Wednesday, September 3, 2014
A Russian general has called for Russia to revamp its military doctrine, last updated in 2010, to clearly identify the U.S. and its NATO allies as Moscow's enemy number one and spell out the conditions under which Russia would launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the 28-member military alliance, Interfax reported Wednesday.
Russia's military doctrine, a strategy document through which the government interprets military threats and crafts possible responses, is being revised in light of threats connected to the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war and the conflict in Ukraine, the deputy chief of the Kremlin's security council told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
But within the Defense Ministry there are voices calling for different priorities.
"First and foremost, the likely enemy of Russia should be clearly identified in this strategic document, something absent from the 2010 military doctrine. In my view, our primary enemy is the U.S. and the North Atlantic bloc," General Yury Yakubov, a senior Defense Ministry official, was quoted as saying by Interfax.
The 2010 doctrine defines NATO expansion as a threat to Russian national security and reaffirms its right to use nuclear weapons in a defensive posture, but stops far short of declaring NATO as Moscow's primary adversary and laying preemptive nuclear strike scenarios on the table, a posture unmistakably reminiscent of the Cold War.
Yakubov said the information war being waged over the crisis in Ukraine — where the West accuses Russia of arming separatists fighting the government in Kiev — and NATO's announcement that it would establish a permanent military presence in Eastern Europe have validated earlier fears that the alliance's claims of non-aggression toward Russia were insincere.
The general added that special attention should be paid to integrating the functions of the newly created Air and Space Defense Forces with Russia's land, sea and air based nuclear forces. "In addition, it is necessary to hash out the conditions under which Russia could carry out a preemptive strike with the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces," he said.
Credit to The Moscow Times
"The stock market is at an all-time, but economic activity is not at an all-time," explains billionaire investor Sam Zell to CNBC this morning, adding that, "every company that's missed has missed on the revenue side, which is a reflection that there's a demand issue; and when you got a demand issue it's hard to imagine the stock market at an all-time high." Zell said he is being very cautious adding to stocks and cutting some positions because "I don't remember any time in my career where there have been as many wildcards floating out there that have the potential to be very significant and alter people's thinking." Zell also discussed his view on Obama's Fed encouraging disparity and on tax inversions, but concludes, rather ominously, "this is the first time I ever remember where having cash isn't such a terrible thing." Zell's calls should not be shocking following George Soros. Stan Druckenmiller, and Carl Icahn's warnings that there is trouble ahead.
Billionaire 1: Sam Zell
On Stocks and reality...
"People have no place else to put their money, and the stock market is getting more than its share. It's very likely that something has to give here.""I don't remember any time in my career where there have been as many wildcards floating out there that have the potential to be very significant and alter people's thinking," he said. "If there's a change in confidence or some international event that changes the dynamics, people could in effect take a different position with reference to the market.""It's almost every company that's missed has missed on the revenue side, which is a reflection that there's a demand issue," he said. "When you got a demand issue it's hard to imagine the stock market at an all-time high."He also lamented about how difficult it is to call a market top. "If you're wrong on when, that's a problem." His answer: "You got to tiptoe ... and find the right balance.""This is the first time I ever remember where having cash isn't such a terrible thing, despite the fact that interest rates are as low as they are," he added.
Billionaire 2: George Soros
Soros has once again increased his total SPY Put to a new record high of $2.2 billion, or nearly double the previous all time high, and a whopping 17% of his total AUM.
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Billionaire 3: Carl Icahn
Ironically, Carl Icahn - poster-child of the leveraged financial engineering that has overtaken US equity markets on the back of Central Bank largesse - told CNBC that he was "very nervous" about US equity markets. Reflecting on Yellen's apparent cluelessness of the consequences of her actions, and fearful of the build of derivative positions, Icahn says he's "worried" because if Yellen does not understand the end-game then "there's no argument - you have to worry about the excesssive printing of money!"
Billionaire 4: Stan Druckenmiller
Simply put, Druckenmiller concludes, rather ominously, "I am fearful that today our obsession with what will happen to markets and the economy in the near term is causing us to misjudge the accumulation of much greater long term risks to our economy."
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And here the BIS explains broken markets so easily, even a Janet Yellen can get it:
Financial markets have been exuberant over the past year, [...] dancing mainly to the tune of central bank decisions. Volatility in equity, fixed income and foreign exchange markets has sagged to historical lows. Obviously, market participants are pricing in hardly any risks.
Growth has picked up, but long-term prospects are not that bright. Financial markets are euphoric, but progress in strengthening banks’ balance sheets has been uneven and private debt keeps growing. Macroeconomic policy has little room for manoeuvre to deal with any untoward surprises that might be sprung, including a normal recession.
Credit to Zero Hedge
Almost 13,000 agencies in all 50 states and four U.S. territories participate in the military “recycling” program, and the share of equipment and weaponry gifted each year continues to expand. In 2011, $500 million worth of military equipment was distributed to law enforcement agencies throughout the country. That number jumped to $546 million in 2012.
Since 1990, $4.2 billion worth of equipment has been transferred from the Defense Department to domestic police agencies through the 1033 program, in addition to various other programs supposedly aimed at fighting the so-called War on Drugs and War on Terror. For example, the Department of Homeland Security has delivered roughly $34 billion to police departments & colleges.
According to a December 2011 report, “The homeland security market for state and local agencies is projected to reach $19.2 billion by 2014, up from an estimated $15.8 billion in fiscal 2009.”
Since 2006, through the 1033 program, the Pentagon has distributed:
79,288 assault rifles
205 grenade launchers
3,972 combat knives
$124 million worth of night-vision equipment, including night-vision sniper scopes
479 bomb detonator robots
50 airplanes, including 27 cargo transport airplanes
More than $3.6 million worth of camouflage gear and other “deception equipment”
Now colleges & universities are acquiring armored vehicles & assault rifles!
Ohio State University last year received a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle, commonly referred to as an urban assault vehicle. It includes a turret, gun ports and a battering ram for those hard-to-get-into dorm rooms. Florida State University also has a ginormous and intimidating Army Humvee.
The University of Maryland garnered a $65,000 armored truck, 16 “riot type” 12-gauge shotguns, 49 M16 rifles, and a handful of other items, according to Pentagon data reported on by The Baltimore Sun. What’s more, Coppin State University received five 12-gauge shotguns and 29 40-caliber Glock pistols, and Morgan State University got six 12-gauge shotguns and 13 M16 or M14 rifles, The Sunreports.
Last year in Columbia, Mo., its police force, which handles much of the security at the University of Missouri, picked up its own $200,000, ground-pounding behemoth. The vehicle is called a “Bearcat” which is an acronym for “Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck.”
The Miami New Times reports that at Florida International University, “FIU police have obtained 50 M16 assault rifles and a mine-resistant vehicle.”
A recent Freedom of Information Act request by MuckRock, a data aggregating website, found more than 100 college campuses with police departments have received goodies from the Pentagon.
“The institutions include community colleges, large research universities, liberal arts campuses and entire college systems,”Politico reports.
Click here to view colleges & police departments in MA who’ve received military gear.
It’s doled out for free through the Defense Department’s 1033 program, which distributes complimentary items to city and county municipalities and police departments as well.
The 1033 program — called 1208 before Congress revised it in 1996 — was etched out of the National Defense Authorization Act, which was, itself, a piece of legislation passed in 1996 for the purposes of arming police departments in large terrorist-centric cities with military weapons.
Not all of the equipment is weaponry. For example, along with BearCats, rifles and MRAPs, the Defense Department has also given popcorn machines, meat slicers, bouncy castles (for the kids, you know), and Xbox games, Reason reports.
The list of 1033 Defense Department hand outs does not detail what agency got what. The data only shows, in general terms, the state where military-grade equipment was sent.
Take, for example, one of the smallest universities to receive items from the DOD: Lincoln University, a small college located in Missouri’s state Capitol, Jefferson City. Lincoln boasts a student and faculty population of just over 3,000, yet it is the only university in Missouri currently receiving DOD equipment directly.
The Lincoln University Police Department refused to comment to The College Fix on the kind of military-gear the department received from the DOD’s program.
The following story from NPR is a typical response from police depts. acquiring military equipment:
The Pentagon gave John Thomas, sheriff of Page County, Va., a gigantic MRAP — meant to withstand roadside bombs in Iraq — in May.
As he drives through the Shenandoah Valley, Thomas says he did give some thought to getting one. “When we looked at acquiring the MRAP, I looked very strongly at the public — political opinions and the political climate,” he says.
Thomas says he knew some might question why Page County needed an MRAP. “And I knew that there was a lot of anti-use of military equipment by police forces. But what most people don’t understand is that an MRAP is nothing but a truck with a big bulletproof box on it. There is no offensive — the ones that we get — there is no offensive capability.”
A tag on the front of the 39,000-pound MRAP says the vehicle is worth $733,000 — but all Page County had to pay was the cost of shipping it from a refurbishing plant in Texas. Thomas says for this rural county’s 25,000 inhabitants, it was a good deal.
“Is it overkill? Yeah, it is. I mean, for our use, it’s more armor than we need. But it’s free,” he said.
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), who plans to introduce legislation to end the Defense Department’s 1033 program, has cited the growing trend of giving military equipment to campus police as well as police departments as part of his motivation.
But college police departments argue the program is a vital resource to help ensure campus safety.
Florida International Police Chief Alexander Casas, asked about their procurement of military-grade rifles, told Politico that his officers “know well the difference between our role as law enforcement for our university community and the role of the military. This equipment allows us to be better prepared to respond to a variety of critical incidents, from active shooter incidents to disaster recovery.”
And Florida State’s Humvee was cited with helping the clean-up effort after a sever campus flood. Maryland campus officials told The Sun the M16s are for “training purposes.” The University of Maryland has also had several student riots after athletic games.
“Schools and police officials will cite Virginia Tech or Columbine as reason for needing SWAT teams or armored vehicles, but the average campus can expect to see a homicide once every several thousand years,” Radley Balko told The College Fix last year.
Credit to From the Trenches World Report