China Mobilizes DF-26 Missiles in Response to Warship Passage

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Nuclear, intermediate-range anti-ship missiles shown on television after Navy warship sails S. China Sea

China has mobilized nuclear-capable intermediate-range missiles in response to the passage of a Navy warship near disputed islands in the South China Sea this week, according to state-run Chinese media.

The long-range, anti-ship ballistic missile known as the DF-26—dubbed the “Guam-killer” because of its ability to strike targets on the U.S. western Pacific island—was moved in northwestern China, China Central Television reported Wednesday. Continue reading

America Frozen Out of World Trade

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Yet another trade agreement excludes the U.S.

A new trade agreement that covers more than 13 percent of the world economy, accounting for 15 percent of global trade, was ratified by its first six countries on December 30. The Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (cptpp) will cover 500 million people.

Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore will be joined by another four countries that have already signed but not yet ratified the agreement. Vietnam joins on January 14, while Brunei, Chile, Malaysia and Peru will join the deal 60 days after completing the ratification process. Continue reading

Germany Takes Its Seat at the UN Security Council

 

2019 promises to be a big year for German foreign policy.

Chancellor Angela Merkel devoted a good chunk of her traditional New Year’s Day speech to talking about Germany’s role in the world. Continue reading

Netanyahu: US will run economic war against Iran, leaving military drive to Israel

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That the US retains the economic side of the war on Iran leaving the military campaign for Israel to manage – in the words of Prime Minister/Defense Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – defines the new reality set out by the Trump administration. Continue reading

Bolsonaro: Brazil will ‘free itself from socialism’ and ‘political correctness’

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gestures after receiving the presidential sash. / Reuters

 

In his inaugural address on Jan. 1, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro called for a “national pact” to free the nation of corruption, crime and economic mismanagement and vowed to free Brazil of “ideology.”

“Brazil will return to being a country free of ideological constrictions,” Bolsonaro said, later adding the nation would “start to free itself of socialism” and “political correctness.” Continue reading

De-Dollarization Spreads: Why These 5 Nations Are Backing Away From The Buck

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The past year was full of events that inevitably split the global geopolitical space into two camps: those who still support using US currency as a universal financial tool, and those who are turning their back on the greenback.

Global tensions caused by economic sanctions and trade conflicts triggered by Washington have forced targeted countries to take a fresh look at alternative payment systems currently dominated by the US dollar. Continue reading

Russia sending nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuelan island

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Two Russian Tu-160 supersonic bombers at Venezuela’s Maiquetia International Airport. / AFP / Getty Images

 

In one of the largest Russian military deployments to the region since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Moscow has sent supersonic bombers to one of Venezuela’s islands in the Caribbean Sea.

Russian military Col. Eduard Rodyukov said the move by President Vladimir Putin was in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to scrap nuclear treaties. Continue reading

Trump phases Arab forces into Syria vs Iran ahead of US pullout. Egyptian/UAE officers on the scene

Our sources can now reveal the nature of that presence and the process afoot for the gradual US withdrawal. In the last few days, Egyptian and UAE military officers visited the contested north Syrian town of Manbij. They toured the town and its outskirts, checked out the locations of US and Kurdish YPG militia positions, and took notes on how to deploy their own troops as replacements. On the diplomatic side, the White House is in continuous conversation with the UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammed Bin Ziyad (MbZ) and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi. The deal Trump is offering, is that they take over US positions in Manbij, where the Kurds have sought protection against a Turkish invasion, and American air cover will be assured against Russian, Syrian or Turkish attack. Continue reading

Putin issues ominous warning on rising nuclear war threat

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

 

MOSCOW (AP) — The world is facing a rising threat of a nuclear war because of the U.S. pullout from arms control treaties and its destabilizing military plans, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday

Speaking at his annual news conference, Putin warned that “it could lead to the destruction. of civilization as a whole and maybe even our planet.” Continue reading

America’s Withdrawal From Syria—and the Middle East

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U.S. forces, accompanied by Kurdish People’s Protection Units fighters, drive their armoured vehicles near the northern Syrian village of Darbasiyah, on the border with Turkey on April 28, 2017. (DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Breaking with advisers and generals, President Trump decides to pull troops out of Syria. Is this the beginning of the end of American power in the Middle East?

United States President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that all American forces will soon be withdrawn from Syria. In a video released on Twitter, Mr. Trump declared victory over the Islamic State and, as a result, has determined to withdraw the 2,000 troops currently inside Syrian territory.

“We have defeated isis in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency,” Mr. Trump tweeted, which was quickly followed by the video. Continue reading

China Accused Of “Huge Hack” Of Thousands Of European Diplomatic Cables

Step side Russia: the new global hacking bogeyman is now officially China.

Just days after the US accused Beijing of hacking hundreds of millions of Marriott accounts and extracting the private data of countless Americans, even as the ongoing diplomatic feud over Chinese “intermediation” in western communications via the likes of Huawei escalates, moments ago the EU unveiled that China was now also the new Wikileaks, accusing hacker tied to China’s People’s Liberation Army of a “huge hack” of its diplomatic cables and reviving fears about vulnerabilities in the 28-country bloc’s data systems. Continue reading

Trump orders US troop pullout from NE Syria. Israel left alone against Russia, Iran

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DEBKAfile notes that this is not the first time that President Trump has decided to pull the 2,000 US troops out of Syria. He decided this in March but was persuaded to hold off by Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. They explained that, as soon as American troops were out of the way, the Russians would move in and take control of the Syrian-Iraqi border and pro-Iranian forces would swarm across. Iran would be gifted its biggest military triumph ever by achieving a land bridge under its control up to the Mediterranean. Hizballah too would be further strengthened. Continue reading

US Powerless Against Hypersonic Missile Attack From China And Russia, New Report Warns

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A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) warned that the current ballistic missile defense system in the US is powerless against hypersonic missiles from China and Russia.

The missile’s speed, altitude, and maneuverability could defeat all networked sensors (including space-based) and ground- and sea-based radars; ground- and sea-based interceptor missiles; and render the Pentagon’s command, control, battle management ineffective in a hypersonic missile attack. Continue reading

Alan Greenspan: Investors should prepare for the worst

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Alan Greenspan says the party’s over on Wall Street.

The former Federal Reserve chairman who famously warned more than two decades ago about “irrational exuberance” in the stock market doesn’t see equity prices going any higher than they are now.

“It would be very surprising to see it sort of stabilize here, and then take off,” Greenspan said in an interview with CNN anchor Julia Chatterley. Continue reading

Japan Returns to Militarism

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On December 11 Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported that “Japan plans to effectively upgrade its helicopter carriers to enable them to transport and launch fighter jets.” Concurrently the Indian Ministry of Defence noted that in the course of a large exercise being held in India by the US and Indian air forces, “two military pilots from Japan are also taking part in the exercise as observers.” There was also a Reuter’s account of Tokyo’s plans “to boost defence spending over the next five years to help pay for new stealth fighters and other advanced US military equipment.” Continue reading