Posts Tagged asia

Pro-ISIS Indonesian Pilots

From The Intercept:

“Both [pilots] appear to be influenced by pro-IS elements including extremist online propaganda by well-known radical Indonesia outlets and a suspected Indonesian foreign terrorist fighter who is likely to be in either Syria or Iraq,” the report states.

“Pilots, air crew and others with access to and within the aviation environment can pose obvious threats if these persons are radicalized. Their access and knowledge of security and safety regimes provides the ability to attempt attacks as witnessed by past global events,” warns the report, which also notes that a recent issue of Inspire, the magazine published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, encouraged attacks by those involved in aviation.

 

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

China and Philippines Dispute In South China Sea Heats Up

From Al Jazeera:

Chinese vessels have challenged a Philippine military plane on patrol over disputed waters in the South China Sea, according to the Philippine military.

The Islander aircraft was flying over Subi Reef on April 19 when a Chinese vessel radioed a warning, Brigadier-General Joselito Kakilala, a Philippine military spokesperson, said on Sunday.

From Fox News:

The Philippines on Sunday urged the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to take immediate steps to halt land reclamation by China in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, warning that failure to do so will see Beijing take “de facto control” of the area.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers that if China’s construction of artificial islands on reefs claimed by other countries is allowed to be completed, then Beijing will impose its claim over more than 85 percent of the sea.

, , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

The End of Consensus Politics in China

The End of Consensus Politics in China is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By John Minnich

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign is the broadest and deepest effort to purge, reorganize and rectify the Communist Party leadership since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 and the rise of Deng Xiaoping two years later. It has already probed more than 182,000 officials across numerous regions and at all levels of government. It has ensnared low-level cadres, mid-level functionaries and chiefs of major state-owned enterprises and ministries. It has deposed top military officials and even a former member of the hitherto immune Politburo Standing Committee, China’s highest governing body. More than a year after its formal commencement and more than two years since its unofficial start with the downfall of Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, the campaign shows no sign of relenting. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

Borderlands: First Moves in Romania

Borderlands: First Moves in Romania is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

I arrived in Bucharest, Romania, the day after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will be here in a few weeks. The talk in Bucharest, not only among the leadership but also among the public, is about Ukraine. Concerns are palpable, and they are not only about the Russians. They are also about NATO, the European Union, the United States and whether they will all support Romania if it resists Russia. The other side of the equation, of course, is whether Romania will do the things it must do in order to make outside support effective. Biden left Romania with a sense that the United States is in the game. But this is not a region that trusts easily. The first step was easy. The rest become harder.

If this little Cold War becomes significant, there are two European countries that matter the most: Poland and Romania. Poland, which I visit next, stands between Germany and Russia on the long, flat North European plain. Its population is about 38 million people. Romania, to the south, standing behind the Prut River and bisected by the Carpathian Mountains, has a population of about 20 million. Of the roughly 82 million people along the eastern frontier (Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria), approximately 58 million live in Poland and Romania. Biden’s visit to Romania and U.S. President Barack Obama’s planned visit to Poland provide a sense of how Washington looks at the region and, for the moment at least, the world. How all of this plays out is, of course, dependent on the Russians and the course of the Ukrainian crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Borderlands: The New Strategic Landscape

Borderlands: The New Strategic Landscape is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman

I will be leaving this week to visit a string of countries that are now on the front line between Russia and the European Peninsula: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Azerbaijan. A tour like that allows you to look at the details of history. But it is impossible to understand those details out of context. The more I think about recent events, the more I realize that what has happened in Ukraine can only be understood by considering European geopolitics since 1914 — a hundred years ago and the beginning of World War I.

In The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman wrote a superb and accurate story about how World War I began. For her it was a confluence of perception, misperception, personality and decisions. It was about the leaders, and implicit in her story was the idea that World War I was the result of miscalculation and misunderstanding. I suppose that if you focus on the details, then the war might seem unfortunate and avoidable. I take a different view: It was inevitable from the moment Germany united in 1871. When it happened and exactly how it happened was perhaps up to decision-makers. That it would happen was a geopolitical necessity. And understanding that geopolitical necessity gives us a framework for understanding what is happening in Ukraine, and what is likely to happen next. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Missile Defense From Raytheon

, , , , , ,

No Comments

Ending The Violence In Ukraine

From US News:

Of immediate concern is preventing the fighting from escalating still further into a bloody civil war. The risk of a broader conflict would increase significantly if Yanukovych feels compelled to call in the army in a desperate last-ditch attempt to restore order. However, such a course is fraught with serious risks, especially if some army units refuse an order to fire on their fellow citizens.

, , , ,

No Comments

Russia Strengthens Ties With Vietnam

Russia Strengthens Ties With Vietnam is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part series about Russia’s intensifying focus on East Asia. Part 1 examines Russia’s traditional interests in the region and its closer relationship with Vietnam.

Recent challenges in exporting energy to Europe have made an orientation toward Asia more desirable for Moscow. Russia’s economy depends on hydrocarbon exports, and while Western Europe is attempting to become less dependent on Russia by seeking new energy sources, Asian markets have large and indiscriminate appetites for energy.

Although Russia’s focus in Asia traditionally has been on China, Japan and South Korea, it also has ties to Southeast Asia, which remains a strategically significant — though not absolutely essential — area for Moscow’s efforts to extend its influence and energy exports eastward. Notably, Moscow recently struck a spate of energy and defense deals with Hanoi in an effort to strengthen their relationship, open up new markets for Russian energy and balance against China’s moves in Central Asia. Moscow’s moves into Asia through Vietnam are proceeding piecemeal, paralleling Russian moves elsewhere in the region. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

Letter from Kurdistan

Letter from Kurdistan is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By Reva Bhalla

At the edge of empires lies Kurdistan, the land of the Kurds. The jagged landscape has long been the scene of imperial aggression. For centuries, Turks, Persians, Arabs, Russians and Europeans looked to the mountains to buffer their territorial prizes farther afield, depriving the local mountain dwellers a say in whose throne they would ultimately bow to. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , ,

No Comments

China’s Inevitable Changes

China’s Inevitable Changes is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By Rodger Baker and John Minnich

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China will convene its Third Plenum meeting Nov. 9. During the three-day session, President Xi Jinping’s administration will outline core reforms to guide its policymaking for the next decade. The Chinese government would have the world believe that Xi’s will be the most momentous Third Plenary Session since December 1978, when former supreme leader Deng Xiaoping first put China on the path of economic reform and opening.

Whether or not Xi’s policies will be as decisive as Deng’s — or as disappointing as those of former President Hu Jintao — the president has little choice but to implement them. China’s current economic model, and by extension its political and social model, is reaching its limits just as it had prior to Deng’s administration. The importance of the upcoming meeting is that it comes at an inflection point for China, one that its leaders can hardly afford to ignore. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

China: The Next Phase of Reform

China: The Next Phase of Reform is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

The commitment and ability of China’s leaders to follow through on new policies and to meet rising expectations will be tested as they strive to balance competing social, economic, political and security challenges. Three decades ago, China embarked on a new path, creating a framework that encouraged the country’s rapid economic rise. The successes of those policies have transformed China, and the country’s leadership now faces another set of strategic choices to address China’s new economic and international position.

The much-anticipated Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee concluded Nov. 12 after four days of closed-door deliberations among top political elites. The full document containing the policy proposals will not be released for days or even a week, but the initial information suggests China’s leaders are seeking more significant changes in their policies to try to stay ahead of the challenges the country faces. Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

No Comments

Central Asia and Afghanistan: A Tumultuous History

Central Asia and Afghanistan: A Tumultuous History is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a two-part series on the relationship between Central Asia and Afghanistan and the expected effects of the U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan on Central Asian security. Click here to read Part 2.

Contrary to popular perception, Central Asia is not likely to see an immediate explosion of violence and militancy after the U.S. and NATO drawdown from Afghanistan in 2014. However, Central Asia’s internal issues and the region’s many links with Afghanistan — including a web of relationships among militant groups — will add to the volatility in the region.

Analysis

Central Asia has numerous important links to Afghanistan that will open the region to significant effects after the upcoming U.S. and NATO drawdown. First and foremost, Central Asia is linked to Afghanistan geographically; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan share borders with Afghanistan that collectively span more than 2,000 kilometers (about 1,240 miles). The Afghan border with Tajikistan, along the eastern edge of Afghanistan, makes up more than half of that distance, at 1,344 kilometers. The borders with Turkmenistan (744 kilometers) and Uzbekistan (137 kilometers) run along Afghanistan’s western edge. Most of the Tajik-Afghan border is mountainous and therefore poorly demarcated, and the topography of Afghanistan’s frontiers with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan is largely desert.  Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

A Possible U.S.-China Conflict

From RAND Corporation:

Having been impotent against two U.S. aircraft carriers during the Taiwan crisis of 1996, the People’s Liberation Army has concluded, as Chinese military writings show, that the best way to avoid another such humiliation is by striking U.S. forces before they strike China. While not seeking war, the Chinese especially dread a long one, in which the full weight of American military strength would surely prevail. So they are crafting plans and fielding capabilities to take out U.S. carriers, air bases, command-and-control networks and satellites early and swiftly.

, , , , ,

No Comments

China’s Space Program Tries to Catch Up

China’s Space Program Tries to Catch Up is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

China’s strategic focus on space is less about national pride than about the importance of space for both the military and economic progress of the country. The Chinese space program has developed rapidly over the past decade, illustrating the importance of the program to Beijing. Shenzhou 10, a 15-day mission that began June 11 and returned to Earth the morning of June 26 marked China’s fifth manned mission to space. An increasing, ongoing presence in space is essential for civilian and military communications. Satellites’ functions include navigation systems such as GPS, weather data and communications relays. But the significance of space goes beyond satellites. Technological advancement and development is required for countries such as China that want to participate in future resource development in space. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

KC-135 Crash in Kyrgyzstan

A KC-135 has crashed just a few days after a 747 crashed in Bagram.

From Military Times:

This is the third crash of a U.S.-based plane in the region in the last week, following two crashes in Afghanistan. An MC-12 Liberty surveillance plane crashed April 27 near Kandahar Airfield, killing crewmembers Capt. Brandon Cyr, Capt. Reid Nishizuka, Staff Sgt. Richard Dickson and Staff Sgt. Daniel Fannin. On April 29, a Boeing 747 belonging to National Air Cargo crashed on takeoff out of Bagram Airfield, killing seven crewmembers.

, , , ,

No Comments