The West is losing the worldwide fight against jihadist terrorism and faces mounting risks of a systemic cyber-assault by extremely capable enemies, the former chief of the National Security Agency has warned.
“The greatest risk is a catastrophic attack on the energy infrastructure. We are not prepared for that,” said General Keith Alexander, who has led the US battle against cyber-threats for much of the last decade.
THEY both have a volatile relationship with Britain – and now Russia and Argentina look set to further cement their budding relationship.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin later today, where the pair are expected to sign a string of deals on trade, energy and military cooperation projects.
In particular, the Russian energy giant Gazprom is expected to agree a deal to make energy investments in the South American country with Argentine oil company YPF. Continue reading
As well as the capital the regions most at risk are Kent and the Home Counties, Essex, and Scotland, according to reports
Britain could be headed for an earthquake strong enough to topple buildings as new “super deep” fault lines have been discovered under the Home Counties. Continue reading
The UK economy is a ticking time bomb set to explode after the general election, according to a leading City commentator who has warned of a fresh crisis for the pound.
Albert Edwards, who heads the global strategy team at investment bank Société Générale and is well known for downbeat views, chides the coalition for a legacy of “grotesquely wide deficits” in both the public sector finances and on the UK’s current account – its overall trading position with the rest of the world. Continue reading
Despite being an otherwise staid, traditional news service, the professional banking division of the Financial Times recently released an utterly scathing assessment of the British economy.
It was entitled, “The UK economy is a ticking time bomb,” and the editor didn’t pull any punches in completely shattering the conventional fantasy that ‘all is well’, and that advanced economies can simply print and indebt their way to prosperity.
Fearing military strike if talks break down, Guards reportedly ready to close Strait of Hormuz, where they drilled to attack US forces weeks ago
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards “are preparing for war” in the event that negotiations to turn Thursday’s framework nuclear agreement into a binding deal by June 30 collapse, an Israeli TV report said Sunday night, citing Arab intelligence agencies.
The Israeli Channel 10 report said Arab intelligence agencies have warned “France, the UK and the US” that the Revolutionary Guards fear Iran could face a military strike should the talks break down, and that the Guards are ready to close the Strait of Hormuz and take other unspecified measures. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the US was working as recently as January on improving its biggest bunker buster bombs in case they were needed for strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Continue reading
The popularity of China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has signaled that Asia in general and China in particular are leading the world into another and relevant direction, a Dutch expert has said.
Rien T Segers, a Dutch expert on the political economy of East Asia, believes the world is undergoing a transition from “the financial, economic and political dominance of the United States towards the dominance of a number of Asian countries, led by China.”
“The rich and old economies have no other choices but going for a development which is a reflection of cooperative influence of Asian countries in the West and vice versa”, he added.
A Russian geopolitical analyst says the best way to attack the United States is to detonate nuclear weapons to trigger a supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park or along the San Andreas fault line on California’s coast.
The president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems based in Moscow, Konstantin Sivkov said in an article for a Russian trade newspaper on Wednesday, VPK News, that Russia needed to increase its military weapons and strategies against the “West” which was “moving to the borders or Russia”. Continue reading
The Bank of England is to impose a series of tests on major UK banks to establish whether they are able to withstand a dramatic slowdown in China, a contraction in the eurozone, the worse deflation since the 1930s along with a fall in UK interest rates to zero.
The Co-operative bank – which failed last year’s tests – is no longer included in the annual assessments of the industry’s financial strength as it is too small, leaving six banks and the Nationwide building society to be tested. Continue reading
Power VisionChinese President Xi Jinping’s vision of achieving the same great-power status enjoyed by the U.S. received a major boost this month when the U.K., Germany, France and Italy signed on to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The AIIB will have authorized capital of $100 billion and starting funds of about $50 billion.
Canada is considering joining, which would leave the U.S. and Japan as the only Group of Seven holdouts as they question the institution’s governance and environmental standards. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s cabinet approved negotiations to join too, according to a government official who asked not to be identified as the decision hasn’t been made public. Continue reading
President Barack Obama has yet to meet with the new head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and won’t see Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week, even though he is in Washington for three days. Stoltenberg’s office requested a meeting with Obama well in advance of the visit, but never heard anything from the White House, two sources close to the NATO chief told me.
Kurt Volker, who served as the U.S. permanent representative to NATO under both President George W. Bush and Obama, said the president broke a long tradition. “The Bush administration held a firm line that if the NATO secretary general came to town, he would be seen by the president … so as not to diminish his stature or authority,” he told me. Continue reading
As US allies rapidly demonstrate their willingness to abandon Washington on key issues like China’s attempt to move the world away from US-dominated multinational institutions that have held sway for decades, and with NATO simultaneously building a “line of troops” along the Russian border, Moscow seems keen on proving yet again that Russia’s belligerence knob “goes to 11.” As we noted over the weekend, Moscow took the rhetoric up a notch recently when the Kremlin threatened (literally) to blow Danish ships out the water with nuclear missiles, prompting a NATO spokeswoman to dryly note that “such statements do not inspire confidence or contribute to predictability, peace or stability.” Here’s more from Reuters: Continue reading
Britain is set to boost its defences in the Falklands amid claims Russian president Vladimir Putin is helping Argentina re-arm.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is due to tell MPs on Tuesday that the Government is beefing-up the UK’s presence on the islands. Continue reading
China and Russia have taken the lead in establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), seen as a rival organisation to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which are dominated by the United States with Europe and Japan.
These banks do business at the behest of the old Bretton Woods* order. The AIIB will dance to China and Russia’s tune instead.
The geopolitical importance was immediately evident from the US’s negative reaction to the UK’s announcement this week that it would join the AIIB. And very shortly afterwards France, Germany and Italy also defied the US and announced they might join. In the Pacific region, one of America’s closest allies, Australia, says she is considering joining too along with New Zealand. The list of US allies seeking to join is growing. From a geopolitical point of view China and Russia have completely outmanoeuvred the US, splitting both NATO and America’s Pacific alliances right down the middle. Continue reading
Having attacked its “closest ally” UK for “constant accomodation” with China, we suspect President Obama will be greatly displeased at yet another close-ally’s decision to partner up with the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). As The Australian reports, “make no mistake,” the decision by Australia’s Abbott government to sign on for negotiations to join China’s regional bank, foreshadowed by Tony Abbott at the weekend, “represents a colossal defeat for the Obama administration’s incompetent, distracted, ham-fisted diplomacy in Asia.” Continue reading