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Month: February 2015

The German States of Europe?

German dominance over the EU may or may not be “intentional”, but it is very real in the eyes of many. Bill Collier- Roman Prodi, who was President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004, had been warning people for some time that the European Union was either an alliance of equal, democratic powers, or it is nothing. From its inception, the EU was a constellation of states revolving around Britain, France, and Russia. But the dynamics inside the EU have changed. First, the was Britain’s withdrawal from active participation in the EU. ¬†As the EU is forging more integration between member states, Britain has resisted those changes, including rejecting adopting the Euro. Second, France has become an economic basket case and has fallen behind Germany and Britain economically. Third, with the inclusion of Eastern European states into the EU, the Germans have utilized their physical proximity and their dominance as a trade partner to great effect. The emergence of German predominance in the EU means now that the greatest weight in terms of actual EU direction and policy rests in Berlin, not Brussels. The push for “asuterity” among EU members with economic woes (including Spain, Italy, and Greece) has come straight from Berlin. Angela Merkel’s diplomacy in Minsk with Russia over the Ukraine crisis is the deciding factor in EU policy. The German state is, by American...

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Venezuela Collapse Fuels Peace In Colombia

Bill Collier- Venezuela’s economy is in shambles. This means that the socialist quasi-dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro is in no position to conduct foreign advantures, including providing aid, such as arms and money, to the Fuerza Armada de Revolucion Colombia (FARC). FARC has enjoyed the financial windfalls of drug trafficking, raking in over $2 million per day, and other forms of aid from communist Cuba and socialist Venenzuela. With an army of some 30,000 controlling 16,000 square miles (an area refered to as the “despeje”, FARC could rely on Venezuelan and Cuban technical, military, financial, and even military aid. Hugo Chavez, the deceased Venezuelan President, lobbied heavily to grant FARC legal standing under international law as a “belligerent”, but these efforts were rebuffed. A failing Venezuelan economy, Peru’s rise as the major cocaine exporter (surpassing Colombia), and the falling price of oil coupled with aggresive Venezuelan military action have reduced FARC substantially. Currently it is estimated that only 8,000 fighters remain in FARC ranks, drug revenues may be down by 50%, Cuba is more interested in ending the conflict in Colombia in its bid for reapproachment with the West, and Venezuela is totally distracted by a crumbling economy. Venezuela may be the key factor. While FARC has not always relied on Venezuela, since around 2000, Venezuela had become a key support for the Marxist guerilla army. Over its 50 year...

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Land War Looms In Europe

The Battle for Mariupol Could Spark Greater Land War Bill Collier- The battle for Mariupol has been replayed at least four times since 1941, and it’s about to start into round 5. The players have changed and so has the dynamic. In October of 1941 it was the Germans taking it from the Soviets, in 1943 it was the Soviets taking it from the Germans, in June of 2014 it was a ragtag army of separatists trying to take it from the Ukrainian “Azov Battallion”, in January of 2015 it was a mix of covert Russian and separatist trying again to take it, and now it would appear that Russian Armored and Artillery Regiments are the real force with so-called “New Russian” separatists, and Cosacks, playing a support role. What we see happening now is a total commitment of “serious manpower”, as many as 20,000 Russian troops, entering the region near Mariupol with the intention of seizing this strategic city and rolling up the Ukrainian defenders throughout the eastern half of their country. Depsite pledges by the US and Britain to “guarantee” Ukrainian territory if the Ukrainians gave up nuclear arms (which they did), so far neither the US nor NATO are forthcoming with decisive help. Negotiations and rhetoric and declared cease-fires have failed to change the situation on the ground. Russia wants to create a land bridge to...

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