China Working to Boost Role in Middle East

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China’s President Xi Jinping gives a speech during the 8th Ministerial Meeting of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July, 10, 2018. (WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Growing influence in the region helps China accelerate its Belt and Road Initiative.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered remarks in Beijing on July 10 at the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. Xi’s basic message to the representatives from 21 Arab nations and to the secretary general of the Arab League was that China seeks to become more involved in the Middle East.

He stressed the importance of Sino-Arab relations, saying, “Arab states and China are natural partners.” Continue reading

Did the President Just End Theresa May’s Career?

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He insists his comments to The Sun newspaper critical of the UK prime minister were ‘fake news’ that didn’t demonstrate his complete views.

The United Kingdom’s The Sun newspaper published a report today following an exclusive interview Thursday in which President Donald Trump criticized Prime Minister Theresa May’s approach to Brexit and how it may impact trade with the U.S. Continue reading

Trump Calls the European Union a Foe: ‘What They Do to Us in Trade’

 

President Donald Trump said during a Sunday interview with CBS News anchor Jeff Glor that the European Union is a foe.

“What’s your biggest competitor, the biggest foe globally right now?” Glor asked the president

“Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade,” Trump said. “Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe.” Continue reading

Russia moving into Libya

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Libyan National Army forces, under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Khalifah Haftar, is pushing for a Russian military presence in eastern Libya. (The Washington Times/File) Photo by: Mathieu Galtier

 

U.S. intelligence agencies are closely monitoring Russian military activities in Libya for signs that Moscow may soon build a military base in the divided North African state.

Intelligence reports indicate that Russia is planning to expand its Syrian bases at Tartus and Hemeimeem to Libya.

The possible Russian move into Libya represents the most recent failure stemming from the policies of President Obama that backed Islamist rebels who overthrew and killed Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Mr. Obama has said that the failure to prepare for the aftermath of the ouster of Gadhafi was the worst mistake of his presidency. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also came under fire for failing to provide security for Americans who were attacked and killed in Benghazi after Gadhafi’s fall. Continue reading

North Korea asked Israel for $1 billion to stop giving missile technology to Iran

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North Korea offered to stop selling missile technology to Iran and other enemies of Israel in exchange for $1 billion in cash from the Jewish state, according to former senior North Korean diplomat who has now defected. The account of the offer can be read in Password from the Third Floor, a book published earlier this year by Thae Yong Ho. Thae, a member of a prominent North Korean family, defected with his wife and children in 2016, while he was serving as a senior member of the diplomatic staff of the North Korean embassy in London. News of Thae’s defection emerged on August 16, 2016, when a South Korean newspaper reported that he had disappeared from London after having escaped with his family “to a third country”. Thae later emerged in Seoul, from where he publicly denounced the North Korean regime. Continue reading

More Dots

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Interesting Twitter thread from “Lycaon” today. It lays out a series of dots (no better use of Twitter than laying out dots) that connects Clintons, various Trump-Russia actors, and money-laundering. I think Lycaon would do well to re-examine Bill Browder’s  hole-pocked alibi as “anti-Putin avenger” but his inclusion of HSBC, presented by a US Senate committee on July 17, 2012 as a money-laundering entity, and James Comey’s arrival at HSBC as director on March 4, 2013, and then, seven months later, Comey’s appointment as FBI director by President Obama is sequencing worth recalling.

In between, of course, HSBC paid a giant fine in exchange for a clean bill of health. Continue reading

The Origin of Contagions lies in the Common Reserve Currency

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The question of money supply and inflation has been erroneously been set in stone predominantly by the debasement of Spain and Britain during the period of Henry VIII. This was really a period where there were various countries and their currency completely relied on the exchange market in Amsterdam, which was based entirely upon their metal content. This period was far less judgmental insofar as we have today where currencies rise and fall purely on anticipation of political events. During the middle ages, this influence of anticipating future value based upon possible political decisions was not readily dominant and the coins of one nation were compared entirely on their metal content.

For example, because of the French at war with Britain, they created a wave of inflation that spread like a contagion to other nations, namely Spain and Italy, because money was commodity based using gold and silver. In this way, there was really a single currency base among nations and the problems of one would be exported to all others by their debasement. Continue reading

Britain’s Navy at Half Strength

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Britain now has fewer than half of the naval vessels it had in 1990, the Telegraph reported on June 21. In that time, there has been a 60 percent decrease in the number of submarines, frigates and destroyers in the Royal Navy, according to a 2013 Ministry of Defense report. The service had two aircraft carriers in 1990: It currently has zero.

Britain’s defense budget has decreased dramatically. Today, Britain’s military spending is a little over half of what it was 25 years ago. Its defense spending has decreased from a Cold War high of 3.8 percent of its gross domestic product to only 2.2 percent, just above the nato minimum.

Despite keeping its nato commitment, Britain has lost its naval supremacy and is “at a historic ebb in firepower,” according to National Interest.

Britain does not recognize the need to maintain its defenses against military threats. Instead, it prioritized funding for foreign aid, the National Health Service and other domestic welfare programs. In the past, health, education and defense spending were equal. But expenditures in these non-defense areas have roughly doubled since 1990. Today, Britain spends almost six times more taxpayer cash on welfare than it does on defense. 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.

Continue reading

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

9 European States To Form Joint Military Intervention Force

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Leopard II battle tank is pictured in action at the Oberlausitz training area in Weisskeissel. Source: Reuters

 

Nine European states – France, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Spain and Portugal are going to establish a joint military intervention force, France’s Defense Minister Florence Parly has told the French newspaper Figaro.

“Defence Europe requires a common strategic culture … The deadlines and decisions in the EU are still much too long compared to the urgency that can arise from a critical situation in a country where Europeans would consider that there is a strong stake for their security,” she said. Continue reading

Big Dots. Do They Connect?

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Just came across an intriguing theory about Sergei Skripal, the former Soviet/Russian military intelligence agent who spied for Britain, and, along with his daughter Yulia, was nearly killed this spring by a dose of the nerve agent Novichok in the town of Salisbury, England, where they live.

In a March 21 interview on the John Batchelor Show, Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense and Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier.

Copley further explained (or tried to explain) to Batchelor (who kept cutting him off): “The people who wished to see Skripal become quiet were people in Washington, the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign, and people around Christopher Steele himself. I’m not saying necessarily that MI6 or the British government had a witting hand in it, but there are too many people who had an axe to grind to make sure that Skripal did not –“ Continue reading

The World Transformed and No One in America Noticed

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The world transformed and nobody in the West noticed. India and Pakistan have joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The 17 year-old body since its founding on June 15, 2001 has quietly established itself as the main alliance and grouping of nations across Eurasia. Now it has expanded from six nations to eight, and the two new members are the giant nuclear-armed regional powers of South Asia, India, with a population of 1.324 billion and Pakistan, with 193.2 million people (both in 2016).

In other words, the combined population of the SCO powers or already well over 1.5 billion has virtually doubled at a single stroke. Continue reading

Farage: Merkel’s finished, migration policy is her downfall

 

“She was the most powerful European leader, been in power over a decade. She was the dominant figure, not just in Germany, but in the entire European Union,” Farage said. Continue reading

As the G-7 Implodes, SCO Meeting Confirms the New Century of Multipolarity

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The historical changes we are witnessing have never been so evident as in the last few days. The G7 summit highlighted the limits of the Atlantic alliance, while the SCO meeting opens up unprecedented possibilities for Eurasian integration.

At the G7 meeting in Canada in recent days, we witnessed unprecedented clashes between Trump and G7 leaders over the imposition of tariffs on trade. We must now conclude that the event has been relegated to irrelevance, as the G7 has heretofore derived its clout from speaking as one voice. Trump even went further, refusing to sign the final draft of the organization’s joint statement after Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau lashed out at Trump’s trade decisions. Trump showed how little he cares for his allies, leaving the summit a day early to arrive early for the meeting with Kim Jong-un in Singapore to make preparations for the long-awaited encounter between the two leaders. Continue reading