Monday, October 29, 2012

The World After November

Javier Solana:

"MADRID – On November 6, either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will emerge victorious after an exhausting electoral race, setting the wheels in motion for the coming four years. An ocean away, on November 8, more than 2,000 members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will gather in Beijing. Approximately a week later, the members of the Politburo Standing Committee will walk out in hierarchical order, preparing to take charge of a growing country of 1.3 billion people.

This illustration is by Paul Lachine and comes from <a href=""></a>, and is the property of the NewsArt organization and of its artist. Reproducing this image is a violation of copyright law.
Illustration by Paul Lachine

The leaders of the world’s two largest economies are changing. So is the world itself. The Middle East, in particular, is experiencing a moment of intense transformation. While reconstruction – both literal and figurative – is commencing in some parts of the region, countries like Syria are aflame. Others, such as Iran, with its moribund revolution, have never ceased rumbling. Amidst a crumbling economy, the country remains belligerent, using its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, to launch at leastone successful drone flight above Israel and reportedly initiating recent cyber attacks.
As a result, relations among regional actors remain tense. After his speech at the United Nations appealing for a “red line” on the Iranian nuclear program in the spring or summer of 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called an early general election, which could potentially give him a strong mandate for action against Iran. Egypt, meanwhile, is finding its own equilibrium, both domestically, drafting a new constitution, and in terms of foreign policy.
Then there is Turkey, straddling Europe and the Middle East. An emerging economy poised to become a regional power, it has exchanged fire with its neighbor to the south, Syria, and has called on its NATO allies to bolster its security.
This is part of the changing panorama that new world leaders will inherit in the Middle East – a region in which the United States has been deeply involved. After nearly a decade of draining military engagement, the US combat mission in Iraq concluded in 2010, and the combat mission in Afghanistan is set to end in 2014.
The next American president will also inherit a country with a markedly changed geopolitical perspective. Technological advances and innovation have begun to turn the longstanding dream of energy independence into a reality. Whereas extraction of America’s extensive reserves of natural gas was previously thought to be unfeasible, technologies such as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) have ushered in a shale-gas revolution.
Indeed, the US is on the cusp of energy self-sufficiency. Last year, for the first time in 15 years, less than one-half of the oil consumed in the US was imported. Annual growth in shale-gas production has increased from 17% between 2000 and 2006 to 48% between 2006 and 2010. By 2035, shale gas is projected to account for roughly one-half of total US energy production.
The repercussions of this revolution will not be only economic. Politically, reduced reliance on foreign oil may allow the US to concentrate on its foreign-policy shift toward Asia.
But it is not just the new US leader who will inherit a changed world. Across the Pacific, the days of record-breaking economic growth in Asia – a key component of social and political stability – may be coming to an end.
Indeed, events in China in recent months have revealed internal unease. Thoughnationalist sentiment directed against external foes tends to divert attention temporarily from internal turmoil, the country’s serious domestic problems need to be addressed. China’s economy and politics, ideologically transformed in all but name, will soon need to be adapted to address rising social inequality.
Despite global economic headwinds, China’s leaders will surely remain focused on maintaining and boosting growth, in order to lift more Chinese out of poverty and avert social unrest; they are also certain to continue monitoring the oil-rich Middle East. After years of relying on America’s presence in the region, playing an advantageous waiting game, China’s next leaders may embrace a more active role. And, because China’s reputation in the region is untainted by a legacy of imperialism, they may be in a rather advantageous position to do so.
Meanwhile, the European Union is struggling with its own demons. Despite the EU’s need to focus inward while weathering the global economic crisis, the Union must not abandon its neighbors to the south. It is crucial to engage with the southern Mediterranean region as a critical meeting point – a place of political, economic, and energy cooperation. In this respect, the EU’s most valuable tools are its signature,Nobel Prize-winning model of multilateral dialogue and soft power.
Next door, Russia, too, must respond to new vulnerabilities stemming from changing global conditions. The Kremlin continues to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, maintaining a strict aversion to military intervention and seeking to defend its strategic interests, including its naval base in the Syrian city of Tartus. That stance has translated, most obviously, into repeated vetoes of UN Security Council resolutions aimed at ending a conflict that has already produced tens of thousands of victims.
International inaction on Syria is bad news not only for the country’s people; it is also eroding the legitimacy of one of the world’s most important multilateral institutions. Given that the issues of Iran and Syria are closely connected, internal division among the Security Council’s five permanent members (the US, China, Britain, France, and Russia) could be extremely damaging to the search for a solution to Iran’s nuclear-enrichment drive. That is reflected in the current stalemate in talks between them (plus Germany) and Iran.
Too much is at stake, which is why all possible tracks for a negotiated outcome must be pursued. Whether or not recent rumors of bilateral US-Iran talks prove true, such initiatives should be welcomed. While the big players remain preoccupied with their internal changes, the region continues to smolder. The main question now is whether the leaders who emerge in November will be firefighters or fire starters."

Friday, October 12, 2012

EU on its way to a Military Union

"Olaf Standke 13.10.2012 / abroad

On the way to Union military

Brussels is working on the development of a European military-industrial complex

The European Union as a peace? Not only the peace movement in this country has as its doubts. With this year's election was the Nobel Committee topped the wrong decision for U.S. President Barack Obama probably still said Peter Strutynski, spokesman for the Federal Committee Friedensratschlag, on Friday compared with "nd". "The EU is not a peace project to the outside."
Strutynski refers to the "murderous refugee defense policy" of the European Union, its fueling conflict over trade policy towards developing countries, the "economic war" Brussels against Iran and Syria, which could ultimately lead to a "hot war". With the Lisbon Treaty, "the EU" into a military union, says the peace activist.
Ever since the turn of the millennium, the Common European Security and Defence Policy with developing "the speed of light," as the former NATO Secretary General and later EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana put it. As an official birth of this process critics of the EU summit in 1999 is in Cologne. It was decided to establish an EU intervention force for global military deployments.
Current EU policy is decisively shaped by more than two dozen missions and missions. More than 70 000 soldiers were stationed there. Since this summer, the Union is represented, for example, virtually every country in the African Sahel. The anti-piracy in the region has been extended to the country. The war in Libya, initiated mainly through close military cooperation between the EU members France and Britain is in Brussels now as an example for future action. With the potential of NATO, the members of numerous EU member states at the same time, to be used more effectively than before. "From the outset, the NATO and the European Union have shared common values ​​and helped the new Europe" shape, as yesterday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen put it.
Four years ago, the European Council, as soon as possible to build up military capabilities that are planned to allow even up to 19 concurrent operations, including two intensive combat operations and two so-called stabilization missions, among crew operations in Afghanistan are to be understood.
On 1 December 2009 came into force in the EU Treaty of Lisbon provides for the legal framework. There, the European Defence Agency (EDA) is enshrined in primary legislation, the only one of several EU agencies. Installed in 2004, it will assist in "research in the field of defense technology" and help "to strengthen the industrial and technological base of the defense sector." It is what was its original name: an armaments agency. Her it is all about the creation of a European military-industrial complex.
Despite massive economic and financial crisis, the military spending of the EU have declined only slightly, from $ 289 billion in 2008 to $ 281 billion last year. They are still more than ten percent of the millennium. Are being hidden in the European Union, more and more armor items behind other budgets.
By comparison, in development aid in 2010 flowed only 54 billion euros. Most EU Member States are miles away from the fulfillment of their international obligations. By contrast, European armories, especially German arms companies, in recent years, makes money on the militarization of the EU a fortune. Between 2003 and 2009 their profits rose, according to a study from the previous year by 49 percent to a total of 93 billion euros."


Europe’s dream of peace and prosperity | euronews, news

Europe’s dream of peace and prosperity | euronews, news

“Javier Solana is a former Spanish foreign minister, NATO secretary general and EU high representative for foreign and security policy. He is currently a member the board of the European Council on Foreign Relations.”
Welcome to euronews:
The EU is seen as a model of democracy inside Europe, perhaps less so in the wider world. Is the Nobel Peace prize a recognition of its institutional model or for its achievements to date?”
Javier Solana:
“I think it is recognition of the role the EU has played. Remember Europe was involved in a brutal war. Remember the continents recent history. We now live in peace, freedom and stability. We have a strong collective presence in the world. We are living in difficult times, but we will get through them.”
“The award is a gift of opportunity at a time when the economic crisis is threatening its integrity. Much is said about the global responsibility for the sound management of the eurozone. What do you think, from a personal perspective?”
Javier Solana:
“Things are quite intense at the moment for everyone. The financial crisis hurts people, they suffer and we must be determined and make every effort to react quickly and efficiently. Especially the EU leaders.”
“Civil unrest is spreading in the countries hardest hit by the crisis and extremism is on the rise. Are there are real fears for the future of the EU?”
Javier Solana:
“No I don’t think so. The EU has gone through some difficult times and has managed to move forward and we will overcome this crisis. It will prepare us for life in the 21st century. A century that has changed world history and where there have been significant shifts in power. It is a multipolar world and I think the voice of the EU its values and way of doing things is a fundamental presence.”
“The Balkan War was one of the darkest pages in EU history. Brussels helped in preventing a similar conflict breaking out in the FYR of Macedonia. What other EU initiatives show the EU as a champion of human rights.”
Javier Solana:
“There are many we have been at work in Africa in difficult times and solved many problems there. We have been in Asia. Remember the peace process in Aceh, which we used to resolve historical problems in Indonesia. We have worked in other countries. I think EU foreign policy has acted as a force for good.”
Having been at the forefront of European diplomacy for a decade has such an award been on the cards for some time?”
Javier Solana:
“To be honest, no. For me it came as a complete surprise.”

EU gets Noble Peace Prize

(in spanish)
Javier Solana: "It is the recognition of many years of peace on a continent 
that had been the cause of so many wars"
Former Secretary General of NATO and European Union responsable for the Common Foreign and Security Policy has been gave his view at radio programm 'Hoy por Hoy' granting the Nobel Peace Prize 2012 to the European Union.

Monday, October 08, 2012

worst case scenarios at Turkey-Syria conflict

"ANKARA/DAMASCUS: Turkish President Abdullah Gul warned Monday that worst-case scenarios were 
playing out in Syria and vowed Turkey would do everything necessary to protect itself, as its 
army responded for a sixth day to Syrian fire.
Gul’s warning came as violence continued to rage on several fronts in the war, claiming at least 125 lives, 
while an evening suicide car bomb attack reportedly targeted an Air Force intelligence building 
outside the capital..." Link

"In a panel discussion held today in Madrid four officers who participated in the negotiation processes give their views on the subject. Endgame In Iran: diplomacy or conflict? the Spanish Javier Solana, American Tom Pickering, the Israeli Shlomo Ben-Ami and Trita Parsi Iran have chosen the first option.
The situation for a resolution of the conflict is more complicated today than in the past, said Javier Solana, former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The Security Council is divided. It agrees with Syria and will be even more difficult to do with Iran".Link

just one just 2 weeks prior Javier Solana met with Colin Powell to talk about the situation:
"Former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and former EU High Commissioner, Javier Solana, have said that there is little hope of a rapid solution to the Syrian crisis. Solana added that despite the violent anti-Islam film protests across the Muslim world, US Middle East foreign policy is unlikely to be altered dramatically.
Colin Powell, Former US Secretary of State, said, "We can find some kind of peaceful resolution."
Javier Solana, former EU High Commissioner, said, "I don’t think it is going to change."
(Source: LINK
and comes along Turkey/NATO fires...
stay tuned!