Bill Van Auken / World Socialists Website & Tyler Durden /ZeroHedge.com – 2016-10-06 16:37:24
Pentagon Chief Outlines US Plans for Nuclear War with Russia
Bill Van Auken / World Socialist Website & Global Research
(September 28, 2016) — US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter delivered a speech to “missileers” at the Air Force Global Strike Command base in Minot, South Dakota Monday, defending the massive modernization of the US nuclear arsenal and issuing bellicose threats against Russia.
Carter’s trip to Minot was the first he has taken to a nuclear missile base since becoming secretary of defense in February 2015. It coincided with the steady escalation of conflicts pitting the US against nuclear-armed Russia and China that threaten to ignite a new world war.
The thrust of Carter’s speech was a defense of the Pentagon’s proposed $348 billion plan to rebuild Washington’s so-called nuclear triad of strategic bombers, missiles and submarines. Estimates are that over a 30-year period, this nuclear buildup will siphon fully $1 trillion out of the American economy.
Delivered to the officers and enlisted personnel tasked with launching Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, each carrying warheads with 60 times the destructive capacity of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the speech at times seemed to echo the title of the satiric 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
This massive US death machine, Carter insisted, provided “the bedrock of security” that has “enabled millions and millions to get up in the morning to go to school, to go to work, to live their lives, to dream their dreams and to give their children a better future.”
He went on to predict that “given what we see in today’s security environment, it’s also likely that our children and their children will probably have to live in a world where nuclear weapons exist.” In reality, assuming the continuation of the present “security environment” and the continued existence of nuclear weapons, there is good reason to fear that the world will be incinerated in the lifetimes of “our children and their children.”
While using the anodyne Pentagon jargon of “our nuclear enterprise” to refer to the US nuclear war arsenal, Carter’s speech contained passages hinting at the undeniable fact that the threat of a nuclear conflagration is now greater than at any time since the height of the Cold War.
He warned that while “in the more than seven decades since 1945, nuclear weapons have not again been used in war, that’s not something we can ever take for granted.”
He added: “In today’s security environment, one that’s dramatically different from the last generation, and certainly the generation before that, we face a nuclear landscape that continues to pose challenges . . . that continues to evolve, in some ways less predictably than during the Cold War, even though many around the world and even some in the United States are stuck in the Cold War in their thinking.”
What has changed in the wake of the Cold War and the Stalinist bureaucracy’s dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 is the eruption of American militarism, based on the conviction of the US ruling establishment that, with the demise of the USSR, it could freely employ its military might in a bid to assert world hegemony and reverse the global economic decline of American capitalism.
The wars fought over the last quarter century, particularly in the Middle East, have produced a series of debacles and a world historic catastrophe for the peoples of the region. At the same time, they have metastasized into broader conflicts pitting the US ever more directly against Russia and China.
In a press conference after his speech, Carter gave vent to the mounting frustration in Washington over the failure of its five-year-old proxy war for regime change in Syria. This has taken the form of ever more hysterical denunciations of Russia for “war crimes” — this from a government responsible for well over a million deaths in the region.
“What’s going on now in Syria is tragic, disgraceful, preventable, and — as I think everyone around the world has been emphasizing over the weekend — Russia and the Syrian regime bear responsibility for the violence, particularly against civilians,” Carter told the media.
The real concern in Washington is not the loss of civilian lives, but rather the prospect that the Syrian government, backed by Russian airpower, is on the verge of overrunning east Aleppo, one of the last bastions of the Al Qaeda-affiliated militias that constitute the main fighting force in the US-orchestrated war for regime change.
Attacking Russia in his speech, Carter said: “Moscow’s recent saber rattling and building of new nuclear weapons systems raises serious questions about its leaders’ commitment to strategic stability, their regard for long-established abhorrence of using nuclear weapons and whether they respect the profound caution that Cold War-era leaders showed with respect to brandishing nuclear weapons.”
The Obama administration, which recently signaled its decision to abandon even the Democratic president’s pretense of renouncing a nuclear first strike as official US policy, has attempted to portray Russia as responsible for igniting a new nuclear arms race. Given that Russia’s military budget is little more than one-tenth that of the US, and less than that of Washington’s closest Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, this amounts to an absurd pretext.
The nuclear saber rattling is being carried out by the US government, and Carter’s trip to Minot was part of it.
The defense secretary described the nuclear bombers and missiles as a force that served to “enable” US troops “to accomplish their conventional missions around the world.”
“As you know, they’re standing with our NATO allies and standing up to Russia’s aggression in Europe,” he said, referring as well to US operations in “the vital Asia-Pacific region,” “deterring North Korea’s provocations” and “countering Iran’s malign activities in the Middle East.”
Referring to the relentless US-NATO military buildup against Russia, Carter declared: “Across the Atlantic, we’re refreshing NATO’s nuclear playbook to better integrate conventional and nuclear deterrence to ensure we plan and train like we’d fight and to deter Russia from thinking it can benefit from nuclear use in a conflict with NATO, from trying to escalate to de-escalate, as some there call it.”
The US and its NATO allies are deploying thousands of troops on Russia’s western border and have created a 40,000-strong rapid reaction force in preparation for war. The stated commitment to “integrate conventional and nuclear” forces in this effort has placed the threat of nuclear war on a hair trigger.
Last week, the Russian news agency Tass quoted the commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force, Sergey Karakayev, as reporting that the latest Yars mobile ballistic missile systems are being deployed to the Tver region, the country’s westernmost ICBM command.
Moscow is carrying out the deployment in response to Washington’s positioning of an antimissile defense system in Romania and plans to set up similar batteries in Poland. While the US pretext is that the systems are directed against Iran (which has no nuclear weapons), Moscow sees the deployments as an attempt to make a first strike against Russia more feasible. It also charges that the ABM systems can easily be converted to fire short- and medium-range offensive nuclear missiles.
In his speech Monday, Carter also made a brief reference to a Pentagon effort to boost morale among the military personnel assigned to launch a nuclear war, saying it was “bearing fruit.” In 2013 and 2014, over 100 officers and enlisted personnel at nuclear bases were implicated in a scandal involving drug abuse, cheating on proficiency tests and gross security violations. The nuclear war command also saw a series of top officers removed from their posts.
The claim of improved morale was called into question, however, with the court martial in June of one member of the security forces at the F.E. Warren nuclear missile base in Wyoming on charges of using and distributing the hallucinogenic drug LSD. Fourteen other airmen have been suspended for suspected drug use there.
The original source of this article is World Socialist Web Site
Copyright Bill Van Auken, World Socialist Web Site, 2016
Leaked Memo Exposes George Soros’ Plan
To Overthrow Putin & Destabilize Russia
Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge.com
(August 25, 2016) — The recent DC Leaks, of over 2,500 documents from George Soros NGOs, has shed a bright light on how the billionaire uses his vast wealth to create global chaos in an never-ending push to deliver his neo-liberal euphoria to the peasant classes.
While Soros has managed to thoroughly destabilize the European Union by promoting mass immigration and open borders, divided the United States by actively funding Black Lives Matters, and corrupting the very corruptible US political class, and destroyed Ukraine by pushing for an illegal coup of a democratically elected government using neo-Nazi strong men . . . one country that Soros has not bee able to crack has been The Russian Federation.
Russia’s political pragmatism and humanist value system rooted in a traditional, “nation-state” culture most likely infuriates Soros. Russia is Soros’ white whale . . . a creature he has been trying to capture and kill-off for nearly a decade.
Unfortunately for Soros (and fortunately for the entire planet) the Russian government realised the cancerous nature of Soros-backed NGOs, and took the proper preventative measures . . . which, in hindsight, and, after reviewing the DC Leaks memos, proved to be a very wise move.
On November 30th 2015, ZeroHedge reported:
Russian Prosecutor General’s Office issued a statement in which it recognized George Soros’s Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as “undesirable groups”, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects.
* prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russia’s Constitutional order and national security. They added that the Justice Ministry would be duly informed about these conclusions and would add the two groups to Russia’s list of undesirable foreign organizations.
According to RT, prosecutors launched a probe into the activities of the two organizations — both sponsored by the well-known US financier George Soros — in July this year, after Russian senators approved the so-called “patriotic stop-list” of 12 groups that required immediate attention over their supposed anti-Russian activities.
The Law on Undesirable Foreign Organizations came into force in early June this year. It requires the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry to draw up an official list of undesirable foreign organizations and outlaw their activities.
Once a group is recognized as undesirable, its assets in Russia must be frozen, its offices closed and the distribution of any of its materials must be banned. That said, it is doubtful that Soros still has any active assets in Russia — his foundation, which emerged in Russia in its early post-USSR years in the mid-1990s, wrapped up active operations in 2003 when Putin cemented his control on power.
The huge document tranche released by DC Leaks shows how dangerous the Open Society and George Soros were to the well-being and preservation of the Russian Federation and the Russian culture.
In a document from November 2012 entitled, “OSF [Open Society Foundation] Russia Strategic Planning Meeting Notes”, Participants:
Leonard Benardo, Iva Dobichina, Elizabeth Eagen, Jeff Goldstein, Minna Jarvenpaa, Ralf JÃ¼rgens, Elena Kovalevskaya, Vicki Litvinov, Tanya Margolin, Amy McDonough, Sara Rhodin, Yervand Shirinyan, Becky Tolson
Discuss how to . . .
Identify joint priorities for OSF’s Russia activities in the coming year. How can we most effectively collaborate, considering the deteriorating political environment for our partners?
The main revelation of the document minutes comes from the hope that Medvedev’s years as president would provide the NGOs the “opening” they would need to finally break the Russian bear.
That all evaporated in 2012, when Vladimir Putin returned to the President’s office.
The OSF, clearly distraught and disappointed, begins to lay down the groundwork for how to challenge the Putin administration, in light of his very different approach to dealing with NGOs like the Open Society Foundation.
The human rights context has greatly changed from 2006 to 2012: the Medvedev period allowed for a number of improvements and significant openings for NGOs. Amendments to the NGO law in 2006 led to campaigning on behalf of NGOs; many of our grantees benefited during this period. Surkov established ties with many groups that were willing to cooperate with the state and our partners served as experts in key processes like police reform. A space was created for modernization and for the inclusion of civil society during Medvedev’s term. However, pressure has come back very quickly in the short time that Putin has been back in power.
A major turning point for NGO operation in Russia came with the botched Russian “Maidan like” protests, which were promptly dismantled before any damage could be inflicted.
The Russian protests deeply affected the life of NGOs. The state had been providing money for self-organization, thinking this would defuse the possibility of large-scale opposition. But by encouraging self-organization, they had opened up a Pandora’s Box. People became active and began to feel that it was possible to change something; the door was opened for self-mobilization.
The state has responded with repression and political prisoners, in order to instill fear in the population. The state is also working to undermine social support for the protests. Its support of socially-oriented (“good”) NGOs is a way to divide the community, while the foreign agents law frames the protests as foreign money undermining Russia.
Why the fascination with Russia? Why is it important for OSF to focus on Russia? With Russia comes immense wealth and tremendous geo-political power.
Key open society themes and issues are highly relevant in Russia
* Transparency and accountability (anticorruption)
* Rights and justice (i.e., criminal justice, policing, rule of law, LGBT, women’s rights)
* Inclusive education (disability, Roma)
* Media freedom, access to information
* Health (access to medicines, HIV, harm reduction)
Copy-cat problem: Russian tactics are picked up by Central Asia (ie, anti-extremism law in Kazakhstan)
Russia’s influence in UN Human Rights Council — pushing resolution that says human rights should take into consideration traditional values of country in question — very few HR orgs that are following the council saw this coming — has large implications beyond Russia
Participation in global international regimes (G20, ICC, WTO) — a more open Russia creates changes in international governing bodies
European Court litigation
The document details in an extensive bullet point list, “what must be done” to destabilize Russia, focusing on many recurrent neo-liberal themes that Soros uses to infect host nations and overturn governments . . .
* Political prisoners (Bolotnaya, etc.)
* Media censorship and control (pressure in independent media — work w/ NMP)
* LGBT (push against propaganda laws, which are driven by local officials, not by the federal gov’t)
* Women’s rights
* Disability rights and inclusive education
* Lots of funding is going to monitoring; where is our money best placed?
* ONKs don’t have sufficient $ for travel and legal representation
Policing and police violence (Public Verdict, Man and Law, etc.)
Transparency and accountability
* State spending — monitoring, analysis
* Tracking cross-border transactions and business purchases
* Connections between accountability, human rights, and ordinary citizens’ interests
The complete PDF document can be found here: -Russia-russia strategic planning 2012-meeting notes-russia strategic planning meeting notes 11 16 12.pdf
* * *
Following the 2012 document, and the apparent disappointment expressed by OSF members at Russia’s resistance to the neo-liberal way of life, DC Leaks provides a follow up memo entitled, “Russia Project Strategy, 2014-2017”.
The document summary . . .
Russia today faces a regrettable backsliding into authoritarian practice. Confronted with serious domestic challenges, the regime has become more insular and isolationist, seeking to solidify its base. The progressively draconian laws promulgated since Putin’s return to the presidency have placed all foreign- funded organizations under threat of isolation and disrepute.
Despite these decidedly challenging conditions, it is essential that we continue to engage Russia, both to preserve its extant democratic spaces, and to ensure that Russian voices do not go dark on the broader global stage.
The destabilization of Russia, now aptly named, “the Russia Project” goes on to identify three cornerstone concepts . . .
Amid the grim landscape, there nonetheless remain apertures for the Russia Project’s intervention. Exploiting all available opportunities, we will undertake the following three concepts, which we deem vital in the current climate:
1) We will mitigate the negative impact of new laws via domestic and international advocacy. Key allies in this regard are the growing numbers of diverse Russian citizens opposing the country’s regression, along with the sizeable community of Russian legal experts with an in-depth knowledge of NGO law and a strong motivation to help the sector continue its activities.
2) We will integrate Russian voices into the global exchange of ideas. Given that Russian intellectuals, practitioners and activists are increasingly sidelined domestically, and academics are often isolated from the international community, we will support venues for inserting diverse, critical Russian thinking into the global discourse. Such opportunities allow Russian actors to enter into mutually beneficial collaborations on topics ranging from migration to digital activism, thus maintaining their relevance and reducing their provincialization.
3) We aim to mainstream the rights and dignity of one of Russia’s most marginalized populations: LGBT individuals. The RP’s diverse network of partners provides an opportunity to build a broader base of civil society allies at a time when the LGBT community is under profound threat. We hope to see a more balanced discourse on LGBT rights among the Russian public, as well as a strong cohort of mainstream independent organizations actively incorporating LGBT interests into their work.
Social mobilisation and the funding of alternative media networks, to promote social discourse and dissatisfaction, are common tactics that Soros NGOs uses to build up towards a revolution.
Along with these initiatives, we remain committed to supporting three primary fields:
(a) access to justice and legal empowerment of marginalized groups,
(b) access to independent information and alternative media, and
(c) platforms for critical debate, discussion, and social mobilization.
The RP plans to provide core support to our trusted partners in each of these fields, investing in their growth and development, and remaining flexible about the funding arrangements necessary to allow them to continue their essential work. We also seek to strengthen their legitimacy and financial sustainability, in order to build a more transparent, effective, and organizationally efficient third sector.
Russia is currently in a gradual, arbitrary, and haphazard process of becoming more closed. Amid this background, the RP’s cardinal role is to create a dense and wide-ranging field of independent civil society actors, who can in the best case help set the agenda for a more open and democratic future in Russia, and in the worst case survive the effects of new draconian legislation.
Engaging with Russian diaspora who oppose the current government, and mobilising the LGBT community through mass media propaganda, are recurrent themes in the Soros document.
The media focus on LGBT rights in the run up to the Sochi winter olympics was an opportunity not to be missed by Soros.
In the short to mid-term, the RP aims to engender broader civil society support for this highly marginalized group. Even though the “propaganda of homosexuality” law has gained unprecedented international attention in the lead-up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the voices of Russian activists are barely being heard over larger international LGBT organizations.
We want to make sure that our Russian partners have a leading role in shaping the strategy of the international movement, that planned campaigns have a domestic rather than just an international focus, and that the momentum gathering around Sochi does not dissipate immediately after the Olympics end.
Our comparative advantage lies in the deep and wide networks that we have fostered these past years. A strategic use of these networks will maximize the long-term impact of the work that LGBT rights organizations are doing.
LGBT rights groups in Russia are professional and effective, yet they lack the capacity to reach far beyond their immediate communities and galvanize other civil society players necessary for their long-term success.
Destabilization of a country the size of Russia does not come without a significant price tag, for which George Soros seems more than ready to pony up . . .
Given the large number of grants in the RP portfolio, we see a need for additional staffing in order to implement our strategic priorities and effectively monitor our activities. However, as a number of programs in the Eurasia region are being restructured, we are awaiting the results of this transition before making any substantive recommendations.
There can be no doubt that the 2014-2017 plan outlined by Soros NGOs, which even envisioned staff growth and Eurasian region restructuring, has hit a major speed bump with the 2015 law that saw these divisive forces operating within Russian finally get booted out of the country.
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