News Dump Thursday: The Post-ISIS Future Edition

Turkey prepares to invade Iraq

Having announced the end of Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria on March 29, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shortly thereafter declared a pending new stage of the operation, but on Iraqi soil. Any such operation is expected to exacerbate the myriad conflicts in the area.
Erdogan announced the new operation in an April 4 television interview with the Anadolu Agency. Identifying Turkey's targets, he said, “There are the Tal Afar and Sinjar situations. We also have kin in Mosul.” The “kin” Erdogan referred to are Turkmens. During an April 7 TV interview, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed the government's plans for an Iraq campaign and explained Sinjar's importance. “The PKK [Kurdistan Workers Party] wants to build its own camp in Sinjar, which we cannot allow,” he said. “We will undertake a [military] intervention, or they [PKK forces] will cross our borders to launch terrorist attacks.”
...Turkey already has military forces in Iraq, at Bashiqa, a situation that has caused tensions with Baghdad. Turkey claims the troops are there merely to help train fighters in prepartion for taking Mosul from IS. Baghdad claims they are violating Iraqi sovereignty and has called for their withdrawal.

Flashpoint Kirkuk

Iraq's Shi'ite ruling coalition would oppose Kurdish plans to hold a referendum on independence after the defeat of Islamic State, its president, Ammar al-Hakim, has said.
Speaking to Reuters in an interview in Cairo, Hakim advised the Kurds against any unilateral move to annex a disputed oil-rich region which they had gained during the war against the jihadists...
Iraq's main Kurdish parties announced this month a plan to hold a referendum on independence this year.
The Kurds say the expected "yes" outcome will strengthen their hand in talks on self-determination with Baghdad and would not mean automatically declaring independence.

Trump and Shia militias

In March, Hashim al-Musawi, spokesman for the Iran-controlled militia known as the Islamic Resistance Movement in Iraq (al-Nojaba), indicated at a news conference in Tehran that his and other Iranian-affiliated Iraqi Shi'ite militias wanted to take on a more expansive role in the region once the Sunni IS militants were defeated.
He mentioned taking military action against Turkish forces based near Mosul if they didn't withdraw, and forming a brigade on the Golan Heights, controlled by the Assad government, as a means to strike at Israel. IRGC units already are thought to be stationed on the Golan Heights.
At a joint news conference April 5 in Washington with Jordan's King Abdullah, President Donald Trump was asked what he thought about the Iran-loyal militias when it comes to Syria and their support in propping up Syria's Assad.
"Will you go after them?" he was asked. "You will see," he replied. "They will have a message. You will see what message that will be."

"traitor" to Afghanistan

The American military’s use of the most powerful conventional bomb in its arsenal on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan has stirred up political trouble for the Afghan government, as former President Hamid Karzai on Saturday called his successor “a traitor” and declared that he wanted the Americans gone from the country.
In an interview with The New York Times, hours after he said he intended to work toward “ousting the U.S.,” a fuming Mr. Karzai said there was no justification for the United States to drop the powerful bomb in Afghanistan.

Afghan Surge 2.0

Roughly 300 Marines are en route to Afghanistan to help Afghan troops stop the Taliban from swallowing more of the hard-fought territory for which so many Marines have bled and died, Marine Corps Times has learned.
The deployment of Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, will be the largest Marine deployment to Afghanistan since 2014, when the U.S. military's combat mission known as Operation Enduring Freedom officially ended.
By the end of April, the Marines will be in Helmand province as Task Force Southwest, replacing the Army’s Task Force Forge.

No, really

Afghanistan is the world’s premier producer of opium, but that fact did not prevent the country from receiving a spot on a U.N. drug control board Wednesday.
Afghanistan received a four-year term to sit on the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), an international group responsible for overseeing international drug control agreements. The board falls under the the U.N. Economic and Social Council, which voted to give Afghanistan the spot despite its known status as a major producer of opium.

Pentagon plans to induce famine in Yemen

Pentagon officials have been making clear for weeks that they are eager to directly join Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and have excitedly laid out plans for deeper involvement in the conflict to the rest of the administration, centering on joining the invasion of Hodeidah, a Red Sea port which is where most humanitarian aid enters the country.
Hodeidah’s vitalness to the already shaky aid supply to northern Yemen isn’t sitting well with aid workers, or even with State Department and USAID officials, who were quick to note that cutting off Hodeidah to the northern Yemenis would lead directly to a full-blown famine.

bond markets hate democracy

In the past year, sovereign notes from emerging markets under autocratic rule have returned 15 percent on average, compared with just 8.6 percent for securities from developing countries considered democratic, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They also have better returns over the past two years, though beyond that the advantage fades.
For all the ugliness that often comes with authoritarian governments -- the human rights abuses, the curbs on free expression -- they often can be very rewarding for bondholders willing to turn a blind eye.
"Investors typically view the bonds of an autocratic regime very negatively and assign a very high default probability," said Victor Fu, the director of emerging-market sovereign strategy at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. But "in an autocratic regime, the government remaining in power is considered more important than people’s welfare. Since a bond default likely will raise the risks for the government to be thrown out, the ruling party will do its best to prevent a credit event."
...“Obviously, investors love Russia with Putin in power," Jim Barrineau, the co-head of emerging markets debt for Schroder Investment Management, said Monday on Bloomberg TV. "It’s not necessarily the case that it’s a necessary and sufficient condition that there be democracy.”
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Comments

that big pot o' money

Private equity firms are good at solving complex problems. What’s stumping them? Normal people.

Five years ago, Carlyle Group LP’s David Rubenstein predicted a future where ordinary savers would be able to invest in private equity, an industry limited to wealthy individuals and institutions. He later suggested that by now, Americans would be able to put some of their 401(k) retirement accounts into the asset class.

Today most mom-and-pop investors still don’t have that option. But a shift in how people are saving in their 401(k)s may give private equity a new way in -- keeping firms like Carlyle, Blackstone Group LP and KKR & Co. eyeing the $4.8 trillion that U.S. workers have saved in their 401(k)s.
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Offering private equity to individuals has been a challenge because the investments are often hard to convert to cash quickly and they charge fees higher than those of traditional mutual funds that populate 401(k)s.

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snoopydawg's picture

Yemen under the original AUMF. None of the groups involved in the Yemen war had anything to do with 9/11. And congress hasn't authorized the pentagon to do anything.
I know that won't stop them and Trump has turned over his power to make decisions about the military to the generals.
I don't understand how the rest of the world can sit back and watch what is happening in Yemen.
That Never Again was total bullshit.
How many people have been killed since that sentence was said?

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A noun, a verb, Russia

I fly into Istanbul and have a 3 hour layover the first week of May.
It should be interesting.

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eyo's picture

Does "Reportedly" mean fake now? Me and "words" are not getting along too well lately. lol I just found theantimedia.org again. Thanks NakedCapitalism.

Video: Russia Reportedly Sending Troops, Tanks to Border with North Korea

April 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm
Written by James Holbrooks

(ANTIMEDIA) North Korea — Following China’s reported deployment of 150,000 troops to its border with North Korea only days ago, it appears Russia is now following suit.

Thursday morning, footage surfaced that appears to show Russian tanks, helicopters, and troops being moved to the country’s tiny 11-mile border with North Korea by train.

“Railway trains loaded with military equipment moving towards Primorsky region via Khabarovsk have been noticed by locals,” reported a news outlet in Russia’s far East, as translated by the Daily Mail.
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Yeah fake news. How does one get death merchants to pick up their toys and go home? Can they be purchased like politicians? That would be worth it, to me. Give peace a chance.

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On a blog.