For those of us who are watching the Gog-Magog alliance:
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday holds talks in Ankara with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to tighten links which have survived potentially grave disputes over the Syria and Ukraine crises.
The talks are expected to focus on energy cooperation — with Ankara seeking not only a reduction in gas prices from Russia but also greater import volumes ahead of the winter — as well key diplomatic issues.
It will be the first time the pair have met face-to-face since Erdogan moved from the post of prime minister to president in August, the same job change that Putin himself made in 2012.
Russia and Turkey appear so far to have successfully shielded their strong relations from potentially damaging disputes over the crises in Syria and Ukraine.
Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) published a video report of immense implications – possibly the first national broadcaster in the West to admit that the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) is supplied not by “black market oil” or “hostage ransoms” but billions of dollars worth of supplies carried into Syria across NATO member Turkey’s borders via hundreds of trucks a day.
The report titled, “‘IS’ supply channels through Turkey,” confirms what has been reported by geopolitical analysts since at least as early as 2011 – that NATO member Turkey has allowed a torrent in supplies, fighters, and weapons to cross its borders unopposed to resupply ISIS positions inside of Syria.
Local residents and merchants interviewed by Germany’s DW admitted that commerce with Syria benefiting them had ended since the conflict began and that the supplies trucks carry as they stream across the border originates from “western Turkey.” The DW report does not elaborate on what “western Turkey” means, but it most likely refers to Ankara, various ports used by NATO, and of course NATO’s Incirlik Air Base.
While DW’s report claims no one knows who is arranging the shipments, it does reveal that the very torrent of trucks its film crew documented was officially denied by the Turkish government in Ankara. It is a certainty that Turkey is not only aware of this, but directly complicit, as is NATO who has feigned a desire to defeat ISIS but has failed to expose and uproot ISIS’ multinational sponsorship and more importantly, has refused to cut its supply lines – an elementary prerequisite of any military strategy.
Russia is launching a new national defense facility, which is meant to monitor threats to national security in peacetime, but would take control of the entire country in case of war.
The new top-security, fortified facility in Moscow includes several large war rooms, a brand new supercomputer in the heart of a state-of-the-art data processing center, underground facilities, secret transport routes for emergency evacuation and a helicopter pad, which was deployed for the first time on Nov. 24 on the Moscow River. The Defense Ministry won’t disclose the price tag for the site, but it is estimated at the equivalent of several billion dollars.
The new National Defense Control Center (NDCC) is a major upgrade on what was previously called the Central Command of the General Staff, a unit tasked with round-the-clock monitoring of military threats against Russia, particularly ballistic missile launches, and deployment of strategic nuclear weapons. It was roughly a counterpart to the US National Military Command Center, the Pentagon’s principal command and control site.
The NDCC inherits all those functions, but also has plenty of extra roles as well. In peacetime, an additional task is to monitor all of Russia’s important military assets, from hardware being produced by defense contractors to the state of oil refineries, to weather conditions and their effect on transportation routes.
And if Russia does get into a war, the center would act as a major communication hub and a form of wartime government, delivering reports to the country’s military command and giving orders to all ministries, state-owned companies and other organizations, according to the needs of the armed forces.
“The creation of NDCC was one of the biggest military projects of the past few years. The closest analogy in the past in terms of functions and tasks was the Commander-in-Chief HQ in 1941-45, which centralized all controls of both the military machine and the economy of the nation in the interests of the war,” Lt. General Mikhail Mizintsev, the NDCC chief, told Lenta.ru in an interview
If World War III were to break out today, the U.S. would lose to its enemies, both foreign and domestic, that have conspired to change the balance of power on the planet.
There is no doubt that the Russians are being antagonistic and provocative with regard to their military activities. America and her NATO allies should and do feel threatened by an ongoing series of Russian military provocations accompanied by a record setting Russian military buildup.
Russia Military Activity Demonstrates Deliberate Preparations for World War
The Russians just announced that a full squadron of ships from the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet is holding drills in the English Channel! NATO has to be very nervous as war games have historically been used to launch an attack.
In what can be labeled a strategic game changer, the Russians have announced that they are going to sell to their newest and most powerful ally, China, a sophisticated air defense system. This is a highly significant development because the Russians have always been reluctant to supply the Chinese with high level military equipment because they do not trust China. This technology transfer of highly sophisticated air defense clearly speaks to the fact that Russia believes that it will be fighting the United States long before it will have to face off with the Chinese. And who are the Chinese anticipating that will be attempting to drop bombs on their homeland? These developments identify the antagonists who will comprise the opposing sides of World War III: Russia, China with an assist from the BRICS vs. The United States and what’s left of NATO. And, yes, I believe that Germany will sit out this conflict on the sidelines.
Can there be any doubt that China and Russia are cooperating with regard to their efforts towards gearing up for a war with the United States? The Russians must be feeling desperate to put the Chinese on equal footing to the Russians with regard to an all-important air defense system.
Moscow is in the midst of the most expensive weapons modernization program in world history. From the period of 2016 through 2025, Russia’s defense spending is expected to reach $540 billion. No wonder Putin is “borrowing” from Russian retirement funds.
Much of the money is being spent making much of Russia’s nuclear arsenal “go stealth”, in which by 2016, Russian nuclear missiles could hit targets without being detected prior to striking the desired target. So much for mutually assured destruction (MAD).
Israel’s government was on the verge of collapse Sunday night as a split over a controversial new law designating the country as a Jewish state deepened into an all-out assault by cabinet rivals on Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister.
Mr. Netanyahu signalled that he was ready to call an early general election to stifle the rebellion, led by ministers from centrist coalition partners to his right-wing Likud Party.
He lashed out angrily after his finance minister, Yair Lapid, the leader of the Yesh Atid party, publicly accused him of playing “petty politics” while ignoring weighty issues such as the budget and Israel’s foreign relations, in the latest of a series of rancorous exchanges.
“Recently, hardly a day passes without us running into diktats or threats of resignation, or ultimatums and such, as ministers attack the government and its prime minister,” Mr. Netanyahu told Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting.
“I hope that we will be able to return to proper conduct. This is what the public expects of us because only thus is it possible to run the country, and if not, we will draw conclusions.”
His comments were the clearest sign yet that the country was heading toward an early election, less than two years after Mr. Netanyahu formed a mostly right-wing coalition in which Mr. Lapid headed the second-biggest party.
The combative Mr. Netanyahu has faced falling approval ratings but opinion surveys indicate that Likud would again emerge as the largest party in a fresh poll, giving him a fourth term as premier. After days of talk of a “coalition crisis,” sources close to the Israeli leader said the country was “98% into an election,” the liberal newspaper Haaretzreported.
The open talk of an election followed threats from Tzipi Livni, the justice minister, and Mr. Lapid to resign if a controversial bill to declare Israel “the nation state of the Jewish people” became law.
Although its 1948 Declaration of Independence already does this, critics say enshrining it in law would undermine Israel’s democratic character, enrage the country’s Arab minority, and possibly enable future illiberal legislation.
The prime minister says the law is necessary to fend off Palestinian opposition to Jews’ right to live in Israel, but Mr. Lapid and Ms. Livni say it is a threat to the country’s democratic character since it would reduce Arabs to second-class citizenship, and that it has been introduced for electioneering purposes.
Amid the political manoeuvring, a parliamentary vote on the bill scheduled for Wednesday is likely to be postponed, government insiders suggested.
The prime minister will decide in the next few days whether he can heal his fractured coalition government or call an early election, one of his advisers said Monday.
"In the coming days, Netanyahu is going to find out whether he can govern within the current coalition," Nir Hefetz told Army Radio.