How the Empire Might Strike Back

All those focusing on the West’s lack of leverage are forgetting that the Empire retains multiple way of striking back.

Many observers have focused on the relative paucity of the West’s diplomatic and military options in Ukraine. Others focus on Russia’s sources of leverage: cutting off natural gas to western Ukraine and Europe and/or dumping its reserves of U.S. dollars: Putin Adviser Urges Dumping US Bonds In Reaction to Sanctions.

That applying such leverage could backfire on Russia receives less coverage. Does anyone doubt the Federal Reserve’s ability to print $200 billion to buy the entire Russian holdings of Treasuries? What’s another $200 billion on top of $4 trillion?

Recall that Russia holds those Treasuries/U.S. dollars as reserves for its own benefit. Dumping the dollars simply creates the need for an immediate replacement, especially as the ruble craters.

All those focusing on the West’s lack of leverage are forgetting that the Empire retains multiple way of striking back. For example, bringing the costs of misadventure home to Russia’s politically influential 1/10th of 1%.

A knowledgeable correspondent submitted these observations:

1. After Edward Snowden the entire “intelligence community” is looking for major payback. Here is a heavy weight added to Ukraine’s side of the scales. This is leading edge satellite and electronic intelligence, plus a detailed order of battle on actual Russian forces available and their locations. NATO can also provide access to advanced command and control facilities and advanced battle planning cells. In addition to numbers and morale the Ukraine will be able to mass their forces at the right spots and ignore unthreatened areas.2. Are you a heavy hitter 0.1%’er New Russian supporting Vladimir Putin? Your entire financial and personal history could soon appear on internet social media, too. In Russian.

US and British agencies have collected many millions of dirty selfies almost by accident. Imagine what they’ve collected on purpose against major intelligence targets. For instance, every member of the Russian Duma, the cabinet and all their top staffers.

3. Precision guided financial and visa sanctions applied throughout the entire western world. This is not the USSR in 1979 anymore. The entire upper strata of Russia’s elite, including all of Putin’s United Russia Party, are now extremely international. They and their extended families travel frequently to all the world class watering holes to sun, dine and shop. They have offshore bank accounts and credit cards (as witnessed in Cyprus). They own vacation homes in Spain, Miami, Italy, the Greek Aegean Islands et al. Their children by the tens of thousands attend western universities on student visas. They have massive investments in stock and real estate throughout the entire ‘west’.

As a result, they are personally vulnerable to sanctions pressure in a way the Soviet nomenklatura never was. This Ukrainian adventure could carry uniquely painful and personal high price tags.

The media would not be alerted; the targets will simply start getting messages like this:

“Your passport and visa are invalid for entry. Please follow this officer…”
“I’m sorry ma’am, your credit card was declined.”
“Invalid PIN number.”
“User ID & Password are invalid. Please reenter correct user ID and password”.

Massive materialism and corruption is the basis of Putin’s elite domestic support. Once he can’t deliver the goodies anymore they’ll drop him.

The EU previewed this class of soft weapon when it began compiling blacklists of Ukrainian officials deemed responsible for the shootings on the Maidan in late February.

Consider the massive personal financial corruption on Yanukovych’s part that was subsequently exposed. It seems likely the tailored sanctions threat played a major role in disaffecting his key political lieutenants and allies. That band of thieves also all had significant offshore assets at stake.

Yanukovych’s government was a scale model of Putin’s own political patronage and government system. It is more robust but has many of the same weaknesses.

Thank you, A.C. Discussions of modern warfare often revolve around asymmetric warfare in which the side with few conventional assets is able to leverage unconventional assets against a conventionally superior force. There are all sorts of asymmetric advantages that can be pressed home, and those targeting the wealthy will not be mentioned in speeches.

This is not to suggest this kind of asymmetric leverage is being applied or will be applied or should be applied; I am simply pointing out that it could be applied, and with very little fanfare or effort.

Others have referenced the same capabilities: U.S. has options for Russia’s declaration of war on Ukraine.

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12 comments on “How the Empire Might Strike Back
  1. mirrormirror says:

    @US and British agencies have collected many millions of dirty selfies almost by accident.

    LOL … Oh .. we “accidentally” collected your comprising data .

    Yeah sure !

    Remember my posts about the “NSA Dirty Cards” that could be pulled out at any time .. for Geo-/Political purposes…. Seems at least Charles read them ;-)

    Of course , the Russians and Chinese have their own Dirty Cards as well.

    How about , for starters :

    A) 911 ?
    B) Obama’s Birth Place ?
    C) EU / NATO / PNAC etc. etc. etc.

    I’m sure if they start throwing sh*t , it will stick everywhere.

  2. mirrormirror says:

    The only trouble is .. you never know which side leaked ;-)

    ‘Behind snipers not Yanukovich but somebody from new coalition’ – alleged Ashton’s leaked phone tape
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEJFp0lUIQg

    40 secs.

  3. mirrormirror says:

    Wow …. ZeroHedge was quick on that one …

    “Behind The Kiev Snipers It Was Somebody From The New Coaltion” A Stunning New Leak Reveals
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-05/behind-kiev-snipers-it-was-somebody-new-coaltion-stunning-new-leak-reveals-truth

  4. EIT says:

    In 2010, was the Polish military stopped from reconciliating with the Russian military?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Polish_Air_Force_Tu-154_crash

    That would be very naughty.

    Men sorely missed.

  5. mirrormirror says:

    FWIW

    Estonian Foreign Ministry confirms authenticity of leaked call on Kiev snipers

    …. “My conversation with Ashton took place last week right after I returned from Kiev. At that time I was already in Estonia,” Paet added….

    http://rt.com/news/estonia-confirm-leaked-tape-970/

  6. Bruce says:

    This is how u can strike back, yo.
    Lowan Whole Foods » Products – Cocoa Bombs

  7. R. Freiherr v. Wackendonk says:

    This is nothing more revealing than Snowden’s cull; the Estonian foreign ministry leak is merely confirmation of what each and every one of us already KNEW: the Death Squads who randomly fired into crowds of Maidan, murdering 100 people, are on the western intelligence payroll. Just like the same exact death squads who, in 2011, fired into demonstrators in Hama and Deraa in Syria, sparking off the Syrian civil war. The difference being, Assad was a man and stayed put, while Yanukovich ran like a little schoolgirl.

    As for asymmetric warfare, let us remember that Russia holds perhaps the most skilled cadre of hackers, and a cyberwar is more likely than any other scenario up to this point.

  8. Jonny James says:

    Yes, until the intl financial system is off the dollar
    Never underestimate the power of the Fed cabal.
    Never underestimate the power of the dark side
    The empire is striking back in Venezuela as we speak. They tried in 2002, but failed. This time they have a better chance. Stay tuned.

  9. Useless Eater says:

    Because I like arguing so much, I wish I could find something to disagree with your comment, R. Freiherr v. Wackendonk, but I can’t. I sincerely hope I haven’t discredited you with my mere presence, but I think you would agree that, in the end, the true shriekers will little matter.

  10. Silver 1000$ says:

    Die Russen müssen nur ihre $-Reserven in Silber umtauschen. 8-)

    Silver Eagle Sales Steal The Show While Top Silver Miners Lose Money
    http://srsroccoreport.com/silver-eagles-steal-the-show-while-top-silver-miners-lose-money/silver-eagles-steal-the-show-while-top-silver-miners-lose-money/

    In February, 2013, investors purchased 3,368,500 Silver Eagles and 80,500 oz of Gold Eagles. Thus, we had a Silver/Gold Eagle ratio of 42 to 1. This year, investors purchased 3,750,000 Silver Eagles compared to 31,000 oz of Gold Eagles. This is a staggering 121 to 1 ratio !

    Top Primary Silver Miners Continue To Lose Money

    The fourth quarter results are out from most of the primary silver miners and again… we see continued losses. Pan American Silver, Coeur and Hecla all lost fiat currency in Q4 2013:

    Q4 2013 Pan American Silver

    Silver Produced = 6.8 million oz

    Cash Cost oz = $10.81

    Adjusted Loss = $84.3 million

    Q4 2013 Coeur Mining

    Silver Produced = 4.3 million oz

    Cash Cost oz = $9.84

    Adjusted Loss = $25.1 million

    Q4 2013 Hecla Mining

    Silver Produced = 2.5 million oz

    Cash Cost oz = $7.33

    Net Income Loss = $3.0 million

    These top three primary silver miners basically gave away 13.6 million oz of silver for free (actually less than free as they lost money). If we make a simple calculation, the average loss for this group was $8.26 an ounce:

    $112.4 million losses / 13.6 million oz = -$8.26 oz

    We see the top primary silver miners are still losing money at an average realized price of silver in Q4 at $20.32 an ounce.

    Der Silber preis müsste demnach über 30$ liegen. Dann kommen noch Raffinierungskosten, Prägekosten und Steuern dazu. Die Schätzungen liegen dann zwischen 36$ und 38$ die Unze.
    Was kann ein Bänker daran nicht verstehen ???
    Angeblich können sie die Preise für Gold und Silber nicht ermitteln.
    Was die staatlichen $-Reserven angeht, würde sich wahrscheinlich jedes Land der Erde viel wohler fühlen mit ein Haufen Silber als die $-Noten. Dann würde der Preis wieder ganz anders aussehen. Ich weiss immer noch nicht, worauf die Affen warten ?
    An der Realität kommt keiner vorbei. Am Marktpreis auch nicht. Die aktuellen Preise gleichen fast einem Diebstahl. ;-)

  11. StukaPilot says:

    nonetheless, Russia’s dropping of the T-bills forces the Empire to print another $200 bil of funnymoney. And Russia can escalate to the next level: “no more dollars for our oil”. What Col. K. tried. But Obama/neo-conz/banksters won’t be able to do a Libya on Russia. Russia got nukes. At a guesstimate, with the dollar still involved in 60% of all international transactions, this Russian move might drop the dollar close to a point (50%) where a stampede away from it will begin. One way or the other, the Russian pebble in the globalist shoe is going to keep getting bigger.

  12. Jeff Angel says:

    But perhaps the writer is overlooking the fact that there may not exist the will to strike back / the Obama regime’s desire for self immolation? A dollar dump would obviously engender a cardiac arrest in the U.S economy … one that could possibly lead to capital controls, confiscation of pensions, Marshall law and suspension of the constitution allowing the current administration to stay in power indefinitely … no incentive there then.

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