Syrian/Hizballah may call up Russian air strikes as cooperation deepens

 

Russian air crews in Syria are under new orders to respond directly and immediately to Iranian and Syrian demands for air bombardments, without confirmation from the high commands in Latakia or Moscow.

This has enormously empowered Syrian and Hizballah officers on the ground for taking the war into their own hands. It led directly to Russian planes suddenly bombing a pro-US Syrian force in the Deir ez-Zour province of eastern Syria on Saturday, Sept. 16, and accounts for Moscow’s repudiation of the attack after its confirmation by the Pentagon. Continue reading

Analyst compares U.S. ‘denial behavior’ on N. Korea to that of Western elites before 1939

If Kim Jong-Un ‘is so aggressive that he would bring on himself a nuclear holocaust over the loss of a dozen missiles and two satellites, we had better deal with him now, before he has 100 ICBMs.’ / KCNA via Reuters

 

The United States has a window of opportunity to cast aside its “denial behavior” on North Korea, an analyst said.

“Is the naivete and willful blindness that helped begin World War II on September 1, 1939, being repeated in the response of the U.S. and its allies to North Korea’s nuclear missile program, that apparently tested a thermonuclear H-Bomb warhead on September 2, 2017?” asked Dr. Peter Vincent Pry in a Sept. 13 analysis for Family Security Matters.

History does not have to repeat itself, however, wrote Pry, who is Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both Congressional Advisory Boards.

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Jim Rogers Warns “If Trump Starts A Trade War With China, It Will End US Hegemony”

This is exactly what Global Geopolitics mentioned just a five days ago. The tables have turned on the global playing field and the traditional options once thought to be useful to use against China will now backfire. America will now have to get more creative to once again get ahead in controlling the narrative when it comes to using leverage against its adversaries.

Adding to this, China is likely waiting for such a move to happen, which will benefit the nation in numerous ways:

  • China is a master in state propaganda, will successfully claim it’s the victim of a U.S. economic attack and rally support throughout the nation.
  • China, through provocation, will have produced a reason to retaliate. The trade war begins.
  • Retaliation will be successful due to the weakening of the U.S. positions and strengthening of Chinese leverage. World-wide, this will cause people and nations to question America’s ability to act and standing as the lone global superpower. If the Dollar goes down, the U.S. goes down with it.

 

 

Following Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s threat that the US could impose economic sanctions on China if it does not implement the new sanctions regime against North Korea:

“If China doesn’t follow these sanctions, we will put additional sanctions on them and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system, and that’s quite meaningful.”

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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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German-Russian Oil Cooperation

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) – The Russian petroleum company, Rosneft, is expanding its activities in Germany, thereby reducing Germany’s dependence on the transatlantic oil industry. While public discussion is focused on ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s candidacy for the chair of Rosneft’s board of directors, the company has increased its share to 25 percent of Germany’s crude oil imports, and has become the third largest oil processing enterprise in Germany. It has plans to further strengthen its position in the country, inspired by the close German-Russian natural gas cooperation, which provides Germany significant influence over Western Europe’s supply of Russian gas. Achieving predominant influence over the EU’s supply and a growing independence vis-à-vis the energy giants of the transatlantic era, facilitates Berlin’s pursuit of an independent German-EU global policy.

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Moscow Furious Over US Plan To Search Russia Trade Mission, Calls It “Unprecedented Aggressive Action”

 

Yesterday, the San Francisco fire department scrambled a team of firefighters to the city’s Russian consulate (scheduled to be vacated today in the latest tit-for-tat diplomatic escalation between the US and Russia) following reports of “blowing smoke” emerging from the building, only to learn that the Russians were engaged in what appears to have been some last minute confidential document “redaction.”

Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, explained that the smoke was part of a “mothballing” according to Reuters.

“In relation to this, the windows could be closed, the light could be turned off, the water could be drained out, the heating appliances could be turned off, the garbage could be thrown away, essential services could be turned off and many other things.”

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Rebuilding Syria

BERLIN/DAMASCUS (Own report) – German companies are seeking to favorably position themselves for participation in Syria’s post-war reconstruction. Following the Damascus International Fair, which closed yesterday, the director of the Middle East Department of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) noted, the development in the country is being “closely observed” and “a series of cautious initial inquiries” are already being registered. The Damascus International Fair is one of the most traditional fairs in the region and was held again, for the first time, since the beginning of the war. Particularly companies from Russia, Iran and China have good prospects for participating in Syria’s rebuilding. Since 2012, the German government has been eager to provide emergency aid and reconstruction. However, this aid was restricted to regions under insurgent control. Idlib Province, today controlled by the al-Qaeda offshoot al-Nusra (renamed Tahrir al-Sham) is one of those regions benefiting.

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Can Putin keep Hizballah from Israel’s borders?

Enemies of the Trump administration have hampered the White House to the extent where it is affecting political affairs, limits the ability to physically defend allies or even being able to take the time to address concerns. This is when it gets dangerous.

 

 

Israel’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon were on edge this week, as Prime Minister Binyamin prepared to raise Israel’s concerns about southern Syria at a critical meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem noted that he would be accompanied by Mossad Director Yossie Cohen. He has just returned from a failed attempt in Washington to draw the Trump Administration’s attention to the deteriorating security situation on Israel’s northern borders, where Russian Muslim troops are already in position. Continue reading

God Keep America Safe

Liliya Shevstova (Source: Youtube.com)

 

Liliya Shevtsova, formerly head of the Carnegie Foundation Moscow Center and a fellow at Brookings ,is a prolific writer on Russian Politics. She was also the cofounder of the Davos World Economic Forum Global Council on Russia’s Future. In this article for the liberal Echo Moscow website, Shevtsova explores Russia’s hate-love relationship with the United States, which has remained a constant from Lenin to Putin. Russia has mastered the art of exploiting American resources without renouncing an ideology of eventually destroying its adversary.

“Imagine that the United States of America suddenly disappeared – flew to the Moon or something. What would we do in Russia? What would we talk about – who would we denigrate or secretly admire? What would the TV prattle about? And whom would Putin talk to, if the American president was unavailable? Russian foreign policy would disappear completely, since it is based on the conviction that the world held together is our enmity-cooperation with the US. Continue reading

Russia Eyes Rapid Middle East Energy Expansion

Graph 1. Russian Participation within the framework of the Iran Petroleum Contract.

 

Having battled through the travails of an ever-tightening sanctions regime and a prolonged economic downturn, which in most cases led to a freezing up or lowering of expenditures and the adoption of a very risk-averse investment strategy, Russian companies are now destined to embark upon a new expansion, this time in the Middle East. With the recently imposed U.S. sanctions further impacting Russia’s ability to form partnerships with Western majors, Iran, Iraq and possibly even Syria will become the new hub of Russian oil-related investments. Immensely rich in oil, yet lacking the funds necessary to exploit it, virtually unsanctionable for any potential cooperation with Russian companies (even sanctions vis-à-vis Iraq are implausible given the ongoing fight against the Islamic State) and brought ever closer together politically on the back of recent developments in the region, the Middle East-Russia axis is bound to get stronger with time. Continue reading

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

Modernizing America’s Nuclear Capabilities Is a Must

A Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile in its silo in Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, circa 1980. (Image source: U.S. Department of Defense)

 

 

  • In 1989, America had 1,000 nuclear missile silos, and a small number of additional bomber and submarine bases and submarines at sea, facing 13,500 Soviet warheads. Today, the U.S. has 450 such silos facing 1,750 Russian warheads. That is a switch from a ratio of 13 Russian warheads to every U.S. missile silo, to a ratio of 4 Russian warheads to every U.S. missile silo. Getting rid of Minuteman ICBMs would reverse that progress and make the ratio even worse, with 175 Russian warheads to every U.S. missile silo. How is that an improvement?
  • The U.S. “cannot afford to delay modernization initiatives” while the “American people and our allies are counting on congressional action to fund our nuclear enterprise modernization efforts.” — General Robin Rand, the commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command.
  • America’s ability to defend itself is at stake.

In April 2017, the Pentagon launched the U.S. Defense Department’s legislatively mandated quadrennial Nuclear Posture Review to determine American policy, strategy and capabilities. The process now underway involves testimony from experts arguing over how the estimated $27 billion spent annually (growing over the next decade by an additional $10 billion a year) on America’s nuclear arsenal should be allocated. Continue reading

CIA analyst: Beijing poses a greater threat than Russia

China's new type of domestically-built destroyer, a 10,000-tonne warship, is seen during its launching ceremony at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, China June 28, 2017. Photo: Reuters

China’s new type of domestically-built destroyer, a 10,000-tonne warship, is seen during its launching ceremony at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, China June 28, 2017. Photo: Reuters

 

In an unusually candid talk, agency’s Michael Collins said China’s growing confidence and resolve – fueled by inaction against Chinese hegemony over the past several years – are a worry

A senior CIA analyst has offered a rare public glimpse into American intelligence analysis of China. Michael Collins, deputy assistant director and head of the agency’s East Asia mission center, believes more attention should be focused on China and that recent public angst about Russia is distracting America from the threat posed by China.

“There’s been a lot of talk about Russia as a competitor, a country that sees the liberal international order as something they don’t necessarily subscribe to, that is actively engaged in trying to undermine US influence in various areas around the world, and that has [the] capability to do it,” Collins said at a security forum in Aspen, Colorado. Continue reading

Russia To Stay In Syria For The Next 50 Years

While the Trump administration appears set to withdraw US troops from Syria in the not too distant future, as hinted by the recent decision to reverse the Obama-era decision to stop arming “moderate rebels” fighting the Assad regime, Vladimir Putin has a slightly different strategic vision for the proxy war-torn nation. Continue reading

Russia posts troops 8km from the Israeli Golan

 

Russia has quietly moved troops to a point in southern Syria that is 8km from Israel’s Golan border, in the face of Israeli objections, DEBKAfile reports exclusively. Moscow used the uproar over the Temple Mount standoff and the diplomatic crisis between Israel and Jordan to cover its creeping troop deployment almost up do Syria’s borders with Israel and Jordan.

Tuesday, July 15, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avidor Lieberman and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott visited Bashan Division headquarters on the Golan for a rundown on the Russian deployment just opposite. (see photo) Continue reading