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The US Military Continues War Practice In Europe And The Pacific

The US Military Continues War Practice In Europe And The Pacific

The US Military Continues War Practice In Europe And The Pacific2020-05-21PopularResistance.Orghttps://popularresistance-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2020/05/stop-us-pacific-war-games.gif200px200px

Above Image by Graphic from Hawaii Peace and Justice.

And Plans More In 2021.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, not only will the U.S. military have the largest maritime military maneuvers in the world, with Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) coming to the waters off Hawaii August 17-31, 2020 bringing 26 nations, 25,000 military personnel, up to 50 ships and submarines and hundreds of aircraft in midst of a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, but the U.S. Army is having a 6,000 person war game in June 2020 in Poland. The State of Hawaii has the most stringent measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, with a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all persons arriving in Hawaii — returning residents as well as visitors. This quarantine is required until at least June 30, 2020.

If these weren’t too many military operations during an epidemic in which personnel on 40 U.S. Navy ships have come down with the hyper-contagious COVID-19 and military personnel and their families have been told not to travel, plans are underway for a U.S. Army division-sized exercise in the Indo-Pacific region in less than a year — in 2021. Known as Defender 2021, the U.S. Army has requested $364 million to conduct the war exercises throughout Asian and Pacific countries.

The pivot to the Pacific, begun under the Obama administration, and now under the Trump administration, is reflected in a U.S. National Defense Strategy (NDS) that sees the world as “a great power competition rather than counter-terrorism and has formulated its strategy to confront China as a long-term, strategic competitor.”

This month, May 2020, the U.S. Navy in support of the Pentagon’s “free and open Indo-Pacific ” policy aimed at countering China’s expansionism in the South China Sea and as a show of force to counter ideas that the capabilities of U.S. Navy forces have been reduced by COVID-19, sent at least seven submarines, including all four Guam-based attack submarines, several Hawaii-based ships, and the San Diego-based USS Alexandria to the Western Pacific in what the Pacific Fleet Submarine Force announced publicly that all of its forward-deployed subs were simultaneously conducting “contingency response operations.”

The U.S. military force structure in the Pacific will be changed to meet the National Defense Strategy’s perceived threat from China, beginning with the U.S. Marine Corps creating new infantry battalions that will be smaller to support naval expeditionary warfare and designed to support a fighting concept known as Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations. U.S. Marine forces will be decentralized and distributed across the Pacific on islands or floating barge bases. As the Marine Corps eliminates much of its traditional equipment and units, the Marines plan to invest in long-range precision fires, reconnaissance, and unmanned systems, doubling the number of unmanned squadrons.

To effect this change in strategy, marine infantry battalions will go down to 21 from 24, artillery batteries will go to five down from 2, amphibious vehicle companies will be reduced from six-four and F-35B and F-35C Lightning II fighter squadrons will have fewer aircraft per unit, from 16 aircraft down to 10. The Marine Corps will eliminate its law enforcement battalions, units that build bridges and reduce the service personnel by 12,000 in 10 years.

The Hawaii-based unit, called a Marine Littoral Regiment, is expected to have 1,800 to 2,000 Marines carved out mainly one of three infantry battalions based at Kaneohe Marine Base. Most of the companies and firing batteries that will make up a littoral anti-air battalion will come from units not currently stationed in Hawaii.

The III Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Okinawa, Japan, the main Marine unit in the Pacific region, will be changed to have three Marine littoral regiments that are trained and equipped to operate within contested maritime areas. The region will also have three Marine expeditionary units that are globally deployable. The other two Marine expeditionary force units will provide forces to the III MEF.

The U.S. military war games in Europe, Defender Europe 2020 is already underway with troops and equipment arriving at European ports and will cost about $340 million, which is roughly in line with what the U.S. Army is requesting in FY21 for the Pacific version of the Defender series of war maneuvers. Defender 2020 will be in Poland June 5-19 and will take place at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area in northwestern Poland with a Polish airborne operation and a U.S.-Polish division-size river crossing.

More than 6,000 U.S. and Polish soldiers will participate in the exercise, named Allied Spirit. It was originally scheduled for May and is linked with Defender-Europe 2020, the Army’s largest exercise in Europe in decades. Defender-Europe was largely canceled because of the pandemic.

U.S. Army Europe is planning additional exercises over the coming months focusing on training objectives originally outlined for Defender-Europe, including working with equipment from pre-positioned stocks in Europe and conducting airborne operations in the Balkans and the Black Sea region.

In FY20, the Army will conduct a smaller version of Defender Pacific while Defender Europe will get more investment and focus. But then attention and dollars will swing over to the Pacific in FY21. Defender Europe will be scaled back in FY21. The Army is requesting just $150 million to conduct the exercise in Europe, according to the Army.

In the Pacific, the U.S. military has 85,000 troops permanently stationed in the Indo-Pacific region and is expanding its longstanding series of exercises called Pacific Pathways with extending the time Army units are in countries in Asia and the Pacific, including in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. A division headquarters and several brigades would have a South China Sea scenario where they will be around the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the course of a 30- to 45-day period.

In 2019, under the Pacific Pathways exercises, US Army units were in Thailand for three months and four months in the Philippines. The U.S. Army is discussing with the Indian government about expanding military exercises from roughly just a few hundred personnel up to 2,500 for a duration of up to six months which “gives us a presence in the region longer as well without being permanently there,” according to the US Army of the Pacific commanding general. Breaking from the larger exercise, smaller US Army units will deploy to countries such as Palau and Fiji to participate in exercises or other training events.

In May 2020, the Australian government announced that a delayed six-month rotation of 2,500 US Marines to a military base in Australia’s northern city of Darwin will go ahead based on strict adherence to COVID-19 measures including a 14-day quarantine. The Marines had been scheduled to arrive in April but their arrival was postponed in March because of COVID-19. The remote Northern Territory, which had recorded just 30 COVID-19 cases, closed its borders to international and interstate visitors in March, and any arrivals must now undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days. U.S. Marine deployments to Australia began in 2012 with 250 personnel and has grown to 2,500.

The Joint US Defense facility Pine Gap, the U.S. Department of Defense and CIA surveillance facility that pinpoints airstrikes around the world and targets nuclear weapons, among other military and intelligence tasks, was also adapting its policy and procedures to comply with Australian government COVID-19 restrictions.

As the U.S. military expands its presence in Asia and the Pacific, one place it will NOT be returning to is Wuhan, China. In October 2019, the Pentagon sent 17 teams with more than 280 athletes and other staff members to the Military World Games in Wuhan, China. Over 100 nations sent a total of 10,000 military personnel to Wuhan in October, 2019. The presence of a large U.S. military contingent in Wuhan just months before the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Wuhan in December 2019, fueled a theory by some Chinese officials that the U.S. military was somehow involved in the outbreak which now has been used by the Trump administration and its allies in the Congress and the media that the Chinese deliberately used the virus to infect the world and adding justification for the U.S. military build-up in the Pacific region.

Ann Wright is a 29-year US Army/Army Reserves veteran, a retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She received the State Department Award for Heroism in 1997, after helping to evacuate several thousand people during the civil war in Sierra Leone. She is most noted for having been one of three State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Wright was also a passenger on the Challenger 1, which along with the Mavi Marmara, was part of the Gaza flotilla. She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, and Mongolia. In December 2001 she was on the small team that reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is the co-author of the book “Dissent: Voices of Conscience.” She has written frequently on rape in the military.

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News Popular Resistance

US Continues Its War On The Rest Of The World

US Continues Its War On The Rest Of The World

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The duopoly corporate parties enforce silence and ignorance on foreign policy to ensure that Americans have neither the knowledge nor the tools to resist their country’s policy of endless war.

“The average voter seldom thinks about foreign policy for the simple reason that they aren’t asked to do so.”

It isn’t clear who the next president of the United States will be but the terrible handiwork of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Donald Trump are creating terrible suffering for millions of people around the world.

Donald Trump is making a big show of a phony peace agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Taliban were given life by Jimmy Carter, who sought to undermine the sovereign government of that country. We were told that the Soviets had invaded when in fact the government of President Najibullah had invited them, an act he had every right to undertake.

What followed was years of civil war, billions of dollars funneled to the mujahadeen, including the likes of Osama bin Laden, who subsequently turned against his sponsors and killed 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. No one wanted to remember that bin Laden was originally lauded as a freedom fighter by Carter and Reagan, only to be rubbed out years later by Barack Obama.

“bin Laden was originally lauded as a freedom fighter by Carter and Reagan.”

Carter began the use of jihadist proxies and all of his predecessors followed in his footsteps. The current turmoil in Syria is a direct result of Obama’s turn at creating disaster. Along with his partners in NATO, and Israel, and gulf monarch states, he sought regime change against Bashar al-Assad. Now the Syrians are on the verge of taking back their country with the help of their allies but NATO member Turkey has again proved itself to be treacherous and makes a last stand with its jihadist proxies to continue the suffering of the people there.

The presidential campaign is a farce, as foreign policy is treated like a frill that need not be mentioned. That is because the war party duopoly have no intention of changing U.S. foreign policy in any significant way. The cynical maneuvers continue as Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar drop out in order to help Joe Biden. Elizabeth Warren hangs on and the hapless Biden is used to convince fearful black voters that he is the only hope of defeating Trump.

“The war party duopoly have no intention of changing U.S. foreign policy in any significant way.”

Bernie Sanders may be the most progressive on domestic issues, but his foreign policy positions are no better than those of the men who previously filled the job he hopes to hold. When he isn’t calling Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping thugs he is supporting the destruction of Venezuela and other countries targeted by the United States. Tulsi Gabbard questions the regime change concept but she has been barred from debates and is thus rendered invisible to the electorate. Her invisibility is hardly coincidental.

While Democrats sound alike, the Trump administration enters into an agreement with the Taliban to reduce the number of U.S. troops. Trump has a bit of a foreign policy victory, a slight undoing of a 40-year long crime against the Afghan people who have suffered after the U.S. intervened on behalf of jihadists.

This information is rarely shared with the American people. The average voter seldom thinks about foreign policy for the simple reason that they aren’t asked to do so. When Syria, Afghanistan or any other faraway place breaks into the news cycle they are told little more than that foreign leaders who work with the U.S. are good but that all others are consigned to thuggery.

“Tulsi Gabbard questions the regime change concept but she has been barred from debates and is thus rendered invisible to the electorate.”

Americans should know that Turkey’s gambit of unleashing refugees into Europe is a direct result of its acting in concert with the U.S. regime change plot. Of course the Europeans now wringing their hands in fear of newcomers went along with the scheme and share in the blame as they continue their role as America’s vassal states.

The foreign crises that are treated like background music are in fact very important. No one knows if Turkey’s rampage on behalf of the United States can start a hot war that candidates will suddenly have to address.

The consensus for imperialism is no accident. The military industrial complex makes sure that its gravy train continues in Afghanistan and elsewhere and presidential candidates don’t even pretend to change a corrupt system. After inauguration day on January 20, 2021 the United States will continue to be the biggest threat to peace in the world. Millions of people will be bombed or sanctioned and Americans will continue to live in ignorance as they wonder why their country is hated. They need only look at the presidential candidate debate stage to answer the question.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at patreon.com/margaretkimberley and she regularly posts on Twitter @freedomrideblog. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

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News Sputnik

China to Take Measures against Apple, Cisco If US Continues Hitting Huawei With Sanctions – Report

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – China will carry out countermeasures against such US companies as Apple and Cisco if the United States continues applying sanctions on Huawei, Chinese media reported on Friday.

According to the Global Times daily, quoting a source close to the Chinese government, “China will take forceful countermeasures to protect its own legitimate rights”, if the US moves forward with its threat to bar essential suppliers, including Taiwan-based TSMC, from selling chips to Huawei.

The countermeasures would include adding select US companies to China’s “unreliable entity list”, imposing sanctions and conducting investigations into them in line with Chinese law and regulations.

The US companies listed by the source include Apple, Cisco, and Qualcomm, as well as Boeing, from which Beijing might stop buying aircraft.

“China should implement these countermeasures to the extent that the US dare not ask for a mile after being given an inch”, former senior trade official and an executive council member of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies He Weiwen said, as quoted by the Global Times. He advised China to carry out “thorough investigations into relevant US companies” and “let them feel the pain”.

Earlier in the day, the US Department of Commerce announced new restrictions against Huawei, including a ban on the export of semiconductors from global chipmakers to the Chinese tech giant.

US authorities placed Huawei, ZTE, and over 70 Chinese tech firms on an Entity List in May 2019, citing national security concerns that Chinese technologies could be used to spy on countries at the behest of Chinese authorities. Washington has not presented any evidence against Huawei or the Chinese government to date despite the allegations, which both Huawei and China have sharply and repeatedly denied.

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Daesh Continues Low-Level Insurgency, Unable to Gain Ground in Iraq, Syria – Pentagon

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Daesh* terrorist group wages a low-level insurgency in Iraq and Syria but is unable to gain and hold territory despite decreased counteractions amid the coronavirus pandemic, Inspector General for Operation Inherent Resolve said in a quarterly report on Wednesday.

“CJTF-OIR [Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve] reported that ISIS [IS] continued to wage a “low-level insurgency” in both Iraq and Syria this quarter, but remains unable to hold territory and continues to rely on small-arms attacks,” the report said.

In Iraq, these attacks were concentrated in mountainous and desert provinces north and west of Baghdad. In Syria, the majority of attacks occurred in Dayr az Zawr, Hasakah, and Raqqah provinces in the eastern part of the country.

“ISIS [IS] claimed 187 attacks in Iraq and Syria in January and February 2020. This represents a decrease from November through December 2019, when ISIS claimed 382 attacks across the combined joint operating area – an attack level CJTF-OIR said increased due to a global attack campaign to avenge [its leader Abu Bakr] al Baghdadi’s death,” according to the report.

The inspector general noted that the coronavirus spread “significantly reduced” military operations during the first quarter. Iraqi Security Forces paused training activities and Syrian Democratic Forces paused operations against IS in response to the pandemic, the report said.

*Daesh (IS/ISIL/ISIS) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia.

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Hut 8 Mining Revenue Continues Decline in Q1

Hut 8 Mining, one of Canada’s largest mining operations, reported less-than-stellar first-quarter 2020 earnings Monday, the same day as the bitcoin halving.

Earnings lowlights included falling revenue, decreased adjusted EBITDA margin and increased collateral requirements on debt.

For the third consecutive quarter, revenues declined; this time by 14% sequentially to C$12.7 million (US$9.1 million). This was caused by a 32% decrease in the number of bitcoin mined during the quarter as the network hashrate continued to rise. This was partially offset by a 27% increase in the average price per bitcoin mined.

Site operating costs came in slightly elevated compared to the previous quarter (C$11.1 million in 4Q19 vs. C$12.6 million in 1Q20), possibly caused by a seasonal increase in electricity prices during cold weather.

Read more: The Rise of ASICs: A Step-by-Step History of Bitcoin Mining

With revenue down and site operating costs up, reported adjusted EBITDA slid in the red. Adjusted EBITDA margin came in at negative 4%, down from the positive 19% margin reported in 4Q19.

Management noted that bitcoin’s price plunge on March 12 caused adjusted EBTIDA to come in at negative C$822,000 for the month of March, more than offsetting the C$264,000 worth of gains recognized in the first two months of the quarter.

Liquid assets almost entirely locked behind collateralized debt

The amount of bitcoin retained on the balance sheet remained relatively flat sequentially as the vast majority (94%) of the bitcoin mined during the quarter were sold off to pay operating expenses. As of the end of March, Hut 8 held just shy of 3,000 bitcoin worth approximately C$35 million (US$25 million) using current market prices.

During the quarter, an unsecured loan from Bitfury was refinanced with a C$7 million extension loan from Genesis Capital. According to company filings, the terms of the extension loan were similar to that of its existing C$21 million loan with Genesis. However, the new extension loan came with a shorter payment period and a higher collateral requirement.

hut-8-loans

As a result of the refinancing, the amount of bitcoin locked in collateralized loans increased from 58% of Hut 8’s total bitcoin holdings (1,700 bitcoin) in 4Q19 to 94% (2,823 bitcoin) in 1Q20.

Plan to upgrade equipment still in the works

With Hut 8’s existing mining equipment quickly aging, management continues to consider upgrading to more efficient ASICs from Chinese manufacturers. Few new details were disclosed on the earnings call. However, the company did mention that it would likely finance any purchases primarily from a combination of self-financing debt and equity.

Looking ahead

The halving continues to be a major headwind for the miners like Hut 8 as the block rewards gets reduced. On the earnings call, Interim CEO Jimmy Vaiopoulos said the halving could cause the company to shut off part of its operations. However, Hut 8 remains hopeful that bitcoin prices will rise in the near future, boosting the company’s profitability and the value of its assets.

See also: Bitcoin Halving Arrives: Mining Rewards Drop for Third Time in History

The company’s plan to upgrade its equipment will surely increase operating efficiency. However, the financing needed to secure any significant purchases is still pending. Given the material risks and uncertainties of the business, Hut 8’s company filings state there is “significant doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” Since the earnings release, Hut 8’s stock price has pulled back 21%.

For additional insights, check out CoinDesk Research’s deep dive into Hut 8.

Disclosure Read More

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Moscow reports a sharp rise in ‘excess’ April deaths as Covid-19 continues to spread in Russia — RT Russia News

As the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of abating, grim April statistics from Russia’s capital show an 18% rise in deaths from the same month last year, and a 10% increase compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

The preliminary figures from Moscow’s Civil Registry Office show that 11,846 people died in April 2020, compared to 10,005 twelve months previously, and 10,825 the year before that. The increase in deaths comes as Russia’s infection numbers continue to grow, and the country has become the third-most affected nation on Earth overall. However, per capita, its total of Covid-19 cases is far lower than those of other major European countries like Britain, Italy and France. 

Read more

Russia breaks 200,000 mark on total Covid-19 cases with over 11,000 newly registered infections

The Russian capital has borne the brunt of the pandemic’s impact, with the latest data showing that around two-thirds (137,546) of Russia’s 221,344 confirmed cases are located in the Moscow area. 

After the deadliest April in at least a decade, some have suggested that Russia’s comparatively low number of recorded coronavirus-attributed deaths that month might not tell the whole story. With each country counting Covid-19 fatalities differently, Russia’s numbers have come under scrutiny for possible underreporting. 

Nevertheless, if every single excess death in Moscow, and across the country, was eventually attributed to Covid-19, Russia’s fatality rate would still be very low in comparison to other European countries, assuming the situation is the same nationwide. As it currently stands, Russia has 14 official coronavirus deaths per million people, considerably fewer than in Spain (569), Britain (469), and Italy (505).

In the latter country, a report published by the national statistics bureau ISTAT showed that nationwide deaths were up 39% since the start of the pandemic, with just over half the “excess” being attributed to coronavirus. 




Also on rt.com
Paid holidays end May 12, Russia to start gradually easing coronavirus quarantine measures – Putin



While most areas of Russia are not reporting detailed fatality statistics, the Chelyabinsk Region has published two separate figures online: deaths caused by Covid-19, and deaths of people who tested positive but died from an underlying disease. As of Monday morning, the numbers stand at four and eight respectively. In some other European states, all 12 of these deaths would be considered to have been caused by coronavirus.  

Although April 2020 saw an increase in Moscow’s fatalities, it was certainly not the worst month on record. The new figures for growth in death rates pale in comparison to July and August 2010, when 10,000 excess deaths were recorded due to a heatwave and wildfires.

As of Monday morning, Russia has 2,009 deaths officially attributed to the virus.  

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Gateway Pundit News

World Renowned Doctors Release Studies Supporting Hydroxychloroquine Treatment for Coronavirus as Fake News Continues to Smear Life-Saving Drug

Thousands of lives could be saved with the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the China coronavirus. 

One of the most recognized experts in the study of communicable diseases worldwide is Dr. Didier Raoult:

Dr. Raoult is very hopeful regarding the treatment of the China coronavirus by using hydroxychloroquine.

TRENDING: Armed Texas SWAT Team Raids Daddy Zane’s Bar in West Odessa After Breaking State Orders and Reopening — 8 Arrested!

Dr. Raoult continues to speak out on his tremendous results using HCQ on coronavirus patients.  

The Chinese study referred to by Dr. Raoult claimed the following:

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with a decreased mortality in critically ill patients with COVID-19 through attenuation of inflammatory cytokine storm. Therefore, hydroxychloroquine should be prescribed for treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients to save lives.

The Spanish study concluded the following:

Conclusions: in a cohort of 166 patients from 18 to 85 years hospitalised with COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine treatment with 800mg added loading dose increased survival when patients were admitted in early stages of the disease. There was a non-statistically significant trend towards survival in all groups, which will have to be clarified in subsequent studies.

Dr. Oz is remains hopeful with Dr. Raoult’s results to date:

In spite of all the evidence that hydroxychloroquine is a viable alternative for treating the China coronavirus, other flawed studies claim the drug doesn’t work.  Could this be because there are billions of dollars in vaccines as opposed to these simple drugs and big pharmaceutical firms therefore would prefer the big money in vaccines?

It is not surprising but very sad that our medical community is also  political at a time when the world needs good honest information on how to treat the China coronavirus. 

Liberals and the far left mainstream media have blood on their hands.

Hat tip Lars from Denmark



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