Russian attack submarines, the most in two decades, are prowling the coastlines of Scandinavia and Scotland, the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic in what Western military officials say is a significantly increased presence aimed at contesting American and NATO undersea dominance.
Adm. Mark Ferguson, the United States Navy’s top commander in Europe, said last fall that the intensity of Russian submarine patrols had risen by almost 50 percent over the past year, citing public remarks by the Russian Navy chief, Adm. Viktor Chirkov. Analysts say that tempo has not changed since then.
The patrols are the most visible sign of a renewed interest in submarine warfare by President Vladimir V. Putin, whose government has spent billions of dollars for new classes of diesel and nuclear-powered attack submarines that are quieter, better armed and operated by more proficient crews than in the past.
The tensions are part of an expanding rivalry and military buildup, with echoes of the Cold War, between the United States and Russia. Moscow is projecting force not only in the North Atlantic but also in Syria and Ukraine and building up its nuclear arsenal and cyberwarfare capacities in what American military officials say is an attempt to prove its relevance after years of economic decline and retrenchment.
Independent American military analysts see the increased Russian submarine patrols as a legitimate challenge to the United States and NATO. Even short of tensions, there is the possibility of accidents and miscalculations. But whatever the threat, the Pentagon is also using the stepped-up Russian patrols as another argument for bigger budgets for submarines and anti-submarine warfare.
American naval officials say that in the short term, the growing number of Russian submarines, with their ability to shadow Western vessels and European coastlines, will require more ships, planes and subs to monitor them. In the long term, the Defense Department has proposed $8.1 billion over the next five years for “undersea capabilities,” including nine new Virginia-class attack submarines that can carry up to 40 Tomahawk cruise missiles, more than triple the capacity now.
“We’re back to the great powers competition,” Adm. John M. Richardson, the chief of naval operations, said in an interview.
Last week, unarmed Russian warplanes repeatedly buzzed a Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea and at one point came within 30 feet of the warship, American officials said. Last year some of Russia’s new diesel submarines launched four cruise missiles at targets in Syria.
Mr. Putin’s military modernization program also includes new intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as aircraft, tanks and air defense systems.
Russian submarines and spy ships now operate near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians could attack those lines in times of tension or conflict. Russia is also building an undersea unmanned drone capable of carrying a small, tactical nuclear weapon to use against harbors or coastal areas, American military and intelligence analysts said.
“In the Russian naval structure, submarines are the crown jewels for naval combat power,” said Magnus Nordenman, director of the Atlantic Council’s trans-Atlantic security initiative in Washington. “The U.S. and NATO haven’t focused on anti-submarine operations lately, and they’ve let that skill deteriorate.”
“We are not quite back in a Cold War,” said James G. Stavridis, a retired admiral and the former supreme allied commander of NATO, who is now dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. “But I sure can see one from where we are standing.”
ISIS wants to launch chemical or nuclear attacks – EU/NATO security chiefs
NATO and EU security chiefs say Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) wants to use chemical or nuclear weapons to attack Britain.
During the Security and Counter Terror conference in London on Tuesday and Wednesday, a group of policing and counter terrorism experts delivered a dire warning.
Jorge Berto Silva, the European Commission’s deputy chief of counter-terrorism, told the Telegraph that “with CBRN [chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear materials], there is a justified concern.”
His view was shared by Dr Jamie Shea, NATO’s deputy head of emerging threats, who told the conference “we know terrorists are trying to acquire these substances.”
Shea also warned the Islamist group may be splitting into two with a Syria and Iraq-based ‘state’ and a network of terror cells in Europe.
Their comments come as police authorities unveil plans to train a million UK workers to deal with terror attacks over the next 12 months. A group of former security officials have also launched an initiative to examine Britain’s borders.
The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) wants to see the number of workers trained to respond to terrorist incidents increased from its current rate of 100,000 employees per year.
Detective Chief Superintendent Scott Wilson, police counter-terrorism coordinator, is expected to announce the expansion of Project Griffin in the near future.
In an open letter to the Telegraph, two former Metropolitan Police commanders, MPs and a former head of counter-terrorism command said that regardless of whether Britain leaves the EU or not, intelligence sharing and border control must be taken seriously.
They said recent terror attacks in Europe were a “wake-up call for the British government over the need better to secure this country’s borders.”
Questions have been raised about the UK’s vulnerability to attack, not least to its nuclear arsenal.
In February, RT spoke to a Royal Navy whistleblower who leaked a report on, among other things, the potential ease of access to nuclear facilities.
Nuclear submarine engineer William McNeilly, who was kicked out of the service for his revelations, said: “I didn’t release my report to discredit the Royal Navy. I released my report because safety and security [at the Trident base] is not being taken seriously. Because it’s a risk to the people and a risk to the land.”
Drone Footage Shows Devastation As Japan Literally Ripped Apart As Fears Mount With Food In Short Supply And Warnings Of "This Has Only Just Begun"
With scientists now acknowledging that what is taking place in Japan is 'highly unusual', despite the fact that the quake on Ecuador's Pacific Coast was larger than the series of quakes in Japan and is getting much more attention, the Japan quakes are much more dangerous and continued warnings that what we're witnessing now is 'only the beginning'.
We're told that geologists, reporters and others in Japan are 'mystified' by what is now happening and deeply concerned as this 'unusual quake cluster' has quite literally ripped this nation apart as seen in the images within this story and heard in the 2nd video below. If this IS 'just the beginning', then clearly there are many more difficulties ahead for this island nation and the rest of the world.
As ANP recently reported, with deadly earthquakes all across the 'Ring of Fire' in recent days and experts warning of a series of 'Biblical quakes' measuring over 8.0 on the horizon, we see that something huge is happening worldwide as shared in this story from Susan Duclos with 'Earth birth pangs' going on now only a small of what's to come.
The final two below offer us drone footage of several different areas throughout Japan that show us the widespread damage that has been caused by the series of quakes that still cannot be completely explained by geologists. In them we can actually see the fault lines that have ruptured causing all of this damage as the island nation is quite literally ripped apart.
If this is only the beginning and warnings from top geologists of a series of 4 or more magnitude 8.0 earthquakes on the horizon are correct, we see that the warnings long given by those urging us to prepare for whatever possibility might lay ahead for us are once again quite valid. In the excerpt below from the Extinction Protocol story, we see exactly why those who are unprepared suffer dearly in horrifying situations such as this. Could have being prepared helped?
Heavy rain started falling Saturday night, threatening to complicate the relief operation and set off more mudslides. “Daytime today is the big test” for rescue efforts, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said early Saturday. Landslides had already cut off roads and destroyed bridges, slowing down rescuers. Nearly 200,000 homes were without electricity, Japanese media reported, and an estimated 400,000 households were without running water. Kumamoto prefectural official Riho Tajima said that more than 200 houses and other buildings had been either destroyed or damaged, and that 91,000 people had evacuated from their homes.
Hundreds of people lined up for rations at distribution points before nightfall, bracing for the rain and strong winds that were expected. Local stores quickly ran out of stock and shuttered their doors, and people said they were worried about running out of food. Police in Kumamoto prefecture said that at least 32 people had died from Saturday morning’s earthquake. Nine died in the quake on Thursday night. More than half the deaths were in Mashiki, a town on the eastern border of Kumamoto city that was hit hardest by the first quake.
Massive fissures open up in Japan, ground moved 6 feet in some areas
The 2016 "Rage, Fear, & Anger" Election: Ron Paul's Deep Dive Into The Real Issues
Ron Paul offers his detailed assessment of the 2016 presidential campaign this far. This is no candidate play-by-play, but a look at the strong undercurrents in society that are driving the debate. The people are very angry. But why? And what should be done about it?
The middle class, which as defined by politicians now includes almost everyone, is angry, fearful, and filled with rage.
Until the political economic crisis became readily apparent, most politicians were unaware of the rapidly increasing distortions in wealth distribution. The dangers are conveniently ignored because most people live for the short term. If one is doing well financially, even though the system is financed with the whole country living beyond its means, worrying about preparing for a rainy day seems like wasted energy. However the payment is now coming due, and because few plan or understand it, any threat to benefits – both earned and unearned – creates great anxiety.
Fear of being squeezed out of a share of the benefits that come with government intervention becomes the driving force for the whole country. The one group that seems the least worried about current conditions is the “one percent” who are financially secure by living off the special interest financial system. This does not include the wealthy who are financially rewarded for providing products and services that consumers choose to buy.
But even the one percent who benefit from government programs and the monetary system are concerned that the current uprising will interfere with their privileged position.
The size, determination, and anger of the current populist uprising is signaling that huge changes are coming both politically and economically. This generates a competitive blame-game when politicians get involved and try to benefit from the chaos. Republicans blame the Democrats and the Democrats blame the Republicans for the problems. It’s never an issue of philosophy but rather partisanship, personalities, or simply blaming poor management. False perceptions are commonplace as a consequence of government-controlled education that steers people away from the sad realities of economic planning that the people have blindly accepted for many decades.The fear and anger are only increased by the combination of a failed but never-questioned economic policy, and the demagogues, either ignorant or malicious, who provide magical promises to erase the injustices that are clearly visible.
Though the nature of the breakdown is an economic issue caused by excessive government, those suffering – and the politicians who claim they can restore prosperity – demand more government intervention in our lives and in the economy.
The entitlement mentality is now seen as a fundamental right even though it depends on government use of force to transfer wealth from one group to another. The liberal mantra has always been that the use of force backed up by guns is legitimate and moral. This is accepted as being morally superior to voluntarism for helping the poor. The irony is that it’s precisely this philosophy that impoverishes the middle class, increases the poverty of the poor, and provides the unearned benefits of the crony capitalists who were the recipients of the great bailout in 2009.
We are witnessing the end of an era, but since denial and ignorance prevails few are aware of it. The current special interest entitlement system is on its last legs, but the recipients and the political power brokers believe a change in leadership is all that is needed. It’s not the system that’s at fault, they argue, it’s only better management that is required. It is readily apparent that the failure of this approach is leading to more fear and anger.
Too often the anger is thought to be a partisan issue. The claim is either that it’s all President Obama’s fault or George W. Bush’s fault – yet both parties have followed the same false philosophy of interventionism in both domestic Keynesianism and international empire-building, putting them both at fault.
Most Americans, now more than ever, have become aware of the terrible conditions the Federal Reserve has caused by its policies that result in ever more distortions in the transfer of wealth to the very wealthy at the expense of the middle class. Many people remain apathetic as to the details of Federal Reserve policy, but others recognize that the Fed is the financier of the welfare state and the endless wars that consume wealth. Our ability to issue the reserve currency of the world gives us a free ride for unlimited spending, debt, and borrowing.
Middle class anger results because the evidence is now available that the system is failing and the politicians offer only vague platitudes and rash promises that few citizens believe. The factions that compete for government benefits become more competitive and angry as they see the financial pie shrinking and the ability of government to deliver on their promises failing.
Slogans and clichés, though they have been helpful to the politicians in the past, will not be believed and will only increase the anger. This leads the candidates to compete to be the most authoritarian in their promises to take care of everybody’s demands.
The problems have been developing for almost 100 years. Progressivism, which was accepted in the early part of the 20th century, cannot be reversed by any single election. Vague political promises to patch up the system currently being used will no longer suffice.
The authoritarians cannot resist blaming free markets and sound money for our economic ills and they never make an effort to distinguish between free markets and crony capitalism in their accusations. Ignorance and a desire to increase the role of government in our everyday life provide a convenient argument for a bigger and more intrusive government. Today even declared socialists are well received with their promises of unlimited “free stuff.”
The defenders of central economic planning, a powerful central bank, sacrificing liberty for security, and foreign interventionism to maintain an empire will never blame themselves for their contributions to the crisis. Therefore, expect anger and fear to accelerate. Do not expect the 2016 election to enlighten the people or the politicians.
The most significant economic problems we face today – the $210 trillion of unfunded liabilities, the $19 trillion national debt, along with our overblown foreign debt – are dealt with by ignoring them as the platitudes and excuses flow.
The financial markets will eventually make it clear that the debt has become the most significant issue. It’s crucial that proper blame is placed on the spenders and Keynesian apologists who argue it’s not a problem. Without proper blame, understanding how to achieve economic growth is impossible. The people are justified in being fearful and angry because the magnitude of the crisis is becoming more evident every day, and they no longer believe what the leaders of the country have been telling them. Wishful thinking for a political savior to rise up and rescue us is just that: wishful thinking.
Failing to recognize the significance of a major era ending is compounded by the lack of concern and ignorance regarding the “deep state” or the shadow government. This is the unidentifiable special interest groups and individuals who are actually in control of our government – regardless of whether the Republicans or Democrats are nominally in charge. If the American people understood this, they would realize that elections mean little more than pacifying the electorate with the false belief that the people actually have a say in the affairs of state.
Great concerns about the threat of al-Qaeda and ISIS help direct attention away from the real crimes committed within our borders, like the ill-conceived war on drugs and a justice system out of control. Asset forfeiture is ignored as a serious problem and is strongly supported by law enforcement agencies.
The original Constitution listed essentially six federal crimes. Today there are 4500 federal crimes on the books and over 400,000 regulations – most written illegally by the executive branch – and we hear nothing about this horrendous legal problem. Our courts do not provide equal justice, which justly infuriates the victims of this system of injustice. Militarization of the police and police brutality are out-of-control, yet the recipients of stolen goods known as “government benefits” have no compunction in demanding the use of violence to get what they have been taught they have a right to have. The result is that inner city violence is not going to be reduced with this election.
As the economic crisis worsens and the cities explode, with different factions competing for the handouts, there will be calls for military force and initiating martial law. This is a non-issue in the current political debate and without understanding the significance of this problem will not be recognized. It will only get worse. Most of the candidates have indicated that they would use whatever military force is needed to quell domestic unrest regardless of the Constitution.
If there’s a discussion of danger within the United States, the demagogues will say the threat comes from ISIS and is the reason they demand an increase in military spending. They remain in denial that our presence in the Middle East is precisely why there’s a threat here. Unfortunately the worse the conditions get here at home, the greater will be the demand for a more authoritarian leader to take charge and solve the problems they don’t understand. The campaign of 2016 will not bring about any significant improvement in the problems that precipitated the anger and generated our political and financial crisis that they have ignored.
Since the 2016 election distracts from the real issues, the correct solutions will not be believable. The system is broken and not fixable. Attempts to do so only lead to frustration that further divides the people. Under these conditions the guilty don’t want to hear the truth and deny it if they do.
Whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and John Kariakou are despised for telling the truth and are more likely to be punished than those who were criminally negligent.
H.L. Mencken had it right: “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself,” and come to recognize that, “the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.” But will the campaign of 2016 answer these concerns? Remember that while living in an empire of lies, pursuing truth is considered treasonous.If the people continue to deny that government by its very nature throughout the ages has been notoriously inept, immoral, and corrupt, a solution is not possible. The only result will be a new government based on the same immoral principles. Nothing positive will occur. Basic moral principles of liberty, self-reliance, and strict limits on government power, are required if progress for peace and prosperity is to be achieved.
When it’s discovered that excessive government interference in voluntary and peaceful activities is the culprit, it will become clear that the solution can only come by successfully presenting the case for liberty. It will follow that reining in the government will be a necessity – not an option.
The awakening will arrive when we face a total societal breakdown – once it’s realized that the accumulation of massive debt is unsustainable and the dollar suffers the consequences, which will negatively affect all Americans and many throughout the world. But it also provides an opportunity to open the door to a free society. Without the cost of war and welfare in a new system that accepts the moral principle of free markets, sound money, private property, and voluntary contracts, prosperity and peace will break out.
The limited role for government in a republic is to provide equal justice for all, including the protection of life, liberty, and property. It becomes destructive when governments overreach and instead become the greatest threat to liberty and justice - something from which we are suffering today.
Sadly these issues will not cross the minds of the leaders of either major political party at this time in our history.
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