Russia Could Block Access to Baltic Sea, US General Says

Russia has moved ballistic missiles to and conducted nuclear strike drills from its Kaliningrad exclave [sic], prompting Pentagon fears that Moscow could block access to the Baltic Sea.

There is a “significant amount of capability” in Kaliningrad, including anti-ship weapons, air defenses, and electronic warfare equipment, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe, said Wednesday. Continue reading

US confirms it will place 250 tanks in eastern Europe to counter Russian threat

The United States will place 250 tanks, artillery pieces and fighting vehicles in seven eastern European countries as a bulwark against Russian aggression, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

Ash Carter, the US defence secretary, said Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland will host equipment in order to reassure Nato countries alarmed by Russian action in Ukraine.

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Is the Syrian Civil War Hindering a Strike on Iran?

More and more authors are just now writing in their columns what has been pointed out here for a little over a month already: If you want Iran, dislocate and isolate.

It already goes without saying the Assad regime might go “all out” before it loses its last grip on power. They’re not exactly the type of regime to sign a contract into surrenduring power, then retiring at a luxury villa on the Mediterranean coastline happily ever after.

Well then, what’s next? The question now is: What will Iran do?

Will they go “all in” and save their partner Syria, or will they play more of a limited role (like now with IRGC units in Damascus) until too much is too much to handle, retreat and surrender a regional ally? Surrendering the ally means they would have to toughen up more on the homeland, perhaps as the article suggests, by upping the nuclear ante. Surrendering an ally would also mean a new hostile neighbor.

If Syria goes, Iran will almost certainly go nuclear quicker. If Syria, in the last throes of power, decides to use its WMD stockpile, expect Iran to get involved and the entire Middle East to ignite. The USA and NATO allies will likely get drawn into the picture and that’s when you can expect the terrorist attacks, via hundreds (if not thousands) of proxy sleeper cells waiting for well over a decade, to happen on the United States homeland and Europe as a retaliatory strike. Although there is no crystal ball telling us how the future events will be played out, it’s a plausible scenario, out of many.

Another factor to consider is Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has declared there will be war within weeks. Whether it’s within weeks or 2013, one thing is certain: War is an eventuality.

In the even larger scheme of things, Syria is only one of seven to be changed in five years, as hostile powers seek to de-throne the United States’ global leadership position.

Waiting until Assad is overthrown would eliminate the most dangerous potential war front that could open up after a strike on Iran.

In the estimate of many Syria experts, once the Assad regime falls, Syria will fracture into warring ethnic-sectarian provinces for a considerable period of time, meaning that Syria would have no ability to initiate conflict with its neighbors.

Even if a new government managed to come to power in Syria, it would in all likelihood be a Sunni-dominated entity, hostile to Shi’ite Iran and its southern Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, both of which have been accessories to the war crimes being perpetuated against Syrian Sunnis. A Sunni-led Syria would go from being an Iranian ally to a hostile foe of the Shi’ite theocracy.

The loss of its major regional ally, Syria, could be a blow to Iran that might even induce it to speed up its nuclear program.

Full article: Is the Syrian Civil War Hindering a Strike on Iran? (Gatestone Institute)