Planes, tanks, ships: Russian military gets massive upgrade

FILE – In this Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 file photo, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shougu speaks during a meeting with senior military officials in Moscow, Russia. Sergei Shoigu told lawmakers Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, that the sweeping military modernization program will continue at a high pace this year. Amid tensions with the West, the Kremlin has continued to spend big on new weapons despite Russia’s economic downturn. (Balashova Olga/Defence Ministry Pool Photo via AP, file)

 

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military received a sweeping array of new weapons last year, including 41 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the wide-ranging military modernization will continue this year, the defense minister said Wednesday.

Minister Sergei Shoigu told lawmakers the air force will receive 170 new aircraft, the army will receive 905 tanks and other armored vehicles while the navy will receive 17 new ships this year.

Amid tensions with the West, the Kremlin has continued to spend big on new weapons despite Russia’s economic downturn. Continue reading

TV: Scientists fear Fukushima radiation hitting US to worsen… “A lot of people are very concerned” — Experts: Billions are being exposed… Reactors “will continue to pour water into Pacific for the rest of time” (VIDEO)

 

Arnie Gundersen, former nuclear engineer (emphasis added), Feb 2, 2017: “When I went to school, the saying was ‘dilution is the solution to pollution,’ and that’s what the Japanese believe. If they dump [radioactive water from Fukushima Daiichi] on their side and it floats over to the West Coast of the U.S. — the Pacific’s a big place — it’ll dilute out. I don’t think that’s appropriate… people are going to die. Regardless of how low the radiation is, it does cause cellular damage and cancer. So if you spread it out in a big body of water, the concentration goes down, but on the other hand, you’ve got a couple billion people exposed to it because they’re on the edge of that big body of water. So the concentration is down but the population is up and you’re still going to get cancer; it’s inevitable.” Continue reading

Nuke Experts: Fukushima plant must be entombed like Chernobyl — Reactors will remain a threat to world “for the rest of time” — “Humanly impossible” to clean up due to shockingly high radiation levels

EnviroNews World News, Feb 6, 2017 (emphasis added): The astronomical readings bring major concerns to a cleanup operation already spiraling out of control — flying blindly into territory previously uncharted in the history of nuclear power…. To top it off, 530 sieverts per hour might not be the worst cleanup workers have to worry about. TEPCO also stated that surface-level radiation readings from parts inside the plant’s pressure vessels can reach “several thousand sieverts per hour,” compounding what are already seemingly unsurmountable tasks in the decommissioning process. Esteemed nuclear expert, engineer, and former reactor operator Arnie Gundersen told EnviroNews World News in an email that the position of Fairewinds, his educational non-profit, is that radiation levels are presently way to high to remove the melted fuel, and that the reactors should be entombed, like was done with Chernobyl’s sarcophagus, for at least a century before attempting dismantlement. “[These readings do] make dismantling the facility almost impossible for 100 or more years, as the exposure to workers would be too significant,” Gundersen said. Continue reading

Chinese weapons reaching ‘near-parity’ with West: study

The International Institute for Strategic Studies said that China’s official defence budget of $145 billion (137 billion euros) last year was 1.8 times higher than those of South Korea and Japan combined (AFP Photo/GREG BAKER)

 

China is beginning to export its own weapon designs, including armed drones, worldwide and is reaching “near-parity” with the West in terms of military technology, according to a report on Tuesday.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies said that China’s official defence budget of $145 billion (137 billion euros) last year was 1.8 times higher than those of South Korea and Japan combined. Continue reading

“It Was A Deer In Headlights Moment”: Japan Dumps Most US Treasuries Since May 2013

 

With the December monthly TIC data due out this week, bond traders will be closely watching if the selling of US Treasuries by foreign accounts, and especially central banks, which as we have repeatedly shown for the past several months has hit record levels…

However, this time the surprise may not be China, but its nemesis across the East China Sea, Japan. Continue reading

Expert: “Potential Global Catastrophe” from Fukushima Unit 2 highly radioactive fuel… Reactor could be destroyed “making Tokyo area uninhabitable”… This is “most dreaded” scenario — Already “partially liquefying” below reactors

Akio Matsumura, Japanese Diplomat, Feb 11, 2017 (emphasis added): The Potential Catastrophe of Reactor 2 at Fukushima Daiichi: What Effect for the Pacific and the US?… It is clear to us now that the radiation level in the containment vessel of the crippled Reactor 2 is much higher than experts had believed… The danger of Reactor 2 begs us to ask many new questionsContinue reading

Radiation at Japan’s Fukushima Reactor Is Now at ‘Unimaginable’ Levels

 

The radiation levels at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are now at “unimaginable” levels.

Adam Housley, who reported from the area in 2011 following the catastrophic triple-meltdown, said this morning that new fuel leaks have been discovered.

He said the radiation levels – as high as 530 sieverts per hour – are now the highest they’ve been since 2011 when a tsunami hit the coastal reactor. Continue reading

Has China been Practicing Preemptive Missile Strikes against U.S. Bases?

What a great time to have most of the U.S. carrier strike groups docked on the mainland… for China, that is.

Please see the source for more eerie satellite pictures, etc…

 

Fig. 10: Possible moored ship and naval facility targets, imagery dated August 2013. Compared for scale with actual U.S. destroyer.

You’ve probably heard that China’s military has developed a “carrier-killer” ballistic missile to threaten one of America’s premier power-projection tools, its unmatched fleet of aircraft carriers. Or perhaps you’ve read about China’s deployment of its own aircraft carrier to the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. But heavily defended moving targets like aircraft carriers would be a challenge to hit in open ocean, and were China’s own aircraft carrier (or even two or three like it) to venture into open water in anger, the U.S. submarine force would make short work of it. In reality, the greatest military threat to U.S. vital interests in Asia may be one that has received somewhat less attention: the growing capability of China’s missile forces to strike U.S. bases. This is a time of increasing tension, with China’s news organizations openly threatening war. U.S. leaders and policymakers should understand that a preemptive Chinese missile strike against the forward bases that underpin U.S. military power in the Western Pacific is a very real possibility, particularly if China believes its claimed core strategic interests are threatened in the course of a crisis and perceives that its attempts at deterrence have failed. Such a preemptive strike appears consistent with available information about China’s missile force doctrine, and the satellite imagery shown below points to what may be real-world efforts to practice its execution. Continue reading

ALERT: Collapse imminent at Fukushima — TV: Officials find large section under reactor is “unstable… about to collapse” — “Bad, bad news… Time to reconsider that trip to the east coast of Japan” (VIDEOS)

 

NHK World, Feb 3, 2017 (emphasis added): The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is examining if it can go ahead with a plan to deploy a robot into one of the damaged reactors at the facility… An analysis of the images found that the radiation level inside the vessel was up to 530 sieverts per hour. Officials speculate that fuel debris–a mixture of nuclear fuel and melted parts of the reactor’s facility–may be emitting strong radiation  inside the vessel… Last week’s probe found that part of a metal grating just beneath the reactor was missing. The robot was supposed to move around on the grating. The image analysis also found that an around one square-meter section near the missing segment is about to collapse. Continue reading

WW3 FEARS: Beijing to send extra aircraft carrier to South China Sea over Trump hostility

Aircraft carrier

Beijing already has one aircraft carrier stationed at the islands [Reuters]

 

BEIJING remains braced for a war with the US and its new President Donald Trump as it announced a second aircraft carrier is to be based in the South China Sea.

The chance of conflict has rapidly escalated, with security experts warning Mr Trump had no chance of taking the islands.

And China’s state media has already announced it will “step up preparedness for possible military conflict with US”. Continue reading

EU, not China or Japan, is the biggest US Treasury holder. And this is not a good sign.

biggest us treasury holders

 

US-based media have been reporting that Japan has become the biggest holder of the US treasuries, surpassing China last month. However, this is true only in regard to single countries. If we consider the European Union member states collectively, then they appear to be the biggest holder of the US treasuries. It has been so almost one year long. Unfortunately, the EU’s holdings are artificially overstated because of some financial havens and they are going in the opposite direction to the trend: up rather than down. Continue reading

Japan launches first military communications satellite

Japan’s first dedicated military communications satellite was launched on 24 January from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Tanegashima Space Center in the country’s southwest, according to the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo. Continue reading

Obama’s unprecedented crusade to discredit his successor has strategic consequences

Poison pills and landmines that sabotage the incoming Trump administration left by the exiting Obama administration will continue until the very last second. Yet, there have been already many laid that will keep sprouting up for at least the next four years, depending on Trump having a second term.

President Barack Obama. / Pete Souza / White House

The outgoing U.S. Barack Obama Administration and its supporters embarked on a campaign to traduce and challenge the incoming Administration of President Donald J. Trump in the hope that it would find it difficult to govern effectively.

This may be unprecedented in U.S. history, and could, to the degree that it succeeds, have an impact on U.S. strategic capabilities, actions, and alliances going forward.

No departing U.S. president had gone to such lengths to use the pulpit of the Presidency to discredit an incoming President or presidential candidate as the lengths to which went Obama with Trump. The result was, even by January 2017 — before Mr. Trump was sworn into office — to deliberately inflict damage on the strategic credibility and influence of the United States of America going forward. Continue reading

IMF Boosts Growth Forecast for US, Cites Trump Impact

Please see the source for the video.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund on Monday raised its forecast for the U.S. economy over the next two years, saying President-elect Donald Trump’s policies should boost economic growth, particularly in 2018. But officials warned that if Trump’s protectionist trade proposals set off a trade war, that could be “quite destructive” for the global economy.

The IMF also increased 2017 growth projections for a number of other countries including China, Germany, Japan and Britain, but warned that the global economy faced a number of downside risks from rising protectionism to a jump in interest rates. Continue reading

Taiwan scrambles fighter jets as China carrier enters strait

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of the South China Sea. /Reuters

 

Taiwan’s military was on placed on high alert as a group of Chinese ships, led by the Liaoning aircraft carrier, transited the Taiwan Strait on Jan. 11.

According to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, Beijing’s Soviet-built aircraft carrier, returning from exercises in the South China Sea, had not entered Taiwan’s territorial waters but did enter its air defense identification zone in the southwest.

Taiwan sent its aircraft and ships to “surveil and control” the passage of the Chinese ships north through the body of water separating Taiwan and China, Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said. Continue reading