Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tag: Middle East

Ukraine and Syria: Linked Together by Russia

The United States and Russia are now at daggers drawn over Syria. Following the collapse of the ceasefire negotiated last month by Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the United States has abandoned talks with the Russians on Syria. Meanwhile, in a supposedly unrelated part...

It’s Not Just the Oil. The Middle East War and the Conquest of Natural...

Are the Wars in the Middle East and North Africa Really About Oil? The Iraq war was really about oil, according to Alan Greenspan, John McCain, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officer and others. Dick Cheney made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11. The...

Inside Menwith Hill: The NSA’s British Base at the Heart of U.S. Targeted Killing

The narrow roads are quiet and winding, surrounded by rolling green fields and few visible signs of life beyond the occasional herd of sheep. But on the horizon, massive white golf ball-like domes protrude from the earth, protected behind a perimeter fence that is topped with piercing razor wire. Here, in the heart of the tranquil English countryside, is the National Security Agency’s largest overseas spying base.

Britain is now the second biggest arms dealer in the world

Two-thirds of UK weapons have been sold to Middle Eastern countries since 2010. Britain is now the second biggest arms dealer in the world, official government figures show – with most of the weapons fuelling deadly conflicts in the Middle East. Since 2010 Britain has also sold arms to 39 of...

Vladimir Putin and the Shiite Axis

Russia’s new military alliance with Iran is all about keeping Assad in power and America on its back foot. But marriages of convenience usually don’t last. On Aug. 16, Russian bombers took off from Shahid Nojeh air base near the Iranian city of Hamadan reportedly to bomb Islamic State targets...

Israeli think tank: Don’t destroy ISIS; it’s a useful tool against Iran, Hezbollah, Syria

Head of a right-wing think tank says the existence of ISIS serves a "strategic purpose" in the West's interests. According to a think tank that does contract work for NATO and the Israeli government, the West should not destroy ISIS, the fascist Islamist extremist group that is committing genocide and...

Strikes from Iranian air base show Russia’s expanding footprint in the Middle East

ISTANBUL - Russian bombers flying from an Iranian air base struck rebel targets across Syria on Tuesday, Russian and Iranian officials said, dramatically underscoring the two countries’ growing military ties and highlighting Russia's ambitions for greater influence in a turbulent Middle East. The long-range Tu-22 bombers took off from a...

The Case for Offshore Balancing – A Superior U.S. Grand Strategy

For the first time in recent memory, large numbers of Americans are openly questioning their country’s grand strategy. An April 2016 Pew poll found that 57 percent of Americans agree that the United States should “deal with its own problems and let others deal with theirs the best they...

Revealed: the £1bn of weapons flowing from Europe to Middle East

AK-47s, machine guns, explosives and more travel along new arms pipeline from Balkans to countries known to supply Syria. Eastern European countries have approved the discreet sale of more than €1bn of weapons in the past four years to Middle Eastern countries that are known to ship arms to Syria,...

Making a Killing: The 1.2 Billion Euro Arms Pipeline to Middle East

An unprecedented flow of weapons from Central and Eastern Europe is flooding the battlefields of the Middle East. As Belgrade slept on the night of November 28, 2015, the giant turbofan engines of a Belarusian Ruby Star Ilyushin II-76 cargo plane roared into life, its hull laden with arms destined...

Here’s Why Erdogan Is Cozying Up to Putin

Turkey is trying to mend fences with Russia to contain Iran, fight the Islamic State, and improve its standing in an evolving Middle East. Turkey's push to make nice with Russia, as it did this week with Israel, is part of Ankara’s drive to shore up as many friendships as...

The Pentagon’s Real $trategy – Keeping the Money Flowing

These days, lamenting the apparently aimless character of Washington’s military operations in the Greater Middle East has become conventional wisdom among administration critics of every sort. Senator John McCain thunders that “this president has no strategy to successfully reverse the tide of slaughter and mayhem” in that region. Anthony...

Hillary Clinton’s Project For A New American Century

Here we go again. Earlier this year, some were surprised to see Project For The New American Century (PNAC) co-founder and longtime DC fixture Robert Kagan endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president. They shouldn’t have been. As is now clear from a policy paper published last month,...

Saudi Arabia said to weigh bond sale of up to US$15b

Saudi Arabia is considering selling as much as US$15 billion of bonds this year in what would be the country's first foray into international capital markets, people with knowledge of a matter said. Encouraged by Qatar's record issue last week, Saudi Arabia is weighing a sale of at least...

Saudis Have Lost the Oil War

Poor Saudi Arabia. They don’t realize it yet but they have lost their oil war. The war in its current phase began in September, 2014, when the dying King Abdullah and his Minister of Petroleum, Ali Al-Naimi, told US Secretary of State John Kerry they would gladly join Washington...

Pipelines in the Sand

The Middle East After Sykes-Picot. Many historians misunderstand Sykes–Picot, the treaty that carved up the Middle East, as a random act of colonial mapmaking. In fact, the secret World War I agreement between France and the United Kingdom had everything to do with oil. France and the United Kingdom, as...

America’s Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East

A Book Talk at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - May 12, 2016 By Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS, Ret.) Since the end of the Cold War, we’re had a lot of very instructive experience in the Middle East. Back in 2010, I compiled the real-time analyses I had...

Iran, Saudi in oil price war

It’s war, then. Iran on Wednesday blamed its biggest rival Saudi Arabia for the “collapse” of the recent Doha talks on capping oil output but the Kingdom appeared to shrug off the allegation and instead said it would boost production in 2016. Iran, which did not attend the talks amid a...

Obama’s troop increase in Syria is part of a troubling trend

We weren’t supposed to have boots on the ground in Syria. There’s no telling where or when this will end. When it comes to Syria, “no boots on the ground” was something of a mantra for Barack Obama. He has repeated it dozens of times, but not anymore. On Monday,...
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Saudis To Kerry: We Created ISIS…And CIA Knew

The Saudis have been forthcoming lately about their involvement in the creation and funding of ISIS. But as with the US creation of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980's, there was plenty of US support. Intervention blowback continues... It was US intervention in the Middle East, say the Saudis,...

Red Sea bridge project resurfaces

CAIRO — Egypt and Saudi Arabia have agreed to build a controversial bridge spanning the Red Sea that proponents say could lead Egypt out of its economic crisis. Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced April 9 they will build a bridge that...

The Long Divorce

How the U.S.-Saudi relationship grew cold under Barack Obama's watch. The initial defining moment of President Barack Obama’s attitude toward Saudi Arabia, for many people, was when he bowed to King Abdullah as he shook his hand at the London G-20 summit meeting in April 2009. The gesture, which the...

Is Israel forming an alliance with Egypt and Saudi Arabia?

Egypt's April 9 announcement of the transfer of two islands, Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabian sovereignty came as a complete surprise to many in the Middle East. The only country that was not surprised was Israel. A top-level official in Jerusalem told Al-Monitor on April 12 that Israel had been privy to the secret negotiations. Israel...

China develops continent-spanning railroad to Europe

China is pioneering a trans-continental rail service carrying cargo between the Far East and Western Europe with the aim of capturing some of the freight which currently moves by sea and air. China has the financial resources and the economic incentive to build a major transcontinental railroad service within the...

Unaoil bribery scandal: The oil, the powerful and the multinationals

In the list of the world's great companies, Unaoil is nowhere to be seen. But for the best part of the past two decades, the family business from Monaco has systematically corrupted the global oil industry, distributing many millions of dollars worth of bribes on behalf of corporate behemoths...

Trump questions need for NATO, outlines noninterventionist foreign policy

Donald Trump outlined an unabashadly noninterventionist approach to world affairs Monday, telling The Washington Post's editorial board that he questions the need for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has formed the backbone of Western security policies since the Cold War. The meeting at The Post covered a range of...

Syrian Kurds Hope to Establish a Federal Region in Country’s North

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian Kurdish parties are working on a plan to declare a federal region across much of northern Syria, several of their representatives said on Wednesday. They said their aim was to formalize the semiautonomous zone they have established during five years of war and to create...

U.N. Refugee Chief: Western Leaders Stir Up Hatred for the Stranger, for the Immigrant

In 2011, as the world focused on Egypt’s revolution and looming foreign military strikes in Libya, Syria was but a burgeoning bit of unrest in an otherwise chaotic Middle East. Five years later, the ongoing civil war between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels seeking to oust him...

The Obama Doctrine

The U.S. president talks through his hardest decisions about America’s role in the world. Friday, August 30, 2013, the day the feckless Barack Obama brought to a premature end America’s reign as the world’s sole indispensable superpower—or, alternatively, the day the sagacious Barack Obama peered into the Middle Eastern abyss...

Saudi Arabia proposes a NATO-like military alliance of Muslim nations

On the occasion of joint military exercise of 21 Muslim nations, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has proposed to form a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)-like military alliance of Islamic countries; the Kingdom seeks Pakistan’s cooperation to materialize the plan. The Alliance will not be against a particular country but...

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