Category Archives: Germany

A single European military begins with merging of German-Dutch armies & navies

Formed in 1993, the European Union (EU) is a political-economic union of 28 member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

28 member states of European UnionUntil now, the EU has been a confederation — a union of nation-states in specific and agreed-on areas, such as defense (NATO), economic cooperation and a common currency, wherein each member state retains its sovereignty. A mark of a sovereign nation-state is its possession of an independent military.

But with the merging of the militaries of Germany and the Netherlands — in spite of disagreements among EU members on refugee-migrant policy (see, for example “Sweden slams shut its open-door policy towards refugees“), and the UK’s upcoming Brexit referendum on leaving the EU — the beginning of an EU military is taking shape.

Donna Edmunds and Raheem Kassam report for Breitbart, April 20, 2016, that the German and Dutch armies and navies are poised to “merge”, creating the nucleus of the longed-for goal of a pan-EU military force.

As German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leye said in a speech last year, “The European Army is our long-term goal, but first we have to strengthen the European Defense Union. To achieve this, some nations with concrete military cooperation must come to the fore – and the Germans and the Dutch are doing this.”

To date, the merging of the German and Dutch military consists of:

  • Last year, German command took over the Dutch 11th Airmobile Brigade.
  • Last month the Dutch 43rd Mechanized Brigade was subsumed into the German 1st Armored Division.
  • The two countries are sharing the Netherland’s largest war ship, the Karel Doorman, and aim to merge its two naval powers into one unified navy within the next two years.
  • That leaves the Netherlands with just the 13th Mechanized Brigade to its name, along with special forces and military infrastructure, but the plan is to accelerate towards a merger of these entities within the next few years, Germany’s Sachsische Zeitung confirms.

That is just the beginning. According to insiders, the Czech Republic has entered talks to bring its army under German control, with the Poles also considering to be part of the plan. But there are skeptics about the latter, doubting whether the new Polish Government would go down the same route.

As Britain prepares to go to the polls on June 23 to vote on whether or not to remain within the EU, UK Independence Party (UKIP) Defense spokesman Mike Hookem MEP warns that if the UK opts to remain in the EU, the British military forces will not be able to resist the same fate: “The EU is moving towards a common defense and foreign policy regime with an EU army as the goal. While Britain remains in the EU, we cannot escape being part of this dangerous setup. The EU was supposed to be about corralling Germany military dominance in Europe. That aspiration has clearly died and just as Germany now politically dominates the EU, this latest move with the Dutch army shows that in time Germany wants to expand and control as much as it can militarily.

Hookem warns that the EU Army will not be a benign force, dedicated only to the defense of the Union, pointing out that there has already been lobbying in European circles for intervention in Libya. Indeed, European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker has said, “You would not create a European army to use it immediately… But a common army among the Europeans would convey to Russia that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union.”

UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage had previously issued multiple warnings that were mostly dismissed by the British political establishment and media classes. Most notably, then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in a live debate with Farage ahead of the 2014 European Elections, called Farage’s claims a “dangerous fantasy,” and that “The idea there’s going to be a European army, a European air force, it is simply not true”.

In September last year the Telegraph reported that German chancellor Angela Merkel expected British PM David Cameron to “drop his opposition to an EU army in exchange for supporting Britain’s [EU] renegotiation”. Cameron did drop his opposition, in exchange for a widely mocked “renegotiation” deal with the European Union.

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U.S. repeatedly loses in Pentagon war games against Russia

On Sept. 29, 2015, an op/ed by reporter Benny Avni in the New York Post proclaimed Vladimir Putin’s Russia as “the world’s new sole superpower.” Avni wrote:

The baton was officially transferred Monday to the world’s new sole superpower — and Vladimir Putin willingly picked it up.

Putin’s deployment of forces in Syria and arming of Assad create facts on the ground. They have also propelled him to the top by taking initiative on today’s most consequential world fight….That’s how Putin seized leadership from America….

And it’s bad for America. Because sooner or later, after more bloodshed and under even worse conditions than now, our next president will be called upon to retake the leadership baton from Putin. And that could prove tricky.

Avni’s proclamation isn’t that far-fetched given the fact that the Pentagon’s own war games show that the U.S. would lose in a Baltic war against Russia.

Julia Ioffe writes for Foreign Policy, Sept. 18, 2015, that the Pentagon continuously generates contingency plans for every possible scenario — anything from armed confrontation with North Korea to zombie attacks.

For the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, however, the U.S. Department of Defense is reviewing and updating its contingency plans for armed conflict with Russia, to reflect a new, post-Crimea-annexation geopolitical reality in which Russia is no longer a potential partner, but a potential threat.

Michèle Flournoy, former undersecretary of defense for policy and co-founder of the Center for a New American Security, explains that “Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine made the U.S. dust off its contingency plans. They were pretty out of date.” Flournoy says the new plans have two tracks:

  • One focuses on what the United States can do as part of NATO if Russia attacks one of NATO’s member states.
  • The other track considers American action outside the NATO umbrella.

Both versions of the updated contingency plans focus on Russian incursions into the Baltics, a scenario seen as the most likely front for new Russian aggression. They are also increasingly focusing not on traditional warfare, but on the hybrid tactics Russia used in Crimea and eastern Ukraine: “little green men,” manufactured protests, and cyberwarfare. Julie Smith, who until recently served as Vice President Joe Biden’s deputy national security advisor, says: “They are trying to figure out in what circumstances [the U.S. Defense Department] would respond to a cyberattack. There’s a lively debate on that going on right now.”

It was in February 2014 that Putin caught the Obama administration off guard by sending little green men into Crimea and eastern Ukraine. David Ochmanek, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for force development, said, “We didn’t plan for it because we didn’t think Russia would change the borders in Europe.” Crimea was a “surprise.”

In June 2014, a month after he had left his force-planning job at the Pentagon, the Air Force asked Ochmanek for advice on Russia. At the same time, the Army had approached one of Ochmanek’s colleagues at Rand, and the two teamed up to run a thought exercise called a “table top,” a sort of war game between two teams: the red team (Russia) and the blue team (NATO). The scenario was similar to the one that played out in Crimea and eastern Ukraine: increasing Russian political pressure on Estonia and Latvia (two NATO countries that share borders with Russia and have sizable Russian-speaking minorities), followed by the appearance of provocateurs, demonstrations, and the seizure of government buildings.

“Our question was: Would NATO be able to defend those countries?,” Ochmanek recalls.

The results were dispiriting. Given the recent reductions in the defense budgets of NATO member countries and U.S. pullback from the region, Ochmanek says the NATO team was outnumbered 2-to-1 in terms of manpower, even if all the U.S. and NATO troops stationed in Europe were dispatched to the Baltics — including the 82nd Airborne, which is supposed to be ready to go on 24 hours’ notice and is based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“We just don’t have those forces in Europe,” Ochmanek explains. Then there’s the fact that the Russians have the world’s best surface-to-air missiles and are not afraid to use heavy artillery.

After eight hours of gaming out various scenarios, “the conclusion,” Ochmanek says, “was that we are unable to defend the Baltics.

Ochmanek decided to run the game on a second day. The teams played the game again, this time working on the assumption that the United States and NATO had already started making positive changes to their force posture in Europe. Would anything be different? The conclusion was slightly more upbeat, but not by much. “We can defend the capitals, we can present Russia with problems, and we can take away the prospect of a coup de main,” Ochmanek says. “But the dynamic remains the same.” Even without taking into account the recent U.S. defense cuts, due to sequestration, and the Pentagon’s plan to downsize the Army by 40,000 troops, the logistics of distance were still daunting. U.S. battalions would still take anywhere from one to two months to mobilize and make it across the Atlantic, and the Russians, Ochmanek notes, “can do a lot of damage in that time.

Ochmanek has run the two-day table-top exercise eight times now, including at the Pentagon and at Ramstein Air Base, in Germany, with active-duty military officers. “We played it 16 different times with eight different teams,” Ochmanek says, “always with the same conclusion.

When asked about Ochmanek’s conclusions, a Defense Department official expressed confidence that, eventually, NATO would claw the territory back. “In the end, I have no doubt that NATO will prevail and that we will restore the territorial integrity of any NATO member,” the official said. “I cannot guarantee that it will be easy or without great risk. My job is to ensure that we can reduce that risk.”

That is, the Pentagon does not envision a scenario in which Russia doesn’t manage to grab some Baltic territory first. The goal is to deter — Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced this summer that the United States would be sending dozens of tanks, armored vehicles, and howitzers to the Baltics and Eastern Europe — and, if that fails, to painstakingly regain NATO territory.

The Pentagon is also chewing on various hybrid warfare scenarios, and even a nuclear one. The senior defense official says, “As you look at published Russian doctrine, I do believe people are thinking about use of tactical nuclear weapons in a way that hadn’t been thought about for many years . . . . The doctrine clearly talks about it, so it would be irresponsible . . . to at least not be thinking through those issues. Any time there is nuclear saber rattling, it is always a concern, no matter where it comes from.”

B61-12-nuclear-bombNote: German public television ZDF reports on Sept. 22, 2015, that the U.S. will station 20 new atomic weapons, B61-12, in Germany. Each B61-12 has four times the destructive power of the one that was used on Hiroshima in 1945. “With the new bombs the boundaries blur between tactical and strategic nuclear weapons,” Hans Kristensen, the Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, told ZDF.

There is a strong element of disappointment among senior foreign-policy and security officials in these discussions, of disbelief that we ended up here after all those good years in America’s relations with Russia.

The State Department official says: “A lot of people at the Pentagon are unhappy about the confrontation. They were very happy with the military-to-military cooperation with Russia.” Some think that Russia is a distraction from the real threat — China. Others think that working with Russia on arms control is more important than protecting Ukrainian sovereignty. Not only would they rather not have to think about Moscow as an enemy, but many are also miffed that even making these plans plays right into Putin’s paranoid fantasies about a showdown between Russia and NATO or between Russia and the United States — which makes those fantasies, de facto, a reality. In the U.S. planning for confrontation with Russia, says the Senate staffer, Putin “is getting the thing he always wanted.”

In his July confirmation hearing to ascend to the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford said that Russia posed an “existential threat” to the United States and that America must do more to prepare itself for hybrid warfare of the type Russia deployed in Ukraine. Dunford’s statement angered the Obama White House, which saw it as potentially provocative to Moscow.

The fact that U.S. repeatedly lost in the Pentagon’s own war games against Russia could explain why, according to a Sept. 25, 2015 article on the Russian news site, SvetKolemnas.Info, a “summary report of the Russian Ministry of Defense for the internal needs of the Kremlin” states that within three weeks after President Putin orders a “first strike” against America and its NATO allies, the military forces of the Russian Federation will achieve “a total defeat” of U.S. military forces, including:

  • The destruction of all 18 US aircraft carriers and ships capable of carrying aircraft, and of all US and NATO military satellites.
  • The strategic takeover of heavy weapons.
  • The “erasing” of all US bases in the UK.
  • The total loss of US and NATO troops of over 35,000 (dead, wounded, captured and missing), and material losses of at least 15 trillion dollars (ships, aircraft, weapons, etc.)

The report envisions that after Russia achieved tactical superiority over US and NATO forces during the first 24 hours of the war, Moscow would issue a demand for the removal of all US forces, nuclear weapons and equipment from Europe, in exchange for a cessation of hostilities.

If the demand is met, Russian forces would then withdraw from the conquered territories. If the request is rejected, the forces of the Russian Federation would deploy tactical nuclear weapons against US military bases and NATO in Europe, as well as EMP/electronic weapons against the United States and Canada. Russia would also be prepared to use intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). Fearing total global nuclear war, the US and the EU would immediately lose the political will to fight.

The Russian Ministry of Defense report also states that tens of millions of American Christians could very well act as a “fifth column” in support of the Russian Federation, given that those Christians have had “to defend against their own ‘demonic’ leaders destroying America.” American Christians would side with the Christian forces of the Russian Federation who only seek to liberate the United States, Europe and the rest of the world from those demonic leaders’ “satanic design.”

In this manner, with the “fifth column” of Christian Americans supporting Christian Russia, a global nuclear disaster would be averted, and the United States under a new Christian leadership could then return to a peaceful way of life and “cease terrorizing the world.”

This image is in the SvetKolemnas.Info article

The report notes that, according to CNN, the readiness of the US military is now at a historic low, with half of U.S. Marine Corps units at below the level of military preparedness. The report further sites a U.S. blog, Fellowship of the Minds, on the mass exodus of Christians from the US military. All of which has rendered a once-fearsome military increasingly dysfunctional because of the Obama regime’s sex/gender experimentation, including American cadets being forced to march in high heels as part of their education, and Obama’s appointment of “Erica [sic] K. Fanning, an open homosexual, as Commander of the US Army.”

Note: Last month, Obama nominated Eric Fanning, an admitted homosexual, to be Army Secretary. (See “Obama names open homosexual to be Secretary of U.S. Army“)

The report estimates that if the de-Christianized and demoralized U.S. military were to face the Christian forces of the Russian Federation, it would take only 3 weeks for the U.S. military to be drained of all their “will to fight”.

Referring to Salon.com, “one of the most popular U.S. magazines,” now “openly supporting” sex between an adult and a child, pedophilia being just another sexual lifestyle, the SvetKolemnas.Info article cryptically concluded that “After all, things of hell belong to hell … maybe it’s time to make this monster go back where they belong.”

See also:

-StMA

Military-aviation website forecasts economic collapse & massive depopulation for U.S. by 2025

Deagel.com, a military equipment and civil aviation guide website, is causing a buzz on the Internet for its dire forecast that in a mere 10 years, by the year 2025, the United States would be unrecognizable, a shadow of its former self. Specifically, the U.S.’s:

  • Population will be reduced by 254 million (or 78%), plummeting from today’s 318,890,000 to 64,879,100.
  • GDP will be reduced by $16.54 trillion, plummeting from today’s $17.42 trillion to $881.804 billion.
  • Power purchase parity will be reduced by $45,739, plummeting from today’s $54,800 to $9,061.

What is Deagle.com? Wikipedia does not have an entry on Deagle.com. This is what the precious metals website Silver Doctors says about Deagle.com:

Deagel.com is a military equipment and civil aviation guide website. I have spent time trying to figure out who is behind iit and whether or not it is legitimate – and what the purpose of it is. Certainly it seems legitimate as a catalog of military equipment, the corporations which manufacture the equipment and the Government organizations involved with anything related to the military.

Here’s a screenshot of Deagle.com’s home page (click to enlarge):

Deagle.com1

In a statement about its forecast, Deagle.com claims that:

  • Its forecasts employ mainly data from two sources:
    • Institutions such as the CIA, IMF, UN, and USG (U.S. government).
    • “Shadow sources such as Internet gurus, unsigned reports and others.”
  • Governments lie. Like the economic lies that communist regimes told their people and the world, present-day governments of seemingly-affluent countries like the United States also generate fake statistics about their economies.
  • The implosion of the U.S. will be triggered by a financial and economic collapse.
  • That, in turn, will result in a massive loss of population from deaths and out-migration.

Here’s Deagle.com’s statement in its entirety:

There have been many questions about the countries forecast specially the one focusing on the United States of America (USA). They won’t be answered one by one but below you can find some explanation, thoughts and reflections. We are going to keep this as short as possible. The majority of the economic and demographic data used in the making of the forecasts is widely available by institutions such as the CIA, IMF, UN, USG, etc. You can see the most relevant data at every single country’s page. There is a tiny part of data coming from a variety of shadow sources such as Internet gurus, unsigned reports and others. But all these sources are from the internet and are of public domain for at least a minority. For example, several years ago Dagong, the Chinese ratings agency, published a report analyzing the physical economy of the States comparing it with those of China, Germany and Japan. The conclusion was that the US GDP was something between $5 to $10 trillion instead of $15 trillion as officially reported by the USG. We assume that the official data, especially economic, released by governments is fake, cooked or distorted in some degree. Historically it is well known that the former Soviet Union was making up fake statistics years before its collapse. Western as well as other countries are making up their numbers today to conceal their real state of affairs. We are sure that many people out there can find government statistics in their own countries that by their own personal experience are hard to believe or are so optimistic that may belong to a different country. Despite the numeric data “quantity” there is a “quality” model which has not a direct translation into numeric data. The 2014 strain of Ebola has a death rate of 50-60% but try to imagine what would happen if there is a pandemic of Ebola with hundreds of thousands or millions infected with the virus. So far the few cases of Ebola-infected people have “enjoyed” intensive healthcare with anti-viral and breathing assistance but above all with abundant human support by Physicians and nurses. In a pandemic scenario that kind of healthcare won’t be available for the overwhelming number of infected leading to a dramatic increase of the death rate due to the lack of proper healthcare. The “quality” factor is that the death rate could increase to 80-90% in a pandemic scenario from the stated 50-60% rate. The figure itself is not important what is relevant is the fact that the scenario can evolve beyond the initial conditions from a 50% death toll to more than 90%. By the way, no pandemic or nuclear war is included in the forecast. The key element to understand the process that the USA will enter in the upcoming decade is migration. In the past, specially in the 20th century, the key factor that allowed the USA to rise to its colossus status was immigration with the benefits of a demographic expansion supporting the credit expansion and the brain drain from the rest of the world benefiting the States. The collapse of the Western financial system will wipe out the standard of living of its population while ending ponzi schemes such as the stock exchange and the pension funds. The population will be hit so badly by a full array of bubbles and ponzi schemes that the migration engine will start to work in reverse accelerating itself due to ripple effects thus leading to the demise of the States. This unseen situation for the States will develop itself in a cascade pattern with unprecedented and devastating effects for the economy. Jobs offshoring will surely end with many American Corporations relocating overseas thus becoming foreign Corporations!!!! We see a significant part of the American population migrating to Latin America and Asia while migration to Europe – suffering a similar illness – won’t be relevant. Nevertheless the death toll will be horrible. Take into account that the Soviet Union’s population was poorer than the Americans nowadays or even then. The ex-Soviets suffered during the following struggle in the 1990s with a significant death toll and the loss of national pride. Might we say “Twice the pride, double the fall”? Nope. The American standard of living is one of the highest, far more than double of the Soviets while having added a services economy that will be gone along with the financial system. When pensioners see their retirement disappear in front of their eyes and there are no servicing jobs you can imagine what is going to happen next. At least younger people can migrate. Never in human history were so many elders among the population. In past centuries people were lucky to get to their 30s or 40s. The American downfall is set to be far worse than the Soviet Union’s one. A confluence of crisis with a devastating result. The Demographic crisis in the former Soviet Union countries has extended for over two decades, if we accept that it ended early in this decade (2010s). The demographic crisis will hit the World in the near future and is projected to last between three and eight decades more or less depending on technological breakthrough and environmental issues. The aftermath is more likely a frozen picture with the population numbers staying the same for a very, very long period of time. The countries forecast population numbers do reflect birth/deaths but also migratory movements. Many countries are going to increase their gross population due to immigration while their native population may shrink. Over the past two thousand years we have witnessed the Western civilization built around the Mediterranean Sea shifting to Northern Europe and then by the mid 20th century shifting to an Atlantic axis to finally get centered into the States in the past 30 years. The next move will see the civilization being centered in Asia with Russia and China on top. Historically a change in the economic paradigm has resulted in a death toll that is rarely highlighted by mainstream historians. When the transition from rural areas to large cities happened in Europe many people unable to accept the new paradigm killed themselves. They killed themselves by a psychological factor. This is not mainstream but it is true. A new crisis joins old, well known patterns with new ones. Sorry to disappoint many of you with our forecast. It is getting worse and worse every year since the beginning of the pre-crisis in 2007. It is already said that this website is non-profit, built on spare time and we provide our information and services AS IS without further explanations and/or guarantees. We are not linked to any government in any way, shape or form. We are not a death or satanic cult or arms dealers as some BS is floating around the internet on this topic. Take into account that the forecast is nothing more than a model whether flawed or correct. It is not God’s word or a magic device that allows to foresee the future. Sunday, October 26th, 2014

The United States isn’t the only country for which Deagle.com has a dire forecast. Here are some other countries that will experience drastic population losses:

  1. United Kingdom: From 63,740,000 to 22,570,600
  2. Germany: From 80,990,000 to 48,123,620.
  3. Italy: 61,680,000 to 45,526,880.
  4. France: 66,260,000 to 43,548,080.
  5. Ireland: 4,830,000 to 1,506,920.
  6. Greece: 10,770,000 to 3,295,240
  7. Netherlands: 16,880,000 to 10,483,760
  8. Spain: 47,740,000 to 25,745,560
  9. Poland: 38,350,000 to 35,329,520
  10. Israel: 7,820,000 to 2,856,300
  11. Russia: 142,470,000 to 136,979,080
  12. Canada: 34,830,000 to 24,594,680
  13. Japan: 127,100,000 to 46,640,420.
  14. Taiwan: 23,360,000 to 15,431,900
  15. Australia: 22,510,000 to 8,882,220
  16. New Zealand: 4,400,000 to 3,398,200

Countries that will increase in population include:

  1. China: 1,350,000,000 to 1,360,720,000
  2. India: 1,240,000,000 to 1,357,200,000
  3. Indonesia: 253,610,000 to 269,846,400
  4. Pakistan: 196,170,000 to 222,018,120
  5. Brazil: 202,660,000 to 217,859,380
  6. Argentina: 43,020,000 to 44,104,700
  7. Colombia: 46,240,000 to 49,759,520
  8. Iran: 80,840,000 to 83,357,560

To see Deagle.com’s 2025 forecasts for all 182 countries, go here. Silver Doctors writes: “I leave it up to the reader to decide whether or not this is a legitimate forecast from a legitimate organization. […] But, having said that, I have 100% conviction that the U.S. is heading toward a devastating financial and economic collapse that will trigger massive social upheaval and civil unrest. What just happened in Baltimore is small taste of what that will look like.”

UPDATE (May 8, 2015):

Here are my critique and analysis:

  1. Deagle.com’s flawed data: The website itself admits that governments, including the U.S. government, lie about their economic statistics. And yet Deagle.com says “most” of its data come from public information sources that include USG and other governments.
  2. Deagle.com’s faux numerical precision: Despite its flawed data, the website manages to make forecasts 10 years into the future with numerical precision of specific population numbers and GDPs in exact dollar amounts.
  3. There does not appear to be a discernible logic for the order of countries in Deagle.com’s list of 182 countries in 2025. The countries are arranged neither alphabetically, nor geographically (by region or continent), nor by their fortunes (decline or improvement), nor by the severity of their projected decline.
  4. If one assumes that the economic collapse of the U.S. dollar and of the U.S. economy would be the trigger event, that could explain why other western countries (Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and Japan would also decline. But why would China, whose economy is so dependent on the U.S. market for its exports, be exempt from the predicted precipitous decline, but instead is predicted to have a population increase of 10.72 million and only a slight $466 decrease in its PPP (from $12,900 to $12,566? That makes no sense.
  5. Making even less sense is that present-day 4th-world countries like Burkina Faso in Africa is projected to increase its population from 18,360,000 to 18,402,380, and its PPP from $1,700 to $1,841.

~StMA

U.S. to close 15 military bases in Europe, as Russia’s presence grows

U.S. European CommandClick map to enlarge

Adam Kredo reports for The Washington Free Beacon, Jan. 9, 2015, that the U.S. military is set to shutter 15 sites across Europe and reduce the number of active personnel stationed in these areas as the result of a wide-ranging restructuring that aims to consolidate some operations on the continent, according to Derek Chollet, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.

The European restructuring is the culmination of a two-year consolidation plan known as the European Infrastructure Consolidation (EIC) that is reminiscent of a previous decade-long realignment following the Cold War.

The following changes will take effect in the coming years:

  • 15 sites in all will be returned by the United States to their host nations.
  • “Approximately 1,200 U.S. military and civilian support positions will be eliminated, and about 6,000 more U.S. personnel will be relocated within Europe,” said John Conger, the acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations, and environment who manages the EIC plan.
  • The largest force withdrawal will take place across three UK-based bases, resulting in the removal of 2,000 military personnel from the UK. The most major divestment will be made at the Royal Air Force (RAF) Mildenhall base, which is being shut down. In turn, two squadrons of F-35 Lighting II joint strike fighter jets will move to the RAF Lakenheath facility in 2020. About 3,200 U.S. personnel will relocate from RAF Mildenhall, and that will be offset by the addition of about 1,200 people who will be permanently assigned to the two F-35 squadrons slated to open at RAF Lakenheath.
  • Germany, Italy, and Portugal also will be most impacted by the restructure. “Several hundred” U.S. military personnel will be moved to Germany in the coming years, while another 200 will go to Italy. Around 500 military personnel will be removed from the Azores Islands, a move that has sparked protest in Portugal.
  • Up to 1,100 host-nation positions could also be eliminated and approximately 1,500 additional Europeans working for the U.S. could end up being impacted over the next several years, as many of their positions are relocated to other areas that the U.S. needs to maintain for the long term.

This latest realignment follows a series of significant reductions in Europe that have greatly reduced the U.S. military presence there. The Pentagon hopes to save around $500 million annually as a result of the wide-ranging restructure, which comes as the U.S. military battles against widespread budgetary cuts and growing international challenges across Europe and the Middle East.

Defense Department officials insist that the withdrawal and consolidation will not impact U.S. readiness or its ability to bolster allies in the region. Chollet said, “We are consolidating and reducing some existing support infrastructure in order to be more efficient, but we are not affecting our operational capabilities. The EIC adjustments do not diminish our ability to meet our commitments to allies and partners.”

While Pentagon officials have defended the realignment as necessary to cut costs, some critics say that the restructure may send a message of weakness at a time when nations such as Russia are increasing their rogue behaviors. Insiders on Capitol Hill familiar with the shifts warned that the move is likely to embolden rogue leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is counting on the U.S. military to continue its retreat from the region.

A congressional staffer apprised of the changes said the restructure “sends a terrible message to NATO and Putin at a critical time. Further, in a time when readiness is in the absolute pits—they are talking about spending $1.5 billion to close bases. Insane. What if we need to ramp up? What if Putin pushes further west? Or into the Baltics? What if we have to return forces to Europe?”

Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel argued that the reductions and movements would make the United States more nimble in the region, saying “In the end, this transformation of our infrastructure will help maximize our military capabilities in Europe and help strengthen our important European partnerships so that we can best support our NATO allies and partners in the region.”

Mackenzie Eaglen, a former Pentagon official and defense expert at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said that the savings being touted by the Pentagon may not actually be reinvested in other theaters: “On paper, the transfer of non-essential property back to host nations in order to free up funds for combat power and missions is usually smart. However, combatant commanders don’t own those funds and therefore the money will not automatically be returned to them for reinvestment elsewhere in theater. Any savings [European Command] reaps will go back to the black hole [Operations and Maintenance] account and be reassigned to another priority altogether and the European commanders will have no say in that regard.”

Furthermore, there is also the risk that continued cuts will begin to impact readiness as potentially key logistics positions are eliminated. Eaglen said, “Those on the front lines still left in Europe—like pilots—still need maintainers, engineers, and myriad other logistics support staff to keep them and their aircraft flying every day. While it’s possible these positions are truly non-essential, Congress and the Pentagon have cut U.S. force structure much too deeply in Europe in their zeal to pivot elsewhere, save money, and stall a needed domestic base closure round.”

With a retreating U.S. military, no wonder Hungary wants no part of NATO’s new Cold War against Russia.

See also:

~StMA

U.S. State Dept memo on bringing foreign Ebola patients to America

Barack Ebola logoTwo weeks ago, on October 17, 2014, Judicial Watch, the non-partisan D.C.-based citizens watchdog group, claimed that the Obama administration is actively formulating plans to admit Ebola-infected non-U.S. citizens into the United States for treatment within the first days of diagnosis.

Doing so would require special waivers of laws and regulations that currently ban the admission of non-citizens with a communicable disease as dangerous as Ebola.

Judicial Watch’s source said the Obama administration is keeping from Congress this illegal plan that endangers the public health and welfare of Americans.

Now, the watchdog group’s initial report is confirmed to be true.

From Judicial Watch, Oct. 29, 2014:

This several media outlets have confirmed JW’s story, attributing the information to an unclassified State Department report. It spells out a plan to rush foreigners into the U.S. for Ebola treatment […] It would cost $300,000 to treat each patient and another $200,000 for transportation, the State Department memo shows. […]

In the aftermath of the document’s leak, senior administration officials have anonymously come forth to say there are “absolutely no plans” to transport foreign Ebola patients to be treated in the U.S. What should Americans believe?

Judicial Watch will continue covering and investigating this scandal and has filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Department of Defense(DOD) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Specifically, JW is demanding that the DOD reveal its plans for evacuation of American personnel in Africa and OSHA’s plans for response to the Ebola outbreak as well as expressions of concern by agency personnel relating to the deadly virus. Additionally, JW is seeking information about the cryptic carrier Phoenix Air, which has been transporting Ebola-infected patients and has significant Pentagon contracts.

The Washington Times claims to have a copy of the State Department memo, but published only select sentences and paragraphs from the memo. Leave it to a UK newspaper, The Daily Mail, to publish the actual memo in its entirety.

Below are screenshots I took of the 4-page memo, “Admitting Non-U.S. Citizens to the United States for Treatment of Ebola Virus Disease.” An easier-to-read text version of the memo follows the screenshots. (You can also read the memo for yourself on Scribd or from CODA’s media library.)

Click page to enlarge

Ebola memo1Ebola memo2Ebola memo3Ebola memo4The memo on Scribd does not enable copying so that I can then paste the memo into this post. In the interest of public service, I copied the memo by typing each word, sentence, paragraph, and punctuation mark into the copy-enabled text below. Words in bold are from the memo; I supplied the red color to emphasize important sections.

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED – PREDESICIONAL

Admitting Non-U.S. Citizens to the United States for Treatment of Ebola Virus Disease

Purpose: Come to an agreed State Department position on the extent to which non-U.S. citizens will come to the United States for treatment of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). A cleared paper is urgently needed for circulation to the interagency and NSC for a policy decision.

Recommendation: The State and DHS devise a system for expeditious parole of Ebola-infected non-citizens into the United States as long as they are otherwise eligible for medical evacuation from the Ebola affected countries and for entry into the United States.

Issue: The United States needs to show leadership and act as we are asking others to act by admitting certain non-citizens into the country for medical treatment for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) during the Ebola crisis. The greatest stated impediment to persuading other countries to send medical teams to the Ebola-afflicted countries in West Africa has been the lack of assured medical evacuation and treatment for responders who may be infected with Ebola virus.

State Department contracted evacuation capacity has so far been sufficient to evacuate all Americans and several other international responders with EVD. (Spain, the UK, and Italy have each evacuated one or two of their own citizens.) Of those evacuated, all American citizens have come to the United States for treatment; all others have gone to Europe, where Germany is so far the only country to accept non-citizens with EVD for treatment. Several countries are implicitly or explicitly waiting for medevac assurances for their responders before committing to send medical teams; assurances are also essential to encouraging individuals to volunteer. (The scope of who is eligible for medical evacuation is the subject of another paper.)

There are four essential elements to every medical evacuation:

  1. Medical evacuation capacity;
  2. Overflight, refueling, and landing permission;
  3. A hospital able and willing to treat the patient; and
  4. Funds to backstop reimbursement, about $200,000 for medevac and $300,000 for treatment per case.

What is at issue here is point 3. As noted, Germany is so far the only country to accept non-citizens for Ebola treatment; Norway has offered to accept EU citizens in addition to its own. We will be working with the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Office (EC ECHO) and with individual countries to impress on them the necessity of opening treatment beds to non-citizens in order to enable and sustain a robust Ebola response. Since it is several hours closer to West Africa by air, Europe is also a preferable treatment destination for medical reasons. We are exploring other destinations as well, and establishment of the Monrovia Medical Unit by the United States and the Kerry Town, Sierra Leone facility by the UK should reduce the need for medevac as they begin to prove themselves effective treatment centers.

There will also be cases where the United States will be the logical treatment destination for non-citizens. For example, we have an obligation to assist non-citizen employees and contractors of U.S. agencies and programs, as well as NGOs and private firms based in the United States. Non-European Ebola response partners (e.g., Australia) consider the U.S. a better destination as well. UN staff permanently employed at headquarters in New York are another category to consider. U.S. legal permanent residents (LPRs) would also expect to come back to the United States. If, as expected, the United States deploys aircraft capable of evacuating more than one patient in the near future, there are likely to be occasions where one patient on a flight is a U.S. citizen and another is not.

U.S. Medevac Capacity: The U.S. Department of State has a contract with a commercial aviation company, Phoenix Aviation, which has the capability to safely transport patients with contagious disease using a specialized aeromedical biocontainment system.  A mechanism has been established for the U.S. government to provide reimbursable medical evacuation services to support countries and International Organizations in their efforts to address the Ebola crisis. Because of the specialized air transport and medical precautions required for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) the Department of State is assisting with evacuations of U.S. citizens infected with Ebola virus from West Africa whenever possible. State has assisted with medevac of several citizens with EVD back to medical facilities in the United States, in keeping with the U.S. government’s longstanding role of facilitating emergency medical care for U.S. citizens through the State Department, including bringing them home to receive potentially life-saving treatment for serious illness.

The U. S. government is also working with organizations like the UN Office of Ebola Special Envoy David Nabarro, the World Health Organization, and the European Commission, as well as with several countries, on medevac options for Ebola victims. In addition to U.S. citizens, we have assisted with the medevacs of four health care workers out of West Africa with confirmed Ebola cases who are citizens of other countries — three were evacuated to Germany and one to France. Any costs associated with evacuations are the responsibility of the patient or their parent organization. They are not funded by U.S. taxpayers — although the financial guarantees required of U.S. citizens are somewhat less stringent than those for non-citizens.

So far all of the Ebola medevacs brought back to U.S. hospitals have been U.S. citizens. But there are many non-citizens working for U.S. government agencies and organizations in the Ebola-affected countries of West Africa. These may be local employees of U.S. Embassies or third country national health care workers who are working for agencies like CDC and USAID. These workers are playing a critical role in the battle against the Ebola outbreak. Many of them are citizens of countries lacking adequate medical care, and if they contract Ebola in the course of their work they would need to be evacuated to medical facilities in the United States or Europe. Thus far Germany is the only country that has accepted citizens of other countries for treatment of EVD in their hospitals.

U.S. Treatment Capacity: Many hospitals in the United States have the technical ability to treat Ebola patients. However, experience with Ebola cases would minimize the risk to health care workers, and the medical community should consider how best to distribute patients. In addition to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, which have both accepted patients, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center has expressed willingness to do so.

Legal Authorities and Implementation Requirements: State L notes that the legal and procedural constraints outlined below do not determine the policy outcome. If the U.S. government decides to restrict entry to the United States for non-U.S. citizen Ebola patients, it cannot attribute the outcome to legal and technical issues. At the same time, the mechanism for admission for non-U.S. citizen is not the usual visa process, and normally takes much longer than the time available to an infected Ebola patient, so setting up a mechanism that is ready to move would be essential.

To optimize clinical outcomes and give patients their best possible chance of recovery, air medical transportation of EVD victims should occur in the first five days of illness, with proportionately greater benefit the sooner it can be accomplished. Operationally that requires an almost immediate request for medevac and approval for travel to the United States, as the medevac process itself is a two-day journey. This presents a challenge, since under INA § 212(a)(1)(A)(i), (implemented by 42 C.F.R. § 34.2(b) and Executive Order No. 13295, as amended) Ebola Virus Disease is a communicable disease of public health significance and grounds for visa ineligibility. In order to permit the travel of such an individual, either an INA § 212(d)(3)(A) waiver of ineligibility or prior approval of parole pursuant to INA § 212(d)(5)(A) would be required from the Department of Homeland Security. (Note: legal permanent residents of the United States would not normally be ineligible to enter because they have an infectious disease, and counter enter on their “green cards” in most cases.)

Given the length of time necessary to obtain a waiver of ineligibility, or individual parole, as well as potential difficulties in securing the travel document for an infected individual, issuance of a properly annotated visa/boarding foil pursuant to a waiver request or parole is not a likely option. The Visa Office recommends the development and implementation of a mechanism similar to the one used for the African Leaders Summit (when technical issues precluded the issuance of visas), under which State worked with DHS to arrange expeditious port-of-entry waivers in advance of travel.

A pre-established framework would be essential to guarantee that only authorized individuals would be considered for travel authorization and that all necessary vetting would occur. The precise language and structure would be jointly developed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

~End of memo~

~StMA

China develops new technology for supersonic submarine

Imagine a submarine that can travel from Shanghai to San Francisco in less than two hours.

That’s what Chinese scientists are working on.

Supersonic subStephen Chen reports for Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, Aug. 24, 2014, that a team of scientists at the Complex Flow and Heat Transfer Lab of the Harbin Institute of Technology in China have developed a new technology that will make it easier for a submarine or torpedo to travel at extremely high speeds underwater by creating the complicated air “bubble” required for rapid underwater travel.

Li Fengchen, professor of fluid machinery and engineering, said his team “are very excited by its potential.”

Water produces more friction, or drag, on an object than air, which means conventional submarines cannot travel as fast as an aircraft.

Soviet experimental torpedoHowever, during the cold war, the Soviet military developed a technology called supercavitation, which involves enveloping a submerged vessel inside an air bubble to avoid problems caused by water drag.

A Soviet supercavitation torpedo called Shakval was able to reach a speed of 370km/h (230 mph) or more – much faster than any other conventional torpedoes.

In theory, a supercavitating vessel could reach the speed of sound underwater, or about 5,800km/h (3,604 mph), which would reduce the journey time for a transatlantic underwater cruise to less than an hour, and for a transpacific journey to about 100 minutes, according to a report by California Institute of Technology in 2001.

However, supercavitation technology has faced two major problems:

  1. The submerged vessel must be launched at high speeds, approaching 100km/h (62 mph), to generate and maintain the air bubble.
  2. It is extremely difficult – if not impossible – to steer the vessel using conventional mechanisms, such as a rudder, which are inside the bubble without any direct contact with water.

As a result, supercavitation’s application has been limited to unmanned vessels, such as torpedoes, but nearly all of these torpedoes were fired in a straight line because they had limited ability to turn.

Li said the team of Chinese scientists had found an innovative means of addressing both problems:

  1. Once in the water, the team’s supercavitation vessel would constantly “shower” a special liquid membrane on its own surface. Although this membrane would be worn off by water, in the meantime it could significantly reduce the water drag on the vessel at low speed.
  2. After its speed had reached 75km/h (46.6 mph) or more the vessel would enter the supercavitation state. The man-made liquid membrane on the vessel surface could help with steering because, with precise control, different levels of friction could be created on different parts of the vessel.

Li said, “Our method is different from any other approach, such as vector propulsion (or thrust created by an engine). By combining liquid-membrane technology with supercavitation, we can significantly reduce the launch challenges and make cruising control easier.”

However, many problems still needed to be solved before supersonic submarine travel became feasible. Besides the control issue, Li said a powerful underwater rocket engine still had to be developed to give the vessel a longer range. The effective range of the Russian supercavitation torpedoes, for example, was only between 11 km (6.8 mi) and 15 km (9.3 mi).

Li said the supercavitation technology was not limited only to military use. In future, it could benefit civilian underwater transport, or water sports such as swimming: “If a swimsuit can create and hold many tiny bubbles in water, it can significantly reduce the water drag; swimming in water could be as effortless as flying in the sky.”

Besides Russia, countries such as Germany, Iran and the United States have been developing vessels or weapons using supercavitation technology.

Despite many scientists worldwide working on similar projects, the latest progress at the Harbin Institute of Technology remains unclear because they are regarded as military secrets.

Professor Wang Guoyu, the head of the Fluid Mechanics Laboratory at Beijing Institute of Technology and a member of the water armament committee of the China Society of Naval Architect and Marine Engineers, is leading another state-funded research project on supercavitation. He said even he had been kept in the dark about recent supercavitation developments in China because “The primary drive still comes from the military, so most research projects are shrouded in secrecy.”

H/t Yahoo News

See also:

~StMA

Obama admin moves battle tanks back into Europe as Russian troops invade Ukraine

On April 4, 2014, Star and Stripes reported that the Obama administration was removing the remainder of U.S. battle tanks from Germany and, thus, from Europe.

Nearly five months later, the administration is reversing that decision.

NATO satellite image of Russian artillery in Ukraine NATO satellite image, taken on August 23, shows Russian artillery units in firing position near Krasnodon, Ukraine.

Joseph Trevithick reports for Medium.com, Aug. 28, 2014, that as the Ukraine crisis deepens — the latest being Russian troops reportedly having crossed the border into Uraine (see satellite image above) — U.S. Army troops from the 1st Cavalry Division are headed for NATO’s eastern border bringing Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles all the way from Fort Hood in Texas.

Bradley Fighting Vehicle

Bradley (armored) Fighting Vehicle

Detachments from 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, a so-called “combined arms battalion” with tanks and fighting vehicles, will spend the next few months training with U.S.’s friends and allies in the region. The force will also take over from U.S. paratroopers who have been in Eastern Europe since April. The Pentagon has been rotating troops through the region since Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region earlier this year.

But the M-1 tanks and M-2 Bradley fighting vehicles are a new twist. This relatively small shipment of heavy gear from the States to Europe is probably a first in over 20 years. Previous troops from the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team had no heavy armor.

Last year, the ground combat branch pulled out the last permanent tank units in Europe. A pool of Abrams and Bradleys—the European Activity Set—in storage in Germany are the only such vehicles on the continent at present.

Until 1993, the Pentagon had prepared to blunt a Russian-led invasion by rushing thousands of troops across the Atlantic. During the Cold War, the Army planned to send large units to fight in Germany. Now, smaller company-sized elements from 2–8 Cav—between 100 and 200 people each—are on their way to Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Germany.

Washington hopes these training exercises will reassure its European allies as the crisis in Ukraine simmers. The Pentagon says pro-Russia insurgents fighting Kiev are getting “tanks, armored personnel carriers, rocket launchers, air defense equipment and other heavy weapons” from Russia.

~StMA