Tuesday, February 3, 2015

U.S. Considers Providing Arms To Ukraine, Greek Stand-Off 'Biggest Risk' To Global Economy

White House Considers Sending Antitank Missiles, Small Arms And Ammo To Ukraine 'To Deter Russia'

While the US government has yet to opine on the recently leaked information during Joe Biden's November trip to Ukraine that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the US is already providing lethal aid to Kiev, and certainly has said absolutely nothing about the presence of US soldiers - either taxpayer funded or mercenary - on Ukraine soil, the topic of legitimizing lethal weapons is once again on the front of the White House agenda. 
According to the WSJ, "The U.S. government is considering providing Javelin antitank missiles, small arms and ammunition to Ukraine, part of an effort to try to deter further aggression by Russia-backed rebels there, according to U.S. officials."
Why now? The official story is that "The Pentagon has long supported providing some lethal aid, but until recently the White House has signaled little interest in such a move to avoid escalating the confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.... An administration official said Susan Rice , the White House national-security adviser, has reopened the discussion, though officials cautioned that no decision has been made."
The one thing holding back the US is the question whether, in the words of the WSJ, "a decision to provide “defensive lethal arms” would prompt Mr. Putin to reduce his support for the pro-Moscow rebels or trigger him to ramp it up, further destabilizing the country."
The unofficial story is that having been caught red-handed in Ukraine, whose proxy civil war between the US and Russia is clear to anyone with half a brain by now, the US is tired of hiding its direct, and quite lethal, involvement and it prepared to risk the diplomatic fallout from officially supporting with weapons yet another foreign nations. Because the US support of Iraq's army wasn't enough of a lesson, if only for US taxpayers: recall that to General Dynamics, the ISIS tragicomedy has played out precisely as expected, and has been quite lucrative to boot. 

Why now? The official story is that "The Pentagon has long supported providing some lethal aid, but until recently the White House has signaled little interest in such a move to avoid escalating the confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.... An administration official said Susan Rice , the White House national-security adviser, has reopened the discussion, though officials cautioned that no decision has been made."
The one thing holding back the US is the question whether, in the words of the WSJ, "a decision to provide “defensive lethal arms” would prompt Mr. Putin to reduce his support for the pro-Moscow rebels or trigger him to ramp it up, further destabilizing the country."

What is odd, is America's desire to get involved into yet another war on a different continent, especially when the purveyors of western ideals on said continent themselves are quite unwilling to get involved:











 Chancellor George Osborne said on Monday that a stand-off between Greece and the euro zone over Greek debt was fast becoming the biggest risk to the global economy. 

"We had a constructive discussion, and it is clear that the stand-off between Greece and the euro zone is the greatest risk to the global economy," Osborne said after meeting Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis in London.

"I urge the Greek finance minister to act responsibly but it's also important that the euro zone has a better plan for jobs and growth," Osborne said.

"It is a rising threat to the British economy. And we have got to make sure that in Europe as in Britain, we choose competence over chaos."





The Russian Air Force (Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily - VVS) has conducted a series of 'long-range aviation patrols' with its Tupolev Tu-95 'Bear' strategic bombers over the Atlantic Ocean and Norwegian Sea in the west and the Barents Sea in the east, state media announced on 29 January.

The flights were conducted out of Engels Air Force Base in the Saratov region on the same day as the announcement, the TASS news agency reported. During the more than 19-hour missions, the Tu-95MS bombers were accompanied by Ilyushin Il-78 'Midas' tankers and MiG-31 'Foxhound' interceptors.
According to the reports, the aircraft remained in international airspace throughout the patrol, although they were shadowed by UK Eurofighter Typhoons, Norwegian Lockheed Martin F-16s, and French Dassault Mirage jets for portions of the flight.


The current crisis over Ukraine means that such 'patrols' are at the highest level they have been since 1992. Over recent months Russian bomber flights over European air space in particular have increased markedly, and in November 2014 the Russian president announced that long-range overflights spanning the Arctic region to the Gulf of Mexico soon would begin.

Apart from the increased number of flights, what sets these patrols apart from those conducted in previous years is the different aircraft types involved. Whereas in the past the VVS would typically send just a bomber or two with perhaps a tanker in support, now we are seeing the bombers accompanied by interceptors and sometimes even surveillance aircraft.

Although Russia is keen to stress that it is not doing anything illegal and has every right to transit international airspace (something other countries, including the United States, do regularly themselves), what makes the Russian flights especially concerning is that they are taking place with no flight plan filed, no transponders, and with no communication with civilian air traffic control (ATC).







Russia has announced plans for joint military drills with North Korea this year, VOA reported on Saturday.

Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said at a meeting with top brass at the Russian Defense Ministry on Friday that he would hold talks with defense ministry officials from Brazil, Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam, adding Russia would stage joint drills with those countries mobilizing its Army, Navy, and Air Force. 

This is likely to create fresh tensions reminiscent of the Cold War on the Korean Peninsula since South Korea in turn conducts several massive military drills with the U.S. every year. 

Cho Han-bum of the Korea Institute for National Unification said, "Russia and the North have common interests in that Russia wants to resist U.S. pressure and the North opposes the joint South Korea-U.S. exercises."

Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watched a joint Navy-Air Force exercise to prepare for strikes on hypothetical U.S. military targets at sea on Saturday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said.

During the exercise, Kim reportedly said the North will not sit still while "the rabid dogs are openly barking."

The drill comes after U.S. President Barack Obama predicted the eventual collapse of the North Korean regime. 





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