Are we on the verge of a nuclear war with North Korea? It has now been confirmed that North Korea has successfully created a miniaturized nuclear warhead, and last month they tested a missile that can reach at least half of the continental United States. Since 1994 the U.S. has been trying to stop North Korea’s nuclear program, and every effort to do so has completely failed. Last September, the North Koreans detonated a nuclear device that was estimated to be in the 20 to 30 kiloton range, and back in January President Trump pledged to stop the North Koreans before they would ever have the capability to deliver such a weapon to U.S. cities. But now the North Koreans have already achieved that goal, and they plan to ultimately create an entire fleet of ICBMs capable of hitting every city in America.
Right now, North Korea and the Trump administration are locked in a game of nuclear chicken. Kim Jong Un’s regime is never, ever, ever going to give up their nuclear weapons program, and so that means that either Donald Trump is going to have to back down, find another way to deal with North Korea, or use military force to eliminate their nuclear threat.
And time is quickly running out for Trump to make a decision, because now that North Korea has the ability to produce miniaturized nuclear warheads, the game has completely changed. The following comes from the Washington Post…
North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded in a confidential assessment.
The new analysis completed last month by the Defense Intelligence Agency comes on the heels of another intelligence assessment that sharply raises the official estimate for the total number of bombs in the communist country’s atomic arsenal. The U.S. calculated last month that up to 60 nuclear weapons are now controlled by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Some independent experts believe the number of bombs is much smaller.
The truth is that nobody actually knows how many nukes North Korea has at this point, and they are pumping out more all the time.
Yes, the Trump administration could order an absolutely devastating military strike on North Korea. But if the North Koreans even get off one nuke in response, it will be the greatest disaster for humanity since at least World War II.
But at this point Trump doesn’t sound like someone that intends to back down. In fact, on Tuesday he threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” if they keep threatening us…
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump said from the clubhouse at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J. “He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with the fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
If Trump thought that his bluff would be sufficient to finally shut up North Korea, and put an end to Kim’s provocative behavior, well… bluff called because North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency reported moments ago that not only did N.Korea escalate the tensions up another notch, but explicitly warned that it could carry out a “pre-emptive operation once the US shows signs of provocation”, and that it is “seriously considering a strategy to strike Guam with mid-to-long range missiles.”
Most Americans appear to be completely oblivious to the seriousness of this crisis. Once we hit North Korea, they will respond. A single nuke could potentially kill millions in Tokyo, Japan or Seoul, South Korea. And the North Koreans also have some of the largest chemical and biological weapons stockpiles on the entire planet. If things take a bad turn, we could see death and destruction on a scale that is absolutely unprecedented.
And if the North Koreans launch an invasion of South Korea, we will instantly be committed to a new Korean War and thousands upon thousands of our young men and women will be sent over there to fight and die.
There is no possible way that a military conflict with North Korea is going to end well. If things go badly, millions could die, and if things go really badly tens of millions of people could end up dead.
But members of the Trump administration continue to insist that “a military option” is on the table…
In an interview broadcast Saturday on MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt Show, national security adviser H.R. McMaster said the prospect of a North Korea armed with nuclear-tipped ICBMs would be “intolerable, from the president’s perspective.”
“We have to provide all options . . . and that includes a military option,” he said.
Of course letting North Korea construct an entire fleet of ICBMs that could endanger the entire planet is not exactly a palatable option either. The Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations all kicked the can down the road year after year, and now we facing a nightmare problem that does not appear to have a good solution.
“Today is the day that we can definitely say North Korea is a nuclear power,” Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, told USA TODAY. “There is no more time to stick our heads in the sand and think we have months or years to confront this challenge.”
Let us pray that a way can be found to derail North Korea’s nuclear program that does not involve us going to war.
Because the moment that U.S. forces start striking North Korea, the North Koreans could literally unleash hell if they are inclined to do so.
It appears that we are now closer to nuclear war than we have been at any point since the Cuban missile crisis. A nuclear holocaust was avoided back then, and hopefully a way will be found to avoid one now.
We are just inches away from the outbreak of World War III, and yet most Americans seem completely oblivious to what is happening. On Friday, North Korea conducted a missile test which proved that it now has the capability of hitting major U.S. cities in the western half of the country. Every diplomatic effort to end North Korea’s nuclear program has completely failed, the Chinese have shown that they do not intend to do much of anything to intervene in this crisis, and the United Nations is a dead end. Given enough time, the North Koreans will build hundreds of ICBMs capable of delivering nukes to cities all over America, and the Trump administration has already indicated that they will never accept this. If no other way can be found to derail North Korea’s nuclear program, President Trump will almost certainly order a military strike, and that could set off a war in which millions could die.
Personally, I am stunned that North Korea’s missile test on Friday didn’t receive more attention from the mainstream media, because the truth is that this was the biggest step toward war on the Korean peninsula since 1953…
After North Korea’s missile launch on Friday, the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists shared its fears that the country’s latest weapon had the capacity to reach major US cities.
When it launched the missile on Friday, North Korea aimed it on a high trajectory which allowed the weapon to crash in to the Sea of Japan.
The ground range of the test was 6,500 miles, according to multiple agencies, and it had a flight time of around 47 minutes.
If the missile had been fired at a standard trajectory, it could have easily reached Los Angeles, Denver or Chicago.
Preliminary data from the launch reveals that half, if not most, of the continental U.S. would be in range of the missile tested Friday.
“Looks like it pretty much can get to New York, Boston and probably falls just short of Washington,” David Wright, co-director and senior scientist for the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told CNBC.
This is supposed to be a red line for President Trump, and it will be extremely interesting to see how he responds in the days ahead.
“Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”
“The time for talk is over. The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all.”
The Trump administration has already made it very clear that they will not be going to the UN Security Council with this matter because they believe that would be a dead end.
At this point, the available options for dealing with North Korea are narrowing rapidly, and direct military action appears to be gaining favor. In fact, General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy released a statement on Saturday night warning that the U.S. is ready to use “rapid, lethal and overwhelming force”…
The U.S. and its allies are prepared to use “rapid, lethal and overwhelming force,” if necessary, against North Korea, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces warned Saturday night.
The statement from Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander, came after the militaries of the U.S., South Korea and Japan spent 10 hours conducting bomber-jet drills over the Korean Peninsula.
But an attack on North Korea would not be easy. We don’t even know exactly how many nuclear weapons they actually have, and they are promising to start launching nukes if we choose to strike them…
“If the Yankees . . . dare brandish the nuclear stick on this land again . . . the DPRK will clearly teach them manners with the nuclear strategic force,” the spokesman said.
North Korea is honeycombed with underground tunnels and bunkers. There is no possible way that we could hit all of their nukes on a first strike, and if the North Koreans even get off a single nuke in response it is going to be an unprecedented disaster.
Could you imagine what would happen if a North Korean nuke hit Tokyo or Seoul?
Even one nuke could kill millions in those densely populated cities, and financial markets all over the world would almost instantly implode.
And North Korea also has some of the largest chemical and biological weapons stockpiles on the entire planet. Within moments of an attack, thousands of North Korean artillery pieces and rockets would start raining fire on Seoul, and even just a few chemical or biological warheads would cause immense devastation in that city of about 10 million people.
In addition, North Korean forces are poised to invade South Korea at literally any moment, and the only way that South Korea could survive such an invasion would be direct intervention by U.S. forces.
On top of everything else, what if the North Koreans were able to successfully launch a nuke or two toward our major cities? Or what if they already have the technology to set off an EMP blast high in the atmosphere above the continental United States? Or what if their agents that are already embedded here start releasing biological agents in our major cities?
These are nightmare scenarios that most Americans never even consider, but they would be very real possibilities in the event that we go to war with North Korea.
I just don’t see how a direct military conflict with North Korea could possibly end well. For those that still doubt this, please consider the words of General Mark Milley…
“A war in the Korean Peninsula would be highly deadly. It would be horrific,” warned Gen. Milley. “The United States military along with the South Korean military would utterly destroy the North Korean military — but that would be done at high cost.”
“But we are at a point in time where tough choices will have to be made,” he continued. “We are going to have to make conscious decisions that are going to have significant consequences and I will just stop there. It’s not going to be a pretty picture — I can tell you that. It’s going to be very violent.“
A war with North Korea would be the most disastrous event for our planet since World War II, and it is something that we want to avoid at all costs.
Unfortunately, events are moving us in the direction of such a war very rapidly now, and it is very difficult to see how we are going to avoid such a scenario.
It makes me physically ill when I think that the U.S. could be on the verge of starting a disastrous war in the Middle East that will not benefit us in any way, shape or form. I can’t believe this is happening, and a lot of other people apparently can’t either. In fact, there were some that heavily criticized me when I suggested that Donald Trump had just committed to taking military action in Syria in part 1 and part 2 of this series of articles. But less than 24 hours later, the front page of USA Today was running this jarring headline: “Trump team developing military response in Syria”. It is interesting to note that this came on the 77th day of Trump’s presidency, and on Thursday it was also revealed that the Trump administration is working to put together an international coalition to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power. The following comes from Fox News…
America’s top diplomat addressed the Syria crisis a day after Trump declared in the Rose Garden that the chemical strike would not be tolerated. Tillerson pointedly said Russia should “consider carefully” its support for the Assad regime, while calling for an international effort to defeat ISIS in Syria, stabilize the country and ultimately work with partners through a political process that leads to Assad leaving power.
Asked if the U.S. would organize a coalition to remove Assad, Tillerson said: “Those steps are underway.”
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also told the press that Assad has “no role” in governing Syria in the future, and he pledged there there will be a “serious response” to the recent chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib province.
Of course it is extremely doubtful that Assad had anything to do with that chemical attack, and I am going to share some more of that evidence with you in part 4 of this series.
Defense Secretary James Mattis will brief President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago on military options against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s regime later on Thursday in the wake of a deadly attack which activists said killed at least 100 people — including 25 children — and injured at least 400 others earlier this week.
The White House and Pentagon have had detailed back-and-forth conversations over the past two days over options including a National Security Council meeting Wednesday. Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster have had repeated contact about the best way forward, a U.S. official told NBC News.
It is being reported that airstrikes and the use of cruise missiles against Syrian targets are among the initial options under consideration.
If Trump drops a few bombs or fires of a few cruise missiles that likely wouldn’t spark a broader conflict, but there is one option that is reportedly being considered that could bring us into direct military conflict with Russia. According to The Intercept, the Trump team is actually considering a “saturation strike” which would result “in Russian military deaths”…
The proposed strike would involve launching Tomahawk cruise missiles to overwhelm Russian air defense systems used by the Syrian military. The Russian government currently helps maintain the air defense sites and advises the Syrian military.
According to both U.S. military officials, the current proposal would likely result in Russian military deaths and mark a drastic escalation of U.S. force in Syria.
One U.S. military official said the decision to allow the strikes, which would kill Russians, signals a significant change in policy by the Trump administration. A decision by Trump to go forward with the plan would be a reversal from the Obama administration, which denied multiple air strike proposals that would likely cause Russian personnel casualties in Syria.
If that happens, any hope for improved relations with Russia will be permanently extinguished and it could easily result in the Russians shooting back at us.
The Russians have S-300 and S-400 air defense systems already in place in Syria. Both of those systems are some of the most advanced in the world and are a significant threat to U.S. warplanes.
As I discussed yesterday, it is not difficult to imagine what would happen if footage of U.S. aircraft being blown out of the sky by Russian missiles started rolling on our cable news channels 24 hours a day.
“In addition to other measures, the United States should lead an international coalition to ground Assad’s air force. This capability provides Assad a strategic advantage in his brutal slaughter of innocent civilians, both through the use of chemical weapons as well as barrel bombs, which kill far more men, women and children on a daily basis … Ultimately, the grounding of Assad’s air force can and should be part of a new comprehensive strategy to end the conflict in Syria.”
Of course if Trump goes to war with another sovereign nation without the approval of Congress that would be a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution, and that is something else that I would be talking about in part 4 of this series.
Even though I am writing about all of this, I still have a hard time believing that this is all happening less than three months into Trump’s presidency. The stage is being set for the kind of scenario that I outlined in The Beginning Of The End, and right now I am far more alarmed by the state of world events than I was at any point in 2016.
I am particularly disturbed by all of this talk about removing Assad.
How in the world does the Trump administration plan to do that?
Even if they conduct a massive bombing campaign that would turn Damascus into a “ruinous heap”, that would still not guarantee regime change.
The only thing that would guarantee regime change is a full-scale ground invasion and the conquest of the entire city of Damascus.
Of course the Russians, the Iranians and Hezbollah would not willingly step aside and let “coalition forces” march to Damascus, and so such a move could very easily spark World War 3 in the Middle East.
I can’t believe that Trump is actually thinking of going to war with Syria. There is nothing to be gained and so much that could be lost. Let us hope that someone can talk some sense to him while there is still time to do so.
I got chills when I saw a CNN report that said that a White House official has just warned that “the clock has now run out” on North Korea’s nuclear program and that “all options are on the table”. That second phrase has been repeatedly used by members of the Trump administration in recent days, and everyone knows what it means. When I wrote that a conflict with North Korea could be “Trump’s first war” last month, I was still hoping that cooler heads would prevail and that a military conflict could be avoided. Unfortunately, it appears that a peaceful solution is not in the cards, and that means that the United States may soon start bombing North Korea. And of course if that happens the North Koreans will strike back with whatever they can, and that includes nuclear weapons.
A senior White House official issued a dire warning to reporters Tuesday on the state of North Korea’s nuclear program, declaring “the clock has now run out and all options are on the table.”
“The clock has now run out, and all options are on the table,” the official said, pointing to the failure of successive administration’s efforts to negotiate an end to North Korea’s nuclear program.
Later this week, President Trump is going to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida. The eyes of the entire world will be on this summit, because everyone knows that Trump is going to press the Chinese leader for help on resolving the crisis with North Korea.
But what can China actually do?
The Chinese could cut off trade with North Korea, and that would definitely hurt, but North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to have become convinced that long range nuclear missiles are the key to the survival of his regime, and so he will never give up his nuclear program.
And the Chinese will certainly not strike North Korea militarily, and so ultimately if something is going to be done to stop North Korea from getting long range nuclear missiles it will be up to the United States.
On Tuesday morning, North Korea once again showed their defiance by firing yet another test missile into the Sea of Japan…
The missile was fired from the Sinpo region at 10.40pm GMT (6.10am local time) on the communist nation’s east coast and landed into the sea off the Korean peninsula, South Korean military officials confirmed.
The rocket is believed to have flown around 37 miles before crashing into the sea. Specific details about the type of projectile were not immediately available.
Kim Jong Un conducted more missile tests in 2016 than his father did in nearly two decades.
It has become crystal clear that North Korea is not going to back down.
President Trump is still hoping that China will step up to the plate, but if the Chinese don’t he has already stated that the United States is fully prepared to “act alone”. In fact, he made headlines all over the planet when he told the Financial Times the following: “Well if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you.”
It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what Trump is saying there.
Previous administrations have tried sanctions and negotiations for decades, and they all failed.
In the end, Trump is going to be faced with a choice whether to bomb North Korea or not, and four-star general Jack Keane says that bombing North Korea “may be the only option left”…
A four-star general with close ties to Donald Trump has warned that military strikes are ‘rapidly’ becoming the only solution to North Korea’s nuclear program.
Jack Keane, who declined the President’s offer to become Defense Secretary last year, said bombing Kim Jong-un’s nuclear facilities ‘may be the only option left.’
But bombing North Korea is not like bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or Syria.
The North Koreans already have nuclear weapons, and the U.S. better destroy them all in an overwhelming initial assault, because Kim Jong Un will use any that survive to strike back.
A senior North Korean defector has told NBC News that the country’s “desperate” dictator is prepared to use nuclear weapons to strike the United States and its allies.
Thae Yong Ho is the most high profile North Korean defector in two decades, meaning he is able to give a rare insight into the secretive, authoritarian regime.
According to Thae, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is “desperate in maintaining his rule by relying on his [development of] nuclear weapons and ICBM.” He was using an acronym for intercontinental ballistic missiles — a long range rocket that in theory would be capable of hitting the U.S.
North Korea is currently developing an intercontinental ballistic missile known as the “Taepodong 2” that will have a range of approximately 8000 kilometers.
In other words, it would be capable of striking cities in the western portion of the United States.
It is unthinkable that we would allow a tyrannical leader that is literally insane and that is obsessed with destroying the United States to have such a weapon.
But the moment that we start dropping bombs on North Korea we will start a war in which millions could die. Whatever nuclear weapons are missed in the first assault will likely be fired at U.S. military bases in Japan or at South Korea’s capital city of Seoul. Approximately 10 million people live in Seoul, so the death toll would be absolutely enormous. And even if all North Korean nuclear devices are destroyed by the first attack, the North Koreans still have thousands of artillery guns and rocket launchers trained on Seoul, and they would not hesitate to use their vast stockpile of chemical warheads.
After the initial North Korean barrage, the fourth largest military on the entire planet would start pouring across the border in a massive invasion of South Korea. The U.S. military would be forced to respond with large scale ground forces if South Korea would have any chance of surviving, and just like in the first Korean War the Chinese may decide to respond to that move by committing their own troops to the war on the side of North Korea.
This is a season of “wars and rumors of wars”, and most Americans have no idea how dangerously close we are to the beginning of World War III. My hope is that a peaceful way out of this crisis can still be found, but at this point that is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine.
If Donald Trump decides to go to war with North Korea, he needs to hit them with an absolutely overwhelming first strike that takes out every single North Korean nuke, the bulk of North Korea’s artillery and rockets, and the entire North Korean leadership team within the first few minutes of the attack.
It is hard to imagine a scenario that does not involve nukes that would accomplish that.
And Donald Trump better get the public approval of South Korean and Japanese leadership before ever attempting such an attack, because they will likely pay the highest price if North Korea is able to strike back.
If South Korea or Japan balk at backing such an operation and then they get hit by North Korean nukes, the United States could lose them as friends and allies forever.
The stakes are incredibly high, and there are so many things that could go wrong.
So let us pray for peace, because the alternative is almost too horrible to imagine.
Iran just conducted another provocative missile test, more U.S. troops are being sent to the Middle East, it was just announced that the U.S. military will be sending B-1 and B-52 bombers to South Korea in response to North Korea firing four missiles into the seas near Japan, and China is absolutely livid that a U.S. carrier group just sailed through contested waters in the South China Sea. We have entered a season where leaders all over the globe feel a need to rattle their sabers, and many fear that this could be leading us to war. In particular, Donald Trump is going to be under the microscope in the days ahead as other world leaders test his resolve. Will Trump be able to show that he is tough without going over the edge and starting an actual conflict?
As tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to mount, the semi-official news agency Tasnim is reporting that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has successfully conducted yet another ballistic missile test, this time from a navy vessel. Called the Hormuz 2, these latest missiles are designed to destroy moving targets at sea at ranges up to 300 km (180 miles).
Reports on the latest test quotes Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force, who confirmed that “the naval ballistic missile called Hormuz 2 successfully destroyed a target which was 250 km away.”
The missile test is the latest event in a long-running rivalry between Iran and the United States in and around the Strait of Hormuz, which guards the entrance to the Gulf. About 20% of the world’s oil passes through the waterway, which is less than 40 km wide at its narrowest point.
So how will Trump respond to this provocation?
Will he escalate the situation? If he does nothing he will look weak, but if he goes too far he could risk open conflict.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, things are already escalating. It is being reported that “several hundred Marines” are on the ground in Syria to support an assault on the city of Raqqa, and another 1,000 troops could be sent to Kuwait to join the fight against ISIS any day now. The following comes from Zero Hedge…
While the Trump administration waits to decide if it will send 1,000 troops to Kuwait to fight ISIS, overnight the Washington Post reported that the US has sent several hundred Marines to Syria to support an allied local force aiming to capture the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. Defence officials said they would establish an outpost from which they could fire artillery at IS positions some 32km (20 miles) away. US special forces are already on the ground, “advising” the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance according to the BBC.
The defence officials told the Washington Post that the Marines were from the San Diego-based 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and that they had flown to northern Syria via Djibouti and Kuwait. They are to set up an artillery battery that could fire powerful 155mm shells from M777 howitzers, the officials said. Another marine expeditionary unit carried out a similar mission at the start of the Iraqi government’s operation to recapture the city of Mosul from IS last year.
Meanwhile, China is spitting mad for several reasons. For one, the Chinese are absolutely furious that South Korea has allowed the U.S. to deploy the THAAD missile defense system on their soil…
China is lashing out at South Korea and Washington for the deployment of a powerful missile defense system known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, deposited at the Osan Air Base in South Korea on Monday evening.
The deployment of THAAD follows several ballistic missile tests by North Korea in recent months, including the launch of four missiles on Monday, three of which landed in the sea off the coast of Japan. Though THAAD would help South Korea protect itself from a North Korean missile attack, China is vocally protesting the deployment of the system, claiming it upsets the “strategic equilibrium” in the region because its radar will allow the United States to detect and track missiles launched from China.
Of course the U.S. needed to do something, because the North Koreans keep rattling their sabers by firing off more ballistic missiles toward Japan.
But it is one thing to deploy a missile defense system, and it is another thing entirely to fly strategic nuclear bombers into the region.
Now US military chiefs are reportedly planning to fly in B-1 and B-52 bombers – built to carry nuclear bombs – to show America has had enough.
South Korea and the US have also started their annual Foal Eagle military exercise sending a strong warning to North Korea over its actions.
A military official said 300,000 South Korean troops and 15,000 US personnel are taking part in the operation.
The Trump administration has openly stated that all options “are on the table” when it comes to North Korea, and that includes a military strike.
It has been more than 60 years since the Korean War ended, but many are concerned that we may be closer to a new Korean War than we have been at any point since that time.
And of course our relationship with China is tumbling precariously downhill as well. Another reason why the Chinese are extremely upset with the Trump administration is because a U.S. Navy carrier battle group led by the USS Carl Vinson sailed past islands that China claims in the South China Sea just a few weeks ago.
In China, the media openly talks about the possibility of war with the United States over the South China Sea. Most Americans are not even aware that the South China Sea is a very serious international issue, but over in China this is a major focus.
Also in February, the U.S. sent a dozen F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to Tindal AB in northern Australia, the closest Australian military airbase to China, for coalition training and exercises. It’s the first deployment of that many F-22s in the Pacific.
And if that didn’t get the attention of the Chinese government, the U.S. just tested four Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles during a nuclear war exercise, sending the simulated weapons 4,200 miles from the coast of California into the mid-Pacific. It’s the first time in three years the U.S. has conducted tests in the Pacific, and the first four-missile salvo since the end of the Cold War.
I can understand the need to look tough, but eventually somebody is going to go too far.
If you are familiar with my work, then you know that I believe that war is coming. Things in the Middle East continue to escalate, and it is only a matter of time before a great war erupts between Israel and her neighbors. Meanwhile, U.S. relations with both Russia and China continue to deteriorate, and this is something that I have been warning about for a very long time.
We should hope for peace, but we should also not be blind to the signs of war that are starting to emerge all over the planet. Relatively few people anticipated the outbreak of World War I and World War II in advance, and I have a feeling that the same thing will be true for World War III.
January 20th cannot come soon enough. Instead of stepping back and trying to ensure a smooth transition for Donald Trump, Barack Obama has decided to go hog wild and use every ounce of presidential power still available to him. He has been establishing a bunch of new national monuments, he just stabbed Israel in the back at the United Nations, and on Thursday he even took time to give Joe Biden a Presidential Medal of Freedom. But one of the things that has people the most concerned is his endless provoking of Russia. Every few days it seems like Obama is doing something else to aggravate Russia, and if he wasn’t leaving office in about a week I am sure that the mainstream media would be full of speculation about a possible war.
Lame duck presidents are not supposed to make risky moves like this once a new president has been elected. On Thursday, we learned that U.S. troops have been permanently deployed to Poland for the very first time…
American soldiers rolled into Poland on Thursday, fulfilling a dream some Poles have had since the fall of communism in 1989 to have U.S. troops on their soil as a deterrent against Russia.
Some people waved and held up American flags as U.S. troops in tanks and other vehicles crossed into southwestern Poland from Germany and headed toward the town of Zagan, where they will be based. Poland’s prime minister and defense minister will welcome them in an official ceremony Saturday.
Poland was once a key member of the Warsaw Pact alliance, and the Russians are quite alarmed that U.S. troops will now be stationed so close to the Russian heartland. The following comes from ABC News…
“These actions threaten our interests, our security,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday. “Especially as it concerns a third party building up its military presence near our borders. It’s not even a European state.”
And it has also been announced that NATO troops will arrive in Lithuania in late January. If you will remember, Lithuania was actually part of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
All of a sudden, Russia has become enemy number one. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton say that Russia is to blame for Clinton’s election loss, and so at the end of December Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the country.
That is the sort of thing that you do before a war starts.
Nations in Europe, where Germany and France this year hold elections, are erecting defenses to counter possible Russian cyber attacks and disinformation to sway Western politics, but intelligence experts say this might be too little and too late.
The issue of Russian “influence operations” has taken on new urgency after U.S. intelligence agencies released a non-classified assessment that President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to move the U.S. election in favor of Donald Trump.
European nations and NATO are setting up centers to identify “fake news”, bolstering cyber defenses and tracking use of social media which target Russian-speaking communities, far-right groups, political parties, voters and decision-makers.
At that time, Barack Obama boldly declared that the Cold War had been over for 20 years. But now here we are just four years later and Barack Obama has gotten us into a new Cold War. The crisis in Ukraine, the civil war in Syria, the price of oil, cyber-espionage and a whole host of other issues have brought tensions between the United States and Russia to a boiling point.
Many are hoping that relations with Russia will improve during the Trump administration, but the truth is that things could go either way.
It is important to remember that Trump will be surrounded by military people that are virulently anti-Russia. For example, retired Marine General James Mattis has been nominated to be Defense Secretary, and this week he told Congress that Russia is the “principal threat” to U.S. security…
While much of the hearing has so far been without controveries, in the most striking moment so far, Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia stands as the “principal threat” to the United States’s security. He said this is because of its actions and efforts to “intimidate” other countries.
Senator John McCain questioned Mattis to get his opinion on how much of a threat Russia represents. Mattis response was that the world order is “under biggest attacks since WW2, from Russia, terrorist groups, and China’s actions in the South China Sea”, agreeing with the neocon senator that Russia is trying to break up NATO.
“I’m all for engagement” with Russia, “but we also have to recognize the reality of what Russia is up to,” Mattis told Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island).
There is a great deal of concern that Trump’s view of Russia could be significantly shaped by strong military men such as Mattis. Both Democrats and Republicans want Trump to become much more anti-Russia, and let us hope that he does not give in to the pressure.
Over in Russia, they view us very negatively as well. A Gallup survey taken in mid-2016 found that current U.S. leadership (the Obama administration) only had a one percent approval rating in Russia.
Yes, you read that correctly.
You can’t get much lower than one percent.
The Russians consider themselves to be the great force for good in the world, and they consider the United States to be the great force for evil. They openly talk about the possibility of nuclear war on their news broadcasts, and on one recent broadcast people were actually encouraged to locate the closest nuclear bomb shelter to their homes.
And in response to U.S. troops being deployed to Poland, the Russian government has deployed advanced anti-aircraft missile systems around Moscow…
Russia has deployed anti-aircraft missile systems around Moscow to protect the capital from attack in the latest sign Vladimir Putin is preparing for war.
The s-400 Triumph air defence system has been providing air cover for Russian forces in Syria since November, and is now being deployed on home soil.
It is capable of hitting moving airborne targets including planes and incoming missiles and has a range of 400km.
We should be very thankful that Barack Obama is leaving office, because right now we are on a path that leads to war with Russia.
Every American should be hoping that Donald Trump will work to greatly improve relations with the Russians, but all it would take is one wrong move for things to start deteriorating once again.
A new Cold War has begun, and the stakes are incredibly high…
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has just announced that the only reason Turkish military forces have entered northern Syria is to “end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad”. By publicly proclaiming that Turkey intends to use military force to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Erdogan has essentially declared war on the Syrian government. Of course this puts a member of NATO in direct military conflict with Russia, since Russia is working very hard to prop up the Assad regime. If all-out war breaks out between Turkey and Russia, could that be the spark that causes World War 3 to erupt in the Middle East? And once Turkey and Russia start fighting, would the United States and the rest of NATO be dragged into the conflict?
The big mainstream news networks in the western world are almost completely ignoring what Erdogan said on Tuesday, but without a doubt this is major news. The following comes from a Turkish news source…
The Turkish military launched its operations in Syria to end the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Nov. 29.
“In my estimation, nearly 1 million people have died in Syria. These deaths are still continuing without exception for children, women and men. Where is the United Nations? What is it doing? Is it in Iraq? No. We preached patience but could not endure in the end and had to enter Syria together with the Free Syrian Army [FSA],” Erdoğan said at the first Inter-Parliamentary Jerusalem Platform Symposium in Istanbul.
Turkish military forces initially invaded northern Syria on August 24th, and at the time we were all told that the purpose of the invasion was to “fight ISIS”, but now Erdogan is telling us something completely different.
Breitbart is one of the few U.S. news outlets that is reporting on this story, and I want you to read the following quotes from Erdogan that come from a Breitbart article that was posted on Tuesday very, very carefully…
“Why did we enter? We do not have an eye on Syrian soil. The issue is to provide lands to their real owners. That is to say we are there for the establishment of justice. We entered there to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror,” Erdogan continued, insisting his forces were not in Syria for “any other reason.”
The Daily Sabahnotes that Erdogan spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about Syria during two telephone calls last week. Since Russia launched a massive military operation to secure Bashar Assad in power, Putin would presumably have been interested in anything Erdogan had to say about toppling the regime in Damascus, and probably would not have kept quiet about it.
If the Turkish military is only in Syria to end the Assad regime, then presumably they will stay there until the job is done.
And this puts Turkey into a direct military conflict with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah since all three of them are already fighting very hard to help the Assad regime.
Of course there is another reason why Turkey is in northern Syria, and that is to fight the Kurds. In fact, the Kurds and Turkey are both rushing to capture a little city northeast of Aleppo called al-Bab which is currently controlled by the Islamic State…
Their immediate challenge is securing al-Bab, an Islamic State-held city northeast of Aleppo which Kurdish-led fighters are racing to take, and which lies close to the front lines of Assad’s allies.
Turkish-backed forces have made rapid gains since August, but largely through less heavily populated areas. Urban warfare around al-Bab is already taking a heavier toll. Five Turkish soldiers have been killed in the past week alone, three of them in a suspected Syrian government air strike.
“Right now the question is whether Russia will allow Turkey to seize al-Bab,” said the Muntasir Billah Brigade official.
But most people in the western world don’t know that Turkish soldiers are already dying in Syria.
Here in the United States, tens of millions of Americans are hailing a new era of “peace and prosperity” now that Donald Trump has won the election, but the truth is that one false move in Syria could easily raise tensions between the United States and Russia to the highest level that we have seen since the Cuban missile crisis back in the 1960s.
If Erdogan would have just stayed out of Syria we wouldn’t be in such a precarious situation. Unfortunately, the president of Turkey is a narcissistic lunatic, and he dreams of a day when the old Ottoman Empire will once again be restored.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Muslims to defend the Palestinian cause, striking a tough stance on Israel despite improved ties between the two nations.
The president of majority Muslim Turkey said Tuesday that “it is the common duty of all Muslims to embrace the Palestinian cause and protect Jerusalem” and that safeguarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque should not be left to children armed with nothing but stones. Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, the hilltop compound is sacred to Muslims and Jews.
Most people in the western world pay very little attention to Erdogan, but the truth is that he is a madman that is often referred to as “Turkey’s version of Adolf Hitler”. He is extremely ambitious, extremely nationalistic, and he is a warmonger. That is a very dangerous combination, and I believe that it is only a matter of time before he starts a major war in the Middle East.
Somebody needs to get this guy under control, but unfortunately the Obama administration has been very hesitant to confront Erdogan about his outrageous behavior.
When Erdogan openly stated that the Turkish military is in Syria to overthrow the Assad regime on Tuesday, that was like lighting a match in a room that has already been doused with propane.
He needs to immediately retract those comments, because his unique brand of lunacy has now brought us dangerously close to the start of World War 3.
The drumbeats of war are growing louder. Fighting in eastern Ukraine between separatists and pro-government forces has risen to an intensity not seen in well over a year, and the Russians claim that they recently foiled a “Ukrainian plot” to conduct terror attacks in Crimea. As tensions in the region have increased, the Russians have used the cover of “military drills” to move massive amounts of troops and military equipment up to the border with Ukraine. This is something that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, but things have intensified since then, and a huge military exercise is planned for September. Needless to say, the Ukrainians are quite alarmed by this, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is warning that a full scale mobilization of the Ukrainian military may be needed. If something is going to happen, it is likely to happen soon. As you will see below, once we get into October it will become much less likely that we would see a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine is holding a major military parade in Kiev today to mark its 25th anniversary as an independent state. But, at a time that should otherwise be a moment of national celebration, a serious crisis with Moscow is flaring up. So serious, in fact, that on Tuesday the Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande were forced to hold a three-way phone call to try to de-escalate the situation.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has even warned that there is growing risk of a “full scale Russian invasion along all fronts,” ratcheting up what is already the bloodiest European conflict since the wars over the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
And the truth is that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has some very good reasons to be concerned. As the Washington Post has pointed out, the Russians have used military exercises as an excuse to stage forces for military action in the past…
As violence in the east heats up, Ukrainian officials have suggested that Russia may use the upcoming military drills, called Kavkaz (Caucasus) 2016, as cover for military action against Ukraine. The drills are the first to integrate the Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, into the country’s military planning, and thousands of Russian troops will be brought in for air, land and sea exercises.
Ukrainian government analysts have recalled that exercises served as staging grounds for troop incursions in 2014, as did Russian military exercises held shortly before the Georgian war of 2008. Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations suggested that Russia may have “bad intentions,” while the West has also said it would like observers to be present.
If there is going to be a Russian invasion of Ukraine in September, Kavkaz 2016 will likely be used as cover for invasion preparations. It is a yearly exercise, but in 2016 it looks like it will be much bigger than ever before, and some analysts have pointed out that the Russians have not conducted a mobilization on this scale since the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Here is more on Kavkaz 2016 from the Daily Signal…
In September, Russia has plans for a large-scale strategic military exercise called Kavkaz-2016. The exercise, which is an annual event, will include units deployed near the borders of Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan—including two Russian military districts in the Southern and Northern Caucasus, the Russian Black Sea Fleet (headquartered in occupied Crimea), and the Caspian Flotilla.
It is not immediately clear the exact size of this year’s exercise, but last year it comprised 95,000 troops, 7,000 vehicles, and 150 aircraft, according to a report by IHS Markit, a U.K.-based intelligence and analysis firm.
If the Russians are going to do something, they need to do it soon, because the weather turns very bad during the month of October. Here is one how one analyst assessed the situation…
“But will there be a war – we’ll see, no much time for guessing left… In this situation, the main thing for Russia is to achieve strategic and tactical surprise. And if she does not start now – then it will be too late. One would need to turn off full-scale operations in October because of the rains and the next draft to Russian army (it would mean the demobilization of current wave of conscripts and training the new ones – UT).”
A Russian invasion of Ukraine would mean that Russian relations with the U.S. and with Europe would immediately plunge to Cold War levels. Of course some would argue that we are already there. In any event, a Russian invasion would force the U.S. and NATO to make some very uncomfortable decisions.
Would the U.S. and NATO just stand by and do nothing while Ukraine is overrun by the Russians?
But if the U.S. and NATO responded with military force, that would risk a full scale nuclear confrontation with Russia.
Right now, a war with Russia is about the last thing that most Americans are thinking about, but the truth is that we are not that far away from such a scenario.
Recently, I grabbed a taxi in Moscow. When the driver asked me where I was from, I told him the United States. “I went there once,” he said, “to Chicago. I really liked it.”
“But tell me something,” he added. “When are we going to war?”
The question, put so starkly, so honestly, shocked me. “Well, I hope never,” I replied. “No one wants war.”
At the office, I ask a Russian employee about the mood in his working class Moscow neighborhood. The old people are buying salt, matches and gretchka [buckwheat], he tells me—the time-worn refuge for Russians stocking up on essentials in case of war.
In the past two months, I’ve traveled to the Baltic region, to Georgia, and to Russia. Talk of war is everywhere.
Most Americans don’t realize that Russians already view the United States more negatively than they did even during the height of the Cold War. On Russian television they openly talk about the inevitability of a war between the United States and Russia, and the Russian military has feverishly been preparing for such a future conflict.
If we can get to October, we can probably breathe a bit of a sigh of relief because the Russians are not likely to conduct an invasion once the weather turns bad.
But for now there are very good reasons to be concerned, and we shall see what happens over the coming weeks…
On the surface, things seem pretty quiet in mid-July 2016. The biggest news stories are about the speculation surrounding Donald Trump’s choice of running mate, the stock market in the U.S. keeps setting new all-time record highs, and the media seems completely obsessed with Taylor Swift’s love life. But underneath the surface, it is a very different story. As you will see below, the conditions for a “perfect storm” are coming together very rapidly, and the rest of 2016 promises to be much more chaotic than what we have seen so far.
Let’s start with China. On Tuesday, an international tribunal in the Hague ruled against China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Chinese government announced ahead of time that they do not recognize the jurisdiction of the tribunal, and they have absolutely no intention of abiding by the ruling. In fact, China is becoming even more defiant in the aftermath of this ruling. We aren’t hearing much about it in the U.S. media, but according to international news reports Chinese president Xi Jinping has ordered the People’s Liberation Army “to prepare for combat” with the United States if the Obama administration presses China to abandon the islands that they are currently occupying in the South China Sea…
“Chinese president Xi Jinping has reportedly ordered the People’s Liberation Army to prepare for combat,” reports Arirang.com. “U.S.-based Boxun News said Tuesday that the instruction was given in case the United States takes provocative action in the waters once the ruling is made.”
A U.S. aircraft carrier and fighter jets were already sent to the region in anticipation of the ruling, with the Chinese Navy also carrying out exercises near the disputed Paracel islands.
Last October, China said it was “not frightened” to fight a war with the U.S. following an incident where the guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen violated the 12-nautical mile zone China claims around Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago.
Meanwhile, the relationship between the United States and Russia continues to go from bad to worse. The installation of a missile defense system in Romania is just the latest incident that has the Russians absolutely steaming, and during a public appearance on June 17th Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to get western reporters to understand that the world is being pulled toward war…
“We know year by year what’s going to happen, and they know that we know. It’s only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger – this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don’t know how to get through to you anymore.”
And of course the Russians have been feverishly updating and modernizing their military in preparation for a potential future conflict with the United States. Just today we learned that the Russians are working to develop a hypersonic strategic bomber that is going to have the capability of striking targets with nuclear warheads from outer space.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration does not feel a similar sense of urgency. The size of our strategic nuclear arsenal has declined by about 95 percent since the peak of the Cold War, and many of our installations are still actually using rotary phones and the kind of 8 inch floppy disks for computers that were widely used back in the 1970s.
But I don’t expect war with China or Russia to erupt by the end of 2016. Of much more immediate concern is what is going on in the Middle East. The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, but it is Israel that could soon be the center of attention.
Back in March, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration wanted to revive the peace process in the Middle East before Obama left office, and that a UN Security Council resolution that would divide the land of Israel and set the parameters for a Palestinian state was still definitely on the table…
The White House is working on plans for reviving long-stalled Middle East negotiations before President Barack Obama leaves office, including a possible United Nations Security Council resolution that would outline steps toward a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, according to senior U.S. officials.
And just this week, the Washington Post reported that there were renewed “rumblings” about just such a resolution…
Israel is facing a restive European Union, which is backing a French initiative that seeks to outline a future peace deal by year’s end that would probably include a call for the withdrawal of Israeli troops and the creation of a Palestinian state. There are also rumblings that the U.N. Security Council might again hear resolutions about the conflict.
For years, Barack Obama has stressed the need for a Palestinian state, and now that his second term is drawing to a close he certainly realizes that this is his last chance to take action at the United Nations. If he is going to pull the trigger and support a UN resolution formally establishing a Palestinian state, it will almost certainly happen before the election in November. So over the coming months we will be watching these developments very carefully.
And it is interesting to note that there is an organization called “Americans For Peace Now” that is collecting signatures and strongly urging Obama to support a UN resolution of this nature. The following comes from their official website…
Now is the time for real leadership that can revive and re-accredit the two-state solution as President Obama enters his final months in office. And he can do this – he can lay the groundwork for a two-state agreement in the future by supporting an Israeli-Palestinian two-state resolution in the United Nations Security Council.
Such a resolution would restore U.S. leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. It would preserve the now-foundering two-state outcome. And it would be a gift to the next president, leaving her or him constructive options for consequential actions in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, in place of the ever-worsening, politically stalemated status quo there is today.
Sadly, a UN resolution that divides the land of Israel and that formally establishes a Palestinian state would not bring lasting peace. Instead, it would be the biggest mistake of the Obama era, and it would set the stage for a major war between Israel and her neighbors. This is something that I discussed during a recent televised appearance down at Morningside that you can watch right here…
At the same time all of this is going on, the global economic crisis continues to escalate. Even though U.S. financial markets are in great shape at the moment, the same cannot be said for much of the rest of the world.
Just look at the country that is hosting the Olympics this summer. Brazil is mired in the worst economic downturn that it has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and Rio de Janeiro’s governor has declared “a state of financial emergency“.
Elsewhere, China is experiencing the worst economic downturn that they have seen in decades, the Japanese are still trying to find the end of their “lost decade”, and the banking crisis in Europe is getting worse with each passing month.
In quite a few articles recently, I have discussed the ongoing implosion of the biggest and most important bank in Germany. But I am certainly not the only one warning about this. In one of his recent articles, Simon Black also commented on the turmoil at “the most dangerous bank in Europe”…
Well-capitalized banks are supposed to have double-digit capital levels while making low risk investments.
Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, has a capital level of less that 3% (just like Lehman), and an incredibly risky asset base that boasts notional derivatives exposure of more than $70 trillion, roughly the size of world GDP.
But of course Deutsche Bank isn’t getting a lot of attention from the mainstream media right now because of the stunning meltdown of banks in Italy, Spain and Greece. Here is more from Simon Black…
Italian banks are sitting on over 360 billion euros in bad loans right now and are in desperate need of a massive bailout.
IMF calculations show that Italian banks’ capital levels are among the lowest in the world, just ahead of Bangladesh.
And this doesn’t even scratch the surface of problems in other banking jurisdictions.
Spanish banks have been scrambling to raise billions in capital to cover persistent losses that still haven’t healed from the last crisis.
In Greece, over 35% of all loans in the banking system are classified as “non-performing”.
Even though U.S. stocks are doing well for the moment, the truth is that trillions of dollars of stock market wealth has been lost globally since this time last year. If you are not familiar with what has been going on around the rest of the planet, this may come as a surprise to you. During my recent appearance at Morningside, I shared some very startling charts which show how dramatically global markets have shifted over the past 12 months. You can view the segment in which I shared these charts right here…
I would really like it if the rest of 2016 was as quiet and peaceful as the past couple of days have been.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe that is going to be the case at all.
The storm clouds are rising and the conditions for a “perfect storm” are brewing. Sadly, most people are not going to understand what is happening until it is far too late.