Beyond the Cusp

February 22, 2018

Iranian Nuclear War with Israel or the World

 

After reading Professor Louis René Beres’s article “Looking Ahead: Longer Term Prospects for an Israel-Iran Nuclear War” we found some additional aspects which were either dismissed or ignored. We decided that perhaps we could add some information by looking more closely at the Iranian perspectives and what these should mean to Israeli planners. The one item with which we took the most critical concern was his statement, “In essence, there are no conceivable experts on fighting a nuclear war, not in Washington, not in Pyongyang, not in Jerusalem, not in Tehran.” He also postulated that, “Insofar as a nuclear war has never been fought, what will be needed is more broadly intellectual guidance than Israel should ever reasonably expect from even its most senior and accomplished military officers.” The reality is that senior officers often have educations equal to that of many professors and their minds are just as keen and capable of any academic. We will grant that officers exist who are nowhere near the expert of some academics, but mostly those are junior officers and by the time an officer makes Full Bird Colonel they have at the least a Bachelor’s degree and probably a Master’s degree and many a General will have a Doctorate in at least one field from Military History to Mathematics, Physics and possibly Nuclear Physics. They will all have taken courses in Military Tactics, as even Noncommissioned officers are required to take such courses. They will have been required to take a number of command courses and often have attended some very rigorous military training courses which is how they get those impressive patches such as Ranger, Airborne and even Special Forces or Seals in the United States. So, to be honest, there are likely very few professors or other experts who would be better trained, educated and able to make the decisions and make plans to handle any threat including, or even especially, a nuclear standoff or even an actual nuclear exchange.

 

Professor Beres also said that there had never been a nuclear war, but that is technically not entirely valid as the War with Japan at the end of World War II was ended by the use of nuclear weapons which kind of means that the War with Japan did turn into the first, and thus far, only nuclear war. That was a completely one sided nuclear exchange as Japan had no nuclear weapons with which to respond which is what made the American use on Hiroshima and Nagasaki so effective. Fortunately, the Japanese did not know that the United States had used every nuclear weapon at their disposal and did not posses a third weapon. Had Japan tested the resolve of President Truman, the American’s next move was to build fifty additional nuclear weapons in the ensuing year and strike Japan with most of them in simultaneous strikes including Tokyo and a number of nuclear weapons into Mount Fuji in the hopes of causing a massive eruption. This was not much of a lesson for a nuclear standoff between two nuclear-armed adversaries. Such a standoff has limited lessons to teach us with only two which come to mind. The minor one has been the battle of the boasting idiots between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. Deciding which one is the larger idiot would be a difficult call but we would have to side with Kim Jong-un if he honestly believes he is a man-god and that his nation is as happy and well off as any other on the face of the planet. All he would need do is look southward to the Winter Olympics in South Korea to see that his nation is in dire shape and has some extreme problems. But then he knows this and this was what caused him to test President Trump and pressure the world with threats trying to force them to treat his temper tantrum by sending his beleaguered nation food and money. The more serious standoff between two nuclear powers was the Cuban Missile Crisis. This pitted the United States and President Kennedy against the USSR and Commissar Khrushchev. This standoff ended peaceably but not before nerves throughout the globe was frayed to the breaking point.

 

So, let us now look at what the future nuclear situation might be between Israel and Iran as well as Iran and the rest of the world. The first thing which can be stated, is, that Israel would not be the first to use nuclear weapons except in response to an attack using weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against Israel. Israel has made this their policy on nuclear weapons and their use such that they would only be used in response to a WMD attack. Now, such a nuclear response might be used on Iran if there were a massive WMD attack emanating from Syria or Hezballah which could be traced as being ordered by Iran. Should Iran launch a nuclear or other WMD attack on Israel then an Israeli nuclear response should be expected against Iran and for Israel to go on alert in case of an attack across the northern border from Hezballah or Syria. This covers every use of her nuclear weapons by Israel except for one rumored plan known as the Samson Option, used as the basis of “The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy,” a 1991 book by Seymour Hersh. The theory put forth presumably from an Israeli intelligence source who told of plans that should Israel be facing being overrun and destroyed by invading armies, then she would respond by launching her missiles at the main population centers of numerous Arab and Muslim nations which was hoped to prevent any attacks by Arab armies. The last organized assault on Israel by national military forces was the Yom Kippur War of October 1973, which was before Israel was assumed to have a nuclear arsenal. Since then the Arab world has not launched an assault on Israel using conventional forces and only through terror forces. There may be a question whether Hezballah, with there over one-hundred-thousand rockets and missiles could be considered to be a national type military force equating any attack by Hezballah into an attack by Lebanon and possibly their masters in Tehran thus including Iran? This is a conundrum for the heads of state and the military in Israel and we are not about to second-guess them and will wait for any announced policy. There has been some mention that should Hezballah attack Israel that Israel now considers Hezballah as being the governance of Lebanon and thus any attack by Hezballah would, at the least, be considered an attack by Lebanon.

 

This leaves Iran and what their leadership might be thinking about nuclear confrontations. It was reported by CNN on September 11, 2015, that the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said during a speech that week in Tehran, state-run media report, which translated as, “I’d say (to Israel) that they will not see (the end) of these 25 years.” That, in and of itself, is ominous enough to rattle nerves or it could be written off to bluster meant to impress the Iranian people. One thing people need to understand about the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is that his life revolves around the Quran and it is the Quran which provides him with his authority, gives him authority to make Iranian foreign policy decisions, and allows him great latitude concerning internal decision making within Iran. The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is all but unopposable when it comes to decision making and his word is as good as law. If the Supreme Leader were to order a nuclear attack on Israel, the missiles would be launched within minutes with almost nobody even thinking of questioning these orders. What is unknown is who, other than the Supreme Leader, is able to order such an attack. This is not as well known and there are suspicions that there are some military high level officers who might also be permitted to give such orders including the leader of the IRGC, the special forces and most fanatical of the Iranian military. These are also the forces responsible for foreign operations including terrorist attacks. For our concerns, we will limit our concerns to address just the possibility for the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordering a nuclear strike on Israel or on any other nation.

 

First, let us look at what logic might be used by the Ayatollah. He would be aware that the United States has extended their nuclear umbrella to Israel which would imply that any nuclear attack upon Israel would potentially result in the United States striking back at the attacker. Between Israel and the United States, there is little comparison between their nuclear capabilities as the United States has a far more capable nuclear capability. The first question is whether or not the United States truly would respond as promised to a nuclear strike on Israel. The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has witnessed a number of United States Presidents and has very probably noticed that the level of support Israel receives wavers from President to President, especially under the administration of President Obama. Thus, it is more likely that the Ayatollah would be more likely to consider taking any actions when the United States has a President who has shown preferably hostility to Israel or possibly only an indifference towards Israel and has pressured Israel over the ill-fated peace process. The real problem comes back to the one book which guides the Ayatollahs and much of the higher officers, especially those of the IRGC, which is the Quran. The one command from the Quran which has appeared again and again when it comes to relations towards Israel are two-fold, first, to kill the infidel wherever one finds them, and second, that the hour (end times) will not begin until you fight the Jews. The combination of these two concepts could lead to problems as the Iranian leading Imams and Ayatollahs have repeatedly proposed that Iran was chosen to bring on the coming of the Mahdi and the End Times. They have claimed that should they cause sufficient chaos and follow prescriptions written in the Quran, that they can cause the onset of the End Times and the coming of the Mahdi. This has often been stated to be solely the hope and ideas held by the Twelvers but some in politics have also adopted these ideas in order to gain greater acceptance by the ruling clerics. Many claim that Iran is not ruled by Twelvers though former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad brought this threat to a head and since then there have been more and more in the power structure who have been revealed as Twelvers. The prevalence of the Twelvers would make the leadership more aggressive which could be a problem, a definite problem.

 

Israel and Iran

Israel and Iran

 

What would possibly push a greater threat would be a Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah who came under some suspicions of impropriety or other weakness which might lead them to make a desperate grab at ending the rumors replacing them with a far greater news story. The Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah could be completely above all suspicion; but should the economic situations worsen leading to greater demonstrations and complete civil unrest and the regular military side with the people and the Ayatollahs believe they are losing control of the nation and may soon be deposed, then having nothing further to lose they might take equally desperate moves. Either threat could lead the Iranian leadership to throw everything they have in their arsenals at Israel and potentially also the United States. But no matter what the immediate future will bring, eventually the Ayatollahs will decide to use any weapons they have and in the not too distant future, that will mean nuclear weaponry. The Quran will eventually force the leadership who will be pressed by the IRGC commanders to press their revolution and Israel and Saudi Arabia are the two targets highest on their list. This means that sooner or later the Iranians will launch weapons at Israel. We will grant that this would not happen until Iran had struck Saudi Arabia and taken over Mecca and Medina, the two holy cities of all Islam. They also have desires to take over Egypt and would have to take Turkey so as to place somebody to rule there as President Erdoğan still has dreams to reestablish the Ottoman Empire and as he will support Iran, that will only last for as long as the Iranian dreams of reestablishing the Persian Empire do not interrupt his idea for the Ottoman Empire. There is no way for the two empires to coexist as the Persian Empire included all of Turkey and much of the Ottoman Empire plus, the Ottoman Empire also included Mecca and Medina, something the Iranians already have their own ideas about. The one place where Turkey and Iran will agree is on attacking Israel, providing that Israel will only be striking back at Iran and Turkey can remain unscathed. The problem is that at some point in the future the Iranian Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah will call for an all out attack to destroy Israel and should Israel see a fair number of ballistic missiles headed for Israel launched from Iran, Israel will no longer have time for diplomacy, Israel will need to reply anticipating that the Iranian missiles are tipped with WMD’s and most likely nuclear weapons. We can only hope that before such an eventuality comes to fruition that the people of Iran succeed in replacing their theocratic dictatorship with a true democratic governance which represents the people’s desires and write a constitution which will revitalize the Iranian economic situation and liberate the people from the Ayatollahs and their oppressive rule. We need remember that before the return of the Ayatollahs in 1979, Israel and Iran were friends with embassies and good relations and vital trade. A return to such would be good for Israel, good for Iran and good for both Iranians and Israelis as well as the rest of the Middle East.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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December 3, 2017

Should Israel Ally with Saudi Arabia Over Iran?

 

There have been whispers that there may be a plan taking shape between Israel and Saudi Arabia to try and prevent the obvious moves by Iran to establish themselves as the hegemonic superpower of the Middle East. This has much to do with the Shiite Crescent we have spoken of at length which Iran has put together using the southern three-quarters of Iraq, Lebanon and the soon to be reconstituted Syria of Bashir al-Assad connecting Lebanon with Hezballah into the mix. When one adds Qatar and Yemen where Iran backed Houthis are winning against Saudi Arabian efforts, one can see immediately that Iran has all but surrounded Saudi Arabia against whom Iran has often claimed they desired the Saudi Arabian oil fields as well as taking control over the Holy Cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina which are also part of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian efforts in Yemen had early support from Egypt but President Sisi has enough troubles of his own and pulled out of the efforts in Yemen and began to work more favorably with Turkey and President Erdoğan.

 

An aside, one can only hope that Sisi has since reconsidered any siding with President Erdoğan as such could end up being an ill thought out plan with President Erdoğan appearing to have hegemonic dreams of his own and also having proven not exactly unopposed to siding with Iran when it suits his needs. This could prove particularly dangerous should President Erdoğan promise assistance in the Sinai Peninsula as his offer may have ulterior motives. Additional reasons for Saudi Arabian Royal Family concerns may be tied to the apparent exit by the United States from Syrian and Iraqi support for the Kurdish forces leaving them vulnerable to Iranian allies as well as Turkey’s President Erdoğan, the man who assured President Trump that abandoning the Kurds was necessary unless the United States was ready to support their declaring themselves independent, something both the State Department and Pentagon opposed. The exit by President Trump has left the Saudi Royal family nervous and seeking another power to ally with in order to pose a more formidable opposition force against Iran. This will be double should Turkey actually agree to ally themselves with the resurgent Shiite forces of Iran. That could prove tricky as Turkey is three-quarters Sunni, but then Iran has allied with Sunni Hamas and is wooing Sunni Fatah and PLO all in their effort to also encircle Israel. One can only wonder how long before Iran offers Egypt assistance with their troubles in the Sinai Peninsula as this would give them their final front with Israel and Saudi Arabia plus a direct route for arming Hamas. Iran may also pose a threat to Jordan as Jordan also borders Israel and Saudi Arabia.

 

One last reason for Saudi Arabia to desire allying with Israel is the obvious case that Israel is considered a nuclear armed nation and Iran is a borderline, if not already, nuclear armed state who will likely turn recognized nuclear within the next two to three years. This usually brings up the old story about how Saudi Arabia financed the Pakistani nuclear program and the two nations have an unspoken agreement that Pakistan was to provide Saudi Arabia with plans and as many as a dozen nuclear warheads upon a request from the Saudi Royal Family. That agreement, assuming that it ever existed, may fall upon the old adage of, “What have you done for me lately?” Time has passed and things have changed which means the people who made that long ago agreements have left the scene and the people who replaced them may not be as eager to provide the requested assistance. Probably the most that the Saudi Royal Family should expect might be the schematics and plans for the manufacture of nuclear weaponry and not the actual weapons and as the Pakistanis have very likely long since developed more advanced nuclear weapons including thermonuclear weapons all without Saudi Arabian assistance which probably makes the Pakistani government feel far less indebted to the Saudi Arabian Royal Family for their initial financing of the Pakistani crash effort to respond to the development of nuclear weapons by India. The Saudi Arabian Royal family likely already has checked and realized that their former agreement with Pakistan no longer holds water or nuclear warheads or possibly even the plans for a nuclear warhead or other device. This very probably has not made the Saudi Arabian leaders feel any more secure about the Iranian looming threats.

 

So, Saudi Arabia is facing the reality of the Pakistan deal having gone south, the United States pulling out of every hot spot in the Middle East, Egypt sliding away from the Saudi Royals and inching towards Turkey, feeling the Iranian noose tightening around their necks thus the Saudis are seeking someone, anyone to come and take some of the problem off their shoulders knowing that this time the United States has been caught flat-footed needing a friend badly. Israel is facing much the same problems, as are the Saudi leaders, and likely just as desirous of friends and allies upon which to depend coming to their side immediately. The difference is that Israel has been here before and her faith in Hashem has always provided exactly what the Israelis required. The proof was centered and has given Israel much to think and mull over. The Israelis have faced such a threat before and survived despite all odds. This still leaves much to consider before it is too late.

 

This forced the hand of the Saudi Government to act and seek new directions and friendships. Still, now that we have the time, what should Israel do in order to survive any Iranian threats, something which must be viewed as if being under a microscope? The idea to ally with Saudi Arabia has way too many holes to actually hold much promise. Israel must weigh exactly why they should enter into any relationship, especially with a nation which is still in a state of war with Israel. The Saudi Arabian peninsula has numerous oil fields and a means of gathering the Jews closer together. Israel is dependent on Hashem and need no other protections as Hashem made a promise and will be true to his words. Still, the Israelis will be alone facing a regional super power possibly after Saudi Arabia has been eliminated as one to be reckoned with leaving Israel feeling very vulnerable. Should Israel manage to be in such a position the United States would need to provide assistance though manpower would not necessarily be required. Israel might feel that the current case of threat requires her to rely on another and to seek to find such a nation. Israel has always stood by herself and honestly does not require any additional assistance to face down Iran. Starting to rely on people whom until recently sought her destruction would not be the most prudent of acts.

 

Saudi Arabian and Iranian Maneuvers in Middle East

Saudi Arabian and Iranian Maneuvers in Middle East

 

The leaders of the Arab world now seeking to ally with Israel would turn away the instant the threat has passed. Further, forming an anti-Iran alliance would result in placing Israeli Defense Force soldiers under foreign command. That would be nothing short of suicidal. Israel has an ally in this situation, and that ally is Hashem, just as she has always had. Yes, Israel might be wise to enter into a coalition which would strengthen her position, but should also be careful not to be used simply to strengthen their position leaving Israel with insufficient forces retained for her own defense. Israel has the capacity to defend herself and protect her borders and adding in her ability to launch in kind any strike likely to originate from Iran including nuclear. Israel would, inevitably when push comes to shove, have only herself to defend her people, as none of the Arab world would permit any of their soldiers to fight to protect Jews no matter the situation. Israel must contend with protecting Israel by herself with her own forces and their stamina to go the distance. Israel will have no others on which to defend her when Iran turns her attention to Israel. The sole responsibility for protecting the Israeli people falls to Israel. We do not see Arab forces rushing to our aid in a time of need, but can realize that many would be rushing to join our enemies in the efforts to defeat us.

 

This is part of why Israel must join those who refused Saudi Arabia’s invitation to join forces to fight Iran. One can readily see that the Saudi Arabian leadership would lead the sacrifice of everybody else’s troops before losing a single one of theirs. That is a bad deal, period. Israel should commit to her reliance in Hashem as she has always committed to doing when troubles brewed internally or externally. This next test Israel is facing will be one which tests her faith and at some point, it will take measure of the Jewish People and their collective faith in the Almighty. Should Israel pass this test, then we will know that we are prepared as a People to receive the Messiah and that the time is approaching where the Messiah will finally come to establish the Heavenly Kingdom here on Earth and peace will rule the world over for a very long period. We may very well be on the threshold of the ultimate deliverance of mankind, their final deliverance. We must be prepared for such an eventuality as we need be readied for such a monumental event. The last of our brethren who will be returning to Eretz Yisroel will be gathered to Israel by Hashem and the Messianic Age will be upon all of us with a Heavenly ruler whom we had best not disappoint.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 27, 2017

The State Department is Wrong Again

 

Pay a little attention, President Trump. The State Department has been wrong almost from the very beginning. They advised that the United States follow the European example and pay the protection demands of the Barbary Pirates. President Washington followed their advice and so did President Adams and then came President Jefferson who initially did as the State Department advised and finally, the greatest proponent of isolationism, the man who issued the most ardent Federalist Papers in support of trade with all and ally with none so as to remain free of external entanglements, President Jefferson initiated the first Barbary War ending the demands for tribute and gaining free travel of the sea ways for American ships. In more recent times, the State Department initially advised cooperation with Germany and Italy as well as the French, Russians and British through the 1930’s. After World War II, the State Department advised cooperation and even friendship with the Soviet Union and now they are advising cooperation with Iran and the Arabs over the Kurdish People and are advising the death of Israel with their advice of pursuit of the Two State Solution scenario. We wish to once again add our names and reputations of the people at BTC that the United States takes the first step in the international stage to clearly declare support for the establishing, as stated in the Treaty of Sèvres, a national home for the Kurdish People reestablishing Kurdistan. The Kurdish People lost their homelands at the same time that Israel was conquered by successive empires. In 1948 President Truman went against the advice of the State Department and many other officials and voted for the formation and then recognized the State of Israel, an act which has paid not only the United States, but the world many dividends ever since. Whenever you eat a cherry tomato, think of Israel as they are one of the agricultural ventures from Israel; but we are not here to speak about Israel other than to point out, despite the advice of the swamp led by the State Department, he took the correct actions in 1948 and you have an opportunity to take an almost equally historic action and help with any actions required to assist in the founding of the State of Kurdistan.

 

Founding the State of Kurdistan need not be a force of war as the Kurdish forces already have their own autonomous regions which the United States was supporting. Listening to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a mistake as the man is a liar with delusions of being able to reestablish the Ottoman Empire on the dead bodies of the Kurdish People through genocide just as they settled their differences with the Armenians and Greeks. When President Erdoğan told the world his forces were attacking the Islamic State, they were actually engaging the Kurdish forces as part of his personal hatreds and desire to take their lands. Further, President Erdoğan is very likely to ally with Iran, the very force which needs to be prevented from having a corridor from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. Forming the Kurdish State including Kirkuk and Mosul, traditional Kurdish lands, would weaken the Iranian Crescent (pictured below). And while you are undoing the domestic fouls committed by President Obama such as his main success, Obamacare, his over-regulations, weaponizing the EPA and the IRS and a host of other to do items, would it be possible to also undo the worst real-world sin President Obama committed, destroying the Middle East balance giving the key to the region to the Mullahs of Iran. There will be no preventing Iran becoming a nuclear power within your first term but they do not have to be given the entirety of the Middle East through your inaction. The southern half of Iraq is lost as well due to the early removal of United States forces which permitted the Shiites to take revenge for Saddam Hussein and his years of oppression. They took their vengeance on the Sunni center of the nation and are now doing to the Kurds exactly what Saddam had done with military cleansing areas of traditional Kurdish lands of their Kurdish populations. The United States removal of aid and military backing has only encouraged the stealing of Kurdish lands and encouraged President Erdoğan to attack them from the north while oppressing the Kurds in Turkey. Kurdistan would be another steadfast United States ally much like Israel though they would require some assistance initially but once settled and set with borders recognized, they would be able to protect themselves. The main assistance they would require would be training of pilots and a modern air force for them to fly, modern armored vehicles and weaponry after which they would be self-sufficient. Think of this as an investment in a second and more centrally placed aircraft carrier which does not move.

 

Iranian Crescent Resulting from an Iranian Surge Retaking Syria for Bashir al-Assad Connecting Iran to Mediterranean via Iraq, Syria and Lebanon

Iranian Crescent Resulting from an Iranian Surge
Retaking Syria for Bashir al-Assad Connecting
Iran to Mediterranean via Iraq, Syria and Lebanon

 

There are two main threats building in the world, and for a change, they are not any nation which would have caused fears back last century. Once the United States had removed Saddam Hussein from power, then Iran no longer had their major adversary and saw a potential friend through which they could expand their regional control. The only obstruction Iran faced was the United States forces which were assuring that Iraq remained a stable and open democratic nation and not falling back into sectarian violence. When the United States forces were pulled from Iraq, almost immediately after everything appeared to be in order and peaceful. Soon, almost immediately, after the United States troops were aboard their transports, the Shiite majority turned on their Sunni countrymen. This brought Iranian support to assist their Shiite brothers and secured their central piece of the dreamed of Shiite Crescent. The only necessary requirement for completing their long dreamed of Crescent was the retaining of Syria by Bashir al-Assad, an effort which they had Russian support. The outlook for Syria is that Iran and Assad will soon defeat the remainder of their opposition and return to power. There is another necessity which Iran hopes to include in their area of influence and that is Mosul, the Mosul Hydroelectric Complex and the surrounding oil fields. Traditionally, these would be an area which should be part of Kurdistan and thus by establishing the full region of Kurdistan, the United States would deny Iran one of their desired jewels from the region. Mosul, as well as being host to so many goodies, is also a central hub of major roadways of the northern region (see map below). The Kurds had protected their autonomous zone which included Mosul and Kirkuk and were comfortable and stable until the United States recently announced their pulling of their assistance to the Kurds. Immediately thereafter the Iraqi military assisted by IRGC* forces provided by Iran has pushed the Kurdish forces from the areas south of and in Mosul all the way out of Mosul and northward and appear next to be targeting Kirkuk. This is a repeat of the United States pull out of Iraq under President Obama which resulted in the formation of ISIS. This time it will result in a triumphant Iran taking hegemonic control of the central Middle East from the Indian Ocean through most, possibly all, of Iraq plus Syria and Lebanon.

 

Mosul Central Road Hub of the North

Mosul Central Road Hub of the North

 

What harm, as Iran already controls most of this land already, would establishing a small retreat of Kurdistan do to blunt the Iranian hegemony? First, let’s say the United States introduces the Kurdish State and stations two fairly large bases, one an Army and Air Force Base much like many of these type bases in the United States and another one for the Marines including a Marine Air Wing. As Kurdistan would be a landlocked nation, there would be no need for Naval personnel other than a self-supporting Marine Base. This would place United States forces and bases for fast-deployed strike forces in the heart of the Middle East. The existence of Kurdistan would also provide Israel with an ally and potential air base which would allow their pilots to have another place to land in emergencies. Kurdistan would be a check on hegemony by Iran, check Turkey and Erdoğan’s designs on restoring an empire, and provide a real United States ally in which the United States forces would be welcome and not seen as intruders tolerated in order to allow influence as in Yemen and Qatar, both Iranian allies and thus unlikely to remain friendly once Iran decides the entire Middle East is their playground and there is no room for other forces. This will be the day when the United States will be forced from Yemen and Qatar and after which Iran will set upon Saudi Arabia.

 

We asked not long ago, who would start World War III. We have one scenario which might be exactly how it could start, and it does not include Saudi Arabia. Very possibly Iran might attack Saudi Arabia before World War III actually starts. The United States is close to self-sufficient when it comes to oil, gas and energy production. Russia would not worry about Saudi Arabia falling to Iran as Iran is presumably aligned with them through the Syrian debacle. Further, such an occurrence could only result in a marked increase in the price of a barrel of oil which would make Russia solvent, something they would not be too opposed to if not actually pleased. And Iran is their friend, or so they might believe. But if they are on the same side, why is Russian President Putin seemingly nervous about his friends from Iran? Putin realizes that the Iranians do not view Russia as anything more than a tool in their toolbox, a temporary tool which they will discard when it is no longer serving any purpose. Putin also realizes that his interest in Syria overlaps with the Iranian interest in Syria, specifically, naval bases. Russia needed naval facilities which had access to the Atlantic Ocean and the Syrian Mediterranean Sea which Syria provided. Iran is also seeking naval bases in the Mediterranean Sea. This will lead to an altercation eventually even if Iran was required to instigate said conflict. President Trump is transfixed on North Korea and cannot see the threat posed by Iran. North Korea is not capable of world conquest and makes threats in order to force financial assistance and concessions from other governments, usually targeting the United States mainly. North Korea largely threatens South Korea and secondarily Japan. The main damper on any threats posed by North Korea is not, as President Trump likely believes, the United States but rather is someone much closer, China and Russia. North Korea is almost completely dependent upon China and Russia for their trade, especially China when it comes to North Korean oil. Secondarily they export minerals and other raw materials and limited produced goods including textiles. China has the single most influence upon North Korea, as they are their greatest provider of food such as grains and other vital goods. The United States barely has any trade with North Korea and thus is limited in influence other than threats which Kim Jong-un does not believe are real as he judges the United States from what he observed during the administration of President Obama and the fading red line in Syria and the collapse in negotiating with Iran where the only bullying was against Israel. The United States is a paper military in the eyes of Kim Jong-un and he has complete faith that any posturing by President Trump is all boast and no teeth. This has allowed all his bluster and placing of military assets in the area as empty threats which have all been simply for show and no real threat exists. This has emboldened North Korea and it has only been since the agreeing by China to join in the sanctions that had Kim Jong-un realize that he was facing a serious threat, China working with President Trump.

 

Meanwhile, Iran has watched President Obama fold before the negotiators, promise Russian President Medvedev of being more flexible after his reelection and both President Obama and Trump pulling out of the Middle East with President Obama pulling out from Iraq gifting the entirety of the nation to the Shiites and Iran with the exception of the Kurdish regions. Now Iran is watching as the United States pulls their support for the Kurds leaving them to fall prey to Iranian and Iraqi Shiite forces pushing them from Northern Iraq while Turkey and Bashir al-Assad are forcing them from northern Syria and Turkey is possibly making plans to remove all Kurds from all lands controlled by Turkey much as the Ottomans removed Armenian Christians from the northern areas of the Ottoman Empire. Iran has watched the United States fold-up camp and leave each area just as the Iranians and their allies of Syria, Iraq and Hezballah have made their initial moves to take each area. The Mullahs can only think that the United States has no stomach for a fight with Iran and thus are concluding that they have a clear road to take whatever they should decide is theirs. This could result in an empowered Iran reaching the decision that there would be no reason for them not to take the Saudi Arabia oil fields as well as the entire western Red Sea shoreline including Mecca and Medina so they can claim to be the real leaders of all Islam and the keepers of the Holy Cities. The appearance of an emboldened Iran building a base within sight of the Golan Heights has raised concerns in Israel. This has Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu speaking with Russian President Putin seeking possible Russian assistance which will likely not make one whit of a difference. Iran could simply take a number of steps too far as they might have misread the reality and push the United States past their tipping point forcing President Trump to take a stand against Iran directly. It might even be Russia who gets pushed by Iran too far setting these former allies at one another’s throats. The future is going to be anything but boring.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

* IRGC Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Iranian Special Forces)

 

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