Poland Wants France to Share Nukes and Voting Seat on the UNSC

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According to the Polish Foreign Minister, Jacek Czaputowicz, a nuclear deterrent is the only way for European countries to demonstrate their sovereignty. Czaputowicz proposed that France share its nuclear weapons with the rest of the EU as well hand over to it its place on the UN Security Council.

Poland and Ukraine cannot stop provoking laughter from international observers. After the lunatic idea circulating in Ukraine of resurrecting the country’s nuclear arsenal, it is now Poland’s turn to send shockwaves around Europe. Polish foreign minister Czaputowicz proposed that France share its nuclear arsenal and hand over its seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to the European Union. It is is worth noting that this suggestion did not even receive an official comment from Paris, showing that there was little prospect of the Polish idea being taken seriously. Warsaw continues its opposition to the EU’s domestic policies on migration and austerity, while in foreign policy, agrees with countries like Ukraine and the United States, particularly the neocon faction opposed to Russia. If there is a distinctive feature in the political proposals that come from Poland, it is an acute Russophobia. The idea of ​​hosting a US base on Polish territory, and assuming its costs, is another Polish proposal. The Americans are serious considering taking them up on the offer. Continue reading

All or Nothing

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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.

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Italy: A Brewing Storm Within the EU

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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

U.S. Fears Iran Planning ‘Massive Regional War’ in Middle East

Israeli Merkava tanks parked near the border with Lebanon, after the area was declared a closed military zone by the Israeli army / Getty Images

 

Trump vows support for Israeli defensive operations after identifying Iran as source of tunnels into Israel

The Trump administration disclosed that Iran is behind the construction of several underground tunnels leading into Israel that Hezbollah militants and other terror forces have been using to conduct attacks, according to multiple U.S. officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon and communicated fears that Tehran is preparing to lead a “massive regional war.” Continue reading

Russia Shows Off New Laser Weapon After U.S. Threatens to Pull Out of Missile Treaty

 

Russian state media published video earlier today of its latest laser weapons system, the Peresvet. The move comes just a day after the U.S. said it would likely pull out of a key arms treaty between the two countries, and the timing of the video’s release doesn’t appear to be a coincidence.

“Peresvet laser systems, based on new physical principles, entered combat service in [a] testing regime with the Russian armed forces,” Russian Defense Ministry’s newspaper said, according to an English translation. Continue reading

U.S. gives Russia 60 days to comply with nuclear treaty

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends a news conference during the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 4, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

 

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States delivered Russia a 60-day ultimatum on Tuesday to come clean about what Washington says is a violation of a arms control treaty that keeps missiles out of Europe, saying only Moscow could save the pact.

NATO allies led by Germany pressed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting in Brussels to give diplomacy a final push before Washington pulls out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, fearing a new arms race in Europe.

“Russia has a last chance to show in a verifiable way that they comply with the treaty … but we also have to start to prepare for the fact that this treaty may break down,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters. Continue reading

U.S. Confirms: Iran Successfully Fired Nuclear Capable Missiles

Brian Hook

Brian Hook / Getty Images

 

In violation of ban, Tehran shows off nuke-capable missiles as U.S. pressures Europe to take tougher line

Senior U.S. officials confirmed early Monday that Iran has successfully test-fired multiple nuclear-capable missiles in violation of United Nations restrictions on such activity, drawing a fierce reaction from the Trump administration, which will pressure European leaders this week to take immediate action aimed at countering Iran’s latest military moves. Continue reading

Deal Gives China Access To War Room Mapping Software Used By NATO

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Screenshot from Luciad demo video.

 

It’s considered the “Ferrari of war room software” which gives the United States and European military planners and operational commanders a distinctive edge. And it’s just been handed over to China.

The big screen software that allows for “real time” military operational awareness relied upon by NATO and the Pentagon to make instant decisions while troops are in the field conducting live operations has been obtained by Beijing as part of a deal with the defense contractor Luciad, a Belgian-based company. With such technology, according to the story revealed in a South China Morning Post (SCMP) exclusive based on accessing Chinese government contractor sources, this will put the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “on an equal organizational footing with some of the West’s elite military operations.” Continue reading

European Central Bank In Panic Mode as Economy Stalls

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The eurozone could not borrow from the momentum of the U.S. economy in the third quarter as economic growth slumped to a tepid 0.2% , the slowest rate in more than four years. With the 19-nation currency bloc beginning to stagnate, and the heavyweights failing to post significant gains, Brussels is in panic mode, likely leaning on the European Central Bank (ECB) for further stimulus.

Economists originally anticipated growth of 0.4%. But global trade woes, tumbling business confidence, Italian distress, and the gradual dissipation of an accommodative monetary policy all contributed to the poor numbers in the July-September period. Continue reading

Coalition of Those Willing to Go to War (II)

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PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) – The European Intervention Initiative (Initiative européenne d’intervention, IEI) initiated by Paris and supported by Berlin, will begin work this week. Representatives of the ten participating states took this decision in the French capital, yesterday. France’s President Emmanuel Macron promoted the IEI, aimed at rapid deployment capability, in search of gaining support for his country’s over-stretched armed forces. So far, Berlin has been applying the brakes. The German government is focused on systematically merging European troops, for example, within the framework of the EU’s “PESCO” projects and integrating European arms industries with the help of subsidies from the EU Defense Fund. In the future EU budget, the EU Defense Fund is to be increased thirty-fold, to more than €17 billion. Despite all the dissention, Berlin (with PESCO) and Paris (with IEI) are both seeking to establish a European armed forces, which can be deployed on a global scale, independent of the USA.

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The EU’s ‘Internal Enemies’

BERLIN (Own report) – In view of the conflict between Brussels and Rome over Italy’s national budget, the German establishment is increasing its demands to resolutely fight the “internal enemies” of the EU. The Union must “now be vigorously defended,” wrote a leading German daily. The Italian government coalition is “not worth risking the country’s fate.” The Italian government is being put into question, because it refuses to continue to submit to German austerity dictates. Berlin’s dominance over the EU is also being met with mounting protests in other member countries. Poland and Hungary are not the only countries, where controversies are intensifying. Anger at Berlin is also growing in France. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the founder of “La France insoumise,” who, with almost 20 percent, barely missed making the run-offs in the 2017 presidential elections, has now called for “France to withdraw from all EU treaties.” The German elite’s reaction is becoming more hostile.

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The EU’s Game of Chicken

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LONDON/BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Own report) – The EU’s heads of states and governments were again unable to make progress in the Brexit negotiations last Wednesday, provoking strong criticism from the German business community. Their only proposal was to prolong the transitional period another year, which is out of the question for London, because this would cost the UK additional billions of pounds. The EU is “too inflexible” in the Brexit negotiations, criticized the head economist of Commerzbank. It is a “stickler for principles,” even though it has itself “stretched the rules to the point of becoming unrecognizable” – such as those of the currency union. Commentaries assume that Brussels seeks to set a deterrent example. The EU sees itself “too unattractive,” to be able to prevent other countries from leaving by other means. At the same time, Brussels is running the risk of the Brexit negotiations collapsing, which would cause serious losses, particularly to German industry. Experts do not rule out German export losses in the double-digit billions.

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Italy Declares War on Merkel and the EU

Italy Declares War on Merkel and the EU

 

If there were ever any doubts that the leaders of the Euroskeptic coalition that now runs Italy has a plan to defy the European Union its proposed budget should quell them. Both Deputy Prime Ministers, Luigi Di Maio of Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini of The League, were adamant about locking horns with European Union leadership over all issues of sovereignty between now and May’s European Parliamentary elections.

Their budget proposal which included both tax cuts and universal income blew past the EU budget limit of 2.0% of GDP, coming in at 2.4%. It has put their Finance Minister, Giovanni Tria, in a difficult position because Tria doesn’t want to negotiate this budget with Brussels, preferring a less confrontational, read more pro-EU, approach. Continue reading

EU wants continental free-trade deal with Africa

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‘There is a huge potential in Africa,’ said EU policy chief Mogherini as she announced a new continent-to-continent trade deal plan (Photo: © European Union , 2018 / Photo: Lukasz Kobus)

 

The European Commission wants a continent-to-continent free trade deal with Africa, shifting relations away from development towards trade.

The proposal is a long-term goal for what it describes as a “new alliance” with the continent amid promises to create up to 10 million Africa-based jobs in the next five years.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels on Friday (14 September), the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the latest plan is different from all the past announcements on Africa. Continue reading

Europe Is Working On Alternative To SWIFT For “Financial Independence” From The US

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German foreign minister Heiko Maas

 

In the aftermath of a report that Germany was working on a global payment system that is independent of the US and SWIFT, on Monday Germany and France said they’re working on financing solutions to sidestep U.S. sanctions against countries such as Iran, including a possible role for central banks, Bloomberg reported.

“With Germany, we are determined to work on an independent European or Franco-German financing tool which would allow us to avoid being the collateral victims of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday during a meeting with press association AJEF. “I want Europe to be a sovereign continent not a vassal, and that means having totally independent financing instruments that do not today exist.”

The discussions, which also involve the U.K., are a signal that European powers are trying to get serious about demonstrating a greater level of independence from the U.S. as President Donald Trump pursues his “America First” agenda. Continue reading