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Showing posts from November 2, 2014

China successfully develops drone defense system: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has successfully tested a self-developed laser defense system against small-scale low-altitude drones, state media said on Sunday.

The laser defense system is capable of shooting down small aircraft within a two-km (1.2-mile) radius and can do so within five seconds of locating its target, the official Xinhua news agency said, quoting a statement by the China Academy of Engineering Physics.

The academy is one of the drone defense system's co-developers, Xinhua said.

The reported development comes as concerns about the country's military preparedness are being raised in state media. A front page article in China's official military newspaper last month said that weaknesses in military training posed a threat to the country's ability to fight and win a war.

The paper - the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily - said in the same report that China's military authorities had sent a document out to units detailing 40 weaknesses in current traini…

How US Policy Unites Iran and China

The proliferation of U.S. government’s economic sanctions against a growing multitude of countries and individuals has created confusion and animosity around the world, driving some countries, like Iran and China, closer together and threatening the future U.S. economy, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

By Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

As the world waits to see if Iran and the P5+1 reach a final nuclear agreement by Nov. 24, we remain relatively pessimistic about the prospects for such an outcome. Above all, we are pessimistic because closing a comprehensive nuclear accord will almost certainly require the United States to drop its (legally unfounded, arrogantly hegemonic, and strategically senseless) demand that the Islamic Republic dismantle a significant portion of its currently operating centrifuges as a sine qua non for a deal.

While we would love to be proved wrong on the point, it seems unlikely that the Obama administration will drop said demand in order to close a …

The Turkish people don’t look favorably upon the U.S., or any other country, really

As U.S. and Western-led airstrikes continue to target Islamic State fighters for control of the Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobane,questions have been raisedabout the U.S. and Turkey’s 60-year alliance. But even prior to the Islamic State’s push there, Turks have held decidedly negative views of the U.S. going back over a decade, and, additionally, do not much like other foreign powers either.

Since we began polling the Turkish people in 2002, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, never have more than three-in-ten said they have a favorable view of the U.S. But anti-Americanism really spiked in the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq War, when 83% of Turks held a negative view of America. Today, only 19% in Turkey like the U.S., while nearly three-quarters (73%) share a dislike of their NATO ally. (Unfortunately, we do not have comparable data for American views of Turkey).

But Turkish distaste for foreign powers does not begin and end with the U.S. On balance, around two-thirds or more Turks expr…

Islamic State seeks crisis manager to save ailing oil revenues - report

Oil pump jacks pump oil in Al-Jbessa oil field in Al-Shaddadeh town of Al-Hasakah, Syria, currently controlled by Islamic State (Reuters / Stringer)

The leadership of the Islamic State is headhunting for “ideologically suitable” oil industry professionals to manage oil fields and refineries the terrorist organization has hijacked in Iraq and Syria.

The militants of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) that captured Deir ez-Zor oil fields in Syria in 2012, and added the Ajeel and Hamrin oil fields in Iraq in 2014, propose a competitive salary for those daredevils who dare to venture to the territory they control and get the job done.

“They are trying to recruit skilled professionals who are ideologically suitable,” Robin Mills, at Manaar Energy, a consultancy firm in Dubai, told The Times. “The money is good but it’s not that good. A Western oil exec posted to Iraq right now, let alone working for ISIS, would expect to earn a lot more than that.”

The right applicant with the rare com…

The Caliph Fit To Join OPEC

By Pepe Escobar

 Islamic State leader Caliph Ibrahim - aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - never ceases to amaze us - and most of all his powerful petrodollar-stuffed backers. The Caliph is for all practical purposes now an oil major producer, worth of membership of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). His takfiri/mercenary goons - in theory - have for some time been extracting, refining, shipping and/or smuggling and clinching juicy deals involving vast quantities of oil, reaping profits of roughly US $2 million a day.

The Caliph's oil prices are to die (be beheaded?) for; after all, he's implementing the same low-price strategy concocted by the people he wants to dethrone in Mecca, the House of Saud. The caliphate's GDP across "Syraq" has only one way to go: up.

And oh, the irony Top customers for The Caliph's cheap oil happen to be "Sultan" Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Earthly paradise, aka Turkey - a North Atlantic Treaty Organizat…