Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 19, 2017

Red Scare Redux: "Russian Weapons Stocked Right Up At NATO's Border!"

A Washington Post news piece on the current NATO budget spat remarks:

Russia, for its part, keeps tanks and missiles stocked right up against the NATO border.

Now, that's truly threatening of Russia and DANGEROUS!

How did that come to be?


bigger

UPDATE:

Found some of the stocked up weapons ...

Posted by b on March 19, 2017 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

Comments

It's just another sign of "Russian aggression" that Russia DARES to keep weapons and troops within its borders, rather than meekly surrendering.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Mar 19, 2017 12:10:18 PM | 1

When I go to youtube (owned by Google), I get "suggested for you" videos by government critics.

When I go to Google News, I get reports from all the top Main Stream Media companies (CNN, WaPo, MSNBC, etc.).

It seems that in Google's view, criticizing the government is entertainment, while government propaganda/dishonest reporting is news.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 19, 2017 12:15:35 PM | 2

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 19, 2017 12:15:35 PM | 2

Google News is limited to media companies, youtube is free for everybody.
Youtube runs on advertisements so they offer you stuff they deduce from your cookie/search history you are likely to click on.
Google news is just an incentive to use Google as a search machine. Media companies would not agree to participate if Google made money on their content.

Youtube is an advertisement machine to make money from.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 19, 2017 1:13:44 PM | 3

With the EU countries being constantly goaded by Uncle to spend, spend, spend, more and more of their GDP's to buy American military equipment, let them waste their resources until they realize that they have been conned to the detriment of their financial futures -- perhaps then the light will go on as to NATO manipulation and lead to its end.

Posted by: chet380 | Mar 19, 2017 1:21:52 PM | 4

Another Star Wars Programme for US citizens and Germans to pay for in the making?

This small but vital detail was apparently withheld as part of a general policy of 'strategic deception' at the heart of the SDI - the feeding to the Soviet enemy of lies about the project's progress and technological content.

It seems that in this case, however, others were also misled: the US Congress - which over the ensuing years dedicated dollars 30bn ( pounds 20bn) to the programme - the American public and, by extension, the Nato allies, including Britain.

'We rigged the test,' one of the four officials, a Pentagon scientist, told the Times. With beacons fitted to both missiles, the target was effectively saying to the interceptor, 'Here I am. Come get me', he said. The source added that three earlier tests had failed and that SDI managers were desperate for a hit. 'We would lose hundreds of millions of dollars in Congress if we didn't perform it successfully. It would be a catastrophe.'

Posted by: somebody | Mar 19, 2017 1:23:43 PM | 5

If that headline had appeared in The Guardian (it soon will do), I could have believed it was a typo of "Russian Weapons Stacked Right Up At NATO's Border!".

Posted by: Ghostship | Mar 19, 2017 1:26:10 PM | 6

I'm sure if they looked in the right place they might even find stockpiles of Russian weapons INSIDE Nato borders...

Posted by: les7 | Mar 19, 2017 1:29:52 PM | 7

les7 | Mar 19, 2017 1:29:52 PM | 7

I'm sure if they looked in the right place they might even find stockpiles of Russian weapons INSIDE Nato borders...

You mean like the Polish Army with 528 Russian T-72 tanks with another 233 Polish derivatives of the T-72 which looks to be as many as the combined armoured forces of the UK, France, German, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark can field. The rest of NATO should be wary of those belligerent Poles.

Posted by: Ghostship | Mar 19, 2017 1:51:33 PM | 8

From, 'Janes' (Source: Janes Data Base, Dec 12 2016):

World Military Spending - Top 20 Countries - 2016 (Billions$ USD)(Image/Jpg)

A Russian defense advocate using the Janes’ metric in the above graphic chart could argue that:

(1) Russia is now spending slightly less than Saudi Arabia, less than India, and less than the UK,
(2) the size of Russia’s budget is only a quarter of China’s,
(3) the size of Russia's defence budget is one-eighth of NATO nation members alone, when excluding the US!,
(4) the size of Russia’s defense budget is an astonishing one-twelfth of that of the United States alone!, and
(5) the size of NATO member nations defense budget alone, excluding the US, is twice that of China.

Add to the U.S. defense budget the contributions of its allies and close friends and the spending balance in favor the U.S. and its allies to that of Russia alone becomes an astounding 21 to 1!

Even if Russia could trust China to be a reliable ally — which it currently cannot — the current spending imbalance in such a scenario is over four to one in favor of the U.S. and its allies on the one hand and Russia and China on the other.

An imbalance of 21 to 1 is supposed to justify 'FEAR & Warmongering' for Cold War 2.0 re the Evil™ Russkies ?! :(

And, furthermore:

Some comparative defense statistics re US & UK & FR ONLY (EXCLUDING the other 24 NATO nations member forces as well as NATO wannabes & informal NATO allies) Vs ... Russia.
(Source: Data from The Military Balance 2016. International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS))

ICBM launchers: USUKFR 450 v Russia 332 :- Ratio: 1.36 to 1

Bomber Aircraft: USUKFR 157 v Russia 139 :- Ratio: 1.13 to 1

Ballistic-missile nuclear powered submarines: USUKFR 22 v Russia 14 :- Ratio: 1.57 to 1

Active Personnel: USUKFR 1,744,900 v Russia 798,000 :- Ratio: 2.19 to 1

Reserve Personnel: USUKFR 952,150 v Russia 2,000,000 :- Ratio: .48 to 1

Armored Fighting Vehicles: USUKFR 5,589 v Russia 7,572 :- Ratio: .74 to 1

Main Battle Tanks: USUKFR 3,258 v Russia 2,950 :- Ratio: 1.10 to 1

Artillery: USUKFR 8,337 v Russia 5,145 :- Ratio: 1.62 to 1

Attack/Guided Missile Submarines: USUKFR 69 v Russia 49 :- Ratio: 1.40 to 1

Aircraft Carriers: USUKFR 13 v Russia 1 :- Ratio: 13 to 1

Cruisers, Destroyers & Frigates: USUKFR 129 v Russia 34 :- Ratio: 3.79 to 1

Principal Amphibious ships: USUKFR 40 v Russia 0 :- Ratio: 40 to none

Tactical aircraft: USUKFR 3,601 v Russia 1,084 :- Ratio: 3.32 to 1

Attack helicopters: USUKFR 1,003 v Russia 271 :- Ratio: 3.70 to 1

Heavy/Medium transport helicopters: USUKFR 3,068 v Russia 368 :- Ratio: 8.34 to 1

Heavy/Medium transport aircraft: USUKFR 769 v Russia 190 :- Ratio: 4.05 to 1

Tanker & multi-role Tanker/transport aircraft: USUKFR 578 v Russia 15 :- Ratio: 38.53 to 1

Airborne early Warning & Control Aircraft: USUKFR 120 v Russia 18 :- Ratio: 6.66 to 1

Heavy Unmanned aerial vehicles: USUKFR 559 v Russia 4 :- Ratio: 139.75 to 1

Comment: The above comparative forces statistics, even when excluding the other 24 NATO member nations forces & allies is indicative of a standing forward/offensive posture vs a defensive/mobilization posture and a standing significant force projection capability vs a negligible force projection capability. Guess which is which.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 19, 2017 2:08:29 PM | 9

Well, how about that?

The US has military bases all over the world, and that isn't at all threatening ... unless you are Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia yada yada yada! Unless you are Germany, the UK, et al ...

Of course the settler nation (US) wants to settle the world. It is a mindset, shared by white South Africa and Israel. Just because some asshole was born in the territory of the US does NOT make them a native. Time to quit acting like we own the place. Time to realize we just live there with all of the rest of the biosphere.

That won't happen until we f*** things up so much the place is uninhabitable ... or we wise up and nuke ourselves into oblivion and hope we do so soon enough for life to rebuild after we're done and gone.

F-ing humans!

Posted by: Rg the Lg | Mar 19, 2017 2:37:23 PM | 10

@9
Your statistics is true but only truly reflects the nature of US armed forces (imperial offensive, intimidating) vs. Russian strictly defensive with few quasi- offensive retaliation systems mostly as nuclear deterant and anti-missile systems. It hides the fact the US is completely incapable to defeat Russians in any battlefields on Russian territory or near it and the US military budget is a overblown fraud.

It is utter paranoia to try to present Russian military as threatening anyone even Baltic States or Finland where all the space age and nuke toys would have been useless under any sane scenario that so far nobody in the west has even proposed.

People misunderstand that the Russians problem with her conniving, conspiring with the West neighbors is not to defeat them militarily. As one Polish general said two years ago and was later dismissed: "Russians could be in Warsaw Poland in twelve hours on tanks, much faster if they use polish mass transportation system, there is no one there to stop them or even have any will of doing so." Polish army has 50k military 5k trained soldiers capable of conducting any aggressive operation the rest a administrators behind their desks. The Baltic states have 1/5 of Polish capabilities. Slovakia has 6000 soldiers overall 1000 capable of anything at all, Hungary 9k.

Now compare to other allies of Russia in the area: Donbass rebellion army: Highly motivated, trained in warfare all 40k minimum of combat hardened military and at least 1.5k tanks and APCs and big guns. But that'nothing. Beloruss: 2 millions soldiers, 250k of combat ready highly trained and Russian/Belorussian hi-tech weapons equipped Ground and air power integrated.

So let not be paranoid that the measly show of military flaccidity of NATO vassals we have seen along Russian borders in any way significantly decrease security of Russian state, but it is only a propaganda ploy and political provocation that may as well lead to a hot war even WWIII but does not strategically changes for Russians anything about fighting it.

Those morons should understand that ironically what Putin is doing is only bending backwards to keep world peace which is interpreted by those who run US asylum for the insane in DC as a weakness.

In fact US is incapable of defeating Russia or China anymore or even Turkey or Greece with or without nuking them and those neocon morons refuse to acknowledge that. The US military is nothing but a giant bloated suicide vest threatening the world with committing suicide, impotent to impose their will otherwise than through shouting insults or bribing their vassals.


Posted by: Kalen | Mar 19, 2017 3:08:02 PM | 11

The Germans and other NATO countries are being goaded into doing politically unpopular things - diverting public monies from social welfare programs into the military. That will make people ask what good is NATO in the first place. Canada, for example, is being told to effectively double the military budget - it must be the same in Europe. Britain is doing it, but the public pushback - which comes from realizing it is one or the other (military/social good) - hasn't caught up yet. America is slashing costs in State Department and other federal agencies for higher Pentagon budget, but soon it will be Medicare and Social Security. But making the equation - your quality of life must be sacrificed for military programs - is harder in America. Last person to effectively do it was Martin Luther King and he was murdered within a year.

Posted by: jayc | Mar 19, 2017 3:09:36 PM | 12

Just newly arrived to this site, btw it's gteat. Reading James' comment I remember a great report by John Pilger circa 1982 about Nato buildup and the actual figures of the soviet army at the time, showing very similar trends as outlined in James' comment. I'm concerned about the curent wave of deployments of tanks, armored vehicles and what not by NATO and the propaganda surrounding all this reminiscent of the early 80s. Add to that more US troops invading Syria. It's like looking for a triggering event having the pieces at the right place, assuming the Russ will try to protect Kaliningrad so NATO is awating them in Latvia, etc.

Posted by: Seba | Mar 19, 2017 3:14:42 PM | 13

I am sorry, I meant Jane's comment, not James.

Posted by: Seba | Mar 19, 2017 3:15:44 PM | 14

Here was my response at Zero Hedge. Am I right?

What Rep. Seth Moulton is talking about is very well known to everyone who deals with the actual military situation that would ensue if the Western empire were to attack Russia with land forces. Russia is the largest country in the world by surface area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth. And yet it only has 147,000,000 citizens. For comparison, the U.S. has 324,690,000 citizens. So in a conventional war with the U.S. and the rest of "Europe", Russia has a huge problem. That's why the Western Empire (W.E.) is (stupidly) building up conventional forces in, for example, Poland. Since WW2 the Russians have been absolutely determined to never fight another battle on Russian land.

Although the U.S. probably has more delivery capability for an all-out nuclear exchange, the Russians have many, many more battlefield usable micro-nukes. So if the huge W.E. armies now assembled on the Russian border try to carry out a sneak attack on Moscow, the Russians will simply fry them with 20,000 micro-nukes. So "our" troops have to somehow be "ready" for that.

If the U.S. responds with an all-out attack, it will have more delivery systems. However, Russia is huge, and has, in many respects, relatively primitive infrastructure that is socially integrated and relatively resilient. Whereas the U.S. has one very complex, institutionally integrated economic and communications "machine" with many single points of failure (a "house of cards" that could collapse even without any war).

Now that "we" have such a large number of armed forces on the Russian borders, Rep. Moulton is asking what we can do to protect them from the tens of thousands of micro-nukes. The answer, obviously, is nothing.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-18/house-democrat-warns-nuclear-war-russia-real-possibility#comment-9216221

Posted by: blues | Mar 19, 2017 4:03:06 PM | 15

A good one, b.

But, let us remind ourselves once more - nobody ever goes to war with Russia.

This is just the fact.

Aggressive massive weapons spending nowadays is just a plain stupid doctrine. Every normal person by looking at the defence budgets and stats might derive that NATO/US is overspending manyfold on pretty much useless hardware - it is just piles of taxpayers money where many good things might be financed and achieved, instead of some delusional fatcat general's ambitions.

As for NATO's aggressive stance, posture and doctrine - it is just a pony show.
When one thinks about the numbers (even if they are higher than reported) of NATO soldiers "guarding" its Eastern borders it is laughable to think that it can have any military deterrent effect.

During 80's and some first part of the 90's NATO might had some purpose and a function. Now it is just redundant and definitely needs a restructuring and proper political guidance.
Until than - just another alternative factual circus to be disturbed by.

Current diagnosis: mostly harmless, but annoying.

Posted by: laserlurk | Mar 19, 2017 4:14:21 PM | 16

"Putin Prepares For Invasion of Europe With Massive Cuts to Military Spending "
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/putin-prepares-invasion-europe-massive-cuts-military-spending/ri19243

Isnt it amazing that these are the same western media that claim Russia spread warmongering and propaganda? I mean which world are these "wapo" morons live in? THEY are the propagandists of this world, fcking everyday you have to read something hateful and propagandizing like this if you live in the western world!

but apparently...."Facts Are Irrelevant. The Information War Against Russia Must Continue"
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/facts-are-irrelevant-information-war-against-russia-must-continue/ri19245

Posted by: Anonymou_s | Mar 19, 2017 4:16:48 PM | 17

Blues@15 You seem to think our leaders are afraid of 20,000 nukes, when we should be more afraid of a 'mine shaft gap' or as Gen Buck Turgison said "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks". Trump won the election by saying the long term costs of the Afghan/Iraq wars would be 6 trillion dollars, enough to rebuild US infrastructure twice over. However he is spending more on the military and cutting welfare programs, and encourageing NATO allies to do the same.Where will it all end?

Posted by: harrylawh | Mar 19, 2017 5:31:33 PM | 18

@ harrylawh | Mar 19, 2017 5:31:33 PM | 18

I have no clue what our "leaders" think. I was only offering information. Nothing more.

We cannot rebuild the U.S. infrastructure. Not because of "money". Because of resources.

We let them destroy us. Now we pay.

Posted by: blues | Mar 19, 2017 5:41:54 PM | 19

#17
Russia cutting Defense spending and my crazy home Amerika is raising them and I'm sure it won't be enough for war mongers like McCain & friends. Party on merchants of death.

Posted by: jo6pac | Mar 19, 2017 5:51:13 PM | 20

It is disingenuous to focus on one "remark" and ignore the main topic: Trump increases American military budget and hectors Germans and other Europeans to do the same, and also to pay tribute to USA for the grace bestowed on the Europeans in the form of "defense umbrella".

One can criticize WaPo for "phony even-handedness" which prompted the "remark", but why is it more important than pointless expansion of the military spending and displays of bullying (which, as WaPo laments, may misfire, e.g. not increasing the spending levels could become a point of German national pride, although cooler heads suggests that Germans have quite little of that, especially the elites in power).


Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 19, 2017 5:59:27 PM | 21

Re: Outraged | Mar 19, 2017 2:08:29 PM | 9

Note that the Russian Federation has military budget that is several times smaller than American, in dollar terms, at par with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And yet they have many capabilities pretty close to American, at least on paper.

It used to be that those paper capabilities were just that, because of deep difference in quality. But as technologies mature, Russians are catching up with electronics etc., and their costs are based on rubbles: their produce their own weapons and most of the components, and the wages are in rubbles. And matched against ISIS or Yemenis, Russian toys seem as good as American toys (in the case of Yemenis, KSA may be uniquely inept in using most advanced weapons, but ISIS was facing similarly capable opponents).

Once the quality and quantity of weapon has somewhat rough parity, the main difference is whose soldiers are more ready to risk death to further the goals of their governments. And Europeans, apart from extreme Ukrainian nationalists, really do not have such goals -- good for them.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 19, 2017 6:12:47 PM | 22

Spending on weapons for NATO. When the military budget is overstretched and the MIC will not allow any decrease will be told its for infrastructure and the children.

The NATO Budget spat -

Germany Slams Trump's Claim That It Owes "Vast Sums" To NATO And The U.S.
Link


the nugget in the article includes full list with the top five countries meeting the goal of 2%– U.S. Greece U.K. Estonia Poland in that order.

[on ] Sunday morning by a statement by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen in which she responded to Trump, rejecting the US president's claim: "There is no debit account at NATO," von der Leyen said in a statement, adding that it was wrong to link the alliance's target for members to spend 2 percent of their economic output on defense by 2024 solely to NATO.

"Defense spending also goes into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against IS terrorism," von der Leyen said. The defense minister added that everyone wanted the burden to be shared fairly and for that to happen it was necessary to have a "modern security concept" that included a modern NATO but also a European defense union and investment in the United Nations.

Before taking office, Trump suggested that the U.S. might not come to the defense of allies who didn’t meet the 2 percent spending goal, and said the coalition doesn’t always best serve American interests[.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Another interesting nug of Sunday news - raising Mr. Putin’s eyebrows:

NATO associate member

Link

Israeli minister threatens to destroy Syrian air defenses


The Israeli defense minister threatened to destroy Syrian air defenses after they shot at Israeli warplanes, which violated Syrian airspace and bombed targets on Syrian soil.

“Next time, if the Syrian aerial defense apparatus acts against our planes, we will destroy it,” Avigdor Lieberman told Israeli Public Radio on Sunday. “We won't hesitate. Israel's security is above everything else; there will be no compromise”

Link

Sputniknews Intl has full details which answers one question – will Russia look the other way as Israel destroys Syria’s air defense?


The IDF, in turn, said on Friday that it used the advanced Arrow missile defense system to shoot down a Syrian anti-aircraft missile that was fired at an Israeli jet.
We have no interest in interfering in the Syrian civil war, we are neither for nor against (President Bashar) Assad, and we have no interest in clashing with the Russians," Defense Minister Lieberman said on Sunday.


On Friday, just one day after the Israeli Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren presented his credentials to President Putin, he was summoned for clarifications over the strikes.

Link

Posted by: likklemore | Mar 19, 2017 6:36:33 PM | 23

@ cPiotr Berman | Mar 19, 2017 6:12:47 PM | 22

The big problem is, who's closer to total economic collapse, and who can handle it?

Not anyone in my neighborhood!

Posted by: blues | Mar 19, 2017 6:42:20 PM | 24

OMG!

Posted by: Toxik | Mar 19, 2017 6:46:04 PM | 25

some while ago a commenter - guest77? - posted a link to a discussion led by Rick Rozoff on the expansion of nato. if found it very enlightening and so saved it.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 19, 2017 7:05:00 PM | 26

This claim by an Iranian General is significant.."Iran is capable of producing and using missiles that can land no more than 10 meters away from their targets, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, says.
Baqeri emphasized that the world must realize that young Iranian scientists are convinced that they can help their country achieve self-sufficiency in all fields". It must be remembered that the Hamas rockets fired on Israel during the last Gaza war only succeeded in blowing up the desert. 7,000 rockets [unguided] hardly any hits. Whereas Israel destroyed 19,000 Palestinian homes and approx 8 billion dollars estimated cost of rebuilding, not forgetting all the deaths and injuries. Hezbollahs arsenal of 100,000 rockets with the same targeting capabilities could reduce Israel to a heap of rubble. Most of Israels vital infrastructure is within the Tel Aviv Metropolitan area. This is why Israel wants to destroy Iran and Hezbollah, knowing the longer they wait, the stronger Iran and Hezbollah become.

Posted by: harrylawh | Mar 19, 2017 7:14:53 PM | 27

RE: laserlurk | Mar 19, 2017 4:14:21 PM | 16 But, let us remind ourselves once more - nobody ever goes to war with Russia. This is just the fact.

Nobody . . . like Napoleon and Adolf Hitler?

Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 19, 2017 8:03:32 PM | 28

@ Perimetr | Mar 19, 2017 8:03:32 PM | 28
Well strictly speaking Hitler went to war against whole Soviet Union, not just against RSFR exclusively.
OTOH Ottoman, British, Japanese empires and perhaps even Chinese empire all waged wars against Russian empire. And Napoleon was in imperial mood when decided to take over the world so he did what all empires do.

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 19, 2017 8:54:17 PM | 29

It seems to be okay when Mad Dog Mattis and Ehud Barak say the obvious that the Zionist Entity is an Apartheid State, but let a UN official publish a report reaching the same conclusion and that cannot be allowed by tRump:

"Khalef, a Jordanian national who has served in multiple high government positions, refused the demand to repudiate her own report, instead choosing to resign. The report — which was co-authored by the Jewish American Princeton professor and former U.N. official Richard Falk, a longtime critic of Israeli occupation — has now been removed from the UNESCWA website.

"What makes this event most remarkable is how unremarkable the report’s conclusion is: It’s a point that a former Israeli prime minister — as well as Trump’s own defense secretary — has made unequivocally." https://theintercept.com/2017/03/18/trump-administration-ousts-un-official-to-protect-israel-from-criticism/

As the tRump era moves forward, it becomes clearer that he differs little from the neocons he supposedly loathes. The Multipolar Alliance needs to keep the pressure on and unmask the veiled attempt at a neocon reset in their drive for Full Spectrum Dominance.

As with Bush's "Compassionate Conservatism," tRump's vow to "Drain the Swamp" is just another round of deceptive hot air.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 19, 2017 8:54:28 PM | 30

@ Posted by: Kalen | Mar 19, 2017 3:08:02 PM | 11
@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 19, 2017 6:12:47 PM | 22

Cannot write 'War & Peace' on multiple aspects, whilst providing basic foundation data, posts are too long as is ;)

IMV, the bloated US Defense Budget:

Primarily exists to transfer taxpayer wealth to the War Profiteers/Industries, one half of the 0.01%.

To enable gross money laundering by those War Profiteers/Industries of a portion of those taxpayer dollars in the form of political donations back to the members of Congress who voted for the appropriations. Also to money launder said money into Stink-Tanks and PACs to further lobby for ongoing appropriations. A member of Congress who goes against such alienates those directly and indirectly supported by the expenditures, including such as small businesses near bases, sub-contractors, etc, to do so invites use of those USD to oust said member of Congress and replace with another, more, malleable. This has been the case since 1944. It is one element of the MICC.

This also results in gross waste, corruption, embezzlement, mismanagement & straight out unaccounted theft. See $1.5Trillion USD on the farce of the F-35, decades now and still counting.

The NCO & Junior/Middle Officer ranks, the core, the cadre of any military have been gutted by service exits due to 15+ years of Neo-Colonial rapine in ME & Afghanistan, under the name of Counter-Insurgency (COIN) warfare. Training has for that time excessively focused on COIN. The US Military capable of fighting a full fledged conventional combined arms war against a peer or near-peer circa 1989, no longer exists.

Russia has been very smart since dumping Yeltsin, in they have focused on what truly counts. Truly capable, 1st class Air Defense & Anti-Ballistic Missile defense systems (AD/ABM), accurate & evasive MIRV nuclear warheads, advanced EW systems, all very cost effective, whilst transferring to a contractor based professional military, as opposed to conscripts. Without little of the immense bloat & waste of multi-tier for profit US military manufacturing corporations. Probably better value per $ of a factor of 4-5+.

That Trump is requesting a 9.5% Defense budget allocation increase whilst continuing with Obamas $1Trillion USD Nuclear weapons modernization boondoggle, whilst Russia has planned defense budget decreases of ~4% this year & ~4% next ... says it all, really.

The US Military exists to force & threaten non near peers. Hell, Admirals & Generals have been dismissed for pointing out the disaster that would follow going to war with just, Iran.

The Evil™ Russkie 'narrative' is base propaganda, merely a con to enable and sustain the ongoing multi-generational theft of wealth. And the McCains, Breedloves & Rasmussens of this world are in it up to their eyeballs.

Regarding NATO and our Allies, demanding military expenditure is merely a plausibly-deniable means of extracting Tribute, just as in Empires past re vassals, and also achieves the same goals re politicians & War Profiteers in those countries. NATO is a ponzi/mafiosi-extortion scheme to extract said Tribute from it's vassals, and also a means to suborn member States Military commands and undermine the limited sovereignty of those States.

Trump-faction doesn't give a damn about NATO, hence isn't serious re an actual war with Russia:

Germany owes...vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany! - Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

Translation: 'Your Emperor demands you pay the agreed TRIBUTE payments (2%GDP) and the overdue TRIBUTE underpayments! Vassals!'

Yet, as history shows, when tensions are high, sustained, the propaganda flows freely and brinkmanship is conducted to support & enable the ~70 year old ongoing rort, dangerous miscalculations or accidents can happen.

And we would do the world a service if the Department of Defense reverted back to its original and never more truly apt name of, the Department of War.

@ Posted by: blues | Mar 19, 2017 4:03:06 PM | 15

Agree with your general premise, yet undermined by a claim of 20,000 tactical Nuclear weapons ... the best estimate is somewhere between a realistic ~1,000 to an outside ~2,500, from sources such as FAS, ACA, Lowy Institute, etc. The estimate for US is ~500, which seems extremely low-ball, probably closer to ~1,500. A tactical nuke is likely to be launched by either side if a conventional WWIII kicked off, the moment a dire battlefield situation becomes SHTF!, resulting in a response, escalation, and we're all ash. Endlessly documented we've been prepared to use Nukes tactically since '47.

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 19, 2017 8:54:28 PM | 30

It has become ever more apparent, and didn't even take close to 100 days (~60). A one party faux political system, with two faux factions (Dem & GOP), now with GOP taken over by a variant strain of sub-faction, with the same primary goals and patrons beholden to, the 0.01%. The 'Deplorables?' aren't likely to be thrilled should they wake up ...

Peace. Salaam. Shalom.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 19, 2017 9:55:30 PM | 31

Not to mention that "hopey changey" Obomba rhetoric... The more things change, the more they stay the same! Remember George Carlin, "It's a big club and you ain't in it"!

Posted by: Trixie from Dixie | Mar 19, 2017 10:02:24 PM | 32

Doesn't the Israeli attack and belligerence suggest that Trump is making good on better relations with Moscow?

If they could manipulate US/Trump then they would be getting their hands dirty.

Thoughts?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 19, 2017 10:12:10 PM | 33

wouldn't

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 19, 2017 10:13:15 PM | 34

@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 19, 2017 10:12:10 PM | 33

Possibly ... we'll have more certainty, greater clarity, where this is heading and the alignments of the 'New Great Game's players, once the Battle for Raqqa(ISIS) is resolved, how, by whom, by what means and which alliances form or hold ...

Similarly, but to a lesser degree, the post fall events re the reduction of Mosul(ISIS) ... what will the US forces do ? What part will the Iraqi forces then play ?, IMV.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 19, 2017 10:32:41 PM | 35

Outraged | Mar 19, 2017 2:08:29 PM | 9 et al.

I have trouble assessing the military capability on spending/%GDP because the costs are not necessarily the same for Russia to produce an MBT vs. the USA. You have to count how many peasants go hungry for each tank you build in its respective country. Others have touched on geography/logistics, the quality of the troops, and mind-scraping the leaders.

The biggest factor to consider is, short of nuclear fire, the geography. When the clock starts, conventional war opens fronts on Europe and ME. If we count NATO/EU plus USA forces we may have operational parity on one front agains a dug-in Russia with well-prepared supply lines. Unless we manage to stand up USA forces in-theatre ahead of h-minus, planes are shot down and ships are sunk. Forces never reach the lines. It's up to whatever sits in Sweden, Norway, Estonia, etc. which in my opinion, as air support will be neutralized by either side, will lead to a 4-move check-mate by the bear. Then who wants to go nuclear? Limp-dick Trumpino or bare-chested Vlad the Spearfisher? Or one of the minor-league nuke powers, like the Izzies or Pakistan, because now is their chance to grab the whole enchilada.

Further, the Russian command of the North polar region as well as land-bridge thru Alaska, however silly as it sounds, offers great opportunities for beach-heads and rapid invasion forces that puts the US in a position of how to prepare for overwhelming force in EU/ME while keeping a few pea-shooters handy for an assault on Seattle. The whole thing is nuts. The Brits are deploying a couple of thousand troops to the "front lines" as if the lines already exist.

In a more rational scenario, all the sabre-rattling will result in Eastern EU shitting their pants and giving all control to the big bankers who will fleece them in the name of "peace".

Posted by: stumpy | Mar 19, 2017 10:34:18 PM | 36

Jackrabbit 33 & Outraged 35

The tell may well be how the Kurds are handled, as the great re-carving of Syria and Iraq allocates land shares to the victors. The notion of "taking back" Raqqah has a way of translating into the Izzie/Arab cartel contracting with the superpowers to provide security while they dole out the black gold.

Posted by: stumpy | Mar 19, 2017 10:49:59 PM | 37

last thing -- http://www.visualcapitalist.com/u-s-military-personnel-deployments-country/

nice layout

Posted by: stumpy | Mar 19, 2017 11:05:29 PM | 38

@ Posted by: stumpy | Mar 19, 2017 10:34:18 PM | 36

Brought up a Military brat, was a teen living thru the Cuba Missile crisis, avidly studied military History since childhood ... 'Wargaming' lost it's gloss long long ago ... Hate to be bleak, but having done Intelligence Estimates for real from Brigade/Division/Corps up to Theater Level in a past life ... in a full on conventional global conflict, even just Europe or Asia in an open conflict, direct war with Russia or China, would almost inevitably go full Strategic MAD within 24-48 hours at most ... the first Theater commander or Ship/Sub commander to release a tactical nuke in a desperate situation will result in immediate and virtually inevitable subsequent inevitable escalation ... hence why we've had an ongoing 'Cold War' for ~71 years ... a Hot one is beyond comprehension for the rational mind.

To put it bluntly, the Evil™ Russkies under Putin came to this conclusion years ago, hence reliance on comparatively economically 'cheap' nuclear parity, highly targeted and carefully considered/evaluated conventional expenditures and saving the Rubles for something worthwhile ... life.

To your query more directly, major conventional conflicts involving countries of the size of Iraq/Iran or above require in depth planning and logistics/materiel forward deployments typically six months in advance of actually deploying troops on the ground to a region ... this cannot be hidden/concealed and therefore the opposing force know whats coming and KNOWS the decision re WAR has already been made and COMMITTED to at that point. This results in obvious responses/preparations mobilizations.

In a full on conventional conflict in Europe, an Armored Reconnaissance/Cavalry crew was calculated to have a life expectancy of ~15 seconds, an MBT tank crew ~15 minutes and a combat infantryman ~24 hours ... IIRC one particular study.

There is no point in comparing tank for tank, aircraft for aircraft, in isolation, as they do not operate nor engage one-on-one in a theoretical, technical specifications, vacuum. The greatest determinant re peer or near peer conflicts is troop/crew, tactical NCO/Commanders, and Operational level commanders/HQ staff skills competencies/experience/motivation/morale, not the individual conventional 'kit', IMHO. The VC shot down multi-million dollar jet aircraft with bolt-action rifles, defeated multi-million dollar all-pervasive surveillance technology with literally buckets of shit & urine, and sunk a heavily guarded Escort Carrier with just two scuba men and a handful of stolen/scavenged/salvaged explosives ...

In an unplanned opening of WWIII by accident or miscalculation, everybody goes with what they've got, where they are, and the NATO forces are a mish-mash mess and all over the god-damned place. The NATO forces exist, as per force statistics comparisons, but they are NOT yet deployed for either defense or offense ... my first post was re only statistical 'capabilities' of only USUKFR v Russia.

Should that begin to change, rather than minor exercises and minor Brigade size deployments for propaganda purposes primarily, then the Russian forces will mobilize and deploy in depth and raise readiness/alert status as appropriate ... we, the public, would know about it pretty quickly ...

Russia as a people will never submit without being conquered, not even then ?, history demonstrates that repeatedly and decisively ... and the same now goes for China ...

It's late, am fatiqued, adequately address your query ?

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 19, 2017 11:36:05 PM | 39

@ Posted by: stumpy | Mar 19, 2017 10:34:18 PM | 36

Brought up a Military brat, was a teen living thru the Cuba Missile crisis, avidly studied military History since childhood ... 'Wargaming' lost it's gloss long long ago ... Hate to be bleak, but having done Intelligence Estimates for real from Brigade/Division/Corps up to Theater Level in a past life ... in a full on conventional global conflict, even just Europe or Asia in an open conflict, direct war with Russia or China, would almost inevitably go full Strategic MAD within 24-48 hours at most ... the first Theater commander or Ship/Sub commander to release a tactical nuke in a desperate situation will result in immediate and virtually inevitable subsequent inevitable escalation ... hence why we've had an ongoing 'Cold War' for ~71 years ... a Hot one is beyond comprehension for the rational mind.

To put it bluntly, the Evil™ Russkies under Putin came to this conclusion years ago, hence reliance on comparatively economically 'cheap' nuclear parity, highly targeted and carefully considered/evaluated conventional expenditures and saving the Rubles for something worthwhile ... life.

To your query more directly, major conventional conflicts involving countries of the size of Iraq/Iran or above require in depth planning and logistics/materiel forward deployments typically six months in advance of actually deploying troops on the ground to a region ... this cannot be hidden/concealed and therefore the opposing force know whats coming and KNOWS the decision re WAR has already been made and COMMITTED to at that point. This results in obvious responses/preparations mobilizations.

In a full on conventional conflict in Europe, an Armored Reconnaissance/Cavalry crew was calculated to have a life expectancy of ~15 seconds, an MBT tank crew ~15 minutes and a combat infantryman ~24 hours ... IIRC one particular study.

There is no point in comparing tank for tank, aircraft for aircraft, in isolation, as they do not operate nor engage one-on-one in a theoretical, technical specifications, vacuum. The greatest determinant re peer or near peer conflicts is troop/crew, tactical NCO/Commanders, and Operational level commanders/HQ staff skills competencies/experience/motivation/morale, not the individual conventional 'kit', IMHO. The VC shot down multi-million dollar jet aircraft with bolt-action rifles, defeated multi-million dollar all-pervasive surveillance technology with literally buckets of shit & urine, and sunk a heavily guarded Escort Carrier with just two scuba men and a handful of stolen/scavenged/salvaged explosives ...

In an unplanned opening of WWIII by accident or miscalculation, everybody goes with what they've got, where they are, and the NATO forces are a mish-mash mess and all over the god-damned place. The NATO forces exist, as per force statistics comparisons, but they are NOT yet deployed for either defense or offense ... my first post was re only statistical 'capabilities' of only USUKFR v Russia.

Should that begin to change, rather than minor exercises and minor Brigade size deployments for propaganda purposes primarily, then the Russian forces will mobilize and deploy in depth and raise readiness/alert status as appropriate ... we, the public, would know about it pretty quickly ...

Russia as a people will never submit without being conquered, not even then ?, history demonstrates that repeatedly and decisively ... and the same now goes for China ...

It's late, am fatiqued, adequately address your query ?

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 19, 2017 11:36:05 PM | 40

@ Posted by: stumpy | Mar 19, 2017 11:05:29 PM | 38

Excellent link, thank you ... jfl, you may want to add that one to your archive ;)

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 19, 2017 11:39:57 PM | 41

Stumpy 38

Graph and numbers only seem to cover what are termed permanent deployments/positions. The so called rotations are on top of these numbers. x 10 may get closer to the numbers in many places.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 19, 2017 11:44:22 PM | 42

Stumpy
Follow on from my previous post re numbers. Graph shows 188 for Australia. Gillard/Obama done a deal for a US base in Darwin several years ago. 2500 US mercs on rotation in Darwin alone. Rotating the individual pieces of cannon fodder does not change the permanent numbers.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 20, 2017 12:09:40 AM | 43

RE: hopehely | Mar 19, 2017 8:54:17 PM | 29 Well strictly speaking Hitler went to war against whole Soviet Union, not just against RSFR exclusively.

You might want to tell that to tens of millions of Russians who lost family members in World War 2.

Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 20, 2017 12:24:04 AM | 44

@ Outraged | Mar 19, 2017 9:55:30 PM | 31

You say:
/~~~~~~~~~~
@ Posted by: blues | Mar 19, 2017 4:03:06 PM | 15

Agree with your general premise, yet undermined by a claim of 20,000 tactical Nuclear weapons ... the best estimate is somewhere between a realistic ~1,000 to an outside ~2,500, from sources such as FAS, ACA, Lowy Institute, etc. The estimate for US is ~500, which seems extremely low-ball, probably closer to ~1,500. A tactical nuke is likely to be launched by either side if a conventional WWIII kicked off, the moment a dire battlefield situation becomes SHTF!, resulting in a response, escalation, and we're all ash. Endlessly documented we've been prepared to use Nukes tactically since '47.
\~~~~~~~~~~

I must say; over the years I've become hugely more skeptical of all these hot-shots telling us how many nukes various nations possess. How can they possibly know? Somewhere in the misty past in some no-ax-to-grind Internet article I read that the Russians have vast numbers of "micro-nukes", and this does make perfect sense, military-wise. They could defend their vast borders from a WW2 German style invasion with ease. They certainly have enough reactors. And also I read that even though the French have a fair number of nukes, these nukes are actually manufactured in Germany, which ostensibly does not have nukes itself -- but simply does have the specific necessary technology. So -- I simply do not believe much of what the experts claim regarding who has what and how much.

There are many questionable but ultimately quite reasonable "rumors" about all things nuclear. Some say that before the first nuclear tests cancer was extremely rare. Some say that the so-called "depleted" uranium shells we have used to destroy all the "hundreds of thousands" of tanks in the Middle East, and elsewhere should be useless against any other type of military hardware -- and they ask "then why did we use them all"? Simple answer: They are not "depleted" at all -- rather, they are enriched -- and they undergo prompt flashover when striking solid objects -- thus effectively functioning as tiny powerful micro-nukes. So yeah, some say the Deep State has been lying non-stop about nuclear issues since WW2. I never expected them to tell me any truth to begin with.

Posted by: blues | Mar 20, 2017 1:06:42 AM | 45

@3

Yup, I've noticed on a brand new machines with fresh install of Firefox YouTube serves 3 top videos as anti-Trump consistently. They were low in hit count, much lower than some other internet talk show broadcasts, in the millions, but YT served up MSM fake news to me instead. The algorithm is just tweaked that way.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Mar 20, 2017 1:31:47 AM | 46

Blues 44
Just a US method of disposing of depleted uranium. Much easier than storing the stuff.
Cancer also correlates with the introduction of copper water pipes.
Water from copper water pipes doubles or more the daily intake of copper.
From research, and experience in experimenting with copper supplements, copper encourages abnormal growths. Copper is required for new blood vessels. Vitamin C depletes copper reserves.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 20, 2017 1:47:21 AM | 47

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 19, 2017 5:59:27 PM | 21

It is election time in Germany. If Social Democrats want to they can reenact the German disarmament movement. Being useless Social Democrats they probably won't.

Merkel met Trump with all the heads of the German export industry. Trump is basicall doing blackmail - the Saudi Arabian model. If Germans don't spend their tax on subventions for the US industrial/military complex the US will close their market.

Germany probably will support a European defense with France and Italy and Trump will close the US market to European export. It is win win.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 20, 2017 1:48:28 AM | 48

add: The European Brexit battle will be interesting

Posted by: somebody | Mar 20, 2017 1:51:16 AM | 49

Re: blues | Mar 20, 2017 1:06:42 AM | 44 There are many questionable but ultimately quite reasonable "rumors" about all things nuclear. Some say that before the first nuclear tests cancer was extremely rare. Some say that the so-called "depleted" uranium shells we have used to destroy all the "hundreds of thousands" of tanks in the Middle East, and elsewhere should be useless against any other type of military hardware -- and they ask "then why did we use them all"? Simple answer: They are not "depleted" at all -- rather, they are enriched -- and they undergo prompt flashover when striking solid objects -- thus effectively functioning as tiny powerful micro-nukes.

Blues, you criticize Outraged for exaggerating the number of Russian tactical nuclear weapons (there are really no good sources for this anymore, but it is a fact that the Soviets had tens of thousands of them by the mid-1980s, and who knows how many actually were dismantled), but then you go on to imply that "hundreds of thousands of tanks" is a "reasonable" estimate of tanks destroyed in the ME? I think that "reasonable" number is off by a couple orders of magnitude.

Also, DU is certainly not enriched; check the meaning of depleted. DU is pyrophoric, the DU projectile begins burning the moment it is fired. At the point of impact, it burns away as vapor, keeping the projectile sharp, and turning the inside of a tank into an inferno when it breaks through the armor. But there is no nuclear detonation there . . . uranium must be enriched to at least 20% U235 before it becomes weapons usable; depleted uranium has maybe 2 tenths of one percent U235.

Anyway, you don't need a nuclear detonation to destroy a single tank.

Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 20, 2017 2:10:13 AM | 50

Timothy Snyder writes in the New York Daily News today that Russia has occupied the United States and Americans must now start a Resistance to oppose this occupation.

We lost a war: Russia’s interference in our election was much more than simple mischief-making

We no longer need to wonder what it would be like to lose a war on our own territory. We just lost one to Russia, and the consequence was the election of Donald Trump. The war followed the new rules of the 21st century, but its goal was the usual one of political change.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 20, 2017 2:11:15 AM | 51

@50
Poor buggers. Givem some Johny Cash.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnT7CMMu8_I

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 20, 2017 2:28:39 AM | 52

@ Perimetr | Mar 20, 2017 2:10:13 AM | 49

Damn! You must be smoking way too much of that "special blend"! You completely misunderstood just about every single thing I was stating! You say:

"Blues, you criticize Outraged for exaggerating the number of Russian tactical nuclear weapons..."

No! Outraged said that I myself was the one who exaggerated that number. You say:

"....but then you go on to imply that "hundreds of thousands of tanks" is a "reasonable" estimate of tanks destroyed in the ME? I think that "reasonable" number is off by a couple orders of magnitude."

No! I was only using a way hyperbolic overstatement about the possible number of tanks to prove that there could not have existed nearly enough tanks for all of those enriched uranium shells to destroy.

So therefor the shells were tiny nuclear bombs used to destroy city blocks and such when they hit. I postulated that they were not "DU" shells at all (as advertised), but were really somewhat enriched uranium shells, which underwent prompt flashover when they slammed into anything solid (like pavement or a stone building) and thus produced radiation and a small nuclear fireball. In other words, they were simply tiny nuclear bombs. (The tanks could just as easily have been destroyed with tungsten shells, since the guns or launch systems would have propelled them with the same amount of energy.)

Posted by: blues | Mar 20, 2017 5:06:20 AM | 53

Now, that's truly threatening of Russia and DANGEROUS!

the really scary thing is that the facetiousness inherent in the above is still lost on so many. between the prevalence of pinheads and the gobs of duplicitous douchebags the bar sinks ever lower...

the hollow laughter ringing in the real world barely disguises its incumbent sense of horror.

Posted by: john | Mar 20, 2017 6:57:35 AM | 54

@Perimetr

RE: laserlurk | Mar 19, 2017 4:14:21 PM | 16 But, let us remind ourselves once more - nobody ever goes to war with Russia. This is just the fact.

Nobody . . . like Napoleon and Adolf Hitler?

Everyone knows what happened to those two when they tried.
So, no conventional war with Russia ever after that, even NATO understands that.

Posted by: laserlurk | Mar 20, 2017 6:57:58 AM | 55

@50
(Russia occupying the U.S.)

From New York Review of Books to New York Daily News...looks like the esteemed Yale history prof is
having a harder time finding an outlet for his conspiratorial, Russophobic rantings!

Posted by: Captain Cook | Mar 20, 2017 7:07:04 AM | 56

blues@52 Tungsten shells are not as efficient at destroying armour as depleted uranium, which as well as being very cheap and heavier has unique 'self sharpening'qualities which when striking armour burns through it and explodes inside the vehicle. You are right in the sense that they produce radiation, when the shells explode tiny molucules of uranium dust can pollute a large area and invade the lungs and cause cancers, as is evidenced in studies of cancer rates in Iraq.
"New report: evidence that depleted uranium can cause cancer now overwhelming
A new analysis of nearly 50 peer-reviewed studies has concluded that the chemically toxic and radioactive weapons constituent depleted uranium (DU) can damage DNA and cause cancer, the report calls for urgent studies into the extent to which civilians are being exposed to the substance.http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/depleted-uranium-cancer-evidence-overwhelming

Posted by: harrylawh | Mar 20, 2017 7:08:36 AM | 57

Long ago when I was a kid we used to play with plastic soldiers. We'd set them up, then threw'dirt clods' at them. Being God-like we 'blew up' both sides with a certain deadly aplomb. I recall those days as I read this blog - a bunch of kids throwing dirt clods (in the alleged form of thought) at each others plastic armies.

Of course, this does include me too! Just a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks playing ... .

Pathetic bunch, aren't we?

Posted by: c de toro | Mar 20, 2017 8:26:50 AM | 58

jackrabbit 2
I've used Google News and still sometimes do. They claim it selects news stories based on algorithms. In the past I liked the way they offered different sources for the same stories which allowed different perspectives and gathering more information. However, as Corbett and others have pointed out, Google News can also have a bias towards certain stories/agendas. It still takes a bit of work to make it try to do the right thing.

As to Russian stockpiles, it's like Russia putting equipment at Kalinin while NATO moves about in the Baltic Sea. Tit for tat. What we and our allies do is good but what they do is bad. They are the enemy ... or so the story goes.

Posted by: Curtis | Mar 20, 2017 9:25:46 AM | 59

Outraged at 9, thx for the numbers. If one compares per capita military expenditure, Russia’s nos (small pop of 143 M. as compared to large USA, China, EU, India…) ‘sink’ even more, or if one prefers then come closer to a more ‘realistic’ measure. — Links are just off top of goog.

For ex. based on SIPRI nos. per cap: Russia 467, France 783, GB 869, but Spain 299.. One can also try to relate the expenditure to territory (no links, but an interesting exercise..), so Russia tosses peanuts to defend a yuge area.

Second, it is all very well having a lot of matériel. A whole other ball of wa-x or wa-R is, can the milit. store, maintain, upgrade it, etc. and one day use it in some a-hem ‘productive’ way? In what situations, to accomplish what?

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

https://jakubmarian.com/military-expenditures-per-capita-and-as-of-gdp-in-europe/

http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Military/Personnel/Per-capita

(Note all nos. in this area are super skeevy, as each country has its own definition of both matériel / men, imports/exports, etc. Plus transfers are mostly not tracked, counted.)

The US appears, as usual, to believe that throwing money at x will have quasi-automatic, laudable results, will do the job which isn’t so in military affairs. Even Reuters expresses some doubts (details worth a look):

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-shipbuilding-insight-idUSKBN16O142

Defense, education, healthcare, if run as ‘for-profit’ schemes will ultimately stagger and fail. The arms trade is a money-making racket.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 20, 2017 11:02:02 AM | 60

@22, Piotr Berman

Note that the Russian Federation has military budget that is several times smaller than American,

Linear, dyadic comparison of military budgets is not a good metric. In fact, it could be extremely misleading. While there is no denial that NATO is an aggressive block and that US has an astronomical military budget, the issue of real firepower (war is not a liner affair) and cost/effectiveness ratios (bang for a buck), when viewed against the background of national military doctrines, provides a much better understanding of real ratios. As an example: Russia does not need 11 Carrier Battle Groups, she may end up in the future with 2 or 3, the most. She simply doesn't need those since is a classic Sea Denial, not Sea Control nation. Russian weapons, apart from being a world class, are simply way more affordable.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Mar 20, 2017 11:13:45 AM | 61

@ harrylawh | Mar 20, 2017 7:08:36 AM | 56

People are still not getting what I postulated!

I proposed that the "DU shells" are not DU at all, but rather more highly enriched U235 ultra-micro-fission bombs that exploded and destroyed city blocks upon high-speed impact. Why else were there so many of them launched at so few actual tanks?

Have you tested them for isotope content?

Posted by: blues | Mar 20, 2017 11:16:44 AM | 62

@ Posted by: Noirette | Mar 20, 2017 11:02:02 AM | 59

Good links, especially the last by Rueters.

The arms trade is a money-making racket.

Indeed. War profiteers love it. Though the issue here, IMV, is the entire Defense Budget and to a lesser degree that of vassal nations such as NATO, particularly the premier members. It is all a ~71 years old ongoing systemic rort, as commented on @ 31.

Historically we always demobilized after a War and decommissioned arms, arms factories, drastically pared back Budget allocations, etc, see post WWI as an example.

However, the enormous profits being made by bankers/financiers hand-in-hand with Arms manufacturers/War profiteers in the lead up to late entry into WWII, see arms sales & transfers to UK and Lend-Lease to UK, Russia and allied nations, resulted in those vested interests being determined to NOT see a demobilization nor wind-down of the newly established 'Defense'/Arms manufacture and even more profitable, maintenance, support, upgrade/replacement/refurbishment of enormous masses of materiel, as well as R&D programs. There was no desire to allow a re-tooling of factories or dismantlement of expensive R&D centers working on the 'next big thing', none.

Hence, with Trumans 'insertion' as VP for the anticipated subsequent Presidential ascendancy re FDRs imminent death, not only was the full WWII arms industry maintained, it was expanded, defense budget year after year ... and the Red Scare/McCarthyism, missile/bomb/mineshaft gap fabricated and entrenched within the very structure of the economy and government ... and here we are 'at peace', ~71 years later, listening to the same strident hollow shrill propaganda re the Evil™ Russkies, now unequivocally militarily a mere shadow of the former USSR 'offensive' capabilities, and spending the adjusted USD equivalent of the height of WWII !

All for the ongoing benefit of the 0.01%, generation after generation.

Economics is not my field nor closely follow, however, IIRC they have or about to have cleared their national debt ? Yet we owe ~21-23Trillion ?

The Russians figured it out years ago. Hence they changed their primary focus to cost-effective capable Nuclear parity or even slight technological supremacy, in conjunction with 'sufficient', selective, highly targeted advanced 'defensive' weapons systems/platforms ... a virtual line in the sand re direct open war ... and if it's crossed, we're all ash, and it's LOSE-LOSE all 'round.

Honest professional military & analysts with some integrity acknowledge this. Our Defense budgets/industries/contractors & the masses of materiel they produce (or useably don't) are a ponzi scheme ...

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 20, 2017 12:13:23 PM | 63

@ blues | Mar 20, 2017 11:16:44 AM | 62
There is no such a thing as micro-fission. You need a critical mass of U-235 for chain reaction to happen.

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 20, 2017 1:12:58 PM | 64

Outraged@31

It just now strikes me that the meme 'evil Russia' has become more than an attempt to mindwash the public. They surely know by now that ship has sailed, that dog won't hunt etc. etc. What it is resembles now the password that in the dead of night is shouted to the triggerhappy guardian of Fort Knox. All it says is "Don't shoot! I am one of you!" And as a password, what it says is totally meaningless. It's the same as saying 'My wife wears blue shoes" whilst knowing there's not a blue pair in her overflowing closet.

In a way, that's progress.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 20, 2017 2:38:20 PM | 65

julianna

Thats naive of you unfortunately, the anti-russian propaganda works, majority of people in europe and probably the US hate Russia so it is just stupid to say MSM propaganda dont work, it works very well and to realize this is to recognize the urge to actually do something about it before its too late..

Perhaps we see a continuation of this: Operation Mockingbird:

MOCKINGBIRD MIRROR: Declassified Docs Depict Deeper Link Between the CIA and American Media
http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/03/01/mockingbird-mirror-declassified-docs-depict-deeper-link-between-the-cia-and-american-media/

Posted by: Anonymou_s | Mar 20, 2017 3:32:58 PM | 66

@16 laserlurk writes

But, let us remind ourselves once more - nobody ever goes to war with Russia.

This is just the fact.

Yeah, that's actually not a "fact" at all."Nobody is overly at war with Russia at the moment" is a fact. It is also a fact that countries have gone to war against Russia in the past and may do so again in the future. Hence, your "fact" is simply BS.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Mar 20, 2017 3:57:00 PM | 67

Outraged @40 , PeterAU 42 & 43

Yes, agreed -- who can really tell beyond what is reported that figures match the facts?

One thing to note is the apparent cooperation around Manbij by US/RUS units, suggesting that the backstage lines are working as they are supposed to. Another thing to note is the continued deployment of SF troops around Africa and the newly revived Jungle Ops training facility in Hawaii. Seems to point towards expanding or evolving conflict management by ground level covert ops, one possibility.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=SF+troops+deploying+to+Africa&t=opera&ia=images

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Jungle+Ops+training+Hawaii&t=opera&ia=web

Business as usual, yes? Maybe letting some pressure off rather than buildup of explosive gases. I would also guess that the Syria situation will continue to fade after Aleppo as eyeballs rotate towards the potential breakup of the EU. All hopefully leading to a lessening of the nuke rhetoric, provided the McCainazis age out of the system.

Posted by: stumpy | Mar 20, 2017 4:49:01 PM | 68

Do they have Fer de Lance in Hawaii?

Posted by: stumpy | Mar 20, 2017 4:50:04 PM | 69

@ Posted by: juliania | Mar 20, 2017 2:38:20 PM | 65
@ Posted by: Anonymou_s | Mar 20, 2017 3:32:58 PM | 66

Would consider you are both, correct ... and the wide-open, ongoing, 'Comment Wars' on neutral/objective social media sides tell the story and are the literal evidence ...

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 20, 2017 8:03:13 PM | 70

@ Posted by: stumpy | Mar 20, 2017 4:49:01 PM | 68

An important point. The ongoing and considerable behind the scenes efforts by US & Russian forces to de-escalate in physical proximity/risk throughout a fragmented multi-party war zone, Syria, belies the myth of wishing to usher in an imminent WWIII ... yet, miscalculations & accidents can and do happen ... better for one party to 'exit' and therefore avoid the possibility of that risk all together ... yet one has made a 'stand' and the other is filled with hubris and determined not to lose 'face' :(

Peter AU makes a salient observation re 'temporary' troop rotations, that also includes tanker/AWACs/surveillance aircraft, naval vessels, fighters & Bombers (B-52s) in many theaters too ... none 'deployed' or 'based' ... yet still, there.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 20, 2017 8:14:20 PM | 71

@71 "....tanker/AWACs/surveillance aircraft, naval vessels, fighters & Bombers (B-52s) in many theaters too ... none 'deployed' or 'based' ... yet still, there."

They have to do something with all the stuff. It's a massive industry. Hopefully they can just keep moving it around without any accidents.

Posted by: dh | Mar 20, 2017 8:25:18 PM | 72

@ Posted by: dh | Mar 20, 2017 8:25:18 PM | 72

LOL :)

Or perhaps find an applicable, alternative:

The Story of 'Stuff'

Peace. Salaam. Shalom.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 20, 2017 8:40:02 PM | 73

Meanwhile, the owners of the process send a clear signal, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4332818/Inside-billionaire-bunkers-bought-super-rich.html

As the stall poets reminded us back in the prep school days, flush twice, it's a long way to the kitchen.

Posted by: stumpy | Mar 21, 2017 12:13:10 PM | 74

After reading some of the comments here and at SST (Andy notes that US/Coalition aircraft struck in the area earlier that day) I wonder if the Israeli air attack on Palmyra was meant to be a false flag.

The attack seems similar to the US attack on Deir Ez-or last fall and if attributed to US/Coalition forces might have put an end to improved US-Russian relations.

It has been noted that the Israeli's were unusually frank afterward - perhaps because the FF failed so they had to offer a plausible explanation?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 21, 2017 1:39:22 PM | 75

@ hopehely | Mar 20, 2017 1:12:58 PM | 64

You say:
"There is no such a thing as micro-fission. You need a critical mass of U-235 for chain reaction to happen."

Have you tested this yourself? Maybe a strong enough physical shock could shake the atoms and the neutrons would just fall out like ripe apples on an old apple tree?

Would they tell us?

Posted by: blues | Mar 21, 2017 3:42:56 PM | 76

@ Blues
With the number of DU projectiles used, if these things where exploding like small atomic bombs, there would be reports somewhere, in social media at least, of radiation burns.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 21, 2017 4:34:55 PM | 77

@63 outraged

From _Russia and the West under Lenin_ by George Kennan (1960):
"Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy."

We lost the Evil Russians as an enemy in 1989, then had to settle for the Arc of Instability as our Enemy until 9/11/2001 and the "New Pearl Harbor", at which point we had Terror; but then it turned out that organized Terror, the International Islamist Conspiracy to Dominate the World, was largely the US's own creation. So now we've cycled back to the Evil Russians. After all, it _would_ be hard to float the meme that Andorra or San Marino have missile silos and carriers... Liechtenstein?

Posted by: Gene Poole | Mar 23, 2017 5:26:36 AM | 78

A few facts:

1) US Tanks Pouring Into Norway Caves For ‘Russia War’

2) Hastings Lionel "Pug" Ismay (21 June 1887 – 17 December 1965) was a British soldier and diplomat, remembered primarily for his role as Winston Churchill's chief military assistant during the Second World War and his service as the first Secretary General of NATO from 1952 to 1957.


On the purpose of NATO: "To keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down."

On NATO "I am convinced that the present solution is only a partial one, aimed at guarding the heart. It must grow until the whole free world gets under one umbrella."

On the Festival of Britain, "We are consciously and deliberately determined to make history."

3) The Evils of "Free Trade" -- From the Potato Famine to the Opium Wars, to "Shock Therapy", to Currency Wars

4) VT Nuclear Education: History of Mini-Nukes | Veterans Today

Posted by: ProPeace | Mar 23, 2017 11:27:24 AM | 79

@79 Re 1) It's all about saving tax dollars.

https://youtu.be/SAQQ7kdqmlU

Posted by: dh | Mar 23, 2017 12:34:02 PM | 80

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