Category Archives: U.S.

In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board | Algemeiner.com

Bret Stephens’ new book, America in Retreat, The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder, reveals the real-life Risk board taking shape globally. In a vacuum of American leadership, modern nations are at odds. They compete for influence and resources, all too often at the expense of Free World ideals. Sounding the alarm, Stephens examines America’s present-day hand in a crumbling world order. In a book rich with historical analysis, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist—formerly editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post, currently deputy editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal, and a wildly popular columnist and public speaker in the Jewish and pro-Israel communities—makes a compelling case that the country is not in decline, and that a strategy of retreat is both unnecessary and a terrible risk.

“The United States was hand-delivered the job of world policeman, on a cold and gray day in Washington D.C. … February 21, 1947,” Stephens writes, recalling the origins of the Truman Doctrine. This official U.S. policy promised political, military, and economic protection to democratic nations threatened by authoritarian forces. At the time, Great Britain, severely weakened by World War II, was retreating from its policing role as the dominant colonial power. The fragile post-war peace would unravel unless the United States assumed responsibility and protected fledgling states. Enter the era of “Pax Americana,” a 68-year (and counting) period of relative peace and stability.

In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board | Algemeiner.com

Putin Mobilizes Forces Preparing to Fight With NATO and US | The Jamestown Foundation

‘In pursuit of a dream of the reunification of all the presumed Russian peoples, nuclear blackmail or “brinkmanship” may be used and sudden military exercises will be enacted that are, in essence, direct preparations for possible large-scale war in Europe.

The massive “sudden exercises” of the Russian military this week carry a clear message: Moscow is not ready to stand down and is threatening the use of force, including nuclear weapons. A ceasefire is holding in Ukraine at present, but it is wobbly, and the status quo on the ground does not satisfy Russian long-term aspirations. At a mass state-organized rally to commemorate Crimea’s annexation on March 18, in Moscow close to the Kremlin, Putin declared: “Russians and Ukrainians are one people” (odin narod) (Kremlin.ru, March 18).

In September 2013, the present Ukrainian crisis was still in the making, triggered by Kyiv’s desire to sign an association agreement with the European Union, which Putin utterly opposed. Speaking to reporters in the Kremlin, Putin announced: “No matter what happens, or where Ukraine goes, anyway someday we will be together [as one nation], because we are one people” (Kremlin.ru, September 4, 2013). Putin’s continued assertion of Russians and Ukrainians as “one people” sounds much alike one of the Nazis’ most-repeated political slogans: “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer”—“One People, One Empire, One Leader.” In pursuit of a dream of the reunification of all the presumed Russian peoples, nuclear blackmail or “brinkmanship” may be used and sudden military exercises will be enacted that are, in essence, direct preparations for possible large-scale war in Europe.

By: Pavel Felgenhauer

Putin Mobilizes Forces Preparing to Fight With NATO and US | The Jamestown Foundation

It appears that Russia is nearing a point where it will take a chunk out of the Baltic countries. That would mean war with Nato. Most likely it would quickly escalate into a nuclear war with the US. But this type of scenario doesn’t make a lot of sense because Russia would lose the element of surprise and lose its army too. I’m guessing that a more likely scenario is using the Russian military to provoke Nato. Once Nato reacts in a defensive manner, then Russia will have its excuse to nuke the US. Maybe Russia has to take a bloody nose, withdraw, then come back with nuclear weapons.

The U.S. Has No Defense Against A Russian Nuclear Attack. Really.

The answer is that the administration is proposing to spend nothing.  Even though we know that most of those Russian warheads are pointed at America.  Even though we know relations with Russia are deteriorating.  Even though we know that Vladimir Putin’s subordinates have repeatedly threatened the West with nuclear consequences if it seeks to block expansionist moves along the Russian periphery such as last year’s invasion of Ukraine.

Just this week, Putin stated in a documentary commemorating Moscow’s annexation of Crimea that he had considered putting the nuclear arsenal on alert to dissuade the West from pushing back, observing that he was ready for “the worst possible turn of events.” It isn’t so clear what a heightened state of alert would mean, since Russian military officials insist that even in peacetime, most of the country’s missiles are ready to launch within minutes.

But this commentary isn’t about Russian military intentions. It is about the utter absence of U.S. active defenses for repulsing the sole man-made threat capable of wiping out American civilization for the foreseeable future. Imagine every person you know dead, injured, or lacking shelter and sustenance. Not at some dim point in the future, but by this time tomorrow. Russia has that power, because America has no defenses against long-range ballistic missiles.

The U.S. Has No Defense Against A Russian Nuclear Attack. Really.

Showdown in Lausanne: Iran nuclear talks enter their final stretch | World news | The Guardian

Meanwhile, however, time is running politically. Congress gave the Obama administration until March 24 before passing new sanctions. The White House probably has a little longer. Congress goes into recess three days after that deadline until April 13. But when the Republican majority comes back they will surely be in an combative mood, and emboldened by the victory of their closest foreign ally, Binyamin Netanyahu, defying expectations and the polls. If there is no deal by mid-April, Congress will unleash new sanctions and the window for talks could close definitively.

Even if there is a framework deal here, it will come under withering fire from Netanyahu and Congress. Its best hope of survival is for Obama to keep it alive in Washington until the end of his term in 22 months time. By then, it is hoped, it will have demonstrably defused tensions in the Gulf and kept Iran at least a year away from even the capacity to make a nuclear warhead. Obama’s successor, even a Republican, would not be able to throw all that away.

Showdown in Lausanne: Iran nuclear talks enter their final stretch | World news | The Guardian

Chiefs: US Budget Cuts Weaken Force, Increase Risk of Losing Wars | Washington Free Beacon

U.S. military capabilities declined during the Obama administration and deep defense spending cuts are increasing the risk that American forces will lose a future war, the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress on Tuesday.

Navy shipbuilding and weapons buys have been cut sharply and modernization delayed, a key Army weapons system has been canceled, and Air Force combat forces are unprepared for a major conflict, the four military chiefs testified to a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh said even if the current budget request is approved, the Air Force will need eight to 10 years to restore “full-spectrum readiness” for its air and space forces.

Chiefs: Budget Cuts Weaken Force, Increase Risk of Losing Wars | Washington Free Beacon

Keith Payne: the ‘Nuclear Utopians’ Are Wrong – WSJ

Unilaterally reducing or eliminating America’s nuclear arsenal will not make the world a safer place.

Nuclear utopians and realists also perceive international relations differently. Utopians see an orderly system that functions predictably and increasingly amicably. Based on this perception they make two confident predictions.

The first is that U.S. deterrence will work reliably even with a relatively small nuclear arsenal, or even nuclear zero. In 2010 the authors of an essay in Foreign Affairs predicted confidently that a U.S. capability to retaliate “against only ten cities” would be adequate to deter Russia.

A second prediction is that differences between the U.S. and Russia or China will be resolved without regard to nuclear threats or capabilities. The 2012 report by the Global Zero Commission claimed that, “The risk of nuclear confrontation between the United States and either Russia or China belongs to the past, not the future.”

Nuclear realists have no confidence in these predictions. Before the nuclear age, great powers periodically came into intense conflict, and deterrence relying on conventional forces failed to prevent catastrophic wars. Since 1945, however, a powerful U.S. nuclear arsenal appears to have had a decisive effect in deterring the outbreak of World War III and containing regional crises and conflicts. Further deep U.S. reductions now would likely increase the risks of war, possibly including nuclear war.

Keith Payne: the ‘Nuclear Utopians’ Are Wrong – WSJ

The problem of nuclear utopians is a subset of another problem – the rise of modern liberalism. It is during the rise of modern liberalism that the nuclear utopians were created. They push the world into conforming with their model of how things should work. Anything that doesn’t actually conform is ignored or distorted to make it conform. And it works as follows:

Countries and cultures are really no better or worse than any other. That some countries have succeeded more than others is evidence of some nefarious behavior – they cheated. The US, Israel and Europe would fit into this category. Countries worse off are only behaving badly in reaction to those better off. Russia, China and Iran would fit into this category. Also, reactions are always proportional to the victimization. Therefore, Russia, China and Iran would never use nuclear weapons unless the other side used them first.

‘In 2010 the authors of an essay in Foreign Affairs predicted confidently that a U.S. capability to retaliate “against only ten cities” would be adequate to deter Russia.’

How can they be so confident?

Ah, the founding ideas behind modern liberalism give them that confidence. They know that countries only act proportionally. As long as America never uses nuclear weapons, then America’s enemies will never use them. In their hearts, they know America can unilaterally disarm its nuclear arsenal completely and still be safe. They only specify “ten cities” in order to get you to buy into their ideas. Once the nuclear arsenal is reduced to that level there will be calls to reduce the arsenal even further. Let there be no doubt – America is going to nuclear zero.

 

 

Nuclear Deterrence Is Relevant Again | Stratfor

U.S. Adm. William Gortney, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, warned Congress in written testimony Thursday of the threat posed by Russian bombers and missiles. Having written yesterday about the uncertainty in Moscow surrounding the status of Russian President Vladimir Putin, we deemed it worthwhile to consider Gortney’s testimony more seriously than we might under other circumstances.

Gortney wrote: “Russian heavy bombers flew more out-of-area patrols in 2014 than in any year since the Cold War. We have also witnessed improved interoperability between Russian long-range aviation and other elements of the Russian military, including air and maritime intelligence collection platforms positioned to monitor NORAD responses.” The patrols help to train Russian air crews, but some are “clearly intended to underscore Moscow’s global reach and communicate its displeasure with Western policies, particularly with regard to Ukraine.”

“Russia is progressing toward its goal of deploying long-range, conventionally-armed cruise missiles with ever increasing stand-off launch distances on its heavy bombers, submarines and surface combatants,” Gortney said. “Should these trends continue, over time NORAD will face increased risk in our ability to defend North America against Russian air, maritime, and cruise missile threats.”

Nuclear Deterrence Is Relevant Again | Stratfor

Most Chinese Say Their Military Can Crush America in Battle | The National Interest Blog

The vast majority of Chinese citizens believe the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) could seize islands in the East and South China Seas, even if the U.S. military were to intervene in the conflicts.

No less than 87 percent of respondents said that the Chinese military already possessed the capability to take back the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands from Japan, according to a recent public opinion poll. When asked whether they still believed the PLA could achieve this objective if the U.S. intervened in the conflict, 74 percent said yes.

Most Chinese Say Their Military Can Crush America in Battle | The National Interest Blog

I think this means the US (and Japan) has a pretty big problem. Maybe taking back the Senkaku Islands or disputed islands in the South China Sea is not at the top of the priority list right now, but what about later? And later means when China gets even stronger. But what happens if the Chinese lose in battle to Japan and/or the US? Doesn’t this poll suggest that Chinese leaders will have no choice but to escalate in a big way?

U.S. admiral raises alarm over Russian military threat – CNN.com

The ability of the U.S. and Canadian military to defend North America could be jeopardized by stepped up Russian military activity, according to the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Adm. William Gortney told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that Russia is continuing to work on its program to deploy “long-range conventionally armed cruise missiles,” that can be launched from its bomber aircraft, submarines and warships. This is giving the Kremlin “deterrent” options “short of the nuclear threshold,” Gortney said.

“Should these trends continue over time, NORAD will face increased risk in our ability to defend North America against Russian air, maritime and cruise missile threats,” he said.

U.S. admiral raises alarm over Russian military threat – CNN.com

How Powerful Is America’s Military Really? | The National Interest Blog

The conclusion of the report is not exactly comforting: namely, America only possesses “marginal” military strength to defend its vital interests in the current threat environment. “Overall, the Index concludes that the current U.S. military force is adequate to meeting the demands of a single major regional conflict while also attending to various presence and engagement activities,” the report states. “But it would be very hard-pressed to do more and certainly would be ill-equipped to handle two, near-simultaneous major regional contingencies,” as successive administrations of both political parties have used as their benchmark for military strength.

How Powerful Is America’s Military Really? | The National Interest Blog