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Endgame is going on in Ukraine crisis

When studying today’s daily AFU troop losses and considering Ukraine’s recent presidential order, according to which even underage children at 16-17 aged can be called for armed service, the overall military situation of Ukraine appears to be catastrophic. Anyway, the situation is totally opposite to the picture the western MSM is propagating “Ukraine is winning … Ukraine is winning”.  No doubt, Ukraine has already lost the war and by the same token, the NATO as well.

The US ending its financial, humanitarian and particularly military support promptly would cause Ukraine to completely collapse and RAND cites several reasons, why doing so would be sensible, not least because a Ukrainian victory is regarded as both “improbable” and “unlikely,” due to Russian “resolve,” and its military mobilization having “rectified the manpower deficit that enabled Ukraine’s success in the Kharkiv counteroffensive.”

Great Power Relations, February 7, 2023 | Seppo Niemi

Basically, great power competition and the fight for hegemonic control between America on the one side and Russia and China on the other, is being fought on two fronts.

The one is Ukraine war with enlarging NATO engagement, the other front is financial with America facing a coordinated attack by Russia and China on its dollar hegemony. The Russians are planning a replacement trade settlement currency, which could unleash a flood of foreign-owned dollars onto the foreign exchange markets. In fact, the second front encases also the third front, the formation of global alliances. Ultimately, there is a competition of new world order and fight for global power (world hegemon).

All these topics have been analysed in various articles on this website and will be analysed also in the future but this article focuses again on military side of this subject, because there is, as the title indicates, endgame currently going.  Some fundamental factors are now emerging for further analysis.

Frontline news

The Biden administration as well as Pentagon know that Ukraine’s army is not able to hold the current defense line in its east part. The big fear is that the Ukrainian army will totally collapse and run away, when the frontline is breached in Ugledar, Bakhmut, Seversk and Krasny-Liman.

Russia’s winter offensive is going in full speed but in another way than western “experts” assumed. No “Big Arrows” so far but slowly accelerating pressure along the whole frontline and when break-points emerge, they will be utilized immediately throwing more reserves in those places from back-areas. Due to autumn mobilizations and very low KIA-rate, Russia has plenty of trained reserves available.

The reason for this kind of warfare is the fact that western spy satellites follow the ground situation 24/7 covering the whole theatre of operations. Russia fully knows and understands that and therefore hide their military operations to the latest possible point, thus holding a surprise moment. However, 1-2 massive, “Big Arrow” Russian offensives are probable during February-April period.

A new wave of activity is expected for the Russian side during February. The recent changes in the command of the operation appear to have been carefully planned in order to elevate the combat to a new level and several of Moscow’s strategic objectives may soon be achieved, radically changing the course of the conflict. Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, was promoted to the position of Commander of the Joint Forces of the Russian Federation in the Special Military Operation Zone. Gerasimov’s arrival to power seems to have been a move towards the final stage of the special military operation.

Obviously, a major offensive (Big Arrow) is being prepared for February with the probable aims: 1) Reaching the borders of the regions recently reintegrated into the Russian Federation, pacifying the new oblasts. 2) capturing Nikolaev, Odessa, as well as the entire Black Sea coast, reaching Transnistria. 3) seizing/blocking Kiev, forcing a political capitulation of the Zelensky regime until early March.

The territory of Belarus will become the main springboard for the upcoming strike. In parallel to Belarus, Zaporozhye and Lugansk are also key zones for the Russian strategy. It is expected that massive attacks will come from these regions during the offensive, destroying enemy units in a short period of time which will allow a rapid Russian advance on the battlefield, reaching the zones listed in the above-mentioned objectives. For the offensive to be successful, Russian forces will focus on blocking all enemy’s supply lines. The main route of arrival of supplies to Ukraine is the border with Poland, where there is the transit of NATO’s ammunition and military equipment.

Some days ago, Washington announced preparing a new package of military aid worth $2.2 billion that is expected to include longer-range rockets for the first time. Soon thereafter, in a televised interview, Sergei Lavrov said an important principle of policy“We’re now seeking to push back Ukrainian army artillery to a distance that will not pose a threat to our territories. The greater the range of the weapons supplied to the Kiev regime, the more we will have to push them back from territories which are part of our country.”

Latest statistics of losses

A Turkish newspaper, Hurseda Haber, published January 25, 2023, an article of military losses by parties in Ukraine war with the data, allegedly produced by the Israeli Secret Service Mossad. Here is this highly interesting statistical comparison: [graph on original]….

Russian Ministry of Defense (RMOD) statistics since February 24, 2022 up to December 31, 2022. Ukrainian losses: 355 aircraft, 199 helicopters, 2779 UAV, 7350 tanks and armoured vehicles, 4713 artillery & MLRS systems (as well as 7859 units of special military equipment)………….

Late January 2023, the well-informed American Col.(ret.) Doug Macgregor put the numbers of dead on the Ukrainian side (video) at 122,000 killed plus 35,000 missed in action (presumed dead). The number of dead Russians (including Wagner forces and Donbas militia) is at 16,000 to 25,000 with 20 to 40,000 additionally wounded. The numbers are in good consistency with those figures of Mossad.

When studying today’s daily AFU troop losses and considering Ukraine’s recent presidential order, according to which even underage children at 16-17 aged can be called for armed service, the overall military situation of Ukraine appears to be catastrophic. Anyway, the situation is totally opposite to the picture the western MSM is propagating “Ukraine is winning … Ukraine is winning”.  No doubt, Ukraine has already lost the war and by the same token, the NATO as well.

Statistics of January 2023 [graph on original]

Please, note that just in January 2023, Russia has destroyed more than 300 AFU tanks and armoured vehicles, nearly three times more than what the West has promised to deliver to Ukraine over next half of year and all those western tanks are old models with old technology.

NATO tank deliveries – Leopard hunting begins

Promises of tank deliveries by models and countries: Leopard 2 totalling about 50 (Germany, Poland, others), Abrams M1 up to 31 (the US) and Challenger 2 up to 14 (the UK); totalling approx. 100 tanks. None of those models, now in delivery plan, are in production or are produced in last 15-20 years.

Germany has issued a permit to export Leopard 1 main battle tanks to Ukraine, on February 3. Berlin had approved German arms-maker Rheinmetall’s plans to sell 88 of the older Leopards to Kyiv, once these are repaired, for a total cost of more than €100 million. The Leopard 1, which first entered service in the 1960s, is the forerunner of the more advanced Leopard 2. The tank is armed with a 105 mm Royal Ordnance L7A3 L/52 rifled gun.

The big problem is and will be, how to obtain the required 105 mm ammunition for the Leopard 1 tanks. The tank features moderate armor, only effective against low caliber autocannons and heavy machine guns. This makes it vulnerable to most, if not all second and third generation anti-tank weapons.

These decisions regarding western tank deliveries to Ukraine disclose that all possible old scrapping equipment has been dug up now.

Modern tank warfare

Technological innovations have made main battle tanks (MBT) more survivable but anti-tank weapons have become even more effective outstripping MBT’s protective capabilities…………………………………………..

Western optics, media hype

Western MSM debated in “hothead” mood about the deliveries of tanks to Ukraine, suddenly dozens of “tank experts” came to public and demanded vociferously “express delivery of Leopards”.

When considering the matter in light of the analytical background, stated above, it appears once again how “mass hysteria” or “herd stupidity” is a rapidly contagious disease. In addition, it easily causes an anti-action, which is already happened on the frontlines. Leopard hunting begins.

Russia’s state tech corporation Rostec has already warned that existing Russian anti-tank missiles and shells are more than capable of destroying Western-made tanks, specifically the German Leopard 2. Pro-Russian military Telegram channels are already sharing posters pointing out the weak points of Challenger 2, Abrams and Leopard 2 tanks………………….

Report of RAND Corporation

RAND Report: Avoiding a Long WarU.S. Policy and the Trajectory of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict; January 2023.

The RAND Corporation, a highly influential American security think tank funded directly by the Pentagon, has published a landmark report stating that prolonging the proxy war is actively harming the US and its allies and warning Washington that it should avoid “a protracted conflict” in Ukraine. The war, Report saysrepresents “the most significant interstate conflict in decades, and its evolution will have major consequences” for Washington, which includes US “interests” being actively harmed“The costs and risks of a long war in Ukraine are significant and outweigh the possible benefits of such a trajectory for the United States.”

The US ending its financial, humanitarian and particularly military support promptly would cause Ukraine to completely collapse and RAND cites several reasons, why doing so would be sensible, not least because a Ukrainian victory is regarded as both “improbable” and “unlikely,” due to Russian “resolve,” and its military mobilization having “rectified the manpower deficit that enabled Ukraine’s success in the Kharkiv counteroffensive.”

It is so funny that the top Pentagon thinkers just say publicly these facts, while the entire US mainstream media, which also represents the US government, is out there saying the precise opposite. They are still literally saying that Russia is losing and Ukraine winning as their colleagues in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. The US media is just not even mentioning this RAND report at all.

What makes the RAND Report on Ukraine so significant, is not the quality of the analysis but the fact that the US’s most prestigious national security think-tank has taken an opposite position on the war than the Washington political elite and their globalist alliesThis is a very big deal.

Keep in mind, wars end when a critical split emerges between ruling elites that eventually leads to a change in policy. RAND report represents just such a split. It indicates that powerful elites have broken, one part thinks the current policy is hurting the United States. This shift is going to gain momentum until it triggers a more-assertive demand for negotiations. Thus, the RAND report is the first step towards ending the war.

Biden administration has told repeatedly that the US will support Ukraine “for as long as it takes.” The United States should not undermine its own interests to pursue the unachievable dream of expelling Russia from Ukraine. The US plan to reshape Europe and the global balance of power by degrading Russia is turning out to fail badly and backfiring worse. Rational members of the foreign policy establishment should evaluate Ukraine’s prospects for success and weigh them against the growing likelihood that the conflict could unexpectedly spiral out-of-control.

The RAND report seems to represent the views of the Pentagon and the US Military establishment, who believe the United States is racing headlong towards a direct conflagration with Russia. In other words, the report may be the first ideological broadsides against the neocons, who run the State Department and the White House. It appears now this split between “War Department” and “State Department” will become more visible in the days ahead.

RAND report is just the first in a long line of falling dominoes. As Ukraine’s battlefield losses mount, the flaws in Washington’s strategy will become more apparent and will be more sharply criticized. American people will question the wisdom of economic sanctions that hurt US closest allies while helping Russia. Why the United States is following a policy that has precipitated a strong move away from the dollar and US debt? Why the US deliberately sabotaged a peace deal in March 2022, when the probability of a Ukrainian victory is near zero. The Rand report seems to anticipate all these questions as well as the “shift in mood” they will generate. This is why the authors are pushing for negotiations and a swift end to the conflict.

Peace talks … or not

There have been some peace talks between the US and Russia in last couple of months. William Burns, the CIA’s director was to meet his opposite Russian intelligence chief Naryshkin in Ankara in November 2022. This back-channel meeting was to explore compromises before America finds itself to sacrifice the Ukrainian population in a proxy war……………………………….

Militarily, the consensus of western expert opinion within the US and allied countries has changed from Russia’s losing the war in 2022 (Russian forces pulled back from Kharkiv and Kherson), to the Ukrainian forces losing the war, while NATO runs out of weapons and ammunition to send there and yet Russia unrelentingly continues to supply new weaponry and ammunition and slowly to take new ground in Ukraine. This war of attrition is going very badly now against the West (the US and its foreign allies, especially the ones in Europe: EU and NATO).

Economically, expert opinion in the west is increasingly saying their sanctions that were meant to strangle Russia’s economy have been by now a massive failure, which has probably been doing more damage to America’s European allies than to Russia. If this turns out to be true also in the mid-term (highly likely), then the entire belief-system that has been standing behind the West’s anti-Russia sanctions is going to collapse.

In addition, being deeply disappointed with all agreements with the West, Russia’s distrust on any deal with the west is huge. Thus, it is highly likely that the war will go to the bitter end, to the unconditional surrender of Ukraine.

EU – Ukraine summit in conjunction with EU – NATO declaration

European public attention was on Ukraine as the EU’s top officials visit Kyiv for a historic summit, February 2-3, the first to be held in an active war zone. Kyiv wants to join the bloc within two years but Ukraine got cold shoulder on rapid EU entry……………………..

By this summit, once again, the EU publicly and officially engaged closely and tightly with the destiny of Ukraine. Similar engagement was made with the NATO by “Joint Declaration on EU-NATO Cooperation, 10 January 2023”.

From this on, the destinies of the EU, the NATO and Ukraine have been combined and tied so closely that one part collapsing will make a domino effect to the rest.

Final look over the situation

As to the NATO, it is a good reason to take a look at the real and practical track record: military operations in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, which all ended in total defeat, debacle and turmoil.

Afghanistan and Ukraine are almost the same size in terms of land mass and the US/NATO failed to defeat a bunch of Afghani goat herders, who had no air power or artillery. The US and NATO poured billions of dollars into Afghanistan and failed to vanquish the Taliban, who easily took control of Kabul in August 2021, causing NATO troops to escape in total disarray.

In Ukraine, NATO is continuing its disarmament mission, more and more heavy weapons and other military material are poured in the black hole of Ukraine; Russia destroys them and NATO’s warehouse alert limits show red. Military material is simply finished in Europe and there is no military-industrial capacity to produce required quantities in next few years.

War fighting is a messy, complicated, resource intensive activity. “War is dirty business” as a British General said in Falkland operation. The conflict in Ukraine is exposing NATO as an impotent anachronism. If/when Russia wins militarily in Ukraine, the “raison d’etre” for NATO will be in question, in fact it disappears. Why any country is interested in applying the membership in such impotent alliance with such a failure track record?

If the reader can set aside emotion and consider the current situation unfolding in Ukraine, the evidence shows that Kiev’s army (AFU) is moving backwards on all frontlines. Without support from the United States and NATO, Ukraine does not have the manpower, munitions, tanks, artillery, air craft, financial resources and industrial capability to stop Russia. Even with more Western support flowing in, Ukraine will still lack the manpower to block the Russian advance.

Western analysts and MSM are downplaying the Russian offense in the Donbass along the Ukrainian defensive line that stretches from Bakhmut to Seversk in the north and to Ugledar in the south as some sort of sideshow with no strategic importance. That is nonsense. As said above, Russian winter offensive is underway on multiple fronts and Ukraine is paying a heavy toll.


February 9, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | 3 Comments

TODAY. Hooray – Australia’s cultural cringe is over! We’re gonna be important, like Ukraine!

Bewdy, mate!

For a long time, we thought we wasn’t as good as other countries. I mean – we have to live near to all those yellow and brown people, who speak Asian languages and can’t even talk proper Strine (that’s Australian lingo)

But we have shown we was tough, – we wiped out heaps of blackfellas.

However, lately the blacks have got uppity, and so have the women. Hell, we even had a woman Prime Minister for a while. Things haven’t been real good for real blokes.

By the way, good to see the back of that Jacinda Adern, back in the bedroom and kitchen, where a woman belongs

Anyway, proper Australian blokes can hold their heads up high, now. Australia’s not frittering away its money on soppy stuff – education, health, welfare. Nah – we’re buying $171 billion of nuclear submarines, and lots of secret stuff for Pine Gap. And we’re welcoming American tough guys and their stuff to Northern Australia – and buying everything we can from our favourite shops – Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Thales, NorthropGrumman. (check this all out at The US is preparing Australia to fight its war against China).

Best of all – we’re learning something we’d forgotten during the namby-pamby decades – how to hate the Chinks.

And, thanks to our best mate the USA, we’re gonna run a war against China. USA will sell us all the weapons, and we’ll show that we can do the brave fighting. And Australia will at last really be BigTime.

Our Prime Minister will be adored by the Western world, and strut around the world in the limelight, just like Zelensky.

Though I’m not sure that P.M Anthony Albanese will be up to it. Bring back Scott Morrison, or better still, Peter Dutton.

February 9, 2023 Posted by | Christina's notes | 2 Comments

New Report Unpacks Dangers of Emerging Military Tech, From AI Nukes to Killer Robots

“While the media and the U.S. Congress have devoted much attention to the purported benefits of exploiting cutting-edge technologies for military use, far less has been said about the risks involved.”

by Brett Wilkins

Emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, lethal autonomous weapons systems, and hypersonic missiles pose a potentially existential threat that underscores the imperative of arms control measures to slow the pace of weaponization, according to a new report published Tuesday.

The Arms Control Association report – entitled Assessing the Dangers: Emerging Military Technologies and Nuclear (In)Stability – “unpacks the concept of ’emerging technologies’ and summarizes the debate over their utilization for military purposes and their impact on strategic stability.”

The publication notes that the world’s military powers “have sought to exploit advanced technologies – artificial intelligence, autonomy, cyber, and hypersonics, among others – to gain battlefield advantages” but warns too little has been said about the dangers these weapons represent.

“Some officials and analysts posit that such emerging technologies will revolutionize warfare, making obsolete the weapons and strategies of the past,” the report states. “Yet, before the major powers move quickly ahead with the weaponization of these technologies, there is a great need for policymakers, defense officials, diplomats, journalists, educators, and members of the public to better understand the unintended and hazardous outcomes of these technologies.”

Lethal autonomous weapons systems – defined by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots as armaments that operate independent of “meaningful human control” – are being developed by nations including China, Israel, Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The US Air Force’s sci-fi-sounding Skyborg Autonomous Control System, currently under development, is, according to the report, “intended to control multiple drone aircraft simultaneously and allow them to operate in ‘swarms,’ coordinating their actions with one another with minimum oversight by human pilots.”

“Although the rapid deployment of such systems appears highly desirable to many military officials, their development has generated considerable alarm among diplomats, human rights campaigners, arms control advocates, and others who fear that deploying fully autonomous weapons in battle would severely reduce human oversight of combat operations, possibly resulting in violations of international law, and could weaken barriers that restrain escalation from conventional to nuclear war,” the report notes…………………….

The report also warns of the escalatory potential of cyberwarfare and automated battlefield decision-making.

“As was the case during World Wars I and II, the major powers are rushing ahead with the weaponization of advanced technologies before they have fully considered – let alone attempted to mitigate – the consequences of doing so, including the risk of significant civilian casualties and the accidental or inadvertent escalation of conflict,” Michael Klare, a board member at the Arms Control Association and the report’s lead author, said in a statement.

“While the media and the US Congress have devoted much attention to the purported benefits of exploiting cutting-edge technologies for military use, far less has been said about the risks involved,” he added.

February 9, 2023 Posted by | weapons and war | Leave a comment

High-altitude surveillance — even balloons — is nothing new. So why the fuss?

There are hundreds of satellites spying on the US, China and Russia, to name just a few countries, so a well-tracked balloon was hardly a threat.


It was a darkly comic, made-for-media case: a Chinese hot air balloon flying about 20 kilometres over American soil, shot down by a US fighter jet over the weekend. It ignited a fairly confused diplomatic crisis, with China now saying it reserves the right to a response, and has laid bare the fragile state of relations between the world’s two most powerful nations.

The mere existence of the balloon — China claims it was a civilian weather-monitoring device, but the US is convinced it was spying, possibly on nuclear facilities — saw US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cancel his planned visit to meet his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. 

It’s a worrying setback in efforts by the US and China to steady a relationship tattered by Chinese adventurism — of which the balloon is yet another example — and US determination to contain China’s rise, particularly regarding the technology underpinning,………… (Subscribers only)………..

February 9, 2023 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Ukraine purges libraries of Russian-language books – official

Christina note: Does this remind you of anything?

Germany in 1933? 8 Feb 23, More than 10 million volumes have been pulled from the shelves, a senior Rada MP has said.

Ukraine has removed millions of copies of Russian-language books from its public libraries, Yevgeniya Kravchuk, a senior member of the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, said on Monday.

She stated that the Culture Ministry had provided recommendations on what titles should be taken off the shelves.

This move was provoked by an initiative declared by the Ukrainian government to “overcome the consequences of Russification,” which in practice means purging schools of certain literature, renaming streets, and dismantling monuments to Russian historical figures……………….

Ukraine has a sizable Russian-speaking minority, and many Ukrainian speakers are fluent in Russian.

In June, the Ukrainian Education Ministry proposed removing more than 40 books by Russian and Soviet authors from the curriculum. The list included the works of such renowned classical writers as Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Alexander Pushkin, as well as Boris Pasternak and Mikhail Sholokhov, both of whom won the Nobel Prize for literature. Ukrainian Culture Minister Aleksander Tkachenko urged the world in December to “boycott” Russian culture, arguing that Moscow has been using it for propaganda…………………..

February 9, 2023 Posted by | civil liberties, Ukraine | Leave a comment

China’s spy balloon can help deflate US nuclear tensions with Beijing

Defense News, By David Gompert and Hans Binnendijk 8 Feb 23

The row over China’s surveillance balloon could, once the dust settles, present a chance to begin lessening the risk of nuclear war between the two superpowers.

While the United States is right to charge China with violating its airspace in an apparent attempt to spy on America’s strategic missile systems in Montana, this episode reminds us that the two nations have no mechanism to exchange views and clear up misconceptions on the purpose of their respective nuclear arsenal.

Consequently, suspicions abound.

It is understandable that this infamous spy balloon has riled up the American body politic. Yet, it is important to keep the strategic situation in mind. The United States and China are in a stable state of mutual deterrence, meaning that neither power could launch a nuclear first strike on the other without inviting devastating retaliation. That said, the greater the mutual suspicions about intent, the greater the danger that this stability could fail.

The absence of a way to build mutual confidence between the United States and China regarding nuclear weapons and nuclear war is potentially dangerous. The United States is unsure what to make of China’s build-up of its nuclear arsenal, and China is fearful that the United States seeks the capability to deny China a credible deterrent. What makes this situation increasingly perilous are the rising tensions in Sino-U.S. relations in the Pacific and the growing risks of escalating crises and even war there.

In an article in the journal Survival to be published soon, we spell out the case and agenda for a process whereby the superpowers could clarify why they have nuclear weapons and the doctrines governing their use.

Specifically, we recommend direct and candid bilateral strategic stability talks on nuclear doctrines, forces, intentions, and worries. This would be coupled with confidence-building measures such as providing prior notifications of missile testing, clarifying the purpose of new weapons, and managing disconcerting intelligence. 

This could reduce suspicions, such as Chinese fears that the United States aspires to have a first-strike capability and American fears that China will relentlessly expand its capability to target U.S. deterrent forces. Each nation would of course continue independent intelligence-gathering. But “worst-case” interpretation of intelligence could be mitigated by dialogue.

These strategic stability talks might include implementing a bold concept: a bilateral US-Chinese pledge not to use nuclear weapons first against each other or against the other nation’s treaty allies……………………………. more

February 9, 2023 Posted by | China, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

The US shooting down a Chinese spy balloon is a risk for Australia

Michael West Media, by Rex Patrick | Feb 6, 2023 |

For many Australians watching the events over the past week, where the United States Air Force tracked a Chinese balloon overflying US territory and then shot it down, might seem to be of indirect significance to our security. Former senator and submariner, Rex Patrick suggests that it is of direct significance to Australia, increasing the risk we might be drawn into war in South East Asia.

Over the weekend the US Air Force shot down a Chinese balloon. The United States have said that the balloon was carrying out intelligence gathering. The Chinese Government has said it wasn’t. They claim it was just a wandering weather balloon. That’s important for reasons I’ll come back to, but I first need to provide some background – not about balloons, but about another surveillance platform.

What submarines do

Submarines can perform a whole range of different tasks in time of war……………………….

In preparing for war they train, they engage in tactical development and they conduct intelligence gathering. It is the latter which is their most important and challenging tasks………………….

Balloons and ballast tanks

…. Imagine a South Korean, Japanese or Australian submarine operating very close to (or perhaps inside) China’s territorial waters conducting intelligence gathering. China might now be inclined to treat that submarine the same way the United States treated a balloon purported to be conducting intelligence collection.

If detected, even if just outside of their territorial waters, the Chinese will just say they were inside their waters when, or in the minutes before, they were engaged. We’ll say, just as the US has for the balloon, that we weren’t spying and they’ll say we were.

And getting detected in our newest Australian submarine, the 20 year old HMAS Rankin, is far more likely than is the case for South Korea’s newest submarine, the 1 year old ROKS Dosan Ahn Changho, or Japan’s newest submarine, the 1 year old Tōryū.

The stakes are greater for us because Australian governments of various political flavours have left us with ageing Collins Class submarines to carry out this most serious and complex of peace time tasks.

One option would be to eventually withdraw our ageing Collins class submarines from surveillance operations anywhere close to Chinese waters, but that’s unlikely. Our Navy and our government will be anxious to continue to do all they can to assist the United States Navy in the Northern Pacific, in the Sea of Japan and the South China Sea.  

Alliances are not just pieces of paper, they are dynamic relationships in which there’s a strong obligation to contribute and share risk.

The China risk

The risks are likely to increase in the years ahead, as China continues to ramp up military tensions in an effort to coerce Taiwan into some form of political subordination to Beijing.

The possibility that China will choose a vessel of a US ally to make an example of cannot be dismissed.

And that risk will be disproportionately carried by our Navy as it operates a submarine force with decreasing relative capability across the next two decades or longer.  Thanks to government spending $170bn pursuing a distant nuclear-powered capability, our submariners will be at greater risk in less capable vessels than our so-called ‘great and powerful’ friend.

For a long time, we’ve been able to see Defence procurement failures and kick ourselves on account of cost to the taxpayer. Now, as the balloon goes up in the South China Sea, the lack of capability may well cost us many lives.

It’s not just about a war before the arrival of new submarines in 2040, its all the peace time intelligence operations between now and then.

February 9, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Fear for fish: EDF plan for Hinkley project means ‘enormous tragedy’ for ecosystem

 Former US President George W. Bush Snr may have famously said that ‘the
human being and fish can coexist peacefully’, but the UK/Ireland Nuclear
Free Local Authorities believe that EDF Energy’s plan to scrap the
commitment to install acoustic fish deterrents at its new Hinkley Point C
plant will end that peaceful co-existence with billions of fish being

Responding to a public consultation launched recently by the
Environment Agency seeking views on a proposal by French nuclear power
developer EDF Energy to scrap the deterrent mechanism at Hinkley,
Councillor David Blackburn, Chair of the NFLA English Forum called it an
‘enormous tragedy’.

A plant like Hinkley Point C ‘hoovers up’
millions of gallons of water daily to cool its reactors, discharging the
heated water back out to sea. Unfortunately, with the intake of the water
will come the fish, and although EDF is proposing to install some
mechanisms to prevent the ingress of fish and marine life into the plant,
it has consistently made plain its opposition to the installation of
acoustic fish deterrents.

Councillor Blackburn is, like local campaigners,
concerned that without Acoustic Fish Deterrents, alongside other measures
for marine life preservation, millions of fish will be killed every day,
and the group Stop Hinkley, which is opposed to the construction of the
plant, has estimated that up to 11 billion fish could die through
operations there over the course of its expected 60-year lifespan.

 NFLA 7th Feb 2023

February 9, 2023 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment

Former Australian PM Tony Abbott joins board of UK climate sceptic thinktank

Christina’s note: The mad monk rides again. Madder than ever. As he’s an enthusiastic promoter of the nuclear industry, it is puzzling that Abbott is still a climate denialist.

Nowdays, the nuclear industry pushes their lie that nuclear beats global heating. So a good nuclear zealot should believe in climate change.

Abbott says ‘we need more genuine science and less groupthink’ in announcing position at Global Warming Policy Foundation

Guardian. Graham Readfearn 7 Feb 23

The former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has joined the board of a UK-based thinktank that has been highly critical of climate science and action on global heating.

Since its launch in 2009, the Global Warming Policy Foundation has become known for its consistent attacks on climate science, the risks of global heating and – more recently – policies to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The group, founded by the former Thatcher government treasurer Sir Nigel Lawson, is facing a complaint from three UK MPs and a not-for-profit campaign group accusing the GWPF of inappropriately claiming status as an educational charity while carrying out lobbying and skewed research.

Abbott said he was pleased to join the foundation “because it’s consistently injected a note of realism into the climate debate”………………

Dr Jerome Booth, the foundation’s chairman, said Abbott brings “a global perspective and policy insight at the very highest level” and he would help the group “to foster a culture of debate, respect and scrutiny in policy areas that are currently dominated by intolerance, high emotions, moral reasoning and confusion”.

Abbott is currently an adviser to the UK government’s Board of Trade. His name was raised last month as a possible replacement for the late senator Jim Molan in the upper house.

During his prime ministership between 2013 and 2015, Abbott drove to dismantle much of the country’s public policy architecture on climate change, successfully repealing a legislated price on carbon, defunding the independent Climate Commission but failing to dismantle the Climate Change Authority and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

In 2017, he flew to London to deliver the GWPF’s annual lecture, where he suggested natural factors could be to blame for global warming, that CO2 was a trace gas and hinted at a global conspiracy to tamper with temperature data to make global heating seem worse.

The foundation is seen as influential among some conservatives. Conservative MP Steve Baker resigned as a GWPF trustee when he became minister for Northern Ireland.

A group of Conservative MPs and peers – several with links to the foundation – have formed the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, which has used the GWPF’s work as part of its advocacy.

The GWPF’s non-charitable arm – the Global Warming Policy Forum – runs a project called Net Zero Watch, which claims to scrutinise climate and decarbonisation policies.

The foundation has several Australian links. As the Guardian reported, one of its earliest funders was Australian billionaire hedge fund manager Sir Michael Hintze, who last year was handed a seat in the House of Lords at the recommendation of the former UK prime minister Boris Johnson.

Four Australian climate sceptics sit on the GWPF academic advisory board, including mining industry figure Prof Ian Plimer and controversial marine scientist Dr Peter Ridd of the Institute of Public Affairs, an Australian thinktank known to promote climate science denial.

The late Cardinal George Pell also delivered a GWPF annual lecture in 2011.

Presenting a report last year, the GWPF’s director, Dr Benny Peiser, said: “It’s extraordinary that anyone should think there is a climate crisis.”

Last year three MPs – one each from Labor, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats – joined with a not-for-profit campaign group to complain to the UK’s Charity Commission.

The group questioned if the GWPF was breaking charity rules by commissioning unbalanced research and carrying out political advocacy from charitable funds………………..

February 9, 2023 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

‘Save the only planet we have’: Tony Abbott joins climate-sceptic think tank

The former Australian PM says he has joined the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a UK think tank founded by a ‘climate denier-in-chief’.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott, who once compared taking action on climate change with killing goats “to appease volcano gods”, has joined the board of a UK climate-sceptic think tank founded by a politician dubbed “the climate denier-in-chief”.

Abbott said he was pleased to join the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), which “consistently injected a note of realism into the climate debate”, despite the charity spearheading the backlash against the UK government’s net-zero goal.

“All of us want to save the only planet we have, but this should not be by means which impoverish poorer people in richer countries and hold poorer countries back,” Abbott said of his appointment.

“Right now, in countries like Australia, the impact of climate policy is to make electricity less affordable and less reliable rather than perceptibly to cool the planet.

“We need more genuine science and less groupthink in this debate. That’s where the GWPF has been a commendably consistent if lonely voice.”

The GWPF was founded in 2009 by Thatcher-era chancellor Nigel Lawson, who reportedly resigned from the House of Lords last month. Described by UK Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay as the “climate denier-in-chief”, Lawson claimed that “global warming is not a problem” in a 2021 article written for The Spectator during the COP26 in Glasgow.

The foundation’s director, Benny Peiser, also made headlines for spurious statements, including that he found it “extraordinary that anyone should think there is a climate crisis” and that climate “alarmism” was driven by “scientists’ computer modelling rather than observational evidence”.

Despite Lawson’s apparent departure from politics, his foundation continues to cause a headache for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. There has been outrage after a UK register of interests disclosure revealed Conservative MP Steve Baker accepted a £10,000 (A$17,464) donation from the chair of GWPF’s Net Zero Watch.

The campaign arm has urged the UK government to recommit to fossil fuels, commission a fleet of coal-fired power plants, and wind down wind and solar completely, while its alleged breaches of charity law were the subject of a complaint from three British MPs in October.

This isn’t Abbott’s first brush with the foundation. In 2017 he delivered an eyebrow-raising annual lecture that suggested climate change was “probably doing good; or at least, more good than harm”.

Abbott also claimed that photos from his electorate showed the sea level hadn’t risen. (The Bureau of Meteorology found last year that the rates of sea level rise to the north and south-east of Australia have been “significantly higher” than the global average for the past 30 years.)

“Contrary to the breathless assertions that climate change is behind every weather event, in Australia the floods are not bigger, the bushfires are not worse, the droughts are not deeper or longer, and the cyclones are not more severe than they were in the 1800s,” Abbott said at the time.

In an echo of Lawson’s claim that rising temperatures are “no bad thing: many more people die each year from cold-related illnesses than from heat-related ones”, Abbott suggested in 2017 that sweltering heatwaves are good, actually.

“There’s the evidence that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide (which is a plant food after all) are actually greening the planet and helping to lift agricultural yields,” he said. “In most countries, far more people die in cold snaps than in heatwaves, so a gradual lift in global temperatures, especially if it’s accompanied by more prosperity and more capacity to adapt to change, might even be beneficial.”

Heat is the biggest natural killer in Australia (and in the US) and has been for the past 200 years, with fatalities outstripping all other natural killers including bushfires, cyclones and floods. Research has found there were 36,000 deaths associated with heat in Australia between 2006 and 2017.

February 9, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

Dr. Helen Caldicott Says The World Is Closer To Nuclear Annihilation Than Ever Before 2/2/23

In Interview Released Today Famed Peace Activist, Dr. Helen Caldicott, says the World is Closer to Nuclear Annihilation than Ever Before

 Caldicott believes the Doomsday Clock should be at 20 seconds to midnight.

Dr. Helen Caldicott is concerned that we are the closest we have ever been to nuclear annihilation and that citizens are no longer informed as to the incomprehensible destruction and suffering that it would bring.

Caldicott told Breaking Green, “I think we are in an extremely invidious position where nuclear war could occur tonight, by accident or design. “She added that “it is the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis, that the two huge nuclear behemoths are facing each other militarily.”

Dr. Caldicott described to Breaking Green the nightmarish effects of a nuclear war, as she had described to worldwide audiences during the Cold War. As cofounder of Physicians for Social Responsibility in the USA, her talks awakened a generation.

Caldicott believes that many people are engaging in “psychic numbing” or blocking out the reality of the threat as the Doomsday Clock is now set at 90 seconds to midnight.

Video of Caldicott’s description of nuclear war to Breaking Green can be viewed at .

The interview is available at .

Breaking Green is produced by Global Justice Ecology Project.

February 9, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia marketing nuclear reactors to Myanmar

 Myanmar signs new nuclear energy agreement with Russia. The
Intergovernmental Agreement on cooperation in the use of nuclear energy for
peaceful purposes will see the two countries working together on the use of
nuclear technology in a number of areas, including training of a workforce
for building and running a small modular reactor.

 World Nuclear News 7th Feb 2023

February 9, 2023 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

If Arms Control Collapses, US and Russian Strategic Nuclear Arsenals Could Double In Size

Federation of American Scientists,  Matt Korda and Hans Kristensen • February 7, 2023

On January 31st, the State Department issued its annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the New START Treaty, with a notable––yet unsurprising––conclusion:

“Based on the information available as of December 31, 2022, the United States cannot certify the Russian Federation to be in compliance with the terms of the New START Treaty.”

This finding was not unexpected. In August 2022, in response to a US treaty notification expressing an intent to conduct an inspection, Russia invoked an infrequently used treaty clause “temporarily exempting” all of its facilities from inspection. At the time, Russia attempted to justify its actions by citing “incomplete” work regarding Covid-19 inspection protocols and perceived “unilateral advantages” created by US sanctions; however, the State Department’s report assesses that this is “false:”

Contrary to Russia’s claim that Russian inspectors cannot travel to the United States to conduct inspections, Russian inspectors can in fact travel to the United States via commercial flights or authorized inspection airplanes. There are no impediments arising from U.S. sanctions that would prevent Russia’s full exercise of its inspection rights under the Treaty. The United States has been extremely clear with the Russian Federation on this point.”

Instead, the report suggests that the primary reason for suspending inspections “centered on Russian grievances regarding U.S. and other countries’ measures imposed on Russia in response to its unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine.”

Echoing the findings of the report, on February 1st, Cara Abercrombie, deputy assistant to the president and coordinator for defense policy and arms control for the White House National Security Council, stated in a briefing at the Arms Control Association that the United States had done everything in its power to remove pandemic- and sanctions-related limitations for Russian inspectors, and that “[t]here are absolutely no barriers, as far as we’re concerned, to facilitating Russian inspections.”

Nonetheless, Russia has still not rescinded its exemption and also indefinitely postponed a scheduled meeting of the Bilateral Consultative Commission in November. In a similar vein, this is believed to be tied to US support for Ukraine, as indicated by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov who said that arms control “has been held hostage by the U.S. line of inflicting strategic defeat on Russia,” and that Russia was “ready for such a scenario” if New START expired without a replacement.

These two actions, according to the United States, constitute a state of “noncompliance” with specific clauses of New START. It is crucial to note, however, the distinction between findings of “noncompliance” (serious, yet informal assessments, often with a clear path to reestablishing compliance), “violation” (requiring a formal determination), and “material breach” (where a violation rises to the level of contravening the object or purpose of the treaty).

It is also important to note that the United States’ findings of Russian noncompliance are not related to the actual number of deployed Russian warheads and launchers. While the report notes that the lack of inspections means that “the United States has less confidence in the accuracy of Russia’s declarations,” the report is careful to note that “While this is a serious concern, it is not a determination of noncompliance.” The report also assesses that “Russia was likely under the New START warhead limit at the end of 2022” and that Russia’s noncompliance does not threaten the national security interests of the United States.

The high stakes of failure: worst-case force projections after New START’s expiry

Both the US and Russia have meticulously planned their respective nuclear modernization programs based on the assumption that neither country will exceed the force levels currently dictated by New START. Without a deal after 2026, that assumption immediately disappears; both sides would likely default to mutual distrust amid fewer verifiable data points, and our discourse would be dominated by worst case thinking about how both countries’ arsenals would grow in the future……………………………………………………….


February 9, 2023 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Cameco Agrees to New Deal With Ukraine’s Nuclear Energy Utility

Feb. 8, 2023 , By Stephen Nakrosis

Cameco Corp. said it agreed to terms with SE NNEGC Energoatom, the Ukrainian state-owned nuclear energy utility, to provide natural uranium hexafluoride, or UF(6), through 2035.

“Key commercial terms, such as pricing mechanism, volume and tenor, have been agreed to, but the contract is subject to finalization, which is anticipated in the first quarter of 2023,” Cameco said.

The deal, which runs from 2024 to 2035, will see all deliveries in the form of UF(6). “The contract will contain a required degree of flexibility, given present circumstances in Ukraine,” Cameco said.

The agreement will see Cameco supply 100% of Energoatom’s UF(6) requirements for the nine nuclear reactors at the Rivne, Khmelnytskyy and South Ukraine nuclear power plants. The deal also has an option for Cameco to supply six reactors at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which is currently under Russian control, should it return to Energoatom’s operation, the companies said.

February 9, 2023 Posted by | marketing, Ukraine, USA | Leave a comment