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August 21, 2008

1. As Reports trickle about Russian withdrawal, Georgian president doubts Russian claims while Russia says intends to set up buffer 5 miles into Georgia proper beyond Ossetia, Abkhazia borders.

2. With PKK bombing of BTC pipeline days before Russian invasion and Russian vow that the BTC pipeline is ‘dead,’ there is more than one way to ‘kill’ a pipeline. Reports emerge that Kazakhstan may now send oil through Russia and Azerbaijan through Russian ally Iran instead. But Turkey says BTC pipeline nearly repaired in Turkey.

3. While NATO gives appearances of solidifying against Russia, Iran and Syria announce closer military ties to Russia.

4. Israeli PM says that if Hizballah appears taking control of Lebanon, all military means are acceptable to prevent it. Meanwhile, Australia seeks to block Hizballah’s Al-Manar TV satellite feed out of Indonesia.

RUSSIA-GEORGIA CONFLICT
Russia scales down Georgia toll; But What About ‘Genocide’? - BBC
Russia Moves Missiles From Georgia, Steps Up Pullout - Bloomberg
Georgia leader doubts Russia pledge - Press Association
Russia plans to stay in Georgia - Chicago Tribune
Blame all but Russia; American Infighting - SF Chronicle
US Dispatches Destroyers To Black Sea - Defence Talk
US, Turkey agree on passage of Georgian relief ships through straits - Hurriyet

THE CONFLICT FROM ENERGY PERSPECTIVE
Kazakhstan considers to divert oil export route from BTC to Russia - Hurriyet
Report: Azeri oil exports via Iran likely - Press TV (Iran Regime)
Pipeline politics caused the war in Georgia - Telegraph

THE CONFLICT IN RUSSIAN ALLIES CONTEXT
Russia and Iran:€“ Energy Rules - Family Security Matters
Russia welcomes Iran`s cooperation for regional stability - Mathaba
Syria: Time ripe for closer Russia military ties - Press TV (Iran Regime)
Analysis: Assad’s shopping list - Jerusalem Post
Russian Aircraft Carrier heads for Syria - MINA
Syria to expand military ties with Russia - Khaleej Times

AZERBAIJAN
Getween Russia & Iran, Azerbaijan Ally Deserves Our Attention - Washington Times
In Iraq: Afternoon with the Azerbaijani at Haditha Dam - ThreatsWatch

AFGHANISTAN
Friendly Fire May Have Killed French - Military.com

AUSTRALIA
Australia seeks block on Hizballah’s al-Manar TV from Indonesia - Reuters

CANADA
Alleged Al-Qaeda arms supplier denied bail - AFP

ISRAEL
Hamas’ Military Buildup During the Lull: Prepping for the Day After - ITIC
Israel warns of Hizballah kidnap threat overseas - Haaretz

LEBANON
Israeli PM: All military means acceptable to prevent Hizballah controlling Lebanon - Haaretz

PAKISTAN
UPDATED: Suicide Attack at Pakistan Arms Plant Kills 60 People - NY Times
Suicide attack kills at least 20 at Pakistan arms factory - CNN
Missiles Strike Inside Pakistan - AP

PHILIPPINES
Philippines Cancels Deal With MILF terrorists - NY Times

August 20, 2008

1. Poland and US sign missile shield system agreement on heels of Russian invasion of former Soviet republic, Georgia. Russian reaction was to say that the deal makes Poland a target, which was designed to play into calls by some in US to delay progress on any defensive shield in Eastern Europe.

2. Europe appears shifting to a stronger stance against Russia, with NATO leaders meeting and British Foreign Minister saying that the UK will not forgive latest Russian actions.

3. With Lebanon set to open official ties with Syria in days, Israel warned the Lebanese government to ‘keep its distance’ from Hizballah terrorist organization.

4. US officials say that data indicates Iran’s publicly touted satellite-launching missile tests were a failure, not success. Iran called US info expected propaganda.

US-POLAND MISSILE DEFENSE DEAL
Poland, US Sign Missile Shield Agreement In Shadow of Russian Aggression - VOA
Russia Furious Over Missile Defense Deal with Poland - Telegraph
Russia’s Threat: Russian says shield makes Poland target - Washington Times
Russia’s Audience: Some Democrats urge delay in building a U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe - IHT

RUSSIA-GEORGIA CONFLICT
Diplomats Taking a New, Stronger Tack on Georgia - New York Sun
FM: UK will not forgive Russia over Georgia - Telegraph
Russian troops slow to leave Georgia - CS Monitor
Russian Invasion Strengthens Support for Saakashvili - EurasiaNet
Abkhazia Seeks Recognition, Russian Troops in Georgia - Bloomberg

AFGHANISTAN
‘Shocked’ Nicolas Sarkozy vows to keep French forces in Afghanistan - Times Online
Sarkozy visits Kabul after French soldiers killed - AP

IRAN
Iran satellite launch a failure, U.S. officials say - Reuters
Report: Iran to build more nuclear power plants - AP

IRAQ
Raid on governor’s office in Iraq’s Diyala province sparks outrage - Los Angeles Times
Son of leading Iraq Sunni politician arrested - Reuters

ISRAEL
Israel shuts Gaza crossings after rocket attack - AFP

LEBANON
Israel warns Lebanon to keep distance from Hizballah - AFP
Lebanon PM holds talks in Baghdad - AFP

PAKISTAN
Goodbye Musharraf, hello Taliban - Asia Times

August 19, 2008

1. Pakistan’s embattled coalition government now begins struggle to settle on new president following Musharraf’s resignation. COAS General Kiyani may or may not watch an extended deterioration for long if in-fighting extends. US forced to re-evaluate options and strategies.

2. French paratroopers in Afghanistan are ambushed near Kabul, ten are killed. The aim of the attack is likely deterring French public, but President Sarkozy says he remains undeterred and committed.

3. Russian troops have yet to pull out of Georgia, but have so far set up checkpoints and detained Georgian soldiers. Russia and Georgia have reportedly exchanged prisoners taken during previous fighting.

GEORGIA-RUSSIA CONFLICT
Small Russian convoy leaves key Georgian city of Gori - AP
Russian Forces Set Up Checkpoints, Detain Georgian Soldiers - NY Times
Georgia, Russia exchange war prisoners - Washington Times
War reveals Russian military might, weakness - Army Times

AFGHANISTAN
Ambush of French paratroopers near Kabul kills 10 - Washington Times

IRAQ
Violence Down, Stability Up Across Iraq, U.S. General Says - DefenseLink

MEXICO
State of Siege: Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency - Small Wars Journal

PAKISTAN
Terror War Re-Evaluated as Musharraf Steps Down - New York Sun
Musharraf to perform Umra in Saudi Arabia, visit US - Daily Times
(Embattled) Coalition Government Charts Pakistan’s Future - CNN
Will General Kiyani Wait Long to Step In? - FrontPage Magazine
Bomb blast at Pakistan hospital targets Shi’a, kills 23 - AP

SYRIA
Report: Syria test fires series of long-range missiles - Haaretz

August 18, 2008

1. Musharraf has resigned as president of Pakistan rather than face impeachment.

2. Doubts persist over Russian claims of a Monday withdrawal from Georgia. Russian caveat: Will not withdraw from ‘breakaway’ provinces.

3. A Taliban letter to Canadians warned of more attacks on its forces unless the public persuades Ottawa to withdraw forces from Afghanistan.

4. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) attacked villages in the southern Philippines, “killing a local official and burning houses in a sharp escalation of fighting.” But a MILF spokesman said attacks were by a renegade leader, not with knowledge of groups top echelons. Philippine forces have now reportedly retaken villages, 26 reported killed in operations.

AFGHANISTAN
Taliban letter to Canadians warns of more attacks - CTV

AL QAEDA
Al-Qaeda faces difficulties in Pakistan: Gates - AFP
In English, Zawahiri addresses Pakistanis, slams Musharraf as ‘enemy of Islam’ - AFP

GEORGIA-RUSSIA CONFLICT
Russian SS-21’s Moved to Ossetia? - ThreatsWatch
Russia aims missiles at Georgian capital of Tblisi - Herald Sun
Kremlin says troops will begin Georgia withdrawal - International Herald Tribune
Russians dig in despite pact - Washington Times
Signs of ethnic attacks in Georgia conflict - International Herald Tribune
Gates, Rice say Russia will face consequences - WaPo’s ‘The Talk’
Georgia Conflict Demands a New Warsaw Pact - New York Sun

IRAN
Tehran touts rocket launch with dummy satellite - Washington Times
Blindfolded Witnesses: Political Prisoners on Their Abuse in Iran - Iranian.com

IRAQ
U.S. Says Iraqi Hit Squads Training in Iran - ABC
Marines inch closer to a formal transfer of security control to Iraqis in Anbar - Los Angeles Times
Baghdad mosque bombing kills 15 - Los Angeles Times

ISRAEL
Hamas spokesman slams Israeli cabinet decision to free 200 Fatah prisoners - Haaretz
Israeli Intelligence upset over prisoner release - Jerusalem Post

PAKISTAN
Musharraf Announces Resignation - New York Sun
Musharraf announces resignation - UPI
Musharraf Charges Expected Tuesday, Nat. Assembly meets today - Daily Times
Pakistani Coalition Finalizes Musharraf Impeachment Charges - VOA
Coalition giving time to president, Army opposes impeachment exit - DAWN
Musharraf to address nation today - BBC
Pakistan weak as militancy, insurgency surges - CS Monitor
Fresh fighting leaves 47 dead in Kurram - Daily Times
If Musharraf Goes: Assessments and Opportunities - Aaron Mannes
Farewell Musharraf, Farewell Pakistan? - FrontPage Magazine

PHILIPPINES
Moro Islamic Liberation Front attacks southern Philippine villages - Washington Times
26 dead as Philippine troops flush out rebels, retake villages - Washington Times

August 8, 2008

1. Nawaz Sharif (PML-N) and Asif Ali Zardari (PPP) announced that their coalition government will begin impeachement proceedings against president Pervez Musharraf “immediately” and plan to reinstate the supreme court justices removed by Musharraf immediately after he is removed. Pakistan’s status as a cooperative ally against al-Qaeda and the Taliban hangs in the balance.

2. According to a Georgian news blog, the Georgian president addressed via television and declared a moratorium that included amnesty for fighting Ossetians. Leader of de-facto alternative Ossetian government issued televised statement calling in response for an Ossetian ceasefire. No reports of ceased fighting. BBC reports Russian tanks rolling in support of the Ossetians opposing Georgia.

3. Muqtada al-Sadr is widely reported as ‘ending the Shi’a insurgency’ in Iraq as he calls for the Mahdi Army to lay down its arms. Caution advised in reading, as the Mahdi Army is already defeated and Iran likely building another Hizballah, but this time in the opposite developmental sequence of the Hizballah model in Lebanon.

AFGHANISTAN
SecDef Gates Pushing Plan to Double Afghan Army - New York Times

GAZA STRIP
Gaza’s Lifelines: Tunnels to Egypt Keep Hamas in Business - der Spiegel

GEORGIA
Russian tanks enter South Ossetia - BBC
Georgian Army Moves To Retake South Ossetia - New York Sun
Regular Updates on Gerorgia News Blog - Georgian Messenger
Separatists Planning to Bomb Positions of Russian Forces to Involve Them in Conflict - Georgian Times

IRAN
Israel: ‘We’ll neutralize (Russian) S-300 if sold to Iran’ - Jerusalem Post

IRAQ
Baghdad: U.S. troops will exit by 2010 - Washington Times
Muqtada al-Sadr Vows to Stop Shi’a Insurgency - ABC
BBC frames as ‘Mehdi Army to give peace a chance?’ - BBC

LEBANON
Israel: Lebanon is responsible for Hezbollah’s actions - Haaretz
Analysis: Subtly and determinedly, Syria is taking over Lebanon - Jerusalem Post

PAKISTAN
Musharraf Impeachment Proceedings to Begin Immediately - Daily Times (Pak)
Musharraf Given Option to Resign Before Impeachment - Los Angeles Times

TURKEY
Kurdish PKK Rebels Claim Responsibility for Oil Pipeline Fire - New York Sun

VENEZUELA
Venezuela Opposition Presses Chavez Over Election Rule - New York Sun

August 7, 2008

1. With Iran once again dragging out the latest round of diplomatic efforts seeking extended play, the US and EU push for more and stronger sanctions. Russia, meanwhile, made an appeal to give Iran more time.

2. Within the Iran threat context, Russia threatened to move Iskander/SS-26 surface-to-surface missile batteries to the Polish border if it goes ahead with the installation of a US missile shield for Europe, intended to defend European states from Iranian missile threat. The Iskander is a late-90’s SCUD system replacement with relatively short, tactical range for theater defense and can have cluster, air-fuel-burst, bunker buster warheads as well as an EMP warhead for anti-radar capabilities.

3. The Pakistani government is currently considering an impeachment vote against president Pervez Musharraf, with a no confidence vote expected in relatively short order. Such would be a move that would, as the new government openly intended upon elections, drive Pakistan further from the United States. This materializing reality - the end of Musharraf’s presidency - is the cause for increased US operations and strikes against al-Qaeda targets within Pakistan, not a personal press by America’s outgoing President Bush to secure his legacy.

AL-QAEDA
US-trained Pakistani woman biologist accused of aiding Al-Qaeda appears in court - CS Monitor
Bin Laden driver Hamdan convicted at Guantanamo of aiding terror - Los Angeles Times

CHINA
President Bush Cites `Deep Concerns’ Over Human Rights in China - Bloomberg
Bush Begins Beijing Visit as China Rebukes His Rights Speech - Washington Post
Jihad in China’s Far West - TIME

GEORGIA
Georgia and South Ossetian separatists report heavy fighting - Reuters

IRAN
US urges ‘punitive’ steps on Iran - BBC
US: Iran stalling on nukes, new penalties likely - AP
Russia Asks That Iran Be Given More Time - Washington Post
The End of Nuclear Diplomacy - Weekly Standard

LEBANON
Iranian regime rejects arming Hizballah - Tehran Times
Israel Determined on Ending Arms Smuggling to Hizballah - An-Nahar
Israel warns Hizballah: We won’t tolerate arms smuggling - Haaretz
Petraeus Visit Highlights Growing Strategic Prominence of Lebanon - New York Sun

PAKISTAN
Debate on Impeachment Called ‘Make or Break’ for Ruling Coalition - Daily Times
Pakistan’s Musharraf May Be Impeached, Faces No Confidence Vote - ABC
Pakistan government debates Pervez Musharraf impeachment - Telegraph
Background: PrincipalAnalysis: The Clock Ticks For The President - ThreatsWatch
A Dangerous Neighbor: How Pakistan’s Deterioration Harms Afghanistan - Weekly Standard

POLAND
Russia to move rockets to EU border if Poland hosts US missile shield - Telegraph
The Russian Iskander/SS-26 Surface-to-Surface Missile System (SCUD Replacement) - FAS

UNITED STATES
Border patrol agent held at gunpoint by Mexican Army in US - Washington Times
Threat of scud attacks on US cities a reality - Washington Times

August 4, 2008

1. As Iran ignores the deadline for agreeing to talks, failing to provide a formal response, it muddies the water again as Ahmadinejad addresses country on Iranian television saying that Iran is open to nuclear talks. He had said one day before that Iran would not budge “one iota” on its right to nuclear technology.

2. With Iraqi security improved dramatically and ‘The Surge’ successful, the question now arises of what to do with the 103,000 locally recruited Sons of Iraq anti-al-Qaeda (largely) neighborhood security forces.

3. An Islamist group reportedly mounted an attack in China’s Xinjiang that killed six. The group vowed to carry out attacks during the Olympic Games, beginning this Friday in Beijing.

4. South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reports that the US is not likely to actually take North Korea off the State Sponsors of Terrorism list August 11 due to unresolved Party of 6 talks.

CHINA
Chinese border attack in Xinjiang ‘kills 16’ - BBC

IRAN
Iran ignores deadline to agree to talks on nuclear program - Los Angeles Times
Yet: Ahmadinejad says Iran ‘is open to nuclear talks’ - BBC
US pushes for increased UN sanctions on Iran - Radio Australia
Oil prices jump on renewed Iran jitters - AFP
Still Relevant: PrincipalAnalysis: Iran’s Oil Weapon: Fielded and Wielded - ThreatsWatch (2006)

IRAQ
Sons of Iraq Succeed: What Now for 103k Armed Men? - Mudville Gazette
Miss This? Iraq’s Interior Minister Thanks U.S. Troops for Liberating Iraq - CNS News
Here’s Why: Search: Jawad Karim al-Bolani (Iraqi Interior Minister) - Google News
The Last Battle: The Fight Among Iraq’s Shiites - NY Times

ISRAEL
Israel urges int’l pressure to stop Hizballah arms smuggling - Haaretz
Hamas Detains Fatah Men Returned From Israel to Gaza - VOA
Analysis: Why Abbas doesn’t want Fatah ‘refugees’ in West Bank - Jerusalem Post

LEBANON
Exclusive: Hizballah ‘stronger than before’ and ready to strike Israel - Telegraph

NORTH KOREA
U.S. Likely to Keep N.Korea on Terror List - Chosun Ilbo
North Korea, Trade to Top President Bush’s Asia Trip - VOA

PAKISTAN
US warns Pakistan of serious action - Hindustan Times
Backgrounder: Rapid Context for Reading US-Pakistan Tension - ThreatsWatch
Afghan Official Urges Pakistan to Radically Reform Its Intelligence Body - iStockAnalyst
Winds blow Pakistan; U.S. shivers - Chicago Tribune

RUSSIA
Free Market or Flee the Market? Kremlin Crack Down Tumbles Market - ABC

YESTERDAY
May Like To See: DailyBriefing: Sunday August 3, 2008 Archive

August 3, 2008

1. Iraqi responsibility for security continues to expand as southern Diyala province is handed over to the ISF by Coalition forces, even as operations elsewhere in the province continue in an effort to put the final stake in the heart of al-Qaeda in Iraq. After being run out of Ramadi in Anbar, AQI chose to use Diyala province as its alternate headquarters. No more.

2. Islamist insurgents attacked Somali and Ethiopian military bases and government offices in the same night that a bomb placed under trash killed 20 Somali civilians. As violence escalates there after a period of relative calm, in neighboring Kenya an operation was launched to capture al-Qaeda’s African commander, also wanted for the twin bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. He escaped custody as the search continues.

3. With another Syrian ally in the presidency following Hizballah’s siege on the Western-backed government in Beirut, the Lebanese government has codified Hizballah’s right to fight Israel, writing that “”Lebanon, its army, its people and its resistance [Ed.: Hizballah] have the right to take action to liberate lands that have remained occupied at the Shaba Farms, the hills of Shuba village and the northern portion of the village of Ghajar, with all legitimate means possible, and to resist Israeli aggression.”

AL-QAEDA
Al-Qaeda Confirms: Bomb and Chemical Expert al-Masri Killed - ABC
Al Qaeda’s East Africa operations chief escapes raid in Kenya - The Long War Journal

AFGHANISTAN
The Haqqani Network: Reign of Terror - The Long War Journal

IRAN
Ahmadinejad: Iran Aims to Reinforce Nuclear Rights - ABC
Last Week: Secret Iranian Nuclear Facility In Ahwaz? - ThreatsWatch

IRAQ
Security Responsibility in Southern Diyala Province Transfered to Iraqi Security Forces - Victory Caucus
Marine Gen. on Anbar: “We have all but won this thing when they once said that was impossible.” - North County Times
Related: Iraqi forces to take control of security in Anbar Province - International Herald Tribune
*Setting Record Straight:* Battle of Sufia: The 2006 Tipping Point for Anbar Awakening - Mudville Gazette

LEBANON
Hizballah may fight Israel to recover land - Haaretz

PAKISTAN
Pakistanis aided attack in Kabul, U.S. officials say - International Herald Tribune
Pakistan says plan to place ISI under Interior Ministry intact - Daily Times
U.S. said to pressure Pakistan to rein in spy agency (ISI) - International Herald Tribune
Bomb kills eight policemen in Swat - Daily Times

RUSSIA
Georgia accused of lethal attack, Georgians say separatists attacked - BBC
6 die as Georgia battles rebel group - International Herald Tribune

SOMALIA
Insurgents attack military bases, Bomb kills 20 Somali civilians - ABC

SYRIA
Top Syrian Army Officer and Liaison with Hizballah Killed, Report - An-Nahar

SPACE WARFARE
Russia, China Seek To Supplant Leading-US Under Guise of ‘Avoiding Space Arms Race’ - The Tank

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