US struggles to counter Chinese maritime hegemony

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has spoken out against China’s strategy of “intimidation and coercion” in the South China Sea, including the deployment of anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles and electronic jammers, and, more recently, the landing of nuclear-capable bomber aircraft at Woody Island. There are, Mattis warned, “consequences to China ignoring the international community.”

But what consequences? Two successive US administrations – Barack Obama’s and now Donald Trump’s – have failed to push back credibly against China’s expansionism in the South China Sea, which has accelerated despite a 2016 international arbitral tribunal ruling invalidating its territorial claims there. Instead, the US has relied on rhetoric or symbolic actions. Continue reading

USS Truman airborne strike group in place opposite Syria

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DEBKAfile

 

In position off the Syrian coast is the nuclear-powered USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier – from which the US, UK and France launched their April 14 attack on the Syrian army for launching a chemical attack. The US Navy strike group entered the eastern Mediterranean over last weekend. US task force commander Rear Adm. Eugene Black announced that its arrival “sends a powerful signal to our partners that we are committed to maintaining peace and security in the region and everywhere that there is a threat of terrorism.” Continue reading

Treasury Hits Russian FSB for Underwater Reconnaissance of Internet Cables

An undersea fiber optic cable

An undersea fiber optic cable / Getty Images

 

Moscow plans to attack undersea cables in future conflict

The Treasury Department on Monday announced the imposition of economic sanctions against Russian entities engaged in targeting undersea internet cables and cyber spying inside critical U.S. infrastructures.

The department announced sanctions on five companies and three Russians linked to the Federal Security Service, the main Kremlin intelligence service, known as the FSB, that has been linked to Russian election meddling in 2016.

For the first time, Treasury revealed one of the sanctioned companies, Divetechnoservices, has worked with the FSB since 2007 to spy on underwater cables used to connect the internet around the world.

Russia has been active in tracking undersea communication cables which carry the bulk of the world’s telecommunications data,” the department said in announcing the sanctions. Continue reading

Merkel Supports European Military Consolidation

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Infantry soldiers of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, take part in a reconassaince mission during Thunder Storm 2018 multinational NATO military exercises on June 7, 2018 near Pabrade, Lithuania. (Getty Images)

 

German chancellor voices approval for French president’s military integration proposal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared on Sunday, June 3, that she held a “positive view” of French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for further European military integration.

Macron outlined his plan for a reformed eurozone in a September 2017 speech. He called for a European Union military intervention force with a budget agreed upon by the year 2020. He has been pushing for Germany to come on board with such a plan for a European military unity, stating, “Our ambitions cannot be realized alone. I have said it already several times, they need to be accompanied by Germany’s ambitions.” Continue reading

In Open Dissent

BERLIN (Own report) – The G7 summit in La Malbaie, Canada, ended in open dissent on Saturday without a joint final declaration. After the G7 state and government leaders had already agreed on a joint statement, US President Donald Trump withdrew his endorsement. The document is still supported by the other six G7 states and is occasionally referred to as the “G6” declaration, to point out the deep rift in the traditional West. Whereas German business circles still call for making concessions in the trade conflict with Washington, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is considering new cooperation frameworks with states “beyond classical alliances, such as NATO.” This however would be in contrast to the agreement reached at the G7 summit on a mechanism aimed at a common response to cyber attacks and attacks such as the nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury. According to scholars of the German Bundestag, Moscow’s alleged responsibility has still not been proven.

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As G7 feuds, Xi and Putin play up their own club

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The leaders of China and Russia Sunday praised the expansion of their regional security bloc at a summit which put on a show of unity in stark contrast to the acrimonious G7 meeting.

President Xi Jinping gave the leaders of Pakistan and India a “special welcome” to their first summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao, since their countries joined the group last year. Continue reading

Lockheed Martin Awarded $929 Million Contract For Hypersonic Weapon To Counter Russia, China

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Lockheed Martin, the defense company behind F-35A Lightning II, a fifth-generation combat aircraft, won a $928 million contract April 18 to develop a hypersonic missile for the U.S. Air Force that will travel more than five times faster than the speed of sound to overcome Russian and Chinese missile defense systems.

According to Lockheed Martin, under the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, the company will design and manufacture the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW), a new air-launched weapon system. The missile will be capable of speeds higher than Mach five and could render Russian and Chinese ballistic missile defense interceptors useless. Continue reading

War Games in the Pacific

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – German soldiers will soon participate in maneuvers in the Pacific and will be on hand as observers on patrols in the South China Sea, according to announcements by the US Navy and the French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly. At a top-level conference in Singapore last weekend, Parly declared that Paris will dispatch warships to the South China Sea in the next few days and will also navigate through the territorial waters of Islands China claims as its territory. According to Parly, German military observers will embark on these ships. At the same time, German soldiers are preparing their participation in the US led RIMPAC 2018 maneuver, taking place mainly near Hawaii. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. During RIMPAC 2016 German soldiers trained in “liberating” an island, which, according to the scenario, was held by the “Draco” militia. “Draco” is the Latin term for “dragon” – a symbol for China.

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Turkey, an Ally no More, Shouldn’t Get F-35s

In the case of Turkey, which clearly hasn’t been an ally of ours, they should indeed not be allowed to have F-35s. The problem with this, however, is that they will turn to China or Russia for their next generation fighters. What’s more, they will make it official that they are allied with China and Russia, and possibly even join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Should Turkey be allowed to purchase F-35s, they would likely pass the technology on to Russia and China, resulting in America’s newest deployed weaponry being compromised. America is in a catch-22: Give Turkey what it wants and lose ground in air supremacy via technology transfer, or lose an entire nation to the axis powers. The former is the lesser of two evils in the sense that it delays the issue for a while, whereas the latter only keeps feeding Turkish belligerency and continued backstabbing.

 

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met yesterday with his Turkish counterpart, who would have us believe Turkey is still a U.S. ally.  In fact, it is no more. Continue reading

China Flight Tests New Multi-Warhead ICBM

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(CCTV screenshot)

 

Tenth DF-41 launch shows Beijing’s most lethal nuclear missile nears deployment

China moved closer to deploying its newest and most lethal strategic weapon by conducting the 10th flight test of the DF-41 intercontinental-range missile last week.

Defense officials said the flight test of the multi-warhead DF-41 took place May 27 at the Taiyuan Space Launch Center in northern China and flew overland several thousand miles to an impact zone in the western Gobi Desert.

“We are aware of recent flight tests and we continue to monitor weapons development in China but we cannot provide information on specific tests,” Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Lt. Col. Christopher Logan told the Washington Free Beacon. Continue reading

Saudi Arabia Threatens War with Qatar

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(Photo Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin via Creative Commons 4.0)

 

The kingdom has threatened to build a nuclear waste dump literally at the border with its diminutive neighbor too.

King Salman has said Saudi Arabia would take military action to eliminate the Russian-made S-400 aerial defense system if it is installed in neighboring Qatar, which has reportedly entered into a deal to purchase several of the launch systems despite being home to a major U.S. Central Command base.

Accoring to Reuters, Salman “recently” wrote a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron that states, in part:

“The kingdom would be ready to take all necessary measures to eliminate this defense system, including military action.” Continue reading

Poland’s US Military Base Is More About China Than Russia

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Poland is proposing to host a permanent US military base on its territory.

Poland wants to replace Germany as the US’ preferred partner in Europe, taking advantage of American distrust with Berlin over Nord Stream II and trade disagreements while capitalizing on the Pentagon’s desire to “contain” Russia, thus satisfying multiple strategic objectives at once. The Polish leadership believes that the region-wide “Three Seas Initiative” of 11 other Central and Eastern European states that it wants to lead is ideologically compatible with the Trump Administration’s anti-liberal populism and represents another strategic convergence with the US. Paradoxically, however, while Poland is striving to advance its national sovereignty, it’s nevertheless sacrificing it by wanting to host an American military base, which is why a deeper explanation of this proposal is necessary. Continue reading

Russia To Build 5th-Generation Nuclear Sub With Hypersonic Missiles

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Vladimir Dorofeyev, CEO of Russia’s Malakhit Marine Engineering Design Bureau, told TASS in 2015 that “the work on the fifth-generation of submarines is already underway.” Now an anonymous source deep within the Russian defense sector told TASS on Thursday that the Husky-class fifth-generation nuclear-powered submarine will be armed with Zircon hypersonic missiles with a deployment date of 2027.

“The Husky has been included in the state armament program for 2018-2027. There are plans to start the experimental design work on the construction of submarines of this class from 2023 and deliver the lead vessel by the end of 2027,” the unnamed source said.

“Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missiles will become the main armament of the newest multipurpose submarine,” the source added. Continue reading

U.S. Military Set To Deploy THAAD Anti-Missile System In Germany

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The United States is looking to establish a powerful missile shield in Germany in a potential move that would further inflame tensions with both Moscow and Tehran.

Though NATO has long insisted that its missile defense systems are not directed at Russia, the Kremlin has repeatedly condemned what it sees as NATO encroachment in Eastern Europe, especially after countries like Romania — which is not engaged in any ongoing conflict with Russia — have recently installed their own US-supplied ballistic missile systems, with renewed multi-billion dollar Patriot missile expansions to follow. Continue reading

Signs of sophisticated cellphone spying found near White House, U.S. officials say

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Members of the Secret Service patrol from the top of the White House. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

 

A federal study found signs that surveillance devices for intercepting cellphone calls and texts were operating near the White House and other sensitive locations in the Washington area last year.

A Department of Homeland Security program discovered evidence of the surveillance devices, called IMSI catchers, as part of federal testing last year, according to a letter from DHS to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on May 22. The letter didn’t specify what entity operated the devices and left open the possibility that there could be alternative explanations for the suspicious cellular signals collected by the federal testing program last year. Continue reading