Friday, September 5, 2014

In The News:

NATO Huddles On Worldwide Crises

Sworn allies of the United States across Europe expressed solidarity with an embattled Ukraine at a major summit in Wales on Thursday, where the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has convened to formulate a response to Russia’s military incursion into the country’s east.

World leaders expressed agreement on at least one matter upon their arrival: this current NATO summit is the most consequential of its kind since member states gathered to respond to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

But just as European diplomats scorned Russia for its actions in the summit’s opening session, US President Barack Obama found himself delayed by meetings on threats posed by Islamic State.

Obama met with King Abdullah of Jordan at the summit to synchronize strategies on the growing threat from the group, a terrorist Islamist militia in control of territory across Iraq and Syria, accompanied by US Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and Special Assistant to the President Phil Gordon.

NATO is expected to announce new sanctions against Russia on Friday, as well as the creation of a rapid reaction force capable of deploying thousands of allied troops to NATO’s east within 48 hours.

“We are faced with a dramatically changed security environment.

To the east, Russia is attacking Ukraine,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters on arrival for the NATO summit in a golf resort outside the Welsh city of Newport.

The US will also participate in a military exercise with the armed forces of Ukraine in the country’s West, which is “not in response to recent events,” Harf said, while acknowledging the significance of the timing.

The United States is preparing a new round of economic sanctions against Russia for itsincursion into Ukraine, a senior White House official said on Thursday on the fringes of a NATO summit in Wales. Deputy White House national security adviser Ben Rhodes gave no details of the sectors that would be targeted but told reporters that the new penalties were being finalized.
"The key point is that Russia must continue to face costs for its own escalation," he said. "If Russia escalates, we can escalate our pressure." Earlier, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko announced the main pro-Russian rebel leader said they would both order ceasefires on Friday, provided that an agreement was signed on a new peace plan.
Rhodes said the move had the strong support of U.S. President Barack Obama and other key European leaders from Britain, France, Germany and Italy. The White House said earlier in a statement that the key European leaders and Obama had agreed that Russia should face "new costs" for its actions in eastern Ukraine. However, French President Francois Hollande said a new round of European Union sanctions, due to be adopted on Friday, would depend on events in the coming hours. Poroshenko said he would order a ceasefire on Friday if a peace plan opening the way for a political settlement was signed in talks in Minsk.

Britain could launch air strikes in Iraq and Syria within weeks after David Cameron set out a potential timetable for a military intervention and pledged to “use everything we have in our armoury” to wipe out Islamist terrorists.
Downing Street was gauging whether Conservative MPs would support a military intervention against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil), with government whips asking MPs where they stood on the matter.

The Prime Minister held crisis talks with Barack Obama in an attempt to form a coalition of Nato members willing to respond to the Isil jihadists who have murdered two American hostages and threatened the life of David Haines, a British captive.
However, there were concerns that Mr Obama, the US president, is unwilling to go further than the targeted air strikes he has already launched in northern Iraq.
In a significant development, Mr Cameron also made clear that there was no legal impediment to British forces bombing Isil targets in Syria. The Prime Minister said that one of the conditions of any military intervention would be the formation of a “stable” Iraqi government following the ousting of Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister. The Iraqis have now set a deadline of Sept 11 for the formation of the new government, meaning any request for military support from Britain and America could coincide with that date.

Syrian al-Qaeda branch al-Nusra Front threatened to try 45 UN peacekeepers from Fiji abducted last week in the Golan Heights.

According to the London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat,
the jihadist group said it would try the soldiers according to Sharia law.

The report added that there has been no progress in talks to release the Fijians.
On Wednesday, the UN Security Council called on “countries with influence” to press the al-Qaeda-linked insurgents to release the peacekeepers.
A press statement approved by all 15 council members, after a briefing by UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, again demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the Fijian peacekeepers.
Heavy clashes have raged in the Golan Heights since Syrian rebels captured a border crossing between Syria and Israel near the abandoned town of Quneitra last Wednesday.
Ladsous told reporters the peacekeepers have shown “steadfastness and courage” and said the UN is working to obtain the swift and unconditional release of the Fijians.

Every day around sunset, dozens of residents of this small Lebanese Christian village on the border carry their automatic rifles and deploy on surrounding hills, taking up positions and laying ambushes in case Muslim extremists from neighboring Syria attack.

“We all know that if they come, they will slit our throats for no reason,” said one villager as he drove through the streets of Qaa, an assault rifle resting next to him.

For months, Lebanese Christians have watched with dread as other Christians flee Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq, fearing their turn will come next. Fears multiplied after militants from Syria overran a border town last month, clashing with security forces for days and killing and kidnapping Lebanese soldiers and policemen.

Now, for the first time since the Lebanese civil war ended in 1990, Lebanese Christians are rearming and setting up self-defense units to protect themselves, an indication of the growing anxiety over the expanding reach of radical Islamic groups.
Across the Middle East, Christian communities as old as the religion itself feel their very survival is now at stake, threatened by militants of the Islamic State group rampaging across Iraq and Syria.
In Iraq, thousands of Christians have fled their homes after they were made to choose between leaving, converting to Islam or facing death. For the first time in centuries, Iraq’s Nineveh region and the provincial capital of Mosul have been emptied of Christians. After they left, the militants spray-painted their houses with the letter “N” for “Nasrani” — an archaic term used to refer to Christians — marking the homes as Islamic State property.
In Syria, thousands of Christians have been displaced during its three-year conflict. Christian towns and villages have come under attack by jihadists, most recently the historic central town of Mahradeh. Islamic fighters in Syria rampaged through the ancient Christian town of Maaloula near Damascus earlier this year, destroying historic churches and icons. Christians in the militant stronghold of Raqqa were forced to pay an Islamic tax for protection.

Anxiety over a nuclear exchange between super powers seems out of place in a post-Cold War world where conflicts are usually fought within states, rather than between them. But despite the changing nature of the times, nuclear weapons continue to play a central role in Russian military strategy. 
Last week, as thousands of Russian troops streamed into Ukraine, Putin issued a statement reminding the world that Russia was a nuclear-armed power.
"Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations," he said“This is a reality, not just words.”
Putin is certainly playing up the threat of his strategic arsenal. This month, Russia is conducting a massive drill simulating the defense of its strategic nuclear sites that will involve more than 4,000 soldiers. And as columnist and historian Anne Applebaum recently noted, commentators in Russia are now claiming that Putin is "weighing the possibility of limited nuclear strikes" against targets in eastern Europe, at least creating the impression that the Russian president is keeping his options open.

To deter the possibility of a U.S. nuclear first-strike, the Soviets created a system called Perimeter, also known as "Dead Hand."
The Dead Hand was a computer system that could autonomously launch all of the USSR's nuclear weapons once it was activated, across the entirety of the Soviet Union. 
Dead Hand was a weapon of last resort. It was created to ensure that even if the Soviet leadership was wiped out, a nuclear response could still be launched against the West and NATO in retaliation. 

After Dead Hand was activated by Soviet military officials, "the first thing it does is check the communication lines to work out if there's anyone alive and in charge of the Soviet military," Alok Jha, author ofThe Doomsday Handbooktold National Geographic. "If they're not alive, it takes over." 
If Dead Hand did not detect signs of a preserved military hierarchy, the system would perform a check for signals of a nuclear attack, such as a change in air pressure, extreme light, and radioactivity.
If the system concluded that a nuclear strike had taken place, Dead Hand would proceed to launch all of the remaining nuclear weapons from all of the silos throughout the Soviet Union at targets across the Northern Hemisphere. 

A U.S. security team in Benghazi was held back from immediately responding to the attack on the American diplomatic mission on orders of the top CIA officer there, three of those involved told Fox News’ Bret Baier.
Their account gives a dramatic new turn to what the Obama administration and its allies would like to dismiss as an “old story” – the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

When we see all the evil, meeting of high levels of world governments, this should give us comfort!

Psalm 1 New King James Version (NKJV)

BOOK ONE: Psalms 1—41
The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.