As was mentioned in a previous post, Russian intervention could be the Obama administration’s excuse to avoid responsibility and leave the Middle East. The consequences of allowing Russia to fill the vacuum are tremendous. It will pave the way for Iran to dominate the entire region, serve as an abandonment of Israel. It will be completely surrounded with no one to turn to other than Germany.
Once it became clear that Moscow and Tehran had jointly planned the incursion in Syria with Russia promising full air support and Iran pledging ground troops from Hezbollah, its various Shiite militias, and the IRGC, we immediately suggested that Iraq was next on the agenda after the Assad regime is restored.
For those unfamiliar with the situation on the ground, we encourage you to read “Who Really Controls Iraq? Inside Iran’s Powerful Proxy Armies,” in which we outline the extent to which Tehran effectively controls both the Iraqi military and the politicians in Baghdad. Continue reading
Washington (CNN) One of America’s top former generals compared the situation in Syria Tuesday to a historic nuclear disaster, implicitly criticizing the U.S. for allowing it to worsen, and accused Russia’s President of trying to re-establish an empire.
Retired Gen. David Petraeus, testifying before the Senate Armed Service Committee, also recommended that the U.S. establish safe zones for Sunnis inside Syria and potentially put American boots on the grounds in Iraq to stop the spread of ISIS.
The former commanding general of U.S. forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan equated the situation in Syria today with one of the most deadly nuclear accidents in history. Continue reading
Greece’s exit from the eurozone could lead to the establishment of very close relations between the two countries and contribute to the expansion of Russian influence in the Balkans, “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” reports. Continue reading
Poland plans to construct a new canal to bypass a stretch of coastline controlled by Russia, as the country tries to rid itself of dependence on its neighbour.
Costing an estimated £167 million, the planned canal will link the Vistula Lagoon in the north east of Poland with the Baltic Sea. Currently, all sea traffic from the lagoon and the flourishing port of Elblag has to travel through Russian waters to get to the Baltic. The canal will cut through a narrow strip of land separating the lagoon from the sea. Continue reading
In the violent aftermath of the Egyptian military’s removal of Mohamed Morsi from power, the United States has tried to send a message with limited suspensions of aid. As the security situation on the Sinai Peninsula continues to deteriorate, re-engaging Egypt in counterterrorism efforts is warranted. The administration’s oscillating decisions to maintain, halt, and then reinstate this type of security assistance have been confusing at best and harmful at worst. Egypt’s need for satellite services (including launch capabilities) to address the growing problem of insurgents in the Sinai is a key national security concern to Egypt, Israel, and the U.S.
On the geopolitical stage, the fact that Russia has stepped in to solve Egypt’s technology services gap should further motivate the U.S. to action.The Egyptian sentiment that the U.S. has turned its back on them in their hour of need has left an opening for other players to provide financial and technical military assistance. Attempting to preserve the appearance of propriety and support a democratically elected leader, exert regional influence, and keep radical Islamists out of office, Washington has fallen short and created a vacuum whereby a pro-Syrian Russia has moved in to further its strategic regional interests. Continue reading
According to the World Bank, Tajikistan is more dependent on remittances than any other country in the world. Last year migrant workers sent home the equivalent of 47% of Tajikistan’s GDP. Perhaps half of working-age males are abroad, most in Russia. Kyrgyzstan is third in the World Bank’s rankings, behind Liberia. One-fifth of its workforce are migrant workers.
The economic dependence of these two countries gives their former imperial master great influence. Whenever it is unable to wangle a favourable deal for a military base abroad, or it wants to play up nationalism at home, Russia threatens to introduce visas for Central Asians. And though Russia needs cheap labour, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan need jobs much more. Continue reading
As pointed out in a previous entry, the Middle East has been, and will continue to be a giant proxy playing field for Moscow against the West. Because the West is so naive as to place almost all attention upon the Middle East distraction, Moscow now enjoys the benefit of reclaiming its former empire as well as extending its influence throughout the Islamic world.
WASHINGTON – The Iranian-backed regime of the Shia Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, recently has been taking steps to orient his government more toward Moscow and rely less on Washington or any other Western influence, according to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The move helps to improve Moscow’s relations with Iraq as well as Iran as it continues to defend Iranian ally Syria. The goal is to preserve the relationship as well as recast its own influence in the Middle East. Continue reading