Based on the principle that transformative world events are not random, but are in fact predictable, Stratfor develops decade, annual and quarterly forecasts. These forecasts are built upon Stratfor’s geopolitical methodology, our framework for identifying and forecasting the fundamental trends shaping the international system. Below are the global trends highlighted in Stratfor’s forecast for the third-quarter of 2017. The complete forecast is available at Stratfor Worldview. The US Exits Stage Left? When world leaders gather in Germany for the approaching G-20 summit, they will no doubt make a slew of assertions – some alarmist, others justified – about a US retreat from the global stage. Talk of leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping stepping in to fill the void and uphold global governance on major issues such as free trade, climate change, and security can be expected. But there is an underlying reality to that narrative that should be kept in mind. Simply put, those hoping to fill the United States’ shoes in leading the world still have their own existential threats to contend with at home. Germany and France are buying valuable time with their electorates to try to repair the European Union and make an example of the United Kingdom’s departure, but the bloc’s members still have vastly different visions of what European integration should look like and how nationalism might fit in. China, meanwhile, is not a globalist power with a model of governance to offer the world; it is a fiercely nationalist power with global clout, caught between the compulsion to operate as a market economy and the imperative to centralize political power under the ruling Communist Party. None of these countries come close to matching the US military footprint or the country’s ability to shoulder the burden that comes with superpower status.
Batchelor and Cohen take a reprieve (perhaps welcomed) from the Washington/Trump civil war and shift their attention to troop movements in the Baltic States (NATO) as Canada sends in a rotation contingent, a Ukraine that continues to fester quietly with Poroshenko’s visit to Washington, and more serious, the U.S. shooting down of the Su 22 Syrian jet and an Iranian drone in Syria. The overview is that under Trump, there is no change in the NATO stance in Europe, but vastly deteriorating conditions in Syria even as ISIS is clearly defeated there. The new problems evolving in Syria are about potential problems between the numerous allies on opposite sides that represent a poisonous mix of conflicting agendas over and above what is represented by ISIS. Both pundits are in agreement over this assessment. Cohen begins with his interpretation of the American shoot down of the Syrian jet and quite simply labels it as illegal and an act of war against a sovereign state. But he also notes that the Russians did something interesting. They did not react for two days and then on Monday came out with a statement that Russia would target (radar paint) any non-legitimate aircraft in the region, and should it prove hostile or in non-compliance to orders to leave it would be shot down. The ‘deconfliction’ agreement has therefore died. For Cohen this is yet another incidence of sabotage by the Pentagon/CIA to prevent Trump and Putin negotiating. Cohen assumes this is correct by ‘the pattern of events’ shown for decades between Russia and the USA during cold war events . For this writer we are very close to Russia declaring a ‘no fly zone’ in Syria, and it is very clear that some Americans were caught with surprise and fear at this reaction. The other pattern is that the Russian reaction to these transgressions has always been a degradation of cooperation in Syria. Whether Trump can function with this kind of interference by his opposition without that opposition starting a shooting war is a very real worry. More about this later. The discussion then shifts to Europe and the Ukrainian Crisis. Batchelor maintains that European leadership, the new leaders in the U.K. France, and Germany’s Merkel are two weak to carry on effectively with the Minsk2 Agreement. Enter US Sec. State Tillerson, who advocates dissolving the agreement and having the combatants negotiate a solution for themselves. Cohen then brings up the new American sanctions and discusses how destructively stupid they are. Three European foreign ministers have now threatened to put sanctions on the U.S. if these new U.S. sanctions were passed into law. This is an amazing development and shows the real direction of Europe and Russia – and Washington. Cohen elaborately details these political changes with European leaders.
One of the profound revelations from the data released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was that in addition to spying on its own citizens, the NSA engaged in aggressive espionage on some of America’s closest allies, most notably Angela Merkel and her Blackberry. It now turns out that Germany had been returning the favor. According to Germany’s Spiegel, Germany’s foreign intelligence service had long spied on numerous official and business targets in the United States, including the White House. The magazine said it had seen documents showing that the intelligence service, the BND, had a list of some 4,000 so-called selector keywords for surveillance between 1998 and 2006. These included telephone or fax numbers, as well as email addresses at the White House as well as the US finance and foreign ministries.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 22, 2017.
In the ever increasing global creep toward totalitarianism, some nations are stepping up punishments for their civilians caught using social media for free speech. Now Germany is in the headlines for raiding the homes of those who the government declared had posted ‘offensive’ content on social media. It hit the fan when it comes to free speech in Germany. Wasn’t this the country that had to fight tooth and nail to free themselves from the grip of Adolf Hitler’s censorship? It’s like some lessons are never learned. In a coordinated campaign across 14 states, the German police raided the homes of 36 people accused of hateful postings over social media, including ‘threats,’ ‘coercion,’ and ‘incitement to racism.’ The goal of these raids was the confiscation of the ‘hate posters’ Internet connection devices, according to a press release from the German federal police (BKA). In the most ironic statement of the century, Holger Mnch, president of the Federal Criminal Police Office, said ‘The still high incidence of punishable hate posting shows a need for police action. Our free society must not allow a climate of fear, threat, criminal violence, and violence either on the street or on the internet.’ So in Germany, a free society means ‘don’t say things the government doesn’t like, or your home will be raided.’
After recruiting Trump, the KGB and Moscow have clearly also managed to make all House Republicans their puppets, because the Senate bill that passed last week and slapped new sanctions on Russia (but really was meant to block the production on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia and which Germany, Austria and France all said is a provocation by the US and would prompt retaliation) just hit a major stumbling block in the House. At least that’s our interpretation of tomorrow’s CNN “hot take.” Shortly after House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas said that House leaders concluded that the legislation, S. 722, violated the origination clause of the Constitution, which requires legislation that raises revenue to originate in the House, and would require amendments, Democrats immediately accused the GOP of delaying tactics and “covering” for the Russian agent in the White House. ‘House Republicans are considering using a procedural excuse to hide what they’re really doing: covering for a president who has been far too soft on Russia,’ Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a statement. ‘The Senate passed this bill on a strong bipartisan vote of 98-2, sending a powerful message to President Trump that he should not lift sanctions on Russia.’ And, if the House does pass it, a huge diplomatic scandal would erupt only not between the US and Russia, but Washington and its European allies who have slammed this latest intervention by the US in European affairs… a scandal which the Democrats would also promptly blame on Trump.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.
A couple of weeks ago we expressed some level of ‘amazement’ at just how sophisticated, efficient and pervasive the ‘Russian hacking’ community had become after CNN reported that they had managed to hack into a Qatari News Agency and post a ‘fake’ news story all in an apparent attempt to drive a wedge between the U. S., Qatar and some of it’s Gulf Arab neighbors. Think about that for a minute. Set aside, if you will, the hacking event itself for just a moment and imagine how good the Russians had to be to know exactly what news story needed to be planted inside the Qatari news agency to provoke an immediate severing of diplomatic ties by numerous Arab neighboring states…it truly is mind boggling how it all played out exactly the way the Russians planned…these ‘Russian hackers’ are certainly not a bunch of amateurs. And while that may sound like a joke, it is, quite unfortunately, not…at least it wasn’t at CNN anyway. Here are the details, as they were previously reported by CNN: The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hacking incident, Qatari and US government officials say. Intelligence gathered by the US security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government two weeks ago, US officials say. Qatar hosts one of the largest US military bases in the region. The alleged involvement of Russian hackers intensifies concerns by US intelligence and law enforcement agencies that Russia continues to try some of the same cyber-hacking measures on US allies that intelligence agencies believe it used to meddle in the 2016 elections. The Russian goal appears to be to cause rifts among the US and its allies. In recent months, suspected Russian cyber activities, including the use of fake news stories, have turned up amid elections in France, Germany and other countries.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.
Forecast Highlights German general elections scheduled for Sept. 24 don’t present an immediate threat to the eurozone, because moderate forces will remain in power. After the elections, Germany and the rest of the European Union will have to discuss issues that have been postponed, such as measures to strengthen the eurozone. A center-right government would be skeptical of measures to increase risk-sharing in the eurozone, while a center-left one would support measures to increase EU-wide investment. The first quarter of 2017 had the Dutch elections. The second had the French elections. The main political event in Europe during the third quarter will be general elections in Germany. But unlike the previous votes, the German elections scheduled for Sept. 24 do not pose an immediate threat to the political and economic status quo in the eurozone, mainly because German Euroskeptics are weak, and moderate political parties are likely to remain in power. However, the German elections will be just as crucial for the future of the European Union. The next administration in Berlin will play a decisive role in shaping delayed political, economic and institutional decisions in the bloc. The contenders to watch are the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, and the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), led by former EU President Martin Schulz. These parties currently govern together in a coalition but will seek alliances with smaller parties after September, making small political forces such as the center-right Free Democratic Party (FDP), the environmentalist Greens, and left-wing The Left party, keys to forming Germany’s next government. The anti-immigration and Euroskeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) will probably enter the Bundestag – the lower chamber of the German parliament – for the first time in this election, but the party will likely be excluded from coalition talks.
Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute, Observers have surmised that the real reason for the judge’s leniency was that he feared his family might be subjected to retribution from the clan. “In their concept of masculinity, only power and force matter; if someone is humane and civil, this is considered a weakness. In clan structures, in tribal culture everywhere in the world, ethics are confined to the clan itself. Everything outside the clan is enemy territory.” – Ralph Ghadban, Lebanese-German political scientist and leading expert on Middle Eastern clans in Germany. “The state promotes organized crime with taxpayer money.” – Tom Schreiber, a member of the Berlin House of Deputies. A court in Hanover has handed suspended sentences to six members of a Kurdish clan who seriously wounded two dozen police officers during a violent rampage in Hameln. The court’s ruling was greeted with anger and derision by police who said it is yet another example of the laxity of Germany’s politically correct judicial system. The case goes back to January 2014, when a 26-year-old clan member, arrested for robbery, tried to escape from the magistrate’s office by jumping out of a seventh-floor courtroom window. The suspect was taken to the hospital, where he died. Members of his clan subsequently ransacked the hospital, as well as the court, and attacked police with rocks and other projectiles; 24 police officers and six paramedics were injured. The judge said he was lenient because the defendants witnessed the death of the 26-year-old and were traumatized. The judge also revealed that he had reached a deal with the clan, which among other effects prevented police from testifying in court.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 19, 2017.
Russia’s President Putin talked to Oliver Stone not only about politics and international affairs, but also about his family, childhood, and hobbies, as well as the time when he served as an under-cover KGB agent in Dresden in 1980s. These recollections are part of a book of full transcripts that includes material left out of the documentary series The Putin Interviews (which was panned last week by Rolling Stone in its “10 Most WTF Things We Learned From Oliver Stone’s Putin Interviews“). Vladimir Putin said he joined the KGB, the Soviet Committee for State Security, in 1975, because he had ‘always wanted to.” ‘I entered law school because I wanted to work for the KGB. And still when I was a pupil at school, I went to the KGB office in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) by myself. And I asked them what I had to do in order to work for the KGB. And the workers told me that I had to have a higher education and a better legal education.’ Putin said he did not have ‘any contact with the KGB’ following the visit, so it was ‘quite unexpected that the KGB found me and offered a job’ after he graduated from law school. When asked by Stone, Putin acknowledged he watched many films about the agency and their intelligence work and was particularly inspired by a Soviet-era espionage thriller called Seventeen Moments of Spring, in which the main character played by famous actor Vyacheslav Tikhonov is a Soviet spy in Nazi Germany. The president admitted to romanticizing about getting a job at the KGB.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 18, 2017.
After the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to implement new sanctions against Russia over “interference in the 2016 U. S. elections” and curbs President Trump’s power to ease penalties against Moscow in the future – without consultations with US allies in Europe – President Trump has found himself cornered in what appears to be a lose-lose position. On one hand, the bill prompted an unexpectedly angry response by Germany and Austria, both of whom who have invested hundreds of millions into the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would pump Russian gas to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea, and who said the bill is trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. On Friday, Germany went so far as saying the bill “must not happen” with German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries saying “Berlin would have to think about counter-measures” if Trump – or the House – backed the plan. “If he does, we’ll have to consider what we are going to do against it.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 17, 2017.
One day after the Senate almost unanimously passed a bill to impose new sanctions on Russia, an unexpected outcry against the US decision emerged from two of America’s closest allies, Germany and Austria, who yesterday slammed the new sanctions and accused the U. S. of having ulterior motives in seeking to enforce the energy blockade, which they said is trying to help American natural gas suppliers at the expense of their Russian rivals. And they warned the threat of fining European companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project “introduces a completely new, very negative dimension into European-American relations.” Today’s the unexpected fallout from the latest round of US sanctions has escalated, and according to Reuters, Germany has threatened to retaliate against the United States if the new US sanctions on Russia end up penalizing German firms, which they almost will as it foresees punitive measures against entities that provide material support to Russia in building energy export pipelines. Such as Germany, Austria and host of other European nations. Berlin is concerned that if passed in the House, the sanctions will pave way for fines against German and European firms involved in Nord Stream 2, a project to build a pipeline carrying Russian gas across the Baltic. And it’s not jet the Germans who are sweating: among the European companies involved in the project are German oil and gas giant Wintershall, German energy trading firm Uniper, Royal Dutch Shell, Austria’s OMV and France’s Engie. In other words, if the Senate proposed sanctions pass, the US will have to fine virtually every energy giant in Europe. Quoted by Reuters, Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert described the Senate bill, which must be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by Trump before it becomes law, as “a peculiar move”. He said it was “strange” that sanctions intended to punish Russia for alleged interference in the U. S. elections could also trigger penalties against European companies. “That must not happen,” said Seibert.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 16, 2017.
Less than a day after the Senate overwhelmingly voted to impose new sanctions against the Kremlin, on Thursday Germany and Austria – two of Russia’s biggest energy clients in Europe – slammed the latest U. S. sanctions against Moscow, saying they could affect European businesses involved in piping in Russian natural gas. Shortly after the Senate voted Wednesday to slap new sanctions on key sectors of Russia’s economy over “interference in the 2016 U. S. elections” and aggression in Syria and Ukraine, in a joint statement Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern and Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it appeared that the Senate bill was aimed at securing US energy jobs and pushing out Russian gas deliveries to Europe.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 15, 2017.
The following video was published by X22Report on Jun 14, 2017 The democratic party is now taking it to the next level they are now suing the President. Germany wants complete control of communications and wants to finger print children. India and Pakistan join the Shanghai Cooperation. US soldiers are not fighting in Philippines. Trump give the Pentagon more power to deploy troops. The forces in Syria bring in a missile launcher across the border in Syria. There was an event near DC and a senator was shot. This false flag is now being used for many different agendas.
As noted in the previous post, covering the topic of continued mis-pricing by equity markets of policy uncertainties, much of the decline in the Global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index has been accounted for by a drop in European countries’ EPUIs. Here are some details: In May 2017, EPU indices for France, Germany, Spain and the UK have dropped significantly, primarily on the news relating to French elections and the moderation in Brexit discussions (displaced, temporarily, by the domestic election). Further moderation was probably due to elevated level of news traffic relating to President Trump’s NATO visit. Italy’s index rose marginally. Overall, European Index was down at 161.6 at the end of May, showing a significant drop from April 252.9 reading and down on cycle high of 393.0 recorded in November 2016. The index is now well below longer-term cycle trend line (chart below).
Two days after Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel – standing next to his Turkish colleague Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara – said his “country has no choice but to begin the process of pulling its forces out of Turkey’s Incirlik air force base” as the Turkish government will not allow all German lawmakers to visit troops there, Germany followed through on its threat and on Wednesday, the German Cabinet backed the withdrawal of the country’s troops from Incirlik air base in Southern Turkey. *** The decision was announced on Wednesday by Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen after a lengthy and often bitter diplomatic impasse over the visits, raising friction between the NATO allies and according to some, putting the fate of the alliance in jeopardy. Germany now plans to redeploy the 280 military personnel stationed at Incirlik, along with surveillance planes and refueling jets to an air base in Jordan. However, it stressed it wants to minimize any disruption to the US-led coalition operation against ISIS. In light of the complete failure in diplomatic relations between the two member nations, that may be problematic.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 7, 2017.
The day before “Berserker Thursday” with its UK elections, Comey testimony and the ECB decision, was supposed to be quiet. Instead we had the first domestic Iran terrorism in decades, Iran vowing revenge on Saudi Arabia, rising Qatar crisis tensions, South Korea telling the US it can go to hell, Syria threatening to strike US forces, the biggest crude crash in months, Germany pulling out of Turkey, Turkey approving the deployment of troops to Qatar, and stocks of course finishing the day higher. And now, to top it all off, moments ago North Korea fired not one but multiple ballistic missiles, confirming the earlier story from Japan’s Asahi. " – , "(2) 4 # # pic.twitter.com/I0WZtMypnS — – (@yonhaptweet) June 7, 2017
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 7, 2017.
World War 2 continued by other means This is an intelligence briefing. Here I present the bare bones of what has been happening before our eyes…if we would see it. Once upon a time, there was an industrial combine in Nazi Germany called IG Farben. It was the largest chemical/pharmaceutical octopus in the world. It owned companies, and it had favorable business agreements with companies from England to Central America to Japan. The author of The Devil’s Chemists, Josiah DuBois, traveled to Guatemala, on a fact-finding mission, in the early days of World War 2, and returned with the comment that, as far as he could tell, Guatemala was ‘a wholly owned subsidiary of Farben.’ The pharmaceutical empire was and is one of the major forces behind the European Union (EU). It is no accident that these drug corporations wield such power. They aren’t only involved in controlling the medical cartel; they are political planners. This is how and why Big Pharma fits so closely with what is loosely referred to as the New World Order. The aim of enrolling every human in a cradle-to-grave system of disease diagnosis and toxic drug treatment has a larger purpose: to debilitate, to weaken populations. This is a political goal. It facilitates control.
Diplomatic relations between NATO members Germany and Turkey hit rock bottom on Monday when Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said his country has no choice but to begin the process of pulling its forces out of Turkey’s Incirlik air force base as the Turkish government will not allow all German lawmakers to visit troops there. “Turkey has made clear that, for domestic political reasons, it cannot approve visits of all lawmakers,” Gabriel told a news conference after meeting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara. The scandal erupted last Thursday, when Turkey’s foreign minister said it is not possible to allow German lawmakers to visit troops stationed at Turkey’s Incirlik air base now, although he said Ankara may reconsider if it sees “positive steps” from Berlin. It was not immediately clear just what Turkey’s “demands” or expectations, monetary or otherwise, were from Merkel for it to change its view. Ties between the NATO allies deteriorated sharply in the run-up to Turkey’s April 16 referendum that handed President Tayyip Erdogan stronger presidential powers. “We see that Germany supports everything that is against Turkey,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told a news conference in Ankara last week. “Under these circumstances it is not possible for us to open Incirlik to German lawmakers right now … If they take positive steps in the future we can reconsider.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 5, 2017.
The military/security complex spent seven decades building its empire. The complex assassinated one American president (JFK) who threatened the empire and drove another (Richard Nixon) out of office. The complex does not tolerate the election of politicians in Europe who might not follow Washington’s line on foreign and economic policy. Suddenly, according to the Western and even Russian media, the complex is going to let one man, Trump, who does not rule America, and one woman, Merkel, who does not rule Germany, destroy its empire. According to the presstitutes, by pulling out of the Paris Accord (the global climate pact) and stating that NATO members should contribute more to the alliance’s budget for which the US taxpayer has an overweighted share, Trump has caused Merkel to conclude that Europe can no longer rely on Washington. The discord between Trump and Merkel and Washington’s resignation of its leadership position has destroyed the Western alliance and left the EU itself on the verge of being torn apart.
Amid widespread international condemnation, U. S. President Donald Trump has announced that he is pulling the United States out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The leaders of France, Germany and Italy have issued a joint statement saying they regret the decision while affirming their commitment to continuing the global fight against climate change. Senior Republicans and coal industry officials have backed the president’s decision, however. But as Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey, 86 percent of people in Brazil and 76 percent of people in India consider global warming a very serious problem. In the U. S., on the other hand, only 45 percent of respondents were seriously concerned.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 4, 2017.