House chairman urges fast U.S. response to Moscow’s INF missile breach
The White House is blocking the release of a Pentagon risk assessment of Russia’s violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, according to a senior House leader.
Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, disclosed the existence of the Pentagon assessment last month and said the report is needed for Congress’ efforts to address the problem in legislation.
“As we look to the near-term future, we need to consider how we’re going to respond to Russia’s INF violations,” Rogers said in an Air Force Association breakfast July 8. “Congress will not continue to tolerate the administration dithering on this issue.” Continue reading
In a new National Military Strategy, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff warns the Pentagon to reorganize its global footprint to combat prolonged battles of terrorism and proxy wars.
The U.S. military needs to reorganize itself and prepare for war that has no end in sight with militant groups like the Islamic State and nations that use proxies to fight on their behalf, America’s top general warned Wednesday.
In what is likely his last significant strategy direction before retiring this summer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the Pentagon that “global disorder has trended upward while some of our comparative advantages have begun to erode,” since 2011, the last update to the National Military Strategy. Continue reading
US President Barack Obama’s plans for Iran, which were spectacularly challenged by Binyamin Netanyahu in his Congress speech Tuesday, March 3, weres manifested 10,000 kilometers from Washington in the firestorm over Tikrit, the important Sunni town north of Baghdad. There, Iranian-led Iraqi troops are on the offensive against the Islamic State in the biggest ground battle fought in Iraq since the Iraqi army fell apart and scattered last June against the conquering Islamist march through western and central Iraq.
For four reasons, this battle is loaded with ramifications for Obama’s Iran policy and the Islamic Republic’s drive for recognition as the leading Middle East power: Continue reading
Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, flew out of Israel Wednesday, April 2, from three days of talks with Israeli leaders, asserting: “I think they are satisfied we have the capability [to use a military option against Iran]. I think they believe we will use it.”
debkafile sources tracking his talks did not receive that impression from Israeli officials. They did not subscribe to his statement that “Israel and the United States are in broad agreement about the threat that Iran poses to the region and how to deal with it.” Continue reading
JERUSALEM — The United States has envisioned new power alignments in the Middle East that could include Israel cooperating more closely with the Gulf Arab states.
Officials said such factors as the Arab Spring, the threat from Iran and the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood have opened opportunities throughout the Middle East. Continue reading
The purge continues. This time from the U.S. Army.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. soldiers forced out of the Army because of crimes or misconduct has soared in the past several years as the military emerges from a decade of war that put a greater focus on battle competence than on character.
Data obtained by The Associated Press shows that the number of officers who left the Army due to misconduct more than tripled in the past three years. The number of enlisted soldiers forced out for drugs, alcohol, crimes and other misconduct shot up from about 5,600 in 2007, as the Iraq war peaked, to more than 11,000 last year. Continue reading
Damascus warns ‘mass of flames will ignite Middle East’ if regime attacked; Assad’s chemical weapons use reportedly discussed in call between US and Israeli army chiefs
Israel believes that the United States will respond militarily to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, according to unnamed military sources quoted by the Hebrew website Ynet on Saturday night.
When proof surfaces that the Assad regime used chemical weapons last Wednesday, “the US will act even in the event that the UN Security Council does not take a decision to that effect,” the report claimed, citing estimations by Israeli officials. Continue reading
Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in Amman this week to inaugurate the Centcom’s Forward Command in Jordan manned by 273 US officers. US media correspondents were permitted to visit the new war room for the first time on condition of non-disclosure of its location and secret facilities.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the installation is bomb- and missile-proof against a possible Syrian attack. The US Air Force command section is in direct communication with the US, Israeli, Jordanian and Saudi Air Force headquarters ready for an order by President Barack Obama to impose a partial no-fly zone over Syrian air space. Continue reading
This means there’s a high chance that the Obama administration will react in a way that tilts the balance of the proxy war versus Russia and Iran back in their favor — which ultimately and very likely will lead to an all-out regional war.
Three months after winning the strategic town of Al Qusayr, the combined Syrian and Hizballah armies have captured the historic Muslim Brotherhood city of Homs, 162 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus. debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report that Sunday, July 28, jeeps with recoilless guns, pick-up trucks with anti air guns – all loaded with defeated rebel Farouq Brigades fighters were to be seen fleeing the city. As they fled, Syrian and Hizballah army tanks facing no resistance rolled into the center of Homs, the old city and the Khladiyeh district and hoisted images of President Bashar Assad.
The fall of Homs, which the rebels designated from the start of the uprising “capital of the revolution,” opens the way for Syrian-Hizballah forces to move north on Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. Continue reading
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said there may be public confusion about the military’s reporting process. Referring to media reports that there is only one way to report sexual assault, the Michigan Democrat asked each of the military heads at a hearing if there currently are multiple options in addition to notifying a unit commander. They replied yes.
They also told the committee that instances of commanders ignoring their judge advocate generals’ advice in sexual assault cases are extremely rare. Continue reading
The results of a classified Defense Intelligence Agency report indicate that “North Korea now has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles.”
It came when Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) of Colorado began quoting from what he said was an unclassified version of the DIA report, which has not yet been made public. Continue reading
The collapse of the Eid al Adha truce brokered by UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi left Syria careering into unknown territory.
Even America’s allies in the region are being held back from direct military confrontation with the Assad regime. Turkey was on the verge of expanding its border clashes with Syria into active backing for the rebels with a view to carving out a buffer strip, a safe haven and a no-fly zone on and over Syrian soil. But then, last week Obama sent the Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs, to Ankara to hold Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan back from any cross-border action. He was followed by his deputy. Continue reading
Regardless of all the concessions and overtures coming from the Obama administration, this is still the end result. They will continue to be committed to the destruction of Israel and the United States, regardless.
Cutting through the US-Israeli debate over where to put “red lines” for Iran, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Monday night, Sept. 3 that Iran would hit US bases in the Middle East in response to any Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities, even if the Americans were not involved in the attack.
Earlier Monday, the New York Times reported on the debate in the White House over whether US President Barack Obama should declare “red lines” for Iran beyond which the US would act, in response to Israel’s complaint that he has been too vague about how far Iran will be allowed to go.
But even if Obama did set a clear red line now, the NYT admits its credibility would be questionable: “The US and its allies have allowed Iran to cross seven previous red lines in 18 years.”
Feeling the approaching heat, Netanyahu called a special cabinet meeting for Tuesday, Sept. 4 with the participation of the heads of Israel’s clandestine services, Military Intelligence, the Mossad, the Shin Bet and the Foreign Office Research Division, to hear their annual report.
It is likely to go on all day with updates on the situation in Syria, Egypt and Jordan – all weighty topics. But the agenda will certainly be topped with a detailed rundown on the current state of Iran’s nuclear program.
After that rundown, the prime minister and defense minister will enter the final decision-making stage on war against Iran.
At this critical moment, wit calculated timing, Petraeus is due to land in Israel.
Although the opponents of Netanyahu and Barak are fond of painting them as irresponsible adventurers ready to gamble with Israeli lives, it is Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has now raised the stakes in this game of dare and slapped down the highest cards.
Nasrallah’s pitch took the scenario straight into stage one of the war to come: “If Israel targets Iran, America bears responsibility,” he told the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen TV Monday night.
“A decision has been taken in Tehran to respond and the response will be very great,” he said, citing “Iranian officials.”
Nasrallah carried a triple message from Tehran to Washington and Jerusalem:
1. Iran believes an Israeli attack will take place before the US presidential election on Nov. 6;
2. Tehran is drawing on a powerful deterrent: Lest anyone expected a low-key Iranian response to an attack on its nuclear facilities, the Hizballah leader put them right when he said, “the response will be very great” and “America bears responsibility.”
3. By putting Nasrallah out front as a leading Iranian spokesman, Khamenei signaled that Hizballah would take an active role in the coming conflict.
Full article: If Israel attacks Iran, US Mid East bases will pay dear – Nasrallah (DEBKAfile)
To answer the question of an earlier post: Will America Forsake Israel?
The answer clearly seems to be yes.
In its bluntest message yet, the US administration under Barack Obama, declared that Israel is on its own if it decides to go for Iran’s nuclear program with a military operation. Thursday, Aug. 30, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered the view for the third time in as many weeks that an Israeli attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program.”
But this time, talking to journalists in London, he added impatiently: “I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.”
Dempsey then astonished his audience by saying he did not know Iran’s nuclear intentions, “as intelligence did not reveal intentions.” What was clear, he said, was that the “international coalition” applying pressure on Iran “could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely.”
Israel, which is in direct line of an explicit Iranian threat of destruction, was therefore publicly slapped down by its best friend. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak and their predecessors were shown to have wasted three years in tireless efforts to solve the Iranian nuclear peril in accord with that friend. Washington has just dumped them.
debkafile suggests that unless Gen. Dempsey spoke off the cuff (unlikely), he would certainly have been obeying a White House directive – even if Washington later issues a softening remark. That directive may have been prompted by information that Israel is on the point of attacking Iran, which Obama would seek to head off.
The latest IAEA quarterly report published Thursday must have seriously embarrassed the Obama administration by making nonsense of its dependence on diplomacy and sanctions. The top US soldier may have been deployed for an authorative answer.
But Iran’s leaders must be laughing up their sleeves at America’s futile efforts to isolate them, as they race toward their nuclear goal while showcasing Tehran as the stage for the Non-Aligned Summit attended by dozens of world leaders.
Full article: Top US soldier: “I don’t want to be complicit” if Israel attacks Iran (DEBKAfile)
This could also be considered a sign with the ongoing turmoil in Syria. Once the highest ranking leaders start defecting or get picked off, Assad could decide to descend the entire Middle East into chaos.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was cheered by half a million demonstrators in Tehran shouting: Death to Israel! Death to America! when he declared Israel is a “cancerous tumor” that will soon be finished off in the new Middle East. He called “the Zionist regime’s existence an insult to all humanity.”
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said: “The fake Zionist (regime) will disappear from the landscape of geography,”
And although both were severely rebuked by world leaders for their violent invective, it continued to pour out of Tehran in a comment by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force Chief, Brig. Gen. Amir Hajizadeh who said an Israeli attack would be welcome “as a pretext to get rid of Israel for good.”
Israel’s new Home Defense Minister Avi Dichter laid it out in plain language: While Syria, Lebanon and Gaza confront Israel with a strategic threat, Iran imperils our very existence.”
Certain Western intelligence sources were reminded of a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 2006 when he quoted a Holocaust survivor as saying: “My main lesson from the Holocaust is that if someone tells you he is going to exterminate you, believe him. And I add to that. Believe him and stop him!”
Six years later, those sources now suggest, after America’s top soldier Gen. Martin Dempsey offered the opinion that Israel can no longer destroy Iran’s nuclear weapon capacity – only delay it , that Netanyahu may be willing to go further: Not only to stop them, but kill them.
They are quietly using the term “decapitation.”
They point to the Israeli Mossad’s long record of targeted covert operations for dealing with past and would-be annihilators: In the fifties, the Mossad captured the Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann in Operational Finale.
In the seventies, Golda Meir ordered Operation Wrath of God to hunt down and pick off one by one the Palestinian Black September murderers of 11 Israeli sportsmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
In February 2008, Iran’s senior terrorist operations commander, Hizballah’s Imad Mughniyeh, was liquidated in Damascus, so ending a bloody career of assassinations, terrorism and abductions against US and other Western targets as well as Israel.
Hizballah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah knows the score: He has spent six years hunkered down in a fortified bunker, taking care never to broadcast his inflammatory speeches calling for Israel’s destruction live, only by video.
It cannot be ruled out that this point, Israel may decide to disable Iran’s nuclear program by going for its leaders.
Full article: Iranian leaders in Israel’s sights after calling for its destruction (DEBKAfile)