The Real History of the American Strategy for Iraq and the Middle East
John Kerry came, saw and as usual made a horse ass out of himself.
This week brings PMIs (US and Euro area ‘flash’) and inflation (US PCE, CPI in Germany, Spain, and Japan). Among other releases, next week in DMs includes [on Monday] PMIs in US (June P), Euro Area Composite (expect 52.8, a touch below previous) and Japan; [on Tuesday] US home prices (FHFA and S&P/Case Shiller) and Consumer Confidence (expect 83.5, same as consensus), Germany IFO; [on Wednesday] US Durable Goods Orders (expect -0.50%, at touch below consensus) and real GDP 1Q anniversary. 3rd (expect -2.0%) and Personal Consumption 1Q (expect 2.0%), and confidence indicators in Germany, France and Italy; [on Thursday] US PCE price index (expect 0.20%), Personal Income and Spending, and GS Analyst Index; and [on Friday] Reuters/U. Michigan Confidence (expect slight improvement to 82, same as consensus), GDP 1Q in France and UK (expect 0.8% and 0.9% yoy, respectively), and CPI in Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan.
Iraq Update: Air Force Runs Out Of Missiles, ISIS Controls The Border; Shiite Clerics Threaten US TroopsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/22/2014 19:07 -0400
Now that the Iraq proxy war scene is set, and as we reported on Friday, Prime Minister Maliki has become a pawn in yet another middle-east war between the west and the petrodollar (with both Saudi Arabia and the US making it clear Maliki has to go) and Russia (with Putin expressing his full support for the prime minister), events will likely unfold at an even faster pace. Sure enough, even this otherwise quiet weekend, in which the world is supposed to put wars on the backburner and focus on the world cup, is chock-full of Iraq news upates. Let's begin.
The slaughterhouse that Iraq has become in the past week is the stuff that nightmares are made of. And this is just the beginning. Here's why...
Despite Secretary of State John Kerry predicting today that Sunni militants in Iraq do not have the ability to overrun Baghdad, the Obama administration is willing to talk with Iran over deteriorating security conditions in Iraq and is not ruling out potential U.S.-Iranian military cooperation in stemming the advance of Sunni extremists. Speaking with Yahoo's Katie Kouric, Kerry confidently explained, "I don’t believe that they will in the near term certainly, and I don’t believe they necessarily can at all," overrun Baghdad or other major cities. Having "absolutely, unquestionably" denied that the turmoil in Iraq could have been prevented if US left a residual force, he somewhat shockingly submitted that the US is "open to any constructive process here [with Iran] that can minimize the violence, hold Iraq together, the integrity of the country and eliminate the presence of outside terrorist forces."
"In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” - The Fourth Turning - Strauss & Howe – 1997
The situation in Ukraine and Iraq have gone from bad to worse. There is the potential for a wider Middle East conflict as the region remains a ‘powder keg.’ Iraq may be the match that sees the region explode into chaos and war - with attendant effects on global oil prices and the global economy.
This week brings some key events and releases in DMs, including US FOMC (Goldman expects $10bn tapering, in line with consensus), IP, CPI, and Philly Fed (expect 13.5), EA final May CPI (expect 0.50%), and MP decisions in Norway and Switzerland (expect no change in either).
- Iraq Army Tries to Roll Back Sunni Militants’ Advance (BBG)
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- ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Calls Rich to Tax-Free Tropical Paradise (BBG)
- Medtronic Is Biggest Firm Yet to Renounce U.S. Tax Status (BBG), Medtronic to buy Covidien for $42.9 billion, rebase in Ireland (Reuters)
- Oil Topping $116 Seen Possible as Iraq Conflict Widens (BBG)
- Putin Seeks Paris Landmark as Hollande’s Russia Ties Defy Obama (BBG)
- GM Says It Has a Shield From Some Liability (WSJ)
- BOJ’s Bond Paralysis Seen Spreading Across Markets (BBG)
Can't we all just get along and stop crossing red lines? Just when we had run out of fingers to count the number of conflicts around the world that are flaring, Haaretz reports that Hamas called on Palestinians Friday to declare an intifada throughout the West Bank and to confront Israeli "forces of Occupation," be it through a popular uprising or individual action. Earlier Friday, Khaled Al-Batsh, a senior member of Islamic Jihad, called on Palestinians to kidnap Israeli soldiers, adding that "this is a chance to widen the sphere of resistance and return the West Bank to its natural place as the focal point of the struggle and resistance." Your move President Obama; how do you sanction Hamas?
Now that the middle east is once again about to become a hot bed of "kinetic action", the recurring question from 2011/2012 when Israel was seemingly knocking on Iran's door on a daily basis, returns: how are US naval assets positioned particularly those surrounding the Fifth fleet located in the Persian Gulf. The answer, as updated just earlier today, is shown below, and it shows that America, which historically has had a far greater naval presence in the middle east, is quite unprepared for the recent dramatic resurgence of Al Qaeda splinter groups. Expect at least one more aircraft carrier to depart in direction Iraq shortly.
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- Canada Aims to Sell Its Oil Beyond U.S (WSJ)
- ECB Unanimity May Prove Fleeting (WSJ)
- Chinese military spending exceeds $145 billion, drones advanced: U.S. (Reuters)
- France to sell 10 warships to Russia next? BNP Executive Firings Sought by Top New York Bank Regulator Amid Probe (BBG)
- Vodafone says governments have direct access to eavesdrop in some countries (Reuters)
- Home Price Gains of 20% Vanish as Hottest Markets Cool (BBG)
- G-7 Heads Warn Moscow Before Facing Putin (WSJ)
- Barclays Fine Spurs U.K. Scrutiny of Derivatives Conflict (BBG)
- "Or Costs" - Obama Says Putin Running Out of Time Over Ukraine (BBG)
- Banca Monte Paschi Falls After Offering New Stock at 35.5% Discount (BBG)