MESOP NEWS TODAYS CENTRAL ANALYSIS : The National Security Economics of the Middle East: Comparative Spending, Burden Sharing & Modernization

By Anthony H. Cordesman and Abdullah Toukan – Center for Strategic and international studies – March 23, 2017

The economics of national security in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have changed dramatically since 2001. Counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and internal security have emerged as having the same priority as military forces, and the rise of non-state actors, the use of proxies, and the increased use of asymmetric warfare has changed the nature of warfighting as well. Nuclear and missile threats are not new to the region, but they are a rising threat, and one that affects the cost and shape of many of the region’s military forces.

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MESOP NEWS DEEP ANALYSIS BY CIPHER BRIEF : Today’s Insight ON TURKEY

What Is the “Deep State?” | Fritz Lodge, The Cipher Brief
The term “Deep State” has achieved new popularity in recent weeks, but not in reference to opaque military elites in faraway countries. Today, the term is aimed at the U.S. government itself. In particular, the deep state has become a catchall term, which credits a shadow network of spies and bureaucrats with conspiring to undermine the new administration. https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/what-is-deep-state-1091?utm_source=Join+the+Community+Subscribers&utm_campaign=a1015f3c4e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_03_22&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_02cbee778d-a1015f3c4e-122492169

Expert Commentary

The Deep State Mirage in Turkey | Steven Cook, Senior Fellow, Middle East and Africa Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
The concept of the deep state can be traced back to Turkey, where an alleged network of military officers, intelligence operatives, policemen, organized crime figures, academics, journalists, and politicians work behind the scenes as a sort of shadow government.

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/middle-east/deep-state-mirage-turkey-1093?utm_source=Join+the+Community+Subscribers&utm_campaign=a1015f3c4e-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_03_22&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_02cbee778d-a1015f3c4e-

MESOP NEWS BACKGROUNDER : March 2017 By Genevieve Casagrande & Kathleen Weinberger (ISW)

Putin’s Real Syria / FULL TEXT

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) produced this report with the Critical Threats Project (CTP). The insights are part of an in­tensive multi-month exercise to frame, design, and evaluate potential courses of action that the United States could pursue to destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) and al Qaeda in Syria. The ISW-CTP team recently released “America’s Way Ahead in Syria,” which details the flaws in the current U.S. approach in Iraq and Syria and proposes the first phase of a strategic reset in the Middle East

Key Takeaway: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s primary objective in Syria is to constrain U.S. freedom of action – not fight ISIS and al Qaeda. Russia’s military deployments at current levels will not enable the Iranian-penetrated Assad regime to secure Syria. Moscow’s deepening footprint in Syria threatens America’s ability to defend its interests across the Middle East and in the Mediterranean Sea. The next U.S. step in Syria must help regain leverage over Russia rather than further encourage Putin’s expansionism.

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MESOP DOCUMENTS FULL TEXT : BRANDNEW HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT ON TURKEY 2017

Turkey: Crackdown on Kurdish Opposition – MPs Jailed, Elected Mayors Removed Ahead of Referendum

(Istanbul) – The Turkish government has jailed 13 members of the pro-Kurdish democratic opposition in parliament on terrorism charges and taken direct control of 82 municipalities in the Kurdish southeast region, suspending and incarcerating elected mayors, Human Rights Watch said today. The crackdown on democratically elected officials not only violates their rights to political association and participation, and freedom of expression, but also interferes with the rights of constituents who voted for them and whom they serve in office.

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MESOP BRUSSELS DOCUMENTS ON TURKEY (II) : EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR DEMOCRACY THROUGH LAW (VENICE COMMISSION) TURKEY OPINION ON THE MEASURES PROVIDED IN THE RECENT EMERGENCY DECREE LAWS WITH RESPECT TO FREEDOM OF THE MEDIA

This document will not be distributed at the meeting. Please bring this copy. Strasbourg, 13 March 2017
Opinion No. 872 / 2016  CDL-AD(2017)007 – Or.Engl.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR DEMOCRACY THROUGH LAW (VENICE COMMISSION)

Adopted by the Commission at its 110th Plenary Session (Venice, 10-11 March 2017) – on the basis of comments by:
Mr Christoph GRABENWARTER (Member, Austria, Vice-President of the Venice Commission) / Ms Regina KIENER (Member, Switzerland) / Mr Martin KUIJER (Substitute Member, the Netherlands) / Ms Herdis KJERULF THORGEIRSDOTTIR (Member, Iceland, Vice-President of the Venice Commission) – – 2 – CDL-AD(2017)007
Table of Contents
I. INTRODUCTION 3
II. BACKGROUND INFORMATION 3
III. KEY OBSERVATIONS ON THE CURRENT EMERGENCY REGIME IN TURKEY 5

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MESOP BRUSSELS DOCUMENTS ON TURKEY : EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR DEMOCRACY THROUGH LAW (VENICE COMMISSION) TURKEY – OPINION ON THE DUTIES, COMPETENCES AND FUNCTIONING OF THE CRIMINAL PEACE JUDGESHIPS

This document will not be distributed at the meeting. Please bring this copy. –  Strasbourg, 13 March 2017 – Opinion No. 852 / 2016 – CDL-AD(2017)004 – Or. Engl.

Adopted by the Venice Commission at its 110th Plenary Session (Venice, 10-11 March 2017) – On the basis of comments by:
Mr Richard Barrett (Member Ireland)
Mr Nicolae Esanu (Member, Republic of Moldova)
Mr Johan Hirschfeldt (Substitute Member, Sweden)
Mr Guido Neppi Modona (Substitute Member, Italy)
CDL-AD(2017)004 – 2 –
Contents
I. Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3
II. General remarks …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
III. Reform of 2014 ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
A. Origins of the peace judgeships – situation prior to Law no. 6545 of 2014 …………….. 4
B. Law no. 6545 of 2014 …………………………………………………………………………………… 5
1. Jurisdiction ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
2. System of appeals – opposition – and organisation of work ………………………….. 6
A. Case-law of the Constitutional Court of Turkey …………………………………………………. 7
B. Pending case at the European Court of Human Rights ………………………………………. 7
IV. Analysis ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8
A. Standards of independence for the judicial system ……………………………………………. 8
B. Reform of the judicial system …………………………………………………………………………. 9
C. Establishment of peace judgeships – specialisation ………………………………………… 10
D. Appeal procedures – oppositions ………………………………………………………………….. 13
1. Detention …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13
2. Blocking of Internet sites ……………………………………………………………………….. 16
3. Other measures ……………………………………………………………………………………. 17
4. Conclusion on the appeal procedures ……………………………………………………… 17
E. Motivation and reasons in judgments of judgeships of peace decisions………………. 18
F. Specific problems of the functioning of judgeships of peace during the state of emergency ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19
V. Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 20

 

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A New Strategy Against ISIS & al Qaeda

MESOP NEWS TODAYS OPINION BY THE KAGAN’S (AEI)

The U.S. has been relying too heavily on Shiites and Kurds. It needs to cultivate Sunni Arab partners. –  By Frederick Kagan and  Kimberly Kagan – March 14, 2017

The Trump administration is set to supersize President Obama’s strategy to defeat Islamic State, sending more American forces to the region and lifting restraints on direct participation in combat and when to use armed force. Yet any victory under the current approach will be ephemeral. Even if American proxies, backed by U.S. military forces, wrest Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, away from ISIS, success will be fleeting.

The most important error is the near-exclusive focus on Islamic State at the expense of serious efforts against al Qaeda. Destroying ISIS is necessary but not sufficient. As the Obama administration turned its attention toward ISIS, al Qaeda learned from its failures. It has temporarily deprioritized spectacular attacks on the global stage and focused on embedding itself within Sunni communities in Syria, Yemen, North Africa and elsewhere to develop long-term strength and resilience.

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MESOP NEWS TODAYS OPINION & ANALYSIS BY DENISE NATALI / Middle East Policy Council

 Journal Essay – Syria’s Spillover on Iraq: State Resilience / Denise Natali – Spring 2017, Volume XXIV, Number 1

Dr. Natali is a distinguished research fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), where she specializes in the Middle East, Iraq, the transborder Kurdish issue and post-conflict stabilization. She provides Middle East security analyses and strategic support to senior leaders at the Department of Defense, unified combatant commands, the Department of State, intelligence communities, and the broader national-security community. She is the author of The Kurds and the State: Evolving National Identity in Iraq, Turkey and Iran, recipient of the Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title and The Kurdish Quasi-State. The views expressed are her own and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense or the U.S. government.

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Lebanon’s Hizbollah Turns Eastward to Syria

MESOP DOCU  NEWS “REPORT 153” OF CRISIS GROUP (BRUSSELS) ABOUT FORWARD MARCHING HEZBOLLAH : – FULL DETEAILED REPORT !

14 March 2017 –Brussels – Hizbollah’s intervention in Syria strengthens the Assad regime but transforms the Shiite movement as it redefines the enemy and itself within the confines of an increasingly sectarian struggle.

Executive Summary –  When Hizbollah – the Lebanese “Party of God” – threw its fighters into Syria in 2013, it sought primarily to save itself. Had the Assad regime collapsed or been defeated by U.S.-backed regional powers, it could have faced a hostile Sunni successor in Damascus and lost its essential arms channel from Iran. Today, its core objective of preserving the regime has been met, but there is no end in sight to the war. If Iran and Hizbollah continue to provide unconditional military support to the regime without a realistic exit strategy, they will be dragged deeper into what can only become a quagmire, even as their armed strength grows in the wider region. At the same time, they will have to contend with a potentially more hostile U.S. administration that has said it wants to push back Iranian influence even as it also pursues a more aggressive approach against the Islamic State (IS), an enemy it has in common with Hizbollah and Iran.

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MESOP NEWS DOCUMENTS FROM BRUSSEL : VENICE COMMISSION / COUNCIL OF EUROPE ON TURKEY

Strasbourg, 13 March 2017 – Opinion No. 875/2017 – CDL-AD(2017)005 – Or. Engl.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR DEMOCRACY THROUGH LAW
(VENICE COMMISSION)

TURKEY OPINION ON THE AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION ADOPTED BY THE GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY – ON 21 JANUARY 2017 – AND TO BE SUBMITTED TO A NATIONAL REFERENDUM ON 16 APRIL 2017
Adopted by the Venice Commission at its 110th Plenary Session – (Venice, 9-11 March 2017)
On the basis of comments by
Mr Richard BARRETT (Member, Ireland)
Ms Veronika BÍLKOVÁ (Member, Czech Republic)
Ms Sarah CLEVELAND (Member, United States of America)
Mr Jean-Claude SCHOLSEM (Substitute member, Belgium)
Ms Hanna SUCHOCKA (Honorary President)
Mr Kaarlo TUORI (Member, Finland)
CDL-AD(2017)005 – 2 –
TABLE OF CONTENTS

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