World powers urged Russia and Ukraine to refrain from ratcheting up a confrontation over Crimea as President Vladimir Putin bolstered the disputed peninsula’s military with some of his army’s most advanced air-defence missile systems.
The confrontation coincides with a surge in violence in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, where government troops are fighting rebels who Kiev says are getting cash, weapons and fighters from Russia. The flareup torpedoed plans to revive four-way peace talks at the September Group of 20 meeting in China and raised warnings from analysts of a potential military conflict before Russia’s September parliamentary elections.
Russia deployed S-400 Triumph air defence systems in Crimea, the Moscow-based RIA Novosti news service reported on Friday. Putin may cut diplomatic ties with Ukraine if there’s no other option left, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, according to Interfax, another news service. The premier said there was a Ukrainian incursion into the territory, which he called a crime that needs to be investigated.
Deborah Lee James, the Air Force secretary, described the deployments as providing a “valuable opportunity for our bomber crews to integrate and train together, as well as with our allies and partners through the region in a variety of missions.”
But James did not elaborate on just how unusual the arrangement actually is, nor did she expand on any deeper possible reasons for basing Spirits, Lancers and Stratofortresses at the same base at same time — all within striking distance of China and North Korea.
In July, Beijing sent one of its own H-6K bombers to fly over the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. That month, among a host of other rulings, a U.N. tribunal declared Chinese ships had illegally blocked Philippine fisherman from entering the area.
China’s nominally civilian maritime police force has routinely blocked foreign activities around Scarborough and other small islands to help reinforce Beijing’s claims. Chinese officials have also recently boasted about a slew of new, deadly surface to air and ballistic missiles that could challenge American planes and ships.
But sending three different types of heavy bomber to a single base thousands of miles from home is something only the Pentagon can do. Given recent events, it’s unlikely this impressive show of military power was merely a coincidence.
We have been warning you all for months that something big was happening, but now it looks like we have confirmation. The Chinese Defense Minister, Chang Wanquan, has warned its citizens to prepare for the coming war.
China has vowed to take measures to defy the 12th of July ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration and to protect its sovereignty. It has been reported that in a post-Brexit world, China and Russia will become the world's super powers.
China's state-run media has been awash with bluster on the subject of their military and sovereignty.
Wanquan reportedly made the statement while inspecting military installations in China's eastern coastal province of Zhejiang. The Defense Minister said the Chinese public should be educated about national defense issues because the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity are at risk.
Wanquan also warned of offshore security threats, and the need to acknowledge the gravity of risk to China's national security. He further charged the entire security apparatus of the country, including military, police, together with citizens to prepare for mobilization to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Commentators also believe that China has a strong belief that the United States instigated the Philippines to dispute the South China Sea so that the United States could take advantage and exploit the area for its benefit.
A war between China and its neighbors also has the dangerous possibility to divide the world. The U.S. will no doubt come to the aid of its allies, and China and Russia have increased military ties which could further complicate the scenario.
For the second year in a row, Russia has finished hosting the massive International Army Games.
Held in Russia and Kazakhstan, this two-week military competition pitted over 3,000 service members hailing from 19 different countries against each other. With events ranging from air, marine, and field operations, service members were timed and tested in a wide range of warfare scenarios.
Here are several photos from the 2016 International Army Games competition:
The Grid, by Geography and Geopolitics
To give it to you straight, our national electrical grid works as an interdependent network. This means that the failure of any one part would trigger the borrowing of energy from other areas. Whichever grid attempts to carry the extra load would likely be overtaxed, as the grid is already taxed to near max levels during peak hot or cold seasons.
The aftermath of a single grid going down could leave millions of residents without power for days, weeks or longer depending on the scope of the failure.
According to Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in an interview with USA Today, "You have a very vulnerable system that will continue to be vulnerable until we figure out a way to break it out into more distributed systems."
The security of the power grid, which is a separate issue from the reliability of the power grid, is a whole other issue that concerns itself with hypothetical one-off scenarios—albeit terrible one-off scenarios. But at least there’s a chance that those one-off scenarios, such as a cyber-attack on the grid or some terrorist activity, would not come to fruition. A chance, at least.
All that sounds pretty bleak, but when you throw into the mix the mania and hysteria that would ensue shortly after such catastrophic events, it will be so much worse.
In the context of blackouts, we saw this in 1977, when a lightning strike in New York on a Hudson River substation tripped two circuit breakers, causing power to be diverted in order to protect the circuit. The chain of events that followed ended in an entire blackout for the area, which led to mass rioting, over 1000 deliberately set fires, the looting of 1600 stores, and the eventual arrest of 4,500 perpetrators and the injury of 550 officers, according to some estimates. The power was only out for 25 hours, and in one area.