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World View: March 4th, 2012

World View: March 4th, 2012

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • Panetta asks for continued use of military base in Kyrgyzstan
  • Multiple U.S. drone strikes kill 15 militants in Pakistan’s tribal area
  • Greece receives bailout, but faces harsh new austerity demands
  • Greece’s people turning toward splinter political parties
  • Syrians pour into Turkey, fleeing Assad’s grisly Idlib massacre

Panetta asks for continued use of military base in Kyrgyzstan

With Pakistan’s border closed to Nato supply convoys, the Manas military base in Kyrgyzstan takes on increased importance as a transit center for to and from the war in landlocked Afghanistan. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is visiting Kyrgyzstan to convince the government to extend the U.S. lease on Manas past its current 2014 expiration. U.S. combat troops are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the same year the Manas lease expires. But the drawdown calendar is still unclear and it is possible that tens of thousands of U.S. forces may be moving out of Afghanistan in the final months of the year, when the lease would have already terminated. RFE/RL

Multiple U.S. drone strikes kill 15 militants in Pakistan’s tribal area

U.S. drone aircraft struck twice in Pakistan’s unruly tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing 15 suspected militants, including two senior commanders of the Pakistani Taliban. In the first attack, four missiles were fired into a vehicle traveling through a mountainous area in South Waziristan. “The target of the attack was fighters of commander Maulvi Nazir. A total of eight fighters were killed in this attack,” according to a Pakistani official. Seven suspected militants were killed in the second attack later in the day, when a drone fired missiles at a vehicle on the border between North and South Waziristan. U.S. drone strikes are extremely unpopular with Pakistan’s public, but they’re tacitly approved by Pakistan’s military. Pakistan is reviewing its U.S. alliance in the wake of the November deaths and has kept its Afghan border closed to Nato supply convoys since then. Dawn (Islamabad)

Greece receives bailout, but faces harsh new austerity demands

Greece’s politicians are relieved that European officials and the IMF have finally approved the new bailout package, in time to avoid bankruptcy by making a huge payment due on March 20. However, unlike the first bailout package, the new bailout package will be provided in dribs and drabs, small monthly installments, just enough to make interest and debt repayments, so that everyone can be certain that they won’t just waste it all. Greece’s economy is in a rapidly accelerating spiral downwards, and so it isn’t surprising that a new report by the European Commission on the Greek economy foresees the country having to adopt another €12 billion of austerity measures in 2013 and 2014. All these people in Europe are just sitting around, hoping and praying that something magical will happen and Greece’s economy will turn around and start to grow again. If Europe’s politicians knew anything about generational theory, then they would know that such a turnaround is literally impossible in this generational crisis era, and they would adopt quite different policies. Kathimerini

Greece’s people turning toward splinter political parties

Seething over austerity measures created by an economic crisis, and disgusted with the two major parties of PASOK Socialists and New Democracy Conservatives that have ruled for more than 30 years, Greeks are turning away from them in record numbers. With new elections scheduled for this spring, two dozen political groups, eager to fill the political vacuum, have sprung up, some formed by former MPs who were tossed out of PASOK and New Democracy for voting against austerity measures imposed by the Europeans. This is the kind of chaos where someone from the extreme left or extreme right can come to power. Southeast European Times

Syrians pour into Turkey, fleeing Assad’s grisly Idlib massacre

Some 500 Syrians refugees from the northern city of Idlib poured across the border into Turkey on Tuesday, the highest number of Syrian refugees to cross into Turkey in a single day. The number might have been greater, but reports indicate that the army of president Bashar al-Assad placed land mines in the roads along the routes used by refugees to flee the incessant shelling of residential neighborhoods, so that they can be blown up by land mines instead. Turkey currently hosts 14,000 Syrian refugees, and officials have promised to build as many additional refugee camps as are necessary. Zaman (Istanbul)

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