U.S. Sending Heavy Weapons to Latvia
Just 300 km from the Russian border. Ain't no doubt that Washington continues to stir the war pot in the region.
Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....
The Navy announced that it had deployed and fired a laser weapon this fall aboard a warship in the Persian Gulf. During a series of test shots, the laser hit and destroyed targets mounted atop a small boat, blasted a six-foot drone from the sky, and destroyed other moving targets.
“This is the first time in recorded history that a directed energy weapons system has ever deployed on anything,” Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, chief of naval research, told reporters at the Pentagon. “A lot of people talk about it—we decided to go do it.”
The Navy’s laser weapon system—LaWS, in sea-service jargon—was fired from the USS Ponce, a one-time amphibious ship that was converted to an “afloat forward staging base” in 2012 and assigned to the 5th Fleet in Bahrain. Firing a laser from the surface of the Persian Gulf is challenging because heat, humidity, dust and salt water can reduce its power.
The Navy spent about $40 million over the past seven years developing LaWS, which actually consists of six commercial welding lasers lashed together and aimed at the same point. It has proven effective at ranges of up to about a mile.
Indeed, the CIA is in many ways at a position of unmatched power. Its budgets have been swollen by billions of dollars in counterterrorism expenditures. Its workforce has surged. Its overseas presence has expanded. And its arsenal now includes systems, including a fleet of armed drones, that would have made prior generations of CIA leaders gasp.
Igor Korotchenko, Director of the Center for the Analysis of the World Arms Trade told Sputnik on Friday that China's successful testing of a Hypersonic Strike Vehicle (the HGV) demonstrates the country's potential to affect US national security in a serious way.
"US anxiety is centered on the fact that China is actively experimenting with weaponry that is based on hypersonic speed, which is nearly impossible to intercept using currently-available US missile defense systems," Korotchenko told Sputnik.
It had been reported earlier that China had conducted another test of the HGV, dubbed the WU-14 by the Pentagon, an ultra-high speed vehicle capable of travelling up to eight times the speed of sound. Earlier tests of the vehicle had shown it capable of carrying nuclear warheads at a speed of over Mach 10, or 12,359 kilometers per hour.
A scathing report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday found that the Central Intelligence Agency routinely misled the White House and Congress about the information it obtained from the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects, and that its methods were more brutal than the C.I.A. acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public.
These people [US ruling corporate oligarchy] are always looking to get their mitts on resources (oil and gas in the Middle East, for instance) – even less to use them ourselves than to control (or deny) others’ access. (Likewise, as you point out, the militarization of everything from space, to the Antarctic, to IT.) For example, Washington worries far less about the canard “our dependence on Middle Eastern energy” (on which, relatively we don’t much depend, getting most of our imports from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, etc., though our allies satellites in Europe, Japan, etc. get a lot) than we do on Europe’s dependence on Russia, which we want to block for “strategic” reasons.
I tend to put the emphasis on ideology. Bottom line, the people who rule this country want to rule the world. Full stop. Why? To get rich. Well, there’s that. But it’s more than that. Especially the GOP neocons but also the Dems’ “liberal interventionists” are genuine convinced they are (to use the old Soviet phrase) the vanguard of all progressive humanity. Whereas the Soviet Union’s trilogy of values was the global march of “peace, progress, and socialism,” ours is “democracy, human rights, and free markets.” Of course, all of this sloganeering is shamelessly manipulated to fit the aggressive agenda of the moment.
So why target Russian and China? Because they are obstacles to global domination. Worse, they are bigger and more powerful than our other targets (Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria), even Iran.
I also think there’s the symbiosis of corporations and government. The populist Left thinks Big Business is the culprit – and they’re right. The populist Right thinks Big Government is the problem – and they’re right too. Why? Because the government and the corporate world are two overlapping components of an integrated Deep State in which the nominal rulers, of whichever party are factional figureheads. Plus, since the two parties have a lock, the only way people can show their disdain for one party, is to vote for the other in these repeated “referendum elections” that solve nothing.
~ James George Jatras