Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 05/07/13

Massenbach-Letter

Udo von Massenbach

Egypt: Persistent Issues Undermine Stability

Guten Morgen.

„Very many and very meritorious were the worthy patriots who assisted in bringing back our government to its republican tack.
To preserve it in that, will require unremitting vigilance.“

–Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Berry, 1822

Massenbach * The big energy game in Mediterranean

The British Petroleum company announced on June 28 that the natural gas from Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea fields of Shah Deniz will be connected to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) via the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) for European markets. This project is likely to kill Nabucco softly.

This will be the first big project to pump Caspian basin gas directly to the industrial centers of Europe, bypassing the needs for shipment and expensive liquidification stations. The 1,730-kilometer TANAP is planned to carry Azeri gas across Turkey to the border with Greece. Set to be coupled with the already-existing InterConnector line to the 870-kilometer long TAP, it will be carried (crossing Albania, too) to the San Foca terminal of Adriatic Italy. For a start, by 2020 some 16 billion cubic meters will be pumped from Baku. Turkey is planning to buy 10 bcm of it to diversify its sources of energy, as an alternative to Russian gas. The capacity of the line is expected to rise gradually to 31 bcm by 2026.

Azerbaijan has been making considerable energy investments in its close partner Turkey, buying oil refineries, and constructing new ones on top of an already-existing (again BP-operated) pipeline carrying oil from Baku through Tiblisi to Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan; which is just next to NATO’s İncirlik Air Base that hosts one of the biggest U.S. military presences in the region.

Well, people talk about the Adriatic Sea and Aegean Sea, but they are all parts of the Mediterranean around which the Old World civilization was formed.

In other parts of the Mediterranean, another, a more tense part of the energy game is going on. Syria has been in a civil war for the last two years, escalating the tension in the East Mediterranean further. The term East Mediterranean includes still-unsettled Egypt, which hosts a major energy channel – the Suez – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece in the north and the island of Cyprus right in the middle of everything.

Off the shores of Cyprus and Israel, new and reportedly new gas fields have been discovered. The Greek Cypriot government, ignoring Turks’ calls to make use of all (including their) resources together, opened tenders to produce and sell the gas to Europe, also as a cure to its bankrupt economy. Turkey, on the other hand, announced that it will blacklist all companies cooperating with the Greek Cypriot gas project from Turkish energy projects; that vow became real for Italian Eni, which actually built the “Blue Stream” gas pipeline under the Black Sea carrying Russian gas to Turkey.

Israel wants to carry its gas to European markets. They know that the shortest route is a pipeline via Turkey, especially after the U.S. made economic use of shale gas, which made LNG terminals and shipping costs more deterrent. Israelis also know that when their government pays the compensation sourcing from an apology for killing nine Turks in 2010 and the politics is back on track, there is no obstacle to that project.

But the Greek Cypriots insist on building an LNG terminal and invite Israel to contribute, which might make things more complicated with Turkey. Another Greek Cypriot project is to build a pipeline under the Mediterranean to mainland Greece with the support of the European Union. The distance between Cyprus and mainland Greece is approximately 850 kilometers as the crow flies (distances to Greek islands are no less: 450 kilometers to Rhodes, 550 kilometers to Crete). The distance between Turkey and Cyprus is 70 kilometers.

But that is not the whole story. As the situation in Syria deteriorates, Russia has started to evacuate the personnel from its military base in the Tartus port of Syria, which has been its only one in the whole region. On
the other hand Moscow sent a part of its Pacific Fleet to the East Mediterranean to be a “permanent” power there. Russian ships are now anchored at the Limassol and Baphos ports of Greek Cyprus, a member of the EU. The Russians have asked the Greek Cypriot government to ink a military deal with them similar to the one Nicosia signed with Germany, another EU member, and also a member of NATO. (Yes, the Germans have an exclusive military agreement with the Greek Cypriots, which also explains the rising German pressure on Turkey regarding Cyprus.)

As more Azeri gas and oil start to feed the energy needs of Europe, despite the competition from the Russians, Iranians and Arabs in a few years, there is likely to be more presence of the American 6th Fleet in the East Mediterranean.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/the-big-energy-game-in-mediterranean.aspx?pageID=238&nid=49682&NewsCatID=409

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Policy = res publica

Bärbel Freudenberg-PilsterFreudenberg-Pilster * Prism, Tempora und Co.: Es geht um unsere Freiheit

Ingolstadt (dk) Der DONAUKURIER und seine Heimatzeitungen erscheinen am Samstag, 29. Juni 2013, statt mit einer regulären Titelseite mit einem offenen Brief an Bundes- und Landtags-abgeordnete auf der Seite 1. Hintergrund ist die massive Überwachung auch deutscher Bürger durch ausländische Geheimdienste wie den NSA und das GCHQ.

Prism, Tempora und Co.: DONAUKURIER Titelseite offener Brief an die Bundes- und Landtagsabgeordneten

Am 3. November 2007 erschienen der DONAUKURIER und seine Heimatzeitungen mit einer schwarzen Titelseite. Die Aufmachung war ein Protest gegen das damals geplante Gesetz zur Vorratsdatenspeicherung, das nach unserer Ansicht viel zu wenig Rücksicht auf den Schutz der Privatsphäre nahm. Im März 2010 erklärte das Bundesverfassungsgericht das Gesetz für verfassungswidrig und nichtig.

Die schwarze Titelseite fand seinerzeit große Beachtung und spielte sogar bei einer Bundestagsdebatte eine Rolle. Angesichts dessen, was wir jetzt dank Edward Snowden über die Praktiken amerikanischer und britischer Geheimdienste wissen, erscheint die nach wie vor umstrittene Gesetzesvorlage zur Vorratsdatenspeicherung aber kaum noch von Belang. Offenbar verfügen Geheimdienste und andere Sicherheitsbehörden über viel wirksamere Methoden, Bürger ohne jeden Verdachtsmoment zu überwachen: Sie holen sich die Informationen bei Internetfirmen wie Facebook und Google ab oder zapfen die Glasfaserkabel an, die die Daten und Signale rund um die Welt transportieren.

Umso erstaunlicher, wie zaghaft die Bundesregierung auf die Enthüllungen des früheren amerikanischen Geheimdienstmannes Snowden reagierte. Kanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) schweigt. Innenminister Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU), ein ausgewiesener Anhänger von Überwachung, hielt Kritikern in einem Interview eine „Mischung aus Antiamerikanismus und Naivität“ vor. Weiß er noch, was er sagt?

Immerhin fand Bundesjustizministerin Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger deutliche Worte. Die FDP-Politikerin, die bis heute ein neues Gesetz zur Vorratsdatenspeicherung verhindert hat, kritisierte die Geheimdienste scharf und forderte in zwei Briefen Aufklärung von der britischen Regierung. Sie wurde mit der Antwort abgefertigt, sie möge sich doch direkt an die Geheimdienste wenden.

Aus Sorge um Freiheit und Privatsphäre hat sich die DK-Redaktion abermals dazu entschlossen, mit einer ungewöhnlichen Titelseite auf das hoch brisante Thema aufmerksam zu machen.

Was halten Sie von unserer Aktion? Schreiben Sie uns Ihre Meinung. Wir sind darauf sehr gespannt.

Unser Brief richtet sich vor allem an die Abgeordneten aus unserer Region, deren Namen und offizielle Adressen wir unten auflisten. Wenden Sie sich an Ihre Volksvertreter, wenn Sie meinen, dass diese zu sorglos sind und angesichts der Brisanz des Themas mehr tun müssten!

Die Region in der der Donaukurier erscheint wird in Bundes- und Landtag von folgenden Abgeordneten vertreten:

BUNDESTAG

Reinhard Brandl (CSU)
Unterer Graben 77, 85049 Ingolstadt
reinhard.brandl

Eva Bulling-Schröter (Linke)
Bahnhofstr. 5, 85051 Ingolstadt
eva.bulling-schroeter

Gabriele Fograscher (SPD)
Hindenburgstraße 16, 86609 Donauwörth
gabi-fograscher

Thomas Gambke (Grüne)
Regierungsstr. 545, 84028 Landshut
thomas.gambke

Wolfgang Götzer (CSU)
Weinbergerstr. 2, 93326 Abensberg
wolfgang.goetzer

Gerda Hasselfeldt (CSU)
Apothekergasse 1, 85221 Dachau
gerda.hasselfeldt

Alois Karl (CSU)
Hallertorstraße 16, 92318 Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz
alois.karl

Bärbel Kofler (SPD)
Kniebos 3, 83278 Traunstein
baerbel.kofler

Agnes Krumwiede (Grüne)
Griesbadgasse 6, 85049 Ingolstadt
agnes.krumwiede

Ulrich Lange (CSU)
Baldinger Str. 16, 86720 Nördlingen
ulrich.lange@bundestag.de

Erwin Lotter (FDP)
Freisinger Str. 50, 86551 Aichach
erwin.lotter

Kornelia Möller (Linke)
Spiegelgasse 203 a, 84028 Landshut
kornelia.moeller

Marlene Mortler (CSU)
Münchener Str. 24, 91154 Roth
marlene.mortler

Franz Obermeier (CSU)
Bahnhofstr. 2, 85405 Nandlstadt
franz.obermeier

Eduard Oswald (CSU)
Heilig-Kreuz-Str. 24, 86152 Augsburg
eduard.oswald

Ewald Schurer (SPD)
Hofmarkplatz 4, 85435 Erding
ewald.schurer

Marina Schuster (FDP)
Georg-Jobst-Gasse 22a, 91171 Greding
marina.schuster

Daniel Volk (FDP)
Rindermarkt 6, 80331 München
daniel.volk

LANDTAG

Alex Doro (CSU)
Vorderer Anger 208, 86899 Landsberg
post@alexdorow.de

Andreas Fischer (FDP)
M.-Bronold-Str. 15, 93326 Abensberg
info@mdl-andreasfischer.de

Albert Füracker (CSU)
Hallertorstraße 16, 92318 Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz
albert-fueracker@csu-nm.de

Erika Görlitz (CSU)
Poststr. 3, 85276 Pfaffenhofen
info@erikagoerlitz-mdl.de

Eva Gottstein (FW)
Pfahlstr. 14, 85072 Eichstätt
buero@eva-gottstein.de

Martin Güll (SPD)
Dachauer Str. 16, 85229 Markt Indersdorf
info@martin-guell.de

Christine Haderthauer (CSU)
Unterer Graben 77, 85049 Ingolstadt
c.haderthauer-mdl@gmx.de

Claudia Jung (FW)
Schulstr. 7-9, 85276 Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm
claudia.jung@fw-paf.de

Franz Maget (SPD)
Belgradstr. 15a, 80796 München
franz.maget@arcor.de

Brigitte Meyer (FDP)
Münchener Str. 62, 86415 Mering
brigitte.meyer@fdp-fraktion-bayern.de

Martin Neumeyer (CSU)
Richtstättstr. 5, 93326 Abensberg
info@neumeyer-martin.de

Reinhard Pachner (CSU)
Heimatshausen 5, 86316 Friedberg
Reinhard.Pachner@t-online.de

Markus Reichhardt (FW)
Kupferstr. 3, 85049 Ingolstadt
markus.reichhart@fw-landtag.de

Bernhard Seidenath (CSU),
Apothekergasse 1, 85221 Dachau
info@bernhard-seidenath.de

Simone Stromayr (SPD)
Am Graben 15, 86391 Stadtbergen
info@simone-strohmayr.de

Manfred Weiß (CSU)
Münchener Str. 24, 91154 Roth
dr.manfred.weiss.buergerbuero@t-online.de

Johanna Werner-Muggendorfer (SPD)
Platanenallee 46, 93333 Neustadt
jw-muggendorferspdabgbuero

Achim Werner (SPD)
Unterer Graben 83-87, 85049 Ingolstadt
hans-joachim.werner

http://www.donaukurier.de/nachrichten/digital/datenschutz/Snowden-Prism-Tempora-Prism-Tempora-und-Co-Es-geht-um-unsere-Freiheit;art251975,2778158
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Politics: From Vision to Action
Barandat * THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION AND LIBYA:
REVIEWING OPERATION UNIFIED PROTECTOR

Strategic Studies Institute and U.S. Army War College Press

SUMMARY

On March 17, 2011, 1 month after the beginning of the Libyan revolution and up to 2,000 civilians dead, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) decided to back a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. While France, Great Britain, and the United States took immediate military action using air and missile strikes, considerations to hand the mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) emerged within days of the operation.

On March 22, 2012, NATO agreed to enforce the arms embargo against Libya; 2 days later, it announced it would take over all military aspects of UNSC Resolution (UNSCR) 1973. On March 31, 2012, Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR (OUP) began. For the first time in its history, NATO was at war with an Arab country.

OUP turned out to be one of NATO’s shorter, and seemingly also less controversial, missions. Mandated by both the League of Arab States and the UN as the regime of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi was launching assaults on peacefully demonstrating citizens, the mission had the aim to protect civilians from the air and sea. OUP has thus been described as a success—a success NATO badly needed after its decade-long engagement in Afghanistan. However, the Libyan operation was not without its critics. Described as a “war of choice” rather than a “war of necessity,” it achieved its goals more by accident than by design, according to some commentators.

Yet, the operation also exposed strategic shortcomings, which are analyzed in this monograph.

First, in the public appraisal of the operation, air power was seen as the crucial element in winning the conflict. This view is only partially correct; just as air power works best when integrated with land forces, NATO’s operation was, in part, decided by those forces engaged with the Libyan regime’s forces—although both forces were not truly integrated. Nevertheless, overestimating the impact of air power can mislead decisionmakers in future conflict.

Second, the operation exposed some flaws in NATO’s command structure, which was under reform when the conflict erupted. Joint Force Command Naples (JFC-Naples), in charge of the operation, was not properly equipped for an actual crisis of this dimension, but managed to improvise on a large scale.

Third, the Alliance paid very little attention to Libya’s cultural terrain. They had no cultural advisers on the staff of OUP—no one from Libya nor from any other Arab country. Also, there was no one who was familiar with the local conditions. The improvised advice OUP relied on turned out to be a failure; as officers involved in the campaign admitted, nobody predicted several of the turns the operation took. Given that the ground component was crucial to the mission’s success, cultural advice would have made an important contribution to the general understanding of the situation within Libya as the operation evolved.

Fourth, there was some disconnect between the legal and the political solution of the crisis. As the legal interpretations of UNSCR 1973 made clear, the operation did not seek to topple Qaddafi’s regime, let alone assassinate him. Its sole aim was the protection of civilians in a situation of internal conflict, and therefore it conformed to the norm of “Responsibility to Protect”; yet, against the backdrop of international political pressure, the Alliance’s neutrality and its agenda quickly became a point of discussion.

Fifth, the Libyan regime’s strategic communication proved to be a lot more resilient and creative than NATO’s strategic communication. It succeeded not only in recruiting a public relations firm for this purpose, but managed to escort BBC journalists into a hospital showing corpses of young children supposedly killed in NATO air strikes.

Last, but not least, the aftermath of NATO’s Libya operation was not planned at all, as the Libyan National Transitional Council firmly rejected any military personnel on the ground, even UN observers. As the regime’s security forces had virtually imploded, Libya’s security therefore fell into the hands of the multiple militias, which continued to proliferate after the conflict had ended.

The euphoria over the end of a brutal regime, which lasted 4 decades in Libya, should not disguise the fact that the consequences of OUP are not yet fully visible. It would be a mistake to think that NATO’s Libya adventure ended with the drawdown of the military mission; whether the Alliance likes it or not, its reputation is at stake in Libya’s long reconstruction process.

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Suter * Can the United States Expand Apprenticeship?
Lessons from Experience

Abstract

Can expanded apprenticeship reduce the concerns about the U.S. workforce?

The U.S. labor market faces a rise in unemployment rates, sharp declines in the employed share of U.S. adults, extremely high youth unemployment, high wage inequality, and low or stagnant wage growth for workers below the BA degree. Currently, the primary solution advanced by policymakers – helping more people go to college – is both expensive and of limited effectiveness. Unfortunately, the U.S. policy debate is rarely informed by international experience with systems that prepare young people for careers, especially for technical occupations.

Few if any cite the experience in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria in achieving high levels of income and relatively low levels of earnings inequality without a college graduation rate above the OECD average.

Americans know little about the success of apprenticeship systems abroad nor are they or their political leaders aware of the growth of apprenticeship programs in Australia, England, and other advanced economies.

Given the potential for expanded apprenticeship to deal effectively with skill mismatches, wage inequality, declines in manufacturing employment, and high youth unemployment, why has the U.S. failed to mount a significant apprenticeship initiative?

A number of reports, including the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD 2009) review of youth employment, have recommended expanding apprenticeship training yet failed to stimulate significant action. Apprenticeship training would seem consistent with American values of pragmatism and extensive use of the market and public-private collaborations, and a limited role for government. The paper begins by describing the existing U.S. apprenticeship system, how the system evolved, and measures of its effectiveness. The next sections examine the multiple barriers to expanding apprenticeship in the U.S., highlighting both ideological and practical obstacles. The final section describes how best to take advantage of the opportunities for expansion.

http://ftp.iza.org/pp46.pdf

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Middle East

The Next Phase of the Arab Spring

Analysis

The Arab Spring was an exercise in irony, nowhere more so than in Egypt. On the surface, it appeared to be the Arab equivalent of 1989 in Eastern Europe. There, the Soviet occupation suppressed a broad, if not universal desire for constitutional democracy modeled on Western Europe. The year 1989 shaped a generation’s thinking in the West, and when they saw the crowds in the Arab streets, they assumed that they were seeing Eastern Europe once again.

There were certainly constitutional democrats in the Arab streets in 2011, but they were not the main thrust. Looking back on the Arab Spring, it is striking how few personalities were replaced, how few regimes fell, and how much chaos was left in its wake. The uprising in Libya resulted in a Western military intervention that deposed former leader Moammar Gadhafi and replaced him with massive uncertainty. The uprising in Syria has not replaced Syrian President Bashar al Assad but instead sparked a war between him and an Islamist-dominated opposition. Elsewhere, revolts have been contained with relative ease. The irony of the Arab Spring was that in opening the door for popular discontent, it demonstrated that while the discontent was real, it was neither decisive nor clearly inclined toward constitutional democracy.

This is what makes Egypt so interesting. The Egyptian uprising has always been the most ambiguous even while being cited as the most decisive. It is true that former President Hosni Mubarak fell in 2011. It is also true that elections were held in 2012, when a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s election as president highlighted the reality that a democratic election is not guaranteed to produce a liberal democratic result. In any case, the now-deposed president, Mohammed Morsi, won by only a slim margin and he was severely constrained as to what he could do.

But the real issue in Egypt has always been something else. Though a general was forced out of office in 2011, it was not clear that the military regime did not remain, if not in power, then certainly the ultimate arbiter of power in Egyptian politics. Over the past year, so long as Morsi remained the elected president, the argument could be made that the military had lost its power. But just as we argued that the fall of Hosni Mubarak had been engineered by the military in order to force a succession that the aging Mubarak resisted, we can also argue that while the military had faded into the background, it remained the decisive force in Egypt.

Modern Egypt was founded in 1952 in a military coup by Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser. Nasser was committed to modernizing Egypt, and he saw the army as the only real instrument of modernization. He was a secularist committed to the idea that Arab nations ought to be united, but not Islamist by any means. He was a socialist, but not a communist. Above all else, he was an Egyptian army officer committed to the principle that the military guaranteed the stability of the Egyptian nation.

When the uprisings of the Arab Spring came, Nasser’s successors used the unrest to force Mubarak out, and then they stepped back. It is interesting to consider whether they would have been content to retain their institutional position under a Muslim Brotherhood-led government. However, Morsi never really took control of the machinery of government, partly because he was politically weak, partly because the Muslim Brotherhood was not ready to govern, and partly because the military never quite let go.

This dynamic culminated in the demonstrations of this „Egyptian Summer.“ The opposition leadership appears to support constitutional democracy. Whether the masses in the streets do as well or whether they simply dislike the Muslim Brotherhood is difficult to tell, but we suspect their interests are about food and jobs more than about the principles of liberalism. Still, there was an uprising, and once again the military put it to use.

In part, the military did not want to see chaos, and it saw itself as responsible for averting it. In part, the military distrusted the Muslim Brotherhood and was happy to see it forced out of office. As in 2011, the army acted overtly to maintain order and simultaneously to shape the Egyptian political order. They deposed Morsi, effectively replacing him with a more secular and overtly liberal leadership.

But what must be kept in mind is that, just as in 2011, when the military was willing to pave the way for Morsi, so too is it now paving the way for his opposition. And this is the crucial point — while Egypt is increasingly unstable, the army is shaping what order might come out of it. The military is less interested in the ideology of the government than in containing chaos. Given this mission, it does not see itself as doing more than stepping back. It does not see itself as letting go.

The irony of the Egyptian Arab Spring is that while it brought forth new players, it has not changed the regime or the fundamental architecture of Egyptian politics. The military remains the dominant force, and while it is prepared to shape Egypt cleverly, what matters is that it will continue to shape Egypt.

Therefore, while it is legitimate to discuss a military coup, it is barely legitimate to do so. What is going on is that there is broad unhappiness in Egypt that is now free to announce its presence. This unhappiness takes many ideological paths, as well as many that have nothing to do with ideology. Standing on stage with the unhappiness is the military, manipulating, managing and containing it. Everyone else, all of the politicians, come and go, playing a short role and moving on — the military and the crowd caught in a long, complex and barely comprehensible dance.

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Egypt: Persistent Issues Undermine Stability *

Summary

Egypt’s crisis goes much deeper than the recent political chaos. With the leader of the Supreme Constitutional Court taking over the presidency at the behest of the military, the new government will likely represent a coalition of interests facing many of the same challenges that brought about Mohammed Morsi’s downfall. Egypt’s population has grown well beyond the means of the state to support its needs, and even a strong state will struggle to ensure sufficient supplies of basic staples, particularly fuel and wheat.

Analysis

Underlying the question of what political structure will emerge from this week’s crisis, the fundamental fact is that Egypt is running out of money. Dwindling foreign reserves point to a negative balance of payments that is sapping central bank resources. At the same time, Egypt’s reliance on foreign supplies of fuel and wheat is only growing. Egyptian petroleum production peaked in 1996 and the country first became a net importer in 2007. Government fuel subsidies are an enormous burden on state finances and, throughout the past year, failures to pay suppliers and a shortage of foreign exchange available to importers have caused supply shortfalls and price spikes throughout the country.

The government has a few options, including backing off subsidies in hopes that higher prices will help reduce consumption and therefore cut down on the net drain on state finances. That route carries a high risk of a major political backlash, so it is more likely that the government will continue, if not increase, its commitment to using state funds to guarantee sufficient supply and low prices.

The second major challenge stems from Egypt’s extreme vulnerability to international food markets. Though dire warnings of food shortages have been frequent in the media, they have not yet appeared with any significant frequency within Egypt. However, this is not to say that they will not eventually appear. Bread is a staple of the Egyptian diet, and Egypt relies on imports for more than half of its wheat consumption. Although farmland within Egypt is increasingly dedicated to growing wheat, there is simply not enough arable land for Egypt to feed its population.

In fact, although Egypt is a vast country geographically, most of it is uninhabitable desert. Population growth is accelerating in Egypt’s densely packed urban centers, threatening to worsen these underlying challenges. Population growth in 2012 hit its highest levels since 1991, reaching 32 births per 1,000 people and bringing the country’s population to 84 million, according to initial government estimates. This represents an increase of 50 percent from 1990, when the population was just 56 million. Egypt’s fertility rate is currently 2.9 children per woman and is expected to remain above the replacement ratio of 2.1 for at least the next two decades. As a result, the United Nations projects the Egyptian population to exceed 100 million by 2030. This means that Egypt will have a growing pool of young people of working age in the coming decades, creating substantial challenges for the Egyptian state to provide them with economic opportunities, or at the least sufficient basic goods.

Ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak faced similar problems, and growing poverty and joblessness are arguably among the root causes of the uprising in 2011 that unseated him. The wave of protests that challenged Morsi, who became the first democratically elected president in the country’s history, should be understood as a continuation of this swelling trend. While previous governments in Egypt have been able to leverage strategic rent from foreign countries interested in maintaining stability in Egypt, which is the linchpin between the Middle East and North Africa and the manager of the Suez Canal, the country has become increasingly peripheral to the strategic needs of major powers.

As a result, although Egypt has been able to secure some limited funding from regional players such as Qatar, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Libya, it remains locked in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund over some broader, more sustainable financial relief. It is possible that the new government will find a level of stability that the increasingly isolated Muslim Brotherhood leadership was unable to sustain in the face of rising disputes with former coalition partners and a firmly obstructionist judiciary. However, the military’s decision to unseat Morsi underlined the instability inherent in Egypt’s political system and may make it even more difficult for Egypt to return to the good graces of financial markets or Western powers. In any case, mounting demographic and economic pressures mean that the job of managing Egypt’s economic challenges will become incrementally more difficult with each passing year and for each faction that occupies the presidential palace.

http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/egypt-persistent-issues-undermine-stability?utm_source=freelist-f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20130704&utm_term=FreeReport&utm_content=readmore&elq=1c159bb4eee4452f8c8de30fefcb2a44

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Massenbach’sRecommendation

Asia Times: Qatar’s love affair with Syria
By Pepe Escobar

This is the ultimate „Friend of Syria“. But what is Qatar really up to? Word in Doha is that Qatar may have spent as much as a staggering US$3 billion to make sure „Assad must go“. Yet he hasn’t gone anywhere. Even the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, deposed himself this week, to the benefit of his son, former „heir apparent“ Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani (see We are all Qataris now, Asia Times Online, June 26, 2013). But Bashar al-Assad stays put. What gives?

Qatar has spent a fortune weaponizing the myriad Syrian „rebel“ factions, buying everything from stashes in Libya to new stuff in Croatia, flown as cargo and distributed by Turkish intelligence (there’s an alternative weapons flow by Sunni Lebanese connected to the Saudis.) The chief weaponizer is a Qatari general.
Doha has dispatched Qatari Special Forces on the ground – just as in Libya – to advise „their“ favorite batch of rebels. Crucially, these Special Forces are experienced instructors. They are not Qatari; they are Pakistani – as detailed in this must-read dossier.

It goes without saying that these Pakistanis hail from the same tradition of schooling of the mujahideen in the 1980s and the Taliban in the 1990s. We all know what came out of it. Asia Times Online has extensively reported that Syria is the new Afghanistan – but now with extra bonus jihadi gore, developed in the Iraq war, such as suicide bombing, beheading and intestine-eating.

It’s no secret most of the rebels are mercenaries – usually paid $1,300 a month directly by the Qataris, with an extra $1,000 if they carry out a special ops. Quite a few have also developed a secondary career as YouTube videos uploaders, the weapon of choice in Arab networks (not to mention Western) to prove how „evil“ the Assad regime is.

Alongside Washington, Doha also perpetuates the myth that CIA operatives help to vet these rebels – with the Supreme Military Council collecting all the weapons and organizing the distribution. Anyone who believes this believes Saddam Hussein’s WMDs are on sale on eBay.

Moreover, the Syrian embassy in Doha is unique in the world – as it’s entirely populated by „rebels“. Hardcore Qatari lobbying forced the 22-nation Arab League – which is now, essentially, the Gulf Cooperation Council League – to hand over Syria’s seat to the rebels. The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) – the latest, messy, rebel political outfit – was announced in, where else, Doha in November 2012. Depending on the Arab latitude involved, the Qatari agenda is depicted as either uniting or dividing the SNC.

The only element that remains stable is Qatar’s foreign policy directive of denying nothing to the Muslim Brotherhood – as in, for instance, support for the al-Farouq brigades, who, in theory, control a few suburbs of Aleppo.

Caught in a trap

With the ascension of Tamim, the new emir, the key question is whether this orgy of weaponizing, truckloads of money, hardcore lobbying and diplomatic cover has translated, or will translate, into any tangible benefits for the emirate.

The simplistic official storyline spun by Doha is that the emir and his son advised Assad not to repress the initial Syrian protests in early 2011. But then, just like that, he decided to „kill people“ – in the words of former prime minister Hamad bin Jassim, also known as HBJ, conveniently uttered at a Brookings Institution talkfest. What’s not admitted is that Doha jumped at the opportunity of Syria becoming the new Libya – when Qatar literally opened the skies for bombing by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

To follow corporate Western and Arab media, one might be excused to think Tamim is the New Messiah. He has been incessantly hailed as „The Arab Spring monarch“, so „young“ and „modern“, a jogger, an auto and sports enthusiast, and proud enabler of two „accomplished“ wives already.

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He’s more like the emir of the Muslim Brotherhood Spring – considering his very close ties with extremely sectarian superstar al-Jazeera tele-cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has for all practical purposes called for a jihad against Alawites and Shi’ites in Syria. The sheikh is one of Tamim’s top consultants.

It’s also no secret that Qatar’s foreign policy essentially takes its orders from Washington. There are nuances, of course; Qatar may have convinced the Obama administration to align its foreign policy with the Muslim Brotherhood, or the Obama administration may have taken this reckless decision by itself. Tamim may have convinced the Taliban to open an office in Doha by himself, or he may have followed a „suggestion“ from the Obama administration. The fact remains that Tamim meets all the time with State Department and Pentagon stalwarts. And he is also in charge of those precious weapons contracts with the US and also France.

Then there are the fractioned relations with the House of Saud. Word in Doha is that Tamim was responsible for initiating the 2010 strategic dialogue with the Saudis. He is formally the president of the Qatari-Saudi Higher Council. This means he’s always in touch with Saudi intelligence supremo Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz who, apparently, was a big fan of the Qatari handover. It’s no secret as well that the true power behind the handover was the awesome Sheikha Mozah, Tamin’s mom.

The Muqrin connection does make sense because the House of Saud absolutely loathed the relatively flamboyant HBJ – not to mention being extremely suspicious of the previous emir. The HBJ gang has been more or less sidelined in Doha. Tamim appointed Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa bin Nasser al-Thani as the new prime minister. From now on HBJ will be engaged in life in the fast lane in London managing the multi-billionaire Qatar Investment Authority. Not a bad deal.

It’s unclear whether Qatar’s influence in Syria will continue to be that prominent. Now everyone knows the CIA is amassing a formidable weapons stockpile in Jordan to be handed – via its „elaborate“ vetting system – to hundreds of trained-by-USA „good“ Syrian rebels only. Jordan and the Emirates are being propelled to the privileged frontline, with the Saudis supplying loads of portable anti-aircraft weapons. Qatar may be left weaponizing just a handful of inconsequent militias. This remains to be seen in August, with an already much-advertised rebel attack on Damascus.

The proxy war is bound to become even more horrific. And there’s no guarantee Assad will go. The „young and modern“ emir of the Muslim Brotherhood Spring may soon reach the conclusion he is caught in a trap of his, and his father’s making.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

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Pak-Gulf Defense and Security Cooperation

Pakistan-Gulf defense relationship is almost as old as their political and diplomatic contacts. Most of the GCC states depended heavily on Pakistan’s assistance in raising their defense and security forces.

There is long history of security relations between Pakistan and several Gulf countries. In 1970s and 80s, many Gulf countries flushed with oil money bought state of the art equipment but local population lacked technical skills.1 A number of Pakistan army and air force personnel were deputed to several countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. A much smaller number of naval officers also served in UAE training local naval forces. The main role of Pakistani officers was in training local security forces although they also manned complicated equipment such as radars.

The recent Arab spring and subsequent incidents and their basic motives have given a chance to Gulf countries to come further close to Pakistan. Pakistan through its military and bilateral cooperation has always tried to shield these countries from various external and internal threats. The GCC is now looking towards East and recent joint military exercises of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (Al- Assam IV) are one of its examples. The following narrative of defense cooperation between Pakistan and the individual GCC States explains depth of their defense relationship:-

http://cpakgulf.org/documents/Pak-Gulf-Security-Ties-final.pdf

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U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Complete Successful Dawn Blitz

Australia, Chile, Colombia, Israel, Mexico, Peru and Singapore sent operational observers

SAN DIEGO (NNS) — U.S. 3rd Fleet’s Expeditionary Strike Group 3 (ESG 3) and I Marine Expeditionary Force’s (IMEF) 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade (1st MEB) along with coalition partners from Canada, New Zealand and Japan completed the multilateral amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz (DB13), June 28.

The two-week exercise, held off the coast of Southern California, provided a vigorous training environment for U.S. Sailors and Marines to increase core amphibious capabilities while strengthening international partnerships.

The culminating training event of Dawn Blitz occurred June 24, when U.S. Navy’s Assault Craft Unit 5, Beach Master Unit 1, U.S. Marine Corps‘ 2nd Battalion 5th Marines and foreign military counterparts led an assault on Camp Pendelton’s Red Beach where nearly 70 amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) and six landing craft air cushion (LCAC) vehicles landed on the beach and moved inland for additional training ashore.

„This was important training for our Navy-Marine Corps team as the capability to conduct amphibious operations is essential to our warfighting and disaster response core functions,“ said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Pacific Fleet commander.“Working together in multi-lateral exercises like Dawn Blitz not only provides great training to collectively respond to crises, but it also preserves peace and enhances regional stability in the vital Indo-Asia-Pacific.“

During Dawn Blitz, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps team was also able to accomplish the first MV-22 Osprey landing on a Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) ship and a Maritime Prepositioning Force event that enabled the movement of U.S. Marine Corps equipment from the Military Sealift Command ships, USNS Lummus and USNS Curtiss, to train for disaster response/humanitarian assistance.

„The U.S. Navy has six ships, about 25 aircraft and 2,500 personnel participating in a variety of operations that are wrapped under the umbrella of Dawn Blitz,“ said Rear Adm. Gerard P. Hueber, commander, ESG 3. „It is an opportunity for the U.S. Navy to work with coalition partners and exercise on these training regions in Southern California to our operational readiness.“

Australia, Chile, Colombia, Israel, Mexico, Peru and Singapore sent operational observers who were able to witness firsthand realistic, relevant training practices that were executed during DB13 and share them with their militaries.

„We live in a world today where we need our coalition partners operating in a joint environment, and that’s what this training is all about,“ said Rear Adm. John E. Jolliffe, deputy commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet.

Joint interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. 3rd Fleet’s ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.

http://www.navy.mil/local/c3f/

http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=75095
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see our letter on:

Wir wünschen Ihnen ein angenehmes Wochenende. Ihr Team.

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Udo von Massenbach – Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster – Jörg Barandat

UdovonMassenbach Mail
Edith.Suter JoergBarandat

Can the United States Expand Apprenticeship- Lessons from Experience.pdf

Pak-Gulf-Security-Ties-final.pdf

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