devices containing explosive compounds such as tetryl or trinitrotoluene would be detonated unless funds were deposited into an international account using the virtual currency bitcoin. The messages also warned that the alleged devices would be detonated if “any police activity or unusual behavior” were detected. A deadline of one business day was given to deposit the funds. Throughout the day, police agencies across three continents issued notices cautioning people to remain aware of their surroundings and report suspicious messages or behavior. It was eventually determined that virtually all bomb threats were not credible. Continue reading

Populism and paralysis in the West

By spring 2019, ‘our politics will be even more poisonous than now’

Is it coincidence or contagion, this malady that seems to have suddenly induced paralysis in the leading nations of the West?

With lawyer-fixer Michael Cohen’s confession that he colluded with Donald Trump in making hush money payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, America’s stage is set for a play that will run two years. Continue reading

Italy: A Brewing Storm Within the EU

https://mises.org/sites/default/files/styles/max_1160/public/Interest_expenditure-600x429_0.png?itok=cOzjGkxg

 

Over the last couple of years, the main challenge to EU cohesion has been Brexit, with the media sharply focused on the negotiations and all relevant developments. Since the release of the draft withdrawal agreement, largely perceived as a victory for the EU, those who support the European project and believe in a strong leadership from Brussels have projected confidence and optimism for the future. According to these voices, the divisions caused by the rise of nationalism and populism in the past years are healing, the relationship between member states is normalizing, while a future of stability and harmony awaits.

However, such a vision might prove naive, as it discounts a much greater risk to the EU than Brexit ever was: the political and economic powder keg that is Italy. Continue reading

Russia now world’s No. 2 in arms sales, report shows

https://i0.wp.com/www.spxdaily.com/images-hg/s-500-missile-battery-russia-hg.jpg

 

Russia is now the world’s second-largest arms producer, overtaking Britain and moving behind only the United States, researchers said Monday.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in a report sales of arms and military services totaled $398.2 billion in 2017. The figure, which excludes China because of a lack of available data, is 2.5 percent higher than it was the previous year and 44 percent higher than it was in 2002. Continue reading

Locations Of US, British, Chinese And Russian Aircraft Carriers – December 11, 2018

https://southfront.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/maritime_11_12_2018-1.jpg

Click to see the full-size image

 

This map shows the approximate locations of US, British, Chinese and Russian aicraft carriers and carrier strike groups. SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence tracks locations of these aircraft carriers using the available open-source information. No classified information was used in production of the map. Continue reading

China Intensifies Efforts to Topple U.S. Dollar

https://www.thetrumpet.com/files/W1siZiIsIjIwMTgvMTIvMDcvMWZ4Y3E0YTE5eV9ZdWFuX0dldHR5SW1hZ2VzXzk1NjI0OTAxLmpwZyJdXQ/adde5042e8f342a0/Yuan%20-%20GettyImages-95624901.jpg

China Photos/Getty Images

 

‘The pace of expansion has been explosive’ for China’s new yuan-denominated oil futures contract.

Less than a year after China launched an oil futures contract denominated in the Chinese currency, the contract is beginning to be embraced by global commodities traders.

The Chinese Communist Party has long desired to see the United States dollar sidelined and the Chinese currency, the yuan, take on a more central role in global finance. The latest major push toward that goal came on March 26 when China launched a new oil futures contract on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange denominated in yuan. Now the contract is finding increasing acceptance among multinational commodity traders, which could threaten the dollar’s position. Continue reading

Merkel Protégé Suggests Naval Blockade of Russian Vessels

https://image.zype.com/593087b25d3c19148e001735/5c01bd1aef995e14be004ee5/custom_thumbnail/1080.jpg?1543617952

(Photo Credit: Sandro Halank via Creative Commons 3.0)

 

G7 foreign ministers release their own statement of condemnation against the Kremlin.

In an interview with Reuters today, German politician Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Christian Democratic Union leadership front-runner and protege of Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the European Union and U.S. should consider a full blockade of all Russian vessels at their ports in response to the Kerch Strait incident. Continue reading

MI6 Scrambling To Stop Trump From Releasing Classified Docs In Russia Probe

https://www.strategic-culture.org/images/news/2018/11/27/or-41816.jpg

Photo: Flickr

 

The UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation, according to The Telegraph, stating that any disclosure would “undermine intelligence gathering if he releases pages of an FBI application to wiretap one of his former campaign advisers.”

Trump’s allies, however, are fighting back – demanding transparency and suggesting that the UK wouldn’t want the documents withheld unless it had something to hide. 

The Telegraph has talked to more than a dozen UK and US officials, including in American intelligence, who have revealed details about the row. 

British spy chiefs have “genuine concern” about sources being exposed if classified parts of the wiretap request were made public, according to figures familiar with discussions.  Continue reading

Royal Navy warship buzzed by 17 ‘hostile’ Russian fighter jets near Crimea risking crash

https://cdn.images.dailystar.co.uk/dynamic/204/photos/923000/620x/royal-navy-russian-jets-744673.jpg?r=5bfcf511bdc62

BRAZEN HOSTILITY: HMS Duncan was buzzed by 17 Russian fighter jets (Pic: GETTY)

 

A ROYAL Navy warship was harassed by 17 Russian fighting jets in an “unprecedented” show of military force near the annexed Crimean Peninsula.

HMS Duncan was sailing through the Black Sea with a fleet of NATO warships when the Russian fighter jets swooped in a display of “brazen hostility”.

Video of the dramatic moment in May earlier this year is being aired as part of the Channel 5 documentary following the operations of the Type 45 destroyer in the volatile region. Continue reading

A ‘Big Step Forward’ for Europe’s Vision of a Combined Military

https://www.thetrumpet.com/files/W1siZiIsIjIwMTgvMTEvMjMvNTZsdHhzemJva18xODExMjNfQnVuZGVzd2Vocl9HZXR0eUltYWdlc18xMDYwOTYwNDQyLmpwZyJdXQ/fb5c22b572e9654f/181123-Bundeswehr-GettyImages-1060960442.jpg

A Bundeswehr soldier stands next to his machine gun at the airport near the Gao base in northern Mali. (Getty Images)

 

A ‘Big Step Forward’ for Europe’s Vision of a Combined Military

Defense ministers and foreign ministers from 25 European Union member nations took a “big step forward” on November 19 in the direction of a European military, initiating 17 new European defense projects, including a shared school for spies.

The projects on the official list are from the latest November 19 agreement and the previous March 6 agreement, all facilitated under Europe’s Permanent Structured Cooperation pact, which is a framework for increased military cooperation and development among EU member states. Continue reading

Russia ‘fires at Ukraine ships and captures three vessels’ amid rising tensions off Crimea

https://e3.365dm.com/18/11/1600x900/skynews-ukraine-russia-crimea_4499745.jpg

A Russian cargo ship earlier blocked Ukraine’s boats from entering the Sea of Azov

 

The Ukrainian president calls for emergency session of his war cabinet after at least two sailors are injured in the strikes.

Ukraine says Russia has opened fire on its ships in the Black Sea and captured three vessels.

Two sailors have been wounded after two artillery boats were hit in the strikes, the Ukrainian navy said. Continue reading

Secession From The European Union

https://orientalreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Secession-from-th-EU.jpg

British Prime Minister Theresa May looks to passing by heads of government after the family photo at the informal EU summit in Salzburg, Austria, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.

 

The member states of the European Union seem unaware of the clouds that are gathering above their heads. They have identified the most serious problems of the EU, but are treating them with nonchalance, and fail to understand what the British secession (Brexit) implies. They are slowly sinking into a crisis which may only be resolved by violence.

The origin of the problem

During the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the members of the European Community accepted to bow to the decisions of the United States and to integrate the states of Central Europe, even though these states did not correspond in any way to the logical criteria of adhesion. With this momentum, they adopted the Maastricht Treaty, which transformed the European project of economic coordination between European States into that of a supra-national State. The idea was to create a vast political bloc which, under the military protection of the United States, was intended to engage with the USA on the road to prosperity. Continue reading

Cyprus and Greece to create EU spy academy

https://s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/euobs-media/10a1fc706f65b5c072fe063094b70e09.jpg

Athens: new academy to provide ‘training in intelligence disciplines’ (Photo: Barcex)

 

EU defence and foreign ministers have agreed to create a joint intelligence training school and to develop new hardware, including drones and electronic warfare technology, as part of plans for what could one day be an “EU army”.

The “Joint EU Intelligence School” will “provide education and training in intelligence disciplines and other specific fields to EU member states intelligence personnel”, the EU Council said in a press release after ministers met in Brussels on Monday (19 November).

The project is to be led by Cyprus and Greece – two traditionally Russia-friendly states – at a time of heightened tension over Russian espionage operations in Europe and the Western Balkans, including assassination attempts in the UK and in Montenegro.

The EU foreign service already has a joint intelligence capability called IntCen. Continue reading