The Biggest Threat To Dollar Dominance

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Russian oil exporters are pressuring Western commodity traders to pay for Russian crude in euros and not dollars as Washington prepares more sanctions for the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Moscow, Reuters reported last week, citing as many as seven industry sources.

While it may have come as a surprise to the traders, who, Reuters said, were not too happy about it, the Russian companies’ move was to be expected as the Trump administration pursues a foreign policy where sanctions feature prominently. This approach, however, could undermine the dominance of the U.S. dollar as the global oil trade currency. Continue reading

American Politics Is Now Just Civil War by Other Means

From a pragmatic standpoint, it really is all over for America. The United States has already been in a civil war for at least 10 years. As Martin Armstrong bluntly pointed out in a previous post:

“All we are doing now is waiting for the first shot to be fired that will literally be heard around the world. There will be no return to civility. It will only get worse from here on out. There is no going back. We have actually crossed the point of no return. It is all over.”

The typical ‘civil war’ most Americans think of is the shooting, rioting and tragic violence that takes place. Fact is, that’s only at the end, which lasts anywhere from 48 hours to two weeks, perhaps.

 

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In the wake of the sending of bomb-like devices of uncertain capability to prominent critics of US President Donald Trump and of a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue (both Trump’s fault, of course) – plus a migrant invasion approaching the US through Mexico – there have been widespread calls for toning down harsh and “divisive” political rhetoric. Of course given the nature of the American media and other establishment voices, these demands predictably have been aimed almost entirely against Trump and his Deplorable supporters, almost never against the same establishment that unceasingly vilifies Trump and Middle American radicals as literally Hitler, all backed up by the evil White-Nationalist-in-Chief, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Those appealing for more civility and a return to polite discourse can save their breath. It’s much, much too late for that. Continue reading

Mattis: China’s Island Militarization Continues

James Mattis

James Mattis (Getty Images)

 

Beijing’s South China Sea encroachment on agenda for meetings in Southeast Asia

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week voiced new U.S. opposition to China’s continued militarization of islands in the South China Sea.

“We remain highly concerned with continued militarization of features in the South China Sea,” Mattis told reporters on Monday as he traveled to Vietnam.

Mattis also said China is using predatory economics to seek control over other nations. Continue reading

China’s Strategic Force Gears Up for Space and Cyber War

Li Shangfu (3rd left) is seen in this photo

Li Shangfu (3rd left) is seen in this photo / Getty Images

 

NDU report reveals PLA information warfare plans

China’s new Strategic Support Force highlights Beijing’s growing military might and plans to expand both power and influence using space, cyber, and information warfare in both peacetime and a future high-tech war, according to a Pentagon-sponsored study.

The new force, set up in late 2015, is not part of army, navy, air force, or missile force and is directly under the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission, according to a report published this week by the National Defense University. Continue reading

Germany Blinks First In Ongoing European Gas War

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The U.S. is increasingly finding itself at odds against not only Beijing as Trump executes a sledge hammer approach to ongoing trade disputes with China, but also with Moscow, a potentially more lethal and unpredictable opponent both geopolitically and on the energy front.

Much of Washington’s angst with Russia includes the country’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, it’s meddling in recent U.S. elections, being on opposing sides in the ongoing Syrian Civil War and having differing views over energy security for Europe.

Russia, for its part, with its long-entrenched hold on European gas markets, seeks to solidify its grasp by keeping its gas monopoly largely unchallenged and also by pushing through with Russian energy giant Gazprom’s controversial Nord Stream II gas pipeline project. Continue reading

Russia and the Solecism of Power

For it is the solecism of power, to think to command the end, and yet not to endure the mean.     
Francis Bacon, Of Empire (1625)

Introduction

Nearly every discussion about Russia raises three questions: Who is to blame?  What is to be done?  And where is Russia heading?  This paper focuses on the third question, though the other two cannot be ignored entirely.  Continue reading

Report: Russia, Ukraine on Brink of War

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(Photo Credit: Ukrainian Defense Ministry)

 

Tensions are rapidly rising over the Azov Sea and the downing of MH17.

According to a new report, recent developments—none of them good—in the relationship between Ukraine and Russia are pointing toward the possibility of a new military confrontation that could inevitably drag NATO, and the U.S., into World War III. Continue reading

Russia launches biggest ever war games

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Russia launched Tuesday what it called its largest ever military drills, with hundreds of thousands of troops taking part along with Chinese soldiers in a show of force NATO condemned as a rehearsal for “large-scale conflict.”

President Vladimir Putin is expected to attend the games after hosting an economic forum in Russia’s far eastern city Vladivostok where his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping is one of the prominent guests.

The week-long war games dubbed “Vostok-2018″(East-2018) “have kicked off” in far eastern Russia, the defence ministry said. Continue reading

Russia’s “Nuclear Combat” War Games Largest In Nearly 40 Years

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a world war axis, at work.

 

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Russia’s upcoming joint military exercise with China and Mongolia, set for September 11 – 15, will be the largest Russian drill in nearly 40 years according to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who said they will be larger than the Soviet military’s 1981 Zapad-81 (West-81) exercises.

“In some ways they will repeat aspects of Zapad-81, but in other ways the scale will be bigger,” Shoigu told reporters from the Russian region of Khakassia.

The exercise, Vostok-2018 (East-2018), will occur in central and eastern Russian military districts, and will involve nearly 300,000 troops, over 1,000 military aircraft, two of Russia’s naval fleets, and their entire airborne forces, Shoigu said in a Tuesday statement. Continue reading

Europe Is Working On Alternative To SWIFT For “Financial Independence” From The US

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German foreign minister Heiko Maas

 

In the aftermath of a report that Germany was working on a global payment system that is independent of the US and SWIFT, on Monday Germany and France said they’re working on financing solutions to sidestep U.S. sanctions against countries such as Iran, including a possible role for central banks, Bloomberg reported.

“With Germany, we are determined to work on an independent European or Franco-German financing tool which would allow us to avoid being the collateral victims of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday during a meeting with press association AJEF. “I want Europe to be a sovereign continent not a vassal, and that means having totally independent financing instruments that do not today exist.”

The discussions, which also involve the U.K., are a signal that European powers are trying to get serious about demonstrating a greater level of independence from the U.S. as President Donald Trump pursues his “America First” agenda. Continue reading

Russian navy in show of strength with 26 new ships this year

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Russia’s navy will deploy a total of 26 new ships this year including four carrying Kalibr cruise missiles, President Vladimir Putin said Sunday as the country celebrated Navy Day with a show of strength. Continue reading

If This Isn’t the Trump Doctrine, It Should Be

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The media and political pundits have been going bonkers over President Trump and Russia ever since the Helsinki Summit with Vladimir Putin. It has been entertaining to say the least. Of course, the underlying issues are quite serious, just not in the way the ruling class wants you to believe. What we believe, however, is that China, not Russia is the primary concern. China and Russia together become an even more serious problem.

We have warned for years regarding how Putin was attempting to persuade China to join him in a plot to threaten, if not topple American global economic leadership in this Blog, in articles, media interviews, and even books. We have been quite clear in our continuing concerns about Putin.

We have extensively documented Russian economic interference prior to the 2008 election that put Barack Obama into the White House. There can be no doubt that the Russian’s, from the highest levels, did manipulate our economy fully aware that this would impact the Presidential election. And, there is no doubt that the crashing stock market, as they were expecting, changed the election dramatically. These are facts that not only remain overlooked by the media but were actively covered up by the Obama Administration’s intelligence community (IC). And, we have repeatedly warned about the politicization of the IC. Continue reading

Forget Trump: The Military-Industrial Complex is Still Running the Show With Russia

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Katz/Shutterstock

 

As the media fulminates, they fail to see how Trump has kept the usual machinery running.

President Donald Trump has strengthened, not weakened, American military and economic opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin. That fact has been mostly unreported and it is of the utmost importance. Irrespective of what Trump harrumphs about NATO or Vladimir Putin, the multi-trillion-dollar military-industrial-counterterrorism complex (MICC) rules American-Russian relations as it has for seven decades. And the nightmare of the MICC is not to lose a friend, but to lose an enemy.

Fake news is fixated on personalities. Authentic news understands that nations have no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests. The executive branch in particular has a permanent interest in exaggerating threats to augment its own power and to order up more superfluous military spending. Continue reading

The U.S. Dollar: A Victim of Its Own Success

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America’s most powerful weapon of war does not shoot, fly or explode. It’s not a submarine, plane, tank or laser. America’s most powerful strategic weapon today is the dollar.

The U.S. uses the dollar strategically to reward friends and punish enemies. The use of the dollar as a weapon is not limited to trade wars and currency wars, although the dollar is used tactically in those disputes. The dollar is much more powerful than that.

The dollar can be used for regime change by creating hyperinflation, bank runs and domestic dissent in countries targeted by the U.S. The U.S. can depose the governments of its adversaries, or at least blunt their policies without firing a shot. Continue reading