Speaking to a security conference, Marine Corps Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart linked his warning to the militant group’s establishment of “emerging branches” in Mali, Tunisia, Somalia, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Sinai
Prepare to Be Blindsided in 2016
Column: The only thing we can predict in politics is that we’ll be surprised
Target: Paris. More than 130 die in a terrorist attack on a Friday night in November. No one sees it coming. Global panic ensues.
Suddenly the nation debates the future of the Syrian refugee program. Terrorism jumps to the front of voters’ minds. National security becomes the defining issue of the 2016 election. No one sees that coming, either.
Around two weeks after the Paris attack, Turkey shoots down a Russian fighter over Syria. Vladimir Putin calls it a “stab in the back” and sends more forces to the region. Barack Obama pleads for calm. Trending on Twitter: World War III. Continue reading
The Clock Is Ticking On The U.S. Dollar As World’s Reserve Currency
The View From Hubbert’s Peak
In 1971, the American President put an end to a 2,500 year trend; the Wall Street Journal called it “Nixon’s Worst Weekend.” Considering the old boy had some really bad ones, this must have been something special. In August of that year (on Friday the 13th) it was decided that the U.S. would no longer pay out gold for its paper dollars. OPEC Ministers took note, and in September they met, deciding it would be necessary to collect more paper dollars, if possible, since gold was no longer on offer and oil was the only asset they had to sell.
The Wizard of Oz
The ultimate irony for this generation of investors is that, despite the occasional obligatory chant about ‘free markets’ and the wonders of capitalism, most of the day is spent obsessing about what the world’s most important central planner will do next. By Supreme Central Planner, I mean, the Fed. Continue reading
Egypt on the edge of a full blown civil war.
In the past days there have been dozens of separate attacks in Egypt, from the Sinai up to Cairo. Probably more than 60 people have died, when the Egyptian army used F16 fighter jets to protect itself against it disgruntled population.
It is clear that the Egyptian rulers are not going to be able to contain the current situation, today could be marked as the start of Egypt’s civil war.
In 2013 the first elected president of Egypt was removed by the army. There are clear signs that anti-democratic forces were deliberately destabilizing Egypt before the coup d’etat in 2013. In the running up of the July 3th coup by General Sisi an artificial oil shortages was created that contributed to the mass protest against the elected president of Egypt.
The new army coup was financially supported by the Saudi rulers while the West was mute, the only vocalized opposition came from Turkey’s ruler MrErdoğan.
Washington was silent about Egypt’s coup and even resumed the delivery of military hardware to the Egyptian rulers, at the same moment Morsi received the dead penalty during a mock process. The situation in Egypt will be much worse than the situation that we saw in Algeria in 1992. Continue reading
Israeli border troops, US Mid East forces on alert after massive ISIS assault on Egyptian forces in Sinai
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant moved ominously close to Israel’s borders Wednesday, July 1 – not as predicted in the north, but in the south, from the Sinai Peninsula.
There, ISIS followed up on its Ramadan terror outrages in France, Tunisia, Kuwait and Kobani, with a massive assault on Egyptian forces in the northern Sinai region of Sheikh Zuwaid close to the Israeli and Gaza Strip borders.
Not just a terrorist attack, ISIS launched a full-scale military assault, starting with mortar fire and suicide bombings against five Egyptian military checkpoints. Continue reading
Sniper fire from Gaza as part of Hamas’ massive buildup for next war
Please see the website source for the video.
Israelis living and serving security in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip report that Hamas snipers have been harassing them in recent weeks as a scare tactic, which appears to be evolving into a major offensive. Only very few of these incidents have been reported – and dismissed by military officials as “stray bullets” – although witnesses have spotted snipers shooting out of the windows of high-rise buildings in the Gaza Strip.
While the rebuilding of terror tunnels which the Israeli military demolished in last summer’s war continues apace, the cash-strapped Palestinian extremists have now hit on stealthy sniper fire as a less expensive, less detectable and easier means of unnerving Israelis across the border. Continue reading
The New Map of the Middle East
The map you see above, and also embedded below, was the main illustration for the piece, which appeared in the January/February 2008 issue. I introduced the conceit of the story this way:
As America approaches the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the list of the war’s unintended consequences is without end (as opposed to the list of intended consequences, which is, so far, vanishingly brief). The list includes, notably, the likelihood that the Kurds will achieve their independence and that Iraq will go the way of Gaul and be divided into three parts—but it also includes much more than that. Across the Middle East, and into south-central Asia, the intrinsically artificial qualities of several states have been brought into focus by the omnivorous American response to the attacks of 9/11; it is not just Iraq and Afghanistan that appear to be incoherent amalgamations of disparate tribes and territories. The precariousness of such states as Lebanon and Pakistan, of course, predates the invasion of Iraq. But the wars against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and especially Saddam Hussein have made the durability of the modern Middle East state system an open question in ways that it wasn’t a mere seven years ago. Continue reading
At least 50 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel – pro-Iranian Jihad Islami payback for missile ship seizure
The pro-Iranian Palestinian Jihad Islami terror group rained Wednesday, March 12 a heavy, continuous missile barrage against Israel, just two days after the Israeli presentation in Eilat of the illicit cargo of Iranian arms destined for terrorists aboard the Klos C, which Israeli commandos captured on the Red Sea last week. The presentation included 60 M302 short-range missiles made in Syria and flown to Iran for shipment to Gaza and Sinai via Sudan.
Iron Dome missile interceptors were activated against the barrage. No casualties or damage have been so far reported. Red alert signals sent hundreds of thousands of citizens running for shelter. Continue reading
Turning Point: Obama and Israel, The Next Three Years
It is not every day that one can announce a shift in world history, but this day is today. And we are now in a new era in the Middle East and the world. This is not a joke–definitely not a joke–and as you will see, it is not an exaggeration.
Let me explain. For the last seven weeks I have been in the United States, mostly in Washington D.C. I have spoken and listened to many people. As a result, I am in a position to describe for you with a high degree of accuracy what the policy will be for the next 3.5 years, and perhaps for many more.
The administration has crossed a line to, in simple terms, backing the “‘bad guys.”
This is literally true in Egypt, Syria, Sudan, the Palestinian Authority, Bahrain (with its support for the opposition), Qatar, and Turkey.
And in some ways, as we will see, the war on terrorism has been turned into the war for terrorism. Continue reading
Israeli green light for big Egyptian Sinai offensive, after Islamists fail to assassinate Egyptian general
Israel Thursday July 11 approved a major Egyptian offensive for curbing the mounting aggression in Sinai of armed Salafis gangs, Muslim Brotherhood raiders and Hamas terrorists. A day earlier, Egypt’s Second Army commander, Maj.-Gen. Ahmad Wasfi, who is assigned to lead the offensive, escaped unhurt from an attempt on his life. Some of his bodyguards and soldiers were killed. Continue reading
Obama frowns on Egyptian army’s alignment with Gulf regimes, coming crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood
After US Secretary of State John Kerry was filmed vacationing on his yacht at the peak of the Egyptian crisis, President Barack Obama released this statement early Sunday, July 7: “The US is not aligned with and is not supporting any particular Egyptian political party or group and condemns “ongoing violence across Egypt.” Obama made these points in a telephone conference with the National Security Council from Camp David.
Nothing was said about the general’s response. The military has along denied staging a coup, insisting it only stepped in to avert civil bloodshed and a provisional government would prepare the country for early elections.
Both parties to this exchange were putting on an act. For President Obama, the Muslim Brothers’ ouster was and remains unacceptable. By denying support for any particular party or group, he was also saying he wants no truck with the generals who made it happen. Continue reading
From Sea to Shining Sea
Eighteen miles. That’s the width of the Bab el-Mandab passageway, the narrow stretch of ocean separating Djibouti from Yemen that connects the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. In strategic terms, this passage is crucial. Control the Bab el-Mandab passage and you control the eastern half of one of the most important shipping lanes in the world.
That is exactly what Iran is looking to do. Few recognize it—but it’s happening under our noses. All you have to do is look at Yemen. Continue reading
Intelligence chief: Assad ready to use chemical weapons
Israel’s military intelligence chief on Thursday said Syria’s embattled president, Bashar Assad, is preparing to use chemical weapons.
Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi told a security conference in the coastal town of Herzliya that Assad is stepping up his offensive against rebels trying to oust him.
He claimed Assad is making advanced preparations to use chemical weapons, but has not yet given the order to deploy them. He did not disclose information about why he thinks Assad is preparing to use them. Continue reading
Report: IAF strike in Syria hit Iranian Guards
It’s likely that the Russians being among the hit at the facility tells us why a Russian MIG-31 flew towards Israel and over the Sinai.
Iraqi daily Azzaman quoted a Western diplomatic source as saying Thursday that the alleged Israeli attack on Syria reported on Wednesday caused heavy casualties among special Iranian Guards stationed at the Syrian facility. The source also said that the attack took place more than 48 hours before it was reported, eventually being leaked by Israel. Continue reading
Russia slams Israeli attack on Syria. US forces in Jordan on alert
By now most have heard about the Israeli air strike against a Syrian military site. What’s not new or alarming is knowing that an entire region called the Middle East could’ve been lit on fire, but that a Russian Mig-31 fighter flew over Sinai, seemingly in response.
The Syrian announcement of an Israeli air strike on a military site near Damascus Wednesday, Jan. 30, drew strong condemnation from Moscow the next day: “Such action if confirmed would amount to unacceptable military interference in the war-ravaged country,” said the statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry Thursday. “If this information is confirmed, then we are dealing with unprovoked attacks on targets on the territory of a sovereign country, which blatantly violate the UN Charter and is unacceptable, no matter the motives to justify it.”
Israel has made no comment on the Damascus statement which described in detail an Israeli air strike against a “military research institute” near the capital. Witnesses say it was a plant for manufacturing “unconventional weapons.” The facility was destroyed and two staff members killed.
Lebanese sources later reported a Russian Mig-31 fighter had crossed over Sinai Wednesday in the direction of Israel. It veered west over the Mediterranean after encountering an Israeli warning not to intrude into its air space and continued flying over Lebanon. Continue reading