All posts by Matt

NATO’s senior military officer: Russia threat growing on all fronts – POLITICO

NATO’s senior military officer said the alliance was confronting efforts by Russia to increase its military capabilities on virtually every level and allies were on guard to prevent any repeat of the Kremlin’s military intervention in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

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Speaking at a POLITICO Brussels Playbook breakfast Monday, General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, said that while Russia’s intentions were not necessarily clear, its growing military prowess was undeniable.

NATO’s senior military officer: Russia threat growing on all fronts – POLITICO

The World Is Even Less Stable Than It Looks | Foreign Policy

Chaos is spreading – and that’s even before getting to America’s lack of competent leadership.

Right now, however, we’re at a moment when I think genuine concern is warranted. This is not to say that we’re on the brink of a major war, let alone a global clash of great powers. But flammable material is accumulating and it is hard to have high confidence in the political leadership in several key countries (including here in the United States). We would all do well to take stock of the global order: Is the world more secure than it was a year ago? Specifically, is the risk of war increasing or decreasing? Is the danger of a serious economic crisis higher or lower? Are the institutional arrangements and norms that help smooth and resolve conflicts of interest and enhance the prospects for international cooperation more or less robust than they were in June 2016?

The World Is Even Less Stable Than It Looks | Foreign Policy

Right now the articles points out that there are three major problems:

  1. North Korea
  2. Middle East
  3. “Last but not least, the institutional underpinnings of the present international system continue to fray.”

The risk of war continues to increase each year. The risk of an economic crisis continues to increase each year. The international system continues to crumble each year. So the overall direction of the world is in the direction of crisis.

Next global financial crisis to hit with a ‘vengeance’, warns BIS

The current ageing and unstable cycle could finish in much the same explosive way, contrary to the widespread belief that it was a once-in-a-century event caused by speculators.

“The end may come to resemble more closely a financial boom gone wrong, just as the latest recession showed, with a vengeance,” said Claudio Borio, the BIS’s chief economist.

The venerable Swiss-based institution says the financial system is about to be tested as the US Federal Reserve steps up the pace of monetary tightening.

Fed rate rises will start to drain the global system of dollar liquidity, setting off a dollar squeeze and driving up borrowing costs across much of the world. “The overarching issue is the global economy’s sensitivity to higher interest rates,” it said.

Next global financial crisis to hit with a ‘vengeance’, warns BIS

Jordan Peterson Explains How Communism Spread [in the West] Under the Guise of Identity Politics

“It was no longer specifically about economics,” he said. “It was about power. And everything to the postmodernists is about power.”

By the end of the 1960s, he said, even French intellectuals like Jean-Paul Sartre had to admit that the communist experiment—whether under Marxism, Stalinism, Maoism, or any other variant—was “an absolute, catastrophic failure.”

Rather than do away with the ideology, however, they merely gave it a new face and a new name. “They were all Marxists. But they couldn’t be Marxists anymore, because you couldn’t be a Marxist and claim you were a human being by the end of the 1960s,” said Peterson.

The postmodernists built on the Marxist ideology, Peterson said. “They started to play a sleight of hand, and instead of pitting the proletariat, the working class, against the bourgeois, they started to pit the oppressed against the oppressor. That opened up the avenue to identifying any number of groups as oppressed and oppressor and to continue the same narrative under a different name.”

Jordan Peterson Explains How Communism Spread Under the Guise of Identity Politics

Hezbollah says future Israel war could draw fighters from Iran, Iraq, elsewhere | Reuters

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that a future war waged by Israel against Syria or Lebanon [or Gaza] could draw thousands of fighters from countries including Iran and Iraq.

“This doesn’t mean there are states that might intervene directly. But this could open the way for thousands, even hundreds of thousands of fighters from all over the Arab and Islamic world to participate – from Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said.

He said any Israeli war with Lebanon or the Gaza Strip, which is run by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, would be “very costly” and that Israel would not be able to win.

Hezbollah says future Israel war could draw fighters from Iran, Iraq, elsewhere | Reuters

Here we get a clue that an Israel-Gaza (Hamas) war will be joined quickly by Hezbollah and apparently fighters from all over the Islamic world. Right now the clock is ticking toward a war between Israel and Gaza.

Pamela Geller: The Coming Civil War – Breitbart

Ayn Rand explained why the left is seeking nothing less than the breakdown of American society:

The attempt to solve social problems by means of physical force is what a civilized society is established to prevent. The advocates of mass civil disobedience admit that their purpose is intimidation. A society that tolerates intimidation as a means of settling disputes—the physical intimidation of some men or groups by others—loses its moral right to exist as a social system, and its collapse does not take long to follow.

Politically, mass civil disobedience is appropriate only as a prelude to civil war—as the declaration of a total break with a country’s political institutions.

The left is targeting the most powerful office in the world — the Presidency. But, as the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise and others at the Congressional baseball practice shows, they’re targeting everyone on the Right. There will be more of this.

Pamela Geller: The Coming Civil War – Breitbart

It’s not just America headed for a civil war:

Is Germany Headed For Civil War? | European Migrant Crisis

Are rightwing pundits right that America is on the brink of a civil war? | US news | The Guardian

A sense has been developing on the right that the old political adversaries are deadly enemies and that the US is headed for a profound, perhaps bloody crisis

Lately on the right, a sense has been developing that the American project is heading for a profound, perhaps bloody crisis. More and more, we hear talk of “civil war” – some say we have already embarked on a “cold” one.

The shooting of representative Steve Scalise pulled these ideas into sharper focus, but “civil war” talk had already been subsisting on fears of violence from anti-fascist (“antifa”) groups. Several violent confrontations have occurred throughout the country this year as right wing activists, claiming to speak for “free speech”, have gathered to square off with their masked enemies.

Are rightwing pundits right that America is on the brink of a civil war? | US news | The Guardian

In my opinion the US is headed for some kind of civil war. This is consistent with the signs from 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis. 60 to 80 after the last big crisis comes another. All these signs really suggest that the country has gone off the rails. Meaning that seriously stupid thinking prevails across the country. You can see that in the universities and in the experts. Now we really have four signs of crisis:

  1. 9/11
  2. 2008 Financial Crisis
  3. Talk of great-power nuclear war
  4. Talk of civil war.

To Deal with the Russians, America Must Think Like the Russians | The National Interest

The risk of nuclear miscalculation is now higher than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, due to increasingly lethal technology and the breakdown in almost all official mechanisms of bilateral communication since Russia’s annexation of Crimea. …”

This June, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Vladimir Putin angrily denounced the “hysteria” in Washington and in the U.S. media. Again, bitter accusations and scorn abound. Both U.S. and Russian experts now agree that once again there is a heightened risk of unintended nuclear war—much higher than in the early 1980s—but this danger is not as widely perceived as it was back then. There is less awareness, less alarm. Few people know as much about nuclear policy as William J. Perry, a former secretary of defense. He has been on a crusade this year, warning, “We are starting a new Cold War. We seem to be sleepwalking into this new nuclear arms race. . . . We and the Russians and others don’t understand what we are doing.”

To Deal with the Russians, America Must Think Like the Russians | The National Interest

One of the reasons that the risk is higher is that the people are different today from those during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The people today have not directly experienced the horror of a major war. They don’t fear war like the people in 1962.

Airline Pilot Shortage Illustrates Broader Systemic Problems in Russia’s Labor Market – Jamestown

When Russian wages were higher than in the neighboring countries of Central-Eastern Europe, both the government and Russian experts were able to point to these high salaries as the reason for why overall economic growth was being held back. But now that Russia’s labor costs are even lower than in China, no explanation of this kind can be proposed any longer. So if Russia’s “full house” of favorable economic factors—abundant resources, low taxes and cheap labor—is apparently not enough to lift the country out of its chronic stagnation, it suggests the need to change something in the country’s management—in other words, the power elite.

Airline Pilot Shortage Illustrates Broader Systemic Problems in Russia’s Labor Market – Jamestown

As Syria’s war enters its endgame, the risk of a US-Russia conflict escalates | The Guardian

Not for the first time there are dire warnings of a direct US-Russia confrontation in Syria that could escalate, in the worst case, into a third world war. What is going on has echoes of the proxy conflicts fought by the superpowers during the latter stages of the cold war, but with added elements of risk because the accepted rules and formal channels of communication to a large extent no longer exist.

The latest alarm sounded after US forces shot down a Syrian government warplane and Russia said it would in future treat any US plane flying west of the Euphrates as a potential target. Russia also announced that it was cutting the Russia-US hotline designed to prevent accidental clashes in the Syrian airspace. The US said it had acted in defence of opposition forces fighting Islamic State. Russia asked on what authority it was striking against the government of a foreign state

As Syria’s war enters its endgame, the risk of a US-Russia conflict escalates | The Guardian