Nuclear Mirage? Assessing Civilian Nuclear Programs Across the Middle East
By Yoel Guzansky and Gallian Lindenstrauss
6 Aug 2012
Many states across the Middle East have embarked upon civilian nuclear projects. While Iran is widely regarded as the catalyst for this development, Yoel Guzansky and Gallian Lindenstrauss suggest that the region’s states are more concerned with developing programs that benefit their people than fending off a looming security challenge.
The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks. By and large, Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions are tired, divided, chaotic, and ineffective. Feeling abandoned by the West, rebel forces are increasingly demoralized as they square off with the Assad regime's superior weaponry and professional army. Al-Qaeda fighters, however, may help improve morale. The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now.
Egypt to impose 'full control' over Sinai, says president
6 August 2012
Egypt will impose full control over the Sinai, its new president has pledged, as the Israeli government warned of a deteriorating security situation after gunmen killed around 15 Egyptian border guards and hijacked armoured vehicles to launch an attack across the border in Israel.
Interview with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti
'A Front Line Between North and South'
6 August 2012
In a SPIEGEL interview, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti says Europe is showing traces of a "psychological dissolution" in the debt crisis and that leaders are doing too little to stop it. He also warns that governments cannot allow themselves to become "fully bound" to parliament in determining policies to save the euro.
'Greece Should Leave'
Patience with Athens Nearing an End in Germany
6 August 2012
Even as Greece's leading creditors expressed satisfaction with a new agreement aimed at labor market reforms, patience in Germany is running out. The tone among politicians allied with Chancellor Merkel is growing sharper.
The good news is that Greece is not going to go bankrupt -- at least not this month. Despite Athens facing a €3.2 billion ($3.96 billion) bond repayment in August and rapidly running out of cash, the European Central Bank (ECB) last week rubber-stamped a request from the Bank of Greece, allowing it to boost the amount of money it can loan to the Greek government. The move should keep the country's head above water at least until September.
Robert Fisk: Hijab defection drives wedge into fractured party
7 August 2012
The highest ranking-defector yet – the Syrian Prime Minister, Riad Hijab – deserted President Bashar al-Assad yesterday and headed for the highest-paying supporter of the country's rebels: the oil-stuffed state of Qatar.
The UN has appointed a high-level panel to advise on the global development agenda beyond 2015 when the Millennium Development Goals are expected to be achieved. The panel's first meeting will take place in September.
As Greece Rounds Up Migrants, Official Says ‘Invasion’ Imperils National Stability
New York Times
6 August 2012
ATHENS — A vast police operation here aimed at identifying illegal immigrants found that, of 6,000 people detained over the weekend, 1,400 did not have proper documentation, leading the minister of public order to say that Greece was suffering an “unprecedented invasion” that was threatening the stability of the debt-racked nation.
Iran tests short-range missile with new guidance system
By Yeganeh Torbati
Sat Aug 4, 2012
(Reuters) - Iran has test-fired a new, more accurate short-range missile capable of striking land and sea targets, it said on Saturday, a show of strength that underscored its ability to hit shipping in the Strait of Hormuz if attacked.
TURKEY: Caught Between Syria’s Kurds and a Hard Spot
By Dorian Jones
Aug 4 2012 (EurasiaNet) -
In a display of muscle-flexing, Turkish tanks this week carried out military exercises on the Syrian border, just a few kilometres away from towns that Syrian Kurds had seized from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.
Israel Finds $240 Billion Gas Hoard Stranded by Politics: Energy
3 August 2012
Israel, reliant on imported energy since the state’s foundation in 1948, now has more natural gas than it can handle.
Noble Energy Inc. (NBL), Delek Group Ltd. (DLEKG) and other explorers have discovered enough gas under the Mediterranean Sea to supply Israel’s needs for 150 years. To profit from the finds sooner, the companies want to export the gas by pipeline or ship. As the Ministry of Energy prepares to publish a blueprint for developing the fields later this month, officials say the country’s economy and security must come first and shipments abroad limited.
Interview with Dr. Andrew Mango: “Turkey’s Walk from 1923 to 2023: A Critique of the Past and Recent Political Challenges”
August 3, 2012
Probably, not that many non-Turkish scholars have been read, referred to, admired and criticized by the students of political science and history as well as the not-so-academic followers of politics in Turkey as much and intensely as Dr. Andrew Mango had.
(Reuters) - Barbed wire and concrete-filled oil drums surround Maria Riri Myles' family apartment in a snake- and rat-infested no-go zone of northern Cyprus occupied only by patrolling Turkish soldiers. But it still feels like home.
International disarray over the bloody crisis in Syria has been starkly underlined when the UN envoy Kofi Annan announced that he was resigning because of the failure of what he said had become a "mission impossible".
The former UN secretary general said it had been a "sacred duty" to take up the position five months ago to try to find a solution to the conflict. But growing militarisation and a lack of unity among world powers had changed the circumstances.