Planes, tanks, ships: Russian military gets massive upgrade

FILE – In this Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 file photo, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shougu speaks during a meeting with senior military officials in Moscow, Russia. Sergei Shoigu told lawmakers Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, that the sweeping military modernization program will continue at a high pace this year. Amid tensions with the West, the Kremlin has continued to spend big on new weapons despite Russia’s economic downturn. (Balashova Olga/Defence Ministry Pool Photo via AP, file)

 

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military received a sweeping array of new weapons last year, including 41 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the wide-ranging military modernization will continue this year, the defense minister said Wednesday.

Minister Sergei Shoigu told lawmakers the air force will receive 170 new aircraft, the army will receive 905 tanks and other armored vehicles while the navy will receive 17 new ships this year.

Amid tensions with the West, the Kremlin has continued to spend big on new weapons despite Russia’s economic downturn. Continue reading

The Rotten Heart of the United States Navy

Caption: Donald Trump speaks aboard the World War II Battleship USS Iowa. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The United States Navy is the most dominant military force in world history. Its firepower compared to rival fleets makes it unchallengeable. However, that power is eroding.

In response, President Donald Trump has vowed to implement the biggest shipbuilding strategy since Ronald Reagan. The president cited that the U.S. Navy is its smallest since World War I and needs rapid expansion to avoid collapse. With China, Russia and Iran challenging U.S. naval hegemony, it seems like an appropriate response. Indeed, the U.S. Navy has been losing its edge technologically and numerically since the end of the Cold War. However, that is not the most dangerous threat it faces.

The U.S. Navy has a crisis in character. If not solved, it will completely neutralize one of the greatest forces for good in the world. Continue reading

Who’s Contributing How Much To Financing NATO?

You will find more statistics at Statista

 

While the U.S. outspends all NATO allies when it comes to overall defence spending in relation to her GDP, Statista’s Dyfed Loesche notes – and President Trump is very well aware of – the U.S. is also the prime direct financer of NATO.

However, direct contribution are more evenly split between the major NATO powers. Germany for example, spends only 1.19 percent of her GDP into defence (USA = 3.61 percent) but seemingly pulls its weight when it comes to direct funding of NATO. This does not include contributions to particular military operations.

As George Friedman recently notedEuropeans must face two facts… Continue reading

U.S. Says It Won’t ‘Take’ Iraq’s Oil As Russia Expands Influence

Oil Engineer

 

Less than a day after U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis contradicted Trump’s oft-repeated maxim that we should have taken Iraq’s oil, Russia has moved to expand its footprint in the region with a new oil deal in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Russian state-owned Rosneft PJSC has announced that not only will it purchase Kurdish crude until 2019, but it is also studying exploration and production opportunities there. The deal was announced at the same time that Russia moved to expand its footprint in Libya in a second deal designed to gain more control in the Middle East. Continue reading

Germany’s Identity Crisis Leading to the Rise of the Far Right

Caption: (iStock.com/franckreporter )

 

In a world of uncertainty and crisis, Germany needs a lot of things: A strong leader. A stronger military. Stronger borders. A stable eurozone economy. But there is something else German’s are crying out for: an identity.

In “Germany’s Taboos, Once a Bulwark Against the Far Right, May Now Be Enabling It,” the New York Times wrote:

Since World War II, trying to define the German national identity, much less celebrate it, has been taboo. Doing so was seen as a possible step toward the kind of nationalism that once enabled the Nazi regime. Flags were frowned upon, as was standing for the national anthem.

But spurred by a sense of lost control over the country’s borders, economy and politics, many Germans are reaching for a shared identity but finding only an empty space. Continue reading

Geostrategy: Russia takes the Arctic seriously, U.S. has only two icebreakers

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Polar Star icebreaker. / Coast Guard photo

 

Russia, with nearly 40 icebreakers, is dominating the battle for the Arctic over the United States, which has just two of the vessels, a key Congressional leader said.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican and chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Coast Guard and maritime transportation, said he will press Congress and the White to increase the Coast Guard’s budget, which stands at $10 billion. Continue reading

Russia seeks ‘post-West’ order as US vows loyalty to allies

Russia Saturday called for an end to what it said was an outdated world order dominated by the West after US Vice President Mike Pence pledged Washington’s “unwavering” commitment to transatlantic allies in NATO.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered a diametrically opposed global vision, just hours after Pence vowed to stand with Europe to rein in a resurgent Moscow.

“I hope that (the world) will choose a democratic world order — a post-West one — in which each country is defined by its sovereignty,” said Lavrov. Continue reading

Flynn’s Gone But They’re Still Gunning For You, Donald

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General Flynn’s tenure in the White House was only slightly longer than that of President-elect William Henry Harrison in 1841.  Actually, with just 24 days in the White House, General Flynn’s tenure fell a tad short of old “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”.  General Harrison actually lasted 31 days before getting felled by pneumonia.

And the circumstances were considerably more benign. It seems that General Harrison had a fondness for the same “firewater” that agitated the native Americans he slaughtered at the famous battle memorialized in his campaign slogan. In fact, during the campaign a leading Democrat newspaper skewered the old general, who at 68 was the oldest US President prior to Ronald Reagan, saying:

Give him a barrel of hard [alcoholic] cider, and… a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year… and… he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin. Continue reading

From Russia with Love? Dangerous radioactive particles have been spotted across Europe and no-one knows where they came from

This map shows where the particles have been detected

 

Traces of Iodine-131 were spotted in Norway, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain in January, but the public were not immediately alerted.

These radioactive particles are produced by atomic bomb explosions or nuclear disasters such as Chernobyl or Fukushima.

They appear to be emanating from Eastern Europe, but experts have not been able to say exactly what produced them. Continue reading

Russia Gains Upper Hand In Asian Oil War

The Saudi-led OPEC cuts may have supported oil prices and reduced market volatility, but they have also opened the door wide to rival crude grades flowing into the most prized market for the Middle Eastern producers: Asia.

Reduced supplies by OPEC resulted in higher prices for Middle Eastern crude benchmark Dubai and a narrower Brent/Dubai spread, which made the shipment of Brent-price-linked crude grades to Asia profitable. Continue reading

Obama is the Source of the Coup

 

QUESTION: Do you think the leaks are a soft coup?

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ANSWER: The Obama administration intentionally set the stage knowing what they were doing was designed to undermine and cripple the Trump Administration. The sanctions on Putin were also intended to prevent Trump from reversing the tension created by Obama to create an international conflict. These leaks appear to be part of an intentional plot by Obama/Left to allow his supporters within the intelligence community to topple Trump if they can. Obama waited until he had just 17 days left in office to sign an executive order to expand the power of the National Security Agency (NSA) allowing it to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies BEFORE any application of top secret or privacy protection would be attached. Obama never did this while he was in office. Whenever a politician does something like this, there is ALWAYS a hidden agenda. This Obama executive order changed everything with regard to national security that was put in place by an executive order dating back to Ronald Reagan. Obama opened the flood gates and this I personally believe was a treasonous act showing the Democrats adopted a strategy to undermine Trump from the outset and to create massive civil unrest. Continue reading

U.S. Pilots Confirm: Obama Admin Blocks 75 Percent of Islamic State Strikes

What we’ve known all along from previous posts…

ISIS was hit in token strikes.

ISIS could’ve been wiped out years ago.

…is now confirmed via military pilots.

 

‘We can’t get clearance even when we have a clear target in front of us’

U.S. military pilots who have returned from the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq are confirming that they were blocked from dropping 75 percent of their ordnance on terror targets because they could not get clearance to launch a strike, according to a leading member of Congress.

Strikes against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) targets are often blocked due to an Obama administration policy to prevent civilian deaths and collateral damage, according to Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Continue reading

Opening Salvos of Coup Against Trump

All three of these former U.S. Presidents and military veterans saw the danger and warned America. We must wake up, revisit our nation’s history and win our republic back.

 

U.S. Intelligence Services continue to undermine the democratically elected president they are pledged to serve.

Rogue elements of the U.S. intelligence services are waging a clandestine war against the very president they are pledged to serve, in a blatant effort to refute the will of the American people and continue the disastrous policies of the Obama administration. This organized act of treason is abhorrent and should both frighten and enrage the American people. We are witnessing an out of control group of unknown conspirators, utilizing the vast resources of the nation’s intelligence apparatus, much of it incompatible with the proper functioning of a free society, to undermine and overthrow the highest members of the executive branch. Continue reading

Torchbearer of the West

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – In the run-up to the Munich Security Conference this weekend, leading German foreign policy experts are calling on the EU to reposition itself on the world stage, replacing the United States as the West’s “torchbearer.” Since Washington’s change of government, the United States no longer “qualifies as the symbol of the West’s political and moral leadership,” according to Wolfgang Ischinger, Chair of the Munich Security Conference. It is therefore up to Europe “to make up for this loss.” Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold a programmatic speech at this weekend’s conference, focusing on the future relationship between the EU and the USA. In anticipation of the looming power struggle, in the German capital, the EU is already being warned not to allow itself to be torn apart by outside rivals. Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth cautioned against “special deals” being made between individual EU countries and the new Trump administration. If there is sufficient coherence necessitating, for example, majority decisions in foreign policy, “we Europeans” could become an “impressive political and military power,” Ischinger cajoled. Continue reading

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer Reveals Who Was ‘Directly’ Behind Mike Flynn Phone Call Leaks

 

Former CIA analyst and retired U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer during a Wednesday appearance on Fox Business Network named several Obama administration officials he suspected were behind the leaks prompting former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s resignation.

“Risk and Reward” host Deirdre Bolton asked Shaffer whether he thought leaks from the Obama administration were “the problem.”

“Absolutely,” Shaffer answered, saying the Obama administration was “directly involved” with the leak. Continue reading