Latvia spotted three Russian corvette ships 4 miles from its territorial waters on Sunday.
According to the military’s Twitter page it spotted the vessels Liven 551, Serpukhov 603 and Morshansk 824 near Latvian waters.
The sighting followed reports that Russia was readying vessels for the approach of a U.S. vessel. Local newspaper Fontanka said that Morshansk and a handful of other vessels were lined up around St. Petersburg’s Kronshtadt port—the location of Russia’s Leningrad naval base. Continue reading
The Cold War is back, but it is a different Cold War because it is a different Russia. It is important to know who the Russians are and what has shaped their worldview, including their sometimes justified suspicion and hostility toward the US.
Some features of Russian government go back to their beginnings as a country in the 10th century. Their geography places them very far north, which means that food, particularly grain harvests, are uncertain. The country has experienced more famine than feast. This is one reason for aggressively moving in on neighbors with better geography and better harvests (Ukraine and Belarus). Continue reading
The President of the European Parliament has warned that Europe faces an inflow of up to 20 million African migrants in the coming years. Continue reading
Even a modest boost to German defense spending means radical changes to the world order.
Germany will boost the size of its military to nearly 200,000, hiring an additional 20,000 soldiers by 2024, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced on February 21.
Germany had already announced plans to increase its army to 193,000 by 2023, so this is merely an incremental increase compared to earlier plans. However, it does confirm the radical change in direction for Germany. Its army had shrunk to a low of 166,500 last June and has only just begun turning around. Now, each new announcement about the German military is an increase. Continue reading
While the U.S. outspends all NATO allies when it comes to overall defence spending in relation to her GDP, Statista’s Dyfed Loesche notes – and President Trump is very well aware of – the U.S. is also the prime direct financer of NATO.
However, direct contribution are more evenly split between the major NATO powers. Germany for example, spends only 1.19 percent of her GDP into defence (USA = 3.61 percent) but seemingly pulls its weight when it comes to direct funding of NATO. This does not include contributions to particular military operations.
Europe doing more means Germany doing more.
United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave European nations a blunt ultimatum a meeting of NATO defense ministers on Wednesday: Spend more, or lose U.S. support.
“No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values,” he said. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do.”
“America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defense,” he warned. Continue reading
… and it’s ahead of schedule.
The German Central Bank announced on Jan. 16, 2013, that it would relocate the gold from New York to Frankfurt. This decision was made after the U.S. Federal Reserve refused to submit to an audit of German gold held in U.S. vaults. The Germans initially estimated it would take seven years to repatriate the gold, but in yesterday’s announcement, they revealed that they had completed the task four years ahead of schedule. Continue reading
Since the end of World War II, Germany has generally been content in America’s shadow. The nation has been reluctant to show its power, being satisfied with economic success. But 2017 presents Germany with major international challenges. With a Russian ally in the White House, German Chancellor Angela Merkel could become Russian President Vladimir Putin’s enemy No. 1. The radical shifts in American foreign policy will force Germany to make tough decisions—and force it to try and unite Europe around whatever decision it makes. All this will force Germany to throw its weight around on the world scene in a way not often seen. Trumpet staff writer Richard Palmer examines why 2017 will be the year Germany is forced to lead. Continue reading
Since the end of the Cold War in 1991 there has been growing pressure from many Japanese and Japanese allies for revisions of the Japanese constitution to allow weapons exports and more cooperation on military matters with allies that Japan depends on for much of its military defense. This is because of post-World War II reforms (and reaction to the military government that got the Japanese Empire into World War II, with disastrous results) that severely restricted Japanese defense policies. The post war constitution forbade Japan from possessing offensive military forces. Thus the Japanese armed forces are called the “Self Defense Forces.” It was decades before Japan could even bring itself to build major weapons for its self-defense forces. By the late 1980s Japanese companies found that they were quite good at building quality high tech weapons. At that point, an international marketing survey indicated that, if Japan were allowed to export weapons, they would eventually capture up to 45 percent of the world tank and self-propelled artillery market, 40 percent of military electronic sales, and 60 percent of warship construction. That seemed optimistic, but there was no doubt that the Japanese could produce world class weapons. Throughout the 1990s, Japanese manufacturers produced nearly $7 billion worth of weapons a military equipment a year, just for the self-defense force. Continue reading
BEIJING – There’s a Chinese saying that stems from the philosophy in Sun Tzu’s ancient text “The Art of War”: You can kill 1,000 enemies, but you would also lose 800 soldiers.
Centuries later, the proverb is suddenly apt again, being mentioned frequently in discussions around Beijing. Now, it highlights the potential damage U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could inflict if he makes good on his threat to start a trade war with China, the world’s second-biggest economy.
Having backed off some other campaign pledges, it’s unclear if Trump will end up slapping punitive tariffs on China — and Beijing has signaled some optimism he will be more pragmatic in office. Still, the message from China is that any move to tax Chinese imports would bring retaliation: The U.S. economy would take a hit and America would damage its long-standing ties with Asia. Continue reading
The re-miliarization of Japan has been on my radar and caused me much concern in recent years. I’ve covered the topic on several occasions, with the most recent example published over the summer in the post, Japanese Government Shifts Further Toward Authoritarianism and Militarism. Here are the first few paragraphs:
One of the most discomforting aspects of Neil Howe and William Strauss’ seminal work on generational cycles, The Fourth Turning (1997), is the fact that as far as American history is concerned, they all climax and end with massive wars. Continue reading
Donald Trump’s victory, as well as Brexit, ought to speed up plans for EU defence integration, Germany has said.
“Europe needs common political will for more security policy relevance. The outcome of the election in America could provide an additional impetus”, German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen said in an opinion article in the Rheinische Post, a German newspaper, on Thursday (10 November).
“The Brexit decision and the election in the United States have set a new course” for the EU, she added.
She said it was “difficult for Germany and Europe, on the day after the election, to assess what to expect from a Trump presidency”. Continue reading
QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; You have pointed out that both Republicans and Democrats have voted for wars and they really seem to have no differences on this issue. You have said they use the social issues to distinguish themselves, but war and economics they seem to always agree. Do you have any insight on this phenomenon? Continue reading
The latest World War 3 update has revealed Russia’s plans of attacking the United States in the coming 15 days while German army proceeds towards the Russian border.
According to the reports, Russia is encouraging its navy for final preparation for the international conflict, which shows the nation is all set to attack the Western nation anytime in few weeks. It has been discovered that President Vladimir Putin’s nation has initiated warships that are now cruising close to the North Sea while they plan to cross one mile from British shores in the English Channel. On their way to the Mediterranean, they would launch supportive operations in Syria. Continue reading