Urgent consultations in Washington, Moscow on reported US-Russian submarines in firefight

First reports reaching DEBKAfile’s military sources say that a US submarine intercepted a Russian nuclear sub in American waters opposite Alaska. The Russian sub escorting the nuclear submarine responded with a Balkan 2000 torpedo and scuttled the US vessel. Urgent consultations in both the White House and the Kremlin were taking place on Tuesday night. US Vice President Mike Pence called off an appearance in New Hampshire after being recalled to Washington for a conference called by President Donald Trump without explanation. Continue reading

U.S. Expected to Strike Back for Iran’s Downing of Drone

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President Donald Trump / Getty Images

 

Trump: ‘Iran made a big mistake’

The United States is likely to take military action against Iran in the coming days for Tehran’s downing a U.S. drone in international airspace on Wednesday near the Strait of Hormuz.

The Central Command said an RQ-4 Global Hawk drone aircraft was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace around 7:35 p.m. on Wednesday. Continue reading

Chinese Video Urges War With U.S.

 

State-controlled media urges fight ’til end,’ calls for sanctions on U.S. companies

China’s Communist Party-controlled media stepped up a war of words with the United States recently urging an escalation of the ongoing trade dispute into a full-scale conflict.

“China must be prepared to fight a protracted war,” states a four-minute, anti-American video posted five days ago on a Chinese video-sharing service.

“Trump’s ‘outrageous and selfish’ strategy might work for smaller countries, but it will never work for China,” the video warns. “To quote a well-written article in the Global Times: If the Americans want to fight, we will fight them until the end! And we will fight until the Pacific Ocean splits into two!” Global Times is the Communist Party of China’s nationalistic and anti-U.S. news outlet.

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China Gears Up to Weaponize Rare Earths in Trade War

As previously documented several times and warned about in the past, the threat of China’s rare earth monopol is being weaponized. This wasn’t suddenly an issue that popped up under Trump because Trump happens to be the current U.S. President. It was one threat of many in the making by China used as a means to an end, with the end game being a United States defeat — eventually militarily.

For further information, see the following previous posts:

Rare Earths Rouse Pentagon Fears

China Is Beating the US in the Rare-Earths Game

China warns of backlash if U.S. presses rare-earths case with WTO

Rare-Earth Market

Rare Earths, Oil, Gas, Other Commodities Up For Grabs As Arctic States Grants China, India, Japan, Other Select Nations ‘Observer Status’

Report: US military too reliant on foreign suppliers

China Threatens to Pull Pin on Global Economic Hand Grenade

 

China Gears Up to Weaponize Rare Earths in Trade War

The U.S. shouldn’t underestimate China’s ability to fight the trade war, the People’s Daily, a flagship newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, said in an editorial Wednesday that used some historically significant language on the weight of China’s intent.

The newspaper’s commentary included a rare Chinese phrase that means “don’t say I didn’t warn you.” The specific wording was used by the paper in 1962 before China went to war with India, and “those familiar with Chinese diplomatic language know the weight of this phrase,” the Global Times, a newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party, said in an article last April. It was also used before conflict broke out between China and Vietnam in 1979.

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Whale with harness could be Russian weapon, say Norwegian experts

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Whale in mystery harness harasses Norwegian boats – video (at source)

 

Fisherman raised alarm after white whale sporting unusual strapping began harassing their boats

Marine experts in Norway believe they have stumbled upon a white whale that was trained by the Russian navy as part of a programme to use underwater mammals as a special ops force.

Fishermen in waters near the small Norwegian fishing village of Inga reported last week that a white beluga whale wearing a strange harness had begun to harass their fishing boats. Continue reading

China’s Acoustic Cannon

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FILE – In this Oct. 26, 2009 file photo, security workers guard at construction site of the U.S. Consulate compound in Guangzhou in southern China’s Guangdong province. The State Department said an email notice Wednesday, May 23, 2018, that a U.S. government employee in southern China reported abnormal sensations of sound and pressure, recalling similar experiences among American diplomats in Cuba who later fell ill. (Chinatopix via AP, File)

 

U.S. intelligence and security agencies investigating the mysterious sonic attacks against American diplomatic personnel in China need to look no further than China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The ministry stated in a Nov. 15 report on the use of military technology for civilian projects that one program involves an “acoustic wave cannon.”

The weapon appears to be a variant of the sonic cannon produced by China’s Dongguan 3G Acoustic Technology Co. Ltd. Continue reading

Trump recognizes Golan to counter Iran’s first steps for annexing Lebanon to Syria

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US President Donald Trump’s declared recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan on Thursday, March 21, had a time-sensitive object, unconnected to the Israeli election or Binyamin Netanyahu’s run for reelection, as his rivals contended. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources reveal that it was an arrow aimed by the US president at Iran, Syria, Iraq and Hizballah, and the machinations plotted at Syrian President Bashar Assad’s meeting with Iran’s supreme leader ayatollah Ali Khameini on Feb. 25. Present at their meeting, our sources reveal, were two figures, Al Qods chief Qasem Soleimani, supreme commander of Iran’s Mid East fronts, and, for the first time, a high-ranking Hizballah military official, who is a senior strategic adviser to Hassan Nasrallah. Continue reading

The U.S. Will Develop Newly Unbanned Weapons as a Key Missile Treaty Ends

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A JASSM missile undergoing launch tests from a F-16 fighter over the Gulf of Mexico, 2018. Image: SMgst Michael Jackson (Air Force)

 

The United States is planning to quickly develop two new missiles previously banned by a 30-year-old arms control treaty. America’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, sparked by allegations of Russian cheating, is paving the way for Washington to match Russian weapons with new missiles of its own. The U.S. will test the missiles as soon as this August, within days of the end of the treaty.

The two missile types, a ground-launched cruise missile and an intermediate-range ballistic missile, were previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The INF Treaty, signed in 1987, banned land-based missiles with ranges from 310 to 3,420 miles.

Although the treaty itself didn’t ban actual nuclear weapons, it removed key nuclear delivery systems from the inventories of both the U.S. and U.S.S.R., dramatically lowering the number of nuclear weapons deployed in Europe. Continue reading

Photos puts China’s ‘galloping military buildup’ on vivid display

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Aerial image of the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai

 

China’s military spending for 2019 will increase by 7.5 percent to about $177.61 billion, as revealed on March 3, 2019 by an official at Chinese Communist Party’s annual National People’s Consultative Congress. Continue reading

Rouhani Went To Baghdad To Strengthen His Country’s Strategic Security With Iraq

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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a news conference with Iraq’s President Bahram Salih in Tehran, Iran, November 17, 2018

 

This was the first visit since the Iranian leader assumed office in 2013 and importantly underscored just how integral relations between the Islamic Republic and Iraq are for both parties. Much can be said about the symbolism of his warm welcome and multi-day stay in the country compared to the brief photo-ops that American presidents take in military bases every once in a while during the rare occasion that they make a surprise visit there, which shows the difference between the organic multi-millennial ties that the Iranian and Iraqi people enjoy and the master-vassal relationship that the US has to Iraq. Building upon that, Rouhani was also sending the message that Iran is the country with predominant influence in Iraq and not the US despite the latter’s current low-level military deployment and the more than $2 trillion that it spent on the eight-year-long war there. Continue reading

China Is Spending Billions To Dethrone The U.S. In Race For The World’s Fastest Supercomputer

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China is currently in the midst of a multi-billion dollar investment cycle to upgrade its supercomputer infrastructure in a bid to pass the United States for fastest supercomputer in the world after the United States regained the title for fastest supercomputer in 2018, ending a five-year reign of Chinese dominance.

As SCMP notes, China had been first on the global Top 500 list of supercomputers since the launch of Tianhe-2 in 2013. In June 2018, the U.S. Summit supercomputer bumped China from the number one spot. Continue reading

Turkey: Putin’s Ally in NATO?

Turkey has NATO’s second biggest army, and its military love affair with Russia may be in its infancy now, but it undermines NATO’s military deterrence against Russia. Pictured: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, on March 10, 2017. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

 

  • On March 7, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey would never turn back from the S-400 missile deal with Russia. He even added that Ankara may subsequently look into buying the more advanced S-500 systems now under construction in Russia.
  • With the S-400 deal, Turkey is simply telling its theoretical Western allies that it views “them,” and “not Russia,” as a security threat. Given that Russia is widely considered a security threat to NATO, Turkey’s odd-one-out position inevitably calls for questioning its official NATO identity.
  • Turkey has NATO’s second biggest army, and its military love affair with Russia may be in its infancy now, but it undermines NATO’s military deterrence against Russia.

On September 17, 1950, more than 68 years ago, the first Turkish brigade left the port of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, arriving, 26 days later, at Busan in Korea. Turkey was the first country, after the United States, to answer the United Nations’ call for military aid to South Korea after the North attacked that year. Turkey sent four brigades (a total of 21,212 soldiers) to a country that is 7,785 km away. By the end of the Korean War, Turkey had lost 741 soldiers killed in action. The U.N. Memorial Cemetery in Busan embraces 462 Turkish soldiers. Continue reading

Iran Building Two New Nuclear Plants

The reactor building at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran

The reactor building at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran / Getty Images

 

Files complaint against U.S. for ‘crimes against humanity’

Iranian leaders announced on Monday the construction of two new nuclear plants, and it remains unclear if the Trump administration views this as crossing a red line since its abandonment of the landmark nuclear deal, which included provisions permitting Iran to work on heavy water nuclear reactors that could provide a plutonium-based pathway to a bomb. Continue reading

50 Iranian drones conduct massive ‘way to Jerusalem’ exercise – report

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A military vehicle carrying Iranian Zoobin smart bomb (L) and Sagheb missile under pictures of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (R) and Late Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011.. (photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)

 

The point of the drill is to showcase Iran’s military prowess. It comes in the wake of a large naval drill in February and frequent new tests of ballistic missiles.

Iran’s Defense Ministry announced on Thursday that it had launched a massive exercise involving 50 drones that are based on a US Sentinel drone the Iranians captured in 2011. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said it was the strongest exercise of its kind to date. Continue reading

China is overtaking US in artificial intelligence: researchers

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China is poised to overtake the United States in artificial intelligence with a surge in academic research on the key technology, an analysis published Wednesday showed.

The analysis by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence showed China has already surpassed the US in published papers on AI — although many of these were considered “medium-quality” or “low-quality.” Continue reading