Iran’s navy commander threatens to sink US ships

 

Admiral Ali Fadavi says Americans will land in a ‘catastrophic situation,’ amid escalating rhetoric over endangered nuclear deal

“The actual information that the Americans have about us is much less than what they think they have. When will they figure this out? When it is too late,” the Revolutionary Guard Corps’s navy commander, Admiral Ali Fadavim, told Iranian television on Saturday.

“They will definitely figure it out when their ships are sunk, or when they find themselves in a catastrophic situation,” Fadavi threatened in an interview with IRINN TV, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute. Continue reading

U.S. Air Force to Ramp Up Commitments to Space Amid Chinese Threat

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein / Getty Images

 

China’s “rapid growth” in military capabilities and space innovation considered a top concern

The United States Air Force is accelerating investment in space as Chinese advancements threaten to penetrate American systems in the previously uncontested domain, top service officials said during a congressional hearing Tuesday.

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Air Force secretary Heather Wilson and chief of staff General David Goldfein both identified China’s space innovation and “rapid growth” in military capabilities among their top concerns facing the service in the coming years. Continue reading

Russia Buys 300,000 Ounces Of Gold In March – Nears 2,000 Tons In Gold Reserves

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Russia buys 300,000 ounces of gold in March and nears 2,000t in gold reserves
– Russia now holds just over 1,861 tonnes, more than officially reported by China at 1,842t
Both Russia and China have the power to destabilise US dollar by dumping dollar-denominated assets
– Turkey has removed all gold held in the U.S. opting for Bank of England and BIS
– Turkey follows trend set by both Germany, Netherlands and others to remove gold reserves stored in the United States
– Central bank decisions regarding gold reserves are examples of countries becoming nervous about the outlook for the dollar under the Trump administration

Russia bought another 300,000 troy ounces of gold in March bringing Russia’s total gold reserves to 1,861 tonnes or 60.8 million troy ounces as of the start of April, the central bank announced loudly at the weekend.

The continuing robust and steady accumulation of gold reserves continues and it was notable how Russian media channels loudly (more loudly than usual it seemed with many outlets covering) pronounced the continuing diversification into gold bullion by the Russian central bank. It suggests that gold is being used as a bulwark to protect Russia from the stealth financial, trade and currency wars which appear to be deepening. Continue reading

The Era of Retaliation

BERLIN (Own report) – Germany’s defense minister reaffirmed that Berlin is basically ready to participate in military aggressions, such as the recent western attack on Syria. “We could also fulfill the contribution from the air that Great Britain had made in this case,” said Ursula von der Leyen, but “we weren’t asked this time.” She made this declaration in full knowledge of the fact that the Reference and Research Service of the German Bundestag – like numerous other legal experts – had classified that attack a clear violation of international law. According to the expert assessment of the parliamentary jurists, it was a “retaliation” patterned after military interventions preceding the First World War. Legality was not the justification for those attacks, but rather a subjective political moral legitimation. Claiming “legitimacy,” other countries may also decide to engage in military aggressions, warn experts. Admitting such a change of paradigm would cause “more, rather than less human suffering.”

Continue reading

U.S. Hints at China Truce as World Warns of Trade-War Threat

Mnuchin speaks during a briefing at the IMF spring meetings April 21. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

 

  • Treasury’s Mnuchin considers China trip amid trade dispute
  • China’s Commerce Ministry confirms U.S. has requested visit

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he’s considering a trip to China amid a trade dispute with Beijing that finance chiefs warn could derail the global economic upswing.

Mnuchin said he’s “cautiously optimistic” of reaching an agreement with China that bridges their differences over trade. Continue reading

Iran Officially Switches From Dollar To Euro

 

Just two weeks after “panic” hit the streets of Tehran as the Iranian government attempted to ‘fix’ the freefall of the Rial against the US Dollar…

Middle East Monitor reports that Iran’s feud with the US is set to get worse after Tehran announced this week that it will start reporting foreign currency amounts in euros rather than US dollars, as part of the country’s effort to reduce its reliance on the American currency due to political tension with Washington. Continue reading

Export World Champion under Pressure

BERLIN (Own report) – With intense shuttle diplomacy, members of the German government are seeking to avert the impending US punitive tariffs on European goods and the loss of access to the important US market. Following Germany’s Finance Minster Olaf Scholz’s visit to the US capital yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected in Washington on Friday. Already in the run up to these visits, Berlin seems ready to envisage a revival of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This strategic decision is accompanied by a clear frontline position against China, as was resolutely demanded by the Trump administration. In addition, German-Russian business relations are increasingly under attack in Washington. At the same time, EU criticism of Germany’s unilateral trade policies is growing. Germany’s export oriented economy is particularly vulnerable to the protectionism that is gaining strength on a global scale. Berlin’s Beggar-thy-Neighbor-Policy could prove a strategic disadvantage under these new global economic conditions. Continue reading

Pentagon: Missile threats increasing

(Photo by: Jacquelyn Martin) John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, told lawmakers that the threat posed by advanced missiles is increasing. (Associated Press/File)

 

Senior Pentagon and military officials this week outlined the growing array of missile threats facing the United States from China, Russia and other states, including maneuvering hypersonic weapons.

John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, told a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing that the threat posed by advanced missiles is increasing.

“The United States, allies and partners confront a security environment that is more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory,” Mr. Rood told the subcommittee on strategic forces, in a likely preview of the Pentagon’s forthcoming Ballistic Missile Review, a major study that will highlight missile threats and the Trump administration’s plan for a multilayered missile defense network to counter them.

Adversaries including China, Russia, North Korea and Iran are expanding their missile forces in three ways, Mr. Rood said. They include increasing the capabilities of current missile forces; adding new and unprecedented types of missiles to their arsenals; and better integrating missiles into foreign states’ use of coercive threats, military exercises and war planning.

Continue reading

America’s “Actual” GDP: The Shocking Truth

 

Saturday last we offended the pieties.

We reckoned that democracies — being shortsighted — tend toward vast accumulations of debt.

In response, reader Tom B. dealt with us as follows:

The committed ignorance of pseudointellectual arrogance and their refusal to take an economics class on the uses of the FIAT dollar is stunning! It’s the reason Warren Buffet [sic] smiles every time “financial experts” demagogue debt!

Congrats, Daily Reckoning, you’re consistently ignorant!

It is with high honor that we accept Tom’s congratulations.

True consistency is a rare feat in this world… even if consistently ignorant. Continue reading

Russia Threatens To Halt Critical Rocket Engine Exports To The U.S.

 

Despite earlier reported hopes that Putin seeks a deal with Trump, as opposed to escalating tensions, it appears Russia is planniong to do just that.

Last Friday (the 13th), just before the US, UK and France launched 105 Tomahawk missiles at Syria, we noted  that as part of Russian countermeasures against US sanctions, it could halt titanium exports to the US, critical for the production of Boeing airplanes, which promptly sent Boeing’s stock lower. Continue reading

Pompeo meets secretly with North Korean leader

US Secretary of State-designate made a top-secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend to meet with its leader Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump has confirmed. His mission was to lay the groundwork for his future summit with Kim.  Speaking at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Tuesday, Trump appeared to allude to Pompeo’s secret mission when he said that the US has had “direct talks” with North Korea “at very high levels.” The president didn’t elaborate, but he did mention June as the possible timeline for his summit with the North Korean leader, rather than May as first cited. Continue reading

China, Russia’s Sophisticated Anti-Satellite Capabilities Alarms US

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Russia and China have developed increasingly sophisticated space countermeasure weapons to destroy US satellites, according to a new report.

Evidence “strongly indicates” that “China has sustained a broad effort to develop a broad range of counter-space capabilities,” the US-based Secure World Foundation said in its April 2018 report. Continue reading

Chinese Banks Are Laundering North Korean Cash

A truck returns over the Friendship Bridge from the North Korean town of Sinuiju to the Chinese border city of Dandong, in China’s northeast Liaoning province. (CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

 

‘The North Korea crisis is a massive distraction from the real threat posed by China and Russia.’

Chinese support of the North Korean government remains firmly in place and vital to the regime’s survival. Revelations emerged on April 12 that two major Chinese banks are providing a key financial lifeline to the nuclear-armed rogue regime of tyrant Kim Jong-un.

Both the Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank have been “identified in a 2016 U.S. asset-seizure case as providing accounts for a Chinese trading company that helped North Korea launder its money,” Bloomberg wrote.

The two have been shown to hold and transfer cash entering and leaving Pyongyang, and facilitating its laundering through United States financial institutions.

These two banks, China’s second- and third-largest, each have more assets than JPMorgan Chase & Co., America’s largest bank.

In 2016, the Obama administration declined to enforce money-laundering laws against the banks. The Wall Street Journal noted at the time that this decision sent a signal to Beijing that “Chinese banks aiding North Korea are untouchable.”

Continue reading

Ex-CIA Chief Says Obama Rejected Cyber Action Against Russia for Election Meddling

John Brennan

John Brennan / Getty Images

 

Obama instead issued veiled warning to Moscow

Despite an unprecedented Russian intelligence operation to influence the 2016 presidential election, former President Barack Obama rejected a plan to conduct retaliatory cyber action against Moscow during the campaign, according to former CIA Director John Brennan.

Brennan disclosed Saturday that Obama opposed a plan to carry out “a cyber event” against the Russians because the former president feared the action would lead to more aggressive interference by Moscow. Continue reading

The Grand Troika: A Chance for a World New Order

 

Back in the late summer of 2017 I wrote an analysis of the state of world affairs and international relations after two seismic geopolitical world events occurred almost simultaneously in 2016 – the UK Referendum result to Leave the European Union and the defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton by Republican Donald Trump for the White House in the US 2016 Presidential Election. Those twin political events were like major earth shaking bombs going off creating all kinds of disturbances and tremors, aftershocks and creating the greatest of shock and bewilderment within the international political order that had held sway since the defeat of Nazism in 1945.

It had become clear to me by the summer of 2017, as I had thought for some time, that politics in Britain – and global geostrategic politics within the broader historical framework of civilizational and human development – had changed profoundly and significantly from were we had been during the 1990s-2012 period, perhaps even from where I started off life in the most intense but ending days of the Cold War in the mid 1980s. Continue reading