Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

 

A major international police operation to bust child predators involved police sharing child pornography with over a million unsuspecting online subscribers for a year after investigators took control of the dark web’s largest child abuse forum. Though hundreds of pedophiles were arrested after the site was shut down, the police sting involved undercover officers sharing extremely disturbing content and encouraging followers to engage in sexual acts with children. But police say it was worth it.

A new report reveals that Australian police were running the largest pedophile and child pornography forum on the internet for a year as part of a joint initiative between Australian, European, and Canadian police as well as the US Department of Homeland Security to track down the site’s administrators and child porn producers. Over the weekend the Norwegian newspaper VG published its bombshell investigation which confirmed that between October 2016 and September 2017 a special police task force based in Queensland, Australia was able to quietly hack the site “Childs Play” which had reached over a million registered accounts and had thousands of active users.

Queensland police at Taskforce Argos, including investigator Paul Griffiths (pictured). Image source: Kinsa.net

The task force was able to identify the site’s top tier administrators, leading to hundreds of international arrests and criminal investigations, but not before crossing what critics see as a significant ethical line: to expose those behind the site, police themselves posted child pornography and facilitated what was essentially a pedophile online meet-up.

The site has existed since April 2016 on the dark web, which made it next to impossible to identify users and administrators as the dark web operates based on layers of encryption which ensures complete anonymity. Not only did the forum include over one hundred active producers of child pornography who would daily post videos and images, but even more disturbingly involved a smaller inner circle who shared child torture videos.

Among this inner circle were Childs Play administrators ‘Warhead’ and ‘Crazymonk’ – later revealed to be 26-year old Canadian Benjamin Faulkner and 27-year old Tennessee native Patrick Falte, according the VG report. Both had previously worked as internet security professionals and were active technical support providers for pedophilia related internet sites – the two had initially met, for example, through a website called the the “Pedo Support Community.” The Australian child abuse task force had begun tracking the two by assembling profiles of their previous digital footprints in relation to child abuse related chat on the open web.

Source: Norway’s VG

Faulkner (Warhead) for example, had in 2012 posted the following to a chat forum under his previous online identity, CuriousVendetta:

A little about myself to establish credibility here: My name is CuriousVendetta, and I work as a JR forensics consultant and penetration tester for an IT security firm. On the side, I do what I can to cause general mischief on the internet with a few friends of mine…

At the pool is where I am free, and where I can generate my fantasies. I have more girls in my ‘fan club’ than I can even count.

Faulkner was working as a youth swimming instructor in the small Canadian city of North Bay in Ontario and though it appears some parents had become suspicious of his proclivities, no police reports were ever filed. Patrick Falte had lived all his life with his parents a half an hour outside of Nashville and was the more advanced technical expert of the two. Both Warhead and Crazymonk as administrators of the Childs Play dark web forum had promised subscribers increased security measures. For example users knew that should

Warhead, the site’s leader, ever miss one of his routine postings to the community which involved a message stamped with a pornographic image, it would be a signal that the community had been infiltrated by police.

But police did infiltrate the community and took it over, partly due to mistakes made by the administrators. The forum transacted in Bitcoin – common for the dark web – but Crazymonk had his bitcoin wallet linked to his personal email address, making it easy for the US Department of Homeland Security to locate him. Other mistakes which helped police included both site leaders posting identifying information in various on the open web which helped investigators build profiles for the two. From there police not only began monitoring the pair – even installing tracking devices on their vehicles – but were also able to observe all communications and postings on the site through a backdoor. It was soon understood that the two would occasionally drive for over 10 hours to meet multiple times a year. After months of monitoring, the two met in person at a usual spot

in Manassas, Virginia, where one of Childs Play’s users had regularly offered the men his 4-year old daughter to rape while being video taped.

It was in Manassas that US federal agents finally made the arrest, but only after the 4-year old had already been raped in a Virginia home. Authorities told VG that they had no way of knowing of the rape beforehand, citing online messaging as not indicative of that information. The video tape would later be used to convict Faulkner and Falte, who were given life sentences for both the rape and running the site. After the arrests, the Australian task force, known as Argos, then moved in to assume the identities of the arrested site administrators. Investigators studied the pair’s online language styles and characteristics, eventually posting an admin message so that users wouldn’t get suspicious, which of course required the child pornography image stamp.

The site’s server was located in Australia, which was important to the international investigation as Australian law gives police broad leeway to commit crimes in

pursuit of investigations, especially in relation to catching child pornographers. Task force Argo’s officers not only uploaded the image, thereby convincing subscribers that nothing was wrong, but according to VG issued the following message to the community:

“I hope that some of you were able to give a special present to the little ones in your lives, and spend some time with them. It’s a great time of year to snuggle up near a fire, and make some memories.”

Police, while running the site, also continued to share images and videos while undergoing their year-long investigation which identified numerous video producers as well as consumers of the content. For example the task force posted a video of an eight-year-old girl being raped only two weeks after taking over the forum, which was viewed 770,617 times, according to the report. Such extreme police tactics, which authorities argue was necessary to rescue victims and put predators behind bars, have outraged some of the victims’ families.

VG reporters were able to speak to a mother of one the victims whose video was used by police as part of the operation: “My daughter

should not be used as a bait… It is not right for the police to promote these images,” she said. But police investigators told VG in response to criticism that, “There is definitely a balance between what we want to achieve and how we go about it.” And added, “Eventually we get to the point where it isn’t worth running the forum any more. But as long as we’re identifying victims, producers and abusers, we will keep running it.”

A similar investigation by the FBI in 2015 of a site significantly smaller than Child’s Play’s size made 870 arrests and rescued 259 children after agents kept it online for just two weeks. The FBI came under fire for actively sharing, promoting and facilitating the transfer of thousands of images and videos. But the Australian task force ran a site which was over five times the size and content volume for close to a year.

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Why No One Can Trust FaceBook

Posted: September 11, 2017 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

It becomes harder and harder to overstate the corruption and treachery of the online ad industry. Lord knows I’ve tried.

Among its other accomplishments, Facebook has become famous for its lunatic metrics and bizarre rationalizations.

 

You would think a company that built its business on the promise of putting sophisticated data to work for advertisers would have the sense not to release numbers that are patently ridiculous.

But time and again Facebook has undermined its credibility by making claims that are easily proven to be false, and then defended these claims with statements that are absurd.

This week it was reported that Facebook was claiming to reach 41 million Americans between the ages of 18-24. If Facebook reached every American between 18 and 24 they’d still be 10 million short. There are only 31 million of them.

But Facebook’s ability to reach imaginary people isn’t just limited to its home base here in the US. According to their metrics, they have also developed the amazing technology to reach non-existent people all over the world.

Below is a chart from AdNews in Australia that sums up Facebook’s “branded storytelling.”

We are so used to bullshit from the online ad industry that this latest round of nonsense should surprise no one.

The online ad industry — the most corrupt and fraud-laden medium anyone’s ever seen — famously gave us the wonderful acronym NHT for Non-Human Traffic. Now Facebook has given us NEP’s — Non-Existing People.

Facebook has been ridiculed all over the world for this obvious fakery. And they will pay the exact same price they’ve paid every time they’ve been found to be lying about their numbers — nothing, nada, zilch. The marketing and advertising industries have reached a point of such exquisite incompetence that nothing any of these creeps does has any consequences. They are liars and we are fools.

I loved Facebook’s explanation for their metrics:

“They are designed to estimate how many people in a given area are eligible to see an ad a business might run. They are not designed to match population or census estimates.”

There must be a planet on which that preposterous nonsense makes sense, but I’ll be damned if I know where it is.

Is it any wonder Facebook is fighting to the bitter end to block 3rd party monitoring and auditing of its numbers? If the numbers they brazenly release to the public are this dishonest, can you imagine the horseshit they feed their credulous clients in private?

 

With tensions escalating in the South China Sea, officials in Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have pushed for a more aggressive stance to defend the nation’s territorial claims.

Beijing has made no secret about its frustrations with the ruling of the Hague-based Court of Arbitration’s decision that China has no legal basis for territorial claims within the South China Sea’s nine-dash line. In the wake of the ruling, Chinese admiral Sun Jianguo warned of “disaster” for continued US military patrols through the region.

According to officials speaking on condition of anonymity, many in the Chinese military had pushed for an even more hardened stance, a position at odds with the diplomatic tone taken by Beijing’s leadership.

“We should go in and give them a bloody nose…” one official said, referring to the presence of the US and its allies in the South China Sea.

“The People’s Liberation Army is ready.”

A separate source with ties to Chinese leadership described the PLA as combative.

“The United States will do what it has to do. We will do what we have to do,” he said. “The entire military side has been hardened. It was a huge loss of face.”

Defense experts have also noted the current mood.

“The Chinese military will step up and fight hard and China will never submit to any country on matters of sovereignty,” Liang Fang of the US National Defense University wrote on his blog.

“We must make preparations for a long-term fight and take this as a turning point in our South China Sea military strategy,” Li Jinming of the South China Sea Institute at China’s Xiamen University wrote for the academic journal Southeast Asian Studies.

While the situation has remained calm, there has been a building sense that conflict could be on the horizon. Earlier this month, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) launched combat patrols over the waterway. This was a response to similar patrols conducted by the Pentagon.

Over the weekend, the state-run Global Times published an editorial calling for war between Beijing and Canberra if Australia continues to meddle in the region.

“China must take revenge and let [Australia] know it’s wrong,” the editorial said. “Australia’s power means nothing compared to the security of China. If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike.”

A highly disputed waterway through which roughly $5 trillion in international trade passes annually, most of the South China Sea is claimed by China, though there are overlapping claims by Brunei, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

The US and its Pacific allies have expressed opposition to China’s construction of a series of artificial islands, claiming Beijing is attempting to establish an air defense zone. China maintains it has every right to build within its own territory and that the islands will be used primarily for humanitarian purposes.

 

As tensions escalate to dangerous levels in the South China Sea and in eastern Europe, an interesting decision has been made be the Chinese government.

According to Sputnik, back in January the People’s Liberation Army Air Force was preparing to develop a new fleet of stealth fighters and heavy transport aircraft. The heavy transport aircraft, the Xian Y-20 transport, was going to be built in order to give Beijing a “fast and reliable platform” to deliver arms and soldiers over long distances.

Model Y-20 Transport

During a technology exhibition in Beijing, Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) elaborated on the governments plans for the Y-20. Although originally thought that Beijing would want only 400,  “More than 1,000 Y-20s will be needed” said Zhu Qian, head of AVIC’s large aircraft development office – the reason? “Based on the experience of the United States and Russia” Zhu says.

Now that’s an interesting nugget of information. So due to the fact that the US and Russia are at odds, China needs 1,000 heavy transport aircraft – why would that be, is China planning on getting involved if ever the US and Russia got into a military dispute?

The Y-20 weighs roughly 220 tons, has four turbofan engines, and can carry up to 66 tons of cargo at a range of about 3,230 miles. This means the heavy transport aircraft can reach everywhere in Europe and Asia, the US state of Alaska, Australia, and North Africa.

So to summarize, due to what’s happening between Russia and the United States, China has ordered nearly triple the amount of heavy transport aircraft it originally intended so that it could take tanks and other military equipment anywhere in Europe.

Which reminds us of what we reported earlier today. As China sailed a warship by disputed islands that are claimed to be controlled by Japan, Japanese officials also stated that a two Russian vessels were also spotted in the contested zone. Something tells us that there may be a military alliance in the works between Russia and China, and that could present significant problems for the US as it tries to bully both simultaneously.

 

In the long run, as someone once said, we are all dead, but in the meantime, as BofAML’s Michael Hartnett provides a stunning tour de force of the last 5000 years illustrates long-run trends in the return, volatility, valuation & ownership of financial assets, interest rates & bond yields, economic growth, inflation & debt…

The Longest Pictures reveals the astonishing history investors are living through today: lowest interest rates in 5000 years; lowest UK base rate since 1705; a negative Japanese bond yield for the 1st time since 1870; all-time highs in corporate bond returns; slowest Chinese nominal growth in over 20 years; US stocks at 60-year highs vs Europe; bank stocks at 75-year relative lows; largest losses from commodities since 1933.

On Dec 16th the Fed raised rates for the 1st time in almost a decade, ending the longest run of unchanged policy since Fed founded in 1913. The Longest Pictures illustrates how unprecedented monetary stimulus in recent years has failed to deliver recovery, how the global “War on Deflation” has been retarded by excess Debt, aging Demographics, technological Disruption, and why the current Fed hiking cycle could be “one & done”.

Electorates are increasingly voting for policies to address wage deflation, immigration & inequality. The great investment question of our time: will coming “War on Inequality” (via taxation, protectionism, helicopter money) mark secular inflection point for inflation & bond yields (last one was 1981)? Regime change required first, but secular contrarians would be long “inflation assets” (commodities, TIPS, EAFE/EM, banks, value, cash, active) & short “deflation assets” (bonds, IG, US, consumer, growth, “yield”, passive).

The Longest Picture…

…interest rates are at their lowest level in 5000 years.

Why?
1. Policy: unprecedented central bank policies of QE, ZIRP & NIRP
2. Macro: failure of monetary policy to engender sustained economic recovery
3. Risk: deflation risk from excess Debt & Deleveraging, technological Disruption, and aging Demographics.

Since the Global Financial Crisis the “War on Deflation” has been fought exclusively with monetary policy…

…654 rate cuts since Lehman bankruptcy
…$12.3tn of purchases of financial assets by global central banks
…central bank balance sheets expanding to $23.4tn (i.e. >GDP of US+Japan)
…$9.9tn of global bonds are currently yielding less than zero.

Yet global economic growth remains anemic by historic standards. And 8 years after the “War on Deflation” was launched, inflation rates are extremely low…

US CPI = 1.1%
Eurozone CPI = -0.2%
Japan CPI = -0.3%
China CPI = 2.3%
Debt & Deleveraging thwart the War on Deflation.

Debt levels remain high, as high as they have ever been in peacetime for the US government. Banks continue to deleverage.

Savings thus encouraged, borrowing discouraged, and “animal spirits” of household & corporate sectors repressed.

Note that even the highly profitable US corporate sector currently has record cash on balance sheet of $1.7tn (equal to the GDP of Texas or Brazil).

 

Disruption thwarts the War on Deflation. Tech disruption is deflationary.

The “Amazonification” of the retail industry exerts downward pressure on prices.

The acceleration of robots & AI (the number of global robots is forecast to rise from 1 million in 2010 to 2.5 million in 2020) exerts downward pressure on wage expectations.

The increase in life expectancy via biotech & genomics puts upward pressure on saving for a longer retirement and higher health care costs.

 

Demographics thwarts the War on Deflation.

In the next 10 days 112,000 people will reach retirement age in the US, Europe & Japan). A world of zero rates is making saving for retirement extremely tough.

And by 2020 (Chart) the world will experience “peak youth”…for the first time in human history with the number of persons aged 65+ expected to outnumber children under-5 by the end of this decade.

Today’s “deflationary expansion” means the greatest bull market in bonds rages on.

From an all-time peak of 15.8% in Sep’80, the US 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.45% in 2012, the lowest since 1945.

In the past 4 years bond yields have remained stubbornly low in the US…

…while government bond yields in Japan, Eurozone & Switzerland have, in the past year, all fallen into negative territory for the first time ever.

The cocktail of QE, ZIRP & NIRP has been a potent one for Wall Street & the price of financial assets in the past 8 years…

…especially intoxicating for financial assets that offer “yield”, “quality” & “growth”, scarce assets in a world of low economic growth & interest rates…

…returns from US Investment Grade bonds hit an all-time high in recent weeks…

…and on April 28th, 2016, the bull market in US stocks became the 2nd longest of all-time.

The chart shows how the 10-year rolling return from stocks in Feb’09 fell to its lowest level since Aug’39 during the GFC, a good reminder that investors should always buy “humiliation”.

The global “deflationary expansion” has been very positive for US assets relative to RoW…

…US is the Great Disruptor, US population aging less quickly that in Europe, Japan & China, and US potential real GDP growth still close to 2%…

…US stocks are close to all-time price relative highs vs EAFE index (Chart) and already at 60-year highs vs European stocks.

And yet the bull market has waned in the past 18 months, there has been no “normalization” of growth, rates & asset allocation, no “Great Rotation”, and bonds & stocks have been trapped in a Twilight Zone of volatile trading ranges…

Driven by:
1. Policy: fears of Fed hikes as well as Quantitative Failure in Japan & Europe
2. Profit recession: driven by China & oil
3. Valuation: as an era of excess returns ended with the era of max liquidity & max profits.

Bank stocks (the chart shows the relative performance of US banks close to a 75-year low) are indicative of world stuck in a minimum growth, minimum rate backdrop.

(Indeed, the chart of relative bank performance could easily be mistaken for a chart of interest rates).

The collapse in the rolling return from commodities to the lowest level since 1939 similarly indicative of asset class that has been a “deflation loser”.

Commodities, banks, value stocks, TIPS, cash… are today’s humiliated asset classes, the new secular contrarian “longs”.

But the secular case for these “deflation losers” requires a catalyst (it was QE for stocks in 2009).

On Dec 16th last year Fed hiked rates for 1st time in a decade, ending longest run of unchanged policy since Fed founded in 1913.

The chart shows Fed tightening cycles end with “events”. Recent history (Japan, Sweden, Euro area, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Iceland) shows how monetary tightening attempts have been quickly punished, aborted & reversed in a deflationary backdrop.

Note asset prices respond very well to “one & done” Fed hiking cycles (there have been 7 since 1926).

But The Longest Pictures shows that monetary policy has failed to deliver the knockout blow to Deflation.

Wall Street has boomed; but Main Street has not (wages continue to fall as % GDP).

Unsurprisingly electorates are increasingly voting for policies to address wage deflation, unemployment, immigration and inequality.

Income inequality is clearly unlikely to be solved via a further sustained rise in asset prices.

Investors must thus start to discount a “War on Inequality” via:

1. Regressive Taxation: tax rates, most particularly for the highest tax brackets, are likely to increase in coming years.
2. Trade Protectionism: tariffs, as well as restrictions on the flow on labor & capital across borders.
3. Helicopter Money: to finance fiscal stimulus (infrastructure spend, tax cuts/reform, higher minimum wages).

The great question for investors coming years: will the coming “War on Inequality” mark a historic inflection point for inflation and bond yields? (Last great inflection point was 1981).

Some policies (helicopters) more likely to induce inflation expectations than others (protectionism & regressive taxation).

Regime change required first, but the secular contrarian positioning for the War on Inequality should be long “inflation assets” (commodities, TIPS, EAFE/EM, banks, value, active, cash) & short “deflation assets” (bonds, IG, US, consumer, growth, “yield”, and passive managers).

 

Authored By The Saker

I have recently posted a piece in which I tried to debunk a few popular myths about modern warfare. Judging by many comments which I received in response to this post, I have to say that the myths in question are still alive and well and that I clearly failed to convince many readers. What I propose to do today, is to look at what Russia is really doing in response to the growing threat from the West. But first, I have to set the context or, more accurately, re-set the context in which Russia is operating. Let’s begin by looking at the AngloZionist policies towards Russia.

The West’s actions:

First on this list is, obviously, the conquest by NATO of all of Eastern Europe. I speak of conquest because that is exactly what it is, but a conquest achieved according to the rules of 21st century warfare which I define as “80% informational, 15% economic and 5% military”. Yes, I know, the good folks of Eastern Europe were just dreaming of being subjugated by the US/NATO/EU/etc – but so what? Anyone who has read Sun Tzu will immediately recognize that this deep desire to be ‘incorporated’ into the AngloZionist “Borg” is nothing else but the result of a crushed self-identity, a deep-seated inferiority complex and, thus, a surrender which did not even have to be induced by military means. At the end of the day, it makes no difference what the locals thought they were achieving – they are now subjects of the Empire and their countries more or less irrelevant colonies in the fringe of the AngloZionist Empire. As always, the local comprador elite is now bubbling with pride at being, or so they think, accepted as equals by their new masters (think Poroshenko, Tusk or Grybauskaite) which gives them the courage to bark at Moscow from behind the NATO fence. Good for them.

Second is the now total colonization of Western Europe into the Empire. While NATO moved to the East, the US also took much deeper control of Western Europe which is now administered for the Empire by what the former Mayor of London once called the “great supine protoplasmic invertebrate jellies” – faceless bureaucrats à la François Hollande or Angela Merkel.

Third, the Empire has given its total support to semi-demonic creatures ranging from al-Khattab to Nadezhda Savchenko. The West’s policy is crystal clear and simple to the extreme: if it is anti-Russian we back it. This policy is best exemplified with a Putin and Russia demonization campaign which is, in my opinion, far worse and much more hysterical than anything during the Cold War.

Fourth, the West has made a number of highly disturbing military moves including the deployment of the first elements of an anti-missile system in Eastern Europe, the dispatching of various forms of rapid reaction forces, the deployment of a few armored units, etc. NATO now has forward deployed command posts which can be used to support the engagement of a rapid reaction force.

What does all this add up to?

Right now, nothing much, really. Yes, the NATO move right up to the Russian borders is highly provocative, but primarily in political terms. In purely military terms, not only is this a very bad idea (see cliché #6 here), but the size of the actual forces deployed is, in reality, tiny: the ABM system currently deployed can, at best, hope to intercept a few missiles (10-20 depending on your assumptions) as for the conventional forces they are of the battalion size (more or less 600 soldiers plus support). So right now there is categorically no real military threat to Russia.

So why are the Russians so clearly upset?

Because the current US/NATO moves might well be just the first steps of a much larger effort which, given enough time, might begin presenting a very real danger for Russia.

Furthermore, the kind of rhetoric coming out of the West now is not only militaristic and russophobic, it is often outright messianic. The last time around the West had a flare up of its 1000 year old chronic “messianic syndrome” condition Russia lost 20 (to 30) million people. So the Russians can be forgiven if they are paying a great deal of attention to what the AngloZionist propaganda actually says about them.

The Russians are most dismayed at the re-colonization of western Europe. Long gone are the days when people like Charles de Gaulle, Helmut Schmidt or François Mitterrand, were in charge of Europe’s future. For all their very real faults, these men were at least real patriots and not just US colonial administrators. The ‘loss’ of Western Europe is far more concerning for the Russians than the fact that ex-Soviet colonies in Eastern Europe are now under US colonial administration. Why?

Look at this from the Russian point of view.

The Russians all see that the US power is on the decline and that the dollar will, sooner or later, gradually or suddenly, lose its role as the main reserve and exchange currency on the planet (this process has already begun). Simply put – unless the US finds a way to dramatically change the current international dynamic the AngloZionist Empire will collapse. The Russians believe that what the Americans are doing is, at best, to use tensions with Russia to revive a dormant Cold War v2 and, at worst, to actually start a real shooting war in Europe.

So a declining Empire with a vital need for a major crisis, a spineless Western Europe unable to stand up for its own interest, a subservient Eastern Europe just begging to turn into a massive battlefield between East and West, and a messianic, rabidly russophobic rhetoric as the background for an increase in military deployments on the Russian border. Is anybody really surprised that the Russians are taking all this very, very serious even if right now the military threat is basically non-existent?

The Russian reaction

So let us now examine the Russian reaction to Empire’s stance.

First, the Russians want to make darn sure that the Americans do not give in to the illusion that a full-scale war in Europe would be like WWII which saw the US homeland only suffer a few, tiny, almost symbolic, attacks by the enemy. Since a full-scale war in Europe would threaten the very existence of the Russian state and nation, the Russians are now taking measures to make darn sure that, should that happen, the US would pay an immense price for such an attack.

Second, the Russians are now evidently assuming that a conventional threat from the West might materialize in the foreseeable future. They are therefore taking the measures needed to counter that conventional threat.

Third, since the USA appears to be dead set into deploying an anti-ballistic missile system not only in Europe, but also in the Far East, the Russians are taking the measures to both defeat and bypass this system.

The Russian effort is a vast and a complex one, and it covers almost every aspect of Russian force planing, but there are four examples which, I think, best illustrate the Russian determination not to allow a 22 June 1941 to happen again:

  • The re-creation of the First Guards Tank Army (in progress)
  • The deployment of the Iskander-M operational-tactical missile system (done)
  • The deployment of the Sarmat ICBM (in progress)
  • The deployment of the Status-6 strategic torpedo (in progress)

The re-creation of the First Guards Tank Army

It is hard to believe, but the fact is that between 1991 and 2016 Russia did not have a single large formation (division size and bigger) in its Western Military District. A few brigades, regiments and battalions which nominally were called an “Army”. To put it simply – Russia clearly did not believe that there was a conventional military threat from the West and therefore she did not even bother deploying any kind of meaningful military force to defend from such a non-existing threat. By the way, that fact should also tell you everything you need to know about Russian plans to invade the Ukraine, Poland or the Baltics: this is utter nonsense. This has now dramatically changed.

Russia has officially announced that the First Guards Tank Army (a formation with a prestigious and very symbolic history). This Guards Tank Army will now include the 4th “Kantemirov” Guards Tank Division, the 2nd “Taman” Guards Motorized Rifle Division, the 6th Tank Brigade, the 27th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade Sevastopol and many support units. This Army’s HQ will be located in the Odinstovo suburb of Moscow. Currently the Army is equipped with T-72B3 and T-80 main battle tanks, but they will be replaced by the brand new and revolutionary T-14 Armata tank while the current infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers will be replaced by the new APC and IFV. In the air, these armored units will be protected and supported by Mi-28 and Ka-52 attack helicopters. Make no mistake, this will be a very large force, exactly the kind of force needed so smash through an attacking enemy forces (by the way, the 1TGA was present at the Kursk battle). I am pretty sure that by the time the 1TGA is fully organized it will become the most powerful armored formation anywhere between the Atlantic and the Urals (especially in qualitative terms). If the current tensions continue or even worsen, the Russians could even augment the 1TGA to a type of 21st century “Shock Army” with increased mobility and specializing in breaking deep into the enemy’s defenses.

The deployment of the Iskander-M operational-tactical missile system

The new Iskander-M operational tactical missile system is a formidable weapon by any standard. While technically it is a short-range tactical missile (under 1000km range, the Iskander-M has an official range of 500km), it can also fire the R-500 missile has the capability of striking at an intermediate/operational range (over 1000km, the R-500 has a range of 2000km). It is extremely accurate, it has advanced anti-ABM capabilities, it flies at hypersonic speeds and is practically undetectable on the ground (see here for more details). This will be the missile tasked with destroying all the units and equipment the US and NATO have forward-deployed in Eastern Europe and, if needed, clear the way for the 1TGA.

The deployment of the Sarmat ICBM

Neither the 1TGA nor the Iskander-M missile will threaten the US homeland in any way. Russia thus needed some kind of weapon which would truly strike fear into the Pentagon and White House in the way the famous RS-36 Voevoda (aka SS-18 “Satan” in US classification) did during the Cold War. The SS-18, the most powerful ICBM ever developed, was scary enough. The RS-28 “Sarmat” (SS-X-30 by NATO classification) brings the terror to a totally new level.

The Sarmat is nothing short of amazing. It will be capable of carrying 10-15 MIRVed warheads which will be delivered in a so-called “depressed” (suborbital) trajectory and which will remain maneuverable at hypersonic speeds. The missile will not have to use the typical trajectory over the North Pole but will be capable of reaching any target anywhere on the planet from any trajectory. All these elements combined will make the Sarmat itself and its warheads completely impossible to intercept.

The Sarmat will also be capable of delivering conventional Iu-71 hypersonic warheads capable of a “kinetic strike” which could be used to strike a fortified enemy target in a non-nuclear conflict. This will be made possible by the amazing accuracy of the Sarmat’s warheads which, courtesy of a recent Russian leak, we now know have a CEP of 10 meters (see screen capture)

Sarmat MIRV CEP

The Sarmat’s silos will be protected by a unique “active protection measures” which will include 100 guns capable of firing a “metallic cloud” of forty thousand 30mm “bullets” to an altitude of up to 6km. The Russians are also planning to protect the Sarmat with their new S-500 air defense systems. Finally, the Sarmat’s preparation to start time will be under 60 seconds thanks a highly automated launch system. What this all means is that the Sarmat missile will be invulnerable in its silo, during it’s flight and on re-entry in the lower parts of the atmosphere.

It is interesting to note that while the USA has made a great deal of noise around its planned Prompt Global Strike system, the Russians have already begun deploying their own version of this concept.

The deployment of the Status-6 strategic torpedo

Do you remember the carefully staged “leak” in November of last year when the Russians ‘inadvertently’ showed a super dooper secret strategic torpedo on prime time news? Here is this (in)famous slide:

Status6-2015

What is shown here is an “autonomous underwater vehicle” which has advanced navigational capabilities but which can also be remote-controlled and steered from a specialized command module. This vehicle can dive as deep as 1000m, at a speed up to 185km/h and it has a range of up to 10’000km. It is delivered by specially configured submarines.

The Status-6 system can be used to target aircraft carrier battle groups, US navy bases (especially SSBN bases) and, in its most frighting configuration, it can be used to deliver high-radioactivity cobalt bombs capable of laying waste to huge expanses of land. The Status-6 delivery system would be a new version of the T-15 torpedo which would be 24m long, 1,5m wide weigh 40 tons and capable of delivering a 100 megaton warhead which would make it twice as powerful as the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated, the Soviet Czar-bomb (57 megatons). Hiroshima was only 15 kilotons.

Keep in mind that most of the USA’s cities and industrial centers are all along the coastline which makes them extremely vulnerable to torpedo based attacks (be it Sakharov’s proposed “Tsunami bomb” or the Status-6 system). And, just as in the case of the Iskander-M or the Sarmat ICBM, the depth and speed of the Status-6 torpedo would make it basically invulnerable to interception.

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Evaluation:

There is really nothing new in all of the above, and US military commanders have always known that. All the US anti-ballistic missile systems have always been primarily a financial scam, from Reagan’s “Star Wars” to Obama’s “anti-Iranian ABM”. For one thing, any ABM system is susceptible to ‘local saturation’: if you have X number ABM missile protecting a Y long space against an X number of missiles, all that you need to do is to saturate only one sector of the Y space with *a lot* of real and fake missiles by firing them all together through one small sector of the Y space the ABM missile system is protecting. And there are plenty of other measures the Russians could take. They could put just one single SLBM capable submarine in Lake Baikal making it basically invulnerable. There is already some discussion of that idea in Russia. Another very good option would be to re-activate the Soviet BzhRK rail-mobile ICBM. Good luck finding them in the immense Russian train network. In fact, the Russians have plenty of cheap and effective measure. Want me to list one more?

Sure!

Take the Kalibr cruise-missile recently seen in the war in Syria. Did you know that it can be shot from a typical commercial container, like the ones you will find on trucks, trains or ships? Check out this excellent video which explains this:

Just remember that the Kalibr has a range of anywhere between 50km to 4000km and that it can carry a nuclear warhead. How hard would it be for Russia to deploy these cruise missiles right off the US coast in regular container ships? Or just keep a few containers in Cuba or Venezuela? This is a system which is so undetectable that the Russians could deploy it off the coast of Australia to hit the NSA station in Alice Springs if they wanted, an nobody would even see it coming.

The reality is that the notion that the US could trigger a war against Russia (or China for that matter) and not suffer the consequences on the US mainland is absolutely ridiculous. And yet, when I hear all the crazy talk by western politicians and generals I get the impression that they are forgetting about this undeniable fact. Frankly, even the current threats against Russia have a ‘half-backed’ feel to them: a battalion here, another one there, a few missiles here, a few more there. It is like the rulers of the Empire don’t realize that it is a very, very bad idea to constantly poke a bear when all you are carrying with you is a pocket-knife. Sometimes the reaction of western politicians remind me of the thugs who try to rob a gas station with a plastic or empty gun and who are absolutely stunned with they get gunned down by the owner or the cops. This kind of thuggery is nothing more than a form of “suicide by cop” which never ends well for the one trying to get away with it.

So sometimes things have to be said directly and unambiguously: western politicians better not believe in their own imperial hubris. So far, all their threats have achieved is that the Russians have responded with a many but futile verbal protests and a full-scale program to prepare Russia for WWIII.

As I have written many times, Russians are very afraid of war and they will go out of their way to avoid it. But they are also ready for war. This is a uniquely Russian cultural feature which the West has misread an innumerable number of time over the past 1000 years or so. Over and over again have the Europeans attacked Russia only to find themselves into a fight they would never have imagined, even in their worst nightmares. This is why the Russians like to say that “Russia never starts wars, she only ends them”.

There is a profound cultural chasm between how the West views warfare and how the Russians do. In the West, warfare is, really, “the continuation of politics by other means”. For Russians, it is a ruthless struggle for survival. Just look at generals in the West: they are polished and well mannered managers much more similar to corporate executives than with, say, Mafia bosses. Take a look at Russian generals (for example, watch the Victory Day parade in Moscow). In comparison to their western colleagues they look almost brutish, because first and foremost they are ruthless and calculating killers. I don’t mean that in a negative way – they often are individually very honorable and even kind men, and like every good commander, they care for their men and love their country. But the business they are in in not the continuation of politics by other means, the business they are in is survival. At all cost.

You cannot judge a military or, for that matter, a nation, by how it behaves when it triumphs, when it is on the offensive pursing a defeated enemy. All armies look good when they are winning. You can really judge of the nature of a military, or a nation, at its darkest hour, when things are horrible and the situation worse than catastrophic. That was the case in 1995 when the Eltsin regime ordered a totally unprepared, demoralized, poorly trained, poorly fed, poorly equipped and completely disorganized Russian military (well, a few hastily assembled units) to take Grozny from the Chechens. It was hell on earth. Here is some footage of General Lev Rokhlin in a hastily organized command post in a basement inside Grozy. He is as exhausted, dirty and exposed as any of his soldiers. Just look at his face and look at the faces of the men around him. This is what the Russian army looks like when it is in the depth of hell, betrayed by the traitors sitting in the Kremlin and abandoned by most if the Russian people (who, I am sorry to remind here, mostly were only were dreaming of McDonalds and Michael Jackson in 1995).

Can you imagine, say, General Wesley Clark or David Petraeus fighting like these men did?

Check out this video of General Shamanov reading the riot act to a local Chechen politician (no translation need):

Shamanov nowadays is the Commander in Chief of the Airborne Forces (see photo) whose size Putin quietly doubled to 72’000, something I mentioned in the past as highly relevant, especially in comparison with the rather tepid force level increases announced by NATO (see “EU suidice by reality denial”). To get a feel for what modern Russian airborne forces are like, check out this article.

Vladimir_Shamanov._Cabinet_photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is not my intention here to glorify nuclear war or the Russian Armed Forces. The reason for this, and many other, articles is to try to raise the alarm about what I see is happening nowadays. Western leaders are drunk on their own imperial hubris, nations which in the past were considered as minor stains on a map now feel emboldened to constantly provoke a nuclear superpower, Americans are being lied to and promised that some magical high tech will protect them from war while the Russians are seriously gearing up for WWIII because they have come to the conclusion that the only way to prevent that war is to make absolutely and unequivocally clear to the AngloZionists that they will never survive a war with Russia, even if every single Russian is killed.

I remember the Cold War well. I was part of it. And I remember that the vast majority of us, on both sides, realized that a war between Russia and the West must be avoided at all costs. Now I am horrified when I read articles by senior officials seriously discussing such a possibility.

Just read this article, please: What would a war between the EU and Russia look like? Here is what this guy writes:

To the poetically inclined, the Russian military looks more like a gigantic pirate crew, than a regular army. The ones who rule are the ones with the sharpest cutlass and biggest mouth, typically some scurvy infested mateis who rely on the support of their mates to make any unpopular “officer” walk the plank… Or, more apt, they resemble the members of the cossack horde, run by the brashier warriors… While these troops can be very brave, at times, they are not effective in the field against a well regulated and trained modern military machine. Given this, it is improbably, ney, impossible for ordinary Russian troops to conduct operations of major consequence at more than platoon level against any disciplined armies, especially the US, British, German, or French.

The dream of the West

“For our zoo” (old Western dream)

This kind of writing really scares me. Not because of the imbecilic and racist stupidity of it, but because it largely goes unchallenged in the mainstream media. Not only that, there are plenty such articles written elsewhere (see here, here or here). Of course, the authors of that kind of “analyses” make their money precisely the kind of manic cheer-leading for the western forces, but that is exactly the mindset which got Napoleon and Hitler in trouble and which ended with Russian forces stationed in Paris and Berlin. Compare that kind of jingoistic and, frankly, irresponsible nonsense with what a real military commander, Montgomery, had to say on this topic:

The next war on land will be very different from the last one, in that we shall have to fight it in a different way. In reaching a decision on that matter, we must first be clear about certain rules of war. Rule 1, on page I of the book of war, is: “Do not march on Moscow”. Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule.

So who do you trust? Professional cheerleaders or professional soldiers? Do you really believe that Obama (or Hillary), Merkel and Hollande will do better than Napoleon or Hitler?

If the AngloZionist ‘deep state’ is really delusional enough to trigger a war with Russia, in Europe or elsewhere, the narcissistic and hedonistic West, drunk on its own propaganda and hubris, will discover a level of violence and warfare it cannot even imagine and if that only affected those responsible for these reckless and suicidal policies it would be great. But the problem is, of course, that many millions of us, simple, regular people, will suffer and die as a consequence of our collective failure to prevent that outcome. I hope and pray that my repeated warnings will at least contribute to what I hope is a growing realization that this folly has to be immediately stopped and that sanity must return to politics.