Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 07/06/13


Udo von Massenbach

Guten Morgen.

Seit Mai 2012:
Auch an die
Mitglieder des Verteidigungsausschusses
des Deutschen Bundestages.

Minister legt Bericht zum Rüstungsprojekt vor

Berlin, 05.06.2013.
Verteidigungsminister Thomas de Maizière hat dem Verteidigungsausschuss am 5. Juni den Bericht der Ad-hoc Arbeitsgruppe Euro Hawk sowie seine Bewertungen und Konsequenzen zum Euro Hawk vorgelegt, in dem der Bundesrechnungshof als “Third Party” dargestellt wird.

Mein Kommentar: eine ziemliche Herausforderung. Hier der Bericht.

Bericht der Ad-hoc Arbeitsgruppe EURO HAWK (PDF, 301 kB) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Bürgerkrieg in Syrien: Perspektiven aufzeigen UAE is largest Mideast base for Total Massenbach 1.) Yaalon: Assad controls 40pc of Syrian territory DEBKAfile June 3, 2013, 12:20 PM (GMT+02:00) In his first briefing on Syria to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s reported Monday that Bashar Assad holds just 40 percent of Syrian territory. DEBKAfile: Close analysis shows Assad in control of the lion’s share of the built-up areas in a country almost half of which is desert. The rebels, in contrast – even if they do occupy four Damascus districts – have not achieved control of a single town. Assad has deliberately relinquished certain areas in order to focus on seizing control of and holding the key regions linking the North, Center and South to Damascus, the capital. The minister went on to report that both sides of the conflict engage in slaughter on ethnic lines. Israel is anxiously watching to see if Russian does indeed deliver S-300 anti-air missiles to Syria. According to our information, Ya’alon said, delivery is due in 2014. The defense minister reiterated that Israel has no interest in intervening in the Syria conflict – only ascertaining that advanced weapons, missiles or chemical weapons, don’t reach Hizballah. 2.) Battle for Damascus is over. Is Israel intelligence slow on Syrian war?DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 4, 2013, 11:25 AM (IDT) When Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon informed a Knesset panel Monday, June 3, that Syrian rebels still occupied four Damascus districts, debkafile’s intelligence sources reported that the battle for the Syrian capital was all but over. Barring small pockets of resistance, Bashar Assad’s army had virtually regained control of the city in an epic victory. From those pockets, the rebels can’t do much more than fire sporadically. They can no longer launch raids, or pose threats to the city center, the airport or the big Syrian air base nearby.The Russian and Iranian transports constantly bringing replenishments for keeping the Syrian army fighting can again land at Damascus airport after months of rebel siege.The rebels fell back in Damascus after being outflanked in a pincer movement in Damascus’s eastern outskirts executed by the Syrian army’s 4th and 3rd Divisions and a “Fuji” commando unit . Most of the rebels were pushed outside the city. debkafile’s military sources report that, as of Tuesday, June 4, Assad’s army controls all the capital’s road connections and its western districts. It has also cleared opposition forces out of areas west of Damascus through the Zabadni region and up to the Lebanese border.To the northwest, Hizballah and Syrian units have tightened their siege on the rebels holding out in the northern sector of al Qusayr; other units have completed their takeover of the countryside around the town of Hama; and a third combined Syrian-Hizballah force has taken up positions around Aleppo.Senior IDF officers criticized the defense minister’s briefing on Syria Monday to the Knesset Foreign and Defense Committee in which he estimated that Bashar Assad controlled only 40 percent of Syrian territory as misleading. They said he had drawn on a flawed intelligence assessment and were concerned that the armed forces were acting on the basis of inaccurate intelligence. Erroneous assessments, they feared, must lead to faulty decision-making. They cited two instances: 1. On May 5, the massive Israeli bombardment of Iranian weapons stored near Damascus for Hizballah, turned out a month later to have done more harm than good. It gave Bashar Assad a boost instead of weakening his resolve.2. Israel has laid itself open to unpleasant surprises by its focused watch on military movements in Syria especially around Damascus to ascertain that advanced missiles and chemical weapons don’t reach Hizballah. Missed, for instance, was the major movement by Hizballah militia units towards the Syrian-Israeli border. Our military sources report a Hizballah force is currently deployed outside Deraa, capital of the southern Syrian province of Horan. Reinforcements are streaming in from Lebanon. The Hizballah force and Syrian units are getting ready to move in on the rural Horan and reach the Israeli border nearby through the Syrian Golan. Their coming offensive, which could be only days away, will find Israeli face to face for the first time with Hizballah units equipped with heavy arms and missiles on the move along the Syrian-Israeli border and manning positions opposite Israel’s Golan outposts and villages. The early calculus that the Syrian battlefield would erode Hizballah’s strength held Israel back from obstructing the flow of Hizballah military strength into Syria. It has been proven wrong. Instead of growing weaker, Iran’s Lebanese proxy is poised to open another warfront and force the IDF to adapt to a new military challenge from the Syrian Golan.Unlike its previous wars against Israel, this time Hizballah will not confront Israel alone. On May 30, when the Syrian ruler spoke of “popular” demands to mount “resistance” operations against Israel from the Golan, he didn’t mention Hizballah because he was referring to demands coming from inside Syria. NewsmaxWorld Israel: Syria Has Not Received Advanced Missiles From Russia Tuesday, June 4, 2013 03:52 AM JERUSALEM — Israel’s defense minister says advanced anti-aircraft missiles have not reached Syria. Moshe Yaalon said that according to „Russian talk,“ the sophisticated S-300 anti-aircraft missiles have not yet been delivered, despite indications to the contrary from Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Russia has said it is committed selling the missiles. Israel and the United States have pressured Russia to cancel the sale. Yaalon made the remarks to a parliamentary committee Monday. Israel has carried out several airstrikes in Syria in recent months that are believed to have destroyed weapons shipments bound for Hezbollah militants in Lebanon. Israel has not confirmed carrying out the attacks. The delivery of the Russian missiles to Syria could limit the Israeli air force’s ability to act. Israel has threatened to attack the missiles if they are delivered. ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** Policy = res publica Freudenberg-Pilster Gazprom Sets Stage for Takeover of Greek State Gas Company- Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 10 Issue: 104 – June 3, 2013 03:39 PM Age: 1 day Insolvent Greece is auctioning off its state assets, both as a matter of necessity and as a condition imposed by international creditors for bailing out the country. The state-controlled natural gas company, DEPA/DESFA, is by far the most valuable asset in the Greek privatization package. Russian natural gas giant Gazprom looks set to take over DEPA (Public Gas Corporation), Greece’s sole gas procurement and dominant distribution company. Meanwhile an obscure Russian company, Sintez, regarded as Gazprom’s proxy, competes against Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) for acquisition of DESFA (Public Gas Transmission System Operator). These are the last remaining contenders from among the 17 bidders from 12 countries that had entered the contest in 2011. DESFA is the 100-percent-owned subsidiary of DEPA; but the two entities can, and are now being, sold separately. The submission of binding offers from bidders did not take place on May 29, as had been scheduled. Two days before that deadline, it was rescheduled for June 10 to accommodate last-minute demands from Gazprom. The Greek state owns 65 percent of DEPA, with the remaining 35 percent held by Hellenic Petroleum, itself 35-percent state owned. DEPA is a profitable business: it made a net profit of €106 million ($138 million) even in the unfavorable conditions prevailing during 2012. DEPA provides some 90 percent of the natural gas consumed in the country. Gazprom supplied more than 60 percent of the gas sold by DEPA in Greece in 2012. The 20-year sale and purchase contract is valid until 2016. Gazprom granted DEPA a price discount of 7 percent, effective since 2011—a type of concession that Gazprom has also granted to other European customers in an effort to maintain its market share (EurActiv, October 24, 2012; http://www.naturalgaseueurope, May 28). The price is said to be $475 per one thousand cubic meters in 2013 (Kommersant, May 28). DEPA’s generally estimated market valuation is somewhat above €1 billion ($1.3 billion). Although the bids are supposedly confidential, Gazprom is known to have offered €900 million to €950 million ($1.17 billion–$1.23 billion) for taking over DEPA. The only remaining bidder in this contest is M&M Gas, an ad hoc consortium of the Greek companies Motor Oil and Mytilineos. M&M Gas is known to have offered €400 million to €550 million ($519 million–$713 million) for acquiring DEPA. The Greek government is in no position to privilege the Greek bidder M&M Gas, even if such a policy choice were available to the government. The European Union and the International Monetary Fund insist that DEPA be sold to the highest bidder, even if this is Gazprom, so as to protect creditor banks’ interests, and mitigate Greek-generated risks to the euro currency. In compliance with the bailout’s terms, Greece must raise €2.6 billion ($3.4 billion) from privatization auctions during 2013. Any shortfalls would have to be offset through fresh austerity measures, which neither the Greek government nor Western creditors would wish to enforce at the risk of fresh social turmoil. The combined proceeds of €1.5 billion ($1.95 billion), expected from selling DEPA and DESFA, would cover the lion’s share of the privatization revenue target for 2013. The Greek government seems to be going out of its way with incentives to Gazprom to take over DEPA. On May 25 the government’s privatization agency, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), which administers the bidding on the government’s behalf, announced that it has introduced fresh concessions into the eventual Sale and Purchase Agreement for DEPA (Kathimerini, May 27; EurActiv, May 22, 27): • Greece guarantees to compensate the buyer with €180 million ($234 million), representing a portion of the €380 million ($494 million) owed to DEPA by its crisis-stricken Greek customers. With DEPA unable itself to collect those receivables, the Greek government hopes to collect them by December 2015 (i.e., two years after the sale of DEPA), but can hardly be certain of collecting. Most likely, it will end up paying those €180 million to Gazprom from Greek government funds, not from gas consumers’ unpaid bills. • The cash deposit, accompanying the submission of a binding offer for DEPA (prior to adjudication), is being reduced from 20 to 10 percent of the price offer’s value. Moreover, the deposit shall not be forfeited, but returned in full, if the acquisition of DEPA is cancelled through no fault of the buyer. This provision anticipates possible action by European Union competition authorities against a vertically integrated monopoly arrangement, such as could result from Gazprom’s acquisition of DEPA. • The buyer of DEPA shall be entitled to cancel the acquisition, in the event that Greece for whatever reason abandons the euro currency. Apparently, Gazprom is not interested in revenue that would be denominated in a Greek currency, should this hypothetically replace the euro in Greece. This provision is hardly a mark of Gazprom’s confidence in Greece’s economic stabilization. Gazprom is not specifically mentioned by the Greek government or the privatization agency in granting these concessions. These are granted to the unnamed buyer of DEPA. But Gazprom is the clear frontrunner in the bidding, and the concessions look tailor-made for Gazprom. Its CEO, Alexei Miller, wrought them from the Greek government in the course of three visits to Athens between February and May. The government had notified the bidders in February that they had until April 12 to submit their binding offers. Instead, Miller descended on Athens (on May 22 for the third time) to change the terms in Gazprom’s favor (Kommersant, Kathimerini, February 11, 12; http://www.naturalgaseueurope, May 28). For its part, the Greek government hopes for a second discount from Gazprom’s current sale price of $475 per one thousand cubic meters (see above). This is an evolving story of Russian exploitation of Western policy failures. Greece had long misled Western banks and the European Union about the true state of that country’s finances. The banks, EU authorities, and key European governments seemed to close their eyes to that situation. When this imploded, it destabilized Greece’s social order, threatened the exposed Western banks with collapse, and jeopardized the euro currency. The EU and major governments, with Germany in the lead, rushed to stabilize the banks and the currency, while imposing long-overdue austerity measures on Greece, their tardiness inevitably exacerbating their severity. As Greece must sell its national gas company, Russian Gazprom is ready with the cash and the tactics to win the bidding and impose its terms, over a host of European companies. The creditors demand that Greece sell to the highest bidder, even if this is Gazprom and irrespective of European energy security considerations. It even looks like a European anti-crisis measure made possible by a cash-rich Russia. ********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* Politics: from Vision to Action Barandat Turkey’s Violent Protests in Context Summary The rapid escalation of anti-government protests in Turkey in recent days has exposed a number of long-dormant fault lines in the country’s complex political landscape. But even as the appeal of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (also known by its Turkish acronym, AKP) is beginning to erode, it will remain a powerful force in Turkish politics for some time to come, with its still-significant base of support throughout the country and the lack of a credible political alternative in the next elections. Analysis The foundation for the current unrest was laid May 28, when a small group of mostly young environmentalists gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square for a sit-in to protest a planned demolition of walls, uprooting of trees and the perceived desecration of historical sites in the square’s Gezi Park. The initially peaceful demonstration turned violent the night of May 30, when police tried to break up what had grown to more than 100 protesters. The environmental protesters were joined the next day by high-level representatives of the Justice and Development Party’s main opposition, the secular Republican People’s Party (known as CHP). The message of the protests soon evolved from saving Gezi Park’s trees to condemning Erdogan and his party for a litany of complaints. Anti-government chants included „Down with the dictator,“ „Tayyip, resign,“ and „Unite against fascism.“ The protests grew rapidly when the weekend began, with more than 10,000 people gathering in Taksim Square on June 1. Many of these made their way to the square from the district of Kadikoy, a Republican People’s Party stronghold on the Asian side of Istanbul, by walking across the Bosphorus Bridge banging pots and pans in defiance of laws against pedestrian use of the bridge. Some reportedly threw Molotov cocktails, fireworks and stones at police, prompting the use of tear gas and water cannons on the protesters. However, this quickly drew condemnation, leading the government to temporarily withdraw police at the cost of allowing more protesters to gather. Erdogan’s response was defiant. While admitting excessive force by the police and ordering an investigation of the matter, he said that he would not give in to „wild extremists“ who belong to an „ideological“ as opposed to „environmental“ movement and that he would bring out a million supporters from his party for every 100,000 protesters. The same night, riots broke out and some 5,000 protesters threw stones at the prime minister’s office in the Besiktas neighborhood in Istanbul. On the morning of June 2, heavy rains kept protesters away from Taksim Square save for a few dozen who huddled around bonfires. More protesters made their way back to the square in the afternoon while Erdogan made another defiant speech blaming the Republican People’s Party for the unrest and vowing to proceed with the development plans. Clashes between police and protesters have resumed, and close to 1,000 people have been detained and dozens injured. Erdogan’s Limits The size and scope of the protests must be kept in perspective. By the end of June 1, protests had reportedly spread to Izmir, Eskisehir, Mugla, Yalova, Antalya, Bolu, Adana, Ankara, Kayseri and Konya. Many of the areas where protests were reported are also areas where the Republican People’s Party would be expected to bring out a large number of supporters. Konya, Kayseri and Ankara, strong sources of support for the Justice and Development Party, were notable exceptions. The largest protests, in Istanbul and Izmir, brought out predominantly young protesters in the tens of thousands. The protests would be highly significant if they grow to the hundreds of thousands, include a wider demographic and geographically extend to areas with traditionally strong support for the ruling party. The protests so far do not indicate that Erdogan’s party is at serious or imminent risk of losing its grip on power, but they do reveal limits to the prime minister’s political ambitions. Erdogan is attempting to extract votes from a slow-moving and highly fragile peace process with the Kurdistan Workers‘ Party to help him get enough support for a constitutional referendum. The referendum would transform Turkey from a parliamentary system to a presidential system and thus enable Erdogan, whose term as prime minister expires in 2015, to continue leading Turkey as president beyond 2014, when presidential elections are scheduled. The sight of protesters from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (known as the BDP) joining Republican People’s Party supporters for the June 1 protests does not bode well for Erdogan’s plan to rely on those votes in the constitutional referendum. Though the Justice and Development Party, which remains highly popular with Turkey’s more conservative populace in the Anatolian interior, so far does not face a credible political contender for the October local elections or 2015 parliamentary elections, Erdogan’s political maneuvering to become president will face more resistance. The ruling party’s main secular opposition is alarmed at Erdogan’s policies that compromise the core founding principles of the state as defined by Kemal Ataturk. From social measures that ban the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m. to foreign policy measures that have Turkey trying to mold and influence Islamist rebel groups in Syria, these are policies that directly undermine the Ataturkian mandate that Turkey must remain secular and avoid overextending itself beyond the republic’s borders. But the growing dissent against the party is not a simple Islamist-secular divide, either. A perception has developed among a growing number of Turks that the party is pursuing an aggressive form of capitalism that defies environmental considerations as well as Islamic values. Within business circles, frustration is building over the number of concessions handed out to Erdogan’s closest allies. Rising Dissent The polarization of the state could be plainly seen in the reporting of the Gezi Park protests. The protests appear to have emboldened once critical newspapers such as Hurriyet to reassume an anti-ruling party stance unseen in the recent years of Erdogan’s media taming. Hurriyet has broadcast Erdogan’s „defeat“ with headlines such as „Erdogan no longer almighty.“ On the other end of the political spectrum, the state-funded news agency Anatolia is reporting the protests as a „brawl“ between police and firework-throwing youth extremists, while stressing a democratic message that the government permitted the Republican People’s Party to demonstrate in Taksim. Far more interesting is reporting from the Justice and Development Party’s traditional sources of support. Yeni Safak, a newspaper close to the ruling party, has condemned the park project and sympathized with the protesters. The same was seen in Zaman newspaper, run by followers of the moderate Islamist Gulen movement. The Gulenists form a crucial component of the ruling party’s broader support base but also keep their distance from the ruling party. The movement has been increasingly critical of Erdogan, strongly suggesting that he and his party have become too powerful. Editorials from the newspaper admonished Erdogan for his „excessive“ behavior and sided with the protesters. Though dissent is rising, Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party still have a substantial support base, and the opposition continues to lack a credible political alternative (local elections scheduled for October likely will indicate how much support for the party has waned). At the same time, Turkey is pursuing a highly ambitious agenda abroad, from negotiating peace with Kurdish militants and developing oil pipelines in Iraqi Kurdistan to trying to fend off Syrian-backed militant attacks. Turkey was already highly constrained in pursuing these foreign policy goals, but they will take second place to Turkey’s growing political distractions at home as Erdogan prioritizes the growing domestic challenges and as foreign adversaries such as Syria try to take advantage of preoccupied Turkish security forces to try to sponsor more attacks inside Turkey. ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** RAND: Iran’s 2013 Presidential Election Its Meaning and ImplicationsIran’s June 14, 2013, election will take place in the shadow of the turbulent 2009 presidential election, after which Iran witnessed the largest protests since the 1979 revolution. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, keen to prevent a replay of 2009, are attempting to „engineer“ the election in order ensure a loyal president. Khamenei has marginalized the reformists and suppressed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his preferred candidate, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei. Other prominent candidates, such as Ali Akbar Velayati, Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, are closely aligned with Khamenei. The postelection period in Iran may result in a period of reduced tensions with the international community (if there is an orderly and undisputed election), especially since the provocative Ahmadinejad will no longer be president. But any change in Iran’s nuclear position will be decided by Khamenei — who theoretically could use the new government as a cover for possible concessions, although it is more likely his monopolization of power and the election of a loyal president will make Iran even less flexible on the nuclear issue, particularly if Tehran views diplomatic negotiations as not providing a face-saving way out of the nuclear crisis. The author seeks to examine the meaning and implications of the 2013 presidential election — specifically, Khamenei’s objectives, the regime’s electoral strategy, the competing factions and personalities, and the potential implications for the United States, especially concerning Iran’s nuclear program. ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ Middle East UAE is largest Mideast base for Total Company marks 75 years in UAE with ADCO licence coming up for renewal in 2014Abu Dhabi June 2013 The UAE has emerged as the largest operations base for Total of France in the Middle East and the company is set to mark 75 years of presence in the country coinciding with the upcoming renewal of ADCO concession next year. Total , one of the world’s largest oil firms, said it is involved in eight hydrocarbon ventures in the UAE with a 2012 equity production of 248,000 boe-day. „We are most active in the UAE, where we are present in E&P, LNG, petrochemicals and solar power,“ the company said in papers presented at a recent seminar in Paris. „We are also heavily integrated in Qatar, with operations spanning E&P, LNG, refining and petrochemicals; in fact, we just signed an agreement on April 21 to expand operations at the Ras Laffan refinery…we have been present there for 76 years.“ The third country for Total in the region is Yemen, where it is present in oil production and LNG and recently marked 26 years of operations. In Oman it has equity in projects of the state oil producer PDO, Oman LNG, and there are other projects in the pipeline. The company said it is has representative offices in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kuwait and it is also operating in Syria and in the downstream sector in Jordan and Lebanon. „We have been active in the UAE since 1939… our 75th anniversary coincides with the renewal of the ADCO licence in 2014. We are partners in eight ventures including the offshore oil and gas development Total Abu Al Bukhoosh (where we produce 0.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day on behalf of ADNOC and 10,000 b/d of crude; we have a 75% shareholding and are the field operator working with INPEX of Japan),“ it said. The company said Total ABK is the first field in the world where Total has used full field gas-lift technology, adding that it is also an example of exceptionally high recovery rates on the oil side (50%+ from some reservoirs). „This capability in mature field development is an important consideration as we look to continue our partnership with Abu Dhabi in the future.“ It said Total has a 9.5% stake in ADCO, and 13.3 stake in the ADMA-OPCO company whose offshore licence comes up for renewal in 2018 along with the licence for Total ABK. It is also partners in GASCO, a venture extracting added value from Abu Dhabi’s condensates production, noting that its relationship with GASCO was extended for 30 years three years ago. „We are also partners in ADGAS, the first LNG project in the region, on Das Island. The role of ADGAS will inevitably evolve now that Abu Dhabi is a net importer of natural gas, chiefly for field reinjection,“ the company said. It said other flagship projects in the UAE include Dolphin Energy; the Taweelah electricity and desalinated water plant; the fertiliser production complex Fertil; and the recently inaugurated Shams 1, the largest CSP plant in operation in the world. Turning to its worldwide operations, Total said it holds around 11.4 billion barrels of proven hydrocarbon reserves, or 1P reserves. Its other resources account for four times the volume of 1P reserves, it said, adding that its resources are also evenly distributed around the world. „We have the most diverse operations and resource portfolio among the main oil and gas companies, with a foothold in every continent. We also have a balanced presence in the main technological segments, between liquids, deep offshore, heavy oil and conventional gas. Our products portfolio is also balanced.“ Total noted that its exploration strategy has become bolder but it carries more potential. It said that in 2013 it has 16 ‚elephant‘ projects under way, a record, and this year it will drill 7 billion barrels of ‚risked exploration potential‘. „Our annual investment in exploration has increased, from $1.5 billion to $2.8 billion….we expect 3% production growth overall between 2011 and 2015 to reach 3 mbpd by 2017… 90% of 2017 potential is already in production or being developed.“ The papers showed Total ’s average Middle East production is around 550,000 b/d in 2013, or 25% of the company’s total global production. „The Middle East is one of six global regions in the Total portfolio and our E&P operations in the region have 1,500 employees. When we talk of the Middle East, we refer to the Gulf states, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Iraq and Syria; Egypt falls outside and we have no production at this time in Iran.“ Total said it remained strongly committed to health, safety and the environment, noting that it works to assess and minimise risks, to mitigate incidents when they occur. The company said its performance on HSE has improved, with total recordable incidents rate per 1 million man hours standing at only 1.3. „This is low and is being achieved amidst growing activity across the Group…. we expect to deliver 200 million man hours in 2013. However, our HSE performance can be improved further. In terms of reducing environmental impacts, for example, we aim to half natural gas flaring between 2007 and 2014 and increase the energy efficiency of our operations,“ the company said. Turning to hydrocarbon resources in the world, Total estimated them at around 3.500 billion barrels, or 100 years of supply at present consumption levels. An estimated total of 1,200 billion barrels of oil have been produced to date, it said. „Looking at ‚probable‘ reserves only, there is 35 years of oil supply at current production rates… but if you add the likely reserves as a result of improved recovery techniques, tight oil and shale oil and as yet unfound resources, there is another 80 years of supply at current production rates.“ It estimated natural gas reserves at 2500 billion barrels but noted that the gas equation has changed immensely due to unconventional resources, such as shale gas and tight gas. Around 600 billion barrels of natural gas have been produced so far, and 130 years of supply remain at today’s production levels, Total said, adding that unconventional gas accounts for nearly 1,600 billion barrels of future production. “ Hydrocarbon resources may be substantial but there remains the challenge of producing these reserves. Comparing total output in 2005 with 2010 shows that oil production has actually declined by around 35 million b/d due to oilfields maturing; another 50 million b/d of production, therefore, has to be found and brought to market, equivalent to 250 large projects or ‚five Saudi Arabias‘,“ Total said. „Huge investment is needed in oil production between now and 2025. A significant amount of this production will come from unconventional resources. The high production of resources needed requires a break-even crude price of at least $90….significant investment in oil production is necessary because of the volume needed and because consumer prices and operating costs have more than doubled.“****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************Massenbach’sRecommendation Bürgerkrieg in Syrien: Perspektiven aufzeigen Die Nachkriegsordnung in Syrien funktioniert nur mit Sicherheitsgarantien für alle Bevölkerungsgruppen. Zudem sollten die internationalen Kriegsparteien auf ein Waffenembargo verpflichtet werden, meint Islamwissenschaftler Patrick Franke. Allen scheint klar zu sein, dass sich das, was in Syrien als Aufstand gegen ein totalitäres Regime begonnen hat, zu einem Bürgerkrieg mit konfessionellem Anstrich entwickelt hat. Nicht nur Alawiten, Schiiten und Sunniten sind daran beteiligt, auch die anderen konfessionellen und religiösen Minderheiten Syriens, darunter viele Christen, sind in diesen Konflikt hineingezogen worden. Wer Syrien kennt, weiß, dass es sich auf religiöser Ebene um ein kleinteiliges Puzzle handelt: Auch verschiedene andere heterodoxe Gruppen wie Drusen, Ismailiten und Jesiden leben hier. Aus dem Schutz dieser religiösen Minderheiten vor »radikalen« Muslimen bezieht das Assad-Regime noch immer einen nicht unwesentlichen Teil seiner Legitimation. Die religiöse Rhetorik einiger der aufständischen Gruppen scheinen ihm Recht zu geben. Nicht von Demokratie ist bei ihnen die Rede, sondern vornehmlich von einem islamischen Staat. Die Angst vor der Zeit nach dem Sturz Assads ist es, die viele Menschen dazu bringt, dem Regime treu bleiben, das hört man von allen, die Kontakte nach Syrien haben. Was haben die Alawiten selbst zu erwarten? Kollektive Todesdrohungen gegen sie waren schon mehrfach in diesem Krieg zu hören. Der Hass gegen die Alawiten hat dabei eine lange Tradition. Der bei Salafisten beliebte Gelehrte Ibn Taimiyya urteilte im 14. Jahrhundert, dass die Nusairier, so der alte Name der Alawiten, als häretische Apostaten schlimmer seien als Christen, Juden oder heidnische Mongolen, da sie mit ihren esoterischen Lehren den Islam von innen her ausgehöhlt hätten. Auf dieser Grundlage forderten bereits in den 1980er Jahren Vertreter der sunnitischen Opposition die Liquidation der Alawiten. Da auch die derzeitige Aufstandsbewegung in Syrien mit Salafisten durchsetzt ist, wird verständlich, dass für die Gemeinschaft der Alawiten, die keinesfalls immer geschlossen hinter dem Assad-Regime stand, der Sturz dieses Regimes heute keine attraktive Perspektive ist. Die alawitischen Siedlungsgebiete beschränken sich nicht auf das syrische Küstengebirge Hinzu kommt, dass die alawitischen Regionen Syriens, wie Studien aus den letzten Jahren gezeigt haben, wirtschaftlich vollkommen abhängig sind von den Positionen, die Alawiten in Militär und Regierung bekleiden. Andere wirtschaftliche Ressourcen gibt es dort kaum. Auf die Tatsache, dass der Syrien-Konflikt zu einem konfessionellen Bürgerkrieg geworden ist, muss auch die politische Verhandlungsführung reagieren. Anders als zum Beispiel im Jemen, wo es allein darum ging, einen uneinsichtigen Präsidenten zum Machtverzicht zu bewegen, muss in Syrien eine akzeptable Lebensperspektive für die gesamte alawitische Gemeinschaft und auch die anderen in Syrien ansässigen konfessionellen und religiösen Minderheiten entwickelt werden. Hierbei muss auch die starke geographische Aufsplitterung dieser Gemeinschaften berücksichtigt werden. So beschränken sich zum Beispiel die alawitischen Siedlungsgebiete keinesfalls auf das syrische Küstengebirge, vielmehr umfassen sie auch mehrere große alawitische Enklaven im syrischen Landesinneren, die sich von dem Gebiet von Hama über Homs und Damaskus bis in den Golan erstrecken. Dies erklärt auch, warum gerade in dem Gebiet von Homs die Kämpfe so heftig ausfallen (man denke an das Massaker von Hula im Mai 2012 und jetzt Al-Qusayr). Homs ist der Korridor, der die nördlichen und die südlichen alawitischen Siedlungsgebiete miteinander verbindet. Nur wenn es gelingt, am Verhandlungstisch eine Nachkriegsordnung zu entwickeln, die für alle beteiligten Kriegsparteien attraktiver ist als der derzeitige Zustand, ist ein Ende dieses Konfliktes zu erwarten. Da die Kriegsparteien mittlerweile einen konfessionellen Charakter erhalten haben, müssen die konfessionellen Fragen auch auf den Verhandlungstisch. Wichtig ist zum Beispiel, dass in internationalen Dokumenten jeglicher konfessionellen Propaganda in diesem Konflikt die Legitimation entzogen wird. Außerdem muss der Frage des religiösen Minderheitenschutzes in den Verhandlungen größere Aufmerksamkeit geschenkt werden. Eine Konfliktlösung auf internationaler Ebene wird nicht ohne Iran, Saudi-Arabien und Katar auskommen Auch die ökonomische Absicherung der verschiedenen Bevölkerungsgruppen Syriens sollte in die Überlegungen zur Lösung des Konfliktes einbezogen werden. Um einen jahrelangen blutigen Verteilungskampf um kleinste Parzellen an den Grenzen zwischen den konfessionell definierten Siedlungsgebieten zu verhindern, müssen eventuell Karten mit festen Grenzziehungen ausgearbeitet werden. Schließlich muss auf politischer Ebene über Alternativen nachgedacht werden: Das libanesische Modell mit politischen Ämtern und Parlamentssitzen, die bestimmten Konfessionen fest zugeordnet sind, könnte eine Option sein. Nur wenn für die konfessionellen und religiösen Minderheiten in Syrien eine Zukunftsperspektive besteht, die attraktiver ist als die jetzige Situation, kann erwartet werden, dass der Rückhalt für das Assad-Regime bröckelt. Da sich Iran auf der einen, und Saudi-Arabien und Katar auf der anderen Seite mittlerweile zu Schutzmächten der beiden konfessionell definierten Kriegsparteien (Alawiten und Schiiten versus Sunniten) entwickelt haben, ist eine Konfliktlösung auf internationaler Ebene wahrscheinlich nicht mehr möglich, ohne diese Staaten in die Verhandlungen über die Zukunft Syriens einzubeziehen. Nicht auszuschließen ist hierbei, dass die drei Staaten, die alle eine globale Agenda des Religionsexports verfolgen, auf diese Weise die Möglichkeit erhalten, die betreffenden konfessionellen Gemeinschaften noch stärker an sich binden. Um damit verbundene gesellschaftliche Probleme gering zu halten, sollte bei den internationalen Verhandlungen möglichst genau festgelegt werden, in welchem Umfang sich die drei Staaten zukünftig in die inneren Angelegenheiten Syriens einmischen dürfen. Es muss dringend an einer Nachkriegsordnung gearbeitet werden, mit der sich die Menschen in Syrien für den Frieden gewinnen lassen. Mit weiteren Waffenlieferungen nach Syrien ist dagegen niemandem geholfen, vielmehr wird dadurch der Konflikt nur weiter angeheizt und das Leiden der Bevölkerung verlängert. Dies haben erfreulicherweise in den letzten Tagen auch die USA erkannt und an alle Staaten appelliert, von Waffenlieferungen nach Syrien abzusehen. Am günstigsten wäre wohl ein internationales Waffen-Embargo, auf das alle auswärtigen Akteure verpflichtet werden müssten. Alleine auf diese Weise ließe sich der Konflikt austrocknen. Das Argument, dass ein derartiges Embargo nur schwer durchzusetzen ist, verliert angesichts der drohenden internationalen Eskalation des Konflikts an Gewicht. Patrick Franke ist Inhaber des Lehrstuhls für Islamwissenschaft an der Universität Bamberg. Nach seiner Promotion im Fach Islamwissenschaft 1999 in Bonn, lehrte er u.a. in Hamburg, Leipzig, Halle und Jena. ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** Asia Times: Meet the ‚Friends of Jihad‘ By Pepe Escobar Western politicos love to shed swamps of crocodile tears about „the Syrian people“ and congratulate themselves within the „Friends of Syria“ framework for defending them from „tyranny“. Well, the „Syrian people“ have spoken. Roughly 70% support the government of Bashar al-Assad. Another 20% are neutral. And only 10% are aligned with the Western-supported „rebels“, including those of the kidnapping, lung-eating, beheading jihadi kind. The data was provided mostly by independent relief organizations working in Syria. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) received a detailed report in late May – but, predictably, was not too keen on releasing it. As Asia Times Online has been stressing for months, the Sunni business classes in Damascus and Aleppo are either neutral or pro-Assad. And most Sunnis now regard the gangs of foreign mercenaries weaponized by Qatar and the House of Saud as way more repellent than Assad. Meanwhile, in Britain – where David of Arabia Cameron remains gung ho on a no-fly zone to protect the „Syrian people“ – only 24% of Britons are in favor of further weaponizing the „rebels“ (although 58% support humanitarian aid). And at a rally in Doha, perennial al-Jazeera star and Muslim Brotherhood icon Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi – now pontificating at Al-Azhar in Cairo – has called for a jihad of all Sunni Muslims against Damascus. As he also branded Hezbollah as „the party of Satan“ and condemned Iran for „pushing forward arms and men to back the Syrian regime“. He has in fact condoned a jihad of Muslims against Muslims, even though he insisted his call to fight Hezbollah is „not against all Shi’ites“. Still al-Qaradawi also said, „How could 100 million Shi’ites defeat 1.7 billion [Sunnis]?“ Only because [Sunni] Muslims are weak“. It’s more than implied that Shi’ites are the enemy. So who cares what the „Syrian people“ might think? The Western „Friends of Syria“ could not have found a more willing golden patsy to promote their usual, self-fulfilling Divide and Rule gambit – the Sunni-Shi’ite divide. It’s always handy to have dysfunctional GCC petro-monarchies posing as „liberators“ so the West once again may conduct a proxy war „leading from behind“. In other news, where’s Evelyn Waugh when you need him? It’s Scoop all over again, with Syria replacing a „promising“ war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia and every hack in the Western world doing a remix of the Daily Beast, proclaiming Assad’s imminent demise because, well, we’re with the rebels and we have decided they are going to win. Those infidel missiles As it stands, the Geneva II negotiations promoted by Washington and Moscow seem to be as good as six feet under (although they are getting together today to define the framework). The European Union has lifted its arms embargo on Syria – a move that was essentially a Franco-British delirium that went over the heads of reluctant EU members. It had to be Britain and France, of course, the two former imperial powers that almost a century ago carved up a line in the sand dividing the Levant and now want a redesign. This would mean, in practice, that the EU has declared war on Damascus. Well, sort of. Under the EU agreement, no weaponizing will go on before autumn. And the belligerent Franco-British duo has to make sure any weapons are used only to protect civilians. Who will supervise this – a bunch of Brussels bureaucrats in army fatigues? Well, they can always revert to default – ask for American help. Every grain of sand in the Levant knows the CIA is „assisting“ Qatar and Saudi Arabia to weaponize the „rebels“. And then there’s the distinct possibility that Britain may have acted, once again, as an American Fifth Column inside the EU, paving the road for a possible Obama administration „all options are on the table“ intervention. Russian President Vladimir Putin checkmated the EU – and the US – in no time. Yes, those famous S-300 missile systems are coming to Damascus, and soon. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the missiles were a stabilizing factor in Syria that would dissuade schemes by „hotheads“. He also stressed – correctly – that the EU may just have bombed the planned Geneva talks. Former Russian Air Force General Anatoliy Kornukov told Interfax-AVN Online that Damascus would need at least 10 battalions of S-300 air defense missile systems to fully protect its territory from a possible NATO attack. [1] In this case, there’s no way a no-fly zone – a Franco-British wet dream – can be imposed. Each S-300 surface-to-air missile system consists of a radar-equipped command post and up to six 5Zh15 missiles. It would take only a month to train Syrians to operate them. Kornukov observed, „Our systems can be deployed within five minutes.“ And they’re almost impossible to jam. What are the „Friends of Syria“ going to do about that? Call another meeting? Time for al-Qaradawi to go on al-Jazeera and upgrade his jihad to include Russian missiles (after all these are infidel weapons). Why not set an example and volunteer himself to the front line? Note: 1. See here. Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. He also wrote Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at **********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************see our letter on: Wir wünschen Ihnen ein angenehmes Wochenende. Ihr Team. *****************************************************************************************************************Udo von Massenbach – Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster – Jörg

RAND_PE109-Iran’s 2013 Presidential Election.pdf