Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 05/12/14

Massenbach-Letter. News

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

· Friedman: Taking the Strategic Intelligence Model to Moscow

· Russia’s South Stream pipeline falls victim to Ukraine crisis, energy rout

· Bulgarian politicians divided on Putin’s South Stream announcement – reactions

· August 1, 2014 :Westinghouse signs shareholder agreement for new Bulgarian nuclear unit

· EXCLUSIVE-October oil shale permits drop: is the slowdown here?

· BDI: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

· Opinion:The Kurdish exchange over Kirkuk: oil for land

· [brennpunkt-ber.de newsletter] Endlich – mehr als 13 Jahre Klaus Wowereit sind vorbei!

Massenbach* EXCLUSIVE-October oil shale permits drop: is the slowdown here?

NEW YORK, Dec 1 (Reuters) – U.S. oil producers have been racing full-speed ahead to drill new shale wells in recent years, even in the face of lower oil prices. But new data suggests that the much-anticipated slowdown in shale country may have finally arrived.

Permits for new wells dropped 15 percent across 12 major shale formations last month, according to exclusive information provided to Reuters by DrillingInfo, an industry data firm, offering the first sign of a slowdown in a drilling frenzy that has seen permits double since last November.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last week agreed to maintain its production quota of 30 million-barrels-per-day, despite a 30 percent drop in oil prices since June, triggering an additional 10 percent decline. That move, many analysts believe, was squarely aimed at U.S. oil producers driving the country’s energy resurgence: can they continue drilling at the current pace if prices don’t rise?

"Currently, the market is focused on U.S. shale as the place where spending and production must be curtailed," Roger Read, a Wells Fargo analyst, said in a note Friday. "There is little doubt, in our view, that lower oil and gas prices will result in lower spending and lower shale production in 2015 to 2017."

A cutback of U.S. production could play into the hands of Saudi Arabia, which has suggested over the past few months that it is comfortable with much lower oil prices.

Most analysts predict U.S. oil producers can maintain their healthy production rates in the first half of 2015 – thanks in part to investments made months ago.

Some oil service companies have suggested that a slowdown might be held off, as they continue to buy key drilling components. But, the data suggests that production is likely to eventually succumb to lower prices.

"The first domino is the price, which causes other dominos to fall," said Karr Ingham, an economist who compiles the Texas PetroIndex, an annual analysis of the state’s energy economy. One of the first tiles to drop: the number of permits issued, Ingham said.

Texas issued a record number of permits, 934, before dropping to 885 in October. The 885 is still more than double levels seen in the same month in 2010 when the shale revolution was just starting, but it shows a cooling off that hasn’t been seen to the same degree in the past two years.

A drop in the rig count is expected two to four months after a decline in permits – and production growth would likely start to slow six months later.

"This is a pull back from the acceleration. People are being careful," said Allen Gilmer, chief executive officer of DrillingInfo. While permits have declined at other times, Gilmer says there is currently an early indication of a slowdown in the rig count.

DrillingInfo said for 10 shale formations, a permitting slowdown was noted in October. For one formation, data was not available, and for two, the Barnett shale in Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota, permits rose slightly.

The permitting slowdown was particularly pronounced in two Texas formations, the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford shale, which saw new permits decline by 13 and 22 percent respectively.

THE STATE OF TEXAS

This year, shale has bolstered the Texas economy, with oil production in Texas up 23 percent in August from a year earlier, according to the Texas Petro Index, released last month.

Oil and gas jobs are at an all-time high in the state, said Ed Longanecker, president of Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association – some 414,000 according to TIPRO, a figure that has risen for each of the past five years. Economic disruptions are expected as the price decline trickles down.

"As oil prices fall, there is going to be a response, and it will ultimately turn up in the numbers," said Ingham.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102226257

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[brennpunkt-ber.de newsletter] Endlich – mehr als 13 Jahre Klaus Wowereit sind vorbei!

Guten Tag,

endlich, am 11.12.14, wird es soweit sein:

Klaus Wowereit wird an diesem Tag vom Amt des Regierenden Bürgermeisters von Berlin – nach mehr als 13 langen und verlorenen Jahren – zurücktreten.

Wir danken den Amerikanern und Briten dafür, dass sie unserer Stadt und unserem Land die Freiheit geschenkt haben, aber bei Klaus Wowereit braucht sich niemand zu bedanken.

Wir werden jetzt auch nicht die unsäglichen Wowereit-Sprüche zitieren, die für uns schon immer Ausdruck einer geradezu unerträglichen Arroganz und Inkompetenz waren, die aber wiederum von seinem Hofstaat, innerhalb und außerhalb des Berliner Senats, nicht oft genug als Ausweis seiner vermeintlichen Originalität zitiert werden konnten.

Jedenfalls eins galt nie, nämlich dass man klüger aus Wowereits Rathaus herauskam, als man hineingegangen war.

Kein Mentalitätswechsel

Und Nein, Klaus Wowereit hat Berlin kein neues Lebensgefühl vermittelt, sondern die piefige Haltung eines fest im Sattel sitzenden Polit-Kaders verkörpert, der Volkes Stimme gefälligst nur in der Form des Applauses zu hören bereit war. Modern und schick waren an Klaus Wowereit allein seine Anzüge, sein Amtsverständnis hingegen stammte schon 2001 aus der Vergangenheit.

Trotz alledem hat Klaus Wowereit aber die politische Kultur Berlins nachhaltig – und zwar in einer äußerst negativen Art und Weise – geprägt. Und immer wenn ein absoluter Tiefpunkt erreicht schien, ging es anschließend noch ein paar Stufen weiter nach unten.

Unwahrheiten

Und als alles nichts half und Klaus Wowereit in größter Gefahr schwebte, den ersten Tempelhof-Volksentscheid, den niemand anderes als er zur Machtprobe erklärt hatte, zu verlieren, behauptete er zwei Tage vor der Abstimmung wahrheitswidrig vor dem Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus, dass ein weiterhin offener Flughafen Tempelhof zu einem Baustopp des damaligen BBI führen würde.

Der Aufsichtsratsvorsitzende der Flughafengesellschaft, Klaus Wowereit, hätte dem Regierenden Bürgermeister, Klaus Wowereit, eigentlich sagen müssen, dass diese Behauptung sachlich unrichtig und daher unwahr war, da der BBI das uneingeschränkte Baurecht besaß und damit komplett durchgenehmigt war.

Wowereits Sprecher Meng umschiffte dann diese allseits bekannte Klippe nach dem formal gescheiterten Volksentscheid, in dem er die launige Formulierung brachte, dass das "Mordsrisiko eines Baustopps" bestanden hätte und offenbarte mit dieser umgangssprachlichen Formulierung, dass die Aussage von Klaus Wowereit durch keinen juristischen Sachverhalt gedeckt war.

Der Flughafen Tempelhof, ein infrastrukturelles Juwel, wurde 2008 aber trotzdem ohne Sinn und Verstand geschlossen, und der BBI/BER eröffnete bekanntlich nicht zwei Jahre später, sondern er wird möglicherweise erst 9 Jahre oder noch wesentlich später eröffnen – mit der Folge, das Tegel mehr und mehr aus den Fugen gerät.

Und der BER wird weder jemals genug Luftverkehrskapazität, noch eine leistungsfähige Anbindung an Rad und Schiene besitzen, und die behaupteten 40 000 Arbeitsplätze allein am BER – selbstverständlich bis 2012 – haben sich bekanntlich inzwischen in Luft aufgelöst.

Wowereits vermeintlich ironische Abkanzlung seiner Kritiker aus dem Jahr 2010, "Die öffentliche Hand steht ja immer unter Generalverdacht, dass sie so etwas nicht hinkriegt", ist voll und ganz bestätigt worden.

Schmähungen

Und wer sich Klaus Wowereit in den Weg stellte, durfte sich verbaler Bodychecks gewiss sein, wie sie Berlin bis dato noch nicht erlebt hatte.

In dieser Manier ließ Wowereit seinen Senatssprecher Richard Meng die Befürworter des Flughafens Tempelhof als "Ewiggestrige" schmähen.

Und Investoren, die Tempelhof als Flughafen erhalten wollten, konnten sich ebenfalls deftiger Kommentare sicher sein. Hingegen griff Wowereit nicht ein, wenn seine Senatsbaudirektorin Lüscher der Öffentlichkeit wieder einmal sogenannte Nutzungsvorschläge für Tempelhof präsentierte, die außerhalb Berlins sofort zu personellen Konsequenzen geführt hätten. Erinnert sei an den "Puffhafen" oder an den "Kletterberg", die Frau Lüscher jeweils hochinteressant fand.

Einen weiteren Tiefpunkt der politischen Kultur wurde dann 2009, im Zusammenhang mit dem Volksentscheid Pro-Reli, erreicht, als Klaus Wowereit die unterlegenen 345 004 (!) Befürworter des Volksentscheids als Randgruppe bezeichnete. Die Berliner Morgenpost vom 19.05.09 titelte daraufhin: "Wowereit lässt es im Sieg an Größe vermissen".

Der Senat bin ich

Da der Berliner Senat die Zusammenlegung des Volksentscheids mit den in diesem Jahr stattfindenden Europawahlen kategorisch ablehnte, sah sich die Berliner Landesregierung mit massiver inhaltlicher Kritik und Kritik an den Mehrkosten der parallel stattfinden Abstimmungen konfrontiert.

Darauf antwortete Klaus Wowereit mit den vielsagenden Worten "Ich bin kein Trickser, ich bin die Regierung!" Viele Beobachter hatten genau den umgekehrten Eindruck und waren dann von dieser Aussage doch sehr überrascht.

Sowohl beim Tempelhof- als auch beim Pro-Reli-Volksentscheid ging zudem, entlang der ehemaligen Mauer, ein Riss durch die Stadt.

Der Alt-Bundespräsident Richard von Weizsäcker attestierte Wowereit daraufhin, dass er sich über "diesen Riss … freuen, ihn geradezu bejubeln [würde]." Von Weizsäckers Fazit: "Wir haben vom Regierenden Bürgermeister zu erwarten, dass er Brücken baut, anstatt Risse vertieft," Berliner Morgenpost 30.04.09.

Politische Wüste Berlin

Und das wird auch weiterhin Klaus Wowereits Hinterlassenschaft darstellen:

Das Fehlen jeder Diskussionskultur und die mediale und politische Ausgrenzung missliebiger Meinungen. Klaus Wowereit, der so gerne unter dem Motto der Toleranz segelte, stand de facto genau für das Gegenteil.

Und wie war und ist es um die jeweilige parlamentarische Opposition bestellt? Da kann man leider nur sagen, dass so weit das Auge reicht, nur "politischer Beton" zu besichtigen ist.

Aktuell wird mit ganz großen Krokodils-Tränen – zuvorderst von den Grünen – der tatsächlich bejammernswerte Zustand der Tempelhofer Stadtbrache beklagt, ohne zu erwähnen, dass man diesen Zustand durch die Flughafenschließung und die Verteufelung einer pragmatischen Weiternutzung des Flughafens mit verschuldet hat. Der BBI/BER war schließlich für diese Partei lange Zeit zu groß, obwohl allgemein bekannt war, dass er tatsächlich zu klein werden würde. Unvergessen auch die Äußerung der grünen Spitzenfrau Eichstädt-Bohlig, die 2006 aus Kostengründen eine Kürzung der Start- und Landebahnen forderte.

Und die Berliner Piraten sind immer für den Flughafen, der nicht gebaut worden ist, was automatisch bestehende Neubauprojekte ausschließt. Der Vorsitzende des BER-Untersuchungsausschusses, der Pirat Martin Delius, erklärte schließlich öffentlich, dass schon 10 Flugbewegungen pro Tag während des ehemals geplanten BER-Testbetriebs einen erheblichen Lärm für die Anwohner darstellen würden. Vielleicht sollte man den Piraten und speziell Herrn Delius erklären, dass Berlin eine Stadt und kein Dorf ist und daher auch keinen Dorf-Flughafen benötigt.

Und die Partei Die Linke war bekanntlich bis 2011 das, was die CDU jetzt ist, nämlich Wowereits willige Mehrheitsbeschafferin, die jetzt ihre liebe Not hat zu erklären, warum sie beim BER so brav mitgemacht hat.

Nein, von dieser Opposition kann man sich nur mit Grausen abwenden.

Die Berliner CDU – naiv oder sogar noch mehr?

Und was macht der aktuelle Juniorpartner der Berliner SPD, die CDU?

Auf dem Kleinen Parteitag der Berliner CDU am 13.10.14 äußerte sich Wowereits Stellvertreter Frank Henkel in einer Art und Weise, die man nur als verstörend bezeichnen kann: "Als wir 2011 den Koalitionsvertrag gemacht haben, sind wir davon ausgegangen, dass (im BER) ein halbes Jahr später geflogen wird." Nein, das kann man noch nicht einmal als naiv bezeichnen.

Spätestens 2016 werden die Wähler die Berliner CDU aber fragen, wo sie denn in all den Jahren war, was sie geleistet hat – und warum im BER immer noch nicht geflogen wird. Auf die Antworten darf man gespannt sein.

Kein Happy End in Sicht

Und wird es besser werden?

Nein, leider nicht, da der Wowereit-Nachfolger Müller bei allen wegweisenden (Fehl)Entscheidungen wohl heftig nickend mit am Tisch gesessen hat. Und sicherheitshalber wird Michael Müller vorgezogene Neuwahlen vermeiden wollen, wobei die Sicherheit des eigenen Mandats ausschlaggebend sein wird.

Passend zum Ende der Amtszeit von Klaus Wowereit wird am 12.12., einen Tag nach seinem Rücktritt, erklärt werden, dass auch 2014 kein offizielles Eröffnungsdatum für den BER genannt werden kann – wobei die Betonung auf "kann" liegt, weil wollen würde man wohl sehr gerne!

Und da das BER-Schiff je nach Geschmack schwere Schlagseite hat oder schon sogar im Sinken begriffen ist, verlassen die handelnden Personen nun hastig den Schauplatz, ohne jedoch an Schuldzuweisungen zu sparen, wobei die Gretchenfrage "Wer wusste was wann?" selbstverständlich immer zu Lasten anderer beantwortet werden wird.

Die Aussage des Regierenden Bürgermeisters von 2005, "Ohne meine Tätigkeit als Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender (der Flughafengesellschaft) wären wir nicht an dem Punkt, an den wir heute gekommen sind", wird mehr denn je gelten.

Klaus Wowereit wird sich jedenfalls zukünftig ganz klein machen, obwohl jahrelang der BBI/BER auch sein persönliches Vorzeigeprojekt war. Und selbstverständlich wird sein Nachfolger Müller erst den Betrogenen und dann den Aufklärer geben.

Wir fordern daher Neuwahlen – jetzt und sofort!

Herzliche Grüße

Ihr Brennpunkt-BER-Team

P. S.

Für Klaus Wowereit wird nun, nein, kein Ehren-Oscar, sondern eine Gedenkmedaille in Silber geprägt. Laut Berliner Morgenpost vom 10.10.14 nannte der Geschäftsführer der Staatliche Münze Berlin, Andreas Schikora, "unbequeme Aussagen" von Klaus Wowereit als Grund für diese Würdigung. Des Pudels Kern ist wohl, dass der Partyprinz Wowereit für eins nach wie vor taugt, nämlich für den Kommerz.

Die Gedenkmünze, die es für läppische 13 EUR gibt, sollte man u. E. in "BER-Thaler" umbenennen und die entsprechenden Einnahmen dem gleichnamigen Flughafen zukommen lassen.

Jedenfalls wird sich die Staatliche Münze Berlin bestimmt für Ihre Meinung zur Ausgabe dieser ganz besonderen Gedenkmedaille interessieren.

Übrigens:

Text & Redaktion: Wolfgang Przewieslik

© Das Thema Tempelhof e.V. 2014. Alle Rechte vorbehalten. Direkte und indirekte Textzitate sind nur mit einer vollständigen Quellenangabe zulässig.

Postfach 61 01 33, 10921 Berlin

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Friedman: Taking the Strategic Intelligence Model to Moscow*

I am going to visit Moscow next week. I was invited by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations to speak on strategic analysis, their term for what Stratfor calls strategic forecasting. Going to Moscow would give me pause under any circumstances. I am a product of the Cold War, and for me, at some level, Moscow is the city of the enemy. For my father, that city was Berlin. For my daughter, it was Fallujah. In every war there is an enemy and a city that embodies that enemy. I have spent too much of my life fixated on Moscow to lose the ingrained sense that it is a city of darkness and conspiracy.

My children don’t have that sense of Moscow, and it is fading in me as well, like memories of old loves. It’s there, but it’s not there. Certainly, we are not on the verge of nuclear war, nor are we expecting Soviet divisions to pour into West Germany. But it is interesting to me that those I mentioned this trip to — people who are aware that I am constantly traveling and discussing such matters — have expressed concern for my safety. Some have asked whether I was afraid of being arrested or afraid for my life. Stratfor’s security director even took a half hour of my time to remind me of the potential dangers. We both are of an age to have enjoyed the conversation mightily.

The events in Ukraine are not a surprise to us, and our readers know that we have covered them carefully. But the distance between then and now is as important as the conflict itself. There must be a sense of proportion. If I were to identify the major difference, it would be this: In the Soviet Union prior to 1980, there was an overarching ideology. Over time, people became cynical about it, but for a long time, it was either believed or feared. Today’s Russia is many things, but it is not ideological. It is nationalist (what we call patriotic in other countries), it is an oligarchy, it is corrupt, it is authoritarian — but it is not a place of deeply held beliefs, or at least not a place of a single belief. The Soviet Union once thought of itself as the vanguard of humanity, giving it a strength and will that was daunting. Russia no longer has any such pretensions. It is simply another country. It makes no claims for more.

There are causes for conflict other than ideology. The United States has an interest in preventing the emergence of a new European hegemon. The Russians must maintain the buffers that sapped the strength of Napoleon and Hitler. Neither interest is frivolous, and it is difficult to imagine how both can be satisfied. Therefore, there is a divergence of interests between the United States and Russia, complicated by the European Peninsula’s myriad nations. That this had to play out was inevitable. As the Europeans weakened, Russia strengthened relative to them. When Ukraine reversed its orientation from Russia to the West, Russia had to react. As Russia reacted, the United States had to react. Each side can portray the other as a monster, but neither is monstrous. Each simply behaves as it is forced to under circumstances.

That is the entire point of strategic forecasting and analysis. It does not depend on hidden secrets but on impersonal forces. It depends on things hidden in clear sight. The current dispute over Ukraine is an example. The Russians have an interest in Ukraine’s fate, fair or unfair to Ukraine. So do the Americans. Several years ago I wrote about this crisis because it did not depend on policies but instead on the impersonal forces that shape national interest. Robert D. Kaplan has written on the realist view of foreign policy. I disagree in this sense: For me, realism is not a policy. It is a standpoint from which to observe the unfolding of reality. The subjective views of policymakers matter little. They are trapped in events. Regardless of what U.S. President Barack Obama wanted to do in the Middle East, ultimately predictable events have trapped him against his will. It is interesting to watch him try to resist the reality he finds himself in. There is little chance.

This is why I am going to Moscow. I want to talk to Russians who are looking at the world through a prism similar to my own and compare notes on how we see the world. We will be looking at the same realities using what I suspect are similar methods and will see how our visions differ. This is not a game of secrets. At this level, it matters little what Obama wants or what Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks. It is about forces far larger than individuals. I will tell them the following. I wonder what they will tell me.

The Nature of Strategic Forecasting

Strategic forecasting is that class of intelligence that is most alien to intelligence services: events that cannot be understood through sources and whose outcome was unintended and unanticipated by the actors involved. In addition, it does not enable decision-makers to decide whether the events will happen, but it lets them prepare for broad shifts. For most political leaders, immediate issues subject to control are more attractive, while strategic issues, which after all may be in error, require enormous effort with political costs. Careers in intelligence are not enhanced by broad and long-term thinking, even if completely correct. Given the frequent and radical shifts in history that challenge conventional thought, many strategic forecasts appear preposterous to the intelligence consumer. In this sense, it is a form of intelligence best practiced outside of government and state intelligence services.

Strategic intelligence is not source-driven; it is model-driven. This is not to say that strategic intelligence doesn’t depend on the inflow of information, but the level of information it requires is not necessarily information that is hard and dangerous to discover (although it could be, in some cases). Nor does it consist of massive collections. The entire principle of strategic intelligence is to ruthlessly discard the subcritical noise that is being collected in order to identify the center of gravity of events. A tiny hint may sometimes draw attention to a major process, particularly in military affairs. Finding that tiny hint, however, requires huge amounts of time and effort, and little time is left to understand the meaning. Moreover, in many cases, the process is in plain sight. The trick is to see it, and the even harder trick is to believe it.

We have a saying at Stratfor: Be stupid. By this we mean do not be so sophisticated that you do not see what is before your eyes, and do not value the secret that is obtained at great expense over facts that everyone knows but fails to understand. Excessive sophistication and excessive love of the secret will hide the strategic processes underway. Thus, for example, the fragmentation of the European Union, which is of great importance today, is based on the fact that the value of Germany’s exports is equivalent to 50 percent of its gross domestic product. This is a fact that everyone knows, but few understand the implications, which are enormous. The sophisticated deal with levels of abstraction far beyond this simple fact. The truth lies in the open.

There are two foundations to the model. The first is that there is no distinction between economic, political, military and technological affairs. They are convenient ways to organize departments, but in reality, they are simply a different and linked dimension of the nation-state and related socio-political activities. The relative importance of each differs from time to time and from place to place, but they are always present and always interacting. Strategic intelligence must view things from an integrated standpoint.

Second, decision-makers are trapped by a matrix of forces that will break them unless accommodated. Successful decision-makers are those who understand the circumstances in which they find themselves. They make history, but not as Karl Marx put it, as they will. On the surface this is connected to a Marxist mode of thinking. In fact, Marx himself was not the originator of this idea. Adam Smith and his notion of the invisible hand, in which men pursue private interests and unintentionally increase the wealth of nations in the course of these activities, preceded Marx. Smith himself was beholden to Machiavelli, who argued that a prince cannot lift his eyes from war but must focus on the things he is forced to do by circumstance. The virtue of the prince rested in ruthlessly doing what he must, not in dreaming of power he didn’t have. Strategic forecasting and Marxism have similar views only in that they both believe the foundation of political life is necessity.

Necessity is predictable, particularly if you are dealing with rational actors, and successful politicians are extremely rational within the space they occupy. The actions required to rise and lead a million people, let alone hundreds of millions, necessitate extraordinary discipline and instinct. Few humans can even begin the climb, and only the most disciplined achieve the heights. It is fashionable among journalists and academics to hold politicians in contempt. They lack the politicians‘ learning and cleverness. Thus, journalists mistake a radically different mindset and soul for inferiority. This satisfies their need to not feel inferior, but it does little to guide us. Obama and Putin have far more in common with each other than either has with their general publics. Each rose to power in his milieu, where almost no one else did.

If you watch a chess grandmaster play another, you will note that the game is rather predictable. Each understands fully the circumstance and knows that the apparent options are illusory. Each move is met with an expected countermove. On rare occasions, a brilliant player finds a variation. Most games end in predictable draws. A grandmaster is predictable in his game precisely because his understanding is so acute. An amateur is liable to do anything, but of course, the amateur never gets the opportunity to play at the grandmaster’s board. The same is true of politicians. The careless and random can’t be predicted, but neither do they survive. It is the gifted and disciplined who survive and who can therefore be predicted.

The Strategic Intelligence Model

The task of strategic intelligence is to build a model that takes into account the wide range of constraints that limit the choices of a leader, identifying the imperatives that he must pursue if he is to survive as a leader and if his country is to be safe. The obvious constraint and imperative is geography. Germany’s location on the Northern European Plain and its ability to produce efficiently and dominate markets to the east and southeast create an imperative to export and to maintain political domination in its markets. This has been true since the unification of Germany in 1871. At the same time, given its location and lack of natural barriers, it is an inherently insecure country. It must maintain its export markets while politically or militarily securing its physical safety. This simplistic model allows us to predict a number of things regardless of who is chancellor. First, to avoid domestic disruption, Germany will export regardless of circumstances. Second, Berlin will shape the political environment to facilitate this. Third, it will try to avoid military confrontation. Fourth, in extreme circumstances, it must initiate conflict rather than wait for its enemies to do so.

This model, which I provide only for the sake of understanding the concepts I’ve laid out, begins with the internal political constraints on a German leader. It follows to the only effective solution: exports. It then shifts to other concerns triggered intermittently by German success. Chancellor Angela Merkel must maintain exports or face unemployment and political opposition. Germany must export in part to the European Union, so it has shaped the European Union to facilitate this trade. Simultaneously, it must protect its national security by posing no strategic threat to anyone. Other options, such as cutting exports, allowing the European Union to function under other rules or moving Germany from the North European Plain are not available to her. Therefore, certain policies are imposed upon her.

The model involves imperatives that must be fulfilled, constraints that shape the solutions and decision-makers who respect these terms, with the variables extended into multiple domains and interacting with similar models for other countries. To manage this, the broad outlines of behavior can only be modeled, and the data that is used cannot be excessively granular; otherwise, it would overwhelm the analyst and obscure the point, which is to understand the broad patterns that are emerging. Without the existence of a prior model that controls the selection and flow of intelligence, the system collapses under the weight of random information. It is important to bear in mind that no attempt is made to engage in a psychological model of the decision-maker. This is not only because such a model is impossible to create but also because the psychology of power and powerful leaders tends to make them more similar than different. A psychology of power in general is more useful than a psychology of the individuals. There are two keys to strategic forecasting. First, focus on the community, nation and state rather than individuals. Second, do not confuse the subjective intent of the individual leader with the outcome.

My hosts should be comfortable with this theme, for it has elements of Marxism in it. The two differences are my focus on the state instead of the class and the fact that I regard this as the human condition, permanent and not evolving toward any "new humanity." Ultimately I owe more to Adam Smith’s invisible hand and to Machiavelli’s description of the dilemma of the prince, who is powerful only so long as he exercises his power as necessity dictates. His power has little choice.

I will be looking forward to seeing how the Russians do strategic intelligence and how they see Ukraine. The board and the pieces are for anyone to see. Espionage undoubtedly has its uses, but not at this level and not in this game. I will report on what I find in Moscow.

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/taking-strategic-intelligence-model-moscow#axzz3Kg3hSbSS

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Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union Faces Resistance in Central Asia

December 1, 2014

Jax Jacobsen

To Western observers, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be caught in a perfect storm: his gamble in Ukraine’s Crimea region has left diplomatic ties with the European Union as damaged as they’ve ever been, with Russia losing the support of a critical ally in Germany; the ruble has dropped 22%, which has helped Russia post its slowest GDP growth in five years; and slumping oil prices could cause the Russian economy to lose between $90 billion and $100 billion per year if oil prices drop more than 30%, according to Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.

Russia’s economic difficulties are unlikely to be resolved in the near future, especially considering the lack of potential for regime change. Putin has been in power, either as president or prime minister, since 2000, and has, since reworking formerly independent media voices like Ria Novosti into state-controlled propaganda machines, been riding high in the polls with approval ratings near an all-time high of 86%. Earlier this week, he said he would not be in power for life and would likely step down no later than 2024, in accordance with the Russian constitution. The announcement was met with deep skepticism across the board.

Despite the economic gloom, and the growing criticism from Russian oligarchs who have lost tremendous amounts of capital as a result of the economic downswing, Putin is determined to push ahead with what many assume to be his pet project: the reconstruction of the Soviet Union, or at the very least, bringing “lost” territories back into the fold of Russian domination. This policy takes the form of the burgeoning Eurasian Economic Union, itself an outgrowth of the Customs Union first implemented by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus in 2010.

“The Kremlin’s maximum goal has been to secure recognition of this [post-Soviet] area as its legitimate sphere of influence that gives Russia a droit de regard over its former republics,” University of Kent Professor Richard Sakwa wrote in Power and Policy in Putin’s Russia (2013). Though the region has become increasingly involved with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (with China) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (with Russia as the leading member), “bilateral ties remain the Kremlin’s priority.”

However, Russian involvement in Ukraine earlier this year is making many, if not most, post-Soviet states nervous. If these governments had been formerly disinclined to view the Eurasian Economic Union as a ploy by Putin to re-attach former Soviet territories, some are visibly nervous about it now. (continued / see attachment)

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Policy= res publica

Freudenberg-Pilster*

Liebe Leser_innen,

wir freuen uns, Ihnen die vierte Ausgabe von Gender Matters! der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) präsentieren zu dürfen. Gender matters! berichtet über die Arbeit unserer Stiftung im Themenfeld Geschlechtergerechtigkeit im In- und Ausland.

Nach den Themen „Krise“, „Arbeit“ und „Pflege/Care“ haben wir uns diesmal den Schwerpunkt „Wahlen“ vorgenommen und den Fokus auf Fragen der politischen Partizipation und Repräsentation aus Geschlechterperspektive gerichtet.

Wählen und gewählt werden: Wahlen haben eine aktive und eine passive Seite. Auf der aktiven Seite gibt es in vielen Ländern, so auch in Deutschland, zwischen Männern und Frauen kaum noch Unterschiede: Die Wahlbeteiligung ist annähernd gleich. …

EDITORIAL WEITERLESEN

„Das wär‘ ja nix für mich" – Wenn Frauen kandidieren

90 Prozent der deutschen Kommunen werden von Männern regiert. Warum ist das so? Und wie kann man das ändern?

WEITERLESEN

Die Europawahl, Chance für Frauen?

Alles auf Anfang: kaum mehr Frauen im Europaparlament – aber dafür die AfD. Und die ist vor allem eins: extrem antifeministisch.

WEITERLESEN

Quotierte Wahllisten und ihre Folgen

Frauen sind die Hälfte der Bevölkerung? Also gehört ihnen auch die Hälfte der Plätze auf den Wahllisten. Das Prinzip Parité – in Deutschland und aller Welt.

WEITERLESEN

Quotenfrau und stolz darauf!

Wo wenig Frauen auf Chefsesseln sitzen, ist es immer noch schwer, als Gleiche akzeptiert zu werden, sagt Elke Ferner, Parlamentarische Staatssekretärin im Familienministerium und …

WEITERLESEN

RÜCKBLICK

Zurück in die Vergangenheit?

Viele haben sich in den letzten Jahren Sorgen gemacht, dass dem Feminismus in seiner Gleichsetzung …

Ein anderer Blick auf Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Soziales

Chancengleichheit auf dem Arbeitsmarkt für Männer und Frauen funktioniert nur …

Wie können Konventionen und Gesetze helfen, Gewalt an Frauen einzudämmen?

Im März dieses Jahres veröffentliche die Europäische Agentur für Grundrechte eine …

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Politics: From Vision to Action

Barandat* Russia’s South Stream pipeline falls victim to Ukraine crisis, energy rout*

(Reuters) – Russia’s $40 billion South Stream gas pipeline project has fallen victim to plunging energy prices, stalling European demand and the political standoff between the European Union and Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.

Russia on Monday said it had scrapped the project to supply gas to Europe without crossing Ukraine, citing EU objections, and named Turkey as its preferred partner.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, accompanied by his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan (not pictured), attends a news conference in Ankara, December 1, 2014.

South Stream planned to supply 63 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas a year, equivalent to more than 10 percent of European demand, from Russia via the Black Sea into the EU toward the end of this decade, cementing Russia’s role as the region’s dominant supplier.

But it came under increasing fire this year. The crisis over Ukraine led to Brussels freezing its approval process, and the pipeline also hit trouble over weak European gas demand and energy prices, undermining its economics.

"I think the likelihood of South Stream being built is now is close to zero," said Pierre Noel, senior fellow for economic and energy security for International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

South Stream would need to be marketed at an equivalent of $9.50-$11.50 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu), including a 30 percent export duty, estimates have shown. The average European spot gas prices have ranged between $6-$9 per mmBtu this year.

"Decreasing oil-indexed prices for gas and lower sales are likely to drive Gazprom to the red this year," said Mikhail Korchemkin of East European Gas Analysis, forcing the firm to reduce its investment program.

Russian state-controlled Gazprom sells most of its gas under oil-linked contracts. With oil prices tumbling 40 percent since June and European gas demand down 10 percent since 2010, Gazprom’s gas revenues have plunged.

"Cancellation of the project can reduce Gazprom’s negative cash flow in 2014-2017", Korchemkin added.

Gazprom meets almost a third of Europe’s demand, which in turn makes up 80 percent of its revenues.

"It (scrapping South Stream) reflects internal Russian pressure on where it is going to invest limited resources at a point in time when sanctions are hitting," said Carlos Pascual, a fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, referring to Western sanctions over Ukraine.

"It’s harder, more expensive to access capital and the fastest growing gas markets in the world are in Asia, and Russia has virtually no export capacity to the Asian market," he added.

IS IT REALLY DEAD?

The announcement on scrapping South Stream came during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Gazprom chief executive, Alexei Miller, to Turkey, during which Putin proposed building it to Turkey instead, offering its gas at a discount.

"I don’t think Putin is bluffing. I think he’s really adapting to a fundamentally new geopolitical situation in Europe," the IISS‘ Noel said.

Yet the notion of running South Stream to non-EU member Turkey is not new and is seen by some as a political ploy by Russia to win the support of those EU members in favor of the pipeline.

South Stream exposed cracks in EU strategy as Hungary, Austria, Serbia and Bulgaria among others saw it as a solution to the risk of supply disruptions via Ukraine, which have occurred three times during the last decade. Brussels, on the other hand, saw it as entrenching Moscow’s energy stranglehold on Europe.

"The alternative to Turkey is even more doubtful than the direct option to Europe," one financial adviser who has dealt with the matter said on condition of anonymity.

The gas discount offered to Turkey casts further doubt over a project that was already economically doubtful, and would be far too big for Turkey alone to receive all the gas, supplying four times its annual demand.

"Even if it went to Turkey, most of its gas would end up in Europe, so it begs the question why introduce a transit risk instead of attempting to solve Russia-EU differences and run it directly to Europe as initially planned," the adviser added.

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Bulgarian politicians divided on Putin’s South Stream announcement – reactions*

The first reactions from Bulgarian politicians on Russian president Vladimir Putin’s surprising announcement that Moscow would shelve the South Stream pipeline were predictably uneven, given the existing divide in Bulgaria about the benefits of the proposed project.

Putin said, during a visit to Turkey on December 1, that Russia could not push ahead with construction because Bulgaria was yet to issue a construction permit for its stretch of the pipeline, saying that “Bulgaria was deprived of the opportunity to act as a sovereign country” and implying that it was the European Union’s fault that the pipeline could not be built.

Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev sought to rebuff any criticism directed at the authorities in Sofia, saying that the project was always going to be a matter of discussions between Russia and the EU, rather than Russia and Bulgaria.

“The decision on [the future of] South Stream can only be made between Russia and the EU. The countries interested in South Stream have carried out very serious preparations and also mandated the European Commission to negotiate with the Russian government to make a decision on this project,” Plevneliev said on December 2, as quoted by Focus news agency.

“I disagree with the thesis that there is a confrontation. This is one of many projects that could be implemented within the EU and only if it meets EU regulations. The EU is a union based on the rule of law. I regret that Russia is showing that ‘might is right’ in the Ukrainian crisis, but when we observe the rule of law, any project, small or large, will happen. I believe that no one will reject South Stream in the EU if Russia shows willingness to abide by EU rules,” he said.

Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev said that the accusations that Bulgaria had prevented South Stream from being built were inappropriate. Bulgaria had to stop all work on its stretch of the pipeline because of the infringement proceedings launched by the EC on suspicion that the now-departed Plamen Oresharski administration breached EU rules on public procurement in awarding the construction contract.

Donchev said that Bulgaria was concerned by this new development and would take a pro-active stance, but would not pursue unilateral talks with Moscow because the issue was a European one and should be dealt with at EU level. He welcomed any help from the EU to build additional gas grid connections with neighbouring countries, but said that such measures were not enough to compensate the losses from the cancellation of South Stream, leaving open the prospect of future litigation.

http://sofiaglobe.com/2014/12/02/bulgarian-politicians-divided-on-putins-south-stream-announcement-reactions/?utm_source=The+Sofia+Globe+Daily+Bulletin&utm_campaign=c122058966-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8c38ec575a-c122058966-66164713

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August 1, 2014 :Westinghouse signs shareholder agreement for new Bulgarian nuclear unit*

US nuclear firm Westinghouse Electric said on August 1 that it has signed a shareholder agreement to build a new reactor at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power plant.

The agreement was signed after “consultations with all political parties” in Bulgaria and was subject to future government oversight, the company said. Westinghouse CEO Danny Roderick visited Bulgaria earlier this week to meet with senior political figures to discuss the proposed construction of a 1000MW reactor using Westinghouse’s AP1000 design.

The issue was discussed at the last meeting of the outgoing Plamen Oresharski cabinet, but a decision was left to the next government that will take office after early elections in October. The announcement that a shareholder agreement was to be signed on August 1 has stirred some controversy, especially among the socialists – the party that held the government mandate for the Oresharski administration.

http://sofiaglobe.com/2014/08/01/westinghouse-signs-shareholder-agreement-for-new-bulgarian-nuclear-unit/

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Middle East

*Confronting the “Islamic State”: Understanding the Strengths and Vulnerabilities of ISIS*

Abstract: The so-called Islamic State has emerged as a major force in the struggle for the future of Syria and Iraq with a worldview that is deeply at odds with that of the United States and its allies.

In this struggle, US military and intelligence personnel must analyze the nature of this organization continuously, seeking ways to overcome its strengths and exploit its weaknesses.

A discussion of such strengths and weaknesses is provided here while acknowledging constant adjustment is necessary as the Islamic State evolves.

http://strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/parameters/issues/Autumn_2014/5_TerrillAndrew_Understanding%20the%20Strengths%20and%20Vulnerabilities%20of%20ISIS.pdf

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*Massenbach’s

Recommendation*

Special Focus
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

TTIP Offers Excellent Opportunities

TTIP will be different from traditional trade agreements

In summer 2013 negotiations began for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). TTIP will not be like traditional trade Agreements, which were primarily focused on the removal of tariffs. The aims of TIPP are far greater. The European Union (EU) and the United States are negotiating a reciprocal opening of markets for trading goods and services, and for investments. Government procurement markets would also become more open and transparent. The transatlantic partners aim to cooperate more closely on regulatory issues in the future, ultimately developing rules for investments, competition, government procurement contracts, and customs clearance which have the potential to set global standards. By removing tariffs and administrative barriers the transatlantic partners hope to save unnecessary trade costs. This would benefit not only businesses but also consumers, who would enjoy lower prices and a wider variety of products.

TTIP is not a deregulation project

The negotiations are not about lowering standards. In the future, both the EU and the United States will retain the ability to regulate environmental, safety, and health issues in ways they deem appropriate to protect the public benefit. Both sides have stressed this point repeatedly. Instead, the negotiations are about recognizing which rules and standards are equivalent, and abolishing double product authorization procedures which both lead to similar results.

EU Member States have set red lines for negotiations

The European Commission is negotiating on behalf of the EU Member States, who have given it a mandate defining the boundaries, targets, and red lines for the negotiations. The chief negotiator is Ignacio García Bercero of Spain. On the American side, Dan Mullaney is sitting at the negotiating table on behalf of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). A total of 24 working groups discusses the various subjects and business sectors during the negotiation rounds. Initial offers concerning tariffs have already been exchanged. During the sixth negotiation round in July, the EU followed the United States in extending their first offer concerning the opening of services markets. With reference to the negotiating mandate, this offer will ensure that sensitive areas, such as public services and audiovisual services, are excluded from additional market opening. The negotiations on individual sectors such as the automotive industry, textiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medical equipment, information and communication technology, mechanical engineering, and pesticides have so far focused on comparing the different regulatory systems and clarifying technical details. During the seventh round in September and October negotiators examined numerous suggestions for removing double regulations. The negotiations should yield concrete results in 2015.

TTIP is worth it

According to a study by the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), the implementation of a comprehensive agreement could raise the EU´s GDP by 0.5 percent in the long term. The true extent of these beneficial effects would depend on the results of the negotiations. However, it can already be said with certainty that the removal of non-tariff barriers to trade would particularly benefit small and medium-sized German enterprises. This is because, in contrast to large enterprises, they often cannot afford the bureaucracy and administrative costs which differing regulations and standards entail. Last but not least, TTIP is an opportunity to actively shape international guidelines on world trade, and to set high global standards – for instance with regard to competition, or the protection of intellectual property. It is an opportunity we should not miss.

BDI

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‘Hezbollah’

Bashar’s Confidant and Israel’s Nemesis

s. Anlage / see attachment

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Kurdistan

Opinion: The Kurdish exchange over Kirkuk: oil for land

By Shorish Haji

Historically, a core reason behind the Kurdish failure to secure gains at the negotiating table is the all or nothing policy that Kurdish leaders have hopelessly pursued since the dawn of Kurdish nationalist revolts. This is true of early Kurdish leaders including Shekh Ubaidulla and Shekh Mahmoud and has continued to more recent nationalists such as Qazi Muhammad and Mustafa Barzani.

The pattern, however, is the same even in our own time, with Kurdish politicians conducting negotiations in the same old fashion: all or nothing.

There are indeed many reasons why Kurdish leaders deal in this way, but now is not the time to reflect over the details. Here, we only say that more often Kurds have gained next to nothing in various negotiations, partly due to the fact that they have unsuccessfully insisted on having it all at once, instead of gaining some and working to gain more in the next negotiation. As a result Kurds have repeatedly returned from talks completely empty-handed.

Now, what is of vital importance is the question of oil and land.

A Kurdish delegation is in Baghdad to find common solutions to the lingering issues between the central and regional governments. By now, it is almost common knowledge what the Kurdish demands are: oil, Peshmerga and the implementation of the constitutional article 140, which deals with the so-called disputed areas. In short, oil and the future of Kirkuk are expected to occupy much of the negotiations.

Both Baghdad and Erbil will eventually try to leave the table with more gains for themselves, and toward that end they will make use of every tactic and strategy. There is so much at stake between the two governments that it would be close to impossible to predict which side will secure more gains. This is why Kurds must be prepared for every eventuality. It is therefore important to abandon our “all or nothing” policy and instead focus on securing at least one strategic gain at this point: for instance, land for oil could work.

One thing is certain: neither Kurds nor the Iraqi Arab government will be able to achieve all its demands at the expense of the other side. But as far as the Iraqi state remains together, Erbil and Baghdad can hardly ignore each other.

They both need one another for survival and coexistence.

The Kurdistan region lacks: a strong financial infrastructure; a strong institutionalized Peshmerga force; food security; stable institutions; public awareness and public readiness to face unpredictable challenges in case of independence. In addition, regional and global conditions are not very supportive of a Kurdish state at the moment. Therefore, it is wise for Kurds to come to an agreement with authorities in Baghdad.

We need more than mere talks and meetings to solve the remaining issues between the two governments. We need to negotiate: you give some, you take some. In this regard, the most important issue for Kurds is the annexation of Kirkuk and other disputed areas to the Kurdistan Region.

We can certainly give something to the Iraqi government which they can sell to their own public in return for Kirkuk and other disputed Kurdish territories. In other words, we have to concede in something – oil — to officially gain something else: our historical lands.

We have to come to an agreement with the Iraqi government to decide the future of Kirkuk. This is what we can do: we straightforwardly ask for the reincorporation of both Kirkuk and other Kurdistani areas outside the KRG and in return we officially recognize that the oil in Kirkuk and disputed areas is the property of the whole of Iraq and should be redistributed equally among Kurds, Arabs and other components of Iraqi society.

In this way, Kurds gain land and Baghdad gains access to the much-needed revenues. But if we do not act this way, Kirkuk and other disputed areas will forever remain a volatile issue easily manipulated by foreign powers and transformed into internal crises.

One last item is of equal importance and that is the constitutional rights of Arabs, Turkmans and Christians in Kurdistan. This should be strengthened so that they feel and see Kurdistan as their homeland in which their civil rights are protected by law and constitution.

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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

UdovonMassenbachMail

JoergBarandat

1411_OSC Analysis ‚Hezbollah Bashar Confidant and Israel’s Nemesis‘.pdf

5_TerrillAndrew_Understanding the Strengths and Vulnerabilities of ISIS.pdf

12-03-14 Schlumberger cuts seismic survey fleet as oil weakens.pdf

12-02-14 Anger and dismay as Russia scraps $50bn gas plan.pdf

Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union Faces Resistance in Central Asia-english – russian.pdf

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