August 28, 2016

It Doesn't Repeat; It Rhymes

Regarding China:


It’s not clear, however, that even well informed Americans realize how dire the situation is. It’s time they paid better attention, because China’s lawless pursuit of resources and territory is coming to resemble nothing else so much as the behavior of the Japanese empire before World War Two—a disconcerting comparison I have heard more than once from analysts and government officials here...


Regarding Russia:

"Russia is getting ready for a big war which they assume will go nuclear, with them launching the first attacks,”

See also this...


 Regarding North Korea:

North Korea on Wednesday test-fired a submarine-launched missile 500 kilometres (around 300 miles) towards Japan, marking what weapons analysts called a clear step forward for its nuclear strike ambitions.

The flight distance, which was tracked by South Korea's military Joint Chiefs of Staff, far exceeded any previous SLBM tests, suggesting significant progress in technical prowess....

... 
If fired at the optimum angle, it could cover more than 1,000km, the source said.

Do note the neighborhood it it would have landed in if it had fired at optimum angle.
Image via

Regarding ISIS/ISIL/DAESH

The Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and allied tribal fighters recaptured the Waleed Border Crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi Border on August 3. ISIS mounted a counterattack on August 8 - 9 against the Waleed Border Crossing as well as the Tanf Border Crossing in Syria, which is held by the U.S.-backed New Syrian Army. Both attacks were repelled. ISW is thus changing the status of Waleed Border Crossing to ISF Control.

Iraqi Peshmerga affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) launched clearing operations southeast of Mosul on August 14 - 15, seizing at least twelve villages in the Ninewa Plains. The operation originated from positions near the Khazir Military Base between Mosul and Arbil, and progressed south towards the town of Gwer. ISW is thus changing the status of this area from contested to KDP Peshmerga Control.

The ISF recaptured the city of Qayyarah on August 25 following more than a month of operations to secure terrain on the southern and western outskirts of the city after security forces seized the Qayyarah Airbase on July 9. The ISF breached the city limits of Qayyarah on August 23, encountering limited resistance in the southern neighborhoods. The ISF secured the city center and government complex on August 24 and Joint Operations Command announced full control over the city on August 25. ISW is thus changing the status of Qayyarah to ISF Control.

Note that....Wait! That's GOOD news!

Maybe things are finally looking u....




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July 26, 2016

Arguably Less Disturbing Than The Previous Post

It looks like the Russians are commissioning not one, but two classes of big submarines to carry their new heavyweight torpedoes, which we've blogged about before. These torpedoes, which are variously referred to as KANYON or Status-6, are believed to have a warhead with a yield somewhere between 50 and 150 megatons. This sounds like a plot point from a summer blockbuster or comic book, but as a practical matter, these would be fiendishly hard to stop and they would utterly destroy (and render uninhabitable for years) the ports upon which we rely for our Navy and trade.


One of these submarines, a brand new ship believed to be named KHABAROVSK appears to be a dedicated carrier for six or so of these port busters and basically would serve much the same function as a ballistic missile sub, doing deterrence patrols. The other one is something of an oddball....


Click here for SUPAH-SIZE

BELGOROD is a Russian cruise missile submarine being refitted as a sort of research vessel/spy sub/ underwater support ship. Yet this vessel is also reported to have six of these weapons fitted. While this contradictory set of requirements is perplexing, Covert -Shores is a fairly well regarded site and was way ahead of the curve on their analysis of the North Korean Ballistic Missile sub. Why an underwater reconnaissance vessel/work boat is carrying strategic weapons is unknown, but the vessel seems to be designed to support nuclear powered underwater sensor arrays in the arctic and conduct reconnaissance. This may simply be a second large hull that can get the weapons out to sea so they can start "deterring". After all,  a navy needs at least three ships to keep one on patrol at all times. Alternatively, the extensive spy sub equipment might have applications for sneaking these weapons into U.S. ports.

Obviously our European allies would be vulnerable to this weapon too but I can't see the Russians setting off something that dirty in Europe. Japan might be a target as the jet stream and currents would carry the contamination East, but Japan is not a threat to Russia, so this is probably only aimed at the U.S.

Of course, there is actually a bigger story here than just operationalizing some doomsday torpedoes, and that is the ongoing construction of a series of nuclear powered sensor arrays in the Arctic. This is after all purported to be the primary function of this new submarine. Such a sensor array is reminiscent of the old SOSUS but it has the potential to be far more capable thanks to the raw power available from the underwater nuclear reactors associated with it. When completed, this sensor net has the potential to very much turn the Arctic into a Russian lake in which US or Canadian subs will exist only at Russian indulgence.

In a related story (related in that it involves Russians, submarines and breathless, apocalyptic clickbaitery) here is an AEI article that has been making the rounds in the consevosphere. It attaches some considerable significance to the names of Russian Strategic submarines. Note though, that the author's premise does not hold up with regard to the name KHABAROVSK .


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July 24, 2016

I HAVE A CRAZY THEORY

This is my crazy theory.

There are many crazy theories, but this one is mine!

The Democrats are about to nominate a singularly repulsive candidate for president. Hillary Clinton is a fractally-corrupt-Mandelbrot -Set of malfeasance, who has seriously endangered the country and even if one ignores the venal corruption the sheer incompetence of her tenure as America's Chief foreign policy officer caused untold suffering in North Africa, the Middle East and now Europe by destabilizing the area and creating a refugee crisis and this doesn't even get into the  general weakening of the international order that happened on her watch.  She's also a petty, abusive and singularly unlikeable politician, which begs the question....wHY did the democrats go all in for her.

Well, my theory is that their reasoning was along the lines of "BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! Those republicans will NEVER be able to lose to us now!" (dancity dancity dancity dance).

Which dovetails into the rest of my theory...that the Republicans did not take this lying down.  The establishment kept multiple of their favored sons in the race to split the vote, ensuring that Trump would get the nod. Remember above, when I said that Hillary was SINGULARLY repulsive? 
Well....perhaps dually is a better word....if it's a word.



One possible explanation for this is that the Republican Party hacks are sitting in a Potpourri filled room congratulating themselves and saying things like "Those Democrat bastards, don't stand a chance. They'll never loose to this asshole!"...and yet they might.

Why the inversion this year?

Well that is the crux of my crazy theory.

Neither side actually WANTS to win, because neither side wants to be in the White House during the next four years. They do not want to be the ones tasked with the Sisyphean and possibly impossible task of dealing with the fire breathing hydra with rabies that is the deteriorating world situation. Their best case scenario is to loose, and in the unlikely event there are any survivors, come out of their bunkers and pick up the pieces, while blaming the other party for the catastrophe that they fortuitously dodged having to deal with.


I base my crazy theory in part upon the following:


At the office I ask a Russian employee about the mood in his working-class Moscow neighborhood. The old people are buying salt, matches and "gretchka,” (buckwheat) he tells me - the time-worn refuge for Russians stocking up on essentials in case of war.

In the past two months, I’ve traveled to the Baltic region, to Georgia, and to Russia. Talk of war is everywhere.
 

There does seem to be a consensus that the Baltics are a very likely place for things to go pear shaped.
  ...the possibility of nuclear war between America and Russia not only still exists, but is probably growing.  And the place where it is most likely to begin is in a future military confrontation over three small Baltic states -- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  
 
But fear not! There's always Moldova.


Tensions, between India and China are re-escalating both are nuclear powers, and of course, Pakistan, also nuclear capable, building lots of tactical nukes, and rather crazy to boot can be counted on to pounce upon India in any existential crisis. 

China is, elsewhere acting an awful lot like Japan did in the 1930s.

And all those "little" nukes in Pakistan...well the Venn diagram between those and Al-Quaeda or ISIS has considerable overlap

While all that is going on we find out that the Russian's aparrantly bombed a U.S airbase...last month

Do note that Brickmuppet Blog is not alone in worrying about the nukes in Turkey given that the country's coup may have been a false flag operation and in any event is likely to bring about an Islamic dictatorship in a NATO member

The economy is not looking particularly good either.

We'll refrain from discussing domestic racial, social and infrastructure issues, as we are already in teal deer territory. 

But, there is this....scarcely worth mentioning.
 The US national security industry is planning for the impact of an unprecedented global food crisis lasting as long as a decade, according to reports by a government contractor.

The studies published by CNA Corporation in December 2015, unreported until now, describe a detailed simulation of a protracted global food crisis from 2020 to 2030 

Take heart though.

Remember, this is a CRAZY theory.

The crazy part is the assumption of sufficient competence and foresight in our leaders that they would anticipate a coming crisis. So don't go all to pieces over my crazy theory.

Like the girl says...





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July 16, 2016

The B-61 Nuclear Bomb




Designed in the early 1960s and by far the oldest nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal, the B-61 is the designation for a family of  bombs that weigh around 700 pounds,  are 13.5 inches wide (not including the fins) and  just a bit under 12 feet long. It is a variable yield weapon which can have the amount of 'splody it provides adjusted from 1/3 of a kiloton to between 80 and 340 kilotons depending on the exact model, though as part of an upgrade being undertaken now the maximum yield is to be reduced to 50 kilotons in the near future. It can also be used as a depth charge. 

The weapon is on loan to certain NATO countries, Italy(around 90), Germany (20), Belgium(10-20) and...er...Turkey, which has about 90.

In what is most certainly unrelated news.....the latest news from the coup in Turkey is that the Bosphorus is closed and there is some sort of naval action going on. F-16s seem to be launching raids on the Presidential Palace and there appears to be a near 50/50 split in public opinion between those who are cheering or opposing the ouster of the increasingly Islamist Turkish president and the Military coup, which, depending on who is talking is either securing the country, or getting routed. 


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April 02, 2016

Suddenly, in Russia....



The Russians now appear set to perhaps double the number of nuclear warheads that they have deployed. This seems unpossible  U.S and R.F warhead totals are limited to 1550 each by a treaty which has all the binding power of....


It gets worse. While the State Department disputes this, the article is reporting that...
Officials said that in addition to adding warheads to the new missiles, Russian officials have sought to prevent U.S. weapons inspectors from checking warheads as part of the 2010 treaty. 

Russia also enjoys a strong civil defense system and some years ago constructed 5000 blast/fallout shelters around Moscow alone. They've recently begun an inventory and inspection of them, you know, just because.  
Puchkov said on August 14 that his ministry has its "fixed attention" on making sure Russia's bomb shelters are "ready to use for their intended purposes."


Russia is also increasing its ties to China which, likewise, is greatly increasing its warhead numbers, and MIRVing its  missiles

While all that's going on, the U.S. is going in rather the opposite direction.




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