April, 2016 United States

Bond dumping isn't the real danger.
William T. Wilson

In recent years there has been much speculation over what would happen to U.S. financial markets and the economy if Chinese authorities suddenly decided to sell the approximately $1.3 trillion in U.S. Treasuries or government bonds they are estimated to own. In recent weeks, rumors have circulated that the Saudis were considering selling theirs—up to $750 billion of American dollar-denominated assets held by the kingdom.

By Matt Purple
The United States is back in Iraq. Actually, it never really left.

President Obama supposedly withdrew all American forces in 2011, except for a few hundred Marines, defense contractors, and military advisors. But it wasn’t long before he began ramping up our presence again, through temporary deployments and other means.

By Pepe Escobar
"Information Clearing House" - "Counterpunch"- So it’s a go for Zeus to launch the thunderbolt. Neo-Athena – minus the wisdom – Hillary Clinton, Queen of Chaos, Goddess of War, Empress of the Perma-Smirk, will finally have her shot at the U.S. presidency. After the Battle of New York, she’s on top on number of votes; number of states; number of pledged delegates; number of superdelegates.

Politics, United States

 

DEBKAfile Special Report 

The US withdrew its forces from the Sinai Peninsula last weekend in retaliation for Egypt's transfer of sovereignty over Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia, according to DEBKAfile's military and intelligence sources. They also report that the move came after Washington protested to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi over its exclusion from the consultations and military coordination between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel regarding the islands.

Kick Turkey Out Of NATO

by Michael Rubin

When U.S. officials first approached Turkey about joining NATO, the Turkish government was enthusiastic. Thousands of Turks were fighting alongside American forces in Korea. It was “imperative that democracies work in complete harmony, without competition among themselves or differences in policy objectives,” the U.S. ambassador to Turkey reported in a top-secret memo that Turkish Foreign Minister Mehmet Fuat Koprulu told him.


By Peter Koenig

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would Abolish Europe’s Sovereignty. Is Madame Merkel Betraying the EU – Endangering the Lives of Future European Generations with her Push for the Nefarious TTIP?

 

Dave Majumdar
Russian electronic-warfare powerhouse KRET—Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies—has started testing a powerful new ground-based jamming system that could cut the crucial data-links that enable the United States military to conduct operations around the world. The system is designed to be used in conjunction with advanced Russian-built air defense systems like the S-300V4 and S-400 to disrupt air operations.

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

Today, in the German city of Hannover, President Obama and Chancellor Merkel will again discuss about Greece. Greece and Syria are, for some years now, the two countries on which world interest is focused. If we judge by facts, all this “international interest” had, up to now, rather negative influence on the situation in both countries.


Analysis 
Summary

Since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, tension with the West has been high, affecting eastern Ukraine, Syria and hot spots across the former Soviet sphere. Less overtly, Moscow has been working to protect areas vital to Russian interests by raising the stakes of U.S. operations there. This has manifested in numerous aggressive interceptions of U.S. military aircraft in flight, especially over the Black and Baltic seas. The interceptions, which are reportedly occurring more frequently, aim to dissuade Washington from operating in that airspace.

Philip Oltermann in Berlin and Patrick Wintour, Diplomatic editor
US president Barack Obama said Angela Merkel was on the right side of history with her management of the refugee crisis and praised the German chancellor as a steady and trustworthy ally with a really good sense of humour, as he embarked on the final phase of the last official European tour of his presidency.

By Daniel Wei Boon Chua

America can't take war off the table.
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea—involving China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines—are destabilizing the region. Although not a claimant, the United States has a vested interest in the outcome. The U.S. Seventh Fleet has been operating in the area since the Cold War, and the maritime disputes involve the Philippines, a close American ally.



By Eric Margolis

"Information Clearing House" - The great, long-awaited counterattack against ISIS has finally begun. The offensive that spans Syria and western Iraq is targeting the ISIS-held cities of Raqqa and Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

By UDI SEGAL
Netanyahu fears a diplomatic move from Obama toward the end of his presidency, but it's not certain that America's next leader won't have similar ambitions.

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
The Israeli cabinet holds its weekly session Sunday April 17, on the Golan. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu will visit Moscow on Thursday, April 21 to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and to launch the most important battle of his political career, and one of Israel's most decisive contests of the last 10 years: the battle over the future of the Golan Heights.

Hamid Dabashi
The dramatic debate between Senator Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in Brooklyn on April 14, in anticipation of the New York primaries on April 19, notwithstanding, the national conversations about the US presidential campaign has become positively predictable, if not punishingly boring - except for the grassroots mobilisation it has triggered and that may one day change the shape of politics in this country.


by A. J. Caschetta, The Daily Caller
Every time there's a mass casualty Islamist terror attack, the Western intelligentsia pops the same question. Shortly after the latest ISIS suicide bombers struck in Brussels on March 22, German Green Party MP Franziska Brantner tweeted "Why do they hate us so much?" The intelligentsia's ignorance perseveres in spite of the answer right in front of them: it's not hatred but an ideology called Islamism that compels violence. We are now almost 15 years beyond 9/11, and it's time to stop asking this question after every major jihadist attack.

U.S. President Barack Obama with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 2011. U.S. economic leadership is indispensable, argues Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

The Case for U.S. Leadership
By Jacob J. Lew

When U.S. President Barack Obama joined other global leaders at the G-20 summit in Turkey in November 2015, the United States was in the final stages of a multiyear effort to secure the approval of a set of important reforms to the International Monetary Fund.


by Burak Bekdil
During his visit to Washington, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security guards harassed and physically assaulted journalists trying to cover the event; they also forcibly attempted to remove several journalists, although they were on the guest list.

 John Vibes 

As we have been covering this week, the release of the Panama Papers has created a panic among world governments, by exposing some of their darkest secrets. In the leak, 11.5 million documents were stolen from Mossack Fonseca and were leaked to Suddeutsche Zeitung, who then turned to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to examine the documents. In the time since, media organizations have been scrambling to sift through a large number of documents, in hopes of finding stories that they can spin to fit their narrative.


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report 

ISIS raider hangs flag on MFO lookout post in North Sinai
The first visit to Cairo by Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Thursday, March 7,heralded a new chapter in the war on the Islamic State in Sinai, one to be fought with petrodollars versus the jihadis’ war chest. The monarch brought President Abdel-Fattteh El-Sisi two large checks: a $20bn guarantee to cover the oil needs of 90 million Egyptians for the next five years, and another $1.5bn listed euphemistically under the heading of “Sinai development.”

By Christopher A. Preble

ISIS continues to hold vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria. A civil war rages in Yemen. Turks fight Kurds. A new UN-sponsored unity government struggles to assert its authority in Libya. A military dictatorship controls Egypt. Refugees fleeing chaos in Syria are flooding into Europe, and beyond. The Taliban is still in Afghanistan, and also terrorizing Pakistan.


by Raheem Kassam and Liam Deacon
The Daily Mail amended its false headline claiming the perpetrator of a hit-and-run attack in Brussels was a "far-right" activist. Other media outlets haven't made corrections. The journalists and publications which implied the hit and run in Molenbeek borough of Brussels this weekend was a 'far right' anti Islam attack had no evidence to suggest that it was as they reported, but they knew what story they wanted to write.

By Nikolas K. Gvosdev
America's next president will have to start all over with Russia.
In recent weeks, I have had the honor to attend different daylong seminars convened to ponder Russia's future under Vladimir Putin and the future of U.S.-Russia relations: a "Russia Experts Meeting" hosted by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, bringing together some of America's leading specialists in the Russia field, and a "Russia Futures" project, which assembled members of the Naval War College's faculty who study various different aspects of Russia, Europe and Eurasia policy.

While arming proxies in Syria and Iraq help roll back ISIL gains, the long-term consequences of this policy are unknown, writes Schwartz [Getty]

Kevin Schwartz

When Henry Kissinger's name was cited in a recent debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the reference immediately reopened cleavages of generations past. As she mentioned Kissinger among many voices she consults on foreign policy issues, Sanders emphatically riposted "he's no friend of mine", referencing Kissinger's role in the illegal bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

BY CHRISTINA LIN
In psychology, bipolar individuals exhibit unusual mood swings and engage in contradictory actions. Unfortunately, nations can manifest the same dysfunctional behavior.This appears to be the case with US policy towards China and Syria.

SEMİH İDİZ, hurriyetdailynews
It is not possible to consider President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Washington as a success by any count. The “strategic partnership” between the two countries continues but it is clear that relations are currently very tense.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife, Emine, walk down the stairs upon arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, on March 29.

By NAHAL TOOSI
Turkey's president, a man used to steamrolling his critics at home, is in for a rough visit to Washington.
As Recep Tayyip Erdogan began making the rounds in the U.S. capital Wednesday, dozens of foreign policy thinkers, including former ambassadors to Turkey, released a letter warning that the situation in the country is "deeply troubling."


They don’t hate ‘our freedoms.’ They hate that we’ve betrayed our ideals in their own countries — for oil.
By ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR, 

In part because my father was murdered by an Arab, I’ve made an effort to understand the impact of U.S. policy in the Mideast and particularly the factors that sometimes motivate bloodthirsty responses from the Islamic world against our country. As we focus on the rise of the Islamic State and search for the source of the savagery that took so many innocent lives in Paris and San Bernardino, we might want to look beyond the convenient explanations of religion and ideology. Instead we should examine the more complex rationales of history and oil — and how they often point the finger of blame back at our own shores.


Bloombergview, Eli Lake & Josh Rogin

When Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Washington this week, it will be an opportunity for President Barack Obama, as well as most of the Washington foreign policy establishment, to ponder how they so misread a man they had touted only a few years ago as a great reformer.