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Tag: Russia

Russia And China Conduct Joint Naval Drill Simulations

Russia China Joint NavalChina, Russia conduct simulation exercise for joint naval drills
IANS|
Updated: Jul 24, 2017, 07.28 AM IST

MOSCOW: Chinese and Russian commanders conducted a simulation exercise in Kaliningrad province for the ongoing joint military drills code-named “Joint Sea 2017” in the Baltic Sea.

In the hours-long exercise on Sunday, two tactical assault groups, consisting of mixed warships from the Chinese and Russian fleets, simulated details of the drills on a map including ship-to-sea firing by secondary cannons, air defense, joint landing and inspection, maritime search and rescue, underway re ..

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http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/59731044.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

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“100k-ton message to the world’: The USS Gerald R. Ford

Russia’s New Military Plan Calls for Defense Against the U.S. Across the ‘World Ocean’

https://www.newsweek.com/

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on a new state policy strategy for his navy that views the U.S. as aspiring to dominate the world’s oceans in a threat to Russia.

The strategy, in effect as of Thursday–the day Putin signed it–sheds more light into where Russia’s fleet sees potential for international friction and conflict. Among the direct naval threats for Russia falls “the striving of a series of governments, above all the United States of America and its allies to dominate the oceans, including in the Arctic and also to reach an intimidating supremacy with its naval forces.”

The strategy outline, binding until 2030, adds to previous statements from Russian navy officials who have designated the Arctic a priority development area for Moscow. The Arctic and the globe’s resource-rich northernmost are the subject of claims by Russia and four other countries, all of whom are U.S. allies.

In the 22-page navy document, intended as the policy foundation for future Russian military activities, the Kremlin’s ambitious self-image is clear. “The Russian Federation continues to retain its status as a great naval state, whose naval potential ensures the defensive of its national interests in any part of the World Ocean,” the paper declares.

Russia’s new military plan calls for defense against the US across the ‘World Ocean’© Reuters

Russia’s new military plan calls for defense against the US across the ‘World Ocean’ The document claims that other countries are trying to “limit Russia’s access to resources at sea and its access to vitally important naval transport communications,” a copy of Putin’s decree on Russia’s official legal documents database said.

The picture painted by the new strategy is one of a wider conspiracy to “reduce the effectiveness” of Russia’s navy through “economic, political, legal and military pressure on Russia.”

Meanwhile the world is in for a rough ride by 2030, the document warns, predicting “an unstable military-political environment, characterized by the increase of global competition, rivalry in the world power centers” due both to the rise of extremism and international power plays.

Russia’s navy is “one of the most effective tools of strategic (nuclear and non-nuclear) containment, including in preventing a global strike,” Putin’s decree said.

Going to be an awful lot going on in the year 2030, isn’t there?

“an unstable military-political environment, characterized by the increase of global competition, rivalry in the world power centers” due both to the rise of extremism and international power plays…..Doesn’t this rather contradict the 2030 Agenda plan of global stability and “world peace”?

Yes, Bill Clinton ASKED Russia to interfere in a US presidential election: Jon Rappoport


Yes, Bill Clinton ASKED Russia to interfere in a US presidential election
by Jon Rappoport
July 18, 2017

Press outlets are now reminding us that President Bill Clinton interfered in the 1996 Russia election that brought Boris Yeltsin to power for a second term.
This is by way of saying, “Well, if Putin helped Trump win the 2017 election, so what? The US did the same thing in Russia.”

Clinton Russia election
That’s an interesting but not terribly strong argument. However, there is another piece to the 1996 Clinton op, and it is explosive and quite relevant.
Let’s start here, with the 1996 leak of a document detailing a meeting between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin. Sean Guillory, writing at jacobinmag.com, states:
“According to a White House memo leaked to the Washington Times in March 1996, Clinton and Yeltsin had agreed to support each other in their respective reelection bids.”
We are talking about mutual interference. President Clinton helps President Yeltsin win, and President Yeltsin helps President Clinton win.
Bill Clinton asked the president of Russia to interfere in a US presidential election.
Digest that.
The Washington Post (2/26/96) reports on “…a memo written by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, according to White House press secretary Michael McCurry. It [the memo] recounted talks between Clinton and Yeltsin earlier this month when both leaders attended an anti-terrorism summit in Egypt.”
“The memo, as quoted in the [Washington] Times, said Clinton pledged to work with Yeltsin to maintain ‘positive’ relations with the United States as both men seek reelection this year. One way to do this, the memo quoted Clinton as saying, is for Yeltsin to stop restricting poultry imports. Clinton said ‘this is a big issue, especially since 40 percent of U.S. poultry is produced in Arkansas,’ the memo said.”
We had a US president, Bill Clinton, specifying HOW the Russian president could help him win a second term as US president.
Let that sink in.
The Associated Press reports, on March 28, 1996: “Citing a classified memo, the Washington Times reported yesterday that Clinton had promised Yeltsin to back his re-election bid by formulating “positive” policies toward Russia…On a matter important to his political supporters in Arkansas, Clinton asked Yeltsin to stop restricting poultry imports. ‘This is a big issue, especially since 40 percent of U.S. poultry is produced in Arkansas,’ Clinton said, according to the memo…On Monday, Vice President Al Gore announced Russia was lifting the ban, which was imposed because of the suspicion that U.S. chickens are not inspected sufficiently for salmonella, which causes illness.”
Clinton promises to back Yeltsin in his effort to win the presidency of Russia.
In return, BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT TO CLINTON’S POLITICAL SUPPORTERS, Clinton asks Yeltsin to lift Russia’s ban on importing chickens, particularly since 40% of US poultry is produced in Arkansas, Clinton’s home state. And lo and behold, Yeltsin does comply with Clinton’s request for help in winning the 1996 US presidential election. Yeltsin lifts the ban on importing US poultry.
Both president agree to interfere in each other’s election.
And it gets worse. The major chicken producer in Arkansas is Tyson. The Fiscal Times reports, on 2/2/16: “…consider a largely forgotten financial scandal that directly involved Hillary Clinton during 1978 and 1979.”
“Under the guidance of an attorney representing Tyson Foods, Hillary Clinton made a $98,540 profit from a $1,000 initial investment in less than one year trading commodity futures. While $98,540 may not seem like much money relative to the Clinton family’s wealth today, it exceeded Bill and Hillary’s combined annual income at the time.”
“…Clinton’s initial trading also had a serious irregularity…her $1,000 initial investment was well below the $12,000 deposit required by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for the first trades she executed. So not only did Hillary make an extraordinary profit for a novice investor, she did so without following the rules applied to less well-connected traders.”
There is much more to say about the relationship between Tyson Chicken and the Clintons, but we’ll leave it there for now.
So there is a precedent of Russia interfering in a US presidential election (by stark invitation)—and nothing happened to the US president, Bill Clinton, who asked for the interference. Nothing.
Clinton was, of course, upset when the memo of his meeting with Yeltsin was leaked. But here is how he spun his objection:
Washington Post, 2/28/96: “[Clinton Press Secretary] McCurry said Clinton and [National Security Advisor] Lake considered the leak to be far more sensitive than the typical anonymous disclosure that is commonplace in Washington journalism. ‘The president feels like he ought to be able to sit down with the president of Russia and have a private conversation,’ McCurry said.”
Clinton and Yeltsin agreeing to interfere in each other’s presidential election was ignored, as if it were of no concern. The big issue was the leak of the memo. Private and highly felonious deals between two superpower chiefs of state? No problem.
To repeat: this 1996 memo-scandal of enormous proportions didn’t make a dent in Bill Clinton’s second term in office. After a brief press blast, and a round of “I’m shocked” within the Beltway, the roar died and vanished.
If a comparable memo were unearthed from the Trump team today, impeachment proceedings will begin in a matter of hours, and the press would be booking seats for the firing squad.
Soros-paid street soldiers would lift Barack Obamas up on their shoulders, break down barriers at the White House, and carry him into the Oval Office.
We need to revisit the old saying, “It’s not the conspiracy (that hurts a political criminal), it’s the cover-up (of the crime).”
There needs to be an addendum. “It’s not the conspiracy, it’s the coverage.” Meaning press coverage.
If a politician commits a major crime and the press coverage dies out, the politician gets away with it. If the press keeps hounding the politician endlessly, he doesn’t get away with it—even if there is no solid proof he committed a crime in the first place.

Yes, Bill Clinton ASKED Russia to interfere in a US presidential election

Jon Rappoport
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.

Russia’s ultimatum to Trump before ‘counter actions’

Russia is demanding the immediate return of diplomatic properties seized by the Obama administration after claims Moscow hacked the US election.
The Kremlin has accused the United States of setting conditions on the return of the compounds in New York and Maryland.
Former president Barack Obama ordered their seizure in December as well as the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats.
Russia has vehemently denied any involvement in election hacking.
Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov will meet US undersecretary of state Thomas Shannon to try to thrash out a solution on Monday.
His boss, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, was also reported as saying on a visit to Belarus that “anti-Russian feeling” in the United States meant it was not certain that Moscow and Washington could agree on key global issues.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We consider it absolutely unacceptable to place conditions on the return of diplomatic property, we consider that it must be returned without any conditions and talking.”

President Vladimir Putin raised the issue with Donald Trump when they met for the first time at the G20 summit in Hamburg this month.
Mr Obama said he was ordering the ban due to US intelligence reports of Russian hacking and an alleged influence campaign to sway the US presidential election in Mr Trump’s favour.
He said Moscow was using the compounds for “intelligence-related purposes”.
The Russian President held off from retaliating at the time and said he would wait to see how Mr Trump reacted after he came into the White House.
However, hopes that Mr Trump will soon act on his campaign pledges to boost relations have faded as any ties to Moscow have become toxic.
The White House has faced a maelstrom of US investigations into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Read The Rest:

https://news.sky.com/story/russia-demands-immediate-return-of-diplomatic-property-from-us-10951813

Trump’s lawyer insists nothing ‘nefarious’ in Trump Jr. Russia meeting

Trump LawyerA senior member of President Trump’s personal legal team said Sunday that there was nothing improper in the meeting that Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, took with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.

“Well, I wonder why the Secret Service, if this was nefarious, why the Secret Service allowed these people in,” Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for the president, said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “The president had Secret Service protection at that point, and that raised a question with me.”

 

It’s highly unlikely that the Secret Service, which is charged with protecting the president, his aides and his family from physical harm, would have any influence over who the president or his children chose to meet during a presidential campaign.

A Secret Service spokeswoman cast doubt on Sekulow’s claims.

“Donald Trump Jr. was not under Secret Service protection in June 2016,” said Cathy Milhoan, the director of communications for the protective agency.

The president, meanwhile, took to Twitter, where he once again portrayed the Russia investigations as a media fabrication and turned his fire on his old Democratic rival.

“Hillary Clinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News Media?” Trump tweeted Sunday morning.

The president’s tweets, however, did not address his son’s missteps and obfuscations regarding the Russia meeting, which have only served to feed suspicions.

Initially, Trump Jr. said the meeting focused on Russia’s moves to halt adoptions by American families, but he changed his story after new details emerged. Emails released last week show that Trump Jr. believed he was meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with possible ties to the Kremlin, who would provide damaging information about Clinton as part of a Russian broader effort to assist his father’s presidential campaign. He was joined at the meeting by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law; Paul Manafort, then a top campaign aide; and Rinat Akhmetshin, a lobbyist and possible intelligence agent in the former Soviet Union.

Trump Jr. has said that nothing came of the discussion.

Sekulow reiterated that he has seen no indication that the president is under investigation by either special counsel Robert S. Mueller III or by the House or Senate intelligence committees. Sekulow is part of a legal team headed by New York attorney Marc E. Kasowitz, and the White House said last week that Trump was adding veteran Washington lawyer Ty Cobb to handle the White House response to Russia-related investigations.

“We have had no notification,” Sekulow said on CBS’s “Face the Nation. “Nothing has changed since James Comey said three times that he wasn’t under investigation.”

Sekulow put the responsibility for the initial incomplete response regarding last summer’s meeting squarely on the shoulders of the president’s son.

“The president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement. It came from Donald Trump Jr.,” Sekulow said of the initial statement to the New York Times.

Sekulow also said that there was nothing illegal in the meeting with Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin.

“Here is the reality: The meeting in and of itself, of course, as I’ve said before, is not a violation of the law,” Sekulow said on “This Week.” He added that “the president was not aware of the meeting and did not participate in it.”

The lawyer’s response was relatively muted compared with that of the president, who said that the media’s obsession with the Russia story was interfering with his ability to govern.

“With all of its phony unnamed sources & highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting, #Fake News is DISTORTING DEMOCRACY in our country!” Trump tweeted Sunday morning.

Greg Jaffe

Glenn Greenwald: Donald Trump Jr.’s Emails Aren’t a “Smoking Gun” or Evidence of Criminal Collusion

Glenn Greenwald
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of The Intercept. His recent piece for The Intercept is headlined “As Momentum Grows to Remove Brazil’s President, New Pressure Campaign Sparks Rage.”

Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. We’re speaking with Glenn Greenwald for the hour.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: The White House remains in crisis mode following revelations that Donald Trump’s own son openly embraced an apparent effort by the Russian government to peddle information incriminating Hillary Clinton in an attempt to help Trump win the presidency. Emails show Trump Jr. was told Russia wanted to share incriminating information about Clinton as, quote, “part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. replied, quote, “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” end-quote. A week after receiving the email last June, Trump Jr., along with Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, met with someone described to them as a, quote, “Russian government attorney.” The meeting remained secret until Kushner mentioned it on a revised security clearance form.
AMY GOODMAN: In a new interview with Reuters, President Trump defended his oldest son. He said, quote, “I think many people would have held that meeting.” When asked if he knew about the meeting, Trump told Reuters, “No. That I didn’t know, until a couple of days ago, when I heard about this.”
Still with us, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept. Well, Glenn, as you look at this, as an American, but from your vantage point in Rio de Janeiro, your response to this latest development and the whole issue of Russiagate?
GLENN GREENWALD: So here’s what I don’t understand about this. Certainly, it’s an interesting email. I’m glad that it surfaced. It does lend some credence to the possibility that the Trump administration colluded with the Russians criminally, meaning with their hacking of the DNC and Podesta emails, if in fact the Russians did that as the intelligence agencies claim, although they’ve produced no evidence for it. It is possible that the Trump administration or Trump officials colluded with the Russians to commit that crime. It’s possible they didn’t. We still haven’t seen any evidence that they have. Remember, this is not evidence suggesting that Trump officials actually colluded with the Russians to commit a crime—the hacking.
Now, what the Democrats are saying is that the Trump administration and their defenders in the media at Fox News and the like are, quote-unquote, “moving the goalposts” by saying, “Well, this only shows that Trump Jr. was willing to get information from the Russian government about Clinton, but it doesn’t show there was actual criminal collusion.” To me, it seems as though the people who are moving the goalposts are the Democrats. The claim all along, the reason why there’s talk of impeachment, the reason why there is a special prosecutor, the reason why people want to see Trump and his associates criminally prosecuted, is because of the claim that they committed crimes by colluding with the Russians with regard to the hacking. That’s what Harry Reid has always said. That’s what John Podesta has always said. That has always been the Democratic claim. This newest evidence doesn’t in any way suggest that. What it suggests instead is that Donald Trump Jr. was told that the Russian government had incriminating evidence about Hillary Clinton and wanted to give it to him. And he said, “Well, I’d love to get it. I’d love to have it.” Now, I guess there’s some sense that it’s wrong for a political campaign to take dirt on your adversary from a foreign government. I don’t think it’s illegal at all to do that, but there’s a claim that it’s somehow sort of immoral.
And here’s what I don’t understand. The Steele dossier that everybody got excited about, that claimed that the Russians had incriminating videos of Trump in a Moscow hotel and other dirt on Trump, that came from somebody who was getting first paid by Republicans and then by Democrats, going to Moscow and getting dirt about Donald Trump from Kremlin-affiliated agents in Moscow. In other words, he went to Russia, talked to people affiliated with the Russian government and said, “Give me dirt about Donald Trump,” and then, presumably, got it and put it in the memo. Similarly, there’s an amazing Politico article from January of this year that describes how allies of the Clinton campaign, including somebody being paid by the DNC, met with officials of the Ukrainian government, which was desperate to help Hillary Clinton win and Donald Trump lose, and get information incriminating about Trump from Ukrainian officials. In other words, Ukraine was meddling in our election by giving Democrats incriminating information about Trump.
Now, I, personally, although it’s dirty, think all of these events are sort of the way politics works. Of course if you’re in an important campaign and someone offers you incriminating information about your opponent, you’re going to want it no matter where it comes from, whether it’s Ukrainian officials, whether it’s anti-Trump people in Moscow or whether it’s pro-Trump people in Moscow. So, I want to hear the standard that we’re supposed to use to assess Trump Jr.’s actions. Is it that it’s wrong in all cases to get incriminating information about your opponent from a foreign government? In which case, why is it OK for the Democrats to do it with Ukrainian officials or for their investigator to go to Moscow and get dirt on Trump? Or is it some other standard that distinguishes what Trump Jr. did in this case versus what Democrats did with the Steele dossier and with Ukraine? And I just don’t see this distinction. And so, for me, at least—
AMY GOODMAN: Well, lawyers—some lawyers are saying—
GLENN GREENWALD: —it’s an interesting—
AMY GOODMAN: Some lawyers are saying it has to do with—
GLENN GREENWALD: Go ahead.
AMY GOODMAN: —breaking campaign finance laws or campaign laws that have to do with getting something of value, not necessarily financial, from a foreign entity, a state or nonstate actor.
GLENN GREENWALD: Right. And there’s, I think, a lot more lawyers and a lot more campaign finance lawyers who have said that just getting information about a candidate would not constitute something of value. But let’s assume that that’s true. Let’s take that theory as though it’s true. Why doesn’t it also apply then to the person working for Democrats who went to Moscow and got something of value, namely information about Trump, from Kremlin-connected people in Moscow, or Democrats, including someone working for the DNC, who got something of value from Ukrainian officials? Why isn’t that the same thing?
AMY GOODMAN: Well, let me go to what independent journalist Marcy Wheeler of EmptyWheel.net said about the significance of this week’s news. I talked to her yesterday.
MARCY WHEELER: The email adds a bunch of remarkable new details to what we know, most importantly, that the Trump campaign knew that Russia was trying to get Donald Trump elected probably before even the intelligence community. We had known that the CIA had gotten a tip from a foreign partner sometime in June that even today NSA still doesn’t think was that great a piece of intelligence. But, meanwhile, we learned that on—you know, in early June, Don Jr. was getting this email saying, “There is an effort on the part of Russia to get your father elected. And as part of that, we’re going to sent this lawyer to you with dirt on Hillary Clinton.” And Don Jr., having read that email, said, “Great! Bring it on! Give me that information.”
AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s Marcy Wheeler. And, Glenn, she wrote, just as you’re describing, the same thing over the weekend, said, “How does this differ, for example, a Democrat going to get information from the British spy Christopher Steele, who then got information from people in Russia?” But she said it all changed with seeing the actual emails.
GLENN GREENWALD: Yeah, I mean, I agree with Marcy to a large extent, but not fully, because, you know, I think that—first of all, you know, yesterday, Democrats attacked Bernie Sanders, because Bernie Sanders, when asked about the Donald Trump Jr. email, came out and said, “There are obviously significant questions raised by this, but we shouldn’t rush to judgment. We should wait to see all the evidence.” And part of my discomfort with this whole thing all along—and as a lawyer, I know this really well—is that when you get bits and pieces of information leaked through the media without the full context of what’s taking place, it’s very difficult to assess what it actually is. There’s an independent prosecutor, Robert Mueller, who everyone regards as independent and trustworthy, who has subpoena power, who is investigating this.
So, to me, what this email says is it’s from a British promoter who’s trying to lure Donald Trump Jr. into a meeting with someone who is his friend, saying, “The Russians want your father to win, and they’re willing to give you information to help.” I think it’s clear the Russian government wanted Donald Trump to win. I don’t think that’s particularly surprising. Nor do I find it surprising that Donald Trump Jr., when told that the Russian government wants to give him information that can help his father shed a bad light on Hillary Clinton, he was willing to do that. Why do we consider that surprising, let alone criminal? Again, I do think it bolsters the Democrats’ view that the Russians—the theory that Russians wanted Trump to win and that the Trump campaign was willing to take help from the Russians. But that’s still—there’s still a lot more steps that need to be completed before we get to any kind of evidence of an actual crime being committed. And that’s why I don’t think that this revelation, interesting though it may be, is as significant or a smoking gun when it comes to the impeachment or the prosecution case.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Glenn, even though the Trump campaign has always denied collusion with the Russians in the 2016 presidential election, in his interview with Reuters yesterday, Trump suggested that there had been interference in last year’s election, saying, quote, “Something happened, and we have to find out what it is, because we can’t allow a thing like that to happen in our election process. So something happened, and we have to find out what it is.” So, could you respond to that, Glenn, and tell us what you think it is that he’s alluding to?
GLENN GREENWALD: Well, I think there are two separate issues there that we shouldn’t conflate. One is the question of whether the Russians were behind the hacks. And when I say the Russians, I mean, was it just some group of Russians, Russian hackers or Russians acting in some rogue way, or was it actually—were they actually Kremlin officials ordered by Putin? We don’t know the answers to any of those questions, even though the intelligence agencies have said that it was Putin who ordered it. So that’s one question that I think, in that quote, Trump is talking about, which is, we have to get to the bottom of who actually hacked the DNC and John Podesta’s emails, and make the evidence public so that the public can see that these assertions that the intelligence community have been making actually have evidence behind them.
Then there’s a second question, which is independent, which is: If it’s true that the Russian government hacked John Podesta and the DNC’s emails and distributed what they got to WikiLeaks, did the Trump campaign participate in that crime, either by working with the Russians before the hack or working with them after the hack on how to get the information distributed in a way that would most hurt the Democrats? That, to me, is the core question that has been at the center of this controversy from the beginning. And we still don’t have evidence that the Trump administration participated in that part of the crime. Hopefully, we will learn, one way or the other, in a sober, rational, comprehensive way, not through bits and pieces being leaked by agenda-driven anonymous sources, but by an investigation laying forth the case in a way that we can all see the evidence.
AMY GOODMAN: Glenn, we’re going to continue this discussion after break. Coming up, we’ll look at how The Intercept’s parent company, First Look Media, is helping support the legal defense for the alleged NSA whistleblower Reality Winner. Stay with us.

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/7/13/glenn_greenwald_donald_trump_jrs_emails
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Rising Budget Stakes for Space Warfare

 

Exclusive: As a backdrop to the Russia-gate hysteria and the heightened fear of China is a budget war over how much U.S. taxpayer money to pour into space warfare, explains Jonathan Marshall.

By Jonathan Marshall
There’s a civil war being fought on our nation’s soil, right in our capital. It pits the Secretary of Defense and senior generals against a bipartisan band of militant legislators who accuse the Pentagon of standing pat while Russian and China work to achieve military superiority over the United States in space.

Rising Budget Space
No doubt these bureaucratic warriors will eventually call a truce. But in the meantime, the American people will almost certainly become less secure and more indebted (in budget terms) as a result of both sides’ macho posturing for new warfighting capabilities in space (differing mostly on how far and how fast to go).
Eager congressional advocates of space warfare have attached an amendment to the House defense authorization bill requiring the Pentagon to create a new U.S. Space Corps to join the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard by 2019. Currently, the Air Force oversees most space warfare projects.
The amendment has sent senior Pentagon leadership into a tizzy. Secretary of Defense James Mattis “strongly” urged Congress to rescind the requirement, stating in a letter that “it is premature to add additional organization and administrative tail to the department at a time I am trying to reduce overhead.”
Similarly, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson protested that the proposal will simply “add more boxes to the organization chart.” Meanwhile, Gen. John W. Raymond, commander of Air Force Space Command, insisted that his service has space matters well in hand. (He should be happy — the Pentagon recently raised his position to a 4-star rank.)
Upping the Ante
In response, Rep. Mike Rogers, an Alabama Republican and chairman of the Strategic Forces subcommittee, announced that he was “pissed” and “outraged” at the Air Force for fighting the new Space Command, saying its obstructionism would “set back efforts to respond to adversaries and space threats” and allow Russia and China “to surpass us soon.”

Rising Budget Stakes
“The Air Force leadership would have us trust them: I don’t think so,” Rogers sneered, as if speaking about the Russians. “They just need a few more years to rearrange the deck chairs: I don’t think so. This is the same Air Force that got us into the situation where the Russians and the Chinese are near-peers to us in space.” He vowed, “We will not allow the status quo to continue.”
Behind all the fiery argumentation lies a bipartisan consensus that the United States must sharply increase its spending on the militarization of space to maintain global supremacy. Gen. Raymond applauded Congress for recognizing the “national imperative” of his mission to “normalize, elevate, and integrate space as a war-fighting domain.”
Secretary Wilson published an op-ed column last month on her new initiatives to “develop space airmen who have the tools, training, and resources to fight when – not if – war extends into space.” She fully expects Congress to follow through on her request for a 20 percent increase in Air Force space funding. (Total military spending on space, including non-Air Force programs like the National Reconnaissance Office, came to about $22 billion last year.)
What’s driving all this activity — aside from baser motives of bureaucratic advantage and financial gain — are “intelligence assessments” that “China and Russia have aggressive programs to both demonstrate and produce eventual operational capability to . . . attack our space assets across the spectrum,” in the words of David Hardy, acting deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for Space.
“While we’re not at war in space, I don’t think we can say we’re exactly at peace, either,” said Navy Vice Adm. Charles A. Richard, deputy commander of U.S. Strategic Command, in March. Gen. John Hyten, head of the Pentagon’s Strategic Command, recently declared that the United States needs not only a good defense, but “an offensive capability to challenge” space threats from Russia and China.
The High Stakes in Space
The stakes are potentially huge because the United States uses space for all manner of command, control, and intelligence missions, not to mention civilian applications. Orbiting satellites provide near-real-time images of conflict zones, sense missile launches and nuclear tests, provide precise positioning coordinates to guide weapons systems, and route secure communications to remote regions of the globe.

Earth Rise
Of some 1,400 operational satellites currently in orbit, 40 percent belong to the United States, nearly twice as many as Russia and China combined. About 150 U.S. satellites serve military applications.
Any threat to satellites would thus pose a serious, even disproportionate military risk to the United States. But instead of supporting international initiatives to put space off limits to warfare, Washington has led the way in developing anti-satellite missile technology, encouraging a space arms race that puts our assets in peril.
The United States and Russia experimented with primitive anti-satellite technology as far back as the 1960s, but the United States first used a missile fired from a fighter jet to destroy an aging satellite in 1985. Not until 2007 did China conduct a similar test, blowing up an old weather satellite, while emphasizing its interest in multilateral talks to prevent the weaponization of space. The following year, the United States used a Navy interceptor missile to shoot down a dying military satellite. Russia followed suit with an anti-satellite test in 2015, proving that no military advance goes unanswered.
Some Key Facts
Alarmists who selectively cite Russian and Chinese activities to warn of an impending military space “gap” ignore a few key facts:
The United States holds a clear technology lead and spends at least 10 times more on military space operations than every other country on earth combined.
Although U.S. satellites are vulnerable to attack, most have maneuvering capabilities, shielding against various forms of radiation, and jam-resistant communications.
For years, Russia, China and other nations have sought to control the spread of weapons into space — only to face consistent opposition from Washington.
An Outer Space Treaty signed in 1967 limited only the deployment of nuclear weapons in space. In 2002, the George W. Bush administration withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty with Russia, opening the door to widespread deployment of weapons that put U.S. satellites at risk. A year later, the Air Force declared in its Strategic Master Plan that “the ability to exploit space while selectively disallowing it to adversaries is critically important and . . . an essential prerequisite to modern warfare.”George W. Bush
Candidate Barack Obama proposed an international “code of conduct” in space, but as president he met resistance from the State Department and Pentagon, and dropped the idea as U.S.-Russia relations soured. In 2011, Congress passed an amendment banning cooperation with China in space, thus encouraging a military space race between our countries.
In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly voted 126 to 4 to pass a Russian resolution banning an arms race in space. The four dissenting countries were Georgia, Israel, Ukraine — and the United States.
Because the United States depends on space more than any other nation, both for military security and commerce, it has the most to lose if wars spread into space. Instead of relying only on military superiority to keep us safe, the time is long overdue to pursue diplomatic options for arms control — which potentially could help us achieve greater security for far less money.
“Unfortunately, the structural inertia that supports and, indeed, advocates, aggressive space postures requiring expensive weapon systems is strong,” notes Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College and expert on space warfare. “Congressional support for their efforts is easily garnered, as building hardware creates lucrative jobs and corporate profits, whereas diplomacy does not.
“But if the goal of U.S. space security efforts is to maintain stability in space so it can fully utilize its space assets, then the time seems ripe for proactive diplomatic leadership and, at the same time, sustained strategic restraint. Otherwise, the U.S. will be seen (not for the first time) as advocating a policy of do-as-we-say-and-not-as-we-do regarding pursuit of offensive space capabilities.”
Johnson-Freese is not alone in her call for fresh new thinking about space warfare. A 2016 policy paper that she co-authored was published of all places by the Atlantic Council — a pro-NATO, Pentagon-funded think tank.
Its introduction declared, “The days of ‘space dominance’ are over and we need to move from thinking of space as a military domain of offense and defense to a more complex environment that needs to be managed by a wide range of international players. Doing so would calm growing tensions in space and, with deft management, lead to a more stable, peaceful space domain.”
The author of those words was retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They are words that sensible Americans — who want a safer world and a sane limit on military spending — should rally round. We will stand a greater chance of preserving our civilization if we reserve space wars for movies and novels.
Jonathan Marshall is a regular contributor to Consortiumnews.com.

Rising Budget Stakes for Space Warfare

Trump Cannot Improve Relations With Russia When Trump’s Government and the US Media Oppose Improved Relations

July 9, 2017 | By Paul Craig Roberts

Putin Meets trumpPresident Trump Has Been Contradicted by His Own Government, Which Has Lined Up Against Him in Favor of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, and the Russophobic Presstitute Media that serves the military/security complex and the neoconservatives.
I am afraid that The Saker and Finian Cunningham are correct. Nothing can come of Trump’s meeting with Putin, because, as Cunningham puts it, “Trump doesn’t have freedom or real power. The real power brokers in the US will ensure that the Russophobia campaign continues, with more spurious allegations of Moscow interfering to subvert Western democracies. Trump will continue to live under a cloud of media-driven suspicions. And thus the agenda of regime change against Syria and confrontation with Russia will also continue. Trump’s personal opinions on these matters and towards Vladimir Putin are negligible—indeed dispensable by the deep powers-that-be.”

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/395782-trump-putin-meeting-media-syria/
https://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47392.htm
Cunningham points out that instead of lauding the meeting as the beginning of the process to defuse the high tensions between the two major nuclear powers, the US media denounced Trump for being civil to Putin in the meeting.
What is missing from the media in the entirety of the Western world and perhaps also in Russia is the awareness that the dangerous tensions are orchestrated not only by Hillary and the Democratic National Committee, the neoconservatives, the US military/security complex, and the presstitutes, but also by President Trump’s own appointees.
Trump’s own ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, and Trump’s own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, sound exactly like Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, the neoconservatives, the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN and the rest of the totally discredited presstitute media that is committed to raising tensions between the US and Russia to the point of nuclear war.
On the same day that President Donald Trump said “it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia,” and the day after he said “I had a tremendous meeting yesterday with President Putin,” the ignorant, stupid, Nikki Haley, who Trump appointed as US UN Ambassador, publicly contradicted her president, forcefully stating: “we can’t trust Russia and we won’t ever trust Russia.”

https://www.rt.com/usa/395814-us-trust-russia-haley/?utm_source=spotim&utm_medium=spotim_recirculation&spotim_referrer=recirculation&spot_im_comment_id=sp_6phY2k0C_395814_c_rDCXsj
The ignorant stupid Haley is still in office, a perfect demonstration of Trump’s powerlessness.
The ignorant stupid Haley has gone far beyond Obama’s crazed UN Ambassador, neocon Samantha Power in doing everything in her power to ruin the prospect of normal relations between the two major nuclear powers. Why does Nikki Haley work in favor of a confrontation between nuclear powers that would destroy all life on earth? What is wrong with Nikki Haley? Is she demented? Has she lost her mind, assuming she ever had one?
How can President Trump normalize relations with Russia when every one of his appointees wants to worsen the relations to the point of nuclear war?
How is President Trump going to improve relations with Russia when President Trump stands powerless in face of his dressing down by his UN Ambassador? Clearly, Trump is powerless, a mere cipher.
Joining Nikki Haley was Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Tillerson, allegedly a friend of Russia, is also working overtime to worsen relations between the two nuclear powers by publicly contradicting the President of the United States, thereby making it clear that Trump is barely even a cipher. Tillerson, a disgrace, said that Putin’s refusal to admit that Putin elected Trump by interfering in the US election “stands as an obstacle to our ability to improve the relationship between the US and Russia and it needs to be addressed in terms of how we assure the American people that interference into our elections will not occur by Russia or anyone else.” https://www.rt.com/usa/395814-us-trust-russia-haley/?utm_source=spotim&utm_medium=spotim_recirculation&spotim_referrer=recirculation&spot_im_comment_id=sp_6phY2k0C_395814_c_rDCXsj
Trump’s incompetence is illustrated by his appointments. There is no one in “his” government that supports him. Everyone of them works to undermine him. And he sits there and Twitters.
So, what is President Putin’s belief that an understanding can now be worked out with Washington worth? Not a plugged nickel. Trump has zero authority over “his” government. He can be contradicted at will by his own appointees. The President of the United States is a joke. You can find him on Twitter, but nowhere else, not in the Oval Office making foreign or military policy. The president Twitters and thinks that that is policy.
The Trump administration was destroyed when the weak Donald Trump allowed the neoconservatives to remove his National Security Advisor, General Flynn. Trump has never recovered. “His” administration is staffed with violent Russophobes. Wars can be the only outcome.
We know two things about the alleged Russian interference in the Trump/Hillary presidential election. One is that John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, and Comey, Obama’s FBI director, implied repeatedly that Trump was elected by Russian interference in the election. The other is that the charge is false. Neither the CIA nor the FBI have provided any evidence whatsoever that any such interference occurred. Indeed, months into the case, the special prosecutor, the former FBI director, can produce no evidence. The whole thing is a sham, but it is ongoing. There will be no end to it as it is designed to undermine President Trump with the people who elected him. The message is: “Trump is not for America. Trump is for Russia.”
This is astounding! The NSA has intercepts of all transmitted data. If Russia interfered in the US presidential election the evidence would be obvious and immediately available.
Despite the obvious lies told by Brennan and Comey, the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the scum, no one has been arrested and put on trial for their efforts to overthrow the elected president of the United States. This proves beyond all doubt that the President of the United States is a non-entity. A figurehead incapable of action independently of the Deep State that controls him.
If Vladimir Putin really believes from his meeting with Trump that all of the orchestrated false charges against Russia can now be removed and normal relations restored, Putin is in la-la land. Nikki Haley says that the US will NEVER trust Russia. If Putin trusts Washington, Russia will be destroyed. And the rest of the world with Russia.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/07/09/trump-cannot-improve-relations-russia-trumps-government-us-media-oppose-improved-relations/