US Military Set To Deploy THAAD Anti-Missile System In Germany

02-06-18 01:59:00,

The United States is looking to establish a powerful missile shield in Germany in a potential move that would further inflame tensions with both Moscow and Tehran.

Though NATO has long insisted that its missile defense systems are not directed at Russia, the Kremlin has repeatedly condemned what it sees as NATO encroachment in Eastern Europe, especially after countries like Romania — which is not engaged in any ongoing conflict with Russia — have recently installed their own US-supplied ballistic missile systems, with renewed multi-billion dollar Patriot missile expansions to follow.

Screenshot from a U.S.-Germany Anti-Air Missile Live-Fire Exercise In Greece, November 2017

And former Warsaw Pact turned NATO member Poland in late 2017 struck a $10.5 billion missile defense deal with the US. Also supposedly neutral non-NATO Sweden, which lies close to Russia’s western and northern borders, last year inked a $1 billion deal with the US for the advanced Patriot surface-to-air missile defense system. 

So what are now reported as preliminary US military and German discussions about boosting European defenses with the proposed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in Germany will no doubt be interpreted as more of the same unnecessary expansive NATO spending and encroachment on Russia’s borders.

The talks further come as Europe and the US are at odds over the fate of the Iran nuclear agreement, with Washington threatening severe economic punishment for those countries trying to stick it out through opening trade and energy ties with Iran.

Close US Middle East ally Saudi Arabia, for example, shocked the world when news emerged last week that it has ceased awarding government contracts to German companies over anger at both Germany staying by the Obama-brokered JCPOA and recent criticism of Saudi meddling in Lebanese politics by German officials. 

The Pentagon has denied plans to install the advanced THAAD system in Germany; however, Reuters reports that US European Command is pushing it in the wake of the White House pullout from the Iran nuclear deal:

U.S. European Command has been pushing for a THAAD system in Europe for years, but the U.S.

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Global military spending remains high. ​​​​​​Spending falls sharply in Russia, but rises in Central and Western Europe

03-05-18 08:21:00,

SIPRI for the media

Global military spending remains high at $1.7 trillion

2 May 2018

World military spending 1988–2017. Data and graphic: SIPRI
World military spending 1988–2017. Data and graphic: SIPRI

(Stockholm, 2 May 2018) Total world military expenditure rose to $1739 billion in 2017, a marginal increase of 1.1 per cent in real terms from 2016, according to new figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). China’s military expenditure rose again in 2017, continuing an upward trend in spending that has lasted for more than two decades. Russia’s military spending fell for the first time since 1998, while spending by the United States remained constant for the second successive year. The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database is accessible from today at www.sipri.org.
‘Continuing high world military expenditure is a cause for serious concern,’ said Ambassador Jan Eliasson, Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board. ‘It undermines the search for peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world.’
After 13 consecutive years of increases from 1999 to 2011 and relatively unchanged spending from 2012 to 2016, total global military expenditure rose again in 2017.* Military spending in 2017 represented 2.2 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) or $230 per person. ‘The increases in world military expenditure in recent years have been largely due to the substantial growth in spending by countries in Asia and Oceania and the Middle East, such as China, India and Saudi Arabia,’ said Dr Nan Tian, Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure (AMEX) programme. ‘At the global level, the weight of military spending is clearly shifting away from the Euro–Atlantic region.’

​​​​​​China leads continued spending increase in Asia and Oceania 
Military expenditure in Asia and Oceania rose for the 29th successive year. China, the second largest spender globally, increased its military spending by 5.6 per cent to $228 billion in 2017. China’s spending as a share of world military expenditure has risen from 5.8 per cent in 2008 to 13 per cent in 2017. India spent $63.9 billion on its military in 2017, an increase of 5.5 per cent compared with 2016, while South Korea’s spending, at $39.2 billion, rose by 1.7 per cent between 2016 and 2017. ‘Tensions between China and many of its neighbours continue to drive the growth in military spending in Asia,’ said Siemon Wezeman,  » Lees verder

This Is The Military “Batmobile” That May Soon Be Protecting The US Border

28-04-18 08:33:00,

It might look like a golf cart from a distance, but “nothing this light and agile ever offered so much protection for a 3-man crew.” At least, that’s how Israeli company Plasan is marketing its new Yagu “battle buggy”, which features lightweight armor that can withstand concentrated automatic-weapons fire without slowing down.

As the Drive reports, the company is pitching the design, called the Yagu, as a tool for border patrol or local law enforcement. But Plasan explains that the vehicle could also be used for military excursions and special operations, offering a better protected, lightweight vehicle.

Golfcart

The buggy, which Plasan is calling the Yagu, can also be outfitted with “optional” features that would essentially transform it into the world’s most lightweight tank.

But many of the Yagu’s other optional features point to its potential utility in military missions, as well. At its core, the buggy is a modified Arctic Cat Wildcat 4x 1000 all-terrain vehicle. It uses the same 95-horsepower engine and automatic transmission, which has the same ability to switch between two and four-wheel drive modes, as the Wildcat.

On top of that, though, Plasan, a specialized in vehicle armoring and composites, has added a new lightweight armored shell with bullet-resistant front and side windows. The company says this provides B6+ level protection on all sides for the crew of three, though an auxiliary power unit and air conditioning system are both exposed at the rear.

A European standard, B6 type armor can stop many high-powered rifle rounds, such as the NATO-standard 5.56x45mm and the ever popular Soviet-era 7.62x39mm. The “+” suggests that Plasan’s protective suite should be able to defeat more powerful cartridges, such as the NATO 7.62x51mm and the Soviet-designed 7.62x54mmR, but only if they don’t have special armor-piercing bullets.

In the past, achieving the level of protection available on the Yagu required installing ballistic steel at least a third of an inch in thickness. But by designing a special composite material, Plasan has achieved this level of protection with a curb weight of just over 3,300 pounds, making it lighter than the General Dynamics Flyer 72.

Further rounding out the “optional” features, Plasan is also offering a drone launching system and remote weapons system,

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How the Military Controls America

28-03-18 07:34:00,

by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

Unlike corporations that sell to consumers, Lockheed Martin and the other top contractors to the U.S. Government are highly if not totally dependent upon sales to governments, for their profits, especially sales to their own government, which they control — they control their home market, which is the U.S. Government, and they use it to sell to its allied governments, all of which foreign governments constitute the export markets for their products and services.

These corporations control the U.S. Government, and they control NATO. And, here is how they do it, which is essential to understand, in order to be able to make reliable sense of America’s foreign policies, such as which nations are ‘allies’ of the U.S. Government (such as Saudi Arabia and Israel), and which nations are its ‘enemies’ (such as Libya and Syria) — and are thus presumably suitable for America to invade, or else to overthrow by means of a coup. First, the nation’s head-of-state becomes demonized; then, the invasion or coup happens. And, that’s it. And here’s how.

Because America (unlike Russia) privatized the weapons-industry (and even privatizes to mercenaries some of its battlefield killing and dying), there are, in America, profits for investors to make in invasions and in military occupations of foreign countries; and the billionaires who control these corporations can and do — and, for their financial purposes, they must — buy Congress and the President, so as to keep those profits flowing to themselves.

That’s the nature of the war-business, since its markets are governments — but not those governments that the aristocracy want to overthrow and replace. The foreign governments that are to be overthrown are not markets, but are instead targets. The bloodshed and misery go to those unfortunate lands. But if you control these corporations, then you need these invasions and occupations, and you certainly aren’t concerned about any of the victims, who (unlike those profits) are irrelevant to your business.

In fact, to the exact contrary: killing people and destroying buildings etc., are what you sell — that’s what you (as a billionaire with a controlling interest in one of the 100 top contractors to the U.S. Government) are selling to your own government,

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