South China Sea Gets Hotter

We have a new president and it is time for me to return to my main focus of this blog….international situations and conflict.

For years now the South China Sea has been a region of contention……China claims islands….other countries as well think a bunch of island belong to them…..the US has responded to this possible threat by sending a naval group to patrol the region.

A U.S. aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas”, the U.S. military said on Sunday, at a time when tensions between China and Taiwan have raised concern in Washington.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defence identification zone in the vicinity of the Pratas Islands.

The U.S. military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which is claimed by China, to conduct routine operations “to ensure freedom of the seas, build partnerships that foster maritime security”.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-usa-idUSKBN29T05J

China has now made the region a bit more dangerous.

China’s legislature passed a law on Friday that gives its coast guard more freedom to fire on foreign vessels. According to the text of the law released by China’s Xinhua, it aims to safeguard “national sovereignty, security and maritime rights.”

The law allows China’s Coast Guard to take “all necessary means”, including the use of weapons, to stop or prevent threats from foreign vessels. The law will allow the coast guard to stop and board vessels in China’s “jurisdictional waters.”

China’s Coast Guard is relatively young, having formed in 2013 after previously being part of Beijing’s People’s Armed Police. The new law gives China’s Coast Guard an authority most country’s coast guards have. Still, the law is significant because of China’s maritime disputes in the South and East China Seas, disputes that the US has involved itself in.

In the South China Sea, Beijing and several Southeast Asian countries have overlapping claims. Since 2015, the US began sailing warships near Chinese-claimed waters in the region, maneuvers that were stepped up during the Trump administration and will likely continue under President Biden.

In the East China Sea, China and Japan both claim the Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyus in China. Japan currently administers the uninhabited islands. Chinese coast guard vessels were recently spotted in waters near the Senkakus, which drew condemnation from Tokyo.

After winning the November presidential election, Joe Biden assured Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide that the Senkakus are covered under the US-Japan mutual defense treaty.

Back in October, then-National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien announced that the US Coast Guard was deploying ships to the Western Pacific. It’s not clear how far west the cutters have sailed, but O’Brien cited Beijing as the reason for the deployment, so there’s a chance the US Coast Guard can cross paths with China’s coast guard.

(antiwar.com)

All it would take is one incident and this could become another endless conflict that we have found this nation fighting.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Please Pull The Plug On Israel

NOTE: I am not anti Jewish this post is about actions of the Israeli government and some of the right radical citizens.

Since 1967 I have had an extreme dislike for the state of Israel….it began with the murderous attack on the naval vessel USS Liberty that killed many of its crew and it continued with the barbarous treatment of the Palestinian people……they treat minorities like shit.

I do not understand the moronic loyalty of the US and some of its people to a state that has one of the worse civil rights records in the world. and our government that seems to kiss ass whenever Israel is around.

Then there all the lies that Israel has spread about Iran seemingly to lather up the US into some sort of military action directed at the country.

Now Israel is threatening (as it seemingly does every year) to attack Iran….

According to a report from the Israel Hayom, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is drawing up plans for an attack on Iran’s nuclear program.

The report said IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi asked the military for three proposals to hit the nuclear program. The Hayom did not elaborate on the proposals but did say one of them included a military strike.

The Hayom said the military option would require Israel to invest more money into its military and quoted Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. “It is clear that Israel needs to have a military option on the table. It requires resources and investment, and I am working to make that happen,” he said.

The Israelis say they are responding to increased uranium enrichment recently announced by Iran.

Iran said they are increasing uranium enrichment to 20 percent to make fuel rods for the Tehran Research Reactor, a facility that was built by the US in the 1960s. Despite sensationalist headlines in Western media, the increased enrichment has a civilian purpose and does not indicate the Iranians are racing towards a bomb.

Iran’s parliament passed a law calling for increased enrichment after the November assassination of scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who killed in an apparent Israeli plot. So it was Israeli aggression that ultimately led to the increased enrichment that Israel is now making threats over.

The Hayom report came a day after a minister from Israel’s Likud party threatened to attack Iran if the Biden administration returns to the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?

Now they want to dictate our foreign policy?

Who do they think they are?

Any debt the world felt they owed to Israel has been paid in full by ten-fold….it is time to stop treating them with kid gloves and time for then start behaving like a civilized nation.

Time has come for the US to cut the apron strings and take control of that situation.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden Nominates Another Hawk

I have watching and writing about the nominations within the Biden admin….so far I have seen nothing that would lead me to believe that our interventionist policies will NOT change.

He has tapped Samantha Power, a hawk, to run USAID…..

Joe Biden announced that he will nominate Samantha Power to head the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Power served as ambassador to the UN for President Obama from 2013 to 2017. Before that, she worked on Obama’s National Security Council, where she played an instrumental role in pushing for US intervention in Libya in 2011.

Power argued in favor of US intervention in Libya under the guise of protecting human rights and preventing genocide. She was joined in her crusade by then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Susan Rice, who served as the UN ambassador at the time.

Reports from 2011 say the pressure from Power, Rice, and Clinton is what led Obama to intervene militarily in Libya, even though his other top advisors were against it. Then-Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates would later say that in a “51 to 49” decision, Obama decided to bomb Libya.

The US-NATO intervention in Libya that led to the brutal murder of former Libyan ruler Moammar Gaddafi was an absolute disaster. Destabilizing Libya turned the country into a haven for al-Qaeda-linked militants, resulted in targeted killings of black Africans, sparked a refugee crisis in North Africa, and even led to the creation of slave markets.

For her efforts in convincing Obama to destroy Libya, Power was promoted. As the US ambassador to the UN, Power advocated for US intervention in Syria and stood by as the Obama administration backed the Saudis in their brutal war against Yemen’s Houthis.

While Powers has since taken a public stance against the war in Yemen, she omitted her early role in supporting the vicious war from her memoir that was published in 2019. In the book, Power defended her decision to intervene in Libya and argued that more intervention in Syria could have prevented some of the war’s atrocities.

While it’s not exactly a national security position, Power will have a lot of influence on foreign policy from her future role as the head of USAID. The agency is often used to fund US regime change efforts. For example, in September 2019, USAID announced it would be providing $52 million to Juan Guaido, who the US recognizes as president of Venezuela, despite the fact that Nicolas Maduro holds the office. Earlier in 2019, the US supported Guaido in a failed coup attempt.

(antiwar.com)

So far I am unimpressed by the picks of Biden….but none of it was a surprise to me.

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Iran And The Smell Of War

Only days left in office……would Trump start a war just for the hell of it?

US President Donald Trump could take “reckless” military action against Iran in his final days in office, experts have warned, as tensions between Tehran and Washington mount on the eve of the first anniversary of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani’s assassination.

Trump has sent B-52s and aircraft group to the Gulf as a preparatory exercise just in case….

It looks like a threat to most…..

No one thought President Donald Trump would leave quietly. But would he go so far as to start a military confrontation with Iran on his way out? 

Recent military movements by the Pentagon in the Middle East (ostensibly to deter Iran from attacking American troops on the anniversary of the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani), combined with Israeli media reports that Saudi Arabi and Israel are pressing Trump to bomb Iran before he leaves office, has fueled speculation that Trump may be planning his biggest — and likely most disastrous — stunt yet.

Trump has made more threats of war against Iran than any other country during his four years as President. As late as last month, he ordered the military to prepare options against Iranian nuclear facilities. Though the New York Times reported that Trump’s aides derailed those plans, U.S. troop movements in the past few weeks may suggest otherwise. 

Since October, the Pentagon has deployed 2,000 additional troops as well as an extra squadron of fighter planes to Saudi Arabia. It has also sent B-52 bombers on missions in the Persian Gulf three times, kept the USS Nimitz close to Iran, and announced that it is sending a Tomahawk-firing submarine just outside of Iranian waters. Moreover, Israel — whose officials have confirmed to several U.S. newspapers that it was behind the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last month — has sent a nuclear-equipped submarine to the Persian Gulf.

Officially, all of these military maneuvers are aimed at “deterring” Iran, even though Israel assassinated an Iranian official in Iran and not the other way around. “The United States continues to deploy combat-ready capabilities into the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to deter any potential adversary, and make clear that we are ready and able to respond to any aggression directed at Americans or our interests,” said Marine Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, chief of U.S. Central Command, according to the Washington Post.

Iran attack may be next in Trump’s farewell bag of tricks

In response to the US threats Iran has announced the enriching of uranium…..

In the biggest violation yet of an international nuclear agreement, Iran is going ahead with enriching its uranium to 20% purity. A nuclear bomb requires 90% purity, but the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 had limited enrichment levels to less than 4%, the BBC reports. Iran has violated provisions of the deal since President Trump restored sanctions and pulled the US out of the agreement in 2018, such as increasing enrichment of uranium to 4.5%. But 20% enrichment would be the high point since the deal took effect, per NPR. Iran signaled that it would take this step last month. The International Atomic Energy Agency said the enrichment will take place at Iran’s Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant, which is built under a mountain near the city of Qom.

The agency said its inspectors “have regular access to Fordow,” but Iran has said it will prevent inspections if oil and banking sanctions aren’t lifted by February. The UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China want the nuclear deal fully restored. President-elect Joe Biden has said he’d favor that if Iran is in “strict compliance” with the agreement. And Iranian Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that if Biden “returns to the situation as it was in 2017, then so will we.” But the agency’s director general said last month that that might not be possible. “I cannot imagine that they are going simply to say, ‘We are back to square one’ because square one is no longer there,” Rafael Mariano Grossi said.

Is this a ply by Iran to stop the US from acting irresponsibly?

Will this announcement be the excuse be used to actually attack Iran?

One finally question what happened?  They will enrich their uranium to 20% and it takes 90% for a bomb….but after all the bullshit spread by warmongers both here and Israel I thought they were already producing nuke weapons…….so does that mean we have been lied to all these years?

If they spy on their best friend could they also incite an attack?

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused Israel of plotting attacks in Iraq against the US to provoke a military confrontation between Iran and the US.

“New intelligence from Iraq indicate that Israeli agent-provocateurs are plotting attacks against Americans—putting an outgoing Trump in a bind with a fake casus belli,” Zarif wrote on Twitter. “Be careful of a trap, @realDonaldTrump. Any fireworks will backfire badly, particularly against your same BFFs,” he added.

Zarif’s tweet came on the eve of the anniversary of the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, which was marked on Sunday. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary, US officials have been warning of imminent Iranian attacks in Iraq. For their part, Iran has urged caution and warned its Iraqi allies not to provoke the US, hoping to avoid a war with the US before Trump leaves office.

An Israeli official dismissed Zarif’s comments. Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz called the claim “nonsense” in an interview on Sunday. While Israel may not be plotting to attack the US, the Israelis did choose to escalate tensions in the region, being the likely perpetrator of the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

(antiwar.com)

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Turkey And The US

Turkey is an NATO ally….an ally that we are having problems with their policies…..this illustrates the weakness within the ranks of NATO.

The US is attempting to “whack the pee-pee” of Turkey disobeying the desires of the US.

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Turkey Monday after the latter tested S-400 missile defense batteries it purchased from Russia. Washington says the S-400 technology could pose a threat to equipment used by the NATO alliance, of which Ankara is a member. Turkey denounced the Trump administration’s decision, saying it bought the S-400 batteries only because the U.S. blocked it from acquiring the Patriot missile defense system on its desired terms. Officials said Ankara would “retaliate in a manner and timing it deems appropriate,” leading to speculation that it might stop letting U.S. forces use Incirlik air base, for instance. The incoming Biden administration’s attitude toward this issue remains to be seen, says Crisis Group expert Berkay Mandiraci. But for the time being the sanctions threaten to have serious negative long-term implications for Turkey’s defense industry. Meanwhile, whether the U.S. eventually lifts the penalties or expands them, the fact of them will continue to strain Turkey-U.S. ties. 

(antiwar.com)

Economic warfare has begun between the US and Turkey…..

The Turkish-American marriage, solemnized by Ankara’s accession to NATO in 1952, is on the rocks. The partners were ill-matched from the beginning but stayed together so long as the Soviet threat loomed and the Turkish military was in charge.

The Evil Empire, as Ronald Reagan characterized it, disappear more than three decades ago. Nearly two decades of rule by Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have transformed Turkey. In Abraham Lincoln’s enduring words, the resulting “passion” has strained the “bonds of affection” between the two nations to the breaking point and perhaps beyond. The incoming Biden administration should stop treating Ankara as an ally and instead recognize it as the independent and often hostile power that it has become.

US Goes to Economic War Against NATO Ally Turkey: Time for a Civil Divorce?

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said sanctions were “inexplicable” after Washington repeatedly rejected Ankara’s offer to form a joint working group. It called on its NATO ally to revise the “unjust” decision that will harm bilateral ties.

How far will this “war” escalate?

Will Turkey survive as a NATO member?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Iran And Nukes And Sanctions

The news is that the new president, Joe Biden, will return to the nuke deal with the Iranians……but what will all that mean after the gutting of a deal from the Trump clowns?

Iran has stated that they will return to the table as soon as the US does….

Reiterating his desire to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that Tehran could come into compliance with the agreement within an hour of the US doing so.

Rouhani also said that Iran would not accept any preconditions for returning to the deal, known as the JCPOA, including limitations on Iran’s ballistic missile program.

(antiwar.com)

The IAEA has said to return to the Nuke deal would require a new agreement…..

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog told Reuters in an interview published on Thursday that a new agreement would be needed to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

Over the past year, Iran began gradually violating its commitments to the JCPOA, a response to the US unilaterally withdrawing from the deal in 2018 by reimposing sanctions. Iran’s president and other officials insist these violations are easily reversible and that Iran can quickly come back into compliance in exchange for sanctions relief. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) seems to disagree.

“I cannot imagine that they are going simply to say, ‘We are back to square one’ because square one is no longer there,” Rafael Grossi told Reuters. “There is more (nuclear) material, … there is more activity, there are more centrifuges, and more are being announced. So what happens with all this?”

Iran’s public stance on the deal is that they will not negotiate any new arrangements with Washington until the US lifts sanctions and returns to its commitments under the JCPOA. For his part, Joe Biden has said he plans to work with Iran to return to the JCPOA and then negotiate a follow-on deal on top of it. Biden’s plan seems like it could be acceptable with Tehran, but Grossi’s comments are a sign of the complications ahead.

(antiwar.com)

Will the sanctions against Iran be rolled back by the Biden Admin.?

According to a report from Reuters, the incoming Biden administration will continue to use sanctions as a foreign policy weapon, a favorite tool of President Trump.

Sources told Reuters that when Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20th, he will immediately begin to reshape US foreign policy but will take time to deliberate over sanctions on top targets like China and Iran.

The report raises questions about Biden’s Iran policy. The former vice president has said he plans to work with the Islamic Republic to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, which would require the US to lift sanctions.

The report said Biden will sort through the Trump administration’s sanctions to decide what will be kept in place and what could be lifted. The sources said that while his strategy might be slightly different, Biden will make it clear that sanctions are still on the table.

“It won’t be a pullback or a push forward,” one source close to Biden’s transition team told Reuters. “It will be a readjustment in the use of the sanctions tool.”

Some changes Biden could make, according to the sources, are lifting sanctions on the International Criminal Court that the Trump administration slapped on over the court’s investigation of US war crimes in Afghanistan. Biden could also increase sanctions on Russia for its alleged role in the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.
(antiwar.com)

This will be an interesting test for the Biden policies…..I think he will try hard to make his own way….but will it succeed?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Is It An Assassination?

The recent assassination of an Iranian scientist made me think about the term and the use of the policy by the US (and yes I know the latest assassination was carried out by Israel…get over it)…..I have written about this policy before….https://lobotero.com/2017/05/19/is-assassination-by-another-name-the-same/

It all began with Pres. Ford in 1976…..

Executive Order 11905, executive order issued February 19, 1976, by U.S. President Gerald Ford, which prohibited any member of the U.S. government from engaging or conspiring to engage in any political assassination anywhere in the world. Promulgated in the wake of revelations that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had attempted to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the 1960s, it was the first executive order to ban assassinations. It was successively superseded by Executive Order 12036 (issued by President Jimmy Carter on January 26, 1978) and Executive Order 12333 (issued by President Ronald Reagan on December 4, 1981), both of which affirmed the ban in the same language, which differed only slightly from that of Ford’s order.

Because none of the three orders defined the term assassination, the scope of the prohibition has been variously interpreted, some interpretations implying that it is operative only during peacetime. That reading was supported by Ford’s Special Message to the Congress, which accompanied his executive order, in which he stated that he would “support legislation making it a crime to assassinate or attempt or conspire to assassinate a foreign official in peacetime.” It is worth noting that only Ford’s order referred to “political assassination,” whereas Carter’s and Reagan’s used the term assassination only. It is unclear whether that change in language indicated any change in the scope of the ban.

https://www.britannica.com/event/Executive-Order-11905

Since none of the EOs defined what an assassination is…..I will step forward and do it for you…..

The official definition is…”the act of assassinating someone”…..vague huh?

Then how about assassinate?  It is a verb….to kill suddenly or secretively, especially a politically prominent person; murder premeditatedly and treacherously.

Now you have a grasp at what the definition of the term/s means……we shall continue…..

I bring all this up to help my reader understand that the US and its allies have sunk into the realm of gangsterism with their assassinations of people…..it has become one of the US major foreign policy situations…..

“Targeted killings” on an individual or mass basis may appear to be a way of tipping the balance towards whatever country has decided to go into the assassination business. The killing of Yitzhak Rabin did matter for the future of the Israelis and the Palestinians, but this was the act of a single fanatic and not of a government. Few other assassinations in the Middle East have had much long-term impact, contrary to the cinematic view of a world where Mr Bigs, like Goldfinger or Dr No, are evil masterminds whose elimination will make a difference. In the real world, figures like Fakhrizadeh and Soleimani can always be replaced.

Generals and politicians once imagined that campaigns to kill the local leaders of insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq would open the door to victory. But they found that “night raids” enraged local communities and dead leaders were swiftly replaced by angrier and more aggressive substitutes. One such campaign in Iraq led to a sharp jump in attacks on American forces. State-sponsored assassinations employ the methods of gangsterism and discredit and delegitimise those who use them.

Gangsterism as Foreign Policy: Assassinations are Becoming the New Norm

My opinion the state-sponsored murder is not lawful and should be  referred to the International court……there should be NO justification of wanton murder…..and there are those laws that should prevail…..

Murder is not justifiable…..

Murder is not morally justifiable. Self-defense may be argued if the victim has knowledge which may destroy the resistance organization if divulged. Assassination of persons responsible for atrocities or reprisals may be regarded as just puni shment. Killing a political leader whose burgeoning career is a clear and present danger to the cause of freedom may be held necessary.

https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB4/ciaguat2.html

There are those, like me, that want some form of legal action…..

https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1601&context=yjil

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Is There A Conflict Countdown?

In the last few years there seems to be a ever perpetuating story that our next “big” war will be with China…..it all started with Obama, at least in the media and gained ground with Trump and now with the incoming president Biden…..the military has been feeding this scenario as well as the intel community…..

And now a top military commander is throwing fuel on the war fire….

America’s military priority in the coming years? China, China, and China—or so says the top US military commander. Speaking at a Wall Street Journal summit Tuesday, Army Gen. Mark Milley said China is aiming to equal America’s military might by 2035 and be ready to win a war against the US by midcentury. “They are on a path to try to do that,” Milley said. “It is certainly a significant security challenge for the United States now and in the years to come.” He added that the “great-power competition” between China and the US should not “turn into a great-power war. That would be a disaster.” Seapower Magazine quotes him as saying the Pentagon can offset Chinese power—and in theory, avoid a war—with a “consistent, predictable” budget boost of roughly 3% to 5%.

But Milley isn’t hopeful: “I don’t see that as a realistic thing in the coming year,” he said. In fact, he foresees Pentagon budget cuts, and favors modernizing forces over keeping current forces up to snuff, mostly to offset a rising China, per ABC News. He also suggested making certain international troop placements—like those in Bahrain or South Korea—rotational or “selective,” in part because such permanent bases reflect an outdated strategy: “I think that is something that needs a hard, hard look,” he said. “Much of that is a derivative of where World War II ended.” He also feared that US noncombatants, like family members, could get trapped if war breaks out between the Koreas. “I have a problem with that,” he said.

Trump’s DNI had thrown fuel on the fire awhile back…..

The nation’s top intelligence official just unloaded on China in unusual fashion. “The People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II,” writes director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Beijing’s leaders, he asserts, aim to dominate the US and the rest of the world on everything from the military to the economy to technology, and they are “preparing for an open-ended period of confrontation with the US.” China, he adds, “should be America’s primary national security focus going forward.”

  • Rarity: It is “exceedingly rare for the head of the US intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power,” writes Mike Allen at Axios. Such assessments are typically made to the president and lawmakers behind closed doors.
  • Why? It’s seen as part of a push by the Trump administration to ramp up the case against China before President Trump leaves office. As Bloomberg puts it, the administration wants to “lock in its policies and posture toward China” and make it more difficult for Joe Biden to unwind them. The Hill notes that US-China relations have soured on a number of fronts, including over COVID, trade, and the South China Sea.

Biden is no different…he also wants to keep this storyline active (at least for now)……

  • What Biden says: In an interview with the New York Times, Biden says he has no plans to immediately loosen tariffs put into place by Trump. First, he wants to consult with other nations. “The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our—or at least what used to be our—allies on the same page,” he says. “It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency.”
  • No leverage: Biden also told the Times that dealing with China requires leverage, and “in my view, we don’t have it yet.” He says his goal will “be to pursue trade policies that actually produce progress on China’s abusive practices—that’s stealing intellectual property, dumping products, illegal subsidies to corporations,” etc.
  • Assessment: Biden’s comments suggest that he “is focused on picking his spots with Beijing, shoring up alliances and US national power first, rather than rushing to accommodate a Chinese government that seems to think the burden for detente lies entirely with Washington,” writes David Wertime at Politico. “Friends and allies concerned about a US over-correction on China must be feeling some relief.”

I wrote in the past about the possibilities of the next war…….https://lobotero.com/2020/09/22/could-the-us-lose-the-next-big-war/

The next question should be…..could the US win the next ‘big’ war without the use of nukes?

Any sensible discussion of what a hypothetical World War III might look like needs to begin with the sheer size and force of America’s military assets. For all that China and Russia are arming up on various measures, US commanders have the power to dominate escalating crises and counter opposing forces before they can be used.

Take missile warfare alone. The US Navy already has 4,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the Navy and Air Force are currently taking delivery of 5,000 JASSM conventional cruise missiles with ranges from 200-600 miles. Barely visible to radar, these are designed to destroy “hardened” targets such as nuclear missile silos. Russia and China, by contrast, have nothing of equivalent quantity or quality with which to threaten the US mainland.

https://theconversation.com/could-the-us-win-world-war-iii-without-using-nuclear-weapons-94771

Will the China bashing continue with the new president?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Peace Through Bribery?

I am a cheer leader for diplomacy…I feel that negotiations is far superior than the use of force….but Trump’s idea of diplomacy is that of bribery…..especially when it comes to the state of Israel.

For 60+ years no Arab nation has been on good terms with Israel….and for damn near 100 years the Israelis have been abusing the Palestinians whose land they stole to set up some kingdom in the Middle East.

Enter Trump and his brand of silly diplomacy…..the Saudis get nuke technology if they recognize and formalize relations with Israel….then the UAE gets advanced weaponry to do the same….now Morocco has decided to deal with Israel but only after the Trump admin sends them advanced drones.

Not only do the Moroccans get advanced weaponry but the US will recognize their claim to the Western Sahara….

Reuters cited three anonymous US officials who did not indicate whether the sale was related to the normalization agreement or not. But the UAE is preparing to purchase a $23 billion weapons package as its reward for opening ties with Israel, so advanced military equipment is clearly on the table for Arab countries who take the step to normalize.

The sources said the sale to Morocco would consist of four MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones made by General Atomics with a range of 6,000 nautical miles that can significantly boost Rabat’s surveillance capabilities. While the SeaGuardians can carry a payload, it’s not clear if they will be sold armed.

One of the sources said Congress could be notified of the potential sale as early as Friday. Congress could potentially block the deal, but the source said that is not expected. On Thursday, the Senate failed to pass resolutions that aimed to stop the UAE weapons sales.

As a reward for agreeing to normalize with Israel, the US recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara. Morocco annexed the territory after the Spanish withdrew from the region in 1975. Rabat then fought a war with the Polisario Front, a group that represents the indigenous Sahrawi people, to control the territory until a ceasefire was reached in 1991.

(antiwar.com)

The Polisario Front declared the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in 1976, a de facto state in Western Sahara. The SADR is a member of the African Union and maintains diplomatic relations with about 40 UN member states. Currently, the SADR controls about 20 percent of Western Sahara, and Morocco controls the rest. The UN recognizes neither the SADR nor Moroccan sovereignty over the region.

In a deal brokered by United States President Donald Trump’s outgoing administration, Morocco became the latest Arab country to normalise ties with Israel.

As part of the agreement announced on Thursday, Trump agreed to recognise Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara, where there has been a decades-old dispute with Morocco pitted against the Polisario Front.

The Algeria-backed breakaway movement Polisario Front seeks to establish an independent state in the region.

Western Sahara has been on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories, a stance also taken by the African Union, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), as well as the European Union.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/11/western-sahara-conflict-in-500-words

Once again the US NO LONGER stands for democracy and the right of self-determination.

I have given my thoughts many times on the situation in Western Sahara…..for further information please read….

https://lobotero.com/2011/06/15/where-is-western-sahara/

https://lobotero.com/2015/11/10/western-sahara-and-the-sahrawi/

https://lobotero.com/2018/04/30/western-sahara-update/

This is just the opposite of what diplomacy is meant to accomplish…..these decisions will increase the possibility of more and more violence.

Hopefully a new admin will turn back the stupidity of the Trump days…..I doubt it but I can hope.

https://www.britannica.com/place/Western-Sahara

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US MUST Ask Permission?

We have a new president and he has said that he would return to the deal made with Iran and their pursuit of nukes…..Joe Biden still says he will work with Iran to return to the JCPOA. In an interview last week, Biden said he would return to the deal and work on follow-on negotiations for a stricter agreement that covers Iran’s ballistic missile program.

This is a good thing IMO…..but Saudi Arabia has said that the US must ask the Saudis before they return to the table…..

Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan is warning that any move to rejoin the Iran deal could only be sustainable if Biden consults with the Gulf Arab states first. He added he is “ready to engage” when Biden takes office.

The incoming administration hasn’t commented, but there are reasons to doubt this happening. The talks would be high risk for little reward, as the Saudis are almost certain to remain opposed to the deal, and the US oughtn’t give the impression they need a Saudi imprimatur to make the move.

The new administration may feel it is only courteous to keep the Saudis in the loop, but would want to make clear they aren’t asking permission. This is particularly true in the case of an early deal, as Biden will want to stake out a more independent foreign policy than his predecessor.

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?

Ask permission?

Who do this pack of barbarians think they are?

I sat f*ck the Saudis ans well as I say f*ck Israel…..none of these d/bags should have any say on what our policies will be.

The arrogance of these two POS countries need to get a grip…..

Will US bow and scrap to these murdering bastards….or will we show them the door?

And now I can add Morocco to the list of barbaric nations we should avoid.

Israel and Morocco have agreed to normalize relations, President Trump said Thursday, marking the fourth Arab-Israeli agreement in four months. As part of the deal announced near the end of Trump’s term, the United States will recognize Morocco’s claim over the disputed Western Sahara region, per the AP. Trump said Israel and Morocco would restore diplomatic and other relations, including the immediate reopening of liaison offices in Tel Aviv and Rabat and the eventual opening of embassies. US officials said there would be joint overflight rights for airlines. The White House said Trump and Morocco’s King Mohammed VI had agreed that Morocco would “resume diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel and expand economic and cultural cooperation to advance regional stability.”

 
 

 

 

 

“Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations—a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!” Trump tweeted. The US will recognize Morocco’s claim over Western Sahara, the former Spanish territory in North Africa where a long-running dispute has confounded international negotiators for decades. Morocco is the fourth Arab nation to recognize Israel as the Trump administration seeks to expand a diplomatic framework that began over the summer with an agreement between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates. Bahrain and Sudan followed suit, and administration officials have also been trying to bring Saudi Arabia into the grouping. (New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is no fan of Trump, but he likes this Mideast progress.)

Friedman?  He is a staunch advocate or Israel and a war hawk….so I take everything he say s as pure bullshit.

More on this situation later….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”