Israel’s activity and presence in Azerbaijan on the northern border of Iran is aimed at exerting pressure on Iran and conducting security and intelligence activity against it and at getting prepared for the delusion of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities….Because of its strategic location, Azerbaijan offers Israel a springboard for espionage, military activity, and assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists. The paper also refers to the military contracts signed between the two states, amounting to “$1.6 billion in defensive missiles and UAVs.”
Objectives are clear. In the section entitled “Strategic Goals”, the first item on the agenda of the BRICS should reform the global financial system, so as to make it “fairer, more stable, and more efficient.” In subsequent chapters, clearly states that this “reform” is actually dismantling the dollar system.
It is worth noting that the space allotted to this task in the list of priorities of the BRICS, clearly indicates its importance. According to the order of priority, the deprivation of the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency is more important than the “prevention of violation of sovereignty” (ie “the Syrian problem”) or “enhanced economic cooperation.”
“CNN” quoted security sources that said the US developed several plans, including military action against the attackers on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi in September last year.
The sources, who asked not to be identified, said U.S. forces made plans aimed at the arrest of the attackers on the U.S. consulate, through a variety of actions, including the transfer of U.S. ground forces into Libya to perform the operation.
The U.S. has decided to modernize its tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, as well as in America. Experts are divided concerning how the move will affect the balance of strength in Europe. However, this is not the worst news for Russia.
According to The Guardian, when the programme is completed in 2019-2020, the American nuclear arsenal in Europe will get new high-precision nuclear warheads together with advanced delivery systems, especially stealth planes.
Russia is engaged in a major buildup of both nuclear and conventional missile defense systems at the same time Moscow is seeking legal limits on U.S. missile defenses, according to U.S. officials.
The Russian military is developing and deploying an array of new and modernized anti-missile interceptors that are part of a strategic doctrine that calls for defending against what Moscow believes to be an increasing threat posed by offensive ballistic missiles, said U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Wednesday offered to help private businesses zero in on the zero-day vulnerabilities being used to compromise their networks. The DHS pitch: We’ll share intelligence gleaned from the U.S. government’s vast stockpile of zero-day vulnerabilities — purchased from bug hunters and resellers — to help block zero-day threats. gPrivate businesses would pay for the service, which would be offered by telecommunications firms and defense contractors.
Rare Earths, Oil, Gas, Other Commodities Up For Grabs As Arctic States Grants China, India, Japan, Other Select Nations ‘Observer Status’
It won’t be long before the essential raw minerals and commodities of the planet’s Far North such as rare earths, oil and gas get gobbled up by the industrialists.
On Wednesday, the Arctic Council granted China, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore new Observer States status. Essentially, the six nations gained rightful entry to listen in on meetings of the council, as well as propose and finance policies. Observers, however, do not have powers related to decision making within the council.
The European Union is to move military training of Somali soldiers from Uganda to Mogadishu in a show of confidence in Somalia’s growing stability after two decades of turmoil, the EU special envoy to Somalia said on Wednesday.
The success of Amisom, made up mostly of Ugandan, Burundian and Kenyan soldiers, has encouraged Western countries to look beyond the scars left by the deaths of U.S. and U.N. soldiers during Somalia’s violent disintegration into civil war in the early 1990s, and increase their engagement. The EU’s training mission, separate from Amisom, has trained some 3,000 Somali soldiers and officers in Uganda since 2010.
The process that created Dolly the sheep in 1996 has now been proven successful in humans. Scientists have made an embryonic clone of a person, using DNA from that person’s skin cells. In the future, such a clone could be a source of stem cells, for super-personalized therapies made from people’s own DNA.
It’s unlikely that this clone could develop into a human, say the scientists, a team of biologists from the U.S. and Thailand. The team plans to publish a paper in the future detailing why not, Nature reported.
A new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled “Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.
“Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.”
Defense Department spokesman George Little confirmed Monday that an element of the U.S. Marine unit in Spain moved over the weekend to Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy. Little said the unit is still on standby, but the move puts it closer to Libya if suddenly needed in Tripoli.
A unit of about 50 Marines has already been providing security at the embassy in Libya since January. Meanwhile, another unit, an elite response team based in Germany and assigned to AFRICOM, was put on alert last week.
Two pipelines in the highlands of northeast Myanmar will soon begin pumping oil and gas into China, representing a major step in Beijing’s quest for energy security. The $2.5 billion pipeline project, scheduled for completion this month, is part of China’s land-based network of import routes that includes completed pipelines from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Russia. In a region increasingly defined by its quest for energy, the new pipelines could help China tip the geopolitical landscape in its favor.
Russia is developing a hypersonic weapon program. It involves more than 60 companies and is scheduled for completion this summer. Launched in the former USSR, hypersonic weapon research was resumed in post-Soviet Russia in 2009 under the umbrella of the state-owned Tactical Missiles Corporation.
Hypersonic missiles can travel at a speed surpassing that of sound (1,200 km/h) by ten or more times and are capable of penetrating any missile defense, says Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy head of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis in Moscow.
Israel’s rapprochement with onetime strategic ally Turkey is a vital element in Ankara’s drive to become the intercontinental east-west energy hub in the Mediterranean and many expect it to produce an energy alliance that will transform the region.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan has transformed his country’s economic prospects through a wide-ranging diplomatic drive aimed at restoring Turkish leadership in the region. He has long sought to transform Turkey, which has no energy resources of its own, into the unassailable central hub for transporting oil and gas from the eastern Mediterranean, the new hot zone, to Europe and maybe to Asia as well.
The icy Arctic is emerging as a global economic hot spot — and one that is becoming a security concern for the United States as world powers jockey to tap its vast energy resources and stake out unclaimed territories.
Diplomats from eight Arctic nations, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, will meet this week over how to protect the thawing region as its waterways increasingly open to commercial shipping traffic. U.S. officials estimate the Arctic holds 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil reserves and 30 percent of undiscovered gas deposits.
Marines and other U.S. forces in Europe are on a heightened state of alert in response to a deteriorating security situation in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, a U.S. military official said Friday.
The alert order applies to a U.S. special operations team based in Stuttgart, Germany, as well as a Marine group of air and ground forces based in Moron, Spain, according to the official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The forces are under U.S. Africa Command, which acquired the special operations team in the fall.
The CIA evaluates its Chinese counterparts by browsing through their works to gauge whether or not the Chinese military official displays any potential for insightful independent thought. In addition, software exists to distinguish the characters and ambitions of Chinese political figures.
The CIA and US Defense Department have compiled various psychological analyses on eminent political figures, including the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and late North Korean president Kim Jong-il.
Addressing the Russian National Security Council meeting on May 8, President Vladimir Putin said that the forthcoming departure of U.S. and coalition forces from Afghanistan confronts Russia with a more precarious situation on its southern borders. Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s chief of the General Staff since November 2012, who was also present at the meeting, had announced last month the formation of a Special Operations Command — Russia’s version of SOCOM.
The map comes from this recent reporting project on U.S. energy security by nine student journalists at the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative. The reporters explored all aspects of energy security, from presidential rhetoric on the subject to the oil markets themselves to a breakdown of U.S. military operations to stabilize the oil supply. And the site has plenty of charts and graphs. To accompany the map above, Dana Ballout has a piece looking in more detail at all the potential oil choke points.
Consider the significance of the Federal Reserve announcement last week of its plan to maintain a policy of cheap debt — continuing its “stimulus” plans that camouflage a stagnant economy by purchasing $85 billion a month of a variety of forms of debt. Troubling elements of such a policy include the fact that American taxpayers own a larger and larger share of all mortgage-backed securities thanks to the government takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Remember, these government service organizations were declared insolvent as recently as 2008 during the subprime housing crisis.
In 2011, Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times, offered a mea culpa for his support of the war in Iraq. “When the troops went in, they went with my blessing,” confessed Keller. “I could not foresee that we would mishandle the war so badly, but I could see that there was no clear plan for — and at the highest levels, a shameful smugness about — what came after the invasion.” He called his realization “the costly wisdom of Iraq,” which, according to his op-ed in the Times on Monday, doesn’t seem to apply to Syria.
A top U.S. Senate Democrat introduced a bill Monday that authorizes arming rebels in Syria, a step Washington has been weighing after President Barack Obama said the Damascus regime may have used chemical weapons.
Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the Syria Stabilization Act of 2013 that would give “increased authorization to provide lethal and non-lethal assistance to Syrian armed opposition.”
A leading member of a United Nations investigatory commission says there are “strong concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof” that Syrian rebels have used the nerve agent sarin.
Carla del Ponte, a former prosecutor for U.N. tribunals investigating war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, made the comment in an interview Sunday with a Swiss television channel, the BBC reported. She said the evidence emerged from interviews conducted by investigators with victims, physicians and others in neighboring countries.
Over the past five years, Chinese businesses have been expanding their footprint in Latin America in a number of ways, beginning with enhanced trade to ensure a steady supply of bulk commodities such as oil, copper and soybeans. At this year’s Boao Forum for Asia, for the first time a Latin American sub-forum was created that included the participation of several heads of state from the region.
Fresh clashes broke out Monday between troops on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where soldiers from both countries exchanged gunfire last week.
Afghan officials said the fight broke out after Pakistani troops returned to the site of a gate on land that both sides claim along the porous border. It is not clear whether there were any casualties in Monday’s fighting. Last week, crossfire on the border killed one Afghan border guard and wounded two Pakistani security personnel.
The FBI is asking for is the ability to fine those companies that don’t comply with a wiretap order, even if they’re technically unable to do so within a time limit set by the FBI.
In other words, if you can’t provide the feds with a back door to your system, the government will keep piling on fines until you go out of business. The idea, of course, is to compel companies that provide secure communications to also build in a means for the feds carry out get their wiretaps.
German-Foreign-Policy.com reports that Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defense has received the results of a study it commissioned seeking advice on counterinsurgency efforts in the wake of U.S. military drawdown in the Northern Hemisphere.
Prepared by researchers at the University of Kiel, “the counterinsurgency study calls inter alia for the stricter centralization of command authority and a drastic enhancement of the espionage apparatus” (May 2; translation ours). The report reveals a startlingly Teutonic aggression in the language used.
It is a profound problem, which may evolve into a true existential crisis. It is prompted by a question that organizations must sometimes confront: “What purpose do we serve?”
This is the question that is starting to be asked at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Meetings in Brussels without any real agenda, that lead to summits without decisions, the organization gets by actively trying to “redefine” itself. In reality, the end of the organization’s mission in Afghanistan in 2014, and its economic uncertainty due to the crisis that its European members are facing, puts it in a very difficult situation.
IRS to Spy on Our Shopping Records, Travel, Social Interactions, Health Records and Files from Other Government Investigators
Starting this year, the IRS tools will be able to track all credit card transactions, for starters. The agency has also instructed agents on using online sources such as social media and e-commerce sites including eBay, as well as the rich data generated by mobile devices. In one controversial disclosure in April, the ACLU showed documents in which the IRS general counsel said the agency could look at emails without warrants, but the IRS has said it will not use this power.
Thank you so much for inviting me to join you today. At the State Department, I am responsible for overseeing a wide range of defense policy issues, including missile defense policy. In this capacity, it was my responsibility and privilege to negotiate the details of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) agreements with Poland, Romania, and Turkey that will enable the United States to implement the European Phased Adaptive Approach (or EPAA), the U.S. contribution to NATO missile defense.
The U.S. and Japan have agreed to deploy state-of-the-art strategic weapons in Japan in a bid to build an early warning system against North Korean missiles. “Today, we made progress on plans to deploy a second TPY-2 radar to Japan, which will help protect both of our nations from the threat of North Korean ballistic missiles,” Hagel told reporters.
The TPY-2 radar will be positioned in Kyoto following one already placed at a Japanese Air Force base in Tsugaru, Aomori Prefecture in 2006. Using 2.5-3.75 cm wavelength, far shorter than other radars, the TPY-2 radar can identify ballistic missiles within a radius of 4,000 km.
The United States may be deploying 10 additional troops to Mali, but that’s just a drop in the bucket of the U.S. military’s presence in Africa, which has been quietly building for the last decade. You’ve probably heard about the 2,000-troop hub at Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, and the 100 special operators hunting Joseph Kony. But less is known about the handful of U.S. drone bases scattered across the continent and the dozens of exercises involving hundreds, if not thousands, of American troops (Click the placemarks on the map above for a quick description of what U.S. troops are doing in each country.)
Three U.S.-made Patriot antimissile air defense batteries will be deployed in southern Taiwan, in addition to the one already in northern Taiwan, said the Deputy Defense Minister Andrew Yang. Responding to lawmakers’ questions in the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee, Yang said the three Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile batteries will be used to boost the country’s defense capability. The PAC-3 missile batteries, part of a US$6.4 billion arms package supplied by the United States in recent years, will be deployed in southern Taiwan, he said.
When most of us think of weapons of mass destruction, we think of nuclear bombs, or nerve gas, or biological agents. So it was surprising to see accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev charged with using a weapon of mass destruction after he and his brother allegedly detonated a bomb made from a pressure cooker.
Heinous as the Boston bombing is, a pressure cooker does not fit the commonly used definition of a WMD. In fact, by its own definition, the U.S. government is using WMDs every day.
Analyzing Beijing’s foreign policy is a relatively simple exercise. That’s because, unlike the United States and other Western nations, China doesn’t even pretend to operate on any other principle except naked self-interest. On one hand, China has courted Israel as a partner in developing Mediterranean gas fields — but it also has been happy to do business with Israel’s arch-enemy, Iran, and has sold weapons that ended up in Hezbollah’s arsenal. In South Asia, meanwhile, China has cynically helped Pakistan check India’s regional role, even as China’s state-controlled press has warned Pakistan that Beijing may “intervene militarily” in South Asia if Pakistani-origin jihadis continue to infiltrate Muslim areas of Western China.
It is not a secret that in recent years, Beijing increased its political activities across several hot spots in the region. China is now one of the largest GCC countries trade partner, the largest exporter to the Middle East, the biggest importer of Iranian oil, and the largest player in the Iraqi oil game. Meanwhile, the GCC countries are eager to diversify their economy and foreign policy; subsequently they welcome the Chinese involvement and investments, but also view such presence as vital toward the creation of balance in international relations and energy markets. From the Arab perspective, there is little concern that China’s increasing status as a world power will constitute a security threat.
Residents of a number of Sunni cities in Iraq have announced the formation of “military forces” to counter attack the Iraqi army and its crackdown against protesters calling for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki – a Shiite – to step down, Al Arabiya reported on Thursday. The announcements come after Sunni tribesmen were called to arm following a government sponsored military raid on a Sunni Muslim anti-government protest at a camp in Hawija, near Kirkuk, on Tuesday. Dozens of people were killed and injured in the initial incident. It set off a wave of revenge attacks that hit five different Sunni-majority provinces, killing at least 110 people.
This may be a template for a possible plot for “The Expendables 3” but it is a truly bad real-world military operation. Creating limited protection zones for what are now millions of potential refugees would commit the United States to unstable half-measures – and the open-ended use of force to defend them – with the risks of either a continuing civil war or an unplanned process of escalation without allied commitments or support and the reality that the people in such zones would need massive amounts of emergency relief. As Libya showed, “no fly” zones are not enough to end a civil war or halt ground movements and escalation in the use of artillery, missiles, and carefully managed atrocities by competing ground forces.
U.S. commanders have laid out a range of possible options for military involvement in Syria, but they have made it clear that any action will likely be either with NATO backing or with a coalition of nations similar to the NATO-led overthrow of Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
On Thursday, U.S. officials said there has been no new movement of U.S. military assets to the region. The military options could include establishing a no-fly zone over or a secured area within Syria, launching airstrikes by drones and fighter jets and sending in tens of thousands of ground forces to secure the regime’s chemical weapons caches.
The cost of ignoring Africa is immense—and may be ultimately measured in American lives lost. Left unchecked, Al Qaeda affiliates in North Africa will soon be able to strike at Americans overseas and at home. Ignoring North Africa today is like ignoring Afghanistan in 1998, as Bin Laden’s minions began to plan the September 11 attacks. North Africa is becoming the “new Afghanistan”—a string of toterring and largely ungoverned nations running from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.
The first of 500 Marines have begun deploying to Spain as part of a new rapid reaction force to respond to threats against U.S. citizens, government personnel or installations in Africa. The new task force is based at Moron Air Base in southern Spain, which provides quick access especially to northern Africa, where security concerns have grown since the September 2012 attack on a U.S. government facility in Benghazi, Libya, a Pentagon official told CNN. When fully operational, the unit will be required to be airborne within six hours of receiving orders, providing the type of rapid response that the Pentagon says was not possible during the Benghazi attack. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died during the assault at the U.S. mission and CIA annex.
The chief of staff of the Israel Defence Forces, Benny Gantz, recently pushed back against the idea that it was too late for Israel to act alone against Iran’s He felt comfortable making it because he knew that in a few days he would be welcoming a friend bearing gifts. And the gifts? Well, they are gifts the Iranian regime would prefer Israel didn’t possess: advanced radar packages that extend Israel’s ability to see east (and west, north and south, but east is what matters most at the moment), KC-135 refuelling tankers and V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft. The tankers will extend the range of Israel’s bombers, and the Ospreys are particularly useful for inserting commandos into enemy territory.
Beijing has deployed near Taiwan a powerful missile designed to take out U.S. aircraft carriers as Beijing strengthens its ability to prevent U.S. forces from aiding Taiwan. The missile, designated the DF-21D, is one of a “growing number of conventionally armed” new weapons China is deploying to the region, adding to more than 1,200 short-range missiles opposite the island democracy, Flynn, the Defense Intelligence Agency director, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Dong Feng-21D is intended to give China “the capability to attack large ships, particularly aircraft carriers, in the western Pacific,” the Pentagon’s 2012 China report said.
The Arctic Ocean is deceptively vast, spanning 5.4 million square miles. In comparison, Russia in its entirety spans 6.6 million square miles. While most of the Arctic Ocean remains inaccessible, the shrinking of permanent sea ice has roused global economic interest for two reasons. First, the Northern Sea Route runs from the Bering Strait to the Barents Sea, and condenses the traditional “Royal Road” route by about 2500 nautical miles (approximately 10 days’ travel). If viable, the opening of this route would radically alter the transport of goods from Asian industrial hubs to Western consumer markets.
Every American president since Harry Truman has announced a doctrine reflecting the priorities of each White House occupant. Globally, Obama intends to put the United States at the head of two giant economic blocks – the Transatlantic and Trans-Pacific Partnerships. This should ensure Washington’s leadership in a polycentric system of international relations.
If the TTP becomes a reality, the U.S. will account for three-fourths of the partnership’s combined GDP. This will ensure American dominance within the new economic alliance. At the same time, the TTP is an alternative to the ASEAN+3 arrangement promoted by Beijing .
How much of a role Canada should play in helping secure North America from missile attacks could be up for renewed debate. The Conservative government is believed to be facing a request by the United States to join an anti-ballistic missile shield. The request is coming as the Americans ramp up their own protection in response to increased tension with North Korea and Iran. In March, the Pentagon announced its intention to place 14 new ground-based missile interceptors in Alaska by 2017. That suggests the U.S. sees a threat to their northern territory as a possibility, raising the question of Canada’s exposure and also its responsibility.
Parallel moves by Washington and Beijing appear to have persuaded Pyongyang not to carry out its nuclear threat against South Korea, the United States and Japan. But unless the threat has been completely neutralized, President B. S. Aquino III may yet succeed in making the Philippines a potential target for North Korea or China.
While we had earlier feared that a North Korean missile could hit the Philippines purely by accident or mistake, in the future Pyongyang or even China could aim its missile directly at the Philippines, should it finally host American military bases all over again.
The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11 departed Naval Air Station North Island April 19 and will join up with San Diego-based guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) for a scheduled Western Pacific deployment, the U.S. Navy said.
Nimitz left its homeport of Naval Station Everett, Wash., March 29 to join Princeton and CVW 11 for a Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX) in preparation for their deployment. The Commander, U.S. Third Fleet-led exercise ensured the deployment readiness of key operational components of the strike group after a delay in deployment as a result of an emergent maintenance requirement.
Military leaders from the Pentagon, Italy and Germany were in Central New York this week to witness a classified test of a missile defense system. As part of the test, a small plane and a simulated tactical ballistic missile were detected and tracked by the Medium Extended Air Defense System, or MEADS, its developers said today. MEADS, developed in part by Lockheed Martin with partners in Italy and Germany, was tested using radars placed at Lockheed’s test range in Cazenovia and on its campus at Electronics Park in Salina. MEADS and Lockheed Martin officials said they could not release photos or videos of the test because of the classified nature, nor could they disclose the names of the NATO officials who witnessed the demonstration.
An unnamed Jordan source said the U.S. military agreed on Friday to the country’s request to put Patriot missile batteries along the border with Syria.
A London newspaper quoting the Jordan source said the United States was sending two Patriot missile batteries to the area, The Times ofIsrael reported. The source also said the Patriot missile batteries would be transferred from sites in Qatar and Kuwait, and placed in strategic border spots that could best serve – and protect – the kingdom.
“The year 2014 can be expected to usher in another major war involving the U.S.” The threat of war against the United States is making headlines and roiling investors’ nerves. While full-scale war is likely not imminent, it’s something worth considering in light of where we stand in the long-term War Cycle.
To answer this question we need first to realize where we are in the context of the 24-year cycle. This particular cycle, a subset of the Kress 120-year cycle, has been identified as the long-term “war cycle” among industrialized countries. The most recent 24-year cycle bottom occurred in October 1990. This ended a vicious bear market for the stock market.
The Indian ocean once regarded as a ‘neglected ocean’ has, today, become the hub of political, strategic and economic activities because of the presence of conventional and nuclear vessels of the major powers in the area and because of its own economic and strategic significance. The ocean contains several important minerals: 80.7% of world extraction of gold, 56.6 % of Tin, 28.5 % of manganese, 25.2 % nickel and 77.3% natural rubber. Highest tonnage of the world goods, 65% of world oil, and 35% of the gas, located in the littoral states, passes through it. The region today is an arena of contemporary geopolitics.
The Pentagon is sending about 200 soldiers from a U.S. Army headquarters unit to Jordan to assist efforts to contain violence along the Syrian border and plan for any operations needed to ensure the safety of chemical weapons in Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress Wednesday.
The decision to dispatch the 1st Armored Division troops of planners and specialists in intelligence, logistics and operations comes as several lawmakers pressed the Obama administration for even more aggressive steps to end the two-year civil war.The Pentagon leaders made clear that the situation is extremely complicated and they must be certain of the endgame before any military step to try to end the bloodshed.
History is being written in the East. As the U.S. stays distracted with stone age warriors in Central Asia and the Middle East, the last platform of the American economic foundation, the U.S. Dollar’s currency reserve status, is being underminded by their trade partners in Asia. Both Australia and Japan are set to start direct-trading in Chinese currency and they are not the only ones. There are almost 20 countries whom have currency swaps in place with China all in order to side-step the U.S. Dollar in global trade.
More than 350 U.S. marines and several hundred Georgian Army troops angered Moscow by holding a month-long military drill in the former Soviet republic that ended on April 5. The U.S.-Georgia war exercise, code named “Agile Spirit 2013,” prompted the Russians to stage large-scale, unscheduled drills of their own.
In a snap response to the war drills, Russia held large-scale military exercises of its own in the Black Sea, causing great alarm in Georgia. “The current drills are unscheduled, unusual and go beyond the usual location of the armed forces in the spirit of the 2011 Vienna Document on Confidence and Security-Building Measures,”
For half a century, geopolitical theory was effectively banned. In the USSR, this branch of science was described as “bourgeois.” In the West, it was considered politically incorrect, and was largely the preserve of provincial professors with no hope of entering the establishment. The situation began to change with the advent of the new century, and now geopolitics is back in ordinary usage and quickly regaining its political correctness and legitimacy. There is no single definition of geopolitics. But in the most general terms, it can be described as the science of investigating the relationship between foreign policy, international relations, and geographical and natural surroundings.
The Central Intelligence Agency conspired with dozens of governments to build a secret extraordinary rendition and detention program that spanned the globe. Extraordinary rendition is the transfer—without legal process—of a detainee to the custody of a foreign government for purposes of detention and interrogation. In the Open Society Justice Initiative’s new report, it stripped people of their most basic rights, facilitated gruesome forms of torture, at times captured the wrong people, and debased the United States’ human rights reputation world-wide.
The Enemy Industrial Complex: How to turn a world lacking in enemies into the most threatening place in the universe
Without an enemy of commensurate size and threat, so much that was done in Washington in these years might have been unattainable. The vast national security building and spending spree — stretching from the Virginia suburbs of Washington, where the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency erected its new $1.8 billion headquarters, to Bluffdale, Utah, where the National Security Agency is still constructing a $2 billion, one-million-square-foot data center for storing the world’s intercepted communications — would have been unlikely.
The technologies of interest are potential “game-changers”: biotechnologies (e.g., human enhancements), energy (e.g., lasers and superefficient batteries), materials (e.g., 3D printing), hardware (e.g., robots), and software (e.g., electromagnetic and cyberweapons). But this particular wargame was dedicated to their ethics, policy, and legal issues, helping to identify friction points as well as to test how they can be integrated better in national-security planning and military-technology development.
Several new developments in Syria have deepened the conviction that Washington and its Western allies have prepared scenarios to justify their positions if they decide to intervene in Syria, even though official rhetoric refers otherwise.
Since last year, the Untied States and several European countries have floated fears of Syria’s chemical weapons “falling into the wrong hands” if the Syrian administration falls. Israel also said it had plans to intervene to secure those arsenals in case of a “regime collapse.”
The Pentagon has thus indicate that, according to him, the troops of the economic community of West African States were “totally incapable” carry on fighting against terrorist groups from northern Mali. History of ‘impulsive actions’ in its own way create a future US intervention in the Malian territory.
More than 300 personnel of Africom should soon settle in the Sahel region, or more precisely in Niger, countries for the less strategic for the French nuclear group Areva, the latter operator an important site of uranium mining on its territory.
One of China’s most influential military strategists has made headlines by saying that a new, lethal strain of bird flu is a “U.S. bio-psychological weapon” conspiracy designed to harm China.
Senior Col. Dai Xu, an air force officer in the People’s Liberation Army, has written several best-sellers, mostly on U.S. military strategy toward China, and enjoys a national following. He is a prominent voice inside China on military strategy and national security.Though many in the West view him as an aberration, Col. Dai is a core member of China’s strategic community and his views are backed by a huge following in Chinese military circles.
THE leading independent election monitoring group in Russia yesterday became the first non-governmental organisation to be prosecuted in President Putin’s nationwide hunt for “foreign agents”.
Golos (Voice) has reported widespread irregularities in recent Russian polls and said in March last year that the presidential election, in which Mr Putin was re-elected for a third term, was not “fair, just and open according to the Russian constitution and international standards”. The Justice Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that Golos “receives foreign funding and carries out political activities in Russia, thus it fulfils the functions of a foreign agent”. It will present its case in court today.
There are three major means for the U.S. to conduct deep involvement in the Asia-Pacific region: first, wide alliance to win over various countries in the Asia-Pacific region; second, military forward deployment to realize strategic “re-balancing”; and third, occupy a “leading” position in the region to play “pro-active role”.
The U.S. believes that the time span from the end of the Cold War to 2015 is a period of “strategic opportunity”, during which the rise and development of such major regional countries as China and Russia will pose serious challenges to the U.S. around 2015. Among the two, China “is more likely to become the challenger”.
After successful demonstrations of UAV shootdowns by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy, the Navy looks to put laser systems to the test in the real world, installing a laser defense system on the U.S.S. Ponce. The U.S.S. Ponce is an amphibious transport dock class vessel used in joint land-sea operations with the U.S. Marines. The vessel was originally commissioned in 1971, built by Lockheed’s Lockheed Shipbuilding unit (which closed prior to Lockheed’s merger to become Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)).
“We understand what kind of regime North Korea is, but we also understand that North Korea is playing games,” said Sun Zhe, director of the Center for U.S-China Relations at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.
“Most importantly, we are complaining that the United States is using military drills as an excuse to continue to do this (rebalancing), putting up B-2s and other advanced weapons systems,” he said. B-2 and B-52 bombers, radar-evading F-22s and anti-missile system vessels like the USS John S. McCain represented the initial U.S. response to North Korea
U.S. defenses could intercept a ballistic missile launched by North Korea, the top U.S. military commander in the Pacific said Tuesday, as the relationship between the West and the communist government hit its lowest ebb since the end of the Korean War.
Adm. Samuel Locklear, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Kim Jong Un, the country’s young and still relatively untested new leader, has used the past year to consolidate his power.
On November 14, 2006, a man going by the name Paul William Hampel was arrested at a Canadian airport on charges of being a Russian spy. Hampel’s carefully constructed identity portrayed him as a successful businessman, yet for a decade his company did no business. Only months before his capture, the same apparatus used to create his alias was also employed by a very different spy agency – the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency —to build a secret prison in Lithuania, where U.S. agents interrogated suspected al-Qaeda terrorists. Earlier again, it was used by the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to cheat the Oil for Food program.
While aggressive war, drone strikes, and a global network of military bases are the most visible aspects of American hegemonic power, what is often overlooked is the U.S. policy of training, assisting, and subsidizing foreign militaries. Although these actions are largely covert and discreet, they serve the same purpose of hegemonic control, diminish peace and national security, and help contribute to the subjugation of foreign citizens. In nearly every continent, the U.S. taught extremely fascistic, right-wing governments the art of cracking down on domestic dissent, jailing and torturing political opponents, centralizing power, making deals beneficial to American corporations, and employing death squads.
The U.S. military’s much-discussed AirSea Battle will remain a priority in light of rising tensions with North Korea, ongoing military strategy assessments and continued budget constraints, Pentagon officials said.
“Air-Sea Battle is a set of agreed-upon ideas and actions to create the joint force needed for operations in contested and denied environments and what that force needs to be able to do. Having smaller budget authority does not change the validity of [Air-Sea Battle’s] ideas and actions for force development, although it may slow [Air-Sea Battle’s] implementation,” according to a statement from the Air-Sea Battle office.
A group of radio monitoring enthusiasts dutifully log all of the broadcasts on the Air Force’s High Frequency Global Communications System. The HFGCS, stood up in 1992, is a reliable, redundant worldwide communications network that allows deployed aircraft to talk with fixed and flying command and control centers. There are 13 base stations across the world, ensuring virtual global coverage with plenty of overlap. The frequencies are published openly; the broadcasts are analog (although a digital transition is coming) and in the clear because secure telephones and secure HF radio networks don’t work well together yet.
The Yakima facility has been mentioned in several books on national security but otherwise hasn’t attracted widespread attention. James Bamford, whose groundbreaking 1982 book about the NSA, “The Puzzle Palace,” has said the Yakima facility has played a major role for decades in Echelon, the global surveillance network operated by the NSA and its counterparts in the British Commonwealth: Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The system has been reported to be capable of intercepting satellite communications traffic, such as emails and calls, from cellphones.
The Pentagon has deployed a new missile defense system to Guam following threats of an attack from North Korea, which Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel classified on Wednesday as “a real and clear danger.” A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) System, which defends against ballistic missiles, will arrive in Guam in the coming weeks as a “precautionary move to strengthen our regional defense posture against the North Korean regional ballistic missile threat,” according to a Defense Department release. The isolated island in the Pacific is home to U.S. Naval Base Guam, providing a key stopover point for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Cheap drones made in China could end up arming potential U.S. foes such as North Korea, Iran and terrorist organizations. China already makes drones that don’t quite match up to U.S. military drones, but for a fraction of the cost. The Chinese military envisions such unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs) scouting out battlefield targets, guiding missile and artillery strikes, and swarming potential adversaries, such as U.S. carrier battle groups. “In whatever future conflict scenario we’re in five or 10 years from now, the proliferation of UAVs is going to complicate things for the U.S. military,” said Ian Easton, a research fellow at the Project 2049 Institute.
At the same time, the Japanese public has more fully embraced the once-discredited Self-Defense Forces. That is in part because of anxiety over China and North Korea, but also because of the military’s prominent humanitarian presence after the 2011 tsunami.
The reality of the changing geopolitics was not lost on the Japanese officers who watched their soldiers scrambling up San Clemente’s grassy hills. They acknowledged they were learning tactics from the Marines, who developed them during their island-hopping campaign in the Pacific against Imperial Japan.
China continued moving tanks and armored vehicles and flying flights near North Korea this week as part of a military buildup in the northeastern part of the country that U.S. officials say is related to the crisis with North Korea. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troop and tank movements were reported in Daqing, located in northeastern Heilongjiang Province, and in the border city of Shenyang, in Liaoning Province. According to U.S. officials with access to intelligence reports, both intelligence and Internet reports from the region over the past week revealed the modest military movements in the border region that began in mid-March and are continuing.
North Korea’s latest provocative declaration has led China to place its military forces at “Level One” readiness – its highest threat level — and increased its military presence on the border with North Korea in response to the country’s declaration of a “state of war” and threats to conduct missile attacks against the U.S. and South Korea. Tensions have risen on the peninsula since North Korea conducted its third nuclear test last month, sparking a new round of UN-led sanctions.
South Korea’s defense ministry unveiled Monday a new contingency plan of “active deterrence” that allows its military to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea if the North shows signs of an imminent nuclear or missile attack on the South. The new contingency plan was outlined in an annual policy briefing by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin to President Park Geun-hye amid heightened tensions over the escalation of North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric against Seoul and Washington.
Australia is seeking to bypass trading in U.S. dollars with China in an effort to avoid the commercial uncertainties that come with the recent fluctuations in the greenback. For example, just a half a year ago, the dollar traded at about $1.20 to the euro; by February, it had weakened to $1.34 per euro and now it is going for $1.27.
Eliminating the dollar in trade will be the focus of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s trip to Beijing next week. Trade with China, Australia’s primary trading partner, totaled $120 billion in the last fiscal year. China buys nearly one-third of Australian exports.
In a war game focusing on the fictitious country “North Brownland,” military experts from the Army’s forward-looking research arm, the Concept Development and Learning Directorate, assessed how many U.S. troops it would take to go into a North Korea-like place to secure the weapons after a crisis erupted, and how quickly those weapons could be secured.American troops would have to enter the country by air and sea, locate nuclear material in enormous storehouses and unknown underground bunkers, and figure out how to wrest control of nuclear materials and stop reactors. The challenges, Hix said, are significant.
North Korea’s Feb. 12 nuclear test and continued military threats have sparked calls for Seoul to take a tougher stance against the secluded regime including enhanced nuclear deterrence. One of the most controversial issues is conservatives’ renewed proposal to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea. Unlike strategic nuclear weapons that are designed to act as deterrence to war or to damage the opponent’s war capabilities, tactical nuclear weapons are built for use on a battlefield.
In mid-March, six CF-18s and more than 160 Canadian Forces personnel bunked down at a Cold War-era base just outside Reykjavik to kick off Operation Ignition, a periodic mission in which Canada takes its turn defending the island nation, which is the only NATO member without a single soldier or pilot on the payroll. Canadians will monitor radar, escort “unauthorized” aircraft out of Icelandic airspace and practice scrambling jets to “intercept and identify unknown airborne objects,” according to a statement by the Department of National Defense.
When a two-engine Chinese turboprop darted over disputed islands in the East China Sea, the first foreign intrusion into Japanese airspace in more than 50 years, the People’s Liberation Army was able to truthfully profess its innocence.
The tiny turboprop belonged to China Marine Surveillance, a once-obscure cog in the vast bureaucracy that has become a kind of paramilitary force in Asian waters. A host of Chinese agencies with innocuous titles — the Maritime Safety Administration, the Fisheries Law Enforcement Command, the State Oceanic Administration — have become stealth warriors in Beijing’s campaign to press its territorial claims in Asian waters.
In October, the government started a new program of “nationalization of the elite.” That’s a term that was thought up by Konstantin Kostin, an advisor to President Vladimir Putin. Kostin says the Kremlin is aiming to change the mentality of many elite Russian business people, who see Russia as a country to exploit, but who end up going to live elsewhere. Other sources close to the Kremlin agreed that there was another motivation for these laws. They said that this “nationalization of the elite” was a direct response to the mass protests last year demanding honest elections in Russia. “The government is convinced that there are foreign governments behind these protest movements,” said one source.
Israel is getting increasingly jumpy as Syrian rebels, particularly the increasingly effective Islamists, steadily throttle the beleaguered Damascus regime. Unusually heavy air force activity over Lebanon in recent days is raising suspicions Israel’s preparing for airstrikes to ensure the Jewish state’s security as Islamists advance into southern Syria close to the occupied zone in the Golan Heights.The marked increase in the number of aircraft involved, including unmanned spy drones, and their flight patterns over Hezbollah strongholds and suspected missile sites in recent days suggest Israel may be preparing for sizable offensive air operations against Hezbollah or Syria, or both.
Whether it’s rescue rat-bots or bomb-sniffing beetle drones, electronics are helping us create new beasts of burden, allowing us to conscript creatures into the modern animal workforce. These animals’ brains are being taken hostage, their nervous systems forced to cooperate with our plans. As Maharbiz wrote in an account of his research, “[W]e wanted to be sure we could deliver signals directly into the insect’s own neuromuscular circuitry, so that even if the insect attempted to do something else, we could provide a countercommand. Any insect that could ignore our commands would make for a crummy robot.”
A Fox News military analyst who has previously justified the U.S. invasion in Iraq by asserting that Russia conspired to hide Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) now says that there is a “very high probability” that those WMDs are in Syria. Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on Friday spoke to retired Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney about recent rumors of a chemical attack near Aleppo, Syria.“ “Well, I think there is a high probability of that,” McInerney declared. “That’s conjecture, but we do know prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, there was a lot of vehicles crossing the border into Syria. And there was a great deal of conjecture. A Iraqi major general swore by it. He said he delivered it.”
Call them American strategy’s Odd Couple. Working together, the U.S. Coast Guard and Air Force could be the best defenders of U.S. policy in the Arctic Ocean, a theater that will expand and contract each year and where threats will — cross your fingers — remain modest in scope. Think about it. One partner is an aviation force, the other a sea service. One operates under Pentagon jurisdiction, the other under the Department of Homeland Security. One is a combat arm designed to break things and kill people, the other a constabulary agency meant primarily to execute U.S. law in offshore waters and skies and render aid and comfort following natural disasters.
For 44 years, the U.K. has stored its nuclear weapons in western Scotland. It now could be faced with finding the Trident missiles in a foreign country should Scottish nationalists win their bid for independence. A vote for full sovereignty in the referendum set yesterday for Sept. 18, 2014, will lead to a demand for the removal of the four submarines and dozens of warheads, according to the Scottish National Party. The base at Faslane was picked during the Cold War for its deep water and secure location.
Another military exercise led by the Pentagon was the Saharan Express 2013. The real purpose behind these exercises of course was revealed by Omar Wad, a spokesperson for the Senegalese Marine Forces General Command, who said “The safety of marine space is a main bet for Sahel countries because it will protect oil that passes everyday through the Atlantic Ocean. Commodities passing through the ocean, especially along the shores of countries participating in the exercise, represent 80 percent of world commodities.”
Protests against the Muslim Brotherhood continue to rock Egypt without a word being said from the White House. Now, the Brotherhood and allied Islamists are taking a cue from their Shiite counterparts in Tehran and have announced they are setting up a civilian force with the power to arrest those they deem to be criminals.
At around the same time, Jama’a al-Islamiya threatened to set up a pro-Brotherhood militia to “protect private and public property and counter the aggression on innocent citizens.”
The U.S. government is expanding a cybersecurity program that scans Internet traffic headed into and out of defense contractors to include far more of the country’s private, civilian-run infrastructure.
As a result, more private sector employees than ever before, including those at big banks, utilities and key transportation companies, will have their emails and Web surfing scanned as a precaution against cyber attacks.
China and Pakistan reached a formal agreement last month to construct a third nuclear reactor at Chashma that the Obama administration says will violate Beijing’s promises under an international anti-nuclear weapons accord.
The reactor deal had been in the works for several years and prompted high-level U.S. government efforts to block the sale because of concerns it will boost Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
The U.S. administration is printing dollars without security in order to finance civil wars or American military invasions. Thanks to the theft of resources of entire countries, the White House covered the deficit of the uncontrolled printing of currency, and distributed the rest in the pockets of the accomplices from the administration. This rule, in force since the end of the Second World War, changed with the coming to power of George W. Bush in 2000. His greed resulted in the fact that the covering of deficit now led to the enrichment of his family and the IMF political commissars.
As it tries to play Russia off against Europe to salvage its economy, Cyprus has embarked on a high-stakes poker game that could see almost everyone lose. Its banks shattered by exposure to Greek debt, the island state urgently needs a way of bailing out its financial system. Cypriot policymakers hope they can begin to monetise as yet undeveloped offshore gas fields and position themselves as a vital source of energy for Europe. However, such income is still years away and delusions of becoming the Qatar of the eastern Mediterranean in the 2020s may prompt Cyprus to overplay its hand now.
The top U.S. military commander in Europe said Tuesday that NATO is conducting contingency planning for possible military involvement in Syria and American forces would be prepared if called upon by the United Nations and member countries.
The Syrian civil war marked an ignominious two-year milestone this week with no sign that President Bashar Assad is close to giving up power. Adm. James Stavridis, commander of U.S. European Command, told a Senate panel that the United States is “looking at a variety of operations.” “We are prepared if called upon to be engaged,” Stavridis told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Less than six months ago, U.S. Under Secretary of State Robert D. Hormats gave an exclusive interview to Caixin, in which he said that one of the most important tasks in US-China relations was to define differences on intellectual property rights protection and find common solutions within the next six months.
On Feb. 20, the White House released a strategy paper outlining an approach for protecting the trade secrets of U.S. companies. “Emerging trends indicate that the pace of economic espionage and trade secret theft against U.S. corporations is accelerating,”
A U.S. B-52 bomber will fly over the Korean peninsula today for the second time this month as part of the Pentagon’s effort to send a signal to North Korea after it threatened preemptive nuclear strikes.
“Just having the B-52 near the Korean peninsula and pass through means that the U.S. nuclear umbrella can be provided whenever necessary,” South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min Seok told reporters in Seoul, declining to disclose the flight time.