Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov said Sunday, May 12, that the process is underway for creating a permanent staff to run Russian fleet operations in the Mediterranean Sea. Speaking at Sevastopol, the Black Sea fleet’s home port, Adm. Chirkov said a staff of 20 officers was already in place. And the Mediterranean deployment would comprise five to six warships and their service vessels as well possibly as nuclear submarines which, say our military sources, are armed with nuclear ballistic missiles.
debkafile’s military sources: The new permanent deployment is the next Russian step for safeguarding Bashar Assad’s regime in Damascus and deterring military attacks on his Hizballah allies and Iranian interests in their three-way bloc.
Moscow is also announcing loud and clear that Russia is finally restoring its military presence to the Middle East in 2013 after the last Soviet squadron exited the Mediterranean in 1992. Continue reading
Nothing illustrates better the conservative turn that Chinese politics and foreign policy have taken under the Xi Jinping administration than the way ministers and senior cadres are reviving the credos – and familiar sayings – of Chairman Mao Zedong.
Consider the reaction of the new Chinese ambassador to the United States Cui Tianhai to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s statement earlier this week that Washington supported Tokyo’s administrative rights over the contested Senkaku Islands (known as the Diaoyus in China). Continue reading
China is pushing the U.S. and India closer. Are they focusing on the wrong set of challenges?
Few diplomatic overtures have generated loftier expectations in recent years than Washington’s rapprochement with New Delhi. Frequently at loggerheads during the Cold War, then kept apart by the U.S. commitment to counter-proliferation and India’s pursuit of a nuclear deterrent, the two sides have never had a warm relationship. That began to change during the George W. Bush administration, a transformation that was symbolized by a controversial agreement allowing the United States to sell civilian nuclear technology to India, despite its status as a nuclear-armed nation that is not recognized by the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Obama administration has since picked up where its predecessor left off. The president, for example, has called India a “natural ally” of the United States, while his former secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, declared that India was “a linchpin” of America’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific. Continue reading
A leading Russian official provided details of purported U.S. support of the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Alexei Pushkov, chairman of parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said Washington was directing and organizing supplies of weapons and other equipment to Sunni rebels.
“The political maneuver phase has come to an end, and the West is
starting to implement a modified Libyan scenario in Syria, which is to ouster Assad by supporting rebels and providing them with weapons,” Pushkov said. Continue reading
SEOUL, April 4 (Yonhap) — North Korea has recently moved an intermediate-range missile to its east coast in a display of military power or a preparatory move for an imminent liftoff, multiple sources in Seoul said Thursday.
The North’s apparent missile relocation has prompted the United States to move its advanced missile defense system to its base on the Pacific Ocean island of Guam along with radar systems. Continue reading
Pyongyang threatened to turn Seoul and Washington into “seas of fire” through a “precise nuclear strike” a day after one of its generals said on television that it could walk away from the 1953 armistice agreement that halted the Korean War.
In response, the operations chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said if North Korea stages an attack, the South Korean military will retaliate against the source of any attacks and also the leaders who ordered them. Continue reading
As pointed out in a previous entry, the Middle East has been, and will continue to be a giant proxy playing field for Moscow against the West. Because the West is so naive as to place almost all attention upon the Middle East distraction, Moscow now enjoys the benefit of reclaiming its former empire as well as extending its influence throughout the Islamic world.
WASHINGTON – The Iranian-backed regime of the Shia Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, recently has been taking steps to orient his government more toward Moscow and rely less on Washington or any other Western influence, according to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The move helps to improve Moscow’s relations with Iraq as well as Iran as it continues to defend Iranian ally Syria. The goal is to preserve the relationship as well as recast its own influence in the Middle East. Continue reading
A senior adviser to the Chinese government has called for an economic attack on Japan’s bond market to crash the yen and drive the country into submission, reported the Telegraph on September 18.
The threat comes as Japan and China vie over ownership of the Senkaku group of islands located between the two nations.
Jin Baisong, who holds a position at a branch of China’s Commerce Ministry, noted that China has become Japan’s most important creditor. China should use its $230 billion of Japanese bonds “in the most effective manner” and ignite a budgetary debt bomb in its eastern neighbor, he said.
He also indicated that China should starve Japan of rare earth elements. China supplies around 95 percent of the world’s rare earth metals, which are used in many hi-tech applications including military machinery. “It’s clear that China can deal a heavy blow to the Japanese economy without hurting itself too much,” he said.
Jin’s threats may be directed at Tokyo, but America should take note because they could just as easily be aimed at the Red, White and Blue—and maybe they are.
Under President Obama, America has publicized its Pacific Maritime strategy as the cornerstone of its defense policy. Under this reorientation of American power, America is working to string together the various smaller Pacific nations into an economic and military alignment against China. In this context, America has often referred to its ally Japan and its many islands as its “unsinkable aircraft carrier” in the region. Japan is America’s most important Asian ally.
If America does not strongly back Japan, it risks having its Pacific strategy revealed as an empty shell. If China can force Japan to back down, it will be a huge signal for other Southeast Asian nations to submit to China. Japan’s only other choice would be rearmament. To this point, Japan has opted for a small military in exchange for American support. If U.S. support is ever seen as unreliable, Japan will be forced to re-militarize. A rearmed Japan will be much more independent and less America-centric in its policies.
Yet America has to be very careful in its dealings with China too. America conducts 2½ times more trade with China than it does with Japan. The U.S. federal government has also borrowed a whopping $1.3 trillion from China (and Hong Kong). China also owns another half trillion or so in other U.S. dollar debt assets.
China has its fingers on the pin of a much bigger hand grenade.
And there is no doubt that China considers America’s debt as a weapon to be used too. Back in 2007, Xia Bin, a cabinet-rank minister, stated that China’s foreign reserves should be employed as a “bargaining chip” in trade talks with the U.S. That same year, as China and America hammered out a trade deal, He Fan, an official at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, went even further, warning that China could obliterate the greenback if it so desired. “China has accumulated a large sum of U.S. dollars. Such a big sum … contributes a great deal to maintaining the position of the dollar as a reserve currency,” he said. If China’s central bank is forced to dump its U.S. currency, it “might lead to a mass depreciation of the dollar,” he said. China’s state media describes China’s huge dollar holdings as a weapon. In the past, it has referred to America’s debt pile as China’s “nuclear option,” indicating Beijing could easily trigger a dollar meltdown of massive proportions if it needed to.
America faces some tough choices. Watch to see how its massive debt leads to a weakness that will alienate its allies. America is about to lose a lot more influence within the Asia Pacific. Whether China drives Japan into submission, or causes Japan to seek military independence from Washington, America risks being effectively driven back to the beaches of Darwin and Pearl Harbor.
China has got its fingers on a global economic hand grenade, and things may be about to get ugly.
Full article: China Threatens to Pull Pin on Global Economic Hand Grenade (The Trumpet)
At this point it’s quite clear on how divided Obama wants Washington to be from Tel Aviv. In addition, it is also quite clear that this is a set-up against Israel to begin with. To further explain, Obama knows quite well Iran’s position on Israel. That being, any attack from Israel against Iran is considered to be co-sponsored by the United States. Furthermore, should Iran sense an attack by Israel is imminent, they will pre-emptively attack the Jewish state anyhow — and the Iranian regime will still label the USA as a co-sponsor. If no pre-emptive strike is made on Iran, the Persian nation will continue enveloping the middle east into its sphere of influence and continue to build arms (nuclear or not) until it realizes it can finally wipe Israel off the map, as it has always wanted.
To explain the set-up, the aforementioned must be considered in conjunction with Obama’s clear anti-Israeli stance — and nevermind all the rhetorical political double-talk out in public about how we have never been closer to Israel, as actions speak louder than words. The Obama administration continues intentionally stalling on action against Iran, buying them time and increasing the danger for Israel. The set-up is that, with its back against the wall Israel has no choice to strike or cease to exist. The effect: Israel is effectively a scapegoat and should it choose to strike Iran, all of the world’s ills as a result are its fault. Should Obama become re-elected, he will have no further re-election fear and free will have rein to do damage to Israel as he has wished during his first term. It will likely not be able to successfully strike without American help.
Israel is in a very difficult catch-22. At this point, it’s safe to say they will strike. When they strike, that’s when things get serious — such as possible terrorist attacks on the American homeland as detailed in previous posts, further justifying Obama’s future actions against Israel. Timing is the only remaining question.
The US president was crystal clear: By saying he will be ruled solely by American security interests, he showed them that they too were being left to be guided by Israel’s security interests. So forget about red lines for America, he was telling Netanyahu.
His blunt verging-on-contemptuous dismissal of Israel’s concerns as “noise out there” was not much different from the way Iran’s leaders referred to the Jewish state.
Their threats against Israel have different dimensions: On the one hand, they say that if Israel is even thinking of attacking Iran, it will be destroyed in a preemptive attack. On the other, Israel has neither the military capability nor the courage to strike Iran.
The Iranian president had no need to explain how Iran would react, because the answer was broadcast ahead of his arrival in New York to address the UN General Assembly Thursday, by Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards missile section.
The general said Sunday: Should Israel and Iran engage militarily, “nothing is predictable… and it will turn into World War III” Addressing Iran’s Arab-language network, he said, “In circumstances in which they (the Israelis) have prepared everything for an attack, it is possible that we will make a pre-emptive attack. Any Israeli strike would be presumed to be authorized by the US. Therefore, “we will definitely attackUS bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan.”
Tehran was therefore pulling against Obama by tying American and Israeli security interests into an inextricable bundle.
debkafile’s Jerusalem sources report that Netanyahu is now seriously considering calling off his trip to New York for a speech to the UN General Assembly scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 27. He realizes that by challenging US policy from the UN platform, he would lay himself open to criticism for gratuitous provocation of the president and interference in America’s election campaign weeks before a presidential election.
For two weeks, the Israeli prime minister has dodged and ducked around the White House message. Instead, he has kept on bombarding Washington with high-powered messengers. They all came back with the same tidings: the US President is not only fed up with Israeli pressure but more determined than evade any military engagement with Iran.
Full article: Obama snubs Netanyahu on Iran: My decisions – only what’s right for America (DEBKAfile)
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble questioned on Tuesday how the United States could deal with its high levels of government debt after November’s presidential election.
In a speech to the Bundestag lower house of parliament to open a debate on the 2013 German budget, Schaeuble said worries about U.S. debt were a burden for the global economy, hitting back at Washington which has criticized Europe for failing to get a grip on its own debt crisis.
In private, German officials often express concern about U.S. debt levels and the inability of politicians there to reach a consensus on how to reduce it, but Schaeuble’s public remarks underscore the extent of the worries in Germany.
Full article: Germany Says ‘Great Uncertainty’ About US Debt (CNBC)
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The head of Iran’s navy says the country aims to put its warships in international waters off the U.S. coast “in the next few years.”
The comments Tuesday from Admiral Habibollah Sayyari on state TV are part of Iran’s response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf.
Full article: Iran’s navy aims to sail off US shores soon (AP)
Regardless of all the concessions and overtures coming from the Obama administration, this is still the end result. They will continue to be committed to the destruction of Israel and the United States, regardless.
Cutting through the US-Israeli debate over where to put “red lines” for Iran, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Monday night, Sept. 3 that Iran would hit US bases in the Middle East in response to any Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities, even if the Americans were not involved in the attack.
Earlier Monday, the New York Times reported on the debate in the White House over whether US President Barack Obama should declare “red lines” for Iran beyond which the US would act, in response to Israel’s complaint that he has been too vague about how far Iran will be allowed to go.
But even if Obama did set a clear red line now, the NYT admits its credibility would be questionable: “The US and its allies have allowed Iran to cross seven previous red lines in 18 years.“
Feeling the approaching heat, Netanyahu called a special cabinet meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 4 with the participation of the heads of Israel’s clandestine services, Military Intelligence, the Mossad, the Shin Bet and the Foreign Office Research Division, to hear their annual report.
It is likely to go on all day with updates on the situation in Syria, Egypt and Jordan – all weighty topics. But the agenda will certainly be topped with a detailed rundown on the current state of Iran’s nuclear program.
After that rundown, the prime minister and defense minister will enter the final decision-making stage on war against Iran.
At this critical moment, wit calculated timing, Petraeus is due to land in Israel.
Although the opponents of Netanyahu and Barak are fond of painting them as irresponsible adventurers ready to gamble with Israeli lives, it is Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has now raised the stakes in this game of dare and slapped down the highest cards.
Nasrallah’s pitch took the scenario straight into stage one of the war to come: “If Israel targets Iran, America bears responsibility,” he told the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen TV Monday night.
“A decision has been taken in Tehran to respond and the response will be very great,” he said, citing “Iranian officials.”
Nasrallah carried a triple message from Tehran to Washington and Jerusalem:
1. Iran believes an Israeli attack will take place before the US presidential election on Nov. 6;
2. Tehran is drawing on a powerful deterrent: Lest anyone expected a low-key Iranian response to an attack on its nuclear facilities, the Hizballah leader put them right when he said, “the response will be very great” and “America bears responsibility.”
3. By putting Nasrallah out front as a leading Iranian spokesman, Khamenei signaled that Hizballah would take an active role in the coming conflict.
Full article: If Israel attacks Iran, US Mid East bases will pay dear – Nasrallah (DEBKAfile)