The US' decision to deploy its state-of-the-art F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to Europe is nothing more than a provocative move, according to Richard Labeviere, chief editor of the Defense magazine of the French Institute of Higher Studies of National Defense.
Richard Labeviere, chief editor of the Defense magazine of the French Institute of Higher Studies of National Defense, has described the planned US F-22 deployment in Europe as a NATO provocation, which he said is seeking to bolster its global clout.
"There are several aspects related to this decision, which, briefly speaking, is a provocation on the part of NATO and indicates the growth in the alliance's presence in Europe and other parts of the world", Labeviere said.
According to him, Washington's decision to deploy what he referred to as the "American Rafale" was driven by commercial motives.
"The Americans are looking for a 'showcase', namely, the opportunity to show this sophisticated aircraft in action so as to contribute to its exports to other countries," Labeviere said.
He added that the F-22s took part in military operations in Iraq and Syria several times, and that Washington now seeks to arouse the interest of European customers, including those in Poland.
The second aspect pertains to the geopolitical sphere, Labeviere explained, referring to relevant requests by the Baltic states, including Lithuania, which has repeatedly voiced concern about the alleged threat emanating from Russia.
Also, the F-22s are being deployed in connection with the change in the situation in eastern Ukraine after the Ukrainian army's recent aggression against Donbass forces, according to Labeviere, who specifically pointed to Washington's desire to widen its clout around the globe.
"In addition to the above-mentioned rearrangement of NATO forces in Europe, the US is increasing its presence in the Asia-Pacific [region] and the Arctic," he said.
He recalled that F-22 jets have already been deployed at Thule Air Base in Greenland, in an apparent response to the modernization of a Russian Armed Forces base in the Russian city of Murmansk.
In late June, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced plans to send dozens of tanks, Bradley armored fighting vehicles and self-propelled howitzers to allied countries in the Baltics and Eastern Europe; according to Carter, the goal is to retaliate against alleged actions by Russia in Ukraine's east.
The United States plans to increase the number of military and humanitarian drills it conducts in the Asia-Pacific as part of a new strategy to counter China's rapid expansion in the South China Sea, the Philippine military said on Wednesday.
Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, highlighted key aspects of the Pentagon's freshly drafted Asia Pacific Maritime Security Strategy during talks with his Filipino counterpart, General Hernando Iriberri, during a visit to Manila.
Colonel Restituto Padilla, a military spokesman, told journalists that the report outlined Washington's set of actions in the disputed South China Sea and East China Sea, focusing on the protection of "freedom of seas", deterring conflict and coercion, and promoting adherence to international law.
China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims.
A military source, who was in the meeting between Harris and Iriberri, told Reuters the U.S. and the Philippines are expected to increase the size, frequency and sophistication of exercises in the region.
Since China's land reclamation efforts began in December 2013, it has reclaimed more than 2,900 acres (1,170 hectares) of land as of June 2015, the Pentagon said last week in a report on its Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy.
The reclamation campaign significantly outweighed efforts by other claimants in size, pace and nature, the Pentagon report said.
China says the outposts will have undefined military purposes, as well as help with maritime search and rescue, disaster relief and navigation.
This is exactly the type of market behavior that we would expect to see during the early stages of a major financial crisis. In every major market downturn throughout history there were big ups, big downs and giant waves of momentum, and this time around will not be any different.
As I have explained repeatedly, markets tend to go up when things are calm, and they tend to go down when things get really choppy. During a market meltdown, we fully expect to see days when the stock market absolutely soars. Waves of panic selling are often followed by waves of panic buying. As you will see below, six of the ten best single day gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average happened during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. So don’t be fooled for a moment by a very positive day for stocks like we are seeing on Tuesday. It is all part of the dance.
At one point on Tuesday, the Dow was up over 400 points, and many of the talking heads on television were proclaiming that the stock market had “recovered”. This is something that I predicted would happen yesterday…
And if stocks go up tomorrow (which they probably should), all of those same “experts” will be proclaiming that the “correction” is over and that everything is now fine.
No, everything is not “fine” now. The extreme volatility that we are witnessing just tells us that more trouble is coming. Early on Tuesday the market was “burning up energy” as short-term investors sought to “buy the dip”. But now that wave of panic buying is subsiding and the Dow is only up 240 points as I write this.
Overall, the Dow is still down more than 2,200 points from the peak of the market. Even though I specifically warned that a market crash was coming, I didn’t expect the Dow to be down this far in late August. Even after the “rally” we witnessed today, we are still way ahead of schedule.
The truth is that what we have seen so far is just the warm up act.
The main event will unfold during the months of September through December, and right now most people could not even conceive of the things that we are going to see in 2016.
But all along, there are going to be days when stocks fly higher. As I mentioned above, many of the “best days” in stock market history occurred right in the middle of the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.
And all of the technical indicators are still screaming that U.S. stocks have a long, long way to fall. For example, just check out this chart. The long-term analysis has not changed one bit.
Often, it is the short-term news that drives markets on any particular day. Tuesday began with another massive stock selloff in Asia…
What we can’t account for are “black swan events” which could greatly accelerate this financial crisis.
A war in the Middle East, a major natural disaster or a terror attack involving weapons of mass destruction are all examples of the kinds of things that could turn this market crash into full-blown market implosion.
As we move into the critical month of September 2015, I think that it is safe to say that we should all be ready to expect the unexpected. Our world is becoming increasingly unstable, and I am extremely concerned about the period of time that we are heading into.
The nice, comfortable period of relative stability that we have been experiencing for the past few years has come to an end.
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