Monday, September 12, 2016

U.S. Repsonds To N Korean Nuke Test: The Launch Of B-1B Bombers, McCain Calls For Pentagon Action In S. China Sea

After Latest Nuke Test, US to Launch B-1B Bombers Over Korean Peninsula

The Pentagon will respond to last week’s incident with a flyover intended to show solidarity with South Korea.

On Friday, US officials promised a "swift response" to North Korea’s latest nuclear test, which triggered a 5.3 magnitude earthquake early that morning.
"The North Korean regime’s continued belligerence demands a strong and swift response," US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said in a statement. "The United States cannot accept a nuclear North Korea that threatens America and our foreign partners with mass destruction."

Details of that response have now been revealed, as the Pentagon plans to fly B-1B Lancer bombers over the peninsula.
"These provocative actions destabilize the Korean peninsula and (the Indo-Asia-Pacific) region," US Force Korea (USFK) spokesman Christopher Bush said in a statement, according to the International Business Times.
"The alliance is taking steps each and every day to defend the Republic of Korea and we are always maintaining a high state of readiness."
While the flight was initially scheduled for Monday, weather has forced a delay until Tuesday.
"Due to inclement weather conditions, the engagement at Osan Air Base scheduled for today been postponed," the statement reads.
The Lancer is a nuclear-capable supersonic heavy strategic bomber. A fleet of B-1Bs were deployed to Guam in August to send a message to Pyongyang.

Already facing heavy UN sanctions, North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test last week. A source with Russian security agencies told RIA Novosti that the test carried the explosive power of 30 kilotons, twice as much as the energy emitted by the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

With tensions escalating between Beijing and Washington, the US Senator has called on President Obama to increase military funding for Pacific allies.

Beijing’s construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea has outraged the United States, concerned with their rival’s growing influence. Throughout the dispute, China has maintained its right to build within its own territory and urged for calm.

Republican Senator John McCain has been one of the most vocal hawksin Washington. On Friday, he condemned China’s “militarization” of the region and called Beijing a "bully." At the same time, he urged President Barack Obama to increase US military efforts in the disputed waterway.

"In the South China Sea, China has shattered the commitments that it made to its neighbors in the 2002 declaration of conduct as well as more recent commitments to the US government by conducting reclamation on disputed features and militarizing the South China Sea at a startling and destabilizing rate," McCain said, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

He added that the Pentagon needs to "maintain a favorable military balance in the Asia-Pacific" to ensure US interests.

"This begins with an effort to continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows," he said. "More broadly, the US must invest in robust naval, air, and ground presence to provide a forward defense in the Western Pacific."

So much has been said about the Syrian conflict in numerous analyses, yet one of the least discussed topics concerns the strategy and the relationship of cooperation and conflict between the United States, Turkey, the Kurds and Daesh.
From the beginning of the Syrian conflict, Washington and Ankara have never hesitated to exploit Daesh’s advances. The occupation of Syrian towns near the Turkish border by Islamic extremists has been one of the preferred tactics endorsed by the United States and Turkey. Closing one eye, often both, concerning Daesh’s operations meant attacking the Syrian state indirectly and threatening its integrity whilst simultaneously allowing the creation of safe havens where terrorist groups could receive weapons and material support to spread their attacks on the legitimate government of Damascus over the rest of the country.

What has altered the chessboard is the Russian military intervention in September of 2015. Moscow has been able to smash the wall of silence and collusion present in Syria involving terrorist organizations such as Daesh, Al Nusra Front, Jaysh al-Islam, Ansar al-Islam and countries like the United States, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. In addition to military action, the Russian Federation has been able to apply strong diplomatic pressure on Western countries and, through the RT news channel, has repeatedly exposed the support of terrorism at any cost by the opponents of the legitimate government in Damascus.

The second phase of the Russian plan, much more ambitious and difficult to achieve, is a military cooperation with Washington and its allies against terrorist organizations in Syria. The continued refusal of this proposal has once again exposed the real intentions of the United States and regional partners, namely the removing of Assad and the partitioning Syria’s territory.

The clock is ticking, and it is all in the favour of Moscow, Damascus and Tehran, who observe the situation with relative calm. Their planned strategy is providing most of the desired results, and now America and its allies have only the ability to react to events on the ground, not to determine or create them. Compared to a few years ago, this is a resounding change. If Erdogan and Obama still will want to start doing the dirty work in Raqqa against the same terrorist group they instigated against Damascus, then they are free to do so.

All options available for Washington and its partners-in-terror will have negative effects on the fateful goal to undermine Syria. Raqqa is a Syrian city, inhabited by Syrians, and even if Ankara liberated it, it is never going to be incorporated into an imaginary Turkish territory.

Strategic contortions, moral contradictions, media deception, and the recent military defeats of terrorist groups have transformed Syria into a recipe for disaster for Washington, Ankara, Doha and Riyadh, from which there is no way out or path to victory.

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