Is Turkey Playing a Double Game with NATO?

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Pictured: A Russian S-400 missile battery. (Image source: Vitaly Kuzmin/Wikimedia Commons)

 

  • Why would Turkey first order a Russian defense system and then turn around and make a cooperation agreement with Europe for the same purpose?
  • This goes back to America’s apprehension that if Turkey uses the S-400s along with the U.S. F-35s, Russia could gain access to information about the aircraft’s sensitive technology.
  • If Turkey is playing a double game with NATO, let us hope that the United States does not fall prey to it.

In January, 2018 Turkey reportedly awarded an 18-month contract for a study on the development and production of a long-range air- and missile-defense system to France and Italy, showing — ostensibly — Turkey’s ongoing commitment to NATO. The study, contracted between the EUROSAM consortium and Turkey’s Aselsan and Roketsan companies, was agreed upon in Paris, on the sidelines of a meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Continue reading

Coalition of Those Willing to Go to War

PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) – Germany is participating in a new European military formation that was launched yesterday. Originally a French proposal, the European Intervention Initiative (EII) will be open to EU and Non-EU member countries to join. Expanding the existing EU military cooperation (“PESCO”) with a new operational component, the EII should facilitate rapid decisions on joint military interventions. A first meeting of military commanders from the hitherto nine participant states is set for September. The EII includes Great Britain, which plans to continue its military cooperation with the continent, even after Brexit, as well as Denmark. Since the coordination of military interventions is now officially set outside of the EU framework, Denmark can sidestep the opt-out from EU military policy, it had once granted its population. Referred to by experts as a European “coalition of the willing,” it goes hand in hand with the EU Commission’s militarization plans worth billions and the high-cost German-French arms projects.

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The European Intervention Initiative: a New Military Force Established in Europe

The European Intervention Initiative: a New Military Force Established in Europe

 

The predictions have come true about the emergence of a new defense group that will change the European security environment. On June 25, the defense chiefs from nine EU countries signed off on the creation of a new force called the European Intervention Initiative (EII), which is spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron. The new organization will have a common budget and a doctrine establishing its guidelines for acting and joint planning for contingencies in which NATO may not get involved. The group includes the UK, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia, Spain, and Portugal. Italy may join soon. The initiative is not tied to the EU’s Common European Defense, which includes the PESCO agreement as well as NATO. Great Britain has always opposed the idea of creating a European defense alliance, fearing it would undermine transatlantic unity. Now it has done an about-face, as the rifts within the US grow deeper. Continue reading

“It’s A New Chapter For Europe”: Merkel, Macron Unveil Plan To Reform Europe

Lost among the other overnight news, was the launch of “a new chapter” for the EU as termed by Germany’s troubled chancellor Merkel. After her meeting with French President Macron on Tuesday, Merkel said Germany and France have agreed to cooperate to reform the EU’s asylum system as both “understand the topic of migration is a joint task” and “our goal remains a European answer to the challenge.” What she really meant is that if her government is toppled by the collapse of the CSU-CDU coalition – recall Merkel has a 2 week ultimatum to reach a solution on Germany’s treatment of refugees by July 1 – the rest of Europe gets it too, and the grand experiment is over.

Aside from immigration, the two leaders agreed to an in principle plan to strengthen the Euro area, including setting up a euro-area budget and a crisis backstop under the ESM (European stability mechanism), although they postponed decisions on some elements which could prove consequential. Chief among them: specifics on the size and conditions of the euro-area budget. Continue reading

Iran poised to resume enrichment at deep Fordow facility

 

After Iran warned it will leave the nuclear accord unless benefits are forthcoming, an atomic energy official in Tehran said that uranium enrichment would resume at Fordow – if that happens. Continue reading

Why Italians are fed up with Europe

Joep Bertrams

 

The rise to government of Eurosceptic parties is the consequence of austerity policies made in the name of cleaner public finances and of the euro convergence criteria.

Two Eurosceptic forces are now governing Italy. On one hand the 5-Star Movement, the anti-system party of Luigi de Maio founded by the humorist Beppe Grillo. On the other, far-right xenophobic Liga led by Matteo Salvini. How could this have happened? How did one of the European Union’s six founding members, host of Treaty of Rome in 1957, and for a long time the EU’s most Europhile country, give a parliamentary majority to groups so hostile to European integration? Continue reading

Tone of Upcoming G7 to be ‘Confrontational’

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel got the ball rolling Wednesday by asserting she was going to engage in a diplomatic full-court press on the president’s EU tariffs, which impact her country the most. She was soon followed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who said he plans to “stand up” against his friend the president.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow tried to downplay the situation Wednesday afternoon, calling it “a family quarrel,” and said the president is merely “trying to fix this broken system” But, then he added:

“He’s sticking to his guns. He’s going to talk to them. The lines are open.” Continue reading

Merkel Backs Macron’s European Army Initiative

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“I am in favor of President Macron’s proposal for an intervention initiative,” the German chancellor told Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper on Sunday.

The topic has been under discussion since September, when French President Emmanuel Macron laid out his vision for a pan-European “military intervention force” with a shared military budget funded by aggregated tax receipts and supervised by a single finance minister. Macron’s vision – which is central to his integrationist message – was similar to a proposal laid out during a speech last summer by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who declared at the time that “soft power alone is not powerful enough.” Continue reading

Saudi Arabia Threatens War with Qatar

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(Photo Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin via Creative Commons 4.0)

 

The kingdom has threatened to build a nuclear waste dump literally at the border with its diminutive neighbor too.

King Salman has said Saudi Arabia would take military action to eliminate the Russian-made S-400 aerial defense system if it is installed in neighboring Qatar, which has reportedly entered into a deal to purchase several of the launch systems despite being home to a major U.S. Central Command base.

Accoring to Reuters, Salman “recently” wrote a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron that states, in part:

“The kingdom would be ready to take all necessary measures to eliminate this defense system, including military action.” Continue reading

Europe Plotting to Undermine New U.S. Sanctions on Iran

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas / Getty Images

 

Lawmakers working to ensure harsh repercussions for skirting new U.S. sanctions

European countries are currently examining a range of options to counter the reimposition of harsh U.S. sanctions on Iran in a bid to continue doing business with the Islamic Republic, a move that is being met with chilly reception on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are already putting in place measures to ensure that any European nation caught skirting U.S. sanctions faces harsh repercussions, according to a new policy paper being examined by lawmakers and viewed by the Washington Free Beacon. Continue reading

EU Launches Rebellion Against Trump’s Iran Sanctions, Bans European Companies From Complying

Following our discussion of Europe’s angry response to Trump’s unilateral Iran sanctions, in which European Union budget commissioner, Guenther Oettinger made it clear that Europe will not be viewed as a vassal state of the US, stating that “Trump despises weaklings. If we back down step by step, if we acquiesce, if we become a kind of junior partner of the US then we are lost”, moments ago Reuters reported that the European Commission is set to launch tomorrow the process of activating a law that bans European companies from complying with U.S. sanctions against Iran and does not recognise any court rulings that enforce American penalties.

“As the European Commission we have the duty to protect European companies. We now need to act and this is why we are launching the process of to activate the ‘blocking statute’ from 1996. We will do that tomorrow morning at 1030,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

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Merkel: Europe can no longer rely on US and Britain

As mentioned many times throughout the years, a United States of Europe is Under Construction. All roads lead to Germany’s Fourth Reich centered in Berlin, which is laying the groundwork for a European Army to complete the realization of the world’s next superpower.

 

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Chancellor Merkel at the rally

 

The German chancellor’s comments came after contentious meetings with US President Donald Trump at NATO and G7 summit meetings. Trump clashed with America’s allies over global warming, mutual defense and trade.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday that Europe has to forge its own path forward, as the United States and Britain were no longer reliable partners.

“The times when we could fully rely on others have passed us by a little bit, that’s what I’ve experienced in recent days,” she said while speaking at a campaign rally in Munich. Continue reading

Military Axis Berlin-Paris

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PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is forging ahead with the German-French military cooperation by intensifying collaboration in air transport. In addition to ambitious armament projects, the defense ministries of Germany and France have reached an agreement last week regulating the operation of a joint air transport squadron based in Évreux (France) as well as the training of the necessary personnel. The squadron will be available to both countries’ tactical air transport and supplement the large A400 transport aircraft, which will also be procured jointly by the German and French armed forces. Experts view the current cooperation – for example in the framework of the Franco-German Brigade – to be insufficient, because, so far, diverging strategic goals complicate its deployment. For his “vision of a new Europe,” Emmanuel Macron, under whose presidency the cooperation is to be expanded and improved, will be awarded Aachen’s International Charlemagne Prize next week.

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Iran: There is No ‘Plan B’

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Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has vowed to ‘shred’ the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal if the U.S. walks away.

The Iranian government has urged Europe to “encourage” President Donald Trump to recertify the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, saying there is no “Plan B” should the nuclear agreement be terminated. Continue reading

Export World Champion under Pressure

BERLIN (Own report) – With intense shuttle diplomacy, members of the German government are seeking to avert the impending US punitive tariffs on European goods and the loss of access to the important US market. Following Germany’s Finance Minster Olaf Scholz’s visit to the US capital yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected in Washington on Friday. Already in the run up to these visits, Berlin seems ready to envisage a revival of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This strategic decision is accompanied by a clear frontline position against China, as was resolutely demanded by the Trump administration. In addition, German-Russian business relations are increasingly under attack in Washington. At the same time, EU criticism of Germany’s unilateral trade policies is growing. Germany’s export oriented economy is particularly vulnerable to the protectionism that is gaining strength on a global scale. Berlin’s Beggar-thy-Neighbor-Policy could prove a strategic disadvantage under these new global economic conditions. Continue reading