Putin Warns “Russia Has Right To Respond” To US Military Buildup, Hints At Use Of Nuclear Weapons

Multiple Russian state media outlets are reporting that President Vladimir Putin has stressed that Russia has a right to respond to US military build-up in Europe while furthering its strategic nuclear deterrence capabilities in a speech delivered before a Defense Ministry meeting on Friday in the city of Balashikha outside of Moscow.
At the same meeting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that NATO has doubled the number of its military drills since 2012 in the vicinity of Russia’s borders, noting that Russia is carefully monitoring what it considers hostile NATO build-up and intensified surveillance operations along Russian borders. The defense minister further indicated that the number of NATO-member country troops stationed near Russian borders has tripled, growing from 10 to 40 thousand in three years, saying “In the Baltic states and Poland, four battalion-tactical groups, an armored brigade of the US Army, headquarters of NATO multinational divisions in Poland and Romania are deployed.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 22, 2017.

How The US Swindled Russia In The Early 1990s

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Due to a historic data-dump on December 10th, the biggest swindle that occurred in the 20th Century (or perhaps ever) is now proven as a historical fact; and this swindle was done by the US Government, against the Government and people of Russia, and it continues today and keeps getting worse under every US President.
It was secretly started by US President George Herbert Walker Bush on the night of 24 February 1990; and, unless it becomes publicly recognized and repudiated so that it can stop, a nuclear war between the US and all of NATO on one side, versus Russia on the other, is inevitable unless Russia capitulates before then, which would be vastly less likely than such a world-ending nuclear war now is.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 21, 2017.

NATO Crisis: Germany’s Entire Submarine Fleet Is Paralyzed

Throughout 2017, America’s control of NATO policymaking has become more evident than ever, with the sole objective of war-making against Russia. NATO and Russia continue to build up arms, equipment, and troops along the eastern region of Europe, but there is a new development that has NATO worried.
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Germany’s operational readiness of its entire submarine fleet is dead in the water.
Yes, you heard that correctly, Germany’s prized submarines are currently on maintenance calls or in desperate need of repairs.
On October 15, Germany lost the last of its submarines when the Type 212a vessel was performing a diving maneuver off the Norweigan coast when it suffered a catastrophic blow to one of its four fins after the submarine struck a boulder. The submarine was quickly rendered not operational and had to be towed back to the German port of Kiel for maintenance work.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 19, 2017.

Guardian Newspaper Pushing Fake News: ‘Putin Plotting to Cut Off UK Internet’

Although not as intense as the US mainstream media, the UK mainstream outlets are producing their share of fabricated narratives intended to stoke fear into the minds of the British public.
This latest fish tale comes from The Guardian newspaper, as ‘defense correspondent’ Ewen MacAskil attempts to revive a two year-old mainstream media conspiracy theory about a secret Russian plot to cut transatlantic undersea internet cables which connect Britain and the United States. MacAskil writes:
‘Russia could pose a major threat to the UK and other Nato nations by cutting underwater cables essential for international commerce and the internet, the chief of the British defence staff, Sir Stuart Peach, has warned.
Russian ships have been regularly spotted close to the Atlantic cables that carry communications between the US and Europe and elsewhere around the world.’
It turns out that this latest attempt by The Guardian to stoke fear in the minds of the British public – is a recycled version of a 2015 piece of mainstream fake news, apparently stitched together by the New York Times. It reads like something out of Cold War B movie, with shades of the Hunt for Red October:
‘Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of tension or conflict.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 18, 2017.

Propaganda, Confrontation, And Profit

Authored by Brian Cloughley via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
The waves, the artificial tides of anti-Russian propaganda continue to beat upon the ears and eyes of Western citizens, spurred by Washington politicians and bureaucrats whose motives vary from deviously duplicitous to blatantly commercial.
It is no coincidence that there has been vastly increased expenditure on US weaponry by Eastern European countries.
Complementing the weapons’ build-up, which is so sustaining and lucrative for the US industrial-military complex, the naval, air and ground forces of the US-NATO military alliance continue operations ever closer to Russia’s borders.
Shares and dividends in US arms manufacturing companies have rocketed, in a most satisfactory spinoff from Washington’s policy of global confrontation, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS) records that ‘arms sales are recognized widely as an important instrument of state power. States have many incentives to export arms. These include enhancing the security of allies or partners; constraining the behaviour of adversaries; using the prospect of arms transfers as leverage on governments’ internal or external behaviour; and creating the economics of scale necessary to support a domestic arms industry.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.

White Helmets, ‘Local Councils’ – Is the UK FCO Financing Terrorism in Syria with Taxpayer Funds?

The UK regime is a primary player in the ostensibly US-led coalition whose objective for the last seven years, has been the removal of Syria’s President Assad and the inevitable imposition of a so called ‘moderate’ Islamic State upon the people of Syria. This campaign has led to the destabilization of Syria and destruction of infrastructure across much of its territory. Not to mention, the wholesale suffering endured by the Syrian people under attack from NATO member state sponsored terrorism and punishing economic sanctions. It is therefore ironic that the UK Government funds the Syrian ‘opposition’ via its Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF):
‘The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) provides development and security support to countries which are at risk of conflict or instability. It’s the only government fund which uses both Defence spend and Official Development Assistance (ODA) to deliver and support security, defence, peacekeeping, peace-building and stability activity.’
Previously under the heading ‘Conflict Pool’, the CSSF is a 1bn-plus slush fund dedicated to providing ‘development and security’, according to the UK Government overview.
‘The CSSF has been allocated 1.163 billion for 2017 to 2018. It includes over 300 million mandatory contributions to peacekeeping operations.’ ~ CSSF An Overview
From the outset, CSSF spending has been shrouded in secrecy, particularly with regards to Syria.
Following a recent Parliamentary Question from Baroness Caroline Cox, it has been confirmed that the UK FCO has financed the Syrian ‘opposition’ for three years through the CSSF:
‘The value of the CSSF for Syria is 69 million in the current financial year, was 64 million in 2016-17, and 66 million in 2015-16.’ – Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, FCO

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 2, 2017.

Is Poland’s Patriot Missile Purchase A Paid Bribe To America?

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Oriental Review,
Poland announced that it will purchase $10.5 billion worth of anti-air Patriot missiles from the US.
Technically, the official news event is that the State Department approved the possible sale and that Congress has 30 days to block it, but for all intents and purposes it’s widely considered that the deal will go through as planned. This means that the Central European country will strengthen its frontline position as NATO’s anti-Russian vanguard, crucially functioning as an indispensable component of the missile defense shield that the US is constructing around Russia’s borders. In and of itself, the Patriot system is presently incapable of neutralizing Russia’s nuclear strike capabilities, especially given the hypersonic missile advancements that Moscow has undertaken over the past couple of years in invalidating this strategy, but it worryingly sets the precedent that further missile-related infrastructure could one day be deployed on Russia’s borders.
The latent threat that this represents could also see Poland acquiring cruise missiles in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, whether to augment its ground-based systems or its planned submarine ones in the future. Per the former, cruise missiles could be deployed to Poland under the guise of being Patriot anti-missile munitions, with Moscow being unable to adequately ascertain whether Warsaw is building up its defensive or offensive strike capabilities. This will likely contribute to the spiraling security dilemma between Russia and NATO, and Russia and Poland in particular, though with the inadvertent consequence being that Poland is essentially paying billions of dollars to improve its anti-Russian ‘soft power’ credentials among its own population and the West at large.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 28, 2017.

NATO: A Dangerous Paper Tiger

The Chinese have a genius for pithy expressions and few are more packed with meaning, while immediately understandable, than “paper tiger”. NATO is one, but paper tigers that overestimate their powers can be dangerous.
***
Some Russians are concerned that there are today more hostile troops at the Russian border than at any time since 1941. While this is true, it is not, at the moment, very significant. The Germans invaded the USSR with nearly 150 divisions in 1941. Which, as it turned out, were not enough.
Today NATO has – or claims to have – a battle group in each of the three Baltic countries and one in Poland: pompously titled Enhanced Forward Presence. The USA has a brigade and talks of another. A certain amount of heavy weaponry has been moved to Europe. These constitute the bulk of the land forces at the border. They amount to, at the most optimistic assessment, assuming everything is there and ready to go, one division. Or, actually, one division equivalent (a very different thing) from 16 (!) countries with different languages, military practices and equipment sets and their soldiers ever rotating through. And, in a war, the three in the Baltics would be bypassed and become either a new Dunkirk or a new Cannae. All for the purpose, we are solemnly told, of sending “a clear message that an attack on one Ally would be met by troops from across the Alliance“. But who’s the “message” for? Moscow already has a copy of the NATO treaty and knows what Article V says.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.

NATO Ministerial Meeting: Preparing For War On Russia?

Authored by Stephen Lendman,
America controls NATO policymaking. The alliance serves as its global imperial arm – warmaking its mission, not fostering world peace and stability.
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Nor does it have anything to do with defense at a time the only threats alliance members face are invented ones. Real ones don’t exist.
World peace and stability notions are contrary to US objectives, wanting unchallenged dominance over world nations, their resources and populations.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 10, 2017.

US, Sweden, Finland Launch New Format Talks: Dancing To Washington’s Tune

Authored by Peter Korzun via The Stratgeic Culture Foundation,
US Defense Secretary James Mattis visited Helsinki on Nov. 6-7 to attend a meeting of the Northern Group, a multilateral forum of 12 countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Before the event, the secretary was received by Finnish President Sauli Niinist and then met his counterparts from Sweden and Finland. This is the first time a US Defense Secretary held talks in this format. Looks like the tripartite format talks are going to become a regular event as a similar meeting was announced to be planned for 2018.
Finnish Defense Minister Jussi Niinist explained that the goal of this format was meant to supplement, rather than replace, Finnish and Swedish bilateral relations with Washington. According to him, no new alliance is being built despite the expanded military cooperation with the United States. The minister also invited the US military to participate in large-scale military drills in 2020 or 2021. According to him, Finland started preparations for a major military exercise of a scale it had not arranged since the end of the Cold War. ‘If there’s a crisis, it will be good for us to practice receiving help,’ Jussi Niinist said. Formally a neutral country, Finland is offering a scenario which envisages receiving US-led NATO reinforcements, like if it were a full-fledged member of the North Atlantic Alliance to be defended in accordance with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty!
Erkki Tuomioja, a former foreign minister and member of the Social Democrat Party, said he believes the defense minister is skirting parliamentary procedures in pushing to host such a large exercise and that he intends to oppose the drills.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 10, 2017.

Is It Insanity, Evil, or Both that Has the Western World in Its Grip

As the presstitute media has no allegiance to truth, one has to wonder if we can even believe obituaries.
For what it is worth, perhaps nothing, the presstitutes report that three US aircraft carrier battle groups are off North Korea or on the way there.
What for? Why are the morons in Washington following the 19th century British practice of sending warships? This is juvenile. China has already said that China will allow no attack on North Korea unless Korea strikes first. The Russians have indicated their opposition as well. Both China and Russia have missiles that can wipe out the three aircraft battle groups at will. So what is the point of sending obsolete ships, like the battleships anchored in Pearl Harbor for the Japanese, other than to have them obliterated and to use their demise as an excuse to start World War III?
The two-bit punk Washington puppet, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, has declared that ‘We recognize that Europe has also entered the North Korean missile range, and NATO member states are already in danger.’ Remember, this was the same lie told about Europe being in range of non-existent Iranian missiles, an excuse for putting US missiles on Russia’s border just as North Korea is being used to put US missiles on China’s border.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on October 30, 2017.

Sweden, Submarines, And Propaganda

Sweden’s most recent military cooperation with the US-NATO military alliance involved hosting armed forces of the many countries which participated in Exercise Aurora in September.
As noted by Euronews, ‘Sweden is undertaking its biggest military exercise amid fears of Russian military build up,’ and NATO headquarters announced that ‘In the current security context with heightened concerns about Russian military activities, NATO is stepping up cooperation with Sweden and Finland in the Baltic region.’
NATO is anxious, even desperate, to justify the existence of one of the least-needed and most confrontational military alliances of modern times. In January, before he arrived in the White House, President Trump called NATO ‘obsolete’ but in April went into reverse and said ‘It’s no longer obsolete,’ which was fair warning of what lay ahead in the erratic administration of the most vulgar and spiteful president the United States has ever had.
The fact remains that NATO is indeed ineffective and irrelevant (the notion of Russia invading Sweden is preposterous and, as Der Spiegel observed on October 20, ‘to be sure, hardly anyone really thinks that Russia might attack a NATO member state’), but its nominal leader, Jens Stoltenberg (the real chief is the US General titled ‘Supreme Allied Commander Europe’), has assumed the air of a national head of government and whisks expensively round the world making statements that have nothing whatever to do with NATO

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.

Reflections on a World Gone Mad and Pushing Back against Neocolonialist Thuggery

The following is an interview with ANDRE VLTCHEK by ALESSANDRO BIANCCHI, Chief Editor of the Italian political magazine Anti-Diplomatico:
ALESSANDRO BIANCHI: Self-determination of peoples and respect for the borders and sovereignty of a country. This is of the most complicated issue for international law. How can it be articulated for the case of Catalonia?
ANDRE VLTCHEK: Personally, I’m not very enthusiastic about smaller nations forming their own states, particularly those in the West, where they would, after gaining ‘independence’, remain in the alliances that are oppressing and plundering the entire world: like NATO or the European Union.
Clearly, the breaking of the great country of Yugoslavia into small pieces was a hostile, evil design by the West, and particularly of Germany and Austria. The dissolution of Czechoslovakia after the so-called ‘Velvet Revolution’ was a total idiocy.
But Catalonia (or Basque Country), if it became independent, would become one of the richest parts of Europe. I don’t think it would have any great positive or negative impact on the rest of the world. As an internationalist, I don’t really care if they are separate from Spain or not, or whether they are even richer than they already are, as I care much more about what is happening in places such as Afghanistan, Venezuela or North Korea.
READ MORE

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on OCTOBER 14, 2017.

NATO “Concerned By Russia’s Military Buildup Close To Our Borders”

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
The Secretary-General of NATO said this on October 9th, speaking in NATO member Romania, right across the Black Sea from Russia’s region of Crimea (which had always been part of Russia except for the brief period 1954-2014, when the Soviet dictator arbitrarily transferred Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 – i.e., the Soviet dictator had made Crimea ‘Ukrainian’, and only in 2014 was a plebiscite actually held there in order to determine what the people there wanted, and more than 90% chose to be restored to the Russian Government). He said, on October 9th, that NATO is ‘concerned by Russia’s military buildup close to our borders’, but NATO actually had expanded up to Russia’s borders; in no way had Russia expanded up to NATO’s borders. NATO’s leader was importantly misrepresenting history, there.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 12, 2017.

WHITE HELMETS: State Sanctioned Terrorism and Hollywood Poster Boys for War

The White Helmets. Who are they, who created them, and what purpose do they serve in Syria? These questions remain largely unanswered by the governments, corporate media and NATO member-aligned NGOs, including the UN, that have focused their efforts on regime change in Syria for the last seven years.
The White Helmets have achieved an almost cult-like status thanks to a diverse, well-oiled and multilaterally-funded support system. Their pictures adorn the front pages of most corporate media sites whenever Syria is mentioned. Their unprecedented success can be attributed to a top-drawer PR campaign – one that has been maintained to the highest standards ever since the White Helmets became the public face of ‘first responders’ in Syria following their establishment in March 2013.
Such a publicity coup would not have been possible without some heavyweight organizations working behind the scenes to create a brand that would eclipse all others in Western public perception.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on OCTOBER 9, 2017.

16 Years On: End Goal of Afghanistan is ‘Admit No Failure’

21st Century Wire says…
Today, 7 October 2017, marks the 16th anniversary of United States and British military action in Afghanistan – aka ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ – and all signs point to a policy of not admitting failure.
The war operation in Afghanistan has indeed been enduring. It has taken countless lives, and for what benefit to the Afghan people? What is the end goal?
From Bush to Obama to Trump, and NATO, there are few signs of any end to this perpetual war – now known in the mainstream as ‘America’s Longest War’ – a war that 21WIRE contributor Andre Vltchek called ‘one of the most destructive and brutal occupations in NATO’s history.’

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on OCTOBER 7, 2017.

Russia Increases Economic Support For North Korea As China Backs Away

Over the past two months, China, North Korea’s economic benefactor and formally the source of 90% of its foreign trade, has been withdrawing financial support, ostensibly under the auspices of US sanctions, as Communist Party leaders try to rein in the North’s nuclear program to appease the US and prevent a potentially destabilizing conflict on its border – a development that would be particularly unwelcome during the Communist Party’s upcoming national congress.
As we reported earlier this week, North Korea’s thriving black-market economy (the county earns hundreds of millions of dollars a year from illegal weapons sales, along with other illicit activities rumored to include counterfeiting of US dollars and the manufacture of methamphetamine) has helped blunt the economic impact of UN sanctions meant to reduce the country’s legitimate exports by 90%.
Last month, China ordered North Korean businesses operating in the country to close, and asked its banks to stop doing business with North Korean businesses and individuals in accordance with the latest round of UN Security Council sanctions.
But as China withdraws, Reuters reports that Russia, which shares a small border with North Korea along the country’s eastern flank, is quietly stepping in to offer economic support for its restive neighbor, even after declining to use its veto power to kill UN sanctions against the rogue state.
Russia’s reasoning is simple: If the North Korean regime falls, more US troops could deploy near Russia’s eastern border – an eventuality that Moscow would like to avoid, given the NATO buildup in Europe.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 5, 2017.

Boris Johnson: UK Investors Ready To Turn Libya Into Dubai After “They Clear The Dead Bodies Away”

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has drawn a storm of criticism for statements he made about war-torn Libya this week, which included discussion of UK investment opportunities only after Libyans “clear the dead bodies away.” He made the comments while describing his August visit to the North African country at a Conservative party conference Tuesday night, which drew a smattering of laughter from the audience.
Johnson specifically spoke about Sirte, which was both Gaddafi’s hometown and the last major loyalist government stronghold to fall after NATO intervention overthrew the Libyan government in 2011. And as Johnson noted, Sirte is the Mediterranean coastal city outside of which Gaddafi was brutally tortured and executed. The Foreign Secretary said:
‘There’s a group of UK business people, wonderful guys who want to invest in Sirte, on the coast, near where Gaddafi was actually captured and executed as some of you may have seen.
And they literally have a brilliant vision to turn Sirte, with the help of the municipality of Sirte, to turn it into the next Dubai.
The only thing they’ve got to do is clear the dead bodies away and then they’ll be there.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge by Tyler Durden Oct 4, 2017.

The Catalan Question and the Future of Europe

It is 5 AM in Lisbon, and I am sitting in an airport lounge with wifi, writing this week’s OTB on my iPad, clumsily. GaveKal has written a very candid analysis of the Catalonia vote/debacle, which was a hot topic at the conference where I was speaking – Spain is right next door. There were numerous past and current foreign ministers and other parliamentary leaders here, all very pro-EU, and they were aghast at Rajoy’s heavy-handed response.
Howewver, they all agreed that Catalonia could never be recognized as a new country in the EU, as this week’s OTB notes. Allowing Catalonian independence would fuel the flames of the numerous separatist movements all over Europe and disintegrate the movement to a closer EU – something that all here agreed would be a bad thing. Remember, Catalonia is much bigger than Greece – it’s 20% of the Spanish economy and Spain’s strongest region. Not a small deal. But I think the outcome will be a deal like the Basques got – more independence, and they get to keep more of their tax revenue. But the referendum was a great negotiating tactic. And Rajoy, with his clumsy police action, actually gave the separatists the upper hand.
I may at some point write a full letter on what I heard at this confernce. There were some very different viewpoints than you hear in the US (even from my close friend George Friedman). When you spend a great deal of time with Jean-Claude Trichet, former president of the ECB (who was extraordinarily polite and gracious) and hear him advocate for a stronger European NATO, and hear as well from far-left German Politician Joschka Fischer, who also espoused a hard line against Russia and China and a stronger NATO – almost sounding like Trump – you wonder what rabbit hole you have fallen down. Herr Minister Fischer was however not amused when I pointed out the similarity between his views and Trump’s. He swears he has no interest in ever being a politician again. But his talk, which I oddly found myself agreeing with much of, certainly sounded like a stump speech. My new friend may have protested his reluctance too vigorously. Oddly, the greatest disagreement I stumbled into was with a fellow American who is a friend of Hillary. Which made for a couple very lively dinner debates – which I hoped amused our hosts.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on OCTOBER 4, 2017.

Mattis: NATO Might Drop Ally Pakistan For “Connections With Terrorist Groups”

Defense Secretary James Mattis told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday that Pakistan might be dropped by the United States as a NATO ally due to its support for the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. Currently, Pakistan is formally designated as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA) – a defense relationship which confers military and financial benefits but does not automatically imply a mutual defense pact.
During the hearing which covered a wide range of national security issues, Mattis was asked if the US would consider revoking Pakistan’s status, and responded, “I’m sure it will be.” The firm but not completely unexpected response which is sure to add tensions to the already shaky US-Pakistan alliance came after Mattis stated in his opening remarks that, “we will firmly address Pakistan’s role. NATO’s demands need to be heard and embraced in Islamabad.”
Mattis along with Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that they view Pakistan’s main spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as an enabler of terrorism in Central Asia. General Dunford said, ‘It is clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 4, 2017.