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The stuff you won't see in the liberal media (click "Replies" for top stories)
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Beckwith

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Russia tells its citizens "nuclear war with the West could happen soon"

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Rob Waugh (Metro) is reporting that as tensions rise in the middle East, an official TV channels in Russia has issued a chilling warning that war with the West could be imminent.

Zvezda, a nationwide TV service run by the country's Ministry of Defense, said last week, "Schizophrenics from America are sharpening nuclear weapons for Moscow."

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday proposed a law suspending a Moscow-Washington agreement to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium.

Officials said on Friday that underground shelters had been built which could house 12 million people -- enough for the entire population of Moscow.

Russia has clashed with the Western powers over its policy in Syria -- where it's accused of bombing civilians -- and the U.S suspended negotiations with the country yesterday.

Both Russia and NATO are still in the position to unleash global-scale nuclear attacks -- and the weapons are armed and ready.

The Arms Control Association says, "the United States and Russia still deploy more than 1,500 strategic warheads on several hundred bombers and missiles -- far more than necessary to deter nuclear attack -- and they are modernizing their nuclear delivery systems."



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Beckwith

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U.S. and Russia inch toward war, thanks to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

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Tad Cronn (Constitution.com) is reporting that as the presidential election dominates the daily headlines, it might have been easy to miss that recent developments in Syria are leading the United States slowly toward a possible war with Russia.

At an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting called to discuss this weekend's stepped up bombings in the city of Aleppo by Syrian and Russian warplanes, U.N. envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said Russia's aiding the Syrian government to bomb the city may constitute war crimes.

That was seconded by British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft: "It is difficult to deny that Russia is partnering with the Syrian regime to carry out war crimes."

U.S. ambassador Samantha Power said Moscow's actions in Syria were "barbarism, not counterterrorism."

The United States and Russia had brokered a cease-fire, but the plan fell apart last week, and the bomb strikes in Aleppo have been reportedly targeting largely civilian areas where the Syrian government claims rebels are hiding.

At this point, most countries seem to have given up on a peaceful resolution in Syria, including the United States.

Rycroft said the U.S.-Russian peace effort was "nearing the end of its life."

Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin admitted that peace "is almost an impossible task now."

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged the members of the Security Council to redouble their efforts to put an end to the violence in Syria.

"What excuse is there for anything less than determined action to stop the mayhem?" Ban said. "How much longer will all those with influence allow such cruelty to continue?"

So naturally, when it was time for the Syrian ambassador to speak about the situation, the ambassadors for the U.S., Britain and France walked out.

And there you have it.

The Obama Administration getting huffy about the situation in Syria demonstrates perhaps the ultimate extent of hypocrisy, considering that it is Barack Obama's foreign policy that armed and funded the Syrian rebels for years, and his State Department's use of former al-Qaida mercenaries that helped create and arm ISIS, which in turn has fanned the Syrian political dispute into a blossoming war whose extent seems to be growing daily.

The Arab Spring policy, devised by Obama and Hillary Clinton, overturned several Islamic governments in the Middle East and North Africa as Obama sought to carve his legacy into the troubled region by installing his apparently preferred flavor of Islamic rule -- Sunni/Muslim Brotherhood. The results were predictably disastrous, but the biggest hurdle Obama has wanted to clear and has thus far been unable to conquer is Syria, where President al-Assad is a member of the Shiite sect called Alawis.

The difficulty lies in Syria's firm alliance with Russia.

Obama found himself forced to at least give lip service to cooperating with the Russians, meanwhile playing both sides of the table by still funding "rebels," and darned if U.S. bombs haven't been doing much damage, unless it was "accidentally" to Syrian government forces.

So now we take another step toward direct confrontation with Russia, thanks to Obama, even as we look forward to the first presidential debate tonight between Donald Trump and Clinton, the former secretary of state who helped Obama sow chaos in the Islamic world and bring us to the precipice of war in the first place.


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Beckwith

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This tipping point could escalate into World War III -- Putin says "the threat of nuclear war is very real

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"I have this awful vision of the Baltic States being seized, NATO unable to respond, Putin then blackmails using nuclear weapons what is called chillingly 'nuclear de-escalation' and NATO is unable to do anything about it.  The alliance collapses and at a stroke, Putin has destroyed … the organization perhaps he fears the most, NATO. America is decoupled from Europe and the world is changed irrevocably. 

Add the other chilling aspect of this, that nuclear weapons are hardwired into Russian defense thinking, then it gets really serious and potentially existential.  Because if there is any hint of a Russian military foot stepping across those borders of Latvia, Estonia or Lithuania that means war under article five of the NATO treaty … but it also means nuclear war in Europe. 

We should never assume rationality in strategic affairs, the human dimension is critical here and history is full of examples of irrational decisions being taken by leaders who believe they can get away with it.  What we've seen [in Putin] is an adventurer, an opportunist who's able to make decisions very quickly to seize opportunities as they're presented."

General Sir Richard Shirreff (Ret.), who served as NATO's Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, speaking with London Reporters May 18, 2016.  He referred to the Russian annexation of Crimea as a "copybook military play."

Mac Slavo (FreedomOutpost) says General Shirreff isn't alone in his thoughts, and those reflections are not unfounded.  The Russian annexation of Ukraine was in 2014, and this (as has been mentioned ad infinitum) was in response to the ousting of the Ukrainian president and the insertion of Yatsenuk, a U.S. State Department creation of Victoria Nuland and Senators McCain and Graham.  The annexation was specifically to secure Sevastopol and prevent the Russian naval base from falling into the hands of the Ukraine-U.S.-NATO-IMF hegemony.

That being said, on August 10, 2016 two Russian soldiers were reported killed by the Ukrainian military in two separate cross-border raids.  One FSS officer was killed August 7th and one soldier was killed August 8th.  Now keep in mind: the FSS (Federal Security Service) that controls border guards for Russian territory (in this case Crimea) is also known as the FSB, or the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, (in Russian) Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации (ФСБ).  They are the agency that inherited the responsibilities of the KGB of the USSR when it collapsed.

The Ukrainians countered by declaring the charges as being false; however, "false" or not, the incident is serious enough to have warranted comments from Vladimir Putin, as follows:

"From the Russian side there were losses -- two soldiers killed. We obviously will not let such things slide by. The attempt to provoke an uptick in violence, to provoke conflict is nothing but an attempt to distract public attention."

-Vladimir Putin to Moscow reporters August 10, 2016

Putin also said that there would be no need to meet with Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian President during the G20 summit meeting hosted by China in September of this year.

There have been nightly battles between Ukrainians of Russian-extraction who are pro-separatist and the Ukrainian military.  The contested Donetsk area of Eastern Ukraine has seen fighting even though a cease fire is supposedly in effect.  The Donetsk Peoples' Republic and the Luhansk Peoples' Republics are two of the main factions fighting the Ukrainian military.  The Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported three soldiers killed on August 8th.  The separatists have answered by decrying Ukrainian mortar attacks that are claimed to be inflicting casualties on unarmed civilians as well as the targeted separatists.

Much of this comes as NATO and the IMF continue to attempt to garner Ukraine into the EU and make the country a full-fledged NATO member.  Such an action will not come without a price, however, and an excellent example of this can be found in an article entitled "Ukraine joining NATO would be trigger for war with Russia," by Debra Killalea of news.com.au. 

Killalea conducted an interview with Professor Paul Dibb, an emeritus professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University.  Dibb also was a clandestine agent against the Soviets for twenty years, and is a recognized expert on Russian affairs.  Dibbs stated the following:

"The red line in the sand is if NATO makes Ukraine a member.  That will be seen as a call for war."

Dibbs also added that a nuclear war with Russia was "not an impossibility."

Adding to this thought of Dibbs are the prognostications of Vladimir Putin that the threat of nuclear war is very real.  Stefan Stanford of All News Pipeline reported on August 13, 2016 that Russia is going to hide an entire city in a massive military drill for three days.  The Russian city of Severomorsk of 50,000 inhabitants on the Arctic coast of Russia, according to Stanford's article, will use the drill to cloak the city and its submarine fleet…possibly for the intentions of shuffling the fleet and avoiding notice.

Let's also keep in mind the Soros connection, and how Soros had a failed bid to capture the eastern Ukrainian provinces for mining and natural resources for $50 million…a mere pittance of what the area holds economically.  A bunch of Soros' documents were leaked out over the weekend, and you can access a ton of them at soros.dcleaks.com.  You can enter the section marked "Europe" and read a ton of Soros plans and documents regarding his intentions for the area.

Since these plans tie into the IMF plans and NATO's, it is small wonder that Ukraine is a tipping point that can easily escalate into World War III.



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Beckwith

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How Hilary Clinton helped the Russians create a Russian "Silicon Valley"

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Paul Mirengoff (PowerLine) is reporting that Russia has become a major issue in this year's presidential campaign. It should have been a major issue in the last one, but Barack Obama countered Mitt Romney's attempt to inject Russia into the debate with his sophomoric quip that "the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back." Whether it's ISIS (aka "the jayvee") or Russia, Obama sure knows how to spot trouble.

This year, both parties agree that Russia poses a serious threat. In this respect, and perhaps only this respect, the 2016 campaign is an improvement over last time.

With attention now being paid, Peter Schweitzer's latest piece on the Clinton Foundation will perhaps make a mark. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Schweitzer shows that under Hillary Clinton's leadership, "the State Department recruited and facilitated the commitment of billions of American dollars in the creation of a Russian "Silicon Valley" whose technological innovations include Russian hypersonic cruise-missile engines, radar surveillance equipment, and vehicles capable of delivering airborne Russian troops."

Here's how it happened. As part of Hillary's Russian reset, the Kremlin committed $5 billion over three years to fund Skolkovo, an "innovation city" on the outskirts of Moscow billed as Russia's version of Silicon Valley. Clinton's State Department worked aggressively to attract U.S. investment partners and helped the Russian State Investment Fund identify American tech companies worthy of Russian investment.

Dozens of U.S. tech firms, including top Clinton Foundation donors like Google, Intel, and Cisco, then made major financial contributions to Skolkovo. According to Schweitzer, by 2012 Skolkovo had 28 Russian, American and European "Key Partners." Of the 28 key partners, 17 have made financial commitments to the Clinton Foundation, totaling tens of millions of dollars, or sponsored speeches by Bill Clinton.

Russian money also flowed to the Clinton Foundation. Schweitzer reports that Andrey Vavilov, the chairman of SuperOx, part of Skolkovo's nuclear-research cluster, donated between $10,000 and $25,000. Skolkovo Foundation chief and billionaire Putin confidant Viktor Vekselberg also donated through his company.

As the Slolkovo project gained momentum, U.S. defense experts became alarmed. The U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth warned:

The Skolkovo Foundation has, in fact, been involved in defense-related activities since December 2011, when it approved the first weapons-related project -- the development of a hypersonic cruise missile engine. . . . Not all of the center's efforts are civilian in nature.

Similarly, Lucia Ziobro, an assistant special agent at the FBI's Boston office, stated that "the FBI believes the true motives of the Russian partners, who are often funded by their government, is to gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology. . ." Ziobro added, "The [Skolkovo] foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation's sensitive or classified research development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial application."

Hillary Clinton knew about the dual-use problem while she was Secretary of State. Schweitzer notes that a State Department cable sent to then-Secretary Clinton (and obtained via WikiLeaks) mentioned possible "dual use and export control concerns" related to research and development technology ventures with Moscow.

Clinton ignored the problem. Was this due to the millions of dollars in Clinton Foundation donations by Skolkovo's key partners?

Only Hillary knows for sure. But the burden should be on her to provide a more convincing explanation.

In any event, Clinton is responsible for helping create a Russian "Silicon Valley" that has enabled the Krelim to boost its military and surveillance capacity. And let's not forget her role in enabling Russia to gain control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States.

Russia has been well-served by Hillary Clinton's cluelessness and greed.

Related:  The Clinton Foundation, the State Department and their Kremlin connections


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Beckwith

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Entire Russian team of 387 athletes will be banned from competing at the Rio Olympics

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Jonathan Mcevoy (DailyMail) is reporting that the entire Russian Olympic team will today be banned from competing at the Rio Games next month, The Mail on Sunday understands.

According to well-placed sources, the International Olympic Committee will punish all 387 Russian sportsmen and women in the strongest possible way after revelations of their country’s state-sponsored doping program shocked the world.

The country's corrupt track and field stars have already been banned from the Games, and last week lost a desperate legal challenge to overturn that decision.

But yesterday’s ruling -- the most momentous in Olympic history -- will see Russia's medal hopes in cycling, judo, wrestling and all other disciplines excluded from competition in the wake of the scandal.

The controversy involved President Vladimir Putin's sports ministry handing out cocktails of steroids and covering up tainted urine samples ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

As well as excluding Russian athletes from the forthcoming Games, senior IOC figures are also advocating a ban for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. An Olympic insider told the MoS: "The IOC want to ban Russia to show [doping] is an assault on the whole of sport."

"That effectively means expulsion from Rio. But Thomas Bach (the IOC president) also wants to give consideration to the rights of individuals."

To this end, a small number of Russian athletes who train abroad, subject to stringent anti-doping procedures and demonstrably free of Russia's sphere of corruption, may be offered a lifeline to compete in Rio under a neutral flag.

It is understood that the Committee, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, will ask each international federation, the bodies responsible for individual Olympic sports, to examine the personal merits of potential Russian athletes, to assess whether they can compete as exceptional cases.

Two have already received dispensation to compete in Brazil -- Yuliya Stepanova, the 800m runner and a key whistleblower in the doping scandal, and long jumper Darya Klishina, who is based and tested in Florida.

A spokesman for the IOC said: "The IOC Executive Board is meeting tomorrow to discuss the participation of Russian athletes in Rio. We intend to send a statement with the decision just after the proceedings."

The IOC's bombshell decision is likely to enrage Mr. Putin, but it is unclear whether he and other Russian dignitaries will boycott the Games.



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Beckwith

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American-British forces base bombed by Russians

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Jack Davis (WesternJournalism) is reporting that Russian jets twice bombed a secret military base in Syria used by British and American forces last month, once only 90 minutes after Russia was told they were bombing a site used by the two countries, according to reports that emerged Friday.

The Interfax News Agency in Moscow and the Wall Street Journal reported  the attacks took place June 16 at the base, located along the border between Syria and Jordan. The Journal reported that about 20 British troops who had been temporarily stationed at the base had left it about 24 hours before the Russian attacks.

Interfax quoted its sources as saying the attacks took place because the U.S. did not accede to Russian demands that it be provided with information on American and British activities in areas where Syrian moderates were located.

In the first attack, the Russian plane dropped a cluster bomb, American officials said. Although the U.S. central command air operations center in Qatar then called Russia’s air campaign headquarters in Latakia, Syria, to avert any future attacks and tell them the base shouldn’t be attacked, it was attacked again about 90 minutes later.

Although the U.S. tried to reach Russian pilots on frequencies both sides agreed to use in emergencies, the Russian pilots did not answer. At least four rebels died in the attacks.

According to the report in the Wall Street Journal, the Russians gave U.S. officials multiple explanations for their attack, including the claim that Jordan gave the go-ahead for the attack when no such permission was given.



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Beckwith

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Russian jet threatens U. S. reconnaissance aircraft 

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Bill Gertz (FreeBeacon) is reporting that a  Russian fighter jet flew dangerously close to a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft on Thursday in the latest military provocation by Moscow over the Baltic Sea, the U.S. European Command said Saturday.

"On April 14, a U.S. Air Force RC-135 aircraft flying a routine route in international airspace over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 in an unsafe and unprofessional manner," said Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez.

"This intercept comes shortly after the unsafe Russian encounters with USS Donald Cook," he added. "There have been repeated incidents over the last year where Russian military aircraft have come close enough to other air and sea traffic to raise serious safety concerns, and we are very concerned with any such behavior."

Hernandez said the U.S. aircraft, a militarized Boeing 707 jet, was operating in international airspace "and at no time crossed into Russian territory."

"This unsafe and unprofessional air intercept has the potential to cause serious harm and injury to all aircrews involved," he said. "More importantly, the unsafe and unprofessional actions of a single pilot have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries."

According to Hernandez, the Su-27 carried out "erratic and aggressive maneuvers" by approaching the RC-135 at a high rate of speed from the side.

The Russian jet "then proceeded to perform an aggressive maneuver that posed a threat to the safety of the U.S. aircrew in the RC-135U," the spokesman said.

"More specifically, the SU-27 closed within 50 feet of the wing-tip of the RC-135 and conducted a barrel roll starting from the left side of the aircraft, going over the top of the aircraft and ended up to the right of the aircraft," he said.

The U.S. government is protesting all the incidents this week to the Russian government through diplomatic channels, he said.

The RC-135U, an electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft, is normally operated by five air crew and up to 16 electronic warfare officers and six or more regional specialists.

The dangerous aerial incident came two days after a simulated Russian aerial assault against the guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea. Washington called the simulated assault a military provocation, and said it nearly caused an international shootout.

Two Russian fighter-bombers, identified as Su-24s, made close passes over the Cook, including one jet that came within 30 feet of the warship.

A Navy officer said the buzzing was the most reckless flyover of a U.S. warship by either a Russian or Chinese warplane since the Cold War. "I've been in a lot of those situations and I've never seen any plane come that close," the officer said.

The aerial harassment appears to be part of a Russian military campaign of intimidation against the United States and NATO.

Moscow has adopted hostile military policies toward the United States over U.S. deployment of missile defenses in Europe, which Moscow says threaten its missile forces. The Russians also have been upset by Western sanctions against its military annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.

Continue reading here . . .

Team Obama's response?

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Beckwith

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Obama's cold war

Jim Emerson (Coach'sTeam) is reporting that this week the USS Donald Cook was harassed by a pair of Russian Sukhoi Su-24 Fencers while on patrol in international waters of the Black Sea. The aircraft flew past the USS Cook a total of 20 times. They approached the ship in simulated attack positions, approaching within 1,000 meters at an altitude of only 30 meters. The planes were joined by a Russian military helicopter that took pictures of the Donald Cook after the flybys.

At the time the Cook was near Kaliningrad, a Russian territory between Lithuania and Poland. The Ship had left Poland and was sailing out to sea. According to the Russian news agency Tass the American ship was within 70 kilometers of the Russian navy's Baltic fleet base.

The U.S. European Command released a statement claiming that American officials are using diplomatic channels to address the matter. NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow told the press "It may have been in international waters and therefore may not be any violation of international law, but it is still irresponsible behavior."   In this age of macroaggression and conflict resolution, missions such as these are not all that different from those flown during the cold war. Actions like this, involving aircraft which do not have a very long range, are usually undertaken for the purpose of sending a message – you are getting too close. It is nothing new, it just happened at a different time, with many of today's armed forces having been born after the original cold war. For the older, "cold war" warriors, such acts of intentional intimidation are nothing new.

In fact, during the cold war such incidents happened all the time; just a matter of the Russians flexing their military muscle. Today, however, they are emboldened by a weakling in the White House and an inept congress, both working to undermine America's military capabilities. Given America's non-action in the Ukraine and token intervention in Syria the world now views Russia's Putin as the big man on the stage. 

Russia is showing the United States and the world that it is a world power not to be messed with.

Yes, we are in a modern-day cold war with Russia at the same time we are at war with ISIS.  And like ISIS, Obama owns this too.


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Beckwith

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US Navy ship encounters aggressive Russian aircraft in Baltic Sea

The U. S. Navy is reporting that a United States Navy destroyer operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea experienced several close interactions by Russian aircraft April 11 and 12.

USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) encountered multiple, aggressive flight maneuvers by Russian aircraft that were performed within close proximity of the ship.

On April 11, Donald Cook was conducting deck landing drills with an allied military helicopter when two Russian SU-24 jets made numerous close-range and low altitude passes at approximately 3 p.m. local. One of the passes, which occurred while the allied helicopter was refueling on the deck of Donald Cook, was deemed unsafe by the ship's commanding officer. As a safety precaution, flight operations were suspended until the SU-24s departed the area.

On April 12, while Donald Cook was operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea, a Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter conducted circles at low altitude around the ship, seven in total, at approximately 5 p.m. local. The helicopter passes were also deemed unsafe and unprofessional by the ship's commanding officer. About 40 minutes following the interaction with the Russian helicopter, two Russian SU-24 jets made numerous close-range and low altitude passes, 11 in total. The Russian aircraft flew in a simulated attack profile and failed to respond to repeated safety advisories in both English and Russian. USS Donald Cook's commanding officer deemed several of these maneuvers as unsafe and unprofessional.

Quotes:

"April 11-12, USS Donald Cook was operating in a professional manner in international waters conducting operations and exercises with our allies in the Baltic Sea."

"In my judgement these maneuvers in close proximity to Donald Cook are unprofessional and unsafe."

-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, Adm. Mark Ferguson

Quick Facts:

We have deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers. These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries and could result in a miscalculation or accident that could cause serious injury or death.

U.S. officials are using existing diplomatic channels to address the interactions while the incidents are also being reviewed through U.S. Navy channels.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/naveur/.

In the previous item (January), I wrote, "whether it's Russia or Iran, our enemies recognize that Team Obama can be pushed around. Look for these incidents to become more and more aggressive."

If they get any more aggressive it'll be war.


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Beckwith

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Russian fighter jet conducts dangerous intercept of U. S. recon aircraft

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Bill Gertz (WashingtonFreeBeacon) says Pentagon calls Black Sea aerial provocation "unsafe and unprofessional."

A Russian Su-27 jet fighter came within 20 feet of a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea on Monday in Moscow's latest military provocation involving dangerous aerial encounters.

"On Jan. 25 an RC-135 aircraft flying a routine route in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 in an unsafe and unprofessional manner," Navy Capt. Daniel Hernandez, chief spokesman for the U.S. European Command, told the Washington Free Beacon. "We are looking into the issue."

Defense officials said the Su-27 flew alongside the RC-135, an electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft, and then performed what they said was an aggressive banking turn away from the intelligence jet.

The thrust from the Su-27 "disturbed the controllability" of the RC-135, said one official familiar with details of the incident.

A second official said the reconnaissance aircraft was flying 30 miles from the coast -- well within international airspace and far away from any Russian territory -- at the time of the encounter.

The Pentagon announced Thursday that it has concluded a flight safety memorandum with Russia after holding a video conference with Russian Defense Ministry officials.

The areas of discussion included air safety over the skies in Syria as well as "the means to avoid accidents and unintended confrontation between coalition and Russian forces whenever the two sides operate in close proximity," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.

The statement made no mention of Monday's dangerous aerial encounter.

The Black Sea encounter was the latest in a series of aggressive Russian military activities aimed coercing or harassing U.S. military aircraft and ships in both Europe and Asia.

The provocations are not limited to U.S. forces. On Tuesday, Japan's Defense Ministry revealed that Japanese interceptor jets were scrambled to chase two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers that approached the northern end of Japan and flew just outside that country's airspace in maneuvers described by analysts as unusually close.

Other incidents included a similar near-collision between a Russian fighter and RC-135, a militarized Boeing 707, over the Black Sea on May 30. Around the same time, a Russian Su-24 jet buzzed the destroyer USS Ross in the Black Sea near occupied Crimea.

Earlier, on April 7, another Su-27 flew within 20 feet of an RC-135, this time over the Baltic Sea.

The RC-135 intercept over the Black Sea took place around the same time as a Russian Su-24 jet interceptor buzzed the destroyer USS Ross in the Black Sea, near occupied Crimea.

Navy footage showed the jet made several low-level passes over the Ross.

In October, two Russian Tu-142 bombers made low passes near the aircraft carrier USS Reagan as it sailed in the Sea of Japan near the Korean peninsula.

Navy F-18 jets were scrambled to intercept the bombers during that incident.

And last July 4, two Tu-95 nuclear-capable bombers flew within 40 miles of the California coast and communicated a "happy birthday" message to intercepting U.S. pilots. That incident took place the same day President Obama held a telephone conference with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Russian Tu-95 bombers also circumnavigated Guam in December, for the second time in two months. Guam is the U.S. military's major hub and a key facility in the American military rebalance to Asia.

"Much of what Russia is doing today is aimed at generating fear of Russian military power and the possibility of war," said former Pentagon Russia expert Mark Schneider.

"That is broadcast on a daily basis in the state media and through Russian military actions," Schneider added. "Provocations involving aircraft are now common place. Russia also tends to be paranoid concerning foreign espionage and the protection of state secrets."

Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command said Russian military activities, including aircraft flights, are an increasing concern as Moscow seeks to reemerge as a world power.

Haney voiced concerns about Russian nuclear-capable bomber flights around the world, and large-scale ground forces nuclear exercises, along with vocal statements threatening the use of nuclear weapons.

Russian military aircraft have been conducting flights in Europe without the use of air-traffic control tracking transponders, a practice Haney called "reckless."

Russia has stepped up aggressive military activities in response to NATO's deployment of forces closer to Russian borders following Moscow's military annexation of Ukraine's Crimea and continuing covert military destabilization of eastern Ukraine.

NATO has increased its force posture with additional military exercises, troop deployments and increased intelligence-gathering to support NATO allies that are threatened by Russian military revanchism.

Russia announced a new military strategy in December that increases the country's reliance on nuclear forces over conventional troops and weapons.

Russia also is expected to announce a new military doctrine, a senior Russian commander announced on Tuesday.

Maj. Gen. Sergey Chvarkov, deputy chief of the general staff academy said the United States is seeking to weaken Russia and is creating new national security threats to Moscow.

"At the foundation of the negative development of the international situation lie the USA's actions, which in striving for global hegemony intentionally forms global instability to weaken strategic opponents, primarily Russia, creating national security threats to our country," Chvarkov said, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

Western policies are fomenting global and internal conflicts that have produced the flood of refugees in Europe, Chvarkov said. He added that the West is waging "information war" on Russia.

Whether it's Russia or Iran, our enemies recognize that Team Obama can be pushed around. Look for these incidents to become more and more aggressive.



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Beckwith

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This is how Russia deals with a Muslim terrorist who barricaded himself in his house

If an American military officer or police chief resorted to these tactics, he'd be arrested for a "hate crime" and indicted by Obama's Justice Department.

Barack Obama would make an impassioned speech about recognizing the rights of all people.

In a few more years, Russia might be the last place on earth that hasn’t got a real Muslim problem

What amazed me most about this video is that the Russians use American heavy-equipment.

Americans use Japanese. What's up with that?


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Russian MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky suggests destroying Istanbul with a nuclear strike

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According to Russian media, MP Vladimir Zhirinovsky proposed to crush Turkey with a nuclear missile attack, Joinfo.ua reports with the reference to Korrespondent.

"Istanbul is very easy to destroy: it takes just one nuclear bomb to throw in the Strait (Bosphorus -- Ed.), and it will be washed away. It would be such a terrible flood, the water column would rise to 10-15 meters, and there would be no city with nine million people," -- said the leader of the Liberal Democrats.

According to Zhirinovsky, Turkey's NATO allies will not intervene, "not wanting to die in a nuclear fire."

Zhirinovsky said that at present Turkey is the number one enemy for Russia.

Russian-Turkish relations have deteriorated markedly after November 24, when Russian Su-24, shot down by Turkish Air Force for violation of their air space on November 24 near the Syrian border after 10 times warning.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called this incident "a stab in the back" and said that this attack will have tragic consequences for Russian-Turkish relations.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced today that Russia suspends visa-free regime with Turkey from January 1, 2016.


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Turkey won't apologize for shoot-down

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-- Turkey will not apologize for downing a Russian fighter jet it says violated Turkish airspace near the Syrian border, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an exclusive CNN interview Thursday in Ankara.

"I think if there is a party that needs to apologize, it is not us," he said from the Turkish capital. "Those who violated our airspace are the ones who need to apologize. Our pilots and our armed forces, they simply fulfilled their duties, which consisted of responding to ... violations of the rules of engagement. I think this is the essence."

In a meeting with community leaders in Ankara, Erdogan said, "If the same violation occurs today, Turkey has to react the same way."

Turkey has repeatedly said it shot down the Russian warplane on Tuesday only after the plane ignored several warnings and entered Turkish airspace.

Russia has contested the claim, and its rescued co-pilot Capt. Konstantin Murakhtin told state media that "there were no warnings -- not via the radio, not visually." Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said the downing of the Russian jet did not appear spontaneous, but more "like a planned provocation."

Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters in Moscow on Thursday that the strike was unexpected.

"It did not even come into our mind that we could be struck by a party that we considered to be our ally," he said. "We considered Turkey to be a friendly country."

Putin also noted that Russia had informed the United States, Turkey's ally, of its flight path, and said it was "not possible" the Turkish air force didn't recognize the Russian aircraft.

"Turkey is a member of this (U.S.-led) coalition and must know that Russians are working there," he said.

Turkey's military has released audio it says proves its claim; Russia's Defense Ministry tweeted Thursday that the audio purporting to capture warnings issued by Turkish pilots to the crew of the downed jet was "a habitual fake."

Putin has said the plane was attacked a kilometer inside Syrian territory, while Erdogan says it crashed in Turkey, injuring two people, after being in Turkish airspace for 17 seconds.

"We knew there were two aircraft. One aircraft went back into Syria, and the second one was still in Turkish airspace and it was shot down by our aircraft," Erdogan told CNN.


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Kremlin confirms bomb downed Russian plane over Egypt

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Andrew Osborn is reporting that President Vladimir Putin vowed to hunt down those responsible for blowing up a Russian airliner over Egypt and intensify air strikes against Islamists in Syria, after the Kremlin concluded a bomb had destroyed the plane last month, killing 224 people.

"We will find them anywhere on the planet and punish them," Putin said at a somber Kremlin meeting broadcast on Tuesday. The FSB security service swiftly announced a $50 million bounty on the bombers.

Until now, Russia had played down assertions from Western countries that the Oct. 31 crash was the work of terrorists, saying it was important to let the official investigation run its course.

But four days after Islamist gunmen and bombers killed at least 129 people in Paris, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the FSB, told a late night meeting that traces of foreign-made explosive had been found on fragments of the downed plane and on passengers' personal belongings.

"According to an analysis by our specialists, a homemade bomb containing up to 1 kilogram of TNT detonated during the flight, causing the plane to break up in mid air, which explains why parts of the fuselage were spread over such a large distance," said Bortnikov at the meeting in footage released by the Kremlin.

"We can unequivocally say it was a terrorist act," he said.

Egyptian authorities have detained two employees of Sharm al-Sheikh airport for questioning in connection with the downing of the Russian jet, two security officials and an airport employee said on Tuesday.
 
"Seventeen people are being held, two of them are suspected of helping whoever planted the bomb on the plane at Sharm al-Sheikh airport," said one of the security officials who both declined to be named.

The Airbus A321, operated by Metrojet, had been returning Russian holiday makers from Sharm al-Sheikh in Egypt to St Petersburg when it broke up over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all on board. A group affiliated with Islamic State claimed responsibility, but until Tuesday Russia had said terrorism was just one possible scenario.

Retribution
 
Putin, wearing a dark suit, presided over a minute of silence in memory of the victims at the Kremlin meeting, before telling security and military chiefs the incident was one of the bloodiest crimes in modern Russian history and ordering the air force to intensify its air strikes in Syria in response.

"Our air force's military work in Syria must not simply be continued," he said. "It must be intensified in such a way that the criminals understand that retribution is inevitable."

Putin said he expected military chiefs to present him with specific proposals on how Russia could ramp up its campaign. His spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters Putin was expected to visit the defense ministry later on Tuesday.
 
A senior French government source said Russia had already launched air strikes against the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa in northern Syria on Tuesday, a sign, the source said, that Russia was becoming more concerned about the threat posed by IS.

Russia began air strikes in Syria at the end of September. It has always said its main target is Islamic State, but most of its bombs in the past hit territory held by other groups opposed to its ally, President Bashar al-Assad.

Putin, in language reminiscent of how he talked about Chechen militants during a war when he came to power 15 years ago, ordered the secret services to hunt down those responsible.

"We must do this without any statute of limitations and we must find out all their names," he said, invoking Russia's right to self defense under the United Nations charter.

"Anyone who tries to help the criminals should know that the consequences for trying to shelter them will lie completely on their shoulders."


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Russia declares "holy war" on Islamic State

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Raymond Ibrahim is reporting that the Orthodox Christian Church, which is reclaiming its traditional role in post-Soviet Russia, has just described its government's fight against the Islamic State and other jihadi groups in Syria as a "holy war."

According to Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Church's Public Affairs Department,

The fight with terrorism is a holy battle and today our country is perhaps the most active force in the world fighting it.  The Russian Federation has made a responsible decision on the use of armed forces to defend the People of Syria from the sorrows caused by the arbitrariness of terrorists. Christians are suffering in the region with the kidnapping of clerics and the destruction of churches. Muslims are suffering no less.

This is not a pretext to justify intervention in Syria.  For years, Russia's Orthodox leaders have been voicing their concern for persecuted Christians.  Back in February 2012, the Russian church described to Vladimir Putin the horrific treatment Christians are experiencing around the world, especially under Islam:

The head of External Church Relations, Metropolitan Illarion, said that every five minutes one Christian was dying for his or her faith in some part of the world, specifying that he was talking about such countries as Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and India. The cleric asked Putin to make the protection of Christians one of the foreign policy directions in future.

"This is how it will be, have no doubt," Putin answered.

Compare and contrast Putin's terse response with U.S. President Obama, who denies the connection between Islamic teachings and violence; whose policies habitually empower Christian-persecuting Islamists; who prevents Christian representatives from testifying against their tormentors; and who even throws escaped Christian refugees back to the lions, while accepting tens of thousands of Muslim migrants.

Russian Patriarch Kirill once even wrote an impassioned letter to Obama, imploring him to stop empowering the murderers of Christians.  That the patriarch said "I am deeply convinced that the countries which belong to the Christian civilization bear a special responsibility for the fate of Christians in the Middle East" must have only ensured that the letter ended up in the Oval Office's trash can.  After all, didn't Obama make clear that America is "no longer a Christian nation"?

Of course, Russian concerns for Christian minorities will be cynically dismissed by the usual brood of talking heads on both sides.  While such dismissals once resonated with Americans, they are becoming less persuasive to those paying attention, as explained in "Putin's Crusade -- Is Russia the Last Defender of the Christian Faith?"

For those of us who grew up in America being told that the godless communist atheists in Russia were our enemies, the idea that America might give up on God and Christianity while Russia embraces religion might once have been difficult to accept.  But by 2015, the everyday signs in America show a growing contempt for Christianity, under the first president whose very claims of being a Christian are questionable.  The exact opposite trend is happening for Russia and its leaders -- a return to Christian roots.

Indeed, growing numbers of Americans who have no special love for Russia or Orthodoxy -- from billionaire capitalist Donald Trump to evangelical Christians -- are being won over by Putin's frank talk and actions.

How can they not?  After one of his speeches praising the West's Christian heritage -- a thing few American politicians dare do -- Putin concluded with something that must surely resonate with millions of traditional Americans: "We must protect Russia from that which has destroyed American society" -- a reference to the anti-Christian liberalism and licentiousness that has run amok in the West.

Even the Rev. Franklin Graham's response to Russia's military intervention in Syria seems uncharacteristically positive, coming as it is from the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which for decades spoke against the godless Soviets:  "What Russia is doing may save the lives of Christians in the Middle East….  You understand that the Syrian government … have protected Christians, they have protected minorities from the Islamists."

Should U.S supported jihadis ("rebels") succeed in toppling the government of Syria, Graham correctly predicts that there will be "a bloodbath of Christians":

There would be tens of thousands of Christians murdered and slaughtered and on top of that, you would have hundreds of thousands of more refugees pouring into Europe. So Russia right now, I see their presence as helping to save the lives of Christians.

Incidentally, it's an established fact that the "good rebels" -- or "moderates" -- are persecuting Christians no less than the Islamic State.

When asked why the Obama administration is so callous towards the plight of persecuted Christians, Graham, somewhat echoing Putin, said the American president was more invested in promoting the homosexual agenda than he is in protecting Christians:

I'm not here to bash the gays and lesbians and they certainly have rights and I understand all of that, but this administration has been more focused on that agenda than anything else. As a result, the Middle East is burning and you have more refugees moving today since World War II. It could have been prevented.

In reality, it's not Russian claims of waging a holy war to save Christians from the sword of jihad that deserves to be cynically dismissed, but rather every claim the Obama administration makes to justify its support for the opposition in Syria (most of which is not even Syrian).

There are no "moderate rebels," only committed jihadis eager to install Islamic law, which is the antithesis of everything the West once held precious.  If the "evil dictator" Assad kills people in the context of war, the "rebels" torture, maim, enslave, rape, behead, and crucify people solely because they are Christian.

How does that make them preferable to Assad?

Moreover, based on established precedent -- look to Iraq and Libya, the other countries U.S. leadership helped "liberate" -- the outcome of ousting the secular strongman of Syria will be more atrocities, more Christian persecution, more rapes and enslavement, and more bombed churches and destroyed antiquities, despite John Kerry's absurd assurances of a "pluralistic" Syria once Assad is gone.  It will also mean more terrorism for the West.

Once again, then, the U.S. finds itself on the side of Islamic terrorists, who always reserve their best for America.  The Saudis -- the head of the Jihadi Snake which U.S. presidents are wont to kiss and bow to -- are already screaming bloody murder and calling for an increased jihad in Syria in response to Russia's holy war.

Will Obama and the MSM comply, including through an increased propaganda campaign?  Top Islamic clerics like Yusuf al-Qaradawi -- who once slipped on live television by calling on the Obama administration to wage "jihad for Allah" against Assad -- seem to think so.  Already the U.S. "welcomes" the new cruel joke that Saudi Arabia, one of the absolute worst human rights violators, will head a U.N. human rights panel.

At day's end and all Realpolitik aside, there is no denying reality: what the United States and its Western allies have wrought in the Middle East -- culminating with the rise of a bloodthirsty caliphate and the worst atrocities of the 21st century -- is as unholy as Russia's resolve to fight it is holy.



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Greg Gutfeld says Obama had it backwards -- the JV squad is us

"Obama's foreign policy is as reassuring as a spreading rash."

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Team Obama is caught flat-footed

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BZ says that's how any number of news organizations are quantifying the actions by Russia in Syria today.

The Russians have no respect for Obama and they just showed it.

The US received an entire one-hour warning by a Russian general who appeared out of thin air at our Baghdad embassy, stating that the strikes would be occurring, and decreed by demarche that we must pull our own troops and aircraft out of Syria.  Translation: we are Russia and we will do what we wish when we wish, and you stay the hell out of the way.

This is a stuttering clusterflop of a moment for Barack Hussein Obama who, just two days ago, shook hands with Vladimir Putin, convinced that he had saved the world and put America in her place once again.  Which he has.  The part about putting America "in her place."

John Kerry spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in the Security Council of the UN a short time ago, and it is abundantly clear that Kerry is in over his own personal head as well, since I noted that when initially speaking in the conference regarding "deconfliction," Mr Kerry's voice broke twice.

"I am confident Assad's days are numbered," Mr Obama said, if you recall.

And yet they are not.  Putin supports Assad and has, now, a rather clear and situational presence in Syria as their planes flew from local bases.  I found that information on the internet just now.  I cannot possibly imagine Obama didn't know that and hadn't made any plans or began contacting Russian sources.  Unless he hadn't or didn't.  First, you have to care about being a world power. - See more at: http://bloviatingzeppelin.net/america-is-caught-flat-footed/#sthash.bPhdUd1c.dpuf

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Just how, by the way, did those Russian Sukhoi SU-34 Fullback fighter aircraft seem to slip so quietly and rapidly into Syria?  By a little Israeli trick: running them under much larger cargo aircraft in order to take on the radar signature of one large airframe.  Russia already has a naval presence in the port city of Tartus, Syria.

Our feckless occupant of the Spite House, mind you, will somehow attempt to push this off on either poor intelligence or some type of US military mixup.  I submit, this couldn't be farther from the truth.  I know many military persons and they are good, honest, loyal people who only want to see the United States succeed and keep its position of power and respect in the world.  They also know that Obama is frequently in contravention of US success or supremacy.

The foreign policy of the United States currently involves puppy dogs, unicorns and fairies.  The policy is that there is no policy save that of bowing, appeasement, empty words backed by no actions and "hope."

And one stuttering, unconfident SofS named John Kerry.

This is what happens when you deal, in ignorance, with despots and Muslims:

"He's (Putin) bidding for dominance in the Middle East."  -- John Bolton

"Power is passing in the Middle East from America's weak hands." -- John Bolton.

"Russians knew from the get-go that they weren't going to be targeting ISIS." -- John Bolton

"He (Putin) sees no American pushback." -- John Bolton

In one day, the world seemingly transitioned from the United States of America to Russia.

Russia has just swindled us in Syria.  For "deconfliction" so that the Russians don't shoot down our own aircraft.

Because they warned us, after all.



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Shaky ground

Stilton Jarlsberg says on Monday, Vladimir Putin met briefly with Barack Obama at the United Nations because he was  hungry and wanted to eat Obama's lunch, drink his milk shake, and then gobble up other nations for dessert.

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Actually, we think that only happened metaphorically, but we're not 100% sure because it's hard to imagine President Dweebypants being in a room with Putin for more than 15 seconds without basically giving the Russian strongman everything he wants.

The two leaders were at the U.N. to explain their differing approaches to the twin crises of Syria and ISIS. Putin believes in arming Syria and its murderous dictator, Assad, and combining forces with other nations to crush ISIS and then crush anyone else who doesn't like the idea of Putin taking over the world.

Obama, on the other hand, basically said that Assad is a stinker and Putin is on the wrong side of history, and that the United States -- which has the most powerful military in the world -- was immediately launching a "wish initiative" which consists of hoping (and hoping damn hard) that things will somehow magically "transition" in a way which benefits our national interests.

Obama also reaffirmed, while wearing his frowny face, that he wouldn't hesitate to use military force to protect our country or our allies (Iran, last time we looked) but that he really doesn't want to because the sort of military forcefulness which Putin is employing so successfully is "butch" and lacks panache.

Frankly, Hope n' Change is embarrassed to have this babbling milquetoast appearing at the U.N. and confirming the increasingly terrified world's belief that the United States is no longer in the superpower business. We're also depressed thinking just how much more damage this nitwit can do with his remaining days in office.


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Strategic attraction -- Russia cozies up to Iran

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Greg Corombos is reporting that Russia is aggressively stepping up its military presence in Syria, and a decorated retired U.S. Air Force general says the plan is not just to prop up the Assad regime but to pursue closer ties with Iran to dominate the region and boost its sputtering economy.

Major tank shipments and other weapons have arrived in Syria in recent days, and some of that arsenal is already headed out to confront ISIS. Still, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says nothing out of the ordinary is happening.

"We have always been frank regarding the presence of our military experts in Syria who help the Syrian army in training and learning how to use the equipment," Lavrov said last week. "And if further steps are needed, we will stand ready to fully undertake those steps."

Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney told WND and Radio America that's just not true. He said there are clear short-term and long-term goals behind the Russian commitment. The immediate priority is to end the stalemate in the Syrian civil war  in favor of its longtime ally.

"There's no question that the Russians are in for the full count to support Bashar al-Assad," McInerney said. "Their first challenge is to defeat ISIS, but also to defeat al-Nusra, which is a spin-off of al-Qaida there, and any other adversaries that try to take Bashar al-Assad down."

But McInerney believes that's only the prologue.

"He's got something much larger in mind," McInerney said. "He sees that Iran is going to be the hegemon as a result of this nuclear agreement that the Obama administration has come up with. [Russian President Vladimir Putin] wants to have his chips on the side of the hegemon."

He added, "This is not just a temporary move on his part. This is a very important strategic move. He sees a weakness in the U.S. foreign policy and weakness in this administration's desire to support historical allies that the United States has supported. It has both a tactical and a strategic purpose behind it."

The Russian-Iranian nexus appears to be an odd coupling. Iran is the world's largest sponsor of terrorism, and Russia remains strongly committed to stamping out radical Islamic threats in Chechnya, Dagestan and elsewhere. Yet, Russia has led the way in supplying materials for the Iranian nuclear program.

McInerney calls it a "strategic attraction."

"Clearly, they can sell a lot of weapons to the Iranians," he said. "They need the port in Syria because it is the only Mediterranean port that they have. That's very important for the presence in NATO's southern flank. Finally, they need a counter to the United States in the Middle East. If Iran's the hegemon, and it's closely allied with Russia, they benefit greatly."

Sanctions relief is also a major consideration for the Russians, according to McInerney. Just as the nuclear talks lifted the fiscal choke hold for Tehran, the general believes Putin is smarting from sanctions targeting Moscow over its conduct in Ukraine.

"The difficulty is the sanctions that we have put on Russia and NATO has and the European Union because of the Ukraine are really driving the Russian economy down," McInerney explained. "They need to have allies to the south. That could be a strong economic boost to the Russian economy."

So what is the proper U.S. response to Russia's maneuvers? McInerney said Congress is embroiled in that right now.

"First, I would terminate the Iranian nuclear agreement. That is the most dangerous thing that is going on now. Is it surprising that Russia and China, who are members of the P5+1, strongly supported that agreement?" McInerney asked.

"This president will not do that, so what we are left with are tactical issues on what we can do on defeating ISIS, which helps Bashar al-Assad stay in power," he added.

That being said, McInerney agrees that ISIS presents a far more immediate threat than the Assad regime staying in power and strengthening troubling alliances.

"We've lived with Bashar al-Assad for a long time," he said. "He was on our side in Desert Storm when we went against Saddam Hussein. ISIS must be defeated, and that evil ideology of radical Islam must defeated first in the Middle East."

McInerney said the Middle East is getting more and more difficult to handle, and this latest confluence of trouble stems from poor U.S. leadership in the region.

"This president has not left himself with many options that in the long run benefit the United States and our allies, like Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, in the Middle East," he said. "He has given his successor a very difficult hand."

I can't imagine a better example of the old expression, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

While Obama weakens our military by firing over 200 senior commanders, slashing brigades and mothballing ships and planes and focusing on transgender rights and women in combat, Russia has become more powerful and aggressive. Iran has become more powerful and aggressive -- and don't forget China.

We are now facing a triad of powerful, dedicated enemies that are all dedicated to defeating America.

How's that for "fundamental transformation?"



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Russian submarine with 20 ICBMs and 200 nuclear warheads is sailing to Syria

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The Debka File is reporting that the world's largest submarine, the Dmitri Donskoy (TK-208), Nato-coded Typhoon, has set sail for the Mediterranean and is destined for the Syrian coast. Aboard the sub are 20 Bulava (NATO-code SS-N-30) intercontinental ballistic missiles with an estimated up to 200 nuclear warheads. Each missile, with a reported range of 10,000km, carries 6-10 MIRV nuclear warheads.

The Russian sub set sail from its North Sea base on September 4, escorted by two anti-sub warfare ships. Their arrival at destination in 10 days time will top up the new Russian military deployment in Syria.

President Vladimir Putin's introduction of a nuclear force opposite Syrian shores builds up what first looked like an operation to fortify Assad's regime in Damascus into a military expedition capable of an air and sea confrontation with US forces in the Middle East.

US Secretary of State John Kerry suggested as much Saturday, September 5, when he expressed concern over reports of Russia's "increasing military build-up in Syria" in a phone call to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The State Department reported: "The Secretary made clear that if such reports were accurate, these actions could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-ISIL coalition operation in Syria."

Kerry was referring to potential Russian interference with US-led coalition air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria.

debkafile's sources in Washington and Moscow report that the dispatch of a nuclear sub to Syrian waters is taken as a strong message that the Kremlin will not let the US impede its military intervention in the Syrian conflict and will go to extreme lengths to keep the way open for the flow of Russian troops to the war-torn country.

This situation has gone a long way beyond Obama administration intentions when US-Russian talks were initially held for US forces posted in Turkey and Iraq, together with the Russian troops arriving in Syria, to launch a combined effort against the Islamic State. Those talks came to naught.

In its coming issue out Friday, Sept. 11, DEBKA Weekly 678 will reveal for the first time how Putin intends to array the Russian forces he is consigning to Syria, their operational planning, their military coordination with Iran and, above all, how the new Russian intervention in Syria may impact US Middle East policy and Israel.



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Russian submarine with 20 ICBMs and 200 nuclear warheads is sailing to Syria

Sub.jpg

The Debka File is reporting that the world's largest submarine, the Dmitri Donskoy (TK-208), Nato-coded Typhoon, has set sail for the Mediterranean and is destined for the Syrian coast. Aboard the sub are 20 Bulava (NATO-code SS-N-30) intercontinental ballistic missiles with an estimated up to 200 nuclear warheads. Each missile, with a reported range of 10,000km, carries 6-10 MIRV nuclear warheads.

The Russian sub set sail from its North Sea base on September 4, escorted by two anti-sub warfare ships. Their arrival at destination in 10 days time will top up the new Russian military deployment in Syria.

President Vladimir Putin's introduction of a nuclear force opposite Syrian shores builds up what first looked like an operation to fortify Assad's regime in Damascus into a military expedition capable of an air and sea confrontation with US forces in the Middle East.

US Secretary of State John Kerry suggested as much Saturday, September 5, when he expressed concern over reports of Russia's "increasing military build-up in Syria" in a phone call to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The State Department reported: "The Secretary made clear that if such reports were accurate, these actions could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-ISIL coalition operation in Syria."

Kerry was referring to potential Russian interference with US-led coalition air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria.

debkafile's sources in Washington and Moscow report that the dispatch of a nuclear sub to Syrian waters is taken as a strong message that the Kremlin will not let the US impede its military intervention in the Syrian conflict and will go to extreme lengths to keep the way open for the flow of Russian troops to the war-torn country.

This situation has gone a long way beyond Obama administration intentions when US-Russian talks were initially held for US forces posted in Turkey and Iraq, together with the Russian troops arriving in Syria, to launch a combined effort against the Islamic State. Those talks came to naught.

In its coming issue out Friday, Sept. 11, DEBKA Weekly 678 will reveal for the first time how Putin intends to array the Russian forces he is consigning to Syria, their operational planning, their military coordination with Iran and, above all, how the new Russian intervention in Syria may impact US Middle East policy and Israel.


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Russian bombers fly near U.S. on July 4th

As Americans were celebrating the Fourth of July holiday, four Russian long-range bomber aircraft flew close enough to the US shores that they were intercepted by military fighter jets. The first set of two bombers flew near Alaska and just 30 minutes later a separate set flew far off the west coast of California.

Justin Fishel and Luis Martinez are reporting that according to officials at NORAD the flights stayed within international airspace and at no time did any of the Russian bombers enter or get close to entering sovereign North American boundaries.

The first incident occurred at approximately 10:30 a.m. EDT on July 4, when Alaskan-based NORAD F-22 fighters intercepted and visually identified two Russian TU-95 "Bear" long-range bomber aircraft flying off the coast of the Aleutian Islands within the Air Defense Identification Zone (an area of international waters that stretches 200 miles from US coastline), officials at NORAD said in a statement to ABC News.

Then at approximately 11 a.m. EDT, NORAD F-15 fighters from the Continental NORAD Region intercepted and visually identified two additional Bear bombers flying off the central California coast, well away from U.S. sovereign airspace.

While Northcom is not saying precisely how far out the California intercept occurred, one official said it was on the outer lines of the ADIZ, meaning it could have been as far out as 200 miles. US airspace begins 12 miles from the coasts. The US asks military aircraft from other countries operating in that space to identify themselves and will make sure they've changed course away from US shores before backing away.

While intercepts of Russian aircraft off Alaska occur frequently, intercepts off California are less common. In June last year a two long-range Russian bombers flew within 50 miles of northern California.


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Russia continues to ship army equipment to Ukrainian border

Jim Hoft is reporting that while the world is watching ISIS continue to consume Syria-Iraq town-by-town, Russia continues its illegal war against the Ukrainian people.

Today video was posted of a Russian train shipping tanks and army equipment to the Ukrainian border.


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U.S., Russian aircraft came within 10 feet over Black Sea

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Barbara Starr is reporting that a Russian fighter jet, flying at high speed, came within 10 feet of a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace over the Black Sea late last month, several U.S. officials told CNN Thursday.

The Russian jet flew alongside the U.S. plane at the same altitude, broke off, and then shadowed the plane before leaving the area in the May 30 incident, the officials said. The U.S. aircraft took no evasive measures, and no other details were immediately available. Military officials could not say whether a diplomatic protest had been filed.

The close call comes weeks after another incident between the U.S. and Russia over the skies of Europe, when a U.S. RC-135U flying a routine route in international airspace was intercepted by a Russian SU-27 Flanker in what authorities called an "unsafe and unprofessional manner."

And earlier this month, the U.S. Navy took the unusual step of releasing video of Russian Su-24 aircraft flying past the right side of the guided missile destroyer USS Ross in the Black Sea.

The video was distributed to make clear that the airplanes and ship had a routine encounter, contrary to Russian reports. It shows a warplane approaching from the distance and then quickly zooming past the American vessel.

The Russian aircraft were not armed, according to a U.S. defense official, and the entire matter was considered routine.

The U.S. officials say because there are more military aircraft from NATO and Russia flying over the Black Sea and the Baltics, there are more interactions. However, the two air incidents are of particular concern because of the danger they posed to U.S. aircraft and personnel.

Note: Photo shows  RAF Typhoons scrambled to intercept Russian jets two days ago.



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