Monday, May 12, 2014

'Framework' Of Future War: More Wars And Rumors Of War

Like the proverbial frog in the pot - coming to a boil so slowly that the frog doesn't even notice the boiling point - similarly we have become conditioned to accept the number of ongoing wars, planned wars, covert wars, proxy wars, and any other kind of war as the norm. 

Just consider that Libya, Syria, Egypt, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Northern Africa, Lebanon, N. Korea,  China, Russia, Japan, U.S., and Iran, just to name a few - are all engaged in active warfare either directly, through proxies, or are currently threatening war with other countries (China-Japan-Taiwan, Russia-Ukraine-U.S., U.S.-Syria-Russia-Iran, North Korea-South Korea, etc.) or are engaged in open civil war internally (Syria, Egypt, Ukraine, etc). 

Undeniably, there is a lot of talk about war these days. Just as Jesus warned us - "there will be wars and rumors of war."

This first article digs into the next wars and how they will be fought. Once again, it lines up excatly as we would expect from biblical prophecy:

There is no doubt that the U.S. military has the ability to engage any foreign enemy and leave it dismantled or utterly destroyed. This is one of the key reasons for why Russia and China have thus far remained on the sidelines as it relates to direct military conflict.

But according to one intelligence insider, though our country is unmatched on the traditional battlefield, a strike on the United States could come in the form of coordinated asymmetric attacks that would significantly level the playing field and lay waste to life as we know it in modern-day America.

Jim Rickards, author of The Death of Money, knows a thing or two about how foreign governments are approaching the question of America’s global hegemony. He has worked closely with U.S. intelligence agencies for decades and in 2007 was the operational director of the country’s first ever financial war games. According to Rickards, don’t expect our foreign enemies to be firing missiles at major cities any time soon. If an attack is to come to our shores it won’t come in the form of bombs and bullets. At least not at first.

In this absolutely must-watch interview with Future Money Trends, Jim Rickards delves into scenarios that will change the very face of our world over the next decade. He explains the complexities involving the various geo-strategies currently at play and provides a realistic view of the escalations we can expect to occur going forward as East and West face off on the globally inter-connected battlefield of the early 21st century.

But when you move over to what we call asymmetric warfare, or unrestricted warfare, what is that? That includes things like cyber warfare, financial warfare, weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological, radiological weapons, those types of things. It’s a much more level playing field.

So this is how you have to think about escalation and end games, and what technically what we would call the game theoretic context within which this is playing out. I’m not sure the U.S is very good at that. I mean the U.S is very good at these kinds of financial warfare. I’m not sure they’re very good at the kind of geo-strategic and theoretic thinking that I’m describing to your listeners.

Right now the United States is actively conducting financial warfare against Russia. As Jim notes in the above interview, we have begun seizing the assets of Russian officials and are working to implement sanctions on the global level. Vladimir Putin may not be planning to launch nuclear strikes at U.S. cities as a result, but what if the Obama administration crosses a line that shouldn’t be crossed? Could Putin launch a counter attack in the cyber world? Perhaps, as noted by Rickards, he would give the order to take down our stock exchanges, a move that would wreak havoc across the entire world.

Former Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano has warned that a cyber attack on the U.S. power grid or utility infrastructure is inevitable. Sure, it could be instigated by rogue hackers, but for widespread success in such a scenario it will likely come in the form of a state sponsored asymmetric attack that may also involve other non-kinetic means.

Today what we have is mutually-assured financial destruction. So the U.S. can absolutely use financial weapons against Russia, there’s a lot of things we can do. But if we do anything beyond tokens, a token would be some Oligarch doesn’t get to go to the Super bowl, or you freeze the assets of some minor, mid-level guy who doesn’t have any assets, those are token sanctions.

But if you deliver these serious sanctions, you can expect Russia to escalate. Now initially, I thought the U.S. would understand this construct, this theoretic construct, of escalation, further escalation, ultimate mutually-assured financial destruction, and not go very far. But this morning, as we speak, the U.S. has announced sanctions against Igor Sechin.

That’s serious, he’s the real deal. So now my expectation, using the frame-work I described, is that Russia will strike back in some way

The United States was deeply involved in the Ukrainian revolution from the outset. Moscow, not one to take things lying down as the west moved in on a former Soviet Satellite, responded by deploying over 100,000 troops to the border and annexing Crimea. The U.S. subsequently moved to implement financial sanctions against Russia’s top political leaders and are reportedly looking into the personal assets of President Putin himself. The Chinese jumped into the fray by voicing their support for Russia through coming monetary changes and warned that these sanctions could well backfire against the United States. A few days later, President Obama deployed US troops to Poland and other NATO allies. Now, as we learned this week, Russian strategic bombers are making fly-by’s along our West Coast.

Slowly but surely this conflict is escalating.

What comes next is anybody’s guess, but we’re hardpressed to find any scenario in which the United States or Russia de-escalate the tension.

Over coming weeks, months and years we should fully expect a continued escalation, eventually culminating in physical warfare.

Donetsk Warns Ukraine Army Located In The East To 'Leave In 48 Hours' Or Face War

With the US having voiced its support for Ukraine's "anti-terrorist" operations, and Russia strongly supportive of pro-Russian people's decisions to regional self-determination, the threats coming from the newly independent regions are a concern (that markets clearly do not care about):
Ukrainian military forces have 48 hours to leave the region or Donetsk own "anti-terrorist" forces will fight. Of course, with the US already saying the referendums are illegal and not recognizing them, we suspect it will be time for more sanctions soon (despite the lessons below).

Insurgent group army of so-called Donetsk People’s Republic “will start its own anti-terrorist operation in Donetsk region” against Ukrainian military forces if they don’t heed seperatist army chief Igor Girkin’s 48-hour ultimatum to leave or obey him, head of seperatist group, Denis Pushilin, says by phone.

Officials: 2nd U.S. Case Of MERS Reported

Health officials have confirmed a second U.S. case of a mysterious virus that has sickened hundreds in the Middle East.

The latest case is not an American - he is a resident of Saudi Arabia, visiting Florida, who is now in an Orlando hospital.
He was diagnosed with MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Sunday night. It is a respiratory illness that begins with flu-like fever and cough but can lead to shortness of breath, pneumonia and death.

Fortunately, the U.S. cases so far have not been severe. The first case, a man in Indiana, was released from a hospital late last week. And the second patient is doing well, officials said. The two cases are not linked, officials said.
"The risk to the public remains very low," said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
MERS is a respiratory illness that begins with flu-like fever and cough but can lead to shortness of breath, pneumonia and death.

Most cases have been in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere in the Middle East. But earlier this month a first U.S. case was diagnosed in a man who traveled from Saudi Arabia to Indiana.

That man, an American, was a health-care worker at a hospital in Saudi Arabia's capital city who flew to the United States on April 24 on a plane that originated in Riyadh, stopped in London and then landed in Chicago. The man took a bus to Munster, Indiana where he became sick and went to a hospital on April 28.

He improved and was released from a Munster hospital on Friday. Tests of people who were around the man have all proved negative, health officials have said.

Health officials now must track down fellow travelers who were around the newest case, and this time it will be more challenging: There were more flights involved.

This man also was a health-care worker at a hospital where MERS cases were being treated, the CDC said. He traveled on May 1 on flights from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, first to London, then to Boston, then to Atlanta, and finally to Orlando. He went to a hospital on May 8 and was placed in isolation.

The first flight was Saudi Airlines flight 113 to London, according to a Public Health England press release. The U.S. government did not identify the flight information for the other legs.

Health officials did not immediately release additional detail about his travels or his week in Florida, except to say he was not at any theme parks and remained in the Orlando area to see family.

However, health officials are trying to contact as many as 500 people who were on the three flights within the United States to let them know the situation and watch for symptoms. People on the flight from Jeddah to London also will be contacted, CDC officials said.

MERS belongs to the coronavirus family that includes the common cold and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which caused some 800 deaths globally in 2003.

The MERS virus has been found in camels, but officials don't know how it is spreading to humans. It can spread from person to person, but officials believe that happens only after close contact. Not all those exposed to the virus become ill.

But it appears to be unusually lethal - some estimates have suggested it has killed nearly a third of the people it sickened. The estimate has been dropping as health officials have begun diagnosing more and more cases with less severe illness. But the estimated fatality rate for MERS still is far higher than what's seen with seasonal flu or other routine infections.

Fortunately, it is not as contagious as flu, measles or other diseases. There is no vaccine or cure and there's no specific treatment except to relieve symptoms.

Overall, 538 people have been reported to have the respiratory illness, including 145 people who have died. So far, all had ties to the Middle East region or to people who traveled there. As many as one-fifth of cases have been in health-care workers, Schuchat said.

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