Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!)

1] What you CAN NOT post.

You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this forum to post any material which is:
- abusive
- vulgar
- hateful
- harassing
- personal attacks
- obscene

You also may not:
- post images that are too large (max is 500*500px)
- post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or cited properly.
- post in UPPER CASE, which is considered yelling
- post messages which insult the Armenians, Armenian culture, traditions, etc
- post racist or other intentionally insensitive material that insults or attacks another culture (including Turks)

The Ankap thread is excluded from the strict rules because that place is more relaxed and you can vent and engage in light insults and humor. Notice it's not a blank ticket, but just a place to vent. If you go into the Ankap thread, you enter at your own risk of being clowned on.
What you PROBABLY SHOULD NOT post...
Do not post information that you will regret putting out in public. This site comes up on Google, is cached, and all of that, so be aware of that as you post. Do not ask the staff to go through and delete things that you regret making available on the web for all to see because we will not do it. Think before you post!

2] Use descriptive subject lines & research your post. This means use the SEARCH.

This reduces the chances of double-posting and it also makes it easier for people to see what they do/don't want to read. Using the search function will identify existing threads on the topic so we do not have multiple threads on the same topic.

3] Keep the focus.

Each forum has a focus on a certain topic. Questions outside the scope of a certain forum will either be moved to the appropriate forum, closed, or simply be deleted. Please post your topic in the most appropriate forum. Users that keep doing this will be warned, then banned.

4] Behave as you would in a public location.

This forum is no different than a public place. Behave yourself and act like a decent human being (i.e. be respectful). If you're unable to do so, you're not welcome here and will be made to leave.

5] Respect the authority of moderators/admins.

Public discussions of moderator/admin actions are not allowed on the forum. It is also prohibited to protest moderator actions in titles, avatars, and signatures. If you don't like something that a moderator did, PM or email the moderator and try your best to resolve the problem or difference in private.

6] Promotion of sites or products is not permitted.

Advertisements are not allowed in this venue. No blatant advertising or solicitations of or for business is prohibited.
This includes, but not limited to, personal resumes and links to products or
services with which the poster is affiliated, whether or not a fee is charged
for the product or service. Spamming, in which a user posts the same message repeatedly, is also prohibited.

7] We retain the right to remove any posts and/or Members for any reason, without prior notice.


Members are welcome to read posts and though we encourage your active participation in the forum, it is not required. If you do participate by posting, however, we expect that on the whole you contribute something to the forum. This means that the bulk of your posts should not be in "fun" threads (e.g. Ankap, Keep & Kill, This or That, etc.). Further, while occasionally it is appropriate to simply voice your agreement or approval, not all of your posts should be of this variety: "LOL Member213!" "I agree."
If it is evident that a member is simply posting for the sake of posting, they will be removed.

8] These Rules & Guidelines may be amended at any time. (last update September 17, 2009)

If you believe an individual is repeatedly breaking the rules, please report to admin/moderator.
See more
See less

Regional geopolitics

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Re: Regional geopolitics

    ISIS camp in Istanbul trained children as terrorists

    Turkish police have detained dozens of ISIS-connected suspects, among them 24 under the age of 18, who are being trained to operate in Syria and Iraq as Islamic State’s militants.

    Turkish police have detained dozens of ISIS-connected suspects, among them 24 under the age of 18, who are being trained to operate in Syria and Iraq as Islamic State’s militants.

    The Istanbul Anti-Terror Directorate has arrested dozens of foreigners in one of the districts of Turkey's largest city. Those detained are suspected of getting ready to transfer to areas of Syria in Iraq under Islamic State's control, the Turkish daily Vatan reports.......

    Thousands of foreigners have joined Islamic State, which is currently estimated to have from 30,000 to as many as 200,000 fighters in its ranks. Up to 5,000 of them are believed to be Uzbek nationals, Vatan reports.....
    Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
    Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
    Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests


    • Re: Regional geopolitics

      Թուրքիայում անօդաչու թռչող սարք է ընկել
      20 Հոկտեմբերի 2015,

      Թուրքիայի Հաթայ նահանգի Քումլու շրջանում անօդաչու թռչող սարք է ընկել, որն ուսումնասիրելու համար Թուրքիայի անվտանգության ծառայությունը շրջափակել է տարածքը:

      Ըստ Milliyet-ի՝ ստացված տեղեկությունների համաձայն՝ սարքն ընկել է դաշտում։

      Հիշեցնենք, որ օրեր առաջ Թուրքիայի Քիլիս նահանգում անօդաչու թռչող սարք էր խոցվել, որի պատկանելության մասին տեղեկություններ չէին հաղորդվել։ Հետագայում երկրի վարչապետ Ահմեդ Դավութօղլուն հայտնել էր, որ սարքը ռուսական ծագում ունի:


      • Re: Regional geopolitics

        Originally posted by londontsi View Post
        ISIS camp in Istanbul trained children as terrorists

        Turkish police have detained dozens of ISIS-connected suspects, among them 24 under the age of 18, who are being trained to operate in Syria and Iraq as Islamic State’s militants.

        Turkish police have detained dozens of ISIS-connected suspects, among them 24 under the age of 18, who are being trained to operate in Syria and Iraq as Islamic State’s militants.

        The Istanbul Anti-Terror Directorate has arrested dozens of foreigners in one of the districts of Turkey's largest city. Those detained are suspected of getting ready to transfer to areas of Syria in Iraq under Islamic State's control, the Turkish daily Vatan reports.......

        Thousands of foreigners have joined Islamic State, which is currently estimated to have from 30,000 to as many as 200,000 fighters in its ranks. Up to 5,000 of them are believed to be Uzbek nationals, Vatan reports.....
        This has been going on since USA/cohorts started publicly declaring support for opposition to Assad.
        The article states 24 were under age. The article doesn't state the total number , which I assume is much larger.
        The turcs have been paid and supported for these acts by any and all anti Assad factions.
        This has been taking place in turcee, Iraq , jordon, saud, etc.
        It is by these means that USA & "friends" have continued to fuel the flames of war and horror in Syria.
        The western & saud/yahudie faction are the primary cause of the millions of displaced + the killed.
        They decided Assad must go (or) THEY will rip Syria apart.
        The turcs are a willing and eager participant.
        USA,England,France,saud, etc. have and are committing an international CRIME against the Syrian people and the world at large.


        • Re: Regional geopolitics

          Turquie-UE : comment Erdogan tord le bras aux Européens
          FIGAROVOX/ENTRETIEN - Alors que la chancelière allemande s'est rendue à Istanbul pour trouver des arrangements avec le président turc sur la gestion du flux des migrants, Hadrien Desuin analyse les perspectives d'entrée de la Turquie dans l'UE.

          Par Eléonore de Vulpillières

          FIGAROVOX/ENTRETIEN - Alors que la chancelière allemande s'est rendue à Istanbul pour trouver des arrangements avec le président turc sur la gestion du flux des migrants, Hadrien Desuin analyse les perspectives d'entrée de la Turquie dans l'UE.

          Ancien élève de l'École spéciale militaire de St-Cyr puis de l'École des officiers de la Gendarmerie nationale, Hadrien Desuin est titulaire d'un master II en relations internationales et stratégie sur la question des Chrétiens d'Orient, de leurs diasporas et la géopolitique de l'Égypte, réalisé au Centre d'Études et de Documentation Économique Juridique et social (CNRS/MAE) au Caire en 2005. Il a dirigé le site Les Conversations françaises de 2010 à 2012. Aujourd'hui il collabore à Causeur et Conflits où il suit l'actualité de la diplomatie française dans le monde.

          LE FIGARO. - La chancelière allemande, Angela Merkel, effectuait une visite en Turquie dimanche 18 octobre, alors que l'Union européenne négocie avec son voisin pour qu'il maintienne sur son territoire une part plus importante des migrants qui fuient la guerre syrienne vers l'Europe. Mme Merkel a lié cette collaboration migratoire à une relance du processus d'adhésion de la Turquie à l'UE, officiellement ouvert en 1987, qui a connu plusieurs relances, mais aujourd'hui au point mort. A qui profiterait l'entrée de la Turquie dans l'UE?
          Hadrien DESUIN. - D'un point de vue strictement économique, la Turquie est déjà très intégrée au marché européen. Mais sans doute qu'avec la Turquie en Europe, les pays des Balkans se recentreraient par rapport au barycentre actuel de l'UE situé aujourd'hui en Allemagne. Cela dit l'adhésion de la Turquie profiterait surtout aux Turcs ; pays le plus peuplé de ce futur nouvel ensemble eurasiatique, elle passerait devant l'Allemagne en terme de droit de vote au Conseil européen et en représentativité au Parlement de Strasbourg. Cette adhésion serait un formidable tremplin de puissance pour la Turquie, laquelle pourrait retrouver son rôle de «pont» entre les deux continents comme à l'époque ottomane de la Turquie d'Europe où son influence se faisait ressentir jusqu'à Vienne. La communauté turque d'Allemagne est la plus importante d'Europe. Nouvelle société germano-turque, l'Allemagne, si elle acceptait l'entrée de la Turquie dans l'UE, verrait son identité bi-nationale s'accentuer. Le couple franco-allemand céderait la place au couple turco-allemand en quelque sorte.

          La Turquie accueille déjà environ 2,2 millions de réfugiés syriens... Cet accord avec l'UE était-il inéluctable?
          Ce qui est lamentable c'est que la Turquie monnaye ses réfugiés contre la relance de son adhésion tout en alimentant le conflit contre les kurdes et l'Etat syrien.
          Le droit européen empêche les pays de l'Union européenne de mener un véritable contrôle migratoire en mer. Une fois que les bateaux sont entrés dans l'espace maritime, il devient impossible de reconduire les migrants qui sont entrés illégalement. Et comme les navires de Frontex ou les grecs ne peuvent évidemment pas patrouiller dans les eaux turques, la gestion migratoire est laissée au bon vouloir de la police aux frontières de la Turquie. Il y a une forme de chantage que l'Europe est dans l'obligation d'accepter. Jusqu'à un certain point car Erdogan a un appétit d'ogre: il veut de l'argent, des visas et l'adhésion. Il est de la responsabilité de l'Europe de restreindre les contours de la négociation et de se borner à une aide financière.

          Angela Merkel s'est longtemps opposée à l'adhésion de la Turquie à l'Union. Après son entretien avec M. Erdogan, elle a affirmé que le processus de candidature de la Turquie à l'entrée dans l'Union allait connaître un nouveau«dynamisme». Cette entrée est-elle désormais envisageable?
          Le bal des hypocrites se poursuit. Angela Merkel a rappelé son opposition à l'entrée de la Turquie dans l'UE et négocie dans le même temps une relance du processus d'adhésion. On peut comprendre que sa cote de popularité soit en chute libre ces dernières semaines. La question des réfugiés est devenu l'enfer pavé de bonnes intentions de la chancelière. Sa majorité vacille, le soutien populaire s'affaiblit et elle tente de trouver une porte de sortie à Istanbul. Le régime d'Erdogan s'éloigne pourtant à grand pas des critères d'adhésion fixés à Copenhague. Liberté de la presse, respect des minorités, indépendance de la Justice, la Turquie se durcit mais son rapport de force avec l'Europe penche en sa faveur.

          Hormis en 1973, les peuples qui composent l'UE n'ont jamais été appelés à se prononcer pour l'entrée de nouveaux pays membres dans l'Union. Auraient-ils leur aval à donner à l'entrée de la Turquie dans l'UE?
          C'est désormais inscrit dans notre Constitution. La Croatie a pu échapper à la règle mais en théorie ce n'est désormais plus possible. L'adhésion turque est un chemin sinueux jonchés d'obstacles quasi insurmontables. Mais on continue comme si de rien était parce que la Turquie obtient de multiples avantages avec son statut de candidat. Son adhésion est un pistolet sur la tempe de l'Europe et cette dernière est tétanisée, incapable de trancher le nœud gordien.
          Qu'est-ce qui changera concrètement pour les Européens, si la Turquie entre dans l'UE?
          Pour le moment ces négociations sont un jeu diplomatique où personne n'est dupe: la Turquie ne peut pas rentrer dans l'Union Européenne. On peut toutefois appréhender les conséquences de cette hypothèse improbable.
          Economiquement cela ne changera pas grand chose si ce n'est que la concurrence sera plus rude et les acquis sociaux de moins en moins soutenables. Politiquement le poids de pays comme la France va se diluer un peu plus. La France sera un membre parmi d'autres.
          C'est dans le domaine socio-culturel que la donne va vraiment changer. Grand pays musulman à l'identité très forte, la Turquie revient sur un siècle de laïcité à marche forcée. La société turque connaît une renaissance islamique stupéfiante. Les récents meeting électoraux de l'AKP à Strasbourg et Bruxelles ont été un aperçu de la nouvelle arrogance turque en Europe, une synthèse islamo-nationaliste. L'immigration en provenance de Turquie et de toute l'Asie centrale va s'amplifier, attirée par les standards socio-politiques de l'Europe du Nord. La question des frontières loin de se résoudre va s'aggraver puisque l'UE serait frontalière de pays aussi calmes que la Syrie, l'Azerbaïdjan, l'Irak, l'Arménie et la Géorgie.

          Chypre aura-t-elle son mot à dire?
          En théorie oui. Mais Chypre est une petite île au poids politique insignifiant et peut subir des pressions très fortes. Mais c'est aussi une démocratie, le peuple chypriote a souvent signifié sa mauvaise humeur. La haine des Turcs est très ancrée depuis les différentes guerres gréco-turques et l'occupation militaire de 1974. La Turquie aurait tout intérêt à se désengager complètement de l'île pour entrer en Europe mais les rêves de grandeur d'Erdogan l'aveuglent. Quant aux intentions réelles d'intégration turques en Europe, elles sont faibles. Disons que la Turquie veut bien entrer en Europe mais uniquement à ses conditions. Elle ne tolérera plus les leçons européennes de bonne gouvernance. A minima, elle veut discuter d'égal à égal avec l'Europe. Pour le moment, elle utilise la crise migratoire pour imposer ses propres conditions d'adhésion.


          • Re: Regional geopolitics


            Moskovskiy Komsomolets , Russia
            Oct 15 2015

            The Country's Foreign Policy Activism Should Not Be Demonized

            by Sergey Markedonov

            Russia's foreign policy activism has squeezed out domestic events
            in the world media environment. The international community is
            not particularly interested per se in "what is happening with the
            Russians back there." It is much more important for it to know what
            Russia intends to present to the world and how the country should
            be assessed - as an unequivocal "Evil Empire" or as a partner whose
            interests should at least be taken into account.

            But the world community is much too elevated a level! It would be no
            bad thing for our country's citizens to also analyse the motives and
            objectives of the Russian state's foreign policy.

            But it is not easy to do so.

            Our activism in the Far Abroad comes on top of the country's
            actions in the post-Soviet area, and they are intertwined. Russia's
            intervention in the Middle East confrontation is the first attempt
            since the collapse of the USSR to influence the outcome of a conflict
            by military means beyond the borders of the former "unbreakable
            Union." But the influence of the post-Soviet factor can be felt here
            too. It encompasses both the recruitment of jihadists from the North
            Caucasus republics and the Transcaucasus and Central Asian countries
            into the ranks of militants in the Middle East and also the features
            of the internal regional and ethnic policy of Russia itself and also
            its neighbours.

            In parallel with the attempts to resolve the Syrian headache, a search
            for "solutions" for the Donbass is also under way. Of course, the
            intensity of the armed violence in southeastern Ukraine has declined
            appreciably recently. In addition to "freezing" the conflict, attempts
            are being made to initiate a political process for settling it. As
            of today nobody will venture to guarantee their success with 100-per
            cent certainty. No peace process develops in a straight line, and
            nobody is guaranteed against a resumption of military confrontation
            or stagnation in negotiations.

            The contradictions between Russia and the West over Ukraine have
            triggered the biggest confrontation between them since the end of
            the Cold War. In terms of its impact it has left the "August war"
            of 2008 in the Transcaucasus away behind. All of these contradictions
            come on top of existing unresolved ethno-political conflicts.

            It is all very complicated, and one of the key roles in all the
            above-mentioned events belongs to Russia. This is why, I repeat, it
            is so important to understand whether the Kremlin has some kind of
            universal scheme or is operating in accordance with individual plans
            depending on each situation. And what is the logic of this policy,
            if logic actually exists here?

            In for this it is necessary to look to the recent past. Until the
            beginning of the Ukrainian crisis Moscow's stance with regard to
            post-Soviet conflicts could be defined as "selective revisionism."

            Russia displayed a readiness to go against the opinion of the
            overwhelming majority of UN member countries with regard to
            Georgia's territorial integrity but at the same time refused to
            automatically apply this stance to the Dniestr region or Nagornyy
            Karabakh. The Russian leadership did not have a common approach to
            either ethno-political confrontations or de facto republics. It is
            possible to single out three basic Russian Federation stances.

            First - its recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South
            Ossetia. After there was a change of regime in Georgia and Vladimir
            Putin's most problematic partner - Mikheil Saakashvili - left his
            post, normalizing bilateral relations became part of the Moscow and
            Tbilisi agenda. But Moscow restricted this process to "red lines"
            in the form of the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Georgian
            membership of NATO.

            Second - its participation in settling the Dniestr region conflict.

            Here Moscow's stance was based on recognizing the PMR (Dniester
            Moldavian Republic) as a party to the conflict but not as a separate
            entity and also on recognizing the Republic of Moldova's territorial
            integrity and neutrality and maintaining the 5+2 negotiating format
            (the parties to the conflict plus guarantors and intermediaries).

            Third - its role in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In
            this area Moscow was totally ready to internationalize the process
            of a peace settlement. Starting from 2009, Russia's presidents,
            together with the heads of other intermediary states (the United
            States and France), invariably talked about a consensus over the
            so-called "Basic Principles" as the foundation for resolving the
            confrontation. At the same time Moscow did not recognize the NKR
            (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic). Having lost influence over Georgia, the
            Russian regime tried to find a balance between Yerevan and Baku. And
            both sides had an interest in Russian mediation.

            All three stances were dissimilar from each other. But they were
            united by many things. In this way Russia was showing its objection
            to possible NATO expansion to include former Soviet republics and
            voicing its attitude towards neighbouring conflicting countries'
            cooperation with the European Union without taking account of Russian
            interests in the security sphere. The post-Soviet area was defined as
            a sphere of our special interests. Ukraine, the biggest CIS country
            after Russia, was seen as a "priority partner" and a potentially
            important participant in the integration projects initiated by the
            Russian Federation.

            After this the conflict in the Donnass started to escalate. Despite
            that, Moscow has to this day refrained from directly recognizing the
            Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. Most likely Russia sees them
            as an instrument to exert pressure on Kiev's foreign policy course.

            Despite all the tenuousness of the parallels, the integration of the
            LNR [Luhansk People's Republic] and DNR [Donetsk People's Republic]
            into "mainland Ukraine" would be a kind of analogue of the Dayton
            agreement on Bosnia and Hercegovina. The southeast would then block
            Kiev's NATO ambitions and turn the "united land of Ukraine" into a
            state building its identity on the idea of "flight from empire."

            Moscow's actions in the Ukrainian sector triggered a sociopolitical
            upsurge in the Dniestr region and South Ossetia. These entities were
            hoping for a repetition of the "Crimean scenario." The South Ossetian
            parliamentary elections (on 8 June 2014) were won by the United Ossetia
            party, which consistently advocates unification with North Ossetia
            under the auspices and as part of the Russian Federation. A somewhat
            different situation has developed in Abkhazia. Here the leadership
            continues to maintain an interest in building its own ethnic state
            reliant on a strategic alliance with the Russian Federation.

            Nevertheless Moscow did not follow the path of automatically repeating
            the Crimean scenario. The "reunification" story has not been repeated
            in either South Ossetia, the Dniestr region, or - even more so -

            Nagornyy Karabakh, where a significant escalation of violence has been
            observable in the last two years, is a special case. But hitherto the
            Russian leadership has not fundamentally changed any of its previous
            approaches to a Karabakh settlement (the status of the NKR, the role
            of the Minsk group, and participation in it). Having good informal
            links with Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russia is exploiting them to
            maintain the current status quo.

            Thus the fundamental changes in Russian-Ukrainian relations have not
            led to a total demolition of the Russian Federation's previous views
            of conflicts in other parts of the post-Soviet area. They are still
            determined not so much by universal schemes as by individual stances.

            Where Moscow senses a threat to a status quo that is advantageous
            for it (as was the case in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008 or in
            Crimea in 2014) it plays a game of exacerbating the situation and
            resorts to revisionist instruments. Whereas where there is still hope
            of maintaining the current state of affairs Moscow is in no hurry to
            change the rules of the game. This is the essence of Russia's logic,
            which is not proclaimed officially but can be easily discerned if
            you analyse the conflicts themselves rather than the ideological
            arguments surrounding them.

            A conclusion follows from this. The Kremlin's principal motivation is
            not some kind of ideological programme or all-embracing geopolitical
            strategy, but a response to changing circumstances. But no matter
            how the Kremlin may have planned its diverse approaches, they are
            united by a fear of being weakened across the expanses of the former
            Soviet Union, which are still seen as a zone of vitally important
            Russian interests. That said, the main shortcoming in this very
            [plan for] protection (which is valid and just to a large extent)
            is a shortage of strategy and also the priority given to chasing
            after events instead of working to getting ahead of the game. In
            this connection the world should not demonize Russia and look for the
            "hand of the Kremlin" everywhere. Comprehensive consideration of the
            Russian Federation's interests and mutually advantageous cooperation
            would be much more practical.

            [Groong note: the above was translated from Russian]


            • Re: Regional geopolitics

              "A conclusion follows from this. The Kremlin's principal motivation is
              not some kind of ideological programme or all-embracing geopolitical
              strategy, but a response to changing circumstances"
              Wow like this statement completely discredits this author. Saying this as Russia is kicking the ass of terrorists in Syria is not just wrong but outright BS! But hey what else should we expect from our number 1 BS poster of all time...
              Hayastan or Bust.


              • Re: Regional geopolitics

                back print


                US Says No to Russia’s Initiative to Launch Broad Political Dialogue on Syria

                Andrei AKULOV | 18.10.2015 | 00:00

                Washington has refused to receive a Russian military delegation, headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, to discuss coordinated action on the fight against terrorism in Syria.

                «We have proposed to Americans what President Vladimir Putin informed the public about yesterday, namely, to send a delegation of military experts to Moscow to agree on a whole number of joint steps, afterwards we would be ready to send a high delegation led by Prime Minister Medvedev to Washington» Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the Russian Parliament on October 14.

                «Today we were told that they will not be able to send a delegation to Moscow. At the same time, they are unable to receive our delegation in Washington», he added.

                «I believe this position is unconstructive. The weakness of this stance is based on the apparent lack of any agenda. It seems that there is nothing to talk about», Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his visit Kazakhstan.

                Putin also said he could not understand why Washington criticizes Russia’s operation in Syria as it refuses to hold a direct dialogue itself. The Russian leader stressed that Russia «leaves the door open for» the discussion on Syria with all the parties concerned.

                The delegation was to include top ranking military, such as a deputy chief of the General Staff, and security officers. The chance to start a serious and comprehensive dialogue on a burning issue is missed. There are weighty arguments to question the wisdom of this decision taken by US administration.

                The US has recently shifted its stance on Assad. Now it concedes that Assad does not have to go immediately, he can stay for a transitional period of time.

                Russia has stated on many occasions that Assad remaining in power is not an end in itself, the main thing is to prevent the Syrian statehood from collapse and the following uncontrolled chaos. The Libyan scenario should not be repeated. These stances create a basis for talks and common understanding. And there a lot of factors to necessitate a political dialogue.

                With the death toll of more than 250 thousand people and 12 million of Syrians displaced, including four million asylum seekers outside their country, the time has come to take the bull by the horn and find a political settlement of Syrian conflict. The military success of the extremist Islamic State and other extremists has greatly confounded the situation.

                After protracted and costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US is not ready for major military intervention. President Obama said there will be no boots on the ground. He wants to «rally other nations». Once the major goal is the same it makes sense for Washington and Moscow to stay in touch on Syria going beyond the military talks on incident prevention. The US has failed to stem the advance of the Islamic State in Syria. Facts on the ground have demonstrated that the current Syrian government enjoys much more support and resilience than the US expected. Russia is an increasingly important player in Syria. Any political solution will have to take it into account. The US has little choice but to accommodate itself to that reality, and explore whether a political solution to the Syrian conflict is achievable. Thus, like it or not, some form of U.S.-Russia cooperation is indispensable and inevitable.

                The US administration can either continue airstrikes and render aid to the so called «moderate» opposition groups it knows so little about or try to build a unified coalition to fight the Islamic State and give less priority to ousting Assad. As Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump told CNN, «We are fighting Assad and fighting for people, helping people ...we even don’t understand who they are. And they may be worse than Assad. They may be worse», Trump reiterated. However, he emphasized that he was «not saying Assad is a good guy».

                Trump stressed that he has nothing against the Russian anti-terrorist operation in Syria. «I like that Putin is bombing the hell out of ISIS», Trump said, adding that he believes that the target of the airstrikes is indeed «going to be ISIS».

                If successful, U.S.-Russia cooperation could favorably alter the situation. It could include coordination of air strikes with ground operations as well as joint efforts to persuade other regional states to participate in the operation and to facilitate talks between the Syrian government and opposition forces excluding the Islamic State.

                The US and Russia share an interest in limiting and ultimately defeating the extremists. They also share an interest in a return to stability in Syria, even if they don’t see eye to eye on what that stability should be like.

                All told, the developments reinforce the case for all the parties urgently to join efforts.

                Despite the recent complicated developments in international affairs, the relations between the two powers remain a key factor in the global situation as long as the issue of security remains high on the international policy agenda. In this sphere, the effectiveness of combating the proliferation of nuclear weapons (and other types of weapons of mass destruction) and international terrorism, as well as the resolution of crises in a number of most important regions depend primarily on Russia and the United States. The recent agreements on Syria and the resumed talks on Iran’s nuclear program are noteworthy examples of the utmost importance of such cooperation.

                The two parties have been able to solve more complicated problems even during the years of the Cold War with political will and the support of the expert community.

                An extremist victory in Syria is a possibility, but it’s not inevitable. This should serve as primary motivation for launching a dialogue between Russia and the US with the goal of finding a pathway to political resolution of the conflict. The time has come for major global and regional stakeholders in Syria to start discussing a political settlement with power-sharing as the main political objective of negotiations to end the civil war. The refusal to coordinate goals and activities with Russia only deepens the conflict and increases the danger of a military confrontation with other major powers in the region. Unless the major powers are serious about ending the civil war, the misery in Syria will continue and deepen, creating an even larger humanitarian crisis.

                «Yes, there are very many mutual suspicions and mutual accusations, but if we don’t work towards a solution, it could never be found», Putin said announcing his decision to send the delegation. «We hope we will be able to move along the path of settling political problems».

                The US has made clear it is not interested in peaceful settlement in Syria. Time will show if the decision to refuse a dialogue with Russia is a wise thing to do. Probably it not, as the lessons of US recent interventions in the Middle East have shown. There is one more strong argument in favor of putting the credibility of US Middle East policy into question.
                Hayastan or Bust.


                • Re: Regional geopolitics

                  21 / Հոկտեմբեր / 2015
                  Պանիսլամիզմն ու Պանթյուրքիզմը ներմուծված են Եվրոպայից. սիրիական ճգնաժամի նախահիմքը. «Մոդուս Վիվենդի»

                  Ընդհանրապես և՛ պանիսլամիզմը, և՛ անգամ պանթուրանիզմը տարածաշրջան ներմուծված եվրոպական գաղափարախոսություններ են: Օրինակ՝ այն ուժերը, որոնք իրենց ներսում չունեին իսլամական վտանգ, փորձում էին իսլամական խաղաքարտը ակտիվացնել Ռուսական, Բրիտանական կայսրություններում, և իրենք բերեցին պանթուրքիզմի գաղափարախոսությունը: Հաճախ մենք տեսնում ենք, որ իսլամն արդեն և՛ Ռուսաստանում, և՛ Եվրոպայում էական դերակատարություն ունի, և փորձում են օգտագործել այն:


                  • Re: Regional geopolitics

                    Egypt to order Ka-52K helicopters for Mistral ships

                    Nikolai Novichkov, Moscow - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
                    20 October 2015

                    A Ka-52K with its rotors and stub wings folded for storage at the MAKS air show in August. Source: Rostec
                    Egypt will order Kamov Ka-52K Katran naval attack helicopters in addition to the Ka-52 Alligator helicopters it has already ordered, a source close to Russia's military-technical co-operation with other countries has told IHS Jane's .

                    "In addition to the 50 Ka-52 Alligator attack/scout helicopters already ordered, Egypt intends to acquire Ka-52K navalised helicopters for its Mistrals and is making up its mind now on how many it wants," he said. He added that, in his opinion, the Ka-52K contract would probably be signed in the first quarter of 2016.

                    Two Mistral helicopters carriers were built in France for the Russian Navy, but the contract had to be cancelled after the imposition of EU sanctions on Russia and the vessels are now being bought by Egypt. According to the source, the Russian Navy planned to order 16 Ka-52Ks for each Mistral in addition to Ka-27 combat search-and-rescue helicopters and Ka-29 assault transports.

                    "It is a possibility that the Egyptian side will decide to base 16 Ka-52K helicopters on each of its Mistral-class ships. Then, the order will grow by 32 units and the total number of Ka-52s earmarked for Egypt will be 70-80," the source said.

                    Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options


                    • Re: Regional geopolitics

                      Friday, October 23, 2015

                      Azerbaijan Arrests Seven Security Officials

                      By RFE/RL

                      October 20, 2015

                      uthorities in Azerbaijan have arrested seven officials with the National Security Ministry, accusing them of abuse of power just days after the ministry’s chief was sacked.

                      The arrests come as President Ilham Aliyev’s government continues to tighten its grip on opposition groups, independent media, and overall political life in the oil-rich, ex-Soviet republic on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

                      The Prosecutor-General's Office said in an October 20 statement that the security officials were arrested on suspicion of "illegal interference in the activities of business entities."

                      No further details were given.

                      Azerbaijani media reported that those arrested included Natavan Mirvatova, who heads the ministry’s technical operations administration and was awarded a medal for her work two years ago.

                      On October 17, Aliyev’s office announced the dismissal of National Security Minister Eldar Mahmudov, who had served since 2004, just after Aliyev became president, and was widely seen as a loyal ally to the Azerbaijani leader.

                      Opposition politicians complained that Aliyev’s failure to explain the reason for Mahmudov’s firing showed that there is no transparency in the country’s political decision-making process.

                      Aliyev also dismissed his previous national security minister in July 2004 without providing a reason.

                      Family Dynasty

                      Aliyev became president in 2003 after the death of his father, Heydar Aliyev, a former KGB officer who had steered the country through the chaos of post-Soviet independence and a disastrous war with Armenia in the early 1990s.

                      Vast oil and gas resources, located mainly in offshore fields in the Caspian Sea, have drawn major investments from international oil companies, including ExxonMobil, BP, and Chevron. The influx of wealth has helped transform Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, giving it a glittering skyline.

                      The country is set to hold parliamentary elections next month, though many observers predict that the ruling party will again win a majority of seats and that the vote will be marred by a lack of transparency and other problems.

                      The Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has canceled its mission to monitor the election, saying that too many restrictions had been imposed on them.

                      Aliyev’s reelection in 2013 has been followed by a crackdown on human rights workers, journalists, and opposition activists. Authorities have also barred Amnesty International from working in the country.

                      Among the journalists who have been prosecuted is Khadija Ismayilova, a prominent investigative reporter and RFE/RL contributor who was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after a conviction on embezzlement and tax evasion that observers called outrageous and brutal.

                      With reporting by RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service

                      Authorities in Azerbaijan have arrested seven officials with the National Security Ministry, accusing them of abuse of power just days after the ministry’s chief was sacked.