Report: U.S. Can Use Energy Clout to Pressure Russia, Ease Tensions With China

Experts say America can use status as global energy power to advance national security goals

The United States has been slow to recognize how its emergence as a leading energy producer can be used as leverage to build cooperation with China and apply pressure to Russia, according to a new report.

The U.S. government could take advantage of the modern energy market to reduce tensions with China by boosting cooperation in energy trade and also deal a blow to Russia by providing increased competition in the energy sector, a panel of experts from the Center for a New American Security write in a report released this month. Continue reading

The China Syndrome: The Coming Global Financial Meltdown

The 1979 film The China Syndrome took its name from the darkly humorous notion that a nuclear reactor meltdown in the U.S. would burn straight through the Earth to China. (wikipedia: The China Syndrome)

In today’s world, the financial meltdown in China has burned straight through the global financial system to the U.S. financial markets. The mainstream financial media is delighted to promote the many links between the U.S. and Chinese economies when the two economies are feeding each other’s expansion in a tightly coupled virtuous cycle. Continue reading

War Drums: Gazprom’s Dangerous New Nord Stream Gas Pipeline to Germany

Does the latest Russian-German deal reflect the spirit of Molotov-Ribbentrop?

Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom signed a deal June 18 to double the capacity of the Nord Stream gas pipeline that delivers Russian gas directly to Germany. The deal is a precursor to war.

Analysts are wondering: Why would Germany continue to work with Russia’s Gazprom when it is supposedly targeting Russia for its invasion and occupation of Ukraine?

When asked how he convinced Germany’s E.ON, Austria’s omv and British-based Royal Dutch Shell to do business with Gazprom, chief executive Alexei Miller said: “As far as Nord Stream is concerned—there was no politics at all. The decision was taken in November 2011, and all the work has been done based on the decisions taken three years ago.” Continue reading

To Win the Second Cold War

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) – A fellow of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) advocates intensifying confrontation with Russia and declaring organizations in EU countries, receiving support of Russian citizens “agents of the aggressor.” In a recent paper, published by the DGAP, Vladislav Inosemzev is calling for “the West to mobilize the necessary resources to win the second cold war.” These include political, but particularly economic measures. The steps proposed by the DGAP fellow, would result in comprehensive economic warfare against Russia and serious measures against “Putin’s apologists.” Meanwhile, the discussion of policy towards Russia continues in Berlin. Business circles insist on ending sanctions because they fear billions in business losses and the loss of a strategic market. The German government is therefore again contemplating concepts à la “transformation through trade,” according to an insider. These concepts aim at profitable business for German companies, in spite of political confrontation – as in the first Cold War.

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Global banks issue alerts on China carry trade as Fed tightens and yuan falls

Three of the world’s largest banks have warned that the flood of “hot money” into China is at risk of sudden reversal as the yuan weakens and the US Federal Reserve brings forward plans to raise interest rates, with major implications for global finance.

A new report by Citigroup told clients to brace for a second phase of the “taper tantrum” that rocked emerging markets last year, but this time with China at the eye of the storm.

“There’s a dangerous scenario in which the combination of rising US short-term rates and a more volatile RMB (yuan) could lead to a rather large capital outflow from China,” said the report, by Guillermo Mondino and David Lubin. Continue reading

From Sea to Shining Sea

Eighteen miles. That’s the width of the Bab el-Mandab passageway, the narrow stretch of ocean separating Djibouti from Yemen that connects the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. In strategic terms, this passage is crucial. Control the Bab el-Mandab passage and you control the eastern half of one of the most important shipping lanes in the world.

That is exactly what Iran is looking to do. Few recognize it—but it’s happening under our noses. All you have to do is look at Yemen. Continue reading

EU “Upgrades” Relations with Israel, Strangling Strings Attached

For those that read the Bible and follow Bible prophecy to see how the world is shaping up, as was written, this might sound familliar:

The upgrade, which comes amid a barrage of unending criticism of Israel’s policies, in fact appears aimed at increasing Israel’s economic dependence on the European Union, with the objective of enhancing the bloc’s leverage over the State of Israel. Authored by EU delegations to the Palestinian Authority, the document includes severe recommendations meant to strengthen Palestinian control over East Jerusalem and coerce Israel to change its policy in the West Bank. The document is unprecedented in that it deals with internal Israeli issues.

Among other measures, the European Union will remove obstacles impeding Israel’s access to European government-controlled markets and enhance Israel’s co-operation with nine key EU agencies, including the European Police Office (Europol), the EU’s Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

In any event, the official EU statement announcing the upgrade in bilateral relations is also replete with condescending criticism of Israel, which the EU accuses of perpetrating a wide range of human rights abuses in the “occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)” and within Israel itself.

Among other items, the statement refers to Israel’s obligation to protect the rights of the Arab-Palestinian minority, stressing the “importance to address it as a core problem in its own right.” The document also condemns the “excessive recourse by Israel to administrative detention.”

Full article: EU “Upgrades” Relations with Israel, Strangling Strings Attached (Gatestone Institute)