All posts by Matt

Brexit could trigger next financial crisis, warns London Stock Exchange chief | The Independent

Brexit could trigger the next financial crisis if France and Germany try to demolish London’s status as a centre of the global economy, the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange has warned.

Xavier Rolet, who is one of the UK’s most senior financiers, warned that as Britain braces to leave the EU, European leaders risk causing a crisis “just to make a political point”.

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Brexit could trigger next financial crisis, warns London Stock Exchange chief | The Independent

The “Super-Fuze”: The Big Upgrade to America’s Nuclear Arsenal That Russia Fears

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA)—which develops and builds America’s nuclear arsenal—has completed production of the U.S. Navy’s Arming Fuzing Subsystem for the W76-1/Mk4A [3] Life Extension Program (LEP) warhead.

The new fuze is a key subsystem of the W76-1 LEP [4], which should extend the life of the original warhead from 20 to 60 years. That gives the 39-year-old weapon a new lease on life. However, arms control experts suggest that the refurbished warheads do not just extend the life of those weapons, instead, they substantially enhance the capability of the 100KT W76-1, which is mounted on the U.S. Navy’s Trident II D5 submarine launched ballistic missile. That means the refurbished weapon is highly destabilizing.

The “Super-Fuze”: The Big Upgrade to America’s Nuclear Arsenal That Russia Fears

Is India Starting to Flex Its Military Muscles? – Foreign Policy

In the case of China, despite initial friendly overtures following Modi’s election, India has adopted a more assertive stance. It made clear to China’s President Xi Jinping during his state visit to India in 2014 that Delhi would stand firm in the Ladakh region of Kashmir, where the PLA had made a number of limited probes. Then, when confronted with China’s road-building activities at Doklam, India moved quickly to aid Bhutan, deploying troops to block further Chinese progress. (In 2013, under the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, India had downplayed protracted Chinese incursions into Indian territory in Ladakh.)

Finally, India’s understanding of its self-interest appears to be expanding. By stopping China’s road-building project, it protected not only itself but also a smaller neighbor from coercion by a powerful third country. In doing so, India not only demonstrated that it would resist Chinese bullying, but also showed that India would, at least in some cases, seek to prevent China from bullying others.

Is India Starting to Flex Its Military Muscles? – Foreign Policy

During Visit to Syrian Capital, Iran’s Military Chief Vows to Confront Israel | Algemeiner.com

During a visit to Damascus on Wednesday for talks with Syrian officials, Iran’s military chief vowed to confront Israel and defend the Assad regime.

“It is not acceptable for the Zionist regime to violate Syria anytime it wants,” said Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported. “We are in Damascus to assert and coordinate and cooperate to confront our common enemies, the Zionists and terrorists.”

Bagheri’s comments came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Jerusalem for discussions on Iran and security coordination in Syria.

“Iran needs to understand that Israel will not allow this,” Netanyahu told Shoigu regarding the Islamic Republic’s attempt to entrench its military in Syria, near the Israeli border.

During Visit to Syrian Capital, Iran’s Military Chief Vows to Confront Israel | Algemeiner.com

Iran military chief warns: Israeli violations of Syria are ‘unacceptable’ | The Times of Israel

Iran’s military chief of staff indicated Wednesday that Tehran would not tolerate violations of Syrian sovereignty by Israel and vowed that the two countries would jointly fight against Syria’s enemies.

His comments came after Israel on Monday struck an anti-aircraft battery inside Syria, which followed the firing of a Syrian missile at Israeli planes on reconnaissance flights over Lebanon.

“We cannot accept a situation where the Zionist entity attacks Syria from the ground and the air,” General Mohammad Bagheri said during a rare visit to Damascus that began Tuesday evening.

Iran military chief warns: Israeli violations of Syria are ‘unacceptable’ | The Times of Israel

China’s War Timing Firming Up

Sinking ships by ramming is a throwback to how triremes did battle in the Mediterranean. It also tells us how China plans to start its war. The super-sized Chinese coast guard ships will ram and sink Japanese coast guard vessels. When the Japanese Navy responds by sinking the Chinese coast guard ships, the Chinese PLA Navy will come over the horizon with amphibious assault ships. China will claim to be the aggrieved party and offer to end hostilities, leaving it in possession of what it seized.

The Chinese have been doing some dry runs for the conflict to come. Around midday on August 5th, 2016, some 200 to 300 Chinese fishing boats swarmed into the contiguous zone around the Senkaku Islands of Kuban and Uotsuri, followed by 15 Chinese coast guard vessels by August 9th. Come the actual battle, there will be hundreds of Chinese vessels to be sunk, much like plinking tanks in the deserts of the Middle East.

China’s War Timing Firming Up

Now Hear This—The Clock is Ticking in China: The Decade of Concern Has Begun – By Captain Jim Fanell, U.S. Navy (Retired) | U.S. Naval Institute

So, what does this mean strategically?

It means a count-down clock has been started. The PLA has been judged by the paramount leader as being ready to achieve military victory that would allow China to restore all of its claimed sovereign territory. In a larger sense, it also means the Communist Party of China believes it has the military capability to take Taiwan, the Senkaku Islands, and other unresolved land features in the South China Sea by military force.

Beijing certainly would prefer to acquire its perceived outstanding territory without firing a shot, as it did at Scarborough Shoal and with the creation of the seven “New Spratly Islands.” However, following President Xi’s “certification” of the PLA at Zhurihe, there will be increasing pressure within China to use military force as diplomatic, economic, and informational warfare efforts fail to provide a solution. This pressure will culminate in what I term the “Decade of Concern.”

Now Hear This—The Clock is Ticking in China: The Decade of Concern Has Begun – By Captain Jim Fanell, U.S. Navy (Retired) | U.S. Naval Institute

Is The U.S. Navy Suffering From A Catastrophic Morale Problem? [Infographic]

It later emerged that the two destroyers in question had poor records, with both failing to fulfill key training requirements. In June, the USS Fitzgerald’s training certification had expired in 10 out of 10 key warfare areas and the John S. McCain’s had lapsed in six out of 10 mission areas. In fact, expired training certifications for U.S. Navy warships based in Japan increased from seven percent in January 2015 to 37 percent in June, 2015. If that wasn’t bad enough, it emerged last week that another vessel operating in the Pacific, guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh, is suffering from a disastrous morale problem.

Is The U.S. Navy Suffering From A Catastrophic Morale Problem? [Infographic]

Kirkuk: A crisis in waiting, with regional consequences – CNN

Two armies funded and trained by the United States have faced off in northern Iraq, in a confrontation that, while seemingly over for now, could have lasting consequences for the future of the country and the broader Middle East.

The Iraqi Security Forces and pro-Iranian Shia militia took direct control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk on Monday after being ordered to seize infrastructure that had been under Kurdish control. The forces entered the disputed city and set up checkpoints around its perimeter, while witnesses saw a sole Iraqi flag flying atop the governor’s headquarters. The building usually holds both the Kurdish and Iraqi flags.

Kirkuk: A crisis in waiting, with regional consequences – CNN

Russia has weaponized the energy sector in war against the West | TheHill

Indeed, Moscow has seen itself as being in a state of war with the West at least since 2003-04. On January 18, 2005, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told the Academy of Military Sciences, the official institutional locus of systematic thinking about contemporary war:

“There is a war against Russia under way, and it has been going on for quite a few years. No one declared war on us,” he said. “There is not one country that would be in a state of war with Russia. But there are people and organizations in various countries who take part in hostilities against the Russian Federation.”

Russia has weaponized the energy sector in war against the West | TheHill

The End of China’s Dengist Diplomacy – Stratfor Worldview

For some three decades, the words of Deng Xiaoping have guided Chinese foreign policy. “Observe calmly,” he cautioned, “secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership.” The meaning of Deng’s maxim has been the subject of wide debate inside and outside China. Was the Chinese leader describing a policy of deception with his instructions to conceal the country’s abilities, or was he hoping to keep China out of major entanglements with his focus on keeping a low profile? Whatever the words’ intention, their basic interpretation has long emphasized China’s need to strengthen itself and to avoid following the European powers, or past Asian powers, down the path toward imperialism. Deng’s was a “China first” policy, one that sought to avoid conflict and trouble while building up the country’s domestic capacity and strength.

The End of China’s Dengist Diplomacy – Stratfor Worldview