• The biggest increase in military spending since the 90s. 40% for air force 20% on the Navy. 17% for ground forces. 35% to refill ammunition depos and upgrade cyberwarfare and kit.

    They want 35 Lockheed-Martin F-35s, 60 Boeing Chinook helicopters, and 15 Eurofighter typhoon jets. They'll also spend on R&D, combat cloud, combat air systems (6th gen fighter jet), submarine tech, frigates, artillery, tanks. In cooperation with other European countries and the US.

    They don't currently have a single combat-ready division, reportedly. They plan to have a combat ready division in 2025.

    What was their use to NATO? "On paper" they have 350 Pumas (150 can be used), 51 Tiger helicopters (9 ready). They use analog (not encrypted) radios.

    30% of their navy is seaworthy. Their army has 200k soldiers, down from 1990's 500k.

    They're planning to up their spending to 2% of GDP on defense.

    But they have to get approval to pass this. Germany has a lot of pacifism, but it's currently anyway getting a lot of support.

    An interesting thing in Germany is when there's bidding for a defense contract, the loser can challenge the decision, which can stall things for years. German contractors do sue each other sometimes, delaying things for years also.

      
     
  • Will Russia continue to be a reliable supplier of arms to India, as Russia becomes involved with China?

    "A weakened Russia, with a degraded military industrial structure, is not going to be the major reliable, efficient partner we were counting on before the war." Indian congressman

    India is considering closer alliance with the US but is not impressed with the US's history of alliances (it hasn't always fared very well for the US's alliance partners, some say).

    Some say India is coming to resemble China and Russia more than it resembles Western democracies.

    2 months before the Ukraine invasion Putin visited India on a rare trip abroad.

    In 1971 both India and the Soviets were concerned about China and made a strong pact. Russia became India's #1 arms supplier (against China, India's longstanding adversary).

    Recently, the US threatened to sanction India for an arms purchase of high-tech Russia weapons.

    However, India buying arms from Russia seems to have been declining anyway over the past 10 years. India buys more now from US, Israel, France and other countries.

    Russia has historically voted against and even vetoed UN movements in support of India, particularly in India's sensitive issues like Kashmir.

     
  • Ruble collapsed by 60% last March when they invaded Ukraine, but is now the strongest performer of 2022 (a 2-year high of 64R/1USD)

    Spending of reserves, being an exporter of petrol, having gas buyers buy in Rubles, doubling interest rates and limiting capital flows, and talking about backing the Ruble with gold and other commodities are factors contributing to its rising valuation.

    Russia has energy, so that's not cramping their style like in some oil importing countries (price has been rising over the past year significantly). Russian consumer appears still strong.

    However, the future. The economy (GDP) is guessed it will shrink 10% in an upcoming recession. Financial sanctions take months or years to take effect, they're not immediate.

    The other currencies that have appreciated against the USD this year are the Brazilian Rial and (a lot) and the Mexican Peso (a little bit). All other currencies have depreciated against the USD this year, the most depreciation seen by Egypt's Pound, Argentine's Peso, Japanese Yen, Turkish Lire, and some other Eastern European money.





  • 7 years growing. Despite pandemic, recession, whatever.

    Over $2t in 2021 for the first time.

    The biggest arms companies are all in the US except one in the UK.

     


  • Africa, High natural Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, 65% end of 2021 (very variable, for example high in cities while low in the countryside).

    Not by means of any 'great coordinated global effort to give people vaccines.'

     
  • The Germans have been slashing [defense] budgets basically every year for the last 20 years. The capabilities of the once-fearsome West German military that became the German military, those are long gone. There's really nothing Germany can do except economically. - Samo Burja

    Britain, France. These are shadows of what they were even in the 90s.

  • RT and Sputnik have closed some things down, and have been banned from some US/Western platforms

    This happened right after the invasion of Ukraine a few weeks ago, but I just watched this interview with Abby Martin who said this:

    " RT America was an incredible opportunity to highlight voices like Chris Hedges, consistent anti-war like myself, Lee Camp. And that was unmatched. That platform that RT America gave us was unmatched. Our viewpoints are not allowed on the corporate media. Dissent against empire is not allowed on the corporate media. And that is why we had to go to places like Russia Today, in order to have a platform for these very important and crucial perspectives."

    She said the US was looking for a chance to shut down alternative media.

  • Many commentators and experts when talking about Ukraine are saying it's a war crime or it's an unjust war, but leaving it at that.

    They're not saying anymore against Russia's actions. They are all putting it in context of the situation the West has created. Then they add again their line about it not being a just war, or about it being a war crime.

    They liken the war, being a pre-emptive war, to the US invasion of Iraq, which they also say is a war crime.
  • Putin starts destroying cities, or a prolonged war of attrition, are the two prospects Chris Hedges presumes for Ukraine

    Putin has been restrained in the damage he's done in Ukraine, Hedges said, but he may become frustrated and lift restraints, resulting in largescale deaths. Or, if there is a steady stream of arms shipments into Ukraine, it may be a long war of attrition.

    Which would be more profitable for the permanent military industrial complex?

    #Ukraine #Russia #MIC
  • "Because Russia controls the air, the game is ultimately fixed against the Ukrainians" - Chris Hedges

    Because the West won't call a 'no fly zone' (which would be interpreted by Russia as an act of war, it's been said), Russia will control the air and therefore the war.

    Hedges hearkened back to Iraq where Apache helicopters basically acted as mobile tank-destroying machines, picking one off after another.

  • Europe likely headed for recession, US not, according to Mark Mobius

    US is going to be producing a lot of military equipment, and that will help its economy, he said.

  • How much has the US given the Ukraine for military over the past 5 or 10 years?

    I heard someone say a billion.
  • Massive economic incentive to expand NATO after end of Soviet Union

    All those former Soviet countries were outfitted wit Russian weapons. They had to be refitted with Western weapons (NATO all use the same weapons or something).

    To create new markets for the big military equipment companies that wouldn't be buying as many tanks and warplanes etc since Cold War was over (ultimately US didn't buy less because War on Terror started in 2001).

    - point raised by Ali Abunimah

     
  • Covid-19 vaccines and treatments: we must have raw data, now

    The authors of this paper, published in BMJ, say people don't have access to real, good (raw) data on the vaccines.

    In the paper, they write, "The anonymized participant level of data underlying the trials for these new products remain inaccessible to doctors, researchers, and the public" despite the global rollout.

    The authors asserted that, "This is morally indefensible for all trials, but especially for those involving major public health interventions."

    "The company and the contract research organization that carried out the trial hold all the data."

    Pfizer indicated it wouldn't even begin to entertain requests for trial data until 2025.

    It has been pointed out that a similar thing happened in 2009 - 2012 there was a large vaccination campaign for H1N1, and governments were stockpiling Tamiflu,how much did tamiflu make (UK spent 473m pounds on it. Anyone know how much it's made worldwide?) and there was a black market for the product. Major trials for it were sponsored by the manufacturer, and papers were ghostwritten and paid for by the manufacturers. Academics who requested access to the papers were denied.


     
  • Tourists questioning Western mass media reports about Ethiopia, because they're currently there

    3 YouTube links:




     
  • US, UK, Aus form new military pact

    Basically in preparation for a possible war with China, and we might suppose the MIC.

    There has been 'increased tension' between Aus and China recently.

    France quite upset and vocal about being left out. China made the usual critical statements.

    Aus will get a nuclear capable submarine fleet with US/UK tech.

    NATO is maybe not as popular an idea as it once was (if ever), with members making further pacts among themselves and competing in military business matters.

     
  • Reportedly, US drone strike killed an aid worker and children

    According to NYT.

    DailymailUK: 'The drone strike that the Pentagon claimed killed an ISIS-K suicide bomber in Kabul actually targeted an aid worker who had filled his car with water jugs, rather than explosives, according to a shocking new report.'

    According to the family, 10 were killed in that car, although the Pentagon says 3 civilians.

    Congresswoman Ilhan Omar  wrote of a recent drone strike (I don't know if it was the same strike):

    "This is the lastest in 20 years of innocent lives taken and children orphaned in Afghanistan and covert drone warfare around the world. Impunity for these attacks continues to create a neverending cycle of violence and retribution. Where should these victims go to seek justice?"


    ‘Imminent Threat’ or Aid Worker: Did a U.S. Drone Strike in Afghanistan Kill the Wrong Person? - The New York Times  
  • Typical Afghanistan news on YT, Sept 11, 2021

    There's a lot of news on the US (and allies) in Afghanistan right now. I think maybe people almost forgot about Afghanistan, they got so used to it, but now with the sudden moves what is left is quite impressive. It's the 20-year anniversary of the World Trade Center event, which many people do not believe the official story. Documents are reported to be soon declassified by Biden.

    Image shows a news story about a base left by the US, and the comments show the general feeling on the events now.




     
  • Some US National Guards seeking to limit their deployment unless a state of war is actually declared by Congress

    'The mission for the National Guard has to be changed,' said one vet.

    Traditionally, the National Guard is activated by the states to deal with domestic emergencies (natural disasters, civil disturbances, pandemics). And support and backup for overseas military operations. Lots served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    They were a strategic reserve, and are now 'a combat operationally-focused reserve capability,' according to some.

    States are obligated to make them available in 'national security threats.' The issue is 'What is a national security threat?' The 2001 War on Terror resolution has allowed the last 4 presidents to use them for their wars, and they all have done so. Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Some, like Congresswoman Idaho Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin, believe undeclared wars (all American wars since WWII) are not included, according to Article 1 of the Constitution. Article 1, for allowing Federal use of the state's militia, is for executing the laws of the nation, suppressing insurrection, and repelling invasions.

    'Defend the Guard' is the name of one of the groups doing this.

    However, the states might not be able to limit Federal control of the Guard after it 'has been mobilized for Federal service in the context of any law, or mobilized for Federal training as a reserve of the army or air force, the states have no control over what the president or the DoD does with those units once they're in that status.' (Brig. Gen. David McGinnis (Red.))

    One thing the Fed can do is limit funding for the Guard if they don't come when called on. Hundreds of millions per year.

    Some say the Guard, as a result of it's militarization and combat deployments, is better trained, equipped, and more integrated with the active military.

    But is that a good type of better for doing state domestic emergencies?


    WIkipedia: Article One of the United States Constitution
     

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