2 August 2015

Plane part recovered in Indian Ocean could solve MH370 mystery, say experts

Investigators 'confident' they are on right trail
Officials from Australia and airplane manufacturer Boeing have indicated that they are confident the debris found a day ago by authorities on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean belongs to a Boeing 777 aircraft. The debris is likely to be part of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which mysteriously disappeared in March 2014 with all 239 people on board. The debris is currently being transported to France where the French aviation investigation authority will investigate the part and its origins. According to experts and independent investigators, factors like damage on the part and how it broke could indicate the trajectory of the plane before its disappearance, providing vital clues to what may have happened to the flight.

Landslides kill at least 30 in Nepal

Heavy rains since Wednesday afternoon led to landslides that buried several mountain villages in Nepal on Thursday, killing at least 30 people. Officials have indicated that the bad weather is hampering relief and rescue efforts. At least 19 people were killed in the village of Lumle, which is 200 kilometres from Kathmandu. The heavy rains have also grounded helicopters.

Six stabbed at Jerusalem pride parade

Coalition of the Unwilling: Pakistan and India Bring Confrontation to the SCO

By Umair Jamal
July 30, 2015

Pakistan and India’s imminent accession to the Shanghai Corporation Organization (SCO) as member states has been hailed as a watershed moment for the organization’s growing role as a potential regional integration force. In fact, the organization’s significance (though still symbolic) is being seen as a potential counterweight to the Western security and financial institutions, such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and even the International Monetary Fund.

While China and Russia–the two major stakeholders in the SCO–have self-driven motivations to allow these new additions, it would be simplistic to term India and Pakistan’s membership in the SCO as an unambiguously positive way forward for the organization. While the SCO offers novel opportunities for collaboration between its new members, it is probable that Pakistan and India’s well-established bilateral disputes will burden the forum.

In Afghanistan, SIGAR Says Attaching Strings to Aid is a Good Idea

The latest quarterly report from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is little different from those that came before–27 other quarterly reports, to be specific. As SIGARs purpose is oversight, it is not surprising that these reports are largely embarrassing for agencies using (and often misusing) U.S. funds. Past reports detailed the booming Afghan poppy business and the troubling fact that the Afghan security forces can’t account for all their soldiers. This report is perhaps a little different in that it discusses reasons for and challenges associated with setting effective conditions for aid–with an eye to the planned reworking of the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF) in September.

In April, Special Inspector General John Sopko told the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s National Security subcommittee that “Every dollar we spend now on training, advising, and assisting the Afghans, and on oversight, must be viewed as insurance coverage to protect our nearly trillion-dollar investment in Afghanistan since 2001.”

Shadow play: how China's unregulated banks feed its boom and bust economy

Shadow banking has helped fuel continued Chinese economic growth. But it could come back to bite if not brought into line.
More turbulence on the Chinese stock market highlights just some of the challenges facing the world’s second-largest economy. Following losses of US$3 trillion in the three weeks from mid-June, the Shanghai Composite has since recorded its biggest one-day fall for more than eight years. It’s clear that regulatory reform is needed in the country’s financial sector and China’s large shadow banking sector is one area in particular need of government intervention.

Shadow banking refers to the collection of non-bank financial institutions that provide services similar to traditional commercial banks. In particular they provide consumers with credit. But they are not regulated like banks and so are liable of making riskier loans.

China has seen shadow banking grow by more than 30% in the last year. The spiralling growth of this industry in a variety of forms runs the risk of precipitating a financial crisis. It’s important to recognise, however, that the industry has contributed to economic growth amid a global slowdown. The Chinese government will proceed with caution when it comes to regulating the industry.

Costs and benefits

Letting China’s Bubble Burst

JUL 29, 2015 7

NEW YORK – The problems with China’s economic-growth pattern have become well known in recent years, with the Chinese stock-market’s recent free-fall bringing them into sharper focus. But discussions of the Chinese economy’s imbalances and vulnerabilities tend to neglect some of the more positive elements of its structural evolution, particularly the government’s track record of prompt corrective intervention, and the substantial state balance sheet that can be deployed, if necessary.

In this regard, however, the stock-market bubble that developed in the first half of the year should be viewed as an exception. Not only did Chinese regulators enable the bubble’s growth by allowing retail investors – many of them newcomers to the market – to engage in margin trading (using borrowed money); the policy response to the market correction that began in late June has also been highly problematic.

Given past experiences with such bubbles, these policy mistakes are puzzling. I was in Beijing in the fall of 2007, when the Shanghai Composite Index skyrocketed to almost 6,000 (the recent peak was just over 5,000), owing partly to the participation of relatively inexperienced retail investors.

Building Amphibious Culture

July 30, 2015

The ADF currently lacks the tradition, culture and organisational expertise to maintain and deploy a world class amphibious warfare capability. The current command and control (C2) structures don’t adequately address the high degree of specialisation needed to meet the likely demands of Australia’s emerging amphibious warfare capability.

One of the main reasons that countries with a genuine amphibious warfare capability have developed specialised C2 units is because of the inherent complexities in the planning and execution of ship-to-objective manoeuvre operations. In most cases, militaries have found that it’s desirable to have a standing C2 organisation for the amphibious taskforce as well as a standing landing force C2 element.

While the ADF has a designated Commander Amphibious Task Force (CATF) and staff, the Army currently plans to rely on the commander of 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) and his staff to both raise, train and sustain key elements of the ground combat element (GCE) and to serve as Commander of the Landing Force (CLF). The commander and staff of 2RAR are likely (if they are not already) to experience task overload, especially in the more complex missions that involve an amphibious ready group.

Will China Have a Mini US Navy By 2020?

July 30, 2015

Much has been written about China’s ongoing efforts to become what President Xi Jinping called a “great maritime power” and how the United States should respond. In light of this, it is useful to think about the future trajectory of the of the increasingly modern and powerful People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), which has been charged with both defending China’s sovereignty in ‘near seas’ (eg. Taiwan) and protecting Chinese interests in the ‘far seas’.

Rear Admiral Michael McDevitt, now a senior fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), has attempted to do exactly that. In a recent paper delivered at a two-day CNA conference on Chinese maritime power, seen byThe Diplomat, McDevitt projects what China’s ‘far seas’ navy will look like in 2020 and how it would rank alongside the United States and other players – Britain, France, Japan, India and Russia. Getting a sense of the PLAN’s ‘far seas’ capabilities is important since it tells us the extent to which it might be able to project power further from China’s shores.

China Stages Huge Military Drills in South China Sea

Simone Orendain
July 30, 2015 

China is holding a series of military exercises in the disputed South China Sea this week, and one of them involved live-fire drills with more than 100 ships, including some with nuclear capabilities.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Restituto Padilla said any country is well within its rights to hold military drills, especially if they take place in international waters.

Padilla said the Philippine military has “no problem” with China conducting the exercises, but also called for more dialogue.

“But the point here is they should be taught how to be transparent about these things because what we’re trying to avoid. And what we’re trying to do is to increase the dialogue among the militaries in the region … ensuring that we avoid misunderstandings,” he said.

Live-fire exercises


Laser Dogfights

Air Force Research Lab

The USAF hopes to install Lockheed Martin's ABC laser technology on 6th generation fighters around 2030-2040 to shoot down enemy missiles, drones and aircraft. But judging by advances in China's laser research, the PLAAF will probably be not far behind with frikkin lasers on its frikkin fighter jets.

Growing Militarization of the South China Sea

July 30, 2015

It's increasingly clear that China intends to use its artificial islands in the South China Sea for military purposes.
Admiral Harry Harris, commander of US Pacific Command, delivered this assessment on a panel that I was privileged to be part of at the Aspen Security Forum last week. Harris described the newly-created islands as potential 'forward operating posts' for the Chinese military. Beijing hasn't denied that it will use the outposts for military functions, but it has emphasised plans to provide public goods such as maritime search and rescue, disaster prevention and mitigation and meteorological observation. 

What are the potential military uses of China's artificial islands and do they pose a threat?

First, the outposts in the Spratly Island chain will undoubtedly be equipped with radars and electronic listening equipment that will enhance China's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and maritime domain awareness capabilities. The newly built 10,000-foot runway on Fiery Cross Reef will accommodate virtually every aircraft in China's inventory, and hangers are being built that appear designed to host tactical fighter aircraft. As Admiral Harris stated, 'A 10,000-foot runway is large enough to take a B-52, almost large enough for the Space Shuttle, and 3,000 feet longer than you need to take off a 747.'

China-Taiwan Relations: Hardly a Crisis

By DD Wu
July 31, 2015

A recent article published in The National Interest, Xi Jinping’s Great Game: Are China and Taiwan Headed Towards Trouble?, argues that “there is a significant possibility that if Tsai Ing-wen is elected president of Taiwan, a cross-Strait crisis could ensue…because Beijing could react harshly.” However, based on an alternative analysis of Beijing’s positions – both lately and in recent years – toward Tsai Ing-wen and Taiwan, Beijing remains cautious and patient, sometimes even quite amiable.

Four things stand out: First and foremost, Beijing now appears to have eased its attitude toward Tsai, especially compared to several years ago. Beijing used to simply label Tsai as a “Taiwan independence element.” In 2009, China’s Foreign Ministry publicly opposed Tsai’s planned visit to Japan in a “consistent and firm” way. But these strong expressions have been absent in recent years. Before Tsai’s trip to the U.S. in May, Beijing neither directly referred to her as a “Taiwan independence element” nor opposed her visit beforehand. After her visit, Beijing made no strongly negative remarks, despite the fact that Beijing regarded it as improper for U.S. officials to meet Tsai in government buildings. Instead, China warned that the U.S. “should not be sending the wrong signals to Taiwanese independence forces.”

Better Get Used to it, China: Taiwan and Japan Will Get Closer

Despite applying considerable pressure on Tokyo in recent weeks, Beijing was unable to prevent the Japanese government from rolling out the red carpet for former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui last week. During a visit to Japan, Lee addressed a packed Diet and had a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Besides showcasing the longstanding warm relationship between Japan and Taiwan, the Abe government’s decision to stand up to Chinese pressure presages a likely deepening of ties between Tokyo and Taipei, the result of both growing fears of China’s assertiveness as well as political change in Taiwan.

In a strong protest on July 24 after Lee, 92, was allowed in Japan, a spokesman at China’s Foreign Ministry expressed Beijing’s “grave concern” over the visit by the former leader, whom he described as “a stubborn Taiwan splittist.”

On the same day, Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said Beijing “strongly oppose[s] any country providing a stage for ‘Taiwan independence’ activities, and take strong umbrage at Japan allowing Lee to visit.”

Troubled Today, China's Xinjiang Has a Long History

This edition of our ongoing series of archaeological and historical sites of Asia will focus on Xinjiang.
This has been a rough year for China’s western province of Xinjiang, as ethnic tensions between Uyghurs and the Chinese government and ethnic Han mount. Amid charges of terrorism and cultural suppression, before Uyghurs and Han entered Xinjiang, there lies another Xinjiang, a treasure trove for archaeologists, historians, and religious scholars.

Xinjiang is fascinating. It is one of the driest areas in the world and is uniquely inhospitable. The large desert that dominates the region—the Taklamakan (said to mean the place that one does not leave once entering)—is almost completely surrounded by mountains, including the Pamirs and Himalayas, and steppes, unlike the Arabian and Sahara deserts. Xinjiang also contains within it the place in the earth the farthest away from any sea, the Dzoosotoyn Elisen Desert. It should come as no surprise then, that the region was one of the last on earth to be inhabited, well after agriculture was developed.

Beijing Strikes Back: U.S. 'Militarizing' South China Sea

July 31, 2015
China’s Defense Ministry has openly criticized the United States over its South China Sea policy accusing the U.S. of “activities to militarize the South China Sea region,” defense ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun said during a press conference on July 30.

He also accused U.S. officials of “making irresponsible remarks on the South China Sea issue” and applying “double standards” when it comes to assessing their own activities in the region.

“The U.S. side disregards and distorts the fact, and plays up ‘China’s military threat’ to sow discords between China and China’s maritime neighbors in the South China Sea. We firmly oppose such actions,” Yang emphasized.

The spokesperson also accused the U.S. of not openly speaking out against construction activities of other claimants such as the Philippines or Vietnam, despite U.S. Defense Secretary’s remarks at this year’s Shangri-Law Dialogue that “there should be an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants.”

China and Russia to Hold Military Exercise in the Sea of Japan

July 31, 2015

Having conducted joint naval exercises recently in the Mediterranean, China and Russia will look to increase their naval cooperation in Asia. Next month, the two countries will conduct a joint naval exercise in the Peter the Great Gulf, the largest gulf of the Sea of Japan, along the coast of Russia’s Primorski Krai. The exercise will take place from August 20 to 28, and focus primarily on improving the interoperability of the two navies and bolstering strategic coordination. The exercise, which is code-named “Joint-Sea 2015-II,” will take place as tensions remain high between China and Japan, who dispute the extent of the exclusive economic zones in the East China Sea, and between Russia and Japan. Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev recently announced that Russia would accelerate the construction of civilian and military features on the Kuril Islands, which remain disputed between Russia and Japan.

China Is Building a New South China Sea Fleet for its Maritime Militia

China is building a new South China Sea fishing fleet for its maritime militia in a move that could intensify regional disputes, an expert told a conference at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) Wednesday.

China’s maritime militia – one of the more understudied agencies in the exercise of Chinese maritime power –typically uses civilian fishing vessels for a range of missions from rescuing stranded vessels to conducting controversial island landings. While voices in China have long called for their inclusion in activities, this would be the first time that the militia would get its own fishing fleet, a boost for the world’s largest producer and exporter of fish and consumer of seafood.

“It appears that China is building a state-owned fishing fleet for its maritime militia force in the South China Sea,” Zhang Hongzhou, associate research fellow at Singapore’s Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told an audience at the two-day conference on Chinese maritime power.

With Latest Ouster, China Steps Up Fight Against Military Corruption

July 31, 2015

China’s anti-corruption campaign is kicking into high gear again. Ten days after Ling Jihua, who served as a close aide to former President Hu Jintao, was officially expelled from the Chinese Communist Party, another high-ranking official was stripped of Party membership. The target this time: General Guo Boxiong, who served as vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) from 2002 to 2012. Like Ling, Guo’s case will now be turned over to prosecutors for trial.

Also like Ling, Guo was rumored to be under investigation long before official Party sources confirmed it. Guo’s son, General Guo Zhenggang, was included on a March 2 list of 14 generals under investigation for corruption. That was seen as a strong hint that the elder Guo would be next.

According to the announcement from Xinhua, China’s Politburo made the decision to oust Guo based on a report from the CMC’s disciplinary inspection authority. That report concluded that Guo’s “acts seriously violated the CPC’s discipline and left a vile impact.” He was accused of accepting bribes and taking advantage of his position to secure promotions or other benefits for others.

Leaked Report Reveals China Is Building New Aircraft Carrier

July 30, 2015

China has all but confirmed that it is building an indigenous aircraft carrier, and that it may even be a nuclear-powered one.

On Thursday, huanqiu.com, the Chinese-language version of the state-run Global Times, published an internal document of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, one of China’s two largest shipbuilding companies. CSIC is a state-owned company.

The report lists building nuclear submarines and an aircraft carrier as the company’s “priority missions.” It also states that progress on these projects has been smooth.

"The priority missions of building the aircraft carrier and nuclear-submarines have been carried out smoothly and with outstanding achievements," the document states, according to a translation provided by Taiwanese media outlets. The same Taiwanese reports go on to say that the document suggests that China’s first homegrown aircraft carrier is likely to be nuclear-powered, without elaborating.

This Is How Big China's Internet Is

The number of Internet users in China has grown to 668 million, according to a report released last week by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), a state agency that administers China’s domain name registry and conducts research on the Chinese Internet. Below are the main points from the agency’s annual Internet development report. Full text of the report can be found here.

- The total number of Internet users in China grew to 668 million, a 5.6 percent increase over last year. That’s an Internet penetration rate of 48.8 percent. In the United States, by comparison, 85 percent of people access the Internet, although the penetration rate seems to be hovering around that point.

- Mobile Internet users grew to 594 million, 88.9 percent of all Internet users. Compare that to the United States, where only about 67 percent of Internet users access the Internet through their mobile phone.

Get Ready: Could China and Taiwan Be Headed towards a Crisis in 2016?

With the high likelihood that Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will regain the presidency in the January 2016 elections, many analysts have predicted a return of tensions in the Taiwan Strait after eight years of relative stability under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration of President Ma Ying-jeou.

Whether a DPP victory in those elections would indeed mark a return to hostilities will be largely contingent on how Beijing reacts to this likely development.

From the outset it's important that we clarify what the DPP under its Chairperson and presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, is not. Unlike her predecessor Chen Shui-bian, who served two terms from 2000-2008, Tsai has taken a more subdued approach to cross-strait relations. She has chosen instead to focus on domestic matters and to consolidate the nation. When pressed to explain her cross-strait policies, Tsai has adopted a more centrist position than her predecessor by vowing to maintain the 'status quo' under the current constitutional framework of the Republic of China (ROC) and to seek continuity in the relationship with Beijing. 

Islamic State is preparing to launch attack on India, US publication claims

IS seeking to unite Afghan, Pakistani Tabliban

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group is preparing to attack India to provoke a “final battle” with the United States, USA Today reported on Tuesday. The newspaper, which claimed to have accessed an internal recruitment document belonging to the group, said that the outfit was seeking to unite the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban into a single force. The report claimed that the document urged the al-Qaeda to join the Islamic State and called for its leader to be “recognised as the sole ruler of the world’s one billion Muslims”. It added that the document had been verified by several serving and retired US Intelligence officials.

Yakub Memon executed after court rejects last-minute plea

Erdogan’s dangerous gambit

TURKEY’S allies in the West have felt increasingly queasy about its wayward president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. At home he has become authoritarian and wants to change the constitution to give himself more power. Abroad he has been indulgent towards militants passing through his country to fight in Syria. In the year since the jihadists of Islamic State (IS) declared their caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, and America gathered a coalition to “degrade and ultimately destroy” them, Mr Erdogan has refused to let NATO allies use Turkish bases.

Perhaps he feared that the jihadists would target Turkey. Or perhaps he thought they were useful pawns in the violent geopolitics of the Middle East. Such illusions should have been blown away on July 20th, when a suicide-bomber killed 32 people in Suruc, a Turkish town on the border with Syria. Within days Turkey said it would allow America to use its base at Incirlik, and its own jets bombed IS. There is now talk of creating a buffer zone in Syria to cut off IS’s last supply lines.

In this section


July 30, 2015 

On July 20, Turkey suffered one of its deadliest suicide bombing attacks in recent memory, which claimed more than 30 lives. While the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has not yet claimed responsibility, all signs point toward them as the culprits. The location, timing, and the identity of the victims were just too specific to think otherwise

The setting of this grisly attack was the town of Suruc, the pathway to the Syrian town of Kobane, where ISIL lost a long and bloody battle to the YPG (People’s Protection Units), which enjoyed American air support. The timing was also distinctive. The suicide attack took place the day after Syrian Kurds and their sympathizers in Turkey celebrated the third anniversary of the “Rojava [Western Kurdistan] Revolution” of 2012,when the PYD (Democratic Unity Party) formally declared its intention to govern and defend Kurdish-populated areas in Syria in the wake of the withdrawal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces from these enclaves.

The suicide bomber targeted a group of university-age activists who came to Suruc with the hopes of crossing over to Kobane and contributing to the rebuilding of the city. The bomb went off as activists were delivering a press release in front of cameras, so that the attack would also be recorded. The message behind the attack was clear: ISIL has not given up on Kobane and will not tolerate Syrian Kurds receiving support from Turkish territory.

American traitor, Israeli hero

Source Link

The Pollard case shows that the interests of Israel and America are often sharply at odds.

The U.S. government’s announcement that Jonathan Pollard will soon gain his release from prison is cause for celebration in Israel, and understandably so. There, Pollard is considered a patriot and hero. By engaging in espionage on Israel’s behalf, he placed himself at great risk. Once caught, he endured considerable punishment — 30 years in a federal penitentiary. Pollard has more than earned the gala welcome that will no doubt be his, if and when he arrives at Ben Gurion Airport.

Americans have equal reason to classify Pollard as a despicable traitor, who in spending all those years behind bars got precisely what he deserved. Pollard betrayed the country of his birth and is no more worthy of sympathy than convicted spies like Aldrich Ames or Robert Hanssen or John Anthony Walker. Whether Pollard acted out of love for Israel or from greed — both motives were seemingly in play — hardly matters. And although his legions of defenders contend that he caused no actual harm to the United States, senior U.S. defense and intelligence officials, past and present, vehemently disagree.

With Iran deal, Obama makes bad history

By George F. Will 
July 29, 2015

President Obama speaks in response to the Iran nuclear deal. 
It came two days after the announcement of the nuclear agreement with Iran, yet little mention was made on July 16 of the 70th anniversary of the first nuclear explosion, near Alamogordo, N.M. The anniversary underscored that the agreement attempts to thwart proliferation of technology seven decades old.

Nuclear-weapons technology has become markedly more sophisticated since 1945. But not so sophisticated that nations with sufficient money and determination cannot master or acquire it. Iran’s determination is probably related to the United States’ demonstration, in Iraq and Libya, of the perils of not having nuclear weapons.
George F. Will writes a twice-weekly column on politics and domestic and foreign affairs. He began his column with The Post in 1974, and he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977. He is also a contributor to FOX News’ daytime and primetime programming.View 

Critics who think more severe sanctions are achievable and would break Iran’s determination must answer this: When have sanctions caused a large nation to surrender what it considers a vital national security interest? Critics have, however, amply demonstrated two things:

What the Iran deal means for blacklisted entities

Editor's note: The above graphic provides a general overview of timelines for de-listing across various sanctions regimes. National authorities should be consulted for authoritative advice. ** Khatam al-Anbiya, a Revolutionary Guards-controlled construction conglomerate, and its subsidiaries. *** Farayand Technique, Kalaye Electric Company and Pars Trash, all involved in Iran’s centrifuge programme. **** Excludes Malek Ashtar, a military-run university, and the Revolutionary Guards-owned Imam Hossein University and Baghyatollah Medical Sciences University.

Over the past decade, a global patchwork of legal measures has been sewn together by various national authorities with the aim of constraining Iran’s nuclear program. This patchwork makes up the global sanctions regime that Iran has fought so hard to end.

Having been stitched together by dozens of governments, as well as the United Nations and European Union—and with only the loosest of plans to guide it—it’s a patchwork with plenty of knots. Now, with the agreement of the Iranian nuclear deal, known as theJoint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we have been shown the plan the international community will use to try to untangle it.

At face value, the outline of the sanctions relief that the deal proposes is simple. Most sanctions against Iran will be lifted in exchange for Iran capping its nuclear progress and accepting additional verification measures. The UN Security Council will revoke all of its previous resolutions against Iran. The European Union (EU) will reduce most of its sanctions against Iran, over time. The United States will remove many of its. The free flow of everything from oil to gold to Iranian nuclear physics students will eventually be permitted, with some caveats.

Why Americans Believe that Bombing Hiroshima was Necessary

Gary G. Kohls
29 July 2015

August 6, 2015, is the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, a civilian city that had minimal military value, despite the claims of President Truman when he announced the event to the American people.
The whole truth of what the Nuremburg tribunal would later help define as an international war crime and a crime against humanity has been heavily censored and mythologized ever since war-weary Americans in 1945 accepted the propaganda that the bombings were necessary to shorten the war and prevent the loss of a million US soldiers during the allegedly planned November 1945 invasion.

Of course, the reason that the United States wasn’t sanctioned like Germany was for the Jewish holocaust was that America was the victor and the occupier and thus it was in charge of making and enforcing the rules in the New World Order.

The United States military ambushed the equally defenseless Nagasaki City three days later with the second atomic bomb to ever be used against a civilian population (that no longer had any military value to Japan). “Fat Man”, the plutonium bomb named after Winston Churchill, was detonated before the Japanese leadership fully understood what had happened at Hiroshima.

Australia and the Southeast Asia Refugee Crisis

The phenomenon of stateless Rohingya, Bangladeshis and others engaging in irregular movement across the Indian Ocean is not new. However, the first quarter of 2015 saw a sharp rise in the numbers so doing. The increase was accompanied by reports that Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand were “pushing back” or “helping on” these irregular movers from their shores and thousands were left stranded at sea for lack of willing rescuers. On 17 May 2015, when asked what he thought of these events, Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, responded “I’m in no way critical of regional countries for the efforts that they make to stop the boats”.

The Prime Minister could hardly have said anything else without being accused of gross hypocrisy, because his own Liberal-National Coalition government had come into power on a platform which included a pledge to“stop the boats” then arriving in Australia. Upon taking office in September 2013, the Coalition government implemented the military-led Operation Sovereign Borders, which involves, among other things, the turn back of unauthorized maritime arrivals to Indonesia (usually their most recent country of departure) or, in the case, of those arriving directly from their country of origin, hand back to country of origin authorities.

Russian Soldiers Cause a Ruckus in Tajikistan

Earlier this week RFE/RL’s Tajik service reported that a group of drunken, disrobed Russian soldiers got into a brawl with local Tajiks in Kulob. Russia has three military installations in Tajikistan–near Kulob, Qurghonteppa, and Dushanbe–all part of the 201st Motor Rifle Division. Between the three sites, Russia has 7,000 troops in Tajikistan and a 2012 agreement extends Russia’s base leases until 2042.

Foreign soldiers are not always the best guests. While the United States has by far the most military installations on foreign soil in the world, in Central Asia, Russia has a decidedly larger (and historic) military presence. In addition to the bases in Tajikistan, Russia occupies the Kant airbase in Kyrgyzstan (which from 2001 to 2014 was the only country in the world to host both American and Russian military forces) and reportedly has additional facilities in the country. In 2013 a group of environmental activists in Kazakhstan demanded that the country close the Russian spaceport at Baikonur. Kazakhstan hosts a handful of other Russian military installations–including a Soviet-era radar station and a ballistic missile testing ground. An Indian airbase in Tajikistan has been rumored for years, but there’s never any real evidence to support the talk.

Here's How to Rid Korea of Nuclear Weapons

With the Iran nuclear agreement now on the table for debate, many foreign-policy specialists and senior diplomats are naturally turning back to the North Korean nuclear issue to ask what lessons might be applied to that seemingly intractable situation. Indeed, it seems likely that lessons have also been instructive in the opposite direction—namely, in providing a negative example of how a half-hearted and often-incoherent strategy, not to mention a failure to coordinate effectively among the great powers, allowed Pyongyang to stride over the nuclear threshold. To date, there have been three DPRK nuclear tests and North Korea seems determined to push aggressively for means of delivering its warheads.

For the whole of East Asia, there is no more-urgent security issue. The strategic significance of potential scenarios related to security on the Korean Peninsula far surpasses the crises in the East and South China Seas in terms of importance. Hundreds of millions of lives and the existence of whole nations are at stake in the former, while the latter issues involve mainly the disposition of “rocks and reefs.” This disparity should be on the minds of both Chinese and American diplomats as they go about preparing for another Obama-Xi summit in Washington DC this coming September. Since anyone who thinks seriously about the future of the Korean Peninsula eventually arrives at the conclusion that the key node (among many important relationships) is that between Beijing and Pyongyang, this edition of Dragon Eye will focus on examination of a few recent Chinese academic assessments of this most vital lattice of the Korean prism.

Turkey Confronts its 'Frankenstein' in Syria

While Turkey's policies appear to help ISIS, it is actually more interested in fighting the Kurds.
Turkey’s decision to start bombing insurgent targets in northern Syria early on Friday and grant NATO allies use of its İncirlik Air Base to carry out similar attacks marks a significant shift in policy. Five years into the Syrian war, the country is finally confronting some of the problems it helped create.

Turkey, which houses around 1.7 million Syrian refugees, had urged its Western allies for years to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria or erect civilian safe havens there. But its own policy has contributed in no small measure to the two threats it now faces along its southern frontier.

The first is the Islamic State militant group. Although Turkey denies it ever abetted the Caliphate—which controls swaths of the desert between Aleppo in the northwest of Syria, Mosul in the north of Iraq and Ramadi to the south, near Baghdad—it allowed weapons and foreign fighters to cross the border from 2012 to 2014, hoping this would put pressure on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Greece’s Relentless Exodus

JULY 28, 2015

BERLIN — One of the most heartbreaking scenes I’ve witnessed from the Greek crisis took place in Swabia, a hilly, prosperous region of southern.

Swabia is home to a thriving auto industry that has long lured laborers from Southern Europe, including many Greeks. Most of them came in the 1960s and early 1970s. By the time I visited in 2013, the economic depression back home was creating a new exodus. From 2010 to 2013, about 218,000 Greeks emigrated, according to an estimate from the Greek statistics agency. Nearly half of them went to Germany.

In a factory town dotted with half-timbered houses, I visited a warehouse owned by the son of Greek immigrants. There, I met a new employee who had recently arrived from northern Greece, a 38-year-old woman named Maria Saoulidou. She was hanging packages of children’s party supplies on a rack. Ms. Saoulidou told me the supermarket where she had worked in Greece had stopped paying her. For a while, she kept working there anyway in the hope that the paychecks would arrive, but the money never came. Work for her husband, a truck driver, had also dried up. When they ran out of savings, the couple decided to start a new life in Germany, where an uncle lived. They left their two young sons back home with the children’s grandparents.

After Young Taiwan Activist’s Suicide, Hundreds Storm Education Ministry

July 31, 2015
Tension spikes in Taiwan as student activists flood the Ministry of Education.

Hundreds of Taiwanese activists stormed the Ministry of Education building in Taipei after midnight on July 31 as anger mounted over the ministry’s efforts to implement controversial changes to high school curriculum guidelines and the death by suicide of one of the young activists the previous day.

The occupation – one of several direct actions in the past two years – occurs after months of snowballing protests over efforts by the government to make “minor” changes to curriculum guidelines. Critics say the process lacked transparency and that the new Sino-centric content imposed by the guidelines distorts history and whitewashes the authoritarian period in the nation’s history. The dissidents also maintain that members of the 10-person committee in charge of the “minor” adjustments, set up by then-minister of education Chiang Wei-ling in January 2014, are not suited to handle the matter. Chief among them is convener Wang Hsiao-po, a vice chairman of the Alliance for the Reunification of China.

The Indian Ocean Plane Wreckage: What Do We Know?

July 31, 2015

On Wednesday, a team cleaning the beach on the island of Reunion discovered a piece of metal that looked to be part of an aircraft wing. The discovery has focused worldwide attention on Reunion, a French island east of Madagascar with a population of under 900,000–could the debris provides long-awaited evidence of the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight 370?

MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Despite an intensive search involving nine countries, no trace of the plane or its 239 passengers and crew has been found. Investigators believe the plane crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, to the west of Australia; search efforts have focused in that region—3,700 km (2,300 miles) east of Reunion—for the past year, to no avail.

Now, however, the discovery of what appears to be part of an aircraft wing – the flaperon, to be precise – has raised new hopes, over 16 months after MH370 went missing. Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Trusscalled the discovery a “major lead” and a “very important development.” China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it “will follow [developments] closely.” There were 152 Chinese citizens on board the plane, the most from any country.