February, 2016 Strategy

European Peninsula

John Mauldin , CONTRIBUTOR
GUEST POST WRITTEN BY George Friedman

As an expert in intelligence and international geopolitics, George Friedman is firmly focused on what he knows best—the future.
Many people think of maps in terms of their basic purpose: showing a country’s geography and topography. But maps can speak to all dimensions—political, military, and economic.

Bülent Keneş

Just as deterrence against hostile forces is important for the protection and promotion of national interests in international relations, consistency and credibility are equally important in the international community.
Of course, deterrence does not consist solely of continually declaring red lines regarding national interests. And it can hardly be defined as standing by with folded arms when these red lines are blurred in a short time. Indeed, there is a huge gap between deterrence and bluffing.


By Salman Rafi
America does not want the emergence of China as a giant in the global hierarchy of states. While issues like the ‘militarization’ of South China Sea give it the opportunity to attack China and win praise from ASEAN members involved in islands row, US is also very much concerned over the rise of China as an economic power. 

Cold War lessons on the promise—and nuclear peril—of escalation
Robert Farley

A recent RAND wargame on a potential Russian offensive into the Baltics brought talk of a “new Cold War” into sharp focus. The game made clear that NATO would struggle to prevent Russian forces from occupying the Baltics if it relied on the conventional forces now available.

Omer Taspinar
In many ways, there is nothing new in what we are facing in Syria as far Turkey's strategic approach is concerned.
Turkey lost the initiative in Syria years ago because of two major mistakes. The first was to underestimate the longevity and entrenchment of the regime in Damascus. In other words, Syria was not like Tunisia, Libya or Egypt.

By Nawaf Obaid
The military exercises ‘Northern Thunder’ are just the beginning.
Last week, the spokesman for the Saudi military, General Ahmed Asseri, announced that Saudi Arabia is “is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition (against Islamic State) may agree to carry out in Syria” and that its decision to move into the war-torn country is “irreversible."

By John Wight

 "Information Clearing House" - "Counterpunch " - In Ankara and Riyadh a decent night’s sleep must be hard to come by nowadays, what with the prospects of the Sunni state they’d envisaged being established across a huge swathe of Syria slipping away in the face of an offensive by Syrian government forces that is sweeping all before it north of Aleppo, threatening to completely sever supply lines from Turkey to opposition forces in and around the city, and all but ensuring that its liberation is now a question of when not if.

 Hillary_Kissinger_AP_img

Clinton just can’t quit him. Even as she is trying to outflank Bernie on his left, Hillary Clinton can’t help but stutter the name of Henry Kissinger. Last night in the New Hampshire debate, Clinton thought to close her argument that she is the true progressive with this: “I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better than anybody had run it in a long time.”


Wayne MADSEN

Rather than view with alarm Turkey’s announcement that it is building at least three military bases abroad, the United States and NATO have welcomed Ankara’s move as a contribution to stability. Nothing could be further from the truth. Turkey’s duplicitous fingerprints are all over support for terrorist groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Jabhat al-Nusra, and Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq, Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Tunisia.


by Jonathan Spyer, The Jerusalem Post
Originally published under the title "Precarious Syria Talks Leave Its Future Uncertain."

The failure of the peace talks was foreseen by most serious analysts on Syria.
UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura this week announced the suspension of just-convened peace talks in Geneva intended to resolve the Syrian civil war.


Dov S. Zakheim
When Jimmy Carter came into office, he was determined to reverse the growth in defense spending that had been bequeathed to his administration by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In particular, he tried to make good on his campaign promise by rescinding funds for a new aircraft carrier. Congress overturned his recission, but Carter persisted with his efforts to limit defense spending, in line with his view that the United States had other international security priorities, such as intensifying its pursuit of détente, achieving a further reduction of its nuclear arsenal as part of a SALT II agreement and limiting its foreign military sales to allies and friends.


Author Fehim Taştekin, TranslatorSibel Utku Bila

Turkish involvement in the Syrian war has been heavily dominated by Islamist fighters, but the conflict has also drawn in an unlikely quarter — Turkish nationalists. The far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and its youth branch, the Idealist Hearths, have recently come into the spotlight with high-profile losses on the Syrian battlefield. The MHP is the main body of Turkey’s ultranationalist movement, also known as the Gray Wolves, whose hall of fame includes failed papal assassin Mehmet Ali Agca. The Alperen Hearths, the youth branch of the smaller Great Union Party, which represents the ultranationalist movement’s Islamist-leaning wing, are also visibly interested in the Syrian war.