Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Reshuffle: Boris Johnson's new Cabinet meets for first time | BBC News |

by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 10:31:53 AM EST

UK trade minister brands Australian climate storm `fake news' | Politico |

by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 10:32:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Quad in the Indo-Pacific: What to Know | CFR |

Working closely with these countries is natural for the United States. Australia and Japan are U.S. treaty allies, and India is an important strategic partner. The Donald Trump administration worked closely with these countries, and the Biden administration is expanding the Quad's agenda.

The Indo-Pacific spans two oceans and several continents, making it important to U.S. maritime interests. In 2019, $1.9 trillion [PDF] worth of U.S. trade passed through the region. This year, 42 percent of the world's exports and 38 percent of global imports are expected to pass through, according to a UN report.

Further reading ...

Will the EU-27 Survive the Biden Years?

by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 10:52:08 AM EST
by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 12:02:36 PM EST

Caretaker Mark Rutte covering for Brussels during Summer Holiday of EU Foreign Affairs Chief Josep Borrell and EU Commission President Von der Leyen?

by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 12:03:39 PM EST
by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 03:37:31 PM EST
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by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 12:04:28 PM EST

    Von der Leyen said she was working with the Nato general secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, on issuing a "new declaration" on EU-Nato relations by the end of the year. Six EU member states are not in the military alliance - Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Malta and Sweden.
by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 12:05:46 PM EST

Merkel's light footprint on Franco-German relations | Clingendael |

During her sixteen years as chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel interacted with four French presidents, all hailing from different parts of the political spectrum: Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy, François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron.

This asymmetry naturally had its effects, whether in terms of personal chemistry, which was noticeably poor between Merkel and Sarkozy, or of divergent domestic political priorities, since France had four successive chief executives while Germany only had one. However, these considerations are less important in determining the actual course of French-German relations than institutional factors.

In France, the president has the last as well as the first word on all major decisions and direct responsibility for foreign and defence policy, which is also marked by a high degree of continuity and cross-party consensus. As a result, the German chancellor has a single interlocutor in Paris who enjoys a high degree of constancy on issues of sovereignty from one president to the next.

by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 12:27:09 PM EST
by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 12:28:25 PM EST
by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 12:29:14 PM EST
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AUKUS alliance: French embassy says Washington gala canceled after 'stab in the back' * FRANCE 24 *

France cancels Washington reception and tones down celebrations of US-French Revolutionary War victory amid submarine spat

by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 12:52:12 PM EST
    "No land force can act decisively unless it is accompanied by maritime superiority"
    ---General George Washington

    "The Battle of Chesapeake Bay was one of the decisive battles of the world. Before it, the creation of the United States of America was possible; after it, it was certain."
    ---Michael Lewis, The History of the British Navy

    "Few naval battles have decided more."
    ---Professor Randolph G Adams

On September 5, 1781, off the coast of Virginia, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, one of the most critical naval battles in United States history took place.The "Battle of the Capes" only lasted two and a half hours and did not involve any Americans, but this battle was one of the decisive factors that assured the United States would win independence from Great Britain.

by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 12:53:34 PM EST
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'Engaging the systems': The secret only a handful of people were trusted to keep | SMH |

Secretaries Pompeo and Esper Remarks on U.S.-Australia Relations | July 28. 2020 |

by Oui on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 08:08:18 PM EST
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by Oui on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 08:10:10 PM EST
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Ex-French ambassador takes swipe at Blinken after submarine snub - The Hill
Former French Ambassador Gérard Araud took a swipe at U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken Thursday after he said France was still a "vital partner" amid the fallout from a new western security alliance.  

Blinken's comment was an attempt to ease France's anger after the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom established a nsecurity partnership that excluded France, and scrapped a $40 billion security deal between Australia and France.

"We are deeply moved..." the former ambassador sarcastically wrote on Twitter after the Agence France-Presse, a French news agency, tweeted Blinken's statement.

by Bernard on Fri Sep 24th, 2021 at 07:37:46 PM EST
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Experts React: The US, UK, and Australia struck a nuclear submarine deal. What does it mean?

How to sink a navy in three days

To deter Chinese military aggression, Washington and its allies need the ability to sink the Chinese navy in seventy-two hours. The attack submarines we are helping Australia to build are tailor-made for destroying enemy warships. These are exactly the capabilities we need in the Indo-Pacific to shore up deterrence and defense against China. 

It makes sense that Australia is the partner of choice for these capabilities. Australia is one of the United States' closest allies. We fought side-by-side for over a century in World War I, World War II, Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Now, with this deal, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder once again against the growing Chinese military threat. 

  • Michèle Flournoy - served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy for President Bill Clinton and under secretary of defense for policy for President Barack Obama. She was top of the list on Hillary's pick to head the Pentagon.
  • by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 02:09:38 PM EST
    Poor performance in debate and lacking knowledge of facts, Ank Bijleveld thought she could whither the political storm and remain as Minister of Defense. After crisis talks in her party top, she too resigned. The caretaker cabinet of Mark Rutte can now be called the skeleton cabinet ... setting policy beyond one's death. Shame!

    Dutch politics paving a new road to political abyss. Quite historic.

    by Oui on Fri Sep 17th, 2021 at 02:27:03 PM EST
    by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 10:12:11 PM EST
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    IPSOS Poll show dissatisfaction with politicians ... popularity PM Mark Rutte dropped from 70% high to a low of 24% in one year.

    by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 10:13:05 PM EST
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    by Oui on Tue Sep 21st, 2021 at 10:30:51 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Amazing ... largest trade deficit an EU-27 nation with China is The Netherlands ... $75.4 billion.

    China-EU - international trade in goods statistics

    by Oui on Sun Sep 19th, 2021 at 09:05:50 PM EST
    Leaving Europe to Europeans - US Military Pull Back

    In contrast, restraint advocates--a large group of more than thirty scholars that includes many of the most prominent members of the security studies field--all agree that the United States' continued membership in NATO and its troop presence in Europe no longer serve U.S. interests and that it is time to fully withdraw. Yet, proponents of restraint do not have a uniform perspective concerning the United States' presence in Asia or the Middle East. Regarding the Middle East, some restraint scholars (e.g., Eugene Gholz and Daryl Press) favor the United States completely removing its forces from the region; others (e.g., Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer, and Barry Posen) advocate that the United States retain a limited onshore military presence in the region.

    The positions of restraint scholars diverge even more dramatically regarding Asia: some (e.g., Christopher Layne, Gholz, and Press) favor quickly ending all U.S. alliances in the region and pulling back all U.S. forces; others (e.g., Posen) favor a gradual pullback from the region and argue that "some kind of extended nuclear deterrence relationship will probably remain necessary" in at least some parts of the region; and still others (e.g., Mearsheimer and Walt) advocate for a similar stance to deep engagement with a continuation of current alliances and the U.S. military presence in Asia as part of "a major effort" to prevent China from achieving regional hegemony. Europe is thus the key fulcrum in the grand strategy debate: all proponents of deep engagement maintain that the United States should stay, whereas all advocates of restraint argue that it should leave.

    Trump's Impact on European Security - Policy Options in a Post-Western World | Clingendael - 2018 |

    by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 07:07:33 PM EST
    The American Pivot to Asia | Brookings Inst. - Dec. 2011 |

    The sudden death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il drives home the importance of being able to work not only with U.S. allies but also with China in managing Asia's key threats. This is what makes striking the right balance in America's overall strategy toward Asia so vital.

    The Obama administration's overall posture toward Asia has in fact evolved considerably over the course of the past couple of years. President Barack Obama laid out the result in its fullest form last month, as he traveled to Honolulu, Australia, and Indonesia for a series of major meetings. The message of this remarkable trip warrants careful examination, as it articulated an integrated diplomatic, military, and economic strategy that stretches from the Indian subcontinent through Northeast Asia -- and one that can profoundly shape the U.S.-China relationship. The core message: America is going to play a leadership role in Asia for decades to come.

    The U.S. media portrayed this message as directed solely at confronting China in Asia, but it is in fact much more complex than that. How realistic is the strategy the president articulated, and how is it likely to affect U.S.-China relations and the roles of both countries in Asia? Does America have the resources to make good on the rhetoric concerning this historic "pivot"?

    The UK and European defence: leading or leaving? | Chatham House - 2012 |

    Legacy of the Trump administration ...

    The Indo-Pacific pivot | Australian Foreign Affairs - Jan. 30, 2019 |

    by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 07:10:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 08:57:21 PM EST

    US-China cold war could split world in two, UN chief Antonio Guterres says | SCMP |

    Ahh ... but the US did win the First Cold War ...

    by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 09:20:52 PM EST
    Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang

    Dear Dr. Kissinger,
    Secretary Lew,
    Ambassador Hills,
    President Orlins,
    I wish to thank the National Committee on US-China Relations for hosting this welcome event. It's my great pleasure to meet with you online.

    Over its 55 years of history, the National Committee has played an important and positive role for China-US relations. Dr. Kissinger, you have been very dedicated to China-US relations even at an advanced age. You have visited China and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders for many times. I had the honor to be present at many of your insightful meetings. Secretary Lew, when you were the Treasury Secretary, you visited China twice to co-chair the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues. I was also present at both sessions, and I witnessed the fruitful outcomes of China-US dialogue and cooperation.

    America has been extensively involved in China's reform and opening-up. In 2020, China-US two-way trade reached 580 billion dollars. The US is China's largest trading partner, and China is the second biggest holder of the US Treasury bonds. China-US trade supports 2.6 million American jobs. We are inseparable stakeholders, and the success of one side is critical to the other. China does not bet against America. Instead, we are glad to see America resolve its problems by itself, not by undercutting other countries, or by prescribing medication for others. We are glad to see America remain prosperous and strong, and make greater contribution to world peace and stability. I believe that both countries can benefit from the development and prosperity of the other side.

    Some people believe that America needs to deal with China from a position of strength. They think America can win the new "Cold War" against China, just as it defeated the Soviet Union. This reflects a serious ignorance of history and China.

    China is not the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union's collapse was its own making. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union had been rigid, corrupt, closed to the outside world, and detached from the people. It had been obsessed with arms race and external aggression. As a result, the country's development halted. People's lives were difficult, and they were very unhappy. The Soviet Union and the United States had little engagement at that time, and their relations were extremely tense. The two blocs of the Cold War could barely coexist. When the Soviet Union collapsed, almost none of its Party members stood out to say no. China has learned from this part of history that hegemonism will only lead to decline.

    by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 09:22:23 PM EST
    by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 10:23:32 PM EST
    by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 10:24:27 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui on Mon Sep 20th, 2021 at 10:25:11 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui on Tue Sep 21st, 2021 at 03:36:55 AM EST

    B.C. court drops extradition case after Meng Wanzhou enters deferred prosecution agreement in U.S. | CBC News |

    by Oui on Fri Sep 24th, 2021 at 10:57:07 PM EST
    by Oui on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 09:02:09 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 09:06:27 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    by Oui on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 09:15:33 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    by Oui on Sat Sep 25th, 2021 at 09:21:39 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    The government has not offered any explanation, but some have speculated that the intention is to prevent migrant workers from receiving the vouchers. Many migrant workers are from Southeast Asian countries and work as caregivers or in various industries such as manufacturing, agriculture and fishing. The desperate plight of Taiwan's migrant workers -- who are paid less than minimum wage, denied days off and often subject to physical or emotional abuse -- has received attention in international media.

    Migrant workers account for nearly 700,000 (or about 80 percent) of Taiwan's ARC holders. Therefore, it would come as no surprise if the exclusion of ARC holders from the stimulus voucher program was aimed at cutting out migrant workers. Despite the small share of income tax revenue generated from migrant workers, based on their lower average salaries, excluding them from an economic stimulus program is fiscally unsound.

    Unlike the cash stimulus payments handed out during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, Hong Kong and the US -- from which all foreign residents benefited -- Taiwan's stimulus program uses time-limited, non-exchangeable (for cash), non-refundable vouchers. With the vouchers, migrant workers would be spending money at local, approved businesses, which would be economically beneficial to Taiwan.

    Quick learners capitalistic system of wealth and oppression. #OccupyTaiwan

    by Oui on Sun Sep 26th, 2021 at 07:18:04 AM EST
    no < wipes tears > dude must be suffering from the same delusion as "Lin" and the caravans of under- and hard-to count MIGRANTS who lawyered-up to secure "public charge" since 2019.
    by Cat on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 02:03:37 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    UK and France reheat one of the world's oldest rivalries at a risky time for both | The Guardian |

    After AUKUS: The uncertain future of American and European cooperation in the Indo-Pacific | ECFR |

    Last Wednesday, it seemed as though the European Union was, finally, moving from strategic cacophony to strategic autonomy. In the last couple of years, Germany, France, and the Netherlands had each published their own Indo-Pacific strategies; but last week, the EU finally released its own strategy on the region. The same day, however, the United States announced a new trilateral partnership with Australia and the United Kingdom. The arrangement includes the sharing of nuclear-powered submarine technology and entails the Australians cancelling a submarine contract with Naval Group, a major French defence manufacturer.

    France's foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and his armed forces minister colleague, Florence Parly, were quick to put out a communiqué in response. In it, they blasted the "AUKUS" partners' choice to exclude France from joint activity in a region deemed a priority by all parties. The ministers emphasised the pre-existing French role and engagement in the Indo-Pacific, and described the move as `lacking in coherence'. Moreover, upset was increased by the fact that the Australians had held ministerial meetings with the French at the end of August, where they reiterated their commitment to their strategic partnership but failed to mention anything about the emerging alliance. Nor had the US, with which France does not lack communication channels.

    by Oui on Sun Sep 26th, 2021 at 09:08:11 AM EST
    by Oui on Sun Sep 26th, 2021 at 07:37:42 PM EST

    Profile Huseyin Celil

    by Oui on Sun Sep 26th, 2021 at 07:38:34 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    asset forfeiture, US Marshalls
    asset forfeiture, DEA
    asset forfeiture, DOJ
    asset forfeiture, US Treasury
    asset forfeiture, by US state
    asset forfeiture, "Americans for Prosperity"
    Why should innocent property owners have to prove their innocence in order to get their property back from the government?
    by Cat on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 01:55:32 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    China's Growing Missile Arsenal and the Risk of a "Taiwan Missile Crisis" | NTI |

    The U.S. Policy of Extended Deterrence in East Asia: History, Current Views, and Implications | Brookings - 2011 |

    The end of the Cold War, the region's rise on the global economic and security agendas, and recent shifts in U.S. nuclear policy have modified the extended deterrence dilemma but have not negated it. Conservative and progressive observers in Australia, Japan, and South Korea have conflicting views on the implications of that dilemma for their security. They and their respective governments view documents like the 2010 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review through the prism of long-standing expectations and anxieties about American credibility and resolve regarding a resurgent China and an unpredictable North Korea.

    Given the uncertainty about Chinese, North Ko- rean, and U.S. intentions, some American allies proposed the creation of a mechanism akin to the nuclear planning group in NATO, a body where the alliance's nuclear and non-nuclear powers discuss how nuclear weapons might be used in a conflict. This proposal ignores the fact that the geopolitics and power asymmetries of Cold War Europe are different than those of contemporary East Asia and how conflict might occur. So any such mechanism created with Australia, South Korea, and Japan would have to be adapted to regional realities. In particular, it should be part of a larger multilateral effort to reassure China that it is not the object of containment and so reduce the salience of nuclear weapons in the PRC's security planning.

    by Oui on Mon Sep 27th, 2021 at 12:14:44 PM EST

    HMS Richmond

    Deployment history includes the joint US and Russian Naval exercises named FRUKUS ... later the R of Russia was scrapped ... 😄

    The FRUKUS international naval exercises are held annually by the navies of France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    This year (2012), Russia is the host of the event for the first time. In the previous years, the manoeuvres took place in various regions of the Atlantic -- near France in 2009, near Great Britain in 2010 and near the United States in 2011.

    by Oui on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 09:36:33 AM EST
    by Oui on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 09:37:14 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    At least The Guardian specifically states the HMS Richmond followed a "straight" route through the Taiwan Strait. 😖
    by Oui on Sat Oct 2nd, 2021 at 08:26:17 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    China flies record 38 planes over Taiwan defence zone in national day show of force | The Guardian |

    A record 38 Chinese military jets crossed into Taiwan's defence zone as Beijing marked the founding of the People's Republic of China.

    The show of force on China's national day on Friday, came in the same week it accused Britain of sending a warship into the Taiwan strait with "evil intentions".

    China's latest mission came less than a day after its government launched a attack on Taiwan's foreign minister, evoking the words of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong to denounce him as a "shrilling" fly for his efforts to promote Taiwan internationally.

    Friday's incursion came after Britain sent a warship through the Taiwan strait on Monday for the first time since 2008, a move that challenges Beijing's claim to the sensitive waterway and marked a rare passage by a non-US military vessel.

    Apparently Wallace didn't sneak through unnoticed ... Global Britain on everyone's radar. Naval Intelligence is not the same as intellect or wisdom. Remember the Gulf of Tonkin and USS Vincennes in the Persian Gulf.

    by Oui on Sat Oct 2nd, 2021 at 09:11:07 AM EST
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    In war these boats will be scrapped in a matter of minutes ...

    by Oui on Sat Oct 2nd, 2021 at 09:25:17 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    🇹🇼  💵💵💵 🇺🇸

    by Oui on Sat Oct 2nd, 2021 at 09:31:36 AM EST
    [ Parent ]

    Flight database #AE01CC - Boeing RC-135W reconnaissance aircraft

    The RC-135V/W Rivet Joint, also called Airseeker, is an advance version fitted with a sensor suite for tracking and identifying geo-locate signals within the electromagnetic spectrum. The maximum airspeed of the aircraft is 870km/h. The range and service ceiling of RC-135W is 6,500km and 39,000ft, respectively.

    by Oui on Tue Sep 28th, 2021 at 09:39:39 AM EST
    ... specifically the CCP! 🇨🇳

    by Oui on Wed Oct 6th, 2021 at 05:01:09 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

    Belgian frigate Leopold I isn't being allowed to take part in NATO exercise due to inexperienced crew

    by Oui on Sat Oct 2nd, 2021 at 05:11:41 PM EST
    On Greece news I saw Chinese port of Piraeus is doing well. Part of China's new Silk Route or Belt and Road. Owned by Cosco.

    The Netherlands is your gateway to and from Asia

    by Oui on Tue Oct 5th, 2021 at 08:37:33 AM EST
    From earlier statement put into context ...

    China, Russia urge U.S. to clarify its military biological activities

    Use of Chemical, Biological Weapons Unacceptable in Any Context, Delegates Stress, as First Committee Continues General Debate

    It rules out the use of biological agents as weapons, he noted, stressing the need to comply fully with the instrument, including through a legally binding protocol with a verifiable mechanism.  Its chemical weapons functions should not be duplicated by other mechanisms.

    The States parties have not reached agreement on a protocol to the Convention over the past two decades, he said, noting that the United States withdrew unilaterally in 2001, despite consensus almost having been reached.  That country operates more than 200 biological labs outside its territory, he pointed out, saying they function in an opaque manner, posing serious risks for the Russian Federation and China.

    The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) At A Glance | Arms Control |

    In November 2001, the United States publicly accused Iraq, as well as member state North Korea, of breaching the convention's terms. Washington also expressed concern about compliance by Iran and Libya, which are also states-parties, and by Syria. The United States itself raised concerns in 2001 about whether some of its activities, ostensibly being conducted as part of its biodefense program, are permitted under the BWC.

    Sarin precursor materials on crashed El-Al Boeing 747 freight aircraft in Amsterdam ...

    Flight 1862 and Israel's chemical secrets | Dec. 1998 |

    The most shocking revelation so far was made on September 30, when editors Harm van den Berg and Karel Knip of the prestigious Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad provided their readers with incontrovertible documentation that LY1862 was transporting three of the four components required for the manufacture of Sarin nerve gas.

    Sarin, a highly lethal chemical weapon outlawed by international convention, is last known to have been used in the March 1995 Tokyo subway attack, in which several grams of the gas killed 12 commuters and injured more than 5000.

    According to freight documents uncovered by NRC Handelsblad, LY1862 was carrying 10 18.9-litre plastic drums of dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), and smaller amounts of the Sarin precursors isopropanol and hydrogen fluoride (no revelations have been made regarding the remaining precursor, thionylchloride).

    The 189 litres of DMMP, sufficient for the production of 270 kg of Sarin, had been supplied by Solkatronic Chemicals of Morristown, Pennsylvania, in the US, also Israel's supplier of the lethal CS and CN gases, which have been used by its military and police forces to kill dozens of Palestinians (including many infants) in the occupied territories during the past decade.

    by Oui on Mon Oct 11th, 2021 at 09:20:48 PM EST

    Absurdity to add Albania to the EU in order to block influence of China or Russia or Turkey in the region ... priorities completely backward. Camp Bondsteel training facility for jihadists fighting in the Middle East.

    Joint Task Force East and Shared Military Basing in Romania and Bulgaria

    Calling the military training NATO's Partnership for Peace program.

    Black Sea Security: The NATO Imperative

    by Oui on Tue Oct 12th, 2021 at 06:33:37 AM EST


    Occasional Series