Warning
  • JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 11029

Visa Announcement Concerning Worldwide Healthcare Professionals from the U.S.

The U.S. recently became the number one country, surpassing China and Italy, in regard to the total number of infected cases. Therefore, the statement has been published and invited health professionals to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate for obtaining visas, “as long as they possess the necessary and valid documentation.”

The statement in question has been published on the website of the U.S. Department of State, under the visas section. It was noted in the statement that “Medical professionals with approved I-129, I-140 (or similar) petitions or with valid certifications to participate exchange programs (such as DS-2019), particularly those working to treat or mitigate the effects of coronavirus“ are encouraged to visit the website of the closest embassy or consulate to request a visa appointment.

The Association of American Medical Colleges  estimated that in a decade from now the United States would likely face a shortage of about 105,000 doctors. About a fourth of all US health care workers, and a third of doctors, are foreign born.

Details: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/important-announcement-on-h2-visas.html

Secretary Pompeo: Our team won't stop until we get all #AmericansHome who wish to return.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also made an announcement about bringing U.S. citizens home: “Our team is out there taking care of Americans, keeping our own team safe, and we’ve now brought over 10,000 #AmericansHome from places where they were stranded through no fault of their own.”

U.S. Officials: We fully support Turkey

Successive messages of support came from the U.S. to Turkey after the treacherous attacks on Idlib by the Assad regime. Kelly Craft, the Permanent Representative of the US to the UN, said, “We support Turkey’s right to retaliate against the illegitimate attacks that resulted in soldiers’ deaths.”

At the emergency meeting organized by the UNSecurity Council, Craft spoke about growing tension in Idlib.

Evaluating the attack against Turkish soldiers in Idlib yesterday, which resulted in 33 martyrs, Kelly Craft stated, “The US strongly condemns the attack on Turkish troops yesterday. These attacks are completely illegitimate, meaningless, and barbaric.”

Craft, who also sent condolences to the families and relatives of the soldiers who were killed in the attack, said, “The US will not hesitate to continue its commitment to its NATO ally Turkey. We support Turkey’s right to retaliate against these illegitimate attacks on the observation posts that resulted in soldiers’ deaths.”

“HOW MANY MORE BABIES MUST FREEZE TO DEATH?”

Kelly Craft called for an urgent, permanent, and verifiable ceasefire in Northwest Syria, stating, “We call on Russia to urgently ground their warplanes. We also invite Syrian forces and their supporter Russia to retreat to the ceasefire borders set in 2018.”

Pointing to the humanitarian situation in Syria, Craft said, “I’m going to ask you again, are we going to sit back and watch? Are we going to remain silent? Or will we deliver? How many more babies have to freeze to death before we raise our voices and say, “Enough!”

“THE ASSAD REGIME, RUSSIA, AND IRAN MUST END THEIR ATTACKS”

Secretary Pompeo issued a written statement about the attack on Turkish soldiers by the Russian-backed Assad regime in Idlib.

Stressing that he is on Turkey’s side, Pompeo described the attacks as “despicable and shameless” and said, “We send our condolences to the Turkish state for the soldiers who lost their lives. The US condemns this attack as strongly as possible.”

"THE ATTACKS MUST END"

Pompeo also called on the Assad regime and its supporters to stop their attacks on Idlib, stating, “these actions by the Assad regime, Russia, the Iranian regime, and Hezbollah directly prevent a ceasefire in Northern Syria. The attacks must end, humanitarian access must be granted, and a political solution must be developed in accordance with UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2254.”

Pompeo also noted that the US is in touch with Turkey for preventing and alleviating the human suffering caused by “the regime and the Russian brutality,” and that they are evaluating possible ways to support Turkey.

Pompeo said that they would do their best to proclaim a truce across Syria, including in Idlib, as well as do their best to prevent the reintegration of the Assad regime into the international community until the regime fully complies with the UNSCR decision.

A SOLIDARITY STATEMENT FROM THE US TO TURKEY REGARDING THE IDLIB ISSUE

The US Department of State has announced that it has evaluated the fastest way to help Turkey regarding the current situation in Idlib.

The spokesperson of the State Department stated that intelligence sharing is currently active between the US and Turkey. It was also stated that they are discussing the fastest way to help Turkey in Idlib.

On the other hand, the spokesperson also noted that the attacks carried out in Idlib was a product of the close relationship between the regime and Russia. It was also noted that the regime couldn’t carry out any airstrikes without the support and approval of Russia.

State Dept. Official Robert Strayer: “Cyberspace is borderless ... therefore, we must have cooperation and coordination.”

There are big discussions and platforms on 5G, which will have increased amounts of throughput of data up to 100 times what many countries currently have in 4G technology.

When we look at some information, we see horrifying impacts on the cyber world. The hacker attacks every 39 seconds, according to The A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. Hackers stole a half-billion personal records last year. There is an expectation of spending $6 trillion globally on cybersecurity by 2021.

The Trump Administration forecasts the U.S. wireless industry plans to invest $275 billion in 5G networks, creating 3 million American jobs and adding $500 billion to the U.S. economy.

Since cybersecurity and policy are a very hot topic, there was a timely briefing featuring Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications Policy, Robert Strayer, at the State Department on January 9, 2020. He shared the highlights of 2019 and looked ahead to cybersecurity in 2020.

He stated that there had been tremendous growth from the Internet and connected digital technologies, and has seen an increase in the number of people having access to previously inaccessible information.

He also indicated that the Internet and being connected add trillions of dollars to the global economy every year.

He talked about how cyberspace has significant challenges, especially since the plan is to connect the next three billion people around the world. Also, he emphasized doing more substantial work in enabling cooperation and collaboration among nations in addressing these cyberspace challenges.

Becoming Top Priority: Cybersecurity and Cyber Policy

The State Department is taking cybersecurity and cyber policy seriously. There has been a lot of educational briefings and interaction with many different global actors in the past few years.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Strayer highlighted that “a country should not disrupt another nation’s critical infrastructure that is providing services to the public.”

He also briefly summarized the cyber progress accomplishments in the last year.

-Established a framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace, which comprises developing the rules of the road for how countries should interact with one another in cyberspace.

-Had the United Nations endorse a set of 11 voluntary norms of responsible state behavior. With the leadership of the U.S., 26 other countries are responsible for enforcing state behavior in cyberspace. All endorsed the applicability of international law to cyberspace.

-A nation should not attack another nation’s major infrastructure endorsed by the UN.

-Cyber deterrence strategy: The State Department’s goal is to establish a set of consequences that are swift, costly, and transparent.

-Educate and partner with other countries about the importance and the transformational nature of 5G wireless technologies

Trust is the key to 5G.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary emphasized that there should be trust between vendors of this technology and the telecom operators and the governments where that technology would be deployed.

The European Union is an important partner.

The U.S. is working closely with Europe as they work on security measures for 5G. The U.S. welcomed the European Union’s adoption of a risk assessment last October.The European Union has a security toolbox for 5G now that addresses the security risks that they've already assessed to exist.

Worldwide Threat Assessment and 4 Countries

Deputy Assistant Secretary Strayer has identified four countries that they see as strategic competitors or adversaries in cyberspace; these are China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Their attacks violate norms of responsible state behavior; for example, the NotPetya attack and Iran’s activity on media platforms seeking to influence the U.S. population.

Also, the Iranian government has blocked the Internet, making it unavailable to the public, so the U.S. has sanctioned the Iranian Communications Minister to send the Iranian government a message.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Strayer said that there is no legitimate reason for disabling the Internet when doing so is an effort to interfere with people’s ability to communicate.

Big Threat from China

Deputy Assistant Secretary Strayer said that the U.S. had shared its concern about the laws in China and, especially, the sharing of data with governments that are not on the rule of law. He added that there is no appeal to an independent judiciary or a rule of law system that can be checked.There are a lot of concerns about Chinese telecom companies such as Huwaei.

$50 Million of Technical Assistance

Last year, the State Department was able to commit to $50 million of technical assistance in the form of cybersecurity capacity-building and cybersecurity training, as well as regulatory and other training assistance for regulators in countries around the world.

The State Department is also looking to expand to Latin America with at least $10 million pending approval from Congress. The State Department initiated similar support to Indo-Asia last year.

US-NATO Partnership

The U.S. continues to work closely with NATO to secure communications capabilities with the ability to engage in joint operations together and to enact troop mobilization.

According to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, “A serious cyberattack could trigger Article 5, where an attack against one ally is treated as an attack against all.” Stoltenberg wrote this in an article that was published in Prospect’s new cyber resilience supplement last year.

NATO also established a new Cyberspace Operations Centre in Mons, Belgium, in order to increase their military commanders’ cyber-situational awareness.

“With so much on the line, it’s urgent that trustworthy companies build these 21st-century information arteries. Specifically, it’s critical that European countries not give control of their critical infrastructure to Chinese tech giants like Huawei or ZTE” – Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, Politico Europe, December 2, 2019.

The White House also has a national cybersecurity strategy that was published in 2018 (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/National-Cyber-Strategy.pdf).

 

EUROPE HAS TO DO A BETTER JOB ON FIGHTING AGAINST TERRORISM

Terrorism remains an international problem that directly affects citizens everywhere, however Turkey has been unfairly bearing the brunt of responsibility and criticism and requires combined effort from other countries to help combat this issue.

London Bridge stabbing attack suspect Usman Khan was released last year after a terrorism conviction. He killed several people before being shot dead by officers responding to the attack in the center of the British capital.

European states estimate that as many as 6,000 of their citizens have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS. About a third were killed, while another third remains detained in the region or traveled elsewhere.

There are some 1,200 foreign ISIS/Daesh members being held in Turkish prisons, and nearly 300 were captured during Turkey’s current anti-terror operation in northern Syria.

According to Turkish judicial sources, over 70,000 people have been banned entry to Turkey and over 7,000 linked to terrorist groups or fugitives have been deported.

Europe has not taken severe enough measures to prevent their citizens from joining ISIS and has failed to share useful intel information about these foreign fighters. If an ISIS terrorist comes from London to Turkey and holds a British passport, what do you expect Turkey to do to prevent crossing of the Syrian border other than to send the terrorist back? Europe would rather simply be rid of radicalized people than directly deal with the issue. On top of this, many European countries have accused Turkey of allowing terrorists to enter Syria.

For instance, in the aftermath of the Daesh terror attack in Brussels in 2016, Turkey had alerted Belgian authorities of the threat, but they ignored the intel information. Belgium failed to heed the warning about Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the suicide bombers who was deported from Turkey not just once, but twice, in 2015.

European countries have failed to cooperate with Turkey regarding the foreign fighters. Now, many of them are preparing to revoke the citizenships of ISIS members who came from Europe and were later arrested, implying that Turkey should mind its own business.

Turkey began sending ISIS fighters back to Europe last week, however, some European countries are moving very slowly on this issue. Even President Donald Trump said that the European nations have been a “tremendous disappointment” for refusing to take back captured Islamic State fighters currently being held in Syria, and he added that U.S. taxpayers will not pay to look after other countries’ ISIS fighters.

As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated, “In the fight against ISIL [Daesh], Turkey has made crucial contributions for physically destroying the so-called caliphate. Furthermore: No other ally is hosting so many Syrian refugees, 3.6 million in total. And no other NATO ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey.”

ISIS has attacked Turkey 14 times and killed over 300 people. So, the question is which country has suffered the most?

Turkish Armed Forces neutralized over 3,000 Daesh terrorists and enabled 320,000 Syrians to return to their homes with the Operation Euphrates Shield launched in August 2016. Turkey is an active member of the Global Coalition Against Daesh and co-chair of the Counter Daesh Coalition Working Group on Foreign Terrorist Fighters. The most recent meeting was held in Ankara on May 7, 2019.

Some European countries are part of the Global Coalition, but only on paper. Many of them have not fought against ISIS in Syria. Furthermore, many European countries have failed to embrace refugees and now create new problems by refusing to take back terrorists who came from their own soil.

This is not a productive way to counter terrorism and foster a stable global community. Today, international cooperation with Turkey is more crucial than ever. EU countries must take responsibility for their own citizens who should be charged with terrorism in their homelands if we want to get any closer to collective peace.

President Trump Vows Sanctions on Iraq

The hundreds of Iraqis attacking the U.S. embassy in Baghdad were not innocent "protesters," They were mainly members of the Iran-backed militias that, not least at the behest of the IRGC Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by U.S. strike.

U.S.-Iran tensions have manifested themselves on Iraqi land for at least three years, and the United States and Iran are on heightened alert after a weekend of military action and fiery rhetoric. President Trump finished his Florida visit last night. During a flight from Florida to Washington, DC on Air Force One, President Trump talked about the increasing tensions with Iran. "They're allowed to kill our people, they're allowed to torture and maim our people, they're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people, and we're not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn't work that way," President Trump stated.  

President Trump threatened Iraq with the sanctions and a bill for billions of dollars if the U.S. is forced to withdraw its troops from the nation after the Iraqi Parliament. "If they do ask us to leave if we don't do it on an amicable basis. We will charge them sanctions as they've never seen before ever," President Trump said. Last night, there were strikes in the capital of Iraq, in which three rockets landed inside the heavily fortified Green Zone, US Embassy in Baghdad. Pentagon has announced that additional 3,500 troops are in progress to be sent to the region/U.S. have almost 60,000 troops in the Middle East. United States has 9 Military bases with 5200 US Troops. 

Recent Tweets from President Trump on Iran:

"Iran has been nothing but problems for many years. Let this serves as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!"

"They attacked us, & we hit back. If they attack again, which I would strongly advise them not to do, we will hit them harder than they have ever been hit before!"

"The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way...and without hesitation!"

Secretary Pompeo's Media Appearances and Diplomatic Efforts:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has appeared on many major TV outlets since Saturday. "We have developed a strategy to attempt to convince the Iranian regime to behave like a normal nation. We expect to achieve that goal. We will defend America." Secretary Pompeo said on CNN. 

He was asked about the Iraqi Parliament's vote; Secretary Pompeo said on the CBS program "Face the Nation,": "It is the United States that is prepared to help the Iraqi people get what it is they deserve and continue our mission there to take down terrorism from ISIS and others in the region,

Iranian Cultural Site Conflict

President Trump raised the prospect of targeting Iranian heritage/cultural sites Saturday in a tweet; however, many foreign policy experts objected to his tweet regarding targeting Iranian culture. As an example, Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns, said President Trump's threat to destroy Iranian cultural sites would be a war crime under U.N. Security Council resolution 2347.

Regarding President Trump's statement attacking Iranian Cultural sites, Secretary Pompeo said that the United States would "behave lawfully" and "behave inside the system." Also, Presidential Adviser Kellyanne Conway suggested that Iran may be hiding strategic military targets at cultural sites

Secretary Pompeo Speaks Turkish Foreign Minister 

Secretary Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu has discussed the decisive defensive action by President Donald Trump employed in Baghdad to protect American lives. Secretary reiterated the importance of countering the Iranian regime's destabilizing activities.

Secretary Pompeo has called his counterparts of Israel. Germany, Russia, China, Italy, France, UAE, and many other senior leaders globally regarding the U.S. recent operation in Baghdad.

Written Statement from Turkish Foreign Ministry:

 "We strongly reiterate that turning Iraq into a conflict zone will harm peace and stability not only in Iraq but also in the entire region. Turkey has always been against foreign interventions, assassinations, and sectarian conflicts in the region."

European Leaders urge Iran to abide by nuclear pact.

French President, German Chancellor, and U.K. Prime Minister release a joint statement "We specifically call on Iran to refrain from further violent action or proliferation, and urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the JCPA. Also, NATO and US-led coalition Suspend Training Missions in Iraq After Soleimani's Killing

What to expect this week?

President Trump continues tweeting and speaking on Iran and Iraq. Additionally, Iran officials continue to criticize and threaten the U.S. regarding Soleimani's death. It is unknown what would be Iran's next step on U.S. however U.S. is ready to hit back harder if necessary. Gasoline is already up by about six cents a gallon in response to the escalation. We might see a negative economic impact shortly, globally. Iran could disrupt shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, which is the world's biggest oil chokepoint. There are about 21 million barrels of oil a day flowed through Strait of Hormuz per year. 

The U.S. administration continues to pursue a robust program of sanctions against Iran and has issued 9 Executive Orders to implement Congressional legislation since 2011. Trump has an option to have more sanctions on Iran.

Cybersecurity is important since one of the Iranian groups hacked the website of the Federal Depository Library Program.

The relationship between the U.S. and Iraqi government is getting worse, so if the Iraq Government approves the resolution of U.S. troops leaving would be a disaster. This would be more an opportunity for Iran and many terrorist groups. Iran also announced its complete departure from the 2015 nuclear deal that would be bad news for the West. 

With the nuclear agreement, the West was controlling Iran at some point. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many Democrats have been critical of Trump's decision to conduct an airstrike in Iraq that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The House will introduce and vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit the President's military actions regarding Iran. Senator Tim Kaine introduced a similar resolution. Diplomatic channels are essential to reduce the tension, so many countries have a responsibility to talk to both sides.

President Trump's Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

By Ali Cinar - President Donald Trump served Thanksgiving dinner to U.S service members deployed to Bagram Airfield Thursday on November 29th in Afghanistan.The White House did not inform President Trump's visit to Public until a few hours before landed at Bagram Airbase.It was also his first visit to to Afghanistan. President Trump joined by United States military leaders and White House staff also met with the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. President Trump announced U.S. and Taliban have been engaged in ongoing peace talks and said he believes the Taliban want a cease-fire.

Why the NATO Allies Need Each Other More than Ever?

By Ali Cinar - While the U.S. and Turkey have a diplomatic and strategic partnership as official NATO allies since 1952 (with the U.S. and Turkey having the largest armies in NATO), the relationship between the two countries has become strained because of what’s happening on the ground in Syria. That’s why face-to-face meeting between Turkey’s President Erdogan and President Trump was a significant step forward in resolving key disagreements.

Trump's Trade Step Shows U.S. Can Hit Turkey Where It Hurts

President Donald Trump’s decision to strip some Turkish exporters of their preferential trade status is taken from a playbook that’s been effective in the past. American officials are pressing Ankara to abandon its longstanding agreement to buy a Russian air defense system. The last time Washington ratcheted up pressure on its NATO ally to force it to yield on a key issue -- and release a long-held American pastor -- it drove the Turkish economy to the brink of collapse, and it’s not fully recovered. Monday’s trade move “is a political step aimed at preventing Turkey from purchasing S-400 missiles from Russia,” Ilter Turan, a professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, said by phone on Tuesday. “The U.S. is clamping down on Turkey’s potential to increase its exports to the U.S. market, knowing that it will hurt the country’s economy.”

Subscribe to this RSS feed