Editorial: To be sure, she was not wrong in the first place to seek compromise. But she dithered early on, was gravely weakened by a calamitous general election (one she never should have called), and consented to terms – including the notorious Northern Irish “backstop” – that made compromise in the House of Commons all but impossible. It hasn’t helped that both main parties are split on Europe, with leaders more interested in seizing political advantage than in advancing the country’s interests. – Bloomberg
Sources of Political Stress in China
by Juliette Genevaz
China's Great Nuclear Wall
By Aaron Kliegman, The Washington Free Beacon: "Beijing's opaque approach to arms control obscures the growing threat of its nuclear arsenal."
Ways the United States Could Overextend and Unbalance Russia
Despite its vulnerabilities and anxieties, Russia remains a formidable opponent in a few key domains. What non-violent, cost-imposing measures could the United States pursue to stress Russia's economy, its military, and the regime's political standing at home and abroad?
Read more »
Time for Trump To Craft a Policy On Russ Regime
By BENNY AVNI, Special to the Sun | May 10, 2019
Secretary of State Pompeo will meet his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, next week. They will have a lot to discuss. Endlessly obsessed with Russia's interference in the last election, one half of Washington -- the Democrats -- all but ignore Russia's current nefarious deeds around the globe.
When Iran tried to blackmail Europe this week by threatening to undo the nuclear deal, it sent Foreign Minister Zarif to Moscow. That's where Tehran gets its strongest support. To undermine America's sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, Putin offered Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan a mega-deal for anti-aircraft S-400 missiles.
Deterring Russian Aggression in the Baltic States
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are vulnerable to low-level, hybrid, and full-scale attacks by Russian forces. Which unconventional strategies could they use to deter aggression and buy time for conventional military responses? And how can NATO allies help develop and fund these efforts? Read more »
Russia Seeks to Exploit Escalating Troubles in the Middle East
By Jane Doe, The Atlantic: "Russia tries to maintain a finger in every conflict in the Middle East, and President Vladimir Putin seeks to cultivate connections with various parties in multiple quarrels. Presently, however, the Kremlin’s access is being curtailed."
Jay Solomon writes: The Trump administration is becoming more concerned about Hezbollah as the Venezuela crisis drags on. The Iranian proxy militia has been active in Latin America for decades, often infiltrating Arab emigre populations to conduct operations. For example, investigators concluded that the group coordinated with Iran to bomb the Israeli embassy and Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in the early 1990s, with some senior Argentinian officials accused of complicity in the latter crime. – Washington Institute
Applying the Monroe Doctrine to Venezuela
By Dr. Jiri Valenta, May 16, 2019
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Monroe Doctrine, first articulated in 1823 by President James Monroe, was designed to protect the Americas from foreign threat and intervention. The Doctrine has a renewed relevance in today’s Venezuela.
Burkina Faso: The New Land of Islamic Jihad and Christian Slaughter
by Raymond Ibrahim
Burkina Faso: Foreign Minister Calls for CT Coalition in Sahel. Burkina Faso’s foreign minister on Thursday called for the creation of an anti-terrorism coalition for Africa’s Sahel region, similar to the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan. The region currently has the G5 Sahel Joint Force, comprised of troops from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, and Niger, but the force faces many delays and obstacles due to attacks and outdated equipment. The foreign minister said that regional violence has been increasing, as seen with recent attacks on Christian churches and an attack on Niger’s troops. VOA News
"The U.S. is handing over the counter terrorism mission in West Africa to local partners. But to some those partners are worse than the terrorists".
Shabaab official justifies attacks on civilians while preaching the sanctity of Muslim blood
In a new audio address, Shabaab's Abu ‘Abdurahman Mahad Warsame warns jihadists that they should avoid spilling the blood of innocent Muslims. However, he justifies the assassination of a Muslim cleric and the murder of civilians.
Efficacy of the French Military Intervention in the Northern Mali Conflict
By Greg Olsen, Divergent Options: "The French military intervention in the Northern Mali Conflict in 2013 (Operation Serval) was a military success and met the criteria for success established by civilian leadership, however, it did not alter the trajectory of conflict in the region."
New Party Rises In Britain To Rescue BrexitIt Leads the Polls for European Parliament, Our Diarist Reports
By STEPHEN MacLEAN, Special to the Sun | April 30, 2019
The Monroe Doctrine for Venezuela by Jiri Valenta
SHEPARD BARBASH The Mexico Tragedy America’s southern neighbor confronts metastasizing violence and institutional corruption that threaten its future.
‘Aeroterror’ is back in business — Team Trump should end it now
Emanuele Ottolenghi | Senior FellowMatthew Zweig | Senior Fellow
Nicaragua is the afterthought in Bolton’s ‘troika of tyranny’
Ryan C. Berg | AEIdeas
As the fight to restore democracy in Nicaragua passes the one-year mark, US policy toward the Ortega regime appears captured by the idea that Havana holds the keys to control. Yet, there are policies that do not involve Havana that could restore electoral democracy in Nicaragua.
VIDEO: WHAT IS THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, BROTHERHOOD EXILES IN SUDAN & US TRIES TO CONTAIN OMAN IN ALLIANCE
What Is the Muslim Brotherhood? by Cynthia Farahat
April 24, 2019
Muslim Brotherhood exiles from Egypt face uncertain future in Sudan
Egyptians affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood who sought refuge in Sudan following the 2013 crackdown are worried about their fate now that President Omar al-Bashir has been ousted.
Oman’s rising diplomatic role in Yemen met with mixed reaction in GCC
Oman's strategy of constructive engagement with the Houthis has been met with pushback from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The Future of the China-Russia Alliance
By Dr. James M. Dorsey, April 24, 2019
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Odds are that China and Russia will prove to be long-term US rivals. However, it may just as well be that their alliance will prove to be more tactical than strategic, with the China-Russia relationship resembling US-Chinese ties: cooperation in an environment of divergence rather than convergence.
Continue to full article ->
Asia Is the New Ground Zero for Islamist Terror
By Brahma Chellaney, The Strategist (ASPI): "Radical Islamist groups, some affiliated with larger extremist networks, have been quietly gaining influence in an arc of countries extending from the Maldivian to the Philippine archipelagos, and the threat they pose can no longer be ignored."
Notre Dame in Flames
By MICHEL GURFINKIEL, Special to the Sun | April 15, 2019
In emotional terms, the fire that destroyed Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris can be described as the 9/11 of France. No matter what the cause may turn out to be. Like New York, which even in periods of war was supposed to be immune from foreign attacks, Paris was supposed to be spared irretrievable catastrophes, either civilian or military.
That ended for New York in 2001. The last time the capital of France suffered wide range destruction was the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and 1871 and its revolutionary sequel, the Commune of Paris, which scorched the Royal Palace of Tuileries and of City Hall.
European Churches: Vandalized, Defecated On, and Torched "Every Day"
by Raymond Ibrahim
April 14, 2019
Karen E. Young writes: Developing countries from Africa to the Middle East to Asia now have some interesting choices in development finance partners. Where the money comes from matters. […]Sudan’s windfall today will be tomorrow’s institutional challenge, to build open and rule-based markets that create jobs and provide food for its citizens. – AmericanEnterprise Institute
France reports major security operation in central Mali
French forces reportedly killed dozens of jihadists after a three-week long operation in central Mali.
U.S. Military’s 36 Code-Named Operations in Africa
By Nick Turse & Sean Naylor, Yahoo News: “Between 2013 and 2017, U.S. special operations forces saw combat in at least 13 African countries, according to retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, who served at U.S. Africa Command from 2013 to 2015 and then headed Special Operations Command Africa until 2017."
The Hungarian resistance
Clifford D. May — The Washington Times
Most people want to survive. What could be more natural than that? Most peoples want to survive, too. That’s no less natural. For a thousand years, the lands inhabited by the Hungarian people have been invaded, their settlements sacked, men, women and children enslaved and slaughtered. Mongols, Ottomans, Nazis and Soviets were among those who conquered and ruled the Hungarians. Somehow, they’ve survived. Hungarians today, a clear majority, believe their national existence — their unique identity, language, culture and traditions — is threatened again. This time, however, it is not by nomads on horseback or soldiers in tanks. It is by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union.”... Read more
Diliman Abdulkader writes: In other words, ISIS is not defeated, and ISIS will likely reemerge. […]The SDF, SDC, and the 79-member Global Coalition has taken away Assad’s lifeline by holding on to northeast Syria. The Assad regime is cash-strapped; relieving the pressure now would be a grave mistake. Assad may have retaken large swaths of territory west of the Euphrates river, but most of Syria’s assets are east of the Euphrates. He needs to take them back, and the U.S. presence there blocks him from doing so. The U.S. should hold its ground. – Washington Examiner
Saving Northeastern Syria
How Washington Can Help Strike a Deal Between Turkey and the Kurds
Merve Tahiroglu | Research AnalystAndrew Gabel | Research Analyst
Michael Rubin writes: With the U.S. withdrawal from Syria off the table for now, and with the Turks recognizing that they cannot make an end-run against U.S. interests, negotiations now center on a buffer zone inside Syria to keep Kurdish forces away from the Turkish border. A buffer zone to separate the Turkish military and Kurdish forces might be a good idea, but if it is to succeed in its stated purpose rather than simply be cover for renewed Turkish ethnic cleansing, it should be on the Turkish side of the border rather than inside Syria. – Washington Examiner
This weekend, Rwanda marks the 25th anniversary of the genocide that left some 800,000 mostly Tutsi people dead.
NEW FORMS OF STATE CAPITALISM RISE IN MIDDLE EAST, CHINA & THE RISE OF SINO-RUSSIAN ALLIANCE AGAINST THE US
Russia Sees Its Future In China And Eurasia
with Michael McFaul via National InterestPutin’s ambitions reach beyond Russia’s near abroad and to the international system itself, in which it seeks to regain and retain its position as a great power.
Pulling up the ladder: State capitalism risks the next Careem
Karen Young | AEIdeas
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are modeling a new kind of state capitalism for the Middle East and North Africa region. The long-term effects are unknown, but it is important to question whether the organic startup culture that cultivated the ride-sharing service Careem will survive to create opportunities for others.
China's Han Superstate: The New Third Reich by Gordon G. Chang •
U.S. General Troubled by Russian Mercenaries in Africa
By Richard Sisk, Military.com: “Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, the nominee to head U.S. Africa Command, said Tuesday that the presence of Russian mercenaries in the Central African Republic is part of the effort by President Vladimir Putin to regain influence for Moscow in the Sub-Sahara."
US general dismisses Chinese kit in Africa
(IHS Jane’s 360) The Chinese military equipment being acquired by African countries is not of a high quality, according to the US Army general nominated as the next commander of the US military's Africa Command.
Are Russia and China really forming an alliance?
Leon Aron | Foreign Affairs
The history of relations between the two countries is fraught, and they play vastly different roles in the world economy, making a divergence in their objectives all but unavoidable. In short, reports of a Russian-Chinese alliance have been greatly exaggerated.
The Articles of Confederation and State Sovereignty
By Nathan Coleman on Mar 31, 2019 10:00 pm
Article II of the Articles of Confederation codified that one of the purposes of the American Revolution was the protection of state
Read in browser »
PUTIN'S PLAYBOOK: DISRUPTION, EVASION AND CHAOS; RED CHINA PROVES JAPAN'S DEFENSES, HOW PUTIN PLAYS ISRAEL AGAINST IRAN
Russia is back in the Central African Republic (CAR). In a military training base located on former palace grounds southwest of the capital Bangui, hundreds of Russian fighters, described as army reservists, are training CAR government soldiers in preparation for deployment along the country’s border. – Al Jazeera
Russian Special Operations Forces: Image Versus Substance
By Sergey Sukhankin, Eurasia Daily Monitor: “The Russian SOF does not fall under any of the pre-existing branches/ arms of Russian armed forces or the non-military special services. And unlike other types of Russian special forces, or Spetsnaz (such as Alpha Group or Vympel), the Special Operations Forces are “not small special groups of highly qualified professionals, but large army-type structures comprised of professionals of the highest quality.”"
How Putin Plays Israel and Iran Against Each Other in Syria By Yaakov Lappin, April 8, 2019
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Russia holds the cards in Syria. Jerusalem and Tehran must spell out their desires for the Syrian arena to Moscow, who in turn must find a way to leave each side with "half its desires."
Continue to full article ->
America, You're Not Listening to Us
// Anatoly Antonov Russia's ambassador: We're ready for urgently needed security dialogue — when our U.S. counterparts are ready to engage in good faith.
Mexico Veers Onto Road Toward Ruin
By BENNY AVNI, Special to the Sun | March 21, 2019
In his first 100 days in office, Mexico's new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, seems intent on steering the country toward an idealistic, but ultimately ruinous, future.
Known as AMLO, the new president is fast concentrating power and influence in his own hands. He has rewarded party loyalists and mighty state bosses, enriched loyal backers like the teachers unions, stacked the courts with cronies and dried out funds for democratic institutions, weakening checks and balances. Continue Reading
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) recently marked his 100th day in office. In an AEIdeas blog, Ryan Berg explains that while the president’s first 100 days have featured plenty of populist rhetoric and destruction, he has been light on policy and proposals. While it appears that AMLO understands what makes for good politics, his understanding of good policy is an open question. Find out why here.
A New Good Neighbor Policy
Joel Kotkin & Luis B. Torres, City Journal
Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump’s proposal to build a “beautiful wall,” it is unlikely to resolve the crisis sending ever more people—largely from Central America—to America’s borders. The problems that drive large numbers to leave their homes and trust their families to criminal gangs will not be solved by bigger fences but better thinking. Fundamentally, the United States should regard Mexico and Central America not as adversaries but as economic partners in a world increasingly defined by competition. Read more here....
Russia has been steadily expanding its military influence across Africa, alarming Western officials with increasing arms sales, security agreements and training programs for unstable countries or autocratic leaders. In the Central African Republic, where a Russian has been installed as the president’s national security adviser, the government is selling mining rights for gold and diamonds at a fraction of their worth to hire trainers and buy arms from Moscow. – New York Times
What is the Sahel?
Emily Estelle | AEI video
What is the Maghreb? In a new AEI “Define” video, Emily Estelle briefly explains that the northern African region is a historic crossroads between Africa, the Middle East, and Europe and then outlines its various security challenges. Watch the video here.
Michael Rubin writes: As China moves into Djibouti and Ethiopia and as the US-funded government in Mogadishu increasingly offers its strategic assets to China, the State Department has decided to break past precedent and turn its back on Somaliland, the only stable, secure, and truly democratic region in the Horn of Africa, even as Russia seeks to move in on the territory. More important, however, is that the US State Department is, through either neglect or malpractice, risking a resurgence of radicalism in the Horn of Africa. – National Review
Emily Estelle writes: The Trump administration is drawing down the US military presence in Africa in order to pivot to great power competition and claim success — prematurely — on the many fronts of the war on terror. This drawdown requires local partners, like Mali and Burkina Faso, to continue a counterterrorism mission that is far from complete. But these states, among the poorest in the world, are not only incapable of completing the fight against al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)- and Islamic State-linked groups. They are part of the problem. – American Enterprise Institute
Burkina Faso was supposed to take an important step Sunday toward democracy. The West African nation was expected to adopt presidential term limits through a long-anticipated national vote, even as Islamist violence gripped the countryside. […]Now a spreading insurgency appears to be threatening that progress. Deaths from terrorism in West Africa spiked in 2015 and continue to pose a stubborn problem for the international community. – Washington Post
Col. Chris Karns writes: If African countries are to become exporters of security beyond their borders, and not importers, U.S. government educational programs and partnership-building capacity are key.Access to education and basic services are not birthrights, assured as they are in wealthier countries. Where education exists in Africa, a hundred children can be packed in a classroom. There is a strong demand signal for improved education, especially for English language training. – Military Times
TNSR: Book Review Roundtable: Building Militaries in Fragile States by by Walter C. Ladwig III, Loren DeJonge Schulman, Tommy Ross, and Jason Fritz