Trump says “let it be an arms race” when it comes to nuclear weapons
“Absolutely Frightening”: Greenpeace on Trump’s Call for a New Nuclear Arms Race
Trump, Putin both seek to boost their nuclear capability
Published on Dec 22, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump signaled Thursday that he will look to “strengthen and expand” the US’s nuclear capability hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to enhance his country’s nuclear forces.
The exchange appeared to raise the prospect of a new arms race between the two nuclear superpowers, which between them boast more than 14,000 nuclear warheads, the still deadly legacy of their four-decades long Cold War standoff.
But the comments by Putin, who is presiding over a project to restore Russia’s lost global power and influence, and Trump, who will shortly become the US commander-in-chief, did not spell out exactly what each side is proposing or whether a major change of nuclear doctrine is in the offing.
Trump weighed in with a tweet just hours after Putin spoke following a meeting with his military advisers to review the activity of the past year.
“The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” Trump wrote.
It was not immediately clear if the President-elect is proposing an entire new nuclear policy that he would begin to flesh out once he takes office next year.
Trump could also be referring to plans to modernize the current US nuclear arsenal that are currently underway and will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. The Obama administration has outlined a plan to modernize delivery systems, command and control systems and to refurbish warheads in the US nuclear triad — the US force of sea, airborne and missile delivered nuclear weapons.
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INSIDE VIEW !!! US Air Force Minuteman Strategic Missile Silo Mini Documentary
Published on Mar 10, 2016
The LGM-30 Minuteman is a US land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), in service with the Air Force Global Strike Command. As of 2014, the LGM-30G Minuteman III version[a] is the only land-based ICBM in service in the United States.
Development of the Minuteman began in the mid-1950s as the outgrowth of basic research into solid fuel rocket motors which indicated an ICBM based on solids was possible. Such a missile could stand ready for extended periods of time with little maintenance, and then launch on command. In comparison, existing US missile designs using liquid fuels required a lengthy fueling process immediately before launch, which left them open to the possibility of surprise attack. This potential for immediate launch gave the missile its name; like the Revolutionary War’s Minutemen, the Minuteman was designed to be launched on a moment’s notice.
Minuteman entered service in 1962 as a weapon tasked primarily with the deterrence role, threatening Soviet cities with a counterattack if the US was attacked. However, with the development of the US Navy’s Polaris which addressed the same role, the Air Force began to modify Minuteman into a weapon with much greater accuracy with the specific intent of allowing it to attack hardened military targets, including Soviet missile silos. The Minuteman-II entered service in 1965 with a host of upgrades to improve its accuracy and survivability in the face of an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system the Soviets were known to be developing. Minuteman-III followed in 1970, using three smaller warheads instead of one large one, which made it very difficult to attack by an anti-ballistic missile system which would have to hit all three widely separated warheads to be effective. Minuteman-III was the first multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) ICBM to be deployed. Each missile can carry up to three nuclear warheads, which have a yield in the range of 300 to 500 kilotons.
Peaking at 1000 missiles in the 1970s, the current US force consists of 450 Minuteman-III missiles in missile silos around Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota; and F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming. By 2018 this will be reduced to 400 armed missiles, with 50 unarmed missiles in reserve, and four non-deployed test launchers to comply with the New START treaty. The Air Force plans to keep the missile in service until at least 2030. It is one component of the US nuclear triad—the other two parts of the triad being the Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), and nuclear weapons carried by long-range strategic bombers.
Type Intercontinental ballistic missile
Place of origin United States
In service 1962 (Minuteman-I)
Used by United States
Unit cost $7,000,000
Weight 78,000 lb (35,300 kg)
Length 59 ft 9.5 in (18.2 m)
Diameter 5 ft 6 in (1.7 m) (1st stage)
Warhead Nuclear: W62, W78, or (2006–) W87
Air Burst or Contact (Surface)
Engine Three-stage Solid-fuel rocket engines; first stage: Thiokol TU-122 (M-55); second stage: Aerojet-General SR-19-AJ-1; third stage: Aerojet/Thiokol SR73-AJ/TC-1
approx. 8,100 (exact is classified) miles (13,000 km)
Flight altitude 700 miles (1,120 kilometers)
Speed Approximately 17507 mph (Mach 23, or 28176 km/h, or 7 km/s) (terminal phase)
Accuracy 200 m CEP
Missile Silo (MLCC)
Minuteman-III (LGM-30G): the current model 
Side view of Minuteman-III ICBM
Airmen work on a Minuteman-III’s multiple independently-targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) system. Current missiles carry a single warhead.
The LGM-30G Minuteman-III program started in 1966, and included several improvements over the previous versions. It was first deployed in 1970. Most modifications related to the final stage and reentry system (RS). The final (third) stage was improved with a new fluid-injected motor, giving finer control than the previous four-nozzle system. Performance improvements realized in Minuteman-III include increased flexibility in reentry vehicle (RV) and penetration aids deployment, increased survivability after a nuclear attack, and increased payload capacity. The missile retains a gimballed inertial guidance system.
Minuteman-III originally contained the following distinguishing features:
Armed with W62 warhead, having a yield of only 170 kilotons TNT, instead of previous W56’s yield of 1.2 megatons.
It was the first Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles (MIRV) missile. A single missile was then able to target 3 separate locations. This was an improvement from the Minuteman-I and Minuteman-II models, which were only able to carry one large warhead.
An RS capable of deploying, in addition to the warheads, penetration aids such as chaff and decoys.
Minuteman-III introduced in the
Examining the U.S. Nuclear Spending Binge | Arms Control Association
Published on Jul 31, 2016
The Arms Control Association has for years raised warning sirens about the cost and necessity of the modernization plans and have suggested a number of steps that could be taken to put the plans on a more sustainable course. The Pentagon estimates that the proposed modernization effort of the U.S. nuclear triad and its supporting infrastructure over the next 25 years will cost between $350-$450 billion.
The remainder of the Obama administration and that of the next president will likely be faced with a number of increasingly urgent questions about America’s nuclear modernization project, including its affordability, opportunity costs, impacts on global stability and more.
Speakers on this panel addressed the scope of the current nuclear weapons spending plans, challenges and options available to the next president, and the feasibility of the modernization plans given the experience of previous administrations.
• Mark F. Cancian, Senior Advisor with the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
• Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists
• Andrew Weber, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs
• Amy Woolf, Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy at the Congressional Research Service
• Kingston Reif, Arms Control Association, Moderator
LGM-30 Minuteman Launch – ICBM
Published on May 31, 2016
The LGM-30 Minuteman is a U.S. land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), in service with the Air Force Global Strike Command.
As of 2014, the LGM-30G Minuteman III version is the only land-based ICBM in service in the United States.
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Trump Said the U.S. Should Expand Nuclear Weapons. He’s Right.
America needs to bolster its deterrence not to start a war, but to prevent one.
On Thursday, Donald Trump created controversy when he tweeted, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” In case anyone was confused, he followed up Friday morning with an off-air remark to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that clarified his intentions: “Let it be an arms race,” he said. “We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”
The backlash was swift and unanimous. Critics charged that there is no plausible reason to expand U.S. nuclear weapons, that Trump’s comments contradicted a decades-old bipartisan consensus on the need to reduce nuclear stockpiles, and that such reckless statements risk provoking a new nuclear arms race with Russia and China.
On this matter, however, Trump is right.
U.S. nuclear strategy cannot be static, but must take into account the nuclear strategy and capabilities of its adversaries. For decades, the United States was able to reduce its nuclear arsenal from Cold War highs because it did not face any plausible nuclear challengers. But great power political competition has returned and it has brought nuclear weapons, the ultimate instrument of military force, along for the ride.
In recent years, North Korea has continued to grow its nuclear arsenal and means of delivery and has issued chilling nuclear threats against the United States and its Asian allies. As recently as Thursday — before Trump’s offending tweet — Rodong Sinmum, the Pyongyang regime’s official newspaper, published an opinion article calling for bolstering North Korea’s “nuclear deterrence.”
The potential threats are everywhere. Washington faces an increasing risk of conflict with a newly assertive, nuclear-armed China in the South China Sea. Beijing is expanding its nuclear forces and it is estimated that the number of Chinese warheads capable of reaching the U.S. homeland has more than trebled in the past decade and continues to grow. And Russia has become more aggressive in Europe and the Middle East and has engaged in explicit nuclear saber rattling the likes of which we have not seen since the 1980s. At the height of the crisis over Crimea in 2014, for example, Russian President Vladimir Putin ominously declared, “It’s best not to mess with us … I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.” And on Tuesday, he vowed to “enhance the combat capability of strategic nuclear forces, primarily by strengthening missile complexes that will be guaranteed to penetrate existing and future missile defense systems.” As former Defense Secretary William Perry correctly notes, “Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War.”
The United States needs a robust nuclear force, therefore, not because anyone wants to fight a nuclear war, but rather, the opposite: to deter potential adversaries from attacking or coercing the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons of their own.
Under President Barack Obama, the United States mindlessly reduced its nuclear arsenal even as other nuclear powers went in the opposite direction, expanding and modernizing their nuclear forces. Such a path was unsustainable and Trump is correct to recognize that America’s aging nuclear arsenal is in need of some long overdue upgrades.
So, what would expanding and strengthening the nuclear arsenal look like?
First, the United States must modernize all three legs of the nuclear triad (submarines; long-range bombers, including a new cruise missile; and intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs). The Obama administration announced plans to modernize the triad under Republican pressure, but critics are already trying to kill off the ICBM and the cruise missile, and production timelines for these weapon systems keep slipping into the future. The Trump administration must make the timely modernization of all three legs of the triad a top priority.
Second, the United States should increase its deployment of nuclear warheads, consistent with its international obligations. According to New START, the treaty signed with Russia in 2011, each state will deploy no more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads, but those restrictions don’t kick in until February 2018. At present, according to the State Department, the United States is roughly 200 warheads below the limit while Russia is almost 250 warheads above it. Accordingly, Russia currently possesses a nuclear superiority of more than 400 warheads, which is worrisome in and of itself and also raises serious questions about whether Moscow intends to comply with this treaty at all. The United States, therefore, should expand its deployed arsenal up to the treaty limits and be fully prepared for further expansion should Russia break out — as Moscow has done with several other legacy arms control agreements.
Third, and finally, the United States and NATO need more flexible nuclear options in Europe. In the event of a losing war with NATO, Russian strategy calls for limited nuclear “de-escalation” strikes against European civilian and military targets. At present, NATO lacks an adequate response to this threat. As I explain in a new report, the United States must develop enhanced nuclear capabilities, including a tactical, air-to-surface cruise missile, in order to disabuse Putin of the notion that he can use nuclear weapons in Europe and get away with it.
These stubborn facts lay bare the ignorance or naivety of those fretting that Trump’s tweets risk starting a new nuclear arms race. It is U.S. adversaries, not Trump, who are moving first. It is a failure to respond that would be most reckless, signaling continued American weakness and only incentivizing further nuclear aggression.
The past eight years have been demoralizing for many in the defense policy community as Obama has consistently placed ideology over reality in the setting of U.S. nuclear policy. The results, an increasingly disordered world filled with intensifying nuclear dangers, speak for themselves.
Rather than express outrage over Trump’s tweet, therefore, we should take heart that we once again have a president who may be willing to do what it takes to defend the country against real, growing and truly existential threats.
How the Pentagon Plans to Modernize the US Nuclear Arsenal
By JUSTIN FISHEL
Dec 23, 2016, 2:22 PM ET
President-elect Donald Trump’s tweets this week about strengthening and expanding America’s nuclear weapons capability are raising eyebrows, but they also highlight the Pentagon’s existing programs to update and modernize its nuclear arsenal.
The components of America’s nuclear triad of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM’s), strategic bombers, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles are decades old. While the Pentagon has undergone a modernization process to keep these systems intact over that time, the Pentagon has plans to replace each leg of the triad in the coming decades.
But the Pentagon’s plans to update and modernize the nuclear triad will be a lengthy and costly enterprise. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress earlier this year that it will cost $350 billion to $450 billion to update and modernize beginning in 2021. But there are some estimates that a 30-year modernization program could cost as much as $1 trillion.
And that process has gotten underway since the lifespan of the existing delivery systems ends in the next 15 to 20 years. Replacement systems are currently in the phase of research, development, testing and evaluation.
The U.S. Air Force maintains a fleet of 450 Minuteman III ICBM missiles located in underground silos across the plains states, each carrying multiple nuclear warheads. A key leg of the nuclear triad, the Minuteman III missiles went into service in the 1970’s and have been upgraded ever since to keep them mission ready. No new ICBM missiles have gone into service since the MX missile was deployed in the 1980’s, but those missiles were retired a decade ago.
This summer, the Air Force began the process of soliciting designs for a new ICBM to replace the Minuteman III, with the first new missile scheduled to enter service by 2029.
The Air Force has already begun the process of replacing the 76 B-52 strategic bombers that have been flying since the 1960’s with the new B-21 “Raider” that will begin flying in 2025. Upgrades to the B-52, designed in the 1950’s, have allowed the aircraft to continue serving as a nuclear-capable aircraft and also allowed it to conduct airstrikes against ISIS.
The Navy has also begun the process to find a replacement for its 14 Ohio Class ballistic missile submarine fleet that first went into service in the 1980’s. But the first Columbia Class submarine is not slated to enter service until 2031.
But it is important to point out that a replacement of these systems, while incredibly expensive, does not equate to an overall growth of the nuclear arsenal.
In other words, the U.S. is looking to become more efficient — it’s not looking for more nuclear weapons. As one defense official put it, with the cost of the new systems, the Pentagon is simply not able to do a one-to-one replacement.
As of September 2015, the United States has a total of 4,571 warheads in its nuclear weapons stockpile, according to a State Department official. The United States has retired thousands of nuclear warheads that are removed from their delivery platform that are not included in this total, the official said, noting those warheads are not functional and are in a queue for dismantlement.
The 2011 New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) nuclear weapons agreement limits to 1,550 the number of nuclear warheads that can be deployed on ICBMs, submarines or heavy bombers by the U.S. and Russia. Both countries have until February 2018 to meet the New START’s reduction target levels for deployed warheads.
The United States currently has 1,361 deployed nuclear weapons while Russia has 1,796. The larger Russian number is seen as a temporary increase as Russia replaces older warheads with new ones.
Donald Trump says he wants to ‘greatly strengthen and expand’ U.S. nuclear capability, a radical break from U.S. foreign policy
Russian President Vladimir Putin praised his country’s military on Dec. 22, saying its armed forces had performed well in the fight against “international terrorists” in Syria. (Reuters)
By Carol MorelloDecember 22 at 1:05 PM
President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday called for the United States to expand its nuclear arsenal, after Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country’s nuclear potential needs fortifying, raising the specter of a new arms race that would reverse decades of efforts to reduce the number and size of the two countries’ nuclear weapons.In a tweet that offered no details, Trump said, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”During the campaign, Trump talked in one debate about the need to modernize the country’s infrastructure of nuclear weaponry, saying the United States is falling behind. But it is not clear whether Trump is thinking of increasing the number of nuclear weapons the United States possesses, or updating the existing supply.
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“We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems,” Putin said.
Russia and the United States have worked for decades at first limiting, and then reducing, the number and strength of nuclear arms they produced and maintained under a Cold War strategy of deterrence known as “mutually assured destruction.” Both Republican and Democratic presidents have pursued a policy of nuclear arms reduction, said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.
Currently, the United States has just under 5,000 warheads in its active arsenal, and more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads, a number that fluctuates, according to Kimball. In an October assessment by the State Department Bureau of Arms Control Verification and Compliance, Russia has about 400 more nuclear warheads than the United States does. But the United States has about 170 more delivery systems than Russia.
Under the New START Treaty, the main strategic arms treaty in place, both the U.S. and Russia must deploy no more than 1,550 strategic weapons by February of 2018. Kimball said both countries appear to be on track to meet that limit, which will remain in force until 2021, when they could decide to extend the agreement for another five years.
Since President George H.W. Bush’s administration, it has been U.S. policy not to build new nuclear warheads. Under President Obama, the policy has been not to pursue warheads with new military capabilities.
The U.S. military is in the beginning stages of updating its nuclear triad, which covers the delivery systems — bombers, submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Last year, the Pentagon estimated it must spend an average of $18 billion a year over 15 years starting in 2021, to replace weapons that already have been refurbished and upgraded beyond their original shelf life.
President-elect Donald Trump has called nuclear weapons “the single greatest problem the world has” – but he’s also made some controversial statements about them. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)
But independent experts have estimated the total cost of modernizing the aging nuclear arsenal could reach $1 trillion over 30 years, according to the Arms Control Association.
“If Donald Trump is concerned about the rising costs of the F-35, he will be shocked by the skyrocketing costs of the current plan to modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal,” Kimball said. “Trump and his people need to explain the basis of his cryptic tweet. What does he mean by expand, and at what cost?”
But others argue that nuclear weapons and the principle of deterrence are essential components of national security, and the Obama administration’s efforts to further reduce its nuclear weapons have been just wishful thinking.
Michaela Dodge, a Heritage Foundation policy analyst specializing in nuclear weapons and missile defense policy, said that the White House in its 2010 Nuclear Posture Review made the erroneous assessment that there was little likelihood of conflict with Russia. Yet Moscow is in the midst of a large-scale nuclear weapons modernization program, and has violated many arms control treaties that it signed, she said.
“There is already an ongoing nuclear arms race, except now the United States isn’t racing,” she said in a telephone interview. “It’s mostly Russia and China.”
Dodge has called for the incoming Trump administration to request funding for nuclear warheads, delivery platforms and nuclear infrastructure. She also said the United States should withdraw from treaties that have eroded defense capabilities.
Traditional components of a strategic nuclear triad
While traditional nuclear strategy holds that a nuclear triad provides the best level of deterrence from attack, in reality, most nuclear powers do not have the military budget to sustain a full triad. Only the United States and Russia have maintained nuclear triads for most of the nuclear age. Both the US and the Soviet Union composed their triads along the same lines, including the following components:
Bomber aircraft capable of delivering nuclear bombs (carrier-based or land-based; usually armed with long-range missiles).
Ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Nuclear missiles launched from ships or submarines. Although in early years the US Navy sea leg was carrier aircraft based with a very short period using sub launched cruise missiles such as the Regulus before SLBMs were ready to be deployed.
The triad also gives the commander in chief the flexibility to use different types of weapons for the appropriate strike while also preserving a reserve of nuclear armaments theoretically safe from a counter-force strike:
ICBMs allow for a long-range strike launched from a controlled or friendly environment at a lower cost per delivered warhead and easiest targeting from a surveyed geographic location. If launched from a fixed position, such as a missile silo, they are vulnerable to a first strike, though their interception once aloft is substantially difficult, Some ICBMs are either rail or road mobile. Medium-range ballistic missiles and ground-launched cruise missiles were also assigned for strategic targets based in nations closer to the potential confrontation, but were eventually forbidden by arms control treaty to the US and Russia.
SLBMs, launched from submarines, allow for a greater chance of survival from a first strike, giving the commander a second-strike capability. Some long-range submarine-launched cruise missiles are counted towards triad status; this was the first type of submarine-launched strategic second-strike nuclear weapon before ballistic missile submarines became available. A SLBM is the most difficult to get accurate targeting for as it requires obtaining an accurate geographical fix to program targeting data to the missile, the total cost of a SLBM is increased by the cost of the submarine force, large crews and deterrence patrols.
Strategic bombers have greater flexibility in their deployment and weaponry. They can serve as both a first- and second-strike weapon. A bomber armed with AGM-129 ACM missiles, for example, could be classified as a first-strike weapon. A number of bombers often with aerial refueling aircraft kept at safe points would constitute a second-strike weapon. In some strategic contexts either with nearby potential enemies or with forward basing lighter aircraft can be used on the strategic level as either a first-strike weapon or if dispersed at small airfields or aboard an aircraft carrier can reasonably avoid a counterstrike giving them regional second-strike capacity, aircraft such as the Mirage 2000, F-15E, A-5 Vigilante, Sea Harrier, or FB-111 are or were tasked part or full-time with land or sea-based strategic nuclear attack missions. An aerial refueling fleet supports intercontinental strategic operations both for heavy bombers and smaller aircraft; it also makes possible around the clock airborne standby of bombers and command aircraft making these airborne assets nearly impossible to eliminate in a first strike. Bomber airborne alert patrols are very expensive in terms of fuel and aircraft maintenance, even non-airborne alert basing requires both crew training hours and aircraft upkeep.
Tactical nuclear weapons are used in air, land and sea warfare. Air-to-air missiles and rockets, surface-to-air missiles, and small air-to-ground rockets, bombs, and precision munitions have been developed and deployed with nuclear warheads. Ground forces have included tactical nuclear artillery shells, surface-to-surface rockets, land mines, medium and small man-packable nuclear engineering demolition charges, even man-carried or vehicle-mounted recoilless rifles. Naval forces have carried nuclear-armed naval rocket-assisted and standard depth charges and torpedoes, and naval gunnery shells. Tactical nuclear weapons and the doctrine for their use is primarily for use in a non-strategic warfighting role destroying military forces in the battle area; they are not counted toward triad status despite the possibility of many of these systems being usable as strategic weapons depending on the target.
The following nations are considered fully established triad nuclear powers, they have robust capability to launch a worldwide second strike in all three legs and can disperse their air forces and their sea forces on deterrent patrols. They possess nuclear forces consisting of land-based missiles, ballistic or long-range cruise missile submarines, and strategic bombers or long-range tactical aircraft.
Unlike the United States and Russia where strategic nuclear forces are enumerated by treaty limits and subject to verification, China, a nuclear power since 1964, is not subject to these requirements but currently has a triad structure smaller in size compared to Russia and the United States. China’s nuclear force is much smaller than the US or Russia and is closer in number and capability to that of France or the United Kingdom. This force is mainly land-based missiles including ICBMs, IRBMs, and tactical ballistic missiles as well as cruise missiles. Unlike the US and Russia, China stores many of its missiles in huge underground tunnel complexes; U.S. Representative Michael Turner referring to 2009 Chinese media reports said “This network of tunnels could be in excess of 5,000 kilometers (3,110 miles), and is used to transport nuclear weapons and forces,” the Chinese Army newsletter calls this tunnel system an Underground Great Wall of China.
Currently China has one Type 092 submarine that is currently active with JL-1 SLBM according to Office of Naval Intelligence. In addition, the PLAN has deployed 4 newer Type 094 submarines and plan to deploy up to 8 of these Jin-class SSBN by the end of 2020. The new Type 094 fleet uses the newer JL-2 SLBM. China carried out a series of successful JL-2 launches in 2009, 2012 and 2015. The United States expect the 094 SSBN to carry out its first deterrent patrol by 2015 with the JL-2 missile active. There is an aged albeit upgraded bomber force consisting of Xian H-6s with an unclear nuclear delivery role. The PLAAF has a limited capability fleet of H-6 bombers modified for aerial refuelling as well as forthcoming Russian Ilyushin Il-78 aerial refuelling tankers. China also introduced a newer and modernized H-6 variant the H-6K with enhanced capabilities such as launching long ranged cruise missile the CJ-10. In addition to the H-6 bomber, there are numerous tactical fighter and fighter bombers such as the: J-16, J-10, JH-7A and Su-30 which all capable of carrying nuclear weapons. China is also developing hypersonic glide vehicles.
A former triad power, the FrenchForce de frappe possesses sea-based and air-based nuclear forces through the Triomphant-class ballistic missile submarines deployed with M45 intercontinental SLBMs armed with multiple warheads, nuclear capable Dassault Rafale F3 and Dassault Mirage 2000N fighter aircraft (armed with Air-Sol Moyenne Portée) which replaced the long-range Dassault Mirage IV supersonic nuclear bomber and KC-135 aerial refuelling tankers in its inventory. France had S2 and then S3 silo based strategic nuclear IRBMs, the S3 with a 3,500 km range, but these have been phased out of service since the dissolution of the USSR. France operates aircraft with a nuclear strike role from its aircraft carrier.
Non-triad powers are nuclear armed nations which have never developed a strategic nuclear delivery triad.
North Korea has claimed to have indigenous nuclear weapons technology since a large underground explosion was detected in 2006. The DPRK has both aircraft and missiles which may be tasked to deliver nuclear weapons. The North Korean missile program is largely based on domestically produced variants of the Soviet Scud missile, some of which are sufficiently powerful to attempt satellite launch. The DPRK also has short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. Western researchers believe the current generation of the DPRK’s suspected nuclear weapons are too large to be fitted to the country’s existing missile stock.
Pakistan does not have an active nuclear triad. Its nuclear weapons are primarily land-based. The Minimum Credible Deterrence (MCD) is a defense and strategic principle on which the atomic weapons program of Pakistan is based. This doctrine is not a part of the nuclear doctrine, which is designed for the use of the atomic weapons in a full-scale declared war if the conditions of the doctrine are surpassed. Instead, the MCD policy falls under minimal deterrence as an inverse to Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). In August 2012, The Economist magazine wrote an article stating that Pakistan was an emerging nuclear triad state. Pakistani plans of responding to any capture or pre-emptive destruction of their nuclear defences seems to be one reason why they are determined to develop a third leg, after air- and land-based delivery systems, to Pakistan’s nuclear triad, consisting of nuclear-armed ships and submarines. As Iskander Rehman of the Carnegie Endowment, a think-tank, observes in a recent paper, Pakistani nuclear expansion and methods of delivery is drifting “from the dusty plains of the Punjab into the world’s most congested shipping lanes… It is only a matter of time before Pakistan formally brings nuclear weapons into its own fleet.”
Pakistan possesses several ballistic missiles such as the Shaheen-1A and the Shaheen-II, missiles having ranges of 900 km and 2000 km respectively. They also contain systems said to be capable of carrying several nuclear warheads as well as being designed to evade missile-defense systems. Pakistan also possesses the Babur cruise missile with a range up to 700 km. These land-based missiles are controlled by Army Strategic Forces Command of the Pakistan Army.
The PAF has two dedicated units (the No. 16 Black Panthers and the No. 26 Black Spiders) operating 18 aircraft in each squadron of the JF-17 Thunder, believed to be the preferred vehicle for delivery of nuclear weapons. These units are a major part of the Air Force Strategic Command, a command responsible for nuclear response. The PAF also operates a fleet of F-16 fighters, of which 18 were delivered in 2012 and, as confirmed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, are capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The PAF also possesses the Ra’ad air-launched cruise missile which has a range of 350 km and can carry a nuclear warhead with a yield of between 10 kilotons to 35 kilotons.
In 2004, the Pakistan Navy established the Naval Strategic Forces Command and made it responsible for countering and battling naval-based weapons of mass destruction. It is believed by most experts that Pakistan is developing a sea-based variant of the Hatf VII Babur, which is a nuclear-capable ground-launched cruise missile.
The UK never rolled out its own land based missile nuclear delivery system. It only possesses sea-based nuclear forces through its Royal NavyVanguard-class ballistic missile submarines, deployed with Trident II intercontinental SLBMs armed with multiple warheads. The Royal Air Force used to operate V bomber strategic bombers throughout the Cold War and continued airborne delivery using Tornado and Jaguar aircraft until the late 1990s. The planned UK silo-based IRBM, the Blue Streak missile, was cancelled as it was not seen as a credible deterrent, considering the population density of areas in the UK geologically suited for missile silos. The tactical Corporal surface-to-surface missile was operated by the British Army. The American made intermediate range Thor missile aimed at Soviet targets was operated briefly by the RAF but before the arrival of the Polaris SLBM. Previously having a nuclear strike mission for carrier-based Buccaneer attack aircraft and later Sea Harriers, the UK no longer deploys nuclear weapons for delivery by carrier-based naval aircraft or any other means other than the Vanguard submarine-launched Trident SLBM.
Israel has been reported in congressional testimony by the US Department of Defense of having aircraft-delivered nuclear weapons as early as the mid-1960s, a demonstrated missile-based force since the mid-1960s, an IRBM in the mid-1980s, an ICBM in the early 2000s and the suspected second-strike capability arrived with the Dolphin-class submarine and Popeye Turbo submarine-launched cruise missile. Israel is suspected of using their inventory of nuclear-capable fighter aircraft such as the long-range F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 and formerly the F-4 Phantom, Dassault Mirage III, A-4 Skyhawk and Nesher. Israel has appreciable and growing numbers of long-range tanker aircraft and aerial refueling capacity on its long-range fighter-bomber aircraft, this capacity was used in the 1985 long-range conventional strike against the PLO in Tunisia.Jane’s Defence Weekly reports that the Israeli Dolphin-class submarines are widely believed to be nuclear armed, offering Israel a second-strike capability with a demonstrated range of at least 1500 km in a 2002 test. According to an official report which was submitted to the American congress in 2004, it may be that with a payload of 1,000 kg the Jericho 3 gives Israel nuclear strike capabilities within the entire Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and almost all parts of North America, as well as within large parts of South America and North Oceania, Israel also has the regional reach of its Jericho 2 IRBM force. The existence of a nuclear force is often hinted at blatantly and evidence of an advanced weapons program including miniaturized and thermonuclear devices has been presented, especially the extensive photographic evidence given by former Israeli nuclear weapons assembler Mordechai Vanunu. There have been incidents where Israel has been suspected of testing, but so far Israel for diplomatic reasons has not openly admitted to having operational nuclear weapons, and so is only a suspect triad state.
Air Mobile ICBM Feasibility Demonstration—24 October 1974
There is nothing in nuclear strategy to mandate only these three delivery systems. For example, orbital weapons or spacecraft for purposes of orbital bombardment using nuclear devices have been developed and silo deployed by the USSR from 1969 to 1983, these would not fit into the categories listed above. However, actual space-based weapon systems used for weapons of mass destruction have been banned under the Outer Space Treaty and launch ready deployment for the US and former USSR by the SALT II treaty. Another example is the US, UK, and France do or have previously included a strategic nuclear strike mission for carrier-based aircraft, which especially in the past were far harder to track and target with ICBMs or strategic nuclear bombers than fixed bomber or missile bases, permitting some second-strike flexibility; this was the first sea-based deterrent before the SLBM. The US and UK jointly explored an air-launched strategic ballistic nuclear missile, the Skybolt, but canceled the program in favor of submarine-based missiles. In 1974 a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy successfully tested an air launch of a Minuteman ICBM; this system was not deployed, but was used as a bargaining point in the SALT treaty negotiations with the USSR.
Story 1: Death Toll Mounts To Over 5,000 From Earthquake in Nepal That Shook Mount Everest Caused Avalanche — Landslides in Rural Area — More Than 100,000 Flee Kathmandu, Nepal — Deaths Could Exceed 10,000 –American People Provide Assistance To Survivors — Videos
Poster of the Nepal Earthquake of 25 April 2015 – Magnitude 7.8
The April 25, 2015
Nepal earthquake occurred as the result of thrust faulting on or near the main frontal thrust between the subducting India plate and the overriding Eurasia plate to the north. At the location of this earthquake, approximately 80 km to the northwest of the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, the India plate is converging with Eurasia at a rate of 45 mm/yr towards the north-northeast, driving the uplift of the Himalayan mountain range.
The preliminary location, size and focal mechanism of the April 25 earthquake are consistent with its occurrence on the main subduction thrust interface between the India and Eurasia plates.
Although a major plate boundary with a history of large-to-great sized earthquakes, large earthquakes on the Himalayan thrust are rare in the documented historical era. Just four events of M6 or larger have occurred within 250 km of the April 25, 2015 earthquake over the past century.
One, a M 6.9 earthquake in August 1988, 240 km to the southeast of the April 25 event, caused close to 1500 fatalities. The largest, an M 8.0 event known as the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake, occurred in a similar location to the 1988 event. It severely damaged Kathmandu, and is thought to have caused around 10,600 fatalities.
Nepalese officials have denied reports from some international charities that Western tourists were given priority during evacuations from around Mount Everest
About 210 foreign trekkers who were stranded in Langtang, north of Kathmandu, are reported to have been airlifted to the nearby town of Dhunche
At the scene: Sanjoy Majumder, BBC News, Kathmandu
There’s a rush to get out of Kathmandu. Thousands of people are trying to flee – some trying to head out to the remote districts to see how their families are, others including tourists trying to head towards India by road.
But there simply aren’t enough buses to take them out and the highways are choked with vehicles, people and relief convoys. Tempers are flaring. The police came to the bus station to restrain those trying to board crowded buses, which made it worse.
Outside Kathmandu airport, there are lines of tourists trying their best to get a ticket to fly home. The airlines have laid on extra flights but it’s not enough and also, the airport is finding it hard to cope with the additional rush as well as the influx of cargo aircraft bringing in relief material.
Rescue operations resumed on Wednesday following bad weather.
Bella Messenger, an NGO worker in an isolated area of Gorkha district, told the BBC that Chinese lorries had brought aid to the area, but many people remained cut off.
“You can’t get to some villages without a helicopter,” she said.
There was some good news when a man trapped in the rubble of a Kathmandu hotel for 82 hours was pulled to safety by Nepalese and French teams.
Rishi Khanal, 27, said he had been surrounded by dead bodies and drank his own urine to survive.
“I had some hope but by yesterday I’d given up. I was sure no-one was coming for me. I was certain I was going to die,” he told AP news agency from his hospital bed.
Areas worst affected
More than eight million people have been affected by the quake, the UN says. About 10,000 people have been injured.
Hundreds of thousands of people continue to live in temporary camps, in squalid conditions with very little food and water, says the BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder in Kathmandu.
Officials admit they have been overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster, but highlight the challenges it poses in one of Asia’s poorest countries.
“The government is trying its best to deliver the relief materials,” National Disaster Management chief Rameshwor Dangal told the BBC. “The problem is the level of disaster is very high and it’s spread over more than 20 districts.”
Renaud Meyer of the UN Development Programme said Kathmandu’s single-runway airport was struggling to accommodate the rush of aid flights, but teams were delivering supplies as quickly as possible.
On Mount Everest – where the quake triggered an avalanche that killed at least 18 people – all stranded climbers have now been evacuated from base camp.
Drone Footage Shows Nepal Earthquake Damage
Nepal Earthquake: Death toll could double to 10,000
Disaster Relief – Americans arrive in Nepal
U.S. Air Force personnel and United States Agency for International Development members have arrived at the Kathmandu International Airport. Nearly 130 USAID members and approximately 55,000 pounds of aid and relief supplies will help support the local people in search and rescue efforts
U.S. Military In Nepal Earthquake Relief Effort – C-17 Loading With Vital Aid
U.S. Air Force personnel load relief supplies for victims of the Nepal earthquake in a USAF C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., April 26, 2015. The United States Agency to International Development relief efforts included eight pallets, 59 Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel and five search and rescue dogs. Video by Staff Sgt. Kathryn Lozier | 1st Combat Camera Squadron | Date: 04.26.2015
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Man rescued by Chinese team after three days
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Man pulled from earthquake rubble in Nepal after 80 hours
7.9 M earthquake rattles Kathmandu,Nepal,India April 2015
Everest Avalanche live during Earthquake Nepal 2015
Nepal Earthquake Triggers Everest Avalanche, Climbers Run For Their Lives
Nepal Earthquake: Video shows effect of tremor in neighboring Tibet
Nepal Earthquake ORIGINAL FOOTAGE Compilation | April 25th 2015
Nepal: Deadly Kathmandu earthquake as seen by CCTV
Aftershocks hinder rescue efforts after Nepal earthquake Fox News Video
Nepal quake 7,9 magnitude tremor hits near Kathmandu
Massive earthquake strikes Nepal Fox News Video
Nepal Earthquake: Death Toll Passes 4,400 Amid Fears Over Remote Areas
BY CNN WIRE AND KAREEN WYNTER
Rescue and aid workers in Nepal are struggling to cope with the scale of the devastation dealt by Saturday’s powerful earthquake — digging through rubble by hand, performing surgeries in makeshift operating theaters, scouring notoriously difficult terrain for more victims.
But power blackouts in the capital city of Kathmandu, supply shortages and difficulties getting around complicated the efforts.
By Tuesday morning, more than 4,400 people were confirmed dead as a result of the earthquake, the overwhelming majority of them in Nepal. Over 8,000 people were reported to have suffered injuries.
The United Nations estimated that the disaster had affected 8 million people across the Himalayan nation. More than 1.4 million people are in need of food assistance, the world body said in a situation report Monday.
CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta said doctors at one Kathmandu hospital had moved patients from the 120-year-old building and into another structure, where they were operating on patients in rooms normally not used as operating theaters.
Hospitals were running short on supplies despite international efforts to bring in aid. Numerous aid groups and at least 16 nations rushed aid and workers to Nepal, with more on the way.
And across the region, thousands prepared to spend another night outdoors, fearing that damaged buildings could collapse if there are more aftershocks.
The destruction in Kathmandu, the capital, is stark: revered temples reduced to rubble, people buried in the wreckage of their homes, hospitals short on medical supplies and overflowing with patients. Serious damage is also reported in villages in the surrounding valley.
But farther out across Nepal’s rugged landscape — closer to the epicenter of Saturday’s magnitude-7.8 quake — the situation is disturbingly murky.
“Information about remote areas is severely lacking at this time,” said Devendra Singh Tak, an official with Save the Children, noting that roads were blocked and communications unreliable.
Reports of ‘total or near total destruction’
Patchy reports have filtered through of entire villages leveled by the quake or engulfed by landslides.
“Some of the initial surveys that we’re hearing of from the zones closer to the epicenter talk about total or near total destruction,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Tak, who is in Kathmandu, said Save the Children and other aid groups were sending out teams Monday to more remote areas. The Nepalese government said it was flying helicopters to places it couldn’t reach by road.
“That’s where one needs to get out and conduct rescue and relief,” Tak said.
UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency, said Sunday that nearly 1 million Nepalese children urgently need assistance.
China, India, France, Italy, Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia, Taiwan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Switzerland, Norway, Singapore and South Korea were among the nations sending aid and search and rescue crews. The European Union and the World Health Organization were also sending aid.
The United States announced Monday it would send $9 million, on top of the $1 million it had previously announced. That’s in addition to 45 tons of aid, a USAID disaster team and a search and rescue team already dispatched to Nepal. A U.S. Special Forces team in Nepal for high-altitude training was also helping out, according to the Pentagon.
Video shows survivor pulled from rubble
Despite lengthening odds, rescuers continued to look for survivors.
On Monday, video posted to Facebook showed rescuers pulling a boy out of debris after three hours of continuous digging.
“Look up, look up, open your eyes,” a rescuer says to the boy.
Hopes of finding many more people alive appeared to be fading as vital hours ticked by.
The death toll in Nepal stood at 4,352 Tuesday morning, according to the country’s Home Ministry. Another 72 people died in India, while China reported 25 deaths. More than 8,000 people have been injured, authorities said.
Most of the casualty numbers in Nepal are believed to have come mainly from Kathmandu and the surrounding area. They are expected to rise further as information emerges from more remote areas.
4 U.S. citizens among dead
Four U.S. citizens are among the dead, acting deputy State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said Monday. He did not identify them. The State Department identified one as Vinh Truong, a Vietnamese-American who was on a 10-day hiking trip in Nepal. His body was found at the Mount Everest base camp, the State Department said.
The other three are:
Google executive Dan Fredinburg died in an avalanche on Mount Everest, according to an Instagram post by his sister on his account. Eve Girawong of New Jersey also died in an avalanche on Everest, according to Madison Mountaineering, the Seattle-based company that led her expedition. Girawong, a doctor, was at the Everest base camp when she was swept away to her death. Tom Taplin, a filmmaker from Santa Monica, California, was making a documentary on Everest climbers when wind stirred by the avalanche caused him to take a fall, CNN affiliate KABC reported.
The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu remains open and is sheltering 305 U.S. citizens, Rathke said.
Panorama of devastation
The earthquake and its aftershocks have turned one of the world’s most scenic regions into a panorama of devastation.
“The journey towards my family home in Sitapaila was a map of quake destruction, with many houses — old and new — torn apart,” wrote freelance journalist Sunir Pandey.
“A high wall surrounding a monastery had collapsed and the nuns had run to a nearby field,” he wrote. “A mud-and-brick cottage had fallen on a blue motorbike but no trace could be found of its rider. Everywhere, survivors gathered wherever they could find open space — fields, private compounds, empty roadside lots.”
At night, many Nepalis slept outside, shivering in the frigid air of the Himalayan Mountains but at least safe from falling debris.
“Even people staying in hotels, they carried their blankets and pillows and were sleeping either on the ground floor or out in the open,” Tak of Save the Children said.
Residents of Kathmandu are banding together to get by, with stores shuttered and very few sources of food and drinkable water. People have independently set up communal kitchens for cooking.
Destruction of temples strikes spiritual blow
Many of the city’s centuries-old buildings, which had survived countless earthquakes over the generations and provided a sense of national pride, have been toppled.
The destruction of many important temples in the heart of Kathmandu has deepened the despair many Nepalis are experiencing. Religion is an important part of life in the mainly Hindu nation.
The iconic buildings, which are often the first stop of any tourist’s tour of the city, crumbled before the eyes of onlookers as the quake struck Saturday.
Police officers and volunteers continued to pick through the temples’ rubble on Monday, using their bare hands, shovels and pieces of metal. They shunned the use of heavier gear to dig through the wreckage for fear of harming any survivors, bodies or priceless artifacts buried within.
Tourism has been one of the few economic bright spots in Nepal, one of the poorest nations in the world. But now that industry is threatened after the earthquake, which set off deadly avalanches on Mount Everest, the country’s most famous attraction.
Damage to climbing infrastructure on the mountain, not to mention the overall situation in Nepal, means the climbing season is over for the year, climber Jim Davidson told CNN from the Everest base camp, where he was evacuated after spending two days on the mountain.
China has canceled all climbs on its side of the mountain, the Xinhua news agency reported Monday.
Tourism directly accounts for about 4% of Nepal’s gross domestic product and indirectly contributes to 8%, according to IHS Asia Pacific chief economist Rajiv Biswas.
All told, the earthquake could cost Nepal $5 billion, Biswas estimated Monday — a huge hit against its gross domestic product of $19.3 billion in 2014.
Relief effort faces challenges
Humanitarian workers say medical supplies are reported to be scarce. Doctors at Kathmandu’s overcrowded hospitals are appealing for help.
“I’ve seen a lot of situations around the world, and this is as bad as I’ve ever seen it,” said CNN’s Gupta, a neurosurgeon.
“They need more resources, they need more personnel here right now, and they’re expecting many more patients as these rescue operations go on.”
International efforts are well underway to send aid into Nepal, but it was unclear whether enough was trickling through to the places that needed it most.
Some aid flights were delayed Sunday after a big aftershock hit Nepal. The country’s mountainous terrain makes it harder to move supplies far beyond the capital.
A CNN team at Kathmandu’s main airport on Monday saw large numbers of cargo planes on the tarmac, but also witnessed chaotic scenes as officials struggled to cope with the influx of aid and the large numbers of people trying get out of the country.
The airport was also facing some of the shortages afflicting the disaster-hit nation.
“Even at the airport in Kathmandu, there is no drinking water or food or other provisions available, so one can imagine what might be happening in other parts of the country,” said Tak of Save the Children.
The death toll in Nepal’s earthquake could reach 10,000, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has said, as survivors’ despair turned to anger at the government’s slow response to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the country, with food, water and other essentials in desperately short supply.
“The government is doing all it can for rescue and relief on a war footing,” Koirala said in an interview with Reuters. “It is a challenge and a very difficult hour for Nepal.”
The death toll in Nepal alone rose to 5,057 on Tuesday, according to the country’s Emergency Operation Centre, which said more than 10,000 people have been injured. There are warnings the full extent of the tragedy will not be known until rescue teams have reached “flattened” villages in remote regions.
Nepalese police and volunteers clear the rubble while looking for survivors at the compound of a collapsed temple in Kathmandu.
Nepalese police and volunteers clear the rubble while looking for survivors at the compound of a collapsed temple in Kathmandu. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
“The death toll could go up to 10,000 because information from remote villages hit by the earthquake is yet to come in,” Koirala said.
In neighbouring India 61 people were killed and China’s official Xinhua News Agency said 25 people had died in Tibet. Eighteen others were killed in avalanches on Mount Everest.
Another avalanche hit a village in the district of Rasuwa, north of Kathmandu, on Tuesday, leaving up to 250 people missing. Ghodatabela, about a 12-hour walk from the nearest town, is along a popular trekking route, but it was not clear if the missing included trekkers.
Health workers said they feared a major health crisis was unfolding among survivors of the quake who are living in the open or in overcrowded tents with no access to sanitation or clean water.
On Tuesday helicopters crisscrossed the skies above Gorkha, close to the epicentre of Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 quake, ferrying the injured to clinics and taking emergency supplies back to remote villages. Aid workers who had reached the region described entire villages reduced to rubble.
“In some villages, about 90% of the houses have collapsed. They’re just flattened,” said Rebecca McAteer, an American physician. Udav Prashad Timalsina, the top official for Gorkha, warned that people were not getting food and shelter.
Nepal earthquake: what the thousands of victims share is that they are poor
That grim assessment was supported by World Vision aid worker Matt Darvas, who reached Gorkha on Monday. “It does not seem aid is reaching here very quickly,” he said.
“Further north from here the reports are very disturbing,” he said, adding that up to 75% of the buildings in Singla may have collapsed. There has been no contact with that village since Saturday night.
In the town of Dhulikhel, the main hospital, one of only two serving the Kabre district, with a population of 380,000, was due to run out of diesel fuel for its generator at midnight on Monday.
“We are trying to get more but it’s difficult. We’ve a little bit of solar but not enough to light the operating theatres and the wards,” said Dr Deepak Shrestha.
So far, police say they have 373 confirmed deaths in Gorkha. The death toll is expected to rise, though not “into the thousands”, said local officials. However vast numbers of homes have been destroyed, leaving tens of thousands at least exposed to chilly late spring Himalayan temperatures and frequent rain.
Victims of the earthquake rest inside an Indian Air Force helicopter as they are evacuated from Trishuli Bazar to the airport in Kathmandu. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
People rest inside an Indian Air Force helicopter as they are evacuated from Trishuli Bazar to Kathmandu. Photograph: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters
Efforts to distribute aid are proceeding at an agonisingly slow pace, sparking anger among frustrated survivors. The delay stems in part from the extent of damage caused by the quake and interruptions from strong aftershocks.
“Rescue operations are underway, and in many places where buildings have collapsed there might be people trapped,” said Rameshwor Dangal, head of disaster management at Nepal’s home ministry.
“We are also in the process of getting information from villages, and these will add to the death toll.”
If the toll does reach 10,000 it would be even higher than the 8,500 killed in a massive quake in 1934 – Nepal’s worst disaster to date.
Residents whose homes were flattened or badly damaged by the quake criticised poor organisation by the Nepalese authorities, saying they had been left to fend for themselves for too long, even using their bare hands to search through the rubble for survivors.
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Families in Kathmandu queue on Sunday to cremate their loved ones following the devastating earthquake
OP Singh, the head of India’s National Disaster Response Force, said finding survivors and the bodies of the dead would take time since the heavy equipment needed to clear rubble could not fit through many of Kathmandu’s narrow streets.
“You have to remove all this rubble, so that will take a lot of time … I think it’s going to take weeks,” he told Indian TV.
Anil Giri, who was helping volunteers search for two of his friends thought to be trapped beneath collapsed buildings, said: “The government has not done anything for us. We are clearing the debris ourselves with our bare hands.”
Nepal earthquake destroys Kathmandu valley’s architectural treasures
Officials conceded they were struggling to cope with the sheer scale of the disaster. “The big challenge is relief,” said the Nepalese government’s chief secretary, Leela Mani Paudel.
Despite reports that 90% of Nepal’s 100,000 troops are now involved in the search and rescue effort, Paudel said international help could not arrive quickly enough.
“We urge foreign countries to give us special relief materials and medical teams. We are really desperate for more foreign expertise to pull through this crisis.”
In a rare piece of positive news, mountaineers reported that all 140 climbers who had been stranded at camps high up Mount Everest have been taken to safety.
“Everest, above base camp, is now empty,” Danish climber Carsten Lillelund Pedersen posted on his Facebook page. Eighteen people were killed in avalanches unleashed by the earthquake.
The Mount Everest south base camp. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
Mount Everest’s south base camp. Photograph: 6summitschallenge.com/Reuters
The desperate poverty of the survivors is the thread that runs through the tragedy unfolding in Nepal.
Though many had predicted an earthquake in Kathmandu would bring the newly constructed cement apartment blocks tumbling down, it was the older, brick and wood homes that, almost exclusively, were reduced to rubble. Anyone who stayed in these could not afford better.
“Outside Kathmandu it’s the rural poor. But in the city it’s the people in the older precarious housing. It’s obvious: the wealthier you are, the stronger the house you have,” said Bhaskar Gautam, a local sociologist.
The aid situation is expected to improve as more planes packed with supplies arrive from India, China, the US, the UK, Australia, Pakistan and other countries, although that operation too is being held up by congestion at Kathmandu’s airport, and by a shortages of workers to unload cargo and vehicles to ferry supplies to where they are needed.
While the scale of the disaster is not yet fully known, aid workers said the humanitarian impact was likely to be overwhelming.
The United Nations estimates that as many as eight million of Nepal’s 28 million people have had their lives disrupted by the earthquake, adding that it was releasing US$15m from an emergency response fund to help the victims.
The UN said more than 1.4 million people need food assistance, including 750,000 who live near the quake’s epicentre in poor quality housing. Tens of thousands are thought to have been left homeless.
Temporary shelters for victims in Kathmandu. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
Temporary shelters in Kathmandu. Photograph: Cihan / Barcroft Media
As smoke from hundreds of funeral pyres filled the air in Kathmandu and the surrounding countryside, some survivors spoke of the near futility of attempting to reach anyone still alive in the rubble.
“We cannot look for missing people with a candle in our hands,” said Amarnath Prasad, 26, who was helping his best friend look for his mother. “She loved me like her son, and I think it is my duty to find her, dead or alive.”
Amid the destruction and chaos, parts of Kathmandu were coming back to life. Hawkers were selling limes and cabbage on pavements. One or two shops were open, even a bank. The city’s notorious traffic was still far from its usual level but was returning to congested normality.
Nepal earthquake: how to donate
Yet thousands are still camping in open spaces, too frightened to return to their homes. Some say they will wait until 72 hours have passed, but continuing aftershocks rekindled their fear.
Many, too, were still seeking treatment for serious injuries, some waiting outside hospitals. The morgue at Bir hospital, the capital’s biggest, was overflowing, with bodies lined up outside.
There was also the fear of disease. “Now there could be communicable illnesses, diarrhoea, flu and so forth. The earthquake will have broken all the sewers and pipes so the water supply will be contaminated,” said Dr Sameer Thapa, as he looked out over a car park and garden covered in tents sheltering patients at the Tribhuvan University teaching hospital.
The April 25, 2015 M 7.8 Nepal earthquake occurred as the result of thrust faulting on or near the main frontal thrust between the subducting India plate and the overriding Eurasia plate to the north. At the location of this earthquake, approximately 80 km to the northwest of the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, the India plate is converging with Eurasia at a rate of 45 mm/yr towards the north-northeast, driving the uplift of the Himalayan mountain range. The preliminary location, size and focal mechanism of the April 25 earthquake are consistent with its occurrence on the main subduction thrust interface between the India and Eurasia plates.
Although a major plate boundary with a history of large-to-great sized earthquakes, large earthquakes on the Himalayan thrust are rare in the documented historical era. Just four events of M6 or larger have occurred within 250 km of the April 25, 2015 earthquake over the past century. One, a M 6.9 earthquake in August 1988, 240 km to the southeast of the April 25 event, caused close to 1500 fatalities. The largest, an M 8.0 event known as the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake, occurred in a similar location to the 1988 event. It severely damaged Kathmandu, and is thought to have caused around 10,600 fatalities.
USGS Aftershock Forecast for the Magnitude 7.8 Nepal earthquake of April 25, 2015
(as of April 27, 2015)
In the coming week, the USGS expects 3-14 M≥5 aftershocks of the magnitude 7.8 Nepal earthquake. Additionally, the USGS estimates that there is a 54% chance of a M≥6 aftershock, and a 7% chance of a M≥7 aftershock during this one-week period. After this, in the following month and then the following year, USGS expects several M≥5 aftershocks, with a significant chance of M≥6 aftershock (greater than 50%). The potential for an aftershock larger than the mainshock remains, but is small (1-2% in each time period).
Felt earthquakes (i.e., those with M≥ 3 or 4) will be common over the next weeks to months. Based on general earthquake statistics, the expected number of M≥ 3 or 4 aftershocks can be estimated by multiplying the expected number of M>=5 aftershocks by 100 or 10, respectively. The expected location of the aftershocks will be in the zone of current activity and at its edges. Currently aftershocks are occurring in a zone extending approximately 200 km away from the mainshock epicenter.
This information is preliminary and subject to change.
Seismotectonics of the Himalaya and Vicinity
Seismicity in the Himalaya dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The surface expression of the plate boundary is marked by the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east and the east-west trending Himalaya Front in the north of India.
The India-Eurasia plate boundary is a diffuse boundary, which in the region near the north of India, lies within the limits of the Indus-Tsangpo (also called the Yarlung-Zangbo) Suture to the north and the Main Frontal Thrust to the south. The Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is located roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin. The narrow (<200km) Himalaya Front includes numerous east-west trending, parallel structures. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults. Examples of significant earthquakes, in this densely populated region, caused by reverse slip movement include the 1934 M8.0 Bihar, the 1905 M7.5 Kangra and the 2005 M7.6 Kashmir earthquakes. The latter two resulted in the highest death tolls for Himalaya earthquakes seen to date, together killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The largest instrumentally recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on 15th August 1950 in Assam, eastern India. This M8.6 right-lateral, strike-slip, earthquake was widely felt over a broad area of central Asia, causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region. The Tibetan Plateau is situated north of the Himalaya, stretching approximately 1000km north-south and 2500km east-west, and is geologically and tectonically complex with several sutures which are hundreds of kilometer-long and generally trend east-west. The Tibetan Plateau is cut by a number of large (>1000km) east-west trending, left-lateral, strike-slip faults, including the long Kunlun, Haiyuan, and the Altyn Tagh. Right-lateral, strike-slip faults (comparable in size to the left-lateral faults), in this region include the Karakorum, Red River, and Sagaing. Secondary north-south trending normal faults also cut the Tibetan Plateau. Thrust faults are found towards the north and south of the Tibetan Plateau. Collectively, these faults accommodate crustal shortening associated with the ongoing collision of the India and Eurasia plates, with thrust faults accommodating north south compression, and normal and strike-slip accommodating east-west extension.
Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of south-eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the India plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range. Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes. The active, left-lateral, strike-slip Chaman fault is the fastest moving fault in the region. In 1505, a segment of the Chaman fault near Kabul, Afghanistan, ruptured causing widespread destruction. In the same region the more recent 30 May 1935, M7.6 Quetta earthquake, which occurred in the Sulaiman Range in Pakistan, killed between 30,000 and 60,000 people.
On the north-western side of the Tibetan Plateau, beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur at depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. The curved arc of deep earthquakes found in the Hindu Kush Pamir region indicates the presence of a lithospheric body at depth, thought to be remnants of a subducting slab. Cross-sections through the Hindu Kush region suggest a near vertical northerly-dipping subducting slab, whereas cross-sections through the nearby Pamir region to the east indicate a much shallower dipping, southerly subducting slab. Some models suggest the presence of two subduction zones; with the Indian plate being subducted beneath the Hindu Kush region and the Eurasian plate being subducted beneath the Pamir region. However, other models suggest that just one of the two plates is being subducted and that the slab has become contorted and overturned in places.
Shallow crustal earthquakes also occur in this region near the Main Pamir Thrust and other active Quaternary faults. The Main Pamir Thrust, north of the Pamir Mountains, is an active shortening structure. The northern portion of the Main Pamir Thrust produces many shallow earthquakes, whereas its western and eastern borders display a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms. On the 18 February 1911, the M7.4 Sarez earthquake ruptured in the Central Pamir Mountains, killing numerous people and triggering a landside, which blocked the Murghab River.
Further north, the Tian Shan is a seismically active intra-continental mountain belt, which extends 2500 km in an ENE-WNW orientation north of the Tarim Basin. This belt is defined by numerous east-west trending thrust faults, creating a compressional basin and range landscape. It is generally thought that regional stresses associated with the collision of the India and Eurasia plates are responsible for faulting in the region. The region has had three major earthquakes (>M7.6) at the start of the 20th Century, including the 1902 Atushi earthquake, which killed an estimated 5,000 people. The range is cut through in the west by the 700-km-long, northwest-southeast striking, Talas-Ferghana active right-lateral, strike-slip fault system. Though the system has produced no major earthquakes in the last 250 years, paleo-seismic studies indicate that it has the potential to produce M7.0+ earthquakes and it is thought to represent a significant hazard.
The northern portion of the Tibetan Plateau itself is largely dominated by the motion on three large left-lateral, strike-slip fault systems; the Altyn Tagh, Kunlun and Haiyuan. The Altyn Tagh fault is the longest of these strike slip faults and it is thought to accommodate a significant portion of plate convergence. However, this system has not experienced significant historical earthquakes, though paleoseismic studies show evidence of prehistoric M7.0-8.0 events. Thrust faults link with the Altyn Tagh at its eastern and western termini. The Kunlun Fault, south of the Altyn Tagh, is seismically active, producing large earthquakes such as the 8th November 1997, M7.6 Manyi earthquake and the 14th November 2001, M7.8 Kokoxili earthquake. The Haiyuan Fault, in the far north-east, generated the 16 December 1920, M7.8 earthquake that killed approximately 200,000 people and the 22 May 1927 M7.6 earthquake that killed 40,912.
The Longmen Shan thrust belt, along the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, is an important structural feature and forms a transitional zone between the complexly deformed Songpan-Garze Fold Belt and the relatively undeformed Sichuan Basin. On 12 May 2008, the thrust belt produced the reverse slip, M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, killing over 87,000 people and causing billions of US dollars in damages and landslides which dammed several rivers and lakes.
Southeast of the Tibetan Plateau are the right-lateral, strike-slip Red River and the left-lateral, strike-slip Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang fault systems. The Red River Fault experienced large scale, left-lateral ductile shear during the Tertiary period before changing to its present day right-lateral slip rate of approximately 5 mm/yr. This fault has produced several earthquakes >M6.0 including the 4 January 1970, M7.5 earthquake in Tonghai which killed over 10,000 people. Since the start of the 20th century, the Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang Fault system has generated several M7.0+ earthquakes including the M7.5 Luhuo earthquake which ruptured on the 22 April 1973. Some studies suggest that due to the high slip rate on this fault, future large earthquakes are highly possible along the 65km stretch between Daofu and Qianning and the 135km stretch that runs through Kangding.
Shallow earthquakes within the Indo-Burmese Arc, predominantly occur on a combination of strike-slip and reverse faults, including the Sagaing, Kabaw and Dauki faults. Between 1930 and 1956, six M7.0+ earthquakes occurred near the right-lateral Sagaing Fault, resulting in severe damage in Myanmar including the generation of landslides, liquefaction and the loss of 610 lives. Deep earthquakes (200km) have also been known to occur in this region, these are thought to be due to the subduction of the eastwards dipping, India plate, though whether subduction is currently active is debated. Within the pre-instrumental period, the large Shillong earthquake occurred on the 12 June 1897, causing widespread destruction.
Story 1: President Obama — “Good Deal” for Islamic Republic of Iran, Shia, Russia, China — Bad Deal for United States, U.S. Allies Including NATO, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Sunnis — ‘If Iran cheats, the world will know’’ After Iran Has Nuclear Weapons — Deal Not Written nor Signed — Trust Terrorists? — — Chamberlain At Least Got A Written Signed Agreement From Hitler — Peace In Our Time — Time For Military Option: Destruction of Iran’s Nuclear Facitlites –The Road To World War 3 and Nuclear Proliferation — Videos
IF – Rudyard Kipling’s poem, recitation by Sir Michael Caine
Neville Chamberlain – Peace in our Time
Peace in our Time September 1938
Obama Iran Nuclear Deal Talks — US President Barack Obama Speaks Delivers a Statement on Iran
Obama On Iran Nuclear Deal – Full Speech
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Historic Nuclear Deal With Iran Sparks Mixed Reviews
Bill O’Reilly – Let’s Give Iran Deal a Shot , We Don’t Want to Risk War – Fox News
Is Obama Lying About Iran Nuke Deal, Netanyahu Deal Leads to Horrific War, 0% GDP Growth
Heinonen: We Don’t Know How Many Centrifuges Iran Has
Does Iran Need 54,000 Nuclear Centrifuges?
Peters: If Israel Disappeared From The Face of The Earth Tomorrow, Obama Would Not Shed a Tear
Rudyard Kipling’s “If”, a song by Six Elements
The most important quote from Obama’s Iran deal speech
There is one quote, buried in the middle of Obama’s Thursday address on the new Iran nuclear deal, that really captures his approach to what has become one of his key foreign policy priorities. It explains both why Obama wants this deal so badly — and how he’s planning to tackle the inevitable political fallout now that a basic framework for an agreement has been struck.
Here’s the passage:
When you hear the inevitable critics of the deal sound off, ask them a simple question: do you really think that this verifiable deal, if fully implemented backed by the world’s powers, is a worse option than the risk of another war in the Middle East?
The question, for Obama, isn’t whether this deal is perfect (though he clearly thinks it’s pretty good). It’s whether there are any alternatives that might be better. And the president, quite fundamentally, believes there aren’t.
Obama sees a deal with Iran as the least-worst option
As he said in the speech, Obama thinks there are only two possible alternatives to the deal that’s shaping up if the US wants to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. Either America could go to war with Iran, or it could withdraw from negotiations and hope sanctions would force Tehran to give up its hopes for a bomb.
The second option hasn’t worked so far. “Is [a deal] worse than doing what we’ve done for almost two decades with Iran moving with its nuclear program and without robust inspections?” he asked. “I think the answer will be clear.”
That leaves only one real alternative: war. Obama (along with most military experts) believes that war would delay Iran’s nuclear program at best. He believes, deeply and in his bones, that international inspections are a more effective way of stopping Iran from getting nukes — and that the consequences of war would be severe. This is, after all, a president who was elected on the basis of his opposition to the Iraq War.
This argument — that all of the alternatives to the deal are worse — also explains how Obama plans to handle the political challenges to the deal. At home, Republicans will vociferously oppose the deal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of America’s closest ally in the Middle East, will do the same. Both believe Iran can’t be trusted, and appear to believe that terms of this agreement aren’t enough to ensure Iran won’t get a nuclear weapon.
Netanyahu and the Republicans are perhaps the most important of the “inevitable critics” Obama mentioned in his speech. His response to them is clear: what do you have that’s better? What is the credible alternative to what I’m doing, and how — specifically — could it prevent Iran from getting a bomb without taking us to war?
Or is it war you want?
This argument isn’t just an exercise in spin. If Congress chooses to pass new sanctions, and enough Democrats vote with Republicans to override Obama’s veto, it can kill the Iran deal. This line about alternatives is likely what the president and his aides will peddle to legislators, especially congressional Democrats tempted to side with Republicans, in the days to come.
Essentially, we’re about to get a test of whether enough Democrats share the president’s belief that “there is no alternative” to a deal — and whether that argument, together with partisanship and party loyalty, are enough to save the deal from the coming political fight.
Obama announces outlines of a nuclear deal: ‘If Iran cheats, the world will know’
By Juliet Eilperin
President Obama on Thursday announced a potentially historic nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the culmination of intense negotiations between the United States, Iran and several world powers.
Speaking from the Rose Garden, Obama stressed that the deal — which none of the parties involved have yet formally agreed to — represented the best possible path to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
“Sanctions alone could not stop Iran’s nuclear program, but they did help bring Iran to the negotiating table. Because of our diplomatic efforts, the world stood with us,” Obama said. “Today, after many months of tough principle diplomacy, we have achieved the framework for that deal.
“And it is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives,” the president added.
[Fact sheet from State Department: Parameters of plan on Iran nuclear program]
As part of the unprecedented framework, the Iranian government has agreed not to stockpile materials it could use to build a nuclear weapon. In exchange, the United States and several world powers have agreed to provide Iran with relief from certain sanctions placed on it by the international community.
The president said that sanctions placed on Iran “for its support of terrorism, its human rights abuses, its ballistic missile program” will remain in place.
Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking from Lausanne, Switzerland, said that the final agreement “will not rely on promises, it will rely on proof,” saying that diplomatic relations moving forward will depend on Iran’s compliance with the terms of the agreement.
Both the president and Kerry stressed that Iran will be under close scrutiny moving forward.
“If Iran cheats, the world will know it. If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it,” Obama said. “With this deal, Iran will face more inspections than any other country in the world. So, this will be a long-term deal that addresses each path to a potential Iranian nuclear bomb.”
President Obama has made the negotiations between Iran, six major world powers and the European Union a centerpiece of his foreign policy, investing any final outcome with major potential benefits and risks.
The pact came after an all-night work session that extended well past the talks’ original deadline of March 31. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf tweeted Thursday afternoon, “For those keeping track, it’s 6am in Lausanne. That was truly an all-nighter.”
Iran, world powers agree on parameters of Iranian nuclear deal(3:01)
Negotiators from Iran and major world powers reached agreement on a framework for a final agreement to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions, participants in the talks said. (Yahoo News)
Obama had been slated to leave early Thursday afternoon to deliver an economic speech in Louisville, but remained in the White House as the deal in Lausanne, Switzerland coalesced.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted just before 1 p.m. ET, “Solutions on key parameters of Iran #nuclear case reached. Drafting to start immediately, to finish by June 30th.”
Before coming out to speak Obama spoke separately with French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
According to a statement released by the White House, “The leaders affirmed that while nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the framework represents significant progress towards a lasting, comprehensive solution that cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb and verifiably ensures the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program going forward.”
The president also called Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdul Aziz to discuss the agreement, and said during his speech he plans to call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later on Thursday.
As Obama’s motorcade made its way to Joint Base Andrews shortly after the speech large, cheering throngs stood along the route through the Mall and along the Tidal Basin. At 3:21 p.m. the motorcade arrived at Andrews Air Force Base, roughly three hours behind schedule, and the president jogged up the stairs to Air Force One as he prepared to take off on the flight to Kentucky.
Hitting the sweet spot: How many Iranian centrifuges?
With the deadline for a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia, and Germany) right around the corner, the negotiating parties are starting to reveal more of their cards in hopes of striking a deal. Along with the creative solutions that the West has put on the table, there are now reports about it showing more flexibility on what remains the talks’ key sticking point: enrichment.
News reports indicate that the current numbers of centrifuges that the two sides are discussing fall in the range of about 4,000 to 5,000 of the machines. This is the “sweet spot” for both sides, when it comes to how many centrifuges Iran can have for enriching uranium.
How far both sides have come. The negotiations surrounding Iran’s enrichment capacity would make any Iranian rug merchant haggling in the bazaar proud. Many in the West were pushing for a few hundred centrifuges. This past summer, Iran’sSupreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei (link in Persian) stirred things up when he put a specific number on his country’s enrichment goals. Given his status as Iran’s highest political authority, the large number he had announced made many nervous that a deal would no longer be reachable. Khamenei formulated Iran’s goal of enrichment capacity as 190,000 separative work units, or SWUs. (An SWU is a measure of the work expended during enrichment.)
For the country to be able to reach this number, Iran would likely need at least 190,000 and perhaps as many as about 243,000 first-generation centrifuges, known as IR-1 centrifuges. (The efficiency of these first-generation centrifuges varies a good deal, from about 0.78 SWU per unit per year to 0.9 SWU, but in the past couple of years most of them have been producing at the lower end of the scale. All of which means that Iran may need a lot more than first anticipated to reach the goal of 190,000 SWU produced annually.)
The news came at a time when most of those discussing Iran’s practical needs—how much fuel the country requires to keep its domestic nuclear energy program running—said they could be met with roughly 1,500 centrifuges, or fewer than one percent of Khamenei’s figure.
Tehran has made it clear that its goal is to have industrial-scale enrichment. But while fixing a clear and concrete goal, Khamenei’s speech also gave a lot of room for his negotiating team to maneuver. This part of the speech was lost in translation in the United States. Many in the arms control community and Congress focused on that 190,000 SWU figure, with those in favor of a deal becoming worried that this number would tie the hands of negotiators. Those opposing it cited this figure as a reason why the talks would fail.
In fact, what Khamenei had stated was: “Our officials say we need 190,000 SWU. It is possible this need is not for this year, the next couple of years, or the next five years, but this is the country’s undeniable need.”
The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, explained Khamenei’s statement, noting that 190,000 SWU would meet the Bushehr civilian nuclear power plant’s need for fuel for one year. This wouldn’t mean that Iran could take care of all of its fuel needs domestically, but it would give it a backup plan in case its suppliers fail again. This number, however, seems way above Bushehr’s needs alone.
Oddly, while fixing a redline, Khamenei’s statement also opens the doors wider for the negotiating team—and Iran’s nuclear industry in general—on the matter. It is significant that he doesn’t give a timeline for industrial-scale enrichment.
It is also significant that Iran has been adhering to the interim deal reached in November 2013. Even though it has more advanced and efficient technologies, such as the recently installed cascades of second-generation, IR-2m centrifuges (which produce approximately 5 SWU per machine per year, or more than four or five times that of an IR-1), Iran has chosen not to feed their new machines with natural uranium hexafluoride gas—a vital step to enrichment.
And in practical terms, Iran is nowhere close to being able to produce 190,000 SWU any time soon. Of the more than 190,000 IR-1 centrifuges needed, the country currently only has approximately 20,000—and only half of those are actually operating. While Iran also has a number of centrifuges even more advanced than the IR-2m under research and development at the Natanz Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant, those centrifuges are not currently operating. And Tehran has undertaken to not install any new machines. Consequently, 190,000 SWU is not a number Iran can realistically attain any time soon.
Spinning out the implications. If the negotiating team accepts the 4,000- to 5,000-centrifuge proposal on the table, it can sell the deal back home in Iran using Khamenei’s guidelines, depending on the timeframe fixed in the final agreement. This is especially true if this proposal is part of a larger package that the team can stand behind. The current deal includes an attractive offer from the P5+1 on other sticking points, including the Arak heavy water reactor and the underground enrichment facility in Fordow.
But in Iran, the issue of enrichment is the most visible component of the nuclear talks. Many people may not be aware of the other sticking points such as Arak or Fordow, but virtually everyone in Iran is aware of the enrichment debate. Any limitation on enrichment will likely cause some factions to criticize the negotiating team, but no deal is possible without some kind of limitation. So far, the Rouhani government has let the issue of enrichment become the centerpiece of debate about the negotiations, and the only measure of the team’s success. But knowing that any deal of any kind would diminish Iran’s enrichment capacity, the government must step up and begin to publicize to the Iranian public the benefits of the other components of the agreement, such as the considerable concessions it is getting from the P5+1. This will allow the Iranian government to sell the deal as a whole, and not be judged by the number of centrifuges it is “losing.”
During his 2013 presidential campaign, Hassan Rouhani famously declared that the centrifuges should spin, but that people’s lives should run too. He hadn’t said how many centrifuges should spin but this has become one of the key issues of the first eighteen months of his presidency. Something in the range of 4,000 to 5,000 centrifuges is a good compromise, a “win-win” formula for both sides. They’ll allow the Iranian negotiating team to go back to Tehran and state that they started negotiating at a time when their opponents at the bargaining table were pushing for Iran to be limited to a few hundred centrifuges, and that the Iranian team successfully kept over half of the current operating centrifuges. They can also say that they managed to keep Arak with some design modifications, and Fordow as a research facility. Meanwhile, the White House can tell Congress that it has effectively rolled back approximately half of Iran’s enrichment capacity.
For Iran, anything less than 4,000 centrifuges will be a hard pill to swallow. The Iranian parliament, or Majles, won’t roll out a red carpet for the negotiating team if it comes back with a lower number. Likewise, on the US side, selling more than 5,000 centrifuges to Congress would be extremely difficult. Many congressmen still believe any enrichment to be a major concession to Tehran, let alone about half of the country’s current number of operating centrifuges.
With nearly a month left until the November 24 deadline, the Iranian government should step up its promotional campaign to its people regarding the negotiations, and accept a number falling between 4,000 and 5,000 centrifuges.
Ferguson cites his father as instilling in him a strong sense of self-discipline and of the moral value of work, while his mother encouraged his creative side. His journalist maternal grandfather encouraged him to write. Unable to decide on studying an English or a history degree at university, Ferguson cites his reading of War and Peace as persuading him towards history.
University of Oxford
Ferguson received a Demyship (half-scholarship) at Magdalen College, Oxford. While there he wrote the 90 minute student film ‘The Labours of Hercules Sprote’ and became best friends with Andrew Sullivan, based on a shared affinity for right-wing politics and punk music. He had become a Thatcherite by 1982, identifying the position with “the Sex Pistols‘ position in 1977: it was a rebellion against the stuffy corporatism of the 70s.” While at university “He was very much a Scot on the make … Niall was a witty, belligerent bloke who seemed to have come from an entirely different planet,” according to Simon Winder.Ferguson has stated that “I was surrounded by insufferable Etonians with fake Cockney accents who imagined themselves to be working-class heroes in solidarity with the striking miners. It wasn’t long before it became clear that the really funny and interesting people on campus were Thatcherites.”
Fellow academics have questioned Ferguson’s commitment to scholarship. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, an editor of The Washington Monthly, comments that
“The House of Rothschild remains Ferguson’s only major work to have received prizes and wide acclaim from other historians. Research restrains sweeping, absolute claims: Rothschild is the last book Ferguson wrote for which he did original archival work, and his detailed knowledge of his subject meant that his arguments for it couldn’t be too grand.”
John Lewis Gaddis, a Cold War era historian, characterised Ferguson as having unrivaled “range, productivity and visibility” at the same time as criticising his work as being “unpersuasive”. Gaddis goes on to state that “several of Ferguson’s claims, moreover, are contradictory”.
Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm has praised Ferguson as an excellent historian. However, he has also criticised Ferguson, saying, on the BBC Radio programme Start the Week, that he was a “nostalgist for empire”. Ferguson responded to the above criticisms in a Washington Post “Live Discussions” online forum in 2006.[clarification needed]
In 2007, Ferguson was appointed as an investment management consultant by GLG Partners, focusing on geopolitical risk as well as current structural issues in economic behaviour relating to investment decisions. GLG is a UK-based hedge fund management firm headed by Noam Gottesman.
Ferguson has often described the European Union as a disaster waiting to happen, and has criticised President Vladimir Putin of Russia for authoritarianism. In Ferguson’s view, certain of Putin’s policies, if they continue, may stand to lead Russia to catastrophes equivalent to those that befell Germany during the Nazi era.
The Cash Nexus
In his 2001 book, The Cash Nexus, which he wrote following a year as Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England, Ferguson argues that the popular saying, “money makes the world go ’round”, is wrong; instead he presented a case for human actions in history motivated by far more than just economic concerns.
Colossus and Empire
In his books Colossus and Empire, Ferguson presents a reinterpretation of the history of the British Empire and in conclusion proposes that the modern policies of the United Kingdom and the United States, in taking a more active role in resolving conflict arising from the failure of states, are analogous to the ‘Anglicization’ policies adopted by the British Empire throughout the 19th century. In Colossus, Ferguson explores the United States’ hegemony in foreign affairs and its future role in the world.
War of the World
The War of the World, published in 2006, had been ten years in the making and is a comprehensive analysis of the savagery of the 20th century. Ferguson shows how a combination of economic volatility, decaying empires, psychopathic dictators, and racially/ethnically motivated (and institutionalised) violence resulted in the wars and the genocides of what he calls “History’s Age of Hatred”. The New York Times Book Reviewnamed War of the World one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year in 2006, while the International Herald Tribune called it “one of the most intriguing attempts by an historian to explain man’s inhumanity to man“.Ferguson addresses the paradox that, though the 20th century was “so bloody”, it was also “a time of unparalleled [economic] progress”. As with his earlier work Empire,War of the World was accompanied by aChannel 4 television series presented by Ferguson.
The Ascent of Money
Published in 2008, The Ascent of Money examines the long history of money, credit, and banking. In it he predicts a financial crisis as a result of the world economy and in particular the United States using too much credit. Specifically he cites the China–America dynamic which he refers to as Chimerica where an Asian “savings glut” helped create the subprime mortgage crisis with an influx of easy money. While researching this book, in early 2007, he attended a conference in Las Vegas where a hedge fund manager stated there would never be another recession, Ferguson stood up and challenged him on it. Later the 2 agreed a 7 to 1 bet, that there would be another recession, for $14,000, with Ferguson paying that amount if he lost and winning $98,000. “I said, ‘Never is a very bad timeframe,'” Ferguson said. “‘Let’s say five years.'” Ferguson collected his winnings as he knew having researched the book and written several papers on economics in history, so knew another recession would definitely occur and with this bet placed a timeline of it occurring before 2012.
Published in 2011, Civilization: The West and the Rest examines what Ferguson calls the most “interesting question” of our day: “Why, beginning around 1500, did a few small polities on the western end of the Eurasian landmass come to dominate the rest of the world?” He attributes this divergence to the West’s development of six “killer apps” largely missing elsewhere in the world – “competition, science, the rule of law, medicine, consumerism and the work ethic”. A related documentary Civilization: Is the West History? was broadcast as a six-part series on Channel 4 in March and April 2011.
Opinions and research
World War I
In 1998, Ferguson published the critically acclaimed The Pity of War: Explaining World War One, which with the help of research assistants he was able to write in just five months. This is an analytic account of what Ferguson considered to be the ten great myths of the Great War. The book generated much controversy, particularly Ferguson’s suggestion that it might have proved more beneficial for Europe if Britain had stayed out of the First World War in 1914, thereby allowing Germany to win. Ferguson has argued that the British decision to intervene was what stopped a German victory in 1914–15. Furthermore, Ferguson expressed disagreement with the Sonderweg interpretation of German history championed by some German historians such as Fritz Fischer, Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Hans Mommsen and Wolfgang Mommsen, who argued that the German Empire deliberately started an aggressive war in 1914. Likewise, Ferguson has often attacked the work of the German historian Michael Stürmer, who argued that it was Germany’s geographical situation in Central Europe that determined the course of German history.
On the contrary, Ferguson maintained that Germany waged a preventive war in 1914, a war largely forced on the Germans by reckless and irresponsible British diplomacy. In particular, Ferguson accused the British Foreign SecretarySir Edward Grey of maintaining an ambiguous attitude to the question of whether Britain would enter the war or not, and thus confusing Berlin over just what was the British attitude towards the question of intervention in the war. Ferguson accused London of unnecessarily allowing a regional war in Europe to escalate into a world war. Moreover, Ferguson denied that the origins of National Socialismcould be traced back to Imperial Germany; instead Ferguson asserted the origins of Nazism could only be traced back to the First World War and its aftermath.
Ferguson attacked a number of ideas which he called “myths” in the book. They are listed here, (with his counter-arguments in parentheses):
Germany was a highly militarist country before 1914. (Ferguson argued that Germany was Europe’s most anti-militarist country when compared to countries like Britain and France.)
The naval threat posed by Germany drove Britain into an informal alliance with France and Russia before 1914. (Ferguson argues that the British decided to align themselves with Russia and France seeing them as more influential and powerful than Germany.)
British policy was due to a legitimate fear of Germany. (Ferguson shows how Germany posed no significant threat to Britain and British fears were driven by propaganda and economic self interest.)
The pre-1914 arms race was consuming increasingly larger portions of national budgets at an unsustainable rate. (Ferguson demonstrates using actual budget information of the European powers that the only limitations on more military spending before 1914 were political, not economic.)
That World War I was an act of aggression on the part of Germany that provoked the British to stop Germany from conquering Europe. (Ferguson infers that if Germany had been victorious over France and Russia, something like the European Union would have been created in 1914. It would have been for the best if Britain had chosen to opt out of war in 1914, as Germany just wanted its “place in the sun.”)
Most people were enthusiastic when the war started in 1914. (Ferguson claims that most Europeans were saddened by the start of war, especially when it dragged on long after it was supposed to end.)
That propaganda was successful in making men wish to fight. (Ferguson states that propaganda was not nearly as effective as most experts argue.)
The Allies utilized their economic resources to the fullest. (Ferguson argues that the allies made poor use of their vast economic resources such as those coming from their colonies as well as corruption in the war time governments. France and Britain both possessed huge colonial possessions that offered a plethora of resources as well as man power.)
That the British and the French possessed better armies than the central powers. (Ferguson claims that the German Army was superior, with better equipment and leadership.)
The Allies were better at killing Germans throughout the war. (Ferguson statistically shows that the Germans were actually far superior in exacting casualties than the Allies, this is due to German strategy and use of poison gas.)
The majority of soldiers hated fighting in the war due to intolerable conditions. (Ferguson asserts that most soldiers fought due to nationalism and a sense of duty.)
The British treated German prisoners more humanely than the Germans did. (Ferguson cites numerous occasions in which British officers ordered the killing of German prisoners of war.)
Germany was faced with reparations that could not be paid except at the expense of the German economy. (Ferguson attempts to prove that Germany could have paid reparations if they had been willing.)
Another controversial aspect of The Pity of War is Ferguson’s use of counterfactual history also known as “speculative” or “hypothetical” history. In the book, Ferguson presents a hypothetical version of Europe being, under Imperial German domination, a peaceful, prosperous, democratic continent, without ideologies like communism or fascism. In Ferguson’s view, had Germany won World War I, then the lives of millions would have been saved, something like the European Union would have been founded in 1914, and Britain would have remained an empire as well as the world’s dominant financial power.
Ferguson sometimes champions counterfactual history, also known as “speculative” or “hypothetical” history, and edited a collection of essays, titled Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals (1997), exploring the subject.
Ferguson likes to imagine alternative outcomes as a way of stressing the contingent aspects of history. For Ferguson, great forces don’t make history; individuals do, and nothing is predetermined. Thus, for Ferguson, there are no paths in history that will determine how things will work out. The world is neither progressing nor regressing; only the actions of individuals determine whether we will live in a better or worse world.
His championing of the method has been controversial within the field.
In a 2011 review of Ferguson’s book Civilization: The West and the Rest, Noel Malcolm (Senior Research Fellow in History at All Souls College at Oxford University) stated that: “Students may find this an intriguing introduction to a wide range of human history; but they will get an odd idea of how historical argument is to be conducted, if they learn it from this book.”
Ferguson is critical of what he calls the “self-flagellation” that he says characterises modern European thought.
“The moral simplification urge is an extraordinarily powerful one, especially in this country, where imperial guilt can lead to self-flagellation,” he told a reporter. “And it leads to very simplistic judgments. The rulers of western Africa prior to the European empires were not running some kind of scout camp. They were engaged in the slave trade. They showed zero sign of developing the country’s economic resources. Did Senegal ultimately benefit from French rule? Yes, it’s clear. And the counterfactual idea that somehow the indigenous rulers would have been more successful in economic development doesn’t have any credibility at all.”
Bernard Porter attacked Empire in The London Review of Books as a “panegyric to British colonialism”. Ferguson in response to this drew Porter’s attention to the conclusion of the book, where he writes: “No one would claim that the record of the British Empire was unblemished. On the contrary, I have tried to show how often it failed to live up to its own ideal of individual liberty, particularly in the early era of enslavement, transportation and the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of indigenous peoples.” Ferguson argues however that the British Empire was preferable to the alternatives:
‘The 19th-century empire undeniably pioneered free trade, free capital movements and, with the abolition of slavery, free labour. It invested immense sums in developing a global network of modern communications. It spread and enforced the rule of law over vast areas. Though it fought many small wars, the empire maintained a global peace unmatched before or since. In the 20th century too the empire more than justified its own existence. For the alternatives to British rule represented by the German and Japanese empires were clearly – and they admitted it themselves – far worse. And without its empire, it is inconceivable that Britain could have withstood them.’
Exchange with Pankaj Mishra
In November 2011 Pankaj Mishra reviewed Civilisation: The West and the Rest unfavourably in the London Review of Books. Ferguson demanded an apology and threatened to sue Mishra on charges of libel due to allegations of racism.
“Niall Ferguson, the conservative English [sic] historian and enthusiastic advocate of a new American empire, has also embraced the Eurabian idea in a widely reproduced article entitled ‘Eurabia?’,”
in which he laments the ‘de-Christianization of Europe’ and its culture of secularism that leaves the continent ‘weak in the face of fanaticism’.” Carr adds that
“Ferguson sees the recent establishment of a department of Islamic studies in his Oxford college as another symptom of ‘the creeping Islamicization of a decadent Christendom”,
“Ferguson struck a similarly Spenglerian note, conjuring the term ‘impire’ to depict a process in which a ‘political entity, instead of expanding outwards towards its periphery, exporting power, implodes – when the energies come from outside into that entity’. In Ferguson’s opinion, this process was already under way in a decadent ‘post-Christian’ Europe that was drifting inexorably towards the dark denouement of a vanquished civilisation and the fatal embrace of Islam.”
Ferguson supported the 2003 Iraq War, and he is on record as not necessarily opposed to future western incursions around the world.
“It’s all very well for us to sit here in the West with our high incomes and cushy lives, and say it’s immoral to violate the sovereignty of another state. But if the effect of that is to bring people in that country economic and political freedom, to raise their standard of living, to increase their life expectancy, then don’t rule it out”.
In its 15 August 2005 edition, The New Republic published “The New New Deal”, an essay by Ferguson and Laurence J. Kotlikoff, a professor of economics at Boston University. The two scholars called for the following changes to the American government’s fiscal and income security policies:
Replacing the old age benefits paid under Social Security with a Personal Security System, consisting of private retirement accounts for all citizens, plus a government benefit payable to those whose savings were insufficient to afford a minimum retirement income
Replacing Medicare and Medicaid with a Medical Security System that would provide health insurance vouchers to all citizens, the value of which would be determined by one’s health
Cutting federal discretionary spending by 20%
In November 2012, Ferguson stated in a video with CNN that the U.S. has enough energy resources to move towards energy independence and could possibly enter a new economic golden age due to the related socio-economic growth—coming out of the post-world economic recession doldrums.
Ferguson was an attendee of the 2012 Bilderberg Group meeting, where he was a speaker on economic policy.
Exchanges with Paul Krugman
In May 2009, Ferguson became involved in a high-profile exchange of views with economist Paul Krugman (2008 Nobel Laureate in Economics) arising out of a panel discussion hosted by PEN/New York Review on 30 April 2009, regarding the U.S. economy. Ferguson contended that the Obama administration’s policies are simultaneously Keynesian and monetarist, in an “incoherent” mix, and specifically claimed that the government’s issuance of a multitude of new bonds would cause an increase in interest rates.
Krugman argued that Ferguson’s view is “resurrecting 75-year old fallacies” and full of “basic errors”. He also stated that Ferguson is a “poseur” who “hasn’t bothered to understand the basics, relying on snide comments and surface cleverness to convey the impression of wisdom. It’s all style, no comprehension of substance.”
In 2012, Jonathan Portes, the director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said that subsequent events had shown Ferguson to be wrong: “As we all know, since then both the US and UK have had deficits running at historically extremely high levels, and long-term interest rates at historic lows: as Krugman has repeatedly pointed out, the (IS-LM) textbook has been spot on.”
Later in 2012, after Ferguson wrote a cover story for Newsweek arguing that Mitt Romney should be elected in the upcoming US presidential election, Krugman wrote that there were multiple errors and misrepresentations in the story, concluding “We’re not talking about ideology or even economic analysis here – just a plain misrepresentation of the facts, with an august publication letting itself be used to misinform readers. The Times would require an abject correction if something like that slipped through. Will Newsweek?” Ferguson denied that he had misrepresented the facts in an online rebuttal.Matthew O’Briencountered that Ferguson was still distorting the meaning of the CBO report being discussed, and that the entire piece could be read as an effort to deceive.
The remarks were widely criticised for being offensive, factually inaccurate, and a distortion of Keynes’ ideas.
Ferguson posted an apology for these statements shortly after reports of his words were widely disseminated, saying his comments were “as stupid as they were insensitive”. In the apology, Ferguson stated: “My disagreements with Keynes’s economic philosophy have never had anything to do with his sexual orientation. It is simply false to suggest, as I did, that his approach to economic policy was inspired by any aspect of his personal life.”
Ferguson married journalist Susan Douglas, whom he met in 1987 when she was his editor at the Daily Mail. They have three children.
In February 2010, news media reported that Ferguson had separated from Douglas and started dating former Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ferguson and Douglas divorced in 2011.
Ferguson married Hirsi Ali in September 2011 and Hirsi Ali gave birth to their son in December 2011.
Ferguson dedicated his book Civilization to “Ayaan”. In an interview with The Guardian, Ferguson spoke about his love for Ali, who, he writes in the preface, “understands better than anyone I know what Western civilisation really means – and what it still has to offer the world”. Ali, he continued,
…grew up in the Muslim world, was born in Somalia, spent time in Saudi Arabia, was a fundamentalist as a teenager. Her journey from the world of her childhood and family to where she is today is an odyssey that’s extremely hard for you or I [sic] to imagine. To see and hear how she understands western philosophy, how she understands the great thinkers of the Enlightenment, of the 19th-century liberal era, is a great privilege, because she sees it with a clarity and freshness of perspective that’s really hard for us to match. So much of liberalism in its classical sense is taken for granted in the west today and even disrespected. We take freedom for granted, and because of this we don’t understand how incredibly vulnerable it is.
Ferguson’s self confessed workaholism has placed strains on his personal relations in the past. Ferguson has commented that:
…from 2002, the combination of making TV programmes and teaching at Harvard took me away from my children too much. You don’t get those years back. You have to ask yourself: “Was it a smart decision to do those things?” I think the success I have enjoyed since then has been bought at a significant price. In hindsight, there would have been a bunch of things that I would have said no to.
Ferguson was the inspiration for Alan Bennett‘s play The History Boys (2004), particularly the character of Irwin, a history teacher who urges his pupils to find a counterintuitive angle, and goes on to become a television historian. Bennett’s character “Irwin” gives the impression that “an entire career can be built on the trick of contrariness.”
Ferguson, Niall (2006). The War of the World: History’s Age of Hatred. London: Allen Lane. ISBN0-7139-9708-7. American ed. has the title: The war of the World: Twentieth-century Conflict and the Descent of the West OCLC70839824 (also a Channel 4 series)
“Let Germany Keep Its Nerve”, The Spectator, 22 April 1995, pages 21–23
“Europa nervosa”, in Nader Mousavizadeh (ed.), The Black Book of Bosnia (New Republic/Basic Books, 1996), pp. 127–32
“The German inter-war economy: Political choice versus economic determinism” in Mary Fulbrook (ed.), German History since 1800 (Arnold, 1997), pp. 258–278
“The balance of payments question: Versailles and after” in Manfred F. Boemeke, Gerald D. Feldman and Elisabeth Glaser (eds.), The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment after 75 Years (Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 401–440
“‘The Caucasian Royal Family’: The Rothschilds in national contexts” in R. Liedtke (ed.), ‘Two Nations’: The Historical Experience of British and German Jews in Comparison (J.C.B. Mohr, 1999)
“Academics and the Press”, in Stephen Glover (ed.), Secrets of the Press: Journalists on Journalism (Penguin, 1999), pp. 206–220
“Metternich and the Rothschilds: A reappraisal” in Andrea Hamel and Edward Timms (eds.), Progress and Emancipation in the Age of Metternich: Jews and Modernisation in Austria and Germany, 1815–1848(Edwin Mellen Press, 1999), pp. 295–325
“The European economy, 1815–1914” in T.C.W. Blanning (ed.), The Short Oxford History of Europe: The Nineteenth Century (Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 78–125
“How (not) to pay for the war: Traditional finance and total war” in Roger Chickering and Stig Förster (eds.), Great War, Total War: Combat and Mobilization on the Western Front (Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 409–34
“Introduction” in Frederic Manning, Middle Parts of Fortune (Penguin, 2000), pp. vii–xviii
“Clashing civilizations or mad mullahs: The United States between informal and formal empire” in Strobe Talbott (ed.), The Age of Terror (Basic Books, 2001), pp. 113–41
“Public debt as a post-war problem: The German experience after 1918 in comparative perspective” in Mark Roseman (ed.), Three Post-War Eras in Comparison: Western Europe 1918-1945-1989 (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2002), pp. 99–119
“Das Haus Sachsen-Coburg und die europäische Politik des 19. Jahrhunderts”, in Rainer von Hessen (ed.), Victoria Kaiserin Friedrich (1840–1901): Mission und Schicksal einer englischen Prinzessin in Deutschland (Campus Verlag, 2002), pp. 27–39
“Max Warburg and German politics: The limits of financial power in Wilhelmine Germany”, in Geoff Eley and James Retallack (eds.), Wilhelminism and Its Legacies: German Modernities, Imperialism and the Meaning of Reform, 1890–1930 (Berghahn Books, 2003), pp. 185–201
“Introduction”, The Death of the Past by J. H. Plumb (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), pp. xxi–xlii
“Globalization in historical perspective: The political dimension”, in Michael D. Bordo, Alan M. Taylor and Jeffrey G. Williamson (eds.), Globalisation in Historical Perspective (National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report) (University of Chicago Press, 2003)
“Introduction to Tzvetan Todorov” in Nicholas Owen (ed.), Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Oxford Amnesty Lectures (Amnesty International, 2003)
“The City of London and British imperialism: New light on an old question”, in Youssef Cassis and Eric Bussière (eds.), London and Paris as International Financial Centres in the Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 57–77
“A bolt from the blue? The City of London and the outbreak of the First World War”, in Wm. Roger Louis (ed.), Yet More Adventures with Britainnia: Personalities, Politics and Culture in Britain (I.B. Tauris, 2005), pp. 133–145
“The first ‘Eurobonds’: The Rothschilds and the financing of the Holy Alliance, 1818–1822”, in William N. Goetzmann and K. Geert Rouwenhorst (eds.), The Origins of Value: The Financial Innovations that Created Modern Capital Markets (Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 311–323
“Prisoner taking and prisoner killing in the age of total war”, in George Kassemiris (ed.), The Barbarization of Warfare (New York University Press, 2006), pp. 126–158
“The Second World War as an economic disaster”, in Michael Oliver (ed.), Economic Disasters of the Twentieth Century (Edward Elgar, 2007), pp. 83–132
“The Problem of Conjecture: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine”, in Melvyn Leffler and Jeff Legro (eds.), To Lead the World: American Strategy After the Bush Doctrine (Oxford University Press, 2008)
In May 2012 the BBC announced Niall Ferguson was to present its annual Reith Lectures – a prestigious series of radio lectures which were first broadcast in 1948. These four lectures, titled The Rule of Law and its Enemies, examine the role man-made institutions have played in the economic and political spheres.
In the first lecture, held at the London School of Economics, titled The Human Hive, Ferguson argues for greater openness from governments, saying they should publish accounts which clearly state all assets and liabilities. Governments, he said, should also follow the lead of business and adopt the Generally Accepted Accounting Principlesand, above all, generational accounts should be prepared on a regular basis to make absolutely clear the inter-generational implications of current fiscal policy. In the lecture, Ferguson says young voters should be more supportive of government austerity measures if they do not wish to pay further down the line for the profligacy of the baby boomergeneration.
In the second lecture, The Darwinian Economy, Ferguson reflects on the causes of the global financial crisis, and erroneous conclusions that many people have drawn from it about the role of regulation, such as whether it is in fact “the disease of which it purports to be the cure”.
The Landscape of Law was the third lecture, delivered at Gresham College. It examines the rule of law in comparative terms, asking how far the common law‘s claims to superiority over other systems are credible, and whether we are living through a time of ‘creeping legal degeneration’ in the English-speaking world.
The fourth and final lecture, Civil and Uncivil Societies, focuses on institutions (outside the political, economic and legal realms) designed to preserve and transmit particular knowledge and values. It asks whether the modern state is quietly killing civil society in the Western world, and what non-Western societies can do to build a vibrant civil society.
Jump up^Malcolm, Noel (13 March 2011). “Civilisation: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson: review”. The Daily Telegraph. The patient testing of evidence must give way to startling statistics, gripping anecdotes and snappy phrase-making. Niall Ferguson is never unintelligent and certainly never dull. Students may find this an intriguing introduction to a wide range of human history; but they will get an odd idea of how historical argument is to be conducted, if they learn it from this book
Why are oil prices falling – explained in 60 seconds?
Plunging Prices for Oil
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Series Preview: The Global Drop in Oil Prices
Stratfor Vice President of Global Analysis Reva Bhalla and Global Energy Analyst Matt Bey discuss highlights of an upcoming series on the geopolitical impact of oil below $90 a barrel.
For more analysis, visit: http://www.Stratfor.com
“USA-SAUDI ARABIA” WILL PAY FOR THEIR “OIL PRICE MANIPULATIONS”!
Impact of Low Oil Prices: Petro Power or Petro Poverty?
Top 10 Oil Producing Countries in the World 2013-2014 –
At present transportation has become the major sector in the world which has facilitated all the people living around the different countries.So there is a need of billions barrels of fuel. There is no country in the world which has not the need of fuel, so there are several countries which are producing the fuels at their own resources while some countries are importing fuel from the other producers just to survive their transportation as well as the industrial sector.
So its importance can not be denied because its precious resources are also known as black gold.The nations having largest reserves in their geographical boundaries are considered the luckiest and richest countries. Following is a list of top ten countries which are considered the largest oil producers in the world.
List of Top 10 Largest Oil Producing Countries in the world 2013
1. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil-producing and exporting country producing more than 11.75 million barrels per day which is more than 13% of world’s entire output. It has very good reputation in the Muslim countries around the world having the number of Islamic historical places.
2. United States
USA is the 2nd largest oil-producing nation it is not only the second biggest producer.Although it has it has a huge amount of production and more than 21 billion barrels proven reserves yet it is an oil importing country because it has the highest fuel consumption rate than other countries .It is producing more than 10.59 million barrels per day which is about 12% of the world’s over all production.
Russia has the 11.4% share in the world’s entire production.Its reserves are accounted more than 60 billion barrels making it the third biggest oil-producing country around the globe.
China is officially recognized as People Republic of China which is the largest country in the world by its population. Most of its cities are considered the largest cities of the world by population.It is the fourth largest oil-producing country in the world with daily production of 4.19 billion barrels which is 4.7% of world’s total production.China is World’s Largest Rice Producing country click here to see its annual rice output.
Iran is the fifth nation in the ranking list of top 10 largest oil-producing countries in the world. It has 4.6 % share in the world’s overall production which more than 4.13 million barrels per day production.
Canada has a fantastic and stable economy in the world. It one of the biggest oil-producing nations around the globe having more than 179 billion barrels proven reserves. Its daily production is 3.92 million barrels which is 4.4% of world’s total production.
7. United Arab Emirates
UAE is producing 3.23 million barrels oil per day which is 3.6% of the world production. Its further oil reserves are accounted more than 98 billion barrels.UAE is going to increase it’s per day production up to 5 million barrels in the next coming years. And according to a recent estimate United States of Arab Emirates has further reserves enough for the next 93 years.UAE is the 7th richest country in the world by per capita GDP.
Mexico is officially recognized as United Mexican States covering the total area of 1,972,550 square km. it has the 8th rank in the list of top ten largest oil producers in the world. It is producing 2.95 million barrels per day which is the 3.3 percent of the global output.
Brazil is the 9th largest oil-producing nation in the world, its production share in the global output is 3.15%. It is producing 2.8 million barrels per day. Brazil has already 12.86 billion barrels proven oil reserves and according to an estimate, which is expected to increase after the discovery of Jupiter Oil Field.
Kuwait is the 9th richest country in the world having the strongest currency rate in the world. It has more than 104 billion barrels in its proven oil reserves while its share in the world’s entire oil output is accounted for 3.1% making it the 10th largest oil-producing country in the world. It is producing about 2.75 million barrels per day.
Question of the day
Q : what country produces the most oil in the world?
Ans : At present Saudi Arabia the biggest oil producer in the world having 11.75 billion barrels daily production which is 13% of world’s total output.
As oil prices plunge, wide-ranging effects for consumers and the global economy
By Steven Mufson
Tumbling oil prices are draining hundreds of billions of dollars from the coffers of oil-rich exporters and oil companies and injecting a much-needed boost for ailing economies in Europe and Japan — and for American consumers at the start of the peak shopping season.
The result could be one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history, potentially reshaping everything from talks over Iran’s nuclear program to the Federal Reserve’s policies to further rejuvenate the U.S. economy.
The price of oil has declined about 40 percent since its peak in mid-June and plunged last week after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries voted to continue to pump at the same rate. That continued a trend driven by a weak global economy and expanding U.S. domestic energy supplies.
The question facing investors, companies and policymakers is how low oil prices will go — and for how long. Every day, American motorists are saving $630 million on gasoline compared with what they paid at June prices, and they would get a $230 billion windfall if prices were to stay this low for a year. The vast majority of that will flow into the economy, with lower-income households living on tight budgets likely to use money not otherwise spent on gas to buy groceries, clothing and other staples.
On Monday, the average U.S. price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline was $2.77, according to AAA, which projects that prices could drop by an additional 10 to 20 cents.
(The Washington Post)
Big American companies are better off, too. Every penny the price of jet fuel declines means savings of $40 million for Delta Air Lines, the company’s chief executive said in a recent CBS interview.
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“Despite the impressive recent gains in natural gas and crude oil production, the U.S. still is a net importer of energy,” William C. Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said Monday at Bernard Baruch College. “As a result, falling energy prices are beneficial for our economy and should be a strong spur to consumer spending.”
An employee changes figures on a board showing currency exchange rates in Moscow on Monday. (Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters)
Although falling oil prices lower inflation, the Federal Reserve tends to view that as a fleeting effect that would not alter its underlying judgments about policy. Nonetheless, Dudley said, “the slump in oil prices may also help to persuade” the European and Japanese central banks to implement further monetary easing as prices remain subdued.
The consequences of the decline in oil prices are also evident in politics and pocketbooks.
At current prices, the annual revenue of OPEC members would shrink by $590 billion, money that will instead stay within the borders of the world’s biggest oil importers, led by the United States, China and Japan.
The size of the global economy will “easily be between 0.5 percent and 1.0 percent higher as a result of the decline in oil prices,” wrote Andrew Kenningham, senior global economist for London-based Capital Economics.
The 40 percent drop in the price of the international benchmark Brent-grade crude oil over the past five months will reduce annual revenue to oil producers worldwide by a whopping $1.5 trillion.
“Those losses are staggering,” Edward Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, wrote to investors Monday.
The losers include Russia, where the value of the ruble has been crumbling, inflation has crept up to more than an 8 percent rate and oil prices have done more to hurt the economy than Western sanctions.
In Iran, whose economy and government budget rely heavily on oil sales, low prices could intensify the effect of sanctions that have curbed the country’s oil exports in an effort to pressure the regime into reaching a diplomatic accord on its nuclear program.
In Venezuela, dwindling oil revenue has exacerbated an economic crisis that is also tied to fuel subsidies, price controls and generous social programs.
In the United States, there are losers, too — mostly in the oil patch. The oil services giant Halliburton has lost 44 percent of its value since July 23. Heavily indebted Continental Resources, a huge shale oil producer in North Dakota’s Bakken region, has lost half its value since Aug. 29. Even BP, a big, integrated firm, has lost a quarter of its value in just the past few months.
“It happened so fast, it’s been a shock to the system,” said Scott D. Sheffield, chief executive of Pioneer Natural Resources. Sheffield said that if oil prices had stayed between $90 and $100 a barrel, Pioneer would have added 10 new rigs to its fleet of 40, nearly all drilling shale oil wells. Now he is going to wait and see before announcing capital spending plans in February.
The prospect of low oil prices over an extended period grew much stronger last week after OPEC opted to maintain output instead of paring back to prop up prices.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s swing producer, with about 9.7 million barrels of production a day, has usually adjusted its output to moderate lurches in oil prices. But the kingdom has grown worried that production will continue to grow outside OPEC, reducing the cartel to a smaller and smaller share of the global market. So Saudi Arabia has chosen to fight for market share by letting prices slide.
That could jump-start global oil demand, currently about 94 million barrels a day. But it could also slow down or halt the growth in global oil supplies.
The biggest target of this strategy: U.S. shale oil, which has grown from a negligible amount six years ago to 4 million barrels a day, nearly half of U.S. production and more than any OPEC member except Saudi Arabia. Other high-cost oil projects, such as Canada’s oil sands, could also be curtailed or postponed.
But oil prices have historically swung from one extreme to another; it takes years for price signals to change exploration plans and production levels. U.S. exploration firms might be able to withstand lower oil prices than OPEC members that need oil revenue to balance their budgets and keep their citizens content. A Citibank analysis says that current prices will not eliminate growth in U.S. shale oil output, only trim that growth by 30 percent.
Within OPEC, there was discord. “It is not good for OPEC,” Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in an interview with the newsletter Argus Global Markets. “Some of our colleagues in OPEC believe they should wait and see what the market reaction is, especially in U.S. shale investment.” He added that “it’s a very risky issue” and could require “years, not months.”
There are risks in the United States, too. Kathy Jones, fixed-income strategist at Charles Schwab, said that while lower oil prices will boost consumer spending, which makes up 68 percent of the U.S. economy, it could also hurt investment, which runs high in the petroleum business. She also noted that oil and gas companies account for 15 percent of the Barclays U.S. high-yield index, double what it was a few years ago.
“High yield means more highly leveraged, and we don’t know what a 30 or 40 percent drop in oil prices will mean,” Jones said. “It’s going to show up in places, I’m sure. It’s just a question of where.”
The Fed’s Dudley was less concerned. “Even after the large gains in recent years, oil and gas investment remains a small fraction of GDP,” he said.
On Monday, traders and investors struggled to grasp OPEC’s stance; prices slid then rebounded sharply to $69 a barrel.
Although analysts said that global production is running about 2 million barrels a day over consumption, barely 2 percent of world demand, slight economic changes or a renewal of paralyzing civil strife in Libya could shrink that extra margin.
On the other hand, the sudden glut — while small — could grow even larger if Libya restores more of its former production, Iraq continues to expand output from its low-cost reservoirs and Iran strikes a deal over its nuclear program that would lift sanctions and permit a jump in exports.
Iran’s oil minister told Argus Global Markets that Iran could increase output by 1 million barrels a day within two months.
That has left people guessing. Richard Anderson, chief executive of Delta Air Lines, said on “CBS This Morning” on Nov. 25 that the airline was planning on jet fuel costing $2.80 a gallon in 2015, though he acknowledged that “all this is a bit of a thumb in the wind.”
Robert McNally, president of the Rapidan Group consulting firm, said OPEC seemed to be letting non-OPEC countries resolve the market surplus and surprised the industry by not scheduling another meeting until June 5. “This was about as bearish a signal as OPEC could have sent to the market,” he said.
Wild Horses on Public Lands and the impact on Ranching and Communities
We took the show to Beaver County this week to get an on the ground look at how wild horses impact the range. In Utah the population of wild horses is over the Appropriate Management Level (AML) by 1,300 animals. Nationally the problem of dealing with the number of wild horses increases to 14,000 beyond the AML. The management of wild horses costs the BLM tens of millions of dollars every year but despite the efforts to gather wild horses off the range; the numbers keep increasing.
Chad Booth talks to Beaver County Commissioner, Mark Whitney; Iron County Commissioner, David Miller; and local rancher Mark Winch about the impacts on ranchers and the ultimate impact it has on the economies of rural Utah.
Transfer of Public Lands
Public Lands in Utah County Seat Season3, Episode 8
In recent years there has been a public outcry from Utahans asking the State to take a more active role in how management decisions are made on public lands. The take back Utah movement has looked at the history of public lands in the United States and began to ask why hasn’t Utah received the same treatment as other states in the Union. Utah has about 67% of its lands controlled and managed by the federal government. Some counties in the state are about 90% federally owned which creates a burden on the local governments because there is no property tax base to pay for the services that citizens need.
Last year Utah passed the Utah Public Lands Transfer Act, HB148; which basically asks the federal government to dispose of the remaining unallocated federal lands within the state by 2014. HB148 has opened up a conversation about what the proper role of the federal government should be in the management of public lands. Today’s show takes a look at the issues from a federal, state, and county perspective.
WARNING! MORE FOOD INFLATION COMING 2014 STOCK UP ASAP
Grocery Prices Soar
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The World Food Crisis ~ Special Report
Don’t Fence Me In – Roy Rogers & The Sons of the Pioneers –
Roy Rogers & Sons of The Pioneers Sing “The Last Roundup”
Wild horses targeted for roundup in Utah rangeland clash
By Jennifer Dobner April 11, 2014 8:41 PM
Two of a band of wild horses graze in the Nephi Wash area outside Enterprise, Utah, April 10, 2014. REUTERS/Jim …
ENTERPRISE, Utah (Reuters) – A Utah county, angry over the destruction of federal rangeland that ranchers use to graze cattle, has started a bid to round up federally protected wild horses it blames for the problem in the latest dustup over land management in the U.S. West.
Close to 2,000 wild horses are roaming southern Utah’s Iron County, well over the 300 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has dubbed as appropriate for the rural area’s nine designated herd management zones, County Commissioner David Miller said.
County officials complain the burgeoning herd is destroying vegetation crucial to ranchers who pay to graze their cattle on the land, and who have already been asked to reduce their herds to cope with an anticipated drought.
Wild horse preservation groups say any attempt to remove the horses would be a federal crime.
On Thursday county workers, accompanied by a Bureau of Land Management staffer, set up the first in a series of metal corrals designed to trap and hold the horses on private land abutting the federal range until they can be moved to BLM facilities for adoption.
“There’s been no management of the animals and they keep reproducing,” Miller said in an interview. “The rangeland just can’t sustain it.”
The conflict reflects broader tension between ranchers, who have traditionally grazed cattle on public lands and held sway over land-use decisions, and environmentalists and land managers facing competing demands on the same land.
The Iron County roundup comes on the heels of an incident in neighboring Nevada in which authorities sent in helicopters and wranglers on horseback to confiscate the cattle herd of a rancher they say is illegally grazing livestock on public land.
In Utah, county commissioners warned federal land managers in a letter last month that the county would act independently to remove the horses if no mitigation efforts were launched.
Cattle rancher Jeremy Hunt looks out over land, at a barbed wire fence in the Nephi Wash area outsid …
“We charge you to fulfill your responsibility,” commissioners wrote. “Inaction and no-management practices pose an imminent threat to ranchers.”
The operation was expected to last weeks or months.
“The BLM is actively working with Iron County to address the horse issue,” Utah-based BLM spokeswoman Megan Crandall said, declining to comment further.
Attorneys for wild horse preservation groups sent a letter this week to Iron County commissioners and the BLM saying the BLM, under federal law, cannot round up horses on public lands without proper analysis and disclosure.
“The BLM must stop caving to the private financial interests of livestock owners whenever they complain about the protected wild horses using limited resources that are available on such lands,” wrote Katherine Meyer of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal a Washington, DC-based public interest law firm representing the advocates.
The BLM puts the free-roaming wild horse and burro population across western states at more than 40,600, which it says on its website exceeds by nearly 14,000 the number of animals it believes “can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses.”
Wild horse advocates point out that the tens of thousands of wild horses on BLM property pales into comparison with the millions of private livestock grazing on public lands managed by the agency.
Wild horses have not been culled due to budget constraints, according to Utah BLM officials, who say their herds grow by roughly 20 percent per year.
Pressure on rangeland from the horses may worsen this summer due to a drought that could dry up the already sparse available food supply, according to Miller.
“We’re going to see those horses starving to death out on the range,” he said. “The humane thing is to get this going now.”
Adding to frustration is BLM pressure on ranchers to cut their cattle herds by as much as 50 percent to cope with the drought, Miller said.
A tour of Iron County rangeland, not far from the Nevada border, illustrates the unchecked herds’ impact on the land, said Jeremy Hunt, a fourth generation Utah rancher whose cattle graze in the summer in a management area split through its middle by a barbed wire fence.
On the cattle side of the fence, the sagebrush and grass landscape is thick and green. The other, where a group of horses was seen on Thursday, is scattered with barren patches of dirt and sparse vegetation.
“This land is being literally destroyed because they are not following the laws that they set up to govern themselves,” said Hunt, who also works as a farmhand to make ends meet for his family of six.
“I want the land to be healthy and I want be a good steward of the land,” he added. “But you have to manage both sides of the fence.”
Wholesale Prices in U.S. Rise on Services as Goods Stagnate
By Lorraine WoellertApr 11, 2014 9:07 AM CT
Wholesale prices in the U.S. rose in March as the cost of services climbed by the most in four years while commodities stagnated.
The 0.5 percent advance in the producer-price index was the biggest since June and followed a 0.1 percent decrease the prior month, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The recent inclusion of services may contribute to the gauge’s volatility from month-to-month, which will make it more difficult to determine underlying trends.
Rising prices at clothing and jewelry retailers and food wholesalers accounted for much of the jump in services, even as energy costs retreated, signaling slowing growth in emerging markets such as China will keep price pressures muted. With inflation running well below the Federal Reserve’s goal, the central bank is likely to keep borrowing costs low in an effort to spur growth.
“Every six months or so service prices seem to pop, but over the year, service prices tend to dampen inflation more often than not,” Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial in New York, wrote in a note. “One month of price gains is not indicative of a trend.”
Also today, consumer confidence climbed this month to the highest level since July, a sign an improving job market is lifting Americans’ spirits. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary April sentiment index rose to 82.6 from 80 a month earlier.
Stocks dropped, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index heading for its biggest weekly decline since January, as disappointing results from JPMorgan Chase & Co. fueled concern that corporate earnings will be weak. The S&P 500 fell 0.4 percent to 1,826.29 at 10:02 a.m. in New York.
Today’s PPI report is the third to use an expanded index that measures 75 percent of the economy, compared to about a third for the old metric, which tallied the costs of goods alone. After its first major overhaul since 1978, PPI now measures prices received for services, government purchases, exports and construction.
Estimates for the PPI in the Bloomberg survey of 72 economists ranged from a drop of 0.2 percent to a 0.3 percent gain.
Core wholesale prices, which exclude volatile food and energy categories, climbed 0.6 percent, the biggest gain since March 2011, exceeding the projected 0.2 percent advance of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. They dropped 0.2 percent in February.
The year-to-year gain in producer prices was the biggest since August and followed a 0.9 percent increase in the 12 months to February. Excluding food and energy, the index also increased 1.4 percent year to year following a 1.1 percent year-to-year gain in February.
The cost of services climbed 0.7 percent in March, the biggest gain since January 2010. Goods prices were unchanged and were up 1.1 percent over the past 12 months.
Wholesale food costs climbed 1.1 percent in March, led by higher costs for meats, including pork and sausage. Energy costs fell 1.2 percent last month.
Food producers and restaurants say they’re paying more for beef, poultry, dairy and shrimp. At General Mills Inc. (GIS), maker of Yoplait yogurt, Cheerios cereal and other brands, rising dairy prices helped push retail profit down 11 percent in the third quarter, said Ken Powell, chairman and chief executive officer of the Minneapolis-based company. Powell called the inflation “manageable.”
“While the economy is improving slowly and incomes are strengthening slowly, they are improving,” Powell said on a March 19 earnings call. “As incomes continue to grow and consumers gain confidence that will be a positive sign for our category.”
Today’s PPI report provides a glimpse into the consumer-price index, the broadest of three inflation measures released by the Labor Department. The CPI, due to be released April 15, probably climbed 0.1 percent in March, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
The wholesale price report also offers an advance look into the personal consumption expenditures deflator, a gauge monitored closely by the Fed. Health care prices make up the largest share of the core PCE index, which excludes food and energy costs. The next PCE report is due from the Commerce Department May 1.
This week, Fed policy makers played down their own predictions that interest rates might rise faster than they had forecast, according to minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s March meeting. The minutes bolstered remarks made by last month by Chair Janet Yellen.
“If inflation is persistently running below our 2 percent objective, that is a very good reason to hold the funds rate at its present range for longer,” Yellen said at a March 19 press conference following the committee meeting.
Syria: UN experts arrive in Damascus, refugees arrive in northern Iraq
LibertyNEWS TV – “Distracting Al Qaeda Terror Threat Played Down – Now Obama Can Play Golf”
Rand Paul Obama’s plan to arm Syrian rebels means siding with terrorists
Obama Funded Syrian Rebels Mauling Christians, Using Child Soldiers
Al Qaeda’s fighting is ‘spinning out of control’
US Arming Syrian Rebels Likely to Inflame Already Bloody Conflict
Breaking NEWS: Syria CIVIL WAR Obama supports REBELS, Al-Qaeda take down Assad REGIME (CIA funding)
Rand Paul: You Will Be Voting To Fund And Send Arms To The Allies Of Al-Qaeda
SYRIA CRISIS: U.S. senators seek to bar MILITARY AID to AL-QAEDA linked Syrian REBELS [INFOWARS]
WAR: White House Says Syria Crossed “Red Line” – Will Provide Military Support To Syrian Rebels!
Syria – Who are Jabhat al-Nusra? – Truthloader
Al Nusra Front Terror Camp in Lattakia, Syria (30/12/12)
A video released by an increasingly powerful and well connected Al Qaeda cell in Syria’s Northern Province of Lattakia depicts the terrorist organisation training recruits, many of whom are foreigners in the heavily forested and mountainous terrain typical of Lattakia.
The original video feratured speeches from well known Al Qaeda figures, (which I haven’t included in this video) including slain former second in command Abu Yaya Al Libi who was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan. Al Qaeda in Lattakia could beconsidered separate to the major Al Qaeda in Syria branch Jabhat Al Nusra in the sense that they have direct connections to the mainstream global Jihadist community without having to run through Jabhat Al Nusra, itself a known affiliate of Al Qaeda in Iraq.
The emergence of groups like Al Qaeda in Lattakia mirrors a trend in which new Jihadist groups many connected to previous incarnations of the Al Qaeda brand are now springing up all over Syria making a volatile situation in which extreme Jihadists already dominate the insurgency even more complex and dangerous. There can be little doubt that Afghanistan’s problems with Islamic militany similarly tired to Western support may well be dwarfed by the carnage and terrorism that may emanate from Syria for decades to come should the insurgents not be defeated.
The Road to World War 3
World War 3 Has Already Begun
World War 3 – TheBlaze
GLENN Beck Explains Why World War III Could Be on the Horizon
John McCain meets Syrian opposition face-to-face
JOHN McCain Syria Chemical Weapons Use Crosses Red Line Game Changer.
Glenn Beck: We Are on The Wrong Side in Syria
Benghazi-Gate: Connection between CIA and al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria, with Turkey’s Help
GERALD CELENTE – The Start Of WW3 – ISRAEL says they have Right to Defend Themselves
U.S.: Syria used chemical weapons, crossing “red line”
By Steve Chaggaris, Stephanie Condon
The Obama administration has concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government used chemical weapons against the rebels seeking to overthrow him and, in a major policy shift, President Obama has decided to supply military support to the rebels, the White House announced Thursday.
“The president has made a decision about providing more support to the opposition that will involve providing direct support to the [Supreme Military Council]. That includes military support,” Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes told reporters.
President Obama has repeatedly said that the use of chemical weapons is a “red line” that, if crossed, would be a “game changer” for more U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.
“The President has been clear that the use of chemical weapons – or the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups – is a red line for the United States,” said Rhodes in a separate written statement.
“The President has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has,” he continued.
In terms of further response, Rhodes said, “we will make decisions on our own timeline” and that Congress and the international community would be consulted. Mr. Obama is heading to Northern Ireland Sunday for a meeting of the G8 group of nations; Rhodes indicated the president will consult with leaders of those countries.
“Any future action we take will be consistent with our national interest, and must advance our objectives, which include achieving a negotiated political settlement to establish an authority that can provide basic stability and administer state institutions; protecting the rights of all Syrians; securing unconventional and advanced conventional weapons; and countering terrorist activity,” Rhodes said.
To date, the U.S. policy on Syria has primarily focused on offering the rebels nonlethal assistance and humanitarian aid.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who met with the rebels last month and has been a vocal critic of the president’s Syria policy said in a joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.: “We appreciate the President’s finding that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on several occasions. We also agree with the President that this fact must affect U.S. policy toward Syria. The President’s red line has been crossed. U.S. credibility is on the line. Now is not the time to merely take the next incremental step. Now is the time for more decisive actions.”
“A decision to provide lethal assistance, especially ammunition and heavy weapons, to opposition forces in Syria is long overdue, and we hope the President will take this urgently needed step” they added. Former President Bill Clinton this week, at a private event with McCain, also ratcheted up pressure for the White House to increase its support to the rebels.
However, Rhodes would not detail the type of military support the administration intends on providing. He said helping the opposition improve their effectiveness as a fighting force means helping with “nonlethal assistance” such as communications equipment and transportation. “These are things that allow them to cohere as a unit,” he said.
He added, meanwhile, that no decision has been made about enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria. “A no-fly zone… would carry with it open-ended costs for the international community,” Rhodes said. “Furthermore, there’s not even a clear guarantee that it would dramatically improve the situation on the ground.”
A Syrian rebel group’s pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda’s replacement for Osama bin Laden suggests that the terrorist group’s influence is not waning and that it may take a greater role in the Western-backed fight to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The pledge of allegiance by Syrian Jabhat al Nusra Front chief Abou Mohamad al-Joulani to al-Qaeda leader Sheik Ayman al-Zawahri was coupled with an announcement by the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq, that it would work with al Nusra as well.
Lebanese Sheik Omar Bakri, a Salafist who says states must be governed by Muslim religious law, says al-Qaeda has assisted al Nusra for some time.
“They provided them early on with technical, military and financial support , especially when it came to setting up networks of foreign jihadis who were brought into Syria,” Bakri says. “There will certainly be greater coordination between the two groups.”
The United States, which supports the overthrow of Assad, designated al Nusra a terrorist entity in December. The Obama administration has said it wants to support only those insurgent groups that are not terrorist organizations.
Al Nusra and groups like it have seen some of the most significant victories against Syrian government forces in the course of the 2-year-old uprising in which Assad’s forces have killed about 80,000 people. Rebels not affiliated with al-Qaeda have pressed Washington for months to send weaponry that will allow them to match the heavy weapons of the Syrian army. They’ve urged the West to mount an air campaign against Assad’s mechanized forces.
President Obama refuses to provide any direct military aid. Foreign radical Islamists streaming into the fight from the Middle East and Europe are making headway with the Syrian population by providing services and gaining ground in battles.
Tamer Mouhieddine, spokesman for the Syrian Free Army, a force made up of Syrian soldiers who have defected, said the recent announcements would not change his group’s attitude toward al Nusra.
“The rebels in Syria have one common enemy — Bashar Assad — and they will collaborate with any faction allowing them to topple his regime,” he said.
He confirmed that al Nusra is generating loyalty in Aleppo, a region battling for months with Assad, by providing financial support as well as setting up charities.
Aaron Zelin at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington says al Nusra’s ability to provide security and basic needs such as bread and fuel to Syrian civilians, as well as to reopen shops and restart bus services, has won gratitude from people who would not usually adhere to its strict ideology.
Zelin says some Syrian people have criticized al Nusra for banning alcohol, forcing women to wear a full veil and whipping men who are seen with women in public.
“This illustrates the need for American leadership in the Syrian conflict, particularly with regard to helping non-Qaeda-aligned rebels contain the growth of (al Nusra) and similar groups,” he said. “Washington should also try to take advantage of cleavages within the rebellion and civilian population, since al Nusra is outside the mainstream and more concerned with establishing a transnational caliphate than maintaining the Syrian state.”
Groups such as the Islamic Liwaa al Tawhid, which collaborates with al Nusra on military operations, worried that Assad would use the announcement from al Nusra as evidence for his claim that he is fighting terrorists, not Syrian citizens who wish an end to his dictatorship, Mouhieddine said.
“We are willing to fight alongside any faction targeting the Assad regime, as long as it does not have a foreign agenda, which seems now the case” of al Nusra, he said.
China says US surveillance has ‘stained’ Washington’s image
Snowden still in hiding after new claims US ‘hacked’ China
Edward Snowden Claims US Hacked China Targets
Snowden: ‘U.S. Hacked China Computers For Years’
Edward Snowden Tells South China Morning Post: U.S. Has Been Hacking Hong Kong And China Since 2009
Glenn Greenwald “The Grounds On Which He Called For My Prosecution Was An Outright Fabrication”
John Bolton on NSA Leaker Edward Snowden: “I’m Not at All Sure He’s Acting Alone Here”
Edward Snowden: US government has been hacking Hong Kong and China for years
Former CIA operative makes more explosive claims and says Washington is ‘bullying’ Hong Kong to extradite him
US whistle-blower Edward Snowden yesterday emerged from hiding in Hong Kong and revealed to the South China Morning Post that he will stay in the city to fight likely attempts by his government to have him extradited for leaking state secrets.
In an exclusive interview carried out from a secret location in the city, the former Central Intelligence Agency analyst also made explosive claims that the US government had been hacking into computers in Hong Kong and on the mainland for years.
At Snowden’s request we cannot divulge details about how the interview was conducted.
A week since revelations that the US has been secretly collecting phone and online data of its citizens, he said he will stay in the city “until I am asked to leave”, adding: “I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the US government in the courts, because I have faith in HK’s rule of law.”
In a frank hour-long interview, the 29-year-old, who US authorities have confirmed is now the subject of a criminal case, said he was neither a hero nor a traitor and that:
US National Security Agency’s controversial Prism programme extends to people and institutions in Hong Kong and mainland China;
The US is exerting “bullying’’ diplomatic pressure on Hong Kong to extradite him;
Hong Kong’s rule of law will protect him from the US;
He is in constant fear for his own safety and that of his family.
Snowden has been in Hong Kong since May 20 when he fled his home in Hawaii to take refuge here, a move which has been questioned by many who believe the city cannot protect him.
“People who think I made a mistake in picking HK as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice, I am here to reveal criminality,” he said.
Snowden said that according to unverified documents seen by the Post, the NSA had been hacking computers in Hong Kong and on the mainland since 2009. None of the documents revealed any information about Chinese military systems, he said.
I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American
One of the targets in the SAR, according to Snowden, was Chinese University and public officials, businesses and students in the city. The documents also point to hacking activity by the NSA against mainland targets.
Snowden believed there had been more than 61,000 NSA hacking operations globally, with hundreds of targets in Hong Kong and on the mainland.
“We hack network backbones – like huge internet routers, basically – that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,” he said.
“Last week the American government happily operated in the shadows with no respect for the consent of the governed, but no longer. Every level of society is demanding accountability and oversight.”
Snowden said he was releasing the information to demonstrate “the hypocrisy of the US government when it claims that it does not target civilian infrastructure, unlike its adversaries”.
“Not only does it do so, but it is so afraid of this being known that it is willing to use any means, such as diplomatic intimidation, to prevent this information from becoming public.”
Since the shocking revelations a week ago, Snowden has been vilified as a defector but also hailed by supporters such as WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.
“I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American,” he said, adding that he was proud to be an American. “I believe in freedom of expression. I acted in good faith but it is only right that the public form its own opinion.”
Snowden said he had not contacted his family and feared for their safety as well as his own.
“I will never feel safe.
“Things are very difficult for me in all terms, but speaking truth to power is never without risk,” he said. “It has been difficult, but I have been glad to see the global public speak out against these sorts of systemic violations of privacy.
“All I can do is rely on my training and hope that world governments will refuse to be bullied by the United States into persecuting people seeking political refuge.”
Asked if he had been offered asylum by the Russian government, he said: “My only comment is that I am glad there are governments that refuse to be intimidated by great power”.
The interview comes on the same day NSA chief General Keith Alexander appeared before Congress to defend his agency over the leaks. It was his first appearance since the explosive revelations were made last week. Alexander’s prepared remarks did not specifically address revelations about the Prism program.
Snowden’s revelations threaten to test new attempts to build US-Sino bridges after a weekend summit in California between the nations’ presidents, Barack Obama and Xi Jinping.
If true, Snowden’s allegations lend credence to China’s longstanding position that it is as much a victim of hacking as a perpetrator, after Obama pressed Xi to rein in cyber-espionage by the Chinese military.
Tens of thousands of Snowden’s supporters have signed a petition calling for his pardon in the United States while many have donated money to a fund to help him.
“I’m very grateful for the support of the public,” he said. “But I ask that they act in their interest – save their money for letters to the government that breaks the law and claims it noble.
“The reality is that I have acted at great personal risk to help the public of the world, regardless of whether that public is American, European, or Asian.”
The US consulate in Hong Kong could not be contacted yesterday on a public holiday.
Devaluation and debasement key to U.S., China currency wars
USG War on Iran: Hot or Cold, it’s All War
Iranians protest currency nosedive
Iranian rial on rebound against US dollar
Alex Exposes The Covert Financial War Against Iran
Background Articles and Videos
The currency war on Iran
A collapse in the rial, greeted with glee by some, is a cause not for celebration but for fear
“…The continuing currency crisis in Iran, which has seen the rial go into freefall, has been cited, with some celebration in certain quarters, as proving that US-led sanctions are “working” against Tehran. Increasingly shut out from international banking and struggling to sell its oil, Iran has been forced to sell more cheaply while buying raw materials at a higher cash price. This, in turn, has led to currency speculation that the government has done nothing to halt, and to sharp devaluation.
But what does “sanctions are working” actually mean? Some hawks have read it as the possible beginning of the end for Iran’s nuclear programme and the collapse of the clerical regime. For others, including those anxious to avoid conflict over Iran, it has been seized on as a suggestion that the crisis might be resolved through negotiation and non-military pressure.
The reality is that the political, economic and social impact of sanctions can produce very different results from those allegedly desired, more often than not hurting ordinary people. And there is a third scenario, in which sanctions might actually make the confrontation with Iran more dangerous still.
The increasing popularity of economic sanctions, as Britain’s former ambassador to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, has observed, is due to the perception that no other tool exists “between words and military action if you want to bring pressure upon a government”.
When three academics – Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey Scott and Kimberly Ann Elliott – examined the history of sanctions between 1914 and 1990, in Economic Sanctions Reconsidered they determined that out of 115 cases that they looked at, only a third had seen any measure of success. The US political scientist Robert Pape has challenged even this measure, claiming that of the 40, only five can be determined genuine successes for sanctions.
As Pape argued in his essay, Why Economic Sanctions Do Not Work, “The … case that we should expect sanctions to be more effective in the future is also flawed, because it relies on the expectation that economic punishment can overwhelm a state’s commitment to its important policy goals.” Rather, he argues, at times of sanctions, the opposite is often true: “Pervasive nationalism often makes states and societies willing to endure considerable punishment rather than abandon what are seen as the interests of the nation.”
Even in cases where economic sanctions are generally considered to have had a positive impact – bringing about the end of white minority rule in South Africa and Rhodesia – there is disagreement over how decisive sanctions alone were in effecting that change. And if there is a disagreement over the efficacy of sanctions, what is also obvious is that they can come at a high price in terms of the impact on populations, and the risk that, far from undermining the legitimacy of regimes, they can entrench power – in a short term at least – around the regime elites being targeted. For Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, which lived under a sanctions regime from August 1990 until 2003, that meant a sharp increase in childhood mortality for infants under five years old, even as Saddam’s regime used money earned from avoiding sanctions to reward supporters.
There is evidence too that states under sanctions have been able to use the cover provided by them to put the heaviest burden on unpopular groups and minorities.
But one thing should be clear to all from the experience of global recession, ensuing austerity programmes, and recent global disturbances prompted by high grain prices. While it is easy to predict that people may become angry as they feel rapidly poorer, in such times of febrile politics how they will react is far harder to predict.
So to those celebrating Iranian pain, be careful what you wish for in desiring a crisis. It was hyperinflation under a regime of reparations that contributed to the collapse of the Weimar Republic. Few foresaw then what might occur. And few, now, are considering what a sanctions-triggered economic crisis might really mean for Iran and the region. …”
TEDxSanDiego 2011 – Jason Russell – Joseph Kony 2012
Secrets KONY 2012 Is Desperate to Hide
Kony 2012, hyped on the backs of celebrities and do-gooders, is revealed for what it is– a propaganda salvo for a continent wide invasion of Africa.
Research makes clear that KONY is a full on deception for geostrategic positioning vis-a-vis China for oil and mineral resources, as well as an effort to legitimize the U.S. military’s AFRICOM unit in the region through newly-branded “humanitarian” interventions.
It is not only War in the name of Peace, but an attempt to empower the International Criminal Court under the influence of NGOs and other related globalist corporate interests.
Obama has already deployed 100 special forces troops to the central African region back in October 2011, and a resolution in Congress– on the heels of KONY 2012’s viral views of more than 100 million– seeks to send more forces there for an all out invasion on the pretext of hunting down a shadowy warlord with less blood on his hands than an average African despot.
How Cults Work (MUST SEE)
Invisible Children are liars and Kony 2012 is a scam
Congo 20 million dead the role US and its allies played
CONGO 20MILLION DIE AND THE WORLD SILENT: The role that the America/Isreal and its allies, Rwanda/Uganda, have played in the greatest humanitarian crisis at the dawn of the 21st century
KONY 2012 SCAM – Ron Paul Speaks Out Against Brainwashing
Stop Kony Now – Discussion !!
Oil behind US nose poking in Uganda – RT 111018
Obama, the US and 5 Million Deaths in The Congo
US Sends Troops to Uganda – Is it About the Oil?
The US, Mining and Dictators in the Congo
RE: KONY 2012 — Beware Invisible Children SCAM (Video Response)
KONY 2012 Exposed: Dr. Webster Tarpley Reports 1/3
KONY 2012 Exposed: Dr. Webster Tarpley Reports 2/3
KONY 2012 Exposed: Dr. Webster Tarpley Reports 3/3
Invisible Children and Kony 2012: Avoiding Scams and Irresponsible Donations
Is Kony 2012 FRAUD? Just Asking Questions!
The TRUTH About “Invisible Children org” & “KONY 2012 Campaign”
Kony 2012 – Truth About Kony 2012 – Uganda oil find 2009 – Share this video!
US Military in Uganda = Soros, NWO Want Uganda’s Oil; Another Battle For Resources 10/17/11
GBR: What is “Kony 2012”?
Wag the Dog (1997) – Trailer
Wag The Dog
Wag The Dog – War On Terror
US sends combat troops to Uganda
U.S. sending troops to Africa combat Joseph Kony
US Sends Troops to Uganda – Is it About the Oil?
Obama sends troops to Africa
KONY 2012 = BIG OIL – Truth UGANDA OIL – Share this video!
People & Power – The LRA and Sudan
Occupy Uganda: Obama Sneaks U.S. Combat Troops Into African War Zone
KONY 2012: The Charity of Death with Ugandan Activist Sanyu & Writer Patrick Henningsen
Real News @ http://RevolutionNews.US — Why U.S. military in Uganda? Soros fingerprints all over it! Obama’s billionaire friend has interests in African country’s oil…
Obama on Friday notified House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, that he plans to send about 100 military personnel, mostly Special Operations Forces, to central Africa. The first troops reportedly arrived in Uganda on Wednesday.
The U.S. mission will be to advise forces seeking to kill or capture Joseph Kony, the leader of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. Kony is accused of major human rights atrocities. He is on the U.S. terrorist list and is wanted by the International Criminal Court.
In a letter on Friday, Obama announced the initial team of U.S. military personnel “with appropriate combat equipment” deployed to Uganda on Wednesday. Other forces deploying include “a second combat-equipped team and associated headquarters, communications and logistics personnel.”
“Our forces will provide information, advice and assistance to select partner nation forces,” he said.
Both conservatives and liberals have raised questions about whether military involvement in Uganda advances U.S. interests.
Writing in The Atlantic yesterday, Max Fisher noted the Obama administration last year approved special forces bases and operations across the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and Central Asia.
“But those operations, large and small, target terrorist groups and rogue states that threaten the U.S. — something the Lord’s Resistance Army could not possibly do,” he wrote.
“It’s difficult to find a U.S. interest at stake in the Lord’s Resistance Army’s campaign of violence,” continued Fisher. “It’s possible that there’s some immediate U.S. interest at stake we can’t obviously see.”
Bill Roggio, the managing editor of The Long War Journal, referred to the Obama administration’s stated rationale for sending troops “puzzling,” claiming the LRA does not present a national security threat to the U.S. — “despite what President Obama said.”
Inhofe Sets LRA Record Straight
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the driving force behind the legislative efforts against Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), discusses the LRA and dispenses with many misconceptions about the group and what they have done. Inhofe has been raising awareness and working to end Kony’s reign of terror for over a decade.
Lured by a government amnesty, senior commanders from the LRA are coming out of the bush and speaking about their time with Joseph Kony. In this rare report, they justify their actions.
“He is from God. What he predicts comes true”, states Captain Ray Apire, explaining Kony’s hold over his soldiers. “By making people suffer, he is bringing people close to God”. Commanders explain how they interpreted Jesus’ command to “Go and catch people”, seeing it as an order to abduct children. For the first time in a decade, the government and LRA are involved in serious peace talks. But the conflict is far from over. A woman breaks down describing how her daughter was abducted the previous night. This is the second time her girl has been kidnapped so she knows she will probably be killed.
Why Is Obama Sending Troops to Uganda to Support a Dictator?
“…One possible explanation is oil. When Yoweri Museveni won re-election this year Bloomberg reported that Tullow Oil would begin to pump oil out of the Lake Albert region as they have an estimated 2.5 billion barrels and possibly as high as 6 billion.
A grantee of the Soros-funded Revenue Watch called the Africa Institute for Energy Governance, started the Publish What You Pay Coalition of Uganda, supposedly to promote transparency in the oil industry.
According to World Net Daily Soros is the main financier of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect. The “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine is based on principles backed by the UN which propogate the formula that sovereignty is not a right but rather a responsibility that can be taken away if they have engaged in “ethnic cleansing” or “war crimes.” Though one member of the group, Hanan Ashrawi is a staunch Holocaust denier according to WND.
WND has reported that the founder of “Responsibility to Protect,” Ramesh Thakur recently advocated for global redistribution to create a “New World Order.”
Then Soros’ International Crisis Group advised the White House to deploy the military to Uganda to capture the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony. The ICG executive board along with Soros also has Bill Clinton’s former national security advosor Samuel Berger, a socialist former secretary general of NATO, and the senior advisor of ICG is Zbignew Brzezinski just to add a little new world order spice to the mix.
The real issue appears to be an oil dispute as the Ugandan President Museveni has been accused of taking bribes from Tullow Oil and Italian ENI though he staunchly denies the claim. …”
Soros’ “Responsibility to Protect Doctrine” Advanced By Comrade Obama
By Ed Randazzo
“…Responsibility to Protect, or Responsibility to Act, as cited by Obama, is a set of principles, now backed by the United Nations, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility that can be revoked if a country is accused of “war crimes,” “genocide,” “crimes against humanity” or “ethnic cleansing.”
The Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect is the world’s leading champion of the military doctrine. Billionaire activist George Soros is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect. Several of the doctrine’s main founders also sit on boards with Soros.
The luminaries that devised the Responsibility to Protect doctrine included Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa as well as Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi, a staunch denier of the Holocaust who long served as the deputy of late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.
Also, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy has a seat on the advisory board of the 2001 commission that originally founded Responsibility to Protect. The commission is called the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. It invented the term “responsibility to protect” while defining its guidelines.
The Carr Center is a research center concerned with human rights located at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, that bastion of conservative thought.
Samantha Power, the National Security Council special adviser to Obama on human rights, was Carr’s founding executive director and headed the institute at the time it advised in the founding of Responsibility to Protect.
Power reportedly heavily influenced Obama in consultations leading to the decision to bomb Libya.
Soros’ Open Society Institute is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect. Soros’ Open Society is one of only three nongovernmental funders of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Government sponsors include Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda and the U.K. …”
The film has spread virally. As of 9 March 2012 (2012 -03-09)[update], the film currently has over 15.5 million views on Vimeo, and over 64 million views on video-sharing website YouTube, with other viewing emanating from a central “Kony2012” website operated by Invisible Children. The intense exposure of the video caused the “Kony 2012” website to crash shortly after it began gaining widespread popularity. The video has also seen a number of celebrities endorsing the campaign including Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Christina Milian, Nicki Minaj, Bill Gates and Kim Kardashian. On April 20, 2012, as part of the campaign, supporters will put up posters promoting Kony 2012 in their home towns. Invisible Children offers posters from an online shop in an attempt to gain wider recognition on the issue. They have also created action kits that include campaign buttons, posters, bracelets, and stickers to help spread awareness.
The film documents the Invisible Children Inc’s plans and efforts to arrest Kony. It describes Kony’s guerrilla warfare tactics with his Lord’s Resistance Army and the regions (northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan) in which they have been employed. One of the main people featured in the film is a Ugandan named Jacob, whose brother was killed by Kony. In response, director and founder of Invisible Children, Jason Russell, “promises Jacob that he will help stop Kony.” The film advocates curtailing compelled and coerced youth military service and the restoration of social order. The video also has clips of Jason Russell’s son, Gavin. Gavin is a young child and many children his age are subject to Kony’s regime. Gavin shows that even though he’s young he wants to help and wonders why no one else does. He also says innocent, childlike things – when told that Kony forces people to kill family members and fellow countrymen, his response is “But they’re not gonna do what he says, ’cause they’re nice guys… right?”.
“Culture and policy makers”
The Invisible Children charity has been focused on obtaining the support of a select group of individuals in order to “help bring awareness to the horrific abuse and killing of children in the East and Central African countries at the hands of Kony and his leadership”. This list included 20 “celebrity culture makers”, such as George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift, and Ryan Seacrest.
The campaign has come under criticism for its simplification of events in the region. Part of this purported simplification is the campaign’s failure to mention Ugandan government actions or those committed by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army or the complicated regional politics fueling the conflict. Another critique is that the film gives a misleading impression of the whereabouts and magnitude of Kony’s remaining LRA forces: in fact, Kony’s followers are now thought to number only in the hundreds. There has also been a more cynical analysis of Barack Obama‘s decision to send military advisers to the region, it being suggested that it was a reward for Uganda giving assistance in Somalia. Obama did announce a kill-or-capture mission with “combat-equipped troops” to take out Kony in Uganda.  Further criticism has come from the campaign’s lack of accountability towards the Ugandan government in the conflict. Jedediah Jenkins, the “director of idea development for Invisible Children”, responded to the concerns about working with the Ugandan government by stating that, “There is a huge problem with political corruption in Africa. If we had the purity to say we will not partner with anyone corrupt, we couldn’t partner with anyone.”
In November of 2011, while the Kony 2012 film was in production, Foreign Affairs magazine published an article that stated that Invisible Children had “manipulated facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders” and was “portraying Kony – a brutal man, to be sure – as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil”.Resolve, one of Invisible Children’s “partner organizations”, responded to the article, saying that the accusations were a “serious charge … published with no accompanying substantiation.” These criticisms of how Invisible Children has been acting to raise awareness and the statements that were made in the film resurfaced when Kony 2012 was released. Jenkins responded to the new criticisms by saying that they were “myopic” and that the video itself was a “tipping point” that “got young people to care about an issue on the other side of the planet that doesn’t affect them”.
There has also been criticism related to the plausibility of Kony 2012. Cooperation between the United States of America and Uganda is hard-fought, and the two armies have failed to come together and cooperate in numerous occasions . The Kony 2012 film has raised a possibility of the military of African nations coming together to find Kony, however, military coordination and cooperation is lacking within the countries where the LRA resides itself. Since the LRA has split up, there is no guarentee of quick or even possible success in the mission to capture Kony, and Kony is not with the group that has been committing the most damage and atrocity with the people of Uganda.
On March 8, 2012, Invisible Children released an official response, addressing the criticisms directed at the Kony 2012 film. They explained that they “do not defend any of the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Ugandan government or the Ugandan army” and the reason why they are working with the Ugandan army even though Kony is no longer in Uganda is because the army is “more organized and better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries (DRC, South Sudan, CAR) to track down Joseph Kony” and that they want all of the governments in the region to work together to arrest Kony. As an explanation for the simplicity of the movie, they stated that “in [their] quest to garner wide public support of nuanced policy, [they] sought to explain the conflict in an easily understandable format”.  …”
“…The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.
Government intervention into the economy is the problem.
If both the United States and China would stop interferrring in markets both countries would significantly increase production with higher rates of economic growth.
Balance the budget, pass the FairTax , end the Fed, and bring all the troops home.
The ruling class in both the United States and Communist China fear the people–good–they have much to fear.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
Background Articles and Videos
Conversations with History: Clyde Prestowitz
Book Discussion with Clyde Prestowitz: The Betrayal of American Prosperity
Currency Wars & China
Mar 24 10 Hearing on China’s Exchange Rate Policy, Clyde Prestowitz Opening Statement
Mar 24 10 Hearing on China’s Exchange Rate Policy, C. Fred Bergsten Opening Statement
Peter Schiff: Fed Waging War
Dalian 2007 – BBC World Debate China: Resolving Tensions of Growth
“The effect of its interference is that people are prevented from using their knowledge and abilities, their labor and their material means of production in the way in which they would earn the highest returns and satisfy their needs as much as possible. Such interference makes people poorer and less satisfied.”
“The essence of the interventionist policy is to take from one group to give to another. It is confiscation and distribution.”
~Ludwig von Mises
Fed Chairman Bernanke: US Risks Massive Unemployment
Ron Paul to Fed: All You Can Do is Print Money – And It Doesn’t Do Any Good!
Currency Wars & China
Video: Weekly Asia focus: China’s rate hike speculation
Markets, inflation, China, Buffett, GM
The United States Will Monetize the Debt (And Here’s Why…)
Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
At the Sixth European Central Bank Central Banking Conference, Frankfurt, Germany
November 19, 2010
Rebalancing the Global Recovery
“…Given these advantages of a system of market-determined exchange rates, why have officials in many emerging markets leaned against appreciation of their currencies toward levels more consistent with market fundamentals? The principal answer is that currency undervaluation on the part of some countries has been part of a long-term export-led strategy for growth and development. This strategy, which allows a country’s producers to operate at a greater scale and to produce a more diverse set of products than domestic demand alone might sustain, has been viewed as promoting economic growth and, more broadly, as making an important contribution to the development of a number of countries. However, increasingly over time, the strategy of currency undervaluation has demonstrated important drawbacks, both for the world system and for the countries using that strategy.
First, as I have described, currency undervaluation inhibits necessary macroeconomic adjustments and creates challenges for policymakers in both advanced and emerging market economies. Globally, both growth and trade are unbalanced, as reflected in the two-speed recovery and in persistent current account surpluses and deficits. Neither situation is sustainable. Because a strong expansion in the emerging market economies will ultimately depend on a recovery in the more advanced economies, this pattern of two-speed growth might very well be resolved in favor of slow growth for everyone if the recovery in the advanced economies falls short. Likewise, large and persistent imbalances in current accounts represent a growing financial and economic risk.
Second, the current system leads to uneven burdens of adjustment among countries, with those countries that allow substantial flexibility in their exchange rates bearing the greatest burden (for example, in having to make potentially large and rapid adjustments in the scale of export-oriented industries) and those that resist appreciation bearing the least.
Third, countries that maintain undervalued currencies may themselves face important costs at the national level, including a reduced ability to use independent monetary policies to stabilize their economies and the risks associated with excessive or volatile capital inflows. The latter can be managed to some extent with a variety of tools, including various forms of capital controls, but such approaches can be difficult to implement or lead to microeconomic distortions. The high levels of reserves associated with currency undervaluation may also imply significant fiscal costs if the liabilities issued to sterilize reserves bear interest rates that exceed those on the reserve assets themselves. Perhaps most important, the ultimate purpose of economic growth is to deliver higher living standards at home; thus, eventually, the benefits of shifting productive resources to satisfying domestic needs must outweigh the development benefits of continued reliance on export-led growth. …”
As currently constituted, the international monetary system has a structural flaw: It lacks a mechanism, market based or otherwise, to induce needed adjustments by surplus countries, which can result in persistent imbalances. This problem is not new. For example, in the somewhat different context of the gold standard in the period prior to the Great Depression, the United States and France ran large current account surpluses, accompanied by large inflows of gold. However, in defiance of the so-called rules of the game of the international gold standard, neither country allowed the higher gold reserves to feed through to their domestic money supplies and price levels, with the result that the real exchange rate in each country remained persistently undervalued. These policies created deflationary pressures in deficit countries that were losing gold, which helped bring on the Great Depression.3The gold standard was meant to ensure economic and financial stability, but failures of international coordination undermined these very goals. Although the parallels are certainly far from perfect, and I am certainly not predicting a new Depression, some of the lessons from that grim period are applicable today.4In particular, for large, systemically important countries with persistent current account surpluses, the pursuit of export-led growth cannot ultimately succeed if the implications of that strategy for global growth and stability are not taken into account.
Thus, it would be desirable for the global community, over time, to devise an international monetary system that more consistently aligns the interests of individual countries with the interests of the global economy as a whole. In particular, such a system would provide more effective checks on the tendency for countries to run large and persistent external imbalances, whether surpluses or deficits. Changes to accomplish these goals will take considerable time, effort, and coordination to implement. In the meantime, without such a system in place, the countries of the world must recognize their collective responsibility for bringing about the rebalancing required to preserve global economic stability and prosperity. I hope that policymakers in all countries can work together cooperatively to achieve a stronger, more sustainable, and more balanced global economy. …”
“…Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke fired back amid criticism at home and abroad of the Fed’s easy-money policies, arguing that China and others are causing global problems by preventing their currencies from strengthening as their economies boom.
Bernanke fired back at critics upset with the Fed’s new stimulus plan, arguing that China and other nations are causing problems by preventing their currencies from strengthening. Jon Hilsenrath, Evan Newmark and Dennis Berman discuss. And Brett Arends discusses the oddly behaving market for muni bonds, whose yields rose above not only Treasurys but also above some corporate bonds.
By keeping their currencies artificially weak, Mr. Bernanke argued in Frankfurt Friday, China and other emerging markets are allowing their economies to overheat, preventing trade imbalances from adjusting and worsening what he called a “two-speed” global recovery.
Their “strategy of currency undervaluation” is preventing more “balanced and sustainable” global growth, he warns, echoing a view expressed by Obama Administration officials.
Mr. Bernanke has come under attack for the Fed’s decision to purchase $600 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds in an effort to drive down long-term interest rates. Critics in the U.S say it could cause inflation. Critics abroad say the flood of dollars that the Fed is effectively printing to finance its bond purchases is pouring into overseas markets and could cause asset bubbles.
Some also have accused the Fed of trying to weaken the dollar to spur U.S. exports.
Fed officials have denied that is their goal, though Mr. Bernanke effectively acknowledged the U.S. currency should weaken against currencies in emerging markets, because their economies are growing so much faster than economies in the developed world.
The Fed chairman’s message, though scholarly in tone, was unusually blunt in laying blame for inflationary pressures in emerging markets and for tensions over currencies on countries like China. A chart accompanying his comments also pinpoints Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand as aggressively trying to hold their currencies down, while India, Chile and Turkey aren’t. …”
Why Fed bond-buying plan is raising trade tensions
By PAUL WISEMAN AP Economics Writer
“…The Federal Reserve’s plan to buy more Treasury bonds has incited critics at home to complain of inevitable high inflation and financial turmoil. It turns out many foreigners are pretty angry, too. They say the Fed’s $600 billion program is a scheme to give U.S. exporters an unfair edge – one that endangers the global economy.Is it? Or is the Fed’s plan a credible way to help end a desperate jobs crisis and revitalize a still-tepid economy?In either case, few dispute that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is taking a gamble. Whether or not his plan succeeds in aiding the U.S. economy, it risks triggering a trade war and encouraging dangerous speculation in financial markets.Already, the finger-pointing threatens to wreck this week’s summit of world leaders in Seoul, where the Fed’s plan has set off vociferous debate. President Barack Obama on Thursday was forced to defend U.S. policies at the summit, saying “the most important thing that the United States can do for the world economy is to grow.”
“…So the Fed announced plans to print enough money to buy an average of $75 billion in Treasury bonds each month for eight months. And it left the door open for more. The bond-purchase program is intended to energize the economy by forcing down long-term interest rates. Those lower rates might encourage some consumers and businesses to borrow and spend more.Will the Fed’s program do that?Not likely, its critics say. For one thing, mortgage rates have already dipped to record lows without reviving the housing market, reducing high unemployment or stimulating much growth. Would people and businesses that can’t or won’t borrow now at super-low rates start borrowing if interest rates on loans dip a bit more – and borrow enough to rejuvenate the economy?A bigger hope is that lower rates will lift stock prices. That’s because, as Bernanke has suggested, investors will shift money out of low-yielding bonds and into stocks. Higher stock prices make people feel wealthier – and more willing to spend.Business leaders are no different. They become more confident when their personal wealth rises and when their company’s stock goes up. They’re more likely to hire and expand. Once they do, the economy strengthens.Yet the Fed’s move threatens to inflame global tensions. That’s because of what happens when it prints more dollars to lower interest rates: More dollars flooding the financial system will cause the dollar’s value to fall. That will make U.S. products cheaper around the world. It will also make foreign goods costlier in the United States. Americans will be less likely to buy foreign products. …”
Ron Paul: Bring the Troops Home, End the Welfare State, Stop Monetizing Debt
Global Fiat Currency will be Derailed by Free Markets and Nationalism
The Shell Game – How the Federal Reserve is Monetizing Debt
“…The Federal Reserve has effectively been monetizing far more US government debt than has openly been revealed, by cleverly enabling foreign central banks to swap their agency debt for Treasury debt. This is not a sign of strength and reveals a pattern of trading temporary relief for future difficulties.
This is very nearly the same path that Zimbabwe took, resulting in the complete abandonment of the Zimbabwe dollar as a unit of currency. The difference is in the complexity of the game being played, not the substance of the actions themselves.
When the full scope of this program is more widely recognized, ever more pressure will fall upon the dollar, as more and more private investors shun the dollar and all dollar-denominated instruments as stores of value and wealth. This will further burden the efforts of the various central banks around the world as they endeavor to meet the vast borrowing desires of the US government.
One possible result of the abandonment of these efforts is a wholesale flight out of the dollar and into other assets. To US residents, this will be experienced as rapidly rising import costs and increasing costs for all internationally-traded basic commodities, especially food items. For the rest of the world, the results will range from discomforting to disastrous, depending on their degree of dollar linkage.
Under these circumstances, “inflation vs. deflation” is not the right frame of reference for understanding the potential impacts. For example, it would be possible for most of the world to experience falling prices, even as the US experiences rapidly rising prices (and hikes in interest rates) as a consequence of a falling dollar. Is this inflation or deflation? Both, or neither? Instead, we might properly view it as a currency crisis, with prices along for the ride.
Further, all efforts to supplant private debt creation with public debts should be met with skepticism, because gigantic programs are no substitute for the collective decisions of tens of millions of individuals and cannot realistically meet millions of individual needs in a timely or appropriate manner.
The shell game that the Fed is currently playing does not change the basic equation: Money is being printed out of thin air so that it can be used to buy US government debt. …”