September 2, 2014
SITUATION REPORT

The United States and its allies are inching toward greater involvement in the civil war in Iraq and Syria as the White House continues to try to recover from President Obama’s controversial remark last week that he has “no strategy” to deal with the terrorist army of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
As NATO Weighs ISIS Action, US Still Has ‘No Strategy’
An Iraqi fighter from Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Saraya al-Salam (Peace Brigade), waves a flag next to a rocket launcher during heavy clashes with Islamic State fighters in Tuz Khurmatu in Salaheddin province, south of Kirkuk, on Aug. 31, 2014. (JM Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia Watches ISIS Advances With Growing Alarm
September 2, 2014
After defying the West with its aggression in Ukraine, Russia suddenly finds itself facing the same national security threat as the West. Russian leaders worry about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the influence the terrorist army could have on its own rebellious majority-Muslim region of Chechnya.
Don't Abandon Hope For European Recovery
September 2, 2014
Special Economic Analysis
by Peter Warburton, PhD


The overriding sentiment in financial markets is that the 18-country eurozone is at risk of chronic economic stagnation, combined with a threatened slide into price deflation. Lacking the flexibility of a nation-state to take swift remedial action, the European Union’s institutional response seems slow and ineffectual. Membership of the common currency, the euro, is acting more like a straitjacket than a springboard to economic recovery. While the European Central Bank has the reach and credibility to tackle Europe’s raft of problems, it is reluctant to assume that dominant role. But it would be wrong to abandon hope.

China’s Dreams for Shale Boom Stumble
August 29, 2014
China is stumbling as it tries to follow in the footsteps of the United States and tap its enormous reserves of shale oil and natural gas. After four years of largely lackluster exploration efforts, China recent decision to slash its 2020 production target reflects the difficulty of extracting the unconventional resource with limited foreign assistance.
New Nightmares: ISIS Crossing Border; Sleeper Cells in US
August 29, 2014
Many U.S. officials fear the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is planning to attack the United States by crossing the porous southern border with Mexico. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has already warned that the militants probably are lying in wait in some U.S. border towns. Mexico dismisses the talk as “absurd,” but it does so little to police its own border that three Ukrainians with long criminal records easily walked into Texas recently.
Russian Armored Forces Invade Ukraine as West Stands By
August 29, 2014

SITUATION REPORT

Two columns of Russian armored personnel carriers and tanks blitzed into southeastern Ukraine Thursday morning, in a brazen move that shows Moscow is not afraid to create a full-blown military crisis out of a regional uprising. Russia will exploit the invasion to portray the West as powerless to stop it.

A LIGNET analysis on July 29 reported the signs that an invasion was likely. (Invasion Threat Looms as Putin’s Strategy Crumbles)

US, UN Struggle to Save Afghanistan Power Transition
August 29, 2014
Afghanistan’s future is on the brink as U.S. and UN diplomats struggle to save a power-sharing agreement between two presidential candidates. Without the deal, new ethnic violence could begin just as U.S. troops withdraw from the country.
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