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Demonization of Putin

Reuters/David W Cerny

PseudoScience > Who Rules America > Pathological Russophobia of the US elite

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Europe has manufactured an artificial "Russian enemy"
 in order to create an artificial "European identity"

Guy Mettan

Demonization of Putin is integral part of policy of the US and British elite toward Russia, designed to weaken, and, if possible, dismember the Russian state. It is also an instrument of increasing national unity by creating a demonized external enemy.

Russophobia of the US elite should be understood in the context of Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism as Russia represent an obstacle for complete domination of the globe by the US neoliberal empire. Nothing personal here, just business. Recent statements by Putin made at Valday club in Sochi (October 24, 2014) also do not produce any love to Putin from the global and first of all the USA neoliberal elite as well as London-based financial oligarchy. Not accidentally for both the US and GB elite Putin is a "Great Satan".

Like anti-Semitism, Russophobia is based on standard mechanism of Demonization (Wikipedia):

In colloquial usage, the term demonization is used metaphorically to refer to propaganda directed on delitimization of particular individual or group.

Delegitimization is the psychological process which undermines or marginalizes an individual or entity by presenting value judgments as facts which are construed to devalue legitimacy. The ultimate goal of justifying harm or war.

The concept applies to a wide spectrum of social contexts but generally means categorization of individual or groups into extreme social categories which are ultimately excluded from society. Delegitimization provides the moral and the discursive basis to harm the delegitimized group, even in the most inhumane ways.

It is related to stereotyping in a sense that it leads to prejudice when people emotionally react to the name of the person, ascribe evil intention and characteristic to the person or group without evaluating objective evidence.

As always in such cases three-letter agencies are in the vanguard of such complains (Is the CIA Running a Defamation Campaign Against Putin - Russia Insider)

A major topic in the Russian media is mystification with how Putin is portrayed in the Western media. Wildly popular at home, and seen as a decent, modest, an admirable person, and Russians don't understand how there can be such a disconnect with Western impressions.

Recently, leading Russian commentators and politicians have been suggesting that this can only be explained by a deliberate campaign to defame Putin, by governments or other groups.

Yesterday, at a briefing to foreign journalists, Sergey Ivanov, Putin's chief of staff, arguably the 2nd most powerful man in Russia, spoke of an "information war" consisting of "personal attacks" on Putin.

The western media hit a new low...
>The day before another member of Putin's inner circle, Vyasheslav Volodin, made similar remarks, telling foreign journalists "an attack on Putin is an attack on Russia."

The logic, they argue, is that by defaming the leader of a country, you weaken his power domestically by undermining popular support for him, and internationally, by rallying popular opinion to support policies against that country. The ultimate goal, they argue, is to weaken the country itself. They also talk about regime change.

They argue that if one looks at the facts, that there is evidence of ongoing character assassination which cannot be explained by a vague popular zeitgeist in the West, but is more likely the result of a dedicated effort to introduce this defamation into the news flow.

Newsweek has been one of the most virulent Putin-bashers for years

The issue of manipulation of news by intelligence services has been in the news recently with revelations that the CIA and German Secret Service (GSS) have long-running programs to influence how media executives and top journalists convey and interpret the news, including direct cash payments.

Here are some examples they point to:

RI sat down with The Saker, a leading analyst of Russia in international affairs, and asked him what he thinks:

So, is there any credence to this line of thinking, or is this conspiracy theorists running wild?

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the US is waging a major psyop war against Russia, although not a shooting war, for now, and that what we are seeing is a targeted campaign to discredit Putin and achieve "regime change" in Russia or, should that fail, at the very least "regime weakening" and "Russia weakening".

And the Economist has been the very worst of them all...

So this is a US government program?

Yes, Putin is absolutely hated by certain factions in the US government two main reasons:

1. He partially, but not fully, restored Russia's sovereignty which under Gorbachev and Yeltsin had been totally lost … Russia then was a US colony like Ukraine is today … and,

2. He dared to openly defy the USA and its civilizational model.

… a free and sovereign Russia is perceived by the US "deep state" as an existential threat which has to be crushed. … this is a full-scale political assault on Russia and Putin personally.

So what the Russians are saying, that the constant personal attacks against Putin in the global media are partly the result of deliberate efforts by US intelligence services, … basically, planted stories…

Yes, absolutely

It seems like “Operation Mockingbird” all over again… Are you aware of other instances aimed at Putin?

(Editors Note: Operation Mockingbird was a CIA program started in the 1950s to influence the US media, which was gradually exposed by investigative journalists starting in the late 60s, culminating in sensational televised congressional hearings in 1975 which shocked the nation, forcing the program’s termination. Critics maintain that the same tactics have continued since, under different programs. Wikipedia)

Yes, of course. Since this defamation has very little traction with the Russian public … Putin's popularity is higher than ever before .., there is an organized campaign to convince them that Putin is "selling out" Novorussia, that he is a puppet of oligarchs who are making deals with Ukrainian oligarchs to back-stab the Novorussian resistance…

… So far, Putin's policies in the Ukraine have enjoyed very strong support from the Russian people who still oppose an overt military intervention…

… but if Kiev attacks Novorussia again - which appears very likely - and if such an attack is successful - which is less likely but always possible - then Putin will be blamed for having given the Ukrainians the time to regroup and reorganize.

Warm and fuzzy...

So you are saying that if the Ukrainian military strengthens its position enough to deliver a serious blow to the East Ukrainians, the US can use this as a method to strike at Putin’s support base…

Yes, that’s right ... there are a lot of "fake patriots" in Russia and abroad who will reject any negotiated solution and who will present any compromise as a "betrayal". They are the "useful idiots" used by western special services to smear and undermine Putin.

Is it limited to government special ops, or are there other groups who might have an interest in doing this?

Yes, well here is something that most people in the west don’t appreciate… there is a major behind-the scenes struggle among Russian elites between what I call the "Eurasian Sovereignists" (basically, those who support Putin) and what I call the "Atlantic Integrationists" (those whom Putin refers to as the "5th column).

The western media talks about this as the struggle between Russian liberals and conservatives, reformers and reactionaries, right?

Well its sort of like that, but not exactly…

The former see Russia's future in the Russian North and East and want to turn Russia towards Asia, Latin America and the rest of the world, while the latter want Russia to become part of the "North Atlantic" power configuration.

The Atlantic Integrationists are now too weak to openly challenge Putin - whose real power base is his immense popular support - but they are quietly sabotaging his efforts to reform Russia while supporting anti-Putin campaigns.

Regarding the revelations of CIA activities in Germany, do you think this is going on in other countries, in the US?

I am sure that this is happening in most countries worldwide. The very nature of the modern corporate media is such that it makes journalists corrupt.

As the French philosopher Alain Soral says "nowadays a reporter is either unemployed or a prostitute". There are, of course, a few exceptions, but by and large this is true.

This is not to say that most journalists are on the take. In the West this is mostly done in a more subtle way - by making it clear which ideas do or do not pass the editorial control, by lavishly rewarding those journalists who 'get it' and by quietly turning away those who don't.

If a journalist or reporter commits the crime of "crimethink" he or she will be sidelined and soon out of work.

There is no real pluralism in the West where the boundaries of what can be said or not are very strictly fixed.

Ok, but is it like what has been revealed in Germany, …similar specific operational programs in France, the UK, Italy, Latin America, etc.

Yes, one has to assume so – it is in their interests to have them and there is no reason for them not to.

As for the CIA, it de-facto controls enough of the corporate media to "set the tone". As somebody who in the past used to read the Soviet press for a living, I can sincerely say that it was far more honest and more pluralistic than the press in the USA or EU today.

Joseph Goebbels or Edward Bernays could not have imagined the degree of sophistication of modern propaganda machines.

If the US is doing it, can't one assume other governments are too? Are the Russians doing it against western leaders?

I think that all governments try to do that kind of stuff. However, what makes the US so unique it a combination of truly phenomenal arrogance and multi-billion dollar budgets.

The US "deep state" owns the western corporate media which is by far the most powerful media on the planet. Most governments can only do that inside their own country ... to smear a political opponent or discredit a public figure, but they simply do not have the resources to mount an international strategic psyop campaign. This is something only the US can do.

So foreign governments are at a great disadvantage in this arena vis-a-vis the US?

Absolutely.

Quotes from Putin speech and answers to the questions at the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

 


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[Apr 21, 2017] The Reason Behind The Sales-Surge For Nuclear-Proof Bunkers Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... On April 17 th , Scott Humor, the Research Director at the geostrategic site "The Saker," headlined "Trump has lost control over the Pentagon" , and he listed (and linked-to) the following signs that Trump is following through with his promise to allow the Pentagon to control U.S. international relations: ..."
"... March 14 th , the US National Nuclear Security Administration field tested the modernized B61-12 gravity nuclear bomb in Nevada . ..."
"... April 7, Liberty Passion, loaded with US military vehicles, moored at Aqaba Main Port, Jordan ..."
"... On April 7 th the Pentagon US bombed Syria's main command center in fight against terrorists ..."
"... April 10, United States Deploying Forces At Syrian-Jordanian Border ..."
"... April 11, The US Air Force might start forcing pilots to stay in the service against their will, according to the chief of the military unit's Air Mobility Command. ..."
"... April 12, President Donald Trump has signed the US approval for Montenegro to join NATO ..."
"... April 13, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg announced the alliance's increased deployment in Eastern Europe ..."
"... On April 13 th , the Pentagon bombed Afghanistan. The US military has bombed Afghanistan with its GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB) ..."
"... April 13, the US-led coalition bombed the IS munitions and chemical weapons depot in Deir ez-Zo r killing hundreds of people ..."
"... April 14, The Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) has been deployed to the South China Sea ..."
"... April 14, the US sent F-35 jets to Europe ..."
"... April 14, Washington failed to attend the latest international conference hosted by Moscow, where 11 nations discussed ways of bringing peace to Afghanistan . The US branded it a "unilateral Russian attempt to assert influence in the region". ..."
"... April14, the US has positioned two destroyers armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles close enough to the North Korean nuclear test site to act preemptively ..."
"... On April 16 th , the US army makes largest deployment of troops to Somalia since the 90s. ..."
"... or there will be WW III. ..."
Apr 15, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
> Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

On April 15th, Zero Hedge bannered "Doomsday Bunker Sales Soar After Trump's Military Strikes", but this growth in the market for nuclear-proof bunkers is hardly new; it started during the Obama Administration, in Obama's second term, specifically after the Russia-friendly government of Ukraine, next-door to Russia, got taken over in 2014 by a rabidly anti-Russian government that's backed by the U.S. government.

This boom in nuclear-bunker sales is only increasing now, as the new U.S. President, Donald Trump, tries to out-do his predecessor in demonstrating his hostility toward the other nuclear superpower, Russia, and displaying his determination to overthrow the leader of any nation (such as Syria and Iran) that is at all friendly toward Russia. For earlier examples of feature-articles on this booming market for homes that allegedly would enable buyers to survive the first blast effects, and the most immediate nuclear contaminations, of a Third World War, see here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here.

This surging demand for nuclear bunkers started right after the U.S. government arranged a coup in Ukraine that replaced the existing Moscow-friendly democratically elected President by installing a rabidly anti-Russian Prime Minister and national-security appointees from Ukraine's two nazi Parties, the Right Sector Party, and the former Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine (which the CIA renamed "Svoboda" meaning "Freedom" so as to enable it to be acceptable to the American public). Then, the intensifying U.S. effort to replace the secular pro-Russian Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad by a sectarian jihadist government that would be dependent upon the Saudi-Qatari-UAE-Turkish-U.S. alliance, has only intensified further the demand for these types of "second homes".

Whereas all of the purchasers of these bunkers are being kept secret, the U.S. federal government provides, free-of-charge, to top officials, nuclear bunkers, so as to allow the then-dictatorship (continuation of America's current dictatorship) to function, in order, supposedly, to serve their country, which they'd already have destroyed (along with destroying the rest of the world) by their determination to conquer Russia. No one knows what the reality would actually be in such a post-WW-III world, except that there would be no functioning electrical grid, nights would be totally dark for anyone whose sole reliance is on the grid, and all rivers and other water-sources would be intensely radioactive from the fallout, so that groundwater soon would also be unusable - and, of course, the air itself would also be toxic; so, lifespans would be enormously shortened, and excruciating, not to say extremely depressing.

No one has published a computer-model of a U.S.-Russia nuclear war, because doing that would be unacceptable to the "military-industrial complex" including the U.S. government, but in 2014 a "limited, regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan" was computer-modeled and projected to produce global ozone-depletion and "the coldest average surface temperatures in the last 1000 years", which "could trigger a global nuclear famine". But such a war would be only 50 bombs instead of the 10,000+ that would be used in a WW III scenario; and, so, everyone who is paying money in order to survive WW III is simply wasting money.

But, somehow, there are people who either want a Russia-U.S. war, or else whose preparations for it are directed at surviving in such a world, instead of at ending the current grip on political power in the United States, on the part of the people who are working to bring about this type of (end to the) world. At least the owners of the major U.S. armaments-firms, such as Raytheon Corporation, would have an explosive financial boost during the build-up toward that war, but buying bunkers in order to survive it, would seem to be a dubious follow-up to such an investment-plan. On the other hand, it might appeal to some thrill-seekers who don't even feel the need for a good computer-simulation of a post-WW-III world; maybe they've got money to burn and a craving to experience 'the ultimate thrill', and don't want unpleasant knowledge to spoil the thrill.

After President Trump threw out his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and replaced him with the rabidly anti-Russian H.R. McMaster, and then lobbed 59 cruise missiles against the Syrian government (which is protected by the Russian government), the cacophony of press that had been calling for President Trump to be impeached and replaced by his rabidly anti-Russian Vice President Mike Pence, considerably quieted down; and, so, the Obama-Trump market for nuclear bunkers seems now to be established on very sound foundations, for the foreseeable immediate future. And, if anyone in the U.S. federal government has been planning to prepare the U.S. for a post-WW-III world, that has not been publicly announced, and no newsmedia have even been inquiring about it - so, nothing can yet be said about it.

The general message, thus far, is that, after World War III, everyone will be on his or her own, but that the dictators will (supposedly) be in a far better position than will anyone outside that ruling group. However, if the survivors end up merely envying the dead, it will be no laughing matter, regardless of how silly those nuclear bunkers are. It would be nothing funny at all.

On April 17th, Scott Humor, the Research Director at the geostrategic site "The Saker," headlined "Trump has lost control over the Pentagon", and he listed (and linked-to) the following signs that Trump is following through with his promise to allow the Pentagon to control U.S. international relations:

March 14th, the US National Nuclear Security Administration field tested the modernized B61-12 gravity nuclear bomb in Nevada.

April 7, Liberty Passion, loaded with US military vehicles, moored at Aqaba Main Port, Jordan

On April 7th the Pentagon US bombed Syria's main command center in fight against terrorists

April 10, United States Deploying Forces At Syrian-Jordanian Border

April 11, The US Air Force might start forcing pilots to stay in the service against their will, according to the chief of the military unit's Air Mobility Command.

April 12, President Donald Trump has signed the US approval for Montenegro to join NATO

April 13, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg announced the alliance's increased deployment in Eastern Europe

On April 13th, the Pentagon bombed Afghanistan. The US military has bombed Afghanistan with its GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB)

April 13, the US-led coalition bombed the IS munitions and chemical weapons depot in Deir ez-Zor killing hundreds of people

April 14, The Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) has been deployed to the South China Sea

April 14, the US sent F-35 jets to Europe

April 14, Washington failed to attend the latest international conference hosted by Moscow, where 11 nations discussed ways of bringing peace to Afghanistan. The US branded it a "unilateral Russian attempt to assert influence in the region".

April14, the US has positioned two destroyers armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles close enough to the North Korean nuclear test site to act preemptively

On April 16th, the US army makes largest deployment of troops to Somalia since the 90s.

Mr. Humor drew attention to an article that had been published in "The Daily Beast" a year ago, on 8 April 2016, "CALL OF DUTY: The Secret Movement to Draft General James Mattis for President. Gen. James Mattis doesn't necessarily want to be president-but that's not stopping a group of billionaire donors from hatching a plan to get him there". Though none of the alleged "billionaires" were named there, one prominent voice backing Mattis for the Presidency, in that article, was Bill Kristol, the Rupert Murdoch agent who co-founded the Project for a New American Century, which was the first influential group pushing the "regime-change in Iraq" idea during the late 1990s, and which also advocated for the foreign policies that George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump, have since been pursuing, each in his own way. It seems that whomever those "billionaires" were, they've now gotten their wish, with a figurehead Donald Trump as President, and James Mattis actually running foreign policy. Humor also noted that Mattis wants to boost the budget of the Pentagon by far more than the 9% that Trump has proposed. Perhaps Trump knew that even to get a 9% Pentagon increase passed this year would be almost impossible to achieve. First, the unleashed Pentagon needs to place the military into an 'emergency' situation, so as to persuade the public to clamor for a major invasion. That 'emergency' might be the immediate goal, toward which the March-April timeline of events that Humor documented is aiming.

As regards the military comparisons of the personnel and equipment on both sides of a U.S.-Russia war, the key consideration would actually be not the 7,000 nuclear warheads that Russia has versus the 6,800 nuclear warheads that the U.S. has, but the chief motivation on each of the respective sides: conquest on the part of the U.S. aristocracy, defense on the part of the Russian aristocracy. (Obviously, the U.S. having continued its NATO military alliance after the Soviet Union's Warsaw Pact military alliance ended in 1991, indicates America's aggressive intent against Russia. That became a hyper-aggressive intent when NATO absorbed Russia's former Warsaw Pact allies. NATO even brought in some parts of the former USSR itself, when in 2004, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, entered NATO, and in 2014 U.S. President Obama tried to get Ukraine into NATO, and these five countries hadn't even been Warsaw Pacters, but had instead been parts of the USSR itself. It was as if Russia had grabbed not only America's allies, but some states in the U.S. itself. This constituted extreme aggression, and shows the U.S. aristocracy's obsessive intent for global empire - to include Russia.)

Any limited war between the two powers would become a nuclear war once the side that's losing this limited war becomes faced with the choice of either surrendering that limited territory (now likely Syria) or else going nuclear. On Russia's side, allowing such military conquest of an ally would be unacceptable; the war would then expand with the U.S. and its allies invading Russian territory for Russia's continuing refusal to accept the U.S.-Saudi and other allies' grabbing of Syria (on 'humanitarian grounds', of course - as if, for example, the Sauds aren't far more brutal than Assad). After the traditional-forces' invasion of Russia, Russia's yielding its sovereignty over its own land has never been part of Russia's culture: If Russia were to be invaded by allies of the U.S., then launching all of Russia's nuclear weapons against the U.S. and America's invasion-allies, would be a reasonably expected result. Here's how it would develop: On America's side, which (very unlike Russia) has no record of any foreign invasion against its own mainland (other than the Sauds' own 9/11 'false flag' attacks), the likely response in the event of Russia's crushing its invaders would be for the U.S. President to seek to negotiate a face-saving end to that limited war, just as the American President Richard Nixon did regarding America's invasion and occupation of Vietnam.

However, a reasonable question can be raised as to whether, in such a situation, Russia would accept anything less than America's total surrender, much as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in WW II was determined to accept nothing less than Germany's total surrender, at the end of that war. If Trump wants to play Hitler, then Putin (acting in accord with Russian tradition) would probably play both FDR and Stalin, even if it meant the end of the world. For Russia to be conquered, especially by such intense evil as those invaders would be representing, would probably be viewed by Russians as being even worse than ending everything, and this would probably be Putin's view as well. If America did not simply capitulate, Putin would probably nuclear-blitz-attack the U.S. and its allies, rather than give Trump (or Pence) the opportunity to blitz-attack Russia and to sacrifice all of the U.S. side's invading troops in Russia so as to 'win' the overall war and finally conquer Russia. It would be like WW II, except with nuclear weapons - and thus an entirely different type of historical outcome after the war.

Consequently, either the U.S. will cease its designs on Russia, or there will be WW III. Russia's sovereignty will never be yielded, especially not to the thuggish gang who have come to rule the U.S. (both as "Republicans" and as "Democrats"). The bipartisan neoconservative dream of America's aristocrats (world-conquest) will never be achieved. Russia will never accept it. If America's rulers continue to press it, the result will be even worse than when the Nazis tried. It's just an ugly pipe-dream, but any attempt to make it real would be even uglier. And nobody who buys a 'nuclear-proof bunker' will get what he or she thinks is being bought - safety in such a world as that. It won't exist.

Shemp 4 Victory -> Crash Overide , Apr 20, 2017 10:56 PM

Fred Reed knocks one out of the park:

First Transgender President: Trump Becomes Hillary http://www.unz.com/freed/first-transgender-president-trump-becomes-hillary/

Luc X. Ifer -> Shemp 4 Victory , Apr 20, 2017 11:24 PM

False. We have a simulation, and it is far worse than people can even imagine.

[...

  • Even humans living in shelters equipped with many years worth of food, water, energy, and medical supplies would probably not survive in the hostile post-war environment.

    ...]

    http://www.nucleardarkness.org/warconsequences/hundredfiftytonessmoke/

  • Luc X. Ifer -> Luc X. Ifer , Apr 20, 2017 11:41 PM

    Another reason why USSA is in hurry to have the war with Russia ASAP is that they know that very soon - if not even now in the present, USSA ICBM defense is outdated and 100% ineficient against the newest Russian ICBMs, if by any bad chance Russia launches the 1st strike Disney Land USSA is Bye Felicia without even a chance to retaliate.

    https://www.rt.com/news/340588-hypersonic-warhead-sarmat-tested/

    winged -> Luc X. Ifer , Apr 20, 2017 11:41 PM

    If that time truly comes, make sure you know who's really responsible.

    http://biblicisminstitute.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/the-truth-about-the-c...

    [Apr 21, 2017] First Transgender President Trump Becomes Hillary

    Apr 20, 2017 | unz.com

    Oh Lord, it's happening–the remanufacture of Trump by the Establishment. During the campaign, Trump and the Basilisk had nothing in common but their hair dye. Now, almost daily, he looks more like her.

    He gets embarrassing. Regarding the alleged gassing in Syria, quoth Donald:

    "When you kill innocent children, innocent babies - babies, little babies - with a chemical gas that crosses many, many lines, beyond a red line. And I will tell you, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much."

    God almighty. Who wrote this–a middle school girl with C's in English, or the President of the United States? Did he retire to his bedroom for a good cry?

    Apparently he ordered his missile strike without bothering to find out what happened. The usual suspects are driving him like a sports car.

    The election was a choice between fetor and a lunatic. We chose the lunatic. Whether this was better than the alternative, we will never know, but Trump is going from bad to worse, or as the Mexicans say, de Guatemala a Guatepeor.

    Does he believe this stuff? Is he naive enough to think that there was something unusually horrible about the attack? Horrible, yes, but not in the least unusual. Do you know what everyday, boring artillery does to children? Five-hundred-pound bombs? Hellfire rockets? Daily Mr. Trump's military and his allies daily drop shrapnel-producing explosives on people, cities, towns, adults, children, weddings and goatherds in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Good draft-dodger that he was, he probably has never seen any of this. Good psychopath that he may be, he may not care.

    This whole gas-attack business smells to high heaven. It looks nicely calculated to force him to attack Assad. Gas was important: Killing babies, little babies with explosives is so routine that no one cares, but we have been programmed to shudder at the thought of Gas!

    Actually artillery has killed several orders of magnitude more people, but never mind.

    Targeting children was a nice touch. Definitely a PR bonus. So Donald goes into his Poor-widdle-fings weep, while Americans weekly kill more children in three to seven countries, depending on the date.

    Is the man consciously a liar? Hasn't got sense enough to think before operating his mouth? Actually believes what he says when he says it?

    Glance at a small part of the record and focus on his changing his tune, not on whether you agree with a particular policy. Erratic, erratic, erratic. He was going to run out the illegals within two years, absurd but he said it. Going to put high tariffs on Mexican goods. Didn't. On Chinese goods. Isn't. Tear up the Iran treaty. Didn't. Declare China a currency-manipulator. Isn't. Ban Muslims. Hasn't. Promote good relations with Russia. Isn't. Get the US out of Syria. Ha. Make NATO pay for itself. Isn't. The man has the steely determination one associates with bean curd. You cannot trust anything the man says.

    Having been reprogrammed as a good neocon, bombing places he promised to get out of, looking for a fight with Russia, he is now butting heads with Fat Thing in North Korea. He his said things closely resembling, "We have run out of strategic patience with the North. If nobody else will take care of it, we will." Grrrr. Bowwow. Woof.

    The problem with growly ultimata made for television is that somebody has to back down–that is, lose face and credibility. If Trump had quietly told Fat Thing, "If you crazy bastards scrap your nuke program, we will drop the sanctions," it might have worked. But no. Negotiations would imply weakness. Thus an ultimatum.

    So now either (a) Fat Thing knuckles under, humiliating himself and possibly endangering his grasp on power or (b) Trump blinks in a humiliating display of the Empire's impotence, possibly endangering his grasp on power.

    Kim Jong Il, or Il Sung Jong, or whatever the the hell the latest one of them is called, shows not the slightest sign of backing down. So does the Donald start an utterly unpredictable war, as usual in somebody else's country, or does he weasel off, muttering, and hope nobody notices?

    Fred's Third Law of International Relations: Never butt heads with a country that has a missile named the No Dong.

    Many of us favored Trump, slightly daft though he was, because he wasn't yet Hillary, wasn't yet a neocon robot, and didn't want war with every country he had heard of, apparently meaning a good half dozen. At least he said he didn't, not yet having been told that he did. In particular, he didn't want war with Russia. But when the neocons control the media and Congress, they can convince a naive public of anything and, apparently, the President.

    Why is the Hillarification of Trump important? The necessary prior question: What is the greatest threat to the neocons' American Empire? Answer: The ongoing integration of Eurasia under Chinese hegemony. The key countries in this are China, Iran, and Russia. (Isn't it curious that, apart from the momentary distraction of North Korea, these countries have been the focus of New York's hostility?) In particular if Russia and, through it, China develop large and very profitable trade with Europe, there goes NATO and with it the Empire.

    Oops.

    Thus the eeeeeeeeeeek! furor about Russia as existential threat and so on. Thus sending a few troops to Baltic countries to "deter" Russia. This was theater. The idea that a thousand garrison troops can stop the Russian army, which hasn't gone silly as ours has, on its doorstep is loony.

    Hillary was on board with the Russia hysteria and the globalization and the immigration and so on. Trump could have screwed the whole pooch by getting along with Russia, so he had to be reconfigured. And was. A work in progress, but going well.

    ORDER IT NOW

    Too much is being asked of him. One man cannot overcome the combined hostility of the media, the political establishment, the neocons, the myriad other special interests that he has threatened. Mass immigration is a done deal. China develops and America, already developed, cannot keep up. The country disintegrates socially. Washington, always depending on war and its threat, faces a new world in which trade is the weapon, and doesn't know what to do. The culture courses. The world changes.

    Yet if only Trump showed some sign of knowing what he is doing, and could remember from day to day, if only he realized that wars are more easily started than predicted, if only he were not becoming an unbalanced Hillary.

    Yet, apparently, he is.

    (Reprinted from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)

    [Apr 21, 2017] Putins Warning Full Speech 2017

    Apr 21, 2017 | www.youtube.com
    Bretislav Stejskal 3 weeks ago Gerry Lamb you don't really know much now, do you. You are a little Alice in wonderland when it comes to geopolitics. Russia never ever seeked war. If you knew enough about Russia, you'd know this first. the entire western greed cannot accept the ownership of the subhuman Russians of a vast and rich land. To the Anglo-Saxons all slavs will always be lesser people. It's in them. They sponsored the fascism, comunism and pretty much every evil on this planet. Even Stalin did what he did for all patriotic reasons, while the west does it all out of a simple and pure greed.

    [Apr 20, 2017] Vladimir Putin humiliates BBC Reporter John Simpson

    Apr 20, 2017 | www.youtube.com
    Published on Oct 12, 2016

    The Russian Narrative of the Post Cold War era in less than six minutes..

    The video below contains an answer from Vladimir Putin to a question from veteran BBC "journalist" John Simpson.. In less than six minutes the President of the Russian Federation explains their point of view on the post cold war era in a most devastating manner.

    It is a calm and skillful demolition of the Western narrative regarding Russia in all it's infantile and morally bankrupt depravity. Even those who disagree have the opportunity at least to hear the Russian viewpoint expressed in a succinct yet powerful way.

    The core of it is that when the USSR was dismantled the West continued with the tactics of the Cold war and continued to treat Russia as an adversary despite the end of the defining ideological difference.

    From their point of view the acquiescence of Russia to the Wests demands in terms of economic policy were met with encirclement, missile shields aimed at achieving Nuclear first strike capability and colour revolutions on their borders to replace their allies with the stooges of the West.

    The Russian narrative has two central virtues, it is simple and it is largely true although some less "helpful" facts tend to be edited from the narrative as you would expect. plemax 2 months ago (edited)

    I would say that translation is not very accurate. It's close but sounds direct. When Putin talks in Russian he doesn't sound direct. He sounds firm but rather balanced. Also, he doesn't use "I am" statements, he uses "we are" statements. English subtitles keep showing "I am". Or "listen to me" instead of "look". Putin is saying "look, we did this and that". Translation showing "listen to me, we did this and that". Things like that make a huge difference in the way people receiving an information.
    Andre Vz 2 hours ago
    Good point. I am a native Russian speaker with an English interpreter experience spawning for former military service (russian) and over a decade of first hand experience of living in US. The subtitles were quite inadequate. Smothering the actual strong points of Vladimir Putin while unnecessarily escalating the other to the point of almost sounding aggressive. I attribute it to the usual bias of western media that is bent on presenting Russia as an aggressive nation and use it as a smoke screen for all of those despicable crimes that US commits globally
    ME UK 3 months ago
    Jesus I'm a proud nationalist Brit who loves his country but hearing Putin here I'm inclined to agree with what he says. The Russians do not threaten our borders in the way NATO threatens Russian borders by placing troops within a stone's throw of their border. Then consider the might of NATO compared to Russia. I'm left siding with Putin which is quite remarkable. More and more people are beginning to question the version of the West. Why the hell can't the West team up with Russia to rid the world of terrorists wherever they rear their ugly heads. Instead we are fed the same old crap by our failed self serving liberal traitor masters. Stop voting for the same THREE failed political parties in the UK and start thinking outside the box. Together the Labour / Lib Dem and Conservative parties have engineered the whole problem and sold us all out with mass immigration and 1.8 Trillion of crippling public debt. It's utter madness. I wish we had a PM like Putin.
    Gordon Eatman 3 months ago
    Putin expresses a lot of truth. Only US can be so blind and arrogant.

    Crushonius

    what a condescending CUNT THAT REPORTER IS ?

    paul h3 months ago

    Alot of what he says makes sense.

    TheSommersonnenwende

    Listen to his United Nation speech! That will open your eyes for all time!

    yaara513 months ago

    I´m from Germany and I love you Putin ! Although German media portrays you as the devil in person I admire you, sir.

    Imran Armani 1 month ago

    Russian defense Budget 50 Million US 575 Millions --------- Proves who is aggressor

    Clar Wikk 2 months ago

    BBC globalist cucks are traitors to the west

    Ateo forever 2 months ago

    I had reservations when Putin came to power, but i since changed my mind, i have more respect for him, than any of the US presidents past and present.

    PIMP EL

    Putin is on offer the better leaders in modern politics , smart guy with no BS attitude..

    Tony G

    Whilst Putin is no saint and Russia's history is less than perfect. Their resolve is absolute. If they say they are going to do something, they do it. If they say that they will stand up to ISIS with the same aggression, they do it! This is not what most other EU countries do. What EU countries do is talk then talk some more and ultimately achieve nothing. You cannot turn the tide on ISIS unless you step away from political correctness!

    꿈을어둠 5 months ago

    I've always seen Putin as rational even if he isn't flawless. Let's face it, 90% of his bad reputation comes from american propaganda, unfortunately the US controls or has major influence on media even here in europe.

    Space oriented 5 months ago

    The US's media influence is even worse than the influence of nuclear weaponry. It seriously aggravates me.

    dinan5iver 5 months ago

    Invaded Georgia you say? If you're referring to their response to the slaughter of Russian peacekeepers and citizens carrying Russian passports in South Ossetia by the western backed sociopath Mikheil Saakashvili, then go ahead and call it an "invasion".

    Crimeans who are overwhelmingly ethnic Russians, voted in a referendum to secede from the illegitimate coup-installed Nazi regime in Kiev. There was no "invasion". By treaty agreement Russia had 24K troops stationed on the peninsula to secure their Black Sea Fleet. How'd you think that was going to go?

    He's aiding Assad you say? Why WOULD'NT Russia defend a nation to which it has been formally allied since the 1950's from US/Saudi/NATO backed crazed jihadists?

    NATO is an armed alliance that should have died with the USSR and, contrary to the first Bush administration's promise to Gorbachev not to move the alliance "one inch" toward Russia's borders in exchange for their agreement not to oppose the reunification of Germany, encircled the Russian Federation with NATO bases. And you have the nerve to call Putin an aggressor?

    Mr. Mark 4 months ago (edited)

    Simpson assumes Americans still feel threatened by Putin and the Russian Federation. In fact, we have stopped believing the lies of most of our own journalists and politicians because real data is being supplied by WikiLeaks and other honest news sources so we are more afraid of our own government than those abroad. Putin is our ally, he will get along well with Trump and I expect we will all benefit by this relationship built on mutual trust than the lies we normally expect. Simpson looks the idiot here...assuming we will think he is strong. The real strength here is Putin, his communication skills, articulate manner impress us.

    [Apr 20, 2017] Putin crushes CNN smartass Fareed Zakaria on Donald Trump and US elections

    Apr 20, 2017 | www.youtube.com
    a really interesting, impressive reply at Zakaria provocation...


    MJ Augusto 4 months ago (edited)

    I am a true patriot. I'm America first all the way. But we've been giving Russia the short end of the stick since the end of WWII. Harry Truman started it with nuclear blackmail after we bombed Japan. Even though (yes it's true folks) the Soviets are the ones who really took the guts out of the Nazi war machine. We would have won anyway, but Russia accelerated the process in a huge way. They also invaded Japan forcing the emperors hand after we dropped the second atom bomb. During the Cuban missle crisis we really didn't have a leg to stand on in negotions. We had tactical nukes in Siberia armed and ready long before Russia put missiles in Cuba. I'm not a sympathizer, Stalin was an oppressor of human rights, and I feel communism is fundamentally flawed. But Putin is right, we've tried to force our ideas on the rest of the world and alienated most of it through out the process. Vietnam, El Salvador, Korea, Cuba, and Iran during the cold war.

    [Apr 20, 2017] Bill Binney explodes the Russia witchhunt

    Mar 04, 2017 | www.youtube.com

    He also exposes the NSA penchant for "swindles", such as preventing the plugging of holes in software around the world, to preserve their spying access.

    Frank Oak 3 weeks ago Big Mike's boat 200 tons coke bust n Hussien on the run as cosmic Camelots​ crimes going viral

    Marija Djuric 3 weeks ago Bill Binney should be head of the NSA

    Nancy M 3 weeks ago The Clinton campaign to divert attention to Russia instead of her myriad of crimes that were revealed during the election must be stopped and the alt media needs to start talking about her and Obama's crimes again and demand justice...control the dialogue

    John 3 weeks ago It's almost comical to hear that they lie to each other. No wonder why these retards in the mid-east and every other third world country gets the better of us.

    [Apr 19, 2017] Assessing Russias Military Strength

    Notable quotes:
    "... In layman's lingo, the United States lacks geographic, historic, cultural, economic and technological pressures to develop and have a coherent defensive military doctrine and weapons which would help to implement it. As Michael Lind writes: ..."
    "... At this point, the only locality where the US can hope to "defeat" Russia is in Syria, to reassert, even if for a little while longer, itself as "greatest military in history". But even there the window of opportunities is closing fast since the Russian conventional response in Europe would be devastating. ..."
    "... As Colonel Pat Lang's blog noted : "If Russia decides to call our bluff and escalate things Trump will likely preside over a public humiliation that will explode America's military delusions of grandeur". ..."
    "... US Naval Institute Proceedings ..."
    "... [AKA "SmoothieX12"] ..."
    "... [AKA "SmoothieX12"] ..."
    "... [AKA "SmoothieX12"] ..."
    "... [AKA "SmoothieX12"] ..."
    "... [AKA "SmoothieX12"] ..."
    "... [AKA "SmoothieX12"] ..."
    "... [AKA "SmoothieX12"] ..."
    "... [AKA "SmoothieX12"] ..."
    Apr 19, 2017 | www.unz.com
    There is a popular point of view in some of Russia's political circles, especially among those who profess monarchist views and cling to a famous meme of 1913 Tsarist Russia development statistics, that WW I was started by Germany to forestall Russia's industrial development which would inevitably challenge Germany's plans on domination of Europe. A somewhat similar argument could be made for the WW II, but, in general, preventive wars are nothing new in human history. While "preventive" argument may or may not be a valid one regarding WW I, there is no doubt that it could be used, among others, when explaining the origins of a war.

    A classic example of such "preventive" war is, of course, US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the mayhem which ensued there when US, as was stated then, "prevented" Saddam from obtaining Weapons of Mass Destruction, that is nuclear weapons, which, of course, he never had and wasn't intent on obtaining . It is becoming increasingly clear that "preventive war" has become a preferred instrument in the hands of Washington establishment, be it Iraq, Libya or Syria.

    But what about Russia, one may ask, or China. Are "preventive wars" against them possible? Taken at face value the question may seem strange-both China, and especially Russia are nuclear armed states which can defend themselves. They do have deterrents and that supposedly should stop any attempt on any kind of war on them. This all is true but only so far. One may consider the current geopolitical situation in which China has all but created a new alternative economic power pole , and in which the US finds herself increasingly in the position of the still extremely important but second and, eventually, even third place player in Eurasian economic development. The United States doesn't like being in second and doesn't take such a reality kindly.

    But for Washington, whose political discourse is based on American exceptionalism and foreign policy now is defined completely in terms of military power, emergence of a "peer" military power is absolutely unacceptable. While China is an economic giant and is now arguably the largest economy in the world, she still has a long way to go until she becomes a true "peer" to the United States militarily. This is not the case with Russia. It becomes also true when one begins to look at doctrinal and technological developments both in the US and Russia. The contrast is startling, even if one considers a very dubious US intelligence analysis on Russia .

    Russia's military doctrine and posture are explicitly defensive. Power Projection in Russian strategic considerations is secondary, if not tertiary, to the defense of Russia proper and her immediate geographic vicinity which can roughly be defined as about 80-85% of territory of the former USSR. This is not the case with the United States who is a consummate expeditionary power and fights wars not on own territory, and whose population and political elites are not conditioned by continental warfare.

    Arthur J. Alexander in his " Decision Making In Soviet Weapons Procurement " came up with quantification of what he called "classes of forces" (or constants) influencing aggregate defense expenditures for USSR. This quantification remains virtually unchanged for modern day Russia. To quote Alexander, two of the most "heavy" constants he mentions are: "History, culture and values–40-50 percent. International environment, threat and internal capabilities–10-30 percent" . Taken by their maxima, 50+30=80%, we get the picture. 80% of Russia's military expenditures are dictated by real military threats, which were, time after time over centuries, realized for Russia and resulted in the destruction and human losses on a scale incomprehensible for people who write US military doctrines and national security strategies. This is especially true for Neocon "strategists" who have a very vague understanding of the nature and application of military power-expeditionary warfare simply does not provide a proper angle on the issues of actual defense. The nation whose 20 th Century losses due to wars from WW I, to Civil War to WW II number roughly in 40-45 million range, would certainly try to not repeat such ordeals. Even famous Russophobe and falsifier, Richard Pipes, was forced to admit that:

    Such figures are beyond the comprehension of most Americans. But clearly a country must define "unacceptable damage" differently from the United States which has known no famines or purges, and whose deaths from all the wars waged since 1775 are estimated at 650,000-fewer casualties than Russia suffered in the 900-day siege of Leningrad in World War II alone. Such a country (Russia) tends also to assess the rewards of defense in much more realistic terms.

    In layman's lingo, the United States lacks geographic, historic, cultural, economic and technological pressures to develop and have a coherent defensive military doctrine and weapons which would help to implement it. As Michael Lind writes:

    The possibility of military defeat and invasion are usually left out of discussion .in the United states and Britain. The United States, if one discounts Pearl Harbor has not suffered a serious invasion from 1812; Britain, though it has been bombed from the air in the (20th century), has been free from foreign invasion even longer .Elsewhere in the world, political elites cannot as easily separate foreign policy and economics.

    Russia lives under these pressures constantly and, in fact, Russians as ethnos were formed and defined by warfare. Russia is also defined by her weapons and it is here where we may start looking for one of the most important rationales for anti-Russian hysteria in Washington which have proceeded unabated sincethe return of Crimea in 2014, in reality even earlier.

    The Western analytical and expert community failed utterly in assessing Russia's both economic and, as a consequence, military potential. The problem here is not with Russia, which offers unprecedented access to all kinds of foreigners, from businessmen and tourists to political and intelligence (overt and covert) professionals. The problem is with Western view of Russia which as late as three years ago was completely triumphalist and detached from Russia's economic realities. That is the reality not defined by meaningless Wall Street economic indices.

    It took a complete and embarrassing failure of the West's economic sanctions on Russia to recognize that the actual size of Russia's economy is about that of Germany, if not larger, and that Russia was defining herself in terms of enclosed technological cycles, localization and manufacturing long before she was forced to engage in the war in Georgia in 2008. Very few people realistically care about Russia's Stock Market, the financial markets of Germany are on the order of magnitude larger, but Germany cannot design and build from scratch a state of the art fighter jet, Russia can. Germany doesn't have a space industry, Russia does. The same argumentation goes for Russia's microelectronics industry and her military-industrial complex which dwarfs that of any "economic" competitor Western "economists" always try to compare Russia to, with the exception of US and China, and then on bulk, not quality, only. Third or Second World economies do not produce such weapons as Borey-class strategic missile submarines or SU-35 fighter jets, they also do not build space-stations and operate the only global alternative to US GPS, GLONASS system.

    Whether this lesson will be learned by the combined West is yet to be seen. So far, the learning process has been slow for US crowd which cheered on US deindustrialization and invented a fairy tale concept of post-industrial, that is non-productive, virtual economy.

    The Russian economy is not without problems, far from it-it still tries to break with the "heritage" of robbery and deformities of 1990s and still tries to find its way on a path different from destructive ideology of Russia's "young reformers" who still dominate policy formulation, be it from the positions of power or through such institutions as notorious High School of Economics.

    Yet, it seems this economy which was " left in tatters " or was an economy of a " gas station masquerading as a country ", is the only other economy in the world which can produce and does produce the whole spectrum of weapons ranging from small arms to state-of-the-art complex weapon and signal processing systems. No other nation with the exception of the US and Russia, not even China, can produce and procure a cutting edge military technology which has capabilities beyond the reach of everyone else.

    Here, the US establishment, also known as the Neocon interventionist cabal, it seems, has begun to wake up to actual reality, not the fictitious one that the US can allegedly create for itself. Such as the fact that Russia, in a planned and well executed manner, without any unnecessary fanfare, launched a complete upgrade of her naval nuclear deterrent with the state of the art SSBNs of Borey-class (Project 955 and 955A). Three submarines of this type are already afloat while other 5 are in a different stages of completion and this is the program which most of US Russia "analysts" were laughing at 10 years ago. They are not laughing anymore.

    Today it is US Navy which is in dire need for upgrade of its nuclear deterrent, with the youngest of Ohio-class SSBN, SSBN-743 USS Louisiana, being 20 year old. The future replacement of venerable Ohio-class SSBNs, a Columbia-class is slated to go into production in 2021 that is if the R&D will go smoothly. But one has to consider a feature which became defining of US R&D and weapons procurement practices-delays and astronomical costs of US weapons, which, despite constantly being declared "superior", "unrivaled" and "best in the world" are not such at all, especially for the prices they are offered both domestically and abroad. As in the case with above mentioned Columbia-class SSBN, the GAO expects the cost of the whole program to be slightly above 97 billion dollars and that means that the average cost for each sub of this class will be around 8.1 billion dollars. That is much more than the cost of the whole-8 advanced submarines-program of Russia's naval nuclear deterrent.

    And this single example demonstrates well an abyss in fundamental approaches to the war between US and Russia: not only do Russian weapons rival those made in US, they are much-much less expensive and they provide Russia with this proverbial bang for a buck, also known in professional circles which deal with strategy and operation's research as cost/effectiveness ratio. Here, United States is simply no competition to Russia and the gap not only remains, it widens with ever-increasing speed. As Colonel Daniel Davies admitted : " The truth is, the United States is nowhere near as powerful and dominant as many believe ." That brings us to a second issue, of doctrines, operational concepts and weapons themselves.

    A complete inability to see the evolution of Russia's Armed Forces is another failure which not only irritated but continues to irritate US military-political establishment since it proved them completely wrong. Economic "blindness" factored in here very strongly-it was inevitable in a system that looks at the world through a grossly distorted Wall Street monetarist spyglass. Many times it was pointed out that direct linear comparison, dollar-for-dollar, of military budgets is wrong and does not reflect real military, in general, and combat, in particular, potentials in the least.

    While the US Navy was busy spending 420 million dollars per hull on its 26-ship fleet of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), Russian Navy spent two times less per unit on a frigates whose combat capabilities dwarf those of any LCS in any aspect: ASW, Air Defense and Sensors, including the ability to launch supersonic anti-shipping cruise missiles from 600 kilometers and land-attack missiles from 2500. The same goes to much smaller and even much cheaper missile corvettes of Buyan and Karakurt classes which can engage any US Navy's targets, let alone something of LCS caliber.

    Experiences with a technological embarrassment known as F-35 merely confirm the fact that US is being tangled in a bizarre combination of unrealistic doctrinal views, unachievable technological and operational requirements and, in general, a complete failure to follow Sun Tzu's popular dictums of "Know Thy Enemy" and "Know Thy Self". On both counts the US policy makers and doctrine mongers failed miserably.

    As late as two years ago a number of US Russia's military "experts" declared that Russia's ground forces return to division structure was merely "symbolic". Symbolic they were not, with Russia resurrecting both divisions and armies as appropriate operational-tactical and operational-strategic units in order for a large scale combined arms operations. While following closely the evolution of US forces within the framework of initially much touted Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), Russia never changed her focus on the large scale combined arms operations. This came as a nasty surprise on 08/08/2008 when the elements of the supposedly "backward" Russian 58 th Army demolished NATO and Israel trained, and partially equipped, Saakashivili's Army in a matter of 96 hours. Nobody celebrated this victory and Russian Army was subjected, somewhat justifiably, to scathing criticism from many quarters. But it was clear already then that combined arms operations of large army units remain a principle method of the war between peer-to-peer state actors. The issue then, in 2008, was that US didn't consider Russia a peer and even near peer "status" was grudgingly afforded due to Russia's nuclear arsenal.

    Things changed dramatically after the coup in Kiev and junta unleashing a war in Donbass. Brigade and Division size forces there engaged in a full blown combined arms warfare, including head to head armor clashes, employment, especially for LDNR forces, of full C4ISR capabilities and Net-Centric warfare principles. So much so that it created a cultural shock for US military's COIN crowd , which got used to operate in the environment of total domination over its rag-tag lightly armed guerilla formations in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    And it was then, and later, in 2015, demonstrated by Russia's Syria campaign, that the realization of an inability to defeat Russia conventionally began to dawn on many in D.C. establishment. Thus the whole premise of last quarter century "Pax Americana"-alleged conventional military superiority over any adversary-was blown out of the water. American military record of the last quarter century is not impressive for a power which proclaimed herself to be a hyper-power and as having the most powerful military in history. As US Marine Corps Captain Joshua Waddle bitterly admitted :

    "Let us first begin with the fundamental underpinnings of this delusion: our measures of performance and effectiveness in recent wars. It is time that we, as professional military officers, accept the fact that we lost the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Objective analysis of the U.S. military's effectiveness in these wars can only conclude that we were unable to translate tactical victory into operational and strategic success".

    Delusion, of course, being the fact of US expecting a decisive tactical and technological superiority on the battlefield. Overwhelming empirical evidence tells a completely different story:

    United States military in future conflicts will have to deal, in case of conventional conflict against near-peer, let alone peer, with adversary who will have C4ISR capability either approaching that or on par with that of the US. This adversary will have the ability to counter US military decision cycles (OODA loop) with equal frequency and will be able to produce better tactical, operational and strategic decisions. US real and perceived advantage in electronic means of warfare (EW) will be greatly reduced or completely suppressed by present and future EW means of adversary thus forcing US forces fight under the conditions of partial or complete electronic blindness and with partially or completely suppressed communications and computer networks. US will encounter combat technologies not only on par but often better designed and used , from armor to artillery, to hyper-sonic anti-shipping missiles, than US military ever encountered. Modern air-forces and complex advanced air defense systems will make the main pillar of US military power-its Air Force-much less effective. Last but not least, today the US military will have to deal with a grim reality of its staging areas, rear supply facilities, lines of communications being the target of massive salvos of long-range high subsonic, supersonic and hyper-sonic missiles . The US military has never encountered such paradigm in its history. Moreover, already today, US lower 48 are not immune to a conventional massive missile strike.

    But above all, if to finally name this "peer", which is Russia, and that is who pre-occupies the minds of former and current Pentagon's and National Security brass, in case of conventional conflict Russians will be fighting in defense of their motherland. Here Russia has a track record without equals in human history. Meanwhile, if the current military trends continue, and there are no reasons for them to stop , the window of opportunities for the Neocon cabal to attack Russia conventionally and unleash a preventive war is closing really fast (if it ever existed). That is what drives to a large extent an aggressive military rhetoric and plans, such as National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster's doctrine and war mongering.

    By mid 2020s Russia's rearmament program will be largely complete, which will allow Russia's Armed Forces to field and float a technology which will completely prevent NATO from exercising any illusions about the outcome of any conventional war in Russia's geographic vicinity, including her littoral, and that will mark the end of US designs on Eurasia by military means. It wouldn't matter how many carrier battle groups US will be able to move to forward areas or how many submarines, or how many brigades it will be able to deploy around Russia it will not be able to defeat Russia conventionally. With that, especially when one considers China's growing military potential, comes the end of Pax-Bellum Americana, the one we all hoped for this election cycle.

    At this point, the only locality where the US can hope to "defeat" Russia is in Syria, to reassert, even if for a little while longer, itself as "greatest military in history". But even there the window of opportunities is closing fast since the Russian conventional response in Europe would be devastating.

    As Colonel Pat Lang's blog noted : "If Russia decides to call our bluff and escalate things Trump will likely preside over a public humiliation that will explode America's military delusions of grandeur".

    Today, the United States in general, and her military in particular, still remain a premier geopolitical force, but increasingly they will have to content with the fact that the short-lived era of self-proclaimed superiority in every single facet of modern nation-states' activity is over, if it ever was the case to start with. Will the US "Deep State" unleash a preventive war to prevent Russia from serving US with the pink slip for its position as world's chaos-monger or will it be, rephrasing the magnificent Corelli Barnett: " US Power had quietly vanished amid stupendous events of the 21 st Century, like a ship-of-the-line going down unperceived in the smoke and confusion of battle ". This is the most important question of the 21 st Century so far, but knowing US deep state ignorance of Russia one can never discount its insanity and an acute case of sour grapes.

    Andrei Martyanov has extensive knowledge of naval issues, and has been published in US Naval Institute Proceedings . Using the handle "SmoothieX12," he has written over 130,000 words of comments at The Unz Review , overwhelmingly on Russian and military matters.

    Anonymous , April 17, 2017 at 5:31 am GMT

    • 100 Words Russia spent almost 5.4% of GDP on military spending. The US last year spent 3.3% and with Trump's proposed increase this number will increase by a few decimal points.

    Russia is a middle income country while the US is a rich country, in the top 10 of GDP per capita. If oil prices don't substantially improve and Russia continues to spend the way it does on the military it will simply go broke.

    Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita (Russia is between Mexico and Suriname)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

    Intelligent Dasein , • Website April 17, 2017 at 5:40 am GMT
    • 400 Words I've come to the conclusion that it is the probable consensus among America's Deep State elites, as exemplified by the truly evil Hillary Clinton, that an all-out war with Russia which totally devastates Russia but leaves America just barely standing, would, notwithstanding the rivers of blood and the chaos unleashed, be an acceptable outcome as long as the blasted rump of America, namely the Deep State itself, gets to subsequently enthrone itself as the unchallenged world hegemon. The Deep State views the entirety of America's economic and military might, as well as the lives of its citizens, as merely a means to this end.

    I also believe that Russia's strategists and state-level actors have come to the same conclusion regarding America's designs. This is the strategic situation that Russia is up against, and this is why Russia has wisely prepared itself to fight a defensive war of astonishing proportions. And for the sake of the human race, for the peace of men of good will everywhere, I would advise Russia that when dealing with a cranky, feeble, delusional, and senile Uncle Sam, it is not possible to be too paranoid. You will not be up against a rational actor if and when this war breaks out. Whatever zany, desperate, and counterproductive gambits you can imagine the USA making, they will not be worse than what these people are capable of.

    As an American myself, I would have liked to have been a patriot. If my country must go to war, I would have liked to be on my country's side. But the bitter truth is that my government is something the world would be better off without. Russia has the moral high ground in this conflict. Hopefully that, and the strength of its arms, will be enough.

    The great tragedy of the 20th century was that all the wrong people won the major wars. Whether it was Chiang Kai-shek in China or Hitler and Mussolini in Europe, or the Kaiser and the House of Hapsburg before them, the real heroes, the ones who were however ineffectively and confusedly on the side of Right, suffered defeat at the hands of the evil imperialists. We cannot allow that to happen again. I know who I will be supporting if it comes to war.

    Long live king and country. God bless the patriots, wherever they be. Hail victory.

    • Agree: Amanda , bluedog , Seamus Padraig •
    anon , April 17, 2017 at 5:57 am GMT
    • 100 Words "The US lacks a coherent defensive military doctrine"..

    Which is hardly surprising since its only two bordering countries are very weak and zero military threat. It is also moated by two huge oceans. The USA could spend virtually nothing on its military and (with a sound immigration policy and secure borders) be perfectly safe. But the American political establishment are not content with this. They seek hegemony. It all started with Woodrow Wilson who refused to mind his business and stay out of war in 1917.

    • Agree: Randal •
    Art , April 17, 2017 at 7:30 am GMT
    • 100 Words Russia said it was going to bolster Syria's air defenses.

    If true – what does this mean for Israeli air power over Syria and Lebanon?

    Hezbollah has shown, even with its air force behind it that the IDF is a paper tiger.

    Without its air forces at 100%, Israel is very vulnerable. A war would be very costly. Many Jews want to leave Israel as it is now.

    Peace - Art

    animalogic , April 17, 2017 at 7:48 am GMT
    • 100 Words The US – with its NATO dogs contributing their yaps – has driven Russia & China into an economic & strategic partnership. Such a foreign policy must rate in the top ten of historical blunders. Essentially they have given a very helpful shove towards Eurasian unity - not yet, but forseeable, perhaps probable.
    Russia & China's continuing military advances are just one side of a coin: economic integration & advance is the other.
    If or when the US loses this struggle it need look no futher than classic Greek tragedy for the first causes of its decline: HUBRIS. Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    Z-man , April 17, 2017 at 9:27 am GMT
    Hey 'Neocon Cabal' is my phrase!!!!! (wink)
    The S400 is a great example of Russian simplicity that scares the Americans and the Jews to death. I hope the Iranians get as many of those SAM's as they need to defend against the Zionist threat! •
    mp , April 17, 2017 at 9:52 am GMT
    • 100 Words It is one thing to let a woman "man" a game console in order to fire a missile, or pilot a killer drone, hundreds (or even thousands) of miles away from the action. But it's another when "boots" hit the ground. I wonder how effective our Americanized, feminized, transgendered, gay friendly, diversified Army and Navy will be when they actually have to storm a beach, somewhere, against a real army–and not some third world outpost. •
    Verymuchalive , April 17, 2017 at 9:57 am GMT
    • 200 Words This is a situation that should never have permitted to arise. The US Federal Deficit is approaching $20 trillion, 2016′s Trade Deficit is $0.5 trillion and the Accumulated Trade Deficit over the last 30 years about $10 trillion. The US is to all intents bankrupt, and bankrupt states quickly lose their empires.
    Of course, America's creditors – China, Japan etc – have rigged the financial sector so that America is still able to afford their goods. Herein, lies the solution. The US dollar is a fiat currency and will collapse sooner or later. It is in Russia and China's interests that they precipitate such a collapse ASAP, even if they themselves suffer negative economic consequences.
    Faced with an imploding economy, and a choice between minimum social welfare measures and a grotesquely expansive military, there can only be one outcome for America. The Neocons will be defanged.
    This form of economic warfare has got to be a lot safer and more effective in achieving its aims than actual warfare. I sincerely hope that the Russians and Chinese have some such plan formulated.
    The era of military confrontation should have been over with the end of the Soviet Union. The Neocons have stolen the Peace, and helped themselves to the Peace Dividend. Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    reiner Tor , • Website April 17, 2017 at 9:58 am GMT
    I think that while it's a grave mistake for Americans to underestimate Russians, it's also a grave mistake for Russians to underestimate Americans.

    Since I cannot claim to be an expert in military technology, I always read such articles with great interest, but never know with how much grain of salt I need to take them – none? a little? a lot? a whole salt mine?

    LondonBob , April 17, 2017 at 10:09 am GMT
    • 100 Words Trump's isolationism and embrace of realpolitik is just a recognition of realities, interestingly this is a viewpoint shared in many European capitals, despite their fulminating over Trump. If Trump isn't co-opted he deserves congratulations for stymieing the traditional imperial overstretch, that is unless recent events in Syria and the Ukraine, perhaps analogous to the Boer War, don't already represent the high points of US power before inevitable decline. Avoiding a WWI type general conflagration will be achievement enough.

    We are both supposed to deride and fear Russia, both can't be true.

    Anatoly Karlin , • Website April 17, 2017 at 10:28 am GMT
    • 400 WordsNEW! Excellent article – and congratulations on your first article here.

    Agree with the general argument here, having said similar things in some of my articles .

    * GDP (PPP) being much more relevant for military comparisons than nominal GDP, let alone stockmarket capitalizations.
    * The Russian military technological gap being smaller than what the Western media tends to posit.
    * The US having predominance in Syria and MENA generally, but with Russia having the capability to successfully respond horizontally in areas where it has the advantage (in Ukraine or even the Baltics).
    * The WW1 preemptive war argument does have a lot of merit. I think it was Moltke the Younger who said that given a couple of more years Germany would find it much more difficult to fight the Russian Army. That happened to be the date when Russia's military reforms should have come to fruition.
    * You can't say much about US (or Israeli) military effectiveness on the basis of their performance in fighting Arabs.

    More skeptical about:

    * " but Germany cannot design and build from scratch a state of the art fighter jet, Russia can " – Russia spends 5% of its GDP on the military (esp. once adjusted for hidden spending), Germany just a bit more than 1%. If Germany was to effectively quadruple its real military spending, I have no doubt that the world's second most complex economy would be up to the task. I am sure it will also be able to build world-class nuclear subs (it already has excellent AIP ones) and a global positioning system with that kind of investment.
    * "The same argumentation goes for Russia's microelectronics industry with the exception of US and China, and then on bulk, not quality, only." Russia is a consistent 5-10 years behind in semiconductor process technology (only recently began to produce 28nm, whereas state of the art is now 10nm).
    * It's lagging in the most "futuristic" aspects. It had a huge lag in drones, though it has made that up somewhat with purchases from Israel. Railguns, and associated naval EM systems. In robotics, Boston Dynamics has far more impressive exponents than anything Russia has publicly demonstrated. To be sure this is all pretty irrelevant right now and most likely in 10 years, but not in 20-30 years time.

    NoseytheDuke, April 17, 2017 at 11:06 am GMT
    Having read many, many of SmoothieX12′s knowledgable comments and now this article, I would imagine that his many critics have enough egg on their faces to have their eggs any way they want them, except sunny side up of course.

    Nobody should be surprised by the revelations here nor should they feel disheartened. It is doubtful that Russia has any plans or even thoughts to ever invade or harm the US. The upside could be that the Neocons and the AIPAC crowd might become so disempowered that they will be finally held to account for their many crimes and that would be good for everyone.

    AP , April 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm GMT
    @Anonymous Russia spent almost 5.4% of GDP on military spending. The US last year spent 3.3% and with Trump's proposed increase this number will increase by a few decimal points.

    Russia is a middle income country while the US is a rich country, in the top 10 of GDP per capita. If oil prices don't substantially improve and Russia continues to spend the way it does on the military it will simply go broke.

    Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita (Russia is between Mexico and Suriname)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures Goods and services in Russia are considerably less expensive than in the West (and this includes the cost of producing fighter jets or rockets), so for such purposes GDP PPP is a better indicator than is nominal GDP. In terms of GDP PPP, Russia is of course not on par with the United States but is considerably higher than Mexico. It is in the same neighborhood as places such as Hungary.

    Russia's overall GDP PPP places it slightly below Germany – 6th place in the world:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

    Randal , April 17, 2017 at 12:22 pm GMT
    @anon "The US lacks a coherent defensive military doctrine"..

    Which is hardly surprising since its only two bordering countries are very weak and zero military threat. It is also moated by two huge oceans. The USA could spend virtually nothing on its military and (with a sound immigration policy and secure borders) be perfectly safe. But the American political establishment are not content with this. They seek hegemony. It all started with Woodrow Wilson who refused to mind his business and stay out of war in 1917. I agreed with the main thrust of your comment, but I would just note that I don't agree with the last sentence:

    It all started with Woodrow Wilson who refused to mind his business and stay out of war in 1917.

    The essence of the US was always expansion by military and other means, from its settler colonial origins and the Manifest Destiny to the expansionist wars against Mexico and Spain, the Monroe Doctrine, and colonial expansions into Hawaii, the Philippines and central America, all before Wilson, who admittedly took the opportunity handed to him by the self-destructive warring of the European powers to go for the big one.

    It's just the nature of the beast.

    Lewl42, April 17, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT
    @Anonymous Russia spent almost 5.4% of GDP on military spending. The US last year spent 3.3% and with Trump's proposed increase this number will increase by a few decimal points.

    Russia is a middle income country while the US is a rich country, in the top 10 of GDP per capita. If oil prices don't substantially improve and Russia continues to spend the way it does on the military it will simply go broke.

    Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita (Russia is between Mexico and Suriname)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures Russia is a middle income country while the US is a rich country, in the top 10 of GDP per capita.

    But the US GDP is of an different structure. Compared it is overblown with pure financial sales and "hedonistic adjustments". More is blown by the culture. In the US much more everyday things relies on money. In case of case they are all worth nothing. Furthermore, if it comes to conflicts than the whole US Infrastructure has to be "revalued", and i doubt that it can withheld some stress tests.

    If oil prices don't substantially improve and Russia continues to spend the way it does on the military it will simply go broke

    No country that relies on oil ( Russia do not) has made substantial improvements. Normally they are problem states where the problems made by oil are solved by money.

    So from my point of view the opposite is true. Russia has made the big mistake to open itself to the west and was bitten. Now they readjust (with a border to china). Thank's to the US Oligarchs which thrown away that chance for they're primitive Neanderthal tribe thinking.

    reiner Tor, Website April 17, 2017 at 12:33 pm GMT
    @mp It is one thing to let a woman "man" a game console in order to fire a missile, or pilot a killer drone, hundreds (or even thousands) of miles away from the action. But it's another when "boots" hit the ground. I wonder how effective our Americanized, feminized, transgendered, gay friendly, diversified Army and Navy will be when they actually have to storm a beach, somewhere, against a real army--and not some third world outpost. Don't worry, when the going gets tough, suddenly the US military will only send straight white men to die for LGBT and black "equality". •
    alexander, April 17, 2017 at 12:36 pm GMT
    Thank you Mr Martyanov, for a highly informative article.

    I am always amazed at the "euphemisms" of our "belligerent war" era, and how they affix themselves, and have affixed themselves, to our mendacious and deceitful behavior.

    Take the idea of a "surge", as was used during the Iraq disaster, as a substitute for the word "escalation" because nobody was comfortable with "escalating the war" once the imminent WMD threat had proven to be phony .so our belligerent elites substituted the word "surge" to ram through funding for the escalation.

    Or lets look at the "euphemisms" of "pre-emptive war" or "preventive war". Do they not function as substitutes for what is , in reality, the greatest crime any nation on earth can commit "War of Aggression"?

    There are other areas too, where we need to take a long, hard look a this " parade of euphemisms" which is constantly inserting itself into the hearts and minds of our citizens .

    For example, lets take a look at the word "propaganda", which is a word that, for the most part, stands on its own ,yet, for arguments sake, does it not function as a "euphemism",( in our ongoing global belligerence) for FRAUD ?

    As we think about these assorted "euphemistic realities" set upon us in our tragic age..we understand the acute distinction between defining something as "war propaganda" versus "WAR FRAUD".

    "War propaganda", however desultory a term, is understood as a legitimate tool within the toolbox of belligerence whereas WAR FRAUD is implicitly understood as a CRIME..which is in need of punishment.

    Have not our euphemistic manipulations , like "preemptive war", or "preventive war",overwhelmed the integrity of our national discourse, and paved the way for heinous murderous behavior which would normally not be tolerated ?,

    Is not their primary purpose to insulate us from our own awareness of the CRIMES we have committed , and will continue to commit ?.

    What a blessing it will be for the whole wide world, once we end this " charade of euphemisms" and start calling things what they truly are.

    Erebus, April 17, 2017 at 12:39 pm GMT
    Yes, thank you for an excellent summation of the situation.

    The owners of the US face an Either/Or moment. Either they abandon their ambitions of Global Hegemony, and retreat to attempt to rule over N. America (with some residual dreams of ruling C. & S. America to sweeten the pot) or they go for broke.

    Unlike Dasein, I have no doubt that any dreams of Global Hegemony will come crashing to ground if any sort of a war breaks out. Putin has made it perfectly plain. Russia will never allow itself to be invaded again. That means something, and what it means is that Russia will take the fight to the enemy when it sees its red lines crossed.

    The continental US can be thrown into socio-political-economic collapse with 3 dozen Kalibrs aimed at critical nodes in the national electrical grid. With no prospect of electricity being revived, the now largely urban population would find itself instantly transported to 1900 with none of the skills and infrastructure that kept a pre-electrified rural society fed and secure. If the subs and/or TU-160s are in place, that's 45-90 minutes without a single nuke fired.

    No mushroom clouds or devastated cities, yet, but the Either/Or moment will become acute indeed. One can hope that we'll be rejoicing that America's owners follow their internationalistic instincts when that moment has passed.

    reiner Tor, Website April 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm GMT
    @Anatoly Karlin Excellent article - and congratulations on your first article here.

    Agree with the general argument here, having said similar things in some of my articles .

    * GDP (PPP) being much more relevant for military comparisons than nominal GDP, let alone stockmarket capitalizations.
    * The Russian military technological gap being smaller than what the Western media tends to posit.
    * The US having predominance in Syria and MENA generally, but with Russia having the capability to successfully respond horizontally in areas where it has the advantage (in Ukraine or even the Baltics).
    * The WW1 preemptive war argument does have a lot of merit. I think it was Moltke the Younger who said that given a couple of more years Germany would find it much more difficult to fight the Russian Army. That happened to be the date when Russia's military reforms should have come to fruition.
    * You can't say much about US (or Israeli) military effectiveness on the basis of their performance in fighting Arabs.

    More skeptical about:

    * " but Germany cannot design and build from scratch a state of the art fighter jet, Russia can " - Russia spends 5% of its GDP on the military (esp. once adjusted for hidden spending), Germany just a bit more than 1%. If Germany was to effectively quadruple its real military spending, I have no doubt that the world's second most complex economy would be up to the task. I am sure it will also be able to build world-class nuclear subs (it already has excellent AIP ones) and a global positioning system with that kind of investment.

    * "The same argumentation goes for Russia's microelectronics industry ... with the exception of US and China, and then on bulk, not quality, only." Russia is a consistent 5-10 years behind in semiconductor process technology (only recently began to produce 28nm, whereas state of the art is now 10nm).

    * It's lagging in the most "futuristic" aspects. It had a huge lag in drones, though it has made that up somewhat with purchases from Israel. Railguns, and associated naval EM systems. In robotics, Boston Dynamics has far more impressive exponents than anything Russia has publicly demonstrated. To be sure this is all pretty irrelevant right now and most likely in 10 years, but not in 20-30 years time.

    The WW1 preemptive war argument does have a lot of merit.

    Czar Nicholas II could've simply told the Serbs to comply with the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum. Actually, that was the first reaction of Russian government circles (harboring terrorists was not looked upon very nicely in Russia where the grandfather of the Czar was murdered by similar terrorists), but then they changed their minds.

    In any event, WW1 was a blunder for almost all involved – all countries that participated could've easily stayed out, and with a few exceptions (perhaps Romania and Japan? maybe even China?) none had any significant benefits relative to the enormous costs. Not even the US.

    AP, April 17, 2017 at 12:50 pm GMT
    @Anatoly Karlin Excellent article - and congratulations on your first article here.

    Agree with the general argument here, having said similar things in some of my articles .

    * GDP (PPP) being much more relevant for military comparisons than nominal GDP, let alone stockmarket capitalizations.
    * The Russian military technological gap being smaller than what the Western media tends to posit.
    * The US having predominance in Syria and MENA generally, but with Russia having the capability to successfully respond horizontally in areas where it has the advantage (in Ukraine or even the Baltics).
    * The WW1 preemptive war argument does have a lot of merit. I think it was Moltke the Younger who said that given a couple of more years Germany would find it much more difficult to fight the Russian Army. That happened to be the date when Russia's military reforms should have come to fruition.
    * You can't say much about US (or Israeli) military effectiveness on the basis of their performance in fighting Arabs.

    More skeptical about:

    * " but Germany cannot design and build from scratch a state of the art fighter jet, Russia can " - Russia spends 5% of its GDP on the military (esp. once adjusted for hidden spending), Germany just a bit more than 1%. If Germany was to effectively quadruple its real military spending, I have no doubt that the world's second most complex economy would be up to the task. I am sure it will also be able to build world-class nuclear subs (it already has excellent AIP ones) and a global positioning system with that kind of investment.
    * "The same argumentation goes for Russia's microelectronics industry ... with the exception of US and China, and then on bulk, not quality, only." Russia is a consistent 5-10 years behind in semiconductor process technology (only recently began to produce 28nm, whereas state of the art is now 10nm).
    * It's lagging in the most "futuristic" aspects. It had a huge lag in drones, though it has made that up somewhat with purchases from Israel. Railguns, and associated naval EM systems. In robotics, Boston Dynamics has far more impressive exponents than anything Russia has publicly demonstrated. To be sure this is all pretty irrelevant right now and most likely in 10 years, but not in 20-30 years time. I generally agree both with Andrei's article and with your responses. But –

    You can't say much about US (or Israeli) military effectiveness on the basis of their performance in fighting Arabs

    Or Russian, on the basis of performance in fighting Georgians or Arabs in Syria. Neither side has really been tested, but a real test would reflect some sort of disaster. US would have a real test in North Korea or Iran, Russia in a war against Turkey.

    "but Germany cannot design and build from scratch a state of the art fighter jet, Russia can" – Russia spends 5% of its GDP on the military (esp. once adjusted for hidden spending), Germany just a bit more than 1%. If Germany was to effectively quadruple its real military spending, I have no doubt that the world's second most complex economy would be up to the task. I am sure it will also be able to build world-class nuclear subs (it already has excellent AIP ones) and a global positioning system with that kind of investment

    But how long would it take? I suspect, at least two decades.

    iffen, April 17, 2017 at 1:07 pm GMT
    This is an interesting and informative article.

    Can you give us your opinion of the F-35 program and to a lesser extent the LCS program? I have no doubt that we get good and reliable information in the US, but just in case, a different perspective on whether the projected capabilities are actually being met by the weapons would be nice to consider.

    Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] , • Website April 17, 2017 at 1:14 pm GMT

    @Anatoly Karlin Excellent article - and congratulations on your first article here.

    Agree with the general argument here, having said similar things in some of my articles .

    * GDP (PPP) being much more relevant for military comparisons than nominal GDP, let alone stockmarket capitalizations.
    * The Russian military technological gap being smaller than what the Western media tends to posit.
    * The US having predominance in Syria and MENA generally, but with Russia having the capability to successfully respond horizontally in areas where it has the advantage (in Ukraine or even the Baltics).
    * The WW1 preemptive war argument does have a lot of merit. I think it was Moltke the Younger who said that given a couple of more years Germany would find it much more difficult to fight the Russian Army. That happened to be the date when Russia's military reforms should have come to fruition.
    * You can't say much about US (or Israeli) military effectiveness on the basis of their performance in fighting Arabs.

    More skeptical about:

    * " but Germany cannot design and build from scratch a state of the art fighter jet, Russia can " - Russia spends 5% of its GDP on the military (esp. once adjusted for hidden spending), Germany just a bit more than 1%. If Germany was to effectively quadruple its real military spending, I have no doubt that the world's second most complex economy would be up to the task. I am sure it will also be able to build world-class nuclear subs (it already has excellent AIP ones) and a global positioning system with that kind of investment.
    * "The same argumentation goes for Russia's microelectronics industry ... with the exception of US and China, and then on bulk, not quality, only." Russia is a consistent 5-10 years behind in semiconductor process technology (only recently began to produce 28nm, whereas state of the art is now 10nm).
    * It's lagging in the most "futuristic" aspects. It had a huge lag in drones, though it has made that up somewhat with purchases from Israel. Railguns, and associated naval EM systems. In robotics, Boston Dynamics has far more impressive exponents than anything Russia has publicly demonstrated. To be sure this is all pretty irrelevant right now and most likely in 10 years, but not in 20-30 years time.

    Excellent article – and congratulations on your first article here.

    Thank you.

    Russia is a consistent 5-10 years behind in semiconductor process technology (only recently began to produce 28nm, whereas state of the art is now 10nm).

    Processing power in military applications is less dependent on 10 or 28 nm, than on mathematics and algorithms. Both architectures are more than sufficient for the whole spectrum of military tasks, be it signal processing or developing firing solutions.

    I am sure it will also be able to build world-class nuclear subs (it already has excellent AIP ones) and a global positioning system with that kind of investment.

    Apples and oranges. Producing a state-of-the-art nuclear sub is on the order of magnitude more complex task than producing even a very good SSK. China now produces very good AIP SSKs of 039A type, she still is not capable to produce a nuke with at least third generation characteristics.

    Railguns, and associated naval EM systems

    Absolutely useless, other than to impress journalists, in combat paradigm where hyper-sonic missiles with ranges of 1000 kilometers begin to rule the day. I think 3M22 Zircon reaching Mach=8 this weekend on trials is by far more impressive and influential on the tactical and even political level than any rail-gun. Zircon is a change in combat paradigm of such a scale that it is even difficult to completely grasp it at this stage. I may elaborate on it in depth at some point of time.

    reiner Tor,Website April 17, 2017 at 1:18 pm GMT
    @AP I generally agree both with Andrei's article and with your responses. But -
    You can't say much about US (or Israeli) military effectiveness on the basis of their performance in fighting Arabs
    Or Russian, on the basis of performance in fighting Georgians or Arabs in Syria. Neither side has really been tested, but a real test would reflect some sort of disaster. US would have a real test in North Korea or Iran, Russia in a war against Turkey.
    "but Germany cannot design and build from scratch a state of the art fighter jet, Russia can" – Russia spends 5% of its GDP on the military (esp. once adjusted for hidden spending), Germany just a bit more than 1%. If Germany was to effectively quadruple its real military spending, I have no doubt that the world's second most complex economy would be up to the task. I am sure it will also be able to build world-class nuclear subs (it already has excellent AIP ones) and a global positioning system with that kind of investment
    But how long would it take? I suspect, at least two decades.

    US would have a real test in North Korea or Iran, Russia in a war against Turkey.

    I think Turkey's military is stronger than either Iran's or North Korea's, so it would be a tougher test for Russia to fight Turkey than for the US to fight North Korea or Iran.

    Avery, April 17, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT
    @reiner Tor Don't worry, when the going gets tough, suddenly the US military will only send straight white men to die for LGBT and black "equality". { suddenly the US military will only send straight white men to die .}

    What happens IF straight white men refuse to go and die?

    [Stunning Evidence that the Left Has Won its War on White Males]

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/03/stunning_evidence_that_the_left_has_won_its_war_on_white_males__comments.html

    {White males, in large numbers, are simply losing their will to live, and as a result, they are dying so prematurely and in such large numbers that a startling demographic gap has emerged. It is not just the "opioid epidemic" that is killing off white working class males, it is a spiritual crisis, and Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton have the numbers to sustain this conclusion.}

    Carlton Meyer, • Website April 17, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT
    @Anonymous Russia spent almost 5.4% of GDP on military spending. The US last year spent 3.3% and with Trump's proposed increase this number will increase by a few decimal points.

    Russia is a middle income country while the US is a rich country, in the top 10 of GDP per capita. If oil prices don't substantially improve and Russia continues to spend the way it does on the military it will simply go broke.

    Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita (Russia is between Mexico and Suriname)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures Over the years, the Pentagon encouraged Congress to move parts of national security spending out of its budget to the extent that almost half is found outside the DOD. The USA really spends over a trillion dollars a year. For example, nuclear weapons research, testing, procurement, and maintenance is found in the Dept of Energy budget.

    http://www.pogo.org/straus/issues/defense-budget/2016/americas-1-trillion-national-security-budget.html

    And as others have noted, GDP is a measure of activity, not prosperity. For example, mortgage refinancing creates lots of GDP, but no real wealth. Hurricanes and arson are good for GDP too!

    Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] , • Website April 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm GMT
    @Z-man Hey 'Neocon Cabal' is my phrase!!!!! (wink)
    The S400 is a great example of Russian simplicity that scares the Americans and the Jews to death. I hope the Iranians get as many of those SAM's as they need to defend against the Zionist threat!

    The S400 is a great example of Russian simplicity

    It is a very complex weapon system, whose actual combat potential is highly classified. From people who serve on it, and I quote:"mind boggling capabilities". Latest modifications of S-300 seem almost tame in comparison and S-300 (PMU, Favorit) is a superb complex. Once S-500 comes online, well–it is a different game altogether from there.

    Randal , April 17, 2017 at 1:48 pm GMT
    An excellent and very useful piece, thanks, even if I don't agree with all of it. Certainly many good and important points are made. I would share most of Anatoly Karlin's points above, both in terms of points of agreement and disagreement.

    But when it comes down to the big picture, I think focussing on technologies and doctrines and even crystallised military capabilities is a mistake if you are trying to see long term trends. Such things come and go, and are always in any event shrouded in uncertainty and ignorance. Nobody except a very few (and they aren't talking) really knows what our own side has, and even they don't really know what the other side has, and neither side really knows how their own systems will perform, or how each side's systems will interact in the crucible of war.

    If we are going to speculate about medium term power trends, then we need to look at the underlying basics, which for military power are economic strength (for which the best, albeit imperfect, measure we have is gdp using ppp) and population. Here are the relevant figures:

    Share of world gdp, ppp:

    US
    2020 14.878%
    2015 15.809%
    2010 16.846%
    2000 20.76%

    China
    2020 19.351%
    2015 17.082%
    2010 13.822%
    2000 7.389%

    Russia
    2020 2.836%
    2015 3.275%
    2010 3.641%
    2000 3.294%

    Source IMF per economywatch.com

    Population (2017):

    China: 1,388,232,693

    US: 326,474,013

    Russia: 143,375,006

    These are the basic sinews of world power, at least as far as fully developed countries are concerned (which Russia and the US certainly are, and China nowadays largely is).

    When relative economic strength is changing, military power lags by decades because many of the systems, technologies and institutions can only be built on such timescales. That is why China's military capabilities are so far behind their current economic status. It is also why it is all but certain that China's relative military strength will continue to increase dramatically, relative to all rivals, for decades to come.

    To compare with past world power levels, when the US dominated and the Soviet Union was its rival in the mid-C20th (1950), the US accounted for 27.3% of world gdp, and the Soviet Union had around a third of that, with Britain in third place. In 1913 just before the European powers and Britain committed their suicide by world war, the US accounted for 18.9% of world gdp, with the British Empire just behind and Germany and Russia on about half as much each, but the US was in the position of China today with its relative military power lagging behind its growing economic strength (in 1870 the US share of world gdp had been less than half that of the British Empire).

    The trend of the past decades has been for a steady decline of the US's share of world gdp from its 1950 peak of 27% to only 16% today. There's no reason to expect that trend to halt, so it is just a matter of time before the military balance shifts. In the past, this would likely have been uncovered by a catastrophic military defeat at the hands of a rising power, and that might yet happen, but we now live in the dubious shade of the nuclear peace and so things might be different.

    The figures however make it perfectly clear that the only plausible peer rival to the US in the medium term is China, and not Russia, regardless of current military capabilities.

    mushroom, April 17, 2017 at 2:02 pm GMT
    When folks discuss Russia's capabilities they often forget what's blatantly obvious – which is what's not obvious, i.e. what the bear has created and is in it's hidden caves. What happened to that U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea was just a teasing mini-harbinger of this reality!

    So is the genius to create a cavity to eavesdrop, &c If you want to enjoy happy days don't mess with the bear!

    5371, April 17, 2017 at 2:42 pm GMT
    @Anonymous Russia spent almost 5.4% of GDP on military spending. The US last year spent 3.3% and with Trump's proposed increase this number will increase by a few decimal points.

    Russia is a middle income country while the US is a rich country, in the top 10 of GDP per capita. If oil prices don't substantially improve and Russia continues to spend the way it does on the military it will simply go broke.

    Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita (Russia is between Mexico and Suriname)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures Stupid beyond belief. Countries can't go broke doing something, if they control the natural and human resources they need to accomplish it. In addition, you apparently did not read Smoothie's explanation of why just comparing the sums spent is silly. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    anon , April 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm GMT
    @Randal I agreed with the main thrust of your comment, but I would just note that I don't agree with the last sentence:

    It all started with Woodrow Wilson who refused to mind his business and stay out of war in 1917.

    The essence of the US was always expansion by military and other means, from its settler colonial origins and the Manifest Destiny to the expansionist wars against Mexico and Spain, the Monroe Doctrine, and colonial expansions into Hawaii, the Philippines and central America, all before Wilson, who admittedly took the opportunity handed to him by the self-destructive warring of the European powers to go for the big one.

    It's just the nature of the beast. Yes but up until 1898 – the war against Spain – the US actually got something out of its wars. Wars with countries BEYOND the Americas have gained nothing for America. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    5371 , April 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm GMT
    @reiner Tor

    US would have a real test in North Korea or Iran, Russia in a war against Turkey.
    I think Turkey's military is stronger than either Iran's or North Korea's, so it would be a tougher test for Russia to fight Turkey than for the US to fight North Korea or Iran. Turkey's military has a decent reputation, but I'm not sure that the reputation corresponds with reality any longer. •
    Agent76 , April 17, 2017 at 2:46 pm GMT
    • 100 Words March 19, 2017 Putin Prepares For Invasion of Europe With Massive Cuts to Military Spending

    Russia announces "deepest defense budget cuts since 1990s". Putin must be stopped before it's too late. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the world has enjoyed an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity. Long gone are the days of wasteful military expenditures and no-bid contracts to build airplanes and aircraft carriers that neither fly nor float.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46686.htm

    Aug 8, 2016 "I want to scare Assad" Mike Morell on Charlie Rose

    Mike Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, discusses the need to put pressure on Syria and Russia. The full conversation airs on PBS on August 8th, 2016.

    Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    ANOSPH , April 17, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT
    @Andrei Martyanov

    The S400 is a great example of Russian simplicity
    It is a very complex weapon system, whose actual combat potential is highly classified. From people who serve on it, and I quote:"mind boggling capabilities". Latest modifications of S-300 seem almost tame in comparison and S-300 (PMU, Favorit) is a superb complex. Once S-500 comes online, well--it is a different game altogether from there. Excellent article. I look forward to many more from you.

    Re: the S400, for those interested, TASS developed an excellent and visually appealing overview on the system in Russian:

    Just keep scrolling down.

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    anon , April 17, 2017 at 2:51 pm GMT
    @reiner Tor

    US would have a real test in North Korea or Iran, Russia in a war against Turkey.
    I think Turkey's military is stronger than either Iran's or North Korea's, so it would be a tougher test for Russia to fight Turkey than for the US to fight North Korea or Iran. The real point is that Russia and Turkey are almost neighbors while N.K. is about 8,000 miles from the US. In other words the US could ignore Korea. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    5371 , April 17, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @reiner Tor

    The WW1 preemptive war argument does have a lot of merit.
    Czar Nicholas II could've simply told the Serbs to comply with the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum. Actually, that was the first reaction of Russian government circles (harboring terrorists was not looked upon very nicely in Russia where the grandfather of the Czar was murdered by similar terrorists), but then they changed their minds.

    In any event, WW1 was a blunder for almost all involved - all countries that participated could've easily stayed out, and with a few exceptions (perhaps Romania and Japan? maybe even China?) none had any significant benefits relative to the enormous costs. Not even the US.

    Neither France nor Germany could have stayed out once Russia was in, but then both of them had given their respective allies every encouragement to bring matters to a head. The French had a great increase in self-confidence just in the last two or three years. You are right that Serbia didn't even decide to reject the ultimatum until they heard Russia was already going ahead with pre-mobilisation. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    anon , April 17, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT
    @reiner Tor Don't worry, when the going gets tough, suddenly the US military will only send straight white men to die for LGBT and black "equality". Hopefully at least some of those straight white males will know better. Hopefully.

    Then again people often act contrary to their best interests.

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    Hunsdon , April 17, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT
    Thank you, sir. Great article. Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] , • Website April 17, 2017 at 3:02 pm GMT
    • 300 WordsNEW! @Randal An excellent and very useful piece, thanks, even if I don't agree with all of it. Certainly many good and important points are made. I would share most of Anatoly Karlin's points above, both in terms of points of agreement and disagreement.

    But when it comes down to the big picture, I think focussing on technologies and doctrines and even crystallised military capabilities is a mistake if you are trying to see long term trends. Such things come and go, and are always in any event shrouded in uncertainty and ignorance. Nobody except a very few (and they aren't talking) really knows what our own side has, and even they don't really know what the other side has, and neither side really knows how their own systems will perform, or how each side's systems will interact in the crucible of war.

    If we are going to speculate about medium term power trends, then we need to look at the underlying basics, which for military power are economic strength (for which the best, albeit imperfect, measure we have is gdp using ppp) and population. Here are the relevant figures:

    Share of world gdp, ppp:

    US
    2020 14.878%
    2015 15.809%
    2010 16.846%
    2000 20.76%

    China
    2020 19.351%
    2015 17.082%
    2010 13.822%
    2000 7.389%


    Russia
    2020 2.836%
    2015 3.275%
    2010 3.641%
    2000 3.294%

    Source IMF per economywatch.com

    Population (2017):

    China: 1,388,232,693

    US: 326,474,013

    Russia: 143,375,006

    These are the basic sinews of world power, at least as far as fully developed countries are concerned (which Russia and the US certainly are, and China nowadays largely is).

    When relative economic strength is changing, military power lags by decades because many of the systems, technologies and institutions can only be built on such timescales. That is why China's military capabilities are so far behind their current economic status. It is also why it is all but certain that China's relative military strength will continue to increase dramatically, relative to all rivals, for decades to come.

    To compare with past world power levels, when the US dominated and the Soviet Union was its rival in the mid-C20th (1950), the US accounted for 27.3% of world gdp, and the Soviet Union had around a third of that, with Britain in third place. In 1913 just before the European powers and Britain committed their suicide by world war, the US accounted for 18.9% of world gdp, with the British Empire just behind and Germany and Russia on about half as much each, but the US was in the position of China today with its relative military power lagging behind its growing economic strength (in 1870 the US share of world gdp had been less than half that of the British Empire).

    The trend of the past decades has been for a steady decline of the US's share of world gdp from its 1950 peak of 27% to only 16% today. There's no reason to expect that trend to halt, so it is just a matter of time before the military balance shifts. In the past, this would likely have been uncovered by a catastrophic military defeat at the hands of a rising power, and that might yet happen, but we now live in the dubious shade of the nuclear peace and so things might be different.

    The figures however make it perfectly clear that the only plausible peer rival to the US in the medium term is China, and not Russia, regardless of current military capabilities.

    When relative economic strength is changing, military power lags by decades because many of the systems, technologies and institutions can only be built on such timescales.

    Russia is a very special case here–this is one of the points which is missed completely from "western" discussion. The empirical evidence is in and it overwhelmingly supports my, now academic, contention that "western" metrics for Russia do not work, nor most of the "experts" know what they are talking about, even when they have almost unrestricted access to sources. The way US "missed" Russia's military transformation which started in earnest in 2008 and completed its first phase by 2012 (4 years, you are talking about decades) is nothing short of astonishing. Combination of ignorance, hubris and downright stupidity are responsible for all that.

    P.S. No serious analyst takes US GDP as 18 trillion dollars seriously. A huge part of it is a creative bookkeeping and most of it is financial and service sector. Out of very few good things Vitaly Shlykov left after himself was his "The General Staff And Economics", which addressed the issue of actual US military-industrial potential. Then come strategic, operational and technological dimensions. You want to see operational dimension–look no further than Mosul which is still, after 6 months, being "liberated". Comparisons to Aleppo are not only warranted but irresistible. In general, overall power of the state (nation) is not only in its "economic" indices. I use Barnett's definition of national power constantly, remarkably Lavrov's recent speech in the General Staff Academy uses virtually identical definition.

    anon , April 17, 2017 at 3:10 pm GMT
    • 200 Words @reiner Tor

    The WW1 preemptive war argument does have a lot of merit.
    Czar Nicholas II could've simply told the Serbs to comply with the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum. Actually, that was the first reaction of Russian government circles (harboring terrorists was not looked upon very nicely in Russia where the grandfather of the Czar was murdered by similar terrorists), but then they changed their minds.

    In any event, WW1 was a blunder for almost all involved - all countries that participated could've easily stayed out, and with a few exceptions (perhaps Romania and Japan? maybe even China?) none had any significant benefits relative to the enormous costs. Not even the US.

    That is a point I have often tried to make. Had the Tsar just told the Serbs flat out, "You guys are on your own. Comply. Or fight the Central Powers by yourself. We are out of it.",' there would never have been a 'Great' war (WW1). At most the 'war' would have been a minor brawl between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. History would have recorded it as just another Balkan skirmish. It would have been virtually forgotten today. This was the initial assumption of the Kaiser when he issued his 'blank check' of support. The Tsar would have saved millions of lives, including his own and his family too. Just nine years earlier the Tsar had fought and lost a disastrous war with Japan. That defeat led to a revolution that came within a hair of deposing him. He SHOULD have learned his lesson and avoided any future conflict like the plague. Tsar Nicolas was an incredibly stupid man. He deserves far more vilification then the Kaiser does. •
    TG , April 17, 2017 at 3:10 pm GMT
    • 300 Words An interesting article. A few random thoughts.

    1. "Preventive war is like committing suicide for fear of death" – Otto von Bismarck.

    2. In general I agree and wish that the United States military would be more defensive and waste fewer resources attacking irrelevant nations on the other side of the world. But. It is nevertheless true that "defensive" Russia has been invaded and devastated multiple times, and the United States has not. Perhaps creating chaos on the other side of the world is long-term not quite so ineffective as sitting around waiting for an attack?

    3. The American elites are simply corrupt and insane/don't care about the long-term. At every level – companies taking out massive loans to buy back their stock to boost CEO bonuses, loading up college students with massive unpayable debt so that university administrators can get paid like CEOs, drug prices going through the roof, etc.etc. Military costs will never be as efficient as civilian, war is expensive, but the US has gotten to the point where there is no financial accountability, it's all about the right people grabbing as much money as possible. To make more money you just add another zero at the end of the price tag. At some point the costs will become so inflated and divorced from reality that we will be unable to afford anything And the right people will take their loot and move to New Zealand and wring their hands at how the lazy Americans were not worthy of their brilliant leadership

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    Anonymouse , April 17, 2017 at 3:12 pm GMT
    @Art Russia said it was going to bolster Syria's air defenses.

    If true – what does this mean for Israeli air power over Syria and Lebanon?

    Hezbollah has shown, even with its air force behind it that the IDF is a paper tiger.

    Without its air forces at 100%, Israel is very vulnerable. A war would be very costly. Many Jews want to leave Israel as it is now.

    Peace --- Art You're gloating, Art. Many jews have been leaving Israel for many years for fear of their personal safety. Others remain. Gloating this way reflects a mean spirit. •

    Vendetta , April 17, 2017 at 3:16 pm GMT
    • 200 Words @reiner Tor

    The WW1 preemptive war argument does have a lot of merit.
    Czar Nicholas II could've simply told the Serbs to comply with the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum. Actually, that was the first reaction of Russian government circles (harboring terrorists was not looked upon very nicely in Russia where the grandfather of the Czar was murdered by similar terrorists), but then they changed their minds.

    In any event, WW1 was a blunder for almost all involved - all countries that participated could've easily stayed out, and with a few exceptions (perhaps Romania and Japan? maybe even China?) none had any significant benefits relative to the enormous costs. Not even the US.

    Japan was certainly the greatest beneficiary of the war in economic terms. Their exports ended up tripling to fuel the demand of the wartime European economies and especially to fill in the gap for consumer goods in the East Asian markets whose normal suppliers had redirected their production for the war effort. Shipbuilding in Japan also boomed as a result of wartime demands. Pre-WWI Japan was still importing most of its major warships from Britain; post-WWI Japan was building them all on its own.

    Romania gained a lot in territory but its doubtful whether these gains were worth it in terms of the lives they cost.

    The United States certainly gained in terms of geopolitical power, but that was largely due to the same wartime economic circumstances that had benefited Japan, with the addition of supplanting Britain as the world's leading financial power. These gains, however, would have been won whether or not we'd sent 100,000 of our own to die in France, so their lives ultimately amounted to little more than a sacrifice to Woodrow Wilson's egomaniacal dreams of reshaping the world order into a utopia.

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    5371 , April 17, 2017 at 3:18 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @Anatoly Karlin Excellent article - and congratulations on your first article here.

    Agree with the general argument here, having said similar things in some of my articles .

    * GDP (PPP) being much more relevant for military comparisons than nominal GDP, let alone stockmarket capitalizations.
    * The Russian military technological gap being smaller than what the Western media tends to posit.
    * The US having predominance in Syria and MENA generally, but with Russia having the capability to successfully respond horizontally in areas where it has the advantage (in Ukraine or even the Baltics).
    * The WW1 preemptive war argument does have a lot of merit. I think it was Moltke the Younger who said that given a couple of more years Germany would find it much more difficult to fight the Russian Army. That happened to be the date when Russia's military reforms should have come to fruition.
    * You can't say much about US (or Israeli) military effectiveness on the basis of their performance in fighting Arabs.

    More skeptical about:

    * " but Germany cannot design and build from scratch a state of the art fighter jet, Russia can " - Russia spends 5% of its GDP on the military (esp. once adjusted for hidden spending), Germany just a bit more than 1%. If Germany was to effectively quadruple its real military spending, I have no doubt that the world's second most complex economy would be up to the task. I am sure it will also be able to build world-class nuclear subs (it already has excellent AIP ones) and a global positioning system with that kind of investment.
    * "The same argumentation goes for Russia's microelectronics industry ... with the exception of US and China, and then on bulk, not quality, only." Russia is a consistent 5-10 years behind in semiconductor process technology (only recently began to produce 28nm, whereas state of the art is now 10nm).
    * It's lagging in the most "futuristic" aspects. It had a huge lag in drones, though it has made that up somewhat with purchases from Israel. Railguns, and associated naval EM systems. In robotics, Boston Dynamics has far more impressive exponents than anything Russia has publicly demonstrated. To be sure this is all pretty irrelevant right now and most likely in 10 years, but not in 20-30 years time. WW1, unlike Barbarossa, didn't start with a German attack on Russia, although in each case the argument was made by some (stronger in retrospective for 1941 than 1914) that Russia would be too strong to take on in a couple of years. The difference is that a number of factors – the ideological conflict, the success of "blitzkrieg", the weak Soviet performance at the start of the Finnish war – created an illusory hope of easy victory for the Germans along with the fear of later defeat. That tipped the balance in favour of attack.
    As I understand it, the claimed regular progress to smaller and smaller chip feature sizes has for some time been a matter of marketing, not reality. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    DannyMarcus , April 17, 2017 at 3:19 pm GMT
    • 200 Words @Intelligent Dasein I've come to the conclusion that it is the probable consensus among America's Deep State elites, as exemplified by the truly evil Hillary Clinton, that an all-out war with Russia which totally devastates Russia but leaves America just barely standing, would, notwithstanding the rivers of blood and the chaos unleashed, be an acceptable outcome as long as the blasted rump of America, namely the Deep State itself, gets to subsequently enthrone itself as the unchallenged world hegemon. The Deep State views the entirety of America's economic and military might, as well as the lives of its citizens, as merely a means to this end.

    I also believe that Russia's strategists and state-level actors have come to the same conclusion regarding America's designs. This is the strategic situation that Russia is up against, and this is why Russia has wisely prepared itself to fight a defensive war of astonishing proportions. And for the sake of the human race, for the peace of men of good will everywhere, I would advise Russia that when dealing with a cranky, feeble, delusional, and senile Uncle Sam, it is not possible to be too paranoid. You will not be up against a rational actor if and when this war breaks out. Whatever zany, desperate, and counterproductive gambits you can imagine the USA making, they will not be worse than what these people are capable of.

    As an American myself, I would have liked to have been a patriot. If my country must go to war, I would have liked to be on my country's side. But the bitter truth is that my government is something the world would be better off without. Russia has the moral high ground in this conflict. Hopefully that, and the strength of its arms, will be enough.

    The great tragedy of the 20th century was that all the wrong people won the major wars. Whether it was Chiang Kai-shek in China or Hitler and Mussolini in Europe, or the Kaiser and the House of Hapsburg before them, the real heroes, the ones who were however ineffectively and confusedly on the side of Right, suffered defeat at the hands of the evil imperialists. We cannot allow that to happen again. I know who I will be supporting if it comes to war.

    Long live king and country. God bless the patriots, wherever they be. Hail victory.

    There is a very important and perhaps most decisive aspect of possible US war with Russia or China, which is completely missing in Andrei Martyanov piece and the related comments.
    Don't you think European NATO countries, as well as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan will loudly resist, when their very well-being and existences is utterly jeopardized by American ambitions for hegemony well beyond its shores?
    I imagine and hope that well before a shooting war breaks out with Russia or China, US' present subservient allies will show enough courage to put the brakes on American designs long before any future global wars involving their vital interest is invoked.
    The South Koreans, over 10 million of whom are living in Seoul, are most likely right now pressing the Trump Administration hard to avoid any foolhardy military adventures in North Korea.
    The Europeans, Japanese, South Koreans and the Taiwanese are the best hope of stopping American adventurism because in the final analysis they will refuse to be the sheep marching willingly to the slaughterhouse of a WWIII. •
    Randal , April 17, 2017 at 3:25 pm GMT
    • 200 Words @AP I generally agree both with Andrei's article and with your responses. But -

    You can't say much about US (or Israeli) military effectiveness on the basis of their performance in fighting Arabs
    Or Russian, on the basis of performance in fighting Georgians or Arabs in Syria. Neither side has really been tested, but a real test would reflect some sort of disaster. US would have a real test in North Korea or Iran, Russia in a war against Turkey.

    "but Germany cannot design and build from scratch a state of the art fighter jet, Russia can" – Russia spends 5% of its GDP on the military (esp. once adjusted for hidden spending), Germany just a bit more than 1%. If Germany was to effectively quadruple its real military spending, I have no doubt that the world's second most complex economy would be up to the task. I am sure it will also be able to build world-class nuclear subs (it already has excellent AIP ones) and a global positioning system with that kind of investment
    But how long would it take? I suspect, at least two decades.

    US would have a real test in North Korea or Iran, Russia in a war against Turkey.

    Russia would crush Turkey very quickly in a straight one on one conflict, though it would struggle to physically occupy it. The only reason Turkey would have any capability to resist at all is that Turkey has full US backing, both in terms of the NATO alliance and in terms of the military systems and capabilities it fields. Russia's capabilities, in contrast, are wholly indigenous. Individually, the two countries are not remotely in the same class, militarily.

    Likewise for the US versus Iran or NK. The problem would likely not be in defeating the military forces themselves, but in occupying and holding ground longer term, and dealing with problems caused by horizontal escalation.

    These are issues not really of military capabilities, but rather of national political will to apply those capabilities ruthlessly and to inflict and to take the losses required for total victory.

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    gwynedd1 , April 17, 2017 at 3:30 pm GMT
    The US is not worried about Russia. They were worried about the EU and Russia with economic links to China. Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    Vendetta , April 17, 2017 at 3:34 pm GMT
    • 200 Words @5371 Turkey's military has a decent reputation, but I'm not sure that the reputation corresponds with reality any longer. Their recent mishaps in Syria certainly cast some doubts on their formidable reputation. However I would hesitate to go so far as to say that Turkey has become a paper tiger.

    I don't know if there's a more professional terminology for this, but I think there is a difference between what you might call weakness the surface level and weakness at the core.

    The Winter War, for example, was a humiliating display of weakness from the Red Army – one which the Germans took (mistakenly) as a sign of weakness at the core.

    America in the years before it became a permanently mobilized state was also prone to this sort of happening in the initial stages of its wars – see the rout at Kasserine Pass in World War II or the initial defeats it suffered to the North Koreans in 1950. The British made "our Italians" jokes after Kasserine, but these had a short shelf life as US performance picked up very quickly afterwards.

    The state of the Turkish military right now seems more likely to be one of surface-level weakness (which would be tempered by exposure to battle) than of core-level weakness (which would be exacerbated by it).

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    Anon , April 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm GMT
    http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/this-cold-war-is-even-crazier-than-the-last/19689#.WPTiK9QrK4Q Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    Astuteobservor II , April 17, 2017 at 3:45 pm GMT
    excellent first article on unz. looking forward to more. Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    inertial , April 17, 2017 at 3:54 pm GMT
    • 100 Words A good informative article. Unfortunately it suffers from the typical poor understanding of the economic and financial realities.

    No, "Wall Street economic indices" are not meaningless. And you do have to care about the Russian stock market. Its small size relative to the economy is a cause for concern. In general, Russian financial system is too weak, too small and shallow for an economy of this size. This is not surprising, as it is very new. Hopefully it will grow to its proper dimensions.

    Incidentally, Putin and his government seem to understand these things, even if many others don't.

    • Agree: Kiza •
    Ondrej , April 17, 2017 at 4:10 pm GMT
    • 100 Words

    The Winter War, for example, was a humiliating display of weakness from the Red Army – one which the Germans took (mistakenly) as a sign of weakness at the core.

    Mannerheim (Finish Commander in Chief)
    was stressing how fast Soviet Army learned from their experience, trying to counter claim H. Göring who claimed Winter War as biggest military bluf in history.

    Gen. Waldemar Erfuth
    Wermacht Army Attache in Finish General Staff
    from book: Fighting in Hell – German Ordeal on Eastern Front

    reiner Tor , • Website April 17, 2017 at 4:55 pm GMT
    @Ondrej

    The Winter War, for example, was a humiliating display of weakness from the Red Army – one which the Germans took (mistakenly) as a sign of weakness at the core.
    Mannerheim (Finish Commander in Chief)
    was stressing how fast Soviet Army learned from their experience, trying to counter claim H. Göring who claimed Winter War as biggest military bluf in history.

    Gen. Waldemar Erfuth
    Wermacht Army Attache in Finish General Staff
    from book: Fighting in Hell - German Ordeal on Eastern Front

    Mannerheim (Finish Commander in Chief) was stressing how fast Soviet Army learned from their experience, trying to counter claim H. Göring who claimed Winter War as biggest military bluf in history.

    When was it?

    Ondrej , April 17, 2017 at 5:01 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @inertial A good informative article. Unfortunately it suffers from the typical poor understanding of the economic and financial realities.

    No, "Wall Street economic indices" are not meaningless. And you do have to care about the Russian stock market. Its small size relative to the economy is a cause for concern. In general, Russian financial system is too weak, too small and shallow for an economy of this size. This is not surprising, as it is very new. Hopefully it will grow to its proper dimensions.

    Incidentally, Putin and his government seem to understand these things, even if many others don't.

    No, "Wall Street economic indices" are not meaningless. And you do have to care about the Russian stock market.

    Try to make following thought experiment, what would happen with SP100 financial valuation of shares GN a Lockheed in case of conflict and what would be impact on with Suchoi and MIG shares and how this would impact real economy instead of economics?

    Luckily there is still plenty of people in Russian companies who were educated in economy instead of economics..

    Incidentally, Putin and his government seem to understand these things, even if many others don't.

    From seeing some discussions in Russian TV channels, I can say people in Russia are in fact disgusted with part of government still trying to apply Western type of economics..

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    Ondrej , April 17, 2017 at 5:28 pm GMT
    @reiner Tor

    Mannerheim (Finish Commander in Chief) was stressing how fast Soviet Army learned from their experience, trying to counter claim H. Göring who claimed Winter War as biggest military bluf in history.
    When was it? according to book 4. March 1943

    Mannerheim in front of German General as reaction to some public speech of H. Göring before.

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    bluedog , April 17, 2017 at 5:36 pm GMT
    @Andrei Martyanov

    When relative economic strength is changing, military power lags by decades because many of the systems, technologies and institutions can only be built on such timescales.
    Russia is a very special case here--this is one of the points which is missed completely from "western" discussion. The empirical evidence is in and it overwhelmingly supports my, now academic, contention that "western" metrics for Russia do not work, nor most of the "experts" know what they are talking about, even when they have almost unrestricted access to sources. The way US "missed" Russia's military transformation which started in earnest in 2008 and completed its first phase by 2012 (4 years, you are talking about decades) is nothing short of astonishing. Combination of ignorance, hubris and downright stupidity are responsible for all that.

    P.S. No serious analyst takes US GDP as 18 trillion dollars seriously. A huge part of it is a creative bookkeeping and most of it is financial and service sector. Out of very few good things Vitaly Shlykov left after himself was his "The General Staff And Economics", which addressed the issue of actual US military-industrial potential. Then come strategic, operational and technological dimensions. You want to see operational dimension--look no further than Mosul which is still, after 6 months, being "liberated". Comparisons to Aleppo are not only warranted but irresistible. In general, overall power of the state (nation) is not only in its "economic" indices. I use Barnett's definition of national power constantly, remarkably Lavrov's recent speech in the General Staff Academy uses virtually identical definition. Very good article and David Stockman says the same thing on our GDP that its do to very creative accounting much like our BLS report . Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    Kiza , April 17, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT
    • 600 Words Congratulations on the article Andrei. As another commenter said – I do not agree with everything in the article, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    I also fully support your answers to Karlin, he often barks up a wrong tree.

    Now the main issue with your article that I have is the same old issue that I always had with your comments. You start from the right premise and then you blow it up beyond recognition. In other words, you are too optimistic. For example, it is a very good point that the Russian and US perceptions of war are totally different: for a Russian the war is a fight for survival as an individual and as a nation, for a US person war and killing are just another day in the office. Then you start counting weapons and comparing weapons technology specifications and always conclude that Russian is better and cheaper, even when there is no direct comparison of effectiveness in battle.

    In other words, if your top level goal is to counter the ubiquitous US MIC propaganda with the Russian MIC propaganda, then you are doing a good job. But never forget the Motke's dictum: no wonderful battle plan survives contact with the enemy. I accept that the mercenairy armies, like the US one, are not very good when dying starts, they totally rely on military superiority which does not exist against Russia and soon will not exist against China. But the new generations of Russians are becoming softer and softer and Russian military has not been tested in a recent conflict against a peer just like the US one has not.

    The second major disadvantage of the Russian MIC is that US has a huge market of allies which it ruthlessly milks for weapons procurement, whilst when Russia sells an S300 to Cyprus it lands in the hands of the Israelis to be cracked. Even after such experience Russia engages in an apparently serious discussion to sell S400 to Turkey, straight into NATO hands. To put it mildly – Russia has to nurture the BRICS defense market, although most of the customers are copy artists, China being the master copier.

    Having criticised you too much, now I have to admit that I do not understand how Russia can get on average 5X more bang for the buck than US, sometimes more. Does Russian MIC operate some underground former mine facilities in which these engineering slaves design all these wonderful military toys and then build them at the cost of sustenance? Lower Russian wages and US MIC's extraordinary greed still cannot fully explain such huge difference. Is it some amazing corruption-free project management skills inherited from Soviet Union?

    As someone who has had experience with the weaponry of both sides, I have always been a fan of Russian engineering simplicity and reliability in design. Most people are familiar with this design philosophy through experience with Kalashnikov rifle, but this is a general design principle of all Russian weapons, even the sophisticated ones (probably even S500). Admittedly, the Chinese apply a similar principle in their engineering, although not at the same level – I remember well the shock of my Western colleagues when they realised that the Chinese Long March rockets utilised plywood where they utilised (at that time) very expensive carbon fibre and other composites.

    Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] , • Website April 17, 2017 at 6:19 pm GMT
    • 300 WordsNEW! @inertial A good informative article. Unfortunately it suffers from the typical poor understanding of the economic and financial realities.

    No, "Wall Street economic indices" are not meaningless. And you do have to care about the Russian stock market. Its small size relative to the economy is a cause for concern. In general, Russian financial system is too weak, too small and shallow for an economy of this size. This is not surprising, as it is very new. Hopefully it will grow to its proper dimensions.

    Incidentally, Putin and his government seem to understand these things, even if many others don't.

    Hopefully it will grow to its proper dimensions.

    So, Facebook's capitalization of 400 billion, that is for company which produces nothing of real value (in fact, is detrimental to mental health of the society) is a true size of economy.

    Mind you–this is for a collection of several buildings, servers and about 200-300 pages of code in whatever they wrote it (C++, C whatever–make your pick).

    Meanwhile, Gazprom, which is an energy monster is about 10 times less.

    https://ycharts.com/companies/OGZPY/market_cap

    Here is a dilemma. Gazprom extracts and delivers energy without which Eurasia can not exist. Facebook? Turn it off tomorrow and bar some impressionable teenagers committing suicide, the world will continue on living just fine. But that is just one example. You will not find, however, such a hi-tech monster as Rostec on any financial market. For a corporate giant which employs half-a-million people and produces state of the art weapon systems and civilian products–ask yourself a question whose "capitalization" is more important for economy–of useless Facebook or of the corporation which produces civilian jet engines. But let me add insult to injury. While Facebook "capitalizes" on almost half-trillion, a gem of the American industry, aerospace giant Boeing barely makes it to 109 billion. Most US economic indices are fraud, the same as most of US economy is virtual–a collection of virtual transactions with virtual money and virtual services. i am not talking, of course, about stock buybacks. As I already stated, nobody of any serious expertise in actual things that matter, treats this whole US "economic" data seriously. The problem here is that many in US establishment do and that is a clear and present danger to both US and world at large because constant and grotesque overestimation of own capabilities becomes a matter of policy, not a one-off accident.

    Jonathan Revusky , • Website April 17, 2017 at 6:40 pm GMT
    • 200 Words I think this is a good article. I say "I think so" because the truth of the matter is that I lack the detailed domain knowledge to be able to evaluate it very well.

    The comment I would make about it (which is not a critique of the article per se ) is that Russia (or the USSR speaking more precisely) did suffer a horrendous defeat from which it is still recovering - I mean, in the Cold War. However, that defeat was not military in nature. It was entirely political/psychological/ideological. (N.B. The complete neocon/zionist takeover of the U.S. and other Western countries also occurred without firing a shot, no?)

    Anyway, no grand battles occurred like Stalingrad or Kursk, yet somehow the USSR was as defeated a nation in the 1990′s as Germany was in 1945! In my view, the AngloZionists would be more interested in repeating that feat, than actually getting into a real hot war. That, also, would be their template for defeating China, as opposed to getting into some land war in Asia.

    I assume the above, because I have the tendency to think they are crazy, but not that crazy. But that said, I don't know for sure either. Maybe they really are that crazy and I just don't want to believe it. After all, it's really terrifying to think they are insane on that level.

    Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    carlos22 , April 17, 2017 at 6:46 pm GMT
    • 100 Words Russia is in the position to be king maker out of China & US.

    Think about it Russia collapses & disintergrates, Siberia goes to China, which with all this land mass, energy reserves and population overtakes the US to become leading superpower. Ask yourself is that what the US wants?

    Or

    China betrays Russia, Russia then goes on to be US bitch, allows US missile defence to encircle China with US bases. China looses a key friend at the UN, when the SHTF in Tibet, Tywan or Hong Kong China finds its self alone. Is that what China wants?

    Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    Ondrej , April 17, 2017 at 6:52 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @Kiza Congratulations on the article Andrei. As another commenter said - I do not agree with everything in the article, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    I also fully support your answers to Karlin, he often barks up a wrong tree.

    Now the main issue with your article that I have is the same old issue that I always had with your comments. You start from the right premise and then you blow it up beyond recognition. In other words, you are too optimistic. For example, it is a very good point that the Russian and US perceptions of war are totally different: for a Russian the war is a fight for survival as an individual and as a nation, for a US person war and killing are just another day in the office. Then you start counting weapons and comparing weapons technology specifications and always conclude that Russian is better and cheaper, even when there is no direct comparison of effectiveness in battle.

    In other words, if your top level goal is to counter the ubiquitous US MIC propaganda with the Russian MIC propaganda, then you are doing a good job. But never forget the Motke's dictum: no wonderful battle plan survives contact with the enemy. I accept that the mercenairy armies, like the US one, are not very good when dying starts, they totally rely on military superiority which does not exist against Russia and soon will not exist against China. But the new generations of Russians are becoming softer and softer and Russian military has not been tested in a recent conflict against a peer just like the US one has not.

    The second major disadvantage of the Russian MIC is that US has a huge market of allies which it ruthlessly milks for weapons procurement, whilst when Russia sells an S300 to Cyprus it lands in the hands of the Israelis to be cracked. Even after such experience Russia engages in an apparently serious discussion to sell S400 to Turkey, straight into NATO hands. To put it mildly - Russia has to nurture the BRICS defense market, although most of the customers are copy artists, China being the master copier.

    Having criticised you too much, now I have to admit that I do not understand how Russia can get on average 5X more bang for the buck than US, sometimes more. Does Russian MIC operate some underground former mine facilities in which these engineering slaves design all these wonderful military toys and then build them at the cost of sustenance? Lower Russian wages and US MIC's extraordinary greed still cannot fully explain such huge difference. Is it some amazing corruption-free project management skills inherited from Soviet Union?

    As someone who has had experience with the weaponry of both sides, I have always been a fan of Russian engineering simplicity and reliability in design. Most people are familiar with this design philosophy through experience with Kalashnikov rifle, but this is a general design principle of all Russian weapons, even the sophisticated ones (probably even S500). Admittedly, the Chinese apply a similar principle in their engineering, although not at the same level - I remember well the shock of my Western colleagues when they realised that the Chinese Long March rockets utilised plywood where they utilised (at that time) very expensive carbon fibre and other composites.

    Having criticised you too much, now I have to admit that I do not understand how Russia can get on average 5X more bang for the buck than US, sometimes more.

    Superb and efficient educational system of USSR. Last generation is in their forties.
    Rules –
    1. push what you can into children when they young and train them properly
    2. Go fast, finish University in 22 – go to production and learn from olders
    3. Go trough Army service (only when you are already extremely good you are exempt)

    This gives you head start, you are conditioned to design things that work.

    Problem with many current – not only military products, that their designers often do not have idea how they are used..

    You simply can not take classes of ergonomic design and design even hammer correctly as it is often case with different innovative gadgets nowadays:-)

    Kiza , April 17, 2017 at 7:07 pm GMT
    • 300 Words @reiner Tor

    The WW1 preemptive war argument does have a lot of merit.
    Czar Nicholas II could've simply told the Serbs to comply with the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum. Actually, that was the first reaction of Russian government circles (harboring terrorists was not looked upon very nicely in Russia where the grandfather of the Czar was murdered by similar terrorists), but then they changed their minds.

    In any event, WW1 was a blunder for almost all involved - all countries that participated could've easily stayed out, and with a few exceptions (perhaps Romania and Japan? maybe even China?) none had any significant benefits relative to the enormous costs. Not even the US.

    You and your responders are obviously not Russian, because you exhibit a terribly superficial knowledge of the pre WW1 Europe and Russia. You must have learned your history in US or British schools.

    The situation in Europe in 1914 was much, much more complicated than your simple minds could comprehend. The key factor was the crumbling of the Ottoman Empire and the power vacuum that this has created in the Balkans. This has encouraged all European powers of the time, from U.K., through Germany and Austro-Hungarian Empire, all the way to Russia to have designs for the area. Russia actually cultivated most Serbian nationalistic groups to counter the influence of U.K. and Germany/Austria in the Balkans. Therefore, Russia just did not let its Balkan proxies, the Serbs, down when attacked by Austro-Hungary, but it was involved in what was happening in the Balkans even before the war started. Yes, there was internal opposition in Russia against getting involved in the Balkans, but the non-interventionists lost. The U.K. was trying to prop up the dying Turkish Empire to remain an enemy of Russia, Germany and Austro-Hungary were trying to acquire as much new territory and population in the Balkans as possible. Russia just could not allow the Catholic Austro-Hungary to strengthen further after the annexation of Bosnia in 1908. France was on the same side. And so on.

    Is it not amazing how most of Western history of WW1 starts with Archduke's assassination in Sarajevo, instead of power vacuum in Southeast Europe and aggressive imperial designs at the turn of the century? It is typical Western bullshit history. Nobody had evil intentions, everybody was just dragged into WW1.

    You can observe that today's Russians are blaming the Germans for sending the half-Jewish Lenin with a trainload of gold to foment Bolshevik (Jewish) revolution in Russia and cause Tsar family's deaths, instead of the Serbs who were defending themselves against an expansionist Catholic Empire. It is mainly the British and US "historians", and their Russian liberals who are blaming the Serbs for WW1, the same old, same old Anglo-Zionist bull.

    Sergey Krieger , April 17, 2017 at 7:35 pm GMT
    @Randal An excellent and very useful piece, thanks, even if I don't agree with all of it. Certainly many good and important points are made. I would share most of Anatoly Karlin's points above, both in terms of points of agreement and disagreement.

    But when it comes down to the big picture, I think focussing on technologies and doctrines and even crystallised military capabilities is a mistake if you are trying to see long term trends. Such things come and go, and are always in any event shrouded in uncertainty and ignorance. Nobody except a very few (and they aren't talking) really knows what our own side has, and even they don't really know what the other side has, and neither side really knows how their own systems will perform, or how each side's systems will interact in the crucible of war.

    If we are going to speculate about medium term power trends, then we need to look at the underlying basics, which for military power are economic strength (for which the best, albeit imperfect, measure we have is gdp using ppp) and population. Here are the relevant figures:

    Share of world gdp, ppp:

    US
    2020 14.878%
    2015 15.809%
    2010 16.846%
    2000 20.76%

    China
    2020 19.351%
    2015 17.082%
    2010 13.822%
    2000 7.389%


    Russia
    2020 2.836%
    2015 3.275%
    2010 3.641%
    2000 3.294%

    Source IMF per economywatch.com

    Population (2017):

    China: 1,388,232,693

    US: 326,474,013

    Russia: 143,375,006

    These are the basic sinews of world power, at least as far as fully developed countries are concerned (which Russia and the US certainly are, and China nowadays largely is).

    When relative economic strength is changing, military power lags by decades because many of the systems, technologies and institutions can only be built on such timescales. That is why China's military capabilities are so far behind their current economic status. It is also why it is all but certain that China's relative military strength will continue to increase dramatically, relative to all rivals, for decades to come.

    To compare with past world power levels, when the US dominated and the Soviet Union was its rival in the mid-C20th (1950), the US accounted for 27.3% of world gdp, and the Soviet Union had around a third of that, with Britain in third place. In 1913 just before the European powers and Britain committed their suicide by world war, the US accounted for 18.9% of world gdp, with the British Empire just behind and Germany and Russia on about half as much each, but the US was in the position of China today with its relative military power lagging behind its growing economic strength (in 1870 the US share of world gdp had been less than half that of the British Empire).

    The trend of the past decades has been for a steady decline of the US's share of world gdp from its 1950 peak of 27% to only 16% today. There's no reason to expect that trend to halt, so it is just a matter of time before the military balance shifts. In the past, this would likely have been uncovered by a catastrophic military defeat at the hands of a rising power, and that might yet happen, but we now live in the dubious shade of the nuclear peace and so things might be different.

    The figures however make it perfectly clear that the only plausible peer rival to the US in the medium term is China, and not Russia, regardless of current military capabilities. Randal, what do you think happens if neutron star approaches red giant? US GDP contains a lot of things that are irrelevant to fighting wars. Is US going to hit Russia with nice shoes, highly apprised real estate or S&P500? Creative accounting is another thing that makes US GDP larger than it really is. •

    AP , April 17, 2017 at 7:50 pm GMT
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Hopefully it will grow to its proper dimensions.
    So, Facebook's capitalization of 400 billion, that is for company which produces nothing of real value (in fact, is detrimental to mental health of the society) is a true size of economy.

    https://ycharts.com/companies/FB/market_cap

    Mind you--this is for a collection of several buildings, servers and about 200-300 pages of code in whatever they wrote it (C++, C whatever--make your pick).

    Meanwhile, Gazprom, which is an energy monster is about...10 times less.

    https://ycharts.com/companies/OGZPY/market_cap

    Here is a dilemma. Gazprom extracts and delivers energy without which Eurasia can not exist. Facebook? Turn it off tomorrow and bar some impressionable teenagers committing suicide, the world will continue on living just fine. But that is just one example. You will not find, however, such a hi-tech monster as Rostec on any financial market. For a corporate giant which employs half-a-million people and produces state of the art weapon systems and civilian products--ask yourself a question whose "capitalization" is more important for economy--of useless Facebook or of the corporation which produces civilian jet engines. But let me add insult to injury. While Facebook "capitalizes" on almost half-trillion, a gem of the American industry, aerospace giant Boeing barely makes it to 109 billion. Most US economic indices are fraud, the same as most of US economy is virtual--a collection of virtual transactions with virtual money and virtual services. i am not talking, of course, about stock buybacks. As I already stated, nobody of any serious expertise in actual things that matter, treats this whole US "economic" data seriously. The problem here is that many in US establishment do and that is a clear and present danger to both US and world at large because constant and grotesque overestimation of own capabilities becomes a matter of policy, not a one-off accident.

    While Facebook "capitalizes" on almost half-trillion, a gem of the American industry, aerospace giant Boeing barely makes it to 109 billion.

    Indeed. And Tesla is now "worth" more than Ford, on paper:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/03/business/tesla-ford-general-motors-stock-market.html?_r=0

    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov •
    syd.bgd , April 17, 2017 at 7:53 pm GMT
    Great article. Thanks. Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    Joe Wong , April 17, 2017 at 7:56 pm GMT
    • 200 Words @Anonymous Russia spent almost 5.4% of GDP on military spending. The US last year spent 3.3% and with Trump's proposed increase this number will increase by a few decimal points.

    Russia is a middle income country while the US is a rich country, in the top 10 of GDP per capita. If oil prices don't substantially improve and Russia continues to spend the way it does on the military it will simply go broke.

    Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita (Russia is between Mexico and Suriname)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures "Russia is a middle income country while the US is a rich country, in the top 10 of GDP per capita." this is very funny, how about the 20 trillions of US national debt and it is skyrocketing fast? If you only count asset without counting liability US maybe in the top 10 GDP per capita, but if you count net asset the US is in the negative GDP per capita, a broke nation. Perhaps it is American Exceptionalism logic, claiming credit where credit is not due, living in a world detached from reality.

    "If oil prices don't substantially improve and Russia continues to spend the way it does on the military it will simply go broke." this is even funnier, Russian does not use USD in Russia, nor Russian government pay its MIC in USD, meanwhile Russian Central Bank can print Ruble thru the thin air just like the Fed, why does oil price have any relationship with Russian internal spending? Another example of "completely triumphalist and detached from Russia's economic realities" which is defined by meaningless Wall Street economic indices and snakeoil economic theories and rhetoric taught in the western universities.

    Art , April 17, 2017 at 8:02 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @Anonymouse You're gloating, Art. Many jews have been leaving Israel for many years for fear of their personal safety. Others remain. Gloating this way reflects a mean spirit. You're gloating, Art. Many jews have been leaving Israel for many years for fear of their personal safety. Others remain. Gloating this way reflects a mean spirit.

    Pointing out the evils of Zionist Israel is not mean – it is crucial.

    Exposing Judaism and Zionism for their backward ways is the only path to a peaceful just world.

    The Kushner White House is now pushing us to war in N Korea.

    Congress must stop this – but they cannot because Jews control them also.

    Peace - Art

    p.s. Good god – Trump is sending two more carrier groups to Korea!

    Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] , • Website April 17, 2017 at 8:15 pm GMT
    • 100 WordsNEW! @AP

    While Facebook "capitalizes" on almost half-trillion, a gem of the American industry, aerospace giant Boeing barely makes it to 109 billion.
    Indeed. And Tesla is now "worth" more than Ford, on paper:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/03/business/tesla-ford-general-motors-stock-market.html?_r=0

    Indeed. And Tesla is now "worth" more than Ford, on paper:

    Faced with the choice between most expensive Tesla and new F-150 truck for free–I would choose Tesla, sell it back to dealership or would find some moron from Redmond/Kirkland area and sell Tesla to him and then would go buy F-150 and would use the rest of the money for other useful purposes, such as donating to animal shelter or will help some family in need. I certainly would make sure that I have the access to a bottle or two of really good bourbon to celebrate my new F-150. I wish, though, that Subaru made trucks.

    • Agree: AP Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    Wally , April 17, 2017 at 8:17 pm GMT
    • 100 Words I seriously doubt the author's statement:

    Germany cannot design and build from scratch a state of the art fighter jet

    Seriously? The technological & industrial genius of Germany could not produce it's own jet fighter?
    After all, they designed & built the world's first fighter jet, the ME 262, 'The Swallow'.

    Laughable.

    Granted, AFAIK, it's current fighters are 'collaborative' with other Europeans.
    IOW, Germany did the heavy lifting.

    Diversity Heretic , April 17, 2017 at 8:25 pm GMT
    @anon "The US lacks a coherent defensive military doctrine"..

    Which is hardly surprising since its only two bordering countries are very weak and zero military threat. It is also moated by two huge oceans. The USA could spend virtually nothing on its military and (with a sound immigration policy and secure borders) be perfectly safe. But the American political establishment are not content with this. They seek hegemony. It all started with Woodrow Wilson who refused to mind his business and stay out of war in 1917. The Spanish-American War was completely unnecessary for U.S. security. The acquisition of the Phillipines put us on a collision course with Japan and even today we suffer the burden of strategically useless economic parasite of Puerto Rico. •

    Art , April 17, 2017 at 8:31 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @DannyMarcus There is a very important and perhaps most decisive aspect of possible US war with Russia or China, which is completely missing in Andrei Martyanov piece and the related comments.
    Don't you think European NATO countries, as well as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan will loudly resist, when their very well-being and existences is utterly jeopardized by American ambitions for hegemony well beyond its shores?
    I imagine and hope that well before a shooting war breaks out with Russia or China, US' present subservient allies will show enough courage to put the brakes on American designs long before any future global wars involving their vital interest is invoked.
    The South Koreans, over 10 million of whom are living in Seoul, are most likely right now pressing the Trump Administration hard to avoid any foolhardy military adventures in North Korea.
    The Europeans, Japanese, South Koreans and the Taiwanese are the best hope of stopping American adventurism because in the final analysis they will refuse to be the sheep marching willingly to the slaughterhouse of a WWIII. The South Koreans, over 10 million of whom are living in Seoul, are most likely right now pressing the Trump Administration hard to avoid any foolhardy military adventures in North Korea.

    Too late – Trump is sending in two more carrier groups.

    US Deploys Two More Aircraft Carriers Toward Korean Peninsula: Yonhap

    According to a report by South Korea's primary news outlet, Yonhap, the Pentagon has directed a total of three US aircraft carriers toward the Korean Peninsula, citing a South Korean government source.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-17/us-deploys-two-more-aircraft-carriers-toward-korean-peninsula-yonhap

    This is insane – another preventive war like Iraq – but on China and Russia's doorstep.

    Congress must stop this!

    Peace - Art

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    Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] , • Website April 17, 2017 at 8:35 pm GMT
    • 400 WordsNEW! @Kiza Congratulations on the article Andrei. As another commenter said - I do not agree with everything in the article, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    I also fully support your answers to Karlin, he often barks up a wrong tree.

    Now the main issue with your article that I have is the same old issue that I always had with your comments. You start from the right premise and then you blow it up beyond recognition. In other words, you are too optimistic. For example, it is a very good point that the Russian and US perceptions of war are totally different: for a Russian the war is a fight for survival as an individual and as a nation, for a US person war and killing are just another day in the office. Then you start counting weapons and comparing weapons technology specifications and always conclude that Russian is better and cheaper, even when there is no direct comparison of effectiveness in battle.

    In other words, if your top level goal is to counter the ubiquitous US MIC propaganda with the Russian MIC propaganda, then you are doing a good job. But never forget the Motke's dictum: no wonderful battle plan survives contact with the enemy. I accept that the mercenairy armies, like the US one, are not very good when dying starts, they totally rely on military superiority which does not exist against Russia and soon will not exist against China. But the new generations of Russians are becoming softer and softer and Russian military has not been tested in a recent conflict against a peer just like the US one has not.

    The second major disadvantage of the Russian MIC is that US has a huge market of allies which it ruthlessly milks for weapons procurement, whilst when Russia sells an S300 to Cyprus it lands in the hands of the Israelis to be cracked. Even after such experience Russia engages in an apparently serious discussion to sell S400 to Turkey, straight into NATO hands. To put it mildly - Russia has to nurture the BRICS defense market, although most of the customers are copy artists, China being the master copier.

    Having criticised you too much, now I have to admit that I do not understand how Russia can get on average 5X more bang for the buck than US, sometimes more. Does Russian MIC operate some underground former mine facilities in which these engineering slaves design all these wonderful military toys and then build them at the cost of sustenance? Lower Russian wages and US MIC's extraordinary greed still cannot fully explain such huge difference. Is it some amazing corruption-free project management skills inherited from Soviet Union?

    As someone who has had experience with the weaponry of both sides, I have always been a fan of Russian engineering simplicity and reliability in design. Most people are familiar with this design philosophy through experience with Kalashnikov rifle, but this is a general design principle of all Russian weapons, even the sophisticated ones (probably even S500). Admittedly, the Chinese apply a similar principle in their engineering, although not at the same level - I remember well the shock of my Western colleagues when they realised that the Chinese Long March rockets utilised plywood where they utilised (at that time) very expensive carbon fibre and other composites.

    But the new generations of Russians are becoming softer and softer and Russian military has not been tested in a recent conflict against a peer just like the US one has not.

    Generally legitimate point but it will require a very expanded answer. I will, at some point, elaborate on it–there are some serious nuances.

    The second major disadvantage of the Russian MIC is that US has a huge market of allies which it ruthlessly milks for weapons procurement, whilst when Russia sells an S300 to Cyprus it lands in the hands of the Israelis to be cracked. Even after such experience Russia engages in an apparently serious discussion to sell S400 to Turkey, straight into NATO hands. To put it mildly – Russia has to nurture the BRICS defense market, although most of the customers are copy artists, China being the master copier.

    Largely true. However, in serious signal processing systems such as radar, sonar, combat control (management) systems etc. the main secret are mathematics (algorithms). Just to give you an example, it was impossible for China to copy any software from any Russian-made systems. As an example, Shtil Air Defense complexes which went to China after she bought Project 956 destroyers in 1990s are defended such way that any attempt to tamper with their (and other systems') brains results in a clean slate. It is true today also, actually, especially today. China now is receiving full Russian "version" of SU-35 and of S-400, they still will not be able to copy it. Mimic somewhat? Yes. After all they do have their own S-300 knock offs. Copy? No. They will try, of course but, say, SU-35 engine and avionics is still beyond their reach.

    Having criticised you too much, now I have to admit that I do not understand how Russia can get on average 5X more bang for the buck than US, sometimes more. Does Russian MIC operate some underground former mine facilities in which these engineering slaves design all these wonderful military toys and then build them at the cost of sustenance?

    I believe Ondrej made a good, albeit partial case, for you in his response. Let me put it this way–viewing Russia's public schools' 8-9th grade books on math and physics (and chemistry) may create a state of shock in many, even elite, US schools and not among students only I know.

    Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] , • Website April 17, 2017 at 8:36 pm GMT
    NEW! @Ondrej

    Having criticised you too much, now I have to admit that I do not understand how Russia can get on average 5X more bang for the buck than US, sometimes more.
    Superb and efficient educational system of USSR. Last generation is in their forties.
    Rules -
    1. push what you can into children when they young and train them properly
    2. Go fast, finish University in 22 - go to production and learn from olders
    3. Go trough Army service (only when you are already extremely good you are exempt)

    This gives you head start, you are conditioned to design things that work.

    Problem with many current - not only military products, that their designers often do not have idea how they are used..

    You simply can not take classes of ergonomic design and design even hammer correctly as it is often case with different innovative gadgets nowadays:-) Some very good points you made. •

    Sam Shama , April 17, 2017 at 8:39 pm GMT
    • 400 Words @Andrei Martyanov

    When relative economic strength is changing, military power lags by decades because many of the systems, technologies and institutions can only be built on such timescales.
    Russia is a very special case here--this is one of the points which is missed completely from "western" discussion. The empirical evidence is in and it overwhelmingly supports my, now academic, contention that "western" metrics for Russia do not work, nor most of the "experts" know what they are talking about, even when they have almost unrestricted access to sources. The way US "missed" Russia's military transformation which started in earnest in 2008 and completed its first phase by 2012 (4 years, you are talking about decades) is nothing short of astonishing. Combination of ignorance, hubris and downright stupidity are responsible for all that.

    P.S. No serious analyst takes US GDP as 18 trillion dollars seriously. A huge part of it is a creative bookkeeping and most of it is financial and service sector. Out of very few good things Vitaly Shlykov left after himself was his "The General Staff And Economics", which addressed the issue of actual US military-industrial potential. Then come strategic, operational and technological dimensions. You want to see operational dimension--look no further than Mosul which is still, after 6 months, being "liberated". Comparisons to Aleppo are not only warranted but irresistible. In general, overall power of the state (nation) is not only in its "economic" indices. I use Barnett's definition of national power constantly, remarkably Lavrov's recent speech in the General Staff Academy uses virtually identical definition.

    Russia is a very special case here–this is one of the points which is missed completely from "western" discussion. The empirical evidence is in and it overwhelmingly supports my, now academic, contention that "western" metrics for Russia do not work, nor most of the "experts" know what they are talking about,

    Hey Smoothie,
    Loved this informative piece.

    On the military aspect, I'll take your assessments without any salt at all, for I do believe the U.S. has been tracking a technologically shallower but cost wise steeper trajectory.

    I think Russians are a highly gifted lot, able to do wonders mostly on account of their deep science & mathematics bench.

    Yet I also think Randal is mostly right about economic strength playing a vital, even decisive role in overall strength in the longer run. There are no countries which can match the U.S. in the department of raw economic endowments.

    China comes closest to exceeding the overall size of the U.S.economy, based on a combination of sheer population, relentless mercantilism combined with extractive labour policies over the last five decades or more. All of which has also propelled them to achieve technological capabilities not far behind many western European states.

    The U.S is eminently capable of really, I mean really increasing military spending without breaking a sweat. But that is not the goal in itself. It needs to come down hard on MIC waste, which if done successfully can change things around very quickly. Imagine a U.S. spending an efficient 7-10% of GDP on this, in which case I see its competitors doing little else besides gearing their entire economies to armaments, and then failing to keep up. I am confident if such a race ensued there'd be a global run to purchase U.S. assets, even as capital controls are put into action.

    The troubles of the U.S have stemmed from a paucity of far-sighted leaders of late. I am still hoping Mr Trump comes through, and there are signs he will. We should be establishing a truly friendly relationship with Russia and focusing our resources on joint goals of a far loftier nature than besting each other on wartime toys.

    AtomAnt , April 17, 2017 at 8:43 pm GMT
    @inertial A good informative article. Unfortunately it suffers from the typical poor understanding of the economic and financial realities.

    No, "Wall Street economic indices" are not meaningless. And you do have to care about the Russian stock market. Its small size relative to the economy is a cause for concern. In general, Russian financial system is too weak, too small and shallow for an economy of this size. This is not surprising, as it is very new. Hopefully it will grow to its proper dimensions.

    Incidentally, Putin and his government seem to understand these things, even if many others don't. That's just bankster propaganda. In truth, anything past 5% (generously) for the financial sector is just parasitism. The US S&P 500 hovers around 30% financial sector. That's just elites extracting resources from productive people. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    anonHUN , April 17, 2017 at 8:47 pm GMT
    • 200 Words @Intelligent Dasein I've come to the conclusion that it is the probable consensus among America's Deep State elites, as exemplified by the truly evil Hillary Clinton, that an all-out war with Russia which totally devastates Russia but leaves America just barely standing, would, notwithstanding the rivers of blood and the chaos unleashed, be an acceptable outcome as long as the blasted rump of America, namely the Deep State itself, gets to subsequently enthrone itself as the unchallenged world hegemon. The Deep State views the entirety of America's economic and military might, as well as the lives of its citizens, as merely a means to this end.

    I also believe that Russia's strategists and state-level actors have come to the same conclusion regarding America's designs. This is the strategic situation that Russia is up against, and this is why Russia has wisely prepared itself to fight a defensive war of astonishing proportions. And for the sake of the human race, for the peace of men of good will everywhere, I would advise Russia that when dealing with a cranky, feeble, delusional, and senile Uncle Sam, it is not possible to be too paranoid. You will not be up against a rational actor if and when this war breaks out. Whatever zany, desperate, and counterproductive gambits you can imagine the USA making, they will not be worse than what these people are capable of.

    As an American myself, I would have liked to have been a patriot. If my country must go to war, I would have liked to be on my country's side. But the bitter truth is that my government is something the world would be better off without. Russia has the moral high ground in this conflict. Hopefully that, and the strength of its arms, will be enough.

    The great tragedy of the 20th century was that all the wrong people won the major wars. Whether it was Chiang Kai-shek in China or Hitler and Mussolini in Europe, or the Kaiser and the House of Hapsburg before them, the real heroes, the ones who were however ineffectively and confusedly on the side of Right, suffered defeat at the hands of the evil imperialists. We cannot allow that to happen again. I know who I will be supporting if it comes to war.

    Long live king and country. God bless the patriots, wherever they be. Hail victory.

    I think the military and intelligence guys (and the big contractors) need Russia as the enemy, the bogeyman, probably many of them were secretly disappointed back then when the Soviet Union collapsed. The Deep State wants an endless race, a race where America is always leading but not by too much. A Cold War with a worthy opponent, not with tinpot third world dictatorships. Many of them don't even hate Russia, even respects it to some extent. Now they are probably happy that the old days are back.

    On the other hand there are of course real Russophobes, who really want to win and finish the "job" that was left unfinished in the 90′s according to their view. They want regime change in Russia and preferably break it up, with all the republics of the RF declaring independence etc. Brzezinski, McCain or the neocons are like that. But they don't want WW3 either, they are not nutcases, just they want to settle an account with Russia badly.

    Regarding Russian military they are still 20 years behind on average, the gap didn't close since Soviet times, if anything, it widened in many respects.
    US military might is still unique and unrivaled, on the long run China has the most chance to challenge it. Russia is simply too poor, an economic dwarf compared to China (China is the workshop of the world, Russia mostly exports raw materials), also it's population is probably too small.

    Verymuchalive , April 17, 2017 at 8:49 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @Andrei Martyanov

    Hopefully it will grow to its proper dimensions.
    So, Facebook's capitalization of 400 billion, that is for company which produces nothing of real value (in fact, is detrimental to mental health of the society) is a true size of economy.

    https://ycharts.com/companies/FB/market_cap

    Mind you--this is for a collection of several buildings, servers and about 200-300 pages of code in whatever they wrote it (C++, C whatever--make your pick).

    Meanwhile, Gazprom, which is an energy monster is about...10 times less.

    https://ycharts.com/companies/OGZPY/market_cap

    Here is a dilemma. Gazprom extracts and delivers energy without which Eurasia can not exist. Facebook? Turn it off tomorrow and bar some impressionable teenagers committing suicide, the world will continue on living just fine. But that is just one example. You will not find, however, such a hi-tech monster as Rostec on any financial market. For a corporate giant which employs half-a-million people and produces state of the art weapon systems and civilian products--ask yourself a question whose "capitalization" is more important for economy--of useless Facebook or of the corporation which produces civilian jet engines. But let me add insult to injury. While Facebook "capitalizes" on almost half-trillion, a gem of the American industry, aerospace giant Boeing barely makes it to 109 billion. Most US economic indices are fraud, the same as most of US economy is virtual--a collection of virtual transactions with virtual money and virtual services. i am not talking, of course, about stock buybacks. As I already stated, nobody of any serious expertise in actual things that matter, treats this whole US "economic" data seriously. The problem here is that many in US establishment do and that is a clear and present danger to both US and world at large because constant and grotesque overestimation of own capabilities becomes a matter of policy, not a one-off accident. The financialisation of the economy has been a disaster in most Western countries, especially for manufacturing companies. I had personal dealings with Pilkingtons, a World-leading British glass company. At the first opportunity, the Banks and other corporate investors sold it to a Japanese competitor. Pilkingtons is now a branch operation and has lost its research base.
    Mr Putin seems to realise the importance of indigenous manufacturing industry- and not only for defence- related purposes. So the capitalisation of such companies has been treated with great caution, e g Gazprom. I could be wrong, of course.
    So I must ask if you think Mr Putin has an Advanced Manufacturing Strategy in place, like Eamonn Fingleton sees in Japan, Korea, Germany etc. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] , • Website April 17, 2017 at 8:52 pm GMT
    • 200 WordsNEW! @Wally I seriously doubt the author's statement:

    Germany cannot design and build from scratch a state of the art fighter jet ...
    Seriously? The technological & industrial genius of Germany could not produce it's own jet fighter?
    After all, they designed & built the world's first fighter jet, the ME 262, 'The Swallow'.

    Laughable.

    Granted, AFAIK, it's current fighters are 'collaborative' with other Europeans.
    IOW, Germany did the heavy lifting.

    Germany did the heavy lifting.

    Sir, before writing something, at least study subject a bit. Euro Fighter (Typhoon) is a thoroughly British effort initially, with engines being based on Rolls Royce XG-40 and avionics being, for the lack of better word, American, Italian, what have you, but not German. Yes, MTU was involved in some form in developing some Euro Jet EJ200 components but it will take a whole lot of space to explain to you what is "cooperative" effort in military aviation.

    After all, they designed & built the world's first fighter jet, the ME 262, 'The Swallow'.

    Actually:

    Just as the matter of general education, but here is the deal: Chinese invented gun powder, so what? When and if Germany will be able to produce something comparable to MiG-29SMT, forget about SU-35, not to speak of T-50, then we may start looking into German "genius". In order for you to understand what I am trying to convey to you, one has to have understanding of what enclosed technological cycle is. But I am sure, if MTU will be asked they will come up immediately with the fifth generation jet engine, right? After all, it is so simple and I am not talking about such things as designing the air-frames. US has expertise on that on several orders of magnitude than Germany and look where it got US with F-35;)

    Timur The Lame , April 17, 2017 at 9:08 pm GMT
    • 100 Words ,

    There is wisdom to the old adage "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". Your WW1 rant is lacking in accurate facts and the actual facts that you refer to are misapplied subsequently your logic is flawed and you find yourself in the oft quoted IBM construct of GIGO.

    The genesis and the triggers for the eruption of WW1 are broad and complex and could generally be put in the context of the colloquial term " a perfect storm". Your Slavic tinted glasses illuminate only a tip of the tip of the iceberg as it were. I state this in the spirit of constructive criticism.

    Cheers-

    Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    Ondrej , April 17, 2017 at 9:14 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @Andrei Martyanov Some very good points you made. Having recent experience in teaching in former socialist country and remembering and comparing with past I must say

    It is quite painful to watch horrors of destruction of once functional educational system of your own country which is trying to mimic current trends in western education.

    I guess in Russia, given by typical Slavic tendency to extremes, is even more horrible. But it looks like they do get it and they have still chance revert this trend.

    First step is always to recognize problem, which is in my opinion given by public discussions such as

    Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    bluedog , April 17, 2017 at 9:33 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @Sam Shama

    Russia is a very special case here–this is one of the points which is missed completely from "western" discussion. The empirical evidence is in and it overwhelmingly supports my, now academic, contention that "western" metrics for Russia do not work, nor most of the "experts" know what they are talking about,
    Hey Smoothie,
    Loved this informative piece.

    On the military aspect, I'll take your assessments without any salt at all, for I do believe the U.S. has been tracking a technologically shallower but cost wise steeper trajectory.

    I think Russians are a highly gifted lot, able to do wonders mostly on account of their deep science & mathematics bench.

    Yet I also think Randal is mostly right about economic strength playing a vital, even decisive role in overall strength in the longer run. There are no countries which can match the U.S. in the department of raw economic endowments.

    China comes closest to exceeding the overall size of the U.S.economy, based on a combination of sheer population, relentless mercantilism combined with extractive labour policies over the last five decades or more. All of which has also propelled them to achieve technological capabilities not far behind many western European states.

    The U.S is eminently capable of really, I mean really increasing military spending without breaking a sweat. But that is not the goal in itself. It needs to come down hard on MIC waste, which if done successfully can change things around very quickly. Imagine a U.S. spending an efficient 7-10% of GDP on this, in which case I see its competitors doing little else besides gearing their entire economies to armaments, and then failing to keep up. I am confident if such a race ensued there'd be a global run to purchase U.S. assets, even as capital controls are put into action.

    The troubles of the U.S have stemmed from a paucity of far-sighted leaders of late. I am still hoping Mr Trump comes through, and there are signs he will. We should be establishing a truly friendly relationship with Russia and focusing our resources on joint goals of a far loftier nature than besting each other on wartime toys.

    Hmm first we would have to rebuild our manufacturing sector seeing most of our goods including military are outsourced out, and I question the raw economics endowment what ever they are, and then you have to retrain the workers for the old class is gone and the new isn't all that inclined to work, and who would want to invest in a hallowed out economy, trillions in debt more trillions in future liabilities trillions in derivitives little to no natural resources left military projects milked to the bone months years overdue I'm afraid your caught in the light on the hill we are exceptional bit but I presume that's to be expected.. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    anon , April 17, 2017 at 9:35 pm GMT
    @DannyMarcus There is a very important and perhaps most decisive aspect of possible US war with Russia or China, which is completely missing in Andrei Martyanov piece and the related comments.
    Don't you think European NATO countries, as well as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan will loudly resist, when their very well-being and existences is utterly jeopardized by American ambitions for hegemony well beyond its shores?
    I imagine and hope that well before a shooting war breaks out with Russia or China, US' present subservient allies will show enough courage to put the brakes on American designs long before any future global wars involving their vital interest is invoked.
    The South Koreans, over 10 million of whom are living in Seoul, are most likely right now pressing the Trump Administration hard to avoid any foolhardy military adventures in North Korea.
    The Europeans, Japanese, South Koreans and the Taiwanese are the best hope of stopping American adventurism because in the final analysis they will refuse to be the sheep marching willingly to the slaughterhouse of a WWIII. If these countries really wanted to stop the USA, why not make the American troops leave their countries? Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    Corvinus , April 17, 2017 at 9:35 pm GMT
    @Diversity Heretic The Spanish-American War was completely unnecessary for U.S. security. The acquisition of the Phillipines put us on a collision course with Japan and even today we suffer the burden of strategically useless economic parasite of Puerto Rico. "The Spanish-American War was completely unnecessary for U.S. security."

    At the time, yes. In the long run, no.

    "The acquisition of the Phillipines put us on a collision course with Japan "

    Imperialistic ambitions in the Pacific by the U.S. and Japan put our nations on a path to fight.

    Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    colm , April 17, 2017 at 9:36 pm GMT
    @Intelligent Dasein I've come to the conclusion that it is the probable consensus among America's Deep State elites, as exemplified by the truly evil Hillary Clinton, that an all-out war with Russia which totally devastates Russia but leaves America just barely standing, would, notwithstanding the rivers of blood and the chaos unleashed, be an acceptable outcome as long as the blasted rump of America, namely the Deep State itself, gets to subsequently enthrone itself as the unchallenged world hegemon. The Deep State views the entirety of America's economic and military might, as well as the lives of its citizens, as merely a means to this end.

    I also believe that Russia's strategists and state-level actors have come to the same conclusion regarding America's designs. This is the strategic situation that Russia is up against, and this is why Russia has wisely prepared itself to fight a defensive war of astonishing proportions. And for the sake of the human race, for the peace of men of good will everywhere, I would advise Russia that when dealing with a cranky, feeble, delusional, and senile Uncle Sam, it is not possible to be too paranoid. You will not be up against a rational actor if and when this war breaks out. Whatever zany, desperate, and counterproductive gambits you can imagine the USA making, they will not be worse than what these people are capable of.

    As an American myself, I would have liked to have been a patriot. If my country must go to war, I would have liked to be on my country's side. But the bitter truth is that my government is something the world would be better off without. Russia has the moral high ground in this conflict. Hopefully that, and the strength of its arms, will be enough.

    The great tragedy of the 20th century was that all the wrong people won the major wars. Whether it was Chiang Kai-shek in China or Hitler and Mussolini in Europe, or the Kaiser and the House of Hapsburg before them, the real heroes, the ones who were however ineffectively and confusedly on the side of Right, suffered defeat at the hands of the evil imperialists. We cannot allow that to happen again. I know who I will be supporting if it comes to war.

    Long live king and country. God bless the patriots, wherever they be. Hail victory.

    Those who fought for the Entente in the Great War fought for the sake of the Third World.

    Veterans Day should be abolished immediately. Memorial Day is enough.

    Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    anon , April 17, 2017 at 9:43 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @Diversity Heretic The Spanish-American War was completely unnecessary for U.S. security. The acquisition of the Phillipines put us on a collision course with Japan and even today we suffer the burden of strategically useless economic parasite of Puerto Rico. Yes of course, you are right. The 1898 war with Spain was 100% a war of choice for America. Without it, it was certainly possible war with Japan could have been avoided. Also agree that Puerto Rico has proven to be utterly worthless to America. Should be given its independence ASAP. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    martino from barcelona , April 17, 2017 at 9:45 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @DannyMarcus There is a very important and perhaps most decisive aspect of possible US war with Russia or China, which is completely missing in Andrei Martyanov piece and the related comments.
    Don't you think European NATO countries, as well as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan will loudly resist, when their very well-being and existences is utterly jeopardized by American ambitions for hegemony well beyond its shores?
    I imagine and hope that well before a shooting war breaks out with Russia or China, US' present subservient allies will show enough courage to put the brakes on American designs long before any future global wars involving their vital interest is invoked.
    The South Koreans, over 10 million of whom are living in Seoul, are most likely right now pressing the Trump Administration hard to avoid any foolhardy military adventures in North Korea.
    The Europeans, Japanese, South Koreans and the Taiwanese are the best hope of stopping American adventurism because in the final analysis they will refuse to be the sheep marching willingly to the slaughterhouse of a WWIII. Eu, japan, taiwaneses, south koreans Their governements are all puppets, whores of washington, the people doesnt matter, we (I am european) have no voice- All westerns politics are the same whores. Countrys and people have no value. Only globalists are going for bussines. Rusia is the great premium: The major land in the world- Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    Timur The Lame , April 17, 2017 at 9:46 pm GMT
    • 300 Words @SmoothieX12

    The points you make with respect to capitalization of Facebook and other totally worthless social media constructs in comparison to actual entities that produce something, anything that you could stub your foot on, be it good or not is brilliant in that it exposes the sham of GDP and GNP tabulations.

    Question: I read about 10 years ago of an incident where an American carrier group was sailing on in it's merry way in waters that I can't now recall when a couple of Sukhois came in undetected and screamed over the actual aircraft carrier at mast level at the maximum speed that the altitude would allow. The carrier group immediately did a 180 and got the hell out of Dodge. The Admiral was supposedly called on the carpet afterwards as to why he altered course without prior approval and he stuck to his guns and said that his responsibility was for the safety of his group first and foremost and that was that.

    I have been unable to substantiate this episode. Has it been brushed from the internet or did I fall for a Russian (internet) hoax? I remember mentioning it to some senior Russian officers at a Canadian multi national English language course at an army base close to me and they were non committal in their answers and basically looked guardedly at me as if I were a spook of sorts.

    Any knowledge of this supposed incident from you would be much appreciated. By the way the event that I am referring to is not to be mistaken with the relatively recent Black Sea incident (USS Donald Cook).

    Cheers-

    The Alarmist , April 17, 2017 at 9:51 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @Erebus Yes, thank you for an excellent summation of the situation.

    The owners of the US face an Either/Or moment. Either they abandon their ambitions of Global Hegemony, and retreat to attempt to rule over N. America (with some residual dreams of ruling C. & S. America to sweeten the pot) or they go for broke.

    Unlike Dasein, I have no doubt that any dreams of Global Hegemony will come crashing to ground if any sort of a war breaks out. Putin has made it perfectly plain. Russia will never allow itself to be invaded again. That means something, and what it means is that Russia will take the fight to the enemy when it sees its red lines crossed.
    The continental US can be thrown into socio-political-economic collapse with 3 dozen Kalibrs aimed at critical nodes in the national electrical grid. With no prospect of electricity being revived, the now largely urban population would find itself instantly transported to 1900 with none of the skills and infrastructure that kept a pre-electrified rural society fed and secure. If the subs and/or TU-160s are in place, that's 45-90 minutes without a single nuke fired.

    No mushroom clouds or devastated cities, yet, but the Either/Or moment will become acute indeed. One can hope that we'll be rejoicing that America's owners follow their internationalistic instincts when that moment has passed.

    "The continental US can be thrown into socio-political-economic collapse with 3 dozen Kalibrs aimed at critical nodes in the national electrical grid. With no prospect of electricity being revived, the now largely urban population would find itself instantly transported to 1900 with none of the skills and infrastructure that kept a pre-electrified rural society fed and secure. If the subs and/or TU-160s are in place, that's 45-90 minutes without a single nuke fired."

    You have nut-jobs in Congress talking out hacking being an act of war and planners talking about massive NATO reponse as being appropriate can one seriously believe the US would not repond with nukes in the event of such an attack, even though it is non-nuclear?

    Timur The Lame , April 17, 2017 at 9:54 pm GMT
    My WW1 post was for Kiza. Somehow that got scrubbed Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    Ondrej , April 17, 2017 at 10:14 pm GMT
    • 200 Words @Sam Shama

    Russia is a very special case here–this is one of the points which is missed completely from "western" discussion. The empirical evidence is in and it overwhelmingly supports my, now academic, contention that "western" metrics for Russia do not work, nor most of the "experts" know what they are talking about,
    Hey Smoothie,
    Loved this informative piece.

    On the military aspect, I'll take your assessments without any salt at all, for I do believe the U.S. has been tracking a technologically shallower but cost wise steeper trajectory.

    I think Russians are a highly gifted lot, able to do wonders mostly on account of their deep science & mathematics bench.

    Yet I also think Randal is mostly right about economic strength playing a vital, even decisive role in overall strength in the longer run. There are no countries which can match the U.S. in the department of raw economic endowments.

    China comes closest to exceeding the overall size of the U.S.economy, based on a combination of sheer population, relentless mercantilism combined with extractive labour policies over the last five decades or more. All of which has also propelled them to achieve technological capabilities not far behind many western European states.

    The U.S is eminently capable of really, I mean really increasing military spending without breaking a sweat. But that is not the goal in itself. It needs to come down hard on MIC waste, which if done successfully can change things around very quickly. Imagine a U.S. spending an efficient 7-10% of GDP on this, in which case I see its competitors doing little else besides gearing their entire economies to armaments, and then failing to keep up. I am confident if such a race ensued there'd be a global run to purchase U.S. assets, even as capital controls are put into action.

    The troubles of the U.S have stemmed from a paucity of far-sighted leaders of late. I am still hoping Mr Trump comes through, and there are signs he will. We should be establishing a truly friendly relationship with Russia and focusing our resources on joint goals of a far loftier nature than besting each other on wartime toys.

    There are no countries which can match the U.S. in the department of raw economic endowments.

    I will add bit of Central Europe perspective:-)

    Products of US economic endowments which I use in Europe or see some value in them:

    a) Military Complex (waste of money)
    b) Boeing (OK that is serious, not flying much lately)
    c) Hollywod movies (huge industry, some movies are good but mostly rubbish)
    d) Coca-Cola (sometimes nice – but can live without it)
    e) MacDonald (only in rush for their car ride)
    f) Microsoft Windows (I hate it)
    g) Apple products (well I have still preference for them, but they are mostly produced in China anyway)
    h) Harley-Davidson (not any value for me, but it is as American as it can be:-)

    To be honest, I am more interested if I have heated home and electricity runnig, provided in form of nuclear, gas or oil fuel from Russia + some Siemens technology provided by Germany for Electrical Grid regulation and function of PowerPlants..

    inertial , April 17, 2017 at 10:22 pm GMT
    • 300 Words @Andrei Martyanov

    Hopefully it will grow to its proper dimensions.
    So, Facebook's capitalization of 400 billion, that is for company which produces nothing of real value (in fact, is detrimental to mental health of the society) is a true size of economy.

    https://ycharts.com/companies/FB/market_cap

    Mind you--this is for a collection of several buildings, servers and about 200-300 pages of code in whatever they wrote it (C++, C whatever--make your pick).

    Meanwhile, Gazprom, which is an energy monster is about...10 times less.

    https://ycharts.com/companies/OGZPY/market_cap

    Here is a dilemma. Gazprom extracts and delivers energy without which Eurasia can not exist. Facebook? Turn it off tomorrow and bar some impressionable teenagers committing suicide, the world will continue on living just fine. But that is just one example. You will not find, however, such a hi-tech monster as Rostec on any financial market. For a corporate giant which employs half-a-million people and produces state of the art weapon systems and civilian products--ask yourself a question whose "capitalization" is more important for economy--of useless Facebook or of the corporation which produces civilian jet engines. But let me add insult to injury. While Facebook "capitalizes" on almost half-trillion, a gem of the American industry, aerospace giant Boeing barely makes it to 109 billion. Most US economic indices are fraud, the same as most of US economy is virtual--a collection of virtual transactions with virtual money and virtual services. i am not talking, of course, about stock buybacks. As I already stated, nobody of any serious expertise in actual things that matter, treats this whole US "economic" data seriously. The problem here is that many in US establishment do and that is a clear and present danger to both US and world at large because constant and grotesque overestimation of own capabilities becomes a matter of policy, not a one-off accident. You just illustrated my point. Facebook vs. Gazprom market caps – all that shows is that Facebook has access to vastly larger amounts of capital than Gazprom. Well, duh.

    Market capitalization is determined mostly by institutional investors – mutual funds, pension funds, insurance companies, etc. – who pool private savings and channel them into various investments. There are massive amounts of such savings available in USA; in Russia, not so much.

    In Russia, the government is just about the only major saver and investor. This works fine in areas where the government must play a role, such as weapons manufacture. In other areas, enterprises that need capital to develop must either accumulate it themselves over the years (which puts limit on growth,) or get the government to help them out, or borrow abroad at usurious rates. That's not good. Ideally, Russian enterprises should enter Russian stock or fixed income market and raise as much capital as they need.

    As for Boeing, yes it's a gem. But it does have some difficulties in raising capital. It's been balancing on the edge of bankruptcy for years and, unlike Facebook, it has huge liabilities. Incidentally, Boeing very much engages in all that "useless" high finance stuff. The buy and sell and issue bonds and short term paper; I don't know if they issue options but they certainly trade them. They don't believe that they are performing "virtual transactions with virtual money;" on the contrary, they consider this and essential part of the business, as important as building engines or whatever. Perhaps they know something you don't?

    Finally, a tip. Any "expert" who doesn't treat US (or other) economic data seriously is an idiot.

    Z-man , April 17, 2017 at 10:23 pm GMT
    @Andrei Martyanov

    The S400 is a great example of Russian simplicity
    It is a very complex weapon system, whose actual combat potential is highly classified. From people who serve on it, and I quote:"mind boggling capabilities". Latest modifications of S-300 seem almost tame in comparison and S-300 (PMU, Favorit) is a superb complex. Once S-500 comes online, well--it is a different game altogether from there. Well, it shouldn't be that complicated because it has to be used rapidly. Hopefully it is easy for the user to operate it.
    Thanks for the reply. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    Sergey Krieger , April 17, 2017 at 10:28 pm GMT
    @Ondrej

    There are no countries which can match the U.S. in the department of raw economic endowments.
    I will add bit of Central Europe perspective:-)

    Products of US economic endowments which I use in Europe or see some value in them:

    a) Military Complex (waste of money)
    b) Boeing (OK that is serious, not flying much lately)
    c) Hollywod movies (huge industry, some movies are good but mostly rubbish)
    d) Coca-Cola (sometimes nice - but can live without it)
    e) MacDonald (only in rush for their car ride)
    f) Microsoft Windows (I hate it)
    g) Apple products (well I have still preference for them, but they are mostly produced in China anyway)
    h) Harley-Davidson (not any value for me, but it is as American as it can be:-)

    To be honest, I am more interested if I have heated home and electricity runnig, provided in form of nuclear, gas or oil fuel from Russia + some Siemens technology provided by Germany for Electrical Grid regulation and function of PowerPlants..

    You are coming as a very pragmatic sort of a man •
    Cyrano , April 17, 2017 at 10:31 pm GMT
    • 300 Words Any military conflict between Russia and US is bound to degenerate into nuclear war. That's because only degenerates can plan such event and even try to predict "survivability" of such war. I believe only recently US funded a study to explore the outcome of such conflict. You don't have to be military genius to realize that the odds are in Russia's favor.

    How so? Simple. More than half of US population lives in 30 major cities. Russia's population is much more dispersed. I think I read somewhere that during the cold war US had enough nukes to destroy every USSR city of 10 000 and more inhabitants. Still, the Russians can inflict far more casualties targeting far fewer cities than US can.

    For those who think that western weapons are superior because they are more complicated – perfection is always simple.

    One of the most symptomatic examples of what's wrong with American military technology is F35. At the end of the cold war the feeling of omnipotence has spread into their military technology. F35 was supposed to do the job of what previously used to be done by several different planes. It was supposed to be a ground support, vertical takeoff, interceptor, aircraft carrier based, bomber, air superiority fighter plane.

    While they were at it, why they didn't include in their specifications ability to fly to the moon, be used as a cargo plane, awacs, fuel refueling tanker and passenger plane. When something is designed to be universally good at different tasks it usually ends not being particularly good at any of them.

    Congratulations on your first article Andrei, keep up the good work.

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    inertial , April 17, 2017 at 10:32 pm GMT
    @Sergey Krieger Randal, what do you think happens if neutron star approaches red giant? US GDP contains a lot of things that are irrelevant to fighting wars. Is US going to hit Russia with nice shoes, highly apprised real estate or S&P500? Creative accounting is another thing that makes US GDP larger than it really is.

    US GDP contains a lot of things that are irrelevant to fighting wars.

    You say it as though it's a bad thing.

    Z-man , April 17, 2017 at 10:33 pm GMT
    @Art You're gloating, Art. Many jews have been leaving Israel for many years for fear of their personal safety. Others remain. Gloating this way reflects a mean spirit.

    Pointing out the evils of Zionist Israel is not mean - it is crucial.

    Exposing Judaism and Zionism for their backward ways is the only path to a peaceful just world.

    The Kushner White House is now pushing us to war in N Korea.

    Congress must stop this - but they cannot because Jews control them also.

    Peace --- Art

    p.s. Good god – Trump is sending two more carrier groups to Korea!

    Korea?, no big deal as far as I'm concerned. Let's bomb that fat boy to submission. It's when we blindly support that dirty little country occupying the Holy Land, that's when I get my blood pressure up! •
    Today,s Thought , April 17, 2017 at 10:42 pm GMT
    [ ] • 3,200 WORDS • 93 COMMENTS • REPLY [ ]
    Z-man , April 17, 2017 at 10:43 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @Andrei Martyanov

    Germany did the heavy lifting.
    Sir, before writing something, at least study subject a bit. Euro Fighter (Typhoon) is a thoroughly British effort initially, with engines being based on Rolls Royce XG-40 and avionics being, for the lack of better word, American, Italian, what have you, but not German. Yes, MTU was involved in some form in developing some Euro Jet EJ200 components but it will take a whole lot of space to explain to you what is "cooperative" effort in military aviation.

    After all, they designed & built the world's first fighter jet, the ME 262, 'The Swallow'.
    Actually:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkhip_Lyulka

    Just as the matter of general education, but here is the deal: Chinese invented gun powder, so what? When and if Germany will be able to produce something comparable to MiG-29SMT, forget about SU-35, not to speak of T-50, then we may start looking into German "genius". In order for you to understand what I am trying to convey to you, one has to have understanding of what enclosed technological cycle is. But I am sure, if MTU will be asked they will come up immediately with the fifth generation jet engine, right? After all, it is so simple and I am not talking about such things as designing the air-frames. US has expertise on that on several orders of magnitude than Germany and look where it got US with F-35;) This reminds me of the line from 'Ice Station Zebra' by the Patrick McGoohan played character 'David Jones of MI6′, "The Russians put our (Brits) camera made by *our* German scientists and your (US) film made by *your* German scientists into their satellite made by *their* German scientists." LOL! Exaggeration of course but funny and somewhat true. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    Joe Wong , April 17, 2017 at 10:53 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @DannyMarcus There is a very important and perhaps most decisive aspect of possible US war with Russia or China, which is completely missing in Andrei Martyanov piece and the related comments.
    Don't you think European NATO countries, as well as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan will loudly resist, when their very well-being and existences is utterly jeopardized by American ambitions for hegemony well beyond its shores?
    I imagine and hope that well before a shooting war breaks out with Russia or China, US' present subservient allies will show enough courage to put the brakes on American designs long before any future global wars involving their vital interest is invoked.
    The South Koreans, over 10 million of whom are living in Seoul, are most likely right now pressing the Trump Administration hard to avoid any foolhardy military adventures in North Korea.
    The Europeans, Japanese, South Koreans and the Taiwanese are the best hope of stopping American adventurism because in the final analysis they will refuse to be the sheep marching willingly to the slaughterhouse of a WWIII. There are a lot of nations wanting wars between USA, Russia and China, from top of the list is Japan, India, UK, They believe they will be the next global hegemons standing on the ashes of USA, Russia and China.

    Taiwanese are mentally colonized Japanese wannabes, they will be happy just returning to the Japanese colony status.

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    Sergey Krieger , April 17, 2017 at 10:58 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @inertial

    US GDP contains a lot of things that are irrelevant to fighting wars.
    You say it as though it's a bad thing. No, I am just trying to look at it from the point of view currently discussed. Namely Russian GDP is being mocked as an inadequate to stand up to USA in military terms.
    I am just pointing that what GDP consists of is far more important that nominal size of it.
    Namely, Italy might have a large share of GDP coming from tourist industry and designers shoes and other garments. . How is it relevant to military power?
    US GDP also is full of basically fraudulent valuations. Tesla as it was pointed is just one example and Facebook and others are another. •
    Joe Wong , April 17, 2017 at 11:06 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @anonHUN I think the military and intelligence guys (and the big contractors) need Russia as the enemy, the bogeyman, probably many of them were secretly disappointed back then when the Soviet Union collapsed. The Deep State wants an endless race, a race where America is always leading but not by too much. A Cold War with a worthy opponent, not with tinpot third world dictatorships. Many of them don't even hate Russia, even respects it to some extent. Now they are probably happy that the old days are back.

    On the other hand there are of course real Russophobes, who really want to win and finish the "job" that was left unfinished in the 90's according to their view. They want regime change in Russia and preferably break it up, with all the republics of the RF declaring independence etc. Brzezinski, McCain or the neocons are like that. But they don't want WW3 either, they are not nutcases, just they want to settle an account with Russia badly.

    Regarding Russian military they are still 20 years behind on average, the gap didn't close since Soviet times, if anything, it widened in many respects.
    US military might is still unique and unrivaled, on the long run China has the most chance to challenge it. Russia is simply too poor, an economic dwarf compared to China (China is the workshop of the world, Russia mostly exports raw materials), also it's population is probably too small. "still 20 years behind on average?" since you are fabricating thru the thin air, why did you stop at 20 years? Why didn't you say 30 years behind, 40 years behind, ? You should know fake news is always fake new regardless it is a small fake news or a big fake news. •

    martino from barcelona , April 17, 2017 at 11:08 pm GMT
    • 200 Words good post smooty. And good coments also.I have three issues I am thinking some time ago. First: The soviet Union not colapsed, Gorbachev vas not a moron or a traitor. It was 50 years chess-game- The west is in turmoil already. Gorbachev did not do nothing without the approbation of the hundreds of specialists .The same with Trump, as USA has about more than 5 milions of people working in intel or something about. Second misread: Usa did not lost the war in Irak or Afganistan., as is said by journalists. Bush (W) said it in clair: I´ll bring the caos to irak, to stoneage.
    In Afganistan they are for 16 years for run the caos meantime. If they left , te country could go normaly, They cant afford this. Is for future desestabilization of central asia. Three: In the future war, you can see that the europeens are too sweet for go to war against Russia (Don´t talk about the gays, trans and woman of de USA Army) : What about theese 2 milions of refugees (arabs mens in militar age, all men?) All in Germany. This is not an Army for go to fight with russia? Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    Anatoly Karlin , • Website April 17, 2017 at 11:17 pm GMT
    • 100 WordsNEW! @Intelligent Dasein I've come to the conclusion that it is the probable consensus among America's Deep State elites, as exemplified by the truly evil Hillary Clinton, that an all-out war with Russia which totally devastates Russia but leaves America just barely standing, would, notwithstanding the rivers of blood and the chaos unleashed, be an acceptable outcome as long as the blasted rump of America, namely the Deep State itself, gets to subsequently enthrone itself as the unchallenged world hegemon. The Deep State views the entirety of America's economic and military might, as well as the lives of its citizens, as merely a means to this end.

    I also believe that Russia's strategists and state-level actors have come to the same conclusion regarding America's designs. This is the strategic situation that Russia is up against, and this is why Russia has wisely prepared itself to fight a defensive war of astonishing proportions. And for the sake of the human race, for the peace of men of good will everywhere, I would advise Russia that when dealing with a cranky, feeble, delusional, and senile Uncle Sam, it is not possible to be too paranoid. You will not be up against a rational actor if and when this war breaks out. Whatever zany, desperate, and counterproductive gambits you can imagine the USA making, they will not be worse than what these people are capable of.

    As an American myself, I would have liked to have been a patriot. If my country must go to war, I would have liked to be on my country's side. But the bitter truth is that my government is something the world would be better off without. Russia has the moral high ground in this conflict. Hopefully that, and the strength of its arms, will be enough.

    The great tragedy of the 20th century was that all the wrong people won the major wars. Whether it was Chiang Kai-shek in China or Hitler and Mussolini in Europe, or the Kaiser and the House of Hapsburg before them, the real heroes, the ones who were however ineffectively and confusedly on the side of Right, suffered defeat at the hands of the evil imperialists. We cannot allow that to happen again. I know who I will be supporting if it comes to war.

    Long live king and country. God bless the patriots, wherever they be. Hail victory.

    that an all-out war with Russia which totally devastates Russia but leaves America just barely standing, would, notwithstanding the rivers of blood and the chaos unleashed, be an acceptable outcome as long as the blasted rump of America, namely the Deep State itself, gets to subsequently enthrone itself as the unchallenged world hegemon. The Deep State views the entirety of America's economic and military might, as well as the lives of its citizens, as merely a means to this end.

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    Joe Wong , April 17, 2017 at 11:23 pm GMT
    @reiner Tor Don't worry, when the going gets tough, suddenly the US military will only send straight white men to die for LGBT and black "equality".

    US military will only send straight white men to die for LGBT and black "equality"

    That did not happen during the Korean War and Vietnam War. The straight white men stayed behind and played gook hockey games.

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    DanC , April 17, 2017 at 11:27 pm GMT
    If anyone is interested in the perverse incentives in place in the US military development system, which result in such spectacular failures and misallocation of resources, you could read this:

    http://chuckspinney.blogspot.ca/p/the-defense-death-spiral-why-defense.html

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    martino from barcelona , April 17, 2017 at 11:29 pm GMT
    • 100 Words The westerns politics, that works against their own people (starting with Merkel), and are absolute whores or the globalists of washington and elsewere .. (city of London, Rotschilds, Jews,Vatican, , etc) Have learned the trick of the proxys, as they are now in Siria. And conciousness that the european people are against else war, (and dont talk about the gay-trans-woman army of the EEUU) The criminals europeans politics are getting milions of future proxy warriors from muslim countrys. Their job will be the war we are not going. They, the "refugees" will get money, drugs, guns, slave women, alcohol, and will go to war against rusia, and in europe inf they are said. cheers.
    Ahh!.. They give him the blue pill, also, (Are not than macho men?) Reply More... This Commenter Display All Comments
    Wally , April 17, 2017 at 11:43 pm GMT
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Germany did the heavy lifting.
    Sir, before writing something, at least study subject a bit. Euro Fighter (Typhoon) is a thoroughly British effort initially, with engines being based on Rolls Royce XG-40 and avionics being, for the lack of better word, American, Italian, what have you, but not German. Yes, MTU was involved in some form in developing some Euro Jet EJ200 components but it will take a whole lot of space to explain to you what is "cooperative" effort in military aviation.

    After all, they designed & built the world's first fighter jet, the ME 262, 'The Swallow'.
    Actually:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkhip_Lyulka

    Just as the matter of general education, but here is the deal: Chinese invented gun powder, so what? When and if Germany will be able to produce something comparable to MiG-29SMT, forget about SU-35, not to speak of T-50, then we may start looking into German "genius". In order for you to understand what I am trying to convey to you, one has to have understanding of what enclosed technological cycle is. But I am sure, if MTU will be asked they will come up immediately with the fifth generation jet engine, right? After all, it is so simple and I am not talking about such things as designing the air-frames. US has expertise on that on several orders of magnitude than Germany and look where it got US with F-35;) You really need to know what you are talking about:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurofighter_Typhoon

    About "Lyulka"?

    " In 1945-47 he designed the first Soviet jet engine ".

    Hoisted by your own petard.

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    Zzz , April 17, 2017 at 11:44 pm GMT
    @Kiza You and your responders are obviously not Russian, because you exhibit a terribly superficial knowledge of the pre WW1 Europe and Russia. You must have learned your history in US or British schools.

    The situation in Europe in 1914 was much, much more complicated than your simple minds could comprehend. The key factor was the crumbling of the Ottoman Empire and the power vacuum that this has created in the Balkans. This has encouraged all European powers of the time, from U.K., through Germany and Austro-Hungarian Empire, all the way to Russia to have designs for the area. Russia actually cultivated most Serbian nationalistic groups to counter the influence of U.K. and Germany/Austria in the Balkans. Therefore, Russia just did not let its Balkan proxies, the Serbs, down when attacked by Austro-Hungary, but it was involved in what was happening in the Balkans even before the war started. Yes, there was internal opposition in Russia against getting involved in the Balkans, but the non-interventionists lost. The U.K. was trying to prop up the dying Turkish Empire to remain an enemy of Russia, Germany and Austro-Hungary were trying to acquire as much new territory and population in the Balkans as possible. Russia just could not allow the Catholic Austro-Hungary to strengthen further after the annexation of Bosnia in 1908. France was on the same side. And so on.

    Is it not amazing how most of Western history of WW1 starts with Archduke's assassination in Sarajevo, instead of power vacuum in Southeast Europe and aggressive imperial designs at the turn of the century? It is typical Western bullshit history. Nobody had evil intentions, everybody was just dragged into WW1.

    You can observe that today's Russians are blaming the Germans for sending the half-Jewish Lenin with a trainload of gold to foment Bolshevik (Jewish) revolution in Russia and cause Tsar family's deaths, instead of the Serbs who were defending themselves against an expansionist Catholic Empire. It is mainly the British and US "historians", and their Russian liberals who are blaming the Serbs for WW1, the same old, same old Anglo-Zionist bull.

    Russians blaming the Germans for sending the half-Jewish Lenin with a trainload of gold to foment Bolshevik (Jewish) revolution

    Russian who are blaming the Serbs for WW1

    Are the same people.

    inertial , April 17, 2017 at 11:47 pm GMT
    @Sergey Krieger No, I am just trying to look at it from the point of view currently discussed. Namely Russian GDP is being mocked as an inadequate to stand up to USA in military terms.
    I am just pointing that what GDP consists of is far more important that nominal size of it.
    Namely, Italy might have a large share of GDP coming from tourist industry and designers shoes and other garments. . How is it relevant to military power?
    US GDP also is full of basically fraudulent valuations. Tesla as it was pointed is just one example and Facebook and others are another. I agree with you. I just wish that Russian GDP had a lot more of those non-military components.

    Incidentally, market cap has nothing to do with GDP. I'm pretty sure that Facebook's contribution to GDP is minuscule.

    DanC , April 17, 2017 at 11:48 pm GMT
    • 100 Words One of the most spectacular misallocation of resources has been the US Navy's insistence on building ever-more surface ships of ever-increasing complexity, while allowing their submarine fleet to languish, and neglecting missile & torpedo technology.

    The reason is career path incentives in the Navy, and in the defense contractor corporations, not in rational consideration of the directions naval warfare is developing in the rest of the world.

    I've said it before, and I'll repeat it here: the first time a surface fleet, no matter how modern, how large, even a carrier group, is attacked by a well-commanded, networked battery of modern missles, like the Moskit, Onyx or BrahMos, there will be debacle of historic proportions.

    Thousands of sailors and hundreds of billions of dollars worth of hardware will be headed to the bottom.

    Sergey Krieger , April 18, 2017 at 12:18 am GMT
    • 100 Words @inertial I agree with you. I just wish that Russian GDP had a lot more of those non-military components.

    Incidentally, market cap has nothing to do with GDP. I'm pretty sure that Facebook's contribution to GDP is minuscule. For this I believe nationalization of what was "privatized" in 90′s is needed and new industrialization drive to become more self sufficient and less dependent upon outsiders. Finances also is a matter of concern. Russia has very good experience in how to do it. Political power will is needed though. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    Mark Chapman , • Website April 18, 2017 at 12:18 am GMT
    • 200 Words Agreed; the US Navy only continues to pursue railgun technology to use up budget dollars – a peculiarity of western defense budgeting is that if you show efficiency by using less than the full amount allocated for your operations, maintenance and R&D, your budget is likely to be cut by that much next cycle. The USN has gone back to the drawing-board on railgun development, but absent a power-supply breakthrough it is unrealistic except as a vanity project.

    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/us-navys-railgun-dream-could-be-denied-by-two-big-problems-17301

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/this-is-why-the-navy-cant-have-nice-railguns

    An additional argument in Russia's favour is that many of its systems are built simply to be rugged and easily operated by someone with a minimum of training, like a conscript, although the top end of the air defense systems are still largely operated by specialists. Western systems often are unnecessarily complex – sometimes seemingly just to impress reviewers – and the fiasco of the F-35 nightmare serves as exemplary of what happens when corporatism gets the upper hand on government; any vision of what the F-35 was originally supposed to do has been lost in a blizzard of pork-barreling and design changes.

    As far as the navy goes, I made some of the same points myself some years ago, particularly the gross discrepancy in the cost of the USN's Littoral Combat Ships compared with – in this instance – China's missile corvettes.

    https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/fall-out-and-secure-for-sea-the-2012-sino-russian-naval-exercises/comment-page-1/

    Thanks for a great piece; it was timely, informative, thought-provoking and chock-full of meaty phrases and terminology I cannot wait to borrow.

    Avery , April 18, 2017 at 12:22 am GMT
    • 200 Words @Andrei Martyanov

    The S400 is a great example of Russian simplicity
    It is a very complex weapon system, whose actual combat potential is highly classified. From people who serve on it, and I quote:"mind boggling capabilities". Latest modifications of S-300 seem almost tame in comparison and S-300 (PMU, Favorit) is a superb complex. Once S-500 comes online, well--it is a different game altogether from there. {From people who serve on it, and I quote:"mind boggling capabilities".}

    Until it has proven itself in a real war against a technologically competent adversary, e.g. U.S./NATO, then it's all simulation.
    Its "mind boggling capabilities" are nothing more than engineering specifications.
    No computer simulation anywhere, anytime has been able to come even close to the chaotic, unpredictable conditions of real war.

    To wit: the Patriot worked great on paper, but its performance in the Iraq war against ancient Iraqi Scuds was dismal.
    To wit2: the misnamed 'Iron Dome', which is a supposedly improved copy of the Patriot and which Israelis claim has a hit rate of 90%+, was proven by Prof. Postol of MIT to have a success rate of ~5% against primitive Hamas rockets.

    Let's wait and see if the S-400 has "mind boggling capabilities" .
    I hope it does. (Armenia has 'bought' some S-300s, officially. Maybe Russia gave RoA some S-400s too, unofficially).

    AtomAnt , April 18, 2017 at 12:24 am GMT
    • 200 Words @anonHUN I think the military and intelligence guys (and the big contractors) need Russia as the enemy, the bogeyman, probably many of them were secretly disappointed back then when the Soviet Union collapsed. The Deep State wants an endless race, a race where America is always leading but not by too much. A Cold War with a worthy opponent, not with tinpot third world dictatorships. Many of them don't even hate Russia, even respects it to some extent. Now they are probably happy that the old days are back.

    On the other hand there are of course real Russophobes, who really want to win and finish the "job" that was left unfinished in the 90's according to their view. They want regime change in Russia and preferably break it up, with all the republics of the RF declaring independence etc. Brzezinski, McCain or the neocons are like that. But they don't want WW3 either, they are not nutcases, just they want to settle an account with Russia badly.

    Regarding Russian military they are still 20 years behind on average, the gap didn't close since Soviet times, if anything, it widened in many respects.
    US military might is still unique and unrivaled, on the long run China has the most chance to challenge it. Russia is simply too poor, an economic dwarf compared to China (China is the workshop of the world, Russia mostly exports raw materials), also it's population is probably too small. "Regarding Russian military they are still 20 years behind on average"

    Dude, you're delusional. The US military is to a large extent a paper tiger. Example: Aircraft carriers are not survivable against Russian or Chinese missiles and subs. They are good for bombing 3rd world countries only, like 19th century gunboats (plus fattening MIC coffers). Example: A Rand report found the F-35 "can't turn, can't climb, isn't fast enough to run away".
    I would argue nothing is as important as missile technology. Russia may be leading in that.
    Furthermore, the US has lower income and less capital now than 20 years ago. Russia has a central bank focused on rational economics rather than milking the country for billionaires' sake. They insist on positive interest rates so savers get the benefit of their money. That's why Russia is growing albeit slowly while the US regresses.
    The US will find fighting Russia is not like fighting Arabs. (Remember what some Israeli general said about fighting Arabs.) The US hasn't fought without air superiority in over 74 years.
    Note the moral dimension, also. The US has to pay its military 2X the equivalent private sector wages, because no one wants to die for Lockheed Martin.

    • Agree: Kiza •
    wayfarer , April 18, 2017 at 12:32 am GMT
    SAR (search and rescue) versus SAD (search and destroy)

    "Disaster of the Kursk"

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    NoseytheDuke , April 18, 2017 at 12:53 am GMT
    • 200 Words @Sam Shama

    Russia is a very special case here–this is one of the points which is missed completely from "western" discussion. The empirical evidence is in and it overwhelmingly supports my, now academic, contention that "western" metrics for Russia do not work, nor most of the "experts" know what they are talking about,
    Hey Smoothie,
    Loved this informative piece.

    On the military aspect, I'll take your assessments without any salt at all, for I do believe the U.S. has been tracking a technologically shallower but cost wise steeper trajectory.

    I think Russians are a highly gifted lot, able to do wonders mostly on account of their deep science & mathematics bench.

    Yet I also think Randal is mostly right about economic strength playing a vital, even decisive role in overall strength in the longer run. There are no countries which can match the U.S. in the department of raw economic endowments.

    China comes closest to exceeding the overall size of the U.S.economy, based on a combination of sheer population, relentless mercantilism combined with extractive labour policies over the last five decades or more. All of which has also propelled them to achieve technological capabilities not far behind many western European states.

    The U.S is eminently capable of really, I mean really increasing military spending without breaking a sweat. But that is not the goal in itself. It needs to come down hard on MIC waste, which if done successfully can change things around very quickly. Imagine a U.S. spending an efficient 7-10% of GDP on this, in which case I see its competitors doing little else besides gearing their entire economies to armaments, and then failing to keep up. I am confident if such a race ensued there'd be a global run to purchase U.S. assets, even as capital controls are put into action.

    The troubles of the U.S have stemmed from a paucity of far-sighted leaders of late. I am still hoping Mr Trump comes through, and there are signs he will. We should be establishing a truly friendly relationship with Russia and focusing our resources on joint goals of a far loftier nature than besting each other on wartime toys.

    The troubles of the US of late have largely stemmed from having an insatiable parasite on its back sucking all that it can from the military and the economy in general whilst simultaneously plotting to undermine it.

    The senseless wars in the ME to provide Israel with "security", the billions of dollars in "loans" that will never be repaid, the vast amounts of military hardware worth billions declared as "scrap" and given to Israel, what a great investment it all has been.

    No doubt millions of Americans will welcome more degradation of their cities and infrastructure in order to field a larger military since it cares for the fruit of their loins so well AND has accomplished so much good in the world with the trillions already squandered at the behest of the Neocon Israel Firsters.

    You sure have your finger on America's pulse Shammy and clearly want nothing but the best for the American people, right? What a tosser!

    NoseytheDuke , April 18, 2017 at 12:58 am GMT
    @anonHUN I think the military and intelligence guys (and the big contractors) need Russia as the enemy, the bogeyman, probably many of them were secretly disappointed back then when the Soviet Union collapsed. The Deep State wants an endless race, a race where America is always leading but not by too much. A Cold War with a worthy opponent, not with tinpot third world dictatorships. Many of them don't even hate Russia, even respects it to some extent. Now they are probably happy that the old days are back.

    On the other hand there are of course real Russophobes, who really want to win and finish the "job" that was left unfinished in the 90's according to their view. They want regime change in Russia and preferably break it up, with all the republics of the RF declaring independence etc. Brzezinski, McCain or the neocons are like that. But they don't want WW3 either, they are not nutcases, just they want to settle an account with Russia badly.

    Regarding Russian military they are still 20 years behind on average, the gap didn't close since Soviet times, if anything, it widened in many respects.
    US military might is still unique and unrivaled, on the long run China has the most chance to challenge it. Russia is simply too poor, an economic dwarf compared to China (China is the workshop of the world, Russia mostly exports raw materials), also it's population is probably too small. Did you skip the article and go straight to comments? Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    NoseytheDuke , April 18, 2017 at 1:08 am GMT
    • 100 Words @Z-man Korea?, no big deal as far as I'm concerned. Let's bomb that fat boy to submission. It's when we blindly support that dirty little country occupying the Holy Land, that's when I get my blood pressure up! What if the fat boy (and the NK people) feel that they need those weapons for defensive purposes? After all, it wasn't too long ago that Korea was invaded by the US (plus a few satraps) and millions of Koreans were killed. Who are we in the west to interfere with NK? •
    Erebus , April 18, 2017 at 1:27 am GMT
    • 200 Words @The Alarmist

    "The continental US can be thrown into socio-political-economic collapse with 3 dozen Kalibrs aimed at critical nodes in the national electrical grid. With no prospect of electricity being revived, the now largely urban population would find itself instantly transported to 1900 with none of the skills and infrastructure that kept a pre-electrified rural society fed and secure. If the subs and/or TU-160s are in place, that's 45-90 minutes without a single nuke fired."
    You have nut-jobs in Congress talking out hacking being an act of war and planners talking about massive NATO reponse as being appropriate ... can one seriously believe the US would not repond with nukes in the event of such an attack, even though it is non-nuclear? I understand that there would be great hue and cry to take revenge. That is why I wrote (with a correction in bold):

    One can hope that we'll be rejoicing that America's owners follow ed their internationalistic instincts when that moment has passed.

    America's owners aren't necessarily American. That the civilizational consequences of America's death be limited to the N. American continent is in their interest, and they would make that interest known.
    The geo-political consequences of an attack on the grid in response to a US/NATO attack on Russia would be that the US would instantly cease to be a military/economic power for at least several generations. The Great Game would be over. If the US came back with a nuclear response, they know well that Russia's counter-response would simply extend that timeline. Perhaps to infinity. IOW, other than suicidal madness, there is no geo-political reason to respond, and there'd be every reason to take the hit and try to rebuild.

    Likewise, Russia's politicians would be hard pressed to resist responding to an American nuclear attack in kind, but the fact is that there would be no military purpose to doing so. The US would be finished as a world power. Vaporizing 200M people would be of no military value. Better to keep what's left of your nuclear forces intact so you don't have to rebuild them.

    Kiza , April 18, 2017 at 1:38 am GMT
    • 100 Words @Zzz

    Russians blaming the Germans for sending the half-Jewish Lenin with a trainload of gold to foment Bolshevik (Jewish) revolution

    Russian who are blaming the Serbs for WW1
    Are the same people. I thought I explained that it is the Russian liberals who picked up the Western view of who to blame for WW1, just like they picked up everything else from their Western role models. The Russian nationalists do not blame the Serbs "for dragging them into WW1″ because this is principally a Western idea of how to push discord among Slavic relatives, not that it even matters that it is completely untrue. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    Kiza , April 18, 2017 at 1:48 am GMT
    @Z-man Korea?, no big deal as far as I'm concerned. Let's bomb that fat boy to submission. It's when we blindly support that dirty little country occupying the Holy Land, that's when I get my blood pressure up! You are stupid, are you not? •
    Kiza , April 18, 2017 at 2:04 am GMT
    • 100 Words @Avery {From people who serve on it, and I quote:"mind boggling capabilities".}

    Until it has proven itself in a real war against a technologically competent adversary, e.g. U.S./NATO, then it's all simulation.
    Its "mind boggling capabilities" are nothing more than engineering specifications.
    No computer simulation anywhere, anytime has been able to come even close to the chaotic, unpredictable conditions of real war.

    To wit: the Patriot worked great on paper, but its performance in the Iraq war against ancient Iraqi Scuds was dismal.
    To wit2: the misnamed 'Iron Dome', which is a supposedly improved copy of the Patriot and which Israelis claim has a hit rate of 90%+, was proven by Prof. Postol of MIT to have a success rate of ~5% against primitive Hamas rockets.

    Let's wait and see if the S-400 has "mind boggling capabilities" .
    I hope it does. (Armenia has 'bought' some S-300s, officially. Maybe Russia gave RoA some S-400s too, unofficially).

    Well Scuds were strange beasts. Saddam's Scuds did not have regular ballistic trajectories, probably because they were old and falling apart during flight. Thus, their trajectories became unintentionally unpredictable/random. I agree that the Raytheon's shootdown rate was a boldface lie which professor Postol exposed. But randomised trajectory is the reason why the shootdown rate was so low.

    The Russian MIRV ICBM Bullawa uses exactly the same approach of randomising trajectory of each vehicle intentionally, small but quick completely random maneuvers, which makes it virtually impossible to shootdown. The US would have to place supercooled computers on its interceptors to destroy those babies. Therefore, another relatively cheap but highly effective countermeasure to US ABMD, a beautiful response.

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    Erebus , April 18, 2017 at 2:16 am GMT
    • 200 Words @Joe Wong "Russia is a middle income country while the US is a rich country, in the top 10 of GDP per capita." this is very funny, how about the 20 trillions of US national debt and it is skyrocketing fast? If you only count asset without counting liability US maybe in the top 10 GDP per capita, but if you count net asset the US is in the negative GDP per capita, a broke nation. Perhaps it is American Exceptionalism logic, claiming credit where credit is not due, living in a world detached from reality.

    "If oil prices don't substantially improve and Russia continues to spend the way it does on the military it will simply go broke." this is even funnier, Russian does not use USD in Russia, nor Russian government pay its MIC in USD, meanwhile Russian Central Bank can print Ruble thru the thin air just like the Fed, why does oil price have any relationship with Russian internal spending? Another example of "completely triumphalist and detached from Russia's economic realities" which is defined by meaningless Wall Street economic indices and snakeoil economic theories and rhetoric taught in the western universities.

    Russian Central Bank can print Ruble thru the thin air just like the Fed

    No, it cannot.
    The Russian Central Bank, like all "emerging market" central banks are treaty bound to print local currency only in a prescribed ratio to their "hard currency" reserves. The latter are the USD, the UKP, the EUR, the JPY, and now the CNY.
    As IMF treaties are considered International Treaties, they stand above the law of the land.
    These treaties are the instruments whereby the US' IMF-USD $ystem keeps the dollar in demand, and extracts value from the "3rd world" which are thereby forced to sell raw commodities to print enough currency to develop their internal economies. Of course, they can never really sell enough, and so they stay where they are.
    So, when the USM buys some insanely expensive aircraft carrier, or fighter aircraft, the rest of the world pays for it. In turn, the US uses that same carrier or aircraft to enforce the treaties. A self-reinforcing arrangement that allows the US and its allies to enjoy all the benefits of thievery over honest toil. "Extraordinary privilege", DeGaulle called it.

    The Russian Central Bank is doubly constrained by virtue of its (American authored) constitution which all but prohibits its restructuring.

    You can read a rather lengthy, but eye opening treatise on this subject here:

    http://lit.md/files/nstarikov/rouble_nationalization-the_way_to_russia%27s_freedom.pdf

    Kiza , April 18, 2017 at 2:22 am GMT
    • 100 Words OT, here is some education about North Korea for the stupid people and those who are not stupid but lack information. This is truly worth a read, it will open your eyes. Particularly read the comments, and especially the three comments by "b", the zine owner:

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/04/the-reason-behind-north-koreas-nuclear-program-and-its-offer-to-end-it.html#more

    The reality about North Korea is that the South Korean US puppets apply the same technique on NK defectors that the British US puppets apply on Russian "KGB defectors". These poor defecting souls found themselves in a desperate situation in their new country to which they were attracted by stories of street paved in gold. Thus even just for food they have to invent more and more outrageous stories to feed the propaganda machines of their South Korean/British hosts.

    This is how Kim Jong Un threw his uncle to the 120 starving dogs and how Putin blew up some Russian apartments in Buynaksk, Moscow, and Volgodonsk, defector's honor!

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    Mark Chapman , • Website April 18, 2017 at 2:27 am GMT
    • 200 Words @Avery {From people who serve on it, and I quote:"mind boggling capabilities".}

    Until it has proven itself in a real war against a technologically competent adversary, e.g. U.S./NATO, then it's all simulation.
    Its "mind boggling capabilities" are nothing more than engineering specifications.
    No computer simulation anywhere, anytime has been able to come even close to the chaotic, unpredictable conditions of real war.

    To wit: the Patriot worked great on paper, but its performance in the Iraq war against ancient Iraqi Scuds was dismal.
    To wit2: the misnamed 'Iron Dome', which is a supposedly improved copy of the Patriot and which Israelis claim has a hit rate of 90%+, was proven by Prof. Postol of MIT to have a success rate of ~5% against primitive Hamas rockets.

    Let's wait and see if the S-400 has "mind boggling capabilities" .
    I hope it does. (Armenia has 'bought' some S-300s, officially. Maybe Russia gave RoA some S-400s too, unofficially).

    In fact, Russia often tests its systems under much more realistic conditions than does the USA and western powers. They want to know if it is going to fail when it is confronted with western jamming, for example, and try to make intercept difficult where the west is obsessed with collecting test data for evaluation, and as a consequence the launch site knows the release time of the target and its initial course and speed, rather than a 'black' release. Not always, but often.

    http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/heres-russias-s-400-missile-system-in-action-and-heres-1746490022

    I guess much of it boils down to how seriously you take Russian accounts of their own tests, but they specify here that the test took place under heavy jamming and yet all four missiles intercepted the target during the midcourse phase. Whatever you believe, the author is correct in pointing out that the S-400 is just a part of a multilayered Integrated Air Defense System (IADS), and it only takes one mobile launcher in an unexpected place to wreck the day for a manned-aircraft element using current tactics.

    It is safe to say without further information that western air forces are very wary of the S-400, and confronting Russia's multilayered IADS would be nothing like taking on Gadaffi's eccentric and janky mismatched collection of air-defense weaponry.

    Carlton Meyer , • Website April 18, 2017 at 2:31 am GMT
    @DanC One of the most spectacular misallocation of resources has been the US Navy's insistence on building ever-more surface ships of ever-increasing complexity, while allowing their submarine fleet to languish, and neglecting missile & torpedo technology.

    The reason is career path incentives in the Navy, and in the defense contractor corporations, not in rational consideration of the directions naval warfare is developing in the rest of the world.

    I've said it before, and I'll repeat it here: the first time a surface fleet, no matter how modern, how large, even a carrier group, is attacked by a well-commanded, networked battery of modern missles, like the Moskit, Onyx or BrahMos, there will be debacle of historic proportions.

    Thousands of sailors and hundreds of billions of dollars worth of hardware will be headed to the bottom. If you care to read my detailed explanation of why carrier strike groups are obsolete against a modern navy:

    If you prefer to watch a 33 second example:

    Kiza , April 18, 2017 at 2:42 am GMT
    • 300 Words @Sam Shama

    Russia is a very special case here–this is one of the points which is missed completely from "western" discussion. The empirical evidence is in and it overwhelmingly supports my, now academic, contention that "western" metrics for Russia do not work, nor most of the "experts" know what they are talking about,
    Hey Smoothie,
    Loved this informative piece.

    On the military aspect, I'll take your assessments without any salt at all, for I do believe the U.S. has been tracking a technologically shallower but cost wise steeper trajectory.

    I think Russians are a highly gifted lot, able to do wonders mostly on account of their deep science & mathematics bench.

    Yet I also think Randal is mostly right about economic strength playing a vital, even decisive role in overall strength in the longer run. There are no countries which can match the U.S. in the department of raw economic endowments.

    China comes closest to exceeding the overall size of the U.S.economy, based on a combination of sheer population, relentless mercantilism combined with extractive labour policies over the last five decades or more. All of which has also propelled them to achieve technological capabilities not far behind many western European states.

    The U.S is eminently capable of really, I mean really increasing military spending without breaking a sweat. But that is not the goal in itself. It needs to come down hard on MIC waste, which if done successfully can change things around very quickly. Imagine a U.S. spending an efficient 7-10% of GDP on this, in which case I see its competitors doing little else besides gearing their entire economies to armaments, and then failing to keep up. I am confident if such a race ensued there'd be a global run to purchase U.S. assets, even as capital controls are put into action.

    The troubles of the U.S have stemmed from a paucity of far-sighted leaders of late. I am still hoping Mr Trump comes through, and there are signs he will. We should be establishing a truly friendly relationship with Russia and focusing our resources on joint goals of a far loftier nature than besting each other on wartime toys.

    It [US] needs to come down hard on MIC waste, which if done successfully can change things around very quickly.

    Gee Sam, you are totally lost in your understanding of US problems.

    Firstly, US military budget is significantly more than presented because the whole budget has been divided between different government departments. For example, nuclear weapons are under the Department of Energy, the huge ongoing cost of Veterans' health is under Department of Health budget, the free money to Israel is under the Foreign Affairs and so on. Overall, about 40% of the US military budget is hidden, which means that US spends not 2.5% of GDP on the military then probably around 4.5%.

    Secondly, if US were to bump up the military budget to 7-10% this could come only either at the expense of money printing machines running even hotter than super hot QE1,QE2,QE3 (what Trump is doing) or by increasing taxes on a quite depressed economy in which retail spending has almost collapsed. I cannot believe that you are suggesting this, maybe you are too close to your Fed buddies.

    Thirdly, the idea of "coming down hard on MIC waste" is utterly ridiculous because the "MIC waste" is the Deep State profit and we just had an illustration of what happens with those who oppose the Deep State. In other words, only God could come down on US MIC waste, the Presidents can only pretend.

    Since Russia and China started replacing US$ as a reserve and exchange currency, the clock has been ticking for the money printers such as the Fed and Trump. When the amount of US$ returning to US starts exceeding the amount bought by foreigners, then the inflation will explode to the German one of the 1920s. The US$ is still strong, not because of its intrinsic value then thanks to skillful FX market manipulation and thanks to 10-12 aircraft carrier groups.

    Trump is now amassing three carrier groups near North Korea, Russia and China. What do you think would happen to US$ if even one of those carriers gets sunk?

    Kiza , April 18, 2017 at 3:04 am GMT
    • 200 Words @Andrei Martyanov

    But the new generations of Russians are becoming softer and softer and Russian military has not been tested in a recent conflict against a peer just like the US one has not.
    Generally legitimate point but it will require a very expanded answer. I will, at some point, elaborate on it--there are some serious nuances.

    The second major disadvantage of the Russian MIC is that US has a huge market of allies which it ruthlessly milks for weapons procurement, whilst when Russia sells an S300 to Cyprus it lands in the hands of the Israelis to be cracked. Even after such experience Russia engages in an apparently serious discussion to sell S400 to Turkey, straight into NATO hands. To put it mildly – Russia has to nurture the BRICS defense market, although most of the customers are copy artists, China being the master copier.
    Largely true. However, in serious signal processing systems such as radar, sonar, combat control (management) systems etc. the main secret are mathematics (algorithms). Just to give you an example, it was impossible for China to copy any software from any Russian-made systems. As an example, Shtil Air Defense complexes which went to China after she bought Project 956 destroyers in 1990s are defended such way that any attempt to tamper with their (and other systems') brains results in a clean slate. It is true today also, actually, especially today. China now is receiving full Russian "version" of SU-35 and of S-400, they still will not be able to copy it. Mimic somewhat? Yes. After all they do have their own S-300 knock offs. Copy? No. They will try, of course but, say, SU-35 engine and avionics is still beyond their reach.

    Having criticised you too much, now I have to admit that I do not understand how Russia can get on average 5X more bang for the buck than US, sometimes more. Does Russian MIC operate some underground former mine facilities in which these engineering slaves design all these wonderful military toys and then build them at the cost of sustenance?
    I believe Ondrej made a good, albeit partial case, for you in his response. Let me put it this way--viewing Russia's public schools' 8-9th grade books on math and physics (and chemistry) may create a state of shock in many, even elite, US schools and not among students only I know. Ok. so the secret of Russian military project effectiveness is that there are no congressional districts and power plays to divvy up the military budget not based on merit and proven capability than based on the power of the district's Congressional and/or Senatorial whore. Then, there are no MIC billionaires to skim the pie. Then the engineers works for reasonable salaries with a highly respected bonus of patriotism. Then there is an excellent well established educational system (for the whites) which puts accent on physics, maths and real technical building skills, supported by mentorship by experienced engineers, instead of putting accent on lying, financial market wizardry (again manipulation), MBAs, whilst training blacks to become engineers and importing engineers from India. Finally, there is the accumulated project experience and cooperative networks from building good weaponry during the days of Soviet Union, in which Russia quickly and effectively replaced sometimes dysfunctional pieces of network which dropped out, especially the important ones from Ukraine. I am truly amazed how quickly the Russian military manufacturing network compensates and adjusts for the loss of any piece.

    Have I answered my own question of how Russia produces on average 5X more bang for the buck (or more precisely, almost the same bang for five times less buck) than the US MIC? Am I missing any other component of success?

    Kiza , April 18, 2017 at 3:48 am GMT
    • 200 Words @Mark Chapman In fact, Russia often tests its systems under much more realistic conditions than does the USA and western powers. They want to know if it is going to fail when it is confronted with western jamming, for example, and try to make intercept difficult where the west is obsessed with collecting test data for evaluation, and as a consequence the launch site knows the release time of the target and its initial course and speed, rather than a 'black' release. Not always, but often.

    http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/heres-russias-s-400-missile-system-in-action-and-heres-1746490022

    I guess much of it boils down to how seriously you take Russian accounts of their own tests, but they specify here that the test took place under heavy jamming and yet all four missiles intercepted the target during the midcourse phase. Whatever you believe, the author is correct in pointing out that the S-400 is just a part of a multilayered Integrated Air Defense System (IADS), and it only takes one mobile launcher in an unexpected place to wreck the day for a manned-aircraft element using current tactics.

    It is safe to say without further information that western air forces are very wary of the S-400, and confronting Russia's multilayered IADS would be nothing like taking on Gadaffi's eccentric and janky mismatched collection of air-defense weaponry. Very good and relevant explanation. I would only add that what Russia has in Syria and what Syria has in Syria are not IADS then stand-alone radars and missiles. What Russia has over Russia is IADS, especially with the new S500 (Russian ABMD). The Russians do not develop separate systems for air-defence and missile-defence, in Russia it is all one integrated multi-sensor system. What is completely unknown is the effectiveness of the Western stealth techniques and jammers against the Russian IADS over Russia. What if, what the Western airforces call the blue line, the entry space which allows you to destroy the airdefense before being detected and destroyed, keeps changing, becomes unpredictable or disappears altogether. What if you cannot overwhelm the airdefense with a barrage of 59 Tomahawks as in Syria, because you would need to fire several hundred or even thousand missiles simultaneously?

    If Russia implements IADS over Syria, which may be what was announced after the US cruise missile attack, then the "blue line" for US and Israeli jets and missiles may disappear.

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    Bayan , April 18, 2017 at 3:51 am GMT
    • 100 Words America and Russia will not go for a direct war.

    The reason is simple: one is crazy the other is nuts. When crazy meets nuts sanity of both is restored. They 'll go for a drink and head home.

    I sort of drove this conclusion from a Russian poem I read years ago.

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    Kiza , April 18, 2017 at 4:09 am GMT
    • 200 Words @Mark Chapman Agreed; the US Navy only continues to pursue railgun technology to use up budget dollars - a peculiarity of western defense budgeting is that if you show efficiency by using less than the full amount allocated for your operations, maintenance and R&D, your budget is likely to be cut by that much next cycle. The USN has gone back to the drawing-board on railgun development, but absent a power-supply breakthrough it is unrealistic except as a vanity project.

    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/us-navys-railgun-dream-could-be-denied-by-two-big-problems-17301

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/this-is-why-the-navy-cant-have-nice-railguns

    An additional argument in Russia's favour is that many of its systems are built simply to be rugged and easily operated by someone with a minimum of training, like a conscript, although the top end of the air defense systems are still largely operated by specialists. Western systems often are unnecessarily complex - sometimes seemingly just to impress reviewers - and the fiasco of the F-35 nightmare serves as exemplary of what happens when corporatism gets the upper hand on government; any vision of what the F-35 was originally supposed to do has been lost in a blizzard of pork-barreling and design changes.

    As far as the navy goes, I made some of the same points myself some years ago, particularly the gross discrepancy in the cost of the USN's Littoral Combat Ships compared with - in this instance - China's missile corvettes.

    https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/fall-out-and-secure-for-sea-the-2012-sino-russian-naval-exercises/comment-page-1/

    Thanks for a great piece; it was timely, informative, thought-provoking and chock-full of meaty phrases and terminology I cannot wait to borrow.

    Mark, sorry but I have to disagree on the F-35 project. You are right that

    any vision of what the F-35 was originally supposed to do has been lost in a blizzard of pork-barreling and design changes

    But it appears that even that original concept was a pie in the sky sold to the government by a ruthless military almost-monopolistic corporation.

    Firstly, the concept was unrealistic, then also the concept was too ambitious in the wrong direction.

    Unrealistic: to create one frame for different airforce roles with very different requirements I describe as similar to creating a tank which can race on the ground, fly and submerge . I wonder why this has never been done successfully before. But this is what LM promised to USAF and on paper it looked fantastic and when greased with a few corrupt bucks the concept won the decision day. The same frame and 70% of shared components between all versions, ha!

    Too ambitious: instead of focusing on the firepower and maneuverability, it focused on stealth which is relatively easily defeated with multi-sensor IADS. The designers created the best stealth possible but at the expense of the principal plane performance: the firepower and maneuverability.

    LM claims that F-35 is completely new technology and suffers from birthing pains. Although true, this is not the crux of the problem. The whole design is back-to-the-drawing-board level of disaster. Even US & Allies cannot afford a trillion dollars stuff-up and a decade of time lost.

    In essence, the F-35 is again a good weapon only against the thirld-world opponents who cannot defeat stealth.

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    2stateshmoostate , April 18, 2017 at 4:38 am GMT
    • 200 Words I could be wrong, but I am inclined to see a parallel between the US now and the Russian Empire pre-1904.
    After after the surprise attack by the Japanese navy against Port Arthur and ultimate victory by Japan in the Russian-Japanese war that followed back in 1904, the Czarist regime was doomed.
    The Russians were arrogantly confident that they could easily beat down the Japanese forces and got the shit kicked out of them.
    On paper the Russians should have had the advantage, but because there was so much corruption and incompetence in the Czarist military complex they were defeated.
    The result was a the revolution of 1905 and the Czars ultimate demise in 1917.
    I think everything about the US government is a lie and has been for a while. Even though billions are spent on the US military I suspect it is a "paper tiger" because of obvious corruption but also because of the traitorous activity of US government officials with allegiances to a foreign powers.
    Anyway I'd be surprised that the US would prevail (without destroying the entire world with nukes) in a conflict with a adversary like Russia.
    But, I certainly could be wrong. •
    Joe Franklin , April 18, 2017 at 4:42 am GMT
    • 300 Words @mushroom When folks discuss Russia's capabilities they often forget what's blatantly obvious - which is what's not obvious, i.e. what the bear has created and is in it's hidden caves.

    What happened to that U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea was just a teasing mini-harbinger of this reality!

    So is the genius to create a cavity to eavesdrop, &c...

    If you want to enjoy happy days don't mess with the bear! The USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) is a 4th generation guided missile destroyer whose key weapons are Tomahawk cruise missiles with a range of up to 2,500 kilometers, and capable of carrying nuclear explosives. This ship carries 56 Tomahawk missiles in standard mode, and 96 missiles in attack mode.

    The US destroyer is equipped with the most recent Aegis Combat System. It is an integrated naval weapons systems which can link together the missile defense systems of all vessels embedded within the same network, so as to ensure the detection, tracking and destruction of hundreds of targets at the same time. In addition, the USS Donald Cook is equipped with 4 large radars, whose power is comparable to that of several stations. For protection, it carries more than fifty anti-aircraft missiles of various types.

    Meanwhile, the Russian Su-24 that buzzed the USS Donald Cook carried neither bombs nor missiles but only a basket mounted under the fuselage, which, according to the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta [2], contained a Russian electronic warfare device called Khibiny .

    As the Russian jet approached the US vessel, the electronic device disabled all radars, control circuits, systems, information transmission, etc. on board the US destroyer . In other words, the all-powerful Aegis system, now hooked up – or about to be – with the defense systems installed on NATO's most modern ships was shut down, as turning off the TV set with the remote control.

    The Russian Su-24 then simulated a missile attack against the USS Donald Cook, which was left literally deaf and blind. As if carrying out a training exercise, the Russian aircraft – unarmed – repeated the same maneuver 12 times before flying away.

    After that, the 4th generation destroyer immediately set sail towards a port in Romania.

    Since that incident, which the Atlanticist media have carefully covered up despite the widespread reactions sparked among defense industry experts, no US ship has ever approached Russian territorial waters again.

    According to some specialized media, 27 sailors from the USS Donald Cook requested to be relieved from active service.

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    utu , April 18, 2017 at 4:52 am GMT
    • 400 Words The article is not backed up by numbers. There is zero specificity.

    How many S-300 and S-400 are actually deployed? How many missiles/fighter jets would it take to overwhelm this defensive force? Does US/NATO have that many missiles/fighter jets to do this job?

    How many Su-35 were deployed so far and how does this compare to the number of F-22 in service?

    How many submarines US and Russia have currently in the seas?

    What's wrong with Ohio class subs? They are just there to deliver the punch and are perfectly safe as Russia does not have enough killer subs.

    And now this:

    Moreover, already today, US lower 48 are not immune to a conventional massive missile strike.

    What would be the purpose of such a strike? Wasting expensive missile on delivering just singular 500kg explosive? Anybody seriously in Russia's military would consider such an idiocy?

    The bottom line is that Russia is a nuclear power that can annihilate the US. All strategies take this into account. This is the bottom line. Any response or aggression vis a vis Russia must take this into account.

    Russia has conventional defensive capabilities but has negligible ability of projecting its power beyond its borders. Circa 4 dozens of planes in Syria with half a dozen of fighter jets to protect them that all are defended by few dozens of S-300/400 tubes is not very impressive. This force could be overwhelmed in just few hours by Israel AF that has over 400 F-15/16 or Turkey AF that has over 200 F-16.

    I do not believe anybody really wants a war with Russia but certainly they want to conquer Russia to make it to submit to the Washington consensus. But this will not be done with foreign troops on Russian soil or with bombs falling or Russian cities. It will be done with a soft coup d'etat that will depose Putin and his semi-patriotic faction. It all will be done with Russian hands. The attack on Syria by Trump was perfectly timed with president Xi visit who is very familiar with the Chinese proverb: kill the chicken to scare the monkey. Putin was the chicken and Xi was the monkey in this case. Putin lost face and Xi lost face. With every incident of this nature there will be more and more resentment and plotting among various factions in Russia's Deep State. There is no other choice because certainly Russia will not go to the preemptive nuclear war and apart of nuclear war Russia will be humiliated in every conventional skirmish.

    I am taking bets if Putin will be out of power by the end of this summer.

    pogohere , • Website April 18, 2017 at 5:14 am GMT
    • 300 Words @Erebus

    Russian Central Bank can print Ruble thru the thin air just like the Fed
    No, it cannot.
    The Russian Central Bank, like all "emerging market" central banks are treaty bound to print local currency only in a prescribed ratio to their "hard currency" reserves. The latter are the USD, the UKP, the EUR, the JPY, and now the CNY.
    As IMF treaties are considered International Treaties, they stand above the law of the land.
    These treaties are the instruments whereby the US' IMF-USD $ystem keeps the dollar in demand, and extracts value from the "3rd world" which are thereby forced to sell raw commodities to print enough currency to develop their internal economies. Of course, they can never really sell enough, and so they stay where they are.
    So, when the USM buys some insanely expensive aircraft carrier, or fighter aircraft, the rest of the world pays for it. In turn, the US uses that same carrier or aircraft to enforce the treaties. A self-reinforcing arrangement that allows the US and its allies to enjoy all the benefits of thievery over honest toil. "Extraordinary privilege", DeGaulle called it.

    The Russian Central Bank is doubly constrained by virtue of its (American authored) constitution which all but prohibits its restructuring.

    You can read a rather lengthy, but eye opening treatise on this subject here:
    http://lit.md/files/nstarikov/rouble_nationalization-the_way_to_russia%27s_freedom.pdf What international treaties has the Russian Central Bank entered into, if any?

    Re: "The Russian Central Bank is doubly constrained by virtue of its (American authored) constitution which all but prohibits its restructuring."

    Yours is an odd way of interpreting this provision of the Russian Constitution:

    The Constitution of the Russian Federation
    Article 75 (Chapter 3)

    1. The monetary unit in the Russian Federation shall be the rouble. Money issue shall be carried out exclusively by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Introduction and issue of other currencies in Russia shall not be allowed.
    2. The protection and ensuring the stability of the rouble shall be the major task of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, which it shall fulfil independently of the other bodies of state authority.
    3. The system of taxes paid to the federal budget and the general principles of taxation and dues in the Russian Federation shall be fixed by the federal law.
    4. State loans shall be issued according to the rules fixed by the federal law and shall be floated on a voluntary basis. [emphasis added]

    With reference to this @p36 of the treatise cited:

    "Laws need to be changed. That means that it is necessary to take the State
    Duma under control. That means that a parliamentary majority is required.
    And therefore, a party needs to be created that will win the general elections.
    A political structure which is currently rather popular starts being created.

    The majority party in the Duma now has representation sufficient to enable an amendment to the constitution to change the above provisions, not to mention the laws pursuant to same. Whether that is actually politically feasible is another matter.

    The treatise you cited appears to be somewhat dated with regard to the constraints, if any, on changes to central banking in Russia.

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    Seraphim , April 18, 2017 at 5:44 am GMT
    • 200 Words @anon That is a point I have often tried to make. Had the Tsar just told the Serbs flat out, "You guys are on your own. Comply. Or fight the Central Powers by yourself. We are out of it.",' there would never have been a 'Great' war (WW1). At most the 'war' would have been a minor brawl between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. History would have recorded it as just another Balkan skirmish. It would have been virtually forgotten today. This was the initial assumption of the Kaiser when he issued his 'blank check' of support. The Tsar would have saved millions of lives, including his own and his family too. Just nine years earlier the Tsar had fought and lost a disastrous war with Japan. That defeat led to a revolution that came within a hair of deposing him. He SHOULD have learned his lesson and avoided any future conflict like the plague. Tsar Nicolas was an incredibly stupid man. He deserves far more vilification then the Kaiser does. Tsar Nicholas was not that stupid to not see that the aggression against Serbia was in fact directed at Russia. The Dual Alliance of 1879, coming immediately after the Berlin Congress was directed squarely against Russia. By the time of Nicholas it evolved in the Triple Alliance and I have no doubts that Russians knew that Romania had adhered in secret in 1882. He could not be unaware of the 'Drang nach Osten' mentality which gripped Germany by the end of the 19th century and that the plans for the partition of Russia were on the drawing board. He could not have been unaware that the rejection of his proposals for disarmament has induced Germany to believe that the proposal reflected the weakness of Russia. He could not been unaware of Moltke's proposal in 1912 for a preventive war against Russia. He could not have been unaware that an external war was a precondition of for the revolution.
    War was imposed on Russia. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    Blacktail , April 18, 2017 at 6:34 am GMT
    • 200 Words The Russian military is moving in the same direction as the US - toward state-of-the-art obsolescence. While they build tiny numbers of new weapons, many times that number of their predecessors are being retired faster than the new weapons can be built.

    That fancy T-14 Armata Russia started building a few years ago? It replaces over 20000 T-55s and T-62s built early in the Cold War, and 6000 T-64s that were all spontaneously retired in the early 2010s and shipped not to the tank graveyards, but straight to the cutting mills.

    The Borei class Ballistic Missile Submarines mentioned in the article currently number about 5 boats, most of which aren't finished yet. They replace not only the infinitely more powerful and infamous Typhoon class (retired not because of age, but because Russia couldn't afford them), but also some 50 other Cold War era "Boomers".

    And that Su-35 that's all the hype these days? It was back in the mid-1990s as well, and the Su-27 it was meant to replace is being retired faster than Su-35s can be built. The new T-50 isn't much of a threat either, because it's been in development almost as long as the F-35, and it's no closer to being combat-ready.

    These are a metaphor for what Russia has become; a nation so insecure about the wrong things (cutting-edge technology rather than enough weapons to defend itself) that they're over-spending to weakness.

    Ondrej , April 18, 2017 at 6:57 am GMT
    • 100 Words @Sergey Krieger You are coming as a very pragmatic sort of a man ;) Just for your warning – well, bit of cultural and genetical conditioning helps in this case.

    As one of my grandfathers was helping in early stages of establishing

    Unfortunately, I did not have chance to discuss these issues with him.

    Unfortunately, depending on point view, I am not enough pragmatic for current ideologically driven socio-economical society

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    anonHUN , April 18, 2017 at 7:22 am GMT
    • 600 Words @Joe Wong "still 20 years behind on average?" since you are fabricating thru the thin air, why did you stop at 20 years? Why didn't you say 30 years behind, 40 years behind, ... ? You should know fake news is always fake new regardless it is a small fake news or a big fake news. It depends on the area, in some things they are 30 years behind, or even 40. The USSR collapsed in 1991 and for at least 10 years Russia had no money even to pay its soldiers. As the Chechen debacles had shown they were in shambles. Their new projects weren't going much forward, as you can see they resumed their 1980′s projects after 2000 when they had more oil income and Putin made the Russian state working again (well, kind of it is still hindered by corruption, disincentivizes citizens from being entrepreneurial (in a state where the rules can be changed overnight at the ruler's whim (no real rule of law) and you can be a billionaire oligarch but you can't be sure the state doesn't simple take everything from you and throw you in prison overnight, even arranging for your "accidental" death, except the money you siphoned to foreign accounts and real estate abroad etc.) It is mafia state, or a mafia (ex KGB) presenting itself as the state. Of course it is more ore less true everywhere (in the US too of course), deep under the veneer of democracy and rule of law, but in Russia it is almost open and blatant. Also the Russians don't have any traditions of enterpreneurship, private incentive, contrary to China, which is also a very corrupt country with a corrupt and totally nondemocratic regime (contrary to Russia which has token Western-style democratic institutions now), but thanks to the industriousness of the Chinese people they have risen to where they are now. Average Russians still seem to expect the state to provide for them as it was in the USSR, they need a "Father Tsar" which is now Putin, or they are just drinking too much and are in a rut, idk.

    As for the years it was only an estimate of course, but as I said they first had to make up for the lost decade after 1991, like finishing subs that were left unfinished since 1992 and things like that. First really new gadgets were the Armata (and Kurganets) which is still a newcomer, and T-50, still not an operational fighter. Regarding SAM's I must say the Russians always were the fans of SAM's but they were ineffective in the ME and Vietnam too. Didn't stop the enemy from achieving air superiority. I don't doubt that the S-300 /400 is much more advanced than the SAM systems of the 60′s and 70′s were, but they would have to face a much more advanced opponent too. Like low RCS planes that cannot be detected until they are well within the range of their air-to-surface weapons or dozens of targets flying at 20-3o m coming in from multiple directions.
    The F-35 is derided around here, the US spent a fortune on it, true. It has problems (only known because the US is more open, you usually don't read in the media about problems with the new Chinese or Russian planes, sure you think it is because they don't have any with them?) but it's capabilities are something. Stealth is not some scam as some believe. It is serious business when your SAM's or AAM's cannot lock on the damn thing even if you have a monster longwave radar that can detect it from a few dozen miles

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    ondrej , April 18, 2017 at 7:25 am GMT
    • 200 Words @Kiza Ok. so the secret of Russian military project effectiveness is that there are no congressional districts and power plays to divvy up the military budget not based on merit and proven capability than based on the power of the district's Congressional and/or Senatorial whore. Then, there are no MIC billionaires to skim the pie. Then the engineers works for reasonable salaries with a highly respected bonus of patriotism. Then there is an excellent well established educational system (for the whites) which puts accent on physics, maths and real technical building skills, supported by mentorship by experienced engineers, instead of putting accent on lying, financial market wizardry (again manipulation), MBAs, whilst training blacks to become engineers and importing engineers from India. Finally, there is the accumulated project experience and cooperative networks from building good weaponry during the days of Soviet Union, in which Russia quickly and effectively replaced sometimes dysfunctional pieces of network which dropped out, especially the important ones from Ukraine. I am truly amazed how quickly the Russian military manufacturing network compensates and adjusts for the loss of any piece.

    Have I answered my own question of how Russia produces on average 5X more bang for the buck (or more precisely, almost the same bang for five times less buck) than the US MIC? Am I missing any other component of success?

    Am I missing any other component of success?

    Just a possibility – or my hypothesis I am playing lately:-)

    It can be language according Sapir–Whorf hypothesis.
    The principle of linguistic relativity that the structure of a language affects its speakers' world view or cognition. Popularly known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, the principle is often defined to include two versions. The strong version says that language determines thought, and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories, whereas the weak version says that linguistic categories and usage only influence thought and decisions.

    and also due to fact that:

    Baltic and Slavic show the common trait of never having undergone in the course of their development any sudden systemic upheaval. [ ] there is no indication of a serious dislocation of any part of the linguistic system at any time. The sound structure has in general remained intact to the present. [ ] Baltic and Slavic are consequently the only languages in which certain modern word-forms resemble those reconstructed for Common Indo-European." ( The Indo-European Dialects [Eng. translation of Les dialectes indo-européens (1908)], University of Alabama Press, 1967, pp.
    59-60).

    Which could explain math skills of Russians and Indian:-) because languages are closely related.

    + learning other languages helps one for recognizing other points of view, if you look at current Russian elites Shoigu, Lavrov and others they speak usually one or more foreign languages fluently.

    anon , April 18, 2017 at 8:18 am GMT
    • 300 Words @Andrei Martyanov

    When relative economic strength is changing, military power lags by decades because many of the systems, technologies and institutions can only be built on such timescales.
    Russia is a very special case here--this is one of the points which is missed completely from "western" discussion. The empirical evidence is in and it overwhelmingly supports my, now academic, contention that "western" metrics for Russia do not work, nor most of the "experts" know what they are talking about, even when they have almost unrestricted access to sources. The way US "missed" Russia's military transformation which started in earnest in 2008 and completed its first phase by 2012 (4 years, you are talking about decades) is nothing short of astonishing. Combination of ignorance, hubris and downright stupidity are responsible for all that.

    P.S. No serious analyst takes US GDP as 18 trillion dollars seriously. A huge part of it is a creative bookkeeping and most of it is financial and service sector. Out of very few good things Vitaly Shlykov left after himself was his "The General Staff And Economics", which addressed the issue of actual US military-industrial potential. Then come strategic, operational and technological dimensions. You want to see operational dimension--look no further than Mosul which is still, after 6 months, being "liberated". Comparisons to Aleppo are not only warranted but irresistible. In general, overall power of the state (nation) is not only in its "economic" indices. I use Barnett's definition of national power constantly, remarkably Lavrov's recent speech in the General Staff Academy uses virtually identical definition. Your main point is well taken. PPP instead of simply GDP captures lower costs in Russia and is a better starting point. Plus, the US military procurement is remarkably inefficient. The combination of the two plus tacit and institutional knowledge regarding spending on military hardware makes analysis based on US spending misleading.

    However, the US is remarkably efficient in many other areas and has had the best performing developed economy since 2008.

    Regarding access to capital markets, the US over the last decade has developed a massive unconventional oil industry. This was done with capital investment of $3 trillion. Which came from capital markets. Not only was this unplanned, but it was done with grudging support from the Obama administration. And it is of enormous geo strategic value. I wish to hell that our defense doctrine would plug this new fact - US has no need for Middle East oil - into their strategy. Not to totally discount its importance, but the idea fighting and dying for a strategic resource that can be bought or drilled for needs to be thought out.

    If we were going to refight WW 2, then we would have some problems with global supply chains, etc. The next major war, if we have one, won't be like WW 2. The logic of a US conventional war with Russia is stupid. Either side with a decisive conventional advantage would simply increase the risk of it going nuclear.

    Russia could, if they were so inclined, forcibly take back some of the former USSR. But why would they want to? Even Crimea is expensive. It has taken what seems like forever to build the Kerch Strait Bridge. They have their Naval Base and the border dispute will keep Ukraine out of NATO. Technically, they could try it, but one of the requirements for membership is that the nation is not involved in conflict. It's held in Georgia and Moldova.

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    DanC , April 18, 2017 at 8:41 am GMT
    • 400 Words @Carlton Meyer If you care to read my detailed explanation of why carrier strike groups are obsolete against a modern navy:

    http://www.g2mil.com/navwar.htm

    If you prefer to watch a 33 second example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ki2-uyCHOA Great article.

    Concerning wastage of resources, here's what John Patch of the USN had to say:

    The Soviets debated building a significant carrier fleet in the 1960s but determined that large carriers had no place in the nuclear age, partly because of their vulnerability to missiles with nuclear warheads.2 While later choosing to build larger carriers, Moscow always retained the view that carriers remained vulnerable.

    https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/the-carrier-invulnerability-myth.145678/

    It is surely significant that Russia sold or gave away all its cold war-era aircraft carriers and retains only the hybrid aircraft-capable cruiser, Kuznetsov.

    They "get" it that the role of capital surface ships is changing,, and diminishing. This is also indicative of why the Russians will shock the first fleet that tries to engage them. They keep their planners and developers focused on what actually matters, and serious war gaming, rather than rigging things to provide the answer they want for careerist reasons

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002

    Note that it took the attacking general about 5 minutes using a swarm of old-generation cruise missiles to sink enough craft to disable the fleet's networked defense and EW capacity, with crew amounting to 20,000 on the ships sunk alone. The remaining ships were sitting ducks for the follow up attacks.

    These were subsonic cruise missiles. A bunch of moskits would have wiped everything out.

    And still these fools keep spending money on carrier groups. it's noteworthy that they restarted the war game and ordered the opposing general to stop making effective attacks. That sums up exactly why the US keeps wasting money and doing stupid things.
    __________________

    As an aside, note that the CGI from the movie of an aircraft carrier attack is not realistic.

    Projectiles travelling at the speeds shown would easily be destroyed or diverted by fleet defense systems.

    The new BrahMos adaptation of the Onyx missile travels at 2,800 mph. By comparison a bullet fired from a high compression hunting rifle travels at 1,700 mph.

    The ballistic missiles such as the Dong feng being developed by the Chinese, will have incoming speeds as high as 5,000 mph.

    The human eye can't actually see objects moving that fast.

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    Joey Zaza , April 18, 2017 at 9:48 am GMT
    @Anonymous Russia spent almost 5.4% of GDP on military spending. The US last year spent 3.3% and with Trump's proposed increase this number will increase by a few decimal points.

    Russia is a middle income country while the US is a rich country, in the top 10 of GDP per capita. If oil prices don't substantially improve and Russia continues to spend the way it does on the military it will simply go broke.

    Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita (Russia is between Mexico and Suriname)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures Hopefully the President of Russia will take on board your succinct and informed analysis. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    Max Steel , April 18, 2017 at 9:53 am GMT
    @reiner Tor I think that while it's a grave mistake for Americans to underestimate Russians, it's also a grave mistake for Russians to underestimate Americans.

    Since I cannot claim to be an expert in military technology, I always read such articles with great interest, but never know with how much grain of salt I need to take them - none? a little? a lot? a whole salt mine?

    Underestimate Americans in what ? Stupidity ? Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    Max Steel , April 18, 2017 at 9:57 am GMT
    @reiner Tor

    US would have a real test in North Korea or Iran, Russia in a war against Turkey.
    I think Turkey's military is stronger than either Iran's or North Korea's, so it would be a tougher test for Russia to fight Turkey than for the US to fight North Korea or Iran. Russians have already defeated Ottomans and Turkey is NOT a tough test for Russia given Turkey invades Russia otheriwse unlike US you don't expect Russia to go launch a war bravado against them. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    Seraphim , April 18, 2017 at 10:39 am GMT
    @2stateshmoostate I could be wrong, but I am inclined to see a parallel between the US now and the Russian Empire pre-1904.
    After after the surprise attack by the Japanese navy against Port Arthur and ultimate victory by Japan in the Russian-Japanese war that followed back in 1904, the Czarist regime was doomed.
    The Russians were arrogantly confident that they could easily beat down the Japanese forces and got the shit kicked out of them.
    On paper the Russians should have had the advantage, but because there was so much corruption and incompetence in the Czarist military complex they were defeated.
    The result was a the revolution of 1905 and the Czars ultimate demise in 1917.
    I think everything about the US government is a lie and has been for a while. Even though billions are spent on the US military I suspect it is a "paper tiger" because of obvious corruption but also because of the traitorous activity of US government officials with allegiances to a foreign powers.
    Anyway I'd be surprised that the US would prevail (without destroying the entire world with nukes) in a conflict with a adversary like Russia.
    But, I certainly could be wrong. The war that the Japanese started pushed by the Schiff banking cabal was ended in 1945 by the people they helped to overturn a friend of Japan, the Tsar Nicholas II. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    Max Steel , April 18, 2017 at 11:34 am GMT
    @utu The article is not backed up by numbers. There is zero specificity.

    How many S-300 and S-400 are actually deployed? How many missiles/fighter jets would it take to overwhelm this defensive force? Does US/NATO have that many missiles/fighter jets to do this job?

    How many Su-35 were deployed so far and how does this compare to the number of F-22 in service?

    How many submarines US and Russia have currently in the seas?

    What's wrong with Ohio class subs? They are just there to deliver the punch and are perfectly safe as Russia does not have enough killer subs.

    And now this:


    Moreover, already today, US lower 48 are not immune to a conventional massive missile strike.
    What would be the purpose of such a strike? Wasting expensive missile on delivering just singular 500kg explosive? Anybody seriously in Russia's military would consider such an idiocy?

    The bottom line is that Russia is a nuclear power that can annihilate the US. All strategies take this into account. This is the bottom line. Any response or aggression vis a vis Russia must take this into account.

    Russia has conventional defensive capabilities but has negligible ability of projecting its power beyond its borders. Circa 4 dozens of planes in Syria with half a dozen of fighter jets to protect them that all are defended by few dozens of S-300/400 tubes is not very impressive. This force could be overwhelmed in just few hours by Israel AF that has over 400 F-15/16 or Turkey AF that has over 200 F-16.

    I do not believe anybody really wants a war with Russia but certainly they want to conquer Russia to make it to submit to the Washington consensus. But this will not be done with foreign troops on Russian soil or with bombs falling or Russian cities. It will be done with a soft coup d'etat that will depose Putin and his semi-patriotic faction. It all will be done with Russian hands. The attack on Syria by Trump was perfectly timed with president Xi visit who is very familiar with the Chinese proverb: kill the chicken to scare the monkey. Putin was the chicken and Xi was the monkey in this case. Putin lost face and Xi lost face. With every incident of this nature there will be more and more resentment and plotting among various factions in Russia's Deep State. There is no other choice because certainly Russia will not go to the preemptive nuclear war and apart of nuclear war Russia will be humiliated in every conventional skirmish.

    I am taking bets if Putin will be out of power by the end of this summer. S-300 can destroy Israeli warplanes even before they leave their airfields for sky. Do you see Russians doing it ? Why ? Because Russia and Israel have friendly relations and Russia doesn't interfere in Hezbollah and Israelis conflict. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    Max Steel , April 18, 2017 at 11:48 am GMT
    • 300 Words @Kiza Congratulations on the article Andrei. As another commenter said - I do not agree with everything in the article, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    I also fully support your answers to Karlin, he often barks up a wrong tree.

    Now the main issue with your article that I have is the same old issue that I always had with your comments. You start from the right premise and then you blow it up beyond recognition. In other words, you are too optimistic. For example, it is a very good point that the Russian and US perceptions of war are totally different: for a Russian the war is a fight for survival as an individual and as a nation, for a US person war and killing are just another day in the office. Then you start counting weapons and comparing weapons technology specifications and always conclude that Russian is better and cheaper, even when there is no direct comparison of effectiveness in battle.

    In other words, if your top level goal is to counter the ubiquitous US MIC propaganda with the Russian MIC propaganda, then you are doing a good job. But never forget the Motke's dictum: no wonderful battle plan survives contact with the enemy. I accept that the mercenairy armies, like the US one, are not very good when dying starts, they totally rely on military superiority which does not exist against Russia and soon will not exist against China. But the new generations of Russians are becoming softer and softer and Russian military has not been tested in a recent conflict against a peer just like the US one has not.

    The second major disadvantage of the Russian MIC is that US has a huge market of allies which it ruthlessly milks for weapons procurement, whilst when Russia sells an S300 to Cyprus it lands in the hands of the Israelis to be cracked. Even after such experience Russia engages in an apparently serious discussion to sell S400 to Turkey, straight into NATO hands. To put it mildly - Russia has to nurture the BRICS defense market, although most of the customers are copy artists, China being the master copier.

    Having criticised you too much, now I have to admit that I do not understand how Russia can get on average 5X more bang for the buck than US, sometimes more. Does Russian MIC operate some underground former mine facilities in which these engineering slaves design all these wonderful military toys and then build them at the cost of sustenance? Lower Russian wages and US MIC's extraordinary greed still cannot fully explain such huge difference. Is it some amazing corruption-free project management skills inherited from Soviet Union?

    As someone who has had experience with the weaponry of both sides, I have always been a fan of Russian engineering simplicity and reliability in design. Most people are familiar with this design philosophy through experience with Kalashnikov rifle, but this is a general design principle of all Russian weapons, even the sophisticated ones (probably even S500). Admittedly, the Chinese apply a similar principle in their engineering, although not at the same level - I remember well the shock of my Western colleagues when they realised that the Chinese Long March rockets utilised plywood where they utilised (at that time) very expensive carbon fibre and other composites.

    There is a slight flaw in your comment.

    Israeli used Greece's S-300 PMU-1 to prepare their F-16I pilots for potential air strikes on Iran .

    we still don't know which version went to Iran so if they practice on the S-300PMU-1 and Iran gets the S-300VM it will be like practising on a home cat and then going against a tiger.

    Even US and UK had older S-300 models with them. US has S-300PS/PMU systems at Nevada. It has same value as figuring out Turkish F-16 from Egyptian/Pakistan/UAE/Taiwan /Korean.

    But yes earlier S-300 models are not completely protected Israel succeeded where many in NATO failed against even an old system like PMU. Regarding S-300PMU, it has been upgraded substantially in previous years.

    Its guidance system is literally unjammable unless huge resources are dedicated, ie broadband noise jamming of the most powerful kind.

    Though recently Israel announced that it is upgrading its F-16 variants external link to be able to handle the vaunted Russian S-300 anti-aircraft system. Iran is perennially about to receive shipments of the system. But mere intention does not mean they have managed to do so.

    It was the middle of the 1990s and money was nonexistent in Russia . They sold components of an S-300V battery to the US likely the oldest model they had that was incomplete.With the money they made they upgraded the whole system to S-300VM or Antei-2500.So in effect the US paid for the next generation to replace the generation that was compromised.And the S-300V was in service in most former Soviet republics so chances were eventually they would get their hands on it anyway at least this way they got their own funding to develop a replacement system.

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    bb. , April 18, 2017 at 12:01 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @inertial You just illustrated my point. Facebook vs. Gazprom market caps - all that shows is that Facebook has access to vastly larger amounts of capital than Gazprom. Well, duh.

    Market capitalization is determined mostly by institutional investors - mutual funds, pension funds, insurance companies, etc. - who pool private savings and channel them into various investments. There are massive amounts of such savings available in USA; in Russia, not so much.

    In Russia, the government is just about the only major saver and investor. This works fine in areas where the government must play a role, such as weapons manufacture. In other areas, enterprises that need capital to develop must either accumulate it themselves over the years (which puts limit on growth,) or get the government to help them out, or borrow abroad at usurious rates. That's not good. Ideally, Russian enterprises should enter Russian stock or fixed income market and raise as much capital as they need.

    As for Boeing, yes it's a gem. But it does have some difficulties in raising capital. It's been balancing on the edge of bankruptcy for years and, unlike Facebook, it has huge liabilities. Incidentally, Boeing very much engages in all that "useless" high finance stuff. The buy and sell and issue bonds and short term paper; I don't know if they issue options but they certainly trade them. They don't believe that they are performing "virtual transactions with virtual money;" on the contrary, they consider this and essential part of the business, as important as building engines or whatever. Perhaps they know something you don't?

    Finally, a tip. Any "expert" who doesn't treat US (or other) economic data seriously is an idiot. not treating US data seriously is obviously hyperbole, but incidentally a very on spot one in this case.
    all things being equal, you are right about market formation and capitalization. but these are not normal times. nobody really knows whats going to happen when the shit, which is the US stock market QE fueled ponzi scheme, hits the fan. it is very hard to take the subprime, derivative, QE, buyback economy of the last almost 20 years seriously.
    it is also false to say that zuckerbook is useless. it generates way too much money(compared to twitter or tesla) to make that statement. in general, it is hard to estimate the value and effectiveness of marketing expenses and facebook put a decent metric on it, better than google to some extent. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    AP , April 18, 2017 at 12:40 pm GMT
    • 200 Words @2stateshmoostate I could be wrong, but I am inclined to see a parallel between the US now and the Russian Empire pre-1904.
    After after the surprise attack by the Japanese navy against Port Arthur and ultimate victory by Japan in the Russian-Japanese war that followed back in 1904, the Czarist regime was doomed.
    The Russians were arrogantly confident that they could easily beat down the Japanese forces and got the shit kicked out of them.
    On paper the Russians should have had the advantage, but because there was so much corruption and incompetence in the Czarist military complex they were defeated.
    The result was a the revolution of 1905 and the Czars ultimate demise in 1917.
    I think everything about the US government is a lie and has been for a while. Even though billions are spent on the US military I suspect it is a "paper tiger" because of obvious corruption but also because of the traitorous activity of US government officials with allegiances to a foreign powers.
    Anyway I'd be surprised that the US would prevail (without destroying the entire world with nukes) in a conflict with a adversary like Russia.
    But, I certainly could be wrong.

    I could be wrong, but I am inclined to see a parallel between the US now and the Russian Empire pre-1904.

    Sorry, that's just completely wrong.

    The best rough analogy to Russia of pre-1904 would be China (though China is further along in its development, perhaps it would be Russia of 1914 or later, had Russia not stupidly gotten itself into World War I).

    The US would somehow be analogous to the British Empire in its decline. A key difference, however, is the US' massive population (more than double that of Russia), territory and natural resources compared to that of the British mainland. This probably provides some sort of floor to the American decline that Britain didn't have.

    Also, keep in mind that western Russophobes plus Bolsheviks exaggerated the Tsars' Russia's weakness and incompetence, while there was nobody to defend it. This makes the picture unrealistically negative. During World War I, Russia defeated two of the three Central Powers (compare Russian vs. British performance vs. the Ottoman Empire) and was able to maintain a stable front vs. the third.

    Andrei Martyanov , • Website April 18, 2017 at 12:47 pm GMT
    NEW!

    They sold components of an S-300V battery to the US

    Belarus sold the whole complex to the US, S-300V.

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    Andrei Martyanov , • Website April 18, 2017 at 12:54 pm GMT
    • 100 WordsNEW! @Blacktail The Russian military is moving in the same direction as the US --- toward state-of-the-art obsolescence. While they build tiny numbers of new weapons, many times that number of their predecessors are being retired faster than the new weapons can be built.

    That fancy T-14 Armata Russia started building a few years ago? It replaces over 20000 T-55s and T-62s built early in the Cold War, and 6000 T-64s that were all spontaneously retired in the early 2010s and shipped not to the tank graveyards, but straight to the cutting mills.

    The Borei class Ballistic Missile Submarines mentioned in the article currently number about 5 boats, most of which aren't finished yet. They replace not only the infinitely more powerful and infamous Typhoon class (retired not because of age, but because Russia couldn't afford them), but also some 50 other Cold War era "Boomers".

    And that Su-35 that's all the hype these days? It was back in the mid-1990s as well, and the Su-27 it was meant to replace is being retired faster than Su-35s can be built. The new T-50 isn't much of a threat either, because it's been in development almost as long as the F-35, and it's no closer to being combat-ready.

    These are a metaphor for what Russia has become; a nation so insecure about the wrong things (cutting-edge technology rather than enough weapons to defend itself) that they're over-spending to weakness.

    They replace not only the infinitely more powerful and infamous Typhoon class (retired not because of age,

    Sir, please, don't write things you don't know about. Pacific Fleet's Delta III (Project 667 BDR) SSBNs are in dire need of replacement, while Northern Fleet's SSBNs of Delta IV class (Project 667 BDRM) are nearing the end of life. Remaining Project 941 (Akula-class> not Typhoon) are not even consideration for Borey-class, serving out their lives as test platforms, mostly. Borey (Project 955 and 955A) was created to replace aging Deltas.

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    Andrei Martyanov , • Website April 18, 2017 at 1:10 pm GMT
    • 200 WordsNEW! @Kiza Ok. so the secret of Russian military project effectiveness is that there are no congressional districts and power plays to divvy up the military budget not based on merit and proven capability than based on the power of the district's Congressional and/or Senatorial whore. Then, there are no MIC billionaires to skim the pie. Then the engineers works for reasonable salaries with a highly respected bonus of patriotism. Then there is an excellent well established educational system (for the whites) which puts accent on physics, maths and real technical building skills, supported by mentorship by experienced engineers, instead of putting accent on lying, financial market wizardry (again manipulation), MBAs, whilst training blacks to become engineers and importing engineers from India. Finally, there is the accumulated project experience and cooperative networks from building good weaponry during the days of Soviet Union, in which Russia quickly and effectively replaced sometimes dysfunctional pieces of network which dropped out, especially the important ones from Ukraine. I am truly amazed how quickly the Russian military manufacturing network compensates and adjusts for the loss of any piece.

    Have I answered my own question of how Russia produces on average 5X more bang for the buck (or more precisely, almost the same bang for five times less buck) than the US MIC? Am I missing any other component of success?

    Then, there are no MIC billionaires to skim the pie.

    This is crucial. Sure, Chemezov's or Rahmanov's salaries are huge by Russian standards (well, by Western too) and allows the military-industrial elite to live very comfortably, to put it mildly but the answer is the state's ownership of the whole defense sphere, from industry to doctrinal development. Relationship between Russians and their state are dramatically different from what most Westerners ever experienced in their relations. It was inevitable in the nation with such military history as Russia. As I mentioned Arthur J. Alexander's "spread"–Russia does have this pressure applied to her institutes to, in the end, become this character from Russian anecdote, where he buys a crib for his toddler from one of the former MIC plants and after assembling it at home gets AK-47. Russia is bound to produce (at least mostly) weapons which have to work.

    Here is what Russians do, barn, of course, being a representation of Russian State;)

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    Z-man , April 18, 2017 at 1:20 pm GMT
    @NoseytheDuke What if the fat boy (and the NK people) feel that they need those weapons for defensive purposes? After all, it wasn't too long ago that Korea was invaded by the US (plus a few satraps) and millions of Koreans were killed. Who are we in the west to interfere with NK? Fat boy is developing missiles that will hit the USA, nuff said.
    Ok a little more, he can sell those little nuclear bombs to some terrorist group, now 'nuff said!' Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
    Sam Shama , April 18, 2017 at 1:23 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @NoseytheDuke The troubles of the US of late have largely stemmed from having an insatiable parasite on its back sucking all that it can from the military and the economy in general whilst simultaneously plotting to undermine it.

    The senseless wars in the ME to provide Israel with "security", the billions of dollars in "loans" that will never be repaid, the vast amounts of military hardware worth billions declared as "scrap" and given to Israel, what a great investment it all has been.

    No doubt millions of Americans will welcome more degradation of their cities and infrastructure in order to field a larger military since it cares for the fruit of their loins so well AND has accomplished so much good in the world with the trillions already squandered at the behest of the Neocon Israel Firsters.

    You sure have your finger on America's pulse Shammy and clearly want nothing but the best for the American people, right? What a tosser! I shall refrain from returning your predictably dumb insults.

    On the topic of foreign aid and loan guarantees, you aren't well-read nor qualified to render any opinion likely to be worth more than the pixels wasted by your fatuous lines.

    First, understand the difference between actual loans and loan guarantees.

    https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf [pg 25 - 27]

    Second, here is a table for U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel: Total Aid

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/total-u-s-foreign-aid-to-israel-1949-present

    It irks you the U.S. sends foreign aid to Israel by an amount which really means not a great deal [average, $1.86b % $310b = 0.006 of GDP], even as U.S. foreign aid finds a much wider set of recipients. That's your emotional prerogative, one which breaches a very, very long tradition observed by powerful nations.

    There is little you or I could do about it. Alea iacta est .

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    Z-man , April 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT
    @Kiza You are stupid, are you not? No, I am smarter than you, and probably better looking. Just a guess, but an educated one, lol! •
    Anon , April 18, 2017 at 2:07 pm GMT
    • 200 Words @Andrei Martyanov

    Hopefully it will grow to its proper dimensions.
    So, Facebook's capitalization of 400 billion, that is for company which produces nothing of real value (in fact, is detrimental to mental health of the society) is a true size of economy.

    https://ycharts.com/companies/FB/market_cap

    Mind you--this is for a collection of several buildings, servers and about 200-300 pages of code in whatever they wrote it (C++, C whatever--make your pick).

    Meanwhile, Gazprom, which is an energy monster is about...10 times less.

    https://ycharts.com/companies/OGZPY/market_cap

    Here is a dilemma. Gazprom extracts and delivers energy without which Eurasia can not exist. Facebook? Turn it off tomorrow and bar some impressionable teenagers committing suicide, the world will continue on living just fine. But that is just one example. You will not find, however, such a hi-tech monster as Rostec on any financial market. For a corporate giant which employs half-a-million people and produces state of the art weapon systems and civilian products--ask yourself a question whose "capitalization" is more important for economy--of useless Facebook or of the corporation which produces civilian jet engines. But let me add insult to injury. While Facebook "capitalizes" on almost half-trillion, a gem of the American industry, aerospace giant Boeing barely makes it to 109 billion. Most US economic indices are fraud, the same as most of US economy is virtual--a collection of virtual transactions with virtual money and virtual services. i am not talking, of course, about stock buybacks. As I already stated, nobody of any serious expertise in actual things that matter, treats this whole US "economic" data seriously. The problem here is that many in US establishment do and that is a clear and present danger to both US and world at large because constant and grotesque overestimation of own capabilities becomes a matter of policy, not a one-off accident.

    Here is a dilemma. Gazprom extracts and delivers energy without which Eurasia can not exist. Facebook? Turn it off tomorrow and bar some impressionable teenagers committing suicide, the world will continue on living just fine. But that is just one example. You will not find, however, such a hi-tech monster as Rostec on any financial market. For a corporate giant which employs half-a-million people and produces state of the art weapon systems and civilian products–ask yourself a question whose "capitalization" is more important for economy–of useless Facebook or of the corporation which produces civilian jet engines. But let me add insult to injury. While Facebook "capitalizes" on almost half-trillion, a gem of the American industry, aerospace giant Boeing barely makes it to 109 billion. Most US economic indices are fraud, the same as most of US economy is virtual–a collection of virtual transactions with virtual money and virtual services.

    The above is a classic example of elementalism. It is a flawed perspective. Humans do not need much more than clean air, clean shelter, food, water and perhaps some antibiotics to live perfectly well. Every desire is born of the limbic system, which includes the hippocampus and the amygdala.

    Don't speak so dismissively of Virtual Reality.

    Joe Wong , April 18, 2017 at 2:24 pm GMT
    • 200 Words @Erebus

    Russian Central Bank can print Ruble thru the thin air just like the Fed
    No, it cannot.
    The Russian Central Bank, like all "emerging market" central banks are treaty bound to print local currency only in a prescribed ratio to their "hard currency" reserves. The latter are the USD, the UKP, the EUR, the JPY, and now the CNY.
    As IMF treaties are considered International Treaties, they stand above the law of the land.
    These treaties are the instruments whereby the US' IMF-USD $ystem keeps the dollar in demand, and extracts value from the "3rd world" which are thereby forced to sell raw commodities to print enough currency to develop their internal economies. Of course, they can never really sell enough, and so they stay where they are.
    So, when the USM buys some insanely expensive aircraft carrier, or fighter aircraft, the rest of the world pays for it. In turn, the US uses that same carrier or aircraft to enforce the treaties. A self-reinforcing arrangement that allows the US and its allies to enjoy all the benefits of thievery over honest toil. "Extraordinary privilege", DeGaulle called it.

    The Russian Central Bank is doubly constrained by virtue of its (American authored) constitution which all but prohibits its restructuring.

    You can read a rather lengthy, but eye opening treatise on this subject here:
    http://lit.md/files/nstarikov/rouble_nationalization-the_way_to_russia%27s_freedom.pdf

    The Russian Central Bank, like all "emerging market" central banks are treaty bound to print local currency only in a prescribed ratio to their "hard currency" reserves.

    The above is your fabrication, the link is a write out by an over zealous nationalist with half baked truth, and the link is neither a treaty quoted by you to support your claim nor saying there is such IMF treaty.

    Most nations hardly have any hard currency reserves, yet the amount of local currency they printed proves your "prescribed ratio" a fake news. Even those nations have hard currency reserves, the amount of local currency they prints makes your "prescribed ratio" a Hollywood fantasy.

    Putin has begun de-dollarization Russian economy long time ago, Russian has signed currency SWAP with China, EU and Japan, so that Russian can trade without USD. China also has set up AIIB and Alt-SWIFT for rest of the world to bypass the USD as well. Time has changed, man.

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    Andrei Martyanov , • Website April 18, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT
    • 300 WordsNEW! @inertial You just illustrated my point. Facebook vs. Gazprom market caps - all that shows is that Facebook has access to vastly larger amounts of capital than Gazprom. Well, duh.

    Market capitalization is determined mostly by institutional investors - mutual funds, pension funds, insurance companies, etc. - who pool private savings and channel them into various investments. There are massive amounts of such savings available in USA; in Russia, not so much.

    In Russia, the government is just about the only major saver and investor. This works fine in areas where the government must play a role, such as weapons manufacture. In other areas, enterprises that need capital to develop must either accumulate it themselves over the years (which puts limit on growth,) or get the government to help them out, or borrow abroad at usurious rates. That's not good. Ideally, Russian enterprises should enter Russian stock or fixed income market and raise as much capital as they need.

    As for Boeing, yes it's a gem. But it does have some difficulties in raising capital. It's been balancing on the edge of bankruptcy for years and, unlike Facebook, it has huge liabilities. Incidentally, Boeing very much engages in all that "useless" high finance stuff. The buy and sell and issue bonds and short term paper; I don't know if they issue options but they certainly trade them. They don't believe that they are performing "virtual transactions with virtual money;" on the contrary, they consider this and essential part of the business, as important as building engines or whatever. Perhaps they know something you don't?

    Finally, a tip. Any "expert" who doesn't treat US (or other) economic data seriously is an idiot.

    Market capitalization is determined mostly by institutional investors – mutual funds, pension funds, insurance companies, etc. – who pool private savings and channel them into various investments. There are massive amounts of such savings available in USA; in Russia, not so much.

    Sure, and that is why a company which produces nothing of value "commands" the so called "investments" which are several times larger than those of Boeing who is de facto US national treasure and who, as you stated, has problems with raising "capital". That pretty much says it all. Again, I omit here the trick with stock buybacks. But in the end, you seem to miss completely the point–structure of GDP.

    You may go here and see for yourself how FIRE overtook manufacturing in US in output. What is "output", of course, remains a complete mystery, same as many other services, once one considers the "quality" of education in US public schools which reflects in the most profound way on US labor force which increasingly begins to look like a third world one.

    https://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=51&step=1#reqid=51&step=51&isuri=1&5114=a&5102=15

    In general, we speak here different languages and I may only refer you back to Michael Lind's quote in my text. Judged in a larger, geopolitical framework, one can observe very clearly the process of US literally running out of resources and no amount of "raised capital" can change it. This is not to speak about the whole house of cards of Pax Americana which rested on US military imperial mythology. Once this mythology is debunked (the process which is ongoing as I type it) the house of cards folds.

    • Agree: Sergey Krieger •
    Joe Wong , April 18, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @Anon

    Here is a dilemma. Gazprom extracts and delivers energy without which Eurasia can not exist. Facebook? Turn it off tomorrow and bar some impressionable teenagers committing suicide, the world will continue on living just fine. But that is just one example. You will not find, however, such a hi-tech monster as Rostec on any financial market. For a corporate giant which employs half-a-million people and produces state of the art weapon systems and civilian products–ask yourself a question whose "capitalization" is more important for economy–of useless Facebook or of the corporation which produces civilian jet engines. But let me add insult to injury. While Facebook "capitalizes" on almost half-trillion, a gem of the American industry, aerospace giant Boeing barely makes it to 109 billion. Most US economic indices are fraud, the same as most of US economy is virtual–a collection of virtual transactions with virtual money and virtual services.
    The above is a classic example of elementalism. It is a flawed perspective. Humans do not need much more than clean air, clean shelter, food, water and perhaps some antibiotics to live perfectly well. Every desire is born of the limbic system, which includes the hippocampus and the amygdala.

    Don't speak so dismissively of Virtual Reality. I guess what Andrei Martyanov was trying to say that virtual is not real, intrinsic or tangible, it is fabricated or created thru the thin air, hence the American economy is not real, intrinsic or tangible, it is fabricated or created thru the thin air. Reply More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    Ondrej , April 18, 2017 at 3:01 pm GMT
    • 100 Words @Anon

    Here is a dilemma. Gazprom extracts and delivers energy without which Eurasia can not exist. Facebook? Turn it off tomorrow and bar some impressionable teenagers committing suicide, the world will continue on living just fine. But that is just one example. You will not find, however, such a hi-tech monster as Rostec on any financial market. For a corporate giant which employs half-a-million people and produces state of the art weapon systems and civilian products–ask yourself a question whose "capitalization" is more important for economy–of useless Facebook or of the corporation which produces civilian jet engines. But let me add insult to injury. While Facebook "capitalizes" on almost half-trillion, a gem of the American industry, aerospace giant Boeing barely makes it to 109 billion. Most US economic indices are fraud, the same as most of US economy is virtual–a collection of virtual transactions with virtual money and virtual services.
    The above is a classic example of elementalism. It is a flawed perspective. Humans do not need much more than clean air, clean shelter, food, water and perhaps some antibiotics to live perfectly well. Every desire is born of the limbic system, which includes the hippocampus and the amygdala.

    Don't speak so dismissively of Virtual Reality.

    It is a flawed perspective. Humans do not need much more than clean air, clean shelter, food, water and perhaps some antibiotics to live perfectly well.

    Yes, valid argument which true for GB, Belgium, Holland, with their Gulf Stream protected stable clime, but I would prefer Mediterranean area such as Greece or Balkan for that matter.

    Hmm Olive oil, vine, fishing sounds nice, but anything east of Frankfurt and North of let say Berlin in Europe, will add different perspective. Heating for winter, and shorter summer. Just ask people in Archangelsk or Petersburg

    + Virtual reality need quite a lot of electrical power to run, not only on your computer but in cloud as well.

    Here you can find nice perspective as well..

    https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2015/09/you-call-this-progress/

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    Peripatetic commenter , April 18, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT
    • 100 Words Strategy page thinks that the S400s in Syria are useless:

    https://strategypage.com/qnd/russia/articles/20170418.aspx

    In reading their article they seem to forget about the Mig-15 and Mig-17 in Korea and Vietnam, respectively, and about the effectiveness of those SAMs in Vietnam as well.

    Didn't that traitor, John McCain get downed by a SAM?

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Mikoyan-Gurevich_MiG-15

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    The Alarmist, April 18, 2017 at 3:43 pm GMT
    @Erebus I understand that there would be great hue and cry to take revenge. That is why I wrote (with a correction in bold):
    One can hope that we'll be rejoicing that America's owners follow ed their internationalistic instincts when that moment has passed.
    America's owners aren't necessarily American. That the civilizational consequences of America's death be limited to the N. American continent is in their interest, and they would make that interest known.
    The geo-political consequences of an attack on the grid in response to a US/NATO attack on Russia would be that the US would instantly cease to be a military/economic power for at least several generations. The Great Game would be over. If the US came back with a nuclear response, they know well that Russia's counter-response would simply extend that timeline. Perhaps to infinity. IOW, other than suicidal madness, there is no geo-political reason to respond, and there'd be every reason to take the hit and try to rebuild.

    Likewise, Russia's politicians would be hard pressed to resist responding to an American nuclear attack in kind, but the fact is that there would be no military purpose to doing so. The US would be finished as a world power. Vaporizing 200M people would be of no military value. Better to keep what's left of your nuclear forces intact so you don't have to rebuild them. The more likely scenario is this: Sensing a number of strategic and tactical indicators of an impending attack, the US launches a bolt out of the blue attack to cripple the Russian forces before they can attack. Russian SLBMs and rail-based missiles get off a few MIRVs that take out DC and a few other major cities (counter-force targetting is pointless after the first-strike), but no-harm no-foul since the JEEP was executed at the time of the first-strike, so everybody who matters was saved from harm and that pesky problem of too many idle hands in the major urban centers was finally taken care of.

    Alternatively, the Russians use EMP weapons already in orbit to take out the US grid. The US NCA execute the SIOP. Outcome: See above.

    Winning move is not to play, but the geniuses running things don't see the extintinction of the little guy as a bug, rather as a feature.

    lastnerve , April 18, 2017 at 3:44 pm GMT
    @Intelligent Dasein I've come to the conclusion that it is the probable consensus among America's Deep State elites, as exemplified by the truly evil Hillary Clinton, that an all-out war with Russia which totally devastates Russia but leaves America just barely standing, would, notwithstanding the rivers of blood and the chaos unleashed, be an acceptable outcome as long as the blasted rump of America, namely the Deep State itself, gets to subsequently enthrone itself as the unchallenged world hegemon. The Deep State views the entirety of America's economic and military might, as well as the lives of its citizens, as merely a means to this end.

    I also believe that Russia's strategists and state-level actors have come to the same conclusion regarding America's designs. This is the strategic situation that Russia is up against, and this is why Russia has wisely prepared itself to fight a defensive war of astonishing proportions. And for the sake of the human race, for the peace of men of good will everywhere, I would advise Russia that when dealing with a cranky, feeble, delusional, and senile Uncle Sam, it is not possible to be too paranoid. You will not be up against a rational actor if and when this war breaks out. Whatever zany, desperate, and counterproductive gambits you can imagine the USA making, they will not be worse than what these people are capable of.

    As an American myself, I would have liked to have been a patriot. If my country must go to war, I would have liked to be on my country's side. But the bitter truth is that my government is something the world would be better off without. Russia has the moral high ground in this conflict. Hopefully that, and the strength of its arms, will be enough.

    The great tragedy of the 20th century was that all the wrong people won the major wars. Whether it was Chiang Kai-shek in China or Hitler and Mussolini in Europe, or the Kaiser and the House of Hapsburg before them, the real heroes, the ones who were however ineffectively and confusedly on the side of Right, suffered defeat at the hands of the evil imperialists. We cannot allow that to happen again. I know who I will be supporting if it comes to war.

    Long live king and country. God bless the patriots, wherever they be. Hail victory.

    I agree with what you write except that the Deep State is but a part of the Globalist (NWO)
    plans for their future world.
    Sam Shama , April 18, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT
    @Kiza
    It [US] needs to come down hard on MIC waste, which if done successfully can change things around very quickly.
    Gee Sam, you are totally lost in your understanding of US problems.

    Firstly, US military budget is significantly more than presented because the whole budget has been divided between different government departments. For example, nuclear weapons are under the Department of Energy, the huge ongoing cost of Veterans' health is under Department of Health budget, the free money to Israel is under the Foreign Affairs and so on. Overall, about 40% of the US military budget is hidden, which means that US spends not 2.5% of GDP on the military then probably around 4.5%.

    Secondly, if US were to bump up the military budget to 7-10% this could come only either at the expense of money printing machines running even hotter than super hot QE1,QE2,QE3 (what Trump is doing) or by increasing taxes on a quite depressed economy in which retail spending has almost collapsed. I cannot believe that you are suggesting this, maybe you are too close to your Fed buddies.

    Thirdly, the idea of "coming down hard on MIC waste" is utterly ridiculous because the "MIC waste" is the Deep State profit and we just had an illustration of what happens with those who oppose the Deep State. In other words, only God could come down on US MIC waste, the Presidents can only pretend.

    Since Russia and China started replacing US$ as a reserve and exchange currency, the clock has been ticking for the money printers such as the Fed and Trump. When the amount of US$ returning to US starts exceeding the amount bought by foreigners, then the inflation will explode to the German one of the 1920s. The US$ is still strong, not because of its intrinsic value then thanks to skillful FX market manipulation and thanks to 10-12 aircraft carrier groups.

    Trump is now amassing three carrier groups near North Korea, Russia and China. What do you think would happen to US$ if even one of those carriers gets sunk?

    Gee Sam, you are totally lost in your understanding of US problems.

    Hi Kiza,

    I admit I do get lost on occasion, so please feel free to correct me. Are you saying that accounting categorisation, which if reversed might lead to a 2% higher military spending, is an attempt to deceive international bond markets? You clearly think bond investors are stupid. That is an opinion based on what precisely? Experienced results of bond markets? Please enlighten me.

    Secondly, if US were to bump up the military budget to 7-10% this could come only either at the expense of money printing machines running even hotter than super hot QE1,QE2,QE3 (what Trump is doing) or by increasing taxes on a quite depressed economy in which retail spending has almost collapsed. I cannot believe that you are suggesting this, maybe you are too close to your Fed buddies.

    "Hot", as in inflation? If so, the characterisation is a fail, since U.S. inflation and long bond yields have been doing the opposite.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/IRLTLT01USM156N

    I have no idea what you mean by "what Trump is doing". Have you noticed the Fed had actually raised short rates? Yet the 10-year bond is at 2.2%?

    Please read what I wrote carefully. Nowhere did I recommend the U.S. pursue the path of yet another Reaganesque star wars race. What I said was, of all nations, she is the most capable of doing so, where an escalation would literally push her "competitors" to engage in little else in their economies. That is all. Yes, I understand that MIC waste ends up in the pockets of the least desirable elements. Do you mean to say that other nations are bereft of this virtue?

    Since Russia and China started replacing US$ as a reserve and exchange currency, the clock has been ticking for the money printers such as the Fed and Trump.

    Gee Kiza, exaggerate much? Replace the USD?

    CNY has been added to the SDR basket as a reserve currency, with very limited international use, as of 2016 BIS data, after having doubled over the last year (but currently moving lower), the Yuan comprises 4% of total international reserve currency use.

    The United States actually wants the Chinese currency to gain much greater acceptance to aid global growth and relieve the pressure on the U.S, but of late the massive capital flows out of China to the U.S. has badly hindered this objective.

    Here is what the Yuan has done: from a managed and swiftly devalued currency pursuant to China's decades-long mercantilist policies (to which the US had given the implicit nod), it rose in value during 2005-2013 as the US/ECB/BoJ/BoC worked in a co-ordinated fashion to modify global savings imbalances, to yet again devalue during 2014-present, mostly as capital outflows gathered force.

    The Rouble is not a reserve currency, so the AIB while a worthy development, does not give the Rouble reserve status, somehow "replacing" the USD/EUR/GBP/JPY/KRW. Can it achieve that status? I think it can, given the deep capabilities of the Russian population. International acceptance of such status requires a far more diversified economy.

    When the amount of US$ returning to US starts exceeding the amount bought by foreigners, then the inflation will explode to the German one of the 1920s.

    Reversing cause and effect. If hyperinflation ever arrives on the shores of the US, you'll have far greater problems globally than worrying about bonds. I've seen this trope play continuously since 2008. I need a date, even an approximate one, or I shall be forced to tell you that I know with certainty that "at some point in the future the Earth will cease to exist".

    Best

    Avery, April 18, 2017 at 3:56 pm GMT
    @Mark Chapman In fact, Russia often tests its systems under much more realistic conditions than does the USA and western powers. They want to know if it is going to fail when it is confronted with western jamming, for example, and try to make intercept difficult where the west is obsessed with collecting test data for evaluation, and as a consequence the launch site knows the release time of the target and its initial course and speed, rather than a 'black' release. Not always, but often.

    http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/heres-russias-s-400-missile-system-in-action-and-heres-1746490022

    I guess much of it boils down to how seriously you take Russian accounts of their own tests, but they specify here that the test took place under heavy jamming and yet all four missiles intercepted the target during the midcourse phase. Whatever you believe, the author is correct in pointing out that the S-400 is just a part of a multilayered Integrated Air Defense System (IADS), and it only takes one mobile launcher in an unexpected place to wreck the day for a manned-aircraft element using current tactics.

    It is safe to say without further information that western air forces are very wary of the S-400, and confronting Russia's multilayered IADS would be nothing like taking on Gadaffi's eccentric and janky mismatched collection of air-defense weaponry. {I guess much of it boils down to how seriously you take Russian accounts of their own tests, but they specify here that the test took place under heavy jamming and yet all four missiles intercepted the target during the midcourse phase. }

    I don't doubt the veracity of the claim in the article. All I was commenting on was this sentence of the author of the article: {From people who serve on it, and I quote:" mind boggling capabilities".}

    Traditionally Soviets/Russians have do spend more of their resources on defense, particularly anti-air. Their anti-air missiles have a solid track record: the highly competent USAF – in personnel, and training, and technology – lost lots and lots of equipment to Soviet SAMs in Viet Nam. Even high-flying B52 were not safe.

    Also, Egyptians shot down lots of Israeli jets with Soviet AAs during the Yom Kippur war .

    So there is no doubt in my mind that S-300/S-400 are very capable systems. But the phrase 'mind boggling' is a bit of a hyperbole.
    What is it based on? engineering specifications and simulated tests.

    I have a bit of a technical background (commercial, not military).
    We'd simulate all sorts real-life conditions in testing the product, but as soon as it was sent out, humans managed to find some sequence that crashed the system. You just can't simulate the randomness of the real world.

    If and when the S-400 is used in anger, then we'll see if its capabilities are 'mind boggling' . Until then, it's just conjecture.

    Seamus Padraig, April 18, 2017 at 4:08 pm GMT
    @LondonBob Trump's isolationism and embrace of realpolitik is just a recognition of realities, interestingly this is a viewpoint shared in many European capitals, despite their fulminating over Trump. If Trump isn't co-opted he deserves congratulations for stymieing the traditional imperial overstretch, that is unless recent events in Syria and the Ukraine, perhaps analogous to the Boer War, don't already represent the high points of US power before inevitable decline. Avoiding a WWI type general conflagration will be achievement enough.

    We are both supposed to deride and fear Russia, both can't be true.

    We are both supposed to deride and fear Russia, both can't be true.

    True, but it can be effective as a propaganda technique nevertheless. Orwell referred to it as 'doublethink'.

    iffen, April 18, 2017 at 4:11 pm GMT
    @Sam Shama
    Gee Sam, you are totally lost in your understanding of US problems.
    Hi Kiza,

    I admit I do get lost on occasion, so please feel free to correct me. Are you saying that accounting categorisation, which if reversed might lead to a 2% higher military spending, is an attempt to deceive international bond markets? You clearly think bond investors are stupid. That is an opinion based on what precisely? Experienced results of bond markets? Please enlighten me.

    Secondly, if US were to bump up the military budget to 7-10% this could come only either at the expense of money printing machines running even hotter than super hot QE1,QE2,QE3 (what Trump is doing) or by increasing taxes on a quite depressed economy in which retail spending has almost collapsed. I cannot believe that you are suggesting this, maybe you are too close to your Fed buddies.
    "Hot", as in inflation? If so, the characterisation is a fail, since U.S. inflation and long bond yields have been doing the opposite.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/IRLTLT01USM156N

    I have no idea what you mean by "what Trump is doing". Have you noticed the Fed had actually raised short rates? Yet the 10-year bond is at 2.2%?

    Please read what I wrote carefully. Nowhere did I recommend the U.S. pursue the path of yet another Reaganesque star wars race. What I said was, of all nations, she is the most capable of doing so, where an escalation would literally push her "competitors" to engage in little else in their economies. That is all. Yes, I understand that MIC waste ends up in the pockets of the least desirable elements. Do you mean to say that other nations are bereft of this virtue?

    Since Russia and China started replacing US$ as a reserve and exchange currency, the clock has been ticking for the money printers such as the Fed and Trump.
    Gee Kiza, exaggerate much? Replace the USD?

    CNY has been added to the SDR basket as a reserve currency, with very limited international use, as of 2016 BIS data, after having doubled over the last year (but currently moving lower), the Yuan comprises 4% of total international reserve currency use.

    The United States actually wants the Chinese currency to gain much greater acceptance to aid global growth and relieve the pressure on the U.S, but of late the massive capital flows out of China to the U.S. has badly hindered this objective.

    Here is what the Yuan has done: from a managed and swiftly devalued currency pursuant to China's decades-long mercantilist policies (to which the US had given the implicit nod), it rose in value during 2005-2013 as the US/ECB/BoJ/BoC worked in a co-ordinated fashion to modify global savings imbalances, to yet again devalue during 2014-present, mostly as capital outflows gathered force.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DEXCHUS

    The Rouble is not a reserve currency, so the AIB while a worthy development, does not give the Rouble reserve status, somehow "replacing" the USD/EUR/GBP/JPY/KRW. Can it achieve that status? I think it can, given the deep capabilities of the Russian population. International acceptance of such status requires a far more diversified economy.


    When the amount of US$ returning to US starts exceeding the amount bought by foreigners, then the inflation will explode to the German one of the 1920s.
    Reversing cause and effect. If hyperinflation ever arrives on the shores of the US, you'll have far greater problems globally than worrying about bonds. I've seen this trope play continuously since 2008. I need a date, even an approximate one, or I shall be forced to tell you that I know with certainty that "at some point in the future the Earth will cease to exist".

    Best Yes, I understand that MIC waste ends up in the pockets of the least desirable elements.

    Who gets to define "least desirable"?

    I know that you are not talking about IAM members.

    A good defense industry is vital. In a capitalist economy, what other model for the MIC do you have in mind?

    ThatDamnGood , April 18, 2017 at 4:35 pm GMT
    @Timur The Lame @SmoothieX12

    The points you make with respect to capitalization of Facebook and other totally worthless social media constructs in comparison to actual entities that produce something, anything that you could stub your foot on, be it good or not is brilliant in that it exposes the sham of GDP and GNP tabulations.

    Question: I read about 10 years ago of an incident where an American carrier group was sailing on in it's merry way in waters that I can't now recall when a couple of Sukhois came in undetected and screamed over the actual aircraft carrier at mast level at the maximum speed that the altitude would allow. The carrier group immediately did a 180 and got the hell out of Dodge. The Admiral was supposedly called on the carpet afterwards as to why he altered course without prior approval and he stuck to his guns and said that his responsibility was for the safety of his group first and foremost and that was that.

    I have been unable to substantiate this episode. Has it been brushed from the internet or did I fall for a Russian (internet) hoax? I remember mentioning it to some senior Russian officers at a Canadian multi national English language course at an army base close to me and they were non committal in their answers and basically looked guardedly at me as if I were a spook of sorts.

    Any knowledge of this supposed incident from you would be much appreciated. By the way the event that I am referring to is not to be mistaken with the relatively recent Black Sea incident (USS Donald Cook).

    Cheers- Kitty Hawk.

    http://mobile.wnd.com/2000/12/2254/

    in the middle, April 18, 2017 at 4:50 pm GMT
    @reiner Tor Don't worry, when the going gets tough, suddenly the US military will only send straight white men to die for LGBT and black "equality". Come on! While serving in Africa, I saw the US Marines, and, and, well, not many whites were visible! Mostly minorities, specially Hispanics, and Blacks, so there goes your argument; same for the Army. So Hush! (The AF is the only service with majority whites). The Navy, lots of Philippinos.
    Andrei Martyanov , • Website April 18, 2017 at 5:40 pm GMT
    @Timur The Lame @SmoothieX12

    The points you make with respect to capitalization of Facebook and other totally worthless social media constructs in comparison to actual entities that produce something, anything that you could stub your foot on, be it good or not is brilliant in that it exposes the sham of GDP and GNP tabulations.

    Question: I read about 10 years ago of an incident where an American carrier group was sailing on in it's merry way in waters that I can't now recall when a couple of Sukhois came in undetected and screamed over the actual aircraft carrier at mast level at the maximum speed that the altitude would allow. The carrier group immediately did a 180 and got the hell out of Dodge. The Admiral was supposedly called on the carpet afterwards as to why he altered course without prior approval and he stuck to his guns and said that his responsibility was for the safety of his group first and foremost and that was that.

    I have been unable to substantiate this episode. Has it been brushed from the internet or did I fall for a Russian (internet) hoax? I remember mentioning it to some senior Russian officers at a Canadian multi national English language course at an army base close to me and they were non committal in their answers and basically looked guardedly at me as if I were a spook of sorts.

    Any knowledge of this supposed incident from you would be much appreciated. By the way the event that I am referring to is not to be mistaken with the relatively recent Black Sea incident (USS Donald Cook).

    Cheers- There were many cases of Russian SU-24, TU-142, Tu-22s flying over one of the US carriers. Here is one such case:

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/two-russian-bombers-buzz-u-s-aircraft-carrier/

    Nothing secret about it. Roger Thompson in his seminal work on US Navy gives a recount of number of such cases:

    https://www.usni.org/store/books/clear-decks-50-90/lessons-not-learned

    There is nothing secret really about it, except for reputational losses. Cases of breaking through US Carrier Battle Groups air defense and ASW screens are very numerous. As per this USS Donald Cook "affair", which continues to dominate many "military" forums–a complete baloney, of course, SU-24 are simply not equipped for alleged "burning of circuits" and "shutting down radars". Here I discuss a little bit the issue.

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2016/05/so-much-for-trumps-new-foreign-policy.html

    Z-man, April 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm GMT
    @iffen Nah, you are still the greatest idiot on unz

    And the field of competition is not that weak.

    And a weak sister chimes in. •
    Timur The Lame, April 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm GMT
    @ Smoothiex12,

    Thank you for the information. I shall look up your post regarding the Donald Cook incident. Your take on it would be news to me as it did seem to be disabled, though I only read relatively superficial accounts.

    As ThatDamnGood pointed out (thanks) it was indeed the Kitty Hawk incident that escaped my recollection. I know that these type incidents occur but it was something about the aforementioned case that stuck in my mind, the super low altitude I think.

    Time for a revisit and a memory tonic. But then again even Kasparov eventually lost to Deep Blue.

    Cheers-

    Seminumerical, April 18, 2017 at 9:59 pm GMT
    @AtomAnt "Regarding Russian military they are still 20 years behind on average"

    Dude, you're delusional. The US military is to a large extent a paper tiger. Example: Aircraft carriers are not survivable against Russian or Chinese missiles and subs. They are good for bombing 3rd world countries only, like 19th century gunboats (plus fattening MIC coffers). Example: A Rand report found the F-35 "can't turn, can't climb, isn't fast enough to run away".

    I would argue nothing is as important as missile technology. Russia may be leading in that.

    Furthermore, the US has lower income and less capital now than 20 years ago. Russia has a central bank focused on rational economics rather than milking the country for billionaires' sake. They insist on positive interest rates so savers get the benefit of their money. That's why Russia is growing albeit slowly while the US regresses.
    The US will find fighting Russia is not like fighting Arabs. (Remember what some Israeli general said about fighting Arabs.) The US hasn't fought without air superiority in over 74 years.

    Note the moral dimension, also. The US has to pay its military 2X the equivalent private sector wages, because no one wants to die for Lockheed Martin. Sure the Aircraft carriers are vulnerable. But the US have a disproportionate response prepared for any country that strikes one with a missile or torpedo. So the carriers get to project power despite their vulnerability. •

    inertial, April 18, 2017 at 11:03 pm GMT
    @Andrei Martyanov
    Market capitalization is determined mostly by institutional investors – mutual funds, pension funds, insurance companies, etc. – who pool private savings and channel them into various investments. There are massive amounts of such savings available in USA; in Russia, not so much.
    Sure, and that is why a company which produces nothing of value "commands" the so called "investments" which are several times larger than those of Boeing who is de facto US national treasure and who, as you stated, has problems with raising "capital". That pretty much says it all. Again, I omit here the trick with stock buybacks. But in the end, you seem to miss completely the point--structure of GDP.

    You may go here and see for yourself how FIRE overtook manufacturing in US in output. What is "output", of course, remains a complete mystery, same as many other services, once one considers the "quality" of education in US public schools which reflects in the most profound way on US labor force which increasingly begins to look like a third world one.

    https://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=51&step=1#reqid=51&step=51&isuri=1&5114=a&5102=15

    In general, we speak here different languages and I may only refer you back to Michael Lind's quote in my text. Judged in a larger, geopolitical framework, one can observe very clearly the process of US literally running out of resources and no amount of "raised capital" can change it. This is not to speak about the whole house of cards of Pax Americana which rested on US military imperial mythology. Once this mythology is debunked (the process which is ongoing as I type it) the house of cards folds. Years ago, I used to make fun of Amazon and later of Google. I learned my lesson. I personally don't have much use for Facebook; I don't have an account there. But I can see that Facebook provides a lot of value both to its users and to its customers (two distinct sets.)

    And then there is the potential. Lots of smart people are working at Facebook; they may well come up with a breakthrough in some unexpected area. Google started with search and now they are working on driverless cars, among other things. I doubt GM or Ford would've come up with driverless cars, as it is more of a software challenge than a car design one. So here is an example how an investment into a "virtual" company like Google worked out better than an investment into the "real" economy like GM.

    Now as for FIRE, and that brings me back to what I said about Facebook. Just because you personally don't need or don't understand a service it doesn't mean that it's "useless," or "virtual," or "fraudulent," or whatever other epithet is being used. Before you slam the FIRE sector you have to understand what services it provides, who needs these services, and why. Are there problems? Of course there are; there are always problems, that's human condition. Is FIRE sector too big? Perhaps, but with all due respect you are not a person to judge, as you have only the vaguest of ideas of what it actually does. The truth is, financial sector supports the "real" economy, which cannot exist without it. And this makes it as "real" as anything.

    Finally. The problem is that you listen to cranks. I used to be there 15-20 years but then I realized that the cranks are full of shit. Sometimes they accidentally may stumble upon a valid point but such cases are few and far between. Mostly they are one note Johnnies. Don't listen to cranks.

    Kiza, April 18, 2017 at 11:14 pm GMT
    @ondrej Am I missing any other component of success?

    Just a possibility - or my hypothesis I am playing lately:-)

    It can be language according Sapir–Whorf hypothesis.
    The principle of linguistic relativity that the structure of a language affects its speakers' world view or cognition. Popularly known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, the principle is often defined to include two versions. The strong version says that language determines thought, and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories, whereas the weak version says that linguistic categories and usage only influence thought and decisions.

    and also due to fact that:

    Baltic and Slavic show the common trait of never having undergone in the course of their development any sudden systemic upheaval. [ ] there is no indication of a serious dislocation of any part of the linguistic system at any time. The sound structure has in general remained intact to the present. [ ] Baltic and Slavic are consequently the only languages in which certain modern word-forms resemble those reconstructed for Common Indo-European." ( The Indo-European Dialects [Eng. translation of Les dialectes indo-européens (1908)], University of Alabama Press, 1967, pp.
    59-60).

    Which could explain math skills of Russians and Indian:-) because languages are closely related.

    + learning other languages helps one for recognizing other points of view, if you look at current Russian elites Shoigu, Lavrov and others they speak usually one or more foreign languages fluently.

    learning other languages helps one for recognizing other points of view

    I do not know if this has been scientifically established but I can certainly vouch for it personally because learning every new language gives you a different perspective on existing things. After starting to learn a new language I would think – I had no idea that lego could be arranged this way as well! Therefore, learning new languages broadens one's view of the world but whether it also helps recognize other points of view probably depends on the tolerance of the person. Maybe the key word in your statement is "helps".

    Kiza, April 18, 2017 at 11:27 pm GMT
    @Z-man And a weak sister chimes in. I provided a link about North Korea to a blog which could educate you about it. But you still persisted with your original bull. This is a clear characteristic of an idiot, because the uninformed inform and correct themselves. And yes, there is a strong competition here at unz for the title of King of All Idiots.

    Here it is again, one last time, The Reason for North Korea's Nuclear Program and Its Unrequited Offers to End It : http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/04/the-reason-behind-north-koreas-nuclear-program-and-its-offer-to-end-it.html#more

    On North Korea, the US chefs cook up their usual menu of bullshit and bombs , whilst the latest chef being the most prolific on both.

    Seraphim, April 19, 2017 at 12:11 am GMT
    @AP
    I could be wrong, but I am inclined to see a parallel between the US now and the Russian Empire pre-1904.
    Sorry, that's just completely wrong.

    The best rough analogy to Russia of pre-1904 would be China (though China is further along in its development, perhaps it would be Russia of 1914 or later, had Russia not stupidly gotten itself into World War I).

    The US would somehow be analogous to the British Empire in its decline. A key difference, however, is the US' massive population (more than double that of Russia), territory and natural resources compared to that of the British mainland. This probably provides some sort of floor to the American decline that Britain didn't have.

    Also, keep in mind that western Russophobes plus Bolsheviks exaggerated the Tsars' Russia's weakness and incompetence, while there was nobody to defend it. This makes the picture unrealistically negative. During World War I, Russia defeated two of the three Central Powers (compare Russian vs. British performance vs. the Ottoman Empire) and was able to maintain a stable front vs. the third.

    Do not forget that Germany made the first declarations of war. It declared war against Russia on the 1st of August 1914 and the next day invades Luxemburg. The declaration of war against France followed on the 3d of August, followed by the violation of Belgium neutrality.
    Russia was far from being defeated in 1916-17. •
    NoseytheDuke, April 19, 2017 at 12:28 am GMT
    @iffen Yes, I understand that MIC waste ends up in the pockets of the least desirable elements.

    Who gets to define "least desirable"?

    I know that you are not talking about IAM members.

    A good defense industry is vital. In a capitalist economy, what other model for the MIC do you have in mind?

    One that focuses on the defence of the nation?
    The Alarmist, April 19, 2017 at 2:51 am GMT
    @Sam Shama
    Gee Sam, you are totally lost in your understanding of US problems.
    Hi Kiza,

    I admit I do get lost on occasion, so please feel free to correct me. Are you saying that accounting categorisation, which if reversed might lead to a 2% higher military spending, is an attempt to deceive international bond markets? You clearly think bond investors are stupid. That is an opinion based on what precisely? Experienced results of bond markets? Please enlighten me.


    Secondly, if US were to bump up the military budget to 7-10% this could come only either at the expense of money printing machines running even hotter than super hot QE1,QE2,QE3 (what Trump is doing) or by increasing taxes on a quite depressed economy in which retail spending has almost collapsed. I cannot believe that you are suggesting this, maybe you are too close to your Fed buddies.

    "Hot", as in inflation? If so, the characterisation is a fail, since U.S. inflation and long bond yields have been doing the opposite.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/IRLTLT01USM156N

    I have no idea what you mean by "what Trump is doing". Have you noticed the Fed had actually raised short rates? Yet the 10-year bond is at 2.2%?

    Please read what I wrote carefully. Nowhere did I recommend the U.S. pursue the path of yet another Reaganesque star wars race. What I said was, of all nations, she is the most capable of doing so, where an escalation would literally push her "competitors" to engage in little else in their economies. That is all. Yes, I understand that MIC waste ends up in the pockets of the least desirable elements. Do you mean to say that other nations are bereft of this virtue?


    Since Russia and China started replacing US$ as a reserve and exchange currency, the clock has been ticking for the money printers such as the Fed and Trump.
    Gee Kiza, exaggerate much? Replace the USD?

    CNY has been added to the SDR basket as a reserve currency, with very limited international use, as of 2016 BIS data, after having doubled over the last year (but currently moving lower), the Yuan comprises 4% of total international reserve currency use.

    The United States actually wants the Chinese currency to gain much greater acceptance to aid global growth and relieve the pressure on the U.S, but of late the massive capital flows out of China to the U.S. has badly hindered this objective.

    Here is what the Yuan has done: from a managed and swiftly devalued currency pursuant to China's decades-long mercantilist policies (to which the US had given the implicit nod), it rose in value during 2005-2013 as the US/ECB/BoJ/BoC worked in a co-ordinated fashion to modify global savings imbalances, to yet again devalue during 2014-present, mostly as capital outflows gathered force.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DEXCHUS

    The Rouble is not a reserve currency, so the AIB while a worthy development, does not give the Rouble reserve status, somehow "replacing" the USD/EUR/GBP/JPY/KRW. Can it achieve that status? I think it can, given the deep capabilities of the Russian population. International acceptance of such status requires a far more diversified economy.


    When the amount of US$ returning to US starts exceeding the amount bought by foreigners, then the inflation will explode to the German one of the 1920s.
    Reversing cause and effect. If hyperinflation ever arrives on the shores of the US, you'll have far greater problems globally than worrying about bonds. I've seen this trope play continuously since 2008. I need a date, even an approximate one, or I shall be forced to tell you that I know with certainty that "at some point in the future the Earth will cease to exist".

    Best

    ""Hot", as in inflation? If so, the characterisation is a fail, since U.S. inflation and long bond yields have been doing the opposite."

    US inflation as officially reported is significantly understated. Do a little shopping from time to time and tell me what kind of inflation you actually experience. I come back to the US every few months, and it is hard to not notice how expensive many things have become over the past couple of decades.

    As for bond yields, there is a bit of a vicious and not-so-virtuous cycle going on, as the borrowed money is used to ramp up military spending, which translates to further aggression abroad, which leads to further international destabilisation, which then leads to money flow into US Treasury bonds and other US assets as a so-called flight-to-safety play. Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseum.

    Kiza, April 19, 2017 at 4:12 am GMT
    @The Alarmist
    ""Hot", as in inflation? If so, the characterisation is a fail, since U.S. inflation and long bond yields have been doing the opposite."
    US inflation as officially reported is significantly understated. Do a little shopping from time to time and tell me what kind of inflation you actually experience. I come back to the US every few months, and it is hard to not notice how expensive many things have become over the past couple of decades.

    As for bond yields, there is a bit of a vicious and not-so-virtuous cycle going on, as the borrowed money is used to ramp up military spending, which translates to further aggression abroad, which leads to further international destabilisation, which then leads to money flow into US Treasury bonds and other US assets as a so-called flight-to-safety play. Lather, rinse, repeat ... ad nauseum.

    As for bond yields, there is a bit of a vicious and not-so-virtuous cycle going on, as the borrowed money is used to ramp up military spending, which translates to further aggression abroad, which leads to further international destabilisation, which then leads to money flow into US Treasury bonds and other US assets as a so-called flight-to-safety play. Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseum.

    "Ad nauseum" is only until the whole thing collapses. I have been saying for a long time that most markets in the US, and where they flow over into the international markets, are rigged. The number of people needed to rig a market is not large, because it is the same, about a dozen "banks" which dominate almost all markets. The Western Governments are in on the act and their official statistics on every economic measure are perverted jokes: inflation, unemployment, GDP, any and all.

    I lived under socialism/communism as an adult and I remember how my friends and I laughed at government's economic statistics. But this is much worse, this is an entire alternative reality moving on the inertia of the size of its lie .

    Sam asks for an approximate date of the collapse, which is almost like asking for the date when a nuclear war will end humanity. His is the principal fallacy that the past is a continuously good predictor of the future, that discrete events do not exist. Sam, imagine for a moment that Trump somehow manages to regime-change Russia and crush China (without causing a global nuclear war). Russia is the largest country on the planet, with vast unused land and resources, mainly because the technology for their exploitation did not exist in the past (inhospitable land). Now imagine adding this almost virgin land to the banking ledgers full of vapor-assets under the so called "mark-to-market". The market riggers and their governments could live happily ever after for another couple of generations of banksters. Like vampire needs blood, the sick system just needs a massive injection of real assets to survive another 100 years or longer. This is why they are so viciously attacking the Russian leadership. But this is a great example why the moment of collapse is unpredictable and it is unfair to ask for (an even approximate) date.

    Ondrej, April 19, 2017 at 5:19 am GMT
    @Kiza
    learning other languages helps one for recognizing other points of view
    I do not know if this has been scientifically established but I can certainly vouch for it personally because learning every new language gives you a different perspective on existing things. After starting to learn a new language I would think - I had no idea that lego could be arranged this way as well! Therefore, learning new languages broadens one's view of the world but whether it also helps recognize other points of view probably depends on the tolerance of the person. Maybe the key word in your statement is "helps". One could say that to certain degree it is disadvantage for English to be lingua-franca.

    In many ways it is also most abused language in world. All speakers bring to English their language frameworks.

    One could conclude that English native speakers became more accustomed – to be more tolerant for non-precise meanings or statements of others to certain degree – due to many non-native English speakers. Therefore it is not that obvious for them.

    I think, speakers of other languages would often not accept such improper usage of words or grammar in their language – (thinking) because by language we think.

    Combine that with euphemisms and political correctness and you have recepy for disaster in communication.

    Ondrej, April 19, 2017 at 7:40 am GMT
    @inertial Years ago, I used to make fun of Amazon and later of Google. I learned my lesson. I personally don't have much use for Facebook; I don't have an account there. But I can see that Facebook provides a lot of value both to its users and to its customers (two distinct sets.)

    And then there is the potential. Lots of smart people are working at Facebook; they may well come up with a breakthrough in some unexpected area. Google started with search and now they are working on driverless cars, among other things. I doubt GM or Ford would've come up with driverless cars, as it is more of a software challenge than a car design one. So here is an example how an investment into a "virtual" company like Google worked out better than an investment into the "real" economy like GM.

    Now as for FIRE, and that brings me back to what I said about Facebook. Just because you personally don't need or don't understand a service it doesn't mean that it's "useless," or "virtual," or "fraudulent," or whatever other epithet is being used. Before you slam the FIRE sector you have to understand what services it provides, who needs these services, and why. Are there problems? Of course there are; there are always problems, that's human condition. Is FIRE sector too big? Perhaps, but with all due respect you are not a person to judge, as you have only the vaguest of ideas of what it actually does. The truth is, financial sector supports the "real" economy, which cannot exist without it. And this makes it as "real" as anything.

    Finally. The problem is that you listen to cranks. I used to be there 15-20 years but then I realized that the cranks are full of shit. Sometimes they accidentally may stumble upon a valid point but such cases are few and far between. Mostly they are one note Johnnies. Don't listen to cranks.

    The truth is, financial sector supports the "real" economy, which cannot exist without it.

    Obviously false statement. You would need to at least some adjective such as mostly, probably, usually into sentence. Frame it in current prevailing socio-economical system.

    Just ask Soviets if they won ww2 due to strong financial system, or put Sputnik into space for that matter.

    So there is not at all any correlation in between financial sector and real economy;-)

    Kiza, April 19, 2017 at 9:04 am GMT
    @Ondrej
    The truth is, financial sector supports the "real" economy, which cannot exist without it.
    Obviously false statement. You would need to at least some adjective such as mostly, probably, usually into sentence. Frame it in current prevailing socio-economical system.

    Just ask Soviets if they won ww2 due to strong financial system, or put Sputnik into space for that matter.

    So there is not at all any correlation in between financial sector and real economy;-) In theory, the financial system is supposed to ensure the efficient allocation of investments, as opposed to central planning. This is how it us supposed to support the real economy. In reality, the Western financial system, and possibly the Chinese one, have turned into a leach draining blood out of the real economy, much worse than central planning. •

    Frederic Bastiat , April 19, 2017 at 10:52 am GMT
    @inertial Years ago, I used to make fun of Amazon and later of Google. I learned my lesson. I personally don't have much use for Facebook; I don't have an account there. But I can see that Facebook provides a lot of value both to its users and to its customers (two distinct sets.)

    And then there is the potential. Lots of smart people are working at Facebook; they may well come up with a breakthrough in some unexpected area. Google started with search and now they are working on driverless cars, among other things. I doubt GM or Ford would've come up with driverless cars, as it is more of a software challenge than a car design one. So here is an example how an investment into a "virtual" company like Google worked out better than an investment into the "real" economy like GM.

    Now as for FIRE, and that brings me back to what I said about Facebook. Just because you personally don't need or don't understand a service it doesn't mean that it's "useless," or "virtual," or "fraudulent," or whatever other epithet is being used. Before you slam the FIRE sector you have to understand what services it provides, who needs these services, and why. Are there problems? Of course there are; there are always problems, that's human condition. Is FIRE sector too big? Perhaps, but with all due respect you are not a person to judge, as you have only the vaguest of ideas of what it actually does. The truth is, financial sector supports the "real" economy, which cannot exist without it. And this makes it as "real" as anything.

    Finally. The problem is that you listen to cranks. I used to be there 15-20 years but then I realized that the cranks are full of shit. Sometimes they accidentally may stumble upon a valid point but such cases are few and far between. Mostly they are one note Johnnies. Don't listen to cranks.

    Just because you personally don't need or don't understand a service it doesn't mean that it's "useless," or "virtual," or "fraudulent," or whatever other epithet is being used. Before you slam the FIRE sector you have to understand what services it provides, who needs these services, and why.

    The financial sector is a fraud. It is a parasitic industry that only sucks tax payers money in the long run.

    Nassim Taleb is spot on regarding the financial industry:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/b/69813f49-27b1-431f-8edc-ea892aa96d8d

    Ondrej, April 19, 2017 at 11:36 am GMT
    @Kiza In theory, the financial system is supposed to ensure the efficient allocation of investments, as opposed to central planning. This is how it us supposed to support the real economy. In reality, the Western financial system, and possibly the Chinese one, have turned into a leach draining blood out of the real economy, much worse than central planning.

    In theory , the financial system is supposed to ensure the efficient allocation of investments, as opposed to central planning.

    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice; in practice there is.

    I know theory, but there is empirical evidence that it does not, see Taleb for that matter, or Schumpeter in my comment 165.

    Schumpeter is worth to read , as he argues, logically, in case of market equilibrium = fair prices interest would approach to zero, and it ceases to be incentive for financing innovation. And this leads us back to Marx`s theory of simple reproduction as his main argument in Kapital Volume I. which create a problem for system.

    As for Central economy, you would be probably surprised – at least I was surprised,
    that it was in fact J.V. Stalin who critiqued too much of Central planning. He was warning in 50. that it would block next development of system. in his book Economical problems of socialism.

    You mention your experience with socialistic system, in case you want to refresh your memory or get better than propagandistic (from right or left) view of Marx . I advise David Harwey lectures on youtube.

    Kiza , April 19, 2017 at 12:13 pm GMT
    @Kiza
    As for bond yields, there is a bit of a vicious and not-so-virtuous cycle going on, as the borrowed money is used to ramp up military spending, which translates to further aggression abroad, which leads to further international destabilisation, which then leads to money flow into US Treasury bonds and other US assets as a so-called flight-to-safety play. Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseum.
    "Ad nauseum" is only until the whole thing collapses. I have been saying for a long time that most markets in the US, and where they flow over into the international markets, are rigged. The number of people needed to rig a market is not large, because it is the same, about a dozen "banks" which dominate almost all markets. The Western Governments are in on the act and their official statistics on every economic measure are perverted jokes: inflation, unemployment, GDP, any and all.

    I lived under socialism/communism as an adult and I remember how my friends and I laughed at government's economic statistics. But this is much worse, this is an entire alternative reality moving on the inertia of the size of its lie .

    Sam asks for an approximate date of the collapse, which is almost like asking for the date when a nuclear war will end humanity. His is the principal fallacy that the past is a continuously good predictor of the future, that discrete events do not exist. Sam, imagine for a moment that Trump somehow manages to regime-change Russia and crush China (without causing a global nuclear war). Russia is the largest country on the planet, with vast unused land and resources, mainly because the technology for their exploitation did not exist in the past (inhospitable land). Now imagine adding this almost virgin land to the banking ledgers full of vapor-assets under the so called "mark-to-market". The market riggers and their governments could live happily ever after for another couple of generations of banksters. Like vampire needs blood, the sick system just needs a massive injection of real assets to survive another 100 years or longer. This is why they are so viciously attacking the Russian leadership. But this is a great example why the moment of collapse is unpredictable and it is unfair to ask for (an even approximate) date.

    Here I quote a funny comment from a guy on zerohedge. This is how the Western economies have been operating:

    You have two cows.
    You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
    The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
    The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release.
    The public then buys your bull.

    AP, April 19, 2017 at 1:14 pm GMT
    @Seraphim Do not forget that Germany made the first declarations of war. It declared war against Russia on the 1st of August 1914 and the next day invades Luxemburg. The declaration of war against France followed on the 3d of August, followed by the violation of Belgium neutrality.
    Russia was far from being defeated in 1916-17.

    Do not forget that Germany made the first declarations of war. It declared war against Russia on the 1st of August 1914 and the next day invades Luxemburg.

    It declared war first, after Russia had mobilized and refused to turn back its mobilization. Germany would not and should not have waited until huge masses of Russian troops had actually crossed its border before declaring war.

    The sad events of the 20th century in some ways can be seen as a tragic, Old Testament style story of sin and brutal retribution. Serbia committed regicide, and lost 25% of its population in the ensuing war. Nicholas II, a decent but foolish man, supported the regicidal regime and was himself murdered, along with his family. The peoples of the Russian Empire didn't stop that crime, and suffered the millions dead under Bolshevism. Wilhelm sent Lenin to Russia and lost his own throne. The peoples of Central Europe abandoned the Habsburgs and suffered decades of Nazism, Communism and war. Such was the sad fate of the former Holy Alliance.

    ANOSPH , April 19, 2017 at 2:26 pm GMT
    @Andrei Martyanov There were many cases of Russian SU-24, TU-142, Tu-22s flying over one of the US carriers. Here is one such case:

    http://freebeacon.com/national-security/two-russian-bombers-buzz-u-s-aircraft-carrier/

    Nothing secret about it. Roger Thompson in his seminal work on US Navy gives a recount of number of such cases:

    https://www.usni.org/store/books/clear-decks-50-90/lessons-not-learned

    There is nothing secret really about it, except for reputational losses. Cases of breaking through US Carrier Battle Groups air defense and ASW screens are very numerous. As per this USS Donald Cook "affair", which continues to dominate many "military" forums--a complete baloney, of course, SU-24 are simply not equipped for alleged "burning of circuits" and "shutting down radars". Here I discuss a little bit the issue.

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2016/05/so-much-for-trumps-new-foreign-policy.html Andrei,

    Off-topic, but what do you think about Igor Strelkov's opinion that the entire current Russian system is due for a collapse?

    Part 1: Part 2:

    I realize that he's been saying essentially the same thing for three years, but surely his words are worth at least some consideration given his "contacts in the elites."

    Andrei Martyanov, • Website April 19, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT
    @Seminumerical Sure the Aircraft carriers are vulnerable. But the US have a disproportionate response prepared for any country that strikes one with a missile or torpedo. So the carriers get to project power despite their vulnerability.

    But the US have a disproportionate response prepared for any country that strikes one with a missile or torpedo

    Not against peer. Dynamics there is very different than it would have been with some adversary as Iran. Unless the "disproportionate" response becomes nuclear, what is a definition of "disproportionate". I can tell you what may happen if one of the CVNs sunk and this is not my idea but of former Chief Of Naval Operations late Admiral Elmo Zumwalt: the psychological demoralizing impact will be overwhelming and that is what may push a political (and suicidal) decision on nuclear response. In purely conventional framework–the game may become very different. To have some (however disagreeable from purely tactical point of view) primer on one of very many scenarios, you may try Naval War College Newport Papers, especially #20.

    https://www.usnwc.edu/Publications/Naval-War-College-Press/-Newport-Papers/Documents/20-pdf.aspx

    I am no fan of US military's war gaming but it will give you at least some general idea on how US Navy wanted to think about itself.

    Andrei Martyanov , • Website April 19, 2017 at 2:50 pm GMT
    @ANOSPH Andrei,

    Off-topic, but what do you think about Igor Strelkov's opinion that the entire current Russian system is due for a collapse?

    Part 1: http://strelkov-i-i.livejournal.com/26121.html
    Part 2: http://strelkov-i-i.livejournal.com/26458.html

    I realize that he's been saying essentially the same thing for three years, but surely his words are worth at least some consideration given his "contacts in the elites."

    Off-topic, but what do you think about Igor Strelkov's opinion that the entire current Russian system is due for a collapse?

    My attitude to Strelkov is similar to my attitude to clowns or not-adequate people. Having said all that, Russia does face some serious economic challenges which are of purely domestic origins and I never hid my reserved attitude to Putin (despite all his achievements) because of the fact him being an economic "liberal" and surrounding himself in economic block with a bunch of Gaidar-worshipping hacks. Medvedev's government is an affront to overwhelming majority of Russian people.

    Sam Shama, April 19, 2017 at 4:29 pm GMT
    @Kiza
    As for bond yields, there is a bit of a vicious and not-so-virtuous cycle going on, as the borrowed money is used to ramp up military spending, which translates to further aggression abroad, which leads to further international destabilisation, which then leads to money flow into US Treasury bonds and other US assets as a so-called flight-to-safety play. Lather, rinse, repeat ad nauseum.
    "Ad nauseum" is only until the whole thing collapses. I have been saying for a long time that most markets in the US, and where they flow over into the international markets, are rigged. The number of people needed to rig a market is not large, because it is the same, about a dozen "banks" which dominate almost all markets. The Western Governments are in on the act and their official statistics on every economic measure are perverted jokes: inflation, unemployment, GDP, any and all.

    I lived under socialism/communism as an adult and I remember how my friends and I laughed at government's economic statistics. But this is much worse, this is an entire alternative reality moving on the inertia of the size of its lie .

    Sam asks for an approximate date of the collapse, which is almost like asking for the date when a nuclear war will end humanity. His is the principal fallacy that the past is a continuously good predictor of the future, that discrete events do not exist. Sam, imagine for a moment that Trump somehow manages to regime-change Russia and crush China (without causing a global nuclear war). Russia is the largest country on the planet, with vast unused land and resources, mainly because the technology for their exploitation did not exist in the past (inhospitable land). Now imagine adding this almost virgin land to the banking ledgers full of vapor-assets under the so called "mark-to-market". The market riggers and their governments could live happily ever after for another couple of generations of banksters. Like vampire needs blood, the sick system just needs a massive injection of real assets to survive another 100 years or longer. This is why they are so viciously attacking the Russian leadership. But this is a great example why the moment of collapse is unpredictable and it is unfair to ask for (an even approximate) date.

    Hey Kiza,

    I base my views on data and economic theory generally accepted in the West. If one summarily dismisses these instruments of analyses then, of course, all conclusions derived are rejectable. Which is what you are doing. Fine.

    Simply deeming our system fraudulent and built on myth amounts to a meaningless unfalsifiable assertion. Unfalsifiable, since the collapse event dangles always in the undefined "future".

    His is the principal fallacy that the past is a continuously good predictor of the future, that discrete events do not exist.

    I thought you were using past experience to assert with high confidence that the West is headed for a repeat of Weimar Has there been a total destruction of productive capacity which eluded my reverie?

    Data for prediction [at least parameter estimation of any system] is always from the past. I am not aware of any data from the future, is anyone? I don't claim a system superior without subjecting it to out-of-sample and live outcomes. Some Western models have failed recently [pure Rational Expectations models, e.g.]while others have succeeded with flying colours [New Keynesian Models]. What good is any theory or claim without corroborating empirical evidence? To me, claims of our economies headed to a collapse, because because well BIG DEBT! WEIMAR! FALSE STATISTICS! etc are just emotional outbursts devoid of any internally consistent theory, let alone the utter absence of evidence since the whole trope started in 2008.

    Alarmist: you stated earlier that inflation stats are misleading. I am perfectly willing to accept that statement if it were supported by facts. If during your visits to supermarkets, shops, online purchases you found your favourite items costing more, that in itself is no reason to conclude inflation is at hand. I do shop, and a great deal in point of fact :-), and I've noticed that prices of computers, e.g. have fallen continuously and dramatically. What about rent inflation? Or transportation? Rent inflation stands at levels much lower than averages from the past 70 years and transportation costs have fallen greatly as well [Air travel as a percentage of median per capita income]. Do you deny these? Trouble arises when people take these things for granted, and only complain about (mostly) food items that have gone up in price ["I hate these prices for eggs! Back in my childhood, a dozen cost only a penny!"]

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CUUR0000SEHA#0 [change the graph to go from 1950 and pick the percentage change option]

    If you don't believe in official CPI/Core PCE, look at the MIT Billion Prices Index, which provides one with real-time inflation from literally a billion prices from online markets which operate globally. Those indices substantially tell the same story: inflation has been heading down!

    Sam, imagine for a moment that Trump somehow manages to regime-change Russia and crush China (without causing a global nuclear war).

    How is he going to regime change Russia? It's a pipe dream. Putin is immensely popular and in my reckoning, he is simply negotiating spheres of influence with USA.

    China, well they are joined to the US at the hip!. The U.S. is only looking for China to wean away from its mercantilist stance and start buying our goods and services.

    Russia is the largest country on the planet, with vast unused land and resources, mainly because the technology for their exploitation did not exist in the past (inhospitable land). Now imagine adding this almost virgin land to the banking ledgers full of vapor-assets under the so called "mark-to-market". The market riggers and their governments could live happily ever after for another couple of generations of banksters. Like vampire needs blood, the sick system just needs a massive injection of real assets to survive another 100 years or longer.

    Russia is a vastly endowed nation with a gifted population. The climate isn't all that balmy, shall we say. Her natural resources are the assets of her citizens to do with them as they deem optimal.

    I'll go along with your hypothetical scenario in which Putin is unseated and a new Yeltsin is installed. I would consider that outcome both undesirable and approaching a vanishingly low probability. You'll need to convince me of its plausibility and DT's desire to bring about such an outcome.

    [Apr 19, 2017] Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell: Russian meddling in US election is the political equivalent of 9/11

    Really agitated Hillary supporter...
    Notable quotes:
    "... "A foreign government messing around in our elections is, I think, an existential threat to our way of life," Morell said. "To me, and this is to me not an overstatement, this is the political equivalent of 9/11." ..."
    Dec 12, 2016 | www.businessinsider.com

    Evidence that Russia attempted to sway the outcome of the presidential election with a hacking campaign targeting Democrats "is the political equivalent of 9/11," the former acting director of the CIA, Michael Morell, said in an interview published Monday.

    Morell, an intelligence analyst who served as acting director of the CIA twice between 2011 and 2013, told The Cipher Brief that revelations disclosed in a new CIA report about how Russia meddled in the election to help get Donald Trump elected "is an attack on our very democracy."

    "A foreign government messing around in our elections is, I think, an existential threat to our way of life," Morell said. "To me, and this is to me not an overstatement, this is the political equivalent of 9/11."

    [Apr 19, 2017] Ex-CIA Directors kill Russians in Syria comment reveals neocon influence

    Looks like the former CIA Director Michael Morell is kind of "inside CIA" chickenhawk. Never was in field operations
    Notable quotes:
    "... Morell has proposed the US change tactics in Syria by targeting President Bashar Assad's allies, adding that killing Russians should be done covertly. ..."
    "... Morell was suggesting to kill Russian and Iranian people – I'm assuming soldiers, even though he wasn't that specific – as payback for their actions in Syria and Iran's actions in Iraq. Apparently Iran was providing supplies and armaments to the people we were fighting there during our occupation. Is this of strategy or tactics the norm or the oddity for the CIA in planning? ..."
    "... What Mike Morell is proposing is quite simply illegal. You just can't wantonly kill people because you don't like their politics. One of the important things that Mike Morell has forgotten or has chosen to ignore is that [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, whether we like him or not, is the internationally recognized leader of a sovereign country. And the Russian military has been invited into that country by its sovereign leader. So it's not up to us to decide we don't like that, and so we are going to start killing people because of it. ..."
    "... What a fraud. A transparent fraud. John knows him better than I do because John dealt with him. ..."
    "... Mike Morell was a golden boy for many years. He was a very young manager and rose quickly through the ranks, and had the most important jobs in the CIA, at least on the analytic side Once he got into the senior intelligence service, he took on a broader role, but that role never involved operations. This is a problem inside the agency. ..."
    "... You have somebody who has never served overseas except in the very final years of his career in a very cushy position. But certainly never operationally. He's never recruited a foreign national to spy for the United States; he's never been involved in difficult or dangerous operations, yet he's advocating putting American lives on the line to kill foreign nationals against whom we have no declaration of war. ..."
    "... Say he gets the chance to implement this great strategy of his which is apparently murdering a bunch of people and blowing up a bunch of stuff around Assad. How does that bring peace to Syria? ..."
    "... The definition of a neocon is somebody who has great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel, on the one hand, and the strategic interests of the United States on the other. Israel wants bedlam in Syria, and they've got it. ..."
    Aug 13, 2016 | www.rt.com
    Op-Edge 'Ex-CIA Director's 'kill Russians in Syria' comment reveals neocon influence' Published time: 13 Aug, 2016 12:53 Edited time: 14:38

    I want to scare Assad Mike Morell (Aug 8, 2016) Charlie Rose

    Former CIA Director Michael Morell sparked uproar when he said in an interview on Charlie Rose that Russians and Iranians should be killed in Syria. Was the provocative statement an effort to promote himself as the new CIA Director under Hillary Clinton?

    Morell has proposed the US change tactics in Syria by targeting President Bashar Assad's allies, adding that killing Russians should be done covertly.

    "We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria, we need to make the Russians pay a price," Morell told a stunned Charlie Rose, who asked if that means killing Iranians and Russians. Morell answered "Yes," saying the killings should be done "convertly" but done in such way that "Moscow would get the message."

    Two former CIA officials turned whistleblowers, Ray McGovern and John Kiriakou, appeared on RT's "Watching the Hawks" program to give their analysis on the disturbing comments, as well as other tantalizing bits of information.

    'Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,' says ex-CIA chief backing #Clintonhttps://t.co/qd21Klts2Npic.twitter.com/Otcuwniwxw

    - RT America (@RT_America) August 9, 2016

    RT (Tyrel Ventura): Morell was suggesting to kill Russian and Iranian people – I'm assuming soldiers, even though he wasn't that specific – as payback for their actions in Syria and Iran's actions in Iraq. Apparently Iran was providing supplies and armaments to the people we were fighting there during our occupation. Is this of strategy or tactics the norm or the oddity for the CIA in planning?

    John Kiriakou: This is the exception. It's not the norm. Even under George W. Bush when the CIA wanted to initiate or institute a policy or program that would result in the killing of foreign nationals, my God, we went to the UN Security Council and asked for a vote. What Mike Morell is proposing is quite simply illegal. You just can't wantonly kill people because you don't like their politics. One of the important things that Mike Morell has forgotten or has chosen to ignore is that [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, whether we like him or not, is the internationally recognized leader of a sovereign country. And the Russian military has been invited into that country by its sovereign leader. So it's not up to us to decide we don't like that, and so we are going to start killing people because of it.

    Ray McGovern: What a fraud. A transparent fraud. John knows him better than I do because John dealt with him.

    JK: I worked closely with Mike Morell for several years in CIA headquarters. Mike Morell was a golden boy for many years. He was a very young manager and rose quickly through the ranks, and had the most important jobs in the CIA, at least on the analytic side Once he got into the senior intelligence service, he took on a broader role, but that role never involved operations. This is a problem inside the agency. It's emblematic of what has happened with what I like to think is a neoconservative takeover of CIA policy. You have somebody who has never served overseas except in the very final years of his career in a very cushy position. But certainly never operationally. He's never recruited a foreign national to spy for the United States; he's never been involved in difficult or dangerous operations, yet he's advocating putting American lives on the line to kill foreign nationals against whom we have no declaration of war.

    #WatchingTheHawks SoundCloud Episode 44.2 is here of our best segments! @TabethaWatching@TyrelWatchinghttps://t.co/dxYcjCww42

    - RT America (@RT_America) August 13, 2016

    RT (Tabetha Wallace): Say he gets the chance to implement this great strategy of his which is apparently murdering a bunch of people and blowing up a bunch of stuff around Assad. How does that bring peace to Syria?

    JK: It doesn't, it can't and it won't. This whole idea that he espoused on the Charlie Rose show will not come to pass. If Mike Morell were serious about this, if this were something that Hillary Clinton would seriously consider, it would be kept so secret and so private that even inside the CIA 99 percent of employees wouldn't know anything about it. So for him to just go on TV and dramatically say this is what he would do it's just grandstanding.

    This is such an obviously transparent bid by Michael Morell to be the CIA Director under a Hillary Clinton administration... This is a political ploy by him that is not thought through at all - Gareth Porter, investigative journalist, to RT in a separate interview.

    RT (Tyrel Ventura): Why do you think Morell is getting on TV and grandstanding like that? What is his motivation for doing this?

    RM: He's not the only one. There are others who are candidates to be head of the CIA or other high positions. The whole thing is so vacuous. Charlie Rose has had this guy on 11 times in the last two years. They never question the unspoken premises. I mean, Hello? Why does Bashar al-Assad have to go? Is he a threat to the United States? No. Then why does he have to go? It's very simple. The neocons want him to go. Why do the neocons want him to go? The definition of a neocon is somebody who has great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel, on the one hand, and the strategic interests of the United States on the other. Israel wants bedlam in Syria, and they've got it.

    The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

    [Apr 19, 2017] A Lawless Plan to Target Syrias Allies

    Notable quotes:
    "... (Emphasis added) ..."
    "... And I think I came across as saying U.S. Special Forces should go in there and start killing Iranians and Russians. I did not say that. ..."
    "... And here I did argue, Charlie, that the U.S. military itself should take some action, and what I would see as valuable is limited, very, very, very limited U.S. airstrikes against those assets that are extremely important to Assad personally. ..."
    "... (Emphasis added) ..."
    "... "Now these issues that I'm talking about here, right, are talked about in the sit room. They're talked about in national security circles all the time, right. These are debates that people have, and I certainly understand that there are people on the other side of the argument from me, right. But I wasn't talking about the U.S. starting a major war with Iran and Russia, and I think that was the way people interpreted it." ..."
    "... Morell is advocating here violates international law, the rules that – in other circumstances, i.e. when another government is involved – the U.S. government condemns as "aggression" or as an "invasion" or as "terrorism." ..."
    Aug 20, 2016 | consortiumnews.com

    Exclusive: Official Washington's disdain for international law – when it's doing the lawbreaking – was underscored by ex-CIA acting director Morell voicing plans for murdering Iranians and maybe Russians in Syria, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern says.

    On Aug. 17, TV interviewer Charlie Rose gave former acting CIA Director Michael Morell a "mulligan" for an earlier wayward drive on Aug. 8 that sliced deep into the rough and even stirred up some nonviolent animals by advocating the murder of Russians and Iranians. But, alas, Morell duffed the second drive, too.

    Morell did so despite Rose's efforts to tee up the questions as favorably as possible, trying to help Morell explain what he meant about "killing" Russians and Iranians in Syria and bombing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into submission.

    Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell.

    In the earlier interview, Morell said he wanted to "make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. make the Russians pay a price in Syria."

    Rose: "We make them pay the price by killing Russians?"

    Morell: "Yeah."

    Rose: "And killing Iranians?"

    Morell: "Yes You don't tell the world about it. But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran."

    In the follow-up interview , some of Rose's fretful comments made it clear that there are still some American non-neocons around who were withholding applause for Morell's belligerent suggestion.

    Rose apparently has some viewers who oppose all terrorism, including the state-sponsored variety that would involve a few assassinations to send a message, and the notion that U.S. bombing Syria to "scare" Assad is somehow okay (as long as the perpetrator is the sole "indispensable" nation in the world).

    Rose helped Morell 'splain that he really did not want to have U.S. Special Forces kill Russians and Iranians. No, he would be satisfied if the U.S.-sponsored "moderate opposition" in Syria did that particular killing. But Morell would not back away from his advocacy of the U.S. Air Force bombing Syrian government targets. That would be "an okay thing" in Morell's lexicon.

    The FBI defines terrorism as "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." That would seem to cover Morell's plan.

    But Morell seems oblivious to international law and to the vast human suffering already inflicted in Syria over the past five years by government forces, rebels, terrorists and outside nations trying to advance one geopolitical goal or another.

    What is needed is a serious commitment to peace talks without unacceptable preconditions, such as outside demands for "regime change." Instead, the focus should be on creating conditions for Syrians to make that choice themselves through elections or power-sharing negotiations.

    Morell prefers to think that a few more U.S.-directed murders and some more aerial-inflicted mayhem should do the trick. Perhaps he thinks that's the sort of tough-guy/gal talk that will impress a prospective President Hillary Clinton.

    A Slight Imprecision?

    Charlie Rose begins the "mulligan" segment with the suggestion that Morell might have slightly misspoken: "Tell me what you wanted to say so we understand it Tell me what you meant to say perhaps you did not speak as precisely as you should have or I didn't ask the right questions."

    TV interviewer Charlie Rose.

    Morell responded, "No, no, Charlie, you always ask the right questions," and then he presented his killing plan as a route to peace, albeit one in which the United States dictates "regime change" in Syria: "So there's not a military solution to this, there is only a political solution. And that political solution is, in my view, a transition of power from Assad to a, a, a transitional government that represents all of the Syrian people.

    "That is only going to happen if Assad wants it to happen, if Russia wants it to happen, if Iran wants it to happen. So we need to increase our leverage over those three people and countries, in order to get them more interested in having a conversation about a transition to a new government.

    "And sometimes you use military force for military ends. Sometimes you use military force to give you political leverage. So what I tried to say was, Look, we need to find some ways to put some pressure on Assad, or put some pressure on Russia, and put some pressure on Iran. Now, with regard to Russia and Iran, what I said was, what I wanted to say was: Look, the moderate opposition, which the United States is supporting (everybody knows that, right?), the moderate opposition is already fighting the Syrian government, and they're already fighting Russians and Iranians.

    "So the Syrian military, supported by Russia and the Iranians, is fighting the moderate opposition. And the moderate opposition is already killing Iranians and Syrians. What, what I said is that's an okay thing, right, because it puts pressure on Iran and Russia to try to see some value in ending this thing politically. And what I said is that we should encourage the moderate opposition to continue to do that and perhaps get a lot more aggressive." (Emphasis added)

    Rose: "You weren't suggesting that the United States should do that, but the moderate forces on the ground."

    Morell: "And I think I came across as saying U.S. Special Forces should go in there and start killing Iranians and Russians. I did not say that.

    "So that's Russia and Iran. Now, Assad. How do you put some pressure on Assad, right? And here I did argue, Charlie, that the U.S. military itself should take some action, and what I would see as valuable is limited, very, very, very limited U.S. airstrikes against those assets that are extremely important to Assad personally. So, in the middle of the night you destroy one of his offices; you don't kill anybody, right, zero collateral. You do this with the same rules of engagement we use against terrorists . (Emphasis added)

    "You take out his presidential aircraft, his presidential helicopters, in the middle of the night, right, just to send him a message and get his attention that, that maybe your days are numbered here, just to put some pressure on him to think about maybe, maybe the need to think about a way out of this.

    "Now these issues that I'm talking about here, right, are talked about in the sit room. They're talked about in national security circles all the time, right. These are debates that people have, and I certainly understand that there are people on the other side of the argument from me, right. But I wasn't talking about the U.S. starting a major war with Iran and Russia, and I think that was the way people interpreted it."

    Acts of Illegal War

    Not to put too fine a point on this, but everything that Morell is advocating here violates international law, the rules that – in other circumstances, i.e. when another government is involved – the U.S. government condemns as "aggression" or as an "invasion" or as "terrorism."

    Video of the Russian SU-24 exploding in flames inside Syrian territory after it was shot down by Turkish air-to-air missiles on Nov. 24, 2015.

    Remember, after the U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine in February 2014, when Russia intervened to allow Crimea to hold a referendum on splitting away from the new regime in Kiev and rejoining Russia, the U.S. government insisted that there was no excuse for President Vladimir Putin not respecting the sovereignty of the coup regime even if it had illegally ousted an elected president.

    However, regarding Syria, the United States and its various "allies," including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel, have intervened directly and indirectly in supporting various armed groups, including Al Qaeda's Nusra Front, seeking the violent overthrow of Syria's government.

    Without any legal authorization from the United Nations, President Barack Obama has ordered the arming and training of anti-government rebels (including some who have fought under Nusra's command structure ), has carried out airstrikes inside Syria (aimed at Islamic State militants), and has deployed U.S. Special Forces inside Syria with Kurdish rebels.

    Now, a former senior U.S. intelligence official is publicly urging bombing of Syrian government targets and the killing of Iranians and Russians who are legally inside Syria at the invitation of the internationally recognized government. In other words, not only does the U.S. government operate with breathtaking hypocrisy in the Syrian crisis, but it functions completely outside international law.

    And, Morell says that in attacking Syrian government targets - supposedly without causing any deaths - the United States would employ "the same rules of engagement we use against terrorists," except those rules of engagement explicitly seek to kill targeted individuals. So, what kind of dangerously muddled thinking do we have here?

    One can only imagine the reaction if some Russian version of Morell went on Moscow TV and urged the murder of U.S. military trainers operating inside Ukraine – to send a message to Washington. And then, the Russian Morell would advocate Russia bombing Ukrainian government targets in Kiev with the supposed goal of forcing the U.S.-backed government to accept a "regime change" acceptable to Moscow.

    A Fawning Audition

    Rather than calls for him to be locked up or at least decisively repudiated, the American Morell was allowed to continue his fawning audition for a possible job in a Hillary Clinton administration by extolling her trustworthiness and "humanity."

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2016. (Photo credit: AIPAC)

    Morell offered a heartwarming story about how compassionate Clinton was as Secretary of State when he lost out to John Brennan to be the fulltime CIA Director. After he was un-picked for the job, Morell said he was in the White House Situation Room and Clinton, "sat down next to me, put her hand on my shoulder, and she simply said, 'Are you okay?' There is humanity there, and I think the public needs to know."

    And, Clinton was a straight-shooter, too, Morell explained: "You know, it's interesting, Charlie, I worked with her for four years. Leon Panetta, David Petraeus worked with her for four years. We trusted her word; we trusted her judgment. You know, [CIA] Director Panetta, [CIA] Director Petraeus, I provided her with some of the most sensitive information that the CIA collects and she never gave us one reason to doubt how she was handling that. You know, she spoke to us forthrightly. I trust her word and I trust her judgment."

    Can Morell be unaware that Clinton repeatedly put highly sensitive intelligence on her very vulnerable private email server along with other data that later investigations determined should have been marked SECRET, TOP SECRET, CODEWORD, and/or SPECIAL ACCESS PROGRAMS?

    FBI Director James Comey, in announcing that he would not recommend prosecuting Clinton for compromising these secrets, called her behavior "extremely careless."

    For his part, Charlie Rose offered a lament about how hard it is for Clinton to convey her "humanity" and how deserving she is of trust. He riffed on the Biblical passage about those who can be trusted in small matters (like sitting down next to Morell, putting her hand on his shoulder, and asking him if he is okay) can be trusted on big matters, too.

    My Travails With Charlie

    Twelve years ago, I was interviewed by Charlie Rose, with the other interviewee (who participated remotely) James Woolsey, former head of the CIA (1993-95), arch-neocon, and self-described "anchor the Presbyterian wing of JINSA " (the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs).

    The occasion was the New York premier of Robert Greenwald's full-length film version of his documentary, "Uncovered: the Whole Truth About the Iraq War," in which I had a small part and which described the many falsehoods that had been used by President George W. Bush and his neocon advisers, to justify invading Iraq. Woolsey did not like the film, and Greenwald asked me to take the Rose invitation that had originally been extended to him.

    True to form, Charlie Rose knew on which side his bread was buttered, and it wasn't mine. He was his usual solicitous self when dealing with an "important" personage, such as Woolsey. I was going to count the minutes apportioned to me and compare them with those given to Woolsey, but I decided to spare myself the trouble.

    The last time I checked the Aug. 20, 2004 video is available for purchase but I refuse to pay for it. Fortunately, a friend taped and uploaded the audio onto YouTube. It might be worth a listen on a slow summer day 12 years after my travails with Charlie.

    Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990 and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

    [Apr 19, 2017] Preventive war is like committing suicide for fear of death

    Apr 17, 2017 | www.unz.com

    TG , April 17, 2017 at 3:10 pm GMT \n

    300 Words An interesting article. A few random thoughts.
    1. "Preventive war is like committing suicide for fear of death" – Otto von Bismarck.
    2. In general I agree and wish that the United States military would be more defensive and waste fewer resources attacking irrelevant nations on the other side of the world. But. It is nevertheless true that "defensive" Russia has been invaded and devastated multiple times, and the United States has not. Perhaps creating chaos on the other side of the world is long-term not quite so ineffective as sitting around waiting for an attack?
    3. The American elites are simply corrupt and insane/don't care about the long-term. At every level – companies taking out massive loans to buy back their stock to boost CEO bonuses, loading up college students with massive unplayable debt so that university administrators can get paid like CEOs, drug prices going through the roof, etc.etc. Military costs will never be as efficient as civilian, war is expensive, but the US has gotten to the point where there is no financial accountability, it's all about the right people grabbing as much money as possible.

      To make more money you just add another zero at the end of the price tag. At some point the costs will become so inflated and divorced from reality that we will be unable to afford anything And the right people will take their loot and move to New Zealand and wring their hands at how the lazy Americans were not worthy of their brilliant leadership

    [Apr 18, 2017] Blame Putin! scheme is much older then recent Presidential elections

    Notable quotes:
    "... Most of the information about the specific instance of the CIA torturing an individual in Lebanon came from a biography on Bob Ames titled The Good Spy (2014) by Kai Bird. Which was a pretty good book. Ames has an interesting history. He forged a relationship which the author characterized as a friendship with high ranking individuals in the Palestinian Liberation Organization at a time when the PLO was labeled as a terrorist organization. It was this back channel connection that formed the basis of American diplomacy for peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. He died in the 1983 embassy bombing. ..."
    "... Similar methods that resulted in the death of prisoners during CIA's systemic torture program during the Bush Administration were used. They'd dump cold water on'em and leave them in a cold cell. Nimr was left in a cell with a fan blowing cold air on them. Hall wasn't present at the time Nimr died. ..."
    "... Besides the embassy bombing Mughniyeh was blamed for a lot of other terrorist acts that I think are based on nothing more than circumstantial evidence. Contemporary analysis suggests it's basically the "Blame Putin!" trope in action. ..."
    Jan 01, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    Andrew Watts , December 31, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    *I was in a rush yesterday so this is a follow-up to yesterday's hastily written comment on the torture report. Any fault or errors in that comment can be attributed to my gullibility.

    Most of the information about the specific instance of the CIA torturing an individual in Lebanon came from a biography on Bob Ames titled The Good Spy (2014) by Kai Bird. Which was a pretty good book. Ames has an interesting history. He forged a relationship which the author characterized as a friendship with high ranking individuals in the Palestinian Liberation Organization at a time when the PLO was labeled as a terrorist organization. It was this back channel connection that formed the basis of American diplomacy for peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. He died in the 1983 embassy bombing.

    -The individual who was tortured and died soon afterward was Elias Nimr . A Christian intelligence chieftain who appears to have played every side and angle he could during the Lebanon Civil War.

    -The name of the CIA contractor who tortured Nimr was identified as Keith "Captain Crunch" Hall . He was originally identified by Mark Bowden in his book Road Work: Among Tyrants, Heroes, Rogues, and Beasts. (2007) A former Marine before he joined the CIA and was later a cop in California.

    Similar methods that resulted in the death of prisoners during CIA's systemic torture program during the Bush Administration were used. They'd dump cold water on'em and leave them in a cold cell. Nimr was left in a cell with a fan blowing cold air on them. Hall wasn't present at the time Nimr died.

    -Bob Baer neglects to mention this specific incident of torture in See No Evil but doesn't blame Nimr for the bombing of the embassy. *cough* Appropriately titled book if you ask me. *cough* A part of his theory on the masterminds behind the '83 embassy bombings involves a former PLO turned Hezbollah operative named Imad Mughniyeh . Baer claims that Mughniyeh is was still in contact with his old Fatah contacts when the embassy was bombed.

    Besides the embassy bombing Mughniyeh was blamed for a lot of other terrorist acts that I think are based on nothing more than circumstantial evidence. Contemporary analysis suggests it's basically the "Blame Putin!" trope in action.

    -The name of the alleged defector from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was actually a deputy defense minister and former brigadier general named Ali Reza Asgari . There was and still probably is controversy whether he was kidnapped or defected. The Iranians wouldn't want it known that such a high ranking defector went over to the West hence the kidnapping story.

    Hah! Guess not posting much for a few months finally caught up with me.

    [Apr 17, 2017] The pot calling the kettle black

    Notable quotes:
    "... As soon as I turned on a television here I wondered if I had arrived through an alt-right wormhole. ..."
    "... On the popular Russian television program "Vesti Nedeli," the host, Dmitry Kiselyov, questioned how Syria could have been responsible for the attack. After all, he said, the Assad government had destroyed all of its chemical weapons. It was the terrorists who possessed them, said Mr. Kiselyov, who also heads Russia's main state-run international media arm. ..."
    "... One of Mr. Kiselyov's correspondents on the scene mocked "Western propagandists" for believing the Trump line, saying munitions at the air base had "as much to do with chemical weapons as the test tube in the hands of Colin Powell had to do with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." ..."
    "... RT, the Russian-financed English-language news service, initially translated Mr. Putin as calling it a "false flag. ..."
    "... As the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia put it, "Apparently it was for good reason Donald Trump called unverified information in the mass media one of the main problems in the U.S." ..."
    "... The author asserts that those who questioned the Assad-did-it narrative were only on the alt-right "fringe". But this is absurd, as anyone who looks at a non-alt right site like https://consortiumnews.com/ can easily confirm. And of course a highly respected MIT scientist, Theodore Postol, has published not one but two notes effectively showing that the White House "Intelligence Report" about the incident was rubbish ("obviously false, misleading and amateurish") - but you are unlikely to read about this in the NYT. ..."
    "... The US media should have learned something about the Iraq war, but it still hasn't. It blindly supports every stupid foreign policy decision wrapped in humanitarian clothes while being unwilling to honestly tell the American people that its a proxy war where all the actors in it are evil. That no one knows for sure what happened because it wasn't investigated. The media in Russia may be a tool of the Kremlin but the US media is the tool of the war profiteers. There is no way to get around that no matter how Rutenberg tries to frame it around what he thinks is the correct opinion. ..."
    "... Israel wants the Syrian war to go on forever. The Saudi and Iranian proxies aren't saints. There are no good guys yet removing Assad is the preferred outcome for the US media. ..."
    "... The good thing about the US corporate media is that it is being put behind paywalls. I just use software to block these sites so I don't even bother wasting my time by clicking and then having to click back. I get "the line" from sources not behind a paywall. Only an idiot would pay to be lied to on behalf of groups that do not have the US interest at heart. ..."
    Apr 16, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

    From: A Lesson in Moscow About Trump-Style 'Alternative Truth' - The New York Times by Jim Rutenberg >

    Mr. Trump had just ordered a Tomahawk strike against Syria's Shayrat air base, from which, the United States said, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria had launched the chemical weapons attack that killed more than 80 and sickened hundreds.

    As soon as I turned on a television here I wondered if I had arrived through an alt-right wormhole.

    Back in the States, the prevailing notion in the news was that Mr. Assad had indeed been responsible for the chemical strike. There was some "reportage" from sources like the conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones - best known for suggesting that the Sandy Hook school massacre was staged - that the chemical attack was a "false flag" operation by terrorist rebel groups to goad the United States into attacking Mr. Assad. But that was a view from the fringe.

    Here in Russia, it was the dominant theme throughout the overwhelmingly state-controlled mainstream media.

    On the popular Russian television program "Vesti Nedeli," the host, Dmitry Kiselyov, questioned how Syria could have been responsible for the attack. After all, he said, the Assad government had destroyed all of its chemical weapons. It was the terrorists who possessed them, said Mr. Kiselyov, who also heads Russia's main state-run international media arm.

    One of Mr. Kiselyov's correspondents on the scene mocked "Western propagandists" for believing the Trump line, saying munitions at the air base had "as much to do with chemical weapons as the test tube in the hands of Colin Powell had to do with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

    That teed up Mr. Putin to suggest in nationally televised comments a couple of days later that perhaps the attack was an intentional "provocation" by the rebels to goad the United States into attacking Mr. Assad. RT, the Russian-financed English-language news service, initially translated Mr. Putin as calling it a "false flag." The full Alex Jones was complete.

    When Trump administration officials tried to counter Russia's "false narratives" by releasing to reporters a declassified report detailing Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles - and suggesting to The Associated Press without proof that Russia knew of Mr. Assad's plans to use chemical weapons in advance - the Russians had a ready answer borrowed from Mr. Trump himself.

    As the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia put it, "Apparently it was for good reason Donald Trump called unverified information in the mass media one of the main problems in the U.S."

    It was the best evidence I've seen of the folly of Mr. Trump's anti-press approach. You can't spend more than a year attacking the credibility of the "dishonest media" and then expect to use its journalism as support for your position during an international crisis - at least not with any success.

    While Mr. Trump and his supporters may think that undermining the news media serves their larger interests, in this great information war it serves Mr. Putin's interests more. It means playing on his turf, where he excels.

    Integral to Mr. Putin's governing style has been a pliant press that makes his government the main arbiter of truth.

    While talking to the beaten but unbowed members of the real journalism community here, I heard eerie hints of Trumpian proclamations in their war stories.

    Take Mr. Trump's implicit threat to the owner of The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos, during the election campaign. In case you've forgotten, while calling The Post's coverage of him "horrible and false," Mr. Trump warned that if he won the presidency Mr. Bezos's other business, Amazon, would have "such problems." (The Post was undaunted, and the issue hasn't come up again.)

    ... ... ...

    Alexandra Odynova contributed research.

    for-the-record , April 17, 2017 at 6:16 pm GMT \n
    300 Words Is this parody or for real? Everything he cites the Russian press as saying seems to me far more believable than the "alternative" version purveyed by the NYT and other such "respectable" sources.

    To put it mildly, anyone with half a brain would be willing to accept that it was far more likely that the alleged chemical attack was the work of the not-so-moderate rebels, rather than the Syrian Government which had nothing to gain, and everything to lose, from such an attack (assuming that it still had chemical weapons, which even the US previously admitted was no longer the case). That those fighting Assad do indeed possess stocks of chemical weapons is no secret. Regarding Isis, for example, you can learn from Newsweek today (April 17) via Yahoo News:

    ISIS Militants Launch Multiple Chemical Weapons Attacks On Iraqi Troops

    The author tells us that

    Back in the States, the prevailing notion in the news was that Mr. Assad had indeed been responsible for the chemical strike.

    Of course this was and is the prevailing view, a convincing testimony to the effect of the "fake news" that is reported as "fact" by the mainstream media.

    The author asserts that those who questioned the Assad-did-it narrative were only on the alt-right "fringe". But this is absurd, as anyone who looks at a non-alt right site like https://consortiumnews.com/ can easily confirm. And of course a highly respected MIT scientist, Theodore Postol, has published not one but two notes effectively showing that the White House "Intelligence Report" about the incident was rubbish ("obviously false, misleading and amateurish") - but you are unlikely to read about this in the NYT.

    I live outside the US and also have the time and energy to investigate alternative sources. What amazes and pains me is that many friends of mine (US, UK) have swallowed hook, line and sinker the official story, not only about this incident but the general story about what is going on in Syria (and elsewhere, notably vis-à-vis Russia).

    Altai , April 17, 2017 at 8:29 pm GMT \n
    400 Words @for-the-record Is this parody or for real? Everything he cites the Russian press as saying seems to me far more believable than the "alternative" version purveyed by the NYT and other such "respectable" sources.

    To put it mildly, anyone with half a brain would be willing to accept that it was far more likely that the alleged chemical attack was the work of the not-so-moderate rebels, rather than the Syrian Government which had nothing to gain, and everything to lose, from such an attack (assuming that it still had chemical weapons, which even the US previously admitted was no longer the case). That those fighting Assad do indeed possess stocks of chemical weapons is no secret. Regarding Isis, for example, you can learn from Newsweek today (April 17) via Yahoo News:


    ISIS Militants Launch Multiple Chemical Weapons Attacks On Iraqi Troops
    The author tells us that

    Back in the States, the prevailing notion in the news was that Mr. Assad had indeed been responsible for the chemical strike.
    Of course this was and is the prevailing view, a convincing testimony to the effect of the "fake news" that is reported as "fact" by the mainstream media.

    The author asserts that those who questioned the Assad-did-it narrative were only on the alt-right "fringe". But this is absurd, as anyone who looks at a non-alt right site like https://consortiumnews.com/ can easily confirm. And of course a highly respected MIT scientist, Theodore Postol, has published not one but two notes effectively showing that the White House "Intelligence Report" about the incident was rubbish ("obviously false, misleading and amateurish") -- but you are unlikely to read about this in the NYT.

    I live outside the US and also have the time and energy to investigate alternative sources. What amazes and pains me is that many friends of mine (US, UK) have swallowed hook, line and sinker the official story, not only about this incident but the general story about what is going on in Syria (and elsewhere, notably vis-à-vis Russia).

    many friends of mine (US, UK) have swallowed hook, line and sinker the official story, not only about this incident but the general story about what is going on in Syria (and elsewhere, notably vis-à-vis Russia).

    It's unreal to me after everything that has happened the last 15 years that anyone who lived through it could not have learned a thing. It seems to be getting more blatant too. Now the BBC is pushing neocon talking points harder than most US outlets.

    Don't ever trust a western news outlet whenever it goes on a months long crusade to 'expose' a certain regime that is alleged to be doing exactly what our 'allies' do and get no coverage about. I knew little about what was going on in Syria years ago but when the BBC started telling me how horrible 'barrel bombs' were over and over, night after night, making sure to mention Assad in every sentence, my bullshit detector sprang up and I looked at the alt media I trusted. (Which I trusted as taking the narrative from them I was able to better predict and understand the world and this simply can't be said for mainstream media)

    I know a guy who thinks of himself as worldly but reads WaPo and Der Speigel daily. He doesn't understand how I can't believe how good Obama handled the US economy and how low US unemployment is. Any attempt to explain that US unemployment numbers post-1994 are not what he thinks it is is met with a dismissive as though I am full of bullshit.

    I think it might also be generational. I grew up in my teens with Iraq and the explosion of alt middle east commentators and journalists who posted to the net what they'd never get cleared in the MSM. You know exactly the deal with everybody, the anti-war left, the 'alt-right', the counter jihadis and the important motivations and differences between them that colour their commentary on different events, but it still didn't change the fact that what they were posting was news and information that was being deliberately obscured. But for a lot of people in their 40s and older everything non-MSM looks like InfoWars and is scary.

    It must be scary to be plugged into the MSM today. A kind of learned helplessness like this.

    WorkingClass , April 17, 2017 at 9:28 pm GMT \n
    I know it's bullshit. I read it in the New York Times.

    The NYT is an enemy of the human race.

    Assad didn't do it. Just like he didn't do it last time. Just like he will not have done it next time.

    El Dato , April 17, 2017 at 10:19 pm GMT \n
    300 Words @Altai

    many friends of mine (US, UK) have swallowed hook, line and sinker the official story, not only about this incident but the general story about what is going on in Syria (and elsewhere, notably vis-à-vis Russia).
    It's unreal to me after everything that has happened the last 15 years that anyone who lived through it could not have learned a thing. It seems to be getting more blatant too. Now the BBC is pushing neocon talking points harder than most US outlets.

    Don't ever trust a western news outlet whenever it goes on a months long crusade to 'expose' a certain regime that is alleged to be doing exactly what our 'allies' do and get no coverage about. I knew little about what was going on in Syria years ago but when the BBC started telling me how horrible 'barrel bombs' were over and over, night after night, making sure to mention Assad in every sentence, my bullshit detector sprang up and I looked at the alt media I trusted. (Which I trusted as taking the narrative from them I was able to better predict and understand the world and this simply can't be said for mainstream media)

    I know a guy who thinks of himself as worldly but reads WaPo and Der Speigel daily. He doesn't understand how I can't believe how good Obama handled the US economy and how low US unemployment is. Any attempt to explain that US unemployment numbers post-1994 are not what he thinks it is is met with a dismissive as though I am full of bullshit.

    I think it might also be generational. I grew up in my teens with Iraq and the explosion of alt middle east commentators and journalists who posted to the net what they'd never get cleared in the MSM. You know exactly the deal with everybody, the anti-war left, the 'alt-right', the counter jihadis and the important motivations and differences between them that colour their commentary on different events, but it still didn't change the fact that what they were posting was news and information that was being deliberately obscured. But for a lot of people in their 40s and older everything non-MSM looks like InfoWars and is scary.

    It must be scary to be plugged into the MSM today. A kind of learned helplessness like this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8moePxHpvok Nice short film. However, I cannot agree that people are in some kind of "oh dear" mindset. On the contrary, they are easily instrumented into supporting any random "something must be (militarily) done" call for action. Maybe a direct consequence of post-Gulf War 1 triumphalism, when the US was great again and apparently had left behind of trauma of Vietnam for good (that was an actual talking point, believe it or not!). With the Soviet Union no more, poised to rework the world in its own image, the US was!

    It all went south of course. We got the Yougoslavia catastrophe. Taking sides along with Europeans acting according to reflexes harking back to 1914 and dropping bombs didn't go all that well. When bombing started, Serbia was as MSM-tarred as Syria is today. We got 10 years of suppressing Mr. Hussein. Something was happening in Russia and maybe Chechnya and Georgia but no-one was all too certain what or why. We got the surprise Hutu-on-Tutsi massacre after which liberventionists were clamoring that "something should have been done". There was some "cruise missile diplomacy" (i.e. Clinton bombs Sudan). There were noises from Afghanistan with military commanders in particular Ahmad Shah Massoud fighting someone called "Taliban" but nobody cared about that. There was the marginally interesting Israel-Palestinian conflict with neverending talks and the Israelis starting to behave like jerks after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. We got first "hard" terrorism hits: A bombing in the WTC basement, a sarin gas attack in Tokyo, a diplomatic mission in Africa and of course the OKC bombing. Well, I guess those years of practically pre-Internet chaos were when "liberventionism" gelled.

    After the 9/11-Anthrax events it was of course full neocon time and everyone was on the same track for foreign land adventurism. By hook or by crook. Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

    Johnny F. Ive , April 17, 2017 at 11:13 pm GMT \n
    The US media should have learned something about the Iraq war, but it still hasn't. It blindly supports every stupid foreign policy decision wrapped in humanitarian clothes while being unwilling to honestly tell the American people that its a proxy war where all the actors in it are evil. That no one knows for sure what happened because it wasn't investigated. The media in Russia may be a tool of the Kremlin but the US media is the tool of the war profiteers. There is no way to get around that no matter how Rutenberg tries to frame it around what he thinks is the correct opinion.

    Also VIPS had American intelligence contacts in the Middle East who said the Syrians hit something that had chemicals in it. Everyone has their anonymous intelligence sources. Assad isn't going anywhere there could have been a proper investigation. The US media salivated at the bombing of Syria. The US media is the American Empire's id. It tells it to do stupid stuff that is going to get it killed. The US media loves to play nuclear chicken with Russia. I suppose psychopaths need a lot of stimulation and what could be more stimulating than a risk of nuclear war.

    If the US media was doing its job it would not just be after Trump's relationship with Russia. It would be after the whole American establishments cozy relationship with Israel and Saudi Arabia. They've turned the US into a banana empire. Of course the US media is tied to weapons producers and Israel gets a welfare check to buy American arms and Saudi Arabia buys American arms. Also Israel no matter what it does is protected because of guilt (which will be its undoing because its bad behavior is not being checked). If Russia bought American arms I bet the US media would love Putin. The US media then would take it upon themselves to support Putin against his enemies.

    Israel wants the Syrian war to go on forever. The Saudi and Iranian proxies aren't saints. There are no good guys yet removing Assad is the preferred outcome for the US media. Its irrational unless you realize who its working for. Its not the American people. Its not even working to keep the US Empire in a position of strength. It demands obedience to the whims of the Empire's global subjects and its domestic war industry. That is what this Russian crap was about Trump. Maybe they tried to interfere. People were going to vote the way they voted anyway because Trump struck an emotional cord with his larger than life personality and the Democrats conspired against the candidate that could have beaten him (Bernie) while making sure no one that could win would run for the Democrat nomination. Also the Israelis are right wing and they get away with stuff the Alt-right could never get away with in the US (and I hope wouldn't want to engage in). What they do to the Palestinians is straight out of Nazi Germany before the holocaust (which is coming for the Palestinians). They loved Trump and voted for him. US media doesn't make a big deal about this. Any reporter who did would risk losing their job.

    The good thing about the US corporate media is that it is being put behind paywalls. I just use software to block these sites so I don't even bother wasting my time by clicking and then having to click back. I get "the line" from sources not behind a paywall. Only an idiot would pay to be lied to on behalf of groups that do not have the US interest at heart. By being whores for war profiteers and their global allies the US media makes Russian government controlled media seem great in comparison. There is no reason why the US should be a whore for unsavory governments and organizations across the world. Its 20 trillion in debt and the US media uses verbal abuse and praise to manipulate the President into making war, while framing the war into simplistic and cartoonish terms. There are some that are extremely wealthy. The Europeans could handle their own security but manipulating the US to do it is easy because of the US media and easily malleable politicians.

    How about the US media find some poor defenseless country and harp up a war and bleed the US Empire dry of its wealth in a fruitless quagmire and call it a day? Some of us do have a self preservation instinct and fighting Russia for the mess in Syria is stupid. If it was me I'd try to get the defense companies to focus on space and space mining. Whoever controls outer space will control humanity's destiny. But go ahead bleed the US dry on these short sided money grabbing crusades so other countries can take over outer space instead.

    [Apr 17, 2017] Why North Korea Needs Nukes - And How To End That

    Notable quotes:
    "... Isnt it amazing, the media in the west will always (ALWAYS!) be there for western nations when they want to wage a war, year after year. And then they say that we, who protest and expose them we are somehow the propagandists and disinformation agents?! ..."
    "... The pressure to capitulate to the US government on this issue is immense. The propaganda relentless. For over 64 years the American people have been living the Big Lie. ..."
    "... I cannot see how this ends well for any of us, mainly due to the intransigence and irrationality of the US ruling class, who do not care how much blood they shed. ..."
    "... The USA as representing western elites have never signed off on the Korean War as a truce and cessation of hostilities but not a peace treaty is the current situation. This war continues and is being pursued by other means, mainly financial and with sanctions, by the west and its South Korean proxies. ..."
    "... This on going policy by the west is of course aimed at its geo-political adversaries in China and Russia as allies of the North Korean nation. ..."
    "... No small country is safe from the evil empire (USA) if they don't have nuclear weapons. Witness what happened to Iraq (and others) who had no weapons of mass destruction. (even though USA claimed they did) ..."
    "... There is no other way to declare that China have backed off, otherwhise we wouldn't see this preparation for war by Trump that came after his big China meeting last week. ..."
    "... China will sure remember this idiot stance they have taken when the wars begin, after North Korea, China will be in the cross-hair themselves. ..."
    "... I still wonder why China stayed away from Syria with no talk of supporting Russia. This is/was a golden chance to show solidarity, in my opinion. Both NK and Pakistan are Chinese partners and nuclear powers. With MOAB in Afghanistan and forces around NK, this is a clear message to China. Is China setting a classic trap militarily or they just choosing to fight economically or otherwise? Somehow, Chinese reaction does not add up. ..."
    "... It is utmost stupidity. Trump is parking US war ships in reach of North Korea, Russia and China. Now he depends on them not to do anything. ..."
    "... If you ever ask a local jingoist to list all the countries attacked by North Korea vs a comparable USA list, you will illicit blank stares, followed by anger, followed by the suggestion you go live in North Korea. Putin's analogy of chess with a pigeon comes to mind. ..."
    "... China does not care about the current leadership of North Korea at all. Their concern is to keep US forces no closer to the Chinese border than they are now, and that they will do. ..."
    "... Actually what you are describing is the average westerner today (although, perhaps the average westerner is a jingoist today), they are indoctrinated every day by by the MSM, they have no idea whats going on in the world, its so tragic when you try to explain world events and they always react like you said, anger, hate, accuations etc. ..."
    "... why is the usa here there and everywhere on the planet where their war machines? answer - they are the planets most warmongering nation, hands down.. ..."
    "... This is extremely relevant yet almost never discussed in the US. North Korea is said to be "crazy", and is treated as some kind of rabid, non-human country that threatens the US. Of course, the opposite is more true. ..."
    "... Chinese FM earlier today said 'war might come to Korea any time now', basically, US and allies could attack Korea and we wont do aynthing about it, what a corrupt nature they are show off now, disgusting. ..."
    "... NK has seen what happens when nations give up their WMD's Iraq got invaded and Saddam first tortured, then hanged. Libya got smashed and Qaddafi got a bayonet up his arse. ..."
    "... Now Syria is in the cross-hairs, with much of the nation in ruins, close 500K dead, millions more wounded and millions more homeless, with Assad being fitted for a hemp necktie. ..."
    "... One point he makes is that the Korean war gave Truman a perfect excuse to expand the military and set up the national security complex. One thing he does not say is that US likely has zero interest in defusing the conflict - lest they'd have to leave the area. ..."
    "... I'm now wondering how much worse the Known Entity - the Murderous Bloody Hillary could have been. Trump is a bull in a China Shop. ..."
    "... This is why Trump acting so tough now, he know China+UN+EU+Nato will support his coming war. ..."
    "... Well well well, this is almost getting comical, chinese show its true nature once again, what a backstabbing nation. China will be as complicit in this war on NK as Trump (and other pathetic allies). How many billion dollar deals did the stupid president get by Trump to be able to accept this tremendous blunder? ..."
    "... At this stage, Russia was supposed to be the gas station that produced nothing. Syria should have fallen to US headchoppers. Philippines has pulled out of the pivot on China. ..."
    "... Obama's leading from behind, and proxy wars largely failed. This leaves the US very short on time to take down China, plus they now have to deal with a Russia that has risen from the dead. ..."
    "... Saudi's just formed a NATO-like Sunni force with an ex-Pakistani general as it's head. Now they have a about 20 nation force for basic ground ops and this will help Saudi's in Yemen and may be Syria especially with Pakistan's depth in recruiting regulars and non-regulars. This could not have happened without US approval, imo. ..."
    "... overwhelming majority of US political "elite" is generally an office plankton with law or political "science" (or journalism--which is not a profession or a skill) degrees from Ivy League "humanities" departments and their comprehension of the war is limited to Hollywood. Most difficulties in life they ever experienced was, most likely, being overbooked for the first class seats on the flight to Hawaii (or any other resort). ..."
    "... The #1 reason the Outlaw US Empire gets away with its continuation of massive crimes against humanity is that its citizenry is mostly ignorant--made so purposefully--of the history that matters and are today's equivalent of "Good Germans." ..."
    "... Anyways, cornering Iran is the goal that the US/Israel trying to accomplish, at least from reading the pattern of activities. Slippery slope indeed. ..."
    "... The development of napalm specifically to target civilians ties in the testing of the two US nuclear weapons in Japan. The Japanese target cities were left untouched by conventional air raids throughout, even though they contained valid military targets such a torpedo production plants. ..."
    "... The occupants were so used to seeing US planes pass them by without ill effect, that on the fateful day they stood out in the open watching the planes pass by as normal or so they thought. The two attacks - for different designs of weapon - were designed to test and calibrate the effects of nuclear weapons on undamaged cities and unprotected civilians. They were actual medical and physical experiments on real people. ..."
    "... The difference between now and all the years since WWII, through the cold war and so forth is that the US has very little time left. In trying to think how the US is acting different now to the past, or actually dig up solid points I would probably point to MH17. With MH17 Australia, one of the five eyes gladly sacrificed some people for empire. That shook me. The evidence was the same as the crap dossier on Assad gassing his own people, yet not a word of protest out of any Australian politician. ..."
    "... From US point of view--absolutely. US establishment, yet again, thinks that it can control escalation. ..."
    "... North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered 25 percent of Pyongyang residents to leave the city immediately, according to a Russian news outlet on Friday. The Pravda report said that in accordance with the order, 600,000 people should be urgently evacuated. ..."
    "... If China/Russia were facing imminent War, then they would very probably dump all US reserves and Treasury Bonds first, and pre-emptively trigger economic collapse & rout. Unless it's MAD first strike stuff, where is the industrial and manufacturing base of the US/UK to sustain and win a 'Total War' ? Russia/China/Iran/NK are all militarily self-sufficient ... long-term sanctions do that, somewhat self-defeating, no ? ..."
    "... IF the US collapses without War occurring, the 0.01% driving this will have already relocated in advance to, New Zealand or Iceland, etc ? To live lives of luxury, whilst purchasing collapsed US corporations for pennies on the dollar, perhaps, and wait for the investment to mature, maybe ? Ruthless bastards, citizens of the world ;) ..."
    "... Yet, mistakes & miscalculations can occur unintentionally when even only a sustained 'strategy of tension' goes on and on ... ..."
    "... "The US is going to war. Much thought and training going into fighting peer, or near peer adversary. " Do not see substantive evidence of the former, yet. Re the latter, other than neo-con/lib chickenhawk warmongers and detached from facts/reason/competent analysis & reality stink-tanks, again, see no evidence other than endless PR and rabid rhetoric, MSM abetted. ..."
    "... Have you seen the most recent data/reports on DOD readiness levels, it's not a pleasant read if you're a jingoistic warmonger ... would argue, short version, the opportunity existed prior to 2001, maybe even as late as 2004-2006 at a pinch ..."
    "... Thanks for a great article. It is so good to read truthful information and not the propaganda bullshit the MSM saturates us with. ..."
    "... Who knows, maybe NK will be rehabilitated, as is, and accepted back into the Russia/China 'Axis', openly, as for the then USSR/ChiCom 'Axis' pre and during the Korean war ? After all, given the insane and surreal rabid propaganda in western MSM, what difference would it make re supposed 'image' in the eyes of the supposed 'International Community' (US/UK/Israhell & good time vassals) ... any ? ..."
    "... I'll certainly echo Outraged's point about USA lacking the required industrial capacity and raw material for any such war other than MAD versus China/Russia. One of the main reasons the Lead From Behind strategy was adopted along with using terrorist proxies to destabilize Russia/China is because of that rather stark reality. ..."
    "... ...The figure of 1,800 massacre victims was given...Somebody--presumably in either the American military or government--seems to have made the decision to turn this into a Northern massacre, the characteristic, single atrocity of the entire war. The truth seems inescapable: The worst atrocity of the war was committed by forces acting in the name of the United Nations, and a concerted effort was then made to cover it up by blaming it on the North Korean enemy... ..."
    "... "...On the admission of [U.S.] General Ridgeway's Head Office, more POWs died in United Nations camps than in North Korean camps..." http://wherechangeobama.blogspot.com/2013/05/revisiting-history-of-korea-again-part-4.html?m=0 ..."
    "... China does have limited versions of both Klub-NK and Club-S, those were shorter ones until recently when China started to get her hands on actual Russian versions of such weapons as P-800 Onyx with their ranges of 660 kilometers, add here SU-35 (also in Russian configuration) and S-400, also in Russian configuration, and you have a rather interesting dynamics suddenly. ..."
    "... US MIC armament production ought to be seen/understood as MIC profitmaking scam that happens to produce few usable/battle-worthy assets. There's a very good reason for calling the USA's once mighty industrial heartland the Rust Belt--it's literally rotting away as a ride on Amtrak's Capitol Limited will testify. ..."
    "... It really makes little sense what the US is up to. Are they relying on bluff and bluster to win the day? ..."
    "... Thanks B for the information regarding how the US and South Korea time their military maneuvers to coincide with the rice planting and harvesting periods in North Korea. I had not been aware of this before. ..."
    "... Bill Clinton's offer to North Korea to supply grain and materials for building two new reactors and his later reneging on that do not surprise me at all as these are of a piece with the Clinton Foundation raising hundreds of millions for Haiti's post-quake reconstruction which in the end resulted in the construction of one factory employing 30 people making T-shirts for export. No doubt with the North Korean "offer" the Clintons got something of that. ..."
    "... "Approximately 30 nuclear power plants are operational in South Korea. Several of them could be destroyed even if conventional bombs and shells are used. This could lead to five-six Chernobyl-type disasters on a relatively small area of 99 square kilometers that could instantly turn into a place unsuitable for life," he explained. ..."
    "... I have read although ,in a casual way rather than a study, too much of the history of wars. Often what comes across the insanity of a country starting a war and then is itself destroyed. Nazi Germany - leading edge tech, smart people. Country of sixty million conquered virtually all of Europe with ease then took on Russia. Instead of being content with being a leading country, they were willing to gamble everything to have it all. ..."
    "... This is somewhat where the US is at today. The position is that it has over reached and now needs to pull back and consolidate, but we are not seeing that. instead, we are seeing the US become more threatening. ..."
    "... Apologies if this has already been mentioned - but if the USA were to unilaterally launch strikes on North Korea could Russia itself intervene and launch missiles against the ships/fleet at fault - ie - against those who have abrogated their responsibilities to international peace and security? The aggressor nation. Could Russia sink the ships with the USS Carl Vinson in the name of maintaining international peace and security?? What side of Korea is the Carl Vinson and is it closer to the coastline of Russia or Syria? frances | Apr 14, 2017 9:02:27 PM | 113 According to Jim Stone NK has a very formidable 50+ submarine fleet. He also said these subs are of NK manufacture based on their upgrades to Russian 1990's designs. ..."
    "... In addition nuclear reactors require fossil fuel power plants as backup up they suddenly lose power. In case of an air blast over South Korea the electrical grid would shut down with possible meltdown of reactors which didn't go into standby prior to the nuclear detonation. ..."
    "... it brings a huge conundrum in decision making, if trump doesn't do anything, all countries in asia will switch alliances towards china in the long run, except for broke jokes japan/usa. ..."
    "... "Wag the Dog" scenarios focus on salacious scandals, but the collapse of domestic Presidencies are usually followed by war Presidencies. Trump is largely the idiot he appears to be and is simply grabbing onto the various interests within the borg. Trump will bounce from "enemy" to "enemy" trying to find an issue to get his Presidency back on track. ..."
    "... Something that has struck me as this thread goes on.. WWII never ended. Nazi/imperial Japan quest for empire morphed into US quest for empire that is coming to a climax today. ..."
    "... Wide ranging fascinating interview with former high ranking CIA intelligence officer, Robert David Steele https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8UfYLA7FCqQ ..."
    "... If North Korea, Russia, Iran, China or any other country that resists Zio-U.S. imperialism sent an Armada off the U.S. coast on the fourth of July, the U.S. wouldn't hesitate to sink it immediately, no questions asked. Trump is proving every day that he's a dangerous idiot. ..."
    "... The wars to consolidate the world under one power has been going on for well over a century. Britain took the lead early on before passing the torch to the US once Rhodes plan to recover America was accomplished, sometime between Mckinleys assassination and the and of WWI . Wall Street and the money power in the city of London were always in sync. Albert Pike predicted 3 World Wars would be needed. ..."
    "... we are ruled by idiots, con men, war-mongers, and Neanderthal whackos. Any attack by the US would be a massacre and humanitarian disaster of epic proportions. Plus, I assume, the north korean army that remains would likely shower much of south korea with tens of thousands of rockets, mortars and missiles. http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/14/whackos-in-washington-the-risky-game-of-regime-decapitation/ ..."
    "... Whackos in Washington: the Risky Game of Regime Decapitation by Dave Lindorff ..."
    "... A lot of people do not know that the US bombed the hell out of the entire of north Korea during the war. Like to ashes. The Chinese, and even more so, the Soviet reconstruction project for north Korea was the biggest of its kind post WWII. Even bigger than what actually went to European reconstruction I believe, but don't quote me on that (not in terms of what was earmarked but spent). ..."
    "... ALSO perhaps the biggest crime was bombing the north's huge dams. Unless your a poor farmer you don't know what kind a thing that it is to do. No military value (I heard it was bombed because they ran out of other targets in some way). ..."
    "... Its insane and breeds a toooon of animosity. Plus rejecting all attempts at peace talks. Plus having the media only present it in one way and an attitude of RA RA we don't engage in diplomacy with the terrorist obviously he only listens to force. ..."
    "... The focus seems to be on what DPRK (north), PRC and USA might do. I would like to suggest that closer scrutiny should be applied to what is actually going on in RK (South). I think that this tension is being ratcheted upwards primarily to influence the outcome of the presidential election in the South. ..."
    "... As we all know, Park has recently been impeached. In normal circumstances it could be expected that an opposition figure like Moon Jae-In would be the favourite to win the election. This may not be in the interests of either the US, Japan or the powers-that-be in South Korea. ..."
    "... The election is 9 May 2017, and the US president has just ensured that North Korea will be front and centre in the campaign. ..."
    "... South Korea is clearly benefiting economically (finally) from US support, but also pays a price by being another lapdog to the US and an eternal host for our military presence, willing or not. I suspect it's 'willing' because the US does everything possible to remind South Koreans of their peril by demonizing the North. South Korean press is worse than the US MSM. ..."
    "... who pointed out above that wwii has not yet ended on the korean peninsula. i always knew that the war was 'technically' not over in the sense of no peace treaty's having been signed ... the same obtains between russia and japan, doesn't it? that's an indictment right there of the us. in both cases, as the us still has japan on a short leash. ..."
    "... The main issue will be South Korea's relationship with the US and China. Traditionally South Korea has profited more from the US than from exchange with China. I bet this has already changed. But the US managed to create a security conflict between China and South Korea that ensures increased Chinese military support for North Korea. ..."
    "... South Korean residents and civic group activists on Thursday filed a petition against the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, which they depicted as unconstitutional. ..."
    "... Seoul and Washington abruptly announced a decision in July last year to install one THAAD battery in the county by the end of this year. Just three days before the announcement, Defense Minister Han Min-koo told lawmakers that he hadn't been informed of any notice about the THAAD installation. ..."
    "... "The THAAD decision did not follow any proper procedure. No effort has been made for dialogue with residents," said Ha Joo-hee, an attorney at Lawyers for a Democratic Society, an advocacy group composed of liberal lawyers. ..."
    "... Yet bet NATO wouldn't be happy. The entire 'containment' policy towards Beijing rests on the surrounding states being hostile to/ scared of China. Already SE Asia has all but 'fallen' (from a western viewpoint), what remains is Japan and SK. Detente? God forbid! ..."
    "... According to US MSM the Chinese are totally on board and only have moved troops to bolster the border and help the US. And Russia and China really aren't conducting military exercises together. ..."
    "... This constant mistranslated rhetoric and literally putting of words into foreign leaders mouths is of course one aspect of the western propaganda arm. Even when the headline or text of the article is updated, corrected or removed the meat of it remains in social media like Facebook. ..."
    "... I do know more than a few Koreans firsthand pissed off at US army personnel behaviour though. Perhaps that can be channelled into meaningful change. They tell me that the impunity from judicial retribution plays a big role in the anger. Certain bases in Japan have had similar problems (I get the sense it cause more anger there though unfortunately). Perhaps this is just the views of a few people I talk to in SK though. ..."
    "... What is real Russian position on this WWIII POTENTIAL STANDOFF. NK only one condemned attack on Syria while if what I hear is true, they want NK disarmed even in face of open US aggression. Also China if awfully quiet while repeating thirty year old equitable solution rejected by US that never looked for any solutions but domination. What's going on? ..."
    "... Don't know about Russia but I have some thoughts re. China. Xi made it clear to Donald that China would support Kim if NK is attacked i.e WW3. ..."
    "... Wikileaks, Podesta email about the Hillary Clinton speech for Goldman Sachs "We don't want a unified Korean Peninsula" because China, not the U.S., would naturally dominate it. The U.S. will do everything it can to prevent reunification. ..."
    "... Would that be Judith Miller, perhaps, or possibly just a hero/role model ? ;) One perfectly reasonable phrase comes to mind, ' Subsequent to good faith negotiations & actual, guarantees '. ..."
    Apr 17, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 9:18:34 AM | 1

    Isnt it amazing, the media in the west will always (ALWAYS!) be there for western nations when they want to wage a war, year after year. And then they say that we, who protest and expose them we are somehow the propagandists and disinformation agents?!

    As b show, North Korea is the rational, but no one in our "free" western media brings these fact up.

    No wonder western populations dont have any faith in their states and media.

    I really hope North Korea put an end to this by standing tall, the pathetic China have backed away apparently..

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 9:30:57 AM | 2
    Bravo b. Bravo.

    Another key consideration from a strategic military perspective, re the massive extensive military 'exercises' by US/SK annually is such can and have been used historically in war to create a sense of routine & normalcy, so if the Nth should be complacent, and its been going on for decades, a surprise attack can be launched and have devastating effects, even thought the Nth is on 'annual' 'alert'.

    Maintaining heightened readiness, to Stand To! , stand ready for an attack, especially daily before dawn and prior to & after sunset, bayonets fixed, eye-peeled, adrenaline pumping, day after day, when the extended 'exercises' run, year after year after year is very difficult psychologically for the troops involved, corrosive of morale and discipline, and the Empire is very cognizant of this indeed.

    Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14, 2017 9:50:19 AM | 3
    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 9:18:34 AM | 1

    I really hope North Korea put an end to this by standing tall, the pathetic China have backed away apparently..

    China doesn't have the option of backing away because a North Korea threatened by AmeriKKKa is also a China threatened by AmeriKKKa. I hope Trump knows what he's doing because the Chinese most certainly do know what they're doing.

    Jeff Kaye | Apr 14, 2017 10:04:05 AM | 4
    Thank you, b!

    The pressure to capitulate to the US government on this issue is immense. The propaganda relentless. For over 64 years the American people have been living the Big Lie.

    The oozing sore of a Cold War that never ended, that was really a Hot War for millions, now threatens to metastasize into Total War. I cannot see how this ends well for any of us, mainly due to the intransigence and irrationality of the US ruling class, who do not care how much blood they shed.

    BRF | Apr 14, 2017 10:07:06 AM | 5
    The USA as representing western elites have never signed off on the Korean War as a truce and cessation of hostilities but not a peace treaty is the current situation. This war continues and is being pursued by other means, mainly financial and with sanctions, by the west and its South Korean proxies.

    The imposition of a state of tension by the west is all the west seems capable of with the result in the current situation and any time a solution is proposed that could lead to a lessening of tensions the west either sabotages or outright rejects the initiative.

    This on going policy by the west is of course aimed at its geo-political adversaries in China and Russia as allies of the North Korean nation. The only fix that I can see is an economic collapse in the west that leads to a pull back from western imperial outposts as they become too expensive to maintain. This can only take place with the demise of the Federal Reserve Note (USD) as the world reserve currency which is printable in any amount the western elites desire in maintaining their grip and domination through imperial dictate over the rest of the world. End this financial death grip and the rest follows very very quickly.

    Mark Stoval | Apr 14, 2017 10:11:29 AM | 6
    No small country is safe from the evil empire (USA) if they don't have nuclear weapons. Witness what happened to Iraq (and others) who had no weapons of mass destruction. (even though USA claimed they did)

    The USA has always believed the myth that WW2 saved the economy from the Great Depression and that the country would have slide back into depression without a war to fight --- hence the cold war and all the CIA wars ever since. Then came the "destroy the middle east" for the sake of Israel. (or oil or whatever)

    The USA remains today the greatest impediment to world peace that there is. The USA may set off nuclear war and the destruction of all civilization at some point.

    God help us all.

    stumpy | Apr 14, 2017 10:13:43 AM | 7
    Dead on, b.

    If you parse Obama's Nobel prize acceptance speech he hints at the theoretical model he used to cut off chances for peace anywhere. With China's premiere in the room, no less.

    Let me also say this: the promotion of human rights cannot be about exhortation alone. At times, it must be coupled with painstaking diplomacy. I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach - and condemnation without discussion - can carry forward a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.

    Effing liar. America offers the choice of an open door to North Korea? Ha. We like our indignation without cream and sugar, to maximize purity.

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 10:15:53 AM | 8
    Hoarsewhisperer

    There is no other way to declare that China have backed off, otherwhise we wouldn't see this preparation for war by Trump that came after his big China meeting last week.

    China will sure remember this idiot stance they have taken when the wars begin, after North Korea, China will be in the cross-hair themselves.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 10:22:50 AM | 9
    @ Posted by: Jeff Kaye | Apr 14, 2017 10:04:05 AM | 4

    All honor & respect to you Invictus , for daunting, tireless & seemingly endless endeavor. Deepest & abiding respect indeed, Sir/Madam. Wishing you & yours safety & joy this Easter. ' Vale, Pax Tecum '.

    Ronak | Apr 14, 2017 10:31:30 AM | 10
    I still wonder why China stayed away from Syria with no talk of supporting Russia. This is/was a golden chance to show solidarity, in my opinion. Both NK and Pakistan are Chinese partners and nuclear powers. With MOAB in Afghanistan and forces around NK, this is a clear message to China. Is China setting a classic trap militarily or they just choosing to fight economically or otherwise? Somehow, Chinese reaction does not add up.
    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 10:35:14 AM | 11
    Chinese way of rebuking Trump
    "On the Korean Peninsula issue, it is not the one who espouses hasher rhetoric or raises a bigger fist that will win," Wang said.

    It is utmost stupidity. Trump is parking US war ships in reach of North Korea, Russia and China. Now he depends on them not to do anything.

    Lysander | Apr 14, 2017 10:39:27 AM | 12
    If you ever ask a local jingoist to list all the countries attacked by North Korea vs a comparable USA list, you will illicit blank stares, followed by anger, followed by the suggestion you go live in North Korea. Putin's analogy of chess with a pigeon comes to mind.
    @ 8, China does not care about the current leadership of North Korea at all. Their concern is to keep US forces no closer to the Chinese border than they are now, and that they will do.

    If Trump actually is dumb enough to strike, the Chinese will happily stand by and watch him hang himself. Just as promised at Mar-a-Lago.

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 10:48:53 AM | 14
    Lysander

    +1 on that.
    Actually what you are describing is the average westerner today (although, perhaps the average westerner is a jingoist today), they are indoctrinated every day by by the MSM, they have no idea whats going on in the world, its so tragic when you try to explain world events and they always react like you said, anger, hate, accuations etc.

    stumpy | Apr 14, 2017 11:11:39 AM | 15
    Trump throwing stones at the mother of all hornet nests. Wonder what this all does for Samsung and Hyundai stock prices.
    james | Apr 14, 2017 11:28:04 AM | 16
    thanks b... many good comments already too! thanks folks.. @12 lysander - bang on example of how ignorant most folks remain.. why is the usa here there and everywhere on the planet where their war machines? answer - they are the planets most warmongering nation, hands down..
    WorldBLee | Apr 14, 2017 11:38:51 AM | 18
    Good article, b. This is extremely relevant yet almost never discussed in the US. North Korea is said to be "crazy", and is treated as some kind of rabid, non-human country that threatens the US. Of course, the opposite is more true.

    It's important to note that every country that disagrees with the US is called crazy. Al-Assad is a "butcher", an "animal", a "dictator who kills his own people". Every time the US wants regime change they first vilify the leader of said country to turn him into a non-human entity that should be feared and loathed. This self-justifies the impending destruction of the country, which after all happened "for its own good."

    Tobin Paz | Apr 14, 2017 11:59:34 AM | 19
    If I told you ten years ago that the defacto American diplomat to North Korea Dennis Rodman would get kicked out of the country for getting drunk and taking a shit in a Pyongyang hotel; and that WWE hall of famer and reality TV star Donald Trump would threaten to attack North Korea as POTUS... would you have believed me?
    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 12:02:37 PM | 20
    Chinese FM earlier today said 'war might come to Korea any time now', basically, US and allies could attack Korea and we wont do aynthing about it, what a corrupt nature they are show off now, disgusting.
    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 12:13:11 PM | 21
    The Huge Moron has got himself into a situation now where China is mediating between the US and Korea.
    likklemore | Apr 14, 2017 12:19:51 PM | 22
    Kudos b putting this together. That was some digging.

    Here is my 2 dumb questions: will the person who did the tallying of the MOAB taking out the 36 in Afghanistan be sent to NK for a similar task? Not to be crass, but given it was the "mother of all bombs" should the Pentagon folks not be embarrassed to release the count? KROI.

    China warns, and this from Her Majesty's paper, The Telegraph.co.uk with video interview:
    LINK

    "World 'on the brink of thermo-nuclear war', as North Korea mulls test that could goad Trump"

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Trump, as we have observed, does not enjoy being goaded - fights back when he is accused of having small hands.

    And Kim Jong-Un? Well never mind.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Wish all abundant blessings this Easter. We may not see 2018.

    Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14, 2017 12:25:07 PM | 23
    Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 10:15:53 AM | 8

    Imo, the main reason AmeriKKKa is threatening Korea at this time is because Xi scared them, and their freedom of navigation charade, out of the South China Sea. And now they're adding blackmail to the provocation by putting NK between them. It's cowardly and stupid, which is why I said I hope Trump knows what he's doing, because it doesn't look that way to me.

    A violent conflict in NK will create a NK refugee problem which, as history illustrates, is AOK with AmeriKKKans but no-one else.
    And if Xi has scared AmeriKKKa once, he can do it again.

    likklemore | Apr 14, 2017 12:26:43 PM | 24
    and linked in the article is Democratic-Leader Pelosi 's tweet:

    President Trump's escalation on Syria, Saber-Rattling on North Korea Necessitate Immediate Congressional Scrutiny

    ~ ~ ~ ~
    somewhat late after Congress abandoned it's war powers to the past 4 presidents.

    Greg Bacon | Apr 14, 2017 12:33:42 PM | 25
    Why is NK our problem?

    NK has seen what happens when nations give up their WMD's Iraq got invaded and Saddam first tortured, then hanged. Libya got smashed and Qaddafi got a bayonet up his arse.

    Now Syria is in the cross-hairs, with much of the nation in ruins, close 500K dead, millions more wounded and millions more homeless, with Assad being fitted for a hemp necktie.

    So why should Kim give up his nukes, where's the benefit?

    GoraDiva | Apr 14, 2017 12:36:48 PM | 26
    For anyone even marginally interested in the issue of NK vs SK - please take time to listen to this interview - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba3dgDUtE9A (actually, 2 2-hr interviews).

    Historian Bruce Cumings looks way back in trying to explain the peninsula and its troubles. One point he makes is that the Korean war gave Truman a perfect excuse to expand the military and set up the national security complex. One thing he does not say is that US likely has zero interest in defusing the conflict - lest they'd have to leave the area.

    fastfreddy | Apr 14, 2017 12:47:00 PM | 28
    Trump is not a huge moron. He is an actor - pretending to be a moron for his moron fan club. He is very convincing. Superb acting. Terrific. An Armada of Stagecraft. Unfortunately, his moronic behavior leads to moronic and zany consequences.

    I'm now wondering how much worse the Known Entity - the Murderous Bloody Hillary could have been. Trump is a bull in a China Shop.

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 12:49:02 PM | 29
    Hoarsewhispet

    IMO, if anyone it is Trump that have "scared" the chinese or rather baited the Chinese with good trade deals and have got the word from the chinese that they wont rescue NK nor attack US if US feel like attacking NK. This is why Trump acting so tough now, he know China+UN+EU+Nato will support his coming war.

    E Ring 46Z Vet | Apr 14, 2017 12:51:46 PM | 30
    b, this occasion, your writing is very one-sided. You left out (as did all the commentators to this moment) the decades of brinksmanship by NK, demanding as much as $50 million annually from all the presidents prior to Bush 43, including oil shipments.

    Consider this: (who ever is in charge of the WH now or last time, etc.) does not matter as much as "perhaps" that entire region, and the multiple layers of MIC/Deep State folks/their proxies in Congress in the USA, are finally fed up with the brinksmanship for cash to keep that guy's family and supporters in power, and now that NK lunatic has raised the anti to the nuke level (thanks Bill for helping them out there in the 1990's)... it looks like the Pentagon will work the decisions at their level as we now see in real-time.

    I served a recent tour there. "Ready to Fight Tonight" is not just a motto with South Korea. They have lived it since 1953 and they are really tired of it.

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 1:00:32 PM | 31
    30

    Could you rephrase your whole chunk of text, it makes no sense, US dont "pay" North Korea anything and the lunatic is not in NorthKorea but in the White House allied with your dear South Koreans.

    GoraDiva | Apr 14, 2017 1:03:41 PM | 33
    @30
    You've likely absorbed too much MCM (c - corporate) reporting; for a more complex understanding of the subject, pls listen to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba3dgDUtE9A - that is you're interested in learning, as opposed to just repeating MCM talking points.
    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 1:08:11 PM | 34
    @ Posted by: E Ring 46Z Vet | Apr 14, 2017 12:51:46 PM | 30

    Respectfully, your comments are very one-sided, and you appear to be profoundly ignorant of the entire genesis of the Korean v US conflict and the motivations and conduct of involved parties since the days of the Kuomintang (KMT), Chiang Kai-shek, in the Chinese Civil War starting in 1940 but especially US actions from Sept 1946 and 1949 onward, as well as relevant USSR/Chinese involvement.

    Should you be interested there is significant detail in posts re 'Forgotten & buried History' of which you may be oblivious in the last three threads posts, or not.

    If you served in SK, ' Ready to Fight Tonight ', then why did you not bother to actually learn something of the Korean history, if only the last 70 years, with you and your buddies lives 'on the line', as opposed to merely regurgitating 'kool-aid' propaganda & misinformation ?

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 1:32:44 PM | 37
    And while we are studying this, the empire is making more plans.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-usa-mattis-idUSKBN17G1C1
    U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Qatar and Djibouti starting on Tuesday, the Pentagon said in a statement on Friday.

    It said Mattis would "reaffirm key U.S. military alliances," and "discuss cooperative effort to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terror organizations" during the April 18-23 tour. In Israel, he will hold talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the statement said.
    .......

    Syria? or Iran? When the above group talk about terrorist organizations they are talking Hezbollah. It is starting to look like the US is about to launch a two front war. Korea/China, Middle East/Russia.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 1:33:11 PM | 38
    @ Posted by: From The Hague | Apr 14, 2017 1:20:25 PM | 36

    Have been involved in detailed discussions that have carried thru the last three threads re Korea covering from 1940, to the critical events of Sept 1945, then thru to 1949 and just as important 1949 onwards, PRECEDING the Korean War of '50 ... many extracts, numerous links/sources/references, from multiple participating posters. Hm, suppose start around here:

    b | Apr 14, 2017 1:33:38 PM | 39
    @E Ring 46Z Vet

    I you come here for "neutral" piece that give equal weight and view to all sides you are in the wrong place. No author does that anyway and there are mountains to read that always highly endorse the U.S. side on each and every issue. I am not from the States and have a way more neutral view than you will find in your media. But I am not one sided. I have my moral position, my conscience and I follow it. I know what the U.S. has done to Korea - unnecessarily and for what I consider nefarious reasons.

    I also know that the claim NoKo was "demanding as much as $50 million annually from all the presidents prior to Bush 43, including oil shipments." is stupidly wrong.

    It was only Clinton who made a deal with NoKo which included for the U.S. side the delivery of oil and grain and the building of two civil nuclear reactors in North Korea. North Korea, in exchange, was to stop all nuclear work it had proceeded with including its own building of civil reactors which it urgently needed for electricity. It was a deal. Both side got something out of it.

    It was Clinton who broke that deal. It was Clinton who never delivered on his promises. The delivery of oil and grain was slow and ended early. Only the foundations of the reactors were build (by North Korea). No components were delivered. Bush only officially ended the deal Clinton had already renegaded on.

    chump change | Apr 14, 2017 1:39:08 PM | 40
    "demanding as much as $50 million annually from all the presidents prior to Bush 43"

    Should take lessons from Israel and demand 3 Bil. 50 mil is chump change. How much do you think these annual maneuvers cost? More to the point, isn't it interesting that the US's war budget is practically unlimited, while money spent on peace is always too much.

    You probably support tax cuts for oligarchs while bitching about money squandered upon the poor, homeless and ill.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 1:41:42 PM | 41
    Followup to #38

    Also very highly recommend the following article and embedded links/references re Korea and consequences/issues surrounding detailed expert factual analysis re possible war here:

    Posted by: Outraged | Apr 12, 2017 8:38:58 PM | 248, 'Is There A New U.S. Syria Policy? Is There One At All?' thread. Cheers.

    Skip | Apr 14, 2017 1:43:49 PM | 42
    @30

    I wonder how warm and fuzzy the USA would be if NK had 60+ years ago, devastated our population with the bloodlust described by MacArthur, yet still had 50,000 troops stationed all along the Mexican border(DMZ)with nuclear capabilities that in an instant could destroy Houston, Austin, Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles??? Somehow I hear screaming and howling coming from the bowels or our esteemed Washington overlords. Kim's behavior is no more foolish.

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 1:52:11 PM | 43
    Air China to suspend some flights to North Korea http://presstv.ir/Detail/2017/04/14/518018/Air-China-suspend-flights-North-Korea

    Well well well, this is almost getting comical, chinese show its true nature once again, what a backstabbing nation. China will be as complicit in this war on NK as Trump (and other pathetic allies). How many billion dollar deals did the stupid president get by Trump to be able to accept this tremendous blunder?

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 1:55:14 PM | 45
    Is the US going the full John McCain? China rising, pivot on Asia behind schedule. Resources Diverted back to Middle East when Obama's headchoppers threatened US oil at Erbil. More resources for the pivot on China with Russia's re entry into the world of hard power.

    At this stage, Russia was supposed to be the gas station that produced nothing. Syria should have fallen to US headchoppers. Philippines has pulled out of the pivot on China.

    Obama's leading from behind, and proxy wars largely failed. This leaves the US very short on time to take down China, plus they now have to deal with a Russia that has risen from the dead.

    So US going full John McCain to make up for time lost / ground lost through the Obama years?

    Ronak | Apr 14, 2017 1:55:59 PM | 46
    @ Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 1:32:44 PM | 37

    I still think it's a one-front war. Saudi's just formed a NATO-like Sunni force with an ex-Pakistani general as it's head. Now they have a about 20 nation force for basic ground ops and this will help Saudi's in Yemen and may be Syria especially with Pakistan's depth in recruiting regulars and non-regulars. This could not have happened without US approval, imo.

    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 1:57:01 PM | 47
    @37, Peter AU
    Syria? or Iran? When the above group talk about terrorist organisations they are talking Hezbollah.It is starting to look like the US is about to launch a two front war. Korea/China, Middle East/Russia.

    US is in no position to launch any serious military operation as of now, certainly not against Iran, not to speak about Russia. Bombing something? Sure, as long as it is stand-off weapons and no US casualties. Yet, US is under pressure to "perform" something because, as of lately things are not going too well for US in general and her military in particular. Consider all these plans a self-medication. Per China, China is not in the shape to fight US Navy as of now, not does she want to risk losing the access to US markets.

    karlof1 | Apr 14, 2017 2:08:37 PM | 48
    For those wondering what book the page is from, it's Napalm: An American Biography by Robert Neer, Belknap, 2013. Using google, enter this exactly into the search box: macarthur "biblical devastation resulted" hit search and the top result will take you to the page. (The actual url is about 4 lines, so I refrained from posting.) I do suggest reading the next several paragraphs, but they are not for the squeamish as what's described is 100% revolting. If after reading the text you cannot fathom why the North Koreans detest Americans more than anything else, then you'll make a perfect Neocon and ought to join Cheney and Co.

    Thanks b for posting that extract provided by Jeffery Kaye!

    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 2:10:57 PM | 49
    No one has forgotten the near genocide and no one in Korea, north or south, wants to repeat the experience.

    Meanwhile, overwhelming majority of US political "elite" is generally an office plankton with law or political "science" (or journalism--which is not a profession or a skill) degrees from Ivy League "humanities" departments and their comprehension of the war is limited to Hollywood. Most difficulties in life they ever experienced was, most likely, being overbooked for the first class seats on the flight to Hawaii (or any other resort).

    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 2:11:06 PM | 50
    46) Not true
    PAKISTAN'S Parliament rejected a Saudi request to dispatch troops to combat Houthi rebels in Yemen, much to the chagrin of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). When Pakistan joined the Saudi led 34 nation military alliance, Iran took offence believing itself to be the target. Pakistan thus found itself between a rock and a hard place. Stung by the sensitivities of both its friends, Pakistan has had to rethink its diplomatic overtures to maintain the right balance between Tehran and Riyadh.
    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 2:14:53 PM | 52
    @ Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 1:55:14 PM | 45

    Succinct overview recap, though very pessimistic ;)

    Its occurred to me you may not fully follow, with utmost respect, what I've referred to on occasion as: no key indicators re logistics/materiel mandatory pre-deployments with minimum ~3-6 months lead times, ONCE, a decision to go to War, or an Op that risks War breakout, any War, has been taken and formally committed to, before the War or risk 'of' Operation, can commence ?

    To do so without such pre-deployments well in advance of boots-on-the-ground, ships firing armaments or aircraft launching strikes, ie engaging in Ops that have inherent escalation to War risk, virtually guarantees failure and defeat should a War subsequently breakout ... Lieutenants study tactics, Field officers/Commanders/Generals/Admirals study logistics, to paraphrase numerous famous military commanders, especially smarmy/cheeky/insubordinate military logisticians ;)

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 2:15:00 PM | 53
    SmoothieX12 47 China is not in the shape to fight US Navy as of now

    That is a good reason for the US to act now. Look up the Rand Corp report - Thinking the Unthinkable. Report finance by the pentagon as a military strategy for taking down China.

    In the report, if the US acts now, they have a good chance. In five years time it will it will be 50/50 and in ten year it is all over for the US. By then China will be militarily superior or at a point when any US force projection against China will be totally destroyed very quickly.

    Rand report here. I had the title wrong in earlier posts. PDF can be read online or downloaded from the Rand Corp link
    Thinking Through The Unthinkable http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1140.html

    Monolycus | Apr 14, 2017 2:27:04 PM | 54
    Thank you, E Ring 46Z Vet @#30 for that.

    I still read this blog from time to time, but this very issue is why I almost never comment anymore. North Korea is to the Left as Israel is to the Right, and it infuriates me. The decades of kidnapping foreign nationals, hijacked planes, international assassination attempts-- basically 70 years of deliberate destabilization and human rights abuses are all justified because... "America" spelled any various number of ways is eeeeeeeevil.

    I live in South Korea and have for the past 15 years. I posted a story here in 2012, shortly after Kim Jong-un came to power, about a defector badmouthing North Korea. B chastised me for believing such propaganda and responded with a linked story about how Kim Jong-un had created an agricultural revolution resulting in a surplus of crops that year and was a hero as a result of it. I am in South Korea.

    Kim Jong-un had been in power for less than a year. The time of year was very, very early Spring and the ground in South Korea was still frozen and no crops of any sort had been planted at all, so I know they could not possibly have been planted yet in the north. Yet I was the one believing in baseless propaganda. There's just no way to have any rational debate when the subject is as sacred a cow to the residents here as North Korea is. You'll catch abuse for your comment daring to suggest any culpability whatsoever for poor, innocent bystander North Korea, but I wanted to reassure you that there do exist a small minority of us who appreciated what you had to say.

    karlof1 | Apr 14, 2017 2:28:49 PM | 55
    The conclusion from a review of the book by SF Gate: "Neer has provided a valuable book that fills in historical gaps and sheds much-needed light on a history that many would rather forget ." [Emphasis mine] http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/Napalm-by-Robert-M-Neer-4377836.php

    The #1 reason the Outlaw US Empire gets away with its continuation of massive crimes against humanity is that its citizenry is mostly ignorant--made so purposefully--of the history that matters and are today's equivalent of "Good Germans."

    However, that doesn't excuse the remainder of the planet's citizenry from demanding an end to the criminal actions of the Rogue United States.

    Ronak | Apr 14, 2017 2:29:12 PM | 56
    @ Posted by: somebody | Apr 14, 2017 2:11:06 PM | 50

    Thanks for the link.

    This rejection was a while ago, 2015 or so? Or was there a new one after the general was given the top post? I had assumed things have changed since.

    Anyways, cornering Iran is the goal that the US/Israel trying to accomplish, at least from reading the pattern of activities. Slippery slope indeed.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 2:35:49 PM | 57
    @ Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 2:15:00 PM | 52

    Thought scenario ... US launches attacks and starts War with China, no virtually 'non-concealable' 6 month mandatory preparation lead-time ... however unlikely, events don't go well for PLA ... China assesses at risk of conventional defeat ... however unlikely, no possibility to continue to conventionally resist or recover for an extended conventional conflict or guerilla campaign... fires a demonstration tactical nuke (no casualties) to send a message re de-confliction/de-escalation, or else ... US either stands down or its MAD. Game Over.

    Alternately US just goes MAD straight up and risks it all with a supposed surprise First Strike (highly improbable to adequately conceal) ... only a few Sino nukes make it to Stateside, yet enough to wipe out 80Million+ instantly and same number in initially non-KIA casualties of varying degrees plus turn to 'glass' half a dozen major cities ... well armed citizens response/reaction to their new post-apocalyptic lives of joy & happiness ?

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 2:45:17 PM | 58
    53 / Monolycus

    Thanks for proving how well the South Korean state propaganda work, you are basically calling for war against your own country (or perhaps you are not even a native korean?) and your own people, and you are calling people here crazy?

    Yonatan | Apr 14, 2017 2:47:10 PM | 59
    The 'Big Event' that Kim Jong Un boasted of, and had 'everyone' paralyzed in fear of nuke tests - the grand opening of a new mass residential area in Pyongyang.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxPw26MeviQ

    As others have stated, this whole mess is yet another US creation - the consequence of a 'nukes for oil' deal that the US reneged on - NK would cease nuke development in exchange for eased sanctions.

    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 2:47:13 PM | 60
    Posted by: Ronak | Apr 14, 2017 2:29:12 PM | 55

    Dated April 14, 2017

    Another fresh link - 17 hours ago

    ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday assured the National Assembly that Pakistan would not become part of any alliance against a Muslim state.

    Responding to a calling attention notice, he said that the terms of reference (TOR) of the Saudi-led military alliance would be unveiled by Saudi authorities next month.

    He said that the TOR of the alliance, which is to be led by former Chief of the Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif, and its aims and objectives will be presented in parliament before formally deciding whether Pakistan should become part of it or not.

    "We have committed to safeguarding Saudi Arabia's soil for the safety and sanctity of the two holy sites - Makkah and Medina - but we will not become part of any conflict against any Muslim state, including Iran," the defence minister said, responding to the notice moved by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Dr Shireen Mazari.

    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 2:56:20 PM | 61
    add to 59

    Egypt's cooperation is not that safe either

    In Libya, the three states seem to be in lock step, supporting Khalifa Haftar, for example. In Palestine, a theatre long abandoned by the Arab leaders, Cairo has a deep-seated interest and is backing the anti-Hamas Mohammed Dahlan, who is also very close with the ruling family in the UAE.

    In Yemen, the Egyptian regime has announced its plan to maintain its limited presence, although Cairo's unwillingness to expand this presence is another source of disagreement with Riyadh.

    The issue on which there is the most daylight between Cairo and Riyadh, however, is the most significant conflict affecting the region today: the Syrian war.

    While Riyadh has backed forces opposed to the regime since the outset, Cairo has moved from a position of ambivalence to open support for the regime.

    ...

    Although rumblings of an Egyptian military presence in Syria have not been substantiated, Egyptian rhetoric and diplomatic efforts have firmly supported Assad. Most recently, Cairo abstained from a key vote in a UN Security Council resolution that would have imposed sanctions on the Syrian government, no doubt to the displeasure of the Saudis.

    This position is more consistent with the Egyptian regime's outlook; Sisi rose to power on an anti-Islamist platform and is waging a war against a small scale insurgency in the Sinai. The Trump administration's policy goals in the region seem to align with Sisi's vision of supporting authoritarian regimes against Islamists. This agenda puts both Trump and Sisi into Assad's camp.

    For this reason, it seems that Sisi's dream of a joint Arab military force will not materialise anytime soon, at least not with joint Egyptian and Saudi participation.

    Without agreement on Syria, this endeavor to unify Arab governments under his leadership is dead on arrival, as the Syrian conflict is currently the most significant security threat.

    b | Apr 14, 2017 3:03:08 PM | 62
    The link to the book extract in the post which @karlof1 provided. The book is Napalm: An American Biography by Robert Neer, Belknap, 2013

    The linked pages following the one above are about the extremely cruel effects of Napalm as used in Korea.

    Yonatan | Apr 14, 2017 3:03:41 PM | 63
    Karlof1 @48, @54

    The US laid a similar (though smaller scale) trail of destruction in Germany at the end of WWII.

    The development of napalm specifically to target civilians ties in the testing of the two US nuclear weapons in Japan. The Japanese target cities were left untouched by conventional air raids throughout, even though they contained valid military targets such a torpedo production plants.

    The occupants were so used to seeing US planes pass them by without ill effect, that on the fateful day they stood out in the open watching the planes pass by as normal or so they thought. The two attacks - for different designs of weapon - were designed to test and calibrate the effects of nuclear weapons on undamaged cities and unprotected civilians. They were actual medical and physical experiments on real people.

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 3:04:29 PM | 64
    @ outraged

    I have been giving your posts a lot of consideration. How to tie the logistics and so forth lead time, to what we are seeing take place?
    create major incident, congress quickly votes for war?

    Can the US deploy faster than we have seen in the past? Most US wars since WWII have been wars of choice, done at leisure, in a time and place of US choosing.

    The difference between now and all the years since WWII, through the cold war and so forth is that the US has very little time left. In trying to think how the US is acting different now to the past, or actually dig up solid points I would probably point to MH17. With MH17 Australia, one of the five eyes gladly sacrificed some people for empire. That shook me. The evidence was the same as the crap dossier on Assad gassing his own people, yet not a word of protest out of any Australian politician.

    The US now have total and complete control over all its vassal. The US can now say and do anything, no matter how obvious, and the bobble heads as Putin calls them, just bobble their heads in agreement.

    I think what we will see in the next few years will be much different to the last 70 or so years. If the US does nothing, it will start to collapse as the power of the dollar is eroded by other currencies taking up market share.

    I believe US will act, and that means taking down China as China is currently the number one threat to the US. China simply continuing the way it is, manufacturing, trading ect will take down the US.

    The US is going to war. Much thought and training going into fighting peer, or near peer adversary. At the same time, China and Russia are working to prevent the US from going to war.

    What you have said about lead time does have to be taken into account to try and work out US strategy. Does the US need another Pearl Harbour to get its population on a war footing for the coming war with China? Sink a few useless aircraft carriers, similar to battleships being sunk at Pearl harbour when WWII was a aircraft carrier war and battle ships were largely obsolete?


    US think tanks like Brookings and Rand. Fronts for the 0.01% ? US policy roughly follows the lines put out by these type think tanks.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 3:06:51 PM | 65
    @ Monolycus

    If you truly earnestly believe:

    The decades of kidnapping foreign nationals, hijacked planes, international assassination attempts-- basically 70 years of deliberate destabilization and human rights abuses are all justified because...

    following on from the defeat of Japan at end WWII occurred without any similar actions prior to, concurrent with and subsequent to events of the Korean War, and the issues are purely of Left & Right 'isms', not basic matters of Humanity, then frankly, you're viewpoint/position is wilfully documented counter-factual, IMHO. Have seen no 'abuse' as you assert.

    You live in SK ? Respectfully, please enlighten us as to the history of the island of Jeju from Sept 1945 thru to today, as an example, maybe comment on the abandoned truth & reconciliation inquiries/compensation and the persisting existing community divisions thru to this day, hm ?

    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 3:14:00 PM | 66
    @52, Peter AU
    That is a good reason for the US to act now.

    From US point of view--absolutely. US establishment, yet again, thinks that it can control escalation. Conventionally, North Korea is a punching bag. But I also would be very careful with any (I underscore--any) supposedly "reputable" US analytical source assessments of anyone. Overwhelming empirical evidence testifies to the fact that often they have no idea what they are talking about.

    ronny | Apr 14, 2017 3:16:05 PM | 67
    Kim Jong-un orders evacuation of Pyongyang: report

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered 25 percent of Pyongyang residents to leave the city immediately, according to a Russian news outlet on Friday. The Pravda report said that in accordance with the order, 600,000 people should be urgently evacuated.

    http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170414000689

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 3:25:30 PM | 68
    @ Peter AU
    If the US does nothing, it will start to collapse as the power of the dollar is eroded by other currencies taking up market share.

    Stepping back from fundamental military strategy/necessities ...

    If China/Russia were facing imminent War, then they would very probably dump all US reserves and Treasury Bonds first, and pre-emptively trigger economic collapse & rout. Unless it's MAD first strike stuff, where is the industrial and manufacturing base of the US/UK to sustain and win a 'Total War' ? Russia/China/Iran/NK are all militarily self-sufficient ... long-term sanctions do that, somewhat self-defeating, no ?

    IF the US collapses without War occurring, the 0.01% driving this will have already relocated in advance to, New Zealand or Iceland, etc ? To live lives of luxury, whilst purchasing collapsed US corporations for pennies on the dollar, perhaps, and wait for the investment to mature, maybe ? Ruthless bastards, citizens of the world ;)

    Yet, mistakes & miscalculations can occur unintentionally when even only a sustained 'strategy of tension' goes on and on ...

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 3:31:49 PM | 69
    Another thing to consider now when looking at US actions... US have pinned all their hopes for military dominance on the F-35. Thirty years of R&D, a trillion dollars, and all they have produced is a flying scrapyard. The F-22 is a top aircraft, but they scrapped production to concentrate all resources on the F-35. I read not long ago that production of upgraded Super Hornets is about to kick off again.

    The F-35 has put the US too far behind. By the time they have designed and produced another 5th gen or later version aircraft, it will be all over for the US.

    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 3:37:12 PM | 70
    53/monolycos It is possible your opinion is not shared by South Koreans

    2003, report for congress South Korean Politics and Rising "Anti-Americanism": Implications for U.S. Policy Toward North Korea

    These shifts in the South Korean polity, particularly the rise in anti-Americanism, confront the Bush Administration with a policy dilemma: how to manage the U.S.-ROK alliance while pursuing a more confrontational approach toward North Korea than that favored by many, if not most, South Koreans.
    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 3:40:15 PM | 71
    You make good points Outraged. Will wait and watch, but I have a bad feeling that comes from a lot of small, on their own, seemingly inconsequential events/moves.
    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 3:41:39 PM | 72
    add to 69
    Opinion polls taken over the past few years generally have found that large majorities of respondents favor a partial or total withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea, though most holding this position say they favor a drawdown unless there are improvements in North-South Korean relations; few favor an outright withdrawal.
    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 3:41:41 PM | 73
    @68, Peter AU
    The F-35 has put the US too far behind.

    It is not just F-35, it is a combination of factors of strategic, technological and operational nature. Take a look at LCS program or at the cost of SSBN Ohio-class replacement--a single hull for $8.1 billion. This is more than Russia spent on all 8 of her latest state-of-the-art SSBNs of Borey-class (Project 955, 955A)--3 afloat, 5-in different stages of readiness.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 3:42:31 PM | 74
    Followup to 67
    The US is going to war. Much thought and training going into fighting peer, or near peer adversary.

    "The US is going to war. Much thought and training going into fighting peer, or near peer adversary. " Do not see substantive evidence of the former, yet. Re the latter, other than neo-con/lib chickenhawk warmongers and detached from facts/reason/competent analysis & reality stink-tanks, again, see no evidence other than endless PR and rabid rhetoric, MSM abetted.

    Have you seen the most recent data/reports on DOD readiness levels, it's not a pleasant read if you're a jingoistic warmonger ... would argue, short version, the opportunity existed prior to 2001, maybe even as late as 2004-2006 at a pinch ... since then, and now, the window has closed and the opportunity lost ... the vassals you refer to have been as suborned as they are now since the late '40's, they just are now led by such incompetents that they don't have the sense to conceal that they are, bought & paid for, bobbleheads. Yet, they are good time opportunists and no guarantee of staying the course should it come to a potential WWIII, see Germany/Italy/etc ...

    Ike | Apr 14, 2017 3:50:58 PM | 75
    Thanks for a great article. It is so good to read truthful information and not the propaganda bullshit the MSM saturates us with.
    If more people read this the outrage would force the fascist US government to back off.
    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 3:51:40 PM | 76
    And again,

    US successfully test drops nuclear gravity bomb in Nevada https://reportuk.org/2017/04/14/breaking-us-successfully-test-drops-nuclear-gravity-bomb/

    Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14, 2017 3:56:35 PM | 77
    Of passing interest...according to CGTN World Today, April 15, China and Russia's foreign ministers spoke by telephone on Friday to discus stability on the Korean Peninsula.
    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 4:03:27 PM | 78
    @ Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14, 2017 3:56:35 PM | 76

    Who knows, maybe NK will be rehabilitated, as is, and accepted back into the Russia/China 'Axis', openly, as for the then USSR/ChiCom 'Axis' pre and during the Korean war ? After all, given the insane and surreal rabid propaganda in western MSM, what difference would it make re supposed 'image' in the eyes of the supposed 'International Community' (US/UK/Israhell & good time vassals) ... any ?

    karlof1 | Apr 14, 2017 4:06:09 PM | 79
    Peter AU--

    Perhaps the most important yet neglected fact related to the build-up for war with China is the lack of preparing the ignorant US citizenry via the sort of dehumanization campaign waged at Islam/Muslims. Heck, just the great preference for Chinese food makes such a campaign more than difficult--the Yellow Peril proclamations of the past long ago ceased to resonate. Plus, I'll certainly echo Outraged's point about USA lacking the required industrial capacity and raw material for any such war other than MAD versus China/Russia. One of the main reasons the Lead From Behind strategy was adopted along with using terrorist proxies to destabilize Russia/China is because of that rather stark reality.

    Yonatan @62--

    Thanks for your reply. Napalm was developed at Harvard and the book was published by one of Harvard's publishing houses. Given its current attitude, I bet Harvard would now call its own published work Fake News, and disallow it from classrooms while removing it from libraries.

    Monolycus--

    The following extracts are from Australian National University Professor Gavan McCormack's Target Korea: Pushing North Korea To The Brink of Nuclear Catastrophe and detail just which side did most of the murdering:

    "At the outbreak of war in 1950, one of the first acts of the [South Korean] Rhee regime was to order the execution of political prisoners, whose deaths were in due course attributed to atrocities by the incoming Northern forces...Declassified U.S. documents indicated that `more than 2,000' political prisoners were executed without trial in the early weeks, hundreds of them were taken out to sea from the port of Pohang and shot, their bodies dumped overboard...Throughout the country, according to Gregory Henderson, then a U.S. Embassy official in Seoul and later a prominent historian of Korea, probably over 100,000 people were killed without trial or legal warrant. Investigations into all this have scarcely begun...

    "When Seoul was recaptured by U.S. and South Korean forces perhaps as many as 29,000 Koreans were executed on suspicion of collaboration with the North...The occupation of Pyongyang and many other cities and villages above the 38th parallel [by South Korean forces] was characterized by atrocities...According to one estimate, 150,000 people were executed or kidnapped...

    "The official U.S. Army report at the end of the [Korean] war gave 7,334 as the figure for civilian victims of North Korean atrocities, a small fraction of those now known to have been executed by [government of South Korean leader] Rhee in the first moments of the war alone...

    "...The Taejon Massacre...became the centerpiece of the U.S. case for North Korean brutality...A U.S. Army report on the massacre, including graphic photographs, was published around the world in October 1953...
    "At Taejon, a town of about 160 kilometers south of Seoul, a massacre undoubtedly occurred...

    "...It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the most brutal North Korean atrocity in the South was actually a Southern atrocity in a brutal ongoing civil war...

    "...The figure of 1,800 massacre victims was given...Somebody--presumably in either the American military or government--seems to have made the decision to turn this into a Northern massacre, the characteristic, single atrocity of the entire war. The truth seems inescapable: The worst atrocity of the war was committed by forces acting in the name of the United Nations, and a concerted effort was then made to cover it up by blaming it on the North Korean enemy...

    "...On the admission of [U.S.] General Ridgeway's Head Office, more POWs died in United Nations camps than in North Korean camps..." http://wherechangeobama.blogspot.com/2013/05/revisiting-history-of-korea-again-part-4.html?m=0

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 4:10:21 PM | 80
    Re US war manufacturing base. Where is the MIC at now? US is by far the largest manufacturer of military hardware. The assembly of the final product has not been offshored. How much do they import in the way of raw or processed materials? Steel smelting, rolling ect - Aluminium - Titanium?

    Rare earth metals required for high tech military is imported from China, North Korea has the other known large recoverable rare earth reserve. Any US war with China would most likely be a naval missile war, something along the lines of the Rand report?

    Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 4:13:54 PM | 81
    Lawrence Wilkerson, a former U.S. Army colonel: U.S. Creating New Foes, Too Many To Handle
    http://www.mintpressnews.com/former-bush-chief-staff-u-s-creating-new-foes-many-handle/225999/
    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 4:21:06 PM | 82
    Any US war with China would most likely be a naval missile war, something along the lines of the Rand report?

    China does have limited versions of both Klub-NK and Club-S, those were shorter ones until recently when China started to get her hands on actual Russian versions of such weapons as P-800 Onyx with their ranges of 660 kilometers, add here SU-35 (also in Russian configuration) and S-400, also in Russian configuration, and you have a rather interesting dynamics suddenly.

    China's very weak spot navy-wise is their submarine force, despite some good SSKs, PLAN's nuclear submarine component is atrocious--a generation or two behind what Russia and US operate. So, for now it is a mixed bag. Plus there is an issue of targeting, I don't know if Russia will make her Liana system available to China. Can China today sink US nuclear carrier? Possibly, In 5-7 years it will become not only possible but highly probable.

    karlof1 | Apr 14, 2017 4:25:05 PM | 83
    Peter AU @79--

    US MIC armament production ought to be seen/understood as MIC profitmaking scam that happens to produce few usable/battle-worthy assets. There's a very good reason for calling the USA's once mighty industrial heartland the Rust Belt--it's literally rotting away as a ride on Amtrak's Capitol Limited will testify.

    It would be far cheaper, saner and moral to obtain rare earth minerals and other goods via trade than expanding industrial capacity, instituting a military draft, outfitting such a force, then waging a war for conquest.

    b | Apr 14, 2017 4:40:02 PM | 84
    @Monolycus

    I tried for some 15 minutes to find the comment you wrote about and can not find it.

    But two remarks:

    byongjin policy ('progress in tandem' or 'move two things forward simultaneously') was developed and implemented years before Kim Jong-un came to power. He (more precise: those who are behind him) made it an official party policy and created the slogan long after the program had started. The first nuclear test in NoKo was 2006 - five years before him. The deterrence effects were already in place as well as a lessened conventional positioning, the economic trend was already positive.

    I may well have berated you about the uncritical quoting of a North Korean defector. These are notorious liars. Their income in South Korea was reported to be paid by the secret service in dependence of the media splash they create.

    There is huge amount of fake horror stories about North Korea in the South Korean (esp. Chosun Ilbo) and global press. Much of it is planted by the South Korean government. U.S. media have thankfully stopped to regurgitate most of the stories for now as too many turned out to be false .

    Kim Jong-un had his dogs maul one of his uncles?
    Stripped naked, thrown into a cage and torn apart by 120 starving dogs: How Kim Jong Un had 'scum' uncle executed
    That story ran one way or another in every bigger western media. It was false. The uncle was executed but after a (sham) trial and with guns by a regular execution command.

    North Korea hacked Sony? No it did not. It was an insider hack by a former Sony IT person. Sony made the "North Korea hack" up to escape culpability and to sell an otherwise unsellable bad movie.

    Kim Jong-un's ex-girlfriend reportedly executed by firing squad
    Bad, bad boy. But later she turns up on live TV , smiling and laughing as ever.

    Kim Jong-Un kills his half brother by having an unprotected person smear highly toxic VX in his face in a very public place in Malaysia? The person who does that gets not hurt one bit? Check the life style of his half brother - girls and drugs and rock&roll - lots of drugs and lots of alcohol. The dude much more likely had a heart infarct and the rest was made up like the other stories above.

    North Korea did and does some outrageous stuff. So did and do other countries. How many alleged "communists" and "sympathizers" did the various dictatorships in South Korea kill under U.S. tutelage? Thousands? Ten thousands? A hundredthousand at least. How many sabotage acts did they engineer in North Korea? How many were hurt by those?

    I am not blind on one eye. But the anti-NoKo propaganda is similar to the propaganda that created the war on Iraq fever. It is now even more important to look from the other side and to write that up, not just some pseudo-concerned "all sides are bad" pieces.

    Looking in vain for the old Monolycus comment I came across a piece I wrote in 2012.

    Therein I quote Tariq Ali from a piece he wrote about his 1970s visit to North Korea. This bit from the end of the piece on the U.S. position under Bush/Obama is enlightening:

    Over lunch I asked her about [the Bush administration] plans for North Korea. She was cogent. 'You haven't seen the glint in the eyes of the South Korean military,' she said. 'They're desperate to get hold of the North's nuclear arsenal. That's unacceptable.' Why? 'Because if a unified Korea becomes a nuclear power, it will be impossible to stop Japan from becoming one too and if you have China, Japan and a unified Korea as nuclear states, it shifts the relationship of forces against us.' Obama seems to agree with this way of thinking.
    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 4:40:46 PM | 85
    SmoothieX12 karlof1

    It really makes little sense what the US is up to. Are they relying on bluff and bluster to win the day? Anon1 @80 put up a good link. It is one of the things that has me worried.

    What we are seeing now, is it bluff and bluster? or is it Doolittle raid/battle of Midway type culture - US can overcome all no matter what?

    Willy2 | Apr 14, 2017 4:43:41 PM | 86
    - North Korea has some good reasons to not trust the US.

    1) In the 1990s they had a deal with the US, in which the US would supply Nort Korea with oil in return for a suspension of their nuclear program. But the US didn't deliver on theri promises.

    2) In 2003 or 2004 the US made some serious movements that did suggest that the US was preparing a MAJOR attack on North Korea. Under secretary Paul Wolfowitz also made some remarks that would suggest such a move.

    3) The G.W.Bush administration (2000-2008) deliberately increased tension with North Korea.

    From The Hague | Apr 14, 2017 4:45:58 PM | 87
    38 41 Outraged

    Thanks!
    Very relevant historical background.

    SmoothieX12 | Apr 14, 2017 4:46:09 PM | 88
    @84, Peter AU.
    What we are seeing now, is it bluff and bluster? or is it Doolittle raid/battle of Midway type culture - US can overcome all no matter what?

    Both. I am not sure that I can correctly estimate a percentage of both. Let me take a wild guess: bluster/bluff-60-65%, Doolittle--35-40%. The foundation of Pax Americana is a mythology of the "best military in the world", without this myth the whole house of cards begins to fold. It was folding with increasing speed since circa 2008 and accelerated tremendously in 2014.

    somebody | Apr 14, 2017 4:47:27 PM | 89
    Shadowbrokers just released NSA hacks for Windows Systems enabling kids to go to work over the Easter Weekend.

    NSA hacks include the Swift System.

    By the way, google "North Korean hackers" and have fun.

    Win | Apr 14, 2017 4:48:24 PM | 90
    @Monolycus

    Great that you swing by every so often. But I am not sure why you are offended when people criticise your point of view. That's what comments are for. And that's why this blog is here. To present an alternative view to mainstream lies. And just because you live in South Korea does not mean you have an objective view of the situation there. In the bigger picture, the mad dogs in the US government do all the things you mention, but no doubt because they are America they are ignored and their actions declared righteous. The agreements are historical and it was not North Korea who backed away, broke them or refused to consider them. North Korea has the tightest sanctions on earth and so b's reporting about the rationale for North Korea's actions is timely. Instead of the insidious propaganda we get from Western media. Enjoy yourself in South Korea. Just remember who invaded who there and who is causing mayhem in the rest of the world. Hint; it is not Kim Yong-Un.

    Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 5:05:51 PM | 91
    @ Peter AU

    An old saw, but a profound truism, 'No Battleplan survives first engagement with the enemy'.

    So Rands 'plan' ain't worth much ... secondly, if you go into combat/war without actually considering the enemies own moves/counters/plans/actions, then you've already lost before the first shot is fired.

    For example, the Chinese have built an autobahn grade highway which ends ~10Kms short of the China-Afghan border, they have 3 combined arms army groups including air divisions from the adjacent Western Military Region they could send over that border pass, after getting the combat engineers, sweating hard and using machinery, to finish the final stretch in a matter of hours ... the remaining army group & numerous Police divisions could secure the military region, as its isolated from potential threats other than Indian border effectively.

    Within 3-4 days forced march, worst case, they've crossed the Iran-Afghan border and the ME is toast ... concurrent and co-ordinated with similar capabilities from Russia, the ME is toast. And in conjunction with Iran free to wipeout the GCC's pathetically unprofessional non-commital 'green' 'parade only' militaries.

    What has the US got, pre-positioned to prevent it ?

    The conventional forces that NATO used to have deployed, pre-positioned and in number to defend a USSR, now RF, multi echelon armored deep penetration into EU, no longer exists ...

    The Bundeswehr is a shadow of its glory days as an armored/mechanized shield during the Cold War, now periodically ridiculed for not having sufficient MGs or ammunition to train with on joint training exercises ... War ready in 2017 ?

    The nuclear and non-nuclear subs of both sides would promptly slaughter each other in a mutual knife-fight, sudden death, whilst taking out the majority of the Carriers, US/UK/FR ... the remainder of the Carrier group escorts exist and are designed/configured to defend/protect & shield the carrier, not very useful once its at the bottom of the ocean along with all the strike aircraft, pilots, support crews and sailors ...

    @ From the Hague

    You are most welcome, a group effort.

    okie farmer | Apr 14, 2017 5:07:18 PM | 92
    link http://eng.tibet.cn/world/1481178463674.shtml
    b | Apr 14, 2017 5:21:19 PM | 93
    For those beating up on China (or applauding it) for suspending flights with NoKo.

    Air China clarifies ticket sales to blame for temporary flight cuts to Pyongyang; no suspension of services

    Jen | Apr 14, 2017 5:23:04 PM | 94
    Thanks B for the information regarding how the US and South Korea time their military maneuvers to coincide with the rice planting and harvesting periods in North Korea. I had not been aware of this before.

    Bill Clinton's offer to North Korea to supply grain and materials for building two new reactors and his later reneging on that do not surprise me at all as these are of a piece with the Clinton Foundation raising hundreds of millions for Haiti's post-quake reconstruction which in the end resulted in the construction of one factory employing 30 people making T-shirts for export. No doubt with the North Korean "offer" the Clintons got something of that.

    Also thanks to Karlof1 for being the tireless terrier that he is in hunting down the information about US-allied atrocities during the Korean War.

    I would like to pose to Monolycus and the other South Korean-based commenter the challenge of explaining how South Korea rapidly recovered from total war devastation in the early 1960s to the point where in 1988 the nation's capital could host the Summer Olympic Games. This all took place in the space of less than 30 years. If you both can do this convincingly and somehow mention Park Chunghee as an enlightened free-market democratic capitalist ideologue, rest assured I will be blown away.

    fastfreddy | Apr 14, 2017 5:33:25 PM | 95
    American Technological progress is probably stymied by the manner in which it is conducted. That is to spread contracts for hardware/software/parts among competing states via state representative congressional bag men. Wasting time and money in the process. Hoping for cost overruns and delays which increase profits. Small wonder the state-of-the-art US warplane is shit.
    Pft | Apr 14, 2017 5:41:44 PM | 96
    I'd have to question Kims sanity if he OK's a missile or nuclear test at this time. Trumps obviously a mad man trying to show how tough he is in order go terrorize countries and maybe his own citizens into submission. However, he has the means to execute the destruction. The MSM will be behind him all the way and Americans love war because God blesses them and they believe they are the good guys fighting evil and making the world safe for liberty and Democracy. American exceptionalism they call it.. The citizens as a group might be the most insane of all of these entities. Certainly the dumbest.
    james | Apr 14, 2017 5:45:36 PM | 97
    b - great responses to the naysayers here.. very informative as well. thank you..
    Jen | Apr 14, 2017 5:49:40 PM | 98
    B @ 92: I should think Air China's flight cuts are due to people suddenly cancelling flight plans after the threats made by the Trump government against Nth Korea.

    Anticipating though that if the US were to make the first move against Nth Korea, Air China's flights back and forth between China and Nth Korea are going to be very full. I believe there are some 2 million Koreans living in China (mainly in Manchuria) and many if not most of them have family in Nth Korea. Beijing must consider preparing for a refugee exodus into China's northeast provinces if there are as yet no plans.

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 5:52:13 PM | 99
    mmm... well something major is brewing. What is smoke and mirrors and deflection and what is the real US strategy?
    Syria, Korea, Mattis cooking up a plot with GCC+Isreal = Iran
    paul | Apr 14, 2017 6:40:24 PM | 101
    Wow - I'm impressed with this approach from China. But they still need to be a bit stronger about denying the US the right or the chance to attack NK. Even Russia has several times sent a fleet to Syria. China should do this to ward off the Hegemon.
    jfl | Apr 14, 2017 7:00:05 PM | 102
    @or, @p au

    interesting discussion on the likelihood of war, upcoming.

    i think certainly outraged has the 'rational' analysis of war well in hand. but i don't think that war is rational in, literally, the end.

    i think the 'smartest guys in the room' in the us are not military types, but financial types. the same guys who run the hedge funds run the 'rational analysis' and forecast the 'outcomes' of wars, purely imaginary. and they have the rest of the world backing down before the 'overwhelming' might of the us wehrmacht, though a good part of their analysis is based on their own 'funny money' based 'power', which is only as good as everyone else's willing suspension of disbelief. no 'rational actor' would not back down, they say, in double negative. they're reductionists, and their results only hold true in the very much reduced world they've disconnected, bottled, and simulate their 'trades' in.

    i think there is a very real chance that they'll take us all over the edge, especially now that they have the donald himself unequivocally - well for him - on board. we'll see, won't we?

    we won't be safe from all this until after the air has been let out of their financial balloon, for good this time, and they are no longer the 'smartest guys' in the room. and then we'll only be safe if we claim our world and install an alternative management.

    thanks b, for the excellent perspective on the ceaseless grind the us has put the peninsula under over the past six decades. i never noticed their lockstep of stress and torture with the agricultural cycle either. hades and persephone all over again. i guess it never stops.

    karlof1 | Apr 14, 2017 7:01:52 PM | 103
    Jen @94--

    Thanks much for the complement. There are two main credible reporters on the Korean War that I use: IF Stone's The Hidden History of the Korean War was published in 1952 and was excellent for its timely veracity; Bruce Cumings, recently History Chair at University of Chicago, has written extensively on Korea, and his two volume The Origins of the Korean War is the most extensive examination of the conflict. In 2010, he published a very abridged version that looks serviceable, easier to find and much less expensive. This links to a review of Stone's book in doc format, www.ais.org/~jrh/Hidden_History_of_Korean_War.doc Cumins also co-authored Inventing the Axis of Evil: The Truth about North Korea, Iran, and Syria which is short and very readable. Cumins has also examined and written about the relationship between War and Television within the USA. And here's a website containing many of IF Stone's writings, http://www.ifstone.org/index.php

    Krollchem | Apr 14, 2017 7:13:33 PM | 104
    I am amazed by the depth of the comments on Trump's military threats against North Korea (trolls excepted). I would hope that Trump is just playing Teddy Roosevelt who "carried the big stick" using the white fleet to intimidate Japan:
    http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h942.html

    Unfortunately, would appear that Trump actually wants to degrade North Korea's nuclear program using strategic bombers (B52, B-1b and B2) currently deployed at Guam (a rerun of the US attack on Iraq nuclear reactor?).
    https://reportuk.org/2017/04/14/us-defcon-nuclear-threat-warning-increased-with-north-korea-on-verge-of-war/

    The US has positioned two cruise missile carrying destroyers within 300 miles of the North Korean nuclear test site awaiting the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group including the WC-135 "nuclear sniffer" aircraft.

    U.S. Air Force has also just staged and epic Elephant Walk at Kadena Air Base Japan comprised of HH-60 Pave Hawks, F-15 Eagles, E-3 Sentries and KC-135 Stratotankers as a show of force (see Superstation95 for photos).

    In addition to the thermobaric bomb demonstration in Afghanistan, the US just tested the upgraded B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb (just linked by Anon1)

    Trump's "Big Stick" approach has led to mass movements of:

    (1) China moved 200,000 troops on the border of North Korea;

    (2) Evacuation of about 600,000civilians from Pyongyang;

    (3) Plans by Japan's National Security Council on how to evacuate its nearly 60,000 citizens from South Korea;

    (4) Lots of flights out of South Korea.

    There are reports that China has sent its submarines sent out to sea (setting on the bottom?) and is likely making additional preparations without fanfare.

    North Korea has recently stated that if an attack is perceived a nuclear war will occur. I would expect that the first strike would be an airburst meant to wipe out all electronics not protected by Faraday cages, including unhardened military communications systems.

    I hate to speculate on where the other nuclear bombs will be " delivered". Under a worst-case scenario it could result in some global cooling about 20% of that predicted http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013EF000205/full

    On the US West coast it would be wise to stock up on iodine tablets as attacks on nuclear reactors and other nuclear facilities will release iodine 131 from fuel rods as well as other biologically hazardous radionuclides including strontium-90, cesium-137, and uranium-234.

    It may be the Make America Great Again is actually represents the Jewish word for combat (MAGA). Such an approach was warned against by General Smedley Butler in his critical essay "War is a Racket". https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

    As a side note the South Korean elections are coming up soon. Does anyone have a point of view?

    dh | Apr 14, 2017 7:15:01 PM | 105
    @104 The hedge fund guys are only good if they make the right bets. What they depend on is inside information, which companies are in trouble, which country is going to get whacked etc. But they don't always get it right. And their thinking is mostly short term.

    'Alternative management' would be nice. Maybe a race of benevolent aliens could take over.

    blues | Apr 14, 2017 7:18:52 PM | 106
    I feel I should simply repeat what I said yesterday on this site. It still seems rather relevant:

    This is where this is going, I would guess:

    US Airstrike on North Korea Risks Leading to '5-6 Chernobyl-Type Disasters' https://sputniknews.com/politics/201704131052612166-us-north-korea-chernobyl/
    /~~~~~~~~~~
    "Approximately 30 nuclear power plants are operational in South Korea. Several of them could be destroyed even if conventional bombs and shells are used. This could lead to five-six Chernobyl-type disasters on a relatively small area of 99 square kilometers that could instantly turn into a place unsuitable for life," he explained.
    \~~~~~~~~~~

    But that's not all we're going to get:
    /~~~~~~~~~~
    The Pentagon "cannot but take into account that in case of an airstrike against North Korea, US-made Tomahawks will fly toward the territory of Russia and China. This is a more dangerous scenario than the show of force in Syria," he said. "Russia will not be able to wait for US missiles to accidentally land on its territory. Moscow will be forced to shoot down the missiles while they are in North Korean airspace."
    \~~~~~~~~~~

    Meanwhile, tens of millions of South Koreans perish, with a few becoming radionuclide refugees. Good job, eh?

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 7:43:14 PM | 107
    @ blues
    I would guess that SK, Japan, Australia, are all viewed simply as forward military bases by the US, that can be abandoned if required.

    @ jfl

    I have read although ,in a casual way rather than a study, too much of the history of wars. Often what comes across the insanity of a country starting a war and then is itself destroyed. Nazi Germany - leading edge tech, smart people. Country of sixty million conquered virtually all of Europe with ease then took on Russia. Instead of being content with being a leading country, they were willing to gamble everything to have it all.

    This is somewhat where the US is at today. The position is that it has over reached and now needs to pull back and consolidate, but we are not seeing that. instead, we are seeing the US become more threatening.

    So for me that needs to be matched/reconciled to Outraged comments on pre-positioning, indicators ect.

    Piotr Berman | Apr 14, 2017 7:51:15 PM | 108
    TRUMP READY TO REMOVE CRAZED NORTH KOREAN KILLER [GLOBE as observed in my supermarket yesterday, front page reported on-line]

    IN a gutsy move to save the world from global disaster, courageous ­President ­Donald Trump has drawn up a ruthless, top-secret plan to kill North Korean ­warmonger Kim Jong Un before he can push the ­button that would unleash nuclear holocaust!

    D.C. insiders tell GLOBE the iron-willed president is fed up with roly-poly Kim's blustery bull and is determined to squash the pint-sized dictator, who recently launched four intercontinental ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan!

    "Trump has put the elite fighting teams of Delta Force and SEAL Team 6 in Trump has put the elite fighting teams of Delta Force and SEAL Team 6 in South Korea on standby and ordered Tomahawk missiles and nuclear weapons to the North Korean border!" a White House insider tells GLOBE.

    Get all the details and the latest information on the White House's latest moves against the tyrannical North Korean dictator in this week's issue of GLOBE.

    ====

    Piotr: I understand how "top-secrets" can make it to our intrepid GLOBE reporters. But how did they determined who is "iron-willed" and who is "rolly-polly". E.g. it seems to me that Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim have similar BMI. Or how both leaders exhibited iron will firing employees.

    Willy2 | Apr 14, 2017 7:53:30 PM | 109
    - MEDIA MATTERS had a VERY interesting take why we could see a US attack on North Korea:

    https://mediamatters.org/research/2017/04/13/punditry-syrian-airstrikes-encouraging-trump-escalate-tensions-north-korea/216023

    jfl | Apr 14, 2017 8:27:18 PM | 110
    @109 p au

    i agree. no matter what happens, it won't be good ... until the Mother Of All Bubbles has burst. and then it might be but a brief respite indeed if we don't take advantage of the lull in 'play' to 'decapitate' our own 'leadership'. it's our sheer, mere 300 million+ souls (600 million+ soles?) to their 535 caputs ... think we have a chance?

    Dr. Wellington Yueh | Apr 14, 2017 8:39:34 PM | 111
    @jfl #114:

    A primary problem there is that they have convinced at least 20% of those 300M to be human shields in the service of Empire.

    Julian | Apr 14, 2017 8:44:26 PM | 112
    Apologies if this has already been mentioned - but if the USA were to unilaterally launch strikes on North Korea could Russia itself intervene and launch missiles against the ships/fleet at fault - ie - against those who have abrogated their responsibilities to international peace and security? The aggressor nation.

    Could Russia sink the ships with the USS Carl Vinson in the name of maintaining international peace and security??

    What side of Korea is the Carl Vinson and is it closer to the coastline of Russia or Syria?

    frances | Apr 14, 2017 9:02:27 PM | 113
    According to Jim Stone NK has a very formidable 50+ submarine fleet. He also said these subs are of NK manufacture based on their upgrades to Russian 1990's designs. They are nowhere to be seen at the moment and as they run on batteries when still, there is no easy way to detect them if they are on the ocean floor.

    Many are nuclear, have on average 100 mile range and the largest one could travel to and hit the West Coast. So if the Trump armada attacks they may quickly find themselves on the bottom of the South China Sea. And as for a war with China, IMO there is no way the US can win conventionally IMO. And if it looks to go to nuclear, Russia will regretfully reduce us to ash. It appears Trump has turned over management of the military to the generals. I have the same sense of pending disaster that I would have if I, on rounding a corner bumped into 1000 Daleks and with not a Doctor in sight.

    Krollchem | Apr 14, 2017 9:24:28 PM | 115
    A Russia missile cruiser arrived in Korea on April 11th:

    https://already-happened.com/2017/04/11/russian-guided-missile-cruiser-varyag-and-rfs-pechenga-have-arrived-at-port-of-busan-south-korea-today/

    DemiJohn | Apr 14, 2017 9:33:42 PM | 116
    Amazing how Kim Jung-un is demonized. Certainly a bully but there is much worse ... and Erdogan is untouchable.
    Krollchem | Apr 14, 2017 9:43:21 PM | 117
    blues @108

    Good point about the nuclear reactors.

    In addition nuclear reactors require fossil fuel power plants as backup up they suddenly lose power. In case of an air blast over South Korea the electrical grid would shut down with possible meltdown of reactors which didn't go into standby prior to the nuclear detonation.

    An even more critical issue is that a lack of power would shutoff cooling water to the spent nuclear fuel storage ponds. This would result in the water boiling off and

    "Once the fuel is uncovered, it could become hot enough to cause the metal cladding encasing the uranium fuel to rupture and catch fire, which in turn could further heat up the fuel until it suffers damage. Such an event could release large amounts of radioactive substances, such as cesium-137, into the environment."

    http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-power/nuclear-waste/safer-storage-of-spent-fuel#.WPF2kI61tt8

    http://allthingsnuclear.org/dlochbaum/spent-fuel-damage-pool-criticality-accident

    It is important to remember that there is more spent nuclear fuel in spent fuel rods than in the reactors. There is a DOE computer program for calculating the radionuclide composition of the fuel vs storage time (Origin code). but I cannot find it on the internet. The release of these daughter products and the long term dispersal onto the land would turn Korea into a dead zone for hundreds of years.

    jfl | Apr 14, 2017 10:13:07 PM | 118
    @125 username ... not your real name. my name is john francis lee. i've never understood people who hide behind 'clever' usernames.
    Alaric | Apr 14, 2017 10:17:31 PM | 119
    This is very disturbing but I still believe it is show and that trump is just using theater to intimidate N Korea and actually China to control N Korea.

    i fully expect that China will give him a bogus way of looking tough that will achieve nothing and do little to n Korea. The problem is what happens if n Korea and China call his bluff and give him no way to look tuff.

    Is it possible this is a distraction for further actions in Syria?

    marcus_lepidus | Apr 14, 2017 11:11:46 PM | 120
    Maybe connected.....maybe not? With the election of Trump....word gets out that North Korea is very interested in talks with the incoming administration....and then what happens: Kim Jong-un's brother dies in a spectacularly suspicious fashion. Now that Park has been impeached.......and her likely successor looks to be someone open to talks with North Korea, the US is suddenly on the brink of war with the DPRK. Coincidence...neocon serendipity? Inquiring minds wanna know!
    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 11:12:18 PM | 121
    129
    into sci-fi entertainment much?
    yesu | Apr 14, 2017 11:23:25 PM | 122
    @29 - This is why Trump acting so tough now, he know China+UN+EU+Nato will support his coming war.Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 14, 2017 12:49:02 PM | 29


    ridiculous idea to even contend with. scared of what? the very first place for he n.korean nukes will be US army basesin japan, even before s korea.

    everyone knows the so called armada is a bluff here in asia, on other note, it shows USA doesn't provide security to the freedom of navigation that it keeps on pushing onto others. it does the opposite, it shows all the nations what freedom of navigation really means ..... to push for war instead of protecting trade, of which almost all the trade is coming from china anyways.

    it brings a huge conundrum in decision making, if trump doesn't do anything, all countries in asia will switch alliances towards china in the long run, except for broke jokes japan/usa.

    if trump does do something ridiculous, there won't be much of US/japan influence left in asia as china/russia will be forced to respond, and respond it will not like the fake wars washington is content with nowadays. trump obviously wants to change the tune of the conflicts....... but sending an armada into enemy territory while espousing support from nato..... (pacific nato?) puts so much fear into any nation here, knowing there is no petroleum logistics here for the war lovers.

    where u going to buy oil from Hong kong? singapore? japan? russia?

    NotTimothyGeithner | Apr 14, 2017 11:33:03 PM | 123
    @127 The simple answer is much like Obama, Trump is turning to bumbling around the international stage now that his domestic Presidency is finished. Between the Freedom Caucus and extinction of the Democrats who have been reliable crossover votes, there isn't a working majority in Washington.

    The key event wasn't the chemical weapon false flag or Rachel Maddow's latest Glenn Beck screed but the failure to repeal ACA and the recognition the Republicans don't have a plan to go or much of anything. The budget will be up in a few months, and he still has the same problem he has ACA: Demcorats who cant provide cover and the Freedom Caucus types.

    "Wag the Dog" scenarios focus on salacious scandals, but the collapse of domestic Presidencies are usually followed by war Presidencies. Trump is largely the idiot he appears to be and is simply grabbing onto the various interests within the borg. Trump will bounce from "enemy" to "enemy" trying to find an issue to get his Presidency back on track.

    Kalen | Apr 14, 2017 11:34:00 PM | 124
    One other jewel of US propaganda is why US is there, Keeping peace between NK and SK? Not at all US is there to keep peace between both Koreas and Japan and US stake imperial claim against China.

    Numerous cases of Japanese even minute encroachments on territorial waters of whole Korea were met by SK and NK alike with joint condemnation recalling ambassadors and even small shooting war and that including sharp conflict between both Koreans and Japan over so called disputed islands and waters.

    In fact a claim that US role there is stabilizing the situation cannot be entirely dismissed however the issue is that it is the US THAT CAUSED THIS INSTABILITY IN THE FIRST PLACE pushing regional divisions what amounts to precluding possibility to really end WWII among enemies resolve issues that still remind unresolved like Korea and move on with acknowledgment of reality of Chinese economic and political leadership which would be just return to historical situation just two centuries ago with modern solutions for coexistence.

    But that would spell the end of globalist project under US imperial umbrella, a prospective that is strongly opposed on all sides for diametrically different reasons.

    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 11:47:55 PM | 125
    Something that has struck me as this thread goes on.. WWII never ended. Nazi/imperial Japan quest for empire morphed into US quest for empire that is coming to a climax today.
    Anoncommentator | Apr 14, 2017 11:51:21 PM | 126
    Wide ranging fascinating interview with former high ranking CIA intelligence officer, Robert David Steele
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8UfYLA7FCqQ
    Peter AU | Apr 14, 2017 11:55:22 PM | 127
    continuing from 135

    Russia/USSR won WWII in Vietnam, and Vietnam is now an independent sovereign country. US won WWII in Germany and Germany is still an occupied country. Japan has never been disputed and remains a US occupied country. Korea has never been settled and WWII is still ongoing.

    Krollchem | Apr 14, 2017 11:58:45 PM | 128
    "Deputy Defense Minister General of the Army of Russia, Dmitry Bulgakov has arrived in Khabarovsk Krai near North Korea to inspect troops."

    "Russia also moved military vehicles (Air Def) toward Vladivostok not far from the border with North Korea"

    Link also shows videos of Chinese units moving toward the North Korean border

    http://thesaker.is/news-brief-brics-joint-communique-troops-deployment-near-korean-peninsula/

    Circe | Apr 15, 2017 12:12:39 AM | 129
    If North Korea, Russia, Iran, China or any other country that resists Zio-U.S. imperialism sent an Armada off the U.S. coast on the fourth of July, the U.S. wouldn't hesitate to sink it immediately, no questions asked. Trump is proving every day that he's a dangerous idiot.
    Anoncommentator | Apr 15, 2017 12:31:18 AM | 130
    This is going viral and so it should!!! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rkj9UCHO0Tc
    denk | Apr 15, 2017 1:03:56 AM | 131
    so mark pence is in sk with the troops 'observing easter prayer', what fucking hypocrites , 'god's army' on the way to another killing spree. !

    i wonder if pence's son is with the grunts ? mao sent his son together with the troops to help nk beat back the murkkans, hundreds of thousands never went home, including mao's son.

    but nuthin about the chinese sacrifice was mentioned in the nk war memorial hall, its all about the 'great leader'.
    during the sino/soviet split, nk had no hesitation ditching beijing for the more powerful ussr.

    by all accounts kim jong un would dearly wish to dump beijing for the more powerful unitedsnake...if only washington would accept him.

    wouldnt be surprised if kim is eventually 'cowed' by trump's armada and submit to washington wish.

    then trump would brag 'didnt i tell you all the past prez are pussies, it takes a real man to get things done'

    hehhehe
    =============

    Peter AU | Apr 15, 2017 1:10:32 AM | 132
    @ outraged.
    What would we see for a naval and to a lesser extent air war to blockade China? No ground war component with the massive logistic tail that requires. Obama's pivot on China entailed moving 60% of US naval assets to Asia pacific region.

    Where are US subs located? Where are US missile ships located. What is classified in the way of US naval asset positioning and not available to the public?
    Carriers are smoke and mirrors. A bygone era.

    From what I can make of it, Carter pre-positioned India as a US asset in 2016.

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 1:20:07 AM | 133
    it may be that b has hit the nail on the head again ...
    "As a first step, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises," Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress.
    ... what happens is that tee-rump unveils essentially this plan at the 'last minute' and takes credit for it, having exercised us all and directed the attention to his spotlight on the yellow sea.

    i hope that's what happens. we're stuck with this clown for four more years. he has no talent of his own, unless you call this kind of 'performance' talent ... and in fact he seems to have claimed it ... he may be an a**hole but he's the world's biggest a**hole! ... at least we might all live through it, ruled by a 70 year-old enfant terrible. tee-rump will play dummy and putin and xi can alternate as ventriloquists ... smiling and holding the dummy up to take the bows.

    Dr. Wellington Yueh | Apr 15, 2017 1:21:00 AM | 134
    @145: I don't really consider folks here'bouts as peasants. There are trolls and sock puppets. B and the commentators here (you and jfl are high on the list!) comprise a collection of 'reality lenses' that I find useful.

    RE: My initial response to jfl, the 20% I envision as human shields might be splittable, but you're only going to flake off a few %. Also, ignorance/apathy/fear (or incapacity for some other reason) on 'our side' brings the numbers way down. Add to that attrition from whatever course of action Empire attempts, and you have even fewer. Since we seem to be dealing with the 'upset-the-table' kind of losers, I'm sure they'll do something spectacular as a coda.

    Anyway, currently reading "The Shining", "Conquest of the Useless", "Roughing It", "Moby Dick". Just finished Gregory Benford's "Galactic Center" series...that was gripping and depressing for 6 long volumes.

    somebody | Apr 15, 2017 1:30:34 AM | 135
    North Korea's statement names the "Trump's administration serious military hysteria" This description is correct.
    blues | Apr 15, 2017 1:31:08 AM | 136
    Hmmm. Hmmm.

    /~~~~~~~~~~
    Zero Hedge -- Krunch Time for Korean Krackpot Despot, Kim Jong-Un: Missile Crisis Countdown Has Begun -- Apr 14,2017
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-14/krunch-time-korean-krackpot-despot-kim-jong-un-missile-crisis-countdown-has-begun

    Vice President Pence is scheduled to visit Seoul on Sunday, during his first Asian trip. The timing of his visit, after the Day of the Sun, might indicate the US does not plan any pre-emptive strike against North Korea on the Day of the Sun However, while Pence is ostensibly going to South Korea to talk with the government there about North Korea's nuclear development, the White House has also said it has contingency plans for the VP's visit, should North Korea carry out another nuclear test, indicating the possibility of a sudden shift to a war footing if Kim goes ahead with his apparent plans.
    \~~~~~~~~~~

    What if Pence doesn't make it out in time?

    Hmmm.

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 1:34:21 AM | 137
    @146 denk, 'by all accounts kim jong un would dearly wish to dump beijing for the more powerful unitedsnake...'

    but that's a plan made looking in the rearview mirror ... isn't it? the future is china's. the very recent past is the 'legacy' of the us, burnt-out shooting star. sacrificed to the greed of its ruling class. in this life, at any rate.

    any opportunist worth his wages would go with china at this point in the game. and isn't kim really just the korean version of trump?

    an apprentice working for the apparat that really runs the country as their frontman, to bound about on stage and keep the world's attention on korea?

    Peter AU | Apr 15, 2017 1:40:24 AM | 138
    151
    Ignorance/apathy covers the middle 75% or so. A US manual on special forces hybrid/covert warfare covers that well. Even has a pie chart. Too many home brews at the moment to dig up the link, compounded by the fact that it is nearly time for my nana nap.
    Julian | Apr 15, 2017 1:53:59 AM | 139
    Re: Posted by: Pft | Apr 14, 2017 5:41:44 PM | 97

    If Kim does want to 'provoke' the Americans and test a missile or nuke surely he's most likely to do it a bit later than people think - ie - like Tuesday night Korean time - perhaps just before US markets open for Tuesday after the holidays. Or are they open on Monday? If they are, perhaps 9-10pm Monday night Korean time???

    Try and cause a 'panicked' market crash before Trump can react? Ensuring he will react against the backdrop of a market crash should he choose to react.

    Anyone know - are US markets open on Monday?

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 2:05:06 AM | 140
    @151 tjk

    i re-read moby dick myself a couple of years ago. found a whale chart to go along with it, which helped bring the voyage to life ... back in the day ... when i was a kid there were always films from africa on tv, millions of gazelles and wildebeasts. i imagine they're all gone now, as are the buffalo, as go the whales.

    i think that, just as the man himself has turned on a dime when confronted with 'reality', so too will we and many of our usian brothers and sisters, many his followers, once we reach the point of personal betrayal required to open our eyes to our real enemies, to forget the scripted 'enemies' our real enemies had taught us to love to hate. but i've never been through a real meltdown and revolution before, so i don't know. that looks to me the way things are headed though. deplored by all sides, yet thought to be well under control, yet we all have our own peculiar 'red lines', and are being pushed, relentlessly toward them. we are many and growing more numerous; they are few and getting fewer, by their own design.

    Pft | Apr 15, 2017 2:29:45 AM | 141
    @135 Peter AU

    The wars to consolidate the world under one power has been going on for well over a century. Britain took the lead early on before passing the torch to the US once Rhodes plan to recover America was accomplished, sometime between Mckinleys assassination and the and of WWI . Wall Street and the money power in the city of London were always in sync. Albert Pike predicted 3 World Wars would be needed.

    The main change has been the form of government envisioned for the future. This has changed from Communism to Fascism. Many supporters of fascism here in the 1930's including FDR. After WWII many of the fascist bankers and industrialists in Germany and Japan got off light and were reintegrated into the global economy where they trained up the next generation of fascists. They joined forces with those likeminded folks in the US and Brits by working together in BIS, various international agencies and groups like the Bilderbergers and Trilaterals to develop strategies to acccomplish their goals in the short and long terms

    This is oversimplistic but time is short

    Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 15, 2017 2:31:02 AM | 142
    ...
    After all, given the insane and surreal rabid propaganda in western MSM, what difference would it make re supposed 'image' in the eyes of the supposed 'International Community' (US/UK/Israhell & good time vassals) ... any ?
    Posted by: Outraged | Apr 14, 2017 4:03:27 PM | 78

    That's a really good question. Imo, Western propaganda often seems to have an influence on the actions and statements of AmeriKKKa's fake enemies. There are two (maybe more?) ways of looking at this.

    1. The fake enemies really are worried about public opinion in the West.
    2. They're not worried, but deem it sensible to pretend that they are, because anything they can do to encourage AmeriKKKa to believe more of its own bullshit should lead to an escalation to the point where it crosses the line dividing the sublime from the ridiculous - which is what seems to have happened this year.

    michaelj72 | Apr 15, 2017 2:40:23 AM | 143
    we are ruled by idiots, con men, war-mongers, and Neanderthal whackos. Any attack by the US would be a massacre and humanitarian disaster of epic proportions. Plus, I assume, the north korean army that remains would likely shower much of south korea with tens of thousands of rockets, mortars and missiles. http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/14/whackos-in-washington-the-risky-game-of-regime-decapitation/

    Whackos in Washington: the Risky Game of Regime Decapitation by Dave Lindorff

    .....But what would the result of such a strike be?

    For one thing, almost certainly it would mean the contamination of part or even much of the country in North Korea with nuclear fallout and radiation. For another it - given the long history of US "precision" targeting going terribly wrong - it would mean much death and destruction for the long-suffering North Korean people.

    It would also mean chaos in a country that for nearly three-quarters of a century has been ruled by one absolute tyrant or another, in which there is simply no organized system of governance at lower levels to handle anything, from delivery of health services to distribution of food. If you think the chaos that followed the US invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the Baathist leadership of Iraq was bad, or that the chaos of the US overthrow of Gaddafy in Libya was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet if North Korea's leader gets offed in a US strike.

    In theory, China, South Korea or Japan could step in with troops, money and civilian personnel to help reestablish some kind of order and peace, while preventing the rise of yet another tyrannical government, but none of that is likely. The Chinese would probably not want to take it on, the Japanese are viewed negatively as a former colonial power, and South Korea may not want the financial burden of rescuing the North, which would be staggering.

    Meanwhile, while the US could relatively easily, and at minimal cost, "take out" North Korea's missiles, nukes and leadership, especially in the case of the Trump administration, there is absolutely no interest in taking on the costs of occupying and subsidizing the rebuilding North Korea following such an ill-conceived attack......

    Peter AU | Apr 15, 2017 2:51:26 AM | 144
    163
    "Any attack by the US would be a massacre and humanitarian disaster of epic proportions."

    Just part of human nature. Very common throughout history.
    As technology increases, the scale increases.

    George Smiley | Apr 15, 2017 3:27:44 AM | 145
    A lot of people do not know that the US bombed the hell out of the entire of north Korea during the war. Like to ashes. The Chinese, and even more so, the Soviet reconstruction project for north Korea was the biggest of its kind post WWII. Even bigger than what actually went to European reconstruction I believe, but don't quote me on that (not in terms of what was earmarked but spent).

    ALSO perhaps the biggest crime was bombing the north's huge dams. Unless your a poor farmer you don't know what kind a thing that it is to do. No military value (I heard it was bombed because they ran out of other targets in some way).

    Its insane and breeds a toooon of animosity. Plus rejecting all attempts at peace talks. Plus having the media only present it in one way and an attitude of RA RA we don't engage in diplomacy with the terrorist obviously he only listens to force.

    Crazy world. And most people can't see past it at a level more deep than "crazy dictator with a bad haircut."

    The world is so fucked up.

    okie farmer | Apr 15, 2017 3:28:25 AM | 146
    The 'mother of all bombs' is big, deadly – and won't lead to peace Medea Benjamin
    "I'm really very good at war. I love war, in a certain way," bragged candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Iowa. This is the same Donald Trump who avoided the Vietnam draft by claiming a bone spur in his foot, a medical problem that never kept him off the tennis courts or golf courses, and miraculously healed on its own.
    But with the escalation of US military involvement in Syria, the record number of drone attacks in Yemen, more US troops being sent to the Middle East and, now, the dropping of a massive bomb in Afghanistan, it looks like Trump may indeed love war. Or at least, love "playing" war.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/14/the-mother-of-all-bombs-big-deadly-ineff

    https://youtu.be/FMArIc5Hn_g

    George Smiley | Apr 15, 2017 3:30:53 AM | 147
    I've also heard the total death toll was between 1/10 and 1/5 of the total population.

    Of the TOTAL population. Imagine knowing no one could name a person not being touched by the violence. Having total families decimated. Breeds a ton of hatred and understandably so. We need to get that its not just as one sided as having everyone "brainwashed" without access to outside culture. Its an insane outlook.

    George Smiley | Apr 15, 2017 3:37:42 AM | 148
    Solo sorry for the triple post, also needed to say that because everyone hates this crazy dictator people never take the anti war position. Its just we should charge in with our guns - or giant missiles - blazing hooorahh.

    No one sees the death and destruction that will take place. The artillery alone not even nukes, would smash Seoul. They can't see beyond the black and white of 'allow dictator nukes' and 'kill him.' There's never room for diplomacy here - its just as bad as 'negotiating with terrorists.' What a crock of shit. And trumps played his hand badly cause he has no wiggle room. Makes Syrian strike looks like a joke. So much for being friendly with China. How about a piece of delicious cake as consolation?

    b | Apr 15, 2017 3:45:16 AM | 150
    @Outraged - deleted a bunch of your comments with long list of military equipment no one is interested in

    provide links to such stuff, don't copy it.

    --

    @all - deleted a bunch of nonsensical one-liners and some sniping at each other that I considered off topic. Go back to kindergarten if you need that.

    George Smiley | Apr 15, 2017 3:45:27 AM | 151
    LOVE B's take on the economics of nuclear might is. Crazy I never heard of those documents. Doesn't help that the North has been straved of food - and more importantly OIL. Means a lot of money when you get down to brass taxes. Worst of all, north Korea NEEDS subsistence farming and its so mountainous you need oil and diesel to blow these hilly as hell fields. When you strave them of oil, you strave them of food again in a way. Without subsistence farming they strave for the most part. And people think that drives people AWAY from a demagogic/personality cult type figure. It only endears them more. It, in a way, is proving the dictator right... That the US IS OUT TO GET US (and it is) and THE US IS STARVING YOU NOT ME (also true).
    b | Apr 15, 2017 4:02:52 AM | 152
    @all - done some housecleaning here for Day of the Sun - Juche 105 (.i.e.today)
    ---

    The parade in North Korea yesterday was quite a show. Lots of new TEL (Transport-Erector-Launch Vehicles) for big intercontinental missiles. We don't know if real missiles were inside but NoKo likes to show new stuff off and only field it a year or two later.

    Video of the 3 hour parade from NoKo TV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okxM0AUsh_w The interesting mil stuff starts around 2h 14m with the leg swinging girls (intentionally?)

    Some remarks on the off-road capable TEL North Korea's 2017 Military Parade Was a Big Deal. Here Are the Major Takeaways

    Even though Pyongyang withheld from testing this weekend amid rumors of possible retaliation by the United States, North Korea is still looking to improve its missile know-how. Moreover, the long-dreaded ICBM flight test also might not be too far off now. Given the ever-growing number of TELs - both wheeled and tracked - North Korea may soon field nuclear forces amply large that a conventional U.S.-South Korea first strike may find it impossible to fully disarm Pyongyang of a nuclear retaliatory capability. That would give the North Korean regime what it's always sought with its nuclear and ballistic missile program: an absolute guarantee against coercive removal.
    (will put the above in a post update)
    ashley albanese | Apr 15, 2017 4:31:45 AM | 153
    smoothie X2 82
    Ah ! what lies beneath the waves? . I remember in the early 1970's comments in the Western press that China through budget constraints was putting its 'eggs' into the submarine basket - cost effectiveness - . The article stressed that Chinese strategists deliberately eschewed using non-Chinese designs and 'fast track' technology so as to develop submarine systems that would have unique , secret capabilities honed to Chinese conditions . Perhaps of all weaponary the Chinese sub-mariners may have some surprises in store . Let's hope we never have to find out !
    oneoffposter | Apr 15, 2017 4:38:31 AM | 154
    Dear b and community. I read all of your posts on this topic with interest.

    The focus seems to be on what DPRK (north), PRC and USA might do. I would like to suggest that closer scrutiny should be applied to what is actually going on in RK (South). I think that this tension is being ratcheted upwards primarily to influence the outcome of the presidential election in the South.

    For the past two presidential terms, the South has had Lee Myung-Bak and Park Geun-Hye both of whom took a hardline against North Korea and have killed the Sunshine Policy of their predecessors (Kim Dae-Jung and Roh Moo-Hyun). As we all know, Park has recently been impeached. In normal circumstances it could be expected that an opposition figure like Moon Jae-In would be the favourite to win the election. This may not be in the interests of either the US, Japan or the powers-that-be in South Korea.

    The election is 9 May 2017, and the US president has just ensured that North Korea will be front and centre in the campaign.

    Just a thought. Thanks for everyone's contributions. This is a really good place to gain insight.

    George Smiley | Apr 15, 2017 5:17:39 AM | 155
    @154

    Extremely interesting take. Plus the anti THAAD movement is growing. Incidents between American soldiers in South Korean bases and the locals have been growing and that doesn't help. Remember that Osprey crash a couple months back?

    It all adds up.

    PavewayIV | Apr 15, 2017 5:24:32 AM | 156
    oneoffposter@154 - Thanks for that, oneoffposter. Korea would (supposedly) have been re-unified in the late 90's if it wasn't for US and Japanese efforts to prevent that from happening. I don't have specifics to back that up, but that 'feels' about right with regards to US actions over the years.

    South Korea is clearly benefiting economically (finally) from US support, but also pays a price by being another lapdog to the US and an eternal host for our military presence, willing or not. I suspect it's 'willing' because the US does everything possible to remind South Koreans of their peril by demonizing the North. South Korean press is worse than the US MSM.

    Likewise, the US does everything possible to antagonize North Korean leaders and rattle their cage, making them seem even more insane than they usually are. Resulting, of course, in the South Koreans eagerly approving an eternal US presence for protection and the North Korean leaders sliding further into a black hole of indignation and rage. We didn't create the psychopaths in North Korea, but we're sure good at keeping them in power. They're useful to us.

    I'll be watching the elections in the South with much interest now.

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 6:15:41 AM | 157
    i wonder how much we really know about the koreans. it's hard for me to imagine that the korean people hate and fear each other. korea is not a settler country, like us five eyes, where the possibility of setting one group against another is so conveniently ready to hand to the oppressors. can either set of koreans hate and fear one of their governments more than the other? i think, as someone else pointed out above, the worst of the terror after the war was undertaken by korean compradors of the japanese, at american instigation. i remember reading about a program to 'allow' southerners to cross the border for family reunions. i think it was terrifically popular.

    who pointed out above that wwii has not yet ended on the korean peninsula. i always knew that the war was 'technically' not over in the sense of no peace treaty's having been signed ... the same obtains between russia and japan, doesn't it? that's an indictment right there of the us. in both cases, as the us still has japan on a short leash.

    treating peoples like objects, we'll be objects of hate ourselves, finally. already are in many quarters, of course. but in far fewer than we 'merit'. i don't see how that cannot change now that we have embraced 'the dark side', as cheney put it, and now the unabashed evil-clown/wicked-witch with trump/clinton in the 2016 coin toss.

    now with mercenaries, cruise missiles, drones, chemical weapons, and none of our own skin in the game ourselves any longer, we really do fit the description of creatures from another planet to our victims. the image of hg wells' aliens in tripods sticks in my mind. that must be just what americans - not even in - drones and cruise missiles must seem to our victims.

    atonement. at-one-ment a friend of mine used to say. with the human race. how long will that take for america and americans, once 'the pride of man' is broken in the dust again.

    V. Arnold | Apr 15, 2017 6:36:59 AM | 158
    Well, it's 19:02m in Korea, on the 15th and no nuke blast. President Loon (my apology to the bird) will have to pack up his toys and go home.
    I wonder how much that hubris cost the US?
    somebody | Apr 15, 2017 6:43:12 AM | 159
    Posted by: oneoffposter | Apr 15, 2017 4:38:31 AM | 154

    From German experience this would not work. Every South Korean knows that war with the North was/would be total desaster.

    It is also clear that North Korea will only open up if they feel safe. The break down of communist systems is over, there is no use to wait for that.

    German Social Democrats had their best election results when promoting a "change by approach" policy.

    The main issue will be South Korea's relationship with the US and China. Traditionally South Korea has profited more from the US than from exchange with China. I bet this has already changed. But the US managed to create a security conflict between China and South Korea that ensures increased Chinese military support for North Korea.

    jfl | Apr 15, 2017 7:14:42 AM | 160
    @159 sb, 'South Korea has profited more from the US than from exchange with China. I bet this has already changed. '

    you win your bet...

    The top export destinations of South Korea are
    China ($131B),
    the United States ($72.7B),
    Vietnam ($26.6B),
    Hong Kong ($26.3B) and
    Japan ($25.5B).

    The top import origins are
    China ($90.1B),
    Japan ($44.6B),
    the United States ($42.7B),
    Germany ($20.2B) and
    Saudi Arabia ($17.7B).

    oneoffposter | Apr 15, 2017 7:54:29 AM | 161
    @160 jfl

    Thanks for posting the figures. I don't know what the present day figures are like (your source seems to be posting figures for 2015).

    Since then, Park Geun-Hye gave the go ahead for THAAD to be installed overriding the objections of the local people. People more informed than I question (to put it mildly) the benefit this gives to South Korea. However, it has already had an impact on the South's economic relationship with China (and I guess, the political relationship too), showing just how important the question of who holds power in South Korea really is.

    Posters here often refer to the US/NATO attempt to split the Russia/China axis. It seems to me that this KOR/CHINA relationship also would not be welcomed.

    The ideas and slow-build towards reunification as evidenced by Kim Dae-Jung & Roh Moo-Hyun (e.g. Sunshine policy and the Truth commissions) were (in my opinion) logical steps to be taken towards first reducing the tensions on the peninsula leading perhaps to reunification talks (you never know). It is impossible to know now where they would have led, but they have been thoroughly discredited at this point and it is difficult to see how they could be restarted.

    somebody | Apr 15, 2017 7:57:38 AM | 162
    S.Koreans file petition with constitutional court against THAAD deployment
    SEOUL, April 6 (Xinhua) -- South Korean residents and civic group activists on Thursday filed a petition against the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, which they depicted as unconstitutional.

    Residents from Seongju county and Gimcheon city in southeast South Korea and peace activists gathered outside the constitutional court in central Seoul, holding a press conference before submitting the constitutional appeal.

    According to the petition document, the residents and activists said the THAAD deployment violated many of the constitution clauses while failing to follow any appropriate procedures. </