The stock of capital flowing into emerging markets has doubled from $4 trillion to $8 trillion since the Lehman Crisis, chasing a catch-up growth story that looks tired and has largely sputtered out in Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
Much of the money has gone into debt, with falling economic returns. This is the next shoe to drop in the festering saga of global imbalances. All it will take is a gear-shift by the US Federal Reserve and the inevitable dollar surge that follows. It was the Volcker Fed that set off Latin America’s defaults in the early 1980s. It was the mighty dollar that set off Mexico’s Tequila crisis, and then the East Asian chain-reaction in the 1990s. Continue reading
Republican US lawmakers are taking steps to bar the United States from sharing classified missile defense technology information with Russia, draft legislation that was amended in the US Congress Wednesday shows. Continue reading
President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation has drawn a line in the sand over Syria, the government of which he is determined to protect from overthrow. Not since the end of the Cold War in 1991 has the Russian Bear asserted itself so forcefully beyond its borders in support of claims on great power status. In essence, Russia is attempting to play the role in Syria that France did in Algeria in the 1990s, of supporting the military government against rebels, many of them linked to political Islam. France and its allies prevailed, at the cost of some 150,000 dead. Can Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pull off the same sort of victory?
Even as Damascus pushes back against the rebels militarily, Putin has swung into action on the international and regional stages. The Russian government persuaded U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to support an international conference aimed at a negotiated settlement. Putin upbraided Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his country’s air attacks on Damascus. Moscow is sending sophisticated anti-aircraft batteries, anti-submarine missiles and other munitions to beleaguered Assad, and has just announced that 12 Russian warships will patrol the Mediterranean. The Russian actions have raised alarums [sic] in Tel Aviv and Washington, even as they have been praised in Damascus and Tehran. Continue reading
From the state-owned (FSB/KGB) propaganda outlet, RIA Novosti:
MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) – Two warships of Russia’s Black Sea fleet joined the country’s Mediterranean task force on Monday, a spokesman for the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Capt. First Rank Vyacheslav Trukhachyov, has said. Continue reading
Russia is ready to develop jointly with Turkey a long-range air defense complex based on S-300 surface-to-air missile systems, state arms seller Rosoboronexport head Sergei Ladygin said on Sunday.
“Russia is ready to offer as part of the tender a joint Russian-Turkish product based on the Antey-2500 system [the export version of the S-300 system]. For example, to mount the air defense system on the Turkish chassis,” Ladygin said at the weapons exhibition in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
Rosoboronexport has also proposed that Russia and Turkey join efforts to promote this air defense system on the markets of third countries, he said.
“That is, it is possible to discuss selling the license for the production of this system in other countries of the world,” he said. Continue reading
It won’t be long before the essential raw minerals and commodities of the planet’s Far North such as rare earths, oil and gas get gobbled up by the industrialists.
On Wednesday, the Arctic Council granted China, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore new Observer States status. Essentially, the six nations gained rightful entry to listen in on meetings of the council, as well as propose and finance policies. Continue reading
Another Gertz article with the same subject as a previous post:
Russia is engaged in a major buildup of both nuclear and conventional missile defense systems at the same time Moscow is seeking legal limits on U.S. missile defenses, according to U.S. officials.
The Russian military is developing and deploying an array of new and modernized anti-missile interceptors that are part of a strategic doctrine that calls for defending against what Moscow believes to be an increasing threat posed by offensive ballistic missiles, said U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports.
Additionally, the Russians are upgrading the SH-08 nuclear-tipped anti-missile interceptors that have been deployed around Moscow for more than two decades. Continue reading
The USA continues its suicidal downgrades while the rest of the world upgrades, giving the Russians and Chinese the upper hand and likely first-strike capability.
President Barack Obama is set to announce a new round of strategic nuclear warhead reductions in the near future as part of a disarmament agenda that could reduce U.S. strategic warheads to as few as 1,000 weapons.
The next round of U.S.-Russian arms talks would follow Obama’s expected announcement that the United States’ arsenal of strategic warheads can be reduced unilaterally to around 1,000 warheads. That position is expected as part of the Pentagon’s long-delayed Nuclear Posture Review implementation study that Obama was expected to sign earlier this year.
Recent press reports have indicated that President Obama may make the cuts — fully one-third of the nation’s arsenal — by executive action and without Congressional authorization. Continue reading
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Netanyahu ended their three-hour meeting in Sochi Tuesday, May 14, at loggerheads on Syria. In fact, Putin warned his guest that Israel and its army, the IDF, were heading for war with Syria in which Russia might well be involved – and not just through the advanced S-300 anti-air missiles supplied to the Assad government. The case Netanyahu and Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi put before Putin and Russian foreign intelligence chief, SVR Director Mikhail Fradkov, fell on deaf ears. Continue reading
A large-scale military drill was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week to intimidate a defiant Georgia for rejecting a Kremlin-proposed draft of a non-aggression pact that would recognize the runaway region of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Yet while the drill was going on in earnest, the Israelis attacked Iranian missiles inside Syria. Continue reading
Saudi Arabia has decided to explore dialogue with its great regional rival Iran for ending the Syrian conflict and assuring Lebanon’s political future, debkafile’s Gulf sources report. They have given up on US policy for Syria in view of Russian and Iranian unbending support for Bashar Assad; his battlefield gains aided by Hizballah and Iranian Bassij forces; and Turkey’s inaction after Saturday’s terrorist bombings in the town of Reyhanli near the Syrian border which caused 46 deaths. Continue reading
The Pentagon held internal talks on declassifying sensitive missile defense technology that it plans to share with Russia as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to assuage Moscow’s opposition to European defenses.
Republicans in both the House and Senate plan to block any technology declassification for missile defense technology in the current defense authorization bill and other legislation. Legislative mark up on the authorization bill begins this week. Continue reading