"As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers." -- Thomas Jefferson

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Beijing has the upper hand in the Western Pacific, a former US Army vice chief of staff has warned

The US would be at a disadvantage if it engaged in a direct military confrontation with China over Taiwan, former Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army Jack Keane has suggested.

China possesses “more ships, more airplanes, [and] more offensive and defensive missiles than the United States” in the Western Pacific, Keane claimed on Friday in comments to Fox News, where he works as a senior strategic analyst.

The retired general predicted, however, that Beijing would likely opt for a different strategy whereby it would attempt to bring Taiwan under control by imposing a total blockade.

The retired general argued that China could prevail “without firing a shot,” rather than getting involved in a costly confrontation. To ensure that outcome, the leadership in Beijing would need to establish control over Taiwan’s airspace as well as sea lanes, Keane suggested.

The US would be well advised to beef up its “deterrence capability” in the region to “prevent a war,” the retired general added. To this end, Keane stated that Washington should increase weapons production as well as double down on arming Taipei.

Posted on: Mar 11 11:14

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapsed and was put into receivership by the FDIC late this week. SVB was the 16th largest bank in the United States. This means that the collapse is not only horrible for SVB but is perhaps more importantly a huge problem for its customers.

For instance, internet content provider Roku was impacted according the ABC News:

…’Internet TV provider Roku was among casualties of the bank collapse. It said in a regulatory filing Friday that about 26% of its cash — $487 million — was deposited at Silicon Valley Bank. …Roku said its deposits with SVB were largely uninsured and it didn’t know “to what extent” it would be able to recover them.’…(ABC News)

Of a potentially much larger concern is the contagion in banking and its connection to cryptocurrencies. Earlier in the week Silvergate bank collapsed. Silvergate was a darling of the crypto community. Starting in earnest with the collapse of Sam Bankman-Frieds’ cataclysmic destruction of FTX in late 2022, the cratering of the crypto market and confidence in it has proved to be valid.

Webmaster addition: This is one problem I have with cryptocurrencies. Without a commodity base, there is nothing to stop them falling all the way into worthlessness!

Posted on: Mar 11 11:13

Russia's Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense (RCB) Troops began exposing the extent of the US bioweapons program in Ukraine last spring, using information obtained in the course of Moscow's special military operation in that country, launched on February 24, 2022.

US-funded biolabs pose a risk for the entire population of the planet associated with the potential spread of newly developed pathogens, Anna Popova, head of Russia's Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) agency, has stated.

“Of course there are risks of the spread of new, unknown, advanced pathogens out there. It is also remarkable that there are publications in which they openly state that they are studying pathogens and enhancing their properties. In my opinion, this is a clear violation of the convention (on biological weapons – ed.),” Anna Popova said.

Posted on: Mar 11 11:13

A major cryptocurrency operated by Circle Internet Financial Ltd. meant to mimic the value of the U.S. dollar dropped sharply after the company said it had $3.3 billion tied up in the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank.

USD Coin fell below 87 cents on Saturday morning, according to data from CoinDesk. The virtual currency, known as a stablecoin, is designed to trade exactly at $1. It is backed by real U.S. dollars and short-term government debt, and sits at the heart of cryptocurrency trading.

Posted on: Mar 11 11:12

In 2022, the world came closer to Great Power War than at any point since the end of the Cold War.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, an attack that almost immediately resulted in a combination of sanctions and direct military support for Kyiv.

By early spring, the United States and its allies were pursuing policies that would result in the death of Russian soldiers, the destruction of Russian military equipment, and the long-term degradation of the Russian economy. The war has had a ripple effect on the world stage, dramatically increasing the stakes of disputes that have quietly smoldered for decades.

Webmaster addition: