Raves, rants and reviews
Raves, Rants, Reviews

Energy: The last frontier of the Ukraine war

02/11/2022. Category: Military. Topic: , .

The Ukraine war has intensified the old energy conflict between Russia and the US. The ultimate result of this struggle is uncertain but US main allies, i.e., Europe, are not expected to perform well.

Fossil fuels are the main sources of world energy providing 80% of the world’s consumption. In Europe, and despite long-dated political, social and media initiatives in favor of green energy, in 2021 fossil fuels sourced 70.6% of total energy consumption and renewables only 12.3%, the latter an unremarkable feat as green promotion started in the late 1970s. Historically Europe has relied on Russian fuels and as of May 2022 Russian oil imports represented 23.7% and 16.1% of OECD Europe’s oil demand and total imports, respectively, whereas in 2021 Russian gas equaled 71.7% of Europe’s total gas pipeline imports and 49% of total gas imports, respectively.

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“Military Madness”: US to deploy nuclear-capable B-52s to Australia, provoking China

01/11/2022. Category: Military. Topic: .

Deploying “bombers to Australia sends a strong message to adversaries about our ability to project lethal air power,” said the U.S. Air Force, alarming anti-war advocates.

In what critics are calling a “dangerous escalation,” the United States is reportedly preparing to deploy up to six nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to northern Australia, where they would be close enough to strike China.

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Ukraine war: Iranian ‘kamikaze’ drones can inflict serious damage but will not be a gamechanger

20/10/2022. Category: Military. Topic: , .

By Dominika Kunertova, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Many Ukrainians are facing the prospect of a winter of power outages after about 30% of the country’s power stations were knocked out in just over a week. The deputy head of the president’s office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, has warned that the country needs to be prepared for “a hard winter”.

It has been reported that a great deal of this damage is being inflicted by Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones, acquired by Russia from Iran in recent weeks. On Monday October 17 alone, Russia launched 43 Shahed drones at Kyiv, killing four civilians as the focus of Russia’s attacks turned again to Ukraine’s cities.

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Armenia promises big boost in military spending

30/09/2022. Category: Military. Topic: , , .

By Ani Mejlumyan, Eurasianet.

Armenia has announced that it is increasing its defense budget by nearly 50 percent two years after its defeat in the war to Azerbaijan, as Baku continues to apply military pressure.

The 2023 military budget will be 501 billion drams (over $1.2 billion), according to a draft budget presented by the government at a September 29 cabinet meeting. That would be a 47 percent increase over the 2022 budget in dram terms, and an even greater increase in dollar terms as the Armenian currency has been sharply appreciating in the last several months.

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More money for more Patriot missiles

01/05/2020. Category: Military. Topic: , .

The Patriot missile was designed way back in 1969 by Raytheon and Hughes and launched a decade later as, what was thought at the time, the ultimate Defense-and-Defeat weapon.

Alas, for years the program was surrounded by controversies and plagued by mishaps, basically meaning it did not perform as it said it would on the label.

The first model, the MIM-104 Patriot, was quickly upgraded with Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-1) technology and followed by the MIM-104B and later models up to – as in 2020 – the MIM-104F (PAC-3).

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Is the world really sleepwalking to war? Systems thinking can provide an answer

16/07/2017. Category: Military. Topic: , .

By Roger Bradbury, Australian National University; Chris Barrie, Australian National University, and Dmitry Brizhinev, Australian National University.

The idea the world is sleepwalking to war, much like Europe did in the early years of the 20th century, deserves to be taken seriously. One of us (Chris Barrie) set the hares running recently when he said that, as in 1914, political leaders today are doing just that.

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Spring Storm: U.S. and Romania practice storming Black Sea shores

25/03/2017. Category: Military. Topic: .

The United States and Romanian navies practiced storming the beaches of the Black Sea, a relatively rare example of practicing an attack in the region that Russia considers its own and where it increasingly feels under siege.

The USS Carter Hall, an amphibious dock landing ship, exited the Black Sea on March 22 after taking part in the exercises, Spring Storm 2017. U.S. or NATO exercises in the Black Sea have become fairly dog-bites-man news – and NATO has promised to conduct them even more frequently – but these are novel in that they are practicing an explicitly offensive scenario. Read more…

Cyberwar is here to stay

25/02/2016. Category: Military. Topic: , .

By Paul Rosenzweig, Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University.

On February 16, 2016, The New York Times revealed that the Obama administration had prepared a cyberattack plan to be carried out against Iran in the event diplomatic negotiations failed to limit that country’s nuclear weapons development.

The plan, code-named Nitro Zeus, was said to be capable of disabling Iran’s air defenses, communications system and parts of its electric grid. It also included an option to introduce a computer worm into the Iranian uranium enrichment facility at Fordow, to disrupt the creation of nuclear weapons. In anticipation of the need, U.S. Cyber Command placed hidden computer code in Iranian computer networks. According to The New York Times, President Obama saw Nitro Zeus as an option for confronting Iran that was “short of a full-scale war.” Read more…

We must prepare for a 30-year war in the Middle East

25/11/2015. Category: Military. Topic: .

Twelve years ago, George W Bush gave his “Mission Accomplished” speech from the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, confident that the Saddam Hussein regime had been consigned to the dustbin of history, the Taliban regime had been terminated, al-Qaeda was dispersed, if not destroyed, and the desperately needed New American Century was back on track.

That’s what he thought. Instead, over the following decade, hundreds of thousands died in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Read more…

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