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

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

Russia Claims to be Ready for SWIFT Cutoff

 

U.S. And Its Allies Are Considering The Move To Ensure Russia Complies To UN Sanctions On North Korea.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich reportedly told state-run media his country’s banking system is fully prepared to “survive” if the U.S. and its Western allies cut off access to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. Continue reading

Obama-era cash traced to Iran-backed terrorists

The U.S. government has traced $1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to terrorists. According to sources, Iran has used the funds to pay Hezbollah, Quds Force and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The money supplied to Iran has also been traced back to Iran’s backing of Houthi rebels seeking to take power in Yemen. Hezbollah fighters stand on their army vehicle at the site where clashes erupted between Hezbollah and al-Qaida-linked fighters in Wadi al-Kheil or al-Kheil Valley in the Lebanon-Syria border, Saturday, July 29, 2017. A cease-fire went into effect between the militant Hezbollah group and al-Qaida-linked fighters on Thursday morning as negotiations were underway to reach a deal that would eventually lead to the evacuation of Syrian fighters to the northwestern rebel-held province of Idlib. The truce followed a six-day offensive by Hezbollah and Syrian troops who besieged al-Qaida-linked fighters in a small border area. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein) (Associated Press)

 

The U.S. government has traced some of the $1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to Iranian-backed terrorists in the two years since the cash was transferred.

According to knowledgeable sources, Iran has used the funds to pay its main proxy, the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, along with the Quds Force, Iran’s main foreign intelligence and covert action arm and element of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

The U.S. money supplied to Iran as part of an arms settlement dating back to the 1970s also has been traced to Iran’s backing of Houthi rebels seeking to take power in Yemen. Iran has been supporting the Yemen rebels as part of a bid to encircle and eventually take control of Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

The Federal Reserve May Secretly Want to Sink the Record-Breaking Stock Market

A big Federal Reserve meeting is coming up. Here is one thing that could happen if the Fed gets too aggressive.

Despite its independence, the Federal Reserve may quietly want a bear market that takes down a president that loves tweeting about the stock market. Continue reading

U.S. to Deploy Smaller Nuclear Warheads to Counter Russia’s Low-Yield Arms

The guided missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) stops for a personnel boat transfer

The guided missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) stops for a personnel boat transfer / Getty Images

 

Nuclear review warns of new dangers from China, Russia

The United States will deploy modified smaller nuclear warheads on submarine-launched ballistic missiles and re-deploy sea-launched nuclear cruise missiles to counter Russia’s plans for using small nuclear weapons.

The policy shift is outlined in the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that calls for modernizing aging weapons and delivery systems but not building new, more efficient and safer warheads. Continue reading

U.S. ‘Plan B’ for the Middle East. The Occupation of One Third of Syria’s Territory

Map from Anadolu Agency, published in Orient Net [18]

 

The television network RT asked me for a comment around the recent visit to Raqqa done by the USAID program chief together with the CENTCOM Commander. [1]

Before addressing the humanitarian situation in Raqqa associated with the reconstruction issue (80 percent of Raqqa dwellings remain “inhabitable”, according to the UN), I will focus on the current U.S. geopolitics in the area, against the backdrop of the U.S. emerging ‘Plan B’ on Syria. So far, the implementation of this new design has signified the virtual occupation of nearly a third of Syria’s territory. A hallmark of the situation consisting in the illegal occupation of Syrian territory by U.S. troops.

The first project of the US on Syria aimed to obtain a regime change. It was pretty much a “default” policy applied by the US in the Middle East at the times of the Obama / Hillary Clinton administration. Partly of its mechanism has been described by Senator Dick Clark (an excerpt of Senator Clark’s declarations is found in the video here below. Click on the image for the excerpt-footage).

The strategy of “regime change”, which can we call “U.S. Plan A on Syria”, failed.

Continue reading

Trump Ignores DOJ Warning, Notifies Sessions He Wants FISA Memo Released

 

President Trump broke with the Department of Justice last week by calling for the release of a four-page “FISA memo” purportedly summarizing widespread surveillance absues by the FBI, DOJ and Obama Administration, reports the Washington Post.

The President’s desire was relayed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions by White House Chief-of-Staff John Kelly last Wednesday – putting the Trump White House at odds with the DOJ – which said that releasing the classified memo written by congressional republicans “extraordinarily reckless” without allowing the Department of Justice to first review the memo detailing its own criminal malfeasance during and after the 2016 presidential election.  Continue reading

President Trump Keeping Promise On EMP Protection

 

President Donald Trump on Monday (December 18, 2017) in what may well be remembered as an historic speech describing his new “America First” National Security Strategy, broke new ground by promising to protect U.S. critical infrastructures from “cyber, physical, and electromagnetic attacks.”

After 8 years of the Obama Administration ignoring the existential threat posed by electromagnetic pulse (EMP), President Trump deserves the gratitude of his nation for being the first president to include EMP in his National Security Strategy.  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.

Continue reading

Russia Sharply Expanding Nuclear Arsenal, Upgrading Underground Facilities

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin / Getty Images

 

Pentagon to boost U.S. weapons under nuclear posture review

Russia is aggressively building up its nuclear forces and is expected to deploy a total force of 8,000 warheads by 2026 along with modernizing deep underground bunkers, according to Pentagon officials.

The 8,000 warheads will include both large strategic warheads and thousands of new low-yield and very low-yield warheads to circumvent arms treaty limits and support Moscow’s new doctrine of using nuclear arms early in any conflict.

In addition to expanding its warheads, Russia also is fortifying underground facilities for command and control during a nuclear conflict. Continue reading

Automatic Job Storm Coming

 

Almost every weekday, some arm of the US government issues some sort of economic statistic. News media and financial analysts review and report it. Then 99.9% of the adult population, and probably 90% of the financial industry, forget all about it. And they’re probably right to do so.

The monthly jobs report isn’t like that. Yes, any single month doesn’t tell us much. Yes, the Labor Department’s methodology has some flaws, both major and minor. But imperfect as it is, the jobs report is our best look at the economy’s pulse. Jobs matter in a visceral way to almost all of us, as you know well if you’ve ever lost one. Almost any survey that asked questions around employment would reveal the angst that many Americans feel about the possibility of losing their jobs.

Right now, automation tops the list of things that might threaten our jobs. Artificial intelligence and robotics technology are rapidly learning to do what human workers do, but better, faster, and cheaper. Continue reading

Retired CIA Agent Working With Blackwater Founder Claims H.R. McMaster Approved NSA Spy Job On Trump Family

 

A retired CIA officer reportedly working with Blackwater founder Erik Prince to pitch the White House on a global, private spy networkwhich as we reported yesterday would allow the White House to circumvent and counter “deep state enemies” within U.S. intelligence agencies, is said to have made the stunning claim that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster worked with the NSA to perform surveillance on Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump, Steve Bannon and others, according to a report in The Intercept. Continue reading