EIR Daily Alert Service, Friday, December 28, 2018

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2018

Volume 5, Number 528

EIR Daily Alert Service

P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390

Numbers of Senior U.S. Officers Support Trump on Leaving Syria

Parallel Turkey-Russia and Turkey-U.S. Talks on U.S. Pullout from Syria To Take Place

China To Host Trade Talks with U.S. in January 2019

President Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Abd Al-Mahdi Spoke by Phone, During President’s Iraq Visit

Iran Has Been Holding Talks with the Taliban, with the Afghan Government’s Knowledge

Is China Getting Involved in Reconciling Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations?

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EDITORIAL

The New Year Must Bring About the End of British Geopolitics

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—The announcement by President Donald Trump of an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, and reduction of troops in Afghanistan, has prompted a hypocritical and hysterical response from the pro-war party, which includes “leftists” and “liberal” media, in addition to the usual suspects among the neocons.  Trump is fulfilling a campaign promise, to end regime-change wars, opening the promise of the emergence of a new era in Southwest Asia, based on reviving the principle of the Peace of Westphalia.

So why the hysteria?  In an international strategic webcast today, Helga Zepp-LaRouche explained why, if President Trump follows through with his pledge, and then proceeds to coordinate closely with Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, it is a death knell to British geopolitics.  That he is now acting on his own authority as President, ignoring the advice of his would-be controllers, has heightened the hysteria.  This fear was signaled in a piece in Foreign Affairs in April titled “The End of the Democratic Century,” i.e., the liberal British Empire.  The ongoing collapse of many of the trans-Atlantic governments, due to revolts by their people, such as in the Brexit vote and the “Yellow Vests” movement spreading from France, demonstrates the failure of neo-conservative strategic policy and neo-liberal economic policy.

And while these regimes totter, the Belt and Road Initiative continues to  pick up steam and gain adherents, such as Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and rotating chair of the African Union. The progress of the “Singapore Model” on the Korean Peninsula further exemplifies the potential for the coming year to be the year of the triumph of the New Paradigm.

Helga Zepp-LaRouche’s webcast, “Trump Dumps British Empire’s Agenda of Permanent War, Provokes Hysteria,” is available on the Schiller Institute website.

Editor’s Note: We will not be producing EIR Daily Alert on Jan. 1, 2019. Vol. 6, Issue No. 1 will be published on Jan. 2, 2019.

U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC

Numbers of Senior U.S. Officers Support Trump on Leaving Syria

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—Pentagon reporter Mark Perry’s Dec. 20 column inThe American Conservative reported that numbers of senior U.S. military officers fully support President Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, unlike outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, who may also be on the way out.

Perry wrote: “ ‘We need a respite,’ a senior military officer told us in the wake of the Trump decision, ‘and that’s especially true for the Air Force. Those guys have been in the air over the Middle East since Operation Enduring Freedom, back in 2001. These guys are running on fumes.’

“Nor, as we’ve been told, are senior military officers concerned that the announced U.S. withdrawal from Syria gives Putin a victory. ‘Complete and absolute nonsense,’ a very senior officer who served multiple tours in the region told us. ‘I hate to put it this way, but I think it’s true. We can’t repair Syria—and it’s not our job to do it. If Putin wants to inherit it, that’s fine.’ ”

Perry reveals that Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, head of the U.S. European Command, warned Mattis in March that U.S. operations with Syrian Kurds were poisoning U.S. relations with NATO ally Turkey.

Parallel Turkey-Russia and Turkey-U.S. Talks on U.S. Pullout from Syria To Take Place

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—Parallel talks between Russia and Turkey, and the U.S. and Turkey, will take place to coordinate U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria. A very high-level Turkish government delegation will visit Russia on Dec. 29 to discuss and coordinate cooperation in the context of U.S. withdrawal from Syria. At the same time there will be Ankara-Washington contacts, according to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik, reported Hurriyet Daily News.

Turkish government officials going to Russia include Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, and presidential advisor Ibrahim Kalin. “The delegation will travel to Russia on Saturday [Dec. 29]. It will hold talks on Syria. In line with the results of these talks, a phone conversation [between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin] may be held. Another program for a face-to-face meeting with Putin will also be planned,” Çelik told reporters late Dec. 26.

Discussions will focus on who will control the areas from which U.S. troops are withdrawing. “An essential question arises: Who will inherit control over the territories vacated by the Americans? Obviously, that should be the Syrian government, in accordance with international law and considering the path that Syria and the Syrian people have traveled down,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told her Dec. 26 press conference. “We closely coordinate our views and the implementation of a concrete policy in Syria with our Turkish colleagues.”

Meanwhile, a U.S. military delegation is expected to be in Turkey in the coming days, while U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton will arrive in Ankara after the New Year. Turkey-U.S. working groups will then meet in Washington on Jan. 8, to discuss all aspects of bilateral ties, as well as Syria.

China To Host Trade Talks with U.S. in January 2019

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)— A U.S. trade delegation led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, which will include Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs David Malpass, will travel to China during the week of Jan. 7, according to Bloomberg. Next month’s meeting will be the first face-to-face discussion the two sides have held since President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping agreed on a 90-day truce in Argentina on Dec. 1. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week the U.S. team and its counterparts have held discussions over the phone, South China Morning Post reported.

The meeting is among the evidence that the world’s two largest economies are making progress in cooling trade tensions. Beijing this week announced a third round of tariff cuts, lowering import taxes on more than 700 goods beginning Jan. 1, 2019, as part of its efforts to open up the economy and lower costs for domestic consumers. President Donald Trump has agreed to put on hold a scheduled increase in tariffs on some $200 billion in annual imports from China while the negotiations take place.

STRATEGIC WAR DANGER

President Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Abd Al-Mahdi Spoke by Phone, During President’s Iraq Visit

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump spoke by telephone yesterday with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi during his visit to U.S. troops in northern Iraq. It was originally planned for them to have a meeting. The Iraqi government press agency stated, “An official reception and a meeting between the chairman of the Council of Ministers, Adil Abd Al-Mahdi, and the U.S. President were planned to be held. However, a disagreement on the organization of the meeting has led to it being replaced by a telephone conversation,” reported Sputnik.

During their discussion, which focused on the U.S. withdrawal of troops from Syria, President Trump invited Prime Minister Abd Al-Mahdi to visit Washington and Abd Al-Mahdi invited President Trump to visit Baghdad.

Iran Has Been Holding Talks with the Taliban, with the Afghan Government’s Knowledge

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—Iran has been holding talks with the Taliban with the knowledge of the Afghan government, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani said on Dec. 26 during a visit to Kabul. “The talks were held to help curb the security problems in Afghanistan,” Shamkhani told Hamdullah Mohib, the Afghan President’s national security advisor. This process will continue, Shamkhani underlined, as he led a high-ranking Iranian security, military and political team to Kabul, Tehran Times reported today.

The news of Iran’s talks came a few days after talks between U.S. and Taliban officials over proposals for a ceasefire in Afghanistan, and a future withdrawal of foreign troops ahead of possible peace negotiations.

Shamkhani also hailed the constructive agreements arrived at during a one-day security conference among Iranian, Russian, Chinese, Indian, and Afghan security chiefs and advisors in Tehran in September. Mohib, for his part, said “the Islamic Republic had always been one of the main pillars of security in the region. The cooperation of the two countries will undoubtedly be very effectual in resolving Afghanistan’s current security problems.”

THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER

Russia Presents Areas for Cooperation with Thailand at Joint Commission Meeting

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—During a meeting of the Russia-Thailand bilateral intergovernmental commission now taking place in Bangkok, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov presented areas of economic cooperation at a bilateral intergovernmental commission today.  “In the sphere of transport and infrastructure, Russian enterprises are ready to take part in the construction of new railway lines and supplying rolling stock in the framework of the [Thai] government’s program on developing domestic railway lines with the prospects of establishing transport corridors with neighboring countries,” Manturov told the commission, which he co-chairs, TASS reported.

“A vital area of cooperation may be using Russian comprehensive IT solutions in Thailand in the sphere of computer security and smart city technologies, including managing traffic and infrastructure in major cities,” Manturov said.

In the energy sector, Russia’s Rosneft and Thailand’s PTT Public Company agreed on mutual supplies of up to 200 million tons of oil by 2037, while Rosneft, Gazprom and Novatek jointly with PTT are considering future projects in liquefied natural gas.

Russia’s Rosatom state corporation jointly with Thailand’s Kinetics Corp. are designing a cyclotron and radiochemical center in the central Nakhon Nayok Province, Thailand, which will manufacture radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine.

Is China Getting Involved in Reconciling Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations?

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—During Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s meeting with visiting Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Beijing on Dec. 25, where the U.S. decision to pull nearly half its troops from restive Afghanistan was high on the agenda, an op-ed appeared the same day in China’s semi-official Global Times, entitled “How China Can Help Afghanistan, Pakistan Reconcile,” by the former Afghan Ambassador to China Baheen Sultan Ahmad.

The former ambassador wrote: “Considering the Beijing-Islamabad relationship, we would discuss the role of China in improving Afghan-Pakistan relations on the issue of counter-terrorism, and the reconciliation process within the Afghanistan-China-Pakistan trilateral ministerial dialogue. Mistrust in Kabul-Islamabad relations, which dated back to the establishment of Pakistan, is one of the main factors behind the lack of cooperation in the fight against terrorism and reconciliation in Afghanistan as well.”

China, which has close relations with Pakistan, and is keen to improve its relations with Afghanistan, has never acknowledged that Afghan-Pakistan relations have been in shambles for decades, nor that Pakistan has anything to do with the militant Taliban groups in Afghanistan. In his column, however, Ahmad wrote: “It’s a common belief in Afghanistan that the Taliban receives support from Pakistani establishments, and the leader of the group lives in cities like Quetta and Peshawar. Considering China a good friend and neighbor and strategic partner, and taking into account the all-weather friendship between China and Pakistan, Afghanistan has been requesting Beijing to bridge relations and help increase trust between Kabul and Islamabad.”

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Putin Announces Operational Test Flight of Avangard Hypersonic Glide Vehicle

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—During a meeting of the Russia-Thailand bilateral intergovernmental commission now taking place in Bangkok, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov presented areas of economic cooperation at a bilateral intergovernmental commission today.  “In the sphere of transport and infrastructure, Russian enterprises are ready to take part in the construction of new railway lines and supplying rolling stock in the framework of the [Thai] government’s program on developing domestic railway lines with the prospects of establishing transport corridors with neighboring countries,” Manturov told the commission, which he co-chairs, TASS reported.

“A vital area of cooperation may be using Russian comprehensive IT solutions in Thailand in the sphere of computer security and smart city technologies, including managing traffic and infrastructure in major cities,” Manturov said.

In the energy sector, Russia’s Rosneft and Thailand’s PTT Public Company agreed on mutual supplies of up to 200 million tons of oil by 2037, while Rosneft, Gazprom and Novatek jointly with PTT are considering future projects in liquefied natural gas.

Russia’s Rosatom state corporation jointly with Thailand’s Kinetics Corp. are designing a cyclotron and radiochemical center in the central Nakhon Nayok Province, Thailand, which will manufacture radioactive isotopes for nuclear medicine.

Is China Getting Involved in Reconciling Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations?

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—During Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s meeting with visiting Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Beijing on Dec. 25, where the U.S. decision to pull nearly half its troops from restive Afghanistan was high on the agenda, an op-ed appeared the same day in China’s semi-official Global Times, entitled “How China Can Help Afghanistan, Pakistan Reconcile,” by the former Afghan Ambassador to China Baheen Sultan Ahmad.

The former ambassador wrote: “Considering the Beijing-Islamabad relationship, we would discuss the role of China in improving Afghan-Pakistan relations on the issue of counter-terrorism, and the reconciliation process within the Afghanistan-China-Pakistan trilateral ministerial dialogue. Mistrust in Kabul-Islamabad relations, which dated back to the establishment of Pakistan, is one of the main factors behind the lack of cooperation in the fight against terrorism and reconciliation in Afghanistan as well.”

China, which has close relations with Pakistan, and is keen to improve its relations with Afghanistan, has never acknowledged that Afghan-Pakistan relations have been in shambles for decades, nor that Pakistan has anything to do with the militant Taliban groups in Afghanistan. In his column, however, Ahmad wrote: “It’s a common belief in Afghanistan that the Taliban receives support from Pakistani establishments, and the leader of the group lives in cities like Quetta and Peshawar. Considering China a good friend and neighbor and strategic partner, and taking into account the all-weather friendship between China and Pakistan, Afghanistan has been requesting Beijing to bridge relations and help increase trust between Kabul and Islamabad.”

SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Putin Announces Operational Test Flight of Avangard Hypersonic Glide Vehicle

Dec. 27 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin announced yesterday, during a visit to the National Center for State Defense Control (Russia’s national command headquarters), that the first missile unit deployed with the Avangard hypersonic vehicle has conducted a successful test launch. “The launch was performed by an operational unit of the Strategic Missile Forces from Dombarovsky missile deployment area, against a hypothetical target at the Kura range, Kamchatka Territory,” reported the Kremlin news service. “Flying at hypersonic speed, the glide vehicle performed vertical and horizontal maneuvers and hit the hypothetical target on time within the range’s combat field.” It continues, that “The qualification flight test program has been completed in full, which makes it possible to make the Avangard complex available to the Strategic Missile Forces within the established timeframe.”Putin himself said that this means that the Avangard system will be put into service as soon as next year, and the first unit in Dombarovsky will be formed for combat duty.At the same time, a defense industry source told TASS that flight testing of the Sarmat heavy ICBM will begin in the second quarter of 2019. During the tests from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and from the base of the Uzhur missile division stationed in the Krasnoyarsk Region in East Siberia, “several experimental prototypes are planned to be launched. The year 2020 is the declared term of the trials’ completion,” the source said. In the coming two or three months, work will continue to carry out the missile’s ground tests and create the necessary infrastructure in the Uzhur missile division, the source said. TASS reported last week that the Avangard will eventually be carried by the Sarmat missile.Both the Avangard and the Sarmat are among the six new strategic weapons unveiled by Putin in his nationally televised Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1, 2018. 
Reach us at eirdailyalert@larouchepub.com or call 1-571-293-0935


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