Author Topic: Links for the masses  (Read 1744 times)

Cain

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Links for the masses
« on: January 12, 2015, 02:46:26 am »
http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/JN%20FINAL_.pdf

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The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is not the only Salafi-Jihadist threat emanating from Syria. Its prominence in U.S. policy has overshadowed a threat of similar magnitude from Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), the official al-Qaeda (AQ) affiliate in Syria. JN rivals ISIS as a sophisticated, intelligent, strategic actor in the region and continues to enjoy a dangerous freedom to operate in Syria. The two groups share common goals, including a revived Islamic Caliphate. JN, however, is pursuing its aims through a distinct, more patient methodology that is highly threatening despite its low signature. Whereas ISIS has announced its state and tried to legitimize it by conquest, JN is following AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s method of fomenting a religious and social revolution by embedding itself within an indigenous insurgency. The Syrian war has provided JN a nearly ideal environment within which to implement this strategy on behalf of al-Qaeda, and JN has enjoyed worrying success to date.

http://www.docdroid.net/orut/eurasia-group-top-10-risks-for-2015.pdf.html

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GEOPOLITICS IS BACK. AS 2015 BEGINS, POLITICAL CONFLICT AMONG THE WORLD’S GREAT POWERS IS IN PLAY MORE THAN AT ANY TIME SINCE THE END OF THE COLD WAR.

US relations with Russia are fully broken. China is charting its own course.The ties that bind Europe are fraying on multiple fronts. Others—Gulf Arabs, Brazil, India—are hedging their plans and alliances in reaction to increasing geopolitical uncertainty. Ultimately these realignments will reshape the world order, but for now their impacts, while noteworthy, are more regional than global. China’s rise still matters less than the headlines imply. Yes, it’s the leading trade partner for more than 100 nations, but China’s political, security, and economic influence remains underdeveloped.

It will grow quickly, but we’re not there yet. Crises in the Middle East have produced a world with more refugees than at any time since the Second World War, though with muted implications elsewhere, especially given the newly limited relationship between Middle East turmoil and energy markets. Russian revisionism is a direct threat to swathes of Europe, much less so farther afield. And most of Europe has far too much keeping them busy at home.

http://qz.com/321367/the-nexus-of-2015s-geopolitical-risks-will-be-found-in-moldova/

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Or at least, it’s a likely candidate for three of the consulting firm’s forecast trends to intersect: European political instability, Russian intransigence, and the weaponization of finance.

With Europe’s economy still stagnant after the financial crisis, there are already fears that populist political movements will create uncertainty in the EU. Meanwhile, Russia isn’t letting up on its aggressive anti-Western policy, despite a currency crisis and recession. President Vladimir Putin will continue to put economic pressure on Europeans, even as the US pushes for—or refuses to relax—existing financial sanctions that are hurting Russia, but also making life difficult in Europe.

And all of that could come into sharp focus in Moldova, a post-Soviet republic that is expected to continue moving toward integration with the European Union after pro-EU politicians there won a December election. Of course, those are the same sorts of agreements that precipitated Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. And Russia already has a break-away province in Moldova—Transnistria, a Russian enclave protected by some 2,000 troops.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-07/uae-eyes-bigger-political-military-leadership-role.html

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Best known for its financial allure, symbolized by Dubai’s skyscrapers, the U.A.E. is starting to flex its military and diplomatic muscles too. In the past year it has helped consolidate an army-installed government in Egypt and is said to have sent planes to bomb Islamists in Libya, as well as joining the U.S. campaign against militants in Syria.

With traditional Arab powers mired in war or political turmoil, and U.S. attention drifting elsewhere, there’s room for oil-rich Gulf states to exert more influence over the Middle East. The U.A.E. promotes itself as a template of economic success built on a liberal social model, though oil wealth and a small population may limit its relevance as a regional model, while rights groups question the extent of its tolerance.

“The role the U.A.E. wants to play is to be a leader of ideas,” said Mishaal Al Gergawi, managing director of the Delma Institute, a research center in Abu Dhabi. “You look at the U.A.E. and it breaks the taboo that Arabs can attempt something and not mess it up.”

http://pksoi.army.mil/Publications/Papers/VanRiper%20monograph.pdf

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Transnational Crime affects peace and stability operations– whether smuggling, such as drugs, arms, and natural resources or human trafficking – all of it undermines any state – most of which can ill afford to deal with it (or may be in the thick of it to support its corrupt leaders). Transnational crime further affects the ability of foreign intervention be successful. As the author observes, “Tackling corruption, neutralizing spoilers, and increasing the societies’ culture of lawfulness are necessary steps to save West Africa.” Guinea Bissau is contributing to regional and
global instability. When looking at known transnational crime smuggling routes – Guinea Bissau is front and center and the U.S. has identified as Africa’s first narco-state. The author argues that the U.S. must deal with Guinea Bissau or lose West Africa – a region currently plagued by a public health disaster. And, the author provides recommendations that built upon existing cultural values to strengthen Guinea Bissau and “shed the burden of drug smuggling.” It is our pleasure to bring to you this monograph.

http://thediplomat.com/2015/01/the-indian-ocean-zone-of-peace-reality-vs-illusion/

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Yogi Berra, the legendary American baseball player known for his pithy quotes, once remarked: “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice there is.” India’s recent pitch for an Indian Ocean Zone of Peace (IOZOP) at the Galle dialogue in Sri Lanka is a classic example of theoretical propositions not always meeting the test of practical utility. In principle, the proposal to declare the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as a zone of peace is strikingly apposite. Increasing Chinese presence and the threat of PLA-N bases in the IOR, the growing interests of other major powers (U.S., U.K., Russia, France and Japan) in the region, and the many Chinese infrastructure projects in the region, create an imperative for India to actively limit the military maritime activity of external powers in the region. But attempting to do so through the IOZOP route will ensure that while no military activity is ever practically curtailed, Indian influence and credibility in the region will be severely eroded.

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/229105-army-plans-to-shift-3000-troops-to-europe

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The Army plans to send a brigade of tanks and fighting vehicles into Europe by the end of this year, according to the top Army commander in the region.

http://cips.uottawa.ca/the-putin-book-club/

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“We must love all nations as we love our own,” writes Russian philosopher Vladimir Sergeevich Solovyov in his 1897 book The Justification of the Good. The “greatness and value” of nationality, he claims, lies “not in itself taken in the abstract, but in something universal, supernational … Nations live and act not for their own sake … but for the sake … of what can be of service to all.” - See more at: http://cips.uottawa.ca/the-putin-book-club/#sthash.uf8hBGnr.dpuf

http://www.theory-talks.org/2014/12/theory-talk-66.html

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IR has long been regarded as an Anglo-American social science. Recently, the discipline has started to look beyond America and England, to China (Theory Talk #51, Theory Talk #45), India (Theory Talk #63, Theory Talk #42), Africa (Theory Talk #57, Theory Talk #10) and elsewhere for non-Western perspectives on international affairs and IR theory. However, IR theorists have paid little attention to Russian perspectives on the discipline and practice of international relations. We offer an exciting peek into Russian geopolitical theory through an interview with the controversial Russian geopolitical thinker Alexander Dugin, founder of the International Eurasian Movement and allegedly an important influence on Putin’s foreign policy. In this Talk, Dugin—among others—discusses his Theory of a Multipolar World, offers a staunch critique of western and liberal IR, and lays out Russia’s unique contribution to the landscape of IR theory.

http://www.offiziere.ch/?p=18980

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Transnistria (Transdniester Moldovan Republic/TDMR or in Russian, Pridnestrovskaya Moldovskaya Respublika/PMR) – popularly referred to as a Soviet open air museum, is a strip of land holding de facto independence sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine in Eastern Europe. Not recognised by any sovereign state, it has split from the Republic of Moldova and operates with its own government, police, and military forces. Transnistrian citizens even hold their own passports, albeit only being able to use them internally. However, Transnistria would not be able to maintain its political bargaining power without heavy support from Big Bear Russia. In light of recent events in Crimea, and in Ukraine, Transnistria becomes an interesting historical case to explore how Russia’s strategic interests are injected into vulnerable territories.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/the-future-of-terrorism-what-al-qaida-really-wants-a-369448.html

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There must be something particularly trustworthy about the Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein. After all, he has managed to get some of the the most sought after terrorists to open up to him. Maybe it helped that they spent time together in prison many years ago -- when Hussein was a political prisoner he successfully negotiated for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to be released from solitary confinement. Or is it because of the honest and direct way in which he puts his ideas onto paper? Whatever the reason, the result is that a film which Hussein made about al-Zarqawi has even been shown on al-Qaida affiliated Web sites. "That showed me that they at least felt understood," the journalist says.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/10/world/europe/french-government-questions-intelligence-lapses.html

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PARIS — The bloody denouement on Friday of two hostage crises at different ends of a traumatized Paris means attention will now shift to the gaping question facing the French government: How did several jihadists — and possibly a larger cell of co-conspirators — manage to evade surveillance and execute a bold attack despite being well known to the country’s police and intelligence services?

On its own, the Wednesday morning slaughter that left 12 people dead at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo represented a major breakdown for French security and intelligence forces, especially after the authorities confirmed that the two suspects, the brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, had known links to the militant group Al Qaeda in Yemen

Junkenstein

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 08:51:51 pm »
Appreciated, that catches me up on a lot of shit, I'm quite behind again now.

So it's Transinistra this year then? Sounds like something's coming to a boil over there. Also, are we still expecting the normal NK Sabre rattling for the usual time?
Nine naked Men just walking down the road will cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.

Junkenstein

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2015, 09:07:05 pm »
http://www.spiegel.de/international/the-future-of-terrorism-what-al-qaida-really-wants-a-369448.html

So, starting with this because it's the first one I read:

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The Fifth Phase This will be the point at which an Islamic state, or caliphate, can be declared. The plan is that by this time, between 2013 and 2016, Western influence in the Islamic world will be so reduced and Israel weakened so much, that resistance will not be feared. Al-Qaida hopes that by then the Islamic state will be able to bring about a new world order.


The Sixth Phase Hussein believes that from 2016 onwards there will a period of "total confrontation." As soon as the caliphate has been declared the "Islamic army" it will instigate the "fight between the believers and the non-believers" which has so often been predicted by Osama bin Laden.


The Seventh Phase This final stage is described as "definitive victory." Hussein writes that in the terrorists' eyes, because the rest of the world will be so beaten down by the "one-and-a-half billion Muslims," the caliphate will undoubtedly succeed. This phase should be completed by 2020, although the war shouldn't last longer than two years.

Bear in mind, article from '05. It's reasonable to assume that the plan wasn't exactly on track and some shit has probably derailed or altered aspects. That said, as far as plans go, I've heard worse and it's the first time I've actually come across this. I've picked up from stage 5 as previous stages can be reasonably called completed. That said, they were also far simpler than the final few. "Piss off the U.S.A" isn't usually how a successful plan starts. Israel appears to have been dropped as a key/high priority target.

I'd guess the next couple of years to be fairly telling for the future of the plan as laid out above, I suspect it's not drawing anywhere near the levels of fresh recruits to the cause to remain viable in the long term. What that implies though is the ones that are there to (and escape) the end of it will be very fucking dangerous people indeed who are probably highly motivated to do quite a chunk of damage. The potential fallout from the dissolution of IS now would be difficult to predict at best and containment practically impossible.

Interesting times ahead.

ETA - It's easy to see why the author was worried. The 7 steps in simpler terms are:

Piss off USA (9/11
Get everyone fighting in Iraq
Instigate various revolutions, remove unwanted leaders in middle east
Cyberterrorism everywhere
Establish state
Fight everyone
Win Everything

The only result realistically possible is a clusterfuck, it's just a question of how big.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 09:13:21 pm by Junkenstein »
Nine naked Men just walking down the road will cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.

Cain

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2015, 09:24:20 am »
Appreciated, that catches me up on a lot of shit, I'm quite behind again now.

So it's Transinistra this year then? Sounds like something's coming to a boil over there. Also, are we still expecting the normal NK Sabre rattling for the usual time?

Probably, but since when does NK sabre-rattling ever amount to anything?  They haven't even whacked a South Korean overseas delegation in...what, 3 decades?  They just whine about films and torpedo the occasional ship.  It's like they're not even trying anymore.

And yes.  Russia's garrison there can pretty much steamroller anything Moldova could plausibly drum up.  Especially since, constitutionally speaking, they are neutral.  Of course, de facto they're as close to NATO as they can get, but any attempt to solicit foreign help will likely trigger a political crisis, which would also help advance Russian aims.

The Wizard Joseph

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2015, 09:58:07 pm »
http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/JN%20FINAL_.pdf

Was poking about briefly for ISIS stuff. This link is 404.
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Cain

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2015, 10:14:02 pm »
Try http://www.understandingwar.org/report/jabhat-al-nusra-syria

It's more to do with Jabhat al-Nusra anyway.

The Wizard Joseph

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2015, 01:16:49 am »
Got it thanks!
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

The Wizard Joseph

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2015, 02:45:08 am »
Now I understand "we are all Charlie" I think. "Je suise Charlie" on the cover was a parody of the "we are all al-nusra" protest mentioned. Say whatever of the French, they know how to bite!

The al-Nusra Front, or Jabhat al-Nusra (JN, Arabic:جبهة النصرة لأهل الشام‎ Jabhat an-Nuṣrah li-Ahli ash-Shām, "The Support Front for the People of Al-Sham") in the original wiki.

was trying to wiggle out the meaning of nusra and Google was not being very helpful. I'm also about to crash.

We are all the support or front. Not sure which.

They sound like mean players alright. Wiki said they may soon drop the name and merge.. here.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Nusra_Front

U.S. went out of the way to get them recognized as terrorist despite not having a 'foreign policy' outside Syria.
Imagine that.

You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
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Cain

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2015, 03:27:20 am »
Now I understand "we are all Charlie" I think. "Je suise Charlie" on the cover was a parody of the "we are all al-nusra" protest mentioned. Say whatever of the French, they know how to bite!

Not really.  Al-Nusrah had nothing to do with the attack, and such comments are almost 3 years old now.  While it is an Al-Qaeda affiliate, AQ in Yemen is the guilty party on this occasion.

The Wizard Joseph

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2015, 04:02:15 am »
Now I understand "we are all Charlie" I think. "Je suise Charlie" on the cover was a parody of the "we are all al-nusra" protest mentioned. Say whatever of the French, they know how to bite!

Not really.  Al-Nusrah had nothing to do with the attack, and such comments are almost 3 years old now.  While it is an Al-Qaeda affiliate, AQ in Yemen is the guilty party on this occasion.

Is "we are all..." a common form of phrasing then? I gotta say I knew it was a reach, but the 'we are all Charlie" response kind of never made sense to me.
Never went looking specifically for an answer either.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

Reginald Ret

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2015, 11:13:57 am »
Now I understand "we are all Charlie" I think. "Je suise Charlie" on the cover was a parody of the "we are all al-nusra" protest mentioned. Say whatever of the French, they know how to bite!

Not really.  Al-Nusrah had nothing to do with the attack, and such comments are almost 3 years old now.  While it is an Al-Qaeda affiliate, AQ in Yemen is the guilty party on this occasion.

Is "we are all..." a common form of phrasing then? I gotta say I knew it was a reach, but the 'we are all Charlie" response kind of never made sense to me.
Never went looking specifically for an answer either.
Charlie Hebdo was attacked by terrorists because they printed something offensive to some Muslims.
They are declaring their loyalty to freedom of speech by saying they are Charlie Hebdo.
What part don't you understand?
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The Wizard Joseph

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2015, 12:36:19 pm »
Now I understand "we are all Charlie" I think. "Je suise Charlie" on the cover was a parody of the "we are all al-nusra" protest mentioned. Say whatever of the French, they know how to bite!

Not really.  Al-Nusrah had nothing to do with the attack, and such comments are almost 3 years old now.  While it is an Al-Qaeda affiliate, AQ in Yemen is the guilty party on this occasion.

Is "we are all..." a common form of phrasing then? I gotta say I knew it was a reach, but the 'we are all Charlie" response kind of never made sense to me.
Never went looking specifically for an answer either.
Charlie Hebdo was attacked by terrorists because they printed something offensive to some Muslims.
They are declaring their loyalty to freedom of speech by saying they are Charlie Hebdo.
What part don't you understand?

Those things I get. I just thought there was a satirical, or at least sarcastic, edge to the thing. That's all.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

Cain

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2015, 03:05:28 pm »
Now I understand "we are all Charlie" I think. "Je suise Charlie" on the cover was a parody of the "we are all al-nusra" protest mentioned. Say whatever of the French, they know how to bite!

Not really.  Al-Nusrah had nothing to do with the attack, and such comments are almost 3 years old now.  While it is an Al-Qaeda affiliate, AQ in Yemen is the guilty party on this occasion.

Is "we are all..." a common form of phrasing then? I gotta say I knew it was a reach, but the 'we are all Charlie" response kind of never made sense to me.
Never went looking specifically for an answer either.

Yeah, its pretty common.

Reginald Ret

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2015, 06:23:23 pm »
Now I understand "we are all Charlie" I think. "Je suise Charlie" on the cover was a parody of the "we are all al-nusra" protest mentioned. Say whatever of the French, they know how to bite!

Not really.  Al-Nusrah had nothing to do with the attack, and such comments are almost 3 years old now.  While it is an Al-Qaeda affiliate, AQ in Yemen is the guilty party on this occasion.

Is "we are all..." a common form of phrasing then? I gotta say I knew it was a reach, but the 'we are all Charlie" response kind of never made sense to me.
Never went looking specifically for an answer either.
Charlie Hebdo was attacked by terrorists because they printed something offensive to some Muslims.
They are declaring their loyalty to freedom of speech by saying they are Charlie Hebdo.
What part don't you understand?

Those things I get. I just thought there was a satirical, or at least sarcastic, edge to the thing. That's all.
Ah. No, sorry to disappoint.
It's pretty straight forward afaik.
Lord Byron: "Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves."

Nigel saying the wisest words ever uttered: "It's just a suffix."

"The worst forum ever" "The most mediocre forum on the internet" "The dumbest forum on the internet" "The most retarded forum on the internet" "The lamest forum on the internet" "The coolest forum on the internet"

Chael of Cyprus

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Re: Links for the masses
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2015, 07:51:49 pm »
Hmm kinda make u think, maybe we need like our own plan of action...
Eris likes ice cream, cause of all food it alone can cause the most destruction and chaos. According to her, it's started more wars than any other food. Bar wine. But I can never tell how much of what come out her mouth is bullshit. And when I call her on it, all she says at least it makes pretty flowers...