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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It’s Happening – The Most Dangerous Volcano In North America Just Erupted And Shot Ash Nearly A Mile Into The Sky

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A lot of us have been watching Mt. Popocatepetl for a very long time.  Could it be possible that we are now on the verge of the most destructive volcanic eruption in the modern history of North America?  On Monday night at precisely 9:38 PM, a massive explosion at Mt. Popocatepetl sent a column of volcanic ash nearly a mile into the sky.  A “yellow alert warning” has been issued by the authorities, and they are ordering everyone to stay at least 12 kilometers away from the crater.  They are stressing that the threat has not passed, and as you will see below, an evacuation plan is in place in case an even larger eruption follows.  And if a much larger eruption does follow, the devastation could be off the charts.  Mexico City is only 43 miles away from Mt. Popocatepetl, and approximately 25 million people live within a 60 mile radius of the crater. Continue reading

Photos puts China’s ‘galloping military buildup’ on vivid display

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Aerial image of the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai

 

China’s military spending for 2019 will increase by 7.5 percent to about $177.61 billion, as revealed on March 3, 2019 by an official at Chinese Communist Party’s annual National People’s Consultative Congress. Continue reading

Turkey: Putin’s Ally in NATO?

Turkey has NATO’s second biggest army, and its military love affair with Russia may be in its infancy now, but it undermines NATO’s military deterrence against Russia. Pictured: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, on March 10, 2017. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

 

  • On March 7, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey would never turn back from the S-400 missile deal with Russia. He even added that Ankara may subsequently look into buying the more advanced S-500 systems now under construction in Russia.
  • With the S-400 deal, Turkey is simply telling its theoretical Western allies that it views “them,” and “not Russia,” as a security threat. Given that Russia is widely considered a security threat to NATO, Turkey’s odd-one-out position inevitably calls for questioning its official NATO identity.
  • Turkey has NATO’s second biggest army, and its military love affair with Russia may be in its infancy now, but it undermines NATO’s military deterrence against Russia.

On September 17, 1950, more than 68 years ago, the first Turkish brigade left the port of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, arriving, 26 days later, at Busan in Korea. Turkey was the first country, after the United States, to answer the United Nations’ call for military aid to South Korea after the North attacked that year. Turkey sent four brigades (a total of 21,212 soldiers) to a country that is 7,785 km away. By the end of the Korean War, Turkey had lost 741 soldiers killed in action. The U.N. Memorial Cemetery in Busan embraces 462 Turkish soldiers. Continue reading

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

Joint Chiefs Chairman: Google ‘Is Indirectly Benefiting The Chinese Military’

WASHINGTON (CBS SF / CNN) — America’s top general said Thursday that Mountain View-based Google’s work in China “is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military.”

“The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military and I’ve been very public on this issue as well,” Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Continue reading

America to Withdraw Troops From Africa

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Commander of the U.S. Africa Command, Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, testifies February 7 at a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Europe is being forced to get more involved in its former colonial territories.

Speaking in Munich on February 20, United States Africa Command (U.S. africom) Gen. Thomas Waldhauser revealed that hundreds of United States troops, including commandos, will withdraw from West Africa over the coming years.

In accordance with the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy announcement earlier this year, the United States plans to transfer 10 percent of its personnel from Africa to regions which it deems to be of higher priority, to prepare for possible future confrontation with Russia or China. The withdrawal is to be completed by 2022 at the latest, by which time approximately 600 of the 6,000 American troops currently in Africa will have left. Also to be sent elsewhere are about 100 of 1,000 civilian contractors who assist and train local African forces. They will be restationed in regions where the Russian and Chinese threat to American interests is perceived to be more direct. Continue reading

India v Pakistan & the 2019/2020 Turning Point

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The last time that Indian and Pakistan were at war was back in 1971. Our War Model turned up in 1964 and indeed it marked the beginning of the US Vietnam War. In reality, the separation or the partition of India took place in 1947 based upon religion. The British created two independent dominions, India and Pakistan. India became the Republic of India in 1950, and in 1957 the Dominion of Pakistan became the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In 1971, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh came into being. On March 25, 1971, there was also the Bangladesh War of Independence against Pakistan. Bangladesh was a Sunni Muslim state as was the case with Pakistan.  The partition involved the division of three provinces — Assam, Bengal, and Punjab — based on separating Hindus from Muslim majorities. Continue reading

Russians use front-company to access US federal employees’ contact info, says report

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Russian spy agencies use front companies to purchase directorates that contain the contact details of United States government employees, according to a new intelligence report. The contact details are contained in multi-page directories of Congressional staff members and employees of US federal agencies. They are published every January by a specialist vendor called Leadership Connect with the cooperation of a Washington, DC-based provider of publishing services. The directories contain the names, job titles, professional addresses and telephone numbers of US government employees. Continue reading

Struggle over the Silk Road

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BERLIN/ROME/BEIJING (Own repot) – The West’s power struggle against China is provoking new tensions between Germany and Italy. According to reports published last week, the Italian government plans to conclude a cooperation agreement with Beijing within the framework of the “New Silk Road” (Belt and Road Initiative, BRI) to benefit from Chinese investments in Italy’s infrastructure, e.g. the Trieste port and Italy’s power grid. China has already invested in several of the EU’s periphery countries, heavily affected by Berlin’s austerity dictate – such as Greece and Portugal – which gladly welcome these investments as relief. The German government is now beginning to make moves against this. Berlin seeks to prevent the People’s Republic of China from increasing its influence within the EU and fears inner-European resistance if it takes aggressive action against its East Asian rival. Fierce debates are expected at the EU summit at the end of next week and at the EU-China summit on April 9. 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 warns Germany it will end intelligence sharing if Huawei is given 5G contract

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The United States has warned Germany that intelligence sharing between the two countries will be threatened if the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is awarded a contract to build Germany’s 5G network. The company, Huawei Technologies, is a private Chinese venture and one of the world’s leading telecommunications hardware manufacturers. In recent years, however, it has come under scrutiny by some Western intelligence agencies, who view it as being too close to the Communist Party of China. More recently, Washington has intensified an international campaign to limit Huawei’s ability to build the infrastructure for 5G, the world’s next-generation wireless network. Along with Britain, Australia and Canada, the US is concerned that the Chinese telecommunications giant may facilitate global wiretapping on behalf of Beijing’s spy agencies. Continue reading

U.S. “Gets Its Ass Handed To It” In World War III Simulation: RAND

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In simulated World War III scenarios, the U.S. continues to lose against Russia and China, two top war planners warned last week. “In our games, when we fight Russia and China, blue gets its ass handed to it” RAND analyst David Ochmanek said Thursday.

RAND’s wargames show how US Armed Forces – colored blue on wargame maps – experience the most substantial losses in one scenario after another and still can’t thwart Russia or China – which predictably is red – from accomplishing their objectives: annihilating Western forces.

“We lose a lot of people. We lose a lot of equipment. We usually fail to achieve our objective of preventing aggression by the adversary,” he warned. 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