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Showing posts from April 3, 2014

A Potential Turkey-Israel Pipeline Project

An energy pipeline project under consideration could help Turkey and Israel renew their partnership after years of strain. The 450-kilometer (280-mile) subsea pipeline would be the Middle East's most ambitious native pipeline, stretching from Israel's offshore Leviathan field, 130 kilometers west of Haifa, to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. The pipeline would run from a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) ship before heading northeast at an average depth of 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) along the Cypriot coastline. With a capacity of 16 billion cubic meters, the initiative has been lauded as a way to enable Turkish (and eventually European) energy diversification away from Moscow. According to energy holding firm Turcas Petrol, one of the companies to place a bid on the project, the total cost would be around $2.25 billion. In essence, the Leviathan pipeline would require an operating depth rivaled only by major international initiatives such as Medgaz, South Stream and…

Turkey and Israel May Reconcile After Years of Tension

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling party on April 16, 2013. (ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


An energy pipeline project under consideration could help Turkey and Israel renew their partnership after years of strain. On March 23, Israeli financial daily Globes announced that more than 10 companies had submitted bids for the tender of a proposed undersea pipeline that would export natural gas from Israel's offshore Leviathan field to southern Turkey. The statement came shortly before Today's Zaman reported a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's personal envoy for energy and security issues, David Meidan, and the chief of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization, Hakan Fidan, in which both parties reportedly agreed to work toward reopening embassies and normalizing relations, which have been fraught since the 2010 flotilla incident that left several Turks dead.

Israel and Turkey currently find themselve…

Poland Seeks Greater NATO Protection From Russia

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski (R) speaks with his counterparts from Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (C), and France, Laurent Fabius, in Weimar, Germany, on April 1. (JENS SCHLUETER/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


Russia's recent actions in Crimea and subsequent military buildup around the former Soviet periphery are yet another reminder of the security threat that Russia poses to Poland. After a NATO summit on April 1 to discuss responses to Russia's maneuvers, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk called NATO's presence in Poland and the pace at which it is being increased "unsatisfactory." Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski went further, calling for NATO to station 10,000 troops in Poland. But Warsaw faces the same constraints it has long experienced in getting the support from NATO to counter the Russian threat, not least of which is a fundamental disagreement among NATO members over how to respond to Russia.

Analysis


The latest NATO summit was the first since…

U.S.: Fort Hood Reacts To Another Active Shooter

U.S. President Barack Obama talks to the press about the April 2 shooting incident at Fort Hood. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


At least one gunman is reported to have opened fire at the Fort Hood military post in Killeen, Texas, killing three people and wounding as many as 14, over a reported dispute with another soldier. A Stratfor source reports that an individual -- believed to be the shooter, 34-year-old Ivan Lopez -- has been found dead, the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It is believed that the initial shooting incident occurred at a motor pool located near the Medical Brigade Building.

Analysis


As with any breaking event, preliminary reports may well be inaccurate and even conflicting. Eyewitnesses identified a white man wearing an Army Combat Uniform driving a gray Toyota and carrying a .45 caliber handgun.

The base has been locked down following the incident, which triggered an attack alarm. All personnel were advised to minimize movement and seek hard cover u…