Wars and rumours of wars
Mar. 19, 2014 8:21am
SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (AP) — Masked Russian-speaking troops on Wednesday seized control of Ukrainian naval headquarters in Crimea after it was stormed by militiamen. Pro-Moscow Crimean authorities also detained the Ukrainian navy commander and reportedly blocked the defense minister and another government official from traveling to the peninsula in what they said was a bid to defuse tensions.
Ukraine’s military, which is heavily outnumbered in Crimea, has come under increased pressure since the region was nominally incorporated into Russia on Tuesday.
Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 – That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.
EGYPT-PROTESTS_43_2History never repeats itself, but it sure does rhyme, it has been said. Now an internationally respected historian is warning that today’s world bears a number of striking similarities with the build-up to the First World War. The newly mechanised armies of the early 20th century produced unprecedented slaughter on the battlefields of the “war to end all wars” after a spark lit in the Balkans with the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Professor Margaret MacMillan, of the University of Cambridge, argues that the Middle East could be viewed as the modern-day equivalent of this turbulent region. A nuclear arms race that would be likely to start if Iran developed a bomb “would make for a very dangerous world indeed, which could lead to a recreation of the kind of tinderbox that exploded in the Balkans 100 years ago – only this time with mushroom clouds,” she writes in an essay for the Brookings Institution, a leading US think-tank. ”While history does not repeat itself precisely, the Middle East today bears a worrying resemblance to the Balkans then,” she says.
“A similar mix of toxic nationalisms threatens to draw in outside powers as the US, Turkey, Russia, and Iran look to protect their interests and clients.” Professor MacMillan highlights a string of other parallels between today and a century ago. Modern-day Islamist terrorists mirror the revolutionary communists and anarchists who carried out a string of assassinations in the name of a philosophy that sanctioned murder to achieve their vision of a better world. And in 1914, Germany was a rising force that sought to challenge the pre-eminent power of the time, the UK. Today, the growing power of China is perceived as a threat by some in the US. Transitions from one world power to another are always seen as dangerous times. In the late 1920s, the US drew up plans for a war with the British Empire that would have seen the invasion of Canada, partly because it was assumed conflict would break out as America took over as the world’s main superpower. Professor MacMillan, whose book The War That Ended Peace was published last year, said right-wing and nationalist sentiments were rising across the world and had also been a factor before the First World War. Independent.ie
Pastor Freddie Beard
Pastor Freddie Beard
The need for humans to participate in armed conflicts could soon be over. The next generation of military hardware might be able to think and act for itself.
Military hardware will soon consist of “autonomous robots that know neither pity nor fear” — quite a step up from the current generation of UAVs and drones operated by humans from the safety of military bases hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away.
Ever since drones such as the Predator were prepared and armed for use in Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 2000s, stealth weapons have played a key role in the West’s “War on Terror.” It was a Predator drone that located Osama Bin Laden in 2011, and it was a Predator drone that launched the missile attack earlier this month that killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud. The drones have clocked more than 200,000 hours of flying time in Afghanistan since their inception.
Drone operators work in a safe environment, sometimes in a completely different country to the one that the aircraft flies in. They make judgment calls based on the situation they see on the computer screen in front of them. The success of the program has meant that the US Air Force is training more people to fly drones than it is conventional aircraft.
The legal battle over whether drones such as the Predator and the Reaper contravene international law is still raging. The basis of the argument against their use is that actions viewed thousands of miles away on a computer screen can be misinterpreted and the response could have severe consequences. That legal battle could get a whole lot tougher with the next generation.
Future weapons will remove the human element from the equation completely; they will be able to engage targets by themselves, maximizing destruction. They will represent the age-old saying: “Shoot first, ask questions later.”
Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2013/December23/234.html#wxKxcyRXb2vf8cFS.99
Pastor Freddie Beard
Why Is Saudi Arabia Buying 15,000 U.S. Anti-Tank Missiles for a War It Will Never Fight? Hint: Syria.
Fifteen people on their way to a wedding in Yemen were killed in an air strike after their party was mistaken for an al Qaeda convoy, local security officials said on Thursday. The officials did not identify the plane in the strike in central al-Bayda province, but tribal and local media sources said that it was a drone. ”An air strike missed its target and hit a wedding car convoy, ten people were killed immediately and another five who were injured died after being admitted to the hospital,” one security official said. Five more people were injured, the officials said. The United States has stepped up drone strikes as part of a campaign against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), regarded by Washington as the most active wing of the militant network. Yemen, AQAP’s main stronghold, is among a handful of countries where the United States acknowledges using drones, although it does not comment on the practice. Human Rights Watch said in a detailed report in August that U.S. missile strikes, including armed drone attacks, have killed dozens of civilians in Yemen. Stabilizing the country, which is also struggling with southern separatists and northern rebels, is an international priority due to fears of disorder in a state that flanks top oil producer Saudi Arabia and major shipping lanes. On Monday, missiles fired from a U.S. drone killed at least three people travelling in a car in eastern Yemen. Reuters
A Chinese naval vessel tried to force a U.S. guided missile warship to stop in international waters recently, causing a tense military standoff in the latest case of Chinese maritime harassment, according to defense officials. The guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens, which recently took part in disaster relief operations in the Philippines, was confronted by Chinese warships in the South China Sea near Beijing’s new aircraft carrier Liaoning, according to officials familiar with the incident. “On December 5th, while lawfully operating in international waters in the South China Sea, USS Cowpens and a PLA Navy vessel had an encounter that required maneuvering to avoid a collision,” a Navy official said. “This incident underscores the need to ensure the highest standards of professional seamanship, including communications between vessels, to mitigate the risk of an unintended incident or mishap.” A State Department official said the U.S. government issued protests to China in both Washington and Beijing in both diplomatic and military channels. The Cowpens was conducting surveillance of the Liaoning at the time. The carrier had recently sailed from the port of Qingdao on the northern Chinese coast into the South China Sea. According to the officials, the run-in began after a Chinese navy vessel sent a hailing warning and ordered the Cowpens to stop.
The cruiser continued on its course and refused the order because it was operating in international waters. Then a Chinese tank landing ship sailed in front of the Cowpens and stopped, forcing the Cowpens to abruptly change course in what the officials said was a dangerous maneuver. According to the officials, the Cowpens was conducting a routine operation done to exercise its freedom of navigation near the Chinese carrier when the incident occurred about a week ago. The encounter was the type of incident that senior Pentagon officials recently warned could take place as a result of heightened tensions in the region over China’s declaration of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea. More