The U.S. Will Develop Newly Unbanned Weapons as a Key Missile Treaty Ends

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A JASSM missile undergoing launch tests from a F-16 fighter over the Gulf of Mexico, 2018. Image: SMgst Michael Jackson (Air Force)

 

The United States is planning to quickly develop two new missiles previously banned by a 30-year-old arms control treaty. America’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, sparked by allegations of Russian cheating, is paving the way for Washington to match Russian weapons with new missiles of its own. The U.S. will test the missiles as soon as this August, within days of the end of the treaty.

The two missile types, a ground-launched cruise missile and an intermediate-range ballistic missile, were previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The INF Treaty, signed in 1987, banned land-based missiles with ranges from 310 to 3,420 miles.

Although the treaty itself didn’t ban actual nuclear weapons, it removed key nuclear delivery systems from the inventories of both the U.S. and U.S.S.R., dramatically lowering the number of nuclear weapons deployed in Europe. Continue reading

Rouhani Went To Baghdad To Strengthen His Country’s Strategic Security With Iraq

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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a news conference with Iraq’s President Bahram Salih in Tehran, Iran, November 17, 2018

 

This was the first visit since the Iranian leader assumed office in 2013 and importantly underscored just how integral relations between the Islamic Republic and Iraq are for both parties. Much can be said about the symbolism of his warm welcome and multi-day stay in the country compared to the brief photo-ops that American presidents take in military bases every once in a while during the rare occasion that they make a surprise visit there, which shows the difference between the organic multi-millennial ties that the Iranian and Iraqi people enjoy and the master-vassal relationship that the US has to Iraq. Building upon that, Rouhani was also sending the message that Iran is the country with predominant influence in Iraq and not the US despite the latter’s current low-level military deployment and the more than $2 trillion that it spent on the eight-year-long war there. Continue reading

Turkey: Putin’s Ally in NATO?

Turkey has NATO’s second biggest army, and its military love affair with Russia may be in its infancy now, but it undermines NATO’s military deterrence against Russia. Pictured: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, on March 10, 2017. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

 

  • On March 7, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey would never turn back from the S-400 missile deal with Russia. He even added that Ankara may subsequently look into buying the more advanced S-500 systems now under construction in Russia.
  • With the S-400 deal, Turkey is simply telling its theoretical Western allies that it views “them,” and “not Russia,” as a security threat. Given that Russia is widely considered a security threat to NATO, Turkey’s odd-one-out position inevitably calls for questioning its official NATO identity.
  • Turkey has NATO’s second biggest army, and its military love affair with Russia may be in its infancy now, but it undermines NATO’s military deterrence against Russia.

On September 17, 1950, more than 68 years ago, the first Turkish brigade left the port of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, arriving, 26 days later, at Busan in Korea. Turkey was the first country, after the United States, to answer the United Nations’ call for military aid to South Korea after the North attacked that year. Turkey sent four brigades (a total of 21,212 soldiers) to a country that is 7,785 km away. By the end of the Korean War, Turkey had lost 741 soldiers killed in action. The U.N. Memorial Cemetery in Busan embraces 462 Turkish soldiers. Continue reading

Struggle for Global Power Status

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BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The United States is preparing sanctions against European companies participating in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to senior US government officials. German government officials, on the other hand, predict that US sanctions will lead to a confrontation with the whole of the EU. “We will do everything necessary to complete the pipeline.” At the same time, the power struggle over the participation of the Chinese Huawei Corporation in setting up the 5G grid in Germany and the EU is escalating. After the German government indicated that it would not exclude, a priori, Huawei, the US ambassador in Berlin is threatening to reduce cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence services. US President Donald Trump is also considering calling on countries to pay the full cost of stationing US forces on their soil, plus 50 percent more. German government advisors are pleading for a “policy of ‘softer’ or ‘more robust’ countervailing power formation.” Europe’s “strategic autonomy” is at the core of this power struggle. Continue reading

America to Withdraw Troops From Africa

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Commander of the U.S. Africa Command, Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, testifies February 7 at a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Europe is being forced to get more involved in its former colonial territories.

Speaking in Munich on February 20, United States Africa Command (U.S. africom) Gen. Thomas Waldhauser revealed that hundreds of United States troops, including commandos, will withdraw from West Africa over the coming years.

In accordance with the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy announcement earlier this year, the United States plans to transfer 10 percent of its personnel from Africa to regions which it deems to be of higher priority, to prepare for possible future confrontation with Russia or China. The withdrawal is to be completed by 2022 at the latest, by which time approximately 600 of the 6,000 American troops currently in Africa will have left. Also to be sent elsewhere are about 100 of 1,000 civilian contractors who assist and train local African forces. They will be restationed in regions where the Russian and Chinese threat to American interests is perceived to be more direct. Continue reading

Russian Military Chief Outlines Aggressive Anti-U.S. War Strategy

Valery Gerasimov

Valery Gerasimov / Getty Images

 

Gerasimov vows more non-military war against America

Russia’s large-scale military buildup is being augmented by greater use of non-military warfare against the United States, the chief of the Russian general staff revealed last week.

Gen. Valery Gerasimov, author of Russia’s use of “hybrid” warfare, announced the greater adoption of asymmetric warfare tools—cyber, space, and information weapons—in response to what he said are stepped up plans for information operations by the Pentagon. Continue reading

Niall Ferguson: This is what happens if China wins the new cold war

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Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping. AP

 

The winter of a new cold war is coming between the US and China, renowned Hoover Institution and Harvard historian Niall Ferguson warned The Australian Financial Review Business Summit this week.

Winning it might decide the 2020 US election. Losing it might be the end of a US dollar-dominated global financial system, if not worse. That’s very scary coming from the man who called the scale of the Soviet communist collapse in 1989 and the US mortgage implosion two years early in 2006. Continue reading

“We Aren’t Slaves”: Erdogan Says Russian S-400s A “Done Deal”, Hints At Future S-500 Upgrade

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S-500 Air Defense System, which Erdogan said Turkey could upgrade to in the future, in defiance on Washington. Image via Military and Commercial Technology blog

 

“This is over” — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this week as US Congress continues discussion and debate on holding up delivery of Lockheed-produced F-35 stealth jets purchased previously by Turkey due to Ankara’s intent to receive Russian S-400 anti-air defense systems from Russia. Continue reading

5G Espionage (II)

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BERLIN/BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Own report) – An opening is emerging for Berlin to be able to include Huawei in Germany’s 5G grid installation – contrary to the massive US campaign. The President of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) Arne Schönbohm declared that “an anti-espionage treaty” between Germany and China could help, open the possibility of Huawei’s participation in setting up the grid. Chancellor Angela Merkel is currently seeking to conclude such an agreement. The industry is in favor of using Huawei Technology, because it promises to be the fastest and most cost-effective construction of the strategically important 5G grid. Experts warn that without Huawei, Germany could lag at least two years behind in the development. Meanwhile it has become known that for years, the NSA has been eavesdropping not only on China’s president but on Huawei as well. Allegedly, US spies cannot show any evidence of Huawei being involved in espionage operations – even after having read the emails of numerous employees and those of the company’s board chair.

Continue reading

Intel: How Turkey is turning to Russia amid row with US over Syria

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) and Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu give a joint press conference after their meeting in Moscow, Aug. 24, 2018. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The timing of the Turkish foreign minister’s unexpected phone call today with his Russian counterpart in the middle of US-Turkey talks on Syria is the latest sign that Washington and Ankara remain hopelessly at odds over how to move forward in the region.

Why it matters: Mevlut Cavusoglu’s call to Sergey Lavrov was made “upon the initiative of the Turkish side,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The Syria dossier topped the agenda. Continue reading

Russian Statements on New Cruise Missile Indicate First Strike Intentions

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin / Getty Images

 

Putin highlights new hypersonic cruise missile in state of the nation address

KIEV, Ukraine—News reports from Russian media over the weekend indicate that the hypersonic cruise missile highlighted in President Vladimir Putin’s Feb. 20 state of the nation address is being contemplated for use in a first strike against targets in the continental United States. Continue reading

After Putin’s warning, Russian TV lists nuclear targets in U.S.

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FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2019. (Yuri Kadobnov/Pool via REUTERS)

 

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian state television has listed U.S. military facilities that Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear strike, and said that a hypersonic missile Russia is developing would be able to hit them in less than five minutes.

The targets included the Pentagon and the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland. Continue reading

Russia To China: Together We Can Rule The World

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A new eye-opening op-ed in Politico brings fresh realism to the fact that “Europe’s obsession with Russia is unrequited” as “Moscow just isn’t interested in the Continent anymore.” Because instead it’s now “all about China” from Moscow’s vantage point, now all-in on its long stated intent to convince Beijing it’s time to form an alliance capable of breaking US global hegemony.

Bruno Maçães, a former Europe minister for Portugal and Eurasian affairs analyst finds based on the real discussions taking place in diplomatic corridors (as opposed to the abstract talking points of mainstream western pundits — predicated on the assumption that Russia perpetually seeks to pull Europe in its direction), that Moscow is no longer pursuing European integration following sanctions and the unraveling of the INF, but senses a new opportunity given Washington’s tariffs on Chinese exports. No longer, the ex-European diplomat concludes, does Russia hope to emulate or compete with the Chinese economy, which it realizes it can’t do, but instead has a bigger geopolitical alliance in mind. Continue reading

Europe’s “Geopolitical Identity”

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MUNICH (Own report) – At the Munich Security Conference last weekend, the power struggle between Berlin and Washington openly escalated to an unprecedented level. US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated his ultimatum that Berlin and the EU immediately renounce their political and economic projects, which are not fully in accord with US policy, pertaining particularly to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the Iran nuclear deal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the US demands. In view of the dispute with Washington, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas declared at the Security Conference that “Europe” faces the “crucial question” whether it will be “the subject or the object of global policy in the future.” It must, therefore, “transform geo-economic capital into geopolitical capital” to become “a cornerstone of the international order” and “develop its own geopolitical identity.” Maas is expressing his demands, at a time, when the EU’s Iran policy is about to fall apart and the European power base needed for Berlin’s ambitions is crumbling.

Continue reading

Russia Touts “Unlimited Range” Of New Nuclear Cruise Missile As INF Unravels

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Following the dramatic US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) within the last month and amidst continuing tit-for-tat accusations between Moscow and Washington since then, which even appears to have imperiled the future of the New START treaty, Russia is aggressively touting its new nuclear cruise missile, the 9M730 Burevestnik (or “Storm Petrel”), which Russian media reports say has entered the final stage of testing and development.  Continue reading