How a World Order Ends

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And What Comes in Its Wake

A stable world order is a rare thing. When one does arise, it tends to come after a great convulsion that creates both the conditions and the desire for something new. It requires a stable distribution of power and broad acceptance of the rules that govern the conduct of international relations. It also needs skillful statecraft, since an order is made, not born. And no matter how ripe the starting conditions or strong the initial desire, maintaining it demands creative diplomacy, functioning institutions, and effective action to adjust it when circumstances change and buttress it when challenges come. Continue reading

Report Details China’s ‘Informatized’ Military Expansion

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Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops practice marching as they arrive at Tiananmen Gate for a military parade on Sept. 3, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Andy Wong/Getty Images)

 

China’s economic advancement is allowing it to develop a powerful, and threatening military force

China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) has expanded significantly under Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who demands for the Chinese military to be “accelerating toward informatization.” The annual Department of Defense report regarding China detailed the PLA’s recent developments.

Xi says that now is a “period of strategic opportunity,” while military officials set the objective of winning “informatized local wars.” The word “informatize” is similar to the word “industrialize,” means that all aspects of warfare must be computerized. Continue reading

Russian spies ‘launched major cyber attack on Ukraine’ prior to naval incident

Preplanned, as was the invasion of Georgia and the annexation of Ukraine:

Putin Confirms the Invasion of Georgia Was Preplanned (2012)

THE RUSSIAN-GEORGIAN WAR WAS PREPLANNED IN MOSCOW (2008)

The Truth about Ukraine (2014)

 

Strait of Kerch

 

Russia “paved the way” for last November’s seizure of Ukrainian Navy ships by launching a major cyber attack and disinformation campaign aimed at Ukraine, according to a cyber security firm and the European Union. In what has become known as the Kerch Strait incident of November 25, border service coast guard vessels belonging to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) opened fire on three Ukrainian Navy ships that were attempting to enter the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait. All three Ukrainian vessels, along with crews totaling 24 sailors, were captured by the Russian force and remain in detention. Ukraine condemned Russia’s action as an act of war and declared martial law in its eastern and southern provinces. But Moscow said the incident had been caused by a provocation by the Ukrainian government, in a desperate effort to increase its popularity at home. Meanwhile, the three Ukrainian ships and their crews remain in Russia. Continue reading

Merkel Protégé Suggests Naval Blockade of Russian Vessels

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(Photo Credit: Sandro Halank via Creative Commons 3.0)

 

G7 foreign ministers release their own statement of condemnation against the Kremlin.

In an interview with Reuters today, German politician Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Christian Democratic Union leadership front-runner and protege of Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the European Union and U.S. should consider a full blockade of all Russian vessels at their ports in response to the Kerch Strait incident. Continue reading

Russia to deploy new S-400 missiles in Crimea

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Moscow will soon deploy more of its advanced S-400 air defence systems in Russian-annexed Crimea, a military official said Wednesday amid rising tensions with Ukraine. Continue reading

Ukrainian President Warns Of “Full-Scale War With Russia” In Televised Interview

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President Petro Poroshenko said during a Tuesday Ukrainian television interview that the threat of “full-scale war” with Russia could be imminent as tensions rise following the Russia-Ukraine incident near the Kerch Strait on Sunday.

Poroshenko condemned what he described as a rapidly increased Russian military presence on the border with Ukraine, saying, “The number of [Russian] tanks at bases located along our border has tripled,” according to the AFP. Continue reading

Royal Navy warship buzzed by 17 ‘hostile’ Russian fighter jets near Crimea risking crash

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BRAZEN HOSTILITY: HMS Duncan was buzzed by 17 Russian fighter jets (Pic: GETTY)

 

A ROYAL Navy warship was harassed by 17 Russian fighting jets in an “unprecedented” show of military force near the annexed Crimean Peninsula.

HMS Duncan was sailing through the Black Sea with a fleet of NATO warships when the Russian fighter jets swooped in a display of “brazen hostility”.

Video of the dramatic moment in May earlier this year is being aired as part of the Channel 5 documentary following the operations of the Type 45 destroyer in the volatile region. Continue reading

Russia ‘fires at Ukraine ships and captures three vessels’ amid rising tensions off Crimea

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A Russian cargo ship earlier blocked Ukraine’s boats from entering the Sea of Azov

 

The Ukrainian president calls for emergency session of his war cabinet after at least two sailors are injured in the strikes.

Ukraine says Russia has opened fire on its ships in the Black Sea and captured three vessels.

Two sailors have been wounded after two artillery boats were hit in the strikes, the Ukrainian navy said. Continue reading

American Politics Is Now Just Civil War by Other Means

From a pragmatic standpoint, it really is all over for America. The United States has already been in a civil war for at least 10 years. As Martin Armstrong bluntly pointed out in a previous post:

“All we are doing now is waiting for the first shot to be fired that will literally be heard around the world. There will be no return to civility. It will only get worse from here on out. There is no going back. We have actually crossed the point of no return. It is all over.”

The typical ‘civil war’ most Americans think of is the shooting, rioting and tragic violence that takes place. Fact is, that’s only at the end, which lasts anywhere from 48 hours to two weeks, perhaps.

 

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In the wake of the sending of bomb-like devices of uncertain capability to prominent critics of US President Donald Trump and of a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue (both Trump’s fault, of course) – plus a migrant invasion approaching the US through Mexico – there have been widespread calls for toning down harsh and “divisive” political rhetoric. Of course given the nature of the American media and other establishment voices, these demands predictably have been aimed almost entirely against Trump and his Deplorable supporters, almost never against the same establishment that unceasingly vilifies Trump and Middle American radicals as literally Hitler, all backed up by the evil White-Nationalist-in-Chief, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Those appealing for more civility and a return to polite discourse can save their breath. It’s much, much too late for that. Continue reading

Mattis: China’s Island Militarization Continues

James Mattis

James Mattis (Getty Images)

 

Beijing’s South China Sea encroachment on agenda for meetings in Southeast Asia

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week voiced new U.S. opposition to China’s continued militarization of islands in the South China Sea.

“We remain highly concerned with continued militarization of features in the South China Sea,” Mattis told reporters on Monday as he traveled to Vietnam.

Mattis also said China is using predatory economics to seek control over other nations. Continue reading

Germany Blinks First In Ongoing European Gas War

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The U.S. is increasingly finding itself at odds against not only Beijing as Trump executes a sledge hammer approach to ongoing trade disputes with China, but also with Moscow, a potentially more lethal and unpredictable opponent both geopolitically and on the energy front.

Much of Washington’s angst with Russia includes the country’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, it’s meddling in recent U.S. elections, being on opposing sides in the ongoing Syrian Civil War and having differing views over energy security for Europe.

Russia, for its part, with its long-entrenched hold on European gas markets, seeks to solidify its grasp by keeping its gas monopoly largely unchallenged and also by pushing through with Russian energy giant Gazprom’s controversial Nord Stream II gas pipeline project. Continue reading

Report: Russia, Ukraine on Brink of War

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(Photo Credit: Ukrainian Defense Ministry)

 

Tensions are rapidly rising over the Azov Sea and the downing of MH17.

According to a new report, recent developments—none of them good—in the relationship between Ukraine and Russia are pointing toward the possibility of a new military confrontation that could inevitably drag NATO, and the U.S., into World War III. Continue reading

Russia launches biggest ever war games

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Russia launched Tuesday what it called its largest ever military drills, with hundreds of thousands of troops taking part along with Chinese soldiers in a show of force NATO condemned as a rehearsal for “large-scale conflict.”

President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend the games after hosting an economic forum in Russia’s far eastern city Vladivostok where his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping is one of the prominent guests.

The week-long war games dubbed “Vostok-2018″(East-2018) “have kicked off” in far eastern Russia, the defence ministry said. Continue reading

Europe Is Working On Alternative To SWIFT For “Financial Independence” From The US

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German foreign minister Heiko Maas

 

In the aftermath of a report that Germany was working on a global payment system that is independent of the US and SWIFT, on Monday Germany and France said they’re working on financing solutions to sidestep U.S. sanctions against countries such as Iran, including a possible role for central banks, Bloomberg reported.

“With Germany, we are determined to work on an independent European or Franco-German financing tool which would allow us to avoid being the collateral victims of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday during a meeting with press association AJEF. “I want Europe to be a sovereign continent not a vassal, and that means having totally independent financing instruments that do not today exist.”

The discussions, which also involve the U.K., are a signal that European powers are trying to get serious about demonstrating a greater level of independence from the U.S. as President Donald Trump pursues his “America First” agenda. Continue reading