Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Russia Withdrawal From Syria? Not So Fast, N Korean Leader Announces Nuclear Warhead Test Imminent, Chinese Can Limit U.S. Combat Worldwide With A Few Keystrokes

One has to wonder what is really going on here...Many outlets are reporting that Russia is pulling out of Syria but its the details that matter and in this case it looks like the various announcements are being overblown. The details matter - note the bolded statements below for the true story. It looks like Russia is scaling back the air attacks but thats about all. The bases Russia has established on Syria will remain operational and staffed. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued an order to begin withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 15, TASS reported Monday evening. “I think that the tasks set before the defense ministry have been generally accomplished,” Putin said on Monday at a meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Syrian President told Putin by telephone that he was ready to start a political process in Syria as early as possible, the Kremlin press service said.
“With the participation of Russian military, Syrian troops and patriotic forces in Syria have managed to turn the tide in the fight against international terrorism and take the initiative on practically all directions,” Putin stated.
Russian bases in Syria will continue to operated, Putin told the defense and foreign ministers. “Our bases — the naval base in Tartus and the airbase at the Khmeimim airfield — will operate in a routine mode. They are to be safely protected from the land, from the sea and from air.”

Russian servicemen will stay in Syria to engage in monitoring the ceasefire, Putin added.

“I hope today’s decision will be a good signal for all parties in the conflict. I hope it will significantly increase the trust of all participants in the process,” Putin said. “I ask the Russian Foreign Ministry to intensify Russia’s participation in organizing the peace process to solve the Syrian problem,” he added.

The final limits of the military withdrawal, five months after the Moscow embarked on its intervention, were not defined. But the Kremlin did say that Moscow would retain a military presence at the naval port of Tartous and the Hmeymim airbase outside Latakia. This left the bulk of Russian military aerial and naval presence in situ; Putin is unlikely to give up this strong foothold in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Russian president did not fix a timeline for the military withdrawal – only its start. Neither did he promise to discontinue all military operations in Syria.
He did say only that “The task put before the defense ministry and Russian armed forces has on the whole been fulfilled” and he spoke of a “fundamental turnaround in the fight against international terrorism.”

A sign of where Moscow as heading now was disclosed by his order to the Russian foreign Minister to “Intensify our participation in a peaceful solution of the Syrian conflict”

DEBKAfile’s intelligence circles noted that, after Putin’s bolt from the blue, Russian warships in the Caspian and Mediterranean Seas remain ready to interfere in the fighting from a distance, if the Assad regime’s situation deteriorates. 

Tehran wants the war to continue without pause. After walking handed in hand with Moscow in the Syrian arena for a time, the Iranians were aghast to find Putin turning aside and entering into collaboration with the Obama administration for an end to hostilities and a political solution to the conflict.

As for Assad, he has no intention of playing along with Putin’s plans for him to step down and hand over rule in Damascus in stages. Assad does not mean to quit at any time.

The Pentagon’s new budget for 2017 has created a storm of controversy in the U.S. The objections primarily concern the large-scale plans to modernize the country’s nuclear arsenal. In this interview with Mikhail Ulyanov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department for non-proliferation and arms control, he explains why Washington’s plans have also raised concerns in Moscow.
In a recent interview, U.S. Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller said that the modernization of American tactical weapons in Europe will help the U.S. reduce the overall amount of nuclear bombs located on the European continent and will not lead to the increase of these weapons’ military potential. How would you comment on this?

It’s true that, in accordance with the updated 2010 nuclear doctrine, the U.S. has begun modernizing its nuclear aerial bombs in Europe, and is planning to create a unified B61-12 version based on the already existing four B-61 versions.
The new bomb, which will supposedly go into service in 2020, will have increased precision and will be suitable for both strategic and tactical aviation.
The U.S. is trying to create the impression that there is nothing extraordinary about this.
However, the analysis of the characteristics of the new aerial bombs indicates that putting them into service may considerably lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons. Instead of being a means of deterrence, such weapons are potentially becoming battlefield weapons, as was the case during the Cold War.

Latest hostile measure comes after weeks of growing tensions between North Korea and the US-South Korea following Pyongyang's recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared that Pyongyang would conduct a nuclear warhead test in the coming days and test launch ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the official KCNA news agency reported on Tuesday. 
Kim made the announcement while supervising a successful simulated test of the atmospheric reentry of a ballistic missile that measured the "thermodynamic structural stability of newly-developed heat-resisting materials."

Kim's regime countered last week that the country has, in fact, miniaturized a nuclear warhead. If successful, the test would signify that North Korea has become an existential threat to the people of South Korea and, potentially, those living on the US mainland.

On the central bank front, we are headed where Japan has been over the past twenty years or so: more and more easy money in a quixotic quest to push interest rates into negative territory, a truly crazy idea. The craziness of this stems from the fact that the entire academic economics profession abandoned Keynesianism in the 1970s. Its failure to explain stagflation was considered to be the final nail in the Keynesian coffin. Franco Modiglianis presidential address to the American Economic Association in the late '70s was a remarkable white-flag-of-surrender speech by one of the prominent Keynesians. He confessed that Keynesian “stabilization policy” had been a failure. Then, like a bad horror movie, Keynesianism reared its ugly head fifteen or twenty years later as though it had never been discredited.Thus we now have the crazed policy of negative interest rates based on the thoroughly-discredited idea that only “aggregate demand” matters, and if we can just have the central bank push interest rates low enough, people will spend more and businesses will invest more, and all will be good. After the crash of 2008, caused by these same Fed policies, I recall the old Keynesian propagandist/economist Alice Rivlin on TV advising everyone to go out and spend wildly on anything. “It doesn't matter what you spend it on,” she said, “just spend it.”

Yes, there is a war on cash being promoted by the Fed, in particular, and the government, in general(and its lapdog supporters in the media). The main reason for this is that if people can hold cash, it makes it more difficult for the Fed to centrally plan the economy. Also, Keynesianism has always been at war with savings since its principle tenet is that savings are bad, consumption is good (there you have all of Keynesianism in a nutshell). This began with the silly theory of the “paradox of thrift” that said that savings is harmful to the economy; therefore, the more we save now, the poorer we will all become, and the less able we will be to save (and consume) in the future. The Keynesian central planning authorities at the Fed and elsewhere would like to see a cashless society because keeping cash can be a form of savings instead of consumption. I think we are headed toward a cashless society unless the public wakes up and begins to protest this.

An important reason why the state would like to see a cashless society is that it would make it easier to seize our wealth electronically. It would be a modern-day version of FDR’s confiscation of privately-held gold in the 1930s. The state will make more and more use of “threats of terrorism” to seize financial assets. It is already talking about expanding the definition of “terrorist threat” to include critics of government like myself. The American state already confiscates financial assets under the protection of various guises such as the PATRIOT Act. I first realized this years ago when I paid for a new car with a personal check that bounced. The car dealer informed me that the IRS had, without my knowledge, taken 20 percent of the funds that I had transferred from a mutual fund to my bank account in order to buy the car. The IRS told me that it was doing this to deter terrorism, and that I could count it toward next year’s tax bill.
Property rights in the US have been under assault for a very long time and the assault is proceeding at an accelerated rate with such monstrosities as “Obamacare,” which forces Americans to buy government-prescribed “health insurance,” and all the Soviet-style regulation and regimentation of financial markets in the wake of the government-created Great Recession of 2008.

According to high level sources, the Chinese Military Industrial Complex can cripple U.S. combat and response operations worldwide, by jamming or destroying U.S. satellites currently in play, using space-based and earth-based weapons technology which the Chinese have been perfecting in recent years.
“China military planners expect to use a combination of kinetic, electronic and cyber attacks against satellites or ground support structures in a conflict.,” Bell Gertz reported for the Washington Post in the late fall of 2015.
Additionally Chinese SC-19 and CSS-X-11 missiles were in fact successfully tested as far back as Jan. 11, 2010, possibly as early as 2007, which means the latest generation of missiles are likely barnburners and pose a grave threat.

The online publication Global Security reported:

The US Intelligence Community assessed that on 11 January 2010, China launched an SC-19 missile from the Korla Missile Test Complex in western China (a new location for SC-19 activity) and successfully intercepted a near-simultaneously launched CSS-X-11 medium-range ballistic missile launched from the Shuangchengzi Space and Missile Center approximately 1,100 kilometers east of Korla. The CSS-X-11 was launched from Shuangchengzi at 1150:00Z; the SC-19 was launched from Korla at 1152:42Z. U.S. missile warning satellites detected each missile’s powered flight as well as the intercept, which occurred at 1157:31Z at an altitude of approximately 250 kilometers. No debris from this test remains on-orbit.

This means that war-gaming on earth and in space has just become that much more complex, and the whole entire playbook that world governments were operating from has been rendered useless in the evolving area.

Gertz wrote:
“These systems consist of a satellite armed with a weapon such as an explosive charge, fragmentation device, kinetic energy weapon, laser, radio frequency weapon, jammer or robotic arm,” the report says.
The co-orbital arms maneuver in space close to satellite targets and then deploy weapons to disable or destroy them. They also can crash into satellites or grab them with a robotic arm.
When used against an enemy in conjunction with a massive cyber-attack or EPM strike, the consequences of the Chinese technology may be irreversible for a would be crippled nation.

1 comment:

Caver said...

Hummmm, maybe an indicator. Just got back from NC Primary Voting and trying to get a feel from the polling workers and other voters.

Seems a good to heavy turnout.

Mood is a little ugly (mad, betrayed, lied to).

Indications most voters registered as Unaffiliated are selecting the Republican ballot.