Urgent consultations in Washington, Moscow on reported US-Russian submarines in firefight

First reports reaching DEBKAfile’s military sources say that a US submarine intercepted a Russian nuclear sub in American waters opposite Alaska. The Russian sub escorting the nuclear submarine responded with a Balkan 2000 torpedo and scuttled the US vessel. Urgent consultations in both the White House and the Kremlin were taking place on Tuesday night. US Vice President Mike Pence called off an appearance in New Hampshire after being recalled to Washington for a conference called by President Donald Trump without explanation. Continue reading

U.S. Expected to Strike Back for Iran’s Downing of Drone

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President Donald Trump / Getty Images

 

Trump: ‘Iran made a big mistake’

The United States is likely to take military action against Iran in the coming days for Tehran’s downing a U.S. drone in international airspace on Wednesday near the Strait of Hormuz.

The Central Command said an RQ-4 Global Hawk drone aircraft was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace around 7:35 p.m. on Wednesday. Continue reading

Chinese Video Urges War With U.S.

 

State-controlled media urges fight ’til end,’ calls for sanctions on U.S. companies

China’s Communist Party-controlled media stepped up a war of words with the United States recently urging an escalation of the ongoing trade dispute into a full-scale conflict.

“China must be prepared to fight a protracted war,” states a four-minute, anti-American video posted five days ago on a Chinese video-sharing service.

“Trump’s ‘outrageous and selfish’ strategy might work for smaller countries, but it will never work for China,” the video warns. “To quote a well-written article in the Global Times: If the Americans want to fight, we will fight them until the end! And we will fight until the Pacific Ocean splits into two!” Global Times is the Communist Party of China’s nationalistic and anti-U.S. news outlet.

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China Gears Up to Weaponize Rare Earths in Trade War

As previously documented several times and warned about in the past, the threat of China’s rare earth monopol is being weaponized. This wasn’t suddenly an issue that popped up under Trump because Trump happens to be the current U.S. President. It was one threat of many in the making by China used as a means to an end, with the end game being a United States defeat — eventually militarily.

For further information, see the following previous posts:

Rare Earths Rouse Pentagon Fears

China Is Beating the US in the Rare-Earths Game

China warns of backlash if U.S. presses rare-earths case with WTO

Rare-Earth Market

Rare Earths, Oil, Gas, Other Commodities Up For Grabs As Arctic States Grants China, India, Japan, Other Select Nations ‘Observer Status’

Report: US military too reliant on foreign suppliers

China Threatens to Pull Pin on Global Economic Hand Grenade

 

China Gears Up to Weaponize Rare Earths in Trade War

The U.S. shouldn’t underestimate China’s ability to fight the trade war, the People’s Daily, a flagship newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, said in an editorial Wednesday that used some historically significant language on the weight of China’s intent.

The newspaper’s commentary included a rare Chinese phrase that means “don’t say I didn’t warn you.” The specific wording was used by the paper in 1962 before China went to war with India, and “those familiar with Chinese diplomatic language know the weight of this phrase,” the Global Times, a newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party, said in an article last April. It was also used before conflict broke out between China and Vietnam in 1979.

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Trump recognizes Golan to counter Iran’s first steps for annexing Lebanon to Syria

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US President Donald Trump’s declared recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan on Thursday, March 21, had a time-sensitive object, unconnected to the Israeli election or Binyamin Netanyahu’s run for reelection, as his rivals contended. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources reveal that it was an arrow aimed by the US president at Iran, Syria, Iraq and Hizballah, and the machinations plotted at Syrian President Bashar Assad’s meeting with Iran’s supreme leader ayatollah Ali Khameini on Feb. 25. Present at their meeting, our sources reveal, were two figures, Al Qods chief Qasem Soleimani, supreme commander of Iran’s Mid East fronts, and, for the first time, a high-ranking Hizballah military official, who is a senior strategic adviser to Hassan Nasrallah. Continue reading

Potential Shifts on US Strategy in Syria

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The Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs is denying a Wall Street Journal report that claimed at least 1,000 US troops would remain in Syria. Gen. Joseph Dunford released a statement calling the claims “factually inaccurate” and assured the public of the Pentagon’s commitment to a steady withdrawal: “We continue to implement the president’s direction to draw down U.S. forces to a residual presence.” President Trump made waves across the national security community when he announced his original plan in December of the complete withdrawal of all 2,000 US troops from Syria. Later, the administration announced that 400 troops would most likely stay in southern Syria to monitor possible Iranian arms shipments to Lebanese-based terror groups such as Hezbollah. No specific estimates have been made as to the number of troops, although Pentagon officials have confirmed that any new amount will almost certainly will be lower. Although the President initially supported shifting troops from Syria to Iraq, concerns from Iraqi politicians about the US using its regional presence to spy on Iran have negated any support for such an initiative.

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Struggle for Global Power Status

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BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The United States is preparing sanctions against European companies participating in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to senior US government officials. German government officials, on the other hand, predict that US sanctions will lead to a confrontation with the whole of the EU. “We will do everything necessary to complete the pipeline.” At the same time, the power struggle over the participation of the Chinese Huawei Corporation in setting up the 5G grid in Germany and the EU is escalating. After the German government indicated that it would not exclude, a priori, Huawei, the US ambassador in Berlin is threatening to reduce cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence services. US President Donald Trump is also considering calling on countries to pay the full cost of stationing US forces on their soil, plus 50 percent more. German government advisors are pleading for a “policy of ‘softer’ or ‘more robust’ countervailing power formation.” Europe’s “strategic autonomy” is at the core of this power struggle. Continue reading

China is overtaking US in artificial intelligence: researchers

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China is poised to overtake the United States in artificial intelligence with a surge in academic research on the key technology, an analysis published Wednesday showed.

The analysis by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence showed China has already surpassed the US in published papers on AI — although many of these were considered “medium-quality” or “low-quality.” Continue reading

North Korea’s Satellites Could Unleash Electromagnetic Pulse Attack

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North Korea reportedly is rebuilding its Sohae satellite launch facility, widely interpreted as threatening to resume intercontinental missile development — ignoring the greater immediate threat from North Korea’s satellites and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.

Dr. William Graham, EMP Commission Chairman, in “North Korea Nuclear EMP Attack: An Existential Threat,” on Oct. 12, 2017, warned Congress:

“While most analysts are fixated on when in the future North Korea will develop highly reliable intercontinental missiles, guidance systems, and reentry vehicles capable of striking a U.S. city, the threat here and now from EMP is largely ignored. EMP attack does not require an accurate guidance system because the area of effect, having a radius of hundreds or thousands of kilometers, is so large. Continue reading

US Citizens Will Need A Visa To Visit Europe Starting In 2021

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In a world in which most western liberal democracies are slamming Trump for demanding a wall be built on the US southern border to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the US, Europe is about to erect a metaphorical wall targeting legal US travelers, because starting in 2021, U.S. citizens will need a visa to visit most European countries.

“Similar to other countries and regions in the world Europe has recently decided to improve their security level to avoid any further problems with illegal migration and terrorism,” the EU said. Continue reading

Niall Ferguson: This is what happens if China wins the new cold war

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Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping. AP

 

The winter of a new cold war is coming between the US and China, renowned Hoover Institution and Harvard historian Niall Ferguson warned The Australian Financial Review Business Summit this week.

Winning it might decide the 2020 US election. Losing it might be the end of a US dollar-dominated global financial system, if not worse. That’s very scary coming from the man who called the scale of the Soviet communist collapse in 1989 and the US mortgage implosion two years early in 2006. Continue reading

U.S. hits back against Chinese cyberattacks

The Chinese military hacker unit has conducted operations since at least 2013 in support of China’s naval modernization effort. (U.S. Navy) (Photo by: Samuel Shavers)

 

American intelligence and military cyberwarriors have begun conducting counter-cyberattacks against Chinese intelligence and military targets, according to a U.S. official.

The counterattacks are part of a new Trump administration policy designed to retaliate for rampant cybertheft of American technology by the Chinese that has caused estimated losses ranging from $200 billion to $600 billion a year. Details of the U.S. cyberoperations were not disclosed, and the activities remain classified.

The hacking is likely to include theft of Chinese advanced military know-how, such as hypersonic missile technology — an area of military research where China is believed to be ahead of the United States. Another possible target would be technology related to China’s anti-ship ballistic missile technology like that deployed in the DF-21D ship-killing missile. Such technology requires maneuvering warheads and special guidance. Continue reading

Report: North Koreans Got Desperate After Trump Walked Away

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(Photo Credit: Shealah Craighead/The White House)

 

Their offer to shutter Yongbyon didn’t come until after the president ended his talks with Kim Jong-un.

We now have a much different view of what happened behind closed doors during the Hanoi summit between President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un that ultimately led to its abrupt ending. Continue reading

Full-blown Socialism Likely Coming to U.S., Warns Famed Economist

 

President Trump vowed at his State of the Union address “that America will never be a socialist country.” But legendary economist Dr. Thomas Sowell sounded a more pessimistic note this week, saying that as far as avoiding a dystopian socialist future goes, “I wouldn’t bet on it.”

Sowell, a Hoover Institution senior fellow and author of more than 30 books, issued his warning during a Tuesday appearance on Fox Business Network’s Cavuto: Coast to Coast. After being asked by interviewer David Asman if the United States was “destined to go through a period of socialism,” the economist replied, “I do have a great fear that, in the long run, we may not make it.”

“I hate to say that. The one thing that keeps me from being despairing is that we don’t know,” Sowell continued, trying to inject some optimism. “There are so many things that we can’t possibly know. And so, we may make it, but I wouldn’t bet on it” (video below. Relevant portion begins 6:25). Continue reading

Mad at Bolton? Satellite imagery shows N. Korea rapidly rebuilding missile site

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U.S. national security adviser John Bolton

 

Satellite imagery acquired on March 2 shows that North Korea is rebuilding the long-range rocket site at Sohae (Tongchang-ri) which in the past was used to launch satellites with ICBM technology that is banned under UN Security Council resolutions.

“Activity is evident at the vertical engine test stand and the launch pad’s rail-mounted rocket transfer structure,” according to the Beyond Parallel website. “This facility had been dormant since August 2018, indicating the current activity is deliberate and purposeful.” Continue reading