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The Russians Just Test-Fired an ICBM

Both Washington and Moscow are modernizing their nuclear arsenals, but military leaders worry that Russia is ahead. The Russian military on Wednesday test-fired an RS-24 Yars, one of their newest intercontinental ballistic missiles, Russian state media sources reported. The solid-fueled ICBM, “equipped with a detachable warhead, arrived at the designated area on the Kura test range on the Kamchatka Peninsula at the state-owned Plesetsk Test Space Cosmodrome with the Yoshkar-Ola missile connection,” Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced via TASS. Russia and the United States are both working to modernize their ICBMs, each to the chagrin of the other. In 2010, the countries signed the New START Treaty, ostensibly limiting the number of nuclear weapons each could build and deploy. But Russia has continued to increase its stock of warheads, even as it hews to the treaty limit of 700 launchers, says Hans M. Kristensen, who runs the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American …

Syria is a ‘Laboratory’ for the Air War of the Future

NORTH KOREA THREATENS US WITH “HORRIBLE NUCLEAR STRIKE” AS SOUTH KOREA ASKS FOR MORE MILITARY EXERCISES WITH THE US AND JAPAN

Kim Jong Un North Korea has threatened the US with a “horrible nuclear strike and miserable and final ruin” arguing that it’s ready to conduct a pre-emptive strike if it see “any slight sign of provocation.” “The U.S. cooked up another “sanctions resolution” at the United Nations Security Council as part of its unprecedented military threat and sanctions and blockade to stifle the DPRK [North Korea]. The U.S. describes the DPRK’s nuclear deterrence for self-defense as the “biggest threat to peace”, but it is no more than a shameful logic and a brigandish deed to justify its crimes against peace on the Korean Peninsula,” the state-run media outlet Korean Central News Agency reported. “The DPRK, which towered as the most powerful nuclear weapons state despite the unprecedented difficulties and trials, is not afraid of sanctions, pressure and war.“ On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump threatened North Korea with total destruction if it attacks the US or its allies. “We will have no cho…

JORDAN PRESSURES FSA TO HAND OVER NASIB BORDER CROSSING TO SYRIAN GOVERNMENT

Nasib border crossing The Free Syrian Army Groups (FSA) in southern Syria has agreed to hand over the Nasib border crossing on the Syrian-Jordanian border to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Russian RIA Novosti news agency reported on September 20. According to the report, the FSA will hand over the crossing if the Syrian government agreed to release 100 prisoners of war. the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides informed Damascus of the FSA demand, according to a source of RIA Novosti. The report claimed that the FSA agreed to hand over Nasib border crossing after great pressure from Jordan, the main backer of the FSA in southern Syria. Likely, the Jordanian government is interested in the financial benefit of the border crossing that use to make 800 million USD a year before it was closed back in 2015 when the al-Nusra Front – now known as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) – captured it. It’s very unlikely that HTS will allow such a deal to happen especially that it has grea…

IRAQI GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES ANTI-ISIS OPERATION WEST OF KIRKUK. 4 VILLAGES LIBERATED

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Commander of PMU Operations Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis On Thursday morning, the Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) launched a joint effort to liberate the area of Hawija from ISIS terrorists. According to the PMU media wing, the army and the PMU already liberated the villages of Kinaous, Hamid Sitayr, Shiyaleh Al-Imam and Taweenah located northeast of Sharqat. Sarqat is located northwest of the ISIS stronghold of Hawija – the main target of the operation. Hawija is located in Kirkuk province, west of the provinical cappital – Kirkuk city. Kirkuk is now mostly controlled by Kurdish Peshmerga forces, a military force of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Some Kurdish sources speculate that the army and the PMU use the anti-ISIS operation as a pretext to deploy additional forces in the area of Kirkuk. The KRG seeks to include non-Kurdish Kirkuk city into as well as some oil-rich areas that are not a formal part of the Iraq…

Military Defeat as a Financial Collapse Trigger

Back in 2007 I wrote Reinventing Collapse, in which I compared the collapse of the USSR to the forthcoming collapse of the USA. I wrote the following:

“Let us imagine that collapsing a modern military-industrial superpower is like making soup: chop up some ingredients, apply heat and stir. The ingredients I like to put in my superpower collapse soup are: a severe and chronic shortfall in the production of crude oil (that magic addictive elixir of industrial economies), a severe and worsening foreign trade deficit, a runaway military budget and ballooning foreign debt. The heat and agitation can be provided most efficaciously by a humiliating military defeat and widespread fear of looming catastrophe.” (p. 2)

A decade later these ingredients are all in place, with a few minor quibbles. The shortfall of oil is in the case of the US not the shortfall of physical oil but of money: against the backdrop of terminal decline of conventional oil in the US, the only meaningful supply increase has…

TRUMP THREATENS TO “TOTALLY DESTROY” NORTH KOREA DURING HIS FIRST APEECH AT UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton US President Donald Trump has just officially threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. In comparison with his previous “twitter threats”, this one was made during the annual General Debate of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. Unless North Korea stops its nuclear and missile tests, Trump said, “We will have no choice than to totally destroy North Korea.” “Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime,” he said calling on UN member states to join his effort to isolate Pyongyang until it ceases its “hostile” behavior. He also criticized the nuclear deal with Iran saying that it “is an embarrassment to the US,” and adding “frankly, I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it.”