Chinese Communist Party Funds Washington Think Tanks

China's President Xi Jinping

China’s President Xi Jinping / Getty Images

 

United Front Work Department conducts aggressive influence operations in U.S.

China’s Communist Party is intensifying covert influence operations in the United States that include funding Washington think tanks and coercing Chinese Americans, according to a congressional commission report.

The influence operations are conducted by the United Front Work Department, a Central Committee organ that employs tens of thousands of operatives who seek to use both overt and covert operations to promote Communist Party policies. Continue reading

Germany Wants Nukes

For additional information, you can read the following article written by Ulrich Kühn:

The Sudden German Nuke Flirtation (The Carnigie Endowment Foundation for International Peace)

 

Caption: Nuclear missile silo. Titan II ICBM in an underground complex. (Steve Jurvetson/Flickr)

 

For years talking about nuclear weapons was taboo in Germany. Today it’s necessary.

Germany doesn’t want America’s old nuclear weapons—it wants to build its own. In 2009, Germany’s ruling coalition stated one of its goals was to remove American-owned nuclear weapons from German soil. Now the debate has moved on, and some want Germany to build its own nukes.

While the public is skeptical, influential news outlets on both sides of the political spectrum have published editorials promoting a rethinking of Germany’s nuclear policy.

In November 2016, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a conservative-leaning newspaper with Germany’s largest foreign circulation, published an opinion piece titled “The Utterly Unimaginable.” In it, the newspaper’s co-editor Berthold Kohler said the “simple ‘same as before’” route couldn’t continue. The retreat of the United States and the advance of Russia and China meant the Continent was changing: Germany could no longer rely on building “peace without weapons.” Continue reading

Iran Hardliners Gain Authority in Backlash That Could Sideline Rouhani

ANKARA (Reuters) – A year after Iran’s nuclear deal with the West, hardliners are gaining authority in a backlash against pragmatic President Hasan Rouhani that his allies say could leave him sidelined or push him out of power in an election next year.

Rouhani, who was elected in a landslide in 2013 on a promise to reduce Iran’s diplomatic isolation, delivered the agreement that resulted in a lifting of financial sanctions in return for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.

The deal had the grudging approval of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the arch-conservative in office since 1989, whose ultimate authority outranks that of the elected president. Continue reading

The Siege of Crimea (I)

KIEV/MOSCOW/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is watching with apprehension as the conflict between Kiev and Moscow escalates again following Ukraine’s shutting down electrical power to Crimea. Last week, Crimean Tatars and members of the fascist Right Sector are suspected to have blown up several electric pylons, cutting off the supply of power to Crimea. Crimea receives nearly 80 percent of its electricity from Ukraine. The Berlin-sponsored Ukrainian government sees itself as incapable of repairing the power lines. It has imposed – in accordance with the embargo policies of the EU and the USA – its own trade embargo on the peninsula. In the summer 2014, the EU and the USA began imposing economic sanctions on Crimea, which was aggravated by Kiev’s embargo of water and blockade of traffic for over a year. Ukraine will squander its remaining sympathy on the peninsula, warn observers. A similar development had been observed in the Georgian secessionist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia since the 2008 Georgian-Russian war. Early this week, the German government applied pressure on Kiev to restore electricity to Crimea, to avoid another escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which Germany considers detrimental. To no avail – the escalation began yesterday.

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Russian Moves in Syria Widen Role in Mideast

“There were military supplies, they are ongoing, and they will continue,” Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday. “They are inevitably accompanied by Russian specialists, who help to adjust the equipment, to train Syrian personnel how to use this weaponry.”

The Russians have not sent attack planes to the airfield, and the Kremlin has not said whether they will. But the military buildup by Russia, which has been supporting Mr. Assad throughout the four-and-a-half-year Syrian civil war, adds a new friction point in its relations with the United States.

“I don’t believe Western governments are prepared to do very much to slow down or block the risky course the Russians are going on,” said Andrew S. Weiss, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is a former Russia expert for the National Security Council, the State Department and the Pentagon. Continue reading

China Pushes Forward Hypersonic Missile Tests

https://i2.wp.com/english.chosun.com/site/data/img_dir/2015/07/21/2015072100522_0.jpg

 

China has conducted four hypersonic weapons tests in just 18 months, a sign of its continued efforts to make advanced weapons.

Hypersonic weapon delivery vehicles can reach supersonic speeds more than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5 and above).

China confirmed conducting test flights of the new hypersonic missile delivery vehicles, most recently on June 9, but Beijing insisted that the testing of these vehicles, capable of delivering nuclear warheads with record breaking speed, is “purely scientific and not targeted at any country.” Continue reading

Report: Conventional Prompt Global Strike Weapons Face Challenges

The U.S. military has been putting research and development funding into conventional prompt global strike weapons, but more studies need to be done on the implications of actually using them, a new report released Sept. 3 said.

Conventional prompt global strike, or CPGS, would have the ability to rapidly deliver — within minutes or hours — warheads armed with explosives anywhere in the world. Military leaders are interested in using them against  “fleeting targets,” or in areas that that are hard to reach, so-called anti-access/area denial scenarios. Continue reading

Think tanks make case for Obama administration’s policy shift on Iran

Two long-time left-leaning think tanks lead the charge in turning a blind eye to a real threat.

WASHINGTON — Two leading U.S. think tanks have dismissed a military option against Iran and are in line with the Obama administration’s push for a U.S. reconciliation with Iran and acceptance of its nuclear program. Continue reading