“Sinai is already out of control,” said Khalil al Anani, an expert on Islamist groups at Durham University in the U.K. It is lawless and there’s no state control to a large extent. It is something we can’t imagine now, but it could happen that we will be talking about a large scale civil war that begins there.”Sponsored Ads
Local militants have already been arming themselves with heavy weapons from Libya, such as antiaircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades, arms dealers said in interviews, and demand is increasing. Islamist sheiks said in interviews that the conflict in Syria has become a major draw for angry local Islamist youth who return trained and battle-hardened.
He also spoke of the civil unrest in Turkey — the four weeks of protests that started over a rally against a park development and escalated into violent clashes with police about the government — and said the United States was largely to blame. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should never have worked so closely with Washington, D.C., and other Western allies, he said.
A Gulf-based analyst quoted by The Washington Post says the Syrian civil war is Syrian no longer: now it’s an Iranian fight to the finish.
The head of a think tank in Dubai says Syria’s civil war has become a fight for Iran’s survival and rulership in the Middle East.
… Alani told the Post, “This is an Iranian fight. It is no longer a Syrian one.
“The issue is hegemony in the region. If Iran wins this conflict and the Syrian regime survives, Iran’s interventionist policy will become wider and its credibility will be enhanced.”
Thirty years after Japan’s arrival as an economic powerhouse, the country’s industrial and economic decline is palpable. China could be on the same trajectory, says Satyajit Das.
Despite a history of conflict and competition, China and Japan share a contiguous geography and development models. China may also share Japan’s economic fate.
Japan’s post-war economic recovery was based on an export-driven model, using low-cost labour to drive manufacturing. Consciously or unconsciously, China followed the same model when the country started to open up economically under Deng Xiaoping.
So when Mr. Obama agreed this week for the first time to send small arms and ammunition to Syrian rebel forces, he had to be almost dragged into the decision at a time when critics, some advisers and even Bill Clinton were pressing for more action. Coming so late into the conflict, Mr. Obama expressed no confidence it would change the outcome, but privately expressed hope it might buy time to bring about a negotiated settlement.
The US will be courting danger in Syria but staying out is a greater risk, writes David Gardner
President Barack Obama’s decision to send unspecified “direct military support” to Syria’s rebels may have as its proximate cause the now firm US conviction that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against them. But it will be seen across the Middle East as a choice by America to throw its weight behind a Sunni alliance against Iran-led Shia forces across the region – a conflict in which Syria is the frontline.
Someone steals your most sensitive secrets. Then, planning a face-to-face meeting, he says he wants to develop “a new type” of relationship with you. At what point, exactly, would you start thinking he was planning to drink your milkshake?
Ahead of the first summit meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China on June 7, the two nations are on the brink of geopolitical conflict. As its officials acknowledge, China is a classic rising power, poised to challenge U.S. dominance. In historical terms, the sole global superpower never gives up without a fight.
But the message should nevertheless be communicated clearly: The U.S. won’t tolerate being subject to cyber-attacks designed to change the military-strategic balance. A country that steals your trade secrets can become your economic enemy; one that steals your national-security secrets is signaling that it may become an actual security enemy.
The Philippines on Thursday warned that territorial rows in Asia are “causing considerable tension that could lead to conflict” as several countries face off with China over island claims.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, speaking at a Tokyo business conference, said China’s “nine-dash line claim encompassing almost the entire South China Sea” is “excessive.”
“In addition to the South China Sea, we have in Northeast Asia, home to Asia’s biggest economic powerhouses, several disputes that have adversely affected relations between and among Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.
“The competing territorial and maritime disputes are causing considerable tension that could lead to conflict,” he warned.
In 2009, the Rudd government in Australia issued the first White Paper on Defense for almost a decade. The line on China in that was stark: “The pace, scope and structure of China’s military modernization have the potential to give its neighbors cause for concern if not carefully explained.” The report also noted that “there is likely to be a question in the minds of regional states about the long-term strategic purpose of [China’s] force development plans, particularly as the modernization appears potentially to be beyond the scope of what would be required for a conflict over Taiwan.”
Only four years later, and the new White Paper issued by the Australian government of Julia Gillard has a very different tone. “Australia welcomes China’s rise,” it states, “not just because of the social and economic benefits it has brought China’s people, but also in recognition of the benefits that it has delivered to states around the globe.”
How can one account for the journey from the first 2009 statement and the second a few years later? …
While the world’s attention was focused on Boston and North Korea, the conflict in Syria entered a new phase — one that threatens to embroil its neighbors in a chaotic way and pose complex challenges to the Obama administration.
What began as a protest movement long ago became an uprising that metastasized into a war, a vicious whirlpool dragging a whole region toward it.
Many analysts believe the United States can do little to influence — let alone control — the situation. And it could make things worse. Fawaz Gerges of the London School of Economics argues against the United States “plunging into the killing fields of Syria … because it would complicate and exacerbate an already dangerous conflict.”