So much has happened in the last couple of weeks that we will just have to hit the highlights and spread the topic out over multiple posts.
The first thing to understand is that Russia is under severe economic stress and this seems to be pushing Putin into a very belligerent position. This is becoming obvious in a few ways:
- Russian GDP has been collapsing, dropping 4.6% in reported statistics in the second quarter. This is worse than expected and below what the Economic Ministry had felt would be the "low point." With little prospect for a rebound as energy prices sink further, things are likely to get much worse in coming months.
- Monetary policy has been in an upheaval with a collapsing Ruble and a dwindling of foreign currency reserves.
- The Russians have had to turn to Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia for financial support.
- Putin has become more belligerent toward neighbors like NATO-member Turkey.
- Some experts believe that Putin is preparing for war in Europe against NATO which would quickly begin a new World War.
- Russia has clearly been prepping society and even Russian children for the prospects of war.
- Russian media has a stark warning for America as well with threats of a war on American soil. They are also warning of warfare with "new electronic technology."
From Sputnik News:
August 7, 2015
"The current relations between the United States and Russia are at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. Modern Russia is not the Soviet Union; that's why Washington should cool down its aggressive rhetoric towards Russia.
If the United States continues its hostile policy towards Russia, Washington might face a war with Russia. This time, it's not going to be just another proxy war on some other country's territory, but a full-scale war on American soil, US journalist Jack Hanick wrote for the Observer."
There is clearly a lot going on but most if not all of this remains under the radar of awareness for most Americans. When you add in the reality of ongoing Cyber Warfare, however, it becomes VERY SERIOUS. Russia's hack on the Pentagon was described by experts as "the most sophisticated cyber-breach in U.S. military history." This sophisticated attack was clearly purposed and took place just weeks ago. No wonder that Marine General Joe Dunford (recently confirmed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) stated:
Russia presents the greatest threat to U.S. national security and its behavior is "nothing short of alarming," Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford told lawmakers on Thursday as they weighed his nomination to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Of course, Russia is wounded, but a wounded bear is quite the ferocious animal. It was just last year that American officials were patting themselves on the back with a sanctions regime they felt would cause Russia to withdraw from the Ukraine. We weren't so sure, suggesting that things were much more serious than people were recognizing. Here is my Fox and Friends appearance discussing Putin.
In hindsight, my concerns were validated and the sanctions effort has been a failure. Rather than forcing Putin into a retreat, the collapsing Russian economy has made Russia more aggressive. The stakes are very high.
We know that Putin has long-held plans for America's economic demise. He tried to collapse us in 2008 with a "bear raid." And we know that Russian hackers have infiltrated everything including the NASDAQ. And we know they have the capability of bringing down our financial system as well as wiping us out with an EMP And, of course, there is the coordinated effort to displace the dollar as well. [Fortunately, at least so far it appears the Russian currency war has backfired. Before we declare victory, however, we need to acknowledge that a great deal of effort has been put into establishing a non-American financial system. So, his attack plans may be delayed rather than denied. And, we have to admit we are more vulnerable than we'd like to be.]
Now consider that Pentagon insiders are seriously concerned that our hollowed-out military isn't even prepared for a major conventional conflict with Russia, according to an article in The Daily Beast:
August 14, 2015
The U.S. military has run the numbers on a sustained fight with Moscow, and they do not look good for the American side.
A series of classified exercises over the summer has raised concerns inside the Defense Department that its forces are not prepared for a sustained military campaign against Russia, two defense officials told The Daily Beast.
Many within the military believe that 15 years of counter-terrorism warfare has left the ground troops ill prepared to maintain logistics or troop levels should Russia make an advance on NATO allies, the officials said….. [To CONTINUE Reading…]
The head of U.S. Special Operations Command, General Joseph Votel, labels Russia as "an existential threat." In addition, an all-out war could take place in both Space and the Cyber Domain. In neither arena is our superiority in any way certain. In fact, in so many ways we have more to lose.
From Australian News:
August 15, 2015
THE most damaging war the world has ever seen could be about to start. And it won't happen on Earth.
Three leading superpowers: Russia, China and the US are reportedly developing, testing and deploying sophisticated weapons in outer space in advance of a military attack that could see the first great conflict between sparring superpowers in 70 years. A conflict that Popular Science described as "A New Cold War in the Void of Space."
And there's no rules in this free-for-all space race. Rogue, cosmic cowboys reign supreme.
While physical damage on Earth would be minimal in a space war, our entire way of living could be at threat…. [To CONTINUE Reading…]
If this were all we were facing, it would be sufficient for serious concern. But as we mentioned at the start, this is just one aspect of the multi-front Cyber-Economic War we are facing. The next post will cover China and all that has been happening there. We will wrap up the series with the Iran deal and why our own government is forcing its passage with the threat of losing the Dollar's Reserve Currency status. Stay tuned!