Demographic Shifts Could Radicalize Russia

Experts say changes could lead to social strife, sectarian conflict

Experts said Wednesday that a myriad of demographic, social, and economic problems could transform Russia into a virtually unrecognizable country in just a couple of decades that is more harmful to U.S. and Western interests.

As Russia’s native population shrinks, incorporates more Muslim immigrants, and remains tightly controlled by President Vladimir Putin, it risks social strife and sectarian conflict, said Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council and a former CIA and Department of Defense consultant, during a panel event at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The country’s shrinking population is largely a result of declining fertility, high mortality rates, a surge in divorce rates and abortions, an AIDS “epidemic” stemming from rampant heroin use, and emigration, said Berman, author of the new book, Implosion: The End of Russia and What it Means for America. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia re-emerges as powerful Middle East player

Saudi Arabia has re-emerged as the Middle East’s most powerful influence-peddler, with its presence being felt in both Egypt and Syria, says Richard Spencer.

It may be the least revolutionary country in the world, but this week Saudi Arabia won the full support of the world’s greatest insurrectionists. Continue reading

Iran Says It Can Live Without Oil Money

Although it’s not known what “Plan B” would be, and being that oil revenues make up half of the government funding (as the article points out), a plausible guess would be on the exporting of nuclear energy since that progam is quite large and developed by now. Only time will tell.

Iran says it may stop exporting oil if international sanctions against it are intensified, adding that it has a contingency plan for running the country without oil revenues.

According to Reuters, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghassemi told reporters in Dubai on Tuesday October 23: “If sanctions intensify, we will stop exporting oil.”

“We have prepared a plan to run the country without any oil revenues,” he added. “So far to date, we haven’t had any serious problems, but if the sanctions were to be renewed we would go for ‘Plan B’.” Continue reading