Massenbach-Letter. NEWS 28.10.16

Massenbach-Letter. News

· Fiercely resistant ISIS seizes two Iraqi cities * Turkey Faces Serious Obstacles in Syria and Iraq * CTC Sentinel | Volume 9, Issue 10

· Die Gefahr der frustrierten Jugend

· The West in the Middle East * David Ignatius: Why the Middle East knows not to trust the United States

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· John Mearsheimer Discusses Global Order and Great Power Politics at Valdai Club

· Commodity slump stalls global trade growth: Kemp – Reuters News

· ARBEITSMÄRKTE IN DER PLATTFORMÖKONOMIE

Massenbach*The West in the Middle East.

A Realistic Analysis and Policy Priorities for a Region With Structurally Irresolvable Problems

by Dan Schueftan

Since Napoleon Western powers recognized the importance of the Middle East and became involved in the region. Why is it that the best they could achieve were short periods of stagnant and superficial stability? Why have indigenous Arab societies, even when they were heavily supported by powers that had great hopes for the region, consistently failed in meeting the challenges of the modern age? Why is the deficit of modernity today graver than ever? What is it that Westerners keep misunderstanding and misjudging about the realities of this part of the world? What are the impediments in Western culture and ideology that explain these analytical shortcomings? When and why did Western involvement fail? What worked? What grand designs should be abandoned? What important objectives can be secured?

BAKS: Security Policy Working Paper, No. 25/2016

Der Westen im Nahen Osten: Eine realistische Analyse und politische Prioritäten für eine Region mit strukturell unlösbaren Problemen

seit Napoleon kennt der Westen die strategische Bedeutung des Nahen Ostens. Bereits seit über 200 Jahren engagieren sich westliche Mächte in dieser Region. Trotzdem wird diese Region immer wieder von politischen, wirtschaftlichen und humanitären Krisen heimgesucht. Warum folgt unserem Engagement keine Stabilität, geschweige denn ein anhaltender Frieden? Warum scheitern Versuche eine Lösung zu finden immer wieder? Unser neues Arbeitspapier bietet Antworten auf diese und mehr Fragen.

Dan Schueftan, Direktor des National Security Studies Center der Universität Haifa und Direktor des Internationalen Graduiertenkollegs für Nationale Sicherheit, erklärt anschaulich weshalb viele Erfolge nur kurzfristig waren und worauf sich der Westen in Zukunft konzentrieren sollte.

Das Arbeitspapier finden Sie unter:
https://www.baks.bund.de/de/service/arbeitspapiere-sicherheitspolitik

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John Mearsheimer Discusses Global Order and Great Power Politics at Valdai Club

On October 18, 2016, the Valdai Club held a discussion with John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and one of the key proponents of modern political realism.

The discussion was centred on the probability of a war between great powers, a topic broadly discussed by international scholars and hyped in the media. Professor Mearsheimer began by noting that he did not believe in prospects of a war similar to WWI or WWII. He added that due to the presence of nuclear weapons, it is almost impossible to win a world war having decisively defeated the opponent, and therefore, any war between great powers would be a limited one.

Despite entrenched tensions between the United States and Russia, the most likely conflict will be between the United States and China, Mearsheimer continued. The reason for that is that China is potentially a very powerful country and is poised to dominate all of Asia, the way the United States dominates the western hemisphere, which is unacceptable for the United States. No country in Europe, including Russia, poses a similar threat to the US interests, he said.

Mearsheimer attributed many of the failures of the US foreign policy to the paradigm of liberal internationalism, which began to dominate the American foreign policy discourse after the end of the Cold War. The United States wants to spread its institutions, built during the Cold War, around the planet to preserve its global dominance. This has led the United States to wage wars in different parts of the world every two or three years, which Mearsheimer called foolish.

Equally foolish on the United States’ part is driving Russia to a close alliance with China, he added, something Washington does by alienating Moscow. According to Mearsheimer, relations between Russia and the US will improve over time, while the relations between Russia and China will deteriorate, and confrontation between the United States and China is inevitable.

“My hope is that China continues to rise and the United States will realize that bad relations with Russia is a bad idea,” Mearsheimer said.

He added that the American liberal internationalists’ biggest problem is that they do not understand the language of political realism that their interlocutors in Moscow or Beijing speak. A prime example is former US ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul who did not believe that NATO expansion was aimed at containing Russia, the way it was seen from Moscow and as the realist paradigm states.

Mearsheimer noted that liberal internationalism still dominates in the United States, Western Europe and countries like Japan and South Korea, with realist scholars treated there as “dinosaurs.” However, he believes that the period prior to 2014 was only a “holiday from realism”, and realist thinking will make a comeback. It is gaining more and more traction and is already the mainstream in Russia and China, he concluded.

http://valdaiclub.com/events/posts/articles/john-mearsheimer-discusses-global-order/

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Policy= res publica

Freudenberg-Pilster* ARBEITSMÄRKTE IN DER PLATTFORMÖKONOMIE

Zur Funktionsweise und den Herausforderungen von Crowdwork und Gigwork / WiSoNews-Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

FLORIAN A. SCHMIDT

Uber, Airbnb, Helpling und andere digitale Plattformen versprechen eine moderne, serviceorientierte Wirtschaftswelt. Doch dabei scheinen grundlegende Arbeits- und Sozialstandards unter Druck zu geraten. Die vorliegende Publikation beschreibt die Funktionsmechanismen von digitalen Arbeits- und Dienstleistungsplattformen, kategorisiert die verschiedenen Ausprägungen, stellt zentrale Problemfelder vor und zeigt mögliche Ansatzpunkte für die politische Einflussnahme auf.

http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/wiso/12826.pdf

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NZZ: Triebkraft der Weltgeschichte

Die Gefahr der frustrierten Jugend

Kommentar von Christian Weisflog 25.10.2016, 05:30 Uhr

Die Zukunft lässt sich schwer voraussagen, eines aber scheint gewiss: Wegen der Bevölkerungsentwicklung und einer automatisierten Wirtschaft muss sich Europa auf dauerhafte Zuwanderung einstellen.

Auch die «Arabellion» im Jahr 2011 wurde wie hier in Kairo von den Jugendlichen getragen.

Dass die Jugend die rastlose Kraft der Weltgeschichte ist, mag keine revolutionäre Erkenntnis sein. Von der 68er Bewegung über die Tiananmen-Proteste in China bis zur Arabellion 2011 waren es stets Studenten, die gegen die herrschende Elite aufbegehrten. Ungelöst scheint hingegen das Rätsel, wann der jugendliche Tatendrang zu positiven Erneuerungen führt oder im Gegenteil in zerstörerische Gewalt umschlägt.

Vielleicht ist es kein Zufall, dass der Historiker Herbert Moller ausgerechnet im bewegten Jahr 1968 einen Essay mit dem Titel «Die Jugend als Kraft in der modernen Welt» veröffentlichte. Ein «ungewöhnlich grosser Anteil» von jungen Erwachsenen trage zur potenziellen Instabilität einer Gesellschaft bei, erkannte Moller. Mit der französischen Revolution und Hitlers Machtergreifung wählte er zwei widersprüchliche Beispiele. In beiden Fällen handelte es sich um sehr junge Gesellschaften. Während die Revoluzzer in Paris jedoch universelle Rechte wie Freiheit und Gleichheit einforderten, propagierte das totalitäre Naziregime eine menschenverachtende Rassentheorie. Aufgrund stark gesunkener Geburtenraten wuchs die deutsche Bevölkerung 1933 bereits nicht mehr, allerdings sorgte die schwere Weltwirtschaftskrise für verbreitete Jugendarbeitslosigkeit. Dies zeigt zweierlei: Jugendliche Energie kann sich ideologisch auf sehr unterschiedliche Weise entladen. Ob sie zu Frustration und Gewalt führt, hängt auch von anderen Stressfaktoren ab.

Blutiger Kampf um Zukunft

Aber auch wenn demografische Entwicklungen nicht immer alles erklären können, haben sie doch einen entscheidenden Vorteil. Sie ändern sich meist nur langsam und erlauben deshalb einen strategischen Blick in die Zukunft. Das erkannte in den neunziger Jahren auch die CIA. An einer ihrer Konferenzen präsentierte der Geograf Garry Fuller die Theorie des «youth bulge» – des Jugend-Bauches. Am Beispiel von Sri Lanka zeigte er, wie die Bevölkerungsentwicklung die gewalttätigen Auseinandersetzungen zwischen Singhalesen und Tamilen zu unterschiedlichen Zeitpunkten befeuerte. Es werde kritisch, wenn der Anteil der 15- bis 24-Jährigen auf 20 Prozent der Gesamtpopulation ansteige. Beträgt zudem der Anteil der Altersgruppe der 0- bis 14-Jährigen mindestens 30 Prozent, ist von einem anhaltenden «youth bulge» auszugehen.

Gestützt auf Fullers Theorie thematisierte der deutsche Völkermordforscher Gunnar Heinsohn in seinem Buch «Söhne und Weltmacht» bereits 2003 das demografische Konfliktpotenzial in der islamisch-arabischen Welt. Heinsohn warnte vor Unruhen, Krieg und Terror, weil es im Nahen Osten einerseits zu viele Söhne und andererseits zu wenige gesellschaftliche Positionen gebe, die ihren Ansprüchen genügten. Diese verschärfte Konkurrenz um Zukunftsperspektiven ist für Heinsohn die Ursache, die frustrierte Männer nach radikalen Ideologien suchen lässt, um in ihrem Namen zu töten. Es ist nicht die Ideologie selbst, die zu Gewalt führt.

Auf den ersten Blick bestätigt der brutale Krieg in Syrien diese Theorie. Der Anteil der Jugendlichen zwischen 15 und 24 Jahren lag 2011 bei über 21 Prozent. Allerdings hatten Marokko, Jordanien oder Algerien etwa ähnlich junge Gesellschaften. Warum ist es dort nicht zum Krieg gekommen? Die Antwort liegt in Syriens ethnisch-religiösen Spannungen zwischen Sunniten, Alawiten und Kurden. Spannungen, die vom Regime und von Teilen der Opposition während Jahrzehnten für ihre Machtkämpfe instrumentalisiert wurden, um die eigenen Anhänger zu mobilisieren. Spannungen, die nun wiederum durch die Rivalitäten der Regionalmächte Saudiarabien, Iran und Türkei befeuert werden. Hinzu kommt die durchaus auch ideologisch getriebene Konfrontation (Demokratie contra Autoritarismus) zwischen den USA und Russland. Der zunehmende russische Militarismus unter Wladimir Putin zeigt im Übrigen, dass auch schrumpfende Gesellschaften zu Gewalt neigen können. Grosse Eroberungszüge sind angesichts der knappen Jugend allerdings schwierig. Nicht umsonst hat der Kreml den Tod russischer Soldaten gesetzlich unter Geheimhaltung gestellt.

Wenn es zu gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen kommt, werden sie meist von der Jugend vorangetrieben. Wenn es einem Staat jedoch nicht gelingt, die jugendliche Energie positiv zu nutzen, kann es leicht zu Unruhen, Revolutionen und Blutvergiessen kommen.

Ein grosser Jugendanteil ist wie ein Brennstoff, der je nach Umständen durch andere Faktoren entzündet oder entschärft wird. Die jugendliche Energie kann sowohl einen Krieg befeuern als auch eine boomende Wirtschaft antreiben. Je grösser indes der Nachwuchs ist, desto schwieriger scheint es, ein friedliches Ventil für ihn zu finden.

Sonderfall Afrika

Die gute Nachricht für Nordafrika und den Nahen Osten ist, dass die «youth bulges» abklingen. Entgegen dem verbreiteten Vorurteil ist der Islam kein entscheidender Faktor für die Geburtenraten. Selbst in Saudiarabien bringt eine Frau heute im Durchschnitt weniger als drei Kinder auf die Welt. In der Islamischen Republik Iran fiel die Geburtenrate ab 1985 innerhalb von 15 Jahren von über 6 auf unter 2 Kinder pro Frau. Ursache dafür war vor allem die bessere Bildung der Frauen sowie eine bessere Gesundheits-, Wasser- und Stromversorgung der ländlichen Gebiete.

Der Demograf Youssef Courbage und der Politologe Emmanuel Todd hatten aufgrund dieser Entwicklung die Arabellion bereits 2007 in ihrem Buch «Die unaufhaltsame Revolution» vorausgesagt. Eine gebildete, urbane Jugend geht für moderne Werte – Freiheit, Gleichheit und politische Partizipation – auf die Strasse. Die Umwälzungen und Kriege sind demnach bloss «Krisen des Übergangs» und der Islamismus ein verzweifeltes Rückzugsgefecht der Traditionalisten. Angesichts sinkender Kinderzahlen, so die Hoffnung, sollten die arabischen Staaten nach dem ostasiatischen Vorbild nun ihre «demografische Dividende» ernten können. Die jungen Gesellschaften, die weniger Kinder und alte Menschen versorgen müssen, können vermehrt in höhere Bildung, Forschung, in Infrastruktur oder private Unternehmen investieren.

Kinder pro Frau weltweit rückläufig

Bis jetzt jedoch fallen die Früchte der Arabellion sehr enttäuschend aus. Die eigentliche demografische Zeitbombe – mit der Ausnahme von Pakistan – aber tickt in Subsahara-Afrika. Es handle sich um eine «einzigartige» Weltregion, schreibt der auf Afrika spezialisierte Demograf Jean-Pierre Guengant im neuen Sammelband «Africa’s Population», der im Dezember erscheinen wird. Die Geburtenraten in Schwarzafrika sinken zwar auch, aber der Abwärtstrend begann später, verläuft langsamer und ist in einigen Ländern zum Stillstand gekommen. Die Bevölkerung hat sich im vergangenen Jahrhundert verzehnfacht und wird sich bis 2050 auf rund zwei Milliarden Menschen verdoppeln.

Der afrikanische Sonderfall hat viele Ursachen: unter anderem mangelnde Bildung, landwirtschaftlich geprägte Gesellschaften oder die weitgehende Abwesenheit von staatlichen Informationskampagnen für Familienplanung. Aber auch wenn sich diese Rahmenbedingungen verbessern sollten, die «youth bulges» bestehen bereits. Und sie werden vermutlich gerade dort zu grossen Konflikten oder Fluchtbewegungen führen, wo die Moderne in Form von Bildung und Urbanisierung bereits voranschreitet, aber ihre Versprechen nicht halten kann. In Uganda etwa, wo 68 Prozent der Bevölkerung jünger als 24 Jahre alt sind und wo jedes Jahr 40 000 Universitätsabgänger um 8000 Stellen kämpfen. Besorgt sind die Experten auch über Äthiopien, das bisher als Stabilitätsanker für das ganze Horn von Afrika galt, aber seit vergangenem November von Unruhen erschüttert wird. Hans Groth, Präsident des St. Galler World Demographic Forum und Mitherausgeber des oben erwähnten Sammelbandes, schätzt Äthiopiens theoretisches Migrationspotenzial in den kommenden Jahrzehnten auf 40 Millionen Menschen.

Der «Jugendüberschuss» wird dort für Konflikte sorgen, wo die Moderne bereits voranschreitet, aber ihre Versprechen nicht hält.

Im Vergleich mit den demografischen Übergängen in anderen Weltregionen hat Afrika einen weiteren Nachteil. In Zeiten einer zunehmend automatisierten Produktionsweise lässt sich das chinesische Modell einer Werkbank mit einer fast unbegrenzten Menge an billigen Arbeitskräften kaum mehr kopieren. Ein grosser Teil des Wirtschaftswachstums in Afrika sei «jobless growth», erklärte Aeneas Chuma, der Regionaldirektor der Internationalen Arbeitsorganisation, im vergangenen Jahr in einem Interview. «Es ist riskant, wenn junge, gut ausgebildete und körperlich tüchtige Afrikaner unbeschäftigt sind.»

Insgesamt lässt sich eine optimistischere oder eine pessimistische Schlussfolgerung ziehen. Afrikas Geburtenzahlen sinken langsam, aber in die ähnliche Richtung wie zuvor in allen anderen Weltregionen. Auch Europa ist im Zuge seiner Bevölkerungsexplosion ab dem 16. Jahrhundert durch viele Kriegsjahre gegangen, hat schliesslich aber daraus herausgefunden. Wenn wir dem Einwanderungsdruck nicht allein mit Abschottung begegnen, sondern in Afrika auch geduldig in die Problembewältigung investieren, lassen sich die schlimmsten Gewaltexzesse vielleicht verhindern. Der Historiker Herbert Moller neigte indes zu einer pessimistischen Einschätzung. Die meisten Gesellschaften seien immer schon zu arm, ihre Machtstrukturen zu starr und ihre Bildungseinrichtungen zu schlecht gewesen, um das kreative Potenzial ihrer Jugend zu nutzen, resümiert er in seinem Essay von 1968. «Die grosse Mehrheit des menschlichen Talents bleibt unerkannt und wird verschwendet

http://www.nzz.ch/meinung/kommentare/triebkraft-der-weltgeschichte-die-gefahr-der-frustrierten-jugend-ld.123170?mktcid=nled&mktcval=107_2016-10-25

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Barandat* Fiercely resistant ISIS seizes two Iraqi cities

DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis October 25, 2016, 10:04 AM (IDT)

Official US optimism was absent from the latest Pentagon spokesman’s evaluation of the state of the offensive to wrest Mosul from ISIS as it entered its second week. Late Monday, Oct. 24, Capt. Jeff Davis said that, while Iraqi and Kurdish forces were making “solid progress,” they are now meeting “heavy resistance,” outside Mosul and predicted that “its going to get heavier” as allied forces push into the city.

Capt. Davis also admitted that the 80 or so villages and small towns retaken by Kurdish and Iraqi forces in the first week of the campaign were largely uninhabited.

US soldiers were Monday ordered to use gas masks after ISIS poured oil on a sulfur mine 70km south of Mosul that continues to burn near the US and Iraqi military center at Qayyarah.

One obstacle after another – often unforeseen – is slowing the coalition’s advance on Mosul – as debkafile was the first publication to reveal last week. It is becoming obvious that ISIS is following a plan to circle around Mosul in a wide radius and pouncing on important spots for diversionary attacks:

Last week, they overran Kirkuk; this week, Sinjar and Rutba.

The capture of Sinjar in northern Iraq near the Syrian border was the Islamists’ second victory against the Kurdish Peshmerga. Its fall saved ISIS’ main supply route from Iraq to its Syrian stronghold in Raqqa from being cut off. For the Kurdish Peshmerga, it was disastrous. Sinjar was the main assembly center for Syrian Kurdish fighters coming in to aid their brothers in the fight for Mosul. A large concentration of the outlawed Turkish Kurdish PKK was also present.

The fighting in Kirkuk only died down Sunday after three days, leaving at least 100 Iraqi and Kurdish fighters dead.
ISIS captured the Anbar desert town of Rutba, 700km southwest of Mosul, by a three-pronged strike.

Rutba commands the Baghdad-Amman highway. It is also situated near the Ayn al-Asad Air Base, the largest US military facility in Iraq, which hosts US air and special operations units.

Iraqi government forces including Emergency Regiments, border guard units and Sunni tribal militias which command this part of western Iraq, were deployed to guard this strategic town. However, they were no match for ISIS. The Mayor of Rutba, Imad al-Dulaimi’s desperate appeal to Baghdad for backup to save the town from ISIS’ grasp, fell on deaf ears. Large numbers of Iraqi, Kurdish and local Sunni fighters fell in battle there.

It has become apparent from these events that the planners of the Mosul operation, Haidar al-Abadi’s generals and the American officers fighting with them did not take into account that ISIS would mount major attacks in unexpected places far and near to throw the coalition assault on Mosul off balance.

Next door, the Jordanian army went on war preparedness as its generals looked nervously at the fighting drawing near to the kingdom and took note that the main highway linking Amman to Baghdad had been cut off.

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Middle East

Turkey Faces Serious Obstacles in Syria and Iraq

Oct. 26, 2016 Several factors, including Iran, are keeping Turkey from intervening on its southern flank.

By Kamran Bokhari

At a time when it is struggling to manage the chaos in Syria, Turkey has been adamant about joining the efforts to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State. While there has been much noise over a Turkish military intervention in Iraq, Turkey’s actual behavior seems to suggest that it is unable to intervene. In the two Arab countries on its borders, Turkey faces a number of arrestors that Ankara will have to overcome before it can play a major role in stabilizing an anarchic Arab world. One of the biggest obstacles preventing Turkey from managing its southern flank is its principal regional competitor, Iran, which has had years’ worth of a head start in both Syria and Iraq.

Kurdish Syrian representative in France Khaled Issa shows a map of alleged attacks against Kurdish forces as he accuses Turkey of “massively attacking” Kurdish forces trying to recapture Raqqa, the Islamic State group stronghold in Syria, during a press conference in Paris on Oct. 25, 2016. Iraq announced the launch of the operation to retake Mosul from IS on October 17, and has since been advancing towards the city from the south, east and north.

On Oct. 24, Iran warned Turkey not to violate Iraq’s sovereignty. “It is not acceptable at all if a country, under the pretext of combating terrorism or any other crimes, tries to violate the sovereignty” of another country, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters at his weekly press conference in Tehran. President Hassan Rouhani also criticized Ankara’s military incursion into Iraq. Speaking on state television Rouhani said he “considers intervention of foreign countries (in Iraq and Syria) under the pretext of fighting terrorism and without coordination with the host country very dangerous, whether it is armored forces, air forces or ground forces.”

These statements from Iran follow a heated exchange between Turkish and Iraqi leaders over Ankara’s insistence that it be a part of the anti-Islamic State offensive in Mosul. The tensions between Ankara and Baghdad are not new though. They go back to 2015, when Turkey stationed 500 troops at a military base in the town of Bashiqa, where they have been providing support to Sunni and Turkmen forces opposed to the Islamic State. Turkey has consistently rejected such calls to withdraw. But it really didn’t matter until recently, when coalition forces were in the final stages of preparing to take back Mosul from the Islamic State. In recent weeks, Iraq’s Shiite-dominated central government has been accusing the Turks of undermining the fight against the Islamic State.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said that Turkey should avoid creating a situation where Iraqi forces would have to open fire on Turkish troops and warned of a regional war. This stern warning was in response to the Turkish parliament extending the mandate of Turkish troops in northern Iraq on Oct. 1 for another year. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lashed out against the Iraqi premier on Oct. 11 calling on him to “know his place.” Erdoğan said, “You are not my interlocutor, you are not at my level, you are not my equivalent, you are not of the same quality as me. Your screaming and shouting in Iraq is of no importance to us. You should know that we will go our own way.”

Its harshness aside, Erdoğan’s language is reflective of both Turkey’s regional ambitions as well as its frustrations. Since long before this imbroglio involving Iraq emerged, Turkey has been fraught with the problem of how to deal with the fighting radiating out of Syria, with whom it shares a very long border. Ankara has been under pressure from its main ally, the United States, to play a bigger role in the fight against the Islamic State. From the Turkish point of view, Syria’s Kurds represent a threat that Ankara needs to sort out before it can take decisive action against IS. In addition to the Kurds, the Turks have to worry about the Russian intervention in Syria. Turkey has only recently started to try to repair its relations with Russia after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on the Turkish-Syrian border last November.

While Turkey has been navigating an extremely complex battlespace in Syria it has run into problems related to Iraq – the other Arab country that it shares a border with. In both Iraq and Syria, Turkey runs into a common obstacle, Iranian influence. Since the current Shiite clerical regime came to power in Iran following the 1979 revolution, Iran has been an ally of Syria. The Iranian-Syrian alliance has a lot to do with the fact that the Baathist regime in Syria is dominated by the Shiite Alawite sect.

Since the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, the Iraqi state has been dominated by the country’s Shiite majority, whose political principals are pro-Iranian. Even though in recent years Syria and Iraq have both been weakened by civil war, the regimes in their respective capitals remain in place – in great part due to the efforts of Iran, whose sphere of influence on its western flank remains significant. In essence, this is a historic moment, in that for the first time in centuries Iraq and Syria are in the Persian/Shiite orbit. In the mid 16th century, it was the Ottomans who were in control of both Syria and Iraq and thus blocking the Persian Shiite Safavid Empire.

Today the situation is reversed. Iran has had significant influence in Iraq and Syria for many years. Turkey is just coming around to playing major league geopolitics. Turkey’s problem is not so much Iran as it is the fact that Ankara does not enjoy a monopoly within the region’s Sunni camp. While they are happy to use Turkey as leverage to counter the rise of Iran and its Arab Shiite allies, Sunni Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia, do not want to come under Turkish influence.

As the last regional Arab power left standing after the 2011 Arab Spring, Saudi Arabia is a key competitor for Turkey – even though the two tend to cooperate on many regional issues, especially Syria. Meanwhile, the Islamic State is challenging both the Saudis and the Turks for leadership of the Sunni and wider Islamic world. This means that the Turks will have to first establish their undisputed leadership among the Sunni Arabs to be able to weaken their principal regional rivals, the Iranians. However, Turkey’s current geopolitical capital in both Iraq and Syria remains meager.

For Turkey to be able to bring order to the chaos in the Arab world, the Turks must achieve three things. First, they must defeat the Islamic State. Second, they must ensure that weakening of the Islamic State does not lead to the empowerment of the Kurds. Finally, the regimes in Iraq and Syria must be weakened to the point where they are forced to share power.

Each of these three prerequisites will be extremely difficult. Dislodging the cross-border Islamic State is unlikely to happen anytime soon. When it does happen, Turkey cannot ensure that the Kurds are not going to be a key beneficiary of the outcome. Well, at least not without a lot of bloodshed. If anything, the regimes in Damascus and Baghdad remain entrenched in their respective areas.

Thus, Turkey is putting itself on a path where it will eventually have to go beyond just rhetoric and with small steps reach the point where it emerges as the leader of the Sunnis and take on the emergent Shia.

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/turkey-faces-serious-obstacles-in-syria-and-iraq/

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*Massenbach’s Recommendation*

CTC Sentinel | Volume 9, Issue 10 (October 2016): Published by Combating Terrorism Center

Cover Story Overview

With a constellation of Iraqi forces making slow but sustained progress toward the outskirts of Mosul, Zana Gulmohamad compares the challenges in liberating and securing the city with those faced by Iraqi forces in Fallujah earlier this year, based on interviews with key Iraqi players. Liberating Mosul, he argues, will be much more difficult because of the Islamic State’s determination to hold onto the seat of its “caliphate,” but harder still will be securing and rebuilding the city because of the conflicting agendas of the forces arrayed around Mosul.

If and when the Islamic State is dislodged from Mosul, it is likely to pivot back toward guerrilla warfare and terrorism. In our cover story, Michael Knights and Alex Mello argue there is a danger that the group could regenerate in the sectarian tinderbox of Diyala province, by escalating attacks against Shi`a in the region so as to provoke the region’s powerful Shi`a militias to retaliate against Sunnis, and plunge Iraq back into civil war. A decade ago, this strategy revitalized the Islamic State of Iraq after it was dislodged from Anbar province during the “surge.”

In our interview, Lieutenant General (Ret.) Charles Cleveland, former commanding general of U.S. Army Special Operations Command and now a senior fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center, focuses on the challenges ahead in special warfare.

In our feature commentary, two veteran U.S. intelligence officials—Andrew Liepman and Philip Mudd—reflect on the lessons learned from the 15-year counterterrorism campaign.

Brian Fishman revises the origin story of the Islamic State based on declassified documents that shed new light on why al-Qa`ida supported Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before 9/11.

Paul Cruickshank, Editor in Chief

In This Issue

A View from the CT Foxhole: An Interview with LTG(R) Charles T. Cleveland, former Commanding General, USASOC

Kristina Hummel

Lessons from the Fifteen-Year Counterterrorism Campaign

Andrew Liepman, Philip Mudd

Losing Mosul, Regenerating in Diyala: How the Islamic State Could Exploit Iraq’s Sectarian Tinderbox

Alex Mello, Michael Knights

Revising the History of al-Qa`ida’s Original Meeting with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Brian Fishman

Unseating the Caliphate: Contrasting the Challenges of Liberating Fallujah and Mosul

Zana Gulmohamad

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COLUMN-Commodity slump stalls global trade growth: Kemp – Reuters News

26-Oct-2016 16:36:49

John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own

Chart 1: http://tmsnrt.rs/2eLxBLz

Chart 2: http://tmsnrt.rs/2eLw20e

Chart 3: http://tmsnrt.rs/2eLyyDv

By John Kemp

LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) – World trade growth has ground to a halt as the commodity price slump hits economic growth in emerging markets and with it their demand for imported industrial equipment, supplies and consumer goods.

World trade volumes were unchanged between June and August compared with the same period in 2015, according to the Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) ("World Trade Monitor", October 2016).

Growth in volumes has been unusually weak since 2012 but the recent slowdown has pushed growth down to zero (http://tmsnrt.rs/2eLxBLz).

Trade has been both an important engine of economic growth and is in turn strongly influenced by the increase in output since the end of World War Two.

Trade volumes grew roughly twice as fast as real global economic output between 1985 and 2007 but have since barely kept up.

"Such prolonged sluggish growth in trade volumes relative to economic activity has few historical precedents during the past five decades," according to the International Monetary Fund.

Slower GDP growth can explain about three-quarters of the slowdown in global trade volume growth since 2012, according to the IMF ("World Economic Outlook", IMF, October 2016).

Most of the slowdown in trade growth is the result of slower growth in economic output, especially in emerging markets, which rely heavily on imported equipment and intermediate products to make their exports.

Emerging economies provided the fastest growth in trade volumes before 2007 and then helped sustain growth rates until 2014.

But many of them rely heavily on commodity exports and as the commodity boom has turned to a slump their economies have contracted and import demand has fallen (http://tmsnrt.rs/2eLw20e).

Emerging markets‘ imports have shrunk by 3.6 percent in volume terms over the last year while advanced economies‘ imports are up by 2.1 percent, according to the CPB.

Capital investment and the export of raw materials and manufactured items are particularly import-intensive sectors.

Emerging markets imported lots of capital equipment and other supplies to expand their commodity production during the boom ("Commodity slump intensifies risks to emerging markets", Reuters, Oct. 8 2015 (Full Story)).

Rising incomes also stimulated a big increase in local consumption, some of which was in turn spent on imported goods and services.

The commodity slump has hit global trade growth hard as capital investment has shrivelled and emerging economies have struggled to avoid recession.

Import volumes have fallen across all emerging markets since 2014 but the decline has been especially sharp in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Central and Eastern Europe. (http://tmsnrt.rs/2eLyyDv).

Every one of these areas relies heavily on commodities for economic output and export earnings ("State of Commodity Dependence 2014", United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 2015).

With the more advanced economies also growing more slowly than before the slowdown in trade volume growth comes as no surprise.

"Weak trade growth is largely a symptom of the synchronised slowdown in economic activity across advanced and emerging market and developing economies," the IMF concluded in its World Economic Outlook.

The IMF noted around a quarter of the slowdown in global trade volume growth could not be explained by slower economic growth alone.

The Fund speculates that a slowdown in trade liberalisation, an upsurge in antidumping and the proliferation of more subtle non-tariff barriers could help explain the extra slowdown in trade growth.

The creation of global value chains by multinational corporations via outsourcing and off-shoring during the 1990s and early 2000s may also have run its course and be contributing to a slowdown in trade growth.

As a result, the Fund urges policymakers to resist protectionism, revive trade liberalisation and dismantle remaining non-tariff barriers to support global trade and a new round of global value chain development.

But the main lesson is that the slowdown in global trade growth stems in part from the commodity slump and the slowdown in China, and will be reversed when the commodity cycle turns.

John Kemp

Senior Market Analyst

Reuters

Opinions

Why the Middle East knows not to trust the United States

ByDavid Ignatius. Opinion writer.October 25 at 8:03 PM

When the United States fights its wars in the Middle East, it has a nasty habit of recruiting local forces as proxies and then jettisoning them when the going gets tough or regional politics intervene.

This pattern of “seduction and abandonment” is one of our least endearing characteristics. It’s one reason the United States is mistrusted in the Middle East. We don’t stick by the people who take risks on our behalf in Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon and elsewhere. And now, I fear, this syndrome is happening again in Syria, as a Kurdish militia group known as the YPG, which has been the United States’ best ally against the Islamic State, gets pounded by the Turkish military.

The YPG is a special case for me because I had a chance to meet some of their fighters in May at a secret U.S. Special Operations forces training camp in northern Syria. They described battling to the last man — and sometimes woman — as they drove the Islamic State from its strongholds. Special Ops officers embedded with the YPG recounted their battlefield exploits with deep respect, expressing what one called “the brotherhood of the close fight.”

Unfortunately, allying with the United States can be a dangerous proposition in the Middle East. Last Thursday, Turkey said its warplanes shot 18 targets in YPG-controlled areas of northern Syria. The Turks want to block the YPG from linking up with its fighters in a pocket known as Afrin, northwest of Aleppo. The Turks also want to prevent the YPG from playing a leading role in the liberation of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital, as the United States had planned.

“If it doesn’t stop, it could preempt all plans for Raqqa,” warns a Pentagon official about the Turkish onslaught. Kurdish sources tell me that because the United States isn’t responding to pleas about Afrin, the YPG is appealing to Russia.

The U.S. alliance with the YPG was forged during the liberation of Kobane from the Islamic State in late 2014. The Kurds were down to a few hundred fighters when U.S. Special Operations forces intervened. The assistance was brokered by Lahur Talabani, the intelligence chief of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK. He sent several of his operatives into Kobane with GPS devices to call in U.S. close air support, via an operations center in the PUK’s headquarters in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq.

“It was the right thing to do,” Talabani told me Tuesday in an interview in Washington. He explained that the YPG’s success against the Islamic State has saved Kurdish lives in Syria and taken pressure off Kurdish forces in Iraq, who are now fighting to liberate Mosul from the extremists.

The Obama administration embraced the YPG because the Kobane victory was the first major battlefield success against the Islamic State. At last, the United States had a partner that could fight. But this alliance was built atop an ethnic fault line. That ruptured in August, when a YPG-dominated force captured Manbij, just south of the Turkish border. A few weeks later, the Turks invaded Syria and began their barrage against YPG targets.

The United States has tried, unsuccessfully, to finesse the Turkish-Kurdish animosity. Before the Manbij offensive began in May, the United States brought to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey a delegation from the Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition that nominally oversees the YPG. But this effort to paper over Turkish-Kurdish differences crumpled after the attempted coup in Turkey in July. Some of the Turkish generals who met the SDF are now said to be in prison as coup suspects.

Turkey’s regional ambitions have swollen as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan consolidated power after the coup attempt. Even as Turkish forces harass the YPG and consolidate a border strip in Syria, they’re also advancing in Iraq, seeking a role in the liberation of Mosul despite warnings from Iraq and the United States to stay out. Erdogan speaks of Aleppo and Mosul as former Ottoman regional capitals.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-the-middle-east-knows-not-to-trust-the-united-states/2016/10/25/09c00c52-9afa-11e6-b3c9-f662adaa0048_story.html?utm_term=.b35043d9f3f5

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see our letter on:

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

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25-2016 The West in the Middle East _working_paper_2016_25.pdf

10-20-16 wiso-news-fes_crowdwork.pdf

10-25-16 CTC-SENTINEL_Vol9Iss1012.pdf

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