If you’re paying attention to geo-political and economic affairs at the moment, then you cant’ ignore the gathering storm clouds in Europe.

No one at the White House will officially admit it, but we may well be sitting on the cusp of a widespread conflagration. To suggest otherwise is simply naive. The chess game is, without a doubt, in full swing.

After having threatened Vladimir Putin’s $40 billion personal fortune with asset forfeiture last week, the United States continues to push forward with a variety of sanctions against anyone and any nation believed to be providing material support to pro-Russian interests. This morning the S&P ratings agency, likely with the support of U.S. officials, fired a shot across the bow of the Russian economy by downgrading the country to just above “junk status,” a move likely designed to scare foreign investment interests and bank capital to flee the country.

Russia retaliated almost immediately by proposing a scorched earth policy reminiscent of their tactical withdrawal against the Germans in World War II. In essence, should the United States continue its attack on the Russian economy and individual wealth, the country will begin to divest itself completely of Western influence by withdrawing all dollar and Euro denominated assets, selling investment bonds of any country supporting the sanctions, and engaging in global trade through exchange mechanisms that do not involve the dollar.

But far more importantly, and ahead of yet another round of western sanctions which appears imminent unless Obama is to look even more powerless than he currently is (granted, a difficult achievement), Russian presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev proposed plan of 15 measures to protect country’s economy if sanctions applied, Vedomosti newspaper reports, citing Glazyev’s letter to Finance Ministry.

  • Russia should withdraw all assets, accounts in dollars, euros from NATO countries to neutral ones
  • Russia should start selling NATO member sovereign bonds before Russia’s foreign-currency accounts are frozen
  • Central bank should reduce dollar assets, sell sovereign bonds of countries that support sanctions
  • Russia should limit commercial banks’ FX assets to prevent speculation on ruble, capital outflows
  • Central bank should increase money supply so that state cos., banks may refinance foreign loans
  • Russia should use national currencies in trade with customs Union members, other non-dollar, non-euro partners

In other words, a full-blown scorched earth campaign by Russia.

Writer Arthur Hoppe once said, “old men declare war because they have failed to solve complex political and economic problems.”

If you’re paying attention, then what should be clear is that no political solution is taking shape in the Ukraine. The leadership in the United States, Europe, Russia, and China seems to understand that tensions will only escalate from here.

Why else would Ukraine be sending thousands of troops to its eastern border? And why would Nobel Peace Prize winner President Barrack Obama send American troops to Poland, where the country’s President recently called up reserve troops for the first time in its history?

If you look at what’s happening in the region from a military perspective then there is a distinct possibility that all of economic and political machinations currently in play are strictly for show and to buy more time for military positioning.

Given the media blackout and false news stories pervading the American mainstream it may be difficult to put into perspective how big this really is.

John Galt of Shenandoah suggests that the mobilization of Russian troops has reached such levels that there can be only one legitimate explanation:

The updates along the Ukrainian border along with news and a few new videos are disturbing to say the least.

If this is not the start of positioning for an offensive into the Ukraine, it has to go down as one of the most expensive military exercises in world history.

That’s a lot of Russian Armor Moving around the Ukraine Border notes Galt. There are literally miles upon miles of armored personnel carriers and tanks in the following videos, and the stress in the air is almost palatable, despite the language barrier.

Via Shenandoah:

Dmitry Tymchuk’s Military Blog summed up some of the activities with this map posted earlier on his website (top photo below)

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The first video shows movements of a Russian armored battalion near the town of Novoshaktinsk, Russia (bottom photo below)

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The first video shows movements of a Russian armored battalion near the town of Novoshaktinsk, Russia:

And another one, in the same area, reportedly near Krasny Sulin in Rostov heading West:

It’s been pointed out before but bears repeating. The parallels between what’s happening in the world today are strikingly similar to the events leading up to World War I. Political disagreements, economic machinations, alliances taking shape; all eventually leading to a war that took the lives of over 20 million people.

The Ukraine may not seem like that big a deal, but widespread conflicts throughout history have been catalyzed by much less.

The only difference this time around is how it ends, which may well come in the form of thermo-nuclear warhead detonations in major cities across North America, Europe, and Asia.

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