Saturday, November 18, 2017

Venezuela Is On The Verge Of Creating A Syrian Style Refugee Crisis



Miami Herald: Venezuela is close to unleashing a Syria-like refugee crisis in Latin America

As Venezuela’s financially strangled dictatorship and the opposition prepare for a possible new round of talks Dec. 1 on whether they can agree on rules for credible 2018 presidential elections, there are reasons to fear that Venezuela’s collapse will escalate into a regional refugee crisis.

Unless Western democracies step up their diplomatic and financial sanctions against President Nicolás Maduro’s regime over the next few weeks, there will be a bigger mass exodus of Venezuelans. Many U.S. and Latin American officials fear a Syria-like situation, in which millions more Venezuelans will flee to other Latin American countries, much like Syrian refugees have flooded European countries.

Many Venezuelans will see no alternative but to emigrate:

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I have friends who live in neighboring Guyana, and the influx of refugees for that country from Venezuela is now very real. They are telling me that it will only be a matter of time before the government imposes strict controls. The infrastructure of Guyana is built to accommodate its population of about 800,000 .... it cannot accommodate an influx of 500,000 (or more) that is now expected.

Venezuela Opposition Leader Ledezma Escapes House Arrest And Flees To Spain



DW: Ousted Venezuelan opposition leader escapes house arrest, flees to Spain

Ousted Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma has likened his escape to a film. He plans to take the fight against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro abroad.

The ousted opposition mayor of Caracas arrived in Spain on Saturday after orchestrating a daring escape from house arrest in Venezuela.

Antonio Ledezma landed in Madrid from Bogota, Colombia, where he arrived a day earlier after slipping across the border. He was greeted by his wife and two daughters who live in Spain.

Ledezma said he planned to organize resistance from abroad to President Nicolas Maduro, under whose rule millions of Venezuelans have suffered from shortages of food and other basic supplies.

"I am going to travel the world to spread the hope of all Venezuelans to escape this regime, this dictatorship," Ledezma said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: He will be far more effective abroad than locked up in his home in Caracas.

More News On Venezuela Opposition Leader Ledezma Escaping House Arrest And Fleeing To Spain

Venezuela opposition leader Ledezma flees to Spain -- Reuters
Ousted Caracas mayor arrives in Madrid after fleeing house arrest -- Strait Times/AFP
Fugitive Caracas mayor flees house arrest for Spain, Venezuela’s Maduro says ‘they can keep him’ -- SCMP
Ousted Caracas mayor flees house arrest, arrives in Colombia in 'movie-like' escape -- Los Angeles Times
Caracas Mayor Escapes House Arrest, Crosses Into Colombia -- Bloomberg

German Coalition Talks Going Nowhere. Strong Possibility Of Germans Going Back To The Polls


Reuters: German parties regroup for last-ditch coalition push

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s would-be coalition partners met on Saturday for a last-ditch round of weekend talks aimed at finding common ground in the divisive fields of climate and migration policy, in the hope of staving off a possible early election.

For German Chancellor Angela Merkel, an awkward three-way conservative-liberal-Green alliance is her best hope of securing a fourth term, but the parties are still far apart after four weeks of talks.

The biggest sticking points are over climate change, where the Greens want emissions cuts that the other parties see as economically ruinous, and immigration, where Merkel’s arch-conservative allies in Bavaria insist on stricter rules.

“The next two days are going to be decisive,” said Volker Kauder, parliamentary leader of Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) as he arrived for the talks.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Even though most Germans favor another election .... for German Chancellor Angela Merkel this would be a disaster. Her support has gone downhill since the last election, and if there is another vote, she would probably be ousted as Chancellor. My prediction .... she will cave in to the Greens on climate change and will accommodate her allies in Bavaria on immigration.

More News On German Coalition Talks To Form A New Government

Crunch time for Merkel to build coalition or face new polls -- AFP
German parties seek compromise on migrants, climate change -- Washington Post
Germany's CSU/CDU Might Compromise Further On Climate Policies To Foster Coalition Deal With Greens, Reportedly -- CleanTechnica
German coalition talks miss deadline; parties still at odds -- Business Insider
German Coalition Negotiations At A Standstill -- EU Policies

U.S. And Poland Agree To A $10.5 Billion Missile Defense System Deal



Reuters: Raytheon gets OK for $10.5 billion Patriot sale to Poland: Pentagon

(Reuters) - The U.S. State Department approved a possible $10.5 billion sale of Raytheon Co’s (RTN.N) Patriot missile defense system to Poland, the Pentagon said on Friday.

NATO member Poland has sped up efforts to overhaul its military following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 and in response to Moscow’s renewed military and political assertiveness in the region.

Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said in March that Poland expected to sign a deal with Raytheon to buy the Patriot missile defense system by the end of the year.

Patriot missile defense interceptors are designed to detect, track and engage unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), cruise missiles and short-range or tactical ballistic missiles.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. And Poland Agreeing To A $10.5 Billion Missile Defense System Deal

Raytheon gets OK for $10.5 billion Patriot sale to Poland: Pentagon -- Reuters
US and Poland agree $10.5bn missile defence deal -- Financial Times
White House to notify Congress of planned Patriot deal with Poland -- Radio Poland
US Approves $10.5Bln Patriot Missile Defense System Sale to Poland -- Sputnik
State Dept authorizes sale of $10.5bn missile defense system to Poland -- RT
US Weapons Sales to Poland Fuel Tensions in Europe – Russian Lawmaker -- Sputnik International

Israel Is Worried About President Trump's Middle East Strategy

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump meeting at the Trump Tower in New York, September 25, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Brian Katulis & Yoram Schweitzer, Foreign Policy: Israel Is Growing Increasingly Worried About the Trump Administration

As Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Russia rush to fill the vacuum of leadership in the Middle East, the United States is AWOL.

Israel’s reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Iran speech last month was best summed up by a former senior official we recently met in Tel Aviv: “It sounds very nice, and I like it very much, but what’s next?”

What we heard last month in Israel on Iran was less focused on the fate of the nuclear deal and more concerned about glaring gaps in U.S. strategy to deter Iran’s destabilizing actions and support for terrorist groups in the wider Middle East.

If and how the Trump administration addresses these gaps in its regional strategy will have implications for America’s security and its allies for years to come — and what we heard in Israel is a growing worry that Trump lacks any operable plan at all on Iran.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I love reading comments like this one from Foreign Policy when it comes to President Trump's foreign policy in the Middle East ....

.... Making matters worse, Trump and his incoherent foreign policy have alienated America’s partners and shredded U.S. credibility as a trustworthy global leader.

President Obama's fulfilling his pledge to withdraw US military forces from Iraq and his secret talks with Iran on negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran is what "shredded U.S. credibility as a trustworthy leader" with its allies in this part of the world .... not President Trump who only been President for less than 10 months.

As for Israeli concerns on the Trump administration. President Trump was not elected to satisfy Israeli concerns. The U.S. and Israel are strategic allies, but their foreign policies and priorities are sometimes different. In regards to Iran .... both countries have the same view, the difference is on what to do about it.

On a side note .... and that is because I know some of the people who work there .... Foreign Policy has gone 100% anti-Trump. It was bad enough to read analysis and commentaries from people who I respected suffering from Obama derangement syndrome when he was President, but this Trump derangement syndrome has gone to a completely different level. In turn .... for this blog .... covering the debate, analysis, and commentary on U.S. politics has become more and more difficult with each passing month. And sadly .... my prediction from earlier this year still holds ..... it is going to get worse.

Are U.S. Special Forces Being Stretched To A Possible Breaking Point?

In this photo released by the U.S. Army on March 9, 2017, U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers observe as Nigerien armed forces service members fire their weapons with the assistance of illumination rounds during Exercise Flintlock 2017 in Diffa, Niger.

VOA: US Officials Warn Special Ops Forces Being Stretched to Possible Breaking Point

Add U.S. lawmakers to the ranks of those worried the country's special operations forces are being stretched to a possible breaking point.

Pentagon officials raised the issue months ago, telling lawmakers in May the continuous, heavy reliance on the most elite U.S. forces was threatening to erode their capabilities.

Since then, such concerns have only grown, highlighted by a series of high-profile incidents, including a probe into whether two members of the Navy's SEAL team may have been involved in the death of an Army Green Beret member in Mali this past June, and the death of four special operation soldiers in an ambush in Niger last month.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: You cannot successfully fight multiple conflicts on the backs of 50,000 or 60,000 special forces (or less) that are deployed in the field. There are too many places and too few boots on the ground to make a real difference in a short period of time. The best that you can hope for is that with time, the forces that the US Special Forces are training and working with will make a difference.

What Is The U.S. Strategy In Afghanistan?

© U.S. Army

Gerald F. Hyman, National Interest: Trump's New Afghanistan Strategy Isn't Really a Strategy

Principles guiding a strategy are no substitute for an actual strategy whether developed by Washington or by field commanders.

To much anticipation, on August 21 President Donald Trump announced “our new strategy” for Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it revealed neither a succinct strategy nor even anything new. It was instead a list of a dozen pronouncements defining various U.S. policies tied to Afghanistan. Leaving aside their wisdom, they describe almost perfectly the policy of President George W. Bush and the initial policy of President Barack Obama.

More importantly, the announcements form not even the semblance of a strategy. A strategy is a plan for the deployment of (limited) resources in support of a set of objectives and in the face of obstacles (like adversaries), as President Trump said himself, it is “a plan for victory.” President Trump elucidated none of the elements.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The White House and the Pentagon have not publicly articulated what they will be exactly doing in Afghanistan, but if I was to guess on what is the Afghan strategy, it will be something like what was done in Iraq during the Obama administration and refined by the Trump administration under the guidance of US Defense Secretary of Defense Mattis. First things first .... stabilize the situation, and this has been somewhat successful. Taliban and ISIS gains have been limited in the past few months, and this was been done by changing the rules of engagement, and conducting far more airstrikes. Second .... build up the Afghan security forces, and like in Iraq .... put together a division of elite soldiers that will storm enemy strongholds. This rebuilding  took approximately 2 years in Iraq to accomplish, and I expect the same in Afghaistan. Three .... when these Afghan forces are ready, launch military offensives with U.S. special forces embedded to order in air and artillery strikes. Four .... make sure the Afghan Army does the fighting .... this is their country, and they are the ones who will have to fight for it.

If this is the strategy .... will it work? I honestly do not know. Afghanistan is not Iraq, and the conditions on the ground are different in both countries. But I do know that the Afghan conflict is a war of attrition, and it will not surprise me if it will take decades for some semblance of peace to return to this country. The hope is that the Afghan government will be able to sustain this conflict by itself .... and the sooner they can achieve that, the better that it will be for all of us.


More News On The U.S. - Afghan Strategy

The Convoluted Arguments Underlying U.S. Afghanistan Strategy -- Lawrence Sellin (Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve), Daily Caller
Afghanistan's Chief Executive Is Hopefull For U.S. War Strategy -- NPR
Abdullah Upbeat About New US War Strategy -- TOLO News
Afghanistan: New US Strategy Proves Popular -- IWPR
Trump's Afghan policy causing a rethink on both sides in conflict -- Scott Peterson, CSM
News Analysis: Taliban downplays U.S. new strategy on Afghanistan, pushes for war: Afghan observers -- Xinhua
The Marines Returned To Helmand Province. Is Their Mission A Blueprint For Trump’s Afghanistan Strategy? -- Shashank Bengali, Task & Purpose/Los Angeles Times

Pentagon's Troop Surge To Afghanistan Has Reached 14,000 Soldiers

A 3rd Infantry Division soldier gives a thumbs-up as he boards a plane to deploy to Afghanistan on Aug. 3, 2017. The Pentagon says a recent surge has boosted the number of U.S. troops on the ground to 14,000. Staff Sgt. Candace Mundt/Army

DoD Buzz: Troop Surge in Afghanistan Completed; 14,000 Now on Ground

President Donald Trump’s troop surge in Afghanistan has essentially been completed, boosting the number of service members on the ground from 11,000 to 14,000, the Pentagon said Thursday.

“We’ve just completed a force flow into Afghanistan,” Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff Director, said at a news conference.

“The new number for Afghanistan is now approximately 14,000 — might be a little above that, might be a little below that, as we flex according to the mission,” he said.

“With the additional forces that the commander has identified as needed, and that [Defense Secretary Jim Mattis] and the president have approved, the new approximate number for Afghanistan is 14,000,” McKenzie said.

Read more ....

More News On The Pentagon's Troop Surge To Afghanistan Reaching 14,000 Soldiers

Pentagon: About 3000 more troops have deployed to Afghanistan -- Stars and Stripes
Trump's Afghanistan Troop Surge is Complete, Raising Total Number of US Servicemen to 14000 -- Newsweek
Pentagon Says 3000 More US Troops In Afghanistan Since August -- Radio Free Europe
3000 More US Troops Arrive In Afghanistan, Pentagon Says -- TOLOnews
Around 3000 Additional US Troops are Stationed in Afghanistan -- Novinite

U.S. Troops In Afghanistan Were Told To Ignore Child Sexual Abuse



The Hill: Watchdog: Troops say they were told to ignore Afghan child sex abuse

A new inspector general report released Thursday found that while the Pentagon did not have formal guidance discouraging the reporting of child sex abuse in Afghanistan, several troops say they were still informally told to ignore it.

“Following a review of DoD Instructions, Command Policy and Service guidance, we did not identify any guidance or policy that expressly discouraged personnel from reporting incidents of child sexual abuse,” according to the unclassified version of the Department of Defense inspector general report.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Inspector General's report is here .... Implementation of the DoD Leahy Law Regarding Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse by Members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (Inspector General/US Department of Defense).

More News On U.S. Troops In Afghanistan Being Told To Ignore Child Sexual Abuse

US Forces Told to Ignore Child Sex Abuse By Afghan Forces -- Code & Dagger
Report: U.S. troops told to ignore child rape by Afghan security forces -- UPI
The DoD Has Barely Made A Dent In Afghan Security Forces’ Child Sex Abuse Problem -- Task & Purpose
US troops taught sexual abuse was 'culturally accepted practice' in Afghanistan -- RT
Were Any U.S.-Backed Afghan Troops Punished for Raping Kids? That’s Classified. -- Daily Beast

North Korea Strengthens Ties with Cuba

North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho leaves a bilateral meeting with his China's counterpart Wang Yi, at the sidelines of the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Vientiane, Laos July 25, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Newsweek: New Cold War? North Korea Strengthens Ties with Cuba After Threatening Nuclear Attack on U.S.

Pyongyang hopes to rekindle a Cold War-era friendship.

Korean Central News Agency announced Friday that North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and his delegation will be traveling to Cuba, in hopes of revamping international support amid sanctions and widespread condemnation of Pyongyang’s nuclear missile tests.

The Washington Post reported that North Korea’s visit to Cuba occurs as Pyongyang’s largest trading partners announced they would halt trade with the isolated nation. Singapore—North Korea’s seventh largest trading partner–indicated it would sever its trade with the country Thursday, while the Philippines—Pyongyang’s fifth largest trading partner—is following suit.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The North Koreans are looking for allies, and customers for their military products. Cuba has a history of buying North Korean arms .... N Korean ship seized with Cuban weapons returns to Cuba (BBC).

China Says Will Work With North Korea. North Korea Sends A Different Message

This picture taken on November 17, 2017 and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows Song Tao attending a meeting with Choe Ryong-Hae (2nd R)

Reuters: China says will work with North Korea to boost ties as envoy visits

BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) - Traditional friendship between China and North Korea represents “valuable wealth” for their people, China said after its special envoy met a high-ranking North Korean official, but there was no mention of the crisis over North Korea’s weapons.

Song Tao, who heads the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s international department, is visiting Pyongyang to discuss the outcome of the recently concluded Communist Party Congress in China, at which President Xi Jinping cemented his power.

In a brief statement dated Friday but reported by Chinese media on Saturday, the international department said Song, who is there representing Xi, reported to North Korean official Choe Ryong Hae the outcome of the congress.

Song and Choe also talked about relations between their parties and countries, the department said.

Read more ....

Update #1: China stresses steady development of friendly ties with N.K. (Korea Herald, Yonhap)
Update #2: Chinese, N.Korean envoys discuss regional concerns: state media (AFP)

WNU Editor: The Chinese sent their senior bureaucrat in their foreign affairs office to North Korea, and the North Koreans sent a close aide to North Korean leader Jim Jong-un. The person the North Koreans should have sent to such a meeting is their foreign minister or their deputy foreign minister .... this would have helped cement future talks between the two ministries (foreign ministries rarely conduct their two way communications with a personal aide of the leader .... they will talk with their counterpart). My impression of this meeting is that the Chinese are trying to establish a dialogue .... and the North Koreans are responding by giving the Chinese their due respect, but they are not interested in continuing a discussion. The above photo is also very revealing ... the Chinese have a big delegation, the North Koreans have an interpreter, and someone writing down notes. No lower rank North Korean officials present to talk with their lower-rank Chinese counterparts.

Tweets For Today





Turkey's Purchase Of Russia's S-400 Means That They Will Now Not Be Permitted To Plug Into NATO Systems

S-400 Triumph © Sergey Malgavko / Sputnik

Defense News: US official: If Turkey buys Russian systems, they can’t plug into NATO tech

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — If Turkey moves forward with its buy of a Russian air defense system, it will not be permitted to plug into NATO technology, and further action may be forthcoming that could affect the country’s acquisition or operation of the F-35, a top Air Force official said Wednesday.

Turkey has reportedly finalized a deal with Russia for the S-400, an advanced anti-aircraft missile system. According to a Nov. 12 Reuters report, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli claimed that it had made an order for the missiles and further terms of the agreement were “just details now.”

Read more ....

Update #1: S-400 purchase will restrict Turkey's access to NATO technology, US official says (Daily Sabah)
Update #2: Purchase of Russian S-400 system creates issues for Turkey’s use of F-35 – top US Air Force official (RT)
Update #3: If Turkey buys the Russian S-400 missile system, it can't be allowed to buy the F-35 fighter jet (Washington Examiner)

WNU Editor: It is no longer an if Turkey buys Russian systems .... Turkey finalized the purchase last week .... Turkey has completed purchase of Russian missile defense: defense minister (Reuters).

Update #4: Ambassador to NATO unsure if US will impose sanctions on Turkey for S-400 buy (Defense News).

Picture Of The Day

Servicemen of the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s rapid response force are seen during the opening ceremony of the joint anti-terror drill at the Khairmaidon base in Tajikistan on November 14, 2017. © Sputnik/ Alexey Kudenko

WNU Editor: The above picture can from this photo gallery .... This Week in Pictures (November 11-17) (Sputnik).

Pentagon Accidentally Exposes Massive Social Media Web-Monitoring Operation


Up Guard: Dark Cloud: Inside The Pentagon's Leaked Internet Surveillance Archive

The UpGuard Cyber Risk Team can now disclose that three publicly downloadable cloud-based storage servers exposed a massive amount of data collected in apparent Department of Defense intelligence-gathering operations. The repositories appear to contain billions of public internet posts and news commentary scraped from the writings of many individuals from a broad array of countries, including the United States, by CENTCOM and PACOM, two Pentagon unified combatant commands charged with US military operations across the Middle East, Asia, and the South Pacific.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Someone was incredibly sloppy .... or did not know what he/she was doing.

More News On The Pentagon Accidentally Exposing A Massive Social Media Web-Monitoring Operation

Pentagon exposed some of its data on Amazon server -- CNN
Pentagon Accidentally Exposes Web-Monitoring Operation -- PCMag
Massive US military social media spying archive left wide open in AWS S3 buckets -- The Register
Defense Department Spied On Social Media, Left All Its Collected Data Exposed To Anyone -- Techdirt
Pentagon security fail left massive trove of data on Amazon server - reports -- RT
Pentagon-Collected Surveillance Data on Internet Users Becomes Public -- Sputnik International

Friday, November 17, 2017

If The U.S. Succeeds In Regime Change In North Korea And Iran, What Would Happen Next?

A view of a parade celebrating the 105th birth anniversary of founder Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea April 15, 2017 in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 16, 2017. (Reuters)

George Perkovich, National Interest: If America Topples North Korea and Iran, What Happens Next?

Just say no to regime change. It hasn't worked in the past and it won't now.

On October 19, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster declared that President Donald Trump was not going to accept the North Korean regime threatening the United States with a nuclear weapon. “He just won’t accept it,” McMaster reported. “There are those who have said, ‘What about accept and deter?’ Well, accept and deter is unacceptable.” McMaster was speaking at a conference organized by the Foundation for the Defense for Democracies—a small but influential Washington think tank. Its leaders advocated the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and now provide intellectual fuel for McMaster, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and others, such as the Wall Street Journal editorial board, which called for “The Regime Change Solution in Korea.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If you break it ... you own it. And at this moment in time there is fortunately no appetite in the U.S. public to wage war against North Korea and Iran with the goal of regime change .... and there is certainly no desire to be responsible for cleaning it all up when the bombs have stopped dropping. But in the event that regime change is pursued .... and it is successful .... unless the U.S. is willing to commit hundreds of thousands of soldiers and trillions of dollars for a long term occupation .... nothing is good is going to come out of this.

In The War Against ISIS Civilians Killed Were Usually Recorded As Fighters

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Brennan Weiss, Business Insider: The US recorded civilians as ISIS members in what may be 'the least transparent war in recent American history'

* The US military has drastically underreported the number of civilian casualties in its fight against ISIS.
* A recent investigation found the rate of civilian deaths in Iraq to be 31 times higher than what has been reported by US-led coalition forces.
* News of underreported civilian casualties comes as President Donald Trump loosens rules of engagement abroad, which many human rights organizations say will lead to more innocent lives lost.

An 18-month investigation by The New York Times revealed that the US-led coalition fighting ISIS repeatedly recorded civilian deaths as enemy casualties.

The Times' journalists scanned the locations of nearly 150 coalition airstrikes across northern Iraq and found the rate of civilian deaths to be more than 31 times that acknowledged by the coalition.

Such negligence — a combination of simply flawed and outdated intelligence — amounted to what the Times noted "may be the least transparent war in recent American history."

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This Business Insider post summarizes the work that the New York Times has done in tracking civilian casualties in the war against ISIS .... but it is months late, and already reported by others .... Civilian Casualties Have Increased Under President Trump (July 17, 2017). My comment from my post in July also still holds ....

.... This blog has posted countless articles in the past six months outlining how ISIS was civilians as human shields .... especially in Mosul. In such an environment .... heavy urban combat with hundreds of civilians in a few buildings .... was (and is) a guarantee that there will be high civilian casualties. I suspect that when the war is over .... and a true accounting of who was killed and wounded in the battle of Mosul is finally tallied .... we are going to be shocked to learn that thousands died .... and most within the past 2 or 3 months. As for blaming President Trump for these casualties .... casualties that came from U.S. artillery and air strikes that Iraqi soldiers on the ground called for .... please .... the ones who should be blamed for this slaughter are those who fought for the Islamic State.

This Is What A Chinese Nuclear Attack On America Would Look Like

Reuters

Lyle J. Goldstein, National Interest: Forget North Korea: This Is What a Chinese Nuclear Attack on America Would Look Like

As one can see from this discussion, there is ample reason for anxiety with many new Chinese nuclear systems now coming online, as well as substantial reason for optimism. As an author who frequently rides China’s high-speed rail, I am acutely aware that astronomical sums of money spent on that system could just as easily have been spent building an enormous arsenal of nuclear weaponry. That was not done and it’s certainly good that Chinese leaders have their priorities straight. American strategists need to keep this Chinese restraint in mind, especially as they weigh both new, expensive weapons systems (missile defense augmentation, the new strategic bomber, SSBN-X and also prompt global strike) and a set of measures to counter Beijing within the maritime disputes on its flanks.

When one reads enough Chinese naval literature, diagrams of multi-axial cruise missile saturation attacks against aircraft carrier groups may begin to seem normal. However, one particular graphic from the October 2015 issue (p. 32) of the naval journal Naval & Merchant Ships [舰船知识] stands out as both unusual and singularly disturbing. It purports to map the impact of a Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) strike by twenty nuclear-armed rockets against the United States.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: When it comes to Chinese nuclear weapons .... for as long as I can remember .... nothing much is known about the Chinese nuclear stockpile, capabilities, doctrine .... and more importantly .... their future plans. The above post makes that point abundantly clear.