Russia relocated Iskander missiles, which carry nuclear warheads, in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave surrounded by Poland, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea.
NATO leaders are reportedly unhappy with what they perceive as an act of aggression near the borders of their member states.
"The deployment of missiles close to alliance borders that can carry nuclear warheads does not help to lower tensions," a NATO representative told the German Press Agency. "We need more -- not less -- transparency and predictability on military activities to avoid incidents and the risk of misunderstandings."
Russia said it's not the first time they've used the nuclear missiles in training exercises. Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov shrugged off concerns, calling the move "not exceptional."
Relations between the West and Russia have grown increasingly strained over the last year. NATO has voiced concerns over Russia's annexation of Crimea. Russian President Vladimir Putin's support of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assadhas also angered Western allies.
NATO members Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia have all reported airspace violations by Russia in recent months.
Russia isn't the only nation moving troops around. At a summit in Warsaw earlier this year, NATO announced it was planning to deploy additional troops in Poland, as well as the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Many people complacently ignore the threats posed by the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK)—as if it’s a fourth-world country run by a chubby, raging lunatic who needn’t be taken seriously. But those of us who keep our binoculars on North Korea (albeit from Google Earth or declassified maps) know that ignoring Kim Jong Un is an error we may not live to regret.
What kind of an attack could Kim hurl at us? One that could kill between 75 percent and 90 percent of our population, relegating Americans to endangered society status and transporting those surviving back in time to the mid-1800s—if we’re lucky.
But it’s not the threat of a nuclear missile attack that concerns Dr. Peter Pry (who heads the Taskforce for National and Homeland Security, and for which I volunteer some of my time), ex-CIA director James Woolsey, Center for Security Policy Founder and President Dr. Frank Gaffney, and others who closely monitor nuclear developments in the DPRK. We are all deeply concerned about the horrendous potential for Kim Jong Un to use just one device—one which poses a threat far more devastating than a full-on Russian nuclear attack.
DPRK isn’t interested in making several of our cities glow. They want to take us out “all at once.” After the January test came this from North Korea’s news service, KCNA: “The scientists and technicians of the DPRK are in high spirit to detonate H-bombs of hundreds of Kt (kiloton) and Mt (megaton) level capable of wiping out the whole territory of the U.S. all at once…” [Emphasis added]
An EMP, or a Super-EMP. If you understand what an EMP is, you’re ahead of the game. Unfortunately, few in this country have the faintest idea what it is, and probably don’t care.
EMP stands for “electromagnetic pulse,” and it is truly devastating to anything and everything that has a microchip in it or is part of the crumbling, antiquated, and hopelessly snarled convergence of wires we call our electric grid.
An EMP-based weapon would do a good deal of damage. But if the last two DPRK tests involved thermonuclear devices, they could become Super-EMPs. When those are put aboard a satellite and detonated 300 miles above the center of the U.S., just one of them would impale technology addicts on a painful and sharp withdrawal spike, while tossing our urban and suburban populaces into abject panic and chaos.
As I write this, the DPRK has two satellites flying above us on a south to north trajectory. It’s the same satellite route the Soviets used during the Cold War. Back then, the prevailing wisdom was that if the Soviets to launch their nukes at us, the missiles would come over the North Pole. In response, we stationed our missile defense systems in the north. Since the Soviet Union shattered, that defensive posture has not changed, leaving no defense in the south or along the Eastern Seaboard.
While no data stream has been detected coming from either “earth-based satellite” (according to the DPRK), it is not known whether nuclear devices are aboard those satellites or whether they are “test vehicles.”
Kim’s request for a satellite in higher orbit is particularly troubling: it means he could pack an EMP or Super-EMP device on it and put it into orbit over the U.S. Unless we take swift measures to “harden” our electric grid and military assets—and soon—America could become an endangered society. An EMP or Super-EMP detonated at an altitude of between 25 and 300 miles (the higher the better) would be cataclysmic.
Syrian fighter jets struck the positions of al-Nusra Front terrorists in the provinces of Idlib, Hama and Homs in a severe escalation of the fight against the al-Qaeda affiliate that has been the vanguard in recent months of the effort to topple the Assad government reports Syria’s SANA news agency.
A Syrian military source speaking on the condition of anonymity said that government fighter jets smashed terrorist positions in the towns of Khan Shayku and al-Tamana’ah, the region of Jisr al-Hish, the cities of Saraqib and Jisr al-Shughur, the towns of Murak and Tayban al-Iman, the city of Suran and the villages of Atshan and al-Lataminah.
The aggressive air assault against Al-Nusra Front came after Russia was forced to veto the French draft of a United Nations Security Council resolution that called for a halt in airstrikes by the Syrian government and Russia in East Aleppo, but that patently ignored the growing scourge of the terrorist group Al-Nusra Front.
The Russian Foreign Ministry blasted the French proposal as an act of grandstanding that "distorted" the realities on the ground in Syria in the wake of the collapse of the US-Russia brokered ceasefire in September with Moscow reiterating that the target of airstrikes are Al-Nusra Front terrorists who continue to undermine efforts at the cessation of hostilities.