OKTYABRSK PORT, Ukraine — On Jan. 5, the Ocean Fortune, a 380-foot-long workhorse of the global arms trade, left this Black Sea port with unknown cargo concealed in its cavernous hold. The ship steamed south, slipped through the Bosporus Strait and turned toward the eastern Mediterranean. Then it disappeared.
The ship’s transponder, which normally sends automated signals to other vessels and harbor masters along busy sea lanes, went mysteriously silent Jan. 9, just as it was rounding Turkey headed toward open waters, maritime records show. Not a trace of the ship was seen for two months, until it surfaced in the southeastern Mediterranean in mid-March.
The ship’s apparent vanishing act repeated a pattern seen by other freighters embarking from the same Black Sea port — a known point of origin for weapons shipments — over the past year. Recently, such behavior has begun drawing the attention of investigators tracking the flow of arms and supplies to the combatants in Syria’s 21 / 2-year-old uprising. Continue reading
Britain has sold industrial materials to Syria that could have been used to make chemical weapons, according to a new report by MPs on arms sales.
The Commons Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) said it was just one example of numerous questionable deals between UK contractors and countries the Foreign Office (FCO) deems to have poor human rights records. Continue reading
U.S. and Western weapons have been reaching Iranian-backed Shiite militias fighting to keep Bashar Assad’s forces in power in Syria.
Analysts say it’s unclear if the weapons were captured, stolen or bought on the black market in Syria, Turkey, Iraq or Libya. Propaganda photographs from Shiite militias posted on dozens of websites and Facebook pages show the weapons were acquired in new condition, said Phillip Smyth, an analyst for Jihadology.net, a site affiliated with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Continue reading
This is far from a reaction to Washington’s “pivot” as the CCP running China would say. Fact of the matter is, China’s threatening rise is what lead to the pivot in the first place. This is something that they would’ve done, regardless of the situation, yet more of now since they have a weak administration in the White House that doesn’t want its credit card cut off from Beijing.
China has been quietly taking steps to encircle the United States by arming western hemisphere states, seeking closer military, economic, and diplomatic ties to U.S. neighbors, and sailing warships into U.S. maritime zones.
The strategy is a Chinese version of what Beijing has charged is a U.S. strategy designed to encircle and “contain” China. It is also directed at countering the Obama administration’s new strategy called the pivot to Asia. The pivot calls for closer economic, diplomatic, and military ties to Asian states that are increasingly concerned about Chinese encroachment throughout that region.
“The Chinese are deftly parrying our ‘Pivot to the Pacific’ with their own elegant countermoves,” said John Tkacik, a former State Department Asia hand. Continue reading
After what the current US administration had done (and admitted) to overthrow Mubarak from Egypt, we now see the predicted result. Scuds today, ICBMs tomorrow.
Chinese missile technicians spotted in Egypt working with North Koreans to upgrade Scuds
China is covertly working with North Koreans to modernize Egypt’s short-range missile systems, raising new concerns among United States intelligence officials about the arms programs of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated government in Egypt. Continue reading
As LEAP/E2020 anticipated since the end of 2011, the end of summer 2012 marks the beginning of the revival for Euroland with the emergence of a positive dynamic fed by two lasting phenomena: first, the progressive operational installation of the instruments bitterly discussed and decided upon during the last 18 months and, secondly, the visionary spark brought by the political changes of the last six months which have put Euroland’s medium to long term future back in the middle of the decision-making process. The Euro’s progress these past weeks offers a perfect illustration of the phenomenon (1). That being said, Europe will be in recession for the next six to twelve months. It just goes to show that the only good news that we announced in the June 2012 GEAB issue is far from being miraculous.
In a certain sense, it’s even the contrary, since henceforth it’s no longer possible to hide the global economy’s tragic state behind the pretext of the “Euro or Greek crisis”. The more Euroland advances constructively, the more the “Potemkinien” (2) character of the US, Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian… economies’ « health » will show itself. The tree will no longer hide the forest, namely that all the major global economies are entering recession or slowing growth simultaneously, leading the socio-economic and financial world into a black hole.
At the same time summer 2012 will have marked a major acceleration in world geopolitical dislocation with a Syrian conflict which becomes more dangerous for the Middle East and the world day by day (3), Israeli-Iranian tension which is ready to explode at any time, and widespread testing of declining US power – from the China Sea to Latin America via the whole Muslim world. The strategic-military world is heated white-hot as the massive resumption of arms sales worldwide illustrates for that matter, with the United States supplying 85% of the total (4).
For these reasons, LEAP/E2020 maintains its June 2012 Red Alert and estimates that, by the end of October 2012, the global economy will be sucked into a black hole against a backdrop of world geopolitics heated white-hot. Suffice it to say that the coming weeks will, according to our team, carry the planet away in a hurricane of unprecedented crises and conflicts.
This shouldn’t necessarily be a shocker given that Germany has historically been militarily aligned with the Arab bloc. However, this gives a good indication of how the region is dramatically changing with Israel’s neighbors that once used to be peaceful enemies. Over 30 years of stability in Egypt has been overturned and this is the new creation.
German arms sales to foreign countries have to be approved by a federal security commission, whose discussions and decisions are not disclosed.
The Internet site of the weekly Der Spiegel on Tuesday revealed that the commission was due to discuss the proposed sale again even though it gave the green light in November 2011.
The agreement for Germany to supply Egypt with the two conventional diesel-electric submarines manufactured by ThyssenKrupp was first revealed by the commander in chief of the Egyptian Navy Osama al-Gindi two weeks ago in an Egyptian newspaper.
A few days later the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot quoted government sources as saying there had been “a marked deterioration in relations between Israel and Germany” over the deal.
Full article: Germany rejects Israeli pressure over subs sale to Egypt (Defence Talk)