Saturday, May 21, 2016

More Rumors Of War - Military And Financial

This is a theme we see repeated every single day now - the rumors of war - as we approach end of the generation, have become too numerous to count:

Normally, when we talk about a “war” with China, we mean a trade war, or a currency war.
But for at least the past decade, the prospect of an actual war-war, a military confrontation, with China has gone from hypothetical to very real.
Both sides are to blame for that escalation.
There is no doubt that China's one-party, communist government leans on its rivalry with the United States to solidify public support, distract from domestic issues, and further its global agenda.
It is equally obvious that the U.S. government does the exact same thing. Indeed, the “China bogeyman” is extremely useful to the Pentagon, defense contractors, and hawkish politicians.
The problem is, beneath all the propaganda, there's a legitimate confrontation brewing. And the nexus of that conflict is the South China Sea, where tensions continue to spiral out of control.
In the latest row, the U.S. this week decried an “unsafe” intercept operation two Chinese fighters carried out against an American spy plane.
According the Pentagon, the reconnaissance aircraft was on a routine patrol flying over the South China Sea. There, it was intercepted by two Chinese J-11 fighters that came within 50 feet of the Navy EP-3E Aries aircraft.

Tuesday's dispute came a week after China scrambled fighter jets to pick off the USS William P. Lawrence, a guided-missile destroyer, sailing near a disputed reef in the region. And it's just days before President Barack Obama travels to Asia for a Group of Seven summit in Japan and his first trip to Vietnam.

Finally, on April 26, the U.S. Department of Defense released its annual report on China's military to Congress, which Beijing claimed was "full of prejudice against China" and "made unfounded accusations.”
Clearly, neither China or the United States are truly interested in de-escalation. And the relationship between the two countries is only getting worse.
So in a sense, a war with China isn't just inevitable — it's already taking place.

That fact that Putin is being prodded from within Russia to be less diplomatic and more aggressive in posturing for war is downright unsettling. Many of our most dangerous American leaders are all-too willing to poke the bear and evoke a reaction.

Russia is preparing for war against the West.
Putin is being urged to do so because the U.S. and NATO have been preparing for war themselves.
Syria and Ukraine have just been warm ups. The real thing could be around the corner, and other proxy flashpoints are ready to line up.
The rising tensions for military conflict are sharply complicated by the stealthier financial war that is nonetheless taking a serious toll across the globe, in particular as collapsing oil prices put incredible pressure on those regimes who have cast a big social benefits net financed primarily by $100/barrel oil.

A detailed, but nonetheless alarming article by Alastair Crooke reports that there is significant pressure on Putin from other Russian leaders to take a hard line in the days ahead.

Russia faces both a real military threat from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and a hybrid geo-financial war as well.

In short, the issue coming to a head in the Kremlin is whether Russia is sufficiently prepared for further Western efforts to ensure it does not impede or rival American hegemony. Can Russia sustain a geo-financial assault, if one were to be launched? And is such a threat real or mere Western posturing for other ends?

We already had the first war to push back against NATO in Georgia. The second pushback war is ongoing in Ukraine. What might be the consequences to a third?

There is every reason to think that the clashing interests of NATO and Russia can and will spark more flashpoints across the map and around the arc that generally surrounds the former Soviet empire, which the United States hopes to contain in order to maintain its own crumbling empire.

With economic decline and a definite fatigue for war, Americans face an end of the dollar as the world currency standard and an era where the BRICS nations, and in particular the militaries of Russia and China, pose an existential threat to the world that the U.S. and Britain carved out in the WWII era and which they essentially won away from the Soviets by the end of the Cold War.

On May 12, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in Deveselu, a US naval support facility in southern Romania, to mark the operational certification (initial operational capability – IOC) of the Aegis Ashore system, which comprises three batteries (24 missiles) of SM-3 Block IB interceptors.
The ground-based missile defense site is an element of a larger European shield and US global ballistic missile defense effort. Frank A. Rose, the US State Department's assistant secretary for arms control, said missile defense systems will be expanded to cover Europe, Turkey, Poland, the Middle-East, Japan and South Korea.
On May 13, another phase of the project was launched in Poland with a groundbreaking ceremony for a US-led missile defense site at Redzikowo, near the Baltic Sea. Local residents and anti-war activists protested against the plans.
The European Interceptor Site (EIS) in Poland will consist of 24 SM-3Block IIA middle range missile interceptors. Warsaw has declared its intention to create a national missile defence system to defend the country from short-range and mid-range missiles
The missile defense system in Europe also includes a radar in Turkey, a command center in Ramstein, Germany and interceptor ships. An early warning radar station in Malatya, Turkey, went into service in January 2012. The operational center became active the same year. Four missile defense capable Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers were deployed to Rota, Spain, in 2015 for rotational patrols in the Mediterranean.
There is another aspect of the problem to be emphasized here. Aegis Ashore uses the naval Mk-41 launching system, which is capable of firing long-range cruise missile. This is a blatant violation of the INF Treaty
This fact has been emphasized by Russia’s officials.
The decision to continue with BMD plans is fraught with very serious consequences. Russia is taking retaliatory measures.

The deployment of the shore-based Aegis sites in Romania and Poland is turning these countries into platforms of aggression against Russia, said the leader of the National-European Communitarian Party Luc Michel.   

The countries which host BMD sites automatically become targets for Russia’s Iskander surface-to-surface missiles and aviation. 
The ballistic missile defense shield which the United States has activated in Europe is a step to a new arms race, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated  on May 13, vowing to adjust budget spending to neutralize «emerging threats» to Russia.
The US ongoing efforts at creating a global ballistic missile defense system, developing the Prompt Global Strike (PGS) precision conventional weapon program along with the sanctions imposed to weaken Russia’s military potential have a continued destabilizing effect on the situation in Europe and the world. The BMD deployment is dashing the hopes for achieving progress in nuclear disarmament talks. Russian officials say there is no «political logic and common sense in proposals 'to disarm' in conditions when the current US administration has been making concerted effort to undermine the defense and the military-industrial potential of Russia through its sanctions policy for a long time».
It was one of the reasons President Putin skipped the Washington Nuclear Summit in March. Virtually all negotiating tracks on arms control have been stalled.

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