Middle East military heavyweights Israel, Iran on collision course over Syria

In this photo released by Lennart Preiss/MSC 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, holds a part of a downed drone during his speech at the Munich Security Conference, MSC, in Munich , Germany, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Lennart Preiss/MSC 2018/dpa via AP)

 

Iran and Israel are on a collision course over Tehran’s expanding footprint in Syria, raising the odds of a direct clash between the region’s two military heavyweights that could quickly draw in other combatants.

With Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, Iran’s most potent military ally, emboldened by their success in upholding Syrian President Bashar Assad, Israel is growing more and more wary of being attacked by missiles not just from southern Lebanon but also from inside Syria.

Israel has been sporadically bombing Hezbollah positions in Syria for the past three years. But the situation reached new heights this month when what Israel said was an Iranian armed stealth drone was intercepted and downed over Israel and an Israeli F-16 fighter jet was in turn shot down by anti-aircraft fire from inside Syria during a retaliatory airstrike. Continue reading

Secret Obama-Era Deal With Iran Derails Key Sanctions on Iran’s Propaganda Network

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on April 22, 2016

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on April 22, 2016 / Getty Images

 

Iranian dissidents outraged over Trump admin decision to waive sanctions of Tehran’s propaganda machine

The Trump administration waived key sanctions on Iran’s main propaganda network last month, causing outrage among Iranian dissidents and administration insiders who tracked the effort to a little known Obama-era side deal with Iran that bars these sanctions from being implemented, according to multiple sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon. Continue reading

Navy sends destroyers to Black Sea to ‘desensitize’ Russia

A sailor fires a .50-caliber machine gun aboard the destroyer Carney during a live-fire exercise in the Black Sea. Carney has been deployed to the Black Sea to join the destroyer Ross for the Navy’s first multi-destroyer patrol of the region since 2014. (MC2 James R. Turner/Navy)

 

The Navy has deployed the guided-missile destroyer Carney to join the destroyer Ross in the Black Sea in a move that U.S. military officials told CNN is intended to “desensitize” Russia to the presence of American military assets in the strategically important region.

The deployment of the Carney marks the first time in four years that two American destroyers have operated in the Black Sea outside of scheduled exercises. The move comes as Russia continues to militarize Crimea, the peninsula it seized from Ukraine in 2014.

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Turkey Will Be Ground Zero in the Next Global Debt Crisis

(Shutterstock)

 

Turkey is a beautiful country with a rich history including Greek, Roman and Muslim influences that make it one of the most fascinating places on Earth. It is literally a bridge between East and West: The mile-long Bosporus Bridge just north of Istanbul connects Europe and Asia across the Bosporus Strait.

Turkey has been a magnet for direct foreign investment from abroad and dollar-denominated loans by international banks to local enterprises. This investment enthusiasm is understandable given Turkey’s well-educated population of 83 million and its rank as the 17th-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of just under $1 trillion. Continue reading

Willing to go to War

MUNICH(Own report) – The Munich Security Conference, which ended yesterday, was marked by appeals for “Europe” to be more willing to go to war and have a resolute EU “global projection of power.” In addition to a significant arms buildup, the EU needs a “common desire to actually use its military weight,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen admonished. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned that Europe’s future “projection of power” cannot “do without” military force. Currently, this is not yet possible without the involvement of NATO or US armed forces; however, cooperation with Washington should be “on a par” and “not as deputies.” In the foreseeable future, the EU will be able to buildup its arms to such an extent that it will no longer need US support. Gabriel branded Russia and China – current “rivals” to the Western “system” – as “autocracies.”

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China Has Bought Brunei’s Silence in South China Sea Dispute

 

China’s takeover of the strategic South China Sea region is ‘steering the world toward war.’

In discussions about the South China Sea dispute, we often hear about China claiming nearly the entire resource-rich, strategic region. And we also often hear about rival claimants—nations such as Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines—who dispute China’s claims. International law says these smaller nations rightfully own the portions of the sea along their coasts, so they often cry foul of Beijing’s claims to their territory. Continue reading

EU ignites Trump War: Brussels to slap trade sanctions on Harleys and Jack Daniels

Jack Daniels whiskey/Harley-Davidson mototrbike

Iconic US brands such as Jack Daniels and Harley-Davidson will be targeted by EU trade commissioners [Getty]

 

BRUSSELS is gearing up for a bitter trade war with US and has pledged to fight fire with fire if Washington carries out its threat to introduce import barriers to steel and aluminium products from Europe.

European Union trade officials have warned such a move would result in counter-tarrifs being slapped on exports from the US within days.

They said iconic US products ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Jack Daniels whiskey would be targeted in any retaliatory strikes and that preparations for such a confrontation were in full swing. Continue reading

Iran threatens to ‘raze Tel Aviv’ as Middle East tensions reach boiling point

Iran has threatened military action against Israel [Getty]

 

IRAN has vowed to destroy Tel Aviv if Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu carries out his recent threats to launch military action against the Islamic republic as simmering tensions in the Middle East reach boiling point.

Angry exchanges between the two countries have intensified recently with the bitter Syrian war spilling over into a wider proxy fight and Iran’s role in the ongoing Yemen conflict enraging Israel and the West.

And Mr Netanyahu ramped up the rhetoric at last weekend’s Munich Security Conference when he accused Iran of seeking to dominate the region with aggression and terror. Continue reading

Germany: Meet Jens Spahn, Merkel’s Possible Successor

Pictured: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) and Jens Spahn (left), a top contender for succeeding Merkel as leader of the CDU party. (Photo by Volker Hartmann/Getty Images)

 

“I am a burkaphobe.”

  • “What is clear at any rate: the financing [of imams] by foreign actors must stop.” — Jens Spahn, Deutsche Welle.
  • “The message that ‘If you reach a Greek island, you will be in Germany in six days,’ not only encourages refugees from Syria, but also many people in Bangladesh and India. No country in the world, and no European Union, can withstand that if we give up control of our external borders.” — Jens Spahn, Die Zeit.
  • To anyone who makes their way to Germany, it must made be clear that their life here will be very different from that at home. They should think carefully about whether they really want to live in this western culture.” — Die Welt.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has sparked a mutiny from within her own party over a controversial coalition deal that allows her to remain in office for a fourth term. The deal, in which Merkel agreed to relinquish control over the most influential government ministries, has led a growing number of voices from within her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to say — publicly — that it is time to begin looking for her successor. Continue reading

U.S. Plans Largest Ever Oil & Gas Lease Sale In Gulf Of Mexico

offshore rig

 

The largest oil and gas lease sale for waters in the Gulf of Mexico in U.S. history will occur on March 21st, according to an announcement by the Trump administration on Friday.

Less than a year ago, a similar auction in the same body of water generated little interest from energy companies. Continue reading

Turkey Threatens to Invade Greece

While most would agree “it is high time for the West wake up and take Ankara to task”, then what? The megalomaniac running Turkey will only turn to China and Russia, further emboldening them. He has already purchased S-400’s from Russia in Turkey’s biggest hint to the West/NATO that its loyalty lies elsewhere and can be officially transfered quickly. They also don’t care if the equipment isn’t compatible with NATO equipment. It will be compatible overnight (with the axis powers) if they so choose.

This is one of those situations where a problem has gone on too long without a correction. The West is going to have to grow a spine or this will result in Turkey’s Hitler reestablishing the Ottoman Empire through bloodshed. It also is likely that it’s too late and Turkey won’t be stopped without going to war against it — which it also will likely foresee and officially align itself with the Sino-Soviet alliance beforehand.

 

(Photo by Elif Sogut/Getty Images)

 

  • Turkey’s ruling party, and even much of the opposition, seem intent on, if not obsessed with, invading and conquering these Greek islands, on the grounds that they are actually Turkish territory.
  • “The things we have done so far [pale in comparison to the] even greater attempts and attacks [we are planning for] the coming days, inshallah [Allah willing].” – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, February 12, 2018.
  • The head of the state-funded Directorate of Religious Affairs, the Diyanet, has openly described Turkey’s recent military invasion of Afrin as “jihad.” This designation makes sense when one considers that Muslim Turks owe their demographic majority in Asia Minor to centuries of Turkish persecution and discrimination against the Christian, Yazidi and Jewish inhabitants of the area.

In an incident that took place less than two weeks after the Greek Defense Ministry announced that Turkey had violated Greek airspace 138 times in a single day, a Turkish coast guard patrol boat on February 13 rammed a Greek coast guard vessel off the shore of Imia, one of many Greek islands over which Turkey claims sovereignty. Continue reading

America: A Military Nation

Americans like to think of their country as different from those run by military regimes. They are only fooling themselves. Ever since the federal government was converted into a national-security state after World War II (without a constitutional amendment authorizing the conversion), it has been the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA that have run the government, just like in countries governed by military dictatorships.

Oh sure, the façade is maintained — the façade that is ingrained in all of us in civics or government classes in high school and college: that the federal government is composed of three co-equal, independent branches that are in charge of the government.

But just a façade. It’s fake. It’s a lie. Continue reading

The All-Important Doorman

 

Picture this: A tribal leader from a distant country visits the US. He’s brought to a large apartment building in New York City. When he gets out of the car, he looks up at the great building and is quite impressed. A uniformed doorman exits the foyer and comes out on the sidewalk. The tribesman sees the gold braiding and brass buttons of his coat and immediately decides that this is a very important person. Again he looks up at the building and says to the doorman, “This is a very great home you have. You must be very important indeed.”

Of course, if we were present, we might chuckle at the tribesman’s naiveté. The owners of such a great building would never greet people at the entrance. They leave such trivial tasks to hired servants, whilst they run the real business without ever needing any direct contact with visitors as they enter the building. And, in addition, doormen come and go – they are, after all, disposable. The owners – those who control what happens in the building – retain their positions over the long term… and may remain anonymous, if they so choose. Continue reading

China’s Rapid Military Modernization Is “Remarkable,” Set To Challenge West On Several Fronts

Gone are the days of China catching up and now they are on par or ahead of world leaders in terms of military technology.

China already being at parity was noted in several posts over the years, including these:

China is opening a new quantum research supercenter

Chinese weapons reaching ‘near-parity’ with West: study

Chinese Defense Ministry Confirms Hypersonic Missile Test

 

 

China’s rapid military modernization is “remarkable,” and is no longer merely “catching up” with the West, reports the International Institute for Strategic Studies in their annual report on global military capabilities.

China’s emerging weapons developments and broader defence-technological progress mean that it has become a global defence innovator says Dr. John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive of the London-based think tank.  Continue reading

Pentagon looks to counter rivals’ hypersonic missiles

A photo illustration courtesy of the US Air Force shows the hypersonic X-51A Waverider cruise missile A photo illustration courtesy of the US Air Force shows the hypersonic X-51A Waverider cruise missile (AFP Photo/Handout)

 

Washington (AFP) – Even as the Pentagon hustles to ensure that its defenses keep pace with North Korea’s fast-growing rocket program, US officials increasingly are turning attention to a new generation of missile threat.

These weapons under development by China and Russia — as well as by the United States — can fly at many times the speed of sound and are designed to beat regular anti-missile defense systems. Continue reading