Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 12/09/14

Massenbach-Letter. News

*Herausgegeben von Udo von Massenbach, Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster, Joerg Barandat*

Beyond Spying *How to Save the U.S.-German Alliance

Juncker announces proposed European Commission to take office in November

Guten Morgen.

· Sicherung der Versorgung Deutschlands mit Rohstoffen

· USAID & DOD: Analysis and Recommendations to Enhance Development-Military Cooperation

· Jordan’s Energy Decision: Go with Israel

· Construction of Azerbaijani-Turkish gas project set to begin

· Turkey’s Middle-East Dream Becomes a Nightmare

· Barandat: WATERINTAKE 10/2014

Massenbach* Beyond Spying *How to Save the U.S.-German Alliance*

While Washington fumbled the NSA clash with Germany, Berlin too has had a hand in stoking the heated debate over U.S. surveillance programs. Public denunciations and empty promises of retaliation undermine the vital intelligence coordination to counter real threats to both our countries. We may eventually strike a better balance between security and privacy, but we definitely need a better approach to dealing with each other.

Over the past year, the public debate has occasionally devolved into mudslinging. The discovery of a U.S. informant in Germany’s intelligence service in July led to the rare, public dismissal of a CIA Chief of Station, which led Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to label U.S. spying as “stupid” and another official from Chancellor Merkel’s party suggested throwing out the entire U.S. “digital occupying force.” The disclosures this past month that Germany had intercepted a few of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry’s phone calls have led some in Washington to accuse Berlin of hypocrisy.

The Obama administration has tried to restore some measure of trust since Snowden’s revelations of NSA surveillance last summer. In a public speech by President Obama in January, he announced the “unprecedented step of extending certain protections that we have for the American people to people overseas” culminating in the Presidential Policy Directive (PDD-28). This summer, a “cyber dialogue” brought a range of officials from both sides together and the White House Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, hand-delivered to Berlin a set of “guiding principles” on intelligence cooperation.

The exchanges have helped reaffirm a long-standing intelligence partnership, but German officials say they need more to satisfy an irate public. They point to the 90 percent of Germans who believe it is unacceptable for the United States to monitor either foreign leaders or citizens compared with just over 40 percent in the United States, according to a recent Pew Poll. Yet they miss how similar German and American views are on the need for surveillance against suspected terrorists. And while Germans are adamantly opposed to governments’ bulk collection of Internet and telephone metadata, so too are over half of Americans.

Unfortunately, the NSA issue has only exacerbated what has been a steady deterioration in German-American relations. U.S. favorability in Germany has dropped further over the past five years than in any other Western country, reflecting both the high expectations following President Obama’s election and many years of critical media coverage of U.S. foreign policy, including the invasion of Iraq, secret CIA prisons in Europe, the Wikileaks scandal and the use of drones in conflict regions. The media will no doubt continue to chase the slow trickle of stories from Snowden’s files, which will only further complicate the relationship.

To get out of this vicious cycle, U.S. and German leaders would do better to reaffirm their shared interests instead of fixating on their differences. Both countries continue to cooperate on a range of sensitive issues, including the ongoing discussions with Russia over Ukraine, with Iran over its nuclear program and the threat posed by instability in the Middle East. U.S. and European officials are particularly worried about the hundreds of their citizens who have traveled to fight in the region. The challenge of protecting our countries from intellectual property theft and data sabotage is arguably just as important to our modern economies. A strong intelligence partnership is vital to addressing these physical and digital threats, particularly at a time when Berlin states its willingness to be more decisive in foreign affairs.

Of course, we cannot ignore the two countries’ very different experiences with privacy and the role of government in regulating digital information. While it is an unavoidable reality that countries spy on one another, whether friend or foe, Germany understands privacy as a basic human right in large part due to its history under a National Socialist regime and the abuses of the East German security services. Germany cannot wish away the tools needed to deal with today’s world, nor can we expect them to ignore the lessons they have learned from a bitter past.

Both need to move beyond this impasse and focus on the broader challenges of data privacy and protection in the digital age. The cost to business of the NSA revelations has been estimated to be anywhere between $22 billion and $180 billion and further action from the European Union on data privacy could put on hold negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). There is, thus, much more at stake in maintaining U.S.-European relations than the terabytes of data being stored at the NSA.

Unfortunately, our political leaders are overwhelmed and quite frankly underinformed about these complicated issues and the policies needed to address them. Far more dialogue is needed between members of the German Parliament and members of the U.S. Congress, especially on efforts to end bulk data action. Political leaders must also leverage the specialized knowledge of experts from the business community, academia and civil society in both the United States and Europe. U.S. policy makers can better understand the parameters of privacy in Germany, while German policy makers will have an opportunity to explain to their own public the purpose of intelligence and the value of U.S. cooperation.

By shaping this dialogue, the public will become more aware of the digital challenges we both share and the realities of the German-American partnership. One opportunity to jumpstart this effort would be a public meeting by the relevant cabinet officials in Germany. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder received his colleague Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière in Washington this spring and should return the favor by traveling to Berlin.

It is hyperbole to suggest that the uproar over the NSA revelations has irreparably damaged German-American relations. If anything, the issue has revealed the long, productive relationship between the U.S. and German intelligence services since the Cold War. Unfortunately, it also has shown a conspicuous lack of political will to get past our differences. Now that neither country can deny that it is has listened in on the other, it is finally time we get ahead of this dead-end debate and take a wider view of the challenges we both face.

This essay appeared originally in The National Interest on September 5, 2014 and is reprinted here with the permission of the authors.


CSS Analysen zur Sicherheitspolitik des Center for Security Studies (CSS) der ETH Zürich.

Europas Gasversorgungssicherheit Nr. 159, von Oliver Geden und Jonas Grätz

Die politischen Spannungen mit Russland rücken die Gasversorgungssicherheit Europas wieder in den Fokus. In der Vergangenheit wurden Erfolge in der EU vor allem im Infrastrukturausbau zwischen Mitgliedstaaten erzielt, nicht aber bei der Diversifikation der Lieferanten. Daran wird sich auch in Zukunft nicht viel ändern. Die Schweiz hingegen kann ihre Versorgungssicherheit grossenteils durch enge Zusammenarbeit mit den Nachbarstaaten verbessern.


The EU’s Policy to Secure Gas Supply No. 159, by Oliver Geden und Jonas Grätz

Amidst growing tensions with Russia, attention has returned to the security of Europe’s gas supply. In the past, the EU has achieved successes in developing the infrastructure between member states, but not in diversifying its suppliers. Recent developments suggest that this will not change. However, any unexpected event triggered by the crisis in Ukraine might catalyze integration. Switzerland can further improve its security of supply through close cooperation with neighboring states.


Policy= res publica

Freudenberg-Pilster* “Betreungsgeld”: Evidence-ignoring family policy in Germany*

“Policymakers should finally acknowledge the key social policy concerns: Disadvantaged children need the earliest possible support, and female labor market participation must be strengthened.”

Posted on September 9, 2014 by Klaus F. Zimmermann :

The German federal government recently introduced the Betreuungsgeld, a family benefit paid to parents who keep their one- and two-year-old children at home rather than sending them to public childcare. In August 2014, monthly benefit payments were raised to 150 euros per family.

While this subsidy was celebrated by some politicians as granting “recognition, support and freedom of choice” to parents of young children, sober economic analysis has long proven that the actual effects differ diametrically from the intended purpose. As studies on parental home-care benefits in Norway and the German state of Thuringia have shown, well-meaning is not always well-done.

Published as IZA Discussion Papers, these studies have triggered a heated public debate in Germany. The most recent evaluation of the Germany’s new Betreuungsgeld on the federal level, presented by the German Youth Institute, underscores the concerns voiced by IZA researchers long ago.

Economic incentives are powerful – the Betreuungsgeld is a case in point. It shows that the “wrong” incentives also lead to rational responses. The subsidy makes public childcare unattractive compared to the subsidized private option. As a result, it is mainly women who leave the labor force and stay home to look after their children, including older pre-school children not targeted by the policy. Even worse, the subsidy is particularly attractive for problem groups of the labor market, such as low-skilled, low-wage workers and single parents, whose labor market participation is already low – and whose children would benefit the most from early childhood education.

Given the overwhelming empirical evidence on the negative effects, why do policymakers keep defending the Betreuungsgeld? This shows that family policy in Germany is still dominated by clientelism and party politics. Policymakers should finally acknowledge the key social policy concerns: Disadvantaged children need the earliest possible support, and female labor market participation must be strengthened. But the vast body of scientific evidence is negligently, if not deliberately, ignored. Facts and evidence-based arguments are used selectively at best in the current debate.

Last year’s comprehensive evaluation of German family policy was a call for action that has so far gone unheard. At first, it seemed that the findings would be silently shelved by the ministries. Now that they have been published after all, they are still met with inactivity. This deplorable lack of evidence-based policymaking results in a continuing waste of tax-payer money. The sheer scope of government programs supporting family and marriage in Germany, amounting to over 200 billion euros in public spending every year, is no indication of a successful family policy.

What politicians must realize is that allocating money to new programs alone is no proof that their policy goals will be met. All programs must live up to the scrutiny of independent science. Failure to take this into account signifies a backward-oriented approach to policymaking. The tiring debate on the Betreuungsgeld is a prime example.


Politics: From Vision to Action

Barandat* USAID & DOD: Analysis and Recommendations to Enhance Development-Military Cooperation*

Abstract: The United States Department of Defense and U.S. Agency for International Development have interact­ed for 50 years to advance national security interests.

With origins in the Marshall Plan, and through joint efforts in the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the two have developed policies, liaison systems, and joint programming to advance practical coordination.

Af­ter closely-combined defense, diplomatic and devel­opmental (3D) efforts, USAID and DOD have never appreciated each other’s capabilities better. Despite this, significant challenges exist which impede sus­tained coordination, including resource imbalances, conceptual gaps, and personality-based rather than institutional relationships.

As war efforts conclude, is a window of time closing on dev-mil coordination? What are the implications for unity of effort between military and development actors? This report analy­ses the history, policies, coordination structures, and experiences of USAID and DOD interaction; identifies trends and challenges; and recommends continued interagency engagement, particularly through joint planning, field programming and broader staff ex­changes.


Deutsches Sicherheitsengagement in Afghanistan


Lesung aus dem neuen Afghanistan-Roman von Tanja Langer und David Majed

Sehr geehrter Herr von Massenbach,

2014 endet die ISAF-Mission in Afghanistan. Das Land muss sich im Jahr der Präsidentschaftswahlen nicht nur weiterhin erheblichen sicherheitspolitischen Herausforderungen stellen, sondern steht auch zahlreichen sozial-, wirtschafts- und infrastrukturpolitischen Aufgaben gegenüber. Die Polizeiausbildung und die Sicherheitskräfte insgesamt spielen bei der Lösung dieser Aufgaben eine entscheidende Rolle. Eine weitere Herausforderung für die afghanischen Bürger stellt der Verarbeitungsprozess einer solchen Entwicklung im Land dar. Diese oft traumatischen Erinnerungen und Erlebnisse werden auf unterschiedlichste Weise interpretiert. Wir haben einen Autor als Gast, der uns seine persönlichen Erfahrungen als Buch präsentiert.

Das Afghanistan Komitee und Engagement Global, Außenstelle Berlin freuen sich Sie am 4. Oktober 2014 begrüßen zu dürfen!

Ort: im Kurt-Schumacher-Haus


Müllerstr. 163, 13353 Berlin (U/S Bhf.: Wedding)

Datum: Samstag, den 04. Oktober 2014, 13.00 – 19.00 Uhr

Bitte leiten Sie diese Einladung auch an Freunde, Bekannte, Kollegen und andere Interessierte weiter, DANKE!

Der Eintritt ist kostenlos.
Eine Anmeldung wird aus organisatorischen Gründen bis spätestens 25.09.2014 an das Afghanistan-Komitee erbeten.

Anmeldung zur Afghanistan-Veranstaltung am 04. Oktober 2014

Bitte schriftlich an: Afghanistan-Komitee für Frieden, Wiederaufbau und Kultur e.V.

c/o Dr. Gul-Rahim Safi, Lesser-Ury-Weg 1, 10557 Berlin

E -mail :


FAX: 0322 298 415 58


Joerg Barandat: WATERINTAKE 10/2014

2014 World Water Week – "Energy and Water"

31.08.-05.09.2014 Stockholm

Water: A Map of Conflict & Cooperation

siehe unter WASSERQUELLEN: Adelphi: The Rise of Hydro-Diplomacy … S. 7-8

(ctd. see att.)


Middle East

*Jordan’s Energy Decision: Go with Israel*

The draft agreement will have to withstand domestic and foreign pressure on Amman.

The announcement of a planned energy deal between Israel and Jordan will be followed by several stages of negotiation, and it will be several years before the first gas reaches Jordan. The "nonbinding letter of intent" envisages the supply of gas from Israel’s Leviathan field, which lies deep under the seabed eighty miles off the coast of Haifa. The gas will be supplied to Jordan’s main electricity-generating body, the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO). Over the fifteen-year proposed span of the contract, 1.6 trillion cubic feet will be supplied, equating to around 3 billion cubic meters a year. This is probably sufficient for most of Jordan’s electricity-generation requirements.

Reported as being worth $15 billion (though $8 billion seems a more likely figure, given current prices for natural gas), the deal is much larger and certainly more significant than an agreement announced in February for Israel to supply $500 million worth of gas to two Jordanian industrial plants near the Dead Sea. That gas will come from Israel’s Tamar offshore field, which began production last year. Noble Energy, the U.S. natural gas company that leads the consortium planning to develop the Leviathan field, which will not come onstream until 2017, says the price for NEPCO’s gas will be "based primarily on a linkage to [international] oil prices and is dependent on negotiation of a binding agreement." A new pipeline will also need to be constructed.

The putative deal offers additional good news for the export prospects for Israeli gas. A more significant quantity of Leviathan gas is planned to be pumped to an underutilized liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Egypt’s Nile Delta, from where it can be shipped anywhere in the world, including Asia, where prices are much higher.

For its part, Jordan currently relies on expensive fuel oil to generate electricity. The importation of natural gas from Egypt has become erratic because of pipeline sabotage, and seems unlikely to resume even if chronic Islamist terrorism in the Sinai is eventually contained. Jordan’s Arab allies will probably oppose the deal with Israel and have already offered to build an LNG import facility at the Red Sea port of Aqaba.

The biggest challenge for Jordan’s King Abdullah, though, will likely be managing domestic political opposition to the deal. The majority of Jordan’s population is of Palestinian origin, and the close bilateral relationship with Israel is not popular. Ever since the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace agreement, professional syndicates in Jordan have backed a so-called "antinormalization" campaign, boycotting products — including water — from Israel. In the aftermath of the war in Gaza, this campaign has only intensified.

Unlike the earlier $500 million deal — which involved Noble Energy and two corporations owned by Arab and Jordanian investors — this agreement provides the palace with little political cover, and the opposition will all but certainly exploit the agreement to attack the king. The Committee for Protecting the Nation and Syndicates Resisting Normalization described the last agreement as a "crime" and called for protests to reverse it.

Given the rather desperate economic conditions in the kingdom, however — the prime minister recently described the economy as being in "its worst situation in history" — the deal with Israel could not come at a better time. Since 2011, rising energy costs have been the prime driver in the kingdom’s fiscal deficit. In addition, the agreement — which has U.S. State Department backing — should obviate Amman’s determined but ill-advised plans to move ahead with the construction of two nuclear power plants.

Politically, the deal will have a steep cost for the palace, but it should also provide some welcome budget relief and longer-term energy security for the kingdom.


*Construction of Azerbaijani-Turkish gas project set to begin*

The construction of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), which is supposed to carry Azerbaijani gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey, will be launched on Sept. 20 of this year, according to an announcement by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan met with his Azerbaijani counterpart, President Ilham Aliyev, in the capital Baku, on his second trip abroad as president on Wednesday. Speaking at a joint press conference with Aliyev, Erdoğan highlighted the importance of the project, the start date of which he announced would be Sept. 20. Erdoğan also said the meeting dealt with bilateral negotiations on other projects.

Erdoğan mentioned the Nagorno-Karabakh problem in the meeting, saying that both sides discussed the steps that can be taken on the problem. The newly elected president stated that the pipeline, which is to be established to supply Azerbaijani gas to Europe via Turkey, is vital with regards to the Azerbaijani position in the international energy industry.

Erdoğan said the groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Sept. 20 with international representatives in attendance.

In December 2013, Azerbaijan and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a consortium to build the TANAP project.




*Turkey’s Middle-East Dream Becomes a Nightmare*

*Ankara’s efforts to become a regional power player have backfired. It’s time to renew old partnerships instead*

The ongoing NATO summit in Wales this week is a golden opportunity for new Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. After a period when Ankara seemed to think Turkey’s future lay solely in the Middle East, recent events have brought home the importance of the country’s European alliances. In Wales, Mr. Davutoglu can start repairing those relationships, which have suffered from neglect.

Since taking power in 2002, the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, government has transformed Turkey’s economy, making the country a majority-middle-class society. Turks are living better now than they ever have in modern history. Accompanying the unprecedented prosperity was a sense of hubris so powerful that former Prime Minister and now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mr. Davutoglu, adviser to Mr. Erdogan and then foreign minister until the past week, thought they could singlehandedly reshape the Middle East.

So the AKP abandoned Turkey’s founding ethos, Kemalism. The country’s first president, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk saw Turkey as a European country. His successors believed that as a member of every pan-European and trans-Atlantic institution, from NATO to the OECD, Turkey’s fate lay in Europe and the West. The Turks related to the Middle East as Argentines relate to Latin America. Just as the Argentines see themselves as Europeans who happen to live in Latin America, many Turks thought of themselves as Europeans who happen to live next to the Middle East.

As Turkey’s chief foreign-policy strategist since 2002, Mr. Davutoglu has challenged this paradigm by hinting that Turkey should be the "Brazil of the Middle East," a dominant regional economy capable of steering the course of events. Turkey didn’t need Western allies in the Middle East, under the new thinking.

Enlarge Image Close

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Depo Photos/Zuma Press

The shift became manifest in Ankara’s involvement in the Syrian war, where Turkey opened its 510-mile long border to support the rebels against the regime of Bashar Assad. Turkey also delved into Iraqi politics, supporting the Kurds against the central government in Baghdad. And Ankara threw its lot behind Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated parties in Libya, Syria and Egypt. All this was done in the hope of turning these assets into Ankara’s proxies of influence in the Middle East.

This gambit has produced catastrophic results. For the first time in its history, Turkey is engaged in the civil war of a neighboring country in Syria, with no end in sight. Ankara’s policy of supporting the Kurds in Iraq has also backfired, as Baghdad has blocked Turkish trade ties with the rest of the country. Thus, and here is another first, Turkey has lost all access to the Middle East. Its borders with Syria and Iraq are closed.

In Egypt, Turkey is unwanted because of its support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptians fault Ankara for not building bridges with the broader society. And in Libya and Syria, the Turkish-supported Muslim Brotherhood has been sidelined by radicals. The Saudis, who work tirelessly against the Muslim Brotherhood across the region, dislike Turkey for its unyielding support to the group.

The long-standing "no-conflict" rule in Turco-Persian ties has come undone under the AKP government. Turkey and Iran are locked in a vicious proxy war, with Tehran supporting the Damascus regime and the Baghdad government, undermining Ankara’s core interests in Syria and Iraq. Except for pro-Muslim Brotherhood Qatar and the Iraqi Kurds, Ankara has no allies, proxies or friends in the Middle East.

Turkey has also lost Israel, an important democratic ally before 2002, by cultivating closer ties to Hamas. The AKP’s supporters said that a tougher stance toward Israel was a necessary evil to curry favor with the Arabs. But today, neither the Arabs nor the Israelis are friends.

This couldn’t come at a more dangerous time, as Turkey now borders a radical and dangerous Islamic State in Iraq and Syria that shares al Qaeda’s ideology and the Taliban’s statecraft and grassroots skills. At least a few of these jihadists have crossed into Syria through Turkey.

These brewing foreign-policy crises could soon turn into domestic political challenges for Messrs. Davutoglu and Erdogan and the AKP. Turkey’s economic success is the product of its stability in an unstable region. The record-breaking amounts of foreign direct investment into the country reach $50 billion annually, fueling Turkey’s growth and Mr. Davutoglu’s electoral success. As the ISIS threat to Turkey grows, international investments will dry up, and his chances in the 2015 parliamentary elections will not be as auspicious.

Yet although Ankara’s entanglements in the Middle East haven’t been successful to date, it is too late to return to the Kemalist model of ignoring the Middle East entirely. Turkey is a part of the Middle East reality and all its turmoil. At the NATO summit and beyond, Mr. Davutoglu would be prudent to take a cue from the Kemalist playbook and redevelop a propitious cooperation with Turkey’s erstwhile allies, NATO, the U.S. and the Europeans to tackle the ISIS threat and other Middle East quandaries together.

Mr. Cagaptay is a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the author of "The Rise of Turkey: The Twenty First-Century’s First Muslim Power" (Nebraska, 2014).


Building an Anti-ISIL Coalition

Posted: 05 Sep 2014 08:43 AM PDT

Secretary of State John Kerry accompanied President Barack Obama to Wales to participate in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit on September 4-5. While in Wales, Secretary Kerry met with several foreign counterparts to discuss regional issues, including the United States‘ ongoing efforts to support the Iraqi government and the threats posed by ISIL. Following a meeting on ISIL, Secretary Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a joint statement. The text of their statement is below:

"This morning we had a meeting with some of our key allies and partners on the serious threat that ISIL poses to Iraq, the entire region, and the international community.

"We and the Ministers agreed here today that there is no time to waste in building a broad international coalition to degrade and, ultimately, to destroy the threat posed by ISIL.

"The formation of a new and inclusive government in Iraq will be a critical step in this effort. We are hopeful that this process can be completed over the coming days, and we discussed in detail how NATO allies can extend immediate support to a new government in its efforts to unify the country against ISIL.

"To be effective, an international coalition to defeat ISIL must coordinate across multiple lines of effort. These include:

§ Military support to our Iraqi partners;

§ Stopping the flow of foreign fighters;

§ Countering ISIL’s financing and funding;

§ Addressing humanitarian crises; and

§ De-legitimizing ISIL’s ideology.

"We discussed each of these lines of effort today, and how to build on the contributions that many NATO allies and partners are already making in Iraq.

"We agreed to engage in an immediate conversation with a new Iraqi government about accelerating these efforts, including the potential for additional training and equipping of the Iraqi Security Forces at the federal, regional, and provincial level.

"We also discussed further cooperation to address the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, and noted the shared effort by the military forces of the United States, France, Australia, and the UK to deliver humanitarian supplies to the citizens of Amerli in northern Iraq. This town had been surrounded for two months by ISIL, but today is receiving humanitarian aid and supplies led by a UN team on the ground. Such a common effort will be essential as we move forward.

"Across the other lines of effort, we and the ministers noted the strong Chapter 7 UN Security Council Resolution enacted last month that calls on all member states to take decisive action to stop the flow of foreign fighters, counter ISIL’s financing, and combat its incitement. We agreed today that NATO allies in particular should work in concert towards these goals.

"Specifically, we will form a multinational task force to share more information about the flow of foreign fighters into Syria and from Syria into Iraq. These foreign fighters represent an acute threat to our NATO allies. We also agreed to work in concert to stifle ISIL’s sources of revenue, including any trade in petroleum products, and hold accountable those who violate international prohibitions on such trade.

"As President Obama has said, the effort to degrade and destroy the threat posed by ISIL will take time and persistence. It will also require a unified approach at the international, regional, and local level – combining military, law enforcement, intelligence, economic, and diplomatic tools. Our NATO allies and partners today have confirmed their readiness to be a full part of this coordinated approach, and over the coming days, we will continue the discussion with our partners in the region, who have an important role to play across these lines of effort.

"This effort will also be a focus of the UN General Assembly later this month as we work to establish a truly global coalition. Acting together, with clear objectives and common purpose, we will degrade and destroy ISIL capabilities — and ensure that it can no longer threaten Iraq, the region, and the world."

For more information:

§ Secretary of State John Kerry’s Remarks at Top of Meeting on Building an Anti-ISIL Coalition Co-Chaired by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, and U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, September 5, 2014

§ Trip Page: Secretary Kerry’s Travel to the United Kingdom, September 4-5, 2014

§ Trip Page: President Obama’s Travel to Estonia and the United Kingdom, September 2-5, 2014


*STRATFOR: Ukraine, Iraq and a Black Sea Strategy*

By George Friedman

The United States is, at the moment, off balance. It faces challenges in the Syria-Iraq theater as well as challenges in Ukraine. It does not have a clear response to either. It does not know what success in either theater would look like, what resources it is prepared to devote to either, nor whether the consequences of defeat would be manageable.

A dilemma of this sort is not unusual for a global power. Its very breadth of interests and the extent of power create opportunities for unexpected events, and these events, particularly simultaneous challenges in different areas, create uncertainty and confusion. U.S. geography and power permit a degree of uncertainty without leading to disaster, but generating a coherent and integrated strategy is necessary, even if that strategy is simply to walk away and let events run their course. I am not suggesting the latter strategy but arguing that at a certain point, confusion must run its course and clear intentions must emerge. When they do, the result will be the coherence of a new strategic map that encompasses both conflicts.

The most critical issue for the United States is to create a single integrated plan that takes into account the most pressing challenges. Such a plan must begin by defining a theater of operations sufficiently coherent geographically as to permit integrated political maneuvering and military planning. U.S. military doctrine has moved explicitly away from a two-war strategy. Operationally, it might not be possible to engage all adversaries simultaneously, but conceptually, it is essential to think in terms of a coherent center of gravity of operations. For me, it is increasingly clear that that center is the Black Sea.

Ukraine and Syria-Iraq

There are currently two active theaters of military action with broad potential significance. One is Ukraine, where the Russians have launched a counteroffensive toward Crimea. The other is in the Syria-Iraq region, where the forces of the Islamic State have launched an offensive designed at a minimum to control regions in both countries — and at most dominate the area between the Levant and Iran.

In most senses, there is no connection between these two theaters. Yes, the Russians have an ongoing problem in the high Caucasus and there are reports of Chechen advisers working with the Islamic State. In this sense, the Russians are far from comfortable with what is happening in Syria and Iraq. At the same time, anything that diverts U.S. attention from Ukraine is beneficial to the Russians. For its part, the Islamic State must oppose Russia in the long run. Its immediate problem, however, is U.S. power, so anything that distracts the United States is beneficial to the Islamic State.

But the Ukrainian crisis has a very different political dynamic from the Iraq-Syria crisis. Russian and Islamic State military forces are not coordinated in any way, and in the end, victory for either would challenge the interests of the other. But for the United States, which must allocate its attention, political will and military power carefully, the two crises must be thought of together. The Russians and the Islamic State have the luxury of focusing on one crisis. The United States must concern itself with both and reconcile them.

The United States has been in the process of limiting its involvement in the Middle East while attempting to deal with the Ukrainian crisis. The Obama administration wants to create an integrated Iraq devoid of jihadists and have Russia accept a pro-Western Ukraine. It also does not want to devote substantial military forces to either theater. Its dilemma is how to achieve its goals without risk. If it can’t do this, what risk will it accept or must it accept?

Strategies that minimize risk and create maximum influence are rational and should be a founding principle of any country. By this logic, the U.S. strategy ought to be to maintain the balance of power in a region using proxies and provide material support to those proxies but avoid direct military involvement until there is no other option. The most important thing is to provide the support that obviates the need for intervention.

In the Syria-Iraq theater, the United States moved from a strategy of seeking a unified state under secular pro-Western forces to one seeking a balance of power between the Alawites and jihadists. In Iraq, the United States pursued a unified government under Baghdad and is now trying to contain the Islamic State using minimal U.S. forces and Kurdish, Shiite and some Sunni proxies. If that fails, the U.S. strategy in Iraq will devolve into the strategy in Syria, namely, seeking a balance of power between factions. It is not clear that another strategy exists. The U.S. occupation of Iraq that began in 2003 did not result in a military solution, and it is not clear that a repeat of 2003 would succeed either. Any military action must be taken with a clear outcome in mind and a reasonable expectation that the allocation of forces will achieve that outcome; wishful thinking is not permitted. Realistically, air power and special operations forces on the ground are unlikely to force the Islamic State to capitulate or to result in its dissolution.

Ukraine, of course, has a different dynamic. The United States saw the events in Ukraine as either an opportunity for moral posturing or as a strategic blow to Russian national security. Either way, it had the same result: It created a challenge to fundamental Russian interests and placed Russian President Vladimir Putin in a dangerous position. His intelligence services completely failed to forecast or manage events in Kiev or to generate a broad rising in eastern Ukraine. Moreover, the Ukrainians were defeating their supporters (with the distinction between supporters and Russian troops becoming increasingly meaningless with each passing day). But it was obvious that the Russians were not simply going to let the Ukrainian reality become a fait accompli. They would counterattack. But even so, they would still have moved from once shaping Ukrainian policy to losing all but a small fragment of Ukraine. They will therefore maintain a permanently aggressive posture in a bid to recoup what has been lost.

U.S. strategy in Ukraine tracks its strategy in Syria-Iraq. First, Washington uses proxies; second, it provides material support; and third, it avoids direct military involvement. Both strategies assume that the main adversary — the Islamic State in Syria-Iraq and Russia in Ukraine — is incapable of mounting a decisive offensive, or that any offensive it mounts can be blunted with air power. But to be successful, U.S. strategy assumes there will be coherent Ukrainian and Iraqi resistance to Russia and the Islamic State, respectively. If that doesn’t materialize or dissolves, so does the strategy.

The United States is betting on risky allies. And the outcome matters in the long run. U.S. strategy prior to World Wars I and II was to limit involvement until the situation could be handled only with a massive American deployment. During the Cold War, the United States changed its strategy to a pre-commitment of at least some forces; this had a better outcome. The United States is not invulnerable to foreign threats, although those foreign threats must evolve dramatically. The earlier intervention was less costly than intervention at the last possible minute. Neither the Islamic State nor Russia poses such a threat to the United States, and it is very likely that the respective regional balance of power can contain them. But if they can’t, the crises could evolve into a more direct threat to the United States. And shaping the regional balance of power requires exertion and taking at least some risks.

Regional Balances of Power and the Black Sea

The rational move for countries like Romania, Hungary or Poland is to accommodate Russia unless they have significant guarantees from the outside. Whether fair or not, only the United States can deliver those guarantees. The same can be said about the Shia and the Kurds, both of whom the United States has abandoned in recent years, assuming that they could manage on their own.

The issue the United States faces is how to structure such support, physically and conceptually. There appear to be two distinct and unconnected theaters, and American power is limited. The situation would seem to preclude persuasive guarantees. But U.S. strategic conception must evolve away from seeing these as distinct theaters into seeing them as different aspects of the same theater: the Black Sea.

When we look at a map, we note that the Black Sea is the geographic organizing principle of these areas. The sea is the southern frontier of Ukraine and European Russia and the Caucasus, where Russian, jihadist and Iranian power converge on the Black Sea. Northern Syria and Iraq are fewer than 650 kilometers (400 miles) from the Black Sea.

The United States has had a North Atlantic strategy. It has had a Caribbean strategy, a Western Pacific strategy and so on. This did not simply mean a naval strategy. Rather, it was understood as a combined arms system of power projection that depended on naval power to provide strategic supply, delivery of troops and air power. It also placed its forces in such a configuration that the one force, or at least command structure, could provide support in multiple directions.

The United States has a strategic problem that can be addressed either as two or more unrelated problems requiring redundant resources or a single integrated solution. It is true that the Russians and the Islamic State do not see themselves as part of a single theater. But opponents don’t define theaters of operation for the United States. The first step in crafting a strategy is to define the map in a way that allows the strategist to think in terms of unity of forces rather than separation, and unity of support rather than division. It also allows the strategist to think of his regional relationships as part of an integrated strategy.

Assume for the moment that the Russians chose to intervene in the Caucasus again, that jihadists moved out of Chechnya and Dagestan into Georgia and Azerbaijan, or that Iran chose to move north. The outcome of events in the Caucasus would matter greatly to the United States. Under the current strategic structure, where U.S. decision-makers seem incapable of conceptualizing the two present strategic problems, such a third crisis would overwhelm them. But thinking in terms of securing what I’ll call the Greater Black Sea Basin would provide a framework for addressing the current thought exercise. A Black Sea strategy would define the significance of Georgia, the eastern coast of the Black Sea. Even more important, it would elevate Azerbaijan to the level of importance it should have in U.S. strategy. Without Azerbaijan, Georgia has little weight. With Azerbaijan, there is a counter to jihadists in the high Caucasus, or at least a buffer, since Azerbaijan is logically the eastern anchor of the Greater Black Sea strategy.

A Black Sea strategy would also force definition of two key relationships for the United States. The first is Turkey. Russia aside, Turkey is the major native Black Sea power. It has interests throughout the Greater Black Sea Basin, namely, in Syria, Iraq, the Caucasus, Russia and Ukraine. Thinking in terms of a Black Sea strategy, Turkey becomes one of the indispensible allies since its interests touch American interests. Aligning U.S. and Turkish strategy would be a precondition for such a strategy, meaning both nations would have to make serious policy shifts. An explicit Black Sea-centered strategy would put U.S.-Turkish relations at the forefront, and a failure to align would tell both countries that they need to re-examine their strategic relationship. At this point, U.S.-Turkish relations seem to be based on a systematic avoidance of confronting realities. With the Black Sea as a centerpiece, evasion, which is rarely useful in creating realistic strategies, would be difficult.

The Centrality of Romania

The second critical country is Romania. The Montreux Convention prohibits the unlimited transit of a naval force into the Black Sea through the Bosporus, controlled by Turkey. Romania, however, is a Black Sea nation, and no limitations apply to it, although its naval combat power is centered on a few aging frigates backed up by a half-dozen corvettes. Apart from being a potential base for aircraft for operations in the region, particularly in Ukraine, supporting Romania in building a significant naval force in the Black Sea — potentially including amphibious ships — would provide a deterrent force against the Russians and also shape affairs in the Black Sea that might motivate Turkey to cooperate with Romania and thereby work with the United States. The traditional NATO structure can survive this evolution, even though most of NATO is irrelevant to the problems facing the Black Sea Basin. Regardless of how the Syria-Iraq drama ends, it is secondary to the future of Russia’s relationship with Ukraine and the European Peninsula. Poland anchors the North European Plain, but the action for now is in the Black Sea, and that makes Romania the critical partner in the European Peninsula. It will feel the first pressure if Russia regains its position in Ukraine.

I have written frequently on the emergence — and the inevitability of the emergence — of an alliance based on the notion of the Intermarium, the land between the seas. It would stretch between the Baltic and Black seas and would be an alliance designed to contain a newly assertive Russia. I have envisioned this alliance stretching east to the Caspian, taking in Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The Poland-to-Romania line is already emerging. It seems obvious that given events on both sides of the Black Sea, the rest of this line will emerge.

The United States ought to adopt the policy of the Cold War. That consisted of four parts. First, allies were expected to provide the geographical foundation of defense and substantial forces to respond to threats. Second, the United States was to provide military and economic aid as necessary to support this structure. Third, the United States was to pre-position some forces as guarantors of U.S. commitment and as immediate support. And fourth, Washington was to guarantee the total commitment of all U.S. forces to defending allies, although the need to fulfill the last guarantee never arose.

The United States has an uncertain alliance structure in the Greater Black Sea Basin that is neither mutually supportive nor permits the United States a coherent power in the region given the conceptual division of the region into distinct theaters. The United States is providing aid, but again on an inconsistent basis. Some U.S. forces are involved, but their mission is unclear, it is unclear that they are in the right places, and it is unclear what the regional policy is.

Thus, U.S. policy for the moment is incoherent. A Black Sea strategy is merely a name, but sometimes a name is sufficient to focus strategic thinking. So long as the United States thinks in terms of Ukraine and Syria and Iraq as if they were on different planets, the economy of forces that coherent strategy requires will never be achieved. Thinking in terms of the Black Sea as a pivot of a single diverse and diffuse region can anchor U.S. thinking. Merely anchoring strategic concepts does not win wars, nor prevent them. But anything that provides coherence to American strategy has value.

The Greater Black Sea Basin, as broadly defined, is already the object of U.S. military and political involvement. It is just not perceived that way in military, political or even public and media calculations. It should be. For that will bring perception in line with fast-emerging reality.


Infraneu e.V. Hauptverband für den Ausbau der Infrastrukturen und Nachhaltigkeit

Berlin, 2. September 2014:

*Sicherung der Versorgung Deutschlands mit Rohstoffen*

Peter Buchholz

Deutsche Rohstoffagentur in der

Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR)

1. Werden die Rohstoffe immer knapper?

– Angebots- und Nachfrageentwicklungen auf den internationalen


2. Ist die deutsche Industrie beim Rohstoffzugang benachteiligt?

– Situation in Deutschland

3. Bei welchen Rohstoffen gibt es hohe Angebotskonzentrationen?

– Preis- und Lieferrisiken für mineralische Rohstoffe

4. Welche Ausweichstrategien können Unternehmen bei der Rohstoffsicherung entwickeln?

– Sicherungsstrategien und Unterstützung durch die DERA



see our letter on:

Wir wünschen Ihnen ein angenehmes Wochenende. Ihr Team.

Udo von Massenbach – Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster – Jörg Barandat



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