Russia, China Playing Major Role in Keeping Venezuela Afloat

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro / Getty Images

 

The countries ‘have provided capital, goods, services, and political backing’

Russia and China have played a major role in keeping the dictatorial Maduro regime in Venezuela afloat, according to expert testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday.

Evan Ellis, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a professor at the U.S. Army War College, appeared before the Western Hemisphere subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee for a hearing on the malicious influence of state and criminal actors in the Latin American nation’s ongoing breakdown.

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Anti-Air Missile Launcher Captured From Mexican Drug Cartel

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A member of a Mexican drug cartel poses with two kalashnikov rifles, and a photo of a captured Redeye MANPADS system are shown side-by-side. The images were recently released by the Mexican attorney general. (For Public Distribution/via Small Wars Journal)

 

Between April 15 and April 19, agents of the Mexican attorney general carried out raids on the cartels, under what they called operation “For The Safety Of Casas Grande.” They seized drugs, a high-caliber sniper rifle, thousands of rounds of ammunition, 19 luxury vehicles, and five tigers.

But the main catch of the operation wasn’t the drugs or the exotic animals. The biggest find was a shoulder-fired anti-air missile launcher.

Mexican authorities released a photo of the Redeye (infrared) man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS). They also released a photo of a cartel enforcer holding the weapon backwards. Continue reading

Obama’s eye-opening order to Pentagon: Make combat weapons safer, not more lethal

Wartime U.S. presidents have taken keen personal interest in picking the most lethal gun for the military.

But in President Obama’s first foray into small-arms procurement for the armed forces, his Jan. 4 executive order on gun control directs the Pentagon to find ways to make not so much more lethal firearms, but safer ones.

His direct order has brought a few snickers among retired combatants who argue that the commander in chief is issuing his directive at a time of more pressing small-arms priorities. The military, critics say, fields a flawed personal rifle and has spent more than a decade selecting a new off-the-shelf pistol, with no winner yet. Continue reading

U.S. On Alert for Nuclear Blast Overhead

Imagine, with the intelligence community being as slow as it already is, if there already are dozens of EMP satellites hanging over the continental United States waiting for the command to just fall out of the sky and send the nation back 200 years. There is no defense against that.

The concern is so great that U.S. officials who watch North Korea closely are continually monitoring the status of the North Korean “space launch vehicle,” whose status could suggest a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States.

They are aware of the three-stage missile North Korea launched last December that also orbited a “package,” which experts say could be a test to orbit a nuclear weapon that then would be deorbited on command anywhere over the U.S. and exploded at a high altitude, creating an EMP effect. Continue reading

DoD: U.S. War Machine Vulnerable to EMP Event

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Defense will be hard-pressed to respond in any meaningful way to a catastrophic failure of the civilian electric grid infrastructure due to an electromagnetic pulse event, whether natural or man-made, according to a little publicized study.

“Preparing for months without a commercial source of clean water (city water pressure is often dependent on electric pumping to storage towers) and stoppage of sewage treatment facilities will require net methods of survival particularly in populated areas,” according to the little known May 2011 military study put out by the U.S. Army War College. Continue reading