China flies military planes over strait near Japan

Beijing (AFP) – China has sent fighter planes for the first time over a strait near Japan, the two governments said Monday, after Tokyo announced it may patrol alongside the US in the disputed South China Sea.

More than 40 Chinese military aircraft on Sunday traversed the Miyako Strait between Japan’s Miyako and Okinawa Islands, to carry out training in the West Pacific, according to a statement on China’s defence ministry website.

The Sukhoi Su-30 fighters, bombers and refuelling aircraft did not violate Japanese airspace. Continue reading

US Air Force set to replace intercontinental nuke arsenal

While the last Minuteman II was deployed in the early 1990s, which still run off 1970’s floppy disc era technology (See also HERE), Russia and China have both developed and deployed their advanced nuclear weapons. To make matters worse, if the GBSD’s being developed will be “phased in” during the 2030 decade, that is at least a 15 year window of opportunity for China and Russia to strike an ancient America with its 40 year old nukes — if their shelf life is even that long.

 

Hidden underground in steel-and-concrete silos across rural America, more than 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles point to the skies, poised for launch — and ready to obliterate cities across the world.

First designed in the 1960s at the height of the Cold War, the Minuteman nuclear weapons are starting to show their age, and replacement parts are difficult to find for the weapons designed in an analog age.

Also aging are their silos, many built in the 1950s and now rusting as water seeps through the decaying concrete. Continue reading

Desperate Saudi Arabia Offers To Cut Production By 500,000 Barrels

Bringing Iran into the fray out of panic will also give the Persian nation the recognition it wants in the oil and gas industry, allowing for it to extend its grip on the Middle East on its economic front. Furthermore, having an increased say within the OPEC cartel will give it more global clout and give it a tool to wage economic warfare.

 

Saudi Arabia’s oil policy, unveiled just under two years ago at the November 2014 OPEC meeting where it effectively splintered the OPEC cartel by announcing it would produce excess quantities of oil in hope of putting shale and other high-cost producers out of business, has backfired spectacularly. OPEC has failed to crush the U.S. shale industry, which as a result of increasing efficiencies and debt-for-equity exchanges has seen its all in production costs tumble. This has made far cheaper oil prices profitable (especially with the addition of hedges), not to mention Wall Street’s ravenous desire to buy any debt paper that offers even a modest yield, allowing U.S. oil producers to delay or outright avoid bankruptcy. Continue reading

Sea Change In The Middle East

America’s view of the Middle East today is shaped by our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rise and reach of ISIS, a grinding conflict in Syria, the region as a source of wider ranging terrorism and staggering outflows of refugees that are changing the political calculus in Europe. The images that characterize and shape American involvement there are of arid landscapes and rubble from wanton destruction, our soldiers and marines in desert camouflage and videos of surgical airstrikes.  However, the image of the beginning of our involvement in the Middle East is a rarely viewed February 1945 photo of President Franklin Roosevelt meeting with Saudi King Abdul Aziz aboard the USS Quincy in the Suez Canal.  As our strategic role in the Middle East began with a meeting on the water so, too, are consequential changes there taking place at sea – the domain in which the U.S. has enjoyed unfettered access and dominance for over seventy years.   Assuming continued uncontested American maritime dominance in that vital region is a grave strategic misstep – key Asian powers have turned to the sea, they understand fully what is at stake, and they have come to play.

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China designates US’ first renminbi clearing bank: Premier Li Keqiang

Bank of China’s New York branch authorised for the role

China has designated the United States’ first renminbi clearing bank, Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday as he welcomed American banks to apply to become clearing banks.

China’s central bank said it had authorised the Bank of China’s New York branch to be a renminbi clearing bank in the United States.

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Eastern Europe: The Last Barrier between Christianity and Islam

  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is the Eastern nemesis of the European elite. No one else in Europe except him speaks about defending “Christianity.”
  • “Those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims … This is an important question, because Europe and the European identity is rooted in Christianity.” — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
  • The last chance to save Europe’s roots might well come from the former communist members of the EU — those who defeated the Ottomans in 1699 and now feel culturally threatened by their heirs.
  • Cypriots know much better than the comfortable bureaucrats of Brussels the consequences of a cultural collision. Ask about their churches on the Turkish side of the island; how many of them are still standing?

Austria’s fate is now at stake.

Perhaps it was a coincidence that Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and tipped to be the next Pope, chose September 12, the anniversary of the Siege of Vienna, when Turkey’s Ottoman troops nearly conquered Europe, to deliver a most dramatic appeal to save Europe’s Christian roots.

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Sweden prepare for WAR: Tanks and 150 soldiers on high alert over ‘Russian threat’

SWEDISH MILIATRY

Swedish military on high alert after recieving serious national security threat from Russia

 

SWEDISH armed forces have been placed on high alert after Russia made a serious threat against the country.

In early September defence chief Nicael Bydén and defence minister Peter Hultqvist warned the threat from the nuclear superpower was growing.

Now the Scandinavian country has deployed soldiers to Gotland island for the first time in a decade.

The reason for the sudden appearance of 150 soldiers and tanks on the southern island off the Swedish coast has been labelled classified and officials are refusing to disclose any more information.

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Russian Navy to have nigh-unstoppable hypersonic missiles by 2018 – report

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A hypersonic missile displayed at an exhibition at the Alexander Bereznyako Raduga Design Bureau © Sergey Mamontov / Sputnik

 

Russia’s military-industrial complex has shortened the timeframe for the introduction of the hypersonic missile by four years, moving the mass production of Zircon rockets from 2022 to 2018, TASS reports, citing a source in the industry.

“We plan to complete official tests in 2017 and start serial production a year later,” the source said. Continue reading

Russia ‘to revive the KGB’ after Putin wins biggest majority

Russia plans effectively to revive the KGB under a massive shake-up of its security forces, a respected business daily has reported.

A State Security Ministry, or MGB, would be created from the current Federal Security Service (FSB) , and would incorporate the foreign intelligence service (SVR) and the state guard service (FSO), under the plans. It would be handed all-encompassing powers once possessed by the KGB, the Kommersant newspaper said, citing security service sources.

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Israel readies for 1,500 rockets a day in next war

Israel’s army estimates that thousands of rockets could slam into the Jewish state in any future conflagration, military sources said Friday ahead of a nationwide civil defence drill.

“Total war on several fronts, destruction of essential equipment and infrastructure and heavy rocket bombardment” all form part of the scenario for the exercise, which runs from Sunday until September 21, the army said. Continue reading

‘I wish I could turn back time’ Merkel finally admits she REGRETS open-door migrant policy

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted she regrets opening Germany’s doors to more than a million refugees last year.

Following a devastating defeat in Berlin state elections today, Mrs Merkel said she accepted her share of responsibility for voters punishing her ruling Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) party for her refugee-friendly migrant policy.

Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, she said: “If I could, I would turn back the time by many, many years.”

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F-35 May Never Be Ready for Combat

The F-35’s cannon door causes the plane to pull to one side, reducing the accuracy of the gun. (Photo by http://www.jsf.mil)

 

Testing Report Contradicts Air Force Leadership’s Rosy Pronouncements

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is the most expensive procurement program in Pentagon history. It’s been plagued by schedule delays, gross cost overruns, and a slew of underwhelming performance reviews. Last month the Air Force declared its variant “ready for combat,” and most press reports lauded this as a signal that the program had turned a corner. But a memo issued from the Pentagon’s top testing official, based largely upon the Air Force’s own test data, showed that the Air Force’s declaration was wildly premature.

Dr. Michael Gilmore’s latest memorandum is damning. The F-35 program has derailed to the point where it “is actually not on a path toward success, but instead on a path toward failing to deliver the full Block 3F capabilities for which the Department is paying almost $400 billion.” The 16-page memo, first reported by Tony Capaccio at Bloomberg and then by others, details just how troubled this program is: years behind schedule and failing to deliver even the most basic capabilities taxpayers, and the men and women who will entrust their lives to it, have been told to expect.

The Pentagon’s top testing office warns that the F-35 is in no way ready for combat since it is “not effective and not suitable across the required mission areas and against currently fielded threats.” (Emphasis added) As it stands now, the F-35 would need to run away from combat and have other planes come to its rescue, since it “will need support to locate and avoid modern threats, acquire targets, and engage formations of enemy fighter aircraft due to outstanding performance deficiencies and limited weapons carriage available (i.e., two bombs and two air-to-air missiles).” In several instances, the memo rated the F-35A less capable than the aircraft we already have. Continue reading

Need growing for China to take greater military role in Middle East, analysts say

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani take part in a welcoming ceremony in Tehran on January 23, during Xi’s Middle East visit. Photo: AFP

 

Greater presence seen as way to protect nationals working abroad and growing investment in the region

As China expands its interests in the Middle East, some experts are calling for Beijing to eschew its long-standing policy on non-interference in other countries’ affairs and set up permanent military bases.

A more comprehensive engagement would ensure better protection for Chinese nationals working in the region and the significant investment by Chinese companies there, they said.

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Major Attack on Indian Army in Kashmir Puts South Asia on Crisis Footing

Indo-Pakistani tensions have been heightening over the last several months, but Sunday’s attack on an Indian Army base in Kashmir that left 17 soldiers dead has put the region in crisis mode.

The attack took place near the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Indian and Pakistani Kashmir and marks the most deadly attack against Indian security forces in over two decades. In 2002, a terrorist attack on an Indian army base in Jammu, Kashmir that killed over 30 (mostly family members of Indian Army officials), nearly led to war between Pakistan and India. Continue reading

Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet

Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet. These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down. We don’t know who is doing this, but it feels like a large nation state. China or Russia would be my first guesses. Continue reading