Putin Unleashes Strategic Hell On The US

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16-03-20 12:00:00,

Authored by Tom Luongo via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

I am an avid board game player. I’m not much for the classics like chess or go, preferring the more modern ones. But, regardless, as a person who appreciates the delicate balance between strategy and tactics, I have to say I am impressed with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s sense of timing.

Because if there was ever a moment where Putin and Russia could inflict maximum pain on the United States via its Achilles’ heel, the financial markets and its unquenchable thirst for debt, it was this month just as the coronavirus was reaching its shores.

Like I said, I’m a huge game player and I especially love games where there is a delicate balance between player power that has to be maintained while it’s not one’s turn. Attacks have to be thwarted just enough to stop the person from advancing but not so much that they can’t help you defend on the next player’s turn.

All of that in the service of keeping the game alive until you find the perfect moment to punch through and achieve victory. Having watched Putin play this game for the past eight years, I firmly believe there is no one in a position of power today who has a firmer grasp of this than him.

And I do believe this move to break OPEC+ and then watch Mohammed bin Salman break OPEC was Putin’s big judo-style reversal move. And by doing so in less than a week he has completely shut down the U.S. financial system.

On Friday March 6th, Russia told OPEC no. By Wednesday the 11th The Federal Reserve had already doubled its daily interventions into the repo markets to keep bank liquidity high.

By noon on the 12th the Fed announced $1.5 trillion in new repo facilities including three-month repo contracts. At one point during trading that day the entire U.S. Treasury market went bidless. There was no one out there making an offer for the most liquid, sought-after financial assets in the world.

Why? Prices were so high, no one wanted them.

Not only did we get a massive expansion of the repo interventions by the Fed,

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Brexit Unleashes British Bulldog Snarling at Russia

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09-01-19 10:05:00,

Brexit Unleashes British Bulldog Snarling at Russia

Britain is dispatching some 1,000 marines to join NATO war exercises off Norway in “a show of strength to Russia”. The move is but one of several military muscles being flexed by Britain in a bid to boost its international standing. Russia is designated as the convenient villain to justify Britain’s renewed militarism.

To lend the madness some popular appeal, British media reported that “Prince Harry will join one of ­Britain’s biggest war exercises against Russia in 20 years, as a warning to Vladimir Putin over his continued aggression.”

Harry (34), the youngest son of heir to the British crown, Prince Charles, is said to be privy to secret battle plans taking place in Norway over the next 12 weeks “as the marines practice drills in a show of strength against potential military strikes by ­Moscow.”

Russia’s embassy in Britain dismissed the exercise involving the young royal as a PR gimmick to fire up public enthusiasm for what is otherwise a hackneyed ploy of provoking tensions with Moscow. “Apparently, the authority of politicians and generals is no longer enough to ensure public support for this policy,” it said.

Indeed, a PR stunt is surely what it is going on. And the British media are showing themselves once again to be the disgraceful pro-war stenographers that they are by churning out official assertions of “Russian aggression” and “potential military strikes”.

But what’s also going on here is a wider and more disturbing pattern of Britain increasing its militarism towards Russia. Not that Russia is quaking in its boots over Britain’s threatening conduct, but the reckless snarling attitude of the British bulldog nevertheless adds to increasing international tensions between NATO powers and Moscow. That implies an increasing risk of a military confrontation.

A significant factor here is Britain’s intensifying Brexit chaos as it splits from the European Union. The deadline for the EU divorce comes on March 29 when Britain is set to leave the bloc after more than four decades of membership. If Britain crashes out of the EU without a trade deal, which looks increasingly likely due to internal British political squabbling, then economic and social chaos is expected.

Given the high stakes, it seems that the British establishment is seeking to distract from the Brexit debacle through ramping up tensions with Russia.

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