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Russia vs. U.S. – who has the stronger military?

Whilst the US vastly outspends Russia on defence, neither the US nor Russia can defeat the other in war because Russia’s asymmetrical advantages cancel out the US’s advantage in numbers. However claims Russia poses a military threat to NATO are absurd.

Angela Borozna

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It is unquestionable that the United States’ military power is dominant, but just as an illustration, consider these numbers:

Military Spending

Russia’s military budget at $67 billion is tiny, compared to the United States’ $594 billion (bigger than the military budget of the next nine countries with largest military budgets combined).

T-15 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle

Active Military Personnel

The United States has 1,492,200 military personnel vs. Russia’s 845,000.

Military Bases

There are around 800 U.S. bases in 80 foreign countries, with 174 U.S. “base sites” in Germany alone.  As of 2016, Russia has 12 military bases outside of its border: 10 of them on the territory of the former Soviet Union, in close proximity to Russia’s borders, two others in Syria and Vietnam

russia-vs-nato_07

Map source: businessinsider.com

Nuclear Weapons

Both sides have more than enough to completely destroy each other several times. According to the Arms Control Association, Russia has 1,735 strategic warheads deployed on 521 ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers, and 2,700 non-deployed strategic and deployed and non-deployed tactical warheads, and 3,200 additional warheads are awaiting dismantlement.

The United States has 1,481 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on 741 ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers, and 2,570 non-deployed strategic warheads, and roughly 500 deployed and non-deployed tactical warheads, and approximately 2,500 warheads retired and awaiting dismantlement.

Irrelevance of Hard Numbers in “Asymmetric Response”

Whilst the overall defence numbers look favourable to the United States, the Russians can compensate for their numerical inferiority by deploying high-end systems for which the US has no real equivalent or good countermeasures.

Since 2012, when the U.S. announced its plans to proceed with building the Missile Defence System in Eastern Europe, Russia has warned of its asymmetric response to US threats:

“Russia will strengthen its air defence capabilities, including air defence systems around Moscow and in strategic forces, build new tracking stations in addition to three existing ones, and create such systems for which missile defence will not be an obstacle”.

Four years later, in summer 2016, Russian representative at NATO, Alexander Grushko reiterated: “Certainly, we’ll respond totally asymmetrically,” and that this response “would not be extremely expensive, but also highly effective.”

Russia’s Major General Igor Konashenkov, the Chief of the Directorate of Media service and Information of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, responded to the U.S. State Department’s threats that “Russians will be going home in body bags,” and that Russian cities will become targets of terrorist attacks:

“I would say that we know exactly where and how many “unofficial specialists” operate in Syria and in the Aleppo province and we know that they are involved in the operational planning and that they supervise the operations of the militants. Of course, one can continue to insist that they are unsuccessfully involved in trying to separate the al-Nusra terrorists from the “opposition” forces. But if somebody tries to implement these threats, it is by no means certain that these militants will have no time to get the hell out of there.”

Konashenkov warned Washington against a possible attack against Russian military personnel in Syria, as the “radius of the new Russian systems implemented in Syria might surprise our colleagues.”

Hard numbers might be irrelevant when it comes to threats of cyber-attacks.

In retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, “the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging ‘clandestine’ cyber operation designed to harass and ‘embarrass’ the Kremlin leadership,” according to NBC.

Russian president Putin responded that cyber-attacks or other types of interference in other countries’ internal affairs were intolerable and ridiculed the accusations of Russia’s meddling in the U.S. presidential elections as a distraction from the multitude of unresolved domestic problems  “pointing instead to supposed Russian hackers, spies, agents of influence and so forth. Does anyone seriously imagine that Russia can somehow influence the American people’s choice? America is not some kind of ‘banana republic’, after all, but is a great power. Do correct me if I am wrong.”

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Wesa F.
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Wesa F.

To me it’s not the budget that you spend but the value you get for that budget. 30 yrs ago I was involved in the purchase of Russian made machinery, and yes it was pretty rough gear,now this was my first impression but when you thought about it for what it had to do and the conditions it had to work in well it was the machine for the job,and the cost was spot on. To buy a machine equivalent would cost you 3 times as much and wouldn’t do any more work and still wore out just the same.… Read more »

Dan Kuhn
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Dan Kuhn

For me,, the Russians have it spot on. They are working within their own country and spending money ion real time defence. Everytime NATO ( US ) does something they come up with the answer. It is a cost effective way to keep a supposedly superior military power at bay. They are not blowing trilllions of dollars on useless military equipment like the F35 and F22. They also use their nuclear deterrent correctly stating that if attacked they will resort to it´s use. That means that if Russia is attacked the Continental US will either cease to exist or it… Read more »

JT
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JT

Notwithstanding the above – Russia is like he ugly girl at the prom that no one wants to date. Trust me, no one is interested in invading Russia, occupying or having anything to do with that dump of a country.

mikeemac
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mikeemac

Dan. Its exactly that sort of attitude thats going to bring America to its knees within the next decade

Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

Has anyone bothered to try and find out what China would do??? I doubt that, in case of major conflict, China would just stand by and do nothing. And my guess would be, it would side with Russia.

enviropal99
Guest
enviropal99

The US could stop buying anything Chinese and China would collapse. They can’t even feed themselves!

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Your notions are rather antiquated…you should update. It is the West that has made Chine what it is today – cheap labour to produce all kinds of products, to be sold in the West at huge profits from which companies such as Wal-Mart, etc. profit. See pictures of China lately? A very modern infrastructure, compared with the US’, that is falling apart no matter where one looks. As for feeding themselves…haven’t seen a hungry, skinny Chinese yet.

Tyrantsbleedtoo
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Tyrantsbleedtoo

We can fall apart for another century and still blow them back to the Golden Horde.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Another typical American…settle problems with violence. Way to go…keep going.

Tyrantsbleedtoo
Guest
Tyrantsbleedtoo

Right. And the perfect, all-loving Muscovites have never engaged in violence. Such delusion.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

How ignorant you are!!! Compare all the daily shootings in the US with hardly any shootings in Russia. You poor soul…brainwashed by a MSM that doesn’t know one end from the other.

Tyrantsbleedtoo
Guest
Tyrantsbleedtoo

I see you did not refute my statement, this proving you truly believe Russia is perfect. All nations are corrupt, to an extent. All people are flawed and born wicked. Russia is not heaven on earth. Putin is not Messiah. Wake up.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Correct you are…no one country, no one person (and no one religion) is perfect…so why then does the US keep bragging, to the point of nausea, how “perfect’ it is?

Robert Matlock
Guest
Robert Matlock

No one in the US except the elderly brags about how perfect this country is. Don’t know what kind of media you ingest, but the US is at an all time low for nationalism. As for economical dependency, the US relies on China, and China heavily relies on the US. That isn’t an argument to be had, it’s just fact, a fact stated and agreed on by both countries. Do your research and learn some basic economics. As for violence, Russia has more murders than the US every year, despite the fact that the US has over twice it’s population.… Read more »

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, fire bombing of Tokyo, Chile, Panama, Grenada, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia…and not forgetting the countless despots and dictators the US has put in government and support/ed. Stop excusing your countries nefarious behaviour.

Le Ruscino
Guest
Le Ruscino

NATO is US & US is NATO – Anyone who doesn’t get that needs to go back to school. Comparing Russian Military Tech with US Military is very difficult but from what we do know in a conflict today in 2016 we go know that the US has an awful lot of knives for a gun fight with Russia that will be won electronically in ways that US knows very well which is why its blustering & will do nothing when push comes to shove. I personally remember UK military laughter when they learned the Russians had removed transistors from… Read more »

MH
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MH

The point is, who’s going to be crazy enough to start it? Get a map of the world, pour gasoline on it and set it on fire. That’ll be the strategy and history of WWIII. That’s who has the “stronger” military.

Robert Melvin
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Robert Melvin

Killary and her neocon zionist asshat buddies seem think its “on the table”!

MH
Guest
MH

I think they’re hoping for a group inside Russia to neutralize the military and the leadership by convincing them that any military action is unthinkable and unwinnable. So that when they begin or threaten a war Russia will be collapsed from within like the SU. And when Russia is broken up and it’s memory erased; all of eastern Europe will meet the same fate and the goal of 70 years ago will be realized. It seems insane, but Russia has to make them understand that if Russia does go down – everyone goes down. No deals, just the match will… Read more »

Robert Melvin
Guest
Robert Melvin

Could be right… “Just hoping”! But, I don’t think they’re that smart. The neocons zionist that control US gov and media think a nuclear war is winnable.. They ARE actually that fucked up! They’ve said as much and are in the process of trying to convince the rest in the gov, our allies, and the amurikan public, that thats the rout we may need to explore. Jew neocon, (ex CIA) mike (I’m a dweeb) morrel said we need to “bomb Assad, bomb Iran, and bomb Russia” to send a message to Putin that “we’re not gonna stand for this”.. Knowing… Read more »

enviropal99
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enviropal99

The US (Truman) was stupid! We could have destroyed Russia in early 1949 before they perfected their A-bomb and we had more than enough to wipe out every major city in Russia along with all their armies along the borders of Western Europe.

Tecumseh1768
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Tecumseh1768

Fortunately Russia caught on to the NGOs in time.

MH
Guest
MH

Yes , the leadership understood the threat and defused it, but I was also thinking of home-grown threats , such as the liberals, those with stars still in their eyes even after what happened during the 90’s and who want to grow up and be just like the Americans. Maybe elements in things like the Valdai group with American contacts who lose sight of other people’s true motivations in urging co-operation with America or who are being made to doubt Russia’s ability to fight and win wars, conventional or nuclear. They used to be called “defeatists” or 5th column. I… Read more »

Bill Rood
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Bill Rood

Notwithstanding the references to an “asymmetric” response, this article does not sufficiently take into account the huge edge Russia holds in the quality of its weapons, from the Kalashnikov all the way to electronic warfare. The Soviet system of competing “design bureaus” always produced weapons every bit as good as those in the west. T-34s and YAK fighters were superior to most German or Western weapons, and that tradition seems to have been restored since the dismal Yeltsin years. I recall seeing one or two isolated reports in the late summer of 2013 that a missile launched somewhere in the… Read more »

Robert Melvin
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Robert Melvin

Not sure about the yaks superiority tho.. Especially at the outset of the war.
Russians also had the digs on who ‘really’ used the nerve gas. Which the UN later seemed to support. And you’re correct, (((they))) dam sure didn’t care about the amurkican public’s push back to another conflict.. Def the other factors….

Doug Retter
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Doug Retter

Bill, you’re just plain stupid. Still trolling for Putin or did you ever get a real job?

Bill Rood
Guest
Bill Rood

Just now getting around to this empty ad hominem after 5 mos? You’d better get on the stick or your CIA handlers will take note of your inefficiency and stop funding you.

Doug Retter
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Doug Retter

…ok…still trolling for Putin!

Ernest Langa
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Ernest Langa

Bill Rood, I like your attitude in having a mutual respect dialogue. Let them vormit and release diarrhea. When a person like Dough Retter and Ajac09 fail to produce meaningful​ information they opt for emotional and eventually playing man instead of showing skill on the ball. Please Bill keep that IQ up.

Robert Miller
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Robert Miller

Doug, he’s got yellowcake! Yellowcake and aluminum tubes! You’ve got to watch out for aluminum tubes. And he’s hiding in a cave in Afghanistan, that’s why we have stayed in Afghanistan for sixteen years, never mind the 1000% increase in opium production. And his emissaries met with al Qaeda in Vienna. And they attacked our navy in the Gulf of Tonkin! We must rescue our medical students in Grenada.

Doug, did you know that Nicaragua is just a leisurely two-day drive to the Rio Grande? The Sandinistas could be attacking Austin by Monday!

Fabrizio Brader
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Fabrizio Brader

Very good analysis, I agree with it.

Bill Rood
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Bill Rood

Well, I certainly hope I was correct, because the attack today on Syria was a test of the Russian technology. I believe the US military was trying to get Russia to “light up” its S-400s. I’m seeing allegations on syrianperspective.com that the S-400s were not used, yet reports that only 23/59 Tomahawks hit their targets. Tomahawks don’t just malfunction, so some AA defense must have been used. I hope they’re correct at syrianperspective.com that it was an inferior technology, in which case it was amazingly effective. I hope that’s what really happened, in which case it should be a sobering… Read more »

AdeliousPat
Guest
AdeliousPat

Russia always produced interesting technology in the Cold War, but it in nearly every regard the Soviet Union was always a step behind. Sure it beat the US into space, but it’s manned moon program failed. The USSR also failed in the later years with the admittedly very cool Buran program. The aircraft from the USSR have always been “a day late and a dollar short.” The MIG 25 and later 31 were fantastically fast, but could only run at those speeds for minutes with the goal of intercepting the SR-71 which was actually most efficient at those speeds (mach… Read more »

Mark J McGinty
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Mark J McGinty

You seem to be forgetting or ignoring the incident in the Black Sea, in 2014, the USS Donald Cook, Russian jamming technology completely shut down AEGIS, rendering the ship helpless and at their mercy. You also make no mention of the F-35, which, even when it does not catch fire on the runway, is easily out-maneuvered by 20 year old Russian fighters, and is generally a laughing stock that makes military pilots cringe when ordered to fly. Yes we out-spend Russia militarily by an order of magnitude, but how much of that do we piss away? The assumption that the… Read more »

ajac09
Guest
ajac09

Stop drinking the Putin Kool aide. Yaks were no where near as good as anything the US deployed in ww2 and the t-34 was beat by shermans in the Korean war…Russia has ALWAYS been behind the US in quality of weaponry. If nukes are off the table US could easily invade and destroy the Russia military. US has much more combat experience then Russia. battle tested weapons and is in a better position then Russia to attempt an invasion. US navy would decimate the Russia navy in its first encounter. US airforce larger and better would destroy the Russian air… Read more »

Bill Rood
Guest
Bill Rood

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakovlev_Yak-3 says different: Marcel Albert, World War II French ace, who flew the Yak in USSR with the Normandie-Niémen Group, considered it a superior aircraft when compared to the P-51D Mustang and the Supermarine Spitfire.[ So, yeah maybe I was wrong. I only said it was better than “most.” It sounds like Albert thought Yak-3 was better than the best. Be that as it may, to what do you attribute that only 23/59 Tomahawks hit their mark on April 6? Did 39 of them all decide to malfunction at the same time? Quite a coincidence, wasn’t it? I didn’t speculate… Read more »

ajac09
Guest
ajac09

ONE Person thinks so and you go with it? Putin kool aide FTW. and you used wikipedia as a reference that kills your argument immediately.

Sean Glennie
Guest
Sean Glennie

Hi ajac09, please stop being this kind of person: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-02/government-trolls-are-using-psychology-based-influence-techniques-youtube-facebook-a [Have you ever come across someone on the Internet that you suspected was a paid government troll? Well, there is a very good chance that you were not imagining things. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have solid proof that paid government trolls are using “psychology-based influence techniques” on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Documents leaked by Snowden also reveal that government agents have been conducting denial-of-service attacks, flooding social media websites with thinly veiled propaganda and have been purposely attempting to warp public discourse online.… Read more »

Sean Glennie
Guest
Sean Glennie

In other words, the US and other Western globalist vassal states do exactly everything what they accuse Russia and a few other countries of doing.

Sean Glennie
Guest
Sean Glennie

These plutocrats and their puppets in politics, NGOs, and the mainstream media deserve to be shot, but only after being exposed to the world for the immoral freaks they are.

ajac09
Guest
ajac09

Why dont you stop kissing Putins ass and come back to reality. You think trolling because you disagree when your just angry that your wrong. History proves me right and continues to.

Sean Glennie
Guest
Sean Glennie

Reliable open source material contradicts your claims, apparently you should read up more history. Also try reading up on the most current weapons both in use and in development around the world and compare them to their US counterparts.

RussG
Guest
RussG

The map needs some corrections. Crimea is part of Russia, so please delete outside-Russia base #3 and re-color Crimea to light pink like the rest of Russia.

M Masek
Guest
M Masek

Angela Borozna, correct me if I’m wrong, I thought Crimea was Russian territory. I didn’t know it was a separatist region. So a Russian military base in Crimea would reflect as in Russia.

Mike from Ramsbottom
Guest
Mike from Ramsbottom

On that map — You can take Crimea out of ‘Russia supported separatist regions’. Crimea is Russia.

murtazabhai008@gmail.com
Guest

Putin wants peace in syria but western countries want pieces by supporting Saudis Wahabis. Wahabis are the worst human on earth. World’s largest terrorism are funded by Saudi Kuwait and all wahabi dominated countries.

Tecumseh1768
Guest
Tecumseh1768

Yes the Saudis are terrorist scum but by God they are OUR terrorist scum.

enviropal99
Guest
enviropal99

Russia wants the destruction of the rebels in Syria that are fighting the dictator Assad. Russia doesn’t believe in human rights. They just want the oil and the military bases.

murtazabhai008@gmail.com
Guest

Putin is a hero. Russia is defeating terrorism while America supports terrorism by helping Saudis.

Mark J McGinty
Guest
Mark J McGinty

This comparison fails to consider that Russia has technical/electronic superiority, the 2014 incident involving the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea proved that Russia has it, hands down. The US may spend 10x more, but it wastes a metric shit ton of that budget, clearly. This superiority skews the numbers by a very substantial factor.

AleonisSprak
Guest
AleonisSprak

Russia has technical/electronic superiority? This is the opposite of what is true. This is the one thing Russia lacks.

America holds private contracts with the companies that are the unquestioned world leaders in electronics/chip design. Raytheon and Honeywell are essentially components of the US defense department. Intel and IBM are direct suppliers of the US government. These companies design the chips that everything else runs off of. Russia has no capacity to approximate US tech. Its a matter of fact and not debate.

Mark J McGinty
Guest
Mark J McGinty

Are you familiar with the USS Donald Cook incident, in even the least way? If you were you would know that AEGIS, the ostensible cream of the US technology crop, was shut down and rendered useless by Russian jamming technology, the ONLY reason that ship isn’t a living reef at the bottom of the Black Sea, is that Russia chose not to sink it. The US military industrial complex is the world leader in extracting wealth from the middle class, look at the F-35, poster child for the phrase “cut your losses” and then talk about world leadership. The only… Read more »

Robert Matlock
Guest
Robert Matlock

The ability to jam does not signify technological dominance, you’re essentially mixing apples and oranges with your argument. If you do not fully understand the technology, do not comment on the matter. American Exceptionalism isn’t a tag for someone stating proven facts, do your research.

Mark J McGinty
Guest
Mark J McGinty

This is a clip from an article on vetranstoday.com: “Russia sent an unarmed bomber Su- 24 to fly around the U.S. destroyer. However, experts say that this plane was equipped with the latest Russian electronic warfare complex. According to this version, “Aegis” spotted from afar the approaching aircraft, and sounded alarm. Everything went normally, American radars calculated the speed of the approaching target. And suddenly all the screens went blank. “Aegis” was not working any more, and the rockets could not get target information. Meanwhile, Su-24 flew over the deck of the destroyer, did battle turn and simulated missile attack… Read more »

Mark J McGinty
Guest
Mark J McGinty

The ability to shut down our targeting/firing systems and force onboard computer systems into a cyclic rebooting condition absolutely shows superiority, do you even know what you’re saying? WTF is wrong with you? When you can render your enemy defenseless — yes, a ship that’s unable to deploy ANY weapons system, besides officers’ side-arms, is by definition, defenseless — then you win. I worked as a programmer for a DoD contractor, developing mission planning software, but this discussion isn’t really all that technical, and you obviously either don’t get it or are in denial. Your inability to be objective turns… Read more »

Doug Retter
Guest
Doug Retter

Have any of you ever been in a Russian tank and then in an American tank? Clearly not!!! The US fields about 8800 Abrams tanks; Russia claims to have over 15,000. The difference is, Russia’s failed infrastructure requires active service tanks to be stripped of parts to keep the rest running. In combat, there will be few spare parts. It is estimated that as much as 30% of Russia’s tanks are not in service as a result….however, would not matter, if they were. Russian tanks are vastly inferior; American crews are vastly over-trained. Most American tank crews have vastly more… Read more »

mikeemac
Guest
mikeemac

The US would be operating far from its resources and extremely over stretched supply lines. Their carrier groups would be toast in weeks due to their total dependance on electronics and satellites. This effectively ends any cover that your amazing tanks would have. The US has made far to many enemies, Russia, most of the middle east, China and even support in Europe is waning. It’s the beginning of the end. Look at the fall of empires in history and it always begins with a over inflated ego, a delusional idea of self importance, too many enemies, 0 ability to… Read more »

enviropal99
Guest
enviropal99

That was the sentiment in 1941. Japan expected the US to surrender or at least just let Japan take over China. Look how that turned out.

Doug Retter
Guest
Doug Retter

…says Putin’s retarded, trained chimp. Bring it, silly boy!

Doug Retter
Guest
Doug Retter

With stupid people on the wrong side of the argument, shouldn’t be too hard.

JT
Guest
JT

I really don’t know why Russia is so paranoid about being invaded – Russia is like he ugly girl at the prom that no one wants to date. Trust me, no one is interested in invading or occupying that dump of a country.

Tierney Simmons
Guest
Tierney Simmons

I know some one in the white house has to know America is Babylon. ‘..’And if a war starts America will lose. Its already written. In the end of the bible the Russian bear is there. But the egal is not. Even the dragon ”The egal is America. Dragon china. Bear Russia. But the people will cry out oh great Babylon the great has fallen.’.. ‘So trump sends 56 cruse missils to Syria. Russia has now cut sky comunication increasing an accident in the sky’s. Why the runway is back up back running already! In less then 24hours .. Now… Read more »

enviropal99
Guest
enviropal99

If we want to destroy Russia all we need to do is drill all of the oil wells we can and become completely self sufficient in oil. The excess capacity worldwide caused by the additional US production will reduce the price of oil below $25.00 per barrel. Russia depends upon oil revenues to survive. With $25.00 oil Russia will make zero money and will have no money to spend on military equipment or even for importing food.

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Pat Buchanan: Caravan Puts Trump Legacy on the Line

Unwanted mass migration is the issue of our time, as there is no foreseeable end to it before it alters America irremediably.

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:


Our mainstream media remain consumed with the grisly killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and how President Donald Trump will deal with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Understandably so, for this is the most riveting murder story since O.J. Simpson and has strategic implications across the Middle East.

Yet far more critical to the future of our civilization is the ongoing invasion of the West from the Third World.

Consider the impact of the decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015 to throw open Germany’s doors to 1 million refugees from Syria’s civil war.

Last weekend, in a crushing blow to Merkel, the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party of her CDU, won its smallest share of the vote in half a century, 37 percent. Her coalition party, the SPD, saw its share of the Bavarian vote fall to a historic low of less than 10 percent.

The right-wing Alternative for Deutchland saw its support rise to 10 percent and has become a force in German politics. Some conservatives are urging the CDU to adopt the AfD hardline on illegal immigration.

The message sent by the Bavarian electorate is the message voters across Europe have been sending to their own capitals for years: You are failing in your first duty — defense of the homeland from foreign invasion. Mass migration of unassimilable peoples and cultures from a global South represents an existential threat to our Europe.

As Merkel’s chancellorship approaches its end, French President Emmanuel Macron, her progressive EU partner, has seen his approval fall to below 30 percent.

The U.S.-led NATO alliance may guard the Baltic and Black Sea regions against a Russian invasion from the east. But in Central, Southern and Western Europe, the more feared invaders are the peoples of Africa and the Muslim world, whose numbers are expected to triple or quadruple by this century’s end.

And as their numbers grow, so, too, does their desperation to escape, even at risk of their lives, the poverty, wars and repression of their homelands to cross the Med and fill the empty spaces left by a depopulating Europe.

It also now appears that the U.S. elections, not three weeks away, may be affected by another immigration crisis on the U.S. border.

As of Thursday, a caravan of 4,000 refugees without visas had crossed from Honduras into Guatemala and was heading toward Mexico. By Election Day, it will either have been stopped, or it will be here. And this caravan is a portent of things to come.

According to The Washington Post, during FY 2018, which ended last month, 107,212 members of “family units” crossed over into the U.S., “obliterating the previous record of 77,857 set in 2016.”

Citing DHS figures, the Post adds, “Border patrol agents arrested 16,658 family members in September alone, the highest one-month total on record and an 80 percent increase from July.”

When Trump, under intense political fire, ended his “zero tolerance” policy of separating refugees from their children, this message went out to Mexico and Central America:

Bring your kids with you when you cross the border. They will have to stay with you, and they cannot be held for more than 20 days. Thus, when they are released, you will be released to await a hearing on your claim of asylum. The odds are excellent that you can vanish into the U.S. population and never be sent back.

Enraged, Trump has threatened to cut off aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala if they do not stop the caravans and has warned Mexico he will use the U.S. military to secure our border.

Unwanted mass migration is the issue of our time, as there is no foreseeable end to it before it alters America irremediably.

As these migrants are almost all poor, not highly skilled, and do not speak English, most will join that segment of our population that pays no income taxes but qualifies for social welfare benefits like food stamps, medical care and free education in our public schools.

They are thus a net drain upon the resources of a nation that is already, at full employment, running a deficit of $779 billion a year.

These migrants, however, are a present and future benefit to the Democratic Party that built and maintains our mammoth welfare state, and which, in presidential elections, routinely wins 70 to 90 percent of the votes of people whose trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Not without reason, Democrats believe that if they can change the composition of the American electorate, they can control America forever.

If Donald Trump was elected on any one issue, it was immigration and his promises to secure the border, build the wall and halt the invasion.

How he deals with the impending crisis of the migrant caravan may affect both the fate of his party in November and his presidency in 2020.

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Latest

‘Mohammad bin Salman Must Go’, but US-Saudi Ties Are Here to Stay

Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime?

Published

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Mohammad bin Salman is fully aware of the Western elite’s understanding of its own values. While he may be given a pass to bomb Yemen and kill thousands of innocent civilians, he should know better than to dare touch a Washington Post columnist – “one of ours”, as one MSNBC host said. Did he not realize there would be consequences?

As more information came out, many analysts began to confront the most obvious question. Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime? How could MBS betray Trump this way, not anticipating that the Democrats and the mainstream media would jump all over Trump’s friendship with him? Could he be so foolish as to place in jeopardy foreign investments planned at the Davos in the Desert conference on October 23? The answer to that question is apparently: yes, he could.

The only rational explanation for this behavior is that MBS thought he could get away with it. Remember that we are talking about someone who had Saad Hariri, the prime minister of Lebanon, kidnapped and carried off to the Kingdom, with his whereabouts unknown for days but with very little reaction from the mainstream media or Western politicians. It is possible that in this instance, MBS simply misjudged the level of Khashoggi’s popularity amongst neoliberals of the Washington establishment, provoking an unexpected response. Furthermore, the thesis that the Saudis understood that they had some kind of green light from Trump is not to be totally dismissed. Such a backlash is what you get from having a big mouthpraise your friends too much, and tweet all the time.

The rapidity with which the US media, and especially dozens of Republican and Democratic senators, attacked Saudi Arabia, blaming it for the atrocious crime, is rather unusual. After all, the Saudi elites have been inclined to behave in such a manner over the last 40 years. But it also highlights the ongoing inconsistency and double standards: nothing is said about Yemen, but the Kingdom is currently under the strongest censure for allegedly offing a journalist.

As I had already pointed out in my previous article, Khashoggi was clearly part of a faction opposed to the current ruling royal family in Saudi Arabia, headed by MBS. To understand this Saudi golden boy of the US mainstream media as well as military-industrial-spying complex, we have to go back to Mohammed bin Nayef. Bin Nayef has been under house arrest for almost two years, immediately purged by MBS as soon as he assumed power as crown prince. Bin Nayef has for decades been the CIA’s go-to man in Riyadh, helping the CIA & Co. pretend to “fight” al Qaeda in the Kingdom while using al Qaeda as a tool to inflict damage on US geopolitical adversaries.

The removal of bin Nayef by MBS was greeted with anger by a part of the US establishment close to Washington think tanks and the CIA and was never fully digested. MBS and his father, King Salman, needed to consolidate power around the throne at the time, and bin Nayef was certainly part of the faction opposing MBS, as was Khashoggi.

Naturally, these antipathies were set aside by the CIA, think tanks and neoliberals in the media due to to the importance of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US, especially vis-a-vis the US Petrodollar. MBS even undertook a tour in the US to help smooth the relationship with the West, being hailed as a new reformer, if you can believe that.

Nowadays,the relationship between Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Washington is based on the strong friendship between Trump and MBS and Trump and Netanyahu. Furthermore, the strengthened link between Trump and MBS, facilitated by son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is close to Israel, served to create a new alliance, perhaps even hinting at the possibility of an Arab NATO. Israel is eager to see more Saudi and US engagement against Iran in the region, and the Saudis similarly praise Israel and the US for being engaged in a fight against Iranian influence in the region. In this way, Trump can please his Israeli friends and see Saudi money pour in as investments.

These agreements have led to a series of disasters in the Middle East that go against the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US. Israel’s recklessness has led to the deployment of a wide range of Russian state-of-the-art weapons to Syria, preventing Israel and the US from acting as freely as before. The disastrous Saudi war in Yemen, the almost diplomatic break with Canada, the kidnapping of the prime minister of Lebanon, and now the Khashoggi affair, have further weakened and isolated Saudi Arabia, MBS, and therefore Trump. The US is no longer able to influence events on the ground in Syria, and so the initial plans of Israel and Saudi Arabia have foundered, after having devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to arm and train terrorists to overthrow Assad.

The Khashoggi affair plays into this situation, exacerbating the war between elites in the US as their strategies in the Middle East continue to fail. The neoliberal mainstream media immediately used the Khashoggi story to pressure Trump into taking a firm stance against one of his last friends and financiers, trying to further isolate him as the midterms approach. Many in the US deep state are convinced – as they were convinced that Clinton would win the presidency – that the House and Senate will end up in Democratic hands in the November elections, paving the way for Trump’s impeachment and for Mike Pence to become president. Pence, a prominent figure of the evangelical right, would be the perfect president for Israel, placing Tel Aviv in the driving seat of US foreign policy as never before. In this scenario, it would certainly be preferable for certain parts of the elite to have a different figure at the helm in Saudi Arabia, seeing as MBS appears to be an unstable leader. Possibly they would prefer someone tied to the US secret services – someone like Mohammed bin Nayef. For these reasons, Democrats, some Republicans and the mainstream media have gone all out against MBS and Trump.

Turkey seems to be using the situation to further widen the fracture between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Since Doha is paying the bills for Erdogan these days, with the Turkish lira at a low, it is essentially the Al Thani family running the PR show in the Turkish media. It looks like the Qatari media are paying back with interests all the negative media they received from the Saudis over the past year. Despite this, neither Ankara nor Riyadh is intent on any kind escalation, both knowing that any suffering on their part is a boon for their enemies.

An interesting aspect related to the Khashoggi affair concerns the sources of the news about the investigation, all anonymous and coming from Turkish police or from people linked to the top echelons of the Turkish state. Knowing the odd state of relations between Ankara and Riyadh, and especially between Turkish ally Qatar and Saudi Arabia, all this news coming from one source should at least be taken with a grain of salt. What is certain is that the Turks had immediate knowledge of the matter regarding who, what, where, when and why. This means that they must have bugged the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, allowing the MIT, Turkey’s intelligence service, to know in real time what was happening to Khashoggi. The story concerning the Apple watch appears to be an attempt by the Turks to thrown off the scent Saudis who may be scratching their heads wondering how the Turks came to have such intimate knowledge of what transpired in their consulate.

For Turkey, the Khashoggi affair could be the occasion for a rapprochement with the US, following a deterioration in relations in the last two years. Turkey has few friends left, and after being cornered by Russia and Iran in Astana with regards to Syria,  it also has to deal with the tensions between Riyadh and Qatar as well as balance its relations with Iran and Israel. Erdogan would like to exploit this event as much as possible, and the release of Pastor Brunson seems to indicate Ankara’s willingness to extend an olive branch to Washington.

Russia, Syria and Iran have everything to benefit from this ongoing internal quarrel between elements within Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Qatar and the US. Whatever the outcome of the Khashoggi affair, Moscow, Tehran and Damascus can only benefit from any deterioration of relations between these countries.

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Boycott Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Here’s Why

The way to boycott Facebook, Twitter, and Google, is to NOT respond to their ads, but instead to blacklist their advertisers and all media that rely upon those giant social-media sites.

Eric Zuesse

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Originally posted at strategic-culture.org:


NATO — the neoconservatives, the marketeers for firms such as Lockheed Martin and BAE — has taken over the social-media giants and much of online international ‘news’-reporting, including that of virtually all independent news-sites and blogs.

Facebook, Twitter, and Google, in recent days, delivered what might be the death-blows.

NATO’s main PR agency, think-tank, and lobbying organization, is ‘non-profit’ — a legal tax-dodge that’s financed by donations from those weapons-making firms and their supporting firms and their ‘non-profits’, so that the taxes that it doesn’t pay will need to be paid instead by the general public. Billionaires know how to avoid taxes, and they hire politicians who write the laws with all the ‘right’ loopholes for them — and only for the very richest — to use. This PR agency is called “The Atlantic Council,” and it was set up in 1961, the exact same year that U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower left office warning that “the military-industrial complex” might take control of the U.S. Well, it did so, with The Atlantic Council’s help; and, now, it is finally lowering the boom against democracy itself — at least among the U.S. and its allied nations (the governments whose weapons-manufacturing firms are in, and sell to, NATO governments). The aim is to drive up the percentage of government-expenditures there that go to pay those firms, and so to reduce the percentages that go to pay everything else. The aim, in short, is the permanent-warfare-economy. After all, firms such as Lockheed Martin and BAE sell only to allied governments. They have virtually no consumers except those governments. So: their (and their ‘charities’) basic message is ‘austerity’ — except on ‘defense’ or realistically called “aggression.” This is national ‘defense’ such as against Iraq in 2003, and against Libya in 2011 — it is instead sheer aggression. George Orwell predicted “Newspeak” — well, here it is. It’s today’s norm, so normal that the public think it’s just natural, and conservatives and even many liberals think it’s the way that ‘a free market’ ought to be.

Here was Facebook’s announcement, on October 11th:

——

newsroom.fb.com

11 October 2018

Removing Additional Inauthentic Activity from Facebook

Today, we’re removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior. Given the activity we’ve seen — and its timing ahead of the US midterm elections — we wanted to give some details about the types of behavior that led to this action. Many were using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names and posted massive amounts of content across a network of Groups and Pages to drive traffic to their websites. Many used the same techniques to make their content appear more popular on Facebook than it really was. Others were ad farms using Facebook to mislead people into thinking that they were forums for legitimate political debate.

——

Those 559 and 251 weren’t identified; none of them were. Facebook wants them to need to scream in order for them to be able to be noticed at all by the public. The announcement didn’t even say by what criteria they were measuring ‘Inauthentic Activity’ versus ‘legitimate political debate’. Their announcement did say “we look at these actors’ behavior – such as whether they’re using fake accounts or repeatedly posting spam – rather than their content when deciding which of these accounts, Pages or Groups to remove,” but unless they make public what the actual algorithms are by means of which they remove sites, no one should trust them, at all, because they can remove whatever NATO or The Atlantic Council (neither of which their announcement even mentioned) want them to remove.

The background for this act by the war-economy’s billionaires had already been reported at Mint Press on May 18th“Facebook Partners With Hawkish Atlantic Council, a NATO Lobby Group, to ‘Protect Democracy’”, where Elliott Gabriel opened:

Facebook is hoping that a new alliance with the Atlantic Council — a leading geopolitical strategy think-tank seen as a de facto PR agency for the U.S. government and NATO military alliance – will not only solve its “fake news” and “disinformation” controversy, but will also help the social media monolith play “a positive role” in ensuring democracy on a global level.

The new partnership will effectively ensure that Atlantic Council will serve as Facebook’s “eyes and ears,” according to a company press statement. With its leadership comprised of retired military officers, former policymakers, and top figures from the U.S. National Security State and Western business elites, the Atlantic Council’s role policing the social network should be viewed as a virtual takeover of Facebook by the imperialist state and the council’s extensive list of ultra-wealthy and corporate donors.

Then, on October 12th, Mint Press’s Whitney Webb bannered “Facebook Purges US-Based Independent Media For Political Disinformation”, and reported that,

Notably, Facebook’s statement on the mass purge of pages was co-authored by Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Nathaniel Gleicher, who is a former White House National Security Council director of cybersecurity policy.

Twitter also banned many of the pages targeted for deletion by Facebook on Thursday, suggesting a coordinated censorship effort between the two most popular social media platforms.

Many of the pages banned had millions of likes, such as the Free Thought Project (3.1 million likes), Antimedia (2.1 million), Cop Block (1.7 million), and Police the Police (1.9 million). Several of the pages that were deleted on Thursday had been targeted by Facebook in recent months, both through new censorship algorithms and Facebook’s controversial team of “fact checkers.”

For instance, the Free Thought Project had been flagged earlier this year as “fake news” by Facebook “fact checking” partner organizations, including  the Associated Press (AP) and Snopes. In one case, a story published by the Free Thought Project was flagged as “false” by the AP. That story, which detailed the documented case of Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) being forcibly removed from a DHS migrant detention center that had once been a Walmart, was marked false because the AP asserted that the article made the claim that Walmart was housing immigrants for DHS. However, the article does not make the claim, instead accurately noting that the facility used to be a Walmart.

Censorship algorithms had also greatly affected traffic to the recently deleted pages for much of the past year. In the case of Antimedia, its traffic dropped from around 150,000 page views per day in early June to around 12,000 by the end of that month. As a reference, in June of last year, Antimedia’s traffic stood at nearly 300,000 views per day.

Also on October 12th, heavy dot com bannered “‘Facebook Purge’: List of Some Deleted Accounts on Left & Right” and listed a few dozen sites that the article’s writer had seen online screaming about having been removed.

Meanwhile, in UK’s very mainstream Daily Mail (the second-largest-circulation of all UK’s newspapers), columnist Michael Burleigh headlined on October 13th “Putin’s taking over Libya by stealth in order to point a new weapon at the West — millions of desperate migrants” and he opened:

So bloody and extensive is President Putin’s record of aggression, not least in Syria and Ukraine, that an incursion into the empty deserts of North Africa might hardly seem worth noting.

Yet the discovery that Russia is moving troops and missiles into war-torn Libya has rightly caused alarms to sound throughout the capitals of Europe.

It is a step of huge significance, and one with potentially disastrous results for Western nations.

The discovery that Vladimir Putin, above, and his government is moving troops and missiles into war-torn Libya has rightly caused alarm. Russia – this time in the form of Rosneft, the huge oil company controlled by Putin’s sinister crony Igor Sechin – is interested in a slice of Libya’s vast oil reserves, the largest in Africa

Libya has both oil and Mediterranean ports, and Russia is hungry for both.

But was it Russia that in 2011 had invaded and destroyed Libya, or was it U.S., UK, and France, who invaded and destroyed Libya — a country that like Iraq, Syria, Yemen and others which The West has destroyed, had never threatened nor invaded any of them?

Burleigh continued:

– cause enough for concern, perhaps. Yet the real fear for European governments is this: Libya, with its porous southern borders, has become the main jumping-off point for the hundreds of thousands of African migrants now seeking to cross the Mediterranean to the shores of the EU and, in particular, Italy.

So, his own country, UK, had helped with the bombing of Libya that had caused all those ‘migrants’ (actually refugees) into Europe, but now he’s trying to blame Putin for it, as if Russia and not UK, U.S., and France were the cause of it. Doesn’t that “mislead people”?

But is the Daily Mail being strangled by Facebook, Twitter, and Google; or is it instead being done to the small-fry political sites, which aren’t owned and controlled by the aristocracies of the U.S., UK, France, and their allied aristocracies — all the aristocracies that are in NATO and promoted by The Atlantic Council?

Here is yet more from Elliott Gabriel’s excellent news-report at Mint Press on May 18th, providing background to the present purges and censorships:

The announcement, made last Thursday in a Facebook Newsroom post, explained that the social network’s security, policy and product teams will coordinate their work with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) to analyze “real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world.”

DFRLab employees include pro-war media activist Eliot Higgins (of Bellingcat fame) and Ben Nimmo — a senior fellow for information defense at the Atlantic Council, who earned infamy for his groundless accusations that actual Twitter users are Russian trolls.

Read more on Facebook

Continuing, Facebook global politics and government outreach director Katie Harbath explained:

“This will help increase the number of ‘eyes and ears’ we have working to spot potential abuse on our service — enabling us to more effectively identify gaps in our systems, preempt obstacles, and ensure that Facebook plays a positive role during elections all around the world.”

“We know that tackling these problems effectively also requires the right policies and regulatory structures, so that governments and companies can help prevent abuse while also ensuring that people have a voice during elections. The Atlantic Council’s network of leaders is uniquely situated to help all of us think through the challenges we will face in the near- and long-term.”

“The think-tank’s Digital Research Unit Monitoring Missions will also be tapped by the social network during elections and “other highly sensitive moments” to allow Facebook the ability to zero in on key locales and monitor alleged misinformation and foreign interference.”

Who is the Atlantic Council?

Hillary Clinton at the 2013 Atlantic Council Distinguished Leadership Awards (Photo: Atlantic Council)

The Atlantic Council was recently in the news for receiving a donation of $900,000 from the U.S. State Department for a “Peace Process Support Network” program to “promote non-violent conflict resolution” in support of Venezuela’s scattered opposition, with which the council enjoys very close ties. The council also advocates the arming of extremist militants in Syria (a “National Stabilization Force”) and a hard-line policy toward Russia.

Established in 1961 by former U.S. Secretaries of State Dean Acheson and Christian Herter, the Atlantic Council of the United States was originally conceived as a means to drum up support for the Cold War-era NATO alliance, which had formed in 1949 as the basis of the Euro-Atlantic security architecture during the post-WWII competition with the Soviet Union. Dozens of similar Atlantic Councils were eventually established throughout the NATO and Partnership for Peace states.

The council is a part of the Atlantic Treaty Association, a NATO offshoot that claims to unite “political leaders, academics, military officials, journalists and diplomats in an effort to further the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty, namely: democracy, freedom, liberty, peace, security, and the rule of law.”

In general, groups such as the Atlantic Council are meant to secure the legitimacy of U.S. policies and neoliberal economics in the eyes of world audiences and academia, whether they live in the “advanced democracies” (the imperialist center) or “developing democracies” (the post-colonial and economically exploited nations).

Mint Press — a real news-operation, instead of the fake-news operations that are being boosted by Facebook, Twitter, and Google — apparently hasn’t yet been removed by Facebook, but the permanent-war-economy is only just starting to lower the boom. And, who knows what’s next, in American ‘democracy’, now?

The way to boycott Facebook, Twitter, and Google, is to NOT respond to their ads, but instead to blacklist their advertisers and all media that rely upon those giant social-media sites. There are competitors, and those need to be aggressively favored by anyone who doesn’t want to be mentally strangulated by these three giant corporations.

These media-giants want to strangle the public; so, the public needs to strangle them first.

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