June, 2016 Geopolitics

Erdogan and Netanyahu. Turkey and Israel are very close to finalizing their reconciliation deal. (Photo: AP, Kobi Gideon/GPO) (Photo: AP, Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Itamar Eichner

The two sides are meeting in order to finalize a deal to normalize relations; It appears that missing Israeli Avera Mengistu and the remains of soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin will not be mentioned in the final draft.Israeli and Turkish negotiation teams were set to meet Sunday in Rome, in order to finalize the two countries' reconciliation deal, six years after their relationship soured due to the Mavi Marmara incident.

Miniature Flag of Israel and Turkey
Barbara Opall-Rome, Defense News
TEL AVIV — An agreement between Israel and Turkey, announced Monday to normalize ties after a six-year estrangement between the countries, is unlikely to trigger near-term resumption of defense trade or bilateral military cooperation.


Author Semih Idiz

Its long-term implications aside, Britain’s vote to leave the EU will have little immediate impact on Turkish-EU ties, which were on a downward spiral anyway before this referendum.

Thomson 120 mm Platoon during fire exercise​. Wikimedia Commons/Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum
Time to consolidate U.S. gains.
John Van Oudenaren

The British electorate’s stunning vote to leave the European Union has been followed by predictions in the United States about the dire consequences of this choice. The fate of the global economy and peace itself are said to be at risk, along with the ability of the United States to deal with Russia, Islamic terrorism and other problems while undercut by a weakened EU and a UK turned inward as it undergoes a decade-long process of unwinding its European ties.


The Brexit campaign made a big issue about the unlikely scenario of a Turkey imminently joining the EU and 80 million Turks suddenly migrating to their island. At least some of the “leave” votes on Thursday must have been cast due to that fear. And paradoxically, Brexit made Turkey more important. Why? Because it has destabilized post-1945 Europe, and I think Turkey could help re-stabilize it. Let me elaborate.

BREXIT: EUROPE IS FALLING INTO THE ABYSS

Interview with prominent Russian geopolitician Alexander Dugin

– The main question is “what’s next”?

Dugin (D): The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union is an event of colossal importance. The whole architecture of the world is changing, because it is not just one of the European countries, it is one of the poles of European civilization. And if England says that it is out of Europe, out of the EU, that means that the EU’s value changes. The most important thing is that no one will allow a Europe without Britain. We can say that it is the end of the civilizational space.

 RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missiles. Kremlin photo.

It's in the U.S. national interest to explore better relations with Russia from a position of strength.
Dimitri K. Simes
THE NEXT American president will face the most serious challenge from Russia since the end of the Cold War or, for that matter, since the early 1980s, when the United States and Yuri Andropov’s Soviet Union actively confronted one another around the globe.


Author Ben Caspit, TranslatorDanny Wool

The teams of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan finally agreed today on the details of a bilateral reconciliation agreement. But why didn't this happen three years ago? On March 22, 2013, US President Barack Obama left Israel after a successful three-day visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah. At the time, the United States and Israel were exerting considerable efforts to ensure the visit’s success. It was supposed to mark a turning point, setting Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a new and better path. It was intended to turn back the four disastrous years that preceded it.


Russian President Vladimir Putin has received a letter in which his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized for the death of the pilot who was killed when a Russian jet was downed over the Syrian-Turkish border last November, the Kremlin said.
Erdogan expressed readiness to restore relations with Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

By John Pilger
"Information Clearing House" - The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu © Reuters

Israel and Turkey have reached an agreement to normalize ties, a senior Israeli official told reporters, according to Reuters. This will end bitter rift over the Israeli Navy’s killing of nine Turkish citizens during a Gaza flotilla raid in 2010.

Michael Peck

Two of the world’s most powerful air forces are operating towards opposite goals. What could possibly go wrong?
How long will it be before American and Russia jets dogfight in the skies over Syria?
That possibility seems more likely after the latest in a string of confrontations between American and Russian aircraft. Earlier this month, Russian aircraft bombing U.S.-backed rebels fighting ISIS and the Syrian government almost confronted U.S. Navy fighters, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Vote leave supporters wave Union flags, following the result of the EU referendum, outside Downing Street in London on June 24, 2016.

Neil Hall—Reuters
There is no lack of apocalyptic handwringing about the UK’s vote last night to leave the European Union—the so-called Brexit. But a more optimistic scenario is also possible.


By Paul Craig Roberts

 "Information Clearing House" - What does it mean? Hopefully, a breakup of the EU and NATO and, thereby, the avoidance of World War III. The EU and NATO are evil institutions. These two institutions are mechanisms created by Washington in order to destroy the sovereignty of European peoples.


Lebanese ally of Syrian government acknowledges heavy losses but vows to fight on as "retreat is not permissible".
The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement has said he will send more fighters to Syria's Aleppo area, a battleground where it has suffered heavy losses fighting alongside Syrian government forces against rebel groups.

 

Author Jasper Mortimer

ANKARA, Turkey — Binali Yildirim had been prime minister only two weeks when suicide bombers from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its affiliate, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, detonated two car bombs — one in Istanbul, one in Midyat, southeast Turkey. They killed 18 people.

 

Robert W. Merry
Repeat after me: The status quo in the West is not working. . . . The status quo in the West is not working. That’s the meaning of the seminal “Brexit” vote in the United Kingdom on Thursday. It wasn’t merely that those who voted for Britain’s exit from the European Union didn’t like the status quo. Or that it wasn’t serving their particular interests and needs. It was that the status quo is broken. Old structures are crumbling. The West is in a crisis of the old order.

Economics and security are pushing the two back together.
Seth J. Frantzman

Turkey and Israel are reported to be on the verge of reestablishing full diplomatic ties after more than half a decade. This will have implications for the Syrian conflict, natural gas exports and Saudi-Israeli relations. The history of how Israel and Turkey had such a deep falling out goes back seven years.


By Pepe Escobar

 "Information Clearing House" - "Sputnik" - It’s like clockwork. Oil price is on the rise again, as this column foresaw earlier this year. And the increasing possibility of Brexit is sending EU decision centers on a tailspin. So it's time for US Think Tankland – as in CIA front Stratfor, among others – to renew their spin offensive, mixing “analyses” of imminent Russian economic collapse with calls for more NATO pressure over Russia’s western borderlands.


Author Maxim A. Suchkov

As last week’s “dissent cable,” signed by US State Department officials, criticized President Barack Obama’s Syrian strategy for not being very strategic, the mood in Moscow seems quite different. Recent low-intensity diplomatic spats between the two states over whose patience is running thinner in Syria signal more-profound grievances in both capitals regarding their respective strategies, as well as one another.

Inline image 1

Marwan Bishara

In their attempts to win the hearts and minds of British voters before this week's referendum on British membership of the European Union, it seems to me the "Leave" camp focused primarily on the hearts, while the "Remain" campaign spoke to the minds.


by Tarek Fatah, The Toronto Sun
Originally published under the title "West Bowing to Radical Islam."
 

Almost 10 years ago, Maclean's magazine published an essay by Mark Steyn, titled "The future belongs to Islam." In it, he suggested, "the West is growing old and enfeebled, and lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it."


Author Sardar Mlla Drwish, TranslatorJoelle El-Khoury

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Since the Syrian revolution began in 2011, the Kurds have not engaged in direct military confrontations with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, which has not shelled their areas as it has other Syrian cities, even though the Kurds have always opposed successive Syrian regimes.

 

BURAK BEKDİL

Ostensibly it is a political issue. In reality, research to understand the mental dynamics/calculus of Turkey’s observant Muslims should fall into the disciplines of social psychology and, in some cases, psychiatrics.


Author Semih Idiz

Ankara’s bid for EU membership used to underlie Turkey’s appeal for many of the Middle East’s progressive elements in the past. The Arab Spring enhanced Turkey’s importance as a “model country” for other Islamic countries. With the Arab Spring gone sour and the EU battling its own crises, while Turkey becomes more authoritarian under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, these hopes have all but faded.

Four scenarios for the future as the JCPOA approaches one year.
Ariel E. Levite

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has now been in effect for a year. It has withstood multiple political tests in Washington and Tehran and its key provisions have thus far been implemented by Iran and its seven partners (the P-5, Germany and the European Union).


BY DAVID P. GOLDMAN
A “Russian-Chinese axis” will dominate the Middle East with Israel as its western anchor: That scenario was floated June 15 in Russia Insider, a louche propaganda site that often runs the work of fringe conspiracy theorists and the occasional anti-Semite. But the author in this case was the venerable Giancarlo Elia Valori, president of Huawei Technologies’ Italian division, a veteran of past intelligence wars with a resume that reads like a Robert Ludlum novel.


By Alastair Crooke

 "Information Clearing House" - "World Post" - BEIRUT — Gradually, the mist of ambiguity and confusion hanging over Syria is lifting a little. The landscape is sharpening into focus. With this improved visibility, we can view a little more clearly the course of action being prepared by Iran, Russia and the Syrian government.

By Paul Craig Roberts

 "Information Clearing House" - Do you remember how close we came to Armageddon in the early 1960s when Washington put nuclear missiles in Turkey on the Soviet Union’s border and the Soviets responded by putting nuclear missiles in Cuba? Fortunately, at that time we had an intelligent president instead of a cipher. President John F. Kennedy pulled us back from the brink and was assassinated by his own government for his service to humanity.

American and Russian fighter jets had a tense showdown in the skies above Syria as the Russians dropped bombs on U.S.-backed rebels.
U.S. and Russian fighter jets bloodlessly tangled in the air over Syria on June 16 as the American pilots tried and failed to stop the Russians from bombing U.S.-backed rebels in southern Syria near the border with Jordan.


by Burak Bekdil, The Gatestone Institute
On June 4, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told university students, "Just like our [Turkish] arrival into Anatolia, just like the conquest of Istanbul ... I know you will be behaving with the same consciousness ... A new Turkey will rise on your shoulders."
1071 is a very special year for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- and his Islamist ideologues. Erdogan often speaks about his "2071 targets," a reference to his vision of "Great Turkey," on the 1000th anniversary of a battle that paved the Turks' way into where they still live.



By Bill Van Auken

 "Information Clearing House" - "WSWS" - The leaking of a so-called “dissent channel cable”—a classified memo signed by over 50 mid-level State Department officials calling for the Obama administration to re-direct its military intervention in Syria to a war against the government of President Bashar al-Assad—has ratcheted up tensions between Washington and Moscow.

 

ISTANBUL — Meral Akşener relishes the idea that she frightens Turkey’s most powerful man. With a smirk, she lists headlines from pro-government newspapers painting her as a dangerous conspirator plotting against the state — a sure sign that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is worried about her.

MURAT YETKİN, hurriyetdailynews
The idea of “precious loneliness” was introduced to international relations literature by İbrahim Kalın, in order to describe the much criticized state of Turkey’s Middle East policy almost three years ago in August 2013.


John Hannah
Houston, we have a problem. A serious problem. Slowly, but inexorably, Turkey is headed off a cliff. The signposts ahead are bleak indeed. Despotism. Terrorism. Civil war. Just over the horizon, scenarios like “failed state” and “forced partition” are coming into view. The day may be approaching when U.S. policymakers, much as they’d prefer not to, will finally be forced to grapple with the question: What do you do with a NATO ally gone seriously bad?


by Burak Bekdil, The Gatestone Institute

There is every indication that Turkey and Israel are not far away from normalizing their troubled diplomatic relations. According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, for instance, the former allies are "one or two meetings" away from normalization.

By Pepe Escobar
 "Information Clearing House" - "RT" - Not a day goes by without some sort of turmoil in the South China Sea. Let’s cut to the chase: war is not about to break out. In a nutshell, the non-stop drama, as ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) diplomats told me, is all about “escalation-management protocols.” Translation: how to prevent any unilateral outburst that could be interpreted as warlike.

By Alex Vatanka
They could tear it apart—or work together.
On June 6, Khorasan Province of Islamic State claimed credit for the killing of Sher Wali Wardak, an Afghan parliamentarian. If confirmed, the killing will represent a new chapter in ISIS’s capacity to operate in Afghanistan. The attack happened as professors from Ghazni University in the eastern part of the country are warning of ISIS infiltration of the university, another sign that the group seeks to expand its base of support in the country.

By Jack A. Smith
 "Information Clearing House" - From Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, October 2011 as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan appeared to be ending:"There are those on the American political scene who are calling for us not to reposition [to Asia], but to come home. They seek a downsizing of our foreign engagement in favor of our pressing domestic priorities. These impulses are understandable, but they are misguided. Those who say that we can no longer afford to engage with the world have it exactly backward — we cannot afford not to.... Rather than pull back from the world, we need to press forward and renew our leadership. The Asia-Pacific represents such a real 21st-century opportunity for usto secure and sustain our leadership abroad."

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton talk during an interview by PBS's Charlie Rose, Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at the State Department in Washington. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

‘These are the people who make trillions of dollars on war,’ one analyst commented on the sponsors of a recent think tank report on U.S. foreign policy.
By MintPress News Desk 

WASHINGTON — Some of the most powerful players in the military-industrial complex hope to earn big bucks under a possible Hillary Clinton presidency.That’s the conclusion some analysts are drawing from a report, “Extending American Power: Strategies to Expand U.S. Engagement in a Competitive World Order,” published last month by the Center for a New American Security, a think tank dedicated to what it describes as “strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies.”

By Maxime H.A. Larivé
Emotions have taken over facts.
The question of the Brexit referendum regarding the status of the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union, is relevant to world affairs and reflects the general political mood in the West. On June 23rd, the British, Northern Irish, and Commonwealth citizens will be casting their votes for either leaving or staying in the EU.

20120618-putin

By: Harry C. Blaney III

In my look at the global landscape for 2016, I addressed the critical issue of the future of US-Russian relations in a section titled “Russia: A Disaster in Waiting.” I promised to look again at this question over the course of the year and focus on key risks and opportunities while also adding a bit to a possible long-term “grand strategic perspective.”


by Tyler Durden

The ever-tightening noose around the neck of man shows no sign of slippage: all actions by all of the governments are anent control and dominion. The path to global governance is plainly marked, visible through all of the turmoil. It is that turmoil, those “incidents” that are created and fostered by the governments that enable them to further constrict the noose. The economy plummets in Cyprus and Greece? Time to limit the cash withdrawals. The European banks are having a “hard time” in places such as France or Spain? Time to pillage people’s savings and their IRA’s.

Unsustainable

By World Tribune
By Norman Bailey

Israel just celebrated its 68th birthday. Since President Harry Truman overrode the entire foreign policy community of his day, inside the government and outside, and recognized the new State of Israel, the United States has been Israel’s external sponsor of last resort.

uz-sk-16
Central Asia Caucasus Analyst, Mirzokhid Rakhimov and Sung Dong Ki
South Korea’s Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn visited Uzbekistan on May 19-20, 2016. The visit was the fifteenth official high-level meeting between the two countries. Over the last year, several new actors have increased their engagement with Central Asia, aside from South Korea also including Japan and India.

By James Bowen
Fossil fuels’ bleak future spells trouble for Riyadh.

Speaking at the December 2013 meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, then Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi warned of repercussions from a pledge by Iran—hit the year before by harsh U.S. and European sanctions—to return to producing four million barrels of crude a day, “even if the oil price reaches twenty dollars per barrel.” Naimi predicted this basement-level value would wipe out producers of then burgeoning “nonconventional” petroleum such as shale and oil sands.

Bulgaria: Bulgaria to Start Building Gas Interconnection with Turkey in June

The construction of an interconnection pipeline linking the gas transmission systems of Bulgaria and Turkey would start in the next two weeks, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said on Thursday, according to public radio broadcaster BNR.

 Russian President Vladimir Putin during talks with Israeli Prime Miniter Benjamin Netanyahu in Kremlin.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is strengthening ties with Russia, while Washington's influence in the Middle East is waning.

cc Flickr Opendemocracy, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Geopolitical Monitor, Todd Royal
Assessing morally obtuse, naïve multiculturalism is a quality lacking in the ForeignAffairs.com article by Niko Tsafos titled, “A U.S. Gas War with Russia?” The premise grossly understates Russia’s reaction to the United States’ (US) liquid natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe, and gives the impression Russia will not be overly bothered by this occurring. It has become dangerously fashionable to blame problems on outside factors, instead of CONSIDERING regime type, historical precedence, and basic rules of deterrence.

Turkish President Erdogan (Photo: AP)

Itamar Eichner

Turkish intelligence head Hakan Fidan, considered an 'agent' for Iran and an obstacle to reconciliation talks with Jerusalem, replaced; Foreign Affairs Under Secretary Feridun Hadi Sinirlioğlu, who led the talks, also removed from post.