As the world gets closer to global war that will go nuclear, here’s the articles collected over the past week and half.
On The Eastern Front
Ukraine goes on the offensive.
Drones fly deep inside Russia; Putin orders border tightened
From the article:
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Drones that the Kremlin said were launched by Ukraine flew deep inside Russian territory, including one that got within 100 kilometers (60 miles) of Moscow, signaling breaches in Russian defenses as President Vladimir Putin ordered stepped-up protection at the border.
Officials said the drones caused no injuries and did not inflict any significant damage, but the attacks on Monday night and Tuesday morning raised questions about Russian defense capabilities more than a year after the country’s full-scale invasion of its neighbor.
Ukrainian officials did not immediately take responsibility, but they similarly have avoided directly acknowledging responsibility for past strikes and sabotage while emphasizing Ukraine’s right to hit any target in Russia.
Although Putin did not refer to any specific attacks in a speech in the Russian capital, his comments came hours after the drones targeted several areas in southern and western Russia. Authorities closed the airspace over St. Petersburg in response to what some reports said was a drone.
Also Tuesday, several Russian television stations aired a missile attack warning that officials blamed on a hacking attack.
The drone attacks targeted regions inside Russia along the border with Ukraine and deeper into the country, according to local Russian authorities….
Iran ready to go nuclear?
Iran can now make nuke material in 12 days, Pentagon says
From the article:
A high-level Defense Department official warned that it would take Iran “about 12 days” to produce materials needed for a nuclear bomb, adding that a deal to contain the country’s nuclear program “is on ice.”
Colin Kahl, the under secretary of defense for policy, made the remark on Tuesday during a House of Representatives hearing, Reuters reported. He said “Iran’s nuclear progress … has been remarkable” since the U.S. backed out of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Back in 2018, when the previous administration decided to leave the JCPOA, it would have taken Iran about 12 months to produce one bomb’s worth of fissile material,” he said. “Now it would take about 12 days.”…
…The JCPOA was essentially scrapped by President Donald Trump in 2018, who called it “one-sided” and did not fulfill a promise to replace it. President Joe Biden’s administration has attempted to revive the deal, but talks have stalled.
Biden told a woman the deal was “dead, but we’re not gonna announce it” on the sidelines of a Nov. 4 rally, according to a video that surfaced online in December.
#BREAKING: @POTUS is asked when he’s going to declare #Iran JCPOA dead and he says: “It is dead but we’re not gonna announce it.” 😂 pic.twitter.com/YjZGmsP5lW— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) December 20, 2022
A White House National Security Council spokesperson told Axios that given Iran’s deadly crackdowns on recent protests and support for Russia’s Ukraine war, “We don’t see a deal coming together anytime soon.”
On The Western Front
Republicans Sound Alarm on Beijing’s Efforts to Spread Propaganda in Western Outlets
From the article:
Republican lawmakers are expressing alarm over Beijing’s persistent efforts to use Western outlets to spread its narratives, including claims that Washington had overreacted to a “wandering balloon” and damaged the bilateral relationship.
In an op-ed recently published in the Washington Post, Xu Xueyuan, the chargé d’affaires at the Chinese regime’s embassy in Washington, repeated Beijing’s narrative that the balloon was for “meteorological research” and “posed no real security threat.”
She accused the United States of “overreaction,” adding that “China-U.S. relations should not be led astray by a wandering balloon.”
The article has been shared by prominent CCP diplomats and Chinese state-run media, including Huang Ping, Beijing’s consul general in New York, and Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Washington.
The Chinese spy balloon flew over the continental United States for days before being shot down off the South Carolina coast on Feb. 4. Since then, U.S. officials have said that China has a “high-altitude balloon program” linked to China’s military for espionage, and sanctioned six Chinese entities for aiding the program. They also revealed the balloon as part of Beijing’s worldwide surveillance campaign that has violated the sovereignty of dozens of countries….
China’s Increasing Aggression Is ‘Generational Challenge,’ Austin Says in Message to Armed Force
From the article:
The U.S. military must prepare to confront China and prevent its communist regime from reshaping the international order in its image, a new memo from the secretary of defense says.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin wrote that communist China seeks to force the international community to acquiesce to its authoritarian demands and must be stopped.
“An increasingly aggressive China is trying to shape the international rules-based system to suit its authoritarian preferences,” Austin wrote in a March 2 message to the U.S. Armed Forces. “This is a generational challenge, and the Department will rise to meet it.
“To do so, we must embrace integrated deterrence, which charges us to coordinate our efforts across all war-fighting domains, theaters, and the spectrum of conflict to create new and more complex dilemmas for our adversaries.”
The U.S. National Defense Strategy labels China’s communist regime as the “pacing challenge” to the United States, and asserts that the regime is the only power on earth with both the will and capability to reshape the rules-based international order.
To that end, Austin wrote that the U.S. military would need to strengthen its posture in the Indo-Pacific and work with allies to more adequately deter Chinese communist aggression in the South and East China Seas and against Taiwan….
US Army Surging Munitions Production Amid Shortage Fears
From the Article:
The United States is working to overhaul its acquisition of certain high-end munitions which experts fear would be depleted in the event of a war with China.
U.S. Army officials are in the process of ramping up production to overcome challenges associated with replenishing domestic stockpiles of munitions that were either sold to Ukraine or which would be needed for a fight in the Indo-Pacific, according to Assistant Secretary of the Army Douglas Bush.
“Starting early last summer… we went through a deliberate effort to start planning for the production ramp-ups that are now underway,” Bush said during a March 3 talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a security-focused think tank.
“We are creating this production capacity, trying to create options for future decisions in terms of how much we’ll need. But if we don’t do the production ramp-ups we won’t have those choices to make in the first place.”
Bush said that the Army is “now in execution mode,” ramping up production to refill quickly draining stockpiles, but that production timelines for many munitions were complicated by complex supply chains and security requirements.
Moreover, Bush said, it was impossible to tell just what the United States’ stockpile needs would be in the future due to the open-ended nature of the war in Ukraine, but stocking requirements would likely be higher due to heightened international tensions.
“The long-term challenge will be how much of that capacity can we sustain over time, post conflict,” Bush said….
War, what is is good for?
Military Industrial Complex’s stock dividends!
China Preparing for War With US: Expert
From the article:
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has reportedly set up defense mobilization offices across China in recent weeks—signaling that the regime is preparing for war against the United States and its allies, according to China expert and author, Bradley Thayer.
“[Chinese leader] Xi is attempting to prepare the Chinese people for that period of great sacrifice, which might be a sustained conventional war against the United States and its allies, or even a nuclear conflict with the United States and its allies, and the Chinese Communist Party,” Thayer told “China in Focus” on NTD, the sister media outlet of the Epoch Times, pointing to the setting-up of military offices across China.
As the director of China policy at the Center for Security Policy and co-author of the book “Understanding the China Threat,” Thayer singled out the Chinese spy balloon that traversed the United States for a week before being shot down on Feb. 4.
“The balloon, to my mind, was a signal: It was not just an intelligence collection operation, but it was a signal that the Chinese Communist Party is not going to leave the American homeland alone,” he said.
“If war comes, they’re going to target the United States, in the United States—the American people themselves.”…
Iranian Warships Docking in Latin America Reflects New Axis of Power, Analysts Say
From the article:
Iran appears to be making good on its claim to put warships in the Panama Canal before the end of 2023, but analysts say that’s just the beginning.
Last week, Brazil permitted two Iranian warships to moor off Rio de Janeiro’s famous beaches. The event occurred between Feb. 26 and March 4, causing a stir among democratic nations throughout the region.
Political and security insiders say the arrival of the warships is a consequence of a new wave of leftist leaders who’ve swept across Latin America in recent years, including Brazil’s new president.
And Iran is capitalizing on its strong ties to socialist regimes in the region.
“The big picture here doesn’t look good,” Brazil’s former minister of foreign affairs, Ernesto Araujo, told The Epoch Times.
Araujo said it was alarming to see his native country roll out the red carpet for Iranian warships. “I’m very concerned as a Brazilian and as someone who has an idea of what Iran is up to in the world.”
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva—commonly known as Lula—embraced the arrival of the vessels IRIS Makran and IRIS Dena on Feb. 26 after more than a month’s delay.
The timing was no coincidence, but rather a strategic hold due to Lula’s plan to visit U.S. President Joe Biden on Jan. 13.
Documentation from the ministry of defense in Brazil shows the warships were originally authorized to enter the port of Rio de Janeiro on the same day as Lula’s Biden visit….
On The Homefront
China Currently attacking Critical Ecostructure
US Risks Losing Its Pension Funds in China: Expert
From the article:
The United States risks losing its pension funds in China as the regime seeks to undermine the economic base of America, warned Gregory Copley, president of the International Strategic Studies Association.
Billionaire investor Mark Mobius recently said that the Chinese regime has taken “very significant” action to prevent him from withdrawing capital from Chinese equities since his HSBC account is situated in Shanghai.
“I can’t get an explanation of why they’re doing this. It’s just amazing. They’re putting [up] all kinds of barriers,” Mobius told the Fox Business Network on March 2. “They don’t say, ‘No, you can’t get your money out,’ but they say, ‘Give us all the records from 20 years of how you’ve made this money’ and so forth. It’s crazy.”
Copley told NTD’s “China in Focus”: “There’s a global fiction abroad at the moment, which is that the economy in the People’s Republic of China is in for a soft landing. It’s not going to be that soft. It’s going to be one which has worldwide ramifications because it will cut into the pension funds, particularly of people around the world but particularly the retirees in the United States.”
BlackRock, the world’s largest investment manager, is the first foreign-owned company to receive a license to operate in China’s $3.5 trillion mutual fund industry, Forbes reported.
Meanwhile, many state governments in the United States have invested their pension funds with BlackRock. According to a 2021 report (pdf) from Consumers’ Research, Washington, Florida, and New York were the top three investors, investing $13.8 billion, $10.7 billion, and $9.8 billion, respectively,
Undermining the West Amid Economic Woes…
Blackrock not to be trusted!