It’s finally happened! For so many years the world has been alternately frightened, reassured, and blackmailed by the idea of European and Asian markets getting massive amounts of American liquefied natural gas (LNG) sourced from shale. And now that has come to pass...
This is the best-written news-commentary I’ve ever seen: Paul Craig Roberts on the U.S. newsmedia. It’s not merely a historical account, but the cited events are placed into their true context, which makes it shocking (since such truthfulness is almost never published, anywhere; the public just rarely gets to see it — and, when they do, it gets drowned-out by the constant flood of propaganda)...
The new Bakhcha-U-PDS parachute system is going through tests to check its capability of parachuting BMD-4M airborne assault vehicles right into the battle with crew aboard, allowing forces to be rapidly deployed behind enemy lines. It will join service with the Russian Airborne Troops or VDV – which is a separate branch from the Ground Forces – this year.
Appearing in the March 15 edition of The Spectator, Matthew Dal Santo's article «In Defence of the Romanovs: the Centenary of the February Revolution« falls short (to my liking) in expressing a good defense (pardon my American preferred English spelling) of the Russian monarchy. Excerpted from Dal Santo's piece...
With Senator John McCain in his last term in the U.S. Congress and Senator Lindsey Graham in potential political trouble in South Carolina in 2020, the neo-conservatives have their high hopes set on freshman Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska. Sasse is the new face among cheerleaders in the U.S. Senate advocating further sanctions on Russia, a full investigation of alleged links between the Donald Trump presidential campaign and Russia, and full-throttle support for NATO and numerous free trade agreements.
As President Trump careers erratically and emotionally from tweet to tweet the world wonders what can possibly come next. There seems to be no limit to his flights of polemic, and one of those on March 4 concerned an assertion that he had been spied upon by his predecessor, Barack Obama, which he considered «Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!» He followed this by «How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!»
Turkey’s relationship with the EU and NATO appears to have plumbed new lows. Ankara’s agreement with the EU to help hold back a flood of migrants is about to end. On March 13, Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus announced the freeze amid an escalating row over Turkish officials' access to the Netherlands. Another Deputy Prime Minister, Nurettin Canikli, also said steps would be taken to reevaluate Ankara’s agreement with Brussels to prevent refugees and migrants from crossing into the EU after they transit Turkey...
There are different views on the significance of the Senate’s conformation of Daniel Coats as Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on March 15. The DNI is charged with facilitating smoother information sharing between the 16 agencies comprising the US national intelligence community, coordinating and integrating intelligence and breaking down stove-pipes. Some believe the appointment is routine, others think it’s an event of great significance. It all depends on how serious the US president is about his pledge to reform the national intelligence community...
There is only one Cabinet-level federal Department that is so wasteful — so corrupt (&/or incompetent) — that its financial records can’t even be audited, meaning that no auditors can be found who will certify its books: the Defense Department, otherwise called «the Pentagon» — it’s 54% of the Fiscal Year 2016 federal budget for all Departments of discretionary (i.e., legally non-obligatory) federal spending...
If it is the rollback of Iran’s regional influence that seems to be the US’ number one priority in Syria, when it comes to Libya, it seems to be the old story of gaining control of its vast oil resources. Unsurprisingly, Libya’s oil ports have become the focus of months of fighting.
The geopolitics of US-China tensions over Korea, as well as the other territorial rows in the South China Sea and in the East Sea regarding Japan, are indeed all profoundly fraught. The risk of a war breaking out between the US and China from these multiple tensions is a real danger. Especially because of Washington’s habit of being high-handed in a region that arguably it has no normative reason for meddling in.