Friday, August 26, 2016

Putin Deployed Alien Technology Weapon Systems In Syria: Russian Stealth Aircraft Equipped With UFO ‘Cloaking’ Technology, Conspiracy Theorists Claim

(The Inquisitr) Conspiracy theorists have made the astounding claim that Putin’s military forces in Syria deployed and tested advanced weapon systems developed under a secret military technology pact with extraterrestrial species.

According to Dr. Preston James in an article titled “Putin’s Wild Card in Syria” published on Veterans Today, Putin’s bold intervention in Syria provided the Russian military with the opportunity to test weapon systems developed under top-secret projects in partnership with alien allies.
The Russian army also deployed missiles based on alien “inter-dimensional entangled communication to evade interceptions,” Exopolitics reported.

The missiles function as “hived” systems that are able to disperse, regroup, and re-target mid-flight. The missiles are also able to execute complex mid-flight maneuvers, such as spiral patterns.

Preston claimed that according to insider sources, the Russians also deployed stealth aircraft equipped with systems based on alien inter-dimensional UFO cloaking technology that renders aircraft invisible or undetectable during flight.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

NATO is an Institutional Dinosaur 

(Cato Institute)  Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has managed to gain unprecedented attention for stating in his usual flamboyant fashion something that many respected foreign policy analysts have maintained for years: that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an obsolete security arrangement created in a vastly different era to meet an entirely different security situation. Yet NATO partisans typically act as though the date on the calendar reads 1950 instead of 2016. They see Russia as nearly identical to the Soviet Union at the zenith of its military power and global ideological influence and regard democratic Europe as a helpless protectorate. Today, however, Russia is little more than a regional actor with limited ability to project power. And far from helpless, Europe’s democratic nations have robust economies. As long as they continue to rely on America’s military and its security guarantees, they will not divert financial resources from their preferred domestic welfare priorities to national defense.

A striking feature of analysts who echo former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s contention that the United States is the “indispensable nation” is the bland assumption that America must take primary (and often exclusive) responsibility for the defense of other regions. One popular proposal is to reverse the post–Cold War drawdown of U.S. forces stationed in Europe. Advocates also typically want to pre-position large quantities of sophisticated weaponry in the Baltic republics and along other points on Russia’s western frontier so that the American military can ride to the rescue if Moscow engages in threatening behavior.

The notion of the United States as the indispensable nation is a manifestation of national narcissism that is especially pernicious with respect to Europe. The European Union now has both a population and an economy larger than the United States. Equally pertinent, the European Union has three times the population and a gross domestic product (GDP) some ten times that of Russia — the principal security concern of those countries. Even post-Brexit, that impressive strength will be diminished just modestly. Clearly, the European Union is capable of building whatever defenses might be necessary to deter Russian aggression — even granting the questionable assumption that Moscow harbors large-scale expansionist ambitions instead of just seeking to preserve a limited security zone along its borders. The European nations have not done more to counter Russia because it has been easier for them to free-ride on America’s security efforts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

U.S. Defense Contractors Tell Investors Russian Threat Is Great for Business

(the Intercept) The escalating anti-Russian rhetoric in the U.S. presidential campaign comes in the midst of a major push by military contractors to position Moscow as a potent enemy that must be countered with a drastic increase in military spending by NATO countries.
Retired Army Gen. Richard Cody, a vice president at L-3 Communications, the seventh largest U.S. defense contractor, explained to shareholders in December that the industry was faced with a historic opportunity. Following the end of the Cold War, Cody said, peace had “pretty much broken out all over the world,” with Russia in decline and NATO nations celebrating. “The Wall came down,” he said, and “all defense budgets went south.”

Now, Cody argued, Russia “is resurgent” around the world, putting pressure on U.S. allies. “Nations that belong to NATO are supposed to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense,” he said, according to a transcript of his remarks. “We know that uptick is coming and so we postured ourselves for it.”
The National Defense Industrial Association, a lobby group for the industry, has called on Congress to make it easier for U.S. contractors to sell arms abroad to allies in response to the threat from Russia. Recent articles in National Defense, NDIA’s magazine, discuss the need for NATO allies to boost maritime military spending, spending on Arctic systems, and missile defense, to counter Russia.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

NATO and US Military Bases in Turkey

This map was published in Bloomberg a couple of days ago,  I'm posting for reference.  Given ongoing events in the region, these multiple military assets show the importance of Turkey geopolitically.

Friday, August 19, 2016

‘I Want You Back,’ Cries East Europe as Emigrant Tide Erodes GDP

(Bloomberg)  “I want you back” is the slogan Latvia has chosen to lure home citizens who’ve upped sticks to Europe’s west in search of more job opportunities and higher salaries. Poland’s Return program offers tips on jobs, housing and health care, while Romania is teaming up with private business, offering scholarships and hosting employment fairs to tempt back talented citizens. The campaigns have gained fresh impetus after the Brexit vote threw into doubt the future status of foreign workers in the U.K.

“The diaspora living abroad represent a huge untapped potential for their countries of origin,” said Rokas Grajauskas, an economist at Danske Bank A/S who’s based in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. Stints abroad can be beneficial, instilling new skills and ways of thinking, he said.
Losing workers to other countries has already cost 21 central and eastern Europe nations an average of about 7 percentage points of gross domestic product, according to the International Monetary Fund, which predicts a hit of as much as 9 percentage points over the next 14 years should current trends continue. It recommends the EU maintain funding to ease migration pressures, and that countries improve labor-market conditions and engage with their

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Erdogan to visit Tehran next week to launch Turkey-Iran-Russia coalition

(News.Az)  President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is preparing to take a high-profile trip to Tehran next week in a move seen by mainstream Arab media as the official launchpad for kickstarting the Turkey-Iran-Russia coalition on Syria.
Erdogan made a half-a-day trip to Russia after the recent coup in Turkey to meet and hold negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg. Their talks were mainly focused on finding a way to end the war in Syria while both countries have set up a joint commission to implement the results of their talks.
Sources told al-Hayat daily that a trilateral meeting, consisting of the Iranian, Turkish and Russian officials, is due to be held to confer on ways to terminate the Syria war, adding that part of Erdogan's trip to Tehran will be focused on this issue.
According to al-Arab, the triangle of Iran-Turkey-Russia is forming an international coalition to confront the West.

The daily underlined that Zarif's trip showed that rapid and important developments are being formed in the region which will marginalize the Arab states.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gazprom Soldiers on With Nord Stream II

(  Poland has achieved a significant victory in its battle against German and Russian energy collaboration. Daunted by Polish regulations, five international giants in the natural gas industry announced Aug. 12 that they had pulled out of an agreement to join Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom in the Nord Stream II AG consortium. The consortium, which Gazprom currently owns in its entirety, will oversee the construction and operation of the controversial Nord Stream II pipeline, set to enter service in 2019. The pullout leaves Gazprom to move forward with the 55 billion-cubic-meter natural gas pipeline project, estimated to cost between $8 billion and $11 billion, by itself, and it could have serious consequences across Northern and Central Europe. Even so, Gazprom will persevere.

Germany has been one of the strongest supporters of the Nord Stream II project. The proposed pipeline would replace the transit agreement between Kiev and Gazprom, which expires in 2019, moving natural gas from Russia to Europe while skirting the aging infrastructure and politically delicate situation in Ukraine. To do this, it would traverse Germany to supply natural gas to the Austrian hub of Baumgarten.
For Poland, this is a problem. As it stands, Germany and Russia are Poland's only options for natural gas. A closer relationship between those two countries would give them greater leverage over Poland. Moreover, the country does not want Gazprom to be able to send more natural gas to Germany without it first passing through its borders, since otherwise, Gazprom could conceivably cut off natural gas supplies to or negotiate harder terms with Poland. Gazprom has argued that building new pipelines would be cheaper than rehabilitating and modernizing the Ukrainian route, a claim that many of Nord Stream II's opponents, including Poland, find suspect.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the project, Gazprom has prioritized Nord Stream II, diverting money toward it even at the expense of other projects, such as the extension of the Power of Siberia pipeline into China. The company must now decide whether to proceed with the pipeline project on its own or try to build another consortium with a different structure to implement it. In the meantime, it has been moving forward, issuing tenders for pipe and discussing financing options internally and with the Kremlin. (Nord Stream II AG was likely planning to fund about 30 percent of the project by itself, borrowing the rest from financial institutions.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Biden "to push for progress" in Belgrade-Pristina relations

This is according to the Bloomberg website, which identified the point as "one of the key conditions" on Serbia's path to joining the European Union.
Biden, who on Tuesday afternoon arrived in Belgrade, is set to meet with PM Aleksandar Vucic and President Tomislav Nikolic.

The article, ran under the headline, "Biden visits Serbia to talk security as Vucic keeps Russian ties" - noted that Vucic started his new 4-year term on August 11 promising to "prepare Serbia for joining the EU."

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Putin and Erdogan move toward repairing ties amid tension with West

(Reuters)  "Do we want a full-spectrum restoration of relations? Yes and we will achieve that," Putin told a joint news conference after an initial round of talks. "Life changes quickly."

Cooperation would be increased on projects including a planned $20 billion gas pipeline and a nuclear power plant to be built in Turkey by the Russians, Erdogan said, as well as between their two defense sectors.

"God willing, with these steps the Moscow-Ankara axis will again be a line of trust and friendship," Erdogan said.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Russia: Paralympics ban a 'grave human rights abuse'

(Aljazeera) The decision to ban Russian athletes from next month's Rio Paralympic Games over doping allegations was a grave abuse of human rights, according to the head of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC).

The entire Russia team was banned from competing in next month's Games as punishment for the country's systematic doping programme, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced on Sunday.
"The overwhelming majority of sportspeople who were prevented from taking part in the Games were absolutely clean sportspeople," said Lukin, saying he was ready to provide evidence that the Russian team had run a tight anti-doping programme.
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