June, 2016 Security-Intelligence

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.

 

Kacanik, KOSOVO – A plume of smoke hangs over our table in the corner of a dark, shabby café in this rugged town in southern Kosovo. The lanky 19-year-old sitting next to me is chain-smoking through half a pack of L&Ms, his hands trembling as he recalls how he joined one of the world's most brutal militant Islamist groups.

 

KAITLIN LAVINDER

Bosnia and Kosovo are two of the biggest exporters of jihadists joining the Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria) from the Balkans. As The Cipher Brief reported last month, legacies of the Communist era and the wars of the 1990s – presence of foreign fighters, economic and physical destruction, a lack of funding to rebuild, and the near eradication of moderate Islamic institutions – paved the way for Islamic extremist groups to establish a foothold in both countries.


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.

Residents look at buildings which were damaged during security operations and clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants, in Sur district of Diyarbakir, Turkey May 22, 2016. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar

REUTERS/SERTAC KAYAR
Turkey's parliament has granted immunity from prosecution to members of the armed forces conducting counter-terrorism operations as security forces battle Kurdish militants in fighting that has killed thousands in the past year.


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.


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.


by Daniel Pipes

Moncef Marzouki, the president of Tunisia from 2011 to 2014, has penned an analysis predicting, as I have, the demise of Islamism. I quote from a MiddleEastEye.net abridgement and translation of the original Arabic version that appeared at Aljazeera.net.


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."


By Jonathan Cook

"Information Clearing House" - "The National" - In a little-noticed move last week, Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman barred an official close to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas from entering Israel. Mohammed Madani is accused of “subversive activity" and “political terror". His crimes, as defined by Mr Lieberman, are worth pondering. They suggest that Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians may be rooted less in security issues and more in European colonialism.


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.

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 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.


By STEVEN ERLANGER

BRUSSELS — NATO is discussing how to step up its response to the European migrant crisis by expanding its presence in the Mediterranean region, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this week. But the proposals, discussed during a meeting of the alliance’s defense ministers, are being questioned by Turkey, which says limited resources would be better used to protect member nations from more traditional threats like Russia. Turkey is also pressing for an end to the limited effort by the alliance to combat the smuggling of migrants in the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece.

People being deported from Thailand are seen brought off an airplane by police at an unidentified location in China on July 9, 2015 in this still image taken from CCTV video aired on July 11, 2015. Reuters Photos

Some of the Uighurs deported to China last week from Thailand had planned to go to Syria and Iraq to carry out jihad, state television said, showing pictures of them being bundled out of an aircraft with black hoods over their heads.

By Dave Majumdar
Despite Washington’s pleas, America’s major European allies have time and again failed to boost their spending to the minimum two percent standard. NATO HQ, BRUSSELS & E-4B NATIONAL AIRBORNE OPERATIONS CENTER OVER THE ATLANTIC—U.S. defense officials are continuing to press their European counterparts to increase their military spending to the NATO minimum standard of two percent of gross domestic product.

Alparslan Türkeş, the founder and former head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

William Armstrong

All major parties in Turkey harbor some form of nationalism. Turkish nationalism has many different flavors and has proven remarkably resilient over the past century. Since 1923 it has run through various ideological trends in Turkey like writing in a stick of Brighton rock.

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."

By AYA BATRAWY and MAGGIE MICHAEL
The Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates said Wednesday that the “war is over” for its troops in Yemen, though it may continue to keep them there for counterterrorism operations.


BORDER DISPUTE
Eritrea and Ethiopia have accused each other of starting clashes on Sunday between their soldiers in a militarized border region.


By HELENE COOPER

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — Kilo Company of the Third Battalion, Second Marines was deep in a simulated firefight on a recent morning here in the high California desert. A group of Marines on the aptly named Machine Gun Hill unleashed round after round of live fire as another group of Marines tried to seize the surrounding valley from an imaginary enemy.

The manipulation of public opinion through suggestion can be traced back to the father of modern propaganda, Edward Bernays, who discovered that preying on the subconscious mind was the best way to sell products people don't need, and wars people don't want.

Abby Martin interviews Dr. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Studies at New York University.

By Haaretz and JTA

The American national security adviser also lashes out at Israel's settlement activity, saying that the only road to 'sustainable security for Israel and to dignity and self-determination for the Palestinians is two states for two peoples.'

The eventual deployment of the North Korean nuclear-armed missiles might easily push South Korea towards acquiring its own nuclear deterrent, writes Lankov [The Associated Press]

Anrei Lankov

The eventual deployment of the North Korean nuclear-armed missiles might easily push South Korea towards acquiring its own nuclear deterrent, writes Lankov [The Associated Press]

Recently, news from the Korean Peninsula has been dominated by missiles: as satellite images confirmed, the North Koreans have been busy preparing another test launch of "BM-25 Musudan", their intermediate-range missile.


Author Mohammed A. Salih
Faced with what has been often described as the world’s most resourceful and sophisticated terror organization, Iraq’s news media outlets have stumbled in how to cover the Islamic State (IS). The country’s news media appear to have unwillingly assisted IS in disseminating some of its gruesome propaganda releases, thus enabling it to achieve broader reach and possibly even impact.


by A.J. Caschetta 

IRGC Commander Ali Fadavi's recent threat to "drown American vessels" in the Persian Gulf is only the latest indication that America's relationship with Iran resembles a dhimma contract more than a traditional foreign policy.


Author Mohammad Ballout
TranslatorKamal Fayad

No countdown is currently underway for [a renewed] Russian military intervention [in Syria]. This intervention will probably never be renewed, at least not with the same momentum seen in the months prior to the ever-vacillating truce. As a matter of fact, it seems that only the Russians had counted on this intervention and believe that their achievements were sufficient to successfully embark on a political process in Geneva, which also did not materialize.