fifth fleet

What the U.S. Gets for Defending Its Allies and Interests Abroad

By Max Fisher and Sergio Peçanha for The New York Times. January 16, 2017 [x]

President-elect Donald J. Trump has questioned the return that the United States gets for defending its allies. Here’s the current picture of what America puts in and gets out of global alliances.

Treaties with more than 30 countries help bring stability to the most economically and politically important regions for the United States.

Countries with mutual defense treaties with the United States, and trade in 2015 between the United States and major partners

More than 210,000 American military personnel are deployed overseas. Most are not in active conflict zones.

Countries with more than 1,000 American military personnel

EUROPE

The European Union is America’s top trading partner. Keeping Europe peaceful and unified has been a top United States priority since World War II.

What the United States puts in

→ Promise to defend NATO states

→ Deterrent against Russia

→ Sixth Fleet based in Naples, Italy

→ Military training and exercises

What the United States gets back

→ NATO states promise to defend the United States

→ $699 billion in trade with the European Union, America’s largest trade partner

→ Bases near Russia, the Middle East and Africa

→ Counterterrorism and intelligence sharing

→ Allies cover 34 percent of the United States’ basing costs, worth $2.5 billion annually

NORTHEAST ASIA

The United States keeps a large footprint in Asia to counter the influence of China and to support allies against North Korea.

What the United States puts in

→ Promise to defend South Korea and Japan

→ 28,500 military personnel in South Korea

→ 45,000 military personnel in Japan

→ Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan

→ Military training and exercises

What the United States gets back

→ Bases near China and North Korea, and allies against them

→ $194 billion in trade with Japan, the fifth-largest American trading partner

→ $115 billion in trade with South Korea, the sixth-largest American trading partner

→ Japan covers 75 percent of the United States’ basing costs there, worth $4.4 billion annually

→ South Korea covers 40 percent of the United States’ basing costs there, worth $843 million annually

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Thirty percent of global maritime trade runs through the South China Sea. The United States is competing with China to lead in that fast-growing market.

What the United States puts in

→ Promise to defend the Philippines and Australia

→ Military personnel fluctuate up to a few thousand

→ Military exercises in Thailand with several regional states

→ Freedom-of-movement exercises in the South China Sea

What the United States gets back

→ Basing rights in Singapore

→ Region friendlier to the United States and better able to unify against China

→ Protect South China Sea trade worth $5.3 trillion, about 30 percent of global maritime trade. Includes $1.2 trillion in trade with the United States

→ Philippines and Australia promise to defend the United States

PERSIAN GULF

In the Middle East, the United States wants to maintain access to oil and gas, and partners against terrorism and Iran.

What the United States puts in

→ About 28,000 military personnel in the Persian Gulf’s kingdoms

→ Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain

→ Pledge to defend free flow of oil and gas, known as the Carter Doctrine

→ Implicit promise to defend allies against Iran

What the United States gets back

→ Counterterrorism and intelligence-sharing against Islamist terrorists and Iran

→ Access to 34 percent of the world’s oil exports and 16 percent of natural gas exports

→ Allies cover 60 percent of the United States’ basing costs, worth $658 million annually

→ Bases near, and allies united against, Iran

Sources: United States Department of Defense; BP Statistical Review of World Energy; Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Note: United States cost-offsetting estimates for expenses to maintain a military presence in regions mentioned in this article are as of 2002, the last date for which data is available. Experts confirm that the numbers are still broadly representative.

5 Times Hannah Shepard Met Garrus Vakarian

Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: Part 4 : Part 5.1 : Part 5.2 (FIN)

Summary: The Fourth time Hannah Shepard Met Garrus Vakarian, it was over the comm line, and she was terrified something was wrong.

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The Fourth Time Hannah met Garrus Vakarian, it was him buzzing her over the comms. Over her daughter’s comm line, specifically. Her heard dropped into her chest when she saw it, the small, insistant Jane Shepard dialing… with a turian face in the comm-cam. Like any mother, she’d feared he was calling to tell her the worst.

With the reaper war on, she didn’t talk to Janie very much. It was an understandable distance – Janie had never been the type of girl who dialed up her mom on vid-com every day, and both Hannah and Janie had jobs that were all-but-consuming.

But given all the families who were torn apart by the war – who didn’t get the option to talk to their loved ones – it felt selfish not to take the opportunity, from time to time, to check in.

So she did. Not every day, because neither have the time for that, and not all the time. But…When all the news coming in was overwhelmingly horrible and the comm lines were open, sometimes Hannah needed to see her daughter, just to make the universe feel a bit less horrible.

The calls were short, to the point – they never talked for long, and in this war, neither felt right tying up the bandwidth when vital info might be coming in – but it was enough. Hannah got to see her Janie, alive and…well, alive.

And that was enough. That was all that mattered.

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What If

“It would be one of two situations, I think,” Tali explained, holding out each hand to emphasize her choices. “I’d either still be wandering aimlessly on my pilgrimage or I’d have somehow finished and be back with the flotilla, blissfully unaware of what was happening elsewhere in the galaxy.” She chuckled.

“Blissfully unaware. Sounds great,” Garrus responded. “I’d probably be living in misery on the Citadel, still with C-Sec. If I hadn’t already drowned in red tape, obviously. That is, of course, assuming that I didn’t get fired or killed for getting into too much trouble along the way.” He scratched his chin as he considered the possibilities.

“Hmm,” Liara began, turning her bright blue gaze upon the Commander. “If I’d never gotten involved with this war and had never met Shepard, I’d probably still be trapped on Therum, trying to find shreds of Prothean culture and technology. I suppose there’s a chance that I could have moved on to another site, but I’m sure I still would have had my nose buried in my books and research.”

“How about you, Major? Where might you find yourself if you’d never stumbled into this mess?” Garrus didn’t bother to hide the amusement in his tone when he asked.

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The opening on the wine diverges into two spouts; the bottle segmented, like the chambers of a heart. Dextro out the left side, levo out the right. Both sweet reds. 

One glass apiece. Too much at stake to risk more than that.

She kisses his mandibles, tip to base, and somehow it feels as natural as breathing. The way he pushes her hair back to nuzzle the crook of her neck is sincerely hungry, coaxing her voice to hitch in a way it hasn’t for years. But it’s not enough to change this. 

And they both know it.

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Shepard sat at her desk, chin in her hand as she went through her emails on her personal terminal in the Loft. There was a soft ding as a new one came in and she opened it up.

Commander-

Can we talk for a bit? It’s important.

James

Reaching over, she pressed the button on her personal comm.

“James, I just got your message. I got some time now.” She said.

“On my way.” He said and she got up, turning and leaning against the desk, crossing her arms over her stomach. She heard the elevator open a moment later and the door slid open with a hiss, James’s large frame almost filling the doorway. His eyes moved over as he looked at her in her tank top and BDU pants and a shiver slid down her spine at the naked desire that crossed over his features. James suddenly seemed to remember himself, clearing his throat and looking away from her, his hand coming up to rub at the back of his neck as a blush crept over his skin.

“You wanted to talk?” She asked and he nodded, looking back at her again, the expression from before buried away.

“Yeah, I uh…wanted to tell you before Admiral Hackett did.” James said, “I uh…asked to tell you first.”

Uh oh.

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anonymous asked:

Mass Effect: Everyone Lives AU

Shepard lives.

After the Battle of the Citadel, she passes up a mission to chase down geth and spends most of her time in the interrogation chamber, where the prisoner—

Let’s back up.

Saren lives.

Wrex and Garrus maybe enjoyed restraining the ex-Spectre a little too much, but they got the job done; and then Saren told them to take out as much of the cybernetics as they could, and he was begging but he managed to make it sound a bit like an order anyway. So they took out as many of the implants as they could without killing him, including his biotic implant, and now, Shepard is told, he still goes into screaming fits sometimes, but most of the time he just talks.

It grates on her a little bit that the Council still takes him more seriously than they do her, but in the meantime, there are some smart scientists in labs studying the remains of Saren’s implants, and Saren himself tells them every damn thing he learned from Sovereign before the Fifth Fleet blew that fucker up.

(Sovereign does not live.)

And Shepard didn’t quite expect it, thought Saren might clam up on her, because after all, it’s her, but she could see the fight go out of him the minute he saw her co-interrogator.

Nihlus Kryik may not be what he once was after his injuries, but he can stare his old mentor down.

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slate.com
Iran Building Fake Aircraft Carrier; US Media Freak Out

Iran, U.S. officials say, is currently at work building a nonworking replica of an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. From the sounds of it, the American intelligence community hasn’t quite figured out why Iran is going through the trouble to do that, but the working theory appears to be: so they can blow it in a propaganda stunt. Or, as the New York Times gloriously put it this morning, “presumably for some mysteriously bellicose purposes”

ah yes, those dastardly iranians don’t do anything that isn’t for “mysteriously bellicose purposes”. it’s too bad we westerners can’t understand their strange oriental minds! looks like we’ll have to call a security council meeting over this act of war, so much more heinously aggressive than america’s killings of iranian civilian nuclear scientists.

so what’s it actually for?

A replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier spotted near the coast of Iran is nothing more sinister than a movie set, Iranian media said on Sunday.

Iranian newspapers said it was “part of the decor” of a movie being made by Iranian director Nader Talebzadeh on the 1988 shooting down of an Iran Air civilian plane by the USS Vincennes. The United States says the downing of the plane, which killed all 290 passengers and crew, was an accident.

“The issue has turned into a good excuse for another wave of hype against Iran,” said the Alef news website which carries views close to the official line in Iran.

“Without any proof or real basis, Western media have jumped again to paint a more negative picture of Iran.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain acknowledged that the replica was “more akin to a Hollywood set than a warship.”

mysteriously bellicose indeed