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Clyde Lewis | February 11, 2020
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Back when I did a show about the Doomsday Clock wondering why the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the clock to just seconds before midnight, I brought up something that Adam Schiff said during the second day of the impeachment hearings that to this day has me perplexed and concerned.  I always pick up on little details in things that to me sound odd or need explanation. On the second day of the impeachment hearings, Schiff said the United States aids “Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there and we don’t have to fight Russia here.”

Now there was much debate over what he meant when he said those words. This was something that the mainstream news avoided because Schiff was either suggesting that we are secretly at war with Russia or that stopping military aid to Ukraine could have ultimately resulted in Russian military action against the United States “here” in the homeland.

This argument that Schiff made in his opening statement was consistent with numerous statements he has made over the course of the proceedings arguing that Trump must be removed because he has threatened U.S. national security.

Whichever the interpretation you want to make, Schiff’s statement may have been an intelligence gaffe that the media has decided to ignore. The reason is quite simple – the statement Schiff made could have also jeopardized national security.

Schiff’s statement was left to dangle without any explanation and yet with further research one will walk away with the impression that there is a war on the horizon but it will not be fought in Ukraine. 

Our history with Russia has always been immersed in mistrust and one would think that after communism fell, we would change our attitude about Russia.

History tells us that between World War II and the fall of the Berlin Wall, communication between the Western powers and the Soviet Union was shackled by the deep rivalry and distrust of the Cold War. The US and the USSR had nukes aimed at each other and spies trying to find out what was actually going on over on the other side. When the Soviet Union collapsed, many of the secrets it kept remained secret because even their own citizens were not privy to the details.

This led to many Cold War conspiracy theories where the Soviets and the United States were always on the brink of mutually assured destruction.

But the biggest Cold War mystery of all is why we were allied with Russia to beat the Nazis in World War II, only to invite Nazis into our intelligence agencies through Project Paperclip and become allies with them in order to fight Russia?

Hitler’s spymaster and Project PAPERCLIP asset, Reinhard  Gehlen, may well have been the father of the Deep State, developing the “Org” which consisted of hardcore Nazi spooks surrendering to the allies and then giving them information that would be the seeds of paranoia needed to create the Cold War.

The Deep State’s philosophy continues to push these age-old ideologies about the Cold War.

Just before his inauguration President Trump even compared the Intelligence community’s handling of this dossier to tactics used in Nazi Germany. Outgoing director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, took great offense at this comparison, saying it was outrageous to equate the Intelligence community with Nazi Germany.

Despite Brennan’s outrage, large numbers of actual Nazi spies and informants were working for the intelligence community when he joined the CIA in 1980.

Many of them trained by ex-nazi spies that were brought over to the United States after World War II through Project Paperclip.

Even though President Franklin Roosevelt insisted on the unconditional surrender of the Nazis, future CIA director Allen Dulles negotiated an agreement with Nazi General Karl Wolff to protect Nazi spies so they could be used against the Soviet Union after the war. Many of these Nazi spies stayed in Europe to work for the Gladio network, controlled by NATO.

Of the 30,000 Nazis who escaped Europe through these ratlines, the U.S. government hired at least 1,000 as spies and informants. At the height of the Cold War, CIA director Dulles and Federal Bureau of Investigation director J. Edgar Hoover aggressively recruited former Nazis of all ranks as assets against the Soviets. While evidence of the government’s links to former Nazi spies began to emerge in the 1970s, the U.S. Intelligence Community continued to use former Nazis until 1990.

The remnants of the Nazi intelligence Org and Gladio Operatives left behind in Europe have all but secured the idea that mini operative wars have been fought all over the globe.

Much of what can be called European terrorism has been allegedly carried out by Gladio operatives. Many of these operatives are responsible for the uprisings in France, mass shootings in both France and Norway, European government dysfunction and many riots seen all over Europe.

Well trained Deep State spies in Europe and the United States have gathered intelligence which in their eyes justifies a new Cold War with Russia.

The stage is being set for an all-out war with Russia over natural resources.  There have been indicators that Russia is already setting up a massive military garrison to provide protection of vital resources that they wish to keep for themselves and their allies.

The exploitation of Arctic oil and gas resources and their transport to markets in Europe and Asia has become a major economic priority for Moscow as its hydrocarbon reserves below the Arctic Circle begin to dry up. Despite calls at home for greater economic diversity, President Vladimir Putin’s regime continues to insist on the centrality of hydrocarbon production to the country’s economic future. In that context, production in the Arctic has become an essential national objective, which, in turn, requires assured access to the Atlantic Ocean via the Barents Sea and Norway’s offshore waters.

When I hear of the Barents Sea, I am reminded of a story we covered last year about how a fire broke out on a Russian nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea called the Losharik where 14 sailors were killed.

The sub was one of the Russian Navy’s smallest submersible nuclear-powered vessels and was supposedly engaged in “marine research” on the ocean floor in its home country’s territorial waters when the deadly fire broke out, although this type of sub is widely thought to be engaged in espionage activities.

According to an Israeli news organization, Russian President Vladimir Putin canceled an engagement and headed for the Kremlin to confer with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and military chiefs, after learning that the 14 submariners died in a fire that broke out on a nuclear-powered “experimental submarine in Russian waters.”

One premise is that the Losharik was engaged either in testing a new Russian secret underwater weapon or in a covert operation against a top-secret American object of some kind.

Its exact location when the fire broke out and its cause, whether an explosion or an attack, was not clear. The Russians eventually claimed that the fire broke out in the Barents Sea.

On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, when the Russian leadership met urgently in the Kremlin in connection with the submarine disaster, top officials were also called to the White House for an emergency consultation.

The families of the 14 Russian servicemen who died in the fire onboard the sub were told that their relatives averted a “planetary catastrophe” before they passed away.

No one from Russia or the Russian media explained just what that planetary catastrophe was.

What planetary disaster did they avert if both Norway and Russia will not officially declare that a nuclear leak may have happened or that a nuclear reactor was damaged on board and what caused the damage?

The head of Greenpeace in Norway, Frode Pleym, urged authorities in Moscow to be fully transparent in order to “safeguard the interests both of Russia and neighboring countries like Norway.”

Putin came under fire for his slow response in the rescue operation.

The truth is that there was a nuclear reactor onboard but the Kremlin said that the accident was sparked by a fire in the battery compartment of the submarine.

The Kremlin has not revealed what exactly occurred, or whether a major incident was averted by the servicemen’s actions.

Paying tribute to the crew at the memorial, the unnamed military official said the submariners had prevented a much bigger tragedy, Russian news outlet Open Media reported.

“Today we are seeing off the crew of a research deep water apparatus, who died while performing a combat mission in the cold waters of the Barents Sea. Fourteen dead, 14 lives,” he is quoted as saying. “At the cost of their lives, they saved the lives of their comrades, saved the ship, did not allow a planetary catastrophe.”

Perhaps the planetary catastrophe was an all-out nuclear war with the United States?

Back then the idea of a possible nuclear exchange with Russia would be considered a bit over the top – but then what Adam Schiff said at the impeachment hearings now resonates because of what we knew last year—and what much of the media now will not report about the darkness that is looming at the top of the world.

In early March, an estimated 7,500 American combat troops will travel to Norway to join thousands of soldiers from other NATO countries in a massive mock battle with imagined invading forces from Russia. In this futuristic simulated engagement, it goes by the name of Exercise Cold Response 2020 as allied forces will “conduct multinational joint exercises with a high-intensity combat scenario in demanding winter conditions, “or so claims the Norwegian military anyway. At first glance, this may look like any other NATO training exercise but there’s nothing ordinary about Cold Response 2020.

This information was leaked to Alternet author Michael T. Klare and is a major source for what is now brewing in the Arctic is Exercise Cold Response – an exercise that is in preparation for an all-out resource war?   Has the war actually had a few false starts? This exercise is certainly in a place where we wouldn’t even dream of looking.

First, it’s being staged above the Arctic Circle, far from any previous traditional NATO battlefield, and it raises to a new level the possibility of a great-power conflict that might end in a nuclear exchange and mutual annihilation.

The North Pole just maybe World War III’s newest battlefield.

For the soldiers participating in the exercise, the potentially thermonuclear dimensions of Cold Response 2020 may not be obvious. At its start, Marines from the United States and the United Kingdom will practice massive amphibious landings along Norway’s coastline, much as they do in similar exercises elsewhere in the world.

Once ashore, however, the scenario becomes even more distinctive. After collecting tanks and other heavy weaponry “prepositioned “in caves in Norway’s interior, the Marines will proceed toward the country’s far-northern Finnmark region to help Norwegian forces stave off Russian forces supposedly pouring across the border. From then on, the two sides will engage in—to use current Pentagon terminology—high-intensity combat operations under Arctic conditions a type of warfare not seen on such a scale since World War II.

Unbeknownst to most Americans, the Finnmark region of Norway and adjacent Russian territory have become one of the most likely battlegrounds for the first use of nuclear weapons in any future NATO-Russian conflict.

Because Moscow has concentrated a significant part of its nuclear retaliatory capability on the Kola Peninsula, a remote stretch of land abutting northern Norway—any U.S.-NATO success in actual combat with Russian forces near that territory would endanger a significant part of Russia’s nuclear arsenal and so might precipitate the early use of such munitions. Even a simulated victory—the predictable result of Cold Response 2020 will undoubtedly set Russia’s nuclear controllers on edge.

To appreciate just how risky any NATO-Russian clash in Norway’s far north would be, consider the region’s geography and the strategic factors that have led Russia to concentrate so much military power there.

Russia has been involved heavily in setting up a military garrison in the north and also participating in a massive geoengineering campaign to heat up the areas of the north.

Since 2013, Russia has been pleading with the IPCC to allow for the use of geoenegineering economic reasons. Russia has been working with China and Russia to take advantage of summer Ice melts in order to use Icebreakers to go in and create a passage that would allow for year-round navigation in the area in 2020.

Russia and China are developing shipping lanes by taking advantage of the ice thaw and encouraging enterprises to build infrastructure in the Arctic.

This poses an economic threat to the United States as Russia and China get to benefit from North Pole booty while the United States is left out.

Remember when President Trump wanted to buy Greenland and the media excoriated him for it? Now you can see why he was interested in a strategic area to fight a future war.

Once prized as a source of vital minerals, especially nickel, iron ore, and phosphates, this remote area is now the center of extensive oil and natural gas extraction.

As Russia and China experiment with weather control pushing temperatures higher the sea ice retreating ever farther north every year, offshore fossil-fuel exploration has become increasingly viable.

As a result, large reserves of oil and natural gas the very fuels the IPCC says are  responsible for those rising temperatures have been discovered beneath the Barents Sea and both countries are seeking to exploit those deposits. Norway has taken the lead, establishing at Hammerfest in Finnmark the world’s first plant above the Arctic Circle to export liquified natural gas. In a similar fashion,

Russia has initiated efforts to exploit the mammoth Shtokman gas field in its sector of the Barents Sea, though it has yet to bring such plans to fruition.

No less than Russia’s giant energy firms, its navy must be able to enter the Atlantic via the Barents Sea and northern Norway. Aside from its Baltic and Black Sea ports, accessible to the Atlantic only via passageways easily obstructed by NATO, the sole Russian harbor with unfettered access to the Atlantic Ocean is at Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula.

Not surprisingly then, that port is also the headquarters for Russia’s Northern Fleet—its most powerful—and the site of numerous air, infantry, missile, and radar bases along with naval shipyards and nuclear reactors. In other words, it’s among the most sensitive military regions in Russia today.

Given all this, President Putin has substantially rebuilt that very fleet, which fell into disrepair after the collapse of the Soviet Union, equipping it with some of the country’s most advanced warships.

Russia has been building a huge war fortress there in order to protect resources that they claim are theirs.

The Military Balance, a publication of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Russians already possess the largest number of modern cruisers and destroyers (10) of any Russian fleet, along with 22 attack submarines and numerous support vessels. Also in the Murmansk area are dozens of advanced MiG fighter planes and a wide assortment of anti-aircraft defense systems. Finally, as 2019 ended, Russian military officials indicated for the first time that they had deployed to the Arctic the Kinzhal air-launched ballistic missile, a weapon capable of hypersonic velocities (more than five times the speed of sound), again presumably to a base in the Murmansk region just 125 miles from Norway’s Finnmark, the site of the upcoming NATO exercise.

More significant is the way Moscow has been strengthening its nuclear forces in the region. Like the United States, Russia maintains a “triad”of nuclear delivery systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), long-range “heavy” bombers, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). Under the terms of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), signed by the two countries in 2010, the Russians can deploy no more than 700 delivery systems capable of carrying no more than 1,550 warheads.

That pact will, however, expire in February 2021 unless the two sides agree to an extension, which appears increasingly unlikely now.

According to the Arms Control Association, the Russians are currently believed to be deploying the warheads they are allowed under New START on 66 heavy bombers, 286 ICBMs, and 12 submarines with 160 SLBMs. Eight of those nuclear-armed subs are, in fact, assigned to the Northern Fleet, which means about 110 missiles with as many as 500 warheads.

The exact numbers remain shrouded in secrecy are deployed in the Murmansk area.

For Russian nuclear strategists, such nuclear-armed submarines are considered the most “survivable “of the country’s retaliatory systems. In the event of a nuclear exchange with the United States, the country’s heavy bombers and ICBMs could prove relatively vulnerable to pre-emptive strikes as their locations are known and can be targeted by American bombs and missiles with near-pinpoint accuracy.

Those subs, however, can leave Murmansk and disappear into the wide Atlantic Ocean at the onset of any crisis and so presumably remain hidden from U.S. spying eyes. To do so, however, requires that they pass through the Barents Sea, avoiding the NATO forces lurking nearby. For Moscow, in other words, the very possibility of deterring a U.S. nuclear strike hinges on its ability to defend its naval stronghold in Murmansk, while maneuvering its submarines past Norway’s Finnmark region.

No wonder, then, that this area has assumed enormous strategic importance for Russian military planners—and the upcoming Cold Response 2020 is sure to prove challenging to them.

NATO forces held a military exercise called Trident Juncture in 2018 near Norway with 50,000 participants, giving troops a taste of what Arctic combat might be like. The Marine Corps has also sent a rotating contingent of forces to Norway, where Marines are pre-positioning vehicles, weapons, and ammunition in massive caves and learning to fight on skis.

Noting the region’s importance, Air Force General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, head of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, has said, “The Arctic is the first line of defense.”

So if there is a war, it will literally be a cold one.

Written by Clyde Lewis

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