This post was published at OpenMind
This post was published at OpenMind
The War Cycle is in full swing upward since 2014. We have witnessed the invasion of Ukraine, the invasion of Syria, Rocketman in North Korea, and numerous civil uprisings. However, the war also comes with sharply declining economies as political leaders need to point the finger outside their domestic rule to distract their people.
The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan is also on a power trip and the sharply collapsing currency only puts more pressure on him to start conflicts. That basic incentive has played out with his visit to Greece in December. This was the first time a Turkish leader visited Greece in 65 years. As the Guardian reports, Erdoan shocked Greece by calling for a revision of the Lausanne Treaty of 1923. The Turkish president in Turkey has sharply criticized the opposition for this demand and as always there is the justification for protecting people of Turkish origin living in Greece. Hitler used the same excuse to invade neighbors to defend Germans living on foreign lands.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 28, 2017.
As North Korea vociferously condemns the US and the United Nations after the Security Council passed yet another round of sanctionsagainst the restive regime, Russia is continuing to test ICBMs in preparation for a violent conflict on the neighboring Korean Peninsula while simultaneous calling for both sides to seek mediation.
Last night, Russia’s Strategic Missile Force tested the RS-12M Topol intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at the Kapustin Yar practice range in the southern Astrakhan Region, the TASS News Agency reported Tuesday.
“On December 26, 2017, a combat team of the Strategic Missile Force test-fired an RS-12M Topol intercontinental ballistic missile from the Kapustin Yar state central combined arms training range in the Astrakhan Region,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said.
“The launch was aimed at testing perspective armament for intercontinental ballistic missiles,” the ministry said.
“During the tests, specialists obtained experimental data that will be used in the interests of developing effective means of overcoming anti-ballistic missile defense and equipping the perspective grouping of Russian ballistic missiles with them,” the Defense Ministry said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 26, 2017.
An interesting report on the official accounts for war-related spending in the U. S. is available here: Which is, of course, a massive under-estimate of the full cost of 2001-2017 wars to the U. S. taxpayers.
It is worth remembering that war-related expenditures are outside discretionary budgetary allocations (follow links here: And you can read more here: The problem, as I repeatedly pointed out, is that no one can tell us what exactly – aside from misery, failed states, collapsed economies, piles of dead bodies etc – did these expenditures achieve, or for that matter what did all the adventurous entanglements the U. S. got into in recent year deliver? In Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and Syria, in Pakistan and Sudan, in Ukraine, in Somalia and Egypt. The sole bright spot on the U. S. ‘policy horizon’ is Kurdistan. But the problem is, the U. S. has been quietly undermining its main ally in the Syria-Iraq-Turkey sub-region in recent years. In South China Seas, Beijing is fully running the show, as multi-billion U. S. hardware bobbles up and down the waves to no effect. In North Korea, a villain with a bucket of uranium is in charge, and Iran is standing strong. In its historical backyard of Latin America, the U. S. is now confronting growing Chinese influence, while losing allies.
This post was published at True Economics on Tuesday, December 26, 2017.
Authored by Anders Hagstrom via The Daily Caller,
The U. S.-based Human Rights Foundation (HSF) has worked with North Korean defectors to smuggle flash drives and other tools into their dictatorial homeland to counter the regime’s propaganda throughout 2017.
HSF director Alex Gladstein claims that his organization has successfully smuggled up to 10,000 flash drives into the country containing documentaries countering state narratives, according to The Telegraph.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 26, 2017.
As much of the world celebrates the Christmas Holiday, it’s business as usual on the geo-political front. And as we have repeatedly warned in recent years, numerous countries including military super powers Russia and China are actively mobilizing their armies for a widespread armed conflict.
With North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowing this weekend to never give up his nuclear ambitions and President Trump having made it clear that the United States will not allow the North to possess nuclear weapons capable of striking America, it appears that confrontation is inevitable.
Further signaling what may come to pass in 2018 is General Robert Neller, who spoke to Marines in Europe during his annual Christmas tour:
Neller emphasized to the Marines that they should remain ready to fight at all times, predicting a ‘big-ass fight’ on the horizon.
‘I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a war coming,’ Neller said. ‘ … You’re in a fight here, an informational fight, a political fight, by your presence.’
This post was published at shtfplan on December 25th, 2017.
North Korea strongly rejected the latest United Nations sanctions resolution, calling it an ‘act of war’ against the rogue regime.
The U. N. Security Council unanimously decided Friday to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea in response to the North’s test of a new intercontinental ballistic missile that some experts suggest can range the entire continental U. S.
Resolution 2397 bans nearly 90 percent of North Korea’s refined petroleum imports and sets new restrictions on other essential imports, such as heavy machinery.
The punitive resolution also demands the repatriation of North Korean workers generating funds for the regime abroad and puts greater pressure on North Korean shipping.
Pyongyang called on the U. S. and its international partners to ‘wake up from its pipe dream of our country giving up nuclear weapons’ and learn to ‘co-exist with the country that has nuclear weapons.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 24, 2017.
U. S. Forces Korea, a sub-unified command of the United States Pacific Command, has issued a warning to servicemembers on the Korean Peninsula to stay vigilant for ‘insider threats’ after North Korean propaganda surfaced on American military bases.
According to Stripes.com, the 8th Army reported that a ‘significant number of North Korean propaganda leaflets and CDs’ were found at Seoul’s Yongsan Garrison, on Thursday. This prompted military officials to release a Facebook alert, warning US soldiers to ‘maintain situational awareness,’ since a number of foreign nationals have access to US military bases, which they could be viewed as ‘potential insider threats.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 23, 2017.
One day after the UN humiliated Donald Trump, when 128 nations voted for a UN resolution demanding the US president revoke his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, on Friday Trump scored a significant victory at the same venue – his third of the day after signing off on the tax and stopgap bills – when the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions targeting North Korea’s economy after the latest launch of a ballistic missile last month that Kim Jong Un’s regime said shows it can now target the entire continental U. S.
The new restrictions are meant to slash North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products, further restrict shipping and impose a 12-month deadline for expatriate North Korean workers to be sent home, according to Bloomberg. “Under the new sanctions, oil exports will be limited to their current level, which has already begun to result in shortages around the country,” the NY Times added. “Countries around the world will be ordered to expel North Korean workers, a key source of hard currency. Nations would also be urged to inspect all North Korean shipping and halt ship-to-ship transfers of fuel, which the North has used to evade sanctions.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 22, 2017.
Authored by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Boris Johnson arrives in Moscow today to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov the next day – the first visit to Russia by a British foreign minister in five years. International security issues are to top the agenda, including North Korea, Iran and regional stability in the Middle East as well as security for the 2018 World Cup soccer tournament in Russia. This time the bilateral relationship is at the lowest ebb due to the differences over Ukraine, Syria, and the allegations of Moscow’s meddling in the politics of various European countries. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has dramatically escalated attacks on Russia recently, accusing it of malign influence and hostile intentions.
Mr. Johnson gave an interview to the Sunday Times as he prepares for the trip to Moscow, in which he said that ‘Russia has not been so hostile to the UK or to Western interests since the end of the Cold War.’ According to him, ‘In the Crimea, capturing a part of sovereign, besides, European territory from someone else’s country and holding it for the first time since 1945.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 21, 2017.
The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un has said he will take revenge on the United States for Washington’s accusal that the rogue regime was responsible for the WannaCry ransomware attack earlier this year. In timely fashion, Kim has also ordered his military to begin the testing of the chemical agent anthrax.
North Korea has been loading anthrax into int’s controversial ballistic missiles. But the regime and military scientists have been trying to ensure that anthrax would survive the high temperatures generated when the missiles re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. The regime today rejected the claim as ‘groundless’ and insisted it was fulfilling its obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) which prohibits the production or stockpile of biowarfare weapons.
North Korean state television reported last month the launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile, Hwasong 15, which is a nuclear-capable weapon which could fly as far as America.
This post was published at shtfplan on December 21st, 2017.
The United States and China are preparing for a situation in which all hell breaks loose on the Korean Peninsula. Both nations are taking unprecedented steps as tensions toward a nuclear war ramp up even more.
The US has stepped up military drills, practiced air raids, and reportedly started preparing to seize North Korea’s nuclear weapons by force, a feat South Korea has declared won’t be all that easy. South Korean officials have been talking up a pause in military drills in hopes that it will lead to a peaceful Winter Olympics in February, but the US has yet to agree to halt said drills. Instead, the US brought in a record number of stealth aircraft this month to train up on an air war against North Korea. Immediately after the drill, which featured a marked increase in simulated bomb runs on North Korean targets, the US and South Korea reportedly engaged in drills to infiltrate North Korea and neutralize its weapons of mass destruction.
At a speech at the Atlantic Council last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US was preparing plans to seize loose nuclear weapons, should North Korea somehow collapse or become unstable.
This post was published at shtfplan on December 20th, 2017.
In the annals of Russian-American relations, it is difficult to recall a precedent for the Kremlin leader calling his White House counterpart to convey his personal gratitude and appreciation for the profound contribution made by the US’ Central Intelligence Agency and its director to Russian national security.
The great irony is that the incumbent Kremlin boss is a former KGB officer. Vladimir Putin never ceases to surprise.
The Kremlin readout of Putin’s phone call to US President Donald Trump on Sunday should be an eye-opener to anyone who bought the US propaganda that Putin is a demon preparing to devour the West – or Russian propaganda that encourages an impression to be formed among the nave and the gullible that the world is carved into two neat halves, namely the good and the evil.
Countries like Turkey, Iran and Egypt – and Venezuela and North Korea – should take particular note that the world situation and the emerging international order are a lot more complicated than some among them would like to think. What prompted Putin to make such an extraordinary move?
For a start, the Kremlin senses that the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the US election last November is meandering aimlessly and may have to be wound up sooner rather than later. That being the case, a future is conceivable in which the tidal wave of Russophobia in the US recedes, leaving behind much devastation and debris but also the opportunity to begin rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Most certainly, Putin understood the great symbolism and meaning behind the gesture by the CIA to pass on crucial intelligence relating to the security of his hometown, the city of his heart’s desires, and the pride of all Russian people.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 20, 2017.
President Trump has often said that his foreign policy objective was to keep his enemies guessing. If that’s the goal, you could say that he’s doing a good job. The problem is who does he think his enemies are, because the American people are often left guessing as well.
US policy toward North Korea last week is a good example of how the Trump Administration is wittingly or unwittingly sowing confusion among friend and foe alike.
In what looked like a breakthrough, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced last Tuesday that the US would be willing to sit down and talk with North Korea ‘without preconditions.’ Previously the US had demanded that North Korea agree to end its nuclear weapons and missile programs before Washington was willing to sit down to formal talks.
The State Department shift toward actual diplomacy with North Korea was quickly quashed, however, when the White House announced that its position on North Korea had not changed.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 18, 2017.
Update: The White House has released the Full National Security Strategy document:
President Trump is due to speak at 1430ET.
As we detailed earlier, President Trump is expected to release the new National Security Strategy for the United States this afternoon. We discussed the potential drivers behing his reportedly aggressive stance yesterday, but the bigger questions remain…
Will it rein in some of the global adventurism of the Bush and Obama presidencies?
Will it correct the gaping disconnect between what the White House says about places like North Korea and what the Secretary of State says?
Will the neocons successfully parlay the document into a road-map for more wars?
While initial reports showed Trump attacking China…taking a much tougher stance on China than previous administrations.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 18, 2017.
In recent years, North Korea has frustrated the US intelligence community, which has struggled to determine exactly how Kim Jong Un and his regime have managed to make so much progress, so quickly in their quest to develop a nuclear weapon capable of striking the Continental US.
The international community has authorized one round of sanctions after another, and yet they appear to have little impact on the country’s economy. If anything, these efforts have only served to strengthen the Kim’s grip on power by feeding the narrative – taught to every North Korean child – that the US is an evil, imperialist antagonist bent on subjugating the North.
While the exact means by which the North has managed to survive such immense international pressure remain a mystery, the New York Times has a theory: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has cultivated an aura of reverence and celebrity around the country’s nuclear scientists.
These celebrity scientists are known by nicknames like the ‘nuclear duo’ and the ‘missile quartet’.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 17, 2017.
A top Chinese general has warned that a war with North Korea could break out anytime. Because of the possibility of another world war by March, the general is suggesting the Chinese military mobilized their troops on the border with North Korea.
To prepare for a conflict that could break out anytime between now and March, Lieutenant General Wang Gongguang claims that China should mobilize their military might sooner rather than later. The Global Times, the English-language outlet of the Beijing government’s state-run mouthpiece People’s Daily China, reports the official is warning of the need to be ‘mentally prepared for [war] anytime’.
‘China should be psychologically prepared for a potential Korean War, and the Northeast China regions should be mobilized for that,’ said General Wang. He is also urging the deployment of antimissile systems and troops in the border area with North Korea in anticipation of conflict between North and South Korea, and others such as Japan and the United States.
This post was published at shtfplan on December 18th, 2017.
Chinese government advisors and a senior military officer warned Beijing that it must be ready for a war on the Korean peninsula, with the risk of conflict higher than ever before, the SCMP reported on Saturday. They also warned that Beijing, once seen as Pyongyang’s biggest ally with influence over its neighbor, was losing control of the situation.
‘Conditions on the peninsula now make for the biggest risk of a war in decades,’ said Renmin University international relations professor Shi Yinhong, who also advises the State Council, China’s cabinet. ‘North Korea is a time bomb. We can only delay the explosion, hoping that by delaying it, a time will come to remove the detonator,’ Shi added on the sidelines of a Beijing conference on the crisis.
Shi said US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were locked in a vicious cycle of threats and it was already too late for China to avert it. However, at best, Beijing could delay a full-blown conflict. Also addressing the conference was Wang Hongguang, former deputy commander of the Nanjing’s Military Region, who warned that war could break out on the Korean peninsula at any time from now on until March when South Korea and the United States held annual military drills.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 17, 2017.
First, the bragging dummies
Trump and Haley are still at it. They want to force China to take action against the DPRK by threatening to take North Korea ‘into their hands’ if China refuses to comply. Haley said, ‘But to be clear, China can do more, (…) and we’re putting as much pressure on them as we can. The last time they completely cut off the oil, North Korea came to the table. And so we’ve told China they’ve got to do more. If they don’t do more, we’re going to take it into our own hands and then we’ll start to deal with secondary sanctions.’
First, let’s reset this scene in a kindergarten and replay it.
Kid A has a fight with Kid B. Kid A threatens to beat up Kid B. Kid B then tells Kid A to go screw himself. Kid A does nothing, but issues more threats. Kid B keeps laughing. And then Kid A comes up with a brilliant plan: he threatens Kid C (who is much much bigger than Kid B and much much stronger too!) by telling him “if you don’t make Kid B comply with my demands, I will take the issue in my own hands!”. The entire schoolyard erupts in hysterical laughter.
Question: how would you the gauge the intelligence of Kid A? Anyway…
This would all be really funny if this was a comedy show. But what this all is in reality is a slow but steady progression towards war. What makes this even worse is the media’s obsession with the range of North Korean missiles and whether they can reach Guam or even the USA. With all due respect for the imperial ‘only we matter’ (and nevermind the “gooks”), there are ways ‘we’, i.e. the American people can suffer terrible consequences from a war in the Korean Peninsula which have nothing to do with missile strikes on Guam or the USA.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 16, 2017.