6-March-17 – Using Cyber Ops as a Tool to Trigger Social Unrest


The US has recognized that the emergence of new technologies that impact large masses of people must be adapted to military use, working through its covert CIA operations and the Pentagon’s Special Forces Command. This has enlarged the scope of military confrontation to include other, unconventional domains (information, psychology, etc.), leading to new methods specific to these environments and the creation of unconventional weapons. Russia took inspiration from the Americans’ set-up and their experience in creating a new PSYOPS division of its own.

Conventional warfare aims to inflict physical destruction and physical injuries that can be treated, injuries from which one might recover. But in the 21st century, military campaigns have moved beyond the phase where soldiers were killing each other, dragging along with them through the battlefield millions of conventional projectiles. With information operations, PSYOPS is not intended to inflict physical destruction on the opponent, but to influence and control his thoughts. The damage caused by PSYOPS is gauged by changes at the cognitive, mental level.

Furthermore, information attacks target not so much individuals but as wide a geographical zone as possible. PSYOPS are used to create the most favorable conditions for achieving the objectives of the military operation that they precede. Therefore PSYOPS are most often launched not only during a military conflict but during peacetime, and sometimes they can lead to war. The most elaborate information attacks are second generation operations that monitor over time the information infrastructure of the target state, seeking the right time to destabilize and obstruct it. Even if the target state applies psychological safeguards, they are not effective enough to counteract PSYOPS attacks.

Information – The Raw Material of PSYOPS

On the territory of another state that is often hostile, the PSYOPS warrior takes an enormous risk using unconventional weapons meant to induce specific moods and emotions. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or to steer the attitudes and behavior of the target population in a favorable direction, according to the objectives of the one conducting the PSYOPS.

Thus, information is one of the key elements in achieving the goals of PSYOPS missions, information which can be obtained either from special State organizations or through their own efforts. Tactical PSYOPS teams in the field study both the region and the target population, while collecting intelligence. The information gathered is then used in tailoring audio, video, radio, and Internet products designed to shape opinions, attitudes or behavior among the target population.

The PSYOPS algorithm begins with information gathering, storing and processing. Next, based on what that information shows, comes the design and creation of media output (pieces for print, audio, video, and especially the Internet). Finally, these products are disseminated to the target through a media network (radio, TV, newspapers) working undercover in the target territory, or via news portals, personal pages and blogs from fake NGOs promoting “freedom of expression,” which are composed of locals who collaborate with the PSYOPS teams.

PSYOPS works on the mindset, the attitudes of the target population, and specialists receive indirect confirmation if their actions have achieved their goal. Sometimes the results are tested and the methods may be adapted based on results of the analysis.

This complex process of planning, design and implementation of psychological operations is similar to the processes undertaken in preparing a military operation. Military PSYOPS specialists don’t shoot guns, but they are good sociologists, psychologists, ethnologists or economists. To these qualities are added an understanding of culture, religion and history. It takes 3–4 years to train a PSYOPS specialist.

One of the basic conditions for carrying out a PSYOPS operation the ability to work closely with public relations organizations, social media, and state or private media, and the communication officers of political parties in the theater of action, where collaborators are recruited. It is very helpful if one can receive information from these sources, because it gives PSYOPS specialists the opportunity to check different types of data they are working with. Such collaboration between workers in PSYOPS, public relations (overt or covert) and the intelligence community is a new concept called Info Ops. NATO specialists think that electronic warfare specialists, specialists in Civ-Mil (civil-military relations), PSYOPS specialists, experts in intelligence and other fields, can all participate in Info Ops.

PSYOPS as a Tool To Trigger Social Unrest

Example #1, Romania

In Romania, a member state located on the eastern border of NATO, the Pentagon has created the alliance’s strongest PSYOPS structure. This unit is a copy of those operating under the Pentagon and it was put together with the help of US PSYOPS instructors. The Special Operations Command (SOC) of the Land Forces of the Romanian army has a full range of units capable of performing any type of unconventional mission within Romania and even more so abroad.

The Psychological Action Directorate (PSYOPS) is the most important element subordinate to the SOC and it works closely with the Operations Directorate of the General Staff. It includes the “Targets Analysis and Evaluation Service,” the “Service for Planning and Conducting Psychological Operations,” and the “Service for Psychological Influence on the Enemy.” In addition, a Psychological Operations Center has been created, and it’s staffed with top sociology professors, psychology researchers, experienced directors from Romanian Television, American PSYOPS instructors, etc. The work of this PSYOPS institution is governed by the Doctrine for Psychological Operations and the Psychological Operations Manual.

Internationally, Romanian military psychological operations groups have worked in various theaters of operations, under supervision by their counterparts in the Pentagon. In Afghanistan, Romanian soldiers who were serving as occupation troops printed and circulated a magazine for locals, titled “Sada e azapi” (“Voice of Liberty”). It has a circulation of 400,000 copies and carries articles in three languages: English, Pashto and Dari. There is also a radio station by the same name that broadcasts round the clock.

In Kosovo, Romanian soldiers operate the KFOR radio station, with Serbian and Albanian language broadcasts. Radio KFOR is the prime source of information for Serbs and is ranked second in listenership for Albanians. The Romanian military also publishes the magazine “4U Magazine” with a circulation of 70,000. The journal is published in Albanian, Serbian and English. Some schools use it as teaching material for English classes. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the most famous publication was a magazine for teens, “Mirko,” edited by Romanian servicemen (until 2004, when it ceased publication).

The ever diminishing costs of microchips has made possible record leaps in information technology, especially in applications such as cable television, and mobile and internet networks. One of the consequences of this type of technology was that it allowed the instant creation and organization of many virtual groups, bringing together people who have the same hobby or interest, even if they are located far apart.

This phenomenon has grown in Western countries, where it is called “Smart Mobs.” Working from that basis, some groups have gone on to create Flash Mobs, in which a bunch of people gather at a precise moment in a public place where they do something unusual, for a brief time, then quickly disperse.

The Internet-based networks of Twitter and Facebook are public channels for data transmission, nothing more and nothing less. To the extent that Twitter and Facebook are used to produce a desired effect, they are already part of the professionals PSYOPS toolkit, building on the successes of dedicated military outlets — with the difference that, in the military, one has to take account of the possibility of jamming, or worse, of “deceiving.” That’s not a problem with Twitter and Facebook.

Informed sources say that the protests that have been disrupting Romania for the last two weeks (late January, early February 2017) may have been created by domestic PSYOPS groups. They were organized through social networks and by contagion, and pulled together more than 600,000 Romanians in ten major cities.

In PSYOPS planning and execution, one key element taken from the military stands out, and that is the hierarchical management structure. To control how the operation unfolds on the street, the leaders have pre-arranged systems for giving orders (in accordance with whatever the behind-the-scenes organizer has in mind). Information also flows back up to the organizers, reporting on the dynamic situation on the ground (battlefield reports) to enable an assessment of any random variables that may have popped up.

Based on this information, spontaneous decisions are made as necessary to adjust the original plan in order to achieve the aims and objectives for which the operation was triggered. All these basic elements of armed conflict have been transferred and adapted to the newest type of confrontation, that which concerns people’s minds, psychological warfare.

Anybody who has thoroughly reviewed the posts circulated on Twitter and Facebook will have discovered what are called PSYOPS “nodes,” that is, the “General Staff” or major players behind the operation. They are trained in crowd control procedures, in formulating psychological messages that trigger people to take action, meant to create contagion among diverse individuals. Any PSYOPS specialists could tell at what time and location each stage of the protests took place; they could instantaneously collect and process photos of the situation on the ground, etc. So the “General Staffs” were easily pinpointed by those in the know, which is why most Romanian and foreign media outlets have done everything possible to provide confused coverage, turning the details of the PSYOPS upside down, willfully mis-interpreting it for the purpose of camouflaging its sponsors. But teams from CNN, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, CCTV-News (China Television) and BBC News all managed to broadcast live images of the protests.

The participants in these protests in Romania, which burst forth for no clear and justified reason, were mostly well-to-do people, in a country where at least a quarter of the population is poor. The rich demonstrated peacefully, projecting laser beams slogans on buildings, in a carnival atmosphere, in stark contrast to a real protest where people are forced to take to the streets and turn violent because they cannot meet their basic needs (food, clothing, etc.).

So, unlike the “Arab springs,” the protests in Romania have been planned so that there is no international interference, they don’t get out of control, and in the end they do not lead to any closure. This is most likely because the protests were controlled from start to finish by Romanian PSYOPS structures and were intended only to test the ability to influence the masses and to improve the image of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, especially outside Romania. Iohannis, of German origin, is the supreme commander of Romania’s army and intelligence services, and head of the Supreme Council of National Defense.

Example #2, Moldova

PSYOPS operation in Chisinau in 2009

A coup was staged in Chisinau, capital of Moldova, on April 7, 2009. This resulted in the collapse of the government, early elections, and installation a pro-Western government. The coup followed the pattern used in the hottest parts of the world. In addition to PSYOPS, violence was used in Chisinau, methods that have been tested in real urban guerilla warfare, since the foreign organizers of the coup — and the domestic operators who conducted it — needed casualties, at any cost, to give the coup legitimacy by showing that the forces of law and order had used their weapons. Limiting the effects of the coup, which could have been turned into a civil war like in Ukraine, Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin avoided falling into the trap of ordering the use of arms to violently suppress the demonstrators.

Throughout the day of 7 April 2009 and thereafter, all the television stations in Romania, Moldova’s close neighbor, referred to a “revolution.” They communicated false information alleging there were hundreds of dead, and said that Voronin had fled the country. The same Romanian media used identical procedures to manipulate and poison international public opinion that had been successfully tested the coup in Romania in 1989.

The operation to break through the defensive shield before the entrance to the Parliament of Moldova followed a classic Special Operations Forces structure Those who planned the events of 7 April 2009 knew (well in advance, and in detail) the methods and procedures described in the regulations that guided the security forces on duty. Most likely, they had done considerable reconnoitering beforehand, on the basis of which they could:

· Figure out the traffic flow and send in small groups at regular intervals to infiltrate the body of peaceful demonstrators without raising any alarms;

· Decide precisely where all the tactical groups should gather and which way they should go when the time came to launch the offensive;

· Establish the exact composition of each tactical group, with a clear mission, and signs and signals for recognizing their supporters among the local population.

Alpha group, which is small in number, can be characterized as exceptionally well-trained in using procedures for generating emotional contagion among the mass of demonstrators. In the first phase, its role was to take control of the crowd’s emotions, using slogans, in fact hallmarks of psychological warfare, aimed at swaying the participants (and onlookers) in favor of the protest action. The success of this first phase was just copy/pasted in 2017 in Romania. Psychologically, it transformed the individual participants into a flock willing to blindly follow any promptings without passing them through the filter of reason.

Once the original objective was achieved, Alpha Group initiated the second phase, which consisted of making a big show of a frontal assault. This was in order to compel the police commander to concentrate the security forces and group them in front of the staircase at the entrance and up the steps. To execute the orderly maneuver, and considering the lay of the land, the security forces, who had not noticed the trap laid for them, were forced to move and take up forward positions.

PSYOPS Hands Off the Initiative to the Special Operations Forces

The second and most important sequence of the operation was executed simultaneously by Bravo and Charlie groups, made up of veterans in urban guerrilla warfare, which included in their ranks some Serbs who had participated in organizing Otpor. Bravo and Charlie initiated an extremely quick and well-coordinated maneuver to surround both flanks of the new formation of the security forces. This lightning-fast move broke up the first security group, separating it into small groups that were easily attacked from all sides. This also made it impossible for the security forces to counter-attack, and this meant they would have to bring in their reserves.

Two elements combined to make this sequence a success. First, there were fewer security men on the wings, since they had concentrated their forces to counter the frontal attack by Alpha Group. The second was that 50–70 meters away, two more pressure groups had been positioned. Delta and Echo Group were infiltrated deep into the mass of demonstrators and forcibly pushed peaceful protesters from the center. By this means they got the main body of the protesters moving in the direction of Bravo and Charlie Groups.

Having arrived at this point, according to the regulations in force, the defense of the site was considered compromised and had to be abandoned. First, the building had to be evacuated. As a last resort, in exceptional circumstances and only after the building was evacuated, they could use active methods for crowd dispersal to break up the demonstrators — in other words, “irritants” (commonly known as tear gas) or firearms. As for the first option, the commander of the defense unit had no tear gas launchers or gas masks to protect the troops; and in addition, it would have affected the health of a section of the population in downtown Chisinau that were not participating in the demonstration.

As for the second option, the decision to use weapons against demonstrators was the exclusive prerogative of the President of Moldova, Vladimir Voronin, and he refused to open fire. A good decision, considering that on December 17, 1989, in Romania, President Nicolae Ceausescu’s decision to open fire in Timisoara gave the Romanian Special Operations Forces a chance to use electronic simulators to make people believe there was an external enemy. On the heels of the same decision, weapons were given to the Patriotic Guards (a paramilitary formation) and panic-inducing rumors of “terrorists” were spread. But after the Ceausescus were physically eliminated by summary execution, there were no bodies to show for the 65,000+ victims said to be the result of their repression, so the authors of the coup ordered a few dozen corpses of children and women to be exhumed from cemeteries in Timisoara and other cities — to put them on display as great martyrs of the revolution, for the benefit of public opinion and the Western media.

During the counter-demonstration in front of the Central Committee building, ordered by Ceausescu on December 21, 1989, prior to the coup in Romania, Romanian troops specializing in psychological warfare managed to break up the rally by inducing agitation and panic in the crowd. They used high-power speakers and amplifiers. The sound was provided by the army, with 10 vehicles arranged so they were not visible to the crowd but at an angle that sent echoes through the square. Armored personnel carriers and army trucks equipped with PSYOPS apparatus issued a low frequency noise that was perceived as a strong vibration. The PSYOPS formation was called the “Technical Support for Special Propaganda.”

Those who watched reports broadcast from the scene in Moldova on 7 April 2009, by journalists from Romanian and Moldovan TV stations as well, supporters of the opposition, noted that the camera angle and position of the operators were almost all aligned the same way. And that they could not have arranged themselves this way spontaneously, as they had no way of knowing what was coming.

Special Operations Forces (SOF), An Extension of PSYOPS

The UN Commission reports on atrocities in San Salvador, Chile, Panama, Grenada and other countries all confirm that in 1975–1990, Latin America was devastated by rebels, some of whom had specialized in terrorism at the US special operations training center at Fort Benning (State of Georgia). The concept of special operations troops was invented to fill the need to perform tasks considered unconventional by the US military. After the experience in Vietnam, the US military created a Special Operations Command in addition to the four traditional categories of armed forces. Known as “Green Berets,” the soldiers from that command are assigned to five Special Operations Groups, one assigned each continental command (USEUCOM-Europe, USCENTCOM-Asia, USAFRICOM-Africa, USPACOM-Pacific, USSOUTHCOM-South America), each operating within a well-defined geographical area of the world.

Each group is composed of three battalions called ODCs (Operational Detachments-C), and each battalion has four companies called ODBs (Operational Detachments-B). Each company is intended to serve in one particular country (for example, in 1975-1995, ODB 14/65 was responsible for Romania). Members of subunits of each group know the languages spoken and are trained to be familiar with the habits of the peoples in the area of responsibility. Each SOF company is composed of six SOF platoons called ODAs (Operational Detachments-A), with each 12 soldiers. A platoon can act independently as two teams of six soldiers.

In the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, Green Berets were infiltrated deep into enemy territory to liquidate or capture high-ranking members of the military or civilian leadership. They also destroyed strategic military and civilian targets in enemy territory. The most important mission was recruiting and training, in secret, members of the local population to wage guerrilla actions. In addition to the seven SOF groups, there is the regiment 75 Rangers, which consists of three battalions. They were used in 1989 in the invasion of Panama. They usually infiltrate by parachute.

US SOCOM’s most famous unit is Detachment 1 Special Forces, also known as Delta Force. Detachment 1 is made up of four companies with two platoons. Each platoon has four groups of five soldiers that act independently. In terms of respect shown by the US authorities, Delta veterans are in third place, coming right behind Nobel Prize winners and astronauts.

The air component of US SOCOM is made up of helicopters (MH-47G Chinook, MH-6M, and MH-60K/L) and MC-130e/H/W/P jets, which are used to secretly infiltrate commandos and for in-air fueling. For support aircraft, the AC-130H/U is used, armed with three guns (30mm, 40mm and 105mm caliber), Hellfire laser-guided antitank missiles (AGM-114), and 20kg laser-guided bombs.

PSYOPS and SOF are Used in Coups

The guide “Nonviolent Struggle: 50 Crucial Points,” by Col. Robert Helveya, a Green Beret veteran, formed the basis of all the “revolutions” in the former Soviet space. He describes the methods used by protest professionals to overcome fear and take control of a crowd emotionally. Through George Soros’s foundation Freedom House and the International Republican Institute, funded by the US State Department and USAID (which works closely with the CIA), US special operations troops have created “activists for political and social reform,” specializing in urban guerrilla warfare, in the former socialist states of Europe.

One example would be the Otpor! movement for civil disobedience and peaceful resistance, founded in 1998 in Belgrade, to overthrow Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Subsequently, the “Rose Revolution” in Georgia in 2003, the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine in 2004, the “Tulip Revolution” in Kyrgyzstan in 2005, the one in Moldova in 2009 and the Euromaidan in Kiev in 2014, all benefited from the special services and special operations forces.

Special Operations Forces execute missions that their own state labels anti-terrorist. “Offensive” and “defensive” are two of the five forms of struggle known in military science. Sometimes the situation requires a commander to start by adopting a defensive strategy in order that, shortly, the conditions will be created that allow for a shift to the offensive; as it has often been seen that the counter-terrorist forces of a certain state’s intelligence services planned and carried out a coup on foreign soil. That is, a terrorist operation.

5-March-17 – They Planned and He Plans

Source: Katehon.com
Source: Katehon.com



Nader Talebzadeh

The American enlightenment has started. The dormancy of over three decades, and the miseries that the United States has put dozens of nations through, have begun to cease. The torment that the Vietnamese went through and the innocent lives that perished under US drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan are beginning to find their answers. But not on International tribunals or world system of justice. No. In people’s conscious, the great divide in the American population is the first sure sign of a change to come.

Ever since the unwelcome appearance of Donald Trump on the US governmental scene, the first president not to be placed in place by the deep state, the inquisition over what is going on has begun. Americans more than ever are perplexed about their future. Their past is vague and no matter how hard they peer into the rear view mirror, it doesn’t make sense.

9/11 doesn’t make sense.

The occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan doesn’t make sense.

The admittance to not finding any WMDs in Iraq and yet occupying it, doesn’t make sense.

To kill 500, 000 children and say it was worth the kill by the administrators doesn’t make sense.

The cover-up for 9/11 doesn’t make sense.

To start a global war on terror and not explain how 9/11 occurred, or how a third building collapsed nine hours later, doesn’t make sense.

Obama’s sudden appearance on the scene, doesn’t make sense.

The hundreds of books and articles that question the mechanism of the selection of Obama and never discussing them on the mainstream media, doesn’t make sense.

Obama placed in that position by the establishment, the deep state as they said, doesn’t make sense.

The blanked out middle-class of America, still pondering what happened, doesn’t make sense.

The fact that they lost their jobs beginning three decades ago, and having had to let go of their comfortable insured life working in an American factory, doesn’t make sense.

The abandoned factories and grand industries that once made America great, lying obsolete and deserted, doesn’t make sense.

Half of Detroit abandoned and deserted, doesn’t make sense.

The media cheering on its hallucinatory concussions all throughout these disasters, doesn’t make sense.

The PTSDed war veterans and the official suicide rates of US soldiers on and off duty, go undetected and barely seen in the rear view mirror of the media, never make sense.

All the common man sees today is one man attacked by the same mass media that pushed them into the illegal wars and illegitimate debts from zero to 20 trillion by some estimates ( between 1979-2017) . Zero in 1979 and almost 20 trillion in 2017.

But the “buck stops here” as President Eisenhower once famously said. The heavy train loaded with old rusted debris is coming to a screeching halt. Meanwhile the curious are looking wide-eyed. NATO doesn’t know where it really stands. The think tanks of Washington – the hub of all mesmerizing strategies – are vacant or their curtains half drawn. The neocons are contemplating plan B. The Israeli “firsters” are caught off guard. They are planning ahead of time desperately. But whose ears do they have this time?! A man who calls the weapons of the think tanks, the mainstream media, “liars “, “fake news”!?

Once the invisible sword, the likes of New York Times and CNN are today exposed and blunted. Who dared call CNN “liars”?! CNN engaged America meticulously into two “fake” wars and indebted the United states and never got any blame. It was almost scripted and storyboarded like a Hollywood movie. Now, it is still loose, with acrobatic skills evading all detection like a skilled serial killer breathing in our civilized world.

Now the eye- opening process has begun. Watch out for the six-packers and their evaporated illusions! You have finally awaken the slumbering slave of America, and awakened they are Alas! All empires go through these stages. The awkward moments must be tolerated i.e. the president without a cabinet, the supporters with semi-automatic weapons guarding his speeches in Georgia and Florida. The anti-Semitic accusations that are being discussed in the morning regular sessions on CNN. The angry obliterated Alan Dershowitz who is nervously accusing CNN’s moderator Don Lemon, of giving the anti-Semites their fifteen- minute moment of fame. The fear that it will catch fire on the colleges and universities.

The masquerade however is over. The Paul Wolfowitzs, the Richard Perles, the Daniel Pipes have to face the masses. The not- so – innocent masses that succumbed to the beast’s demands also wait. The confrontation lingers silently. No one even knows these people as Thomas Friedman of the New York Times once famously said in his interviews with the Haaretz. 25 neocons have planned and executed what has happened in the past two and a half decades.

The wakeup call has rung, the moment of illusion has disappeared. The apparent, sudden sun is beginning to shine gloriously, one ray at a time. Wash your face and watch the unfolding.

Sent from my iPad

5-March-17 – Putin ramps up Syria pact with Iran in US absence

Putin ramps up Syria pact with Iran in US absence

DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 5, 2017, 6:30 PM (GMT+02:00)
Russian Special Ops Forces retake Palmyra

Constantly bombarded by allegations that his campaign associated with Russian intelligence, US President Donald Trump has held back from going through with his original plan for teaming up with Moscow in Syria for the important campaigns of wiping out the Islamic State and relieving Syria of Iran’s iron grip.

His entire Middle East policy is up in the air, while he grapples with domestic foes. The much talked-of US coalition with its regional allies, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel, is also in abeyance.

Amid the uncertainty about the Trump administration’s future steps, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is unlikely to make much headway in his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday, March 9,
debkafile’s intelligence and military sources report that, even if does persuade Putin to stick to his promise to prevent Iran and Hizballah from deploying troops on the Syrian-Israeli border opposite the Golan, he won’t get far in his bid to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military and naval presence in Syria.

This is the situation stacking up against Netanyahu:

1. The Trump administration has decided not to decide on Middle East policy – and Syria, in particular – while engaged in dodging his domestic enemies’ Russian arrows.

2. Some of the president’s advisers maintain that the state of indecision in Washington may turn out into an advantage. It might not be a bad thing for Moscow to carry the heavy lifting of tackling ISIS, Iran and Hizballah, rather than putting US troops in harm’s way.

3. Putin is not waiting for Trump and is already on the move, debkafile’s sources report.

Friday, March 3, Russian special operations units recovered the Syrian town of Palmyra from the Islamic State.
That day too, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), composed predominantly of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and Arab tribesmen from the north, agreed to hand over their positions in the strategic town of Manjib to the Russians and the Syrian army,
The SDF was created, trained, armed and funded by the United States as the potential spearhead force for the offensive against the Islamic State. This force was able to last year to capture the small (pop: 50,000) northern town of Manjib, 30km west of the Euphrates, thanks only to US aerial bombardments of ISIS positions and American advisers.
How come that this important US ally suddenly surrendered its positions to the Russians and Assad’s army?

There is more than one reason. Firstly, the SDF’s Kurdish and Arab commanders apparently decided to give up on waiting for Washington to come round, especially since the only weapons they had received from the Obama administration for fighting ISIS were Kalashnikov AK-74 rifles.
Moreover, the Kurds’ most implacable arch enemy is breathing down their necks. On March 1, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan threatened to order his army, which has occupied northern Syria since last year, to seize Manjib. He said: “Manjib is a city that belongs to the Arabs and the SDF must not be in Raqqa either.”

The Kurdish-Arab force decided to take the Turkish leader at his word. Believing him to be close to Trump, its leaders decided their services were being dispensed with. They saw no point therefore in wasting and risking their troops in battles in the US interest. In this situation, Moscow looked like a better bet.

debkafile’s military sources stress that, when the Russians say they are working with the Syrian army, they really mean the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the pro-Iranian Shiite militias and Hizballah, because most Syrian army’s units were decimated by nearly six years of civil war, or exist only on paper.

That being so, even if Putin does promise Netanyahu to distance Iranian and pro-Iranian troops from the Syrian-Israeli border, he may not be in a position to honor his pledge. With the Americans far away, they are Russia’s main partners on the ground for achieving his future goals in Syria.


2-Mar-17 World View — European leaders debate how the European Union can survive after Brexit

  • [*] European leaders debate how the European Union can survive after Brexit
  • [*] European nations split on the future of Europe

European leaders debate how the European Union can survive after Brexit

Italian politician Gianni Pittella calls the European Commission’s white paper a ‘clear political mistake’ (Getty)

A variety of crises seem to get worse as time goes on is causing anxieties about the future of the European Union and the euro currency. The crises include the refugee crisis, financial crises in Greece and Italy, and increasing euroscepticism in many countries, following the Brexit referendum that called for Britain to leave the European Union.

Recognition of these crises comes at a significant time. On March 25, 27 EU countries (Britain, the 28th, is not invited) will be meeting in Rome to discuss the future of Europe on the 60th anniversary of the 1957 Treaty of Rome that contained the core principles that led to the creation of the European Union.

When the Treaty of Rome was signed, Europe had been devastated by two world wars, and everybody was fearful that there could be another world war at any time. Finally, it was agreed by the war survivors that Europe had to form a union like the United States to prevent another war. That was the motivation behind the 1957 Treaty of Rome.

Today, many in Europe’s older generations fear that Europe is headed for new war like WW I and WW II, while younger generations, who have lived in peace their whole lives, think that anyone who worries about war must be an alarmist.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Jüncker on Wednesday published a “White Paper On The Future Of Europe,” which describes the problems facing Europe and suggests five different paths. Jüncker summarizes the problems as follows:

[Begin quote]”Europe’s challenges show no sign of abating. Our economy is recovering from the global financial crisis but this is still not felt evenly enough. Parts of our neighborhood are destabilized, resulting in the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Terrorist attacks have struck at the heart of our cities. New global powers are emerging as old ones face new realities. And last year, one of our Member States voted to leave the Union.”[End quote]

Jüncker’s approach is to present alternatives for the future of Europe:

  • [*] Carrying On. No new treaty.
  • [*] Nothing but the Single Market. Loosen Brussels’ control, give up citizens’ rights, and just have a commercial trading agreement.
  • [*] Those Who Want More Do More. Also called a “multi-speed” Europe, this is Jüncker’s favored option. A small group of nations would proceed on a path toward greater integration, and other nations could join when they wish.
  • [*] Doing Less More Efficiently. More than the “single market,” but less Brussels control than today, implement policies only when everyone agrees that they add real value.
  • [*] Doing Much More Together. This would be the full integration of all 27 member states into a unified EU, but would require significant treaty changes.

The white paper will be discussed at the Rome meeting on March 25, and the European Commission will published a series of discussion papers throughout the year. European Commission – The Future of Europe and RTE (Ireland) and Bloomberg

European nations split on the future of Europe

Many member nations are disenchanted with the EU, and it’s feared that if one more nation follows Britain out of the EU, then others may follow rapidly.

  • [*] France: The thought that far-right National Front Party leader Marine Le Pen could win the upcoming election would have been considered impossible a year ago, but the nationalist populism displayed by the successful Brexit referendum and the victory of Donald Trump in America have shown that a Le Pen victory is a real popularity, and Le Pen favors the “Frexit” option of having France leave the European Union.
  • [*] Poland: Poland is thought to be eurosceptic, but a poll says that 84.5% would vote to stay if there was a referendum.
  • [*] The Netherlands: The Dutch are approximately evenly split on the “Nexit” option of leaving the EU.
  • [*] Austria: The rise of right-wing Freedom Party of Austria has made the “Auxit” option appear to be a possibility.
  • [*] Denmark: Denmark voted against the Maastricht treaty in 1992, but was later drawn into the EU. However, Denmark voted to stay out of the euro currency.
  • [*] Hungary: Hungary’s anti-immigrant prime minister Viktor Orbán has been a fierce opponent of plans to resettle refugees to EU nations according to a quota system.
  • [*] Czech Republic: The Czech people have been called the most eurosceptic people in Europe. Polls indicate that 57% consider EU membership to be a risk to their country.

The foreign ministers of France and Germany supported Jüncker’s white paper options, and particularly supported the “multi-speed Europe” option, described in the white paper as follows:

[Begin quote]”In a scenario where the EU27 proceeds as today but where certain Member States want to do more in common, one or several “coalitions of the willing” emerge to work together in specific policy areas. These may cover policies such as defense, internal security, taxation or social matters.

As a result, new groups of Member States agree on specific legal and budgetary arrangements to deepen their cooperation in chosen domains. As was done for the Schengen area or the euro, this can build on the shared EU27 framework and requires a clarification of rights and responsibilities. The status of other Member States is preserved, and they retain the possibility to join those doing more over time.”[End quote]

However, politicians in other countries disagreed. Far-right Dutch politician Vicky Maeijer reacted harshly to the white paper:

[Begin quote]”The EU is collapsing and support for the project is crumbling. It seems we’re trying to keep the Brussels dream alive but its really more of the same – more, more, more European Union. What world do they come from? You’re playing with the lives of millions of citizens who you do not represent.

The Dutch, I think, are going to have their feeling confirmed that they must get away from this suffocating Europe and get freedom and democracy back.”[End quote]

Gianni Pittella, and Italian politician who leads the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, said that the white paper was a “clear political mistake”: “We would consider it a clear political mistake to simply present five options concerning the EU’s future without pointing out a clear political preference. [The future of Europe can’t be sacrificed for] short sightedness or fear of the next national elections.”

But Spanish politician Esteban González Pons said that the EU must be preserved:

[Begin quote]”It is time to defend Europe because it is the best vaccine against nationalists and populists. …

Nobody should forget that the Union is already our present, and now we have to decide which way we want to go in the future in order to deal with common challenges such as globalization, the generational gap, terrorism, climate change, the migration and refugee crisis, and the rise of nationalism and populism.”[End quote]

Daily Express (London) and Politico and Xinhua

Generational Dynamics, European Union, Greece, Treaty of Rome, European Commission, Jean-Claude Jüncker, Brexit, France, Marine Le Pen, National Front Party, Hungary, Viktor Orbán, Netherlands, Vicky Maeijer, Italy, Gianni Pittella, Spain, Esteban González Pons

28-Feb-17 – The US Cannot Penetrate Russia’s Powerful Aerial Detection System

By Valentin Vasilescu

Translated by Alice Decker

The Western press is continually repeating that a NATO intervention against Russia is imminent, following the model applied to the former Yugoslavia in 1999. Such an intervention would be justified, according to the hilarious logic cited by Admiral John Kirby, former State Department Spokesperson, by the notion that since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Russia has kept “advancing” right up to NATO’s doorstep — although it is NATO that has expanded, by admitting the former communist states of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics.

Russia takes these threats seriously and is looking for effective ways to respond to any aggression. Russia is going to be equipping its military with the most sophisticated automated systems of management and information integrating air and space surveillance systems.

The United States relied on its air superiority and ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) strike capability in its recent aggressive actions, but these advantages have been reduced greatly due to Russia’s detection capacity. For those who think Russia is a backward country that can be easily brought down, remember that Russia has the same number of nuclear warheads as the US, and Russian ICBMs are far more sophisticated than the American ones.

Over-The-Horizon Radar

During the Cold War, the US planned, designed and built at least six huge OTH-type (over-the-horizon) radars. But since 1970, only four high-power radars (AN/FPS-118 OTH-B — Over-the-Horizon Backscatter), with a range of 3,000 km were still active. One was stationed in Alaska, one each on the Pacific Coast and Atlantic Ocean, and one in the middle of the continental United States. From 1990–2000, all these radars were shut down due to their huge energy consumption and the fact that it was technologically impossible that any other state could hit the US mainland. These radars have been preserved, but the US does not have any OTH radar operational today.

With the new Voronezh radars, Russia’s Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) is the most powerful in the world. The 77Ya6DM-Voronezh OTH (Over The Horizon) has a range of 6,000–10 000 km. It works in the metric and decimetric frequencies (VHF and UHF) and can simultaneously track 500 targets the size of a soccer ball, up to a maximum altitude of 8000 km. Its energy consumption is 0.7 MW, compared to 2 MW for the Dnepr OTH and 50 MW for the Daryal OTH, two older Russian radars from the same family.

Another outstanding advantage is that it is largely pre-fabricated, with a modular design, and can be built quickly. According to GlobalSecurity.org, “A station of this kind can be deployed in 12 to 18 months as compared to five to nine years for Dnepr…. The foundation of the radar is the phased array antenna, a quickly erected crew module and several containers with radio-electronic equipment, to provide fast, low-cost upgrade station during operation.”[1]

Since Russia is surrounded by NATO countries, it has created a network of OTH phased array early-warning radars with ballistic capabilities along its western and northern borders, to defend itself from a nuclear or conventional attack. Russia has a Voronezh DM radar at the Dunayevka Airbase in the Kaliningrad enclave; a Voronezh M radar in Lekhtusi, near St. Petersburg, to replace the decommissioned one in Skrunda, Latvia; a Voronezh VP (RO-1) at Olenegorsk in the Kola Peninsula (bordering Finland); a smaller Volga radar (with a range of 2,000 km) near Hantsavichy in Belarus; and a Daryal (RO-30) radar (previous generation) with a 6,000 km range is in place in Pechora, near the Arctic Circle. In 2018, a new high-power radar is to begin operating in Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic.

Russia has also created a network of OTH early-warning ABM radars along its southern border. A Voronezh DM radar has been placed in Armavir in the Transcaucasus, between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea; and in Siberia, Yeniseysk, Barnaul and Mishelevka (both on the border with Mongolia), and Orsk (on the border with Kazakhstan) each have a Voronezh-DM radar.

On the Pacific Coast, Russia has a new Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS). Near the port of Nakhodka (75 km east of Vladivostok), there is a Volna radar (range 3000 km). The early warning system includes other less powerful Podsolnukh-E (Sunflower) radars, with a 500 km range, located on islands in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan. Two similar but smaller Dunay 3M/U radars (with a range of 2,500 km) have been positioned near Moscow as part of the Russian capital’s antiballistic shield. All the radar networks in the north, south, east and west, as well as Moscow’s defensive ring, are connected to a modern C4i command and control center with three levels, in Moscow. It integrates these radar networks with Russian military satellites.

Russian Radars have a Long Tradition

The history of Russian high-power shortwave radars began with research on the behavior of the ionospheric shell of Earth’s atmosphere. From 1950 to 1956, they were studying how ozone, nitrogen and their ions react in the presence of increased energy, in other words how plasma and ionized gases respond to heat. The separation of ions and electrons produces an electric field. This phenomenon is characteristic of the emission of radiation at different frequencies, including radar and radio waves. In the 1960s, the Soviets built a particle accelerator for this purpose in Protvino, a city near Moscow dedicated to nuclear physics research. Like the one recently built in Geneva by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), it has a circular tunnel in the ground, 60 m deep and 21 km long.

The first experimental high-powered radar, the Duga-1, was nicknamed the “Woodpecker.” The Soviet Union developed it to enable the monitoring of R-7 Semyorka missiles as they were launched and entered orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan SSR. The Semyorka was the first intercontinental ballistic missile and the first to launch artificial satellites above the Earth. Duga-1 was placed in Mykolaiv, a Black Sea port in the Ukrainian SSR, (2,500 km away from Baikonur) in 1957.

The Duga-2 was built in the mid-60s on the same site in Mykolaiv (Ukraine), to track the trajectories of ballistic missiles launched in the Far East and from nuclear submarines in the White Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The Duga-3 was active from 1975, at the Chernobyl-2 base of the Ukrainian SSR, 50 km from the nuclear reactor — that was the only way to provide the huge amount of energy it required. The antenna system extended over 750 m; its 90 m pillars are still standing. Almost 1,000 Soviet troops worked at the Chernobyl-2 Base. It was abandoned soon after the disaster at the nuclear power plant in 1986. Other operational radars from the “Duga” family were the Volga, the Dnestr (maximum range 3000 km) and the Daryal-U/UM.

Two other radars in the “Duga” family were operating in the Ukrainian SSR starting in 1979: one near the naval base for the Russian Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol, in Crimea (RO-4/Dnestr), with a range of 3,000 km; and one in Mukachevo (RO-5/), 70 km from the border with Romania. After the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008, when Ukraine applied to join NATO, the government in Kiev decommissioned the Mukachevo and Sevastopol radars.

The 590 Network

In the last two years, formations of up to ten Russian aircraft including the Su-24, Su-34, Tu-22M3, Il-76 and Su-30 began to show up in international airspace in the vicinity of NATO member states in western, northern and southeastern Europe. Russian crews were training for the operation in Syria. NATO claimed these flights were attempts to breach the airspace of NATO countries. These Russian military aircraft formations intersected the highly congested traffic flows in the Eurocontrol area without producing collisions or near collisions with any civilian or military flights, thanks to the Russian military’s continuous monitoring with the new “590” network of aerospace radars, which detects objects in the air near Russia’s western, northern and southern borders.

The “590” network covers various airspace sectors from Russia’s borders. It is supported by several hundred data storage facilities and its own servers, with powerful, cutting-edge data processing, using satellite communications equipment. Once the “590” radar network has detected something, Russian object recognition microprocessors help determine what type of aircraft it is — in real time — and automatically track aircraft within European airspace. Microprocessors extrapolate the flight path of each aircraft, based on its declared route, speed and technical characteristics.

The 29B6 Container Radar

The Russian military introduced the most complex and modern radar system in the world, known as “29B6-Container,” on 2 December 2013. Intended for long distance air and space reconnaissance, it is related to OTH radar and is an important element in the Russian “590” detection system. The 29B6 radar has a field of view with an aperture of 240°, and it monitors the air space up to a distance of 3,000 km. The 29B6 can detect high altitude and low altitude targets throughout almost all of Europe, the Middle East and the Arctic. The radar can track all airborne targets (including planes, helicopters, drones and cruise missiles) and objects in space.

The 29B6 is a bi-static radar system, with separate transmitters and receivers located far away from each other. The transmitter antenna is 440 m long and includes 36 components; it is located in Nizhny Novgorod (250 km east of Moscow). The 29B6 receiver antenna is in Kovylkino (150 km south of Nizhny Novgorod) and has 35m-high pylons spread out over 1.3 kilometers. The 29B6 radar system is far more advanced than the “Duga” family, working in wavelengths in the range of 10–100 m (3–30 MHz frequency).

Most military detection and fire control radars (land, sea or air) operate in the centimeter and millimeter range. Since waves from centimeter and millimeter radars are sent parallel to the ground, they cannot pass barriers in the relief. These radars are limited in performance by the curvature of the earth to a range of 300–450 km maximum.

In contrast to the centimeter and millimeter radar range, short wave radars like the 29B6 emit pulses at an angle of inclination up to 45 degrees from the ground. They are repeatedly bounced off the ionosphere to look beyond the horizon without significant loss of signal. This ionospheric refraction gives the radar an optimal zone for detection of aerial targets in the range of 400–4000 km from the broadcaster. Thus, ballistic missiles or fighter planes can be discovered by radar placed on Russian territory, while they are still in flight above the Atlantic Ocean.

Russia could also start rebuilding and updating the OTH radar in Sevastopol (RO-4), bringing it up to the Podsolnukh-E standard. The Sevastopol radar can monitor the US antiballistic shield at Deveselu (Romania).


There are many aspects to “stealth” technology including the shape of the aircraft, the type of materials used in aircraft construction and the coatings and paints covering the skin of the fuselage, the wing and tail surfaces, and the cabin. Stealth technology reduces the reflectivity radar waves in the spectrum most often used, i.e., in the centimeter range. The 5th generation multirole aircraft (F-22 and F-35) have been designed specifically to make them invisible to X band radar (7.0–11.2 GHz), i.e., in the centimeter and millimeter range. These planes are not invisible to OTH radar and 29 B6 Container radar, which operate in the decimeter and meter ranges.

The special radio-absorbent paint covering the F-22 and F-35 is very thin (2–4 centimeters) and is effective only in the centimeter and millimeter frequency range. In order to be invisible to OTH and 29B6 Container radars operating range meter and decimeter, the radar-absorbing coating would have to be at least 40–50 cm thick. However, such a large amount of paint increases the mass of the aircraft and reduces its aerodynamic qualities.

By comparison, the B-2 5th-generation bomber, which is 6 to 8 times larger and can carry 14 tons of weapons, the radar-absorbing coating can be as much as 50 cm thick. That makes it less visible to OTH and 29B6 Container radar than the F-22 and F-35 multirole aircraft.

Starting from these considerations and noting that the US has no operational radar comparable to the OTH and 29B6 Container radar, it is possible that Russians are counting more on the design and construction of the PAK DA-White Elephant stealth bomber, similar to the American B-2 stealth bomber.


25-Feb-17 World View — Border Adjustment Tax versus the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Law

By John Xenakis

Via GenerationalDynamics.com
NY Times, May 5, 1930 – over a thousand economists opposed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill (History Hub)

News reports indicate that Congressional Republicans, led by House Speaker Paul Ryan, are considering a “border adjustment tax” as one of the proposals for the tax reforms plans this year.

The details are vague, but it appears that the proposal is essentially an indirect tariff, using taxes charged to certain companies to raise prices of imported products, and tax reductions to other companies to encourage exports. It’s especially targeted to American companies that close factories in the U.S. and open factories in Mexico or other countries, and then import the products manufactured in those factories back into the United States.

There appear to be two major objectives. One is to generate revenue to pay for other parts of the tax reform package. And the second is to discourage companies from moving factories and jobs to other countries.

President Trump has not endorsed the idea, but on Thursday seemed to favor it:

[Begin quote]”It could lead to a lot more jobs in the United States. … I certainly support a form of tax on the border. What is going to happen is companies are going to come back here, they’re going to build their factories and they’re going to create a lot of jobs and there’s no tax.”[End quote]

VOA and Reuters and CNN

Historical comparison with the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill

In 1930, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill was passed, increasing import tariffs on some 900 products. The 1929 stock market panic, and the subsequent loss of many families’ life savings, was blamed by the public on American banks and companies, and it was widely believed that the tariffs would save American jobs. Except for a few details, the public mood then is similar to the public mood today.

In my 2003 book, “Generational Dynamics – Forecasting America’s Destiny,” which is available as a free PDF from my download page, http://generationaldynamics.com/download, I wrote the following about the Smoot-Hawley bill:

[Begin quote]”Perfectly reasonable acts by one country can be interpreted as hostile acts by another country. Guns and bombs are not needed to create an impression of war.

And if one country’s innocent act is a shock to another country and is viewed as hostile by that country, and if the people of that country are in a mood for retribution rather than compromise, than they may well look for a way to retaliate.

In that sense, the enactment of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in June 1930, can be viewed as the first of the shocking, provocative acts that led to World War II.

The Act was opposed by an enormous number of economists as being harmful to everyone, but it was very popular with the public, because of the perception that it would save American jobs. …

Interestingly, the Smoot-Hawley Act is still debated by politicians today, with regard to whether it caused or aggravated the Great Depression or had no effect. …

Those discussions are entirely America-centric because, for the purposes of this book, it makes no difference whatsoever whether or not the Act aggravated the American depression. We’re interested in the effect it had on foreign nations.

And the effects were enormous. The bill erected large trade barriers for numerous products, with the intention of saving American jobs. How many American jobs it saved, if any, is unknown, but it virtually shut down product exports to the United States. Both Germany and Japan were going through the same financial crisis America was going through, and they were furious that America as a market was closed to them.

Japan was the hardest hit. The Great Depression was hurting Japan just as much as it was hurting America but, in addition, Japan’s exports of its biggest cash crop, silk, to America were almost completely cut off by the Smoot-Hawley Act. Furthermore, Japan would have been going through a generational change: The country had undergone a historic revolution some 70+ years earlier, culminating in a major change of government (the Meiji Restoration) in 1868, and the people who had lived through that revolution would be dead or retiring by the early 1930s.

So one thing led to another, and in September 1931, almost exactly a year after Smoot-Hawley, Japan invaded Manchuria and later northern China. Britain and American strongly protested this aggression, and Roosevelt finally responded with an oil embargo against Japan.

This is the usual pattern of provocative acts on both sides. America saw Smoot-Hawley as its own business, but to Japan it was a hostile shock. Japan saw the Manchuria invasion as “Asian business,” while Britain and America saw it as attacking their own Asian interests. Roosevelt saw an oil embargo as a measured response of containment, while energy-dependent Japan saw it almost as an act of war, eventually triggering Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Japan wasn’t the only country affected, of course. England, Germany, Italy, and many other countries were hit hard by the sudden trade barriers with America. Just like in Japan, nationalistic and militaristic feelings were aroused in many countries.

Germany was especially frustrated. The map of Central Europe had been redrawn some 70 years earlier during a series of wars in the 1860s, culminating in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, and the unification of Germany in 1871. The Great War (WW I) had been a mid-cycle war for Germany, and had been a humiliating defeat, especially because the American and British led Allies had imposed harsh conditions — the loss of some German-speaking territories, and the payment of reparations. The loss of territories was especially provocative, since it partially reversed the German unification of 1871.

Germany was reaching the point where it was going to explode anyway, when the Smoot-Hawley Act was passed. On top of the reparations, the Act was seen as enormously hostile by the Germans. As in Japan, it gave rise to militaristic nationalism in the form of the rise of the Nazis. Germany remilitarized its border with France in 1936, and then annexed German-speaking parts of Eastern Europe in 1938.

So when did World War II start? It depends on what the word “start” means, but an argument can be made that America had started the war, and that the first act of war was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.”[End quote]

I wrote the above in 2003, so it should not surprise anyone that today I consider the proposed “border adjustment tax” to be a very dangerous idea.

A recent blog post by economists at the New York Fed will have little effect on either imports or exports, which means little effect on revenue or jobs. But whether or not that’s true is irrelevant to this discussion.

As in the case of the Smoot-Hawley bill, the main issue is not the effect on the US, but the effect on other nations. Any such border tax would quickly raise nationalist feelings in other nations. There would be retaliatory tariffs enacted in other countries. Some countries might be severely damaged economically, and even if they’re not, they would blame any economic problems they have on the American tariffs, and might look for even more far-reaching forms of retaliation.

Some people might argue that the proposed “border adjustment tax” is so small and so limited that it couldn’t possibly have such a negative effect. Once again we can look to history to see whether that’s true. According to an article in the June 21, 1930, issue of The Economist:

[Begin quote]”The signature by President Hoover of the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Bill at Washington is the tragi-comic finale to one of the most amazing chapters in world tariff history, and it is one that protectionist enthusiasts the world over would do well to study. The reason for tariff revision was a desire to restore a balance of protection which had been tilted to the disadvantage of the agriculturalist. But so soon as ever the tariff schedules were cast into the melting-pot of revision, log-rollers and politicians set to work stirring with all their might, and a measure which started with the single object of giving satisfaction to the farmer emerges as a full-fledged high tariff act in which nearly 900 duties have been raised, some extravagantly. Such is the inevitable result of vested interests working through political influence, ending in signature by a president, antagonistic to the bill, under compulsion of political necessities.”[End quote]

So the original Smoot-Hawley bill was to be very small, just providing a little protection to farmers, but once the door was opened, the bill exploded.

The same thing would happen today. Congress would be inundated with high-paid lobbyists from all sorts of industries demanding that their products be “protected” by the border adjustment tax. History tells us that that the final bill would be a hodge-podge of special interests and industries, with few winners but lots of losers, and a great deal of nationalistic fury in many other countries.

The proposal for even a “small” border adjustment tax starts us down a path that can lead to the same kind of disaster that the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Act caused. New York Fed Blog and Economist (18-Dec-2008) and Economist (21-Jun-1930) and History Hub and Generational Dynamics – Forecasting America’s Destiny (PDF)

22-Feb-17 – Russia Is Getting a Fleet of PAK DA “Stealth” Bombers

By Valentin Vasilescu

Translated by Alice Decker for Algora Blog

Russia has to update its fleet of strategic bombers if it is to maintain the status quo in nuclear power, where the Russian Federation has the upper hand. The traditional concept of deterrence is built on the “Strategic Triad” — long-range bombers, nuclear-powered submarines, and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Currently Russia, the US and China have bombers capable of carrying nuclear warheads. China’s bombers have just 25% of the range of Russian and American bombers. And only the US has a fleet of nineteen 5th generation stealth bombers: the B-2 Spirit. ​

In 1999, Tupolev appointed a team of engineers to research and develop technologies to manufacture 5thgeneration bombers. Only, the Russian Air Force didn’t raise the question of making it a stealth bomber until 2007. The technical and tactical specs for the 5th generation bomber were finalized in 2012. In early 2013, the Russian Air Force designated the winner of the design competition for the new Russian 5th generation strategic bomber, the PAK DA (which stands for Prospective Aviation Complex for Long-range Aviation). PAK DA bombers will be built by Tupolev, which specializes in building heavy bombers and civilian transport planes. If everything goes according to plan, the first flight will take place in 2019, production will start in 2020 and the first squadron of twelve PAK DAswill be operational in 2025. The PAK DA planes will be produced only for Russia.

What will the PAK DA will look like?

The PAK DA will most likely be similar to the US B-2 Spirit bomber, that is, a subsonic flying-wing type. It will be invisible to radar and will have a range of 12,000 km without refueling. Propulsion will be provided by four “Product 30” (AL-41F1) engines, without “afterburner,” designed for the 5th generation Su T-50 (PAK FA) multi-role aircraft; they will have 10,900 kg thrust each. The American B-2 stealth bomber also has four General Electric F118 engines, with 8,700 kg of thrust. The Russians call it the “White Elephant.”

Although there has been speculation that the PAK DA aircraft might be supersonic or hypersonic, in these flight modes the PAK DA cannot be invisible to radar. At the speed of Mach 3 to Mach 5 (3,600–6,000 km/h), there is a phenomenon of dissociation and ionization of air molecules in the air surrounding the aircraft. The plasma formed around the aircraft is visible on radar, even if the aircraft itself, a few centimeters away, is invisible. Hypersonic aircraft are less maneuverable and have a high inertia, such that the flight path must largely be pre-calculated. The sensors on hypersonic aircraft are disturbed by the incandescent plasma. Communication with such aircraft is also difficult, for the same reasons. Hypersonic speeds exclude using manual controls; computerized piloting is used, which is most suited to small, possibly unmanned, aircraft.

Stealth Technologies

The Russian designers will have to really master stealth technology and 3D design. The Americans used the most advanced supercomputers to design the shape of the B-2, and it took them from 1980 until 1982. Many useful ideas will be borrowed from the Sukhoi design group’s Su-T 50 5th-generation multirole fighter aircraft, which is being flight tested. Since the PAK DA is designed to fly mostly at night, it will be dark in color. Onboard sensors will warn the crew to increase the altitude, as a function of the brightness of the sky. This is used to evade infrared sensors on enemy fighters. The “hotter” the plane is, the easier it is to see against the sky. Certain special situations are resolved by having an onboard computer; for example, in case one or more engines catches fire or when there is a forced landing.

The White Elephant bomber will require about ten times more hours of maintenance to restore its flight capacity than bombers currently in service. This will include fine sanding of abrasions in the special resin which will coat the radar-absorbent fairings. This coating can be damaged by rain mixed with hail that is encountered when flying in the clouds, and it is sensitive to hard landings when the shock is absorbed by the aircraft’s load-bearing structure and transmitted to the panels coated with this special paint. Accidental scratches can occur while the jets are on the ground, for example from pebbles kicked up by jets of air from the nozzles of other aircraft, and that also damages their radar invisibility.

The aircraft’s design accounts for much of conventional radar invisibility (in the centimeter range), by avoiding angles close to 90˚ at the vertical and horizontal junction of the wings and the tail with the fuselage, in the shape of the air intakes, etc. Special radar-absorbent paint, as thick as a radar wave is long, also helps reduce the radar footprint. An SAS (Signature Assessment System) will be installed on board the White Elephant which will indicate the extent to which the radar-absorbent coating is degraded. When the radar footprint of the plane compromises its invisibility, portions of the coating will remediated.

The PAK DA’s Avionics

The White Elephant’s cabin has been designed with the MMI concept (“man–machine interface” or “human computer interface”) in mind, which allows the engine to be started without first manually switching dozens of contacts according to a full check list, followed by the pilot activating a pushbutton starter motor. It only takes a unique command, and the on-board computer automatically runs the start algorithm without crew intervention.

The cabin is a “glass cockpit” with an EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) digital display, with color LCDs (MFD-type — multi-function displays) for each of the two pilots. The White Elephant uses an electronicinterface for the flight controls (FBW — digital fly-by-wire). The communication system includes two radio systems, one of which also serves as a data line which transmits information, via satellite, from command and control points on the ground and on ships, and from far away AWACS/AEW warning aircraft.

The conventional navigation subsystem is comprised of a device combining inertial sensors, radio, GPS, and Terrain Contour Matching or TERCOM, which provides a digital map of the area overflown. The subsystem for low visibility navigation and fire control is composed of a common block of FLIR-type (Forward-Looking Infra-Red)and IRST (Infra-Red Search and Track) sensors. A laser rangefinder (mounted in the nose), and a laser projector guidance system for on-board weapons (mounted on the underside of the wing), together constitute the optical equipment for weapons guidance.

The main onboard subsystem for navigation, target discovery and weapon delivery is based on state-of-the-art AESA-type onboard radar (Active Electronically Scanned Array) which has a range of 300 km at an altitude of 10,000 m, which is why it is called a mini-AWACS. All data collected by the AESA radar and acquired onboard via an encrypted data line are processed by an onboard microprocessor. The radio-electronic warfare equipment (EW) consists of a Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and Missile Approach Warning system (MAW). The EW equipment is an automated command system for the active and passive electronic countermeasures system.

Basic Weaponry on the PAK DA

The bomber does not have hardpoint mountings or weapons stations for bombs or missiles under the wings, which helps minimize the radar exposure. The White Elephant’s entire weapons arsenal is in the bomb bay with hermetically sealed hatches. The PAK DA can carry bombs of different calibers, and guided or unguided, and air-to-ground missiles or air-to-ship and air-to-air missiles. The White Elephant will be armed with ten Kh-101 cruise missiles with conventional warheads containing 400kg of explosives — or with Kh-102s with 250KT nuclear warheads. Both ALCMs (Air-Launched Cruise Missiles) are powered by a turbofan, have a range of 5500 km (over 3400 miles) and a top speed of 970 km/h. with a likely deviation of less than 5m. The Kh-101 has a radar cross-section about the size of a bird, uses radar absorbing materials, conformal antennas, and other stealth technologies.The Kh-101/102 can only be detected from a distance of 24–40 km or less, when it harder to combat.

Over the sea, the ALCM uses an inertial guidance system that allows it to make evasive maneuvers (sudden changes in heading), but only small corrections so as to maintain a flight altitude of 50–100 m and to maintain its direction. Once the ALCM is over the ground, the TERCOM equipment (Terrain Contour Matching) takes over for short- or medium-distance navigation. It has a relief map of the predetermined flight path stored in memory, which it compares with the radar image of the area overflown. It maintains a constant altitude above the ground using a radio altimeter.

At 10 km from the target, a precision control module comes into play, with the GPS coordinates of the targetpre-set. Here the rocket control head takes over for short-range fire-control, that is, a small, millimeter-wave radar that allows it to detect and recognize the target. To verify the accuracy of the strike, a TV camera mounted on the rocket broadcasts (via satellite) the last 10 seconds of the approach to target.

Targets in North America are hard to hit using bombers crossing the Atlantic or Pacific, because of the long distance. Russian bombers, including the PAK DA, can approach America undetected by flying over the North Pole, but, while flying over the Poles, conventional navigation is impossible as there are no landmarks from the ground. There are no radio beacons on the ground or sea in this isolated area of the globe. Inertial navigation systems and GPS lack accuracy. But unlike the American, Russian strategic bomber crews have plenty of experience flying over the North Pole. Russian bomber crews run hundreds of flight training exercises in the Arctic every year.

For example, two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic strategic bombers took off on October 28, 2013, at Engels airbase in the Volga region, heading for the Barents Sea and then to the North Pole. Both bombers had two crewmen on board, young pilots in training. Beyond the North Pole, the bombers flew parallel to the Pacific coast near the US, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador to Nicaragua. Once they crossed that country, the two Tu-160s flew over the Caribbean Sea, landing at the Maiquetía-Caracas air base in Venezuela. Their flight path covered a distance of over 10,000 km and lasted 13 hours, without any air supply. Throughout the entire mission the two Tu-160 bombers were in strict compliance with regulations of the Chicago Convention of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) governing the use of international airspace.

19-Feb-17 – Forecasts and Market Trends for Multirole Aircraft

Written by Valentin Vasilescu for Algora Blog; translated by Alice Decker

Comparing the Main Competitors in 4++ Generation Aircraft


The twin-engine Eurofighter Typhoon is a British–German–Italian–Spanish co-production. The UK has 138 of the aircraft, Germany 125, Italy 83, Spain 61. Besides the producing countries, Austria has bought 15 Eurofighter Typhoons, and Saudi Arabia 66. Kuwait is also negotiating for 28 aircraft and Oman for 12. The Eurofighter Typhoon is very expensive, at USD 141 million per unit, and an hour of flight time costs USD 18,000. The UK and Italy have also ordered some F-35s, so massive contracts for new versions of the Eurofighter Typhoon are not anticipated from these countries.


After the Rafale fighter jet showed its capabilities in the war against Libya in 2011, the French company Dassault won enough contracts to keep the production line open, as it was in danger of closing. Of the 180 aircraft ordered (the Rafale B/C for the Air Force and the Rafale M for the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle of the French Navy), 140 have already been delivered. Another 24 Rafales were bought by Egypt, 36 Rafaleswill arrive in India by 2019 and probably another 36 by May 2022. Qatar is negotiating for 24 Rafale aircraft.France is pressing Belgium to replace its obsolete F-16 A/B fleet with the Rafale. Although it is the best in the 4++generation, the Rafale is also the most expensive, priced at USD 142–180 million, almost as much as the 5thgeneration F-35 stealth fighter. The cost per flight hour is USD 19,000.


One of the goals of the Russian military campaign in Syria was to showcase its modern multirole aircraft. Russia now has an advantage in the market for Gen 4++ aircraft. The Sukhoi and Mikoyan plants have foreign contracts for more than 120 aircraft (Su-30, Su-34, Su-35 and MiG-35), besides the fifty Su-35, 30 Su-30SM, 37 MiG-35 and 34 Su-34 to be delivered to the Russian armed forces over the next four years. Egypt signed a contract in 2015 to purchase fifty MiG-29s and will receive six of them by the end of 2017. Next, the Egyptian Air Force will replace the last F-7s (MiG-21s produced by China) with the MiG-35. China is currently receiving 24 Su-35 jets.

During the Singapore Air Show, an arms fair (16 to 21 February 2016), Algeria signed a contract for a first batch of twelve Su-32 aircraft (the export version of the Su-34). Algeria intends to acquire a total of forty Su-34sand fourteen Su-35s. By 2017, Algeria is also supposed to receive fourteen Russian Su-30MKI multirole aircraft. Jordan is in negotiations for the same Su-32 aircraft as it has to replace the old F-16 A/B. Malaysia, which has eighteen Su-30MKMs in operation, wants to purchase the Su-32 and Su-35. Indonesia, which owns nineteen Su-27 SKM and Su-30MKI/MKK2, would also like to have ten Su-35.

Russian planes cost less and hold up better under use, compared to Western ones, though their avionics are inferior. The price of a MiG-35 is USD 35 million and a Su-30 costs USD 50 million. Russia’s 5th generationaircraft, the Sukhoi Su T-50, will continue in testing in 2017, to begin production in 2018.


In the last two decades, China has almost closed the technological gap that separated it from the main builders of multi-role aircraft, becoming one of the serious military aircraft producers. The Chinese 4++ generation multi-role aircraft is the J-10B. It has EASA radar (similar to that of the MiG-35) and is close in performance to the F-16 and Mitsubishi F-2, which are in the inventories of the USA, Japan and South Korea. The 4++ generation J-10 B is not expected to have any market other than China and Pakistan. The price of a J-10 is USD 41–45 million. Although China completed construction of new production facilities in 2014 that can produce a hundred J-10B multi-role aircraft per year, only 24 and 28 J-10Bs were delivered in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The explanation is that they are preparing new production lines for the J-20, which is invisible to radar. On the first day of 2016, China announced that it was ready to move the J-20 aircraft to serial production, but said thatthis type of aircraft will not be for export. China aims to furnish its armed forces with two hundred J-20s, replacing the outdated fleet of J-8 and Q-5 tactical bombers by 2022.

The J-20 is inferior to the F-22 and F-35 due to a sub-par thrust/mass ratio and inferior avionics. The J-20 was not designed as an airplane able to fight US, Japanese and Korean aircraft, but as a light bomber, invisible to radar. The J-20 is a favorite of the Chinese navy because it can serve as an invisible platform specialized in strikingaircraft carriers and other warships far from shore.

It can be concluded that the Russians and Europeans have come to dominate the market for multirole aircraft of the new 4++ generation. Annual production of multi-role aircraft is 50–60% of that recorded in the last 10 years worldwide and this trend will continue. In the next five years, it seems unlikely that any new 4++ generation aircraft will appear and capture the market.

How the 4++ Generation Multi-role Aircraft Coexist with the 5th Generation

In the US, Lockheed Martin Corporation is preparing to decommission its F-16 production line at the plant in Fort Worth (Texas), due to lack of orders for new 4++ generation aircraft and a need to focus on serial production of the 5th generation F-35 aircraft. The same is true for Boeing, in terms of maintaining its production line for 4++ generation aircraft, the F-18 Super Hornet E/F and the EA-18G Growler, while the US has the option of replacing all the F-18s with F-35Cs on the Navy’s aircraft carriers and with the F-35B on helicopter carriers for the Marines.

The US has relied 100% on the new 5th generation F-35 aircraft. From 2006 until now it has produced only two hundred F-35, of which ten were for States which have contributed financially to its development program. Development delays have been based on ambitions of the Lockheed Martin Corporation to produce three new and distinct aircraft using almost the same subassembly. The F-35A takes off and lands on ordinary runways; the F-35B STOVL (short-take off and vertical-landing) operates on helicopter carriers; and the F-35C CATOBAR (Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) takes off and lands on aircraft carriers. The price of an F-35A is now USD 185.5 million, an F-35B is USD 299 million and an F-35C costs USD 252 million.

The Pentagon plans to buy 1,700 F-35As for the Air Force, 340 of the F-35C for the Navy, and 80 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps. They will replace the A-10, F-16, and F-15 aircraft for the Air Force and the F-18 and the AV-8 for the Navy and Marines. Lockheed Martin is counting on manufacturing a total of 3,100 F-35s by 2035, to be delivered in at least nine states.

Increasing production will mean a drop in the price (USD 95 million for the F-35A; USD 122 million for theF-35B; USD 121 million for the F-35C). However, Lockheed Martin’s 1989 rate of production — one F-16 a day —will not be achieved. There are many authoritative voices who say the F-35 project is too avant-garde. Instead of spending huge amounts on design and development for the F-35, it would be better to continue allocating money to manufacturing another two hundred F-22s. These 5th generation aircraft are much better than the F-35 and are designed to achieve air supremacy. For the remaining missions, the F-16 C/D, F-15 C/D/E, F-18 and AV-8 are more useful than the F-35 and they could fly for at least 15 more years of US aviation, without need for the F-35.

How Production of Multirole Aircraft Is Affected by Using Second-Hand Equipment

Many countries cannot buy new multirole aircraft and prefer the old ones, sold off by other, richer countries. The price of a new F-16 C/D is USD 70 million, while it costs USD 7,000 per flight hour. New NATO member states are forced to abandon their old Soviet aircraft and turn to used American aircraft, and the cheapest is the F-16. Until 2022–2025, Denmark, Netherlands, and Norway will not receive the F-35 planes they have on order. Until then, they will continue flying the old F-16 A/B. Belgium and Portugal cannot afford to buy the F-35, so they will continue to use the F-16 A/B as long as it can fly. Thailand, Indonesia, and Venezuela are moving towards replacing their F-16 A/B jets with new Russian Su-30, Su-34 and Su-35 aircraft. All these F-16 A/B are pretty worn out and have little time before overhaul (TBO) left before requiring capital repairs.

Between 2014–2019, the US will be discarding from inventory hundreds of military aircraft. On the list are mostly C-130 H and C-17 transport aircraft, and liaison/reconnaissance aircraft or VIP transport: the Cessna Caravan 208B, C-23A Sherpa, C-12R Horned Owl and C-12 MARSS II King Air. They were all used in campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan on poorly equipped and barely maintained runways. Also being cast off are high-altitude reconnaissance planes, the Lockheed U-2 Dragon Lady, and some of the unmanned reconnaissance aircraft (the MQ-1C Grey Eagle, MQ-1B Predator, RQ-5 Hunter, and MQ-9 Reaper, all belonging to Division 24 ISR —Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance). Twenty-one F-16 C/Ds will be withdrawn from use by the US Air Force but will go to the US National Guard, not NATO. Until 2019, there is no chance of any F-16 C/D being exported directly from the US military inventory.

Instead, around Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the US Air Force has created a huge area for storing well-preserved American fighter aircraft, with a Time Before Overhaul of about 1,000 flight hours. This area is managed by the 309 AMARG (Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group). They are conserving 290 F-16 A/Bs and 180 F-16 C/Ds that have flown for 5–12 years.

NATO countries such as Romania, Poland (which expressed interest in at least 90 used F-16s), Bulgaria, Croatia and other members are interested in buying second-hand F-16s. They would prefer to get airplanes from Amarga, make them fit to fly again, and eventually modernize them.

At the end of 2016, Israel retired its last F-16 A/B Netz plane, which was 36 years old. About seventy F-16 A/B Netz are preserved and can be revitalized and modernized by Israel’s aircraft industry, if there are customers for them.

The trend of returning these used 4th generation planes to inventory will increase in the next 10 years, even as the 5th generation aircraft is adopted on a large scale by those armed forces that can afford to pay high prices for them.

19-Feb-17 – Can America reverse its decline?

It’s about Trump. It’s about America. And it’s about America’s role in the world.

Can Trump make it? Can America recover? In an ideal world, what would the magic solution be for America’s revival? As it is, America is just chugging along, at over $1 trillion in Federal debt alone, per year, plus state and local debt, and consumer loans such as mortgages, student loans, car loans and credit cards. At an average of 1.5% economic growth per year, for the last eight years[1], (as opposed to the average post WWII of 2.9%) while the population alone has been growing at 0.8%, this is actually, close to negative growth and it is self-destructive. But when the debt growth is added, it is negative both in relative and absolute terms.

Another ten years of this, and there is nothing left of the US. So again, in an ideal world, what would the magic solution be?

Besides cutting down on the over-extended military reach, and the corporate welfare (including the wastefully comprador health industry, 20 percent of the GDP), what would be the engine of growth?

Trump is proposing $1 trillion spending on infrastructure, such as highways, airports and bridges. But how would that be an engine of economic growth?

When a city’s port is too small to handle the traffic of the growing economic activity, spending on doubling the port capacity does represent a capital investment which is part of the government/business expansion. But building a beautiful boulevard in the middle of the city is a luxury, and it only offers an enhanced lifestyle. More highways, more fast trains, by themselves, cannot generate more productive forces.

If we look at the old book of the Soviet regeneration after the First World War, the programmatic manifesto, which was the basis of their economic revival, was the Leninist call to develop “the heavy industry with the machine-building industry as its pivot.” In the industrial age, “heavy industry” meant steel production and its derivatives, while the machine-building industry meant tool factories. 

Industrial England was the model where the ultimate productive branch of the economy, let’s say, the textile industry, or nail making factories, were premised on the condition of having textile machinery at hand, which presupposes a textile machine fabrication, which presumes an iron- and steel-making industry, Which is also conditioned on having a mining industry to produce the raw material for all of this, which was iron, coal, etc.

So the shortcut for a country like Russia or China was to start with the primordial industry: the extraction/mining industry which included oil and gas, and, for decades, pumping resources into the upstream industrial development.

If we look at today’s situation, what are the equivalents? What is the industry of the future that can build an economic powerhouse? Probably it is the robot industry. So where do you start with the robot industry? Definitely not with highways and infrastructure; but with the same paradigm: energy resources (that is extraction/mining, oil and gas industries), the heavy industry (such as steel, pipe-making industry, in the words of Trump), and the machine-building industry. One then needs qualified engineers and technicians.

Now, look at the US education system today. The only engineers that the US has are imported from India, China, Russia, etc. Where are the indigenous technicians? They are all getting Bachelor’s in business (19%), health (10%), social sciences (9%), etc. Master’s: MBA’s (25%), education (21%), health (13%). Doctorate  degrees: health (39%), legal (25%), education (6%), engineering (5%), biology (5%), psychology (4%), physical sciences (3%) [2].[3]

So, what are the chances of President Trump putting all this together? So far, his emphasis seems to be on the generals, law and order, and the “fake news media” epidemic – which is all to the good, at least as far as a wake-up call and a minimal re-establishment of the framework for going forward with a new plan, but it’s nowhere near to affecting the deep roots of the US malaise and its path to recovery.

Where are the builders of the future industry and of the new economy? I don’t see them as of yet.

[1] https://hudson.org/research/12714-economic-growth-by-president

[2] Of the 1,870,000 bachelor’s degrees conferred in 2013–14, the greatest numbers of degrees were conferred in the fields of business (358,000), health professions and related programs (199,000), social sciences and history (173,000), psychology (117,000), biological and biomedical sciences (105,000), and education (99,000).

At the master’s degree level, the greatest numbers of degrees were conferred in the fields of business (189,000), education (155,000), and health professions and related programs (97,000).

At the doctor’s degree level, the greatest numbers of degrees were conferred in the fields of health professions and related programs (67,400), legal professions and studies (44,200), education (10,900), engineering (10,000), biological and biomedical sciences (8,300), psychology (6,600), and physical sciences and science technologies (5,800). https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=37.

[3] Between academic years 2002–03 and 2012–13, the total number of postsecondary degrees conferred increased at all degree levels: certificates by 49 percent (from 646,000 to 966,000), associate’s degrees by 59 percent (from 634,000 to 1.0 million), bachelor’s degrees by 36 percent (from 1.3 million to 1.8 million), master’s degrees by 45 percent (from 519,000 to 752,000), and doctor’s degrees by 44 percent (from 122,000 to 175,000). Reflecting the overall increase in the number of postsecondary degrees conferred at each level, the number of postsecondary degrees conferred also increased for all racial/ethnic groups at each level between 2002–03 and 2012–13. https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=72.

19-Feb-17 – “Romania: from a “Two-Tiered Europe” to a Europe of the Double Bind”

By Modeste Schwartz.

via Visegradpost

Romania – Not only does Brussels act as a colonial despot toward all second-tier EU countries (or, even worse, considering that France, to take but one example, at least endowed its African colonies with infrastructure, whereas in Romania passenger trains currently run a bit more slowly than they did during the Austro-Hungarian era …), but, especially since the British referee walked off the pitch, a referee who, at times, succeeded in bringing a minimum of common sense to the Franco-German bargaining table, it has begun to look like a chip off the old block of its illustrious predecessor – the Austro-Hungarian empire.

To the question “what is a European”, after Brexit, we can reply by parodying Musil’s famous line: “it is a German, plus a Frenchman, minus the Frenchman”. Not only are the divergences of interest of this two-headed monster forbidding any long-term strategy, they even begin to affect its tactical effectiveness.

For example, in Romania, the Reich-Chancellor Merkel, through her official and unofficial representatives, supports the (nominally) National (and nominally) Liberal Party of president Klaus Johannis, which, alongside the Soros organizations and the secret services formerly controlled by Washington (fatherless since last December), strives, in defiance of both the popular vote and the constitution, to bring down the social democratic (PSD) government of S. Grindeanu, “guilty” (with the “complicity” of previous PSD governments) of having increased the minimum wage nearly two-fold (to the staggering sum of 300 €), without respect for the profits of the (chiefly German-owned) manufacturing sector, profits which up until now have been more than twice the European average.

In July of last year, this same Johannis, conscious of having (in spite of being of ethnic minority stock) a partly nationalist (although also Westernist and Russophobic) electorate, and some support from the ranks of local capitalists, ratified a law proposed by a provincial PSD official, aiming to impose a quota of local products to supermarkets, immediately arousing the ire of the large (mostly French-owned) supermarket chains operating within Romania. The commercial lobby in Brussels has taken up the matter, apparently convinced that a commercial oligopoly is better able to protect the “freedom of the Romanian consumer” (sic) than the government elected by this same consumer. As a result, the European Commission has just announced the initiation of an infringement procedure against Romania (and Hungary it should be noted, which has adopted similar laws). Romania therefore faces a fine of 1.8 million euros (plus 130,000 € / day of delay in compliance), for wanting to privilege the local producers so loudly praised in Western Europe by environmentalist movements, movements which tend to also be very vocal Europhiles (to the extent that some have even incorporated this profession of faith into the name of their respective political parties …).

And Brussels, under pressure from a lobby representing mainly French capital (hugely favored by the Keynesian stimulus policies planned by the Grindeanu government), is preparing to sanction a “protectionist” decision of the Johannis presidency, while Berlin is currently encouraging Johannis to depose the very same Grindeanu government, guilty of implementing … these very same stimulus policies. I can hardly wait to watch the wrestling bouts between EU commissioners, on the model of the Ukrainian Rada.

Having said that, let’s look at the bright side: according to my sources, for the time being, J. Cl. Junker has no intention of having his horse seated at the European Parliament. He would be too afraid of his horse being stolen.

Nonfiction for the Nonplussed