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World War 3 - Public Domain

By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse Blog

Why has Barack Obama airdropped 50 tons of ammunition into areas that “moderate rebels” in Syria supposedly control?  This is essentially the equivalent of poking the Russians directly in the eyes.  Much of this ammunition will end up in the hands of those that the Russians are attempting to bomb into oblivion, and so to Russia it appears that we are attempting to make their job much harder.  And of course the truth is that there aren’t really any “moderate rebels” in Syria at all.  Nearly all of the groups that are fighting are made up primarily of radical jihadists and/or hired mercenaries.  Personally, I don’t see anyone over there that you could call “the good guys”.  At the end of the day, the U.S. supports just about anyone that wants to get rid of the Assad regime, and the Russians are working very hard to keep Assad in power.  Just like the civil war in Ukraine, the conflict in Syria is in great danger of being transformed into a proxy war between the United States and Russia, and many fear that these conflicts could eventually be setting the stage for World War III.

The ferocity of Russian airstrikes in Syria has surprised observers all over the planet, and over the past couple of days these airstrikes have been extended to include some new areas

Russian Air Forces have extended the range of their airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria to four provinces, focusing primarily on demolishing fortified installations and eliminating supply bases and the terrorists’ infrastructure.

Over the last 24 hours Russian aircraft have attacked terrorist positions in the Hama, Idlib, Latakia and Raqqa provinces of Syria. In total, 64 sorties targeted 63 Islamic State installations, among them 53 fortified zones, 7 arms depots, 4 training camps and a command post.

When I read reports like this, I am deeply troubled.  The Obama administration claims that it has been bombing ISIS positions in Syria for over a year.  So why in the world do these targets still exist?

Was the U.S. military incapable of finding these installations?

That doesn’t seem likely.

So why weren’t they destroyed long ago?

Did the Obama administration not want them destroyed for some reason?

What seems abundantly clear is that the Russians are doing what the Obama administration was either unwilling or unable to do.  There is now mass panic among ISIS fighters, and thousands of them are fleeing the country

Continue reading at The Economic Collapse Blog: Is Barack Obama Actually TRYING To Start World War III?

About the author:

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

Read his new book The Beginning of the End

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

The world is now on the cusp of total war. This is the claim made by former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts in a recent editorial. And though doom predictions are quite popular given what’s going on in the world as of late, to disregard Roberts’ assessment as fear-mongering or hype would be short-sighted and dangerous. No, this time is not different, and if political leaders around the world, especially in the United States, Russia and Europe, don’t come to an agreement on the future of Ukraine then it is only a matter of time before we eventually cross the line into a scenario from which there is no return – for all we know, we may have already crossed it at this point.

While the American media has generally ignored the broader implications of what’s happening in Ukraine, often dismissing it as Europe’s problem and one that has no long-term ramifications for the U.S., the fact is that the United States is directly involved in not only the political machinations behind the scenes of Ukraine’s new government, but military operations as evidenced by recent videos showing armed American-English speaking personnel on the ground during the recent artillery shelling of the city of Mariupol.

This weekend European leaders from France and Germany met with Vladimir Putin to negotiate a peace settlement. President Obama attended as well, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner seems to be there just as a formality because he made no effort to put forth a peace plan of any kind.

In fact, if anything, Obama suggested that he is prepared to take things to the next level if Vladimir Putin doesn’t agree to the West’s demands. According to a report from the BBC President Obama has made it clear that the United States is on a war footing with Russia and we are now exploring all available options to deal with Putin should things in the Ukraine sour.

US President Barack Obama says yes to diplomacy, but then adds: “Now, it is true that if, in fact, diplomacy fails, what I’ve asked my team to do is to look at all options.

“What other means can we put in place to change Mr Putin’s calculus? And the possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that’s being examined.”

While Europe maintains that they want to find a solution in the Ukraine, it seems that the United States is making demands that Russia refuses to agree to.

But Russia is having none of it. This morning a Kremlin spokesman was quoted by Russian media as saying that “nobody has ever talked to the president in the tone of an ultimatum – and could not do so even if they wanted to,” an obvious response to whatever negotiations were taking place behind closed doors.

Russia and the United States have sparred back and forth for decades, but the situation in the Ukraine seems to be the most serious since the end of the cold war and one that could escalate to widespread conflict should cooler heads not prevail.

President Obama, of course, isn’t the only one leaving military options on the table.

Vladimir Putin himself recently warned that Russia will not put up with the West’s “hostile acts” and suggested nuclear consequences are one possible outcome if a peace deal is not reached:

He accused Barack Obama of adopting a “hostile” approach in naming Russia as a threat to the world in the U.S. president’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24.

“We hope that our partners will realize the futility of attempts to blackmail Russia and remember what consequences discord between major nuclear powers could bring for strategic stability,” Putin told Serbia’s Politika newspaper on the eve of his visit to the Balkan nation today.

Putin said that Obama had identified Russian aggression in Europe as one of the three “major threats facing humanity,” alongside the Ebola virus and Islamic State.

“Together with the sanctions against entire sectors of our economy, this approach can be called nothing but hostile,” Putin said.

Full report

Last month the Russian President ordered strategic nuclear bombers to fly over the English channel into civilian air traffic corridors as a show of force to the West. He’s also reportedly sent bombers along the west coast of the United States from Alaska to California, and it has been suggested that the flybys may have also been responsible for a widespread outage of air traffic control systems in Los Angeles.

What’s happening behind the closed doors of national security meetings in the United States and Russia will remain hidden from the public. Unfortunately, we’ll be the last to know and should these leaders fail to come to an agreement in Europe we may only find out once the missiles start flying.

It’s starting to look like the world really is on the cusp of total war.

Recommended Reading: 

Watch: Putin laughs in journalist’s face

The Blueprint for World War III : “This War Will Be Utterly Devastating”

Nukes and Fallout: How to Survive When Others Won’t

Prepare For Any Disaster

This article first appeared at SHTFplan.com: Report: White House Preparing Military Response If Diplomacy With Russia Fails: “Lethal Defensive Weapons” and Other Options Being Examined

PicMonkey Collage

By Chris CarringtonThe Daily Sheeple

Alexi Pushkov, a top Russian MP and close friend of Vladimir Putin, has told the European Parliament that the United States supplying the Ukranian government with weapons could escalate the conflict to ‘all out war’.

The Tass news agency quoted him as saying that American weapons could:

“expand the war and turn it into a real threat to the whole European security system”

According to the BBC he continued:

“First they sent weapons, then they sent military advisers, then troops to protect military advisers, then troops to fight the Vietnamese.”

He warned that it was “an extremely dangerous path” and that “there are a lot of people in the US who still want to fight everywhere”, including “trigger-happy” Republican Senator John McCain.

A further warning came from Mr Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said on Tuesday that plans to arm Kiev’s forces were “aimed at destabilising the situation in Ukraine”.

This is the bluntest warning yet that has come out of Moscow regarding the United States current and future involvement in the conflict.

Resources:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival

Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple


Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.

Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!

 

oil-wars

By Mac SlavoSHTFplan.com

The Cold War 2.0 is going hot, and while it may someday be fought with planes, tanks, guns and bombs, the first front is being fought with oil and shale gas.

The U.S. and European sanctions against Russia will become more severe and crippling in the face of drastically falling oil prices – prices which are falling drastically because of the unprecedented boom of shale gas fracking both domestically in the U.S. and abroad in Ukraine and other locales. The oil & gas giants like Chevron and Exxon Mobil have created revolutionary conditions with now direct consequences on U.S. foreign policy and global war for dominance. Via Bloomberg:

Oil’s decline is proving to be the worst since the collapse of the financial system in 2008 and threatening to have the same global impact of falling prices three decades ago that led to the Mexican debt crisis and the end of the Soviet Union.

Russia, the world’s largest producer, can no longer rely on the same oil revenues to rescue an economy suffering from European and U.S. sanctions. Iran, also reeling from similar sanctions, will need to reduce subsidies that have partly insulated its growing population. Nigeria, fighting an Islamic insurgency, and Venezuela, crippled by failing political and economic policies, also rank among the biggest losers from the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last week to let the force of the market determine what some experts say will be the first free-fall in decades.

“This is a big shock in Caracas, it’s a shock in Tehran, it’s a shock in Abuja,” said Daniel Yergin…

The destabilization in Ukraine and numerous spots in the Middle East – including the ISIS-threatened Iraq and Syria – have been mere preludes to what is coming.

The OPEC countries, led by Saudi Arabia, are allowing oil prices to fall drastically, in clear coordination with its Anglo masters, and in response to the sudden rise of shale gas production obtained through fracking. These Arab states will not lose power with the falling oil prices, while many other regimes will face pressure in all sectors.

Targeted at the center of this web of intrigue is, of course, Russia. Natural gas is at the center of the Ukrainian conflict – with Russia’s Gazprom supplying some 25% of Europe’s natural gas.

U.S. operatives are working overtime to undermine that by cutting off Russian gas and supplying Europe, instead, with booming shale gas from fracking in and around Ukraine and its rich mineral holdings.

Between rising U.S. domestic production, falling OPEC oil prices and U.S.-led production and exploration in Ukraine, gas could prove a trump card against Russia, though Putin has downplayed these consequences:

“Russia in particular seems vulnerable,” said Allan von Mehren, chief analyst at Danske Banke A/S in Copenhagen. “A big decline in the oil price in 1997-98 was one factor causing pressure that eventually led to Russian default in August 1998.”

VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest bank, OAO Gazprombank, its third-largest lender, and Russian Agricultural Bank are already seeking government aid to replenish capital after sanctions cut them off from international financial markets. Now with sputtering economic growth, they also face a rise in bad loans.

Oil and gas provide 68 percent of Russia’s exports and 50 percent of its federal budget. Russia has already lost almost $90 billion of its currency reserves this year, equal to 4.5 percent of its economy, as it tried to prevent the ruble from tumbling after Western countries imposed sanctions to punish Russian meddling in Ukraine. The ruble is down 35 percent against the dollar since June.

At the same time, Russia has just given up its bid to build a South Stream pipeline to bypass Ukraine and has been accused of covertly funding anti-fracking protests in Romania, Ukraine and other areas in the hotzone of the Eastern Europe proxy war over natural gas.

An important secondary consequence of falling oil prices will come in the form of disruptions to social services in countries that have been supporting citizens with money from high oil prices – including Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Nigeria and others.

Falling oil revenue will mean less money for subsidies and handouts. For the geopolitical orchestrators in the Anglo-elite network, this is part of the strategy.

Coddled by years of $100 crude, governments instead spent that windfall subsidizing everything from 5 cents-per-gallon gasoline to cheap housing that kept a growing population of underemployed citizens content.

The Council on Foreign Relations heralded this fracking boom as a means of reasserting North American-based U.S. power around the world and ‘transforming the global energy landscape.’

Now, a spokesperson from its secretive sister organization the Royal Institute of International Affairs, based at Chatham House, has fingered it as a political weapon to spark upheavals and internal revolutions:

“If the governments aren’t able to spend to keep the kids off the streets they will go back to the streets, and we could start to see political disruption and upheaval,” said Paul Stevens, distinguished fellow for energy, environment and resources at Chatham House in London, a U.K. policy group. “The majority of members of OPEC need well over $100 a barrel to balance their budgets. If they start cutting expenditure, this is likely to cause problems.”

For a U.S. that many have said lost its credibility in the world, and has seen a decline in its position as the foremost global superpower and a certain, but slow decline of the petrodollar’s status as world reserve currency, the move in shale gas is a power move to level the global playing field.

The “sudden rise” of shale natural gas has been a planned, coordinated and highly strategic move. Plummeting oil prices are indeed an economic weapon against Russia, as many analysts have shown, and act to call the bluff of the other players at the table as well. It poses serious challenges to tensions with Russia, and will have immediate consequences for many other economies based on oil. Bloomberg explains the positions:

To be sure, not all oil producers are suffering. The International Monetary Fund in October assessed the oil price different governments needed to balance their budgets. At one end were Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which can break even with oil at about $70 a barrel. At the other extreme: Iran needs $136, and Venezuela and Nigeria $120. Russia can manage at $101 a barrel, the IMF said.

“Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and Qatar can live with relatively lower oil prices for a while, but this isn’t the case for Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Venezuela, Algeria and Angola,” said Marie-Claire Aoun, director of the energy center at the French Institute for International Relations in Paris. “Strong demographic pressure is feeding their energy and budgetary requirements. The price of crude is paramount for their economies because they have failed to diversify.”

To be sure, there are no good guys at the table of global power. All are corrupt.

But the powers-that-be in the elite Anglo-financial world are betting that it will be enough to hold U.S. power across the world, boost the U.S. economy and hold its competitors in the ongoing game of global chess at bay. Current economic forecast show the possibility and perhaps likelihood that they have put down another dominating hand that will shape global trends for decades to come.

Through fracking, the U.S. trade deficit in oil is expected to balance out and to transform America into a profitable net exporting region in petroleum and gas within just a few short years:

There is no question that the US has entirely changed the global energy landscape and poses an existential threat to Opec. America has cut its net oil imports by 8.7m bpd since 2006, equal to the combined oil exports of Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.

The country had a trade deficit of $354bn in oil and gas as recently as 2011. Citigroup said this will return to balance by 2018, one of the most extraordinary turnarounds in modern economic history.

It may, of course, also carry enormous environmental consequences for Americans who face the possibility of tainted groundwater supplies, water shortages, increased earthquakes (as seen in Oklahoma) and other forms of pollution related to the use of countless chemicals shot into the earth during the hydraulic fracturing process.

In the Godfather, Michael Corleone took care of “all family business” in one fell swoop during his baptism as The Don following his father’s death, targeting the heads of the five gang families at war with his family’s cartel, along with several other vendettas, both persona and “just business”…

Today, the U.S. is attempting to do the same through fracking and the orchestrated, falling global oil prices.

This article first appeared at SHTFplan.com: Falling Oil Prices Could Cripple ‘Vulnerable’ Russia, Trigger World War III

By Michael Snyder – The Economic Collapse

Russian soldiers and Ukrainian soldiers are now shooting at each other in eastern Ukraine.  Could this conflict ultimately lead us down the road to World War 3?  This week, a very robust force of “tanks, artillery and infantry” has opened up a “third front” in the Ukrainian civil war in a part of southeastern Ukraine that had not seen much fighting yet.  Exhausted Ukrainian forces are suddenly being pushed back rapidly and many outsiders are wondering how the nearly defeated rebels were able to muster such impressive military strength all of a sudden.  But it really isn’t much of a mystery.  The tanks, artillery and infantry came from inside Russia.  In recent days, Ukrainian units have captured ten Russian paratroopers and there have even been funerals for Russian paratroopers that have been killed in action back home in Russia.  Even though it has become exceedingly obvious that Russia is now conducting a stealth invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is still choosing to deny it.  But if he did publicly admit it, that would be even more dangerous.  Barack Obama would be forced into a position of either having to do something about the Russian invasion or look weak in the eyes of the public.  And as the Russians have already shown, they are more than willing to match any move that the Obama administration makes.

There has already been much written about who is to blame for all of this, and I am sure that much more will be written about who is to blame in the future.  The western world is blaming “Russian aggression” for the mess in Ukraine.    In return, the Russians point out that it was westerners that funded and organized the groups that violently overthrew the democratically-elected government of Ukraine.  To the Russians, the current government of Ukraine is made up of neo-Nazi terrorist usurpers that are attempting to brutally oppress millions of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

So the Russians seem themselves as “the good guys” in this conflict and so does the western world.  But that is how most wars start.  Both sides usually feel morally justified at the start of a conflict.

In the final analysis, however, is it really going to matter very much who was “right” and who was “wrong” if the end result is World War 3?

If the rebels in eastern Ukraine had been able to defeat the Kiev government forces on their own, Putin probably would have been content to let them do that.  But instead, they had been pushed back to two major cities and seemed on the verge of defeat.

But now it is the Ukrainian forces that are experiencing “panic and wholesale retreat”

Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into an unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but a wide swath of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials are calling a stealth invasion.

The attacks outside this city and in an area to the north essentially have opened a new, third front in the war in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists, along with the fighting outside the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

How is this happening?

It is the Russians of course.

In fact, if you talk to Ukrainian soldiers, they are very clear on who they are fighting now…

“I tell you they are Russians, but this is what proof I have,” said Sgt. Aleksei Panko, holding up his thumb and index finger to form a zero. Sergeant Panko estimated about 60 armored vehicles crossed near Novoazovsk. “This is what happened: they crossed the border, took up positions and started shooting.”

The Ukrainian Vinnytsia brigade met the cross-border advance over the six miles of countryside separating Novoazovsk from the Russian border, but later retreated to the western edge of town along the Rostov-Mariupol highway, where soldiers were collapsed in exhaustion on the roadside. “This is now a war with Russia,” Sergeant Panko said.

And as I mentioned above, Ukrainian forces have even captured ten Russian paratroopers.  Rather than denying who they are, the Russian government is claiming that they wandered into Ukraine by mistake

Ten Russian soldiers were detained in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, that country’s Security Service said Tuesday, as tensions simmered over the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels.

The Russian soldiers were captured with documents and weapons on them, the Security Service said.

Moscow has repeatedly denied claims by Kiev that it has sent troops and weapons over the border into Ukraine, where the Ukrainian military is fighting pro-Russian rebels.

Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti news agency cited a source in the Russian Defense Ministry as saying the soldiers had been patrolling the border and “most likely crossed by accident” at an unmarked point.

The denials that Russian forces are actively operating inside eastern Ukraine have become so absurd that even some in the Russian press are openly questioning them.  For example, just check out this excerpt from a USA Today article that was posted on Wednesday…

Vedomosti, a liberal business daily, published an editorial Wednesday on events in Ukraine under the headline, “Are We Fighting?”

It noted the recent capture of the Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory and reports of “mysterious funerals” of Russian soldiers, some of whom are officially counted dying during training exercises.

“The number of questions that hang in the air of the dead and detained Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine has reached a critical number. Does Russia fight in Ukraine and, if so, on what grounds? If not, then who is in those freshly dug graves or giving testimony at SBU (Russian Security service) interrogations?”

A Bloomberg editorial contained some more details about the “mystery funerals” that have been taking place inside Russia…

One such burial, of two soldiers, took place in the village of Vybuty near Pskov in northwestern Russia, where an airborne division is based. Efforts to conceal the deaths produced a fiasco. Though the wife of one paratrooper had reported his death on the Vkontakte social network, when a reporter, Ilya Vasyunin of the Russian Planet website, called the wife’s phone number, a woman who answered stated that the paratrooper was alive and well. Two reporters, from Russian Planet and TV Dozhd, who visited the cemetery where the two fresh graves had been seen were immediately attacked by men in black tracksuits. Local journalists, however, succeeded in photographing the graves. According to the independent TV Dozhd, the soldiers’ names and wreaths have been removed from the graves.

There are other reports of paratrooper funerals, which are hard to conceal. Soldiers have grieving families who do not necessarily share the authorities’ desire for deception. In any case, Ukrainian troops have captured some Russian paratroopers. For the first time since the conflict began in March, they were able to record interviews with them.

Sadly, most Americans are not paying much attention to this conflict.

Most Americans are not really going to care much about a war on the other side of the planet that does not directly involve us.

But they should care.

Because things are about to escalate to a level that we rarely saw even during the darkest moments of the Cold War.  Relations between the United States and Russia are spiraling downhill, and that could end up having a huge impact on all of our lives.

For example, in my previous article entitled “Russia Is Doing It – Russia Is Actually Abandoning The Dollar“, I discussed how this tug of war over Ukraine was causing Russia to think about moving away from the petrodollar.  Well, it turns out that now the Russians are actually taking concrete steps toward abandoning the petrodollar for good…

The Russian oil company Gazprom Neft has agreed to export 80,000 tons of oil from Novoportovskoye field in the Arctic; it will accept payment in rubles, and will also deliver oil via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO), accepting payment in Chinese yuan for the transfers, the Russian business daily Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The Russian government and several of the country’s largest exporters have widely discussed the possibility of accepting payments in rubles for oil exports.

Last week, Russia began to ship oil from the Novoportovskoye field to Europe by sea. Two oil tankers are expected to arrive in Europe in September. According to Kommersant, the payment for these shipments will be received in rubles.

That is huge news, but you probably haven’t heard a thing about it on the big mainstream news networks.

Meanwhile, one thing that you probably have heard about is how “Russian hackers” attacked JPMorgan Chase earlier this month

Russian hackers attacked the U.S. financial system in mid-August, infiltrating and stealing data from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and at least one other bank, an incident the FBI is investigating as a possible retaliation for government-sponsored sanctions, according to two people familiar with the probe.

The attack resulted in the loss of gigabytes of sensitive data, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the probe is still preliminary. Authorities are investigating whether recent infiltrations of major European banks using a similar vulnerability are also linked to the attack, one of the people said.

As relations between the United States and Russia continue to decline precipitously, both sides will be looking for ways to hurt one another.

And that won’t be good for any of us.

So let us hope that cooler heads prevail.

But ultimately, this current conflict could end up taking us to a destination that the Cold War never did.

World War 3 will probably not happen next week, next month or even next year, but right now we are on a road which could eventually lead to the unthinkable.

Let us pray that our politicians are able to find the exit ramp at some point.

This article first appeared at The Economic Collapse: The Road To World War 3: Russia And Ukraine Are Now Engaged In A Shooting War

About the author:

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

Read his new book The Beginning of the End

 

russia-mobilizes

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

A massive buildup on the Ukrainian border in the last 48 hours has seen Russia double its troop levels with 17 additional battalions and has left Western leaders trying to figure out what President Vladimir Putin is planning to do next.

On Tuesday the Russian President called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to resolve the “humanitarian crisis” in Ukraine that has reportedly left tens of thousands of people displaced because of fighting over the last several months, a move that some in the West see as prelude to a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We are convening an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine,” Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin was quoted as saying.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the U.N. and the International Committee of the Red Cross expressed “readiness” to discuss its plan to deploy a “humanitarian mission” to Ukraine, which some consider to be a pretext for an invasion by Russian forces.  

Russia has significantly built up its troop presence along the Ukrainian border in recent weeks, according to U.S. officials, making it ready for a potential large-scale invasion of southeastern Ukraine if Russian President Vladimir Putin so chooses.

According to a report in The New York Times, Russia has nearly doubled its troop presence along the border, adding 17 battalions and 19,000 to 21,000 troops who now compose a “battle-ready force of infantry, armor, artillery, and air defense within a few miles of the border.”

The White House has openly worried about what would be, for all intents and purposes, an invasion under the guise of a “peacekeeping” operation.

“We’ve seen a significant re-buildup of Russian forces along the border, potentially positioning Russia for a so-called humanitarian or peacekeeping intervention in Ukraine,” deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken said last week.

“That’s a very real option,” a senior Defense Department official told The Times. “And should Putin decide, he could do that with little or no notice. We just don’t know what he’s thinking.”

Source: Business Insider

It should be clear exactly what Vladimir Putin is thinking.

He’s thinking he can send his troops over the border and no one in Europe or the United States will have the will or fortitude to stop it. And, given the foreign policy failures of the United States over the last five years, he’s probably right.

After heavy sanctions that threaten to seize the asset of Russian politicians and businessmen, and a direct attack on Russia’s economy, Vladimir Putin is about to show the world what a Russian response looks like.

The following map, made available by Zero Hedge and generated within the last week, indicates that Russia now has up to 42,000 troops within a few miles of the border with additional units in reserve.

(Click for larger image)

russian troops 1

As Charlie McGrath noted recently, the Russians have the weapons, the technology, the will and the manpower to see this through.

For casual observers, pay attention, because there’s a strong possibility that you are seeing the buildup to the next great war.

 This article first appeared at SHTFplan.com: Russia Prepares Large-Scale Invasion: “Battle-ready Force of Infantry, Armor, Artillery, and Air Defense”