Category Archives: Geopolitics

Not Even the Pentagon Thinks Tariffs Are Needed for National Defense, by Ryan McMaken

Here is the other side of the steel tariff argument. From Ryan McMaken at

When politicians run out of good arguments, their last refuge is often the claim that what they want is “necessary for national defense.”

Given that there are no economic arguments in favor of tariffs, it makes sense that the administration has resorted to the political“national defense” argument instead.

So, even if the Trump administration were forced to admit that, yes, tariffs are bad for the incomes and standards of living for most Americans, they could still argue that everyone must make sacrifices for the sake of national security.

But do these arguments hold any water?

In a Defense Department memo, in response to the President’s tariff proposal, the Secretary of Defense states that the tariffs are not necessary:

… the US military requirements for steel and aluminum each only represent about three percent of US production. Therefore, DoD does not believe that the finds in the reports impact the ability of DoD programs to acquire the steel or aluminum necessary to meet national defense requirements

“The reports” mentioned here are Commerce Department reports pushing for the tariffs.

The Defense Department memo goes on to advocate for a far more limited tariff than what the Trump administration wants, stating “DoD continues to be concerned about the negative impact on our key allies regarding the recommended options within the reports … targeted tariffs are more preferable than a global quota or global tariff.”

The memo then concludes by noting that if the administration must have steel tariffs, it should at least wait on imposing aluminum tariffs.

Given that it is in the best interests of the Pentagon to overstate the security threats to the United States, the Department’s opposition to the scope and severity of the administration’s tariffs highlight just how truly unnecessary the tariffs are.

The DoD worries, as it should, that tariffs harm the American relationship with allies, and thus harm American security efforts.

Even worse, tariffs are harmful to domestic economic strength, which is the real source of both hard and soft American power internationally.

Implementing policies that are likely to diminish American productivity and competitiveness ultimately poses a direct threat to long term security efforts.

To continue reading: Not Even the Pentagon Thinks Tariffs Are Needed for National Defense


Clinton Charity Fraud Biggest Scandal in US History – Kevin Shipp, by Greg Hunter

Much of the corruption currently being investigated in Washington links back to the infamous Clinton Foundation. From Greg Hunter at

Former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp says the reason for all the crime and treason at the FBI and DOJ all boils down to one thing–the Clinton so-called “charity.” Shipp explains, “Hillary Clinton was running and is running a global financial criminal syndicate.  She was using these secret servers to conduct Clinton financial money laundering business.  The shocking thing about that is all the former directors of the CIA that have come out to support her, from Clapper to Brennan to Morell to Robert Gates supporting her being elected, knew about this criminal syndicate.  Comey was protecting it.  Lynch was protecting it.  Weissmann was protecting it.  And that is the big why.  What’s she got on these people?  Are they financial ties?  They had to be aware of this, especially the counter-intelligence units.  We know it was hacked into by foreign intelligence services because it was just hanging out there.  Hillary Clinton was running a secret server outside the Department of State for the purposes of laundering money through the criminal Clinton Foundation.”

Are the crimes and treason of the Clinton Foundation the anvil that is about to drop? Shipp says, “It’s not just an anvil, I think it is a mountain and the nexus of everything.  This “Clinton Global Initiative” (CGI) is worldwide, and it’s been out there for a couple of decades.  It has now intertwined former Directors of the CIA and FBI.   George Soros is a part of it.  It’s connected to all kinds of global financial institutions. . . . It is at least a $100 billion. . . . All these people protecting and defending Hillary Clinton and knowing about her criminal syndicate, this goes into the so-called “Deep State” of our government, and it is connected, involved and intertwined in the global criminal crime syndicate called the Clinton Foundation.  This is probably going to be the biggest scandal in U.S. history–once it’s busted.  I think they are quietly working on it now, and I think they have been for the last year.  It is so huge the arrests and indictments could cause a Constitutional crisis with some people being removed.  Maybe that’s why they are moving slowly.  It all comes back down to the Clinton Foundation and the criminal syndicate.”

Is former President Obama involved with the Clinton crime syndicate? Shipp says, “Yes, I am absolutely convinced of it.  George Soros gave $30 million to Obama’s campaign.  Then he gave $27.1 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.  Both Obama and Clinton are tied directly into George Soros.  Obama was put into office with millions of dollars that came out of nowhere.  Yes, he’s part of this cabal.  Yes, he’s part of this global syndicate, and in my opinion, the subversion of our government.”

To continue reading: Clinton Charity Fraud Biggest Scandal in US History – Kevin Shipp

Watch: Colonel Says Israel Is Dragging the United States Into World War III, by Darius Shahtahmasebi

As many nations have found out, it makes it much easier to fight your wars if you can rope in the US. From Darius Shahtahmasebi at

Israel is in the process of plunging America into a war with Iran that could destroy what’s left of the Middle East and ignite a third world war, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, warned in Washington approximately a week ago.

Wilkerson, a retired army colonel who now teaches at Washington-area universities, didn’t hold back in his critique of where the status quo is leading the United States via its client state, Israel.

At the annual Israel lobby conference at the National Press Club, sponsored by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and Institute for Research: Middle East Policy, Wilkerson explained that Israel is headed toward “a massive confrontation with the various powers arrayed against it, a confrontation that will suck America in and perhaps terminate the experiment that is Israel and do irreparable damage to the empire that America has become.”

One of the principal antagonists begging for a war with Iran that Wilkerson identified was none other than Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Russian-born Defense Minister. Wilkerson stated:

“Lieberman will speak in April in New York City at the annual conference of the Jerusalem Post. The title is, ‘The New War with Iran.’ It is clear that he’s [at] the forefront of promoting this war.

“And nowhere does my concern about such a war focus more acutely at the moment than Syria. As [the] president of France Emmanuel Macron described it recently, ‘The current rhetoric of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Israel is pushing the region toward conflict with Iran.’”

Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s incessant denigrations of Iran, including claiming the greatest danger facing the Jewish state is the Islamic republic — a country he accuses of fanning the flames of anti-Semitism — Wilkerson blew these accusations out of the park using simple logic. He said:

This antisemitism bit, of course, as we’ve heard today, is almost always a weapon of choice for Israeli politicians under stress hurled, in this case, at the country whose Jewish population — by the way, the largest in the Middle East outside of Turkey and Israel — lives in Iran in reasonable peace.”

To continue reading (and to see the video): Watch: Colonel Says Israel Is Dragging the United States Into World War III

US Still Pouring Massive Supply Of Weapons Into War-Torn Yemen, by Jason Ditz

US arms sales enable Saudi Arabia’s hapless and bloody war in Yemen. From Jason Ditz at

Three years into the 2015 Saudi-led invasion of Yemen, untold thousands are dead. Northern Yemen has been through the worst cholera outbreak in human history, and civilians continue to die in bunches from Saudi airstrikes against the region.

To call Yemen war-torn is really putting it mildly. Yemen is in a disastrous state, with a Saudi-led naval blockade threatening to starve millions. If there’s one thing Yemen has no shortage of, however, it’s weapons, with the US  ensuring a massive supply continues to pour into the hands of Saudi and Emirati forces.

US arms sales are themselves at a record high during this war, in no small part because of purchases by the United Arab Emirates, and particularly by the Saudis, who are dropping US bombs on northern Yemen as fast as they can buy them.

And while bombs and warplanes are the big dollar amount of sales, they also include large numbers of US-made automatic rifles and small arms ammunition. The UAE is particular bought $60 million in small arms in 2016 alone, both for their own direct involvement in Yemen and to arm their allied factions on the ground. The Saudis bought another $11 million.

Yemen isn’t a place to send weaponry that you want well-documented and carefully tracked, either. The Pentagon has confirmed they can’t account for about $500 million more in weapons that they’d given to the Hadi government up to 2015.

So the Saudi and UAE-bought small arms are being sent to Yemen to replace those “lost” weapons, but it’s not as if those weapons literally disappeared. Rather, they’re just not in the hands of officials, or at least not in any above-board way. That’s virtually certain to be the fate of this new influx as well.

At the same time, US arms sales are ensuring that the Saudi and coalition warplanes never run out of bombs to drop, despite those airstrikes seemingly accomplishing nothing but killing more and more civilians in the Shi’ite-dominated north.

To continue reading: US Still Pouring Massive Supply Of Weapons Into War-Torn Yemen

Pentagon Official: China’s Hypersonic Missiles Could Threaten US Navy’s “Entire Surface Fleet”, by Tyler Durden

Russia (see Ten Percent, SLL) is not the only country with hypersonic missiles. From Tyler Durden at

As we have discussed previously, “hypersonic aircraft and missiles are being developed and tested by the United States, Russia, and China at an accelerating pace. While the race for hypersonic technologies has certainly flourished among global superpowers, who realize that the first to possess these technologies will not just revolutionize their civilian and military programs, but will also dictate the future path for civilizations on planet earth.”

According to the Washington Examiner, Undersecretary of Defense for Research Michael Griffin presented last week at the McAleese-Credit Suisse Defense Conference in which he warned, “when the Chinese can deploy tactical or regional hypersonic systems, they hold at risk our carrier battle groups. They hold our entire surface fleet at risk. They hold at risk our forward deployed land-based forces.”

Griffin emphasized that Beijing has administered “20 times as many of hypersonic weapons tests as has the United States over the last decade.” He stated Beijing is spending billions to develop and test non-nuclear versions of hypersonic weapons that could render the United States Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers unprotected against a hypersonic strike.

In December 2017, Reuters reported that Griffin was nominated by President Donald Trump to be Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. The U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination on February 15, 2018, which means he has been on the job for less than two weeks and has already declared — developing hypersonic weapons is his “highest technical priority.”

Griffin stressed that Beijing is transforming into a global superpower and America’s worst enemy, while President Xi Jinping modernizes the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with railguns, hypersonics, and stealth fighter jets. Detailed in the beginning paragraph, the American empire could unquestionably be dethroned if countries like Russia and China field hypersonics before Washington.

To continue reading: Pentagon Official: China’s Hypersonic Missiles Could Threaten US Navy’s “Entire Surface Fleet”

CNN Breaking News

The Art of the Deal on the International Stage, by TheLastRefuge

Here is an interesting take on President Trump’s strategies and tactics for dealing with the rest of the world. From TheLastRefuge@TheLastRefuge2 via, with a hat tip to T4C:

1. The Trump Doctrine (overall)

2. How the Trump Doctrine applied to North Korea:


3. Just because western media doesn’t understand how President Trump executes a geopolitical strategy based on economic leverage, that doesn’t mean adversaries are not fully aware of the effectiveness of the approach.

4. The Trump Doctrine has two avenues toward dealing with national security adversaries.

5. The first route is direct assignment of responsibility toward the enablers: see China for North Korea; The Gulf States for Qatar (Sunni extremism); Russia for Syrian terrorism (Assad); and Pakistan for Afghanistan (Taliban); as recent examples.

6. However, when the geopolitical threat stems directly from the enabler, and not the enabled, the Trump Doctrine has a distinctly different & far more encompassing, approach.

7. Route two goes through leveraging regional allies and partners. (TWO THREATS, China and Russia) See ASEAN and India for ¹China; and France, Poland, Baltic States for ²Russia.

8. In each case: China, Russia and Iran, unlike Western media, these powers assemble volumes of research to assist them in understanding the most likely sequence of events President Trump will take.

9. When we say volumes of research, we indeed mean hundreds of people researching and drafting position documents based upon every scintilla of every deal Donald J Trump has engaged in.

10. These states fully understand how President Trump intends to utilize economic leverage toward his next national security focus. As soon as President Trump mentions a strategy for a foe, all international adversaries immediately began road-mapping their defense.

To continue reading: The Art of the Deal on the International Stage