Juncker envisages EU of core groups

Integration and more integration, the only solution the Eurocrats present in the face of political, economic and social instability. Get ready for the German-led United States of Europe, possibly a group of 10 nations.

 

Juncker: “This is no longer a time when we can imagine everyone doing the same thing together” (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

 

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker has said that EU states which wanted deeper integration should press ahead in core groups in reaction to the UK’s departure.

“We can do many things together, but his is no longer a time when we can imagine everyone doing the same thing together,” he said at a speech in the Louvain-la-Neuve university in Belgium on Thursday (23 February). Continue reading

Germany Considers Economic Retaliation Against Trump

Caption: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

 

If America unleashes a trade war starting with BMW, Germany is prepared to fight back.

Senior German politicians have threatened to unleash a trade war on the United States if President Donald Trump follows through his threats to German industry.

President Donald Trump famously threatened to put a 35 percent tax on the German car manufacturer BMW in an interview published by the Times of London and Bild on January 15. German politicians were quick to respond. The next day, German public broadcaster ZDF asked German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble if the world is entering a time of more protectionism. Schäuble said he hoped not but also pointed out one way Germany could hit back.

“I also want to point out that currently American companies don’t have to tax their gains which they make outside of the U.S.,” he said. “That means that hundreds of billions of untaxed gains, of great American companies, rest in a tax oasis” (Trumpet translation throughout). Continue reading

Driven into their Arms

MEXICO CITY/BERLIN (Own report) – The Mexican government is pushing to rapidly modernize its free trade agreement with the EU and has declared its “close affinity” to Germany, following US President Trump’s threats of massive reprisals by building a wall at the border and imposing punitive tariffs. Because of its extreme dependence on the USA, Mexico can only hold its ground by intensifying its relations with other countries, according to Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray. Mexico’s enticements are greeted with sympathy by German business circles. The majority of German firms active in Mexico had already decided on new investments and is planning to carry these out, despite expected disadvantages from the projected US trade policy. Experts assume that the US administration cannot afford excessive punitive tariffs or other exorbitant escalations. At an appearance last week in Mexico, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser ostentatiously announced investments worth US $200 million and signed an agreement of intent with Mexico’s Minster of Economics for infrastructure and industrial projects with a possible volume of up to US $36 billion. Continue reading

Russia Reveals Information Warfare Troops

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu / AP

 

Defense minister: New force ‘stronger’ than past counter propaganda efforts

Russia disclosed this week that it has strengthened its information warfare forces amid U.S. charges of influence operations aimed at swaying the outcome of the 2016 election.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu revealed information capabilities in an assessment of Russia’s military power provided to Russian officials on Wednesday in Moscow.

“Over this time, information operations forces have been formed, which are much more efficient and stronger than the counter propaganda department,” Shoigu said. He did not elaborate on what is regarded as one of the Russian military’s more secret capabilities. Continue reading

Inside the Ring: Pentagon Studies Ways to Counter Hypersonic Missile Threat from China, Russia

Navy Phoenix missiles like this one may be used to acquire hypersonic flight test data. (NASA)

 

The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency has launched a study of innovative ways to counter advanced missile threats such as ultra-high-speed maneuvering hypersonic missiles.

“MDA understands the emerging threat posed by hypersonic glide vehicle and maneuvering ballistic missile warheads and is evaluating programs and technologies to address this threat,” MDA spokesman Chris Johnson told Inside the Ring.

The agency recently released a request for information that will seek to identify weapon concepts for defense against future advanced threats such as hypersonics, he said. The responses are due Friday and will be used to develop an “analysis of alternatives” planned for 2017. Continue reading

Malaysian police: Deadly VX nerve agent killed Kim’s half-brother

VX nerve agent, a chemical on a U.N. list of weapons of mass destruction, was used to kill the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in last week’s murder in a busy Kuala Lumpur airport, Malaysian police said on Friday. The two women who assaulted him wiped the deadly chemical on his face as he prepared to board a plan for the Chinese territory of Macau. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia says it’s ‘Ready to Send Ground Troops’ to Syria

[Mosa’ab Elshamy/AP]

 

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, has said the kingdom is ready to send ground troops to Syria to “fight ISIS” following the meeting between US Senator John McCain and the Saudi King, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The Saudi foreign minister said Saudi forces could battle ISIS alongside US special forces in Syria, Süddeutsche Zeitung repoted on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia is a long-term supporter of various radical jihadi groups, including Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda), opposing the Syrian government.

Any involvement of Saudi forces in the conflict in Syria will clearly lead to the escalation of the war. Continue reading

DEBKA Exclusive: Saudi intel chief visited Ramallah, Jerusalem this week

The director of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service, Khalid Bin Ali Al Humaidan, visited Ramallah and Jerusalem on Tuesday and Wednesday, DEBKAfile reports exclusively. There was no confirmation by any Palestinian or Israeli source. Continue reading

Iran Renews Destructive Cyber Attacks on Saudi Arabia

AP

Tehran strategy seeks takeover of oil-rich U.S. ally

After a four-year hiatus, Iran recently resumed destructive cyber attacks against Saudi Arabia in what U.S. officials say is part of a long-term strategy by Tehran to take over the oil-rich kingdom and regional U.S. ally.

Late last month, the Saudi government warned in a notice to telecommunications companies that an Iranian-origin malicious software called Shamoon had resurfaced in cyber attacks against some 15 Saudi organizations, including government networks. Continue reading

Taiwan Joins Global War On Cash: Plans To Ban Purchases Of Houses, Cars, & Jewelry

 

The cancerous virus of freedom-destroying worldwide cash-bans – in the name of fighting terrorism – has reached Taiwan this week. With the aim of ‘preventing money-laundering’, Taiwan may ban cash purchases of properties and luxury goods, Taipei-based Economic Daily News reports, citing unidentified official at Ministry of Justice.

As we previously noted, the War on Cash is not merely continuing, it is intensifying. Continue reading

Is James O’Keefe About To Smoke CNN? Tells Hannity He’s Set To Release “Hundreds of Hours” Of Newsroom Footage “Wikileaks Style”

 

James O’Keefe of Project Veritas is set to unleash holy hell Thursday on #FakeNews network CNN. Well, he didn’t exactly say it was CNN, but it was heavily implied. Apparently the network has a mole…

O’Keefe is known for undercover sting operations which have led to such bombshells as the DNC’s paid agitator network, the outing of “DisruptJ20” / Antifa organizers which took place at comet ping pong – and netted three arrests (including a suspected pedophile), and most recently New Hampshire election fraud. Continue reading

Iran ready to give U.S. ‘slap in the face’: commander

Head of Iran’s Revolutionary guards ground forces Mohammad Pakpour (C) attends a funeral ceremony in Tehran October 20, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

 

Since taking office last month, U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to get tough with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic after its ballistic missile test on Jan. 29 that it was playing with fire and all U.S. options were on the table.

“The enemy should not be mistaken in its assessments, and it will receive a strong slap in the face if it does make such a mistake,” said General Mohammad Pakpour, head of the Guards’ ground forces, quoted by the Guards’ website Sepahnews. Continue reading

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

The Rotten Heart of the United States Navy

Caption: Donald Trump speaks aboard the World War II Battleship USS Iowa. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The United States Navy is the most dominant military force in world history. Its firepower compared to rival fleets makes it unchallengeable. However, that power is eroding.

In response, President Donald Trump has vowed to implement the biggest shipbuilding strategy since Ronald Reagan. The president cited that the U.S. Navy is its smallest since World War I and needs rapid expansion to avoid collapse. With China, Russia and Iran challenging U.S. naval hegemony, it seems like an appropriate response. Indeed, the U.S. Navy has been losing its edge technologically and numerically since the end of the Cold War. However, that is not the most dangerous threat it faces.

The U.S. Navy has a crisis in character. If not solved, it will completely neutralize one of the greatest forces for good in the world. Continue reading

Who’s Contributing How Much To Financing NATO?

You will find more statistics at Statista

 

While the U.S. outspends all NATO allies when it comes to overall defence spending in relation to her GDP, Statista’s Dyfed Loesche notes – and President Trump is very well aware of – the U.S. is also the prime direct financer of NATO.

However, direct contribution are more evenly split between the major NATO powers. Germany for example, spends only 1.19 percent of her GDP into defence (USA = 3.61 percent) but seemingly pulls its weight when it comes to direct funding of NATO. This does not include contributions to particular military operations.

As George Friedman recently notedEuropeans must face two facts… Continue reading