A Tough National Defense Strategy

The National Defense Strategy, released this morning, may be the single most important document penned by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. It encapsulates the Trump Administration’s defense policies in one place for the first time and provides guidance for the 2019 defense budget, to be released in a few weeks. That budget will mark the administration’s first… Please follow and like us:

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EU – IRAN – EU powers urge Trump to back Iran nuclear deal

Britain, France and Germany made a joint plea to Donald Trump on Thursday to endorse a key nuclear deal with Iran as the US president mulls reimposing sanctions on Tehran. “The deal is working, it is delivering on its main goal, which means keeping the Iranian nuclear programme in check,” said EU foreign policy chief Federica… Please follow and like us:

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Trump Praises Iranian Protesters, Assails ‘Brutal and Corrupt’ Regime

U.S. President Donald Trump praised Iranian protesters Tuesday, saying they were “finally acting against the brutal and corrupt” regime in Tehran, even as Iran’s supreme leader accused the government’s enemies of stirring the violent anti-government demonstrations. Trump contended in a Twitter comment that “all of the money” that his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, “so foolishly… Please follow and like us:

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SYRIA – Russia, Turkey and Iran agree Syrian peace talks for January

Russia, Turkey and Iran agreed Friday to hold a peace congress for Syria in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi in late January after previous attempts to hold a conference collapsed. A Syrian “Congress of National Dialogue” will be held in the Russian city of Sochi on January 29-30, Russia said alongside its allies Turkey and… Please follow and like us:

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The GCC’s worst summit

The future of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is extremely unclear six months into the bitter Qatar crisis. On December 4, Kuwait hosted the GCC’s annual summit, which marked the sub-regional organisation’s lowest point in its 36-year history. Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani attended, but absent at the summit were the Bahraini, Emirati, and… Please follow and like us:

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Yemen’s Houthi: Ali Abdulla Saleh killed for ‘treason’

The leader of Yemen’s Houthi rebels has praised the death of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the country’s ousted president, as a victory against a Saudi-led military coalition it has been battling. Saleh’s party has confirmed reports that he was killed in a roadside ambush on Monday outside the capital Sanaa after switching sides in the civil war,… Please follow and like us:

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Turkey support key as US seeks to hold on in Syria

The Islamic State group may be on the run from its last bastion in Syria but the United States is gearing up for a longer stay in the country. And if US forces are to counter Iranian and Russian influence as Syria struggles to emerge from civil war, they will need Turkey’s help. But Washington’s relations… Please follow and like us:

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OPEC minister: “We used to have a WhatsApp group”

As a six-month-old spat between Saudi Arabia and Qatar deepens, OPEC’s Gulf ministers will have to scrap their tradition of meeting behind closed doors to agree on policy before the organisation holds its twice-yearly talks, OPEC sources say. “We used to have a WhatsApp group for all ministers and delegates from the Gulf. It used to… Please follow and like us:

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Russia, Iran and Turkey agree to hold ‘Syrian congress’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his Iranian and Turkish counterparts have supported a proposal to hold a “Syrian people’s congress” that will bring together government and opposition figures. The Russian leader on Wednesday hosted Hassan Rouhani and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, just as some Syrian opposition groups met in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, ahead of United… Please follow and like us:

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Lebanon: The economic cost of Saudi’s power play

Caught in the middle of a bitter Saudi-Iran rivalry, worries are growing about the Lebanese economy’s outlook. Growth has slowed to just over two percent a year from an average of eight percent before the war in Syria, and some Lebanese politicians and bankers have raised fears of a Qatar-style economic blockade after the recent resignation… Please follow and like us:

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Why Saudi-Israeli normalisation could be dangerous

Driven by succession plans and a strategy to confront Iran’s influence in the Arab region, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has engaged in several taboo-breaking steps. These include the arrest of dozens of princes and ministers and a process of normalising relations, at least partially, with Israel. But taking concrete measures to end the… Please follow and like us:

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Lebanon’s Hariri arrives in France to meet Macron

Lebanese leader Saad Hariri has arrived in Paris to meet French President Emmanuel Macron, who said he expected him to return to Lebanon within days or weeks. Despite Hariri announching his resignation in a televised speech two weeks ago, Macron has said he will welcome Hariri “with the honours that are due a prime minister”. The… Please follow and like us:

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US official: Crown Prince Salman ‘behaving recklessly’

US officials have expressed “growing alarm” at the moves made recently by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince saying they could “damage US interests”, the New York Times reported. US diplomats along with officials from the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency say Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “is behaving recklessly without sufficient consideration to the likely consequences of… Please follow and like us:

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Saudi alliance bombs Sanaa airport, blocking aid access

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have accused the Saudi-led coalition of bombing the country’s main international airport, destroying a navigation station that is critical to receiving already limited aid shipments. Houthi officials told Al Jazeera two air strikes targeted Sanaa’s international airport in the rebel-held capital early on Tuesday, making it unusable for aid flights and further complicating… Please follow and like us:

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NATO Wants to Shoot Down Russia Planes With Air Shield

NATO is expected to build a new air defense shield across the Baltic states and Poland in order to further fortify the Western military alliance’s borders with Russia, according to Lithuania’s defense minister. Lithuania has long appealed for greater anti-aircraft capabilities, and last year it was designated, along with Latvia, Estonia and Poland, to host multi-national… Please follow and like us:

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