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First China, Now Russia: US Navy Chief Debates European Escalation Amid "Fears For The Global System"

In a shockingly quick confirmation of our gravest concerns, Admiral John Richardson, chief of naval operations, told The FT that the navy was reassessing its global posture in the face of the Russian activity, which stretches from the Black Sea and Mediterranean to the Pacific. Amid China's island-building in the South China Sea (30% of global trade), and Russia's highest level naval activity in 20 years in The Mediterranean (20% of global trade), Richardson warns, rather ominously, the "ambiguous motivations" of China and Russia raised fears about the health of a global system that ensures freedom: "It again perturbs that global system," he said, adding that "the current model... has been threatened?"

 

As we warned just yesterday,

What happens next? A very likely course of events is that despite Russia's denials, the Pentagon will use the gambit of a Russian ground campaign, credible or not, to get permission from Congress to send a "small", at first, then bigger ground force of US troops in Syria to, you guessed it,"fight ISIS", but really to do everything to prevent Russian troops from taking over key strategic positions.

 

What happens then? Well, with the previously discussed Russian naval blockade of Syria as a likely next step, and with both US and Russian warplanes already flying back and forth above Syria, and now both superpowers having a legitimate, if only in the eyes of their own media, justification to dispatch land troops, what was until now a mere proxy war is about to become full blown land combat on Syrian soil, one which will soon involve both Russian and US ground, sea and airborne forces.

 

The last missing step will be when US cruisers, destroyers and/or battleships park next to the Syrian coastline, within earshot (and every other "shot") away from comparable Russian warships. Keep tabs on the weekly US naval update, because once several US warships weigh anchor in the vicinity of Syria that will be the catalyst for the next and final escalation.

And sure enough, as The FT reports, The US is debating whether to position more ships and naval assets in Europe as Russian warships and submarines operate at levels not seen in two decades, according to Admiral John Richardson, the new chief of naval operations.

"[The Russian] submarine force and their navy are as active as they have been in a long time, 20 years or so,” Adm Richardson said in an interview. “How are we going to posture our forces to make sure that we maintain the appropriate balance and are suitably engaged?”

 

Russia has maintained strong military investment since the end of the Cold War, including in recent years despite a weakness in its economy. Adm Richardson said Russia had recently demonstrated the quality of its navy by firing cruise missiles at targets in Syria from warships in the Caspian Sea. “That’s a significant capability, a significant demonstration,” he said.

 

The Russian activity comes as the US conducts new operations in the South China Sea to counter Chinese behaviour — assertive actions at sea and the construction of artificial islands — that many nations believe threatens freedom of navigation in waters that carry 30 per cent of global trade.

 

Adm Richardson said the Russian and Chinese activity underscored the need for nations to adhere to maritime rules to ensure that global commerce and prosperity are not threatened. While the South China Sea is a major trade route, another 20 per cent of trade travels through the Mediterranean.

 

...

 

Adm Richardson said the navy was evaluating whether to boost its presence in Europe and the Pacific. “That’s the conversation we’re having right now.”

Furthermore, cybersecuity concerns are rising...

US officials are particularly alarmed by signs that Russian submarines are monitoring critical telecommunications cables on the Atlantic seabed, in activity that Adm Richardson said would be “very concerning”.

 

“It’s very hard to reconstitute that type of traffic in any other channel,” he said. “That would be a threat against the other global system, the information system . . . which is linked to prosperity, linked to security.”

The admiral concluded, seemingly pointing to the real driver of this action - i.e. maintaining US Hegemony...

The “ambiguous motivations” of China and Russia raised fears about the health of a global system that ensures freedom of navigation and unfettered trade. “It again perturbs that global system,” he said. “The current model is equal access for all . . . Has that been threatened?”

*  *  *

As we concluded previously, with the US Navy parked so close, the world will be one false flag away from what some could call another world war, only this time one launched not in Serbia but Syria.