US could ‘re-examine’ its military presence in Europe

Russia’s takeover of Crimea could prompt a review the US military presence in Europe, which has declined steadily since the end of the Cold War, a senior Pentagon official said today.

“While we do not seek confrontation with Russia, its actions in Europe and Eurasia may require the United States to re-examine our force posture in Europe and our requirement for future deployments, exercises, and training in the region,” said Assistant Secretary of Defense Derek Chollet. Continue reading

Ukraine unrest will be resolved by force or talks in 48 hours, minister says

Kiev (CNN) — Ukrainian acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Wednesday that the separatist protests in Ukraine’s eastern region would be resolved within 48 hours — either through negotiations or the use of force.

At the same time, Russia insisted that the presence of its troops just over the border was no reason to worry.

Using classified and commercial satellite imagery, the United States estimates there are up to 40,000 Russian troops on the border with eastern Ukraine. NATO has also warned of a major troop buildup. Continue reading

Russia Announces Decoupling Trade From Dollar

We’re could very well be looking at the begining of the end of Pax Americana and a new chapter in the books of world history. If bets were to be placed on who the world’s next superpower would be, look no further than the EU, the world’s largest economy with the German Fourth Reich at the helm. Some say China and Russia, but the world still has major mistrust in both of them.

All the years of warnings were laughed at, but as the saying goes: Today’s jokes are tomorrow’s reality. The United States is about to be hit with One Clenched Fist.

China will re-open the old Silk Road as a new trading route linking Germany, Russia and China

April 08, 2014 “ICH” - Russia has just dropped another bombshell, announcing not only the de-coupling of its trade from the dollar, but also that its hydrocarbon trade will in the future be carried out in rubles and local currencies of its trading partners – no longer in dollars – see Voice of Russia

Russia’s trade in hydrocarbons amounts to about a trillion dollars per year. Other countries, especially the BRICS and BRCIS-associates (BRICSA) may soon follow suit and join forces with Russia, abandoning the ‘petro-dollar’ as trading unit for oil and gas. This could amount to tens of trillions in loss for demand of petro-dollars per year (US GDP about 17 trillion dollars – December 2013) – leaving an important dent in the US economy would be an understatement. Continue reading

Ukraine agrees to host NATO war games

Ukraine’s parliament on Tuesday approved a series of joint military exercises with NATO countries that would put US troops in direct proximity to Russian forces in the annexed Crimea peninsula.

“This is a good opportunity to develop our armed forces,” acting defence minister Mykhailo Koval told Verkhovna Rada lawmakers ahead of the 235-0 vote.

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Under the EU Flag

TBILISI/BERLIN (Own report) – Since their partial Ukrainian success in the power struggle over the ring of countries separating Russia’s borders from those of the EU, Berlin and Brussels have been stepping up their efforts to integrate Georgia into their hegemonic system. The EU is calling on Georgia – a country, geostrategists accord great importance not only for Russia’s encirclement, but for European access to Asia – to sign the EU Association Agreement in June, ahead of schedule. As in the case of Ukraine, Georgia is already integrated into the German-European military policy. The parliament in Tbilisi has recently voted to contribute Georgian troops to EU military operations in Africa. Georgia’s development following the 2003 “Rose Revolution” is very similar to what the Ukrainians find themselves confronted with since the February putsch in Kiev. Simultaneous with military-political integration into Western alliance structures, and the country’s accessibility for foreign investors, the population is sinking into impoverishment. Polls indicate that today only 27 percent of the Georgians have a “full-time job” that pays a living wage. Continue reading

The Europeanization of Ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – Last week’s signing of the political part of the EU Association Agreement began Ukraine’s transition into the German-European hegemonic system. That country, whose current government, which came to power through a putsch and lacks democratic legitimacy, will now have to align itself on EU standards at all levels. Besides adopting Brussels’ system of norms, the country, first of all, will face its integration into the German-European foreign and military policy. Ukraine is already participating in EU Battle Groups and EU military missions. Western – including German – energy companies are seeking to take over the Ukrainian gas sector. This even includes the use of controversial “fracking” methods to weaken Russian influence on Kiev in the natural gas sector. As in Greece, the country will now face the glaring impoverishment of an “extreme austerity” policy, according to experts, which could “torpedo Ukraine’s recent political reorientation.”

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A rapid Russian build-up of tanks and troops with tough talk from President Vladimir Putin raises fears war with Ukraine could be imminent

  • War college professor warns of imminent invasion
  • US officials tell of ‘awful’ developments
  • NATO chief briefs US government on threat
  • WAS Crimea just the beginning?

A senior military academic is warning Europe is staring down the barrel of its biggest war since 1945. And it could start in days, as Russian forces mass on the border with Ukraine — apparently poised to invade.

The commander of NATO forces in Europe visited the White House overnight to voice his alarm at Moscow’s massive military build-up facing eastern Ukraine — on the other side of the embattled country to the already-annexed Crimean peninsula.

Many other military and political voices are suddenly expressing the same fears. Continue reading

Is Vladimir Putin Coming for the North Pole Next?

Just three days before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his plan to annex Ukraine’s peninsula, a U.N. commission gave him sovereignty over the Sea of Okhotsk, located off Russia’s southeastern coast near Japan. Those waters, it was decided, are part of Russia’s continental shelf.

Russia’s Environment Minister Sergey Donskoy called the 20,000 square miles of once-international waters a “real Ali Baba’s cave” because of its natural-resource reserves. “It took Russia many years to achieve this success,” he said, logic that rings true for the acquisition of Crimea.

But Russia’s appetite for territory does not end at its southern shores. The country is hungry for more control over the top of the globe, and has been for a long time. Continue reading

Obama Promises to Increase Russia’s Isolation

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday promised to increase Russia’s isolation, as the United States and the European Union agreed to work together to prepare possible tougher economic sanctions in response to Russia’s behavior in Ukraine.

Speaking after a summit with top EU officials and quoted by Reuters, Obama declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin had miscalculated if he thought he could divide the West or count on its indifference over his annexation of Crimea.

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NATO’s Military Decline

Vladimir Putin and his American apologists like to blame NATO’s post-Cold War expansion for his territorial conquests, which ignores that the alliance refused in 2008 to let Georgia and Ukraine even begin the process of joining. Those are the two countries the Russian has since carved up, and the question now is whether Russia’s expansionism will slap Western leaders out of their self-defense slumbers.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen sounded the alarm last week in a visit to Washington. “I see Crimea as an element in a greater pattern” of Russian strategy, he told an audience at the Brookings Institution. Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, he said, is “a wake-up call” that “must be followed by increased European investment in defense.” He might have included the U.S.

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Crimea crisis: Nato commander calls for allies to mobilise after Russia prepares ‘incredible force’ on Ukrainian border

Nato’s top military commander has warned that Russia is building an “incredible force” on its border with Ukraine, and said the time has come for Western allies to move its own troops to the east.

There are growing fears that President Vladimir Putin may be preparing to follow up the annexation of Crimea with a move into Moldova’s mainly Russian-speaking separatist Transdniestria.

US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, Nato’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, said Russia had used “snap” military exercises apparently as a tactic to shift vast numbers of troops towards the border. Continue reading

NATO Chief Says Ukraine Events May Affect European Tactical Nuclear Reductions

The head of NATO says Russia’s incursion into Ukraine may affect the prospects for nuclear arms control in Europe, which already faced political challenges.

“Of course I cannot exclude that the events we have witnessed in Crimea will also have an impact on the thinking about arms control, including nuclear policies,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Wednesday remarks at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

The alliance leader did not say whether he was referring to potential changes in NATO’s or Russia’s positions on the potential for pull-backs of tactical nuclear arms in Europe, or both. Continue reading