Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 11/12/15

Massenbach-Letter. News ***Putin Orders Government to File Lawsuit if Ukraine Fails to Pay $3Bln Debt – share the risks with US, Europe and IMF ***

· Irakischer Dominikaner: Sorge um Zukunft Europas – Syrien-Lösung nur mit Assad

· EBRD: Economic implications of Russia’s sanctions against Turkey * Putin Orders Government to File Lawsuit if Ukraine Fails to Pay $3Bln Debt

· Michael Wolffsohn zu Syrien: “Frieden durch Föderalismus” * Stratfor: Syria – U.S., Russia To Hold Talks With U.N. On Conflict.

· Katholischer Militärbischof Overbeck: „Gewalt muss schnellstmöglich ein Ende finden“. – Kardinal Marx zeigt sich von Syrien-Einsatz betroffen

· STRATFOR: In France, Discontent Favors the National Front * Cicero: Marine Le Pen „Die NPD ist rechtsextrem, wir nicht“.

· STRATFOR:Laos as a Regional Link * A New High for U.S.-China Military Ties.

· French Aircraft Carrier Takes Over Anti-ISIL Coalition Naval Command – Navy

· Russia – Turkey – US – Israel

· Rescued at Last: Christian Villages in Syria Liberated from Daesh.

News alert: Greece: Athens Acquiesces On EU Border Demands : „ A Greek minister for migration policy said that Athens had not made a request for assistance earlier because it was not yet sure of its needs. Greece’s fiscal troubles and the refugee crisis are both stumbling blocks to European unity. “ https://www.stratfor.com/situation-report/greece-athens-acquiesces-eu-border-demands

Massenbach* Syrien-Einsatz: Bundeswehr gegen IS | Michael Wolffsohn zu Syrien: “Frieden durch Föderalismus” –

Kontrovers: Die Sendung vom 02.12.2015 | BR Mediathek VIDEO

Für den Bundeswehr-Einsatz in Syrien gibt es keinen soliden Plan, weder militärisch noch politisch.

Statement im Bayerischen Fernsehen (kontrovers)

Von Minute 28.03 – 32.54

http://www.br.de/mediathek/video/sendungen/kontrovers/kontrovers-346.html

Katholischer Militärbischof Overbeck: „Gewalt muss schnellstmöglich ein Ende finden“.

„Es sei …wichtig, dass noch ungeklärte Fragen bezüglich der Strategie des militärischen Einsatzes sowie Fragen nach den politischen Perspektiven im Nahen und Mittleren Osten nach Ende des militärischen Einsatzes frühzeitig beantwortet werden.“

Mit großer Mehrheit hat der Bundestag der Beteiligung der Bundeswehr im Kampf gegen den Islamischen Staat in Syrien und im Irak zugestimmt. Aus Sicht des deutschen Militärbischofs Franz-Josef Overbeck muss es jedoch oberstes Ziel bleiben, auf allen politischen, militärischen und gesellschaftlichen Ebenen darauf hinzuwirken, dass sowohl der militärische Einsatz als auch die Gewaltbereitschaft aller Parteien schnellstmöglich ein Ende finden. Das steht in einer Erklärung Overbecks vom Freitag. Allerdings zeichneten sich im Moment keine einfachen Wege zu einem Frieden in Nahost ab, so der Militärbischof.

Auch wenn die Anschläge in Paris in großen Teilen der Bevölkerung tiefe Betroffenheit und großes Mitgefühl ausgelöst haben, ist es für den Militärbischof bei der Frage nach einem Einsatz der Bundeswehr wichtig, neben der Beachtung zwingender politischer Voraussetzungen vor allem ethische Kriterien wie auch christliche Werte zur Beurteilung des Einsatzes im Blick zu behalten. „Die Anwendung militärischer Gewalt ist ethisch immer ein schweres Übel und in einem hohen Maß legitimationsbedürftig“, so Overbeck. Deshalb habe die kirchliche Friedenslehre einen Katalog von Kriterien formuliert, die eine Orientierungshilfe bei der Entscheidungsfindung sein sollen, wenn es um die Frage nach dem Einsatz militärischer Gewalt gehe. „Demnach darf die Anwendung militärischer Gewalt nur als Ultima Ratio, als letztes Mittel in Betracht gezogen werden und bedarf einer begründeten Aussicht auf Erfolg“, betont der Militärbischof.

Es sei zudem wichtig, dass noch ungeklärte Fragen bezüglich der Strategie des militärischen Einsatzes sowie Fragen nach den politischen Perspektiven im Nahen und Mittleren Osten nach Ende des militärischen Einsatzes frühzeitig beantwortet werden.

Nach den Anschlägen vom 13. November in Paris hat Frankreich unter Bezugnahme auf Artikel 42, Absatz 7 des EU-Vertrages um militärische Unterstützung und um die Solidarität der internationalen Gemeinschaft und insbesondere seiner europäischen Partner gebeten. Das jetzt vom Bundestag beschlossene Bundeswehrmandat sieht die Entsendung von bis zu 1.200 Soldaten vor, die dazu beitragen sollen, terroristische Handlungen des IS zu unterbinden. Die Bundesrepublik will durch Aufklärung, Schutzkomponenten und Logistik Unterstützung leisten.

http://de.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/12/05/d_%E2%80%9Egewalt_muss_schnellstm%C3%B6glich_ein_ende_finden%E2%80%9C/1192199

D: Kardinal Marx zeigt sich von Syrien-Einsatz betroffen.

Der Münchner Kardinal Reinhard Marx hat sich angesichts des Syrien-Einsatzes der Bundeswehr persönlich betroffen und beunruhigt gezeigt. „Heute entscheidet der Bundestag, dass auch wir in einen Krieg hineingehen, der mit Gewalt und Töten verbunden ist“, sagte der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz am Freitag in München über den militärischen Einsatz gegen die Terrormiliz „Islamischer Staat“ in Syrien. „Das sollte nicht nur hoffnungsfroh machen, sondern auch traurig.“ Die Krise sei allein mit Gewalt nicht zu lösen, so Marx weiter: „Ohne langfristige Idee wird es keinen Frieden geben, die Zahl der Flüchtlinge wird noch steigen.“ Es sei zwar nicht Aufgabe der Kirche, selbst Politik zu machen oder Handelnden zu setzen, stellte der Kardinal fest. Sie sollte aber „Prinzipien klar machen, Leitlinien verkünden, Möglichkeiten aufzeigen“, die Voraussetzung von Politik seien. Die Verantwortlichen müssten nun die richtigen Entscheidungen treffen, „damit Europa und die Menschheitsfamilie zusammenbleiben können“.

http://de.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/12/04/d_kardinal_marx_zeigt_sich_von_syrien-einsatz_betroffen/1191948

Irakischer Dominikaner: Sorge um Zukunft Europas.

Er ist Dominikaner aus Karakosch im Irak und hat Hunderte von Dokumenten in Sicherheit gebracht, bevor die Stadt an den „Islamischen Staat“ fiel: P. Nagib Michael war jetzt zu Besuch in Österreich. Und hat sich dort gegenüber der Nachrichtenagentur kathpress sehr skeptisch dazu geäußert, ob sich die derzeit nach Europa strömenden muslimischen Flüchtlinge tatsächlich in die europäische Gesellschaft integrieren lassen.

Zum einen sei es Aufgabe der Behörden, sehr genau zwischen Flüchtlingen und Terroristen zu unterscheiden, warnte Nagib. Zum anderen habe er große Zweifel, dass die Muslime ihre Mentalität aufgeben würden, wonach sie sich als etwas Besseres als Nicht-Muslime betrachten.
Unter den derzeit aus dem Nahen Osten nach Europa kommenden Flüchtlingen seien nur ein bis zwei Prozent Christen. Die Christen versuchten auf anderen, legalen Wegen, in den Westen zu gelangen. Was freilich fast in Ding der Unmöglichkeit sei, denn kaum eine christliche Familie bekomme ein Visum für ein westliches Land, kritisiert der Ordensmann. Dabei wären gerade die Christen aus seiner Sicht ein Gewinn für die westlichen Gesellschaften. „Wir haben die gleiche Mentalität wie ihr. Wir wären leicht zu integrieren“, so Nagib wörtlich.

„Wir haben doch noch nie von einem Christen gehört, der jemanden ermordet oder Selbstmordattentäter wird oder irgendwo Bomben versteckt! Christen können hier in Europa ohne jedes Problem leben. Sie helfen Europa, voranzukommen, denn ihre Mentalität ist sehr ähnlich zu der europäischen. Aber viele andere Gruppen können sich hier nur schwer integrieren und versuchen, ihre speziellen Sichtweisen und ihren Fundamentalismus durchzusetzen, bei denen kommt es zum Zusammenprall zweier Zivilisationen – die europäische und die islamische Mentalität können nur schwer zusammenleben.“

Christliche Flüchtling würden aus Angst so gut wie nie zusammen mit muslimischen Flüchtlingen leben. Weder in den Flüchtlingscamps rund um Syrien noch auf den Fluchtrouten nach Europa. Das sei für die Christen viel zu gefährlich, und das sähen sie genauso wie die Jesiden. „Die Beziehung zwischen Jesiden und Christen ist sehr, sehr gut. Sie versuchen sich allerdings von den Muslimen fernzuhalten, denn selbst wenn wir nur eine einzige muslimische Familie unter tausend auf einem Gelände haben, schafft das große Probleme. Die Muslime sind sehr aggressiv gegenüber Nicht-Muslimen. Die Europäer verstehen das nicht! Die Flüchtlinge haben mir gesagt: Wenn Sie auch nur eine muslimische Familie hier im Gebäude oder auf dem Gelände aufnehmen, dann gehen wir! Die machen nur Probleme und schüren Unfrieden mit allen; sie haben eine sehr konfliktive Ideologie, weil sie Nicht-Muslime als minderwertig ansehen. Sie selbst haben die beste Religion und sind die besten Menschen, aber sie tun nichts für andere Menschen.“

Syrien-Lösung nur mit Assad

Zum Syrien-Konflikt befragt, meinte der Ordensmann, dass eine Lösung derzeit nur mit dem syrischen Machthaber Baschar al-Assad realistisch sei. Nur mit Assad könne es Frieden geben. Danach könnte dann schrittweise der Übergang zu einer neuen Regierung erfolgen. Die bisherigen Aktionen gegen Syrien seien jedenfalls viel zu schwach ausgefallen, kritisierte Nagib. Zuerst müsse die Terrororganisation militärisch besiegt werden. Dann sei wenigstens wieder Kurdistan sicher. Freilich sei der IS weniger eine Organisation als vielmehr eine Ideologie. Diese Ideologie gelte es dann in einem zweiten Schritt zu bekämpfen. „Ich bin besorgter über die Zukunft Europas als über die Zukunft der arabischen Welt! Die Katastrophen von Paris und Brüssel und andernorts sind ein Weckruf. Das lehrt uns unsere Erfahrung als Christen unter Muslimen. Aber niemand hört uns zu.“

Im Nordirak gibt es rund drei Millionen Flüchtlinge. Allein 120.000 Christen hatten im Sommer 2014 vor dem IS aus der Niniveh-Ebene ins sichere Kurdistan fliehen müssen. In Kurdistan sei die Sicherheitslage zwar wesentlich besser als etwa in Bagdad, doch auch in Kurdistan gebe es fundamentalistische islamistische Strömungen, so Nagib. Die Christen seien auch hier zumindest sehr besorgt. Wirkliche Zukunftsperspektiven gebe es in Kurdistan für Christen nicht. Viele wollten deshalb ins Ausland, viele auch zurück in ihre Heimatdörfer und -städte, aus denen sie vom IS und anderen Islamisten vertrieben wurden. Das sei aber schlicht unmöglich.

Mosul: IS foltert in Dominikanerkirche

Die Dominikaner mussten ihre Klöster in Karakosch und Mosul aufgeben, würden aber sicher zurückkehren, wenn es die Sicherheitslage erlaubt, sagte P. Nagib. Viele Kirchen und Klöster seien freilich auch zerstört oder wurden in Moscheen umfunktioniert. „Aus unserer Dominikanerkirche in Mosul haben sie ein Gefängnis gemacht, indem sie foltern“, berichtete der Ordensmann.

Die Christen hätten das Vertrauen in ihre muslimischen Mitbürger verloren. Diese hätten ihnen kaum gegen die IS-Terroristen geholfen und sich teilweise sogar an den Plünderungen und Vertreibungen beteiligt. Dieses Vertrauen könne nur sehr langsam, wenn überhaupt wieder aufgebaut werden, sagte P. Nagib. Inzwischen würden freilich auch viele Muslime in den von IS besetzten Gebieten erkennen, was sie sich mit diesen Terroristen eingebrockt hätten.

http://de.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/12/07/irakischer_dominikaner_sorge_um_zukunft_europas/1192483

**********************************************************************************************************************

From our Russian news desk:see attachments. (Russian Aircraft | US Forced)

Stratfor: Syria- U.S., Russia To Hold Talks With U.N. On Conflict.

December 9, 2015 | 15:58 GMT

The United Nations, the United States and Russia will hold trilateral talks Dec. 11 in Geneva on the crisis in Syria, Reuters reported Dec. 9. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Russia will discuss its desire for a joint effort to intensify the fight against terrorism. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will not attend the Geneva meeting but is scheduled to attend a meeting concerning Syria later this month in New York. Similar meetings in Vienna were held in October and November to propose and formulate a plan for U.N. Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura to oversee talks between the Syrian government and opposition leaders. https://www.stratfor.com/situation-report/syria-us-russia-hold-talks-un-conflict

Turkey, Azerbaijan: Joint Pipeline Project Accelerated.

December 4, 2015 | 09:29 GMT

The Turkish and Azerbaijani governments have agreed to accelerate the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline project (TANAP), Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Dec. 3 during a visit to Baku, RFE/RL reported. The aim now is to have the natural gas pipeline project finished before 2018 as previously planned, Davutoglu said. The pipeline will be a central link in the EU-backed Southern Gas Corridor, which is intended to diversify Caspian energy export routes and reduce European dependence on Russian energy. The announcement comes shortly after Moscow announced the suspension of talks with Ankara on the TurkStream pipeline project, heightening Azerbaijan’s energy role in the region. The TurkStream project would not prevent Turkey from seeking other alternatives, and it has not affected the construction of TANAP. —-

—- https://www.stratfor.com/situation-report/turkey-azerbaijan-joint-pipeline-project-accelerated —-

************************************************************************************************************************

Policy= res publica

Freudenberg-Pilster* STRATFOR: In France, Discontent Favors the National Front.

Summary

France is preparing to hold regional elections, and the country’s ruling party is bracing itself for the fallout. At a time of high unemployment levels and sluggish economic growth, French voters will likely look to punish the Socialist Party by backing its center-right and far-right rivals instead. The National Front, which opposes immigration and wants France to leave the eurozone, is already expected to win in at least two of the country’s biggest regions. The Dec. 6 elections will be the last vote held before France’s presidential election in 2017, and every indicator suggests they will mark yet another victory for the Euroskeptic forces gaining strength across Europe.

Analysis

On Dec. 6, French voters will head to the polls to select the councils of France’s 13 metropolitan regions, as well as some of its overseas territories. In regions where no party manages to garner 50 percent of the vote, a second electoral round will be held Dec. 13.

The elections will be an important test of popularity for France’s main parties, and they will set the stage for the country’s upcoming presidential vote. The Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris gave a slight boost to French President Francois Hollande’s approval ratings, but his Socialist Party will probably put on a weak performance in the polls nonetheless. Because the Socialists currently control most of France’s regions, they have the most to lose. By comparison, their two main rivals, the center-right Republican Party and the right-wing National Front, will likely see significant gains.

Stratfor will be paying attention to several factors as the regional vote plays out. The first is how well the Republican Party and the National Front perform. For years, the two have been France’s most popular political parties, and a good showing in the regional elections will confirm their position as the main frontrunners for the 2017 presidency. This is especially true of the National Front, which has done well in the polls since the start of Europe’s financial crisis but has so far won little territory. The group did manage to win spots in the European Parliament in 2014, and it currently controls a handful of French municipalities, but winning a regional race would be a an important step forward in its bid for the presidency.

According to recent polls, the National Front stands a particularly good chance of winning in two key regions: the southeastern Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur and the northern Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie. Both densely populated areas are traditional party strongholds, where unemployment tends to exceed the national average. The region around Calais has also become a symbol of Europe’s migration crisis as thousands of asylum seekers have flocked to refugee camps there, waiting for an opportunity to cross the English Channel to the United Kingdom. It is also next to France’s porous border with Belgium, where several of the Paris attackers came from.

The two regions are so crucial that National Front’s most prominent members will run there: Party leader Marine Le Pen will compete for Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, while her niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen, will vie for Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. The party is also expected to do well elsewhere, including the central Bourgogne-Franche-Comte and eastern Alsace-Lorraine-Champagne-Ardenne provinces.

The second important factor Stratfor will be watching closely is the behavior of France’s moderate parties. The country’s center-right and center-left forces used to have an unwritten pact pledging mutual support, should one of them face off against the National Front in a runoff election, to prevent the far right from winning. But that pact has been neglected in recent years; the moderates have tended to make tactical decisions on a case-by-case basis. On Dec. 2, Union for a Popular Movement Chairman Nicolas Sarkozy ruled out the formation of any alliance with the Socialist Party to stop the National Front, which could ultimately help Le Pen’s party in the polls.

Every Opportunity Has Its Risks

Over the past few years, the National Front has softened its image in an attempt to gain favor with a larger share of voters. After she replaced her controversial father as the party’s head in 2011, Le Pen decided to rebrand the National Front, moving away from its previous anti-Semitic and racist image.

Still, she did so while preserving the party’s hard-line positions against immigration and Islam. Le Pen has also used Europe’s ongoing crisis to criticize France’s membership in the eurozone and demand the re-establishment of trade barriers to protect French industry. Meanwhile, on the domestic front, she has promised to lower the retirement age and raise the minimum wage.

The National Front’s rise had an indirect effect on France’s entire political spectrum: Everyone became more nationalistic. Sarkozy toughened his rhetoric against the free movement of people in Europe, and the Socialist government increased its deportations of Roma, also known as Gypsies.

In recent weeks, Le Pen has used the Paris attacks to vindicate the policies she has long defended, from restoring border controls to granting more power to the police. Though the National Front was already France’s most popular party before the events of Nov. 13, and opinion polls suggest the attacks will not dramatically sway voters, the country’s latest encounter with terrorism will only reinforce Le Pen’s popularity, which is already substantial. The attacks could also persuade undecided voters to support the nationalist parties.

While the regional elections present a clear opportunity for the National Front to ramp up its national presence, they also carry several risks. Part of the party’s appeal comes from its image as an anti-system party that criticizes France’s traditional political elite — an image that is easiest to maintain from the opposition sidelines, not from positions of significant responsibility. Regional governments in France play an important role in education, regional infrastructure and transportation, among other policy areas. Their responsibilities will grow even more in the coming years as a recent reform reducing the number of regions from 22 to 13 takes effect, meaning future regional councils will govern over bigger constituencies than their predecessors. If the National Front wins control of a regional council, it will face its greatest governing challenge yet. A poor performance could weaken its anti-establishment profile and raise questions about its ability to lead the entire country.

The Race for the Presidency

If the National Front performs well in the approaching regional elections, as it is expected to, it will signify yet another success for Euroskepticism. The European Union’s economic crisis has hurt the Continent’s mainstream parties while strengthening the political forces that criticize various aspects of Continental integration. This year, The Finns — a Euroskeptic party — joined a ruling coalition for the first time, and Denmark’s minority government has often had to seek parliamentary support from the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party. While Euroskeptic parties have mostly remained within the opposition, they are often able to influence national agendas, as the Sweden Democrats, Alternative for Germany and Britain’s UKIP have.

For France, the National Front’s success would herald a coming shift in the country’s policies on Europe. A strong performance in regional elections will confirm the National Front’s position as one of the key challengers for the presidency in 2017, suggesting that France’s next leader will be a candidate from either the mildly Euroskeptic Republican Party or the openly Europhobic National Front. Both parties defend the need to re-establish dialogue with Russia and lift existing sanctions against Moscow, and both advocate to different degrees the re-establishment of border controls, the enhancement of domestic security, and the limitation of the free movement of people in Europe. So while the country’s presidential election is still more than a year away, all signs point to France becoming progressively less interested in policies that relinquish national sovereignty and more interested in recovering some of the prerogatives it has lost.

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/france-discontent-favors-national-front

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Marine Le Pen „Die NPD ist rechtsextrem, wir nicht“.

Der Front National feiert Erfolge bei den Regionalwahlen in Frankreich. Die Vorsitzende Marine Le Pen holte in ihrer Region sogar über 40 Prozent der Stimmen. Wer ist diese Frau? Cicero befragte Le Pen 2013 zu Populismus, Nationalismus und ihrer Angst vor „Überfremdung“

Dieser Text erschien zunächst in der Printausgabe des Cicero (Juni 2013).

Drei Frankreichflaggen prangen neben ihrem Chefsessel. Marine Le Pen ist Nationalistin bis in ihre Seele – und bis in ihr Büro in Paris-Nanterre, wo sie zum Interviewtermin empfängt. Die 44-jährige Anwältin hat vor zwei Jahren die Leitung des Front National von ihrem Vater Jean- Marie Le Pen übernommen und versucht seither, der Partei einen präsentableren, populistischen Anstrich zu geben. Seit ihrem Spitzenresultat (18 Prozent der Stimmen) bei der Präsidentenwahl 2012 ist sie aus der politischen Debatte ihres Landes nicht mehr wegzudenken. 32 Prozent der Franzosen können sich laut einer Umfrage heute mit ihren Ideen anfreunden.

Frau Le Pen, wann gedenken Sie in den Élysée-Palast einzuziehen?
Ziemlich bald.

Was veranlasst Sie zu dieser Annahme?
Die öffentliche Meinung entwickelt sich sehr rasch. Als ich vor zwei Jahren in Italien war, gab es dort keine einzige euroskeptische Partei – jetzt stellen sie schon die Mehrheit. In Frankreich dominiert der Front National nicht mehr nur Themen wie Immigration oder Sicherheit, sondern auch Euro und Wirtschaft.

Sind Sie also die große Profiteurin der Krise?
Wir sind nicht an der Krise schuld – anders als die Regierungsparteien, die uns in den Schlamassel geritten haben. Wir gewinnen an Glaubwürdigkeit.

Wirklich? Populisten wie Sie oder Beppo Grillo in Italien sind nicht gerade das, was man seriöse Politiker nennen würde.
Was heißt schon Populisten? Der Begriff soll uns als unseriös, verrückt abtun. Aber ich bin damit einverstanden, wenn Populismus „Regierung durch das Volk und für das Volk“ meint.

Bevorzugen Sie das Etikett rechtsextrem, wie ihr Vater Jean-Marie Le Pen, der die Gaskammern der Nazis verharmloste?
Der Front National steht für die Nation und gegen die Globalisierung ein. Das ist weder rechts noch links.

Das scheinen nicht alle zu denken: Zu Ihren Wahlerfolgen gratulieren Ihnen stets rechtsextreme Parteien wie etwa die deutsche NPD.
Die NPD will sich an unseren Erfolg anhängen. Diese Partei ist unglaubwürdig, fast ohne Stimmen. Sie ist rechtsextrem, wir nicht.

Das Programm der NPD gleicht aber dem Ihren: gegen Immigration, Islam, EU, die Weltfinanz und gegen die Eliten …
Die NPD hat es nie geschafft, aus ihrer Ecke zu kommen. Wir pflegen keine Beziehungen zu ihr. Wir fühlen uns eher den neuen Kräften nahe, etwa der euroskeptischen „Alternative für Deutschland“. Deren Problem ist, dass die Meinungsfreiheit in Deutschland seit dem Krieg nicht mehr total ist. Für die Nation und gegen die EU einzustehen, fällt den Deutschen schwer, obwohl das ein ehrenwertes Anliegen ist.

Sie geben sich präsentabel und klopfen keine rassistischen Sprüche wie einst Ihr Vater. Doch weisen Sie auch rassistische Wähler zurück?
Durchaus. Rassisten, die in den Front National kommen, haben sich in der Partei geirrt. Wir definieren uns nicht über die Rasse oder die Hautfarbe, sondern nach der Nationalität.

Also nach Franzosen und anderen – und Letztere wollen Sie vor die Tür setzen.
Wir wollen keine Leute aufnehmen, denen wir keine Arbeit anbieten und die wir nicht unterhalten können. Dann bilden sie Ghettos, und die sind nicht multikulturell, sondern multikonfliktuell.

Für Sie sind immer die anderen an der Misere Frankreichs schuld – die Ausländer und die Moslems, Brüssel und die Handelskonkurrenten.
Als Französin verteidige ich die Freiheit und die Souveränität Frankreichs. Aber ich habe keine Angst vor den anderen, ich bin für transnationale Kooperationen, wie Airbus oder die Ariane-Trägerrakete. Das funktioniert, im Unterschied zur Europäischen Sowjetunion. Im EUGefängnis dürfen wir gerade noch die Farbe des Fußabtreters bestimmen. Das will ich nicht.

Sprechen wir vom Kern jeder heutigen Politik – der Wirtschaft. Sie machen den Euro für so ziemlich alle Probleme Frankreichs verantwortlich. Deutschland zieht sich aber mit der gleichen Währung gut aus der Affäre.
Das hat spezifische Gründe. Deutschlands Exporte profitierten von der Abwertung des Euro gegenüber der Mark, während der Euro für Frankreich zu stark war. Zudem kann Deutschland viele Produkte im osteuropäischen „Hinterland“ billig herstellen lassen. Frankreich setzte dagegen, um sich günstig zu industrialisieren, fälschlicherweise auf eine massive Einwanderung.

In Deutschland leben auch Millionen Türken.
Deutschland offeriert aber den illegal Zugereisten keine 100-prozentige Sozialhilfe und Gratisbildung, wie das Frankreich tut.

Konjunkturell sind die Immigranten insgesamt ein Nettogewinn für Frankreich.
Das behaupten unsere Gegner mit ihren Berichten. Doch die basieren auf falschen Zahlen und Annahmen, etwa einer Arbeitslosigkeit von 5 Prozent. In Wahrheit kosten die Immigranten Milliarden. Wie soll es auch anders sein, wenn sie nicht arbeiten?

Die meisten arbeiten. Was wäre das Asylland Frankreich ohne Immigranten wie Zinedine Zidane, Charles Aznavour, Yves Montand?
Bloß kommen auf einen Zidane hunderttausend andere, die ohne Arbeit in Frankreich leben und für die wir aufkommen müssen. Gehen Sie mal nach Barbes (ein Pariser Einwandererviertel, die Red.)! Wenn Sie lebend zurückkommen, werden Sie eingesehen haben, dass dort Leute leben, die nicht einmal Französisch sprechen, die ihren Platz nicht finden und arbeitslos sind.

Das ist auch die Schuld einer Politik, welche die Banlieues um Paris ausgrenzt und verlottern lässt.
Selbst wenn man ganz Frankreich urbanisieren würde, ließe sich nicht ganz Afrika aufnehmen. Irgendwo muss man eine Grenze ziehen. Wir haben fünf Millionen Arbeitslose, neun Millionen Arme, drei Millionen Leute in prekärer Wohnlage. Was berechtigt uns, noch mehr Leute ins Land zu lassen? Deshalb wollen wir den Zuzug von Immigranten von jährlich 200 000 auf 10 000 senken.

Sie geben vor, die „kleinen Leute“ zu verteidigen. Diese würden aber als Erste leiden, wenn Sie aus dem Euro aussteigen und Europa in eine noch schwerere Krise stürzen würden.
Warum das? Frankreich lebte ganz gut mit dem Franc. Der Euro funktioniert hingegen nicht. Rettungspläne verschlingen Hunderte von Milliarden, die Sozialkosten sind extrem hoch, und jetzt beginnen sich die Europäer auch noch zu zerstreiten. Angela Merkel kann sich nur noch mithilfe der Nationalgarde in Südeuropa bewegen. Haben die Deutschen wirklich Lust, es so weit kommen zu lassen? Wollen sie nach der Versöhnung Europas wieder als dessen Häscher dastehen?

Ein Euro-Ausstieg hätte eine massive Abwertung, Inflation und Rezession zur Folge. Also höhere Preise und weniger Jobs für die kleinen Leute, denen Sie das Paradies verheißen.
Man darf natürlich nicht brutal zu den nationalen Währungen zurückkehren; das gehört organisiert. Aber es ist auf jeden Fall besser, als wenn Zypern, dann Griechenland und dann Slowenien unter Zwang und in Panik den Euro über Bord werfen.

Der Front National vertritt heute zum Teil linksextreme Positionen: Der Sozialist François Hollande, der die Millionäre zu 75 Prozent besteuern will, ist für Sie beispielsweise ein Ultraliberaler.
Die 75-Prozent-Steuer ist Hollandes Alibi. Es soll verbergen, dass er sich von der internationalen Finanz unterjochen lässt und deren Austeritätskurs befolgt. Hollande sagte im Wahlkampf, er werde gegen die Finanzwelt „Krieg führen“ – jawohl, mit einem Zahnstocher!

Sie wettern auch gegen die Globalisierung. Wo liegt da der Unterschied zu den von Ihnen verhöhnten „Sozialo-Kommunisten“?
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, der Anführer der französischen Linksfront, ist für eine „andere“ Globalisierung, ich bin gegen die Globalisierung an sich.

Immerhin stimuliert der Freihandel auch das Wirtschaftswachstum, das heute den Kern jeder Wirtschaftspolitik ausmacht.
Freihandel ist Unsinn. Er kann nur funktionieren zwischen Ländern, die ähnliche Sozial- und Umweltstandards haben, sonst wird es Dumping. Um die französische Produktion zu schützen, würde ich gegenüber Ländern wie China einen intelligenten Protektionismus betreiben.

Und sofort Vergeltungsmaßnahmen auslösen?
Alle schützen sich, die Kanadier, die Amerikaner, Brasilianer, Chinesen. Nur wir Europäer tun nichts.

Das Gespräch führte Stefan Brändle

http://www.cicero.de/weltbuehne/front-national-die-npd-ist-rechtsextrem-wir-nicht/54983

****************************************************************************************************************** Politics: From Vision to Action

Barandat* STRATFOR:Laos as a Regional Link.

Summary

Long one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, Laos has moved in recent years to capitalize on the region’s robust economic growth and increased integration by recasting itself as a "corridor country" able to facilitate cross-border trade across its land-locked territory. This plan is highly dependent on the cooperation of and interaction with neighboring countries that have traditionally treated Laos as a strategic buffer or quasi-colony, contributing to its isolation and underdevelopment, and that until recently showed little sign of changing their approach.

However, competition in Southeast Asia among China, the United States, India and Japan has led these countries and others to increase their interest in Laos. Vientiane senses an opportunity to mitigate the country’s primary geographic limitation — its lack of a coastline — by courting outside investment in rail and road infrastructure through regional economic forums. But even if Laos is able to become a transport corridor, its economic future will remain dependent on other countries, which, unlike Laos, will always have other options at their disposal.

Analysis

Confined by mountains and surrounded by more powerful neighbors, including China, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar, Laos‘ location has limited its economic development. Since Laos was established as an independent entity in the 14th century, it has been subject to incursions from the Vietnamese empire to the east, the kingdom of Myanmar to the north, Siam (modern-day Thailand) to the west and later French colonialism from 1893 to 1953. Traditionally, Laos has had to subordinate itself to one of these major powers for protection, sea access and an economic lifeline or attempt a fitful balance with bordering countries.

From the end of French rule until the late 1980s, Vietnam served as the country’s primary patron, but in recent years Vientiane has tried to diversify its economic reliance away from Hanoi and adopt a more independent foreign policy. A number of factors have accelerated this push. Laos had been the victim of geopolitical competition throughout its history and experienced periodic invasions by its neighbors as a result of its buffer status, but with the end of the Cold War, the shift in focus to economic competition increased interdependence among these countries, thus reducing the threat of direct intrusion.

Meanwhile, increased investment from China after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, renewed U.S. interest in Southeast Asia as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, India’s reinvigorated Look East Policy, and Myanmar’s diplomatic and economic opening mean greater interests and competition within the region, making Laos more relevant. Regional and outside powers are looking to use the country as a foothold to extend their economic influence in the region.

Laos‘ strategy to become a regional transport corridor depends on substantial infrastructure links as well as a careful diplomatic balance with its more powerful neighbors. Though some projects have already been completed, Vientiane still has much work to do in building the infrastructure needed to enable cross-border trade. Because it lacks the financial resources to undertake these projects on its own, Laos has turned to regional integration projects and investment from other powers to finance infrastructure upgrades. However, this also means Vientiane’s corridor strategy will be viable only with outside support, further increasing its dependence on other countries, especially China.

Regional Blocs

Laos is a member of several regional economic blocs, the most important being the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Membership in regional groups enables Laos to take part in a number of initiatives under way as part of regional economic integration and provides a forum for Laos to negotiate with potential trade partners — both within the group and outside it — from a stronger position than it would have on its own.

Given its location and lack of sea access, trade with neighboring countries has accounted for around 80 percent of Laos‘ overall economic activity — mainly exporting electricity and natural resources such as minerals and timber. That may be changing, however. With China aiming to enhance its economic reach and influence in Southeast Asia, an alternative land trade route is a good option.

Beijing does not have to go through Laos to reach sea access in Myanmar or Thailand, but the route does provide easy access to an economically dependent nation and remains an expedient approach to expand its influence in the country as well as in the region. For this purpose, Beijing has increased its investment and helped build connections in Laos under its broader goal of increasing connectivity in the region. While highly dependent on Chinese investment at present, Vientiane’s goal is to draw in more of this type of investment and reinvigorate past programs that would better integrate the country into regional trade routes.

Infrastructure Projects

Two of the major infrastructure plans featuring Laos‘ development under ASEAN and the GMS are primarily funded by the Asian Development Bank and Japan — which used to be the primary donor in the region under its Southeast Asia strategy — and span the country’s entire territory (graphic). The East-West Economic Corridor Project under the GMS was a 1,450-kilometer (900-mile) transport corridor completed in 2006 stretching from Savannakhet in western Laos to Dansavanh in eastern Laos, linking the country with Thailand and ports in Vietnam and Myanmar. The North-South Corridor Project, running from China’s Kunming province through Laos to Chiang Rai in Thailand and south to Bangkok, has been under development since 1998 as part of a GMS initiative program.

Laos is dependent on road transport, with road networks accounting for around 80 percent of freight transport. According to Laos‘ Statistics Bureau, the total length of the road increased dramatically from about 18,300 kilometers in 1995 to 39,500 kilometers in 2009, though poor conditions and inadequate capacity continue to hamper Laos‘ logistic chain. Its core national highway system is fully surfaced, though major washouts are still common in the wet season. In addition to the North-South and East-West corridor projects, much of the rest of Laos‘ road infrastructure is funded by the Asian Development Bank or other financial institutions and through bilateral aid packages.


At present, Laos has almost no railway infrastructure. A short 3.5-kilometer rail line completed in 2009 over the Mekong River connecting Nong Khai, Thailand, to a highway leading to Vientiane was the first and remains the only rail line in the country. The line was presumably added to be part of the ASEAN Mekong Basin Development Cooperation Initiative’s long-term regional connectivity plan, which will link China’s southwestern Kunming province to Singapore. Additional rail infrastructure could be a massive boon to Laos‘ goal of becoming a corridor country. Beijing and Vientiane have signed an agreement to conduct a feasibility study on the high-speed rail link between Boten on Laos‘ northwestern border and Vientiane, a distance of about 400 kilometers, and Beijing has committed to pay for 70 percent of the $7 billion project, though no date has been set for construction to begin. A feasibility study on a rail line from Vientiane to Mu Gia on the eastern border with Vietnam is also under way.

Besides roads and rail lines, bridge infrastructure is also important for reducing Laos‘ isolation. In addition to the aforementioned Nong Khai rail line across the Mekong River, a second bridge connecting Laos‘ southern city of Savannakhet to Thailand’s Mukdahan province as part of the East-West Corridor Project and a third connecting the northeastern Thai province of Nakhon Phanom with Khammuan province in central Laos are under construction. Vientiane also reached an agreement with Myanmar in February to build a bridge between the northwestern Laotian city of Xiengkok in Luang Namtha province and Kainglap in Myanmar.

A Laotian man by the Mekong River at the Laos-Thailand border.

With many of these projects already under construction or projected to be built in the future, Laos‘ position could certainly be improved, but it still needs outside powers to leverage this additional transport infrastructure into domestic economic growth. Concerns remain that development of an economic corridor may benefit only economically large countries, and Laos, without a sufficient industrial base already in place to utilize the goods and investment through the connection, could gain little from the enhanced connection beyond merely being a transit route. To some extent, Laos‘ development path will always be determined by factors outside its own control, so it has little choice but to integrate itself as deeply as possible into the regional transport network before circumstances change and other countries lose interest.

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/laos-regional-link

******************************************************************************************************************

A New High for U.S.-China Military Ties.

Forecast

  • Even as tensions in the Pacific Rim increase, military ties between China and the United States will become tighter.
  • China will continue to cooperate with the United States and Japan to establish mechanisms to manage crisis situations.
  • U.S. arms sales to Taiwan near the start of 2016 will not lead China to suspend military relations with the United States.

Analysis

After reaching their apex in the final decade of the Cold War, military-to-military ties between China and the United States entered a two-decade tailspin. In the interlude, China emerged as a major power in the Pacific Rim. Now, with Beijing’s regional heft at an all-time high, regional military tensions are elevated, especially in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. In this volatile environment, the United States and China are now looking to military relations as a tool for developing strategic trust, making accidents less likely and helping to manage them when they inevitably occur.

Since 2011, and especially since Xi Jinping assumed the presidency in China, the two sides have worked to rebuild their relationship. This process is now speeding up. On Nov. 19, the People’s Liberation Army hosted a U.S. Army delegation in Beijing for the first meeting of the U.S.-China Army-to-Army Dialogue. The initiative was signed between the defense establishments in June and includes a raft of confidence-building measures. It is part of a trend that will continue even as military tensions grow in the Pacific Rim.

Highs and Lows

Military relations between China and the United States were at their height in the final decade of the Cold War. The foundation of the relationship was a shared interest in countering the power of the Soviet Union, Beijing’s regional rival and Washington’s global competitor. When Deng Xiaoping assumed power in 1979, Washington and Beijing formed an entente to counter Moscow. At the height of these relations, the United States sold military equipment to China and even agreed to transfer military technology to the People’s Liberation Army, a move that would be unthinkable today. These technology transfers included a modern ammunition production line and an avionics upgrade for Chinese J-8 fighters. China reciprocated by allowing the United States to operate a listening post in the northwestern province of Xinjiang to collect data on Soviet nuclear tests.

This cordial relationship broke down suddenly when the Chinese military cracked down on protesters during the 1989 Tiananmen Square Incident, but its real decline was due to the crumbling of the Soviet Union. In response to Tiananmen, the administration of U.S. President George H.W. Bush cut military ties with China, suspended technology transfers and imposed sanctions that prohibited U.S. arms sales. These restrictions are still in place. But Beijing’s crackdown on protesters was merely the catalyst. At the height of Sino-Soviet tensions, China’s military had stared down more than 30 Soviet armored divisions to the north, as well as the threat of battle-hardened and Soviet-aligned Vietnam to the south. By 1989, however, the Soviet Union was already beginning to fall apart, bringing an end to the mutual threat that had united Washington and Beijing. As Soviet power collapsed, most of its forces on the border were withdrawn. With the former Soviet space in disarray, China no longer had to devote its resources to this long land border. Freed up from this obligation, China turned its attention to maritime disputes in the East and South China seas. The People’s Liberation Army has also returned its focus to reunification with Taiwan, the most acute point of tension with the United States.

Though the end of the anti-Soviet entente made a decline in military ties inevitable, the degree to which they deteriorated was remarkable under the presidencies of both Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Efforts to mend the relationship began in 1993 with the resumption of military-to-military ties, but crises frequently disrupted progress, particularly the collision of a U.S. surveillance plane and Chinese fighter in April 2001 over the South China Sea. This collision, known as the Hainan Island incident, led the United States to once again suspend relations. Compared to the 1980s, China also became far more willing to cut ties to make a political point, frequently canceling planned visits and formal communications between the People’s Liberation Army and U.S. military.

These disruptions became Beijing’s default response to major U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

Beijing and Washington put in place several communications mechanisms during this period, including the Defense Telephone Link in 2007; these often went unused. Senior U.S. officials involved in the many Sino-American crises during this time recalled frustration with China’s seeming unwillingness to answer phone calls. Unstable relations and unreliable communications made conflict resolution difficult at a time when increasing Chinese force projection capabilities made clashes between China and its neighbors more likely.

A New High

In recent years, the military-to-military relationship has begun to stabilize once again. Although it is by no means back to pre-1989 levels, neither country has canceled major military interactions since 2011. This improvement roughly corresponds with the start of Xi Jinping’s tenure as vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, the military’s core leadership body, in October 2010. He later became chairman in November 2012. This was an early indication of his interest in strengthening military-to-military relations during his presidency, which began in March 2013.

Under Xi, the People’s Liberation Army has increased the frequency of joint drills with the U.S. military, culminating in the United States inviting the Chinese navy to participate in RIMPAC 2014, the world’s largest multilateral naval exercise. This was a symbolic milestone. The People’s Liberation Army also built up its regularized communication mechanisms with the U.S. military, including the army-to-army dialogue that kicked off in November. More critically, the Chinese military made a serious effort to establish and implement crisis management mechanisms. At the 2014 Western Pacific Naval Symposium, the People’s Liberation Army Navy agreed to abide by the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, which establishes common protocols for interactions between naval vessels to reduce accidents. In September, China signed a bilateral agreement with the United States governing air-to-air encounters as well as protocols governing the use of the Defense Telephone Link. The two navies are also set to hammer out a set of rules on ship-to-ship encounters in the near future.

What is most notable about these newly stabilized military-to-military ties is that they come during a period of tumult between China and the United States as well as China’s neighbors. Under Xi, Chinese incursions in the Japanese-controlled Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands have increased. China also declared an Air Defense Identification Zone over the East China Sea while accelerating land reclamation in the South China Sea. This is partly due to the fact that the People’s Liberation Army itself appears to have shifted its attitudes and now believes that military-to-military ties with the United States can bring it tangible benefits. At the same time, China’s top political leadership now recognizes the need for more tools to manage disputes.

Above all, however, these changes are symptomatic of China growing into its role as a great power in all respects, including how it handles military relations. Like the Soviet Union, China is discovering that great powers need ways to manage crises with their potential military opponents — something uniquely important given China’s increasingly global interests. There are diminishing returns to politicizing the U.S.-China military relationship. To do so would both raise the risk of a military crisis with the United States and make it politically easier to isolate China from regional security arrangements. This is doubly critical as Japan makes strides in military normalization that further complicate China’s periphery.

China’s commitment to stable military ties with the United States will be tested very soon. The first major Taiwan arms sale since 2011 is coming up, likely in December 2015 or January 2016. This will be especially important to watch given China’s stock response to such deals under the previous two administrations: suspending U.S. military-to-military ties. The latest source information, however, indicates that China will likely only make pro forma responses of displeasure and not suspend ties. The Chinese leadership now highly values military-to-military ties and has made obtaining an invitation to RIMPAC 2016 a political priority. Although the bilateral military relationship will likely not return to the highs of the 1980s, it will remain much more robust and stable than that of the period between Tiananmen and the end of Hu Jintao’s presidency.

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/new-high-us-china-military-ties

*******************************************************************************************************************

Middle East

French Aircraft Carrier Takes Over Anti-ISIL Coalition Naval Command – Navy.

France’s aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has taken command of the US Navy’s Central Command Task Force 50, which leads the international coalition’s naval strike operations against the Islamic State, the US Navy announced in a statement on Monday.

"Charles de Gaulle’s presence in the region signals the return of carrier-based naval aviation to the fight against ISIL [Islamic State]," the statement said. "The carrier and embarked air wing, along with the other ships in her battle group, will support strike operations over Iraq and Syria."

The change comes after French President Francois Hollande vowed to intensify attacks on the ISIL, also known as Daesh, following the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.The US Navy noted the French aircraft carrier would assist with providing "a range of flexible and adaptable capabilities to perform theater security cooperation efforts and maritime security operations," which will expand the French navy’s "interoperability with allies in the region."
http://sptnkne.ws/anp8

Augengeradeaus! Deutschlands erste Woche im Anti-ISIS-Krieg: Fregatte im Roten Meer, Tornados in Vorbereitung.

Die Bundeswehr hat ihre erste Woche im Kampfeinsatz in der Koalition gegen ISIS begonnen. Nachdem die Fregatte Augsburg am (gestrigen) 6. Dezember um 00.00 Uhr dem französischen Verband mit dem Flugzeugträger Charles de Gaulle unterstellt worden war, verlegte der Verband inzwischen durch den Suezkanal ins Rote Meer, wie ein Sprecher des Verteidigungsministeriums in Berlin mitteilte. Die ersten Aufklärungstornados der Luftwaffe, die über Syrien und dem Irak Stellungen der ISIS-Milizen auskundschaften sollen, und ein Tankflugzeug zur Luftbetankung werden nach der derzeitigen Planung in dieser Woche auf der türkischen Basis Inçirlik stationiert.

Die französische Trägergruppe hat das Ziel Persischer Golf – offensichtlich wird da, ungeachtet der Entwicklung nach den Anschlägen von Paris am 13. November, an der ursprünglichen Planung für die Charles de Gaulle und ihre Begleitschiffe festgehalten, die einen Einsatz in diesem Seegebiet vorsahen. Denn für Luftangriffe auf Ziele in Syrien, die von diesem Flugzeugträger aus gestartet werden, ist der Persische Golf nicht wirklich günstiger gelegen als das östliche Mittelmeer:

OSM_Syrien

Im Bundestagsmandat für den deutschen Einsatz wurde diese Route, sicherlich in Kenntnis der französischen Pläne, von vornherein berücksichtigt: Der Einsatz deutscher Streitkräfte erfolgt vorrangig im und über dem Operationsgebiet der Terrororganisation IS in Syrien sowie auf dem Territorialgebiet von Staaten, von denen eine Genehmigung der jeweiligen Regierung vorliegt, sowie im Seegebiet östliches Mittelmeer, Persischer Golf, Rotes Meer und angrenzende Seegebiete, heißt es im Text.

Wann die fliegenden Anteile des neuen Einsatzes verlegen, wird offensichtlich derzeit noch genauer ausgeplant – außer in dieser Woche höre ich bislang keine Einzelheiten. Die Tornados, geflogen von Besatzungen des Taktischen Luftwaffengeschwaders 51 Immelmann in Jagel bei Schleswig, sollen ohnehin erst im Januar mit ihren Aufklärungsflügen beginnen. Bis dahin, so heißt es, müssen die technischen Voraussetzungen geschaffen werden. Unter anderem ein Update der Auswertestation für die vom Recce Lite Pod der Tornados erfassten Aufnahmen – da müssten ja auch die entsprechenden Geodaten, sprich: elektronischen Karten für die Einsatzregion aufgespielt werden.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5804/23427956542_d4ce8cab9c_d.jpg

Nach der Vorstellung der Flieger und ihrer Aufgaben bei einem Medientag in der vergangenen Woche hatte es ein bisschen Irrititationen gegeben: Warum fliegen die Tornados in diesem Einsatz bewaffnet mit Luft-Luft-Raketen (im Foto unten ein Mock-up)– obwohl ihr eigentlicher Gegner, die islamistischen ISIS-Milizen, keine Bedrohung aus der Luft darstellen?

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5792/22909259793_704dbeb3a7_d.jpg

Das sei, sagt Oberstleutnant Alexander Schneider, Kommandeur Fliegende Gruppe bei den Immelmännern, eine Frage des soldatischen Selbstverständnisses. Die Maschinen würden selbstverständlich mit der combat load, der Kampfbeladung, als Standard in ihre Einsätze starten. Allein schon, um auf alle Eventualitäten vorbereitet zu sein.

Allerdings: beim letzten scharfen Einsatz der Aufklärungstornados, in den Jahren 2007 bis 2010 über Afghanistan, waren die Maschinen eben nicht mit der combat load unterwegs. Da hat sich offensichtlich über die Jahre im Verständnis der Luftwaffe was verändert – wie deren Inspekteur Karl Müllner im September deutlich gemacht hatte, mit seinem Hinweis, dass deutsche Eurofighter-Kampfjets bei der Luftraumüberwachung über dem Baltikum anders als früher nun auch voll bewaffnet aufsteigen.

Wichtiger dürfte für die Besatzungen aus Pilot und Waffensystemoffizier (WSO) aber sein, was sie einer möglichen Bedrohung vom Boden entgegenzusetzen haben. Ein Blick auf die Ladung, die die Tornados bei ihren Einsatzflügen mitnehmen sollen, zunächst auf die rechte Seite der Maschine:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/749/23168403369_47537e88dc_d.jpg

Von außen hängen da ein Behälter für Täuschkörper (so geannte chaffs und flares, die Flugabwehrraketen mit Hitze-Suchkopf ablenken sollen), ein Zusatztank, eine Luft-Luft-Kurzstreckenrakete und dann mittig unter dem Rumpf der Aufklärungs-Pod.

Auf der linken Seite sieht es ähnlich aus:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5629/23536358165_fe4b95db84_d.jpg

Von außen hängen dort ein Pod für elektronische Abwehrmaßnahmen für Flugabwehrraketen, wiederum ein Zusatztank und ebenfalls eine Luft-Luft-Kurzstreckenrakete.

Vor der Bedrohung vom Boden haben die Besatzungen zwar großen Respekt – sehen sich aber durch ihre Flughöhe ausreichend geschützt. Die Tornados würden voraussichtlich mit mittleren Höhen von 15.000 bis 20.000 Fuß operieren, das entspricht fünf- bis gut sechstausend Metern. Da ISIS, nach den bisherigen Erkenntnissen, zwar über schultergestützte Flugabwehrraketen (MANPADS) verfügt, außerdem über Flugabwehrgeschütze (AAA, Anti Aircraft Artillery), sehen die Tornado-Crews die Gefahr als beherrschbar an. Und auf die technische Zuverlässigkeit ihrer – schon ein paar Jahrzehnte alten – Kampfjets vertrauen sie ohnehin.

Nachtrag: Jenseits der deutschen Einsatz- und Debattenlage gibt es von den Luftangriffen der US-geführten Anti-ISIS-Koalition nun eine Entwicklung, die wieder einiges verändern kann:

An air strike on an army camp has killed three soldiers, the Syrian government says, blaming the US-led coalition for the attack.
It said warplanes fired missiles at the camp in Deir al-Zour province, which is largely controlled by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).
The ministry condemned what it called an act of „flagrant aggression“.

berichtet die BBC. Da wird die weitere Entwicklung spannend.

http://augengeradeaus.net/2015/12/deutschlands-erste-woche-im-anti-isis-krieg-fregatte-im-roten-meer-tornados-in-vorbereitung/

US Envoy for Counter-Daesh Coalition to Meet With Iraqi Gov’t in Baghdad .

Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter Islamic State Brett McGurk has arrived to Baghdad to meet with the Iraqi government and security officials, US State Department said in a press release on Monday.

“During his meetings, the Special Presidential Envoy will discuss the Coalition’s support for Iraqi-led efforts to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL [Islamic State], as well as recent developments in the region,” the release said. After the meetings in Baghdad, McGurk will travel to the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Germany and the United Kingdom, according to the State Department. During the visits, the special envoy will discuss ways to intensify US-led coalition efforts against the Islamic State, also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh.
http://sptnkne.ws/anp9

ISRAELI-RUSSIAN COORDINATION IN SYRIA: SO FAR SO GOOD?

PolicyWatch 2529
December 7, 2015
By Nadav Pollak

http://washin.st/1XWXRQV

******************************

Although their close tactical coordination has prevented any bilateral flare-ups so far, Israel needs to plan for the likelihood that its relative freedom of operation in Syria will diminish the minute its actions interfere with Moscow’s interests.

******************************

The November 24 shootdown of a Russian Su-24 in Turkish airspace has raised questions about whether such an incident could occur on Israel’s northern border. The short answer is no. Israeli policymakers made numerous statements last week reaffirming their coordination with Russia, telling the public and allied governments that any such escalation between the two countries is unlikely. On November 28, Amos Gilad, director of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Political-Security Bureau, revealed that "Russian air force pilots at times cross into Israeli airspace…We know what to do and how to prevent an escalation."

Gilad’s comment was the first admission that Russian aircraft have entered Israel’s airspace, probably during bombing runs in southern Syria. Russian air force activity in the south is not intense as of yet, so it is safe to say that such violations will not occur often. Even so, this activity is only one of several factors that could create unintended escalation.

NO FALLOUT FROM ISRAEL’S OPERATIONS IN SYRIA

Last month saw numerous reports about Israeli airstrikes in Syria targeting Hezbollah arms transfers to Lebanon. These included an alleged October 30 attack on a ballistic missile facility near al-Qutayfah run by the Syrian army’s 155th Brigade (the so-called "Scud brigade"), as well as a November 11 strike against a target close to Damascus International Airport. Similarly, opposition and pro-regime sources reported Israeli strikes on the night of November 23 that killed eight Hezbollah fighters and five Syrian soldiers in the Qalamoun area.

Although Syrian media reports of Israeli strikes should generally be taken with a grain of salt, several factors indicate that they could be accurate in this case. In addition to the exceptionally large number of such reports in recent weeks, other sources have noted a recent increase in arms shipments from Iran to Hezbollah. Moreover, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has confirmed twice in the past month that Israel is operating across the border. On December 1 he stated, "We operate in Syria from time to time to prevent it turning into another front against us. We act, of course, to prevent the transfer of deadly weaponry from Syria to Lebanon."

The reported Israeli strikes suggest that the Russian presence has not significantly limited Jerusalem’s ability to target Iranian arms shipments to Hezbollah, and that Moscow might not care too much about Tehran’s interests in bolstering the group’s arsenal. This is probably why Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon stated on November 29, "It is good that [the Russians] do not interfere with us flying and acting in accordance with our interests." Even President Vladimir Putin expressed satisfaction with the coordination when he met with Netanyahu a day later on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference, saying, "We are satisfied with the way our bilateral relations are developing. I note that the coordination mechanism between our militaries that we established on your initiative in response to the escalating situation in the region is functioning, and functioning well."

OTHER POTENTIAL ESCALATORS

Although the line of communication seems to be working thus far, both countries will need to remain vigilant as new developments threaten to strain the relationship. After the Su-24 shootdown, for example, the Kremlin quickly stated that it would deploy the S-400 antiaircraft system to Syria — one of its most advanced systems. Positioning this system in Latakia gives Russia impressive range that encompasses a significant part of Israel’s airspace. To be sure, Moscow is not threatening to use it against Israeli planes, and the hotline between the two countries will hopefully prevent any operational mistakes. Yet both militaries still need to stay on their toes — the Turkey incident may have loosened Russian trigger fingers, so the Israeli air force may need to be even more transparent about any future operations in Syria.

Another potential point of friction is Russia’s growing presence in central Syria, namely its planned expansion to al-Shayrat Air Base. Located twenty-five kilometers southeast of Homs, the base will be able to accommodate tens of Russian fixed-wing assets. This means that Russia’s air activity in the area will intensify, limiting Israel’s operations there.

Hezbollah and the Assad regime will also reportedly increase their presence around al-Shayrat as part of their push toward Palmyra (which is controlled by the Islamic State). This may include transferring some of their logistical bases closer to Russian forces. Al-Shayrat is only about an hour’s drive from the Lebanon border, meaning Hezbollah could shift its smuggling routes further away from Israel’s reach. Logistical preparation for such a maneuver is not simple, since Hezbollah would need to transfer heavy weapons and other installations undetected, but it is possible. In addition to complicating Israeli operations, such a scenario could lead to friction with Moscow — Israel would be very hesitant to target Hezbollah in central Syria out of concern that it might hit Russian forces by mistake.

Increased tensions with Hezbollah in the north could also strain Russia-Israel coordination. Whenever the group suffers casualties at Israel’s hands, as it reportedly did last month, the probability of retaliation increases. Netanyahu’s latest statement about operating against Hezbollah arms convoys, deviating from Israel’s usual policy of ambiguity, increases this probability even further. In the past, Hezbollah forces have retaliated by using improvised explosive devices or firing antitank missiles against Israeli border patrols. The group does not want to spark any wider hostilities because it is heavily invested in Syria, but even minor retaliation can lead to unplanned escalation.

In the longer term, two main trends will challenge Israeli-Russian coordination. The first is Iran and Hezbollah’s objective to expand their presence in the Golan Heights. In mid-October, Hezbollah and Syrian forces pushed back rebels in Quneitra and regained control over a number of important military posts. Since then, the Assad regime and its partners have intensified their operations in the south, taking more ground with the help of Russian airstrikes. Although the scope of these airstrikes is still small compared to operations in northern and central Syria, any expansion of Hezbollah and Iranian proxies in Quneitra or western Deraa province would be considered a threat to Israel. And if Russia facilitates such advancement with its airpower, Jerusalem’s ability to react will be more limited (see Policy Watch 2514, "Russia in Southern Syria: Israeli and Jordanian Concerns," http://washin.st/1kgsFyR).

Another trend often belittled by Israeli policymakers is Russia’s deepening relations with Hezbollah and Iran. The intervention’s unremarkable results thus far have shown Moscow that the air campaign has its limits without a capable ground force. In that regard, Hezbollah and Iranian forces have proven to be instrumental on some fronts, with both reportedly helping to recover one of the downed pilots after the Su-24 shootdown. Such operations will bring the Russian coalition members closer together, and as the fighting continues, Moscow might discover that its relations with Hezbollah and Iran outweigh its silent agreement to allow Israeli airstrikes against them. In that scenario, Israeli pilots would quite suddenly find themselves under threat from sophisticated Russian air defenses.

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

Israel’s first step should be to strengthen the coordination mechanism with Russia. On December 1, Israeli deputy chief of staff Gen. Yair Golan met with his Russian counterpart to do exactly that. The entrance of the S-400 system into Syria might make Israel reconsider some of its operations, but close coordination can help mitigate the risks.

Israeli intelligence also needs to remain vigilant against any movement of Hezbollah logistical hubs closer to Russian operations in Homs, since that would limit the ability to target the group’s weapons convoys. Israel may need to take action against such plans before they are set in motion; at the same time, it could focus intelligence efforts on detecting any new Hezbollah smuggling routes into Lebanon. Regarding possible retaliation by the group or its proxies, Israel is probably already taking the necessary security measures to avoid any loss of lives on the borders with Lebanon and Syria.

Planning for the long term, Israel should maintain close contact with its American partner on these issues. If Moscow eventually decides to stop looking the other way when Israel operates in Syria, Jerusalem may face some tough choices. Accordingly, it is crucial to keep updating Washington in case of any change in relations with Russia, since Israel would need the United States to convey to Moscow the same redlines that Israel has laid out — namely, preventing Iran and Hezbollah from opening a new front in the Golan, and preventing the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah. U.S. support on these issues might convince the Russians to keep tolerating Israeli strikes on Hezbollah.

Finally, it is worth noting that Israel’s communication with the Kremlin since the intervention began is only a tactical coordination, not a strategic realignment. Although Russia seems to be respecting Israel’s redlines in Syria, this is not because Moscow sees Jerusalem as an indispensable ally, but rather because Israel’s actions in Syria have not interfered with Moscow’s plans as of yet. Many Israeli officials no doubt hope that the situation will remain as it is, but they also realize that Russia and Israel are not equal partners. The minute that Israel’s actions interfere with Russian interests, its relative freedom of operation will diminish significantly.

*********************************************************************************************************************

*Massenbach’s

Recommendation*

CSIS Video Dec 3, 2015. U.S. and Western Policy Towards Russia. Cooperation, Containment, or Something Else Entirely?

The Russian annexation of Crimea has led to over two years of debate regarding Washington’s strategy towards Moscow. Today, with Ukraine somewhat quieter and seeming progress towards cooperation on Syria, are more cooperative approaches possible? What should be Washington’s goals in engaging with Russia, or responding to it on the global stage? Are there tools that have not yet been tried, and what can they attain where other efforts have failed? Vladislav Inozemtsev, prominent Russian economist and visiting fellow at CSIS, will outline his views of what’s possible, what’s likely, and what should be done by the United States as it reevaluates its Russia policies. Olga Oliker, Director of the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program, will provide commentary. The event will be moderated by Jeffrey Mankoff, Deputy Director of the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program.

Featuring:

Vladislav Inozemtsev
Director, Center for Post-Industrial Studies (Moscow);
Visiting Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program and the Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy, CSIS

Discussant:

Olga Oliker
Senior Adviser and Director, Russia and Eurasia Program, CSIS

Moderated by:

Jeffrey Mankoff
Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Russia and Eurasia Program, CSIS

Vladislav Inozemtsev, Director, Center for Post-Industrial Studies (Moscow) … eine (nicht putinunkritische) RUS-Meinung im O-Ton … zuhörenswerter, interessanter Ansatz (dem man nicht folgen muss, aber kennen sollte):

Vergleicht DEU in der Zwischenkriegszeit 1918-30 mit RUS nach dem Kalten Krieg … Parallele: die jeweiligen „Siegermächte“ waren nicht bereit, dem Verlierer auf gleicher Augenhöhe zu begegnen und nach Europa zu integrieren … ~ 8:00 zu Moskauer Selbstwahrnehmungsproblemen in der pol. Zusammenarbeit …. Zeitpunkt, irgendeine Form der Integration RUS in die EU wurde versäumt, zwischenzeitlich ist RUS durch die Entwicklungen abgekoppelt … ~15:00 Fortschreibung der Kalte-Kriegs-Containment-Politik ggü. RUS nach 1991 war nicht notwendig + kontraproduktiv …. ~17:30 RUS berechtigte Sorgen … 20:20 Alternativvorschläge … RUS nicht weiter in die Isolation treiben … RUS ist in einer Vielzahl von Projekten engagiert, die hoch risikobehaftet sind …

~25:15 „… Eastern Dimension (Koop. mit China) not a big success …“ ~30.00 Putin wird überschätzt … behandelt RUS als normalen Staat … nehmt den Druck weg, der das Volk auf die Seite der Administration treibt … ~ 32:00 noch einmal Rückblende auf die Weimarer Republik + Appell: Behandelt RUS wie DEU nach dem 2. WK. … Integration nach Mittel-/Westeuropa / EU …

Q&A: ~1:14:00 Respektiert RUS die Souveränität …? Antwort: … Putin: Ukraine ist souverän, aber nicht unabhängig …

http://csis.org/event/us-and-western-policy-towards-russia-0

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nick Butler : Russia — the implications of the reset for energy markets.

Russia is coming in from the cold. A full-scale reset of the relationship with the international community is well underway. A country that was a pariah state a few weeks ago, isolated by sanctions, is rapidly becoming an essential ally. What does this sudden turn of events mean for the energy business?

The reason for the reset is clear: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The common enemy is the Islamist militant group Isis. For the Germans and for Chancellor Angela Merkel the destabilisation of Syria has opened up a flood tide of refugees. The warm welcome offered initially in Germany, Sweden and a few other parts of Europe has chilled. Something must be done to stop the flow at source.

For the French and many others across Europe, terrified by last week’s awful events in Paris, the identity of the enemy in Syria and the Middle East has also come into sharp focus. The same is true in Moscow where the downing of a Russian airliner over the Sinai desert has made those in the Kremlin realise that they, too, face a ruthless enemy. When set against the challenge of Isis nothing else matters much. Ukraine and all the other disputes can be assigned to a distant back burner — not solved but not allowed to get worse. It is time to work together.

The reset has in reality been coming for some time. German business and political leaders have always kept relationships open. The French have always wanted to sell their ships to the Russian navy. No one really wanted to fight for Ukraine. Terrorist action by Isis has simply speeded up the process over the last three weeks.

What does all this mean for the world’s energy markets?

First, Russia will retain its share of the European gas market — a long-term objective of Vladimir Putin essential to maintain the company’s ( and the country’s) income stream. As part of the reset it seems certain that Gazprom will come to terms over the anti-trust case being brought by the European Commission, and will accept some modest, and mostly cosmetic adjustments to its trading arrangements.

Second, the aggressive versions of the European Energy Union proposals will be taken off the table. Very little of the much-promised new infrastructure designed to limit Russian dominance of the European market will ever be built. By most standards, Russia has been a reliable supplier and will be treated as such. Non-Russian supplies will have to compete on price, which could be difficult if they require expensive LNG facilities.

Third, the one project that does look likely to be built is Nordstream 2 — the new line designed to bring Russian gas through Germany to central Europe, and perhaps also to consumers further west including potentially the UK.

Fourth, and perhaps more controversially, investment flows in both directions will be renewed as sanctions are relaxed. Many oil and gas companies will take up the possibilities offered to them over the last few months. New oil and gas — including some from shale — will start to flow. Russian money will also continue to come into London and other markets and Rosatom may even once again become an acceptable supplier of nuclear technology. Companies with investments in Russia should rise in value as some of the political risk is lifted off their shoulders.

Fifth, assuming that the new entente lasts, more strategic alliances will come. The Shell-Gazprom link announced in embyro earlier this year remains a tempting possibility, and it is far from impossible that alliances with European companies could take the Russians into Iran, Egypt and even Libya. The assertion of Russian power in Syria through military force could be followed quickly by commercial deals to establish and rebuild links in other parts of the region.

Of course there are losers. A deal that entrenches President Bashar al-Assad in Syria will infuriate the Saudis. American hawks will be convinced that Europe has conce again gone soft on Moscow. There could be rows if Europe moves faster than the US by relaxing sanctions at the December meeting of the European Council. Ukraine will be left to fester, desperately hoping that someone will pay its bills.

For Russia, the reset is both a sign of strength and of weakness. Russia has defended its client in Syria and has been prepared to use decisive force when it mattered. But against that military strength must be set the weaknesses revealed over recent months — Russia’s complete economic dependence on oil and gas revenue and its vulnerability to western sanctions. Neither, of course, are admitted in Moscow but it is clear that there will be a sigh of relief as and when the restrictions on trade and investment are lifted. On the European side the reset is an indication of weakness — Europeans do not have the will to take on Isis themselves, and are discovering the limits of relying on the US to police the world for them. Nor does Europe have the unity to sustain a long campaign of sanctions over a cause as confused as Ukraine.

Russia may not be a great power anymore, and it certainly has significant weaknesses. But it is back as an active player and the energy market will have to adjust to that reality.

http://blogs.ft.com/nick-butler/2015/11/23/russia-the-implications-of-the-reset-for-energy-markets/

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development: Economic implications of Russia’s sanctions against Turkey.

…Turkey’s economy is linked to Russia through several major channels:

1. Russia is Turkey’s main energy supplier. Turkey imports 98.8 per cent of its natural gas consumption, with Russia accounting for 56 per cent of these (Figure 1). Turkey’s energy imports from Russia, including oil and natural gas, amounted to US$ 16.5 billion in 2014, which was around 30 per cent of Turkey’s total energy bill, 65 per cent of total imports from Russia, and 2.1 per cent of Turkey’s GDP. Besides energy, other major imports from Russia include metals and grains (Figure 2).

2. Russia is the 7th largest exports market for Turkey. In 2014 Turkey’s exports to Russia accounted for 3.8 per cent of total exports and 0.7 per cent of Turkey’s GDP. Foodstuffs made up 20 per cent of total exports to Russia, with other major items including textiles, vehicles and machinery (Figure 3).

3. The Turkish tourism industry has strong ties with the Russian market. Tourists from Russia made up around 12.2 per cent of the 37 million tourist arrivals to Turkey in 2014, and spent an estimated US$ 3 billion or 0.3-0.4 percent of GDP (Figure 4). Tourism from Russia is highly seasonal, with more than 600,000 monthly Russian tourist arrivals to Turkey in the summer and below 100,000 monthly arrivals in the winter.

4. Turkish contractors, especially in the construction industry, have large operations in Russia. The total value of new contracts signed by Turkish construction contractors in Russia in the three years to September 2015 is estimated at around US$ 10-12 billion or 1.2-1.4 per cent of Turkey’s GDP. Assuming the average length of contracts is around 3-5 years, the estimated annual cash flow from the existing projects amounts to around 0.3-0.4 per cent of GDP. For projects in Russia, Turkey’s contractors largely employ Turkish citizens. Out of ca. 87,000 Turkish nationals working in Russia, 55,000 are estimated to be working in Turkish construction companies.

5. Russia was the 4th largest foreign direct investor in Turkey in 2014. Russian foreign direct investments in Turkey were around US$ 730 million or 0.1 per cent of Turkey’s GDP in 2014. These exclude property-related investments of Russian nationals, which are estimated at around US$ 400-450 million annually. In addition, there are several mega projects planned by Russia in Turkey, such as the Akkuyu nuclear plant, which is under construction, and the so-called Turkish stream pipeline, which is still in the initial planning stage.

6. There are some limited links in the banking sector. Denizbank, the 8th largest bank in Turkey comprising 3.6 per cent of the banking sector assets, is owned by Russian Sberbank, while five Turkish banks have subsidiaries in Russia, each of them comprising a very small portion of parent banks’ assets and of the Russian market.

http://www.ebrd.com/news/2015/economic-implications-of-russias-sanctions-against-turkey.html

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Putin Orders Government to File Lawsuit if Ukraine Fails to Pay $3Bln Debt.

The Russian President also reminded that Russia was ready to support Ukraine, share the risks with US, Europe and IMF.

"It has been four years – more than enough to mitigate those risks somehow. I don’t understand this. If so — I give my permission to sue them [Ukraine]", Putin ordered.

Moscow made an offer to restructure Kiev’s $3-billion debt based on US, EU or other major global financial institution guarantees, despite the fact that Ukraine has failed to address the Russian authorities directly on the matter.

Ukraine’s debt totals $70 billion, some $40 billion of which the country owes to international money lenders.

In November, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was ready to allow Ukraine to miss the end of year deadline, provided it paid back $1 billion annually between 2016 and 2018.

http://sptnkne.ws/anSn

Rescued at Last: Christian Villages in Syria Liberated from Daesh.

http://sputniknews.com/photo/20151209/1031473237/syrian-christian-villages-photo.html

Over 30 thousand Assyrian Christians live in the province of Al-Hasakah in the northeastern part of Syria. Up to 300 civilians were kidnapped and scores were murdered when during February the Daesh forces suddenly attacked the Christian villages there. Now as the Syrian army drives back the Islamists from the province, the local residents are attempting to pick up the pieces and restore some semblance of a normal life.

****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

see our letter on:

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

*****************************************************************************************************************************************

UdovonMassenbachMailJoergBarandat

12-07-15 EBRD – Economic implications of Russia’s sanctions agai nst Turkey.pdf

12-07-15 US Forced to Cooperate with Russia on Syrian Quagmire.pdf

12-07-15 Russian Aircraft – Syria.pdf

Christian Syrian Village – after IS.pdf

Advertisements