Saturday, February 28, 2015

About the American Sniper-The ‘puchline at the end’ is no surprise.


> This is why

> America will remain strong. We take care of our own as well

> as others who may not deserve taking care of. I just wanted

> to share with you all that out of a horrible

>  tragedy we were blessed by so many people.



> Chris Kyle was

> Derek's teammate through 10 years of training and

> battle. They both suffer/suffered from PTSD to some extent

> and took great care of each

>  other because of it. 


> 2006 in

> Ramadi was horrible for young men that never had any more

> aggressive physical contact

> with another human than

> on a Texas football field.



> They lost many

> friends. Chris became the armed services number #1 sniper of

> all time. Not something he was happy about, other than the

> fact that in so

>  doing, he saved a lot of American lives. 


> Three years

> ago, his wife Taya asked him to leave the SEAL teams because

> he had a huge bounty on his head by Al Qaeda. He did and

> wrote the book "The American Sniper." 100% of

>  the proceeds from the book went to two of the SEAL families

> who had lost their sons in Iraq.



> That was the kind of

> guy Chris was. He formed a company in Dallas to train

> military, police and I think firemen how to protect

> themselves in difficult

>  situations. He also formed a foundation to work with

> military people suffering from PTSD. Chris was a giver not a

> taker. 


> He, along with a

> friend and neighbor, Chad Littlefield, were murdered trying

> to help a young man that had served six months in Iraq and

> claimed to have

>  PTSD. 

> Now I need to tell you

> about all of the blessings. 


> Southwest Airlines

> flew in any SEAL and their family from any airport to the

> funeral... free of charge. 


> The employees donated

> buddy passes and one lady worked for four days without much

> of a break to see that it happened. 

> Volunteers were at

> both airports in Dallas to drive them to the

> hotel. 


> The Marriott Hotel

> reduced their rates to $45 a night and cleared the hotel for

> only SEALs and family. 


> The

> Midlothian, TX Police Department paid the $45 a night for

> each room. I would guess there were about 200 people staying

> at the hotel, 100 of them were SEALs. Two large buses

>  were chartered (an unknown donor paid the bill) to

> transport people to the different events and they also had a

> few rental cars (donated). The police and secret service

> were on duty 24 hours during the stay at our

> hotel.



> At the Kyle house, the

> Texas DPS parked a large motor home in front to block the

> view from reporters. It remained there the entire five days

> for the

>  SEALs to meet in and so they could use the restroom there

> instead of the bathroom in the house. Taya, their two small

> children and both sets of parents were staying in the

> home. 


> Only a hand

> full of SEALs went into the home as they had different

> duties and meetings were held sometimes on a hourly basis.

> It was a huge coordination of many different events

>  and security. Derek was assigned to be a Pall Bearer, to

> escort Chris' body when it was transferred from the

> Midlothian Funeral Home to the Arlington Funeral Home, and

> to be with Taya. A tough job.



> Taya seldom

> came out of her bedroom. The house was full with people from

> the church and other family members that would come each day

> to help. I spent one morning in a bedroom

>  with Chris' mom and the next morning with Chad

> Littlefield's parents (the other man murdered with

> Chris). A tough job. 

> George W Bush and his

> wife Laura met and talked to everyone on the Seal Team one

> on one. They went behind closed doors with Taya for quite a

> while. They

>  had prayer with us all. You can tell when people were

> sincere and caring 


> Nolan Ryan

> sent his cooking team, a huge grill and lots of steaks,

> chicken and hamburgers. They set up in the front yard and

> fed people all day long including the 200 SEALs and

>  their families. The next day a local BBQ restaurant set up

> a buffet in front of the house and fed all once again. Food

> was plentiful and all were taken care of. The family's

> church kept those inside the house well fed.



> Jerry Jones, the man

> everyone loves to hate, was a rock star. 0He made sure that

> we all were taken care of. His wife and he were just making

> sure everyone

>  was taken care of….Class... He donated the use of Cowboy

> Stadium for the services because so many wanted to

> attend. 


> The charter

> buses transported us to the stadium on Monday at 10:30 am.

> Every car, bus, motorcycle was searched with bomb dogs and

> police. I am not sure if kooks were making threats

>  trying to make a name for themselves or if so many SEALs in

> one place was a security risk, I don't know. We

> willingly obliged. No purses went into the stadium!



> We were taken to The

> Legends room high up and a large buffet was available. That

> was for about 300 people. We were growing. 


> A Medal of

> Honor recipient was there, lots of secret service and police

> and Sarah Palin and her husband. She looked nice, this was a

> very formal military service. 



> The service started at

1:00 pm and when we were escorted onto the field I was

> shocked. We heard that about 10,000 people had come to

> attend also. They

>  were seated in the stadium seats behind us. It was a

> beautiful and emotional service. 


> The Bagpipe and drum

> corps were wonderful and the Texas A&M men's choir

> stood through the entire service and sang right at the end.

> We were all in tears. 


> The next day was the

> 200-mile procession from Midlothian, TX to Austin for

> burial. It was a cold, drizzly, windy day, but the people

> were out. We had

>  dozens of police motorcycles riders, freedom riders, five

> chartered buses and lots of cars.  You had to have a

> pass to be in the procession and still it was huge. 

> Two helicopters circled the procession with snipers sitting

> out the side door for protection.

>  It was the longest funeral procession ever in the state of

> Texas.  People were everywhere. The entire route was

> shut down ahead of us, the people were lined up on the side

> of the road the entire way.  Firemen were down on one

> knee, police officers were holding

>  their hats over their hearts, children waving flags,

> veterans saluting as we went by.  Every bridge had fire

> trucks with large flags displayed from their tall ladders,

> people all along the entire 200 miles were standing in the

> cold weather.  It was so heartwarming.

>  Taya rode in the hearse with Chris' body so Derek rode

> the route with us.  I was so grateful to have that time

> with him. 


> The service was at

> Texas National Cemetery. Very few are buried there and you

> have to apply to get in. It is like people from the Civil

> War, Medal of

>  Honor winners, a few from the Alamo and all the historical

> people of Texas.  It was a nice service and the Freedom

> Riders surrounded the outside of the entire cemetery to keep

> the crazy church people from Kansas that protest at military

> funerals away from

>  us. 


> Each SEAL put his

> Trident (metal SEAL badge) on the top of Chris' casket,

> one at a time.  A lot hit it in with one blow. 

> Derek was the only one to 

> take four taps to put

> his in and it was almost like he was caressing it as he did

> it.  Another tearful moment. 


> After the service

> Governor Rick Perry and his wife, Anita, invited us to the

> governor's mansion.  She stood at the door,

>  greeted each of us individually,

>  and gave each of the SEALs a coin of Texas.  She was a

> sincere, compassionate, and gracious hostess. 


> We were able to tour

> the ground floor and then went into the garden for beverages

> and BBQ.  So many of the Seal team guys said that after

> they get out

>  they are moving to Texas.  They remarked that they had

> never felt so much love and hospitality.  The charter

> buses then took the guys to the airport to catch their

> returning  flights.  Derek just now called and

> after a 20 hours flight he is back in his spot,

>  in a dangerous land on the other side of the world,

> protecting America. 


> We just wanted to

> share with you, the events of a quite emotional, but blessed

> week. 


> Punch-line:


> *To this day,* *no one

> in the White House* * has ever acknowledged Chris Kyle.* -

> his service, his death, his duty, his generosity, his

> caring, his life. 


> However, the President

> can call a sports person and congratulate him on his bravery

> for announcing to the world that he is gay. He can say on

> national

>  television say that someone, a man who has committed a

> crime, and was shot by police in the line of duty, would

> have made him a good son.



> The

> SEALS have asked that you please, keep this moving if you

> think Chris Kyle would have made a good son.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

400,000 Bribe to Judge Frees son of El Chango Mendez...

Borderland Beat

Link to Borderland Beat

400,000 Bribe to Judge Frees son of El Chango Mendez

Posted: 25 Feb 2015 05:31 AM PST

Translated for Borderland Beat from a Milenio article by Otis B Fly-Wheel

A Federal Judge allegedly bribed by Michoacán narco's, frees son of a capo, various audio shows that La Familia and Los Viagras rescued El Chucin Mendez.

Taking of the Municipal Presidency

Jorge Armando Wong Aceituno, the Federal Judge that exonerated 43 of the 44 cases of detained AUC after a gun battle that killed nine people in Apatzingan on January 6th. He was allegedly bribed by the remnants of La Familia Michoacana and leaders of Los Viagra to prevent the son of a high capo being identified by the Federal Government and being brought to trial.

A dozen telephone calls detail the conversations between both organisations soliciting the bribe to the Judge and an Agent of the Federal Public Ministry, who disappeared evidence and collaborated to reduce the charges to obtain the release of one of the children of Jesus Mendez "El Chango", founder of La Familia Michoacana.

Recordings that Milenio had access to, among other data, reveal hitherto unknown that :

a) Operators of La Familia Michoacana and Los Viagra, a group that had been recruiting sicarios to fill the space left by Los Caballeros Templarios. They were behind the movement that took the Municipal Presidency of Apatzingan last December, which ended in a shoot out with Federal Police.

b) On the 6th of January, to free the Mayoress, the Army detained Jesus Mendez "El Chuchin", son of Jesus Mendez Vargas "El Chango", serial killer confessed to be the leader of the cartel after the fall of Enrique Kike Plancarte, who was to be extradited to the United States to stand trial for charges of drug trafficking in the New York District Court.

c) El Chango and Nicolas Sierra Santana, leader of Los Viagra, came up with the money for the bribe to facilitate the release of El Chuchin, and possibly the rest of his company, they will be free.

d) At least in the case of one person, the process ended up with the defeat of the PGR and PGJE, 43 of the 44 detainees ended up being released, by a corrupt bribed Federal Judge.

The recordings, that total 40 minutes, reveal details of how the son of El Chango Mendez participated in taking the Mayors office, an act which was initially presented as a social protest, but in which there was a presence of people linked to criminals.

The confrontation at the palace left 9 people dead

The audios also gave the idea of how the plan was hatched to bribe the Judge for the release of El Chuchin, though it doesn't mention by name who they were, it is specified in the recordings that payments would be made to the Judge leading the trial of the detainees in Apatzingan at the beginning of this year.

The Judge of the Fifth District Court and responsible for the exoneration of the autodefensas detainees, Jorge Armando Aceituno Wong, was the one who took the case.

Not only that: during one week imprisoned in the Maximum Security Prison of Tepic, he hid himself as an auto-defensa, which prevented him from being identified and being brought to the attention of SEIDO (Assistant Attorney General specializing in investigation of Organised Crime), where he was considered a high value target.

During his stay in the prison, he was admitted under the name Juan Carlos Guttierez Segura, even though no authority noticed him, or knew in effect that they had the son of El ChangoMendez.

Until now, the participation of operators of organized criminals, in the taking of the Mayors Office of Apatzingan, on the 22nd of December to the 6th of January had not been substantiated, despite suspicion in different areas of Federal Government that the movement was infiltrated by organised crime.

From the start, the taking of the mayors office was presented like it was a civic protest to the gun battle between Hipolito Mora's group and Simon El Americano, on the 17th of December 2014 at La Ruana.

When Group 250 of the extinct Fuerza Rurales occupied the Municipal presidency, half a hundred self defence forces ensured that the protest took as a goal to demand from the Federal Government to support Mora in his confrontation with El Americano, stop those responsible for the shooting and put pressure on Alfredo Castillo Commissioner for Michoacán, to launch an offensive against the Knights Templar and specially its leader Servando Gomez La Tuta.

For us, in this moment the battle is being won by La Tuta, said Nicolas Sierra, one of the leaders of Los Viagra, who led the taking of the Municipal Presidency and who would later play a central role in the liberation of Mendez Junior. He spoke little after the occupation of City Hall, when they hung banners that said Mr President Enrique Pena Nieto, the people demand the arrest of the criminals.

But these arguments were only a façade. The telephone conversations, in which stand out a lawyer and a weapons smuggler known to Federal Intelligence, revealed that among those who co-ordinated the occupation of the Municipal Presidency was El Chuchin, also know as El Leon Rapado, who is considered to be the heir to the criminal empire of his father El ChangoMendez.

His apprehension, this past 6th of January, started an operation of corruption that ended ten days later, with the Judge Jorge Armado Wong ordering his liberation, when the case prosecuted by the PGR and PGJE collapsed, the Public Ministry said the Judge, had failed in the integration of its records, which is the reason why the charges were dropped.

The recordings leave clear that the Public Ministry failed for one reason, because they were ordered to do it.

The conversations occurred in 14 calls made between the 7th of January and the 5th of February, and they give the idea of why so easily Ministerial accusations are made, when you have a good defense and the Public Ministry is determined to torpedo the case.

The dialogues featured, among others, Jaime Guttierez Escobedo, known arms dealer that has been at the service of La Familia Michoacana, Los Valencia, and Los Templarios, also a lawyer identified as El Licenciado Nahum, and Roberto Contreras Betancourt, son in law of Guttierez Escobedo.

Since the start, Guttierez Escobedo, was an old friend of El Chango Mendez, lent his services as a facilitator who arranged the money transfers to pay the bribes and obtain the release of El Chuchin.

On the 8th of January, Nahum and Guttierez Escobedo spoke for the first time. They find out that the son of El Chango Mendez was arrested and transferred to the high security prison El Rincon in Nayarit, and began to strategize the legal and illegal defence of the boy, who they say broke the law.

Nahum: He was transferred there, but the records remain here, do you know what crime he is accused of?

Jamie: Having a firearm

Nahum: Having a firearm, they will not be able to prove it, because to make a collection of weapons, necessarily who were the owners of the weapons.

Jamie: Yes

Nahum: No one is going to accept it.

The first signals that they sought to bribe the Public Ministry arrived the next day: Jaime Gutierrez Escobedo called his daughter, he informed her that Nahum had left for Uruapan and needed 10,000 pesos, because on Saturday, January 10th will begin the task of achieving that the charges against El Chuchin be dropped. That money, he said is to feed the Public Ministry so they destroy evidence of him collecting weapons.

On January the 10th, presumably after Nahum had "fed" the Public Ministry, the lawyer and Gutierrez Escobedo speak of how the accusations have begun to fade, and the importance of keeping the identity of El Chango Mendez son secret.

After attending the Public Ministry, Nahum boasts, already we have two of the three charges dropped against him, those of criminal association and possession of a firearm.

The last charge that remained is possession of a Beretta 9mm pistol, to dismiss this evidence, a teleconference had been arranged with El Chuchin, so that he was prepared and knew what to say in response to the testimony of the soldier who stopped him in Apatzingan.

The boy responded to the coaching, according to Nahum, "I am content I can defend myself with the information you have given me."

Jaime reveals that on that day, in some media outlets, appeared news that the son of El ChangoMendez had been detained in Apatzingan, Nahum responded angrily " What son a bitch said that?"

Nahum: "Nobody knows who he is, nobody knows who he is. So I asked Robert not to say anything, because the Attorney General approached me and said :  Hey do you know who the son of El Chango Mendez is? or his mother? because I know neither."

Jamie: Aha

Nahum: I ordered the public prosecutors office to drop it.

Jamie: Ah perfect.

On the 10th of January, Roberto Betancourt, son in law of Jamie Guttierez, called on the telephone and informed him that he had seen the sister of El Chango Mendez, who had given him 50,000 pesos towards the bribe to liberate El Chuchin. In open forum, Roberto admitted that in a few hours the Lawyer would deliver the bribe to the Judge and the Public Ministry.

Roberto: She already gave me the 50, I grabbed the 10 only, because I had to make a few payments.

Jamie: Yes, yes that's ok. At this time I haven't seen my friend, but more or less I prepared him for Wednesday, possibly then he will be free.

Roberto: Yes that's the way it will be.

Jamie: Exactly.

Roberto: And the sister said, "I know that my nephew will be freed, because he had already been in Seido since the beginning, yesterday Nahum told me he had coached him about what to say about the soldier, and that he was ready to go before the public prosecutor and the Judge on Wednesday but that the bribe had still to be delivered."

On the 12th of January, Nahum called Jamie. He said that "Juan Carlos" would be freed in a few hours. In this call its evident that the Judge is subservient to the Lawyer of the son of the capo, who gives the orders. In a last attempt to discover if El Chuchin is among those arrested, the PGR request an investigation.

Nahum: I've finished talking to the Judge, him to me.

Jamie: Aha

Nahum: In two hours, they say, he will be leaving, but in two hours when he leaves the office block, you have to be there at the prison.

Jamie: In two hours?

Nahum: In two hours, but they said, All is ok Lawyer, but they are suckers, it will be 24 hours that he was kept inside.

Jamie: Hey what did the Judge say?

Nahum: Well yes, excuse me, but they investigated it in Mexico, we gave them the order that we had investigated it, but we found nothing.

On the 14th of February, Nahum revealed that the Judge has advanced El Chuchins liberation, and it is clear who is financing the bribery, it is mentioned the El Gordo Nicolas Sierra Santana provided 100,000 pesos, and that the family of El Chango Mendez had handed over the rest.

Nicolas Sierra Santana El Gordo

On the 16th of January as promised, the Apatzingan detainees are freed by Judge Wong Aceituno, who argues that the Public Ministry failed in the integration of its preliminary investigations, not offering any solid evidence proving that the defendants actually carried weapons of exlusive use by the Army.

On the following day the 17th, Gutierrez called Roberto. The son of the capo was free and it was time to settle the bill. But between thieves there is no honor, both agree to keep part of the money and lied to El Chango Mendez and Nico.

Roberto: It must be 400 for the Ministry and the Judge, and the Bachelors 200 is separate.

Jamie: Well...

The army and Federal police go to the Municipal palace of Apatzingan and detain 44 people.

The Detained are transferred to Federal Prison in Nayarit

The first call between Jamie Gutierrez and the Laywer Nahum

The second call, informs of the transfer to Tepic prison of the son of El Chango Mendez.

With a 10,000 pesos bribe, the Public Ministry drop the charges of collection of firearms, and criminal association.

The Judge Aceituno informs his Lawyer that his client, the son of the capo will be freed in hours.

Judege Wong Aceituno order the immediate liberation of the 43 of the 44 detainees. Gutierrez Escobedo assures that the bribe is 400,000 pesos , the Public Ministry receive 200,000 pesos.

Original article in Spanish at Milenio

Update on the Judge in the case coming soon.

Dámaso “El Licenciado” López Núñez has emerged as Sinaloa cartel leader

Posted: 24 Feb 2015 06:50 PM PST

Lucio republished from EL PAÍS posted by siskiyoukid-Translation: Dyane Jean François

EL PAÍS weighs in with their theory of who is leading the Sinaloa Cartel in place of El Chapo

A picture of Mexican baseball legend Benjamín Gil hangs on the wall of a barbershop where you can get a haircut for just two Dollars.  The owner spends no more than five minutes on each customer, applying his clippers mercilessly to each head.  Wearing cowboy boots and hats, they walk in with mops of hair and leave with military style haircuts.

As he clips away, he explains how things work around here. “He,” he says as he touches up some sideburns, “already knows that you are here, sitting on this sofa.” In this town called Eldorado, Dámaso “El Licenciado” López Núñez or “El Lic,” one of the heirs to imprisoned drug baron Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, is invisible but occasionally pops into view. 

The barber points to the street, specifically to a man peering out of the window of a white van, looking around as he takes notes. Once he notices he is being observed, he starts the vehicle and disappears.

The mountain is the home of the Sinaloa cartel. Farmers have been selling their marijuana and poppy crops to the executives of this “Amazon of drugs” for decades. The organization can make any delivery, anywhere, in record time. In this rocky and hostile environment, El Chapo, who was arrested almost a year ago, amassed a fortune. El Licenciado – someone who wouldn’t be out of place on a company’s board of directors – has focused his efforts on the city on the plain: Eldorado. The town is the most populated area of the suburbs around Culiacán and is visible on the horizon because of the smoke coming out of the sugarcane mill.

El Lic was born here 48 years ago. Most of the streets are unpaved. The wind and horse-drawn carriages working as taxis raise the dust that clings to everything. El Lic’s father, Don Dámaso, was a tax collector and president of the regional livestock assembly. In 2007, he was elected trustee of Culiacán City Hall and built a bridge to connect the isolated community of Portaceli, his hometown, with the main highway. 

Don Dámaso died in office. He is buried in a mausoleum near the bridge – an enormous white building topped with a cross. There are security cameras on the outside of the memorial and a kitchen, air conditioning, and leather-covered seats inside. “He tried to give his kids a good education,” a family acquaintance says.

El Lic studied with the Carmelite Sisters before entering Universidad de Occidente to study law. In 1991, he got his first job as a police officer at the Sinaloa Attorney General’s Office. According to El Universal newspaper, he even directed a program to track down fugitives from the law. He was promoted through the murky world of corrupt police precincts and eventually served in the federal prison system. He held several low-level positions while earning $600 before he was appointed to a management position at the maximum security prison in Puente Grande where El Chapo was serving time after his 1993 arrest in Guatemala. Alcohol and prostitutes soon flooded the cells and with El Lic’s help, El Chapo fled in 2001. El Lic resigned from his post, citing dissatisfaction with vacation time and salary and became a full-time drug dealer.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) puts him at the top of the leadership chain within the Sinaloa cartel. In March 2012, a Virginia court accused Dámaso López of money laundering and distributing cocaine. In Eldorado he is more than just a drug dealer. He is an authority figure, imperceptible to the naked eye but present in the minds and actions of his neighbors. His men, dressed in Armani caps and Hermés vests, watch everyone who comes in and out of the area. They take down license plate numbers and share information by phone. These men used to go out into the streets on specially designated days and get trigger happy – but that tradition is now banned. Cars are no longer allowed to burn their tires and criminals are expelled from the community and sent to live in nearby towns.

The gentleman brought a band that is very well-known in Mexico here,” an ex-municipal official recounts. “And he told all the local residents that they could go along for free. One man, a jealous bastard, tried to drag his wife out of the party by her hair. He got a pretty good beating out of it. No one ruins a party for El Lic.”

The structure of the Sinaloa cartel is a well-kept secret known only by a few members. “My impression is that the cartel has not named a successor yet,” says Javier Valdez, director of the local weekly Ríodoce. “There are several regional chiefs, such as El Chapo’s sons, El Mayo [Ismael Zambada] and El Lic. If one of them had tried to take control of everything, there would have been an internal war and there isn’t. It’s true that El Lic is a very powerful guy. He has a strong presence in the region of Eldorado with spies, vehicles that patrol the streets all day. He moves around easily here and that means he is protected.”

The only published picture of El Lic is a blurry image of a man with small eyes, a smooth forehead and a goatee taken 10 years ago. He has a son, Mini-lic, a kind of junior drug dealer who brags about his luxurious lifestyle on social media: leopards, guns, youths who have tattooed his name on their chests. Rumor had it that he might be the successor to El Chapo, his godfather.

(above is Los Hijos Del Señor - El Licenciado")

“He’s a youngster who only worries about the glamorous side,” an organized crime expert says. “He is not involved in the business. He is far from being a leader.” The narcocorridos ballads about the life of drug bosses aggrandize him but, in Sinaloa, almost no one is what they seem. After El Chapo fell, the vain capos who once wanted to be immortalized in song now ask composers to write about their rivals so the police can jump on them.

On the way to Culiacán and Eldorado, a number of memorials for victims of car accidents sit at the crossroads. One of these cement structures pays tribute to one of Lic’s sons. The young man, who crashed into a ranch, was wearing a crucifix, a gift from a relative when he died. Someone tore it off him. It had to have been a thief who thinks gold has no value on the other side. But, the next day, people woke up to find a large poster hanging from one end of a street to the other. The deceased’s father was making a public call for the crucifix to be returned. First, he used words. Then, he used lead. Since then, the townspeople say no one, not even vultures, would dare sniff the pockets of a corpse.

As pot legalized n Alaska, senator makes case for it in Florida

As pot legalized n Alaska, senator makes case for it in Florida

Obama: Paralyzed by Ukraine, Dumbfounded by Russia - Defense One

Baltic States Adopting Tougher Security in Response to Russia - Defense One

How the Military Will Fight ISIS on the Dark Web - Defense One

EU, Qatar and Turkey

EU, Qatar and Turkey. Who's whipping up terrorists?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

McConnell Plans to End DHS Funding Impasse by Splitting Bill | CNS News

McConnell Plans to End DHS Funding Impasse by Splitting Bill | CNS News

MAILBAG - The News-Press

MAILBAG - The News-Press

The Intersection of Three Crises: Germany, Greece, Iran ...

The Intersection of Three Crises

By Reva Bhalla

Within the past two weeks, a cease-fire roadmap was agreed upon in Minsk, a temporary deal to keep Greece in the eurozone was reached in Brussels, and U.S. and Iranian negotiators advanced a potential nuclear deal in Geneva. Squadrons of diplomats have forestalled one geopolitical crisis after another. Yet it would be premature, even reckless, to assume that the fault lines defining these issues are effectively stable. Understanding how these crises are linked inextricably is the first step toward assessing when and where the next flare-up is likely to occur.

Germany and the Eurozone Crisis

Germany has once again become the victim of its own power. As Europe's largest creditor, Germany has considerable political leverage over debtor nations like Greece, whose entire livelihood now depends on whether Chancellor Angela Merkel is willing to sign another bailout check. Lest we forget, Germany is exporting more than half of its GDP, and most of those exports are consumed within Europe. Thus, the institutions that Germany relies on to protect its export markets are the very institutions that Berlin must battle to protect German national wealth.

Read more »