Is U.S. Geopolitical Strategy Experiencing a Monumental Shift?

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The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team of mine at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged.

– From Graham Allison’s article: The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

For the past two years, my geopolitical assumption has been that the Trump administration would more or less continue along with the reckless, shortsighted, and disastrous neocon/neoliberal interventionist foreign policy of the past two decades focused on undeclared regime change and proxy wars across the world, especially the Middle East. Given his strange obsession with Iran, I figured he’d start a conflict there and that this conflict would end up a bigger disaster than Iraq. Continue reading

How a World Order Ends

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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

Germany Has Made Over 3 Billion Profit From Greece’s Crisis Since 2010

Extorted, subjugated and conquered. Greece has been a German vassal state for years already.

 

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Germany has earned around 2.9 billion euros in profit from interest since the first bailout for Greece in 2010.

As KeepTalkingGreece reports, this is the official response of the Federal Government to a request submitted by the Green party in Berlin.

The profit was transmitted to the central Bundesbank and from there to the federal budget. Continue reading

Eurocracy

All roads continue to lead to Berlin, the powerhouse that runs and dictates Europe’s future. In this case, Berlin is spearheading an effort to keep Italy subjugated before an economic crisis (it’s already capitalizing off of) gets politically out of hand as it did in Greece, which is now a German vassal state. It’s Germany’s goal to create a United States of Europe and economic levers are but one tactic in harmonizing Europe how it sees fit in achieving that end.

 

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ROME/BERLIN (Own report) – Following massive complaints from Germany, Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella blocked a euroskeptic from becoming his country’s finance minister, appointing an IMF man – favored by Berlin – to be prime minister. The democratically elected 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right Lega Nord majority’s opportunity to form a government was thereby denied. Euroskeptic Paolo Savona, a renowned career economist, was rejected because he could not have insured the maintenance of the EU’s common currency. Under his administration, resistance to Berlin’s austerity dictate could have been expected, whereas the newly appointed Prime Minster Carlo Cottarelli passed the test a few years ago as the Rome government’s austerity commissioner (“Mr. Scissors”). Savona’s nomination is the result of Italy’s growing euroskepticism, which, in the meantime, is also shared by other economists. “Germany profits, Italy loses” through the introduction of the euro, concludes Savona’s alternative candidate to the post of finance minister.

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The Arctic Silk Road: A Huge Leap Forward for China and Russia

The Arctic Silk Road: A Huge Leap Forward for China and Russia

 

The Silk Road, renamed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is developing infrastructure along land and sea trade routes. However, little is known about China’s initiative in the Arctic Circle, which represents a new route that Beijing is now able to develop thanks to technology together with the strategic partnership with Russia.

Involving about 65 countries and affecting 4.4 billion people, constituting thirty percent of the world’s GDP, together with a total investment from Beijing that could surpass a trillion dollars, the is an immense project that requires a lot of imagination to grasp the intentions of the Chinese leadership. With a host of projects already in progress, and some almost completed (the Sino-Pakistan Corridor known as CPEC is archetypical), the overland and maritime routes are developing side by side. Plenty of ink has been used detailing Beijing’s intentions regarding the East-West connections of the super Eurasian continent. Pipelines, railway lines, fiber-optic cables, telecommunications infrastructure and highways dominate discussions, together with talks about costs, feasibility studies, the question of security, and the return on investment. The land Silk Road is certainly an imposing challenge that is not just commercial in nature but sets the foundation for greater cultural and social integration between neighbouring countries. It is a project that in the long term aims to blend together the Eurasian continent and overcome the contradictions contained therein through win-win cooperation and economic development. Continue reading

The Limits of the Dictates

BERLIN/ATHENS/BELGRADE/BEIJING (Own report) – Berlin’s austerity dictate, ruthlessly imposed on Athens, is suffering its first blowbacks, weakening German hegemony over the EU. The China Ocean Shipping Company’s (COSCO) purchase of stakes in the Piraeus Port Authority, Athens had been forced to sell under pressure from Berlin and Brussels, is one example. COSCO, which had already acquired a small share in 2009, has been upgrading the port with investments in the three-digit millions. In the meantime, Piraeus has become Europe’s eighth largest port and is among the top 40 worldwide. Greece, which economically has been completely ruined by the austerity dictates, is hoping for more Chinese investments – and is no longer willing to participate in the EU’s routine official condemnation of China at the UN Human Rights Council. A similar development can be seen with Serbia. As part of its “Silk Road” initiative, China is planning to upgrade the rail line between Belgrade and Budapest. For the Serbian government, this offers hopes for a long term recovery. Brussels has now launched a probe into this project. According to experts, a policy based solely on austerity dictates and open pressure, as has been pursued by Berlin and the EU, can no longer be successful “in a multi-polar world.”

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Those Who Have, Shall Get

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – Through loans and government bonds, Germany is reaping a billion euros in profits from Greece’s debt crisis. The German government has confirmed that profits from financial transactions with Greece have already reached €1.34 billion. German firms have also profited from the fact that, due to the crisis, Greece has been forced to sell government property. In a joint venture, just recently, a German investor bought the majority of shares of Greece’s Thessaloniki Port Authority – in cooperation with a fabulously rich Greek oligarch. At the same time, the German discounter Lidl was able to increase its market shares in competition with its Greek supermarket rivals because growing poverty is forcing people to buy low-priced groceries. Mass emigration, particularly that of highly qualified Greeks, is generating little noticed profits. Many Greeks, whose expensive education was paid by Athens, now work in Germany – placing their skills, for which Germany has not paid a cent, at Germany’s disposal.

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Can a Divided America Survive?

Torn sign at a pro-Trump rally in Portland, Ore., June 4, 2017. (Reuters photo: David Ryder)

 

History has not been very kind to countries that enter a state of multicultural chaos.

The United States is currently the world’s oldest democracy.

But America is no more immune from collapse than were some of history’s most stable and impressive consensual governments. Fifth-century Athens, Republican Rome, Renaissance Florence and Venice, and many of the elected governments of early 20th-century Western European states eventually destroyed themselves, went bankrupt, or were overrun by invaders. Continue reading

Turkey violates Greek airspace 141 times in a day – Athens blast ‘flagrant violation’

Turkey plane

Twenty Turkish F-16 maritime surveillance aircrafts entered Greek skies [Getty]

 

TENSIONS between Greece and Turkey are increasing after Athens accused Ankara of violating its airspace 141 times in just one day.

Twenty Turkish F-16, 5 CN-235 maritime surveillance aircraft and 19 helicopters entered the Athens flight information region without submitting a flight plan, according to Greek reports. Continue reading

EUROZONE CRUMBLES: Germany orders Greece to LEAVE euro if it wants debts cut

Germany seems to be enacting plan B for its European conquest: Consolidate and strengthen.

 

Wolfgang Schaeuble

olfgang Schaeuble said Greece must leave the euro if it wants debts cut (Getty)

 

HARDLINE German minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has warned the only way Greece’s loans can be written off is through the country leaving the eurozone, as the debt crisis once again blows up.

Angela Merkel’s finance chief ruled out cutting the amount of money owed by the struggling Mediterranean state in an interview on German television.

He insisted creditors must keep the pressure on Greece to meet the strict terms of its bailout programme or kick it out of the single currency.

Markets reacted with alarm after the minister raised the prospect of a Grexit. Continue reading

Greece will NEVER recover under Europe’s brutal austerity plans – IMF’s shock warning

Greece’s bailout programme is not credible, says the IMF (Getty)

 

GREECE may never recover from its deep recession and financial crisis thanks to the brutal austerity measures demanded by its European creditors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned.

The debt-laden country has been set ambitious economic targets by the European Commission and countries such as Germany, which are not “credible” and will hamper growth, according to the Washington-based organisation.

Only through a “Herculean effort” will Athens be able to meet the demands of its creditors, and through slashing spending in vital services that will derail Greece’s long-term prospects, said the fund. Continue reading

Migrant Invasion Could Mean War for Greece and Turkey

Migrant Invasion Could Mean War for Greece and Turkey

 

“The crisis we are all confronted with is far away from being over soon,” EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said during a forum in Athens organised by the European Asylum Support Office.

  • He said an agreement between the bloc and Turkey to stem the flow of migrants to Europe must continue at “all costs”.
  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has suggested he might scrap the deal to keep hundreds of thousands of migrants inside his borders in return for the promise of accelerated EU membership talks, visa-free travel for Turks in Europe and financial aid.

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Alexis Tsipras claims creditors are making Greek crisis worse

All roads still lead to Berlin, the powerhouse of Europe, which is now economically dominating the continent. Cypress was yesterday’s target, today it’s still Greece.

 

Prime minister hits out about delay in deal to resolve debt crisis when there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’

Speaking at the Thessaloniki annual trade fair, where Greek leaders traditionally outline economic policy, Tsipras blamed a spat between the EU and the International Monetary Fund for putting off badly needed private investors.

“I would say that what is creating conditions of delay in regaining trust of markets and investors is the constant clash and disagreements between the IMF and European institutions,” he told reporters in a traditional no-holds-barred exchange. Continue reading

The Next Greek Crisis Is Coming

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A refugee holds an umbrella as he tries to light a fire during rainy weather at a makeshift camp in the northern border village of Idomeni, April 8. Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty

 

As you approach the northern Greek city of Kozani, which stands on a plateau surrounded by mountains, you start to see smoke—thick white clouds floating above the knotty shrubs and sun-dappled hills of Western Macedonia. This is the heart of Greece’s coal industry; the plumes come from the chimneys of power stations dotted around the region.

When most Greeks think of Kozani, they think of coal. In the 1950s, the Public Power Corp. (PPC), now Greece’s biggest electric company, took over the mines here and brought prosperity to this poor, largely agricultural corner of northern Greece. Locals soon abandoned their traditional ways of making a living: saffron cultivation, marble production and fur-making. Mining was not easy, but the workers were well-compensated. The city’s businesses flourished. Continue reading

The European Solution (II)

BERLIN/ATHENS/ANKARA (Own report) – Massive international protests are accompanying the start of EU mass deportations of refugees to Turkey. The first 750 refugees are due to be transported from the Greek islands to the Turkish coast between today, Monday, and Wednesday. More than 5,400 are being detained on the islands in EU “hotspots” to prevent them from escaping subsequent deportation measures. Several UN agencies have publicly criticized the EU measures – largely enforced by the German government – as being in violation of international law. Clinging to these measures of mass deportation, Berlin and Brussels are heading toward an open conflict with the United Nations. In protest, international aid organizations have suspended their activities in these detention “hotspots,” refusing to become complicit in the EU’s scheme. Protest by refugees is escalating on the islands and mainland of Greece. The government in Athens is expecting massive resistance to these mass deportations. However, to ensure successful deportations, Berlin has dispatched German personnel – members of the Federal Police and of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) – to the Greek islands. For the German government, these, under international law illegal measures, are of strategic importance.

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