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North America Military News From United States, Canada & Mexico.

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  #21  
Old 10-15-2016, 05:43 AM
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Exclamation DEFCON Warning System – Update 10/13/16

DEFCON Warning System – Update 10/13/16
U.S. Army Chief Threatens War With Russia


http://defconwarningsystem.com/2016/...update-101316/


This is the DEFCON Warning System. Alert status for 8 P.M., Thursday, October 13th, 2016. Condition code is Yellow. DEFCON 3.

There are currently no imminent nuclear threats against the United States at this time, however the situation is considered fluid and can change rapidly.

Tensions between Russia and the United States have reached levels beyond the cold war in the recent week.

The situation between Russia and the United States is extremely fluid at the moment. In all likelihood as dynamic as at times during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Mainstream media has taken a very serious tone concerning the change from diplomatic to military options between NATO and Russia. CNN stated, “It’s not a new Cold War. It’s not even a deep chill. It’s an outright conflict.” On October 10th Former Soviet Premier Gorbachev is quoted as saying, “I think the world has reached a dangerous point.”

There are signs of a potential growing large scale conflict in nearly every geopolitical hotspot including Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, and the Philippines. Syria is seen as one of the trigger points to the renewed tensions between the United States and Russia. The United States has also accused Russia of a cyberattack and meddling with the US Presidential Election. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest promised on Tuesday that the U.S. would deliver a “proportional” response to Russia’s alleged hacking of American computer systems. The US and Britain are also expected to weigh into Syrian military options on Friday. This could increase tensions between the two superpowers to a greater extent.

Moreover, Houthi rebels on the South Coast of Yemen fired one anti-ship missile at the U.S.S. Mason on Sunday, and another on Wednesday. The Pentagon responded by firing 5 TLAM missiles at radar stations inside Yemen. Around this same time, Iran dispatched a fleet of ships to the area. The U.S.S. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group has also been dispatched to the area.

At this time, the DEFCON Warning System feels that an increase to DEFCON 3 would be a prudent move. The situation is currently fluid with diplomatic ties strained and military threats coming from both sides. Russian media is reportedly telling its citizens to prepare for nuclear war. Russia has recently conducted civil defense drills and completed inspections of underground areas to house government officials and some civilians in the event of nuclear war. This is a very sensitive situation which has the potential to spiral out of control. It is recommended that all citizens learn the steps to be taken in the event of nuclear war. We will continue to bring updated information as we receive it.

The DEFCON Warning System is an analytical reporting organization which focuses on nuclear threats against the United States and offers an alert code to the public based on current events. It is not affiliated with any government agency and does not represent the alert status of any military branch. The public should make their own evaluations and not rely on the DEFCON Warning System for any strategic planning. At all times, citizens are urged to learn what steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack.

If this had been an actual attack, the DEFCON Warning System will give radiation readings for areas that are reported to it. Your readings will vary. Official news sources will have radiation readings for your area.

For immediate updates, go to www.defconwarningsystem.com. Breaking news and important information can be found on the DEFCON Warning System message board and on the DEFCON Twitter feed DEFCONWS. You may also subscribe to the YouTube channel DefconWarningSystem and the DEFCON Warning System mailing list. Note that Twitter and YouTube updates may be subject to delays. The next scheduled update is 6 P.M. Pacific Time, October 20th, 2016. Additional updates will be made as the situation warrants, with more frequent updates at higher alert levels.

This concludes this broadcast of the DEFCON Warning System.


http://defconwarningsystem.com/2016/...update-101316/
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Old 10-15-2016, 06:00 AM
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Exclamation 7 Ways Russia Is Telling People to Prepare for War

7 Ways Russia Is Telling People to Prepare for War
By PATRICK REEVELL


http://abcnews.go.com/International/...ry?id=42800992


With tensions between Russia and the United States at their highest since the Cold War, there have been alarming signs coming out of Moscow that suggest the country is ready for war.

Almost no one believes the Kremlin is actually preparing for a military conflict with the United States. Most analysts instead see it as a show, intended to boost support at home and to deter Western countries from intervening militarily in Syria.

There are some unsettling things Russia has done, however, to give the impression that war is looming:

Beware the ‘Nuclear Dimensions'

As the confrontation between the United and Russia has worsened over Syria, and amid speculation Washington might launch airstrikes against Syrian government forces, Russian state-controlled media has gone into high gear, asking Russians whether they are prepared for nuclear war.

“If that should one day happen, each of you must know where the nearest bomb shelter is,” a report on the state-controlled network, NTV, noted, before taking viewers on a tour of a nuclear bunker in Moscow.

State outlets, already solidly anti-American in their coverage, have unleashed themselves further, indulging in bitter denunciations of America duplicity, bombastic promises of merciless defenses and freely bandying the nuclear card. Russia’s main current affairs show, hosted by a man known by critics as the country’s “propagandist-in-chief,” warned American "impudence" could take on “nuclear dimensions,” then spending 40 minutes taking viewers through a panoply of potential nuclear options Russia possesses if the United States were to intervene too strongly in Syria. The host, Evgeny Kiselyov, described how three Russian missile frigates this week had sailed toward Syria to head off potential U.S. airstrikes against Syrian military targets.

"Incidentally," Kiselyov told his audience, the ships missiles "also [come] in a nuclear version. Which version is aboard our missile frigates right now isn't known.”

Check Your Gas Masks

This month Russia held a large-scale civil defense drill across the country, meant to prepare people for disasters, among them nuclear catastrophe. The drill, which Russian authorities claimed affected 40 million people, and particularly the way it was presented on state television, resembled Soviet-era exercises, with scenes of schoolchildren flooding out in evacuations and being taught to hurriedly pull on gas masks.

Who’s in Charge Here?

Russia’s defense ministry has announced how the country would function in time of war, clarifying which government bodies would take command. The answer was largely it would, taking control of governor’s offices, local administrations and the police. The military simulated that scenario during a huge exercise in southern Russia.

The Sound of Saber-Rattling

The maneuvers took on harder forms as well. This week, Russia deployed nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad, its northern European enclave between Poland and Lithuania that put the weapons within striking distance of Western capitals. Moscow has threatened before to deploy the Iskander-M missiles to Kaliningrad, in response, it says, to the establishment of the U.S. anti-missile shield being erected in Eastern Europe. But this week’s deployment came sooner than expected, with analysts suggesting that indicated the Kremlin wanted to play it as part of the broader saber-rattling display in the confrontation around Syria.

From Land or Sea

Russia also conducted a series of intercontinental ballistic missile tests this week, launching three missiles in a single day. Two of the nuclear-capable missiles were launched from submarines off Russia’s Pacific coast, the third was fired from an inland launch pad, RIA Novosti reported.

What a Catastrophe Might Look Like

Still, despite the threats, the display has sometimes shown its seams. In the NTV report warning people to identify their nearest fallout shelter, the presenter interviewed a retired colonel "showing several possible scenarios of the catastrophe" on a map.

The “map” turned out to be a U.S. video game based on nuclear conflict.

Every Neighborhood Needs a Good Bomb Shelter

Most Russians don’t take the war talk seriously, laughing off the idea on the street. Most take a more realistic view of whether there's actually need to find a bomb-shelter. A photo being shared on social media showed an apartment block in suburban Moscow where pranksters or enterprising fraudsters had posted a flier asking residents to donate cash to build a neighborhood bomb shelter.

“Hurry,” the flier said. “Places are limited.”

http://abcnews.go.com/International/...ry?id=42800992

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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Old 10-15-2016, 06:17 AM
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Exclamation WWIII: Russia Ready For War With USA And NATO

WWIII: Russia Ready For War With USA And NATO
Is The USA Ready For WWIII?


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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Old 10-15-2016, 06:46 AM
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Angry The U.S. Air Force fell to "marginal" in its ability to contribute to US military pow

The U.S. Air Force fell to "marginal" in its ability to contribute to US military power. This was driven largely by mounting readiness concerns.


http://index.heritage.org/military/2.../us-air-force/


The U.S. Air Force (USAF) provides military dominance in the domains of air and space, enabling the Joint Force to project power quickly anywhere in the world at any time. The Air Force maintains that it must be able to respond rapidly to contingencies across the world to “guarantee the global freedom of movement and access that Americans have come to expect” and to project our nation’s power, influence, and reach.1

To support and defend America’s global interests along with the Joint Force, the Air Force focuses on five main missions:

Air and space superiority;
Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR);
Mobility and lift;
Global strike; and
Command and control (C2).

The Air Force has used the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance (DSG) as its framework for determining investment priorities and posture. As a result of the DSG and fiscal constraints, the Air Force has “traded size for quality” by aiming to be a “smaller, but superb, force that maintains the agility, flexibility, and readiness to engage a full range of contingencies and threats,”2 a goal reiterated in the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request.3 But while the Air Force’s fleet has been cut intentionally to maintain capability, the FY 2016 Air Force Posture Statement acknowledges that continued cuts in capacity will result in a loss of capability: “[W]e have reached a point where the two are inextricable; lose any more capacity, and the capability will cease to exist.”4

Capacity
Due to the constrained fiscal environment of the past few years, the Air Force continues to prioritize capability over capacity. The force also has made clear that near-term reductions will be made in lift, command and control, and fighter aircraft to ensure that its top three modernization programs—the F-35A, Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B), and KC-46A—are preserved.5 The USAF is now the oldest and smallest in its history, and the problem is growing as the demand for air power continues to grow.6 For FY 2015, the Air Force was granted an authorized end strength of 312,980 active airmen, 67,100 reservists, and 105,000 guardsmen.7 Between the active and reserve components, it fields 5,433 aircraft in the total active inventory (TAI),8 including 54 total fighter squadrons.9 In the active component, the Air Force retained 40 combat coded squadrons during FY 2015.10

The Air Force’s capacity in terms of number of aircraft has been on a constant downward slope since 1952.11 Unlike some of the other services, the Air Force did not grow during the post-9/11 buildup.12 Rather, it got smaller as older aircraft were retired and replacement programs, such as the F-35, experienced successive delays in bringing new aircraft into the fleet. This reduction in capacity is expected to continue in the future because of ongoing budgetary pressure. Under BCA-mandated spending caps, the Air Force would shrink to 26 tactical aircraft (TACAIR) squadrons,13 a far cry from the 133 active fighter squadrons during Operation Desert Storm.14

The foregoing figures illustrate the difficulty of assessing the Air Force’s capacity, as the service uses a variety of inventory categorizations. “Tactical aircraft” refers to air superiority fighters (specializing in air-to-air engagements); strike fighters (dual-role aircraft); and attack planes (those that are tasked primarily with attacking ground targets and providing close air support). “Combat-coded aircraft” refers to “aircraft assigned to meet the primary aircraft authorization to a unit for the performance of its wartime mission” and can include both tactical aircraft and strategic aircraft such as the B-2 and B-52 strategic bombers.15

The total count of 5,433 aircraft includes all manned and unmanned aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory. This Index assesses the Air Force’s fleet of tactical aircraft, which, as noted in the introduction and described below, requires 1,200 planes to execute a two-MRC strategy. Additionally, four years ago, the Air Force assessed that a fighter force structure of 1,200 primary mission aircraft was necessary.16 More recently, the service determined that the requirement could be reduced by 100, although the Air Force would take on more risk as a result.17 Divestments in FY 2015 placed additional risk on the Air Force and left the fighter force structure significantly below this requirement. The continuation of constrained funding levels will only deepen the shortage of fighters, degrading “vital air operations” and “test and training expertise.”18

Capability
Per the 2012 DSG and budget constraints, the Air Force is offsetting cuts in future capacity to preserve present capability, arguing that it prefers to have fewer aircraft that can win against the advanced fighters and anti-aircraft missiles being developed by top-tier potential adversaries like China and Russia rather than greater numbers of its current fleet of aircraft, which it states are becoming obsolete.

This strategy is associated with another chief concern: maintaining the service and support required for sustaining ongoing operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria while preparing for traditional contingencies, such as state-vs.-state conflict. Essentially, the Air Force is seeking to maintain the balance required for full-spectrum operations, from relatively simple operations in uncontested airspace to complex, multi-layered operations in anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) environments.

The state of aircraft capability includes not only the incorporation of advanced technologies, but also the overall state of the inventory, with age being a large determinant. According to the USAF, the average age of its aircraft is 27 years, and some fleets, such as the B-52 bomber fleet, are much older.19 Most aircraft have an original life span of 20 to 30 years, determined largely by estimated flying hours—more flying equals more stress on an aircraft—and dependent on the severity of the flying environment. Thus, without modification, much of the Air Force’s capability is nearing the end of its expected life cycle. Although service life extension programs can lengthen the useful life of some aircraft, the Air Force cannot keep an old aircraft going forever. While the Air Force has stated that it is prioritizing capability over capacity, it still has had to reduce investment in modernization, an element critical to ensuring future capability.20

On average, the Air Force’s main combat platforms (fighter aircraft, bombers, mobility aircraft, and lift) are nearing the end of their service lives. Air superiority is overwhelmingly being supported by the F-15, which makes up 71 percent of the air superiority platforms but has consumed over 90 percent of its estimated 30-year service life (the average age of the F-15C/D is just over 29 years21 ). With the eventual retirement of the 438 F-15s, 177 F-22s will make up the main arm of air superiority with eventual support from the F-35. The F-16, the most numerous platform (comprising 50 percent of the fighter fleet at 913 aircraft22 ) has consumed nearly 80 percent of its expected life span and has an average age of approximately 23 years.23 The KC-135 comprises 87 percent of the Air Force’s tankers and is over 50 years old on average. The aircraft’s reliability is at risk due to problems linked to its age and high usage rate.

The Air Force’s ISR and lift capabilities do not face the same problem. The bulk (362 of 457) of the Air Force’s ISR aircraft are now unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),24 which are relatively young (though they have shorter life spans than manned aircraft) and less expensive to procure, operate, and maintain. Maintaining the service’s shift to predominantly unmanned ISR aircraft will depend on fielding enhanced sensors on the RQ-4 Global Hawk platform to make it as capable as legacy manned U-2 aircraft.25 The Air Force stated in February 2015 that the Global Hawk was able to reduce costs such that it is now cheaper per flying hour to operate.26

A service’s investment in modernization ensures that future capability remains healthy. Investment programs aim not only to procure enough to fill current capacity requirements, but also to advance current capabilities with new technology. Going into FY 2016, the Air Force has structured its budget to preserve funding for its top acquisition priorities: the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, the KC-46A Pegasus aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft, and the Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B).27

The Air Force’s number one priority remains the F-35A. It is the next-generation fighter scheduled to replace all legacy A-10, F-15, and F-16 aircraft. Interestingly, if the Air Force is able to fund its full program of 1,763 aircraft,28 it will procure more aircraft than the current inventory of F-16s, F-15s, and A-10s combined (1,610).29 The Air Force has not explicitly stated the rationale behind its F-35A procurement plan (beyond reporting a one-to-one replacement of all F-16, A-10, and F-117 aircraft in service as of 2001),30 and this has led to speculation that the F-35A could also replace the F-15.31

The service states officially that the F-35A will complement the F-22,32 much as the F-16 ground attack aircraft complements the F-15 air combat aircraft. However, the Air Force did not procure enough F-22s to replace the F-15s. The Active Air Force currently has 438 F-15s to its 159 F-22s, and there are concerns about what will fill this gap when the F-15 is eventually retired. Fulfilling the operational need for fighters could be further strained in the near term, as the F-22 retrofit—a mix of structural alterations to 162 aircraft needed for the airframe to reach its promised service life—has been forecasted to run through 2021, a year later than previously predicted.33 As a result of the retrofit, only 62 percent of the mission fleet is available.34 The F-35A was not designed primarily for air-to-air combat; rather, like the F-16s and A-10s that it is replacing, the plane is suited for attack missions against ground targets, with the F-22 shouldering the air-superiority mission.

Like the F-35B and F-35C (the Marine Corps and Navy variants, respectively), the F-35A has experienced a host of problems (including technological delays, cost growth, production delays, and quantity reductions caused by budget cuts) that have slowed development. As a result, the initial operating capability (IOC) date was pushed from 2013 to 2016. In addition, the test program suffered further delays in 2014 due to an engine problem.35 With regard to software, flight testing for Block 2B is nearly completed, and Block 3i is still undergoing tests as well. Current projections assess that Block 3F—full warfighting capability—will be completed about half a year later than planned.36 Given the age of the aircraft that the F-35A will be replacing, there is little room for further slippage in the F-35 program.

A second top priority for the USAF is the KC-46A air refueling tanker aircraft, a replacement for the legacy KC-135. Both the Air Force and U.S. Transportation Command have stated that replacing the KC-135 is “their highest priority.”37 The KC-46A is still in development and is also experiencing delays, which is troublesome given the advanced age (averaging 52 years) and condition of the current KC-135 inventory. In addition, the KC-46A program of record is for 179 aircraft (with current program plans for delivery of 70 aircraft by FY 202038 ), indicating that this system will replace less than half of the current tanker inventory of 391 aircraft (though a one-to-one replacement of legacy platforms is not inherently necessary for weapons systems).

The third and final priority for the USAF from an acquisition perspective is the Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B),39 the service’s next-generation deep-strike platform intended to replace the B-52 Stratofortress and the B-1B Lancer by the mid-2020s (B-2s are to be replaced later).40. The LRS-B is still in the development phase, and continued funding must be maintained so that the Air Force has a bomber with deep-strike capabilities that can penetrate “highly contested environments.”41 The USAF expects to announce the contract award for the LRS-B in September 2015, and current plans include the acquisition of 80–100 new bombers at a cost of approximately $550 million per plane.42.

Readiness
The Air Force’s readiness is affected by several inputs: training (such as flying hours); weapon system sustainment; facilities; and installations.43 While all are critical, weapon systems sustainment is becoming an area of particularly heightened concern because, as a result of the ongoing air campaigns in the Middle East, munitions are being used faster than they can be replaced. Air-to-Surface weapons such as Stand-Off, Direct Attack, and Penetrators are short of current inventory objectives,44 and the concurrent shortage of Air-to-Air weapons could lead to an increase in the time needed to gain and maintain air superiority in future environments,45 particularly highly contested ones.

The decision to reduce the size of the Air Force to minimum COCOM requirements now requires that the entire force must be ready at all times, which means there will be no strategic reserve capacity for the service to respond to unanticipated requirements.46 Maintaining a very high state of readiness is necessary if the Air Force is going to continue to be the world’s dominant air superiority force. By the Air Force’s own assessment, without unequivocal air superiority, American influence is at risk of being diminished, and the U.S. military will be forced to radically change the way it goes to war.47

According to the Air Force, readiness has been declining since 2003.48 This trend was further aggravated in FY 2013 by the implementation of cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011. In FY 2013, flying hours were reduced by 18 percent, and 17 combat-coded squadrons of 40 (43 percent) were temporarily stood down.49 In FY 2014, the Air Force prioritized funding for readiness, but not at a rate to make up completely for cuts in FY 2013, and the shortfalls in readiness have persisted into FY 2015. This situation illustrates how difficult it is to regain lost readiness even after short-term divestments. According to Air Force Vice Chief of Staff General Larry Spencer, less than 50 percent of the service’s combat air forces meet full-spectrum readiness requirements.50

The Air Force claims that it does not have the excess capacity to make cuts without also reducing capability. If requirements continue to increase, the Air Force “will have to make difficult decisions on mission priorities and dilute coverage across the board.”51 Furthermore, as legacy aircraft continue flying, maintenance costs rise, and the demand for weapons system sustainment increases.52 As a result, reduced funding for aircraft modernization and sustainment degrades capabilities and lowers readiness levels. The Air Force’s FY 2016 budget submission seeks to strike a balance among capability, capacity, and readiness with the goal of achieving full-spectrum readiness by 2023.53

In addition to funding, making up readiness losses takes significant time. For example, standing down a unit for 60 days results in a degraded (unfit for combat) unit. To return the unit to desired levels of proficiency takes six months to a year.54 Similarly, because of depot delays, “[i]t can take two-to-three years to recover full restoration of depot workforce productivity and proficiency.”55

A key aspect of building unit readiness is sufficient training. In order to reach full-spectrum readiness, the Air Force must execute its flying hour program successfully and dedicate enough time and resources to training. The Air Force’s “high operations tempo” and worsening deployment to dwell ratios negatively affect “reconstitution and training cycles” and compromise its efforts to recover lost readiness.56

Scoring the U.S. Air Force
Capacity Score: Very Strong
The preponderant element of combat power in the U.S. Air Force is its fleet of fighter aircraft. The Air Force has deployed an average of 28 squadrons to major combat engagements since World War II.

Based on an average of 18 aircraft per fighter squadron, around 500 fighter aircraft are necessary in the active component to execute one MRC. Based on the government force-sizing documents that counted fighter aircraft, squadrons, or wings, an average of 55 squadrons, or 990 aircraft, is required to field a two-MRC–capable force. By doubling the historical combat average, one arrives at a force of 1,000 fighter aircraft. This Index looks for 1,200 active fighter aircraft to account for the 20 percent reserve necessary when considering availability for deployment and the risk of employing 100 percent of fighters at any one time.

Two-MRC Level: 1,200 fighter aircraft.
Actual 2015 Level: 1,113 fighter aircraft.57
Based on the above figure, the Air Force is operating at 93 percent of the benchmark requirement of 1,200, and its capacity is therefore scored as “very strong.” The 113 aircraft over the 1,000 necessary to fight two major conflicts (based on historical averages) serves to reduce operational risk and provide a strategic buffer or reserve capacity but is still short of the 200 additional aircraft needed to reach the benchmark.

This increase in capacity score over the 2015 Index is due to an additional 15 F-35As becoming operational, the rejection of USAF plans to retire A-10 aircraft,58 and the decision to stretch the service lives of other fighter aircraft.59 Since the F-35A was to replace many of these legacy platforms, the decision not to retire them (e.g., the A-10) has resulted in a net increase in the Air Force’s fighter and attack capacity.

Capability Score: Marginal

The Air Force’s capability score is “marginal,” a result of being scored “strong” in “Size of Modernization Program,” “marginal” for “Age of Equipment” and “Health of Modernization Programs,” but “weak” for “Capability of Equipment.” These scores have not changed from the 2015 Index’s assessment. However, continued concerns about the F-35 program’s progress toward replacing legacy aircraft effectively could cause the USAF’s capability score to decline in the near future.

Readiness Score: Marginal

The Air Force scores “marginal” in readiness in the 2016 Index, a reduction from the previous Index’s score of “strong.” This is based primarily on the Air Force’s reporting that less than half of its combat air forces met full-spectrum readiness requirements in 2015.60 While it should be prepared to respond quickly to an emergent crisis and retain full readiness of its combat airpower, the Air Force has been suffering from degraded readiness since 2003, and the implementation of BCA-imposed budget cuts in FY 2013 has continued to exacerbate this problem into 2015. While the USAF’s response ability appears to have been insulated from budget cuts, maintaining full readiness has proved challenging. Similar to the other services, the USAF was able to make up some of its readiness shortfalls under the FY 2015 budget, but given the Air Force’s poor readiness assessment, significant further improvement is needed.

With so little information in the public domain about the current state of readiness in FY 2015, statements such as the foregoing must be heavily weighted. This Index assumes that today’s readiness levels are better than those in FY 2013 when 13 combat-coded squadrons were grounded due to funding shortfalls,61 but that they are still suboptimal.

Overall U.S. Air Force Score: Marginal

The Air Force is scored as “marginal” overall. This is an unweighted average of its capacity score of “very strong,” capability score of “marginal,” and readiness score of “marginal” and is a decline from the 2015 Index score of “strong,” driven primarily by degradation in capability and readiness.

http://index.heritage.org/military/2.../us-air-force/
__________________
O Israel
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Exclamation Preparation For A Military Clash - Russia's Drills And Army Update

October 14, 2016
Special Dispatch No.6645

Preparation For A Military Clash - Russia's Drills And Army Update
September-October 2016


The following is a list of Russia's military drills in the months of September and October:


2017 Strategic Command Staff Exercise And Kavkaz 2016 Drills

Name: Kavkaz 2016 (Caucasus 2016)

Date: September 5-10

Location: Southern Military District

Number of Troops: 12, 500

Military equipment: 15 warships, 400 pieces of major military equipment, which included more than 100 aircraft and helicopters) and 15 warships were used.

Previous exercises: Zapad-2013 (West-2013), Vostok-2014 (East-2014), Centr-2015 (Center-2015)

The chief of the Russian armed forces’ General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, said that the next strategic command staff exercise will be held in western Russia in 2017. Gerasimov stated: "Strategic command staff exercises are held annually. The next, codenamed Zapad-2017 (West-2017) will take place in the west of the country."

Gerasimov also commented on the preliminary results of the strategic command-and-staff exercise Kavkaz-2016, which was conducted in the Southern Military District (SMD), including Crimea and on the Black and Caspian Seas, on September 5-10.[1]

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that the drill was intended to verify the readiness level of the military command bodies to control subordinate force groups.

Kavkaz -2016 was notable for: the organization of troop control at all levels, tactical encounters with a simulated enemy on the other side of the barricade, testing new military equipment under field conditions, organization of mobilization and territorial defense, extensive employment of aviation and maritime forces of the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian flotilla. As part of the strategic command-and-staff exercise, formations and units of the Land Forces, the Aerospace Forces, the Navy and the Airborne Troops practiced tactical encounters at the Southern MD ranges.[2]

The Russian Defense Ministry's press-service said: "The Kavkaz-2016 exercise is the final phase of a package of command staff and special practices and drills for military command bodies and snap checks of troops' combat readiness due in 2016..."[3] It is worth noting that more than 120,000 troops, members of federal ministries and agencies and also specialists of the Central Bank of Russia were involved consecutively, at different periods in the Southern, Central and Western military districts. However, as Gerasimov previously stated, in the territory of the Southern Military District no more than 12,500 troops were involved in the exercise at any one time.[4]

Assessing the Black Sea fleet drills results during Kavkaz 2016, Gerasimov stressed that the Black Sea fleet is capable of exterminating any enemy even before the enemy leaves his permanent location bases in the Black Sea. Gerasimov said: "The Black Sea fleet possesses every possible means for that purpose – surveillance systems, which track the targets from 500 kilometers, fire assets. Take the Bastions system for example – it has a 350 kilometers (range). It reaches everything including the Bosporus". He added that until recently the fleet's capabilities were lower than the Turkish fleet's capabilities in the Black Sea. "Several years ago the Russian fleet's combat capabilities were in stark contrast to that of the Turkish Navy. Some even said that Turkey was in full command of the Black Sea. Now it's different," Gerasimov said.[5]

He also stated that the Black Sea Fleet was reinforced by submarines carrying the Kalibr missile system. Gerasimov also said that Russia's Black Sea Fleet is capable of destroying a potential enemy's amphibious force in the ports of embarkation. "The Black Sea Fleet should be able - and it has already demonstrated this capability - to destroy a potential enemy's amphibious force on the way, starting from the ports of embarkation," Gerasimov said. An enemy landing force should not be allowed to reach Crimea's coast, "wherever it may come from," Gerasimov added.[6]

Regarding the operational scenario in the Black Sea and Crimea the observer may get to the conclusion that Russia gets ready to repel attack on Crimea. The operational scenario was described as follows: "The Western [countries] begin the offensive against the Northern Federation", reach naval and air superiority for three days and attempt to seize ground positions of the defending army in order to place the 'Southwestern republics' under Western control.[7]

However, Gerasimov stressed that the drills were not targeted at Ukraine. Nevertheless, in planning and holding the military exercise, the Russian Defense Ministry took the US and Georgian joint drills, which conducted their own games alongside Kavkaz-2016, into account. Gerasimov said: "True, we took into account the US-Georgian exercise, bearing in mind that fifteen hundred troops were participating in them. We made allowances for their actions." It was also reported that Gerasimov stressed that Kavkaz-2016 attracted attention from foreign intelligence services, including those of NATO members.[8]

Gerasimov added: "The southwestern strategic direction is a priority. First, the North Caucasus Military District, and later the Southern Military District - have been and remain a priority. They are the first to get advanced weapons and gear."


An Iskander-M missile that was fired during the Kavkaz-2016 drills in southern Russia. (Source: Rt.com)



The Western MD motorized rifle regiment located in the Moscow Region has eliminated a simulated enemy on the other side of the Don River during Kavkaz 2016. The servicemen overcame 500 meters of water and captured the other bank of the river. Helicopters of the army aviation covered the troops from the air. Having reached the other side of the river, the motorized rifle units engaged the simulated enemy capturing the bridgehead to ensure the crossing of the Don by the main forces. (Source: Mil.ru, September 7, 2016)

Kaliningrad Region

The Western Command District (WCD) started military drills in the Kaliningrad region. Shore-based forces of the Baltic fleet prepared to destroy with missiles and rockets the command and control centers, infantry, and heavy equipment of the simulated enemy. Shore-based forces will use Tochka-U short-range tactical missile systems during the drills. The exercise involved more than 100 soldiers.[9]

In another set of drills in the WCD, armored forces launched drills to overcome water obstacles using tanks. More than 100 crews have been trained to cross rivers with maximum depth of 5 meters.[10]

These drills may provide an insight into Russian military plans as crossing rivers does not generally dovetail with a purely defensive orientation.

The Arctic

Russia's Northern and Pacific Fleet warships took part in tactical naval drills in the Arctic region, near the New Siberian Islands. Сapt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said: "In line with a training plan, a joint tactical exercise of warships from the Northern and Pacific Fleets has been held in the area of the New Siberian Islands. After an arrival of a group of Northern Fleet's warships... a scenario involving the escort of ships by the Pacific Fleet's Ivan Susanin icebreaker was trained."[11]

The Northern Fleet has conducted a series of drills involving anti-ship missile systems accompanied by the live firing of cruise missiles, Tu-95 strategic bombers and anti-submarine aircraft. According to the operational scenario, the navy landed and took under control of unspecified island territory and this involved raids and repelling potential enemy forces.[12]


(Source: Stat.function.mil.ru)

The Baltic Fleet

The Baltic Fleet has conducted very similar drills. The fleet’s press service wrote: "More than 20 crews of Su-27 and Su-24 warplanes, Mi-24 and Mi-8 military transport helicopters, as well as ship borne Ka-27 helicopters and An-26 military transport aircraft are taking part in the exercise. The crews of the naval aviation will drill interception and destruction of real air targets and the search for simulated enemy submarines."[13]

The White Sea

Date: September 27

Location: White Sea

The Russian Defense Ministry said: "Today, on September 27, the Yuri Dolgoruky strategic nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine conducted experimental launches of two Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles from the White Sea to the Kura firing range on the Kamchatka Peninsula... Both missiles were fired from the submarine’s silos in a routine regime. The first missile's warhead completed the entire cycle of the flight program and successfully hit the designated targets at the firing range. The second missile self-liquidated after the first stage of the flight program."[14]


South Ossetia

Date: September 20-24

Location: South Ossetia

Troops and equipment: Around 4,000 servicemen and 1,000 pieces of equipment

The drill's scenario is an air attack of a simulated enemy, "pass through contaminated areas on the ground in conditions of the use of weapons of mass destruction and electronic countermeasures by the enemy."[15]

Central Military District

Date: September

Location: Buryatia

Troops and Equipment: 300 personnel and about 80 pieces of military equipment

An air defense regiment of the Central Military District, armed with the S-400 Triumph hit high-speed targets in its first exercise in Buryatia. an aide to the Central Military District's commander, Yaroslav Roshchupkin, said: "Six missiles were launched to destroy hard-to-hit high-speed missile targets Kaban travelling along a flat path at a speed of 1,200 meters per second at an altitude of 45 kilometers."[16]

West And Central Russia

Date: Main stages took place on October 5-7. The drills concluded on October 10.

Location: Pskov, Ivanovo, Kostroma and Yaroslavl Regions

Troops and equipment: 5,000 paratroopers. Units of the 76th air assault division (Pskov) and 98th airborne division (Ivanovo). In total, over 5,000 servicemen and around 900 units of military and special equipment.

The Russian Defense Ministry said: "These are routine military exercise."[17]

Jewish Autonomous Oblast

Date: October

Military equipment: Iskander-M tactical missile
A missile regiment of the Eastern Military District stationed in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast was put on high combat readiness for snap checks.[18]

Ural Region

Russia is to establish one more armored division in the Ural region by the end of the year. The Ural region is part of Central Command. The new division is already at 70% strength in terms of personnel and heavy equipment. It will operate mainly diverse versions of the T-72 tank and will include a light infantry regiment, an artillery regiment, an air-defense regiment, and a couple of armored regiments and supporting units.[19]

Topol Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile

Date: September 9

Location: Plesetsky District

On September 9, a Topol intercontinental ballistic missile was test-fired from Russia's Plesetsk launch site.[20]

Topol, Topol-M, Yars Missile Launchers

Date:September 22

Location: Tver Region to the Irkutsk Region Equipment: Around 1,700 units of equipment

Over 60 standalone Topol, Topol-M and Yars missile launchers made intensive maneuvers on combat patrol routes from the Tver Region to the Irkutsk Region.[21]

Iskander Missile Brigade

[/b]October[b]

Western Military District

Troops and equipment: 500 servicemen, involving 50 units of weaponry and military equipment.

The Western Military District’s missile brigade, equipped with Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile systems, has been placed on the highest combat alert level as part of the 2016 comprehensive military drill that was reviewed by the Ministry of Defense and the Chief-of-Staff. The Iskander-M units will deliver "a simulated preemptive strike against the missile systems and other remote critical targets of a simulated enemy."[22]

Russian Arms’ Orders From African Countries

Russian arms exporter Rosoboron export announced that it has reached tentative orders of 21 billion USD from African countries. The major clients are Angola, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Uganda, while Mali. Namibia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Mozambique, Tanzania are labeled "firm potential partners". The potential customers have expressed their interest in BTR-82A APC, Yak-130 light attack and training aircraft, Mi-28NE and Mi-35 M attack helicopters and Varshavaynka class cruise-missile equipped submarines.[23]

Russia-Egypt Drills

Name: Defenders of Friendship - 2016

Date: October

Location: Egypt

Troops:Airborne Troops of the Russian Armed Forces and of the Airborne Troops of Egypt - 10 units of military equipment and over 500 servicemen from the two countries.

Military equipment: Aerodromes and 15 helicopters

Russian Airborne Troops will hold joint drills together with Egyptian forces for the first time. They will practice destroying illegal armed groups in the desert. Representatives of 30 countries will observe the maneuvers. The defense ministry said that Russian and Egyptian servicemen "will develop common approaches to issues of cooperation when performing joint actions to localize and destroy illegal armed groups in the desert."[24]

Russia-Pakistan Drills

Name:Druzhba-2016 (Friendship-2016)

September 24-October 10

Location:Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan
Troops and equipment:Around 200 service members

The Russian Foreign Ministry wrote in anticipation Russian-Pakistani tactical military exercise Druzhba-2016 (Friendship 2016) that was staged September 24-October 10 at the Herat training ground in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan. Around 200 service members from both sides were to take part in fine-tuning their cooperation during mountainous anti-terror operations. Commenting on the drills, Professor Sergey Lunev of the Oriental Studies Department of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations said: "The exercise is not an index of friendly relations, but these are the first drills ever to be held with Pakistan. Before that, Russia abstained from military political contacts with this country [i.e. Pakistan], mainly because of very friendly relations with India in military political sphere and uncompromising opposition between India and Pakistan." Lunev stressed that India is Russia's largest partner in terms of military technical cooperation, since it accounts for about 40% of the Russian weapons exports. Lunev added: "Russia demonstrates discontent at the drastic reinforcement of the U.S.-India relations in the military political field as well in this project with Pakistan. Russia is an utterly important partner of India, we won't break relations, they are important for us."

(Pravdareport.com, September 30, 2016)

Russia-India Drills

Name: INDRA-2016

Date: September 22-October 2

Location: Sergeyevsky range (Primorsky Krai)

Troops and equipment: Over 500 servicemen, 50 units of equipment, a group of UAVs, and assault and ground-support aviation.

Indian Contingent: 250 soldiers of the Kumaon Regiment.

The Russian Armed Forces: 250 soldiers from the 59th Motorized Infantry Brigade.

India-Russia joint drills INDRA-2016 took place in the Ussiriysk District in Vladivostok (at the Sergeyevsky range, Primorsky Krai),in Russia. The drills were held on September 22-October 2.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that the drills were aimed at detecting, blocking, and eliminating simulated terrorist groupings and illegal armed formations with the use of aviation and artillery,[25] in semi-mountainous and jungle terrain under United Nations mandate.[26] Russia and India have been holding INDRA drills since 2003.[27]


(Source: Rbth.com)

Russia-China Drills

Name: Joint Sea 2016

September 12-19

Location: South China Sea

Russia and China held Joint Sea 2016 drills September 12-19 in the South China Sea. The participants performed drills covering joint air defense, anti-submarine operations, landing, island-seizing, search and rescue, and weapons use. Russian commentator Aleksandr Hrolenko wrote in an article published by the RIA news agency that the drills were aimed at examining the probability and capability of mutual combat readiness for repelling U.S. fleet actions in the Southern China Sea, as the U.S. is the only country that could challenge China in those waters.

The author added that acting by itself the Russian Pacific fleet regiment cannot change the military-political equation in the South China Sea, but via its presence and its cooperation with Chinese naval forces it helps reinforce Chinese defense capabilities and state sovereignty against American intervention. This is a mutually beneficial approach to both countries: China uses these drills as an additional argument in the territorial dispute over the South China Sea islands, while Russia projects power in distant parts of the ocean.
(Mod.gov.cn, September 12; Ria.ru, September 12, 2016)

Russia-Serbia Drills
Name: BARS (Brotherhood of Aviators of Russia and Serbia)-2016
Date: October
Location: Serbia

Troops and Equipment: Crews of MiG-29 and Mi-8 aircraft from both countries. In total, up to 10 aircraft of the Serbian Air Force and Air Defense troops will be involved in the drill.

In a statement describing the start in Serbia of the Joint Russian-Serbian BARS-2016 tactical flight exercises, the Russian Defense Ministry said: "During the day, participants in the drills will undergo classroom training at the Batajnica airbase, will study flight areas, conduct tactical training with the use of aircraft and drill teamwork skills with the flight control group."[28]
The Russian Defense Ministry added that Mi-8 crews will practice landing and search-and-rescue operations, whereas MiG-29 crews will strike a simulated enemy and intercept aerial targets.[29]

'Frontier-2016' CSTO Drills

Name: Rubezh-2016 (Frontier-2016), counter-terrorist operation at the drill of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)

Date: October 4-7

Location: Active phase in Kyrgyzstan

Participating countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia
Observers: US, China and India

Troops and equipment: 1,000 servicemen from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. More than 200 items of hardware: T-72 tanks, BTR-80 armored fighting vehicles, Tigr armored cars, Grad multiple launch rocket systems and more than 20 helicopters and aircraft, including Tu-22M3 and Tu-95MS long-range aircraft of the Russian Federation Air Force.[30]

In October 2017, the CSTO plans to hold the Combat Brotherhood drills on the territory of Armenia, Kazakhstan and Russia.[31]


Frontier-2016 drills. (Source: Rbth.com)

Endnotes:

[1] Tass.com, September 14, 2016.
[2] Mil.ru, September 5, 2016.
[3] Tass.com, September 8, 2016.
[4] Tass.com, September 9, 2016.
[5] Tass.com, September 13, 2016.
[6] Tass.com, September 14, 2016.
[7] Mk.ru, September 8, 2016.
[8] Tass.com, September 14, 2016.
[9] Ria.ru, September 13, 2016.
[10] Ria.ru, September 13, 2016.
[11] Sputniknews.com, September 21, 2016.
[12] Stat.function.mil.ru, September 17, 2016.
[13] Sputniknews.com, September 21, 2016.
[14] Tass.com, September 28, 2016.
[15] Tass.com, September 20, 2016.
[16] Tass.com, September 27, 2016.
[17] Tass.com, October 3, 2016.
[18] Tass.com, October 4, 2016.
[19] Tass.ru, September 11, 2016.
[20] Tass.com, September 9, 2016.
[21] Tass.com, September 22, 2016.
[22] Tass.com, October 4, 2016.
[23] Tass.ru, September 13, 2016.
[24] Tass.com, October 3, 2016.
[25] Mil.ru
[26] Rbth.com
[27] Rbth.com
[28] Tass.com, October 10, 2016.
[29] Mil.ru, October 10, 2016.
[30] Tass.com, October 4, 2016.
[31] Tass.com , October 7, 2016.
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Exclamation US and Russia Could 'Start Third World War Over Syria Conflict', Says Turkey

US and Russia Could 'Start Third World War Over Syria Conflict', Says Turkey
'If this proxy war continues, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war'
By Alexandra Sims


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7366571.html


The US (http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/USA) and Russia (http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Russia) could drive the world into a global war if the conflict in Syria (http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Syria) is not resolved, Turkey (http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Turkey) has warned.

Tensions have become increasingly heightened between Washington and Moscow in recent weeks. Last week, the US and UK warned Russia and its ally the Syrian government that new economic sanctions could be imposed if the bombing of Syria's besieged Aleppo continues.

On Sunday, Russia condemned Washington for making “unprecedented” threats of cyber attacks following accusations by the Obama administration (http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/BarackObama) that Moscow (http://www.independent.co.uk/topic/Russia) had hacked computers belonging to American political organisations.

Turkish deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said: "If this proxy war continues, after this, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war," the Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...point-war.html) reports.

He suggested the Syrian conflict could be the beginning of World War Three, saying it had put the world "on the brink of the beginning of a large regional or global war".

Earlier this month a Russian newspaper warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing an "astonishingly risky game" in the Syrian conflict that could lead to a Third World War.

Popular tabloid, Moskovsky Komsomolets (http://www.mk.ru/), ran an article that suggested hostilities in Syria could spark a “direct military confrontation" (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37558943) between the nations of a similar scale to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Russia's military announced on Monday that Russian and Syrian forces would halt hostilities for eight hours in the eastern districts of Aleppo.

It did not include any promises of an extended cease-fire and followed a bloody day of air strikes on rebel-held districts in and around the city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 50 civilians, including 18 children, were killed in air strikes on the eastern part of the city in the 24 hours before the Russian announcement.

Monday's air strikes coincided with the launch in neighbouring Iraq of a major operation by Iraqi and Kurdish forces, backed by the US-led coalition, to retake the northern city of Mosul from the so-called Islamic State group.

Mr Kurtulmus announced on Monday that Turkey is ready for hundreds of thousands of refugees from Mosul if the operations fuels sectarian violence.

"If the Mosul operation is handled correctly, there won't be a refugee wave into Turkey," Mr Kurtulmus told a news conference in Ankara.

"[But] if something goes wrong in Mosul, hundreds of thousands will put their migrant bags on their backs, they will be miserable and worn out, and come with their belongings to the only place they can go to, which is Turkey," he said.

The United Nations refugee agency said up to 100,000 Iraqis may flee to Syria and Turkey to escape the assault on Mosul, a city of 1.5 million people where Isis have declared a "caliphate".

Turkey is home to more than three million Syrian refugees, however its refugee camps (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a6969551.html) can only house around 200,000 people.

Additional reporting by agencies

See the video and many pics associated with this article here> http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7366571.html

US and Russia 'will go to war' unless proxy Syria conflict resolved, Turkey warns> http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7358691.html
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Old 10-18-2016, 03:08 PM
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Exclamation The Russians Are Coming...Back

The Russians Are Coming...Back
We face another reset of our Russian policy, but not the one the Obama administration had hoped for
By Brian E. Birdnow


http://www.americanthinker.com/artic...ming_back.html


Last week a story appeared, tucked in the back pages of American newspapers that are concentrating almost entirely on our leap year election ritual. Vladimir Putin, the Frank Gorshin-lookalike, former KGB agent, and current Russian dictator, once again tried to grab headlines and to indirectly interpolate himself into the American foreign policy debate, along with the election itself. Mr. Putin proposed to reopen the long-shuttered Russian military bases in sub-Saharan Africa, Vietnam, and yes, in Cuba, thereby extending Russia’s global reach and turning up the dial in his personal Cold War against America and the West. Putin, who has never hidden his chagrin at the fall of the Soviet Union, and yearns to restore Russian power, self-satisfyingly argued that extending Russian military might to Southeast Asia and the Americas will have the salutary effect of curbing the hegemonic ambitions of the current superpower, the United States of America. Putin’s remarks drew more attention in Europe than in the USA, but he’ll gladly accept the publicity, regardless of the source.

Putin’s ambitions have, however, found their way into the current American political conversation. He has figured in the first two American presidential debates, and, in fact, he has inverted the decades-old paradigm, with the Democratic candidate accusing the Republican nominee of being “soft on Russia”, if not on communism. This takes the nation back to 1960, when GOP nominee Richard Nixon publicly jousted with his Democratic opponent, Senator John F. Kennedy, over who would more effectively contain the Soviet Union and their adventurous leader, Nikita Khrushchev.

The real question that we must address here is fairly straightforward. What is Vladimir Putin’s real game? Is he simply a blusterer and a poseur who enjoys making the West nervous and jumpy? On the other hand, is he aggressively moving to reassert Russian primacy in the world, following the examples of Peter the Great, and Marshal Stalin? Possibly he is pursuing an entirely different course altogether.

The likelihood is that Putin is all of the above. Vladimir Putin is a “Great Russia” proponent. He has always endorsed an active and arguably an aggressive foreign policy, as the Crimean and Ukrainian situations clearly illustrate. Putin has publicly longed for the re-establishment of Russian world power, and has pledged himself to achieve that end. He is also an opportunist who sees his chances and takes them. When Putin realized that the Obama administration was preparing to bow out of the Middle East he rushed in to fill the void, thereby making Russian a major player in that region once again. Finally, Putin might be charitably referred to as an egomaniac, who loves publicity and headlines and who is willing to employ Russian national power to garner these things for himself. In this sense he approximates a fascist dictator of the 1930s, who merges national power and world influence with his own persona.

Does Vladimir Putin represent a real threat, or is he merely a blustering impostor leading a declining state while desperately struggling to remain relevant on the world stage? How, precisely to engage the Russians, is a question that has bedeviled Western foreign policy gurus for centuries. There is an old saying concerning the Russians: “Russia is never as strong as she looks but Russia is never as weak as she looks”. The aphorism, correctly understood, would mean that foreign nations should not overestimate Russian power, but that a nation that underestimates Russia does so at its own peril. In light of current realities, one might argue that Russia is awash in her own troubles, and, is therefore not much of a threat. Surely Russia deals with a declining and an ageing population, an economic boom that has hit a pothole due to slumping energy prices, and a questionably capable high-tech sector that serves as a shaky base for developing and building advanced weaponry. On the other hand, we underestimate Russia at our own risk. The Russian people are tough and resourceful, and Putin, for all of his bluster and nonsense, is shrewd and persistent, with a deep reservoir of support among the people. Certainly, there are questions concerning lack of Western resolve that must figure into any calculation.

So, what is to be done? First of all, American policymakers must keep their heads clear and their options open. They should not declare a new cold war, and, in fact, they should avoid any statements whatsoever on this subject. We see how well extending an olive branch in the form of the vaunted “reset” worked out! Putin, the lover of publicity, would revel in the recognition that he has made himself relevant, once again, by getting under the skin of the American leadership. The Russian public who are not as anti-American as some Western opinion shapers believe, would however, rally to the leader’s side in time of tension. The Russian challenge must be taken seriously. The American foreign policy establishment should reread George Kennan and "The Sources of Soviet Conduct" for a road map, simply substituting “Russian” for “Soviet” in this modern instance. In short, we must return to a policy of containing the Russian colossus, applying long-term, patient, but firm “containment” of Russian expansive tendencies. There are different methods of practicing containment, but practice it we must!

What does this mean for the moment? It means another reset of our Russian policy, but not as the Obama administration had hoped. Do the American people want this firm approach? Do we have the stomach for a resumption of the Cold War? Will the foreign policy establishment, the Congress and the new president ever agree to a controversial and costly shifting of gears? These are the questions that a new generation will be forced to answer.

http://www.americanthinker.com/artic...ming_back.html
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:00 PM
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Exclamation Moscow Media Says Putin Ready To 'Seize The Atlantic'

Moscow Media Says Putin Ready To 'Seize The Atlantic'

Royal Navy heroes stalk Putin’s nuke fleet as it heads for English Channel –
after Russian media mocked our ‘tiny’ and ‘weak’ forces
Putin's Northern Fleet is passing through the North Sea and English Channel on its way to the Mediterranean
BY DANNY COLLINS


Where Is Obama's Leadership in This? Is He Hiding Under His Presidential Desk? Paparock


Sailors on HMS Richmond are tracking the menacing Russian fleet as it carries out training drills in the North Sea today


https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/200568...d-weak-forces/


ROYAL Navy sailors track a menacing fleet of Russian warships as they carry out practice bombing sorties off the Scottish coast, in dramatic images released today.

Our boys have the eight-strong flotilla of Vladimir Putin well within their sights – just hours after Russian media mocked the ‘tiny’ British fleet (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/200568...d-weak-forces/).

The giant Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier has been operating its Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets near the Orkney Islands as it prepares to steam down the English Channel.

They will follow the fleet all the way down the North Sea, into the English Channel and on to the Straits of Gibraltar. The Admiral Kuznetsov can be seen in the background billowing smoke


The Russian fleet is expected to anchor in the Moray Firth off the Scottish coast tonight before heading down the North Sea tomorrow


The 300 metre-long Kuznetsov billows smoke in the background as a Brit sailor observes from HMS Richmond just a few hundred metres away.

Vladimir Putin's navy is understood to be carrying out the drills to prepare their pilots for combat missions in Syria.

The eight hi-tech ships (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/199949...cramble-fleet/) will sail to the war-torn nation's Mediterranean coast, with the fleet passing through the North Sea and English Channel (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/198179...-syria-crisis/) in the coming days.

First, it is expected to stop off in the shelter of the Moray Firth to re-fuel.

Earlier today, Russian broadcasters brazenly predicted iron man Putin is ready to "seize control" of the Mediterranean Sea.

A top Moscow military expert then mocked the 'tiny' Royal Navy, which has been tasked with tracking the threat.

Britain has been without an aircraft carrier since HMS Illustrious was scrapped in 2014 but will be commissioning the £3.1bn HMS Queen Elizabeth in May 2017 (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/119838...dy-for-action/). The hi-tech carrier is 280m long and weighs over 70,000 tonnes, eclipsing the 43,000 tonne Kuznetsov.

The sabre-rattling move is Putin's (https://www.thesun.co.uk/who/vladimir-putin/) latest show of strength as he continues to prop up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad against American wishes.

And insiders in Moscow's military circles say it marks a first step towards Russia asserting its dominance in the Mediterranean.

Defence expert for Russian news agency RIA, Alexander Khrolenko, said:[B] "While the North Atlantic bloc is stalling in the sands of the Middle East, the Russian Navy seizes control over the Atlantic, not to mention the Mediterranean and Black Seas."[/b]

The fearsome Northern Fleet is led by nuclear aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and battle cruiser Peter the Great.

Russian navy flagship and nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is leading a group of eight vessels towards the Syria port of Tartus


The ships are expected to pass through the English Channel, prompting the Royal Navy to prepare to scramble ships


The fearsome fleet is even expected to conduct naval drills off the coast of Scotland during the journey towards the Mediterranean


The former is expected to provide more Russian jets to the bombing campaign aimed at anti-Assad fighters in the city of Aleppo.

And Khrolenko warned their presence in the Med will tip the naval balance of power away from Nato nations, adding: "They have no equal in the Mediterranean."

The Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ish-coast.html) reported a source as saying: "The Admiral Kuznetsov is currently conducting flight operations off the east coast of the Orkneys.

"The pilots need to be certified for carrier take-offs and landings at day and night before it takes up station in the Mediterranean.

"They are free to do this in international waters, but once they are in the English Channel, the aircraft will be grounded."

Destroyer HMS Duncan is expected to tail the Russian fleet as it passes through the North Sea and English Channel


She is likely to be accompanied by frigate HMS Richmond, shadowing the eight-vessel convoy down to the Straits of Gibraltar


Admiral Kuznetsov's Sukhoi SU-27-K fighter jets are currently carrying out practice sorties in the sea off the Orkney Isles

Images emerged yesterday of the ships sailing past the Norwegian city of Trondheim towards the North Sea, where they are expected to pick up an escort from the Royal Navy (https://www.thesun.co.uk/topic/royal-navy/).

The frigate HMS Richmond and destroyer HMS Duncan will likely shadow the Russian fleet to the Straits of Gibraltar.

But dismissive Khrolenko poured scorn on "what little remains of the Royal Navy".

Speaking about the approach of the ships, a Nato naval source told The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...ish-channel/): “It’s not catching us by surprise, we are working up what to do and we are all over it.

"The most likely thing is that they will go through the North Sea, down the Dover Strait and through the Channel.

“They might even stop off the North East coast to fly for a bit.”

The fleet was pictured leaving its base in the Arctic last week



The ships are steaming down towards the North Sea and the English Channel before heading on to the Mediterranean and Syria

Russian experts have warned Vladimir Putin is asserting his country's dominance in the Mediterranean


The show of strength is the latest act of defiance from Moscow in the face of Western pressure over its bombing campaign in Syria.

Earlier this month Russia bombers went on a run around Western Europe (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/191667...ntercept-them/), forcing the air forces of four Nato members to scramble their fighter jets.

President Vladimir Putin (https://www.thesun.co.uk/who/vladimir-putin/) has been supporting embattled Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad with air strikes.

The bombing of an aid convoy last month (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/191414...an-air-strike/) saw a fragile ceasefire disintegrate and put even greater strain on relations between the US and Moscow.

Neighbour Turkey warned yesterday that Syria could become a proxy war (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/199444...ws-over-syria/) for the two superpowers as they pile weapons and advisers into the Middle East.


View the several more videos attatched with this article here>
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/200568...d-weak-forces/
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”

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Old 10-20-2016, 03:19 AM
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Exclamation Russia Taunts US With Biggest Military Offensive Since The Cold War

Russia Taunts US With Biggest Military Offensive Since The Cold War
By Ben Farmer, defence correspondent Barney Henderson Roland Oliphant


Kirov-class cruiser Peter the Great in international waters off the coast of Northern Norway this week CREDIT: NTB SCANPIX


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...ince-the-cold/


Russia has begun its biggest surface deployment since the end of the Cold War as it aims to effectively end the war in Syria (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...-and-syrian-s/) on the eve of the US election, Nato officials warned last night.

The Kremlin is sending the full might of its Northern Fleet and part of the Baltic Fleet to reinforce a final assault on the city of Aleppo in a fortnight, according to Western intelligence.

The final bombardment is designed to shore up the Assad regime by wiping out rebels – paving the way for a Russian exit from the civil war.

HMS Richmond escorting the Russian Task Group CREDIT: DEZ WADE /ROYAL NAVY


The assault on the city will also serve to highlight US inaction in the run-up to election day and may aid Donald Trump.

Yesterday, ahead of this morning’s debate with Hillary Clinton, his presidential campaign released a letter from defence experts backing plans to increase the size of the US military.

Royal Navy warships are due to escort a group of eight Russian warships (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...ms-towards-uk/), including the country’s only aircraft carrier, as they sail past the UK on their way to the Mediterranean.

Senior Royal Navy officers expect the task force to sail past the UK as early as Thursday in a show of strength dismissed as “posturing” by defence sources.

But a senior Nato diplomat said the deployment from the Northern Fleet’s base near Murmansk would herald a renewed attack in Aleppo.

“They are deploying all of the Northern Fleet and much of the Baltic Fleet in the largest surface deployment since the end of the Cold War,” the diplomat said.

“This is not a friendly port call. In two weeks, we will see a crescendo of air attacks on Aleppo as part of Russia’s strategy to declare victory there.”

The additional military firepower is designed to drive out or destroy the 8,000 rebels in Aleppo, the only large city still in opposition hands, and to allow Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to start a withdrawal.

An intensified air campaign in eastern Aleppo, where 275,000 people are trapped, would further worsen ties between Moscow and the West, which says the Kremlin may be responsible for war crimes.

Mr Trump has consistently praised Mr Putin as a strong leader and has promised a closer relationship with Russia if he wins the Nov 8 US election. He has suggested that, if elected, he would meet the Russian president before the inauguration in January.

Mr Putin has returned the compliment, calling the Republican nominee “outstanding and talented” – one of his closest political allies, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, urged Americans to vote for Mr Trump, calling him a “gift to humanity”.

Barack Obama said earlier this week that Mr Trump’s admiration of Mr Putin was “unprecedented in American politics”.

Mr Obama said: “Mr Trump’s continued flattery of Mr Putin and the degree to which he appears to model many of his policies and approaches to politics on Mr Putin ... is out of step with not just what Democrats think but out of step with what up until the last few months, almost every Republican thought.”

The Royal Navy has deployed two warships to meet the Northern Fleet group, led by the carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.

HMS Dragon (foreground) with the Russian aircraft carrier 'Admiral Kuznetsov' in 2014 CREDIT: EPA / MOD


The frigate HMS Richmond is already escorting the group off the coast of Norway, while the destroyer HMS Duncan was last night on its way.

HMS Dragon is due to sail to meet two Russian corvettes travelling towards the UK from the direction of Portugal. Photographs of the vessels, taken on Monday, were released by the Norwegian military.

A Norwegian newspaper quoted the head of the Norwegian military intelligence service saying the ships involved “will probably play a role in the deciding battle for Aleppo”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...ince-the-cold/
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Asymmetric Warfare It’s not just for the “Other Guys”


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Exclamation Russian/US Nuclear War On The Brink As Putin Preps For WW3

Russian/US Nuclear War On The Brink As Putin Preps For WW3


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Lightbulb Russians reactivate 70 arctic military sites in resurgent buildup

RUSSIANS REACTIVATE 70 ARCTIC MILITARY SITES IN RESURGENT BUILDUP


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Old 10-21-2016, 02:19 PM
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Exclamation The Coming War with Russia

The Coming War with Russia
If things keep going this way, we can't be headed anywhere else.
By John Dietrich


http://www.americanthinker.com/artic...th_russia.html


It certainly sounds alarmist to predict a war with Russia. However, members of this administration are following policies that can lead to only that result. They are following belligerent policies on two fronts: cyberspace and Syria. These policies are based on a farrago of mendacity and incompetence.

The cyberspace conflict arose as a result of suspicion that the Russians are interfering in the U.S. election through WikiLeaks. The Russians firmly deny that they have any involvement in the hacking. The Office of Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement (http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/77...Ckycl8Z7E.97): "These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."

It should be noted that this assertion is based upon a "belief." The administration has provided no proof. Any foreign intelligence service with a budget over $129 (http://teapartyusa.org/congressman-b...ked-129-video/) could have access to the secretary of state's email. In the face of this grave threat, the administration has enlisted the awe-inspiring intellect of Vice President Joe Biden. In an interview with Chuck Todd on 13 October, Biden asserted, "We're sending a message (https://www.rt.com/op-edge/362945-am...cyber-attacks/). We have the capacity to do it, and it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact." After publicly announcing the proposed covert cyber-attack, Todd asked Biden if the public would know about it. Biden responded, "Hope not."

Biden's remarks were immediately denounced by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov (https://www.yahoo.com/news/russia-sl...114554306.html), who said, "The threats directed against Moscow and our state's leadership are unprecedented because they are voiced at the level of the U.S. vice president." Vladimir Putin responded (https://www.rt.com/news/362936-putin...ss-conference/), "The only novelty is that for the first time, on the highest level, the United States has admitted involvement in these activities, and to some extent threatened [us] – which of course does not meet the standards of international communication."

There are many reasons for objecting to cyber-attacks. Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/219013) pointed out, "Physical attacks on networks is not something the US wants to do because we don't want to set a precedent for other countries to do it as well, including against us." Should the Russians be subjected to a cyber-attack, the U.S. will be the first suspect. This is a perfect opportunity for a party interested in fomenting conflict between the U.S. and Russia. Most importantly, an attack of this nature would increase tensions in an already tense relationship.

The other area of conflict involves U.S. policy in Syria. Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mi...-idUSKCN12D2B2) reported on a 14 October meeting of President Obama's foreign policy team. Reuters reports that some advisers are advocating "direct U.S. military action such as air strikes on Syrian military bases, munitions depots or radar and anti-aircraft bases." This includes over 50 State Department diplomats (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/17/wo...64FEF8&gwt=pay). What these officials are advocating is an act of war. The Russians (http://www.daniellemagazine.ca/world...a-on-friday-2/) have deployed S-300 and S-400 air defense systems to Syria, and they have warned that any strike against Syrian forces "would put Russian personnel in danger."

Hillary Clinton has advocated the creation of a no-fly zone. The problem with this policy was pointed out by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Joseph Dunford (http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/26/cl...ongress-hears/) testified before Congress: "right now, Senator, for us to control all of the airspace in Syria it would require us to go to war, against Syria and Russia." The need for more forceful action arose with the impending fall of Aleppo. Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mi...-idUSKCN12D2B2) claims that the rebels feel betrayed because "Obama encouraged their uprising by calling for Assad to go but then abandoned them." Hillary Clinton (http://megynkelly.org/182634/world-w...a-on-friday/4/) also "played a key role in starting the civil war in Syria when she was Secretary of State in 2011."

Tension between the U.S. and Russia is at the highest point since the end of the Cold War. It might be time to step back and reassess our situation. Instead, we have the chief of staff, General Mark Milley (http://www.military.com/daily-news/2...l-enemies.html), declaring, "I want to be clear to those who wish to do us harm … the United States military – despite all of our challenges, despite our [operational] tempo, despite everything we have been doing – we will stop you and we will beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before. Make no mistake about that." Milley certainly would not have made these remarks without administration approval. His confidence in the military's ability to "beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before" seems overly optimistic, considering the difficulties we are having in defeating ISIS.

http://www.americanthinker.com/artic...th_russia.html
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Exclamation Russia Jamming NATO Electronics Over Syria

Russia Jamming NATO Electronics Over Syria


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America's F-35 vs Russia's S400 - Who Wins ?


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Putin: Russia has a secret weapon against US attack


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Signs That WW3 Is Coming 2016


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Putin Weapons and Army Ready for World War 3 Documentary


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