Category Archives: U.S.

CNN visits nuclear sub amid tensions with Russia – CNNPolitics.com

But it will soon be challenged by a new series of Russian submarines, the Yasen class, the first of which is undergoing weapons trials.

RELATED: Top Navy official: Russian sub activity expands to Cold War level

Michael Kofman, an expert on the Russian military and fellow at the Wilson Center, a Washington-based think tank, told CNN that the Yasen class was “the quietest submarine operated by an opponent,” thereby making it difficult to keep tabs on.

“The Navy is not really sure it can track it,” Kofman said. He later clarified that he was speaking generally about the challenge of tracking the sub and not commenting specifically about the U.S. Navy’s capabilities.

As Magnus Nordenman, a Russian military expert at the Atlantic Council put it, “For Russia the submarine is the crown jewel of their fleet, much in the way the aircraft carrier is the crown jewel of the U.S. Navy.”

CNN visits nuclear sub amid tensions with Russia – CNNPolitics.com

Glenn Reynolds: Don’t let U.S. become next Rome

Our society isn’t likely to face a collapse like Rome’s — as Tainter notes, everything now is global. But institutions within it are still at risk from politicians’ tendency to skim off benefits for themselves and their cronies while putting the price off into the future. One advantage that democracies have over empires is that they can reset things with an election, tossing out one band of special interests in favor of a new and different band, which at least keeps things mixed up.

But as you vote, remember that the more resources you put under the control of the political class, the more likely it is that things will eventually go bad. Politicians seldom look past the next election, and they’re willing to sacrifice pretty much anything to hang on. And that “pretty much anything” includes you.

Glenn Reynolds: Don’t let U.S. become next Rome

John Kerry vows not to let Aleppo fall to Syrian President Bashar Assad – Washington Times

Secretary of State John F. Kerry vowed Tuesday not to allow Syria’s largest city and onetime moderate opposition stronghold of Aleppo to fall to the regime of Syrian president Bashar Assad — even if that means abandoning the fragile cease-fire that U.S. officials have been trying to uphold in the war-torn nation.

“If Assad’s strategy is to somehow think he’s going to just carve out Aleppo and carve out a section of the country, I got news for you and for him: this war doesn’t end,” Mr. Kerry told reporters at the State Department.

John Kerry vows not to let Aleppo fall to Syrian President Bashar Assad – Washington Times

Trump Says U.S. Should Shoot Russian Planes If Diplomacy Fails

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has vowed to shoot down Russian jets approaching U.S. military assets should the Kremlin reject calls to stop.

Trump, who declared himself the “presumptive nominee” of the Republican party after another round of sweeping primary victories last week, was speaking to BuzzFeed radio show K File on Sunday, ahead of campaigning in Indiana.

Trump Says U.S. Should Shoot Russian Planes If Diplomacy Fails

Ash Carter Accuses Russia of ‘Nuclear Saber-Rattling’ – ABC News

‘”Most disturbing,” Carter said, is loose talk by Russia about using nuclear weapons.’

Carter’s remarks reflect U.S. aggravation with Moscow on multiple fronts, including its intervention in eastern Ukraine, its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and what Carter called Russian efforts to intimidate its Baltic neighbors — which the United States is treaty-bound to defend because they are NATO members. “Most disturbing,” Carter said, is loose talk by Russia about using nuclear weapons.

“Moscow’s nuclear saber-rattling raises troubling questions about Russia’s leaders’ commitment to strategic stability, their respect for norms against the use of nuclear weapons, and whether they respect the profound caution that nuclear-age leaders showed with regard to brandishing nuclear weapons,” he said.

Ash Carter Accuses Russia of ‘Nuclear Saber-Rattling’ – ABC News

Russian aggression brings tension with U.S. to boiling point – Washington Times

The Navy’s top officer on Monday sought to play down recent Russian aggression against U.S. warships in Eastern Europe, but warned in the same breath that Moscow’s recent actions have brought tensions between the two nations a step closer to the boiling point.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said Monday he is convinced that Russia “is not trying to provoke an incident” with its recent aggressive harassment of U.S. aircraft and warships operating in the Baltic Sea, including a much-discussed buzzing of a U.S. destroyer in the Baltic Sea by a pair of Russian fighter jets.

Russian aggression brings tension with U.S. to boiling point – Washington Times

You don’t reach a boiling point. You reach a tipping point. And tipping too far means war.

‘Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said Monday he is convinced that Russia “is not trying to provoke an incident”’

I have a lot of problems with this statement. It’s strategically dangerous. Russia is forcing the US out of its sphere of influence. Russia is perfectly fine escalating past an incident and as far as it takes to win.

Russia is trying to provoke an incident so it can sink a ship or down a plane. Then what will the US do? If the US does respond then the Russians are prepared to escalate all the up to war. Putin knows only one thing: Escalate. But the US is more likely to accept defeat than continue escalating.

 

 

 

 

Kremlin Provocations Risk War | Observer

But does Russia actually want peace with NATO? While there is no evidence that Mr. Putin seeks great power war, much less a nuclear conflict with the West, it’s clear that he is willing to run truly serious risks to get what he wants. April’s aggressive games played by the Russian Air Force represent “an attempt to scare America and prove that the entire Baltic region, the whole Baltic, is ours” explained Pavel Felgenhauer, one of Russia’s premier defense experts. “This may ultimately lead to war,” he added, since this is a dangerous undertaking that risks death and armed conflict.

It’s frighteningly easy to see how an aerial collision between Russian and American warplanes could rapidly devolve into a genuine international crisis—one that Moscow seems unafraid of provoking. What happens then is anybody’s guess. What’s a near-certainty is that, if dangerous Kremlin aerial games continue, eventually some pilot, somewhere, will screw up and people will die.

Kremlin Provocations Risk War | Observer

If both sides already know that a small incident could easily escalate into a nuclear war, and one side doesn’t seem to care, then logically that side is prepared or preparing for nuclear war.

This logic applies to both Russia and China.

These incidents with Russian aircraft suggest that Russia is trying to push US intelligence/military vessels or aircraft outside of its sphere of influence, and failing that, start a war.

Trump-Sanders Phenomenon Signals an Oligarchy on the Brink of a Civilization-Threatening Collapse – Evonomics

“The collapse of urban cultures is an event much more frequent than most observers realize. Often, collapse is well underway before societal elites become aware of it, leading to scenes of leaders responding retroactively and ineffectively as their society collapses around them.” –  Sander Vander Leeuw, Archaeologist, 1997

The media has made a cottage industry out of analyzing the relationship between America’s crumbling infrastructure, outsourced jobs, stagnant wages, and evaporating middle class and the rise of anti-establishment presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Commentators are also tripping all over one another to expound daily on the ineffectual response of America’s political elite – characterized by either bewilderment or a dismissal of these anti-establishment candidates as minor hiccups in the otherwise smooth sailing of status-quo power arrangements. But the pundits are all missing the point: the Trump-Sanders phenomenon signals an American oligarchy on the brink of a civilization-threatening collapse.

The tragedy is that, despite what you hear on TV or read in the paper or online, this collapse was completely predictable. Scientifically speaking, oligarchies always collapse because they are designed to extract wealth from the lower levels of society, concentrate it at the top, and block adaptation by concentrating oligarchic power as well. Though it may take some time, extraction eventually eviscerates the productive levels of society, and the system becomes increasingly brittle. Internal pressures and the sense of betrayal grow as desperation and despair multiply everywhere except at the top, but effective reform seems impossible because the system seems thoroughly rigged. In the final stages, a raft of upstart leaders emerge, some honest and some fascistic, all seeking to channel pent-up frustration towards their chosen ends. If we are lucky, the public will mobilize behind honest leaders and effective reforms. If we are unlucky, either the establishment will continue to “respond ineffectively” until our economy collapses, or a fascist will take over and create conditions too horrific to contemplate.

Sound familiar? America has witnessed a similar cycle of oligarchic corruption[1] starting in the 1760s, 1850s, 1920s, and 2000s:

Trump-Sanders Phenomenon Signals an Oligarchy on the Brink of a Civilization-Threatening Collapse – Evonomics

The following table is from The 4th Turning. The argument of The 4th Turning is that England and the US go through four periods: High, awakening, unraveling and crisis. After a crash is over the society moves into a “high” period which lasts for about 20 years. After that there is the awakening. Then there is the unraveling and finally another crisis period again. Each period lasts about 20 years.

Effectively, society reaches a crisis period about the time that all (or vast majority) of the people who experienced the last crisis have died. The current crisis period is expected to last from 2005 to 2025.

Timing of generations and turnings

Generation Type Birth years Formative era
Late Medieval Saeculum
Arthurian Generation Hero (Civic) 1433-1460 (27) Unraveling: Retreat from France
Humanist Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1461–1482 (21) Crisis: War of the Roses
Reformation Saeculum (104)
Reformation Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1483–1511 (28) High: Tudor Renaissance
Reprisal Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1512–1540 (28) Awakening: Protestant Reformation
Elizabethan Generation Hero (Civic) 1541–1565 (24) Unraveling: Intolerance and Martyrdom
Parliamentary Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1566–1587 (21) Crisis: Armada Crisis
New World Saeculum (112)
Puritan Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1588–1617 (29) High: Merrie England
Cavalier Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1618–1647 (29) Awakening: Puritan Awakening
Glorious Generation Hero (Civic) 1648–1673 (25) Unraveling: Reaction and Restoration
Enlightenment Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1674–1700 (26) Crisis: King Philip’s War/
Glorious Revolution
Revolutionary Saeculum (90)
Awakening Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1701–1723 (22) High: Augustan Age of Empire
Liberty Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1724–1741 (17) Awakening: Great Awakening
Republican Generation Hero (Civic) 1742–1766 (24) Unraveling: French and Indian War
Compromise Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1767–1791 (24) Crisis: American Revolution
Civil War Saeculum (67)
Transcendental Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1792–1821 (29) High: Era of Good Feeling
Gilded Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1822–1842 (20) Awakening: Transcendental Awakening
  Hero (Civic)0    
Progressive Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1843–1859 (16) Crisis: American Civil War
Great Power Saeculum (85)
Missionary Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1860–1882 (22) High: Reconstruction/Gilded Age
Lost Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1883–1900 (17) Awakening: Missionary Awakening
G.I. Generation Hero (Civic) 1901–1924 (23) Unraveling: World War I/Prohibition
Silent Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1925–1942 (17) Crisis: Great Depression/World War II
Millennial Saeculum (age 73)
Baby Boom Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1943–1960 (17)[41] High: Superpower America
Generation X1 Nomad (Reactive) 1961–1981 (20) Awakening: Consciousness Revolution
Millennial Generation2 Hero (Civic) 1982–2004 (22) Unraveling: Culture Wars, Postmodernism
Homeland Generation3,4 Artist (Adaptive) 2005–present (age 11) Crisis: Great Recession, War on Terror

The Strauss–Howe generational theory, created by authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, identifies a recurring generational cycle in American history. Strauss and Howe lay the groundwork for the theory in their 1991 book Generations, which retells the history of America as a series of generational biographies going back to 1584.[1] In their 1997 book The Fourth Turning, the authors expanded the theory to focus on a fourfold cycle of generational types and recurring mood eras in American history.[2] They and their consultancy, LifeCourse Associates, have expanded on the concept in a variety of publications since then.

The theory was developed to describe the history of the United States, including the 13 colonies and their British antecedents, and this is where the most detailed research has been done. However, the authors have also examined generational trends elsewhere in the world and identified similar cycles in several developed countries.[3] The books are best-sellers and the theory has been widely influential and acclaimed. Eric Hoover (2009) has called the authors pioneers in a burgeoning industry of consultants, speakers and researchers focused on generations.[4]

Academic response to the theory has been mixed—some applauding Strauss and Howe for their “bold and imaginative thesis,” and others criticizing the theory.[5][6] Criticism has focused on the lack of rigorous empirical evidence for their claims,[7] and a perception that aspects of the argument gloss over real differences within the population.[6]

Strauss–Howe generational theory – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Russia and China Are Starting a New Arms Race and the U.S. Has to Join | US News Opinion

However, all this talk of weapons platforms is meaningless in a strategic vacuum. The question should never be focused on when these weapons will be deployed, or how. The question is why? Why the pursuit of weapons that will inherently threaten the United States from an existential perspective? The threats here are not about degrading American influence in a region like the Middle East, the threat here is to topple America from a position of strategic primacy, which guarantees international stability. It will overturn the old concepts of Mutual Assured Destruction and lead to inevitable thoughts of preemption and prevention. The side that wishes the arms race would not happen has already been left at the wayside of history.

Russia and China Are Starting a New Arms Race and the U.S. Has to Join | US News Opinion

These Russian Nukes Are Better Than America’s | The National Interest

Given the evidence, the United States lags far behind Russia in the development of land-based ICBMs. The United States has one, to be fair very outmoded, ICBM: the Minuteman III, capable of carrying only one warhead, and the prospects of developing a replacement are very indistinct. In Russia, the situation could not be more different. Land-based ICBMs are being renewed on a regular basis—in fact, the process of developing new missiles never really ends. Each new ICBM is designed to penetrate missile-defense systems, which makes the EuroPRO project and Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (the U.S. antiballistic system for intercepting incoming warheads) ineffective against Russia in the foreseeable future.

These Russian Nukes Are Better Than America’s | The National Interest