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Friday, July 24, 2015

Nuclear Buildup in EU: Who Benefits From Aggravating US-Russian Tensions?

Image result for Nuclear Buildup in EU: Who Benefits From Aggravating US-Russian Tensions?While beefing up NATO's military presence in Europe Washington should refrain from deploying more US nuclear weapons in EU countries, senior fellow of the Brookings Institution Steven Pifer said.
According to Steven Pifer, a senior fellow and director of the Arms Control Initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., the Pentagon is currently considering re-deployment of US nuclear weapons in Europe in order to counterbalance Russia's "threat."
However, the expert considers such a move "not a good response," claiming that it would be both useless and risky. According to Pifer, NATO should "maintain its lead in numbers of key conventional weapons" in Europe.
Pifer insisted that Russia poses a substantial threat to the European security order. Referring to the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, that stipulated that "states should not use force to change borders," the expert went so far as to falsely claim that Russia "seized Crimea militarily" in 2014. Pifer also stated that Russia is providing the Donbas independence supporters with "heavy weapons, leadership and Russian soldiers," presenting no evidence to confirm his other false claim.
Curiously enough, the expert has seemingly forgotten that the US/NATO military aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999, launched under false pretenses, had dramatically changed the borders of Europe.
Furthermore, the Brookings Institution expert presented an imaginary scenario of Russia's attack against the Baltics, suggesting that the Kremlin may even use its non-strategic nuclear arsenal to take over the former Soviet Republics. This groundless allegation sounds especially fishy, since Pifer is referring to some unknown "classified Russian [military] doctrine" and some "considerable talk" in Russia about "'de-escalating a conflict by using small, non-strategic nuclear weapons."
"To be clear, this is not a likely scenario, nor is any Russian conventional military operation against a Baltic state," the expert admitted, adding "But is the probability zero? Three years ago, few would have foreseen what the Russian military has done in Crimea and Donbass."
Anyway, the latter still cannot be regarded as a convincing argument.
It should be noted that Pifer is not the only US expert who is beating the war drums about Russia's phantom menace. The Pentagon report entitled 2015 National Military Strategy obviously targets Russia and China, experts say.
Meanwhile the US Joint Chief of Staff nominee General Joseph Dunford has put it clear: "If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I'd have to point to Russia."
What are the true reasons for this warmongering?
The idea to re-deploy US nuclear weapons and to beef up NATO's military presence in Europe emerged long ago. The Heritage Foundation, a well-known neocon mouthpiece, issued a report entitled "US Nuclear Weapons in Europe: Critical for Transatlantic Security" just before the infamous February coup in Ukraine, claiming that the US and NATO should maintain and increase its nuclear presence in Europe.
"According to Heritage Foundation estimates, the US should increase its number of deployed TNWs [tactical nuclear weapons] in Europe from a few hundred today to a minimum of 800 weapons so that it is able to meet requirements of the protect and defend nuclear targeting strategy with respect to the Russian TNWs. These weapons should be modernized for rapid delivery. Heritage's approach also recognizes that the US targeting list will continually evolve in accordance with the threat to US interests and allies," the report stated.
The article shows that the US "party of war" had considered Russia a potential rival long before the Ukrainian crisis spiraled out of control.
Some experts suggest that the US "needs" some sort of an "external threat" to maintain its political, economic and military leadership.
After the collapse of the USSR, the US' longstanding rival, American conservative political scientist, adviser and academic Samuel P. Huntington wrote in 1997:
"Now, however, the end of the Cold War and social, intellectual, and demographic changes in American society have brought into question the validity and relevance of… traditional components of American identity."
"Without a sure sense of national identity, Americans have become unable to define their national interests, and as a result subnational commercial interests and transnational and non-national ethnic interests have come to dominate foreign policy," Huntington stressed.
It seems that the political scientist had nailed it: the US leadership has indeed become unable to define its true national interests, some experts acknowledge.
According to Director of the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation Sherle R. Schwenninger, it was hardly in America's national interests to oust the democratically elected Ukrainian president in 2014, or to alienate Russia and vex China, the US' longstanding trading partner.
Washington's sanctions policy against Moscow has only facilitated the creation of a new Eurasian alliance of Russia and China, which are now reshaping the economy of the region leaving the US out in the cold.
So, what forces are playing the first fiddle in Washington, urging the White House to drag the country into new overseas conflicts and increase its military spending?  US investigative journalist Robert Parry is pointing the finger at US neocons, who "still dominate Official Washington's inside-outside game." The journalist underscored that wars have long become a profitable business for transnational corporations and their influential lobbyists in the White House.
"So, to understand the enduring influence of the neocons… you have to appreciate the money connections between the business of war and the business of selling war," Parry remarked.
These wars cost trillions and trillions of dollars and multinational corporations including the US military-industrial complex benefit a lot from them. 

Credit to Sputnik

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150723/1024969193.html#ixzz3gp59aBCc

US to place AMD components in Poland despite Iranian deal

Image result for US to place AND components in Poland despite Iranian deal

US anti-missile systems will be placed in Poland despite world powers reaching an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, John A. Heffern, US Deputy Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, said.
TrendsMissile defense shield

“The deal with Tehran doesn’t include missiles, therefore the threat remains,” Heffern told Polish Rzeczpospolita newspaper Tuesday, adding that he was speaking about Iranian rockets without nuclear warheads.

According to the US diplomat, the construction of AMD components in the village of Redzikowo near the northern Polish town of Slupsk starts next year – as scheduled – and will be completed in 2018.

Washington’s plans to install anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe have been one of the biggest stumbling blocks in US-Russia relations.

Moscow refused to believe American explanations that the shield is needed to counter a possible attack from nuclear-capable Iran, considering it a threat to Russia’s national security.
Image result for US to place AND components in Poland despite Iranian deal

After Tehran agreed to curb its controversial nuclear program in exchange of easing of international sanction, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said that Washington’s AMD plans had no justification anymore.

“We all probably remember that in April 2009 in Prague [US] President [Barack] Obama said that if the Iran nuclear program issue is sorted out, then the task of creating the European segment of the missile defense system would disappear,” Lavrov stated at a press conference in Vienna.

READ MORE: Lavrov: Russia expects US to abandon Europe AMD plans after Iran deal

In his interview with Rzeczpospolita, Heffern also said that NATO isn’t going set up permanent bases in Poland.

“At the NATO summit in Warsaw in July next year, the adoption of resolutions to place permanent NATO bases in Poland will not take place,” the Deputy Secretary of State said.

The Polish government has repeatedly asked to deploy NATO military bases in the country due to the Russian threat.

“We will be [in Poland] for as long as is necessary,” Heffern said, promising that the US forces will maintain a “permanent rotating presence” in Poland.

Since Russia’s reunion with Crimea and the start of the military conflict in eastern Ukraine last spring, NATO forces have sharply increased military exercises along the Russian border – in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, organizing frequent drills in the region.

Russia responded with an increased number of flights of its Russian long-range ‘Bear’ or Tu-95 bombers in the vicinity of the airspace of NATO members and large-scale exercises on its own territory.

Credit to RT

Moscow Could Be Prepping for Space War With Aggressive New Satellites

Image result for Kosmos-2491, -2499, and -2504

The Kremlin says its nimble new satellites are just for communications. But they look—and act—an awful lot like prototype weapons.

On Christmas Day in 2013, a rocket blasted off from the Russian Federal Space Agency’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome, about 500 miles north of Moscow. The 95-foot-tall, 118-ton Rokot booster—an unarmed version of a Cold War nuclear-tipped missile—lanced into low orbit, shedding spent stages as it climbed.

Seventy-five miles above the Earth’s surface, the Rokot’s nose cracked open and its payload spilled out. The rocket carried Rodnik communications satellites, according to Russian officials.

It’s customary for Rodnik sats to deploy in threes, but in a notification to the United Nations, Moscow listed four spacecraft inside the Christmas Rokot.

The discrepancy was strange...and got stranger.

Rodnik sats, like most orbital spacecraft, don’t have engines and can’t move under their own power. So it came as a shock to some observers on the ground—a group including amateur satellite-spotters with radios and telescopes; radar-equipped civilian researchers; and military officials monitoring banks of high-tech sensors—when the Rokot’s fourth satellite, designated Kosmos-2491, moved, propelling itself into a slightly different orbit.

Whatever Kosmos-2491 was, it wasn’t some innocuous communications satellite. And over the next year and a half, Russia launched two more of the mysterious, maneuvering spacecraft, each time sneaking it into orbit as part of a routine commsat launch.

No one outside the Russian government, and perhaps the Pentagon, knows for sure what Kosmos-2491, -2499, and -2504 are for. But it’s clear enough what the three mystery sats could do, in theory. Zipping across orbital planes hundreds of thousands of feet above Earth, the nimble little spacecraft—which are apparently the size of a mini-refrigerator—are able to get really close to other satellites. Close as in a few dozen feet away.

And if they can get that close, the little robots could spy on, hijack, and even destroy other sats.

In other words, Kosmos-2491 and its triplets might be space weapons, the likes of which few other nations possess. And if so, they could upset the orbital balance of power, at a time when government agencies, armies, scientists, and everyday people—in the United States, especially—depend on satellites for communications, surveillance, science, and navigation.

“Our nation’s advantage in space is no longer a given,” U.S. Air Force General William Shelton, then head of Air Force Space Command, told Congress in March 2014. “The ever-evolving space environment is increasingly contested as potential adversary capabilities grow in both number and sophistication.”

Space Sleuths

Kosmos-2499 joined Kosmos-2491 in low orbit on May 23, 2014, piggybacking on another cluster of three commsats. Kosmos-2504 made its debut on March 31 this year—again, boosting into space alongside a trio of communications satellites.

The three mystery sats have stayed busy, firing their tiny engines to climb and dive hundreds of miles at a time, altering their velocity by hundreds of feet per second while playing chase with abandoned rocket stages and other hunks of space junk, apparently practicing for close passes on active satellites.

The U.S. military has watched all these maneuvers carefully. “As we do with all space objects—for space situational awareness purposes and to promote safe and responsible space operations—we are using our global network of sensors to watch Kosmos-2491, -2499, and -2504,” said Captain Nicholas Mercurio, an Air Force spokesman.

But the Pentagon won’t say exactly what it thinks the satellites are for. Nor, of course, will the Kremlin specify the crafts’ purpose. In a brief statement in December, Russian Federal Space Agency chief Oleg Ostapenko insisted the mystery sats were peaceful in nature and not, as outside observers feared, “killer satellites.”
“You can probably equip them with lasers, maybe put some explosives on them. If [one] comes very close to some military satellite, it probably can do some harm.”

But Ostapenko did not specify what supposedly peaceful purpose the craft do serve. And since then, Moscow has kept silent about the satellites. The Russian space agency didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

Undeterred by the lack of official comment, an international band of space nerds has taken it upon itself to solve the mystery of the three nimble spacecraft. In the summer of 2014, Russian radio enthusiast Dmitry Pashkov detected signals that he eventually traced back to Kosmos-2499.

Fellow radio aficionado Cees Bassa, who is Dutch, picked up similar chirps from the direction of the other mystery sats and connected the dots. “I was one of the first to confirm that the recent Kosmos-2504 satellite was transmitting on the same frequency as Kosmos 2491/2499, confirming the similarity between them,” Bassa said.

Uniting the space sleuths is Anatoly Zak, a Russian-born journalist and self-described “space historian.” Now living in the United States, Zak aggregates observations of Kosmos-2491 and its siblings at his website, Russianspaceweb.com.

Combining all the evidence, Zak concluded that the mystery craft are all similar in size and shape to Russia’s 200-pound Yubileiny experimental satellite—and are most likely weapons. “You can probably equip them with lasers, maybe put some explosives on them,” Zak said of the Kosmos triplets. “If [one] comes very close to some military satellite, it probably can do some harm.”

And even if the mystery sats aren’t armed themselves, they could be prototypes for bigger and better follow-on spacecraft that are armed, Zak added. “Looking at the history of space technology, it often starts with a small and cheap satellite that’s easy to launch, then the same technology gets incorporated into something larger.”

Credit to The Daily Beast

Kerry Defends Nuke Deal and Iran Threatens Israel

Obama’s Ten Commandments for Christians, Constitutionalists and Caucasians

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Thou shalt have no other false Gods before me, such as freedom, financial independence and the worship of Jesus Christ


As it is written in the holy scriptures of Obamacare, honor thy “real” father and thy mother until they need to be sacrificed by my exalted death panels


Thou shalt not possess unto thee any graven images and this shall include copies of my fake long-form birth certificate


Remember to keep the tax day holy, April 15th, for it is written, that he that has enough to eat shall be taxed into oblivion.


Thou shalt not kill, unless operating under the authority of the NDAA, seeking to abort a helpless baby, or unless the victims name is Chris Stevens and he runs guns for the CIA, to ISIS and al-Qaeda, into first Libya and then Syria.


Thou shalt not commit adultery unless you are a senior member of my cabinet, then, anything that possesses breath is fair game for thy personal pleasure.


Thou shalt not discriminate against thy fellow citizens unless they are Caucasian, Christian, or believes in the Constitution.


Thou shalt not steal, unless you are a recipient of QE3, own a megabank or are a community organizer. Only then is it acceptable to take money from middle class Americans and give it to illegal immigrants and your campaign contributors at the Federal Reserve and on Wall Street.


Thou Shalt not make unto thee any graven image unless it is the hammer and sickle.


Thou shalt consume GMO’s, fluoride and partake in vaccines.
Always watching over my flock.
Always watching over my flock.

 The fate of unbelievers.
The fate of unbelievers.

I prepared a place for thee.
I have prepared a place for thee.
 Credit to Common Sense

Copper, China And World Trade Are All Screaming That The Next Economic Crisis Is Here

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If you are looking for a “canary in a coal mine” type of warning for the entire global economy, you have a whole bunch to pick from right now.  “Dr. Copper” just hit a six year low, Morgan Stanley is warning that this could be the worst oil price crash in 45 years, the Chinese economy is suddenly stalling out, and world trade is falling at the fastest pace that we have seen since the last financial crisis.  
In order not to see all of the signs that are pointing toward a global economic slowdown, you would have to be willingly blind.  In recent months, I have been writing article after article detailing how the exact same patterns that happened just before the stock market crash of 2008 are playing out once again.  We are watching a slow-motion train wreck unfold right before our eyes, and things are only going to get worse from here.
Copper is referred to as “Dr. Copper” because it does such an excellent job of indicating where economic conditions are heading next.  We saw this in 2008, when the price of copper started crashing big time in the months leading up to the stock market implosion.
Well, now copper is crashing again.  Just check out this chart.  The price of copper plunged again on Wednesday, and it is now the lowest that it has been since the last financial crisis.  Unfortunately, the forecast for the months ahead is not good.  The following is what Goldman Sachs is saying about copper…
“Though we have been bearish on copper on a 12-mo forward basis for the past two and a half years, we have maintained a more bullish medium to long-term stance on the assumption of Chinese copper demand growth of 4% per annum and a major slowing in supply growth around 2017/2018 … we substantially lower our short, medium, and long-term copper price forecasts, on the back of lower Chinese copper demand growth forecasts (we have been highlighting that the risk has been skewed to the downside for some time), increased conviction in copper supply growth over the next three years, and increased conviction in the outlook for mining cost deflation in dollar terms.”
It is funny that Goldman mentioned China so prominently.  Even though China’s fake GDP figures say that everything is fine over there, other numbers are painting a very dismal picture.
For instance, Chinese electrical consumption in June grew at the slowest pace that we have seen in 30 years, and capital outflows from China have reached a level that is “frightening”
Robin Brooks at Goldman Sachs estimates that capital outflows topped $224bn in the second quarter, a level “beyond anything seen historically”.
The Chinese central bank (PBOC) is being forced to run down the country’s foreign reserves to defend the yuan. This intervention is becoming chronic. The volume is rising. Mr Brooks calculates that the authorities sold $48bn of bonds between March and June.
Charles Dumas at Lombard Street Research says capital outflows – when will we start calling it capital flight? – have reached $800bn over the past year. These are frighteningly large sums of money.
Just last month, the Chinese stock market started to crash, but the crash was interrupted when the Chinese government essentially declared a form of financial martial law.
And I don’t think that “financial martial law” is too strong of a term to use in this case.  Just consider the following excerpt from a recent article in the Telegraph
Half the shares traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen were suspended. New floats were halted. Some 300 corporate bosses were strong-armed into buying back their own shares. Police state tactics were used hunt down short sellers.
We know from a vivid account in Caixin magazine that China’s top brokers were shut in a room and ordered to hand over money for an orchestrated buying blitz. A target of 4,500 was set for the Shanghai Composite by Communist Party officials.
So a stock market crash was halted, but in doing so Chinese officials have essentially destroyed the second largest stock market in the world.  China’s financial markets have lost all legitimacy, and foreigners are going to be extremely hesitant to put any money into Chinese stocks from now on.
Meanwhile, there is no hiding the fact that trade activity in China and in most of the rest of the planet is slowing down.  In fact, world trade volume has now dropped by the most that we have seen since the last global recession.  The following comes from Zero Hedge
As goes the world, so goes America (according to 30 years of historical data), and so when world trade volumes drop over 2% (the biggest drop since 2009) in the last six months to the weakest since June 2014, the “US recession imminent” canary in the coalmine is drawing her last breath
World Trade Volume - Zero Hedge
As Wolf Street’s Wolf Richter addsthis isn’t stagnation or sluggish growth. This is the steepest and longest decline in world trade since the Financial Crisis. Unless a miracle happened in June, and miracles are becoming exceedingly scarce in this sector, world trade will have experienced its first back-to-back quarterly contraction since 2009.
As you probably noted in the chart above, a decline in world trade is almost always associated with a recession.
That was certainly the case back in 2008 and 2009.
Another similarity between the last crisis and what is happening now is a crash in the price of oil.
According to Business Insider, we have just officially entered a brand new bear market for oil…
Oil is officially in a bear market.
On Thursday, West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures fell more than 1% to settle near $48.55 per barrel in New York.
A bear market is roughly defined as a 20% drop from highs. Crude has now fallen by about 20% in the last six weeks.
So what does all of this mean?
All of these signs are indicating that another great economic crisis is here, and that a global financial implosion is just around the corner.
At this point, even many of the “bulls” are sounding the alarm.  For example, just consider what Henry Blodget of Business Insider is saying…
As regular readers know, for the past ~21 months I have been worrying out loud about US stock prices. Specifically, I have suggested that a decline of 30% to 50% would not be a surprise.
I haven’t predicted a crash. But I have said clearly that I think stocks will deliver returns that are way below average for the next seven to 10 years. And I certainly won’t be surprised to see stocks crash. So don’t say no one warned you!
For those that don’t know, Henry Blodget is definitely not a bear.  In fact, he is one of Wall Street’s biggest cheerleaders.
So for Blodget to suggest that we could see the stock market drop by half is a really big deal.
The closer that we get to this next crisis, the clearer that everything is becoming.
Where are things going to go from here?

Please feel free to add to the discussion by posting a comment below…

Credit to Economic Collapse

Iran's Spiritual Leader "Threatens Israel" Of Missile Launches

China Beefing Up Its Anti-Submarine Warfare Capabilities

Resultado de imagen para China Beefing Up Its Anti-Submarine Warfare Capabilities

China is plugging the gap in its anti-submarine warfare in order to protect "the first island chain" where many of its naval and mainland targets are located, Stratfor reports.

Beijing is developing a maritime strategy aimed at protecting the first island chain which encircles the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and South China Sea.

However, according to Stratfor, the People's Liberation Army still lacks the means to counter the threat posed by fast and evasive US nuclear submarines.

Resultado de imagen para China has been relying on Type 037 submarine chasers
Until recently China has been relying on Type 037 submarine chasers which are largely ineffective against modern deep diving nuclear submarines and has not got enough anti-submarine helicopters, using mostly "lightweight Z-9Cs" and "somewhat more capable Ka-28 types." But since the beginning of the 21st century China has focused on its anti-submarine capabilities, ramping the production of anti-submarine corvettes, equipping its multi-role surface vessels with depth sonars, anti-submarine torpedoes and increasing the number of helicopters.
According to the analysts Beijing is aware of the need to boost its anti-submarine warfare capabilities. And it has enough resources to fill the gap, with its rapid economic growth and swift technological development.

"[China] is already using these resources to close the gap with its neighbors and the United States," the report stated.

"Beijing is off to a good start. China has added Gaoxin-6 anti-submarine airplanes to the North Sea Fleet. These aircraft carry sea-search radar, a large magnetic anomaly detector boom and other anti-submarine equipment and weapons. They are broadly comparable to the US P-3 Orion aircraft — the anti-submarine workhorse for many militaries worldwide," Stratfor's analysts emphasized.

China's anti-submarine warfare requirements are growing as Beijing kicks off operations in the South and East China Seas. Beijing carries out extensive survey and mapping of operating areas in the South China Sea and builds a network of underwater sensors across the South and East China Seas to detect submarines.

Beijing has also improved its own submarine production, manufacturing Yuan-class diesel-electric submarines and nuclear subs. Early this month, media sources reported that Islamabad was planning to purchase eight of China's modern Yuan-class submarines (Type 093A).

Simultaneously, Western media speculated about a billion-dollar submarine deal between China and Thailand. The deal sparked a lot of controversy among US policy makers, who have long considered Bangkok Washington's loyal ally.

Furthermore, the country's military is implementing unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) with anti-submarine warfare applications, while Chinese technicians, aircrew and sailors are undergoing special training on a regular basis.

China's military strategy is based on a concept of preventing the foreign incursion. While the US and NATO submarines still pose a potential threat to the country's maritime zone, the gap between NATO and China's underwater warfare capabilities is steadily narrowing.

Credit to Sputnik

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/military/20150722/1024934686.html#ixzz3gj4X57WC