"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Thursday, March 1, 2018

FATIMA WATCH: Putin Unveils New Russian Missile That Can Reach ‘Any Point In The World’

FATIMA WATCH: Putin Unveils New Russian Missile That Can Reach ‘Any Point In The World’

On the heels of news that the United States is posturing ships in the Black Sea near Russia’s border, Vladimir Putin revealed a slew of new defense systems Thursday, including a new prototype missile that “can reach any point in the world.” He also has a supersonic weapon that cannot be tracked by anti-missile systems.

According to CNBC, Putin joked that the two new strategic nuclear weapons he described (the global cruise missile and the subsurface unmanned vehicle) did not have names yet and lawmakers could submit their suggestions via the Defense Ministry website. Also alarming, was his speech on when the Russians would use nuclear weapons. When delivering his annual State of the Union address, Putin also said that, if attacked, Russia was ready to use nuclear weapons in defense.
“We see increased opportunities with the armed forces,” he said. “We’ve done a lot to strengthen our army and navy and they are equipped with modern weaponry.” He then showed the audience a video of how one of the prototype missiles would work, explaining that the new system would have no limitations on its range. “It can attack any target, through the North or South Pole, it is a powerful weapon and no missile defense system will be able to withstand,” the president said.
Putin also said Russia had another weapon that was a “small nuclear power energy system”  (a nuclear warhead) that can be deployed on a cruise missile system that can also, he claimed, “avoid all interceptors.” He said the country had tested this cruise missile with the “nuclear power energy unit” in 2017 and it was successful. Russia would also start manufacturing this weapon right now, he added. “This is unheard of and nobody else has such a system in the world. They might create something like this in the future but by then our guys will have created something new as well.”
Putin also declared to his audience “but even this is not the end,” unveiling a system capable of destroying intercontinental targets with “hypersonic” speed.  “I’m pleased to inform you that after certain experiments, we are sure that soon Russia’s strategic missile forces will have a new system capable of destroying intercontinental targets with hypersonic speed and high-precision, able to maneuver both in terms of its course and altitude. There are no systems like that in the world.” He said Russia had been open about the development of such a system but that “nobody listened to us, but listen to us now.” Lawmakers then gave Putin a standing ovation.

Nuclear war between Russia and US will bring end to civilization’ 

By training its European allies to use their nuclear arms, the US is moving towards an atomic war with Russia, forgetting that it would mean the end of the human civilization, retired Lieutenant General Evgeny Buzhinsky told RT.
The US military is preparing the armed forces of the European countries for the use of tactical nukes against Russia, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, said on Wednesday. He added that the presence of American non-strategic nuclear weapons in Europe is a major stumbling block in the path of disarmament.
“No one can say how serious the threat really is” from the US actions, Buzhinsky, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the PIR-Center, said. However, he pointed out that “the military people are getting ready. The Russian military is preparing and the American military does the same. And it’s for the politicians to warn the public that such preparations are being made.”

The Americans keep toying with nuclear arms in Europe as if they are forgetting that “there’ll be no one left on Earth” if such weapons are employed, the retired Lieutenant General said. The events will develop rapidly and have disastrous consequences for everybody if one of the sides carries out a nuclear attack against another, he warmed.
If Russia “will be hit with nuclear weapons, we’ll deliver a counterstrike,” the expert for the PIR-Center, which researches international security and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, said. “Russian and American strategic forces kicking into action would mean hundreds of megatons of nuclear munitions striking the territory of the US and Russia.”
“We are located on the Eurasian Plate, which gives us (Russia) a slight tectonic advantage. As for the North American continent, it will surely crack” as a result of a Russian nuclear counterstrike. “It’ll be the end of civilization. There can be no doubt about that,” he added.
Buzhinsky assured that Russia wouldn’t be caught by surprise if the US uses its nuclear arsenal against it. “The Armed Forces are ready for everything. President Putin spoke about it on numerous occasions and everybody is aware of it,” he said.
READ MORE: Anti-Russian & ‘nothing to do with reality’: Moscow lambastes US Nuclear Posture Review
An estimated 200 of the US B61 nuclear bombs are hosted by Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and other European countries as part of NATO’s nuclear-sharing program. Moscow views the presence of American nuclear arms and anti-missile defense on the European continent as a threat to its national security.

US Approves Sale of 210 Javelin Anti-Tank Missiles to Ukraine


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the United States of hurdling international nuclear disarmament efforts by training European armies to use tactical nuclear weapons against Russia.
Addressing the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on Wednesday, Lavrov said the US military had deployed strategic and non-strategic weapons across Europe and was using them in joint military exercises with other European countries, including the NATO military alliance’s non-nuclear members.
"As we all know, these nuclear missions violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and non-nuclear states plan and take part in the US exercises and learn how to use the nuclear weapons," he said.
"It should be clear to one and all that the US military thereby prepares the European countries for using tactical nuclear weapons against Russia," Lavrov added.
Besides prohibiting proliferation of nuclear arms, the NPT bans states from transferring nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices, or their control, to other countries.
Lavrov said the US nuclear pileup in European countries was "not just a Cold War rudiment, but an outspokenly aggressive stance."
Recollecting America's record as the only country to ever use nuclear weapons, Lavrov called on European people to stop the trend.
"I hope that the European citizens will manage to say a firm ‘NO’ to the deployment in their territory of weapons of mass destruction that belong to a country that had already used them once against the population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," Lavrov said.
US-Russia denuclearization efforts
The top Russian diplomat said Moscow remained committed to a joint denuclearization agreement that requires both sides to downsize their arsenals.
According to Lavrov, Russia has cut its arsenal down by more than 85 percent under the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms compared to what it was at the height of the Cold War.
The treaty, which was signed in 2010 and entered into force a year later, stipulates reducing nuclear warheads to 1,550 while slashing strategic carriers such as submarines and aircraft to 700 units.
Lavrov then pointed to America's revised nuclear weapons policy under President Donald Trump and said it had raised concerns in Moscow and overshadowed the "impressive achievements" of both sides in implementing the joint treaty.
The Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which was released earlier this month, came largely to counter Russia and China, effectively ending efforts by former President Barack Obama to reduce the size and scope of the US arsenal and minimize the role of nuclear weapons in the country's military doctrine.
Additionally, the report called for the development of new nuclear sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs) and the deployment of the Trident D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) that will be modified to have lower yield nuclear warheads.
Lavrov said that the NPR "enhances the role of nuclear weapons in different ways, including the creation and deployment of low-yield warheads, thus lowering the threshold of using nuclear weapons."

Nobody listened to us. Listen now': Putin warns the U.S. with nuclear weapons display

He made his point with videos including intercontinental missiles and a hypersonic system that he said 'heads for its target like a meteorite'

Russian President Vladimir Putin stands after giving his annual state of the nation address in Manezh in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, March 1, 2018. Putin set a slew of ambitious economic goals, vowing to boost living standards, improve health care and education and build modern infrastructure in a state-of-the-nation address.Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
(Bloomberg) — Vladimir Putin used his state-of-the-nation speech to deliver a stern warning to the U.S. that Russia has a series of new high-technology nuclear weapons that he said can overcome any defenses.
“Efforts to contain Russia have failed, face it,” Putin said in a nearly two-hour address he illustrated with video clips of the new arms, which included underwater drones, intercontinental missiles and a hypersonic system he said “heads for its target like a meteorite.”
The unusual display of military might was the most dramatic element of the speech, which started with pledges to deliver a “decisive breakthrough” to boost living standards and raise spending on health and infrastructure. Putin used the annual address to lay out priorities for the fourth presidential term he’s expected to win easily in the March 18 election. But the toughest language was aimed at the U.S.
He said Russia had long warned Washington not to go ahead with anti-missile systems that Moscow feared could erode its nuclear deterrent. “Nobody listened to us. Listen now,” he said, to a loud ovation from the crowd of legislators, officials and dignitaries.
Russia's growing military might is a reliable guarantee of peace on our planet because it ensures the strategic balance in the world
“We’re not threatening anyone,” Putin said of the new weapons. “Russia’s growing military might is a reliable guarantee of peace on our planet because it ensures the strategic balance in the world.”
He singled out a new U.S. nuclear-strategy document as threatening to lower the threshold for using the weapons. He warned that any use of nuclear arms against Russia or its allies would meet a “immediate response.”
While past addresses had been staid affairs held in the Kremlin’s ornate Georgievsky Hall, this year’s was moved to the Manezh exhibition venue nearby to allow Putin to show the videos and animated charts on a giant screen behind him. The new weapons were shown in computerized animations evading defences as they headed toward targets, sometimes appearing to be in North America.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (background) stands on the stage while addressing 
the Federal Assembly at Moscow’s Manezh exhibition centre on March 01, 2018.  
The address is his first major policy statement since he formally kicked off his campaign for the presidential elections. Putin, 65, is all but certain to win re-election for a fourth and likely final term to extend his rule to 2024. With factions jostling for advantage over the succession, his biggest challenge will be to build a team and a system capable of sustaining Putinism after he leaves office.
While his approval ratings have remained consistently above 80 percent since the 2014 annexation of Crimea, public discontent is rising amid weak economic growth that’s followed the longest recession this century. Many of his promises from his last campaign have remained unfulfilled amid the weak economic performance. Deepening tensions with the West threaten to further isolate the Kremlin.
In this Tuesday, May 9, 2017 file photo, a Russian Topol M 
intercontinental ballistic missile launcher rolls along Red Square 
during the Victory Day military parade to celebrate 72 years since 
the end of the Second World War and the defeat of Nazi Germany,
 in Moscow, Russia. Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Photo
Putin addressed domestic issues head on in the speech Thursday, pledging to cut the 20-million-strong ranks of Russia’s poor by half by the middle of the next decade and boost incomes across the country. He called for raising spending on roads, healthcare, pensions, and efforts to reverse the decline in Russia’s population. He also called for making “hard decisions” on long-overdue reforms, but didn’t spell them out.

China Prepares For New Cold War With Massive Military Buildup

As we have been documenting for quite some time, China has been not-so-quietly transforming itself into a serious threat to the West - beefing up its military to contend with the Washington's air, sea, space and cyber weapons capabilities, while scrapping constitutional term limits for President Xi Jinping.
Since 2000, China has built more submarines, destroyers, frigates and corvettes than Japan, South Korea and India combined. To put this further into perspective, the total tonnage of new warships and auxiliaries launched by China in the last four years alone is significantly greater than the total tonnage of the French navy. -IISS
Analysts on both sides of the Pacific believe Xi's aggressive military buildup and power grab have put Beijing on a direct course for conflict with Washington - with the heavy U.S. presence in the region setting the stage for a new Cold War.

In the Asia-Pacific, the dominant role of the United States in a political and military sense will have to be readjusted,” said Cui Liru, former president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a think tank under the Ministry of State Security that often reflects official thinking. “It doesn’t mean U.S. interests must be sacrificed. But if the U.S. insists on a dominant role forever, that’s a problem.” Cui added that it was "not normal for China to be under U.S. dominance forever. You can’t justify dominance forever."
China’s military objective is to break through the first chain of islands,” said Mr. Cui, referring to the waters beyond Japan and Taiwan where the Chinese military wants to establish a presence. -NYT
China's navy is also deploying further from home, including Europe, while their base in the Eastern African country of Djibouti will enable more naval deployments. In terms of military computing technology, China has also set out on an ambitious course, as vast resources have been sunk into "extremely high-performance computing and quantum communications," which, along with their weapons advancements and overall defense capabilities mean the country is no longer merely "catching up" with Western progress.
Meanwhile, Xi and other Chinese officials are of the firm belief that the United States is a superpower in decline - which will require China to step into the vacuum left behind.
It is now clear Xi’s agenda to rebuild an Asian order with China at its center is here to stay,” said Hugh White, a scholar and former defense official in Australia who has argued that the United States must be prepared to share power with China in the Asia-Pacific region.
I think Xi is impatient,” Mr. White added. “He wants China to be the predominant power in the Western Pacific. He wants to do it himself and for it to go down in history as his achievement. That makes him formidable.” -NYT
In a keynote speech to China's Communist Party Congress last October, Xi promised to make China's armed forces world-class by the middle of the century. In a January speech, Xi told thousands of Chinese soldiers to “neither fear hardship nor death,” during an inspection visit Wednesday to the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Central Theater Command in northern Hebei province, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Xi advised the military to continue improving upon its equipment, tactics, technology, and combat readiness by engaging in “real combat training.” The Chinese president - for life, spoke of the need to “create an elite and powerful force that is always ready for the fight, capable of combat and sure to win in order to fulfill the tasks bestowed by the Party and the people in the new era.”
He [Xi] has accelerated the military’s plans to build a blue-water navy, increased spending on weaponry in outer space, and established China’s first military bases abroad. He has promoted a global infrastructure program to extend Beijing’s influence and ignored Western concerns about human rights, which have diminished under the Trump administration. -NYT
Indeed, with the rollout of stealth jets, new high-tech naval artillery such as a "secret railgun," and Chinese media reports bragging about aggressive maneuvers that "dare to shine the sword," our trading partner to the West has made it perfectly clear that they intend on being a dominant global force, both economically and militarily.

(not so) secret railgun
Last November, we reported on a secretive hypersonic weapons program, which if successful would be able to hit the United States in under 14 minutes.
China and the US have started a hypersonic race,” said Wu Dafang, professor at the school of aeronautic science and engineering at Beihang University in Beijing who received a national technology award for the invention of a new heat shield used on hypersonic vehicles in 2013.

And just two weeks ago the International Institute for Strategic Studies reported that China's rapid military modernization is "remarkable," and is set to challenge the West on several fronts.
China’s emerging weapons developments and broader defence-technological progress mean that it has become a global defence innovator” says Dr. John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive of the London-based think tank. Of note, Chipman points out that China's Chengdu J-20 low-observable combat aircraft is set to challenge America's "monopoly on operational stealthy combat aircraft."

The IISS report also notes that China's expanding array of advanced guided-weapons projects, such as the PL-15 extended range air-to-air missile which could enter service this year. "This weapon appears to be equipped with an active electronically scanned array radar, indicating that China has joined the few nations able to integrate this capability on an air-to-air missile," reports Chipman.

Trump and China
Trump has clearly changed his tune Chinese trade - declining to label them a currency manipulator last year because the "timing was bad," and refusing to impose sanctions - however the U.S. President has committed to beefing up defenses with a new nuclear policy calling for the revitalization of the nation's nuclear arsenal, while also reaching out to forge a stronger "Indo-Pacific" coalition with Australia, India and Japan in order to counter China's rapid rise.
Trump is obsessed with strategic forces,” said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University. “He is determined to maintain American military predominance in face of China’s strategic buildup. That will make the relationship more profoundly confrontational.”
Chinese analysts downplayed Trump's efforts, however, noting that the United States has been unwilling to fund the projects. “In the short term,” said Shi, “China does not care about it because the ability to form a real coalition is limited.”
Meanwhile, many feel that President Trump will be pressured into taking a harder line with China going into the midterm elections - as Democrats have signaled that they will compare his campaign promises with his softline approach to a country he spent much of the 2016 election railing against.
“Now that it’s clear that President Xi isn’t going anywhere, getting tough on China is even more of an imperative,” said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “If President Trump and Congress don’t crack down on their rapacious trade practices,” he added, “China will continue eating our lunch for years to come.”
And while Wall Street continues to broker lucrative investment-banking deals with the Chinese government, US manufacturers are growing increasingly frustrated at the prospect of competing with Chinese businesses who steal corporate secrets and regularly undercut their competition.
Manufacturers tend to be more fed up than Wall Street, which continues to do lucrative investment-banking business with the Chinese government. Technology companies have soured on China, though the market is so vast that they are still willing to consider concessions they would make nowhere else in the world.
The Trump administration reflects those fissures. Advisers like Gary D. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who both worked at Goldman Sachs, have persuaded Mr. Trump to hold off on tough trade measures against China in the past. -WSJ
Infiltrating Universities
On the national security front, the Trump administration has been using "Cold War-like terms," referring to China as a revisionist power that will try "to erode American security and prosperity." 
This extends to U.S. colleges, which according to FBI Director Christopher Wray, are underestimating the ability for Chinese students to gather sensitive national security intelligence. Public universities have long been instrumental in the development of both offensive and defensive capabilities for a multitude of US agencies such as the Department of Defense and DARPA.
"The reality is that the Chinese have turned more and more to more creative avenues using non-traditional collectors (of information)," Wray said during the Senate Intelligence Committee's annual open hearings on the greatest threats to the country.
"The use of non-traditional collectors, especially in the academic setting—whether it's professors, scientists, students—we see in almost every field office that the FBI has around the country, Wray said, adding "They're exploiting the very open research-and-development environment that we have, which we all revere, but they're taking advantage of it.'
Specifically, the FBI is “watching” programs at dozens of Confucius Institutes, funded by China’s Ministry of Education that are widely embedded within American universities and public schools to teach the Mandarin language.
The Confucius Institute program, which started operations in 2004, has been the subject of vast criticisms, concerns, and controversies during its international expansion. Many such concerns stem from the program’s close relationship to the Communist Party of China.
According to the South China Morning Post, some 350,000 Chinese students are actively enrolled at American universities, which is about thirty-five percent of the one million foreigners, said the Institute of International Education.
Bottom line: China's rapid military buildup and commitment to becoming a dominant global force will require that the United States either cede power in Asia, or face another Cold War of steadily increasing temperatures. Keep in mind - times are good. The next recession, whenever that might occur, will most certainly push already-strained economic and military relations between the Washington and Beijing into uncharted territory.

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