Saturday, December 30, 2017

The 'Rimland Imperative': How Trump's Chief Diplomat for European-Eurasian Affairs Wants to Counter Russia, China & Iran

Since his appointment as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Aaron Wess Mitchell has mostly stayed out of the spotlight but his geopolitical views are already having a profound impact on U.S. foreign policy, as illustrated by the Trump administration's newly released National Security Strategy and the decision to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine.

One week before U.S. President Trump unveiled the 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS), his National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster gave a preview of the strategy at an event hosted by the British think tank Policy Exchange in Washington.

McMaster disclosed that the Trump administration views Russia and China as "revisionist powers" which "are undermining the international order and stability" and "ignoring the sovereign rights of their neighbors and the rule of law."

"Geopolitics are back, and back with a vengeance, after this holiday from history we took in the so-called post-Cold War period," McMaster emphasized.[1]

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Merkel's Tenuous Pact with America in the Age of Trump

Upon taking office, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) decided to make "a pact with America the cornerstone of her foreign policy," reorienting Germany away from Russia and back towards the United States.[1]

This pact has become increasingly tenuous after the election of Donald Trump as this year's Berlin Foreign Policy Forum demonstrated.

The Berlin Foreign Policy Forum is an annual event hosted by the Körber Foundation in cooperation with Germany's Federal Foreign Office, bringing together politicians, government representatives, foreign policy experts and journalists to discuss German foreign policy and Germany's role in the world.[2]

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) opened this year's forum with an unprecedented attack on Merkel's pact with America, telling the audience: "Germany cannot afford to wait for decisions from Washington, or to merely react to them. We must lay out our own position and make clear to our allies where the limits of our solidarity are reached."[3]

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This article was published on December 7, but I forgot to share it here.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Germany Protects Gülen Movement from Erdogan

German-Turkish relations keep plummeting as Berlin and Ankara argue over the threat posed by U.S.-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gülen and his movement, but there is more to the latest dispute than meets the eye.

In recent weeks, tensions have been running high between Germany and Turkey due to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s referendum campaign. Disagreements over the Gülen movement are now adding fuel to the fire.

On March 27, as Turkish citizens living in Germany began casting their ballots in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, German media dropped a bombshell.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Merkel's Message to US: NATO is not 'Obsolete' - and neither is the Russian Boogeyman

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen used the 53rd Munich Security Conference to send a message to the new U.S. administration: NATO is not "obsolete" – and neither is the Russian boogeyman! 

"There can be no policy of equidistance between allies on one side and those who on the other question our borders, our values and the principles of international law," Defense Minister von der Leyen said to applause at the Munich Security Conference.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The New Great Game Round-Up: January 18, 2016

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

Georgia's Main Opposition Party Splits but the Drama Ain't Over
Georgia's largest opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), has split amid disagreements over the role of UNM leader and former President Mikheil Saakashvili, who gave up his Georgian citizenship for a new political career in Ukraine.

Leading UNM members who regard Saakashvili as a liability announced last week that they would leave the party and start a new political movement to challenge the Georgian Dream government.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Anis Amri Timeline: How German Authorities Allowed a Well-Known Terrorist Suspect to Strike Berlin

As more details emerge about last month’s Berlin Christmas market attack, German authorities are struggling to explain why they failed to prevent the attack despite knowing full well that Anis Amri was a ticking time bomb.

"The attack was carried out by a man whom security officials across Germany were very well aware of," North Rhine-Westphalia’s Interior Minister Ralf Jäger acknowledged at a January 5 meeting of the state’s parliamentary interior committee in Düsseldorf.[1]

Read the full article on Newsbud