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Ing. Salih CAVKIC
Editor
by ORBUS.ONE
info@orbus.one
www.orbus.one




Prof. dr. Murray Hunter
University Malaysia Perlis




Eva MAURINA
20 Years to Trade Economic Independence for Political Sovereignty - Eva MAURINA



IN MEMORIAM

Aleš Debeljak +
In Defense of Cross-Fertilization: Europe and Its Identity Contradictions - Aleš Debeljak

ALEŠ DEBELJAK - ABECEDA DJETINJSTVA

ALEŠ DEBEJAK - INTERVJU; PROSVJEDI, POEZIJA, DRŽAVA




Rattana Lao
Rattana Lao holds a doctorate in Comparative and International Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and is currently teaching in Bangkok.




Bakhtyar Aljaf
Director of Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia




Rakesh Krishnan Simha
Géométrie variable of a love triangle – India, Russia and the US





Amna Whiston
Amna Whiston is a London-based writer specialising in moral philosophy. As a PhD candidate at Reading University, UK, her main research interests are in ethics, rationality, and moral psychology.





Eirini Patsea 
Eirini Patsea is a Guest Editor in Modern Diplomacy, and specialist in Cultural Diplomacy and Faith-based Mediation
.




Belmir Selimovic
Can we trust the government to do the right thing, are they really care about essential things such as environmental conditions and education in our life?




IN MEMORIAM


Dubravko Lovrenović + Univ. prof. Dubravko Lovrenović is one of the leading European Medievalist specialized in the Balkans, pre-modern and modern political history.




Manal Saadi
Postgraduate researcher in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Geneva-based UMEF University




doc.dr.Jasna Cosabic
professor of IT law and EU law at Banja Luka College,
Bosnia and Herzegovina




Aleksandra Krstic
Studied in Belgrade (Political Science) and in Moscow (Plekhanov’s IBS). Currently, a post-doctoral researcher at the Kent University in Brussels (Intl. Relations). Specialist for the MENA-Balkans frozen and controlled conflicts.

Contact: alex-alex@gmail.com






Dr. Swaleha Sindhi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. Decorated educational practitioner Dr. Sindhi is a frequent columnist on related topics, too. She is the Vice President of Indian Ocean Comparative Education Society (IOCES). Contact: swalehasindhi@gmail.com




Barçın Yinanç
 It is an Ankara-based journalist and notable author. She is engaged with the leading Turkish dailies and weeklies for nearly three decades as a columnist, intervieweer and editor. Her words are prolifically published and quoted in Turkish, French an English.




 By İLNUR ÇEVIK
Modified from the original: They killed 1 Saddam and created 1,000 others (Daily Sabah)




Aine O’Mahony
Aine O'Mahony has a bachelor in Law and Political Science at the Catholic Institute of Paris and is currently a master's student of Leiden University in the International Studies programme.Contact: aine-claire.nini@hotmail.fr




Elodie Pichon

  Elodie Pichon has a  bachelor in Law and Political Science at the Catholic Institute of Paris and is currently doing a MA in Geopolitics, territory and Security at King's College London. Contact : elodie.pichon@gmail.com




Qi Lin

Qi Lin, a MA candidate of the George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs. Her research focus is on cross-Pacific security and Asian studies, particularly on the Sino-U.S. relations and on the foreign policy and politics of these two.




ALESSANDRO CIPRI
Born in Chile and raised in Rome, Alessandro Cipri has just finished his postgraduate studies at the department of War Studies of King's College London, graduating with distinction from the Master's Degree in "Intelligence and International Security". Having served in the Italian Army's "Alpini" mountain troops, he has a keen interest in national security, military strategy, insurgency theory, and terrorism studies. His Master's dissertation was on the impact of drug trafficking on the evolution of the Colombian FARC.




Ms. Lingbo ZHAO
is a candidate of the Hong Kong Baptist University, Department of Government and International Studies. Her research interest includes Sino-world, Asia and cross-Pacific.

Contact: harryzhaolin@gmail.com

 


Hannes Grassegger
Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus are investigative journalists attached to the Swiss-based Das Magazin specialized journal.

 

Mikael Krogerus

Hannes Grassegger and Mikael Krogerus are investigative journalists attached to the Swiss-based Das Magazin specialized journal.

 


Michal Kosinski

Scientific analysis

 


Elodie Pichon,
Ms. Elodie Pichon, Research Fellow of the IFIMES Institute, DeSSA Department. This native Parisian is a Master in Geopolitics, Territory and Security from the King’s College, London, UK.





Djoeke Altena



Muhamed Sacirbey
Muhamed Sacirbey

Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey currently lectures on Digital-Diplomacy. "Mo" has benefited from a diverse career in investment banking & diplomacy, but his passion has been the new avenues of communication. He was Bosnia & Herzegovina's first Ambassador to the United Nations, Agent to the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister & Signatory of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court. He also played American football opting for a scholarship to Tulane University in New Orleans after being admitted to Harvard, oh well!!




Amanda Janoo

Amanda Janoo is an Alternative Economic Policy Adviser to governments and development organizations. Graduate from Cambridge University with an MPhil in Development Studies, Amanda worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) supporting government's with evidence-based industrial policy design for inclusive and sustainable growth. Her research focus is on the relationship between international trade and employment generation. She has worked throughout Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa promoting greater economic self-determination and empowerment.




Michael dr. Logies,

Germany




Endy Bayuni

The writer, editor-in-chief of The Jakarta Post, took part in the Bali Civil Society and Media Forum, organized by the Institute for Peace and Democracy and the Press Council, on Dec.5-6.




Élie Bellevrat
Élie Bellevrat is the WEO Energy Analysts




 Kira West
 Kira West is the WEO Energy Analysts




Victor Davis Hanson NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.




Alexander Savelyev - Chief Research Fellow at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (Moscow, Russia). In 1989-1991 was a member of Soviet negotiating team at START-1 negotiations (Defense and Space Talks).




Ingrid Stephanie Noriega
Ingrid Stephanie Noriega is junior specialist in International Relations, Latina of an immense passion for human rights, democratic accountability, and conflict resolution studies as it relates to international development for the Latin America and Middle East – regions of her professional focus.




Syeda Dhanak Fatima Hashmi
Author is a Foreign Policy Analyst and Research Head at a think tank based in Islamabad. She has done Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Governance and Public Policy. Her areas of research include both regional as well as global issues of contemporary international relations.




Pia Victoria Poppenreiter

Davos: The Other Side of the Mirror
An “inventor, startup guru, conceptualist and CEO” hangs out at the world’s four-day power lunch




Jomo Kwame Sundaram,
a former economics professor, was United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, and received the Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.




Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, is the author of 27 books on France and Europe. Earlier version published by the GeterstoneInstitute under the title France Slowly Sinking into Chaos




Mr. Masato Abe, specialist at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific




Corneliu PIVARIU is highly decorated two star general of the Romanina army (ret.).
For the past two decades, he successfully led one of the most infuential magazines on geopolitics and internatinal relations in Eastern Europe – bilingual journal ‚Geostrategic Pulse’.


An early version of this text appeared as the lead editorial in the The Geostrategic Pulse (No. 268/20.11.2018), a special issue dedicated to the Centennial anniversary.





Malik Ayub Sumbal is an award winning journalist, co-founder of the CCSIS (Caucasus Center for Strategic and International Studies), and a presenter for the Beijing-based CGTN (former CCTV)




Tanvi Chauhan is a global studies scholar from the US-based Troy University. She is specialist on the MENA and Eurasia politico-military and security theaters.




Giorgio Cafiero 140








INDEX 2017

INDEX 2016


English
Important News

Dutch - Nederlands
Belangrijke nieuws

French - Français
Nouvelles importantes


German - Deutsch
Wichtige News


Bosnian-Bosanski
Važne vijesti




 


2020

 

International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) from Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses developments in the Middle East and the Balkans. Prof. Dr. Anis H. Bajrektarevic is professor in international law and global political studies, based in Vienna, Austria. In his comprehensive analysis entitled “Ur-Fascism: Of Silence and EU Rush - The equation of Communism with Nazism (Second part)” he is analysing equation of Communism with Nazism. 

 

Ur-Fascism: Of Silence and EU Rush -  The equation of Communism with Nazism 

(Second part)

He who does not wish to speak of capitalism should remain forever silent about Nazism” - Max Horkheimer famously said. It was a clear and often repeated line of this chief architect from the Frankfurt school of Philosophy – one of the most influential centres of thought in the XX century. This school of thought was tolerant and rather forgiving towards Western societies. Most importantly, the Frankfurters were for sure physically closest one to the post-WWII ideological and geopolitical default lines.  

Even the Heideggerian run-away, Herbert Marcuse agreed. His “repressive tolerance” was probably the best indication of the possible self-entrapment of the western society, if someone in future ever attempts a dangerous and ahistorical equitation between Nazism and anything else, least with Communism. Regrettably enough, that future of de-evolution started pouring in by 1990s: It was this very same notion which Umberto Eco will name ur-fascism in 1995, sensing cold winds from the eastern flank of the EU and highly cynical silence of tacit approval from the central Europe. 
 

Silence of the La(m)bs

No one governs innocently” is a legendary diagnosis of Simone de Beauvoir about a true (Machiavellian) nature of political conduct. However, Nazi culprit; the calmly programmed concentrations camps, ruthless invasions and unprecedented scale of all-Europe suffering does not fall under this category. And will never be. This colossal evil needs its own name, its own category and our clear immortal reference to it.  

Hence, the one who is not ready to talk about the imperialism of (primarily) Atlantic-Central Europe, colonialism, as well as about racism which usually justified the first two, should not talk about the ‘true’ European values. Or, for that matter, teach any lesson Europe’s East and Southeast. 

Bottom line, before any contemplation for equitation, we should openly speak up about France in Algeria and Indochina, Italy in Libya and Eritrea, Dutch in Indonesia, Spain in Latin America (and home with Franco), Germany in Namibia and repeatedly all over Europe, Britain at so many places and at so many times, etc. 

More than that, the only (i) organised and (ii) permanent resistance in Europe, occupied by Nazis, before and during the WWII was made by the communists. This irrefutable fact many to the EU’s East today perceive as inconvenient truth, which – by anti/intellectual acrobatics and central EU complicit silence– should be hidden under the carpet. 

That antifascist struggle does not include Soviet Union and Yugoslavia only – two countries taking up by far the heaviest burden of pan-European resistance and liberation – but other patriotic movements as well; French, Greek, Italian and Spanish communists, too. Of course, the only two counties that solely freed themselves from Nazism without any external help were the two Eastern European, and at the same time two predominantly Slavic countries, Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.  

So, the equitation of Communism with Nazism deeply insults all victims, but more over it negates very antifascist fundaments of modern Europe, while being at the same time deeply anti-Slavic. Clearly, negations of Nazi horrors – and any equitation is a beginning of such ahistorical and racist negation – committed in camps and elsewhere in occupied Europe, is not only anti-Semitic. It is first and most of all anti-Slavic!!
 
 
It isn’t freedom From. It’s freedom To

Sadly enough, most of the popular Atlantist literature and movies elaborating on topics of the WWII are biased and misleading on the role of the Red Army, and are generally disrespectful towards the enormous suffering of the Soviet and Yugoslav peoples at that time. 

Some of the constantly implied fallacies is that the US and UK equally shared the burden of WWII with the Soviets. Even the British WWII ambassador in Moscow, Sir Stafford Cripps accused – in many cables he sent – his government of fatalistic defeatism, lack of bravery and of shirking any fight. As it happens, Stalin himself shouted at Churchill when the British PM went to Moscow to meet him in August 1942: “We’re losing 10,000 soldiers a day (1 per 8 seconds!!, rem.aut.) … Are you going to let us do all the fighting?” 

Relative to the 1939 size of state territory and incumbent population within, the top WWII fatalities were suffered by Poland– 18%, the Soviet Union– 15%, Yugoslavia 12%, III Reich/Germany+Austria – 10%. For a sake of comparison, the Atlantic rim suffered as follows: France– 1,3%, UK–0,9%, the US– 0,3%. In casulties, it is: 36 millions to the East (mostly civilian), versus only 1,2 of the Atlantic Europe including the US soldiers.

Indeed, Russian and Yugoslav front – as only two fronts of permanently organized military resistance on the Continent – faced nearly 90% of the total German forces deployed in Europe. Promising to open the second, western front ever since 1941, the Anglo-American army eventually managed its landing on Sicily (oddly helped – out of his prison cell – by an Italian village Don turned the US mafia boss, Lucky Luciano) but only as late as September 1943. 

By that time, Tito’s Partisans already managed most of their critical offensives, while Russians won over in the biggest and bloodiest battles of the WWII. All of them were fought on the very Soviet soil; that of Moscow, of Stalingrad, of Leningrad, and of Kursk – with the last one representing the biggest battle ever recorded in history of mankind. 

Also indigenously, Italian anti-fascists – organized by progressive patriots and gathered in Garibaldi brigades – significantly knocked down the Duce’s rule in Italy. 

Conversely, the Anglo-American blitzkrieg up the Italian ‘boot’ turned into a blamage. German forces quickly replaced capitulating Italy’s Fascists phalanges, and easily repelled the Allies. The Western combined army will reach Rome only in June 1944. Eventually, by the time of the Normandy invasion in summer 1944, the fate of Nazism in Europe was already decided by Eastern and Russophone Europe. 

Trying to answer why the so-called Anglo-American antifascist intervention in Greece and Italy was so slow, anemic and late, many scholars argue that it was never meant to fight Nazis, but to disturb the b indigenous leftist antifascist forces and to divert them to the desired ideological orientation and Atlantist geopolitical course.   
Finally,

The name of the Rose? Well, it is Red. 

Sorry, but this is how it is. Eco just recorded echo. 


(End of the 2nd Part)

Author is professor in international law and global political studies, based in Vienna, Austria. His 7th book From WWI to www. 1918-2018 is published by the New York’s Addleton Academic Publishers last winter.

Ljubljana/Vienna, 26 February 2020


February 29,  2020


What is more disruptive with AI:  

Its dark potentials or our (anti-Intellectual) Ignorance?

 Throughout most of human evolution both progress and its horizontal transmission was an extremely slow, occasional and tedious process. Well into the classic period of Alexander the Macedonian and his glorious Library of Alexandria, the speed of our knowledge transfers – however moderate, analogue and conservative – still always outpaced our snail-like cycles of our developmental breakthroughs.

When our sporadic breakthroughs finally became faster than their infrequent transmissions, that marked a point of our departure. Simply put, our civilizations started to significantly differentiate from each other in their respective techno-agrarian, politico-military, ethno-religious or ideological, and economic setups. Soon, after, the Grand Discoveries (Europe’s shift to west) were the event transforming wars and famine from the low-impact and local one, into the bigger and cross-continental.

Faster cycles of technological breakthroughs, patents and discoveries rather than their own transfers, occurred primarily within the Old continent. That occurrence, with all its reorganizational effects, radically reconfigured societies. It ultimately marked a birth of several mighty European empires, their (liberal) schools (and consequent imperial weaponization of knowledge) – hence an overall, lasting triumph of Western civilization. 

Act

For the past few centuries, we’ve lived fear but dreamt hope – all for the sake of modern times. From WWI to www. Is this modernity of internet age, with all the suddenly reviled breakthroughs and their instant transmission, now harboring us in a bay of fairness, harmony and overall reconciliation? Was and will our history ever be on holiday? Thus, has our world ever been more than an idea? Shall we stop short at the Kantian word – a moral definition of imagined future, or continue to the Hobbesian realities and look up for an objective, geopolitical definition of our common tomorrow?

The Agrarian age inevitably brought up the question of economic redistribution. Industrial age culminated on the question of political participation. Today, AI (Quantum physics, Nanorobotics and Bioinformatics) brings a new, yet underreported challenge: Human (physical and mental) powers might – far and wide, and rather soon – become obsolete. If or when so, the question of human irrelevance is next to be asked.

Why is AI like no technology ever before? Why re-visiting and re-thing spirituality matters …

If one believes that the above is yet another philosophical melodrama, an anemically played alarmism, mind this:

Mankind will soon have to redefine what it considers to be life itself.

Less than a month ago (January 2020), the successful trials have been completed. The border between organic and inorganic, intrinsic and artificial is downed forever. AI has it now all-in: quantum physics (along with quantum computing), nanotechnology, bioinformatics, and organic tissue tailoring. Synthesis of all that is usually referred to as xenobots (sorts of living robots) – biodegradable symbiotic nanorobots that exclusively rely on evolutionary (self-navigable) algorithms. The essential building element to biotronics is hence here, among us.

 
React

Although life remains to be lived forward (with no backward looking), human retrospection is the biggest reservoir of insights. Of what makes us human.

Thus, what does the history of technology in relation to human development tell us so far?

Elaborating on a well-known argument of ‘defensive modernization’ of Fukuyama, it is evident that throughout the entire human history a technological drive was aimed to satisfy the security and control objective. It was rarely (if at all) driven by a desire to gain knowledge outside of convention, in order to ease human existence, and to bolster human emancipation and liberation of societies at large. Therefore, unless operationalized by the system, both the intellectualism (human autonomy, mastery and purpose), and technological breakthroughs were traditionally felt and perceived as a threat. As a problem, not a solution. 

Ok. But what has brought us (under) AI today?

It was our acceptance. Of course, manufactured.

All cyber-social networks and related search engines are far away from what they are portrayed to be: a decentralized but unified intelligence, attracted by gravity of quality rather than navigated by force of a specific locality. (These networks were not introduced to promote and emancipate other cultures and other narratives but to maintain and further strengthen supremacy of the dominant one.)

In no way do they correspond with a neuroplasticity of physics of our consciousness. They only offer temporary relaxation to our anxieties – in which the fear from free time is the largest. It is so, since a true free time coupled with silence is our gate to creativity and self-reflection. In fact, the cyber-tools of these data-sponges primarily serve the predictability, efficiency, calculability and control purpose, and only then they serve everything else – as to be e.g. user-friendly and en mass service attractive.

To observe the new corrosive dynamics of social phenomenology between manipulative fetishization (probability) and self-trivialization (possibility), the cyber-social platforms – these dustbins of human empathy in the muddy suburbs of consciousness – are particularly interesting.

This is how the human presence-eliminating technologies have been introduced to and accepted by us. 

 Packed

 How did we reflect – in our past – on any new social dynamics created by the deployment of new technologies? 

Aegean theater of Ancient Greece was a place of astonishing revelations and intellectual excellence – a remarkable density and proximity, not surpassed up to our age. All we know about science, philosophy, sports, arts, culture and entertainment, stars and earth has been postulated, explored and examined then and there. Simply, it was a time and place of triumph of human consciousness, pure reasoning and sparkling thought. However, neither Euclid, Anaximander, Heraclites, Hippocrates (both of Chios, and of Cos), Socrates, Archimedes, Ptolemy, Democritus, Plato, Pythagoras, Diogenes, Aristotle, Empedocles, Conon, Eratosthenes nor any of dozens of other brilliant ancient Greek minds did ever refer by a word, by a single sentence to something which was their everyday life, something they saw literally on every corner along their entire lives. It was an immoral, unjust, notoriously brutal and oppressive slavery system that powered the Antique state. (Slaves have not been even attributed as humans, but rather as the ‘phonic tools/tools able to speak’.) This myopia, this absence of critical reference on the obvious and omnipresent is a historic message – highly disturbing, self-telling and quite a warning for the present day. 

So, finally,

Why is AI like no technology ever before?

Ask Google! I am busy messaging right now …



Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic, Vienna AUSTRIA
author of 6 books on geopolitics, energy and technology



February 20,  2020


International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) from Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses developments in the Middle East and the Balkans. Giorgio Cafiero is an internationally respected geopolitics analyst of the Middle East and is a co-founder of the Washington-based analytical company Gulf State Analytics (GSA). In his comprehensive analysis entitled “Why Turkey is Sending Troops to Libya” he is analysing Turkey’s plans in Libya and their impact on geopolitical competition in the Middle East and Africa.  

Why Turkey is sending troops to Libya

Many analysts and Arab statesmen believe that Ankara is pursuing a “neo-Ottoman” agenda in the wider Islamic world. Although it is unrealistic to imagine the Turkish Republic literally expanding its borders to incorporate any sizeable portion of foreign territory that the Ottoman state once governed, there is no denying that the leadership in Ankara sees land and cities that the Ottoman Empire once governed as areas where Turkey has natural influence to assert. The current struggle for Libya’s Tripolitania is increasingly relevant to this point.

With Libya bogged down in a nightmarish civil war that erupted in May 2014, Ankara is becoming increasingly involved in the conflict and proving that Turkey can make a significant difference in its outcome. Today, Libya’s U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) struggles to stand on its own feet as General Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) continues its westward offensive, making Turkey the one power that is truly helping the GNA survive.

On December 19, the GNA issued an official statement confirming the cabinet’s unanimous approval of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which Tripoli and Ankara signed in late November, that seeks to enhance bilateral military and security cooperation. Also, another accord both governments signed in November established a maritime boundary between Turkey and Libya. Late last year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began vowing to step up Ankara’s military support for the GNA.

On December 21, Turkey’s parliament approved the security and military MoU with Libya’s U.N.-respected government. Five days later, Erdogan announced in a speech delivered in Ankara that he will present his country’s legislators with a bill on deployment legislation. On January 2, by a vote of 325-184, Turkey’s parliament passed a bill approving the deployment of Turkish troops to Libya in defense of the GNA.

Against the backdrop of the LNA receiving strong support from Egypt, France, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — plus mercenaries from Chad and Sudan, along with Russia’s Wagner Group — Turkey is essentially the only state providing substantial military backing to the GNA. Ankara’s view is that by coming to the GNA’s defense during this period, Turkey can prevent Haftar’s LNA forces from usurping control of Tripoli while also putting sufficient pressure on the eastern commander so that his side comes to the negotiating table. Haftar, meanwhile, would like to achieve a military victory that enables his side to avoid the need to strike a political settlement with the GNA.

Indeed, while the international community recognizes the GNA as Libya’s one legitimate government, the lack of hard-power support for militias fighting in defense of the Tripoli-based administration has served the interests of Haftar, who has successfully acquired significant backing from major foreign powers. Such external support has convinced the renegade general that a military victory is within reach.

 
Turkey’s Interests in Countering Haftar

Doubtless, the Turkish troop deployment to Libya is set to significantly escalate Ankara’s tensions with Cairo, Abu Dhabi, and other regional capitals along with Moscow. On December 30, French President Emmanuel Macron’s office put out a statement calling for “greatest restraint” as the world waits to see what actions the Turks take vis-ŕ-vis Libya. One day later, the Arab League held a meeting in Cairo and passed a resolution emphasizing the need to stand against foreign (meaning Turkish) intervention in Libya’s crisis.

From Ankara’s perspective, the LNA taking over Tripoli would mark a painful setback with the Muslim Brotherhood suffering another significant loss in the region and Turkey’s regional foes — chiefly Egypt and the UAE — achieving major geopolitical gains in a conflict where Turkey has its own vested interests. Put simply, for Erdogan’s government, Tripoli is a red line.

Beyond geopolitical competition with Turkey’s rivals, other factors from dealing with refugee issues in the Mediterranean Sea to energy interests will continue to drive Ankara’s agendas in relation to Libya. Without question, when it comes to Turkish actions in Libya, energy- and commercial-related variables in the equation cannot be dismissed as insignificant.

Turkey has much at stake in Libya when it comes to unresolved disputes with Greece and Cyprus over questions about sharing the body of water’s gas wealth. With Turkey dependent on imports for nearly all the country’s energy requirements, the outcome of power struggles that are heavily shaped by energy competition among Mediterranean states will continue to concern Ankara. There are also billions in business deals that Turkey can benefit from if/when the conflict is resolved on terms friendly to Ankara, meaning that if Turkey “loses Libya,” such commercial opportunities will disappear.

Turkey realizes that the GNA is receiving virtually no hard-power support from any other country while Libya’s weak government in Tripoli is particularly vulnerable to Haftar’s offensive. Therefore, Turkey is in a strong position to secure its position as the power that it indispensable to the GNA. Naturally, this gives Ankara higher stakes in doing what is necessary to ensure the survival of Libya’s U.N.-respected administration.

Bloomberg reported last week that Ankara is prepared to send Turkish-sponsored Syrian forces, which until now have been fighting the Assad regime in northern Syria, to combat the LNA in Libya. The article said that the GNA “had initially resisted the idea of such a deployment but eventually accepted it as Haftar’s forces began to advance on Tripoli” according to an anonymous Libyan official. Naturally, such a development only contributes to growing fears in Abu Dhabi and Cairo about Ankara’s sponsorship of non-state actors which the Emirati and Egyptian governments consider extremists.

 
Dangerous Game of Power Politics

The Libyan conflict’s end appears nowhere in sight. As 2020 begins, the Turkish leadership will have to make major decisions about its plans, tactics, and strategies for Libya as Ankara further involves itself in this multifaceted civil war. As Turkey moves forward with plans to decisively shape the outcome of Libya’s crisis, it will be important to monitor how the Emiratis, Egyptians, and Saudis respond as the bifurcated Maghrebi country becomes an increasingly important battleground in what they perceive to be a pan-Arab struggle against “neo-Ottomanism.”

At the same time, with Russia aligning itself more closely with the UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia in supporting Haftar’s side, Turkey’s bold moves will add further complications to Turkish-Russian relations. Against the backdrop of the dire crisis in Idlib, which is testing the Astana Process’s sustainability, the extent to which Ankara and Moscow will be able to find common ground vis-ŕ-vis Libya will heavily impact bilateral affairs between Turkey and Russia at a sensitive time. Of course the U.S. and Russia are the main countries that could likely contain Turkish actions in Libya, and if either attempts to do so in any meaningful or decisive way, Turkey will almost inevitably continue trying to capitalize on Washington and Moscow’s geopolitical competition in the Middle East and Africa to suit Ankara’s own interests and agendas.


Giorgio Cafiero 140

Ljubljana/Doha/Tripolis, 6 February 2020



February 19,  2020


ALL THOSE CROATIAN PRESIDENTS

By: Tomislav Jakić

Since those days when it emerged from the ruins of the Yugoslav federation as an independent state, Republic of Croatia had 4 Presidents – 4 men and a Lady President. The first one whom only death, in the opinion of many, saved from the International Hague Tribunal, but who is still (or because of that?) called by his admirers “Father of the Nation” was a self-proclaimed “Messiah”, who although “only” a President acted as master and commander. One of his closest collaborators remembers how Franjo Tudjman asked him once: “To whom should I leave Croatia?” For a monarch without heirs from the 19th century a quite appropriate question. But, for the President of a modern state that found its way to the international scene at the very end of the 20th century – unthinkable!

On the wave of the desire for changes, which grew more and more as dark sides of the war for independence and of the privatization and transition started (but only started) to emerge, Tudjman was after his death succeeded by a former highly positioned politician of his Party who broke all ties both with Tudjman as well as with the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), because he could not and would not support their policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before doing that he, alas, following the official HDZ policy, gave a couple ill-made statements which he found himself in a position of explaining even after years. However, Stjepan Mesić displayed enough honesty and political courage to admit these statements and escapades and to apologize for them, saying they were wrong and out of place. He won the presidential elections twice and although he is by his enemies from the right still branded both as a clown and as a traitor, he initialized key processes aimed at putting Croatia on the world scene again, after it was, at the end of Tudjman’s rule, practically put into international isolation because of his policy towards minorities, especially the Serb one, and to human rights in general.

Mesić opened the way for returning antifascism (although already put into Constitution) to the place it deserves in the Croatian society; without any reservations he labeled fascism and its Croatian version (Ustasha) as evil and as a crime; he opposed the historical revisionism that was present from the very beginnings of the Croatian state;  ha changed the attitude towards minorities, in the first place, the Serb minority and he favored the return to Croatia of those Croatian citizen of Serb origin who fled the country during the war; he laid foundations for a everyday’s normalization of the relations in the region; he opened Croatia to the world, presenting it as a partner willing to cooperate on the terms of full equality with everybody. Despite diminished powers, because Croatia switched after Tudjman’s death from semi-Presidential to parliamentary system, he knew how to resolutely say “no”, when Croatia’s interests were at stake (for example resisting the pressure to make Croatia part of the so called Coalition of willing put together by the US for the purpose of invading Iraq). And he never ceased repeating that he is a citizen-President whose job is not to rule, but to serve.

After his 10 years in office a new tenant came into the Office of the President – university professor and composer, candidate of the left, Ivo Josipovic. There can be no doubt that he too wanted to be a “real President”, that he even had some ideas how to do this (let us forget his statement that he intends to compose an opera, while being President), the fact remains that he – objectively - managed to halt or to freeze many of the positive processes started by his predecessor; though at the same time some of them he simply copied, repeating for example in the Israeli parliament the excuse, on behalf of the Croatian state, for the crimes committed by the Ustasha against Jews. If he is going to be remembered for anything, it will be for being a weak President, who – by not being able to define himself and by not understanding what politics is all about, practically put in the position of the President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic. Because, apart from the HDZ voting machinery, people did not vote for her, wanting just her as the new President, but because they were, to put it mildly – fed up by Ivo Josipovic. He did not know how to make real contact with citizens (contrary to Mesic, who was a virtuoso in doing this) and the citizens did not understand him – for example when he announced that he will run for the second term with he concept of a new Constitution.

The first woman-President in the short history of Croatia, presented a respectable C/V (minister for European Integration, Foreign minister, ambassador to the US, assistant to the Secretary General of NATO). But, very soon it became apparent and it remained apparent through her 5 years in office that she came totally unprepared and unfit for the position. She was intoxicated by the ceremonial accompanying the position of the President, she was literally in love with the military component of the function (although the President is the Supreme commander only in times of war), she loved uniforms and weapons and, above all – she was obsessed – by moving her Office from one town to the other (together with a ceremonial military unit that was present during the playing of the national anthem and raising the flag upon her arrival; in normal circumstances it is just the President visiting this or that town, or region of Croatia, which was – but without the pomp upon which she so insisted – done by Mesic, by Josipovic, even by Tudjman. 

She will be remembered by stubbornly repeating some notorious lies (such as that Croatia/Yugoslavia was behind the Iron Curtain, or that Croats were not allowed in times of Yugoslavia to call themselves as Croats, or that the Ustasha salute (For homeland – ready) was an ancient Croatian salute (here she eventually admitted, most probably under pressure from outside, that she was wrong, blaming one of her advisers for this!). She will not be remembered for her policy, even not for the “3 seas concept” she so loved to speak about, although it is not her concept at all. But she will be remembered as an enthusiastic cheer leader during the World soccer championship, as somebody who embraced sweaty soccer players in their wardrobes and – as her term in office started to come close and closer to its end – as somebody who liked to sing in public (even “discussing” this with some media, objecting that they reported she does not know how to sing, although – she said – “I sing well”). Finally she will be remembered by a series of public appearances which made many people to raise their eyebrows and then to start laughing at her (“My friend, the American general”, or “they say it’s not possible, but I tell you it is possible; I have already arrangements with certain foreign countries that Croats will go there for schooling, return after that to Croatia and work on-line from their homes for 8.000 Euro monthly”, ending with “I will stay in Croatia, although I have offers from all around the world”. She loved to sing a song whose text portrays part of Bosnia and Herzegovina as Croatia, she boasted that the pop-singer, icon of the political right whose most popular song begins with the Ustasha salute “For homeland – ready!” is her favorite singer, and let us stop here, although there would be much more. She missed no opportunity to equates antifascism (calling it communism) with fascism and she loved to remember how both of her grandparents were partisans, but turned into anticommunists right after the victory in 1945. About her being sent to school in the US she said that her father sent her there and not Tito (“forgetting” that Tito was at that time several years dead already).

She made peace with the HDZ prime minister, because she needed her party’s support in the election campaign. All the HDZ politicians started to repeat, as parrots; “She will win!". She lost. If she manages to get into history, than history will remember her as somebody who transformed the role of the President into a stage act and managed, instead of policy that should be waged at the top of the state, to present a rather bad “patriotic” reality show.  

It is high time for “realpolitik” to replace this reality show. Yes, we might expect some surprises from the President-elect too, some of them might not please those who voted for him. But, one thing is sure; because of Zoran Milanović nobody who really cares for Croatia and for Croatia’s reputation in the world, will not blush, or feel ashamed (which was not the case in previous 5 years). Milanović in not an “unknown”, both in Croatia and in the world, neither as a person, nor as a politician (chairman of the Social-democratic party, Prime minister). It is a known fact that he too, sometimes, speaks and even acts faster that he thinks, putting himself in the position to explain afterwards what he really wanted to say or demonstrate (the most benign example is his jumping from a APC and falling to the ground before TV cameras, and saying laconically only: “I wanted to boast”.

In retrospect: the first “messianic” President saw himself as the owner of the country and behaved accordingly. The second, and history will one day admit this, was a President, as Presidents should be. The third did not know how to be the President and the fourth, the Lady President, understood and performed her duty as a cheap reality show. One should hope, the time is ripe for a “realpolitiker”, someone who is fully aware of the fact that he is the President of a small country, but at the same time aware of its (meaning his) responsibility for the state of democracy in Croatia, for the situation in the region and for Croatia’s place in the world. Voters do remember Milanovic from previous times. So it is no surprise that on internet one can read such a commentary: “Good luck, don’t slip, because we will not forgive.”

(The author is a long-time journalist, TV and press, nowadays contributing columnist to the Independent Serbian Weekly “Novosti” (Croatia) and to portals novosti.com and tacno.net (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Between 2001. and 2010. he was Foreign Policy Adviser to President Stjepan Mesic).


February 16,  2020


International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) from Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses developments in the Middle East and the Balkans. General (Rtd) Corneliu Pivariu is a member of IFIMES Advisory Board and former CEO at Ingepo Consulting (publisher of the journal Geostrategic Pulse). In his comprehensive analysis entitled “Turkey: Erdogan seeks to achieve the dream of the empire’s rebirth” he is analysing Turkey’s reposition on international political scene in the light of centennial celebration of Atatürk’s establishment of the modern Turkish state.


General (Rtd) Corneliu Pivariu, 
Member of IFIMES Advisory Board and Founder and the former CEO of the INGEPO Consulting
 

Turkey: Erdogan seeks to achieve the dream of the empire’s rebirth

We are coming closer to the centennial celebration of Atatürk’s establishment of the modern Turkish state while 100 years have already passed since the Ottoman Empire’s sunset. During the last decades, under Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s leadership as prime minister or president, Turkey has continuously grown economically and, in spite of certain domestic divisions (see the aborted coup of July, 2016), succeeded in strengthening an important regional geopolitical position and sought to become a global geopolitical power. Although Ankara denies officially it seeks the restoration of the Ottoman Empire, president Erdogan’s political and military moves prove otherwise.



In an article published at the end of last year by a Turkish journalist specialised in foreign affairs [1], Atatürk’s principle evoked in his celebrated speech concerning the battle of Sarakaya [2] according to which not only a single line should be defended but an entire area was recalled.

Consequently, Turkey must reconsider presently its defence zone which spreads from Qatar to Libya with Cyprus in the middle.



Assessing this fact, one finds that Turkey’s general policy of the last decades was circumscribed to this purpose and that political, military, economic and of other nature steps were taken to this end. The establishment of Turkey’s military bases abroad starting with the invasion of Cyprus in 1974 until the beginning of 2020, when the military involvement in Libya was decided (with a number of troops for training and cooperation; certain sources mention the readiness of sending around 2,000 men who fought on the Syrian front) underlines the said policy. In fact, sustaining such a number of troops in Libya generates tough logistical problems for Turkey as it has no efficient means for that yet. The display of a Turkish drone which left the country and reached Libya after landing in Cyprus only is not enough and, on the contrary, highlights the difficulties of securing the logistical support of an important number of troops in Libya. 

Establishing Turkey’s military bases abroad was done by skilfully using the regional political and military developments. The most telling example besides Libya is the Tariq Ibn Ziyad base in Qatar completed in 2019. In Iraq, Turkey has around 20 small-scale military bases predominantly for intelligence gathering. Six bases were established in northern Syria with a publicly unknown number of military assigned there. Most probably each of them are equalling at least an infantry company with additional units of artillery and tanks. The intent of setting up a military base in Georgia did not materialise.

Turkish diplomacy plays an important part in materialising president Erdogan’s geopolitical plans and when Ahmet Davutoglu was minister of foreign affairs (2009-2014) important steps were adopted for expanding the diplomatic component of Turkish foreign policy. It seems that now the diplomatic apparatus put in place by Turkey and its quality represents an efficient support for the foreign policy Ankara is currently promoting.

On the military component which is supposed to play an even more important role in strengthening and preserving the influence area wished for by Ankara leadership, one should mention that although Turkey has one of the best armies in the world (NATO’s second and the 19th worldwide, according to Global Fire Power) it is not fully equipped to meet that challenge. After the aborted coup of July 15th, 2016, the management capacity of the army was severely damaged by the arrests, sentencing and dismissals that followed thereafter and even in 2019 (163 generals and admirals – 45% of the army’s total) the effects of which could be offset within around 5-10 years.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (prime minister between 2003-2014, president thereafter and re-elected in 2018) rules with a firm hand the country and, through the constitutional amendments that were adopted, he succeeded in concentrating the executive power in his hands and to compete for a third term in 2023. Hakan Fidan, the powerful head of MIT (National Intelligence Organization) who secures the president’s position played a pivotal role in annihilating the 2016 coup attempt and is considered one of the president’s main proponents. 

Notwithstanding the achievements and the long political career, president Erdogan’s regime begins to present some signs of weakness and the most recent and important one was the presidential party AKP loss of Istanbul’s mayor ship which was taken over by the candidate of the main opposition party, The People’s Republican Party (CHP) – Ekrem Imamoglu. The latter opposes the Istanbul Channel project [3] , an idea launched by president Erdogan in 2011 and which materialisation the government intends to get started as of 2020.

The current Turkey’s economic condition is relatively healthy although in 2018 the economy contracted shortly and the national currency devaluated by 30 % and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development assessed in May 2019 a gradual recovery and an economic growth of 2.5% in 2020.



Turkey, which is dependent on energy inputs, cares about making best use of its geostrategic position by building gas pipelines (Turkish Stream started in 2017 and was commissioned on January 1st, 2020) and seeks favourable conditions for exploiting the Mediterranean Sea resources in spite of the tense situation resulted from delineating the marine economic zones (see the map below).




Moreover, in a move intended to make it an unavoidable arbiter in the Mediterranean, Ankara signed with Libya, on November 27th, 2019, a MoU on delineating the continental shelf of the two countries which would practically divide the Mediterranean in two.



The move could hinder the 1,900 km East Med pipeline to be built by Greece, Cyprus and Israel for which the final decision should be taken by 2022 and to be completed by 2025.



Libya represents an important pole for carrying out Ankara’s plans. The situation in the country is complicated and fluid not only as a result of the domestic developments but also especially due to the conflict between the two powerful groups of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj who heads the Government of National Accord (GNA), recognized by the UN and General Khalifa Haftar who, supported by Russia, France and the United Arab Emirates, controls a great part of the country and who, during the Berlin conference, suspended most exports of Libyan crude in order to have a ber negotiation position. 

Furthermore, in spite of the recent agreement reached in Berlin with provisions prohibiting arms deliveries and foreign intervention in Libya, an important traffic including weapons and ammunition deliveries and foreign ”counsellors” was noticed at Tripoli Airport at the end of January. Turkey’s consolidation of its presence and influence in Libya is seen by certain forces as a danger that may lead to the establishment of an Islamist regime in the country given that GNA has the backing of several Islamist groups as well as the well-known support Turkey extended to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It is believed that if there is no international intervention for a cease fire – which I don’t see materialised in the coming future – the most probable result of the Turkish intervention will be the establishment of another Islamist regime in the Mediterranean.

The accomplishment of Turkey’s plan of restoring an important influence area from the Gulf to the Mediterranean, between Doha and Tripoli, seems doable given the uncertain geopolitical developments regionally and globally. Ankara used to this end the most modern means and international media outlets emphasized that cyber-attacks in 2018 and 2019 that would have originated in Turkey against around 50 state and not only institutions in Greece, Cyprus and Iraq were recently exposed.

The latest developments by the end of January 2020 prove once more the fragility and complexity of the situation in the Mediterranean and the inefficiency of the Berlin Agreement: France accuses Turkey of not observing the agreement signed in the German capital and sent to Libya Syrian mercenaries landed off Turkish vessels while Turkey accuses France of supporting Khalifa Haftar in search of benefits in the oil field. Moreover, France decided to dispatch military frigates to the east of the Mediterranean to assist Greece, a decision applauded by the Greek prime minister while visiting Paris.

Under Erdogan’s leadership, Turkey moves resolved towards maximizing its geopolitical role and position capitalizing on great players’ hesitations (the US, China, Russia). It is difficult to estimate to what extent it will accomplish such plans.

If you are not fighting for what you want you deserve what you have”, a renowned American speaker and writer said. How great it would be if this phrase were put into practice with due regard for all principles and norms of international law. Unfortunately, the right of force is still ber than the force of rule and therefore vae victis.


About the author: 

Corneliu Pivariu is a highly decorated two-star general of the Romanian army (Rtd). He has founded and led one of the most influential magazines on geopolitics and international relations in Eastern Europe, the bilingual journal Geostrategic Pulse, for two decades.

Footnotes:

[1] Turkey’s new geostrategy from Tripoli to Doha: “Defending an area” – Mehmet A. Kanci
[2] 23.08-13.09.1921, a battle known also as the “officers war” (in the Greek-Turkish war of 1919-1922), as a result of the great number of losses among those ranks (70-80%) during Turkish War of Independence. It is considered a milestone of the said war. According to the Turkish historian Ismail Habip Sevuk, the battle marked an important moment in Turkey’s history: “the retreat that get started at Vienna on 13th of September 1683 came to a stop 238 years later”
[3] A 50 km long channel which is to connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara allowing for decongesting the Bosporus strait which was transited in 2018 only by 41,000 vessels. The cost of the project would rise to 11 bn euros while the related investments (port, artificial islands, a new town for 500,000 inhabitants etc.) would add another 10 bn euro. The Turkish government estimates that the project could bring in yearly revenues of 8 bn euro. The opponents of the project argue it will damage the environment and provoke ecological changes difficult to estimate. The timeframe suggested by the central government for the project completion, i.e. 2023, is considered unrealistic by some specialists.


Ljubljana, 13 February 2020


February 14,  2020



2020


PUBLICATIONS DECEMBER 2020,   PUBLICATIONS NOVEMBER 2020,  PUBLICATIONS OCTOBER 2020,
PUBLICATIONS SEPTEMBER 2020, PUBLICATIONS AUGUST 2019, PUBLICATIONS JUNE 2020,
PUBLICATIONS MAY 2020, PUBLICATIONS APRIL 2020,


PUBLICATIONS MARCH 2020

 
 


PUBLICATIONS FEBRUARY 2020

   
Ur-Fascism: Of Silence and EU Rush -  The equation of Communism with Nazism - Anis H. Bajrektarevic
   What is more disruptive with AI: Its dark potentials or our (anti-Intellectual) Ignorance?
   Why Turkey is sending troops to Libya - Giorgio Cafiero
 
 ALL THOSE CROATIAN PRESIDENTS - By: Tomislav Jakić
 
Turkey-Erdogan seeks to achieve the dream of the empire’s rebirth - General (Rtd) Corneliu Pivariu


PUBLICATIONS JANUARY 2020

   Research-Emmy Latifah&Sara Al-Dhahri - Responding to new challenges: OIC in the international Arena
   Revisiting the Ukraine-Russia-EU triangular dynamics - Tanvi Chauhan
   Give me religion that does not polarise society! - Julia Suryakusuma
   De-evolution of Europe - The equation of Communism with Nazism
 
Soleimani’s assassination triggers US-Iran standoff -Malik Ayub Sumbal  
  The Sino-US Trade War – Why China can’t win it - Prof. Anis H. Bajrektarevic
 


 


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