Syria could destabilize Balkan, China test missile defense

Image: THAAD – the world’s most advanced missile defense system sold to South Korea, according to Business Insider. Now, images points to a new Chinese missile defense system, according to Popular Mechanics and Arms Control Wonk.

Syria talks end over Iranian divide with Saudi Arabia, which has accused the Iranians of fomenting instability not just in Syria but elsewhere in the region where the Saudis have a direct interest, most notably in Yemen and Bahrain, according to New York Times.

Russia sees 7.5-percent stake in Euronews seized over Yukos claim, via Russia Beyond the Headlines. In Norway, Telenor face bribery charges over VimpelCom, according to the Wall Street Journal.

New Jersey Man who tried to form ISIS army in US and attack the White House pleads guilty, according NBC. Meanwhile countries across Europe are facing increasing numbers of immigrants from Syria and Afghanistan.

The Finnish Security Intelligence Service (FSIS) said it was monitoring some 300 people for possible connections to Islamist militant groups, according to Reuters.

In Slovenia the prime minister says migrant crisis could reignite Balkan conflicts, also via Reuters.

On a brighter note….

New 3-D printing method creates complex micro objects via PhysOrg.

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Migrant crisis, nukes, political polarization and biometrics

The displacement of millions of people from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan are overwhelming the already struggling EU. Europe is unable to manage the logistics and management of the emergency respons for efficiently controlling the crisis.

Croatia has registered 11.500 refugees in on single day, accroding to minister Domagoj Dzigulovic on Sunday 25. October. Slovenia has registred 58.000 in one week, with as much as 13.000 pr. day. At least 3000 refugees crossed the Croatian-Serbian border on the 24. October. 48.000 arrived in Greece in just five days, according to AP. Estimated arrivals across the Schengen borders to the EU is at 681.000. German newspaper Bild reported that as many as 1.5 million asylum seekers could arrive in 2015, scaled up from the previous estimate of between 800.000 and 1 million. The over 5 million regufees in Syria are expected to emigrate the war-torn country later this year. Also see UNHCR and Refugees of the Syrian Civil War on Wikipedia for statistics.

Debunking the myth that “we always know” where a nuclear bomb came from

In a decade, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal could grow to become the fifth largest in the world, according to The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. The Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act (HR 730), still working its way through Congress, aims to establish a process to reliably identify the sources of nuclear detonation that we lack at present. The first two paragraphs of the Bill:

  1. The threat of a nuclear terrorist attack on American interests, both domestic and abroad, is one of the most serious threats to the national security of the United States. In the wake of an attack, attribution of responsibility would be of utmost importance. Because of the destructive power of a nuclear weapon, there could be little forensic evidence except the radioactive material in the weapon itself.
  2. Through advanced nuclear forensics, using both existing techniques and those under development, it may be possible to identify the source and pathway of a weapon or material after it is interdicted or detonated. Though identifying intercepted smuggled material is now possible in some cases, pre-detonation forensics is a relatively undeveloped field. The post-detonation nuclear forensics field is also immature, and the challenges are compounded by the pressures and time constraints of performing forensics after a nuclear or radiological attack.

Via “Anonymized Deterrence” by Richard Fernandez for the Belmont Club

Series of arson attacks in Sweden and Norway

Sweden is expecting up to 190,000 asylum-seekers this year, second only to Germany in western Europe. As many as seven arson attacks on Swedish asylum centers have taken place in just the last two weeks. The total number of such alleged attacks has reached 20 since the beginning of 2015.  Arson attacks at asylum homes raise fears in tolerant Sweden, according to Yahoo News. The school attack killing a pupil and a teacher in Sweden was a racist hate crime, according to The Guardian. Asylum centers has also been arson attacked in Norway.

Spain implements biometric screening at borders

Spanish authorities have implemented a biometric screening system at La Línea de la Concepción, a major border between Spain and Gibraltar. The project was contracted by the Spanish Ministry of Interior and the National Police Force, according to FindBiometrics.

Drone video footage of refugees crossing Slovenia-Croatia border – The Guardian via RT.

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Russia, Iran challenge NATO over Syria

The civil war in Syria keep escalating into the territory of early warning scenarios for a new global perpetual war. The increased presence of Russian aerial, naval, and land based military in Syria demonstrate the fragility of a peacful resolution in the Middle East. The European security theater is far beyond the stage of saber rattling.

  • Russian combat planes shadowed U.S. Predator drones over Syria three times last week via The Aviationist.
  • Chinese Foreign Ministry says world should not ‘arbitrarily interfere’ in Syria via Reuters.
  • Iran troops to join Syria war, Russia bombs group trained by CIA via Reuters.
  • Israel Worries About Russia’s Intervention in Syria via War Is Boring.
  • Putin and the Shiite ‘Axis of Resistance’ via TheHill.
  • Bavaria in Germany overwhelmed by more than 225,000 refugees in one month from Austria via Deutsche Welle.


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Jean Raspail

International law – from bad to worse

According to a source within the recently held Annual Conference of the European Society of International Law, the next decade will not go from bad to worse, but from bad to worst. The consensus at the conferences was that the current global turmoil is “…only the beginning”. Their concerns?

Syria and the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL)

This humanitarian catastrophe cause mass migration onto the borders of the EU and paralyze Europe and its judicial system. Russian, Iranian, and Chinese interests are involved and current international law does not apply. Economic sanctions against Russia, and a multitude of internal factions prolong the conflict. Regional war over Syria is a theme among scenarios for the next world war.

Ukraine and geostrategy

A physical proxy war over geostrategic territory result in economic sanctions and prolong the conflict.  International law does not apply.

China and cyberwar

Financial turbulence in China is a distraction from the fundamental economic outlook for the country. According to the general opinion at the conference, western countries have a century to prepare for the end of their economic hegemony and a potential global lawfare without precedence. Cybernetic proxy war is a precursor. No international law apply to offensive cyberwar capacity.

… meanwhile The Camp of the Saints gains in popularity:


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China’s Sale of U.S. Debt


The global economic “race-to-the-bottom” game draws to an end:

The dollar’s share of China’s huge cache of currency reserves has been slashed to a record low, the Wall Street Journal reports, to which it adds the world hasn’t ended as a result.

But more recent data showing outright sales of U.S. securities by China suggests a less cavalier attitude would be in order. It isn’t the end of the world, just a portent of what can happen when the biggest buyer of America’s biggest export — its IOUs denominated in dollars — stops buying.

That would leave the Federal Reserve as lender of last resort to the U.S. government to fill the gap left by its biggest creditor. Think this Zimbabwe style of central-bank monetization of an unsustainable government debt can’t happen in one of the world’s major industrialized democracies? Well, it may be starting in Japan.

According to the Journal’s crunching of the numbers, dollar assets comprised 54% of Beijing’s $3 trillion-plus reserves as of last June 30, down from 74% as recently as the end of 2006. That’s based on data on China’s foreign-exchange reserves and the U.S. Treasury’s latest survey international holdings of U.S. securities. Those numbers show an outright increase in China’s holdings of U.S. securities, by $115 billion in the latest 12 months, to $1.726 trillion.

Beijing has made no secret of its desire to diversify from greenback assets — mainly U.S. Treasuries — and for the establishment of another reserve currency to use as a store of wealth and for international transactions. The European sovereign debt crisis has reduced the allure of the euro for those purposes. While Beijing has voiced limited support for the various schemes to ease Europe’s woes, it has added to its holdings of other, smaller currencies, such as the Australian dollar.

But more recent Treasury data show China has been selling Treasuries outright. And while the markets have been complacent to the point of snarkiness, MacroMavens’ Stephanie Pomboy thinks that’s wrong. Unlike other Cassandras, she’s been right in her warnings — notably in the middle of the last decade that the U.S. financial system was dangerously exposed to a bubble in U.S. real estate. Hers was a lonely voice then because everybody knew, of course, house prices always rose.


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Global cybersecurity, energy wars, and IS vs. NATO

“Who controls the past controls the future.
Who controls the present controls the past.”
– George Orwell

Hacking Team lawfare

Hacking Team believes several former employees are in violation of the employment agreements in that they used their knowledge of the company and proprietary information to compete against Hacking Team, according to Eric Rabe, company spokesman for HT to Ars Technica by e-mail on Sunday.

“However, this is a personnel matter and the company has no further comment” – HT told Ars Technica.

“PLEASE find an interesting dispatch by the WSJ, a dispatch outstanding in its straightforwardness. I COULDN’T agree more with it — Thomas Hobbes and his 1651 masterpiece “Leviathan” taught us well that power vacua are the root of all evil. The USA must lead. Period. If they don’t — and Mr. Obama has been so foolish to try that — all sorts or thugs will fight to take their place, in fact rushing to fill a power vacuum.”  – Josef Joffe via the Hacking Team leaks on Wikileaks.

Cybersecurity 101

IS attack Turkey, NATO

Turkey Arrests 21 Suspected ISIS Members via Egypt receives first Rafale fighters – IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL /ˈaɪsəl/; Arabic: الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام‎), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS /ˈaɪsɪs/),[37] or simply Islamic State (IS),[38] is a Salafi jihadi extremist militant group and self-proclaimed caliphate and Islamic state which is led by Sunni Arabs from Iraq and Syria.

Nuclear energy games

Saudi Arabia’s contest for power with Iran could turn nuclear via Business Insider. North Korea says it’s ‘not interested’ in an Iran-style nuclear deal via The Washington Post


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Proxy cyberwars, Solar Battles, Grexit and the Asian meltdown

Ill. Solar park planned in the desert of Oman.

The Rise of the Proxy Cyberwar

Private contractors with offensive cyberwar skills are on the rise. The Italian govenment contractor, Hacking Team, recently had their servers exfiltrated. The global company responded to the data breach with public threats and denials – CSO Online. “Oh great, good job, guys … now the TERRORISTS have our zero-day exploits” – The Register. New reports show that the breach at OPM (Office of Personnel Management) exposed more than 21 million american government employees – NYTimes.

Solar Battle Fossile Legacy

Solar Battles: Surplus oil kills surplus solar power when corporate and environmental front groups emerge influential in energy policies While oil prices drop Oman goes solar and builds giant solar plant to extract oil – WSJ.

Financial system shock or controlled Grexit

Increasingly more frequent financial shocks destabilize global markets. The List of Banks Expecting a ‘Grexit’ Is Getting Longer – Bloomberg. Bitcoin thrives on Greek tragedy and gives fresh life to virtual currencies – Leak Shows Hacking Team Created Bitcoin Wallet Tracker Coindesk.

Asian Meltdown

China prop up stock market 6 percent while financial systems collapse across Asia. China’s stock-market crash is just beginning – MarketWatch and China stock market surges in volatile session – BBC News

.. meanwhile the Chinese BTC industry thrives – Motherboard.

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Nanotech: Friction of a single atom measured with ions

Illustration: Christine Daniloff/MIT

In tuning friction to the point where it disappears, technique could boost development of nanomachines. MIT reports on recent advances in nanotechnology. Source: MIT News.

According to Nature ions trapped in a vacuum have simulated the friction of surfaces down to the scale of single atoms, and in the process have demonstrated how some surfaces can slide past each other with almost no energy lost. Source: Nature.


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Google, Ukraine, Yemen, and China

Meet Google the Monopolist

As the world slowly crumbles to pieces and the global economy implodes industrial competition are heating up. Google, with a 90 percent marked share on the global marked for mobile search, has been sued by the E.U. Commision on antitrust charges, according to Wall Street Journal.

Russia, NATO show military might over Ukraine

Two months after the Minsk peace accord signed on the 12th of February by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, the prospects for a long-lasting solution to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine still look vague, according to Russia Beyond the Headlines. The murders of pro-Russian lobbyists increase tension in Ukraine standoff, according to Reuters. Meanwhile in Europe; Russian aircraft arrived as dozens of Nato warships gather off the coast of Scotland for Exercise Joint Warrior, according to the Telegraph.

Yemen conflict could spark regional war

In Iraq, the U.S.-backed efforts of Abadi’s Shiite-led government to vanquish the Islamic State, a Sunni organization, have been aided by Shiite-led Iran. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni monarchy, charges that the Houthi tribes it is fighting in Yemen are part of Tehran’s efforts to exert hegemony over the entire region, according to Washington Post.

China and IMF support Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank

As economic leaders gather here this week for meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, China is set to kick off a rival infrastructure development lender that promises to shake up the traditional American-led global financial order, according to LATimes.

On a brighter note:

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