New at Strategic Culture Foundation 17-23 November 2013: Turkey-Iraq / USA / Syria / Iran / Russia-Middle East / Africa

23 November 2013 — Strategic Culture Foundation

Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan: What’s in Store for Alliance of Convenience?

23.11.2013 | 11:17 | Mikhail AGHAJANYAN

The Kurdish conundrum makes Turkey face tall orders again. Its policy of supporting terrorist and insurgent forces in Syria has stymied. Now the Turkish officials change the tune. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks more frequently about «extremist activities and the damage they cause to the Syrian revolution» and the fact that «Turkey has never supported radicals fighting Bashar Assad». The use of the term «Syrian revolution» as a figure of speech implies that Ankara still wants the power changed in Syria, but it has changed the ways to achieve this goal. The main reason is the growing role of Kurdish factor in the Arab country that shares a long border with Turkey…


How to Counter America’s Digital Hegemony

23.11.2013 | 00:00 | Boris KAZANTSEV

Thanks to the consistent and thoughtful policy of supporting high-tech sectors of the economy, in China they have done what for a long time seemed impossible: they have forced American IT corporations out of the domestic market and now are actively buying them up. Today such Chinese brands as ZTE or Huawei have become synonyms of success and power which are feared by all in the West.In its content production policy, China holds to two simple principles.Bloggers call the first principle “block and clone”, which means “smart censorship”. Its main distinction from “dumb censorship” is that the state, when blocking access to a foreign platform, immediately provides the possibility to use one just like it, but national. …The second principle is to identify a set of key topics which, in the opinion of the Chinese leadership, could have a destabilizing effect on the country’s life…


How to Get the Syrian Armed Opposition to Sit down for Talks

22.11.2013 | 00:00 | Boris DOLGOV

The Russian Foreign Affairs Minister announced that “the Syrian external opposition should not be persuaded to sit down for talks, they should be forced to sit down”. But how to force them? By declaring through the UN that only those political forces who agree to stop fighting and start a national dialogue will be recognised as legitimate representatives of the Syrian people. By establishing a ceasefire that all sides must abide by. Those groups that refuse to abide by the ceasefire should be recognised – also through the UN – as terrorist organisations (the Nusra Front, incidentally, is already on the United States’ list of such organisations). In accordance with a UN resolution, international sanctions should be used against these terrorist organisations and their sponsors…


American Sanctions against Iran: A Two-Edged Sword

22.11.2013 | 00:00 | Valentin KATASONOV

The U.S., in the opinion of many American politicians and economists, has gotten too carried away with using such a foreign policy tool as economic sanctions. Washington’s sanctions are a two-edged sword. They negatively affect both the object of the sanctions (the country against which they are imposed) and the country imposing them – the United States. The effect for the object of the sanctions is quicker and more visible; for the country imposing the sanctions it is less obvious, but extremely dangerous and damaging. What is this negative effect for the U.S. in the case of the sanctions against Iran?


Russia and Middle East Policy: Story of Success and Growing Clout

21.11.2013 | 00:00 | Andrei AKULOV

 Resurgent Russia is asserting itself in the Middle East as a big an important international player. The recent diplomacy that averted a U.S. strike on Syria underscored the extent to which Moscow’s steadfast support for its last remaining Arab ally has helped to solidify its role. Russian President Vladimir Putin has emerged as the world leader with the single biggest influence over the outcome of a raging war that is threatening the stability of the broader region.


Obama ?hanges Direction in the Middle East

21.11.2013 | 00:00 | Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR

The politics of the Middle East are undergoing a period of great turbulence emanating out of the changes in direction of the regional policies pursued by the United States. When the ship makes a turnaround, it has to be over an arc, and it is now possible to discern the reset of the compass.This is primarily being felt in the Obama administration’s rethink on the Syrian conflict and its decision to constructively engage with Iran. Neither is an afterthought, but rather they took time to mature…


Make or Break Time for Iran and P5+1

20.11.2013 | 00:00 | Finian CUNNINGHAM

Last week, Yukiya Amano, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, was in Tehran. It is understood that Iranian officials disclosed a roadmap of safeguards and oversight that would verify the civilian nature of Iran’s nuclear facilities. …Perhaps surprisingly, the Obama administration is saying that a deal with Iran this week is possible and that “modest sanctions relief” will follow. The White House has also rebuffed, albeit rather gently, hysterical calls by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the Geneva talks to be abandoned on the basis that they are merely an “Iranian ruse” designed to buy time to build a nuclear bomb. …In this light, it seems significant that Israel is enlisting the French as its interlocutor at the Geneva talks…


“Bubbles” Starting to Form in the Financial Markets

20.11.2013 | 00:00 | Valentin KATASONOV

The formation of bubbles which has begun on America’s securities markets means that stocks circulating on the market and financial instruments linked to real assets are losing their connection to the situation in the real sector of the economy. The economy is running in place or even going down, but stock market quotes are moving in the opposite direction. This theater of the absurd is supported by the Federal Reserve and its quantitative easing program…


Asia Pivot Declared, US Army Eyes Africa

19.11.2013 | 00:00 | Andrei AKULOV

U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Africa in June-July was widely seen as evidence of the White House’s broader foreign policy objectives which have included an expansion of U.S. military operations across Africa. With the forces leaving Afghanistan, the Army is looking for new missions around the world. «As we reduce the rotational requirement to combat areas, we can use these forces to great effect in Africa», Gen. David M. Rodriguez, the head of the Africa Command, told Congress this year…


Russia – Egypt: First Time in History

19.11.2013 | 00:00 | Boris DOLGOV

…Many Egyptians view Defense Minister General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi as Nasser’s successor. No doubt they give him credit for getting Egypt rid of Islamists’ sway and toppling Morsi this July. It was not just an occasion that Al-Sisi chose July 23 – the date of Egyptian revolution led by Nasser – to deliver a speech devoted to the power changes in the country. As the members of Egyptian delegation, that recently visited Moscow, told me – quite often the Al-Sisi supporters hit the streets holding the portraits of General Al-Sisi, Nasser and Russian President Putin to-gether. It symbolizes the reality. The success of Russian initiative on Syria’s chemical weapons and its growing clout at the talks on Iranian nuclear program are all signs of Russia’s return to the Middle East as a great power…


Desperately Seeking Snowden

18.11.2013 | 00:00 | Wayne MADSEN

Britain’s spy-infested embassy in Moscow has taken the lead among the “FIVE EYES” signals intelligence allies to locate the whereabouts of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden in Russia… Britain’s apoplectic reaction to Snowden’s disclosures was on display during testimony before the British Parliament when Britain’s top three intelligence chiefs — John Sawers of MI-6; Andrew Parker of MI-5; and Iain Lobben of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British counterpart of NSA — accused Snowden and those who published his leaked documents of aiding Al Qaeda…


Mali: Africa’s Fight with the International Community

18.11.2013 | 00:00 | Alexander MEZYAEV

After the world media drew global attention to events in the Republic of Mali at the beginning of this year, everyone just as quickly «forgot» this Western African country, with its population of 15 million and several hundred thousand refugees and internally displaced persons. Nevertheless, while the intensity of the war in Mali has lessened, the war itself is far from over… The «international community» does not plan to leave Africa; a real solution to security issues on the African continent would threaten its control of African resources…


The Future of the Internet after the Snowden Affair

17.11.2013 | 02:00 | Boris KAZANTSEV

…Today the entire system for managing the Web is built on the technological dominance of the U.S., which undermines the majority of the efforts of other countries to protect national interests in cyberspace. The total dominance of such American IT companies as Google, Facebook or Microsoft, which actively cooperate with the NSA and other U.S. intelligence agencies, make «digital sovereignty» even more illusory. Most likely the European Union will reconsider its entire conception of the construction of the European information society, which clearly does not meet modern security requirements. What the new model will be like is as yet unknown, but apparently it will herald a consistent departure from extreme liberalism, which has discredited itself in the conditions of the total cyberwar which the U.S. has started against the entire world…


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