Archive for the 'Russia' Category



Communists Are The Same Everywhere

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

News from Russia.

President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to the victims on Monday and immediately ordered authorities to tighten up gun regulations.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had ordered the head of Russia’s National Guard that oversees gun ownership to develop new rules for the type of weapons civilians are permitted to possess. Peskov said the change was needed to address to assault weapons sometimes being improperly classed as hunting rifles.

Russia’s National Guard quickly said it would fulfil Putin’s order to develop the new rules in coordination with other government bodies.

Sounds like something you’d hear from the American communists.

Stay Out Of Conflict With Russia

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Michael Yon.

United States must stay out. This is not our war. We are not global 911.

This is a strategic trap. Reserve our force for CCP.

My estimation: Russia will attack under the upcoming Comanche Moon — if weather is clear.

Truth spoken.  This isn’t our conflict.  We have no compelling interest in engagement.  If we go to war with Russian troops, unprepared, untrained, fat boys and girls will come home on body bags.

On the other hand, the DoD has driven most patriots out of the military (save the USMC).  It would be the sons and daughters of “woke” parents who perish.

I’m glad my son is out of the Marine Corps.  He is too.

We won’t be “saving” our troops for China or anyone else.  China will take Taiwan and the U.S. won’t lift a finger to stop it.

I Don’t Think I Want To Train With These Guys

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

Russian Agents Were Behind Yahoo Attack, U.S. Says

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

Remember when I said this?

Here is something else.  Since some of the malware is stolen from Russia, no one can ever, ever again trust the CIA when they say something like “this malware or hacking attack has a known Russian [or any other country for that matter] signature.”  Never.  Not that I ever trusted the CIA anyway.

NYT:

The Justice Department charged two Russian intelligence officers on Wednesday with directing a sweeping criminal conspiracy that stole data on 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014, deepening the rift between American and Russian authorities on cybersecurity.

The Russian government used the information obtained by the intelligence officers and two other men to spy on a range of targets, from White House and military officials to executives at banks, two American cloud computing companies, an airline and even a gambling regulator in Nevada, according to an indictment. The stolen data was also used to spy on Russian government officials and business executives, federal prosecutors said.

Russians have been accused of other cyberattacks on the United States — most notably the theft of emails last year from the Democratic National Committee. But the Yahoo case is the first time that federal prosecutors have brought cybercrime charges against Russian intelligence officials, according to the Justice Department.

Particularly galling to American investigators was that the two Russian intelligence agents they say directed the scheme, Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev and Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, worked for an arm of Russia’s Federal Security Service, or F.S.B., that is supposed to help foreign intelligence agencies catch cybercriminals. Instead, the officials helped the hackers avoid detection.

I don’t believe you.  See how that works?

The Creepiness Of Putin-Love

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

Via WRSA, this from Zero Hedge:

Here it is crucial to remember that no Ukrainian politician has any real power, not even Poroshenko, Iatseniuk or Turchinov.  The real rulers of the Ukraine are the US ambassador and the Kiev CIA station chief.  These are the people who literally administer the Nazi junta on behalf of the US deep state and its imperial interests.  As for the Ukrainian members of the junta, they all perfectly understand that their future is 100% dependent on being a faithful servant of the AngloZionist Empire.  They all understand that they came to power by means of an completely illegal coup, that the elections they organized this year were a total farce and that they will soon have to use repressive measures against their own population just to stay in power …

Simply put, there is nobody on this planet which has done more to oppose the AngloZionist Empire than Vladimir Putin.  I think that the hysterical and vicious demonization campaign against him in the western media is the best proof of that.

You can read all of it at Zero Hedge.  Good grief, and a thousand good griefs.  This comment best sums up my initial reaction to the post.

This guy is a moron. Example – “the AngloZionist Empire”. Nuff said. He’s just another facist with a Putin man crush.

No one has invaded Russia, but Russia has taken openly hostile action to regain territory lost in the Soviet break up. This is really quite undeniable unless you are a facist Putin man crusher. Poland and the Baltic states have been invaded by Russia so many times over the centuries. Their fear of Russia is quite real and well founded. When the Russians invade, there tends to be a lot rape and out and out murder of innocent people (like mass shootings of army officers, politicians, etc.) and the then general rape of the land and its wealth, with political and cultural oppression.

The idea NATO would ever invade Russia is perposterous (sic). A least the moron writer gets that right. It is not perposterous that smaller countries that have been invaded by Russians on numerous occassions throughout history might seek to voluntarily join a defensive alliance like NATO to ward off another Russina invasion. In fact, the act is quite rational.

Ok, so here come the America and Jews suck fusilade. If you think the USA is an opressive (sic) empire, how can you possibly support Russia? If you were logically consistant (sic), you would have to dislike both. The only conclusion is you are a facist with a supressed (sic) homo-erotic crush on Putin. I can really see no other alternative.

And I will say one more time, there is no grand plan, either by the Russians, or the US, or NATO, or the Jooooos. They are all people and, as such, are far too disorganized and incompetent to have anything close to a grand plan. Mainly, people just react to events.

Listen folks.  You can hate the EU/Fed/Banker cabal all you want.  But here’s a news flash for you.  Putin is a communist (or at the very least, a uber-nationalist and Fascist), and he wants to control the world like all Fascists.  He is a former KGB knuckle smasher and strongman, an enforcer for the state.  He has his own fan-boys, and he is the very definition of totalitarian.

Furthermore, the Soviet Union existed for one reason alone: communist-sympathizer FDR gave away Eastern Europe to create the communist bloc after World War II.  The very existence of the Soviet Union was illegitimate, and certainly the Ukraine wanting to exist as it did before being starved by the communists isn’t illegitimate.  It isn’t illegal, it is entirely understandable and sensible.  Most of the Ukraine doesn’t want to exist as communists, and they’re willing to perish for that belief.

The history of Russia is totalitarianism, witness the history of the Eastern Orthodox Church which has resolutely failed to speak truth to power, turning inward to liturgy and navel gazing exercises (as allowed by the state) rather than providing a check and balance on the power of the state.  Communists – whether Putin or Obama – are communists, and none of them deserve your support or advocacy.

The Putin worship I see around the web is both sickening and creepy, as sickening and creepy as Obama worship.  But specifically I’m saying to the American patriot community, it is unbecoming, weird and wholly inconsistent with your view of man, church and state.

Russia Sending Ships With Marines To Syrian Waters

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 11 months ago

I’m a little late to the punch here, but it appears as if Russia is testing its expeditionary warfighting skills.

Amid the continued uprising in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry on Friday issued somewhat contradictory statements about a group of its naval warships steaming into the eastern Mediterranean.

The first statement said the warships were not planning to call on Tartus, a naval base Russia maintains in Syria. The second, issued several hours later, said it was possible that service boats from the group might call on Tartus to replenish supplies “if the time period of the trip is extended.”

Earlier in the day, Interfax quoted an unnamed Defense Ministry source as saying three landing assault ships, an anti-submarine ship and four smaller vessels might call on Tartus by Sunday. The ships are carrying a contingent of about 360 marines and amphibious armored personnel carriers.

The source didn’t specify whether the marines would remain in Tartus or leave with the warships. Tartus is a small port and won’t be able to dock more than two warships at a time, the source said.

Defense experts debated whether the naval group might be in the region to evacuate Russians based in Syria.

“I am absolutely confident that most likely their task will be to evacuate the personnel and equipment of the base,” Alexander Golts, a defense expert and deputy editor-in-chief of the popular liberal online publication Yezhednevny Zhurnal, said in an interview.

“However, this group is not sufficient enough to evacuate from 30,000 to 60,000 Russian citizens working and living in Syria,” Golts said, “unless the marines will be ordered to gain control of a landing strip at Damascus airport and help establish an air-bridge to take all Russians out.”

“Whatever their task, it is clear that given the rapidly deteriorating situation in Syria the Kremlin wants to have some sort of military presence close to its shores,” Golts added.

Uh huh.  360 Marines, barely more than a company.  And expeditionary warfighting is hard work.  It is fraught with difficulties – ships that leak, ships that break, parts that fracture, lack of replacement parts, the need to weld and perform complex in-situ refurbishment and maintenance, the need for replenishment of resources, the need for at-sea supply, the need for fuel, the need for involved medical treatment up to and including complex surgery, the need for egress from the sea-borne crafts should they fail, the need for air transport to and from the sea-borne craft, the need to be able to perform complex maintenance on that air transport, the need for complex logistics, and so on.

And in this case, they need all of the Marines necessary to be able to perform the mission.  360 isn’t nearly enough.  Should they actually be needed for land-based operations, they see combat, or they cannot use the port if it is not secure, this is a disaster in the making.

The Russians are curious about their current ability to conduct expeditionary warfare, and as commenter and loyal reader Jean and I remarked to each other, so are we.  While it is sad that the Middle East has devolved into a morass (at least in part I fault the current U.S. administration for that), this seems to be an opportunity for us.  It’s time to retask all available satellites, and queue up the signals intelligence.  I want to know how the Russians do at this.

Reset With Russia Didn’t Work So Well

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 2 months ago

Remember this visit to Moscow?  Remember this goofy-ass picture?

Perhaps the button has malfunctioned.

Russia’s most senior military officer said Thursday that Moscow would preemptively strike and destroy U.S.-led NATO missile defense sites in Eastern Europe if talks with Washington about the developing system continue to stall.

“A decision to use destructive force preemptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.

The threat comes as talks about the missile defense system, which the U.S. and its allies insist is aimed at Iranian missiles, appear to have stalled.

“We have not been able to find mutually-acceptable solutions at this point and the situation is practically at a dead end,” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.

Perhaps a better idea would be a reset in our so-called “smart diplomacy.”

It’s Time To Engage the Caucasus Part III

BY Herschel Smith
9 years, 7 months ago

From The Times of India:

The US is now less dependent on Pakistan for supply of cargo for its troops fighting al-Qaida and Taliban  militants in Afghanistan, a Congressional report said today, amid a standoff between Washington and Islamabad over supplies through the country.

The Senate committee report said that only 29% of the total Afghan cargo supply now goes through Pakistan; which about an year ago was nearly 50%.

Islamabad has closed the crucial Nato supply route from Pakistan after the November 26th airstrikes that killed 24 of its soldiers.

“An estimated 40% of all cargo transits the NDN (Northern Distribution Network), 31% is shipped by air, and the remaining 29% goes through Pakistan. An estimated 70% of cargo transiting the NDN enters Afghanistan via Uzbekistan’s Hairaton Gate,” the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said.

Since 2009, the US has steadily increased traffic on the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), a major logistical accomplishment.

According to US Transportation Command, close to 75 per cent of ground sustainment cargo is now shipped via the NDN, it said.

As a result of increasing dependence on NDN for supply of logistics and cargo to its troops in Afghanistan, Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee emphasized that there was a need to build relationship with the Central Asia countries.

“Central Asia matters. Its countries are critical to the outcome in Afghanistan and play a vital role in regional stability. As we reassure our partners that our relationships and engagement in Afghanistan will continue after the military transition in 2014, we should underscore that we have long-term strategic interests in the broader region,” Kerry said.

And of course, you heard about the need for this transition here before you heard about it anywhere else.  But there is a catch.  Kerry is right – Central Asia matters, but our lines of logistics now rely exclusively on routes through Central Asia and Russia (whereas I had recommended a logistics line from the Mediterranean Sea through the Bosporus Strait in Turkey, and from there into the Black Sea.  From the Black Sea the supplies would go through Georgia to neighboring Azerbaijan.  From here the supplies would transit across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan, and from there South to Afghanistan).  The added benefit of such a logistics line would be increased spending, influence and authority in the region, a region heavy in oil and natural gas.

The Caucasus region matters too.  From The Jamestown Foundation:

The “disbalance of interests” (see EDM, December 15), favoring Russia over the United States in the South Caucasus, used to be offset by superior US resources, attractiveness and credibility. But that offset has diminished as US policy turned toward de-prioritizing this region (compared with the earlier level of Washington’s engagement). Lacking a strategy for the South Caucasus, the US has taken a back seat to Russia at least since 2008 in the negotiations on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

Washington had reduced its profile and role on this issue (and on South Caucasus regional security writ large) already during the second term of the Bush administration. It folded the Karabakh conflict portfolio into other portfolios within the State Department; it handled this issue through medium-level diplomats versus Russia’s top leaders; and it separated this issue from US regional strategy, which was itself fading out. Under the Obama administration, the policy drift grew more pronounced, with domestic politics distorting US diplomacy on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.

Takeaway point: “Lacking a Strategy.”  Read the whole report.  What other administration could pull off such a feat?  We have transitioned our logistics lines to the North (as I recommended almost three years ago), all the while alienating the Caucasus region in favor of Russian routes.  Meanwhile, while every other nation is preparing to cut and run from Afghanistan, including the U.K., Georgia is literally doubling down on its troop levels in Afghanistan.

What a strange world in which we live.  Georgia is begging to be our ally, assisting us in Afghanistan at their own peril, and we have the chance to increase U.S. authority and presence in the Caucasus, and choose instead to empower Russia.  Again, what other administration could pull off something like this?

It’s Time To Engage the Caucasus

It’s Time To Engage the Caucasus Part II

U.S. Agrees to Divulge British Nuclear Secrets to Russia

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 5 months ago

From The Telegraph:

Information about every Trident missile the US supplies to Britain will be given to Russia as part of an arms control deal signed by President Barack Obama next week.

Duncan Lennox, editor of Jane’s Strategic Weapons Systems, said: “They want to find out whether Britain has more missiles than we say we have, and having the unique identifiers might help them.”

Professor Malcolm Chalmers said: “This appears to be significant because while the UK has announced how many missiles it possesses, there has been no way for the Russians to verify this. Over time, the unique identifiers will provide them with another data point to gauge the size of the British arsenal.”

Defence analysts claim the agreement risks undermining Britain’s policy of refusing to confirm the exact size of its nuclear arsenal.

The fact that the Americans used British nuclear secrets as a bargaining chip also sheds new light on the so-called “special relationship”, which is shown often to be a one-sided affair by US diplomatic communications obtained by the WikiLeaks website.

Details of the behind-the-scenes talks are contained in more than 1,400 US embassy cables published to date by the Telegraph, including almost 800 sent from the London Embassy, which are published online today.

Although the treaty was not supposed to have any impact on Britain, the leaked cables show that Russia used the talks to demand more information about the UK’s Trident missiles, which are manufactured and maintained in the US.

Washington lobbied London in 2009 for permission to supply Moscow with detailed data about the performance of UK missiles. The UK refused, but the US agreed to hand over the serial numbers of Trident missiles it transfers to Britain.

The Telegraph is referring to the New START treaty already ratified by the U.S. Senate, and for which Secretary Gates lobbied.  I had previously argued that the treaty was one-sided and brought the U.S. no discernible advantage in any area of weapons or nuclear technology, or foreign policy.  When Ronald Reagan advocated for the initial START treaty, even Time Magazine noted that it was one-sided in favor of the U.S., a fact which caused Time incorrectly to predict its failure.  Reagan negotiated from a position of strength.

But what we’ve learned now goes past a bad treaty – and it was a bad treaty.  It goes to reputation, to status, to honoring allies and friendships, to standing.  It makes this administration out to be pusillanimous weasels willing to sell out even our closest friends to enemies and criminals for a mere smattering of success on the world stage.

We pressed the reset button in foreign policy with Russia, but Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev viewed this as having made us sniveling lackeys.  Our enemies think we are fools and clowns, while our allies cannot trust us.  So much for success on the world stage.  Mr. Obama, we all knew Ronald Reagan, and you sir are no Ronald Reagan.

It’s Time to Engage the Caucasus Part II

BY Herschel Smith
10 years, 6 months ago

After discussing the recent disputations that have occurred between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Stephen Blank goes on to make recommendations for greater U.S. engagement in the Caucasus.

The U.S. has displayed indifference, or at least apathy, toward the situation. This needs to change. Armenia’s threats reflect the facts that NATO disregarded Armenia’s claims and that the OSCE, largely because of distrust between the U.S. and Russia, cannot bring itself to function as intended (i.e., as a mediator). But the threats also reflect the fact that behind most of the headlines, this has been a very good year for Azerbaijan in its international relations, particularly its energy diplomacy. As a result, Azerbaijan has become more strategically important to the West, including the U.S.

Baku has stood its ground with Moscow. While doubling gas exports to Russia, it signed a major deal with BP to develop new gas holdings off its shores, thus not only maintaining its energy independence, but also demonstrating the importance of the planned Nabucco pipeline to Europe. Azerbaijan has also visibly improved its relations with Turkmenistan, to the point where a Turkmen decision to send its gas to Europe through pipes traversing Azerbaijan is now quite conceivable. Further, Azerbaijan signed a four-party deal to build an Interconnector that will send Azeri gas through Georgia and the Black Sea en route to Romania and then Hungary. This deal enhances Azerbaijan’s importance to Southeastern Europe as a reliable supplier of oil and gas. Also in 2010, Azerbaijan improved its ties and signed an energy agreement with Turkey.

While these agreements cannot hide the fact that no progress was made on Nagorno-Karabakh — over 30 serious incidents occur daily on the “Line of Contact” there — they do show Azerbaijan’s growing importance to Europe and self-confidence in international affairs. Armenia, by contrast, has little to show for its efforts except continuing dependence upon Russia. For example, because of its refusal to negotiate with Azerbaijan, Armenia remains estranged from Turkey — a situation that decreases Armenia’s GDP by 15 percent. Recent reports show that Armenia ran weapons to Iran, something that will hardly endear it to the West.

Blank goes on to describe the disaster that would be open war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and then concludes with this:

The 2008 Russo-Georgian War showed that even small wars in the Transcaucasus can have repercussions that far transcend the region. Failure to take an active role in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh issue not only cements Armenia’s dependence upon Moscow and estrangement from Turkey and Europe; it also undermines the success Azerbaijan has had in strengthening Europe’s position vis-à-vis Russia on energy security. Continued neglect of Azerbaijan, and of the Transcaucasus as a whole, can only erode U.S. standing and damage its credibility in the region, confirming Russia’s belief that the reset policy amounts to an acknowledgement of its right to a sphere of influence over the Commonwealth of Independent States. Under the circumstances, the ongoing failure of the U.S. to play an active role here makes no sense at all — and worse, encourages the drift to war.

I had initially advocated engagement of the Caucasus region for at least two purposes, namely logistics (as an alternative to the troublesome line of logistics through the Khyber region or the increasingly troublesome Chamen area), and as a barrier to Russian assertion of influence in what it considers its “near abroad.”

Hidden, or perhaps simply assumed in my prose, was the understanding that the Caucasus region is oil and natural gas rich.  Blank recognizes that the Caucasus is strategically important due not only to its oil and gas, but also as a potential way to blunt the force of Russian hegemony (or possible developing Russian hegemony).

So there are three good reasons to engage the Caucasus: (1) Oil and gas, (2) as a barrier to Russian influence (see Rapidly Collapsing U.S. Foreign Policy for as discussion of Russian basing rights and logistics in Armenia), and (3) as an already-proven line of logistics to Afghanistan in lieu of Pakistan.  Actually, as Stephen Blank points out, in spite of the fear mongers who believe that Georgia will drag us into a war with Russia, there is a fourth good reason to engage the Caucasus region: to prevent war from occurring.

I don’t hold out high hopes that the Obama administration will pursue engagement of the Caucasus, as I am not convinced that they care about any of the above justifications that we have offered.  However, Russia is not our friend, we still need logistics to Afghanistan, our automobiles and trucks still need to run in order to support our economy, and war between Armenia and Azerbaijan would be a humanitarian disaster.

Prior: It’s Time to Engage the Caucasus


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