26-March-17 – Russian Special Forces and the Ka-52 Helicopter in the Second Liberation of Palmyra

By Valentin Vasilescu

Translated By Alice Decker

Syria is a training ground for the Russian military to test new combat methods and new organizational structures adapted to fighting terrorists.

The Islamic State offensive from 8 to 12 December 2016 resulted in their recapturing the city of Palmyra, advancing westward, and blocking the Syrian T-4 Air Base at Tiyas, located 30 km west of Palmyra. Islamic State’s offensive formation was composed of three brigades with one in reserve, or about 5,000 fighters. The first brigade took the lead. It had 1,700 men with 30 tanks armored vehicles (BMP-1 or IFVs), 70 trucks equipped with 14.5 mm-caliber machine guns, 20 pieces of artillery (122 mm-caliber howitzers and BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers), and dozens of 120 mm- and 82-caliber mortars. IS had a brigade of more than 1,000 soldiers on both its left and right flanks, without heavy artillery and with fewer armored vehicles and trucks than the main body. Palmyra and the city’s airport were guarded by Islamic State reserves of over 800 fighters.

Combat Forces in Palmyra.

Syria’s T-4 Air Base at Tiyas was defended by about 2,000 soldiers. The defensive forces included: a mechanized brigade of the Syrian Army’s 10th Infantry Division, an NDF territorial battalion comprised of Syrian reservists, a battalion of Lebanese Hizballah and a battalion from the Afghan Shiite organization Liwa Fatemiyoun. The T-4 Base was close to being surrounded and cut off, so that the Syrian army was forced to send reinforcements, about 2,500 troops, from Aleppo.

In addition to a battalion of Tiger special forces, a battalion from the 5th Legion and three tank companies from Tank Division 18 (totaling about 1,000 soldiers), soldiers brought in as reinforcements, were NDF (National Defense Forces) ancillary forces without much combat experience. Even with the reinforcements, the Syrian army was no greater than that of the Islamic State.

Under these conditions, it could have taken several months to stop the Islamic State offensive and prepare a counterattack to liberate Palmyra. Therefore, the general staff of this group was made up of Russian planning officers. The Russian planners quickly drew up a plan of air and ground operations that could achieve the intended goal in less than a week.

Offensive Plan for the Liberation of Palmyra.

The first key was to restrict the mobility of the three IS brigades, preventing them from moving. They put the IS on the defensive and prevented them from bringing up their reserves, located 30 km away from the Syrian air base.

To keep the Islamic State forces in place and neutralize them, a Russian tactical aviation group in Syria (having both jets and attack helicopters) had to hit at least 600 major IS targets in the first 72 hours of the operation. This meant that some aircraft, particularly the Mi-28 and Ka-52 attack helicopters, had to perform five battle flights daily (compared to the two runs normally carried out. Most of these were close air support missions at low altitude. This meant an additional risk to Russian aircraft as they were vulnerable to IS heavy machine guns and small-caliber cannons.

The second key element was to make the most efficient use of one of the basic elements of warfare: reconnaissance, mainly through research carried out independently by ground troops. The accuracy of any airstrikes depended on good intelligence, accurately detecting and transmitting the location of each enemy position. Therefore, the center of gravity of the operation to break the encirclement of the air base at Tiyas and to free Palmyra was the Russian Spetsnaz group’s ability to convey reconnaissance information to the headquarters of the operation. The special forces also organized raids and ambushes.

The Russians gave the Syrian army a flexible order of battle, consisting of approximately 10 assault groups made up of one platoon of T-62 tanks, a BMP-1 platoon, a BTR-82A platoon, two ZSU-23-4 Shilka automatic cannons, 15 pickups with machine guns (14.5 mm caliber) and 200 more Marines onboard the trucks. Reconnaissance by the ground troops of each assault group was conducted by advance detachments that formed joint commando units consisting of Spetsnaz special forces and Syrian Tigers.

IS support points that had been hit in the airstrikes were liquidated by the Syrian army assault groups, which eliminated the Islamist rebels or forced them to retreat. In the mountainous terrain north and south of the road that links the T-4 Tiyas Air Base to Palmyra, it is harder for aerial forces to hit their targets. There, the Syrian army used an artillery support group consisting of 32 artillery systems: D-30 122-mm-caliber howitzers; BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers, and TOS-1A thermobaric launchers. Thermobaric ammunition is a combination of liquid fuel and tetranor powder. It is used for destroying fortifications and armored vehicles or fighters. Thermobaric projectiles first produce a small explosion that vaporizes the contents in a flammable cloud. When the aerosol thus created makes contact with the oxygen in the atmosphere, it self-detonates, creating a tremendous shock wave followed by intense fire.

Within 48 hours of the start of the operation, Russian aviation had fulfilled its mission, the Islamic State terrorist offensive was stopped and the Syrian army assault groups took the lead. IS fighters retreated to Palmyra, which was besieged from the south, west and north by the Syrian army. The city was quickly liberated and the terrorists retreated east of Palmyra. The Syrian army continued in pursuit, moving towards the town of Deir ez Zor.

According to a statement by Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, the chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate, 1,000 ISIS members were killed and wounded, and 19 tanks, 37 armored vehicles, 98 pickups armed with heavy weaponry, and over 100 cars were destroyed.

Tigers Syrian Commando Units.

At the end of 2013, Lieutenant Colonel Suheil al-Hassan was tasked with forming a new Syrian special forces battalion which was to have a greater offensive capability. They were called the Tigers. Some of the officers of this new unit are selected from Tank Divisions 4 and 11 of the Syrian army. Originally, the Tigers were prepared using manuals and trainers from the Iranian and Hezbollah commandos. In early 2016, the Tigers went ahead and formed two battalions. They were trained by Spetsnaz special forces and Iranian instructors. This explains why the Tigers used Russian AK-74 weapons with silencers and with laser rangefinders, headphones and armor from the Russian RATNIK equipment, 10 to 15 T-90A tanks and several Russian light armored vehicles (Russian LMV) in operations in the Aleppo governorate, in the summer of 2016.

Offensive operations by Al Qaeda and Islamic State groups are preceded by two types of suicide actions carried out simultaneously. Up to ten 4×4 cars and trucks with heavy plates of armor called VBIED (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices) or armored BMP-1s (IFV), all filled with explosives, start out from different directions at full speed and ram their way through the Syrian army positions in order to explode in their midst. Simultaneously, dozens of individuals or groups of fighters, with explosive belts, try to penetrate the Syrian army.

If this method works, the terrorist assault units start their offensive.

The Tigers have adopted a method of neutralizing these suicide attacks by setting up ambushes. In the ambush, the Tigers use multiple observation points covering different sectors, using snipers with Orsis T-5000 sighted rifles (7.62 mm caliber) and KSVK sighted machine guns (12.7 mm caliber), as well as SPG-9 recoilless rifles (73 mm caliber), RPG-29 anti-tank missile launchers, and Metis-M and Kornet portable anti-tank missiles.

The 5th Legion and the IS Hunters Regiment are auxiliary units of the Syrian Army, supplemented by volunteers who have undergone a program of training, equipping and arming financed by Russia. The 5th Legion has a first batch of 1,000 soldiers who have been trained in assault tactics to be used on Islamic State groups, and they are used in elite units serving under the Tigers.

The role of Russian Spetsnaz in the liberation of Palmyra.

Russian Special Forces are equipped with 6B47 helmets (RATNIK equipment) that have a 1PN139 thermal finder and 1-P88-2 sighting device, for night vision. This allowed them to infiltrate secretly, at night, to a distance of less than 5 km from IS resistance points. During the day this was impossible, because of the many IS observation points manned by snipers.

Spetsnaz troops equipped with RATNIK then launched silent ZALA 421-08 type mini UAVs, with electric motors, weighing 1.7 kg, with a ceiling of 3,600 m and flight duration up to 90 minutes [1]. Video transmissions from the Zala 421-08 provided infrared imagery of Islamic State formations. These were received via satellite at the air operations center of the Russian air base at Hmeymim. The transmission is done using the Special Forces’ Strelets tactical computer device. The Strelets screens also automatically displayed to Russian aviators the positions of all the Spetsnaz detachments, thus avoiding any “friendly fire” incidents.

Having identified targets to hit, the Russian command center at Hmeymim dispatched Su-24, Su-25, and Su-30 planes as well as Mi-28 N, Mi-35 and Ka-52 attack helicopters. The armored cars, pickup trucks and artillery were hit first — the strong points of IS.

To aid the precision airstrikes, Spetsnaz illuminated some of the targets by laser beam. These Russian airstrikes neutralized fire power of infantry Islamic State.

Testing the Russian Ka-52 Helicopter.

For Russia, one important objective of this operation was to test the Ka-52 helicopters that are being deployed with Russia’s Navy. The Ka-52 Alligator is a new reconnaissance and attack helicopter with two coaxial bearing propellers driven by two Klimov TV3 engines of 1830 kg each. It can reach a speed of 350 km/h. The Ka-52 helicopter has a range of 545 km without additional fuel tanks, and it can carry two tons of weapons. Four containers can be mounted with 23 mm caliber guns, or four multiple-launchers with six Vikhr-type laser-guided antitank rockets (with a range of 12–15 km), or with six Igla-V air-to-air missiles or two blocks of 20 S-8 reactive projectiles each (80 mm caliber).

In the Palmyra operation, tests of the new Vikhr missiles showed very good results. When the Russian Navy uses the Ka-52, it is equipped with two torpedoes or four Kh-25 air-to-ship laser-guided missiles, or two Kh-35U missiles (with a range of 300 km) or two Kh1AD missiles.

The avionics on board the Ka-52 includes equipment designed by the French company Sextant Avionique, part of the Thales concern. This allows them to display all the NASH information (Navigation and Attack System for Helicopters) on the unit’s HDD (head-down displays) sighting system, or directly on the helmet visor of the pilot and the weapons system operator using the Topowl system. The 30-mm Shipunov2A422 mobile cannon located in the nose of the helicopter is also operated via the helmet visor.

For navigation at night and in low visibility, the helicopter is equipped with Russian Khoda-type FLIR sensors and laser rangefinders linked to the laser target-marking system. They are mounted in a turret under the cockpit. In another turret, electro-optical sensors are mounted (TV and infrared cameras). Ka-52 helicopters also have Phazotron FH-01 Crossbow radar, which can track up to 20 air and ground targets simultaneously.

To protect itself, the Ka-52 helicopter has a broadband receiver and Pastel L150 radar warning system. In the infrared spectrum it is protected by Mak L136 equipment, and in pulsed laser frequencies by L140 Otklik equipment. UV-26 flare and chaff dispensers and metalized dipole cartridges are mounted in a container at the wingtips.

[1]. Russian soldiers have the best personal protective gear ( https://southfront.org/russian-soldiers-have-the-best-personal-protection-gear-opinion/ )

14-03-17 – Funding Ballistic Missile Shields vs. Space Programs

by Valentin Vasilescu

Translated by Alice Decker

Concomitant with the miniaturization of nuclear warheads, designers of intercontinental ballistic missiles switched to rocket engines that use solid propellants (fuel/oxidizer) instead of liquid fuel. This made it possible to reduce the nuclear vector and shorten the preparation time for launch. All of the US military forces abandoned liquid fuel rockets in the last twenty years.

In liquid fuel rockets, the liquid fuel and an oxidizer are burned together in a combustion chamber. The fuel flow and the thrust generated can be regulated and the engine can be controlled, making it more fuel-efficient. Solid-fuel rockets are simpler, safer, and cheaper. A fuel and an oxidizer are pre-mixed in a solid form. It is no longer necessary to separate the fuel tanks and cryogenic receptacles, as is required when using liquefied gases (LOX/LH liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen) and there is no more need for turbopumps to pump the propellant from the tanks into the combustion chamber. However, once combustion begins, the thrust cannot be controlled or turned off, making this a less efficient system.

The evolution of solid fuels.

Dr. Theodore von Karman emigrated from Europe in 1930 to become the first director of the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT), which later became Aerojet Engineering Corporation. The aim was to study and develop new solid rocket fuels. The first solid fuel, called GALCIT 27, was a black powder made from an organic matrix (the asphalt used in roads) with an inorganic oxidant (potassium nitrate, known as saltpeter). GALCIT 61-C, which was still used after the end of the Second World War, was composed of 76% potassium perchlorate as the oxidizer and 24% fuel (asphalt and motor oil). To get rid of the fumes, the potassium perchlorate was replaced with ammonium perchlorate (NH4ClO4). Ammonium perchlorate derivatives are the most widely used fuel rocket today.

It was a big step forward when the asphalt was replaced with an elastomeric polymer. Zinc oxide was added as a hardener or curing agent, creating polysulfides that have a structure and properties similar to rubber. To test the new solid fuel, the Aerojet Engineering company created a small rocket called the "Thunderbird." Weighing 580 kg, the Thunderbird had a thrust of 2,720 kg. The Thunderbird led to the creation of the Sergeant rocket engine and later the XM33 Pollux, which was widely used for the upper stage Vanguard rockets that placed the first US Explorer satellites in space.

From polysulfides they progressed to polyurethane (thermoplastic polymers) by adding aluminum to the fuel composition. Polyurethane can be easily modeled, and was poured directly into the rocket body. ESTANE, the first rocket fuel based on polyurethane, was produced by Goodrich Chemical company, but the most commonly used fuel in this class was PBAA, a copolymer of polybutadiene and acrylic acid, which was first produced in 1967.

Since space rockets are about 80% derived from military ballistic missiles, solid fuel has become the norm in both areas. The most common polyurethane rocket fuel is HTPB (hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene), produced by ATOChem and was used the Delta II, Delta III, Delta IV, Titan IVB and Ariane rocket boosters. A derivative of the HTPB solid fuel is PBAN, which was used by the two Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) to provide thrust during the first two minutes of flight..

US rocket motors: Recycled from the ICBM and Re-assembled as an Antiballistic Shield

Orbital Sciences Corp (OSC) became famous in April 1990 when the Pegasus, its first ultra-light rocket, was launched from a B-52 bomber (capable of carrying up to 32,000 kg) and managed to place in orbit a 443 kg satellite. The Pegasus ultralight rockets were 17.6 m long and weighed 23,130 kg; they had four stages with solid fuel. The rocket would detach from the airplane at an altitude of 10,000 m and the satellite was placed in a low orbit around the Earth.

This ultra-light rocket was a turning point in the construction of American missiles, showing that it was feasible to build a US anti-ballistic shield. On December 13, 2001, President George W. Bush notified Russia that the US was unilaterally withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The ABM Treaty limited each signatory to installing Anti-Ballistic systems in just one location. At the same time, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) was created within the US Defense Department. Technically, this institution was the latest incarnation of President Reagans Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program, later restructured and renamed the BDMO (Ballistic Missile Defense Organization) in 1994. The MDA funded OSC (manufacturer of the Pegasus rocket), to assemble ballistic missiles, switching over to the Taurus and Minotaur rockets. The 1,000 three-stage missiles (the LGM-30F Minuteman II, operational from August 1965 until 1997) and the 500 LGM-118 Peacekeepers (the MX, operational until 2005), were decommissioned and subsequently supplied to Pentagon agencies and private companies like OSC, SpaceX (Space Explorations Technologies) and ULA (United Launch Alliance).

The Taurus rocket is assembled by OSC with a launch mass of 73 tons and a payload capacity of 1.3 tonnes for satellites to be placed in low orbit. The first stage of the Taurus rocket is the SR-19. The SR-19 is the second stage of the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile and the Peacekeeper MX-II. The SR-19 has a mass of about 7 t, with a thrust of 27,000 kgf. The SR-19 later became the first stage of the GBMD (Ground-Based Midcourse Defense) fixed rocket system for the US Missile Defense Agency. The GBMD shield defends the US Pacific Coast with launch sites in Alaska, California and Hawaii.

The GBMD was developed in parallel with the ABMD (Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense), the naval component of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). It uses recycled solid rocket. The US Navy has fifteen Arleigh Burke-class AEGIS destroyers and 22 Ticonderoga-class cruisers. All these vessels are equipped with SPY-1D antiballistic radar and 24 anti-ballistic missiles (the RIM-161/SM-3, launched by the MK-41 Vertical Launch System). AEGIS ballistic systems were installed on six Japanese Kong-AEGIS-class destroyers and three Korean Sejong-class destroyers.

The same AEGIS system has been deployed in Romania, at Deveselu, and it will be deployed in Poland as well. The RIM-161 / SM-3 Block 1b uses the Aerojet MK 72 engine which was the third stage of the American ICBM Minuteman-II rocket, which has been decommissioned.

The US Army has created its own ABM shield called THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense). A battery consists of 9 launchers x 8 missiles, one radar and two tactical operations centers, all on a M1075 chassis (for 6 x 6 specialty trucks) manufactured by Oshkosh Corporation. The THAAD missiles solid fuel engine is a variant of the Aerojet MK 72.

The Minotaur is the second family of solid fuel rockets from the OSC company. The Minotaur I can launch into orbit an object with a mass of 580 kg. Its first stage engine is a M55A1 (the same as the first stage of the Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile) with 80,000 kgF thrust. The second stage (SR-19) is, as mentioned above, the same second stage used in the American Minuteman II and the MX intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Antares Rocket Disaster

In 20102013, the same Orbital Sciences Corp. bought 40 Russian NK-33 engines and used them in NASA launches, replacing the first two stages of the Minotaur I rocket with two Russian NK-33 liquid fuel engines, each with a thrust of 170,000 kg and functioning for 600 seconds, in order to be able to increase the payload to 2700 kg. The Russians had been using NK-33 engines since 1975 without incident, and the Russian company Energomash delivered them to the Americans. Because of US sanctions on Russia at the beginning of 2014, when the inventory of 40 engines was exhausted, the American side also interrupted the technology transfer with Russia.

For this reason, the White House and the US Senate proposed that the US company Aerojet copy the NK-33 and produce liquid fuel engines, to be designated the AJ26-58/62. Aerojet collaborated on this with the Yuzhnoye design office in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, a design office known in Soviet times as OKB-586, when it designed the Zenith family of light rockets. Two AJ26-58/62 (modified NK-33s) engines constitute the first stage of the new Antares rocket (Taurus II), after the architecture of the first stage of the Soviet Zenith rocket only Aerojet introduced new Ukrainian components into the Russian engines without consulting with the Russian designer, Kuznetsov.

The Ukrainians from Yuzhnoye, although they had owned the engine technology for more than 20 years with liquid fuel, working with liquid oxygen and kerosene, they had never used NK-33 engines from the JSC Kuznetsov (part of the militaryindustrial conglomerate "Rostec") they had been using engines from the Russian company Glushko (the RD-171 and RD-120, designed by OKB-456). These engines use a different type of high pressure turbo pumps.

All these errors came together on October 27, 2014, when the Antares rocket was to carry an American Cygnus cargo ship with supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). Six seconds after take-off, the Antares ran out of fuel and lost thrust, and began to fall. The controllers at the Wallops Island launch center in Virginia were forced to fire the rockets self-destruct mechanism. According to Agence France-Press, the spokesman of Orbital Sciences Corporation acknowledged that "analysis of the available data indicates a fault at one of the two turbopumps in the first stage of the rocket." That ended the cooperation with the Ukrainians. The Russian Soyuz rocket uses the NK-33-1 engine and it works flawlessly.

With the closure of the Space Shuttle Program (2011), ATK (Alliant Techsystems) decommissioned its production line for the most powerful solid fuel boosters in the world. The Pentagon and NASA were left without the most powerful rocket engines that had a thrust of 1.4061 million kg. Lieutenant General Ellen Pawlikowski, commander of the Air and Missile Systems Center (SMC), says that in the next 1015 years the Russian engines will be indispensable, and that only the P238 in the world (which are the first stage of the French Ariane 5 rocket), could help in case of an emergency with the Russian RD-180 engines.

The French Ariane 5 rocket is 50.5 m long, with a mass of 780 t; it can launch 1621 t into orbit. The first stage has two P238 solid rocket motors, each with a thrust of 630,000 kg. The second stage uses the Vulcain 2 engine, using LH2/LOX, with a thrust of 115,000 kg. The third stage uses the Aestus 2/HM-7B engine with a thrust of 6,900 kg, and it can be turned on and off repeatedly.

In December 2014, the White House sent the French President a request to supply P238 engines, but the Ariane 5 ECA only had six launches a year and could not even meet the demand for placing satellites for the European Union. France appealed to Russia for missiles. Russian specialists built the Kourou Space Center (in French Guyana), a new launch pad and rocket assembly hangar, for the Russian Soyuz and Vega; France could not provide the Americans with rocket motors.

Russian and US missile engines from the Apollo missions

Although liquid fuel rockets have a larger capacity, and have far more parts and subassemblies, they remain today the only way to launch objects weighing 2030 tons into space. The White House followed a totally erroneous strategy in directing funding mainly to research and development of solid fuel suborbital rockets, intended for various components of the antiballistic shield, and this prevented NASA and the US Air Force from developing a new generation of space launcher.

On 21 July 2011, upon the completion of the 135th mission, the Space Shuttle Program with manned flights was ended. And with it, NASAs and the US militarys primary launcher disappeared. Even though it invested heavily in creating and maintaining the International Space Station (ISS), the US no longer has the means get astronauts on board and has to appeal to Russia.

Space Dragon

In October 2012, the Space Dragon capsule, built by the American company SpaceX (Space Explorations Technologies), performed its first three-week mission in space without crew. The Dragon capsule carries 400 kg of supplies for the ISS. To launch, it uses a Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, the mastermind behind PayPal, as a private company.

Falcon 9

The Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket, 54 m long, 3.6 m in diameter, with a weight of 333 t ; it can place an object of 6.6 t in a low orbit. The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket is made up of nine Merlin 1C rocket engines (using liquid fuel, LOX/RP-1), each with a thrust of 56,696 kg. The first stage has a total of 500,000 kg thrust and stage 2 has a single Merlin engine which operates for 345 seconds.

While the Western media talk about the Falcon 9 as something new, it is not nothing but a recycling of old relics from the Cold War. The Merlin 1C engine is a more modest version of the already famous RS-27 engine (93,304 kg thrust), manufactured by Rocketdyne from 1974 to 2000 for the McDonnell Douglas companys Delta rockets. The Delta 2000 can place a satellite of 6 tons in low orbit.

Delta II

More than 70% of the thrust for another rocket used by USAF today, the Delta II rocket family (6000/7000 Series), is provided by the first stage (operating on LOX/RP1). This stage (also equipped with the RS-27 engine) is nothing but an intermediate-range Thor-type ballistic missile (IRBM). The Thor was created in 1959 with a single stage engine (RS-27). SpaceX just copied & pasted the configuration of the Saturn I and Saturn IB rocket for the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket; they were designed NASAs glory days to serve the Apollo missions. Eight MB-3 (Thor missile, renamed H1) engines were put together to serve as a first stage (S-IB) for the Saturn IB.

Stage 2 (Able) of the Delta II rocket is actually the engine of the Apollo Service Module. It was used to launch the lunar module and the command module into lunar orbit and then to remove them from lunar orbit and propel them back to Earth. Their propulsion was provided by the AJ 10-118 engine (with 4,000 kg of thrust).

For take-off, the Delta II rocket uses small new solid rocket boosters, with a diameter of 1 meter, with a thrust of 6,500 kgF. The rocket boosters use a GEM-40/Castor engine. In 19621977, it was used in the MGM-29 Sergeant short-range, solid-fuel surface-to-surface missile (a range of 135 km) for US land troops.

Delta IV

After NASAs budget was dramatically cut, some of the experts from subsidiaries of Lockheed Martin and Boeing joined forces in 2006 as the ULA (United Launch Alliance). ULAs mission is to put together new rockets from left-over systems and engines at the Pentagon and to provide launch services for American military satellites. Basically the same as for SpaceX, the Delta IV rocket put together by ULA is another example of recycling old rocket stages used in the Cold War. Unlike the series Delta II, Delta IV can place objects weighing 822 tons in orbit.

The Delta IV has two boosters with RS-68 engines using LH2/LOX, each with 337,811 kg thrust. This is actually the main engine of the Space Shuttle, derived in turn from the J-2, the second stage engine of the Saturn IB or the third stage of the Saturn V. The first stage also has an RS-68 motor and the second stage (Centaur) has an RL10 engine, with 11,216 kg of thrust, using LH2/LOX.

Atlas V

ULA also assembles the most powerful American rocket in service (the Atlas V). It is capable of launching into orbit objects weighing 929 tons. At launch, the Atlas V uses two Russian RD-180 booster engines, working with liquid oxygen and kerosene (LOX/RP-1) which each produce a thrust of 423,386 kg. The RD-180 engine is based on the first stage of the Russian Zenith family of rockets produced by NPO Energomash. The first stage of the Atlas V rocket also has the Russian RD-180 engine and the second stage (Centaur) is the same as the Delta IV rocket.

Only the Atlas V rocket can place in orbit the X-37B autonomous (unmanned) spacecraft which are used by the US air forces for their secret missions. Some experts suggest that the X-37B is used for creating, testing and developing new weapons systems that are intended to attack from orbit, anywhere on Earth. The US currently has two X-37B spacecraft built by Boeing that can execute missions lasting 469 days in space. ##

The sanctions levied by the US government against Russia could affect the cooperation between JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), NASA, and the Russian Space Research Institute (Roscosmos). The safest and most often used launchers remain those of the Russians, i.e., the Soyuz and Proton rockets, with a capacity of 12 to 23 t. They carried the crews and cargo to the Salyut and Mir orbital stations and also to the Russian modules assembled at the ISS station (Zarya and Zvezda).

Russia Has Introduced a New Family of Rockets

On December 23, 2014, an Angara-A5 rocket weighing 763,621 kilograms took off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The first stage of the rocket had a thrust of almost 1,000,000 kg and had four boosters with RD-191 engines mounted around a central segment with an RD-191 engine of its own. Aerospace experts were stunned by the RD-191 engine that is capable of reducing the thrust, in flight, from 100% (240,000 kgf) to 30%.

The RD-191 engine can automatically correct the angle and rotation of the rocket to the desired azimuth,, as [t]he combustion chamber of the RD-191 is designed to swing up to eight degrees along two axis (yaw and pitch) in a special gimbal suspension to enable steering of the rocket in flight.[1] This obviates the need for additional correction engines. The hydraulic system is also an innovation in the field. It heats helium to pressurize the fuel tank and to create the hydraulic pressure required for moving the nozzle of the engine.

The first stage of the rocket functioned 211 seconds, achieving a speed of 3 km/s. The first stage was detached at an altitude of 90,435 m; the second stage (which has a 30,000-kg RD-0124 engine) brought the rocket to an altitude of 161,695m, accelerating to a speed of 4.8 km/s. The third stage consists of a 2,000kgF S5.98M engine that can be stopped and restarted repeatedly. The third stage of the rocket accelerated to the first cosmic speed (7.9 km/s) and reached an altitude of 215 km.

Thus some 12 minutes after launch, the payload mass of 25,766 kg made up of several satellites arrived at a stable orbit around the Earth. The propulsion module called Briz-M transferred the satellites from the initial low orbit to a geostationary orbit. The Briz-M rocket engine was switched on and off four times over nine hours. At 5:58 p.m., the Angara-A5 launcher arrived at a fixed geostationary orbit at 35,800 kilometers attitude and an inclination of 0.49 degrees to the equator.

The Angara family of launch vehicles includes the Angara 1.1 light rocket that can put two tons into low orbit (and that can be converted into an InterContinental Ballistic Missile or ICBM). Then there is the two-stage Angara A3 medium rocket that can put objects of 14.6 t to a low Earth orbit, taking the place of the current Zenith rocket that delivers satellites into geostationary and geosynchronous orbit for the Russian military and Russian Space Agency. The Angara rocket family also includes the heavy Angara A5 and the super heavy Angara A7 rocket, in which the RD-191 engines are replaced with more powerful and lighter RD-193, allowing them to put 35 tons into low orbit or 12.5 tons into geostationary orbit. The most powerful rocket in the Angara family is the Angara-100, which can put 100 t into low orbit.

The first Angara to be launched was the Angara 1.2pp rocket, which performed a suborbital flight of 22 minutes on July 9, 2014, with a payload capacity of 1.5 tons onboard. The rocket flew over northern Russia, traveling 57005800 km, and then it fell to the intercontinental ballistic missile impact area in the Kura Test Range (Kamchatka). The Angara 1.2PP did not have the four boosters seen with the Angara-5, the first stage being made up of a single RD-191 engine and the second stage being fed at just a third of capacity. The point was to test the functions of the main components of the rocket Angara-5. The Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur region, where construction began in 2011, was specifically designed to launch rockets by 2018, mainly in the Angara family.

10-March-17 – As more US troops enter Syria, the endgame becomes fuzzier

By John Xenakis

We now have American, Russian, al-Assad regime, Free Syrian Army (FSA) Sunni insurgent, Turkish, Kurdish YPG, Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah soldiers all fighting in Syria. These forces are all united in their fight against their common enemy, ISIS, with absolutely no clarity whatsoever about what will happen if and when ISIS is defeated.

Furthermore, while the al-Assad regime still controls an area in western Syria along the Mediterranean coast, there are still large regions controlled by Sunni insurgents. Furthermore, the Kurdish YPG controls a large strip, almost 100 miles deep, along the entire northern border with Syria — except for a small region still controlled by Turkish forces and FSA insurgents.

Of the above forces, the Turks and the YPG Kurds are bitter enemies. The al-Assad regime and the FSA Sunni insurgents are bitter enemies. The Turks and the al-Assad regime are bitter enemies. They’re all getting along now, more or less, because the common enemy is ISIS.

The Kurds would like to control the entire northern border with Turkey, and form an independent state called Rojava. The Turks are bitterly opposed to this, and will not give up the small region they control along the border. Bashar al-Assad will never tolerate even peaceful opposition from the Sunni insurgents. The Sunni insurgents will never stop fighting as long as Bashar al-Assad is president. Iran will not tolerate anyone else as president. Russia couldn’t care less who’s president, as long as they’re controlling Syria. Iran will not tolerate Russia controlling Syria.

Those are all "big picture" issues. Even the current "small picture" issues are unresolved. There are Kurdish, Russian, American and Turkish in or around Manbij, all with different agendas. Who will end up controlling the city?

And who’s going to be fighting ISIS in Raqqa? The US considers the YPG Kurds to be the best and most reliable force fighting ISIS, but Kurdish control of Raqqa will be intolerable to both Turkey and the al-Assad regime.

There actually is a kind of precedent in the fight to recapture Mosul Iraq from ISIS. The Iraqi army is entering the city from the east and doing the fighting. The Kurds are blocking ISIS from fleeing to the north. The Iran-backed Shia militias are blocking ISIS from fleeing to the west or south. They seem to have coordinated the attack, at least for the time being.

So in Syria it’s a little different. Apparently, the Russians and the Kurds are joining forces in Raqqa, backed by American artillery. The battle hasn’t yet begun, so we won’t know for a while whether this will work.

So we have two "small picture" issues and a dozen "big picture" issues. Up until the last couple of months, all of these forces were able to keep separate. The al-Assad regime was fighting in Aleppo, Turkey was fighting in northern Syria, Russia and the US-led coalition were coordinating airstrikes. But those simple solutions are no longer possible.

I read many media sources from many countries every day, and I have not read any article or analysis or white paper that convinces me that anyone has the vaguest clue what’s going to happen in the endgame, if and when ISIS is defeated.

And this is why many people are concerned about the new deployment of American forces to Manbij and Raqqa. The concern is that once ISIS is defeated, all these forces will start fighting each other, and US troops will be drawn in and be part of a major new war.

As I’ve been writing for many years, Generational Dynamics predicts that the Mideast is headed for a major regional war, pitting Jews against Arabs, Sunnis against Shias, and various ethnic groups against each other. We may be seeing the start of that major regional war in Manbij and Raqqa. Gulf News and Hurriyet (Ankara) and Arab News and The National (UAE) and Guardian (London)

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