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U.S. To "Greatly Increase" Special Forces Deployed In Syria

Obama is considering a plan to greatly increase the number of American special operations forces deployed to Syria "as it looks to accelerate recent gains against Islamic State." According to Reuters, this troop expansion would leave the U.S. special operations contingent many times larger than the around 50 troops currently in Syria, where they operate largely as advisors away from the front lines.

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NATO: Worse Than "Obsolete" - It's A Crony Capitalist's Dream

NATO isn’t just an expensive luxury of the sort we can no longer afford – it is a tripwire that could be set off by a minor border conflict involving Moldova, the status of Kaliningrad, or – more likely – another round of hostilities in Ukraine. Would we start World War III in defense of the oligarchs of Kiev? I wouldn’t put it past them. With his plan – or, rather, inclination – to abandon the old NATO and replace it with some sort of multilateral counterterrorist operation, and his insistence that our “allies” pay up, Trump is forcing an issue onto the stage that hasn’t been seen since the days of Bob Taft.

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Frontrunning: April 1

  • Saudi Arabia Will Only Freeze Oil Production If Iran Joins (BBG)
  • Japanese gloom ensures slow start to quarter for world stocks (Reuters)
  • Saudi Arabia Plans $2 Trillion Megafund for Post-Oil Era (BBG)
  • Prices Sag in Warning to ECB Even as Manufacturing Picks Up (BBG)
  • China factories scent hint of spring, Europe still chilly (Reuters)
  • Theranos Devices Often Failed Accuracy Requirements (WSJ)
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Europe Continues To Court "Prince In Brussels" Erdogan

Erdogan has boasted that he is proud of boldly blackmailing EU leaders into paying him protection money. The nightmare scenario for a desperate EU is that no matter how much it bows to extortionist demands from Turkey, the migrant crisis will continue to grow.

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Turkey's President Speaks At Brookings As His Bodyguards Attack Journalists, Protesters

In a few moments, Turkey's president Recep Erdogan will address the Brookings center with a speech titled "Global challenges and Turkey's goals for the year 2023."  However, the major news is not Erdogan's speech, but what is taking place just before it, and how it puts any treatment of a Trump protest to shame after one journalist was physically removed from the event site by Turkish security personnel, another kicked by a guard, and a third — a woman — thrown to the sidewalk in front of a Washington think tank where he was to speak.

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Turkey Arrests Shooter Of Parachuting Russian Pilot

Alparslan Celik, the man suspected of shooting a Russian pilot as he parachuted from a downed jet over Syria, has finally been arrested by Turkish police in the city of Izmir and is being questioned, Hurriyet newspaper reports. According to Bloomberg, Celik was detained while at a restaurant in the city on Turkey’s Aegean coast; 14 others also detained.

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Russian Nuclear Ballistic Missile "Iskander" Spotted In Syria

According to the Russian military website military-informant.com an Iskander SS-26 Stone short-range ballistic missile complex which has a range of 400 km and is nuclear-capable, was spotted on March 27 near the Hmeymim airbase used by Russia for its airborne attacks in Syria.

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The End Of Europe As We Know It?

Amid secular stagnation, the Eurozone's old fiscal, monetary and banking challenges are escalating, along with new threats, including the Brexit, demise of Schengen, anti-EU opposition and geopolitical friction. Brussels can no longer avoid hard political decisions for or against an integrated Europe, with or without the euro.

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Pentagon Orders Hundreds Of Military Families To Evacuate Turkey

Has the US finally had enough of its "ally" Erdogan?  

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Lessons From Brussels - America Should Get Out Of The Middle East

For us here in America, the lessons of the European tragedy are there to be learned. There is only one solution to the problem of terrorism and it doesn’t involve going abroad in search of monsters to destroy. The point is to make sure those monsters never reach our shores. It’s too late for the Europeans, who are now forced to sleep in the bed they so assiduously made. It isn’t too late for America: we can learn the lesson of Brussels if only we have the will to do so.

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Could There Be A Coup In Turkey?

"Even members of Erdogan's ruling party whisper about his increasing paranoia which, according to some Turkish officials, has gotten so bad that he seeks to install anti-aircraft missiles at his palace to prevent airborne men-in-black from targeting him in a snatch-and-grab operation."

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China Warns Officials: Allow Social Unrest, Lose Your Job

Following protests by disaffected coal miners in the "gritty" streets of Shuangyashan, Beijing is out with a stark warning for Party officials: suppress demonstrations and social unrest, or lose your job. 

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Bombshell: King Of Jordan Blames Turkey For Terror In Europe, Says Israel "Looks Other Way" On Al-Qaeda

"President Erdogan believes in a radical Islamic solution to the problems in the region. The fact that terrorists are going to Europe is part of Turkish policy."

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