The Road to War: China vs the US

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In 2016 Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, declared that there was no doubt, in his mind, that the US would go to war with China in the South China Sea in the next five to 10 years.

A US-Chinese military conflict would be on top of a vow by Trump in his inaugural presidential address, to not only take on radical Islamic terrorism but to “eradicate it from the face of the Earth.” This would be done by building up America’s already supreme military. “Our military dominance must be unquestioned,” the billionaire businessman, who now controlled the most powerful political office in the world, declared in his first address to the nation.

A year and a half after that speech, the United States is not at war with China, but its economic saber-rattling is arguably the beginning of a confrontation between the world’s largest and second-largest economies. Trump’s tariff threats against not only China but Europe, Canada, Mexico and its other trade partners, are also symbolic of a shift in US foreign policy towards a more isolationist stance – one that may not strictly be due to Trump’s belligerent personality. This article will get into the antecedents of this economic and military showdown and point the way to some possible future scenarios, including a war in space. Continue reading

New US-Israeli “Project Iran” is headed by IDF’s Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon

 

Project Iran” was set up during Israel’s Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott’s talks with top US brass in Washington on June 29 for coordinated US-Israeli military operations against Iran.

IDF Operations Chief Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon was named to head it. He was with the chief of staff when he sat down with Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Joseph Votel, head of CENTCOM in Washington. At 53, Alon accepted the post although he was ready to retire from the service after an impressive career spanning 34 years. It included valuable experience as commander of special operations forces and oversight of the integration of special undercover units in the intelligence corps for action behind enemy lines. He led several combat divisions before being promoted to OC Central Command. In 2015, he took over the General Staff’s Operations Branch. Eisenkott persuaded him to stay on as the first holder of a job just created of Director of the “Iran Project” – the IDF codename for a newly-established US-Israeli task force for executing potential decisions to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, ballistic missiles and/or military bases in the Middle East. Continue reading

DEBKA: Netanyahu Must Decide if He Wants War with Iran

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(Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Abir Sultan/Israel Defense Forces)

 

A new report states that today’s meeting with Putin will determine whether or not Israel launches that war.

Following a relatively unfruitful day of discussions with top Russian diplomats and military leaders ahead of today’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin, DEBKA has published a piece stating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alone now bears the decision of whether or not to launch a war against Iran inside Syria. Continue reading

New Satellite Images Reveal Russia Is Preparing For War In Kaliningrad

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The July 16 summit in Helsinki, Finland, between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin offers a unique opportunity to de-escalate Cold War 2.0 between the United States and Russia.

Ahead of the summit, several reports have detailed a new alarming trend of Moscow’s rapid modernization efforts to improve its westernmost military facilities in Kaliningrad, a strategic enclave of Russian territory situated between Poland and the Baltics.

Last month, the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) published satellite images revealing significant upgrades to a nuclear weapons storage bunker situated at a secret facility in Kaliningrad. Continue reading

After Netanyahu-Putin summit, Israel must decide on a war with Iran in Syria

 

Up until Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s talks with President Vladimir Putin Moscow [sic] on Wednesday Nov. 11, Israel made clear in every way possible – diplomatic and military – its resolve to prevent Iran and its proxies from establishing a presence in Syria.

The resolve to remove Iran, Hizballah and the other Shiite militias under Revolutionary Guards command was emphasized for the umpteenth time on Tuesday, before Putin’s special emissaries.  His special envoy Alexander Lavrentiev and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin arrived in Jerusalem for another try to shift Netanyahu from his all-or-nothing stance on Iran. With them was a large Russian delegation of security and military officials from the Operations Division of the Russian General Staff and intelligence units specializing in Syrian affairs. Continue reading

IRGC commander claims ‘Islamic Army’ near Golan Heights, ready to fight Israel

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In a recent speech, IRGC deputy commander Hossein Salami boasted of the creation of an “Islamic army” near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which he warned threatened to “end” Israel.

“Today, an international Islamic army has been formed in Syria, and the voices of the Muslims are heard near the Golan,” Salami said, as quoted by the Times of Israel.

Continue reading

Leaked Chinese Memo Warns Of “Thucydides Trap” With US, “War Is Unavoidable”

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A series of leaked internal documents reveal that China’s military reforms are aimed at allowing Beijing to “manage a crisis, contain a conflict, win a war” and overtake the United States in military strength, according to the Express.

The leaked documents were published by the Central Military Commission in February for the purpose of spreading President Xi Jinping’s “thought on strengthening the armed forces”.

If the reforms go ahead, they will lead to heightened tensions with China’s neighbouring countries, including Japan, in the East and South China Seas and the US. –Express Continue reading

China begins testing electronic warfare assets in South China Sea: report

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View of Spratly Islands. Photo: US Navy handout via Reuters

 

Word of US intelligence report comes after assessment that equipment was installed on the contested Spratly islands earlier this year

As the US and China plunge into a trade war, Beijing is apparently preparing for a different type of warfare that some fear may be on the horizon. Continue reading

Europe Cannot Cope With Any Further Armed Conflict On The Continent

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European leaders are not only unable to counteract the demographic crisis on the Old Continent, but are also losing ground in terms of defense. President Trump’s skepticism and reservation about the military ideas of European bureaucrats, Ankara’s increasingly aggressive actions towards Cyprus and Greece, and the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia highlight NATO’s weakness on the eve of its summit in Brussels.

Europe stands no chance if forced to face conflict on three fronts. Two of them are of conventional character: on the eastern flank, where there are continuous tensions with Russia, and in the Balkans near the border with Turkey. The third concerns the Mediterranean area, where young and strong men from Africa and Central Asia cross European borders with the support of a thousand people from the continent’s heartland. Europeans are also militarily involved in Afghanistan, Syria and take part in the growing conflict in Mali. Continue reading

Iran Threatens Gulf Oil Producers

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Wednesday, while most Americans were otherwise preoccupied with the Independence Day holiday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened an open act of war against his neighbors:

“The Americans have claimed they want to completely stop Iran’s oil exports. They don’t understand the meaning of this statement, because it has no meaning for Iranian oil not to be exported, while the region’s oil is exported. The Americans say they want to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero… It shows they have not thought about its consequences.” Continue reading

“It’s Real, It’s Coming, It’s A Matter Of Time” – US General Warns Of Hypersonic Attack

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Air Force Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, director of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), said he has the full support of Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin to advance the development of space-based sensors that would defend the nation from hypersonic attacks by America’s adversaries.

The Pentagon believes funding will be in place next year to begin the constellation of missile-surveillance satellites amid new warnings of hypersonic weapons being tested and deployed Russia and China. Continue reading

Trump lets Putin have Syria for a summit, Iranian/Hizballah gain access to Israel’s border on refugee backs

 

Israel’s armed forces are distributing tents, food, water and medicines to the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees reaching its Golan border in flight from the incredibly brutal Russian and Syrian air strikes on southern Syria. The figures are staggering – 342 air strikes on Thursday night, June 28, against rebel-held towns near the Israeli and Jordanian borders – of which 299 were conducted by the Russian air force and 43 by Syrian pilots. Nawa, a town opposite the Israeli Golan border took the heaviest bombardment. Continue reading

More Countries Start Exploring Alternatives to the US World Order

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There are two countries that more than others show how the Western world order is undergoing a profound change. Japan and Turkey occupy two distinct and diverse geographical areas, yet they share many of the same strategic choices about their future. Their geopolitical trajectory is increasingly drifting away from Washington and moving closer to China, Russia, India and Iran.

Both Japan and Turkey are two important states in the US’s strategy for controlling the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Both countries have economies that are competitive in comparison to their neighbors, and both often conveniently find themselves allied to countries within Washington’s orbit. Japan has a good relationship with South Korea, and Turkey (until a few years ago) had a privileged relationship with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Keeping in mind that the US aims to prolong and consolidate its regional dominance, Washington has always tried to have excellent relations with these two countries as a way of ensuring its constant presence in regional affairs. Continue reading

Trump Administration Weighing Underground Military Force

General Mark Milley

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DIA Director: Subterranean fighting ‘something we’ll have to contend with’

Speaking at the Defense One Tech Summit in Washington, D.C., Army Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley said the U.S. military is discussing the elevation of subterranean operations to an official warfighting domain—alongside air, land, maritime, space, and cyber. Continue reading

Russia Analytical Report, June 18-25, 2018

This Week’s Highlights:

  • U.S. commanders are worried that if they had to head off a conflict with Russia, the most powerful military in the world could get stuck in a traffic jam, writes Michael Birnbaum for The Washington Post. The delays could enable Russia to seize NATO territory in the Baltics while U.S. Army planners were still filling out the 17 forms needed to cross Germany and into Poland.
  • U.S. President Bill Clinton and his advisers naively challenged Russia’s security perimeter, not realizing that “each inch of eastward expansion was bound to increase Russian distrust of the West,” writes Professor Melvyn Leffler, quoting from Ben Steil’s new book. Steil, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that whereas the architects of the Marshall Plan and NATO “acknowledged that a line was being drawn, and were willing to bear the necessary costs to defend it,” the Clinton administration “was denying the line’s existence.” Continue reading