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Showing posts from January 9, 2014

Syrian Infighting May Be Pretext for Expanded Intervention

A strategy of tension created by divisions among foreign-funded fighters may give West an opportunity to increasingly "back good terrorists" versus "bad terrorists

By Tony Cartalucci

January 07, 2014 - "LD" - Geopolitical analyst Eric Draitser on Press TV explained what is behind recent infighting between foreign-funded fighters battling along and within Syria's borders. It is suggested that a new narrative is in the making, portraying "good terrorists" locked in battle with "bad terrorists," thus providing a new context within which the West can continue arming and funding terrorist groups waging war on Syria.



While the West will maintain that the conflict in Syria began as "peaceful protests," readers should keep in mind that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his article, "The Redirection: Is the Administration's new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?" prophetically stated (em…

Turkey's Cabinet Members Named

Following a housecleaning of his Cabinet amid a rising corruption scandal, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his replacements for 10 cabinet posts Dec. 25, including those of three members who resigned earlier in the day. All but the new minister of justice, Bekir Bozdag, are newcomers and little known. Bozdag, a former vice premier, is a theologian who has been a member of parliament for the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, since 2002. As reported by the Turkish daily Turkiye, the other new Cabinet members include:
Deputy Prime Minister: Emrullah Isler, an AKP lawmaker from Ankara. He is a graduate of King Saud University in Saudi Arabia with a doctorate in Islamic studies.
Minister for European Union Affairs: Mevlut Cavusoglu, an AKP lawmaker from Antalya. He reportedly is fluent in English, German and Japanese and has a graduate degree from Long Island University.
Interior Minister: Efkan Ala, an undersecretary in the prime ministry. He served as go…

Turkey's LNG Potential

Ankara is trying to figure out whether an eventual U.S. entry into the global liquefied natural gas export market and natural gas production in North Africa will make it worthwhile for Turkey to expand its liquefied natural gas import capacity. Turkey currently has two liquefied natural gas import terminals -- one at Marmara Ereglisi that has an annual capacity of 8.2 billion cubic meters and a maximum send-out capacity of 22 million cubic meters, and another in the town of Aliaga on the Aegean coast with an annual capacity of 6 billion cubic meters and maximum send-out capacity of 16 million cubic meters. Liquefied natural gas imports from Algeria, Nigeria and Qatar and smaller amounts from Norway and Egypt accounted for roughly 14 percent of Turkey's total natural gas imports in 2012, with most of this supply consumed by industrialized areas in and around Istanbul in the Marmara region.

Turkey is considering building additional liquefied natural gas import terminals on the Gulf o…

A Hungarian Plan to Buy Land in Romania?

A shepherd tends his sheep in southern Transylvania on March 10, 2013, near Tohanu Nou, Romania. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Summary


The possibility that Hungary is considering buying land in Western Romania is part of a larger trend in Central Europe, which is undergoing changes as the European Union's crisis worsens and as Russia becomes stronger. Moreover, the potential move indicates the scope of Hungary's geopolitical concerns amid this regional dynamism and ahead of national elections.

Analysis


Hungary's meandering takeover negotiations with Austrian bank Raiffeisen have dominated regional and international discourse over the past two days. Stratfor noted yesterday that these talks are not just about a financial transaction -- they are also an expression of Hungary's unique set of policies in response to the strategic challenges it faces.

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A diplomatic gaffe by a minor Hungarian government official Jan. 7 has garnered little international attention but…

Sub-Saharan Africa: The Quest for Expanded Electricity Access

Striking Lonmin mine workers living in shacks with no electricity sit outside on Aug. 28, 2012, in Marikana, South Africa, with some of the Lonmin electrical distribution system in the background. (RODGER BOSCH/AFP/GettyImages)

Summary


Much of Africa has the potential for great power production -- whether from hydropower at the Inga Dams, geothermal resources in East Africa, offshore hydrocarbon resources in the Gulf of Guinea or South Africa's coal. A number of internationally backed aid projects and programs are aiming to increase electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa. Rajiv Shah, head of USAID, announced in December 2013 that the United States would include parts of the Inga Dam scheme, two hydroelectric dams on the Congo River, as a part of President Barack Obama's $7 billion Power Africa program, an initiative aiming to double sub-Saharan Africa's access to electricity.

However, production centers are often geographically separated from demand centers, and many citi…