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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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Doug Retter

…ok…still trolling for Putin!

Ernest Langa
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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.

Latest

BuzzFeed pushes fake Michael Cohen news, as real news breaks on HUGE conspiracy against Trump at FBI and DOJ (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 169.

Alex Christoforou

Published

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According to Zerohedge, in an almost unprecedented event – having rarely commented on stories related to the special counsel’s investigation – Robert S. Mueller III’s office put out a statement firmly disputing the reporting of the news site BuzzFeed reported that the president instructed his personal attorney to lie to Congress about his push for a Moscow real estate project

BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” the special counsel’s office said.

As The Hill reports, BuzzFeed had released a statement earlier Friday defending the reporters behind the story and saying that it “stands by this story 100%,” and for his part, Cohen adviser Lanny Davis refused to confirm or deny the report during an interview with MSNBC on Friday afternoon.

President Trump retweeted a few social media reactions…

And then made his own views clear:

Meanwhile the real election collusion bombshell had nothing to do with Russia, Moscow hotels, or Michael Cohen, and everything to do with bullet proof evidence that DOJ official, Bruce Ohr, warned all the higher-ups at the FBI and DOJ (Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe, etc…) that the Steele dossier was connected to Hillary Clinton, and was extremely biased against Donald Trump.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how BuzzFeed pushed out a clear, fake propaganda story on Trump, Cohen, and more stupidity about Moscow hotel deals, as real reporter, John Solomon broke a massive story, with solid evidence and facts, that show the FBI and DOJ knew that the Steele dossier was a complete work of fiction, and knowingly hide that fact from FISA courts.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Authored by John Solomon, via The Hill

When the annals of mistakes and abuses in the FBI’s Russia investigation are finally written, Bruce Ohr almost certainly will be the No. 1 witness, according to my sources.

The then-senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and might be biased.

Ohr’s briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.

At the time, Ohr was the associate deputy attorney general. Yet his warnings about political bias were pointedly omitted weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that the FBI obtainedfrom a federal court, granting it permission to spy on whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the 2016 presidential election.

Ohr’s activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.

They also contradict a key argument that House Democrats have made in their formal intelligence conclusions about the Russia case.

Since it was disclosed last year that Steele’s dossier formed a central piece of evidence supporting the FISA warrant, Justice and FBI officials have been vague about exactly when they learned that Steele’s work was paid for by the law firm representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

A redacted version of the FISA application released last year shows the FBI did not mention any connection to the DNC or Clinton. Rather, it referred to Steele as a reliable source in past criminal investigations who was hired by a person working for a U.S. law firm to conduct research on Trump and Russia.

The FBI claimed it was “unaware of any derogatory information” about Steele, that Steele was “never advised … as to the motivation behind the research” but that the FBI  “speculates” that those who hired Steele were “likely looking for information to discredit” Trump’s campaign.

Yet, in testimony last summer to congressional investigators, Ohr revealed the FBI and Justice lawyers had no need to speculate: He explicitly warned them in a series of contacts, beginning July 31, 2016, that Steele expressed biased against Trump and was working on a project connected to the Clinton campaign.

Ohr had firsthand knowledge about the motive and the client: He had just met with Steele on July 30, 2016, and Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the same firm employing Steele.

“I certainly told the FBI that Fusion GPS was working with, doing opposition research on Donald Trump,” Ohr told congressional investigators, adding that he warned the FBI that Steele expressed bias during their conversations.

“I provided information to the FBI when I thought Christopher Steele was, as I said, desperate that Trump not be elected,” he added. “So, yes, of course I provided that to the FBI.”

When pressed why he would offer that information to the FBI, Ohr answered: “In case there might be any kind of bias or anything like that.” He added later, “So when I provided it to the FBI, I tried to be clear that this is source information, I don’t know how reliable it is. You’re going to have to check it out and be aware.”

Ohr went further, saying he disclosed to FBI agents that his wife and Steele were working for the same firm and that it was conducting the Trump-Russia research project at the behest of Trump’s Democratic rival, the Clinton campaign.

“These guys were hired by somebody relating to, who’s related to the Clinton campaign and be aware,” Ohr told Congress, explaining what he warned the bureau.

Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented both the DNC and the Clinton campaign during the 2016 election, belatedly admitted it paid Fusion GPS for Steele’s work on behalf of the candidate and party and disguised the payments as legal bills when, in fact, it was opposition research.

When asked if he knew of any connection between the Steele dossier and the DNC, Ohr responded that he believed the project was really connected to the Clinton campaign.

“I didn’t know they were employed by the DNC but I certainly said yes that they were working for, you know, they were somehow working, associated with the Clinton campaign,” he answered.

“I also told the FBI that my wife worked for Fusion GPS or was a contractor for GPS, Fusion GPS.”

Ohr divulged his first contact with the FBI was on July 31, 2016, when he reached out to then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI attorney Lisa Page. He then was referred to the agents working Russia counterintelligence, including Peter Strzok, the now-fired agent who played a central role in starting the Trump collusion probe.

But Ohr’s contacts about the Steele dossier weren’t limited to the FBI. He said in August 2016 — nearly two months before the FISA warrant was issued — that he was asked to conduct a briefing for senior Justice officials.

Those he briefed included Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ’s fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ’s international operations, and Zainab Ahmad, an accomplished terrorism prosecutor who, at the time, was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor.

Ahmad and Weissmann would go on to work for Mueller, the special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe.

Ohr’s extensive testimony also undercuts one argument that House Democrats sought to make last year.

When Republicans, in early 2018, first questioned Ohr’s connections to Steele, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee sought to minimize the connection, insisting he only worked as an informer for the FBI after Steele was fired by the FBI in November 2016.

The memo from Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) team claimed that Ohr’s contacts with the FBI only began “weeks after the election and more than a month after the Court approved the initial FISA application.”

But Ohr’s testimony now debunks that claim, making clear he started talking to FBI and DOJ officials well before the FISA warrant or election had occurred.

And his detailed answers provide a damning rebuttal to the FBI’s portrayal of the Steele material.

In fact, the FBI did have derogatory information on Steele: Ohr explicitly told the FBI that Steele was desperate to defeat the man he was investigating and was biased.

And the FBI knew the motive of the client and did not have to speculate: Ohr told agents the Democratic nominee’s campaign was connected to the research designed to harm Trump’s election chances.

Such omissions are, by definition, an abuse of the FISA system.

Don’t take my word for it. Fired FBI Director James Comey acknowledged it himself when he testified last month that the FISA court relies on an honor system, in which the FBI is expected to divulge exculpatory evidence to the judges.

“We certainly consider it our obligation, because of our trust relationship with federal judges, to present evidence that would paint a materially different picture of what we’re presenting,” Comey testified on Dec. 7, 2018. “You want to present to the judge reviewing your application a complete picture of the evidence, both its flaws and its strengths.”

Comey claims he didn’t know about Ohr’s contacts with Steele, even though his top deputy, McCabe, got the first contact.

But none of that absolves his FBI, or the DOJ for that matter, from failing to divulge essential and exculpatory information from Ohr to the FISA court.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

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At Age 70, Time To Rethink NATO

The architect of Cold War containment, Dr. George Kennan, warned that moving NATO into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics would prove a “fateful error.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review:


“Treaties are like roses and young girls. They last while they last.”

So said President Charles De Gaulle, who in 1966 ordered NATO to vacate its Paris headquarters and get out of France.

NATO this year celebrates a major birthday. The young girl of 1966 is no longer young. The alliance is 70 years old.

And under this aging NATO today, the U.S. is committed to treat an attack on any one of 28 nations from Estonia to Montenegro to Romania to Albania as an attack on the United States.

The time is ripe for a strategic review of these war guarantees to fight a nuclear-armed Russia in defense of countries across the length of Europe that few could find on a map.

Apparently, President Donald Trump, on trips to Europe, raised questions as to whether these war guarantees comport with vital U.S. interests and whether they could pass a rigorous cost-benefit analysis.

The shock of our establishment that Trump even raised this issue in front of Europeans suggests that the establishment, frozen in the realities of yesterday, ought to be made to justify these sweeping war guarantees.

Celebrated as “the most successful alliance in history,” NATO has had two histories. Some of us can yet recall its beginnings.

In 1948, Soviet troops, occupying eastern Germany all the way to the Elbe and surrounding Berlin, imposed a blockade on the city.

The regime in Prague was overthrown in a Communist coup. Foreign minister Jan Masaryk fell, or was thrown, from a third-story window to his death. In 1949, Stalin exploded an atomic bomb.

As the U.S. Army had gone home after V-E Day, the U.S. formed a new alliance to protect the crucial European powers — West Germany, France, Britain, Italy. Twelve nations agreed that an attack on one would be treated as an attack on them all.

Cross the Elbe and you are at war with us, including the U.S. with its nuclear arsenal, Stalin was, in effect, told. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops returned to Europe to send the message that America was serious.

Crucial to the alliance was the Yalta line dividing Europe agreed to by Stalin, FDR and Churchill at the 1945 Crimean summit on the Black Sea.

U.S. presidents, even when monstrous outrages were committed in Soviet-occupied Europe, did not cross this line into the Soviet sphere.

Truman did not send armored units up the highway to Berlin. He launched an airlift to break the Berlin blockade. Ike did not intervene to save the Hungarian rebels in 1956. JFK confined his rage at the building of the Berlin Wall to the rhetorical: “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

LBJ did nothing to help the Czechs when, before the Democratic convention in 1968, Leonid Brezhnev sent Warsaw Pact tank armies to crush the Prague Spring.

When the Solidarity movement of Lech Walesa was crushed in Gdansk, Reagan sent copy and printing machines. At the Berlin Wall in 1988, he called on Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

Reagan never threatened to tear it down himself.

But beginning in 1989, the Wall was torn down, Germany was united, the Red Army went home, the Warsaw Pact dissolved, the USSR broke apart into 15 nations, and Leninism expired in its birthplace.

As the threat that had led to NATO disappeared, many argued that the alliance created to deal with that threat should be allowed to fade away, and a free and prosperous Europe should now provide for its own defense.

It was not to be. The architect of Cold War containment, Dr. George Kennan, warned that moving NATO into Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics would prove a “fateful error.”

This, said Kennan, would “inflame the nationalistic and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion” and “restore the atmosphere of the cold war in East-West relations.” Kennan was proven right.

America is now burdened with the duty to defend Europe from the Atlantic to the Baltic, even as we face a far greater threat in China, with an economy and population 10 times that of Russia.

And we must do this with a defense budget that is not half the share of the federal budget or the GDP that Eisenhower and Kennedy had.

Trump is president today because the American people concluded that our foreign policy elite, with their endless interventions where no vital U.S. interest was imperiled, had bled and virtually bankrupted us, while kicking away all of the fruits of our Cold War victory.

Halfway into Trump’s term, the question is whether he is going to just talk about halting Cold War II with Russia, about demanding that Europe pay for its own defense, and about bringing the troops home — or whether he is going to act upon his convictions.

Our foreign policy establishment is determined to prevent Trump from carrying out his mandate. And if he means to carry out his agenda, he had best get on with it.

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The ISIS attack in Syria appears to have failed in its real mission

ISIS probably tried to get Mr. Trump to keep troops in Syria, but in reality this attack shows no compelling reason to remain there.

Seraphim Hanisch

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ISIS is one of the bloodiest, most brutal organizations to ever exist in modern history. During its meteoric rise, the “Caliphate” struck with death and fear across the deserts of Iraq and the wastes of Syria, seducing a seemingly increasing number of recruits from the West, developing its own currency and financing abilities, all the while remaining a death cult, in the conviction that their eventual destruction would trigger a far greater Islamic uprising.

But something changed for them starting in about 2013. While ISIS got quietly aided and abetted by President Obama’s (perhaps not unwitting) support through neglect and then even quieter collaboration (Obama thought ISIS could be “managed” in the effort to oust Bashar Al-Assad from Syria), its power and reach extended through much of Syria.

But then came Russia. Russia didn’t think ISIS should be managed. Russia determined that ISIS should be destroyed. And in 2015, invited by Syria, the Russians came and went to work. They did most of the heavy lifting in terms of driving ISIS back, while (inconveniently for the US and West) also carefully taking back Syrian territory from antigovernment groups that were supported by the US and its coalition of forces operating in the country, including Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, and all the names it took on afterwards. This was quietly carried out because the Americans also had face to save, owing to Obama’s clumsy decision to send American forces into the country, which gradually grew and metastasized into a significantly sized fighting force.

With an extremely complicated group of alliances and enemies, the American forces were forced to quietly abandon their mission of removing Bashar al-Assad from power and to pivot to actually destroying ISIS. President Trump does deserve some credit for his part in helping this to happen. He also deserves a lot of credit for his recent decision to pull American troops out of Syria.

This move was severely condemned by the US hawks, resulting in the resignation / firing / retirement of former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and, in an amusing show of hypocrisy, the pundits from the Anti-Trump crowd at CNN and other news outlets characterized this decision as the US President proving once and for all that he is a Putin operative, a real-life Manchurian President.

ISIS evidently wanted the US not to leave either, so it conducted an attack on Wednesday, January 16th, tragically killing 19 people, with four Americans among the dead. The New York Times was lightning-fast to jump into the fray to carry out what was probably ISIS’ real mission with this attack: to sow seeds of doubt among the US authorities, and to keep American forces in the region (emphasis added).

Four Americans were among 19 people killed in Syria on Wednesday in a suicide bombing that was claimed by the Islamic State, just weeks after President Trump ordered the withdrawal of United States forces and declared that the extremist group had been defeated.

The attack targeted an American military convoy in the northern city of Manbij while troops were inside the Palace of the Princes, a restaurant where they often stopped to eat during patrols, residents said. While the Americans were inside, a nearby suicide attacker wearing an explosive vest blew himself up.

The bombing raised new questions about Mr. Trump’s surprise decision last month to end the American ground war in Syria. Critics of the president’s plans, including members of his own party, said Mr. Trump’s claim of victory over the Islamic State may have emboldened its fighters and encouraged Wednesday’s strike… Mr. Trump’s withdrawal announcement, made over the objections of his top national security officials, “set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we’re fighting,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a prominent Trump ally who has nonetheless criticized the military drawdown.

“I saw this in Iraq. And I’m now seeing it in Syria,” Mr. Graham said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.

The rest of the article, of course, had the Trump Administration defending itself, with Vice President Mike Pence as the spokesman of that defense.

However, already only two days later, the noise about this seems to have faded. There is no ongoing media fury about the President’s decision to remove troops. In fact, aside from the ongoing investigation to confirm that ISIS indeed did carry out this attack, there is no indication of a change in the troop withdrawal process.

If this situation remains as it is, it is a very good sign for these reasons:

  1. President Trump is showing his resolve and confidence in a decision he knows to be right (to withdraw) and not to accede to the War Party wishes.
  2. ISIS is losing its reputation as a significant fighting force as far as the US population is concerned, as it probably should. With the US gone, Russia can prosecute this war full force without risk of creating more serious incidents with the Americans.
  3. The possibility exists that this attack, already heinous in what we know, could have been a false flag, designed specifically to provoke the US troop withdrawal to stop and be reversed.

This last scenario has oddly not been visibly mentioned, but it should be, because it probably happened in April 2018 and earlier. The Duran covered this quite extensively, and while the “official” (Western) investigation has come up curiously silent on the alleged chemical weapons attack last April in Ghouta, the overwhelming body of reports from the region suggested that the “gas” attack was nothing at all but drama to keep the US ensnared in the region. Remember, President Trump at that time also expressed the intention of withdrawing US troops from the area, and this event caused a reversal for a time.

ISIS tried to become a nation. It operates on terror and theater, but it considers itself free to kill people along the way as it creates its pageantry. For the souls of all those innocent people who perished in this attack, we must pray and not forget.

But ISIS is substantially done, and what is left will be dealt with by Russian and Syrian forces.

For once, the definition of “American courage” might be not to fight. President Trump’s decision to remove the troops remains one of the most significant achievements of his presidency, and one of the most important in terms of restoring balance to the United States that it deserves to have.

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