This Week’s Highlights:
- U.S. commanders are worried that if they had to head off a conflict with Russia, the most powerful military in the world could get stuck in a traffic jam, writes Michael Birnbaum for The Washington Post. The delays could enable Russia to seize NATO territory in the Baltics while U.S. Army planners were still filling out the 17 forms needed to cross Germany and into Poland.
- U.S. President Bill Clinton and his advisers naively challenged Russia’s security perimeter, not realizing that “each inch of eastward expansion was bound to increase Russian distrust of the West,” writes Professor Melvyn Leffler, quoting from Ben Steil’s new book. Steil, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that whereas the architects of the Marshall Plan and NATO “acknowledged that a line was being drawn, and were willing to bear the necessary costs to defend it,” the Clinton administration “was denying the line’s existence.” Continue reading
PHOTOS have emerged of new construction in China, which experts believe could be part of a contingency plan to invade North Korea or amass their huge army on their shared border amid World War 3 fears.
Communist China has traditionally been North Korea’s closest ally, but Kim Jong-un’s continued nuclear and ballistic missile tests have tested Beijing’s patience.
It also comes as North Korea was spotted transporting 30 Scud missiles from Hwangju, south of the capital Pyongyang, to Nampo, on the Korea Bay coast opposite China.
Now photos reveal the Communist superpower is building a six-lane highway in its desolately populated north east on route to North Korea.
A stunning fulfillment of a specific Bible prophecy
We are witnessing a shift in the world order that happens only once in a generation. The global system of alliances is being shaken. Such turmoil usually indicates a massive shift in global power. These shifts often trigger major wars.
For most of the 19th century, Britain’s top enemy was Russia. Britain’s whole system of alliances was built to isolate and oppose Russian power. But at the turn of the century, other powers were rising, most notably Germany. This development triggered a complete shake-up. Russia veered from enemy to ally in 1907. World War i followed on the heels of this upheaval.
That shift in alliances did not cause World War i. But it was a symptom of some of the other long-term causes. 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
As U.S. leaders contemplate a proper definition for “cyberwar,” their counterparts in China have been building a unit capable of fighting such a large-scale conflict.
China’s rival to U.S. Cyber Command, the ambiguously named Strategic Support Force (SSF), is quietly growing at a time when the country’s sizable military is striving to excel in the digital domain.
Though the American government is widely considered to be one of the premier hacking powers — alongside Israel, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom — China is rapidly catching up by following a drastically different model. Continue reading
If Donald Trump turns his back on Asian economies, China is ready and willing to step into the vacuum.
During the election campaign, Trump blasted international trade deals, tapping intoa deep well of popular anger over the effects of globalization. Now, President-elect Trump’s first victim could be the huge Pacific trade agreement that he slammed as a “disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was a key plank of President Obama’s push to boost U.S. influence in Asia. But now it looks doomed, with Congress refusing to ratify it and Trump having vowed to kill it. Continue reading
Chinese and Middle Eastern investors have other priorities.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
When the Federal Reserve hiked benchmark rates in December, the initial jump in the short-end of the nominal U.S. yield curve raised expectations that foreign buyers would snap up the country’s assets, thanks to their yield relative to those of other developed markets ravaged by low policy rates.
In fact, net foreign flows to the U.S. have been decidedly weak this year, thanks to an exodus by foreign central banks and sovereign wealth funds, who’ve been dumping U.S. securities in order to raise cash to put to work at home. Continue reading
Hillary Clinton’s emails and server misconduct are the least of our worries. The fact that her server was receiving files that passed through or originated on the State Department servers is enough to know she exposed her private system to hackers. The US system is/was/has been compromised, for years, since before Hillary tapped in her new network. Michael McCaul, a Texas Congressman and Chairman of The House Committee On Homeland Security called Clinton “careless” and said she “potentially did harm” to national security. Earlier this week McCaul said this:
One thing is clear from FBI Director Comey’s announcement today—Secretary Clinton was not fully honest in her representation of her use of email to the American people. She was careless with classified and sensitive information and potentially did harm to the United States and our national security. Secretary Clinton will still have to answer to and be held accountable by the American people. Continue reading
For the past year, Chinese selling of Treasuries has vexed investors and served as a gauge of the health of the world’s second-largest economy.
The People’s Bank of China, owner of the world’s biggest foreign-exchange reserves, burnt through 20 percent of its war chest since 2014, dumping about $250 billion of U.S. government debt and using the funds to support the yuan and stem capital outflows.
While China’s sales of Treasuries have slowed, its holdings of U.S. equities are now showing steep declines. Continue reading
First the the nuclear-capable carrier killer missiles were introduced, then Chinese warships off the coast of Alaska, and now a video of China attacking America.
The hints of which direction Sino-American relations are going couldn’t be any bigger.
Please see the article source for more screencaps.
A small group of Chinese Navy ships showed up near Alaska earlier this week during President Obama’s visit to the northern state, mostly as a “we’re here” message. But then, as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army marched in a Beijing parade, someone simultaneously put out this completely nuts video of a naval attack on an American fleet, and on an American base that looks suspiciously like the one on the Japanese island of Okinawa.
If that wasn’t stronger than a implicit “we’re here” message, I’m not sure what is. Couple that with news from earlier today showing that the Chinese Navy actually passed through American waters under the “Right of Innocent Passage” (something that the U.S. Navy is quite familiar with on its own), and you’ve got something quite explicit indeed.
First spotted by the Council on Foreign Relations, it’s not exactly subtle. It wasn’t the PLA Navy attacking a generic foreign navy, and a generic foreign base either. China’s enemy, in this example, very clearly resembled the United States, after a Chinese base suffered a first strike of its own. Continue reading
Israel and Saudi Arabia have conducted five secret meetings since 2014 to discuss the rise of Iran and the impact on the regional balance of power.
Dore Gold, set to be the next director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and Anwar Majed Eshki, a retired Saudi general and former adviser to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, both spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations event on June 4. Continue reading
A number of European states decided to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) planning to pursue an economic presence in Asia.
MOSCOW (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko – The European countries that have decided to become members of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) want to ensure an economic presence in the most dynamic economic region in the world, experts told Sputnik on Tuesday. Continue reading
Almost half of Germany’s gold is stored in vaults under the streets of Manhattan. Or is it?
Peter Boehringer hates the word “conspiracy.” It implies something crazy, and if you spend even a little time with the 45-year-old German, it becomes clear he’s driven by a desire for order. On a recent morning in Munich, he’s dressed in a cobalt blue shirt that matches his blue tie and blue eyes. His black hair is cropped close above his receded hairline. In his gray Volkswagen minivan, the cup holder contains two identical water bottles, each filled to the same level. At the end of a daylong interview, for which Boehringer has arranged an hour-by-hour itinerary, he sends a follow-up e-mail with a numbered summation of points he’s made. No. 2 says that the crusade he’s been waging for the last three years is simply about transparency. “Questions,” he writes, “by definition cannot be ‘conspiracy theories.’ ”
Boehringer is a gold bug, a member of the impassioned tribe of investors and academics who distrust central banks and paper money, unless the governments that print it will exchange the cash for gold or silver from their vaults. He has an asset management firm that invests his own money and that of clients in gold, silver, and mining stocks, and he’s a founder of the nonprofit German Precious Metal Society, which educates the public about “the craziness of unbacked monetary systems,” he says. In short, Boehringer is worried that the global economy is built on a fiction of currencies that aren’t backed by precious metals. Which is why he set out to make sure the gold that Germany and other nations say they have actually exists. Continue reading
Strong headwinds from weak investment, substantial debt burdens and high unemployment are preventing a pickup in global economic growth despite a strengthening U.S. recovery and tumbling oil prices, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.
A healthier U.S. and cheaper energy “won’t suffice to actually accelerate the growth or the potential for growth in the rest of the world,” the head of the emergency lender to nations said in a speech Thursday at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.
“If the global economy is weak, on its knees, it’s not going to help,” said Ms. Lagarde in remarks previewing the IMF’s latest forecasts for the global economy due out on Monday. Continue reading