Washington and Moscow pulling strings to hold Ukraine combatants back from brink of civil war

The US and Russia, while trading the blame for pushing Ukraine to the brink of civil war, are nonetheless tugging at the leashes of the two players in the field, each jockeying for advantage in the quadrilateral meeting of senior US, Russian, European, Ukrainian and UN officials scheduled to take place in Geneva Thursday, April 17, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report.

Expectations of fruitful results from the meeting are low. But the fact that all the parties are talking offers Ukraine its last hope of escaping a bloody civil war. To this end, too, late-night phone calls are being exchanged among Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel. Continue reading

Ukraine pushes tanks and troops into separatist east

IZYUM (Ukraine) (AFP) – Ukraine pushed tanks toward a flashpoint eastern city on Tuesday to quash a separatist surge backed by Moscow — a high-risk operation that was sharply condemned by the Kremlin but won Washington’s support.

The 20 tanks and armoured personnel carriers were the most forceful response yet by the Western-backed government in Kiev to the pro-Kremlin militants’ occupation of state buildings in nearly 10 cities across Ukraine’s rust belt.

Ukrainian forces set up a cement road barrier and began checking traffic leading to Slavyansk while fighters and attack helicopters circled overhead. Continue reading

Sources: U.S. urges Israel to attack Syrian forces threatening CIA-trained rebels in Golan

It might seem here as if the current US administration is baiting Israel into a war. The United States regularly trains ‘rebels’ in various places throughout the Middle East and Africa. Why would these be any more special than the rest that are usually tossed aside after their mission is complete?

LONDON — The United States is pressuring Israel to attack the Syrian military in the Golan Heights.

Western diplomatic sources said the administration of President Barack Obama has urged Israel to stop a Syrian Army advance toward U.S.-trained rebels in the Golan Heights.

The sources said this marked the first U.S. request for Israel’s military to intervene in Syria. They said Obama and his aides had repeatedly warned Israel to refrain from striking Syria, which transferred long-range rockets and air defense systems to Hizbullah in neighboring Lebanon. Continue reading

DHS study: North Korea capable of EMP attack on U.S.

As mentioned here before, imagine what normally looks like and passes as a satellite that has already been orbiting earth and hanging over the United States for quite some time, and is ready to drop out of the sky on command. The country would be less ready for that than an attack from the South or East. There would be virtually no defense against such an attack with the exception of a preemptive strike.

Long-suppressed report concludes communist nation can deliver on threats

WASHINGTON – A long-suppressed report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security for the Defense Department concludes that North Korea could deliver on its threats to destroy the United States with a nuclear electromagnetic pulse attack.

The report remains blocked from release to the American public.

However, a copy obtained by Peter Vincent Pry from sources within DHS finds North Korea could use its Unha-3 space launch vehicle to deliver a nuclear warhead as a satellite over the South Pole to attack the U.S. from the south.

Pry, executive director of the congressional advisory Task Force on National and Homeland Security, pointed out that the U.S. “has no early warning radars or interceptors” to stop a missile from the south. Continue reading

Israeli launches spy satellite after US refusal to push for Iran’s weapons program’s dismantlement

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided not to delay the launch of Israel’s improved Ofek 10 spy satellite Wednesday night April 9, hours after the six powers and Iran wound up another round of talks in Vienna on comprehensive accord on its nuclear program. Israel decided to show some muscle over the Obama administration’s consent to raise Iran’s weapons program at the next round of nuclear negotiations next month, debkafile‘s Washington and Jerusalem sources report. But this assurance, relayed also to the Saudi government, was not accompanied by information on the points to be raised, or the US response if Tehran continued to maintain that its weapons program is non-existent and therefore not up for negotiation with the world powers. Continue reading

Obama is reversing Reagan’s Cold War victory, inviting new hot wars

President Obama is on the verge of an historic triumph.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the American Left has been bitter about America’s victory in the Cold War. For decades, they preached moral equivalence between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Without firing a shot, Reagan achieved the unthinkable — the U.S.S.R was swept into the dustbin of history. Moreover, the United States emerged as the world’s sole superpower. Its military might was unrivaled. Its economic prosperity was unmatched. Its democratic system was the envy of the world. Continue reading

US arms Syrian rebels with first heavy weapons, anti-tank BGM-71 TOW missiles – raising war stakes

Two Syrian rebel militias judged moderate in Washington have in the last few days taken delivery and begun using – mostly in the Idlib region – the first advanced US weapon to be deployed in more than three years of civil war, debkafile’s military sources reveal. It is the heavy anti-tank, optically-tracked, wire-guided BGM-71 TOW, which is capable of piercing 50mm thickness of Syrian tank armor and Syrian fortifications at a range of 4 kilometers. Armed with this weapon now are Brig-Gen. Abdul-Hila al Bashir, the new commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army, which is headquartered at the Golan town of Quneitra, and Jamal Maarouf, head of the rebel Syrian Revolutionary Front fighting in the north.

The appearance of this advanced missile radically alters the balance of strength on the Syrian battlefield. It also denotes a striking change in Obama administration policy, which hitherto flatly resisted every demand to provide Syrian rebel groups with the heavy arms essential for them to have any chance of standing up to Bashar Assad’s superior military strength. Continue reading

Admiral Warns that Risk of Nuclear Conflict Is Growing

Any nuclear conflict against the United States will be likely one-sided, as the Obama administration is making sure the only country in the world to reduce nuclear weapons according to his ‘Global Zero’ plan, is only the United States.

America has had all the warnings in the world but has willingly closed its eyes and covered its ears while developing the illusion that total disarmament would be a demonstration of moral strength, while failing to realize that its enemies don’t think like America.

 

Stratcom: Large-scale Russian strategic nuclear buildup has been underway for over a decade

Russia is engaged in a large-scale buildup of strategic nuclear forces that has been underway for a decade, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom) told Congress on Wednesday.

“Russia has maintained and continues to modernize their strategic deterrent capability,” Adm. Cecil Haney, the Stratcom commander told the House Armed Services Committee.

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U.S. Gives Russia Free Military Equipment Used By Army, Marines

Behind closed doors the U.S. government is giving Russia free military equipment—also used to train American troops—even after President Obama announced punitive sanctions against Moscow and, more importantly, a suspension in military engagement over the invasion and occupation of Ukraine.

The secret operation was exposed this week by members of Congress that discovered it in the process of reviewing the Fiscal Year 2014 budget and the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget request. It turns out that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has been providing the Russian Federation with the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), the federal legislators say. The U.S. military uses MILES for tactical force-on-force training because it has a system of lasers and dummy ammunition to simulate ground combat. Continue reading

Egypt’s Gen. El-Sisi runs for president, sets up 10,000-strong crack force to defend his regime

Egypt’s Defense Minister Gen. Abdul-Fattah El-Sisi, 59, announced Wednesday, March 26, that he had resigned from the army after 45 years in order to run for president. No date has been set for the election, but it is expected to take place no later than July. His popularity as a strong leader in a country that craves stability above all after three years of turmoil is such that he can count on winning.

debkafile’s military sources disclose that in recent weeks Gen. El-Sisi took time off to create a new rapid intervention force as a powerful vehicle for buttressing his regime.

Maj. Gen. Tawfik Abdel-Samei, head of the Egyptian army’s central command, was chosen to head the force. He and El-Sisi handpicked 10,000 of the most able commando fighters from the various army units and consolidated them through intense courses into a special airborne force. Equipped with air transport and helicopters, it is capable of flying to the ends of the country in a crisis, along with tanks, self-propelled artillery and counter-terror measures. Continue reading

Russia Raises Gold Holdings By 7.247 Tonnes To Over 1,040 Tonnes In February

Yesterday U.S. President Barack Obama warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia would face more sanctions if it moved further into eastern Ukraine after its annexation of Crimea. Worryingly for residents of New York and for financial markets, Obama also warned that he was more worried about the risk of a nuclear bomb going off in Manhattan then he was about Russia.

Geopolitical risk in the form of terrorism, financial and economic war and actual war remains high and should support gold.

Russia has increased its gold holdings by 7.247 tonnes to 1,042 tonnes in February. Turkey and Kazakhstan also raised their bullion reserves, data from the International Monetary Fund showed today. Turkey’s gold holdings rose 9.292 tonnes to 497.869 tonnes, the data showed.

Many analysts are ignoring the important context of today’s new geopolitical backdrop. Russia alone has some $400 billion in foreign exchange reserves – mostly in U.S. dollars. If they were to diversify just 5%, worth some $20 billion, of those reserves into gold – it would be equal to nearly 500 tonnes of gold or nearly 25% of global annual production.

Russia bought another 7.247 tonnes of gold in February. It will be interesting to see what Russian demand is in March and indeed in the coming months. Sanctions could lead to materially higher demand from the Russian central bank, Bank Rossii.

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Obama Promises to Increase Russia’s Isolation

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday promised to increase Russia’s isolation, as the United States and the European Union agreed to work together to prepare possible tougher economic sanctions in response to Russia’s behavior in Ukraine.

Speaking after a summit with top EU officials and quoted by Reuters, Obama declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin had miscalculated if he thought he could divide the West or count on its indifference over his annexation of Crimea.

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