Russia and China have committed to a pair of 2015 naval exercises as a sign of growing military cooperation between the two countries, Russia’s minister of defense said this week.
“We plan to conduct a regular joint naval exercise in the Mediterranean next spring,” said Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, according to the Russian TASS news agency. “Another joint naval drill is planned in the Pacific.”
The announcement from Shoigu follows a Beijing meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan in which the two countries pledged greater military-to-military cooperation against the backdrop of the so-called U.S. rebalance to the Pacific.
“We believe that the main goal of pooling our effort is to shape a collective regional security system,” Shoigu said. “We also expressed concern over U.S. attempts to strengthen its military and political clout in the [Asia-Pacific Region].”
Shoigu did not specify the nature of the exercises but Russia and China completed a bilateral exercise in May.
Joint Sea Exercise 2014 was the third between the Russian Navy and People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) since 2011 and featured 14 surface ships, two submarines, nine fixed wing aircraft as well as helicopters and special operation forces (SOF), state controlled Xinhua news service wrote in May.
The new exercises are part of a trend that, “has visibly expanded and gained a systemic character,” Shoigu said.
Russian president Vladimir Putin indicated the same earlier this year.
“It would be no exaggeration if I said that the cooperation between our two countries is at its highest level in history,” he said in May.
Russia has stepped up its surface presence in Asia in the last few months.
Earlier in October, the Black Sea flagship — guided missile cruiser Moscow (or Moskva) — conducted rare live fire drills in the South China Sea.
Shoigu said Russian deepening military ties with China was essential for regional security.
“Amid a highly volatile world situation, it becomes particularly important to strengthen reliable good-neighborly relations between our countries,” Shoigu said. “This is not only an important factor for security of states but also a contribution to peace and stability on the Eurasian continent and beyond.”
“The GOP-led House overwhelmingly passed bills to audit the Fed in 2012 and 2014. Back in September, it passed with a bipartisan vote of 333-92. Yet, it was basically dead on arrival in the Senate,” she wrote. “For reasons unconfirmed, Harry Reid refused to allow a vote on the bill – even though he cosponsored audit legislation in the 1990s. The Senate companion bill, introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has 31 cosponsors but never even made it out of committee.”
But with Harry Reid no longer in charge of the Senate, she said, “we’re far more likely to get a vote on audit the Fed.”
The fight for the audit dates back years. Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, repeatedly introduced bills calling for an audit that were adopted in the House but went nowhere in the Senate.
Ron Paul previously has said: “Throughout its … 100-year history, the Federal Reserve has presided over the near-complete destruction of the United States dollar. Since 1913 the dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power, aided and abetted by the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy.”
He proposed repeatedly the idea of auditing the Fed to determine exactly what it has been doing and then begin making corrections.With a book titled “End the Fed,” he’s made no secret of his ultimate goal.
In the book, he argues that the Fed “is both corrupt and unconstitutional.”
The book described the Fed as “inflating currency today at nearly a Weimar or Zimbabwe level, a practice that threatens to put us into an inflationary depression where $100 bills are worthless.”
He contends the Fed, created by private interests, is at fault for much of America’s financial woes over the years.
That the Fed is at least partly to blame for the financial problems that have developed in the U.S. seems not to be in dispute.
Bernanke said it was the Fed that caused the Great Depression. It was the longest and worst depression ever experienced by the industrialized Western world. While originating in the U.S., it ended up causing drastic declines in output, severe unemployment and acute deflation in virtually every country on earth.
Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., was a staunch ally of Ron Paul’s legislation to audit the Fed. He has said it’s remarkable that the public knows virtually nothing about an institution with so much power.
“Congress has basically abdicated its duty to control money and the monetary supply and control of our money supply as a nation over to this semi-governmental agency that’s not really governmental,” he said. “In reality, we have had no auditing. We have absolutely no idea what they’re doing over there.”
Broun said the Fed housing policy was partly to blame for the housing bubble and crash.
“They’re still managing our monetary supply,” he said. “They’re creating more and more dollars that have no or very little value behind them. Our dollars are becoming worth less and less. As time goes on, they’re going to be worthless.”