U.S. Expected to Strike Back for Iran’s Downing of Drone

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President Donald Trump / Getty Images

 

Trump: ‘Iran made a big mistake’

The United States is likely to take military action against Iran in the coming days for Tehran’s downing a U.S. drone in international airspace on Wednesday near the Strait of Hormuz.

The Central Command said an RQ-4 Global Hawk drone aircraft was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace around 7:35 p.m. on Wednesday. Continue reading

Top Iranian Commander Identifies US Bases “Within Reach” Of Precision Missiles

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Threats issued from Iranian officials against U.S. military operations in the Persian Gulf are nothing new, however, it will be interesting to see the White House response to an elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) commander specifically designating that American bases in Afghanistan, the UAE, Qatar, as well as U.S. aircraft carriers in the Gulf are within range of Iranian ballistic missiles.

Amirali Hajizadeh, the head of the IRGC airspace division, was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency, via Reuters:

They are within our reach, and we can hit them if they make a move… Our land-to-sea missiles have a range of 700 kilometers [450 miles]… and the US aircraft carriers are our targets. Continue reading

China Joins Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan in Security Alliance

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The United States has entered its eighteenth year of war in Afghanistan with no end in sight. Talks begin and end, strategies and tactics are invented and tried, but all to no avail — nothing works. The American public is fed up with this war and it is sapping US resources. During the 2016 presidential race, Trump campaigned for a radical new approach to this conflict that offers America no victories or benefits. It’s time to keep his word. Continue reading

US Pulls Patriot Missiles From Middle East As Focus Shifts To China, Russia Threat

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The Pentagon is removing Patriot missile systems from several Middle Eastern countries next month, an a move that the Wall Street Journal says coincides with a “realignment of forces and capabilities as the military steps up its focus on threats from China and Russia,” citing multiple senior military officials.

The relocation of the systems out of the Middle East, which hasn’t been previously disclosed, is one of the most tangible signs of the Pentagon’s new focus on threats from Russia and China and away from the long-running conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Continue reading

China is Moving into Another U.S. ‘Sphere of Influence’

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(Photo Credit: MC1 Chad McNeeley/U.S. Defense Department)

 

Sources say a full battalion will be sent in as part of counterterrorism efforts.

As part of its own fight against Islamic terrorism, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will soon deploy hundreds of troops to an area that was previously considered a “sphere of influence” dominated by the U.S. Continue reading

Russia Warns of Severe Consequences if Georgia Joins NATO

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and PM Dmitry Medvedev in 2014 / Getty Images

 

Dmitry Medvedev, speaking in an interview with the Kommersant daily broadcast by Russian state television, called NATO’s plans to offer membership to Georgia in the future “absolutely irresponsible” and a “threat to peace,” the Associated Press reports.

“There is an unresolved territorial conflict … and would they bring such a country into the military alliance?” Medvedev said. “Do they understand the possible implications? It could provoke a horrible conflict.” Continue reading

America Is Not Ready for Exploding Drones

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Venezolana de Television via AP

 

An apparent assassination attempt in Venezuela shows how technology is moving faster than governments can counter it.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was intoning something about economic renewal, flanked by his wife and a handful of high officials, in a country gripped by poverty, starvation, and shortages. Then, in a moment broadcast live on television that has since gone viral, his wife’s face changed. For an instant she seemed to duck as she reached for the official next to her; Maduro glanced up with apparent concern. The camera panned to the National Guardsmen in formation on the street before him as dozens suddenly started running. According to the government and witnesses, they had seen explosions in the sky. Continue reading

China Plans to Launch Its Own ‘Blackwater’

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(Photo Credit: BrokenSphere via Creative Commons 3.0)

 

Not surprisingly, Erik Prince is involved in those discussions.

As its sprawling, trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative is struggling with security concerns, the Chinese government is now reportedly turning to an American who is an expert in those matters to meet those needs. Continue reading

Europe Cannot Cope With Any Further Armed Conflict On The Continent

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European leaders are not only unable to counteract the demographic crisis on the Old Continent, but are also losing ground in terms of defense. President Trump’s skepticism and reservation about the military ideas of European bureaucrats, Ankara’s increasingly aggressive actions towards Cyprus and Greece, and the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia highlight NATO’s weakness on the eve of its summit in Brussels.

Europe stands no chance if forced to face conflict on three fronts. Two of them are of conventional character: on the eastern flank, where there are continuous tensions with Russia, and in the Balkans near the border with Turkey. The third concerns the Mediterranean area, where young and strong men from Africa and Central Asia cross European borders with the support of a thousand people from the continent’s heartland. Europeans are also militarily involved in Afghanistan, Syria and take part in the growing conflict in Mali. Continue reading

Russia Gaining Influence in Mediterranean

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Russians have a history of cooperation with many African countries, however, since the fall of the Soviet Union involvement in Africa has effectively ended. Recent years have seen the Russians engaging more with Africa, especially in northern countries around the Mediterranean Sea, where the Russians are using military operations against various rebel or terror groups as leverage against the United States. Continue reading

The World Transformed and No One in America Noticed

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The world transformed and nobody in the West noticed. India and Pakistan have joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The 17 year-old body since its founding on June 15, 2001 has quietly established itself as the main alliance and grouping of nations across Eurasia. Now it has expanded from six nations to eight, and the two new members are the giant nuclear-armed regional powers of South Asia, India, with a population of 1.324 billion and Pakistan, with 193.2 million people (both in 2016).

In other words, the combined population of the SCO powers or already well over 1.5 billion has virtually doubled at a single stroke. Continue reading

Some Provocative Thoughts from Bukovsky

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(Screenshot 112 Ukraine TV)

 

Vladimir Bukovsky has been giving some pretty interesting Russian-language interviews lately.

Earlier this month, he spoke with Kiev-based112 Ukraine TV. Below is an excerpt from the English translation by Alissa Ordabai that should get some attention.

Dmitry Gordon: You recently said, “If two ballistic missiles were launched at Lubyanka, the level of terrorism worldwide would drop by 80 percent.”  What did you mean by that?

Vladimir Bukovsky: The thing is that a huge part of the world’s so-called terrorism is being organized by Lubyanka (the popular name for the headquarters of the FSB on Lubyanka Square in Moscow – translator). They control Islamic terrorism, ever since the war in Afghanistan when they were supporting the most extremist parts of the Afghan resistance, people like Gulbuddin.  You wouldn’t remember these names.   Continue reading

The Syrian Cisis Escalates

As I wrote two weeks ago, the Syrian crisis is only in its beginning stages. https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/04/17/crisis-beginning-stages/ The assault on Syrian military positions last night, apparently a US/Israeli operation, is evidence that the crisis continues to develop. https://www.timesofisrael.com/resonant-syria-strike-suggests-coordinated-us-israel-message-to-russia-and-iran/

There are four mutually reinforcing causes of the crisis:

(1) Israel’s ability to use the US government to eliminate foes in the Middle East that are obstacles to Israel’s expansion. Israel has Syria and Iran targeted, because the two governments supply the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which has twice driven Israel out of Israel’s attempted occupation of southern Lebanon, whose water resources Israel covets. Continue reading

Russia upgrades presence in Pakistan

The presence of proxies, including Iranian and Russian has long been known and published, among others by Pakistani Major (r( Agha H. Amin Map plottings, Major (r) Agha Humayum Amin

 

Russian-language signposts have been erected in several regions of Pakistan, and Russia has appointed an honorary consul for the Pakistani city of Peshawar, following up on the bolstering of bilateral relations and the increased Russian presence in Pakistan.

During the Soviet Union’s decade-long occupation of Afghanistan from 1979-89, Pakistan helped the United States funnel weapons and fighters to help the internationally-backed mujahedin battling Soviet forces. Continue reading

How Iran, the Mideast’s new superpower, is expanding its footprint across the region – and what it means

raqi Shiites of the Mahdi Army militia vow to fight ISIS in a show of strength in a 2014 military parade in Baghdad. (Scott Peterson/Getty Images/The Christian Science Monitor)

 

Iran has achieved milestones of leverage and influence that rival any regional power in the past half-century. While there are limits to how far it can extend its authority, Tehran’s rapid rise poses new challenges to the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia as it undermines their previous dominance. How far can Tehran extend its reach?

With opulent furnishings and the finest cut-crystal water glasses in Baghdad, the new offices of the Iranian-backed Shiite militia exude money and power – exactly as they are meant to. At one end of the meeting room is a set built for TV interviews, with gilded chairs and an official-looking backdrop of Iraqi and militia flags, lit by an ornate glass chandelier. Continue reading