In Defense, FYI - For Your Intelligence, Intelligence, International, International Trade, Israel, Libya, Terrorism, Uncategorized on December 29, 2013 at 4:37 am
With Assad continuing to make his stand against Western backed forces and various jihad extremist groups in Syria, he has pulled an old play out of the go-to playbook for his regime. He has elected to use his faithful ally Hezbollah to open a new front. As Syria continues to sink into its current battlefield quagmire at home, taking out another high level politician in Beirut expands the scope of his operations, and provides relief through distraction. And with the assassination of the Hezbollah leader earlier this month, it all comes across as a justification on the part of Hezbollah. But make no mistake, this is the same MO as with previous assassinations and it will have Syria’s prints all over it.
The real issue is how US foreign policy is allowing for the war to spread, the empowerment of extremist groups to grow and for old and new terrorism breeding grounds to flourish. Libya and Syria are key examples, and indicators are that Iraq is beginning to follow suit. Here’s what the international media is reporting to support this.
In China, Intelligence, North Korea on December 27, 2013 at 3:45 am
While many stories are coming out of the Korea’s regarding the recent execution of Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the real reason has yet to come to light. With a stories that contain womanizing, greed and internal struggles, it is easy to overlook a significant point. Uncle Jang had power and was attempting to grow it. Kim Jong Un was tired of having to deal with this threat that his father left him by keeping the uncle in this most powerful position. So Kim had Jang removed. With this in mind, the big issue lies with the Chinese connection, and the strong relationship Uncle Jang had with Beijing. By executing Jang and his closest associates, Kim Jong Un destroyed a critical conduit with Pyongyang’s closest ally. So to take such a drastic measure as to remove the 2nd most powerful man in North Korea, Kim had to believe Uncle Jang was doing something worse than drinking and fooling around on his wife. Indications are that Jang and his closest advisors were most likely conducting coup like activities…and that is most likely ‘why’ he was killed. So what does this mean to regional and global security? Does China still have the ability to control North Korea the next time they threaten the South or Japan with missiles? Even more important, do we have a dictator going off the rails with little or no control? If this was the coup it appears to have been, what opportunity was missed that might have changed the direction of North Korea’s leadership? One can only speculate.
Here is some media looking at the incident from various angles to add color to the picture.
In Uncategorized on December 26, 2013 at 6:07 am
With China oil demand increasing at a profound rate and new sources of oil production in the North America and Southeast Asia, we are seeing a shift in oil markets that are changing the old Middle East, OPEC driven model. As China attempts to quench its voracious appetite for crude, many of these new oil projects find themselves in a good position of not only servicing internal consumption, but selling into internal markets driven by the big red tide. We are seeing markets and pricing taking on stronger, regional controls but with growing international markets still in their sights. Here is some recent media that lay out a case for new short-term and long-term developments and how as a result, we are seeing the dividing of oil markets that will change how local and international demand is met, a shift how international security is viewed and drive influence on pricing.