Category Archives: U.S.

U.S. to deploy B-1 bombers to Guam for first time in a decade | The Japan Times

The U.S. will deploy long-range B-1 bombers to Guam from Aug. 6 for the first time in a decade.

The bombers are scheduled to be based at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, replacing the B-52 bombers currently deployed there as part of military’s continuous bomber presence in the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. Air Force said in a statement. The bombers will be accompanied by 300 airmen.

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The deployment comes at a time of heightened tensions in the South China Sea after an international arbitration tribunal earlier this month rejected Beijing’s historic claims to much of the waters. China has ignored the decision, blasting the proceedings as a “farce” and calling the ruling “waste paper.”

U.S. to deploy B-1 bombers to Guam for first time in a decade | The Japan Times

DNC Email Hack: Why Vladimir Putin Hates Hillary Clinton – NBC News

It’s because the former KGB operative hates Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, with such a passion that he wants to embarrass her personally and undermine — if not derail — her presidential campaign, they say.

For a Russian leader who is considered as vain as he is ruthless, Clinton’s criticism long ago crossed over from the political into the personal. He carries a grudge against a woman who has publicly compared him to Hitler and expressed doubts that he has a soul.

DNC Email Hack: Why Vladimir Putin Hates Hillary Clinton – NBC News

The Real Risk of Unintended U.S.-Russia Conflict

A war between Russia and the United States is more likely today than at any time since the worst years of the Cold War. This may sound implausible or exaggerated to policymakers, journalists and the wider public. Yet the fact remains that increasing deployments by both sides, coupled with severely constrained direct dialogue, mean that dangerous incidents will become far more likely and will be far harder to defuse and de-escalate.

It is only a matter of time before more such dangerous incidents between Russian and U.S. or NATO forces occur. The question then will be how well-equipped both sides are to manage the consequences. Judging by the state of the relationship overall, the answer is not very well at all.

Either or both sides might be right in the long term. But in the here and now, both are running unacceptable risks that their increasingly adversarial postures across an arc of conflict from the Baltic to the Middle East will result in unintended escalation. Mitigating this risk does not mean abandoning allies or compromising cherished principles; it simply means learning the lessons of history. For every action, there is a reaction, and preventing that cycle from spinning out of control requires clear channels for dialogue, with leaders on both sides who are prepared to use them.

The Real Risk of Unintended U.S.-Russia Conflict

Behind Democrats’ email leak, U.S. experts see a Russian subplot | Reuters

If the Russian government is behind the theft and release of embarrassing emails from the Democratic Party, as U.S. officials have suggested, it may reflect less a love of Donald Trump or enmity for Hillary Clinton than a desire to discredit the U.S. political system.

A U.S. official who is taking part in the investigation said that intelligence collected on the hacking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails released by Wikileaks on Friday “indicates beyond a reasonable doubt that it originated in Russia.”

Behind Democrats’ email leak, U.S. experts see a Russian subplot | Reuters

How Putin Weaponized Wikileaks to Influence the Election of an American President – Defense One

Evidence suggests that a Russian intelligence group was the source of the most recent Wikileaks intel dump, which was aimed to influence the U.S. election.

Close your eyes and imagine that a hacking group backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin broke into the email system of a major U.S. political party. The group stole thousands of sensitive messages and then published them through an obliging third party in a way that was strategically timed to influence the United States presidential election. Now open your eyes, because that’s what just happened.

How Putin Weaponized Wikileaks to Influence the Election of an American President – Defense One

Is that really true? If so, why weren’t the Russians too afraid to do something like that? Because they knew the US would do nothing.

At least to me, this is just another sign that the US and Russia are on the path to war. If Russia really did do this then I consider it an act of war. The US will do nothing, but the danger remains. The Russians have contempt for the US and act accordingly. Sooner or later this will mean war.

Russian warplanes reportedly bombed US base in Syria | Fox News

Russian warplanes reportedly bombed a secret military base in Syria used by elite American and British forces last month.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the Russian strike on the CIA-linked site was part of a campaign by Russia to pressure the White House to agree to closer cooperation in the Syrian skies, U.S. military and intelligence officials said.

Despite the fact that some forces could have been killed and the bombing dampened relations between Russia and the Pentagon and CIA, the White House and State Department still persued a compromise.

Russian warplanes reportedly bombed US base in Syria | Fox News

US Won’t Back Down on South China Sea, Navy’s Top Officer Says | Military.com

“This will not change,” said Richardson, who visited the Chinese North Sea Fleet headquarters in Qingdao and met with fleet commander Vice Adm. Yuan Yubai, the Navy said.

“The U.S. Navy will continue to conduct routine and lawful operations around the world, including in the South China Sea, in order to protect the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of sea and airspace guaranteed to all,” he said.

US Won’t Back Down on South China Sea, Navy’s Top Officer Says | Military.com

Why The Baltic States Are Where Nuclear War Is Most Likely To Begin | The National Interest Blog

History may one day record that the greatest strategic blunder in history was the failure of U.S. leaders to take the possibility of nuclear war between America and Russia seriously once the Cold War ended.

Initially, U.S. leaders thought the ideological motivation for East-West nuclear tensions had disappeared with the collapse of communism.  But even after Vladimir Putin began rebuilding Russia’s military forces and signaling a desire to regain lost influence, Washington continued to treat the prospect of nuclear conflict as remote.

However, the possibility of nuclear war between America and Russia not only still exists, but is probably growing. And the place where it is most likely to begin is in a future military confrontation over three small Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Since those nations and several other Eastern European states joined NATO in 2004, the United States has been committed to defending their freedom and territorial integrity under Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty.

Why The Baltic States Are Where Nuclear War Is Most Likely To Begin | The National Interest Blog

Is it Time for the U.S. to Take a Position on Scarborough Shoal?

In essence, the flurry of activity regarding Scarborough in March, April and May of 2016 was meant to send a clear signal to China that the United States sees Scarborough as being different from the Paracels and Spratlys. Although official U.S. policy of taking no position on the merits of disputed sovereignty claims to features in the South China Sea includes Scarborough Shoal, recent US action suggests that it does in fact have a different unofficial view. Since Scarborough is not in either the Spratly or Paracel chains and is not also claimed by any littoral state other than China and Taiwan, and for almost 50 years was treated as though it was under US jurisdiction, changing the US position on sovereignty over Scarborough would not be a stretch. It is the author’s view that the evidence supports Philippine sovereignty over the Shoal. To this point:

When comparing the Chinese and Philippine cases, evidence of effective occupation is not overwhelming in either case – but, of the two, the Philippines’ case is stronger. Most mariners charted this feature only in order to remain well clear of it since it was a hazard to navigation. Similarly, the presence of itinerant fishermen from either China or the Philippines is legally insufficient to establish a legal presence.

But, past activities by the U.S. Navy and Philippine authorities to survey the Shoal so that it could be safe for shipping, constitute some positive occupation, along with its contemporaneous appearance on Philippine charts. Past actions by the Philippine armed forces to exercise law enforcement jurisdiction in the 1960s, both to eject smugglers and to monitor future movement, show intent to exercise jurisdiction over the atoll.

The past uses of the shoal by the U.S. Navy for military activities and its legal assessment that the atoll was part of the Philippines also support the case that the Republic of the Philippines was exercising sovereignty over the atoll. Even though the Philippines today asserts that its current claims are independent of the territory that was ceded by Spain to the United States, the key point is that the U.S. government considered it to be part of the Philippines, and any “occupying” activities which it undertook can be vicariously attributed to the Philippines because the United States was the legal proxy for the Philippine people until full independence in 1946.

Is it Time for the U.S. to Take a Position on Scarborough Shoal?

American Society on the Brink | National Review

Meanwhile, abroad, the world looks not just at the tearing apart of American society under Obama, but at that society’s collective inability to even discuss the catalysts for either Islamic terrorism of the Orlando and San Bernardino sort, or the recent racial violence. When this is collated with seven years of failed reset with Russia, the Iranian deal, the rise of ISIS, the implosion of the Middle East, and the new belligerency in China and North Korea, we may be facing a final six months of a lame-duck presidency the likes of which have never been seen in modern political history.

Perhaps Obama has been prescient after all about American sins and the need for apologizing, contextualization, and reset. A 21st-century society that celebrates separatism and violence and that pardons the venom of Black Lives Matter and its more extreme manifestations, or that exempts Hillary Clinton from all legal accountability, may simply not be able to exercise a position of world moral authority after all.

American Society on the Brink | National Review