US preparing ‘bloody nose’ attack on North Korea

Getty Images

 

The US is preparing plans to deliver a “bloody nose” attack against North Korea to knock out its nuclear weapons program.

The White House has “dramatically” ramped up its military plans amid fears that diplomacy won’t thwart North Korean despot Kim Jong Un from making good on his threats, sources told the UK’s Telegraph. Continue reading

Russia finalises S-400 missile system deal with Turkey

 

Russia said Thursday that it had completed negotiations with Turkey for the sale of an S-400 air defence missile system, with delivery scheduled for late 2019.

“Practically speaking, the contract is entering the phase of realisation,” said Vladimir Kozhin, a presidential aide who oversees matters of military cooperation. “All parameters, all technologies, the entire deal has been agreed.” Continue reading

Federally Funded U.S. Institute for Peace Hosts Pro-Hamas Tunisian Group

 

A pro-Hamas leader of Tunisia’s Muslim Brotherhood-linked Ennahda Party met last month with the federally funded U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP) in Washington.

The Nov. 29 meeting covered the relationship between Islam and democracy in the light of Ennahda’s 10th Party Congress in May 2016, the Ennahda Abroad Facebook page said. There, the group agreed to stop trying using electoral politics to achieve its religious objectives. This change of tactics likely was caused by Ennahda’s 2014 defeat in Tunisian elections. Continue reading

Trump’s national strategy speech puts China, Russia on the defensive

U.S. President Donald Trump labeled China and Russia ‘rival powers’ to the United States in a Dec. 18 speech. / AP

 

U.S. major media gave secondary play to President Donald Trump’s national security strategy address Monday, but certain world leaders were all ears.

Russia said the U.S. strategic plan has an “imperial character,” while China decried what it called a “Cold War mentality.”

Trump’s strategy, which he unveiled in a Dec. 18 speech, says that China and Russia “challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.” Continue reading

A major showdown awaits Palestinian leader in Riyadh

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is on his way Tuesday to Riyadh where he faces a stern demand to break away from the Turkish-Qatari-Jordanian line-up fighting US political steps in the region. DEBKAfile reports that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman will not give way on this demand and, if Abbas holds out, the showdown could end in the Saudis cutting off assistance to the Palestinian Authority. 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

The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

It’s quite possibly the longest article posted since Global Geopolitics has started, but is quite worth the read.

 

https://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/obama-hezbollah-drug-trafficking-investigation/images/_benin-lots-Artboard_1.jpg

Hezbollah’s used-car money-laundering operation in West Africa Satellite images show the growth of used cars in lots close to Port of Cotonou in Benin.

 

Part I

A global threat emerges

How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.

In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

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U.S. military could lose next war, report says

A study from the Rand Corp. warns that the U.S. military forces are poorly structured and argues that the military must reform its structure and strategies to better deal with challenges. (Associated Press) Photo by: Andreea Alexandru

 

A new study by the Rand Corp. is warning that U.S. military forces are poorly structured to meet the threats posed by China, Russia and other states, as well as the continuing war against Islamic terrorism.

The study, “U.S. Military Capabilities and Forces for a Dangerous World,” presents the stark conclusion that the American military needs to reform its structure and war fighting plans to better deal with military challenges.

Put more starkly, assessments in this report will show that U.S. forces could, under plausible assumptions, lose the next war they are called upon to fight, despite the United States outspending China on military forces by a ratio of 2.7 to 1 and Russia by 6 to 1,” the report said. “The nation needs to do better than this.” Continue reading

How Russia Expedited Syria’s Victory

 

On Monday, Vladimir Putin unexpectedly interrupted his journey to Egypt, stopping off at Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria and announcing the windup of Russia’s most successful military campaign abroad. Thousands of combat sorties have been flown, tens of thousands of terrorists and their infrastructure have been destroyed, and hundreds of Syrian cities and towns have been liberated. We have previously published accounts of how Russian pilots, special ops, marines, doctors, and diplomats spent two years helping the lawful president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, hold his country together and rid it of terrorists.

Russia enters the conflict

By the fall of 2015, the war in Syria had already dragged on for four long years. The mass anti-government demonstrations that began in March 2011 had quickly escalated into skirmishes with the military. And terrorist factions immediately “hijacked” these popular protests. Soon, the leading role in the battle against the ruling regime was being played by extremists from the Islamic State, Jabhat Al Nusra, Al-Qaeda, and many factions within what has been called the “moderate opposition” – mainly in the Free Syrian Army that has been so championed by the West. Continue reading

US F-22s intercept Russian fighter jets, fire warning flares

Two U.S. F-22 Raptors intercepted and fired warning flares at two Russian Su-25s over the tightly congested air space in Syria along the Euphrates River on Thursday, officials said. (Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Air Force)

 

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. F-22 Raptors intercepted and fired warning flares at two Russian Su-25s over the tightly congested air space in Syria along the Euphrates River on Wednesday.

The Russian fighters had crossed an agreed upon deconfliction line that runs parallel with the Euphrates River. The U.S. and its Syrian partner forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, operate on the eastern side of the Euphrates, and it’s a region Russia and its Syrian regime allies are supposed to steer clear from.

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Lindsey Graham: There’s a 30 Percent Chance Trump Attacks North Korea

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

 

“I don’t know how to say it any more direct: If nothing changes, Trump’s gonna have to use the military option, because time is running out.”

It’s become a grim ritual in Washington foreign-policy circles to assess the chances that the United States and North Korea stumble into war. But on Wednesday Lindsey Graham did something different: He estimated the odds that the Trump administration deliberately strikes North Korea first, to stop it from acquiring the capability to target the U.S. mainland with a long-range, nuclear-tipped missile. And the senator’s numbers were remarkably high.

“I would say there’s a three in 10 chance we use the military option,” Graham predicted in an interview. If the North Koreans conduct an additional test of a nuclear bomb—their seventh—“I would say 70 percent.”

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Thousands of Russian private contractors fighting in Syria

Visitors and Russian military police officers walk toward the Citadel, Aleppo’s famed fortress. Russian news outlets say thousands of Russians have been deployed in Syria by a shadowy, private military contractor since 2015. When President Vladimir Putin announced Monday Dec. 11, 2017, that Russia’s campaign in Syria was drawing to a close, he did not mention this secret force.

 

MOSCOW (AP) — Before he was killed by a sniper in Syria at age 23, Ivan Slyshkin wrote a poignant message on social media to his fiancee: “We will see each other soon — and I will hold you as tight as I possibly can.”

But Slyshkin’s name won’t be found among the Russian Defense Ministry’s official casualties in the fight against Islamic State extremists. That’s because the young man who left his hometown of Ozyorsk in the Ural mountains was one of thousands of Russians deployed to Syria by a shadowy, private military contractor known as Wagner, which the government doesn’t talk about.

Slyshkin’s gravestone depicts him holding a machine gun, according to a local news website Znak.com that sent a reporter to his March 2 funeral in Ozyorsk, where friends said he joined Wagner to earn money to pay for his wedding. Continue reading

Putin lands in Syria on announced visit to create false impression war is over

 

The Russian President Vladimir Putin’s airplane made a surprise landing Monday. Dec. 11, at the Russian Hmeimim air base in Latakia and announced he had ordered Russian troops to start withdrawing from Syria. Continue reading

Iran Threat to U.S.: Leave Syria or Else!

 

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps commander, Brig. Gen. Qassem Soleimani sent a letter, via Russia, demanding every last U.S. soldier leave Syria or else “the doors of hell will open up.” Continue reading

Europe at the Crossroads

MUNICH/BERLIN(Own report) – The organizers of the Munich Security Conference (MSC), one of the world’s most important military policy conferences, are urging that the EU’s transformation into a war alliance be accelerated. The European Union of states should be able to take on “missions,” similar to the 2011 military operation against Libya, at any time, according to a recent report by the Munich Security Conference, the McKinsey management consulting firm and the elite Hertie School of Governance. Not only drastic increases in the military budgets are being demanded of the EU members, but, above all, investments in modern military equipment. The authors of the report not only emphasize the harmonization of European weapon system standards but are also demanding that EU-states invest more in research, and to a growing extent, involve universities, branches of civilian industries and so-called start-up enterprises. According to the MSC Chairman, the German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger, these are “essential” decisions, because it is “unsustainable” for the EU to continue to rely on US “protection.”

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