The Obama administration is said to be “scrambling” to find ways to reassure Arab allies that it is not abandoning them, despite the imminent nuclear deal with Iran. To that end, it is considering a range of options such as weapons sales that might reduce Israel’s hitherto sacrosanct military edge, the New York Times reported Friday,including selling the F-35 fighter jet to the United Arab Emirates.
Among the options cited by the paper as being under consideration: A defense pact under which the US would commit “to the defense of Arab allies if they come under attack from outside forces”; joint training missions for American and Arab military forces; designating Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as “major non-NATO allies,” a step that would loosen restrictions on weapons sales and offer “a number of military advantages that are available only to NATO allies”; and approving the sale of its advanced F-35 stealth fighter to the UAE three years after it is delivered to Israel.
The administration is hurriedly weighing such options ahead of a Camp David summit set for May 14 for President Barack Obama and Gulf allies, the New York Times said. Countries might reportedly “downgrade” their participation at the summit, intended for foreign ministers, if the president does not come up with a satisfactory offer.
There was no immediate Israeli response to the report, which broke after the start of the Jewish sabbath.
The Times quoted Defense Secretary Ashton Carter as having asked a group of Middle East experts two weeks ago for their “advice on how the administration could placate Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, all of which fear the nuclear deal.” The secretary reportedly asked them, “How do you make clear to the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) that America isn’t going to hand the house keys of the Persian Gulf over to Iran and then pivot to Asia?”
Obama could turn Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates into “major non-NATO allies,” easing restrictions on weapons sales to them. Bahrain and Kuwait already enjoy this status.
The twin-pronged attack - oil price war/raid on the ruble – aimed at destroying the Russian economy and place it into a form of Western natural resource vassalage has failed.
Natural resources were also essentially the reason for reducing Iran to a Western vassalage. That never had anything to do with Tehran developing a nuclear weapon, which was banned by both the leader of the Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
The ‘New Great Game’ in Eurasia was always about control of the Eurasian land mass. Minor setbacks to the American elite project do not mean the game will be restricted to a mere “war of attrition”. Rather the contrary.
In Ukraine, the Kremlin has been more than explicit there are two definitive red lines. Ukraine won’t join NATO. And Moscow won’t allow the popular republics of Donetsk and Lugansk to be crushed.
We are coming closer to a potentially explosive deadline – when EU sanctions expire in July. An EU in turmoil but still enslaved to NATO – see the pathetic “Dragoon Ride” convoy from the Baltics to Poland or the “Atlantic Resolve” NATO show-off exercise - may decide to expand them, and even try to exclude Russia from SWIFT.
Only fools believe Washington is going to risk American lives over Ukraine or even Poland. Yet let’s plan a few steps ahead. If it ever comes to the unthinkable – a war between NATO and Russia in Ukraine – Russian defense circles are sure of conventional and nuclear superiority on sea and land. And the Pentagon knows it. Russia would reduce NATO forces to smithereens in a matter of hours. And then would come Washington’s stark choice: accept ignominious defeat or escalate to tactical nuclear weapons.
The Pentagon knows that Russia has the air and missile defense capabilities to counter anything embedded in the US Prompt Global Strike (PGS). Simultaneously though, Moscow is saying it would rather not use these capabilities.
Major General Kirill Makarov, Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces’ deputy chief, has been very clear about the PGS threat. Moscow’s December 2014 new military doctrine qualifies PGS as well as NATO’s current military buildup as the top two security threats to Russia.
Unlike non-stop Pentagon/NATO bragging/demonizing, what Russian defense circles don't need to advertise is how they are now a couple of generations ahead of the US in their advanced weaponry.
The bottom line is that while the Pentagon was mired in the Afghanistan and Iraq quagmires, they completely missed Russia’s technological jump ahead. The same applies to China’s ability to hit US satellites and thus pulverize American ICBM satellite guidance systems.
The current privileged scenario is Russia playing for time until it has totally sealed Russia’s air space to American ICBMs, stealth aircraft and cruise missiles – via the S-500 system.
This has not escaped the attention of the British Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) – as it gamed sometime ago whether Washington might launch a first strike against Russia.
According to the JIC, Washington might go rogue if "a) an extreme government were to take over in the United States, b) and there was increased lack of confidence by the United States in some if not all of her Western allies owing to political developments in their countries, c) and there was some sudden advance in the USA in the sphere of weapons, etc. that the counsels of impatience may get the upper hand."
US ‘Think Tankland’ spinning that Russian military planners should take advantage of their superiority to launch a first strike nuclear attack against the US is bogus; the Russian doctrine is eminently defensive.
Yet that does not exclude Washington doing the unthinkable the next time the Pentagon thinks of itself to be in the position Russia is now in.
Washington’s master plan remains deceptively simple; to “neutralize” China by Japan, and Russia by Germany, with the US backing its two anchors, Germany and Japan. Russia is the de facto only BRICS nation blocking the master plan.
This was the case until Beijing launched the New Silk Road(s), which essentially mean the linking of all Eurasia into a “win-win” trade/commerce bonanza on high-speed rail, and in the process diverting freight tonnage overland and away from the seas.
So NATO’s non-stop Russia demonizing is in fact quaint. Think about NATO picking a fight against the constantly evolving, complex Russia-China strategic partnership. And in a not so remote future, as I indicated here, Germany, Russia and China have what it takes to be the essential pillars of a fully integrated Eurasia.
As it stands, the key shadow play is Moscow and Beijing silently preparing their own SWIFT system while Russia prepares to seal its air space with S-500s. Western Ukraine is doomed; leave it to the austerity-ravaged EU – which, by the way, doesn’t want it. And all this while the same EU tries to handicap the US commercially with a rigged euro that still doesn’t allow it to penetrate more US markets.
As for an irrelevant NATO, all it can do is cry, cry, cry.
Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a spokesman for the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), declined to confirm the incursion. But he said no jets were dispatched last week to intercept intruding aircraft.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has dismissed a new statement on alleged deployment of Russian anti-aircraft weapons in eastern Ukraine and called such suggestions ‘foolishness’ that has gone viral.
“Another statement by the State Department representative Jeff Rathke has been passed to him mouth-to-mouth from Marie Harf and this is vivid proof of the fact that not only thought is material but so is stupidity and that stupidity multiplies through viral mechanisms,” reads the statement posted on the Defense Ministry’s official Facebook page.
“We are left to guess about the real reasons that caused Russian anti-aircraft weapons to become an obsessive phobia of US foreign policy officials, as now they see them everywhere.”
The ministry’s press service also reiterated the Russian position that no Russian anti-aircraft complexes are now in southeastern Ukraine, and no such weapons have ever been deployed to this region.
It went on to note the State Department would do better to be concerned about US military instructors who have flooded the Ukrainian territories controlled by pro-Kiev troops. “This fact is confirmed not by some mythical data from obscure sources, but by direct video evidence broadcast by some Russian and foreign TV channels.”
The comment was a reply to a statement made on Monday by US Department of State spokesman, Jeff Rathke, who yet again alleged “Russian military has deployed additional air defense systems into eastern Ukraine and moved several of these nearer the front lines."
And maybe this is the big untold story. The federalization of the local police force aka the rise of the police state. Not only have the Feds given surplus military gear such as machine guns, drones and even MRAPS, which are basically light tanks, but over the last few years media has run numerous stories about how various government agencies are suddenly being militarized. Everyone from the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Education Department now have SWAT units. Even the IRS, the Social Security Administration, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service, are also among the federal agencies which have taken to purchasing ammunition and weaponry in bulk.
In fact, forbes.com notes that as of 2008, “73 federal law enforcement agencies… [employ] approximately 120,000 armed full-time on-duty officers with arrest authority.” Four-fifths of those officers are under the command of either the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Department of Justice.
"There are more nuclear states, but less control over nuclear weapons, over nuclear ‘know-how,’ over nuclear materials. There are more regional conflicts, more open ethnic and religious hatred, more political extremism and intolerance," Stephen F. Cohen stressed.
According to Professor Cohen, not one of these "existential dangers" can be confronted effectively without Russia's cooperation.
"It is impossible to isolate Russia. Russia is too big, too rich, too interconnected in today's world. Russia has many options apart from the West and in the West," Professor Cohen pointed out.
The professor pointed to the fact that regardless of the current anti-Russia media campaign, Russia still has partners, sympathizers and allies around the world, even in the Western Hemisphere.
He highlighted that by isolating Russia the West will not make it more cooperative: instead it will prompt Moscow to turn elsewhere. And the Kremlin has already turned to Beijing, the expert noted.
"A weakened and destabilized Russia will make every danger I have listed worse and create new ones," he warned.
The US stance on Russia over the ongoing Ukrainian crisis has already cost Washington in terms of its national security. Washington has lost a security partner in the Kremlin: "not just [Vladimir] Putin" but perhaps many of his future successors.
Meanwhile, a geopolitical confrontation over Ukraine is turning Europe against American leadership, the professor stressed, warning that it might possibly also undermine the Transatlantic alliance.
"Having plunged us into a new Cold war it is bringing us closer to an actual war with nuclear Russia," Stephen F. Cohen concluded.
The US Navy accompanied four American-flagged ships and a British vessel moving through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf on Thursday, and officials said the US will offer that aid to any other nation concerned about interference from Iranian vessels.
US Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the four US ships belonged to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command or were contract vessels. Those ships have civilian crews and are used to carry cargo or re-supply US Navy ships.
Officials use the word “accompany” rather than escort, because they say the Navy ships are positioned nearby and are ready to respond if needed, but they don’t travel back and forth through the strait alongside each contract or Sealift Command vessel as they would during an escort. Ryder said the US Navy ships don’t intend to go into Iranian territorial waters.