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Thread: World War Three Thread....

  1. #261
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Check out Center 2011, which kicked off today with CSTO members, and Union Shield. The timing of these exercises is of interest, as are the participants. Since they are not massing troops on NATO's border no one seems to be paying much attention, yet it would not be a long trip through Iran, into Turkey, then down into Israel. All this during the time that the Palestinians are confidently demanding a state from the UN with East Jerusalem as it's capitol, and have even been found celebrating the outcome prematurely last weekend in downtown DC. I hope that never happened but the timing of this military exercise is very suspicious. At least to me.


    http://en.trend.az/regions/casia/kaz...n/1933615.html

    'Center-2011' military exercises started

    [19.09.2011 14:34]



    Kazakhstan, Astana, Sept. 19 / Trend A. Maratov /

    The large joint strategic exercises "Center-2011" have been launched in Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan today, the Kazakh Ministry of Defense said.
    The exercises will continue until September 26. They aim to develop a unified approach towards creating, operating and using troops (the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force and the Collective Rapid Deployment Forces of the Central Asian region) in case of armed conflicts in the region.

    About 12,000 servicemen and 1,000 units of weapons, military and special equipment including 100 tanks and 50 planes, and 10 combat vehicles are planned to be involved in the exercises from the CSTO member-states.

    The "Union Shield 2011" exercises are being conducted in the Russian firing ground Ashuluk. The main efforts are focused on joint actions of the Belarusian and Russian sides of a joint regional air defense system.

    The "Union Shield" and "Center-2011" exercises have common topics and tasks. They involve all participants - Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine, the report said.
    Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at trend@trend.az




    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    China, Russia pledge to further military cooperation


    English.news.cn 2011-09-24 02:57:11 FeedbackPrintRSS

    Guo Boxiong (R), Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission, meets with Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov on bilateral military relations in Moscow, Russia, Sept. 23, 2011. High-ranking military officials from China and Russia held talks here Friday, pledging to further step up bilateral military cooperation between the two countries. (Xinhua/Jiang Kehong)

    MOSCOW, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- High-ranking military officials from China and Russia held talks here Friday, pledging to further step up bilateral military cooperation between the two countries.
    During an official visit to Moscow, Guo Boxiong, Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission, met with Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov on bilateral military relations.
    Guo noted that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, adding that the China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership have maintained the momentum of a robust growth.
    He stressed that Chinese President Hu Jintao's successful visit to Russia in June and the consensus reached by both countries' leaders during Hu's visit have determined the future direction of the development of bilateral ties and laid solid political foundations for the further promotion of military relations between the two countries.
    Under the current complicated and changeable international situation, the strengthening of pragmatic military exchanges and cooperation between the two sides is of great significance, Guo said.
    He added that China have been always seeing military relations with Russia a priority in its foreign military contacts and is willing to endeavor with the Russian side to actively implement the consensus reached by Chinese and Russian leaders, boost bilateral military cooperation in all fields, and push the relations between the two armies to a new high.
    Serdyukov extended warm welcome to Guo and recalled his visit to China in last November. He said bilateral ties between Russia and China have achieved unprecedented development and there are still huge potentials in bilateral cooperation.
    Serdyukov said Russia will work together with China to further promote bilateral military relations.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Senior Chinese military official meets Putin

    English.news.cn 2011-09-24 03:50:55 FeedbackPrintRSS
    MOSCOW, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission Guo Boxiong on Friday met with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin here in Moscow on bilateral ties.
    Putin extended warm welcome to Guo and spoke highly of the steady development of relations between Russia and China, saying the two countries have witnessed frequent exchanges of high-level officials and expanding cooperation in all fields.
    The two sides have also had close coordination on international issues and contributed to international and regional security, he added.
    Putin appreciated the military exchanges and cooperation between Russia and China, saying he hoped the two countries could endeavor together to further promote the friendship and cooperation between the two armies.
    The visiting Chinese official said this year marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty of Good- Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, which is of significance to the two countries and the world.
    During the last decade, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership has undergone unprecedented development, Guo said, adding that bilateral cooperation also has yielded good results with China and Russian maintaining close coordination and collaboration on international issues.
    The development of Sino-Russian ties have brought tangible benefits to both countries and their peoples, Guo said.
    The relations of mutual benefit between the two armies have been playing an important role in the China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, he added.
    Thanks to the efforts from leaders of both countries, relations between the two armies have been developing steadily in recent years, enriching the connotations of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, Guo added.
    He pledged that China is willing to abide by the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation to further promote the all-round and multi-level cooperation between the two armies.
    Guo also noted China would like to endeavor with Russia to push the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to a new height and contribute to world peace and common development.
    Earlier on Friday, Guo also held talks with Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov on bilateral military ties.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    22 arrested in Azerbaijan in plot on US, Israeli embassies


    Published March 14, 2012
    | FoxNews.com

    Officials in Azerbaijan have arrested 22 people suspected of plotting attacks on the American and Israeli embassies in the capital Baku, the Agence France Presse is reporting.

    The plot was reportedly on behalf of Azerbaijan’s neighbor, Iran, according to the national security ministry.

    "Twenty-two citizens of Azerbaijan have been arrested by the national security ministry for cooperating with the Iranian Sepah," the ministry said, referring to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, according to AFP. "On orders of the Sepah, they were to commit terrorist acts against the US, Israeli and other Western states' embassies and the embassies' employees."

    The ministry said in a statement to AFP that those arrested were recruited beginning in 1999 and trained at military camps in Iran to gather information on foreign embassies and organizations in Azerbaijan. Their training included weapon use and spy techniques to stage attacks, according to the AFP.

    "Firearms, cartridges, explosives and espionage equipment were found during the arrest," the statement said.

    In the past few months, a series of arrests have been made in Azerbaijan with alleged connections to Tehran.

    The former Soviet nation of Azerbaijan is reported to have purchased hundreds of millions of dollars to weapons from Israel, allegedly angering Iran, the AFP reported.



    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/03...eli-embassies/
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Yeah, we shouldn't worry about people like that, OVER THERE. They can stay OVER THERE and we can stay over HERE and there won't be any more problems.

    Right Michael?
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Hello!? An attack on a US Embassy IS OUR FUCKING PROBLEM.

    This one was averted. By the Azerbaijanis.

    What part of America FIRST don't YOU understand?
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    I'm beginning to think the "trigger" will not be a nuke any more:

    World's most sophisticated cyber weapon burns computers in Middle East

    Published May 29, 2012
    The Wall Street Journal



    • May 28, 2012: A screenshot from researchers at Kaspersky Labs shows the code behind The Flame, called " the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed." (Kaspersky Labs)



    Computer malware described as "the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed" has been uncovered in computers in the Middle East and may have infected machines in Europe, according to reports from antivirus researchers and software makers in Russia, Hungary and Ireland.


    The malware, dubbed Worm.Win32.Flame, is unusual in its complexity, size and the multitude of ways it has of harvesting information from an infected computer including keyboard, screen, microphone, storage devices, network, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB and system processes.


    The malware is called "Flame" by Kaspersky Labs, a Moscow-based antivirus software maker, but also known as sKyWIper by the Hungarian Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security (CrySyS Lab).
    'A nation state sponsored the research that went into it.'
    - Kaspersky Labs

    Both Kaspersky Labs and CrySyS Lab said it was likely the malware was developed by a government-sponsored entity.


    "The geography of the targets [certain states are in the Middle East] and also the complexity of the threat leaves no doubt about it being a nation state that sponsored the research that went into it," Kaspersky Labs said in a report.


    "The results of our technical analysis supports the hypotheses that sKyWIper was developed by a government agency of a nation state with significant budget and effort, and it may be related to cyber warfare activities," a CrySyS Lab report said. "Arguably, it is the most complex malware ever found."


    Although the virus has just been detected, there was evidence that it may have been in operation for at least two years.
    Vitaly Kamluk, chief malware expert for Kaspersky Labs, said there were many pointers to it being a weapon, not the least of which was how highly-targeted it was. According to their investigations, only 382 infections have been reported, 189 of which were in Iran, and the malware targeted individuals rather than organizations.


    Kamluk said the malware was most likely introduced by a USB stick or other removable drive. Once injected, the malware would contact one of the many command and control servers around the world and download additional modules as needed.


    It used the same technique as Stuxnet, an earlier highly sophisticated malware, to seek out other machines to infect.


    "Unlike Stuxnet," said Kamluk, "[Flame] was much more sophisticated and not simply trying to infect every machine." He said the malware was also able to find out information about other devices around it.


    While the finger of suspicion for Stuxnet was pointed at a number of suspects, including both U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies, Kamluk said there was no evidence to suggest who might be responsible for Flame, and it was pure speculation to attribute blame.




    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/...#ixzz1wGQRKpyU
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....


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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    I think the trigger will be a massive cyber attack that takes down and cripples Western nations financial markets simultaneously.

    Ev

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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Quote Originally Posted by eversman View Post
    I think the trigger will be a massive cyber attack that takes down and cripples Western nations financial markets simultaneously.

    Ev
    That's not really possible. The systems are too diverse, too robust and not interconnected enough for that to occur.

    There's a NYSE disaster recovery site that can take over quickly should the main one go down.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Flame Spyware Targets Iran
    May 28, 2012

    THE CYBER SECURITY world is alight with reports about Flame, cyber espionage spyware that targets Iranian computers.

    Flame, the Flamer or, the Flame, depending on where you read about it, is the subject of a report from the Iranian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) security group, where it is described as a new variant of malware with similarities to Stuxnet and Duqu.

    Iran's CERT said that the malware is spread through local area networks (LANs) and removable media and is capable of network sniffing, detecting network resources and scooping up passwords.

    "The name 'Flamer' comes from one of the attack modules, located at various places in the decrypted malware code," said the Iranian CERT advisory.

    "In fact this malware is a platform which is capable of receiving and installing various modules for different goals."

    It can screen grab passwords, transfer data to control servers and infect large scale local networks that run Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

    Security firm Kaspersky said that it first spotted the attack in 2010, adding that it represents a bigger threat than its competition and could be "the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed".



    "Flame can easily be described as one of the most complex threats ever discovered. It's big and incredibly sophisticated. It pretty much redefines the notion of cyberwar and cyberespionage," wrote Kaspersky security researcher Alexander Gostev.

    "Flame is a sophisticated attack toolkit, which is a lot more complex than Duqu. It is a backdoor, a Trojan, and it has worm-like features, allowing it to replicate in a local network and on removable media if it is commanded so by its master."

    Flame is difficult to analyse because it is so complex, said Gostev. "Overall, we can say Flame is one of the most complex threats ever discovered," he explained.

    Gostev confirms the Iranian's CERT report that the Trojan is targeting firms in that geography, adding that Flame's motive is to "systematically collect information on the operations of certain nation states in the Middle East, including Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and so on".

    "It looks like the creators of Flame are simply looking for any kind of intelligence - e-mails, documents, messages, discussions inside sensitive locations, pretty much everything," he added.

    "We have not seen any specific signs indicating a particular target such as the energy industry - making us believe it's a complete attack toolkit designed for general cyber-espionage purposes."

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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Flame: World's Most Complex Computer Virus Exposed
    The world's most complex computer virus, possessing a range of complex espionage capabilities, including the ability to secretly record conversations, has been exposed.

    May 28, 2012

    Middle Eastern states were targeted and Iran ordered an emergency review of official computer installations after the discovery of a new virus, known as Flame.

    Experts said the massive malicious software was 20 times more powerful than other known cyber warfare programmes including the Stuxnet virus and could only have been created by a state.

    It is the third cyber attack weapon targeting systems in the Middle East to be exposed in recent years.

    Iran has alleged that the West and Israel are orchestrating a secret war of sabotage using yber warfare and targeted assassinations of its scientists as part of the dispute over its nuclear programme.

    Stuxnet attacked Iran's nuclear programme in 2010, while a related programme, Duqu, named after the Star Wars villain, stole data.

    Flame can gather data files, remotely change settings on computers, turn on computer microphones to record conversations, take screen shots and copy instant messaging chats.

    The virus was discovered by a Russian security firm that specialises in targeting malicious computer code.

    It made the 20 gigabyte virus available to other researchers yesterday claiming it did not fully understand its scope and said its code was 100 times the size of the most malicious software.

    Kaspersky Labs said the programme appeared to have been released five years ago and had infected machines in Iran, Israel, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

    "If Flame went on undiscovered for five years, the only logical conclusion is that there are other operations ongoing that we don't know about," Roel Schouwenberg, a Kaspersky security senior researcher, said.

    Professor Alan Woodward from the department of computing at the University of Surrey said the virus was extremely invasive. It could "vacuum up" information by copying keyboard strokes and the voices of people nearby.

    "This wasn't written by some spotty teenager in his/her bedroom. It is large, complicated and dedicated to stealing data whilst remaining hidden for a long time," he said.

    The virus contains about 20 times as much code as Stuxnet, which attacked an Iranian uranium enrichment facility, causing centrifuges to fail. Iran's output of uranium was suffered a severe blow as a result of the Stuxnet activities.

    Mr Schouwenberg said there was evidence to suggest the code was commissioned by the same nation or nations that were behind Stuxnet and Duqu.

    Iran's Computer Emergency Response Team said it was "a close relation" of Stuxnet, which has itself been linked to Duqu, another complicated information-stealing virus is believed to be the work of state intelligence.

    It said organisations had been given software to detect and remove the newly-discovered virus at the beginning of May.

    Crysys Lab, which analyses computer viruses at Budapest University. said the technical evidence for a link between Flame and Stuxnet or Duqu was inconclusive.

    The newly-discovered virus does not spread itself automatically but only when hidden controllers allow it.

    Unprecedented layers of software allow Flame to penetrate remote computer networks undetected.

    The file, which infects Microsoft Windows computers, has five encryption algorithms, exotic data storage formats and the ability to steal documents, spy on computer users and more.

    Components enable those behind it, who use a network of rapidly-shifting "command and control" servers to direct the virus, to turn microphone into listening devices, siphon off documents and log keystrokes.

    Eugene Kaspersky, the founder of Kaspersky Lab, noted that "it took us 6 months to analyse Stuxnet. [This] is 20 times more complicated".

    Once a machine is infected additional modules can be added to the system allowing the machine to undertake specific tracking projects.

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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Israel: Don't blame the Flame cyberattack on us

    A spokesperson for the country tells the BBC in an interview that comments made by Israel's vice prime minister on the issue were taken out of context.
    by Don Reisinger


    The Flame worm has put the Middle East on high alert and caused several security experts to look for the source. And although some media reports have linked Israel to the attack, the country has denied all involvement.
    The trouble for Israel started recently when the country's vice prime minister Moshe Ya'alon said on Israel's military radio station, Army Radio, that "there are quite a few governments in the west that have rich high-tech [capabilities] that view Iran, and particularly the Iranian nuclear threat, as a meaningful threat -- and can possibly be involved with this field."
    Related stories




    Ya'alon went on to say that every country that "sees the Iranian nuclear threat as a significant one" might "take every single measure available, including these, to harm the Iranian nuclear project."
    Those comments sparked suggestions among some that Israel might have been behind the malware, which Kaspersky Lab researchers are calling, "the most sophisticated cyberweapon yet unleashed." However, in a statement to the BBC today, a spokesman for Ya'alon said that "there was no part of the interview where the minister has said anything to imply that Israel was responsible for the virus."
    Flame was discovered earlier this week. The malware has been in operation since 2010, and according to Kaspersky, is "state-sponsored." The virus is specifically designed to steal information about targeted systems and stored files, as well as information on the computer display and audio conversations. Iran was the central target for the virus, but it also impacted machines in the West Bank, Sudan, Syria, and other Middle East countries.
    "One of the most alarming facts is that the Flame cyber-attack campaign is currently in its active phase, and its operator is consistently surveilling infected systems, collecting information and targeting new systems to accomplish its unknown goals," Kaspersky said this week.
    Although no countries have come forward to stake claim to the virus, the U.S. and Israel have been cited most often. Earlier this week, MSNBC reported that it had spoken with a U.S. official who claimed "it was U.S." behind the attack. However, the U.S. has so far not commented on the virus and the official speaking to MSNBC acknowledged that he or she had no "first-hand knowledge" of the virus.
    Update 5:45 a.m. PT to include more details.
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Stuxnet was work of U.S. and Israeli experts, officials say

    By Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick, Friday, June 1, 9:03 AM


    A damaging cyberattack against Iran’s nuclear program was the work of U.S. and Israeli experts and proceeded under the secret orders of President Obama, who was eager to slow Iran’s apparent progress toward building an atomic bomb without launching a traditional military attack, say current and former U.S. officials.


    The origins of the cyberweapon, which outside analysts dubbed Stuxnet after it was discovered in 2010, have long been debated, with most experts concluding that the United States and Israel likely collaborated on the effort. The current and former U.S. officials confirmed that long-standing suspicion Friday, after a New York Times report on the program.



    The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe the classified effort code-named Olympic Games, said that it was first developed during the administration of George W. Bush and was geared toward damaging Iran’s nuclear capability gradually while sowing confusion among Iranian scientists about the cause of mishaps.


    The use of the cyberweapon — code designed to infiltrate and damage systems run by computers — was supposed to make the Iranians think their engineers were incapable of running a uranium enrichment facility, said one participant in the cyberattack. “If you had wholesale destruction right away, then they generally can figure out what happened, and it doesn’t look like incompetence.”


    Even after software security companies discovered Stuxnet loose on the Internet in 2010, causing concern among U.S. officials, Obama secretly ordered the operation continued. Overall, the attack destroyed nearly 1,000 of Iran’s 6,000 centrifuges — fast-spinning machines that enrich uranium, an essential step toward building an atomic bomb. The National Security Agency developed the cyberweapon with help of Israeli experts.


    Iranian officials had no immediate comment on the news reports on Stuxnet Friday. In the past, they have blamed U.S. and Israeli officials and said that their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes such as generating electricity, not making bombs.


    White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to comment on Friday’s reports.


    The revelations come at a particularly sensitive time, as the United States and five other world powers are engaged in talks with Iran on proposed cuts to its nuclear program. Iran has refused to agree to any concessions on what it says is its rightful pursuit of peaceful nuclear energy. The next round of negotiations are scheduled for later this month in Moscow.


    Iranian officials have denounced the cyberattacks — as well as the slayings of four Iranian scientists in recent years — as part of a “terrorist” campaign backed by Israel and the United States. U.S. intelligence officials attribute recently foiled assassination plots against Israeli, U.S. and Saudi diplomats to an Iranian effort to retaliate against such covert actions.


    In a statement released this week by Iran’s U.N. mission, a spokesman complained that Iran has been a “victim of vicious acts of terrorism” and accused the West of being hypocritical in its complains about alleged Iranian-sponsored attacks.


    “This raises the question of who really supports terrorism,” the statement said.


    Senior Bush administration officials developed the idea of using a computer worm, with Israeli assistance, to damage Iranian centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz.


    “Effectively the United States has gone to war with Iran and has chosen to do so in this manner because the effects can justify this means,” said Rafal Rohozinski, a cybersecurity expert and principal of the SecDev Group, referring to the slowing of Iran’s nuclear program.


    “This officially signals the beginning of the cyber arms race in practice, and not in theory,” he said.


    With more countries in the race to develop cyberweapons, Stuxnet has set a precedent for their use that may embolden others to use them, some experts say.


    U.S. officials have long had concerns about backlash, which is one reason why ambiguity about who was behind the worm was useful.
    “I think it is very dangerous for the United States to do this stuff because the U.S. is the most vulnerable country in the world to e-attacks,” said one security official with knowledge of the program, referring to the country’s reliance on computers for everything from banking and commerce to running power systems and sending e-mail.
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Gonna post this here.

    The signs of a world war are as follows.

    1. Depression / dying economy
    2. Development of arms...
    3. Assassinations of enemy nation's government leaders
    4. Ongoing wars.

    1. The world economic condition is in bad shape and moving toward depression. (definition of a depression isa sustained economic recession in which a nation's Gross National Product (GNP) is falling and marked by low production and sales and a high rate of business failures and unemployment). Several countries are on the edge of DEFAULT!

    2. Arms development. Russia and China building new crap, planes, carriers, etc. North Korea developing better nukes. Iran developing nukes.

    3. Don't think anyone has been assassinated lately - but wait for it... something will happen soon in places like Greece, England, Spain, etc.

    4. Guess we can say there are at least a couple of "on-going" wars and conflicts at the moment.

    We've fulfilled many of the items above - and though I am certain there are other, perhaps more persuasive signs, these are historical in the sense they pointed to World War II. And to a great degree World War I.

    I suppose it comes down to who acts and the manner they act, how they act and when. I guess we poor citizens can sit and watch, wait and see - and then get drafted or ordered into our homes for the duration.

    Depends I guess on what each of US do....
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    I have a sinking suspicion war could break out between member states of the EU. and given that they are all mostly NATO nations, how does that work itself out....?

    If that happens, i'm CERTAIN China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran will also start wars while taking advantage of the situation in europe. just a scenario we were kicking around at work today.

    -ev

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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Which member states do you see specifically?

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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    I see Greece, Germany and Spain involved.... pissing at each other over money.

    But I'm usually wrong.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  19. #279
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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Will World War III be between the U.S. and China?

    By Max Hastings
    UPDATED: 20:11 EST, 25 November 2011

    China's vast military machine grows by the day. America's sending troops to Australia in response. As tension between the two superpowers escalates, Max Hastings warns of a terrifying threat to world peace.
    Mass hysteria: The armies of Mao Tse-tung stunned the world by intervening in the Korean War


    On the evening of November 1, 1950, 22-year-old Private Carl Simon of the U.S. 8th Cavalry lay shivering with his comrades in the icy mountains of North Korea.



    A patrol had just reported itself ‘under attack from unidentified troops’, which bemused and dismayed the Americans, because their campaign to occupy North Korea seemed all but complete.


    Suddenly, through the darkness came sounds of bugle calls, gunfire, shouts in a language that the 8th Cavalry’s Korean interpreters could not understand. A few minutes later, waves of attackers charged into the American positions, screaming, firing and throwing grenades.


    ‘There was just mass hysteria,’ Simon told me long afterwards. ‘It was every man for himself. I didn’t know which way to go. In the end, I just ran with the crowd. We ran and ran until the bugles grew fainter.’


    This was the moment, of course, when the armies of Mao Tse-tung stunned the world by intervening in the Korean War. It had begun in June, when Communist North Korean forces invaded the South.


    U.S. and British forces repelled the communists, fighting in the name of the United Nations, then pushed deep into North Korea. Seeing their ally on the brink of defeat, the Chinese determined to take a hand.


    In barren mountains just a few miles south of their own border, in the winter of 1950 their troops achieved a stunning surprise. The Chinese drove the American interlopers hundreds of miles south before they themselves were pushed back. Eventually a front was stabilised and the situation sank into stalemate.


    Three years later, the United States was thankful to get out of its unwanted war with China by accepting a compromise peace, along the armistice line which still divides the two Koreas today.


    For most of the succeeding 58 years the U.S., even while suffering defeat in Vietnam, has sustained strategic dominance of the Indo-Pacific region, home to half the world’s population.


    Yet suddenly, everything is changing. China’s new economic power is being matched by a military build-up which deeply alarms its Asian neighbours, and Washington. The spectre of armed conflict between the superpowers, unknown since the Korean War ended in 1953, looms once more.


    American strategy guru Paul Stares says: ‘If past experience is any guide, the United States and China will find themselves embroiled in a serious crisis at some point in the future.’


    The Chinese navy is growing fast, acquiring aircraft-carriers and sophisticated missile systems. Beijing makes no secret of its determination to rule the oil-rich South China Sea, heedless of the claims of others such as Vietnam and the Philippines.



    Expansion: The Chinese navy is growing fast, acquiring sophisticated missile systems



    The Chinese foreign minister recently gave a speech in which he reminded the nations of South-East Asia that they are small, while China is very big.


    Michael Auslin of the American Enterprise Institute described these remarks as the diplomatic equivalent of the town bully saying to the neighbours: ‘We really hope nothing happens to your nice new car.’


    This year, China has refused stormbound U.S. Navy vessels admission to its ports, and in January chose the occasion of a visit from the U.S. defence secretary to show off its new, sophisticated J-20 stealth combat aircraft.


    Michael Auslin, like many other Americans, is infuriated by the brutishness with which the dragon is now flexing its military muscles: ‘We have a China that is undermining the global system that allowed it to get rich and powerful, a China that now feels a sense of grievance every time it is called to account for its disruptive behaviour.’

    Washington was angered by Beijing’s careless response to North Korea’s unprovoked sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan a year ago, followed by its shelling of Yeonpyeong island, a South Korean archipelago.


    Wreckage: Washington was angered by Beijing's careless response to North Korea's sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan

    When the U.S. Navy deployed warships in the Yellow Sea in a show of support for the South Korean government, Beijing denounced America, blandly denying North Korea’s guilt. The Chinese claimed that they were merely displaying even-handedness and restraint, but an exasperated President Obama said: ‘There’s a difference between restraint and wilful blindness to consistent problems.’

    Washington is increasingly sensitive to the fact that its bases in the western Pacific have become vulnerable to Chinese missiles. This is one reason why last week the U.S. made a historic agreement with Australia to station up to 2,500 U.S. Marines in the north of the country.

    Beijing denounced the deal, saying it was not ‘appropriate to intensify and expand military alliances and may not be in the interests of countries within this region’.

    Even within Australia, the agreement for the U.S. base has provoked controversy.



    More...




    Hugh White of the Australian National University calls it ‘a potentially risky move’. He argues that, in the new world, America should gracefully back down from its claims to exercise Indo-Pacific hegemony, ‘relinquish primacy in the region and share power with China and others’.

    But Richard Haas, chairman of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, says: ‘U.S. policy must create a climate in which a rising China is never tempted to use its growing power coercively within or outside the region.’

    To put the matter more bluntly, leading Americans fear that once the current big expansion of Chinese armed forces reaches maturity, within a decade or so, Beijing will have no bourgeois scruples about using force to get its way in the world — unless America and its allies are militarily strong enough to deter them.

    Meanwhile, in Beijing’s corridors of power there is a fissure between the political and financial leadership, and the generals and admirals.

    On the one hand, Chinese economic bosses are appalled by the current turmoil in the West’s financial system, which threatens the buying power of their biggest customers.

    Allies: The U.S. made a historic agreement with Australia to station up to 2,500 U.S. Marines in the north of the country

    On the other, Chinese military chiefs gloat without embarrassment at the spectacle of weakened Western nations.
    As America announces its intention to cut back defence spending, the Chinese armed forces see historic opportunities beckon. Ever since Mao Tse-tung gained control of his country in 1949, China has been striving to escape from what it sees as American containment.
    The issue of Taiwan is a permanent open sore: the U.S. is absolutely committed to protecting its independence and freedom. Taiwan broke away from mainland China in 1949, when the rump of the defeated Nationalists under their leader Chiang Kai-shek fled to the island, and established their own government under an American security blanket.
    China has never wavered in its view that the island was ‘stolen’ by the capitalists, and is determined to get it back.

    Beijing was infuriated by America’s recent £4  billion arms deal with Taiwan which includes the sale of 114 Patriot anti-ballistic missiles, 60 Blackhawk helicopters and two minesweepers.

    When I last visited China, I was struck by how strongly ordinary Chinese feel about Taiwan. They argue that the West’s refusal to acknowledge their sovereignty reflects a wider lack of recognition of their country’s new status in the world.

    A young Beijinger named David Zhang says: ‘The most important thing for Americans to do is to stop being arrogant and talk with their counterparts in China on a basis of mutual respect.’ That is how many of his contemporaries feel, as citizens of the proud, assertive new China.

    But how is the West supposed to do business with an Asian giant that is not merely utterly heedless of its own citizens’ human rights, but also supports some of the vilest regimes in the world, for its own commercial purposes?

    Burma’s tyrannical military rulers would have been toppled years ago, but for the backing of the Chinese, who have huge investments there.

    A million Chinese in Africa promote their country’s massive commercial offensive, designed to secure an armlock on the continent’s natural resources. To that end, following its declared policy of ‘non-interference’, China backs bloody tyrannies, foremost among them that of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.


    'Non-interference': China backs bloody tyrannies, foremost among them that of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe

    China, like Russia, refuses to endorse more stringent sanctions against Iran, in response to its nuclear weapons-building programme, because Beijing wants Iranian oil. Indeed, Chinese foreign policy is bleakly consistent: it dismisses pleas from the world’s democracies that, as a new global force, it should play a part in sustaining world order.

    If Chinese leaders — or indeed citizens — were speaking frankly, they would reply to their country’s critics: ‘The West has exploited the world order for centuries to suit itself. Now it is our turn to exploit it to suit ourselves.’

    A friend of ours has recently been working closely with Chinese leaders in Hong Kong. I said to his wife that I could not withhold a touch of sympathy for a rising nation which, in the past, was mercilessly bullied by the West.

    She responded: ‘Maybe, but when they are on top I don’t think they will be very kind.’ I fear that she is right. It seems hard to overstate the ruthlessness with which China is pursuing its purposes at home and abroad.

    China chose to make an example of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu by jailing him for 11 years

    The country imprisons Nobel prizewinners such as the political activist and writer Liu Xiaobo, steals intellectual property and technological know-how from every nation with which it does business and strives to deny its people access to information through internet censorship.

    The people of Tibet suffer relentless persecution from their Chinese occupiers, while Western leaders who meet the Dalai Lama are snubbed in consequence.

    Other Asian nations are appalled by China’s campaign to dominate the Western Pacific. Japan’s fears of Chinese-North Korean behaviour are becoming so acute that the country might even abandon decades of eschewing nuclear weapons, to create a deterrent.

    A few months ago, the Chinese party-controlled newspaper Global Times carried a harshly bellicose editorial, warning other nations not to frustrate Beijing’s ambitions in the South China Sea — Vietnam, for example, is building schools and roads to assert its sovereignty on a series of disputed islands also claimed by China.

    The Beijing newspaper wrote: ‘If Vietnam continues to provoke China, China will . . . if necessary strike back with naval forces. If Vietnam wants to start a war, China has the confidence to destroy invading Vietnam battleships.’

    This sort of violent language was familiar in the era of Mao Tse-tung, but jars painfully on Western susceptibilities in the 21st century. China’s official press has urged the government to boycott American companies that sell arms to Taiwan.


    The people of Tibet suffer relentless persecution from their Chinese occupiers

    The Global Times, again, demands retaliation against the United States: ‘Let the Chinese people have the last word.’

    Beyond mere sabre-rattling, China is conducting increasingly sophisticated cyber-warfare penetration of American corporate, military and government computer systems. For now, their purpose seems exploratory rather than destructive.

    But the next time China and the United States find themselves in confrontation, a cyber-conflict seems highly likely. The potential impact of such action is devastating, in an era when computers control almost everything.

    It would be extravagant to suggest that the United States and China are about to pick up a shooting war where they left off in November 1950, when Private Carl Simon suffered the shock of his young life on a North Korean hillside.

    But we should be in no doubt, that China and the United States are squaring off for a historic Indo-Pacific confrontation.

    Even if, for obvious economic reasons, China does not want outright war, few military men of any nationality doubt that the Pacific region is now the most plausible place in the world for a great power clash.

    Michael Auslin of the American Enterprise Institute declares resoundingly: ‘America’s economic health and global leadership in the next generation depend on maintaining our role in the world’s most dynamic region.’

    But the Chinese fiercely dissent from this view. It is hard to exaggerate the threat which this clash of wills poses for peace in Asia, and for us all, in the coming decades.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: World War Three Thread....

    Romney, Russia, and Ukraine

    By Janusz BUGAJSKI
    President Barack Obama’s private remarks to Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev at a summit in Seoul in March, unleashed a foreign policy storm between the White House and Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for the US presidency. It also opened up a long overdue debate on whether Russia remains America’s primary adversary.
    At the end of his meeting with Medvedev, Obama asserted that he would have “more flexibility” after the November elections in dealing with controversial issues such as Missile Defense (MD). The remarks set off alarm bells among Republicans that Obama was placating the Kremlin by making major concessions on MD. Some Republican leaders even charged the White House with secretive deal making about US national security.
    Democrats in turn attacked Romney as a Cold Warrior for claiming that Russia remained America’s “number-one geopolitical enemy.” Obama himself had previously asserted that Putin still had a foot in the Cold War past. But all such Cold War comparisons miss the most important question: in present-day geopolitical configurations is Russia a partner or a competitor for the US? The answer is that both Obama and Romney are correct.
    Obama’s Russia “reset” was based on the premise that Moscow can be drawn into cooperative relations by focusing on joint projects. And this proved useful in signing a new arms control agreement, gaining NATO access to Afghanistan across the former Soviet Union, and placing limited UN sanctions on Iran. However, in the bigger picture Romney is right that a resurgent Russia ultimately challenges US interests in numerous domains. His views are shared by many senior Republicans, including Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl.
    According to Romney, Russia’s nuclear arsenal, its energy politics, its geographic position astride Europe and Asia, the veto it wields on the UN Security Council, and its domestic authoritarianism present serious challenges for Washington. And among the regional challenges are the future of Ukraine and other former Soviet republics that are seeking to avoid incorporation in a new Moscow-dominated bloc.
    Although Romney has not been specific on Ukraine or the broader region, he has strongly favored NATO enlargement eastward, condemned Russia’s occupation of Georgian territory, and supported the emplacement of the MD system in Central Europe.
    In doing so, Romney has depicted Obama’s foreign policy as weak and indecisive. Although much of this is electioneering bluster, Democrat representatives are themselves aggressively defending the president by exaggerating Romney’s comments on Russia as “reckless and dangerous.” Democrats also underscore Obama’s foreign policy successes in decimating al Qaeda’s leadership, ending the Iraq war, and initiating a transition in Afghanistan.
    If Ukraine was a developing democracy and eager to join NATO and the EU, much like Georgia, it would benefit from more substantial support among the majority of Republicans. But Kyiv’s problem is Ukraine’s reversals in democratic development and its deteriorating human rights record. This can rebound negatively if Romney reaches the White House.
    The human rights constituency in Washington spans both parties and one of its most active champions is John McCain, who is likely to be a senior voice on foreign policy in a future Republican administration. US support for Ukrainian independence may be tempered by condemnation of its internal politics, much like in Belarus. Hence, it will be vital for Kyiv to demonstrate that it is determined to maintain its national sovereignty, as Washington has doubts about Minsk’s commitment to statehood.
    The Romney approach may be even more evident toward Russia, where the Putinist system not only destroys democracy, but also threatens US allies and partners. Putin’s assertive foreign policy distracts attention from domestic upheavals by depicting the US as the major global adversary intent on breaking up Russia.
    Whatever the degree of cooperation in arms control or counter-terrorism, the fundamental relationship between the US and Russia will remain competitive and potentially conflictive. While the Democrats are right that one can work with Moscow in certain circumscribed areas, Romney is also correct that at present no single power is as well positioned as Russia to disrupt America’s national interests. And a Romney administration could prove more intent on responding to Moscow’s challenges.
    Janusz Bugajski is a Senior Associate in the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C.
    Libertatem Prius!


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