MUNICH/BERLIN(Own report) – The organizers of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), one of the world’s most important military policy conferences, are urging that the EU’s transformation into a war alliance be accelerated. The European Union of states should be able to take on “missions,” similar to the 2011 military operation against Libya, at any time, according to a recent report by the Munich Security Conference, the McKinsey management consulting firm and the elite Hertie School of Governance. Not only drastic increases in the military budgets are being demanded of the EU members, but, above all, investments in modern military equipment. The authors of the report not only emphasize the harmonization of European weapon system standards but are also demanding that EU-states invest more in research, and to a growing extent, involve universities, branches of civilian industries and so-called start-up enterprises. According to the MSC Chairman, the German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger, these are “essential” decisions, because it is “unsustainable” for the EU to continue to rely on US “protection.”
The maiden operational launch of Iran’s Soumar Kh-55 cruise missile was apparently entrusted to Yemen’s Houthis against a UAE target. Has it been given to Hizballah, another Iranian proxy?
Yemen’s Houthi rebels last week showed on their TV channel video footage of Iran’s most highly advanced Soumar.Kh-55 cruise missile, which can carry a nuclear warhead. They claimed to have fired it at the unfinished Abu Dhabi power plant on Dec.3. The United Arab Emirates refuted this claim, saying that any missile reaching their air space would have been intercepted by advanced Emirati air defenses. Continue reading
Former Kremlin Foreign Policy Advisor Sergey Karaganov stated that the world is living in a new Cold War, which is worse than the previous one. “Nowadays the risk of war is much greater than in the past. One of the reasons is that there is no system of agreements, no hot lines and no channels for consultation between the defense ministries. We have prevented a war in Europe by disrupting plans to involve Ukraine into Western alliances. If Ukraine had become a member of NATO, a war would have become unavoidable,” said Karaganov.
He further stated that Russia and China are the “main providers of security” in the world today, explaining that China is providing economic security, while Russia is providing military-strategic security. According to Karaganov, Europe is becoming increasingly focused on itself, while America is destabilizing the world. He then added that multipolarity that Russia had vigorously promoted in order to destroy the unipolar American system is no longer a goal in itself. “Now it is just a transitional period in the history of international relations,” said Karaganov.
Following are excerpts from Karaganov’s interview:
Russia And China Are The Main Providers Of Security In The World Today
The last time an anti-establishment billionaire made waves in pre-election polls, the major media scoffed and wrote it off and it became fodder for late-night talk show hosts.
We all know how that turned out. Continue reading
Released on Monday, the US Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC, drafted a new strategy for how US ground forces will operate, fight, and campaign successfully across multiple domains—space, cyberspace, air, land, maritime—against all enemies in the 2025-2040 timeframe.
The new strategy calls for “super-empowered individuals and small groups”, who are mobile and can simultaneously fight in every domain of warfare, which will replace the conventional large units like today. Continue reading
With the onset of winter and the increasing strain on Ukraine’s energy system, the threat of a new nuclear disaster in Central Europe is becoming more than just a theoretical danger. According to analysts from Energy Research & Social Science (ERSS), there is an 80% probability of a “serious accident” at one of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants before the year 2020. This is due both to the increased burden on the nuclear plants caused by the widespread shutdowns of Ukraine’s thermal power plants (the raw material they consumed – coal from the Donbass – is in critically short supply) and also because of the severe physical deterioration of their Soviet-era nuclear equipment and the catastrophic underfunding of this industry.
Should such an incident occur, the EU would not only be faced with the potential environmental consequences, but also – given the recent introduction of visa-free travel – a large-scale exodus of Ukrainians out of contaminated areas. Continue reading
Russia is poised to break out of its oil-related slump and become one of the best performing emerging markets economies in the years ahead. This sleeping giant is breaking its dependence on oil prices and embraces diversified growth.
When you hear the name “Russia” you probably run for cover. Russia has been the subject of nearly continuous media coverage bordering on frenzy since the election of Donald Trump last November. Continue reading
With ultra-loose monetary policy coming to an end, it is best to tread carefully
IN HIS classic, “The Intelligent Investor”, first published in 1949, Benjamin Graham, a Wall Street sage, distilled what he called his secret of sound investment into three words: “margin of safety”. The price paid for a stock or a bond should allow for human error, bad luck or, indeed, many things going wrong at once. In a troubled world of trade tiffs and nuclear braggadocio, such advice should be especially worth heeding. Yet rarely have so many asset classes—from stocks to bonds to property to bitcoins—exhibited such a sense of invulnerability. Continue reading
Cyber is the newest branch of warfare. Even in its baby stages, it has the potential to cripple the United States.
On the afternoon of Dec. 23, 2015, Ukrainian engineers from a Prykarpattya Oblenergo power station stared at a computer screen while the cursor progressed on its own across the monitor. The mouse on the table had not moved. But the cursor hovered over the station’s breakers, each one controlling power to thousands of Ukrainian citizens. Then, with one mouse click at a time, the hackers now in control of the power station began shutting off power to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians.
At the same time, Kyivoblenergo employees watched as dozens of substations shut down, one by one. In their case, there was no phantom mouse. A computer on their network that they could not locate was being used by someone to shut down the power—and there was nothing they could do. Continue reading
On September 21, 2017, Russian news agency RIA published an article, titled “The West Was Right To Fear ‘Zapad-2017, For Russia Is No Longer Nice,” by journalist Irina Alksnis. According to the author, the recent Russia-Belarus joint Zapad-2017 drills (September 14-20) reflect Russian military policy towards the West. “Russia is preparing for war; it is preparing in earnest. And first and foremost, on the Western axis,” writes Alksnis.
The author adds that Eastern European countries understand that “the flamboyance and overtness” of Russia’s drills indicate that Moscow is guided by the classical principle “if you want peace, prepare for war”‘. However, Alksnis stresses: “The world also knows two Russian maxims: the classical one about the rifle hanging on the wall, and the modern one: ‘Russia will never again fight on its own territory’.”
Alksnis’ analysis dispenses with the usual Russian reaction to Western apprehension over growing Russian military might. This is not irrational panic, or an attempt to divert public attention but recognition that Russia has returned to the international arena as a dominant player and shed of its previous sentimentality. In other words Western fears prove the efficacy of Russia’s foreign and defense policies and should be viewed with satisfaction. Continue reading
The exercises are part of President Vladimir Putin’s effort to demonstrate Russia’s full recovery from being a military basket case following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Russia’s Northern Fleet claimed to have sent about 50 ships, submarines and support vessels into the Barents and Baltic Seas in August on a series of anti-submarine, anti-mine and search-and-rescue operations, a Russian Navy spokesman told Russia’s Interfax news agency.
As the two old, cold war adversaries, Russia and NATO, prepare to begin massive war games to show off their respective military strengths, it was the UK’s turn to accuse Russia first of “testing the West” by conducting war games on NATO’s eastern flank in its biggest military exercise in four years. Speaking on BBC’s “The Andrew Marr Show” on Sunday, U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said that Russia’s exercise “is designed to provoke us, it’s designed to test our defenses, and that’s why we have to be strong. Russia is testing us and testing us now at every opportunity. We’re seeing a more aggressive Russia. We have to deal with that.”
In a testament to our hyperbolic times, Fallon’s statement also contained just a “little bit” of fake news: while Fallon said that more than 100,000 Russian and Belorussian troops are at the borders of North Atlantic Treaty Organization members, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said last month that the so-called Zapad 2017 exercise Sept. 14-20 involves 13,000 troops, and that the drills are “purely of a defensive nature” according to Bloomberg. Continue reading
NATO has put Moscow on notice that it will be keeping a close eye on a major military exercise with Belarus next week, in a region still on edge after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Similar drills in the past included a simulated invasion of Poland by tens of thousands of Russian troops culminating in a nuclear strike on Warsaw, and the coming show of force, codenamed “Zapad 2017” (West 2017) has sparked months of speculation and fears along NATO’s eastern flank.
Observers say that while there is little chance of Russia using the exercise as cover for an actual invasion, there are concerns about what troops and equipment it will leave behind afterwards.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is signaling his support for suppling the Ukraine with weapons. During a visit to that country Thursday, Mattis said Washington would keep up pressure on Russia over what he called its aggressive behavior.