U.S. Expected to Strike Back for Iran’s Downing of Drone

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President Donald Trump / Getty Images

 

Trump: ‘Iran made a big mistake’

The United States is likely to take military action against Iran in the coming days for Tehran’s downing a U.S. drone in international airspace on Wednesday near the Strait of Hormuz.

The Central Command said an RQ-4 Global Hawk drone aircraft was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace around 7:35 p.m. on Wednesday. Continue reading

U.S. ‘’Oil Weapon’’ Could Change Geopolitics Forever

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In a dynamic that shows just how far U.S. oil production has come in recent years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday that in the last two months of 2018, the U.S. Gulf Coast exported more crude oil than it imported. Continue reading

OPEC Threatens To Kill U.S. Shale

 

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will once again become a nemesis for U.S. shale if the U.S. Congress passes a bill dubbed NOPEC, or No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, Bloomberg reported this week, citing sources present at a meeting between a senior OPEC official and U.S. bankers.

The oil minister of the UAE, Suhail al-Mazrouei, reportedly told lenders at the meeting that if the bill was made into law that made OPEC members liable to U.S. anti-cartel legislation, the group, which is to all intents and purposes indeed a cartel, would break up and every member would boost production to its maximum. Continue reading

U.S. Supermajors Could Form A New Oil Cartel

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The ambitious shale growth plans of the U.S. supermajors could in the future allow them to control so much of U.S. shale oil production that they could also control the price of the U.S. light tight oil going to foreign markets in an ‘OPEC of their own kind,’ Investing.com quoted John Kilduff, founding partner at Again Capital, as saying. Continue reading

Europe’s “Geopolitical Identity”

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MUNICH (Own report) – At the Munich Security Conference last weekend, the power struggle between Berlin and Washington openly escalated to an unprecedented level. US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated his ultimatum that Berlin and the EU immediately renounce their political and economic projects, which are not fully in accord with US policy, pertaining particularly to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the Iran nuclear deal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the US demands. In view of the dispute with Washington, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas declared at the Security Conference that “Europe” faces the “crucial question” whether it will be “the subject or the object of global policy in the future.” It must, therefore, “transform geo-economic capital into geopolitical capital” to become “a cornerstone of the international order” and “develop its own geopolitical identity.” Maas is expressing his demands, at a time, when the EU’s Iran policy is about to fall apart and the European power base needed for Berlin’s ambitions is crumbling.

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The Power of the Pipes

BERLIN/MOSCOW/BEIJING (Own report) – The privileged German-European access to Russian natural gas could be lost, is the warning, as the battle over the “Nord Stream 2” pipeline persists. According to a recent analysis published by Oxford University, western sanctions, imposed on Russia in 2014, have encouraged Moscow to seek alternative markets for its resources. China, in particular, plans to purchase large amounts of Russian natural gas. The first pipeline is scheduled to go into operation this year. A second pipeline – tapping the fields currently supplying gas exclusively to Europe – is in planning. The same applies to new Russian liquefied gas projects. In the future, “European customers” will most likely have to compete in Russia with “Asian customers,” the Oxford University analysis predicts. Instead of forcing Moscow to its knees, the sanctions could put an end to Berlin’s privileged access to Russian natural gas and if the “Nord Stream 2” fails, it could further worsen the EU’s position.

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Leaked Wikileaks Doc reveals US Military use of IMF, World Bank as “unconventional” weapons

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WASHINGTON – In a leaked military manual on “unconventional warfare” recently highlighted by WikiLeaks, the U.S. Army states that major global financial institutions — such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — are used as unconventional, financial “weapons in times of conflict up to and including large-scale general war,” as well as in leveraging “the policies and cooperation of state governments.”

The document, officially titled “Field Manual (FM) 3-05.130, Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare” and originally written in September 2008, was recently highlighted by WikiLeaks on Twitter in light of recent events in Venezuela as well as the years-long, U.S.-led economic siege of that country through sanctions and other means of economic warfare. Though the document has generated new interest in recent days, it had originally been released by WikiLeaks in December 2008 and has been described as the military’s “regime change handbook.” Continue reading

Venezuela Has 20 Tons of Gold Ready to Ship. Address Unknown

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Venezuela Has 20 Tons of Gold Ready to Ship. Address Unknown (Yahoo!)

 

(Bloomberg) — Venezuelan lawmaker Jose Guerra dropped a bombshell on Twitter Tuesday: The Russian Boeing 777 that had landed in Caracas the day before was there to spirit away 20 tons of gold from the vaults of the country’s central bank.

The claim set off a welter of social media speculation and outrage. When asked how he knew this, Guerra provided no evidence. Continue reading

Robert Rapier on the End of OPEC and Rise of Electric Vehicles

In a recent interview with Financial Sense’s Jim Puplava, energy expert Robert Rapier explained why he thinks OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) is headed for trouble and what the increased popularity of electric vehicles will do to oil markets. It’s only a matter of time before the markets are hit by the wave of newer cleaner energy. Rapier walked us through what this could look like for OPEC and how other countries and companies are tackling the issue. Continue reading

U.S. oil output to surpass Saudi and Russia combined by 2025

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Driven by a continued shale boom, the United States is on track to produce more crude oil and liquids than Russia and Saudi Arabia combined by 2025, an energy consultancy said. Continue reading

What Would The End Of OPEC Mean?

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – the oil market institution that has exerted an unyielding power over the price of crude for nearly 60 years – is now in deep crisis. The latest OPEC meeting in Vienna offered new insights into the cartel’s raging civil war that is tearing it apart and threatens to ultimately make the cartel irrelevant.

In a two-year period since the group of 15 major oil producers formed an alliance with Russia, OPEC’s smaller members have been marginalized, their voices have been diminished and Saudi Arabia seems to prioritize its partnership with Moscow above all else. An unlikely partnership between Saudi Arabia and Russia is causing dissension within OPEC, with one of the oldest members announcing it would withdraw from the organization in January just days prior to the talks. With Russia tightening its grip over OPEC’s decisions and the United States officially reaching net oil exporting status in late November for the first time in decades, even if only briefly, the new world oil order is now dependent on three energy superpowers: Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States. Continue reading

How the New Silk Roads are merging into Greater Eurasia

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People take pictures of the first freight train from Shenzhen to Minsk, capital of Belarus, that set out of Yantian Port in Shenzhen in May 2017. Photo: Reuters / stringer

 

Russia’s embrace of the Far East and other parts of Asia is proceeding with a symbiotic embrace of China’s New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative

The concept of Greater Eurasia has been discussed at the highest levels of Russian academia and policy-making for some time. This week the policy was presented at the Council of Ministers and looks set to be enshrined, without fanfare, as the main guideline of Russian foreign policy for the foreseeable future.

President Putin is unconditionally engaged to make it a success. Already at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in 2016, Putin referred to an emerging “Eurasian partnership” Continue reading

China Intensifies Efforts to Topple U.S. Dollar

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‘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

The German-American Relationship Illusion

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Demonstrators march through Berlin to protest U.S. President Donald Trump on Jan. 20, 2017. (Omer Messinger/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

 

Germans see relations as negative; Americans see them as positive. What is going wrong?

Germans and Americans have very different ideas of the relationship between their two countries, according to a survey published by the Körber Foundation and the American Pew Research Center last month.

While 73 percent of Germans surveyed described relations with the United States of America as “somewhat bad” or “very bad,” 70 percent of Americans said that relations with the German Federal Republic were “somewhat good” or “very good.” Continue reading

U.S. Aircraft Carrier Heads To Persian Gulf In “Show Of Force” After Iran Ballistic Missile Test

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USS John C. Stennis nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, via Defence Blog

 

Days after Iran unveiled its first stealth destroyer in a televised ceremony on Saturday which saw the warship launched into operation in the Persian Gulf, and after the US condemned Iran’s test firing a medium-range nuclear capable ballistic missile on Sunday, Pentagon officials have announced the U.S. is sending an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf in a show of force against Iran. Continue reading