As the Obama administration draws to a close, global tensions largely dormant since the end of the Cold War near three decades ago are smoldering again, and with renewed intensity.
It.s an ominous turn, given that both apparent presidential candidates are among the most bellicose since the Cold War ended.
We begin today’s account of the latest development with RT:
Russia will take adequate measures to counter NATO’s increasingly “aggressive rhetoric,” President Vladimir Putin told MPs at the closing session of the State Duma. He called to create an international security system open to all countries.
It’s necessary to create a collective security system void of “bloc-like thinking” and open to all countries, Putin said on Wednesday in Russia’s parliament.
“Russia is ready to discuss this extremely important issue,” he said, adding that such proposals have been so far left unanswered by Western countries.
“But again, as it was at the beginning of WWII, we don’t see any positive response,” he continued. “On the contrary, NATO ups its aggressive rhetoric and aggressive actions near our borders.”
“In this environment, we must pay special attention to strengthening our country’s defense capabilities,” he concluded.
Russia plans to public positions of America’s secret spay satellites
From RT again, another provocative move:
Russia’s own data on near-Earth objects – including military satellites not covered by the open catalog of the North-American warning system NORAD – could soon be made publicly available as a comprehensive database, Russian media report.
Russia is planning to set up a free database on thousands of near-Earth objects, including those not publicly listed in open catalogs of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Izvestia newspaper reported on Tuesday.
NORAD doesn’t only track Santa at Christmas – its database also provides details on thousands of satellites launched, destroyed or still functioning. While the catalog does not disclose data on America’s own military or dual-use satellites (or those of allies – Japan, France, Germany and Israel among them), as Izvestia says, it does feature Russia’s defense satellites.
At a Vienna meeting of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in mid-June, Russia proposed to create a similar UN-run database “collecting, systemizing, sharing and analyzing information on objects and events in outer space.” Such an international database would be available to any country that has capabilities in the areas of human spaceflight, launches or satellites.
And the U.S. sends spy planes to the China Seas
Another move certain to up the ante in the hot zone where provocations by the U.S., China, Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam could easily tturn into armed conflict.
From the Diplomat:
Amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, the United States Navy dispatched four U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack aircraft and about 120 military personnel to Clark Air Base, an air force base located on Luzon Island in the Philippines, according to a U.S. Seventh Fleet press release.
The four aircraft and 120 personnel arrived on June 15 for training with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) FA-50 aircraft pilots and to support U.S. and Philippine naval operations in the South China Sea, as the statement makes clear with a veiled reference to so-called freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) in the disputed waters.
“In addition to bilateral training missions, Growler aircraft will support routine operations that enhance regional maritime domain awareness and assure access to the air and maritime domains in accordance with international law,” the press release reads.
There’s more, after the jump. . .
And North Korea makes a bellicose move of its own
From Agence France-Presse:
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has hailed the successful test of a powerful new medium-range missile, saying it poses a direct threat to US military bases in the Pacific, state media reported Thursday.
Kim, who personally monitored Wednesday’s Musudan missile test, said it was a “great event” that significantly bolstered the North’s pre-emptive nuclear attack capability, the official KCNA news agency reported.
“We have the sure capability to attack in an overall and practical way the Americans in the Pacific operation theatre,” Kim was quoted as saying.
The Musudan — also known as the Hwasong-10 — has a theoretical range of anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometres (1,550 to 2,500 miles).
And lest we forget the Middle East. . .
Lockheed Martin has rolled out its first F-35 Lightning II fighter for the Israeli air force.
The rollout at the company’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, was conducted during a ceremony attended by more than 400 guests, including Israeli government and military officials.
“Israel is proud to be the first country in the area to receive and operate it,” said Avigdor Liberman, Israel’s Minister of Defense. “The F-35 is the best aircraft in the world and the choice of all our military leadership at its highest level. It is clear and obvious to us and to the entire region that the new F-35, the Adir, will create real deterrence and enhance our capabilities for a long time.”
Israel is buying 33 F-35s, in the conventional takeoff and landing configuration, through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. It has named the aircraft the Adir, which in Hebrew means Mighty One.