The decision to go-ahead with NATO’s biggest-ever war games in Europe at a time of heightened fears over the coronavirus sure raises questions about the military alliance’s stated purpose of maintaining security.
The members of UN Security Council have unanimously agreed to step up sanctions against North Korea, a month after the Communist state carried out a third nuclear test. Just hours ahead of vote, Pyongyang threatened what it called ‘aggressors’ with a pre-emtive nuclear strike in response to the ongoing U.S. joint military drills with South Korea.
WASHINGTON, Jan 16, 2012 (IPS) – The postponement of a massive joint U.S.-Israeli military exercise appears to be the culmination of a series of events that has impelled the Barack Obama administration to put more distance between the United States and aggressive Israeli policies toward Iran.
The exercise, called “Austere Challenge ’12” and originally scheduled for April, was to have been a simulation of a joint U.S.-Israeli effort to identify, track and intercept incoming missiles by integrating sophisticated U.S. radar systems with the Israeli Arrow, Patriot and Iron Dome anti-missile defence systems.
Last week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton summoned her Japanese and South Korean counterparts, Foreign Ministers Seiji Maehara and Kim Sung-hwan, to Washington for trilateral talks on the Korean crisis in an open affront to China and Russia, which had called for a resumption of six-party discussions with both Koreas, themselves, the U.S. and Japan.
On December 1 the U.S. and its South Korean military ally completed four days of naval maneuvers in the Yellow Sea where China claims a 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
The U.S. dispatched the 97,000-ton USS George Washington nuclear-powered aircraft supercarrier for the exercise, accompanied by a carrier strike group consisting of a guided missile cruiser and three guided missile destroyers. The American deployment included 6,000 sailors and 75 aircraft. South Korea supplied destroyers, corvettes, frigates, support ships, anti-submarine aircraft and an undisclosed amount of military personnel.
The Advent vigils (four weeks in a row) began today at Bath Iron Works (BIW) here in Maine. BIW is the place where Navy Aegis destroyers are built that are presently being used as part of the U.S.-South Korea (ROK) war games which are bumping up against the coastline of North Korea. I noticed that the USS Cowpens is a part of this U.S. naval battle group that is being led toward North Korea by the aircraft carrier named the USS George Washington.
I know about the USS Cowpens because it was the ship that fired the first shot (cruise missiles) in the 2003 U.S. shock and awe attack on Iraq. I know this because the woman who was driving the USS Cowpens at that historic moment has become a friend of our family and was at our home for Thanksgiving just two days ago.
A September 8 report by a leading Canadian newspaper cited the Indian branch of the Deloitte consulting firm estimating the world’s second most populous nation plans to spend as much as $80 billion for its defense sector in the next five years.
It quoted an Indian journalist, Rahul Bedi, a contributor to Jane’s Defence Weekly, as stating “No one else is buying like India.” 
Earlier this year the authoritative Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) disclosed that India had become the world’s second-largest importer of weapons from 2005-2009, “importing 7% of the world’s arms exports.” Only China imported more weaponry, though that nation is slated to purchase less foreign arms, both aggregate and percentile, in the coming years and the largest foreign supplier of its weapons is a non-Western country, Russia.
On August 16 the U.S. and its South Korean military ally began this year’s Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises in South Korea. The ten-day warfighting drills involve 56,000 troops from the host country and 30,000 from the U.S. Last year’s version of the annual war games featured the same amount of South Korean soldiers but only a third as many American troops, 10,000. The commander in charge of the American forces, General Walter Sharp, described the current exercise as “one of the largest joint staff directed theater exercises in the world.” In all over 500,000 South Korean military and government participants are involved. 
Ulchi Freedom Guardian 2010 is the latest and largest in a series of almost uninterrupted war games and naval maneuvers conducted over the past five weeks in the region: The Korean Peninsula, the seas on either side of it, and the South China Sea.
Relations between the U.S. and China have been steadily deteriorating since the beginning of the year when Washington confirmed the completion of a $6.4 billion arms deal with Taiwan and China suspended military-to-military ties with the U.S. in response.
In January the Chinese Defense Ministry announced the cessation of military exchanges between the two countries and the Foreign Ministry warned of enforcing sanctions against American companies involved with weapons sales to Taiwan.
The Washington Post reported afterward that during a two-day Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing this May attended by approximately 65 U.S. officials, Rear Admiral Guan Youfei of the People’s Liberation Army accused Washington of “plotting to encircle China with strategic alliances” and said arms deals with Taiwan “prove that the United States views China as an enemy.” 
by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, August 4, 2010
The US is building up its weapons arsenal on Russia’s border. Confirmed by US military sources, “for the first time since the end of World War II, U.S. Army soldiers are making regular rotations into Poland”, to train Polish forces to use US made Patriot missiles. (Stars and Stripes, 23 July 2010)
Forty miles from the Russian border, a small group of U.S. Army Europe soldiers is instructing the Polish military about the missiles, which are designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.
The Kaiserslautern-based 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery troops mark the most significant presence of U.S. forces in Poland since the end of World War II, said Lt. Col. Daniel Herrigstad, a U.S. Army Europe spokesman.
In recent weeks there has been a series of press reports as well as statements by military experts that strongly indicate that either the Obama administration or the Israeli government, or both, may be moving toward an attack on Iran.
“This is the most complete air missile defense system we’ve ever done anywhere in the world.”
The distance between Tel Aviv and Tehran is 993 miles [1,598 kilometers), so the U.S. missile radar overshoots the mark by almost 2,000 miles. Enough to cover all of eastern and most of southern Russia where the bulk of that nation’s strategic missile forces are stationed.
The United States and Israel have just completed the largest joint interceptor missile exercises ever conducted by the two nations and, in terms of scope and sophistication, possibly the most comprehensive joint live-fire anti-ballistic missile drills held by any combination of countries.
On October 12 the United States and India launched an eighteen-day military exercise codenamed Yudh Abhyas (war study) in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Described as “one of their largest-ever ground combat joint exercises,” , the war games “involve the Indian Army Motorized Infantry Battalion and the 2nd Squadron of 14 CAV of 25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, comprising some 320 U.S. servicemen.” 
The deployment of Stryker armored combat vehicles for the drills marks the first time they have been used overseas since being introduced in Iraq in 2003 and sent to Afghanistan earlier this year. A week before the exercise began the Pentagon reported that “The Army plans to deploy 17 of its Stryker combat vehicles this month to India for the first exercise of its kind in the country.