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Tag "pepe escobar"

Trump, NATO and ‘Russian aggression’

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) The US President’s blitzkrieg at the Brussels summit, calling NATO obsolete and for member states to boost spending to defend themselves is correct. Hysteria is at fever pitch. After the NATO summit in Brussels, the definitive Decline of the West has been declared a done deal as President Trump gets ready to meet President Putin in

Tariffs ‘kick off 50-year trade war’ with China

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) The tariff tussle that began today is linked to Beijing’s ambitious ‘Made in China 2025’ and Belt and Road strategies, which will transform the global economic and geopolitical landscape; this rivalry could last for decades, some experts have said Way beyond the first midnight shot in what could possibly turn into a vicious trade war, the

How the Iran sanctions drama intersects with OPEC-plus

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Major states buying oil from Iran are unlikely to heed the US call to drop imports; key allies want a waiver to avoid sanctions; OPEC, meanwhile, will have trouble boosting output in the short-term; the puzzle is not solved, but there are dark clouds History may have registered stranger geoeconomic bedfellows. But in the current OPEC-plus

Turkey’s European dream may be over, is the Sultan ready for Eurasia?

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Erdogan has lost his parliamentary majority and must now establish a coalition with the far-right Nationalist Action Party; given the latter is anti-Western, the road ahead points in only one direction: Eurasian integration To the utter despair of stoic defenders of “Western values,” Europe is now condemned to suffer two populist autocracies on its eastern borders:

Sexy metal: the missing element in the Korean puzzle

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo knows the importance of rare earth elements, and North Korea has reportedly found one of the world’s biggest deposits 150km from Pyongyang; is this another factor behind the recent thaw with the US? This may not be about condos on North Korean beaches after all. Arguably, the heart of the matter

The key word in the Trump-Kim show

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) By reaffirming the Panmunjom Declaration, the US President has committed to bringing its military back from South Korea and thus a complete denuclearization of the South as well as the North The Trump-Kim geopolitical reality-TV show – surreal for some – offered unparalleled entries to the annals of international diplomacy. It will be tough to upstage

Putin and Xi top the G6+1

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) East vs. West: the contrast between the “dueling summits” this weekend was something for the history books. All hell broke loose at the G6+1, otherwise known as G7, in La Malbaie, Canada, while all focused on divine Eurasian integration at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in China’s Qingdao in Shandong, the home province of Confucius. US

How Singapore, Astana and St Petersburg preview a new world order

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Key economic forums in cities across Eurasia point the way to new power structures rising to challenge Western dominance Ahead of the crucial Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Qingdao this coming weekend, three other recent events have offered clues on how the new world order is coming about. The Astana Economic Forum in Kazakhstan centered

The Syria connection to Iran, Afghanistan and China

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Iranian academic spells out Iran’s position in the Middle East and questions US policy toward the region; amid reports that the Qods force is unlikely to disband, and that Daesh (ISIS) is being moved the Afghanistan-Pakistan border A crucial question has been consuming policymakers in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon: Does the Trump administration have a

Iran diary: bracing for all-out economic war

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) While the dogs of war bark, the Ancient – and New – Silk Road goes on forever and a civilization with a long and proud history gets on with life The minute you set foot in the streets of Mashhad, the air smelling of saffron, a fine breeze oozing from the mountains, it hits you; you’re

Tehran eyes path ahead after US withdrawal from nuclear pact

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Iran is considering conducting all trade in euro and yuan amid uncertainty over whether Brussels can challenge the dominance of US law and prevent possible sanctions The Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has monopolized the highest levels of government in Tehran around the clock

Letter from Iran: Mr. Trump, you have been served

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Top officials, including former CIA officers, Pentagon officials, US Army officers and former diplomats demand explanation of Israeli actions By Pepe Escobar May 19, 2018 11:57 AM (UTC+8) In a letter addressed to President Donald Trump, with copies to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN Security Council, four top former officials at the highest

The art of breaking a deal

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Donald Trump’s decision to leave the JCPOA will not open the path to an Iranian nuclear weapon Breaking the unwritten rules of global diplomacy, the Trump administration is now in violation of the multilateral Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or in plain language the Iran nuclear deal. Nuance is notoriously absent in what can only be described

Eurasia torn between war and peace

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Iran’s top trading partner is China, while Tehran and Moscow have been improving ties as the three countries move closer to cementing a solid alliance Two summits – the cross-border handshake that shook the world between Kim and Moon in Panmunjom and Xi and Modi’s cordial walk by the lake in Wuhan – may have provided

It’s BRI against Indo-Pacific all over again

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Modi and Xi meeting could have a crucial SCO subplot focusing on security and economic cooperation All bets are off on the outcome of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s potentially ground-breaking meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping this Friday and Saturday in Wuhan. Things have not exactly started in auspicious mode. After a meeting in Beijing

Caspian games: Central Asian ‘stans’ vie for connectivity market

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Azerbaijan held a presidential election this month. Predictably, incumbent leader Ilham Aliyev won his fourth consecutive term with a Kim dynasty-esque 86% of the votes. International monitors for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) stressed “widespread disregard for mandatory procedures, numerous instances of serious irregularities and lack

Syria, Iran and ‘chaos in international relations’

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Even in the context of a post-truth geopolitical environment run amok, Russian President Vladimir Putin telling his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani over the phone that any further Western strikes against Syria may “lead to chaos in international relations” should at least be seen for what it is; a massive understatement. According to the Kremlin, Putin and

Why even a trade war won’t derail Made in China 2025

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Designed to calm down fears of an ominous US-China trade war, President Xi Jinping’s speech at the Boao Forum, crammed with Chinese metaphors, was the logical extension of his landmark address to Davos early last year – when he established China at the vanguard of globalization 2.0. At the Boao Forum, Xi stressed a “new phase

From Ankara to Moscow, Eurasia integration is on the move

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) The Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union is spreading its wings and gaining strength, with some key projects, big players and big plans in the pipeline As presidents Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Ankara for a second Russia-Iran-Turkey summit on the future of Syria, Moscow hosted its 7th International Security Conference attended by

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