BERLIN/WASHINGTON(Own report) – In Washington serious warnings are being raised against an independent German-European military policy aimed at weakening NATO. The militarization of the EU is being supported as long as “it is complimentary to NATO,” a senior Pentagon official was quoted. However, Washington would intervene, if Berlin and the EU were to pull military resources away from NATO and use them for their own wars. This statement was made in light of the NATO defense ministers’ meeting that begins today, which will include a decision on the establishment of two new NATO headquarters. One will be established in the United States, to secure the military supply routes from North America over the Atlantic to Europe. A second will be established in Germany, to optimize rapid redeployments of West European troops eastwards across the continent. At the current stage of planning, this will be under German sovereignty and available also for use outside of the NATO framework. Continue reading →
Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats testifies during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on “Worldwide Threats” on Capitol Hill. February 13, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Leah Millis
Crisis termed ‘existential problem’ for US
US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats reportedly said Tuesday that the time for making a final a decision on Washington’s response to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs is drawing “ever closer.” Continue reading →
Turkish head of state Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to show the US, if necessary, what an “Ottoman slap” is. (Photo: AFP, krone.at graphics)
Tensions over the Turkish military offensive against the Kurds in northern Syria between the two NATO partners Turkey and the USA are intensifying.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly warned that he would not stand in the way of a possible Turkish attack on the Kurdish militia YPG.In a speech Tuesday before the faction of his AKP in Ankara, he threatened the stationed in the strategically important city of Manbijk US soldiers with an “Ottoman slap”.
“Of course we will not aim for it on purpose,” Erdogan said with applause.“But we are already announcing that we will destroy and eliminate every terrorist we see, beginning with those who stand next to them, and then they will realize that it would be better for them if they are not next to them Terrorists who they pat on the back, “said the Turkish leader.
In the video below you can see which technique is used in the Ottoman slap: (See Source)
Erdogan added, “It is very clear that those who say ‘We react harshly if they attack us’ have not yet been given an Ottoman slap in their lives.“The New York Times quoted US General Paul Funk on a visit to Manbijk last week, who, according to the newspaper, said: “If you attack us, we will react harshly and we will defend ourselves. “
The U.S. government has traced $1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to terrorists. According to sources, Iran has used the funds to pay Hezbollah, Quds Force and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The money supplied to Iran has also been traced back to Iran’s backing of Houthi rebels seeking to take power in Yemen. Hezbollah fighters stand on their army vehicle at the site where clashes erupted between Hezbollah and al-Qaida-linked fighters in Wadi al-Kheil or al-Kheil Valley in the Lebanon-Syria border, Saturday, July 29, 2017. A cease-fire went into effect between the militant Hezbollah group and al-Qaida-linked fighters on Thursday morning as negotiations were underway to reach a deal that would eventually lead to the evacuation of Syrian fighters to the northwestern rebel-held province of Idlib. The truce followed a six-day offensive by Hezbollah and Syrian troops who besieged al-Qaida-linked fighters in a small border area. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) (Associated Press)
The U.S. government has traced some of the $1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to Iranian-backed terrorists in the two years since the cash was transferred.
According to knowledgeable sources, Iran has used the funds to pay its main proxy, the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, along with the Quds Force, Iran’s main foreign intelligence and covert action arm and element of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The U.S. money supplied to Iran as part of an arms settlement dating back to the 1970s also has been traced to Iran’s backing of Houthi rebels seeking to take power in Yemen. Iran has been supporting the Yemen rebels as part of a bid to encircle and eventually take control of Saudi Arabia. Continue reading →
Two days after we reported that Turkey valiantly demanded that US forces vacate military bases in the Syrian district of Manbij, when Turkey’s foreign minister Melet Cavusoglu also said that Ankara is calling upon the US to cease any and all support to Syrian Kurdish forces and militias, not surprisingly the US refused, and on Monday a top American general said that US troops will not pull out from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, rebuffing Ankara demands to withdraw from the city and risking a potential confrontation between the two NATO allies.
Speaking on CNN, General Joseph Votel, head of the United States Central Command, said that withdrawing US forces from the strategically important city is “not something we are looking into.”
Last week Turkish troops crossed into Syria in an push to drive US-backed Kurds out of Afrin. As part of the Turkish offensive, which is grotesquely code-named ‘Operation Olive Branch’, president Erdogan warned that the offensive could soon target “terrorists” in Manbij, some 100km east of Afrin.
Xi adds Arctic, Latin America to Belt and Road Initiative
Latest expansion leaves out only Canada, Japan and U.S.
With the addition of the Arctic and Latin America last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative has become truly global. Only the U.S., its neighbor Canada and ally Japan have yet to be included in the plan, which seeks to build or upgrade a network of highways, railways, ports and pipelines. Continue reading →
Vladimir Putin has drawn up this plan for the Sochi conference. He will put it before Binyamin Netanyahu when they meet on Monday, Jan. 29.
DEBKAfile reports that the Russian president has prepared a plan for Syria’s post-war future for presentation to the Syrian peace conference which begins on the same day at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Moscow has taken into account 1,600 Syrian government and opposition participants. Some rebel groups have announced a boycott. DEBKAfile reports that the absentees are pro-Assad and pro-Iranian groups who are boycotting the event to reflect their masters’ objections to the Russian president’s plans. Unless he decides to back down at the last moment, those plans are substantially as follows:
A pro-Hamas leader of Tunisia’s Muslim Brotherhood-linked Ennahda Party met last month with the federally funded U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP) in Washington.
The Nov. 29 meeting covered the relationship between Islam and democracy in the light of Ennahda’s 10th Party Congress in May 2016, the Ennahda Abroad Facebook page said. There, the group agreed to stop trying using electoral politics to achieve its religious objectives. This change of tactics likely was caused by Ennahda’s 2014 defeat in Tunisian elections. Continue reading →
TOKYO/BRUSSELS/BERLIN(Own report) – With the conclusion of their free trade agreement, the EU and Japan are about to establish the world’s largest free trade zone. As was reported, the agreement between the two highly export oriented economic blocks, generating nearly 30 percent of the global economic output, could already take effect in early 2019. According to the EU Commission and German economic institutes the Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA) could lead to significant economic growth and the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs. On the one hand, the agreement is aimed at making up for eventual slumps on the US market and, on the other, is part of the containment strategy against China, the emerging powerhouse. Despite their differences, Berlin and Washington continue to cooperate in their opposition to Beijing. Parallel to the JEFTA agreement, the EU, Japan and the USA have declared that they will jointly take on China more aggressively over trade issues.
U.S. President Donald Trump labeled China and Russia ‘rival powers’ to the United States in a Dec. 18 speech. / AP
U.S. major media gave secondary play to President Donald Trump’s national security strategy address Monday, but certain world leaders were all ears.
Russia said the U.S. strategic plan has an “imperial character,” while China decried what it called a “Cold War mentality.”
Trump’s strategy, which he unveiled in a Dec. 18 speech, says that China and Russia “challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.” Continue reading →
BERLIN/BRUSSELS(Own report) – The German government has announced that the EU Military Union will be officially launched this Monday, with the European Council formally adopting 17 projects aimed at creating joint EU military structures. Germany is in charge of the establishment of a European Medical Command, considered an indispensable element of future EU military operations, alongside the European Air Transport Command, which has existed since 2010. Berlin is also establishing logistical structures that would facilitate rapid interventions. The German Bundeswehr is also active in both fields within the NATO framework. The operational preparation for future military missions is influenced by a fierce power struggle between Germany and France. According to the German ministry of defense, the military union is not only aimed at reaching more “independence” from the United States, but also at advancing EU “integration,” which is difficult to achieve with civilian means. Continue reading →
The exercise involved aircraft including reconnaissance planes in areas they have “never flown before” over the Yellow and East seas near the Korean peninsula. Photo: PLA
Date and exact location of exercise isn’t revealed but announcement said to be aimed at sending a message to Washington and Seoul
China’s air force recently staged drills involving various aircraft through “routes and areas it has never flown before” over the Yellow and East seas near the Korean peninsula.
Air force spokesman Shen Jinke made the announcement at an airport in northern China on Monday – the same day the United States and South Korea began their biggest joint air force exercise, and days after Pyongyang launched its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile to date. Continue reading →
FILE PHOTO: A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency. U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency/Handout via Reuters/File Photo
SIMI VALLEY, Calif (Reuters) – The U.S. agency tasked with protecting the country from missile attacks is scouting the West Coast for places to deploy new anti-missile defenses, two Congressmen said on Saturday, as North Korea’s missile tests raise concerns about how the United States would defend itself from an attack.
West Coast defenses would likely include Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missiles, similar to those deployed in South Korea to protect against a potential North Korean attack.
The accelerated pace of North Korea’s ballistic missile testing program in 2017 and the likelihood the North Korean military could hit the U.S. mainland with a nuclear payload in the next few years has raised the pressure on the United States government to build-up missile defenses. Continue reading →