ZeroHedge & RT News – 2016-10-14 23:15:45
US-NATO Border Confrontation with Russia Risks Nuclear War and Loss of European Partners
Michael Hudson warns that the US-led confrontational approach of NATO with Russia is driving European countries to consider disbanding or leaving the military alliance due to increased security risks
German Foreign Minister and Former MI6 Boss:
US-Russia Tensions Now More Dangerous than During the Cold War
George Washington / ZeroHedge
(Oct 13, 2016) — Germany’s Foreign Minister — Frank-Walter Steinmeier — wrote earlier this month that tension between the US and Russia is worse than during the Cold War:
It’s a fallacy to think that this is like the Cold War. The current times are different and more dangerous.
The head of Britain’s intelligence service, MI6 — Sir John Sawyers — agreed yesterday:
We are moving into an era that is as dangerous, if not more dangerous, as the cold war because we do not have that focus on a strategic relationship between Moscow and Washington.
This is even more dramatic when you realize that the US and Soviets came within seconds of all-out nuclear war on numerous occasions during the Cold War. And only the courage of US and Soviet individuals to say no when their superiors told them to fire nuclear weapons — in the face of mistaken readings — saved the planet from nuclear war.
And many experts warn that we’re drifting towards nuclear war today. Indeed, former US Secretary of Defense William Perry said in February:
The likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War.
New Wartime State Management System
Gives Full Power to Russian Military — Report
(October 11, 2016) — A recent military exercise in southern Russia saw the first real-time test of the state management system that allows the Defense Ministry to assume direct control over municipal and regional authorities, police, state security and emergency services.
“In the course of the strategic war games Caucasus-2016, the Defense Ministry has for the first time tried how a military district command can directly manage the regions of the Russian Federation,” popular daily Izvestia quoted an unnamed high-placed military source as saying.
“Exercising the interaction with state power bodies was one of the main objectives of the war games. In general it went well, but we also encountered some problems and presently we are preparing some legislative proposals that would correct the revealed drawbacks,” the source added.
In particular, the military wants to switch completely from the previous scheme, under which in times of war all regional authorities and federal ministries worked on their own dedicated tasks and the Defense Ministry only had a coordinating role.
The new rules of wartime administration would give all administrative powers to the military, which would issue direct commands to regional authorities, law enforcers, rescuers and the National Guard.
Russia currently has five military districts that comprise the Defense Ministry’s territory division units. In times of war, the command of each of these districts will be divided into two parts — the Operative Strategic Command and the Wartime Military District. The former will be in charge of military operations and the latter will control the draft, logistics and execution of all special regime measures, such as maintaining public order and the increased security of strategic installations and communications.
The new system was tested in southern Russia’s Stavropol Region, Ingushetia and Crimea.
Military sources also told reporters that all the proposed changes are in line with the 2016-2020 Plan of Defense signed by President Vladimir Putin in November 2015.
Earlier this month, Russia conducted major civil defense training involving 40 million people nationwide. A total of 200,000 rescue professionals and 50,000 vehicles took part in the exercise, which lasted four days.
According to the Emergencies Ministry, the drill was meant to test coordination between federal, regional and local authorities, the feasibility of contingency plans for emergencies, the state of civil defense infrastructure such as shelters and emergency supply stockpiles, and other aspects of the system.
However, this year’s exercise was not exceptional in terms of scale — the drill in 2013 involved over 60 million people.
Russian Government Officials Told To
Immediately Bring Back Children Studying Abroad
Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge
(October 12, 2016) — In Europe, when it gets serious, you have to lie… at least if you are an unelected bureaucrat like Jean-Claude Juncker. In Russia, however, when it gets serious, attention immediately turns to the children.
Which is why we read a report in Russian website Znak published Tuesday, according to which Russian state officials and government workers were told to bring back their children studying abroad immediately, even if means cutting their education short and not waiting until the end of the school year, and re-enroll them in Russian schools, with some concern.
The article adds that if the parents of these same officials also live abroad “for some reason”, and have not lost their Russian citizenship, should also be returned to the motherland. Znak cited five administration officials as the source of the report.
The “recommendation” applies to all: from the administration staff, to regional administrators, to lawmakers of all levels. Employees of public corporations are also subject to the ordinance. One of the sources said that anyone who fails to act, will find such non-compliance to be a “complicating factor in the furtherance of their public sector career.” He added that he was aware of several such cases in recent months.
It appears that the underlying reason behind the command is that the Russian government is concerned about the optics of having children of the Russian political elite being educated abroad, while their parents appear on television talking about patriotism and being “surrounded by enemies.”
While we doubt the impacted children will be happy by this development, some of the more patriotic locals, if unimpacted, are delighted. Such as Vitaly Ivanov, a political scientist who believes that the measure to return children of officials from studying abroad, is “long overdue.”
According Ivanoc, the education of children of the Russian elite abroad is subject to constant ridicule and derision against the ruling regime. “People note the hypocrisy of having a centralized state and cultivating patriotism and anti-Western sentiment, while children of government workers study abroad. You can not serve two gods, one must choose.”
On the other hand, political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky quoted by Znak, believes that such decisions should be approached with more pragmatism. Such a recommendation is more likely to lead to an outflow of officials from the state, rather than allow the return of the children studying at elite foreign universities. He also warned of attempts to recreate an echo chamber such as that experienced after the failed July coup attempt on Turkey’s President Erdogan.
But what he said next was more disturbing: “On the one hand, this is all part of a package of measures to prepare the elites for some ‘big war’ even if it is rather conditional, on the other hand — this is another blow to the unity of President Putin with his own elite” Belkovsky said.
He adds that the Western sanctions launced in March 2014, had sought to drive a wedge between Putin and elites. In response, the Kremlin began to act precisely according to the logic of these sanctions. “But while a ban for having assets in the West is one thing, and understanable, when it comes to a ban for offshore health and education services, the blowback will be far greater, as it represents a far more important element of the establishment’s life strategy.”
Ultimately the motivation behind Putin’s decision is unclear: whether it is to show Russia’s high-ranking oligarchs who is boss, to boost a sense of patriotism among the nation by sending a symbolic message that the west is no longer a welcome destination for Russia’s rich kids, or just a preemptive move of repatriating of any individuals affiliated with Russian politics for other unknown reasons; however it underscores the severity of the ongoing diplomatic crisis and just how significant the upcoming isolation between Russia and the West is likely to become in the coming months — unless of course tensions deescalate dramatically in the very near future — resulting in even greater collapse in global commerce and a further slowdown to world economic growth, which may ultimately lead to an armed conflict, whether regional or global, as the only possible outcome.
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