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Showing posts from March 23, 2014

Putin Explains Russian-Crimean Reunification

This transcript appears in the March 28, 2014 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. SPEECH AT THE KREMLIN President Vladimir Putin addressed the two chambers of the Russian parliament and other dignitaries at the Kremlin on March 18, 2014. This official transcript has been slightly edited for clarity; emphasis, subheads, and footnotes have been added. Federation Council members, State Duma deputies, good afternoon. Representatives of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol are here among us, citizens of Russia, residents of Crimea and Sevastopol! Dear friends, we have gathered here today in connection with an issue that is of vital, historic significance to all of us. A referendum was held in Crimea on March 16 in full compliance with democratic procedures and international norms. More than 82% of the electorate took part in the vote. Over 96% of them spoke out in favor of reuniting with Russia. These numbers speak for themselves. To understand the reason behind such a cho

Putin Lays Out Strategic Import of Crimea Annexation

This article appears in the  March 28, 2014 issue  of  Executive Intelligence Review. by Susan Welsh March 22—We publish in this section the full text of Russian President Vladimir Putin's March 18 speech to the two chambers of the Russian parliament and other dignitaries, including leaders of Crimea who the week before, had announced their intention to declare independence from Ukraine, pending the results of a referendum. After Putin's speech, they signed a treaty incorporating Crimea into the Russian Federation. On March 16, the populations of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the administratively distinct City of Sevastopol had voted overwhelmingly to apply to join the Russian Federation. The returns in those referenda were, respectively, 96.77% with a turnout of 83.1%, and 95.60% with a turnout of 89.5%. Our principal reason for publishing the full speech is that Americans, in particular, are utterly in the dark about what the man actually says and said. U.S.

What Does “Small Footprint” Really Mean?

This article was  originally  published by  War on the Rocks  on 13 March 2014. There will be no more large-scale American counterinsurgency operations. At least, that’s what the Obama administration’s  Defense Strategic Guidance (DSG) of 2012 anticipates. While it maintains an existing emphasis on countering irregular threats and conserving hard-won skill sets, the DSG articulates a desire to do so not through large-scale counterinsurgency, but by maintaining a persistent, forward presence around the world and leveraging that presence to deter potential adversaries, respond to crises, and build the capacity of partner nations to provide for their own security. Specifically regarding the latter, the document states, Across the globe we will seek to be the security partner of choice, pursuing new partnerships with a growing number of nations – including those in Africa and Latin America – whose interests and viewpoints are merging into a common vision of freedom, stability, an

EU: Сolossus with Feet of Clay

COLUMNISTS Pyotr ISKENDEROV | 29.03.2014 | 19:11 Ten years ago, on March 29, 2004, the EU took a hasty decision on enlargement adding simultaneously ten more new members: Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus and Malta. As a result, the European Union became an all-European organization instead of being an economic community. It gave rise to new problems and contradictions. The process of enlargement, unparalleled in EU’s history, lasted more than a year. The agreement on new states membership was signed on April 16, 2003 by EU members and ten candidates. It was to be followed by a period of ironing out details left unsolved even after the would-be members «swallowed» 300 directives and 100000 pages of pre-accession instructions. For instance, Hungary threatened to respond in kind in case it would be affected by work force restrictions. It r

Washington’s back-to-the-future military policies in Africa

You could be forgiven if this jumble of words looks like nonsense to you. It isn’t. It’s the language of the U.S. military’s simmering African interventions; the patois that goes with a set of missions carried out in countries most Americans couldn’t locate on a  map ; the argot of conflicts now primarily fought by proxies and a former colonial power on a continent that the U.S. military views as a hotbed of instability and that  hawkish pundits  increasingly see as a  growth area  for future armed interventions.  

U.S. military averaging more than a mission a day in Africa

Documents reveal blinding pace of Ops in 2013, more of the same for 2014 27 MARCH, by Nick Turse The numbers tell the story: 10 exercises, 55 operations, 481 security cooperation activities. For years, the U.S. military has publicly insisted that its efforts in Africa are small scale. Its public affairs personnel and commanders have repeatedly claimed no more than a “light footprint” on that continent, including a remarkably modest presence when it comes to military personnel. They have, however, balked at specifying just what that light footprint actually consists of. During an interview, for instance, a U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) spokesman once expressed worry that tabulating the command’s deployments would offer a “skewed image” of U.S. efforts there. It turns out that the numbers do just the opposite. Last year, according AFRICOM commander General David Rodriguez, the U.S. military carried

India's defence industry languishes

Monopoly of the defence PSUs has to end G Parthasarathy 27/3/14 Engineers work on a LCA Tejas before its induction into the IAF. A PTI file photo Speaking on the 15th anniversary of the Pokhran nuclear test last year, Narendra Modi observed: “There is a crucial question we have to answer — how do we become self-sufficient in defence manufacturing? This is not only about military power but also about being self-reliant for our defence equipment”. India has, since 2011, retained the dubious distinction of replacing China as the largest arms importer in the world. According to SIPRI, India’s major arms imports surged by 111 per cent in the last five years compared to 2004-2008. China’s arms imports have declined. It has successfully leveraged its arms imports to engineer and develop a vibrant defence industry, now exporting armaments, ranging from fighter aircraft and frigates to missiles and rifles. Pakistan’s Al Khalid tank, f

NSA Spied on Chinese Government and Networking Firm Huawei

Targeting Huawei According to documents viewed by SPIEGEL, America'a NSA intelligence agency put considerable efforts into spying on Chinese politicians and firms. One major target was Huawei, a company that is fast becoming a major Internet player. The American government conducted a major intelligence offensive against China, with targets including the Chinese government and networking company Huawei, according to documents from former NSA worker Edward Snowden that have been viewed by SPIEGEL and the New York Times. Among the American intelligence service's targets were former Chinese President Hu Jintao, the Chinese Trade Ministry, banks, as well as telecommunications companies. But the NSA made a special effort to target Huawei. With 150,000 employees and €28 billion ($38.6 billion) in annual revenues, the company is the world's second largest netw

Xinjiang’s cycle of violence The Kunmíng violence underscores the need for a more sensitive approach to the Uighur question in China The expansive square in front of the Id Kah Mosque, a 1,000-year-old place of worship in the heart of Kashgar, usually buzzes with activity as the sun sets on the Taklamakan desert. Worshippers, young and old, gather outside its distinctive yellow walls. The street nearby doubles as a bustling market, selling naan bread, dried fruit and lamb. The mosque is located not far from the edge of Kashgar’s old city, a sprawling maze of narrow alleyways and mud-brick houses that gives the famous Silk Road town its unique identity. For centuries, this town served as the gateway between West and East. As I walked through Kashgar’s distinctive by-lanes, I heard of the thriving links between the old kingdoms of Kashgar and India, Tibet, Central Asia and China — interactions that helped shape the rich local

Saudi grant kills Iran-Pakistan pipeline

By Syed Fazl-e-Haider KARACHI - A US$1.5 billion donation to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia is hotly being debated in the country's parliament, political circles and among the analysts. The main question being under what deal Riyadh disbursed the crucial amount to help the cash-strapped country make short-term economic gains? What has Pakistan guaranteed or promised to do in return? Many believe Saudi Arabia killed many birds with one stone.  Saudi Arabia did what the US could not do to keep Pakistan away from a $7.5-billion gas pipeline project with Iran. In a tit-for-tat deal, Saudi Arabia might have persuaded Islamabad to cancel the Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline project, which is vital to end energy shortages that are crippling Pakistan's economy.  Pakistan's oil minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, after receiving funds from Saudi Arabia last month, reportedly said work on the pipeline was not possible because of sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union