A large-scale military drill was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week to intimidate a defiant Georgia for rejecting a Kremlin-proposed draft of a non-aggression pact that would recognize the runaway region of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Yet while the drill was going on in earnest, the Israelis attacked Iranian missiles inside Syria. Continue reading
The remarks by Gen. Hossein Salami appear to be part of Iranian efforts to portray any strike against it as the trigger for a regional conflict that could draw in Iranian proxies, such as Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group, on Israel’s borders. Continue reading
If a breakout of the escalating Syrian conflict or an Israel/U.S. military attempt to halt Iran’s progress toward nuclear weapons sets off even a 200-day regional conflict, it would be catastrophic for the Chinese economy.
Han Xiaoping, chief information officer of the China Energy Resources Net, recently warned China’s estimated reserve of only 110 million barrels would last only 46 days if there were a Persian Gulf closure. China’s dependence upon imported crude is far greater than the United States’ with some 40 percent coming from the Gulf. But only a declining 11 percent actually comes from Iran, the rest from the Arab states now unsuccessfully lobbying China to help defuse the Syrian timebomb and halt Iran’s nukes.
Full article: Regime security, not national security, is dominant priority in Beijing and Moscow (World Tribune)
The Pentagon unveiled a new defense strategy last week that calls for sharp cuts in the armed forces, a move that increases the risk that enemies will exploit U.S. military shortcomings by launching wars while U.S. forces are engaged in another regional conflict.
President Obama hailed the strategy as a “smart, strategic set of priorities” that were formulated based on the need to renew American fiscal strength with smaller conventional ground forces and an overall leaner military.
However, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the new strategy unquestionably increases risks to U.S. national security interests.
“There’s no question that we have to make some trade-offs and that we will be taking, as a result of that, some level of additional but acceptable risk in the budget plan that we release next month. These are not easy choices,” Panetta said.
Continue reading article: Obama officials concede his new defense strategy increases war risk (World Tribune)