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Japan to drop billions on American missile defense radar purchase

Granted, it’s just an upgrade, but it’s good and expensive and it represents profits for American arms makers

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Japan and American haven’t exactly been seeing eye to eye lately with Trump’s trade tariffs and all, but one thing they can hold hands over is blowing lots of big bucks for defense against the countries that America doesn’t like.

Japan and China, and Japan and North Korea, have been eyeing each other with suspicion for a long time, and America has recently discovered that China is a threat to American hegemonic security. And the North Koreans are still bad guys as long as they still have nuclear capabilities.

For these reasons, Japan is gearing up to drop several billion worth of greenbacks on an American manufactured radar missile defense system, or maybe a couple of them.

The Japan Times reports:

Japan will this week pick a U.S.-made advanced radar for its multibillion-dollar missile-defense system, an upgrade that could help ease trade friction with Washington and provide cutting-edge protection against the arsenals of North Korea and China, sources said.

“Aegis will be a big-ticket purchase; it will be a nice gift for President Trump,” a Japanese government official said, referring to the ground-based Aegis Ashore system.

Japanese officials could make their radar choice as early as Monday for two Aegis Ashore batteries it wants to deploy in 2023. That means the purchase can be added to a defense budget proposal slated for release in August, according to three sources with knowledge of the plan who declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

The candidates are Raytheon Co’s SPY-6 and a version of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR), the sources said. Japan had sought the SPY-6 when it agreed to buy Aegis Ashore last year, but Washington was reluctant to supply it.

The Japanese budget proposal comes amid an easing of tensions following the June 12 meeting in Singapore between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Although Japanese military planners still see North Korea as an immediate danger, they view China’s growing military power as a bigger long-term threat.

The People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force controls an arsenal of hundreds of ballistic missiles that could reach Japan. Upgrades to Japan’s missile-defense system would make it one of the world’s most advanced.

Japanese defense officials have estimated the cost of the two Aegis Ashore batteries at about $2 billion. The final tally, including the SPY-6 or LRDR, which can detect targets several times farther away than existing Aegis systems operated by Japan or the U.S., could be at least twice that, the sources said.

Although the upgrade adds expense, it fits with Trump’s stated desire to export more American military hardware.

In a visit to Tokyo in November, he welcomed Japan’s procurement of F-35 stealth fighters and urged Japan to buy more U.S. weapons and goods.

Trump has since cranked up pressure on Tokyo with tariffs on steel, threats of levies on car imports and calls for a bilateral trade deal between the two countries.

At a joint news conference with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in June, Trump said Abe had pledged to buy “billions and billions of dollars of additional products of all kinds.”

Abe may meet Trump again around the time of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York in September, a Japanese government official said. He declined to say what the two leaders would discuss.

Raytheon and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries developed Aegis Ashore’s SM-3 Block IIA missiles; Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor.

The SPY-6 radar is designed for the U.S. Navy’s fleet of Aegis-equipped warships. The LRDR will be integrated into the U.S. Ground-Based Midcourse Defense anti-ballistic missile system in Alaska by 2020.

Both cutting-edge radars will allow Japan to make full use of new longer-range interceptors and could be used to defend against any future threat posed by Chinese missiles.

Japan’s military procurement proposals for the year starting April 1 come on the heels of Kim’s pledge in Singapore to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Trump in return ordered a halt to large-scale military drills with South Korea.

Japan, which hosts about 50,000 U.S. military personnel, including the biggest overseas concentration of U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy carrier strike group, has said it would not change its military posture until it see concrete signs that Pyongyang is prepared to permanently dismantle its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

“Aegis Ashore will go ahead because Japan needs it,” one of the sources said.

Plus, American arms manufacturers could use a little bit more business, hence the impetus to get together and help ensure that the tensions that create these problems stay in good strong effect, or at least forecasted since confidence is sort of low that they’ll get resolved soon. Granted, it’s just an upgrade, but it’s good and expensive and it represents profits for American arms makers and still has a good spot in Japanese foreign policy (and America’s).

 

 

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WillDippelbluewaterJohn MasonJohn VuVince Dhimos Recent comment authors
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WillDippel
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WillDippel

Here is an interesting look at the compensation paid to the Named Executive Officers at each of the five biggest American defense companies:

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/11/the-big-business-of-american-defense.html

Thanks to the spending of taxpayer’s hard earned dollars by Washington, a few American executives are greatly enriching themselves.

bluewater
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bluewater

Rockefellers/israel would do another Fukushima…..if they do not do what they are told.
All BANKS in JAPAN since ww2 are controlled by Rockefeller

John Mason
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John Mason

All the more reasons for Russia to hold onto the Kiril islands. One would have thought that the Japanese would have given the US their marching orders already but it must be a symptom of servitude, where the aggressor/perpetrator is admired, forgiven and worshiped. Japan are not on their own, EU seems to have a similar trend.

John Vu
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John Vu

Do they still reverse engineer?

Vince Dhimos
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Vince Dhimos

Let’s hope Japan is never attacked. These batteries will not be useful in the interception of the Kinzhal or the Sarmat. Or the Avangard.

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European Court of Justice rules Britain free to revoke Brexit unilaterally

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Britain can reverse Article 50.

RT

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Via RT…


The UK is free to unilaterally revoke a notification to depart from the EU, the European Court has ruled. The judicial body said this could be done without changing the terms of London’s membership in the bloc.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) opined in a document issued on Monday that Britain can reverse Article 50, which stipulates the way a member state leaves the bloc. The potentially important ruling comes only one day before the House of Commons votes on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU.

“When a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, as the UK has done, that Member State is free to revoke unilaterally that notification,” the court’s decision reads.

By doing so, the respective state “reflects a sovereign decision to retain its status as a Member State of the European Union.”

That said, this possibility remains in place “as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and that Member State has not entered into force.” Another condition is: “If no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period from the date of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU.”

The case was opened when a cross-party group of British politicians asked the court whether an EU member such as the UK can decide on its own to revoke the withdrawal process. It included Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, Scottish MPs Joanna Cherry Alyn Smith, along with Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer.

They argued that unilateral revocation is possible and believe it could provide an opening to an alternative to Brexit, namely holding another popular vote to allow the UK to remain in the EU.

“If the UK chooses to change their minds on Brexit, then revoking Article 50 is an option and the European side should make every effort to welcome the UK back with open arms,” Smith, the SNP member, was quoted by Reuters.

However, May’s environment minister, Michael Gove, a staunch Brexit supporter, denounced the ECJ ruling, insisting the cabinet will not reverse its decision to leave. “We will leave on March 29, [2019]” he said, referring to the date set out in the UK-EU Brexit deal.

In the wake of the landmark vote on the Brexit deal, a group of senior ministers threatened to step down en masse if May does not try to negotiate a better deal in Brussels, according to the Telegraph. The ministers demanded that an alternative deal does not leave the UK trapped within the EU customs union indefinitely.

On Sunday, Will Quince resigned as parliamentary private secretary in the Ministry of Defense, saying in a Telegraph editorial that “I do not want to be explaining to my constituents why Brexit is still not over and we are still obeying EU rules in the early 2020s or beyond.”

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Seven Days of Failures for the American Empire

The American-led world system is experiencing setbacks at every turn.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


On November 25, two artillery boats of the Gyurza-M class, the Berdiansk and Nikopol, one tugboat, the Yany Kapu, as well as 24 crew members of the Ukrainian Navy, including two SBU counterintelligence officers, were detained by Russian border forces. In the incident, the Russian Federation employed Sobol-class patrol boats Izumrud and Don, as  well as two Ka-52, two Su-25 and one Su-30 aircraft.

Ukraine’s provocation follows the advice of several American think-tanks like the Atlantic Council, which have been calling for NATO involvement in the Sea of Azov for months. The area is strategically important for Moscow, which views its southern borders, above all the Sea of Azov, as a potential flash point for conflict due to the Kiev’s NATO-backed provocations.

To deter such adventurism, Moscow has deployed to the Kerch Strait and the surrounding coastal area S-400 batteries, modernized S-300s, anti-ship Bal missile systems, as well as numerous electronic-warfare systems, not to mention the Russian assets and personnel arrayed in the military districts abutting Ukraine. Such provocations, egged on by NATO and American policy makers, are meant to provide a pretext for further sanctions against Moscow and further sabotage Russia’s relations with European countries like Germany, France and Italy, as well as, quite naturally, to frustrate any personal interaction between Trump and Putin.

This last objective seems to have been achieved, with the planned meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 in Buenos Aires being cancelled. As to the the other objectives, they seem to have failed miserably, with Berlin, Paris and Rome showing no intention of imposing additional sanctions against Russia, recognizing the Ukrainian provocation fow what it is. The intention to further isolate Moscow by the neocons, neoliberals and most of the Anglo-Saxon establishment seems to have failed, demonstrated in Buenos Aires with the meeting between the BRICS countries on the sidelines and the bilateral meetings between Putin and Merkel.

On November 30, following almost two-and-a-half months of silence, the Israeli air force bombed Syria with three waves of cruise missiles. The first and second waves were repulsed over southern Syria, and the third, composed of surface-to-surface missiles, were also downed. At the same time, a loud explosion was heard in al-Kiswah, resulting in the blackout of Israeli positions in the area.

The Israeli attack was fully repulsed, with possibly two IDF drones being downed as well. This effectiveness of Syria’s air defenses corresponds with Russia’s integration of Syria’s air defenses with its own systems, manifestly improving the Syrians’ kill ratios even without employing the new S-300 systems delivered to Damascus, let alone Russia’s own S-400s. The Pantsirs and S-200s are enough for the moment, confirming my hypothesis more than two months ago that the modernized S-300 in the hands of the Syrian army is a potentially lethal weapon even for the F-35, forbidding the Israelis from employing their F-35s.

With the failed Israeli attack testifying to effectiveness of Russian air-defense measures recently deployed to the country, even the United States is finding it difficult to operate in the country. As the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War confirms:

“Russia has finished an advanced anti-access/area denial (A2AD) network in Syria that combines its own air defense and electronic warfare systems with modernized equipment. Russia can use these capabilities to mount the long-term strategic challenge of the US and NATO in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East, significantly widen the geographic reach of Russia’s air defense network. Russia stands to gain a long-term strategic advantage over NATO through its new capabilities in Syria. The US and NATO must now account for the risk of a dangerous escalation in the Middle East amidst any confrontation with Russia in Eastern Europe.”

The final blow in a decidedly negative week for Washington’s ambitions came in Buenos Aires during the G20, where Xi Jinping was clearly the most awaited guest, bringing in his wake investments and opportunities for cooperation and mutual benefit, as opposed to Washington’s sanctions and tariffs for its own benefit to the detriment of others. The key event of the summit was the dinner between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump that signalled Washington’s defeat in the trade war with Beijing. Donald Trump fired the first shot of the economic war, only to succumb just 12 months later with GM closing five plants and leaving 14,000 unemployed at home as Trump tweeted about his economic achievements.

Trump was forced to suspend any new tariffs for a period of ninety days, with his Chinese counterpart intent on demonstrating how an economic war between the two greatest commercial powers had always been a pointless propagandistic exercise. Trump’s backtracking highlights Washington’s vulnerability to de-dollarization, the Achilles’ heel of US hegemony.

The American-led world system is experiencing setbacks at every turn. The struggle between the Western elites seems to be reaching a boil, with Frau Merkel ever more isolated and seeing her 14-year political dominance as chancellor petering out. Macron seems to be vying for the honor of being the most unpopular French leader in history, provoking violent protests that have lasted now for weeks, involving every sector of the population. Macron will probably be able to survive this political storm, but his political future looks dire.

The neocons/neoliberals have played one of the last cards available to them using the Ukrainian provocation, with Kiev only useful as the West’s cannon fodder against Russia. In Syria, with the conflict coming to a close and Turkey only able to look on even as it maintains a strong foothold in Idlib, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States are similarly unable to affect the course of the conflict. The latest Israeli aggression proved to be a humiliation for Tel Aviv and may have signalled a clear, possibly definitive warning from Moscow, Tehran and Damascus to all the forces in the region. The message seems to be that there is no longer any possibility of changing the course of the conflict in Syria, and every provocation from here on will be decisively slapped down. Idlib is going to be liberated and America’s illegal presence in the north of Syria will have to be dealt with at the right time.

Ukraine’s provocation has only strengthened Russia’s military footprint in Crimea and reinforced Russia’s sovereign control over the region. Israel’s recent failure in Syria only highlights how the various interventions of the US, the UK, France and Turkey over the years have only obliged the imposition of an almost unparalleled A2AD space that severely limits the range of options available to Damascus’s opponents.

The G20 also served to confirm Washington’s economic diminution commensurate with its military one in the face of an encroaching multipolar environment. The constant attempts to delegitimize the Trump administration by America’s elites, also declared an enemy by the European establishment, creates a picture of confusion in the West that benefits capitals like New Delhi, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran who offer instead stability, cooperation and dialogue.

As stated in previous articles, the confusion reigning amongst the Western elites only accelerates the transition to a multipolar world, progressively eroding the military and economic power of the US.

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Is Silicon Valley Morphing Into The Morality Police?

Who gets to define what words and phrases protected under the First Amendment constitute hate — a catchall word that is often ascribed to any offensive speech someone simply doesn’t like?

The Duran

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Authored by Adrian Cohen via Creators.com:


Silicon Valley used to be technology companies. But it has become the “morality police,” controlling free speech on its platforms.

What could go wrong?

In a speech Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said:

“Hate tries to make its headquarters in the digital world. At Apple, we believe that technology needs to have a clear point of view on this challenge. There is no time to get tied up in knots. That’s why we only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms.”

Here’s the goliath problem:

Who gets to define what words and phrases protected under the First Amendment constitute hate — a catchall word that is often ascribed to any offensive speech someone simply doesn’t like?

Will Christians who don’t support abortion rights or having their tax dollars go toward Planned Parenthood be considered purveyors of hate for denying women the right to choose? Will millions of Americans who support legal immigration, as opposed to illegal immigration, be labeled xenophobes or racists and be banned from the digital world?

Yes and yes. How do we know? It’s already happening, as scores of conservatives nationwide are being shadow banned and/or censored on social media, YouTube, Google and beyond.

Their crime?

Running afoul of leftist Silicon Valley executives who demand conformity of thought and simply won’t tolerate any viewpoint that strays from their rigid political orthodoxy.

For context, consider that in oppressive Islamist regimes throughout the Middle East, the “morality police” take it upon themselves to judge women’s appearance, and if a woman doesn’t conform with their mandatory and highly restrictive dress code — e.g., wearing an identity-cloaking burqa — she could be publicly shamed, arrested or even stoned in the town square.

In modern-day America, powerful technology companies are actively taking the role of the de facto morality police — not when it comes to dress but when it comes to speech — affecting millions. Yes, to date, those affected are not getting stoned, but they are being blocked in the digital town square, where billions around the globe do their business, cultivate their livelihoods, connect with others and get news.

That is a powerful cudgel to levy against individuals and groups of people. Wouldn’t you say?

Right now, unelected tech billionaires living in a bubble in Palo Alto — when they’re not flying private to cushy climate summits in Davos — are deciding who gets to enjoy the freedom of speech enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and who does not based on whether they agree with people’s political views and opinions or not.

You see how dangerous this can get — real fast — as partisan liberal elites running Twitter, Facebook, Google (including YouTube), Apple and the like are now dictating to Americans what they can and cannot say online.

In communist regimes, these types of folks are known as central planners.

The election of Donald Trump was supposed to safeguard our freedoms, especially regarding speech — a foundational pillar of a democracy. It’s disappointing that hasn’t happened, as the censorship of conservative thought online has gotten so extreme and out of control many are simply logging off for good.

A failure to address this mammoth issue could cost Trump in 2020. If his supporters are blocked online — where most voters get their news — he’ll be a one-term president.

It’s time for Congress to act before the morality police use political correctness as a Trojan horse to decide our next election.

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