U.S. Navy admiral says he’s open to idea of giving Chinese Navy tour of carrier

A top U.S. Navy official said he is “receptive” to idea of letting his Chinese crewmen tour a U.S. aircraft carrier based in Japan, but experts warn such access could be a risky intelligence giveaway.

Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, chief of naval operations, told The Wall Street Journal that his Chinese counterpart mentioned the idea of a U.S. carrier crew touring its lone Liaoning carrier and a Chinese crew touring the USS George Washington.

“I’m receptive to that idea,” Greenert, who saw the Liaoning and other Chinese ships on a recent trip, told the paper.

Nan Li, an associate professor in the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute, however, said Beijing would likely benefit more from a tour than the U.S. Navy. Continue reading

Ex-Israeli Security Chief Diskin: ‘All the Conditions Are There for an Explosion’

In an interview with SPIEGEL, Yuval Diskin, former director of Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet, speaks of the current clash between Israel and the Palestinians, what must be done to achieve peace and the lack of leadership in the Middle East.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Diskin, following 10 days of airstrikes, the Israeli army launched a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip last week. Why now? And what is the goal of the operation?

Diskin: Israel didn’t have any other choice than to increase the pressure, which explains the deployment of ground troops. All attempts at negotiation have failed thus far. The army is now trying to destroy the tunnels between Israel and the Gaza Strip with a kind of mini-invasion, also so that the government can show that it is doing something. Its voters have been increasingly vehement in demanding an invasion. The army hopes the invasion will finally force Hamas into a cease-fire. It is in equal parts action for the sake of action and aggressive posturing. They are saying: We aren’t operating in residential areas; we are just destroying the tunnel entrances. But that won’t, of course, change much in the disastrous situation. Rockets are stored in residential areas and shot from there as well. Continue reading

DHS Anticipated 60,000 Illegal Child Border Crossers in January

ASPEN, Colo.—DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson confirmed Thursday that the Obama administration in January anticipated a surge of some 60,000 illegal children crossing the Southwest Border.

“It was apparent to me then that the Rio Grand valley sector of the Southwest border needed to be an area of particular concern,” Johnson said during remarks at the Aspen Security Forum.

“In January, in our budget process, we estimated that we were going to have 60,000 unaccompanied kids coming in,” he said, noting that resources for the influx were “ramped up.”

The border crisis grew worse during the period between March, April, and May when “unprecedented levels” of children crossed the border, he said. The surge peaked with thousands of illegals reaching the U.S. border in early June. Continue reading

Germany to ‘spy on US and UK intelligence gathering’ for the first time in 45 years

Germany has ordered surveillance of British and American intelligence gathering on its soil to begin for the first time since 1945, according to reports.
Under the decision, US and British intelligence operations in Germany will be subject to the same counter-espionage measures as those of Russia, China and Iran.

“We need to send a strong signal,” a source close to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government told Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. The unprecedented move is a direct response to a series of spy scandals that have rocked British and American relations with Germany in the past year.

Mrs Merkel’s government has given the go-ahead to surveillance plans that first emerged after two suspected double agents were found allegedly spying for the Americans inside the German security establishment a few weeks ago. Continue reading

A Chinese Gold Standard?

LONDON — While the 70th anniversary of D-Day last month received a lot of attention, another event, in July 1944 — the Bretton Woods conference, named for the mountain resort in New Hampshire where it was held — was perhaps even more significant in shaping the modern world. It not only led to the creation of what are now the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, but it also confirmed the central position of the United States dollar in the international monetary system.

Why does this matter for us now? Just as America displaced Britain as the world’s pre-eminent economic power in the interwar period, so, too, the large debts and fiscal pressures confronting the West, and the rise of China and other economic powers, challenge us to think about the future of finance.

For most of the 19th century the British pound had been the world’s “reserve currency,” the currency in which trade and finance were denominated. “As sound as a pound” became a widely used expression. The pound was pegged to gold at a fixed rate of just under £4 per ounce. Continue reading

‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL

High-ranking U.S. officials said Wednesday that not only are Sunni radicals with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant “worse than al Qaeda,” but that the group has a message for the president: “We’re coming for you, Barack Obama.”

The ISIL, under the command of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has taken over large swathes of Iraq and confiscated heavy weaponry previously belonging to Iraqi security forces in the past two months. The terrorist group is now in possession of as many as 52 U.S.-made M198 howitzers, McClatchy news service reported in June. Continue reading

NATO Poland base may be prepared for blitz against Russia

From the state-owned (FSB/KGB) propaganda outlet, Russia Today:

NATO’s Europe commander advocates stockpiling a base in Poland with enough weapons, ammunition and other supplies to support a rapid deployment of thousands of troops against Russia, British media reported.

General Philip Breedlove’s idea would be presented to members of the alliance at the upcoming NATO summit in Wales in September, according to The Times.

The general told a briefing in Naples this week that NATO needed “pre-positioned supplies, pre-positioned capabilities and a basing area ready to rapidly accept follow-on forces.” Continue reading

Establish Facts

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – After a jetliner was shot down over Eastern Ukraine, influential German foreign policy experts have begun calling for a military intervention, which may include German Bundeswehr units. “A Blue Helmet mission under the umbrella of the United Nations” should now be taken into consideration, declared Andreas Schockenhoff, Co-Chair of the CDU/CSU Group in the Bundestag. “Germany may also be asked” to contribute troops. For the Chairman of the Bundestag’s Defense Commission, Hans-Peter Bartels (SPD), a Blue Helmet mission is also “conceivable.” It is yet unclear, who bears responsibility for downing the jetliner. This is not an essential question for him, as past experience with Western interventions have shown: The EU and the USA must politically establish the facts. The war against Yugoslavia was justified with a massacre. Substantial doubts about central aspects of this massacre still persist. The sniper killings on Kiev’s Maidan Square on February 20 have never been elucidated, once they served as legitimation for overthrowing the government of President Yanukovych. Suspicions persist that sectors of today’s governing Maidan opposition may have played decisive roles in these murders; however that is of no interest to the West. On the contrary, there have never been political consequences for a US warship’s downing of an Iranian airliner in 1988. Continue reading

It’s like 1938, says Israeli ambassador to Germany: Outbreaks of anti-Semitism on the rise across Europe

  • Yakov Hadas-Handelsman has expressed fears over attacks on Jews
  • Germany: pro-Palestinians are chanting race-hate slogans against them
  • Recent Israeli military action in Gaza has killed hundreds of Palestinians

Jewish people are being attacked and abused on the streets of Germany as though the country were back in the Nazi era, political and religious leaders warned yesterday.

Murderous slogans dating back to the days of Hitler have been chanted at pro-Palestinian rallies in Germany. Jewish-owned shops were attacked and burned in riots in France at the weekend.

The Israeli ambassador to Germany, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, said: ‘They pursue the Jews in the streets of Berlin… as if we were in 1938.’ Continue reading

Russia starts reinforcing naval fleet in Crimea

Sevastopol (AFP) – Russia announced Wednesday that it had begun expanding and modernising its Black Sea fleet based in Crimea with new ships and submarines, just months after annexing the peninsula from Ukraine.

“Today we have started forming a powerful Black Sea fleet with an absolutely different level of air service, coastal missile and artillery troops and marines,” said Alexander Vitko, the Black Sea fleet commander, in a message to servicemen. Continue reading

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren’t poisoned

If you were Vladimir Putin, you could be forgiven for feeling a little paranoid right now, as the Western world takes turns to blame, excoriate, vilify and condemn you over the Malaysian airline disaster.

You might well wonder whether a bullet, a Jiffy bag full of ricin or a lunchtime polonium sandwich were most likely to be the means of your imminent dispatch from this life. So it’s no surprise to learn that the Russian president employs a professional food taster on his full-time staff. Continue reading

Obama administration sending military advisers to Ukraine within weeks

On Tuesday this week, the Washington Times reported that a spokesperson for the US Department of Defense confirmed plans to put Pentagon advisers in Ukraine.

“Within the next few weeks, a group of Defense Department representatives who specialize in strategy and policy will head to Kiev to evaluate specific programs that the United States may want to help bolster,” reporter Maggie Ybarra wrote for the Times. Continue reading

China dredges channels near disputed islands as Beijing ‘asserts stance on South China Sea’

China is dredging navigation channels in a disputed area of the South China Sea in a move analysts say shows Beijing’s increasingly assertive stance over its claims to sovereignty in the region.

Xinhua reported yesterday that up to 1.7km of channels had been dredged around Drummond Island, known as Jinqing in Chinese.

The island, which is about 21 sq km, is one of the disputed Paracel Islands, which China calls the Xisha Islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam, which calls them the Hoang Sa Islands. Continue reading

9/11 Commission Warns US Unprepared For A Possible ‘Cyber-Pearl Harbor’

A decade after releasing its report on U.S. unpreparedness ahead of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the 9/11 Commission has released a new assessment on the growing threat of cyber-terrorism.

“One lesson of the 9/11 story is that, as a nation, Americans did not awaken to the gravity of the terrorist threat until it was too late,” the commission wrote in a new report on the 10th anniversary of the original, which revealed the intelligence failures that led to the hijacking of four planes by Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist organization. Continue reading

IDF Commanders: Time for decisive war move after IDF victories in Shejaiya, E. Rafah and Khan Younes

Senior IDF commanders said Wednesday July 23 that the time had come for a decisive war move. Breaking up the Hamas’ subterranean tunnels would take weeks, they said, but the critical encounter for completing their military mission and bringing the war to a close was still to be fought after three key IDF victories: The battle for Shejaiya grabbed the headlines, but the confrontations in eastern Rafah and eastern Khan Younes in the south were just as important.

The commanders are now urging a large-scale assault on the bunker complex housing Hamas’ top military command and infrastructure. They say it is up to national leaders, i.e., the security cabinet, to determine the military’s next move and the disposition of the forces present on the battlefields of the Gaza Strip.

The tank units could undertake the opening moves for the next, critical stage of the Israeli operation at no more than hours’ notice. Continue reading