The Cost of Intervention

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

What North Korea lacks in sophistication it makes up for in guile. Its answer to any attack would go beyond conventional means to include its experienced commando force, cyberwarfare capability and submarine force, at the very least. Though North Korea has chemical weapons, they are probably no more effective than its air force and surface navy. Still, there’s a psychological shock value attached to their use.

Pyongyang will do everything it can to impose a cost on any belligerent force. If the United States wishes to denuclearize North Korea, it will have to accept the consequences, as will South Korea and possibly even Japan. The United States would greatly prefer a diplomatic solution, but this has not worked well in the past. Even tougher sanctions imposed in March did little but harden Pyongyang’s resolve. And in avoiding a messy, if short-lived conflict, the United States and South Korea may have set themselves up for future angst when Pyongyang unveils a strategic nuclear deterrent.

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5 Reasons to Fear the Fall

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.PentoPort.com

This powerful and protracted bull market has made Cassandras look foolish for a long time. Those who went on record predicting that massive central bank manipulation of markets would not engender viable economic growth have been proven correct. However, these same individuals failed to fully anticipate the willingness of momentum-trading algorithms to take asset prices very far above the underlying level of economic growth.

Nevertheless, there are five reasons to believe that this fall will finally bring stock market valuations down to earth, and vindicate those who have displayed caution amidst all the frenzy.

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China Builds Maritime Muscle

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

China recently reached a new milestone on its path toward military modernization. On June 28, the country launched the first Type 055 warship from the Jiangnan Shipyard on Shanghai’s Changxing Island. The vessel is China’s first heavy destroyer, and it is the largest surface combatant warship built by an Asian power since the end of World War II. With the Type 055, China shows how far it has come in its efforts to expand its maritime capabilities.

The Type 055 warship is a large and heavy vessel, with a full displacement — or weight — of more than 12,000 tons, a length of about 180 meters (590 feet) and a beam of roughly 20 meters. In fact, the U.S. military classifies the Type 055 as a cruiser, a class of warship larger than a destroyer. And despite its size, the new ship is sleek and modern in its design. For instance, it incorporates numerous features that reduce its visibility on radar, such as a fully enclosed foredeck and an integrated mast.

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China and India are Edging Closer to a War in Asia

By Alex Lockie From Reuters – Re-Blogged From Yahoo!

Buried in the Himalayas in the Siliguri Corridor, also known as the Chicken’s neck, Chinese and Indian military forces sit on the respective sides of their vague borders and entrench themselves for what could become a shooting war between nuclear powers.

Both Beijing and New Delhi see the conflict as a shoving match for dominance in the Himalayas, an age-old struggle between the two states that most recently went hot in 1962, before either state had perfected nuclear bombs.

But now a Chinese construction project aiming to build a road that can support 40 ton vehicle traffic threatens a critical passage in India and risks alienating New Delhi from its ally, Bhutan.

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If You’re Going to get Sick – Better do it Before Single Payer

By The Common Constituionalist – Re-Blogged From http://www.iPatriot.com

On his radio program  Monday evening, Mark Levin was discussing the ghastly way the Republican Party has treated us regarding the whole healthcare debacle. Mark said, “It’s amazing to me that a man can remain the Majority Leader, McConnell, when the man controlling the Senate, for all intents and purposes, is Chuck Schumer.”

Levin said, “we thought Republicans would repeal ObamaCare – we thought that would be a no-brainer.”

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The Age of Modern Warfare

By Ian Morris – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Historians love anniversaries, and this year we’re having a lot of them. In an earlier column I looked back exactly 100 years to April 1917, when Lenin made his famous journey from Zurich to Petrograd. This laid the foundation for a distinctive kind of illiberal modern state that now seems to be making a comeback. But in this column, I want to consider a second set of events in 1917 that arguably played an even bigger role in creating today’s world: the invention of a new way of fighting wars. Military leaders began exploiting the fact that modern states had effectively created a new kind of human being — the educated, independent-minded citizen who could do much more than just follow orders — without whom modernity would look very different indeed.

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The Elephant In The Room: Debt

By David Chapman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

It’s the elephant in the room; the guest no one wants to talk to—debt! Total global debt is estimated to be about $217 trillion and some believe it could be as high as $230 trillion. In 2008, when the global financial system almost collapsed global debt stood at roughly $142 trillion. The growth since then has been astounding. Instead of the world de-leveraging, the world has instead leveraged up. While global debt has been growing at about 5% annually, global nominal GDP has been averaging only about 3% annually (all measured in US$). World debt to GDP is estimated at about 325% (that is all debt—governments, corporations, individuals). In some countries such as the United Kingdom, it exceeds 600%. It has taken upwards of $4 in new debt to purchase $1 of GDP since the 2008 financial crisis. Many have studied and reported on the massive growth of debt including McKinsey & Company www.mickinsey.com, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) www.imf.org, and the World Bank www.worldbank.org.

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