DEBKAfile Special Report March 20, 2014
The US and Russian presidents locked horns in earnest over their Ukraine dispute Thursday, March 20 with two sets of serious reciprocal sanctions. International financial circles warn that in their determination to outplay one another, the US and Russian leaders risk causing havoc in world trade centers. debkafile: Whereas Barack Obama’s new executive order covering 20 targets strikes deep inside Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and personal financial interests, the Russian president appears to be going for American politicians hostile to Moscow – although this is only his first shot.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly March 18, 2014
Crimea’s secession to Russia is just one example. More boundaries once carved in stone are melting away in the heat of unresolved conflicts, as DEBKA Weekly shows in its coming issue out Friday. Iran, Syria, Hizballah and Al Qaeda’s ISIS terrorists are all messing with the borders of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel – and each other. When President Barack Obama comes to Riyadh with a promise of US support for the oil kingdom’s stability, he will step into a landscape of moving boundaries.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 13, 2014
The last Western hope for averting the Crimean referendum Sunday and a major showdown between the two world powers rested with Chancellor Angela Merkel. But even she failed to sway Putin.
The Ukraine crisis: Russia may halt (START) strategic weapons inspections, revert to Cold War tactics
DEBKAfile Special Report March 8, 2014
Russia ratcheted up international tensions over Ukraine Saturday, March 8, after mobilizing air and coastal defenses for a month-long drill to secure the May 16 Crimean referendum from disruption. The defense ministry in Moscow announced “Russia is considering halting foreign inspections of its strategic weapons arsenal, including nuclear-capable missiles, in response to ‘threats’ from the United States and NATO over the Ukraine crisis. debkafile: Moscow is ready to revert to Soviet belligerent posture unless the US and the West back down on the Ukraine dispute.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2014
The US delivers assault helicopters in special airlift to Israel and places its Middle East forces on high alert, especially in the Mediterranean. Russian armed forces also remain on combat readiness.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2014
Netanyahu persuaded Obama to back Israel’s raid on an Iranian missile ship to improve his soft image and possibly deter Putin from further military action in Ukraine.
Ukraine calls up reserves against Russia. Putin spurns Obama’s call to de-escalate with fallout on Mid East
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 2, 2014
The US-EU tactic of turning the heat on Moscow instead of Kiev is proving futile and a strategic blunder stemming from weakness, more likely to spark real violence and bloodshed. US President Barack Obama’s call to Vladimir Putin to de-escalate the tension and pull his troops out of Crimea went unheeded. So Kiev mobilized a million military reservists and put the Ukraine army on a war footing, without the resources for feeding or arming them. Putin was encouraged to forge ahead with his plans until the interim government falls – or talks.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 1, 2014
Russian forces Saturday, March 1, staged their first attack on a Ukraine military installation in Crimea, while completing their takeover of the region and its severance from Ukraine. The new Crimean premier announced a March 30 referendum to determine its status. In Kiev, the interim government feared a possible Ukraine army putsch to install a military regime capable of containing Russian expansion. As President Barack Obama warned Moscow of “costs” for military intervention in Crimea, two US warships moved up to the Black Sea’s Crimea shore.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 28, 2014
Crimea is Russia’s main springboard for Putin’s Mid East strategy. Kerry’s last-ditch phone call to Lavrov may avert a Russian military operation – but at a steep price for Kiev and the West.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 28, 2014
The European wire-pullers misjudged the unrest in Kiev and let it go too far. They had planned a pro-EU unity government working with Yanukovych – not to oust him.
Yanukovych refuses to resign - and goes missing in E. Ukraine. Tymoshenko seizes opposition center stage in Kiev
DEBKAfile Special Report February 22, 2014
Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych went on the air Saturday, Feb. 22, to say he has no plans to resign. From Kharkiv, he accused ”armed extremists and gangsters” of staging a coup comparable to the Nazi putsch in Berlin of 1933. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on the German, French and Polish foreign ministers to step in and take responsibility for the deal they helped the rivals forge Friday, warning that Ukrainian sovereignty was threatened. The crisis is falling into the lines of a split between opposition Kiev and pro-Yanukovych Kharkiv.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 20, 2014
Pakistan refused to heed Obama’s demands to back of its nuclear pact with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis will be more flexible on non-nuclear issues like Syria in order to repair the fraught relations with Washington.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 19, 2014
Saudi Intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan was reported by debkafile’s US and Saudi sources Wednesday, Feb. 19, to have been removed from policy-making in Riyadh. The prince was the live wire of kingdom’s drive against President Barack Obama’s détente with Tehran. Bandar’s removal is one up for Obama, and a significant loss for Israel’s Binyamin Netanyahu as the only other Middle East leader ready to publicly decry US policies on Iran and Syria. No word about the prince’s status has come from Riyadh since he dropped out of sight a month ago.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 18, 2014
The six powers and Iran sat down in Geneva Tuesday, Feb. 18 for talks on a final, comprehensive resolution of the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. But first, the Obama administration gave the Israeli government three pledges. debkafile: The US would insist on the shutdown of the Fordo enrichment plant; the Arak reactor’s conversion to a light water plant; and a cap on 5-percent enrichment. They all face Tehran's certain rejection. Binyamin Netanyahu can only try for a ceiling on centrifuges when he meets Barack Obama on March 3.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 13, 2014
Riyadh is clinching military deals with Pakistan, India and Japan to show Barack Obama when he comes for a visit that Saudi Arabia has new strategic partners against Iran.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 11, 2014
Iran’s leaders celebrated the 35th anniversary of their Islamic revolution Tuesday, Feb.11, with a torrent of hate rhetoric and threats surpassing even the crudely belligerent language used by former President Ahamedinejad. As his audience burned US and Israeli flags and stamped on placards depicting Obama, President Hassan Rouhani echoed the IRGC leaders in mocking America’s military option, while Khamenei called for Israel’s extermination as a “cancerous growth.” Yet Barack Obama opted not to react and demanded that Prime Minister Netanyahu follow suit.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 11, 2014
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has informed Washington of his acceptance in principle of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework document - subject to reservations raised with US Special Envoy Martin Indyk. A high-ranking US official told debkafile: “We all know the die is cast in Jerusalem and Netanyahu has accepted Kerry’s guidelines. They are now working on the reservations he needs to submit for his government coalition to survive the expected storm of protest and resistance and for the talks with the Palestinians to carry on” to a final accord.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 7, 2014
The give-and-take over an Israeli-Palestinian accord, doggedly kept afloat by US Secretary of State John Kerry, is evolving into a complex personal dynamic: Israel’s A-team - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon – are not of one mind on the issues; Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s popular base is infamously narrow and flimsy. And John Kerry, too, needs to overcome reservations in President Obama’s White House team to obtain his blessing. He is not entirely sure he will get it.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 7, 2014
The White House is qualifying its support for Kerry’s diplomacy for Iran, Syria and Middle East peacemaking, finding it too decisive for Obama.