Tag Archives: Ukraine

War: U.S. deploys 3rd carrier group to North Korea; Russia will nuke if US or NATO enters Crimea

On the eve of Memorial Day, the world stands at the precipice of war.

(1) North Korea

As the psychopathic and likely psychotic regime of Kim Jong-un continues its saber-rattling, President Trump is standing firm by sending a third aircraft carrier group to the western Pacific.

Kenji Minemura reports for Japan’s Asahi Shimbun that on May 26, 2017, “sources close the U.S. military” said the U.S. Navy has decided to deploy a third carrier-led strike force — the USS Nimitz, one of the world’s largest warships — to the western Pacific to increase pressure on North Korea to rein in its nuclear and missile tests amid mounting concern that it will soon acquire the capability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Vincent Stewart, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, has said that Pyongyang will ultimately succeed in acquiring the technology to equip its ICBMs with nuclear warheads and threaten the U.S. mainland.

It is rare for the U.S. Navy to deploy three aircraft carriers to the same region at the same time. The deployment of Nimitz to join the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan means that three of the U.S. Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers will be deployed in the western Pacific.

The Carl Vinson strike group, which is also part of the Third Fleet, has been deployed to the Sea of Japan since late April. The Ronald Reagan strike group, which belongs to the Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan, and is in charge of the western Pacific, left its homeport on April 16. It is scheduled to carry out a joint drill with the Carl Vinson strike group, which may be joined by the Nimitz.

The Nimitz strike group, which is part of the U.S. Third Fleet, was originally scheduled to be deployed to the Middle East region, departing from its homeport, Naval Base Kitsap in Washington State, on June 1. Instead, the U.S. Navy decided to deploy the nuclear-powered Nimitz to the western Pacific for six months to deal with this latest crisis involving North Korea.

The deployment of the Nimitz also sends a signal to China to continue cooperating with the United States on this issue. President Donald Trump has said that the U.S. will independently take action against North Korea if China does not cooperate.

(2) Russia

Meanwhile, a member of Russia’s parliament told an international gathering of government security officials today that Russia would be forced to use nuclear weapons if U.S. or NATO forces entered eastern Ukraine, i.e., Crimea.

Patrick Tucker reports for Defense One, May 28, 2017, that Russian parliamentarian Vyacheslav Alekseyevich Nikonov told attendees at the GLOBSEC 2017 forum in Bratislava, Slovakia: “On the issue of NATO expansion on our borders, at some point I heard from the Russian military — and I think they are right — if U.S. forces, NATO forces, are, were, in the Crimea, in eastern Ukraine, Russia is undefendable militarily in case of conflict without using nuclear weapons in the early stage of the conflict.”

While the Soviet Union maintained a policy against the first use of nukes, Putin’s government turned away from that strict prohibition in 2000 with the signing of a new military doctrine that allows for the limited use of nuclear weapons “in response to large-scale aggression utilizing conventional weapons in situations critical to the national security of the Russian Federation.”

But Amy Wolf, a nuclear weapons specialist with the Congressional Research Service, points out that “This is not new, and has been a part of Russian military doctrine for years,” and that although Russia could resort to the use of nuclear weapons first, “There is little indication that Russia plans to use nuclear weapons at the outset of a conflict, before it has engaged with conventional weapons”.

So why is the Russian government telegraphing its willingness to go nuclear in Ukraine/Crimea? In a word, NATO.

Russia has watched with concern as NATO has added a dozen eastern members that used to be under Moscow’s sway. Nikonov said, “For us, [NATO] is a military alliance spanning three-quarters of the global defense money, now planning to expand that figure.”

In the two years since Russia annexed Crimea, NATO’s Baltic members have doubled their defense budgets. In 2018, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia are projected to spend nearly $670 million, up from $210 million in 2014. Craig Caffrey, principal analyst at IHS Jane’s, remarked last October: “This growth is faster than any other region globally. In 2005, the region’s total defense budget was $930 million. By 2020, the region’s defense budget will be $2.1 billion.”

NATO has been expanding its troop presence in Eastern Europe as well. In April 2016, during the Warsaw summit, NATO agreed to increase the size of the NATO force deployed to Baltics to enhance its forward presence. In January 2017, the U.S. deployed some 4,000 troops to Poland. The following month, Germany, announced that it will send some 1,000 troops to  Lithuania.

Update (June 7, 2017):

The U.S. has removed two aircraft carrier groups from the coast off North Korea. (Source)

H/t FOTM‘s josephbc69

~Eowyn

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White House reached goal of taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees Monday

O laughs

From MSN: The White House will reach its goal, articulated a year ago, of taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees into the U.S. on Monday afternoon. A plane carrying the refugees has departed Jordan and will soon land in the U.S., CBS News’ Margaret Brennan reports.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that we will meet this goal more than a month ahead of schedule. Our 10,000th Syrian refugee will arrive this afternoon,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in a statement.

Between last October and the end of this September, the U.S. is expected to admit a total of at least 85,000 refugees, Rice said, including from countries like Burma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Iraq, Somalia, Ukraine, among many others.

President Obama said last year that would admit 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the fiscal year. Monday’s announcement means the White House attained its goal a month ahead of schedule, an achievement due at least in large part to a surge of State Department and Homeland Security officials deployed to the Middle East to help process a backlog of applications. The 10,000 are a significant increase over the 1,500 the U.S. was on track to admit in 2015. 

An overwhelmingly majority of the refugees, 80 percent, who have already resettled in the U.S. are women and children under the age of 18, according to the State Department. Data also shows that 96 percent of the refugees are Muslim.

U.S. officials say that the refugees have gone through extensive vetting, which not only involved numerous interviews but also intelligence-driven vetting and reviews of their social media accounts.

baby laughing

The average review took more than a year and a half to complete. The names of the refugees were run through Pentagon, State Department, FBI and other agency databases, Brennan reports.

The news comes as Donald Trump continues to slam the president’s and Hillary Clinton’s immigration policies, especially in relation to Syrian refugees. Trump has in the past compared Syrian refugees to snakes and he has advocated a plan to block people from entering the U.S. from countries with ties to terrorism.

DCG

U.S. repeatedly loses in Pentagon war games against Russia

In addition to the Pentagon’s war games showing the U.S. losing to Russia, what is interesting about this post is a purported internal report by the Russian Ministry of Defense on Christian Americans being severely alienated from the U.S. government under Obama. Russia anticipates American Christians to act as a 5th column who may side with Russia in war.

The Russian report also cites a FOTM post on Christians being driven out of the U.S. military. Moscow is reading FOTM!

I fear this report will only be used by Obama to justify an intensification of his persecution of Christians. But we will stand firm on our beliefs and principles.

 

Consortium of Defense Analysts

On Sept. 29, 2015, an op/ed by reporter Benny Avni in the New York Post proclaimed Vladimir Putin’s Russia as “the world’s new sole superpower.” Avni wrote:

The baton was officially transferred Monday to the world’s new sole superpower — and Vladimir Putin willingly picked it up.

Putin’s deployment of forces in Syria and arming of Assad create facts on the ground. They have also propelled him to the top by taking initiative on today’s most consequential world fight….That’s how Putin seized leadership from America….

And it’s bad for America. Because sooner or later, after more bloodshed and under even worse conditions than now, our next president will be called upon to retake the leadership baton from Putin. And that could prove tricky.

Avni’s proclamation isn’t that far-fetched given the fact that the Pentagon’s own war games show that the U.S. would lose in a Baltic war against Russia.

Julia…

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U.S. Army commander says Russia is “real threat” as Patriot missiles are deployed to Poland

At a time when our soldiers’ morale is at an all-time low (see DCG’s post here), tensions with Russia are at an all-time high — tensions that largely had been provoked by the Obama administration over Ukraine and Crimea. (See U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s leaked phone conversation with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, here.)

This has led to Obama reversing a policy of just a year ago when all battle tanks were removed from Europe. Now, the U.S. is moving those tanks back to the continent, together with live Patriot missiles to Poland.

Consortium of Defense Analysts

Lt. Gen. Ben HodgesJustin Huggler reports for The Telegraph, April 18, 2015, that Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, Commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, warns that NATO must remain united in the face of a “real threat” from Russia:

It’s not an assumption. There is a Russian threat.You’ve got the Russian ambassador threatening that Denmark will be a nuclear target if it participates in any missile defense program. And when you look at the unsafe way Russian aircraft are flying without transponders in proximity to civilian aircraft, that’s not professional conduct.”

Gen. Hodges spoke to the Telegraph on the sidelines of a military debriefing after an exercise to move live Patriot missiles 750 miles across Europe by road and deploy them on the outskirts of Warsaw. The sight of a US military convoy crossing the German-Polish border more than 20 years after the end of the Cold…

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U.S. deploys 290 paratroopers to Ukraine flashpoint

For a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Obama sure behaves like a war president.

The war in Iraq is supposed to have ended, but the Army is deploying 1,250 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division back to Iraq “to train, advise and assist the Iraqi security forces as they battle the Islamic State.” (See DCG’s post: https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2015/03/31/paging-code-pink-troops-from-10th-mountain-division-heading-to-iraq-this-summer/)

Now comes news that, in addition to supplying lethal arms to Ukraine, Obama is deploying 290 paratroopers to train Ukraine’s national guards, which is curious behavior for an administration that insists the U.S. is working with all sides in the Ukraine crisis to reach a peaceful solution and that “ultimately it is up to the Ukrainian people to decide their future.”

That is a lie, as shown by the leaked phone conversation between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt more than a year ago. The conversation shows the Obama administration favors the Ukraine “opposition” and has very clear ideas about what the outcome should be and is striving to achieve these goals. See https://cofda.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/u-s-arms-latvia-against-russia-with-120-armored-units/.

Consortium of Defense Analysts

The Ukraine flashpoint between the U.S. and Russia is heating up.

More than 10 days after the AFP first reported that the Obama administration will be deploying 290 paratroopers to Ukraine to train its national guard soldiers, the story finally is getting traction, carried by other news media like NewsMax, MoneyMorning, and China Post.

Beginning April 20 in three waves of training, each lasting eight weeks, 290 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Teambased in Italy, will train 900 Ukrainian national guard troops in the town of Yavoriv in the government-controlled western region of Lviv, near the Polish border.

Yavoriv, Ukraine

At the end of the training, the U.S. and Ukraine will conduct joint war games.

U.S. Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said the paratroopers will train six Ukrainian national guard companies “with a focus on internal security and territorial defense, and that “While we continue…

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U.S. to close 15 military bases in Europe, as Russia’s presence grows

After provoking a new Cold War with Moscow — imposing economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, specifically Crimea — the U.S. is retreating from Europe with the closure of 15 military bases.

At a minimum, Obama’s foreign policy is a mess of confusion and mixed messages. At a maximum, he’s doing this by design.

Remember his whispered words to then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Seoul, South Korea, March 26, 2012? Not realizing his words would be picked up by live microphones, Obama signaled to Medvedev that — wink, wink, nudge, nudge — he’ll be much freer to act as he pleases after he’s won reelection: “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility” to deal with missile defense by tearing down America’s missile shield. Then he asked for Russia’s patience — for more “space” and “time.”

See also “U.S. physicist Tom Fife: Obama was groomed to be President by Soviet Communists

Consortium of Defense Analysts

U.S. European CommandClick map to enlarge

Adam Kredo reports for The Washington Free Beacon, Jan. 9, 2015, that the U.S. military is set to shutter 15 sites across Europe and reduce the number of active personnel stationed in these areas as the result of a wide-ranging restructuring that aims to consolidate some operations on the continent, according to Derek Chollet, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.

The European restructuring is the culmination of a two-year consolidation plan known as the European Infrastructure Consolidation (EIC) that is reminiscent of a previous decade-long realignment following the Cold War.

The following changes will take effect in the coming years:

  • 15 sites in all will be returned by the United States to their host nations.
  • “Approximately 1,200 U.S. military and civilian support positions will be eliminated, and about 6,000 more U.S. personnel will be relocated within Europe,” said John Conger, the acting…

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Obama’s speech to the UN General Assembly, Sept. 24, 2014

Here’s the full text of Obama’s speech to the UN on Wednesday, or does anyone care? LOL

I’m reblogging this only because Roger Cohen (who he?) of the New York Times quoted from the speech and lauded Obama on his “new resolve.” Gag….
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/26/opinion/roger-cohen-obama-leads-on-isis-he-is-right-to-take-the-risk.html?_r=0

Consortium of Defense Analysts

O's UN chairObama at the UN General Assembly, Sept. 24, 2014

Remarks As Prepared for Delivery by President Barack Obama
Address to the United Nations General Assembly
September 24, 2014
New York City, NY

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: we come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.

Around the globe, there are signposts of progress. The shadow of World War that existed at the founding of this institution has been lifted; the prospect of war between major powers reduced. The ranks of member states has more than tripled, and more people live under governments they elected. Hundreds of millions of human beings have been freed from the prison of poverty, with the proportion of those living in extreme poverty cut in half. And the world economy continues to strengthen after the worst financial crisis of our lives.

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