The Fed Has the Economy in a Liquidity Trap

The Federal Open Market Committee, in its latest meeting Wednesday, reiterated the same message to spellbound investors that’s been in place the last eight years: The Fed is committed to maintaining a massive balance sheet through bond buying, but someday that balance sheet and near-zero interest rates will revert to normal levels. Continue reading

General: China Space Threat Drives U.S. Space Warfare Buildup

‘I’m not NASA,’ space commander says (UPDATED)

China’s growing space warfare capabilities are prompting the Air Force to develop military space weapons to protect U.S. satellites and shoot down enemy systems, the commander of the Air Force Space Command said in an interview that aired on Sunday.

“It’s a competition I wish wasn’t occurring, but it is,” Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the space commander, told CBS News.

“And if we’re threatened in space, we have the right of self defense and we’ll make sure we can execute that right.”

Asked if those defenses will involve military force, Hyten states: “That’s why we have a military … I’m not NASA.”

Hyten said some U.S. military satellites can maneuver to avoid attack but older ones cannot. “It depends on the satellite … when it was built … how old it is … when we know the threat is coming.” Continue reading

The F-35 Has To Phone Texas Before Taking Off

The U.S. military ran the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter through a series of tests aboard the USS Nimitz super carrier in San Diego in early November. It performed adequately, with one exception — it needed to send its diagnostic data to Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas, before taking off. If the most recent exercises are any indication, the F-35 may need to phone home every time it sets out on a mission.

First, the good news. The plane flew through its aerial paces well enough and passed a majority of its flight tests. Continue reading

Israel’s Grand Strategy

It was a shrewd move to visit the United States at this time. The president is facing re-election, and craves Jewish support. After the election, Obama may prove indifferent to Israel. Extract public support from him now and he will be obligated to “have Israel’s back.” It is difficult to recall an Israeli prime minister visiting Washington with a similar objective – using publicity to pressure a sitting president. In terms of Netanyahu’s future intentions, we may conclude that he means business; that is to say, he is contemplating a strike that could result in a wider war.

What else is behind Netanyahu’s political maneuvering? If Israel could simply bomb Iran and eradicate the Iranian nuclear program, why would Netanyahu need American support? The answer to these and other questions was offered Sunday night by Israeli spymaster Meir Dagan on CBS’s 60 Minutes. Dagan, a former head of Mossad, publicly spoke against an Israeli attack on Iran. “An attack on Iran … is not the right way to do it,” he told 60 Minutes. Dagan believes in low intensity warfare.

Full article: Israel’s Grand Strategy (JR Nyquist)