CIA director admits there’s no ‘Havana syndrome’

The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William J. Burns, was seen backing down from six-year-old debunked claims of “Havana syndrome” in an interview with NBC News Correspondent Andrea Mitchell at the Aspen Security Forum on Wednesday.

CIA director admits there’s no ‘Havana syndrome’

H/T: Multipolarista.

Ukraine’s ‘Great Game’ surfaces in Transcaucasia

BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | JULY 19, 2022

If the metaphor of the “Great Game” can be applied to the Ukrainian crisis, with the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) at it core, it has begun causing reverberations across the entire Eurasian space. The great game lurking in the shade in the Caucasus and Central Asian regions in recent years is visibly accelerating.

Ukraine’s ‘Great Game’ surfaces in Transcaucasia

Guess the CIA has quite a few regime changes, ahead?! Or maybe they’ll leave it to the NED’s color revolutions?! 🤷🏼‍♀️

Nuclear Risks Rise as Russia and the West Prepare for Protracted Conflict

Nuclear Risks Rise as Russia and the West Prepare for Protracted Conflict

As Russia prepares for a new offensive in the eastern Donbass region, the West is doubling down on what has been an unprecedented program of military aid to Ukraine. Washington is not just giving Ukraine weapons but telling it where to point them. According to recent reporting, the Biden administration has significantly loosened internal guidelines with the aim of allowing the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence services to share real-time targeting information with the Ukrainian military. The Biden administration is still reportedly reluctant to provide Ukraine’s armed forces with targeting information against Russian forces in Russia. But with mounting pressure from Republicans and Democrats who argue that the United States is not doing enough to support the Ukrainian war effort, it appears to be only a matter of time until that line is crossed as well.

A majority coalition of Western governments appears to be working not to facilitate a negotiated settlement to end the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Ukraine, but to draw the Kremlin into a years-long quagmire that would make the Afghan mujahideen pale by comparison.

Kiev is being encouraged by its Western benefactors not to consider pragmatic, creative solutions aimed at swiftly ending the bloodshed, but to pursue a maximalist agenda on the battlefield and the negotiating table. Some congressional Republicans are pressuring the Biden administration to facilitate Ukrainian counter-offensives to retake all territories occupied by Russia, including Crimea and the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DNR and LPR). As the fighting shifts eastward, calls to help Ukraine take the fight to Russia will likely grow louder. The intention among many Western lawmakers is to back Moscow into a corner; but what might happen if they succeed?

There is no indication that the Kremlin, which is convinced its existential interests are at stake in the ongoing conflict, has any intention of backing off in the face of the West’s maximum pressure campaign. To the contrary, all current signs point to further escalation. CIA director William Burns warned on Thursday that if Russia proves unable to reverse its military setbacks in Ukraine through conventional means, Moscow could eventually make the decision to employ low-yield tactical nuclear weapons. As hopes for a diplomatic off-ramp fade, the war in Ukraine is poised to roil the European continent—and further destabilize the international system—with no end in sight.

H/T: Natylie’s Place: Understanding Russia