Editor’s Note: As Stratfor readies to look forward in coming days at the implications for Russia — and its leader Vladimir Putin — in the downing July 17 of a Malaysian jetliner, we also invite readers to take stock with us of past forecasts of Russia’s geopolitical evolution in the context of global events. Stratfor Chairman George Friedman will examine the likelihood of Putin’s undoing in the next issue of Geopolitical Weekly, to publish July 22. Accordingly, we look back here at 1998, when we predicted the unfolding Kosovo crisis would be the undoing of late Russian President Boris Yeltsin. We share our assessment from 2000, when we assessed how newly elected President Putin was rapidly consolidating absolute power. In 2005, Stratfor reassessed Putin’s situation after his first presidential term and laid out how his leadership would begin to reverse the tide of concessions and reassert Russia’s role in line with historical cycles — including the forging of strategic relationships with countries such as Germany. In 2008, we looked at how Russia would capitalize on American weaknesses, including the fatigue of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2011, we foresaw the next stage, as Russia moved to solidify its sphere of influence while still able. In this forecast, we saw the events setting the stage for today’s crisis in Ukraine. Now, we foresee more historical change. We offer this chronology of forecasts in advance of our next report on Russia’s future. Read the rest of this entry »
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Archive for July, 2014
Recall on HORNADY CRITICAL DUTY 9MM 135GR. +P, LOT #3141635.
From Fox News:
A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Saturday overturned the city’s total ban on residents being allowed to carry firearms outside their home in a landmark decision for gun-rights activists.
Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. wrote in his ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia that the right to bear arms extends outside the home, therefore gun-control laws in the nation’s capital are “unconstitutional.”
Update from Roll Call:
Though they won’t yet say how far they are willing to take their fight, District of Columbia officials plan to do everything in their power to limit the carrying of handguns in the nation’s capital, arguing that despite a court’s ruling that paves the way for more permissive laws, Washington is a unique place with heightened security concerns.
“An absolute ban on [carrying handguns] may not pass constitutional muster regardless of the judge, so we’re going to prepare by working on legislation that will pass muster” said Tommy Wells, a Democrat who represents Capitol Hill on the D.C. Council.
From The Guardian:
Google has been given 18 months by the Italian data regulator to change how it handles and stores user data.
Users will now have to grant permission before the firm creates a profile on them, and Google has to honour requests to delete data within two months (although it will have an additional six months to remove the content from backups). Google will also have to explicitly inform users that the profiles it creates on them are for commercial purposes.
“Examining the Terrorist Threat from America’s Southern Border is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
On July 21, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he was deploying 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to the Mexican border to help strengthen border security. The move is the latest in a chain of events involving the emigration of Central Americans that has become heavily publicized — and politicized.
Clearly, illegal immigration flows are shifting from Arizona and California to Texas. In fiscal year 2013, the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol sector surpassed Tucson as the leading sector for the number of apprehensions (154,453 in Rio Grande Valley versus 120,939 for Tucson). Also, between fiscal 2011 and 2013 (all Border Patrol data is recorded by fiscal year), the number of “other than Mexicans” — mostly Central Americans — apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley sector increased by more than 360 percent, from 20,890 to 96,829. (By comparison, the Tucson sector apprehended 19,847 “other than Mexicans” in 2013. Significantly, minors constituted a large percentage of the “other than Mexicans” apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley in 2013: 21,553 (compared to 9,070 in Tucson sector). However, the majority (84 percent) of those labeled Unaccompanied Alien Children by the Border Patrol are teenage minors and not younger children. Read the rest of this entry »
If you ever wanted to experience how the Predator sees the world, now’s your chance, and all you’ll need is an iPhone and the FLIR ONE case. The FLIR ONE case packs a full thermal imaging camera that sees variances in temperature on the infrared spectrum, and works with either the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s, along with the FLIR ONE companion app. It can show you a live view of the world broken down by relative heat, and it’s coming to Apple Stores and Apple’s online retail portal in August, with pre-orders at FLIR ONE’s website kicking off tomorrow.
The Team was comprised of two Master Class shooters, one Sharpshooter, and one Marksman: Captain and Coach Steve Killingsworth, CDR, USNR (Ret) of Coronado; Roy Sasai of Union City; Reid Thompson of Guinda; and Eugene Berman of Foster City, respectively.
From Defense Media Network:
Tinkertoy, Scooter, Bantam Bomber, Mighty Midget, Mighty Mite, Heinemann’s Hot Rod, and other affectionate names were given to the A-4 Skyhawk, which first flew on June 22, 1954, and in fact the Douglas Aircraft Company’s Edward H. Heinemann had the design so right that Skyhawks are still in service today.
“A Chronology of Russia from Yeltsin’s Fall Through Putin’s Rise is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
“Can Putin Survive? is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the context of recent events.
Ukraine and the Bid to Reverse Russia’s Decline
Ukraine is, of course, the place to start. The country is vital to Russia as a buffer against the West and as a route for delivering energy to Europe, which is the foundation of the Russian economy. On Jan. 1, Ukraine’s president was Viktor Yanukovich, generally regarded as favorably inclined to Russia. Given the complexity of Ukrainian society and politics, it would be unreasonable to say Ukraine under him was merely a Russian puppet. But it is fair to say that under Yanukovich and his supporters, fundamental Russian interests in Ukraine were secure. Read the rest of this entry »
Full Press Release:
Beretta U.S.A. Corp., located in Accokeek, Maryland, announced today that it has decided to move its manufacturing capabilities from its existing location to a new production facility that it is building in Gallatin, Tennessee. The Gallatin facility is scheduled to be opened in mid-2015. Beretta U.S.A. had previously planned to use the new Gallatin, Tennessee facility for new machinery and production of new products only.
“During the legislative session in Maryland that resulted in passage of the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, the version of the statute that passed the Maryland Senate would have prohibited Beretta U.S.A. from being able to manufacture, store or even import into the State products that we sell to customers throughout the United States and around the world. While we were able in the Maryland House of Delegates to reverse some of those obstructive provisions, the possibility that such restrictions might be reinstated in the future leaves us very worried about the wisdom of maintaining a firearm manufacturing factory in the State,” stated Jeff Cooper, General Manager for Beretta U.S.A. Corp.
“While we had originally planned to use the Tennessee facility for new equipment and for production of new product lines only, we have decided that it is more prudent from the point of view of our future welfare to move the Maryland production lines in their entirety to the new Tennessee facility,” Cooper added.
The transition of production from Beretta U.S.A.’s Maryland facility to the Tennessee facility will not occur until 2015 and will be managed so as not to disrupt deliveries to Beretta customers. Beretta U.S.A.’s production of the U.S. Armed Forces M9 9mm pistol will continue at the Accokeek, Maryland facility until all current orders from the U.S. Armed Forces have been filled.
“We have not yet begun groundbreaking on the Tennessee facility and we do not anticipate that that building will be completed until the middle part of 2015,” continued Cooper. “That timing, combined with our need to plan an orderly transition of production from one facility to the other so that our delivery obligations to customers are not disrupted, means that no Beretta U.S.A. Maryland employee will be impacted by this news for many months. More importantly, we will use this time to meet with every Beretta U.S.A. employee whose Maryland job might be affected by the move to discuss with them their interest in taking a position at our new facility in Tennessee or, if they are not willing to do so, to lay out a long-term strategy for remaining with the Company while our production in Maryland continues.”
Beretta U.S.A. anticipates that the Gallatin, Tennessee facility will involve $45 million of investment in building and equipment and the employment of around 300 employees during the next five years.
Beretta U.S.A. has no plans to relocate its office, administrative and executive support functions from its Accokeek, Maryland facility.