September 30, 2014

Heard in London

By Jeremy Bradshad

When President Reagan wanted to destroy the Soviet Union, he secretly asked the Saudis to raise the price of oil. That helped trigger the bankruptcy of the USSR because Moscow lacked the dollars to buy imported fuel.

Today, with a resurgent Russia, the Saudis are again deploying the oil weapon against the Kremlin, according to Neil Barnett, a London-based security-and-risk analyst. But this time, there is a twist.

Saudis Use Oil as a Weapon Against Russia
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi mistakenly predicted stable oil prices at a December meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. (Karim Jaafar/Getty Images)
ISIS Delivers Brutal Response to Obama’s ‘Strategy’ Speech
September 16, 2014
SITUATION REPORT

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria answered President Obama’s Sept. 10 primetime address announcing a new U.S. strategy to defeat the terrorist army by beheading British aid worker David Haines.

Washington and London immediately denounced the ISIS and pledged to step up efforts to destroy it, but questions remain about whether either country is prepared to do enough to stop the brutal juggernaut with as many as 30,000 fighters who control an area the size of Britain and rake in about $3 million a day from black-market oil sales.

France, Italy Bet the Bank on Budget Deficits
September 16, 2014
Special Economic Analysis
by Peter Warburton, PhD


At a recent convention of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi threw down a challenge to European politicians to adopt more growth-friendly policies. French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi seized upon his remarks and sought private meetings with him straight afterwards to build an alliance against German-led fiscal restraint.
New India-Japan Partnership Counters China’s Clout
September 12, 2014
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s five-day visit with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, punctuated by a joint declaration, sent a strong signal to a region increasingly under China’s shadow. Modi and Abe are clearly eager to boost trade and defense ties to revitalize their poor economies and counter China’s regional belligerence.
ISIS Targets Lebanon, the New Front for Warring Terror Armies
September 12, 2014
Beirut was once called the “Paris of the Middle East.” Now it is the capital of a failed nation. Lebanon — small but strategically located — is exposed to terrorist threats that could further cripple the chaotic country and region.
Saudi Arabia Condemns Terrorism While Funding It
September 11, 2014
Saudi Arabia has donated $100 million dollars to the United Nations to support a counterterrorism center, but the kingdom is one of the primary sources of funding for jihadist groups, including the terrorist army of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. This duplicity contributes to the increasing instability in the Middle East and is a toxic element in the growing strains in U.S.-Saudi relations.
Two Years After Benghazi, New Book Revives Debate
September 11, 2014
Washington is again debating the mystery still surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. A new book claims that armed CIA contractors were ordered to “stand down” as they tried to rush to the rescue of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans killed in the assault. A House special committee is also preparing to hold its first public hearing next week on the tragedy.
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