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Showing posts from March 14, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: China’s Crimea Dilemma

While the Western world scrambles to respond to Russia’s invasion of Crimea, China has remained largely silent. This is because Russian aggression puts China in an awkward position: to support President Putin’s Crimean gamble risks severely damaging Chinese claims of respecting state sovereignty. But to denounce it on the other hand means standing against the closest thing China has to an ally.

Official statements from Beijing offer at least token support to Russia, stating that Russian intervention on behalf of its national interests is acceptable. Following a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that Beijing and Moscow share a “convergence of views” on Ukraine. This type of diplomatic double-speak suggests that though the two may broadly agree, there may also be considerable differences. This is reinforced by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang’s statement that “China upholds its own democratic principles and the basic…

An Al Qaeda-Indian Mujahideen Alliance Spells Trouble for Pakistan

Recent revelations pointing to links between Al Qaeda and the Indian Mujahideen have surprised many counter terrorism experts. These revelations have largely come in the form of a charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India, stating that the Indian Mujahideen leadership has been on the lookout for an opportunity to establish links with Al Qaeda and the Pakistan Taliban.

This alliance, if it takes shape or has already materialized, will have huge ramifications for the security and stability of the South Asian region as a whole. Unequivocally, this development would be pertinent to policymakers in India as it would directly impact the country’s internal security. However, apart from India, there would be another country with cause for concern: Pakistan.

Pakistan has been at the center of the war on terror owing to its proximity to Afghanistan. It is also home to different fundamentalist and terrorist constituents who have varied interests and objectives. They ar…

Kiev Snipers Shooting From Bldg Controlled By Maidan Forces – Ex-Ukraine Security Chief


 - "RT"- Former chief of Ukraine’s Security Service has confirmed allegations that snipers who killed dozens of people during the violent unrest in Kiev operated from a building controlled by the opposition on Maidan square.

Read full interview with Aleksandr Yakimenko

Shots that killed both civilians and police officers were fired from the Philharmonic Hall building in Ukraine’s capital, former head of the Security Service of Ukraine Aleksandr Yakimenko told Russia 1 channel. The building was under full control of the opposition and particularly the so-called Commandant of Maidan self-defense Andrey Parubiy who after the coup was appointed as the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Yakimenko added.

Furthermore the former security chief believes that Parubiy has been in contact with US Special Forces that could have coordinated the assault.

“Shots came from the Philharmonic Hall. Maidan Commandant Parubiy was responsible for this building. …

Passport Fraud's Link to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

By Scott Stewart

Many questions remain regarding the March 7 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370. This is quite understandable because it is highly unusual for a modern airliner to crash suddenly without an emergency call or some other indication of a problem. Several things could have caused such an accident: a mechanical problem like the fuel tank explosion aboard TWA flight 800 in 1996, a small mechanical issue and fatal pilot error like in Air France 447 in 2009, an intentional attack like in Pan Am flight 103, or simply bad weather. If the airliner did indeed crash into the sea, it may be some time before investigators are able to determine the cause of the incident.

As investigators scramble for clues, many people focused on the fact that two of the passengers on the flight appear to have been traveling on passports previously reported stolen -- meaning imposters, rather than the true owners of the passports, were on the flight. In and of itself, this is not positive pro…

Egypt's Energy Problems Worsen

An Egyptian man with a sign that reads "No to gas deterioration, stop the export of Egyptian gas" protests in Cairo. (CRIS BOURONCLE/AFP/Getty Images)


Egypt is expecting severe power outages in upcoming months after suffering rare winter blackouts. According to the Ministry of Petroleum, Egypt needs to import $1 billion worth of natural gas in the next few months to satisfy demand this summer. However, political, financial and infrastructure constraints will likely keep Egypt from achieving this goal. Last summer, as seven-hour-long rolling blackouts affected businesses and consumers throughout the country, the Tamarod movement helped oust former President Mohammed Morsi, a move that illustrated people's outrage over the Muslim Brotherhood's inability to solve Egypt's energy problems. As Egypt's rapidly growing population continues to demand more natural gas, domestic production will soon fail to meet the needs of a nation looking for political stabili…