World View: Pakistan Debates Sending Troops to Saudi Arabia

World View: Pakistan Debates Sending Troops to Saudi Arabia

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Turkey shoots down Syrian warplane violating Turkish airspace
  • Europeans alarmed as Russian troops mass on Ukraine border
  • Pakistan debates sending troops to Saudi Arabia

Turkey shoots down Syrian warplane violating Turkish airspace

Turkey’s F-16 fighter jets shot down a Syrian aircraft which crossedTurkey’s border. Tensions have been high between Syria and Turkeysince the Syrian civil war began three years ago, sending millions ofrefugees to neighboring countries, including half a million intoTurkey. But concerns have been rising even further in recent weeksbecause of threats to the tomb, in Syria, of Süleyman Sah, thegrandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire.

Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan explained the incident at anelection rally on Sunday:

“A Syrian plane violated our airspace. Our F-16s tookoff and hit this plane. Why? Because if you violate my airspace,our slap will be hard. Now in your presence, I congratulate theGeneral Staff, the Turkish military and our airforces.”

Opposition politicians in Turkey are claiming that the incident was anattempt for Erdogan to gain popularity seven days before nationalelections, and to divert attention from the growing corruption scandalswamping him and his family and administration. Cihan (Turkey) and Zaman (Turkey)

Europeans alarmed as Russian troops mass on Ukraine border

Two days after annexing Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula to Russia,some 20,000 Russian troops are performing military exerciseson the border of east Ukraine. At the same time, pro-Russianactivists in eastern Ukraine are planning rallies to encouragea Russian invasion.

Nato’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Philip Breedloveemphasized the large size of the Russia force — large enough to pushall the way across eastern Ukraine to Moldova on the other end:

“The (Russian) force that is at the Ukrainian bordernow to the east is very, very sizable and very, very ready.

There is absolutely sufficient force postured on the easternborder of Ukraine to run to Trans-Dniester if the decision wasmade to do that, and that is very worrisome.”

Trans-Dniester is a small province of Moldova with a large ethnicRussian population that wants to separate from Moldova and become partof Russia. They have been given hope by Russia’s actions in Crimea.

The Russians say that they have no intention of invading easternUkraine, but it was only a few days ago that they said they had nointention of annexing Crimea.

Europeans are becoming increasingly alarmed that Russia’s actions aredestabilizing the European Union itself. “We must not allow a newdivision of Europe,” according to Germany’s foreign minister.

In America, politicians are becoming increasingly critical of inactionby President Obama, even in the Tea Party, which has been isolationistin the past. According to political analyst Ron Senor on ABC News onSunday, “Rand Paul was initially quite critical of Republicans whowere ‘going back to cold war rhetoric,’ and then you watch where theparty went, where Ted Cruz went – he’s a good bellwether for where thebase is – he was extremely critical of the president on Russia andUkraine, and suddenly Rand Paul has moved to a more muscularposition.”

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this is all asexpected, as I’ve been saying for years. In this generational Crisisera, Russia, Europe, America and most other countries are becomingincreasingly nationalistic, as they’re forced to abandon theirpie-eyed dreams left over from the 1960s. CNN

Pakistan debates sending troops to Saudi Arabia

Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday categorically saidthat Pakistan was not sending its troops to Saudi Arabia or Bahrain.The denial came because of persistent and increasingly numerous rumorsthat Pakistan is sending 30,000 troops to Saudi Arabia for the defenseshield force of the Gulf Cooperation Council. During the Arab Springrevolts in Bahrain, it’s believed that Pakistanis quelled the revolt.It’s estimated that almost 10,000 Pakistanis are still serving insecurity services in Bahrain.

What triggered the new reports were visits from Saudi and Bahrainiofficials to Pakistan to discuss common security concerns. And mostsignificant, there was a sudden, unexpected payment of $1.5 billionfrom Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, with no coherent explanation, with someofficials calling an aid, then a grant, then aid, then a gift. Themystery deepened when it emerged that Saudi Arabia had purchasedweapons systems from Pakistan.

Those in Pakistan who oppose sending either weapons or troops to SaudiArabia express concern that the Saudis will use them to fight Basharal-Assad’s forces in Syria, as part of the growing Sunni-Shiasectarian conflict in the Mideast. Pakistan has its own problems withsectarian battles, as Taliban-linked jihadists in Pakistan have vowedto exterminate all Shias in Pakistan, and have been carrying out thatthreat with frequent bombings of Shia mosques and markets. The fearis that if Pakistan becomes embroiled in Syria or in the Mideastsectarian fight in any way, then the sectarian conflict in Pakistanwill only become worse.

As I’ve said many times over the last ten years, Generational Dynamicspredicts that in coming Clash of Civilizations world war, China,Pakistan and the Sunni countries will be allied against the West,India, Russia and Iran. The increasing military relationship betweenPakistan and Saudi Arabia appears to support that prediction.The Nation (Pakistan) and Memri andThe News (Pakistan)

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