North Korea’s Rational Analysis

The United States has several thousand operational nuclear missiles. It has a large fleet of strategic bombers, an enormous navy, and hundreds of thousands of soldiers and marines. The US could bomb, blockade, and invade North Korea if it chose to incur the cost.
Yet North Korea is threatening to fire missiles at Guam, a US island territory in the Western Pacific where a substantial portion of the American strategic forces are now stationed. The North Koreans have been unyielding in insisting that they intend to complete a force of nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles that could strike the US.
This seems to be irrational behavior. But if these are the deeds of an irrational regime, how has this same regime, founded by the current leader’s grandfather, survived since 1948? It survived a devastating war, managed to stay nimble during the Sino-Soviet confrontation, and endured the fall of the Soviet Union and the transformation of China, starvation in the 1990s, and confrontation with the United States. The regime should have collapsed many times. It didn’t.
If survival is a measure of rationality, and it should be, then the leadership class (and it is of course more than just one person) could not have lasted for almost 70 years if it were irrational. North Korea may have bizarre values, but its leaders have not been stupid. So the question is, what are they seeing now?

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on AUGUST 14, 2017.

Ukraine Hosts US Military To Be Permanently Stationed On Its Soil

United States Naval Construction Battalions, better known as the Seabees (C. B. – construction battalion), of the Naval Construction Force held a groundbreaking ceremony for a maritime operations center on Ochakov Naval Base, Ukraine, July 25. According to the Navy.mil, the official website of the US Navy, the maritime operations center is one of three projects that are currently planned to be executed by the Seabees in Ochakov and will serve as a major planning and operational hub during future military exercises hosted by Ukraine. The Seabees arrived in Ochakov in April to establish contracts, obtain construction permits and perform other logistical tasks for the maritime operations center project.
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Maritime operations centers are the operational-level warfare command and control organizations designed to deliver flexible maritime capabilities throughout the full range of military operations. The future Seabee projects in Ochakov include a boat maintenance facility and entry control points with perimeter fencing.
Our ability to maximize European reassurance initiatives in Ukraine holds strategic importance, and will ultimately improve host nation defense capacity and infrastructure, strengthen relations, and increase bilateral training capabilities, said Lt. j.g. Jason McGee, officer in charge of Det. Ukraine.
In July, several US missile warships, including the USS Hue City Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser and the USS Carney Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, a P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft and a Navy SEALs team took part in the 12-day Sea Breeze 2017 NATO naval exercise held in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, near the port city of Odessa. 17 nations took part in the training event.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 15, 2017.

Moldova To Become Foothold For US Military

The former Soviet republic of Moldova may actually become yet another foothold for the US military in Europe. The US Naval Facilities Engineering Command Europe Africa Southwest Asia (NAVFAC EURAFSWA) plans to construct eight training facilities for military operations in urban terrain at the Bulboaca training base in Moldova. The fact that the US Navy Department is involved makes believe the facility will host American Marines.
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A total of $1.6 million has already been invested in the renovation of the Bulboaca base located near Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria or the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic. The largely Russian-speaking region broke away from Moldova following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The secession led to an armed conflict that ended in a ceasefire in July 1992. Russian troops were deployed to the conflict zone in accordance with the Agreement on the Principles for a Peaceful Settlement of the Armed Conflict in the Transnistrian Region of the Republic of Moldova, signed in 1992 by the presidents of Russia and Moldova in the presence of Transnistria’s leader.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 14, 2017.

Crash Landing Of U.S. F-18 Fighter Jet Closes Bahrain’s International Airport

A US F-18 fighter jet crash landed at Bahrain’s international airport Saturday, causing the complete closure of the island’s main commercial flight hub. Photos and brief video footage quickly posted online shows a badly damaged but intact jet with its tail on the ground and nose in the air in a gravel area located completely off the runway.
According to a statement by Navy Cmdr. Bill Urban, the jet suffered engine trouble after taking off from the USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf and attempted to make it to Sheikh Isa Air Base in Bahrain but instead had to attempt an emergency landing at the busy commercial airport. The pilot ejected as the jet skidded off the runway and escaped unharmed.
Bahrain, which is connected by bridge to Saudi Arabia, is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet and about 8,000 US military personnel which are mostly attached to the island nation’s Naval Support Activity base, which monitors and supports all 20+ US and coalition naval vessels in the Persian Gulf. Britain is also currently constructing a major base on the island.
The airport shut down for about 7 hours and Bahrain’s Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications said that no one was injured in the crash.


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

Trump Provokes China Again, Sends Another Destroyer To South China Sea

A US Navy destroyer sailed within 12 miles of an artificial island built by China in the South China Sea on Thursday, a “provocation” that threatens another angry response from the Chinese government and further complicating President Donald Trump’s efforts to align the Communist Party in his pursuit to find a diplomatic resolution to the North Korean crisis.
As Reuters reports, the USS John McCain (yes, he the Senator has a ship named after him) passed by the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in what US military officials justified as yet anoter ‘freedom of navigation’ operation, the third since Trump took office. Over the past six months, the US has grown increasingly bold, or provocative as Beijing calls it, by sending aircraft and ships to contested waters in the South China Sea to the anger and frustration of Beijing.

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

The Latest Attempt To Win The Afghan War: Replace The Soldiers With Mercenaries

One of the most controversial aspects of the Iraq war was the heavy use of defense contractors, who were in many cases paid vast sums of money to do jobs that you’d think an ordinary soldier could do. When it was all said and done, defense contractors had reaped $138 billion dollars by providing security, logistics, and construction services. Among the most notorious of these contractors was Blackwater, whose employees gained a reputation for reckless behavior that caused many unnecessary deaths.
Fast forward to today, and now Blackwater’s founder, former Navy Seal Erik Prince, is pushing for a plan to win the war in Afghanistan by replacing the soldiers with defense contractors. Prince first suggested the plan last May in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, where he described this idea in colonial terms. The private military units would be based on units that were deployed by the British East India Company, and would be lead by a single person who he referred to as an ‘American Viceroy,’ that would report directly to the president.
As strange as it may sound, Trump appears to be taking the idea seriously. It’s hard to blame him. Afghanistan is now America’s longest running war, and no matter how many soldiers, generals, aid, or money we throw at the country, nothing seems to bring stability. Which is why this radical new plan probably looks very enticing to Trump right now.

This post was published at shtfplan on August 8th, 2017.

Iranian Drone Flies Within 100 Feet Of U.S. F-18 In Persian Gulf

While the US government is busy deciding how to tag and track the millions of drones flying over populated areas, potentially jeopardizing aircraft as they take off and land, the US military just had a close encounter in the Persian Gulf, where Reuters reports that an Iranian drone came within 100 feet of a U. S. Navy warplane as it prepared to land on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier off the coast of Iran in the Gulf. The officials said the drone forced the US aircraft to take evasive action.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 8, 2017.

Two US Troops Killed In Afghanistan After Taliban Suicide Attack

Resolute Support can confirm that a NATO
convoy was attacked this afternoon in #Kandahar . pic.twitter.com/gwRfMGBjLq
— Resolute Support (@ResoluteSupport) August 2, 2017

Two U. S. troops were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday according to Reuters when a NATO convoy came under attack in Kandahar province, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said, with NATO adding that the assault led to an unspecified number of casualties.
AFP reported earlier on Wednesday that a suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden vehicle into the convoy near the Kandahar airport, home to a major military base for international troops helping Afghan security forces in their battle against the Taliban insurgency.
“At around noon a car bomb targeted a convoy of foreign forces in the Daman area of Kandahar,” he said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 2, 2017.

I’d Nuke China – US Admiral Confirms He’d Launch Missiles If Trump Ordered

Admiral Scott Swift, Commander of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet, said he would obey a hypothetical order to launch a nuclear strike against China if the president chose to give it. As AP reports, the remarks follow the director of the CIA’s recent assessment that Beijing poses a major threat to the US in the long run.
In a rare interview this week, CIA Director Mike Pompeo asserted that China is more of a long-term threat to US national security than any other world power, including Russia.
‘It’s hard to pick between China, Russia and Iran to be honest with you. I guess if I had to pick one with a nose above the others, I’d probably pick China,’ Pompeo told the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday.
‘They have a real economy that they have built, unlike Russia that lives and dies on how many barrels of oil they can pluck out of the ground. And Iran that is similarly very single sector derivative and not to the scale of China population-wise,’ the intelligence chief explained.
According to Pompeo, Beijing is willing to become a near-peer opponent to the US.
‘I think it’s very clear when they think about their place in the world, they measure their success in placing themselves in the world where they want to be vis- -vis the United States and not as against anyone else,’ he said.

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

Colombia continues salvage efforts on San Jos shipwreck

Work to recover what experts call potentially the most valuable shipwreck ever continues in Colombia.
Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos Caldern, announced July 5 that the national government has been in cooperation with salvage specialists to recover the San Jos, which sank June 8, 1708, in 800 feet of water off the island of Baru near Cartagena, the nation’s capital.
Current recovery efforts require a public-private partnership, in a mission that is scientifically minded, the president said.
The San Jos was part of the fleet of King Philip V, who fought the English during the War of Spanish Succession. A reported 600 people died in the shipwreck, which happened when British ships under the command of Adm. Charles Wager attacked the three warships leading the 17-ship fleet. The San Jos sinking was the only success attributed to the British in the event, historically named Wager’s Action.
The Colombian Navy and others located the wreck on Nov. 27, 2015, a find that the nation’s president disclosed on Dec. 5, 2015.

This post was published at Coin World

US Navy Patrol Ship Fires Warning Shots At Iranian Vessel

One day after a US spy plane had to take “evasive action” over the East China Sea after a Chinese fighter jet showed off its Top Gun skills and appeared 90 meters in front of the interloper, a US Navy patrol ship fired warning shots toward an Iranian vessel near the northern Arabian Gulf on Tuesday after the vessel came within 150 yards (137 meters).
Reuters, which confirms the report, quotes an official who said the USS Thunderbolt fired the warning shots after the Iranian vessel ignored radio calls and the ship’s whistle. The Thunderbolt was being accompanied by several U. S. Coast Guard vessels.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 25, 2017.

Al-Shabaab Propaganda Video Bashes “Brainless Billionaire” Trump As “Stupidest President A Country Could Have”

Since taking office, President Donald Trump has stepped up US military strikes against al-Shabaab, the ISIS-affiliated terrorist group based primarily in Somalia, despite promises to avoid more foreign entanglements. In May, a Navy SEAL died during a mission targeting a compound of al-Shabaab militants, becoming the first US soldier to die in Somalia since 1993, when 18 US service members were killed in what became known as the battle of Mogadishu, later memorialized in the film ‘Black Hawk Down.’ In June, the US killed 8 militants during a drone strike against what US officials described as one of the group’s primary training camps and bases.
While al-Shabaab lacks the resources to launch an effective counterattack against the US, the group instead opted to mock Trump in a new propaganda video. In it, the group responds to Trump’s violent escalation by calling him a ‘brainless billionaire’ and criticizing US voters for electing ‘arguably the most stupid president a country could ever have” – echoing sentiments commonly expressed by left-leaning voters in metropolitan hubs like New York City.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 25, 2017.

Star Wars Has Arrived – Navy Tests First Laser Weapon

The Laser Technology is actually using the cyclical frequency spectrum of light. I have stated numerous times, that everything has its frequency. It is all about cycles within everything. Understanding that basic foundation, allows us to hone in on what effect each frequency will produce. Welcome to the world of complexity.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jul 24, 2017.

The Powers That Be Have Started Their Culling Of The Herd: ‘Of That You Can Be Assured’

There are currently tens of thousands of NATO and Russian troops facing off against one another in the Baltic. NATO (and USAREUR, or U. S. Army in Europe) are conducting ‘exercises,’ entitled Operation Saber Guardian 2017. Meanwhile, RT News reported that Britain, Denmark, and the Netherlands are sending vessels to ‘escort’ Chinese warships en route to the Baltic Sea. The Chinese will be conducting drills and exercises with Russia. Here’s an excerpt from that RT article:
‘A Chinese frigate, a supply ship and a destroyer are passing through Danish waters. We are escorting [them] as part of the normal surveillance we have in our territorial waters,’ Klaus Thing Rasmussen, senior duty officer at the Danish military operations center, told the DR broadcaster.
‘We sent one unit out to them last night, when they were approaching Danish waters. It will take around a day in total until they leave again near Bornholm, where they entered, and we will escort them the entire way,’ he said.
‘Our position is that there is free passage through the Baltic Sea, and the Danish Navy acts as a stopper in the gap. That means we accompany foreign state vessels as part of our surveillance of Danish waters,’ he added.
The Baltic phase of the Russian-Chinese exercise starts on Friday, and will involve about a dozen warships in addition to military aircraft and helicopters from both sides, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.’

This post was published at shtfplan on July 21st, 2017.

The Pentagon Secretly Tested Chemical Weapons on American Soldiers

The Pentagon carried out a series of secret chemical and biological weapons tests on American military personnel in the 1960s and 1970s, McClatchy DC reports.
Known as Project 112 and Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD), some 6,000 military personnel were involved in the tests, most from the Army and Navy.
The purpose of the tests, carried out between 1962 and 1974, was to develop a response plan to a chemical attack – using deadly nerve agents such as Sarin and Vx gas, as well as bacteria such as E. Coli – and to identify weaknesses in U. S. warships.
‘Veterans were exposed to some of the most extreme and hazardous agents […] and they now suffer from debilitating health care conditions,’ said Ken Wiseman, senior vice commander of the Virginia VFW branch, at a press conference on Wednesday.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on July 14, 2017.

What The Military Doesn’t Want You To Know: Expensive Aircraft Carriers Can Be Sunk With Cheap Missiles

One of the cornerstones of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was a promise to revitalize our military. There’s no doubt that it needs some help. These days it appears that the majority of our military units are not combat ready, and some aircraft squadrons have been forced to scrounge for parts in aviation museums. Trump’s response has been to urge Congress to increase the military’s budget, and drastically increase troop and ship numbers. Most notably, he wants to bring the US Navy’s aircraft carrier count up to 12.
However, there’s only one problem with that proposition. In this day and age aircraft carriers may be overrated. In fact, they may be downright obsolete when pitted against a modern military. That’s because they’re shockingly easy to sink with cheap weapon systems, which is also the opinion of a highly regarded British think tank:
The HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s new aircraft carrier, could be sunk by a volley of missiles that cost a tiny fraction of what she is worth, according to a report from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) security think-tank.
The report argues that international rivals like Russia and China have focused their energy on finding ways to counter the West’s obsession with large, marquee projects like the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

This post was published at shtfplan on July 12th, 2017.

29 Years Ago the U.S. Navy Blew up 290 Iranians Aboard a Civilian Flight From Iranian Waters

On the rare occasions the U.S. mainstream media refer to the U.S. shootdown of an Iranian airliner in 1988, they sustain the myth it was simply a “mistake“.
Today marks twenty-nine years since the shoot-down by the USS Vincennes of Iran Air flight 655, which killed all of the plane’s 290 civilian passengers. This shoot-down of a civilian airliner by a U.S. naval ship occurred on July 3, 1988, toward the end of the eight-year Iran-Iraq War.
This incident is, of course, something that the people of Iran well remember. Americans who rely on the U.S. mainstream media, on the other hand, would have to be forgiven for never having heard about it.
Furthermore, in the rare instances when the media do mention it, to this day they tend to maintain official U.S. government falsehoods about what occurred and otherwise omit relevant details that would inform Americans about what really happened.

This post was published at Russia Insider

Using plausible deniability against a systematically lying adversary — The Saker

The Internet has been buzzing with reactions to the latest Stratfor report about how a military confrontation between Russia and the United States would play out. I did not find the full text, I suppose it is behind a Stratfor paywall or for subscribers only (and, frankly, I have better use for my time and money than to subscribe to that rubbish), but since the same excerpts are quoted everywhere, I might as well list them here and assume that they form the highlights of the article. Here we go (taken from the Business Insider quoting and paraphrasing the original article):
While Russia has some advanced surface-to-air missile systems and very agile fighter aircraft in Syria, it wouldn’t fare well in what would be a short, brutal air war against the US (…) Russia has ‘about 25 planes, only about ten of which are dedicated to air superiority (Su-35s and Su-30s), and against that they’ll have to face fifth-gen stealth fighters, dozens of strike fighters, F-15s, F-16s, as well as B-1 and B-52 bombers. And of course the vast US Navy and pretty much hundreds of Tomahawks.’ ‘Russians have a lot of air defenses, they’re not exactly defenseless by any means,’ Lamrani told Business Insider, ‘But the US has very heavy air superiority.’ Even though individual Russian platforms come close to matching, and in some ways exceed the capability of US jets, it comes down to numbers. If US surveillance detected a mass mobilization of Russian jets in response to the back-and-forth, the US wouldn’t just wait politely for Russians to get their planes in the sky so they can fight back. Instead, a giant salvo of cruise missiles would pour in from the USS George H. W. Bush carrier strike group, much like the April 7 strike on Syria’s Sharyat air base. But this time, the missiles would have to saturate and defeat Russia’s missile defenses first, which they could do by sheer numbers if not using electronic attack craft. Then, after neutering Russia’s defenses, the ships could target the air base, not only destroying planes on the ground but also tearing up the runways, so no planes could take off. At this point US and Coalition aircraft would have free reign to pass overhead and completely devastate Russian forces.
So is the author, Omar Lamrani, right in his assessment? Yes and no. Yes, that is exactly what would happen if the Russians decided to engage their small number of air superiority aircraft to try to prevail over the entire CENCOM and NATO air force for the control of the Syrian skies. And no, simply because the Russians would never do that.
The author of the article, a civilian with no military experience, makes a basic mistake, he assumes that the Russians will act like idiots and fight the kind of war the US would want to impose upon them. That is kind of assumptions most newbies make and which make for excellent propaganda articles. The problem is, of course, that there is absolutely no reason at all why the Russians should collaborate with such a ridiculous scenario. So, let’s get back to basics here.

This post was published at The Saker

Tensions Mount as the New Saudi Prince Takes Charge — Eric Margolis

What a scary week in the Mideast. The epicenter of the world’s energy resources and the land-bridge between Asia and Africa is spinning out of control as the danger of a shooting war between the US and Russia grows daily.
A U.S. F-18 warplane shot down a Syrian Air Force SU-22 ground attack aircraft over eastern Syria. This was a grave, reckless provocation clearly authorized by Washington. Russia, Syria’s ally, threatened to begin targeting its supposedly deadly S-300 missiles against U.S. warplanes over Syria.
Another U.S. warplane shot down an Iranian drone over southeastern Syria as U.S. forces and U.S. mercenary Arab troops closed in on a worthless piece of ground on the Syrian-Iraq border. Russia is rushing ten more warships into the Mediterranean, though most are obsolescent or small.
The U.S. Navy is challenging – or provoking – the Iranians in the Gulf. U.S. technicians and crews are keeping Saudi warplanes bombing Yemen, where half the population faces starvation. Just across the Red Sea, U.S. warplanes and special forces are attacking the Somalia nationalist resistance movement, Shebab. At least 4,000 more U.S. troops are headed for Afghanistan’s stalemated war.
U.S. Marines are attacking ISIS positions near Mosul, al-Tanf and Raqaa and adding long-ranged HIMARS artillery rockets. American forces are using white phosphorus, a hideous chemical weapon, against Isis defenders. Iran may send more ‘volunteer’ troops into Syria and Iraq as U.S. warplanes probe Iran’s airspace. Turkey is reportedly moving against U.S.-backed Kurds in Syria. Some Mideast experts believe the U.S. may be set on partitioning Syria.

This post was published at InformationClearingHouse