Iran shrugs off Trump threats, missile tests to carry on

Iran’s newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani ridiculed US strategy in the Middle East, dismissing Donald Trump’s summit with Arab leaders as “just a show” and insisting that missile tests will continue.

“Our missiles are for our defence and for peace, they are not offensive. Know that while there is a technical need to conduct missile tests, we will do so and we will ask the permission of no one,” Rouhani told reporters in Tehran.

His comments followed fierce critism from the US president during visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel. Continue reading

The war you’ve never heard of

Note: Please see the source for the documents.

 

Source: Vice News

 

The U.S. is waging a massive shadow war in Africa, exclusive documents reveal

Six years ago, a deputy commanding general for U.S. Army Special Operations Command gave a conservative estimate of 116 missions being carried out at any one time by Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and other special operations forces across the globe.

Today, according to U.S. military documents obtained by VICE News, special operators are carrying out nearly 100 missions at any given time — in Africa alone. It’s the latest sign of the military’s quiet but ever-expanding presence on the continent, one that represents the most dramatic growth in the deployment of America’s elite troops to any region of the globe. Continue reading

Mexico was second deadliest country in 2016

 

(CNN) It was the second deadliest conflict in the world last year, but it hardly registered in the international headlines.

As Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan dominated the news agenda, Mexico’s drug wars claimed 23,000 lives during 2016 — second only to Syria, where 50,000 people died as a result of the civil war.

“This is all the more surprising, considering that the conflict deaths [in Mexico] are nearly all attributable to small arms,” said John Chipman, chief executive and director-general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which issued its annual survey of armed conflict on Tuesday. Continue reading

India, Pakistan to Become Full Fledged SCO Members

Not only is this an economic union forming, but also the next world war axis under construction. It is a Sino-Soviet military counterweight to the global Western hegemony.

 

 

The meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states wrapped up in Astana on April 21. The participants confirmed the unanimous decision to grant full-fledged membership to India and Pakistan at the SCO Astana summit on June 8-9, 2017.

The SCO was established in 2001 as a multi-purpose regional organization active in three main fields: economic, military-political and humanitarian. The SCO members now are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Belarus are the SCO observer-countries, while Azerbaijan, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal are dialogue partners. Although Russia and China are the most important SCO members, the organization operates by consensus. Continue reading

The Soviet Union fought the Cold War in Nicaragua. Now Putin’s Russia is back.

A view from the outside of the new Russian satellite station above a volcanic crater in Managua. Built alongside Laguna de Nejapa, on a hillside facing the U.S. Embassy, the base is intended to be a tracking site for GLONASS, Russia’s version of a GPS satellite navigation system. Some suspect the site could also be used for spying activities. (Joshua Partlow/The Washington Post)

 

On the rim of a volcano with a clear view of the U.S. Embassy, landscapers are applying the final touches to a mysterious new Russian compound.

Behind the concrete walls and barbed wire, a visitor can see red-and-blue buildings, manicured lawns, antennas and globe-shaped devices. The Nicaraguan government says it’s simply a tracking site of the Russian version of a GPS satellite system. But is it also an intelligence base intended to surveil the Americans?

“I have no idea,” said a woman who works for the Nicaraguan telecom agency stationed at the site. “They are Russian, and they speak Russian, and they carry around Russian apparatuses.” Continue reading

USAREUR General: Terror threat in Europe highest in world

Commander of U.S. Forces in Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti speaks during a news conference in Tallinn, Estonia, March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

 

(WASHINGTON, DC) The threat posed by violent extremism is higher in Europe than anywhere else in the world, apart from actual war zones and hotspots, US European Command head General Curtis Scaparrotti said, commenting on Wednesday’s terrorist attack in London.

“The number of threat streams that we have of this type within Europe – it’s probably higher in Europe than any other part of the globe, with the exception of the places we’re actually physically fighting [terrorists], like Syria […] Afghanistan and Iraq,” the senior US military leader in Europe, who is also NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. Continue reading

Russia not out to improve relations

Takes combative stance against U.S. around globe

As “welcome” as a bone-chilling blast from a mid-March nor’easter, more bad news continues to blow our way out of Moscow, minimizing the possibility of a springtime thaw in U.S.-Russia relations.

And I’m not talking about any of the U.S. domestic issues that have been in the headlines lately, such as charges against Russian FSB intelligence operatives for hacking Yahoo email accounts. Continue reading

Mexico Ranked (By Verisk Maplecroft) As World’s Third Most Dangerous Country

The consulting firm Verisk Maplecroft compiled a Crime Rate Index for calendar year 2016, and Mexico was in third place, as the third most dangerous country in the world.  The list was released in December of 2016.

Verisk Maplecroft describes itself on its website as “a leading global risk analytics, research and strategic forecasting company offering an unparalleled portfolio of risk solutions.”

Here is the firm’s Top Ten Most Dangerous Countries list, with #1 as the most dangerous country in the world, #2 as the second most dangerous, and so on: Continue reading

Is Germany Ready to Fire Shots?

Caption: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the 2017 Munich Security Conference on February 18 (Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

 

Bundeswehr officials expect a more active and a more lethal role for Germany in the Middle East.

German military leaders are preparing to take on a more active role in the fight against the Islamic State in the Middle East. This news emerges following the February 17–19 Munich Security Conference. Spiegel Online reported on February 20 that German diplomats and military officers left the conference feeling that some major challenges ahead of them go far beyond merely increasing the nation’s military budget. The feeling was that Germany must get ready to fire shots.

German generals expect future missions to include air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and possibly an increased deployment of the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan. Spiegel Online quoted a German military general who attended the conference as saying, “[United States President Donald] Trump doesn’t only want more money from us but he also wants us to finally fire shots” (Trumpet translation throughout). Although former President Barack Obama had previously insisted on a more active NATO involvement, the quoted general believes that the tone is sharper now and that Germany must prepare to pull the trigger. Continue reading

Saudi deports 40,000 Pakistani workers over terror fears

Pakistani laborers gather outside the overseas employment consultant office in Rawalpindi to apply for jobs with a construction company in Saudi Arabia. /AFP/Getty Images

 

Saudi Arabia over the past four months has deported some 40,000 Pakistani workers, many of whom were said to be linked to Islamic State (ISIS) and other terror groups. Continue reading

Russia, Iran Supporting Taliban to ‘Undermine’ U.S. Mission in Afghanistan

Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan / AP

 

Moscow working to ‘publicly legitimize’ Taliban

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that Russia and Iran are supporting the Taliban in part to undermine the U.S. and NATO mission to attain peace and stability in the nation.

Army Gen. John Nicholson told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Iran is providing the Taliban in western Afghanistan with military and logistical support. Continue reading

One China, three foreign policy faces

China has a changing attitude to the thornier diplomatic and security crises now afflicting the Asian continent. Depending on the amount of national interest at play and the power it can reasonably project in the relevant geopolitical chessboards, Beijing can put on the face of peace facilitator in Syria, peace broker in Afghanistan and would-be boss in the Western Pacific.

While the main driver for the Chinese diplomacy in the Middle East is the protection of economic interests, the assertion of national sovereignty, combined with the aspiration to become the driving force in East Asia, mostly explains China’s moves in the East and South China seas. The rationale for Beijing’s posturing in Central Asia is instead more nuanced. The region is in fact a crossroads for many stakeholders; here China is committed to safeguarding precious economic assets and, at the same time, exerting some form of power.

In an osmotic way, all of these three approaches are conditioned by China’s interaction with the other great powers – the United States and Russia. Continue reading

‘Everybody out of the pool’: Trump orders all Obama diplomats home on Day 1

President-elect Donald Trump wants all appointments made as a result of political donations to end ‘on schedule.’ / Reuters

 

President-elect Donald Trump has ordered every Obama-appointed diplomat home in the days following his inauguration. Most got their posts after generous political donations.

Past administrations allowed diplomats an extension until a replacement could be found, but the State Department notified all diplomats of a break from that tradition on Dec. 23. Continue reading

The Islamization of Britain in 2016

Muhammad Shamsuddin, a 39-year-old London-based Islamist, was featured in a documentary called “The Jihadis Next Door.” Shamsuddin, a divorced father of five who lives on state handouts and claims he cannot work because he has “chronic fatigue syndrome,” was filmed preaching hate against non-Muslims on British streets. (Image source: Channel 4 video screenshot)

 

  • Sharia courts administering Islamic justice in Britain are run by clerics who believe some offenders should have their hands chopped off, according to Muslim scholar Elham Manea. She described the prevailing attitude as “totalitarian” and as more backward than some parts of Pakistan.
  • Teaching children fundamental British values is an act of “cultural supremacism,” according to the National Union of Teachers, which wants to replace the concept with one that includes “international rights.”
  • More than 100,000 British Muslims sympathize with suicide bombers and people who commit other terrorist acts, according to a 615-page survey. Only one in three British Muslims (34%) would contact the police if they believed that somebody close to them had become involved with radical Islam. In addition, 23% of British Muslims said Islamic Sharia law should replace British law in areas with large Muslim populations.
  • Belmarsh maximum-security prison in London has become “like a jihadi training camp,” according to testimony from a former inmate. The government was accused of burying a report on prison extremism. The report warned that staff have been reluctant to tackle Islamist behavior for fear of being labelled “racist.”
  • Residents in Manchester received leaflets in their mailboxes, from a Muslim group called “Public Purity,” calling for a public ban on dogs.
  • Voter fraud has been deliberately overlooked in Muslim communities because of “political correctness,” according to a government report.
  • Police in Telford — dubbed the child sex capital of Britain — were accused of covering up allegations that hundreds of children in the town were sexually exploited by Pakistani sex gangs.

The Muslim population of Britain surpassed 3.5 million in 2016 to become around 5.5% of the overall population of 64 million, according to figures extrapolated from a recent study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe. In real terms, Britain has the third-largest Muslim population in the European Union, after France, then Germany. Continue reading

Ralph Peters: Iranian Leadership ‘Should Be Very Afraid’ of Mattis

 

Retired. Lt. Col. Ralph Peters appeared Monday on the Fox Business Network to discuss President-elect Donald Trump’s pick of Marine Gen. James Mattis (ret.) for secretary of defense and how he would respond to Iran threatening action against the United States if it extends sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Host Connell McShane asked Peters what he thought of the Iranians threatening the United States government with “strong action.” Continue reading