Saturday, 23 September 2017
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.

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Illegal immigration is probably one of the main security challenges Europe is facing. Never in recent history have so many people wanted to settle in Europe, either because they are threatened in their home countries and they seek asylum, or simply for economic reasons, as they want to enjoy a better life. But can one really talk about a European migration policy, asks Jean Cady ?

Amb. Mariano García Muñoz reports.
First: the new presence, but not real involvement, of the USA in the Middle East (ME).
It seems that the new policy of President Trump towards this region is not to shape it
according to a peace plan that might solve wars and national crisis and to start a nation
building program. The US President and his counsellors have the idea to forge an Arab-
Sunni coalition:
• To fight terrorism from the Islamic State (IS),
• To counter Iranian influence that is damaging the policy of Saudi Arabia
and its allies in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere,
• To negotiate peace between Israel and Palestine.

Extract from from Euopean Commission Jean-Claude Juncker's State of the Union address 13th September 2017

The European Union must also be stronger in fighting terrorism. In the past three years, we have made real progress. But we still lack the means to act quickly in case of cross-border terrorist threats.

This is why I call for a European intelligence unit that ensures data concerning terrorists and foreign fighters are automatically shared among intelligence services and with the police.

I also see a strong case for tasking the new European Public Prosecutor with prosecuting cross-border terrorist crimes.I want our Union to become a stronger global actor.

In order to have more weight in the world, we must be able to take foreign policy decisions quicker. This is why I want Member States to look at which foreign policy decisions could be moved from unanimity to qualified majority voting. The Treaty already provides for this, if all Member States agree to do it.

And I want us to dedicate further efforts to defence matters. A new European Defence Fund is in the offing. As is a Permanent Structured Cooperation in the area of defence. By 2025 we need a fully-fledged European Defence Union. We need it. And NATO wants it.

Islamic State's territorial losses are expected to result in a substantially increased terrorism threat for Europe says Otso Iho, Senior Analyst at Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, IHS Markit
Key points:
· Daesh (aka the Islamic State) will lose its remaining territory in Iraq and Syria, but is highly likely to transition into a shadow state and underground insurgency, while continuing to undermine security and stability through constant low-level violence and periodic mass-casualty operations, particularly in Iraq.
· For European security, returning foreign fighters and their families will present both immediate and long-term challenges, increasing the terrorism threat on the continent significantly in the ten-year outlook.
· A wider outcome of Daesh's decline is the potential resurgence of existing groups such as Al Qaeda.

Can Trump unravel the Iranian and North Korean nuclear threats? Many believe the Iran nuclear deal is the more dangerous, writes Nehad Ismail. Critics of it are now blaming ex-President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry.

Writing in the National Review on 28th August 2017 John R. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said:

"Trump can and should free America from this execrable deal at the earliest opportunity".

We mark the passing of those who served this country. Contributions from comrades or families welcome

Joseph E. Fallon reports

While there have been some positive developments, over all the military and political situation in Libya continues to deteriorate. The victories that have been achieved against Islamic Extremism in Libya have been more tactical then strategic, more temporary then permanent.

For instance, the main al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya, Ansar al Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), which at the height of its power in 2012, was "viewed as the most disciplined and feared" with an estimated 4,500-5,000 fighters , formally disbanded in May after suffering military defeats and decimation of its leadership.

However, the end of Ansar al Shariah is not the end of al-Qaeda's presence in Libya. Libya is a conservative country and the most tribal in the Middle East. "The problem with connecting too many "dots," however, is that virtually everyone in Libyan politics is just three or four degrees of separation from al-Qaeda."

We mark the passing of those who have served this country in conflicts. Contributions fro comrades and families welcome.

Russia is currently mixing threatening language designed to intimidate the West with another, contradictory message: that those who fear a Russian military threat are 'hysterical' and hankering for the Cold War, writes Kier Giles.

In Russia and neighbouring Belarus, preparations are underway for Zapad - a major military exercise to be held in September. The two countries' Western neighbours are worried. Zapad is Russian for 'West', and of all the different major exercises in the Russian military calendar, it causes the most excitement and concern because it is the one that most closely resembles practice for invading those neighbours.

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