Turner: Putin’s Actions Must ‘Come With a Price’

Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, in a telephone interview Thursday evening with CongressWatch, wants Obama to “acknowledge that Russian troops” inside Ukraine “represent an invasion.”

A member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees, Turner says it’s time for Obama to respond to Russian President Vladimir Putin with “a military deterrent.”

Administration officials “can make it clear that Russia’s actions will come at a price,” he said. “I think it needs to be a military deterrent.

“Russia should see they don’t have unfettered military reach throughout Europe without there being a credible military response,” Turner said. “The fact that [Obama] has almost been so committed to a diplomatic and sanctions regime that he seems blind to the true military actions that are happening.”

Turner: Putin’s Actions Must ‘Come With a Price’

Russia faces $40 billion battle to stave off banking crisis | Reuters

Russia may have to spend more than $40 billion (26.64 billion pounds) this year to avert a banking crisis, as the growing likelihood of a sharp recession threatens to pile extra costs on a sector suffering from Western sanctions over Ukraine and a plunge in the rouble.

Russian banks are seeing a deterioration in their loan quality, a rise in their risk management costs and increase in their cost of funding, and banking executives and analysts predict things are going to get worse.

This represents a major challenge to President Vladimir Putin, who took power 15 years ago in the ashes of a crisis that wiped out the financial system, and whose popularity partly rests on his reputation for restoring stability.

Russia faces $40 billion battle to stave off banking crisis | Reuters

Is China Building a Base Near the Senkakus? | The Diplomat

“Jane’s satellite imagery now offers clear, public, visual confirmation that such construction is indeed ongoing.”

But that report cited unconfirmed Chinese sources. Japanese officials declined to comment on the specifics of the initial report, while Chinese statements and media reports reacted with the expected nationalistic bluster, charging that Tokyo was being unnecessarily alarmist. While this quiet militarization is consistent with Chinese behavior in other instances in both the East and South China Sea, Jane’s satellite imagery now offers clear, public, visual confirmation that such construction is indeed ongoing.

Japan, meanwhile, is not standing still either. In April, Tokyo announced measures to strengthen its defense and surveillance capabilities with a troop presence and military radar station in Yonaguni, 150 km (93 miles) from the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. It is also developing amphibious forces that will be based in Nagasaki, among other moves under consideration as signaled in its record defense budget disclosed earlier this month.

As both China and Japan engage in such activities, Jane’s concludes that Beijing’s base is a move that risks further escalating the “quiet military buildup” around the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands by the two countries. Despite the famous handshake between Chinese president Xi Jinping and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting last November, as well as continued talks on developing mechanisms to manage maritime tensions, the silent saber-rattling by both sides has continued to simmer beneath the surface.

Is China Building a Base Near the Senkakus? | The Diplomat

Iran Promises to ‘Collapse the Zionist Regime’ Following Airstrike | Washington Free Beacon

Top Iranian military leaders promised to hit Israel with “devastating thunderbolts” vowed to effect the “collapse of the Zionist regime” after Israeli military forces launched a surprise strike on Sunday that killed six Iranian agents, including the top-level commander, and five members of Hezbollah who are believed to have been planning an incursion into the Jewish state.

Iran also vowed to increase military support for Palestinian and Lebanese militants in order to enable more attacks on Israel, according to statements published in the Iranian state-controlled media.

Iranian leaders publicly lashed out at Israel for most of the week after the strike that killed Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Allahdadi of the IRGC, who was overseeing Iran’s military actions in Syria on behalf of Bashar al-Assad, the country’s embattled president.

Iran Promises to ‘Collapse the Zionist Regime’ Following Airstrike | Washington Free Beacon

It sounds kind of serious this time. Iranian hints suggest some kind of big missile attack is coming. Are they bluffing? Maybe, but better to be safe than sorry.

In 2017 we get a new US president. Obama’s last day in office is January 20, 2017. So the enemies of the US will be looking to cause trouble before Obama leaves office. Don’t be utterly surprised if Iran and its allies make good on their threats to Israel.

Hamas’ Deif reportedly tells Hezbollah’s Nasrallah: Let’s unite against Zionist enemy – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

“All of the forces of resistance must band together and unite against the Zionist enemy and its accomplices,” Deif is reported to have written in the letter.

Israel has acknowledged trying to assassinate Deif during the recent military offensive in Gaza, though there are conflicting reports as to his condition. Hamas insists that Deif is alive.

Hezbollah TV reported that Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas deputy political bureau chief, also sent a letter of support. Al Manar reported that Haniyeh expressed “deepest condolences” to “the families of martyrs” while denouncing “the assassination of enemy leaders.”

Hamas’ Deif reportedly tells Hezbollah’s Nasrallah: Let’s unite against Zionist enemy – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

Iran escalates threats, vows to shower Israel with ‘Shahab’ missiles – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the second-in-command in the Revolutionary Guards, told Iranian state media on Thursday that his troops are capable of firing Shahab-3 missiles on Israel.

“[Israel] should be waiting for crushing responses,” Salami is quoted as saying.

The Iranian officer said that the Golan attack was an attempt to “change the balance of power in Syria” and help “the takfirist,” a reference to the Islamist elements working to topple the government of Tehran’s key ally, President Bashar Assad.

Iran escalates threats, vows to shower Israel with ‘Shahab’ missiles – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

Israeli TV shows ‘Iranian missile’ that ‘can reach far beyond Europe’ | The Times of Israel

Iran has built a 27-meter-long missile, capable of delivering a warhead “far beyond Europe,” and placed it on a launch pad at a site close to Tehran, an Israeli television report said Wednesday, showing what it said were the first satellite images of the missile ever seen in the West.

It stressed that the missile could be used to launch spacecraft or satellites, but also to carry warheads.

The Channel 2 news report showed satellite imagery documenting what it said was Iran’s “very rapid progress” on long-range missile manufacture.

Israeli TV shows ‘Iranian missile’ that ‘can reach far beyond Europe’ | The Times of Israel

Iranian IRGC chief vows ‘devastating thunderbolts’ on Israel – Israel News, Ynetnews

‘This, Mohammad Ali Jafari said, will be “a new beginning point for the imminent collapse of the Zionist Regime.”‘

After confirming one of its generals was among those killed in an airstrike attributed to Israel in the Syrian Golan on Sunday, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) said Tuesday that Israel should expect “devastating thunderbolts” in response to the attack.

This, Mohammad Ali Jafari said, will be “a new beginning point for the imminent collapse of the Zionist Regime.”

Iranian IRGC chief vows ‘devastating thunderbolts’ on Israel – Israel News, Ynetnews

Israeli helicopters targeted 6 Hizballah and Iranian officers as warning that Golan is out of bounds

Two days ago, Hizballah’s General Secretary Hassan Nasrallah issued a reminder that his army has been armed with those same Iranian Fatah-110 missiles since 2006. He also reiterated that those weapons could reach any target on Israeli soil.

Nasrallah was apparently referring to the same missiles’ improved vantage position if they were deployed on the Golan for easier and more accurate launches against Israel.  What he did not say was that the plan that had been cooked up in Tehran was to attach Hizballah crews to the Golan-based missile batteries and shoot them at Israel for the first time from Syrian territory.

It was this plan which the Israeli helicopter must be presumed to have aimed at thwarting.

Israeli helicopters targeted 6 Hizballah and Iranian officers as warning that Golan is out of bounds

Iran Promises ‘Crushing Response’ to Israeli Strike | Washington Free Beacon

“Senior Iranian and Hezbollah commanders were likely planning a sophisticated invasion of Israel’s northern border in the weeks before they were killed by an Israeli airstrike over the weekend, according to Major General Eyal Ben Reuven …”

“The high-level nature of the Iranian and Hezbollah operatives targeted by Israel suggests that an attack on Israel was imminent, according to Reuven …”

Iran on Monday promised that Hezbollah would deliver “crushing response” to the Israeli attack over the weekend, which killed six Iranian agents, including a top-level commander, and five Hezbollah members.

“The experience of the past shows that the resistance current will give a crushing response to the Zionist regime’s terrorist moves with revolutionary determination and in due time and place,” Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), was quoted as saying.

The Israeli strike came just days after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared that the terror group was preparing for a war in Israel’s northern Galilee region.

It also occurred just a week after Iranian military leaders announced that they are operating missile sites in Syria, which potentially include a nuclear facility.

Senior Iranian and Hezbollah commanders were likely planning a sophisticated invasion of Israel’s northern border in the weeks before they were killed by an Israeli airstrike over the weekend, according to Major General Eyal Ben Reuven, the former deputy head of the Israeli Defense Forces Northern Command.

The accuracy of Israel’s strike and the high-level nature of those Iranian and Hezbollah commanders killed indicates planning for a militant incursion into Israel’s northern region, according to Reuven, who said the airstrike shows a “very high level of intelligence” on Israel’s part.

Iran Promises ‘Crushing Response’ to Israeli Strike | Washington Free Beacon

Since Israel thwarted a planned “sophisticated invasion of Israel’s norther border”, the ideas that pushed Hezbollah and Iran to plan such an invasion in the first place still exist. Only now the revenge will be even more intense – the “crushing response.” The timing of any response is “in due time and place.” That suggests to me that a response will not come immediately.

 

 

 

China’s Economy Registers Weakest Economic Growth in 24 Years | TIME

“China has entered a new normal of economic growth,” Li Baodong, a Vice Foreign Minister, told reporters on Friday, according to Agence France-Presse. “That is to say we are going through structural adjustment and the structural adjustment is progressing steadily.”

Yet experts were not so quick to downplay China’s soaring debt, weak and volatile real estate market and plummeting domestic demand.

“Among all the problems, the biggest one is low domestic demand and the other is overcapacity. And when the global economy is not great, exporting is affected,” Chenggang Xu, a professor in economic development at the University of Hong Kong, tells TIME. “In the near future, we’ll see it slowdown further.”

China’s Economy Registers Weakest Economic Growth in 24 Years | TIME

Gee, I wonder if communist party leaders are getting worried? This has to affect their credibility.

Country after country is entering or has already entered the new normal. Notice how economists are clueless about this. What should they do? Why is this happening? They have no idea how to fix this. Well, some of them have an idea but nobody will listen.

Monitoring emerging risks.