Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Big Guns, Better Chow, and More US-NATO Aggression

By Brian CLOUGHLEY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 16.01.2018

A headline in the US military magazine Stars and Stripes last September was eye-catching. It told readers that there were “Big guns, better chow for US soldiers on Russia deterrence mission” in Lithuania. Apparently the guns and chow were provided for the “500 173rd Airborne Brigade soldiers that swooped into the Baltics this month on a mission to deter Russian aggression.”

Then the UK’s Observer newspaper informed us that “US Special Forces have been deployed close to the border with Russia as part of a ‘persistent’ presence of American troops in the Baltics. Dozens of special ops soldiers are being stationed along Europe’s eastern flank to reassure NATO allies Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The move will also allow the US to monitor Russian manoeuvres amid fears of further destabilisation following its annexation of Crimea in 2014… US special operations forces will complement around 4,000 NATO troops posted to Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia in the coming months.”

It was noted by Nick Turse on January 9 that “for the past two years the US has maintained a Special Operations contingent in almost every nation on Russia’s western border. As Special Operations Command chief General Raymond Thomas put it last year, ‘We’ve had persistent presence in every country — every NATO country and others on the border with Russia doing phenomenal things with our allies, helping them prepare for their threats.”

What threats? What Russian aggression? What destabilisation? Russia has never threatened any Baltic State and there is not the slightest piece of evidence that Russia wants to invade Lithuania. Their trade balance is that Russia imports total $2.5 billion a year from Lithuania and exports are $3.3 billion and it is in the best interests of both countries to expand this mutually beneficial arrangement, although it seems a trifle strange that although Lithuania’s exports declined by 2.5 per cent in 2016, this was in part “explained by the drop in exports of oil products (due to American competition).”

But all US and most European mainstream media claim that when the majority of the citizens of Crimea voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia, this was somehow evidence of Russian aggression, extending to the Baltic.

As the BBC reported in March 2014, “voters were asked whether they wanted to join Russia, or have greater autonomy within Ukraine” and made their preference clear. In the period between the US-inspired coup in Ukraine and the vote to rejoin Russia there was not a single case of bloodshed in Crimea. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was asked by the government of Crimea to send representatives to monitor the referendum but refused to do so.

There were energetic attempts in the West to paint the post-accession treatment of Ukrainians in Crimea as harsh, but even the ultra-right-wing UK Daily Telegraph reported that “Like many of the Ukrainian servicemen in Crimea, the 600-strong marine battalion in Feodosia has strong local links. Many of the men are either local recruits or have served here so long they have put down roots. Only about 140 of the 600-strong battalion stationed here are expected to return to Ukraine. The remainder, with local family and friends, have opted to remain in Crimea — the land they call home.”

Exactly a year after the referendum Forbes noted that “… the Crimeans are happy right where they are . . . poll after poll shows that the locals there — be they Ukrainians, ethnic Russians or Tatars — are mostly all in agreement: life with Russia is better than life with Ukraine… Despite huge efforts on the part of Kiev, Brussels, Washington and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the bulk of humanity living on the Black Sea peninsula believe the referendum to secede from Ukraine was legit.” Not much evidence of Russian aggression there — but a great deal of evidence of Western interference aimed at destabilising the region.

The US-NATO military alliance, the Brussels-Washington nexus mentioned by Forbes, refuses to believe that the citizens of the Peninsula are content or that Russia has no desire to “annex” any territory. As Stars and Stripes informs us, the big guns and better chow for US soldiers sent to Russia’s border are “part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the United States’ commitment to deter aggression in Europe in response to Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.” The drumbeat of “annexation” is continuous and as with many propaganda campaigns has succeeded because Western media seldom permit publication of even-handed accounts of what actually happened. The Psyops campaign directors are guided by the old saying that “if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”, which is wrongly attributed to Josef Goebbels but spot on for accuracy.

In February 2015 the Washington Times and the UK’s Daily Mail published an objective piece by Steven Hurst of Associated Press in which he stated that “Since the Soviet collapse [the US-NATO military alliance] — as Moscow had feared — has spread eastward, expanding along a line from Estonia in the north to Romania and Bulgaria in the south. The Kremlin claims it had Western assurances that would not happen. Now, Moscow’s only buffers to a complete NATO encirclement on its western border are Finland, Belarus and Ukraine. The Kremlin would not have to be paranoid to look at that map with concern.”

Steven Hurst, it should be noted, is an “AP international political writer [who] reported from Moscow for 12 years and has covered international relations for 33 years.” No Western mainstream media published his piece of balanced analysis. Well, they wouldn’t would they? — it didn’t fit with the propaganda line.

After the Warsaw Pact disbanded in March 1991 the US-NATO military alliance, although deprived of any reason to continue in existence not only kept going but in 1999 added Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to its then 16 members. As the BBC noted, these countries became “the first former Soviet bloc states to join NATO, taking the alliance’s borders some 400 miles towards Russia.”

NATO continued to expand around Russia’s borders, with Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia joining in 2004. As President Putin observed in an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera in 2015, “we are not expanding anywhere; it is NATO infrastructure, including military infrastructure, that is moving towards our borders. Is this a manifestation of our aggression?”

But US Big Guns and Better Chow will continue to surge against Russia’s borders, as the US-NATO alliance continues its confrontation. Russia will have to remain militarily alert for the foreseeable future, until saner councils prevail in the West’s military-industrial complex.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Denmark wants huge hike in military budget ‘to deter Russia’

Press TV – January 16, 2018

The Danish government aims to increase its military spending to counter an alleged security threat from Russia in Eastern Europe.

During a visit to the Danish Air Force team in Lithuania on Monday, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said his center-right minority government needed to persuade the Danish parliament next month to back a proposed, whopping 20-percent hike in Denmark’s military budget over a five-year period.

“We want to look at ourselves as a core NATO member. And in order to behave like such a member, we need to increase our expenditures,” Rasmussen said.

An agreement made in 2006 calls on NATO member countries to have a military spending of at least two percent of their GDP. While many members of the military alliance have refused to allocate that percentage of their GDP to the military, some have recently been invoking the agreement in an ostensible attempt to deter Russia.

The Danish prime minister said his country’s military budget needed a “substantial increase.”

“Five years ago we thought that the defense line, so to speak, would not be in Europe, but would be international operations. Now we realize that we need to have the capability to do both,” he added.

The brandishing of a “Russian threat” comes while NATO member states have significantly increased their military activities near Russia’s western borders in recent years.

Last week, Denmark deployed 200 troops to a UK-led NATO mission in Estonia, citing the alleged threat from Russia. NATO has deployed around 4,000 troops, consisting of four battle groups, to Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland — all near Russian borders — in recent years.

Russia, realizing that security threat under its nose, has held several military drills to maintain preparedness. The NATO countries have then referred to those drills as signs that Russia has aggressive and not defensive intentions.

NATO — largely made up of Western European countries — also accuses Russia of having a hand in the crisis in Ukraine, which Moscow denies.

Eastern Ukraine has been the site of a conflict since 2014, when the government in Kiev started a crackdown on pro-Russia protests in the country. Earlier that same year, the Crimean Peninsula, then Ukrainian territory, voted in a referendum to separate from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Western countries branded the subsequent unification as an “annexation” of the territory by Russia, and Ukraine soon confronted pro-Russia protests elsewhere — in its eastern Donbass region — with a heavy hand.

The crisis in the Donbass soon turned into an armed conflict, which has so far left over 10,000 people dead and more than a million others displaced. Western countries have blamed Russia, which denies any involvement.

“Russia’s behavior has created an unpredictable and unstable security environment in the Baltic Sea region,” Lokke Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, said at a joint news conference with Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis in the capital, Riga.

“Given the Russian aggression and what happened in Crimea, I think we simply have to be realistic about things and invest more in our security,” he said.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

NATO’s Fraudulent War on Behalf of Women

By George Szamuely | CounterPunch | January 9, 2018

In a recent Guardian article titled “Why NATO Must Defend Women’s Rights,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Soltenberg and Hollywood movie star Angelina Jolie assert that “NATO has the responsibility and opportunity to be a leading protector of women’s rights.” NATO, moreover, “can become the global military leader in how to prevent and respond to sexual violence in conflict.” The two vowed to identify “ways in which NATO can strengthen its contribution to women’s protection and participation in all aspects of conflict-prevention and resolution.”

The pairing of a NATO bureaucrat and a famous movie actress may at first glance appear odd. However, this partnership has been long in the making. Some years ago, NATO, always on the lookout for a reason to justify its continued existence, not to mention its perpetual expansion, came up with a new raison d’être: It would be the global champion of women. “Achieving gender equality is our collective task. And NATO is doing its part,” said Mari Skåre, the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, in 2013. In March 2016, on International Women’s Day, NATO held a so-called “Barbershop Conference” on gender equality. Stoltenberg took the opportunity to declare that gender equality was a frightfully important issue for NATO because “NATO is a values-based organization and none of the Alliance’s fundamental values—individual liberties, democracy, human rights and the rule of law—work without equality.” Diversity was a source of strength. “We learned in Afghanistan and in the Balkans that by integrating gender within our operations, we make a tangible difference to the lives of women and children,” Stoltenberg explained. He stressed that NATO is proud of its record in embedding gender perspectives within its work. Last November, Stoltenberg was at it again: “Empowering women is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do: it makes countries safer and more stable. NATO is determined to make a difference.”

NATO has indeed made a difference but not through empowering women. When it isn’t bombing, killing, blowing up bridges and buildings, destroying wedding receptions, empowering jihadis, triggering refugee flows and ruining the lives of countless women, NATO holds unctuous press briefings, organizes self-congratulatory conferences and publishes articles such as the one by Stoltenberg/Jolie seeking to present a gargantuan 29-state military coalition as a do-gooder charity helping out the needy.

This is where Angelina Jolie comes in. Jolie is a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and, in that capacity, wanders around the world berating the “international community” for not doing enough to address humanitarian crises. Her take on these crises is invariably the same as that of NATO. “It is important that we intervene in a timely fashion,” she once explained, “diplomatically if we can, with force if we must.” In October 2011, following seven months of relentless NATO bombing, Jolie rushed to Libya and excitedly hailed the Libyan “revolution”:

I’m… here on behalf of the Libyan people to show them solidarity. I think this revolution on behalf of human rights, which is what I feel these people really have been doing and what they have pushed for, and to help them to implement these new laws and help them with the future of their country.

Sometimes it’s breathless enthusiasm for “revolution,” sometimes it’s tearful pleading for plain, old-fashioned “humanitarian intervention”—Angelina Jolie is nothing if not consistent in her advocacy for Western use of force. When it comes to Syria, Jolie has declared that “some form of intervention is absolutely necessary.” She sneered at the U.N. Security Council permanent members that stood in the way of intervention. “I feel very strongly that the use of a veto when you have financial interests in the country should be questioned and the use of a veto against humanitarian intervention should be questioned,” she said in an interview. Jolie was of course simply echoing the blustery words of the Obama administration. Recall Susan Rice’s tirade following Russia’s and China’s veto of a February 2012 Security Council resolution calling for Bashar al Assad to step aside and for the Syrian army to return to its barracks. Rice, then U.S. permanent representative at the U.N., called the vetoes “disgusting and shameful.” The countries “that have blocked potentially the last effort to resolve this peacefully…will have any future blood spill on their hands.”

This kind of attack on the veto-wielding Security Council members has become a staple of the humanitarian intervention crowd. For example, former French President François Hollande told the U.N. General Assembly in September 2013 that when mass atrocities were taking place, U.N. Security Council permanent members must give up their veto powers:

The U.N. has a responsibility to take action. And whenever our organization proves to be powerless, it’s peace that pays the price. That’s why I am proposing that a code of good conduct be defined by the permanent members of the Security Council, and that in the event of a mass crime they can decide to collectively renounce their veto powers.

Taking action, of course, means taking military action. It never means, say, the lifting of sanctions so that food, oil, medical supplies could get through. To the contrary, if military action is ruled out, the humanitarians immediately resort to demanding the tightening of sanctions. Interventionists such as Hollande, Rice, et al., never explain why it is necessary for U.N. permanent members to give up their veto if the right course of action is so self-evident. The unstated assumption obviously is that any reluctance to sanction the use of force must be motivated by moral failings such as greed, selfishness, political ambition or lack of compassion.

The heartlessness of the so-called international community was the message of the 2011 film she wrote and directed about the 1992-95 war in Bosnia, In the Land of Blood and Honey. The film, she said, points a “finger at the international community, which should have intervened in the Bosnian war was much sooner.” She proudly boasted that among the experts she consulted in making the film were Richard Holbrooke and Wesley Clark, two figures who played prominent roles in the devastation of Bosnia and Kosovo. The film, predictably, features villainous Serbs persecuting innocent Muslims. Asked whether her film should have been a little more balanced, Jolie replied “The fact is that the war was not balanced. I could not make a film where it’s 50-50. It’s inaccurate to what happened.” This is standard NATO stuff, particularly the part about NATO’s military intervention as having finally brought peace to Bosnia.

Jolie is useful to NATO not only because she can be relied on to echo the military alliance’s self-justifying rationales for its favored solution to any problem, namely, the threat to use force. Jolie’s is the glamorous face of NATO’s revamped PR campaign. NATO would have us believe that it’s not only bringing enlightenment to backward societies but also to us, NATO member-state citizens, by informing us about something of which we had hitherto been apparently unaware: sexual violence occurs during wartime. The obvious remedy—doing everything possible to avoid war—is not one that either NATO or Jolie favors. NATO can’t very well be expected to advocate itself out of existence. In NATOspeak you threaten and defend military action even as you bemoan in lachrymose terms its predictable consequences, namely, war crimes, including sexual crimes.

In April 2014, Jolie traipsed around the Balkans with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, visiting the Srebrenica memorial center in Potocari, Bosnia. During the visit, Jolie stated, “The use of rape as a weapon of war is one of the most harrowing and savage of these crimes against civilians. This is rape so brutal, with such extreme violence, that it is even hard to talk about it.” Hague and Jolie jointly launched a campaign called Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, the goal of which was “to address the culture of impunity, ensure more perpetrators are brought to justice and ensure better support for survivors. We’re campaigning to raise awareness, rally global action, promote international coherence and increase the political will and capacity of states to do more.”

Hague earnestly explained, “I started this campaign with Angelina Jolie because foreign policy has got to be about more than just dealing with urgent crises—it has to be about improving the condition of humanity.” Then Hague warmed to his theme: “Tens of thousands of women, girls and men were raped during the war in Bosnia. We are visiting to draw the world’s attention to their search for justice, and to call for global action to end the use of rape as a weapon of war once and for all.” In a BBC interview Hague claimed that sexual violence in conflict was “one of the great mass crimes of the 20th century and the 21st century…. If anything, this is getting worse—war zone rape as a weapon of war, used systematically and deliberately against civilian populations.”

Hague was of course British foreign secretary during NATO’s 2011 Libyan bombing campaign. It hardly needs to be said that NATO did nothing to help Libya’s women. To the contrary: Thousands of women lost their lives as a direct result of NATO and Hague’s humanitarian bombs. NATO destroyed government, law and public order, institutions that before its intervention had protected the women of Libya from sexual crimes. Most striking of all, NATO helped deliver perhaps millions of women into the hands of ISIS. Here is an account of the record of ISIS rule in Libya from Human Rights Watch (a reliably pro-interventionist outfit) in its 2017 country report on Libya: “In the first half of 2016, fighters loyal to ISIS controlled the central coastal town of Sirte and subjected residents to a rigid interpretation of Sharia law that included public floggings, amputation of limbs, and public lynchings, often leaving the victims’ corpses on display.”

Not to worry: In June 2014, Hague and Jolie co-hosted in London a grand three-day Global Summit to End Sexual Violence. Participants included Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. According to one report, the summit cost £5.2 million to host. The food bill alone was more than £299,000, while total expenditure on taxis, hotels and transport reached £576,000. Jolie declared:

We need to shatter that culture of impunity and make justice the norm, not the exception, for these crimes. We need political will, replicated across the world, and we need to treat this subject as a priority. We need to see real commitment and go after the worst perpetrators, to fund proper protection for vulnerable people, and to step in to help the worst-affected countries. We need all armies, peacekeeping troops and police forces to have prevention of sexual violence in conflict as part of their training.

Punishing the perpetrators of sexual violence sounds laudable enough. The trouble is that NATO’s record of making incendiary charges and then failing to back them up with serious evidence is not one that inspires confidence. During the Bosnian war, for example, the media reported obsessively on the use of rape as an instrument of war. In 1992, Dame Ann Warburton’s European parliamentary delegation estimated that 20,000 rapes had already taken place in Bosnia. In January 1993, Newsweek carried a lengthy cover-story charging Serbs with the rape of as many as 50,000 women, mostly Muslim, as part of “deliberate programs to impregnate Muslim women with unwanted Serb babies.”

Systematic research on the subject however resulted in findings that were insufficiently dramatic to make it into the papers. On Jan. 29, 1994, the U.N. secretary-general issued a report on rapes in the former Yugoslavia, including Bosnia and Croatia, based on a study by the U.N. Commission of Experts. The report found “126 victims, 113 incidents, 252 alleged perpetrators, 73 witnesses.” The report also stated “some of the rape cases” were “clearly the result of individual or small-group conduct without evidence of command responsibility. Others may be part of an overall pattern. Because of a variety of factors, such a pattern may lead to a conclusion that a systematic rape policy existed, but this remains to be proved.”

Allegations of mass rape were a key component of NATO’s propaganda campaign during the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook regaled the public with lurid tales of Serbs forcing women “to endure ‘systematic rape’ at an army camp at Djakovica.” Clare Short, Britain’s international development secretary, added that the rapes were “deliberately performed in front of children, fathers and brothers.” The British Foreign Office followed up with claims of having discovered three more rape camps: “Refugees reported orchestrated rapes at Globocica, Urosevac and an unidentified point on the Kosovo-Albania border.” Subsequently, when it was too late to matter, the media sheepishly admitted that the rape-camp stories, like most of NATO’s allegations, were a fabrication. The Washington Post reported that “Western accusations that there were Serb-run rape camps in the cities of Djakovica and Pec, and poorly sourced allegations in some publications that the Serbs were engaging in the mutilation of the living and the dead—including castration and decapitation—all proved to be false.” Even Human Rights Watch’s Fred Abrahams, who had worked as an investigator for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, admitted in testimony that he had found no evidence to support the incendiary rape-camp allegations.

Still, NATO remained undeterred. During NATO’s next campaign, the one directed against Libya, rape stories made their appearance within days of the launch of the first bombs. Susan Rice, the U.S. Permanent Representative at the U.N., informed the Security Council that Libya’s leader, Muammar Qaddafi, was supplying his troops with Viagra in order to help them commit mass rape. Though Rice offered no evidence to support her claims, her charge was sufficient for the International Criminal Court prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, to announce that he had “information to confirm that it was a policy in Libya to rape those who were against the Government. Rape is a new aspect of the repression.” Moreno-Ocampo even accepted as confirmed Rice’s Viagra story: “We are finding some elements confirming this issue of acquisition of Viagra-type of medicaments to show a policy. They were buying containers with products to enhance the possibility to rape, and we are getting the information in detail confirming the policy.”

In the end, predictably enough, NATO’s rape allegations turned out to have been made up out of whole cloth. Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis response adviser for Amnesty International, reported that the organization had “not found any evidence or a single victim of rape or a doctor who knew about somebody being raped.” Rovera also dismissed the Viagra story. She said that “rebels dealing with the foreign media in Benghazi started showing journalists packets of Viagra, claiming they came from burned-out tanks, though it is unclear why the packets were not charred.”

Though one allegation after another has proved to be false, NATO will continue to make them, seizing on whatever is the hot-button issue of the moment. NATO does nothing for women and does nothing to stop sexual crimes, whether in NATO member-states or anywhere else in the world. What NATO does do well, thanks to its multimillion dollar sophisticated PR machinery, is seizing on highly emotional issues such as rape and turning them into justifications for bigger budgets, more weaponry, more expansion, more deployments in more countries and, in the end, military action.

George Szamuely, PhD, author of Bombs for Peace: NATO’s Humanitarian War on Yugoslavia, is Senior Research Fellow at the Global Policy Institute of London Metropolitan University.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

US Prepares for Forcible Entry Operations in Remote Theaters of War

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 27.12.2017

One area where America has a significant advantage over any putative adversary is in logistics. No other nation can challenge the US ability to conduct overseas operations, deploy and sustain joint forces worldwide, including remote corners of the globe. But it’s not enough! The capability is being urgently enhanced. Summing up pieces of information coming from various sources leads to the conclusion that preparations for combat actions conducted far from home bases are in full swing.

US Air Force exercise capstone Joint Forcible Entry (JFE) – the largest ever – was held on Dec.9-10 to check the readiness for airlifting Army paratroopers. The transport aircraft were escorted by F-15 and F-16 warplanes fighting their way through contested air space to the enemy’s rear. Once landed, the forces on the ground were supported from air. 37 C-17 Globemaster III and 21 C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft took off from 12 air bases across the country to support the largest JFE event in history. Troops were landed in Nevada. In total, over 100 aircraft took place in the drills.

The training event took place after Mobility Guardian – a large NATO power projection exercise – was held in July bringing together roughly 30 nations. The exercise included all elements of forcible entry operation, including electronic attack and cyber warfare. A С-17 ready to land in any part of the world in 24 hours to deliver the equipment needed to provide for further operations of 4 F-22 или F-35 fighters was an element of the fully integrated scenario.

This month, US and South Korea held “Vigilant Ace”, the largest ever joint air exercise. The five-day Vigilant Ace drill involved 230 aircraft, including F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters, and tens of thousands of troops.

The exercises of such large scale held one by one showed that the capability to conduct power projection operations in the faraway regions is a priority. The infrastructure of other countries as well as pre-positioned stocks is widely used to enhance effectiveness. For instance, on Dec. 1, 2017, the Defense Logistics Agency issued an amendment to a contract notice regarding prepositioned supplies at jet fuel at sites throughout Europe and Africa in support of US military activities. The change specifically added a requirement for supplies of commercial Jet A fuel at three sites: Manu Dayak Airport in the central Nigerien city of Agadez, Houari Boumediene Airport in the Algerian capital Algiers, and Tamanrasset/Aguenar Airport.

The plans are on the way to beef up logistics infrastructure for offensive operations in Europe, including the creation of logistics command and the creation of a military free transit zone modeled on the 1996 Schengen agreement to allow free forces movements across the borders of European NATO members. Powidz, Poland, a village with a population of 1,000, is to become a strategically important NATO hub described as the «center of the center of gravity». The plans include the delivery of more than a brigade’s worth of military vehicles, equipment, artillery and personnel.

This month, the new US C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft arrived at Ramstein Air Base (AB) in Germany, to replace one of 14 C-130J’s at Ramstein AB. The aircraft features upgraded avionics, improved lift capacity, superior climb performance, and long-range landing field capabilities. It is part of a rotational process to upgrade existing aircraft.

Looks like the US military really needs the airlift capability expanded and it needs it now. The Air Force is bringing back C-5M Super Galaxy transports recently mothballed due to budget cuts. The C-5 is the largest airlifter built by the United States, capable of carrying a maximum of 135 tons of cargo. It can haul up to 36 standard pallets and 81 troops at the same time or a wide variety of gear, including tanks, helicopters, submarines, equipment, and food and emergency supplies. The Galaxy can 120,000 pounds of cargo more than 5,500 miles — the distance from Dover Air Force base in Delaware to Incirlik airbase in Turkey — without refueling. Without cargo, that range jumps to more than 8,000 miles. The Air Force purchased 131 C-5 Galaxies between 1968 and 1989. Starting in 2013, the service decided to upgrade 52 of them to the new -M “Super Galaxy” standard, which involved swapping older TF-39 engines for new F138 commercial engines. The new engine generates 22 percent more thrust and allows for more cargo to be carried. The planes also received all-glass cockpits, a new autopilot system, new navigation and safety upgrades, an all-weather flight control system, and new flight and engine instrument suite.

An idea is floating to convert transport aircraft like the C-130 Hercules into the airborne aircraft carrier, capable of launching a volley of drones that could fly into a battle space to provide reconnaissance and surveillance. These drones would simultaneously communicate and swarm, confusing the enemy with their numbers and distracting its air defenses.

Military Sealift Command (MSC) routinely employs around 50 ships, a combination of government owned/contractor operated vessels and commercial transports to meet its worldwide responsibilities. The Navy relies on private contractors to maintain both prepositioned logistics ships loaded with equipment and stored at several locations around the world and the Ready Reserve Fleet for mobilization. For example, Crowley Maritime Corporation and its subsidiaries manage some 24 prepositioned and Ready Reserve ships. Private companies also provide routine transportation and logistics services both within CONUS and globally. The Navy is completing construction of the landing platform dock (LPD) 17 class and is set to begin recapitalization of the dock landing ship (LSD) class in 2020, using a hull based on the LPD 17.

LHA 8 is programmed in 2024 as a replacement for the first Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.

Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Global Logistics Support (GLS) provides global logistics for a global Navy. The organization is made up of approximately 6,300 military and civilian logistics professionals operating from 105 locations worldwide, providing an extensive array of integrated global logistics and contracting services to Navy, Marine Corps, joint operational units, and allied forces across all warfare enterprises.

The facts and events summed up above are not front-page stories. They don’t tell much separately but tell a lot when put together and systematized. They lead to believe the United States is urgently preparing for a truly big war waged far away from its borders. The US military is sized, organized, and globally postured to fight it. A doctrine of expanding forces is not as straightforward as producing more fighters and weapon systems. Nothing is possible without logistics. That’s what is given the highest priority as the preparations are intensified.

December 27, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

NATO Rolls Out Offensive Cyberweapons

By Ulson Gunnar – New Eastern Outlook – 25.12.2017

NATO members including the US, UK, Germany, Norway, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands have begun taking public steps in defining guidelines regarding the deployment of offensive cyberweapons.
Reuters in its article, “NATO mulls ‘offensive defense’ with cyber warfare rules,” states:

A group of NATO allies are considering a more muscular response to state-sponsored computer hackers that could involve using cyber attacks to bring down enemy networks, officials said.

Reuters also reports:

The doctrine could shift NATO’s approach from being defensive to confronting hackers that officials say Russia, China and North Korea use to try to undermine Western governments and steal technology.

The article also noted that the United States and its allies already possess and have threatened to use cyberweapons offensively, citing the 2010 Sutxnet virus deployed against Iranian nuclear infrastructure as a possible example. Other examples cited of possible applications included shutting down power plants with malware rather than bombing them.

Reuters also reported that NATO was setting up “cyber commands” including one in Estonia apparently intended to launch cyber attacks into Russia.

Extending NATO Aggression into Cyberspace 

At face value, a nation developing the ability to defend itself and carry out counterattacks against foreign aggressors, including in cyberspace, appears as legitimate policy.

For NATO, however, its track record of serial aggression and expansion beyond its borders predicated on intentionally false pretexts indicate that the military alliance will simply carry its aggression into cyberspace as well.

The NATO invasion and occupation of Afghanistan followed the attacks on September 11, 2001 on Washington D.C. and New York City. Despite none of the alleged suspects involved in the attack actually coming from Afghanistan, and the government of Afghanistan having played no role in the attacks, NATO would invade and has since occupied the nation for the past 16 years.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq led by the US and other prominent NATO members was predicated entirely on falsehoods. Claims that the Iraqi government at the time possessed chemical and biological weapons later turned out to have been intentionally fabricated to justify an invasion that, by some estimates, cost the lives of over a million Iraqis and thousands of US and European soldiers. The invasion and occupation resulted in regional conflict that continues to this day.

In 2011 when terrorists affiliated with Al Qaeda moved against the government of Libya, NATO portrayed the resulting conflict as a crackdown on what it and Western media called “freedom fighters.” NATO armed militants and eventually intervened in an air campaign that toppled the government, leaving Libya in ruins since.

Between 2013-2014 the US and its NATO partners openly fomented protests against the elected government of Ukraine. Supporting Neo-Nazi militias and their affiliated political parties, NATO succeeded in overthrowing the government and placing into power organizations and parties involved in the protests. NATO has since intervened on various levels, short of military intervention, to protect the regime in Kiev from both political challengers and a possible counter-coup.

In many ways, since the Arab Spring in 2011, the US and its NATO partners have already used cyberweapons of sorts to destabilize and attack targeted nations. Social media was manipulated in the opening weeks of protests, false information transmitted, technology and software distributed among US-NATO funded opposition groups, all in an effort to stampede targeted governments out of power.

Today, NATO members are involved in the bombing, invasion, occupation and drone warfare from Africa to Asia. They employ the tools of modern disinformation and propaganda to interfere and manipulate in the political processes of nations worldwide.

The notion that NATO will develop and deploy cyberweapons in an offensive capacity will not only enhance ongoing aggression, but because of the nature of cyberweapons and the possibility of attacks concealing their point of origin, might see it expand into areas where currently, conventional military means cannot be justified.

Considering the extensive experience NATO possesses in fabricating pretexts for aggression, and the perceived benignity of cyberwarfare versus conventional weapons, we can expect to see NATO use this new concept of “offensive defense” to further menace the nations and peoples of this planet with a degree and frequency far above and beyond its conventional military operations.

While Reuters cites Russia, China and North Korea as likely targets of NATO cyberattacks, it is likely that any and all actors, both state and non-state, will find themselves targets of NATO aggression should their interests conflict with those that underwrite the NATO alliance.

Developing the means to put these capabilities in check and prevent NATO from developing any sort of advantage in cyberspace will be a prerequisite for future peace and stability, online and off.

December 27, 2017 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

McCarthy-style targeting of Jill Stein proves Democrats have truly lost the plot

By Danielle Ryan | RT | December 22, 2017

The collusion circus is coming for Jill Stein. The US Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the 2016 Green Party presidential candidate to hand over documents amid accusations she was part of a Russian plot to elect Trump.

The news was met with delight by some pro-Hillary Clinton Democrats who have long expressed a visceral hatred of Stein simply because she had the audacity to run for president — an act which they say hurt their candidate’s chances of winning by unnecessarily splitting the vote on the left. In the greatest democracy in the world (supposedly) Stein committed the unforgivable sin of running for office and winning some votes. There can only be one explanation for this, the ‘Russiagaters’ say: Stein was a Russian plant, designed to pull votes away from Clinton to tip the election in Trump’s favor. In their increasingly warped minds, nothing else could possibly make sense.

Never mind that Stein also ran for president in 2012, ran for governor in Massachusetts in 2002, as a candidate for the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2004, for Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth in 2006 and for Massachusetts governor again in 2010 — all of which she lost. Given her track record of not winning, it’s hard to believe Putin would choose Stein to pin his hopes on as the candidate to pull most votes away from Clinton in 2016. But anything is possible, right? Maybe Stein has been a secret Russian asset lying in wait all this time. That, apparently, is what some loony Democrats would have us all believe.

In the real world, however, there is absolutely no reason to believe Stein has anything to do with an alleged Russian plot to elect Trump — evidence for which also remains elusive. Stein’s primary transgressions are as follows: In 2015, she attended a gala event to mark RT’s tenth anniversary in Moscow, where she (god forbid) sat at the same table as Vladimir Putin. Rumors abound that Russia paid for Stein’s trip to Moscow, an accusation which she strongly denies (and claims she has the receipts to prove it). Perhaps even worse than setting foot on Russian soil though, Stein has often dared to express opinions that don’t sit well with establishment Democrats (or Republicans). And well, that’s basically it as far as the evidence for her “collusion” with Russia goes.

But lack of evidence proving Stein has anything to do with the Russian government hasn’t stopped her critics from making wild and defamatory claims. Zac Petkanas (whose Twitter bio describes him as a former “director of rapid response” for Clinton’s 2016 campaign) declared on Twitter this week that “Jill Stein is a Russian agent” — a sentence which he pasted eight times into the same tweet. If that’s the kind of “rapid response” Petkanas was having to Clinton campaign crises (of which there were many) it’s no wonder she lost.

ThinkProgress, which bills itself as a “progressive” platform has devoted an article to Stein’s “pro-Kremlin talking points” and detailed a list of her “odd views” — some of which include not loving NATO, not hating Julian Assange, not hating RT and not hating Russia in general. Those, of course, are all big no-nos if you want to avoid a congressional investigation these days.

But the ThinkProgress piece is typical of the kind of coverage Stein received throughout the election campaign, too. In one particularly bad example, Vice published a mocking piece dripping with disdain for the candidate. It was headlined ‘Everybody Hates Jill’. At one point, the author proudly states she has “ridiculed” and “mocked” Stein on other occasions, too, lest we assume it was only the one occasion.

That’s the kind of farcical and unserious coverage third-party candidates receive in the US — and the journalists who do the mocking, treating candidates like Stein as an amusing sideshow, are very often the same journalists who pretend to care deeply about the lack of fair coverage which tiny opposition movements receive in countries like Russia.

This is a witch hunt. It is neo-McCarthyism, plain and simple. The people who are outright calling Stein a Russian agent are making a complete mockery of themselves and of the American political process — and they genuinely appear to have no idea. One almost feels a sense of second-hand embarrassment for them. With the frenzy around Jill Stein, they have managed to spin a scandal out of nothing, because, for lack of a better word, they’re butthurt that their candidate didn’t win.

Dragging Stein into this mess has been instructive in one sense, however. If nothing else, it shows Clinton Democrats up for what they really are. It proves that the ‘Resist’ crowd’s crusade is not just about Trump and “collusion” — it’s also about discrediting all dissenting American voices and establishing their own definition of what political opposition is supposed to look like — and for the Clinton cult, it’s not supposed to look like Jill Stein.

Of the infamous RT dinner in Moscow, Max Blumenthal (who attended the event) wrote for Alternet : “None of us had any inkling the festivities would come to be seen as a de facto crime scene by packs of Beltway reporters and congressional investigators.”

But that’s just how far we’ve come. Anyone who disagrees with the Democrats is a Putin puppet — and if you’ve ever been to Moscow, forget it — don’t even bother trying to defend yourself. Off with your head.

Speaking of traitors, actress Lindsay Lohan was spotted wearing a baseball cap with the word “RUSSIA” emblazoned across the front this week. Perhaps the celebrity D-lister and possible Russian agent will be the next one dragged into the dock for questioning.

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

Number of NATO Troops Near Russian Borders Tripled Since 2012 – Defense Minister

Sputnik – 22.12.2017

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday that NATO has doubled the number of its military drills since 2012 in the vicinity of Russia’s borders, adding that Moscow is scrutinizing the exercises.

Speaking at the final meeting of the Defense Ministry’s board, Sergei Shoigu said that the US missile defense system in Europe has been brought to the level of “initial operational readiness.” The number of the bloc’s servicemen deployed near Russian borders has grown from 10 to 40 thousand in three years, he added.

While the bloc conducted 282 military exercises near Russia’s borders in 2014, in 2017 the number of drills grew to 548.

He also said that the NATO member-states have intensified their surveillance operations near Russia. “We resolutely suppress any attempts to violate the Russian air and sea borders,” the Minister of Defense added.

Shoigu has added that the Russian military is determined to keep the pace of modernizing hardware and acquiring new equipment next year. The armed forces will receive 10 S-400 missile systems and put in service 11 Yars missile systems.

“The share of modern weapons in the Russian army should grow to 61 percent by the end of 2018, including 82 percent in the strategic nuclear forces, 46 percent in the land forces, 74 percent in the aerospace forces, 55 percent in the navy.”

NATO-Russia relations deteriorated in 2014 when the alliance decided to suspend cooperation with Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis that was triggered by the coup in Kiev.

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

Putin: New US national security strategy is offensive & aggressive, Russia must take note

RT | December 22, 2017

Washington’s new national security strategy is “aggressive,” Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that Moscow will take the US stance into consideration.

Both the US and NATO have been “accelerating build-up of infrastructure in Europe,” the Russian leader said Friday. Referring to the “defense strategy recently put out” by Washington, Putin said it was “definitely offensive… speaking in diplomatic language.”

“And if we switch to military language, then its character is definitely aggressive,” the president added, speaking at a Russian Defense Ministry meeting.

With NATO’s build-up in Europe, the US has violated the 1987 treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, Putin pointed out.

“Formally,” America’s missile-defense launchers now based in Poland are meant to counter threats, he said. “The point is, and specialists know about it very well, those launchers are all-purpose. They can also be used with existing sea-launched cruise missiles with the flight range of up to 2,500 km [1,550 miles]. And in this case, these missiles are no longer sea-launched missiles, they can be easily moved to land,” Putin added.

Russia’s Defense Ministry “should take into account” Western military strategies, Putin said, adding that “Russia has a sovereign right and all possibilities to adequately and in due time react to such potential threats.”

There are efforts to disrupt strategic parity through deployment of global anti-missile defense system and other strike systems “equatable to nuclear weapons,” the Russian leader told military officials. At the moment, Russia’s strategic nuclear forces are a reliable deterrent to such a military build-up, he added. However, it is necessary to develop them further, Putin said. “I’m talking about missile systems fit to steadily counter not only existing, but also future ABMs.”

Read more:

America’s new national strategy ‘potential threat to the world’ – Russia’s security chief

US to spend $214mn on Europe air bases on pretext of ‘Russian aggression’

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

US should have withdrawn its estimated 200 nukes from Europe long ago – Moscow

RT | December 18, 2017

The US should withdraw the nuclear weapons it has deployed in Europe rather than upgrading them, a senior Russian diplomat has said. Moscow is concerned that the upgrades are making the bombs more suitable for actual combat.

The US stores an estimated 200 of its B61 nuclear bombs in countries like Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey as part of NATO’s nuclear sharing program. Russia has long considered the continued presence of American nuclear weapons in other nations as a hostile gesture after the Cold War.

“Russia has long withdrawn its nuclear weapons to its national territory. We believe that the American side should have done the same a long time ago,” Mikhail Ulyanov, head of the non-proliferation and arms control department in the Russian Foreign Ministry, told RIA Novosti.

“They are actually planning to upgrade them to be, according to some retired American military officials, ‘more suitable for combat use’ thanks to better precision and somewhat reduced power,” the diplomat said, adding that Moscow suspects that the US may have plans to deploy additional nuclear bombs to Europe under the guise of an upgrade.

In August, the US National Nuclear Security Administration announced a second successful test of the B61 – the 12th version of the bomb with no nuclear warhead. The first test was conducted in March. The Mod12 version is meant to replace a number of older designs by refurbishing them, with the process expected to start in 2019.

Moscow criticized the US not only for keeping nuclear weapons in non-nuclear nations, but also for training its NATO allies in their deployment. Such actions, Russia believes, violate the spirit of America’s non-proliferation commitments.

The Trump administration plans to spend over $1 trillion upgrading America’s nuclear arsenal, claiming it is necessary to keep up with Russia.

December 18, 2017 Posted by | Militarism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

US to spend $214mn on Europe air bases on pretext of ‘Russian aggression’

RT | December 18, 2017

Washington has allocated $214 million to build airfields, training sites, ranges and other military installations in an unprecedented military buildup in Eastern and Northern Europe aimed at countering “Russian aggression.”

The planned modernization of the air bases, located predominantly in Eastern Europe close to Russian borders, as well as in Iceland and Norway, is a part of the $4.6 billion European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) aimed at “reassuring” NATO’s European allies.

The funds will be distributed among a total of nine bases in Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Luxembourg, Iceland and Norway for them to be able to house top-of-the line US warplanes, Air Force Times reports.

The US reportedly plans to deploy F-22 Raptor and F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighter jets to some of the bases in the Baltics and Northern Europe to track and deter Russian submarines, the paper reported, while a spokesperson for U.S European Command, Maj. Juan Martinez, refused to give any specifics on the nature or location of the operations.

The Naval Air Station Keflavik in Iceland is set to undergo a $14 million modernization, which will see it adding new hangars to host P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol planes. The aircraft, dubbed “submarine killer,” is equipped with torpedoes, depth charges, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weaponry.

Part of the investment will be spent on the construction of new runways and fuel storage facilities at the air bases. Some $55 million will be poured into the Hungarian Kecskemet Air Base in order “to increase fuel storage capacity, construct a parallel taxiway and upgrade the airfield,” according to Martinez. He noted that large-scale infrastructure upgrades across Europe does not mean that the US troops would be stationed there permanently, but rather stick to rotations as they have in the past.

The anti-Russian agenda championed by the US-led NATO has been getting increasingly costly for the American taxpayer. In 2018, the EDI budget will jump $1.2 billion in addition to 2017’s $3.4 billion.

A part of this is $500 million in “defense lethal assistance” promised by Washington to Ukraine and hailed by its president, Petro Poroshenko, who has long been seeking US arms to suppress the popular unrest in the self-proclaimed Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk in the country’s east, which, according to the official Ukrainian and American narrative, are backed by Russia. The disbursement of funds is conditional to reforms of the Ukrainian military, that will have to be attested by the US.

By aggressively bolstering its military presence at Russia’s doorstep, NATO is endangering regional stability as well as global security, Moscow has been maintaining.

The ongoing beef-up of NATO in Eastern Europe and the Baltics, and the deployment of new parts of the US missile defense, “clearly indicate blatant unwillingness of our Western partners to stop pushing an anti-Russian agenda,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said.

December 18, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Progress Report on the US-Russian War

The Saker • Unz Review • December 1, 2017

I am often asked if the US and Russia will go to war with each other. I always reply that they are already at war. Not a war like WWII, but a war nonetheless. This war is, at least for the time being, roughly 80% informational, 15% economic and 5% kinetic. But in political terms the outcome for the loser of this war will be no less dramatic than the outcome of WWII was for Germany: the losing country will not survive it, at least not in its present shape: either Russia will become a US colony again or the AngloZionist Empire will collapse.

In my very first column for the Unz Review entitled “A Tale of Two World Orders” I described the kind of multipolar international system regulated by the rule of law that Russia, China and their allies and friends worldwide (whether overt or covert) are trying to build and how dramatically different it was from the single World Hegemony that the AngloZionists have attempted to establish (and almost successfully imposed upon our suffering planet!). In a way, the US imperial leaders are right, Russia does represent an existential threat, not for the United States as a country or for its people, but for the AngloZionist Empire, just as the latter represents an existential threat to Russia. Furthermore, Russia represents a fundamental civilizational challenge to what is normally called the “West” as she openly rejects its post-Christian (and, I would add, also viscerally anti-Islamic) values. This is why both sides are making an immense effort at prevailing in this struggle.

Last week the anti-imperial camp scored a major victory with the meeting between Presidents Putin, Rouhani and Erdogan in Sochi: they declared themselves the guarantors of a peace plan which will end the war against the Syrian people (the so-called “civil war”, which this never was) and they did so without inviting the US to participate in the negotiations. Even worse, their final statement did not even mention the US, not once. The “indispensable nation” was seen as so irrelevant to even be mentioned.

To fully measure how offensive all this is we need to stress a number of points:

First, led by Obama, all the leaders of the West declared urbi et orbi and with immense confidence that Assad had no future, that he had to go, that he was already a political corpse and that he would have no role whatsoever to play in the future of Syria.

Second, the Empire created a “coalition” of 59 (!) countries, which failed to achieve anything, anything at all: a gigantic multi-billion dollar “gang that could not shoot straight” led by CENTCOM and NATO, which only proved its most abject incompetence. In contrast, Russia never had more than 35 combat aircraft in Syria at any time and turned the course of the war (with a lot of Iranian and Hezbollah help on the ground).

Next, the Empire decreed that Russia was “isolated” and her economy “in tatters” – all of which the Ziomedia parroted with total fidelity. Iran was, of course, part of the famous “Axis of Evil,” while Hezbollah was the “A-Team of terrorism”. As for Erdogan, the AngloZionists tried to overthrow and kill him. And now it is Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Turkey who defeated the terrorists and will call the shots in Syria.

Finally, when the US realized that putting Daesh in power in Damascus was not going to happen, they first tried to break up Syria (Plan B) and then tried to create a Kurdish statelet in Iraq and Syria (Plan C). All these plans failed, Assad is in Russia giving hugs to Putin, while Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp Quds Force Commander General Soleimani is taking a stroll through the last Syrian city to be liberated from Daesh.

Can you imagine how totally humiliated, ridiculed, and beaten the US leaders feel today? Being hated or resisted is one thing, but being totally ignored – now that hurts!

As for a strategy, the best they could come up with was what I would call a “petty harassment of Russia”: making RT sign up as a foreign agent, stealing ancient art from Russia, stripping Russian athletes from medals en masse, trying to ban the Russian flag and anthem from the Olympics in Seoul or banning Russian military aircraft from the next Farnborough airshow. And all these efforts have achieved is making Putin even more popular, the West even more hated, and the Olympics even more boring (ditto for Farnborough – the MAKS and the Dubai Air Shows are so much ‘sexier’ anyway). Oh, I almost forgot, the “new Europeans” will continue their mini-war against old Soviet statues to their liberators. It’s just like the US mini-war on the Russian representations in the US, a clear sign of weakness.

Speaking of weakness.

This is becoming comical. The US media, especially CNN, cannot let a day go by without mentioning the evil Russians, the US Congress is engaged in mass hysteria trying to figure out which of the Republicans and the Democrats have had more contacts with the Russians, NATO commanders are crapping their pants in abject terror (or so they say!) every time the Russian military organizes any exercise, the US Navy and Air Force representatives regularly whine about Russian pilots making “unprofessional intercepts”, the British Navy goes into full combat mode when a single (and rather modest) Russian aircraft carrier transits through the English Channel – but Russia is, supposedly, the “weak” country here.

Does that make sense to you?

The truth is that the Russians are laughing. From the Kremlin, to the media, to the social media – they are even make hilarious sketches about how almighty they are and how they control everything. But mostly the Russians are laughing their heads off wondering what in the world the folks in the West are smoking to be so totally terrified (at least officially) by a non-existing threat.

You know what else they are seeing?

That western political leaders are seeking safety in numbers. Hence the ridiculously bloated “coalitions” and all the resolutions coming out of various European and trans-Atlantic bodies. Western politicians are like schoolyard nerds who, fearing the tough kid, huddle together to look bigger. Every Russian kid knows that seeking safety in numbers is a surefire sign of a scared wimp. In contrast, the Russians also remember how a tiny nation of less than 2 million people had the courage to declare war on Russia and how they fought the Russians hard, really hard. I am talking about the Chechens of course. Yeah, love them or hate them – but there is no denying that Chechens are courageous. Ditto for the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. The Russians were impressed. And even though the Nazis inflicted an unspeakable amount of suffering on the Russian people, the Russians never deny that the German soldiers and officers were skilled and courageous. There is even a Russian saying “I love/respect the courageous man in the Tatar/Mongol” (люблю молодца и в татарине). So Russians have no problem seeing courage in their enemies.

But US/NATO armies? They all act as if Conchita Wurst was their Commander in Chief!

Remember this:

None of these men were kind or “nice” in any way. But they mattered. They were relevant. And they wielded some very real power.

Today, real power looks like this:

And you know what is really offensive to the AngloZionist leaders?

That this photo shows one Orthodox Christian and two Muslims.

Now that’s offensive. And very frightening, of course.

We are very, very far from the “birth of a new Middle East” promised by Condi Rice (it is a new Middle East alright, just not the one Rice and the Neocons had in mind!)

As for the “only democracy in the Middle East” it is now in full panic mode, hence its now overt plan to work with the Saudis against Iran and its clearly staged leaks about bombing all Iranian assets up to 40km from the Israeli border. But that train has already left the station: the Syrians won and no amount of airstrikes will change that. So just to make sure they still look really fierce, the Israelis are now adding that in case of a war between Israel and Hezbollah, Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah would be a target. Wow! Who would have thought?!

Can you hear the giggles coming out of Beirut?

The scary thing is that the folks in DC, Riyadh and Jerusalem hear them loud and clear which means that sooner or later they will have to do something about it and that “something” will be the usual nonsensical bloodbath this “Axis of Kindness” has been made famous for: if you can’t beat their military, make their civilians pay (think Kosovo 1999, Lebanon 2006, Yemen 2015). Either that or beat the shit out of a tiny, defenseless victim (Grenada 1983, Gaza 2008, Bahrain 2011). Nothing like a good massacre of defenseless civilians to make them feel manly, respected and powerful (and, for US Americans – “indispensable”, of course).

Setting aside the case of the Middle East, I think we can begin to see the outlines of what the US and Russia will be doing in the next couple of years.

Russia: the Russian strategy towards the Empire is simple:

  1. Try to avoid as much as possible and for as long as possible any direct military confrontation with the US because Russia is still the weaker side (mostly in quantitative terms). That, and actively preparing for war under the ancient si vis pacem para bellum strategy.
  2. Try to cope as best can be with all the “petty harassment”: the US still has infinitely more “soft power” than Russia and Russia simply does not have the means to strike back in kind. So she does the minimum to try to deter or weaken the effects of that kind of “petty harassment” but, in truth, there is not much she can do about it besides accepting it as a fact of life.
  3. Rather than trying to disengage from the AngloZionist controlled Empire (economically, financially, politically), Russia will very deliberately contribute to the gradual emergence of an alternative realm. A good example of that is the Chinese-promoted New Silk Road which is being built without any meaningful role for the Empire.

US: the US strategy is equally simple:

  1. Use the Russian “threat” to give a meaning and a purpose to the Empire, especially NATO.
  2. Continue and expand the “petty harassment” against Russia on all levels.
  3. Subvert and weaken as much as possible any country or politician showing any signs of independence or disobedience (including New Silk Road countries)

Both sides are using delaying tactics, but for diametrically opposite reasons: Russia, because time is on her side and the US, because they have run out of options.

It is important to stress here that in this struggle Russia is at a major disadvantage: whereas the Russians want to build something, the Americans only want to destroy it (examples include Syria, of course, but also the Ukraine or, for that matter, a united Europe). Another major disadvantage for Russia is that most governments out there as still afraid of antagonizing the Empire in any way, thus the deafening silence and supine submissiveness of the “concert of nations” when Uncle Sam goes on one of his usual rampages in total violation of international law and the UN Charter. This is probably changing, but very, very slowly. Most world politicians are just like US Congressmen: prostitutes (and cheap ones at that).

The biggest advantage for Russia is that the United States are internally falling apart economically, socially, politically – you name it. With every passing year the once most prosperous US is starting to look more and more like some backwater Third World country. Oh sure, the US economy is still huge (but rapidly shrinking!), but that is meaningless when financial wealth and social wealth are conflated into one completely misleading index of pseudo-prosperity. This is sad, really, a country that ought to be prosperous and happy is being bled to death by the, shall we say, “imperial parasite” feeding on it.

At the end of the day, political regimes can only survive by the consent of those they rule. In the United States this consent is clearly in the process of being withdrawn. In Russia it has never been stronger. This translates into a major fragility of the US and, therefore, the Empire (the US is by far the biggest host of the AngloZionist imperial parasite) and a major source of staying power for Russia.

All of the above applies only to political regimes, of course. The people of Russia and of the US have exactly the same interests: bringing down the Empire with the least amount of violence and suffering as possible. Like all Empires, the US Empire mostly abused others in its formative and peak years, but as any decaying Empire it is now mostly abusing its own people. It is therefore vital to always repeat that an “Empire-free US” would have no reason to see an enemy in Russia and vice-versa. In fact, Russia and the US could be ideal partners, but the “imperial parasites” will not allow that to happen. Thus we are all stuck in an absurd and dangerous situation which could result in a war which would completely destroy most of our planet.

For whatever it’s worth, and in spite of the constant hysterical Russophobia in the US Ziomedia, I detect absolutely no sign whatsoever that this campaign is having any success with the people in the US. At most, some of them naively buy into the “the Russians tried to interfere in our elections” fairy tale, but even in this case this belief is mitigated by “no big deal, we also do that in other countries”. I have yet to meet an American who would seriously believe that Russia is any kind of danger. I don’t even detect superficial reactions of hostility when, for example, I speak Russian with my family in a public place. Typically, we are asked what language we are speaking and when we reply “Russian” the reaction normally is “cool!”. Quite often I even hear “what do you think of Putin? I really like him”. This is in severe contrast with the federal government whom the vast majority of Americans seem to hate with a passion.

To summarize it all, I would say that at this point in time of the US-Russian war, Russia is winning, the Empire is losing and the US is suffering. As for the EU it is “enjoying” a much deserved irrelevance while being mostly busy absorbing wave after wave of society-destroying refugees proving, yet again, the truth of the saying that if your head is in the sand, your ass is in the air.

This war is far from over, I don’t even think that we have reached its peak yet and things are going to get worse before they get better again. But all in all, I am very optimistic that the Axis of Kindness will bite the dust in a relatively not too distant future.

December 17, 2017 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Canada Becomes Party to Ukraine’s Conflict

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 17.12.2017

The Canadian government has given the green light for national defence contractors to sell weapons to Ukraine. This makes Canada a party to the conflict with all ensuing consequences. The decision sets no preconditions for selling the armaments to Ukraine. It has been taken despite the fact that Project Ploughshare and Amnesty International Canada opposed the plan, saying Kiev has so far failed to improve the human rights situation. Canada’s Standing Committee on National Defense has published a report entitled “Canada’s Support to Ukraine in Crisis and Armed Conflict,” which recommends that the government provide lethal weapons to Ukraine if it demonstrates active work on fighting corruption in the country. The recommendations include providing lethal weapons, intelligence exchange, cooperation in defense industry, support in countering cyberattacks, and in resisting to the dissemination of foreign propaganda and disinformation through the media. Granting visa-free travel to Canada for Ukrainians and promotion of Ukrainian interests at the G7 is also on the recommendations’ list.

The Canadian Cabinet hopes its decision will influence the US Administration to follow suit. The move puts Canada out ahead of the United States, which is considering its own arms sales. Kurt Volker, the US Special Representative to Ukraine, believes there’s no reason to continue the prohibition on delivering lethal weapons.

Ukraine is particularly interested in anti-tank weapons, counter-battery artillery radar, and armoured patrol vehicles like the US-made Humvees.

On December 12, US President Donald Trump signed a defense budget for 2018 providing for the possibility of offering Ukraine lethal weapons of a “defensive nature”. Congress has approved $500 million in “defensive lethal assistance” to Ukraine. Congress authorized $350 million more than the $150 million originally proposed by the administration. Now, the president can start arms supplies any time he chooses. Former President Barack Obama was unconvinced that granting Ukraine lethal defensive weapons would be the right decision in view of corruption widespread in Ukraine.

The two events – Canada’s decision and signing the US defense budget bill into law – come in the context of the failed US-Russia talks on the recently proposed UN peacekeeping mission in Donbass. Now the US weapons could be exported to Ukraine through Canada, including the much-desired Javelin anti-tank systems. “After this government decree, Canada can sell or transfer Javelin to Ukraine,” said James Bezan, Canadian MP from the Conservative Party. The US has been sending to Ukraine a variety of non-lethal military help, including equipment like Humvees, medical supplies, bulletproof vests, and radars to track the hundreds of artillery shells.

North America’s assistance to Ukraine is not limited to weapons only; it encompasses other domains as well. The Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act [H.R. 1997], the bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressmen Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8) and Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13), unanimously passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Dec. 14. The bill encourages cooperation between the United States and Ukraine on matters of cybersecurity and requires State Department reporting to Congress on best practices to protect against future cyber-attacks. “Helping Ukraine buttress its cyber defenses will also help the United States in developing new and more effective technologies and strategies in dealing with cyber security on the modern battlefield,” said Boyle, explaining the goal to be achieved, if the legislation becomes law. It will make Ukraine a part of NATO cyber warfare effort being implemented according to its Cyber Defense Pledge.

The bloc is implementing the Capability Package 120 which aims by 2024 to fund everything from encryption for tactical radios to cloud-integrated storage for the millions of cyber events. Eventually, NATO will move to the public cloud for virtually everything that it does as an alliance. The “centralized patch management” will control all the cyber activities.

For more than two years, the US military’s contingent of roughly 300 military instructors have been quietly training Ukrainian military in the western part of the country to prepare them for fighting in the east. Every 55 days a new Ukrainian battalion comes in to go through a training course at Yavoriv Combat Training Center in western Ukraine. Since 2014, the US and partner militaries have helped grow Ukraine’s forces from just over 100,000 troops to nearly 250,000 today. The US-run maritime operations center at Ochakov Naval Base, Ukraine, became operational in July to serve as a major planning and operational hub during future military exercises hosted by Ukraine. A US military facility near Russia’s borders is a very serious threat to regional security. Its presence turns the Black Sea into a hot spot. US warships visit the sea regularly to provide NATO with long-range first strike capability. The Romania-based Aegis Ashore BMD system uses the Mk-41 launcher capable of firing Tomahawk long-range precision-guided missiles against land targets.

Also in July, two US Navy warships, a P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft, and a Navy SEALs team took part in the 12-day Sea Breeze 2017 joint NATO naval exercise off Ukraine. The multinational war games took place in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, near the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. 17 nations took part in the training event. The preparations are on the way to hold another Sea Breeze exercise in 2018. Step by step, Ukraine is becoming an element of NATO’s military infrastructure, which could be used as a springboard for a cross-border attack against Russia.

December 17, 2017 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment