Increasing Power at the Gulf

BERLIN/KUWAIT CITY (Own report) – Berlin is considering deploying German fighter jets in Kuwait to systematically expand its foothold in this Middle East Emirate. It is not yet clear, whether the Bundeswehr’s Tornados, currently participating in the anti-IS war, will be removed from Incirlik Air Base or where they may otherwise be stationed. The Kingdom of Jordan or the British colony on Cyprus (Akrotiri and Dhekelia) may be alternatives. Kuwait is also an option, given the fact that the German government has been intensifying its cooperation with the Emirate for quite some time – not only economically but also with arms deliveries. Increasing the German military presence in Kuwait would raise German-Kuwaiti relations to new heights. The Bundeswehr would also gain another foothold directly at the Persian Gulf. So far, particularly the US, British and French armed forces have a presence in that region. Continue reading

Britain blocking EU military HQ: sources

Brexit-bound Britain is blocking the launch of an EU military headquarters because it opposes any suggestion that the unit would have an active operational role, EU diplomatic sources said Friday.

After months of tough negotiations, all 28 member states approved plans in March for a small grouping in Brussels to coordinate three of the bloc’s overseas training operations. Continue reading

EU army next? Brussels in a unique position to provide WORLDWIDE security – chief claims

EU could provide world-wide security, Federica Mogherini claimed [GETTY / PH]

 

THE European Union is in a unique position to provide global security, the Commission’s vice-president has claimed.

Federica Mogherini, who is also the EU’s foreign affairs chief, said Brussels had both the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ power needed to accomplish the task.

Speaking at the Lennard Meri Conference, Estonia, she said: “There is a European way to security that is never purely and only military.  Continue reading

Russian Orthodox Prelate Predicts: Europe Will Turn Muslim In 30 Years, Russia In 50

Russian Orthodox Archpriest Dmitri Smirnov (Pravoslavie.ru)

 

The chairman of the Patriarchal Commission on Family Matters, and the Protection of Motherhood and Childhood, archpriest Dmitri Smirnov, predicted that Europe with turn Muslim in 30 years, while Russia will turn to Islam in maybe 50 years. According to the Russian Orthodox archpriest, Christians will be persecuted and will live in semi-underground. Smirnov said that Islam will prevail in the West, because Muslims are ready to sacrifice themselves in order to fight for their own values, while Westerners are just “exhausted sick people, as good as dead.”

Below are excerpts from Smirnov’s statement: [1]

‘There Is Very Little Time Left Until The Death Of The Entire Christian Civilization’

“The chairman of the Patriarchal Commission on Family Matters, and the Protection of Motherhood and Childhood, archpriest Dmitri Smirnov, predicts the imminent demise of Christian Civilization. ‘There is very little time left until the death of the entire Christian Civilization. Several decades, perhaps 30 years, well, maybe in Russia it will last 50, no longer,’ the priest told [Russia’s] Soyuz TV channel. Continue reading

The Coming China-Germany Trade Juggernaut

 

ISTOCK.COM/AKE1150SB

 

In a post-American trade war, this emerging bloc will wield devastating power.

Stories of international angst over United States President Donald Trump’s protectionist approach are becoming more commonplace. Mr. Trump’s “buy American, hire American” catchphrase sounds good for many at home, but abroad, it is prompting a weighty reorganization of international trade relationships. And long term, the result will be a trade war that will prove ruinous to the U.S.

World trade has changed a great deal over the last several decades. The international community at large no longer depends on America’s giant import expenditures and exports. Parag Khanna of Politico wrote:

As Americans, it’s easy to assume that global trade still depends on America as the consumer of last resort. But that’s no longer true. In fact, the majority of trade in emerging-market nations is with each other, not with the U.S. In 1990, emerging economies sent 65 percent of their exports to developed nations like the U.S. and Europe, and only 35 percent to other developing countries. Today, that figure is nearly reversed. Continue reading

Brussels’ Provocations

BERLIN/LONDON (Own report) – German business associations are calling on the EU Commission to end its Brexit provocations. An unorderly Brexit would entail enormous costs for the German economy, the President of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) warned; therefore an amicable Brexit agreement with London must be reached. The Federation of German Industries (BDI) expressed a similar view. The head of the EU’s Commission’s recent audacious financial demands and deliberate indiscretions have stirred massive resentment in the United Kingdom and were rightfully considered an attempt to influence Britain’s upcoming parliamentary elections. Observers attribute these indiscretions to EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker’s German Chief of Staff, Martin Selmayr (CDU), who is currently playing a key role in the Commission’s Brexit negotiations’ preparations. The German Chancellery is now calling for restraint in view of the severe damage a hard Brexit could entail for the German economy. Continue reading

Spain’s secret plans for Gibraltar REVEALED as Madrid draws up Brexit terms for the Rock

Theresa May and Gibraltar

Spain looks like it will block a Brexit deal that is not in Spanish interests (Getty)

 

SPAIN has laid out what it sees as non-negotiable terms in the upcoming Brexit talks which include barring Gibraltar using “unfair competitive practices” against Spanish businesses.

Spain plans to end Gibraltar’s ‘privileged’ existence as a ‘tax haven’ and has drawn up a document called ‘Negotiations on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU’ which has been sent to congress.

In the document, leaked to Spanish press, the foreign ministry makes clear that “Gibraltar is a matter of state” and that the special regime the Rock currently enjoys “is a condition that Spain had to accept at the time [1986] to be able to join the then European Communities”, given that the United Kingdom had become a member back in 1973. Continue reading

Russian Senator: U.K. Will be ‘Wiped off the Face of the Earth’ if it uses Nuclear Weapons

You can read further about Michael Fallon’s comments in yesterday’s post:

Britain could use ‘nuclear weapons as a first strike’

 

The mushroom cloud from the first hydrogen bomb test, as photographed on Enewetak, an atoll in the Pacific Ocean, in 1952, by a member of the United States Air Force. Russia has begun developing the R-28 Sarmat or Satan 2, which could produce a nuclear charge of at least 40 megatons, or four times that of the first hydrogen bomb. AIR FORCE/REUTERS

 

A senior Russian politician responded aggressively Monday to comments by the U.K.’s defense minister suggesting pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons against Russia is an option for London, claiming the U.K. would be completely annihilated by Russia’s nukes in response.

Russia’s Frants Klintsevich, who heads the defense and security committee in Moscow’s upper house of parliament, said the U.K. would be “literally wiped off the face of the Earth by a counter strike.” Earlier that day, U.K. Defense Minister Michael Fallon said during a radio show that the U.K. could consider a preemptive nuclear attack amid recent political tensions between Russia and Western governments, according to The Moscow Times. Fallon said the U.K.’s military would only make combat use of its Trident nuclear program in extenuating circumstances, but refused to say exactly what those conditions would be. Continue reading

New report details one of history’s “largest ever” cyber espionage operations

 

A new report authored by a consortium of government and private organizations in Britain has revealed the existence of a computer hacking operation, allegedly based in China, that is said to be “one of the largest ever” such campaigns globally. The operation is believed to have compromised sensitive information from an inestimable number of private companies in Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States. The report was produced by a consortium of public and private organizations, including BAE systems and the London-based National Cyber Security Centre, an office of the United Kingdom’s signals intelligence agency, the Government Communications Headquarters. It details the outcome of Operation CLOUD HOPPER, which was launched to uncover the cyber espionage activities. Continue reading

Brexit talks turn ugly over Gibraltar

As previously discussed a few times, bitter over Brexit, the EU will now find ways to punish Great Britain and gun for Gibraltar and even the Falkland Islands. In regards to Gibralter, it will go on the offensive and support a separation, whereas with the Falkland Islands it will turn a blind eye.

 

Royal Gibraltar Regiment on parade outside Buckingham Palace in London (Photo: Defence Images)

 

Britain has said Spain can have no new powers over Gibraltar, as Brexit prompts hard talk on sovereignty, security, and borders.

“We will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their freely and democratically expressed wishes”, the British prime minister’s office said in a statement on Sunday (2 April).

The British defence minister, foreign minister, and the chief minister of Gibraltar issued similar comments in a debate prompted by the start of Brexit talks last week. Continue reading

Secession as a Point of Leverage (II)

LONDON/BERLIN (Own report) – Scotland has established an investment center in Berlin, thereby reinforcing its economic ties to the EU and causing – with German support – new tension in Great Britain. According to critics, in its intended secession from the United Kingdom, for which it must establish economic security, the Scottish government is relying on German help. In fact, to increase the pressure on London to achieve the “softest” Brexit possible, Berlin and Germany’s regional governments are going out of their way to strengthen relations with Edinburgh. This is considered essential to German interests. Government advisors in Berlin are recommending using Ireland for obtaining influence in the negotiations concerning the borders between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. In the event of a “hard” Brexit, this border would be a particularly sensitive point. Berlin is also using EU foreigners, residing in the United Kingdom, as an additional bargaining chip. Chancellor Angela Merkel has refused to have their rights of residence clarified beforehand. Continue reading

Russian missiles pose new threat to Europe

Russian armour on parade in Moscow in 2015 (Photo: Dmitriy Fomin)

 

The US and Germany have criticised Russia over new missile deployments that posed a threat to Nato and Europe.

“The Russians have deployed a land-based cruise missile that violates the spirit and intent of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces [INF] treaty,” Paul Selva, a senior US general who advises the White House, told a House committee in Washington on Wednesday (8 March), referring to a Cold War-era agreement.

“The system … presents a risk to most of our facilities in Europe and we believe that the Russians have deliberately deployed it in order to pose a threat to Nato and to facilities within the Nato area of responsibility,” he added. Continue reading

CIA used Frankfurt consulate to spy on Europeans

Protest against US dragnet surveillance tactics revealed by Edward Snowden (Photo: Valentina Pop)

 

The US intelligence agency, the CIA, has used the American consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base to carry out digital spy operations, Wikileaks revealed on Tuesday (7 March).

The Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe, based in the German city, was the base for CIA hackers covering Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Wikileaks said. The information is based on documents from the agency’s internal discussion forum.

The leaked documents included a guide for CIA hackers on how to prepare for their trip to Germany. Continue reading

Divide and Rule

BERLIN/PARIS (Own report) – With today’s special summit of four heads of state, Berlin is preparing the EU’s transformation in response to the Brexit. The German chancellor will meet in Versailles this afternoon with France’s president and the prime ministers of Italy and Spain. Selected southern EU members have been included in alleged leadership meetings with the German chancellor to prevent a southern European bloc from emerging, which could possibly, in the future, put an end to German austerity dictates. With Great Britain’s exit, the neo-liberal oriented EU countries are loosing the necessary quorum for a veto in EU bodies. Berlin could also encounter problems with the Eastern European “Visegrád Group,” which does not want to support the emergence of a powerful integrated core around a German hub, because it would consolidate a two or even three-class EU. Reinforcement of the EU’s anti-refugee border-management and particularly its resolute militarization are emerging as the common denominators for the Union’s transformation. Continue reading