Iran gains Mediterranean bases in Italy and Syria

 

As part of Iran’s drive to rule the strategic waves of regional waters, Tehran has negotiated a naval exchange deal with Rome for its warships to be berthed in Italian ports, debkafile’s military sources reveal.

In this context, the US Pentagon and Navy chiefs once again urged Israel to update and enlarge its war fleet, which they said was “full of holes” to catch up with the rapidly changing conditions opposite its shores, where Russia, Iran and Egypt are building up armadas of warships that are bigger and more advanced than ever before. Continue reading

Russia’s Newest Nuclear Submarine Arrives in Pacific Ocean

Now the Russian Pacific Fleet has announced the arrival of its latest nuclear submarine, Vladimir Monomakh, to its new permanent deployment base in the far-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. The peninsula has access to the Sea of Okhotsk, shared between Russia and Japan and the Bering Sea, shared by U.S. and Russia. Continue reading

Cold War foes Russia, Pakistan hold first joint-military drills

Cold War foes Russia, Pakistan hold first joint-military drills

Russian PM Putin shakes hands with Pakistan’s PM Gillani during their meeting in St.Petersburg

 

Former Cold War advisories Pakistan and Russia are set to hold their first ever joint military exercise.

  • During the Cold War, Pakistan helped US funnel arms and fighters into Afghanistan to help insurgent groups fight Soviets.
  • Cold War: Communist Soviet Union was closely aligned with Pakistan’s arch-enemy India, US with Pakistan.
  • Pakistan’s top military spokesman, Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa: “Contingent of Russian ground forces” arrived in Pakistan for a two-week exercise beginning on Saturday.
  • Pakistan’s Tribune Express newspaper: About 200 military personnel from both sides would be involved in the exercises.
  • Pakistani media last year: Islamabad bought four Mi-35 attack helicopters from Russia in first ever military deal with Russia.
  • Washington previously accused Islamabad of harboring Afghan Taliban fighters.
  • Pakistan wary of US improved ties with India.
  • Pakistan holds China as a steadfast “all-weather” ally.
  • Chinese plan to invest $46 billion in a road and rail energy corridor linking western China with Pakistan’s Arabian Sea coast.

(ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN) Former Cold War-era rivals Pakistan and Russia are due to hold their first ever military exercise this month, Pakistan’s military said on Friday, in another sign of shifting alliances in South Asia.

Continue reading

Philippines’ Duterte wants to ‘open alliances’ with Russia, China

As predicted several times, and as early as 2012, Asian nations will begin to abandon the United States which is seen as an increasingly unreliable partner, and join the communist Chinese protectorate umbrella. If you’re a nation in Asia today it’s more costly to go to war against China and risk annihilation without knowing if America really does have your back, so you’re better off joining them. The want of deeper ties also with Russia, even only on the economic level, is a long-term strategic bonus for the Philippines.

 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at the military’s Camp Tecson to talk to soldiers in San Miguel, Bulacan in northern Philippines September 15, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

 

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday he would visit Russia and China this year to chart an independent foreign policy and “open alliances” with two powers with historic rivalries with the United States.

Duterte said the Philippines was at the “point of no return” in relations with former colonial ruler the United States, so he wanted to strengthen ties with others, and picked two global powers that have been sparring with Washington on the international political stage.

Last week, he last declared he would visit China, with which ties remain frosty over a South China Sea arbitration ruling won by the Philippines in July. He said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was expecting him in Moscow. Continue reading

China, Cuba agree to deepen ties during PM Li’s Havana visit

HAVANA (Reuters) – Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang met with Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday during a two-day trip to Havana, and the two leaders oversaw the signing of around 30 agreements on economic cooperation in various sectors, Cuban state media reported.

Li is the first Chinese premier to visit Cuba since the two countries established diplomatic relations 56 years ago, although President Xi Jinping visited in 2014. Continue reading

China flies military planes over strait near Japan

Beijing (AFP) – China has sent fighter planes for the first time over a strait near Japan, the two governments said Monday, after Tokyo announced it may patrol alongside the US in the disputed South China Sea.

More than 40 Chinese military aircraft on Sunday traversed the Miyako Strait between Japan’s Miyako and Okinawa Islands, to carry out training in the West Pacific, according to a statement on China’s defence ministry website.

The Sukhoi Su-30 fighters, bombers and refuelling aircraft did not violate Japanese airspace. Continue reading

US Air Force set to replace intercontinental nuke arsenal

While the last Minuteman II was deployed in the early 1990s, which still run off 1970’s floppy disc era technology (See also HERE), Russia and China have both developed and deployed their advanced nuclear weapons. To make matters worse, if the GBSD’s being developed will be “phased in” during the 2030 decade, that is at least a 15 year window of opportunity for China and Russia to strike an ancient America with its 40 year old nukes — if their shelf life is even that long.

 

Hidden underground in steel-and-concrete silos across rural America, more than 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles point to the skies, poised for launch — and ready to obliterate cities across the world.

First designed in the 1960s at the height of the Cold War, the Minuteman nuclear weapons are starting to show their age, and replacement parts are difficult to find for the weapons designed in an analog age.

Also aging are their silos, many built in the 1950s and now rusting as water seeps through the decaying concrete. Continue reading

Desperate Saudi Arabia Offers To Cut Production By 500,000 Barrels

Bringing Iran into the fray out of panic will also give the Persian nation the recognition it wants in the oil and gas industry, allowing for it to extend its grip on the Middle East on its economic front. Furthermore, having an increased say within the OPEC cartel will give it more global clout and give it a tool to wage economic warfare.

 

Saudi Arabia’s oil policy, unveiled just under two years ago at the November 2014 OPEC meeting where it effectively splintered the OPEC cartel by announcing it would produce excess quantities of oil in hope of putting shale and other high-cost producers out of business, has backfired spectacularly. OPEC has failed to crush the U.S. shale industry, which as a result of increasing efficiencies and debt-for-equity exchanges has seen its all in production costs tumble. This has made far cheaper oil prices profitable (especially with the addition of hedges), not to mention Wall Street’s ravenous desire to buy any debt paper that offers even a modest yield, allowing U.S. oil producers to delay or outright avoid bankruptcy. Continue reading

European Central Bank can’t fix Europe’s economy, warns UBS boss

EUROPE’s monetary policymakers can’t fix the bloc’s economy woes, the boss of a leading investment bank has warned.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has the near impossible task of nursing the region back to health and has tried a number of desperate initiatives in recent years to kick-start growth.

Yet most recent figures signal the bloc is still struggling to stay afloat. Continue reading

Germany’s BIGGEST Bank ON BRINK: Deutsche Bank hits RECORD LOW as Merkel rules out bailout

DEUTSCHE Bank shares have reached their lowest level in more than two decades, as fears flare over the troubled firm’s future.

Deutsche’s value has now plunged by more than half this year, as concerns over low interest rates and the struggling eurozone economy also plauge the bank.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at trading platform IG, said: “The parlous state of Deutsche Bank exploded onto everyone’s radar once again. Continue reading

Deutsche Bank seeks to reassure investors as shares slide

https://next-geebee.ft.com/image/v1/images/raw/http%3A%2F%2Fcom.ft.imagepublish.prod.s3.amazonaws.com%2F4c6895f4-4471-11e6-b22f-79eb4891c97d?source=next&fit=scale-down&width=600

Stock drops as much as 7% sparking sell-off in European banks

Deutsche Bank sought to convince investors that it did not need a government bailout and had no plans for a capital increase on Monday morning, even as its shares fell to their lowest level in more than 20 years.

Shares in Germany’s biggest bank sank by as much as 6.9 per cent to €10.63, the lowest since the lender began trading on the Xetra exchange in 1992, although it traded below that level in the early 1980s. The stock has fallen more than 50 per cent so far this year.

Continue reading

Obama: Israel cannot ‘permanently occupy, settle Palestinian land’

US president Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters, September 20, 2016 in New York City (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

 

In final, wide-ranging UN address, US president also says Palestinians must reject incitement, recognize ‘legitimacy of Israel’

US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that while the Palestinians should reject terror and incitement, Israel must recognize that it cannot “permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.”

“Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel. But Israel must recognize that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land. We all have to do better,” the US president said at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Continue reading

Sea Change In The Middle East

America’s view of the Middle East today is shaped by our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rise and reach of ISIS, a grinding conflict in Syria, the region as a source of wider ranging terrorism and staggering outflows of refugees that are changing the political calculus in Europe. The images that characterize and shape American involvement there are of arid landscapes and rubble from wanton destruction, our soldiers and marines in desert camouflage and videos of surgical airstrikes.  However, the image of the beginning of our involvement in the Middle East is a rarely viewed February 1945 photo of President Franklin Roosevelt meeting with Saudi King Abdul Aziz aboard the USS Quincy in the Suez Canal.  As our strategic role in the Middle East began with a meeting on the water so, too, are consequential changes there taking place at sea – the domain in which the U.S. has enjoyed unfettered access and dominance for over seventy years.   Assuming continued uncontested American maritime dominance in that vital region is a grave strategic misstep – key Asian powers have turned to the sea, they understand fully what is at stake, and they have come to play.

Continue reading

China designates US’ first renminbi clearing bank: Premier Li Keqiang

Bank of China’s New York branch authorised for the role

China has designated the United States’ first renminbi clearing bank, Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday as he welcomed American banks to apply to become clearing banks.

China’s central bank said it had authorised the Bank of China’s New York branch to be a renminbi clearing bank in the United States.

Continue reading

China facing full-blown banking crisis, world’s top financial watchdog warns

China has failed to curb excesses in its credit system and faces mounting risks of a full-blown banking crisis, according to early warning indicators released by the world’s top financial watchdog.

A key gauge of credit vulnerability is now three times over the danger threshold and has continued to deteriorate, despite pledges by Chinese premier Li Keqiang to wean the economy off debt-driven growth before it is too late.

Continue reading