BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) – At this week’s Asia-Europe Meeting in Brussels, the EU will introduce a new “connectivity strategy” to counter China’s “New Silk Road.” As outlined by the EU’s head of foreign policy in September, the strategy is aimed at improving transportation infrastructure as well as digital and energy networks linking Asia and Europe. Beijing is also active in these domains in connection with its Silk Road initiative. Recently, Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an initial thrust in this project. At the time, Minister of State Niels Annen (SPD) declared in Uzbekistan that social standards and human rights are “priorities” for Brussels. “This is what makes our offer different from China’s Belt and Road initiative.” For years, Germany had supported – even with military assistance – the Uzbek regime that was applying torture. Washington has also launched a new infrastructure initiative in Asia, to which US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the USA is committed to “honest accords” and would “never seek dominance over the Indo-Pacific.” Continue reading
The trade war is a rather strange and bewildering affair if you do not understand the underlying goal behind it. If you think that the goal is to balance the trade deficit and provide a more amicable deal for U.S. producers on the global market, then you are probably finding yourself either confused, or operating on blind faith that the details will work themselves out.
Case in point, the latest reports that the U.S. trade deficit is now on track to hit 10-year highs, after a 7% increase in June. This is the exact opposite of what was supposed to happen when tariffs were initiated. In fact, I recall much talk in alternative media circles claiming that the mere threat of tariffs would frighten foreign exporters into balancing trade on their own. Obviously this has not been the case. Continue reading
Russia’s navy will deploy a total of 26 new ships this year including four carrying Kalibr cruise missiles, President Vladimir Putin said Sunday as the country celebrated Navy Day with a show of strength. Continue reading
The Pentagon has billed the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as the most advanced multirole fighter in its arsenal, but the most expensive piece of military equipment ever made apparently has a weak spot that could make it visible to newest air defense systems developed in Russia and China.
“The F-35’s single Pratt & Whitey F135 engine – while immensely powerful, producing about 43,000 lbs of thrust – also runs extremely hot,” defense analyst Dave Majumdar wrote for the National Interest. “The Russians – who build excellent infrared sensors – could use the F-35’s thermal signature to develop a weapons quality track to engage the stealthy new jet.”
Due to the gravity and importance of the subject, the article in its entirety will remain archived here.
Britain’s departure from Europe is a geopolitically significant event. But did you know Bible prophecy said it would happen?
Millions of people decided whether Britain would remain a member of the European Union on June 23. The British people have made their opinion clear.
Did you know that God had an opinion on this subject as well?
In choosing to leave the European Union, the Brits actually brought about an event Bible prophecy foretold was going to happen! Continue reading
It was meant to be a farewell visit by a cherished friend heading for retirement. Instead, Barack Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia Tuesday and Wednesday turned into an unwanted call by an uninvited guest at an inconvenient time.
It started a the airport, when Saudi King Salman sent one of his nephews to greet the US president on arrival in Riyadh. The gesture was specially telling because the Saudi monarch had spent much of the day personally welcoming other leaders at the airport. It ended not much better: forced smiles, unconvincing statements of solidarity.
It was typical of what has become the Obama Doctrine: dropping old allies in the hope of turning adversaries into new friends.
Needless to say, the gamble has failed. Continue reading
With Russian-Turkish relations bottoming out after Turkey’s downing of a Russian military jet last November, Ankara is scrambling to reduce its dependency on Russian gas. But the help it needs from post-Soviet energy producers may not be swift in coming.
The Caspian Sea state of Azerbaijan, Turkey’s closest ally in the post-Soviet region, was the first place Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu [sic] visited after the November 24 downing incident. And most recently, Davuto?lu [sic] met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Davos on January 20.
“Two nations, one people” is a popular mantra that officials in both Turkey and Azerbaijan use to describe their relationship. And yet when it comes to energy, there seems to be limits to this unity. Continue reading
Russian state media has reported on an advanced Kilo-class submarine appearing close to the Syrian coast, equipped with Russian Kalibr cruise missiles.
The reports, coming from a source in the Russian Ministry of Defence cited by Interfax, are as yet unconfirmed by the Russian MoD. Continue reading
From time to time, there’s a must-read article worth posting in its entirety or a majority of it in tact. This is one of those articles.
Those who underestimate Russia’s Vladimir Putin do so at their peril.
In the West, many see Russian President Vladimir Putin more as a schoolyard bully than a ruthless tyrant. He’s mischievous and unfriendly, but his behavior, we tell ourselves, is the result of insecurity. If we ignore him, he’ll grow out of it. Many are amused by and even admire Putin’s personality and behavior. He is the John Wayne of world politics: decisive, uncompromising and masculine. He is the antithesis of the soft, politically correct Western politician. He’s traditional, conservative and pragmatic in a world growing ever more liberal, secular and dangerously idealistic.
But we must not be deceived by Vladimir Putin.
Tehran’s navy chief says vessels will ‘soon berth’ at Atlantic ports
Iran intends to dispatch “a fleet of warships” to the Atlantic Ocean shortly, the semi-state Fars news agency reported Thursday, quoting the regime’s navy chief.
“Our warships will soon berth at ports in the Atlantic Ocean,” Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari promised at a ceremony on Wednesday marking the return to port of Iranian warships that Fars said had taken part in joint drills with the Russian navy. Continue reading
Watching the US attempt to explain to the public why Washington can’t join the Russians in targeting extremists in Syria has been entertainment gold. The fundamental PR problem revolves around the fact that the West has gone out of its way to hold up ISIS as the quintessential example of pure, unadulterated evil that must be eradicated at all costs and yet when Moscow began bombing ISIS targets and publicly implored the US to join in, Washington said no.
If you’re the public that seems strange. To be sure, everyday Westerners are accustomed to Russophobic propaganda in the news and in cinema and the public is thoroughly conditioned to think of The Kremlin as a weird, multi-colored palace complex staffed with hundreds of James Bond villains in a country where it’s always dark, and always snowing. That said, Western leaders have had a difficult time explaining why that’s somehow worse than ISIS, whose slickly-produced videos have so far depicted a series of beheadings, a Jordanian pilot being burned alive, “spies” being drowned in a cage, and four men being packed into a Toyota Corolla which is then destroyed at close range by a rocket launcher. Continue reading
Putin did press Obama for the US to join Russia in a real grand coalition bent on smashing ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. The Obama administration, once again, relented. I detailed here what happened next: an earth-shattering game-changer in the ‘New Great Game’ in Eurasia, straight out of the Caspian Sea, that caught the acronym fest of US intelligence – not to mention the Pentagon – completely off-guard.
So this was Putin’s first message to Washington, and the Pentagon/NATO combo in particular; your fancy ideas of stationing tactical nuclear weapons or expanding missile defense to Eastern Europe, or even Asia-Pacific, are just a mirage. Our cruise missiles are capable of wreaking real effective havoc; and soon, as this piece argues, there will be more hypersonic, high-precision long-range missiles added to the mix. Continue reading
- Four warships based in Caspian Sea launched 26 strikes on 11 ISIS targets
- Russian defence minister insists the missiles did not hit any civilian areas
- Comes as Assad’s troops pushed into two provinces backed by jet strikes
- ISIS does not hold any territory in the areas where the fighting is underway
- U.S. NATO chief praises Russia’s ‘impressive’ military presence in Syria
Russian warships joined the conflict in Syria with a volley of cruise missile attacks on Islamic State as Syrian government troops launched a major ground offensive supported by Moscow air strikes.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told Vladimir Putin in televised remarks that four ships based 900 miles away in the Caspian Sea had launched 26 missiles – and claimed they would strike 11 ISIS targets.
Video released by the Russian Defence Ministry shows the warships launching the missiles which Shoigu insisted destroyed all the targets and did not hit any civilian areas. Continue reading
Iranian military leader: ‘Only the dead body of the American troops realizes the power of’ Iran
Two Russian warships have docked in northern Iran for a series of naval training exercises with the Islamic Republic, according to Persian-language reports translated by the CIA’s Open Source Center.
“The [Russian] warships, Volgodonsk and Makhachkala docked in Anzali Port [near the Caspian Sea], in the fourth naval zone, on the afternoon of 9 August,” the report says. Continue reading
In the meantime, the turmoil offers an opportunity for Russia to advance its interests. Of course, the EU is an absolutely critical trading partner for Russia, so if the bloc starts to fray at the seams, that presents financial risks to an already struggling Russian economy. Russia’s central bank governor Elvira Nabiulllina warned in June of the brewing threat that a Greek default would have on Russia. “We do consider that scenario as one of possible risks which would increase turbulence in the financial markets in the European market, bearing in mind the fact the European Union is one of major trading partners, and we are definitely worried by it,” she said in an interview with CNBC.
With the economic fallout in mind, Russia does see strategic opportunities in growing discord within Europe. First, Russia is pushing its Turkish Stream Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline that it has proposed that would run from Russia through Turkey and link up in Greece. From there, Russian gas would travel on to the rest of Europe. Russia is vying against a separate pipeline project that would send natural gas from the Caspian Sea through Turkey and on to Europe. Continue reading