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
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Iran threatens US, Turkey after Israel with spreading Syrian conflict
The only thing likely holding back Turkey is the diplomacy of the USA and NATO.
Tehran is not done with threats after shaking its fist at Israel: Tuesday, Aug. 7, Iranian Armed Forces Chief Gen. Hassan Firuzabadi pointed at Ankara and other Middle East capitals when he declared: “Turkey will be next in line for violence after Syria if it continues to work on behalf of Western interests.”
The Iranian army chief warned: “If those nations carry on this way, they should realize that Turkey is the next in line.” He was in fact holding them all responsible for a potential outbreak of war with Turkey.
Spreading around responsibility for violence with accompanying threats appears to be Iran’s latest diplomatic ploy.
Gen. Firuzabadi addressed his threat to Turkey shortly before the arrival in Ankara of Iran’s foreign minister, Ali-Akbar Salehi, in the hope of galvanizing the Turks into forcing the Syrian rebels to let go of their Iranian hostages.
Tehran now holds at least three nations, the US, Turkey and Israel, in peril of military action in the context of the Syrian conflict. Israel was the object of the first threat of engulfment by the “Syrian fire.”
Full article: Iran threatens US, Turkey after Israel with spreading Syrian conflict (DEBKAfile)