The Road To War With Russia

For several weeks now the anti-Russian stance in the US press has quieted down. Presumably because the political leadership has moved its attention on to other things, and the media flock has followed suit. 

Have you read much about Ukraine and Russia recently?

I thought not, despite the fact that there's plenty of serious action -- both there as well as related activity in the US -- going on that deserves our careful attention.

As I recently wrote, the plunging oil price is a potential catalyst for stock market turmoil and sovereign instability. Venezuela is already circling the drain, and numerous other oil exporters are in deep trouble as they foolishly expanded their national budgets and social programs to match the price of oil; something that is easy to do on the way up and devilishly tricky on the way down.

But consider the impact on Russia. From the Russian point of view, everything from their plunging ruble to bitter sanctions to the falling price of oil are the fault of the US, either directly or indirectly. Whether that is fair or not is irrelevant; that's the view of the Russians right now. So no surprise,  it doesn't dispose them towards much in the way of good-will towards the West generally, and the US specifically.

The fall in the price of oil is creating serious difficulties economically and financially for Russia. We'll get to those facets in a minute. But right now, I want to focus on the continued belligerence of the US towards Russia -- some of which is overt and some of which, you can be certain, is covert -- which could very well end up provoking a more kinetic and dangerous response than the West is prepared for.

Russia Forced To Act

Before anyone jumps in to say "Why are you defending Putin? He's a bad man", let me just say that I have been closely analyzing each move by Russia and the West since then President of Ukraine Yanukovych declined to sign the European Association Agreement back in November of 2013. 

Based on the preponderance of evidence, its' clear to me that the West/US deserve the lion's share of the blame for the conflict that now rages with Ukraine and between Russia and the western world.

It was the West that supported the unsavory assortment of thugs, neo-Nazis, and ultra-nationalists that seized power in a coup from the democratically-elected Yanukovych.  We can argue all we want about whether he was a good boy or not, but that's irrelevant and plays into the hands of those at the US State Department who would like to deflect attention away from the very non-democratic events (shaped behind the scenes by our influence) that led to his overthrow.

The US did the same thing with Saddam, if you recall. It's a simple deflection: away from the actions of the US, and towards the character of the person standing in the line of fire from those actions.

In my view, if Yanukovych had not been violently deposed, Ukraine would be peaceful right now, Russia would not have had to intervene, and there would be no civil war in Ukraine and far reduced tensions between the West and Russia.

So ham-handed were those efforts to intervene in Ukraine on the part of the Obama State department that no less an historically loathsome creature than Henry Kissinger even called the US's actions a 'fatal mistake':

Kissinger warns of West’s ‘fatal mistake’ that may lead to new Cold War

Nov 10, 2014

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has given a chilling assessment of a new geopolitical situation taking shape amid the Ukrainian crisis, warning of a possible new Cold War and calling the West’s approach to the crisis a “fatal mistake.”

The 91-year-old diplomat characterized the tense relations as exhibiting the danger of “another Cold War.”

“This danger does exist and we can't ignore it,” Kissinger said. He warned that ignoring this danger any further may result in a tragedy,” he told Germany’s Der Spiegel.


When even Henry Kissinger thinks you've been too reckless in the application of raw power, you've over done it.

So given the timeline of the events that have led to the frostiest US-Russian relations since the depths of the cold war, I am of the view that Russia has been actually quite restrained and has not over reacted to any of the numerous provocations.

Despite the lull in front page reporting of the Russian situation, there remains a careful program of steady anti-Russian propaganda running through the western press.

It Takes Two To Tango



Noun  - derogatory

Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

For propaganda to work well, there needs to be tight coordination between the State and the press.  The role of the press is to first publish the propaganda, and second, to neglect to look into it or report on anything that might call it into question. Sins of omission and commission are both required.

The good news is that the internet is a great equalizing force and we can readily unearth inconvenient facts with a little digging that blunt the propaganda. The bad news is that a lot of people still get all their news from so-called 'official' sources.

At any rate, here's a first-rate piece of unadulterated propaganda courtesy of Bloomberg.  Note that it was printed on Dec 31, one of several very quiet news days where little debate is likely to happen:

Inside Obama’s Secret Outreach to Russia

Dec 31, 2014

President Barack Obama's administration has been working behind the scenes for months to forge a new working relationship with Russia, despite the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown little interest in repairing relations with Washington or halting his aggression in neighboring Ukraine.

In several conversations with Lavrov, Kerry has floated an offer to Russia that would pave the way for a partial release of some of the most onerous economic sanctions. Kerry’s conditions included Russia adhering to September's Minsk agreement and ceasing direct military support for the Ukrainian separatists. 


The tenor of this piece is set. It's the US that is trying to be reasonable, but Russia has shown little interest in repairing relations. That's one assertion.

Another is that Russia has been providing direct military support for the separatists in neighboring Ukraine. And yet another that Putin himself has shown little interest in halting his aggression. 

That's the main narrative that the US wants to put forward. Putin is a bad guy. Like Saddam...remember him?  The US is the one being reasonable here, according to this piece, and it'is Russia that has been fomenting the troubles.

The US narrative goes further, repeatedly claiming that Russia has been supplying major arms to the separatists, as we see here from early December 2014:

U.S. Says Russia Arms Ukraine Rebels, OSCE Wary on Truce

Dec 2, 2014

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia of sending tanks, advanced air-defense systems and other heavy weapons across the border to Ukrainian rebels.

Russia denies involvement in the conflict.

“Since the Sept. 5 Minsk cease-fire agreement, Russia has funneled several hundred” tanks, armed personnel carriers, and other military vehicles directly to pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, Kerry said.

Russian military forces still operate inside eastern Ukraine where they provide “command and control” for the separatists they back, he added.


The charge from the Secretary General of NATO and from John Kerry of the US State department is that Russia has military forces inside Ukraine, and that they've funneled hundreds of tanks, APCs, and other military vehicles numbering in the hundreds.

As with the MH-17 disaster, we have to call this another case of the dog that did not bark.

Where are the pictures? 

The sorts of weaponry being claimed here are impossible to conceal from the air.

Snapping high resolution photos of such things is child's play for today's military satellites, and even civilian ones, too.

Accusing a major world power of action this brash should require at least some demonstration of proof. Especially after the WMD warning fiasco that played out at the UN leading up to the Bush II Iraq invasion. The least you could do is provide a few pictures of said military vehicles and heavy weaponry.

But there are none.  And the reason none have been offered is because none exist.  If they did, you can be 100% certain they'd be released and replayed over and over again on CNN until everybody and their uncle could distinguish a T-72 tank outline from a Russian made APC.

About Those 'Unwilling' Russians

Let's look more closely at the reasons why Russia may not exactly be in a conciliatory mood towards the US at this moment in time.

With just our short-term memories, we can recall that the US Congress passed a serious piece of anti-Russian resolution last month that can easily be seen as a declaration of war by a reasonable person.

This unfortunate piece of legislation, H.Res. 758, was passed on December 4, 2014 and is titled "Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination."

Ron Paul expressed the problems with this resolution very well:

Reckless Congress 'Declares War' on Russia

Dec 4, 2014

These are the kinds of resolutions I have always watched closely in Congress, as what are billed as “harmless” statements of opinion often lead to sanctions and war. I remember in 1998 arguing strongly against the Iraq Liberation Act because, as I said at the time, I knew it would lead to war. I did not oppose the Act because I was an admirer of Saddam Hussein – just as now I am not an admirer of Putin or any foreign political leader – but rather because I knew then that another war against Iraq would not solve the problems and would probably make things worse. We all know what happened next.

That is why I can hardly believe they are getting away with it again, and this time with even higher stakes: provoking a war with Russia that could result in total destruction!

If anyone thinks I am exaggerating about how bad this resolution really is, let me just offer a few examples from the legislation itself:

The resolution (paragraph 3) accuses Russia of an invasion of Ukraine and condemns Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty. The statement is offered without any proof of such a thing. Surely with our sophisticated satellites that can read a license plate from space we should have video and pictures of this Russian invasion. None have been offered.

As to Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty, why isn’t it a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty for the US to participate in the overthrow of that country’s elected government as it did in February? We have all heard the tapes of State Department officials plotting with the US Ambassador in Ukraine to overthrow the government. We heard US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland bragging that the US spent $5 billion on regime change in Ukraine. Why is that OK? 

The resolution (paragraph 11) accuses the people in east Ukraine of holding “fraudulent and illegal elections” in November. Why is it that every time elections do not produce the results desired by the US government they are called “illegal” and “fraudulent”? Aren’t the people of eastern Ukraine allowed self-determination? Isn’t that a basic human right?

The resolution (paragraph 13) demands a withdrawal of Russia forces from Ukraine even though the US government has provided no evidence the Russian army was ever in Ukraine. This paragraph also urges the government in Kiev to resume military operations against the eastern regions seeking independence.


If the tables were turned, and it was the Russian lawmakers passing a resolution condemning the US for a variety of illegal activities for which exactly zero proof was offered, I think we all know just how ablaze with indignity the US political leadership would be.

Think of this from Russia's perspective.  They know perfectly well all of the things the Honorable Ron Paul speaks of are true.  There was an illegal coup followed by legal elections.  The US recognizes the former as legitimate but the latter as illegal, and then speaks loudly about the importance of spreading democracy.

Worse, the US keeps mandating that a key condition of lifting its anti-Russian sanctions is for Russia to leave Ukraine militarily and to stop shipping lots of heavy armaments there. But it has, as of today, provided exactly zero pieces of hard evidence to support those accusations.

As bad as this legislation was, the US Senate upped the ante just one week later on Dec 11, 2014 with Act, S.2828 The Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014:

US-NATO Delivering Arms to Ukraine. The Planning of Aggression against Russia

Dec 15, 2014

The Ukraine Freedom Support Act (UFSA) of 2014 authorizes lethal and non-lethal aid. Besides what’s already being supplied.

Including communications equipment. Body armor. Night vision goggles. Humvees. Radar. Counter-mortar detection units. Binoculars. Small boats. Various other gear.

Sniper and assault rifles. Hand grenade launchers. Mortars and shells. Stingers. Anti-tank missiles. What’s known may be the tip of the iceberg.

UFSA legislation “authoriz(ing) (Obama) to provide defense articles, defense services, and training to the Government of Ukraine for the purpose of countering offensive weapons and reestablishing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine…”

“(I)ncluding anti-tank and anti-armor weapons, crew weapons and ammunition, counter-artillery radars to identify and target artillery batteries, fire control, range finder, and optical and guidance and control equipment, tactical troop-operated surveillance drones, and secure command and communications equipment.”


After chiding Russia for supplying military aid, for which the US has provided no solid evidence in support of that claim, the US has passed an Act designed to funnel all sorts of military aid to the ruling powers in Kiev. 

This could just as easily have been labeled the "Do As We Say, Not As We Do" Act.  For some reason, the Russians are not too impressed with that approach.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in response:

“Both houses of the US Congress have approved the Ukraine Freedom Support Act bypassing debates and proper voting. The overtly confrontational message of the new law cannot but evoke profound regret.”

“Once again Washington is leveling baseless sweeping accusations against Russia and threatening more sanctions. At the same time it is muddling together the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts, which the United States has been instrumental in inflating. It even refers to the INF Treaty although American compliance with it is questionable, to put it mildly.

At the same time, it promises to Kiev to arm its military operation in Donbass and openly admits that it intends to use NGOs for an impact on Russia’s domestic processes.”

“Though it appears that major challenges to international security demand pooled Russian and American efforts, US legislators follow President Obama’s administration destroying the very foundation of partnership. Bilateral relations are being torpedoed no less powerfully than by the notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment, endorsed in 1974 to obstruct cooperation for several decades. We cannot but conclude that, blinded by outdated phobias, the United States is anxious to reverse time. As the US Congress instigates anti-Russian sanctions, it should part with the illusion of their effect. Russia will not be intimidated into giving up its interests and tolerating interference in its internal affairs.


The really bizarre part of this story is that I cannot yet find any credible analysis or commentary explaining exactly what the US's compelling interests are in Ukraine, nor what the end goal might be. It's all something of a mystery, compounded substantially by the fact that Russia can be a very powerful ally or enemy to have.  Why not choose ally? Why choose enemy?

On the flip side, we have lots of compelling evidence that the US has a serious plan in place to weaken and destabilize Russia. The tactics we're using would certainly be considered acts of war by the US were the circumstances reversed.

As one Russian observer put it:

Both US Assistant-Secretary of State Victoria Nuland — the wife of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) co-founder and neo-conservative advocate for empire Robert Kagan — and US Assistant-Secretary of the Treasury Daniel Glaser told the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives in May 2014 that the objectives of the US economic sanctions strategy against the Russian Federation was not only to damage the trade ties and business between Russia and the EU, but to also bring about economic instability in Russia and to create currency instability and inflation. [5] In other words, the US government was targeting the Russian ruble for devaluation and the Russian economy for inflation since at least May 2014.

The United States is waging a fully fledged economic war against the Russian Federations and its national economy. Ultimately, all Russians are collectively the target. The economic sanctions are nothing more than economic warfare. If the crisis in Ukraine did not happen, another pretext would have been found for assaulting Russia.

Both US Assistant-Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Assistant-Secretary of the Treasury Daniel Glaser even told the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives in May 2014 that the ultimate objectives of the US economic sanctions against Russia are to make the Russian population so miserable and desperate that they would eventually demand that the Kremlin surrender to the US and bring about "political change". "Political change" can mean many things, but what it most probably implies here is regime change in Moscow.

In fact, the aims of the US do not even appear to be geared at coercing the Russian government to change its foreign policy, but to incite regime change in Moscow and to cripple the Russian Federation entirely through the instigation of internal divisions.

This is why maps of a divided Russia are being circulated by Radio Free Europe. [17]


We Not On A Road To War, We've Already Arrived

If it looks like a war, acts like a war and smells like a war, it may just be a war.  The US has been waging economic, financial, trade, political and even kinetic war-by-proxy against Russia.  The only question is why?

From the perspective of Russians it seems clear that neocons are driving the US ship of state, and that they are simply not the sort of people with whom you negotiate in good faith or whom you trust.  The neocons believe they have the upper hand, they are part of the most powerful country on earth, and they never negotiate preferring to dictate.

The only problem is, the US is rapidly losing allies and friends the world over and it's not nearly as powerful as it used to be, thanks to a profound failure to invest in itself (education, infrastructure, etc)

In Part 2: Why No One Should Want This To Devolve Further, we analyze the most likely responses the West's bear-baiting will generate from Russia. The short story is this: in none of the outcomes will there be clear victors.

There is simply no good rationale for the geo-political risks being taken right now. Leaving us with the critical question: Why are we willing to let our leaders play nuclear "Russian roulette", for stakes we don't agree with?

Click here to access Part 2 of this report (free executive summary; enrollment required for full access)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I would like to share this article with friends and colleagues, but thanks to the attention spans of most of them, it would be pointless.  
Which directly supports the summary in the third paragraph from the end regarding the historical lack of investment in infrastructure and education.  

Sometimes you get what you deserve and I think the chickens coming home to roost this year are, in many cases, deserved.

I did really like this line:

"So ham-handed were those efforts to intervene in Ukraine on the part of the Obama State department that no less an historically loathsome creature than Henry Kissinger even called the US's actions a 'fatal mistake':"


Covertly, I think the reason is that Putin wants to end hegemony of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency, hence he must go. Look at the last two guys who tried to do that (Saddam and Gaddafi). Scary stuff. Looking forward to reading Part II this evening. Happy new year to all at PP.

Hadn't run across the Kissinger comment before, but I had much the same reaction last  year when I ran across Ukraine articles by both Pat Buchanan (who asks, pointedly, "Is Putin worse than Stalin?" ) and David Stockman. Though very different, both these men are the kind of old-school "conservatives" my father might have voted for-- and they both think the game that the US govt. is playing now is pure folly. 
I feel like I'm watching a slow-motion train wreck, and nobody around me even knows the train has gone off the rails.  Heck, nobody even knows there's a train in the area.

Is it safe to assume the Peak Prosperity community has seen that Russia's EuroAsian Economic Union is making overtures to the European Union?

Which is why we read the following report written in yesterday’s Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten with great interest because it goes right to the bottom line. In it Russia has a not so modest proposal to Europe: dump trade with the US, whose call for Russian “costs” has cost you another year of declining economic growth, and instead join the Eurasian Economic Union! From the source:

Russia has presented a startling proposal to overcome the tensions with the EU: The EU should renounce the free trade agreement with the United States TTIP and enter into a partnership with the newly established Eurasian Economic Union instead. A free trade zone with the neighbors would make more sense than a deal with the US.



To quote kwklein above: "I would like to share this article with friends and colleagues, but thanks to the attention spans of most of them, it would be pointless"…I share your sentiment (and I suspect your frustration in that statement).  Simply forwarding this excellent article of Chris' (or the many well thought out and well written discussions available in this regard) has at best, a very low probability of penetrating or hitting the mark with the effectiveness required.
Unfortunately, I do not have a blog or twitter account where I am widely and systematically read, so what can I (personally) do about this geo political war mongering madness in the face of the tidal wave of mainstream mis information?  My "vote" is pretty much useless at this stage.

Well, here is something to consider.  I earn my living in financial services, and I have professional client relationships that span decades with many families.  I have "Trust Capital" with many (most) of these families, and (I believe) that I also have trust capital with several friends, family, and community colleagues that I do not have business ties with.  So, if I have trust capital, and that trust capital provides for due attention and due consideration of my speaking points…I can indeed make a difference!  If I am willing to invest 1 hour of my time with a family, or a friend, or a client (where my trust capital in geo political affairs is likely at it's highest), and I draw their attention to these concerns and observations…some of my efforts will hit the mark and stimulate further independent investigation and consideration.  If I do this 20 times this year, with well selected prospects, I know that I will stimulate at least a certain percentage of these folks into deeper personal investigation.  Once these clients, friends, colleagues are "stimulated" into further personal investigation, I will of course be in a perfect position to refer them the very best material and discussions (like Peak Prosperity) to move forward with.  In reflecting on my own "awakening" experience in this regard…I know that once the ideas we speak of here have taken root…there is a dog on a bone type thing that happens…and they will grow and flourish of their own accord.  At this point, or at least at some point down the road, I will also be in a position to gently nudge these "newly engaged" individuals into personal advocacy of some kind (in their own way).

Maybe I have more power than I think I do from "trust capital"  that was earned elsewhere?  Twenty meetings for twenty hours over 2015… I can do that…and man, this item is worth my time if anything that I've ever advocated ever was.  Even with a modest 10% wake em up success rate over my 20 for 2015 visits…I am making real change happen…one family at a time.  And with a little nurturing…it will compound from there.  I don't know the PP history in detail…but I'm betting that this is how this community was built by Chris and Adam et al early on.

What if dozens, or even hundreds of us adopted this same basic idea of taking advantage of our hard earned trust capital (each in our own way)?  Waste of time?  No way.  Even if my success rate in "getting through" is zero…I will have the peace of knowing that I sincerely tried to engage.



Been following it also and agree.
Perhaps if our government and the money masters begin to see the public becoming wise to their machinations, this immediate danger can be avoided.  There is an obvious desire by the money cartel(s?) to increase their influence in Russia so they can continue their push toward the NWO.

Great article. 


The reasoning behind provoking Russia may be quite simple - you just need to be cynical, like a politician. The US knows that its QE has failed; it knows that Europe is on the brink of recession and perhaps collapse depending on Greece; it knows that Japan cannot stimulate its economy back into growth; it knows that it has blown the biggest "everything" bubble ever. The bottom line is that it knows that all of the economic voodoo inflicted upon the western world by the central planners has failed. The next stage may well be a collapse of catastrophic proportions that brings the whole banking system to its knees. If this were to happen then the public would blame the central planners because of the clear causal link between their policies and economic failure. The political and banking status quo would be threatened.
But what if there were an "aggressor" that could be blamed for an economic war or worse a shooting war? Then the collapse could be allowed to happen, perhaps even given a little push and the ultimate blame could be attributed to the aggressor. Russia fits the bill of this aggressor perfectly.

The US economy has been goosed into looking as though it might be recovering. We all know that the green shoots of recovery stem from fudged numbers and so the illusion of recovery has a sell by date. Hence the US must provoke the aggressor to launch an economic counter attack before the illusion of US economic recovery is exposed.

If the above is the case, then it would explain Russia's restraint. All Russia has to do it wait and do nothing. The "prize" for Russia will be western economic recession and political turmoil. Russia, being tough and resilient (in my view all western nations are anything but tough and resilient) will be in a strong position relative to the west.

So, provoking Russia into a an economic counter attack would provide the cover that the status quo need to hide behind to allow the inevitable collapse to take place. In the end there must be a collapse to expunge all of the malinvestment and fictitious asset pricing.

Denc… good for you and go for it …but afraid it'll be mostly for your self-esteem… Proselytizing truth (or even a different viewpoint) now days … in a twitter environment?  I'm thinking more luck uncovering believers using cold calls and the Amway 365 approach.
Abandon ship:  How-some-ever clever folks attempt to be, it usually gets right down to the basic CYA.

Right on with your thoughts and what a flippin' shame those that deserve it will mostly get a pass…the best we can hope for is they go down with us all!





I got half way through this page and my dander was up.
What is glaringly obvious to an outside observer is that the USA is not immune to divide and conquer. It would not surprise me if the Russians sent some agent provocateurs to a racially divided city near you.

That they haven't can be viewed as an act of restraint. Putin is trying to further the interests of his people. Nuland is not.

Don't think that you can spark a race war? How about igniting a class war? That should be a cinch. There are just so many ways for Putin to lead this tango.


Your dander may be up , what ever that means, but Putin is not the issue. The issue is that the USA is leading the charge to Nuclear War, with no winners possible. There is no divide and conquer when the world is a wasteland. 

Your dander may be up , what ever that means, but Putin is not the issue. The issue is that the USA is leading the charge to Nuclear War, with no winners possible. There is no divide and conquer when the world is a wasteland. 

Great sentiments Denc. I used this approach myself about 5 years ago (re limits to growth in general) . People could see the logic and generally agreed in principle. But no-one did anything. And within a fortnight they'd completely forgotten about our chat.
The issue is that people are are unable to take on board and integrate factual information that conflicts with their core beliefs. This is basically why the human race is going to be smashed down or completely wiped from the face of the planet. IMHO

PS. To introduce a more hopeful perspective to this comment I'll say I am no longer a business professional. We moved to the country and I'm now a small block farmer, orchardist and gardener and have a part-time business helping others set up their properties along permaculture lines. Day to day the focus is positive. When questioned I'm happy to explain why I made the shift but no longer try to persuade anyone to my viewpoint.

To be fair, in my humble opinion, president Obama is not interesting to foreign affair. From his past record, he showed little interest in geo-politics. Rather, he is more interesting to apply socialism into USA. It is those neo-conservative, defense industry complex, hawks, … who are more interesting to meddle in foreign affairs. Obama is simply a hostage of them. As NSA whistle blower David Tice pointed out, NSA started monitoring him while he was still a senator candidate (not even elected yet). I have no idea if the intelligent community (part of defense industry complex) holds any dirt of president Obama or not.
Last year, Ukrainians rose up because of deep corruption of that nation, not due to lacking of democracy. Usually, uprising due to poor living conditions are poorly organized in early stage. This exactly as we see as no new political super stars emerged from that uprising. Both US and Russia were confused. US thinks that it is a good opportunities as "Ukrainians were fighting for freedom" while Russia thinks the whole uprising was a CIA plot.

As neo-conservatives want to push Russia further down, as special budgets tied to wars ending thus defense industry complex need to make up the loss, Obama was pushed to be tough on Russia. Putin simply refuses to surrender nor Putin was stupid enough to escalate the war to re-take Ukraine. Now, Ukraine and West are in a catch 22 situation. Ukraine is bankrupt but is not occupied by Russia.

On the other hand, Russia economy also suffers from sanctions and worrying of further sanctions plus collapse of commodity prices. Russian economy is not a diversified economy.

At the same time, China supports Russia. Since China can supply all necessities to Russia, if China accepts non-USD payments, it helps a lot. Why China helps Russia? Well, who is the target of US' Asia pivot? If Russia falls, USA will shift her power to press China. Defense Russia is somehow defend itself.

Russia still have sizable foreign reserve yet China has far far more. Interestingly, as Chinese ministers openly say that they will help Russia if requested, US government said NOTHING. Just last month, US government warned India not too close to Russia. It is interesting, why, why USA is so afraid of China now? DEBTS?

So far, Russia hasn't made any requests. I doubt Russia will as:

  1. The statements are strong enough to make FOREX speculators think third

  2. If Russia asks, they may lose their satellite nations as Russia will be regarded as a junior partner toward China (as UK to USA)

With Chinese supports, IMHO, Putin can go further to push back USA. This is very danger as it could bring in unintended consequence.

Does China want a war between Russia and USA? I strongly doubt as it would cause deep economic problem for China. As China is a major rising economic power, it wants a good business environment, no war. Of course, if China surrenders to USA and allows Americans to dictate what business they can do, it is also harmful.

Let's take a journey in the wayback machine to the G.W. Bush years, when an administration official spoke of how they were "creating reality," and that the poor hapless journalist quoting him and others like him were just stuck talking about the reality that was created, but that by the time they started talking about it officials were busy creating a new reality.  That was a rare moment of insight into how, as empires enter into terminal decline, elites become more and more disconnected from reality, and instead operate under the fantastic belief that they are at the peak of their powers and can create reality as they wish.
In all instances, though, the outcome is the same.  They cannot "create reality."  Rather, they blunder along making things worse, because the other actors in events have their own agendas, agendas that more and more conflict with the declining power's agenda, and this causes a chaos that officials never see coming.

The neocons said before going into Iraq that US troops would be greeted as liberators, and that the ouster of Saddam Hussein would precipitate a flowering of democracy throughout the region.  Predictably, that did not happen.  Instead, the situation there deteriorated into chaos, a chaos that these same self-aggrandizing officials have proven powerless to control.

But we should not expect any of these people to learn from their mistakes, especially as they do not possess any skin in the game.  In their worldview, the only problem with events spinning out of control is that the nation was not committed enough to the plan that they put forward.  If only dissenters could be pushed out of the way and they be permitted to move forward with grim determination, a glorious future awaits the United States of America, and she will serve as a beacon for freedom and opportunity for decades, if not centuries.

Sadly, this is far from unique to our elites.  It is an affliction that has affected elites of every declining empire.  And it is one of those mindsets that helps to bring about the inevitable – the decline and fall of the empire, and the new project of actually having to run a society on the materials and energy that are locally available.

Personally, I am always left shaking my head at people who insist that the US can manhandle Russia the same way that it manhandled great powers such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Grenada.  The Russian people are some of the most resilient people in the history of the world.  They have been invaded repeatedly from the west over the past 400 years, but they have not been conquered since the days of the Mongol Empire.  They have thrived in a harsh, unforgiving environment and autocratic, sometimes tyrannical rulers.  It's just what they do.  When looking at the US/Russia dynamic, I'm always reminded of a story that Dmitry Orlov told of an older Russian emigre to the US who complained of not being able to find mattress springs to repair an old mattress, compared with the typical American who cannot manage their cable television going out for a few days.

I don't think that war between the US and Russia is something that anyone wants, but as Chris pointed out, it's something that we may get regardless.  And I think that in this instance, the US will get much, much more than it bargained for.  In fact, it could be the kind of folly that pushes a tottering, decrepit empire over the brink.

PS. To introduce a more hopeful perspective to this comment I'll say I am no longer a business professional. We moved to the country and I'm now a small block farmer, orchardist and gardener and have a part-time business helping others set up their properties along permaculture lines. Day to day the focus is positive. When questioned I'm happy to explain why I made the shift but no longer try to persuade anyone to my viewpoint.
I applaud you Davidallen!  Well done.  May I ask what part of the world you're operating in?

Your right on; all of us here see the USA is ultimately sabotaging itself due to our collective hubris.  We all could do so many things in this nation to help ourselves be prosperous but many to most of us do not; from the leaders making daft judgments to the average person, many of which live lives of bread and circuses the leaders provide; no hard questions asked.  All of us in the Anglo-American empire need/should to change are ways now.  Will be forced to change our ways in the future when reality can not be silenced any more. I am personally really glad this online community exists so I have some input how to make some of these changes voluntarily.  Thank you all for your insights, they have been my 'gold' for the last two years. 
OK, on to a bit of conjecture on my part: 

If I was in the position of wanting to see the Anglo-American empire fall, because they are always up in my business and everyone else's, I would say "just wait" and it will happen.  I might try to minimize the damage if I could, such as Russia did in the Syria episode last year, but I would try hard not to get in the way.  It is really hard to say what the line in the sand is, I believe US-Syria deal last year is the event that fixated the US's neocons on Russia. 

Now, if the flailing Anglo-American empire focused on me (Russia) what would I do?  Well, I would try to be patient and see if they would loose focus an go some where else; (they don't need me to fall).  But if the Anglo-American empire kept pushing, I would consider the risk of getting both of us to collapse together, knowing that I will be able to get up again and Anglo-American empire will not.  As mention several times, Russia as a nation is quite good at this 'burnt earth' type of fighting.  The US is now getting Russia into a corner on this; this is Chris's thesis.  For example, at what point does the junk bond market blow-up and the USA?  When will the US have to sucker that wound? I would wait for a tipping point such as a junk bond type collapse.  At that position I would throw all my weight into motion; that's when I would cyber-punk war the hell out of them to keep them falling.  There is one of several possible outcomes.  If we don't back off "the US will get much much more then it bargained for". 

The future is getting quite murky chaotic; we are getting ever closer to a new unknown world, a new 'strange attractor' where everything is different.  Might I suggest figure out a way to enjoy this ride – I find myself lately laughing at stuff like this just because reality is stranger then fiction!       

Thanks, I'm in the north of New Zealand

How then if we are at such odds with Russia, have there been many credible reports of Russian military presence on American soil? Chinese troops also! I would suggest that everything that is going on is a huge setup from within that is going to result in bringing America down so that the NWO can rise from the ashes. The foreign troops are here to help disarm us. Notice I said help. There are plenty of Americans in the military and law enforcement, DHS, etc. that will follow orders to do it also. Hopefully there will be many that will refuse, although I don't feel real optimistic about the final outcome. There will be much destruction and bloodshed.

From sea to shining sea.