Martin Armstrong Warns American Civil Unrest Is Starting Right On Schedule

We have been warning that 2014 is the beginning of a new cycle that will see a highly unusual convergence between our domestic (civil unrest & revolution) data and our international war model. Both converge for the first time since the 1700s when there were US and French Revolutions and the fall of monarchy. This was the topic at our Cycle of War Conference (see also special report).

The civil unrest will develop first outside the USA and turn up more aggressively in the USA after 2015.75. Nonetheless, it still begins in 2014 for the USA as well. We are starting to see this in the West where memories of previous events still linger deep wounds from 1992. Continue reading

Is an Asian NATO Possible?

In the new concluding chapter to his classic The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, John Mearsheimer argues: “There is already substantial evidence that countries like India, Japan, and Russia, as well as smaller powers like Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam, are worried about China’s ascendancy and are looking for ways to contain it. In the end, they will join an American-led balancing coalition to check China’s rise, much the way Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and eventually China, joined forces with the United States during the Cold War to contain the Soviet Union.”

This is at odds with most analyses which postulate that Asia is not ripe for a NATO style containment block against China. For instance, in summing up the conventional wisdom on the subject, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Stewart Patrick opined last summer that: “Despite its strategic ‘rebalancing’ toward Asia, the United States is unlikely to sponsor a collective defense organization for the Asia-Pacific, for at least three reasons: insufficient solidarity among diverse regional partners, fear of alienating China, and the perceived advantages of bilateral and ad-hoc security arrangements.”

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Is Ukraine about to go nuclear again?

A new global nuclear arms race may soon begin, and the world will have Putin to thank.

In 1994, Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United States and the United Kingdom entered into an agreement to remove former Soviet nuclear weapons from Ukraine, later known as the Budapest Memorandum. Ukraine agreed to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In the history of nuclear weapons, only four states have ever walked away from nuclear capabilities: three post-Soviet states (Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan) and South Africa, which had covertly developed a nuclear weapons arsenal. Continue reading

Japan’s indigenous stealth fighter to fly this year amid arms race worries

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Development of ATD-X jet part of Tokyo’s effort to upgrade its defence capabilities; analysts warn it could spark claims of arms race in Asia

A prototype of Japan’s first domestically produced stealth fighter will get airborne before the end of the year, a significant development in Tokyo’s efforts to improve its defence capabilities.

Known as the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X) fighter, the aircraft is being developed by the defence ministry’s research institute and a number of private companies, primarily Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Continue reading

U.S. warns Beijing over currency weakness

The Obama administration on Tuesday told Beijing it was watching the value of China’s currency closely, expressing concern over its recent drop and saying it remains “significantly undervalued.” Continue reading

2,000 PLA troops could invade Diaoyutai in 5 hours: WSJ

China has the ability to deploy 2,000 troops to the disputed Diaoyutai islands (Diaoyu to China, Senkaku to Japan) in just five hours using its four Zubr-class air-cushioned landing craft purchased from Russia, according to an Apr. 2 report in the Wall Street Journal.

Although Lieutenant General John Wissler, the commanding general of the US Marine Corps in Okinawa, says that the United States is capable of wiping out invading Chinese forces without mobilizing ground forces, Western military expert have begun to question whether Washington and Tokyo are capable of defending Okinawa from a potential PLA invasion. Continue reading

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

China’s President Xi urges greater military use of space

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the air force to adopt an integrated air and space defence capability, in what state media on Tuesday called a response to the increasing military use of space by the United States and others.

While Beijing insists its space program is for peaceful purposes, a Pentagon report last year highlighted China’s increasing space capabilities and said Beijing was pursuing a variety of activities aimed at preventing its adversaries from using space-based assets during a crisis.

Fears of a space arms race with the United States and other powers mounted after China blew up one of its own weather satellites with a ground-based missile in January 2007.

A detailed analysis of satellite imagery published in March provided additional evidence that a Chinese rocket launch in May 2013, billed as a research mission, was actually a test of a new anti-satellite weapon. Continue reading

Russia Tests Multi-Warhead ICBM

Russia’s military carried out a flight test of a new multi-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile on Monday amid growing tensions with the United States over the crisis in Ukraine.

The SS-27 Mod 2 road-mobile ICBM was launched around 2:40 a.m. EST from Russia’s Plesetsk launch facility, located about 500 miles north of Moscow.

“The main purpose of the launch is to validate the reliability of a batch of this class of missiles made at the Votkinsk Plant,” Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Yegorov told state-run Interfax-AVN.

An unspecified number of simulated nuclear warheads landed at an impact range on the Kura test range on the Kamchatka Peninsula, in the Russian Far East, Yegorov said. The distance is around 3,500 miles.

The SS-27 Mod 2 is Russia’s newest ICBM and has been touted by Russian officials as designed specifically to defeat U.S. missile defenses. Continue reading

Chinese Military Can ‘Fight Any Battle and Win’

As the article states, intra-Asian diplomacy is what’s going to hold the key. The more time that’s wasted by the United States in taking a clear stand, the more likely Japan will try to come to terms with China on its own. Coming to terms could also eventually lead into an Asian economic and security bloc with China as the umbrella protectorate.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s whirlwind tour of China in early April saw a tense exchange with his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan over the United States’ pivot to Asia.  China would “make no compromise, no concession, no treaty,” Chang said, adding, “the Chinese military can assemble as soon as summoned, fight any battle and win.”

Hagel, for his part, said that the United States was “fully committed” to is treaty obligations with the Philippines and with Japan — which administers the Senkakus, the disputed islands which China claims and calls the Diaoyu. In the days leading up to U.S. President Barack Obama’s late April trip to the region, where is visiting Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Malaysia — and pointedly not China — there is a worrying amount of strain among China, Japan, and the United States. Are temperatures running so high that China might actually seize the Senkakus by force? Or are these worries overblown? Continue reading

White House confirms CIA director visited Ukraine over weekend

White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukrainian capital Kiev over the weekend and met with high-ranked Ukrainian officials.

Previously, deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich accused Brennan of ordering a crackdown on pro-Russian activists in the east of the country.

The CIA had already dismissed these accusations as “completely false”, but did not disclose whether its chief had actually been to Kiev – until now.

“We don’t normally comment on the CIA director’s travel but given the extraordinary circumstances in this case and the false claims being leveled by the Russians at the CIA we can confirm that the director was in Kiev as part of a trip to Europe,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. Continue reading