Five months ago, NATO announced that a cyber-attack by a non-NATO entity would trigger the “collective defense” provision, enabling grounds for a ‘kinetic’ real war. And now, in what appears a pre-emptive move to dissuade any attempts at election disruption, US officials claims U.S. military hackers have penetrated Russia’s electric grid, telecommunications networks, and the Kremlin’s command systems – making them vulnerable to attack.
It’s possible a real-world nuclear war could end without a single missile being fired, and the United States could find itself on the losing end.
I’ve covered the problem before. The United States has barely moved its nuclear launch sites since the Cold War, and according to Richard Fisher, senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, all of these sites are overtargeted by Russian and Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
Of course, it’s not unusual for rivals to target nuclear weapons sites; some of the original U.S. nuclear war scenarios had all the Soviet nuclear weapons sites as primary targets.
The difference today is that while you can literally find most U.S. nuclear weapons sites using Google Earth—and while Russia and the United States are disposing of warheads—the Chinese regime is making significant efforts to build its nuclear arsenals, and to keep these weapons hidden. Continue reading
In public, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government lists a more assertive China and a volatile North Korea as its top security concerns.
Behind the scenes, though, another concern is growing: that the United States may one day be unable or unwilling to defend Japan, interviews with Abe advisers, politicians and security experts show. The worries are adding momentum to Abe’s drive to beef up Japan’s air and naval forces while loosening constitutional limits on action its military can take abroad. Continue reading
Washington welcomes visits to its nuclear weapons facilities by Japan as a way to provide “firsthand knowledge” of the U.S. nuclear posture and reassurances of its nuclear deterrent, a former senior U.S. defense official says.
“The nuclear umbrella is a centerpiece of the U.S.-Japan security alliance,” Bradley Roberts, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, said in a written response to The Asahi Shimbun’s questions in early July.
“It is necessary and appropriate that the government of Japan have firsthand knowledge of the U.S. nuclear posture, including both policies and capabilities,” Roberts said. Continue reading
Everybody is advancing, just not the United States.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 – On July 1, 2013 Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) received another boost by the launch of a geostationary satellite. Though the rocket has a presumable reach of 6000 km but this apparently peaceful advancement in space has military potential. For instance, it is a step towards India’s gradually building anti-ballistic missile defense shield and enhancement of its reconnaissance potential. One wonders if this potential militarization of space will ultimately lead to weaponisation and compel New Delhi’s current and future adversaries to respond in letter and in spirit.
These satellites carry peaceful payloads and can also carry weapons of mass destruction. For instance, satellites delivery systems help place in the outer space navigation solutions like the American Global Positioning System, Russian GLONASS and Chinese Beidou. Likewise, if nuclear weapon warhead is emplaced on the rocket, it can take the living daylights out of the civilizations. Continue reading
It’s already known that Japan can go nuclear within months, being they have the technology and the industry to produce. It’s also possible that they might even possess a nuclear weapons in pieces which could be assembled within weeks. Nevertheless, as this article shows, Japan seems ready to flex its muscles against China. How it will now handle Russia who is now entering the fray and doubling pressure remains to be seen. With both combined, we’re talking about going against the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
TOKYO — Japan has the right to develop the ability to make a pre-emptive strike against an imminent attack given a changing security environment although it has no plan to do so now, the defence minister said on Thursday, days after North Korea conducted a third nuclear test.
Any sign that Japan was moving to develop such a capability in response to North Korea’s nuclear program could upset neighbors China and South Korea, which have reacted strongly in the past to suggestions it might do so.
“When an intention to attack Japan is evident, the threat is imminent, and there are no other options, Japan is allowed under the law to carry out strikes against enemy targets,” Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told Reuters in an interview. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — A secret legal review on the use of America’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons has concluded that President Obama has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad, according to officials involved in the review.
That decision is among several reached in recent months as the administration moves, in the next few weeks, to approve the nation’s first rules for how the military can defend, or retaliate, against a major cyberattack. New policies will also govern how the intelligence agencies can carry out searches of faraway computer networks for signs of potential attacks on the United States and, if the president approves, attack adversaries by injecting them with destructive code — even if there is no declared war. Continue reading
Also on Thursday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unveiled his “pre-9/11 moment” speech which revealed that for two weeks, hackers had been hammering the websites of big American banks, the Saudi national oil company Aramco and Qatar’s Rasgas.In a strong comment, he said the US would strike back and consider a preemptive strike against cyber terrorism, without saying how or actually naming Iran.
However in leaks to the American media, former U.S. government officials and cyber-security experts reported that the administration believes Iranian-based hackers were responsible for what Panetta warned could be the first “cyber Pearl Harbor” against America. Continue reading
There you have it. It doesn’t matter how much the United States distances themselves from Israel. Having said this, the United States might as well throw their entire weight behind whatever move Israel makes, as it makes no difference in the eyes of a suicidal Iranian regime.
AFP – Iran could launch a pre-emptive strike if Israel prepares to attack it, a senior Revolutionary Guards commander told broadcaster Al-Alam on Sunday, a day after his boss warned that conflict was inevitable.
Should Israel and Iran engage militarily, “nothing is predictable… and it will turn into World War III,” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told Iran’s Arabic-language television network.
He added that Iran would deem any Israeli strike to be conducted with US authorisation, so “whether the Zionist regime attacks with or without US knowledge, then we will definitely attack US bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Afghanistan.”
He warned that Israel “cannot imagine our response — and it will sustain heavy damage and that will be a prelude to its obliteration.”
On Saturday, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said war between Iran and Israel “will eventually happen, but it is not certain where and when.”
Full article: Strike on Iran would trigger ‘World War III’: Guards (France 24)
(Reuters) – Iran could launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel if it was sure the Jewish state were preparing to attack it, a senior commander of its elite Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Sunday.
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, made the comments to Iran’s state-run Arabic language Al-Alam television, according to a report on the network’s website.
“Iran will not start any war but it could launch a pre-emptive attack if it was sure that the enemies are putting the final touches to attack it,” Al-Alam said, paraphrasing the military commander.
Full article: Iran commander says could launch pre-emptive strike on Israel (Reuters)
An armada of US and British naval power is massing in the Persian Gulf in the belief that Israel is considering a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s covert nuclear weapons programme.
Battleships, aircraft carriers, minesweepers and submarines from 25 nations are converging on the strategically important Strait of Hormuz in an unprecedented show of force as Israel and Iran move towards the brink of war.
Western leaders are convinced that Iran will retaliate to any attack by attempting to mine or blockade the shipping lane through which passes around 18 million barrels of oil every day, approximately 35 per cent of the world’s petroleum traded by sea.
Full article: Armada of British naval power massing in the Gulf as Israel prepares an Iran strike (The Telegraph)
LONDON: Israel is preparing for a ground attack on Iran before Christmas, after conducting commando dry runs in the Iraq desert, a media report said.
Israeli leaders have reportedly made it clear they are ready to launch military action alone – if the US does not help.
Late October or early November have been identified by intelligence analysts as a likely time because of the US elections on Nov 6.
“We know the Israelis have been active in the Iraq desert, it would appear preparing forward bases for a ground assault. Bombing Iranian nuclear installations will most likely be a part of their plan, but the only way to confirm they have destroyed what they need to is to put boots on the ground,” an unnamed British official was quoted as saying.
An “anonymous senior Israeli politician” — believed to be defence minister Ehud Barak — made it clear to The Sun that Israel had already decided to act alone.
“We can’t wait to find out one morning that we relied on the Americans but were fooled because the Americans didn’t act. Israel is strong and Israel is responsible, and will do what it has to do,” the minister said.
Full article: Israel preparing to attack Iran: Report (The Times of India)
The Israel-Iran countdown has begun and with respect to Tehran’s nuclear race we are witnessing the greatest crisis in the US-Israel relations. Will America help the tiny Jewish State? Can Israel trust the word of a US administration that has treated Jerusalem like a banana republic?
A few days ago, Israeli officials told the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that “the US’ stance is pushing the Iranians to become a country at the brink of nuclear capability.” Very few people in Israel believe that the US will ever launch another preemptive war against the ayatollahs. The US, especially if Barack Obama gets the re-election, will be tempted to reach a compromise with the Iranians.
Today Israel can stand tall in the face of its important ally because it never asked American soldiers to spill their blood for its defense. It’s Washington that must beg for Israel’s alliance and protect the Jews, as it cannot afford disengagement from the only democracy in a region dominated by Islam. Will the US eventually be compelled to sacrifice Israel on the altar of “realism” and oil price, when Iran’s knife will descend on the Jews? And will the Jewish State’s leadership dutifully bind Israel on the altar?
As Charles Krauthammer spelled it out, “for Israel the stakes are somewhat higher: the very existence of a vibrant nation and its 6 million Jews.” If Israel won’t be able to change the US’s red line on Iran and Jerusalem capitulates to Washington’s appeasement, the Iranians’ ghoulish utopia will be soon armed with atomic bombs. And the Jews? They will be psychologically weaker and totally dependant on others’ help. Like it was before and during the Holocaust.
Full article: Will America Forsake Israel? (Frontpage Mag)
These links [1, 2] discuss the probability that Saudi Arabia may soon be taking delivery of Pakistani nuclear warheads to put in the Saudi military inventory, making Saudi Arabia an instant nuclear power. I have addressed this possibility in previous posts, but it looks like this may become a reality very soon. Obviously, Saudi Arabia wants the ability to become a nuclear power immediately if Iran becomes a nuclear power. Since Saudi Arabia reportedly financed much of the development of the Pakistani nuclear weapons program, the Saudis likely have a right to obtain a certain number of the Pakistani warheads for themselves when the situation warrants.
There are those who doubt that this arrangement exists, but the reported fact that “at least two giant Saudi transport planes…are parked permanently at Kamra [Pakistan’s nuclear air base]” gives strong credibility to the report that the Saudis are ready to receive an unknown number of Pakistani nuclear weapons at a moment’s notice if Iran’s nuclear program indicates it has reached the ability to produce nuclear weapons. Why else would Saudi transport planes be parked regularly at Pakistan’s nuclear weapon-equipped airbase? At the very least, the Saudis want to have as many nukes as Iran. It is also not impossible that Saudi Arabia so fears a nuclear-armed Iran that it would take delivery of the Pakistani nukes to perform a pre-emptive strike on the Iranian bomb facilities. Saudi Arabia is the guardian of Mecca of Medina and sees itself as the leader of the Sunni Islamic peoples. Iran is the leader of the Shiite Islamic people.
This report indicates that it is not only the Israelis and Americans that might be considering a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia has no intention of ever being dominated by the Shiite Persians. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are both Sunni Islamic nations.
Finally, remember the old adage: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That has historically been a truism in Mideast politics. Iran is the growing enemy of both Israel and Saudi Arabia, so the Iranian nuclear program is pushing the Israelis and Saudis together as friends of necessity in this matter…whether they expected this to happen or not.
Full article: Saudis Obtaining Pakistani Nukes? (Steven Mcollins)
Russia’s top military officer warned Thursday that Moscow would strike NATO missile-defense sites in Eastern Europe before they are ready for action, if the U.S. pushes ahead with deployment.
“A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile-defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATOofficials.
Gen. Makarov made the threat amid an apparent stalemate in talks between U.S. and Russian negotiators over the missile-defense system, part of President Obama’s policy to “reset” relations with Moscow. The threat also elicited shock and derision from Western missile-defense analysts.
Full article: Russia threatens to strike NATO missile defense sites (Washington Times)