Escalation Dominance


On March 1, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin delivered a speech that effectively declared Russia has overwhelming nuclear superiority and war-winning capability against the United States, NATO, and the entire world.

While President Obama neglected modernizing the U.S. nuclear deterrent, questing for a “world without nuclear weapons” – Russia achieved what the USSR never could against any U.S. president during the Cold War, the holy grail of nuclear superiority, what strategists call “escalation dominance.” Continue reading

Putin’s Russia: From basket case to resurgent superpower

In this photo taken on Friday, March 2, 2018 and released Saturday, March 10, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during an interview with NBC News’ Megyn Kelly in Kaliningrad, Russia. In the some times combative interview Putin denied the charge by U.S. intelligence services that he ordered meddling in the November 2016 vote, claiming any interference was not connected to the Kremlin. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)


MOSCOW (AP) — Vladimir Putin and his Russia look more invincible today than at any other time in his 18 years in power.

Since Putin last faced an election in 2012, Russians have invaded Ukraine, annexed Crimea, blanket-bombed Syria, been accused of meddling in the U.S. presidential election and claimed to have a scary new nuclear arsenal.

“No one listened to us. You listen to us now,” he said earlier this month, boasting about those weapons. Continue reading

Navy sends destroyers to Black Sea to ‘desensitize’ Russia

A sailor fires a .50-caliber machine gun aboard the destroyer Carney during a live-fire exercise in the Black Sea. Carney has been deployed to the Black Sea to join the destroyer Ross for the Navy’s first multi-destroyer patrol of the region since 2014. (MC2 James R. Turner/Navy)


The Navy has deployed the guided-missile destroyer Carney to join the destroyer Ross in the Black Sea in a move that U.S. military officials told CNN is intended to “desensitize” Russia to the presence of American military assets in the strategically important region.

The deployment of the Carney marks the first time in four years that two American destroyers have operated in the Black Sea outside of scheduled exercises. The move comes as Russia continues to militarize Crimea, the peninsula it seized from Ukraine in 2014.

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Europe at the Crossroads

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.”

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EU takes step towards closer defence cooperation


The EU will move towards closer defence ties Monday with more than 20 states signing a landmark pact that aims to boost cooperation after Brexit and counteract Russian pressure.

Similar efforts to deepen military links have been frustrated for decades, partly by Britain’s fierce opposition to anything that might lead to a European army. Continue reading

Anti-establishment billionaire vying to become Czech Republic’s next prime minister


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

Massive Russian, NATO Wargames Set To Begin Amid Mutual Accusations Of Provocation

Zapad 2017 preparations


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 defensesand 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 troopsand that the drills are “purely of a defensive nature” according to Bloomberg. Continue reading

U.S. to Remain Dependent on Russian Rocket Engines for Years Despite Billions Poured Into Domestic Alternatives

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is launched / Getty Images


Industry officials say military won’t move fully to American-built engines until at least 2024

The Pentagon will remain dependent on Russian rocket engines to launch military satellites into space through at least the mid-2020s, despite the U.S. government allocating billions of dollars to defense contractors to produce an American-made replacement.

The projection adds several years to initial targets laid out in 2014 by lawmakers and senior Air Force officials, who ordered the United States begin phasing out Russia’s RD-180 engines amid national security concerns spurred by the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea. Continue reading

NATO on guard ahead of major Russian war games


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.

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U.S. Open to Providing Weapons to Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis walks past honour guards during a welcoming ceremony in Kiev, Ukraine August 24, 2017. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich


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.

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Who is Russia’s New U.S. Ambassador?

Who is Russia’s New U.S. Ambassador?

Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Antonov to be his nation’s next ambassador to the U.S. Antonov is a former Soviet general and led the Russian military as it became increasingly aggressive toward the U.S. and its allies in the past decade.


Russian President Vladimir Putin has selected Anatoly Antonov, a career diplomat specializing in defense and security issues, to replace former spymaster Sergey Kislyak as his chief representative to the U.S.

Antonov still technically is a general in the Russian Army, holding the equivalent of the U.S. military’s five-star rank, but has worked in Putin’s government for the past six years. From 2011 until late last year, the former Soviet military leader was deputy defense minister.

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Russia flies 2,000 mercenary troops into Syria


Russia is engaged in a major buildup in Syria, both in support of the de-escalation zones established in conjunction with the United States, and in order to solidify its military control of the country.

debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reported exclusively on Wednesday, August 2, that 2,000 mercenaries had just been airlifted into the country, boosting to a total of 5,000 the number of mercenaries on hire from the Wagner Group private contractors for service under the Russian flag in Syria. They are all retirees from elite units of the Russian ground forces, air force or navy. Continue reading

Russia’s Real Endgame


Russia’s Putin has never taken his eye off the ball. His ambition is not global hegemony or European conquest. Putin seeks what Russia has always sought: regional hegemony and a set of buffer states in eastern Europe and central Asia that can add to Russia’s strategic depth.

It is strategic depth — the capacity to suffer massive invasions and still survive due to an ability to retreat to a core position and stretch enemy supply lines — that enabled Russia to defeat both Napoleon and Hitler. Putin also wants the modicum of respect that would normally accompany that geostrategic goal.

Understanding Putin is not much more complicated than that. Continue reading

A Giant Russian Exercise Will Soon Put 100,000 Troops on NATO’s Border. Then What?

Russian soldiers dressed in a new field uniform marched along the Red Square last month during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 72 years since the end of WWII. (Yuri Kochetkov/AP)


As Russia and Belarus prep for their quadrennial fight-the-West wargame, NATO’s Baltic states are watching more than a bit nervously.

For the Baltic countries on NATO’s northeastern flank, carefully monitoring Russia’s various defense investments and activities is nothing new. Like brushing your teeth, it’s just a matter of staying healthy, Estonia’s defense minister told a small group of reporters while visiting the U.S. last week. Observing Russian military activity is that routine, “but we do it even more often,” he said.

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Nuclear Defense Experts Urge Revitalization of U.S. Ballistic Missile Programs

In this handout from the U.S. Navy, Standard Missile-3 is launched in Kauai, Hawaii / Getty Images


Former senator Jon Kyl: Current non-proliferation treaties between Russia, U.S. ineffective for threat reduction

The report, “A New Nuclear Review for a New Age,” reassessed the United States’s relation with its primary nuclear adversaries—China, North Korea, and Russia—and urged lawmakers to increase defense spending on ballistic missile development and testing.

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