When World War Three actually breaks out, which could be any day now, nobody will be able to say they were surprised. It isn’t like Erdogan, or Assad Junior, or Vlad the Impaler, ie Putin, or Israel, or Iran, or Hezzbollah hasn’t given clear indications the balloon is about to go up. We may be appalled. We may be stunned. We may be terrified. We will not be unaware of the looming crisis, at least if you have been reading my little “doomer porn blog.” At any rate, Erdogan has now done something truly amazing in both the military and diplomatic sphere. Erdogan has now completely surrounded Turkey with armed, angry enemies. The level of arrogance and incompetence required to do that is, well truly amazing in its scope. Never has one leader, Erdogan, annoyed so many nations, so much, and with such a potentially devastating effect.
Erdogan now faces Urkaine and Russia to the north. Erdogan now faces Armenia to his East. Erdogan now faces Syria to his south, including Assad Junior, the Kurds, Iran and Hezzbollah. And finally, Erdogan now faces both NATO and Greece to his west. This western threat also now includes Israel, which sent one of its military people to have a chat with Athens. I have no doubt the cargo planes full of military stuff are now landing at the Athens airport.
First, in this link below we see Erdogan has so enraged the Armenians they have cancelled the 1993 attempt at better relations. Vlad the Impaler has yet again proven he is always about three steps ahead of everybody else. Putin has expanded, deployed to a huge Armenian Air Base that is on the Turkish Armenian border.
Doomer Doug, a.k.a. Doug McIntosh now has a blog at www.doomerdoug.wordpress.com
My end of the world e book “Day of the Dogs” will soon be available for sale at smashwords. The url is
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/267340 It is also at the following url
Russia’s Staging Bases in Armenia
By Armine Sahakyan
Armenians have had an ambivalent feeling toward Russia since independence in 1991.
On the one hand, they are grateful that Russia’s defeat of Persia — today’s Iran — in the early 1800s prevented the destruction of Armenian civilization.
They are also grateful that Russia has been the guarantor of Armenia’s military security since the break-up of the Soviet Union 25 years ago.
That arrangement is actually part of official Armenian military doctrine.
But Armenians are also painfully aware that their nation continues to be one of the poorest in the former Soviet Union — and many believe this reflects Russia’s long subjugation of their country.
That’s why many Armenians wanted Armenia to join the European Union rather than the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union that Moscow bullied Yerevan into joining in 2013.
Armenians who had supported EU membership believed the country would have a better standard of living as part of the more prosperous West.
After all, a century of Russian-led Soviet rule and then Russian Federation economic dominance had failed to raise Armenian living standards.
That was why, in the fall of 2013, protests erupted when President Serzh Sargsyan made a 180-degree turn and scuttled Armenia’s plans to enter into an EU association agreement — a precursor to full EU membership. The announcement of the about-face came just hours after Sargsyan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in what everyone knew was a Kremlin arm-twisting session.
Armenians also have become aware that Russia’s motive for guaranteeing their military security is not altogether altruistic — that is, a big brother protecting a smaller one just to be nice.
In fact, some of the Armenians who protested the decision to join the Eurasian Economic Union also called for an end to the Russian military presence in Armenia.
It’s now apparent that Russia is developing Armenia as a staging base that could be used to strike neighboring countries opposed to Russian military adventures in the region.
The first evidence of that surfaced two decades ago — and recent developments have only reinforced the notion.
Under a defense agreement between Russia and Armenia in the late 1990s, Russian troops — not Armenian ones — were assigned to patrol Armenia’s borders with Turkey and Iran.
The message to Turkey and Iran was unmistakable: A border problem with Armenia would not lead just to a war with Armenia but also to one with Russia.
Additional evidence of the staging-base notion is that both Russian bases in Armenia — one an army post and another an air base — are near the Turkish border.
Further evidence is that in recent years Russia has sent a host of arms to Armenia’s military, starting with an $800 million shipment in 2010. The weapons have included Iskander-M surface-to-surface missiles capable of landing deep inside other countries in the region.
And in just the past few months Russia has beefed up the military hardware at its bases in Armenia and agreed to sell an additional array of advanced weapons to the Armenian military.
The weapons Russia has added to its bases at Gyumri and Erebuni include MiG-29 fighters, Mi-24 helicopter gunships and Navodchik-2 and Takiun aerial drones.
In February of 2016 it announced it was selling $200 million worth of arms to Armenia.
It said those weapons would include multiple-launch rocket systems, anti-tank missiles, handheld antiaircraft missiles, radar-jamming systems, armored personnel carriers, sniper rifles and tank upgrades.
The most recent round of Russian arms deployments to Armenia, and its agreement to send even more, go beyond possible threats to Armenia. They are also related to the Kremlin’s military adventures in Syria.
Russia began a bombing campaign against opponents of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria in September of 2015.
In November of 2015, Turkey downed a Russian warplane that it had repeatedly warned to stay out of its airspace.
Moscow was furious, and promised consequences.
It has since added new weapons at its Syrian bases that could bring down Turkish warplanes, and continued its encroachments on Turkish airspace, basically daring Turkey to try to stop it.
Russia has also levied economic sanctions against Turkey.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin has made another move that will increase tensions in the region: It has announced it will sell advanced Sukhoi-30 fighter jets and S-300 air-defense missiles to Turkey’s Middle East rival Iran.
Those involved in the Syrian conflict — including Russia and the United States, which has been bombing ISIS forces — recently forged a cease-fire that just went into effect.
Whether it will hold — and the broader question of who will ultimately rule Syria — remain to be answered.
One thing the conflict has shown is that Russia is intent on throwing its weight around even in countries outside its traditional sphere of influence.
And the resources it can draw on to do that include its staging bases in Armenia.
Armine Sahakyan is a human rights activist based in Armenia. A columnist with the Kyiv Post
Next, we have the Armenian response to Erdogan.
Armenia annuls normalization protocols with Turkey
By The Associated Press
YEREVAN, Armenia — March 1, 2018, 12:01 PM ET
Armenia’s president has annulled long-dormant protocols aimed at normalizing ties with Turkey.
According to his spokesman, Vladimir Akopyan, President Serzh Sargsyan made the announcement Thursday at a meeting of the country’s security council.
And finally, we have Vlad the Impaler, Putin, in full Vlad the Impaler mode, which is pretty damn impressive if you ask me. I will consider this a not so hidden direct threat to the neo con warmongers now running Trump’s administration.
The link is here.
Putin boasts of new Russian nuclear weapons
By vladimir isachenkov, associated press
MOSCOW — Mar 1, 2018, 9:36 AM ET
Russia has tested an array of new strategic nuclear weapons that can’t be intercepted, President Vladimir Putin declared Thursday, claiming a technological breakthrough that could dramatically increase Russia’s military capability, boost the Kremlin’s global position and also raise Western concerns about a potential renewed arms race in the 21st century.
Speaking in a state-of-the-nation speech, Putin said the weapons include a nuclear-powered cruise missile, a nuclear-powered underwater drone and new hypersonic missile that have no equivalent elsewhere in the world. He said the creation of the new weapons has made NATO’s U.S.-led missile defense “useless,” and means an effective end to what he described as Western efforts to stymie Russia’s development.
He noted that Russia had to develop the new weapons as the U.S. has developed a missile defense system that threatened to undermine the Russian nuclear deterrent and ignored Moscow’s concerns about it.
“No one has listened to us,” he said. “You listen to us now.”
The bombshell announcement comes as Putin is set to easily win another six-year presidential term in the March 18 election.
He said that the nuclear-powered cruise missile tested last fall has a “practically unlimited” range and high speed and maneuverability allowing it to pierce any missile defense.
The Russian leader said the high-speed underwater drone also has an “intercontinental” range and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could target both aircraft carriers and coastal facilities. He said its “very big” operational depth and a speed that is at least 10 times higher than any other vessel would make it immune to enemy intercept.
Putin accompanied his statement to an audience of hundreds of senior officials and lawmakers with videos and computer images of new weapons, which were shown on giant screens at a conference hall near the Kremlin.
A computer video showed the drone being launched by a submarine, cruising over the seabed, hitting an aircraft carrier and also exploding near the shore.
Putin noted that the tests of the compact nuclear reactor to power the new drone were completed last fall.
Putin’s statement marked the first time the new systems were officially announced with a high degree of detail, and it wasn’t immediately possible to assess the veracity of it or assess the degree of their readiness.
“You will have to assess that new reality and become convinced that what I was said today isn’t a bluff,” he said. “It’s not a bluff, you trust me.”
He added, to applause, that names for the nuclear-powered cruise missile and the drone haven’t yet been chosen, and suggested that the Defense Ministry run a nationwide contest for the best names. The playful offer evokes the Soviet-era tradition of giving the innocuous names to some of the deadliest weapons systems.
“No one in the world has anything like that,” Putin said. “It may appear someday, but by that time we will develop something new.”
The Russian leader said that another new weapon called Avangard is an intercontinental hypersonic missile that would fly to targets at a speed 20 times the speed of sound and strike “like a meteorite, like a fireball.”
Putin said that the weapon is capable of performing sharp maneuvers on its way to targets, making it “absolutely invulnerable for any missile defense system.”
Putin said that Russia also tested a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, called Sarmat, adding that its range allows it to fly over both the North and the South poles to reach any target. He said it carries more nuclear warheads than its Soviet-era predecessor, known in the West as Satan.
He said that another new weapons system, called Kinzhal, already has been deployed in Russia’s Southern Military District. He added that it’s a hypersonic missile carried by an aircraft that flies at a speed 10 times of the speed of sound and has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) away.
The Russian leader emphasized that the development of new weapons that have no equivalent in the West came in response to the U.S. withdrawal from a Cold war-era treaty banning missile defenses and U.S. efforts to develop a missile defense system.
“I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: all what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened,” he said. “You have failed to contain Russia.”
He emphasized that Russia is concerned about the Pentagon-led nuclear review released earlier this year that envisaged the development of low-yield nuclear weapons, saying that it could lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons.
“We will interpret any use of nuclear weapons against Russia and its allies no matter how powerful they are, of low, medium or any other yield, as a nuclear attack,” he said. “It will trigger an immediate answer with all the consequences stemming from it. No one should have any doubts about it.”
Jane’s by IHS Markit noted that coming after the U.S. nuclear posture review Putin’s statement “not only signals strength to a domestic Russian audience, but is a clear sign to the U.S. that Russia will continue to modernize its nuclear forces to ensure their credibility. ”
Putin said that Russian military experts and diplomats would be ready to discuss new weapons systems with their U.S. counterparts.
“We aren’t threatening anyone, we aren’t going to attack anyone, we aren’t going to take anything from anyone,” he said. “The growing Russian military power will guarantee global peace.”